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Tim is the protagonist and main character in Braid. The player controls Tim using the arrow keys to move and the Space Bar to jump. Pressing Up or Down usually makes him look up or down, however Up activates levers and doors if Tim is standing in front of one, and in World 6 Down sets down or picks up the magic ring. He is simultaneously the hero and (unknowingly) the villain.
Tim's occupation and much of the main details his personal life is unrevealed during the game, but vague allusions to both are viewed through the events of the story, mainly during the prologues to worlds in game.
Tim appears to be a short man of undetermined age, with straight brown-red hair and chiseled facial features. Tim's eye colour is undetermined. Throughout the game, Tim wears a navy blue/black suit jacket, white shirt, red tie (which flaps as Tim runs), grey suit trousers and black shoes. Sometimes when left to do nothing for an extended periods of time, Tim is seen straightening his tie. Tim also carries a ring (which he uses to assist in his time manipulation) but it unknown as to whether he wears it. In one of the books in the prologue to World 6 (Hesitance), it is said that Tim keeps the ring in his pocket, though no pockets are seen on his jacket or in his trousers.
Tim's main power, and the crux of the game, is his ability to manipulate time, activated by holding down Shift. Tim can reverse, forward (up to the original point at which time manipulation was activated), and freeze time. Reversing time undoes everything that has happened, until the player releases Shift. Forwarding time is useful if Tim has reversed time too much, allowing Tim to accurately pinpoint a specific point in time and henceforth continue gameplay. Green Glow elements are unaffected by time manipulation. This allows Tim to undo mistakes or miscalculations, and has further, more complex effects in later worlds of the game.
Because of his power, Tim cannot die. If any action causes Tim to die (such as hitting a spike), he will fall to the bottom of the screen, but then time will pause and an indication to press Shift will appear. Therefore, Tim has no health, lives, or other such statistics as commonly found in other games. There is also no "Game Over" screen.