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River City Retro: Time Slaughter


You know, when I was a little kid, I just couldn't get enough of Mortal Kombat. I didn't have a SNES until the Playstation was already out so until then, I could only play the game in a shop or at a friend's house. Whenever I wasn't in either of these, I was in my room creating my own bloody fighting games. The Power Rangers, G.I. Joe, the Ninja Turtles, any other actioned figure I owned, they'd all duke it out atop my desk. Mortal Kombat and its violence might have made for the coolest game in existence but surely I could do better. As I played with my dolls, the best game ever unfolded in my imagination.

The warriors' bodies would get covered with scratches and bruises as the battles raged on. Blood splatters on the floor would never disappear and as special moves were executed, naked women in the background held up signs saying cheesy lines like "Brutal!" or "Bloody!". At the end of each bout, losing fighters were kicked down from whatever furniture they were on and fell to their deaths in my bag of toy cars or onto my yellow tiled floor which was of course a pit of boiling lava. Good thing nobody ever put me in charge of a development team.

Time Slaughter for MS-DOS has a lot of things in common with my childhood imaginary game. There's (unfortunately?) no nudity but blood splatter stays on the floor, characters gradually degrade into bloody pulps and the casts looks just about as silly as my set of action figures did. Our story at hand deals with a mad scientist that has created a time machine. Some demons don't like him playing with time so they come over and graphically mutilate him. Missing both of his arms, the poor guy still manages to turn on the machine with his nose, effectively sending the demons back where they came from. As a convenient little side effect, the machine mangles up the strands of time, allowing for warriors from throughout the ages to tear each other to pieces. Our hero then replaces his lost limbs with machinery and takes up his role as the game's final boss. Time Slaughter's gameplay is as awful as its story but what really sets it aside, is it that it was programmed from the ground up by two 16 year olds and not just any 16 year olds.

Bloodlust software was a conjoined effort by two high school students intended to ridicule all the US' video game violence debates going on in the early nineties. In addition to Time Slaughter and several other over the top violent games, they are responsible for a little app called Nesticle. Their games might not have been all that good but without Nesticle, the Emulation scene would not have been what it is today. Both of the authors have since gone on to work in major gaming companies like EA and Ubisoft.

With all this talk of gaming's Citizen Kane going on recently, I actually think it's a great time to bring up Time Slaughter. Which game deserves to be our Kane is probably going to be debated for quite a bit more but I'm pretty sure Time Slaughter is our Braindead. For the unknowing, this was an extreme over-the-top gore flick that included landmower on zombie action, laughable special effects and lots of overacting. It's one of those popcorn munchers that you can only enjoy with a dark sense of humour and a strong stomach.

Time Slaughter is exactly that. It's clunky, it's silly and it doesn't take itself seriously. Just have a look at its highly inappropriate midget raping intro and try not to snicker. Be warned though. As you should have been able to figure out on your own, this intro is extremely graphic and probably not suited for work. Anyway, let's have a look at a few of the characters.


Mortal Kombat clones really seem to have a thing for these metal patient type of characters. Asylum is your generic madman in a straitjacket that fights because he's insane. He never takes the jacket off, fighting with his shoulders, head and legs. His victory taunts do show that he could easily shed it like a second skin if he wanted to though. Speaking of shedding skins, by the way ... He does that too. Claims to have over 500 personalities as well.


A French painter with a generic name. His reason for fighting? People look so much more colourful when they're all bumped and bruised. ^_^


Chi. Your generic stereotypical Chinese warrior. Very boring character if it wasn't for his backstory. Let's quote the developer's website for a moment.

Chi was the victim of a cruel practical joke. His master told him to guard a bridge when he was a mere child until the "flying monkeys" came. Chi never stopped guarding it. Now he's 45 and he can't speak any language, but he has tought himself many unique skills (he's had plenty of time to meditate). His reason for fighting - after 30 years everyone looks like a flying monkey.



Vlad Dracul, the impaler from Wallachia. He never drinks wine.

Turns out the game was actually headed for a sequel. It was going to contain even crazier characters like the shitman who can mold shit into anything he wants and even make other people defaecate on demand. I personally am not really waiting for it to come out though. With the developers' latest update saying that they're aiming for a 2007 release, I think nobody else should either. Quite a bit of artwork for it can be found on Ringmasterbent's deviant art page though. It does look a bit more polished than the first game but I doubt it would have played much better.

As awful as the game is, I do wonder ... Was it really a failure? If we were to place it next to a Mortal Kombat II cabinet, I'm pretty sure it would start collecting dust very soon but perhaps it doesn't belong there anyway. Its sole purpose was to ridicule video game violence and with this level of satire, I say it belongs with the likes of the Postal series more than anywhere else. Within that scope, I'd say it was at least a moderate success.

This has been Metallion. Thank you for reading.
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About Metallionone of us since 4:11 AM on 10.14.2009

River City Retro

Kirby's Dream Land 2

Kirby's Dream Land

What Final Fantasy used to sound like

NES conquers the world in 25 years

River City Ransom

Guilty Gear's Metal Meltdown

Time Slaughter

Alien Wars 4: How to make a proper X-COM Sequel

Alien Wars 3: How the X-COM series fell from grace

Alien Wars 2: From the depths they came

Alien Wars 1: UFO Done Properly

UFO: Enemy Unknown

Ten Games that love other games

Final Fantasy 6

Tom & Jerry

Sin... just sin

Blood... just blood

Eight Games Lost in Translation

A Gamer's Diet

Apple Pie (It's my birthday)


Spaghetti Bolognaise

Monthly Musing

Aaamaazing: Mortal Kombat

Groundhog Day: BlazBlue

E for Effort: Becoming a World Warrior + Interview with a tournament player

Something about sex: Ten gaming couples that either should or should not do it

My Expertise: A Moustached Hero

The Future: Professional gaming

River City Ramblings

The Starcraft 2 beta and what it means to me

New Super Mario Brothers Wii: My first impressions


Who am I you ask? Well I guess my story starts some time around the early eighties. As my apartment had strangely gotten a lot smaller over the last months, I thought it would be a good idea to redecorate it. I was leaning back in my sofa, going through the new Ikea catalog when I was suddenly hit by a massive earthquake. As much as I tried to hold my ground, I was propelled head first into that strange tunnel at my front door. I had been wondering where that leads but never had the courage to check it out.

After a long and bumpy ride, I finally stuck my head out the other end and saw daylight. Before I had a chance to adjust to my new environment, a big man wearing some kind of a lab coat and face mask grabbed hold of me. He was a despicable man really. Not only did he cut my food supply line, he also held me upside down in the air and slapped me right on the butt! What did I ever do to him?! Just when I was about to stick it to him, my attention was averted to this tired looking lady lying on a bed nearby.

It was very strange. Do you know that feeling when you meet somebody for the first time, yet you feel like you have known each other all along? I had this feeling when I saw her. That's when it occurred to me. This woman must be my landlady and I had been neglecting my rent for a few months after all. I could understand that she was upset but still... She had no right to turn me over to that sadistic bull in his white coat! I thought that me and her were going to have a long and personal conversation but right now, I just wanted to take a shower. That tunnel I had just been through wasn't all that clean after all.

Fortunately this other lady dressed in white was a lot nicer than her butt-slapping friend. She most kindly helped me clean myself and then handed me some warm, although not very fashionable garments. She carried me over to my landlady and I prepared to negotiate the rent but instead, my landlady threw me a warm smile and pressed me against her breast so lovingly that I melted like snow to the sun. She and her equally loving husband took me to their home where they had a room prepared with a bed in exactly my size and all kinds of lovely little things to play with. It's like they had been planning to take me in all along.

I didn't quite understand the strange language both of them spoke but yet I figured out that her name was Mom and crying meant "Food please", "Hug me" and "Clean me" all at the same time. The temperature wasn't as constant as my previous home but still, this was some service! Anyway, I would wander around this place for the time being while gradually learning to speak their language. It would take seven years before I really found out what my purpose here was.

One fine morning, Mom brought me to a supermarket and I saw a little mustached guy jumping around on a TV. That was my first encounter with the Nintendo Entertainment System! This thing blew my mind in so many ways! I had heard of princesses being kidnapped by dragons before but where's the prince to save her? No, there is no prince! This time it's a fat Italian plumber with a mustache who gets to be the hero! Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! Power to the common man! Not only that but rather than simply hear his tale, I could actually help him in his quest. Though Mom seemed quite unimpressed, I knew I had witnessed a miracle and it would leave a mark on my life for years to come.

I'd often get into fights with Mom after that. She wanted me to go outside and play with my friends but what did she know? After all, all of my friends were living in similar warm nests, receiving the same service from two other persons who were somehow all named Mom and Dad. No, my purpose in life was bigger than that. As much fun as playing with my friends was, If I did that then who would save princess Peach, liberate the kingdom of Hyrule and smite the evil king Dedede? I just couldn't ignore the sorrow of the weak!

It wasn't until another seven years or so that I would see what a fool I had been. Up until now, I had been carrying the weight of the world on my own shoulders while completely ignoring the help others could have offered. I was determined to never close my eyes to the value of friendship again! Especially in these dark times. I was barely finished helping Dr. Freeman escape the resonance cascade alive when bands of terrorists attacked and dragged his scientist colleagues off to cs_assault. This was too much for just me to handle. This time I needed help!

Anyone who doesn't believe in the kindness of strangers is a moron. I mean sure, strangers aren't always nice. I've been told that I SuX0rz and have been called a n00b a million times but even then, it's worth it. As it so happens, it were these very strangers that padded me on the back and reassuringly shouted "Lock and Load!" before we stormed the big garage and got every single scientist out while making a fair buck in the process. Unfortunately our happiness was short lived as a new batch of terrorists arrived and we were right back where we started. Rather than sigh over the shortness of our victory, we bought ourselves a new pack of heavy guns and rushed in once more. No matter how many times the terrorists came back, we'd bring them to justice!

Time went on and the terrorists got more and more violent. Now they didn't only take hostages any more but also planted bombs and tried to assassinate seemingly random VIPs. Our combined efforts were no longer enough. We needed more coordination. We needed a plan! We had to Look at the map and devise a clever strategy. As much as I tried this, people were joining and leaving our counter-terrorist squad with every tick of the clock. Some of them even switched sides to join the terrorists. I engaged in conversation with several of the better fighters. We decided to join together regularly and learn how to fight as one. You could even go as far as to call us a counter-strike clan! For years we battled the forces of evil and shed much blood until I finally left the front as I heard of another land in need.

So many years ago I had liberated the town of Tristram from Diablo, the lord of terror. The hero I helped out at the time had drilled the dark lord's soul stone right into his own forehead. What an idiot! Needless to say, Diablo soon overpowered this weak excuse for a savior and continued to live on, inhabiting the former hero's body. "Man", I thought. "I've gone through all of this before, I'm not doing it again or at least... Not alone!" Fortunately my plea for help didn't leave me waiting as several friends showed up and we entered a new clan to smite that demon once and for all! After taking care of business in the chaos sanctuary, laying waste to Baal, the lord of destruction and even single handedly obliterating several acres of murderous cows, it was time to put my swords and bows to rest once more.

Since that time, my clan based activity has settled down and I remain to fight on the side of good with smaller bands of friends while every now and then fondly remembering those good old days. Most of all, I tend to leave the real action up to others as I watch from the sidelines. Especially a Korean man named Jaedong shows particular excellence in leading the Zerg to victory against the evil Protoss at general Bisu's command and admiral Flash' corrupted Terran whom I wish all to be infested for greater good.

I thank you for taking the time to read about my life. Perhaps our paths may once cross in the endless online battlefields and until then, luck be with you.