Psychonauts 2 has finally been released, and the opening level has a strange obsession with teeth. The long-awaited sequel uses the familiar structure of Psychonaut levels by having main protagonist Raz enter the brains of characters to try and work through their emotional trauma. These minds depict their mental health struggles in ways unique to each character, and the opening moments of Psychonauts 2 is no exception when Raz finds himself in the mind of Dr. Caligosto Loboto, who shows a strange fascination with teeth.
Dr. Loboto serves as one of the main antagonists in the original Psychonauts game, aiding Coach Oleander by removing the brains of the PSI Cadets at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp to power his army of Brain Tanks. He also serves as the primary villain in Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, having kidnapped the Grand Head of the Psychonauts (Truman Zanotto) at the end of the first game. Raz and the other Psychonauts defeat Loboto and save Truman, and the team leaves the Rhombus of Ruin aboard their jet with Loboto secretly in tow.
The story of Psychonauts 2 immediately follows the events of Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, with Raz and the team having found Loboto on their jet and trying to figure out who gave him the order to kidnap Truman. Famous German psychonaut Sasha Nein constructs an office scenario in Loboto’s mind to try and extract the information from his mind, but the mad doctor becomes aware of the ploy after catching Raz following him to meet his mysterious boss. The office surroundings begin to fall apart, giving way to Loboto’s psyche and becoming a dental nightmare for Raz to traverse.
The way Psychonauts 2 depicts Dr. Loboto’s mental state draws heavily from the human mouth, with a cacophony of teeth of various sizes sprouting from human gums located on the floors, walls and ceilings. Giant teeth adorned with braces float above treacherous pools of mouth wash for Raz to jump on, and the young psychonaut also encounters flying Tooth Faries made of actual teeth with wings. Areas of Dr. Loboto’s mind that maintain any semblance of normalcy look like a common dentist’s office, with corny motivational posters on the walls and portraits of Loboto himself as the head practitioner.
Before the events of the first Psychonauts game, Loboto was an unhinged dentist who found great pleasure in hurting his patients. This led to his incarceration in the Thorney Towers Home For The Demented, where he eventually set up a new practice after the asylum was abandoned to work on the institution’s former occupants. Loboto became highly fixated on extracting larger teeth and led to his development of a sneeze-inducing powder powerful enough to extract a human’s brain, which he considered to be the biggest tooth of all.
Psychonauts 2 leans into Loboto’s dental fantasies as he tries to prevent Raz from uncovering the identity of his nefarious boss. The level serves as a perfect opener for the game, helping new and returning players grow accustomed to the mind-bending mental locations they’ll visit throughout the game, while introducing a variety of Raz’s Psychonaut powers that he will need to face a host of enemies. As strange and disturbing as the experience is, visiting Dr. Loboto’s mind helps Psychonauts 2 start off with a bite that should keep players intrigued for what other oddities the game has in store.