Games Involving Time Travel

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by bahamut920, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. bahamut920

    bahamut920 GBAtemp Fan

    Jan 23, 2009
    United States
    I've been thinking about games involving time travel recently, and I became curious as to how many video games have explored the concept, how deeply, and what "type" of time travel is used.

    If you mention a game, please include what "type" of time travel is used in the game, if applicable, and whether the time travel element is integral to the story (the game doesn't have to revolve around time travel like Chrono Trigger or Radiant Historia, but if at least one major story sequence uses it, the time travel is a major element in the game) or if the time travel is incidental, used only for one sidequest or minor plot sequence and then forgotten. Please put any specifics about a game's plot in spoiler tags, so as to not ruin any plot elements for anyone.

    For reference, the two main types of time travel are "free-will" and "predestination" time travel. In "free-will" time travel, any actions undertaken in the past can affect the present or future, sometimes drastically. This is the type of time travel in which characters must be careful or risk running afoul of a paradox. "Predestination" time travel, however, states that the "changes" the characters make to the timeline have already happened, and the characters are just doing things "all over again." Paradox is impossible in this model, because everything has already happened, and the heroes are just the catalysts.

    Games I can think of off the top of my head:

    Games With Plot-Integral Time Travel
    • Final Fantasy (Predestination)
    • Chrono Trigger (Free-Will)
    • Final Fantasy Legend III/SaGa 3 (Unknown)
    • Earthbound (Free-Will)
    • Radiant Historia (Unknown)
    • Time Hollow (Predestination)
    • Warriors Orochi 3 (Unknown, but likely Free-Will)

    I can't think of any games with time travel as a minor element of the plot off-hand.
  2. Hyro-Sama

    Hyro-Sama I'm from the fucking future.

    Oct 25, 2009
    After Earth
    Final Fantasy XIII-2. (Free-Will)
    Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. (Free-Will) I think...
    Final Fantasy Type-0 (Predestination) It's not exactly time travel per se but it fits the description of "Predestination".

    I'm bored. I cannot think of anymore.
  3. Click This

    Click This Surgite!

    Feb 18, 2012
    United States
    New York, New York
    Zipang (Nigh unattainable, untranslated)
  4. prowler

    prowler Sony

    Jul 14, 2009
    The 3rd Birthday (Free-Will) - Highly suggest this game if you're into time travel, there is plot holes (like any other game with time travel in it) and leaves questions unanswered but that's the fun in it.

    Also people, read the OP before posting, please.
  5. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    Uhm..."Back to the Future" games? :P
    1 person likes this.
  6. Jax

    Jax Pip Pip Cheerioink!

    Jul 31, 2006
    Day of the Tentacle
    Sonic Generations
    Serious Sam series
    Timesplitters series
    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
    Back to the Future: The Game

    and more!
  7. xist


    Jul 14, 2008
    2 people like this.
  8. Eerpow

    Eerpow *swoosh*

    Sep 14, 2009
    Ganbare Goemon 3 for SNES involves time travel.
    Though I could never understand the plot completely because it's all in Japanese.

    Seriously the game is extremely good, it's like Zelda but with lots of 2D platforming.

    You won't find this game in any of the lists posted. hahaha
  9. BORTZ

    BORTZ Tired of being the good guy

    GBAtemp Patron
    BORTZ is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Dec 2, 2007
    United States
    Nuts beat me to it lol
  10. Sora de Eclaune

    Sora de Eclaune Baby squirrel, you's a sexy motherfucker.

    Feb 15, 2011
    United States
    123 Fake Street
    I'll only list the initial story of the game, so spoilers aren't needed.
    • Retro Game Challenge (Unknown) - You're turned into a kid and sent back in time to the 80s by the host of the show Retro Game Master, and you have to play his stupid retro games with his past self to get back to your own time.
    • Mario's Time Machine (Unknown) - Edutainment game where you go around taking things Bowser stole from the past and putting them back into the past before the present gets all screwed up.
    • Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future (Free-Will) - Ecco the dolphin has to travel through various times and timelines to restore history.
    • Final Fantasy XI (Unknown) - Players can travel between the past and present in the Wings of the Goddess expansion.
    • Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (Free-Will) - The premise of the game is traveling back to four minutes before a person's death and preventing it.
    • Kingdom Hearts II (Free-Will) - One level in the game revolves around a location in the past.
    • Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (Unknown) - As the title says. Main premise of the game is that Mario and Luigi go back in time to help their younger selves fight aliens.
    • Shadow of Memories / Shadow of Destiny (Predetermined AND Free-Will) - The main character keeps getting almost killed and has to travel into the past a bunch of times to try and permanently prevent his own death. Apparently you see some things change as you play the game and change the past, but not everything you change in the past is reflected in the present because it was already reflected before you changed anything.
    • Sonic Generations (Unknown) - Sonic and Past-Sonic team up and go through a lot of stages that have appeared in Sonic games before to beat Eggman or something.
    • Thief: Deadly Shadows (Unknown) - Two words: Shalebridge Cradle.
    • Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? (Unknown) - Find Carmen Sandiego throughout various time periods.
    • Braid (Predetermined) - Time Travel as a gameplay element. Each chapter explores a different time traveling element.
    • Day of the Tentacle (Free-Will) - Simultaneous control of three characters in three separate time periods of the same location.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Free-Will) - Obvious choice.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Free-Will) - Obvious choice.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (Free-Will) - Obvious choice.
    Radiant Historia is both Free-Will and Predetermined, by the way.
  11. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    Jak II immediately comes to mind.

    Oh, and Timeshift! ...Does anyone even remember Timeshift?
  12. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

    Global Moderator
    Oct 27, 2002
    Engine room, learning
    Star Ocean 4 : free-will Parallel world (time travel in past not affecting present)
    Star Ocean 1 to 3 : Free-Will
    Time Hollow : Free-Will
    Breath of Fire : Predetermined

    I'll edit if I remember other.
    (BoF and Star Ocean 2+ are not listed on wiki)
  13. AndreXL

    AndreXL GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Dec 28, 2006
    Well, we have "999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors" and possibly its part 2.
    It's pretty much spoilerrific to discuss, anyway...
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
  14. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    May 6, 2009
    United States
    The Danger Zone
    I'm surprised no one mentioned a certain game that featured both time AND splitting.

    C'mon people...
  15. Devin

    Devin "Local Hardware Wizard"

    GBAtemp Patron
    Devin is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Aug 17, 2009
    United States
    The Nexus
    Time Hallow was a pretty good one, as Cyan mentioned.

    EDIT: It's free will.
  16. CrimzonEyed

    CrimzonEyed GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 3, 2007
    Chronos Twins
    Final Fantasy VIII
    Tales of Phantasia
  17. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    Most games I know of are the kind where time travel is an excuse to visit exotic locations. I guess that makes them predestinated, because it's never suddenly game over when the universe implodes because you accidentally step on a flower that otherwise would have been a forefather.

    Serious sam series
    Turtles in time
    Unreal Tournament (some of the map descriptions claim that they're set in the past)
    The lost vikings
    C&C: Red alert series (though perhaps it IS free will, as changes here somewhat lead to a different "now" in the regular C&C universe).

    For free will...Prince of Persia: sands of time.

    ...and perhaps I make Zelda lovers cringe, but isn't "Zelda: a link to the past" about time travel? Sure, it's called "dark world", but still...
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