Level 191
rating: +56+x

During his time as an Enforcer, Elijah had been taught the importance of structure. Even the greatest threat could be dismissed by a well-coordinated group of “boys with sticks” — the nickname given to his squad by those doubting their capability.

Down in the chaos of Level 191, however, he found structure utterly useless. It took him less than 3 minutes here to learn this one universal truth.

“We’re M.E.G!” Elijah shouted from behind the cover, clinging to his measly pistol. The sound of wheezing bullets filled the air above him, impacting against the water turbine located directly behind the one which shielded him.

“We’re M.E.G, you bastards!” he repeated as if that meant anything.

Peeking from behind the cover, he watched as a third party arrived to his rescue. The combatants of Level 191 charged at each other, each holding a weapon in a way which made Elijah wince as they sprayed bullets down the long hallways. They had blue scarves wrapped tightly around their arms. This attempt to identify themselves was pointless, as Elijah saw both sides shooting their own men by accident — at least, he hoped it was by accident.

As he watched, the man felt a nagging urge in his chest that he ought to do something. Even so, what could he do, really? Frozen in uncertainty, he simply stared at the oddly mesmerising violence as it continued to unfold. It was like a volatile chemical reaction — the solution rapidly turning colour as those in blue thinned the ranks of those in yellow before more yellows arrived, and the tables turned once more. Finally, an equilibrium was reached: everyone dead, their weapons floating above the ground.

He approached the items, slowly edging towards them. Casting aside most of the eccentric loot, he reached for the one weapon which looked practical — like something he was familiar with, even if only superficially. It was a simple black rifle: no labels, no sight, no attachments. Even so, holding the scavenged gun in his hand was almost exciting. The sound of metal clattering against stone rang through the large turbine room as Elijah hurled his old pistol against the wall.

Turning around towards the exit with a grin, the last thing he saw was the glint from the catwalk above. And with the sound of a gunshot ringing in his ears, his vision went dark.

His eyes slowly opened, feeling the warm shine of incandescent light coming from above. Has he died? Elijah always imagined death to be a bit more grandiose — a bit more impactful. This simply felt like snapping back to consciousness on the verge of slumber; there was light, then darkness, then light again.

Rubbing his temples, he felt this light disappearing as something stepped in the way of the weak bulb. The oppressive glare made it impossible to make out anything more than its human silhouette.

"First time?" the figure said with a weak smile, taking out a pistol and pointing it at his head. Before he could even object, they pulled the trigger.

Another gunshot. Another moment of darkness. Another rebirth.

Somehow, Elijah felt like this was going to become a trend.

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class 1

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Description

191-1

Section of Level 191. Note the shaft descending into the Lower Quarters.

Level 191 is a large underground complex. While superficially similar to a hydroelectric plant, the level is incapable of actually generating energy due to the absence of a water source. Instead, it acts as a free-for-all combat arena.

The level resets every 24 hours. All damage to the environment is instantly repaired, and any items left lying around are restored to their original places.

Regardless of how you got here, remember: there are no rules of engagement.

Found Weapons

Scattered throughout the level are a multitude of weapons, ammunition, and health kits, free for the taking. These items seem to regenerate at regular intervals, floating approximately 1 metre above the ground and rotating slowly in a clockwise direction. The available weaponry ranges from basic pistols to assault rifles, but they lack any unique markings and do not correspond to existing models.

The following table documents some common items found within Level 191. Bear in mind that the list is incomplete and constantly updated by M.E.G-aligned wanderers.
Item Description Ammunition
Knife The only melee weapon available. N/A
Pistol A basic firearm. Light
Revolver High-damage gun with low fire rate. Heavy
Machine Gun A rapid-fire weapon. Jams every 3rd bullet. Hitting the magazine typically fixes it. Medium
SMG Ideal for close-quarters combat due to their high rate of fire. Light
Shotgun A powerful firearm that fires a spread of bullets. Medium
Railgun Uses electromagnetic rails to fire high-speed projectiles that can penetrate walls and armour. Explodes after 5th shot. Heavy
Armor Protective gear with a simple geometric design. Absorbs most ballistics, but will progressively degrade with use and eventually shatter. N/A
Health Kit Miraculously heals physical wounds. Instead of red, the cross imprinted on the lid is coloured a light shade of blue. N/A
Green Keycard Unlocks green doors. N/A
Orange Keycard Unlocks orange doors. N/A
Red Keycard Appears to unlock red doors, but no such doors have been found. N/A

It must be noted that if removed from the confines of Level 191, all native items will spontaneously convert into solid blocks of aluminium in the shape of the original equipment. This makes them non-functional and of little value except as raw materials.

Trigger Frenzy

Individuals on Level 191 frequently come under an effect the residents have dubbed Trigger Frenzy. The condition is characterised by:

  • high heart rate
  • muscle tremors
  • inability to remain still

To relieve the symptoms of Trigger Frenzy, affected individuals will typically seek out others brought to Level 191 in order to engage in combat. Judging by the arena-like layout as well as the availability of weapons, the phenomenon seems to be a deliberate part of the level's design.

Fortunately, death on Level 191 is a temporary ordeal. Upon termination, a wanderer will simply reappear somewhere else on the level without their equipment. In the meantime, their bodies will fizzle away into blue smoke before evaporating completely, leaving behind only the aforementioned equipment. The momentary experience of death itself has been described as relaxing, most comparable to slowly being lowered into a pool of warm water.

Communities

Torchers

group1

The Torchers prioritise security above all else and maintain a close-knit community. They tend to avoid conflict and instead focus on cultivating mutual trust among their members. That being said, the group is more than willing to use violence to protect their turf. While they used to be more welcoming, they have since implemented more exclusive policies to prevent their group from becoming too large. At present, their numbers consistently hover around 50 members.

Church of the Digital Angel

group2

The Church of the Digital Angel is a vaguely organised pseudo-religious group which believes that a god-like deity will present itself in the form of a computer program inside Level 191. The Church's members see themselves as the chosen few who have been selected by the entity to carry out its will and prepare the world for its coming. They are passive but will attack all those whom they believe carry items of spiritual importance to their mission.

Vanguards

group3

Fashioning themselves as protectors of Level 191, the Vanguards are in reality a group of paranoid killers. They hold the belief that everyone is out to harm them, and that the only way to stay on top is by eliminating perceived threats with prejudice. The Vanguards commonly target people whom they suspect are spying on them, conspiring against them, or posing a danger to their safety and well-being, though their suspicions tend to be irrational and unfounded.

Filament Collectors

group4

The Filament Collectors are an esoteric group obsessed with collecting the lightbulbs found throughout Level 191. Although their motives remain unclear, their behaviour is often perceived as disruptive and irritating by other factions, leading to frequent conflicts. Despite this, the Collectors persist in their mission and have amassed a significant quantity of bulbs.

The Red Team

group5

The combatants of Level 191 were once divided into colour-coded teams. The Red Team takes pride in being the sole group that maintains this tradition. While not necessarily malicious, they will attack anyone under the notion of them "not being on the Red Team." Being perceived as a member only requires wearing a significant amount of the emblematic red.

Layout

Upper Quarters

The Upper Quarters is the principal area of the facility and the location where most wanderers are deposited upon entry. The walls of this part of Level 191 are decorated using a simple white paint, with its pungent smell not waning with time. Aside from the gunshots, the area itself is silent, with neither the sound of water sloshing through the empty pipes nor the thudding of the perpetually silent generators filling the facility.

The halls of Upper Quarters are dingy, with an ever-present, sterile, sweet smell of ozone. Well-kept pipes covered by thick, vibrant green paint meander throughout the elevated sections of the level, lacking both a source and a destination.

Doors marked with exit signs cannot be opened, appearing to simply be an extension of the walls. There are also hatches leading into the downbound zone called the "Lower Quarters," where the filthy white glare of the industrial floodlights does not reach.

Preliminary surveys of the Upper Quarters suggest that while spatially consistent, its layout is disorganized. The design lacks realism and practicality, with a notable compromise in favour of serving the gameplay experience, so to speak.

Unfurnished rooms can have up to 4 different doors leading into them. Large chambers filled with turbines are sometimes surrounded entirely by control rooms, with none of them actually corresponding to the machinery. On other occasions, security checkpoints were positioned directly adjacent to storage closets filled with basic maintenance equipment — catwalks originating from and leading to nowhere hanging above them.

Out-of-Bounds Area

No-Clipping is the most common method of transportation through the Backrooms, used both intentionally and unintentionally by most wanderers. On Level 191, however, it should be strictly avoided.

Level 191 cannot be accessed or exited by No-Clipping. Instead, an individual who clips through its boundary will end up in an endless abyss of mangled textures and overlapping sounds. This is the Out-of-Bounds area.

It appears to be impossible to escape the Out-of-Bounds. Based on reports, victims will endlessly fall towards some unseen bottom. They continue accelerating perpetually — going faster and faster while the flashes of rapidly changing textures and screeches of the level's sound effects fight for dominance.

It is believed that those within this environment, if they do not permanently die, are trapped for eternity.

Testing Room

While traversing through the halls of Level 191, one may stumble upon a small room furnished with nothing but a single wooden crate positioned perfectly at its centre. This is the Testing Room, which should generally be avoided.

For unknown reasons, the entire integrity of the programming associated with Level 191 relies on the wooden crate remaining intact. Before this was discovered, the level went through periodic "blue-out events" every time somebody stumbled upon the crate and destroyed it expecting loot. During such periods, all the textures found on the level were replaced with a solid, saturated shade of blue. Fortunately, the crate restores itself every 24 hours when the map is reset.

While technically harmless and temporary in its effects, going out of your way to damage the crate is not advised. The sudden change in perception can be unpleasant, making navigation difficult and resulting in disorientation and nausea. Nowadays, one of the major groups typically assigns itself the role of guarding the Testing Room against uninformed wanderers.

Lower Quarters

Accessible through a series of shafts, the Lower Quarters are a secondary area of Level 191. It is a series of evenly-spaced out mazes, having the exact dimensions of 2 metres by 2 metres and are connected in a neat, modular manner.

The Lower Quarters' walls have a brick-like texture. Its deep crimson hue can only be perceived with the aid of a light source, as the region is devoid of its illumination. Both the floor and the ceiling are made of a similar material.

This zone is not favoured by those engaging in combat on Level 191. Many cite the claustrophobic environment and various unfair choke points as the main concerns. The lack of regenerative items such as armour and health kits is also an issue.

Candle Room

The monotony of the Lower Quarters is broken only by the Candle Room, its name derived from the various old candles that once lit its interior. Now, their multicoloured wax has amassed on the floor and amalgamated into a dried brownish puddle.

Propped up against the northern wall, a body lies still, its white shirt stained with dried rust-coloured blood. It appears to be the corpse of a human male, with sickly yellow skin in an advanced stage of decomposition tightly wrapped around its skeleton. Its mouth is agape — the eroded gums making the stained teeth appear elongated. A needle-like entrance wound on its chest is accompanied by a huge exit wound, with the back appearing like a mangled mess of cracked ribs and dried skin.

While corpses are not an uncommon sight in the Backrooms, the presence of one on a level where death is temporary is a matter of no small intrigue. As of now, its origin and significance remain unknown.

Above the body, an old terminal is attached to the wall — its white frame yellowed with age. The dark screen lets off a gentle glow, the noise from its vents piercing through the silence with the hum of an old cooling fan doing its best. The display has been attached below for archival purposes.

| RUN-AND-GUN.EXE
|
| The Renewal Machine is ACTIVE.
|
| Admin Note: Honestly, this used to be a lot more fun when you guys would
| actually die.

Renewal Machine

At the edge of the Lower Quarters is a sudden drop leading down into an endless abyss. Falling down this pit is one of the only means of permanent death on Level 191, and as such it should be strictly avoided.

In the distance, an elevated platform is suspended in the air. Holding it up is a series of thin white support beams, appearing like bleached skeletal fingers in the black void. Atop the platform, the Renewal Machine rests idly. It is a huge, grotesque steel contraption, with thick red wires wrapped tightly around it like small plastic snakes. The heat produced by the machine makes the room uncomfortably hot, with its intensity growing the closer one gets to its frame.

It is believed that the machine is the cause of the regenerative properties observed on Level 191, affecting both the living organisms as well as its own physical structure. Although there is an interest in reverse-engineering the device, surface analysis provides very little information about its nature. Disassembling the machine is both impractical and undesirable. There is also the question of whether such a machine would even work outside of the confines of Level 191. Therefore, the decision is made to leave it undisturbed.

Entities

Keycard Collectors

The silence of Level 191 is occasionally broken by the sounds of rigid plastic slapping against flesh. These sounds are the earliest sign of the presence of the Keycard Collectors.

The Keycard Collectors are a group of gnarly humanoid creatures, their skin having a pale shade of white with a porcelain texture. On their faces, a thin mouth rests below two bulging black eyes. These are painted directly onto the entities' smooth faces; this does not seem to impede their vision.

Analysing the corpse of a Keycard Collector revealed that their skin has a mild magnetic property — strong enough to adhere to the thin metal strips found in the level’s cards. This is how the entities store their haul, attaching the various pieces of colourful plastic onto their bodies in a mosaic pattern.

These entities have no interest in wanderers not in possession of keycards, completely disregarding them. Those who are holding onto any number of them, however, become immediate targets.

Collector attacks begin with the entity tackling the target to the ground and pummeling their legs with enough force to fracture the femur. With their target immobilised and repossessed keycard secured to their body, the Collector will retreat, leaving the broken victim behind.

Their inability to open doors as well as leg fractures make it difficult for the victims to make it back to safety, commonly resulting in death through blood loss or internal ruptures. This is a slow and gruelling process, with the common etiquette demanding that all victims be given a mercy kill when discovered and allowed to re-spawn.

According to eyewitness reports, the entities' motivation for collecting keycards is rooted in their fear of isolation. In one instance, a wanderer managed to trap a lone Keycard Collector in a small section of the level. Once the door had been relocked from the other side, the sound of the entity thudding against its surface was soon accompanied by high-pitched wails. They were described as being similar to those of a trapped animal.

Entrances And Exits

Entrances

  • Running RUN-AND-GUN.EXE on any computer in the Backrooms will bring you to a random section of Level 191.

Exits

  • Getting 25 kills in a single life will reward the wanderer with a "??? Key," allowing them to exit through using it to open any of the locked doors. They will then be deposited onto a random level.

| RUN-AND-GUN.EXE
|
| Admin Note: Maybe it’s time to make something new.
|
| After all, the game has remained stagnant since 1998.
|
| I have a new game prepared for you, but you are going to need to find it.
|
| Clue: "It is something that can be seen, but you have never seen it."
|
| Godspeed.


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