Time Gal

 

In this special series on the Pioneer LaserActive, guest author Taylor Pinson will be discussing some of the games released on the Sega PAC, an add-on for the LaserActive that could play Genesis, Sega CD, and Mega LD titles.

 

timegalcover

At least the gloves will keep her hands warm.

 

PLAYERS: 1

PUBLISHER: Pioneer/Taito

DEVELOPER: HighTech Lab. Japan

GENRE: FMV

DIFFICULTY: Moderate

RELEASE DATE: 03/25/95 – (JP)

 

The LaserActive gets another port of an 80’s laserdisc arcade game, and I’ll be darned if it isn’t the best game on the system. From the moment the game boots up and you hear that wonderfully cheesy synthesized intro music (complete with Sega Genesis-style fart bass!) you know you’re in for something special.

 

1

A lovely swan dive into the very fabric of time itself.

 

Time Gal is another quick-time FMV game like Triad Stone and Road Prosecutor. Like the latter, the story gets told in the opening/attract mode: Evil McBadguy steals a time machine, forcing our unlucky hero, Time Gal, to chase after him through various points in time. All while avoiding numerous obstacles like cavemen, dinosaurs that sound like Godzilla, WWII, evil robots, and the Grim Reaper.

 

2

And, in a very special guest appearance, Richard Branson.

 

The animation/art style in Time Gal is gorgeous, especially compared to Road Prosecutor and Triad Stone. The game is incredibly well-animated throughout, especially the many cartoonish deaths of our hero. The game’s controls/input response times are also excellent, making Time Gal feel tough enough to be a challenge, but not frustratingly so.

 

3

She’ll be fine.

 

Time Gal lacks the mirrored sequences of Road Prosecutor, but adds a couple of its own little twists to make things interesting. Each level is divided up into different time periods, which based off my playthroughs of the game, appear in a random order. As the game progresses, it will sometimes stop showing you the button prompts, forcing you to rely on the yellow flashing visual cues on screen instead, which helps add to the challenge. There are also moments when Time Gal will use a special timestop power, where you are forced to choose between three different options on how to proceed before time restarts a few seconds later. These options are all in Japanese (the game was only released in Japan), which makes things tougher for someone who doesn’t know the language.

 

4

Yes, that’s the one, why not.

 

In addition to the LaserActive port, Time Gal was also released on the Sega CD (the only time it was released in the US) and in a two pack in Japan on the Sega Saturn with Ninja Hayate (also released in the US on the Sega CD as Revenge of the Ninja).

Like all of the other FMV games on the Sega CD, Time Gal looks washed out and blurry, especially when compared to the LaserActive version. The Sega CD version also seems much harder to me. It does have an equally catchy opening theme song, though, and it is in English, so you can actually understand what the different choices are in the time stop segments. I haven’t tried the Saturn version, so I can’t compare it to the others.

 

5

The image here is significantly clearer than the Sega CD port.

 

If you like the FMV genre, Time Gal is – dare I say it – the LaserActive’s finest hour. This makes it all the more disappointing to learn it’s one of the rarest and most expensive titles on the system. The Sega CD version is much cheaper and easier to find, but it’s also inferior in nearly every way. Still, if you don’t have the money, time, or patience to track down the LaserActive version, you might still have some fun with it.

 

A for the LaserActive

BONUS GRADE: C for the Sega CD

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Time Gal

  1. It appears WolfTeam redrew the graphics to fit the Genesis palette versus the dithering effect on most every other FMV game on the Sega CD, so the graphics are going to be as good as they can get; I think they put a lot of care into the port. IMHO finding a physical copy of the Sega CD version was notably tougher than the other cardboard boxed CD games. Hello from near Austin, TX!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t mean to knock WolfTeam’s work on the Sega CD ports. They did an admirable job and probably got the best they could out of the Sega CD’s hardware (that color pallet must have been brutal to deal with), it’s just that the LaserActive one just blows it out of the water in terms of visuals (which it should, based on the hardware involved and the money someone would have had to shell out to play it).

      Oddly enough, out of the 4 Wolf Team FMV games, Road Avenger was the most troublesome to track down for me. Finding disc only copies was easy, but finding one with that darn box took me years, and even then it still ended up being a pretty beat up one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yea I love this game. It’s easily my favorite “Dragons Lair” style game. I would love to play it with LD powered visuals. The animation is fantastic and it has a great sense of humor. Part of the fun is dying in different places and watching all the different death animations which time gal reverts to chibi style. Some are hilarious. I even like how they threw in a haunted time period. Hey whatever. It’s funny. Fairly challenging but not unfair. The time stop mechanic is interesting. It’s my favorite FMV Sega CD game, followed by Road Avenger and then Revenge of the Ninja. All three are fun and over the top though. Classic 80’s Japanese animation. Had I ever owned a laseracrive this may have been the only game I owned. Sega CD version still worth playing. I believe that one they got running full screen visuals at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Also seems a shame (but makes perfect sense) that the Laseractives best games are multi-format.
    Agree with the above posts I thought Wolfteam did a great job with the Mega CD Ports, especially compared to some of the grainy FMV we were subjected to.
    For me the Sega CD was always at it’s finest when using it’s scaling and rotation abilities (Batman Returns) or making great use of the the storage medium (Final Fight CD). Unfortunately it’s remembered mainly for the FMV stuff but that but a portion of it’s library.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you’ve hit a run of good LD games Taylor. About time your efforts were rewarded with something fun to play.

    I never played it, but I remember Time Gal being pushed pretty heavily on Mega CD. Demos were on constant rotation in the couple of shops I used to frequent and I distinctly remember the full page ads in EGM etc. I always wrote it off by dint of being an FMV game but now I’m (slightly) curious.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave Your Mark!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s