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Monday, March 12, 2018

All Time is a Bad Time

By RAWKHAWK2010 - Shall we kill some?

Ludwig is a big-time hater of Daylight Savings Time. He says it ruins sleeping patterns and makes people waste valuable time changing clocks. He also believes that the government simply has no right to regulate something as sacred as Time, especially when its boundaries continue to change at the government's behest. Arizona doesn't even follow the damn thing which only leads to absolute DISASTERS for whoever may be traveling through, and I don't just mean ones involving pink underwear.

Well, I'm here to say that ALL time is bad. EVERY LAST SECOND OF IT!

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations Edgeworth problem here is time Laurice Deauxnim

Let's be honest, when it came to the final Goku vs. Frieza battle which you can now recreate on Nintendo Switchno one would have given a damn about its 19-episode length if Frieza hadn't felt the need to say that it would be over in "five minutes." What the hell is it with "five minutes"? The quantity literally has no modern meaning. Everything you need to know about Climate Change™ is apparently "under five minutes." The impressive length of time in which to explain to someone the plot of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is "under five minutes." The goal for video game speedrunners (ick) to beat half their games in is "under five minutes." I understand needing a go-to quantity that can be referenced by all humans as second-nature, but the arrogant boastful connotation inflicted upon our society by the dreaded "five minutes" is a disease! All it leads to is Frieza and everyone else making promises they can't keep as opposed to just saying they'll so whatever they wish to do "soon."

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Dual Destinies Ted Tonate this bomb will detonate in five minutes
THIS IS WHAT I MEAN. (Also your bomb looks like a Nintendo GameCube.)

Manfred von Karma only 10 seconds left before three minutes are up Ace Attorney
It's cool of Manfred von Karma to menacingly invoke the most controversial political
advertisement of all time
 (sans "Obamaville"), but minutes AND seconds?!

Manfred can't even get his threat across using one unit of measurement, which may suggest that our current time calculation methods are fundamentally retarded. We go from an hour being 60 minutes, to a minute being 60 seconds, to a second suddenly being...1,000 milliseconds? People bash Americans for clinging onto their imperial system of measurements, but I don't see how our universal time conversions aren't far, far worse when my mentioned example is literally trying to bait the observer. One dabbling too long in minutes and seconds is eventually going to forget milliseconds use different rules, or that hours and seconds use different rules upon coming off the millisecond. This leads to numbers 1,000 and 60 waging total war for the "totals" moniker. It's like if a letter of that King Henry Died By Drinking Chocolate Milk metric conversion memorizer shit suddenly went to 0.6m before reverting back for the rest of the thing. Bad!

And yes, as of this article I'd like to acknowledge my hypocrisy that comes with operating an online merchandise stand selling "TV Troopas Wall Clocks." I won't make excuses for it, but it should be mentioned that you don't have to have a wall clock turned on in order for it to still be an okay conversation piece. Hell, the TV Troopas wall clock doesn't even have numbers, which basically means it never had any instrumental value in the first place.

TV Troopas wall clock KoopaTV Store merchandise time DST turtle tortoise
This clock is NOT Daylight Savings Time-compatible.

If clocks can do more than just time-tell, it follows that Clock People should be even more capable. That's why before I
 tell a Clock Person to sod off and pay for mechanism-reassignment surgery, I'm gonna wait and see what they actually do.

clock clocks Time Wizard Yu-Gi-Oh! T.T. Diddy Kong Racing DKR

For instance, the card effect of Time Wizard from Yu-Gi-Oh! actually has literally nothing to do with time, at least not in the same vein as monsters like Zone Eater and Larvae Moth who are both on the shortlist for worst card in the game. Instead, Time Wizard is barely a clock and more a roulette wheel, who either destroys himself and all of your monsters or destroys all of the opponent's monsters depending on where the clock hand/coin flip lands. (The owner also takes damage equal to half the attack of all of their monsters destroyed by Time Wizard, but never the opponent because apparently Konami didn't think the effect was bad enough already.) The "Time" part comes in when you find out Time Wizard's method of killing people is done through rapid forced aging. This is why he can also slightly enhance certain dudes like Baby Dragon and Dark Magician by aging them into Thousand Dragon and Dark Sage. (And by "certain dudes" I mean "basically only them.")

He's a pretty awful card! But to re-focus on what we're actually concerned about here, it's clear that Time Wizard isn't making time or wasting time, he's SKIPPING it. That's fine by me. Don't you wish you could forego the laws of time and just get to the point already? I sure wish I could go ahead and become "Thousand Rawk" without worrying about what time will do to me in the interim. (And this is why Time Wizard obviously voted "Future" in the "Past vs. Future" Splatfest, in case there was any doubt.)

Then we get to the...other clock person in the above image, who has way more issues.

Diddy Kong Racing (DS)'s T.T. is pretty damn adamant about encouraging the player to beat his times, and is pretty obsessed with time in general. However!... Unlike other racers, the time trials presented to the player in DKR aren't that of a vague employee playing as whatever happened to be their favorite character at the time, but instead T.T.'s own experiences - who is capable of driving and usually winning. It's still arguable that he's a vain clockhead, but at least his records haven't arbitrarily invaded the game from somewhere out-of-universe. (We'll...get to that.) And this is all why a race against the sentient stopwatch is essentially no different from a race against Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, Tiny Kong, Tiptup, Pipsy, Bumper, Conker, Timber, Banjo, Krunch, Drumstick, Taj, and... others that I'm not gonna mention since I only started listing dudes to shamelessly advertise stuff.

Never at any point does T.T. dictate how long you're welcome in his world, but timers are a whole 'nother story and are one of the most noxious toxins the industry still refuses to disinfect. They, alongside lives, have long outstayed their purpose of keeping the quarters coming from Rich Boy, but continually find reasons to still exist. Because why bother putting effort into the design of your levels when you can just have a timer chase your players out of them as quickly as possible? Sounds good to a good portion of the industry, apparently. (Someone working on Kirby Air Ride also thought it was a good idea to have a time trial timer that didn't even pause when the game did, but your guess is as good as mine as for what HAL Laboratory hoped to gain from that one.)

Super Mario 3D World Time's up flag pole
Time's up for "Time's Up!" when Super Mario Odyssey releases on October 27th!
(FULL DISCLAIMER: This already happened.)

Since everyone has already bitched to high noon about Pokémon Shuffle's time-waiting mechanic, I wish to dedicate the Pokémon portion of this article to something far more personal. Something with mystery, given that's all this article is turning out to be.

As someone who considers Guild Adviser Chatot to be one of his favorite video game characters of all Times, you may be asking yourself how I could hold Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time in such high regard if I despise the very concept. Well that's the thing, anyone "exploring" time wouldn't be doing so unless it's to escape the time they're currently in! See Lapras's motive for that below:

After at first just being thankful that Determination survived the crash, Lapras soon became perturbed by her reupload. This was due to the fact that...well, let's just transcribe the description:

"She was "Published" on one day but "Uploaded" the next. With the help of Guild Advisor Chatot, Lapras scours the Time Zones for one in which the YouTube Video Manager will display her more chronologically."

Not uploaded the day before she was published, PUBLISHED a day before she was UPLOADED. That makes no sense within the story, dudes. From a Doylist perspective it's obviously because the "Published" date is based on the location of YouTube's headquarters out in California, making everything published abide by the Pacific standard time zone which almost no one else uses. Meanwhile, the "Uploaded" date is based on where you are, and I don't mean where you were when you uploaded the video. I mean where you are right this second because the upload dates featured in your YouTube Video Manager literally change WITH YOU (which is totally creepy). YouTube now has Lapras swimming across all the time zones finding an upload hour she's comfortable with, which doesn't even factor in what the hell kind of discrepancies her next video will have or even the very one she's inhabiting above. It makes you wish Primal Dialga would show up and just make it all stop.

Primal Dialga screaming Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time
You ain't the only one, pal.

For the sake of brevity in our universe, Lapras's trip around the globe goes by much quicker in the above video than when it actually happened. Maybe you'd call that Fake News, but you can believe that I would at least try to be consistent when speeding up the speed of future Lapras outings. Nintendo makes no such effort with, say, the The Legend of Zelda franchise, where all of its 3D games require a different amount of time before their day-night-cycles are completed. For reference, Ocarina of Time's takes 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Majora's Mask's takes 18 minutes and 0 seconds assuming you haven't disrupted the timeflow. Wind Waker's takes roughly 6 minutes but only when you're sailing. Twilight Princess's takes roughly 17 minutes which is impressively stupid for being so close to MM's but not exactly. And Breath of the Wild's, the one that makes the most sense, takes 24 minutes, which means Link's hours equal the player's minutes precisely and thus is a cycle they can easily relate with. Whether the "24:00" until Mipha's Grace comes back is in mm:ss or hh:mm, it totally doesn't matter!

Certain morons will go into "but muh gameplay reasons!" like they do everything else, but if time results in a world lacking all cohesion, then that only reinforces my point -- point being that time shouldn't exist.

The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask Link time warp song
Can we Song of Time all the bad video game timers to back before I was born?

In addition to the Song of Time which allows Link to return to the past, Stylin' Scarecrow teaches him other Time songs that speed it up and slow it down. That said, I bet your Ocarina never auto-played these songs without you knowing. I bet a hell of a lot more that such effects were never reflected in your Nintendo 3DS Activity Log.

Enter my Pocket Card Jockey save file, one of the most mystifying enigmas I've ever seen up close. So mystifying that after two years I have absolutely no idea what happened, and likely never will.

Pocket Card Jockey Nintendo 3DS glitched Activity Log play time
Half of the 16 Times Played came from me restarting the game to troubleshoot.

I didn't play this game for 265 hours. I don't know how long I played it, but I can assure you it wasn't enough for it to become my most-played video game ever by a margin of fifty plus. Theories formed that maybe my Sleep Mode was glitched, or that me myself frequently fell asleep/went unconscious while playing. We also wondered if Pocket Card Jockey's status as a super special awesome compelling experience caused time to by. All of these theories were debunked when I thought long and hard about Jam from Snowboard Kids "Jagger" and how I had never beaten a single one of his times. I beat the final cup on my first attempt, but I couldn't beat a single record of a standard CPU rival? What in the blue hell was going on? Well, if anything I felt empowered that my impressively-slow race performance was somehow winning more races than people with fast times. That's why it took until now for me to intensively investigate my records, and it turns out that much like how my Activity Log playtime is twice that of Ludwig's, my race times are all twice as long.

It couldn't be that my horses were slow -- my horses were winning. So how could a horse be fast and its record the inverse? Were my horses slowing everything ELSE down, which per the laws of Equivalent Exchange made it enter my Activity Log twice as fast? That sounds exactly like Hit's Time-Skip subspace technique from Dragon Ball FighterZ now on Nintendo Switch Super, where the skipped time gets stored into its own parallel world. It's also literally the only way I can think of to describe this phenomenon. Can YOU think of one better?

There's no record of anyone else experiencing this, whether it be with Pocket Card Jockey or any game on the system. I would consult Pocket Card Jockey customer service, but if I can't even find other Pocket Card Jockey fans, then I'm sure as hell not gonna be able to find that. Game Freak doesn't even get to the bottom of issues in Pokémon, which I guess only means good things for Mudsdale if time slows down for everyone besides him. Still, it's the largest instance yet of time ruining my life and peace of mind. It's so bad that Sissel from Capcom's Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective won't be able to time me back to life after time kills me. And good. Sissel's game has him constantly Phil Connor-ing the cast as if he's adopted a Death Note-esque power fantasy but for Life instead of Death. It's too bad he never actually learned any lessons from this.

Lynne Ghost Trick Phantom Detective Capcom Nintendo DS NDS time
Lynne's right -- time is scary. This is why Groundhog Day is a scary movie.

One more thing: If Sissel and Missile (literally just realized their names rhyme) had their way, no one would ever die again and Phoenix Wright would be out of a job. He would just stare at the clock endlessly and ponder Ace Attorney's various time woes, which by the way don't happen because of Capcom USA's "Japanifornia" censorship localization. Localization didn't make time seem more important than it really was, that was time taking over the alphabet too. Localization didn't make Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney's player end up with a single Court Record containing evidence found from two different decades that Apollo then selectively knew about, that was Phoenix's not-time-travel-but-really-was tumult that I still don't even remotely get. ...And I think he finally realized he didn't get it either.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney time lord
You won't see Nick with one of those "Keep Calm and Doctor Who™" bumper stickers.
(Partly because that sentence doesn't even make sense.)

To summarize, time is bad. Its ego is bad, its measurements are bad, what it did to Lapras is bad, and video game timers are the worst things to ever happen. That said, I use a fair amount of discretion when judging clock people vs. clock objects, recognizing that they weren't born that way and have distinct, varied characteristics.

... And with that, time for this article to end.

Procrastination is the thief of time. That's why it took from August until now for Rawk to actually finish the article. Also, Lapras was so perturbed by YouTube's handling of her reupload that in the interim she in fact deleted and reuploaded herself yet again. Oops.

Time is a challenge, but proper time management can help you overcome it.
When you wake up or go to sleep can have an impact on how you view time.
More details on how timers in games are bad.
Last year's post-Daylight Savings Time article obviously failed in its purpose.


  1. Since you brought up Mr. Wright sitting around and watching all of these time woes, do you believe that, because THE THINKER clock was used as a murder weapon multiple times, we need more TIME CONTROL to restrict people's access to time, or do we need less TIME CONTROL because otherwise, only bad guys will have time?

  2. This is easily the most hilarious article I've read on here.


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