Hi, I’m Jet Set with The Leaderboard, and we’ve gotta sweep, sweep, sweep! Go grab a few BSodas for keeping Playtime at bay and whatever you do, don’t run in the hall or it’ll be detention for you. As Baldi would say, “Now it’s time for everybody’s faaaaaavorite subject: Math!” Just kidding. It’s time for 7 Facts about—that’s right—Baldi’s Basics. (“Sweeping Time” in-game sound) (Leaderboard opening theme) If you’re like me, the first time you ever saw this game, you were probably like, “where the heck did this even come from?” For those of you who haven’t played it, Baldi’s Basics in Education and Learning is kind of a horror spoof on the classically bad and weird “edutainment” games from the nineties. Edutainment games were intended to combine the educational value of, say, a 3rd grade level math test, with all the fun and excitement of a PC game on CD-ROM. Some pretty famous examples are Amazon Trail, Thinkin’ Things, and of course, Mathblasters, though honestly there were like a million of them on the market back in the day. Odds are good that if you were in elementary school in the 90s, you had to play a few of them in Computer Lab. Like Baldi’s Basics, they all felt a little forced and odd, and they all had terrible graphics (because, hello, it was the 90s. We’re talking about back when Myst was still revolutionary). Also, given that our dear Baldi creator’s twitter handle is @mystman12, I imagine that he may have played the iconic PC adventure game once or twice himself before designing Baldi and his horrifying friends. I’m talking of course about Micah McGonigal, a young indie developer from Virginia, who made Baldi’s Basics as a contest entry for the 2018 Meta Game Jam earlier this spring. The game jam, and others like it, is a hackathon-inspired themed short-term challenge for indie game developers (usually the devs competing have to start and complete a game in 24 hours or something equally ridiculous). As you might have guessed, the Meta Game Jam’s theme was “games about games,” and was hosted by Xavier Ekkel, who describes himself as “a game jam host and experimental game developer.” While Baldi’s Basics didn’t end up being the actual winner of the game jam itself (coming in second to a Windows only interactive fiction game called Farfalle OS), it is certainly one of the most successful entries, having just recently broken over a million downloads. And like any other suddenly popular PC game, now there are a handful of bootleg games available. As far as gameplay goes, Baldi’s Basics seems to be inspired by the original Slenderman game by Parsec Productions, Slender: The Eight Pages, but there are other references to pop culture scattered throughout the game as well, like the blackboard that says “Look! A Homestar Runner reference.” There was also a theory going around that the answer to the third unsolvable math question in the notebooks was 42, a reference to Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but this theory has since been disproven. The absurdity of the game is evident from the very start, in the instructions that follow the game’s wonky looking title card. All in-game text is set in comic sans, another throwback to the 90s. You may also know comic sans from shitpost memes and the weird, dark corners of the internet where they proliferate. For some, comic sans may be the most terrifying part of this game! The description of the game’s objective is riddled with typos and offers a nonsensical explanation for why you’re even in the game: “your friend has left all his noteboos in but he doesn’t have time to go get them, because if he does he’ll be late for eating pracitce.” Prack…prackets… Yeah, I… I just can’t. From there, you’re left to wander the halls of Here School to complete your quest. Baldi. Obviously, there can be no Baldi’s Basics without Baldi himself. Designed in an intentionally terrible CGI style, Baldi is both the “owner” of Here School, and your terrifying math teacher turned ruler-wielding serial killer. He’s described in the principal’s office as being a “great teacher due to his increible hearing abilities!,” and they’re not kidding about that—much like in Granny, another popular indie game, Baldi can hear any noise you and other characters make, but unlike Granny, he can tell who made each noise. Supposedly, Baldi is married, though there’s some debate as to whether this union is canon, and he started off as a comic book character from the developer’s childhood. Apparently when he was younger, McGonigal’s sister made a comic book, so he wanted to make one too. So of course he came up with the deeply unsettling math teacher. On twitter, he says of his creation: “The comic was called Baldimore because Baldi was bald, his name was Baldi, he always wanted more food (I want MORE… IMORE… or something.), he lived in Baltimore, and because I had horrible ideas as a kid.” Supporting characters. But it’s not only Baldi you have to worry about. No, no, no. Here School is packed with creepy classmates and faculty. Like Playtime, who is truly the worst, along with having possibly the most most haunting voice parts in the game, other than Filename2, but we’ll talk more about him when we get to the secret ending. Playtime is what you get when you cross the twins from The Shining with an actual child’s terrible drawings with the most time consuming mini game ever. If she catches you (which is pretty likely, given that she’s the only character that always moves faster than your highest running speed) she’ll make you jump rope with her, making you an easy target for Baldi’s wrath. Then of course there’s 1st Prize and Gotta Sweep, who are rather pushy, though sometimes Gotta Sweep is incredibly helpful and will whisk someone like Playtime or even Baldi off into the distance and away from you. Gotta Sweep was actually supposed to be a human, much like Principal of the Thing. But according to one of McGonigal’s tweets, he ran out of time and just decided to model Gotta Sweep after his own broom instead. Then there’s Arts and Crafters, everyone’s favorite giant sock puppet with googly eyes. Arts and Crafters is totally fine until you get all 7 notebooks, and then he’s a pain in the ass, teleporting you and Baldi into the same room and making himself invisible if you get too close. But the characters who feel most like obstacles (aside from the super annoying Playtime) are It’s a Bully, and the Principal of the Thing. It’s a Bully is… well… a bully. The massive, potatolike monstrosity blocks your way until you have “something good” to give him. Meanwhile, the Principal of the Thing will lock you away in detention if he catches you running in the hall or “bullying” Playtime or 1st Prize by damaging them with the safety scissors. The Principal of the Thing is also designed to look like the game’s developer. There’s apparently a glitch that allows you to run without the Principal of the Thing catching you—you just tap shift while running. Pretty handy since the Principal of the Thing is the only character who’s immune to BSoda. Speaking of which, let’s talk a little about the items in Baldi’s Basics, otherwise known as your saving grace in Here School. There’s BSoda, which of course pushes away any character that you don’t want to come in contact with (except the Principal of the Thing). There’s the Safety Scissors, which will help you deter Playtime and 1st Prize, but which are otherwise relatively useless. You can’t use them to defend yourself against Baldi, for instance. I guess it would be hard to attack someone with safety scissors, but hey, if I were being chased by a psychotic school teacher, you better believe I’m coming at him with everything I’ve got. Anyway, good thing there’s the Baldi Anti Hearing and Disorientating, which is a tape that you can put into the tape player in one of the Faculty Rooms to temporarily distract Baldi. Or there’s the Alarm Clock, which you can use for kind of the same purpose—as long as the alarm clock is sounding, he’ll pay attention to it, not to you. And you can always use the Quarter Baldi gives you at the beginning of the game on the Noise Phone, which will have the same effect. Then there’s WD-NoSquee, clearly a rip off of the real word lubricant WD-40—surprise, surprise it’ll make your doors quieter. Or, to put it more clearly, if you apply the WD-NoSquee to any door, Baldi will not hear it open and close. And last but certainly not least, probably the best item on the list other than BSoda, is the Yellow Door Lock, which allows you to stop Baldi in his tracks, as long as there’s a door you can trap him behind. This item particularly comes in handy toward the end of the game, when you’re trying to escape the school. And while we’re on the topic of endings, did you know that there’s a secret ending to Baldi’s Basics you can unlock? If you manage to survive what is essentially the hard mode of the game—where you intentionally get every single question wrong, even the solvable ones risking a super speedy Baldi and one really tough time , you can access this secret ending. Instead of escaping the school, when you run through the exit doors in this mode, you’ll see a screen that says “You Won! There’s room for improvement though… Go see Baldi in his office for some tips!” You are then, unsurprisingly, led into Baldi’s office, where a huge, glitched out version of Baldi is stretched in diagonal across the room. There’s a new character, almost a husk of a person, standing behind a desk. A banana floats in the air randomly. The new character is of course Filename2, and presumably he’s the one speaking in the room. The audio file that plays sounds glitchy, almost burned out in places, and is utterly creepy: the gist of it is that Filename2 is a person who once played Baldi’s Basics who got stuck in the game and now can no longer get out. He says, “Don’t tell anyone about this game. You wanna.. Don’t, don’t bring attention to yourself. Destroy it, destroy the game. Destroy the game. Before, it’s too late. What I’m saying is… is get out of this, while you still can.” It’s all really unsettling and wonderfully creepy. Due to the popularity of the free PC game, McGonigal is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to develop a full game that will be available on all platforms. His goal is to raise $50k, and he’s already made almost $22k so far, so there’s no real way of knowing whether or not we’ll get this full version, but time will tell. In the meantime, McGonigal has developed a free demo of a kind of sequel called Baldi’s Basics—Field Trip, wherein the player gets on a bus with Baldi in order to go on a camping trip. The main challenge is that you have to go around collecting firewood to keep the fire burning. If you let the fire die down, then Baldi will come after you, and because it’s the forest, there’s nowhere to hide. Hopefully we’ll see more demos like this one as the Kickstarter progresses! Well friends, looks like school’s out, or more importantly, we’re out of school, Baldi be damned. Better get our dear friend his notebooks and join him for eating practice. I’m Jet Set, and thanks for watching 7 Facts About Baldi’s Basics. And for more indie horror, check out our 7 Facts video about Granny! Thanks for watching! Make sure to like and follow The Leaderboard for more videos.