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CronosBlade avatar 11:16 AM on 02.06.2008  (server time)
Fighting Masters Round 2 - Time Killers

Time Killers. (EDIT) Not quite the worst game I ever played, but wouldn't quite rank it above "good". The game was made by Incredible Technologies. These guys already had a winner on their hands with Golden Tee Golf, so in 1992 they put this game out.

See the basic story was that Death wants absolute power, but in each attempt to rule his mortal self is killed by a hero. So in a twist he disguises himself as the Master of Time and pulls the heroes together. He tells each one that they will need to kill the other 7 who are agents for Death. The winner is granted immortal life.

Doesn't sound horrible right? Well the gameplay is where it falls apart. There were five buttons on the arcade cabinet. Each button controlled a body part (left and right legs, left and right arms, and head). The special moves themselves were based off of both MK and SF control movements. While some moves were fireball based, others were tap based (like Scorpion's spear, back back). Still others were a direction and then usually a combination of two buttons.

Grphically, the thing looked like a cartoon. While Mortal Kombat was state of the art at the time, Time Killers looked like complete ass. It didn't help that we had every possible stereotype for time travel in the game. Your choices were as follows:

Rancid - Yeah, we get it. The new age future punk. And the X in the forehead, a Manson homage perhaps?

Wulf - Of course, we can't have time travel without a knight. Wulf is just fucking annoying cause he screams "EXCALIBUR" all the damn time.

Mantazz - Or as my friend would say, Mant-ASS. So we throw in an alien from way in the future who uses no weapon, just its claws.

Thugg - Caveman. Big. Slow. Powerful. Not much to say.

Lief - Add in the requisite viking. Big and Slow like Thugg, but actually usable. Provided the game was playable.

Musashi - Samurai, check. I think all I'm missing is the 90's gangbanger and 20's gangster.

Orion - More future than past in this game. And for fuck's sake, give the man a lightsaber.

Matrix - And finally, the lone female character. Wow, if this is a glimpse of the future, then we're all going to be looking like the original American Gladiators cast.

Time Killers is actually kind of fun thanks to one gameplay element. See, the controls are horrendous, and the moves for the most part suck. The one redeeming quality it has is violence. Lots of it. Dismemberment. Head chopping. During a fight you can damage your opponent's limbs. Do enough damage or get a lucky hit and there goes an arm. Cut both arms off, your opponent can only kick and headbutt. It's great fun to watch a friend be frustrated as he tries to headbutt you to death. You get a big bonus for winning without arms (it's tough to do).

Ah, but I mentioned headchopping didn't I. Well it's there. Just like Guilty Gear's deathblows where you can win a round in one hit, Time Killers works the same way. Simply get in close to the enemy, push toward and hit all 5 buttons together. A successful swipe and there goes a head.

You could also dizzy an opponent and then get close to flurry them to death. You chopped all limbs off that way. It still makes me wonder how you regenerate limbs between rounds. No, I'd rather not known.

The final boss is the Master of Time, otherwise known as death. Who looks slightly retarded (see below).

Death may have been a precursor to SNK Boss Syndrome. 6 Hits will kill you. He takes limbs off like he's trimming a tree. Oh yeah, and if you do manage to win a round on him, to win the second you HAVE TO LOP OFF HIS HEAD. The fucker is apparently a Highlander in disguise.

Video below of the game running on emulation.

The game was destined to come out for the Genesis (They do what Nintendon't) but got pushed back a few years thanks to Mortal Kombat's controversy. It did finally release in 1996, but was just as bad as the original.

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