You've probably seen all of the Jurassic Park movies. Who am I kidding, you're a person that lives on this planet and has access to electricity; you've definitely seen all of them. And that means you think you've seen the whole story. You know everything there is to know about Jurassic Park, all the characters and the plots and the monologues. Everyone born before 1993 is legally required to learn Alan Grant's "Velociraptor kill" speech.
But I'm here today to say that you don't know it all. You don't know everything about Jurassic Park until you've played the Jurassic Park games, which offer up some secrets the movies barely hinted at. If the Jurassic Park movies are the prom kings of the franchise, then the games are the kids in the back of the class, dressed in all black and trading conspiracy theories. They know stuff that we don't, man.
So, to celebrate the upcoming premiere of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on June 22, here are a few things about the Jurassic Park series that you'd never find out if you didn't spend years of your life playing through its video games.
Alan Grant is a weirdly violent man
In Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III (2001), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) is mostly a peaceable man who just wants to be left alone to dig up his fossils in the middle of nowhere. But the games pull a complete 180 on this, revealing that Alan Grant a) loves guns and b) loves to use those guns on any dinosaur he can find.
To be fair, some of this unexpected personality change is probably due to the nature of video games. It wouldn't be very fun to play as a Dr. Grant who solves problems by talking them out. But about eight seconds into the first Jurassic Park game (1993) on the Super Nintendo, you're gifted with a rocket launcher, which you use to turn the entire Cretaceous period into hamburger.
But it isn't just dinosaurs. In Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition (1994), it's revealed that, after flying away from Isla Nublar in a helicopter, Dr. Grant immediately returns to the island to kill both dinosaurs and some shadowy field agents who want to steal dinosaur eggs. He does the same thing in Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues (1995) (my personal favorite name for a Jurassic Park anything).
Even in Jurassic Park III: Island Attack (2001) when he's just kind of dropped on Isla Sorna, Alan Grant is remarkably skilled at killing dinosaurs with bombs. I think that's what the "attack" in the title is referring to: these creatures were just minding their own business until mild-mannered paleontologist Alan Grant swooped in and began bombing them.
John Hammond will always be an egomaniac
At the end of The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), John Hammond basically says, "We should leave the dinosaurs alone." Please, John. You know that you're still thinking about messing with those dinosaurs. At least you were in Jurassic Park: The Chaos Continues, in which it's revealed that, after the dinosaurs broke out of the park and slaughtered people, you sent another team back to assess the damage (read: Clean the employees off the walls).
But then Hammond's team gets murdered, and another team from a company called BIOSYN settles onto the island. And rather than be like "Oh well. Good luck not being eaten, BIOSYN," that's when Hammond sends Dr. Grant there to murder the opposing team and also any carnivorous dinosaurs he finds. This seems less like a "People will abuse these animals and use them for evil" scheme and more like a "NO. THEY'RE MY TOYS AND YOU CAN'T PLAY WITH THEM" thing.
Of course, when InGen invades Isla Sorna in The Lost World, Hammond tells Ian Malcolm to go check it out, but as I said, at the end of that movie, he's all like "Let's respect nature." No dice, Hammond. You only want to respect the nature if you're the one who owns it.
Ian Malcolm thinks you're super lame
The Lost World: Jurassic Park made for a decently fun game in 1997. I definitely wouldn't preach from the mountain top about how great it is, but if you have a few afternoons free and you've already caught up on The Americans and eaten all the grilled cheese sandwiches in your house, sure, give it a whirl. And then, when you complete it, actor Jeff Goldblum can tell you that you're a loser.
If you collect all of the "DNA bonuses" in The Lost World, you unlock a video in which Goldblum, as his Ian Malcolm character, applauds you for beating the game. He then tells you to shut the game off and go outside and meet someone of the opposite sex. No mention of Jurassic Park or anything like that, just Goldblum verbally shoving your head in a toilet.
People just can't stop crashing their helicopters in this place
The Jurassic Park films make it clear that these dinosaur islands aren't exactly easy to find. The Jurassic Park games make it clear that if you happen to be in a helicopter anywhere near them, you're probably gonna end up stranded on them.
In the Sega CD game (1994), you're the lone survivor of a helicopter accident because BIOSYN attached a bomb to you before you left. Of course, the ending of the game has you killing the BIOSYN agents and escaping in BIOSYN's helicopter (because no one ever learns from any of their mistakes in the Jurassic Park franchise).
Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition starts with Dr. Grant wrestling control away from a pilot and crashing his helicopter. This means that, in the game universe, Ian Malcolm, Ellie Sattler, Hammond, Lex, and Tim — basically everyone that survived the events of the first film — died in a fiery explosion. One more point taken away from Grant, who will apparently kill a beloved film's entire cast if it means he gets to go gun down some more giant reptiles.
And then, in Jurassic Park: Trespasser (1998), Anne, the protagonist, finds herself on Isla Sorna after her plane goes down in the middle of the island. There are countless miles of ocean to lose a plane in, and she randomly lands on the spot that not only has some land, but also hundreds of dinosaurs.
That's the new moral of the Jurassic Park series; it's no longer "Respect science and nature," it's "Don't fly in helicopters or planes because you'll inevitably be stalked and eaten."
Thanks for the heads up, video games.