This Is The Only Level (Adventures in Singularity) is a game created by jmtb02 and released on August 7th, 2009. It features an elephant, trying to escape a room. That's all the game is.
Or so you would think.
Actually, there is only one level... but you have to repeat it, over and over. And each time you finish it, the aspect of the levels changes. There are thirty variations of the level (called stages) in all, and each of them are different.
It can be played here.
The game received a few sequels, co-developed by Tasselfoot. This is the Only Level TOO (The Heroic Quest to Complete Another Level) is over here, and This is the Only Level 3 is here. This is the Only Level 4 is here, and it is developed by Tasselfoot and IriySoft, and does not involve jmtb02.
Since each game takes about 10-20 minutes to complete, all spoilers will be unmarked. It's suggested that you play through the games first before scrolling down this page.
All four levels provide examples of:
- Acrofatic: The elephant is more agile than any elephant has the right to be, capable of jumping and running through the level with relative ease.
- Ascended Glitch: In the first game, there is a glitch which allows players who have just finished the game and quickly re-entering it to get to an unfinished and unsolvable Stage 31 — simply titled "undefined". This was turned into an actual hidden Easter Egg in Levels 2 and 3. It was also turned into an ending for choosing the blue cupcake in Level 4.
- Door to Before: The exit of the level takes you back to the start of the level.
- Easter Egg: The unsolvable Stage 31.
- In the main menu screen of Level 2, you can control your elephant to press the button at the top left and unlock Stage 22. However, you can also enter the box on the bottom right through a hidden opening to get to a secret Stage 31. Finding this secret also unlocks Hyper Mode.
- To unlock Stage 31 on Level 3, all you have to do is click the elephant in the main menu a few times.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: There IS only one level in all four games. You just have to do them loads of times (one level, but different stages).
- Fake Trap: In the first level, the spikes in "Dull appearances" act as springs. In the second, they have different properties in "Left IS Right" (the bottom of the row of spikes on the left wall is fake), "On Ice" (all the spikes disappear when you go near them), and "D34TH 15 2AD" (you have to make certain sets of spikes disappear in a certain order). Otherwise, they kill you.
- Fun with Acronyms:
- The FML Modes present in Level 2 and 3. In Level 2, it stands for "Frustrating Manipulative Level", while in Level 3, it stands for "Friendly Memorable Love".
- In Level 3 Stage 14, you are supposed to spell "Blue". The name of the stage is "Bad Little Ugly Elephant".
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The titles of each stage contain a clue as to how to solve them.
- Interface Screw:
- A staple in all four levels. Some of the stages will reverse your controls or disable certain buttons. Some of them even make you use entirely new keys.
- Display interface screws can also occur in certain stages, where the level will be blacked out or have obstacles rendered invisible, and you have to remember the path to navigate and complete the stages.
- Invisible Block: In the first level's "Mime's folly", there is an invisible wall to the right of the button that you have to jump over. The second and third levels feature entire mazes made up of invisible blocks.
- Jump Physics: The elephant (and the secret characters in the sequel) can jump like freaking Mario. Sometimes.
- Locked Door: In almost every stage of all four levels. Sometimes figuring out how to open it is part of the stage puzzle.
- Mythology Gag: The game series has multiple references to other jmtb02 games:
- Level 2: Stage 28, "Surface Painting", has you color the tiles of the level just like in Achievement Unlocked.
- Level 3 introduces the pastry mechanic first seen in Achievement Unlocked 2, and Stage 9 in particular is based on Elephant Rave. Stage 20 is based on the text-based game Llama Adventure.
- Pressure Plate: The button that sometimes opens the door.
- Press X to Die: Each game comes with a Panic button that can kill your elephant immediately, for use in emergency situations such as getting stuck. The final stage of This is the Only Level TOO requires you to kill your elephant on the button to weigh it down before you exit.
- In Level 2:
- There are two references to Super Mario Bros. — the clear message for "Red Light!" is "But the end is in another castle.", and Stage 11 is titled "World 1-2" and requires you to hit the top of the level to reach a warp zone on the other side.
- Also, the clear message for "Sliding Portcullis" is "But Will It Blend?", which is referenced again in Stage 11 of Level 3.
- In Level 3:
- The clear message for Stage 3 is "But are these the droids you are looking for?"
- Stage 6 is called "Speak Friend And Enter", and unlocks a secret Invisible Mode if you type in "mellon", the Elvish word for "friend".
- Stage 15 is called "The Touhou Project", and invokes Ikaruga.
- Stage 21 is titled "Cage the Elephant".
- In Level 4:
- Stage 1's win message is "Han shot first".
- In Level 2:
- Side View
- Solve the Soup Cans: Admittedly the hints are there in the titles but the solutions are still pretty far out.
- For Level 1 in particular, "Time to refresh" requires you to refresh the page in your browser to unlock the door (though an updated version of the game changes the title to "Refresh or Panic" and lets you hit the panic button instead of refreshing), and "Credit page" requires you to go back to the menu, then go to the Credits page and click "Main menu, and unlock Stage 27 for me" there.
- In Level 2, "Peek-a-boo!" requires you to face away from the door to open it, then dash through before it closes again, "Stuck?" requires you to click the walkthrough button to unlock the door, "Deaf, Dumb, and Blind" not only requires you to navigate the course while blacked out, but also hit the Mute button, and "What's On The Menu?" requires you to go back to the menu, then control the elephant in it and bring it onto the button at the top left, and return to the game.
- Level 4's "Healthy Teeth" requires you to clean the walrus's tusks on the main menu.
- Speed Run:
- The second game has characters that you can unlock by beating the game in 10, 5, 4, and 3.5 minutes each.
- Required in the third and fourth levels to unlock FML Mode.
Level 1 (This is the Only Level) provides examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Stage 10 is titled "Heavy headwind, here".
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: The "Candy stripes of doom" stage.
- Everything Breaks: In the "Collapse" stage, blocks will break off as the elephant jumps on them.
- Schmuck Bait: The button in "Think before doing" closes the already-open door.
- Video Game Demake: The game was remade in Pico-8, a virtual computer that is used to simulate the limitations of 80s computers, with more pixely graphics and chiptune rendition of the original theme.
- When All Else Fails, Go Right: "No returns, No refunds" doesn't let you move left, you can only go right.
Level 2 (This is the Only Level TOO) provides examples of:
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: Stage 9 has you controlling a donkey. This is inverted when you actually unlock the donkey as a playable character. Going back to Stage 9 does nothing, but going to the stage after that has you play as the elephant instead.
- Continuity Nod: The "stage cleared" message for the final stage is "But is the level over?", which was the only message for clearing the stages in Level 1.
- Descending Ceiling: Stage 14, "The sky is falling". You have to complete the stage before an inescapable wall of spikes falls from above and kills you.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: One of the secret characters is a Velociraptor.
- Fake Difficulty: The only type of difficulty in FML mode, which derives its challenge from putting the player in frequently Unwinnable scenarios and insurmountable odds.
- Letters 2 Numbers: Stage 27: D34TH 15 2AD.
- Luck-Based Mission: Any stage easily becomes this in FML mode due to the randomly-generated extra bits of level, since all too often the position of said bits makes the level Unwinnable. Sometimes they even block the exit.
- Platform Hell: FML Mode (FML is an acronym for "Frustratingly Manipulative Level"). It is not Unwinnable by Design (determined players have completed FML mode), but it comes oh-so-close.
- Warp Zone: In Stage 11. All three pipes lead to the same level you've been going through.
- Where It All Began: Stage 7 makes you return to the starting pipe.
Level 3 provides examples of:
- A Winner Is You:YES! You win!
NO! We don't have anything awesome to give you
BUT... maybe we could assign you some random title
- Art Evolution: The background and blocks are much more detailed than in the first two levels.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: Similar to the second level, one stage has you controlling a Velociraptor.
- Bullet Hell: Stage 15. And every stage in FML Mode.
- End Game Results Screen: After completing the level, you will be granted a rank based on how well you did, along with a random humorous title.
- Schmuck Bait/Call-Back: A reference to the first level, Stage 21's switch closes the already-open door.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: To get through Stage 27 you have to play a game of Snake in the corner of the high scores screen. Get the trophy and the gate opens.
Level 4 provides examples of:
- Oddball in the Series: Unlike the other levels, this one is not developed by jmbt02, being designed entirely by Tasselfoot and IriySoft. As a result, there are various departures from the previous games. The main character is a green walrus, the "You Win" messages do not begin with "But...", and the Armor Games logo retains its music and sound effects rather than overriden by the game's main music.