Prologue

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The Prologue is the single-player narrative in The Blackout Club (game) that provides the rationale for TBC club members to go on missions. The prologue is split into two parts: first in Isabela (Bells)'s house and then in the Maze below her house.

The Prologue, like missions, are broken up into the different objectives. These are notated as subsections.

Part I

Ok, recording... I think? Hi, out there. It's Bells... Isabela. If you've done your homework you probably know I live in the Radio Quiet Zone. We have no cell signal here, no internet, nothing. So no one knows what's happening to us. At night, our town... it changes. We wake up in the woods or on train tracks with no idea how we got there. If you tell an adult they just laugh it off and most folks my age are - well, they're cowards. But - so last night I set up a hidden camera and I finally got PROOF. Stuff the world needs to see. The video's all on this thumb drive and tomorrow I'm going to take mom's car and sneak it far enough out of town to finally get online to reach you. When you see this, come to Redacre! Help us! Please. Uhm, thank you...
~ Isabela Madi-Shaw on laptop recording
The video call Bells receives from her parents.

The prologue opens on Bells recording a monologue on her laptop about what is happening in Redacre. She has put evidence on a flash drive she plans to drive out of town and send to someone so the world can see the proof she captured. After Bells finishes saving her file to her flash drive, the player can begin to interact with the game.

GET PHONE

Pick up phone

After removing the flash drive, Bells grabs her smartphone on the desk next to her laptop. Picking up the phone, the player sees it is a CHORUS phone and connected to the PRI-FI network. Bells remarks that it is "local [service] only". Two contacts then appear on screen - Mom and Dad.

WATCH TV

Wait for parents to get home

Leaving her room and making her way down the upstairs hallway, Bells passes the Master Bedroom and the Office. At the top of the stairs, Bells gets a video call from her parents. Her parents are in a restaurant with a plate of bread sticks in front of them. Players learn Bells was grounded (before the events of the prologue) for sneaking into her mother's workplace. Her parents call to inform Bells that they will be home late, but the conversation begins to devolve into a small argument over Bells' trespassing that led to her grounding. What Bells has done was enough to get her mom fired from her job, her father explains. Static breaks up the call for a few seconds where Bells remarks, "you guys are breaking up". Resuming the call, her parents reassure Bells their relationship is "fine"; they say Bells is the "lonely one". Her parents, now in a happier mood with different clothes and in a different location, explain Bells will not be the lonely one for very long as she is about to meet someone as special as she is. Bells' mom explains Bells only needs to close her eyes and she will see. The call disconnects due to a lack of service. Coming down the family room stairs and making her way into the kitchen, more of Bells' suburban neighborhood is seen through the front windows. In the kitchen, opening the door to the hallway leading to the TV room, Bell's vision begins to elongate as she walks down to the TV playing static. Passing a small bathroom on her left and laundry room on her right, her view normalizes as she approaches the staticky TV. Interacting with the TV, Bells hits the right-side of the TV a few times and the static dissipates. The TV plays a short clip showing a figure watching a screen with a message:

Prologue TVmessage100.gif

"THEY LET YOU SEE NOTHING
THEY ARE COMING FOR YOU
TO WAKE UP
CLOSE YOUR EYES"

Upon closing her eyes, Bells see a message:

"YOU NEED ME. I NEED YOU. FEED ME IMAGES. MOTHER. FATHER. YOU. CLOSE YOUR EYES."

Bells opens her eyes and the TV shuts off.




FIND PHOTO OF DAD / MOM / ME - CLOSE EYES

Across from TV, the message "IT WAKES" is visible on the wall when Bells closes her eyes. A small shadow of a person appears on the kitchen wall as she walks up towards the kitchen. The shadow quickly moves out of view; getting into the kitchen, there is no one there. Entering the family room, a shadow appears across the room of what looks like a humanoid figure. Looking to the window, nothing appears. Closing her eyes, a humanoid figure appears for a brief moment before disappearing. At the base of the stairs is the first picture of Bells' mom. Closing her eyes near the image, a glowing figure that appears to be running is visible before fading out to a new message:

"YOUR MIND IS NOT YOUR OWN
STOLEN IN YOUR SLEEP
YET YOUR BODY REMEMBERS"

Bells asks, "Remembers what? Is it a dance, or a kind of sign?" The player is instructed on how to jump. Opening her eyes and turning towards the stairs, a massive tree - the Unit Tree - is now visible in the family room. The Unity Tree is made of wooden slats stacked together, red string lights, and hanging photo cubes. On the wall behind the tree are the words "WE SHALL GROW TOGETHER". Up the stairs and turning right into her Parents' bedroom, she finds the picture of herself as a baby. Closing her eyes again, a huddled figure appears before the next message:

"THEY TORE OUT SO MUCH
TOO MUCH TO MEND
THE BODY KNOWS WHAT WAS TAKEN
HEAR IT NOW. TAKE IT BACK"

Bells recalls again, saying "I saw... a fence. It's... made of sound. God, it kills...". The player is instructed on how to crouch.

Heading out of the bedroom, Bells sees streamers hanging from the ceiling of the family room. Her breathing quickens and deepens in panic. Catching her breath and now heading across the hall into the Office, Bells approaches the image of her father. Closing her eyes at the picture, a running figure appears with the next message:

"THEY KNOW YOU SAW THEM
IT IS COMING FOR YOU"

Bells says she "remember[s] running. A red... door. And a name. SPEAK-AS-ONE." The player is instructed on how to run as the lights in the room begin to flicker.

WAKE UP

Wake. Up. WAKE UP

Now tasked with waking up, Bells makes her way to her bedroom at the end of the hall. Lights flickering in the bedroom, Bells finds a card pinned to her pillow. Picking it up, the player sees its an invitation. The front reading "You are invited to witness Two become one. Please save the date. Just close your eyes." with a female silhouette in an oval on the left and a blank oval on the right. Bells remarks "What? No, they'd never push anyone on me. What is this?" Flipping to the back of the card saying "Today's the day", she gasps seeing the single oval and the overlaid silhouettes. In the foreground, a small female silhouette in black with white ovals for eyes. Behind her a white humanoid figure set against a black background. Finally closing her eyes, text "WAKE UP" appears all around the room as her view cuts to black.




Waking up in her bed, Bells checks her nightstand. She begins to question if she had even recorded to video when she finds her phone and the flash drive from earlier. A sudden rattle/scratching sound behind her outside sends Bells into panic. She starts furiously looking around, gasping with each sound. Getting out of her bed, she realizes she has to hide in a "closet, bathroom, s-something with a door."

HIDE SOMEWHERE

Bathroom? Closet?

Walking over the dirt trail leading from her bed to bedroom door, she enters the bathroom across the hall. Inside, she calls her dad. A red fringe becomes visible along the edges of the players' screen.

Call Transcript:
Dad: "Hello? Bluebell, what's happening?"
Bells: (panicked whispering) "Someone's in the house..." (heavy breathing)
Dad: 'What? Baby, I can't hear you. Speak up, okay?"
Bells: "Someone's in the ho-"(shrieks as she hears the front door unlocking)(phone disconnects)

Prologue43c TextMessage.png

Immediately following, Bells gets a text message from The Blackout Club informing her the power to the house was cut, the house is surrounded, and the only way to escape is by going down under the house.

GO UNDERGROUND

Follow dirt trail. Close eyes to see the Shape.

Bells makes her way out of the bathroom to follow the dirt trail through her house. The invisible being seen only with your eyes closed (the Shape) enters her home through the front door and walks upstairs to search her bedroom and the other rooms nearby. Making her way through the family room, kitchen, and towards the TV room, the dirt trail turns right into a closet. Inside the closet, she crouches down and finds the trail leading into a small crawlspace in the back of the closet. Turning right, the traillead into the foundation of the house. On the left is a string of lights leading down a tunnel. Crawling down this tunnel, the screen goes dark.




Part II

Prologue51 TextMessage.png

Standing underground in a vast room, Bells thinks "it" (the Shape) is gone. She gets new text messages from The Blackout Club informing her that "they" are messing with her mind; if she closes her eyes, she'll see the trail to follow.

FOLLOW TRAIL

Close Eyes to Follow Trail. Watch For Hidden Messages.

Closing her eyes, a glowing footprint trail walks towards a few metal stairs ahead. Atop the stairs is a desk with four monitors and a chair. Different views of the interior of a house are visible, flickering and switching views every few seconds. Continuing along the path, Bells enters into a small wooden structure with red yard strung throughout and dashed rectangles on the floor. Walking up the hallway and the few stairs, she enters a room with "KITCHEN" painted on the floor, Bells makes the realization, "What? Th... this is my house? They're... recording me?" The footprints lead into another room labeled "FAMILY ROOM" with more string and rectangular outlines of furniture, and up the stairs. On the upper level the footprints lead down the hall. On her right she sees the room labeled "MASTER BEDROOM" and exclaims "Oh god, of course they knew, they heard it all!" Across the hall is the room labeled "OFFICE", and at the end of the hall on the right is another room. The floor has "HER ROOM" written in white paint as she starts realizing "That's... MY room! Shit! They know everything.". The footprints lead Bells up the stairs and into a dark tunnel.


Walking down this tunnel, Bells begins speaking to herself:

"Okay Mr. Voice in my head. We need to talk. I'm guessing that super fun, not-at-all-traumatizing blackout dream means you're still here... listening. And you need me to think aloud, right? I hope whispering counts. Here goes."

"First, thanks for the warning... I'm guessing you saw 'em coming. You seem to know a lot that I...don't.

Bells continues down the tunnel while speaking and makes her way to a ladder. A prompt appears informing players they can change the settings for ladder movement which defaults to Look-Based Climbing (fixed directional controls can be set in the Options menu). Climbing down the ladder and going through the opening ahead, Bells comes across a long staircase covered with long, vibrating strings spanning across the walls. Walking down the stairs, she asks herself "How far down does this go...?" At the bottom of the stairs is a white door. Opening it, Bells enters a narrow corridor spanning left and right with dozens of other, identical doors. To her right down the hall, a figure stands, where the footprints tell you to go. Getting closer, bells recalls it's a Sleeper, "so it's blind, but it can... probably hear me right now...". The Sleeper instead turns and enters one of the nearby doors.


Walking past the door, Bells enters a vast cavern with a massive floating Instrument disk hanging from above. Across the bottomless pit below was a small construction area two Sleepers are working in. The footprints lead Bells along the catwalk along the edge of the wall to a console on a ledge near the floating Instrument disk. Closing her eyes, she sees the message,

"You need the card
to access this.
Follow the trail."

Close Eyes to Follow Trail. Find the Keycard.

The footprints lead Bells to a tall ladder leading to another ledge below and a small tunnel. Climbing down the tunnel and climbing onto the metal stairs, Bells turns to the corner and finds herself on a red carpeted floor in a small network of tunnels. A dark tunnel on her right leads down to a Red Door that is faintly visible. Closing her eyes, she sees a message ahead on the wall:

"I left you something"


GET WHAT WAS LEFT

Find whatever was left for me.

Bells questions this "present" and questions how this voice in her head had been down here before. She pieces it together and asks: "...wait, does that mean I'VE been down here before?!" The footprints lead Bells to a message

"Over here"

Following this message, another on the floor says to Bells,

"Open your eyes"

Ahead of Bells is a Sleeper, busy sweeping up the trash off the red carpet. Getting closer to the Sleeper, the player is instructed on how to jump onto an enemy. Bells hops onto the back of the Sleeper and takes them down to the ground and pins them. To the left of the Sleeper is a Lockpick she must grab.

FOLLOW TRAIL

Close Eyes to Follow Trail. Find the Keycard.

The Sleeper gets up after a few seconds and begins searching for Bells. The red carpet dampens her footsteps enough so her crouched walk is near-silent and she can leave the Sleeper without alerting it of her presence. The Sleeper goes back to sweeping up the trash as Bells heads away from the Sleeper. Bearing left, away from the entrance back to the ladder, Bells finds herself at the locked door. She uses the lockpick and enters a new room.


Two doors in the room are both locked, requiring a code to enter. Bells explains "I'm sure I can climb...something. Dad still calls me 'spidermonkey.'" Climbing up onto the ledge across from the blue-lit door, Bells crawls across the arch and finds another door. Closing her eyes, she sees a message,

"For you"

Attached to the door is a Tranquilizer Dart and a Foam Grenade. Equipping the Foam Grenade and opening the iris diaphragm door, Bells throws the Foam Grenade on the ground below and jumps onto the foam. She takes no damage landing on the foam, one of the many features of Foam Grenades. Inside this new room is a large metallic, spherical object in the center. Walking around the left side, Bells spots a Sleeper working on the opening inside the metallic sphere. She equips her Tranquilizer Dart to incapacitate the Sleeper. Inside the sphere is a long wooden table and several wooden chairs resembling a board room. At the edge of the table is a box of papers and books that, when approached, the player is informed on how to record evidence with their Smartphone. A page on the table with a code, 1138 is recorded. Leaving the enclosed area, Bells is able to unlock the door using this code and returns to the main room with the large, red pit. Bells makes her way to the other locked door to her left and is able to enter the same code, 1138 to unlock the door.

Upon opening the door, the player is taught about the importance of making noise and how some surfaces are louder than others. Inside this next room are two large huts in the center. A red carpet snakes around the perimeter of the room and a Sleeper patrols along this carpet while another Sleeper remains inside one of the huts. Bells makes her way along the carpet, past the roaming Sleeper, and to the entrance of the room.


STEAL FROM THE LUCID

Steal the security card.

At the far end of this room is a Lucid at an Instrument console. The player is informed about Lucids' ability to see players (unlike Sleepers) who are lit up. The room with the Lucid contains more red carpet along the perimeter but with bright lights in the center. The Lucid is wearing headphones and receives communications every few seconds that prompts them to play new music. Following the carpet to the back of the Instrument console, Bells approaches the back of the Lucid. The Lucid's headphones deafen the sounds of Bells walking on the metal floor of the Instrument console. Bells is able to steals the keycard while the Lucid continues to play.

ACTIVATE LOCKED CONSOLE

Use the security card

With the keycard in hand, Bells makes her way back to the locked console, passing through the room with the patrolling Sleeper, across the room with the large, red pit, through the carpeted tunnels and to the long ladder. The player is informed how they can climb ladders faster upon reaching the base of the ladder. Bells makes it to the top of the ladder and uses the keycard to unlock the console and lower the cover under the floating disk. Bells exclaims "Yes! Hahaha... come on, you big doom harp, let's do this."

ESCAPE THE MAZE

Close Eyes to Follow Trail

With the disk cover lowered, Bells is able to jump onto it and then onto the rafters ahead; she reminds herself "just like we... practiced at the Hideout". Bells makes her way across the rafters towards the area under construction with the Sleepers when she realizes she has no choice but to jump down. She drop down and take fall damage, enough to where she remarks that she will have to stop the bleeding. Low on health, Bells sneaks past the two Sleepers working in the area and heads to the door. The door is locked and Bells does not have another lockpick; she resorts to kicking in the door. Immediately, the Sleepers converge on her location and the Sleeper behind the door grabs Bells.


She is too wounded to escape and loses the struggle. The Sleeper begins to drag Bells towards the Red Door. The player is informed that while being dragged, they can search trash piles for escape items they can use to break free. Bells is dragged closer to the Red Door but manages to grab an escape item from one of the trash piles. She turns away from the Red Door and sees a ladder ahead. She climbs up the ladder, and at the top is a set of bandages she uses to heal herself. Walking through the tunnel, Bells comes up on a large cavern glowing orange. Dozens of Sleepers on the other side of this large pit play discordant music on large strings that span from floor to ceiling high above. "Dax was wrong. It's not a maze, it's... it's an instrument...", Bells realizes. A Lucid stands in the center, watching over the Sleepers as they play as fog rolls around their feet. Red Door stands on one side of the room by the Sleepers. A lowered bridge is seen on the other side of the pit. Bells walks up to the bridge, closes her eyes, and sees another message:

"SLEEPERS ONLY.
THIS IS PROBABLY A TERRIBLE IDEA
BUT, YOU ARE GOING TO NEED A DISGUISE
FIND A CHANGING ROOM."

FIND A DISGUISE

Only Sleepers cross the bridge

Bells remarks, "Uhhh... a disguise? That masky hoody thing? How am I gonna see? You know what? Don't tell me." as she realizes she'll have to disguise herself as a Sleeper to get across the bridge. Bells turns away from the Sleepers to see a long footbridge made of rope and wooden planks that spans a massive gorge. On the other side of the footbridge is a doorway.


Bells crosses the footbridge and enters a small locker room. Inside she finds a locker open with a Sleeper outfit. She puts on the clothes and remarks "Oh, god. Okay, here we go. Fun-sized Sleepwalker, comin' through..." as her eyes are forced closed. Bells sees large arrows on the floor and begins to follow them back across the footbridge. Large X's warn Bells not to walk in certain areas to avoid falling down the gorge. Bells crosses the footbridge and waits for the smaller bridge to rise to let Bells cross the pit. Bells walks across the pit and past the Sleepers when suddenly, she is grabbed. Bells eyes open to reveal she's being held by two Sleepers. These Sleepers - Bells' parents - tell Bells, "Isabella, don't struggle. Don't run. It's better if you kneel." as the Shape emerges from the Red Door. Sleepers stop playing the strings and begin to kneel in the Shape's presence. The fog on the ground gets pushed away as the Shape begins to move forward towards Bells. Bells cries out "Dad? Dad, no!" as she breaks free from her Sleeper-parent's grasp.


ESCAPE THE SHAPE

RUN! RUN! RUN!

Ahead is a long hallway of doors (similar to the one Bells passed through earlier). Bells sprints down the hallway, through the mist cascading down on her, and enters a large cavern with strings moving back and forth along some tracks. Bells passes through the strings' path and climbs up onto the ledges while the Shape continues its pursuit. Bells makes her way through the dark tunnel and drops down into a larger tunnel. Making her way through the tunnels, she happens upon an elevator. She runs inside, presses the button, and the elevator rises as Bells questions what happened: "What was that thing? Did... did THEY send it? B-because what, because I got 'em on video?"


ESCAPE THE MAZE

Find a way out
Prologue183 TextMessage.png

The elevator stops and Bells gets out. She walks through more tunnels when she happens on a small alcove with dozens of strings inside, and grappling hook resting on the ground. She picks up the grappling hook and throws it up above. The hook sets and the rope descends for Bells to climb. Bells reaches the top of the rope and realizes she's inside of a well. Bells is back outside. She then gets a text message from The Blackout Club asking if she's outside and letting her know they'll shine their flashlights so Bells can find her way back to the Hideout.

GET TO THE HIDEOUT

It's Close Now

Bells begins wandering through the forest. She looks up to the sky and sees faint glows of flashlight beams like the text message says. She turns a corner in the forest and the Hideout comes in view. "That train car... that's the Hideout!" she exclaims. She calls out Dax and Gwen (fellow Club members). She walks up to the Hideout when suddenly, Bells falls to the ground. She tries grasping at the ground. Bells is dragged away by her ankles at a fast pace. She screams as she moves farther away from the Hideout. Whispering and other ethereal noises can be heard as she's dragged away.

On the ground is Bells' smartphone that fell out of her pocket when she was grabbed. Her phone receives several text messages from the Club wondering where she is and why she's not responding as the screen fades to black.

The screen fades in to a video of a crab being watched on the TV screen inside the Hideout. The player hears Gwen and Dax talking about Bells' disappearance. The player looks up from the screen to see the duo discuss the evidence Bells recorded and how the club has to step and start recording evidence of their own.

GWEN: Whatever Bells recorded was lost when it took her... when THEY took her. And even if she's still alive—
DAXTON: She IS alive. And when we find her, she'll be SO touched by your black armband, Gwen.
GWEN: I'm SAYING, she'd want us to get proof of our own: Video. Evidence. Bells acted alone because— because we were too scared. This time, we do it together. They can't make us all disappear! (sigh) Dax, I wanna find her too. But unless we do more, like expose these guys, it'll just— ...this town... eats people. Without makin' a sound. Our (laughs) shitty friendship is all we have. Speaking of. (to new kid) Hey! You.
NEW KID: (mouth full) Mmmph?
GWEN: You get the blackouts too, right?
NEW KID: (nods)
GWEN (cont'd): Well, that means you're in. Even though we supposedly investigate monsters, and you EAT like one... so... While we get more snacks, you pick a mission. That way if we all die tonight, we'll blame you. Have fun!
DAXTON: Don't worry. We'll be back soon!
(Dax and Gwen exit the Hideout)

The screen fades to black. New players are asked to make their character while returning players who have already created their character will load back into the Hideout.


Image Gallery

For a full walk-through gallery of the Prologue.

See: Prologue Image Gallery

Trivia

  • The background and logo on Bells' laptop after closing the recording at the start of the Prologue is that of Question LLC first game, The Magic Circle
  • While collecting images of father and herself, the bedroom lights will flicker. To stop the lights from flickering, turn the light switch off and back on again.
  • The front door of Bells' house, the closet in the family room, and garage connection in the kitchen is not present until after "waking up" towards the end of Part I.
  • There used to be a complete backyard and pool, though the player could never access it normally (Image)
  • The locked door the Sleeper enters in the Hallway of Doors in Part II can be lockpicked. Originally, the developers did not anticipate players going back to lockpick this door, and it resulted in being able to see the area under Bells house and the Elevator at the end of Part II through the map.
    • Players who walked through the door would fall through the world. These players would have to quit the Prologue to stop falling.
    • The developers fixed this by adding a small room containing another lockpick, the closed-eye message taking our time, eh?, and a locked door that could not be lockpicked.
  • Many areas in Part II are reminiscent of locations in the Maze during multiplayer sessions. Those areas include: