The infamous final level of the original Psychonauts game known only as the Meat Circus is the resulting mindscape between the twisted combination of Razputin's childhood memories of growing up in the circus and Coach Oleander's childhood memories of a butcher shop mixed together to form a creepy landscape of a mental world.
After jumping into the brain tank and having his mind combined with Oleander's, Raz comes across a young Oleander. After a short conversation, Oleander runs into the caravan to chase after his pet rabbit. Raz follows and enters the twisted Meat Circus. Upon entering, it is revealed that Oleander has lost his bunny, and Raz must help in getting it back.
While Oleander runs after his pet rabbit, Raz must protect him from a variety of hostiles such as the Knife Thrower and the Bunny Demon. Eventually, Oleander catches the bunny and flies out of the big top using his pinwheel hat. Raz follows him through the tunnel of love and encounters the Butcher - a large, aggressive, and cannibalistic projection of Oleander's father. After defeating him, Raz is thrown down a hole into a large tent where he meets a projection of Augustus, his own father, a psychopath hellbent on his son's demise. Raz must chase after his father and avoid the water flooding the large tent.
After avoiding the rising water and dodging his father's attacks, Raz reenters the Butcher arena. He must then fight The Butcher and his own father simultaneously. After knocking the Butcher into a giant meat grinder, Raz's real father breaks into his mind, and PSI Blasts the fake father into the same meat grinder. There, the two fathers are ground up to pieces and spit back out as the Two-Headed Dad Monster. After defeating them, Raz and his father are thrown outside the caravan. Young Oleander thanks Raz for saving all the bunnies and for talking to his dad. Raz's mind and Oleander's mind are then separated.
Points of Interest
- The Caravan
- Tent City
- The Tent
- Tunnel of Love
- Butcher Shop
- Big Top
- The Vortex
- Meat Bunnies
- Knife Thrower
- The Butcher / meat man (Boss)
- Augustus (Fake)
- Two-Headed Dad Monster (Boss)
- 11 figments are outside the big top.
- 12 are on the first floor of the big top. (This doesn't include the ladder.)
- 7 can be found until reaching the second bunny pickup.
- 12 can be found between the second and third bunny locations.
- 16 can be found between the third and fourth locations.
- 5 can be found between the fourth bunny pickup and the tent exit.
- 11 are found on the other side of the big top.
- 20 are found on the rail for the tunnel of love. One of them is off-rail, and requires a jump to reach.
- Blocking the passage to the Meat Circus (mandatory).
- The second cobweb blocking the passage to the Meat Circus (mandatory).
- After exiting the big top, to the right and against the tent.
- Bag: At the end of the tunnel of love.
- Tag: On the tunnel of love slide.
- Bag: On the first meat platform in the big top.
- Tag: On the broken road to the left of the entrance.
- Bag: Next to the tunnel of love entrance.
- Tag: On the top platform of the big top.
- Steamer Trunk
- Bag: To the left of the entrance.
- Tag: On the top of the big top entrance.
- Bag: To the very left of the big top exit.
- Tag: In the bottom level of the big top.
- There's a non-aggressive Fat Lady sitting around the map, a reference to the fat lady common among freak shows and circuses. This can also be a reference to the statement "It is over when the fat lady sings" because this is the final stage of the game.
- On the Steam version of Psychonauts, there is an achievement called "I Thought That Was Unbeatable!", a reference to frustration in the first release of Psychonauts for containing both a difficult escort run and an even worse platforming section - especially with limited lives (whereas with newer releases, the difficulty has been knocked down dramatically).
- The fanfares in the level's music sound like laughing. The music itself is extremely reminiscent of the soundtrack from Tim Burtons Beetlejuice.
- During the course of this stage, a ghostly entity calling Razputin's name frequently appears and vanishes. This is the real Augustus trying to project himself into Raz's mind.
- The Meat Circus in the original version (Xbox, PS2, and PC) is considered by fans to be the most infamous and most difficult level in the game because of the difficult escort run, the hard platforming section, and limited lives. In the Steam, Xbox Live, and PSN releases, the difficulty was lowered, as well as the addition of more frequent checkpoints.