Workplace mysteries create chaos, with fingers pointed, blame thrown. And sometimes, we get it wrong. Dunder Mifflin, even you got it wrong.
Because, dear reader…
Ry-an Shan-non started the fiiiiire! It was always burning since the world’s been turning.🎶🔥
Replicating one of TV’s biggest crimes — the Season 2, episode 4 fire from The Office — highlights just one of the chaotic things you’re allowed to do in Rain On Your Parade, an indie game by Unbound Creations, released on Steam in May 2020 and added to consoles in April 2021.
The scene? Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch, or a version of it. The culprit? Me, a cardboard rain cloud, equipped with a party hat, novelty mug, and the will to succeed. The crime? Starting The Fire, the third best thing to ever happen on The Office. And the act brought me closer to the show than I expected, because I wasn’t just watching it happen, I caused it all.
In Rain On Your Parade, you play as a rambunctious raincloud seeking to ruin people’s days everywhere you go, rudely drenching them with various liquids, sometimes water, sometimes toxic waste. The object of the game is chaos and sheer annoyance, seeing the unbridled destruction of Donut County combine with the meticulous mischief-making of Untitled Goose Game.
Among the 50 levels in the game, there’s one that will delight fans of suddenly upturned chilli pots: a tiny replication of The Office‘s Dunder Mifflin, right down to the printer. The only character who resembles one from the show is the tiny Michael Scott, otherwise they’re just human characters seen in other Rain On Your Parade levels.
It’s not the first time someone’s recreated Dunder Mifflin in a game, from a 16-year-old Redditor building it in Minecraft to a speed-builder crafting it piece-by-piece in The Sims 4. But in Rain On Your Parade, the developers baked the set into an actual level of a game focused on rude tasks, so there’s an extra element of personal responsibility for some the most chaotic moments in the show.
The level is sorted into “episodes,” each more diabolical than the next. It starts out pretty straightforwardly, with your task to simply rain on every member of the office, causing them to flee in despair, upturning desks, and making a whole lot of ruckus. It’s honestly what I imagine Michael Scott would have loved to be able to have done at various points, simply pouring water all over the situation and running screaming out the door.
The second stage is a more helpful one, in which your task is to suck up the freshly made coffee in the kitchen and deliver it via rain to everyone’s desk mugs, sprinkling a little on their heads and computers while you’re at it.
But the best stages are those directly connected with the happenings of The Office itself. One devious round has you trip your coworker who has brought a huge pot of chilli into the office, a perilous situation taken from the fan-favourite cold open of Season 5, episode 26, involving Kevin Malone dumping a vat of the stuff all over the carpet and himself at reception.
It’s gloriously wicked just how easy this task is in the game, lurking above your unsuspecting coworker, whose efforts to carefully haul their specially-made chilli through the workplace are about to be truly undone by indoor rain. In the show, Kevin drags the thing from his car, up the stairs thanks to an out-of-order lift, and finally into Dunder Mifflin, only to lose control of the pot at reception and splat the contents all over the carpet.
There’s so much effort made, lost in an instant. It’s so purely relatable it makes me scream every time I watch it. In the game, you simply wait for the final stretch, drench the hell of out the character from above, and revel in the schadenfreude.
Yes, I’m a truly terrible colleague. The cloud made me do it.
But you’re here for the big one right? The real beauty lies in the one where you start a fire, akin to the moment in Season 2, episode 4 when Ryan Howard, a temp at the time, accidentally did exactly that with an ill-fated cheese pita, much to Dwight Schrute’s extremely audible delight.
No, you don’t start the fire in the kitchen by skipping the tutorial on toaster ovens. Instead, you literally throw oil all over Dunder Mifflin, trailing it from an innocent birthday cake in the meeting room, and pouring a flammable path through the whole office. I destroyed it. Look, I’m sorry, mainly to the hardcore fans of The Office at Mashable. I felt truly powerful and terrible for doing this. This was no accident.
This tiny, fleeting level let me not only reminisce over two of the most hilariously dramatic moments in The Office, but actually cause them, sending me on a power trip I never knew I needed.
Perhaps the moment represented something more than pure pop culture-inspired pyromania. The Office level in Rain On Your Parade is the closest I’ve been to an office for over a year, while we’ve been working from home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Office life as we knew it has been metaphorically burned to the ground in the last year. Tripping up colleagues holding homemade chilli and starting fires in Dunder Mifflin gives me a sense of the Time Before, when emptying a cloud-bowel of coffee upon an unsuspecting colleague came with the territory.
Right? Wait, how did we do this again? Oh no.