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Tick Tock Clock is the fourteenth main level in Super Mario 64 and its remake Super Mario 64 DS. It takes place inside a giant clock. Mario must deal with the clock's moving gears, pendulums, and other obstacles that change speed depending on what position the clock's minute hand (rounded to the nearest quarter hour) is in when he jumps into the level. Tick Tock Clock is the second to last main level in both the games and is found on the third floor of Princess Peach's Castle with the 50-Star door. The entrance to the level faces the door and is an old large grandfather clock shaped like a tree, and the minute hand controls the time inside. If Mario jumps into the clock when both hands are on 12-2, then the whole level will be immobile, making it easier to progress. Entering at 3-5 will make them move slowly, and at 9-11 to make them move quickly. Entering at six makes them move at random speeds, in random directions. If time is not still, several platforms will turn, move, or flip, conveyor belts will move, and pendulums and the large hands will swing. In order to open the Star door in front of it, Mario will need at least fifty Power Stars. Tick Tock Clock is also a race track course in the Star Cup of Mario Kart DS.

Tick Tock Clock appears to be changed more than any other level in the DS remake, with many areas of the layout being altered for easier difficulty, removing elements such as the triangular blocks & fog effects, and re-positioning several areas of the level.

Levels

The level titles and numbers correspond to Super Mario 64 unless otherwise noted.

Star 1: Roll Into the Cage (N64) / Luigi in the Cage (DS)

From the entrance, Mario should head past the first swinging pendulum over the conveyor belt and then pass the shifting blocks. After, Mario should pass by the large plane where the moving hand may pass. Continuing on, Mario should see the Power Star near a conveyor belt underneath the cage-like grid. He then must jump on the conveyor belt and grab the Power Star.

In the DS version, the name of the first level has been changed to Luigi in the Cage, as Luigi is the only member of the group that can turn invisible. When Luigi reaches the cage, there will be no entrance, but if he climbs higher, he can find a ? Block. Opening it reveals a Power Flower, which grants Luigi invisibility. Luigi will then free-fall from where he got the Power Flower, and land into the cage. He can then get the Star once he is inside.

Star 2: The Pit and the Pendulums (N64) / The Pendulum Switch Star (DS)

For this mission, Mario should follow the same path as in the previous mission. This time, however, Mario should continue past the cage. Once Mario reaches the top of the pole, he should head left. Eventually, he will come to a place that contains two pendulums. Navigating his way through, he will reach the next Power Star. It is easier to enter Tick Tock Clock when the clock minute hand is on "12" and make the pendulums and the other parts freeze.

The name of this mission is a pun on the short story The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe.

In the DS remake, the second Star is called The Pendulum Switch Star, since it requires stepping on a Switch Star and going through the pendulums to reach the Star in the Star Sphere before it disappears. The player should climb the clock the same way as in Super Mario 64. Then, when he reaches the top area, he should be able to find the Star Switch. Pressing on it, a Star will appear in the Star Sphere. A fast-speed character is recommended (though it's possible with any character), as the Star will fade away after only about 10 seconds. After the Star appears, the player should run over to the pendulum area and collect the Star before the timer runs out.

Star 3: Get a Hand

This time, Mario should re-enter the stage making sure not to have the clock's minute hand on "12". He will need to have the clock moving. The player should have Mario travel up to the large platform and wait for the large hand to to pass by. Mario will need to jump onto it and ride it until it brings him to the little alcove with the Power Star in it. There is another (easier) way to get the Star. The player can see this Star from the cage with the first star. Just jump off, slide down and the player can drop into the alcove. A third, but harder and faster way is stepping onto a Heave-Ho in the right position. The Heave-Ho will directly fling Mario into the Star. In the remake, a fourth way is to use Luigi's backwards-somersault to float to the Star; this notably can work even if the clock's minute hand lands on "12".

Star 4: Stomp On the Thwomp

For Mario to acquire this Star, he will need to ascend up the path to the flagpole. Once he has climbed it, Mario should head left and follow his way up around the clock. Eventually he will reach the top, where there is another clock hand. Riding it will take him to a conveyor belt with a Thwomp at the end. Jumping atop it will take Mario high enough to jump the next Star.

It is possible (but not mandatory) for a skilled player to get this Power Star with the clock stopped. To do so, the player must rely on a series of high jumps and wall-jumps, requiring even the use of triple-jumps at times. It is also possible to be thrown at the Star by a Heave-Ho. This is also possible in the remake, if the player gets a Power Flower as Mario they can float to the Star.

Star 5: Timed Jumps on Moving Bars

In order to find the Star for this mission, Mario must go to the right (above the 2 pendulums in the pit and the pendulums mission) and jump on a series of bars that jut out and sink back in to the wall. After clearing these bars Mario will come to a platform with the Power Star on it. In the DS version, a black Block is added, making Wario have to do the mission, though Luigi can also reach it with a Power Flower if the player is fast enough. One bar was also removed, so there are two bars instead of the original three.

Star 6: Stop Time For Red Coins

Heading right from the entrance, Mario should see many green bars and a bunch of Red Coins. Normally the platforms would be rotating, but if Mario was to enter the level when the minute hand was on "12", they will be stationary (making it much easier to get the Coins). After the last Coin is found, the Power Star will appear above the Star Marker. While difficult, it is possible to collect this Star with the platforms rotating.

Star 7 (DS): Tick Tock Silver Stars

At the Starting point, the player will have to go to the right. Silver Stars will, at some point, fall and bounce around. After collecting five of these, the Power Star will appear. Some Bob-ombs fall from the platforms overhead, with their fuses already ignited, so the player will have to avoid being caught in the explosions and losing Silver Stars in the process. If a Silver Star falls into the pit at the bottom of the clock, it will respawn at the top.

Enemies

Statistics from Super Mario 64

  • Total Number of Coins: 128
  • Caps Found: (none)
  • Spinning Heart: #1 : Near the start point, on a lower platform, under spinning platforms with the Red Coins. #2: On the mesh right after the pole.
  • Cannons: (none)
  • 1-Up Mushrooms (4):
    • Homing Mushrooms : #1 In the pole before the second spinning heart.
    • Triggered Mushrooms : #2 After the pole, climb up the elevator. The mushroom is activated by standing on the three moving bars. The 1-Up appears on the platform after them.
    • Box Mushrooms : #3 Near the top point of the clock, the box is on a platform accessed by three turning platforms. #4 Near #3, on a separate mesh platform in the middle of the clock. Accessed by dropping from above or long-jumping from near the two turning platforms.
  • Warps : (none)

Trivia

  • The Mario Party 3 minigame, "Tick Tock Hop", takes place on the clock's painting from Super Mario 64.

In the DS version, the level has been quite altered, including removing fog and triangular obstacles, and re-positioning several areas.

  • This is one of the only two main courses in the DS version with both a Switch Star and Silver Star. The other is Shifting Sand Land.
  • In the Mario Party 8 minigame "In the Nick of Time", the clock looks a little bit similar.
  • In the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack in Minecraft, there is a painting of the entrance to Tick Tock Clock.
  • Luigi's Top Gear Sentry weapon in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle references Tick Tock Clock, as the description mentions that the gear wheels on the weapon were taken from an old clock tower at Peach's Castle.
  • This is the only level in the games that can be modified by the results of jumping in the painting.

See also

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