Time Limit

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The time limit located on the top right of the screen in Super Mario Bros..

A Time Limit (or simply Time) is instituted in almost every platformer game, and its basic purpose is to notify the player of how much time is allotted to complete a level or task. It is a prominent element in the Mario platformer games.

While the player is in a level, the time limit decreases at a steady rate until it reaches zero. If the player does not finish the level when time is up, they automatically lose a life and have to start the level over (or receive a Game Over when they have no more to lose). Once the player finishes a level, the remaining time is multiplied by a number and then added to the player's score (or coin total in Super Mario 3D Land). With few exceptions (e.g. in Super Mario World, Super Mario 3D Land, and Super Mario 3D World), it is impossible to increase a level's time limit.

When the time limit decreases to below 100 seconds, the hurry up theme plays to warn that the player is low on time. After that, the level's music plays slightly faster.

Games in which the time limit appears[edit]


  • In many Mario platformers, the time limit doesn't count in seconds, but in six-tenths or seven-tenths of a second. In Super Mario Bros., every 10 game seconds is about 4 seconds.
  • There is a glitch in Super Mario World which the player uses Yoshi to eat green berries (which increases the time limit by 20 seconds) each when the Timer is somewhere between 81 and 99 seconds to make the music speed up to 10 times, making it very fast.

See Also[edit]