Time Traveler

Arcade Video Game published 28 years ago by SEGA Enterprises

Time Traveler screenshot

Emulated in MAME !
Information for the following ROM(s): timetrv timetrv2


Time Traveler © 1991 Sega.

Beautiful Kyi-La, Princess of the Galactic Federation, is kidnapped by the evil renegade scientist Vulcor. You control the daring Marshall Gram and travel through the ages of time to rescue the Princess. Adventure through time as you confront space knights, ninja warriors, cavemen, futuristic robots, cowboys and countless other adversaries. Travel from prehistoric caves to 26th century space ships as you battle to save Kyi-La and prevent Vulcor from tearing the fabric of time!

At the beginning of the game you receive one Time Reversal Cube and are given the choice of either learning the moves you need for the game or immediately starting. If Marshall Gram perishes in the midst of the game he can use a Time Reversal Cube to back up to the moment before his death. Otherwise the player will lose a life and have to start the level over. Additional Time Reversal Cubes can be bought from The Trader for additional credits, but there is a limit of how many Cubes that can be purchased per game. Once the player loses all of his lives the game is over.
Goodies for Time Traveler
Click to enlarge
(members only)


Time Traveler was the first of two games (the other being "Holosseum") to use the hi-tech hologram theater cabinet created by Sega. The theater works because of a concave mirror inside the cabinet, which reflects a specially framed image produced on a standard monitor. Because of the nature of a concave mirror, the focused image appears as if it is floating in mid-air, provided that the interior of the cabinet is painted black to absorb any excess reflection.

Motherboard: One very small board (only about 4"x7"), with a large eprom on it (Intel 27C0202 / 256k x 8).
CPU : Unknown, but under a LARGE heatsink
Laserdisc Player : Sony LDP-1450

Players : 1
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 2 => [A] Shoot; [B] Time Reversal Cube


Released in September 1991 in Japan.

Created by Rick Dyer, the co-creator of "Dragon's Lair" and "Space Ace", Time Traveler features a cast of Hollywood actors and digitally mastered special effects. Selling over $18,000,000.00 in its arcade debut, Time Traveler remains the first and only coin-operated arcade game to deliver a real 3-D hologram experience.

The game's action sequences were filmed in San Diego, California, with 40 actors and a small production crew of about 5 people headed by Producer/Director Mark E. Watson of Fallbrook California. The game takes place across many iconic settings from different time periods. All the game's footage was shot as if it were a live action movie. Few props were used during filming as the actors had to imagine fantastical locations while being filmed in front of a green screen stage. Some actors performed multiple roles, for example, the same actor played an obese woman (called "amazon queen") and a chainsaw wielding character. The game's special effects, music and character voices were later added at a special effects studio in Carlsbad, California.

According to archived news video footage from TV stations in California the game was considered a financial success for Dyer's company (Virtual Image Productions) and SEGA, pulling an average of one million dollars per week during its peak at the arcades. The game's lifespan didn't prove so lasting though. With fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat becoming extremely popular, SEGA released the game "Holosseum" as a conversion kit for the arcade cabinet about a year or so after Time Traveler's release. Though it didn't revolutionize the arcade industry as Dyer may have thought, it's mentioned he considered making a sequel and also adapting the technology into something usable in casino machines.


Easter eggs: Pressing both game buttons while pressing down on the joystick (with a credit on the machine) shows Rick Dyer dancing around with his son on his back. Doing the same procedure while pressing up on the joystick shows the game's development team.


Created by : Rick Dyer
Engine: David Salizzoni
Produced/Directed by : Mark E. Watson


To maintain the hologram feel, Digital Leisure has included 3-D glasses with it's CD-ROM and DVD movie player versions. A 2-D version is available on the same disc that may be played without the 3-D glasses.

Sony PlayStation 2 (Digital Leisure)
Microsoft XBOX (Digital Leisure)

PC [MS Windows] (Digital Leisure)
Apple Macintosh (Digital Leisure)

DVD Video (2000)

Machine's picture.