From Sega Retro


  • NTSC-U
  • NTSC-J

Socket Title.png

TimeDominator1st MD Title.png

System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: VIC Tokai
Sound driver: GRC/later custom
Genre: Action[1][2]

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥7,8007,800 T-23033
Sega Mega Drive
Videogame Rating Council: GA
Sega Mega Drive

This short article is in need of work. You can help Sega Retro by adding to it.

Socket, known as Time Dominator 1st (タイムドミネーター 1st) in Japan, is a Sega Mega Drive action platform game developed and published by VIC Tokai. Released in the United States in August 1993, it was later released in Japan in March 1994. The game is a mascot platformer, with the protagonist's design and overall gameplay significantly influenced by Sonic the Hedgehog.


Socket stars a time-travelling android duck named Socket (Minute in the Japanese version), hired to stop the treachery of the evil Time Dominator.


Socket borrows many elements from Sonic the Hedgehog and its sequels, causing it to be labelled as a "Sonic clone". Like Sonic there is an emphasis on speed, with the game offering several "High Speed Areas" in an attempt to woo fans of Sega's game. There are also "labyrinth" areas, which have a greater emphasis on exploration of the level. Items are collected by destroying capsules, similar to Sonic, and a time attack mode is offered.

A and C make Socket/Minute jump, while B allows him to kick, acting the primary method of defense within the game. As the name may suggest, Socket/Minute requires electricity to keep going, and so must collect lightning bolts in order to stay alive. His health will otherwise deteriorate over time. Socket/Minute has a machine allowing him to travel through time, so each level is set in a different time period as well as setting.

Socket was the subject of mixed reviews at the time of release. Sega Zone gave the game the lowest possible score on the basis that it was a Sonic clone.


Stages in Socket follow a format rarely seen in other games - they are split into three "sub-stages", each sporting a different change of pace. The first sub-stage is merely called a "High Speed Area", playing to the fast speeds of Socket. High Speed Areas have their own set of graphics and could be seen as completely independent stages, but the game classes them as part of a three-Act stage. High speed areas presumably are what Socket must overcome in order to travel through time and reach his destination. In the Japanese version, the High Speed Areas are arranged differently.

The second sub-stage, now set in a specific time period, is deemed an "Athletic Area", resembling more of what the player might see in a Sonic the Hedgehog platformer. They are a more balanced mixture of running and jumping than the high speed areas.

The third and final sub-stage is called a "Labyrinth Area", and is much like the above aside from the fact that Socket needs to find a door (i.e. there is a need for exploration). Going through that door will inevitably put Socket up against the boss. Other doors will send him to a mini-game area.

Socket EmeraldForest.png

Emerald Forest

Socket TreasureCastle.png

Treasure Castle

Socket OlienCavern.png

Olien Cavern

Socket StoneAge.png

Stone Age

Socket Antiquity.png


Socket Future.png


Socket TimeCastle.png

Time Castle


A Super Nintendo Entertainment System port of the game was planned, but eventually cancelled.


Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) Socket Socket
Japanese タイムドミネーター 1st Time Dominator 1st
Korean 타임 도미네이터 Time Dominator

Production credits

  • Director: Dark Side Toshi
  • Map Design: Lovely Nao, Good By Mitsu
  • Character Design: Dark Side Toshi, Bird West, Good By Mitsu
  • Main Program: Gantaro
  • Map Program: Honey Ishihara
  • Enemy Program: Norimono Hakubutsukan
  • Sound Composer: Fumito Tamayama, Yoko Suzuki, Shigenori Masuko, Yasuyuki Hamada
  • Planner: Toshi.Nao.Mitu
In-game credits

Magazine articles

Main article: Socket/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in Sega Visions (US) #15: "October/November 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) NTSC-J
Cool Gamer (RU)
Hippon Super (JP) NTSC-J
Mega (UK) NTSC-U
Mega Fun (DE) NTSC-U
Mean Machines Sega (UK) NTSC-U
Sega Power (UK) NTSC-U
Sega Pro (UK) NTSC-U
Sega Zone (UK) NTSC-U
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
Video Games (DE) NTSC-U
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
12 reviews


Mega Drive, JP
Socket md jp cover.jpg
TimeDominator1ST MD JP CartTop.jpg
Socket MD JP Cart.jpg
Socket md jp manual.pdf
Mega Drive, US
Socket md us cover.jpg
Socket MD US Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, KR
Socket MD KR cover.jpg
Socket MD KR cart.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 3c14e15a
MD5 9df8251cbfe05a47a5ff8fd9cf328b32
SHA-1 fee9eb272362bd6f36d552a9ebfd25f5f0db7d2f
1MB 1993-07 Cartridge (US)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 7eba7a5c
MD5 5f43a98bcf064fd5789c188bba85b34f
SHA-1 c9358fb57314be5792af5e97748f7b886a7194d2
1MB 1993-07 Cartridge (JP)



Socket Title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Maps | Hidden content | Magazine articles | Reception | Region coding

No results