Basic Trope: No matter how vital and urgent The Hero's goal is, the player can stall and goof around as much as they please before advancing the plot.
Straight: Albert and his companions are on a grand journey to defeat Emperor Evulz, who is poised to conquer the whole world. ...However, despite the urgency of their quest, Albert is free to wander about exploring the world, taking Sidequests and playing games.
Exaggerated: Emperor Evulz has stolen the Cosmic Keystones and used them to activate the Tyrian Obelisk Fortress, and has kidnapped Princess Velvet and Selene. Using Selene's blood, he intends to perform an unholy ritual that will make him immortal and corrupt the princess into his helpless thrall — only the first of many, as he intends to enslave the entire world! ...This doesn't mean, however, that Albert has to actually hurry or anything; no matter how much he dawdles, he'll still arrive just barely in the nick of time.
Downplayed: Emperor Evulz has taken control of the old sanctuary where the two gods rest! He's in position to awaken the evil god and unleash hell on the world! Albert spends a lot of time being sidetracked during that point, and when he finally arrives it turns out that both gods have to be awakened and Evulz needed Albert there to allow the good member of the two gods to awaken, allowing both to be released.
Albert will always be too late as part of the plot. If he rushes to the battle, the villain will give a standard You Are Too Late speech, while if Albert was Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer, the villain will point this out explicitly, but it really doesn't matter how late Albert is.
...too late to watch the first half of the sacred ritual that would grant Evulz great powers, while the second half calls for Albert's death in that room. Therefore, no matter when Albert arrived, the ritual would be incomplete.
Parodied: Albert calls Emperor Evulz to let him know he'll be a few days late because of a children's card gametournament. Evulz pleads with him to hurry up: those mercenaries are charging a pretty penny!
Played For Laughs: Emperor Evulz is procrastinating in his garden when he hears Albert bursting through his front gate. He rushes to the ceremonial chamber to finish the ritual, and Albert reaches him just as he completes it. Cue the Boss Battle with two exhausted fighters.