Video Game: TimeSplitters
Welcome to a world where one man who resembles Vin Diesel
may waltz about through time and shoot things. The TimeSplitters
series are a series of first person shooting games. The storyline has been given increased focus with each game, but generally, what one should focus on is shooting and blowing stuff up.
After Rare did GoldenEye
for the Nintendo 64 most of the core team left: directors David Doak and Steven Ellis, a majority of the developers and also the composer. They founded Free Radical Design and produced TimeSplitters
. The series can basically be summed up as Golden Eye
with a cup of Rule of Cool
, a dash of Rule of Funny
, and loads of monkeys
, all turned Up to Eleven
. Very fast paced and lots of fun.
Within the games are numerous other features, such as a scoreboard, multiplayer, map makers, co-op, and a challenge mode. The games often have many characters, ranging from Vin
—er, Cortez to giant Gingerbread men and, of course, monkeys. Awful lot of monkeys in here
The games in the series include:
- TimeSplitters: Exclusive for the PlayStation 2 (was intended to be on the Nintendo GameCube as well, but Free Radical could not obtain a developers kit). Short missions and lack of story (unless you read the manual). Loved for its fast pace and multiplayer, but was criticized for long loading times and lack of story.
- TimeSplitters 2: The sequel basically did everything the first game did, only better. A better story involving time crystals, a war, and many characters. More varied missions with actual objectives. The multiplayer added even more characters and levels. The game itself was closer to GoldenEye, to the point of being considered the Spiritual Successor.
- TimeSplitters: Future Perfect: The Magnum Opus of the series. WAY deeper story, more characters, more upgrades, more comedy. However it was now more like a standard FPS and wasn't as fast-paced as the second game, although much more varied. Had the same awesome multiplayer and online capabilities, now with even bigger maps.
- TimeSplitters 4: In production. The status on this game is unknown after Free Radical Design went belly-up as a result of the recession and the horrible response to their PS3-exclusive title Haze. They were subsequently bought out by by Crytek. It is not known how the story will unfold or if there will even be one, as Future Perfect conclusively wrapped up the three-game long saga. The studio formerly known as Free Radical has announced it is publisher shopping for a sequel, and if publishers aren't interested in the TimeSplitters name we may wind up with a Spiritual Successor instead. Crytek has also stated interest in doing a 4th game, making it a matter of "when". However, On September 5, 2011 it was revealed that this installment of the franchise was in Indefinite Postponement. Fan campaigns have since appeared to convince Crytek to make the game, including one ran by the Voice Actor for series protagonist Cortez. In the meantime...
- TimeSplitters Rewind: A fanmade "Best Of" Updated Re-release being developed by a 25-man team with the approval of Crytek UK and Crytek Frankfurt. This game aims to capture all the best moments of the trilogy with the benefit of modern technology (specifically CryEngine 3). The game is planned to initially ship with multiplayer only, although the team hopes to eventually be able to add both the singleplayer and co-op campaigns from the first 2 games.
Levels tended to consist of:
- A MacGuffin
- A random time period
- A person from said time period
- A bunch of things to shoot between the MacGuffin and the person, and a bunch of weapons from said time period to shoot them with
Later games would place less emphasis upon the MacGuffin
, though it was still present, and have additional objectives.
Contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Several. Corporal Hart springs to mind, and Amy Chen.
- Adventurer Outfit
- Affably Evil:
- Khallos, definitely in Future Perfect. His TimeSplitters 2 biography tells us that he has a lot of trouble with people making fun of him, claiming that he wears the eyepatch just to look cool, and that his real name is Archibald. Most of his villainy is implied to be petty vengeance toward such detractors.
- Jacob Crow. His goal is achieving eternal life. All of his villainy is just a side-effect of his careless methods of going about his research. He's mostly just an ignorant moron.
- A.K.A.-47: This became more widespread as the series wore on. While the first game allowed use of the Uzi, M16 and Mauser Pistol, Future Perfect ended with the Machine Gun, Soviet Rifle and Kruger 9mm.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Electrotool in TimeSplitters 2. It's a weapon that fired a beam of electricity at your opponent. It sounds cool, but it doesn't do that much damage. The only use for it is during story mode where it's required for a story objective, and it can stun Chassisbots.
- Badass: Many of the main characters. Cortez and Corp. Hart springs to mind. But also guys like Great White Hunter Captain Ash. Oh and don't forget Badass Cyborg. His description is just: He's the meanest, the leanest and the badass machinest.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: The biography of Stumpy, a midget clown in TimeSplitters 2:
"Stumpy is the adopted son of Sergio the Magnificent. The strongman despairs of Stumpy's errant nature and malicious pranks, but hopes in his heart that one day Stumpy will grow up to be a little taller."
- Bathos: In the form of an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment. In the scene, Cortez and Amy Chen had just fought their way through the U-Genix security forces and are preparing to attack the secret laboratory when the following exchange happens:
Amy Chen: This should take us to Crow's secret lab!
Cortez: Gragh! I'm ready! (presses elevator button a few times)
Amy Chen: I pressed it already!
Cortez: Yeah, right...gragh... (watches slow-moving elevator light) So...been with the agency long?
Amy Chen: Um, yeah. Uh, three...three years in May.
Cortez: Huh. (beat) You get dental?
Amy Chen: Yeah...yeah...
Cortez: Huh, that's good...(they both shift around uncomfortably)
- Big Bad: Jacob Crow.
- BFG: The series has lots of them. A flamethrower (where people set on fire run around), rocket launcher, homing rocket launcher, minigun... Well you name it!
- Bloodless Carnage: Timesplitters 1 and 2 have no blood at all, making them a bit more family-friendly than FP
- Body of Bodies: "The Creature" or "Princess" from Future Perfect.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Khallos revels in it.
- Broad Strokes: Future Perfect tends to ignore or alter many things from Timesplitters 2. A few examples would be:
- Harry Tipper went from policeman to secret agent earlier in Future Perfect, and was apparently never possessed by Cortez, as Cortez does not recognize him.
- The TS2 and TSFP versions of Jo-Beth Casey are vastly different in appearance and personality, and exist several decades apart.
- Cortez himself looks rather different, and the ship he arrives in at the beginning of the game looks nothing like the ship he escaped in at the end of Timesplitters 2.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Khallos and Crow.
- Catch Phrase: "Time to split!" "Dammit!"
- The former usually getting a confused or creeped out reaction, the latter once being shouted so loudly that, despite being shouted in the 22nd century could be heard in the 1960s.
- Chekhov's Gun: Cortez finds a dart gun in the You Genius, U-Genix level in Future Perfect... it turns out to be the weapon that one-shots the mutants in said level.
- Chivalrous Pervert:
* The characters are looking down an incredibly deep and dark ladder, with the sounds of something sloshing around and gurgling*
Jo-Beth: "You go first."
* camera pans down to Jo-Beth's incredibly short skirt*
Jo-Beth: * Stops, thinks, shrugs*
- City of Canals: Venice.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: In Future Perfect, R-110 becomes one after getting severely short-circuited.
R-110: "I'm pretending all these robots are humans! Robots are FAR superior to humans, you know! Humans go "Squish" at the slightest touch!"
R-110: "I'll catch up! Don't kill anything without me!"
R-110: "EAT MY LASER! EAT IT!" (which is quickly changed to "EAT MY PRIMITIVE PROJECTILE" as the time period shifts to the past).
- Comeback Mechanic: The "Monkey Assisstant" mode in multiplayer provides the player with the lowest score with an army of monkeys to help them out. There's also "Shrink mode" where the lower your score, the smaller you are and thus the harder you are to hit.
- Creative Closing Credits: In Future Perfect. Let's see... We have a muscled space-marine that bares a striking resemblance to Vin Diesel. He goes on an epic quest throughout time to destroy a race of evil alien mutants before they even come into being, and what does he do at the end? He goes to a disco club in the sixties and dances the night away.
- Creepy Cathedral: Notre Dame, no less.
- Deadpan Snarker: Anya, most of the time.
- Denser and Wackier: The plot of Future Perfect is overall silly compared to the more serious plot of the second game.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Oh, man, where to start. The series is packed full of little details which can be pretty obscure and aren't really documented. For a start, nearly every weapon in the original PS2 version of the game has some mode of alternate fire, though with varying usefulness. More prevalent examples throughout the series are objects in the level which make unique noises when you shoot them, such as the bags of money in the original, and a bell in a church and a gong in the later installments. Also, from the second onwards (don't know if there are any in the first), there are a lot of interactive objects that will do something, without any prompt, after pressing the action button near them. The awesome Disco map in Future Perfect is a great example of this, with interactive instruments, mics, even mixing desks. Also, if you see an organ in the game, you're pretty much guaranteed to be able to play it.
- Down in the Dumps: The Scrapyard, a futuristic robot dump that houses a massive complex underneath (only accessible in Assault).
- Drought Level of Doom: The Zombie Apocalypse level of Time Splitters: Future Perfect, The Mansion, derives most of its difficulty from the horde of walking dead and the perpetual concern of running out of shotgun ammo, of which there is little to speak of in the first place.
- Enemy Chatter: Used hilariously in Future Perfect, and in epic amounts. Such as the drunk guards
Drunk Russian: "I am best... Bestest guard!"
- Escort Mission: Fairly common, and in Future Perfect, often involves yourself!
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: be they cyborgs, ninjas or zombies. Monkeys are really the series face nowadays.
- Excuse Plot: The first game has barely any plot at all, and the little it has is barely related to the gameplay. The only story you get is a short blurb on the back of the game's box explaining that the Timesplitters were trapped in another dimension and escaped, and the story mode is a story mode in name only as the gameplay is nothing more than "find an item hidden somewhere in the stage and take it to a certain point", with the Timesplitters appearing for no good reason once you pick up the item, and the different stages being completely unrelated to each other.
- Fair Cop: Lt. Christine Malone, who ends up looking more like a cop-themed stripper in Future Perfect.
- Mary Beth Casey, Cyberfairy, and pretty much every female having very, er, high-caliber guns.
- Arial da Vinci moans orgasmically when you select her, and is dangerously close to naked.
- And Jo-Beth Casey in Future Perfect has a skirt that is basically a sleeve's worth of fabric held on by a belt.
- Fast Roping: The security guards in the "Breaking and Entering" mission of Future Perfect.
- Foreshadowing: There's actually subtle hints as to the true nature of the Timesplitters (finally revealed in the third game) dating all the way back to the plotless first entry.
- Fur Bikini: The Jungle Queen.
- Game-Breaking Bug:
- As nice as the level editor in Future Perfect is, it is notoriously glitchy. Certain characters, tile placements, and various other features are time-bomb crashes. Of course, some of the less dangerous glitches are useful for the level design, such as one-way passages, invisible walls, and even an entire 6th and 7th floor to build on.
- In the Mansion of Madness level, occasionally Jo-Beth Casey will suddenly become hostile toward you, shooting you on sight. And killing her nets you a game over. She'll stop once you get to the next checkpoint, but it can be difficult to get there when you have her blasting away at you.
- All three games suffer from occasional freezing, usually in the above mentioned mapmaker. The frequency of freezing seems to vary from disc to disc. It also tends to be more common in the GCN and Xbox ports, likely due to porting issues.
- Genre Throwback : In Future Perfect, just about every level is a pastiche of another fps.
- Time to Split: Doom (particularly Doom 3), Halo and other sci-fi space marine shooters
- Scotland the Brave: historical shooters, particularly around World War I, though it does include elements for the then-marketable craze of World War 2 shooters.
- The Russian Connection: James Bond and the Golden Eye 1997 video game adaptation.
- Mansion of Madness/What Lies Below: zombie games, especially the first Resident Evil.
- Breaking and Entering: stealthy and near-future shooters.
- You Genius, U-Genix: Half-Life with splashes of Doom 3
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- In the second 60's level in Future Perfect, Harry Tipper's radio callsign is 'Shower of gold'.
- "But first... it's time to get out my... big... weapon... *Snickers*"
- Groin Attack: Jo-Beth Casey gives Cortez a swift kick to the 'nads in Future Perfect. "You're no zombie!"
- Guns Akimbo:
- Most pistols, SMGs and assault rifles can be dual-wielded. Oddly enough, you have to pick up a specific weapon to dual-wield it; picking up two of the same exact weapon won't do.
- Taken to a simply silly degree in the second game, where you can dual wield shotguns. It's best not to ask how you reload them.
- In the first game you could dual-wield miniguns.
- Hacked by a Pirate: In What Lies Below, when Cortez checks the files on Crow's computer and the self-destruction sequence starts, an animation appears with Crow wagging his finger and the caption "You didn't say the magic word".
- Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Cortez travels all over the relatively recent past, but never gets involved with Hitler - the closest you get are Prussian goons from World War 1. It's probably for the best.
- Hotter and Sexier: By the third game, just about all the female characters would make innuendo or moan suggestively when selected. Even the robots.
- Idiot Ball: Cortez grabs this at the end of the You Genius U-Genix stage, when he explains to the main villain the plot of eternal life the main villain is attempting to succeed in before the main villain even knows of this plan, effectively meaning the attacks the main villain does against time are because Cortez explained the evil plot to the villain teaching him what to do in a stupid moment.
- Immortality Immorality: In Future Perfect, it's revealed the entire time war was the result of one man's obsession with discovering the secret of immortality.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: The Shrink powerup, as well as the Shrink gametype, can transform players into tiny, near-impossible-to-hit targets. Doubly effective if playing as a monkey.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Lady Jane.
- Lampshade Hanging: Done in some of Future Perfect's character descriptions, and probably elsewhere as well.
- Corporal Hart's presence in Future Perfect as a multiplayer character. She dies near the end of TimeSplitters 2, but her Future Perfect description lampshades her presence anyway, even stating that it should no longer a factor as you have completed Future Perfect's storyline, as it is required to unlock her, since the whole TimeSplitter war would have never happened to begin with... Then it asks why there is a Timesplitter character... Foreshadowing? Joke?
- Leitmotif: All over the place, but one that fits very well with this trope is the Astro Lander melody's opening notes, which appear in the NeoTokyo level (where the Astro Lander cartridge is found) and the MapMaker Industrial tileset (which borrows its aesthetic from part of NeoTokyo).
- Level Editor: A rare example in a console series. They even allowed you to create story missions with their own objectives and AI programming for enemies.
- Lighter and Softer: Future Perfect, in which cutscenes flesh out the characters more, and with much more humor.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: 64 in the first game, 126 in the second, and a whopping 150 in Future Perfect.
- Ludicrous Gibs: The mutants in the U-Genix level.
- Magic Skirt: Everyone except Jo-Beth Casey uses the "lots of shadow" type.
- Maniac Monkeys: The monkeys, of course.
- Missing Secret: In Timesplitters 2 the Gas Mask Mooks fought near the end of the Siberia level can never be unlocked. The same applies to one of the civilians in Chicago, and all the civilians in Neotokyo.
- More Dakka:
- The SPB-90 (much like Golden Eye 1997's RCP-90) from the second game has the highest firepower of any weapon in the game, is among the most powerful guns, has extremely high accuracy and a scope. Did I mention you can have two? Incidentally, it's based on the real-life P90.
- The Monkey Gun fires off 64 rounds (its entire clip) in a around 2 seconds. Using it properly has less to do with aiming at your opponent, and more to do with lining up two targets in a line.
- There is a simple exploit you can do in the original Timesplitters with the Pistol that makes it absolutely devastating. It delivers decent damage when used normally, however due to the fact that it fires as quickly as you press fire (R1) or secondary fire (R2), it is possible to fire extremely fast by alternating between the R1 and R2 buttons with a certain rapid rhythm, spending the entire clip in a couple of seconds. It also reloads very quickly, they are nearly pinpoint accurate and it is possible to dual wield them. With practice you'll be able to defeat any unfortunate foe who crosses anywhere near the center of your screen.
- The longer you hold the trigger with the Plasma Autorifle, the quicker the rate of fire becomes, until it finally overheats.
- Mooks, Elite Mooks: Yeah this game is made out of them. Different mooks for all the different time-periods, too!
- Narm: Cortez's Catch Phrase is regarded as this in-universe, frequently being met with blank stares and embarrassed silence.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: With monkeys! The third game has a Ninja Monkey, a Robot Monkey and a Zombie Monkey. They're all separate monkeys, but they're all playable characters that you can use side by side in arcade mode.
- 100% Completion: Besides the campaign you had both Arcade leagues and challenge modes to complete.
- Optional Stealth: In the second game some missions have an optional stealth objective. The Neo Tokyo level is the only one with a compulsory stealth objective (trailing a hacker) for every difficulty level.
- Pretty in Mink: Lady Jane
- Put on a Bus: The majority of the hero characters from the first Timesplitters never made it to the second game, and only Eight characters were in all three: Captain Ash, Harry Tipper, Chastity Detroit, The Badass Cyborg, Robofish, The Chinese Chef, The Gingerbread Man, and Duckman Drake.
- Rank Inflation: The challenges and arcade league matches have unlisted platinum medal targets to attain, in addition to the gold, silver, and bronze targets.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Played straight in TimeSplitters 2. Completely inverted in Time Splitters: Future Perfect, where the single-action revolver, although effective in the right hands, needs to be cocked between each shot.
- Robot Buddy: R-110 fits this during the last few levels of Future Perfect.
- Robot War: Differs from the usual norm in there were humans and robots on both sides.
- Rule of Fun: Dozens of the playable characters. Examples include a giant sock, a six-foot severed hand with giant matchsticks for arms and legs, a man-sized floating whale in a bowler hat surrounded by a school of fish, and four types of monkeys.
- Running Gag: Each level in Future Perfect (except the first and last levels as well as Something to Crow About) has a drunk guy hidden in it somewhere. Some are hidden; some are on your path.
- Skyward Scream: DAMMIT!
- Speedrun: The premise of the first game's campaign.
- Shout-Out: Look here.
- The Sixties: The levels involving Harry Tipper in Future Perfect fits this trope.
- Sniping Mission: Common in Future Perfect, especially the occasional annoying Escort Mission variety.
- Stable Time Loop: Played straight in various vignettes throughout the third game, but averted for the overall plot arc.
- Stalking Mission: Neo-Tokyo. Considered a Scrappy Level as a result.
- Stock British Phrases: With a Victorian/Edwardian twist. Intended as parody, since the developers are in fact British.
- Subverted Catchphrase: Just before leaving Jo-Beth Casey for U-Genix:
It's time to s- [beat]
I gotta go.
- Taxidermy Terror: Future Perfect has a taxidermied moose head in one room of a creepy old mansion that comes out of the wall with a zombie body as a mini-boss.
- This Banana Is Armed: The Brick may sound stupid at first, but has a tendency to do a massive amount of damage.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: The Grenadiers.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Comes with the territory.
- Token Minority:
- A member of the Jones family makes an appearance in every game.
- Chastity Detroit, one of a handful of characters to appear in all three games.
- Tron Lines: Some of the future levels, and the virtual-reality tilesets in Map Maker.
- Troperiffic: The games, particularly TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, are basically built around every trope, fad and cliché you can find. Each time period is packed with as many staples of its fictional genre as possible.
- Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: See Bathos above.
- The Unfought: There are plenty of characters who seem like they should have appeared in a certain level, but don't. Examples:
- Capt. Pain, Trooper White, and Trooper Grey are absent from Siberia. Trooper White's role is instead filled by an unplayable Palette Swap of him.
- You never fight any Gargoyles in Notre Dame.
- Ample Sally and Lean Molly are referred to as members of The Colonel's gang, but don't appear in Wild West.
- There are no Dinosaurs in Aztec.
- Doctor Peabody and Nurse Gulag are only seen on propaganda posters during The Russian Connection.
- Nurses Tourniquet and Sputum's absences in the mansion levels are Handwaved by a computer log claiming zombies "Ate all the nurses".
- Neophytes Constance and Lucian can only seen on advertising screens in the distance in the first section Breaking and Entering. Strangely enough, Constance's model is used for the Spoiled Brat in The Russian Connection.
- Envirosuit and Tin-Legs Tommy aren't in U-genius, U-Genix, you'll also only ever fight Female Inceptors.
- The black colored Instetick model is neither fought in Machine Wars nor in Something To Crow About.
- John Smith is fought plenty of times in the last few levels, but his brother Jim Smith is nowhere to be seen.
- Unwinnable: Toward the end of Something to Crow About, you must use the Electrotool to power segments of a Hard Light energy bridge. If you run out of Electrotool ammo halfway across, you'll be stranded on a divider between the segments with no way to go but down, down, down.
- Updated Re-release: Timesplitters Rewind is a free PC remake of all three game's multiplayer modes. Due to technical limitations, split-screen play will not be included.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Anya, through the Temporal Uplink.
- Wall of Weapons: "Wow, this is such a guys' room!"
- What the Hell, Player?: A few times. Using the research equipment on the mutants in U-Genius U-Genix and exposing the scientist to tests in What Lies Below are probably the two biggest examples. You can also shoot a monkey Khallos has locked in a jail cell. Anya will flip if you take a pause from stopping a nuclear missile launching and igniting a war between the US and USSR... to play a slot machine.
- You Already Changed The Past:
- This is done at least once a time period with a minimum of a future Cortez and a past Cortez (and sometimes a few more Cortezes as well). The interesting part is you'll find your future self which will save you from some disaster while you simultaneously fulfill a certain situation, then you'll go back in time and commit the act the future self did to save you while a past version of yourself does the mindless task you did already at that point in time. Regardless, it seems Cortez has already traveled back into the past by the time his past self arrives. This counts for the main villain as well.
- This is also subverted at the end of TimeSplitters: Future Perfect where during the game Future Cortez and Past Cortez meet constantly, but then suddenly when you fight Crow, Anya has you fight alongside yourself. This wouldn't be weird if A) you are future Cortez and you never play as Past Cortez in this fight. B) after finishing the fight you go back to the future and the time splitters are destroyed. C) The world suddenly becomes lush and green. This effectively means that time travel does not have to be a case of "You Already Changed the Past" and more or less a choice of whether you already have or if you're going to screw the rules.