The Dino Crisis series for the original PlayStation gave gamers a look at what would happen if Resident Evil merged with Jurassic Park. But now it looks like Mario could have somehow made it into the mix as well.
Recently, a dataminer digging through the files of the Dino Crisis 2 trial disc discovered something incredibly surprising. The disc includes a strange cover of the original Mario Bros theme hidden in its audio files. Perhaps the developers hoped for an early version of Super Mario Odyssey's T-Rex Mario.
The music, which you can hear in a video that dataminer RSolidSnake11 uploaded to YouTube, doesn’t sound like it would have played during any point during the game. It only includes the simple, synth melody and it never goes beyond the first part of the tune. But that doesn’t change the oddity that a Mario theme made it into a PlayStation game about dinosaurs. The ship on a Sony/Nintendo collaboration had long since sailed by then.
The track doesn’t have any context. It just exists in the game files on its own. It only seems to exist in the trial version, which the Dino Crisis developers would have distributed prior to the game’s release in order to get folks excited about buying it. This points to the idea that perhaps the folks at Capcom that worked on Dino Crisis 2 used the tune as some kind of a placeholder and then didn’t remove the audio file. In the crunch at the end of a project, developers often end up leaving in cut content and unused development work like recently discovered in Sekiro.
Regardless of how the music made its way into the game, it serves as a reminder that despite console exclusivity and strange licensing restrictions, games are made by people. People who love to make games generally love to play games, and it stands to reason they would reference games from time to time. Even those games from other platforms.
The relic also reinforces how ingrained into gaming culture the Mario theme has always been. The classic tune debuted over 30 years ago and most people can still recognize it in an instant. Even though this seems like a super unlikely place for the music to show up, it’s not surprising. At least, not as surprising as finding out that the classic Mario theme has official lyrics.
Now that fans know the music has a connection to Dino Crisis, it would be interesting to see where the developers may have used the music or what they used it for. Perhaps someone will provide an explanation someday. Until then, fans will just have to imagine a world in which the developers ran around shooting dinosaurs while listening to the classic theme.
Dino Crisis 2 released in 2000 for the PlayStation One.