5 Time Travel Safety Tips We Learned from Video Games
2. When Leaping Through Time Portals, Be Ready With a Sword (or a Shotgun)
When Crono, Lucca and Marle start tearing ass through time by leaping randomly through whatever wormholes they come across, they inevitably get into lots of scrapes and snares in the name of good ol’ adventure, and they always manage to come out of it all okay. Unfortunately, you are not likely to be so lucky as a group of children led by a spiky headed mute with a katana.
Throwing yourself randomly through a wormhole isn’t just a bad idea in general (you’re probably going to want a time machine — otherwise, you’ll likely melt off all your skin, FYI), it’s a bad idea in particular because you have no idea where you’re going to end up. Will there be oxygen in this time you visit? Will you land in a dinosaur nest? Is it the site of a particularly nasty mustard gas cloud? Are you going to get captured and forced into cave-people sex-slavery? These are all incredibly important questions that you will have no way of answering until your arrival.
So if you insist on jumping through portals without a plan, take a page from Crono and pals and bring a sword. Really, you’re better off with a shotgun and some running shoes, but a sword’s sure better than nothing. Having some friends along can help, too — even better, a few expendable interns. That way you have human shields to help you bide time and deal with danger.
1. Sometimes, Correcting a Mistake is Painful
We all remember the countless hours we spent in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and its subsequent sequels. With the Dagger of Time, we suddenly had the ability to correct mistakes in the past. While the rewindy magic of the game itself might not really be something you can accomplish in reality, the lesson is the same: Just because you can fix a mistake doesn’t mean it’ll get any better.
How many times did you throw the poor Prince into a spike pit, where he died a horrific and painful death, simultaneously impaled through the nose and ‘nads? Probably too many to count. But wait — you have time travel! You can undo the Prince’s untimely demise!
So you rewind, bring the Prince back up to his ledge, and make him jump again — and fall right back into the spike pit, this time with a new brand of stabby pain for the Prince to experience. And he’s dead again. Time to rewind.
You’ve inflicted painful death upon the Prince countless times in the name of his mission of adventure, and did things ever get any better? Generally, no: You saved him from the spike pit but he was beheaded by a scimitar trap, burned alive by a flame jet, crushed by a giant or run over by a chariot. A few times, a huge time demon called the Dahaka tore him apart. And his country still got burned down at the end of it all.
Moral of the story: Just because you can time travel doesn’t mean you should. Sometimes, correcting a mistake actually makes things worse.
Then again, if you’re considering time travel, you probably don’t have a lot of sense anyway. Be careful out there, lest you join countless other adventurers in bloody obscurity.