Holosseum: Time Traveler
I remember walking into my local arcade and seeing this weird looking game in the center of the room. It was the place they put all the new premier games they wanted all the kids to try. What was weird was this game did not look anything like the other arcade cabinets. This game looked like some futuristic console made by the Nintendo Wii designers. Now the game was called Time Traveler and it featured awesome 3D holograms, well kind of.
The game was released in 1991 by Sega and the overall story was that you were a cowboy and you are tasked to stop an evil scientist called Vulcor. Vulcor can manipulate time and so you have to travel to different time periods and undo the damage he has done, get to him and save the Princess of the Galactic Federation. Now the game was pretty expensive at the time. To play the game cost anywhere from 75 cents to a dollar which I guess was to pay for the over 40 actors they used in the filming of the game.
Those of you who are into current gaming will know about stereographic 3D which is what makes everything look three dimensional. The arcade cabinet itself was specifically made to project the game characters and make them look like holograms. The gameplay was kind of like Space Ace where the key is to move the joystick or hit a button at the right time to avoid being killed. The game was known for its death sequences kind of like how Dragon’s Lair became known for.
Unlike Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace, Time Traveler gave you a lot more hints and when you died showed you what to do. You also had a time reversal button that you could hit to rewind time, think sands of time from Prince of Persia. The problem was this game was made to suck coins as you only had a few time reversals, sometimes as few as one, but you could always pay quarters to buy more. You also only had three lives and nine times out of ten the game was set to hard. So how did people beat it? They would watch someone else and write down what to do. If you did that without dying you got a whopping ten minutes of total game time.
There were seven time periods based on real time periods in our history and one called the Age of Magic. It also had a bonus game called Hellgate which was a slot machine type game where you could bet your lives to win more, but again, this was a money grab and most of the time you never won additional lives. Believe it or not, the game sold pretty well, perhaps because of how expensive it was, but had a short life span as the awesome fighting games of the 90’s were being released. However, I remember this game even though I only played it a few times as an interesting fad just like how I view glass wearing 3D gaming today.