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Time Soldiers (Arcade)

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Title Screen

Time Soldiers

Also known as: Battle Field (JP)
Developer: Alpha Denshi
Publishers: SNK (JP/EU), Romstar (US)
Platform: Arcade (Alpha Denshi 68000 hardware)
Released in JP: October 1987[1]
Released in US: October 1987[1]
Released in EU: 1987

CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

In Time Soldiers, you can destroy dinosaurs, Romans, and robots without having to worry about those pesky time paradoxes.

Debugging Functions

One of the game's dip switches (labeled as "Unused" in MAME) can display some debug information if the game is able to write to address 0x08FFF in the main CPU. This isn't possible to do in the retail game, since that address is occupied by game program code, but was probably possible in development versions. Place this cheat in MAME's timesold.xml cheat file to bypass that check:

  <cheat desc="Fix Debug Switch">
    <script state="run">
    <script state="off">

When the debug switch is on, the colors of the score headers will change from white to orange, and two values will be printed to the top-left part of the screen.

  • "Level" is the current difficulty level, which can only be 00 or 01.
  • The "Easy" difficulty level always has this value as 00.
  • The "Normal" difficulty level starts out as 00 but changes to 01 when any player collects a power-up. It resets when all players who collected power-ups die.
  • The "Hard" difficulty level always has this value as 01.
  • The four-digit number represents the camera's current position in the level.

(Debug information: Bryan McPhail (MAME Alpha 68000 driver))

Developer Credits

The following text starts at address 0x00030 in the audio CPU:

Sound Board No.62FC01
Music Macro Lungeag & 
Effect Macro Lungeag & 
Adpcm Voice Out Control Program
By Satoshi.Hagitani 
(Source: Original TCRF research)

Unused Graphics

Older Final
TimeSoldiersArcGemeOver.png TimeSoldiersArcGameOver.png

There's an older version of the "Game Over" graphic in the tile graphics ROM. Pretty obvious why they changed it!

While there are sixteen power-up graphics, only five of them are used in the game! While it's hard to tell what most of these would do by graphics alone, the "S Down" is a negative equivalent to the Speed Up orbs, "E" would possibly refill the player's special weapon energy, and "1UP" is just obvious.

The kanji on this unused power-up (the only one without any kind of animation) is 敵, or "enemy".

(Translation: divingkataetheweirdo)

One of two blocks of Japanese text in the object graphics ROM. "しゅりんく " is a transliteration of "shrink" using hiragana characters for transliteration instead of the more commonly used katakana system.

(Translation: divingkataetheweirdo)

"アキ" or "aki", in this context, is probably short for "empty" or "vacant".

(Source: Original TCRF research)

Regional Differences

Battle Field Time Soldiers
TimeSoldierArcTitleJP.png TimeSoldiersArcTitle.png

The Japanese version, Battle Field, in addition to having a different logo, uses blue text rather than red on the title screen. The SNK logo is also a darker shade of blue than it is in Time Soldiers.

Note that even though both versions have a language dip switch, the graphics for each game logo are exclusive to that particular region. This means that if the language dip switch is set to a different region than the game is from, the title screen will be horribly glitched and mistiled.

Battle Field Time Soldiers
TimeSoldiersArcHighScoreLong.png TimeSoldiersArcHighScoreShort.png

In Time Soldiers, the language dip switch controls if the high score names are three characters (English) or six characters (Japanese). In Battle Field, the high score names are always six characters long.

(Source: Original TCRF research)