Follow TV Tropes


Time Skip / Video Games

Go To

Time Skips in video games.

  • Ace Attorney:
    • Seven years pass between the end of Trials and Tribulations and the beginning of Apollo Justice.
    • There are minor time skips of only one year between the first three games of the series, as well as between the fourth game and Dual Destinies.
  • In the "Sleeping Beauty" episode of American McGee's Grimm, Grimm busies himself waiting for the title character's Dangerous 16th Birthday, and later for the hundred years it takes for Prince Charming to show up and awaken her, by messing around in two other fairy tales: Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin.
  • Advertisement:
  • Both Assassin's Creed games have gaps between certain parts of the memories, which can explain what some percieve to be the Hollywood Atlas in the first game (Would you want to go through the uneventful days it took Altair to travel between the cities?). The second game have some years skipped, having the events of the game span 23 years of Ezio's life.
  • Asura's Wrath has 2 different time skips. One is 12,000 years and the other one is ONLY 500 years. To the demi-gods, these time skips would feel like only a few months and a few days respectively, as far as Aging goes.
  • Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie are separated by two years, and the latter precedes Nuts and Bolts for eight years. Grunty's Revenge takes place two months between the first two games, making it an Interquel. Fittingly, with the exception of Grunty's Revenge (which was released in 2003), the in-universe time skips match those of the games themselves:
    • Kazooie: 1998
    • Tooie: 2000
    • Nuts and Bolts: 2008
  • Battle Arena Toshinden: Toshinden 4 is set ten years after Toshinden 3.
  • Breath of Fire III, following a truly stunning revelation, skips about seven years, during which Ryu grows up and the world changes a great deal.
  • Advertisement:
  • There is a three-month time skip in Brütal Legend, between assassinating Lyonwhite and getting attacked by Dark Ophelia's minions.
  • Several examples of the Call of Duty series:
    • World at War does this - the first American and Russian missions both take place in late 1942, then the rest of them skip ahead to September 1944 and April 1945, respectively.
    • Black Ops skips ahead five years between Mason's escape from Vorkuta and his operations in 'Nam, with only a level set at Baikonur Cosmodrome in between.
    • Modern Warfare skips ahead five years between the first and second games (going from 2011 to 2016), during which time the Big Bad of the first game has gone on to become a martyr.
  • Castlevania. Large multi-generational time skips are the rule of the series, with very few games actually taking place close to each other timewise. The exceptions (games with much smaller time skips between each other) are mainly the first two games (with Simon Belmont) along with the fourth game (which was just an Enhanced Remake of the first game), the first two Game Boy games (with Christopher Belmont), the Rondo of Blood/Symphony of the Night duo (with Richter Belmont), and the Chronicles of Sorrow (with Soma Cruz and Julius Belmont). Characters (other than immortal or long-lived ones) almost never reappear between the many time skips, except sometimes as memories, ghosts or Doppelgangers. Of the larger time skips, probably the closest is between Castlevania: Bloodlines and Portrait of Ruin with the latter being only one generation later and featuring the children of the former's protagonists. All of this gives Castlevania a very rich series of events, but they're heavily fragmented with so many loose ends.
  • Advertisement:
  • In Conker's Bad Fur Day, Conker is an alcoholic, foul-mouthed adult, rather than a mischievous child like he was in Diddy Kong Racing and Conker's Pocket Tales.
  • Dark Souls II takes place centuries, possibly even millennia, after Dark Souls. Many kingdoms have risen and fallen in the meantime, with the events of the first game all but forgotten by the time of the second. The names of the important figures, places, and artifacts in the first game have either lost all meaning or are entirely forgotten as well. Despite this, there are a few things that tie the two games together. The souls of the great Lords still persist through reincarnation, both games have the same Bigger Bad in Manus, and ultimately the plot of both games is the same: an Undead hero journeys across a ruined kingdom to prove themselves worthy of determining the fate of the First Flame and thus the world.
  • Ten years pass between the end of Dead Rising 2 and the start of Dead Rising 3, enough time for American society to drastically adapt to the presence of zombies, the American government to enact a harsh monitoring policy, and civilians to push back against said policy.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age II:
      • The plot spans nearly a decade, with three skips breaking it into a Three-Act Structure. In-universe, this is Varric fast-forwarding over the unimportant stuff for his audience. It starts with Hawke's family fleeing the destruction of Ostagar during the first game. After they get to Kirkwall, we jump forward a year to Hawke meeting the party members and finding their fortune. A three-year jump takes us to the events that made them Champion, and three years after that we get to the big disaster the Framing Device has been alluding to.
      • At the Blooming Rose, two Non-Player Characters will have a conversation regarding one of them having kept the same hairstyle for 7 years. This effectively dates the events of the game as having transpired over a 7-8 year period.
    • The final DLC of Dragon Age: Inquisition takes place two years after the ending of the main game, serving as the Inquisition's Grand Finale. The main game itself is confirmed to take place ten years after the events of Dragon Age: Origins.
  • Twice over the course of Dragon Quest V: The game begins with the child hero adventuring with his father, continues ten years later with him as an adult, and ends after his children have grown up.
  • The final battle of Einhänder takes place one month later after the events of the game.
  • The Elder Scrolls: The first four games in the main series (Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Oblivion) all take place over a 34-year time period in the late 3rd Era of Tamriellic history. Skyrim then takes place 200 years after the events of Oblivion, in the 4th Era.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI skips ahead a year after the Cataclysm reshapes the planet's surface.
    • Final Fantasy IV has a mobile phone sequel with a 17-year time skip, having both the original heroes and their children fighting side-by-side. This was the amount of Real Life time between the releases. However, the later-released PSP port The Complete Collection adds in a playable Interquel that covers the time skip.
    • Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core is essentially made up of time skips that jump from one important moment in Zack's life to another. Some are as short as one month apart, but others span years.
    • Final Fantasy XIV takes place 5 years after the Calamity that nearly destroyed all of Eorzea. This is also due to the game being remade after it bombed when it was originally released, which that version's story takes place before the remade game.
  • Several times in the Fire Emblem series.
    • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem takes place two years after the first game.
    • The fourth game, Genealogy of the Holy War, has a time skip in the middle, after which the initial party's children take over. There's even a side game titled Thracia 776'' which takes place during the skip.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (the first one localized in English) also has one, in between Lyn's story and Eliwood's, constituting one year.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has a three year gap between them.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening has a two-year skip at the conclusion of the first act, a little under halfway through the game. It's shortly after this period where the player can begin to recruit your units' time-travelling children. Also, strictly speaking Awakening is a thousand-year timeskip of the Fire Emblem Akaneia series: the lead of Awakening is the descendant of the lead of Akaneia.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has two parts, the first part where the protagonist teaches at the Officer's Academy, and the second part which occurs five years later, when the continent of Fódlan is engulfed in war.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn takes place thirty years after the end of Golden Sun: The Lost Age. In the meantime, the previous heroes have all married (not necessarily with each other), settled down, and had kids of their own.
  • Grim Fandango uses a year-long time skip to separate each chapter in the game, dividing the game into a four-year journey. Though technically, only three years pass between the first chapter and the last. The other year has already passed by the time the game starts, conveniently making Manny familiar with the weirdnesses of The Land of the Dead.
  • The Guild Wars series features a few time skips. At the end of the tutorial in Prophecies the Searing occurs; the story then skips two years forward to the main events of the story. Three years pass between the events of the first two campaigns and the third campaign, Nightfall, and another three years pass before the events of Eye of the North, which neatly dovetail into the Guild Wars Beyond content. Then, 246 years pass after the final story events of the original game and the beginning of Guild Wars 2.
  • Half-Life 2 is set 20 years after the original, during which time the protagonist Gordon Freeman has been in suspended animation. An additional 1-week timeskip happens during the game between two chapters.
  • The Homeworld series of games has two timeskips: Homeworld: Cataclysm starts about fifteen years after the final battle of Homeworld, and another hundred passes before the start of Homeworld 2.
  • In addition to Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory taking place an unspecified amount of time after mk2 (at least long enough for the world to stabilize after the events of the latter game), Victory also includes timeskips between chapters in the order of years. They sort of wrote themselves into a corner with that one, since entire nations have to be established in those meantimes. It also sets up The Reveal of the Year Inside, Day Outside nature of Ultradimension Gamindustri.
  • Act 1 and Act 2 of Infinite Space are separated by a 10-year time skip.
  • The second Jak and Daxter game has a two-year time skip in the intro. Jak's been imprisoned and experimented on, Daxter's been trying to rescue him, and Keira and her father are MIA.
  • This is a game mechanic in Kerbal Space Program. Even with Space Compression in effect, it takes a long-ass time to go anywhere, and most of that time, you're just sitting there... doing nothing. The ability to time-warp through this downtime alleviates this problem quite nicely.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising 3 years pass between chapters 17 and 18.
    • In addition, the start of the game is said to be 25 years after the original ‘’Kid Icarus’’, as this was (almost) the amount of time between the release dates of the two games (1986 & 2012).
  • The Last of Us Part II opens several years after The Last of Us, with the once teenage Ellie now a young adult (14 years old at the beginning of the first game, 19 or 20 at the start of the sequel).
  • Legacy of Kain. The second game, Soul Reaver, takes place 1500 years after the first game, Blood Omen. Blood Omen 2 takes place 400 years after Blood Omen. Defiance takes place after Soul Reaver 2, and it's two storylines have different timeskips. Kain's storyline has a timeskip of anywhere to a few weeks to thirty years after the end of Soul Reaver 2, Raziel's takes place 500 to 530 years later. There's a lot of time travel involved in the series, to make it a bit more confusing.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work takes place after the Un-Installment Leisure Suit Larry 4: The Missing Floppies.
  • Lufia & The Fortress of Doom has three of these. The first is the ninety years between Maxim's party defeating the Sinistrals and Maxim's descendant meeting Lufia. Then nine years pass before the main game starts. And finally, one year passes between the end of the game and the epilogue.
  • Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has a timeskip when Maxim and Selan get married, live a happy life, and have a child… and then the Sinistrals start causing trouble again.
  • Marathon. The second game took place around seventeen years after the first, with the player in stasis for that entire time. The third game's Alternate Continuity actually starts off at about the same point in time, with the caveat that events during the timeskip have gone somewhat differently, culminating in the release of an Eldritch Abomination which is now devouring the universe.
  • Mass Effect 2 starts off very soon after the original ends, but skips forward two years very shortly, from the time when Shepard is killed off to when s/he gets resurrected by the Lazarus Project.
  • Mega Man X is set one century after the original Mega Man series, Mega Man Zero is set one century after the end of the X series, and Mega Man ZX is two centuries after Zero. Mega Man Legends was originally in its own continuity, though it was later retconned to be at least four millennia after ZX. Mega Man Star Force is set two centuries after its predecessor Mega Man Battle Network, itself an Alternate Continuity from the original series where Dr. Light's networking technology flourished over Dr. Wily's research in robotics.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has a two-year gap between the prologue portion with Solid Snake, which is set in 2007, and the main portion with Raiden set in 2009.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has a time skip of 5 years, being set in 2014. The third game is a prequel and as such has a backwards time skip of 45 years, occurring in 1964. Before that, MGS2's prologue is set two years after Metal Gear Solid, which itself is set 6 years after Metal Gear 2, which itself is set 4 years after Metal Gear.
  • In Mother 3 there is a three-year time skip between chapters 3 and 4. This is shown by the massive change of Tazmily from a quaint, quiet village in a more modern town and the child main characters (and the child NPCs) getting taller adolescent sprites. (Technical constraints forced the Fan Translation patch to remove the caption announcing this transition from one of the two shots it appears over.)
  • After the Shadowlord kidnaps Yonah in NieR, the game skips ahead five years.
  • Happens in A Noble Circle, near the end of the chapter, ≈≈A Friend≈≈. The narrator loses sight of Circle and Abbott, and spends over 11 years searching for them.
  • Odin Sphere: During the first story, Valkyrie, Gwendolyn spends an unspecified amount of time in an enchanted sleep, and a little longer still generally out of action. Checking the timeline will show she was asleep for over two-thirds of the plot, rendering events just as disjointed and incomprehensible as one would expect. Fortunately, the other four stories more or less revolve around filling in the blanks.
  • Each level in Oedipus in my Inventory takes places years after the previous, since they're all backstory events mentioned in the original play.
  • Persona 3: Happens if the player chooses to kill Ryoji in the bad ending, the game will skip 3 months into graduation day. Otherwise, on the normal ending, the game will skip from January 31st to the month of March.
  • Persona 4: Golden features a new epilogue where the protagonist reunites with his friends one year after the events of the original story.
  • The original Phantasy Star series is a long-spanning epoch, with the first, second, and fourth games taking place at one-thousand year intervals. The third game takes place after the fourth, but features time-skips between generations, with the player controlling the progeny of the last generation's heroes.
  • In Pokémon, The Gen II games, Pokémon Gold and Silver takes place three years after the Gen I games, Pokémon Red and Blue. The Gen III games, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire were first thought to take place after the Gen II games, but the remakes of the Gen I games, Fire Red and Leaf Green make it so that the Gen I and Gen III games take place in the same frame of time. The Gen IV games, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are thought to take place at the same time as the Gen II games, due to the presence of their remakes Heart Gold and Soul Silver. The Gen V games take place some time after the Gen II and Gen IV games. This amount of time is unknown but long enough so that an NPC from the Gen II games (and remake) settled down, got married and had a kid, and there is a 2-year gap between Pokémon Black and White and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (and Pokémon X and Y, which takes place at around the same time). And, sometime from that, Pokémon Sun and Moon take place. Sun and Moon seem to take place at least a decade after Gen I due to an NPC (who recreated the Nugget Bridge gimmick from that generation) stating how Team Rocket was disbanded years ago and the appearance of Red and Blue show them as young adults.
  • Portal 2 is said to take place a few centuries after the events of the first game. Lampshaded by Wheatley, who mentioned there was a long period of time where "absolutely nothing happened".
    Automated Voice: You have been in suspension for nine... nine... nine... nine... nine... nine... [drowned out by another announcement, and continues counting in the background]
  • Rage 2 opens in 2185, 50 years after the end of Rage, which was set in 2135.
  • Record of Agarest War spans five generations, so time-skips are a must. If anything, you get to see both Ellis and Alberti grow up during these times.
  • Frequent in the Red Faction series. Red Faction: Guerrilla is set 50 years after Red Faction II, and Armageddon is set another half-century after Guerrilla.
  • The first batch of Resident Evil games took place in 1998, including Code: Veronica. Resident Evil 4 then jumped to 2004, the autumn before its release; while RE5 is set four years afterward. Part of the time between Code: Veronica and RE4 are accounted for in Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles, which feature scenarios retelling the events of the earlier games, as well as new scenarios set before RE4. There's also a time-skip of two days in the middle of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, while Jill is incapacitated. It's during those two days that Resident Evil 2 takes place, making 3 both a prequel and sequel to the previous game.
  • River City Ransom's sequel, River City Ransom: Underground, takes place 25 years after the events of the original game. Amusingly, the first game was set in the year 19XX, and Underground is set in... 19XX.
  • Rune Factory:
    • Invoked in Rune Factory 2. The game skips forward seven years after you build the school. After the time skip, you take over as the original protagonist's son/daughter.
    • In Rune Factory 3 as well; after your wife has a child, the game skips forward one year. Although it's as if nothing happened other than your kid growing up; anything you left behind will still be there.
  • Sakura Wars:
  • The Sims posits a twenty-five year time skip between each installment, which are usually released around five years apart in real time (The Sims 1 in 2000, The Sims 2 in 2004, The Sims 3 in 2009 and 'The Sims 4' in 2014). It has yet to be confirmed whether The Sims 4 will continue the pattern.
  • Sonic Generations retcons Classic Sonic to be Sonic as a kid and creates a 6-year gap between the Genesis games and the post Sonic Adventure games.
    • The main plot of Sonic Forces begins 6 months later in-game, right after the tutorial level and the disappearance of Sonic himself.
  • The Soul series has done this a few times. Soulcalibur takes place three years after Soul Edge/Soul Blade, where it's revealed that Siegfried has taken Soul Edge for himself, becoming the Azure Knight, Nightmare. Soulcalibur II is set four years after Nightmare and Inferno's defeat by Xianghua and Kilik, with Siegfried (having regained his lucidity after his defeat) becoming Nightmare again and attempting to restore the shattered Soul Edge. III and IV take place in quick succession after II (in all, a total of maybe a full year has passed between SCII and SCIV), with Siegfried finally breaking free of Soul Edge's control, Nightmare having been given his own body, and Siegfried attempting to atone for his sins by destroying Soul Edge once and for all with the power of Soul Calibur. Soulcalibur V jumps ahead seventeen years, after Nightmare's defeat at the hands of Siegfried, with the role of series' lead being passed over to Patroklos, Sophitia's son.
  • Star Trek Online takes place in 2409, thirty years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis and twenty-two years after the destruction of Romulus and Remus as depicted in Star Trek (2009).
  • Star Wars Legends: The Dark Forces Saga has an approximate time skip of one year between the prologue mission to steal the Death Star plans and the Dark Trooper Project missions, which could be confined to a month at most. The next game, Jedi Knight, takes place five years after the events of the first game, while its expansion pack Mysteries of the Sith skips another five years to 12 ABY. The skips between the next two games are a more reasonable two years a piece.
  • In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 2: Strong Badia the Free, after Strong Bad takes over the King Of Town's castle, it skips forward a week later, where he's bored of his duties and wants to leave.
  • Arc 3 of Super Robot Wars UX is 3 years after Arc 2's finale which is based on The Wings of Rean finale. Ironically, only the Fafner characters age in Arc 3.
  • Super Robot Wars W uses a six-month time skip about halfway through the game. This allows it to feature a lot of series (Tekkaman Blade, GaoGaiGar, Martian Successor Nadesico, for starters) as well as their sequels and OVAs in the same game. Never mind that between the original anime, the delays between parts were wildly different; three months for Full Metal Panic!, a year for GaoGaiGar, three years for Prince of Darkness and ten for Tekkaman Blade II. The game dealt with the character design changes differently. The Nadesico cast changed and they even did a redesign for Gai Daigoji so he could match the rest, but not for Tsukumo (with Ruri suffering from extreme puberty, which was pointed out), while the Tekkaman crew stayed the same, except for a short period where D-boy uses his appearance from Blade II as a disguise. In Tekkaman Blade's case, they don't even wait until the ending. They go about three-quarters of the way, then skip to Blade II, then more or less go from the sequel's Here We Go Again! ending to finish off Blade's storyline, with a lot of backup (even not counting the heroes from the other anime). And the last few episodes of Full Metal Panic! are also combined with the beginning of The Second Raid. It's a bit weird, but works.
  • Tales Series:
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The Mann vs. Machine mode apparently takes place four years after the other modes.
    • The (non-canon) "Death of a Salesbot" comic takes place about a year after that.
  • Tekken:
    • T3 takes place 19 years after Tekken 2. Half the characters from the first two games are missing and have been replaced by expies (although most of these characters have returned by the time of 5: Dark Resurrection). Heihachi's hair has gone from black to gray. All the Jacks (from this point onward) can fly. And the game got a considerably more modern setting as well as a rock soundtrack (rather than techno).
    • T4 is set two years after 3 (roughly placing it about two decades after 2) and most prominently features the return of Kazuya (who was presumed to be dead when Heihachi threw his broken and battered body down an erupting volcano at the end of 2). Since then, there have been skips between the next games, but these are in much smaller increments (only a few months at a time).
  • The Walking Dead: 16 months pass between the beginning of season 2 episode 1 and the end of it! Clementine is now 11 compared to being 9 at the start of the episode. Season 3 (A New Frontier) features an even longer time skip of several years (and caught up to the timeline of the comics), with Clementine now aged 13 or 14. Word of God says the fourth and final season will also feature a several-year time skip.
  • Implied in several cases of story progression in World of Warcraft. Each expansion seems to cover a year ingame, and the phasing technique very much invokes this feeling whenever you return to a reclaimed area and find the good guys having moved in and in some cases even having built new buildings. The quests make sure that you aren't there when it happens but it still feels like you missed months of ingame time.
  • The X-Universe series typically jumps a decade or so between games, partly to justify the introduction of new technology and ship types. X Rebirth jumps further to 20 or 30 years after the collapse of the jumpgate network.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: