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Time Attack is a type of gameplay featured in numerous games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Time Attack lets the player test their speed skills and ranks their times, some of which they can upload online until the servers get taken down.
Their speed skills can also be measured more inaccurately in multiplayer.
This is the first Sonic game to utilize this gameplay where stages (including Special Stages) in Sonic CD 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. Note that Sonic cannot travel to other timelines in this mode and by default, the first two 'Zones' are always played in the Present while the third 'Zone' takes place 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.
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 3 of the Advance titles although Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Advance 3 requires special requirements 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.
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 Rush series
Time Attack appears in both Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure(though for the former, the player must have cleared either story mode), and the player basically just rushes through 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 Max Tension Gauge for each stage. There are special, playable courses that are exclusively playable in this mode for both games that involve lapping around the start five times similar to the courses in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
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 //) and try to complete each stage as quick as possible with only one life. As there are no 1-Up Item Monitors in this mode, they are all replaced by the 10 Rings Item Box.
Time Attack selection screen in Sonic 4: Episode II.
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 Sonic Lost World for the 3DS and Wii U, there is a Time Attack Mode. Time Attack Mode allows you to race against yourself and other people around the world for the best time on each stage. This is also how you get Ranks.
If the player scores a record time outside of Time Attack in Sonic Rush, it won't save over.
Time Attack appears in many non-Sonic games under the same name, even if speed is not emphasized.
The leaderboards in Sonic the Hedgehog 4 for Time Attack (and Score Attack) have three different categories: Regular Sonic (if you completed the stage without transforming into Super Sonic), Super Sonic (if you completed each stage as Super Sonic), or both (the better of the two times between Super Sonic and Regular Sonic).