|"Are you lost too? I've been lost for as long as I can remember."|
"I had no idea the Owls could cook something that wouldn't go boom!"
Science Owls are an early version of what would eventually become Express Owls. Their main appearance was in the act Train Rush, where they would attempt to prevent Hat Kid from reaching the front of the train. They also were to be the creators of the Owl's Brew Badge, which was later replaced by the Brewing Hat seen in the final game.
Science Owls share many visual similarities with Express Owls, with the only notable differences being their clothing. Science Owls are clothed in a long, white lab coat which reaches down to the tops of their feet. Underneath, they wear a plain white shirt, and a light red tie. They also wear a small pair of rectangular glasses, perched atop their beak. Unlike the Express Owls, they are never seen wearing hats.
Science Owls went through a second design change, though unlike the lab coat variant, these were used in the final game for the Express Band.
Much like their final counterparts, Science Owls played the role of NPCs, both friendly and hostile.
In the playable builds, the only Owls encountered are hostile. However, in the Alpha Build's title screen they can be seen in the background alongside other characters.
Science Owls were originally found as enemies in several different forms:
- Regular Science Owl enemies (hat_enemy_scienceowl) would be seen either throwing potions similar to the ones thrown with the brewing hat in the final game or throwing clipboards at the player, an ability left over with the Express Owl enemies seen in Time's End, which would deal 1 damage. When throwing potions, Science Owls had the chance of throwing a different colored potion to the standard 2 damage blue one, causing different status effects upon successfully hitting the player:
- The player could be hit with a purple shrinking potion, which would inflict 1 damage and cause them to shrink for a short period, during which the science owl will begin rapid firing attacks.
- The player could be hit with a yellow speed potion, which would inflict 1 damage and give them a speed boost and force them into a running animation for a short period.
- Rapid Fire Science Owls (hat_enemy_scienceowl_fire) would throw 5 yellow speed potions in quick succession to each other before running away from the player for a short time
- Charging Science Owls (hat_enemy_scienceowl_charge) would emit a red aura and begin charging the player for a moment.
- A "laser" Science Owl (hat_enemy_scienceowl_laser) variant is seen in footage for early versions of Train Rush, as well as in the Beta build of the game. As the name implies, this owl would fire a large, constant laser beam at the player.
- Early versions of The Big Parade used Science Owls as the band members that followed the player. Again, these owls seem to have functioned identically to their final game counterparts.
- Even though the Science Owls became the Express Owls, they do still make appearances in the final game.
- They appear in some of the portraits in the Subcon Forest.
- One Mafia makes mention of a "confusing science owl" hosting a television show.
- One of the dolls Hat Kid has, and will occasionally use in an idle animation, is a Science Owl.
- A chalkboard in Train Rush still depicts several Science Owls.
- When the cursor is on the Conductor's side in the Battle of the Birds Act Select, two Science Owls appear behind him.
- The clipboard that appears in Hat Kid's toy chest, and some Express Owls throw, make mention of Owls being "Very Smart".
- In the Alpha build's hub (used for the main menu), some science owls can be seen facing away from the camera.
- One of these owls is blue instead of the usual brown
- Both owls have improper UVs for their face textures, with 4 eyes, 2 per each eye plate.
- Status effects suggest that the science owls may have also had a "growth potion," which is supported by the "growth" status effect being listed as being used in "chapter 3" (Trainwreck of Science, later rebranded as Battle of the Birds) which would have supposedly allowed the player to "break down walls," although this effect is neither finished nor found as a potion thrown by the science owls.
- According to an interview conducted by Beta64, Jonas Kaerlev states that there was a reproducible bug with science owls where in which they would unintentionally attack each other with shrink potions, causing them all to appear small when the player encountered them.
|Major Characters||Moonjumper • Timmy|
|Hostile Characters||The Shapeshifter • Rough Patch • Light Plant • Pink & Yelo Plants • Blob Marley|
|Support Characters||Tim, CEO of Time • Tim's Friend • Thor • Oldster • Sandworm • Bird Companion|
|Minor Characters||Science Owls • The Narrator|
|Levels||Beta Hero's Challenge • Music Room • Rectangles • Sand n' Sails • Harbor • The City of Calcite and Adventure|