CARNIVORES 2 FAQ V1.0
by David J. Stein, Esq.
0.2 Game Versions and Troubleshooting
1. Gameplay and Controls
1.1.1 Gameplay Cycle
1.1.2 The Options Screen
1.1.3 The Hunt
1.1.4 The Spoils
2. Weapons, Accessories, and Options
2.1.3 Double-Barrel Shotgun
2.1.4 X-Bow (Crossbow)
2.1.6 Sniper Rifle
2.2.3 Cover Scent
2.2.4 Double Ammo
2.3.1 Night vs. Day
2.3.2 Tranquilizers vs. Bullets
2.3.3 Observer Mode vs. Hunter Mode
3.1 Trophy Dinosaurs
3.2 Non-Trophy Dinosaurs
4.1 Delphaeus Hills
4.2 Fort Ciskin
4.3 Vengar Fjords
4.4 Manya Jungle
4.5 Mount Ravan
5.1 Hunt Parameter Selection
5.1.1 Map Selection
5.1.2 Dinosaur Selection
5.1.3 Weapon Selection
5.1.4 Equipment Selection
5.1.5 Option Selection
5.2 Movement Tactics
5.2.2 Angular Travel
5.3 Hunting Tactics
5.3.1 Selecting Prey
5.3.2 Stalking Prey
5.3.3 Killing Prey
5.3.4 Evading Predators
6. Revision History
Carnivores 2 is a first-person shooter released in 1999. It wasn't a very
high-profile release, but it's a solid, enjoyable title.
Perhaps the best way to describe Carnivores 2 is this:
* Carnivores 2 is NOT:
* A fragfest like Doom or Quake. Those games involve slaughtering many dozen
enemies using tons of ammunition. In contrast, Carnivores 2 is a contest
between you and a few dinosaurs in each "level." (There are always about
twenty dinosaurs in every "level," but you will never have enough
ammunition to take them all down.) You have to be very selective in your
hunting, and you have to conserve your ammunition very carefully.
* A zero-sum struggle like Counter-Strike or Unreal Tournament. In these
games, your mission is to win each level either by killing all of your
similarly-armed opponents, or by surviving long enough to complete some
other task. By contrast, in Carnivores 2, there isn't any "mission." There
is no way to "win" anything. You *can* kill some dinosaurs, or you can
tranquilize them, or you can just observe them. You can leave the level at
any time without penalty. So your "mission," really, is to do whatever you
want. Many people may find this lack of objective boring; I find it
* An exploration game like Myst and Tomb Raider. Many (almost all!) games
with large, organic environments encourage the player to poke into unusual
niches, often by challenging means (e.g., finding a way up a steep cliff),
and reward the player with interesting discoveries. By contrast, Carnivores
2 presents no such inducement. It *does* have a few interesting
discoveries, but they aren't difficult to spot - most are visible on the
radar, and all are accessed simply by walking to them. While the maps in
this game have a great number of geographic challenges - steep mountains,
ostensibly inaccessible areas - if you manage to reach them, you'll find
nothing there except a scenic view. This is most disappointing, and it
might take several excursions (lacking payoff) before you will accept its
truth. This is particularly so because the map designers created several
areas that seem perfectly designed as a typical videogame challenge... yet
there's no gold, or even an empty pot, at the end of the trail.
* An adventure game like Diablo or World of Warcraft. There is no story line
or drama. Your character won't develop or progress in any meaningful way,
aside from earning credits that open up some new options. Of course, this
means that you won't have to waste much time "leveling up" by achieving
repetitive tasks; and you can't make a mistake that requires you to reload
an earlier saved game. It's really just about having fun.
* Carnivores 2 IS...
* A hunting experience game. Its central theme involves selecting a dinosaur
within the environment, carefully stalking it across an interesting
landscape, creeping up on it, and plugging it with some well-placed shots.
Its core danger is in having a large, angry, prehistoric predator stalking
and charging at you. If you're more interested in an unusual hunting
experience than a conventional fragfest, then Carnivores 2 will deliver.
* A game with a nice, natural-environment graphics engine. Even for a
seven-year-old game, Carnivores 2 presents a very appealing nature
environment: rolling hills; copious ground cover; swamps and bogs; rivers
and beaches; moutains of granite and of ice; and an impressive array of
trees, bushes, cacti, and petrified forests. Carnivores 2 serves up a very
nice backdrop for a dinosaur hunting game.
0.2 GAME VERSIONS AND TROUBLESHOOTING
Carnivores 2 was initially released as version 1.0, but this version no longer
appears to be available. If you happen to obtain v1.0 of Carnivores 2, you'll
want to patch it up to version 1.1, which (according to the documentation)
fixes some graphics and stability bugs. The patch is available from the Action
Forms website; a few Google searches will turn up a link to it.
Version 1.1 of Carnivores 2 was released circa DirectX 7, and is *mostly*
stable under Windows... if you use the software renderer. Unfortunately, this
version Carnivores 2 doesn't do well with Direct3D or hardware acceleration. My
system (an HP Pavilion zd7000 notebook with an nVidia GeForce FX Go 5600 GPU)
can't even start up the Direct3D renderer in Carnivores v1.1 - the game just
crashes every time. By serendipitous circumstances, the designers wrote
Carnivores 2 so that the main game/graphics engine is spawned as a separate
thread from the main menu. This means that if the graphics game ever crashes,
you'll just be taken back to the main menu. (You may have to Alt-Tab back
there, and you may have to kill the unresponsive Direct3D process through your
Windows Task Manager - but if you can do that, the game will pick up again at
the main menu.) And while the software renderer is stable, it has some graphics
bugs that detract from the gameplay. For instance, when you toggle into "run"
mode, the surfaces of all bodies of water appear as flat, light blue instead of
the ripply blue of the sea. It's unfortunate, but tolerable.
Apparently, the developers recognized this problem and struggled to address it.
The Action Forms website includes a link to a beta version of a Direct3D patch
labeled "beta 1.5," and the readme file provides the personal email address
from a gentleman in the Ukraine in case "you still have technical problems."
So it appears that one or a few of the coders hacked together an unofficial
patch. In fact, it works pretty well! The patched-up Direct3D game engine still
occasionally crashes when starting a level (maybe 30% of the time), but if it
doesn't crash, it works quite well. The framerate and rendering sharpness are
notably improved, so this is a viable and suggested option. (For some reason,
the Direct3D engine doesn't display shadows from clouds - which is a shame,
because seeing a valley of dinosaurs with large cloud shadows moving across it
is a very pleasing visual.)
1. GAMEPLAY AND CONTROLS
1.1.1 GAMEPLAY CYCLE
The gameplay of Carnivores 2 is quite simple - much more simple than most
1. You choose a location, some weapons, and some dinosaurs to hunt.
2. You visit the location and hunt as little or as much as you wish.
3. When you're killed or when you're ready to leave, you leave the location
and return to step 1.
That's really it. There is no plot line; the levels have no missions; there is
no "game over" screen. With exactly one exception (an active lava flow), the
environments are completely harmless - even falling from the top of a mountain
has no impact on your avatar. (Of course, you can drown if you stay underwater
too long, but that's easy to avoid.) Hostile dinosaurs can kill you, but then
you merely return to step 1; it's as if the hunt (and your death) never
happened - there is no cost of any kind. It's really just a friendly,
1.1.2 THE OPTIONS SCREEN
The options screen allows you to define the parameters of the hunt:
* Location: Five locations are available. These options don't substantially
change the nature of the hunt - they just change the scenery.
* Weapons: Six weapons are available. Each comes with a full clip of ammunition
(between six and eight bullets), and you can get a second clip for each
weapon by selecting the "Double Ammo" option.
* Trophy Dinosaurs: Nine kinds of trophy dinosaurs can be selected for the
hunt. You may select as many kinds as you wish (and can afford.)
* Equipment: Five different kinds of non-weaponry equipment are available.
These are important and often indispensible.
* Options: Some details about the hunt can be altered.
More information about these parameters is provided in each section below.
1.1.3 THE HUNT
The hunt begins by dropping you into the chosen location at a random position.
You may begin hunting immediately. The hunt ends when you leave the location or
are killed (or when the 3D rendering engine crashes!)
During the hunt, you will not be able to get new items, ammunition, or weapons
- you're limited to your starting inventory. In addition to the tools that you
select in the Options screen, you have a compass (Which is a little hard to
read) and a pair of binoculars that will not only zoom in on your surroundings,
but will label any creatures with names, weights, and distances from you. This
is a handy feature, especially when you're new to the game and can't
distinguish dinosaurs visually. Also, you will have the ability (through some
unexplained mechanism) to make dinosaur mating calls that will attract a
particular species of dinosaur. Finally, your hunt is supported by a spaceship
that will carry off your kills for mounting in your trophy room.
1.1.4 THE SPOILS
The rewards of a successful hunt are trophies and credits:
* Trophies: Your saved character owns a trophy room with spots for
taxidermically preserved dinosaurs. Whenever you kill a dinosaur on land, you
will see a spaceship retrieve the carcass and carry it away. (Note: If you've
chosen the "Tranquilizer" option for a hunt, then your kills don't get
carried away by the spaceship, and don't appear in your trophy room. Also,
dinosaurs killed in the water can't be retrieved - the spaceship won't even
try.) If you survive the hunt, then any time thereafter, you can visit the
trophy room to see the dinosaur. If you get close to it, you'll be shown a
record of how you killed it: its weight, the time of day and its distance
from you when you killed it, the weapon that you used, etc. Approaching the
trophy will also give you the option of discarding it, in case you run out of
trophy positions (or tire of that trophy, or want to rearrange, etc.)
* Credits: Carnivores 2 provides a modest incentive for succcessful hunting in
the form of a "credits" system. You start the game with 100 credits, and you
earn more credits by killing (or tranquilizing) dinosaurs. The number of
credits that you earn increases with the dangerousness of your target and the
distance of the target at the time of death. You can use these credits to
select a new location, new weapons, and new or additional dinosaurs on your
next hunt. (Credits aren't ever really "spent"; you get 100% of them back at
the end of the hunt, even if it ends because you died. In other words, you
can never lose credits. It's just a way of limiting your options at the
beginning, and gradually expanding your options for the hunt.
The controls are simple. They can be mapped to any button, and you should spend
some time at the beginning of the game learning and customizing these controls.
Most actions are typical of the first-person-shooter genre:
Strafe (sidestep) left
Strafe (sidestep) right
Toggle between walking and running (NOTE: you can't run while wielding a
weapon, and vice versa)
Jump (this becomes Swim Up if you're underwater, and Tread Water if you're
on the surface of water)
Crouch (this becomes Swim Down if you're underwater)
Select Double-Barrel Shotgun
Select Sniper Rifle (will force your perspective into zoom mode)
(note: selecting a weapon while you're already wielding it will put it away and
disarm you. You can push the button a third time to wield it again.)
Here are the less typical controls:
Radar: You can't use this option while you're wielding a weapon.
Binoculars: This gives you a zoom view of your surroundings. It's very
effective for pinning down the location of a dinosaur that's within radar
range but not directly visible. Also, any dinosaur visualized through the
binoculars will have its name, weight, and distance displayed - very useful
for determining whether that thing moving in the distance is or isn't a
Call for evacuation: This takes five seconds to execute, and, yes, you can
be killed in this time.
Dino calls: Your avatar has the power to issue a dinosaur mating call for
each dinosaur that's been designated as a target. One button will page
through the available dinosaur calls. The other issues the call, which will
bring all matching dinosaurs in or near radar range running toward you. This
is a very useful tactic.
2. WEAPONS, ACCESSORIES, AND OPTIONS
The weapons in Carnivores 2 are mostly typical of first-person shooters.
Unfortunately, they feel a little underpowered: targets don't react much to
shots that don't kill them, and in fact it's sometimes difficult to tell
whether or not your shot *did* hit the target.
Weapons cost money to carry on a mission. The good news is that ammunition is
free, and that you can carry as much as possible. However, the amount of
ammunition that you have for each mission is extremely limited: you will have
one or two clips of ammo for each weapon per mission, with each clip holding
between six and eight bullets - and that's it for the trip. This is the most
significant difference between Carnivores 2 and a conventional Doom clone. (If
you prefer dinos that drop ammunition boxes when killed, you can always play
Turok.) So you can't just blaze away at your target - you have to make every
Cost: 20 points
"This weapon has fast shooting range, but its accuracy declines depending on
the range of shot. It is very good for close combat, but its lame for
shooting a distant targets. The pistol will scare plant eaters, but the
noise will alert dangerous carnivores."
Fire power: 1.0/4.0
Shot precision: 1.6/4.0
Rate of fire: 3.1/4.0
As one might expect, the pistol is quite weak. Non-trophy dinos like Moshops
will fall with one or two pisol shots, but it will take many hits to take down
a trophy dinosaur. However, the pistol does have a few uses:
* It's useful for making noise to scare off dinosaurs. Most dinosaurs except
T-Rex will instintively flee when they hear an unexpected noise, so if a
dino is nearby and you don't want to be pursued, fire off a pistol round.
* It's also useful for making noise to attract dinosaurs. If a predator is
too far to see you but has your scent, it will begin stalking slowly toward
you. You can get its full attention (without wasting more precious ammo) by
popping off a pistol shot at it. Your chances of hitting it at that
distance are small, and your chances of doing significant damage are zero;
but it will bring the beast toward you in a hurry.
* It can take down smaller targets, including small trophy dinosaurs, with a
few close-distance shots.
* Hey, it's better than nothing. If you've run out of every other kind of
ammo, your only other real option is to leave the mission - so it might be
worth trying to finish off that ceratosaurus with the pistol.
In other words, if you have a spare 20 points to allocate, you may as well toss
the pistol into your backpack.
Cost: 100 points
"This is a very powerful weapon that uses buck-shot bullets as an ammunition.
The grouping of shots decreases on farther distances. Shooting from this
weapon requires less precise aiming due to its grouping of shots."
Fire power: 2.9/4.0
Shot precision: 0.6/4.0
Rate of fire: 2.3/4.0
This is your garden-variety shotgun - a solid, reliable weapon. It packs a
decent punch and has an acceptable rate of fire. Unfortunately, its
effectiveness drops off rather quickly, making it inferior to the Rifle, which
is the same cost. In total, it's a good mid-range alternative to the Rifle, so
you should bring it along if you can afford it.
2.1.3 DB SHOTGUN
Cost: 150 points
"This weapon is same as shotgun, but can make two shots almost
simultaneously. However it maeks a lot of noise, so it will scare all plant
eaters and some small carnivores, causing them to run away."
Fire power: 2.9/4.0
Shot precision: 0.3/4.0
Rate of fire: 2.4/4.0
What's better than hitting your target with a shotgun blast? Hitting it with
two shotgun blasts, of course. Unfortunately, it's difficult to realize this
prospect: the shotgun is so loud that your target will bolt after the first
shot, so unless your target is large and close, your second round will probably
hit partially or not at all. And therein lies the problem. Any beast large
enough to necessitate two shotgun blasts in short order (the Velociraptor or
Ceratosaurus) is also quick and vicious enough to tackle you before you can
finish reloading. And the reload time on this weapon is terrible. Overall, the
stopping power of the double-barrel shotgun doesn't justify its cost, making
the DB shotgun a second-rate weapon. Tote it along on your trip only if you
have plenty of points.
2.1.4 X-BOW (CROSSBOW)
Cost: 50 points
"This weapon has two areas, called aiming pins. The top pin is sighted in for
40 meters, and the bottom pin is sighted for 80 meters. It is relatively
silent, and can be shot several times without alerting dinosaurs."
Fire power: 2.9/4.0
Shot precision: 2.0/4.0
Rate of fire: 2.0/4.0
The Crossbow delivers good firepower with nice precision in a quiet manner.
Unfortunately, it has a crippling defect: it's very difficult to aim
effectively - the "aiming pin" design leaves a lot to be desired. So while it's
possible to hit your target and deliver 100% of the damage of a close-range
shotgun blast, it's substantially more likely to miss your target (even by a
hair) and deliver no damage whatsoever. As a result, the crossbow is a poor
weapon. However, it's also a cheap weapon, so you should bring it along if you
have credits to spare.
Cost: 100 points
"The target area for this weapon is the center of the sighting circle.
Although powerful, aim your shot well. The shotgun will scare plant eaters,
causing them to scatter, but the noise will alert dangerous carnivores."
Fire power: 2.0/4.0
Shot precision: 3.6/4.0
Rate of fire: 2.0/4.0
The Rifle is the best weapon in the game. The statistics above don't reflect
its value (and in fact don't seem accurate): it hits hard, shoots fairly
precisely, and reloads very quickly. Few dinosaurs will withstand a full clip
of rifle rounds fired in their direction, even at a modest distance, as long as
your aim is reasonable. The Rifle should be your weapon of choice once you can
afford it, as it will increase the percentage of targets that end up in your
trophy room. (Also, its quick reload rate maximizes the amount of damage that
you can deliver to fleeing prey, so you'll find yourself having to chase
wounded targets less often.)
2.1.6 SNIPER RIFLE
cost: 200 points
"This weapon is very accurate, and will shoot exactly where the crosshairs
are placed. Its range goes as far as the binoculars, but is narrow. This is
not a weapon for a charging meat eater, but fantastic for distance shots."
Fire power: 2.0/4.0
Shot precision: 4.0/4.0
Rate of fire: 2.0/4.0
As in many other games, the Sniper Rifle is a specialized weapon. Whenever it's
equipped, your world view will be restricted to the rifle scope - so you can't
travel with it, and you certainly won't win any close-range battles with it.
The Sniper Rifle is useful solely when you're perched somewhere safe
(preferably at a higher altitude) and at a distance from your target.
Unfortunately, the Sniper Rifle doesn't have the hitscan-style, instant-kill
stopping power of equivalent weapons from other games: it's really just a Rifle
with a sniper scope. Fortunately, the Sniper Rifle has the rate of fire of a
Rifle, and its accuracy is perfect. As a result, you can take down most targets
with two or three direct shots. Finally, the Sniper Rifle is a reliable tool
for taking down T-Rexes, since it's the only opportunity to aim at a
(relatively) docile target with the requisite precision. See the section on
Accessories are available at the outset, and you can select any or all of them
for any mission (including the first.) Rather, the costs are assessed by
reducing the amount of points that you get from every successful kill.
Nevertheless, some of them are indispensible: it's better to use equipment and
receive a smaller point reward, than to forego the equipment and get killed.
"This special suit decreases the dinosaur's ability to detect you through
sight. Use of the Camouflage deducts 15% from your total points acquired
during that hunt."
The camouflage seems pretty effective at preventing dinosaurs from spotting you
(before you're ready, that it.) Naturally, it's more effective against
dinosaurs that rely on sight than those that rely on sound. However, you should
skip it if (a) you're hunting only small prey (which won't rush you if they
spot you), or (b) you're primarily relying on the Sniper Rifle.
"This allows you to view the dinosaur locations on the map during your hunt.
A dinosaur is depicted on the map as a green dot. Your location is shown as
the red dot with the circle surrounding it. Please note that the map shows
only the dinosaurs you are hunting. All other dinosaurs are masked. Use of
the map deducts 30% from your total points acquired during that hunt."
The Radar is utterly indispensible. Not having the Radar makes long-range
travel more difficult; it forces you to rely on your sight and acoustics for
hunting (both of which are imperfectly rendered by the Carnivores 2 game
engine); and it makes you much more vulnerable prey to aggressive dinosaurs.
Don't leave home without it! Unfortunately, the Radar isn't perfect. It only
displays dinosaurs that you have selected as targets for this hunt. Non-trophy
dinosaurs like Moshops and Pteranodon won't be displayed, but that's fine. The
much larger problem is that trophy dinosaurs that you *haven't* selected for
this hunt won't be displayed, but may be in your vicinity anyway! This even
includes carnivorous dinosaurs - don't be surprised if your low-stress hunt for
Ankylosaurs is spoiled by the cameo appearance of an Allosaurus - Carnivores 2
will do that to you sometimes. For the most part, however, the Radar will
display much valuable information and will become a crucial part of your
2.2.3 COVER SCENT
"This item allows you to mask your scent from all dinosaurs reducing the
likelihood of you being spotted. Use of the Cover Scent deducts 20% from
your total points acquired during that hunt."
The Cover Scent is olfactory camouflage: dinosaurs that rely on scent rather
than sight will be less likely to spot you. The same comments as for the
Camouflage apply: don't bother with Cover Scent if you're going to be sniping,
or if you're hunting (mostly) harmless targets; *do* rely on it in other
2.2.4 DOUBLE AMMO
"It doubles the amount of ammunition for every weapon during hunting season."
There is no apparent cost or penalty to selecting double ammo, so you should
select this option every time. Naturally, the extra ammo clip doesn't cost you
anything, and you don't have to use it.
Options are simply parameters that modify your hunting experience. They don't
cost anything and aren't very significant, but it's nice to have them
2.3.1 TIME OF DAY
The time of day doesn't really change much of the gameplay - it's more an
experience/environmental feature than a tactical factor.
"Dawn is good time for hunting herbivorous creatures, because they are less
scarable. Carnivores are less agressive at dawn."
The environments in Carnivores 2 appear more high-contrast during dawn:
brighter colors appear washed out; dimmer colors appear crushed. This effect
impairs your visibility. Nevertheless, the difference shouldn't be enough to
change your mind (and it's not clear that the dinosaurs actually behave
differently at dawn than at other times.) So, you should feel free to select
Dawn as your time frame when you want a change of pace.
"Day is a best time for hunt, because you can see every move of a dinosaur
much better than at night or dawn. It is good for beginners."
Daytime is a typical hunting opportunity with good visibility. You should
select this most of the time, especially if you're hunting particularly vicious
"You are hunting at night using night-vision system. At night many of small
herbivorous creatures are sleeping. However, carnivores are more agressive
Visibility is more difficult at night - everything is green-screen, so much
visual detail is lost. The atmosphere is nice, however - a knee-high mist fills
the swamps, and the moon looms large and full overhead. Again, it's not
apparent that dinosaurs act differently at night than at other times of the
2.3.2 TRANQUILIZERS VS. BULLETS
"Tranquilizing a dinosaur is an alternative to killing it. This will drop the
dinosaur where it stands with a quick-acting drug. Use of the Tranquilizer
adds 25% to your total points acquired during that hunt."
This option will increase your point totals, so you should select it most of
the time. It doesn't seem to take more ammunition to incapacitate a dinosaur
with tranquilizers than to kill it with bullets. The only drawback to selecting
the Tranquilizer option is that none of your kills will appear in your trophy
room. (Also, the ship won't come pick them up. Instead, the defeated dinosaur
will collapse into sleep, snoring slightly. Amusingly, they even snore
underwater! Try tanking a dinosaur while it's swimming, and then visiting its
underwater resting spot.)
2.3.3 OBSERVER MODE VS. HUNTER MODE
"Use the Observer Mode to familiarize yourself wtih dinosaur behavior and
different terrain. Please note that no weapons and accesories are available
in this mode except binoculars and area map."
This option is puzzling: it just takes away all of your weapons. Dinosaurs act
the same and will kill you just as quickly as in hunter mode. I have no idea
what purpose this option is meant to serve, but I never use it.
3.1 TROPHY DINOSAURS
Cost: 10 points
Size: length 15-24 ft
Weight: up to 3.5 tons
Danger: not dangerous
This dinosaur most closely resembles a kangaroo, although it runs rather than
hops. It's harmless and weak (hence the low point reward), but it makes a good
Cost: 15 points
Size: length 12-21 ft
Weight: up to 2.5 tons
Danger: not dangerous
The Ankylosaurus resembles a turtle with a spiny shell and a long tail. In
real life, the Ankylosaur's tail was a threatening, club-like weapon - but this
Ankylosaur is harmless to you. It's an easy target, and in fact it seems to
move more slowly than the Parasaurolophus, so it's a pretty good target for a
Cost: 20 points
Size: length 18-30 ft
Weight: up to 7 tons
Danger: not dangerous
The Stegosaurus is a large dinosaur that most closely resembles a hippopotamus
with a row of thin, vertical, red fins running down its back. It's a harmless
plant eater that usually wanders slowly (and is pretty oblivious to humans),
but it can move surprisingly quickly when startled, creating a rapid, stomping
noise as it hustles away from you. Its size makes it pretty hardy.
Cost: 30 points
Size: length 12-18 ft
Weight: up to 2.5 tons
Diet: herbivorous dinosaurs
Danger: extremely dangerous
The Allosaurus is a small version of the Velociraptor: a vicious, scrappy
biped. It can leap when it gets close to you, so it's not wise to let it get
close to you. Fortunately, the Allosaurus doesn't take much damage before
dropping, so it's only a significant threat if you encounter it with other
predators, if it surprises you at close range, or if you encounter it amidst
terrain with bad visibility.
Cost: 50 points
Size: 18-24 ft
Weight: up to 4.5 tons
Diet: fibrous plants
Danger: dangerous if wounded
The Chasmosaurus, commonly known as a Triceratops, is essentially a cross
between a bull and a tank. It's smaller than the Stegosaurus, but it has the
same hardiness, and also some offensive hardware: some tusks protruding from
the top of its head and a hard, cartilagenous shield surrounding and rising
from its neck. It will generally run away if startled, but if you get too
close or wound it, it will charge and attempt to gore you with its tusks. As
long as you maintain distance, the Chasmosaurus isn't dangerous, and the point
reward makes it a worthwhile target.
Cost: 100 points
Size: length 9-15 ft
Weight: up to 2 tons
Diet: large dinosaurs
Danger: extremely dangerous
Thanks to Michael Crichton's works, everyone in America can identify the
Velociraptor. The version presented here in Carnivores 2 is pretty
straightforward: it's a man-sized, bipedal dinosaur with acute senses and sharp
talons. It can withstand more damage than the smaller Allosaurus, so the point
total for bagging a Velociraptor is justifiable.
Cost: 250 points
Size: length 12-18 ft
Weight: up to 3 tons
Diet: large dinosaurs
Danger: extremely dangerous
This dinosaur is like a small T-Rex - it's a running biped with big teeth and
small arms. If you spot it up close, then you're probably going to lose - but
if you get the drop on it from a distance, the Spinosaurus is surprisingly easy
to take down. About five or six well-aimed Rifle or Sniper Rifle bullets will
do the trick. Just keep your distance, and don't underestimate its speed. The
reward is surprisingly abundant - this dinosaur is not 2.5x more threatening
than a Velociraptor!
Cost: 300 points
Size: length 24-30 ft
Weight: up to 6 tons
Diet: large dinosaurs
Danger: extremely dangerous
This beast is mean! It's a big, ferocious T-Rex-style carnivore, it runs very
quickly, and it can absorb a lot of damage. If you try to face it down when
it's charging at you across level ground, you will likely lose every time; it's
just not possible to apply enough stopping power in that span of time. Rather,
you should always plan to snipe at a Ceratosaurus from behind some kind of
obstacle: a large body of water, a steep mountain range, or some kind of
Cost: 500 points
Size: length 30-42 ft
Weight: up to 8 tons
Diet: everything that moves
Danger: extremely dangerous - the only way to kill T-Rex is shooting his eye
The T-Rex is the centerpiece of Carnivores 2. It has a distinctive look and
style of movement, and hunting it is a quite different exercise than hunting
any of the other dinosaurs. As indicated above, a T-Rex doesn't sustain damage
like the other targets in this game; you just have to shoot it in the eye. Any
weapon will suffice - including the pistol! - but the target area is very
small. See the section on T-Rexes in "Tactics" below.
3.2 NON-TROPHY DINOSAURS
The environments of Carnivores 2 would be barren if filled only with
trophy-caliber dinosaurs. Fortunately, the environments are populated with a
variety of non-trophy dinosaurs that do not substantially contribute to the
gameplay, but that add to the ambience and the feeling of hunting in a
prehistoric era. Although these dinosaurs often respond to the player's
actions, all of them are completely harmless. You may shoot and kill (or
tranquilize) most of them with little effort, but you will receive no points or
other reward for the feat, and the ammo used in the process will be gone. Thus,
it doesn't make much sense to target or shoot at them - live and let live.
This is a small, fat lizard that quietly waddles quickly through the brush. It
is easily startled and will scurry away from human presence or noise.
This is a small, fan-backed lizard that walks slowly across the ground. It can
pick up speed in a hurry if startled into fleeing.
This is a medium-height, bipedal lizard. It's completely harmless, but it can
be confused at first glance with an Allosaurus, so you'll probably find
yourself plugging a defenseless Galimimus at least once. The easiest way to
differentiate them is through the Binoculars, which display text labels of each
This is a flying dinosaur with webbed wings, a long, skinny beak, and a long,
pointy horn. It spends its time wheeling across the sky, but will
unceremoniously tumble out of the sky if shot.
This dinosaur behaves identically to the pteranodon, but it looks slightly
different; its head is shaped more like a dog than a bird.
This animal (which was somewhat recently renamed by paleontologists to
"Sauropod") was one of the marvels of the prehistoric era, and is still the
largest creature ever to walk on land. You may not get an adequate sense of its
size until you're pretty close to it, but when you are, imagine this enormous
dinosaur wandering around in the real world. You will always find it in or near
shallow water - on river banks, beaches, even swamps. It won't interact with
you in any way, and none of the weapons will affect it.
4.1 DELPHAEUS HILLS
Cost: 20 points
"The smallest island on the tour. The rolling hills surround an enormous bay.
Impassible mountains make deadly traps for the unwary. In the center of the
island is a large chasm of unknown origin, and the deserted remains of an
archaeology outpost. Mild difficulty."
This is a good general-purpose island - it doesn't have any significant
obstacles, but it also doesn't have any features particularly useful for
hunting. Since you'll spend most of your point-gathering missions on this
island, it pays to get to know it well.
Sites of interest:
* Abandoned Settlement (north border area): This settlement primarily contains
a large, disintegrating satellite dish and some abandoned crates. There's
also an abandoned bunker with bunk beds and some puddles.
* Fissure (north center area): This fissure is deep and filled with smoke or
mist. The unfortunate problem is that they're one of the only areas within
Carnivores 2 that is inescapable. If you fall into the fissure, you won't
die, but you won't be able to climb out, so you should just quit and restart
* Stone Arch (western island): This rock formation is sandwiched between the
long, skinny island at the west edge of the map and the mainland. It's kind
of picturesque and prehistoric-feeling.
* Petrified Forest (east area): This area contains many dead tree trunks and
marshy ground - it's an atmospheric area, and it's fun to hunt here.
* Swamp (southwest area): This swamp is nice at night, with the sounds of frogs
and shadows cast by reeds poking through the low-lying fog.
* Pond with Lily Pads (south area): This pond area is nice and atmospheric.
* Mountains (center area): These mountains aren't very interesting - they're
not very tall, and scaling them isn't particularly rewarding. You'll
undoubtedly have to encounter them and skirt around the base, since they
occupy the dead center of the island.
4.2 FORT CISKIN
Cost: 50 points
"A good sized area consisting of dense pine forests encircling a murky swamp.
In the southwest corner lies an abandoned settlement guarded by a towering
'Dinosaur Wall', that now lies in ruins from the fury of a T-Rex."
Most of this area is a flat plain with thick vegetation and some marshes. Most
of it is a poor place to hunt, since visibility and walking speed are limited
by the dense tree growth.
Sites of interest:
* Abandoned Settlement (southwest area): This settlement consists of about a
half-dozen abandoned huts, which now contain lumps of dirt, standing water,
and cat-tails. The "dinosaur wall" initially blocked off the eastern end of
the path through the settlement, but now lies in ruins. The opposite end of
the path trails off near a stream that, apparently, the settlers were trying
to dam; some vertical wooden pillars remain in and near the river at this
* Stonehenge (east border area): Between the two beaches on the eastern border
of the map is Stonehenge - a circle of standing stones, with an altar-like
rock formation in the middle. It has a nice, picturesque overlook of the
ocean to the east. Otherwise, it's less interesting than it could have been.
* Abandoned Building (northwest area): A small, one-story building is here, but
its entrance has been completely blocked off, and it contains no windows.
* Inland Lake (north center area): This lake can be used tatically - just find
dinosaurs on the other side of it, and snipe at them as they swim across the
* Mountains (throughout the north half of the area): The mountains on this map
are odd - they are like large, isolated columns of stone; they can't be
scaled, and they don't make up a mountain range of any kind. They're just
really large rocks.
* Brown Bog (east center area): This shallow bog of standing, brown water can
be a little creepy - you might expect quicksand, or some kind of nasty swamp
monsters here - but of course it's completely harmless.
* Swamp (center area): This area isn't quite as muddy as the brown bog to the
east, but it's considerably larger.
4.3 VENGAR FJORDS
Cost: 100 points
"Lush pockets of vegetation, and thousands of inlets cover this area. This
beauiful but treacherous piece of land includes an ancient volcano. Be
careful when wandering the virtual maze of water and mountains created by
glaciers milions of years ago. Intermediate difficulty."
The Vengar Fjords are very pretty - verdant grasses, lush vegetation, deep
fjords wending through hills with thick ground cover. Unfortunately, it's not a
great hunting ground, because it's difficult to navigate - the overly hilly
landscape and the deep, watery channels will hamper your mobility. In fact,
it's just frustrating to try to walk around this level - it feels slow and
Sites of interest:
* Cactus Forest (center area): This area is more like a maze than a jungle.
It's mostly flat and dotted by pretty cacti; many steep mounds of earth
break up this region into an oversized hedge maze. It might be good for
hunting smaller and slower prey, but if a quick predator spots you here,
you're a sitting duck - there might not be any geographical features nearby
to help secure your escape.
* Volcanic Pool (east center area): A tall, dormant volcano in this area has
evolved into a high pool of standing water. The pool has an eerie feel, but
if you face away from it, you'll have a great, high-altitude view of the lush
jungle area below.
* Cave (north center area): This area contains an underground cave containing a
small pool and some stalactites/stalagmites. It can be entered from the west
or the north, and these entrances are connected.
* Large lake (northwest area): This large, inland lake has a couple of
interesting natural features. The northern lip of the lake presents a high
bank with a window-like carve-out; if you approach this area from the
northeast, you'll be able to see through the window and into the pool below.
And just off to the west of this window, you'll find an underwater tunnel -
you have to submerge in order to pass under a low-lying rock edge - and it
emerges through a small cave back into the forest.
* Fjords (stretching across north area): The fjords - a long, deep river
channel with many forks - are very pretty in a lonesome, abstract kind of
way. You'll see some underwater plants and many odd clumps of crystals on
the bottom of the fjord. However, it's surprisingly difficult to get out of
the fjords if you fall in! Many areas of the bank on each side of the fjord
are too vertical to scale, so you might find yourself swimming for a long
time trying to secure an exit.
* Pools (south center area): A number of small, deep pools are scattered across
the southern area of the island. These add to the lush feel of this region.
* Mountain Ranges (south area and all along the north border): These mountains
are very steep and jagged. Many of them look like they might contain a secret
hideaway at the top or in their midst... unfortunately, I've spent many hours
hopping around these mountains, and I've never found anything out of the
ordinary up there. In fact, many such regions *look* like they should be
scalable, but actually aren't. In fact, while scaling these mountains, you
will often encounter an invisible wall that prevents forward progress - even
if it looks feasible. It's very frustrating!
* Tiny Island (west/southwest area): The radar/map shows a two-pixel-long
island in the middle of the water in this area. Unfortunately, there's
nothing special about this island - it just rises out of the ocean, presents
a small flat surface, and drops away again.
* Stone Arches (southeast area): The beaches in this region feature two stone
arch formations very near each other. There is no apparent significance to
4.4 MANYA JUNGLE
Cost: 150 points
"Ringed with snow-capped mountains, this hunting area is rumored to be a
nesting ground for some of the larger dinosaurs. Muddy marshes to the
southwest, and a long abandoned 'Dragon Wall' make this one of the most
mysterious areas on the tour. Intermediate difficulty."
The Manya Jungle is a mix of three regions: the hilly, fern-filled area in the
north and west; the beach and ocean area to the south and southwest; and the
bogs and mountains in the east. Aside from a few difficult spots, this island
makes for pretty good hunting - there's water to slow down charging aggressors,
climbable mountains for safe sniping, and topography that permits long-distance
visibility. The jungle-like humidity is conveyed well - the vegetation is
primarily ferns and palm trees, and the marsh areas feel as through they're
full of moss and decay.
Sites of interest:
* Large Stone Arch (north border): The pond in the north has an outlet to the
ocean that passes underneath a huge stone arch. It's very nice, but a little
eerie. If you pass through it, you'll find yourself in a large pool of water
partly encircled by mountains that stretches to the horizon... and it's
likely to be *completely* devoid of animal life, adding to the eerie effect.
* Dragon Wall (southeast border): The southeast part of the map is bordered by
a long, tall fence, comprised of wooden posts with sharpened tops. The posts
don't have a single gap and can't be scaled or jumped over, so you won't be
able to move through it. If you climb the mountains to the north, however,
you can see some of what's on the other side... which, sadly, is just more of
the same forest.
* Bog (east area): The eastern part of the map is a large bog, filled with
standing, brown water (sometimes deep) and many dead tree trunks. This area
is desolate and creepy... but it's made much worse by the fact that one of
the ambient sound effects in this region sounds *very* much like a headcrab
from the Half-Life games. If you've played either of those games, then you
have a well-developed sense of startlement from this sound, especially when
you can't see any headcrabs nearby (and, worse, when you're wading through
opaque brown water!) It's most likely a complete coincidence, but its effect
may put you on edge (in an enjoyable way.)
* Cave and Hatchery (east border area): The mountain range in the east features
a large cave system at its north end. It's desolate and filled with the
echoes of condensation dripping from stalactites. At the back of the cave,
you'll find a room filled with eggs! Presumably they're dinosaur eggs, but
they look exactly like the egg hatchery from the Aliens movie. This is made
even creepier by the fact that a few of the eggs are hatched, and the use of
an egg-creaking-open ambient sound. Of course, nothing actually emerges from
the eggs, and you can't damage them with weapons or otherwise interact with
them. But it's a nice touch.
* Beach (southwest area): The long, sandy beach area bordering the ocean makes
for difficult hunting, since it has many dunes and islands that interfere
with visibility. Worse, the beach is separated from the main part of the
island by a long, steep cliff - it's virtually unclimbable at any part along
its length. You'll have to circumvent it if you wish to return to the main
part of the island.
* Ocean (southwest corner): The southwest region of this area, almost a sixth
of the entire map, is the ocean. There's nothing in it - just water and some
very typical underwater plants. I spent quite a lot of time swimming around
this region, hoping to find a sea creature, a submarine or sunken ship, maybe
a large dinosaur fossil... nothing. It's just empty water. Very
* Misty Mountains (north area): The mountains in the north present some good
hunting opportunities, but there's not much there - just some vegetation.
This area stretches across to the northwest area, which becomes much more
hilly, and even difficult to traverse.
4.5 MOUNT RAVAN
Cost: 200 points
"This island, broken by waterways and mountains is the most difficult by far.
The frozen peaks of Mt. Ravan overlook a thick tropical forest that may
quickly become a deadly maze where hidden danger abounds. Be careful of the
active lavaflow to the south as well. Advanced difficulty."
This is my favorite map - its environment is conducive to hunting,
aesthetically pleasing, and nicely varied. Unfortunately, due to the steep
point cost, you won't be able to see it until you're an experienced hunter;
but you probably won't tire of Carnivores 2 before you're able to experience
Sites of interest:
* Active Volcano (southwest area): The visual centerpiece of the map is the
circular mountain standing by itself in the southwest corner of the map. Most
of the volcano is below sea level, so you have a very short climb before
you're standing on the rim and looking into the crackling lava flow within.
This is also the only part of any map that can actually kill you. (It's not
clear whether or not dinosaurs are also killed by the lava; I could never
lure one into it.) Unfortunately, the lava doesn't show up as it should on
night-vision goggles (it should be just off the scale in visual intensity.)
* Ocean and Beach (all map borders): As in the other maps, the ocean is devoid
of life and features, with the exception of some underwater plants. Unless
you're chasing a dinosaur (or fleeing from one), there's no reason to go into
the ocean. Pretty disappointing... The island is ringed by a small beach that
serves as a buffer to the ocean; this can make for pretty good hunting.
* Rivers (throughout map): Wide rivers run through the island that effectively
trisect it. Especially in the middle of the map, these rivers are bordered by
very tall mountains - these are difficult to scale, but excellent for
sniping. Some dino mating calls can draw targets toward you, while the sheer
mountain face will keep them at a distance.
* Clay Hills (north area): The large red/brown smudge in the north part of the
island map is a tall mountain range. It's different from the stony mountains
in other parts of the island - it's more rolling (and hence scalable) than
precipitous, and it looks like it's composed of clay or mud.
* Mountain (center area): In the center of the map (well, a little south of
the center, actually) is a tall mountain. It's easily scalable from the
south, and the panorama is both visually pleasing and a good sniping spot.
* Desert (northwest area): The northwest edge of the map contains a fairly
large expanse of desert, complete with dunes, cacti, and a couple of low,
muddy swamps. This is a fun area for hunting; it's amusing to see dinosaurs
running among the sand dunes.
* Ice-Capped Mountains (north area): The icy mountains in the north part of the
map are very steep and unclimbable, but they add some variety to the region.
* Deep Bog (north area): Just south of the ice-capped mountains is a
surprisingly deep bog that adds a touch of mystique to the area.
* Crater Lake (southwest area): There's a circular, pretty deep lake in the
southwest corner of the map. It's not very unusual, but it's a little
interesting: its hemispherical shape and rocky edges are suggestive of an
5.1 HUNT PARAMETER SELECTION
When you reach a certain level of proficiency (and have accrued a nice stock
of points), you can do anything you want. You can choose all of the dinosaurs,
all of the weapons, and all of the equipment features (since you won't care
about reduced point values.) However, surpassing all such limits requires 2,095
points - probably several hours of hunting.
Before you reach this level, you'll have to be picky about your hunting
options. First, decide what you intend to accomplish on the mission - are you
hunting to maximize your point total, or hunting for large game trophies, or
just visiting for a sightseeing experience? Here are some loadout
recommendations for each objective:
5.1.1 MAP SELECTION
All of them have good spots and bad spots. In fact, I'm not even sure why the
designers designated "difficulty" levels for the maps; they all have strengths
* Winning points: Do all of your hunting in Delphaeus Hills. The points that
you would have spent on selecting another map can instead be used to bring
along more weapons (and the ammo that they contain), or to select more, or
more valuable, targets.
* Winning trophies: For really mean targets like Ceratosaurus and T-Rex, it
will be easiest to snipe at them from the top of a mountain. Mount Ravan
has many steep but scalable mountains, so it's your best bet. Find a perch up
high and near your target of choice, make a few dino calls to attract it, and
then snipe at it from your safe little hunting bluff.
* Sightseeing: All of the maps have something interesting to offer - and
they're well-differentiated from each other. Visit all of them.
5.1.2 DINOSAUR SELECTION
Naturally, your choice of dinosaurs is important; choosing Ankylosaurus will
offer a completely different experience than choosing T-Rex, even for the same
island. IMPORTANT NOTE: The population of an island is not *strictly* defined
by your dinosaur selections; you will occasionally encounter a trophy dinosaur
that you didn't select on this hunt. And these anomalous dinosaurs won't appear
on your radar - and it can be quite startling to encounter a radar-invisible
Velociraptor on a map that should contain only Stegosaurus dinosaurs. The good
news is that these dinosaurs retain "trophy" status, and will be displayed in
your trophy room if you kill them.
* Winning points: When you're not well-equipped (and inexperienced), you should
populate the island with harmless and mostly-harmless dinosaurs. In
particular, the Chasmosaurus offers many points without posing much of a
threat. When you've gained enough points to support a decent arsenal, start
choosing the Velociraptor and Spinosaurus - these are dangerous beasts, but
the rewards are good. Avoid the Ceratosaurus and T-Rex; even the large point
rewards that these beasts convey don't justify the danger levels that they
pose. (In other words, more often than not, they will kill you and deprive
you of all points for that hunt!)
* Winning trophies: Of course, you should select the dinosaurs that you want as
* Sightseeing: You can't start a hunt without selecting one dinosaur, so choose
one of the harmless ones. Alternatively, you can choose *all* of the harmful
ones, which will guarantee that you can see all potential threats on your
radar and avoid them.
5.1.3 WEAPON SELECTION
Having the right weapon is the critical difference between bagging a dinosaur
and losing the mission. As soon as you can, start selecting the Rifle for every
mission. As long as your aim is reasonable (and you're not surprised by a
predator), you should be able to bag at least one trophy on every hunt - a full
clip of rifle rounds can take down even a Ceratosaurus. When you have some more
points, start bringing along the Shotgun; and when you can afford a third
choice, select ither the Double-Barrel Shotgun or the Sniper Rifle. Finally,
every time you find yourself with a spare 20 points to allocate, bring along
the Pistol - as suggested above, it's better than nothing. More specifically:
* Winning points: The goal here is to maximize your kills, so you'll need to
maximize your ammo. Take as many weapons as you can, and of course be sure to
select Double Ammo. For the harmless dinosaurs, take all of your shots at
close range in order to maximize damage and hit potential.
* Winning trophies: Big-target dinosaurs need lots of damage, so the Rifle and
Sniper Rifle are your best bets, followed by the DB Shotgun. Don't even
bother with the Pistol, X-Bow, or Shotgun, unless you have points to spare.
* Sightseeing: Well, if this is your goal, then weapons don't much matter. In
fact, you're better off bringing the loudest weapons - the shotguns - for the
sole purpose of scaring off dinosaurs that encroach on your radar circle.
5.1.4 EQUIPMENT SELECTION
There's never a reason not to select "Double Ammo," since it doesn't have any
penalty. Also, *always* select the Radar - the cost (in reduced point totals
per trophy) is entirely worth it.
* Winning points: Don't bother with the Camouflage or Cover Scent; these will
only diminish the point yield for each trophy.
* Winning trophies: It doesn't really matter either way. The big-game dinosaurs
will immediately bolt toward you when you hit them the first time (and if
they appear nearby, it's too late - you're dead.)
* Sightseeing: Absolutely bring along the Camouflage and Cover Scent - this
will reduce the odds of dinosaurs rushing at you when you just want to be
5.1.5 OPTION SELECTION
There's not too much tactical difference between hunting at different times of
the day. The visibility problems with nighttime hunting are (more than)
compensated by night-vision goggles. So you may not be able to see the exact
skin features of that Velociraptor, but it stands out in bright green from its
surroundings. Don't ever select "Observer" mode - there's no reason ever to do
* Winning points: Obviously, you'll want to select "Tranquilizers" over
"Bullets" in order to maximize your point yields.
* Winning trophies: Obviously, you'll want to deselect "Tranquilizers," since
you won't get any trophies this way.
* Sightseeing: Obviously, it doesn't matter whether you select Tranquilizers
or Bullets, since you probably won't be shooting at anything. As for the
time of day: Be sure to experience all three - they each have a different
experience to offer. (Note: The night vision effect isn't perfect: it doesn't
really tint everything according to its heat, it just makes dinosaurs appear
bright green. The active lava flow in Mount Ravan just comes across as a pale
5.2 MOVEMENT TACTICS
You can increase your movement by running, but you can't run and wield a weapon
at the same time - so you should disarm any time you're not near or targeting a
dinosaur. Even so, your avatar in Carnivores 2 is a typical human trying to
navigate a prehistoric land filled with dinosaurs. This raises several
complications. First, your footspeed (even while running) is quite slow, and
the environments are large; it would take several minutes to walk straight
from one end of a map to the other. Worse, many obstacles are in your way:
rolling hills, steep mountains, clumps of trees, fissures, holes - all of them
will make pedestrian travel difficult. Third, every one of the dinosaurs walks
faster than you - sometimes much faster. As a result of these factors, your
normal traveling speed is a liability. (One additional note about walking or
running: The sound engine in Carnivores 2 is a little odd - if you walk
backwards, the sound of your footsteps DOUBLE in volume. It's just a
programming error, but you should be aware of it, because it will throw off
your ability to track prey by ear.)
5.2.2 ANGULAR TRAVEL
There is one way of increasing your walk/run speed. The game engine in
Carnivores 2 has a pretty typical flaw: you can walk forward at (x) speed, and
while you're doing so, you can also strafe to either side at (y) speed -
without diminishing the rate of forward motion. This means that you can
effectively walk at the speed of (x + y) in your chosen direction. You just
need to turn to a 45-degree angle with relation to your destination, and
simultaneously walk forward while strafing in that direction. If you use this
method while running, you can *almost* keep up with a running dinosaur. Very
handy! Of course, while you're doing this, your avatar will continue to look
straight forward, not at your intended target. Your actual direction of
movement will be at the edge of the screen: if you're oriented 45 degrees to
the right of your target and you're strafing left, then "forward" is really
the left scree edge. You'll be able to see most obstacles this way (trees,
rocks, and land formations), and you can navigate around them by jumping or
turning slightly to get around it. Keep the map open, and keep an eye on the
compass so that you're headed in the right direction.
The natural environments of Carnivores 2 present many steep and vertical
surfaces, and you'll need to scale some of them in order to gain an altitude
advantage on a target or just to get past the topography. The game engine will
allow you to walk up surfaces that are angled less than approximately 35
degrees, and to stand on surfaces that are angled less than approximately 45
degrees. Steeper surfaces will, of course, cause you to slide or fall. Hence,
you can climb large mountains just as in other games (and real life): by
picking your way from one slightly-less-vertical spot to the next. Just
approach the vertical surface, hold down "forward" and "jump" continuously,
and use your mouse or keyboard to change your facing slightly while trying to
locate more horizontal surfaces. You can scale many large cliffs this way - but
many others will simply be too steep to traverse. In the latter case, try
circling the base of the vertical surface to see if you can spot a slightly
easier path. Some areas are simply unscalable.
Your speed disadvantage with respect to dinosaurs is much greater on land than
in the water, so you may often find yourself fleeing into a pond to fend off a
predator (or to chase your prey.) Surprisingly, diving under water is
ineffective at dodging dinosaurs - apparently, depth is not taken into account
when the game decides whether or not a dinosaur can reach you. The angular
travel trick described above works equally well in water as on land, so be sure
to use it constantly. And since swimming submerged doesn't improve your speed
over treading water, hold down the "jump" button the entire time - your
character doesn't tire, so you can swim as long as you like this way.
5.3 HUNTING TACTICS
5.3.1 SELECTING PREY
When you're on the ground on one of the maps, you'll notice a dozen or more
trophy dinosaurs on your radar. In light of your small ammunition load, it's
mathematically impossible for you to capture all of them, so you'll have to be
selective. Here are some tips:
* All of the dinosaurs except the T-Rex are prone to fleeing when startled, so
you can cut down on your "chase" time by choosing targets that can't escape -
e.g., located an island surrounded by water, in front of an impassable
mountain range, or at an edge of the map.
* Some dinosaurs will flee into the water when startled, and since they swim
slowly and predictably, they become very easy targets. Always go after them -
especially if you can stay on shore, and maintain a footspeed advantage.
* If you're hunting aggressive dinosaurs, try selecting a target that's on the
other side of a body of water. If the target charges you, it might swim
through the water or take the long way around; either way, this tactic
increases the amount of time that you can snipe at it - you can probably take
it down before it gets anywhere near you.
* If you're hunting aggressive dinosaurs, do NOT select a target that is very
near any other target. Taking down a Velociraptor is difficult, but surviving
two Velociraptors that are charging you at the same time is nigh impossible.
Choose isolated targets, especially while you're still new to Carnivores 2.
* If you're nowhere near any prey, consider just ending the mission. This is
quick and without penalty, and it will ensure that your kills become
trophies. This is often more sensible than trekking halfway across the map,
especially if you're looking to earn credits as quickly as possible. In fact,
if you haven't killed or tranquilized anything yet, you can restart the level
almost instantaneously (and receive the benefit of a new position) by hitting
Escape and then hitting "R" to restart the level.
5.3.2 STALKING PREY
Stalking is probably the core skill of a good hunter. In essence, stalking is
the method of establishing the circumstances of an encounter: choosing a
location advantageous to you; getting the drop on your prey before it detects
you; reducing the threat of your prey attacking you; and optimizing your range
of vision and your chances of hitting your target. Your strategy is your most
vital asset: if you're in close quarters on flat ground with a Ceratosaurus,
you'll lose almost every battle, regardless of your weaponry. So take care in
choosing your battles. Here are some suggestions:
* Altitude is your friend. Always seek the upper ground, especially if you can
reach the top of a steep hill or mountain. The altitude will extend your
visibility, and it's easier to shoot from a top-down perspective than from
equal footing. More importantly, steep landscape will prevent dinosaurs from
reaching you, thereby reducing the threat and also increasing the amount of
time for sniping. (However, due to some quirks in the Carnivores 2 game
engine, even completely sheer surfaces are not necessarily a complete barrier
to dinosaurs. I've seen T-Rexes scale completely vertical cliffs to attack
me. But this should be the rare case; in most instances, perching atop a
mountain will guarantee your safety.)
* Water is also your friend. As noted above, swimming dinosaurs are very easy
targets - they swim slowly in predictable S-shaped pathways, and predators
near you will just swim straight toward you. If you can startle a dinosaur
into the water, or encourage a charging dinosaur to cross a river, then you
have extra time to shoot at it. You can even jump into an ocean, issue a
mating call to a dangerous dinosaur, and dog-paddle backwards whilst shooting
at your pursuer. Plan your close-range encounters accordingly.
* Enclosed space is usually your friend. If you can snipe through the window of
a building at a dinosaur, then you have an advantage. Of course, this can
turn into a fatal liability if the dinosaur finds a way into your space
(e.g., the door around the other side of the building!), so be sure that you
know your surroundings before relying on them.
* Proximity may or may not be your friend. If your prey is harmless, then you
want to get as close to it as possible in order to maximize your damage,
chances of hitting it, and amount of time before it can escape your visible
range. On the other hand, if your prey is dangerous, you need to maintain
* Hilltops are tricky - handle them according to the proximity rule above. In
many cases, your target will be just over the summit of the next hill. That's
great if you can afford to get close to it, but a considerable risk if it's
dangerous. If you just don't know, try skirting around the edge of the hill
at a distance until you can see and identify your target.
* Dinosaur mating calls are useful for enticing prey to come closer, but you
lose the element of surprise. Perhaps its best use is to draw prey to you
when you're perched high in a mountain - especially for dangerous dinosaurs
that won't give up trying in vain to reach you while you plug it with
bullets. The mating call is also useful for identifying the type of a
non-visible target: if you make an Ceratosaurus call and hear a Ceratosaurus
call in response, then you have your answer!
* Sound is always a factor. If you're trying to creep up on a target, then walk
(don't run), avoid water, and don't shoot until you can't get any closer
without startling it.
5.3.3 KILLING PREY
The violent encounters in Carnivores 2 tend to be very short! Either you will
plug your quarry with a few bullets and take it down, or it will flee and
escape, or it will charge and kill you. The conflict is usually over in a
matter of seconds, and your odds of success mostly depend on how well you've
set up the stalking encounter. Here are some tactics for the encounter:
* Unless your prey is charging and almost on top of you, aim your shots
carefully. This isn't Quake; banging off shotgun shells with wild abandon
isn't going to help you. Even spread-damage weapons like the DB Shotgun will
be more effective if your aim is good. Besides, you'll want to conserve
ammunition so that you can hunt another dinosaur after bagging this one.
* T-Rexes are a special case. As mentioned in its bio, the T-Rex can only be
killed by shooting it in one of its eyes. It only takes one such shot to take
it down, but the target area is very small ("just like bull's-eyeing wamp
rats in my T-16 back home...") The best tactic for T-Rex hunting is to perch
high up on a mountain, spot a grazing T-Rex from a distance, and nail it on
your first shot. If something goes wrong, then your second best tactic is to
wait until it's at the base of your bird's-eye nest and blaze away at its
head with a shotgun or DB shotgun - something with a wide spread. Finally,
you can try to lure it out into the water and shoot it as it swims toward
you, but this is difficult. Any other method of targeting a T-Rex is either
ineffective or based on luck, and likely to get you killed.
* If your target escapes your visual range, you can pursue it - but it might
not be worthwhile if you end up running after it across the entire map.
Consider where it's headed before giving chase.
* If you opt to pursue, remember that dangerous prey remain dangerous. A
fleeing, wounded Velociraptor can still turn on you, and this situation
becomes precarious when you're rushing headlong toward it. You should pursue,
but also maintain distance - keep your map open and a close watch on it.
* If you opt to pursue, remember also that other predators may be in the area.
Keep an eye on your map whilst pursuing - you don't want to chase a
Paralophosaurus and end up in the talons of a Velociraptor.
5.3.4 EVADING PREDATORS
There are many situations where you may wish to avoid an encounter. You may be
dropped on the map very nearby a radar blip of unknown species and ferocity.
You may find yourself in a disadvantageous environment - e.g., you might find
yourself with your back to an unclimbable surface. You might have attracted
unwanted attention whilst targeting or pursuing another dinosaur. You might
have run out of the heavy-duty ammo, and might be using up less powerful
firepower on weaker targets before exiting the level. The following tactics
will help throw off a potential attacker:
* Exiting the map is an option unless the predator is very close. When you call
for evac, you'll see a countdown of four seconds - and, yes, you can be
killed in this time frame. You can try dodging or retreating to buy an extra
second or two.
* Hiding is not very effective. Most dinosaurs will still be able to smell you,
especially at close range, and will continue to stalk you.
* Evasion is more effective: try skirting quietly around hills or mountains,
keeping your predator on the other side and out of visual range.
* Climbing is effective, but it takes time to push your way up a steep surface.
Any surface that's shallow enough for you to climb without difficulty can
also be climbed by your pursuer without difficulty (and usually in half the
* Water will slow down your attacker, but it's only going to buy time.
Dinosaurs can swim as fast as you can, and most predators will continue
pursuing you across the entire length of the ocean! But if you need a minute
or so to execute another tactic - e.g., climbing a steep surface - then
luring the predator across a body of water can be effective.
* If your predator is nearby but unaware of your presence, you can startle it
with a loud noise (like a pistol shot) and then run in the opposite
direction. Of course, this won't work if the predator is stalking you -
you'll just be giving away your position - and it will be completely
ineffective if the predator is charging.
* As a last resort, just try killing your attacker. You might get lucky.
6. REVISION HISTORY
v1.0 - First version. Everything is pretty much complete, so additions and
revisions will probably occur only if readers send me new or corrected