Main Take Your Time Discussion

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08:33:07 PM Jun 13th 2013
The "Exceptions" folder was not only pretty big, but also largely a poor copy of Timed Mission. I moved some examples to that trope, and I moved some straighter examples back to the main section. The ones I didn't sort out are here.

  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Link only has three days to do his stuff before the moon crashes into Termina, resulting in a Non Standard Game Over. Although time can be slowed, fast-forwarded, and reset for his benefit, it adamantly refuses to stand still — except during conversations, of course. Oddly, also played and justified in your ability to reset time as many times as you want, while it is unclear what effect this has on Link, the people he helps, the masks and the gods, the Mask Salesman and the outside world.
  • In the final dungeon of The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, you have to rush to the roof of the castle before the bell chimes three times, or Princess Zelda will be turned to stone forever. If you take too long to get there, the bell really chimes three times, resulting in Game Over.
    • Actually, only the third bell has a time limit. The first two ones ring once you go through two of the doors in the hallway. So, technically, this is played straight AND subverted within one hallway.

Adventure Game
  • The Adventure Game Full Throttle double subverts this trope in its endgame; if you take too long during any section, the vehicle you're currently in either falls into a canyon or explodes. However, after fading to black, the protagonist, Ben, says "Let me try that again," and the game automatically restarts in the last stage of the endgame you reached. This is because the entire game is told in flashback.
  • Speaking of adventure games, some of the older text-only games had time limits in spades, particularly Spellcasting 101 and its sequels, in which you had to complete certain tasks in a certain number of actions or else the entirety of the game would be impossible.
  • In the shockwave-based puzzle/adventure game Lenny Loosejocks in Space, the player has four real-time hours to complete the game before the entire galaxy is nuked to oblivion.
    • You only think that will happen, but it ends up being delayed by the Y 3 K bug.
  • The Last Express is an Adventure Game by Jordan Mechner that takes place entirely in a kind of real time, sped up by a factor of five. The game spans three days, though there are a couple of time skips when you are knocked out or fall asleep. You often have to be at the right place at the right time to witness a plot event. Good news is that the game has Multiple Endings. Bad news is that only four out of 34 of them don't see you dead. Luckily, the game has an absolutely ingenious retry mechanic. Fail at a task, the clock simply rewinds to a point where it is possible to complete it. You can also do this manually.
  • Sierra's Quest for Glory series. Time Keeps On Slipping, but you actually get all the time you want to beat the game, with a few exceptions:
    • Quest for Glory I has no day-specific events. There is, however, the errand Baba Yaga gives you in exchange for not having you for dinner—she asks for a mandrake root from the local graveyard, and if she doesn't have it before the very next morning, "her curse turns you into a frog on the spot, and you are forced to live out your years dodging Sauruses (Saurii?) with large feet."
    • Only Quest for Glory II is on a strict timetable - you get sixteen days in Shapeir to freely do as you wish (just remember to deal with the Elementals within three days after they appear, or they'll destroy the city), followed by three completely linear days in Raseir, and the endgame takes place in one night.
    • Quest for Glory III has the character go to a meeting with Rakeesh and Rajah at day 3, after which you join Rakeesh to go to the Simbani village. After that, you can take your time doing as you wish.
    • Quest for Glory IV has Igor falling into a grave at day 5. If he's not rescued in three days, he'll die, and so will the unjustly convicted gypsy (and so will you and the townspeople, because of the gypsy's dying curse). Also, you need to speak with the Domovoi at day 5 to get the doll to give to Tanya, or the game becomes Unwinnable by Mistake. Other than that, you can waste as such time as you wish.
    • In Quest for Glory V, the storyline doesn't start until you're ready to enter the Rites of Rulership. This is explicitely told to you and your old friends advise you to take some time to relax and enjoy yourself before the Rites (and hopefully, build up skills and look for better weapons and armor). Once the fun starts, certain quests allow you to Take Your Time because only you can complete them, with others if you wait long enough, someone will beat you to them. Also, the Arena fights are set for the first 25 days of the game regardless of anything else.
  • King's Quest II+ VGA mostly plays this trope straight; although most of the game is set over the course of a day, time only passes to the next stage when you get a Gem of Destiny. One exception, however, is when you must get Caldaur's tiara. If you take too long, Caldaur will appear and kill you.
    • King's Quest III averts this. There is a clock at the top of the screen at all times, and the evil wizard who imprisons Gwydion has a set schedule, which he keeps to regardless of how fast or slow you figure things out. Even if you ready all the ingredients for his demise or rather, transformation into a cat, you still have to wait until he gets home to do anything. Also, after you complete a certain event, a ship sails into the harbor and stays there for no more than twenty minutes. If you don't get on it, it leaves and the game becomes Unwinnable. Not that the game tells you this.
  • Leisure Suit Larry has several moments of these. In Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, there is a time limit of 2 hours in which the player has to make Larry have sex, or else he commits suicide. After achieving this goal, this trope comes into play for the rest of the game though. And in Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places), not going to the cruise ship in time or lounging around the ship for too long will result in a game over.

First-Person Shooter
  • In Metroid Prime 3, during the opening sequence, a meteor begins falling toward the Federation base on Norion, and you have a limited amount of time to stop it. While at first, you can mess around, after a certain point, it turns into a Timed Mission. While there's no timer on-screen, if you disobey the words of the Female Computer Voice, you will be a very sorry Bounty Hunter indeed.
    • Most Metroid games have at least one timed mission - usually escaping the area before it blows up at the end of the game. The cardinal Metroid rule is that if the game ever mentions an explicit amount of time - "Meteor impact in four minutes", for example - you better fucking heed the warning whether the clock's onscreen or not.
  • Crysis 2 has at least one aversion: In the "Power Out" level after the Ceph spear appears you must complete the objective that follows within a certain timeframe or die.

  • Averted in Pathologic. The restrictive In-Universe Game Clock is ticking constantly unless you pause the game, and it will make you hard-pressed to finish everything in time thanks to the fact that your Player Character can only walk at a leisurely pace. If you spend all day looking through garbage bins, going shopping, and sleeping, the plot will progress without you, usually locking you into an Unwinnable state (or giving yourself a Game Over).

Light Gun Game
  • The Time Crisis games. You have to clear each screen of terrorists or whatever they are before a timer goes to zero - doing so causes the timer to reset. This prevents the slow and safe technique, where you hide to prevent wasted ammo and getting hit while shooting everyone. This, if you do run out of time, will take one of your lives away, and kill you if that was your last life. It also doesn't help in Time Crisis 2-4, when a supporting character will go into your range and you aren't supposed to hit him.
    • The first Time Crisis was much more stubborn with regards to time. Instead of the timer resetting after clearing a wave of bad guys, time would get added to the timer. Trouble is, the timer runs even while the player is (non-controllably) running to the next wave of bad guys - and running out of time ends the game (unless you insert another coin or two.)
    • The Silent Scope series works this way as well. Later games melded time and life into one entity (you can only receive bonus time, getting hit by an enemy costs you time, etc.)

Miscellaneous Games
  • Averted in Half-Minute Hero. As the title suggests, you have exactly thirty seconds to grind up, buy equipment, perform sidequests, and kill the Demon Lord. You can buy extra time, but the cost goes up every time. Unlockables include a five minute mode and a brutal 3-second mode.

Real-Time Strategy
  • World in Conflict generally plays this realistically, rewarding you for accomplishing some tasks within a certain time-frame, and many primary objectives are timed on their own (the timer isn't always visible). However, there is one exception: the two missions before the finale are supposedly under time pressure as you need to liberate Seattle before the president is forced to nuke it to prevent Chinese landfall, but only one objective is time-based (and it has nothing to do with the primary threat).
  • Pikmin is divided into thirty game days of about twenty minutes each. If anybody's not in their respective aircraft by nightfall, they're eaten. If you're not done with the game within the thirty days, your life-support system runs out and you get killed by the oxygen. C'mon, hustle! The sense of haste induced by this deadline so clashed with the rest of the game that Nintendo removed it for the sequel.
    • Although the sequel does keep the "Pikmin left outside at night will be eaten" rule.
  • While your superiors in Supreme Commander will continuously badger you that it would be really smashing if you could just finish your objective, like, now (and use the new cover sheet on the TPS reports), at least the first phase of a mission will leave you enough time to you build up your defenses, construct the infinite resource generator, arm ten nuclear silos ... all while the enemy will send about ten units at a time to let you know he's still there. Occasionally, the difficulty is in not accidentally finish your objective (by, for example, building several long range artillery pieces that destroy the enemy base).
    (your ACU is capturing Black Sun in the last Cybran mission)
  • In Warhammer: Dark Omen you can swerve from the main course and take on side missions, but the enemy bulk will be on their way, so when you finally arive to the site of the next grand event, you'll find the enemy force much stronger then you could've otherwise or even that the castle you were to defend was taken and now you have to take it back. You also get chewed on by your mentor for your lack of determination.

Role-Playing Game
  • Some sidequests in some RPGs, such as, for example, a couple Elder Scrolls games and MMORPGs have time sensitive sidequests.
    • Exactly one quest in Oblivion has a time limit, the one to join the thieves guild, where you have to compete against someone else. The time is in fact exceptionally short - if you take too long talking to people to figure out where to go, you'll fail. Fortunately if you fail the mission, you are given a second chance.
      • Actually, there is another: taking too long to hunt down Raynil Draylas at the end of Brotherhood Betrayed (one in-game day to be exact) results in him successfully fleeing to Morrowind and failing the quest.
    • Several main quests in Daggerfall are timed. Even those generally aren't actually urgent — most of the plot is driven by the Agent's actions, and of the two things you are told to do before setting sail to Daggerfall, it is the supposedly less important one where waiting potentially could have caused trouble with solving it.
  • Subverted in Final Fantasy X-2. Waiting around too long at the final level of the game will result in the cannon being fired, causing Spira to be obliterated.
  • The above-mentioned Baldur's Gate II also contains a quest chain in the Underdark wherein a series of tasks must be completed within a certain number of hours game time, or the quest chain is broken. As a result, you have to do a disproportionate amount of killing and maiming to complete the game.
    • Even earlier (though less drastic) examples include several NPCs that join for quests of their own (Minsc, Korgan and Nalia). But they will either leave the party or attack the party if you take more than ten game days to fulfill your part of the bargain.
    • In the first game, your first party members outside of Candlekeep besides Imoen- Xzar and Montaron, and Khalid and Jaheira- will tell you to go south, pestering you if you take too long and leaving if you don't listen. In the eponymous city, you will get poisoned and must find an antidote in time.
  • In Betrayal at Krondor, the plot revolves around preventing an invasion of the dark elves into the human kingdom. The very first chapter has the goal of escorting a messenger who is bringing a warning about this invasion. Even though trooops are constantly amassing and preparations are being made, there is no drawback at all to taking your sweet time and exploring the Wide Open Sandbox world the game has to offer right from the beginning.
  • In Fallout, the player must find a replacement water chip for his shelter's computer systems within a set period otherwise his people will die of thirst. He can, however, pay to have water taken by caravan at certain times of the month, thus extending the clock. This would, however, reduce the clock of the second time limit...
    • The game used to contain an invisible second time limit; if you waited too long, an army of supermutants would overrun the world - having water delivered to the vault would cause the mutants to be able to locate it faster, ending the game. However, fan complaints led the developers to remove this second time limit extend it to a ridiculous level (the 500 day limit became about 17 years) with a patch.
  • Averted in Shadowrun for the SNES. At one point in the game, a Cortex Bomb that's been implanted in Jake's head is activated, and he finds out that he has 30 hours before it detonates. If the player does not find a way to deactivate the bomb in 30 real-world minutes, Jake dies.
    • Staying at a hotel takes just a few seconds of real-world time, whereas adventuring is in 1:1 time; thus the bomb actually takes between 30 minutes and about a half-year of game-time to actually go off. Of course, apart from the bomb, you can spend years and years at a hotel to no effect whatsoever.
  • In Fountain of Dreams, the sequel to the acclaimed Wasteland RPG, the player characters must deal with the constant threat of mutation caused by post-nuclear holocaust radiation. Since mutation increases your attributes, but decreases your ability to heal from damage, if the player takes too long (especially if they wander carelessly into highly radioactive areas), the game essentially becomes unbeatable as you are no longer able to heal when hurt by enemies.
  • While mostly subject to the trope, Lost Odyssey does include one sequence in which the party must prevent four giant monsters from ravaging the country of Numara. Not only must the characters chase each monster down in their Cool Boat, but while they're busy fighting one, the others keep heading for the coast, and if any of them reach land, it's game over. Thankfully Useless Useful Spell is averted for the most part in the game and thus you can put 3 of the monsters asleep while you take care of the 4th.
  • The first Valkyrie Profile has a set number of Chapters, with a set number of Periods within them. Going into a dungeon or to recruit an Einherjar takes up one or two Periods, so you've got a rather limited amount of time to adventure before the Very Definitely Final Dungeon triggers.
  • Persona 3 and Persona 4 mess around with this as well. The games are run by a date system and you can only complete so many actions per day. For instance, while simple item exchange sidequests typically take up no time, social links and spending time in places advance the clock. There are only so many days in the game, ergo, you do not have infinite time to complete everything, hence necessitating more than one play through. You can, in theory, spend an infinite amount of time in Tartarus/The TV World, but this is not recommended, since you would run out of items or money and would need to progress to the next day to heal. However, this trope is in effect with respects to Tartarus in Persona 3, because Tartarus appears during the dark hour, a magical one hour block between midnight and 12:01, but you can remain in there for over an hour of game time.
    • Provided, of course, that your party doesn't get worn out from the constant battling, thereby necessitating your retreat within a reasonable amount of time. However, this is only an issue in the very early parts of the game when your characters are still at low levels, and is especially not so during the final climb to the very top where you are not allowed to leave Tartarus until the final boss has been defeated, and can take as long as you need in order to do so.
      • And (at least in FES) on the day before a boss fight, you're allowed as much time as you want in Tartarus without your party ever getting tired.
  • Might and Magic: World of XEEN attempted to use the availability of cash as a sort of level cap. Combine the ability to create new characters at any time, a bank with compound interest, and a job that made time pass quickly as well as netting some cash. Wait a century. Congratulations! A truly epic Take Your Time, as you recruit a brand new party to actually save the world, since the guys you started with are so old that if you let them sleep they'll never wake up.
  • In Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI, there are several instances in both games where the party is forced to escape a structure or to rescue another character. Running out of time in either case will result in a Non Standard Game Over, and you cannot save during these situations for obvious gameplay reasons. It gets worse when you realize that the timer will keep counting down even while you're fighting monsters and even Mini Bosses, and it gets even worse when you notice that the timer even counts down while you're accessing the menu/status screen or reading dialogue conversations. Better set the Battle and Message speeds to the fastest settings!
    • Final Fantasy VI even has a sequence where you want to cut it as close as possible while escaping the Floating Continent, if you jump down to the airship before the clock counts down to 5 seconds, Shadow won't be able to catch up and dies for good.
  • The Suikoden series doesn't do this too often, but Suikoden II has an somewhat infamous example in Clive's sidequest to track down Elza. It requires talking to certain people across the game world within an extremely short amount of time (short for an RPG, anyway), and being late by even a second means the trail goes cold and the quest can't be completed.
    • In Suikoden I, after you win Kwada's army everybody shouts "yay! let's go and kill the bastard!", the game picks your party for the mission and your party starts to run to the castle gates. People are waiting outside to see the results of the battle. And then you can go, rest, do whatever you like and come back to attack the castle. Everyone is still waiting outside.
    • Another example from Suikoden I, you are rushing back to your castle which is under attack. Before the enemy's invasion begins, you can go anywhere you want to grind. Which is good, because when the invasion begins you have a defeat a level 40 with a single character which may have stayed at level 8 since the beggining of the game. Failing to win the duel means the good ending is gone. So good thing they give you time to grind.
  • Partially averted in Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. You do have a time limit, but it's more related to how long you walk, use dragon powers, and explore around rather than how much time you take. Ryu could stand in one place and the D-counter never increases, but if he wanders around, then it increases.
  • Even though Paper Mario 2 is already listed on this page with a straight example, there is an actual timed mission earlier on, at the end of the second chapter. You have to chase down The Dragon and defeat him in a certain amount of time, or you and a tree full of Ridiculously Cute Critters goes kablooie.
    • Although, the battle against him itself is not timed. He'll stop the timer after a brief cutscene where he's yelled at by the elder, then you fight him.
  • In the first Wild AR Ms game, there's a timed mission where you have three minutes to escape a collapsing dungeon. However, the timer doesn't count down during battles—a very important caveat, because there's a Guide Dang It! bonus boss that is only available during those three minutes, who you can spend as long as you need to actually fighting.

Shoot 'em Up
  • In Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters, the Lost Technology superweapon of the Big Bad will (unless you put a stop to it) eventually begin exterminating every other race in the game before reaching Earth. Also, the rogue Slylandro Probes will become progressively more numerous if left unchecked, to the point that there are so many running around, completing the game becomes nearly impossible. Players who specialize in battling the Probes will often deliberately not do the quest because salvaging destroyed Probes can be a more efficient resource-gathering technique than mining.

Survival Horror
  • The ending of Call of Cthulhu involves your escape from a collapsing undersea temple while an American sub is attempting to destroy it. At first it seems like the standard "take your time" scenario, no clock or anything and the 'collapsing fortress' we've seen in so many games. The reality however is that if you take too long the ceiling falls in on you and you die, its an extremely hard time to make actually and there are programs/cheats out there to make it easier.
  • Averted in Pathologic and Dead Rising, where the games' events play out over a number of days, and it's up to the player to complete his quests on time and be present for important events.
    • Dead Rising actually plays this somewhat straight, as some of the events will be going on for an absurdly long time if you let them. The first gunfight between Brad and Carlito in the Food Court will rage for over two days unless you intervene.
  • This sort of happens in Obscure: The Aftermath. When you go to rescue Jun, there's a health bar (read: timer of the non-showing you just how long you have left variety). If it runs out, it seems like nothing happens. Although it technically has an effect- depending on how much of it dwindles down. If you make it with time to spare and kill the fat thing menacing her, she falls down a hole to the Scrappy Level and subsequently dies. If she has a little health left, you see her die. If she has none left, you see the enemy and her body.
  • Though the games try to imply that zombies are kicking in the doors, often you are free to take as long as you need in Resident Evil games, with one *huge* exception. If you screw around too long in the Gamecube remake of Resident Evil, all the normal zombies you killed without destroying their heads will eventually return as much faster, much stronger Crimson Heads. You can burn the bodies to prevent this, but there isn't enough fuel to do it to all of them.
    • A second exception is the Outbreak series, where every character is infected with the T Virus (represented by a % counter) that ticks up and acts as the time limit. It ticks up much faster if wounded, so it also acts as the health bar.

Third-Person Shooter
  • Max Payne 3 usually plays this straight, but in chapters 2 and 12, screwing around too long gets you game overs as the kidnappers get away and the block collapses under Max respectively.

05:09:30 AM Sep 16th 2010
Shouldn't this be Take Your Time?
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