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Video Game / Time Crisis

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Sometime, somewhere, someone is plotting a government overthrow... before the one who revived the First-Person Shooter genre.
— WAIT —

Admit it: whenever you play those Light Gun Games, the absurd amount of enemies that constantly chip away your health/life makes you believe The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard. How are you ever supposed to stop this onslaught? Enter Time Crisis by Bandai Namco Entertainment, a series of Light Gun Games for the arcades, now in its fifth iteration. Its main distinguishing feature is its use of a foot pedal: the player holds the pedal down to attack; when the pedal is released, the player hides behind a nearby wall/tree/bench/other objects and is safe from attack, but can't retaliate. This means that, unlike most light gun games, any attack can be dodged without harm even once it's been launched, although the reaction time you have can be punishingly low.

Each game follows a different set of characters as they gun their way through unrelated international crises. The only two constants are the "VSSE" (Vital Situation Swift Execution), a Heroes "R" Us organization, and "Wild Dog", a freelance mercenary who serves as each villain's Dragon, despite blowing himself up in increasingly impressive pyrotechnics each time.

As one might expect, time is an important part of the series. A timer is constantly running down to zero, being replenished each time players clear a "room" of enemies. In the first game, the timer was the main challenge: it had strict limits, and you fail the mission if time ran out, forcing you to the continue screen if you want to continue. Later games toned it down considerably: only one life is taken, and the limits are much easier to deal with. In fact, they mostly just prevent excessive turtling and make sure the player eventually dies even if they never press the pedal.

The primary instalments in the Time Crisis series are:

  • Time Crisis - Released for the arcades in 1995, the game puts you in the shoes of Richard Miller known as the "One Man Army" infiltrating a castle to rescue a president's kidnapped daughter from terrorists. It was ported one year later onto the Sony PlayStation, bundled with Namco's signature Light Gun peripheral "GunCon" and featured an original campaign which had Richard infiltrating a hotel that is a front for an arms factory that sells weapons to terrorists.

  • Time Crisis II - Appearing in arcades in 1997, this game sees two new protagonists, Keith Martin and Robert Baxter, keep Neodyne Industries from launching a nuclear satellite into space with the aim to Take Over the World. This instalment is where the game began setting up two cabinets hooked together for two-player co-operative play. Both players go through the levels at slightly different vantage points on the action and sections with more pronounced differences (one player on the ground, the another on a railing above). As an added bonus, a red reticule used by a Mook is visualized as a direct hit to players, allowing them to know exactly when they should let go of the pedal to dodge (which wasn't present in the first, another reason why the original was so strict). A remake with enhanced graphics and audio was released in 2001 for the Sony PlayStation 2, compatible with "GunCon 2". While there is no original campaign, the game does feature a shooting gallery and mission modes.

  • Time Crisis 3 - For this release in 2002 in arcades, once more putting you into the shoes of two new agents, Alan Dunaway and Wesley Lambert, who raid a recently occupied country to prevent the enemy army from using missiles to target resistance bases and targeting other countries. Players have the ability to use extra weapons in the form of a machine gun, shotgun and grenade launcher, which were more powerful than the default handgun, but had limited ammunition. To refill them, players had to shoot a specific yellow Mook. This game would also be ported onto the PlayStation 2 a year later, featuring an original campaign that has the player play as Alicia, the female resistance member who helps the two agents during the main story from her point of view from it.

  • Time Crisis 4 - Released in 2006 for arcades, the story once again features two new agents, Giorgio Bruno and Evan Bernard, investigating a Renegade Splinter Faction of the US military that uses insect-based biological weapons and wishes to nuke the U.S. The game forces players to take part in "Multi-Screen Scenarios", where near-endless Mooks come and attack from different directions (until either the players meet a win condition like running out a clock, defeating all enemies, or escape a trap in a limited amount of time; or fail usually by allowing the barrier defending them get destroyed). The game was ported onto the Sony PlayStation 3 with the rather awkward "GunCon 3" bundled a year later. In the original PS3 release, a new campaign was added focusing on Captain Rush, the U.S soldier who aids the two agents during the main game, and his exploits during the story where he wasn't with him. Unlike the last original modes, most of the original levels were treated more as standard First Person Shooters where you move with the controller on the GunCon and shoot with the gun.

  • Time Crisis 5 - Released for international release in March 2015 for arcades, the story sees new agents, Luke O'Neil and Marc Godart, under the mentorship of Robert Baxter from the second game, trying to track down a traitor in the VSSE and contending against the hired mercenaries after the information that was stolen from the organization. This instalment takes cues from the dual-pedal system used by Too Spicy (Though technically showcased early in PlayStation only game, Project Titan), allowing players to attack, displace their current position and flank enemies from different directions. Essentially, it is the inverse of the Multi-Screen Scenarios by giving players the ability to instantly change their viewpoint without losing their aim. Bandai Namco Entertainment later released a True Mastermind Edition, which continues the game's storyline with an additional three stages for a total of six.

The following are considered Spin Offs to the series:

  • Crisis Zone (1999) - Released for the arcades in 1999 as a single-player only cabinet, the game put the player in control of a Task Force sent to stop a terrorist organization that have taken control of a massive commercial district and fighting to reclaim it. It is basically Time Crisis except players use a machine gun and a ballistic shield as cover. It is the first game to allow players the choice between three levels to play in any order. Fans consider it a Gaiden Game to the series, thanks to the loose connections between the main instalments, although neither the VSSE nor Wild Dog appear. Oddly enough, the game was Remade for the Export in 2004 for the PlayStation 2, available only in Europe and North America, retitled as Time Crisis: Crisis Zone in the latter, while there has been no console release in Japan. As with the first three entries, a new campaign that acts as a continuation of the main story, having the Task Force raid a new district to finish off the remnants of the terrorist group.

  • Time Crisis: Project Titan - A 2001 PlayStation-exclusive Gaiden Game/semi-sequel that follows the protagonist of the original who seeks to clear his name after he was implicated in the murder of the president of a fictional country. This game actually showcases the "Multi-Screen Scenario" first before the fourth instalment used it.

  • Cobra: The Arcade - A 2005 spin-off of Space Adventure Cobra that uses the same basic gameplay of the Time Crisis series. Features a proprietary card system that allows the player to keep track of records and earn unlocks.

  • Time Crisis Strike - Released in 2009 for the Apple iOS, it is an alternate take on the arcade version of Time Crisis 3. It was pulled from the App Store and thus is no longer available for download.

  • Razing Storm - Appearing in arcades in 2009, this spin-off takes cues from Crisis Zone with players using a machine gun as their standard weapon and a ballistic shield as cover, but will switch to special weapons like rocket launchers and sniper rifles as the situation warrants. Unlike Crisis Zone, this game allowed co-op though only used one cabinet rather than separate ones that offered different perspectives. Ported to the PlayStation 3 a year later and re-titled as Time Crisis: Razing Storm. The PS3 version is compatible with the PlayStation Move and includes Time Crisis 4 Arcade Version note  and Deadstorm Pirates on the same disc.

  • Time Crisis2nd Strike - A sequel to Time Crisis Strike, this 2010 game for iOS is an alternate version of Time Crisis 4. It was pulled from the App Store and thus is no longer available for download.

Additionally, the console ports of the original, 3, 4note , Crisis Zone and Razing Storm have exclusive scenarios not found in the arcade versions. These usually follow events from the perspective of one of the Non-Player Characters and expand on the arcade mode's story.

A Character Sheet is currently in the works. Please contribute.


Tropes for the series include:

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  • Adaptation Expansion: Several of the console ports have a special side-story mode that takes place parallel to the main story (3, 4), as a continuation of it (Razing Storm), or as part of a different campaign altogether (1). II through 4 also have the Crisis Mission mode, which showcases the VSSE's training program and reveals that Richard, Wesley, and Alan spar against cadets as the final part of their training.
  • Always Close:
    • The ending of 2 (The destruction of the prototype rocket crashes into the main rocket and prevents it from taking off), 3 (the heroes uses rocket launchers to destroy the ceiling and prevent the missiles from taking off), and 4 (Rush manages to throw the agents to the top floor where the main console is and they just barely cause the stealth fighters to self destruct just as they're about to fire on New York) as well as Project Titan.
    • Project Titan has a rather hilarious variation; after getting defeated, Wild Dog threatens Richard by enabling his titanium robot army and does an attempted escape in a helicopter. As the robot army is about to ascend in an elevator, Richard shoots the helicopter's rotor, Wild Dog, who's in the aforementioned helicopter, gets taken down when unable to control it and crashes into the titanium robot army which is about to reach the top.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • In Time Crisis 4, Rush will provide the players with extra ammo during the Terror Bites sequences when needed.
    • Likewise in 4. If the player couldn't shoot the truck's wheels in time, Rush will lower the helicopter and zoom in a bit closer for a better chance of shooting the tire.
    • Starting with 2, the time limit resets to 40 seconds for each section rather than just adding a set amount of time. It also stops counting down whenever "WAIT" is on the screen.
    • If the player runs out of lives in Time Crisis 3 and continues the game, the AI partner (In solo play) will automatically shoot all enemies currently onscreen.
    • Upon clearing a stage in 5, the special weapon ammo will be restored to their initial count provided the player has less than 100 machine gun rounds, 10 shotgun shells, and/or one grenade.
    • Also starting with 2, enemy shots meant to hit the player will be shown in red.
  • Arm Cannon: Wild Dog continues to attach more to it, in the form of a rocket launcher, flamethrower, grappling hook and a tractor beam.
  • Artifact Title: Part of why the first game is called Time Crisis is that 1. you're ranked on how fast you beat each area and stage as well as the game, 2. the timer is an actual threat—take too long and it will bring you to a Game Over before the enemies can deplete all of your lives. However, subsequent games greatly loosen the time-based elements, not only giving players a large amount of time per area, but also resetting it upon moving to another area or taking a hit and also reducing the penalty for a time-out from a game over to simply a life loss; the timer's just there in later games to end games if the player idles or leaves the machine, and many other light-gun games like Police 911 and Lethal Enforcers 3, and even Namco's own swords-battle game Flash of the Blade have also adapted time limits. Also, from Time Crisis II onwards, you're ranked on points—while you can get bonuses for finishing areas quickly, you can also earn points from chaining enemy hits and maintaining an accuracy streak, so you're encouraged to play stylishly rather than quickly.
  • A-Team Firing:
    • In instalments that offer multiplayer - if only one player is playing or if the game is in solo mode, the unused player character is shown attacking and hiding just like you...but none of his shots will connect.
    • Subverted if the player dies (still in solo mode); during the continue screen, the unused player character will start popping off perfect headshot until you finish slotting your quarters in.
    • Also worth noting: if (while using two players) one player clears out all of his enemies, any enemies that only the other player can hit RETREAT (or get blasted by artillery, as in 3's Stage 1. Yes, this means that one player could embody this trope, get 0 accuracy, and STILL play through the entire game if the other player is good. In single-player, however, watching the COM's screen when behind cover can let you know when it's safe to pop your head out.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wild Dog in later instalments, when there are enough polygons to spare. His apprentice, Wild Fang, has his own as well.
  • Beard of Evil: Derrick Lynch in the PS2 port. Robert Baxter in 5.
  • Boss Banter: Some bosses will verbally harass you throughout the fight. 4's Stage 2 boss, Jack Mathers, is notable in that he's not bantering you, he's bantering Captain Rush, who smack-talks him back for betraying his country.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • The machine gun in 2. In 4, two areas put you in a helicopter with either a mounted machine gun or an automatic cannon, both of which have infinite ammo.
    • In the PlayStation 2 version of Time Crisis II, you can unlock an infinite ammo pistol, meaning you never have to reload!
  • Boring, but Practical: In games where you can switch weapons, the basic handgun is this. Sure, it has no rapid-fire or spread, but it has unlimited ammo (just release the pedal to reload) and won't risk missed shots (either through over-firing or pellets failing to hit something). This is taken a step further in 5 where the handgun is the second most damaging weapon in your arsenal.
  • Car Chase Shoot-Out:
    • Time Crisis 2: While not a car chase, the boss of the 1st level has the agents chasing after him in motorboats and dealing with his mooks in the process.
    • Time Crisis 3: The end of the 1st level has our heroes being rescued by a resistance member named Alicia who picks them up in a jeep right before they get blasted by a helicopter. The bad guys give chase, prompting the two agents to defend themselves against the vehicles and said helicopter coming after them.
    • Time Crisis 5: Our heroes chase down Wild Dog on motorcycles, shooting the mooks that try to protect him and eventually ending with Wild Dog using an arm mounted tractor beam to defend himself.
  • The Coats Are Off: Wild Dog does this before fighting him in almost every game (excluding Project Titan and 5).
  • Color-Coded Characters:
    • Soldiers in red have precision aim and always connect with their first shot, blue/grey are fodder and orange are bonuses. Similarly, Player 1 characters wear red and Player 2 characters wear blue. By 3 and 4, shooting yellow soldiers rack up additional ammo for weapons aside from the default handgun (a single shot's enough to kill them, but the more you shoot them, the more ammo you get). Also, green soldiers have life bars, i.e. one shot isn't enough to take them out, and enemies in camo gear throw grenades and knives.
    • Most bullets fired at you will be yellow tracers. However, the ones that will hit and damage you in subsequent games are red. The bullets in II or later add swirls if they can hurt you.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: You hide behind some pretty questionable items, such as park benches, vendor carts, and empty barrels. Worse yet, this allows you to hide from all damage, including high explosives and thrown grenades since enemies aim for your head, not your location.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: One or two secret agents against entire terrorist organizations. Who would you see winning?
  • Continuing is Painful: During the continue screen of the first game, the elapsed time keeps running. In the console version, as well as the "Rescue Mission" from 3, you start the area over. In 4, your combo meter resets, making it hard to string combos again, and if you fail a Multi-Screen section, you lose your time bonus for the area.
  • Cosmetic Award: From 2 onwards, clearing the game without using a continue and making the high scores list will put a star next to your initials.
  • Damsel in Distress: The original, Project Titan and 2. Averted in 3 with Alicia as the Action Girl and 4 and 5 with Elizabeth and Catherine, respectively, who serve as Mission Control.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In 2 and 3, your only penalty for continuing is not having a star next to your name on the initials screen. 4 does this too, but also with the aforementioned subversion.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Justified; the game revolves around having something to hide behind or to block with at all times, so rarely is your character moving during an attack phase unless they can do so while still being able to avoid enemy fire. If you are moving at a high speed, it's due to being on an armored vehicle of some sort, such as Alicia's ATV in 3 or one of two helicopters in 4.
  • Dodge the Bullet: With enough skill and practice, a good player can take cover from bullets marked with the Crisis Sight and dodge them.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Cobra is clearly a Time Crisis game with a third-party license.
  • The Dragon: Wild Dog. He's actually the secondary Big Bad for most of the games. In turn, Wild Fang is this to Wild Dog in the 3 games as well as the 4th (but only in the Captain Rush modes) and Robert Baxter in the fifth game.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Starting from the second game, two players can engage in Co-Op Multiplayer and a second player can join a 1-player game in progress. While this is a common staple of non-Player Versus Player arcade games, because these games have a separate screen for each player, the implementation is done more uniquely: After inserting credits, the player is prompted to either choose Solo Play (thus locking out 2-player games entirely) or Link Play. If both sides have just inserted coins and both players choose Link Play, a 2-player game will commence from the start. If only one side is being used, if that player chooses Link Play, and a second player later inserts credits, that player will be asked whether they want to join the game-in-progress, or ignore it and proceed to Solo Play. Until a second player inserts coins, the unused side's screen will show the other player's game, but from their CPU partner's perspective, to entice people to join.
  • Dual Wield: It's possible on 2 through 4, but due to how the arcade cabinets are designed, it's very hard to do.
    • However, the Platform Play Station 2 version of Time Crisis II has a Dual Gun mode, which is a single-player mode where you can wield two guns.
  • Dueling Player Characters:
    • In the console games' Crisis Mission modes, the final test needed to become a proper VSSE agent consists of combat against one or two of the series' protagonists: Richard in II, Alan and Wesley in 3, and Richard disguised as Wild Dog in 4.
    • 5 features examples that are not part of a training exercise. In Stage 4, you confront Keith Martin, the protagonist of II, having been informed that he's the VSSE traitor. Except he isn't and was framed up, and the real villain is your commander Robert Baxter, who you fight in the final stage.
  • Evil Laugh: Many of the villains such as Sherudo Garo from 1, Giorgio Zott and Jake Hernandez from 3, and Gregory Barrows from 4, but Wild Dog does this the most.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: There's a crisis, see, and you need to stop it in time...
  • Excuse Plot: The plots are there mainly to give the player an excuse to shoot stuff. The first focused on a pro-monarchist terrorist group, the second was about a Corrupt Corporate Executive trying to Take Over the World via a nuclear Kill Sat which is disguised as a part of a network of peaceful communication satellites, the third was an invasion of a peaceful Mediterranean country by its neighbour whose government is The Dictatorship, the fourth was about rogue soldiers in the US military, and the fifth is about finding a traitor within the VSSE. None of these have any real bearing on the gameplay.
  • Fan Vid: Combining it with memetic juggernaut Touhou Project.
  • Fictional Country: Although not to the Constructed World extremes in Ace Combat, Time Crisis does have some in earlier games:
    • The first game takes place in a castle on an island of the now-Republic of Sercia. The Big Bad, Sherudo Garo, used to rule the then-Kingdom of Sercia from this castle until he was overthrown in a democratic coup.
    • Project Titan has Caruba, which is a replica of Cuba.
    • The third game is set in the fictitious Mediterranean country of Lukano, which is on the receiving end of an invasion by the neighbouring and equally fictitious Zagorias Federation.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: The playable VSSE agents' handguns typically include a laser/tactical light attachment. Wild Dog and Wild Fang exclusively use Mausers.
  • Greaser Delinquents: Richard Miller, the protagonist of the first game, has this as his aesthetic, right down to the haircut and leather jacket.
  • Guns Akimbo:
    • Wild Dog again, and there's nothing like Guns Akimbo where one of the guns is an Arm Cannon.
    • President Evil Giorgio Zott, the final boss of 3, dual-wields a pair of rocket launchers in his final phase.
    • Possible for the player in home versions, usually as an unlockable.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The VSSE.
  • Hand Cannon: Make, model and calibre never come up, but given it's possible to cherry tap anything to death with them (ranging from gigantic VTOL craft to an old WWII artillery bunker) they must be something pretty impressive.
  • Heroes "R" Us:
    • The VSSE, with different agents in each game:
      • 1/Project Titan: Richard Miller
      • 2: Keith Martin and Robert Baxter
      • 3: Alan Dunaway and Wesley Lambert
      • 4: Giorgio Bruno and Evan Bernard
      • 5: Luke O'Neil and Marc Godart, with assistance from II protagonist Robert Baxter. Keith Martin, the other protagonist from II, later joins the agents after Robert is outed as the real traitor.
  • Hostage Spirit-Link: Variant: you just lose points. 3's "Rescue Mission", on the other hand...
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Most enemies with a few exceptions in each installment have this. In the sequels, however, when they actually do shoot you with a shot that will hurt you, it's marked with a red flash. The exception is in 4, where enemies in the FPS mode are generally very accurate unless there is an object in between William Rush (the player character) and the enemy. To compensate, their weapons generally are weaker and Rush has Regenerating Health.
  • Implacable Man:
    • Wild Dog must have taken at least a million bullets to all parts of his body AND survived FOUR self-destructs, three of them his own doing. And yet, he's always back for more...
    • Pretty much every human boss will get pumped full of enough lead to poison them and barely be staggered. Very few of them have any sort of explanation for this.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The heroes of 3 and 4's badass jackets.
  • Irony: The series is about time-sensitive crises, but II through 4's scoring systems require you to slow down in order to chain enemies for points. II does allow you to compete for a spot in a low times leaderboard in the solo gameplay mode, though.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Several knife-chucking mooks across the games fall under this category. They'll always inflict damage unless you get down or shoot the assailant before they can attack.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: VSSE agents are typically concerned with stopping the Big Bad of the week, but they change their tune once hired arm Wild Dog enters the picture.
  • Joker Immunity/Not Quite Dead: Wild Dog. Alan and Wesley even lampshade it in the third game:
    Wesley: Wild Dog?!
    Alan: Don't you ever die?!
  • Kaizo Trap: Since the time in the original and Project Titan keep running even between action frames, it's possible for the clock to run out after you take down a helicopter or another mechanical boss as its "death" animation plays. Fortunately, this isn't an issue with human bosses: for them, the clock stops once you make the killing shot.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Kantaris in the Special Mode of the original Time Crisis, should Richard fail to defeat her before she makes her escape. Canonically, she escapes from Richard since she returns in Project Titan, which is explicitly made a sequel of the special mission.
    • Played straight in the spinoff Project Titan, as she escapes after Richard rescues Abacus from her boat in the beginning.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: Later games — 4 and 5 in particular — started having the VSSE agents dress in more casual clothing rather than the attire you'd expect from elite-ops agents.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Soldiers in blue uniforms are standard enemies who hit you once in a while. If a soldier is instead wearing red, it means "you have about two nanoseconds to hide before I plug some lead in your face."
  • Leitmotif: Wild Dog, General Diaz in 2, and the Terror Bites in 4.
  • Made of Iron: Both the Scary Black Man and Wild Dog in the second game, and then every boss in the third and fourth games. Bosses in the fourth game even have seven or eight stacked life bars, each one taking upwards of thirty bullets to chew through.
  • More Dakka: The helicopter scenes in 4. Very, very much so.
    • 5 has another helicopter scene with even MORE.
    • Not that it prevents other bosses in the series indulging in their own: the second boss in 2 uses a machine gun turret, a Gatling gun and an ICBM as a battering ram, while Diaz fights using a Kill Sat. 3 has the first boss use a VTOL's armaments, a machine gun, a Gatling gun, and in the Rescue Mission, a rocket launcher. Giorgio Zott switches from an assault rifle and sword combo to TWIN ROCKET LAUNCHERS. They really want you dead.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Wild Dog does not follow the laws of physics in the first game; he can roll off to the right, and instantly appear on the left, or vice versa, or simply spawn behind an obscuring patch of flames. Ernesto Diaz does this in the last part of stage 3 in 2, ducking behind scenery with his hostage only to immediately pop up again elsewhere, at one point right in front of you.
  • Once per Episode: Wild Dog blowing himself up (although it was accidental in the first game) after being defeated. In fact, it is played with in 5 the first time it looks like he's going to do it (with the protagonists taking cover), only for the button to instead activate a Jet Pack.
  • One Game for the Price of Two: Downplayed since the second game; you play as one of the two VSSE agents in different angles on scenarios, depending on the cabinet. This only applies to the arcade originals; the home ports inverted this, being two games for the price of one!
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Most Mooks die in one hit, although they each can be shot up to two more times for more points or to add to the 1-Up hit streak counter.
  • One-Man Army: Richard Miller's nickname word-for-word in the original and Project Titan. Of course, subverted when the sequels become a two man army albeit with a "solo" option as well (Said option still shows an onscreen AI partner but they tend not to be that useful.) This downplayed the One Game for the Price of Two trope as well.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: The whole point of VSSE is to send in one or two guys with pistols to solve international crises.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. 3 features Giorgio Zott as the Big Bad, while 4 has Giorgio Bruno as a Player Character. Still played straight since their surnames are different.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Starting in 2, the final mission of the home versions of each game's extra mission mode pit you against previous protagonists as the final part of your VSSE training. While 2 plays it straight by pitting you against Richard Miller, 3 and 4 do it a little differently, instead of pitting you against the agents you played as in the main story. 4 also has you fight what appears to be Wild Dog, but is actually Richard disguised as him.
  • Rated M for Manly: This is a series involving two badass agents against an entire army of terrorists and always winning, after all.
  • Recurring Riff: Wild Dog has a distinct riff that appears in every game and is played when fighting against him.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Some objects, usually crates or barrels, can be blown up to kill enemies within their blast radius.
    • From 2 onwards, this is accompanied by a point bonus. Also, shooting an inanimate, destructible object counts toward your hit combo.
    • In certain rooms of Time Crisis, on special mode, you can go to a different area when time isn't the major factor.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Most games end with this. 2 and 5 invert this, though, as they end with the agents riding into the sunrise. 4 averts this instead, as the agents ride away on broad daylight into the afternoon sun.
  • Scoring Points: The original had a high score table sorted by time. From 2 onwards, the game uses a points system that focuses far more on combos and accuracy than time.
  • Sequel Escalation: Every time Wild Dog comes back, he does so with increasingly crazy weapons: an Arm Cannon in 2, a combination flamethrower and rocket launcher in 3, and a Tractor Beam in 4.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smart Bomb: Grenades in 3 and 4. When playing for score, they're absolutely useless in 3 because they nullify the accuracy streak bonus, but in 4 they can connect combos to maintain the combo bonus.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Steadily escalating with each incarnation.
  • Supervillain Lair: Just about every Final Boss/Big Bad in the game has one.
    • Sherudo Garo: An old castle back from when Sercia was a kingdom. Its facilities also included a weapons factory and a military briefing room.
    • Kantaris: A hotel serving a front for a weapons factory.
    • Wild Dog: A complex laboratory system in Rio Oro. (in Project Titan), a hidden weapons factory in a seemingly uninhabited island (in 5)
    • Giorgio Zott: A corridor of libraries serving as a front for his missile launch base in Astigos Island.
    • Gregory Barrows: The UCAV launch facility in Colorado with a hangar on the ground floor and the launch facility itself underground.
    • Robert Baxter: A cave system that leads to his cargo plane of which he uses in an attempt to drug the entire state of New York.
  • Take Cover!: Just step off the pedal. Also one of the earliest examples in the Light Gun Game genre.
  • Take Your Time:
    • Inverted: one of the big experiments of Time Crisis was to put continual chronological pressure on the player throughout the entire game, directly contradicting that trope.
    • 4 has two segments that play this trope straight: a sniping segment in Stage 1 Area 2 where you must shoot a truck before it enters a tunnel (which never appears), and the final boss battle, where you must defeat the Big Bad before nuclear missile-armed stealth bombers reach their targets (it's Always Close).
  • Taking You with Me: Wild Dog in every instalment past the first game to the point it's a Running Gag. Oddly enough, he keeps surviving regardless.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Wild Dog. Every game always has someone asking how he survived his suicide bombs. This includes Wild Fang who actually managed to survive lethal blows that would normally kill anyone.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Unlike bullets, knives will always take one life off if you don't dodge. Factor in speed and a mook with a knife is literally more dangerous than one with a rocket launcher.
    • This is only true based on the difficulty: on easy difficulty, rockets and knives can miss if there isn't a red flash when launched, just like any other attack. It's still more likely to hit than an enemy firing a machine gun at you though, and what arcade machine is going to be set to easy?
    • In the original game, however, hitting the enemy who throws them before they can hit you means that they will always register as a miss. It's also possible, albeit only by absurdly good marksmanship or sheer dumb luck, to shoot them out of the air.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Yep. Though the time limit is only a major problem in the first game. From 2 onwards, it'll usually only run out if you're really slacking off.
    • The Time-Limit Boss nature is exaggerated in the two Rescue Missions of the third game's port, where you're required to shoot down the target in 5 seconds or risk having to retry at the cost of one continue.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Alicia Winston from the third game, and Rachel MacPherson from the first game.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment:
    • Played straight in the first game; the pistol you use in the first level is the pistol you'll use all the way until the Final Battle with Wild Dog, despite killing what seems like hundreds of enemy mooks, many of which are armed with machine guns, bazookas, grenades and probably better equipment than your dinky little pistol.
    • Subverted in the second game; there are two areas where you can pick up machine guns to use against enemy APCs, but you'll still be relying on your pistol 99% of the time.
    • Averted from the third game onwards, you can switch to machine guns, shotguns and grenades any time you like, as long as there's ammunition for your backup weapons.
  • Updated Re-release: A lot of the home console ports were these.
    • 1: Downgraded in graphics due to being on PS1. But comes with an extra mode where Richard invades a hotel that is in fact an illegal weapons factory that sells weapons to the Wild Dogs.
    • II: Graphics were updated to be less polygonal and came with a shooting gallery and challenge mode.
    • 3: Came with a new mode, Rescue Mission, that focuses on Alicia's side of the story. Considered Nintendo Hard due to the fact it works on the original Time Crisis arcade principal. Meaning you re-start a level if you die rather than continue from where you were felled.
    • 4: The original release featured a mode that focused on Captain Rush, both when he was with the agents (played normally in the main campaign) and what he was doing when he wasn't (played as a usual first-person shooter)

    Time Crisis 
  • All There in the Manual: Player had to read the manual to learn the backstory behind the game.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: In the original, Sherudo Garo was the last remaining heir of the Garo royal family that ruled over Sercia for a millennium. After the regime was toppled by a revolution, he attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government by kidnapping the president's daughter Rachel, demanding the country to be restored to a monarchy in return for her life.
  • Arrange Mode: In addition to the more conventional Story Mode, where you must complete all three stages on a limited stock of lives, there is also Timed Mode, where you pick one stage, have infinite lives, and try to beat that stage as fast as possible, however, continues are not allowed and you fail the stage if your time runs out.
  • Big Bad:
    • Sherudo Garo. Though Wild Dog takes over in the latter half of the game past the second stage and is ultimately the Final Boss.
    • Kantaris in the special mode on the PlayStation version.
  • Bond Gun Barrel: Miller does this in the opening sequence.
  • Collapsing Lair: Wild Dog detonates a bomb in the clock tower shortly before Miller's battle with him. After Miller defeats Wild Dog, he drops his detonator blowing himself up and later detonating at least one more bomb close to the helipad shortly after Miller steals a Wild Dogs helicopter to take off with Rachel MacPherson to rush them off the island and probably towards a hospital because Wild Dog previously shot her shoulder. These bombs cause the castle to burn.
  • Climactic Elevator Ride: Right before the final boss battle, Wild Dog takes Rachel hostage in an elevator. Richard has to take the other elevator to catch up.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Essentially Die Hard in an old European castle where one man takes on an entire battalion.
  • Downer Ending: If Project Titan is canon, the presence of Kantaris in that game means Richard most possibly failed the special mission.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Again Wild Dog after Sherudo bites it.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • It is the only mainline game to be single-player.
    • The protagonist is a Heroic Mime; subsequent games would give the protagonists dialogue.
    • Wild Dog serves as the Final Boss, with the Big Bad serving as the second-to-last boss; all subsequent games go the other way around.
    • Wild Dog is openly shown collaborating with his client. This is done again in the second game, but by the third game onward the connection between him and the actual villain is implied at best.
    • There are no Crisis Sightings (the red reticule that warns you that an enemy shot will inflict damage).
    • Time is added after each scene and continues counting down even during cutscenes; later games have the timer reset after each scene and only count down during actual gameplay.
    • If you run out of time, all of your lives are lost, rather than just one life.
    • There is no Scoring Points; performance is ranked on time and a 10-star system.
    • Unlike later games, there is a Timed Mode where you pick one stage and try to complete it as fast as possible with an infinite stock of lives, with the caveat that you are only allowed a single credit.
    • Bosses get their own areas; later games would simply stick the boss in the third area of each stage, except in Time Crisis 5 where the Final Boss once again has their own area.
    • Your handgun has six bullets instead of nine, and you have to complete the whole hiding animation to reload, unlike in later games where the threshold for reloading is shorter.
    • There are no alternate weapons; Richard completes his entire mission with only his pistol.
    • "Bonus" enemies award extra time. In later games where the timer serves virtually no threat to an active player, these kind of enemies award bonus points or ammo for other weapons.
    • There are no stages set aboard some form of transport (train in 2, ATV and then a train in 3, helicopter in 4, helicopter then motorcycle in 5). Richard completes his entire mission on foot.
  • Fictional Country: Sercia.
  • I Have Your Wife: The first game is a hostage situation involving the President's daughter (not from the United States, but the emphasis was on "daughter" anyway).
  • Heroic Mime: Richard Miller is the completely silent protagonist of the first game.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The end of Stage 2 Area 1 has a series of pillars held up by a support bar. Shooting the bar out causes the pillars to collapse onto the enemies... and also take one of your lives if you don't take cover in time.
  • Luck-Based Mission: It's hard to tell when shots can hit you or not from the blue mooks (the red ones are a given, as are bazooka men, thrown grenades, knives, and environmental damage), making dodging a guessing game. Also, the timer will continue running after beating tougher opponents.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Sherudo Garo is skilled with his throwing knives and fights you with them. But since you have a gun, well...
  • 1-Up: The original Time Crisis is the only arcade game in the series to offer it, and the method of getting one is extremely difficult: you must make 40 hits on legitimate targets without missing a single shot. As you build up your hit streak, a life icon right above the HUD slowly turns opaque, until it becomes completely opaque and turns into an extra life.
  • Praetorian Guard: Wild Dog's white-clad personal guards, who show up really, really deep in his base, firstly as Sherudo's flunkies during the boss battle, and later on alongside regular mooks in the third half of the game. They're trained in using all weapons, including pistols, grenades, machine guns (with even better accuracy than the usual green-clad machine-gun soldiers) and at least two of them are even experts in throwing knives, their accuracy nearly on par with Sherudo. Oddly enough, the first game is their sole appearance in the entire franchise, and they're absent in the Rio Oro level of Project Titan (even though ALL of Wild Dog's usual mooks are brought back for that game).
  • Prince Charmless: Sherudo Garo is this in spades.
  • Railing Kill: Can be performed on several enemies while ascending the clock tower staircase.
  • Shout-Out: Brundle's teleporter pods from The Fly (1986) appear in a lab level, with one mook coming out of each (unfortunately, without any mutations).
  • Storming the Castle: The entirety of this game and quite literally in the main campaign.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: The PS1 port features a special campaign mode not present in the arcade version.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: In the Special Mode of the original Time Crisis, Kantaris does this if you take too long to defeat her or don't deal enough damage to her transport.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: You actually fight the Big Bad in Stage 2, and fight Wild Dog in Stage 3. It's not The Man Behind the Man, though; Wild Dog just decides to continue the plan on his own.

    Project Titan 
  • Antagonist Title: Project Titan is the name of a project of a titanium robot army operated by Wild Dog.
  • Big Bad: Wild Dog. This is the only game in the series thus far where he's solely behind the events.
  • Chef of Iron: The cook on Kantaris' yacht attacks you by throwing meat cleavers. He can soak up multiple shots before going down, in contrast to regular mercenaries who die in one or two hits.
  • Clear My Name: The main plot of the game has Richard framed for killing a foreign president. VSSE can only give him 48 hours to pull this trope off before they must turn him over to the Caruban government.
  • David vs. Goliath: Richard vs Zeus.
  • Drill Tank: The last stage in Rio Oro has Wild Dog unleashing his new "toy" on you... which is a massive armoured vehicle with three drills on its front. It will attempt to chew you up with those drills besides firing missiles at you, and your best bet is to strafe around it by leaping out of cover and attacking it from the side.
  • Dual Boss: Deimos and Phobos are a pair of robot mini-bosses in level 4.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: If you play on Easy, you are prevented from finishing the last fourth of the game.
  • Fictional Country: Caruba.
  • Gaiden Game: This is essentially a side story that features the protagonist of the first game, Richard Miller.
  • Mexican Standoff: Just as Richard finishes off one of Wild Dog's "toys" in level 3, he goes to check the president of Caruba, who was revealed to have been alive all along, only for a two-man version of this trope to occur. Thankfully, they didn't get to shoot each other this time.
  • Not Quite Dead: The president of Caruba is revealed to be alive, the one that was "shot" was just a robotic duplicate.
  • Oddball in the Series: This is the only spinoff in the series to focus on the VSSE. It's also the only one that doesn't have Wild Dog's signature theme song while fighting him. When he's defeated, he doesn't blow himself up; instead, he flies off in a helicopter, only to be shot down by Richard.
  • 1-Up: Like the original, you have to get a long hit streak with no misses in order to get an extra life. However, there are changes. First, once you build a hit streak, a hit streak counter is displayed. Second, you get a life when your hit streak becomes any natural number multiple of 30 hits without missing.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Averted. Abacus' real name is Marisa Soleil, and her real name was presented in the intro, too.
  • Revenge: Naturally when Wild Dog is revealed to be the culprit, he likewise reveals that he framed Richard as revenge for what happened in the first game.
  • Railing Kill: Zeus, the Scary Black Man first boss, flips over a railing upon death. This also happens to mooks in the Rio Oro mines.
  • Sequel Hook: After Richard's name is finally cleared, he declines an award from President Serrano and drives off into the sunset, possibly to track down Kantaris who had escaped earlier.
  • Starter Villain: Kantaris is the first villain Miller goes after.
  • You Have Failed Me: After Ricardo Blanco is defeated by Richard Miller, he is betrayed and gunned down by his employer, Wild Dog, instead of being rescued. Before dying, he tells Richard about Wild Dog's lab in Rio Oro.

    Time Crisis II 
  • Big Bad: Ernesto Diaz is the primary antagonist for the second game.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Right before the Final Boss fight, Ernesto Diaz borrows Sherudo's Pre-Asskicking One-Liner from the previous game as he preps his Kill Sat: "Let me entertain you!"
  • Bottomless Magazines: The machine gun you can pick up in Stage 1-2 and again in 2-1 has infinite ammo.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: In Stage 3, Ernesto Diaz uses Christy Ryan as a shield, and this will stop any misplaced shot meant for him. Shooting her will not hurt or kill her, but you'll lose 5,000 points for doing so.
  • Chase Fight: Act three of the first stage is a high-speed chase on speed boats, in this case, you're pursuing a target that has the information you need.
  • Dead Hat Shot: The first boss, upon crashing his boat, leaves behind his bowler hat and Christie's suitcase floating on the surface of the water.
  • Disney Villain Death: Ernesto Diaz dies by falling off the prototype satellite he was using to fight you right into the flames of the rocket as it was blasting off.
  • Dual Boss: Wild Dog and Big Bad Ernesto Diaz fight you together for the second half of the final level.
  • Faux Action Girl: Zigzagged with Christy Ryan. On one hand, she basically completed the entire first half of the mission for you (infiltration, espionage, sabotage, etc.) and she even taunts the villains who try to torture her. On the other hand, she's vulnerable to the Standard Female Grab Area.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The second stage boss is killed when he gets knocked backwards while firing a minigun, and ends up destroying the helicopter he was flying in with it.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The second stage boss uses an ICBM as a battering ram.
  • Kill Sat: The crisis in need of aversion in this game which the Big Bad uses as his weapon in the final battle, equipped with lasers and a Gatling (though he states it's just the prototype while the real one is set to launch).
  • MacGuffin: The Kill Sat.
  • Piñata Enemy: Yellow soldiers show up for a few seconds, often in the distant background where you likely won't notice if you're already distracted by other enemies, and then leave without coming back. If you manage to hit them, you'll earn 5,000 points.
  • Pitiful Worms: Ernesto Diaz compares the VSSE to roaches when they encounter him. Diaz himself admits that he has completely underestimated their persistence.
  • Shoot the Fuel Tank: There's a section in the first part of the game where a very visible fuel truck is behind the enemies shooting you. Just pop it full of holes and KABOOM!
  • Take Over the World: This is what the enemy faction is trying to do.
  • Telephone Polearm: Done with an ICBM, no less.
  • Throw a Barrel at It: A stack of barrels are usually found and thrown against the player during certain sections in the first stages of. At the beginning of the second area, you have to shoot and dodge through a cascade of rolling barrels. Curiously, they hold produce inside in the original, while they're empty for some reason in the international versions.
  • Traintop Battle: The second act of stage 2 take place on two sets of trains.
  • Watch for Rolling Objects: In the beginning of stage 2, the player has to make it up the ramp while groups of wooden barrels roll down the slope at regular intervals.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The boss of the first stage opens the game by slapping Christy when she mocks him that his plans will be foiled.

    Time Crisis 3 
  • Action Girl: Alicia. Much more pronounced in the Rescue Mission side-game.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The Rescue Mission campaign is the story told from Alica's perspective.
  • Artistic License – Military: Unlike the Wild Dog Organization from the first two games, the Zagorias Federation Army is the nation's armed forces. Despite this, their grunts are only issued with pistols, with automatic weapons being reserved for elite units. While cutscenes do show their grunts with SMGs, it would be more correct for them to be issued with Assault Rifles.
  • Big Bad: Giorgio Zott for the main campaign and Jake Hernandez for Alicia's side-story.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Alicia shoots a handgun out of Zott's hand as he's about to execute her brother Daniel during a standoff between Zott and the VSSE agents. In the arcade version, this is done in a cutscene. But in the Rescue Mission mode, you actually have to shoot the gun out of his hand.
  • Chase Fight: Act 3 of the first stage has the heroes pursued in a car by a helicopter while dealing with the ground forces via cars and motorcycles.
  • Dangerously Loaded Cargo: The first stage is a shootout that leads to the interiors of a container ship, where an explosion causes the entire ship to tilt, at which point the camera goes Dutch Angle with several mooks getting crushed by sliding crates, containers and assorted junk.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: It's Die Hard in a Mediterranean island where two agents fight alongside La Résistance against an invading army.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Randy Garrett is shot out the air as he's leaping at you and fall off the bridge into the canyon below (And in the same level where you fight him, you also send various Mooks falling to their deaths as well).
    • Jake is an indirect variant in the Rescue Mission climax; as he gets disposed by Alicia's sniper shot, he falls inside the aircraft which drags him down the cliff before exploding into smithereens.
  • Dual Boss: Wild Dog and Wild Fang take you on together in the second act of level 3.
  • The Federation: Inverted: the Zagorias Federation is a militaristic fascist dictatorship that invaded Astigos Island in an attempt to take over its neighbouring state of Lukano.
  • Fictional Country: Lukano, the setting for the third game. It is said to be set in the Mediterranean sea.
  • Flung Clothing: Alicia in her console scenario. She changes from a bikini top and shorts into… her uniform... somehow...
  • It's Raining Men: Around the middle of Act 2 of Stage 1, you get a bunch of mooks parachuting down on your position. Naturally, you get to shoot them out of the sky.
  • La Résistance: The Lukano Liberation Army.
  • Leap and Fire: Mooks occasionally jump to the side and open fire at the same time. Red mooks can perform this and still shoot with perfect accuracy.
  • Out of the Inferno: The protagonists do this when the base they were fighting in collapses.
  • Remixed Level: Several stages in Rescue Mission are variants of areas from the arcade mode/version. For example, Stage 1 is arcade Stage 1 Area 1 at night, and Stage 4 is arcade Stage 1 Area 3 but there are some extra parts of Victor's plane that you pick off and he throws his chain gun at you (damaging you if you don't take heed of the "DANGER" alert and hide) before moving to the last phase of the fight.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: Many groups of enemies you face are on ATV's. Killing the driver of an ATV will send the entire vehicle crashing.
  • Sniping Mission: In Rescue Mission, several stages have Alicia wielding a sniper rifle to pick off enemies from afar.
  • Stripperiffic: Alicia's civilian outfit consists of an open shirt, a bikini top, and a miniskirt.
  • Taking You with Me: Jake in Rescue Mission. He threatens to detonate the warhead he was escaping with before Alicia shoots it out of his hands...and ultimately takes him out with the same bullet.
  • Traintop Battle: A short section in the third act of stage 2.
  • Why Won't You Die?: All but said when the heroes run into Wild Dog.
    Wesley: Wild Dog?!
    Alan: Don't you ever die?!

    Time Crisis 4 
  • America Saves the Day: This trope is actually inverted. An American Renegade Splinter Faction is the villainous organization, and the VSSE, which is revealed to be a unit of The European Union, has to save the day.
  • Another Side, Another Story: Captain Rush mode in the first console release shows the story from his perspective.
  • Artistic License – Military: Much like 3, the Hamlin Battalion soldiers despite being a unit within the US Army are still issued only with handguns, with automatic weapons again being reserved mainly for elite troops. This even includes the US National Guards whose infantry are also issued with sidearms as a primary weapon and the assault rifles they occasionally carry is a G36C rifle (a weapon that no forces from any US Army and Marine branch would ever use).
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Wild Dog's "tractor beam" Arm Cannon. After you beat him, the thing malfunctions and attracts all the crates he was throwing at you towards him. Surprisingly this doesn't kill him.
  • Big Bad: Gregory Barrows
  • Bioweapon Beast: The Terror Bites are swarming insect-based biological weapons that the Hamelin Battalion uses.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The helicopter-mounted weapons in Stage 1-2 and Stage 3-1 never need to reload and have infinite ammo.
  • Chase Fight: Act 2 of the first stage has the heroes pursuing a truck via helicopter.
  • Combat Commentator: Beth has shades of this during Stage 2-3.
  • David vs. Goliath: Rush vs. Mathers
  • Dull Surprise: Beth. Her V.A probably recorded all her voice clips separately... Seriously, most of the time she sounds like she's recording for a GPS.
    Beth: [in a completely calm voice According to these analysis results, [the terrorists'] military strength is equivalent to one company of the US military. [in a worried, surprised voice] That... that's impossible!
  • Fun with Acronyms: The supposed antagonists, W.O.L.F., or Western Order Liberation Front.
  • First-Episode Twist: Stage 1 ends with the reveal that the terrorists are an entire company of the United States military that has gone rogue.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The first game to feature helicopter levels a la Gunblade N.Y./L.A. Machineguns
  • Hold the Line: Some Multi-Screen segments require you to protect a barricade until reinforcements arrive. The enemy response is noticeably more aggressive in these sections.
  • Human Ladder: Goes a bit crazy in the final level where the National Guard and Rush go into this mode so that Giorgio and Evan can climb them up to stop the Big Bad's nuclear strike.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Marcus Black.
    Rush: Anti-tank rifle, one-handed?! Who is this guy?
  • Improbable Weapon User: Stage 2's boss Jack Mathers continuously wrestles Captain William Rush, who he sometimes throws at you.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: At the start of 4. Giorgio notices this as an incoming enemy attack.
    Evan: Hey, you think they blocked off the entire airport for us?
    *cue smoke canister*
    Giorgio: Thanks for rolling out the red carpet, guys.
  • Large Ham: Jack Mathers, the Stage 2 boss.
  • Lancer vs. Dragon: As revealed in the FPS mode with William Rush as the playable hero, Rush (the game's lancer) is on a mission of his own to dismantle another terrorist cell where he confronts Wild Fang, the dragon to Wild Dog, at the end of the stage.
  • MacGuffin: The Terror Bites, bug-like nanomachines meant to be used for combat purposes. The second level is spent trying to reach them before the villains do. Unfortunately, the heroes arrive too late and the warehouse they were stored in has been cleaned out.
  • Mission Control: Elizabeth Conway, who keeps you briefed during the ongoings of the game.
  • Musical Nod: A version of Wild Dog's theme features a few notes from two of the area themes from the original Time Crisis.
  • Nerf: The machine gun and shotgun are weaker in this game, the former doing less damage per hit and the latter having an actual delay between shots. This is to encourage players to use them mainly for Terror Bites, each type of which is weak to a specific alternate weapon.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Captain Rush receives one from Jack Mathers during the latter boss fight. Rush still manages to beat him though.
  • Not Completely Useless: For scoring purposes, grenades in 4 are only mostly useless (instead of completely useless in 3, where they reset the no-miss streak). There are segments where firing a grenade can hit out-of-sight enemies and maintain the player's combo, avoiding having to build it up back to 3,000 points.
  • Nuke 'em: The last stage has you averting a plan to nuke every major American city.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The soundtrack is full of this, especially the final boss battle BGM ("Leave It to Us!").
  • Parental Bonus: In Stage 2 Area 3, Elizabeth calls out the boss' moves, one of which she calls "F...!"
  • Patriotic Fervor:
    • Captain Rush, who is quite pissed to learn that the terrorists he's dealing with are, in fact, fellow Americans.
      Captain Rush: He was from the U.S. Military?!
      Evan: This one, too.
      Giorgio: And all these guys over here. They're not terrorists.
      Captain Rush: I can't believe it! You mean...we were fighting against our own men?
    • Lampshaded in the next chapter of the full story when Rush reports to the situation room, and he can't be more pissed than this.
      Captain Rush: Sir, what is going on?! The enemy aren't terrorists! They're soldiers from our military!
      Lt. Gen. Garfield: Yes...You're correct. They're a unit from the U.S. military.
  • Pitiful Worms: Wild Dog in says this to the VSSE.
    Wild Dog: A bunch of annoying little flies...
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: The Hamelin Battalion, which is the main organization that you fight, is a renegade faction of the US military.
  • T-Word Euphemism: In 4 (arcade version), there's a sequence where you continually (more or less) shoot at a boss while he's wrestling with an ally. As usual, you are being debriefed on the situation by Mission Control via intercom (this is basically a narration of the game script, which is also displayed at the bottom of the screen). For whatever reason, she decides to name the wrestling moves used by the boss. After a few ordinary examples, the script comes up "F—-!" at the bottom of the screen - and she actually yells out, "Eff!" The Japanese version (which had Japanese dialogue for all characters) took it a half-step farther, having Conway go "F-U!" (though she also has an unused "Eff—" in the game's files)
  • Western Terrorists: The terrorists that you're fighting are not W.O.L.F., but rather disgruntled members of a unit from the U.S. military, the Bio-Weapon Special Ops Unit, or the Hamlin Battalion.
  • Wham Shot: The end of Stage 1 shows the dog tag of the defeated Marcus Black, who is revealed to be a U.S. military officer...and so are the rest of the terrorists that Rush, Giorgio, and Evan have been fighting. Needless to say, Rush is pissed off. Chapter 6 of the full story mode acknowledges this with this line from Rush:
    "The enemy aren't terrorists! They're soldiers from our military!"
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Rush and the second boss engage in some close-quarters grappling. Beth even calls out some of the moves the boss uses.
  • Zerg Rush: The "beetle" and "mosquito"-type Terror Bites attack their targets in large swarms.

    Time Crisis 5 
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: During his second phase, Wild Fang will charge a sphere of solar energy that, when fully charged, will explode and deal damage regardless if you are in cover or not. It is the only attack in the entire series to behave this way
  • Big Bad: Robert Baxter. Yes, one of the heroes of the second game is the bad guy here.
  • Biological Weapons Solve Everything: The drug that Robert Baxter stole three years ago turns humans into mindless zombies, explained as becoming numb to pain and fear. Robert also developed a bomb that can be detonated to spread the drug to entire cities, and declares his intent to test the drug on New York.
  • Boss-Only Level: The final battle with Robert Baxter is like this. Unlike the other final stages of each game, it's not split into three separate areas, it's just one long boss battle against Robert, aside from mooks.
  • Bullet Time: Used after a Quick Time Event.
  • Chase Fight: The entire third stage features one on motorcycles as you pursue Wild Dog who is riding inside an APC.
  • Cliffhanger: The original release ended in one with the protagonists cornering Wild Dog but he manages to send his detachable arm flying away with the briefcase before blowing himself up once more. A group of armed men, possibly Wild Dog's mercenaries, manage to locate it, but are soon wiped out by an unknown assailant wielding a sword who retrieves the briefcase. The game originally ended there, but the later "True Mastermind" edition contained the story in its entirety.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Robert Baxter returns in 5, but he's now a supporting character in the style of Alicia Winston in the third game and Captain Rush in the fourth game than a playable one. He's also the Big Bad.
    • Keith Martin, Robert's partner in 2 also returns as a boss and later allied supporting character.
  • Disney Villain Death: Robert Baxter, when you send him falling to his death in a quick-time event.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Robert suddenly turns evil in this game. For fans of the second game, this is quite jarring.
  • Flash Step: Becomes a feature where the player can do it to move from cover to cover - the mooks in the opening cutscene are suitably confused at the sheer speed of your movement! Keith Martin employs this too in the battle against him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Robert loses because VSSE destroys his hidden facility manufacturing a zombie drug. They only found it in the first place because Robert HIMSELF shot Wild Dog's briefcase with a tracking bullet, instead of just letting it go. Justified, he did need to retrieve the briefcase so that he could erase the evidence proving that he's the traitor.
  • Humongous Mecha: In 5, Robert Baxter summons one and later pilots it in the final battle.
  • Inappropriately Close Comrades: No one seems to find it odd that two VSSE agents, Keith and Christy, were dating each other sometime before the latter was killed.
  • Jetpack: Wild Dog briefly uses one in to make his escape.
  • Large Ham: Wild Dog becomes this in this game in stark comparison to his earlier appearances where he spoke with a baritone.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness:
    • With the True Mastermind Edition patch, this game has the most stages of any arcade Time Crisis game, at six rather than the traditional three.
    • Unlike the past two games, switching weapons is done by pressing a dedicated button, instead of pulling the trigger while hiding.
    • This game's cabinet has a split pedal, used to switch between positions.
    • It is the only game to feature characters from previous games other than Wild Dog.
    • It is the first game to have a version localized into Indonesian, even text in the gameplay interfaces. This also makes it the first time a Time Crisis game's UI text is available in a language other than English (even the Japanese version has a lot of English text outside of dialogue and tutorials).
    • It is the only main Time Crisis arcade game to use a 16:9 screen rather than 4:3 (Not Counting 4's PlayStation 3 Port).
    • It is the only arcade Time Crisis game with an Expansion Pack upgrade.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Keith Martin really has no reason to continue fighting the protagonists at 5 beyond the initial engagement (where he's arguably defending himself from you, Robert Baxter and Wild Dog's mercenaries); granted, being in one of Wild Dog's bases doesn't help. He also mentions that he's almost finished cracking the briefcase's lock. Presumably, since you're already attacking him, he's trying to stall for time until he can open the briefcase. Not to mention, Robert probably had no intention of giving him a chance to explain himself.
  • MacGuffin: A briefcase containing top-secret information about the VSSE. It turns out its intel Keith got on Robert about his plot to sell a zombie drug. Robert is trying to get it back to erase the data and cover his tracks.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Robert Baxter uses a robot that fires a barrage of missiles at you in the final battle.
  • One Game for the Price of Two: To arcade owners, who buy the original cabinet and game, and later has to pay extra for the other half of the game in the guise of the True Mastermind Edition.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Luke, Marc, and Keith do this upon defeating Wild Fang.
  • Say My Name: Keith and Catherine to the VSSE traitor. ROBEEEEERRRRTT!! Luke also gets one after Catherine's imminent sacrifice to stop Robert. CATHYYYY!!!'
  • Sequel Hook: Originally 5 ends with Wild Dog launching the briefcase out of VSSE's hands before blowing himself up a fifth time and later being discovered by a mysterious man with a katana retrieving the case and saying, "How about that! Wild Dog is good for something after all." This is followed by a message announcing a True Mastermind Edition, which will feature three more stages. This was discontinued when said "True Mastermind Edition" was released, showcasing the full game.
  • Shoot the Fuel Tank: The armoured suit enemies have a weak point in their jetpack fuel tank. Trouble is, you'll need to find a way to expose that.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: When Robert is exposed as the traitor and the Big Bad, he promptly uses a flashbang to cover his escape from the protagonists.
  • Walking Spoiler: The very existence of Keith Martin in the True Mastermind half of the story is a spoiler in and of itself, due to him having gone rogue, or so it seems.
  • Western Terrorists: Robert Baxter is revealed to be this when treachery is exposed.
  • Wham Line:
    • Robert spouts this line when Keith shot down two of the throwing knives aimed at Luke and Marc.
    "If you had just died this would have all gone according to plan."
    • Earlier, during the boss battle, Keith reveals that both he and Christy became romantic interests prior to the latter's murder.
    "The internal auditor, Christy, we were in love. I need to find out what really happened!"
  • Wham Shot: After defeating Keith Martin, he opens up the briefcase and reveals who the real traitor responsible for the events of the game is. Luke and Marc lean in to look at the data, looking shocked. Then Keith looks up and fires off two bullets at Luke and Marc. In Bullet Time, the bullets are shown whizzing past them, squarely striking the two knives flying towards Luke and Marc and sending them clattering harmlessly to the ground. The camera then pans to Robert, revealing him to be the Big Bad.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Though not stated in-universe, Keith and Robert look different in 5 compared to their debut in II. Justified; 5 takes place 18 years after II. It would be very jarring if they looked exactly the same as they did in II.
  • You Monster!: Keith calls Robert this when the latter's robot transforms to reveal its true form.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Robert Baxter must have learned something from Caleb Goldman and Albert Wesker. With the drug he had stolen three years prior to the events of the game, he planned on launching a missile loaded with the drug to plunge the entire world into a zombie apocalypse, with the state of New York as his first terrorist attack. The enemies you fight in Stage 5 are also in a zombie-like state.



Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Time Crisis 3, Time Crisis 2, Time Crisis 4, Time Crisis II, Time Crisis Project Titan, Time Crisis 5


Time Crisis

Time Crisis is a light gun game series by Bandai Namco Entertainment, which was notable for featuring a foot pedal in its arcade versions that allows players to duck in and out of cover to avoid taking damage. Each game follows a different set of VSSE agents as they gun their way through unrelated international crises, often crossing paths with a freelance mercenary named Wild Dog.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / LightGunGame

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