Time Limit

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The time limit in Super Mario 3D World.

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. When the time limit decreases to below 100 seconds, the "hurry up" jingle traditionally plays to warn that the player is low on time and the level's music plays at a rushed tempo.

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. In Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario 3D World, the time limit glows red when it is below 100 seconds.

Games in which the time limit appears[edit]


  • In many Mario platformers, an in-game "second" is not actually 1 second, instead being about 0.6 or 0.7 seconds. In Super Mario Bros., an in-game "second" lasts only 0.4 seconds.
  • In newer Mario games, if Mario loses a life after hitting a Midway Point, the time limit will be reduced when he restarts the level from that point.
  • A glitch in Super Mario World involves letting the timer drop below 100 to make the music speed up, then using Yoshi to eat a green berry to bring the time limit back above 100. When the timer reaches 100 again, the music will speed up a second time; this can be repeated several times to make the game music play very fast.
  • In Mario & Wario, a variation of the usual timer called the Time Gauge (タイムゲージ) is used, which is represented by a bar rather than numbers.
  • There was originally going to be a time limit on the Game Boy Horror in Luigi's Mansion, indicating how much time to save Mario is left, or the timer for the E3 demo.

See Also[edit]