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Overly Generous Time Limit

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So you don't want to put the pressure of a normal Timed Mission on the player; however, on the other hand, you don't want the player to be able to take their sweet, sweet time on a mission that is supposed to be urgent for story reasons, or that you otherwise don't want a player taking forever on. You could constantly nag the player to continue, or you could implement an Overly Generous Time Limit - a time limit so generous that even regular conservative play will leave you with quite a bit of time to spare, and only extremely deliberate slow play will cause the player to run out of time.

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Examples:

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    Adventure Games 
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: One puzzle involves Guybrush getting thrown in the ocean with a heavy weight tied to his leg, and you have to figure out how to escape before he drowns. You have 10 full minutes (it's a Call-Back to an earlier joke where Guybrush bragged that he could hold his breath for 10 minutes), and the puzzle is easy enough to solve in ten seconds.
  • Shenmue and its sequel give the player time limits of a few in-game months (late November until mid-April in the first game, and until the end of June in the second). Aside from the infamous stealth segment in the first game, there isn't a lot of pressure to rush through the game, giving the player time aplenty to explore and enjoy themselves.
  • King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella has a time limit of one day, as in 24 hours. As the game is much shorter than that and restoring a saved game also restores the clock, players are unlikely to ever notice there is a time limit. A certain event advances time to nightfall because otherwise you'd have to idle for 10 - 11 hours to reach night.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards technically has a time limit, but it is eight hours and a midgame event will cancel it. Again, restoring an earlier save also restores the clock. The game doesn't even tell the player that there's a time limit, so you'd basically need to open the source code to find out. Specifically, the game starts at 10 PM, and if the main character is still a virgin at 6 AM, he'll kill himself.

    MMORPGs 
  • Most of the timed missions in City of Heroes were of this variety. The limits were in real time, starting from the moment you accepted the mission, but barring one endgame-level mission that was intended to be impossible (at least to unprepared players when it first came out), they tended to be in the one-to-two hour range, more than enough time to fully explore the site and take out everything there.
  • Every duty in Final Fantasy XIV has a time limit of at least an hour. The chances of this time limit actually being reached is so remote that duties almost always end in only one of two ways: victory for the players, or a vote to end the duty early.

    Platform Games 
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow's "Deep Jungle" level has a time limit of ten minutes. Even taking the time to explore and find all of the secrets - some of which a player only has to find once per playthrough - it's likely that a player will reach the Goal Ring with more than five minutes remaining.
    • In most of the classic Sonic games this played straight, with 10:00 being the time limit and most acts taking 2-4 minutes at most. A few levels avert this hard, however (Carnival Night act 2 and Sandopolis act 1-2 from Sonic 3 and Knuckles being the most infamous)
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    Puzzle Games 
  • Minesweeper has a timer. When it reaches 999, nothing actually happens. To quote the Real Trailer, Fake Movie:
    - What happens then?
    - Nothing, you just suck!
  • Lemmings has a time limit on every level, but in the "Fun" and "Tricky" ranks these are not meant to be a challenge, so every level gives far more time than you actually need. On some levels, such as "Only floaters can survive this", it's actually impossible to fail due to the time limit!

    Real-Time Strategy Games 
  • In the final Nod mission of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, you are given a little more than three hours to position three ICBM launchers on the map in order to destroy GDI's orbital command station before it can locate and destroy the World Altering Missile. Taking your time to build a force large enough to completely wipe out the highly defended GDI base — which isn't a mission requirement — and placing the ICBM launchers at your leisure afterwards takes an hour at most.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Persona 5 has the boss fight against Okumura use a hard time limit of thirty minutes. Defeating the boss at an average level for the time won't take nearly that long; Okumura is a Flunky Boss, and after defeating the last Giant Mook that he summons, he completely stops putting up any offense, and is so weak that a few regular hits will take him down. Even watching all of the mid-battle cutscenes, getting to Okumura himself takes about twenty minutes, meaning the only way to lose at that point is to intentionally let the timer run out.
  • Fallout 2, mostly thanks to technical limitations, has a hard-coded limit of 13 in-game years before the game suddenly throws a "The End" screen at you and brings you to the main menu. Completing the game's quests and generally doing everything there is to do in the game usually takes about 4 in-game years at most.
  • Mass Effect 2: Arrival becomes a timed mission after a certain point, with 90 minutes to complete the mission before the Reapers arrive. Unless you deliberately run out the timer to see what happens, it's not a concern.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: The first mission Squall takes can have a time limit of up to 40 minutes but can easily be completed in 8 or less.

    Simulation Games 
  • All missions in the Ace Combat series until Ace Combat: Assault Horizon had been timed, but while time constraints did constitute a real challenge in some of them, you could complete the main objectives of most others with a ton of time to spare. For instance, in typical Escort Missions, your time limit had normally been set to a couple minutes after whatever you escorted left the mission space (which was a scripted event).

    Turn-Based Strategy Games 
  • Nintendo Wars:
    • The final mission in Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising gives you a time limit of 30 turns. If you even come close to taking this long, chances are Sturm's already wiped you out.
    • In Advance Wars: Dual Strike, an early mission gives the player a (real world) half hour to complete a mission, even though the game is turn-based. Even a novice is unlikely to take more than 5 minutes to complete the mission.
    • In Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, on the mission Lin's Gambit, you are given a 40-day (turn) time limit to capture the opposing HQ or wipe out all enemies before Greyfield is able to shoot nukes to wipe you out. The meta-ranking of the game starts penalizing you for slow play after turn 12.
  • Chapter 20 in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance gives you a 20-turn time limit for a chapter that a reasonably-levelled party can complete in 5, and that's if they're not rushing.
  • In Battle for Wesnoth, this is in effect for almost every mission - the time limits for the most part exist not to rush the player, but to prevent the player from sitting on their villages for 100,000 turns and going into the following missions with more gold than they'll need for the entire campaign.
  • The SNES strategy game Liberty or Death starts in the year 1775. If neither the American nor British forces claim a final victory by the time King George III dies in 1820 (45 years after the game starts), the game automatically ends in victory for America.
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