“It began when Gylend, the terrifying conqueror of galactic space turned his might towards Earth. Yohan, Ben and five of the Earth command troops fought to penetrate the invaders stronghold and to discover the source of his power. But before they could destroy it, Gylend discovered them. A sinister smile crossed his face and with a blink, the five troopers were instantly turned into gleaming red energy balls and flung into the endless void of time”
“You must guide Yohan and Ben through the past and future to rescue their friends. Survive and you’ll face the final battle with Gylend. You have the skill, the weaponry. Win and the world will be free! Fail, and the future will be no more!”
Well if that doesn’t wet your appetite i dont know what will! Time Soldiers on the Sega Master System is a port from the arcade. It was developed by Alpha Denshi and ported to the Sega Master System in 1989
I only discovered this little gem in my game collection recently when looking for something new to play and to my amazement it was pretty darn good.
Time Soldiers is a top down run and gun game. You start with threes lives and your player can shoot in eight directions as in games like The Chaos Engine or SAS Combat (An old ZX Spectrum favourite) It can be played in a two player simultaneous mode as well as in a single player game. I always find two player games of this type particularly enjoyable as its great when you can both have a strategy to cover each other, take a side of the screen each or quite simply laugh at the other player getting stuck behind the scenery and getting themselves killed.
The game consists of five levels, the Primitive Age, The Age of Rome, The World Wars, The Age of War and Future World. You must travel to find each of the five command troops using your “D Scanner” device.
At the beginning of each level, the D Scanner device tells you which level the current earth trooper is being held. Whilst entering the warp you may find yourself on a completely different level to the earth trooper so you must progress through and face a mid level boss.
After defeating the mid level boss you then get the choice to enter the Warp available or continue past it if the earth trooper is on this level.
If you choose not to enter the warp you must continue through the level until you fight the end of level boss. Jumping into the warp will transport you to a new level.
Yeah this scene is really tough to capture without using an emulator!
As you navigate through a level destroying the era themed enemies you will come across power-ups left behind. The amount of power ups you have gained is indicated by a bar at the top left of the screen. These are really handy to save up and use on the end level bosses. End level bosses vary in attack and weak spot so its trial and error the first time you fight them.
Rome and prehistoric end level bosses
Defeating an end level boss reveals one of the five red orb which turns into a lost earth trooper.
Hurray, only four more to rescue before fighting the final boss. The game returns you to the D Scanner which has picked up the second earth trooper which in turn sends you hurtling through the warp zone to find him. Although the levels have the same theme, they do change the layout and introduce different enemies on the second, third and fourth playthrough. This really does add value to the game and which in my opinion makes this a worthwhile game in the Sega Master System catalogue. The developers could have easily just opted for players to playthrough the exact same levels and just make the enemies tougher to beat. This is one of the main reasons to pick this game up and give it a try.
The music and sounds are nothing special in the game (no Xenon 2) but do the job for this type of game. Generally though if you are playing Time Soldiers in two player mode you will probably be talking to your team mate or shouting “bad words!” at the enemies 🙂
Ill finish off by saying Time Soldiers is a surprisingly good game for the Sega Master System. This is definitely worth picking up for the two player mode alone. There were other ports of Time Soldiers also available on other formats although i cannot say if id recommend those versions of course without playing them.
Thank you very much for reading and please take a look at the other posts on VGR2016.