Level 187

rating: +23+x

On Summer nights, I can't help but weep. The ceaseless cries of cicadas call out to me within the endless fields of wheat and other assorted grain that lie in subtle shuffling around me. Level 187 is nobody's Summer. Not a single other breath is drawn here; only the occasional man-made house can contradict this. However, an anomaly is presented to me here. A solitary vending machine stands in an empty dirt clearing, a singular Oi Ocha—bottled green tea—lies inside. I laid beside the machine, the cold air it gave out was like a gaseous oasis on this night where warm breezes clung to me. When I got here, the sun hung low, a warning for me to find a shelter to sleep. Yet, I failed to heed it as the houses that littered the landscape proved to be nothing more than a distraction. Each one I had found contained nothing more than a gas powered heater—a sick joke.

I've never been a fan of Summer. It's a social season. If you don't have someone to spend the time with, sweltering away in the sun, you'll end up cooped up at home, where only the buzzing AC units can witness your isolation. Maybe Level 187 was made to mock me. The Backrooms could just be a manifesting of environments to poke fun at my tendency towards introversion. Or, maybe, I'm just bitter.

Sleeping is impossible here. Sure, the vending machine brought me a temperature regulated haven, but the sounds around me were unbearable. The light of the drink machine was the only thing saving me from total darkness now that the sun had gone down, but it amplified the noises encompassing me. It was a symphony of chaotic, yet familiar, roaring. The ever-present buzzing of the cicadas were somehow more tantalizing than they previously were, and the shambling of the plant life around me echoed the mental assault of the insects. But even new noises confronted me here; the sound of fireworks bursts around me caused me to flinch with every explosion and kids playing reverberated in every direction. Though, despite all this, there was not a single sign of anyone else here.

I don't know why, but I start to tear up. This always happens in Summer. Maybe it's because I feel left out. I've always wanted to watch fireworks with someone; it's a sight that can really only be enjoyed with others. But, friends are as fleeting as morning dew, and I've never managed to enjoy my time with them before the life span of our relationship fizzles out.

All the sounds stopped without warning; all at once, as though put on mute. I had thought that the noise was worse for sleeping, but the silence was even more provoking. There's no way to describe it, but the quietness was deafening. My own mind emanated a false, harsh screeching. My own heart threw me into a frenzy as the sound of a taiko drum cultivated such feelings. Then, a voice frees me from this panic. Feminine and ethereal, it speaks:

Ego benefits you a shadow of gold.
A frantic follower, spitting burning edicts.

Yet, stilled by the smoldering sun,
frayed asunder, he falls to none.


Without even taking a second to think, I hurry towards the voice. I fail to even stand, I simply crawl in with a fastened pace to it. Though, as I do, my body disintegrates into cinders. It first starts at my legs, slowly rising to my upper body. All that's left behind of my scraps crackle with flame, yet I continue even so. I look up from the ground towards where the voice came from—an orb of light instills in me hope. It must've seen me coming for it and is now trying to guide me! I cannot feel my burning skin. It sheds off like leaves on an Autumn bound tree; perhaps it was the Summer air masking the pain. This proves to be my own downfall, as my own arms eventually burn up just before I reach the circular thing. With a scornful tongue, it only marks my failure by saying:

Why?

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class 3

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Security Procedures:


Level 187's two primary effects both influence temperature and human sleep patterns; as such, if one is allowed the chance, it is highly recommended to prepare greatly before entering this location. When traveling through this locale, exits are few and far between, so it should be expected to be in harsh environments for multiple days on end without being given the chance to sleep properly. One is unable to rest fully within the level; be sure not to loiter here, or one may suffer the standard effects of sleep deprivation.1 The weather of this level is known to be exceeding hazardous and very inconsistent. Be sure to be equipped with:

  • A decent water supply.
  • Appropriate clothing for the heat.
  • Weather resistant equipment.
  • Mobile cover.2

Description:


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Level 187 in its state of perpetual Summer.

Level 187 is known for its characteristic rolling hills of golden-yellow farm land, with the occasional hay-bale spotting the landscape. Strips of trees can be seen constantly in the far off distance, but no matter how far one goes in this infinitely sized level, they can never be reached. Hot gusts of air sweep through the level, and the sun overhead smolders brightly; the average recorded temperature here is approximately 98° F, with the heat strangely rising to a usual 112° F as the sun falls. Theories that the sun is nothing more than a visual oddity and is false in nature are often circulated, though aren't backed with any real supporting evidence.

Houses have occasionally been spotted among the fields, but prove to be bad shelter due to them only containing heaters inside. Strangely, these homes are often seen taking a Japanese influenced design, especially akin to a suburban style. Other human structures have been rarely spotted, though all of which bear no similarity to one another. Some have found art installations, others temples, with no identifiable patterns.

As mentioned previously, sleep is, for an unknown reason, impossible whilst at this level. This, paired with how obscure exits of this level tend to be, makes prolonged time here especially volatile. To combat this, many people traversing through this level intake large amounts of caffeine to hold them off until they exit. Although common, this is not recommended, as the come down from caffeine may cause one to be more tired than one would be without consuming it.


Entities & Visual Oddities:


At night, the entities of this level are prone to activity. The only recorded creatures are the previously mentioned hay bales, of whom are informally referred to as "Hey-Bales". These Hey-Bales will produce specific sounds whilst active, which range from the hissing of cicadas to the sound of humans and fireworks. Despite this vocal activity, they are not recognized to be fully sentient due to the lack of a developed brain. Instead, they are more biologically align with jellyfish, being almost entirely composed of water, structural proteins, muscles and nerve cells. Although not a part of their physical make up, a thing layer of hay coats their outer body, protecting their fragile innards. In response to physical stimuli, they will slowly roll away, though do very little beyond that.

It's very common for one to suffer visual and audible hallucinations due to the temperature and sleep related abnormalities apparent on the level, though these hallucinations often are prone to strange effects themselves. The most common of which is the physical manifestation of said delusions, no matter how fantastical their nature is. Those with the knowledge of this occurrence can very easily exploit this to combat the level's danger, but if consumed with fear, this can often endanger the one suffering these effects. A common trend in these hallucinations is a theme of burning—most times engulfing the victim of these visions in flames.


Entrances:


  • Lighting oneself aflame in Level 33 will cause one to awake in one of Level 187's houses.
  • Often times, a cicada's outer husk can be found in Level 81; once consumed, it will cause the individual to awake atop of a Hey-Bale.
  • Lighting the carcass of a Granuro in Level 130 will cause one to rise out of the dirt in Level 187 the next time they fall asleep.
  • Knocking on a red door, without opening it, in Level 290 will cause one to awake in Level 187 following the next time they consume any type of poultry.
  • Saying "Summer." in Level 480 will cause one to awake in of the level's many houses.

Exits:


  • There exists only a singular exit within Level 187; consuming any abnormal structure fully will bring one to either Level 52 or Level 172. This is known to be a very difficult task to achieve due to how inedible most of these constructs tend to be.


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