Level 221
rating: +19+x


I don't remember how I got here, but I fear that I may never leave. Not for lack of ability, but for lack of will — that is, lack of will to be enslaved by the cruel confines of consciousness, fettered intolerably each waking moment within the chains of its unalterable, immovable laws.

I have begun to feel the fabric of this world. I sense it, that ever-present aura that surrounds and engulfs me, like an energy flowing through my veins, ebbing in and out with every breath I draw. I feel my heart steadying its beat to the rhythm another; the deep, eternal hum of something much older. I grasp at it — the rippling, soft, infinitely malleable aether right beyond my fingertips.

I long to be loosed from the shackles of reality.

I crave command of this corporeal realm.

I yearn for the embrace of the unfathomable.

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class Deceptive

  • Varying Safety
  • Reality-Warping Geometry
  • Unpredictable Entities

Level 221, or the Dreamscape Genesis, is the 222nd level of the Backrooms. Genesis is the largest part of the wider Dreamscape, (which consists of Level 221 as well as its sub-levels, which bear the collective designation 221.∞). This is also sometimes referred to as “the hub”, or “the surface”. It is the largest and safest portion of the Dreamscape, and acts as the origin of all subsequent sub-levels.

Description

Level 221 is entirely composed of the dreams of those who visit it, and on a map, resembles a circle. All physical matter on this level, from its buildings to its terrain to its entities, once existed solely in the dreams of a previous visitor. Each time a newcomer enters Genesis, it treats them as a source of data, using assets retrieved from their dreams in order to expand and build upon itself.1 As a result, a wanderer will never know what Genesis looked like prior to their arrival.

Genesis itself consists of three key areas: the Cafeteria, the landscape, and the void.

The Cafeteria
cafeteria

A photo of the Cafeteria.

The Cafeteria is directly in the middle of Genesis, with the rest of the level expanding outwards from it. Each wanderer who enters this level will first find themselves here. It is the most stable portion of the Dreamscape, and the only part of Level 221 that is guaranteed to remain unaltered upon a newcomer’s arrival. Because of this, the area acts as a “neutral zone”, a key region of safety for wanderers within the Dreamscape.

In terms of appearance, the Cafeteria resembles a public western school lunchroom. The Cafeteria is unexpectedly large, giving it a conspicuously vacant feel even with the tables and chairs scattered around. Along the sides of the cafeteria are various serving aisles, occasionally stocked with various kinds of food.2 The food here is always safe for consumption, and almond water can be found in fridges and vending machines.

The Landscape

The landscape consists of the conjoined pieces of dreams taken from wanderers as they enter the Dreamscape. It is the large region just beyond the Cafeteria, and the remainder of Genesis’ constructed area. It can only be described as a random collection of environments and locations glued together. The further out into the landscape a person goes, the more chaotic this generation becomes, and the less its world resembles anything real. A wanderer could find themselves in a field of daisies, only to walk over a hill and discover an apocalyptic wasteland.

Not only does it expand, but updates are applied everywhere throughout the landscape once someone enters for the first time. The amount of changes that occur to the pregenerated regions of the landscape are determined by proximity to the void. Areas just outside the Cafeteria will change very little, while the newly generated region will consist of all new data. This explains why the outskirts of the landscape tend to be more chaotic and dream-like.


I have traversed the vast ruins, fragments of memories long forgotten; the distorted and unknowable. What we left to rot deep within the unconscious. A graveyard of discarded dreams that did not fit within the framework of our reality — dreams that had no meaning to we who refused to look.

Dreams were gifts given to free us of the human condition, gifts that we shamefully and repeatedly pushed away upon wakefulness. How stupid we were… I understand now how blind I had been.

There are often gravitational discrepancies, as well as a lack of spatial consistency. Many structures are built with nonsensical materials, objects, or a combination of such. Some colors appear incomprehensible, and obscure weather is seen frequently throughout various parts of the level.

The Void

While Level 221 seems infinite, it is also incomplete. If a wanderer were to travel through the Dreamscape for long enough in any one direction, they would eventually find themselves leaving the constructed area of the level and entering the void. At some point, the observable world is abruptly cut off, and in every direction there is nothing but a blank, boundless void of pure white. Wanderers who have briefly visited the void have reported a heightened sense of paranoia, and often experience presence hallucinations.3

void

A representation of the void.

This vast, white nothingness is thought to be the basis of Level 221, as everything exists within it. Many believe that before the first wanderer discovered the Dreamscape, there was only the void. The nature of the Dreamscape's self-creation has led to much speculation among wanderers that the level is actually sentient. This is not confirmed.


Even now, it is watching me.

That glimmer of white beyond the horizon. I do not fear it. It is the foundation of this world — I must embrace it.

I close my eyes, sitting calmly on what is now a child's worn rocking horse. After taking a few deep breaths, I find myself looking across the gelatinous cloud river, my eyes resting on a small playground made of marble several paces down the bank.

I focus in, feeling a vibration build deep within me. It resonates deep within my chest cavity, radiating out through my limbs and traveling down into the core of the Dreamscape. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The air presses in around me, as if the Dreamscape were tightening its grasp on my fragile body. I channel my breathing, and form an image in my mind.

The playground begins to change. It morphs and bends, and starts to melt into a new substance. It doesn't change shape; instead, the once-marble structure before me has now become water.

I twist my hand, and in response, small waves begin to ripple throughout the liquid form, still retaining the impression of a playground.

I snap my fingers. In an instant, like the pop of a balloon, the structure collapses in a dramatic splash. Upon impact, the ground immediately begins melting away with a volatile hiss, as if the water were a corrosive acid. It continues to liquefy and sink indefinitely, leaving a gaping hole within the landscape.

Properties

The geometry of Genesis is relatively stable near the center, but becomes progressively less so the further one travels from the entry point (i.e. the Cafeteria). The non-Euclidean nature of the Dreamscape also becomes increasingly apparent, and the Dreamscape’s unique reality-warping hazards intensify with increased proximity to the void, which itself appears to be the source of this instability.

Therefore, as Level 221 increases in surface area with each newcomer, the energy responsible for the instability is spread over a wider region. Consequently, the “stability degradation” effect, as one travels outwards from the Cafeteria toward the void, has become more and more gradual over time.

In its current state, due to how large Genesis has inadvertently become, this degradation is considerably more subtle than at the time of the Dreamscape’s initial discovery. Much more of the landscape’s surface surrounding the Cafeteria has become relatively safe and habitable.

The corruption observed at the very edge of the landscape, bordering the void, is the most severe. Buildings and objects may randomly "glitch" in and out of existence, unexpectedly mutate in size and appearance, or shift and move around without warning.

Wanderers have observed that it seems as if the level has not yet decided what to put in these areas, and is waiting until it can once again expand.

Straying out toward the edges of the landscape, even for a short period of time, poses a high risk of injury and likely death.

Influence

It has been observed that individuals who spend a prolonged period of time within the Dreamscape tend to develop an extranormal amount of influence over the environment. These individuals are reportedly capable of manifesting simple objects at will, or even demonstrating telekinetic abilities. Other possible — although unconfirmed — uses of such influence include: flight, appearance alteration, voice alteration, and teleportation.


My flesh is not my own.

It is part of the canvas which I paint upon.

It is as much a part of me as the ground beneath my feet. I can feel my limbs, my breath, my dreary eyes; as well as I can the walls, the dirt, and the purple sky.

I am the hand that molds the clay. I am the sculptor. The painter. The writer.

I am neither here nor there; I am everywhere. I now exist beyond the boundaries of time itself. I am the Dreamscape, and the Dreamscape is me. I have become one with the infinitude of the Dreamscape and its void. I hunger to reach beyond its boundless white — to test the limits of my expansion.


Continual manipulation of the Dreamscape may produce undesirable side effects. These include, but are not limited to: Ego deletion, delusions of grandeur, derealization, euphoria, distorted sense of time, and paranoia.

night

A photo of Genesis at night, an estimated 48 kilometers into the level.

In the Night

It is important to note that the Dreamscape possesses a day-night cycle. Whenever the Dreamscape is in its night phase, the environment of Genesis will be cast under a blanket of deep blue and violet hues. Windows will typically emit white or other pastel colored light during this period. Strangely, entities and other individuals will appear in black-and-white instead.

Movement is impaired at this time; mainly, in the form of reduced precision and speed. This often feels as if weights have been attached to one's body. Speech is also delayed, and it is incredibly difficult to yell or scream. This cycle is inconsistent and happens rapidly, changing states every 3 to 12 hours.


More Properties


Yet, there is something missing.

Yes, I know it now for certain. It has been keeping it from me; an aspect of this world left untouched.

A faint sense of something greater hovers just beyond my still-tethered mind: something much deeper within the fabric I thought I held. It has been taunting me all this time.

I must reach it.

It doesn't want me to find it, but I will no longer be deceived.


Entities

Neutral

There are a fair amount of neutral entities scattered throughout Level 221. These entities are unique manifestations from a wanderer’s dreams, and often appear in the form of lost Frontroom pets. These entities vary in behavior and friendliness, and they can be interacted with. They are rarely seen near the Cafeteria, becoming more abundant towards the void.

Less commonly, humanoid entities similar to Memory Facelings have been spotted within the level. They are usually passive and do not acknowledge the presence of wanderers.

It is best to be cautious in approaching these humanoid entities, as hostile entities often take on a similar humanoid form.

Hostile

Though there are not many hostile entities within Genesis, there remains a risk that they may manifest. These entities are always entirely unique and personal, and are often a representation of a wanderer's nightmares.

The likelihood of a wanderer encountering a hostile entity is directly correlated to their stress level. This will worsen the closer to the void one gets (although, as it should be mentioned, entities have never been seen in the void itself). This effect is multiplied by the presence of other wanderers – that is, the more wanderers are afraid, the more likely hostile entities may manifest.4

For this reason, it is imperative for one to stay calm and aware of their emotional state, especially when venturing into the wider regions of the Dreamscape.

It has recently been discovered that some of these seemingly "manifested" entities are actually Dreamweavers. This is the first instance of this entity being observed in a level. They appear to be able to alter the Dreamscape in a similar manner as they do in normal dreams.

I can't remember where I am; I think I am lost. There is something strangely familiar here. As I take a deep breath, a familiar scent tickles my nose. My nose. My own nose — my own body. My tired muscles and my throbbing head. There is nothing beyond this flesh; I am trapped once again in this pitiful form.

That scent. A familiar scent. A part of me feels as if I should take comfort in this aroma. A part of it feels like home.

Home. What was my home? My life in the Frontrooms has faded into a distant memory; it feels like a dream. Yet, as my eyes focus, a faint image of my childhood home begins to take form before me.

It feels wrong. It has the same features, yes — but I can take no comfort in these memories as they begin to rush through my head. The emotion are too strong.

I gaze upon the worn, purple heart table that I had drawn on as a child. The one my father had built those many years ago. The table we gathered around to play cards every weekend night; the table where my father had helped me with my schoolwork, and it was the same table my mother had broken in a fit of fury upon my father's death.

No. I am beyond those memories. That pain can no longer reach me. I try my best to brush away the creeping nostalgia that threatens my very core. I blink away the tears, and turn away from the living room that is now sharpening in vivid detail.

Then I see it.

Level 221.∞

As mentioned earlier, the surface of the Dreamscape (i.e. Genesis) is only one part of its whole. Level 221 has a theoretical infinite number of sub-level layers stacked underneath it. Each one of these layers is isolated from one another, though physically attached. A wanderer can only ever visit one of these: Their own.

There is a unique layer for each person. Unlike on the surface, the construction of each sub-level is completely exclusive to the dreams and memories of the individual.

Many of the properties here work similarly to the surface, but the void cannot be accessed. This place is much more sensitive to a wanderer's mental state, and thus can easily become nightmarish. This often makes Level 221.∞ scarier and more dangerous in many ways.

As it is highly undesirable for one to be here, the Dream Dwellers have been known to call Level 221.∞ "The Hellscape."

Wanderers are encouraged to avoid sleeping for long periods of time, and to avoid sleep altogether if they ever find themselves too far from the Cafeteria. This is known to be a direct form of entry into someone's Hellscape.5

Below is a description of the Hellscape from the "Newcomer Guide," courtesy of the Dream Dwellers.



Bases, Outposts and Communities

The Dream Dwellers are a relatively small group of around 26 current members who inhabit the Dreamscape.

  • There are reportedly at least 9 members from this group who have stayed long enough to achieve notable influence over the Dreamscape, one of which is rumored to even be able to reshape or alter entire rooms at will.
  • This group is mostly friendly and watches over the Cafeteria, helping wanderers stay safe and teaching them how to navigate the Dreamscape.
  • They have mapped out some of the surrounding area, keeping track of the changes that occur.
  • They only sleep 3 hours at a time, as it is believed that deep sleep increases the likelihood of entering 221.∞.

It is best to stay on alert, as there have been sightings of other wanderers who exist on the outskirts of Genesis. Their influence and motivations are unknown.

Entrances And Exits

Entrances

  • No-clipping in specific locations in the fake realities of The End.
  • Sub-Level 221.∞ (Uncertain Methods).

Exits

  • No-clipping anywhere near the void has a chance of bringing you to Level 101.
  • Falling into a deep sleep, or falling asleep anywhere too far from the Cafeteria, runs a risk of entry into Level 221.∞.
  • Walking through an iron gate engraved with the word "EXIST" leads you to Level 994.

ι've reαcнed the end … tнe finaℓ thresнσℓd.

this is му нell; мy eternal torment. ι нave sinned, and ι sнall sυffer for it.

ι

dσ not deservє rєleαse.

нere ι ѕнall reмαin.

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