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Mafia "Mafia look at little child. Mafia see loser."

"So tell you what, I've got a piece of paper here! Don't worry about
the details! I just need you to sign right here at the bottom!
"
—The Snatcher when first encountered

The Snatcher is a character in A Hat in Time that appears in Chapter 3. He is a mysterious shadow spirit who lives in the Subcon Forest and lays traps for unsuspecting "fools" to walk into. Before Hat Kid can access areas of the forest, she must sign a contract with him.

Description

Physical Appearance

The Snatcher usually appears as a shadow or as a solid form of shadowy material. Due to his abilities as a shapeshifter, he can mimic the forms of others. Furthermore, his physical features in his typical and transformation forms are always in flux. His most distinguishing feature is his glowing yellow eyes and trickster smile.

Personality

The Snatcher is a very mischievous and manipulative character, who enjoys messing with people. He also seems to be a large ham. When Hat Kid falls into his first trap, he begins by yelling, "FOOOOOOL" in an attempt to scare her, but after falling into his traps again, he states that he can't yell all the time, expressing that Hat Kid shouldn’t fall into his traps so he can keep using the line to scare his other victims.

Given his manipulative character, The Snatcher is quick to hamper his victims and barter with them with the use of his many contracts. These can entail doing simple grunt work such as delivering mail to exposing the player to intense danger, for example a mini-boss fight with an over-sized haunted toilet, which he openly admits is one of the easier ones to choose.

When The Snatcher doesn't get his way, he can get very mad, such as when Hat Kid refuses to sign his contracts (leading to her being killed instantly!) or when she turns the tables in Your Contract has Expired and forces him to relinquish her soul and the Time Pieces in order to never return to the forest again. Even when being conned in his own games, he is quick to grant minor praise to Hat Kid as "quite the character. And a tough negotiator".

Roles

Though the Snatcher can be overshadowed by characters such as Queen Vanessa or the Toilet of Doom in their respective Acts, he serves most notably as the instigator of these secondary antagonists by pitting Hat Kid against new threats in order to reach his own personal goals by use of contracts. Though in context of the story these contracts end up as a burden, they enable the player to access the other Acts of Subcon and are typically treated as a necessary evil to completion.

In other areas without such secondary threats, the Snatcher's presence is most often felt in his large ensemble of followers scattered throughout the Forest and often overlooking the player's progress. In effect, The Snatcher is one of the more passive antagonists, seldom confronting Hat Kid directly unless giving contracts, direct orders or being confronted in the final Act of Subcon Forest.

In Death Wish Mode, Snatcher takes on the role of primary antagonist, creating a wide assortment of new, more difficult contracts for Hat Kid to complete with the goal of taking her soul should she die.

Boss Battle

Before battling with Snatcher, he begins to explain further to Hat Kid about how his previous worker had their head pop off, mostly elaborating that it wasn't due to the danger of the jobs performed but that Snatcher had lost all value in the individual. He then shifts his discussion to how Hat Kid's ready completion of contracts have lead to no more tasks to be performed and obligations to be lifted, rendering her use to him obsolete. Finishing off his prelude to the fight is him explaining how the Time Pieces that fell into the Forest were his property and that he would ultimately not let Hat Kid keep them in the end.

The fight immediately begins with the Hat being stolen, disabling any powers such as sprinting or slowing time and making the risk of the fight significantly higher as a result. Note however that some badge effects, notably those that are beneficial like Projectile Badge are disabled as a result, whilst others like the Camera and 1-Hit Hero remain for the duration of the battle.

Most of Snatcher's attacks center around attacking Hat Kid head-on with powerful blasts indicated on the ground prior to their detonation, giving the player some time to react and avoid damage. The first phase includes a basic variant that targets directly below the player and having a final blast ahead of the player to catch them off guard. Further variants occur in the second phase, with three blasts alternating in a triangular fashion to cover a large area of the arena quickly, to a rotating set of four blasts which slow down and eventually detonate where they land.

Another major attack is a series of vials that are only used in the first phase. They will come in small sets that directly target the player's position in rapid succession, large sets that launch off several vials at a time in an inaccurate manner and a single vial that will smash near the player after a while of tracking if it has not hit the player.

The Snatcher's Minions also play as an attack in the fight, huddling in large groups near Snatcher's hands as they rapidly rotate around the arena in a jump-rope type attack that requires the player to jump over the hoards to be safe from damage.

In order to progress the fight, the player must stall until the Snatcher launches a dud flask and throw it back at him, allowing him to be damaged by resulting attacks.

In the second phase, the Snatcher can erupt from the ground, jostling the player if not in the air and releasing a slow traveling ring along the floor of the arena. After doing this up to five times, he lingers for a bit and can be hit as a result.

The Snatcher has an attack that darkens the screen, followed by his face zooming up to the camera, winking his left or right eye. After winking, he appears with a replica on the side that is vacant and then lunges at you. To not be damaged by the attack, the player must attack the correct side in time, indicated by a directional arrow prior to attack. You can tell which side the Snatcher appears on; it is the side indicated by which eye he winks. This attack appears exclusively in the second phase.

Finally, he throws out a large stream of red/orange lasers that circle the arena once, requiring the player to dodge by moving inwards or outwards to avoid the blasts immediately to the left, center and right of the player. This attack appears exclusively in the second phase.

Powers

Teleportation- The Snatcher’s most common ability is his ability to teleport, as is seen for the first time when he meets the Hat Kid, as well as during his boss fight.

Creation- The Snatcher is capable of creating things from thin air such as contracts, minions, potions, a cardboard cutout of himself, and an explosive apple.

Area Warping- The Snatcher is seen warping reality for the first time when you meet him and the world turns into a purple abyss. The second instance of this is during his boss fight, where the background turns into green lasers/flames.

Instant Death- If you refuse the Snatcher’s contract, he kills Hat Kid instantly. This power could also be what the Snatcher makes use of when he made his previous contractors’ heads ‘pop off.’

Darkness- The Snatcher has been shown to be able to turn an entire area dark in a couple of seconds, only leaving his glowing mouth and eyes visible. He uses this during his boss fight.

Laser Manipulation- During his boss fight, the Snatcher is shown to be able to summon purple and orange/red lasers.

Soul Stealing- The Snatcher is shown to be able to take and give back souls, as can be seen upon Hat Kid’s first encounter with him.

Weaknesses

Although the Snatcher is tough, he does have his weaknesses. One is his arrogance, believing he’s invincible because he can’t (or won't) turn blue during the boss fight against him, which leaves him open for Hat Kid to throw one of his blue potion flasks back at him. Another is his blind decision making on who stays alive and who doesn’t; The Snatcher could have killed Hat Kid instantly at the start of the fight, or earlier, but he didn't and it lead to his downfall when Hat Kid defeated him. Furthermore, some of his power seems to be restricted by his contracts, since he couldn't steal Hat Kid's soul until she signed the contract. The Snatcher is frailer than other bosses, only taking five hits to defeat, the least in the game.

Trivia

  • The Snatcher seems to have been inspired by the demon in the chest in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, as both are purple, shadowy creatures with yellow faces and shout "FOOOOOL" when meeting the player. The music that plays when he makes his first contract also sounds very similar to the music that plays when Mario opens up the chest.
  • The Snatcher also bears a striking resemblance to the character Stan from the PS2 game, Okage: Shadow King.
  • According to the Storybook of Subcon Forest, it hints that the Snatcher may be Queen Vanessa's prince after
    Contract
    getting chained up and left for dead. Also Queen Vanessa's Manor description says that the Manor is Snatcher's old home.
  • On the Snatcher's Steam trading card, Hat Kid says that he's a tsundere (though she spells it soon-deh-ray).
  • The back of the contract has alternate English writing that is somewhat legible. It says:
    • "I hereby totally agree to do this Snatcher dude's dirty work. And also absolve him of all injuries I will most likely sustain from this work. Also, I'll give up my soul. no takey backsies."