Codex Gamicus
Time Crisis
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco
Game designer: Takashi Sano (supervisor)
Release date: 1995
Genre: Fixed Shooter
Game modes: Single player
Cabinet: Standard
Controls: Lightgun; 1 pedal
Orientation: Horizontal
Type: Raster, standard resolution (Used: 640 x 480)
First game to use a pedal for ducking/covering

Time Crisis is a video game initially available in arcades and later released for the PlayStation. A first person rail shooter similar to Virtua Cop, its distinguishing feature was the presence of a foot pedal that controlled whether the player's character ducked behind cover (and was thus invulnerable but unable to shoot) or was in a standing position (and could thus attack but was vulnerable). A countdown clock, recharged by clearing an area of "bad guys", forces the player to take risks and stay up and vulnerable most of the time, shooting quickly at any enemy he sees.

The main plot of Time Crisis involves an international intelligence agency named VSSE, dedicated to stomping organized crime and terrorism worldwide. Upon hearing of an attempted coup in the fictional country of Sercia, VSSE sends its best agent, Richard Miller, to infiltrate the hideout of the coup plotters and take out the two ringleaders, Sherudo Garo and Wild Dog. Strangely, only Wild Dog appears in all titles of Time Crisis.

A side story of Time Crisis is available for the PlayStation (included in the PlayStation version of Time Crisis). A followup exclusive to the PlayStation, Time Crisis: Project Titan, came out in 2000. A two-player sequel, imaginatively titled Time Crisis II, featured two machine linking together, allowing players to cover each other. A later sequel called Crisis Zone, was also produced, although the plot seemed have no relation with the original Time Crisis series. In 2003, a direct sequel called Time Crisis 3 was released.

In the fourth installemt Time Crisis 4, it has been released in 2006.


Time Crisis is a three-dimensional on-rails light gun shooter that puts players in the role of special agent Richard Miller as he infiltrates an island to rescued a hostage. The original arcade version utilises a light gun with recoil function and a foot pedal. In the PlayStation version, players may use the GunCon/G-Con 45 light gun peripheral or alternatively use a standard controller to navigate a moveable crosshair.

The game is best known for its introduction of the cover system, which allows players to hide from attacks. During the game, the player will hide behind some cover, where they will be unable to shoot enemies. By holding down the foot pedal (or pressing a button in the console version), the player will emerge from their cover and are able to fire at their enemies. Players can shoot six bullets at a time, after which they must take cover again by releasing the foot pedal in order to reload. Whilst out of cover, players will be vulnerable to certain attacks such as direct shots, knives, missiles and various obstacles, and will lose a life if they are hit, though additional lives may be gained through skilled play. Players must also face against a ticking clock, which can be replenished by clearing each section or shooting certain enemies quickly. If the player loses all of their lives or runs out of time, the game ends. They may continue if they have any remaining credits, although in the PlayStation version, they will need to resume from the beginning of the current area as opposed to where they left off. The game consists of three stages, each split up into three areas and a boss battle.

The arcade version consists of two modes, Story Mode and Timed Mode. In Story Mode, players play through each stage whilst progressing through the story with limited lives. At the end of the game, players are ranked on their completion time and performance. In Timed Mode, players select a single stage and are given unlimited lives to try and clear it as quickly as possible. The PlayStation version features an original side-story in which Richard must stop a weapons dealer named Kantaris. This mode features numerous routes that the player will take depending on how quickly they clear certain areas, culminating in one of three final stages that have different outcomes depending on whether or not the player manages to defeat Kantaris at the end before she escapes.

Besides pioneering the 3D cover system, Time Crisis has also been cited, alongside Virtua Cop, as an influence on the seminal first-person shooter GoldenEye 007. [1]


All of the time crisis games can be played on a modern TV now with the right emulator on a PC.