World 4 links the passage of time to the player character's location on the horizontal plane. As the player moves toward the right, time flows forward, while moving toward the left reverses the flow; standing still or moving vertically will pause time. The player's location must be carefully managed in relation to enemies and objects.
Visiting his parents' home for a holiday meal, Tim felt as though he had regressed to those long-ago years when he lived under their roof, oppressed by their insistence on upholding strange values which, to him, were meaningless. Back then, bickering would erupt over drops of gravy spilt onto the tablecloth.
Escaping, Tim walked in the cool air toward the university he'd attended after moving out of his parents' home. As he distanced himself from that troubling house, he felt the embarrassment of childhood fading into the past. But now he stepped into all the insecurities he'd felt at the university, all the panic of walking a social tightrope.
Tim only felt relieved after the whole visit was over, sitting back home in the present, steeped in contrast: he saw how he'd improved so much from those old days.
This improvement, day by day, takes him ever-closer to finding the Princess. If she exists — she must! — she will transform him, and everyone.
He felt on his trip that every place stirs up an emotion, and every emotion invokes a memory: a time and a location. So couldn't he find the Princess now, tonight, just by wandering from place to place and noticing how he feels? A trail of feelings, of awe and inspiration, should lead him to that castle: in the future: her arms enclosing him, her scent fills him with excitement, creates a moment so strong he can remember it in the past.
Immediately Tim walked out his door, the next morning, toward whatever the new day held. He felt something like optimism.