Further into Unknown World

Time Pilot '84 was the sequel to the original Time Pilot. This Konami title was released at the height of the 1984 arcade crash and was usually sold as a conversion kit. This original Time Pilot was programmed by Yoshiki Okamoto. This title was done by a different team, but it still captures much of the feel of the original, especially the ship movements, which are identical to the original.

Gameplay

You shouldn't have too much trouble with this game if you are familiar with the original Time Pilot. The game is divided into several nameless levels, which each have their own boss. The graphics are quite a bit better than what the original Time Pilot had, and they even hold up fairly well today.

The game basically consists of you piloting a space ship that can move in any direction. But there is one little quirk to your movement, you have a turning radius. For example, pushing left will cause your ship to begin to turn left, instead of just instantly moving left. This allows for greater control, but it does take a little getting used to.

You are equipped with two weapons, a blaster, and guided missiles. Most enemies can only be harmed by the blaster, just shoot them and they go down. Other enemies can only be harmed by the guided missiles. To fire those you must point yourself at the enemy until the "lock on" appears, then you can fire and your missile will track the enemy until they are destroyed.

Sometimes enemies will fly in a formation entering from various places on the screen, if you are fast you can often blast all of them and receive a nice bonus to your score. Most enemies do not enter in formation at all, instead they come at you one and two at a time, and then proceed to track your movements. Eventually you will blast enough enemies, and the boss will appear, hit him with a missile to warp to the next level.

Every once in a while the ship from the original Time Pilot will appear, blast it to receive a bonus life..

The Machine

This title was usually sold as a conversion kit. There were only a few hundred dedicated cabinets made. It used the Konami Standard harness, and required a vertical monitor. The marquee showed a yellow "Time Pilot '84" logo on a red space background. The sideart consisted of a huge sticker that showed a complicated space scene. Sideart like that rarely holds up very well, so most machines will probably be missing it altogether. The control panel featured a single 8-Way joystick with two fire buttons off to the right (along with start buttons and game instructions). You can replace the original joystick with almost any other 8-way, they are all interchangeable as far as this game is concerned.

Where to play

This title was never ported to any other systems (as far as I know). So you are pretty much stuck playing the arcade version using the MAME emulator. It really is worth the download, as this is a great game.

This is a great title to add to your arcade game collection. You might have a lot of trouble finding an actual machine to purchase, but the circuit boards are easy to find, and are usually under $20. Check the Konami Standard node for a list of machines that this PCB will plug into. (I play mine in my original Time Pilot machine).

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