The development of Dinosaur Planet began in late 1997 after the release of Diddy Kong Racing. Rare wanted to make an action-adventure game that was a Zelda-like, using their in-depth knowledge of the Nintendo 64 after getting familiar with development on the hardware. Their close ties to Nintendo granted them more in-depth documentation of the architecture of the Nintendo 64. 

The goal was to make an unforgettable, ambitious action/adventure to end off the 5th generation; a swan song, as many described it.