VIDEOGAMES AND TIME TRAVEL
Future Wars: Time Travellers from Delphine Software was released in 1989. The Point'n'Click genre was very popular on computers at this time, and a lot of these softs have been made during a few years. This title is one more about time travel! At the beginning of the story, you're a simple window cleaner, and by venturing where you should not have been, you find time machine... and the quest begins.
Let's get back to the arcades and consoles, right in 1991. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Times staged ninja turtles a Beat 'em Up, who find themselves traveling through time to break the mouths of Shredder's minions. Meanwhile, Nintendo releases the third installment of Zelda on the Super NES. This is Zelda: A link to the past. The game explores the fourth dimension not by traveling at different eras, but in two parallel worlds: Hyrule as Link knows it, green and beautiful, and Hyrule in another dimension, controlled by Ganondorf and where the world is darker, and the characters have not the same personalities. The player has to travel through these two worlds and use different objects and paradoxes to overcome Ganondorf. This principle of dimensions and time will be re-used in later Zelda episodes: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and Oracle of Ages.
The Neo Geo is not to be outdone: World Heroes, released in 1991, is the first game in a VS Fighting saga in which the protagonists travel through time! A scientist -a bit crazy, we have to say- invented the time machine, and this one decides to get the best fighters of all times throughout the world. The goal is to make them compete to see who is the best! So Jane (Jeanne d'Arc), Dragon (Bruce Lee), J.Carn (Genghis Khan) or Rasputin (Rasputin) meet to fight in their respective eras during epic battles. Three sequels will be produced on the same theme: World Heroes 2, World Heroes 2 Jet and World Heroes Perfect. In this latest installment, each stage occurs at a different time, unrelated to characters: Genesis, Ice Age, Prehistory, Middle Ages, and so on!
The Neo Geo is still travelling in time, in 1992 and 1993, with Sengoku 2 and Ninja Commando. The first is a vertical Run'n'Gun, the direct descendant of Time Soldiers. After World Heroes, ADK did it again with its mad scientist who invented a machine to explore time. This one, named Spider, is way more malicious than the good old doctor Brown from World Heroes: he went at different times to change the course of history and shape the future to his liking... Three ninja seize the machine and turn back time, to fight Spider vile organization and restore 'normal' order of things. In Sengoku 2, it's pretty much the same thing: our two heroes are recruited by a deity to return to the past and face the hordes of demons that were released by a maleficent evil prince. But here, we're fighting through time and dimensions: they fight in the real world as well as in a parallel world, populated by spirits and demons ...
1993 always, The Chaos Engine came out on many famous machines: it's a multi-scrolling Run'n'Gun. Time machine was invented by Baron Fortesque and created chaos, transforming all living forms in bloodthirsty monsters. You play the men who have to clean the shit and stop the machine. In Day of the Tentacle (Maniac Mansion II), a time machine is used to go back before a fateful event... You are sent on the eve of the tragedy. Your mission, prevent the catastrophe that happened, and you have to change it indirectly. This scenario was very innovative, fun and addictive. Lost in Time by Sierra on its side, was released exclusively for PC. A good old Point'n'Click, as we have so much seen in the eighties. The realization is excellent, based on motion capture and digitalisations. The game is challenging and addictive: you play as Doralice Prunelier, a beautiful heiress who has just taken possession of a beautiful mansion. While visiting her new property, she vanishes and find herself aboard an old boat at a different era...
In 1995, two RPG based on the time travel theme emerge. Secret of Evermore and the great Chrono Trigger , both on the Super Nintendo. The first puts the player in the shoes of a young teenager thrown despite himself in an artificial parallel universe, Perpetua. Prehistory, Antiquity and Middle Ages are the three themes of the worlds: indeed, these were the favorite times of the creators of Perpetua. The machine that sent you in this parallel world escapes to their control, and then begins an incredible quest to return to reality. As for Chrono Trigger, it's undoubtedly one of the best games featuring time travel. Lucca, a friend of Chrono, invented a teleporter: the machine can move objects and people a few meters. Chrono try it without a hitch, but when it comes round to his friend Marle, he's sucked into a time vortex and doesn't reappear. Only the talisman she wore is lying on the ground, probably creator of any disturbance during the experiment. Chrono and Lucca go to find her, using the talisman too, and find themselves teleported four-hundred years ago in their country... The adventure will cross several times the past and future.