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As in real life, time passes in several installments of Dragon Quest. The time of day will affect how NPCs behave, which shops are open, and will trigger certain story events to take place.
It takes 88 steps to shift from day to evening, and another 32 steps for true night to set in for a total of 120 (and vice versa) Several castles will bar entry during night, claiming that the monarch has already retired.
Time will never pass in the Underworld, as it is shrouded in a veil of perpetual darkness.
IV retains the 120 step rotation in all versions, with the 3D remakes also adding early morning and evening periods to towns and castles. These new time-frames function identically to day and night respectively, with only the lighting being affected.
Time will not pass when traveling the world map as a child, with certain scenes taking place at night such as the investigation of Uptaten Towers.
Time will now pass on its own, even if the player is standing still. If the night falls or morning dawns within a town, the camera will shift to the sky for the transition and to load the new activities for the NPCs.
The night light and tick-tock do not appear, but the player can opt to rest at an inn until evening instead of morning to fly by night.
Time flows on a hidden clock as in VIII, only it will now pass during battle as well. This has no effect on an encounter aside from presentation. Time will no longer pass in towns.
Certain quests can only be undertaken at night.
Being an online game, time will pass whether the player is logged in or not. The complete shift from day to night takes 36 minutes.