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Time Attack is a type of gameplay mode in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The main goal of Time Attack is to typically finish stages in the fastest time possible. Usually the best results achieved in a Time Attack mode are stored in long-term memory by the game (on a hard disk or non-volatile memory), so they can be shared with friends or improved upon at a later date. Most games feature an online leaderboard function which displays and ranks player's times accordingly until the servers get taken down.

Game appearances[]

Sonic the Hedgehog CD[]

Time attackcd

The Time Attack menu, from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.

Sonic the Hedgehog CD is the first Sonic game to utilize this gameplay where stages (including Special Stages) can be replayed in Time Attack mode for a challenge. Time is recorded and then added to the player's save file at the end of a stage. However, the player will not be able to enter the Time Warp in the first two Zones, and the third Zone will always be in the bad future. In Special Stages, the player is not affected if running on the water in terms of the time. Using a cheat code, one can see the best times of members of the Sonic Team, who developed the game.

In the original game and the 2011 remaster of Sonic the Hedgehog CD, the player can unlock certain features if they can clear Time Attack with the total time of all Zones below a certain amount.

Sonic 3 & Knuckles[]

In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and the lock-on game Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the player can access the gameplay of Time Attack in Competition mode, where they take control of Sonic, Tails or Knuckles and run through any of the five Zones made exclusively for this mode (Azure Lake, Balloon Park, Chrome Gadget, Desert Palace and Endless Mine).

Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble[]

In Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble, Time Attack features a single, separated Act of the Great Turquoise Zone, which lacks enemies and also holds different gimmicks from the gameplay. Due the Sega Game Gear's lack of a battery backup, none of the records made in Time Attack can be saved on the game's hardware.

Sonic Labyrinth[]

In Sonic Labyrinth, Time Attack is available from the menu. Here, the player can complete the individual Zones in the game and check out the best time for each of them.

Sonic R[]

Time Attack appears in Sonic R where players complete three laps and race for the best time. Once the player picks a character, they will have to race their previous self in order to beat their time.

Sonic Advance series[]

Time Attack mode appears in all three of the Sonic Advance titles, although Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Advance 3 require special conditions to be met to unlock boss battle mode. Here, the player needs to complete the stage as fast as they can, although they are given only one life to do so.

Sonic Rush series[]

Sonic Rush[]

Time Attack appears in Sonic Rush as an unlockable gameplay feature. The player has to have cleared all Acts in the normal game to unlock the mode. As with other games, the player basically just needs to complete the stage/defeat the boss as quickly as they can, as either Sonic or Blaze with only one life to do so. In most cases, the 1-Up Item box is mainly replaced with Tension Bonuses for each stage. Only the top five fastest times are recorded per stage. There are special, playable stages that are exclusively playable in this mode for both games that involve lapping around the start five times similar to Competition Mode in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

Sonic Rush Adventure[]

Time Attack is featured in Sonic Rush Adventure as an unlockable gameplay feature. The player has to clear Plant Kingdom for the first time to unlock it, which is accessed by interacting with the hourglass at the back of Marine's house at Southern Island . Initially, only Plant Kingdom's Acts as well as the mode's exclusive stages Hidden Island R-1, Hidden Island R-2 and Hidden Island R-3 are available, though the remainder of the game's stages (except Deep Core) become available once the player has cleared them in the game's main story for the first time.

If the player clears their game data by talking to Setter and chooses to only delete their story data, all Time Attack records are preserved. Also, the player can still play all of the available stages for Time Attack mode that they had prior to clearing the data regardless of their current progress in the main story (although the Time Attack mode itself will still need to be unlocked by clearing Plant Kingdom in the game's story).

Sonic Riders series[]

Time Attack also appears in all three Sonic Riders games: Sonic Riders, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic Free Riders where players race on Extreme Gear to complete three laps of a course as fast as possible. However, most Item Boxes (except those that are set to give a specific item) are removed in the mode.

To have the best time, the player will have to race their ghost in order to have a new time. They can also challenge other ghosts online to beat their best time. In Sonic Free Riders, each course (both standard and expert) have a specific time to beat to unlock Xbox Achievements.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4[]


The Time Attack selection screen, from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.

In both Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, in the Stage Select screen the player may switch to using Time Attack Mode by pressing XboxX/Square/WiiDSA and try to complete each stage as quick as possible with only one life. Due to this, all 1-Up Monitors in this mode all replaced by the Super Rings Monitors.

The online leaderboards in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I and Episode II for Time Attack have three different categories: Regular Sonic (if the stage was completed without transforming into Super Sonic), Super Sonic (if the stage was completed while Sonic has transformed into Super Sonic), or both (the better of the two times between Super Sonic and Regular Sonic).

Sonic Colors[]

Time Attack appears in both the Wii version and the Nintendo DS version of Sonic Colors, as well as Sonic Colors: Ultimate. The version of the game's Time Attack for the Nintendo DS in particular resembles that featured in Sonic Rush.

Sonic Generations[]

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, in Xbox Live/Network mode, players compete for the fastest times on the leaderboards by completing each stage as fast as possible. Note that there are no lives in this mode, the player can take as many tries as needed to complete each Act. When the player uploads a time for each stage (both Classic and Modern), an achievement/trophy is unlocked for accomplishing this.

In the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, the player can see how fast they can clear a stage, a rival, or a boss fight, and can share their time in online leader-boards. All stages can be played for a top time, and 300 Supporter Points (for the player's profile card) are awarded for each time submitted to the leader-boards.

Sonic Lost World[]

In the Wii U version, PC version and Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, there is a Time Attack Mode. Time Attack Mode allows the player to race against themselves and other people around the world for the best time on each stage. The player is also ranked based on the time it took to complete a stage. In the Wii U and PC versions, the Time Attack Mode for a Zone is unlocked once the player clears Normal Play mode of that Zone.

Sonic Mania[]

Time Attack re-appears in Sonic Mania, and its expansion Sonic Mania Plus, where its role functions similarly to previous titles. All Acts in Encore Mode with the exception of Angel Island Zone; and most Acts in Mania Mode, with the exception of Sonic, Tails, Mighty and Ray's versions of Mirage Saloon Zone Act 1, and Egg Reverie Zone; are available to choose from. The player can unlock the playable Acts once they have completed their respective Zones in either Mania Mode or Encore Mode. Each character has their own Time Attack record for each Act. In Sonic Mania Plus, there is also the option to press PSTriangleButton/Y button/Switch x to switch between the Mania Mode and Encore Mode Acts.

Gameplay in Time Attack remains mostly the same in Mania Mode, except that all boss battles are skipped and the bosses themselves have been replaced with a special Goal Plate. In addition, the portal at the end of Titanic Monarch Zone Act 2 leads to an entirely different location, which consists on a corridor with the Goal Plate at the end, as well as a pit of spikes and fans in Encore Mode. 1-Up Item Boxes, Giant Rings and Star Posts are removed as well, with the 1-Up Item Boxes having been replaced with Super Ring Item Boxes instead. At the start of the Act, there is also a signpost which the playable character has to pass to start the timer. In addition, after completing an Act, the score tally is replaced with a chart that displays the time taken to complete the Act and the current personal record for the character.

A new "Quick Restart" function was also added for Time Attack in these games. This function allows the player to restart the Act at any point by pressing and holding PSTriangleButton/Y button/Switch x for about a second. When doing so, a white circle will form around the playable character before the screen fades to white, all while a sound effect plays (sounding similar to the Player Swap Item Box in Competition Mode) and the Act reloads. The background music for the Act does not restart when the Act is reloaded however, and will instead play continuously, much like with Sonic Lost World. Regardless, the player can still restart an Act via the pause menu or by losing a life like normal.

In Sonic Mania Plus, an extra feature named "Repetitions" was added. This feature allows the player to, upon completing an Act, tap PSTriangleButton/Y button/Switch x in order to save their playthrough as a movie. All repetitions can be entered through their own menu, and are ordered by latest repetition or by Zone. When selecting one, the player can watch it, challenge it, or delete it.

Team Sonic Racing[]

Main article: Time Trial

In Team Sonic Racing, Time Attack appears in the form of the Time Trial Event. Its features are similar to the mode seen in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Here, the player can race against the "ghost" of a player - an intangible image of a racer car who is replaying its fastest playthrough through the lap. This representation can be raced against for an infinite amount of laps on a track during a playthrough. Additionally, the player can compare their results with their previous lap times, as well as the lap times of other players. Additionally, the ghost opponent changes on a regular basis during the race, provided the player bests its time in the previous lap. Every lap the player also gains White Boost.

Sonic Superstars[]

Other game appearances[]

Sonic the Hedgehog (2013)[]

In the 2013 remaster of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Time Attack is once again a gameplay feature where the player must clear each Stage as fast as possible with Sonic and has one life to do so. To unlock each Zone so that they are playable in this mode, they must have been cleared in the regular gameplay. All of the six main Special Stages are also playable in this mode. By default, the main Acts have a time of ten minutes each while the Special Stages each have five minutes.

Differences from the main gameplay is that the timer in the HUD also displays centiseconds and all 1-Up Monitors have been removed, resembling the Time Attack mode from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.

Worth noting is that the shields from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 will appear in Time Attack if they are enabled in the Level Select. However, Sonic will always be the only playable character, though Tails can still appear as his partner if enabled.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2013)[]

In the 2013 remaster of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Time Attack mode appears again and works nearly identical to the Time Attack mode in the 2013 remaster of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. However, Sky Chase Zone and Death Egg Zone are not playable in this mode. To compensate for this though, an entirely new Zone called Boss Attack Zone was exclusively added to this mode. The Zone features Sonic having to defeat all 11 bosses of the game in one go. Hidden Palace Zone is also playable in Time Attack once the player has found and completed the said Zone in regular gameplay.


Navigation templates to Time Attack

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