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Brain Tumbler Experiment

Okay, time to face my big, diving-helmet spitting personal demons.

Raz

The Brain Tumbler Experiment is the second Mental World explored in Psychonauts.

Description

The Brain Tumbler Experiment is set in Razputin's own psyche, which has been accidentally intertwined with Coach Oleander's, giving it a dark and bewildering look littered with thorny bushes and strange pieces of meat.

Points of Interest

  • The Caravan
  • The Hatching Grounds
  • The Woods
  • The Bathtub
  • The Tower
  • The Blueprints

Psychonauts

Upon entering his own mind through the Collective Unconscious, Raz enters a dark clearing covered in thick fog, with a lone caravan sitting nearby. Upon entering the caravan, Raz becomes engulfed in tv-static. Upon punching the static, the "walls" shatter, and Raz tumbles into a large bird nest. The first thing Raz spots nearby is a small bunny-like creature which quickly scampers away. Raz ultimately decides to follow it. The bunny leads him to an open clearing, where a nightmarish monster with big glowing eyes lies in wait. Since the young PSI-cadet has not yet learned how to defend himself, Sasha immediately pulls him back into the real world for additional training.


After completing Sasha's Shooting Gallery and having earned the Marksmanship badge, Razputin returns to face the demon. However, after shooting just one PSI-Blast at it, the monster disappears. Raz continues following the bunny, until he reaches the last clearing, past a giant bathtub marked "S.S.Oblongata". In the middle of the clearing a colossal tower made of thorns rises out of the fog. At the very top is a small round room, where Raz can clearly see Dogen strapped to a chair, threatened by a strange dentist intent on removing his brain. Raz climbs up as high as he can, only to be informed by Sasha that he can't reach the top without using levitation, an ability he doesn't know how to use. Once again, Razputin leaves the experiment for additional training.

After learning how to levitate from Milla Vodello, he returns to the experiment. Upon returning, he witnesses the dentist remove Dogen's brain and dump it into a garbage chute. The dentist then walks into the next room, revealing Lili is also strapped to a chair, and locks the door behind him. Raz immediately jumps down the chute to follow Dogen's brain. He falls into a small square room with walls covered entirely in blueprints. He sees the brain within reach. Before he can grab it, a mechanized claw snatches the brain and drops it into a tank resembling one of the blueprints. The machine fires at Raz, and the two fight. Barely managing to destroy it, Raz collapses on the ground. After beating the lethal contraption, Razputin gets tossed out of a window into the white hallway from Basic Braining, and realizes the Brain Tank is a plot set up by Coach Oleander for world domination. Before Razputin can respond, Sasha extracts him from the Brain Tumbler, and rushes off on "important Psychonauts business".

Enemies

Collectibles

Figments

Vaults

Emotional Baggage

  • Dufflebag
    • Bag: On a platform next to the large spire with netting on it.
    • Tag: On the ledge near the second censor swarm.
  • Hatbox
    • Bag: At the base of the thorn tower.
    • Tag: To the left after the fourth bunch of censors.
  • Purse
    • Bag: Behind the big monster.
    • Tag: Behind the large egg at the start of the level.
  • Steamer Trunk
    • ​Bag: On the high ledge after the big monster. Climb the tree to reach it.
    • Tag: Follow the bunny the bunny bath, after the egg is broken. The tag will be to the left.
  • Suitcase
    • Bag: Located after the third censor swarm. Double jump to the ledge with the bag.
    • Tag: Located in the area before the third censor swarm.

Cobwebs - 5 webs

  1. In the area where the big monster was. The cobweb is behind a tree in the back.
  2. Reach to the top ledge and get swarmed by censors. Climb up until you see another ledge. Use the branches to swing to the pole. Jump off the pole and continue until you reach a large spire with netting on it. Swing to the spire and climb around to the back of it. Jump off the spire toward the mental cobweb.
  3. This cobweb is located off to the left against a wall after you get swarmed by the fourth bunch of censors.
  4. Go to the base of the thorn tower. The cobweb is behind a spire against the wall.
  5. Right before you reach the thorn tower, you should notice a levitation stone on the path. PSI float up to the large bathtub above. The mental cobweb is located inside the bathtub.

Foreshadowing

A lot of the strange things seen in the Brain Tumbler Experiment are actually allusions to Coach Oleander's plot to take over the world.

Other things in the Brain Tumbler Experiment also foreshadowed the way Coach Oleander's and Raz' minds will combine in the climax of the game.

Also proof of other things that Sasha's Brain Tumbler has failed.

  • This could all be a combination of everyone (in the area, including the asylum) else's nightmares combined.
  • The figments found in the level are everyone's minds crowded together.
  • The mental reel could be the plan for the Brain Tank, but it's been messed up because the minds have been jammed together.

Trivia

  • Throughout development and in early builds of Psychonauts, this level was initially called "Nightmare in the Brain Tumbler" before getting its current title.
  • It is illegal to enter the mind of anyone under 18. "In accordance with Section 3, Paragraph 1 of the "Young Minds Protection Act," any device created for the purpose of invasive psychic procedure must have built-in safeguards which make its use upon anyone under the age of eighteen (18) impossible." Because Raz is 10, Sasha uses the brain tumbler instead of the psycho portal to probe inside his mind.
  • Among the audio files for the Brain Tumbler Experiment is a short sound bite from The Wizard of Oz of the Scarecrow singing, "if I only had a brain", most likely put in as a joke.
  • The screaming faces in the mindscape sky resemble the screaming faces in the clouds above Thorney Towers.
  • The SS Oblongata bathtub later appears in Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin inside Loboto's mind.
  • The Brain Tumbler Experiment level was inspired by the transformative works of Salvador Dali, who was quite fond of eggs. One of Dali's painting techniques involved connecting two images with no rational connection to simulate a state of paranoia. This may explain the monster plants with eyes, the rattlesnake bushes, and skullcap mushrooms.
  • The Brain Tumbler Experiment level was also inspired by LucasArts adventure Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders, which opens with a dream sequence in which Zak comes across a series of surreal objects.
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