The Let's Play Archive

The Submachine Series

by Carbon dioxide

Part 5: Submachine 3: The Loop

Part 5
Submachine 3: The Loop

Thumpmonks - Submachine 3 - The Loop

We'll continue with puzzle seven. Let's see where the map wants us to go this time.

Oh. Shit. Let's look around then. And not stray too far from the center.

Below the (broken) Map room we find this device. We can set it so that either the top right and bottom left lights are green, or the top left and bottom right ones, but not both pairs at the same time.

There's a simple pull switch down from the Passage machine, which we immediately use.

It turns on a projector in the room above the Passage machine, showing a pattern.

Finally, to the top right there's a valve that doesn't do anything yet. So what's the solution?

There's five more of these rooms to the right of the first one. We have to reproduce the pattern from the projector on those. So, the leftmost one needs to have the top left and bottom right lights on, and so do the third and sixth ones. The others need to be set so the top right lights are green.

Turning the valve activates all six green lights and unlocks the Passage machine. Let's look at the third HD Note before we continue.

HD Note posted:

He said to mark this paper every time I pass it.
Damn. Looks like that one was stuck here for a long time. Maybe I should start putting marks on the wall, to see if I'm looping around too.

Who's "he"? Mur?

Nice to have a working map again. One room up we find this inactive device. It actually kinda reminds me of the turrets from Portal, although this Submachine game was released a year before Portal 1.

Under the Passage machine room at the origin, we find a device that allows us to pick numbers. These are obviously coordinates, and this machine is different from the earlier ones in that it allows negative coordinates. Anyway, the switch only stays down if we press it after picking coordinates that correspond to one of those 'turret' pods.

The pod opens, and we can pull down the two switches inside. Each switch activates a Navigator light.

Repeat for the other two pods, and the Passage machine activates.

Down to the ninth puzzle.

Another broken map. But it isn't much of a problem. The only rooms of interest are those directly above and below the Passage machine.

Only the grey buttons can be pressed, not the black ones. The buttons cycle through colours and letters respectively.

Just match up the colours with the first letters of their names. In this case, orange, yellow, yellow, black, orange, and purple.

This puzzle was changed in the HD version, by the way. Instead of colours and letters, you have to match up numbers with Roman numerals. I'm guessing that was done to make the game colour-blind friendly.

Press the big button under the colours to solve the entire thing.

Speaking of the HD version, here's the final Note.

HD Note posted:

The rooms reset every other cycle.
The compass will reappear soon.
If I only knew which cycle I'm in...
Cycle? Reset? Is that something the Submachine itself does?

This whole thing is reminding me of the horror film series Cube. And it won't be the last time Submachine makes me think of Cube. Submachine 3 was released a year or two after Cube Zero, and Mateusz has said he was inspired by Cube when making this game series.

Luckily, it doesn't seem the system is specifically out to kill anyone, so far.

The map for puzzle ten seems to be working. Let's go up and see what the puzzle is about this time.

Nothing in this room... and nothing in the room to the left either. What's going on?

The trick is that the map isn't a map this time. There's an empty map screen to the left of the Passage machine, and by clicking on it, you can fill it in.

If we copy the 'map' we can activate the valve below the origin (easily found if you do your normal round of exploring).

And the Passage machine unlocks.

A Note!

Mur's Note posted:


Have you noticed that with each puzzle solved you move deeper below ground? That doesn't look like a good escape plan. The machine itself is a giant trap. In order to escape it you must stop solving puzzles or you'll just remain perpetually in that loop. The loop is timeless, spaceless, without beginning or end. It's the worst place you could have find yourself after teleporting from the lighthouse. Here's what I want you to do:
Don't open the passage-machine in room (0, 0). Instead, look for a green leaf and bring it to the statue in room (-12, 9). This should disconnect you from the loop, in which case you should arrive at the Lab, or somewhere nearby. Good luck!


Should I really trust some weird dude that only communicates through notes? I don't think so. Let's keep going...

An actual working map this time. Going down, we find a valve that is currently inactive.

Going left from there, we find some kind of hint, and another inactive valve. The leaf can randomly appear in any of the rooms surrounding the Passage machine. I'll leave it behind for now, and show what it does in a minute.

On the top row, there's two rooms with coloured tubes and another hint. The buttons allow us to set the height of the colours, and the hints tell us how high they need to be. The difficult part is that the hints are in the wrong order.

Red, yellow, and white go at heights 2, 4 and 1. Blue, purple and green go at 5, 0 and 5.

Each triplet of colours activates one of the valves below, and by turning both valves we solve the puzzle.

This puzzle was also changed for the HD version. The hints are the same, but all tubes are grey. In one of the rooms there's some scribbles on the wall indicating the order of the 'colours' using the hint's letters. If anything, it makes the puzzle more difficult.

Let's see where it takes us this time.


Uh. That never happened. Let's rewind a bit.

The password system is a bit finicky. I think the problem is that while the font is all-caps, with no distinction between lower and upper case, you do need to type the password in lower case.

Should I really trust some weird dude that only communicates through notes? I suppose I have no choice. A leaf, huh?

This time, the leaf is in the lower left room. Let's put it in our inventory (yes we do have one in this game), and make our way to -12, 9.

We drop the leaf on the pedestal, there's a spark, and...

In case you can't tell, we're finally moving up.

Hm, perhaps I don't want to escape. This is quite fun, all in all.

Hey, wait a second! I want to get out of here and go home, wherever that is!

And that was the entirety of Submachine 3. We will be going to The Lab, but not just yet. Next time, we'll explore a bit of the history of the Submachine in the first side game, Submachine Zero: Ancient Adventure.