The Let's Play Archive


by Alien Arcana

Part 13: The Submarine, part 1

Last time: The game crashed! There's something about the submarine, I swear. 90% of my crashes are in or around the damn thing.

As it happens, I was going to cut there anyway. I consider the Submarine an area in itself, so to keep the chapter titles consistent I needed to start a new chapter here.

So. Here's what the submarine looks like on the inside. It's a little cramped, though I imagine real submarines are even more so.

There's a door behind me, but it won't open. Mysterious!

In the first room I can actually enter, I find this.

Control panel count: 5

It's nonfunctional at the moment.

Beyond that is the... bridge? Cockpit? Control room? What is it called on a submarine, anyway?

This is not a control panel. I mean, it probably is a control panel, but it's completely noninteractive, so it's not a control panel for my purposes.

(What's the French for "control panel"?)

This one, on the other hand?

Control panel count: 6

Also offline for now.

And then there's the pilot's seat. Captain's chair. Whatever.

Control panel count: 7

There's a lot of stuff to play with here, but there's only one piece that works right off the bat.

It's the key at the bottom. It's sort of like a car ignition, so I'll give Sierra points for a semi-logical puzzle solution.

Now that I've turned the sub on, the rest of the controls here work. The little levers on the right govern the door locks. Right now, one is up and one is down, corresponding to the sealed door from before and the open door to this room.

As usual, I toggle the wrong one and lock myself in. Easily fixed, but I should really be able to remember this by now.

Back to the main controls. The three keys on the left side activate the submarine's three main systems: the engine, the navigation program, and the depth controls.

Your first reaction might be to turn them all on at once. However, if you do that, the sub's systems overload and it turns itself off. You're supposed to turn one on, go get that system working properly, then come back for the next. If you do them one at a time, the sub can handle it.

Except that sometimes the game lets you turn them all on at once. Seriously, your guess is as good as mine. As a general rule, if the "indicator bar" above the keys turns red, the sub's about to overload - stop turning keys.

So! The topmost key corresponds to the engine, which lies behind that sealed door in the sub's aft. No control panel here, just a big ol' lever just itching to be pulled.


The nav program's in the middle room. First, though, let's see if there's any clues over here, though.

One of those little tubes had this in it. Hmm. Those coordinates sound vaguely familiar.

Oh yeah! There was a ship having problems around those coordinates. Could be a coincidence, or there could be something to find there.

This is the navigation program - once it's got power, I can tap the big metal ball to reveal a viewscreen.

There's two destinations already programmed in. The one on the right is Martin's Roost itself. The other is an island of some kind. Hey, Lyra mentioned an island! I should definitely go there.

But let's not be too hasty. I've got two other sets of coordinates to try. These, of course, are the ones I just found - corresponding to the middle of the sea, as it turns out. The ship's last known location?

And these are the coordinates of the volcano, as revealed to us in the Room of Ancient Machines.

I'll pick a destination later. This panel's the third and final component of the submarine's systems: the depths controls. There's four interactive parts here: two levers, two wheels. If you touch anything in the wrong order, an alarm sounds and the entire panel resets itself.

The correct solution? First, toggle both levers - this prepares the tanks. Next, turn the wheel on the left.

See that blue line on the left pair of tubes? When the water reaches that point, turn the wheel on the right. Note that there's a delay of about two seconds between clicking on the wheel and the water actually starting to rise in the right-hand tubes. Don't try to compensate for the delay - thinking the water needed to be starting on the right as it hit the blue line on the left cost me I-don't-know-how-many tries as a kid.

Get it right, and the submarine does what submarines do.

We are now officially nautical.

All preparations are complete.

Now, if I'd tried operating the submarine as soon as I found it, I'd have gotten this far and then been stuck. (Lighthouse likes doing that to you. Puzzle box, anyone?) You can start the sub up, make it dive, and give it a destination, but to make it go?

For that, you need a Shell Lever.

End of Chapter

Thread? It's that time again! What should we investigate first?

There aren't many decision points left, so cast your votes now!