A Time Run (also Timed Run) is a gameplay mechanism that turns often simple trigger and door systems into runs against the clock. In such a timed run the player has to overcome an obstacle course, ranging from a regular passage to a trap filled path, in a given time. If the time is up, several things could happen. In some cases Lara is threatened by traps that will become deadly if she does not make it in time, in others she simply sees a timed door closing in front of her.
Timed runs are often connected to special kinds of triggers. In the classic games the Wall Lever (also known as Big Lever Switch) has often been utilised to trigger timed doors as well as regular doors. Often one of these levers could be identified as timed by trying to flip it again. In most cases timed levers could not be moved back into their starting position and one had to wait for the countdown to run down to flip it again.
The Cog Switch found in Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation is a winch based trigger and thus is only found in connection with timed events, the same goes for the Pull Switch and Turnstile Winch in Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.
A similar gameplay element is a chase in which Lara has to either run from an enemy (like the Unknown Entity in Tomb Raider Legend, Chompy in Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light or Ammit in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris), a trap (like boulders in several games), or from a collapsing or otherwise threatening environment (like in The Dragon's Lair in Tomb Raider II, in Force of Will where Lara flees from the Scavenger's Den and A Road Less Traveled where Lara has to navigate collapsing buildings at a ravine both in Tomb Raider (2013), or in Ascension in the Mountain Peak region and Shortcut in the Abandoned Mines both in Rise of the Tomb Raider).
The time run has been with us from the beginning and can be found in the very first level of the original Tomb Raider.
- The first time run can be found in the level Caves. Lara has to make a short run over non-deadly obstacles towards a closing door.
Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation
In Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation there are several timed runs, often connected to the Cog Switch.
- Guardian of Semerkhet
- The Cog Switch returns in the level Guardian of Semerkhet turning a part of the level into a timed run.
- Chambers of Tulun
- In the Chambers of Tulun Lara has to operate a [[Cog Switch[[ guarded by a Taur Demigod to open a Time Door.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
- Tomb of the Timekeeper
- In the Tomb of the Timekeeper Lara has to use a Turnstile Winch to operate a set of Folding Ledges which will be raised for a short period of time.
- Tomb of the Lamplighter
- In the second part of the level Tomb of the Lamplighter, Lara is faced with a Pull Switch that raises three sets of double Folding Ledges, which are timed. So Lara has to hurry to get across.