10 Seconds Until Self-Destruct is one of the Battle of the Birds challenges provided by Death Wish in A Hat in Time. In this challenge, the player is only granted a starting 10 seconds to complete a radically more difficult variation of Train Rush.

The Level

Main Challenge

As suggested by the title of the challenge, the player is granted a small ten second window to complete the entirety of Train Rush, complete with new hazards to make the experience far more taxing. Though it sounds impossible, there are also the addition of clocks found throughout the level in convenient locations, replenishing 20 more seconds onto the timer and often spread out enough as to not allow the player to make major gains of time.

Of course, this is compounded by addition of new hazards that generally make the experience far more difficult, as every second is vital and messing up on one section can lead to complete failure of the challenge from that point forwards. To further compound this issue, the Time Stop Hat does not interact favorably with the timer, failing to slow down the progression of time lost as to prevent cheating the time system.

The layout of the level remains unchanged, but only additional hazards are present. As a clear example of these changes, the passenger car filled with green ooze on the floor now has extending metal fences as the player progresses which hamper movement. Similar additions are present throughout, but the overall flow of the level mimics Train Rush very closely.

Bonus Challenges

With a very demanding base challenge, the bonus challenges only serve to rub in some salt. The easier of the two is collecting all nine of the Conductor tokens found throughout the stage, where the player must focus on not only beating the stage but also figuring out the best routes to collect each and every token present.

The placement of tokens are often off to the side of the central path, often causing a little bit of time loss in having to get to them and back onto the track, but none are outwardly cryptic in where they are placed or excessively out of the way, with only a basic comprehension of where they are located needed in order to satisfy the challenge.

Conversely, completing this challenge without any hats and with the One-Hit Hero equipped is one of the more daunting bonuses to complete, especially for a challenge introduced relatively early on in the Death Wish map. Without hats, the Sprint Hat is off limits, making general movement overall slower in sprawling sections, which is crucial for managing time in a challenge like this. Having a single hit is also a massive hindrance, especially when the level itself is already quite a handful when given three extra hits and plenty of Heart Pons to rejuvenate. Combined together, this challenge requires a massive fortitude of skill in the basic move set of Hat Kid, as well as a good grasp for how to move through the hazards in the stage safely and quickly.

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