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Nightmare Fuel / A Hat in Time

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  • The Badge Seller; specifically, his intentionally glitchy movements.
  • The Mafia Boss holds the honor of the only boss to die with an explosion. And it's very much a real one, as proven by the fact that the only parts left of him are his brain, eyes, mustache, and hat.
  • There's an interesting easter egg that happens when you spend more than 20 minutes in Hat Kid's room. Stay there long enough and some disturbing sounds play.; it almost sounds like something wailing in agony. Is Hat Kid hiding something on her ship?
  • Returning to Dead Bird Studio at night is a little ominous. After visiting the award ceremony and returning back to her ship, Hat Kid finds the door out of the Machine Room locked. The phone rings, and the caller is the losing director, using the creepy voice from "Murder on the Owl Express." They warn Hat Kid that the winner still has another timepiece that they intend to use for their own gain, forcing her to return to the studio. When she does, the level intro sting that plays sounds wavy and uncertain, as the cutscene showcases the now empty facility. From sets to props, almost everything is right where Hat Kid left it. As well, no one else is around, giving the feeling that the place was abandoned.
  • Subcon Forest:
    • The Snatcher. Most encounters with him make him seem like a Harmless Villain, but there's a few tense moments that stand out, such as the first encounter with him, beginning with an inescapable trap and tense music, or the sudden Jump Scare right before he negotiates one last contract after being defeated.
    "Please... *huff*... have mercy... please... HAVE A SEAT!"
    • The Fire Spirits require the sacrifice of people trapped in paintings in order to depart from the world. Judging by the expressions of the characters in the paintings, they are still conscious and very much aware of their situation.
    • There are nooses that Hat Kid can grapple on to, which quickly lift her up and start talking about how long it's been since they've last felt a good neck.
    • Queen. Vanessa. It's bad enough that you can hear her roaming the halls, calling for you, but whenever she enters the same room you're hiding in, the room darkens and... man, OH MAN. You can see what we mean at 1:45-2:09, here. And when you manage to escape her, the music still sends chills up your spine and there's still an atmosphere that gives you the feeling that Vanessa might come into the room at any moment, and Hat Kid knows it since the whole time she has a worried look on her face, almost as if she's expecting Vanessa to barge through the doors any second. Even more unsettling are the notes you find scattered around her room (2:56-3:24); particularly, the one where she mentions being jealous that her "Prince" loved bacon more than her and banned it. Or how she wished she could keep him locked in the basement, and the one where she says her mother had "something of an accident".
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    • Even the title card for her chapter shows Hat Kid hiding in terror from her as she creeps closer!
      • Fridge Horror: If you have the Dweller Mask, you'll see traces of where someone actually had been shackled to the wall in the basement. And the ghostly shadow Hat Kid meets (at 6:30-6:52) warns her of what'll happen if Vanessa finds her and mentions the Moon Jumper who ''used to'' live there. Then think back to those notes you found earlier and put the pieces together....
      • There's a painting in the Play Room that certainly qualifies: Aside from the fact that the faceless painting's subject looks suspiciously like Hat Girl, it changes.
    • The headless statues that will wait until they're offscreen before coming to life and rushing towards you; they're very fast, completely invincible, and unlike their likely inspiration, looking directly at them won't make them stop coming at you. Fittingly, unless you spend some time free-roaming the woods, the first place you'll likely encounter these will be the front door of Vanessa's manor.
    • The story of Subcon, once you finish the Sleepy Subcon time rift. It used to be a happy town ruled by Vanessa, but one day she saw her fairy-tale romance prince with another woman. In reality, the prince was just buying her flowers, but she saw him when he was handing her a coin and stormed off before seeing the rest of what happened. Heartbroken by this, Vanessa became completely blind to reason and rapidly morphed into a horrible monster, whose ambient magic turned the peaceful kingdom into a particularly vicious variant of the Lost Woods. Most of those masked spirits and the dwellers are implied to be children who were either killed or transformed, and the Snatcher is all but outright implied to be the prince who either died and became a ghost while shackled up in Vanessa's basement, or was transformed into that form while Vanessa's magic was wreaking havoc on the forest outside.
    • There is an area of the forest that looks like a fire is raging through it, and it has a creepy desolate feel to it, especially since the music changes there.
  • The finale of Alpine Skyline is a chaotic nightmare, with the goats becoming Brainwashed and Crazy, lightning striking unrelentingly and destroying the level, and the purple plants attacking with overwhelming force. To make matters better, there is no indication that all hell is going to break loose, aside from some subtle Foreshadowing after collecting each of the time pieces, especially since you don't get booted back to the hub to see the progress bar for the finale fill up like the other levels, meaning that a player that has been rather determined to find them all will likely get blindsided.
  • The pick up line for the Time Stop Yarn is this:
    "Death is inevitable, your time is valuable. It requires 32 Yarn to stitch!"
    • Lampshaded by Snatcher in Death Wish.
    "Who labeled this? I thought these hats were made for kids!"
  • In the Nyakuza Metro DLC, the Empress is a Knight of Cerebus nearly on level with Queen Vanessa, herself. Unlike most of the antagonists you face off, who at least have a hammy or dark humor charm to them, the Empress lacks any benevolent or quirky qualities to her; she is cunning and utterly ruthless, both to her underlings and to Hat Kid.
    • Her "boss battle" at the end isn't so much a battle as it is Hat Kid running for her life as the Empress chases her with a damn rocket launcher. And even after you "beat" her, she's still out there and outright tells Hat Kid in free roam mode that she has not seen the last of her. Soon as the police investigation of her jewelry store is finished and everything is calm again, the Empress tells Hat Kid she better flee the planet.
    • Even the cut scene leading up to this chase is creepy, as Hat Kid has just stolen the Time Pieces from the backroom and left... only to run straight into a pissed off Empress. Merely a glare from her terrifies poor Hat Kid. She then, slowly and deliberately, demands the other cats in the Metro catch you, offering a reward of 1,000,000 dollars. And as you run away, you hear her psychotic laugh follow after you, showing she is no longer messing around.
    • The area changes for Rush Hour involves the entire metro's population turning into a crowd of masked Yakuza cats that attack you if you touch them, while the civilians also don masks upon seeing you and try to attack. Be it because the money reward was so high or she actually had everyone in the Metro on her payroll to begin with, literally everyone is your enemy.
    • After desperately running from the enraged crime lord and her endless swarm of minions, Hat Kid makes it to the Escape Tunnels, where there are a few perfectly ordinary metro cats sitting and reading newspapers. It looks like you're in the clear and you've found an elevator to escape... and then the elevator's doors open, and the Empress is already inside. Hat Kid freaks out and tries to back up, but the "ordinary cats" have put on Yakuza masks and are now blocking the only exit, forcing her to get in the elevator. Hat Kid only survives the elevator ride because 2 policecats coincidentally board the elevator, and if they hadn't done so, she would likely have "disappeared" like everyone else who got in the Empress' way.
    • Making this even worse is what happens if you try to hit the Empress in her store prior to this. She oneshots Hat Kid! Not even slowing down time will allow you to escape!
    • If you think about it, much like Queen Vanessa and Mustache Girl (if you decide to run away before the final boss fight with her), the Empress is one of the few characters to not only make Hat Kid afraid of her, but utterly terrified of her. No other character comes close to that level of threat or fear to Hat Kid.
  • Fans have come up with some interesting mods for the game. Case in point, this mod called “Snatcher’s Candy Scavenger Hunt.”
  • A subtler one, but still terrifying: if you look up at the trees in some parts of the Subcon Well there are quite a few of the Snatcher's Minions hung. Just what happened to them...
  • The R. King ARG.
    • Hidden on Hat Kid's spaceship are several notes, only visible upon manipulating the camera using the camera badge in very select, inconspicuous locations. Each note is signed by the enigmatic R. King and gives a hint to the location of the next note. The scavenger hunt concludes with one mysterious, final note in the castle in the attic. However, if you decide to investigate further and look in the attic closet, you'll come across this photo montage, which, when viewed with the Dweller's Mask, reveals an encrypted message in an alien language. The content of the message, as well as the language used, was eventually traced to this channel, which had its first upload before the game's release. These videos contain additional encrypted messages that seem to touch on the lore of Hat Kid's universe, but there's something about the music, sound, and the content of these messages themselves that is... unsettling, to say the least.
    Much like their physical bodies the memories of the dead also wither away. You could get trapped or worse fall into the void. When I was much younger I saw that darkness up close. I stared deep into the abyss and felt my life energy being pulled. It is a cold and dark place of nothing.


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