Level 401 - "Choices"
rating: 0+x

Choices… choices… choices…
You wake up—

Your face is covered with sleep marks from your arms being nested under your head for a long period of time. The air has the stench of old oak wood along with freshly coated paint. Each breath you take is big, and it takes you a moment to understand where you are.

A long hallway fills your vision. It's painted white and extends for a while before meeting an end.

Rays of light illuminate above you with no apparent source. The slight buzz from the ominous lights causes a ringing sound in your ears. A feeling of uneasiness settles in. Where are you?

Attempting to pick yourself up onto your feet, your legs wobble a bit before falling to the ground quickly. After a few more attempts, you finally steady yourself out. Your first instinct after spending time in the Backrooms is to try to scout out the landscape of the level you find yourself in. You don't remember reading about a level like this before. In all honesty, you don't remember anything before this.

Memories of previous levels come, almost like a vision. Though you don't remember how you got here.

Do people even know about this place? What if this is some undiscovered level that nobody knows?

Similarities to earlier levels encountered give you slight peace of mind despite the unsettling nature of the situation. You start walking in the only direction that you could go in—straight.

As you near the end of the hall, you notice something. There's a plastic sign painted in copper brown. Words start to form as you get closer to the sign.

Looking closer, it's a sign with the two messages crudely plastered on it. The first of which says, "Going left leads to a room with pits of spikes." An arrow points to the left under the message. The other reads "This path will lead you to a hungry hound ready to tear you to bits and pieces." Underneath the bold message is a sign pointing to the right.

You very quickly start to understand the current predicament.

There must be some way out of this… right?

It pains you a bit to look at the choices in front of you.

On each end is a white door trapped with a choice; choosing your own death— how sad. You choose the right path; after all, hounds aren't that tough, right?

As you enter the left doorway, you take a large gulp. Your attempts to calm yourself prove ineffective.

You enter a pitch-black room. Whilst you have no idea the size of the beast in the chamber, you have a pretty good understanding of what will happen if you get caught.

You take a flashlight from your pocket and pitch it across the room to distract the being.


The creature stops in its tracks. Quickly, it rushes towards the sound. A faint light catches your attention. How didn't you see this before? You bolt and rush towards what you presume is an exit, not even noticing the loud noises each footstep makes. The hound starts chasing you. It starts closing the gap behind you.

You barely make it to the exit before quickly opening and shutting the door.


The creature tries gnawing at the door, but all attempts fail.

You notice a lock on the door and quickly latch it shut.

Taking a moment, you fall to the floor, nearly puking in the process. You instinctively reach for your backpack, only to realize you accidentally dropped it in while in the room with the hound.

You contemplate your next move before looking forward. Another hallway meets your vision, with what you immediately presume is another set of choices.

You reluctantly and slowly pick yourself up, stumbling towards the end of the hallway with another sign at the end. The sign, as expected, carried two messages, the first of which states "If you take this path, you will be met with a beast beyond comprehension, " Below the message is an arrow pointing to the left. The other message reads "If you take this path, you will experience psychological terror like never before," with an arrow pointing to the right underneath the message.

The first thing you question is the first option. What did the sign exactly mean by its wording? Monster beyond comprehension?

In the first challenge, you might've picked psychological torture. Though, considering you were worried about the end result of the first challenge you wave off the idea completely.

The idea of an entity you've never seen before terrifies you, though you know it may be the only way out of here.

You cautiously open the door to reveal… a blank white room.

The white void in front of you is confusing. It's evident that this entity's tactic is a bit less obvious than the creature you faced prior. You can't tell if it's paranoia, but it feels as though you are being watched by something.

Soon thereafter, something in the corner of your eye catches your attention. One of the ceiling tiles lifts up, with large, white tibial spikes descending slowly. You've only ever seen these spikes once before. Before your life in this hellhole, you loved watching videos of praying mantis. Quickly putting the pieces together, you calm your body. Deep breath after deep breath to relax.

As soon as you had come to realize that this creature was similar, you also realized that panicking would lead to death. You calmly turn behind you, seeing the front legs descending from the ceiling.

You get close to the wall, Aware of the fact you're inches away from the tibial spikes and possible death. As you feel the wall, you feel a crack. You try your hardest to pull it open in the hopes that it's a door.

The fact it won't budge frightens you more and more. You realize at that moment that… without any sort of weapon or distraction, this very well could be the end. Getting to this level, surviving the hound. Was it all for nothing? You close your eyes excepting your death

Just then, you remember the snack bar in your pocket. It had been the only ration you had after dropping your bag earlier.

Reluctantly, you take it out of your pocket and throw it, quickly being caught by the tibial spikes. It looks as if the bar you had was floating mere inches from you.

The legs stop, slowly lifting it up into the ceiling and shutting the tile wall back in the ceiling. Instantly, the impact of the situation hit you; the spikes were so close that you could almost feel them. Yet, you ended up ignoring them up to this point— maybe it was an anomaly of the level or the sheer focus to get out of the room.

The adrenaline rush caused by this realization pushes you to finally pull the door, before rushing and closing it once again.

You triumphantly fell to the floor. Though, with as many challenges as you faced, you really hoped to see something… anything but the same bland hallway.

Trying to find some way to take your mind off of the fact that you have another choice to make, you consider the entity you'd just encountered. Maybe finding a name for it would help put your mind at ease a bit? You try to come up with a creative name and find… nothing.

Another think-through and the name "Ceiling Mantis" comes to mind. You find it fitting and obvious, yet effective enough to use. Confident you made the right choice for the name, as they say, "Out of sight and now out of mind", you sigh.

After your long period of sighing, you look around closely at your surroundings and start to notice something.

From the walls to the ceiling and floor, everything looks worn down. The paint is chipped and the smell of fresh paint is replaced with the pungent odor of mold. Your caution turns to curiosity.

You find yourself walking towards the end of the dilapidated hall. The words are faded yet readable. The first message conveys "Choose the left to go to your hometown." with an arrow pointing left underneath. The other reads "Choose the right to visit your worst nightmare." The arrow under this decision is nearly completely faded.

The difference between these two choices piques your curiosity. This set of choices seemed… more personal.

Despite taking time to think of the decision, you knew your choice as soon as you saw the options. However, you're skeptical that this doorway will actually lead you to your hometown. You walk towards the left and open the door gently.

You close your eyes and enter before opening them. It's pitch black, and as you had predicted, it hadn't led you home.


The door slammed shut behind you. The lights came on, practically hitting you with a flash bang. Blinking through the sudden brightness, you squinted, revealing a town.

As you look around, you notice some similarities… could it be? Your hometown? Or, at least the one you were in before falling into the Backrooms.

You can't be sure what scares you more, the fact this place is silent, or the fact that it's better created than you could have remembered.

but then you noticed the mannequins. They were human-sized and seemed to have faces.

Did… you recognize those faces? Were they possibly the faces of people you knew at one point? Their blank stare and unmoving presence terrify you in a way that you couldn't even begin to explain. The longer you stare, the more entranced you feel. The hairs on your arms began to point up and you swore you had heard one of them talk.

What was this?

Why were they here? Are they entities? Or something else entirely? These questions make you consider this place.

You remember a level you had visited before that could pull out memories deep from within you to create a place for you to be in. But… this was different. Unlike those previous levels, this one seemed super accurate… too accurate.

There's no way you could've remembered this. So then how the hell could this place replicate it so well? It was like this level knew you personally, somehow—

You try to find the first piece of evidence proving this place is fake. It doesn't take you long for you to notice the grass was fake. Taking a closer look, you notice everything was plastic? Everything, from the trees to the houses, to the stone and grass.

Part of you wanted to find something that proved not everything was plastic. You tried touching everything yet to no avail. Your discovery was expected, yet saddening.

Part of you wanted this place to be real.

You go inside the replica of your home in search of comfort, only to fall onto a musty floor. You had basically just gotten there before it went away just as fast. Was that it? Was this some sick attempt from the level to remind you of peace before showing it has all the power to take it away?

You glance up to a dilapidated hallway. Everything was ripped up, and the white hallway wasn't even there anymore. It looked like a monster had shredded the wallpaper, leaving nothing but shreds of white in its place. Mold was in every corner, and the carpet was moist enough to dunk your shoes in water completely. You noticed nearly instantly how bad the smell of the mold had become. Tears start trickling down your face, yet you feel you should continue.

You muster up the little mental and physical strength you have to carry yourself over to the next set of choices. Now you're determined to show this place who's boss.

Getting to the end of the hall reveals a faded sign. The words are impossible to make out. This very well could be it for you, and you wouldn't even know what you had to choose from. You could be walking into an impossible-to-escape death trap. You go towards the right— and enter.

The room has dim, flickering grey lights hanging above. You start to experience a splitting headache from what you believe is caused by the hums of the lights above. Steaming pipes littered across the room, covering every single corner.

The lights turn off.

You wake up and your clothes are ripped to shreds with scratch marks all over. You contemplate what happened before taking a moment to analyze your surroundings. It's a large, white room, with nearly endless amounts of doors surrounding you. Every single one has the message "Choose Me" etched in. You notice a backpack. It's… your backpack. You can't even move your legs, so you resort to using your barely functioning arms to crawl your way to the bag. You open it to find all of your supplies. You reach into your bag, trying your hardest to reach the almond water stuffed deep in there. You feel it, tightening your grip as far as it will go before quickly pulling your hand and the water out.

You drink it as if you never will be able to drink again, taking a second to bask in the slight healing properties of the water. Despite being tired, you try to crawl to a corner where you believe you will be safest.

You to collapse to the ground, going into a semi-comatose-like state.

Had you noclipped to another area of the level altogether? You sit there and wait for the properties of the water to take full effect. You fall back into the state of rest.

Though, this next rest is different. Nightmares of the trauma you'd experienced before fuel your dreams, and before you even know it, you wake up in a cold sweat.

You had no idea how much time has passed, but your body has healed.

You get up and notice how shaky your legs are.

Going to one of the doors, you open it to reveal… a brick wall?

Quite frankly, it wasn't what you had expected; you go to another one of the doors… another brick wall. Your confusion is only matched by the presence of silence.

No hum buzz, or ripped-up walls and carpet. Just an empty room with monotonous, white wallpaper. Hours of searching, and hundreds of false doors later, you find the hallway where it all began.

You really enjoyed the moments of peace you had before jumping back into this place. You discover yourself back into the cycle of choices. The smell of oak wood and fresh paint fills your nose as you walk through the hallway. Making it to the end of the hallway, the plastic sign greets your vision. To your dismay the wording is odd. "If you go to the left, you will find the recreation of your demise." with an arrow pointing towards the left. The other part reads "If you go to the right, you will find the recreation of your birth." with an arrow pointing to the right. As you've come to know of this place, the wording makes practically no sense.

You know this place has the capacity to recreate things from your lifetime to some extent, but your birth? It unsettles you how this place knows so much about you.

Deciding on the left door, you enter, to find— The place where you first dropped into? The yellow monotonous rooms and chaotic disorganization of the hallways.

But, something is… different. Similar to your memory from before, it's all just a recreation. A fake made from plastic.

You take a second to think, you actually liked the other obstacles a lot more than this. As you wander the plastic rooms, you feel a sensation.

You can't tell what it is, maybe nostalgia? No… isn't that maybe something else? Discomfort hits you. The first and only thing that you can think of is to get out.

You run for what feels like no reason. Trying to find the door… or anything different for that matter.

As soon as you cross a large light, you gun it. The "intensity" of the situation wears down and your mind calms.

It had felt like there was something chasing you every second you'd spent here.

You look in front of you while the bland hallway just sits there.

At first you were scared, but now, you're just annoyed at this place. You've faced dangers most could never have dreamed of. But in the end, you just end up back in the same hallway where the horrors of this level all started.

Did you even have a choice to begin with..? You sigh, walking toward the end of the hallway.

Expecting another weird memory-based choice, your annoyed outlook turns to slight surprise with a mix of concern when you read the sign. "Go left, fight the monster you so desired."


What is this place? Why and how does it know so much?

You remember hearing of levels that were alive before. Could this be similar? Another thought crosses your mind. Could be possible that this level responds to your choices and thoughts? Responding with whatever will make you give up?

You're semi-skeptical of this theory despite the fact that all the evidence was there to begin with.

You shake your head, saving those theories and questions for the M.E.G. Whenever you get out… If you get out.

You walk into the room, revealing a large, orchid-pink blob. It had tons of bones on the inside. You question what this creature may be capable of.

In this train of thought, you then remembered your backpack. You quickly take it out to get a bar, and you chuck the wrapped bar toward the creature. The bar hits the creature, but instead of bouncing off or falling to the floor, it gets assimilated into the creature.

The bar dissipates within seconds.

You expect the creature to move in response to something touching it. You get an almond water bottle from your bag and wield it as your immediate weapon of choice. You wait a few seconds… nothing. This creature didn't move an inch from its spot. Almost as if it was stuck to the floor.

Had it been this easy? You walk closer to the entity attempting to make sure that this creature really couldn't move. Your blood pressure skyrockets and quickly decreases with each step.

You're only feet away from the creature when you realize the door on the other side of the room.

Deciding that your life was more important than uncovering its secret, you make a rush for the exit. You make it toward the door and are able to open it with relative ease. The lack of challenge in the situation puts you on edge.

After all, almost every challenge faced thus far has had some sort of twist. The look on your face when you open the door to the bland, white, hallway is nothing short of confusion.

Another hallway? What puts you on edge the most is the blandness of golden-yellow hallway. You shake off any suspicions and start walking.

As you reach the end of the suspiciously bland hallway, you notice something. There were no doorways, this was unusual for what you had come to know of the level thus far.

What usually leads to two distinct hallways are simply walls. In replacement of the usual plastic sign is an oak-wood sign. Words are plastered on that semi-confuse you. "The illusion of choice is the most powerful illusion there is."

You stop and take a second and think. You're both confused and frustrated. The phrasing was so… off the beaten path from what you'd come to know of this level. The little control you had over your life was taken away and now there's nothing.

Nothing but an empty hallway.

You turned back behind you and walk to where you came from. After all, if you can't go forward, might as well go back, right?


You fall to the floor, starting to lose consciousness. You can't tell where it came from, but you attempt and fail to keep yourself awake as you slip into unconsciousness.

You wake up—

Your face is covered with sleep marks from your arms being nested under your head for a long period of time. The air has the stench of old oak wood along with freshly coated paint. Each breath you take is big, and it takes you a moment to understand where you are…

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