Time Commando is an action-adventure computer and video game developed by Adeline Software and published by Electronic Arts in Europe, Activision in America (United States and Brazil), and Virgin Interactive (PlayStation version) and Acclaim Entertainment (Sega Saturn version) in Japan.
It was originally released for the PC on July 31, 1996 in Europe, United States and Brazil, and was later ported for PlayStation and released on September, 1996 in Europe, on September, 1996 in the United States and on November 15, 1996 in Japan. A Sega Saturn version of the game was also released in Japan on March 5, 1998.
The game takes place in the near future, and the military, with the help of a private corporation has created a computer capable of simulating any form of combat from any point in history. However, a programmer from a rival corporation infects the system with a virus (in the game intro scene it is introduced as "Predator Virus") that creates a time-distortion vortex, which threatens to swallow the world if it is not destroyed. The player controls Stanley Opar, a S.A.V.E (Special Action for Virus Elimination) operative at the center who enters the vortex to try and stop the virus.
In order to accomplish this, the player must combat various real-life enemies throughout different time periods. These eras are Prehistoric (featuring cavemen, saber tooth tigers, and cave bears), Roman Empire, Feudal Japan, Medieval, Conquistador, Wild West, Modern Wars (World War I and supposedly World War III), Future, and finally, a showdown with the virus.
As the player goes through each level, he/she collects various weapons exclusive to the time period. Stanley has a small life bar that grows larger further into the game, when the player picks up life power-ups. Along the same lines, Stanley has multiple lives. As the player plays through a level, a time bar, which counts down time until the virus completely takes over and the player dies, slowly fills. This bar can be emptied by depositing computer chips collected throughout the levels in various "orb pools," which resemble the vortex Stanley first entered.
In each time era, Stanley is able to use five weapons unique to that era:
- Prehistoric: Rocks*, bone knife, club, spear, giant club.
- [Roman Empire: Dagger, gladius, sling*, trident with shield, battle axe.
- Feudal Japan: Fans*, shuriken*, katana, dao, fireball*.
- Medieval: Morning star, sword and shield, longsword, crossbow*, parchment*.
- Conquistador: Sabre, halberd, flintlock*, macuahuitl, blowgun*.
- Wild West: Revolver*, shotgun*, Winchester rifle*, dynamite*, dual-wielded revolvers*.
- Modern Wars: Revolver*, Enfield bayonet*, AK-47*, hand grenade*, rocket launcher*.
- Future: Laser pistol*, laser gun* (attached to Stanley's left arm), yo-yo, atomic grenades*.
- Virus World: Crystal stars*.
- * Denotes this weapon has a limited number of uses (i.e. until ammunition is depleted).
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