The Timulator (lowercase in PC versions) is a time machine used by Bowser during the events of Mario's Time Machine. In the MS-DOS and SNES versions, the time machine has three settings: the City, the Date, and the Epoch (BC or AD). Once a destination is set the user then is required to surf through the fabric of time, collecting mushrooms. Once enough mushrooms are collected, the user then enters a portal and is sucked into the destination programmed in the Timulator. If the user enters a portal too soon or has set a destination not within the game's story (e.g. Menlo Park in 2001 AD), the user is either sent to the Cretaceous Period in PC versions or returned to the present in the SNES version. The Timulator also comes with a remote control device, which returns its user to the present from any point in time at the press of a button.
Bowser initially uses the Timulator to travel to significant points of human history on Earth and steal various artifacts to display in his museum, such as Isaac Newton's apple. In the console versions, his plan also involves destroying the Timulator after he is done with it to irreversibly send the world back to the Dark Ages. Mario gains control of the Timulator to return the items to their proper places in the timeline before the timeline changes forever. In the MS-DOS and SNES versions, after Mario succeeds in restoring history back to normal and tracks down Bowser, Bowser attempts to use the Timulator and escape to "Paradise". If the player takes too long to return the artifacts or returns them in the wrong order, Bowser is successful. If the player returns the artifacts in the correct order quickly, the machine overloads, self-destructs and sends Bowser into the Cretaceous Period, where he gets stomped by a large dinosaur. In the NES version, Mario fights Bowser for the key to free Yoshi.
- In the first page of the SNES version's instruction booklet, there is a very rough version of Bowser and his Koopas with the Timulator; the latter resembles the DOS version, although it is still a different design.
- According to the back of the console versions' box, the greatest minds in the world were convinced to build the time machine; however, it also implies that the time machine used by Mario is a separate one from Bowser's, which is at odds with the game.
- Mario's Time Machine SNES/NES instruction booklet, page 1.
- "But Mario is on to Bowser and his crew. He’s persuaded the greated minds in the world to build him a time machine – so that you and he can go anywhere in the world, during any century, in order to find those precious objects and return them to their rightful owners." - Mario's Time Machine SNES/NES box back.