Primal Rage 2, the cancelled sequel to the 1994 fighting game Primal Rage, has finally been made playable on emulation.
The game, originally developed by Atari in 1995, was slated for a 1996 release for arcades, but it was cancelled at the last minute due to the sagging arcade market in late 1990s.
Only two arcade cabinets of Primal Rage 2 are known to exist, both of which are test cabinets. One of them is playable to the public, at the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, Illinois beginning in 2014.
Attempts over the years have been made to emulate Primal Rage 2, but Atari made this extremely difficult due to a copy protection method use on the games software. Both Primal Rage 2 and the original Primal Rage suffer from these copy protections and security encryptions, so the pure arcade versions of the game have never had complete emulators made, as they would crash at the character select screens in most versions attempted.
Due to Primal Rage 2 being cancelled, the two confirmed test cabinets are the only ways to actually play the full game. Until now.
Recently, an emulator and YouTuber by the name of Gruntzilla94, whose channel has been dedicated to showing off Primal Rage 2 for years, has developed a modified version of the emulation software MAME, titled MAME4RAGE2. Released about a month ago, MAME4RAGE2 is designed to exclusively run Primal Rage 2 in a somewhat complete form, although the perfect emulation is still not available.
Nethertheless, the game, despite in an unfinished state, is now playable for the first time on emulation. A whole video, showcased by Kotaku and created by the YouTuber owlnonymous, details the game in it’s working form below.
Once again, this is an important bit of gaming history come to life. A number of the former developers of Primal Rage, which in of itself are hard to track down, have turned down the chance to help decrypt the copy protection software for the Arcade versions of the game. As such, it made the already rare Primal Rage 2 even rarer still. This not only helps preserve Primal Rage 2 in the long run, but it also is a step closer to maybe facilitating 1 for one arcade emulation, to help preserve what is already a dwindling form of presenting video games.
This is only a net positive, really, even with my own personal hang ups regarding the abuses emulation can bring.
What do you think though? Leave your comments below.