I Was Supposed to be a Time Traveler

I was meant to be a time traveler. Some time in the future, maybe only a few years from now, some guys will make a game entitled ”The Journeyman Project”. Being that this game was first published in 1993, you might think that it was already made. But it wasn’t made then, it hasn’t been made yet. It will be made in the future. You see, the makers of the game sent it back in time so that I could play it. To prepare me for my future career as a time traveler…

The first short story I ever wrote, back when I was in the third grade was about a kid named Johnny. He was from the future, and secretly used his dad’s time machine to come back to our time. Upon his arrival in the early 1990s he discovered the time machine was broken, and he had to fix it. He stole a Nintendo for the parts he needed, was caught by the police during the theft, went to trial, perjured himself, then ended up using a ray gun (set for stun) on everybody in the courthouse to get away and go back to the future. My mom didn’t like my story because Johnny lied in court, and another friend of mine pointed out that the story was strikingly similar to that of ”Back to the Future”.

The TSA Logo. That’s the Temporal Security Agency. I liked this logo so much I printed it out and showed it to my friends.

In any case. I’ve always been fascinated with time travel, but it wasn’t until 1996 that I knew I was meant to be a time traveler. Specifically I was supposed to work for the TSA (no, not ”that” TSA), the Temporal Security Agency. In 1996 I played ”The Journeyman Project Turbo” for the first time.

In the game you play as a Agent 5, a TSA Agent (remember that’s Temporal Security Agency). Agent 5 is a time traveler whose responsibility is to make sure that no one alters history. If someone does, Agent 5 must go back in time and correct whatever has been changed. The game was fun enough, and most adventure gamers of the 90s will agree it’s pretty good, but for me it was more than “pretty good”, it was the most important game of my life. I knew the game had been made for me. The game was my training. I knew I was Agent 5, or at least I would become him. That’s why he was a nameless, nearly faceless, guy, because the game makers didn’t want it to be too obvious to me that it was me, but I knew it was. ”The Journeyman Project” was my first phase of training. I must have played it three or four times, just to make sure I’d be ready for the future.

I knew I had more training to go, though. By the time I played the game, it had already been out for three years, and there was already a sequel, ”The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time”. This would be the next step of my training. My copy of ”The Journeyman Project Turbo” included a preview for the sequel. It seemed even more awesome than the first. I finally got the game for my birthday. I was all too ready to continue my training.

Gage Blackwood didn’t look a thing like me.

One thing kind of disappointed me about the sequel. Agent 5 now had a name and face. He was Gage Blackwood, and he had long hair. All I could think was that I didn’t have long hair and my name wasn’t Gage. How could the guys from the future have gotten that so wrong? Then I realized that they couldn’t use my real name, that would be too obvious. All that really mattered was that I played the games, so that I would receive my training, and know what challenges awaited me in the future. It was a cool game too. It has one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard in my life. And, on a side note, there was a music video in the game by some guy named Geno Andrews, who I coincidentally saw credited as the writer, director, and star of the film ”Cold Play” (2008), and couldn’t help but wonder if it was the same guy. It was.

The ”Buried in Time” jumpsuit. My own jumpsuit was similar in design with a spherical helmet.

The new feature of the second game, was that no longer did a TSA agent need a time machine to jump through time, instead they had jumpsuits. Literally suits that could jump through time at any moment. As part of my training I decided to make my own jumpsuit. It consisted of a helmet made of paper-mache and a puffy winter coat. I would play around in my backyard while wearing this suit that I had. Mostly I’d play at night, cause I didn’t want anyone seeing me at fourteen years old preparing for my future time travel escapades. It was important to me, though. I wanted to make sure I’d feel comfortable in a jumpsuit. One time I got caught walking around in my time travel suit, by my next door neighbors. They called my mom to ask what I was doing. She didn’t know anything about my future career as a time traveler.

After finishing ”Buried in Time” the years went on. ”The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time” came out a few years later. I knew I would eventually have to play it, but I kept putting it off. My brother eventually got the game in 2000, and I briefly played it, but one of the disks was scratched, so I couldn’t finish it. After that it was pretty hard to find a copy of the game. I did end up getting a rare copy of ”The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime”, a remake of the original game, which had only come out for Macintosh. I even bought a used iMac so I could play it. As time passed, however, I pretty much forgot that I was supposed to be a time traveler.

Gage got a haircut in the most recent installment.

Then about a month ago ”The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time” was released on Good Old Games. I bought it immediately. I’d waited too long already. I’m pretty sure that by now I was already supposed to be a time traveler, but the Temporal Security Agency hadn’t contacted me yet since I hadn’t played the final game in the series. It was about time I completed my training. I played it, and it was awesome. Truly one of the best games I’ve played in a while.

I’m sad to report, however, that upon finishing it, I wasn’t contacted by the TSA. Maybe I delayed my final phase of training for too long. Maybe my training isn’t actually complete and there will be a fourth game in the series. That’s what I hope anyway, that my training just isn’t complete. I really hope these games weren’t sent back in time for someone else, cause seriously, I know it’s supposed to be me.