The Let's Play Archive

The Submachine Series

by Carbon dioxide

Part 15: Submachine 6: The Edge

Part 15
Submachine 6: The Edge

Welcome back! Last time, we climbed out of the tunnels under the Defense System, grabbed a cube, and found some notes warning us about someone.

The cube is way too strong to just break, and we don't have the unlock code. But a few millenia does wonders.

We make the room look new, then place the Steel Cube on the pedestal, and then change the time.

When we go back, there's not much left of the cube, and some object falls out when we click on it. Sadly, it shatters when it hits the ground.

Turning the time back, the Connection Pod is restored but somehow still outside the Cube. We take it with us, because as you will see soon, this thing is a sort of debug/hacking device.

Before we leave, I make sure to make the room look old again, because that's required for finding another secret area.

Speaking of secret areas, let's hunt some of them down. Remember this broken Portal from the start of the game? We can use our Connection Pod on the round port on the front.

The insides of the system are mostly green. Anyway, this is a very interesting text.

Portal prototype 2/32 posted:

Portal prototype developed for transportation of maintenance units between different sections of the subnet.

the prototype came into contact with human factor and was reverse-engineered in order to transport humans.

Primary function deleted.

As a main factor in the infestation spread the portal was considered a failure.
The meaning of this might not be immediately clear, but, like usual, the wiki is a good source of information. This text is one of the most important pieces of lore for this series.

Basically, the Submachine started as an autonomous system - it had a computer or an AI that sent out maintenance robots to keep itself operational. As it says in the text, the System created the Portals in order to easily move the Sub-bots throughout the Subnet.
Well, at some point humans discovered some part of the Subnet, found a Portal prototype, and used that to reverse engineer the Portals we've seen in the last few games. They used that technology to build the Root which, as I said before, was the first part of the Subnet ever built by humans.

Anyway, the Subnet AI considers humans an 'infection' that do not belong in the Subnet at all. Apparently the humans triggered something while messing around that caused a proliferation of Submachines that weren't under the System's control. The defenses we're trying to shut down work as a kind of immune system, trying to stop the human infection and protecting its most sensitive parts.

We'll learn more details in the following games, but this should be plenty to talk about for now.

Remember the dead end all the way past the original entrance into the tunnels? When you change the time in the Chronon so that it turns into a ruin, this section is repaired and we get to see this.

Thoth inscription posted:


Patron of: knowledge, secrets, writing, and scribes.

Appearance: A man with the head of an ibis holding a scribe's palette and stylus. He was also shown as a full ibis, or sometimes as baboon.

Description: Thoth is an unusual god. Though some stories place his as a son of Ra, other say that Thoth created himself through the power of language. He is the creator of magic, the inventor of writing, teacher of man, the messenger of the gods (and thus identified by the Greeks with Hermes) and the divine record-keeper and mediator.

He was also a measurer and recorder of time.
Just a description of the god. I don't think it has any relevance to the game's story.

Next secret! In the room with the two wheels, we lined them up so they pointed upwards, to the right, and to the left. But we never pointed them down, because it doesn't activate a light in the middle like the other positions do. But if you do point the wheels down and backtrack to the beginning of the tunnels, a pipe will now point down, opening up another room.

We could've gotten this secret way earlier, but I kinda forgot about it at that time.

Secret note posted:

I was sent here by Murtaugh. Of course, who else.

My objective was to disable the defense systems, so the invasion could reach the core of the subnet.

I know that I wasn't the first one sent out here. I know there were at least 5 people before me.

And as hard it might be to hear, you have to hear this:

Just as I wasn't the first here, you probably won't be the last.
Murtaugh has sent at least 5 people to their death? I'm starting to think I shouldn't have trusted him - but what choice did I have? Even if he did it for selfish reasons, he saved my life.

Besides, the only way out of here is through the defense systems, so I haven't got much of a choice right now...

And a bit of news: Murtaugh wants to reach the core of the Subnet, which is impossible to reach while the defense systems are up and running.

Back to business. There was a wall plug up here on the highest level the elevator can reach. When we plug in the Connection Pod, it activates and we move into a view where we can navigate a part of the System.

What's slightly annoying is that you have to click real close to those lines to move to the next screen in the System. In contrast, when walking around you can click anywhere near the edge of the screen and it will register.

Anyway, we toggle the setting to unlock door 5, retrace our steps to leave the System, take our Pod with us (after you exit the System, it just sits there in the wall), and take the elevator to the middle level.

The new room has another wall socket.

Going up, we find a virtual representation of the blinking screens in the room.

In the bottom screen, we can unlock door 8, upstairs.

I don't think those are office blocks in the background, I think they're parts of a huge computer.

Two new sockets in this corridor. Let's start with the left one.

Hm. Apparently it has noticed us and is running protocol 54-1 to stop us, and 54-2 to stop us from reading that message.

Up on top a representation of the fans we saw earlier. Hovering on them stops them temporarily. To the right, we seem to be locked out from going any further.

Let's hack the right hole in the wall then.

Isn't that convenient, a switch for the gate that just blocked us. We toggle it, exit the system, and go back to the left hole in the wall.

All those '54' protocols seem to be about locking us out, so we switch all of them off.

The first change is that we can now read the message.

Murtaugh posted:

from: Murtaugh
I don't know if this message reaches anyone or just bounces off of the defense system firewall, but if there is a slightest chance then I must take it.
I need you to disable following protocols:
2-18 - secondary DS
1-12 - primary DS
1-0 - mainframe
Thanks for the info, bastard.

Actually, following his instructions might be the only way I get out of here alive. I'll keep those protocols in mind - secondary defense, primary defense, and if I have to, the entire mainframe itself.

After disabling protocol 54-4, we can find the final secret area in the first System access we used, outside door 8.

Hey, a map of where humans have been. I'm going to guess C is the core. You can see a radius around the core is free of the 'infection', showing that the defense system works quite well to protect it. I'm not sure if there's any other meaning to the pattern on this map. If anyone has an idea, I'd like to hear it.

In any case, disabling protocol 54-3 lets us proceed in the rightside port.

Clicking on the square with the tiny e moves it to another position.

We move it next to our position on the map, which brings another elevator this way.

This time it has horizontally aligned buttons. That makes it different from the other elevator, you see. By the way, I accidentally forgot to take the Connection Pod out of the socket, I had to come back for it. It's an easy mistake to make.

This is where the rightmost button takes us. I think it corresponds with the leftmost part of the map we just saw.

We're blocked from going up by this electric spark. So let's try to go to the other elevator stop.

This whole area has a much more mechanical look to it, I think. The walls aren't as shiny here.

The right ladder takes us here, to another wall socket. Before we start hacking, let's see what's to the left.

Another socket and a telescope. The view isn't terribly impressive, though.

I went back around to the right side to start hacking there. It seems we found the turret control. That thing looks rather dangerous. We're going to do something about that.

Down here we can see it's armed.

Going left, we can disarm it. It's still operational, though.

But now that it's disarmed, we can take it offline in lower portion of this System part.

This allows us to do some stuff inside the System part to the left. I happened to take this screenshot right during a screen transition, and decided to leave it in because it shows what plugging in looks like.

If we hadn't turned off the turret, we'd be stopped right here. But as it is, we can go up, and then either go left to 2-18 or right to 2-17. Murtaugh told us to disable protocol 2-18, so let's completely ignore him and go right.

Oops. Protocol 2-17 seems to search for any disabled turrets and turns them back on.

Going back out, the way to 2-18 is gone and once we backtrack further, we can't even go back to 2-17.

Luckily this protocol can't re-arm the turret. But we have to go back around, hack into the system to the right and take the turret offline again to be able to get to 2-18.

2-18 looks like just another toggle. I wonder what this does.

It completely resets all turrets, batch by batch. If you let this happen, 'our' turret will turn back on, and we need to go back around to turn it off, similarly to triggering 2-17.

However, if we press cancel while it's in the process of resetting, this somehow breaks the entire secondary defense system.

In case you were wondering, this also disables protocol 2-17 and entirely breaks the turret's system in the other room. DS2 is offline now, meaning we can progress elsewhere. But let's take a break first.

As a final side note, the wiki points out that Mateusz used the same green computer visuals in a more traditional 'room escape' type game he made for the Jay is Games site. I'm not going to LP it, but you can check it out here if you like.

In any case, join me next time to see if we can disable the computer's final defenses and if we can pull off a daring escape. We can.