Time Crisis (video game)

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Time Crisis
Time Crisis Coverart.png
PlayStation cover art
Producer(s)Kazunori Sawano
Takashi Sano
Designer(s)Hirofuki Kami
Takashi Satsukawa
Composer(s)Kazuhiro Nakamura
SeriesTime Crisis
Platform(s)Arcade, PlayStation, PlayStation 2
December 1995[1]
  • JP: June 27, 1997
  • NA: October 31, 1997
  • PAL: November 30, 1997
PlayStation 2
  • JP: December 12, 2002
Genre(s)Light gun shooter, rail shooter
CabinetUpright, Deluxe
Arcade systemNamco Super System 22[2]
SoundNamco C352
DisplayHorizontal orientation, Raster, 640 x 480 resolution

Time Crisis is a light gun shooter arcade game released by Namco in 1995. It was later ported for the PlayStation in 1997, bundled with the Guncon light gun controller, which was released alongside it.[3]


Time Crisis is a three-dimensional first person rail shooter similar to Virtua Cop and The House of the Dead, in that the player holds a light gun and fires 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 their weapons. In the arcade version, a foot pedal is used to toggle between ducking and attacking positions.[4] In console conversions, a button command replicates the foot pedal's functions.[5] The player loses a life if hit by a direct bullet or obstacle whilst not taking cover. There are three stages, each consisting of three areas and a boss battle.

The arcade cabinet's light gun (introduced in Point Blank) utilizes 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; this feature is not retained in the PlayStation port.[5]

The player must complete each area in a certain amount of time.[4] To avoid running down the clock, 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 time bonuses awarded for shooting certain enemies quickly.

The PlayStation port features an exclusive story mode, in which the player's performance, such as how quickly they can clear an area, affects the path they take through the game, resulting in multiple possibilities.[6]


In 1995, the V.S.S.E., an international protection agency, helps Sercian opposition leader William MacPherson engineer a coup that overthrows a century-old authoritarian regime. Shortly afterwards, MacPherson is elected as the Sercian republic's first president. However, Sherudo Garo, the last survivor of the regime, plots to restore the old order, launching a series of attacks and assassinations that quickly destabilize the nation. As the finishing touch, Sherudo has MacPherson's daughter Rachel abducted and imprisoned in his family's castle on a remote island, demanding vital military secrets in exchange for her life. A desperate MacPherson contacts the V.S.S.E., who in turn dispatches veteran agent Richard Miller, the "One Man Army", to infiltrate the castle and rescue Rachel.

Miller reaches the island and rams his explosives-rigged boat into the castle's exterior to create an entrance. Sherudo hears the resulting boom, but his head of security, Wild Dog, assures him that Miller won't last long against his highly trained mercenaries. Meanwhile, Miller confronts Wild Dog's troops in the submarine hangar and makes his way to the main courtyard against heavy resistance, eventually reaching Rachel's location. She warns him of a setup before being whisked away. Miller is then confronted by Dog's chief assassin, Moz, and his unit. He defeats them and interrogates Moz, who reveals that Rachel has been transferred to the clock tower. There, Miller is attacked by Sherudo, a trained knife thrower, and guns him down, only to find Rachel held at gunpoint by Dog. Angered by Sherudo's death (since it means he won't be paid), Dog reveals his intentions to blow up the castle with Richard inside and escape with Rachel. Pursuing them to the castle's helipad, Miller arrives just as Rachel manages to break free, leading Dog to shoot her. A furious Miller engages Dog in a fast-and-loose gun battle across the rooftop, during which Dog accidentally sets off his detonator, apparently killing himself in a fiery explosion. Richard collects the wounded Rachel and escapes in Dog's chopper just as the rest of the castle goes up in flames.

The PlayStation version features a special mission known as the "Kantaris Deal", which takes place several weeks after the main story's events. Miller is alerted by V.S.S.E to the presence of an illegal arms factory posing as a Sercian hotel, with ties to Wild Dog's organization. He is assigned to infiltrate the factory and eliminate its owner, Kantaris. Upon clearing the lobby, Miller has three different paths to his target. The first takes him through the ballroom/casino, where he eliminates Kantaris's scythe-hand assassin, Web Spinner. He then pursues her to the swimming pool just as she attempts to escape by air. After shooting down an escort gunship, Miller damages the engines of Kantaris's ship just as it takes off, causing it to crash and explode. Should Miller fail to stop Web Spinner in time, he will instead be taken to the arms factory; and should Miller fail to pursue Kantaris in time, he will instead be taken to Kantaris' office in the lounge. The second path, which can only be accessed if there are less than 22 seconds left on the clock, instead goes through the shopping mall and down into a garbage disposal. There, Miller uses a claw arm to punch a hole in the wall, allowing him to access the underground arms factory. From there, he makes his way to Kantaris' office in the lounge and defeats her personal security droid, which then malfunctions and rolls out the window, taking her with it. Should Miller fail his pursuit in the arms factory, he will instead be redirected to the parking lot. The third path can be made available if Richard does not activate the claw in time. Instead of entering the factory, he goes directly through the parking lot. After defeating a spider-legged battle tank, Miller disables Kantaris's car, forcing it to crash. If in any of these scenarios Miller fails to take action soon enough, Kantaris escapes and the mission is aborted. (Canonically, the spin-off game Time Crisis: Project Titan takes place after the mission's failure.[7])


A soundtrack Time Crisis Arcade Soundtrack was released in 1997.[8] Another soundtrack Time Crisis 3D Sound Ensemble was released later.[9] It contains audio dramas that depicts events during and before the first game, such as Miller's battle against Sherudo from the game.


Aggregate score
Review scores
AllGame4.5/5 stars (ARC)[11]
CVG5/5 stars[12]
Edge8 / 10[13]
EGM7.75 / 10[14]
Game Informer8.25 / 10[15]
Game RevolutionB+[17]
GamePro4.5/5 stars[16]
GameSpot8.4 / 10[18]
IGN8 / 10[19]
Next Generation5/5 stars (ARC)[21]
4/5 stars (PS)[22]

A reviewer for Next Generation hailed the game as being superior even to competitor Sega's Virtua Cop 2, primarily due to the unique foot pedal maneuver. He remarked that "By creating this innovative maneuvering technique, in addition to time-based, predetermined path running, providing Story or Attack mode and challenging end-level bosses, Time Crisis thrusts the light-gun genre into a brand-new territory - and develops a whole new way of looking at, and playing, the classic light-gun game."[21]

The PlayStation version received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[10]

Next Generation reviewed the PlayStation version of the game, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that "when compared to other light-gun shooters for home systems, Time Crisis is as good as it gets."[22]


  1. ^ "Time Crisis". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 76. Sendai Publishing. November 1995. p. 217.
  2. ^ "Hot at the Arcades". GamePro. No. 91. IDG. April 1996. p. 58.
  3. ^ "PlayStation: Namco Steals the Show with Five New Arcade Conversions!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 90. Ziff Davis. January 1997. p. 108. Not content to only bring out one new controller, Time Crisis will be coming out with a new gun to be able to handle all the additional requirements that the arcade counterpart had.
  4. ^ a b "Time Crisis". GamePro. No. 91. IDG. April 1996. p. 58.
  5. ^ a b "NG Alphas: Time Crisis". Next Generation. No. 27. Imagine Media. March 1997. p. 75.
  6. ^ "Time Crisis". GamePro. No. 107. IDG. August 1997. p. 54.
  7. ^ "PlayStation". Bandainamcogames.co.jp. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  8. ^ "WSCAX-10002 - TIME CRISIS Arcade Soundtrack 002 EX - VGMdb". Vgmdb.net. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  9. ^ "FSCA-10005 - TIME CRISIS 3D SOUND ENSEMBLE - VGMdb". Vgmdb.net. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Time Crisis for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  11. ^ Baize, Anthony. "Time Crisis (ARC) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "Time Crisis (PS)". Computer and Video Games (192): 68–73. November 1997.
  13. ^ Edge staff (August 1997). "Time Crisis (PS)". Edge (48).
  14. ^ "Time Crisis (PS)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1997.
  15. ^ "Time Crisis - PlayStation". Game Informer (54): 49. October 1997. Archived from the original on September 14, 1999. Retrieved February 19, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ Scary Larry (October 1997). "Time Crisis Review for PlayStation on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on February 9, 2005. Retrieved February 18, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ Baldric (April 1998). "Time Crisis Review (PS)". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on June 13, 1998. Retrieved February 19, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ Fielder, Joe (November 26, 1997). "Time Crisis Review". GameSpot. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  19. ^ Douglas, Adam (November 11, 1997). "Time Crisis (PS)". IGN. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  20. ^ "Time Crisis". Play UK. 1998.
  21. ^ a b "Step on It". Next Generation. No. 16. Imagine Media. April 1996. p. 98.
  22. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 38. Imagine Media. February 1998. p. 112.

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