"Did you try to play the Sun's Song? Like I told you before, with that song, you can turn day to night or night to day whenever you want."When an In-Universe Game Clock forces the player to wait for several minutes in the game to progress to the next task, you're going to have angry gamers. How do you solve this issue? Add a time skip device! One use and the wait time will pass in an instant. Frequently a spell or a song, the player needs only to punch in a sequence or click on the designated object and the clock will skip ahead (or sometimes, even backwards) in increments that are convenient to time-oriented missions. Sometimes RPGs may offer your party a "rest" or "sleep" command which allows you to fast-forward the game clock (and regenerate some HP in the process). This is often a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, since time usually doesn't pass in any other sense. Often accompanied by Spinning Clock Hands. Compare Warp Whistle and Sprint Shoes for passing over pointless space. Related to Time Passes Montage. A subtrope of Anti-Frustration Features.
— Royal Composer Brother, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Video Game Examples
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- The Legend of Zelda:
- The "Sun's Song" in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time moves time to the next dusk/dawn.
- The "Song of Passing" The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker does the same, and is actually the same tune as the Sun's Song, just under a new name.note
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is all about time manipulation, so not only is there a song to skip ahead ("Song of Double Time"), but slow it down ("Inverted Song of Time") and reset time ("Song of Time"), which also doubles as the way to save your game. In addition, you can talk to a scarecrow and ask for it to dance. Dancing with the scarecrow turns day into night and vice versa. Useful early in the game, when you don't have the ocarina yet and you need to skip to the night of the final day after you've looked into the telescope at the Astral Observatory.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, you can make Link sleep in a bed either until morning or night. Your hearts regenerate as you sleep. Unlike in most Zelda games, this is the only way to access nighttime at all.
- Ōkami features brush techniques to bring day and night. The technique to call the sun is learned in the first hour of gameplay, the one to call the moon is learned only after about a dozen hours of gameplay.
- In Seiken Densetsu 3, if you stop at a Trauma Inn during the day, you have the option to be awakened in the evening or next morning, though this is rarely a concern for progressing through the Story Arc.
- In Castlevania 64, the Sun and Moon cards can be used to advance the current time so you can (among other things) have certain timed encounters and battle vampires during the day when they're weaker. but abusing them isn't recommended because after so many days cycles pass it gives the vampire hunter Vincent time to try and fail to kill the fake Dracula, leading to an optional boss fight and the bad ending.
- Quest for Glory allows you to rest your Hero in intervals from 10-60 game minutes, or "until morning" (in the first game, this could easily trigger Have a Nice Death on the assumption that some monster killed you while you slept if you did so out in the wild).
- In Deadly Premonition, York can smoke cigarettes to make time pass more quickly. Also, any bed will allow him to sleep for three, six, nine, or twelve hours at a time.
- In the Endless Ocean games, a location is provided to allow the player to move rapidly to another time of day and forwards in time with regards to things like missions.
- The Adventures of Willy Beamish has the ability to skip ahead an hour at a time. This allows the player to get to events when nothing else is new. However, be careful with this function, as it is possible to fast forward yourself into a Have a Nice Death.
- The Breath of Fire series gives the main character a spell to do this.
- Dragon Quest features time skips in some installments:
- Dragon Quest III had the 'lamp of darkness' that instantly turned day to night.
- Brey/Borya in Dragon Quest IV learns the Day-Night spell (Tick-Tock in the remakes) that turns day to night or vice versa when cast.
- In Dragon Quest VIII and Dragon Quest IX, you can stay at an inn until either sunset or sunrise, in case you wish to interact with NPCs who only appear during the day or night.
- Xenoblade allows the player to skip to any time in-game by an option in the menu. This greatly helps to find the Non Player Characters that show up at specific times for the Loads and Loads of Sidequests as well as giving them an easier time at changing the weather to their liking, which is necessary to get some of the rare monsters to appear.
- Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5 use time periods (e.g. Evening, Afternoon) that can be skipped to by entering your home base or going to bed. Persona 5 also lets you "fast forward" through dialogue, and even imposes VHS fast forward effects on the screen.
- Chrono Cross gives the player the ability to speed up and slow down the gameplay once they've beaten the game at least once.
- In the international version of Final Fantasy XII, there's a "speed up" button that simply causes the game to play at double speed.
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat allows you to sleep on certain beds to pass the time. A few Game Mods, such as the Complete modpacks, add a sleeping bag to the player's inventory in all three games, which allow the player to pass the time anywhere they prefer (including at places where they can be attacked by mutants or hostile stalkers), which is the only way to pass time at all in Shadow of Chernobyl and Clear Sky.
- In Chulip, sleeping would automatically put you at 8:00 in the morning the next day until your alarm clock is fixed; then you can awaken yourself at some other time. Reading comics also fast forwards time.
- Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest mode has an option that lets Shujinko meditate to pass time much more quickly. Useful because certain goodies only appear at certain times of the day.
- In Angry Birds 2, once you complete a stage or use your last bird, you can fast-forward to the next stage or the "failure" screen, complete with VHS-era screen distortion.
- In Donkey Kong 64, the level Fungi Forest can be played at day as well as night. At the start there is a clockwork with two buttons. The one currently pressed tells the current time. Whenever the other button is pressed, the time of day moves 12 hours forward. This is important because there are places that can only be accessed at certain hours.
- Castle of the Winds has two different rest commands: a 'light rest' automatically ends when your Hit Points are full or a monster comes into view, and a 'heavy rest' automatically ends when your Mana is full or a monster attacks you. Hit points and mana naturally regenerate over time (though at different rates), so these commands are mostly for accelerating turns.
- Frontier versions of Elite has time scale buttons. Aside of long interplanetary travel, you may use them to check Newtonian mechanics of the game — if your ship is on a proper elliptical orbit, it's quite visible under high time rate.
- The X-Universe games through X3: Albion Prelude have a ship add-on called the Singularity Engine Time Accelerator, which increases the speed at which time passes in-game. It also exaggerates ship guidance stupidity. This is mostly for travel purposes and is removed in X Rebirth, which uses Hyperspace Lanes called "highways" between planets instead.
- The act of waiting in The Elder Scrolls series allows the player to skip any amount of hours in-game. You can also sleep for the same effect, although the purpose of doing so is usually to get bonuses.
- The Fallout series has a "Wait" command that can pass time, including a "Rest until healed" option that can last several days if used at a bad time since most character builds have single digit HP regeneration per hour.
- Fable has the Golden Carrot and the Moonfish. Eating these will move the game time forward to morning and evening respectively.
- Wizardry makes time run fast when the party rests, with visibly accelerated day and night cycle. Since the faster ticks are correctly applied to all effects and random encounters alike, regenerating mana you need to heal poison or disease can be tricky.
- In Dragon Age II, there is no time pressure, but some quest locations are only accessible during day or night, so the game allows you to switch between those.
Wide Open Sandbox
- Terraria has an enchanted sundial that allows you to skip to the next dawn, but can only be used again after seven in game days.
- Minecraft's beds can be slept on to set your spawn point and skip the nighttime, but only nighttime and when there are no monsters around. Also, you can't use them in the Nether – they blow up as soon as you place them.
- In Grand Theft Auto games, starting with III, saving skips the clock six hours ahead.
Non-Video Game ExamplesWeb Comics
- A webcomic example occurs in The Order of the Stick, as seen here.
- Near the end of 8-Bit Theater, as the heroes are trying to perform a task within a time limit, Fighter meanwhile goes to the inn to rest, advancing the clock several hours forward. Then he does it one more time, obviously sapping his teammates out of their meager time remaining.