Interestingly enough, Time Pilot was initially rejected when pitched by Konami game developer Yoshiki Okamato.
He secretly worked on the game with his programmer while pretending to be working on a driving game whenever his boss at Konami was present!
Time Pilot was a big hit at the time!
The first thing that really hooked me about this game when it was first released was the sound effects which were new and unusual.
It had decent sounding explosions and a cool time travel noise that your fighter craft made whenever it warped in between each new stage.
Being one of the first games that I know of to feature travelling through time, Time Pilot allowed us to imagine what the future would be like.
Of course the game ends in a futuristic 2001 (the age of the UFO), so it’s interesting to see how they thought our future would really pan out (not very accurately!)
Stage 1 starts off in the year 1910, the age of the biplane.
Your fighter craft can easily outmanoeuvre and outgun other vintage looking airplanes which are wobbling around you. Take them all out and you are confronted with the end boss which is an air blimp.
Stage 2 takes you to 1940, the age of the monoplane.
Here, airplanes are reminiscent of WWII aircraft – a bit more nimble and aggressive but still any decent video game player should be able to make it to the end of this stage where you have to eliminate a WWII bomber.
Stage 3 is the year 1970, the age of the helicopter.
As the name suggest, enemy aircraft are actually helicopters reminiscent of the Vietnam War.
These helicopters are tricky because they shoot out heat seeking / homing missiles which will track you until they are shot down.
The end boss for this stage is a double prop CH-47 Chinook helicopter – lay into it to destroy and then your are on your way to the next time period which is..
Stage 4 and to the time of 1982 – the actual year the game was released and age of the jet plane.
This time period has you facing off against enemy aircraft which looks similar to your own, however they are faster, and can shoot both bullets and homing missiles.
This stage is very challenging, and will require you to use all of your manoeuvrability to survive! Defeat all the enemy fighters to square off against the end boss – a large bomber plane which you have to eliminate.
Finally, stage 5 brings you forward in time yet again to the year 2001, the age of the UFO.
Ironic that this year is obviously now in the past, but when the game was originally released (1982) it would have been 19 years into the future!
Your adversary in the year 2001 are UFOs. These UFOs are extremely difficult – fast, agile, intelligent and their bullets are hard to avoid.
If you do manage to take them down then the end boss is one big UFO – the alien mothership!
Pump enough bullets into this bad boy to bring it down and then the game stages start all over again (where the game gets even faster).
Hints & Tips
- You can never run out of bullets – keep bashing that fire button and swing left and right to send out a volley of bullets in your desired direction.
- Take out a whole squadron of enemy fighters as soon as they appear on screen for big bonus points.
- Parachute man – grab him whenever you can for some juicy bonus points too!
- End boss – try to fly in the same direction and directly behind – line yourself up with them on the screen and unleash a barrage of bullets to hopefully take them out quickly.
- Extra lives are rewarded for the first 10,000 and 60,000 points, and for every 50,000 thereafter.