Killing Time (video game)

Killing Time (video game)

Infobox VG| title = Killing Time

developer = 3DO, Intrepid Software
publisher = 3DO
designer =
engine =
released = 3DO Interactive Multiplayer: 1995
PC: October 31, 1996
genre = First-person shooter
modes = Single player
ratings = 3DO: 17
ESRB: Mature (M)
platforms = 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation, Sega Saturn
media = CD
requirements =
input = Gamepad (3DO) or Keyboard and Mouse (PC)

"Killing Time" is a horror-themed first-person shooter video game developed by 3DO. Though meant at first as an exclusive for their 3DO Interactive Multiplayer console, it was later ported to the Windows 95 PC platform in 1996 by Intrepid Software and to the Macintosh when the 3DO system failed to meet sales expectations.


The player controls a private investigator, trapped on a fictional 1930s version of Matinicus Isle, Maine, within the estate of wealthy heiress Tess Conway. In 1932, Conway, while attempting to use a mystical Ancient Egyptian water clock which purportedly granted eternal life, vanished, along with many of her famous friends. The player's objective is to find the clock, and discover the secrets of the estate, all while beating back the many horrors that now occupy the island from beyond the grave.

Killing Time despite its general first person shooter gameplay is unique, especially for its time. Throughout the game the plot is slowly revealed to the player through numerous ghostly cut screens, all of them performed by a cast of professional actors. Unlike other games that deal in the mythos of other cultures, the producers of Killing Time relayed accurate knowledge of Egyptian lore in the story. Also unique for its time, the game even includes several songs written exclusively for the game along with an impressive sound track.


In "Killing Time", the main character is an anonymous private investigator sent to discover the mystery behind a missing Egyptian artifact. The ancient "Water Clock of Thoth" had been discovered by a professor of Egyptology, but the artifact went missing soon after a visit by the expedition's funder, Tess Conway. Tess is the rich inheritor of her family's estate on Matinicus Isle, where she keeps her friends and pawns close by so that she might gain the true power of the Water Clock, which is said to grant immortality. As the game progresses, the player finds out that Tess has used a number of people to gain what she desires, but at a price. Something went horribly wrong, transforming everyone on the entire isle into either restless ghosts, demons or the undead.


The gameplay follows the standard set by most first-person shooters with the player using an assortment of weapons. These include a crowbar, dual-pistols, shotgun, Thompson submachine gun, Molotov cocktails, flamethrower, and a magical ankh which can be used to wipe out many enemies at a time. The game does not come with any form of multiplay.To beat the game one must collect a number of vases spread throughout Matinicus Isle, each containing a symbolic part of Tess Conway's spirit. Unlike other old first person shooter games, Killing Time's gameplay requires you to strafe, crouch and jump when necessary.


*"Tess Conway": Inheritor of her parent's wealth as well as Matinicus Isle, Tess Conway will stop at nothing to get what she wants, even if it means losing her own soul. Obsessed with living forever, Tess Conway acquires the ancient Egyptian water clock in the hopes of using it to stop time itself from moving. She keeps her most useful pawns close to her on the isle nurturing them with food and drink long enough to gain her truest ambitions. When at last she has the power of the waterclock within her grasp she confuses the timing and curses all the people on the isle. Tess and her friends become restless spirits while the rest are turned into mindless zombies. In order to beat the game one must free her soul from its prison on the isle.

*"Duncan": Tess' grimy stooge in the black market, Duncan is an ambitious bootlegger trying to make a name for himself in the world of crime. Attempting to marry Tess in order to acquire her property and wealth, Duncan does whatever Tess asks in order to gain her favor. With a short temper and a broad mean streak, it's no wonder how quickly he turns to murder when he finds out that Tess has no mind for marriage. With her dying breath before everything is turned to hell, Tess curses Duncan and possesses his body with the vengeful spirit of Set, the Egyptian God of Evil.

*"Byron": Tess' lowly archaeologist stooge, Byron falls hopelessly in love with Tess while helping her to decipher the code of the Waterclock. All his efforts to woo Tess however are futile of course, and the lonely Byron is reduced to nothing but another hapless pawn in the long run of things. More clever than anyone else however he knows the true power of the Waterclock and keeps it to himself, carefully observing Tess' attempt for immortality that he might learn from her mistakes.

*"Mike": Duncan's rent-a-cop body guard, Mike follows Duncan around and makes sure everything goes smoothly. Officially the "guard" of the isle, Mike finds himself without much of a job to do most of the time. He appears only once by himself in the game to offer a quick warning to beware of both Duncan and Tess.

*"Robert": Robert has been the Conway's official butler for years and even goes as far to reminisce over Tess and Alydia's adolescence together. Perhaps one of the game's only truly innocent characters, Robert laments over Tess' transformation after the death of her parents, and keeps a wary eye on Duncan who he openly distrusts. He is Byron's only friend and appears often to offer friendly advice on how to navigate the Conway estate. Robert dislikes what is going on but remains a loyal servant out of honor for the dying memory of the Conway family.

*"Lydia": Tess' childhood friend, Lydia is kept on the isle for mysterious reasons though it would seem as though Tess gains confidence from being two steps ahead of Lydia at all times. Lydia confesses later in the game that she is sick of being in the shadow of Tess and works to bring her whole establishment down from the inside by leaking as much information as she can to Duncan. Both Duncan and Mike grow fond of Lydia during the course of the game primarily because she is physically attractive. All the same she remains miserably trapped on the isle, and spends most of her time drowning her worries in gin.

*"Angela Conway": Tess Conway's niece, this ghost of a young girl appears often in the game to spout cryptic poems, particularly in junctions in the hedge maze. Seemingly wise beyond her years, she understands what must be done and where to go, if one deciphers her riddles.


Another feature unique in Killing time is the mind boggling amount of enemies ranging from truly well thought out horrors, to the absurd.

* "Zombie Gangsters": The first enemy you see in the game, these fashionable zombies wield tommy guns that they sometimes leave when killed. Not a true marksmen but dangerous in large numbers.

* "Zombie Goons": Tess Conway, busy with more important affairs, sent her private army of goons to tend the grounds of the isle. Though meant to help around the gardens, these lumbering foes now prefer to use their hedge clippers on your face.

* "Zombie Huntsmen": The third zombie seen in the game, these zombies carry shotguns and are rarely seen without their hounds by their side. Again, not too skillful at shooting but tricky in numbers and hard to see from a distance.

* "Two Headed Dogs": Once the loyal hounds of the huntsmen now turned monsters of nightmares. Running in a zig zag line, these enemies are hard to kill and very dangerous in packs. It's best to stay low to the ground when dealing with these beasts. The sound of their maddened snarls sounds when they spot you.

* "Zombie Bruisers": Normally when faced with a strictly melee enemy, it's best to resort to the crowbar, but these zombie hulks prove very dangerous at close quarters. Well placed punches are bad enough, but their endurance is truly something to be reckoned with.

* "Giant Wasps": Not really a great threat but just as irritating as they are in real life. These stinging beasts lunge at you and sting you until you're dead, but a shotgun blast or two will take them out.

* "Hell Skulls": One of the more formidable enemies in the game, these floating skulls spew three fireballs in a row. Floating in the air or close to the ground, they're one of the most mobile enemies in the game and incredibly dangerous in tight rooms and in large numbers. Their design however is not especially intimidating.

* "Zombie Maids": Not as tough as the Zombie Bruisers but you wouldn't think so at the sight of them. Sounding out a low grunt and charging after you with their thick frames, the zombie maids are not to be trifled with. Nothing your crowbar can't handle but they do pack quite a punch, literally.

* "Succubi Maids": When you first see this enemy you wonder why a maid with devil horns and wings is cleaning the house and not attacking you, then you step closer and say "oh." These maids have a bad side that easy to trigger, but not hard to defeat with your crowbar. Another enemy that's solely melee in its attacks, these demons however are surprisingly fast.

* "Roaches": One of the most obnoxious enemies in the game, these mutant cockroaches stand on their hind legs and spew green acid at you. Dishing out a lot of damage and with a baffling amount of health, these foes are a true menace in any situation.

* "Zombie Clowns": Tess Conway in celebration of her achievements hired a troop (small army) of clowns, who were later turned into zombies. You'd think that a zombie clown would be terrifying but they're actually one of the most absurdly designed enemies in the game. Not especially dangerous they can be taken out easily with the crowbar, but they're never alone. Nevertheless their bark (a mad giggling) is worse than their bite.

* "Zombie Chefs": Perhaps the most disturbing of all the enemies is the chef. With several butcher knives already skewering their bodies, these monstrosities hurl cleavers at you from afar, ordering you to, "come here." Despite the look of it, these brutes aren't especially tough.

* "Zombie Prohibitionist": Appropriately locked within the wine cellar, these old activists now hurl bottles of wine at you in the afterlife. Surprisingly fast, tough and good shots, these zombies never leave behind any health orbs when killed, making them very tricky to deal with. Luckily they are only found in one level.

* "Giant Scarabs": Truly the most annoying enemy in the game, these ancient beetles hurl themselves at you are start biting. The biting itself makes a really annoying sound, and there's actually no animation for it so it would appear as if these insects are doing nothing if your health weren't slowly going down.

* "Mutant Toads": Looking like a cross between a venus flytrap, a tadpole and moving like a kangaroo, these monsters are perhaps the most unusual enemy in the game. Biting you in close quarters or spewing acid from afar, these beasts are pretty rough around the edges but not especially tough. The tricky part is seeing them however, as they have a tendency to blend in with their surroundings and barely make a sound when they see you.

* "Anubus Heads": Not out of place but not the least bit intimidating, these golden floating statue heads pelt you with fireballs. They don't bleed when you fire at them but they certainly go out with a bang when killed. They're tricky and are always seen in packs.

* "Fog of Doom": Another oddity among the vast array of enemies is the evil fog, which seems very out of place no matter where it's found. What appears to be just a cloud of gas suddenly turns into a smokey skull and lunges at you. There is no animation for its attack but it seemingly pelts you with electricity up close. The worst part is not knowing whether or not you've hit it until it's dead, though seemingly it's best to aim for the middle.

* "Fire Skeletons": Another enemy that's not especially intimidating, these red skeletons launch fireballs at you from their hands. A pain to deal with in any situation however as they're tougher than they look are hard to hit (they're not the most rotund of targets, after all)

* "Phantom Demons": These floating demons look tougher than they really are. Waiting until they're close enough to bite you, these pale monsters are easily taken out with a crowbar. They generally fly solo but usually hang around enemies with non-melee attacks.

* "Duncan": The first of two bosses, Duncan after being cursed by Tess has been imbued with the evil spirit of Set (an Egyptian god). Attacking at you up close with a sword made of a human spinal chord, or electrifying you with a lightning bolt, he's a formidable foe. What's worse is he's utterly invincible until all fake waterclocks are smashed (they happen to be spread out within the estate). You can kill him temporarily but until he's dead he enjoys teleporting within your vicinity. A tough fellow indeed.

* "Tess Conway": With the powers of the Egyptian Goddess Isis, Tess now attacks you with the magical fury of an immortal. Either blasting you with a powerful magical bolt, or summoning Hell Skulls, she's an incredibly hard boss to defeat, but you get the "good ending" if you manage it.

External links

*moby game|id=/killing-time|name="Killing Time"
* [ A walkthrough of the game]

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