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Video Game / Time Crisis

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Sometime, somewhere, someone is plotting a government overthrow...
— 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, 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 object 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 all lives are lost if time ran out. 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 installments 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 delegate'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.

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  • Time Crisis II - Appearing in arcades in 1997, this game sees two new protagonists, Keith Martin and Robert Baxter, keep a terrorist organization from launching a nuclear satellite into space. This installment 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 not 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 - This title released in 2006 for arcades, the story once agains features two new agents, Giorgio Bruno and Evan Bernard, investigating a terrorist group who bug designed nanobots and wish to take over 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 the timer reaches zero, and provided the player survives). 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 duing 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 Shooter 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 installment 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 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 - 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 installments, 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 which acts as a continuation of the main story, having the Task Force raid a new distract to finish off the remnants of the terrorist group.

  • 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 installment 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 then 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 Crisis 2nd 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 are about to reach the top.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • In Time Crisis 4, Rush will provide the players with extra ammo during sequences where they really need em during the Terror Bites sequences.
    • 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.
  • 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 gun games like Police 911 and Lethal Enforcers 3 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 installments 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 installments, when there's 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.
  • Bishōnen: Every protagonist in 2 and 3, one half of the player characters in 4, plus Wild Fang.
  • 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 you arsenal.
  • The Coats Are Off: Wild Dog does this before fighting him in every game.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Soldiers in red have precision aim and always connect with their first shot, blue/gray 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 lifebars, i.e. one shot isn't enough to take them out, and enemies in camo gear throw grenades and knives.
    • In the first and second games, most bullets fired at you will be yellow tracers. However, the ones that will hit you are red with menacing swirls.
  • 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 with Elizabeth, who serves 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. Crisis Zone uses a riot shield so there are more sequences where you're moving and firing at once.
  • 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.
  • 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 PlayStation 2 version of Time Crisis II has a Dual Gun mode, which is a one player mode where you can wield two guns.
    • The PS2 version of Time Crisis: Crisis Zone also has this feature, although you are required to complete 55% of the game (that includes the extra modes) to unlock it.
  • 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, Giogrio 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 mad scientist trying to nuke the world via a series of satellites disguised as peaceful communication satellites, the third was an invasion of a peaceful Mediterranean country by its fascist neighbor, the fourth was about anti-US insurgents, 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.
  • Fictional Country:
    • The first game makes mention of the Republic of Sercia, although it's not actually visited. Rather, the Big Bad, Sherudo Garo, was overthrown in a democratic coup.
    • The third game is set in the fictitious Mediterranean country of Lukano, which is on the receiving end of an invasion by the neighboring and equally fictitious Zagorias Federation.
  • 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 caliber 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 2 protagonist Robert Baxter. Keith Martin, the other protagonist from 2, later joins the agents after Robert is outed as the real traitor.
      • Furthermore, the STF (Special Task Force) and player character Claude McGarren in Crisis Zone, and SCAR members Alpha 1 and Alpha 2 in Razing Storm.
  • Hostage Spirit Link: Variant: you just lose points. 3's "Rescue Mission", on the other hand...
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Every enemy in each installment have this. In the sequels, however, when they actually do shoot you, it's marked with a red flash.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Played straight in the spinoff Project Titan, as she escapes after Richard rescues Abacus from her boat in the beginning.
  • Knife Nut: There are several mooks you use them in the games and they'll always cause damage unless you get down or shoot the attack before they can launch them.
  • 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 an 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.
    • Rather than a handgun, Crisis Zone gives you a submachine gun (a customized Steyr TMP) with a 40-round magazine and limitless ammo reserves. Go to town.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Uncommon for the most part, but two in particular.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Wild Dog does not follow logic 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 Game: Wild Dog blowing himself (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 jetpack.
  • 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.
  • One-Man Army: The original and Project Titan specifically describes Richard as this. 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 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 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 its 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.
    • Crisis Zone on special mode rewards you further by giving you access to a special weapon for a limited time, as well as a new area to test that weapon out in.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: The series is this to Rolling Thunder.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Steadily escalating with each incarnation.
  • 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.
    • However, 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 installment past the first game to the point it's a Running Gag. Oddly he keeps surviving however.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Wild Dog. Every game always has someone asking how he survived his suicide bombs.
    • And Wild Fang.
  • Throwing Your Knife Always Works: Unlike bullets, knives will always take a 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 and Time-Limit Boss: Duh... 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 trope 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 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 were these.
    • 1: Downgraded in graphics due to being on PS1. But came with an extra mode where Richard invades a hotel run by a terrorist organization.
    • 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 as a usual first person shooter)
    • Crisis Zone: Updated graphics and feature a new campaign, Grassland District, that continues the story.

     Time Crisis 
  • Adult Fear: The first game is a hostage situation involving the President's daughter (not from the United States, but the emphasis was on "daughter" anyway).
  • 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 and demands the country to be restored to a monarchy in return for her safety or he will have her killed.
  • 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.
  • Downer Ending: If Project Titan is canon, since Kantaris is still alive in Titan, it means Richard most possibly failed the special mission, making him the only agent from "VSSE" to date to have done so.
  • 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.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Again Wild Dog after Sherudo bites it.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • It is the only game, not counting spinoff, 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, instead of 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, 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).
    • Instead of a timer that resets after each scene and only counts down during actual gameplay, time is added after each scene and continues counting down even during cutscenes.
    • 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 6 bullets instead of 9, 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 give bonus points.
    • There are no stages set aboard some of transport (train in 2, ATV and then a train in 3, helicopter in 4, another road vehicle in 5).
  • Heroic Mime: Richard Miller, 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 take one of your lives off if you don't take cover in time.
  • Knife Nut: Sherudo Garo loves his knives and fights you with them. Of course since you have a gun, welp...
  • 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 and thrown grenades or knives. As well as environmental damage.) Making dodging a guessing game, plus the timer will continue running after beating tougher opponents.
  • Nintendo Hard: The first mostly, where you can't tell what shot's going to hurt (aside from enemies), bullets that "graze" you as you go into cover can still count as lethal,note  the timer constantly goes down no matter what's going on, the timer only increases (by a variable amount) when you clear out an action point or hit certain enemies (and even then, only up to 60 seconds), and you lose all your lives if the timer runs out. Though later games tone down the Fake Difficulty, they're still designed to make the player use continues unless they're really, really good.
  • 1-Up: The original Time Crisis is the only game in the series to offer it, and the method of getting one is extremely difficult: You must kill 40 enemies without missing a single shot. As you build up your kill streak, a life icon right above the HUD slowly turns opaque, until it becomes completely opaque and turns into an extra life.
  • Prince Charmless: Sherudo Garo is this in spades.
  • Railing Kill: Several enemies on the staircase when ascending the clock tower.
  • Ruritania: Sercia.
  • 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: Kantaris does this if you take too long to defeat her or if you don't do enough damage to her car or aircraft in the Special Mode of the original Time Crisis.
  • 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 titanium robot army operated by Wild Dog.
  • Banana Republic: Caruba.
  • 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, who attacks you by throwing meat cleavers. He can soak up multiple shots before going down, in contrast to regular mercenaries who dies in one or two hits.
  • Clear My Name: The main plot of the game has Richard trying to do so after he's framed for killing a foreign president. VSSE only giving him 48 hours before officials make it into a manhunt.
  • 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 armored vehicle with three drills on it's 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 attack it from the side.
  • Dual Boss: The two robot mini-bosses, Deimos and Phobos in level 3.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: You are prevented from finishing the remaining 1/4th of the game if you play on easy.
  • Gaiden Game: Essentially a side story that features the protagonist of the first game, Richard Miller.
  • Oddball in the Series: Project Titan 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, and when he's defeated, he doesn't blow himself up, but instead, he flies off in a helicopter only to be shot down by Richard.
  • Not Quite Dead: The president of Caruba is revealed to be alive with the one that was "shot" being nothing more then a robotic duplicate.
  • 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 revealed 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.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ricardo Blanco. He was betrayed and killed by Wild Dog, after getting defeated by Richard Miller. He revealed that the president of Caruba was still alive, and the dead one was just a clone.

     Time Crisis II 
  • Big Bad: Ernesto Diaz
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Right before the F Inal Boss fight, Ernesto Diaz borrows Sherudo's Pre Asskicing One Line from the previous game as he preps his K Ill Sat: "Let me entertain you!"
  • 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 Scene: Act three of the first stage is a high speed chase on speed boats.
  • 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 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 needing to be averted in 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.
  • 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.
  • Big Bad: Giorgio Zott for 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 Scene: 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.
  • "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).
  • Dual Boss: Wild Dog and Wild Fang take you on together in the second act of level 3.
  • The Federation: Averted: the Zagorias Federation is a militaristic fascist dictatorship that invaded Astigos Island in an attempt to take over its neighboring state of Lukano.
  • Flung Clothing: Alicia in her console scenario. She changes from a bikini top and shorts into… her uniform... somehow...
  • Knife Nut: Jake in the Rescue Mission portion of 3.
  • 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.
  • Ruritania: Lukano.
  • 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, which 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 
  • Another Side, Another Story: Captain Rush mode in first console release shows the story from his perspective.
  • 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
  • Bottomless Magazines: The helicopter-mounted weapons in Stage 1-2 and Stage 3-1 never need to reload and have infinite ammo.
  • Chase Scene: 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 have 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. 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 the 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: The stage 2 boss of 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.
  • 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 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 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...
  • 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 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 out 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.
  • Yanks with Tanks: The main antagonists of this fourth game are the rogue bio weapon division of the United States Armed Forces. Captain William Rush himself is an intelligence officer of the United States Army.

     Time Crisis 5 
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Wild Fang recharge his solar energy and will explode at the players, dealing damage regardless if you are under 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 Scene: The entire third stage features one on motorcycles.
  • 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 a 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. To be fair, 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 some time before the latter was killed.
  • Jetpack: Wild Dog briefly uses one in to make his escape.
  • Knife Nut: Keith uses knives as one of his weapons during his boss fight. Robert later tries to kill the agents by throwing knives at them from behind while they're distracted.
  • Large Ham: Wild Dog becomes this in this game in stark comparison to his earlier appearances.
  • 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. Which 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.
    • 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 it's intel Keith got on Robert about his plot to sell a zombie drug. Robert 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 armored 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: "If you had just died this would have all gone according to plan."
    • Earlier, during the boss battle, Keith says, "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 goes One-Winged Angel.
  • 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.

     Crisis Zone 
  • Absurdly Long Stairway: After defeating Derrick Lynch, the S.T.F. can't take the elevator back up to the surface because it broke, so they have to take five kilometers of emergency stairs.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. The more durable basic enemies are visibly more heavily armored, and you can actually see sections ablate and fly off as they take sustained fire; also, the ballistic shields some of the enemy troops carry can withstand a number of shots.
  • Big Bad: Derrick Lynch in main campaign and Jared Hunter in the Grassmarket District campaign.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The arcade release called the hero Croad McGalain and one of the bosses Eddy. The PlayStation 2 version fixed them into Claude McGarren and Edge, respectively.
  • Boss-Only Level: The final stage in the original story as well as the Grassmarket District story in Crisis Zone is a final battle against Derrick Lynch and Jared Hunter, respectively.
  • Cool Guns: The customized Steyr TMPs that the S.T.F. are equipped with, and the FAMAS clones that the regular U.D.R.A. troops carry.
  • David vs. Goliath: Claude vs. Tiger.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Much more closer to its namesake. It's Die Hard in an Urban Complex and City, though you are aided by your troops.
  • Disney Villain Death: Derrick is knocked through a window of the room you were fighting in and explodes.
  • Dual Boss: Edge and Tiger fight you together in the office section of the main campaign.
  • Elite Mook: The foot soldiers in the Final Boss fight have some of the highest killing shot rates in the game. There is one notable segment where six blue soldiers pop out and fire killing shots immediately, as if they're really red soldiers in disguise.
  • Gaiden Game: To the main Time Crisis games. It features a separate plot with different characters, a machine gun as your main weapon rather than an alternate or "certain sections only" weapon, and a riot shield that allows you to Take Cover! even while on the move.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: In Crisis Zone, Lynch wants to destroy London just to show how evil he is.
  • Hellish Copter: Multiple helicopters assault you in Garland Park, culminating in a boss fight against a large jet-black copter with missiles, bombs, and support from two elite versions of the Mook copters.
  • Jetpack: The U.R.D.A.'s air division consists of soldiers equipped with body armor and jetpacks and you fight them in the Grassland District campaign. Likewise Hunter is also wearing one when you fight him at the top of the hotel.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Claude's all-protecting riot shield, which is why he, unlike the VSSE agents, can move around more freely and still take cover at any time.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The attack helicopter in Garland Park engages in this in the last part of the battle against it.
  • Red Shirt: You see several of your fellow soldiers bite it over the course of the game, most notably during the boss fight in Garland Park.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: Killing shots/Crisis Sightings now come with a warning beep in addition to a red reticule. Unfortunately, killing shots are faster here than in any other game in the series, meaning by the time you respond to the beep you've probably taken damage already.
  • Subsystem Damage: The fighting vehicle that attacks Drycreek Plaza sports a whopping fourteen weapons systems that you must destroy: Its main gun, a top-mounted autocannon, two turret-mounted missile launchers, six side-mounted machine guns, two retractable missile bays on the rear, and lastly two more autocannons in its internal bay that are only deployed as a last resort. Fortunately all of these can be destroyed by a submachine gun.
  • Western Terrorists: The U.R.D.A. from Crisis Zone.

     Razing Storm 

Alternative Title(s): Time Crisis 3, Time Crisis 2, Time Crisis 4


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