On Time Travel

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I loved the use of time travel, or rather, time distortion, in Outcast (Appeal, 1999), where you and another group of scientists enter a foreign world because they want to fix a homemade portal ticking like a time bomb, but enter at different times. Anyone familiar with that game?

maninahat:
My favourite time travel game so far would be in one episode during the second season of Sam & Max. Hilarious, clever, and the logic is a lot more straight foward than that of traditional point and click adventure games.

"You j-JERKS!!!!","You made us live the last year and a half all over again." - Best time travel gag I think I 've ever seen. lol

But yeah, I'm on board with Majora's Mask. What makes it work is the daily schedules all of the NPC's have that can be intervened with and used to move forward in a timeline outside of time.

And why hasn't anybody mentioned Turtles In Time?

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

Edit: Also, Final Fantasy 8 deserves a mention for being so bat-shit insanely stupid.

Chris...inspiration, entertainment, representation of us all indeed

TimeSplitters =D loved those games...not sure if I ever fully finished 3 but had some great times with 2

mmm FF8, such a beautifully written plot involving time travel... cough. lol no

Premonition:

Edit: Also, Final Fantasy 8 deserves a mention for being so bat-shit insanely stupid.

***TIME COMPRESSION! wooooooooh!!*** Yeah that was pretty bat shit insane and makes me gawp at people who say with a straight face that they loved the plot/ sorytelling. It dosen't just make little sense it makes NO sense.

Anyway i loved the time-travel in Okami where you get to live the legand of Shiranui and Nagi and also shows a little bit of history repeating and also shows a little bit of- ok i'll stop now.

On SMG2, there is a weird denial in the Nintendo fanboy camp about nintendo's place in the world. I don't think many can actually grasp anyone thinking anything but perfect of a Nintendo game. I've met these people, they are almost as bad as the sonic fanbase. Almost.

The Noble Shade:
Why can't people simply acknowledge the opinions of others without using crass insults to berate them.

Good article though. I have an idea for a game I want to make, and this article convinced me not to use time-travel mechanics. I just don't think I could implement them properly.

Speaking as a game designer I think the best way to implement time travel is to have it effect the current scenario. Lets say the your time traveling machine can only take you 3 minutes in the pasts, and 3 minutes into the future, and the scenario is, A group of about 2 swat teams consisting of 4 people rush into a large warehouse from the 2 different doors while you were looting the place for important documents around the middle of area were its easy to get flanked, and killed. Now if your a good level designer you'll make it so there are many ways to get out of this dilemma. One of which would be to go back in time to warn your self about to attack, tell him exactly where the documents are, and form an attack plan to take out the teams since there are now 2 of you able to fight them off, or form an escape plan that requires both of your selves to reach a window that would require a boast to reach. Now what I just described was a relatively generic action scene commonly found in games, but I wanted to give a simple example of how to use time travel to effect the scenario's set up, but now you have to think about all the awesome things that changing the levels outcomes would have on the story, I mean you could have how you use your powers subtly, or majorly effect the plot as it flows. Let me explain. This version of time travel makes it easy to accidentally clone your self, and within all the confusion of doing that way to often would cause the main character to have an identity crisis which could effect his combat performance due the the anxiety he/she would feel from thinking he/she just the memories of someone else who inadvertently duplicated him/herself. This would also effect the characters motives, and course of actions that would greatly change the outcome whatever was happening in the plot. This kind of design would also leave room to make a less linear game which many time traveling games seem to lack which is ironic because wouldn't time travel effect the whole flow of things? I think the main flaw with a lot of these games is that time travel is often just used as a way to fix mistakes, or slow down time to get a shot into someone before they have time to pull the trigger.

Turtles in Time. Best time-travel game ever. Ninjas, robots, and time machines.

EightGaugeHippo:
Timesplitters has time trvvel in it, but does it count since there is no game mechanics revolving around time manipulation?

The third game Timesplitters: Future Perfect does use time travel as a mechanic. There are several bits of the game where your future self gives your past self a key or useful device or weapon... and in some levels you actually team up with yourself to protect yourself! (There are some levels that have 4 versions of yourself all at the same time!) There's also a level that features time disruption grenades that cause anyone caught in the blast to go into slow motion bullettime.

Loonerinoes:
Either way...I am moreso than ever intrigued by the last game on the list now.

TimeShift is quite fun, and a must-have if you like bullet time or time manipulation etc etc. It's starts off so-so (not bad but not great), but gets better when you're about an hour in.

Pro-tip: if you play on PC, rebind the controls so the mousewheel is for time powers rather than scroll weapons. Scroll up to slow time, down to reverse it, and press middle mouse to freeze it. Also, don't get it on Steam. The Steam version is unpatched, version 1.0.

Nice thing about xbox 360 version is that it had exclusive multiplayer DLC mappacks, one of them was free. Not many people play TimeShift multiplayer anymore, but there's usually one or two games active.

(Yes, I have it on both PC and 360, because the only people playing multiplayer on PC were Russians that wanted to play in nothing but one-bullet-kills mode. So I bought it for 360 for about 2, and can now play a proper deathmatch game.)

your evil twin:

EightGaugeHippo:
Timesplitters has time trvvel in it, but does it count since there is no game mechanics revolving around time manipulation?

The third game Timesplitters: Future Perfect does use time travel as a mechanic. There are several bits of the game where your future self gives your past self a key or useful device or weapon... and in some levels you actually team up with yourself to protect yourself! (There are some levels that have 4 versions of yourself all at the same time!) There's also a level that features time disruption grenades that cause anyone caught in the blast to go into slow motion bullettime.

WOW, as if I actually forgot about all that!
I was thinking more along the lines of "at the push of a button" time manipulation though. But yeah, I guess TS:FP does count now.

BTW
I lol'd at your post, you just described my favorite game to me. =D
I really hate that puzzle where there are four Cortezs.

Well people, be glad that when I bitch about Yahtzee, I don't sink to Chris E.'s level. Seriously, that little shit reminds me waaaaay too much of the people who leave comments at GameTrailers.

Anyways, I find it a bit of a coincidence he talks about time travel in games the same day I decide to start playing Chrono Trigger again.

I liked Majora's Mask (even though I didn't finish it). It was like the movie Groundhog's Day, except it took place over three days instead of one, and the moon was threatening to kill everything. Two words: Milk Bar.

Time Travel in games is rarely done well.

Ratchet and Clank did good time manipulation, but not travel

TimeSplitters time travel did not have direct effect on anything else. It was just used to make cool battlegrounds for the shoot outs. (Note: I have not played TS3)

I can't think of anything else at the moment.

Damn the:

Time Paradoxes!

I actually like this person that tried or did burn you. Still, you openly mocking them is always a fun thing to witness. People who mention you are insecure, dear God, they probaly don't even attempted to try to understand you.

All-in-all, interesting article. Not brilliant but I love every EP either way!

Next week: Games that use time travel as an excuse to set the levels in different eras instead of just different places around the world. (Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Pac-Man: Adventures in Time, etc.) I swear there are as many of those as there are legitimate time travel games, if not more.

Probably Darkest of Days. And probably for the same reason Yahtzee found it interesting in his ZP review; something about shooting the entire confederate army with a future assault rifle. That said it's about as realistic depiction of time travel as some of Yahtzee's analogies.

Though not technically time TRAVEL, when anyone mentions gameplay involving time manipulation Braid is the game that comes to my mind. I think it might be my favourite game ever, it's definitely one of them.

The Journeyman Project series thrived on this element, especially in the second game where you're put under house arrest because future you did a crime.

Sonic CD's time travel actually allowed you to change the future (but, oddly, not the present) of any given area by going into the past, and destroying some device. Areas in the altered future were a bit easier to navigate and look at (due to a lack of brown over everything)...

Assassin's Creed.

tuely this chriss-E is a master-debater.

What i wouldn't mind would be a game (FPS?) that records your actions as you do them, then later on you go back in time and watch yourself from the opposite ends of security cameras or some such, and assist your unknowing past self by opening doors, closing doors, sniping tough enemies you never knew were sneaking up on you, and other such things to make sure you stay alive long enough to fulfill the role you are doing now.

it would probably be necessary to make sure that while assisting yourself you never come into direct contact or allow him to know you exist. Mostly due to the fact that the game cant see the future, and may depict your future self as a polite man who wishes to help his former self, when really you wind up jumping all around the room and shooting holes in the walls.

also: majoras mask is awesome

Premonition:
Edit: Also, Final Fantasy 8 deserves a mention for being so bat-shit insanely stupid.

Not as much stupid as... convoluted... and not in a good way.

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. [bold]But time travel mechanics in that game are limited to plot and have little to no bearing on actual gameplay.[/bold] (No, I don't care to argue the legitimacy of JRPG mechanics as gameplay, TYVM.)

Also Yahtzee will probably weep with yellow anger when he hears I'm going to buy Singularity, which I already decided before I saw his video. Or maybe he won't weep since it's a person thinking with their own mind, rather than letting games journalists do it for them. Which is something he advocated for, wasn't it?

Actually they did have one effect on gameplay that I recall(roo many years since I last played), The special boxes that required a certain pendant to open would have different items in them depending upon which time period you opened them in. The later the time period the better the item and if you opened them in an earlier time period they would not be available in the future time periods.

Space Quest IV

Roger embarks on a time-travel adventure through Space Quest games both past and future. An infomorph of reborn Sludge Vohaul from Space Quest XII: Vohaul's Revenge II chases Roger through time in an attempt to finally kill him. Roger also visits Space Quest X: Latex Babes of Estros and Space Quest I; in the latter, the graphics and music revert to the style of the original game and Roger is threatened by a group of monochromatic bikers who consider Roger's 256 colors pretentious. No gameplay takes place in Space Quest IV.

Weeelll... MGS3 was technically a time travel game, insofar as any time you happen to die the Game Over screen caption changes to: Time Paradox; this also happens if you kill any characters critical to the rest of the series:

Chris E. is probably going to end up referenced in some upcoming Yahtzee video. What a pathetic excuse for a letter trying to prove a point. I actually laughed out loud.
I've always been confused by time travel, and I might pick up Singularity if I can find it cheap.

Jak And Daxter 2 and any of the Timesplitters games.

Jak and Daxter for that pretty cool "twist" at the end where

and also because it's actually just fun, it had its faults but it's still enjoyable once-in-a-while.

Same goes for Timesplitters (any of them) I haven't played them all but they were also not only funny in places but a load of good fun to play.

Both games were like a round of tequila slammers; a lot of fun, not really all that original and a little immature but only keep their charm if consumed in small doses.

Edit: just realized they don't really "count", but I've got nothing else, so that'll have to do.

Fear not, Jesus still loves Chris E. Because someone has to.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance. All three involve time travel.

Ken Sapp:

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. [bold]But time travel mechanics in that game are limited to plot and have little to no bearing on actual gameplay.[/bold] (No, I don't care to argue the legitimacy of JRPG mechanics as gameplay, TYVM.)

Also Yahtzee will probably weep with yellow anger when he hears I'm going to buy Singularity, which I already decided before I saw his video. Or maybe he won't weep since it's a person thinking with their own mind, rather than letting games journalists do it for them. Which is something he advocated for, wasn't it?

Actually they did have one effect on gameplay that I recall(roo many years since I last played), The special boxes that required a certain pendant to open would have different items in them depending upon which time period you opened them in. The later the time period the better the item and if you opened them in an earlier time period they would not be available in the future time periods.

I think that was in FFVI, actually. The boxes in the starting area had better stuff if you waited until the second part of the game to open them.

Chris E.:
All you do is say stupid things on teh internet for a living.

And all you do is say stupid things on the internet for free.

I really enjoyed Sam and Max 204: Chariots of the Dogs. They basically used time travel to different places to get what they needed similar to the way you describe in Day of the Tentacle but with significantly more mariachi birthday singers from space. It even involves having your past selves (from season one) come to the present so you can get a key item that you had to use in the previous season [hilariously, past Sam walks around saying "I can't shoot my little buddy" and "I can't use these two things together(despite there not being a 'use two objects together' mechanic) as though he were being controlled by you from the past]. They also kind of use it again in the most recent season, only Sam and Max are watching a film of their ancestors solving the secret of the tomb of Sammun-Mak - only the tape comes in four reels and you can skip between them. Cue you having to look at a future tape and solve a puzzle to find out what great you idea you already gave to elves working for corporate master Santa and the like.

By far the best time travel game as well as the best adventure game I've ever played is Journeyman Project 3: legacy of time particularly for it's use of time travel to bring you to Atlantis, Shangri-la, and El Dorado both the day after and day before their destruction. The cultural studies that went into the cities as well as the historical facts given to you by your companion Arthur the artificial intelligence give it the most stylish take on time travel I know of.

I'm actually not much for time travel games. They either go out of their way trying to make their concepts sound legitimately scientific (and wind up wrong AND boring), or they take the Doctor Who route and say, "Well, time's just like that. Stuff can happen this way because we need it to."

I guess if you NEED to have time travel, I liked the way it was handled in Chrono Trigger. There were the big world-altering events that were pretty obvious (defeat the bad guy so you don't wind up with a dystopian future), but you had subtle parts as well. I remember in the starting village or nearby there was a very rich family and the father was extremely rude and selfish. But if you took the time to bring his ancestor something she needed, and give it to her freely despite how valuable it is, the next time you visit the future you find her descendant is now generous because she's taught her children about selflessness. Corny? Sure, a little. But it was simple and unobtrusive to the gameplay so that when you DID notice things like that happening, you went "Oh, neat!" and went on playing. Just a nice addition.

World of Warcraft did a lovely job with a time travel scenario in the most recent expansion. At one point, you have to fight off a horde of enemies to protect a beacon that is (if I remember correctly) basically healing a loop in the time continuum. But to give you an edge, a future version of yourself appears, traveling back in time to assist.

And he/she spends the whole time borderline insulting you, whispering such things to you as, "I can't believe that I used to wear that," "Look at you fight; no wonder I turned to drinking," and "Wow, I'd forgotten how inexperienced I used to be." (Also, one of my favorites: "Listen. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but there's going to be this party that you're invited to. Whatever you do, DO NOT DRINK THE PUNCH!") As he/she leaves, he/she notes, "Farewell. Keep us alive and get some better equipment!"

Of course, this means that later on... you get a quest to back in time and help out your past self. Who spends the whole time borderline insulting you, whispering such things to you as, "This equipment looks cool and all, but couldn't we have done a little better? Are you even raiding?" "I think I'm going to turn to drinking after this," and "Looks like I'm an underachiever."

Apparently in World of Warcraft, you're a real whiner.

I don't need Chris E's approval to enjoy Majora's Mask, but it's use of time travel isn't so much a gameplay mechanic as it is a story device. Also if you try to play Majora's Mask and watch Groundhog day at the same time, the universe will cave in around you.

My favorite time travel related game instance was when you were thrown into the future at the beginning of Half-Life 2. I really haven't seen a game do anything interesting or dynamic with time travel.

Majoras mask.

No, yahtzee.
I don't care how much you hate the nintendo 64.

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