The Act Select for the second chapter, which divide the DJ Grooves and Conductor stages.

Battle of the Birds is the second chapter in A Hat in Time. It is one of the most unique chapters for a few reasons. First, the player must help two birds, DJ Grooves and the Conductor, in making a movie. Acts 2 and 4 help the Conductor, and acts 3 and 5 help DJ Grooves. Depending on which stages have the highest score during the finale will change the events of how the chapter ends, such as which bird is fought for the boss battle.

Secondly, unlike other chapters in the game, Battle of the Birds has several areas divided throughout the chapters, instead of a single, sprawling location. Locations include Dead Bird Studio, where the two directors make their movies, The Owl Express, a train owned and maintained by the Conductor, and the Moon Set, a small town where DJ Grooves shoots his movies (on the moon).

The acts are very linear in comparison to other chapters, but also much more varied because of this.


Dead Bird Studio

Dead Bird Studio is the place where the Conductor and DJ Grooves make and produce their movies. Not much is known about the Dead Bird Studio or the world outside the studio. It is inhabited by birds only. The start of the studio comes from the dream Conductor and DJ Grooves had as children to make a great movie after watching a show in television. They both worked hard to achieve their dream, but both were scammed to each having keys to same building. However, it sparked competition between each other to make the best movies they can. Since then, Conductor won all the Annual Bird Movie Awards in their competition except one, where DJ Grooves won Award 42. By the time Hat Kid comes by, the studio has met its 52nd year of movie production.

Dead Bird Stuido has a few different areas in it. First, there's the front desk. It contains two passages leading to stages, trophy stands, and birds. The bird in the front desk will tell Hat Kid to not trespass these stages as movies are being filmed.

Past the front desk is the filming stages, which the area Hat Kid goes through in order to progress the act Dead Bird Studio. It contains DJ Grooves and The Conductor appearing in many different stages in order to make their next movies. It also has many birds on watch for trespassers, which if the Hat Kid gets caught in their field of vision for too long, she has to restart from the last checkpoint.

Finally, there is a hidden underground area is a place deep within and below the Dead Bird Studio, where, in the end, one of the movie directors appears as the final boss. It changes depending on who the boss is, being either a wild west stage wagon and saloon or rave party/dancing stage.

The Owl Express

The Owl Express is the designated movie set used by The Conductor, taking place on a relatively straight railroad across a desert plain. Inside, the carts tend to vary in theme depending on the location and Act being played. Most are typical coaches that house passengers, comprised of red carpets and smooth walls, with others highlighting more fantastical aspects.

Murder on the Owl Express highlights the more traditional and mechanical aspects of the train carts, with the first half of the Act comprised mostly of well furbished rooms and the second with the more mechanical assets of the express itself such as the Boiler Room.

Train Rush on the opposite end is mostly comprised of the exterior of the train, often due to the degradation of the interior rooms of the train as Saws come out to release complete segments out of the train itself. This serves as a great contrast to the internally confined rooms of the other express chapter, where only the beginning took place outside.

There are also internal segments which are comprised of vats containing green ooze typical for science-fiction, suggesting these segments could be a freight train compartment and one of the many assets reminiscent of Science Owls.

The Moon Set

The Moon Set is the designated movie set used by DJ Grooves, taking place inside a lively city filled with many buildings, congested streets and sprawling telephone cables overhead. In contrast to The Owl Express, the set as it name suggests takes place on the Moon rather than the planet itself.

Also unlike the Owl Express, both Acts share a lot of thematic similarities between one another, taking place in the same city loadout with the presence of many Moon Penguins in the form of picture takers or small groups in Picture Perfect to large raving crowds that flood the street below in The Big Parade.

The major difference between these two acts is their goals and gimmicks that are utilized to reach the end of the level, with the need to explore a small free-roaming world for attention in Picture Perfect and the requirement to survive the many hazards on the top of the roofs in a survival-esque mission with The Big Parade.


While the first act is straight forward, the rest of the acts besides the finale each give ratings to the directors movies. Depending on which director gets more points will determine how the finale plays out.

Image Episode Name Summary
Mission2-1 Act 1:
Dead Bird Studio
Sneak through the studio to find the Time Piece.
Mission2-2 Act 2:
Murder on the Owl Express
Solve the murder before time is up.
Mission2-3 Act 3:
Picture Perfect
Run around collecting Director Icons and walking up to Moon Penguins to increase your popularity.
Mission2-4 Act 4:
Train Rush
Get to the end of the train as quickly as possible to turn off the self destruction switch!
Mission2-5 Act 5:
The Big Parade
Film DJ Grooves' movie in a sort of dangerous follow-the-leader game.
Mission2-6 Act 6:
Award Ceremony
Discover the conspiracy behind the Annual Bird Awards

Time Rift Locations

Name Image Act Location Appears when
The Owl Express BirdsBlueRift1 Murder on the Owl Express In the cafeteria, bottom floor near the locked door. After completing both "Murder on the Owl Express" and "Picture Perfect".
The Moon BirdsBlueRift2

Picture Perfect/The Big Parade

The house in front of the saxephone sign. It's on top of the green striped awning. After completing both "Train Rush" and "The Big Parade".
Dead Bird Studio BirdsPurpleRift Dead Bird Studio (Act) On the house after sneaking past the Conductor for the first time, near where the Ice Yarn was. Complete the Train Relic

Winning the Award

Throughout Acts 2-5 the movies of the two directors will be judged based on Hat Kid's performance during each act. Events during the Finale and whether the player will have to fight the Conductor or DJ Grooves will changing depending on who wins the award.

Here is a table to show how the scoring works;

What Act Score Bonus
Director Icons All 100
Pons Collected All 4
Evidence Murder on the Owl Express 60
Time Bonus Train Rush 3 for every second left

Only the Conductor's acts grant bonuses to make up for their lower quantity of Icons, but it's still much harder to get high scores on those stages than on DJ Groove's.

When the player enters Act 6 it will confirm the winner of the awards, but before then they can return to previous missions to increase the score of either director. If the directors are tied, it will select one at random upon playing Act 6.


Here are the collectables for this chapter. If you want to see all collectable locations, please check this List of all collectables

Act 1: Dead Bird Studio

Item NO. Image Details
Brewing Yarn - Loc DBS Brewing Before sneaking past the Conductor, climb the red building prop. The yarn is at the top.
Ice Yarn #1 Loc DBS Ice 1 After sneaking past the Conductor the first time there is a house with a water tower next to it. Jump to the tower to find Ice Yarn on the back side.
Ice Yarn #2 Loc DBS Ice 2 On top of the house after sneaking past the Conductor for the first time, left side.
Sprint Yarn #1 Loc DBS Sprint 1 At the second moveable platform, hit the switch to move it forward and then hit it again so it moves to its starting position and get on it. Climb the ladder to find the yarn.
Relic - Loc DBS Relic At the crossroad where DJ Grooves is filming, take the right path and tightrope walk to a platform with three moon penguins. Avoid them and reach the top to find another tightrope. Cross it to find a chest with a Relic in it.
Sprint Yarn #2 Loc DBS Sprint 2 In a chest on top of the big sign that says "GROOVES," above the "G."
Rift Token - Loc DBS Token After the slow moving platform where DJ Grooves and the Conductor are in glass rooms, go behind the glass room with the Conductor to find a platform into his room. Be careful not to be spoted by the owl while you get the chest with the token in it.

Act 2: Murder on the Owl Express

Item NO. Image Details
Ice Yarn #1 Loc MotOE Ice 1 In the cafeteria an the top of the room in the far left corner.
Relic - Loc MotOE Relic In the VIP room there is a room labeled "Raven Suite" blocked by crates. Use the brew's hat to destroy them and enter the room. The relic is in a box on top of the bed.
Ice Yarn #2 Loc MotOE Ice 2 Again in the VIP room, on top of the Raven Suite.
Brewing Yarn #1 Loc MotOE Brewing 1 Upon entering the luggage room you should see it's rainbow aura. Jump over the small wall and grab it. Be careful not to be spotted by the crows.
Brewing Yarn #2 Loc MotOE Brewing 2 Again in the luggage room, but this time it's at the very top of the room right above where you first entered. Climb to the top of the luggage and perform a dive jump to get it.
Rift Token - Loc MotOE Token In the lounge, on the right side of the platform where the two crows are marching back and forth.

Act 3: Picture Perfect

Item NO. Image Details
Ice Yarn  - Loc Moon Ice

On top of the Hats Buy building. It's the first red build on the right if Hat Kid walks straight forward when the act starts.

Brewing Yarn  - Loc Moon Brewing Near the back corner where the Badge Seller is.

Act 6: Award Ceremony

Item NO. Image Details
Rift Token  - Loc Basement Token In the first room with the electric wires, get to the large pipe in the middle of the room. When you get the heart orbs turn to your right to see a hookshot spot, and swing into the hole to get into the locked room with the Rift Token.
Ice Yarn #1 Loc Basement Ice 1 Take the catwalk on top of the room that the director was in and walk to the end of it. Then jump over to the ventilation pipes that the yarn is floating on.
Brewing Yarn  - Loc Basement Brewing On the catwalk after the first set of footprints go towards the barred door with another set of footprints. Jump up there to get the Brewing Yarn.
Sprint Yarn #1 Loc Basement Sprint 1 Right after entering area B2 head to the boxes you can examine. Hop on a stack of boxes behind it and onto a bag of sand. Look up and to the right and you should be able to see the yarn. Just wall run and jump on up to it.
Sprint Yarn #2 Loc Basement Sprint 2 After entering into area B2, turn to your right until you hit a wall. Turn right again and you'll be able to see its glow. Hop over the boxes in the way and get it.
Sprint Yarn #3 Loc Basement Sprint 3 Jump on the second electrified tight rope at the top of area B2.
Ice Yarn #2 Loc Basement Ice 2 This will be the first yarn you see in the act, but won't be able to get to it until area B2. It's at the top on a wooden platform after hearing the winning director again.
Ice Yarn #3 Loc Basement Ice 3 When you arrive at the top of the box room and are in the exit, look behind you to find a sandbag. Use it to jump to the set of boxes behind it and jump up to where the yarn is.
Sprint Yarn #4 Loc Basement Sprint 4 In the rafters of the disco set. Climb on the boxes and jump to the space ship to be able to jump up to it.
Relic  - Loc Basement Relic First make sure to get the key in the room with tons of awards. It's in the locked room just before the boss battle, which you get to by dropping down a vent you can't get back up from.


Below is the list of achievements related to this chapter;

Image Name Description
Achievement06 Battle of the Birds - All Clear! Collect all Time Pieces in Battle of the Birds!
Achievement07 Encore! Complete The Big Parade without falling into the audience below!
Achievement08 False Detective Make it through Murder on the Owl Express without finding any clues (you suck)!
Achievement10 Fueling the Feud Get a total of 2000 points in Battle of the Birds!
Achievement14 No Time to Explain Complete Train Rush without dying or time bonuses!
Achievement15 One Punch Defeat any boss with the 1-hit hero badge equipped!
Achievement20 Secret Intruder Make it through Dead Bird Studio without being seen at all!
Achievement26 True Detective Find all Murder on the Owl Express clues!

Movie Posters


  • The name "Battle of the Birds" is taken from a Scottish fairy tale.
  • At the beginning of the first act the Conductor tells DJ Grooves "this movie studio is too big for the both of us." While it is a miss quote of the saying "this town isn't big enough for the both of us," the saying comes from western movies just like the movies the Conductor produces.
  • The chapter went through a several name changes, including "Trainwreck of Science" and "Last Bird Standing"
  • This chapter was originally supposed to be the third chapter of the game, but it swapped places with Subcon Forest.