Level 232
rating: +20+x

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class Ψ

  • Unsafe
  • Unsecure
  • Mental Hazard
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The infinite antique store of Level 232

Description

Level 232 is an endless expanse of antique treasures. Every section of the level is adorned with a vast array of artifacts from many different eras. The air is thick with the musty scent of old books, aged wood, and ancient dust, creating an eerie atmosphere from another time. The level has the isolating effect of Level 0, meaning it is impossible to find anyone else in the level.

Level 232 itself is labyrinthine, with aisles stretching for a few feet or for miles. Each aisle is lined with shelves stacked high with antique items, like ornate vases, vintage vinyl records, weathered leather-bound books, Victorian-era furniture, faded oil paintings, and countless other curiosities. Each item in the level seems to hold a story, whispering secrets of the past to anyone who cares to listen.

Antique chandeliers, lamps, and light fixtures hang from the ceiling. The lighting emanating from them is dim, creating a warm yellow/orange glow that shrouds the entire level. The fixtures refract the light, creating a mesmerizing dance of shadows and illumination. Many clocks also adorn the walls, each one featuring a different time and moving at a different speed. The nature of these clocks makes it easy to lose track of time in Level 232. Its cozy atmosphere gives wanderers false illusions of security, leading them to navigate the level carelessly and make decisions that they would otherwise disapprove of.

When the wanderer begins to feel an odd sense of familiarity in Level 232, the level begins to Weaponize Nostalgia in the form of Memory Snares.

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A Memory Snare resembling a camera

Memory Snares

Memory Snares are objects found in Level 232 that resemble items holding valuable and important childhood memories to the wanderer. With the cozy and warm environment of Level 232 and the almost constant stress of surviving in the Backrooms, it is very easy to lose focus and try to interact with these objects reminiscent of a better time.

Wanderers have reported hallucinating loved ones perusing down aisles, only staying in the wanderers vision for a few seconds. Oddly, the hallucinations are often younger versions of family members, with details that wanderers have said to have forgotten about. Wanderers have also reported hallucinating familiar sounds, voices, and even smells. These usually have important value and meaning to the wanderer, whether they previously remembered the memory associated with them or not. These illusions appear to somehow access the wanderer’s mind and memories, even some that the wanderer themselves forgot. The illusions utilize nostalgia in order to trick the wanderer into following them, leading them to the Memory Snares.

The illusions that lead a wanderer to a Memory Snare often correlate to the item. For example, a wanderer might hear a distorted version of their old favorite song that leads them to a cassette tape, or the smell of cake candles will lead them to their favorite gift from a birthday party. The items also appear to be in unusual locations, as if they were placed there recently by a carefree child. For instance, in the above photo the camera was placed on top of the keys of a piano.

Upon touching or interacting with a Memory Snare the wanderer will enter a dreamlike state where they watch their childhood memory associated with the object unfold. The wanderer is not in their childhood body, but instead views the memory from the perspective of a bystander. The wanderer can walk around in the memory, but they are invisible.

The memory will be extremely accurate and lasts between 20 minutes and an hour. As the memory progresses it will become more and more twisted.
Wanderers have reported seeing things like:

  • Family members with Missing eyes, limbs, facial features, skin, ect.
  • Family members murdering each other.
  • The sky turning red.
  • Day/night cycle moving incredibly fast.
  • Stars moving and changing positions.
  • Birds forming unusual patterns.
  • People and animals moving in unnatural ways.

It is important to stay strong during this time, as letting go and succumbing to the past will likely have disastrous effects. A single moment of weakness can determine a wanderer's entire fate in Level 232.

If the wanderer is able to withstand the Memory Snare and let go of the past they will wake up on the floor of the Antique Store, and the Memory Snare will be gone. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the level and how a wanderer is always alone, it is impossible to know what happens if a wanderer is unable to overcome their past. However, it is believed that they remain trapped in the memory for an indefinite, but presumably infinite amount of time.

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The Final Test in Level 232

Notable Locations

The Vault

After resisting the Memory Snares wanderers will eventually find a hallway with no antiques on any shelves. If they keep walking down the hall they will eventually find a vault. The vault is the only known exit in Level 232.

Immediately upon entering the wanderer will enter another dreamlike state very similar to the effect of a Memory Snare. However, instead of showing the wanderer the past and their childhood it will show the wanderer the future. It could show them either their death, a loved one’s death, getting injured, the unknown, or anything in between. Similar to Memory Snares, the wanderer can choose to succumb to their fear and remain in the vision forever to never experience the future pain. Or, the wanderer can accept the future and continue walking forward. Soon the wanderer will find a threshold. Venturing into it is the only known way of escaping the level. After doing this the wanderer will fall unconscious and will wake up in Level 5. After this, the wanderer will never be able to enter Level 232 ever again.

Bases, Outposts, and Communities

Bases, outposts, and communities are impossible due to the nature of Level 232.

Entrances and Exits

Entrances

  • Entering an old wooden door with a translucent window in Level 0.
  • Entering a store called "Caspian's Antiques" in Level 11.
  • Entering a rare door labeled employees only in Level 31.
  • Entering a business called "Ezra's Antiques" in Level 36.
  • Finding a section of really old arcade machines in Level 40.
  • Crossing the street and entering a store called "Gael's Antiques" in Level 153.

Exits

  • Passing the threshold in the vault of Level 232 will always take wanderers to the Main Hall of Level 5.

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