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Murtaugh's mummy

Mur, M
Explorer/scientist at the Lab. Before that, the lighthouse keeper of the Kent lighthouse.
Use of his karma arm, ability to create karma portals and thus navigate the net.

“mur stands for murtaugh, nothing else.”
“me thinks...”
Mateusz Skutnik

“Well, maybe I put it wrong. Murtaugh is not evil, but his actions create disturbances in the Submachine net. And the net finds it as a problem, or conflict, or, dare I say, ANOMALY”
“it sounds like matrix a bit, but what the hell.”
— Monday March 10, 2008 7:13 pm Mateusz Skutnik

Murtaugh or Mur is the deuteragonist of the Submachine series. He has killed or left many people to die in the Subnet. Unfortunately, you, The Player, are one of those unlucky victims. However, he is compassionate and truly regrets some of those deaths (or at least he pretends to regret them).[1]


“[...] Well, I did lose my left arm, but what the hell, [...]”
— Murtaugh, about losing his arm.

Since he has not been actually seen, Murtaugh's looks are unknown. However, it is known that he has lost his left arm. In Submachine 4: The Lab, there is a statue of a god, that symbolises Murtaugh, as stated by Mateusz Skutnik. There is another statue in Submachine 9 that represents Murtaugh. He has also been depicted as a stylized carving on his tomb, in which he has long hair.


Murtaugh is incredibly focused on his goals[2], as evidenced by his deeds: he has had the patience to explore one third of the vast Subnet and do tedious work for years, just to get his revenge on the people who buried him alive and get back to the Core.

This focus and his other abilities make other people invisible to him, which was why other people in the Core thought he was a sociopath.[2]



Murtaugh's cat


Murtaugh seems to have cared for his cat to some degree[3] However, there were signs of anger when the cat disappeared often.[4]


Elizabeth is known to have had a good relationship with Murtaugh, while both were in the Core, and Murtaugh only talked with her. Murtaugh even calls her "his dear Liz".[5] Elizabeth seems to have acted as a pacifier of sorts, as she tried to stop Murtaugh from doing something reckless.[6] However, one of the notes left by the people Murtaugh sent to the Edge indicates that they are polar opposites.[7]

Other peopleEdit

Others generally seem hostile towards Murtaugh, likely due to his behaviour and not understanding his abilities. Murtaugh has sent some people, namely predecessors of the Player to the Edge, where they all die, which he deeply regrets (or so he claims).[1]


Early life, the Core and career as a lighthouse keeperEdit

The first mentions of Murtaugh are from a camping trip in Kent, where he lost his arm. After losing it he developed a third arm, which he called his Karma Arm. It had the ability to create Karma Portals, which can transport a person to various segments of the Submachine.[8]

Later Murtaugh stayed in the Winter Palace and began experimenting with his powers. These experimental Karma portals tore and distorted the reality inside the palace and the garden. He neglected this fact, as it was only one of the layers, and eventually most of the garden collapsed into the black void of the Subnet.[9]

Other people in The Core thought that Murtaugh was a sociopath as he would only talk to Elizabeth. This was due to the fact he couldn't see them, but he could see Elizabeth.[2]In the end, Murtaugh deserted the other people in the palace, and started a new life as a lighthouse keeper.


An example of the distortions Murtaugh's karma portals create. The normally stable room-by-room Submachine is fractured and broken.

In the Kent lighthouse he was joined by a cat in October 1905. Murtaugh named him Einstein because he had got in although all doors and windows were shut, so he might have broken the time and space barrier[10]Einstein often disappeared.

Murtaugh also tested his powers, and found that he could transport to other yet unknown areas with the help of Wisdom Gems. Intrigued, he wished to create a portal that could send him out of the Core, and he contacted Elizabeth about this, asking if she could tend Einstein while he was away.[3] She asked him not to do this; however, she promised to look after Einstein.[6]

After five months, others got concerned for their safety and buried the lighthouse with Murtaugh in it.[11] As Murtaugh had always been afraid of getting buried alive, he made the portal and left the Core.[12]

On December 12 (19 or 20?)06 Murtaugh tested for entry points for the Core, but failed. He planned on checking 291, because it seemed promising.[13] One day later Einstein goes missing yet again.[4]

The LabEdit

“Scientists clearly disagree with Mur and attempt to find the purpose of Submachine on their own.”
“.. and now they're all dead...”
— Soullock and Mateusz Skutnik, Monday May 21, 2007 9:55 pm

It was mentioned that Murtaugh spent a full thirty-two years exploring. It was also mentioned that Murtaugh explored one third of the humongous Subnet during his travels.[14]

Not much else of this time is known. It seems that this time of exploration came to an end after he found a group of scientists that were investigating the Submachine, whom he joined. He "showed the truth" to the Lab's original members and explained that there are many Submachines instead of just one.[14]

The Lab trained teams for exploring the Subnet, most - if not all - of which failed. Murtaugh taught them the necessity of leaving notes.

It's known that Mur took The Orb from The Looping Traps and gave it to the Basement Exploration Team because it was their mission to break the Orb. They weren't successful because their Coil had broken so Murtaugh came and took it back to the Looping traps two days after the Ancient Section Exploration Team accidentally found the coordinates 551.[15]

In the end Murtaugh abandoned the original scientists. They later died.

Later he seems to have created a new Lab, with the objective to invade the Core. This required the Defense System to be turned off, and Murtaugh sent out people out to do this. At least five people were sent to do this task, but nobody returned, which was one of Murtaugh's deepest regrets.[1]

During the seriesEdit

Murtaugh was contacted by The Player during Submachine 4: The Lab. He sent him/her a list of locations and left the player to explore. It later turned out that this was just a test, a job application of sorts. Murtaugh was pleased by our success and hired him/her.

Later he sent the player his first mission, which was to "explore the Edge"[16], although this was just a lie, and the true mission was to disable the defense system. He later sent a message to the Edge, which contained the details of the actual mission, although he had no faith that the player would actually succeed.

When the Defense System was disabled, he confessed that the Player's "adventure ended there" and said goodbye.

Invasion of the CoreEdit



“I can hear Murtaugh breaching the defenses of my ship.”

After the DS was annihilated Murtaugh and his team deployed a variety of different equipment in the Sanctuary. Although details are unknown, Murtaugh and his team got into Liz's ship and started shooting.

Elizabeth managed to get into her cabin in the ship and escaped before Murtaugh invaded it. There Murtaugh created the interdimensional karma portal to the Fifth Layer and entered it. However, inside the portal Murtaugh changed his mind and created a portal inside the other portal.

Mur's big karma portal

The portal to the Fifth Layer.

Fifth LayerEdit

“He's after those who buried him alive in that lighthouse. I have to warn them.”
— Elizabeth

According to Elizabeth, Murtaugh was originally going to get his revenge on those who dwelt within the Fifth Layer. However after arriving at the Core he (likely due to his poly- dimensional perception) finally realised the scope of the destruction he caused with the Karma portals. After being consoled by Elizabeth he spent the rest of his life attempting to repair the damage he had caused. There was an issue however, within the Third Layer the damage could not be undone. This would haunt Murtagh until his demise, presumably because this was the "native" layer that he and Elizabeth came from. Upon his passing a tomb was erected in The Temple for him. After many years of carrying on his message Elizabeth was placed there after she passed away, and the Tomb sealed.      


  • Murtaugh suffers from taphophobia, or the fear of being buried alive.
  • Mur means 'wall' in Polish, French, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Catalan.
  • Murtaugh's name is an old French surname, and this is where Mateusz took the name[17].
  • In the game Daymare Town 3 by Mateusz Skutnik, while in the opening "hospital" scenes, a man is seen sitting outside of the optometrist's office. Next to him is an eye chart in which, in the third row of letters down, the name "Murtaugh" can be seen spelled out.


“[...], it would be like explaining the possibility of space travel to a goldfish.”
— Murtaugh, about explaining his new karma arm.

“There is no greatest puzzle.”
— Murtaugh to the members of the Lab. (reconstructed sentence)

“We can finally invade the core of the submachine. Unfortunately for you, your adventure ends here.”
— Murtaugh to Player at the end of Sub6.

“[Karma Arm] might have saved his life countless times...”
“you have no idea...”
— Soullock and Mateusz Skutnik, Tuesday May 22, 2007 7:28 am

“who told you that mur was at the beginning of the sub? o_0 ”
“because guess what - he wasn't”
— Mateusz Skutnik

“Defence system recognizes infested locations. Infested by portals and humans. With the lab location being the hive of all evil that's destroying the structure and Murtaugh being a father of all this mess.”
— Mateusz Skutnik about Murtaugh.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Regrets Note, Submachine 8: The Plan, only unlocked after finding a secret
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Not Socipath Note, Submachine 8: The Plan, only unlocked after finding three secrets
  3. 3.0 3.1 Letter to Liz, Submachine 2: The Lighthouse
  4. 4.0 4.1 Note to myself, Submachine 2: The Lighthouse
  5. Transcript 18/38, Submachine 8: The Plan
  6. 6.0 6.1 Letter from Liz, Submachine 2: The Lighthouse
  7. Submachine notes#Murtaugh's game (Secret)
  8. Diary Page from Sub1
  9. Karma portals-note from Submachine 7: The Core
  10. Cat Note from Sub2
  11. Diary page from Sub2
  12. Portal Note from Sub2
  13. Entry points- note
  14. 14.0 14.1 Lab Note from Sub4
  15. Basement Note from Sub4
  16. Mail from Murtaugh in Sub5
  17. PastelForum, Submachine 6: Theories & Suggestions, Mateusz revealed the mystery of Murtaugh's name.

See alsoEdit

Creator of the first Submachine - Einstein - Elizabeth - Henry o'Toole - King - King's Master Urbanist - Murtaugh - Predecessor - Predecessors - sunshine_bunnygirl_17 - Exploration team - The Player

This article was featured on 2/14/2009.

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