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Bullet Time

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"Dodge this."
"If you insist."

"You know what I'm talking about. In all the cool action movies, and I'm talking about the coolest of the cool, it always seems like time slows down in the middle of the action. You know, you can see the bullets flying through the air, the hero dodging in slow-motion. Oh man, it would be so cool to be able to do that. Bullet-time, that's what they call it."

Bullet Time (sometimes referred to as time-slice photography) is a visual effect used to slow down time during an action scene, allowing high speed movements such as the flight path of individual bullets to be seen by the audience. The projectiles may also leave visible streaks and trails as they fly through the air.

It is a convenient way to depict Super-Reflexes, by allowing the audience to experience the same powers of enhanced perception that the character is using to react to danger. The difference between this and a regular Slow Motion shot is that, in bullet time, the camera moves (often a significant portion of a full circle) around the subject rather than a static or simple tracking shot. It is often used to stop action at a dramatic point so that the audience can see a panoramic or surround view around the event being emphasized.

In film, television and advertising, the effect is achieved by a set of still cameras surrounding the subject which are activated in rapid succession. The pictures in the still cameras are then displayed consecutively and spliced into movie frames, creating the effect of a single camera moving around a scene either frozen in time or moving incredibly slowly.

The first example of Bullet Time can be found in the obscure 1981 action film Kill and Kill Again. It was also later used in a commercial by The Gap and popularized by the film The Matrix to the point where most contemporary uses of it are parodies of, homages to, or ripoffs of The Matrix. Bullet Time was also used in computer games such as Max Payne and Enter the Matrix, where it allows the player to slow the game world down but still look and aim at normal speed.

Antecedents to Bullet Time occurred before the invention of cinema itself. Eadweard Muybridge used still cameras placed along a racetrack to take pictures of a galloping horse. Each camera was actuated by a taut string stretched across the track; as the horse galloped past, the camera shutters snapped, taking one frame at a time (the original intent was to settle a bet the governor of California had made, as to whether or not all four of the animal's legs would leave the ground). Muybridge later assembled the pictures into a rudimentary animation, by placing them on a glass disk which he spun in front of a light source. His zoopraxiscope was the direct inspiration for Thomas Edison's moving pictures. In effect, Muybridge had achieved the aesthetic opposite to The Matrix's Bullet Time sequences; it may be a historical accident that no 19th century bullet-time animations were made.

An identical phrase, "Bullet Time", is a registered trademark of none other than Warner Bros., the distributor of The Matrix. It was formerly a trademark of 3D Realms, producer of the Max Payne games. It should be noted that the "Bullet Time" trademark refers specifically to the technique of using multiple cameras and a green screen to "freeze" the action and rotate around it, rather than just slowing conventional action down.

Note that while Bullet Time is often used to depict Super-Reflexes, the two are not the same — the former is a visual depiction for the latter, not a synonym. Depiction of Bullet Time contained in imitative works should only be considered authentic if the effect is shown as being an element of the given environment's physics (i.e., the environment does actually slow down, at least for the individual experiencing it, with other distortions of physics, such as a limited absence/control of gravity as a consequence) rather than being purely visual/aesthetic in nature. As a result, this should not be considered the same thing as conventional slow motion.

See also Time Stands Still, Adrenaline Time, Overcrank, Hit Stop. Very High Velocity Rounds may ensue if your bullets aren't slowed but your enemies' are.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Used in Aria the Scarlet Ammo to demonstrate Kinji's Super-Reflexes when he is in his "Hysteria Mode".
  • Arbitrarily appears in brief bursts during a single fight scene in Darker than Black, with the characters dodging each other's knives / blood. And bullets in Ryuusei no Gemini (it doesn't end well for Goran since he runs at the speed of a bullet in the middle of the rain, effectively having the rain become a water jet cutter on his entire body)
  • It is suggested several times in Dragon Ball that we are seeing the battles as they appear to the main characters, who are all fast enough to dodge bullets and thus have incredibly heightened reflexes, meaning they're pretty much in Bullet Time constantly. This would explain some of the pacing inconsistencies (like the famous "ten-episode-long five minutes"), but the series never says for sure whether this is the case.
  • Excel♡Saga spoofs (like everything else) the Matrix example in episode 9. The use of cheap CG makes it even funnier. Also, the goons only shot the guy's hat.
  • FLCL does this three times, once in episode 1 before Haruko gives Naota "CPR", again in episode 3, as Naota crashes into Ninamori in a near-kiss turned head-butt, and finally in the episode "Brittle Bullet".
  • In Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid, Sōsuke does this with tank shells until he manages to disintegrate them mid-air.
  • Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu has the Matrix-parody version when a Battle Butler dodges a grenade fired by Sōsuke, only for the grenade to blow up a pillar behind the butler which falls on him instead.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex uses this on occasion when cyborgs fight, thus.
  • The Hellsing anime loves this trope, and uses it frequently with Alucard's guns.
  • Resident gun otaku Kohta Hirano from Highschool of the Dead does this in episode 5 , when he gets a real gun. And it gets ridiculous in episode 8, which you have to see to believe.
  • Rebuild World: Akira gets taught by his Virtual Sidekick Alpha how to use "compressed time", which fits the trope in every regard except for the realism of bullets themselves not being visible (even when he starts using an upgraded version of the ability). Afterwards, he uses it frequently for Gun Fu, and for the Mundane Utility of having conversations with Alpha over only a couple seconds using his Telepathy. While Akira does in fact use this power to pull a High-Speed Missile Dodge as well as dodging and cutting down tank rounds. The ability itself is regarded as something one needs a brain implant or special drugs to use; many of Akira’s later human enemies do just that allowing them to keep up with him. For instance, an entire battle Akira has with dozens of enemies with it takes place over less than a minute.
  • The anime School Rumble did a spoof of this, right down to the Matrix-style dodge. It should be noted that said dodge ended with the performer flat on his back after time returned to normal. The same thing happened to Neo.
  • The end of the title sequence of Speed Racer looks suspiciously similar to the classic Bullet Time rotation. This is unsurprising, as the Wachowski siblings are fans of the show. Naturally, when they made the Speed Racer movie, bullet time showed up in some places.
  • In Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, LLENN leans backwards to dodge a bullet fired at her head.

    Fan Works 
  • Love at First Sight (Once Upon a Time): Emma sees everything in slow motion when she kills and that includes bullets and guns, even being able to catch shampoo bottles faster than the eye can see. Regina can also do this after Emma teaches her how to and deploys it to kill Neal and Jekyll in the climax.

    Films — Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy Movie 2: Bak Bak, the walking tree that serves as the heroes' accuracy training, seamlessly dodges BoBoiBoy Ice and Gopal's scattered attacks, jumping as the blasts pass it in slow-motion.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • The first movie has bullet-time nerve strikes. Tricky to pull off, but useful against rampaging snow leopards.
    • There is also bullet-time sitting, on Tai Lung's face. Rule of Funny, naturally.
    • In the scene where Po and Shifu are fighting over the dumpling, this is used to show how freakishly fast Shifu is. As Po is jumping up to catch the dumpling with his mouth, he's moving in bullet time. Shifu, however, is not.
    • Comes up several more times in the second film, most notably when the entire heroic cast performs a slow-motion leap, with Po saying "I love you guys", also in slow-mo.
  • Parodied in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa as well, when Alex does his zoo shtick for the stranded New Yorkers, he performs a slow-motion leap, only for one of the people, who are all still moving normally ask, "how does he DO that?"
  • According to March of the Dinosaurs, Troodon see things in slow-motion, maximizing their hunting efficiency.
  • Done as a Shout-Out to The Matrix in Osmosis Jones, as Ozzy and Thrax freeze in mid-air during their climactic battle. Also acts as an Actor Allusion for Laurence Fishburne, who voiced Thrax.
  • In Over the Hedge, it occurs when Hammy gets a hold of an energy drink.
  • One scene in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: The Tiger Prowess emulates this effect when Wolffy throws a bunch of arrows at Leopold. When Leopold dodges the arrows, the scene slows down and the camera moves around him, complete with a ripple trail coming from the arrows.
  • In The Return of Hanuman, Maruti avoids bullets this way in the gangsters' hangout behind a large wall.
  • Shrek. Hilarious parody of The Matrix, as Princess Fiona "goes Trinity" on Robin Hood and His Merry Men, complete with the rotating camera angle — and a mid-air pause while she fixes her hair. She attempts the rotating camera angle trick again in Shrek 4D against Thelonius, but he manages to tie her up while she's in the middle of doing it.
  • Tangled. Rapunzel swings away from the ledge at the dam, and Maximus lunges to catch her hair with his teeth. The score makes it clear that this is a Shout-Out.
  • In Turning Red, the shot of Mei transforming at school for the first time is shown like this.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Vanellope enters this when she mentally works out how to use her glitch to her advantage, before being crushed between Turbo's car bumper and a cave column.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • One of the earliest instances is probably an Italian giallo "Four Flies on a Grey Velvet" (1971) by Dario Argento - you can actually see the killer's bullet flying towards the protagonist, albeit a bit faster than in later examples and only one camera is used.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pietro sees a bullet suddenly emerging from the floor in front of him, and realizes too late that he is standing on glass Clint shot at from below during the fight in the HQ. Earlier, Pietro sees Thor's hammer Mjolnir slowly (from his perspective) fly past him, but his attempt to grab it fails spectacularly.
  • Occurs in the first shootout in Bad Boys II with The Klan, particularly in that one scene where Marcus gets Shot in the Ass and in the final confrontation with Johnny Tapia where Marcus ends up shooting the latter directly on the forehead, defeating him.
  • Blade uses bullet time in the confrontation between Blade and Deacon Frost. It also came out before The Matrix, a fact they gripe about in the DVD Commentary.
  • Buffalo '66 is one of the earliest examples of this trope, although the camera pans around moments that are frozen in time rather than slowed down. The camera also appears to be handheld.
  • Slow motion is overused in the Charlie's Angels (2000) films, with the best case of bullet time itself being as shots are fired during a motocross race (in mid-air!) in the second one.
  • DC Extended Universe
    • Notably averted in Man of Steel, under enforcement by the director. The action never slows down and the movements of the characters are shown in real time, to the point the camera itself can barely keep up. That, and the natural durability of the characters, really hammers home just how insanely fast and powerful the Kryptonians are.
    • Wonder Woman (2017): When the Germans storm the beaches of Themiscyra, Diana notices she has a sharp enough reaction time that she can see the bullets as they travel. Later on, in the Veld onslaught, several instances of slow-mo bullet-time occur, with Diana casually swatting them away with her vambraces.
    • Justice League: Barry Allen/The Flash alternates between being invisible to the audience, a blur, and bullet time. When forced to fight a Came Back Wrong Superman, he is shocked when Superman moves at roughly the same rate as him instead of being frozen like the others. Superman later goes into bullet time while fighting Steppenwolf.
  • The Final Countdown gives this treatment to the explosion of a Japanese Zero when it's struck by a Sidewinder missile. Bonus points for the film being made in 1980, decades before bullet time became common practice.
  • A "wand time" variation shows up in a few points of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II.
  • Inverted in the climax of The Ice Pirates: The title pirates are going through a time-warp, where time is speeding up, and the film actually speeds up for seconds at a time. The result is weirdly cool.
  • An Arrow Time version occurs King Arthur: Legend of the Sword whenever Arthur draws on the full magical power of Excalibur in battle, enabling him to cut down large numbers of enemy soldiers and dodge spears and arrows.
  • Used in Kopps, when the gangsters shoot at Benny in his daydream at the beginning of the movie and he starts to catch the bullets with his bare hands. Combined with the use of visible bullet trails, this is also a shoutout to The Matrix.
  • Kung Pow! Enter the Fist has the Chosen One fighting a cow in the meadow and dodging milk shots mimicking The Matrix.
  • The movie version of Lost in Space used bullet time before The Matrix came out.
  • The Matrix is the Trope Codifier, though it uses it sparingly, partly because the team were inventing the necessary techniques as they went along. The Wachowskis, in the making-of features, snark that they only had to invent it because Director of Photography Bill Pope "wouldn't let us strap him to a rocket."
  • Metallica: Through the Never uses this on and off during the scene where Trip, on fire, is fighting with the rioters.
  • When Captain Jack Sparrow shoots at the barrels of dynamite to injure the kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
  • Psych-Out uses this during Dave's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The climax of the first Scary Movie parodied The Matrix bullet-time scene with a thrown circular tray. The killer bends back... and you can hear a crack. When time speeds back up, he can't "un-bend".
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009):
    • One of the strangest (and coolest) examples of this trope is the 2009 film, including an astonishingly well-conceived slow motion explosion that is nothing like you'd expect...
    • Then topped with the forest chase sequence in the sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which must set some sort of record for how many times a scene goes in and out of Bullet Time.
  • So Close: In the opening scene, when Lynn reveals herself as an assassin sent to kill Chow Lui, she defeats her target's mooks with slow motion fights and shootings.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic's Super-Speed allows him to practically move so fast that everything appears to stand still or move in super slow motion. He uses this ability first to save himself and Tom from irate patrons at the western-themed bar, messing around with all the participants of a Bar Brawl he accidentally started. The second time is when he pushes Tom & Maddie off the Transamerica to face Robotnik and his drones who immediately fire a Macross Missile Massacre at him and escapes them all. Unfortunately, Robotnik uses Sonic's dropped quill to enter Bullet Time himself and his jet now moves at the same speed as Sonic does.
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy: The Goon Squad has a player named Cronos (based on Damian Lillard) that can activate "Dame Time", which allows him to enter super-speed mode for a set amount of time. He uses it during the game for what is three seconds in real-time (complete with a timer on the corner of the screen), not only to make a shot, but also tie up the Road Runner, serve him to Wile E. Coyote, and dress LeBron and Tweety as pirates.
  • The first Spider-Man film represents Peter's first use of Spider-sense with Bullet Time.
  • It's first used in Squatters for a sex scene, to symbolize frozen moments, but is later used for actual bullets to show their trajectory.
  • Stalingrad uses this on a few occasions, such as when two characters duck out of the way of an incoming German artillery shell or when the Russians bounce an artillery shell off a tank and into German HQ.
  • 300, from the same director as Sucker Punch and Watchmen above, uses it in most of the fighting scenes
  • The trailer for Underworld: Awakening has Selene go into super-speed (from her point-of-view) against a squad of armed guards, as she quickly slices their throats before they can fire off a shot. Strangely, the guards should have been better prepared, given that she wakes up in The Unmasked World, where humans are openly hunting vampires and lycans.
  • V for Vendetta, in the final fight between V and Creedy's men. Time is slowed during V's knife attack, which wipes out Creedy's men in the seconds it take for them to reload. Complete with knife streaks.
  • This is an explicitly-stated ability of Wesley in Wanted.
  • Watchmen abuses the hell out of it, with actual bullets, a flamethrower, and countless other things used during the fights in the film.
  • In When Taekwondo Strikes, bullet time is used in a shot of Huang beating one of the villains.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past features a young Quicksilver. His scenes usually just show his movement as a blur, but his bullet-time sequence, as well as highlighting how he sees the world when he runs, shows him to be not just fast enough to dodge bullets meant for him — he's fast enough to artfully rearrange them in flight so that they do not hit his allies. AFTER running a lap of the room and inventively messing with over half a dozen shooters on the opposing side. These scenes in particular make him so fast that it's as if time has completely stopped when he moves.
    • The entirety of the opening credits for Deadpool is in frozen time, with the camera whirling around a car doing a tumble while Deadpool is fighting some mooks in it, first from an extreme close-up and then slowly panning away. In addition to the Credits Gag, this allow the viewers to catch plenty of hilarious little details, like a picture of Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern (2011) getup, or Deadpool giving a wedgie to the one bad guy on a motorcycle.

  • Lone Wolf: In Book 9, The Cauldron of Fear, during an escape from jail, it is possible for Lone Wolf (on a very high roll helped by Huntmastery and the Circle of Solaris) to see time slowing down as arrows fly toward him, and cut them into matchwood with his sword in one strike.

  • A trick frequently used by K. A. Applegate in Animorphs; when one of the characters are on the edge of death, in battle, time seems to slow down. It's never explicitly called bullet time, though.
  • Rin, of the Books of Bayern, can move into a state where she has "one foot in the world of humans and one in the world of trees." In this state, she is able to dodge incoming arrows, because apparently trees do not comprehend time. Eh, we'll buy it.
  • Umbo from Pathfinder has the literal version of this: he can speed up people's perceptions of time, thus enabling them to think and react faster.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Rough Draft, the protagonist can speed up after becoming a customs officer-functional as part of his powers "package". Of course, police-functionals are even faster, as their job is to, well, police all other functionals. When the protagonist ends up in Earth-1 (a.k.a. Arkan), the human soldiers sent after him use pills to temporarily accelerate, as the protagonist hightails it as super-speed, dodging machineguns and helicopter gunship cannons. The novel specifically mentions him seeing the soldiers move very slowly (from the protagonist's point-of-view), until the pills kick into effect, and they suddenly move at his pace.
  • In Starlight and Shadows trilogy by Elaine Cunningham, a berserker rage does this to the point where even hand crossbow bolts aren't too fast to swat with a cudgel or dodge out of square hits.
  • In Hyperion two characters are given temporary upgrades that alter their abilities and perfections so much that they can watch energy weapons burn through the air around them while they slaughter a group of soldiers.
  • Exploited in The Alloy of Law. The main character, Waxillium Ladrian, uses his partner Wayne's speed bubble to shoot a bullet to the side of a robber and his hostage, and then shoots another bullet to hit the first bullet so it ricochets into the robber's head without hitting the hostage.
  • The Stars My Destination (1956) just might be the earliest example of this effect:
    "The men hurled themselves at Foyle. He backed a step and pressed his tongue against his upper incisors. Neural circuits buzzed and every sense and response in his body was accelerated by a factor of five.
    The effect was an instantaneous reduction of the external world to extreme slow action. Sound became a deep garble, color shifted down the spectrum to the red. The two assailants seemed to float towards him with dream-like languor. To the rest of the world Foyle became a blur of action. He sidestepped the blow inching towards him, walked around the man, raised him and threw him towards the crater in the living-room. He threw the second man. To Foyle's accelerated senses their bodies seemed to drift slowly, still in mid-stride, fists inching forward, open mouths emitting heavy clotted sounds.
    Foyle whipped to the women cowering in the bed.
    'Wsthrabdy?' the blur asked.
    The woman shrieked.
    Foyle pressed his upper incisors again, cutting off the acceleration. The external world shook itself out of slow motion back to normal. Sound and color leaped up the spectrum and the two jackals disappeared through the crater and crashed into the apartment below.
  • The Imperial Cadre in In Fury Born use a combination of top secret drugs called "the Tick" or "Old Speedy" that cause the user's mental processes and perception to vastly accelerate, making it seem as if time has slowed down. Although they can't physically move any faster or have faster reflexes than they otherwise would, their perception of everything moving slower while the drugs are active allows them to think about what they're doing and what's happening around them, giving them the ability to be very precise in their actions and to evaluate the situation instead of having to rely on pure reflex or instinctive response.
  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob): The Bobs can crank their frame rate up so high that milliseconds pass like minutes. They typically only do this in combat.
  • Best Served Cold: Shenkt the Professional Killer has Super-Speed that he can activate at will, making time seem to slow down to a snail's pace while he continues to move normally.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The History Channel uses high speed cameras frequently on Lock and Load with host R. Lee Ermey. Then again, the show is mostly about guns. So...
  • Angel:
    • At the start of Connor's introduction in "A New World" when he launches several stakes at Angel.
    • "The Magic Bullet" slowed time down as Fred shot a bullet through Jasmine and into Angel. This was a major plot point. Individuals enthralled by Jasmine would snap out of it when they were exposed to her blood, so the Bullet Time Cam showed that the bullet carried Jasmine's blood with it as it entered Angel's body.
    • Also used in later episodes of Season 5 to show the time slowing effect of Iliria.
  • Any time firearms are used in Auction Hunters. Strangely enough, this trope can be seen at numerous other times for purely dramatic effect while dealing with non-high speed events.
  • Charmed (1998):
    • Though not a straight example, Piper's ability to seemingly stop time demonstrates this when she freezes bullets, and that tends to happen on occasion. The same goes for Cole when he's stockpiles up on demonic powers in Season 5.
    • In a second season episode, a hired hit-woman goes after the Sisters and attempts to gun them down. The action momentarily slows down to show Prue using her powers to stop and repell the woman's bullets back at her. And in a seventh season episode the action slows down again while Kyle has Phoebe hostage, a gun pointed at her head as he demands to talk to Avatar Leo. Time slows when Leo throws lightning at Kyle, Kyle throws a vanquishing potion at Leo, and Phoebe just barely dodges the bullet fired from Kyle's gun.
  • CSI:
    • The Necro Cam sequences in various episodes sometimes display a Bullet Time effect.
    • Used to excellent effect in the promo and episode for the season 10 premiere, the latter being a How We Got Here bit. Special attention was given to Langston taking down a gunman with his bare hands.
  • The Cube is a stunt game show which uses an array of special cameras around the playing field (the title cube) to achieve this effect. For example, the show often freezes the action or goes into slow-motion as the camera angle swings around, usually at a strategically-timed point such as when the contestant just jumped and is still in midair.
  • In The Dead Zone, medium Johnny Smith can have visions in Bullet Time, sometimes even reviewing or replaying them, to get a better perspective of the events he's seeing. For example with a car crash, for which he examine every second under every angle, to see exactly how it will happen.
  • Heavily used in The Flash (2014) to show the world from Barry's perspective, especially in his fight with the Multiplex, when he uses his hyper-accelerated perception to figure out which of the copies is the Prime in the middle of a Foe-Tossing Charge. In "Elongated Journey Into Night", two Corrupt Cops try to shoot him and Joe. Despite facing away from them, he manages to go into Bullet Time mode before the bullet hits him. He then rips off the scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past by catching the bullets and forcing the cops to smack one another on the head with their guns with slight taps from him. Joe comments that he never gets tired of seeing that. During Barry's early fights with Savitar, this is when you know that Oh, Crap! is a big understatement, as we see things from Barry's accelerated viewpoint, except Savitar looks like a blur, the same way as Barry looks like to a normal person.
  • Hotel Babylon does not only this, but has the camera move around during it- a ride through the hotel lobby is the norm.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In the climax of the pilot, Lestat de Lioncourt's vampiric Super-Speed is illustrated by him walking normally while everything around him moves at a snail's pace; in particular, the priest appears to be running in slow-motion from Lestat's perspective.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto uses a variation of this where characters with super speed fight each other in a fraction of a second, so the show uses Bullet Time to slow the action for the viewer's benefit. This results in a near frozen environment (raindrops or glass shards very slowly still falling, or in one instance a character thrown into the air by an explosion still serenely rotating several feet up) while the fighters battle at a more normal speed.
    • The opening of Kamen Rider Double has bullets flying in slow motion.
    • Kamen Rider Wizard has the post-script two-part team-up. Kabuto and Faiz in Accel mode battle two Worms at high speed while two other Riders fight non-speedy monsters. We switch from Kabuto and Faiz's point of view, where they fight at normal speed and Time Stands Still for the other nearby battle, to that of the others, which now takes place at normal speed while a messy, sparky blur occurs nearby.
    • The titular hero of Kamen Rider Zero-One has this while transformed as his Transformation Trinket grants him the mental processing speed of a supercomputer.
  • Appears within the first 60 seconds of Legend of the Seeker's pilot episode (with crossbow bolts, natch), and exploited frequently from there on and included in nearly every fight scene.
  • Mann & Machine used this in the climax of most episodes.
  • MythBusters provide us with a rare non-fiction example of Bullet Time in their tests, most notably those involving guns or explosions. The effect is achieved by using high speed cameras to get more frames of the shot, then slowing down the image. The resulting footage is slowed down enough to see a shockwave expanding out from a massive explosion, but still looks as smooth as if it was being played in real time.
  • In the Odd Squad episode "Training Day", this is used when Olive, Ophelia, Oakley and Todd are attempting to find which of the four doors, located inside a white room, leads to the Training Room. As they work to solve the problem, Olive, Ophelia and Oakley move in slow-motion while Todd moves at normal speed, in order to emphasize how he is Good with Numbers and can solve problems faster than most, if not all, of his peers.
  • The series Once A Thief used Bullet Time, since it was based on a John Woo movie that also made use of it.
  • The Outer Limits (1963): In an episode, a pilot crash lands. Time for him remains the same, but time in the location he lands slows to a crawl. While in the town, he realizes that a truck is rolling down an incline and will run over a little boy riding his tricycle. He uses a safety belt to tie the emergency brake to the tires, and the truck is stopped before it hits the boy.
  • Used in both Power Rangers Time Force and Mirai Sentai Timeranger. Early on when the titular characters are attacked by the villain's robotic grunts, they flashily dodge the projectiles launched at them in slow-motion (except Red; since he's the new guy, he doesn't know how to do that and just gets hit a lot). Later, during a mecha fight, the Rangers' Megazord bounces off the sky and launches itself toward the super-sized villain, both firing at each other as the camera does a 360-degree freeze pan around the combatants.
  • In an episode of Psych, Shawn watches a bullet travel in bullet time. Unfortunately, his hyper-awareness has always been bullet time fast, but he's not. He gets shot.
  • Referenced in an episode of QI. While discussing how a fly would see a movie (they would see it more like a slide show, with frame-black-frame-black, etc.), one guest notes: "A fly must sit there, watching the Matrix, thinking "When is something going to happen?""
  • Used in several episodes of Sherlock to show just how fast the eponymous character's brain works — in comparison to him, everybody else thinks in slow motion. Notably in "A Study in Pink", when he explains to John how he knew about Afghanistan or Harry, and in "A Scandal in Belgravia", when he decrypts the code. Also, in "His Last Vow", Sherlock's mind goes into an even faster version as he's being shot by Mary. His mind rapidly analyzes the events and his surroundings, allowing him to figure out how to fall in such a manner to minimize the damage from the bullet. This saves his life, as well as the facts that Mary deliberately went for a non-fatal shot and immediately called for an ambulance.
  • One of the earliest TV examples is the 1996 Sliders episode "Double Cross". The CGI used was not nearly as convincing as that of The Matrix.
  • Appears regularly in Smallville whenever Clark goes into Super-Speed mode. Commonly called "Clark time".
  • Sons of Guns: It's a show about a Louisiana firearms manufacturer.
  • The Discovery series Time Warp is all about this, in a semi-MythBusters-ish style (it does only realistic stuff, compared to the wackiness that can be myths on MythBusters).
  • Walking with Dinosaurs and its related series often utilized this. Most memorable examples are when the Gastornis bird attacks the Propalaeotherium and when a Hyaenodon chases an entelodont, making a splash in a puddle, and the camera circles around them.
  • Witchblade: Slightly justified, because the point of an early scene with it is to show that the Witchblade can slow down time, rather than just to make the bullets look dramatic.
  • The X-Files: The episode "Rush" features teenagers who can move at super-fast speeds. Bullet Time is used in several scenes as the action slows down around the characters.

    Music Videos 
  • The Japanese Electropop band Polysics parodied this one in one of their videos.
  • The mostly animated music video for Ko Rn's "Freak on a Leash".
  • Sphere's video for "Future Stream" has scenes where one member walks around while the other three are frozen in place. As shown in the behind the scenes footage, this was done in the low budget way of everybody simply standing still, with the "floating" props hanging on strings.
  • Another parody of The Matrix can be seen in the clip for "Chihuahua" by DJ Bobo. Chihuahua in Bullet Time!
  • Coolio's music video for "C U When You Get There".
  • The Offspring's video for "(Can't Get My) Head Around You" (shot in a dome with over a hundred cameras!), even if the movements are normal speed rather than slow motion.

  • A version of the effect, simplified enough to be done live is sometimes used in NFL football games when an interception is thrown. This effect is emulated in the Madden series of video games, where action stops for a few seconds on changes of possession (interceptions, fumble recoveries or kick/punt returns) while the video rotates to take on the perspective from behind the team now in possession of the ball.
  • There are experimentations with camera technology to get Matrix-style bullet time replays into NFL and baseball games.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted has some. Panoptic Fusion Discipline induces Bullet Time for the rest of a scene, improving your defenses and all of your attacks with a full "Aim" action.
  • GURPS has Altered Time Rate. For the low, low cost of 100 points, you can get an Extra Turn whenever you would take one normally.
  • A tabletop example can be found in the Mutants & Masterminds supplement Mecha & Manga. Bullet Time is a power that allows you to spend a hero point while using extra effort to gain an amount of extra actions dependent on the power's rating. However, you may only get one extra attack through this method, though this is due to balance the damaging system of the game.
  • The World of Darkness has multiple powers allowing a character to take extra actions per turn without penalty (normal characters can take only one), such as the Celerity discipline for Vampires or Rage for Werewolves. Given how the combat system works, a character doing this usually perform their extra actions at the end of the round, when every other character who is not using one of these powers has already acted and can't do anything else.

  • Pulled off in an interesting manner in Hamilton. An ensemble member plays the role of the bullet that kills him in his duel against Burr by placing her thumb and forefinger an inch a part and following what would be the bullet's trajectory in slow motion as Alexander gives his final soliloquy. Same ensemble member also plays the role of a bullet that narrowly misses him in battle.
  • In recent productions of The Addams Family, when Wednesday William Tells her fiancee as a test of his love to her. The arrow is transported through special "Bullet Time" staging, lighting, and sound effects before hitting the apple at Lucas's head.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • The discussion of the trope should not go without mentioning the formal Trope Namer, the Max Payne franchise, which was the first to use Bullet Time as an actual play mechanic. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne actually allows you to quickly reload in bullet-time, which has Max (or Mona) rapidly spin with the guns magically reloaded at the end, one of the game's many stylistic cues taken from the Heroic Bloodshed films John Woo is famous for. In the first game, there's even a Lampshade Hanging done by two guards, who discuss this trope in movies. Interestingly, Max Payne 3 has a notice on the copyright screen that "Bullet Time" is a trademark of Warner Bros, indicating that The Matrix is the actual Trope Namer — however, Max Payne was definitely the work that brought the term into public consciousness.
  • Some Flash games do this by accident; if the game requires more CPU time than your computer has to spare, the effect will often be to slow the game down to a crawl without any loss of detail or frameskipping. In most games this will also cause an Interface Screw due to the game cursor taking seconds to reach the real cursor's location, or due to keyboard commands not being recognised until the character has finished their current action. In others (where the controls remain responsive), it can let the player get through Bullet Hell or slice up countless mooks without a scratch.
  • Achron has a multiplayer variant of this trope, which is interesting because the Bullet Time is subjective; you don't slow time for all the other players when you activate the ability. It's usually used to better micromanage battles.
  • The Climax Mode Limit Break in After Burner Climax slows time down when setting up and launching the Macross Missile Massacre, but you get knocked out of it when your bird gets hit, almost as if the game is punishing you for being n00b enough to still get hit despite the missiles and crap moving slower.
  • Alan Wake. The gameplay will slow down into a cinematic bullet time, complete with the rotating camera, whenever something mildly awesome is done, like when dodging an attack well, lighting a flare moments before getting swarmed, or lighting up the Taken in a particularly flashy manner. This combined with the light and particle effects makes these scenes especially awesome.
  • Bullet time is one of the major gameplay elements of Alpha Prime, powered by refined hubbardium.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, you get slo-mo effects when you do an Air Assassination or finish off the last enemy in an encounter. This carries on into Assassin's Creed III.
  • Sega's 1981 arcade game Astro Blaster had a Warp button that allowed the player to slow down the action to a crawl for 10 seconds that can only be used once per ship in each level.
  • Getting Molasses Time in Backyard Skateboarding made you extremely slow, which allowed you to perform extremely high-point combos.
  • Bayonetta has this as a signature mechanic — dodge an attack the instant before it would hit and you enter "Witch Time", where enemies are so slow they might as well be standing still. It's the best way to get hits in against the game's tougher, lightning-fast monsters — which is why the Harder Than Hard mode, Nonstop Infinite Climax, makes it nearly impossible to activate. The Final Boss, Father Balder, is shown to have this in cutscenes as well — in actual gameplay, it's represented as him dodging basically everything you throw at him without an opening.
  • BloodRayne: One of Rayne's 'Vision modes'. Curiously it doesn't run out and need to be recharged, so you could play the entire game in slow-mo if you wanted. The second game also added 'super speed' and 'stop time' as upgrades.
  • The later Burnout games have Impact Time, which lets you slow down time after a collision and use the burning debris from accidents to destroy opponents or alter your flying car's trajectory to smash into more destructible stuff.
  • Chaos Legion has a Legion sidekick which can slow down time for the enemies, in addition to raining Beam Spam on said enemies.
  • In The Citadel, if the player can find the Reflex Booster in one of the game's secret levels, they can activate a bullet time effect by consuming a O2 Canister to overdose their Oxygen Meter. This ability can be upgraded further with its Lv. 2 version and allows players to shoot as much bullets as possible without reloading while in bullet time.
  • In Cobalt Bullet Time is activated whenever your character enters at critical moments. This usually happens whenever you are fired upon at close range or by very powerful weapons. This is for you to either get out of the way of incoming fire, or block it with a combat roll.
  • Dark Forces Saga:
    • Using Force Speed in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy will slow down time, allowing you to fire or dodge blaster bolts in a de facto bullet time.
    • Also, killing another lightsaber user (or, on one level, speeder bike rider) slows the whole game into bullet time for a second just for effect. The slo-mo spinning death cam is actually an option in the menu: turning it to the highest level means the effect is triggered for every kill the player makes. It's impractical and the delay will probably get you killed, but it does result in a surprisingly cinematic Adrenaline Time effect when fighting packs of mooks.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening introduces Quicksliver style, which allows Dante to slow down time. It's first used by the boss Geryon.
  • Die Hard: Vendetta has a system called "Hero Time". Activating it slows time for everyone except you, all while "Ode To Joy" plays. You can gain Hero Time by performing heroic actions like saving hostages.
  • Die Hard: Vendetta has the "Hero Time" moment where the player moves at superhuman speed, while shooting terrorists with ease.
  • The black-trailed power-ups in Dodge cause the enemies to move in slow-motion.
  • Doom³'s expansion pack Resurrection of Evil has the "Heart of Hell" artifact, central to the plot of the game. Once you kill the first of the Hunter bosses trying to reclaim the artifact, you gain the "Helltime" power, allowing the Heart of Hell to slow down time around all things but the player, complete with changes to the pitch and speed of all sounds around them. It can be later combined with a "Berserker" power and an "Invulnerability" power from later bosses, allowing a fully powered up Heart of Hell to make the player nearly unstoppable for a short time.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition uses Bullet Time for the Necromancer's Haste focus ability and the Tempest's Flask of Lightning. The former affects the entire party, the latter only affects the user.
  • Dread Templar have your Slow Motion Time ability, which causes the screen to move in slow-motion for several seconds as you slice up demons.
  • DUSK-12 sees you playing as a Super-Soldier with enhanced reflexes and the ability where the time around you moves at a snail's pace while you kick ass at normal speed. Against enemies with firearms, you can even perform a Dodge the Bullet while in bullet-time.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • The "Kill Cam" is used during some melee kills, making it less a bullet time and more a melee time. Though it is also used straight when firing arrows from your bow, some magic spells at range, and crossbows (with the Dawnguard DLC).
    • There is also an ability (perk) in the "Archery" skill tree that will allow you to slow down time while you take a shot. It uses your stamina attribute to maintain the effect (as long as you are "aiming").
    • Finally, there is the "Slow Time" Shout, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • The Dawnguard DLC adds this as an ability (Supernatural Reflexes) for Vampire Lords.
  • Enter the Matrix naturally has it as one of the main features.
  • The bullet slowdown mode is a feature available to all playable characters in the Espgaluda series, through the consumption of jewels acquired through the game; however, failing to deactivate the slowdown mode before the jewel counter is depleted makes all of the onscreen bullets travel twice as fast their normal speed (see this video for example).
  • Several action sequences in Fahrenheit (a.k.a.Indigo Prophecy) feature bullet-time scenes, most notably where Lucas is fleeing from police custody. Unfortunately, the players may miss some of the cool effects, as their eyes are supposed to be glued to the lights on the circles they're supposed to be mirroring. In the scene, Lucas runs towards a cop shooting at him and dodges all the bullets (in slow-mo, of course) before drop-kicking the officer.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3's slow motion death cams for say... Managing a headshot on an unaware enemy that results in a One-Hit Kill. Notably referred to as the "Kill Cam" in the developers tools. Additionally, New Vegas overhaul mod 'Project Nevada' comes with the ability to activate bullet time, with awesome results.
    • Fallout: New Vegas also introduced the Turbo drug and the non-addictive perk version of it, "Implant GRX", which are more traditional versions of video game Bullet Time.
    • Fallout 4's VATS system, instead of making time stop like the rest of the franchise, made it painfully slow.
      • Additionally, the drug Jet and its variants, Psycho Jet and Jet Fuel, will now have Turbo's effects.
  • In Freelancer, there is a cut-scene involving Trent and a couple of Liberty Security Force officers who are chasing down Lonnigan. They shoot bullets, and as the camera follows the bullet, it does so in bullet time.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon gives the player character "enhanced reflexes" via Psychic Powers that let you slow down time to one fifth while doubling your movement and attack speed.
  • In Geist, traveling around as a ghost slows everything around you to a crawl. Later on, at least two of the bodies you can inhabit pick up a suit of armor that gives you limited amounts of bullet time slowdown in battle. If you're clever, you can even use both at the same time.
  • The main character of ''Ghostrunner can enhance his Sensory Perception to cause time to slow down while in mid-air. He can use this to dodge laser blasts and to reposition himself in the air so that when the slow-down ends, he's launched in whatever direction he's facing.
  • The appropriately-named "Time Slow" ability in Gemini: Heroes Reborn. Once activated, everything around Cassandra slows down, even mook conversation ("Sheeeeeeeeee's ooooooooveeeeerrrrr theeeeereeeeee...") while Cassandra moves at normal speed.
  • God Hand causes time-slowing whenever choosing a move from the God Reel/Roulette/Wheel.
  • GunFu Fighter have the screen slowing down when you activate the titular GunFu skill.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto III has adrenaline pills, which also power up your punches to the point that people are frequently instantly killed sent flying back a good foot or two from them.
    • In Grand Theft Auto V, Michael has this as his special ability. This can be useful when you're playing with "Free Aim". Franklin's special ability is a variant that can only be used when driving. It comes in handy during street races, as it makes your car much easier to maneuver around corners.
  • Guilty Gear Xrd add a time slowing mechanic to the series' trademark "Roman Cancel" mechanic.
  • Gungrave: Overdose has "Time-type" Demolition Shots, which are basically a lengthy bullet time. On top of that, the game will heal you proportionally to the amount of destruction you caused during the slow-mo.
  • Half-Life 2's SMOD has an HEV Suit function which slows down time, mainly giving the player an increased reaction time, even to the point of dodging bullets! Certain players use the cheat for unlimited AUX power to have a little fun with this and, the installation of SMOD: CSS Sci-Fi, Redux, and a few others allow options for how it works such as Default, F.E.A.R. style, Max Payne, Time stop (Stopping other NPC's and Physics but simply slowing down the player while bullets are still hitscan), and Script style (Physics, NPC's and the Player slow down but bullets retain their hit scan properties as if the "Host_timescale" command was used)
  • The Time Stop Hat in A Hat in Time.
  • Honkai Impact 3rd, being heavily inspired by Bayonetta's fighting system, has many Valkyrie suits with their own Bullet Time called "Time Fracture", an exact copy of "Witch Time" (including the aesthetics). It can be activated by either doing an "Ultimate Evasion", (sometimes) a QTE, or (rarely) an Ultimate.
    • In the "Ultimate Evasion" side, the requirements needed by most Valkyrie suits is barely dodging an attack a la Bayonetta. Some suits have gotten creative by adding bonus effects, changing the requirements (eg. Yamabuki Armor note ), or not needing any requirements at all other than a cooldown (Knight Moonbeam/Herrscher of the Void note )
  • Implosion has a modular gear system that you can use to equip "Precognition Protocol" which allows you to slow down nearby enemies.
  • In Inazuma Eleven, the Heaven's Time hissatsu technique allows the user to slow down time around them to a near-halt, leisurely walk past opponents while dribbling the ball, after which the effect wears off and a whirlwind occurs in the space they passed through (presumably because of all the air particles they displaced) and blows the opponents off their feet.
  • inFAMOUS has the "Precision" mechanic, which slows things down to allow Cole to set up long-range sniper-like blasts of electricity. Especially useful for picking mooks off buildings, or knocking them away from gun turrets, but the game does not tell you that, while you're zoomed in, you're draining your energy, so if you take too long setting up a shot, you might suddenly find that you don't have the power necessary to actually shoot.
  • In Jade Empire, while you only fight one enemy who shoots actual bullets at you, the PC possesses the ability to use 'Focus Mode,' which puts you in a limited-duration Bullet Time. This comes in surprisingly handy on harder difficulty levels. The end boss can do this too, if you use focus mode yourself they cancel and it plays at normal speed. Given who taught it to your character, this isn't really surprising.
  • Included in one of Jurassic Park: Trespasser's mods that attempted to make it more playable. The effect kicks in whenever a dinosaur attacks, usually by raptors jumping near the player. Sadly, it also slows down the player, and only wears off after getting to a safe distance from the dinos or by killing them — a hard task, since the player's laughably slow to begin with.
  • In Justice League Heroes: The Flash, The Flash is able to enter a bullet time mode at any point he has power left in his speed force meter.
  • Kameo: Elements of Power has Warrior Focus, which slows down time after getting a good combo on enemies.
  • Killing Floor calls this "Zed Time", a random, short period of slow-motion when the player kills an enemy. The Commando perk has abilities that allow him to chain Zed Time slowdowns by continuing to kill enemies during it. Killing Floor 2 expands on this by allowing any perk to chain the first two Zed Times together, and they also get several bonuses that trigger during Zed Time such as faster reloads.
  • In Kingdom Hearts III, certain worlds (namely San Fransokyo and Arendelle) have environmental objects that Sora can slide behind with a Reaction Command to take cover. When behind cover, Sora can then use the Cover Fire Command to slide out in slow motion and fire magic bullets at enemies.
  • In The King of Fighters XIII, K' begins his super move with a single strike, a moment of bullet time and then a longer flurry of attacks. He uses that bullet time to put his shades back on. Naturally.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has two separate instances of Bullet Time:
    • Preparing a bow in midair, either by jumping from horseback or falling from a great enough height, has time slow down so Link can aim his arrows more easily. Teba lampshades this after testing Link's skill at the Flight Range.
    • Dodging an enemy's attack with a specific enough timing will slow time down, allowing Link to mercilessly counter with a "Flurry Rush."
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom lets Link use Bullet Time just like in Breath of the Wild. Additionally, Ganondorf has the ability to slow down time to dodge Link's attack as well. You can reduce the chances that he'll dodge by doing your own Perfect Dodge and Flurry Rush — but he's still able to dodge that too, meaning that there will be stretches of the battle where you're both dodging each other in slow motion trying to get in a strike.
  • The intro of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is done entirely in Bullet Time. Take a look.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • An Infiltrator invested in the passive skill Operative can get a few seconds of bullet time when looking down a sniper scope, to help the player line up a headshot. Soldiers also get the exclusive "Adrenaline Rush" perk, which is like a cross between this and Adrenaline Time. Vanguards can also specify whether their Biotic Charge either affects a larger area of impact or enters bullet time after the impact; perfect for lining up a meatshot on a ragdolling enemy.
    • The Soldier "Adrenaline Rush" can be used to take it one step further. When you sprint, the time is also slowed down slightly. If you activate the Adrenaline Rush and sprint, the missiles and enemies nearly stand still while you storm across the room. Now, how cool is that? You can outrun a missile!
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo being part of The Matrix, has this as one of the main gameplay features in all levels, but the second one.
  • Meatgrinder have the screen turning on slo-mo the moment your heart rate reaches over 120 BPM, allowing you to move with enhanced reflexes to kill everyone in a short period of time.
  • Metal Gear:
    • A feature in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is "Reaction Phase" when you get spotted for the first time. The game goes into a bullet time like phase to give players a few seconds to dispatch an enemy before he can call in reinforcements. Or if you don't like that, you can just turn it off.
    • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a subdued version of this is part Raiden's blade mode: while it doesn't slow down time enough to stop bullets, it can slow down missiles enough to cut them out of the air.
  • Modern Warfare:
    • In the first game, collecting 20 intel laptops would unlock the "Slow-Mo" cheat. When the cheat is active, you lose the ability to knife things in return for being able to slow time down.
    • In Modern Warfare 2, time will automatically slow down (though not enough to see individual bullets flying) every time you breach a door with explosives to simulate the kind of reflexes a soldier needs in order to quickly clear out rooms of hostiles without retaliation.
  • Mr. Shifty can fill a meter that lets him go into this instead of getting shot and dying.
  • MDK2 has a time-limited "Slo Mo" mode for Max the six-legged robot dog, though the game keeps it a secret. In the PC version, it's activated by pressing Equip — no matter if it equips a weapon or not — four times while holding down Fire. The effect lasts only for around half a minute, but it's cool nonetheless, and it can be activated as many times as the player wishes.
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Carbon have the Speedbreaker, which slows down time so you can easily take any tricky corner (it even makes it easy to take an U-turn with the Dodge Challenger at full speed!), and also makes your car heavier to let you toss around squad cars with little effort.
  • This occurs during the opening sequence of Neo Contra.
  • Ōkami features Kasugami's ability to slow down time, allowing you to, say, sneak past those pesky guards, or see an ultra-fast attack. It's also incredibly awesome to be able to mow down a whole bunch of Mooks in a fraction of a second, or beat up someone while they're in the middle of a Flash Step. A subversion also takes place: Kasugami, the god of Mist, about to be attacked by flying guitars, slows them down using his power while jumping and twisting dramatically... and gets hit by them anyway.
  • Overload features the Time Bomb, a weapon that triggers a temporary slowdown into bullet time when fired.
  • In Painkiller, the Haste and Double Haste cards have this effect.
  • Happens in Paper Mario: The Origami King when Olivia saves Mario from Colored Pencil Rockets at Overlook Tower.
  • Even earlier, consuming a red potion in Pathways into Darkness would cause the game world to slow down to ridiculous levels, complete with distorted audio. This was back in 1993.
  • PAYDAY 2 has a variant similar to the Phantom Pain usage, where putting on your mask in view of armed hostiles will put you into a slow-motion state for a few seconds to give you time to clear them out before they open fire and alert the entire level. It also happens when you're incapacitated, assuming it's not a Cloaker kick or Taser, to allow you a little more time to line up shots on whoever downed you.
  • Perfect Dark has an item called the Combat Boost which, when administered, slows down your perception of time for greater reaction speed and accuracy. (It was originally called the Adrenaline Pill, but this was later bowdlerized.) There is also a cheat called Singer Play Slo-Mo in which every level can be played this way.
  • One of the powers available to the Prince of Persia in the recent Sands of Time trilogy, what with the various time-controlling artifacts around, is naturally the ability to slow time's passing.
    • Also happens near the end of The Two Thrones: when the Prince leaps off from the highest floating platform to deliver the final blow to the transformed but weakened Vizier (Zurvan), the camera pauses at the action, and we get an Orbital Shot of nearly 360 degrees in breathtaking view in a Shout-Out to The Matrix. However, you need to pay special attention to the Dagger, because if you don't press the button at the moment the Dagger flashes to perform a Finishing Move, it's Game Over for you.
  • Progressbar 95: The "slow time" button in later versions of Progressbar slows down the movement of everything drastically for a few seconds.
  • One of the newest features in Project X Zone 2 allows you to time Critical Hits more easily as well as gain back some of the Cross Gauge you used to activate it if used correctly.
  • Punishing: Gray Raven, similar to Bayonetta, causes enemies to temporarily slow to a crawl following a correctly timed dodge, while also giving special attacks a temporary damage boost. One "Memory" item reverses this, granting an extra chance for slow motion (with a cooldown) any time a player pulls of a fully boosted special attack.
  • John Marston's "Dead Eye" ability in Red Dead Redemption slows everything to a crawl and allows the player to take the time to aim precision shots at difficult targets. Later in the game it can be upgraded (or downgraded) so rather than actually shooting people while in Dead Eye mode you just "paint" targets and at the pull of the trigger let off a hail of gunfire at high speed.
    • Ditto for the game's predecessor, Red Dead Revolver. Jack Swift however has his own version of Deadeye, which automatically targets enemies in range and rapidly fires a hail of bullets from twin revolvers, presumably being this trope from a full speed perspective. A similar effect is used for Red in multiplayer, where Bullet Time would obviously be problematic.
  • Requiem: Avenging Angel featured a bullet-time power called "WARP TIME". The game's demo coincided with the release of The Matrix in theaters, resulting in some positive comparisons at the time.
  • Resident Evil 5 frequently uses Bullet Time in cutscenes whenever Wesker's involved.
  • In RuneScape, the only way to dodge poison darts in the Agility Dungeon, your character has to enter bullet time and dodge them in a direct homage to The Matrix. However, this particular obstacle takes the most time to complete and has the worst penalty for failure (fail too often and you can't attempt it for a while) in that particular dungeon. So it's generally avoided whenever possible.
  • Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle has the "7th Sense" mode where enemies move slower as well as their attacks and projectiles. While using 7th Sense, some of your cosmo-attacks will trigger special camera angles with the whole game frozen for a second.
  • In Sniper Elite the in-game bullet cam shows a slow mode bullet leaving your rifle and hitting your target. Happens with head/neck shots, some body kill shots, and if you hit multiple enemies in a row with a single bullet.
  • In Sol Cresta, whenever you change your ships' formations, the action slows down. It may come in handy in harder levels and obstacles.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The "Chaos Control" abilities introduced by Shadow in Sonic Adventure 2 allow the user to warp space and time including slowing it down.
    • Sonic exclusively can slow down time with a "Time Break" ability introduced in Sonic and the Secret Rings which was later used in Sonic Generations, but it slows Sonic down as well.
  • Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions gives Spider-Man 2099 temporary bursts of "Accelerated Vision".
  • In the 1980 sci-fi RPG game Star Quest: Rescue at Rigel, the hero is equipped with the AMBLE ("Accelerated Movement through Bio-electronic Enhancement") system which, when activated, grants the player two moves per round and increases the damage from melee attacks, but also causes fatigue while it's on (and being completely fatigued makes the hero helpless).
  • Furies in The Legend of Spyro games have this. The Eternal Night also has an extra power for Spyro, fittingly called "Dragon Time", which slows time down for everything around him.
  • Done completely unintentionally in the classic Star Raiders for the Atari 8-Bit Computers. When a Zylon ship is destroyed, the game draws an exploding cloud of pixels for several seconds. That maxed out the processing power of the Atari, so the game slowed down temporarily... which proved beneficial when there was a second Zylon ship nearby.
  • Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter has a similar power called Force Reflex available when flying as Adi Gallia, the Jedi pilot. It does stretch Suspension of Disbelief a bit more than simply deflecting blaster bolts with a lightsaber, since your ship also becomes capable of turning on a dime, dodging lasers, firing at an increased rate, and other things that should be mechanically impossible, at least without jellying the pilot and melting itself, but the laws of physics gave up on the Star Wars universe a long time ago, so what's one more violation?
  • Super Hot is basically this exact trope distilled into its purest essence. If you stand still, so does time. It only moves when you move.
  • One upgrade in Tesla: The Weather Man allows you to press Shift to slow down time enough to pluck bullets right out of the air with the levitation ability.
  • TimeShift uses Bullet Time as an essential game mechanic. You cannot finish the game without using the time powers, and even with them it's still hard.
  • The Autobots have an ability simply called "Focus" in Transformers: Devastation. It works basically like Bayonetta's Witch Time, only it lasts much shorter and will only give them enough time to counter attack an opponent.
  • Starting with Tony Hawk Underground 2, you have the ability to "Focus", which means you can use your Special meter to slow down the world around you. Doing this would allow you to accumulate points at a normal rate whilst everything moves in slow motion (so holding a grab would rack up way more points than you would if you didn't use it) as well as make it easier to balance grinds and manuals. This would evolve into Tony Hawk's Project 8's "Nail the Trick" function that let you control how you perform flip tricks in slow-motion using the analog sticks to control your skater's feet.
  • Youmu Konpaku of the Touhou Project series will regularly slow everything down for most of her spellcards in Touhou Youyoumu ~ Perfect Cherry Blossom. Bullet Time is even more epic when there's hundreds of bullets coming at you.
  • Tower of Fantasy has a mechanic similar to Bayonetta's Witch time called Phantasia and this can be activated by doing a perfect dodge, meaning dashing out of the enemy's attack at the right moment. The enemies significantly slow down and all weapons will be immediately charged, allowing everyone to use all their discharge attacks for massive damage. If in a group, only the aggro holder can activate Phantasia.
  • The Trauma Center games temporarily slow time down during an operation whenever Derek activates his "Healing Touch". What happens when Stiles' Healing Touch happens twice? He puts The Flash to complete shame and becomes a syringing, suturing GOD.
  • Possibly the first game ever featuring this to come out in the wake of The Matrix was the original Unreal Tournament (November 1999, eight months after the film's March release), although you could only trigger it with a console command. Just start a Practice Session, and during gameplay, type slomo 0,X into the console. The result is a scalable bullet time environment, considering that slomo 0,1 means super-slow, slomo 0,9 means just a little slower than normal. If you type a number greater than 1 after slomo, you receive a faster gameplay - this can be any number, but after a while, your machine will not keep up with the pace. Any number after 15 caused major suffering to the machine... Slomo 0,0 doesn't work, if you want Time Freeze, there is a command for that too. Combine this with the command behindview 1, and just watch as the game turns into a familiar TPS, only you have more freedom. The mentioned commands only work against bots of course, though the game does have an actual Bullet Time mod to work with other players, complete with sound clips from Max Payne and The Matrix.
  • Vanquish calls this AR Mode, and it can be either activated manually, or is automatically triggered when Sam is critically injured. Staying in it too long results in overheating.
  • In Viewtiful Joe, Joe has VFX Slow which allows him to dodge a great deal of stuff. Later on, it actually becomes impractical to just "dodge" them, however.
  • Virtua Cop 3 has the "Exceeding Sense" mode, activated by stepping on a pedal. When activated, time slows down to the point where enemy bullets become visible and can be shot away. Obviously, there is a limit to how much you can do this, shown by an on-screen gauge.
  • In Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, the unlockable "Marksman" upgrade to Fury mode slows down time for Titus, allowing him to line up precision shots with his weapon. Extremely useful for putting Stalker-pattern bolter rounds and lascannon shots on target in the middle of a frenetic firefight.
  • In the game WET, your amazing acrobatic moves slow down into bullet time whenever you draw your guns and start blasting away.
  • Jude's ARM in Wild ARMs 4 has the ability to allow him to move in an incredibly high speed, called Accelerator. His Assault Buster skill is the result of him using this ability in battle to slash the target multiple times in super speed.
  • The Titan Motion in Will Rock. Unlike other examples here, it totally sucks since it slows down even your own bullets.
  • Wolfenstein:
    • In Wolfenstein, the second power granted to B.J. by the mystical Thule Medallion is "Mire", which in its basic form is standard bullet time (everything but the player's aiming is slowed down). Later upgrades get more ridiculous, including one that lets you move at normal speed while everything else is slowed down, and one that emits a shockwave around you whenever you activate the ability that turns most enemies caught within it into ash.
    • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus has this as an ability you gain upon acquiring the Constrictor Harness - whenever you get spotted in stealth, you get slow-motion for a few seconds to kill the guy before he can set off the alarm, explained as the enemy in question being scared shitless for a moment at the sight of "Terror-Billy" after he was very publicly executed.
  • In World of Warcraft during the Monk Class Hall questline to obtain the final champion, at one point you have to traverse packs of demons to close the portals they're coming from and reach the other side, but they're too many, so your character resorts to drinking the Valarjar's special brew, granting you extreme speed, depicted by slowing everything down except your character.
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you get a Bullet Time effect when someone/thing takes a Reaction Shot.

    Web Animation 
  • Used extensively Red vs. Blue season 12 episode "Long Time No See" when Epsilon is analyzing and preparing for the fight with the space pirates. It's not clear if that's how he always sees the world, or if he just sped up his perceptions for that situation.
  • The Shock Series follows Mr. Red's quest to earn the role of janitor, which for some reason involves beating up hordes of opponents. Aiding him is his "Shock" ability, which grants him a quick burst of Super-Speed that includes this trope. "Shock 3" in particular uses a good deal of bullet time to frame Mr. Red's movements, and at the end, Mr. Green too.


    Web Videos 
  • Another Matrix spoof can be seen in Flander's Company, episode "Motus", complete with bending backwards to avoid projectiles — though this time it's thrown tops and not bullets.
  • After the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past and then even more so in case of X-Men: Apocalypse Quicksilver and his bullet time sequences are parodied or homage surprisingly often, especially in Post-Soviet web-series.
    • This scene of Russian movie review web-series Patriot KINO has its host, Pikuly going full-on Quicksilver to go back in time and destroy a script for a bad Russian superhero flick.
    • And beginning of this Ukrainian web-series episode has Slowcopper, a Captain Ersatz of Quicksilver who only does something with super-speed when he does it slowly. As a result, he doesn't run in his super-speed mode but merely walks, constantly doing seemingly pointless things to slow himself down (such as looking at his reflection in the kettle and tossing around some plastic bags), so he can be faster.
  • Left POOR Dead: During Tippy's 'death'

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius parodies this in the episode "Maximum Hugh" in which Hugh eats marshmallows thrown by Jimmy.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In Toph's introductory episode, the battles that she is in use Bullet Time to emphasize that yes she's winning, and yes she's blind.
    • Also happens in the series finale, when Katara watches Zuko take Azula's lightning for her.
  • Two instances in the climax of BIONICLE 3: Web of Whadows: the first when Nuju flips around a string of Visorak web, causing two Visorak to collide underneath him; and later when Vakama blasts Matau with a spinner. As the camera angle changes, it becomes obvious Matau is a flat, 2D animated image.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • In the opening of "Power Mad!", Timmy uses this to dodge carrots shot at him.
    • In "Timmy's Secret Wish", Foop is trying to find one last thing to blame Timmy on as the judge is about to hit the gavel in bullet time.
  • Family Guy: In "Fecal Matters", the Quicksilver scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past is parodied when Meg inexplicably enters bullet time and, in a rare moment of payback, positions her family to hurt themselves when things return to normal speed.
    Lois: Dammit! Who's secretly an X-Man?
  • Futurama:
    • Used in "A Clone of My Own" as the Planet Express ship is about to blast off after its engines are repaired. This was done to highlight the revelation that the engines work by moving the whole universe around the ship.
    • In "Three Hundred Big Boys", this happens to Fry after he drinks 100 cups of coffee. He sees everything in bullet time while he moves normally. Everyone else says "we were just saved from the fire by an orange blur!"
  • Parodied a few times in Kerwhizz with the characters reacting in normal time while their racing pods are in ultra-slow motion.
  • Several of the Pro-Bending Arena fight scenes in The Legend of Korra.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • In "Buckball Season", Applejack kicks an apple with the bullet time effect as it falls in slow motion. Her body takes on a similar effect as she lets out a distorted shout.
    • In "The Saddle Row Review", Twilight dives forward to prevent Rarity from opening the door, her entire body turning into a projectile with this effect.
  • An early episode of Robot Chicken parodies this with a sketch named "The Pac-Matrix", in which Pac-Man discovers a Morpheus-esque version of himself in the maze and takes the red pill to exit the game. He promptly re-enacts the scene from the page image, slow-motion dodging bullets fired by ghosts taking the place of Agents... but since his torso is perfectly spherical, he can't actually duck under the bullets, and ends up still getting shot.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Parodied in the episode "New Kids on the Blecch"; *NSYNC shows up and starts doing music video tricks, only for one of the members to fall out of the Freeze Frame during the Bullet Time sequence.
    • There's also a Couch Gag done in bullet time.
  • Steven Universe: Future: In "Guidance", Smokey Quartz utilizes some of Steven's slowly growing Pink Powers in order to move fast enough that the flapping of bird's wings appears to be going at a snail's pace, and a roller coaster that was about to fly into the ocean is now inching along slowly. Parodied a little in that Smokey Quartz has no control over how long the speed boost lasts- there's only enough time for her to get the people off the roller coaster before time returns to normal.
  • In ThunderCats (2011), Rascally Rabbit the Drifter has this as a secondary power of his Wuxia-level Not Quite Flight and Super-Reflexes. His lightness and ability to drift on windcurrents makes him appear able to effortlessly Overcrank himself, which he demonstrates by performing a flying No, I Am Behind You in apparent slow-mo while actually chatting in real time.
  • Total Drama:
    • Harold finally earns the Killer Bass' trust that he can earn them the victory in "Dodgebrawl" when he dodges one of Owen's throws by bending backwards, a scene which is shown in slow-motion.
    • In "Saving Private Leechball", Zoey dodges a hail fire of leeches thrown at her by Jo by bending backwards, a scene which is shown in slow-motion. She ups the ante by grabbing one leech from above her and using it to reload her own slingshot.
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • In "Bloodlines", Impulse (a cocky speedster from the future) does this when Robin tries to him him with his electric staff.
      Impulse: [bends back under the staff] Limbo Time!
    • In "The Fix", Tigress tells Miss Martian to attack her and "make it look good" to maintain her cover as The Mole. Miss Martian uses her telekinesis to throw an entire car at Tigress which she (barely) ducks in this fashion.
      Tigress: Well, you don't have to make it look that good!


Bending Bullets

Since none of her fellow assassins will follow the Code, Fox bends a single bullet around the room, killing them all, including herself, instead.

The action is slowed way down so despite it being out of focus, we can see each and every blood spatter.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BulletTime

Media sources: