Video Game: Time Traveler
, also known as "Hologram Time Traveler
", is a stereographic laser disc 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 utilizes 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.
Unlike its radical design, the game's plot is stereotypical of many video games, with a hero (in this case an American Old West cowboy named Marshal Gram) required to save the universe (from meddling renegade scientist turned evil time lord Vulcor, who's found a way to manipulate and thus distort...time itself). Basically the player needed to pursue a villain across time through the ages overcoming various obstacles along the way (while undoing all the damage done by Valcor). The game's action sequences were filmed in San Diego, California, with forty actors and a production crew of about a hundred people. The game takes place across many iconic settings from different time periods. All the game's footage was shot as if it were a live action movie. Few props were used during filming as the actors had to imagine fantastical locations while being filmed in front of a green screen stage. Some actors performed multiple roles, for example, the same actor played an obese woman (called "amazon queen" in the bonus DVD features) and a chainsaw wielding character. The game's special effects, music and character voices were later added at a special effects studio in Carlsbad, California.
In 2001, a non-stereographic version was published by Digital Leisure in PC CD-ROM and standard DVD format. Both versions suffer greatly from missing the mirror equipment the game is designed to be played with.
The game was considered a commercial success, pulling an average of one million dollars per week during its peak at the arcades, but the format was short lived and didn't revolutionize the arcade industry.
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