The Let's Play Archive

The Submachine Series

by Carbon dioxide

Part 6: Submachine Zero: Ancient Adventure

Part 6
Submachine Zero: Ancient Adventure

Click here to play the game yourself

This game, sometimes known as "Submachine 0", sometimes as "Submachine Zero", and sometimes simply as "Ancient Adventure", was released quite soon after The Loop. It was made for a game creation contest hosted by the game review website, in which contestants had only 3 weeks to create a full game. It has the least rooms of any Submachine game, except for the very first version of Submachine 1.

The game reuses the Lighthouse's help screen. We find ourselves in a place called the Ancient Ruins. This game takes place in the past, so we're not playing as our protagonist this time.

This area is to the left of the starting point. We pick up the hard-to-notice stone Tongue here.

To the right is another Tongue on a stand, and a Lighter hidden in the gap between the bricks. The HD version has one more area to the right, where you can see that the sky isn't as real as it seems. It shows that this area actually exists in a part of the Submachine we'll be visiting later.

Placing both Tongues in the mouths of the statues lets us open the gate by clicking on the knob in the middle. If you hadn't found the first Tongue by now, this would be a good hint that there's another one.

Thumpmonks - Submachine 0 - Ambient

Going down into the ruins, we find it's very dark. Luckily, there's oil lamps on the walls and we got a lighter.

We can go right or left here. Let's go left first.

Lighting the lamp, we see a rather dangerous looking obstacle. Those spears shoot out whenever your mouse cursor gets near them. They obviously won't kill your mouse, but we cannot pass, either.

Downstairs, there's a stone switch we can pull to disable the spears. Before going into the room behind the spears, let's explore a bit further by going right.

We can climb further down, just to hit a dead end. To the spear room!

The block in the room can be turned in order to show four different faces. If we put this 3/4 circle in front, a hatch opens at the dead end.

We pick up the red Jewel here. I wonder what kind of symbolism the creator(s) of this place intended with this winged scorpion.

Turn the block another quarter, another hatch opens.

Which gives us access to a second Jewel. We go back to turn the block one last time, to pick up the final Jewel.

This game doesn't add much to the story of the Submachine by itself. There are no notes or anything. However, Mateusz is good at tying things together, so we will run into the Ancient Ruins again in later games. I wanted to show this side game because it adds context to some parts in later games.

There's nothing left to do in the left part of the ruins, so let's explore the right bit. You may notice some things disappearing from my inventory, that's because I'm showing the screenshots in a more sensible order than the one I took them in.

In the room to the right, there's another spear trap. Let's go down to hit the switch.

Oh. It's broken off. I suppose we need another solution.

What you need to do is go and grab this Stone from one of the Jewel rooms. It blends in with the background, so at first I didn't even notice it could be picked up, and I got stuck here for a bit.

We can crawl through into the next room if we use the heavy Stone to block some of the spears. Yes, crawl. The top spears still shoot out if you get near, and you can only go to the next room by clicking the lower part of the doorway. I think little touches like that are neat.

This is where we need the Jewels. We place them in the jackal statue's slots in order to make the pieces float.

If there's something to take away from this game, it's that the Submachine does not only have ancient sections, they seem to consist of a weird mishmash of cultures. This looks Egyptian, but those statues outside the main gate didn't look Egyptian at all, at least not to me. And winged scorpions? Those could be Egyptian but I don't think I've ever heard of a mythological winged scorpion. A Manticore is somewhat like that, but not quite the same thing. E: Thanks to JamieTheD for pointing out it's actually a Skarabeus.

Anyway, let's climb down and finish this short game.

Thumpmonks - Submachine 0 - Outro

The wiki says that in this game we might actually be playing as Mur. This would be him finding the Wisdom Gem he left behind for us in the Basement. But I don't know if there's any real evidence for that theory.

This final message seems to be intended for the player, bringing us back to the fact that this game was 'just' a stand-alone contest entry.

I don't know about you, but I'm already excited for the next game, in which we'll learn a whole lot about the Submachine and Mur, and we will encounter an interesting device that many would consider a staple element of the series. See you soon for Submachine 4: The Lab.