Level 167 - "America's Favorite Pastime"
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SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class 1

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  • {$two}
  • Unfriendly Human Communities
baseball.jpg

The stadium at the center of Level 167, taken during a game.

Description:

Level 167 consists of an area about the size of a small city that contains architecture similar to urban and suburban development in the late 20th century. The houses and other buildings that can be found in the level are mostly functional but show some signs of degradation, presumably due to the lack of regular upkeep. Many of the various buildings in Level 167 have graffiti relating to the level's two primary communities. Curiously, there is no grass or other plant life on the level, with any open ground consisting of either concrete or dry dirt.

The level has no electricity, but the running water in the various houses works, although the temperature and quality of the water varies from house to house. The food found in the various supermarkets never spoils, including food which is normally supposed to be frozen, despite the apparent lack of any freezers within the shops. The food found within the shops restocks periodically through unknown means, and when taken out of the level, continues to exhibit the aforementioned lack of expiration. This restocking only occurs when no wanderers are in the building, and has been observed to occur in a time period of as little as 10 seconds between a wanderer leaving the building and reentering.

There is no physical barrier on the outskirts of the level, but traveling far enough in any direction will lead to other levels. The level has no day/night cycle, and its cloudless sky houses an orange sun that never rises or sets. In the center of the level is a large baseball stadium that regularly sees play from a mostly unknown group of people.

Bases, Outposts, and Communities:

There are two main communities on the level. These communities are distinguished by their affiliation with one of the level's two baseball teams, The Milkshakes and The Whiffers. In the center of the level is a line drawn in white spray paint, which indicates the separation between the two teams' territories. On one side of the line is a crude chalk drawing of a milkshake, and on the other, a chalk drawing of a baseball, representing the insignia of each team. Both teams' fans possess great hatred for one another, which often culminates in violent showdowns at the end of the games.

The Milkshakes Fans:

The Milkshakes' colors are red and yellow, and their insignia is a picture of a paper cup with an "M" on it. The Milkshakes Fans are known for singing various "battle songs" during the seventh-inning stretch. These songs change every time, and it is unknown who writes them or how they coordinate the singing. Recently, the songs have gotten more and more ambitious, incorporating harmonies and different vocal parts. Below is a sample verse and chorus from one rendition:

Beat the Whiffers 'till their bloody hands can hardly hold the bat.
Win the game and hit a homer; Milkshakes' plays are bold in fact.
Thousand pitches fly by batter; Hit him once square in the back.
We believe that you can do it, keep our streak of wins intact.

Oh, oh, Milkshakes, we know that you will win.
Oh, oh, Milkshakes, we'll be with you until the end.
Oh, oh, Milkshakes, we know that you will win.
Oh, oh, Milkshakes, we'll be with you until the end.

The Whiffers Fans:

The Whiffers' colors are blue and white, and their insignia is a baseball with an angry-looking face on it and the words "The Whiffers" written below it in a stylized font. The Whiffers Fans are known for their elaborate patterns of coordinated stomps and claps, which they perform throughout the game. It is suspected that many of these contain hidden messages, though most of them are yet to be deciphered. One of the decoded messages can be found below, translated from an advanced variation of Morse Code:

We call upon you, oh great Balduzra, Maker of Kings, King of Makers, to grant us victory in this battle against the Milkshakes, for only you can make the sky tremble and the sun shatter, and only you can help us defeat this formidable foe. In return for this favor, we grant you your pick of any one of our living souls so that one of us may serve you for all eternity.

The Players:

Notably, the players themselves do not seem to be part of the civilian communities, and it is believed that they live under the stadium. Also of note is the fact that they rarely take notice of the fans in the stands; they've even been seen continuing to play in the midst of a violent fight in the stands, only stopping briefly to move a dead body that had fallen onto the field. They seem to play under the same ruleset as Frontrooms' major league baseball, with the exception that they alternate each game between using a designated hitter and requiring the pitcher to bat.

Entrances and Exits:

Entrances:

  • Attempting to play an arcade machine titled "Bad News Bears Xtreme Baseball Challenge" in Level 40 will cause the wanderer to be teleported to this level.
  • Wandering through the "Neighborhood" variant of Level 168 can rarely lead to this level.
  • Going down certain aisles in Level 480 will occasionally lead to supermarkets within this level.
  • A casino in Level 777 called "Black Socks", which focuses on sports betting, has doors that lead to this level and other sports-based levels.

Exits:

As mentioned earlier, wandering far enough away from the central stadium will always lead to another level. Which level the wanderers end up in is fairly unpredictable, but is usually a level that has structures resembling suburban or urban architecture.

The following levels are the most common to be entered from Level 167:




To: Overseer Andrew
From: Henry Sunter, M.E.G. Base Alpha
Subject: Level 167 Human Sacrifice
Date: 07.15.2021


Hi Andrew,

I would like to bring to your attention an incident report I found which I feel might be important to look into.

incident_report_6_13_2021.txt

M.E.G. Incident Report 6/13/2021, Level 167

The Whiffers Fans, a group residing in Level 167, were seen performing what is believed to be a human sacrifice ritual. The victim of this ritual is assumed to be another member of their group and seemed to be participating in the ritual of their own free will. The exact details of the ritual are unclear, as no M.E.G. members were able to get very close to the site, but it seemed to consist of one member bludgeoning the victim with a baseball bat while the others stomped and clapped in unison.

Update 7/13/2021: In the month following the ritual, the baseball team which The Whiffers Fans represent has seen a 7% increase in their win/loss ratio. It is unknown at this time if there is any correlation between that increase and the above incident.

With this incident and the decoded messages from that group calling on "Balduzra" for help, I really think this might be something we should look into.

Henry Sunter, M.E.G. Base Alpha


M.E.G. Interview Log 7/23/2021

Interviewed: Harrison Young
Interviewer: Henry Sunter
Forward: Young is a member of the group known as "The Whiffers Fans". He was contacted after an incident regarding human sacrifice.


<Begin Log>

Sunter: Hi Mr. Young, what can you tell me about The Whiffers?

Young: Well, we're the best team in baseball, if that's anything.

Sunter: But isn't their season win record slightly lower than that of The Milkshakes?

Young: What are you, a Milky? Just because we lost a couple games doesn't mean we ain't the best. Nah. We got the best fans in the league too.

Sunter: I apologize. Can you tell me about the stomping and clapping that you do? It's quite impressive.

Young: I'm sure proud of it too. We practice a lot.

Sunter: And, is there any sort of meaning or significance to the patterns?

Young: It's just a way for us to show our support for the team.

Sunter: I see, and what can you tell me about "Balduzra".

[Young looks shocked by the question]

Young (yelling): Don't say his name aloud.

[Young lunges at Sunter]

<End Log>


Afterward: Henry Sunter was able to flee the site of the interview and escaped, only suffering a black eye and a few bruises.


M.E.G. Incident Report 7/25/2021

The Whiffers Fans' stomping and clapping is incredibly prominent in this game until, in the top half of the fifth inning, the performance suddenly ends with a single unified stomp. The short-lived stillness is broken by a rumble that seems to be coming from the sky. The rumble grows louder until the sun bursts open, enveloping the level in darkness and revealing an enormous baseball with a face on it that rockets towards the stadium. The Milkshakes Fans seem remarkably calm considering the situation, and suddenly, they begin to sing.

Get back. Get back from whence you came.
You will not come to ruin my game.
Get back. Get back from whence you came.
Into the realm. The realm of flame.

Oh, Mr. Whiffler, don't you tread on me.
Oh, Mr. Whiffler, back to the land of dead with ye.
Oh, Mr. Whiffler, don't you tread on me.
Oh, Mr. Whiffler, back to the land of dead with ye.

The giant baseball stops in mid-air, almost as if an invisible force is stopping it from going any further.

And burn. And burn, with fire and might.
It's you we have chosen to smite.
And burn. And burn, with fire and might.
To bring back home the air and light.

Oh, Mr. Whiffler, don't you tread on me.
Oh, Mr. Whiffler, back to the land of dead with ye.
Oh, Mr. Whiffler, don't you tread on me.
Oh, Mr. Whiffler, back to the land of dead with ye.

The giant baseball suddenly explodes, showering the level with flame, and the sun comes back into view. After this, the game continues as normal.

Several Milkshakes Fans were asked about this incident after the game, and they expressed a general disdain for it, saying that it was the "fifth time this year" and "If [The Whiffers Fans] try this bullshit again, I'll throw hands".


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