Tribute To Time Traveler – The World’s 1st Holographic Video Game


Time Traveler Arcade - #GTUSA 2
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The other day I was having a conversation with my good friend Peter of Top Arcade Machines about Time Traveler, so I decided to do a tribute to this amazing machine.

I remember the summer Time Traveler came out, I was either 9 or 10 years old. Going into the arcade in Ocean City, MD there was a line going to the door with people waiting to play this modern marvel of its time. People were gathered around just trying to get a glimpse at the worlds first holographic video game.

In those days this was serious technology. Kind of like when the Virtual Boy came out, many thought this was the future of gaming. Like the Virtual Boy, holographic gaming was a trend that seemed to die out very fast, but the excitement of my first look at this classic will live on in my memories forever.

To pay tribute to the worlds 1st holographic video game, below you’ll find a game-play video, some facts from Wikipedia, and some pics from around the interweb. If you were also blown away by this classic arcade machine, please leave a comment.

Vid Source – Adam Clark

Time Traveler or Hologram Time Traveler is a stereographic laserdisc FMV arcade game released in 1991 by Sega and designed by Dragon’s Lair creator Rick Dyer. It is called the “World’s First Holographic Video Game” because it uses a special arcade cabinet that projects the game’s characters. The “holographic” effect is an optical illusion using a large curved mirror and a CRT television set.

Time Traveler Arcade - #GTUSA 3
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The game’s premise is that American old west cowboy Marshal Gram (played by Stephen Wilber, also hired to coordinate the game’s stunts) is required to save the universe from scientist turned evil time lord Vulcor, who’s found a way to manipulate and distort time itself; and to also rescue Princess Kyi-La of the Galactic Federation, whom Vulcor is holding prisoner in his quest to disrupt the flow of time. Basically the player needed to pursue a villain across time through the ages overcoming various obstacles along the way while undoing all the damage done by Vulcor. The game’s action sequences were filmed in San Diego, California, with forty actors and a small production crew of about five 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 the obese “amazon queen” in the bonus DVD features and a chainsaw-wielding character in the game. The game’s special effects, music and character voices were later added at a special effects studio in Carlsbad, California.

Time Traveler Arcade - #GTUSA 4
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In 2001, a non-stereographic version was published by Digital Leisure in PC CD-ROM and standard DVD format.

Fact Source – Wikipedia

About Phil Williams

Founder & President of GameTraders USA.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
-Dr. Seuss

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  • PeterArcade

    Great technology and great post! 😀

    • Phil Williams

      Thanks Peter. It was ahead of its time.