North American arcade flyer.
Free-roaming flight combat
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Arcade system||2x Zilog Z80, 2x AY-3-8910|
|Display||19 inch, vertical orientation, raster, 224 x 256|
Time Pilot is a multi-directional scrolling shooter and free-roaming aerial combat arcade game designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, released by Konami in 1982, and distributed in the United States by Centuri. Debuting in the golden age of video arcade games, it is a time travel themed game that allowed the player's plane to freely move across open air space that can scroll indefinitely in all directions. The Killer List of Videogames included Time Pilot in its list of top 100 arcade games of all time.
The player assumes the role of a pilot of a futuristic fighter jet, trying to rescue fellow pilots trapped in different time eras. The player must fight off hordes of enemy craft and defeat the mother ship (or "boss") present in every level. The background moves in the opposite direction to the player's plane, rather than the other way around; the player's plane always remains in the center.
This game has the player travel through five time periods, rescuing stranded fellow pilots. The player must fight off droves of enemy craft while picking up parachuting friendly pilots. Once 56 enemy craft are defeated, Initially 25 on the MSX platform, and increases by 5 after each game cycle (finishing the last battle against the UFOs), the player must defeat the mothership for the time period. Once she is destroyed, any remaining enemy craft are also eliminated and the player time-travels to the next level. All the levels have a blue sky and clouds as the background except the last level, which has space and asteroids instead. The specific eras visited, the common enemies and the motherships are:
- 1910: biplanes and a blimp
- 1940: WWII monoplanes and a B-25
- 1970: helicopters and a large, blue CH-47
- 1982 (Konami version)/1983 (Centuri version): jets and a B-52
- 2001: UFOs
The mothership is destroyed with seven direct hits. Once all the eras have been visited, the levels start over again but are harder and faster. The Game Boy Advance version of Time Pilot in Konami Arcade Classics includes a hidden sixth era, 1,000,000BC, where the player must destroy vicious pterodactyls in order to return to the early 20th century.
According to his account, Yoshiki Okamoto's proposal for Time Pilot was initially rejected by his boss at Konami, who assigned Okamoto to work on a driving game instead. Okamoto secretly gave instructions to his programmer to work on his idea, while pretending to be working on a driving game in front of his boss. When Time Pilot was a success, Okamoto's boss claimed credit for Okamoto's idea. The free-roaming style of gameplay used in Time Pilot was influenced by Namco's Bosconian.
This game was one of the more successful games of the era. It spawned one sequel in 1984, Time Pilot '84. Though a respectable game, it did not do nearly as well as the original. A special version named Time Pilot '95 also appears in the Super Famicom game Ganbare Goemon Kirakira Douchuu: Boku ga Dancer ni Natta Wake (of the Ganbare Goemon series), and can be unlocked when the main game is completely cleared. A version of the game for Xbox Live Arcade by Digital Eclipse features optional updated graphics, although the game plays identically (it is a port of the original). Konami released a similar game, Time Ace, for the Nintendo DS in 2007. In 2011 a homebrew port of this game called Vector Pilot was released for the Vectrex console by Kristof Tuts.
The game was successfully licensed to both Atari and Centuri for global regions outside of Japan. Centuri obtained the license for North America, whereas Atari produced dedicated cabinets with the game for sale in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
- Atari 2600, MSX and ColecoVision in 1983
- PlayStation as part of the Konami Arcade Classics compilation in 1999
- Game Boy Advance as part of the Konami Collector's Series: Arcade Advanced compilation on March 18, 2002.
- Xbox 360 as part of Xbox Live Arcade on August 30, 2006.
- Nintendo DS as part of Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits.
- Mobile Phones: Released for i-mode mobile phones in Japan in 2004.
- Microsoft's Game Room service for its Xbox 360 console and for Windows-based PCs in May 2010.
- Time Pilot at Allgame
- "Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits - NDS - Review". GameZone. April 9, 2007. Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
- "Konami Arcade Classics: Well, at least it's classic". IGN. January 7, 2000. Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
- Greg McLemore and the KLOV team. "The Top Coin-Operated Videogames of all Times". Killer List of Videogames. Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- Kent, Steven. "VideoGameSpot's Interview with Yoshiki Okamoto". Archived from the original on December 7, 1998.
- Vector Pilot
- "GBA Gems: Konami Collector's Series: Arcade Advanced". IGN. IGN. Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2006-09-01.
- "Time Pilot Flies Onto Xbox Live Marketplace". TeamXbox. IGN. Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2006-09-01.