World 6 provides the player with a magic ring which, when dropped, warps the flow of time. Nearby the ring, moving objects (including Tim) travel in slow motion at only one-fifth their normal speed. (In fan-made mods for the game, the ring's warp effect can be changed to instead accelerate the passage of time, freeze time entirely, or even create a bubble of reverse-time.) The regular rewind control remains available.
Perhaps in a perfect world, the ring would be a symbol of happiness. It's a sign of ceaseless devotion: even if he will never find the Princess, he will always be trying. He still will wear the ring.
But the ring makes its presence known. It shines out to others like a beacon of warning. It makes people slow to approach. Suspicion, distrust. Interactions are torpedoed before Tim can open his mouth.
In time he learns to deal with others carefully. He matches their hesitant pace, tracing a soft path through their defenses. But this exhausts him, and it only works to a limited degree. It doesn't get him what he needs.
Tim begins to hide the ring in his pocket. But he can hardly bear it — too long tucked away, that part of him might suffocate.