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Time Traveler (DVD)

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Time Traveler (DVD)
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Time Traveler
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ObjectID: 122224
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Time Traveler
North American DVD edition
Rel Date: 2001-11-10
Publisher: Digital Leisure, Inc.
PlayStation 2, Xbox
Developer: Digital Leisure, Inc.
Media: DVD
Rating: (Not Rated)
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Description Edit | History

Time Traveler or Hologram Time Traveler was a stereographic laserdisc FMV arcade game released in 1991 by Sega and designed by Dragon's Lair creator Rick Dyer. It is called the "World's First Holographic Video Game" because it uses a special arcade cabinet that projects the game's characters. The holographic effect is an optical illusion using a huge curved mirror and a CRT television set.

In 2001, a non-stereographic version was published by Digital Leisure in PC CD-ROM and standard DVD formats. Both versions suffer greatly from missing the mirror equipment the game is designed to be played with. These home versions try to simulate the mirror reflection of the original arcade cabinet through a pair of 3D glasses but it's nowhere near the same effect as the original arcade. Compounded with a lack of proper controls and FMV's decline from popularity many years before, the game loses most of its appeal with today's modern gamer.

As with other Digital Leisure DVD releases, the game's box advertises being "Playstation 2 [or Xbox] Compatible" on the cover to attract console owners. Bonus features include interviews with creator Rick Dyer about the making of Time Traveler, as well as some of the actors in the game. It also shows behind the scenes footage from some of the scenes without the special effects.

The DVD version lacks the mirror equipment used by the arcade version to achieve its volumetric display. Instead, it includes a pair of stereostopic 3D glasses as well as an alternate game video that adds a whirlpool-like moving background to provide an illusory stereoscopic effect.

To simulate the actual props that were part of the arcade machine, the DVD version of Time Traveler has pre-rendered geometrical shapes inserted to the video. It also incorporates a grid-like background which was not present in the original.
The arcade version has separate buttons for action and time reversal commands, whereas the DVD uses the same button for both.
In the DVD version, time reversal cubes are free. In the arcade version the player has to insert more coins.
The DVD version uses a default of 5 starting lives, whereas in the arcade version the number depended on internal settings of the arcade system.
The arcade version uses an LCD alphanumeric display to show game information like score, lives left, etc. The DVD version doesn't keep track of score, but does so for lives and time reversal cubes and shows the player's remaining lives in a still frame between levels.
Since DVD remotes are not designed for the fast input video games require, the game's responsiveness wildly varies depending on the DVD hardware used to play it.
The DVD version superimposes symbols which represent the action read by the remote and signals the player when to enter the next move. The real arcade game does not do this.
The time frame for player response in the DVD version of the game is often out of sync with sequences of the video game. The original game footage gives visual cues that prompt the player's next move. The lack of sync allows insufficient time for the player to respond; the fault occurs just before the cues appear on the screen. By that time, it is too late for the player to successfully complete the move. The original arcade game does not suffer from this issue.
The arcade applies sound beeps of different tones if a right or wrong action is selected, a standard feature in most laserdisc games. The DVD version does not.
Vulcor's "Hellgate" mini game plays considerably more frequently in the DVD port. In the arcade version this video sequence does not appear during the beginning levels and it doesn't play as often meaning a player could complete consecutive levels without watching this sequence. In the DVD version, Vulcor's game of chance shows up early on and plays almost every time a player finishes a level.
The DVD version has a programming bug that allows the player to skip directly to higher levels.
The arcade version has two easter eggs: Pressing both game buttons while pressing down on the joystick with a credit on the machine shows Rick Dyer dancing around with his son on his back. Doing the same procedure while pressing up on the joystick shows the game's development team.

Source: Wikipedia, "Time Traveler (video game)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.

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