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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

I'm a dude that used to write cblogs regularly but doesn't do that any more.