Coach Oleander's Basic Braining is a mental world in Psychonauts. It is a large mental battlefield in
Coach Oleander's mind, where he shows his students the basics of maneuvering through mindscapes.
The whole level is based on Coach Oleander's violent war memories: a huge battlefield with many details referring to the Vietnam War and both World Wars 1 and 2. Barbed wires and old metal pieces are scattered around the environment. Planes and other flying machines fight in the background. It's second part consists of a snowy area with cardboard figures for training and a giant turret shooting everything in it's path. The turret takes to an advanced training zone with trapezes and rails, which leads to Oleander's greatest challenge: a massive area of rolling logs and barbed wires.
Along the way, certain objects come up that seem rather out of place - there are some figments shaped like butcher knives and meat in the first part of the level. In the second part with the Gun turret, Raz isn't the only one being shot at, as there are small, slightly deformed bunnies wearing military get-ups. This all hints to a dark secret the Coach is hiding from the students related to his past.
Immediately after gaining control of Razputin for the first time, the first goal to complete is to take the "Basic Braining" course in Coach Oleander's mind. To do this, Razputin climbs to the classroom, located in a tree above the Kids' Cabins area. A bunch of other campers are already inside Oleander's head, and can be seen sitting on the floor in a trance. When Raz goes to talk to the Coach and tells him he is ready to take the course, he removes his helmet and pulls Raz' astral projection into his mind through a Psycho-Portal, a little door on his forehead.
Razputin finds himself in a small recruiting office, next to a mortified Elton, who wants nothing more than to 'chicken out' quickly. A projector displays an image of Oleander, who tells them he wants to recruit them to become Psychonauts, and requests either of them to punch him in the face to start the course. Because Elton is too scared, Raz handles this part. It causes the wall behind the screen to fall over, and Elton, who has gathered all his courage, rushes out yelling a war cry. He is almost immediately blown up by a mine, but Oleander assures his astral projection has merely been kicked out. Raz decides to just keep moving.
Making his way through the trenches, he ends up at an uncrossable gap in the road with Bobby Zilch, who pushes him off, trying to be a jerk. Raz is caught by Lili before falling to the floor, but she claims she was only saving a plant made of meat he would have otherwise landed on. She does tell him she's seen one of those before in a nightmare, but ignores him when he asks her to show him the nightmare.
Moving on through the trenches, passing various other campers, Raz eventually gets to a plane containing Vernon. The coach instructs them to jump out of the plane. Raz is hesitant at first, but when Vernon starts telling an excruciatingly boring story, he punches the door open and jumps anyway. He lands in a snowy field, where Clem and Crystal are stuck on a Target Punching game. Raz manages to beat it, but the cheerleaders are blown up as a 'reward'. Further down is an enormous bunker gun mowing down everything in its path. Upon closer inspection, Bobby was the one shooting at you the whole time. Waiting at the other side of the bunker is the trapeze area, which involves lots of swinging, jumping, and walking across ropes, before finally getting to enormous grind rails. Bobby tries one last time to hinder Raz on the rail, but a swift punch is enough to clear him off.
The grind rail turns out to lead to Oleander's final challenge: a tunnel of rotating logs strewn with barbed wire. Once this tricky parcours is successfully completed, Raz ends up at the end of the course. He wanders off looking for the exit and walks into a strange white hallway with a shut curtain at the end, but before he can open it, Oleander pulls him back and gives him the Basic Braining merit badge. Raz is then free to leave the Coach's mind.
- Steamer Trunk
- Bag: After the first figment. Impossible to miss, as Oleander points this out to you.
- Tag: Directly past the Steamer Trunk.
- Bag: Underneath the set of trampolines before you climb the wall to the trapeze area. Go through the bombed out airframe to the left, and you'll find the suitcase.
- Bag: On the ledge after the first set of poles after sliding through the tunnel after the cannon
- Tag: On top of the Cannon.
- Bag: Behind one of the walls in the firefield with the Cannon.
- Tag: Behind one of the walls in the firefield with the Cannon.
- Bag: On a plane in the trapeze area.
- Tag: After the first trapeze in the area, almost directly under the bag
- Oleander's Pride: Found after completing the Target Practice mini-game. Nearly impossible to miss. Shows Oleander (much taller than he really is) doing heroic things (possibly a lie).
- Oleander's Shame: Found near the trapeze area, behind a Mental Cobweb. Shows Oleander being kicked out of various military organizations because of his height.
- In the tightrope area. Coach Oleander points this one out to you.
- In the trapeze area. Before taking the first trapeze, look around the area, and it's there, blocking a Vault.
- In the trapeze area. Before taking the rail, look at the bottom of the large wall, and it is in a crevice.
- Near the rail leading to the very end of the level.
- In a small recess at the end of the level, next to the white room on the right.
- If Clairvoyance is used the bunnies, it will show Raz as a big, scary butcher, which is not only a refrence to Oliander's bad memories, but also of one of two final antagonists of the game, The Butcher from Meat Circus.
- If you return to the very end of the level after completing it, the door to the white room will be closed and chained up.
- The coach's mental realm dosen't have any censors, a subtle hint at his insanity.
- If you help Dogen pass the minefield he will give you some arrowheads.