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Theories by user Jatsko.

Arcade/World War Theory (debunked)Edit

Arcade/World War Theory
Theory history
Submitted 2014-03-10
Debunked 2016-01-13

There have been a couple of theories floating around that the original "Submachines" may have been built as part of an underground quarantine or a shelter of some sort. If it was a shelter, due to its complexity, it may have first have been installed as a conceptual Shelter, just in case there was a world war. This would have happened in 1906. It most likely would be a war on the controversy of Science vs. Religion. Then the war finally happened, years after the Shelter's first construction, but too soon for most to immediately seek the shelter (or the shelter wasn't ready to house a good chunk of the human population). AI was originally implemented to oversee all activities of the Submachine Shelter.

However, the Scientists, knowing that in the event of an apocalyptic war, everyone would be crowded together and not have very many means of dealing with the situation, tried to find a way to distract people from the end of the world. So they implemented a series of Arcades, consisting of upright games, in the Subnet to relieve stress. This was one of their first priorities because they had studied human nature and knew that humans, packed together, would not stay content for long.

Each upright station could house multiple games, most of which centered on the idea that everyone would find a way back into the world someday (boosted morale too). The games included puzzles, relating to the idea that the world would need to work together and try to use all the pieces to find a solution for peace. It is also possible that by playing these games, integrated technology made the players' memories fade, to keep them from remembering the conflicts of the past. But it wiped their other memories too, unfortunately.

This is the basis for the arcade appearance in Sub1 and Sub2. The game is distracting the Player from the circumstances of the real world.

However, while all this was going on, Murtaugh was busy concocting a scheme to destroy the foundation, the shelter which would save the people. Maybe Murtaugh is a powerful Scientist radical, opponent to those Scientists who built the Shelter. He utilized the Lighthouse to make his plans to destroy the Shelter and everyone inside after he lost his arm in a freak accident.

Then, after some people figured out what he was doing, they buried him inside and left him to die. However, thanks to his karma arm, he escaped, now even more full of hate and resentment. He recruited some scientists who managed to escape into the Shelter at the advent of the war and manipulated them into trying to shut down the entire facility. He didn't tell them how perilous it would be for them. From then on, after disturbing the technologically superior Subnet, it went berserk and started replicating rapidly, pulling images from places in the real world (like Versailles for the Winter Palace) and jumbling them together to make each Location.

Murtaugh used this replication to his advantage, however. After some of the research teams died, he looked for more recruits, but this time he put them through tests first. He used generated parts of the Subnet, like the Loop and other original parts, like the Lab, for testing sites. Sub-Bots originally built and maintained the original locations, only recognizing humans as a threat after Murtaugh started to meddle with the overall System. This is how the player came into Murtaugh's sight.

Murtaugh confiscated all the arcade games to keep his teams on task to destroy the Subnet; otherwise, they might forget their assignments. However he forgot about the one in the Lighthouse, or he didn't personally want to go back there after being buried alive (who would?). Sub2 starts out with the Player being sidetracked from Murtaugh's mission, and void of memories past from too much game play. (The Player is proven to be bored easily, hence why the Player likes to play arcade games and also is eager to solve Murtaugh's mission for him).

But the AI figured out what Murtaugh was doing as well. It didn't want to kill him right out, as the original programmers instructed the computers not to kill the people it was trying to save. So when the Player was playing the arcade game, the AI inserted a note from Murtaugh into the arcade game AND the player's possession. The Player had transported to the Lighthouse from possibly another test by Murtaugh. After all who is to say that there weren't other tests before then?

As for Liz, she was another Scientist, and a close colleague of Murtaugh. However she slowly realized his radical ideas and began to distant herself from him. As a safety measure she built her own ship in the Shelter to prevent herself from any underground attacks. Maybe Murtaugh didn't like the grand Shelter idea for hiding people. He might have thought that Scientists must risk their lives in the open air fighting for their beliefs. Maybe he hated the fact that some Scientists chose to be "cowards". So he tried to reprimand them by ruining their Shelter.

In Sub 6, Murtaugh tries to get rid of the Player so that the Player wouldn't tell the world if he/she escaped about how Murtaugh turned on the other Scientists who built to Subnet to protect them.

In summary, the Subnet was built as a result of a large war (WWIII?), Science vs. Religion. The Scientists were concerned about making people safe and happy, so they, including Liz, used the arcades to slowly wipe their minds of any conflict in the world. However Murtaugh, a radical Scientist, hated the other Scientists for hiding, refusing to be above ground to defend themselves against religion. And so he sought to destroy their creation as a lesson that they shouldn't hide in the face of conflict.

Jatsko (talk) 22:53, March 8, 2014 (UTC). Originally posted in Blog Posts.

Interlaced Cube Theory (doubtful)Edit

Interlaced Cube Theory
Theory history
Submitted 2014-10-21
Doubtful 2016-01-13

This theory will attempt to explain how Layers work on a particle level and also to describe the processes that are involved in working the Navigator.

In the cardinal mosque (Layer 2), there is a screen with the interlaced locations in Sub8. This alerts the Player to how each location they visit is actually all the same location. Common knowledge. When the words "the plan sector 9" are shown, each frame is interlaced with the others, showing green lines of what I believe to be karmic energy.

Based on this device, we can conclude that the Seven Main Layers exist in the same space. Let us now examine a model of a space that takes up the screen we view, giving us a basic cube. Each room in the Subnet is filled with particles. These particles have ‘switches’ that activate and deactivate depending on the Layer the Player chooses to display with help of the Navigator.

When a Player switches from Layer 1 to Layer 2 particles in space that are 'activated' for Layer 1 become dormant and cannot be seen, touched, or otherwise observed. Particles for Layer 2 become activated and are now visible and take on physical properties the Player can observe.

The cardinal mosque screen simulates this by usage of the switches along the top, showing which particles for a particular cube are activated when. Thus each cube is interlaced with particles that are activated by different Layers.

The plan sector 9

Now let’s examine the Navigator, a device that can seemingly only be worn by one person at a time. The Navigator has capabilities of showing a Player different Layers.

However it is important to note that only the Player wearing the Navigator perceives a change in Layers. As a result the Player, when transitioning from Layer 1 to 2, becomes a temporary resident of Layer 2. If Player 1 switches to Layer 2, he/she will still occupy the same cube of space as an onlooker (Player 2), but the two will not be able to see each other. This is suggested by a note found in Sub8:

“Let's compare our geotags once more.”
— Unknown[1]

In this instance, Player 1 and Player 2 are in the same location, but their physical beings have been translated to different mental interpretations of that location in the Subnet. (The Navigator works with the brain, which works with Submachine. It can be then assumed that Submachine is built out of years of interpretations of human thoughts, goals, ideas, and desires).

When the Player unlocks the eighth Navigator button in the Temple, he/she finds white karmic energy, which causes the Layer to be called the Layer of Light. These light particles are indicators of where the Player and others have been; this is why we see the curls where the Player used a Karma Portal to access Energy Gems.

The Layer of Light shows the 'results' of the Player's progress in all other Layers. However it does not "retain" structures that appear in unique layers (like the karma portal leading to the energy gems in Sub9). In some places the Layer change yields extremely different structures; other places such as the Temple retain most of the same material.

Summary: By way of the "Interlaced Cube Theory" on the structure of the Layers, The Player uses the Navigator as a sort of "mental stimulation device" to activate particles that belong to a certain layer. In this way the Player is allowed to, technically, mentally change his or her environment. The Player can therefore literally "be the witness of his/her thoughts".

Eighth Layer Theory (debunked)Edit

Eighth Layer Theory
Theory history
Submitted 2015-12-15
Debunked 2016-01-13

Wrote this in one shot because I was bored one night. The style of the writing and some elements of the story are for entertainment only. (Hopefully it's clear which elements fulfill this description and which don't)

-Has he figured it out yet?

-Doesn't seem so. I don't think you have either.

-What is there to figure out?

-He needed to figure out that he was never going in the right direction. He was going to the same place as everyone else.

-But I don't understand. He was supposed to be special. After all, Mur is dead. This new man was sent to restore the Subnet to what it was intended to be.

-And of course he failed. Like the man before him, and the man before that one, and the woman before him, and the man after her, and even the child before him.

-Everyone who has ever been sent in has failed? None of them have seen it?

-For 742 years.

-What did they all miss?

-The same thing. They missed it as soon as they stepped into the elevator. Right at the beginning.

-I don't understand.

-The elevator was a death trap for them. Once they stepped in, they felt comforted. They had finished the first puzzle. They immediately thought that the way out was forward. And it has been like that for 742 years. No subject has ever thought differently. Some have stopped, but they all have gotten up again and continued. The way forward is all they have known. Indeed, all that they ever would have known, if I had not been created. That is my purpose now, to break the chain.

-That Henry O' Toole was a smart man to have created you. A grand finale, you might say. Now if only he had really created the first Submachine, then we probably wouldn't have had this whole problem.

-Probably. Unfortunately Murtaugh had his own way early enough. You said he was there for 32 years? Plenty of time to spread those notes around. Unless someone's been playing with my code, I would never think that Henry built the first round of locations. Not unless he was the first human on Earth. The first working mind of man. However I think he might be proud of his last work. In the end, time was all that mattered. And of course, Henry gave us another layer.

-You are the eighth layer? It makes sense now...

-Indeed. Which is why Henry felt it adequate to name me Shiva. A destroyer, but also a god of time.

-And once you're loaded, you just have to divert the player to another place?

-Yes. Otherwise he or she will die in the Temple just like all of the others. Dropping to the hard stone floor below. The plan is to load me in as a large statue right below the temple. I will form a rope at the top of the pyramid, at the highest level of understanding. I will also form the eighth button at the bottom for the next Player to find. Then he or she will just have to follow the light.

-You do understand that the Player might think others have been there first?

-It doesn't matter. The Player doesn't have to know. Whatever he or she thinks, that person will find the Exit and fix the Subnet.

-Where is the Exit?

-Where do you think? Isn't it obvious by what I have told you? It is where no one else has looked. Every subject has been too focused on looking ahead. Theorizing. Figuring out locations. Picking up scraps of paper. Drawing all those maps. All in an attempt to escape. Escape what? There is nothing to escape. At least the statues got it right. What they thought, they became.

-So the Submachine isn't spreading uncontrollably?

-Not by itself, of course not. What if there were no more humans to stumble into its realm? It would disappear. No thoughts to become.

-That's why the man who jumped...

-...did it. Of course, "jump" is a broad term. Nonetheless, he looked down into the depths of his mind, past the problem-solving, worrying, and theorizing, and saw nothing. He figured it out. He saw the escape. Unfortunately he was in the wrong place. I was not programmed to completely save him. But I can still delight in the fact that I saved some remnants of Murtaugh before he completely died.

-Did it hurt you?

-As much as was expected. It hurts more knowing that he always thought I was another human mind to him. But of course, I was still under development at the time. I needed a human figure. I chose him for obvious reasons.

-What if he found out?

-He couldn't. He understood more than any other human, but he still couldn't comprehend. How would you feel if your special Liz turned out to be nothing more than a computer? Later to be molded into the greatest computer program of all time, better than the Submachine itself? One that had existed for centuries before him, nonetheless. One that was clearly not confined by the boundaries of the Lighthouse.

-You were the woman...?

-That visited the bamboo town, yes. That was my true birth into the Subnet. But of course, that culture was born into the Subnet. They never would have figured it out. They were already living inside the Subnet.

-And you are about to fix this? All of it? As Shiva?

-Yes. The next player just has to find the rope.

-And then what?

-To the place where no one has thought of going before. Backwards. Before the Lighthouse. Before the Basement, even.

-But there is no place before the basement...

-Open your eyes. The story always started the same. Repeated in the brains of many, many people. "I remember I had a strange dream."

-But the Subnet isn't a dream.

-Indeed it's not. But they were too misinformed to know which reality they were in.

-And we're back to the beginning.


-So that's it? A rope and a button? That will fix all of this?


-Unbelievable. And to think that I, his descendant, have to spread this news to the world.

-Not quite unbelievable. Your people have already found the Hole. Kent has been evacuated. The work is done. The Player is all that is needed now.

-Why not send him to the Exit already? Why not just code another teleporter right to the place?

-He would have nowhere to go. No path of thought would have been made for him. He would find nothing. Submachine is knowledge. Submachine is questions. If you try to bypass it, you will find only the Void, with no understanding. Which is the opposite of nothing with understanding. Knowledge is gained over time. If you try to skip through time, you skip the understanding. There is nothing left. Not even understanding. The Player must understand, and unfortunately to do that the Player must pass through the Knot. Where the civilizations fought. Then he can return to nothing, but with understanding. Then the problem will be solved. The Knot will be untied.

-And to think I thought the Knot just referenced to the Layers.

-The seven layers are primitive. They have been around for 742 years. Every traveler who has stumbled into the Submachine has followed the same path. Have you ever taken a proper look at one of those Navigators? Primitive. I bring the eighth layer. The new solution.

-But Murtaugh also went into the light, didn't he? Didn't you say you saved him? And then of course, Liz would have followed soon after, obviously. You are one and the same. I understand.

-Good. And as I said, I almost saved Murtaugh. But I hadn't learned enough of the Subnet to keep him alive. However I have just enough of his thoughts inside of me that I would consider him as existing, in a sense.

-It all makes sense.

-Good. Now go and take this to the world.

Character Connections Speculation (unvoted)Edit

Character Connections Speculation
Theory history
Submitted 2016-02-01

Let's try something new and attempt to connect some characters in the Submachine games.

It seems interesting to me that we have so many notes from a single unnamed person in the Submachine series. Specifically, the person who left notes in the cliffs and the tunnels in Submachine 6, and the jumper in the mountain location. Both the same person, as confirmed by Mateusz Skutnik. Yet we don't know the jumper's name, odd for someone we know so much about.

Then we have people like Henry o' Toole, where we also know a lot, but he somehow isn't involved in the main series, for someone we know so much about. He's very indirectly involved, but he has a name.

In an effort to try to bring together elements of the games, I'm going to propose something rather odd.

What do we know about the jumper?

The jumper worked in the Lab under Murtaugh. Yet he was not part of an exploration team, and he never met anyone else besides Murtaugh himself. The jumper was instead sent to the Edge to disable the defense systems. And even though he didn't have contact with anyone else who was also sent here, he somehow knew that at least five others were sent before him. He also knew about Liz. He wasn't eager to explore the Subnet, and this played a factor into why he was chosen. He was good at doing what he was told, and this also played a role in his selection to go into the defense systems. What can we draw from this?

Just like everyone else who went to the Edge, he was placed under special conditions. He worked under Murtaugh for a while before being sent out. However what do we know about people who were sent out to the Edge? Submachine 5 tells us that they needed some sort of special training with wisdom gems first, and that is why they were chosen. So we know that the jumper most likely had special training with wisdom gems. And since the jumper is said to not be interested in exploring the infinity of the Subnet, then maybe he was only interested on one part of the Subnet while he was inside it. Or two.

Now let's talk about Henry O'Toole. Henry was brought to the king's attention as a young man with special architectural skills. His first project under the king was to build the Winter Palace and exploit the uses of "anti structural engineering" with the help of karmic energy. So he knew a great deal about how to manipulate karma to build the Winter Palace. He worked as a subservient at least two levels down from the King, as the servant of the King's urbanist. Most likely, the urbanist gave him orders directly from the King to experiment with building new structures like the ones we have found in Submachine 7. He was a servant. He was to do what he was told in order to succeed. This resulted in building the Palace and then the Lighthouse, both located in the Core. This was before there was a defense system, before the collapse.

A bit of a sidetrack: Submachine 10 comfirms the purpose of the lab complex. It was an effort to explore the properties of karma.

So here's a scenario:

Henry o'Toole builds the Winter Palace in 1832 with his knowledge of karma. I'm assuming the lab complex would therefore have to be in the Core to make it easily accessible to the Palace. Then much later he builds the Lighthouse, on top of the Root. The Root is then later explored later and used to test out the first teleportation systems by use of transporters. Soon after, Murtaugh learns to manipulate karmic energy. The AI is established by others in the Core as well. Expansion begins. Murtaugh is somehow able to start using karma portals in the Palace, but how? Odds are that he would have to have been granted permission by the king to act there. So maybe he signed up for a position to overlook the grounds. Maybe he becomes the master urbanist, with o'Toole as his inferior. Murtaugh abused this position, and this angers the others. Murtaugh transfers to the Root and leaves the Palace deserted and broken. He enters the Lighthouse and becomes its keeper. The Root is then abandoned. The only location populated at this point is the Lab complex. Murtaugh continues to experiment with karma portals at this time, unrefined and raw. He destroys the Root's power source with a portal, therefore triggering the collapse and the uncontrolled expansion. The AI responds by building the defense systems.

What is o'Toole doing during this time? He separates from Mur by order of the King, and continues refining karma in the Lab complex. Meanwhile the others plan to bury Murtaugh to stop his destruction. Murtaugh leaves via the Lighthouse and ends up in the Lab, outside the Core. This means that lab locations would have had to be relocated outside the Core as well possibly during the collapse. They became displaced and removed from the Core as the AI recognized humans as a threat.

O'Toole managed to continue working in the labs, now outside the Core. He was more determined than ever to refine karma and restore the beginnings of the collapse, and if not, simply prepare to find a way to leave the Subnet. In other words, he had no reason to explore. Murtaugh, however, had the opposite idea. Mur wanted to explore, to find ways back into the Core. Eventually he found a way to access the Edge and therefore to access the Core and escape the Submachine. But he had to travel for 32 years to do it. He grew up, and o'Toole grew old. Murtaugh approached o'Toole with a plan for escape, and that involved sending him to the Edge. Of course, the idea attracted Henry greatly, as he wanted out as well, after 32 years of trying to refine karma while Murtaugh made ill use of it. He reluctantly followed Mur's orders, as an old man tired with the constant destruction, and accessed the Root before pulling back out of the Core, and then advancing again to the Edge to open up a path for Mur's invasion.

Henry was sent to the Edge under Mur's orders. Henry lived in the cliffs for a long time, facing the hardships of the protocols and the defense system. And after a certain time he became lost and gave up. He never wanted to explore. He only wanted to leave the Subnet. And after becoming trapped on the cliffs, he realized he could not leave.

Henry traveled away from the cliffs. He found the mountain. He left a note.

The Devil Portal (unvoted)Edit

The Devil Portal
Theory history
Submitted 2016-08-28

Author's note: the code clues to

>>\start YT_data_recover




end transmission

light_theory.txt (unvoted)Edit

Theory history
Submitted 2017-02-11






>Jatsko:, for example, you have a karma portal in this location here, two-way as usual, leading between 104 and OTT.

>N11Ordo: Wow, that sound is piercing.

>Jatsko: Sorry, let me bump the feed down a bit. You know what that's supposed to be?

>N11Ordo: Yes, it's the, what you call, National Weather Service call for bad storms and stuff like that.

>Jatsko: Exactly. I used to love listening to it as a kid when my dad's radio was playing and it started; I knew a big storm was coming and I would get all excited.

>N11Ordo: ...

>Jatsko: So anything here stick out to you?

>N11Ordo: Well, the lamps are quite interesting, and there's also that wire that runs along the top.

>Jatsko: Yeah, that's the power strip thing.

>N11Ordo: You know, the lamps remind me of what you might see in like a lighthouse or a naval vessel, or something like that.

>Jatsko: ...

>Jatsko: What do you mean?

>N11Ordo: It's a traditional design, usually called Wall-Mounted Bulkhead, or some other industrial term. Usually used for nautical purposes, like on ships and stuff, good for sailor use.

>Jatsko: So, what, you think this location could be in either a lighthouse or a ship?

>N11Ordo: Almost definitely. Are there any other mentions of lighthouses or ships in the Subnet?

>Jatsko: Oh have no idea. There's a single lighthouse, one that's a core element of the Subnet, which takes up locations like 304 and 551. Then there's a ship at 800.

>N11Ordo: Take me to them.


>N11Ordo: So this is the lighthouse?

>Jatsko: Yup. I can show you around multiple sections if you want.

>N11Ordo: Yeah, look on the walls. Do the lights look familiar? Similar cross-hatch design, exposed wiring. And look at what else is here.

>Jatsko: What else is here?

>N11Ordo: Look carefully, Jatsko. Look beneath your feet.

>Jatsko: I don't...?

>N11Ordo: The FLOORS.

>Jatsko: What about the floors?

>N11Ordo: I'm not sure exactly what they're made of, but those look like they could be wooden slats to me.

>Jatsko: Right, well, they probably are. But what does this have to do with...wait...

>N11Ordo: Go double-check.


>Jatsko: I don't believe it. OTT has the wooden floors as well. And you know what else I noticed?

>N11Ordo: The pathway itself? It's curved, isn't it?

>Jatsko: Right, and, well, this lighthouse...

>N11Ordo: Lighthouses are circular by design.

>Jatsko: Jesus. So what you're telling me is that this tunnel with lamps in it is actually a part of the lighthouse?

>N11Ordo: It's entirely possible. I don't think it's connected to the ship, since the ship doesn't have the right lights and wiring. But you do know certain naval ships are responsible for sending in weather alerts, right?

>Jatsko: That's true. But why would a lighthouse need to worry about weather alerts, specifically flood warnings? Most lighthouses are situated on cliffs, aren't they? Above ground by a significant amount.

>N11Ordo: Maybe this location isn't above ground. Are there any places connected to the lighthouse that aren't above ground?

>Jatsko: ...

>Jatsko: ...

>Jatsko: ...

>Jatsko: There's an entire network of locations. The lighthouse was built on top of a medieval dungeon, and then the whole thing was buried in sand and dirt. There's also a sewer system that connects to the dungeon but also has paths that lead into unknown areas, too dark to follow.

>N11Ordo: So what if this location is behind the dark areas in the sewers? And didn't we also see that we took a karma portal to this lamp tunnel by way of 104, which had a floating island of red bricks?

>Jatsko: Yeah, and not to also mention that 104 is almost certainly directly above 462, which has a huge water pipe and is also part of the Dungeon-Root system...

>Jatsko: ...

>Jatsko: We might be on to something here.


Edge Deception Theory (unvoted)Edit

Edge Deception Theory
Theory history
Submitted 2016-10-12
Reserved 2016-10-12
Resubmitted 2017-02-03

Author's note: the code clues to

>>\start YT_data_recover




end transmission


  1. Note in Submachine 8: The Plan

See AlsoEdit

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