Video Game / Killing Time

Killing Time is a horror-themed FPS video game with Full Motion Video components, developed by Studio 3DO. Though meant at first as an exclusive for their 3DO Interactive Multiplayer console, it was later ported (with substantial changes) to the Windows 95 PC platform in 1996 by Intrepid Software and to the Macintosh when the 3DO system failed to meet sales expectations. The PC version has significantly improved level design and controls as well as higher resolution weapons, but the FMVs are significantly more compressed and pixelated, and the enemy sprites are also much simpler (comparable in quality to Doom or Duke Nukem 3D) in contrast to the high-resolution live-action sprites of the 3DO version.

The player controls an ex-Egyptology Student, trapped on a fictional 1930s version of Matinicus Isle, Maine, within the estate of wealthy heiress Tess Conway. In 1932, during the night of the Summer Solstice. Tess, while attempting to use a mystical Ancient Egyptian Water-Clock which purportedly grants eternal life, vanished, along with many of her society friends. The player's objective is to find, and destroy, the Water-Clock, and discover the secrets of the estate, all while beating back the many horrors that now occupy the island from beyond the grave.

Killing Time, despite its general first-person shooter gameplay is unique, especially for its time. Throughout the game the plot is slowly revealed to the player through numerous ghostly Cutscenes which are integrated into the game level geometry, all of them performed by a cast of professional actors. Unlike other games that deal in the mythology of other cultures, the producers of Killing Time relayed accurate knowledge of Egyptian lore in the story. Also unique for its time, the game even includes several songs written exclusively for the game along with an impressive sound track.

The PC version of the game was only available via digital distribution on the obscure Zoom Platform website for a couple years, but as of November 2016 is now available on GOG.com and Steam as well.

Needs Wiki Magic Love.


This Video Game contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Subverted; the mansion does have a rather extensive network of sewers, yes, but the ceilings in it are low, you can't avoid Mucking in the Mud, the network is a veritable labyrinth, and hordes of mutated beetles and toads await to fling dung and spit toxic grime at you at every turn. As in much of the rest of the island, having a lot of space around you doesn't mean you'll have much room to maneuver; woe to you if you happen to be claustrophobic.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Definitely comes into play with some of the UpperClassTwits here.
    • Duncan esteemed himself a "businessman" and yet was little better than a Nouveau Riche petty arms smuggler and bootlegger.
    • Tess, with all her money, was constantly having wild and sordid parties and casually using people and tossing them aside, including Duncan. She also stole the water clock, and was using it to achieve her megalomaniacal purpose of attaining godlike immortality at the end.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In a Game-Over Man kind of way, if you get the Downer Ending; might count as Have a Nice Death, or as A Fate Worse Than Death depending on how you interpret it.
  • Big Bad: Tess Conway.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Like most games from the early era of FPS, weapons don't need to be reloaded and can be fired continuously until you run out of ammo. Particularly noticeable on the revolver you start the game with, especially since most enemies require several bullets to kill.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: In the PC version, the final boss, Tess as the goddess Isis, is this, capable of soaking way more damage than any other enemy in the game and essentially being a typical FPS final boss fight.
  • Easy Logistics: For all the Resources Management Gameplay you'll be doing, there sure is an awful lot of ammunition lying around. The story justifies this somewhat, however, as Duncan is shown to have been using the mansion and the island as a storage space for all the weapons caches his arms-smuggling associates were shipping to him.
  • French Maid: In the PC version, Tess' manor has plenty of sexy French maids running around, though they've been turned into succubus-like demons. There are also a lot of portly zombie Scullery Maids running around also (the 3DO version only seems to have the portly zombie Scullery Maids).
  • Gatling Good: The tommy gun tends to get good results if you can keep it trained on the enemy.
  • Giant Mook: The PC version has giant bruisers that appear alongside the regular tommygun-wielding undead gangsters. They're larger than normal and can take about 2-3 times as much damage as most standard enemies, but are armed only with their fists.
  • Implacable Man: At the very end of the game, you end up releasing Duncan, now transformed into the Avatar of Set. A handful of shotgun blasts will put him down, but nothing you can do will keep him down for very long. The climax of the game involves him chasing you throughout the mansion as you try to find an alternative method of getting rid of him.
  • Kill It with Fire: A fairly good tactic if you can find the flamethrower and keep it fueled.
  • Monster Clown: A number of them appear as enemies inside the mansion. Apparently Tess hired them as entertainment for the big Summer Solstice party.
  • Mooks but No Bosses: The 3DO version has no real boss fights, other than the final chase with Set at the end, and even he can be (temporarily) taken down with just a handful of shotgun blasts. The PC version adds a Final Boss battle with Tess transformed into the goddess Isis.
  • Multiple Endings: Only in the PC and Macintosh versions. The 3DO version only has a Downer Ending.
  • Not Hyperbole: In one of the ghost flashbacks Tess jokes about locking up the Women's Temperance League (anti-alcohol activists) in the wine cellar if they try to crash her party. When you go into the wine cellar, you'll find it full of angry old Temperance League spinsters trying to kill you. Also doubles as an Ironic Hell for them.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The shotgun is arguably your best friend throughout this game. Ammo for it is plentiful and it kills most things with just a solid hit or two.
  • Shown Their Work: This game shows accurate knowledge of Egyptian lore.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: At the end of the game, the only way to defeat Set is to summon Tess Conway, now the Avatar of Isis. She blows Set/Duncan away with a (presumably god-empowered) tommy gun, then decides to reward you for all your hard work... by having you join her army of the dead. In the PC and Macintosh version, you can politely decline her offer with a few dozen grenades to the face.
  • Universal Ammunition: The Colt Peacemaker revolver and the Tommy Gun both share the same ammo; the devs were apparently unaware that the .45 Colt used by the Peacemaker and the .45 ACP used by the Tommy Gun are not at all the same type of bullet (to be fair, this was way before Wikipedia was a thing).
  • X Meets Y: Back in the 90's, one magazine review positively described the game as "the bastard child of Doom and The 7th Guest".

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/KillingTime