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Time Trial

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When you've dug deep down into a Racing Game or something similar, you feel so almighty and professional that you just want a way to prove it, and what's a better way than to do a race as quickly as possible; though there is the problem that all those extra cars might prove to hinder that time a bit, and those power-ups won't help at all, so for your convenience, there is Time Trial, or alternatively, Time Attack.

This is a mode where most dangers and anything that may unfairly interact with your run are gone, giving you all the space to just wing it at your own accord, be it heading for the world record Lap, or Time of a full course (it's also a great way to get to know the course if you're playing for the first time).

Also for your convenience, there will be a Racing Ghost, see-through recordings of racers who have set quick times, further giving you the enthusiasm to beat them, or just to see how they did it, if you can keep up. Most racing games also have staff ghosts/records set by the developers themselves and are usually very tough to conquer, but watching how they race a track may give the player some new insight on how to tackle them.

These days, getting a good time in time trial mode is worth that much more, and games usually just record it in laps, making mastering that run easier on the player, and since comparison of records is done on the fly online, you can bask in the glory so much more. See also Speed Run, which is this idea applied to the entire game.


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     Action Game  

     Action Adventure  

  • The Lightning Round in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword incorporates a time trial for both the bosses fought, and Silent Realm trials played. In the former, time is merely a Self-Imposed Challenge, while in the latter the reward you get does depend on how quickly you can beat a trial.

     Fighting Game  

     Light Gun Game  

  • Time Crisis ranks you based on how fast you complete Story Mode. In addition, there is a Timed Mode in which you try to complete one stage as fast as possible and are given unlimited lives, but don't get a chance to continue if your timer empties out. While later games in the series still track the player's time, it's de-emphasized in favor of a scoring system that rewards combos and accuracy instead.

     Party Game  

  • Mario Party 9: Minigame Mode contains a single-player mode called Time Attack where one player has to complete ten specific minigames in the fastest time possible. Each minigame also has an additional side objective, and if the player completes it, they will have three seconds deducted from their time. Between each minigame, their character is shown riding down a scenic rive in a canoe.
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$!: One of the unlockable single-player modes challenges the player to clear 20, 40, or 60 microgames as fast as possible. The more microgames the player clears consecutively, the faster they get. The player has unlimited lives in this mode, but failing a microgame will not only cause the microgames to get slower, but it will also interrupt them with a prompt telling them about the slowdown, costing them even more time.

     Platform Game  

  • Crash Bandicoot franchise:
    • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped has a mode which allows you to replay any level you have completed with a timer, with some of the crates turned into Time Crates that stop the timer for a few seconds when broken. You are handed different colored Time Relics depending on how quickly you finish. Thankfully, you get the ability to dash after beating the Final Boss. This mode was retroactively added to the first two games in the N. Sane Trilogy, except that you don't get the ability to dash in the first game.
    • Crash Team Racing has a mode (referred to as "Relic Race") similar to Warped, with Time Crates and Time Relics. The game also includes a more conventional Time Trial mode without any of the gimmicks.
  • Donkey Kong Country series:
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest for the Game Boy Advance has a time trial where you can play all the levels you've beaten in the story.
    • Donkey Kong Land 3 saves its time trial mode for the post-game, with 12 stages in all to play for a total of an extra 6% (103% grand total). Each of these stages is opened up by collecting clocks in the game; six are earned from Baffle's matching game in each world, and the other six are freebies from K. Rool after defeating him.
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze features a Time Trial mode, and awards the player with a bronze, silver, gold or shiny gold medal according to the time scored. The mode is completely optional.
  • Every stage in Mischief Makers is a Time Trial, complete with the S grade for completing it in minimum time. One of the stages is an Auto-Scrolling Level, and the highest rank is only by grabbing the star before it enters the screen.
  • Super Kiwi 64: A post-release update adds a feature to replay the levels completed, but now with an ongoing chronometer so the player can attempt to collect everything as quickly as possible.
  • Yoshi's Island DS has a time trial/time attack mode, although you can count out the idea of 'harmful objects being removed', and even pausing the game doesn't stop the timer. It also gives bonuses for items collected.
  • The Kirby series' various Arena modes combine this and Boss Rush, challenging you to defeat all the game's bosses, back-to-back, with limited recovery items, in the best time possible. Later handheld games include StreetPass functionality to share your best times with others, challenging them to beat your time.

     Puzzle Game  

  • Portal has challenge mode which, in most cases, takes the form of a time trial.
  • And Yet It Moves has a "Speed run" mode where you try to get through the level as fast as you can. It shows the ghost of your previous best run as well. There's also a timed mode where the timer counts down and you have to get to the next checkpoint before it runs out.

     Racing Game  

  • Mario Kart in all incarnations. Yes, you can play without having to worry about that bloody blue shell. However, you are not entirely item-less in this mode; you're given three speed mushrooms (which can be used at any point, but can't be replenished) so that you can practice with the best places to use them.
  • Need for Speed series has these. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 features "Deliverys" which you avoid the police and get to the finish line. Time trials in the championship string are the same, just without the police chases.
  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer has a Time Attack mode in which you race against the clock instead of other podracers.
  • F-Zero naturally has a time trial mode.
    • F-Zero GX actually has this as the final story mission; race against a staff ghost on a track with no rails and beat it.
    • In F-Zero AX, each course has a target time. Beating the target time will add a stamp to your License Card. Each course also has a staff ghost to beat, which in practice is an even harder target time.
  • Pok√©mon Dash has a Time Attack mode that allows you to play any course you've completed in other modes.
  • TrackMania is an example of a racing game that is entirely based around time trials. Even the online multiplayer consists of everyone being given a set amount of time to go around the track repeatedly with no car collision, and the winner is whoever got the fastest attempt within that time limit. Tracks have four medals each - Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Author. The Gold medals are generally tricky, but attainable for casual players, while Author medals are pretty universally Nintendo Hard. Turbo then upped the ante by introducing Super Trackmaster medals, which are obtained by getting all 200 of the normal Trackmaster medals (this game's version of the Author medals) and feature times that were achieved by some of the best competitive players in the world. Good luck with that.
  • Wangan Midnight and its Updated Re-release Wangan Midnight R have this for each major route, and disables the random traffic except on Wangan Line (as the course would be bore-inducingly easy otherwise). Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune does the same and includes Wangan in the "no traffic" rule, though in earlier games, the player can hold the View Change button while confirming a course to turn on traffic if they really want to.


  • Stern Pinball's Harley Davidson tracks how fast the player shoots the ramp shot; the player with the fastest ramp speed gets to enter his initials at the end of the game.
  • Checkpoint also records the player with the fastest time through the Speed Ramp

     Shoot Em Up  
  • In Aleste Collection, the leaderboards for every game in the compilation except for GG Aleste 3 rank you based on completion time, and an elapsed time counter can be displayed at the botton of the screen in screen layouts that allow M2 Gadgets. The only time score comes into play in these four games is if you fail to complete the game, and even then the stage reached takes priority over score.
  • Eschatos has a Time Attack mode, but in practice it's "Time + Death Minimization Trial". Obviously, clearing out waves and bosses faster gives you a better finishing time, and the basic goal is to finish the game before the time limit runs out. Killing a wave fast enough freezes the time limit momentarily, clearing an area extends the timer by a large amount, getting a 1-Up adds 15 seconds to it, and getting killed takes away 5 seconds on top of the time spent respawning (fortunately, you have infinite lives in this mode). At the end of the game, the remaining time limit is subtracted from your total time to produce your final game time.
  • Summer Carnival '92 Recca features a Time Attack mode. The catch is, instead of timing you on how long it takes to complete the stage (fairly pointless, given that the stage automatically scrolls like in most shoot-em-up games), you're instead timed on how long it takes to achieve 1 million points.

Alternative Title(s): Time Attack