|Nature:||Luminous Barometer device that is connected to the Heart and/or Life Force of an Ultra|
|Powers:||Measures energy and/or strength levels of the Ultra|
|First Appearance:||Ultraman Episode 1|
|Status:||Naturally appearing Organ on some Ultras, surgically implanted on Showa Ultras|
An Ultra's greatest weakness is their need for solar energy. The earth's atmosphere weakens the Ultramen the longer they stay because it naturally filters out the majority of light that reaches its surface. This most likely occurs on other planets but Earth is part of a single star system, where in reality, most planets have two or three stars that they orbit. The lack of adequate amounts of sunlight and the filtering effect of the atmosphere means an Ultra can only stay on Earth for three minutes. They do not have this problem in space as long as there is an adequate light source.
This restriction, known by fans as the 'Three Minute Rule', is not a problem for all Ultras in different continuities. These Ultras have the equivalents of Color Timers either to when they have used up to much energy fighting or to signify when they are injured.
Out of universe, the color timer exists to let the viewer know when the hero is injured, tired or combination of both.
The Color Timer generally starts out blue showing that the Ultra is at full strength, when the energy gets low, it starts to flash red. It gets faster and faster until it goes out entirely. If it goes out, it may result in the Ultra's death (In the English dub of Ultraman the narrator says, "If it is to go out, it will mean Ultraman will never rise again." this was probably just for added suspense). The result of the Color Timer going out would mean the Ultra is out of energy and can no longer function, let alone fight. Their only options when this is about to happen would be to receive a large amount of energy from someone or somewhere, usually another Ultra or their human allies, revert to human form if they have one, immediately leave the planet's atmosphere or risk exhaustion and/or death. In the case of Ultraseven, the Beam Lamp on his head does not function as a gauge of his time limit as Ultraseven does not have the weakness suffered by his predecessors and the subsequent Ultras. His Beam Lamp merely functions as an indicator of how critical the danger is as shown when he was fighting the alien monster Narse. While dizzy, he was being squeezed to death and the Beam Lamp blinks, but when he regained his wits and conjured his Ultra Power it had returned to normal. This advantage was passed on to his son, Ultraman Zero.
On the Planet Ultra, the Ultras do not have this problem because of the Plasma Spark, their artificial sun that powers the planet and lights it up. The light of the Land of Light is so intense a normal human would be killed without proper protection. If the color timer was removed from the chest of an Ultra, that Ultra will be became too weak to function and be left sprawled out on the ground, showing that it is a vital Organ.
In Ultraman Zearth 2: Superman Big Battle - Light and Shadow, it was stated that the weak point of any and every Ultra is their color timer, this was shown when Zetton hit the original Ultraman in his Color Timer with a beam leaving him unable to fight even though his time was not up. The organ is shown to be intricately tied into the bodies of Ultras, when Ultraman Jack had his ripped out, his body deflated leaving only his Ultra Armor until it was returned. Other Ultras have lost their and suffered injuries that left them immobile such as Father of Ultra who ripped his out to transfer his power to Ultraman Ace resulting in him immediately collapsing. Also when ever an Ultra was victim to his energy being drained, the crime was often committed through his Color Timer, save a few exceptions such as Ultraman Tiga who had his energy drained through the Tiga Crystal. Also when the Ultra's power was being recharged it was often through their Color Timer, implying a direct link to their energy core/heart/battery/energy reserves.
In some universes the color timer does not act as a clock but a gauge on how badly weakened the Ultra is, such as the Nexus and Gaia universes. This is usually because the warning light does not measure the Ultra's store of sunlight but the strength and stamina of the host who physically transformed into the Ultra. The only known exception to this rule was Ultraman Tiga whose Human form Daigo transformed into Tiga and was plagued by the Three minute rule.
In Superior 8 Ultra Brothers, set in an alternate Universe to all others the only Ultra shown to suffer the three minute rule was Mebius who had traveled there from the Showa Universe. Even though alternate versions of Showa Ultras and Tiga and Dyna who suffered the three minute rule their alternate selves did not seem to have that problem. It should also be noted that their color timers were green not the more common blue.
The original form of the warning light, first introduced by the original Ultraman in the Showa Universe/Continuity. This object/organ has appeared on every single main and important Ultra (save Ultraseven) in the original continuity. However, despite its familiarity the Color Timer is not a naturally appearing Organ for the Residents of the Land of Light. Originally it was seen as a naturally appearing organ until the movie Ultra Galaxy Legend, where many background Ultras where clearly shown without a Color Timer. To explain this the Color Timer's history was retconned. It is now in fact one of their earliest inventions since gaining the power of Ultra. It is now known to be an artificial organ surgically implanted to any Ultra undertaking a deep space mission away from Nebula M78. This was mainly reserved for scientists on expeditions to other planets and combatant Space Rangers. Ultraseven did not posses one since he was originally a non-combatant operative of the Space Garrison, a scout, his job was to map the Milky Way Galaxy. It is interesting to note that Ultraman Leo and Astra, princes from L-77 had color timers despite not being combatants. Yullian however, being a princess did not posses a color timer.
It is shown to be heavily integrated to an Ultra's biological functions, when Jack had his stolen and Father of Ultra tore out his to give his energy to Ace, but suffered from a loss of mobility and exhaustion (Jack's body seemingly deflated leaving only the Ultra Armor until it was returned).
The Color Timer also appears in Alternate Showa Universes such as the Neos Universe (Where Neos and Seven 21 where the first and only Ultras to set foot on Earth). It also appears in the Cosmos Universe, but it is unknown if its a natural organ in that universe.
In the Nexus universe, the color timer is replaced by a natural organ known as the Energy Core. Unlike in the Showa Universe and similar Space-Time zone continuities, the Energy Core does not act as a timer, instead it reacts to the physical strength of the Deunamist (The host of Nexus) who is physically transformed into Ultraman. As its name suggests, the physical organ is a sort of window into the Ultra's body and behaves more like a heart racing from exhaustion or energy gauge than a timer. Other Ultras besides Nexus have more Color Timer like Energy Cores but they behave the same way, also in both Junis forms, a crystal appears over the Energy Core, bearing a greater resemblance to a Color Timer and take over those functions for the main Energy Core.
In the Gaia universe, the equivalent to the Color Timer was known as the Life Gauge. It appeared on Gaia and Agul because they did not require sunlight because it was stated they drew strength from the mana of the Earth and Sea respectively. Mana was the life energy of the world which they converted into light energy using some feature on their heads, the gold bands on the back of Gaia's head and the gem on Agul's forehead. The Life Gauge was for how much energy they had left, reacting when they expended more energy than what they could absorb. Due to the fact that they were constantly absorbing mana, their attacks steadily became more powerful as their stamina always increased.
Mechanical Color TimerEdit
In the 2011 Manga, which is based on the original series, the Ultraman like battle suit worn by the main character Shinjiro (the son of Shin Hayata) has a mechanical color timer. The suit was evidently inspired by the legendary giant of light himself, however that is not the only reason for its presence on the suit. The suit was powered by Specium Energy from the wearer, something that Shinjiro and his father produced in their bodies due to their Ultra DNA, which came from Ultraman. When the wearer's production of the energy dropped or the machine's consumption dropped the light turned red. With Shinjiro's new suit when this happened he could release the suit's limiter causing it absorb far more energy than it needed, giving the boy a speed and strength boost and enhancing his Specium Ray for a short time before he was left totally drained and immobile from exhaustion.
Ultras may be the only race with color timers but other Tsuburya heroes posses similar organs/devices that fulfilled the same function. Some examples would be Fireman who possesses a light between his eyes, he also possesses a three minute rule in that he cannot survive under the rays of the sun for more than three minutes due to his subterranean origins. Jumborg Ace and Nine also possess lights that flash as their energy supplies begin to dwindle.
- The Ultra N Project's version of the color timer is called an "Energy Core".
- For some reason Ultraman Max is said to have a 'Power Timer' even though it behaves just like a normal timer, with Max being bound to the three minute rule.
- At the end of the original series, it was intended that Ultraman would have died at Zetton's hands when he crushed his color timer, causing him great pain. This was abandoned by Eiji Tsuburya who thought it was too violent.
- In the Ultra Galaxy Legend movie, all the nameless Ultras did not have color timers, this was mainly due to the films budget and should not be taken on face value. It has been stated that the Color Timer only appears on Ultras that have left the vicinity of the Land of Light for deep space.
- This organ is a dangerous weak point for every Ultra. If the color timer was crushed / attacked, it can cause great pain for the Ultra and leave them paralyzed until their time runs out. The Color Timer is also a direct window into an Ultra's energy core (In some cases that's what it is called) meaning the Ultras energy reserves may be targetted directly depending on the continuity.
- This also mean that the Ultramen have the same weakness as Alien Babalou.
- Gardi is the only monster to have a color timer, that's because he is the canine equivalant of an Ultra.
- Dorobon was a monster that didnt originally have one but he stole and ripped one from Ultraman Jack. However, it made him have the same weakness as an Ultra.
|Ultramen Powers, Traits and Objects of Interest|
|Ultra Traits and abilities||Ultra Beam | Ultra's Inner Light | Color Timer | Beam Lamp | Crest Weapons | Protectors | Bracers |Solar Energy Absorption | Type changing crystal | Ultra Armor | Mental Abilities | Ultra Signs | Human Hosts/Forms | Ultraman Factor|
|Ultra related Items||Plasma Spark | Ultra Bell | Ultra Key | Transformation Items | Ultra Array | Ultraman Suit | Ultraman Title | Ultra Bracelet | Max Galaxy|