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Baba is You is a 2019 Block Puzzle game by Arvi Teikari (of Hempuli Oy, the maker of Environmental Station Alpha), based on a prototype originally made for Nordic Game Jam 2017. However, this game is not an ordinary block puzzler; the twist is that the rules are physically present in the game as blocks that can be pushed around to form new rules. Hence, you can (among other things) transform water into lava, walk over walls that were previously impassable, and even change the player character and goal of the level!

The game was released on March 13, 2019, for Steam and Nintendo Switch. You can find the Steam version here. Additionally, the Nordic Game Jam prototype of the game is available on Hempuli's page, along with the polished version here.

A free update centered around a level editor, adding new functions, and playable levels called "Baba Make Level" was released on November 17, 2021. Among the new content is a large level pack by Hempuli called "New Adventures."

A spinoff that places the game mechanics into a turn-based strategy format, Mobile Suit Baba, was released on Hempuli's page on December 21, 2023.


  • Absurdly Short Level: A few levels look deceptively easy as the Level Goal is within arm's reach. It's ultimately subverted when winning doesn't offer any immediate avenues to progress, as the true goal is to transform the level into something else as part of their overworld puzzle.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage:
    • The Chasm world, as well as the endgame worlds ???, ABC, Depths, and Meta, don't stick to one solitary level theme.
    • The New Adventures expansion pack constantly mixes themes as well.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Every creature in the game, excluding Anni and possibly Me, who are based on real people.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore:
    • The game's official Twitter page parodied this trope by giving Baba Angry Eyebrows.
    • BADBAD's official "lore" is that the game's marketing team insisted a more "mature" character would help the game's sales.
  • Antepiece: The first set of levels in an area usually introduces a new word to play with, like "AND" or "OPEN", or a new concept like a set of rules that make a given object unchangeable. The first ever level alone gives you a set of rules to play around with.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Inverted. In the prototype of the game, Baba was clearly a bipedal creature that looked akin to the main character of Hollow Knight. In the final game, Baba is a quadripedal Cartoon Creature.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The endgame worlds Depths, Meta, and Center are made available from the overworld map once they are accessed for the first time, and within those worlds, shortcuts are made as levels are completed; this helps reduce the number of times one has to recomplete map puzzles whenever access to these levels is needed.
  • Armless Biped: Keke and Me; the former is orange and has no mouth, while the latter is purple and has a mouth. Additionally, the beta Level Editor introduces Fofo, who is green and fuzzy and has no mouth.
  • Artifact of Doom: The "Done" keyword found in The End, the major level of the Center overworld. If anything is "Done", it is irrevocably erased from the game world. And the goal of the level is to make "All is Done"...
  • Automatic New Game: Besides the quick awards/charity/porting credits screen before every boot, starting up the game for the first time immediately presents you with a unique cutscene of the tutorial level coming into being by lotus flowers before dropping you directly into it. After beating it, the game begins proper and every subsequent booting of the game will then show the title screen.
  • Badbutt: A humorous alternate version of BABA called BADBAD turns the little creature into a stereotypical, roller-skating teen rebel with piercings and a Poke the Poodle idea of "rebellion" (he's "allowed to say darn three times a day").
  • Behind the Black: Used in a unique way; starting from the "Baba Make Level" update, it is possible for certain entities to be "pressed flat" against the floor, which prevents them from interacting with the world despite the fact that they exist. However, because of the top-down perspective, you will not notice this unless you specifically attempt to interact with them or you use the "3D" keyword to switch to first-person view and see which objects are in 3D and which aren't.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: "Ghost" is one of the many objects in the game, and it looks just about like someone with a sheet over their head.
  • Benevolent Architecture: The layout of the immovable objects in a level is often an important clue to the intended solution — for example, a convenient gap in the wall that allows you to break a rule that might go there, or an outcropping of blocks that allows you to orient multiple "You"s into the right formation.
  • Block Puzzle: The main theme of the game, but with the twist that the rules can be changed as necessary to solve the puzzle. However, in some levels certain rules are inaccessible and thus absolute. Though not as many rules as you'd expect once you really start thinking outside the box.
  • Bureaucracy Simulator: The spin-off Baba Files Taxes, is, well, about filing taxes.
  • Cartoon Creature: Baba is a white quadruped critter that doesn't have much to define their general species. Due to their name and appearance, a lot of fans assume they're a sheep (specifically, a ewe).
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: A great many levels are designed to present a situation where the direct solution to the immediate thing stopping you from winning will create a new thing that stops you from winning, forcing you to go for an indirect solution instead. For example, "Baba Doesn't Respond" has a Door that is Defeat and Open between you and the winning flag. You can push a block to make the door Shut and Open, which will make it disappear...but doing so will make Reed is Defeat, so you still can't get to the flag but now the obstruction is two spaces to the left. So you rearrange the level so Baba, the one other moving object in the stage, pushes the block to remove the door after you've walked past the reed.
  • Catching Some Z's: Objects that are "Sleep" will emit letter Zs.
  • Crate Expectations: Wooden boxes with a diagonal plank start appearing from Temple Ruins onward.
  • Collection Sidequest: Some secret levels have orbs as rewards. Collecting them doesn't seem to do anything, but finding all three unlocks the Gallery in the Center.
  • Combinatorial Explosion: Zigzagged. Many levels ensure you only solve it in a specific way with its text but the game will occasionally throw a curveball and demand alternate, unorthodox solutions.
  • Concept Art Gallery: There is one available in the very last world, accessible by collecting at least three bonus orbs. Being a proper level, you'll have to move letters around to form number words and push them into "Image is..." to view the art.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: Several puzzles give you multiple "Not" keywords, and it's possible to stack them together to negate each other. (e.g., "Rock is Not Not Push" equates to "Rock is Push")
    • Exaggerated by Meta-10, "Just No", which gives you nine "Not"s for the purpose of building a rule across an uncrossable line of deadly skulls. Make sure the "Not"-bridge has the right parity!
    • The New Adventures! level pack adds a level called "Exactly As It Says" which has the rule "not baba without not hedge is win". That is, to win, all objects except hedges must be gone. Alternately, you must control a single baba and touch a hedge while no other objects are present.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Text, which defines what everything else does. Text is the only object in the entire game (other than LEVEL and CURSOR) that can have properties not defined by Text—under normal circumstances, Text is Push.
  • Credits Gag: In a darkly humorous way, the credits obtained through the secret ending. They start out not-quite-normal before devolving into a messy jumble of random letters. Understandable, given that the player has just deleted the game's rules.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Invoked; certain puzzles will require you to fully grasp the rules of a level instead of thinking in terms of conventional block puzzle games. For instance, the second level teaches players to understand that, based on the rules, they won't always be controlling a Baba, and a Flag isn't always a goal. One early level, Grass Yard, gets this point across by only being possible to solve when you realize there is no actual rule stating "Wall is Stop", only "Grass is Stop".
  • Developer's Foresight: Practically a selling point. Some of the more obscure cases include:
    • Text is pushable by default. This can be circumvented by constructing the rule "Text is NOT Push".
    • The rule "[Object] is Text" specifically converts the mentioned object into the word corresponding with itself.
    • Declaring the rule "[Object X] is NOT [Object Y]" prevents X being changed to Y through other rules. Declaring that an object is not itself causes it to disappear in a Puff of Logic.
    • In the image gallery 'level' near the end, viewing an image requires you to spell numbers out. There are indeed images for "Fourteen", "Sixteen", and "Minus One/Two/Three/Ten" in addition to the expected "One" through "Ten".
    • The game accounts for paradoxical rulesets that result in infinite loops by simply cutting to a special screen that functions identically to a loss. See Logic Bomb below.
    • Similarly, the game will also cut to a special screen if it's overloaded with too many objects or operations, marking the level as "TOO COMPLEX".
  • Drone of Dread: Altering the "[X] Is You" in any level such that you can no longer control any object in a level stops the music and plays an ominous low hum instead. The level will stay like this as long as no object is "You", since you can't do anything. However, the "UNDO" command lets you go back a step if this happens. The secret ending replaces the title screen music with the same sound, and the only way to return the normal music is to quit the game.
  • Dug Too Deep: When you get past the Depths and the Meta overworlds, there's one last area, the Center. There, you can find the level titled The End, surrounded by flower petals like the similar function "End" in Level Finale, which has one last keyword to play with, "Done". However, that keyword turns out to be incredibly powerful, capable of erasing objects outright (more so than making "X is Empty"), and to get the secret ending you'll need to use the keyword in relation to "All".
  • Empty Room Psych: Subverted, with the bonus level "?" located in the corner of the overworld. The player is presented with a level that only contains Baba and Flag. There isn't even a single piece of text, yet things are perfectly functional. A little investigation will show that Text is hidden with the Hide attribute, and the level's true purpose, the bonus Orb, is also hidden.
  • Establishing Series Moment: Level 1 is a simple rule editing puzzle in which Baba has to take apart the phrase "WALL is STOP" in order to bypass walls, reach a flag and build the phrase "FLAG is WIN" to win the level, designed to teach the player about how to edit rules. Level 2 is almost the exact same setup, but with all the keywords swapped around; the player takes control of a wall, a barrier of flags surrounds them, and Baba is not placed in the level. This is designed to teach players that normal objects do not have any innate properties unless the relevant phrase is written somewhere in the level.
  • Eternal Engine: Solitary Island has elements of this, with cogs and robots and pipes and even steam or smoke floating in the background, evoking the atmosphere of a large industrial site. It also introduces the MOVE property, reflecting the automation of a typical factory.
  • Exact Words: Quite a fundamental aspect of the gameplay. Example: Changing things from "Baba is You" to "Baba is Win" doesn't count as a win because there is no "You" to beat the level with; however, "Baba is You and Win" does work.
    • Text stacking can make matters even more exacting. For instance, if you manage to stack two "Is" blocks on top of each other, then any rule you make with the dual "Is" block will count twice, once per "Is," despite looking like only one rule.
  • Extreme Omnivore: With use of the Eat verb, any object can eat any other object, from normal things like fruit to stranger things like walls.
  • Fill It with Flowers: Completing areas in the game results in flowers appearing, and the standard ending has flowers bloom all over the island.
  • First-Person Perspective: The "Baba Make Level" update added a new modifier simply called "3D", which, when attached to an entity, suddenly changes the camera from top-down to a first-person camera originating from the entity. Notably, it also gives the player control over that entity as if the "You" modifier was attached to itnote , and if multiple entities are being influenced by "3D", you can swap control of them and move them independently.
  • Floating Platforms: The theme of Mountaintop's levels "Floaty Platforms" and "The Floatiest Platforms." The name of the latter is a Red Herring, though; it misleads you into thinking you can't leave the "platform" spaces, which is part of the solution.
  • Forced Tutorial: A more mild example; the tutorial level is unskippable, but players who don't feel like sticking around for long can just hold right to finish the level fairly quickly. The level itself presents the four most common "X is Y" combinations—Baba is You, Wall is Stop, Rock is Push, and Flag is Win—and allows for some free experimentation on pushing text around and changing what is what.
  • Foreshadowing: The overworld map shows a couple of rules at the bottom-right corner as an example of what kind of rules to expect in the levels proper. At least, that's what it seems. Later it turns out those rules directly apply to the overworld.
  • Frictionless Ice: The "Slip" keyword, which only appeared in the NGJ prototype, causes things moving on it to keep sliding in the same direction.
  • Gimmick Level:
    • The last "normal" world, ABC, uses large individual letters to spell out phrases instead of tiles containing words. It's also notably shorter than the other endgame worlds, though some of its concepts return in Meta.
    • The Baba Make Level update features several new levels that make use of objects and rules formerly only appearing in the beta level editor. The trailer alone showcases levels made only of circles and squares and levels utilizing keywords such as "FEAR"note , "MIMIC"note , "SEEING"note , "REVERSE"note , and multidirectional "FALL"note . A number of levels that show up early on in the update also make extensive use of the 3D keyword.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: Your introduction to the "Shift" property is paired with the conveyor belts, commonly forming "Belt is Shift". Several puzzles will involve manipulating the belts or the "Shift" property so they're not inconveniently placed.
  • Instant KO: "Defeat" objects only destroy player controlled ("You") objects. "Sink" objects destroy anything that overlaps them at their own expense. "Hot" objects destroy anything that is "Melt" without destroying themselves. "Open" and "Shut" objects will destroy each other when they meet. "Weak" objects self-destruct when they are pushed against or overlap anything.
  • Instant-Win Condition:
    • If, at any time, an object is "You" is on the same tile as an object with "Win", you immediately complete the level. Likewise, an object that is both "You" and "Win" also completes the level.
    • Forming the rule "Level is Win" also instantly wins.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Anything that is "Stop", even things you wouldn't normally expect like "Grass" or "Empty". "Stop" even stops objects with the "Float" property.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Things that are "Open" don't have to be keys, and things that are "Shut" don't have to be doors, but if one of each touch each other they're both destroyed.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Level Overworld-8, thanks to the rule "Level is Move".
    • Depths-5, Living Lands instead uses "Level is You" to move the level outside the screen.
    • Depths-2, Exercise Hall is even worse because the level will rotate whenever the statement "Level is..." is completed by a directional keyword.
    • New Adventures, Glitch-0, 00000 00 0 000 is a Nostalgia Level but with the graphics replaced with generic dots. Subsequent levels in that series also play around with graphics.
  • I Was Told There Would Be Cake: The object "Cake" appears in the final secret level and absolutely nowhere else. Unfortunately, Baba can't eat it.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Volcanic Cavern, which introduces lava, bats and fire. Immediate incineration not included.
  • Level Editor: The prototype has a crude edit mode enabled by pressing "~" or "\". The initial release of the full game had a better (but clearly still incomplete) editor unused, which can be enabled relatively easily, and an official version of this editor was released as a public beta in December 2020. This beta editor featured words like Eat, Safe, and Still, as well as new words like Idle, Power, and Feeling. It also included a new Crystal level palette, with a new music track to accompany it! The completed level editor was eventually fully released with the "Baba Make Level" update in November 2021, with all of the additional aforementioned keywords added along with it.
  • Level Goal: Anything that is "Win" will complete the level if anything that is "You" occupies the same square. A lot of puzzles involve assembling a rule using that keyword in order to beat the level. Some of them even have you turn yourself into the goal.
  • Line Boil: The game's art style incorporates this—Almost every sprite in the game is composed of a set of three identical sprites, each hand-drawn a bit differently then looped indefinitely. Uncommon for games involving this style, there's an option to turn it off.
  • Logic Bomb: In the event you end up creating rulesets that contradict each other such as ROCK IS WORD and an actual rock IS NOT WORD, the game is forced into a special screen that reads "INFINITE LOOP" that you must either undo or restart the level from.
  • Made of Explodium: Anything with the "Boom" property from New Adventures will explode, taking everything on the same tile with it. The explosion radius even increases if you make an object "Boom" multiple times at once!
  • Metapuzzle: When you reach Overworld Levels 8 to 10, you're introduced to the "Level" keyword that affects the whole level you're playing on. Some experimentation leads to the discovery that you can transform a whole level space into an object, unlocking a whole new set of worlds in the process. At that point, those overworlds become puzzles themselves, as you find yourself transforming various levels into different objects to access new levels or the next overworld. Naturally, the most complex of these is named "Meta".
  • Mickey Mousing: The first few seconds of the trailer synchronize the movement of Baba to the music.
  • Midair Bobbing: Objects with the 'Float' property move up and down a little.
  • Mind Screw: Changing levels into Baba and Flags to "win" the Overworld map is already one; once you're "brought back to the map screen" from the Overworld, it only gets deeper from there, with level select screens that are levels in and of themselves. The game lampshades this with the achievement "What" for completing the Meta world, which is an accurate reflection of the player's thoughts upon reaching that place. If you have the foresight to create "Cursor is Level", you get to access extra-secret level named "Whoa" which conveys what the player is thinking when they discover that works.
  • Mood Whiplash: Both trailers abruptly switch from the game's theme to the Drone of Dread due to losing control of Baba—the first is due to breaking up "Baba Is You", the second due to forming "All Is Empty".
  • Multiple Endings: The "final level" is either the one that appears directly on the island after beating enough levels, or one that appears deep into a series of levels and interconnected worlds accessible by "winning" the map screen. In custom levels, it's possible to earn icons for four possible win conditions for a level (Win, End, turning the level into an object, and All is Done) along with one for obtaining a Bonus during the level.
  • My Name Is ???: There is an entire world called "???", as well as a single level named "?" which contains one of the three bonus orbs.
  • Never Say "Die": In the prototype there was a keyword, "Kill", that destroyed player objects and doesn't touch anything else. In the full game, that got changed to "Defeat". In the endgame, there is also "Done".
  • Ninja Prop: There are many instances where the text not only helps generate rules that serve to solve a puzzle, but also as physical objects themselves to block or push other elements.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The only plot is largely implied, stemming from the two endings: causing the island to bloom with flowers or destroying it entirely.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • All rules are derived from Text, with three exceptions: Text Is Push, which is only disabled if "Text is not Push" is assembled within the level; Cursor Is Select, which allows the player to move the overworld map selector cursor, but only on the designated pathways and the levels; and Level Is Stop, which means only the Cursor object, or anything else explicitly defined to be Select, may move onto a Level object. Level Is Stop also defines the edges of a level as impassable—once you gain access to Level keywords, you'll find that they do a lot of work.
    • The word ALL does not include Text, Empty or Level, because that would've seriously complicated things — or in the case of Level, spoiled the endgame.
    • Later levels start putting down seemingly irrelevant rules that don't come into play until players start running into unintended solutions. The game tends to be pretty good about making sure you need to solve levels in a specific way, but some alternate solutions still manage to squeak by.
    • In later versions, attempting to transform a level into more than 50 objects throws a "Too Complex" error, without transforming the level. This was added to stop an obscure situation in which transforming a level into way too many objects would permanently lock your save file behind an inescapable "Too Complex" error.
  • Off the Rails: Taken to a ludicrous degree with the "Level" object, which lets you alter an entire level. This lets you change a level to any object, and that level will show up on the overworld as that object, meaning you can change a level into "Baba" and another into "Flag", meaning you can win the overworld and be taken to the overworld above the overworld. And this is only the tutorial for the "Level" object. You can go above and beyond, positioning the level selector over a controlled object that used to be a level, allowing you to ride that level anywhere. Entire lategame areas have their map essentially become levels themselves, and you have to play the levels inside levels to turn levels into rideable objects to turn more levels into objects for the level. You can even turn objects on a map into even more levels. At one point on an overworld map, even the level cursor can be transformed into a hidden level. Yep.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Anything that is "Weak" will be destroyed by anything it touches, even non-Instant KO objects.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Encouraged, especially for later levels. For example, the usual inaccessible rules that make up the general laws of a level may not be as inaccessible as you think.
    • One of the levels from the endgame world Meta, suitably named "The Box". The level is unsolvable in and of itself, but the real solution is to change the adjacent level into a flag, before returning to The Box and constructing "Level Near Flag Is Win" to win; thus, the player is literally thinking outside The Box.
  • Playable Menu: The world maps are set up similarly to the game levels. Some of them even have rules that are summarized on the pause menu just like the ones in the levels. However, they don't enter into gameplay until you turn some of the levels into objects...
  • Player Character: Anything that is "You" can be controlled by the player. This makes that keyword the most vital one in the game—if nothing is defined as "You" at any point, the level becomes unplayable unless you set it up so that a moving object (such as one that is "Move" or on another object that is "Shift") returns control to you by restoring an "X is You" rule. Some levels outright require that level of forethought.
  • Player Nudge:
    • If you push text around such that nothing is "You", the music cuts out, leaving only a Drone of Dread. If you wait a few seconds in this state, the game will remind you of the Undo and Restart commands.
    • Levels where you are expected to wait as part of the solution show a reminder for the button to press in order to wait.
  • Pokémon Speak: As demonstrated by the Mobile Suit Baba Spin-Off, every character is capable of full speech except Baba, who can only say their own name.
  • Power of the Void: The "Empty" noun, which manipulates every empty tile on the level. "Empty is [Noun]" will continuously fill all blank spaces with that noun, "Empty is You" lets you control all empty space in the level (which naturally gets destroyed if it occupies a space that an object is already in), and "[Noun] is Empty" makes all of that object spontaneously disappear.
  • Press X to Die: Assembling any "Text is [Noun]" rule will turn all the text into something else if said text is not being protected—without its Cosmic Keystones, the level will be completely inert. Similarly, some levels allow you to assemble rules like "All is Empty" or "Level is Weak" which destroy every object in the level instantly. One of the game's endings occurs when you assemble the rule "All is Done".
  • Primordial Chaos: The intro shows many objects floating around, all in an inert state and in disarray. The universe is created when lotus flowers form Text, which gives order to the floating objects and bestows upon them unique properties. The largest lotus forms the You keyword, which also organizes any of the objects that weren't handled by the other words. The secret true goal of the game is to return everything to the primordial chaos of the intro.
  • Programming Game: Nearly every puzzle involves inputting and changing rules around in order to find the solution. Puzzles that utilize "Move" to have certain objects act automatically rather than controlling them directly are even more like a classic programming game.
  • Puff of Logic: When you attach two attributes to a single object, if those attributes cannot coexist they cause the object to self-destruct. For example, simultaneously creating "Lava is Hot" and "Lava is Melt" causes the lava to promptly melt itself and dissipate into vapors. Similarly, "X is not X" will cause the object to vanish, overriding any protective "X is X" rules.
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: Since this is half a Programming Game, it's possible to create setups that can't be resolved. In Chasm-3, "Broken", it's possible to assemble both "Rock Is Word" and "(Rock) Is Not Word". Normally "X Is Not Y" overrides "X Is Y", but since "(Rock) Is Not Word" is only valid while Rock Is Word, there's just no stable way to interpret it. In older versions, this would crash the game; newer versions fail more gracefully, informing you that you've broken the world with an infinite loop and letting you back out of it just like any other move.
  • Recurring Riff: A few notes play during the opening sequence, in tune with the lotuses appearing for the non-noun Text words. They recur during the main theme, and for the jingle in the normal ending.
  • Recursive Reality: The entire basis for the endgame worlds. Maps contain levels, and beating levels returns one to the map screen. The thing is, though, maps are also levels; once one "wins" the overworld map, they are returned to the map that contained the overworld map, which opens up the secret final worlds.
  • Red Live Lobster: The default color for Crabs is red.
  • Remixed Level:
    • Most extra levels look like preceding normal levels, but with minor changes that greatly change the solution.
    • The first tutorial level is reused twice to introduce Float and Level keywords.
    • Level Fall-D, "Scenic Pond", reappears in later worlds, with changes similar to extra levels.
  • Repetitive Name: Most creatures' names consist of two identical syllables - Baba, Keke, Jiji and Fofo.
  • Resurrective Immortality: "Has" is a connector word that causes all objects of a certain type to spawn another object if the first object is destroyed. If an object "has" itself, it will spawn a copy of itself whenever it is destroyed, which will spawn another copy of itself when it is destroyed, and so on, virtually making it No-Sell "sink", "hot", "defeat", and other such modifiers.
  • Rewriting Reality: The other main theme of the game. The rules exist in-game as basic sentences that define the behaviors of certain objects (e.g., "Wall is Stop" or "Rock is Push"). Altering the sentences will alter those rules (hence, you could push away the "Stop" from "Wall is Stop" to walk through walls). That said, there are certain limitations to add to the challenge:
    • Rules must always occupy a minimum of three spaces, and are always read left to right (for horizontal rules) or top to bottom (for vertical rules), so "Push Is Rock" is not a valid rule nor is overlapping text to make "Rock/Is Push" valid.
    • The rules must read like complete sentences of the form "[Reference] [Connector] [Keyword]" (at minimum):
      • [Reference] is a reference to a non-text (usually) game object (such as the character Baba or a rock rather than the words representing them),
      • [Keyword] is either a descriptor (denoted with a colored box) that defines the behavior of an object, or another reference (for transforming objects), and
      • [Connector] is a structural word such as "is" or "has" that connects keywords together without being either a keyword or reference itself;
    • Negative rules (which contain the special connector "NOT") override their positive counterparts (hence, "Wall Is NOT You" overrides "Wall Is You"). Multiple negatives are even taken into consideration, as "Wall Is NOT NOT You" is equivalent to "Wall Is You". However, no matter how many NOTs are used, negative rulings always take priority.
    • Tautological rules override transformative rules (e.g., if there is a rule saying "Box is Box", any rule saying "Box is [Anything Else]" will do nothing).
    • When spelling out rules with letters (as in one late game area), all readings of letters will apply to functions. So "W-A-L-L Is Box" will also be read as "A-L-L Is Box". However, words which don't define functions in the game will not be active, so something like "Box Is G-H-O-S-T-A-R Is Fall" will be read as "Box Is Ghost" and "Star Is Fall", but not "Ghostar Is Fall" because "Ghostar" is not a valid function. This is in fact the solution to one of the endgame puzzles.
    • Text that is overlapping Text functions as both simultaneously. If "Text" and "Baba" are overlapping to create "Text/Baba", then joining them to a keyword makes it apply to both Text and Baba.
    • By default every level has "Text Is Push" active so that you can actually interact with text and alter the other rules. This can complicate things when text is used as insurmountable obstacles. One level even has "Text Is Not Push" and challenges the player to work around it.
  • Robot Buddy:
    • Baba in the prototype version, instead of the Cartoon Creature they became in the full game. According to Word of God, this was inspired by a fellow indie developer interpreting the robot's antennae as goat horns and drawing them as a cute goat person.
    • Also, Robots, which partially resemble Baba's original sprite.
  • Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...: The aptly named level Island-0, "Poem", is centered around the rules "ROSE IS RED", "VIOLET IS BLUE", "FLAG IS WIN" and "BABA IS YOU".
  • Rules Lawyer: Aside from the unwritten rules around text, only the literal rules matter. If the rules don't say "Wall is Stop", then Wall is not Stop.
  • Rule of Symbolism: "You" is a function created spontaneously from nothing that can manipulate other functions, and is associated with unfolding lotus blossoms, which are symbols associated with creation myths. The first ending consumes the lotus flowers and seeds you have obtained by completing levels and causes the island to bloom with life, while the secret ending causes the entire universe to return to the Primordial Chaos shown during the intro sequence, and the cycle of creation begins anew.
  • Secret Level:
    • (Most) Extra levels are not present on the map and are only revealed when beating a level adjacent to them. Often, they are simply harder versions of the level that unlocks them. The Extra levels of the Depths world, except for the first, require you to make "[Object] is Level" to transform the single rock and the two Babas into levels.
    • When starting the game, you may notice a red-violet-colored level isolated on a small island on the overworld. After unlocking the ability to roam the overworld as Baba, the cursor can "ride" Baba to said island, accessing "Level ?: ?".
    • The endgame worlds are all treated as these, as they're not shown on the map and all require successive layers of going deeper and deeper into levels within levels into and then eventually manipulating levels themselves.
    • The first of the endgame worlds, ???, has three. Two of them require you to "select" the rock and the puddle of water to access them, while the third is accessed by completing the world that comes after ??? and collecting its flag..
    • The final endgame world, Meta has two deviously hidden Extras. The only clue for the first is noticing that one of the blossoms on the overworld is yellow instead of red like the others. The other one involves some outside-the-box thinking to form "Cursor is Level", transforming the level cursor into a level itself. In fact, this level is so secret that its completion doesn't even count towards your score.
    • Version 449 adds even more secret levels in the main campaign. With some clever text manipulation, it's possible to change the dust on the ??? map into another series of levels that introduce a brand-new word to the campaign, WRITE, which lets you transform objects into copies of certain text. With this knowledge, one can transform one of these new secret levels into WIN text, allowing them to win ??? and bringing them to the overworld of the overworld's overworld, Null. However, Null has no levels of its own, amounting to just being a very meta Easter Egg.
  • Self-Duplication: Anything that is "More" will self-multiply until either there's no more room or that property is taken away. Naturally, this can include player objects.
  • Shaped Like Itself: A rule that "[Object X] is [Object X]" prevents that object from being transformed by "[Object X] is [Object Y]". Usually this is an Obvious Rule Patch stuck in a corner to prevent solving the puzzle in an unintended method, but on a few occasions, you have to assemble one yourself to avoid losing your only "You".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The "Baba Make Level" trailer is a clear nod to Super Mario Maker, right down to the hard hat on Baba, the distinctive angular text on a yellow background, and a cheeky reference to slopes.
    • The trailer also showcases the "Play" command with a pixel-art skull made out of the Skull object. It has a blue one in the right eye socket and plays the first four notes of Megalovania.
    • The section from the editor trailer showcasing the directional FALL text references the Outer Wall area in Cave Story, where weapon experience drops fall leftwards rather than to the ground.
    • One of the subworlds in the "New Adventures" level pack is called "Babarcade", which allows players to play special levels based on other games, such as the Rush Hour puzzle game, Snake, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros., and a pair of first-person dungeon crawler levels named after Darkest Dungeon.
    • A "New Adventures" level is titled "Treehouse". Upon completion, you unlock a secret version of the level called "House House", which is a harder version of "Treehouse" where you instead play as a bird.
    • Another "New Adventures" level named "Test Chamber" is an obvious homage to Portal, complete with a level-exclusive resprite of the box object into a Weighted Companion Cube and having to make the cake object the win condition.
    • Despite ostensibly being a Cartoon Creature, the character Jiji most closely resembles a cat.
  • Solid Clouds: Some levels in the Rocket Trip area of the game consist of cloud blocks. Often, these cloud blocks are set to "Stop," rendering them solid.
  • Space Zone: One of the sub-areas is outer space, accessible via a Rocket Trip. Notable keywords therein include "Star", "Moon", and "Empty".
  • Spin-Off: Several. All of them can be found on Hempuli's page, are rather short and are usually free.
    • Keke in the Caves of Peril: A platformer where Keke traverses treacherous tunnels to plunder precious Gems.
    • It's a Me!: Another platformer where Me must complete a variety of levels to save Keke. Try not to accidentally close the game.
    • Baba is You XTREME: A joke version that applies physics to Baba is You. Hilarity ensues.
    • Baba Files Taxes: An extremely short game where Baba needs to file his taxes. As Baba cannot read or write, you must help him by forging his signature and answering multiple-choice questions.
    • Mobile Suit Baba: Baba is You meets Into the Breach.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: Per the rules of the game, anything can become "You" and thus the player character. The intro to the Volcanic Caverns plays with this. In it, you have Baba and Keke, and two obstacles that one of them can cross, but the other can't. The solution? Form Keke is Baba and Baba is Keke. You will enter a superposition of Baba and Keke that can cross both obstacles if you time it right.
  • Stealth Pun: Meta-15, "The Box", can only be completed by actions taken entirely outside that level—you literally have to think outside "The Box".
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The secret ending, by virtue of you accidentally erasing the whole game world.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Anything that is touching anything that is "Sink" will instantly vanish with a 'sploosh' sound. This will also take the 'liquid' with it, which is occasionally necessary to solve a puzzle.
  • Tank Controls: "3D" property makes the player control only 1 object with UP moving the object forward and left/right turning the object.
  • Thanking the Viewer: At the end of the credits, there is "Thank you for playing!" message.
  • Toggling Setpiece Puzzle: The overarching mechanic of the game consists of alternating the physical properties of all present setpieces in the levels so you can reach the goal (or even create one). In each level, there are special blocks that identify the setpieces present (walls, rocks, lava, water, flagpoles, etc.), blocks that provide the potential effects of said setpieces (solid, pushable, harmful, goal, etc.), and connecting blocks that link the setpieces with the effects ("IS"). So if the level has a three-block connection showing "WATER-IS-SINK", it means water is unsafe to cross; but if you manage to move any of those three blocks from its position, the effect will no longer be active and the setpiece (water, in this case) is perfectly safe to cross. Cleverness is vital to take advantage of these special blocks to alter the effects and properties of all setpieces, and in certain cases you can not only stack more than one effect to a specific setpiece, but even turn multiple setpieces into Babas and play as all of them at the same time.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Several setpieces used in the trailer, including the Poem written above, do appear in-game, but are accompanied with additional elements that change the solution entirely.
  • Under the Sea: The Lake, the first sub-area after the tutorial levels.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • Several levels in the Space area that revolve around "Fall" turn into more of a platforming challenge about shepherding objects across each other to reach a destination.
    • "New Adventures" introduces the keyword "3D", which turns the game into third-person 3D.
    • Also in "New Adventures" there's the sub-world Babarcade, which has several levels mimicking various games, such as Rush Hour and Darkest Dungeon.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • In older versions of the game, by going well out of one's way to ignore the puzzle and assemble contradictory rules, it was possible to create an unresolvable loop that crashed the game in Chasm-Extra 3, "Broken". Later versions patched this out by recognizing the loopnote  and making it an in-universe Reality-Breaking Paradox that can be backed out of normally.
    • In level Depths-03, "Crushers", it's possible to turn the level into a stack of over two thousand objects, which will cause the Depths map screen to throw a "Too Complex!" error every time it is entered from then on — and given that your save point is in the Depths map screen at this point, you're stuck staring at that error every time you load your game, forever. This, too, was eventually patched out, by making the game throw the "Too Complex!" error instead of transforming the level, preventing it from affecting the save file.
  • Unwinnable by Design:
    • In addition to the usual traps of block puzzle games, you can also break apart an "X is You" rule, losing control over the object that was "You" in the process. If that was the only such object, the music stops to let you know there are no more controllable objects, and eventually remind you how to undo/restart. Though, if "Move", "Shift" or any similar word were set up to fix things... Thankfully, the undo command means you're never really stuck.
    • A level in the final world is also unsolvable within itself and requires an unconventional solution. Level Meta-15 "The Box" cannot be solved if the adjacent level Meta-14 is not a flag, as the only way to clear Meta-15 is to make "Level Near Flag Is Win".
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The "Meta" world provides some of the most complex puzzles the game has to offer. Just navigating the Meta overworld is a puzzle in itself as you'll need to transform its levels into the necessary objects to proceed. Once you're done, all that's left is the Center.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: Apart from the obvious potential for drawing penises in the Level Editor, you can also make rules like "Me and Baba make love" or "Keke and box make loveinvoked". Their actual effects are innocent, however. note 
  • Wham Shot: Messing with the "Level" keyword in Overworld-9 and Overworld-10 makes the overworld itself change by turning the levels into objects. From there it's possible to beat the map, 'popping up' to a mysterious new world of which the map is a level. From there, the game slowly dips into a Mind Screw experience as you start messing with entire levels at once, and ultimately, the entire game.
  • World-Wrecking Wave:
    • "All is Done" causes a black hole which then expands on the main map.
    • "The End," from the New Adventures level pack, creates a similar effect with the rules "Empty Eat All," "Empty Eat Text," and "Empty Is Left And Move." Once you form the latter rule, a "wave" of empty spaces will start to consume the objects in the level from the right side, unless you successfully manage to interfere.

Page is Win


Video Example(s):


Rock Is (Not) Word

In Chasm-Extra 3, "Broken", it is possible to assemble rules that contradict themselves irresolvably.
"Rock Is Word" causes the game engine to interpret literal rocks as the rules text "Rock".
"Rock Is Not Word" negates "Rock Is Word".
Assembling "Rock Is Word", and at the same time using a literal rock to assemble "(rock) Is Not Word" puts the game between a rock and a hard place, so to speak...
Original video from YouTube:

How well does it match the trope?

4.97 (33 votes)

Example of:

Main / RealityBreakingParadox

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