Alright, it has been a long time in between posts and that is because I caught Covid. I spiked the the ball too close to the finish line or whatever premature celebration analogy you would like to use. Now, I should say I did not catch Covid on my recent trip to Vegas but was still waiting for a full recovery before starting up posting. I am not fully recovered with a vaccine poke scheduled for Friday! Anyway, back on topic…
Last month I had the infinite pleasure of visiting the new Meow Wolf exhibit in Las Vegas called Omega Mart. I was especially looking forward to this as my last Mew Wolf experience in New Mexico was basically an 8 hour long engaging narrative that I was very personally invested in. This one was no different, and also incredibly different. The same general principle applied, it is an interactive art exhibit that you can go in, marvel at, and just at surface value enjoy the fact that it is a supermarket that seems to bend the rules of reality.
Though, in my opinion, the real meat of these exhibits is the narrative. There is an underlying story constructed around the exhibit and you must journey through it all and pay very close attention and put time into piecing the narrative together. I’ll get into what I learned about this in the spoiler section below but first some more general bits…
Omega Mart is located in Area 15 of Las Vegas which is a sort of gathering of exhibits. Sadly due to Covid only Omega Mart and the bar were really open when we visited but that just means we will be revisiting it to get the whole experience.
The basic concept of Omega Mart is very apparent, it’s a supermarket for all of your needs, whether physical or non corporeal. Keep in mind, you can purchase anything in the supermarket section, and I recommend doing so. From there, the employees walk a beautiful line of being both helpful, in-character, and a bit unnerving due to not being able to tell the line between their employee character and real life, it’s stupendous.
The exhibit itself, while not as massive as the New Mexico one, is misleadingly huge. It also includes a super on theme bar with some creative cocktails. Check out the video at the end to see.
Now for some pictures!
OK with the general overview out of the way we can get more into SPOILERS!!!! If you plan to discover the narrative yourself then it is time to exit the article or skip to the end…
You’ll have to forgive me because I will be using wrong names for the characters because I may or may not have been taking advantage of Vegas’s legalization laws during my time so as to maximize the effect. Additionally, these are all based on my interpretations of the information I gathered and I am conceding I could be WAY off, but I believe at worst I’m only KINDA off.
The basic scenario of the exhibit is that Omega Mart is actually packaging a special ingredient in all of their good called Compound S. Compound S comes from The Source, which is a sort of well that outputs a material that creates a higher consciousness, or madness depending on your perspective. So Omega Mart is forcing, or allowing, it’s customers to “transcend” depending on your perspective.
Now, ultimately, Omega Mart seems to just be a public facing brand for a research company that discovered The Source via a Portal within a small town where all the residents seem to be disappearing and also achieving a trans-dimensional reality. Additionally, Humans are not the only race to have discovered the source, from my guess there have been 2 other races that have used it as a tool and then, ultimately, seemed to have disappeared although they do get mentions in the information about the exhibit as well as several cameos so to speak.
At the head of Omega Mart is a woman, whose name escapes me, and I will be referring to as Omega 1, she is the daughter of the former head of Omega Mart who seems to have gone mad. This family dynamic was a bit confusing to me and the events of what happened seem a little up to interpretation or I just missed it but I’ll give it a shot. So, Omega 1 lost her daughter but believes/knows she is still alive inside the other dimension. Omega 1’s father, seems to have gone insane and allied with one of the other races that was using the source. To what extent or how this happened I didn’t discover. The information is likely in the exhibit, I just didn’t find it. Omega 1’s daughter’s friend(or maybe the daughter herself?) also seems to be the leader of a protest group that believes Omega Mart is evil and they seem to have managed to jump in and out of the alternate dimension/reality themselves.
That brings me to the next interesting part of the exhibit, the paths you can follow. Due to how new the exhibit is and they are still working out the kinks we weren’t able to experience this to it’s desired extent but with the help of employees we got a rough idea of how it works. When arriving at Omega Mart you can request an Omega Card, like most supermarkets, that acts as your membership card. You can use this card to follow several paths. The first path being trying to expose Omega Mart, where you learn about a series of secret codes and activating the terminals in a certain order to launch a video to the public that exposes what they are doing. While in the exhibit you may see and hear this video go off several times as others discover it.
The second path seems to be that of an “extraordinary customer” wherein you learn to love The Source and want to open it completely. You can again find clues to open up a secret door near the laboratory to inevitably open and release what’s behind it. Of the two paths discovered, I enjoyed the 2nd one a little more but both were fun.
Also, I got hints that there was either at least 1 other path to discover or potentially a whole hidden layer of information, possibly with Omega 1’s father. There is entire story arcs with various scientists and other characters working on The Source and messing with portals and other dimensions as well but, at this point, we had been there about 6 hours and had hit a peak. The revisit potential on this exhibit is huge if you want to discover more and we plan to. Unlike the New Mexico one where we feel confident we uncovered the bulk of the narrative, Easter eggs and all. For example there’s a robot you can type in commands to and when you start typing in ice cream flavors it starts to give out some pretty cryptic information. We weren’t able to interrogate that machination for as long as we wanted though because we didn’t want to hog it from other guests. There’s also binders full of documents, tons of phone extensions you can call, videos of experiments that no doubt would paint a more clear picture we just ran out of time, and also spent a fair amount of it in their bar trying their on theme drinks…try The Source cocktail…it will make you feel…extraordinary.
I wish I could give a more detailed picture like I could from the New Mexico one but I am also satisfied with what we did discover. Whenever we get back their, ideally after it calms down a bit from it’s recent opening, I hope to get the full narrative.
And with that I’m cutting off the spoiler section and ending there, here is a short video from our time there! Sorry for the quality, as stated I wasn’t at my best for filming.