On Time Travel

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I feel like The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages did a good job with the time travel thing as well.

Loonerinoes:
Feeling a bit fat and insecure, as you yourself put it, as of late and need your fanbase to mock random moronic fanboy #452955 for an ego boost Yahtzee? ;)

That's what the internet does afterall.

You seem to not have anything to do this week, because this article doesn't really have anything interesting to say. Singularity really didn't give you anything to talk about other than a non-comprehensive list of time travel games that don't provide anything interesting about time travel to talk about (aside from Day of the Tentacle, but even then, you didn't appear to be really making a point)?

Was that real? The message from Chris E, I mean.
It's just... it seems a bit too well punctuated to have actually been typed by someone with an I.Q below 70, but then the content of the message completely contradicts that.
Oh well.

I think Time Splitters did quite well overall with the time travel element, though, I don't really think the player ever had any control over said element.
It was quite amusing, well-placed, the gameplay was enjoyable and the settings were interesting... not to mention the humour.

"Banana. Don't ask."

I'd argue that Majora's Mask is time travel done perfectly, in that it isn't a gameplay mechanic so much as part of the environment that can be controlled on a game-wide scale.

Premonition:
Oh, well, Chrissy is my personal hero at this point. Such style and grace. I have not seen such great debating since, well, ever.
My personal favorite game involving time traveling has to be the very splendid TimeSplitter franchise. Most notably: TimeSplitters 3. There's time traveling in it so it's allowed xD

You have stolen the words from my mouth. Time splitters was pretty fun, but I wish it incorporated time into the game mechanics iteself

Yahtzee Croshaw:
You could even bring up Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and no doubt gain the approval of Chris E.

I'd rather bring up Legend of Labia: Majora's Minora, because I'm quite sure Chris E. never played with that toy set.

I've not played it, but Sonic 06 had some time travel in it didn't it?

Although according to the Let's Play it's pretty much as bad as the rest of the game.

The Legacy of Kain series had instances of time travel that lead to enough causality to create an aneurysm if you thought about it too long. Like Raziel killing his past self, or the many deaths of Moebius.

Pseudonym2:
One thing that bothered me in all of these games is how the characters stay on the same planet. If the planet,sun, and galaxy are in orbit, wouldn't traveling through time involve getting stuck in space?

Quite obviously, when you're the star of a game, the universe revolves around you.

Majora's Mask is actually one of my favourite games. The time travel isn't all that central, just a handy solution to the problem of making the time-of-day and multiday quests repeatable without all that "everyone does the same thing always" silliness.

t3hmyth:
While it's possibly too-informed from Sands of Time, I found Braid to be a fun, unpretentious time-travel-mechanic game.

Braid is a damn fine game but it's just a wee bit up itself with it's multi-leveled plot. Cool and clever as the story may be, something with a story that cool and clever is inevitably buried at least a foot up its own ass.

Hadrian's wall reference... nice.

Perhaps that's not THE best game about time travel and my judgment is skewed by nostalgia, since this was one of the first games I played on PC, but considering probably no one else remembers it, here it goes - "Time Commando" by Adeline Software.

It was a really cool beat'em up/shooter and it's coolness was largely based on the time travel thing used as a plot device allowing designers to present player with extremely varied settings. Every two levels the game moved to a new epoch, with completely different backgrounds, enemies and weapons. Kind of like what Daikatana did without the bullshit talk. The epochs/settings covered were:
- Prehistory;
- Roman Empire;
- Feudal Japan;
- Medieval Times;
- Conquistador (one level on a ship, second in a Mayan/Aztec temple);
- Wild West;
- Modern Wars (one level during the First WW, second during modern 90's conflict);
- Future;
- Cyber Space (as a short final level).

Anyone else remembers it?

DeadlyYellow:
The Legacy of Kain series had instances of time travel that lead to enough causality to create an aneurysm if you thought about it too long. Like Raziel killing his past self, or the many deaths of Moebius.

HAH! I nearly forgot about that. "Time abhors a paradox" indeed, very terrific- although it didn't really use it as a game mechanic so much as a way to drive the plot.

And yeah, Achron looks like it's going to be a micromanagement fest like no other, but the temporal mechanics do provide an interesting explanation for time paradox theory.

Favorite game where Timesplitters is used as a game mechanic is Timesplitters Future Perfect. In every level you have to help yourself in some way. It got especially insane during the U-Genix level where you had 4 of you. 2 hacking into the systems and 2 defending the guys hacking.

It was fun.

Then again all of Timesplitters is awesome, so whatever.

Sir John The Net Knight:
My favorite game that uses time travel mechanics is Chrono Trigger. Which Yahtzee claimed to like but will probably still berate me for choosing because it's a JRPG and god forbid anyone like those games. But time travel mechanics in that game are limited to plot and have little to no bearing on actual gameplay. (No, I don't care to argue the legitimacy of JRPG mechanics as gameplay, TYVM.)

Have you forgotten those little sidequests wherein you had to leave Robo at a desert for a century so he could do some farmwork, which would put a little Robo on the map every time you visited the intervening time periods? Or the one where you had to leave a thing in a cave but it got stolen so you had to figure out who made off with it, and then go to his childhood to teach him stealing is wrong? Those were some of the most delightful timetravel-based puzzles in a videogame ever, and definately were actual gameplay.

It's even more perplexing that Yahtzee didn't mention Chrono Trigger, given that it's one of the only JRPGs he actually likes. Same with Braid.

Also, I reiterate my claim that Majora's Mask is probably the worst game to cite when you want to trash the Zelda series, but maybe Yahtzee actually likes that one too, and is just trolling us (I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, really).

Stabby Joe:

Loonerinoes:
Feeling a bit fat and insecure, as you yourself put it, as of late and need your fanbase to mock random moronic fanboy #452955 for an ego boost Yahtzee? ;)

That's what the internet does afterall.

Fair enough heh. Not complaining, mind you, hence the smiley at the end. Just observing.

Bah. Yahtzee should have mentioned Chrono Trigger again.

m64:
Perhaps that's not THE best game about time travel and my judgment is skewed by nostalgia, since this was one of the first games I played on PC, but considering probably no one else remembers it, here it goes - "Time Commando" by Adeline Software.

[snip]

Anyone else remembers it?

No, but I remember my arcade favourites Time Soldiers (top-down run & gun through history), Time Killers (fighting game with dismemberment and decapitations), and the first arcade game I ever loved, Time Pilot (shoot down aircraft throughout history). None of them are likely to be particularly memorable, since they were all poor-quality clones of better games, but sometimes you want to run around shooting Vikings.

tomtom94:

Yahtzee! How could you forget Timesplitters? Excellent series.

I don't know how time travel would work as an in-game gameplay mechanic...someone should try and find out.

Yeah, TimeSplitters was great but time-travel was just flavour, never a mechanic. And as with all sequels, its better to praise the original for coming up with the idea. Basically every good thing that defined TimeSplitters was non-time related and fresh from the N64's GoldenEye 007 (same dev. team basically).

Majora's definitely uses time-travel as a mechanic, as does Ocarina or Time. Although the latter can come across as more a (sweet) product of Nintendo's two-semi-inter-related-worlds-obsessive phase more than a time travel specific thing. Crono Trigger kinda does in places, but its so well tied to the plot, and the plot is a big draw for the game so arguably it deserves a pass into the full-blown time-travel category.

Braid naturally covered time-travel well as strictly a mechanic, because we all know the story was pretentious balls and largely seperable from time travel completely. Shame the game was tarnished by the occasional shittier bit (repeat puzzles, do not put the puzzle piece you earnt into the puzzle puzzle, and the 3 hour thumb twiddling stage anyone?)

I'm sure I've played some really short Indie games that use time travel as a mechanic perfectly.

Oh, TIME DONKEY!

TIME DONKEY!
TIME DONKEY!
TIME DONKEY!

You can thank me for the suggestion when your boss asks why you achieved nothing today.

(I'd also argue Another/Out of this World that Yahtzee mentioned is a time-travel game, only the time-travel function is the freaking password system because that game was mostly trial and error, as much as I loved it.)

I personally loved a game for the gameboy advance called The Lost Vikings. It involved time travel, but more for the story. Actually only in the story.

I'm not 100% convinced you could call it time travel, but what the hey:

Enchanter waaaay back in 1983 (Infocom text adventure) had a section where you, fearless wizard-type-person, found a series of glass panels which looked into sections of dank dungeon corridor. Every so often an adventurer appeared, wandering lost in that dungeon. You, FWTP, could summon that aventurer and get him to help you in your quest.

The joke was, the adventurer was that exact same avatar that you, clueless teenager, had been playing only a short while prior, for he was fearless-adventurer-type-person, the hero of Zork, the first game in the series. So FWTP, which was you, summons FATP, who was also you, and - which was the bit that killed me - promptly looked at the stuff FWTP was carrying and said [paraphrasing] 'Gee, that looks valuable - I mean, heavy. Sure I can't help you carry that?' Which was even more of a laugh and a half because you, clueless teen, knew damn well that when you were in charge of FATP that was *exactly* what you would have done, and in fact did do - hoover up every least valuable object in sight . . .

I enjoyed playing Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons.

I'm surprised that no one here has mentioned the Jpurneyman Project games. The Journeyman Project: Turbo (later re-made as The Journeyman Project, Pegasus Prime), The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time and The Journeyman Project 3 : Legacy of Time. As part of the PC Gaming Master Race, I may have to revoke Yahtzee's membership card. ;)

I can't help but think that it's beneath Yahtzee to pick out Chris E's email. Surely it's far too easy to mock someone who does pretty much all the work themselves? Unless that is literally the most coherent email he received.

The mark of a true wit is to take the piss out of something that actually had some thought put into it. This, on the other hand, just feels like a bit of unnecessary posturing.

Lesse... time travel... I'm thinking the middle child of the Enchanter series in the glory days of Infocom. Still wish I could have managed "Frotz Grue" in a useful sense. But anyway, the time travel was brief as heck. You travelled about... 10 minutes in the past. Due entirely to a predestination paradox. The time loop consisted of you swapping a couple items with your future self, and immediately crawling into a bit of cave to get at a time travel scroll that you promptly use to be on the other side of the time travel mechanic. And if you screw up at any point, you end the universe in total destruction of causality.

Another interesting sequence was Sorcery 101, a Legend game. There was an island where time ran backwards. This meant, in a primarily text game, that you were given the results of your action and were forced to type the command that should have resulted in it. It helps that you are basically doing the Goldilocks story and wind up spending the day guessing what you just did so you don't violate causality... and you get back on your boat hours before you arrived. So... you still have the day. Reminds me of a Stephen Wright joke.

Timequest is another oldie-but-goodie. One of the few text adventure games I played where I managed to win without actually acquiring any hints. I did, however, go through a couple sheets of notebook paper. Your task is to fix broken time. Some areas, you don't need to do anything. Some, you might be arranging meetings disrupted by the time villain. You win because he leaves you tied up in a room with a time portal going back about 10 minutes. So your older self appears, frees you, and shoves you through the other portal to free yourself...

That's it for the good ones not already mentioned. I know a bad one not covered, which featured jogging through a few time periods of simulated combat and doing battle with, basically, a virus taking over the world through an uncontained holodeck. Not a classic, and technically only simulating temporal travel.

That first message made me laugh so hard...but, I think when it comes to time travel, its really hard to try and make it work...when, we really dont know how it works itself.

I think, PoP has done it best in Sands of time...and, anything more than that is pretty much meh

Uh, Yahtzee? Where the fuck's Timesplitters? So, you, you didn't include it? Well you have obviously never played the game, because any one who has would praise it for the best time travel game, and one of the best games, that has ever existed.

m64:
Perhaps that's not THE best game about time travel and my judgment is skewed by nostalgia, since this was one of the first games I played on PC, but considering probably no one else remembers it, here it goes - "Time Commando" by Adeline Software.

It was a really cool beat'em up/shooter and it's coolness was largely based on the time travel thing used as a plot device allowing designers to present player with extremely varied settings. Every two levels the game moved to a new epoch, with completely different backgrounds, enemies and weapons. Kind of like what Daikatana did without the bullshit talk. The epochs/settings covered were:
- Prehistory;
- Roman Empire;
- Feudal Japan;
- Medieval Times;
- Conquistador (one level on a ship, second in a Mayan/Aztec temple);
- Wild West;
- Modern Wars (one level during the First WW, second during modern 90's conflict);
- Future;
- Cyber Space (as a short final level).

Anyone else remembers it?

That's the one I couldn't remember the title to! Thanks. :)

Yahtzee:
Why not use the comments to discuss your favorite games with time travel premises, and which effectively use time travel as a gameplay mechanic?

You already know of one, at least the foremost I'd mention that makes good use of it.

There's also another one about stealing pies which is worth mentioning:

And, hey, lets not pan Majora's Mask too hard. Granted, the main time mechanic was "restart 3-day sequence from start" over and over again, but it was nonetheless a brilliant game.

I am shocked at the lack of Chrono Trigger on this list.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Time Travel Analogy: Like pumping helium at Abraham Lincoln during the Gettsyburg Address, basically just for a laugh.

True. But still. No Chrono Trigger?

Irridium:
Favorite game where Timesplitters is used as a game mechanic is Timesplitters Future Perfect. In every level you have to help yourself in some way. It got especially insane during the U-Genix level where you had 4 of you. 2 hacking into the systems and 2 defending the guys hacking.

It was fun.

Then again all of Timesplitters is awesome, so whatever.

I remember that level, the hacking was really annoying, and you had to do that bit 4 times has each version. But I was about 8 when I played it, so I was rubbish at it.

One of my favorite games with time travel as a premise? Well, skipping the already mentioned obvious ones, I bet you might have forgotten that Radiant Silvergun involved time travel. No? You didn't forget? You never knew? No, you shouldn't have known... anyone who actually knows that has spent too much time looking up that kind of stuff.

Anyway, the game I played that best implemented time travel was almost certainly Braid. There are a couple flash games that I played as well that were utterly fantastic, but I can't really remember the names. I'll look that up sometime.

Thechessdragon:
I personally loved a game for the gameboy advance called The Lost Vikings. It involved time travel, but more for the story. Actually only in the story.

That's actually a remake from the Genesis ;) Just gotta point it out cuz I'm that kind of guy. One of my faves as well.

1. Future Perfect, one of the better time-travel games ever. It was a good game overall, had great multiplayer and an awesome, yet primer-confusing, plot.
2. Braid, ambitious, but flawed. Could've been a lot better, but did very good in the time-travel department.

The problem is that voluntary time travel is really hard to do on grand scale (notice how you never VOLUNTARILY go back 200 years? it always happens in cutscenes. In-game, 10 seconds is often the best you can manage.

So how about combining both of them?

SaintWaldo:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
You could even bring up Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and no doubt gain the approval of Chris E.

I'd rather bring up Legend of Labia: Majora's Minora, because I'm quite sure Chris E. never played with that toy set.

You sir, win for silliest pun of the day. :)

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