Time Pilot '84 - Game Description

Game Info

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Title Screen

Time Pilot '84 (TP84) is a 4-way scrolling shooter. Similar to its predecessor you pilot your craft over many time periods. Unlike the original Time Pilot (TP), which told you the year of each level, the new time periods in TP84 are designated by new enemies and different colors.

The game world is huge and wraps around in all directions. While the map itself remains the same for every level, some enemy locations are shuffled around.

There are a large number of enemy types in the game. They each have varying movement patterns, difficulty, and point values. You will need different strategies to handle each one. There are also many bonus and secret enemies which pop up from time to time. Like the original, destroying enough standard enemies brings out a boss enemy that must be dispatched before advancing to the next level.

Your weapons

You have two weapons to use on the game's many enemies. Your standard shot can destroy only a couple types of enemy. You need to use your missiles on the remaining ones.

You do not have the near-unlimited number of shots like in TP. Every press of the button fires a set of three shots. Only two of these can be fired in succession. After that there's a slight delay before you can fire again. Six shots may seem like a lot, but if you fire them back-to-back too quickly, that small delay can lead to disaster. A better strategy is to stagger your shots so that you have a more consistent stream of bullets.

Missile lock

Your missiles play a key role in TP84. They are the only way to destroy most of the enemies, including the boss at the end of each level. Your missiles will home in on its target which makes them nice fire-and-forget weapons. However, you must first obtain a lock on any enemy you wish to destroy. When you have a lock, a white targeting indicator will appear around the enemy. Firing the missile turns this indicator red. The missile will then follow the target until it is destroyed or goes off the screen. You may only have two missiles on screen at once.

To obtain a lock you must get relatively close to the enemy and face it. It is not necessary to fire your standard bullets at it to get a lock -- just flying close by is good enough. If you fire a missile without having a lock it will fly around erratically for a time before disappearing. These non-locked missiles count towards your two-at-a-time limit making it dangerous to fire them off randomly for fear of not having one available when you need it.


The first Time Pilot doesn't require that much strategy. You basically keep shooting things until the boss appears. You destroy that and go on to the next level. You could play *some* tricks on the second level by deliberately letting the boss live and just going after parachuters, formations, and bonus planes. I was never really good enough to do this effectively.

This time there are a number of things to do in each level that will keep you moving. First up are the eight hidden targets. These are scattered about the map and only appear when you get close. They are worth lots of points and so a good strategy is to create a path that takes you from one to the next.

Also, every level has different enemy formations to consider. Some levels have a set of eight special enemy tanks. If you can destroy them all you get a lot of points. However, they fire quite often which makes them very difficult to kill. Another type of formation includes five enemies which look like your ship from the original Time Pilot. They seem to only appear at certain locations on each level. While they do not fire, they are still difficult to destroy since they require missiles. They fly faster than you so you need to be quick in order to get missile locks on all five before they get out of range.

The boss at the end of every level is not too hard. One missile kills it. It does fire missiles back at you, but these can be destroyed by your standard bullets.

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