Is it really that time again . . . ?

Wednesday was my birthday, which means I had to play at least one Metal Gear game for a few minutes.

I went with MGSV, which asks you for your date of birth at the beginning of the game. If you happen to play it on that date, it shows you a lovely little scene:

There are several versions of this scene which play depending on who is stationed at Mother Base at the time. MGS2 also asks your DOB, and shows you a little HBD graphic if you're playing it on that day.


Tell me about time-related events. Time of day, time of year, events which occur after a certain duration.

What are other examples of games using the system clock to trigger these events?

What about seasonal or one-time-only online game events?

Animal Crossing the thread

EDIT: An elaboration down below

I don’t remember if this was based on the system date at all, but for some reason the first thing that comes to mind is the time/season-based cosmetic content in Station Square in Sonic Adventure. I was blown away by the Dreamcast launch-day signage in that game, it really felt like the future!

Sega did a lot of this stuff, and it was great. You got your Christmas Nights of course, which had special stuff on christmas, new years, april fool's, and… something else I think.

The original Nights did all kinds of stuff - play various days in october, get a halloween costume for nights and claris or elliott depending on the day (that's true in july also). april first, play as reala (same as in christmas nights), etc.

Check a full list of those features [here](

Sega Touring car had some date-specific tracks and track conditions (winter) that would unlock.

Steep Slope Sliders used the internal clock to set the time of day in the game. So did Virtua Strikers on Dreamcast.

Metropolis Street Racing did the same kinda stuff as sega touring car, and I think also time of day stuff.

PSO had some date-related stuff on dreamcast, like... valentine's day?

Sonic Adventure definitely had xmas stuff.

Seaman is entirely reliant on the internal clock for his growth, and I think says stuff to you on your birthday if he can speak by then?

The Neo Geo Pocket Color had a daily horoscope (still does, I suppose), but I can't call to mind any specific date stuff it did in games. I do know that there were kiosk demos that would tick over from saying "coming soon" to "out now" after a certain date which is cool.

I'm sure there's loads more! I feel like I remember something in fighting vipers or fighters megamix... there really should be a conclusive list of this stuff because it's one of the coolest things Sega did consistently.

happy birthday cap'n!!

In Blue Stinger you find various credit cards and withdraw their cash value from an ATM. But, if you set the Dreamcast to 12/25 or just play it on that day, you get significantly more money on your withdrawal. Maybe it‘s like the Christmas bonus of the person’s card you found?

The weird thing is this trick seems like it is going for verisimilitude with this detail but then you remember that Blue Stinger takes place at Christmas time (maybe not 12/25 exactly but somewhere in there), meaning, in-world, the cards should always give you the extra Christmas money. I guess it's more just the devs rewarding you for playing the game during the time that it takes place.

I know the Nintendo DS had you set your birthday and makes a special chime if you start it up that day. The only game I remember off the top of my head that used the birthday was Feel the Magic XX/XY which says “happy birthday” on the title screen if you play on your birthday.

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**Tengai Makyō ZERO** was the first game in the series not to release on CD-ROM; a data format which was [the series’ entire reason of being.]( To make up for this, Hudson Soft not only introduced a brand new data decompression coprocessor (the Epson SPC7110) which allowed for impressive graphics and sounds, but also took advantage of the cartridge format by including an internal clock tied to a new real time event mechanic called PLGS (for Personal Live Game System).

[upl-image-preview url=]

Here is a PV of the game which I will let run from the beginning for those who don’t know the game at all, but more specifically promotes the PLGS feature around 2m58s (it’s using the old "PLG" logo, as Hudson changed for "PLGS" at the last minute).

The video hints at a few things made possible with the PLGS. Let me repeat/clarify some of them and add a few more.

  • * The most obvious use of the clock is the passing of seasons and the celebration of special holidays in the game (typically tied to real Japanese holidays).
  • * The date and time will also affect store prices, with some shops only opening or giving discounts on certain days of the week, or only selling certain items at a specific time of the day (although there is no day/night cycle).
  • * Most of the special events are held on Sundays, to make it easier for kids to enjoy the beneficial events. The game can track the real time calendar until 2014 and will adapt the special events for each year to make sure it’s Sunday.
  • * Characters in the game will also celebrate your birthday (but note that you can only enter a birth date until 1999).
  • * There is also a pet system that requires an egg to hatch and will unlock a different pet depending on how long you let it rest before hatching.
  • * Completely unrelated to the in-game events, the PLGS will also track your biorhythm and act as a [*koyomi*]( – I do not think it impact stuff in-game such as lucky crits, but who knows… On the same page as the biorhythm / fortune-telling menu, a small trivia section will teach you some trivia on an event which happened in this date in History.
  • Tengai Makyō ZERO released on December 22nd (1995), just in time for players to celebrate Christmas and (more importantly for Japan) the New Year events and following Spring celebrations. Similar to how Shenmue was criticized for not allowing easy time manipulation / time skip, Tengai Makyō did receive some flack from certain players frustrated by the amount of content tied to a real time calendar.

    A few more games using the PLGS branding would follow. Hudson’s next big Super Famicom RPG, **Daikaijū Monogatari II**, was released in August 1996 and also boasted a PLGS logo but the feature is integrated much more superficially – and most likely belatedly – in this game, completely avoiding special holidays or seasons being reflected by the date. The clock was only used for certain side quests.

    The PLGS feature also appeared in three more SegaSaturn games, where Hudson could simply rely on the hardware’s internal clock.

    The most evident and well known case is **Tengai Makyō Dai-yon no Mukoshiroku**; the next game in the Tengai Makyō series (and personally my first hands-on encounter with the PLGS), released in January 1997. The system works pretty much the same as in Tengai Makyō ZERO, although it does remain less involved due to the cultural context of each game. ZERO relied a lot on its depiction of Japanese shrines and regional festivals to tie in its in-game events, but Dai-yon is instead set in the United States, for which Red and Hudson probably had less references.

    Nevertheless, this also means the calendar-related features are less prominent and less important to the player’s progress, and therefore act more as cool bonus features and hidden events. For instance, once they unlock the bank which allows storing their own money safely, the player will stealthily start receiving interests for their bank deposit. Advancing the internal clock a few years ahead will therefore make one super rich. Overall, I am under the impression the PLGS feature in Dai-yon was much more widely and positively accepted by Saturn players.

    Released in Summer 1997, the [multiplayer-focused board game]( **Momotarō Dōchūki** also included the PLGS to track down Japanese holidays and include special events and celebrations, Tengai ZERO-style, if you played the game on a specific holiday such as January 1st or Tanabata. Although the PLGS feature is mentioned in the manual, note that the logo is not featured on the packaging in this case.

    The final game usually mentioned as featuring PLGS is a bit more debatable and, personally, I don’t think it counts. I am only mentioning it because it usually appears in PLGS discussions among Japanese Hudson fans. In **Saturn Bomberman**, which released the closest to Tengai Makyō ZERO among the examples above (July 1996), there is something akin to a Happy Hour when one plays the story mode between 10:00AM and 11:00AM, being rewarded with more lives and power ups to begin the adventure.

    However, the “PLGS” feature is never mentioned in the game. It’s neither on the cover, nor on the back cover, nor inside the manual (unlike Momotarō Dōchūki). You may argue this was avoided on purpose to keep the feature a secret. You may also argue (as I do) this is because it’s such a minor use of the internal clock that it does not qualify as featuring PLGS.

    There is a more famous secret trick in the game: in the Battle mode (i.e. Multiplayer), you can input a secret code that allows changing the time of day in the background (①morning haze ②daytime ③evening ④night time), which in turn changes the rules and settings for each arena (e.g. adding or removing conveyor belts to the desert stage).

    If these variations had been instead governed by which real time hour of the day the game is being played, which it may very well have been initially, then I would have agreed this feature to be pretty much PLGS in all but branding. Anyhow! I don’t have a smart way in mind to end this post, but now you know (or at least maybe know a bit more) about PLGS.


    @“copySave”#p72342 Animal Crossing the thread

    Tell me more!


    @“kory”#p72347 the time/season-based cosmetic content in Station Square in Sonic Adventure

    WHAT???? Did I miss out by playing the Gamecube version 200 times?? There are other reasons I'd like to play the DC version of Sonic Adventure, and now I may just have to...


    @“exodus”#p72430 Check a full list of those features here.

    ...along with Christmas Nights of course. What a console. Good lord.




    @“Nemoide”#p72509 Nintendo DS had you set your birthday and makes a special chime if you start it up that day

    now I regret not making this thread _before_ my birthday and then trying out more of them for the occasion


    @“chazumaru”#p72516 Tengai Makyō

    This and your previous post on TM2 are putting this series in grave danger of becoming a white whale/holy grail for me... [size=10] they're just doing such cool stuff[/size]. Do these PLGS features/functions suffer at all from emulation? It occurs to me I don't know whether popular SFC emulators are able to tune into a system clock (or support virtual cartridge clocks).


    @“chazumaru”#p72516 (but note that you can only enter a birth date until 1999)

    frick yeah i made it

    happy belated birthday, @“captain”#p72786

    @“whatsarobot”#p72791 [size=30]<3[/size]

    Just remembered in Batman Arkham City, where you can visit a caged Calendar Man on various holidays and he has little lines of unique dialogue.

    Birthdays are fun. I really enjoy my birthday and I hope that you all do too. It's OK to feel a bit scared about getting older, but I think if you admit it to yourself and your family, own it a bit, then you end up getting a day that you get to make special in your own weird way.

    Happy birthday to all of my forum friends and I'll see you in January.

    @“kingnothing”#p72918 Also, in Arkham Knight, if you play the game on Halloween and you‘ve already apprehended Kirk Langstrom, you can get an extra Man-Bat jumpscare while grappling around the city, and then if you go back to check on his cell at GCPD, it’s all smashed up cause he escaped and whatnot.

    My last birthday I had a few friends over and all I wanted was to introduce Guilty Gear Strive to them, so they got hooked and bought it to play with me, but no one even wanted to try it. I was a bit bummed.

    @“Donkald Kongregate”#p72786

    Animal Crossing is pretty much designed around this concept. The games rely entirely on you having the correct day and time set on your console. The time of day in the game is reflected by the actual time it is for you and seasons change with the passing days. The in-game character Mr. Resetti is a big deal because he will accost you for using the reset button as the game does not want you to reverse any save data - you must save and quit. If you haven't played for a while, the game will recognize it and your property will overgrow with weeds, bugs infest your place and some villagers may wonder where you went.

    Every main Animal Crossing is like this.

    As the days go on over the year you can check in to see how things are going in your town and there are many special events that line up with real-world events.
    For starters, here is the list of annual events for Animal Crossing - New Horizons:
    There are usually 2-3 special events per month and they always do something special on your birthday in every game. I think they might change some stuff over time with New Horizons since it has more online features though.
    Here's a brief trailer demoing Thanksgiving and Christmas

    @“Karnovski”#p72967 My friend: add “Triangle–Square” (its two n-dashes, the forum software is marking it up into an m-dash) on PSN and start spamming Sol 6S at me.

    Also, don’t feel too bad. I tried to do that with _Capsule Force_ on **multiple** birthdays which I love to death but it’s very hard to get three other people to get over the hump on.

    @“antillese”#p73079 I gave them all of the best tips to get started and none of them really wanted to even give it a shot.

    My dream is to have a nice old fashioned winner stays on fighting game night, but no one around here likes that.

    I totally bought Capsule Force. I thought it would be so much fun but I've only ever done the training missions.

    @“Karnovski”#p72967 What the heck! The rule of birthdays is that you have to submit entirely to the whims and wishes of whoever's birthday it is! How could they not even try it?!

    My thoughts exactly. I thought with my birthday I can force people into falling in love with GG. lol