Picnic Panic is a free DLC expansion for The Messenger, which released on July 11, 2019. It is accessible after completing the game by defeating the final boss, then interacting with the scrying orb inside the shop. If you're on a New Game + file, you can access the DLC after obtaining the map.
- For a related article, see Cinematic Cutscenes.
In an alternate timeline, far off the coast of Messenger Island, five Phobekins enjoy a picnic on an idyllic secluded beach on the tropical Voodkin Island. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to them, Barma'thazël hides in a bush in the nearby jungle. Barma'thazël ambushes the Phobekins and grabs a corner of the picnic blanket, upturning the Phobekins' picnic and causing a panic. He uses the picnic blanket as a kidnapping sack, scooping up all five Phobekins. Barma'thazël then walks into the jungle with the sack of Phobekins on his back, leaving behind the sad remains of an uneaten picnic. He plans to use the Phobekins for an evil ritual.
Ninja is sent to the alternate timeline in order rescue the Phobekins and to stop Barma'thazël's evil plan. The Ninja Elder of the alternate timeline directs Ninja to head to the western side of Ninja Village, where an alternate-timeline Ruxxtin waits for Ninja near the docks. However, Barma'thazël, with an evil grin, gazes at Ninja's approach within a scrying orb, and the narrator implies that Barma'thazël is leading Ninja into a trap.
In the Picnic Panic trailer, Ninja walks up to The Shopkeeper in the shop and selects the "Chat" menu option. Ninja inquires if The Shopkeeper has any free DLC with 3 new levels and boss fights to share. The Shopkeeper, in her classic storytelling fashion, responds, "Of course, here's one for you." The trailer then showcases various scenarios in the DLC, in the style of a typical cheesy vacation advertisement.
Ruxxtin and Ruxxtin's Staff make a surprising return, assisting Ninja by surfing together on Ruxxtin's skull ship to reach Voodkin Island, an island that's inhabited by tribal Phobekins called Voodkins. Time travel makes a return as well, as Ninja jumps through a time rift from 8-bit to 16-bit, transforming the island from a sunny tropical paradise into a stormy, windy, and rainy environment. A Wallaxer, a green chameleon reskin of Green Kappa, and a blue dinosaur reskin of Blue Kappa are seen during this segment.
Ruxxtin's importance in the DLC is highlighted; he appears in the beginning area of Ninja Village to greet Ninja, doing his classic turnaround reveal. But instead of becoming shorter, Ruxxtin is seen wearing large cargo pants, and Ruxxtin struggles to keep his balance. Floating in the nearby waters is Ruxxtin's skull ship. Again, Ruxxtin and Ninja are seen surfing together on Ruxxtin's skull ship as they approach a large pink octopus boss fight.
The mists of time are shifting...
...terror in the tropics...
...little creatures, taken hostage...
...the birth of an evil twin...
Ninja asks The Shopkeeper what the vision means. She is surprised and asks if Ninja truly saw something in the scrying orb. Ninja confirms that he did, but the vision was blurry. The Shopkeeper becomes worried, informing him that the demons are not only fighting the Blue Robes across time but space as well, and that the scrying orb warns them of alternate timelines in which demons are about to win, which could overwrite their current reality. Ninja offers to go there directly to prevent those events from occurring, and The Shopkeeper says he will be able to after the new content is released.
- In the "Sabotage end of year Q&A 2018" video, Thierry Boulanger, the main writer and director of The Messenger, explained that Picnic Panic is an experiment. It is supposed to be the first of a trio of DLC's called "Barma'thazël's Revenge." If Picnic Panic drives enough sales on the main game by increasing its value, there would be 2 more DLC's left. However, whether or not they get released is dependent on Picnic Panic's reception.
- In the background of a couple of the Picnic Panic trailers, the word "TUWHERA" can be briefly seen on a stone slab in the background, shortly after the promotional words "VOODOO MAGIC!" appear on screen. In the ARG, this word was required to save The Archivist so he could return to The Void.
- In the actual release of Picnic Panic, this stone slab is nowhere to be seen.
- Rainbowdragoneyes, the game's music composer, is the one who says "Picnic Panic" during the song in the trailer.
- Initially it was planned for the Picnic Panic DLC to become accessible after collecting 4 Music Notes, but this was changed, and now the player must instead complete the entire game and defeat the final boss.
- Pitou can be spotted hiding within a bush in Ninja Village during Picnic Panic's cinematic intro.