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Raptor

Raptor

Raptors are enemies found in The Pre-History Channel in Gex: Enter the Gecko. They are a speedy bipedal dinosaur enemy that inhabits the tropical volcano of Pangaea 90210.

Design and inspiration

The Raptor was most likely inspired by the depiction of similar dinosaurs in popular culture, most likely the Velociraptors featured in the 1992 movie Jurassic Park (which were actually closest in size and features to the related Deinonychus, an anomaly explained in-universe by gene splicing). The same film that had previously inspired another game, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter released a year before Enter the Gecko, in its depiction of similar dinosaurs. Its ultimate inspiration was the real-life dromaeosaurid genus of dinosaurs that originated in modern-day Asia. Its most infamous member, the Velociraptor, was no bigger than a wolf and with its feathers it bore a very bird-like appearance. Given that the Raptor in Enter the Gecko are distinctly small, this represents an ironic twist where the parody work mimics real life more than the film that likely inspired its design, at least size wise.

The Raptor is peculiar in that it is one of a few level-exclusive enemies and can only be found in Pangaea 90210, not even making appearances in other Pre-History Channel stages. It features a bipedal and muscular frame that also encompasses their tail, short arms with three fingers that are more reminiscent of the Tyrannosaurus Rex than any Raptor species and odd two-clawed feet that lack the dromaeosaurid's characteristic retractable claw. The Raptor's reptilian eyes and stripe pattern is similar to the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park, while its entire body is a deep shade of red.

Behavior and strategy

The Raptor's attack pattern is simple, it will charge at Gex at high-speed (their steps are marked by distinctive heavy thumps) and pounce by jumping directly at him. It can be defeated by simply tail whipping its body, after which it will fall belly-up and vanish. If low on health or if not interested in risking the speed of its attack, the AI can also be exploited, despite jumping frequently as part of its attack, the Raptor is unable to damage anyone that is standing above or under itself. Despite this, it will follow Gex to ledges and platforms, setting up an opportunity to potshot it with a spring attack from above or a tail whip from below. Additionally, the terrain in which the Raptor spawns is also an advantage to it, since they first appear holding the high-ground of two hills in the sole road up Panagea 90210's volcano and later in a stone bridge near the top of it, serving as a direct obstacle in both of their appearance.

Trivia

Raptor 2

The Nintendo 64's oddly-proportioned Raptor.

The Raptor is one of the elements that establishes a pronounced design dichotomy between the Playstation and Nintendo 64 versions of Enter the Gecko. In the first, its head structure is reminiscent of stereotypical depictions of carnivorous dinosaurs, with its mouth always opened in an intimating snarl. However, the Nintendo 64 version's is heavily modified and warped from anything resembling an actual dinosaur. Its eyes and nostrils were moved to the top of its head and placed closer together, while its upper jaw was greatly reduced in size and given a more rectangular shape, resulting in an grotesquely enlarged lower jaw and a bizarre-looking grimace. The result of these changes make the Nintendo 64's Raptor much less menacing and more cartoonish, resembling a cross between a pelican and the trollface meme that originated ten years after the game's release. Besides these obvious differences, both versions of the enemy share identical body designs.

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