It has been requested that this article be rewritten and expanded to include more information. Reason: add the time limit appearances from Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, as well as other platform games with a time limit
A Time Limit (or simply Time) is a staple of the Super Mario games, and its basic purpose is to notify the player of how much time is allotted to complete a level or task. If the timer reaches zero, the player loses one life regardless of power-up form, including invincibility from a Super Star (and if time runs out when the player has no more lives, they receive a Game Over). A timer's count is approximately 0.6 or 0.7 seconds in most games.
When the time limit decreases to 100 time units (10 time units in Super Mario Run, except in Toad Rally) or below, the "Hurry Up" jingle plays to alert the player is running low on time and the level's music speeds up (except in Super Mario Land, where the music is just played faster without the jingle). In Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario 3D World, and Super Mario Run, the time limit glows red when it reaches 100 time units, and in those games and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, it also beeps for every time unit at the last 10 time units (five seconds in Super Mario Run).
Once the player finishes a level, the remaining time is multiplied by a number (usually 50) and then added to the player's score (or coin total in Super Mario 3D Land).
In most games, it is impossible to increase a level's time limit. However, some games, including Super Mario World, Super Mario 3D Land, and Super Mario 3D World, feature a collectible (such as a Green Berry or a + Clock) that allows the player to increase it.
Time limits additionally appear in several other games, such as in the Mario Kart series, the Mario Party series, the Super Smash Bros. series, and various Super Mario sports games where they function as a simple timer for a given game session.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
In Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, one in-game count lasts 0.4 seconds, which is 24 frames in 60Hz NTSC or 20 frames in 50Hz PAL.
Most stages in this game have a time limit of 400 time units, which is 160 seconds in real time. Athletic levels, castles, and some overworld levels have a time limit of 300 time units, which is 120 seconds in real time, with the exception of castles that are puzzles, which have a time limit of 400 time units.
In VS. Super Mario Bros., World 2-2, World 4-1, World 6-1, World 7-1, World 8-1, and World 8-2 have a time limit of 350 time units, which is 140 seconds in real time.
The original NES version of Super Mario Bros. does not give time bonuses for castles. However, the original version of Lost Levels does. The Super Mario All-Stars versions of both games also give time bonuses for castles, but the Super Mario Bros. Deluxe versions do not, except for the Challenge Mode feature.
World C-4 in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is the only level whose time limit is different in the original version (300) and in Super Mario All-Stars (400).
Super Mario Bros. 3 / Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Bros. 3, most stages have a time limit of 300 seconds, due to the game having much shorter levels. World 6-5, World 8-, and World 8- are the only three stages that have a time limit of 400 seconds. All of the Hammer Bros. Enemy Courses and some very short stages, such as World 2-, have a time limit of 200 seconds; the map screen's pipe tunnels also have this limit in the original NES version.
In Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, the time bonus is ×100, ×200, and ×500 for defeating Boom Boom, the Koopalings, and Bowser, respectively. The time bonus can also be doubled (like all gained points) if the red switch card is active. The green switch card can also affect the time limit by slowing down the first 50 seconds.
Super Mario World / Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2
In Super Mario World, one count of time is exactly 41 frames in the NTSC version and 35 frames in the PAL version. Most levels have a time limit of 300 seconds. Some levels such as most Ghost Houses (except for the Choco-Ghost House and Valley Ghost House), Yoshi's Island 2, Donut Plains 1, Donut Plains 2, and #2 Morton's Castle have 400 seconds. Switch Palaces, the Top Secret Area (in the GBA version only), and Funky have only 200 seconds, though it is possible to increase Funky's time limit by having Yoshi eat a Green Berry. Due to the timer's absence during the final battle, there is no time bonus for defeating Bowser.
The time limit of #3 Lemmy's Castle differs by region. It is 300 seconds in the Japanese version and 400 seconds in international versions.
With the exception of the final boss fight with Bowser, if Mario somehow loses a life in a level with no time limit, the "TIME UP!" message is still displayed.
In the GBA version, Bowser's Front Door time limit of 400 seconds is doubled to 800 seconds, his Back Door time limit is increased from 400 seconds to 600 seconds, and the timer keeps running in the final battle. Additionally, the time bonus is:
- ×100 for defeating Reznors and the Big Boo as well as touching the Magic Ball in the Sunken Ghost Ship.
- ×200 for defeating the Koopalings and clearing Special Zone levels.
- ×500 for defeating Bowser.
New Super Mario Bros.
Starting with New Super Mario Bros., time limits vary depending on the level type. Short levels have time limits of 300 seconds, most normal stages and Ghost Houses have a time limit of 400 seconds, and longer levels, towers, and castles have a time limit of 500 seconds, with the sole exception of World 2-, which has a time limit of 300 seconds.
In this game, Bowser's Castle has a time limit of 800 seconds.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
The time limit reappears in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, where time limits once again depend on the level type. Bowser's Castle has a time limit of 700 seconds, which carries on to most other versions of the level in the New Super Mario Bros. series.
Additionally, respawning at a Checkpoint Flag after losing a life causes the time limit to be reduced by 200 seconds (e.g., if a level has a starting time limit of 500 seconds, restarting the level from the Checkpoint Flag will have a time limit of 300 seconds). This behavior carries on to future games, excluding the Super Mario Maker series.
Super Mario 3D Land
Due to Super Mario 3D Land lacking a score system, a coin is added to the coin count for every 10 seconds remaining instead (except in World 8-: Part 2), truncating the remainder. Additionally, the player loses a life one second after the onscreen limit reaches zero.
In World 8-Bowser's Castle: Part 2, the timer resets when the player reaches the second part of the final boss.
The time limit can be increased by collecting a + Clock. The amount added depends on whether it is a cyan clock (10 seconds) or green clock (100 seconds). In certain Special World courses, the time limit starts at 30 seconds, and it must be extended by collecting cyan clocks or beating certain enemies that hold cyan clocks (mostly Goombas) to keep it from expiring.
In this game, the time limit's indicator (the icon of which is a + Clock) blinks briefly when it reaches 200 seconds or 50 seconds and starts to glow red when the timer falls below 100 seconds. When there are only 10 seconds remaining, the indicator beeps every second.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
The time limit reappears in New Super Mario Bros. 2. The time limit's indicator glows red under 100 seconds and beeps every second for the last 10 seconds, as it does in Super Mario 3D Land. For unknown reasons, the words "Time's Up!" do not appear when the timer reaches zero.
In the game's Coin Rush mode, most levels have a time limit of 100 seconds, though some courses, such as World 1-1 and the third course of Coin Challenge Pack A, start with only 50 and 20 seconds, respectively. It can be increased by passing a Checkpoint Flag (which adds 50 seconds or 100 seconds) or by grabbing + Clocks, though green ones add only 50 seconds to the timer instead, unlike in Super Mario 3D Land. Like in Super Mario 3D Land, the remaining time is converted to coins, with a coin gained for every five seconds remaining.
New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
The time limit reappears in New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
Every level in New Super Luigi U starts at 100 seconds. 100 seconds are added to the timer when the player enters a boss door, while 250 seconds are added before the player fights Bowser. Each in-game count lasts one second in New Super Luigi U.
In New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, if Nabbit and/or Toadette is/are used in a level, only 100 seconds will be added to the timer, even if both characters are present.
Super Mario 3D World / Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
The time limit reappears in Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, working as it does in Super Mario 3D Land, though it once again gives points instead. Certain courses (such as Pretty Plaza Panic) have a 100-second time limit, and some courses (such as Night Falls on Really Rolling Hills) even have a 30-second time limit. The + Clocks also return, working as they do in Super Mario 3D Land.
Super Mario Maker / Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS
The time limit reappears in Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, where each count lasts exactly one second. The time limit of a level can be set in the editor from 10 seconds to 500 seconds and can only be a multiple of 10. In the E3 2014 demo, the timer was set to 999, but it was changed to 500 in the final version of the game.
Super Mario Run
In Super Mario Run, there is a time limit of a maximum of 99 seconds for World Tour and of 60 seconds for Toad Rally. In World Tour, expanding the time limit is allowed, either by hitting Time Blocks or by throwing Bob-ombs at Bowser in the last level. Remix 10 is the only game mode not to include a timer, as the levels have unlimited time limits. Time limits are also erased if any compatible level is played on Easy Mode.
Super Mario Maker 2
The time limit reappears in Super Mario Maker 2, working as it does in Super Mario Maker. In the online multiplayer mode of this game, if the time limit reaches zero, all players restart the course in Multiplayer Co-op, while in Multiplayer Versus, it is considered a tie, with remaining players having their Versus Rating unchanged.
In the Super Mario 3D World style, the indicator glows red when the timer is below 100 seconds, but it does not beep for the last 10 seconds.
Mario & Wario
In Mario & Wario, a variation of the usual timer called the Time Gauge (タイムゲージ) appears, and it is represented by a bar rather than numbers.
Mario Party series
In the Mario Party series, various minigames have time limits (usually 30 or 60 seconds). In most of these minigames, players must do the required tasks until time is up, while in others, players must do the required tasks before time is up. Some minigames, such as Odd Card Out and 10 to Win, have a time limit per round or turn (usually five or ten seconds). In minigames that can last as long as five, three, or two minutes, a timer does not appear until 30 or 60 seconds are left. Although the time limit to do the required task in Rock, Paper, Mario is 30 seconds, the timer does not appear until five seconds remain. Similarly, in Bob-omb Combo, the time limit is ten seconds per turn, but the timer does not appear until five seconds remain. In a few minigames, such as Balloon of Doom and Head Waiter, a player loses if they do nothing within the time limit, while in others, such as Scaldin' Cauldron and Cardiators, a player automatically does a required task if time runs out.
- A glitch in Super Mario World involves letting the timer drop below 100 seconds to make the music speed up, then using Yoshi to eat a Green Berry to bring the time limit back above 100 seconds. When the timer reaches 100 seconds again, the music speeds up a second time; this can be repeated several times to make the game music play very fast.
- In older Super Mario Bros. games and Super Mario World, if there are 1,000 seconds or more to complete the level, the first digit on the timer can be a letter, a blank space, or a piece of terrain (usually this glitch is present only in glitch levels, and in Super Mario World only by hacking). For example, if the timer displays █00, and the █ represents 36, the player has 3,600 seconds left to complete the level. From 4,000 seconds to 4,099 seconds, the timer has a negative number because the █ represents 40. The maximum time is 25,599 seconds.
- In the original Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, running out of time as Fire Mario results in the player seeing a dead Mario sprite in Fire Mario's colors, seen nowhere else in the entire game. This is not present in the Super Mario All-Stars version, however.
- Super Mario Bros. 2 is currently the only 2D Super Mario game without a time limit, as it was a reskin of Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, though Subspace has a time limit for how long one can stay.
- In earlier Super Mario games (up until Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3), when the time limit reaches zero, the text "Time Up" ("Time-Up" in the NES version of Super Mario Bros. 3) is shown. However, recent games' English versions (starting from New Super Mario Bros.) instead show "Time's Up!" as the former phrase lacks a copula and may be considered improper.
- In the Super Smash Bros. series, the phrase is instead "Time!" in the English versions since Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- Game mechanics
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
- Super Mario Land
- Super Mario World
- Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
- Mario & Wario
- Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
- New Super Mario Bros.
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii
- Super Mario 3D Land
- Super Mario 3D World
- New Super Mario Bros. 2
- New Super Mario Bros. U
- Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
- New Super Luigi U