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"Did you try to play the Sun's Song? Like I told you before, with that song, you can turn day to night or night to day whenever you want."
—Royal Composer Bro, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
When an In Universe Game Clock forces the player to wait for several
hours minutes in the game to progress to the next task, you're going to have angry gamers. How do you solve this issue? Add a time skip device! One use and the wait time will pass in an instant.
Frequently a spell or a song, the player needs only to punch in a sequence or click on the designated object and the clock will skip ahead (or sometimes, even backwards) in increments that are convenient to time-oriented missions. Sometimes RPGs may offer your party a "rest" or "sleep" command which allows you to fast-forward the game clock (and regenerate some HP in the process). This is often a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, since time usually doesn't pass in any other sense.
Video Game Examples
- This mechanic is used frequently in The Legend of Zelda series:
- The "Sun's Song" in The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time moves time to the next dusk/dawn.
- The "Song of Passing" The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker does the same, and sound wise, appears the same as the Sun's Song, just under a new name.
- The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask is all about time manipulation, so not only is there a song to skip ahead ("Song of Double Time"), but slow it down ("Inverted Song of Time") and reset time ("Song of Time"), which also doubles as the way to save your game.
- In addition, you can talk to a scarecrow and ask for it to dance. Dancing with the scarecrow turns day into night and vice versa. Useful early in the game, when you don't have the ocarina yet and you need to skip to the night of the final day after you've looked into the telescope at the Astral Observatory.
- In The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, you can make Link sleep in a bed either until morning or night. Your hearts regenerate as you sleep.
- Okami features brush techniques to bring day and night. The technique to call the sun is learned in the first hour of gameplay, the one to call the moon is learned only after about a dozen hours of gameplay.
- In Seiken Densetsu 3, if you stop at a Trauma Inn during the day, you have the option to be awakened in the evening or next morning, though this is rarely a concern for progressing through the Story Arc.
- In Castlevania (Nintendo 64), the Sun and Moon cards can be used to advance the current time so you can (among other things) have certain timed encounters and battle vampires during the day when they're weaker.
- In The Last Stand 3 Union City, when your character finds a bed in a building you can sleep for a specific number of hours to increase your Sleep stat.
- This is one of Joe's powers in the Viewtiful Joe series.
- Quest for Glory allows you to rest your Hero in intervals from 10-60 game minutes, or "until morning" (in the first game, this could easily trigger Have a Nice Death on the assumption that some monster killed you while you slept if you did so out in the wild).
- In Deadly Premonition, York can smoke cigarettes to make time pass more quickly. Also, any bed will allow him to sleep for three, six, nine, or twelve hours at a time.
- In the Endless Ocean games, a location is provided to allow the player to move rapidly to another time of day and forwards in time with regards to things like missions.
- The Adventures of Willy Beamish has the ability to skip ahead an hour at a time. This allows the player to get to events when nothing else is new. However, be careful with this function, as it is possible to fast forward yourself into a Have a Nice Death.
Construction and Management Games
- Minecraft has a bed feature which can skip the night-time portion of a day cycle.
- The Breath of Fire series gives the main character a spell to do this.
- Dragon Quest features time skips in some installments:
- Xenoblade allows the player to skip to any time in-game by an option in the menu. This greatly helps to find the Non Player Characters that show up at specific times for the loads and loads of sidequests as well giving them an easier time at changing the weather to their liking, which is necessary to get some of the rare monsters to appear.
- Persona 3 and Persona 4 work like this, using time periods (i.e Evening, Afternoon) that can be skipped to.
- Chrono Cross gives the player the ability to speed up and slow down the gameplay once they've beaten the game at least once.
- As does Final Fantasy XIII-2 once the player collects all the fragments. This also applies to ingame voices, and despite what the game claims, all non-FMV cutscenes as well.
- In Wolf Quest, you have the option to make your wolf sleep until a different time of day.
- In the educational commercial transportation/geography PC game, Crosscountry USA, there was a feature that allowed you to "wait" any number of hours, automatically passing the in-universe clock to a later time.
- In Chu Lip, sleeping would automatically put you at 8:00 in the morning the next day until you bought an alarm clock to awaken yourself at some other time.
- Frontier versions of Elite has time scale buttons. Aside of long interplanetary travel, you may use them to check Newtonian mechanics of the game -- if your ship is on a proper elliptical orbit, it's quite visible under high time rate.
- In Donkey Kong 64, the level Fungi Forest can be played at day as well as night. At the start there is a clockwork with two buttons. The one currently pressed tells the current time. Whenever the other button is pressed, the time of day moves 12 hours forward. This is important because there are places that can only be accessed at certain hours.
- The act of waiting in The Elder Scrolls series allows the player to skip any amount of hours in-game. You can also sleep for the same effect, although the purpose of doing so is usually to get bonuses.
- Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas both have a "Wait" action (both use the same engine as the contempery Elder Scrolls games mentioned above).
- Fable has the Golden Carrot and the Moonfish. Eating these will move the game time forward to morning and evening respectively.
- Wizardry makes time run fast when the party rests, with visibly accelerated day and night cycle. Since the faster ticks are correctly applied to all effects and random encounters alike, regenerating Mana you need to heal poison or disease can be tricky.
Non-Video Game Examples
- A webcomic example occurs in The Order of the Stick, as seen here.
- Near the end of Eight Bit Theater, as the heroes are trying to perform a task within a time limit, Fighter meanwhile goes to the inn to rest, advancing the clock several hours forward. Then he does it one more time, obviously sapping his teammates out of their meager time remaining.
- And in some translations (like the French one), it kept the old name.