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Time Pilot

And now, a page from the Big Book Of Interesting Video-Game Facts: Time Pilot's creator, Yoshiki Okamoto, was originally asked to design Yet Another Boring Driving Simulation, but he wanted to do a game inspired by 1981's Bosconian. So Okamoto took a page from the Big Book Of Guaranteed Success In Business: He ignored his bosses' wishes and used company resources to do his own thing. The result enraged his employer, but Okamoto's "Come on, dude, we should at least test it out in the field!" technique defeated Konami's "You're fired, jerk!" technique. Time Pilot was an epic success, and 23 years later, Okamoto remains a powerful force in the industry.

Gameplay: Most airplanes can only fly through the air, but you've managed to get your hands on a plane that flies through time! Unfortunately, it only allows you to travel into horde after horde of pilots who want to kill you. Quit your cryin', nobody said time travel would be easy.

There are five increasingly difficult waves, beginning in 1910 and ending in the mysterious future world of 2001. To clear each wave, you'll need to blast 56 enemies, plus a boss ship that requires seven hits to take down. If racking up points really rodgers your hammerstein, you can pick up parachuting pilots and take out attacking squadrons for bonuses. If you manage to complete all five levels, you'll be rewarded with a chance to play the whole game again.

Could be mistaken for: Time Pilot '84, Gyruss, an evening with that one roommate who incessantly flips between SciFi and The History Channel. Jesus Christ, Eddie! Pick a fucking channel and stay there! Jeez!

Kids today might not like it because: The experience of traveling through time via video game isn't as exciting as the experience of traveling through time via huffing paint.

Kids today might like it because: The experience of traveling through time via video game leaves 56 percent less paint on their faces than the leading method.

Enduring contribution to gaming history: Time Pilot's success was just the beginning of Yoshiki Okamoto's career. He eventually designed the Street Fighter series of games, and produced the film version of Resident Evil, which he also created.


Wil Wheaton successfully resisted the urge to make an oblique reference to his former occupation that few people would understand.