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In-Universe Game Clock

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Yes, the guy with the green hair just stands there all day.

One of the first messages you receive in the graphic adventure game Transylvania. They are NOT kidding.

An in-universe game clock is a feature found in some video games, where the time of day actually changes in the game's world rather than remain static. As the player loiters around the sun may set and it becomes nighttime within the area they are visiting. Depending on the game, this can either be an attempt at realism or a way to introduce other gameplay features (including Non Player Characters being located in different locations depending on the time of day), abilities or items that work better in sunlight or the dark, and even creatures or monsters that only appear at certain times of the day. The result is one or more of the following:

  1. In-game time advances with the system clock, or X times faster than the system clock—in the extreme case of some God Games, a game year may take only a second to play.
  2. The time of day/week/month/year/whatever affects character statistics.
  3. The types of monsters that appear, or which NPCs can be encountered, changes.
  4. Stores that sell items may be open, closed, or offer different items.

In spite of all this, the time cycle seldom seems to affect the actual plot of the game (except in the case of a Timed Mission); events tend to happen at the appointed place no matter how long it takes for you to get there.

NPC Scheduling and Event-Driven Clock, when Plot Points determine the passing of time, are subtropes. Video Game Time is a common effect of this.


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    Tied to System Clock 
  • An Easter Egg in Ancient Domains of Mystery. Starting a new game on Friday 13th results in all starting inventory items being cursed.
    • There are at least four other important dates to consider when generating your new character in ADOM:
      • Starting on any Monday generates your character "slighty exhausted", 4 or 5 HP below your maximum health. For the most of the time, this is of little consequence, as the first one or two moves in the wilderness heal you to full health. However, this can really ruin your day if your character already has very low maximum HP (Mist Elves are the most prominent example), and/or the RNG has it out for you with an early random encounter.
      • Starting on December 31st makes your character "well prepared for the coming year", which equals six blessed potions of booze. You can get drunk with them — or you can use them to recharge your wands, or trade them to Yggaz the fool for other random potions (including potions of gain attributes or potions of cure corruption). Yggaz is found in the very first village you'll encounter.
      • December 24th is even better — "a lone star leads you to this remote valley" and leaves you there with Fate smiling upon you, which nudges any and all rolls in your favor.
      • But the best day to start your adventure is July 2nd, the Creator's Day. Fate smiles on you, and on top of that, you are also Lucky — an effect similar to and weaker than Fate smiles, but these two effects stack.
  • In the Animal Crossing series, the game clock is the real clock, so when they say "come back tomorrow", they mean tomorrow. The GCN game has special calendar events programmed in for a few more years, and it's been out for a while. Of course, games like this make it possible to "time travel" by changing the system clock, but the games prefer that you change the clock in-game (you'll still be punished for blatant time-traveling regardless of which method you use). The original N64 title meanwhile uses a chip built into the cartridge (as the Nintendo 64 doesn't have an internal clock of its own), though difficulties with emulating this means it only works on the original hardware — assuming the battery powering the clock hasn't died by now.
  • beatmania IIDX 22 PENDUAL has a clock in system menus that displays the current real-world date and time during the Present phase. During the Future phase, the year shown in the clock is "2222" instead. Phases affect the visual style of the game interface, the menu BGM, and the songlist; currently, two songs are exclusively available in Present phase and two more in Future phase. Phases change every few days according to a schedule shown on the official website. Additionally, the "Chrono Seeker" event has a story that revolves around the time phase mechanic and has several unlocks that are dependent on the current real-world date and time; details can be found here. A December 2014 update allows the player to purchase an Hourglass of Time item that will flip the current time phase for their current credit when activated.
  • As noted in the folder below, Burnout Paradise got this variant after a patch, in addition to the options for having the day/night cycle move on its own over user-defined periods of time.
  • In some of the Castlevania games, what time of day it is (according to the system clock) will determine what accessories will grant you bonuses.
  • City of Heroes had a constant day-night cycle that lasted about an hour or so, and talking to certain passers-by on the street would get you the "local time" according to that cycle. There were a few villains and recurring events that would only appear outside at night.
  • The amusingly named flight sim Corncob 3D has you create an avatar to serve in the game's air force, and as you complete missions you'll get medals and promotions. Do something stupid like bomb a friendly base instead of an enemy, and you'll get thrown in the brig for a few days to a week... and they really mean it. Come back in a week and you can play the game again!
  • Cozy Grove: If an NPC tells you that something will be ready in an hour, that's one real-time hour. If they tell you to come back tomorrow, then that's real-world tomorrow. Yes, this game does want you to Play Every Day. There are also cosmetic differences to the island depending on whether you're playing before or after dusk.
  • The Creatures games have an internal day/night cycle and seasons. In most of the games, this only affects a few plants and such and makes everyone a bit sleeper at night, but the kids' versions, Creatures Adventures/Playground, have the entire scenery change. Also, there's in-game time, which is supposed to match Real Life time, but depending on your computer it can be much faster or slower because it's based on processing speed. This is used to describe the age of the creatures (who usually have a lifespan of around 4 in-game hours).
  • In Ensemble Stars!, the character set to appear on each player's home screen will twice a day spawn mini-events that can grant minor goodies, most notably affection points. These events are based on the phone's current system time, divided into four time periods (morning, midday, afternoon, and nighttime) with two different possible mini-events for each time period. The brief comments that show up on the homescreen itself can also relate to the system time, with characters yawning and encouraging the player to sleep, or simply looking forward to lunchtime.
  • The web game Farmville runs in realtime (except that game days are 23 hours, not 24, for convenience). If you leave your farm alone for too long, all your crops will have withered. Thus, the game rewards good planning. As in Harvest Moon series, crops grow much faster than real-life crops.
  • There's a minor example in Fire Emblem: Awakening. The main chapters do not run on real time, but the Barracks feature does. Conversations between the characters will only pop up every few hours, and whatever character appears on the touch screen will make different comments to you depending on what time of day it is (if it's particularly late, for instance, they'll tell you to go to bed).
  • I Wanna Be the Guy: Gaiden's traps increase in number or change pattern at night.
  • While The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker mostly uses an internal game clock, the file select screen uses the system clock instead (the background depends on the time on the system clock).
  • The DS Dating Sim Love Plus ignores this until a confession of love occurs (and the credits roll), then it gives you the options to play in "Skip Mode" (which isn't tied to any clock whatsoever) or "Real-Time Mode" (which is tied to a 1:1 clock, initialized to your DS's time). Additionally, some features, such as buying a present for your lover, are only available in Real-Time Mode. thankfully, the game will let you go back and pick up (most) missed events in Real-Time, provided you had them scheduled, with dates being among the sole exceptions.
  • In Sega Dreamcast racing game Metropolis Street Racer, the system time is used to produce a realistic time of day in the three cities London, San Francisco and Tokyo. Some bonuses are only available at certain times of the day.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator uses the current time as its clock, and takes time zones into account, so it'll be daytime and nighttime where it is in real life. However, it's possible to change the time from a menu if you'd rather experience a different time of day instead.
  • If you played Mud And Blood 2 on Halloween, Nazi zombies would be added to some of the German waves, and if you played on Christmas, Santa Claus would appear on the battle map (and possibly get killed in the crossfire).
  • Since NetHack is a turn-based game, time mostly doesn't matter. But when it does (gremlins, for example, are only dangerous at night), it uses real-world time. The game also keeps track of not just hours of day but also days of the month (kinda): it uses full and new moon days for certain effects.
  • The mortal world in Nexus War games cycles back and forth between day and night every hour, though only the Revenant has serious repercussions from it. Everyone else simply has an easier time scrounging up supplies during the day.
  • Nintendogs, a real time game where you care for puppies.
  • Another exception: in Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis — a tactical shooter — time passes in real-time, and changes in time of day are gradual and usually only discernible either early or late in the day. Sunrise and sunset times even vary depending on the month, and tides and visible constellations also change. One mission even requires you to navigate by the stars.
  • Oracle of Tao has not only hours and days, but weeks and months, and basically a working calendar. It even has seasons (where the grass color changes (to look like snow in winter) and weather pattern becomes drier in summer or more snow in winter). They don't have actual years passing though, instead the same year loops infinitely.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has the Happy Lucky Lottery which can be played once a day, according to the Gamecube's system clock. Don't try to cheat by changing the clock, or you'll regret it.
  • Plague Inc. uses a variant of this, as it goes by dates, rather than time of day. Most runs start the date your system calendar says it is and advances at a rate of one in-game day per real life second(at the slowest speed). This is also the default for custom scenarios, but creators can change this as they wish if they're doing a scenario with a plot that takes place in a specific time period.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl made use of the Nintendo DS's internal clock in a similar manner to how the second generation of games (see below) used a clock built into the cartridge, and future DS games kept that feature.
    • The DS remake of Pokémon Gold and Silver sees the time/day function return to true importance after the originals' successors lacked some of their features, as all of the date- and time-specific events from the original versions return with gusto.
    • Pokémon Black and White expand on this by adding seasons. Every real-life month, the in-game season changes (January, May, and September are spring, February, June, and October are summer, March, July, and November are fall, and April, August, and December are winter). Like with the day-night system, different Pokémon appear during different seasons or appear at different rates (for example, some ice Pokémon only appear during the winter, and others appear more frequently then). Also, just like in real life, the days are shorter during the winter and longer during the summertime.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon further expanded on this. Pokémon Sun has the time in-game match the system clock as normal, but in Pokémon Moon the time is offset by 12 hours from the system clock, causing it to be night in-game when it's daytime in the real world. Once again the player will encounter different Pokémon depending on whether it is day or night.
      • A post-game feature allows the player to cause the day/night cycle to behave as it does in the opposite game, which is necessary in order to unlock the Cosmog in a special event.
      • A story event also requires it to be day/night when it occurs. If it's any other time of day, the game will make it day/night for just that event.
    • In Pokémon Sword and Shield the time of day only changes within the Wild Area during the main story. All other locations such as cities and routes are locked to a certain time of day as based on the story. After beating the story though, the entire world does change time of day with real-time.
    • Pokémon Sleep follows real-world time and the daylight changes accordingly as the day goes by. Morning is from 6AM-11:59AM, afternoon is from 12PM-5:59PM, while evening is from 6PM-5:59AM. Time-based evolutions are dependent on this (with the time window for day evolutions being from 6AM-5:59PM) while meals can only be cooked once per time period.
  • Pokémon Flora Sky has this, as per usual for actual Pokémon games. Unlike in Emerald however, day and night do have visual differences. Specifically, the overworld will have a green-hued overlay early in the morning, a red-hued overlay during the afternoon, a blue-hued overlay during the evening, and a black-hued one in the middle of the night.
  • Pokémon R.O.W.E., like most Pokémon games, has an in-game clock. However, the in-game time can also be skipped ahead twelve hours by sleeping in a bed, unlike vanilla Emerald.
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando and Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, there's a 'level' called the Insomniac Museum in both, which in both is simply a large museum of (sometimes interactive) objects and concepts that didn't make the final cut. There are two ways of getting to it: beat the game 100%, or find the one teleporter that will take you there. The teleporter can only be used between 3:00 AM and 4:00 AM, according to the system clock. It is, after all, the Insomniac Museum.
  • Seaman for the Sega Dreamcast ran on the console's internal time to make keeping your Seaman alive something of a daily thing. For instance, if you feed Seaman once then go away for a week, Leonard Nimoy will tell you that your fish have died. Of course you can change the Sega clock to speed up the game to the point where you can play the whole game in just a few hours. Nimoy lampshades this by telling you that he's noticed that you get on a lot at this time.
  • Second Life has a somewhat long day/night cycle that also affects the client program's login screen. It can be modified by a surprisingly in-depth editor, but, of course, only changing the look of that particular player's client.
  • Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, of all things, uses a day/night system on a few of its levels. The initial training mission changes depending on what (real-world) time of day you play it; a later mission has you attack a base's early-warning sensors head-on in a bomber when played during the day, or sneak in with a speeder when played at night.
  • Another Easter Egg in Shadow of the Tomb Raider: if your computer clock shows that it is the 14th of February, loading screens in-game might display "happy birthday Lara Croft" instead of the usual tip.
  • Telefang has an internal clock, although this doesn't serve much purpose other than graphic effects (for daytime and nighttime) and receiving messages from other characters while the game is turned off. The clock was dropped in Telefang 2.
  • The Tokyo Xtreme Racer series has an in-game clock tied to the system clock. Certain opponents can only appear or be challenged at specific times of day. Beginning with Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3, the clock adjusts so that it shows the time in Japan time; for example if your system's time zone is set to GMT -7 and time set to 4 PM, it will be 8 AM in-game. However, no matter what time the clock shows, it's always nighttime on the expressways of Japan.
  • The World Ends with You uses the DS system clock to determine how much Shutdown PP you receive. Which also means that you can modify the DS clock for truckloads of Shutdown PP. Each character can also only digest so much food per real time day meaning you can't feed them again until tomorrow. Like with Shutdown PP this can be avoided by tweaking the date on the system clock.
  • In War Thunder night battles will show star positions according to your system time (and the latitude of the map in real life). You will see different constellation depending on the date.
  • In the World of Warcraft, the day-night cycle occurs in real time. There is, however, next to no effect on gameplay; monster spawns remain constant, visibility remains the same, and NPC shopkeepers remain open for business at all hours. The only change is that certain fish can only be caught at certain times, but since those fish have no special abilities and the recipes that can be cooked with them aren't particularly useful, this is trivial.
    • Pyrewood Village in the Silverpine Forrest is inhabited by humans cursed to change into worgen at night. The villagers are friendly to Alliance during the day and hostile at night, and always hostile to the Horde.
    • Also, recently-introduced daily quests can be repeated by the player, but only once per day. The reset time for these quests is a few hours after midnight server time (1AM PST, 2AM GMT). In-game, many daily quest-givers seem aware of the daily nature of quests, and inform you to return the next day to repeat the quest.
    • The game also rewards players for not playing by granting them a period of faster Experience accrual while they're resting (logged out, at an inn, or in a major city). The longer the character is logged out, the more bonus EXP they earn (within limits, of course).

    Internal Game Clock 
  • The Phillon Planet in Ace Online experiences a day-night cycle, complete with a moving sun and moon. This only affects the spawning rates of mobs, as some are nocturnal.
  • Agent USA, an Atari game made in 1984, has a night and day cycle that was quite advanced for its time. Time moved at the speed of real life, but sped up considerably (as in, an hour per second) while riding a train from one location to another. For every two hours in the game, there's a different color for the sky, buildings, and the windows in the buildings may be lit up or not, providing twelve distinct times of day.
  • In the Commodore 64 version of Alice in Wonderland, time passed very quickly, some events only occurred at certain times, the people you talked to could return later if you offended them, and how long you took to finish the game affected your ending. (Fortunately, pausing the menu also paused the clock.)
  • Airplane Mode is about riding in an airplane that travels from JFK to either Halifax or Iceland. In real time. You can look out the window and see the sky when in the air or skyline during takeoff and landing, and check the clock on the in-flight entertainment.
  • APICO runs through a day and night cycle with one in-game minute lasting a real-life second. Bees and butterflies also have varying times at which they're active: diurnal, nocturnal, crepuscular (dawn and dusk), and cathemeral (active all day and all night).
  • The core Assassin's Creed games feature a day-night cycle running continuously throughout gameplay.
  • The day/night cycle in Beyond Good & Evil is mostly atmospheric — only a few NPCs have schedules, and none of the shops close — but a few animals you need for the First-Person Snapshooter/Collection Sidequest only appear at night/day.
  • Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II have their internal clock with day/night cycles. 1 game hour lasts for 5 real time minutes, and 1 game day lasts for 2 real time hours. This affects some background activities in cities (for example, denizens will stay at home and you might even find them sleeping, while the streets will be populated by hookers and bouncers) and the chances of meeting particular enemies (for example, vampires only spawn at night or inside dungeons). Some quests can even be accepted or completed only in certain moments of the day (for example, the ghost child in the graveyard district of Athkatla, or the first quest for Aran Linvail, both at night). However, many major characters and all the shops will stay open continuously.
    • The Enhanced Edition of the second game introduced a recruitable character that can only be present in-game at night, inside buildings, or underground, unless wearing a magical hood that allows to walk outside under daylight, temporarily despawning from the party otherwise.
  • The PC Edutainment Game Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock! gives the player five in-game days to solve science riddles so that a rogue AI will agree to save Earth from an incoming asteroid. "Five days" translates to several hours of game time; a minute ticks by every second or so.
  • Black & White: Both games have a day/night cycle that governs the villagers' activities, a few world elements (like fireflies that hide at dawn and transform into single-use miracles), and some quests (like an informant who only meets you — a giant luminous divine entity — under cover of darkness). In the sequel, you can adjust the time of day at will.
  • Brave Fencer Musashi uses an in-game clock that marks off an hour a minute (except when paused, sleeping, or fighting bosses) and a seven-day calendar that results in shops being closed one day of the week apiece and the final level (entirely time-frozen) only being accessible on a Skyday.
  • In Breath of Fire, the first two games has this element in play. The first game uses it as a story element twice (the third town can only be accessed during the night, as is a password needed to open Tunlan's safe). Breath of Fire II has specific places not accessible at night, like the church and circus.
  • Another Rockstar game, Bully, also uses a in-game clock, also with a day lasting twenty-four minutes.
    • On this game, though, the clock plays a bigger role, as your character will pass out after 2 a.m., and you have to attend classes or the prefects/police will try to stop you and take you to it. There is also a curfew after 11 p.m., and they will take you back to your dorm if they catch you.
    • And some missions slows down or stop the clock completely.
  • Burnout Paradise averted this at launch and was in a perpetual afternoon. After a patch however, it uses this Day/Night cycle by default, using a clock system that normally compresses 24 hours to 24 minutes (although it can also be altered to take up to two hours to pass). There is also a menu option to lock it to specific times of the day, which has the added use of giving the player the choice of when he wants to do specific day/night events. or sync it to real-world time. There's also the option synch it to the system's internal clock, meaning it fits the previous version of the trope as well!
  • Calico has changing day/night in its world, complete with different day/night songs for each of its six areas. The time of day tends not to affect the behavior of townspeople much.
  • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest:
    • "What a horrible night to have a curse." — Roughly every 5 minutes, day will turn to night and vice versa. The exception is inside mansions and other buildings, where the clock freezes until you go outside again.
    • Monsters are tougher at night, but the music is so much cooler. Dilemma...
    • Heart pickups are also increased at night, but the towns are all locked up and full of zombies.
    • The ending you get when you defeat the final boss depends on how many days pass during the playthrough. If beaten within eight in-game days, Simon survives, but Dracula's return is teased. Between eight and fifteen days, the epilogue states that Simon succumbs to his wounds after defeating Dracula. If more than fifteen days pass, Simon dies imediately afterwards.
    • Later Castlevania games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Castlevania 64 also have day/night cycles.
  • In Chibi-Robo!, the day is initially five minutes long, but can be extended by buying special items. And you can change it back, if you'd like. Essentially, the game allows you to choose how long your days are.
  • Chulip: Time passes at an accelerated rate; different NPCs are active at different times, and certain events only happen at certain hours.
  • Corruption of Laetitia: The game has a clock that can be viewed with the pocketwatch item. The time affects the appearance of NPCs in towns and ghouls in Arowar's cemetery.
  • Dark Cloud 2 also runs an accelerated time-pace. Shops remain open at all times, but various characters can be found in different places at different times. They never actually sleep, though. The time of day is mostly important for catching specific photographs, such as the full moon or the sunrise. There's also the 'Lamb Sword', which transforms into the 'Wolf Sword' at night, with a MAJOR increase in attack power.
  • Dead Rising covers 72 in-game hours in 6 real-time hours. The Infinite mode grants the Infinity +1 Sword if you survive 10 real-time hours without dying (no saves, either), and an additional Bragging Rights Reward for surviving 14 real-time hours with no saves.
  • In Digimon World, a minute lasts for a second, and thus a day theoretically lasts for 24 minutes (provided you don't train or allow your Digimon to sleep). The day itself is divided into four sections: morning, midday, sunset, and midnight. 30 days make up a year; there are no months or seasons.
  • Google Chrome's Dinosaur Game has a day/night cycle that kicks in early in the game and turns the whole monochrome day from charcoal/night to white/day, rotating with every hundred points you get. As the game speeds up, the time changes and thus lighting changes are happening multiple times per minute.
  • Disco Elysium: has a cycle of day-night. The clock stops advancing at 2 AM and you need to sleep to pass to the next day. Game time passes when you are moving around, in dialogue and talking to people.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest VIII has a day-night cycle of about a half-hour. However, the player can circumvent this with most inns: going to an inn in the middle of the night has you wake up at dawn, and going to an inn during daylight gives you the option of sleeping until the next morning or only until evening.
    • Earlier games had the same cycle, though the inn would always take you to morning. There were also spells and items that would change it from day to night or back.
    • Dragon Quest III was the game which first introduced the day/night cycle. Sleeping at an inn would always take you to morning, and there were also spells and items that would change it from day to night or back.
    • The in-universe clock got very strange in Dragon Quest V, in which, according to the in-universe day-night cycle, your wife gives birth to your twin children maybe three weeks after the first opportunity for conception.
  • Dwarf Fortress keeps track of how long your dwarfs have been at the fortress, and things like weather, available crops, and arrival of traders are tied to the season.
  • This is a major element in Dying Light, where the transition from day to night marks the transformation of some normal zombies into lethal Night Walkers, along with the emergence of the extremely dangerous Volatiles (and, if the game is played online, the even more deadly player-controlled Night hunter). Skill point rewards are also doubled at night, and some quests and challenges are only available at certain times of day.
  • Earth 2150 has a day-night cycle with realistic lighting sequences, in addition to several weather effects and all this implies: ambient temperature is different depending on time of day (very slightly affects laser weapons, which heat units until they explode due to ammo/fuel catching fire), fog appears when it's cold, it snows when it's even colder, units and buildings have lights that can be permanently on (grants vision at night, but makes targeting them much easier as well; stealth devices of units with lights on also don't work because light itself simply can't be stealthed), permanently off (the opposite) or automatic (on during night, off during day), and various missions will consequently be easier during day or night, depending on the set-up.
  • The Elder Scrolls: The series has had an internal clock since Daggerfall, which is also the game with the most quests that are timed to some extent (including one of the first missions of the main quest, though you at least get several warnings before the time runs out). Morrowind and Oblivion both have default time scales where 1 in-game hour equals 2 real-world minutes. (Essentially, an in-game day lasts 48 real life minutes.) Skyrim changes it so that 1 in-game hour equals 3 real-world minutes (meaning an in-game day lasts 72 real life minutes). In each case, the games have Wait and Rest mechanics which allow you to fast forward the game time. The Elder Scrolls Online bumps this up even further, making 1 in-game hour equal 3.5 real-world minutes.
  • else Heart.Break() has a compressed clock, where a minute is around 2 actual seconds. The characters in the game move about according to this clock, and when dialogue talks of something happening at a given time, if you're too late for it, you might miss it.
  • Ephemeral Fantasia uses a compressed clock to represent the 5-day "Groundhog Day" Loop cycle.
  • Eternal Eden doesn't normally feature an in-game clock, but a day/night system exist in the turtle island, where certain breeds of turtles can only be found during either day or night.
  • The Etrian Odyssey series has a day-night cycle, as well as an in-game calendar (for instance, the guild always starts its adventures on Emperor 1). Time advances as you explore the Labyrinth, and when sleeping at the inn, you can choose to be awakened in the morning or evening. Depending on the time of day, different monsters may appear in the Labyrinth, or FOEs may behave differently. In some areas, however, this behaves oddly. For instance, in the third game, sailing around quickly eats up hours, and reaching different destinations can easily take a day or two. However, Sea Quests don't take any in-game time at all — the guild is simply deposited right at their destination for the Boss Fight, then returns to Armoroad for their rewards without any time elapsing. In fact, the clock even reverts to whatever time it was when you started the quest even if the battle took a few in-game hours.
  • Fable deserves an honorary mention as time does flow by, but only for the Player character, resulting in situations where you at the age of 54 has to go save your older sister who looks suspiciously 20-something, and you can go save your mother who is now younger than you. The fact that, at least for the Player character, this is averted in Fable II should give an idea of just how annoying it was to have the Player age years seemingly in days.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout runs real-time on area maps, but with time compression while traveling on the overland map. Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas use the same time compression scheme as Oblivion, having been built on the same Game Engine.
    • Fallout 3 even has changing phase of the moon.
    • Most but not all shopkeepers are affected by daytime. In Fallout 3, other activities (most notably sleep) are also affected.
    • There are perks — passive abilities that can be selected upon leveling up, provided certain conditions are met — which give bonuses during day (e.g., health regeneration and additional strength) or night (e.g., additional perception and intelligence). Shopkeepers, however, can be interacted with all night long, provided they stay in their shops all night instead of going home and sleeping (which sometimes happens in New Vegas).
    • Confusingly, some consumables in Fallout 4 confer effects that last a set time on the in-game clock, while others last for a certain length of time spent playing the game in real life.
  • Fantasy Life has a day/night cycle that affects the locations of city-dwellers and the spawning of some enemies (some only appear during that period). Most shops aren't affected, but the NPC that does the Skill Point Reset will only do it at night and sell stuff by day. Going to bed can take the player to the next morning or evening and the story chapters will sometimes force the player into it.
  • Far Cry 2 also has a fairly long day/night cycle. One minute of real time is equal to five minutes in-game. It gets odd to think, after blowing up a few convoys, assassinating a bunch of guys, taking over a number of safe houses by force, helping out the underground a couple of times, meeting and helping out a few new friends, all while conducting complex operations for one militant faction only to switch sides and work for their enemies across town, that you've still been in the country less than a week.
  • In Final Fantasy XI, one game day is slightly less than one real life hour. While this can make waits bearable, don't think about what this means when a player is in an XP party for several real life hours straight, or the fact that a "decade" passes in 20 weeks with nobody having visibly aged. It doesn't help that storywise, it's perpetually 20 years after the Crystal War that spanned 862 through 864 (or perpetually 863 while you're in the past), despite what the game clock might say, and the story missions work on a Take Your Time basis.
    • Final Fantasy XIV also has an in-game clock with one day being 70 minutes. The only thing this affects are what kinds of fish you can get and some side quests. Any time the plot requires it to be day or night, the change is only visible for that quest/instance.
  • In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, the Doomsday Clock is the most prominent gameplay mechanic and is part of what you do for almost all of the game. The Doomsday Clock runs anytime that you are moving on the field. An in-game day lasts one real time hour. Thus, an in-game hour is 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and one in-game minute is 2.5 seconds. The clock will stop if the player pauses the game, during any cutscenes or conversation, and while in the menu or battle with the exception of the game's Bonus Dungeon. Time of day will affect things like what monsters you can fight, sidequests you can complete, etc. There's a lot more to it than that, which is explained in better detail here.
  • Gaia Online originally had a 2:1 Day/Night Cycle, though this was sped up so that a full 24 hour cycle takes about two hours. This is fairly important, especially in zOMG!. Certain enemies only appear at night (including one mini boss), you can only talk to the Surfers during their nightly bonfire party. (And even then you only have a portion of the whole night, because even they need to sleep), and certain events are only possible at night. (You can only trick or treat at night, for example.)
  • GhostControl Inc.: There's a digital clock in the top right side of the screen that constantly counts up. There are buttons underneath it that allow you to pause, play, and fast-forward time.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, time passes faster "normally", though I'm not too sure by how much faster, though there are still Timed Missions that act as though in real-time. Plus the game gives you "two days" to strike first in ending a Mob War, but the onscreen timer shows 48 minutes. Hmph.
  • Gold Rush! has two timed events, both of which completely fail to work on any computer faster than 25mhz. There was also a segment with day cycles (no night cycles, it just transitions to the next day without warning) that tend to get you killed by putting you into a bad situation, because you were standing at the wrong place WHEN DAWN CAME WITHOUT WARNING.
  • In the otherwise gritty and realistic world of the Grand Theft Auto series, a day passes for every twenty-four minutes of play time. As an extension, some missions can only be started at a certain time of the day.
    • In Grand Theft Auto IV they halved the in-game clock's speed, meaning that one in-game day passes for every forty-eight real-time minutes.
    • In IV, your friends and girlfriends have individual sleep patterns — and aren't too happy if your phone call wakes them up.
    • And throughout the series, saving your game causes a few hours to pass as your character gets some sleep.
    • In IV, spraying your car will make 3 in-game hours to pass.
  • In Half-Minute Hero, one day takes 30 seconds, and the day is generally divided into a "morning" half and a "evening" half, with certain events only showing up at certain portions.
  • Halo Infinite: Zeta Halo has a day and night cycle which you can experience during gameplay, and this will also adjust the locations of enemy positions and patrols. This is also perhaps one of the few times in gaming where the use of Video Game Time is completely justified: The shape of a Ring World Planet naturally means that the length of each day is also much shorter than usual.
  • In Hearts of Iron (1, 2, and 3) every in game hour is a turn and you can control the speed at which time passes (and also pause it completely). Fighting at night comes with hefty penalties to both the attacker and defender and night bombings and air battles are also much less effective. Also certain technologies offer bonuses that improve effectiveness at night (such as night vision gear, aircraft radar and special night training).
  • Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising has a day/night cycle that doesn't affect gameplay beyond giving you an excuse to use the night vision button. If you know one exists at all.
  • Hydlide III (also known as Super Hydlide) featured day/night cycles, along with the need to eat and sleep.
  • All games in the Jak and Daxter series have a purely cosmetic day/night cycle, even the Racing Game Spin-Off. Said spin-off allows you to choose the time of day to start on in the settings for a custom race.
    • The 24-minute day/night cycle gets a lampshade in Jak II: Renegade: after completing a specific Mission, Krew says it's time for his beauty nap, to which Daxter replies that there aren't enough hours in the day.
  • KGB has a nearly 1:1 timeflow. Days are quite action-packed (you should be able to finish the game within a weeks worth of game time) but travelling and the "wait" option speeds things along.
  • King's Quest III doesn't have a day/night cycle, but it does have a clock that starts at 00:00:00 in the status bar, and some game events are tied to it. For example, figuring out when the evil wizard will and won't be home will let you avoid being killed by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The speed of game clock equals the speed of system clock.
    • The day/night cycle in King's Quest IV is usually triggered by events, but if you wait a veeeeery long time night will eventually fall on its own. Sadly, if you didn't do the event that triggers nightfall you'll end up being killed by zombies anyway.
  • In the 1983 8-bit classic Knight Lore, the main character turns into a werewolf at dusk then back into a human at dawn. The whole 24-hour cycle can take a variable amount of real time, and may be at least a minute on the original machine when a lot of moving blocks/sprites are present. Several of the enemies react differently when you're in wolf form (most notably, it's impossible to enter the wizard's room as a wolf).
  • Knuckles Chaotix changes time from morning to afternoon to evening to night after exiting (not necessarily beating) two stages. Among other effects, this changes the color palette in every stage and on the hub level, as well as changing the music on the latter.
  • Koei strategy game franchises such as Nobunaga's Ambition, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Genghis Khan often feature in-game clocks where time passes very quickly, often in terms of entire seasons and years rather than just days.
  • The Legend of Xanadu had a day-night cycle whose main impact on gameplay was making it more difficult to contact NPCs. It was absent from the sequel.
  • In The Legend of Zelda, at least the 3-D entries in the series, there is a compressed day/night cycle (which only operates in certain areas, others are locked at the time of day it was when you entered them). Of course, in all the titles with a time component, save one, there's a method to screw with it, usually via music. The exception is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The day/night cycle is of highest importance in the game, because of the three-day "Groundhog Day" Loop. Every single sidequest in the game (as well many parts of the main quest) all depend heavily on the game's internal clock. And if the internal clock counts down to 0, it's Game Over.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Save on the largest islands (where time stands still), the time of day transitions as usual, and while sailing you can see a small icon portraying the day's and night's respective skies reflecting this flow. An interesting note is that the game makes use of this at one point: You are told by Tetra that her gang won't leave to follow you until morning. Most (at least, most first-time) players take that as a cue to rush back to your boat and sail right toward Outset Island. However, as the player will no doubt notice, and the King of Red Lions will point out, something strange has happened causing the world to be in constant night for this segment of the game. It's due to Ganondorf, who put a curse on the Great Sea in an attempt to cast the world into darkness. Luckily, this means you can visit your friends and family, heal your sick grandmother, and finally retrieve the MacGuffin from Jabun, which breaks the curse and restores the in-game clock.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword excluded the feature. Rather than having a day and night cycle, most areas take place during daytime, except for a select few that have an alternate "night" version. These areas have beds that let you change the time of the day by sleeping, but time doesn't flow by itself.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild goes back to the same day/night system seen in previous games where five in-game minutes pass every five seconds and the world changes based on the time of day. Link can skip to the next morning, noon, or evening by sleeping at a Trauma Inn or a stable, or by sitting by a campfire (you can carry wood and flint for this purpose). Like in Majora's Mask, times flows everywhere, and NPCs have real schedules (as opposed to just spawning in one of two particular places depending on whether it's day or night).
    • An extreme version in Oracle of Seasons, where changing screens may result in finding yourself in another season entirely. Of course, this is the central feature of the game.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards also has a real-speed clock in the status bar. You can also see the time by checking Larry's watch in the inventory. The game starts at 22:00:00, Lefty closes his bar at 3:00, at 5:00 the sun rises and Larry would shoot himself when he leaves a building and sees it. Nothing else is affected by time. Finishing the game in 2-3 hours isn't hard.
  • Lonesome Village has a day-night cycle that passes according to an internal clock, shown in the upper right corner of the screen. Villagers may be found in different places depending on the time, and some things like certain kinds of fish can only be found at certain times of day.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online has an internal clock that makes an entire day last a little over 3 hours. While no specific in-game time is shown, an icon surrounding the mini-map will either show a sun or a moon, indicating whether it's day or night, and the tooltip will display the actual time period (dawn, morning, noon, afternoon etc.). In addition, the sun/moon cycle in the game is portrayed accurately throughout that 3+ hour day.
  • In Interplay's Lord of the Rings, "you cannot enter the town of Bree at night." That is, unless you have someone use the sneak command and walk real close to a wall near the bottom of the fortress. Also, the blacksmith will not help you with anything while it's dark, even though piecing together your sword and equipping you with armor could save the lives of everyone in Middle Earth.
  • In Mabinogi, every in-game day lasts 36 real minutes, with more mana regeneration during the night, and Part Time jobs happening at various times in the day. Each real day means an ingame month, which special effects for each of them. Each real week equals an ingame year. And logging in on Saturday after noon (according to the server) ages your character by one year.
  • Some Might and Magic games have an internal clock which is used for determining whether shops are open, how long you have been without resting and a few timed missions. It runs a lot faster than realtime.
  • A full day cycle in Minecraft lasts 20 minutes (equal to 72:1 time compression). Above-ground, monsters generally only spawn at night, so keeping track of time is important. In single player, you can skip the night by sleeping in a bed, so long as there are no hostile enemies nearby. It works in multiplayer too, but you need everyone on the server to go to bed in order to skip time. The Nether and the End realms doesn't have any form of time at all, so when you attempt to sleep in a bed in those places, your bed explodes. The cycle continues running in the overworld while you're in one of the underworlds, though you'll have to use an external clock to know whether it's day or night, because the in-game clock item just spins chaotically.
  • Moon: Remix RPG Adventure's clock is divided into four sections for morning, afternoon, evening, and night, with certain events only taking place at certain times.
  • Mount & Blade has one, it takes 5 seconds in reality for 1 hour in-game to pass.
    • Most noticeable while resting in the party camp or a tavern or simply traveling on the map. Time seems is frozen while inside battlefields though.
    • Gradually, your party will eat the food in your inventory, you lose a certain amount of food every six in-game hours depending on the number of troops who have, running out of food will decrease the morale of the party.
      • Some types of food get rotten after a few days (like beef and chicken) making them inedible.
    • Day/Night cycle affects your speed while traveling and your spotting range of other groups of soldiers.
  • MySims time is sped up, though you can still Take Your Time to complete any task. For the most part, whether it's day or night only affects who's awake, though you can wake anybody up without consequence.
    • MySims Kingdom is an odd case: each island's day/night cycle is suspended in daytime (yes, it's day in Rocket Reef and Spookane when you arrive) until you complete that island's story. There's another round of improvements you can make on each island, but time passes, anyway.
  • In Myst V: End of Ages, the solar system which the world of Laki'ahn belongs to is structured such that there is a solar eclipse every five minutes.
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted has a day cycle that has no night. The sun starts off high in midday, then it sets after about 5 minutes, then it disappears in a cloudy sky, and then it magically rises again on the other side of the horizon.
  • Neverwinter Nights, the Spiritual Successor to Baldur's Gate, had two minutes of real time equal one hour of game time.
  • Ogre Battle has day/night cycles that pass faster than real time.
  • Ōkami cycles from day to night, with many quests that can only be completed during one or the other. You start the game with the ability to turn night to day, and eventually learn to turn day into night as well. Ōkamiden has the same system as its predecessor.
  • In Pathologic, one in-game minute is roughly equivalent to five real-time seconds. Due to the fact that your character walks at a snail's pace and the entire game is a brutal Timed Mission, the clock can make things quite difficult for you.
  • In the Pikmin games, each day lasts 13 minutes. This does not include time spent in the second game's dungeons, which apparently has something to do with powerful magnetic fields.
  • Pillars of Eternity, another successor to BG, similarly has the game clock running continuously as you play. It is mostly relevant to the Stronghold gameplay, as most of its events are timed, and how soon your party incurs penalties for traveling without rest. However, there are also some NPCs who only appear at night.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver started the series' tradition of built-in clocks that segregate the day into three time periods — morning, evening, and night — as well as keeping track of a seven-day week. In order to complete certain events or capture certain Pokémon, you must play the game during those time periods. The in-game time is entered when a new save file is started and kept using a watch battery present inside the game cartridge. For some unexplained reason, the day-night system was removed in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire even though those games also track real time based on the time entered by the player at the start of the game. The only feature affected by the time of day is Eevee, which evolves into either Espeon or Umbreon based on whether it's day or night. FireRed and LeafGreen, being remakes of Red and Blue, removed the in-game clock entirely, and as a result Eevee can never evolve into Espeon or Umbreon; those Pokémon have to be traded in from Colosseum, XD, Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl brought it back, but since the Nintendo DS has an internal clock, they used that instead.
    • While some game mechanics in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are tied to real-world/system time such as the daily Tera Raids and Mass Outbreaks, the games use an in-game clock for their day/night cycle like Pokémon Legends: Arceus. One full cycle lasts 72 minutes: 3 for morning, 33, for day, 3 for evening, and 33 for night. This affects the kinds of spawns you encounter and when you can evolve certain Pokémon. However, unlike in PLA, you can't fast-forward time to the next morning, day, or night. Additionally, it's perpetually daytime in the early game until the Treasure Hunt begins.
  • In Potion Permit, one in-game day lasts from 6AM to 2AM, and some shops are closed on certain days and times. You must go to bed before 2AM or else you collapse from exhaustion and start the next day at 12PM instead.
  • Project Zomboid features one. Night time is harder to see, which makes it easier for zombies to attack. 6 hours of real time equals about a month in game time.
  • Pyramid Builder: The in-game days pass every minute or so, though you can change the speed at which time progresses, with day to night transitions affecting what colors the game has. You can build during the day, but not during the night.
  • In Roots of Pacha, one in-game day lasts 15 minutes (though this can be extended in the settings), from 6AM to 2AM. Each day, you must go to bed before 2AM or else you collapse from exhaustion and start the next day with less stamina than normal.
  • Sierra's Quest for Glory series would close stores, bar the city gates (whether you were inside or out), and put most civilians to bed past certain hours. This was also the only time thief characters could get in their looting. Furthermore, the series also kept track of the number of days elapsed and would advance the plot accordingly; beating the game was usually not possible until key events occurred several days in. An unnoticed time-keeping bug in Quest for Glory III unintentionally forced the player to be in a certain city on a certain day to take part in an important plot point; if the player missed the event, it would not reoccur — and the game would not be able to proceed.
    • Quest for Glory II is one big time-based mission: the four elementals attack on certain days, and will destroy the city if not taken care of quickly enough. After three weeks in-game, the sandbox aspect ends and the player is placed onto the plot railroad leading straight to the conclusion — hope you got everything you needed back in Shapeir!
  • Radiant Arc: The game has a 24 hour clock where strong enemies spawn at night and certain events can only happen in certain timeframes. However, there's no calendar system, which means there aren't events that happen on specific dates.
  • Radiata Stories has a 24-hour day/night system where the plot advances by doing certain activities at certain times. This unfortunately leads to a lot of instances of Permanently Missable Content.
  • Radiation Island runs its own day and night cycle of about 40 minutes which is more than just a cosmetic feature. The island becomes incredibly more dangerous at night, reducing visibility while spawning more enemies and anomalies for you to avoid. You can fast-forward night time by sleeping. Opening your Notebook will pause things completely. In a form of Surprisingly Realistic Outcome, time does not stop if you pause to root around in your pack for something, or loot a chest, giving mooks a fine opportunity to sneak up on you.
  • Rescue on Fractalus!: A day on Fractalus lasts only nine minutes, and it gets dark enough at night that you can only see by the flashes of weapons fire. That said, this only comes in after the first 15 missions, which take place near the south pole during the summer.
  • In Resonance of Fate, time passes at a set rate while on the world map, or skips ahead if you rest... but it stops passing once you enter a location and also stalls for plot-related reasons. The bizarreness of the fact that it can potentially be day for more than 24 hours if you're dawdling, then suddenly turn to night in a few minutes and refuse to change until you finish whatever plot points require it to be night is actually justified — the game is After the End, and the many disasters include some form of alteration to the Earth's axial rotation that makes the day/night cycle unpredictable. The physics of how this could work without the speed of rotation changing causing all sorts of problems is best not thought about too deeply, though.
  • Activision's Robot Tank, a 1983 title for the Atari 2600, may be the earliest video game to feature a day-night cycle.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon's in-game clock means that your park guests have been standing in line for months without eating, sleeping or going to the bathroom. Also worth noting is the game's calendar, which starts at March and ends at October, as per a theme park year. This only serves to compound the confusion, as you realize that between October of one year and March the next, literally nothing happens. R&D completely shuts down, Advertising takes a break, and those guests are still standing in line.
  • Ryzom has a day/night cycle, and a cycle of seasons (4.5 real-time days for a season).
  • Sacred features a day/night cycle in which one 24-hour day in the game is equivalent to approximately 68 minutes of playing time. Notably, the Vampiress character is especially affected by this feature and during the night she gains special abilities.
  • In Sea World Tycoon, a cycle of day and night is equivalent to the game's month.
  • Shantae has a day-and-night cycle in effect while you're wandering around the field. (It freezes in towns.) Monsters are not only more difficult at night (they have much more HP), but in towns, different NPCs will be out, some shops will close, and a certain town will only appear on the map if it's nighttime. Oh, and one area has zombies.
  • Shenmue ended the game if you took too long to complete it. It also had not only day/night, but different weather conditions and seasons of the year. Which is really odd as the average player would probably spend less than an in-game month in the game; so most people never experienced spring, summer or autumn.
  • SimCity. Even at the slowest speed the game proceeds at a rate of many days every second. At the fastest speed, a year goes by in only a few seconds. The game goes slower during a disaster like a fire, but the whole incident still goes by in 5-15 minutes.
    • SimCity 4 has a day-night cycle as well, but it's purely cosmetic and it keeps ticking at a constant rate regardless of the simulation speed.
  • In all four The Sims games, at the slowest (default) speed, time compression is 60:1; that is, one in-game minute takes about one real-time second. Since animations must still be carried out in a realistic speed, this means that characters take half an hour to go to the toilet, or an hour to have breakfast. Taking 10 minutes to climb a stairway in The Sims is Cracked's #11 Science Lesson As Taught by Famous Video Games.
  • Oddly enough, an early version of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) had a day/night cycle. There was a video or screenshots where this was shown off; as the sun travels through the sky, the real-time shadows under Sonic's feet, and the ones produced by the random crates and the tree, are quite breath-taking. The idea of a Sonic game with a day/night cyclenote  wouldn't be revisited until nearly 20 years later with Sonic Frontiers.
  • Sorcerian, the fifth Dragon Slayer game, features an in-game clock where the characters' ages increase, often in terms of years rather than days.
  • In the first Soul Series game, Soul Edge, the sky changes from dawn to dusk over the course of about 4 minutes. This has no bearing on the gameplay, and is simply used to show off the game engine (and to look cool.)
  • One in-game day in Spiritfarer lasts 20 minutes, and it's divided into six time periods: sunrise, morning, day, sunset, evening, and night. Each spirit goes to sleep at night, and it's too dark for Stella to steer her ship at that time.
  • Time in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games affects enemy activity (what mutants are active, whether stalkers are awake or sleep), visibility and stealth, and what background music plays. It's on a 10:1 compression, as in 1 minute real time equals 10 in-universe. In Shadow of Chernobyl, it also affects whether music plays at all (nighttime is totally silent), and whether or not the Electro anomaly's artifacts are visible (only between 11PM and 5AM).
  • Starbound: Each planet has its own day/night cycle, which can be longer or shorter depending on the planet. Your ship will match that of the planet it's orbiting. It's largely cosmetic, though for obvious reasons it's a bit harder to see where you're going at night; also, birds become hostile at night for no apparent reason. Some mods impart other effects depending on the time, such as Frackin' Universe where the desert planets' heat will sap your health during daylight hours.
  • Stardew Valley appears to have 100:1 time compression - ten in-game minutes equals six real-time seconds.
  • Star Fox Adventures has a shortened day and night. Characters that are unimportant to the advancement of the game sleep at night, but most important characters never do, making day and night almost as irrelevant as whether it rains or not. Notable exceptions: Tricky sleeps, occasionally requiring you to awaken him if you want him to use a skill; and a SnowHorn in SnowHorn Wastes gives you an item necessary to leave that part of the world if you feed him, and makes it possible to leave that area with a little effort if you feed him again. However, you can't feed him when he's asleep. And the GrubTub Fungus, a mushroom necessary to feed Tricky for him to perform a couple of his skills, hops around during the day, and sleeps in place at night. The latter condition is much easier to collect them in.
  • Star Fox 2, a combination of a real-time strategy game and 3D space shooter, has time continuously passing throughout the game, whether you're on the map or in battle. However, time runs at a slower speed during battle.
  • Story of Seasons:
    • Harvest Moon: Magical Melody has roughly 120:1 time compression, where 10 minutes of game time pass in 5 seconds.
    • Most Story of Seasons games have super compressed days and nights, although the player is not encouraged to play too far into the evening (Story of Seasons being a farming game, after all). The short days, which usually pass in much less than half an hour, can be extremely annoying when the player has work to do, and one often has to make decisions on what to do that day, because there simply isn't time to do everything after the mandatory crop watering and animal feeding. Though, in most games, time suddenly and inexplicably stops whenever you enter a building, making loitering in shops and talking to people take literally no time at all. A Wonderful Life, however, never stops the clock unless you pause, and Grand Bazaar never stops time ever, not even while looking through menus. The crops in Story of Seasons games grow in (in-game) days, as opposed to weeks or months as in Real Life. Such accelerated crop growth is Cracked's #6 Science Lesson As Taught by Famous Video Games.
  • Surviving Mars has its internal daylight cycles, with each martian day termed Sol as in real life (1 Sol = 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35.244 seconds, equivalent to 1.02749125 Earth days). This will affect mostly the activity of solar panels, but also the lifespan of colonists. For the latter however Sols become really abstract and represent years rather than days, as each colonist lives on average for 70 Sols before dying of old age. Night/day cycles and work shifts remain the same, however.
  • Terraria has an ingame day cycle that lasts 24 minutes every full cycle, there are also moon phases that can affect what items are available from the NPC's, including the blood moon where monsters swarm the player. Some bosses can only be summoned to be fought during the night. Should dawn occur in game, the respective bosses flee/instant kill the player. There are also accessories that can tell the time as well as a grandfather clock that does so when right clicked, as well as a magical Sundial which will skip time ahead by 24 hours and can be used once an in-game weeknote .
  • Three the Hard Way has a day/night system, which last for around 3 minutes each. Each phase allows the character to access different shops and interact with different characters.
  • In Toontown Online, there is an in-universe game clock with the name Toontown Time. (In actuality, it's just PST. This is most likely due to the original game's development taking place in in Burbank, California.) Changes in the months affect the game's interface, seasons and holidays come with new quests, phrases, and clothing. Certain weekly events take place as well, such as Fish Bingo and Trolley Tracks.
  • Trials of Mana: Kevin, being a werewolf, transforms and becomes much stronger at night; magic may also vary in effectiveness depending on the day of the week, but it's not too obvious; most stores are closed at night (except Beiser's Black Market, which is only open at night), and the inn offers free stays on Mana Day.
  • The Ultima series features the Avatar's pocket watch which first appears in Ultima V and is subsequently returned to the Avatar every subsequent time he comes to Britannia (having left it after the previous adventure). The watch tells in-game time and is helpful for keeping track of NPC schedules but never serves a plot significant purpose.
  • Uncharted Waters had a day-night cycle but only out at sea. The only effect that time of day really had on gameplay was that you couldn't attack other fleets at nighttime, so it was mostly used just to keep the number of days you spend at sea (and the amount of provisions you have remaining).
  • Vandal Hearts 2 has time pass as you travel from checkpoint to checkpoint, and some maps will have different enemies and features during night-time. Also, some events can only take place at specific times.
  • Vexx has a day-and-night cycle in the levels, which advances at a slow rate, but can be controlled via magic sundials in some parts of the levels. Monsters change appearance and have more health at night, and certain levels have sub-levels that can only be accessed at specific times of day.
  • Village Monsters: Days usually last around fifteen minutes in-game. Time can be tracked using the timer in the top-right corner of the screen.
  • Warcraft 3:
    • The in-game timer affects the Night Elves the most, as they can shadowmeld only at night, can research night vision and their Moon Wells only recharge at night. It also affects healing rates for humans, orcs and Undead. Finally, it affects all races via NPC behavior: Most NPC monsters (not CPU-controlled armies, scattered enemies to kill for money and hero XP) fall asleep at night, meaning they would do nothing until you actively attack them.
    • Some campaign maps lock the time, usually for plot purposes (a Stealth Mission where you can't, y'know, stealth does not make for good ratings) or for atmosphere (an underground tomb haunted by demons and ghosts looks a lot better without bright sunlight everywhere).
  • In the first two Way of the Samurai games, time does pass whether you're following the plot or not. However, time passes only while traveling, so it's possible to Take Your Time if you don't leave the current area you're in. In the second game, you have an entire month to spend exploring Amahara, and can still spend the whole time collecting swords and staying out of the plot. However, the third game appears to follow this trope more traditionally, letting you Take Your Time a bit more.
  • The Witcher has a full day/night cycle and a clock, where half an hour of game time is about five minutes of real time. Not only are some missions only possible during day or night, but for some you have to be in the right place at exactly the right hour of the day (but not of a specific day — you can Take Your Time as much as you wanted, so long you appeared at the right hour).
  • The Xenoblade Chronicles series has the usual 24-hour clock with one second being usual one minute, and most named NPCs are only available at specific hours and some monsters only spawn at specific time of the day. Considering how many NPCs there are and how many of them have sidequests associated with them, it's a mercy that you can change the in-game time at will. There's also an in-game achievement in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 called "Happy New Year!" for seeing a total of 365 sunrises.
  • The XCOM game series allows the player to control how fast the game will be - from 5 seconds to one day for each real life second. Any events that happen will automatically freeze the clock. This is very, very important, as sending rookie troopers into a night mission is essentially the same as shooting them in the head, only more involved.
  • Yoshi Touch & Go: Yoshi's stages run through morning, day, evening, and night as the game continues.

    Turn/Event/Plot-Induced Time Advancement 
  • Another Metroid 2 Remake only has time pass once you descend deep enough into SR388. The game starts at midday, then eventually moves to sunset, and the ending always happens in the middle of the night.
  • Armello has Day turns and Night turns.
    • Dawn: Characters with Rot (including the King) take 1 damage. Royal Guards move. Controlled Settlements pay out 1 gold coin each. The game ends when the King dies, either from Dawn health loss or player action.
    • Dusk: The King gains 1 point of Rot. Banes are randomly summoned, and move. Magic points are restored to a character's Spirit value if it is lower.
  • Battle for Wesnoth uses a day/night cycle that advances one four-hour phase at the start each turn and has great strategic relevance by making lawful units more effective during daytime and vice versa for chaotic units. There are two major outdoor versions, while indoors, the clock is not used and either always treated as neutral within buildings, or as perpetually night in caves.
    • The first and most common outdoor version, used in standard multiplayer and most campaigns, is a 6-turn/24-hour cycle of Dawn, Morning, Afternoon, Dusk, First Watch, Second Watch, and back to Morning, giving two turns each of day, night, and neutral time.
    • The second and less common outdoor version, used by the campaign "Under the Burning Suns" and user-made content set in the same distant-future era where magic has created a second sun use a strange 15-turn/60-hour cycle that goes First Dawn, then First Morning, First Midday, First Afternoon, First Dusk, The Short Dark, Second Dawn, Second Morning, Second Midday, Second Afternoon, Second Dusk, four turns of The Long Dark, and back to the First Dawn, for a total of six turns of daylight, five turns of night, and four neutral turns per cycle.
  • In Betrayal at Krondor, time advances with each step you take. Stand still and time will stand still.
  • Bloodborne: The Night of the Hunt advances as the Hunter reaches certain checkpoints after defeating bosses (Entering Cathedral Ward afteer killing Father Gascoigne, approaching the altar after killing Vicar Amelia, approaching Queen Yharnam after killing Rom, and upon killing or being killed by Gherman). Each phase opens up more areas to explore and changes interactions with NPCs (For example, Iosefka will be impersonated by a Choir researcher after the first phase, and things Invisible to Normals become visible once the Blood Moon rises). Though it's very probable that the Blood Moon was up all along, and killing Rom just means she's no longer hiding that fact.
  • Delphine Software's Cruise For A Corpse has an in-game clock that only advances when the plot is advanced. Depending on the time, new people may be available to talk to, closed areas may be open, and so on.
  • Crysis begins in pitch darkness at night. Less than 20 minutes into the game, you crest a hill in brilliant sunshine.
  • Dead In Vinland keeps track of time in turn-based days. Each day has a different type of weather (Sunny, Drought, Rainy, or Storm) which affects gameplay in various ways both positive and negative — for example, Storm weather will fill up your water supplies quickly but will also damage random parts of your camp, make food you are drying more likely to rot, and increase everyone's Depression. Each day has two turns, Morning and Afternoon, during which characters take actions; between turns, you can interact with camp stations, game menus, and the Point-and-Click Map of the island. Each night you ration food and water, and have chances to acquire various (usually negative) Status Effects. There's also usually at least one Visual Novel-style dialogue scene, often with Dialogue Tree. You can also raise crops and sheep, which grow/age every night - as with Story of Seasons and Harvest Moon above, these processes are vastly accelerated.
  • Every mission in Deus Ex is set at night. Whether it is due to limitations of the game engine for rendering sky, the emphasis on hiding in shadows and general stealth gaming, or JC being such a badass that the Sun is afraid of him, no-one quite knows.
  • In Devil Survivor, each of the game's eight days starts off typically around 9:00 AM. Doing an event marked with a clock icon advances time by 30 minutes. You can also skip time without doing anything at certain points in the game; in fact, at one point late in the game, if you make certain decisions there will be no time-advance events and the game will point out the "skip time" feature. Typically, each day ends around 7:00 PM (due to Tokyo being blacked out) and then the game jumps to 10:00 PM (since email only works at night and in the early morning).
  • The Don't Escape series sets a time limit at the beginning of the game, with every action you take (building fences, mixing ingredients...) bringing you closer to the limit. Some actions are free, like talking to people or moving around one location (going to another location takes time).
  • Dōkyūsei, with its release in 1992, was one of the very first Dating Sims to employ this extensively, using it for timed story events, making it the Trope Codifier, and possibly even the Trope Maker for the genre's use of this. A visit to any location (including separate rooms of a building, etc.) "costs" between 10-20 minutes of the game time.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age II has a player-controlled day-night cycle, but only inside Kirkwall (all outside levels have a permanent noon going on): Kirkwall-by-day and Kirkwall-by-night are two separate sets of locations with similar architecture. Most quests and merchants are available at daytime, while some shady quests and lots of Level Grinding against the local gangs are done in the night. Occasionally, the game will fast-forward the cycle from night to day after you exit a particularly expansive nighttime dungeon, in which case you get to see a beautiful sunrise. However, you can always Take Your Time, even when someone claims "We must be there tonight!"
    • The Expansion Pack to Dragon Age: Origins, Awakening, occasionally treated you to a sunrise or sunset in the Vigil's Keep exterior. This "cycle", however, appeared completely random and because the place was about three steps wide, most players would just miss it.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition zigzags it: while single locations see constant daylight or night, military operations take real-life time (though recruiting agents for your three conselors shaves a bit of time off) which keeps counting down even while the game is closed: operations in a companion's quest chain especially may require you come back the next day.
  • Enduro, by Activision for the Atari 2600, also had day and night, though Enduro's night was based on how far you were into the course and not on time.
  • Time in Final Fantasy Tactics goes very quickly: one day goes by for every location passed by or battle fought within, which means that decades (complete with very downplayed "wet" and "dry" seasons that boost and diminish the effects of elemental magic) can pass in game if you decide to go Level Grinding. This can get particularly amusing if you spend a great deal of time level grinding in Chapter 1, which consists entirely of an extended flashback.
  • For the King: The timeline advances with each full round spent in The Overworld. This affects things like shops restocking, scourges awakening, and monsters and events appearing. Some monsters, random events, and locations are only accessible at night or during daytime, with nighttime generally bringing greater overall danger.
  • Fleuret Blanc. Each day is divided into three parts (morning, afternoon, and evening), and in each part you can interact with a maximum of three optional events before you have to pick a plot event to advance time.
  • In Half-Life, whether it be day or night seems to not depend on anything other than plot. Either that, or Ravenholm is located in a place that doesn't have a normal 24-hour cycle.
  • Every turn you take in any Heroes of Might and Magic game counts as one day in game time.
  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and Last Window both have time advance when you've completed all the necessary events thus far in the chapter. Kyle's goals and plans are determined by the time and date, usually pointing out your next plot-advancing objective.
  • All of the Infamous games utilize this version of the trope combined with pre-defined weather, both of which advance after certain story events, such as waiting for Bertrand to show up to a rally in the second game. The effect is that the time of day and weather will almost always suit the nature of the plot and tone of the Missions. For example, the beginning of inFAMOUS: Second Son will be sunny and optimistic, while the end will be either very cloudy or at night to suit the dramatic finale.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days is, as the title suggests, constrained to slightly under a year as far as the plot goes. And in story mode, time really does keep on slipping-you can only do one mission per day, and sometimes the game will skip two or three weeks at a time (raising the question of Fridge Logic: it's mentioned that they get precious few days off, so why don't you get experience and mission rewards for the missions Roxas goes on while you're watching the days counter rise?). But until you've done your mission for the day, time is locked in place-you can faff about in the shop, redo previous missions in the holo-room, or just sit around staring at the wall for hours on end and time will never advance.
  • In Legend of Mana, time passes similarly to the Final Fantasy Tactics system: one day passes for each location traversed or entered and effects Mana levels, but it's just about impossible to figure out what that actually does to the gameplay without a walkthrough.
  • Most of Loom appears to take place over one day; you start out on Loom Island early dawn, reach the City of Glass by morning, meet the shepherds by mid-day, enter the Forge late afternoon, and is brought to the Cathedral evening/night. Returning to these places by the tears in the fabric of reality will show the same time as before, though. Possibly justified by the world getting torn apart by Chaos.
  • The Lords of Midnight uses the clock to justify a lord's movement limit. As such, said clock is different for each character, including recruiting a lord close to nightfall and having him start at dawn. The enemy moves and attacks during the night time.
  • Mario Party:
    • Mario Party 2: The fifth board, Horror Land, uses a turn-based progression for the flow of time, making it so daytime and nighttime last two turns each; however, it has a strong preference for nighttime, owing to it being the board for Boos. Stepping on a Happening Space also turns day to night, or vice versa.
    • Mario Party 6: The game employs a turn-based day-and-night system for all its boards. Every 3 turns, the time of day changes. Depending on the time of day, certain routes will become available or unavailable, prices at stores change, and some board events will be different. Even some of the minigames will have altered aesthetics and/or gameplay.
  • Might and Magic games up to the 5th (created by the same chief designer) use similar mechanics — time advances with each step and only when you move. Unlike Betrayal at Krondor the shops are not affected and day-night cycle is purely for looks. But characters do become fatigued and loose hit points if they spend a night without sleep. Also your characters age if you play long enough.
  • In No Umbrellas Allowed, there are three time periods per day: morning, day, and night. You can explore the overworld as long as you like, and you don't advance to the next period until you start and finish working at Darcy's.
  • Persona 3, Persona 4, and Persona 5, mostly due to your protagonist's regular schedule of Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World. The game announces when the "clock" progresses to the next time of day (or the next day).
    • Very strange in Persona 3. Feel free to take the monorail back and forth across the city as many times as you want while doing Fetch Quests; it takes no time. But leave your dorm on Sunday, realize right outside the door that you forgot to do something, and try to go back in? The act of walking through the door will take all day, and it'll be evening by the time you make it inside.
    • Spin-off Catherine uses a similar system inside of the Stray Sheep. Talking to other bar patrons advances time; other activities do not.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, the coastal area of the planet Vopal incorporates a day/night cycle. Native enemies become more powerful and aggressive during the night.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon will always start in the daytime or nighttime, respectively, regardless of the time of your system clock. The next plot event will always take place at sundown. Story-wise, it's not until the third day that the in-game time correlates to that of your system clock. This extends to Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon as well. In addition, in the former games, when you go to summon the cover legendary, if it's nighttime in Sun or daytime in Moon, the game will skip to day or night, respectively, and will return to normal once that plot event is over.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield takes an even weirder strategy than Sun and Moon: the in-game time of day is plot-based except in the "Wild Area," the vast expanse of Pokémon-hunting grounds, where the time always matches your system clock. So, if you leave the Wild Area to heal at a Pokémon Center and head out again, the apparent time can switch from night to day and back again, or vice versa. After you finish the main storyline, all locations follow system-clock time.
  • While not exactly advancement, per se, as there's no real calendar, certain missions in Saints Row: The Third will change the time of day. You may accept a mission during the daytime, but when the mission begins it'll be the middle of the night, or after completing it it'll be nighttime. It's largely just an aesthetic change, however, but nighttime does give the benefit of showing the bright purple lights of all the territory the Saints have conquered.
  • In Scratches, there's a grandfather's clock that only advances whenever a puzzle is completed.
  • Sentimental Graffiti: Time advances in different amounts based on what you do. Traveling to distant cities take longer than close ones, and some dates last longer than others.
  • In the first Shepherd's Crossing, days only advance when you tell them to; you can otherwise Take Your Time and do as much as you like in any one day. In the sequel, certain actions use up part of your "time meter;" when do enough actions, the day advances. You can also advance it manually, as in the original.
  • Many games in the Shin Megami Tensei series use an in-game clock based on phases of the moon. The phase changes as players move through the game world and dungeons, and the current phase has an effect on demons; in general, monsters are more docile during a new moon and are more amenable to negotiations, while a full moon makes monsters more aggressive and deaf to reason. The phase of the moon can also have an effect on the results of fusing demons together.
  • The game Sid Meier's Colonization takes place over a period of 300 years, with each year being a turn. One year typically takes only a few minutes. Oddly enough, you, the leader of your homeland and the leaders of the other nations/tribes don't get older or die during this time. Ditto, of course, Sid Meier's Civilization (4000 BC to usually 2100 AD with increasingly slower increments) and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (400 years = 400 turns). At least the latter has the excuse of the faction leaders dipping into the Rejuvenation Tanks for a couple months out of every decade.
  • Starcraft II has a mission where infested Terrans attack your base by night and catch fire during the day due to the high amoun of UV radiation from the planet's star, with each cycle lasting a few minutes and you're given a 30-second warning for daybreak/nightfall.
  • In Sticky Business, each action in running your online sticker shop (designing stickers, printing them, packing them, and shipping them) consumes a portion of the in-game day, and you can't do any of them if they exceed the time limit. Relaxed Mode decreases the amount of time they take, while Limitless Mode removes the timer entirely.
  • The 2nd stage in Strider 2, Fortress Wahnen, goes through the day with each one of its areas/sections. It is plain day during the 1st and 2nd areas, dusk at the start of the 3rd area and midnight by the final two.
  • In the Freeware Game Survivor: The Living Dead, every single gameplay mode is tied to a clock (except one short area in the story mode), when the timer runs out you get rescued. The final unlockable mode has no rescue, and you must survive until sunrise.
  • Tactics Ogre (as well as its remake and prequel) time passes whenever you change locations and fight battles (possibly even when you train); this effects whether or not you run into Deneb's secret shop once it becomes available.
  • Tombs & Treasure has the day divided up into dawn, noon, dusk, and night. A few puzzles can only be solved at certain times of day, and you're able to find a trinket known as the Sun Necklace to get a visual indicator in the HUD for what time it is, along with a "Wait" command to help advance to another period of time.
  • Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night starts off explicitly at 11:00 PM, and your goal is to reach the end of the game and restore the real moon in time for a festival by 5:00 AM. Depending on how many time icons you collect in a stage, time will advance either by 1 hour or 30 minutes. Using continues also adds 30 minutes.
  • The page quote comes from the old Penguin Software text adventure Transylvania. Starting the game, you're told a clock has struck midnight. After making a given number of actions, it strikes one, then later two, and so on. Once it strikes six, the princess Sabrina you're tasked with saving dies, ending your game.
  • The Super Famicom RPG Treasure of the Rudra uses this, with a single plot set across 16 days and nights and following three different characters, all coming together at the 14th day for the finale.
  • Uncharted Waters: New Horizons introduced quasi-player controlled day-night cycle inside ports to the series: entering and exiting any building randomly advanced the in-game "clock" by 0:40, 1:00 or 1:20 hours. Most ports also had an inn where you could stay until the next morning. While most shops were closed during the night, some offered their premium stock only after 2 am.
  • Warframe: In addition to many events, both minor and major, that are timed, there are a number of repeating cycles. Earth has a compressed day/night cycle that is mostly important for Titania's quest. Oddly, the Plains of Eidolon on Earth have a different day/night cycle (the existing one was far too long for their purposes), as the Eidolons come out at night to stalk the plains. Orb Vallis on Venus has a cold/warm cycle, which determines what kind of servofish you can catch.
  • A non-video-game example in Warhammer40000. Games will sometimes occur at dawn and the lighting makes it harder to shoot enemies in the first turn, but the specific effect this has on the game has changed over several editions.
  • Wario Land 3 features a day and night cycle, changing after the player exits a level. One of the game's treasure items allows the player to change the time from the map screen.
  • While the majority of Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen takes place during the daytime (despite the implication that the game's events take place over multiple days,) Adol's ascent up the Tower of Darm and defeat of Dark Fact in the Chronicles Updated Re-release explicitly takes place over a 24-hour period, with the sun actually setting and night falling as you complete certain objectives, and morning coming after Dark Fact is beaten.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Destroy the Godmodder: At least in the main series, the game's clock passes exactly according to the time in real life, with holidays happening at the same time inside the game and out. The only real subversion is DTG0, but that is due to reality getting unstable.
  • Elder Sign has a twelve-hour clock that generates random events (including possibly advancing the game towards defeat) every time it reaches 12:00. Each player advances the clock at the end of their turn; some monsters, events, and tasks also cause extra advances.
  • For The Matrix Resurrections, the "Choose Your Reality" teaser website has one of two narrators reading out the time that you're watching the trailer.
  • In the Strong Bad Email "12:00", Bubs solves the problem of a VCR flashing 12:00 by taping an alarm clock to it. On the Flash version which uses ActionScript, the time on the alarm clock is the same time displayed by your computer. This still works thanks to the site using Ruffle in place of Flash.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Time Keeps On Slipping



In the daytime, Zoovania is a normal zoo with normal, harmless flora and fauna. But come nighttime, the animals turn into monsters, and the plants gain a taste for flesh.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / NiceDayDeadlyNight

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