Video Game / A Hat in Time

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A Hat in Time is a game from independent developer "Gears for Breakfast". It stars a petite time-traveller named Hat Kid who is trying to get back home on her space ship. But while passing over a planet, a confrontation with a member of a Mafia ends up with her Time Pieces, which is likewise the fuel for her ship, being sucked off the ship and scattered around the planet. Now she must explore the local planet for her missing Time Pieces if she wishes to get back home. Using her platforming abilities and the magic abilities of the hats she can wear, Kid travels across strange and varied locales of the planet, unwittingly getting involved in certain situations along the way.

A Hat in Time is a Spiritual Successor and Genre Throwback to the collect-a-thon Platformers of The Fifth Generation of Console Video Games, including Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro the Dragon, and Donkey Kong 64, though with a brightly colored cel-shaded visual style reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

The game was released in October 5, 2017 for PC, Mac, and was released on December 5, 2017 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This game contains examples of the following tropes:

  • 11th Hour Superpower: In the final phase of the fight against Mustache Girl, the various baddies cheering you on decide to pummel each other to give you constant health power-ups, thus granting you regenerating health.
  • Achievement Mockery:
    • The "Why" achievement, earned by typing something immature into Hat Kid's computer or responding to a CAW agent's question in a similar manner.
    • The "False Detective" achievement is unlocked by completing Murder on the Owl Express without getting any clues. The achievement description contains the phrase "you suck" in brackets.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final fight, when Mustache Girl abuses the Time Piece power.
  • Ambiguous Situation: During the ending, you have the option of whether or not you decide to give a Time Piece to the unconscious Mustache Girl. What her reaction is and what she'll do with it is left to the player's imagination.
  • Anachronic Order: A minor version; the first four Acts of Mafia Town are done in order, but the next Acts revealed are 7 and 6 (the latter requiring Pons to be unlocked). Beating them both unlocks Act 5, which requires a hat from Chapter 4.
    • It is impossible to complete one of the missions in Chapter 2 without an item from Chapter 3. Which also means you can't reach the Chapter 2 boss without starting Chapter 3.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Upon collecting your 25th Time Piece, there is a brief sequence where you play as Mustache Girl looting Hat Kid's spaceship.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Hat Kid can collect and wear quite a lot of different hats and other accessories. Hats and badges give extra abilities, so they're not just for show. On the other hand, variant hat designs and alternate outfit palettes are purely cosmetic.
  • Anti-Hero: Hat Kid is collecting Time Pieces to get back home, and shows no interest in sticking around and fighting crime any longer than she has to... much to Mustache Girl's chagrin. Hat Kid will even assist the Mafia if it leads to getting a Time Piece back.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: While players have to start from the beginning after dying in a boss battle, each boss phase is shortened slightly after the Hat Kid beats it.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Various boss themes starts cranking out the rock for some blood-pumping butt-kicking.
  • Ax-Crazy: Mustache Girl's first two plans for dealing with the Mafia are "strangle them with their own ties", and "beat them into a literal paste, then sell the paste for profit".
  • Badass Adorable: Hat Kid and Mustache Girl.
  • Badass Cape: Hat Kid again.
  • Bald of Evil: Most members of the Mafia of Cooks are bald.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: The game begins with a Mafia member invading the ship from outside, Hat Kid being dragged into space by the Mafia's idiotic move, and Hat Kid herself surviving atmospheric re-entry. On top of that, in the ending, Hat Kid opens a window on her in-flight spaceship, and has a one-sided conversation with the characters clinging on.
  • Big Bad: Mustache Girl is the main antagonist of the game.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Queen Vanessa's Manor.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Hat Kid manages to recover her Time Pieces and undo the damage done by Mustache Girl's actions. Hat Kid is finally able to continue her trip back home before having a tearful farewell to her friends.
  • Bleak Level: Downplayed with Subcon, in that while it's still dark and dreary, it's also the part of the game that's at the point where the humor is at its most pitch black. Played straight, however, with "Queen Vanessa's Manor", which distinctly lacks the sense of humor in the game, and a lot of it is spent hiding from an enemy Hat Kid has absolutely no chance of winning against in a straight fight.
  • Book Ends: The game begins with a Mafia member coming up to Hat Kid's spaceship, derailing her trip home. The game ends with the various villains that Hat Kid has faced coming up to convince her to not leave the planet, almost derailing her trip home again.
  • Border Patrol: The robot torpedo shark that patrols the waters around Mafia Town and keeps you from swimming out too far. Also serves as a kind of Broken Bridge in the beta, since it forces you to buy boat tickets to visit the outermost islands around the town.
  • Boss Subtitles: In the Alpha, the battle against the TNT-toting Mafia members gets a subtitle. However, both the Beta and the final release don't have subtitles for the mini-bosses or bosses.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Hat Kid shows quite a bit of brattiness in certain parts of the game (like when she angers a mafia by sticking her tongue out at him).
  • Brick Joke: Very early in the game, Mustache Girl says she plans to squash the Mafia to a pulp — literally — and turn them into a paste to sell. The defeated Mafia boss later shows up as a pair of eyes floating in a paste of his own pulp, somehow still alive, conscious, and quite angry but otherwise not too perturbed by the whole situation.
  • But Now I Must Go: Played with in the ending. Hat Kid has no gripes with booting off the villains clinging to her spaceship and begging her to stay. However, she does get a tear in her eye right before flying back home.
  • But Thou Must!: The Snatcher makes Hat Kid an offer she can't refuse once she first sets foot in Subcon Forest (stealing her soul and forcing her to do his dirty work). The player can try to decline, but The Snatcher eventually gets fed up and straight-up kills Hat Kid if she refuses to sign the contract too many times.
    • Despite there being an achievement for failing to find any evidence in the Murder on the Owl Express mission, the game always defaults to the Conductor being an available suspect, and there's no actual ending for finding no evidence and no choice to pick no one at all. Why? Well because otherwise it wouldn't be much of a movie.
  • Cel Shading: As aforementioned, this game uses the impressive cel shading similar to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker; heck, many people have compared Hat Kid to Toon Link due to this similarity in the graphic style. She can even get a Palette Swap that very closely resembles Toon Link.
  • Controllable Helplessness: The first encounter with The Snatcher involves being caught in an inescapable tarp trap, though the player can still mash the attack button to struggle.
  • Cool Mask: All of the Forest Dwellers wear animal masks (possibly because they have no faces otherwise). Hat Kid can even wear some of them herself.
  • Credits Running Sequence: Hat Kid in the credits.
  • Crossover: Some of the Workshop content by the developers themselves includes hats or badges based upon other Indie Games, with their own abilities, such as Raz's helmet with the levitation ball, or Lilac's earpieces with the Dragon Cyclone (which actually has a unique voice clip of Hat Kid saying "Cyclone!").
  • The Cutie: Hat Kid, obviously!
  • Damsel in Distress: The second encounter with Mustache Girl involves saving her from the Mafia.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Mustache Girl's motivation. She finds out that the Time Pieces can rewind time, and wants to become a time-travelling crime fighter to defeat the Mafia. Hat Girl doesn't agree with this plan, needing them for different reasons, which makes them enemies.
  • Deal with the Devil: To the point of parody with The Snatcher seeming to use contracts as a form of base-level negotiation that can otherwise be done via word of mouth.
  • Death Course: One located in a train, of all places.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Most enemies tend to burst into Pons when defeated. Bosses seem to be immune to this, with the exceptions of the Toilet of Doom, and the head of the Mafia, whose remains are then jarred by Mustache Girl.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • There's an achievement literally called Sequence Breaking for if you get the first Time Piece without running into Mustache Girl (by jumping up the wall to your left upon loading in). There's also one for inputting something inappropriate whenever the game lets you enter text.
    • In the third act of Mafia Town, if you reach the paranoid Mafia who has the Time Piece without getting covered in mud — which you have to actively be trying to do, because there are mud puddles all around the place, including right in front of the two ways leading to said Mafia — he won't react to you, instead just muttering about mud-covered aliens to give you a clue.
    • In an Easter Egg location, you can find Hat Kid's diary using the Ice Hat, but you're only likely to get it in Chapter 2 at the earliest. Hat Kid actually has diary entries for the very first Acts of the game, which are otherwise impossible to read without using console commands or waiting for New Game+.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: The beach where the race is held is bordered by signs saying "sod off." Given that one of their staff members is British, it's possible that they were trying to Get Crap Past The Radar... or said British member trolled them into it.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In the final Act of Subcon Forest, Hat Kid defaces the contract The Snatcher gave her and pre-stamped, making it give her full access to the area and become The Snatcher's BFF.
  • Distant Finale: The ending of the Alpha Build. After completing the two storyline missions included in the game, you get a nice "Thank you for playing the alpha build of A Hat in Time!" message. Suddenly, the game shifts to a new location in the middle of a dark, snowy street somewhere in what appears to be another planet. A bookstore's door opens, and out steps who appears to be Hat Kid... Only she's very much not a kid anymore. She can walk around the quiet, snowy street corner, but she can't jump or use any of her abilities. Eventually, she can walk up to the window of the bookstore, which appears to be displaying several books of fairy tales, to see the credits. The same ending appears in the Beta build, after completing the final level of that build.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Tim, the CEO of Time. However, he does not make an appearance outside of production art.
  • Egopolis: Mafia Town. Also, Mustache Girl's Castle in the finale.
  • Earn Your Fun: For people that want the characters to start Speaking Simlish, the Banjo-Kazooie mumble is done via a purchasable badge, and it's one of the most expensive badges of all.
  • Enemy Mine: The Final Boss sees Hat Kid working together with her former enemies to defeat Mustache Girl and make her get lost.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: DJ Grooves, a penguin with Cool Shades, a nice vest, and a generally calm, cool personality.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Once upon a time, Queen Vanessa was Princess Vanessa. Then she was crowned queen... And thanks to the loss of her cute, sparkly title, everything went downhill from there.
  • Evil Brit: Mustache Girl, at least when she has proper voice acting.
  • Evil Chef: The Mafia of Cooks is composed of them.
  • Expy:
    • "Murder on the Owl Express" features "CAW Agents", anthropomorphic crows wearing trench coats, that are trying to investigate the murder on the Owl Express, but come off as creepy and awkward, due to constantly asking suspicious questions, but also come off as rather stupid and ineffectual, similar to the G-Men.
    • One has to wonder if Snatcher was ever locked in an ominous black chest...
  • Face–Heel Turn: Mustache Girl starts as a friend, but later works against Hat Girl due to different motivations.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: The Mafia of Cooks. Their criminal activities involve beating up barrels dressed as old ladies (to intimidate people) and punching seagulls for eating their fish, and they won't harm Hat Kid unless she attacks them first (well, usually).
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: A timeline in which Mustache Girl passes judgement over all.
  • First Person Snapshooter: A camera collectable in Mafia Town allows the player to take pictures.
  • Game Mod: The Steam version was updated with official Workshop support, allowing for new hats and stages. The first two mods are a hat based off Razputin Aquato's Aviator Helmet, and a badge that gives Hat Kid Sash Lilac's Cyclone ability (with exclusive voiced dialogue on top).
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: A couple of bits of dialogue lampshade the fact that Hat Kid is a Heroic Mime.
  • Genre Savvy: The Snatcher refuses to turn blue after his attacks, making him invincible for a while. To bypass this, Hat Kid tosses a vial of blue liquid from one of his attacks on him, meaning that he's always blue, and thus always available to hit.
  • Get Out: The Snatcher, after being defeated by Hat Kid, tries to get her to leave via a contract that has this as its terms.
    • Get Out
    • Just Get Out
  • Girliness Upgrade: In the Alpha and Beta Build's Distant Finale, An older Hat Kid traded in her childhood top hat for a bonnet.
    • In a downplayed example, you can use alternative hat and clothing appearances to make Hat Kid as tomboyish or girly as you want, including making her entire wardrobe bright pink with a ladybug headband.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • One of the Mafia Town hourglasses in the Beta requires you enter a pipe & complete an obstacle course like the ones in Super Mario Sunshine. It's a really small pipe in a very remote location. Somewhat helped by the fact that there are some orbs inside it, and the fox mask (apparently) glows green when near secrets, but there's still the problem that it's tiny and remote. However, the final game changes it up, as instead there's what could only be described as a time portal in it, plus the Act Select screen allows you to view a photo hint as to where the portal is.
    • A few players failed a few times before realizing that, despite the fact that it could be easily done without it, a late game grapple point requires the use of the Time Slow hat.
    • It's not made clear that talking to the "dog" that you save in "Murder on the Owl Express" gives you evidence with which to accuse someone at the end of a level.
    • To progess to other acts in Subcon Forest, Hat Kid needs to activate some of the Snatcher's traps to sign more contracts, though it's never explained where they are.
  • Girls with Moustaches: The main villain is like this. She's even called Mustache Girl.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Hat Kid begins the beta build sleeping, before being startled awake by her radio. And by startled awake, we mean launching out of her bed in surprise.
  • Goomba Stomp: Hat Kid's other primary form of offence besides her umbrella. Some enemies require you to use both to defeat them.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The Time Pieces, badges, hats, relics... neckties? The backer alpha reveals that red ties were a currency you can trade for items. However, as of the final game, the ties have been removed as a currency, leaving just Pons.
    • In the movie levels of Chapter 2, there are collectable tokens of The Conductor's or DJ Grooves' head, dependant on the mission, which Hat Kid can collect. Each one increases the final score she gets for that level.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The umbrella eventually gets an upgrade allowing for grappling to certain points.
  • Harmless Freezing: Hat Kid can turn herself into an ice sculpture with a Ground Pound when using the Ice hat, which allows her to dive underwater and bounce on blue platforms that spring her to a specific place.
  • Heroic Mime: Hat Kid doesn't say anything during cutscenes, which Mustache Girl lampshades early on. Outside cutscenes, though, she'll say some intelligible words and phrases, such as counting certain collectibles out loud.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: See the Medium Awareness entry below. Played with, though, as they know Hat Girl's victory means undoing their deaths.
  • Hub Level: Thanks to a Kickstarter stretch goal, Hat Kid's spaceship is this.
  • An Ice Person:
    • Hat Kid can turn herself into an ice statue when she uses the Ice Hat.
    • Queen Vanessa's gaze turns her victims to ice. Her mansion is even decorated with several of her... trophies.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: All of the Mafia Goons are identical (except for slight differences in clothing) and all refer to themselves as "Mafia".
  • Informed Obscenity: According to DJ Grooves, "peck" is considered an obscene word to birds, and he admonishes The Conductor for frequently peppering it into his speech.
  • Interface Screw: If Queen Vanessa steps within a hallway's length of you, the screen turns dark purple and vibrates and shakes intensely.
  • Interface Spoiler: It's easy to guess Mustache Girl isn't going to stay on your side if you die before she renounces her friendship with you, due to her face being the "game over" fadeout.
  • Item Get!: Hat Kid performs one a la Super Mario 64 when she collects a Time Piece.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Snatcher's only weakness is fire.
  • Knight Templar: Mustache Girl's grievances with "bad guys" goes far past simple distaste.
  • Left the Background Music On: In the "Train Rush" act, you can actually see the owls providing the music as Hat Kid races to the goal.
    • During the Grand Parade act, you lead a marching band who provides the background music for the level. And when they return during the act boss battle, the music immediately switches to a big band version of the song that had been playing.
  • Lethal Chef: According to Cooking Cat in one Mafia Town mission, the Mafia of Cooks really sucks at the "cook" part of their name.
    Cooking Cat: I'm fairly certain someone would die if they ate Mafia-prepared food!
    Hat Kid's description: This appears to be the Mafia's excuse for food. It certainly doesn't smell like it, though. You could probably taste some, but you're not sure that's something you want in your obituary.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Mafia Town becomes this in one Act, due to faucets connected to a volcano. Sizzling Lava Split, Ember Summit, and The Lava Cake sections in Alpine Skylines. Also, the final level/whole world in Mustache Girl's timeline.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: When Hat Kid sits down on a chair, the music slows down and drops in pitch.
  • Little Miss Badass: Hat Kid and Mustache Girl are both pretty tough for little girls.
  • Living Shadow: The Snatcher.
  • Loophole Abuse: In "Queen Vanessa's Manor", Hat Kid is contractually forbidden from using her hat's special abilities inside the Manor. She can, however, use the Dweller Mask, but it doesn't do much aside from show off mad ramblings in the in-universe language of the game, and the outline of someone who was shackled in the basement.
  • The Lost Woods: The Subcon Forest.
  • Made of Explodium:
    • The Brewing Hat allows Hat Kid to mix chemicals in a flask and use them as homemade grenades.
    • When a dweller possesses a giant cherry, it becomes a cherry bomb far more potent than the explosives Hat Kid makes from her Brewing Hat. It is powerful enough to harm Hat Kid and demolish blocks of ice that she normally can't break.
  • Mascot Mook: Mafia well aware of how tied Mafia is to game's public image.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Hope the Owl Express wasn't taking passengers the same days it's used for filming. Because if it was, it would do a horrible, horrible job of it when it comes to how it appears in "Train Rush".
  • Medium Awareness: During the final battle, the basic enemies you've met throughout the game willingly start punching each other to make themselves explode into health pickups for you.
  • Mister Big: The head of the Mafia of Cooks is substantially less heavily-built than his underlings.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first world is bright and colorful. The third is dark and creepy.
    • As for the second, it's literally split down the middle between Western thriller and Disco Moon Metropolis action, due to two competing directors.
  • Morton's Fork: After you hit the boss of Battle Of The Birds enough times, he halts the fight and explains why he wants the Time Piece. He asks if you could possibly spare just this one Time Piece, and end this pointless fight. If you choose "No", the boss fight continues as before. If you choose "Yes", he thanks you for your generosity... then adds that you know too much and need to die anyway, and then the boss fight continues as before.
  • Multiple Endings: "Murder on the Owl Express"'s denouement changes slightly depending on who you accuse of being the murderer:
    • The CAW Agents: They note that they have had a very slow few weeks, and did the murder just so that they could get paid.
    • The Express Owls: They murdered Robin, the victim, because he was chewing gum with his mouth open.
    • The Conductor: He complains about how the accusation doesn't make sense, before ultimately deciding to just roll with it, and goes on a loud outburst about how he committed the crime, and goes onto say that he didn't want to be the villain of his own movie.
    • Hat Kid: The Conductor goes on a rant about how Hat Kid hates public transportation, and goes so far as to say you cannibalized the victim's corpse, even though the body is just fine.
    • "Auntie": "She" speaks with the voice of DJ Grooves, and says that he was just trying to help keep the film interesting.
    • The Victim: He just didn't want to clean the floor, and tried to fake his death.
  • Mustache of Evil: Mustache Girl, according to a description on the site, is all but stated to be the Big Bad. She also, as her name states, has a mustache.
  • Never Trust a Title: Hats are indeed quite important, but besides the game description calling Hat Kid a time traveler and the fact that the time pieces can rewind time (which in itself doesn't affect anything in the game besides Mustache Girl's motivations and how the final level comes to be), time or time travel is never really a theme of the game.
  • New Game+: A Stretch Goal that was reached, and slated for a future content update.
  • Nice Hat: Tons of them, most notably the default Top Hat, and each of them grants Hat Kid new abilities. In the ending of the Alpha and Beta demo, the older Hat Kid now wears a feminine bonnet of the same color.
  • No-Gear Level: "Queen Vanessa's Manor" and "Your Contract has Expired" in Subcon Forest both force Hat Kid to not use a majority of her abilities pertaining to hats. Justified in both cases as a contractual obligation for the former, and The Snatcher outright stealing the hero's hats in the latter.
  • Not So Different: In spite of The Conductor and DJ Grooves being as different as night and day, they both have an extreme reaction toward winning, with both of them being willing to rewind time to get more awards and possibly kill Hat Kid in spite of helping them with their films in the first place.
  • Not What It Looks Like: A Picture Book in a Subcon Forest Time Rift shows that Queen Vanessa's obsessive tendencies began when she saw her prince holding hands with a red-haired girl. He was buying a bouquet from her to give to Vanessa.
  • Older Than They Look: The head of the Mafia of Cooks states that he hasn't see Time Pieces in Mafia Town for over a hundred years. He looks nowhere near that age.
  • One-Hit Kill: Exactly one in the game that can happen during normal gameplay. When the Possessed Outhouse creates a Big, Bulky Bomb, you have to land an attack to cancel the detonation. If you fail that, and the bomb goes off, the explosion is unavoidable and instantly kills you.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Hat Kid's maximum health will be reduced to one when she is equipped with a 1-Hit Hero badge. There is an achievement that can be unlocked by defeating a boss with it.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Hat Kid is just Hat Kid. Same goes for Mustache Girl.
  • Oxygen Meter: A rare case where drowning can happen both below and above the surface, as it's more of a swim stamina meter, and Hat Kid can only dive underwater from a long fall or by using the Ground Pound her Ice Hat's statue form, with the only option from there being to rise back to the surface with the jump button. After a few seconds of swimming, Hat Kid starts flailing around in a panic and 4 bubbles appear and drain away. You have to touch land in order to restore the meter back to normal.
  • Parasol of Pain: Hat Kid's umbrella, which has various upgrades including a hook shot and a pogo bounce.
  • Parasol Parachute: Hat Kid's umbrella can do this if a certain badge is equipped.
  • Pet the Dog: At the very end of the game, you can choose to leave one Time Piece behind for Mustache Girl to defeat the Mafia with, at the risk of not getting all the way back home.
  • Playing with Fire: The Fire Spirits.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: During the ending, a Mafia member, Cooking Cat, The Snatcher, The Conductor and DJ Grooves cling onto Hat Kid's spaceship begging her not to leave before being pushed off by her with a broom.
  • Plot Coupon: The Time Pieces.
  • Press X to Die: Refusing The Snatcher's first contract enough times causes him to outright kill Hat Kid... though thankfully, she has infinite lives.
  • Psycho Strings: Queen Vanessa's theme picks these up the closer she draws to you.
  • Racing Minigame: In the Beta, there's one in Mafia Town against a Mafia member with a balloon, and another is a footrace with a cat. In this case, Cutting the Knot with a teleporter seems to be the more desirable solution.
    • In the full release, there is just one Mafia Town race, against a Mafia with a rocket. Cheating with the time-slowing hat from the fourth world is recommended, the game even warning you if you don't have it when attempting the Act.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: A gauge appears when Hat Girl and Mustache Girl first become friends, the bar reaching halfway. After the latter's Face–Heel Turn, the bar shoots out of the gauge and beyond the screen in the opposite direction, before the whole thing blows up.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Queen Vanessa.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Conductor is the red while DJ Grooves is the blue. Also, Mustache Girl is the red to Hat Kid's blue.
  • The Rival: Mustache Girl to Hat Kid. DJ Grooves and The Conductor are this to each other.
  • Room Full of Crazy: There's a small cave on Mafia Town's beach implied to be Mustache Girl's home, with graffiti of a Mafia's head with bullseye and the statement "I remember".
  • Schmuck Bait: You can high-five one Mafia, who you then play patty cake with, who then punches you in the face, dealing damage.
  • Sequence Breaking: The game encourages this, to the point where there are speedrunning tools in the options. Heck, there are a few ones put in by the devs for players to discover. For example, in Queen Vanessa's basement, get the first key, and crawl between two of the barrels, and you skip directly to the attic (where the Time Piece is).
  • Shock and Awe: The Electro Pin, which allows you to damage enemies who touch you directly.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty:
    • Some of the graffiti in Mafia Town reads, "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough." While this is a well-known chant associated with Football Hooligans, given the game's inspirations (and the fact that one of its composers is Grant Kirkhope), it's almost certainly a reference to Banjo-Tooie and how Mayahem Temple's music is a corruption of this chant.
    • The announcer for the balloon race in Mafia Town (and also for announcing the start of the parade you take part in during Chapter 2) is doing his best T.T. impression.
    • Another example in Mafia Town is the Bell Tower that Mustache Girl goes up to in the first act. If the player looks to their right while up there, they'll see a wooden board that seagulls are on. In other words, they're on a tall tower over looking the land with a perch that has birds on it.
    • Using the Fox Mask in one area of Queen Vanessa's mansion reveals a hidden drawing of Raz.
      • Some missions are in Time Rifts mixed with someone's memories, and optional collectibles create a picture book of past events, very similar to Memory Vaults in Psychonauts.
    • Secret areas that you can find are clearly a reference to the ones in Super Mario Sunshine, due to them being obstacle courses where you jump across blocks over lots of (literal) empty space. One secret stage in the beta even uses a type of block clearly taken from one of Ricco Harbor's secrets.
    • The pre-release builds of the game are subtitled "Far From Finished". Probably not a coincidence, considering that the group was known for playing the game's original alpha release.
    • Hat Kid's computer allows you to play a simple text adventure. Near the end of the game, you have the option to Go Dennis.
    • Inspecting the radio in the Engine Room reveals that Hat Kid uses it to listen to her favorite broadcasts, Acquaintances At The Table, Goodbye From Sunshine Town, and Two Brothers And Then Also A Third Additional Brother, Myself.
    • One of the alternate palettes for Hat Kid is called "Freedom" and gives her Sash Lilac's primary colors, such as her purple hair and light-blue color-coding.
    • In reference to one of the game's biggest inspirations, another alternate palette gives Hat Kid blonde hair, green hat and coat, white pants, and brown boots colored just like Toon Link.
    • And there are even a few more palettes that are shout-outs! Margin of Night changes her clothes dark red and her hair blue just like Niko, The Blood Moon gives her a red and black palette with white hair which is the same as Ragna the Bloodedge and if we count hat flairs the Brewing Hat has one that gives it pink and white stripes just like Vivian.
    • In the final act, the Conductor delivers a long insult to Mustache Girl in a manner similar to The Scotsman.
  • Speaking Simlish: Was added as a voice acting option for reaching a stretch goal via a purchasable badge.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: You will end up having to fight either The Conductor or DJ Grooves at the end of Chapter 2 based on who won the Annual Bird Award. The other character helps defuse a bomb that the boss places on you during the fight. The boss fight itself is exactly the same, only reskinned.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The Queen Vanessa stage is more Amnesia-lite than platforming.
    • Some of the acts in Battle of the Birds involve stealth.
  • Story Branch Favoritism: While the boss fight of "Battle of the Birds" is the same, regardless of who wins, the majority of the attacks, gimmicks, and even the hitbox of the boss in the fight are based upon DJ Grooves. The Conductor's missions are also harder to get points on the first time through, while Grooves' missions are relatively straightforward.
  • Suddenly Voiced: During the above-mentioned Distant Finale, Hat Kid (now an adult) tells the owner of the bookstore she'll see them later.
  • Surprise Creepy: Queen Vanessa's Manor is far more twisted than one might expect from, well, the entire rest of the game.
  • Taken for Granite: Any victim of Queen Vanessa is turned frozen.
  • Take That!:
    • The Conductor, of "Battle of the Birds", has constantly made, according to DJ Grooves, way too many films with the same genre, plot, and setpieces, making fun of how identical a lot of Hollywood movies are. In the finale, the player can even find the Conductor's drawing board for planned movies. Hat Kid notes that the board looks like it's being drawn on by someone who's running out of ideas, and spots at least 7 instances of the word "reboot". There are also many not-so-subtle implications that his films are basically just vanity projects; the poster for a film called "Once Upon A Time on the Science Express" shows him front and center, and the character he plays in the two films Hat Kid is in is named "Savvy Train Conductor". Whether by design or coincidence, his levels take much more effort to win the award.
    • A book in the Sleepy Subcon Time Rift features a book called "Proof of Ethical Consumption Under Capitalism", but the pages are all blank.
  • Take Your Time: "Murder on the Owl Express". Hat Girl is told she only has "one owl hour" in which to find clues and solve the mystery, and as you progress through the level, the game cuts away to a clock that informs you how many "owl minutes" remain. But there isn't actually any time limit. The clock is triggered by entering certain rooms—so if you don't go into the last room, you can take as long as you like exploring the rest of the level.
  • Technician vs. Performer: The Conductor (Technician) vs. DJ Grooves (Performer).
  • Timed Mission: In "Train Rush", The Conductor deliberately rigs his train with explosives, so he can film the resulting action scene. Hat Girl accidentally triggers the countdown, then must race to the front of the train to shut off the bomb before it blows sky-high. (The Beta version plays out slightly differently: The Conductor mistakes Hat Girl for Mustache Girl and activates the self-destruct himself to stop her.)
  • Time-Limit Boss: The Chapter 2 boss has a phase where they apply a bomb to Hat Kid. Hitting the boss ten times within the 80-second limit will trigger a friendly NPC to defuse the bomb.
  • Toilet Humor: There's a haunted outhouse in the third level. The haunted toilet is apparently so menacing it gets its own Leitmotif and boss fight.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: The standard Mafia members have huge arms and tiny feet.
  • The Unintelligible: It's possible to buy and equip a badge that turns all speech into mumbles, making everyone this. Additionally, there's a strange written language seen in some parts, such as Hat Kid's signature on the Snatcher's contracts and using Dweller vision near a wall in Queen Vanessa's attic.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: The conductor does it a lot. Especially in Murder on the Owl Express, where the word "murder" has more Rs nearly every time he says it & sometimes even some extra Es.
The Conductor: That's what a mierrrrrdarrrrrrarrrrr would do!''
  • Variable Mix: Used in a similar fashion to Banjo-Kazooie, with the instrumentation of the level theme changing in different areas.
    • Additionally, several areas will add a strong drumbeat and some new instruments to their song when you are on the scooter. And the music becomes distorted whenever you use the Dweller Mask or the Time Stop Hat.
  • Video Game Dashing: One badge gives a dashing ability as long as Hat Kid has energy in the beta. In the final game, you can get a new hat very early on — in fact, you can get enough yarn to stitch it as early as the first level — which gives you the ability to dash as much as you like. A badge upgrades the hat so that Hat Kid rides a scooter when using the hat's ability, with the music changing as well.
  • Video Game Flight: Hat Kid can jump on firecracker rockets to fly. Most of them have a limited fuel supply and will kick her off rather quickly, good mostly for getting a good look at the level, but you can use one with a much larger fuel supply to race a Mafia goon with a balloon.
  • Voice Grunting: One of the options for the game allows you to make spoken dialogue into the characters making various grunts and noises, Banjo-Kazooie style.
  • Weakened by the Light: Being a Living Shadow, The Snatcher isn't very fond of bright light in the prerelease versions. This is incorporated into a puzzle in Queen Vanessa's mansion, where timed light-switches must be flicked so that they flash when The Snatcher is near them. In the final game, the Snatcher has nothing to do with the mansion, though, and the closest thing to him being weakened by light is that he's unable to enter the parts of the forest under the control of the fire spirits.
  • Wham Shot: In the Sleepy Subcon Time Rift, collecting all the pictures there shows what happened to Subcon, Queen Vanessa, and the Prince she loved, and the ninth page shows the prince, in the darkness, with the familiar yellow eyes and silhouette of the Snatcher.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Are the Mafia of Cooks Russian? ...Italian? ...Well, they're some nationality.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The fourth world, Alpine Skyline, foregoes the mission-based structure of previous areas and has Hat Kid freely roam for her Time Pieces.
  • Yandere: Queen Vanessa. Reading her letters and diaries around her mansion reveals that she freaked out when she was crowned as queen because it meant she couldn't be a pretty princess any more, and she apparently cut off all her lover's hair in his sleep and dyed it so it would match hers perfectly. She also banned bacon from the house because she thought he loved it more than her, and has apparently had thoughts of chaining him up in the basement so he can't escape. Reading the pictures you earn from the purple time rift, you learn that eventually, she really did lock him in the dungeon, all due to a tragic misunderstanding.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Snatcher popped his last minion's head off when their services were complete, and attempts to kill Hat Kid when all her contracts are fulfilled.
  • You No Take Candle: The Mafia of Cooks talk like this.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: After clearing the first five Acts of "Battle of the Birds", Act 6 consists entirely of you getting a Time Piece from the director that you helped. Then you get a phone call on Hat Kid's spaceship, informing you that the ceremony was rigged, and revealing that you still have to do the real Act 6.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/AHatInTime