Part 26: Submachine 9: The TemplePart 26
Submachine 9: The Temple
Welcome back! Last time, we climbed down into a deep section of the Temple under the Pyramid, and found yet another cavern. We also got a climbing rope ready so we can climb down.
As soon as we climb down, a cutscene starts. I suggest you watch it.
We're descending past an enormous statue of the god Shiva, who was mentioned in the beginning of this game.
♫ Thumpmonks - Submachine 9 - Shiva
The drumbeat music is unlike anything we've heard so far and gives you a feeling of having found something important. Anyway... we're at the end of the rope, unable to climb back up... and we haven't reached the bottom yet.
I'm afraid there's only one way to go and that's a leap of faith.
Luckily, the floor was just off-screen. Let's see what's to our left.
We've seen many gods and shrines and the like. But the series never got outright religious. But, like usual in Submachine, there's a deeper meaning behind this Note, which you can really only appreciate after having seen the full story.
- The greatest mystery and misconception of the doctrine is that Murtaugh gained his powers.
- He didn't?
- No. They were given to him.
- By whom?...
- By Shiva, naturally.
Further to the left, it gets progressively darker, until the game doesn't let us continue. To the right, then.
To the right of the statue, we find another device of some kind. The circle looks like Karma, but we can't do anything with it.
The tile on the right part of these... scales, I suppose, has a tile indicating there's something in Layers 2, 4 and 6. But all the Layers look the same in this screen. Let's explore some more first.
A pillar hinting us to Layer 3, and a dead end on the next screen.
In the third Layer, we find a floating stone slab with a Karma Portal.
Hey... is that...
What the hell happened to this thing? Did the Karma Portal destroy it?
Submachine 5 posted:
Interestingly, this Mover only exists in Layer 3. In all other Layers, there's just a black void, with nothing but a Karma Portal to take you back to the Shiva Section.
Pulling the lever reveals the three Wisdom Gems we used to power up this thing in the first place, back in the Root.
We'll grab all three of them and get the fuck out before this thing falls completely apart. Now, we can solve this Layer puzzle.
Wisdom Gems apparently only exist in one Layer, too. We put one in the device in Layer 2, one in Layer 4, and one in Layer 6.
The other side of the scales opens up, to reveal the Turquoise Button.
Which goes into that annoying hole in the Navigator, which you've probably been wondering about for two games now. The Navigator text now shows eight Layers.
But we've been told there's only seven Layers... so what will this button do? Only one way to find out.
Holy crap, this feels weird!
That lightning is completely frozen. It just... sits there. Let's look around this strange Layer.
More frozen lightning on the right side.
Going left, it seems to be coming from this Karma device.
And it seems to really like Shiva's foot.
Just going towards the white light...
The lightning lets us continue into the darkness. If you jump back to another Layer from here, you're just stuck in a black void, until you jump back to Layer Eight.
Seems we reached the end of the line. The only thing left to do is to click the knob.
After some hard to describe eerie sounds play, the game ends.
But we aren't quite done yet! We still have to get our reward for finding the Secrets.
Jumping right back into the game, we find ourselves in the Temple, above the ladder towards the Shiva statue. But it looks like the way down is blocked off.
By the way, according to the wiki, Mateusz has said in a forum post way back, that the red sand isn't actually sand. It's a sort of solid, some kind of ancient resin that is slowly taking over parts of the Submachine.
We're in a post-game state now. We can now explore the eighth Layer in the Temple and Pyramid, because we keep the completed Navigator. However, in most rooms, the eighth Layer looks exactly like all others, no frozen lightning or anything. There are a few exceptions, mostly in rooms that already had Layer puzzles in them.
In this screen in the Pyramid, where we assembled the Karmic Seals to get the Brass Valve we needed to finish the game, we find another Brass Key in Layer 8. Looks like the lightning is coming through that specific hole in the floor.
Remember the room in the red area of the Pyramid that had a different pillar or pedestal in each Layer? Layer 8 is the only one in which there's nothing there at all. (It's the same room, we opened the left wall at some point.)
Then, there's one more place. This was the room that had a tile with IIIIIII on it. Now it's been updated to show that yes, there's nothing in the seven first Layers, because the secret is in the eighth. The cracked wall is gone, and we can go into a back room now.
Here we need the Brass Key we just picked up, to get to another Karma Portal.
♫ Thumpmonks - Submachine 4 - Bonus Area
Hell yeah! I've missed that music. It's been a while since we last heard it.
This is Nataraja, a common depiction of Shiva where he is dancing.
We have to put the 5 Secrets in his 'outer' hands one by one, every time you put one in, another hand opens. After the fourth, a small lid opens on his headgear, where the final Secret goes.
Once you put in all 5 Secrets, five Karma Portals open up. Let's visit them in what I feel is a logical order.
Each portal leads to a single room with a secret Note.
Well, I suppose that explains the frozen lightning.
- There are seven main layers of reality.
- Yes, that's common knowledge.
- But there is another layer. The one often misinterpreted as the layer of time.
- If it's not time, what is it then?
- That's the layer of Light. You see, when you move through the field of atoms frozen in time, the friction causes them to emit visible light. It's everywhere you move. It's not a guiding light. You're the one who's guiding that light. Where you will go is entirely up to you.
What about them? I don't really understand this one.
- How is it possible, that people are still coming through the loop and trying to turn off the defense systems? After all these years...
- What would you have me do. Destroy his creation? Destroy the whole section?
- I don't know... Maybe...
- You're talking about destroying our history. What next, book burning?
- No, of course not. But maybe... A sign? That it's no longer necessary to shut down the defenses?
- And what about those in the eighth layer?
- I stand corrected...
Murtaugh never said it was about revenge. But by then he was well used to not being understood. Back then they didn't yet have seven-layer bullets.
The only option was to meet him at the knot. The place where all dimensions intertwined to become one. Then and there, they waited.
And when he appeared, Murtaugh was finally able to see what has happened. He fell to his knees. She came to him, sat down beside him and they started talking.
The bullets never reached them.
So, in the beginning, we didn't really know Murtaugh, thought he was a weirdo. Then it seemed he was helping us, he gained our trust. He then betrayed us and left us to die. And we found out he had destroyed half the world with his stupid Karma Portals.
After the second enlightenment Murtaugh dedicated his life to restoring the chaos. While the main layers flourished under his word, the third dimension remained broken.
Murtaugh was originally from the third layer, therefore there was nothing he could do to bring it back to the unbroken state. He often spoke about it as being a thorn in his heart. This was consuming him until the day Shiva gave him comfort of knowledge of the future.
Murtaugh was already dying, and just before he drew his last breath - the light came to him and showed him what was to come. We believe he stayed in that moment forever.
But apparently, that was because his powers prevented him from 'seeing' people. These two Notes tell us that at some point he saw what he had done, repented, and started trying to fix things. I wonder what more we'll learn about him in Submachine 10.
A Note about Elizabeth, who has always been great, and apparently has been infinitely patient with Mur.
If he's the explorer, she's the healer. If he's the child, she's the older sister. When he couldn't understand, she knew that it wasn't his fault. When he fell, she picked him up. When they wanted to kill him, she explained.
When he died, she carried his words. When she died, we buried her alongside him. They remain together in the light of Shiva. Your journey is almost at its end.
Congratulations. You've reached the highest level of understanding possible to a one-dimensional mind. If you want to leave the structure, Shiva will guide you. Just follow him.
And tacked on to that, a message about how we the player finally understand enough of the Submachine to be able to leave it entirely. We aren't quite there yet, though. For now, let's just get out of the Temple.
There's one more screen to the left of the statue.
Which we can use to get back to the main menu - not that there's anything new there.
In any case, that was that. Next time, let us find some more answers in Submachine 10: The Exit.