Level 998

Disclaimer

This article features the idea of suicide as a somewhat heavy and important theme to this article. If that is something you find disturbing, uncomfortable, or triggering, either skip this level or read it at your own discretion.





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SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class Varied

  • Changing Safety
  • Unpredictable Security
  • Fluctuating Entity Count
998skylight.jpg

The sky of Level 998 as seen from the skylight within the upper room.

Description

Level 998 is a blank, flat plane of a cloud-like composition. These clouds imprinted onto the floor are, for the sake of comparison, akin to a 3D texture or holographic display. Though the clouds may move based on the position and gaze of the individual wanderer — giving the clouds an illusion of depth — it is actually a solid flat surface with a texture similar to that of wool. This ground has texture vaguely similar to that of a traditional, fantastical feeling of clouds.

998stairway.jpg

The starting staircase of Level 998, as seen from a handful of flights above the ground floor.

Though the geologically flat clouds are the largest portion of Level 998, no wanderer ever appears directly in this exterior plane when arriving. Unlike most levels with multiple entrances, all of Level 998's entrances look identical no matter the level they are found in, and all entrances bring oneself to the same location in this level. Each entrance to Level 998 places the arriving wanderer in the base floor of a concrete office stairwell.

At the top of eight flights of stairs rests a small, originally bare room.1 Recently, small, handpainted pebbles and stones have been added as a way to approximate how many have willingly journeyed to Level 998. It is unknown how many stones are at the entrance to Level 998's cloud plane, but the last images scavenged online showed around 38 small rocks left in a clumsy, astrewed pile.

level998door.jpg

The empty doorway at the top of the stairwell, the crossing to the flat clouds.

Beyond the reaches of Level 998's final room is the previously described flat, empty plane of cloud-imitating ground. When looking at the initial room from the outside, it will appear as a simple square room, built and styled similarly to an elevator house at the roof of a flat-topped skyscraper. The exterior is void of expected details, save for the skirting on the perimeter of the roof. Since access to the roof is impossible, it is unknown what is on the roof's surface, however knowing that a triangular skylight room exists,2 it can be assumed that said skylight occupies most of the roof's area.

Though the cloud layer beyond Level 998's interior is for the most part unchanging, expanding out beyond approximately 30 kilometers reveals a change in the level's nature. The cloud one walks on will begin to grey, the sky progressively undergoing a similar hue shift alongside it. Coinciding with the change in colour, a cold, light breeze will begin to blow around the landscape. This drops the temperature from room temperature3 to one more around 11°C, or around 52°F.

Though infrequent and varying, "common" entities such as Smilers, Dullers, humanoids and non-humanoid creatures infected by Entity 17, and Woodlins have previously been seen and documented online from those venturing into the depths of Level 998. Acting atypically to how these species work on their home landscapes, the entities that peruse and idly wander the colder, greyer sects of Level 998 are not outwardly hostile, or at the very least do not display their usual behaviours.

Instead of acting in their aforementioned usual parameters, most entities in this level oftentimes do little more than moving. Most of the time, the entities appear to not even be aware of a wanderer's precense in the same local space, as most of the time, they simply can be found travelling outwards and away from the levels epicentre.

Do note, however, that the entities within Level 998 are not strictly 'safe', 'neutered', or anything that would render them as harmless to the average person. Aggravating the entities in Level 998, being too close to them, or even being unlucky can prompt the wandering entities to attack or inflict their usual behaviours upon you.

998outside.jpg

A picture taken by a former member of The Leaders, displaying the crossover into the unknown parts of Level 998. Currently, this picture is the farthest ever taken within this level's exterior.

Venturing past the borders of the second, grey cloud territory moves any wanderer into the third, and presumably final, section of Level 998. Wanderers, upon travelling a distance theorised to be about 80 kilometers,4 will be greeted with a black haze, which floods the clouds on the surface, as well as those in the sky. The weather tends to intensify in this portion, turning into large gales and storms that can blow up to 29m/s.5

Though no images exist to confirm or deny this, the entity quantity in the blackest sect of Level 998 is allegedly of a higher volume. As with the grey clouds of the previous middle zone, these entities possess qualities separate from their usual behavour, and instead follow the same outward trail as regular wanderers. Due to their highened presence, there still exists the possibility of being attacked by them, particularly by the more animalistic entities like Smilers, Hounds, Wretches, Crawlers, Plague Goblins, and Wranglers, all of which have proposed sightings.6

As well as gales, Level 998's downpour can become especially brutal in these portions as well. Harsh rain can fall in this outermost ring, sometimes being able to push and manoeuvre travellers who have trekked this far into the level's terrain. 15 kilometers into the black cloud portion of Level 998 lays the edge of a large, neverending foggy storm. The clouds are jet black and permit almost no visibility inside its thundering and raining mass. Winds within the storm itself allegedly move up to a speed of 31m/s and the rain falls in large, harsh, and quick droplets in a brutal, torrential downpour.



From this point on, Level 998 is a complete enigma. Most camera equipment and digital technology cannot survive the harsh winds and rain, with most breaking and becoming inexplicably waterlogged7 within minutes of entering the aforementioned harsher downpour.

For as far back as 1925, an idea has cemented in the minds of Backrooms inhabitants that Level 998 is a harsh, grueling trial in order to reach a peaceful 'safe haven'. Those that believe this idea and choose to trek this level are usually those who have led poor and unfortunate lives plagued by bad circumstance, illness, loss, and other physical or mental ailments that have pushed individuals to want better.

The other widely accepted hypothesis for Level 998 is that it leads to nowhere, and that the darkest, harshest portion of the landscape is a lethal storm which swiftly eliminates all who come within its mass. Though this hypothesis is a more pessimistic ideology, those who accept this alternative interpretation still travel to Level 998 regardless. This secondary group believes that the swift death at the hand of the storm acts as a relatively easy and painless method of suicide.8

Similar to the first group of people with ailments that choose to cross Level 998 for a peaceful and clear life, people often cross Level 998 simply to have their death be their own decision. Most choosing this method may be old, senile, and terminally ill, or they may be individuals stricken with harsh wounds from The Backrooms' levels, entities, and objects.


Bases, Outposts and Communities

The Spiritors

Whilst not actually residing within Level 998, Spiritors are an unnofficial group of interest that has existed since the early days of the B.N.T.G. in 2016. Residing in the Traders Keep until 2022 at the formation of the M.E.O.D., The Spiritors now host their main base within Level 13.1 inside of the main town.

Their main goal is to unify and bring together those that are choosing to enter Level 998, regardless of which interpretation they believe in. This group has flyers, which they not only give out to random passersby, but also staple to the town walls and on lamposts to spread their message and try to bring the unfortunate together.

After collecting enough people, a small amount of two or three people often go to one of the many levels that Level 998 connects to and walk as a group towards whatever beyond their faith believes in. This group also chooses to leave individual, painted stones at the door outside of Level 998, allowing their group members to paint messages, symbols, or anything they wish onto the stone to leave as a monument to their memory before passing to whatever comes at the end of this level.

Though the group has generated controversy from those who morally oppose euthanasia and those who believe the group attracts unwilling individuals to sacrifice their own life, the M.E.O.D. has allowed them to keep operating.

Entrances And Exits

Entrances

Level 998 has a wide catalogue of entrances, containing undoubedly the most amount of catalogued entrances at an unprecidented 208. The method of entry, as described prior, is one extremely easy to find and use. Existing within the wide selection of levels listed below will be a white, metal double door that resembles those of lifts or elevators. Pushing these back will lead to the starting staircase of Level 998.9

Exits

The exit to Level 998 is still an enigma to this very day; despite references to it dating back to 500 AD13, it has never once been known where the edges of Level 998 actually lead to.

There are many hypothesis for the general and specific details about what Level 998 leads to, but without concrete evidence that will likely never arrive, they will not be documented. Individuals choosing to enter Level 998 are free to decide what they believe awaits them and are free to enact travelling to a hypothetical exit as long as they know the gravity of their desicion.

The M.E.O.D. does not technically condone individuals using Level 998 to free themselves, though no paramaters exist to stop people wishing to cross toward whatever great beyond lays after Level 998 should they want to.




For those who choose to go, we wish for peace to greet you at the end of your venture.





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