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"In desperation, world leaders turned to their last chance: an ancient artifact called the 'Time-Lock'. They believed this relic from a long forgotten race was a portal to a point in ancient history, and their only chance for survival. If only they knew how to turn it on."
―Narrator describing the Time-Lock in Serious Sam 3: BFE.[src]

The Time-Lock is a mysterious device that is capable of sending someone back in time, more specifically back to the date it was armed. It can accept organic and inorganic matter, but it will usually strip off any large inorganic objects on someone when they use it.


The Time-Lock is basically a time machine, and appears to require an immense amount of power, as there are two generators dedicated to powering it, with one in Karnak and another one in Luxor. This isn't the case in other games the Time-Lock appears in.


The device was created by an unknown species, but discovered by the Sirians while exploring the galaxy. During Mental's siege on the Sirians, they sent the Time-Lock to Earth, a planet they were just starting to explore, to prevent it from falling into Mental's hands. After the fall of Sirius, the last remaining Sirians decided to arm the Time-Lock to their time in case it was needed by the humans for whatever reason. After being armed, the Time-Lock was buried in the Temple of Hatshepsut, and it was lost for many, many generations.


Serious Sam 3: BFEEdit

Time-Lock SS3

The Time-Lock as it appears in Serious Sam 3: BFE.

In Serious Sam 3: BFE, the Time-Lock is a massive machine that can safely fit multiple people in it and is buried underneath a part of the Temple of Hatshepsut. In addition, it is colored gold and dark blue and the four towers surrounding the time-lock are designed like Egyptian human shapes.

A few millennia later, Earth was attacked by Mental. Like the Sirians, the humans were losing to the point where Mental only had to defeat Earth to succeed in the annihilation of humanity. The Earth Defense Force discovered the Time-Lock, and began making a last-ditch plan where they would insert a team via the Time-Lock in order to kill Mental in the past. However, the big problem was that the power generators were shut down, and their locations were unknown.

At the start of Serious Sam 3 BFE, Hermann Stein and his escort, Bravo Team, managed to find some clues to the generator's locations in some ruins found in a museum in Cairo but all his escorts were killed and he refused to hand the data to the HQ, so Alpha Team was send in to rescue the professor. Sam, the only surviving member of the Alpha Team, decided to rescue the professor alone, but he was too late when he discovered Stein's remains. However, Sam managed to find data of the clues and sent it back to HQ, then he left Cairo to get to the Great Pyramid.

Sam traveled to the Great Sphinx, which apparently lead to a clue. The recovered texts stated that there was something under it and that there was a way inside, but Sam took the easy way and blew the Sphinx up, which revealed the entrance to underneath the Sphinx. Sam found an old Sirian base and a hologram that showed where the Time-Lock's generators were and how to re-activate them. After he sent this information to HQ, Hellfire arrived to extract him and flew out to the first generator's location; Karnak

Activating the generatorsEdit

After Hellfire dropped Sam off in Karnak, he activated the first generator that powered the Time-Lock. After that, he traveled to Luxor and activated the second generator there as well. When both generators were operational, Quinn informed Sam that he could return to headquarters, as his mission was complete and Charlie Team was ready to deploy. After Sam destroyed an Alcor Class WarshipWilson arrived and extracted him.

Unfortunately, Quinn informed Sam that the Time-Lock failed to come online as they expected. Both of the generators were turned on but it hadn't started the Time-Lock because there was a safety switch somewhere in Philae that prevented it from activating, and Wilson changed course to drop Sam in Philae to find it. After Sam fought his way through the enemy forces, he managed to activate the safety switch in the Tomb of Sethirkopshef and thus the Time-Lock was activated. To try and prevent Sam from escaping, Mental sent out Raahloom to stop Sam. After Sam defeated Raahloom, Wilson came back for him and they both flew off to return to headquarters.

While returning to HQ, Wilson's helicopter was shot down by a Major Bio-mechanoid, sending Sam out of the helicopter. As Sam broke his comm-link in the fall, he could not establish contact with HQ. After traveling through some temples, Sam finally managed to contact HQ again. However, it turns out that Mental had launched a sneak attack on headquarters and killed Charlie Team, the group that was supposed to enter the Time-Lock, among other people.

With Charlie Team dead, Sam decided to go to the Time-Lock himself and start Charlie Team's mission. He took control of a car in a slum, then drove it to the Time-Lock until he ran out of gas. From there, he fought his way to the Time-Lock. As he reached the final stretch, he was attacked by Ugh-Zan IV. Thanks to some creative thinking, he managed to kill Ugh-Zan IV and enter the Time-Lock right before Earth was destroyed by Mental. Sam was then warped to Ancient Egypt via the Time-Lock, and started his journey to defeat Mental.

Serious Sam: The First EncounterEdit

In Serious Sam: The First Encounter, the Time-Lock is a rather small device, with a grey color and located above ground, and its towers are not shaped like a figure seen in Egyptian statues.

Serious Sam: The Second EncounterEdit

The Time-Lock plays a much larger role in Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, with several of them existing in different time periods. It seems that the Sirians created these Time-Locks (or teleported them from across another part of space), so that someone from the future could activate the backup spaceship, in case anything happened to the SSS Centerprice, a spacecraft that would be sent to Earth if a homing beacon was activated in Egypt.

After Sam activated this beacon in The First Encounter, the ship was sent to Earth and Sam managed to board it after a massive battle between Sam, Mental's forces, and Ugh-Zan III. Unfortunately for Sam, something collided with the ship where it ended up crashing in Sierra de Chiapas during the Mayan period. After the crash, NETRISCA downloaded a large quantity of data from the wreckage and told Sam about a backup spaceship that he could use to get to Sirius, though it required the Holy Grail to be activated. NETRICSA also notified Sam about the Time-Locks that were placed with each great civilization. To activate the the Time-Locks, a special item was required.

So, in order to get to the Time-Lock that was left with the Mayans, Sam traveled on foot through the Valley of the Jaguar and obtained a crystal skull; the item required to activate the Time-Lock that would take him to the Babylon era. Next, Sam headed to Teotihuacan and eventually ended up at the Sun Pyramid where the Time-Lock was located. However, little did he know was that Kukulkán, The Wind God, was guarding the portal. After Kukulkán was defeated, he saw Sam as a worthy opponent and opened the Time-Lock for him, sending him into the Babylon era. In Babylon, Sam arrives at a ziggurat, and NETRICSA says that the Babylonians left a Time-Lock in the Tower of Babel, but getting there was a long and tedious journey. Thus, Sam continued on his quest, fighting more hordes of Mental's forces through an elephant atrium, the courtyards of Gilgamesh, and then eventually to the Tower of Babel.

Once Sam arrived at the Tower of Babel, he had to find a way in, but its doors were locked. The only way in was by collecting three tablets of wisdom. After fighting more enemies and obtaining the tablets, Sam entered the tower, where he was greeted by the Exotech Larva, a large insect-like cyborg that Mental created to prevent Sam from entering the final Time-Lock. After a tough fight, Sam defeated this beast and was able to enter the Time-Lock, which sent him further in time to the medieval era, in 1138 AD. From then on, Sam defeats Mental's hordes all the way up to The Grand Cathedral, where he encounters Mordekai the Summoner, one of Mental's servants who guarded the Holy Grail. After defeating this menace, Sam obtained the Holy Grail, confessed his 'sins' to Mental, and threatened him one last time before departing to Sirius in the backup spaceship.

Serious Sam: Next EncounterEdit

In Serious Sam: Next Encounter, Mental warns the Evil Serious Sam Clone not to use his personal time-lock. However, the clone ignores his advice and hops into it, which starts the problems in Next Encounter that Serious Sam himself has to fix.

Serious Sam AdvanceEdit

In Serious Sam Advance, humanity has managed to adjust the Time-Lock so that they can warp anywhere in history. They use the Time-Lock both to explore the past and to make sure that Mental doesn't tamper with the past in any way. The game starts out with some agents from Earth disappearing during a routine time traveling trip. Sam is sent back into the past via the Time-Lock to see what happened.

Related achievementsEdit

Mission completed Mission Completed
Power up the Timelock.


List of appearancesEdit

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