Level 201
rating: +63+x

SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class 1

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Level 201 is the 202nd level of the Backrooms, and it seems to consist of a giant desert with a large ocean to one side and a bright city on the other.

Description:

This level's main area consists of a large desert of yellow and violet sand that spreads for roughly 10,000,000 kilometers squared, about 3 times the surface area of the United States, and has an overall temperature that ranges from 15ºC to 20ºC. Located at the warmest edge of the desert is an ocean, while at its coldest side there is a deserted but vibrant city, with the rest of the desert being completely surrounded by tall mountain ranges. The reason for the constant temperature distribution may be related to the position of the sun in this level, which has an orange and pink coloration. Its apparent size in the sky is 6 times greater than that of our Sun. It's also fragmented in straight, horizontal lines, and it's completely stuck in place on the sky, always setting above the ocean's horizon line when it's observed by the coast. The sky has a large, white line grid that stretches all over the level, and its colororation progresses from a bright orange near the sun to a deep purple over the city.

Another feature that is characteristic of this Level is the "background music" that plays throughout the whole of Level 201. The music's source is completely unknown as of now, and its genre is very hard to define, as the music seems to somehow be different for every Wanderer, even if they are side by side. One thing that remains consistent is how most Wanderers claim to find the music "familiar and nostalgic", and usually compare it to "an amalgamation of lounge and elevator music, smooth jazz and R&B, but slowed down and very remixed".

Due to the fact that compasses are completely nonfunctional in this level, the position of the sun as observed from any point in the level will be used as a reference point to determine makeshift cardinal directions, in order to more easily determine the position of the other areas of the level.

The Cool Desert

The Cool Desert is one of the largest areas of Level 201 and the one that connects to all of its other areas. This area has various ruins and temples scattered around, along with many floating geometric shapes1. Sightings of Static Ghosts are also frequent in this area, though due to the size of the Desert, encountering one of these Entities is uncommon.

The aforementioned ruins consist of half-buried Greco-Roman temples, columns, walls, and foundations, completely made of smooth purple marble and decorated with various statues, murals and busts reminiscent of those eras. Many temples also feature floating neon rings around their columns and old desktop computer terminals in their main courtyards, sitting on the floor. These terminals are usually functional, and since Wi-Fi is relatively strong in the area, any Wanderer can use them, though some of them lack a keyboard, and none of these terminals is compatible with any model of computer mice. These terminals also use an outdated system of dial-up modems, and so accessing the Internet will take some time.

The flora of the Desert is varied, with many potted plants not indigenous to desert biomes spread throughout the area, palmtrees being the only exception, as they are rooted near small oases of water scattered around the area. This water has the same properties as the water located in the Web Sea, and all oases are located below sea level, so it is assumed that said water comes from the Web Sea.

The Desert's eastern and western edges are completely surrounded by tall mountain ranges. These mountains are made of barren rock, and are completely devoid of life. Many attempts were made to climb these mountains to see what lies on their other side, but none were successeful.

Sunset Coast

This beach is located north of the Cool Desert, close to the Web Sea, where the sun is always setting upon, hence the coast's name. This area has many palmtrees lined up along the coast, and it's the warmest area of the entire level. The sand here is considerably softer than elsewhere in the Desert, and the Sea's waves are always of low intensity and height. Some Static Ghosts can also be seen here, most of them staring at the sun, while some just lay on the Coast's sand.

The water from both the Sea and the oases is not drinkable, not because it's toxic, but because it's almost completely intangible, as well as impossible to contain in any sort of container. Despite that, it still feels wet when touched, like regular water. Due to its intangibility, not only is it impossible to swim in the Sea, but it's also possible to breathe underwater.

The Web Sea & Digital Trenches

The Web Sea is the name given to the entire body of water that surrounds the Cool Desert at its north, and was named like that due to its 'vector-like' appearance, composed of lines arranged like a net, not unlike the level's sky. The Sea has almost no oscillatory activity, and it has a deep blue coloration, but sometimes it fades into a soft purple, although no periodic pattern to this occurrence has been found yet. Due to the properties of the water in this level, it is possible to enter the Sea by foot and explore its depths.

Although Static Ghosts are pretty rare here, schools of Binary Fish can be found throughout the entire sea. These entities take the appearance of skeletal fish up to 20 cm of length and resemble members of the Merlucciidae family, though much smaller. They are entirely made up of strings of binary digits with a gray aura around them and are mostly harmless, although when hungry they will attack any other living beings around. However, due to the Sea's lack of other life forms, their diet consists only of seaweed and, very rarely, Wanderers. Anything that gets bitten by a Binary Fish will start to dematerialize into strings of binary code, which will then be consumed by the school.

The Web Sea isn't very deep, having a depth of 500 m. It is there that the Digital Trenches are found. The Trenches are a lot darker when compared with the sunlight zone of the Sea, and are filled with floating computer windows, resembling those from the early days of the Internet in the Frontrooms, describing many of the Levels of the Backrooms. However, some of the windows contain now outdated and even inaccurate information, so these windows shouldn't be considered a completely reliable source of information about the Backrooms.

Every window contains a hyperlink, and touching said hyperlink will usually transport its user to the window's respective level, but some links may also be either outdated or completely broken and, according to reports found in the level, these links will lead to what is called the Null. Not much is known about this location, other than the fact that it's an expansive void of whiteness, with the only sound being the faint whispers of chants, repeating the numbers "four zero four", over and over. Since very few of the hyperlinks have been confirmed to be either safe or dangerous, the usage of other hyperlinks is strongly discouraged.

Neon City

Being the southern area of the level, the furthest away from the sun, the Neon City is the coldest area of the level. It is composed of many buildings, including skyscrapers, hotels, and shopping malls. Every building in this city isn't maintained by any Entity or phenomenon of sorts, yet they don't show any signs of abandonment or erosion and remain completely untouched. While it is constantly night at the City, it is still very vibrant due to the large amount of lights and neon signs that cover the buildings. Despite that, many bright stars can be seen in the sky. Many of the neon signs refer to known brands from the Frontrooms, although most of them refer to Japanese media. Seemingly at random, rain can start to pour in this area, yet there are no meteorological signs of its arrival and as of now it was verified they can last for periods of no more than 15 minutes.

The streets and roads have a functional traffic light system which regulates what is known as the Light Traffic, currents of red car lights that dart through the roads at high speeds, stopped only by the red traffic lights. Being ran over by the Light Traffic can be deadly, so it's advised to stay on the streets, which are teeming with Static Ghosts.

The shopping malls also contain various neon signs, and have some design features borrowed from the Desert's temples, like the neon rings around the columns. They have at least 2 stories, the floors are usually made of square marble tiles, and they have roofs made out of glass panels. While almost all of the stores and restaurants are closed and are impossible to break into, the arcades are usually open, as well as some snack bars. In these arcades, most of the machines are functional, and all the cabinets and pinball machines are in "free play" mode, meaning they don't require any sort of currency to play with. Some of the machines do reward Wanderers with tokens, which are only used to buy drinks and snacks that are safe for consumption2 at the many vending machines scattered through the building. There are also ball pits in these arcades, which are totally safe to jump into =). should be avoided at all costs. No Partygoers have been sighted in the arcades or the entirety of Level 201 yet.

The hotels are more similar in style to the Desert's temples than the malls, yet they also have interior pools and are still very simple in design, containing only some potted palm trees around their lobbies and corridors, some vending machines and even some gift shops which have various items on display, usually t-shirts, caps, and slippers, though some also have small lamps and Scarabacks. Since no one is looking after the shops, the items can be taken freely. The hotels are also slightly more dangerous, as some windows may actually be Windows, and as such it is advised to traverse the hotels' windowed corridors with caution.

Many of the buildings, malls and hotels included, contain television sets, which are usually turned off, but can be easily turned on. If one is turned on, an image of another level will appear, but very distorted by static. Almost every channel displays a different level, although the levels showcased in each channel aren't consistent throughout the televisions in this level, and some channels may even show a multi-colored test card. No-clipping into these TVs will always lead into the level they're currently displaying, although no-clipping into a channel with no signal will lead into the Null. Even still, this remains as the safest way to leave Level 201.

Phenomena

The VHS Effect

Every time Level 201 is recorded on camera, either on video or on a photograph, for most Wanderers the resulting video/image will always appear with a static glitch effect, as well as words and numbers depicting the time and day the image/video was recorded and a function that is executable by cameras, such as "PAUSE", "REW" or "PLAY", mimicking old recorded analog media. For this reason, this effect is called "VHS Effect".

Other variations of this effect may also occur, most notably one where the glitch effects are mostly mitigated, and the analog functions, date and time are replaced by LED digital-like numbers showcasing the date the media was recorded. It is unknown why this happens, although many Wanderers' descriptions are slightly different in some way, and the effects usually remind them of homemade videos made by their family. Some Wanderers, however, as well as many other sapient Entities, will not witness this effect, and view the image/video as it should normally look. This hints at the possibility that the VHS Effect only occurs to those that have had moments of their childhood recorded via photograph or video.

The Tune-Out and Static Ghosts

One previously unmentioned property of the "background music" is that if one were to stop and listen to it, they will start to feel extreme relaxation and calmness. However, it is strongly discouraged to stay in that state for too long as that may result in the listener "tuning-out" of this immediate plane of existence. The Tune-Out is the name given to the phenomenon. When a Wanderer starts to tune-out, their body will become increasingly covered by a static effect and, over time, they will become less and less affected by outside stimuli, whether physical, visual, auditory, or otherwise.

If the Wanderer in this state isn't interrupted from their trance, their own body will become intangible to other beings, and they will permanently become a Static Ghost. As such, it is strongly advised to travel through this Level in small groups, and always remain alert and fully focused. Having an outside source of noise, like an alarm clock, seems to be a relatively consistent way to avoid tuning-out. Every Static Ghost, regardless of species, appears to be completely harmless and non-hostile and never react to the presence of any other Entity, nor do they attempt to interact with them. There have been, however, instances of Static Ghosts interacting with each other. So far, these interactions seem to only consist of head shakes and hand-waves, akin to short greetings.

Outposts

M.E.G. Research Team Base Zeta (abandoned)

  • Near one of the temples in the Desert, there is an abandoned base that used to belong to a M.E.G. Research Team
  • According to reports, the team consisted of at least 25 confirmed members, but currently none of their members remain
  • All of the names attributed to both the Entities and the areas of this level were given by them. They were also the ones who made a list of the confirmed functional and broken hyperlinks from the Trenches' windows
  • While most of the members' fates remain unknown, some of the salvaged reports and records reveal that at least 6 members fell victim to pathways that lead to the Null, 2 fell pray to schools of Binary Fish, and 3 to the Tune-Out
  • The base was left with most of its supplies intact, for any Wanderer in need that reaches it. They range from Almond Water to Firesalt and even some Level Keys

Entrances And Exits:

Entrances

The safest and most consistent way of entering this level is through the use of a special VHS tape labeled "Mach+". This tape can be found in many levels, especially in Level 0, Level 1, Level 4 and Level 11. Inserting the tape in a VHS player connected to a TV set will reveal an image that corresponds to a location in Level 201 on the TV's screen. By no-clipping into the TV, one can easily reach this level. Every time this is done, the tape will disappear from the VHS player, and it is unknown if it reappears somewhere else or if multiple tapes exist. It is said that Ralph, the director of Radio Backroom's Studio, usually has access to the tape, or one of its copies, though for now it is just a rumor.

Level 18 can also lead to this level, although this only works under specific criteria. If a Wanderer is able to witness the VHS Effect, then an old video camera may materialize in Level 18. This camera's appearance is never consistent, seemingly taking the appearance of a camera from the Wanderer's childhood, like most things from this level. These cameras will either have one video or one photo, and they are always of Level 201. Viewing the only video/photo recorded in the camera will transport the Wanderer to this level.

Finally, Level 201 can also be reached through Level 33 by entering an electronics store, turning on a computer, and no-clipping into it, although sometimes this may lead you into a Negative Level. This can be done during any of Level 33's states.

Exits

As mentioned above, the safest way to leave this level is by finding a television set in the City, choosing a channel that showcases the desired level of destination, and no-clipping into it. The hyperlinks from the windows in the Trenches are also a reliable way to exit, but only the ones that were confirmed to be safe, as the usage of any of the unconfirmed links was deemed too risky to be reliable.

No-clipping into an arcade cabinet may also lead to either Level 25 or Level 40. No-clipping anywhere else may lead you to a Negative Level. If you find a ball pit in the arcades, jump into it and you'll get to party with us! =). avoid it at all costs.


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