Time Crisis

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This article is about the first game in the series. For information on the series as a whole, see Time Crisis (series).
Time Crisis
Time Crisis Coverart.png
PlayStation cover art
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Producer(s) Kazunori Sawano
Takashi Sano
Designer(s) Hirofuki Kami
Takashi Satsukawa
Series Time Crisis
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation
Release date(s) Arcade
March 1996
  • JP June 27, 1997
  • NA October 31, 1997
  • PAL November 31, 1997
Genre(s) Light gun shooter
Rail shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Cabinet Upright, Deluxe
Arcade system Namco System Super 22
Display Horizontal orientation, Raster, 640 x 480 resolution

Time Crisis is a light gun shooter arcade game released by Namco in 1996 (even though the title screen says 1995). It was later ported for the PlayStation in 1997, bundled with the Guncon light gun controller. It is a spiritual sequel to the Rolling Thunder trilogy.


Time Crisis is a three-dimensional first person rail shooter similar to Virtua Cop and The House of the Dead installments, in which the player holds a light gun and goes through the motions of firing at on-screen enemies. Time Crisis is best known for its cover system, in which players can duck behind cover to avoid enemy fire and reload his weapon. There are three stages, each consisting of three areas and a boss battle. Unique features are described here in:

  • A foot pedal which performs multiple functions: when the pedal is released, the player takes cover to conserve hit points while reloading the gun. While the pedal is released, the player cannot attack. In console conversions, a button command replicates the foot pedal's functions. The player loses a life if he/she is hit by a direct bullet or obstacle whilst not taking cover, with the game ending if he/she loses all lives.
  • A light gun (introduced in Point Blank) which utilized a special memory chip to synchronize areas of the screen's image as the player rotates the gun around. The light gun also features a blowback function which simulates real-life gun recoil.
  • A countdown timer, recharged by clearing an area of enemies. As running down the clock causes an instant game over, the player must take risks, shooting enemies rapidly and hiding only when necessary. A time extension is rewarded when an area is passed and there are also time bonuses awarded for shooting certain enemies quickly.

The PlayStation port features an exclusive side-story mode, in which the player's performance, such as how quickly he can clear an area, affects the path he takes through the game, resulting in multiple possibilities.


The main plot of the original Time Crisis arcade game release involves an attempted coup in the fictional republic of Sercia. For a millennium, the Garo family ruled Sercia with an iron fist. In 1995, the V.S.S.E. International Intelligence Agency sent William MacPherson, who successfully toppled the Garo regime and became its first democratically elected president. The last remaining member of the Garo family, Sherudo Garo, sought to recapture the throne from the hands of President MacPherson. He sends a mercenary named Wild Dog and kidnaps the president's daughter, Rachel MacPherson. Sherudo demands military secrets in return for Rachel's safe return or he will kill her by sunset. V.S.S.E. sends its best agent, Richard Miller, to break in, invade Sherudo's castle and rescue Rachel.

Miller makes his way through the lower levels of the castle only to find a trap set up by Moz, one of Sherudo's henchmen armed with a clawed hand. After defeating Moz and being directed to the clock tower, Richard works up through the upper levels of the castle and finds Rachel and Sherudo. Sherudo pulls out his knives and they battle, which ends when Miller kills him; however, Wild Dog reappears, kidnaps Rachel, and drags her away. Miller pursues Wild Dog, and it finally ends on a bridge just outside of the castle. Wild Dog begins detonating the castle and is planning to fly away on a helicopter, shooting Rachel in the arm as she tries to escape. After a tough battle, Miller shoots Wild Dog, causing him to drop his radio detonator and become engulfed in the destruction. Miller and Rachel safely make it out and return home.

The Kantaris Deal is a side special story exclusive to the PlayStation version of Time Crisis. In it, Miller has received orders to infiltrate a mysterious hotel known as Chateau Du Luc, which is operated by Kantaris, leader of the smuggling network of the same name. The V.S.S.E. has received positive verification that Kantaris supplied arms to the Wild Dog, and it is Miller's mission to assassinate Kantaris and destroy her criminal organization. Exactly how this happens will differ depending on the player's performance in the story. Depending on these different routes, Miller may face off against Kantaris' pet cyborg Web Spinner in the ballroom, a giant robot in the Lounge, a spider-like tank in the parking lot, or the Kantaris helicopter gunship on the heliport. The story will end with a "Mission Complete" message if the player managed to gun down Kantaris' car, destroyed the robot in enough time so it causes Kantaris to be pushed out of the window, or shoot down her helicopter. It will end with a "Mission Failed" message if Kantaris manages to get away or remains alive. (Canonically, the spin-off game Time Crisis: Project Titan takes place after the mission's failure.[1])


A soundtrack Time Crisis Arcade Soundtrack was released in 1997.[2] Another soundtrack Time Crisis 3D Sound Ensemble was released later.[3] It contains audio dramas that depicts events during and before the first game, such as Miller's battle against Sherudo from the game.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 86% (PS)[4]
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame 4.5/5 stars (ARC)[5]
4/5 stars (PS)[6]
Computer and Video Games 5/5 stars (PS)[7]
Edge 8 / 10 (PS)[8]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 7.75 / 10 (PS)[9]
Game Informer 8.25 / 10 (PS)[10]
GamePro 4.5/5 stars (PS)[11]
Game Revolution B+ (PS)[12]
GameSpot 8.4 / 10 (PS)[13]
IGN 8 / 10 (PS)[14]
Play Magazine 90% (PS)[15]

The game was met with positive reception, with GameRankings giving the PlayStation version an aggregate review score of 86% overall, based on nine reviews.[4]


  1. ^ "PlayStation". Bandainamcogames.co.jp. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ "WSCAX-10002 - TIME CRISIS Arcade Soundtrack 002 EX - VGMdb". Vgmdb.net. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ "FSCA-10005 - TIME CRISIS 3D SOUND ENSEMBLE - VGMdb". Vgmdb.net. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Time Crisis for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  5. ^ Baize, Anthony. "Time Crisis (ARC) - Review". Allgame. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  6. ^ Berger, Gregory. "Time Crisis (PS) - Overiew". Allgame. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  7. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Computer_and_Video_Games_Issue_192_1997-11_EMAP_Images_GB#page/n71/mode/2up
  8. ^ Edge staff (August 1997). "Time Crisis (PS)". Edge (48). 
  9. ^ "Time Crisis (PS)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1997. 
  10. ^ "Time Crisis - PlayStation". Game Informer (54): 49. October 1997. Archived from the original on 1999-09-14. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  11. ^ Scary Larry (October 1997). "Time Crisis Review for PlayStation on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2005-02-09. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  12. ^ Baldric (April 1998). "Time Crisis Review (PS)". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 1998-06-13. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  13. ^ Fielder, Joe (1997-11-26). "Time Crisis Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  14. ^ Douglas, Adam (1997-11-11). "Time Crisis (PS)". IGN. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  15. ^ "Time Crisis". Play UK. 1998. 

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