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Submachine fictional universe

Karma portal interior

Also known as
Reality, SubWorld

“ As i said - it's a vast universe and almost anything goes. ”
— Mateusz Skutnik, 30-8-2007, 6:39

The Submachine fictional universe can be defined as the universe in which are located all the events of the plot represented in the games of the Submachine series. About this "Submachine reality" not much is known, but the creator has given us many important hints about its structure, and from the information of the games some relevant deductions can be done too.

Here is a list of the confirmed and very likely facts about the Submachine World:

Division Edit

Layers 1 3 4

Three of the layers as seen in Sub8.

Reality is divided in eight distinct layers, whose origin, if there is one, is unknown. According to Mateusz Skutnik, every layer contains a different version of the Subnet and the Core, and all their locations. That is, each layer is in the basics identical to the others, but differs in the details and the temporal development. Mateusz also suggests that in some layers the Subnet might not have been created and the Core remains intact, but presents it as a mere possibility. However, there's only one Murtaugh, and it seems that the same happens for all other people. The reason for that is unknown.[1][2][3][4]

The layers could be subdivided as well in location groups and these in locations and sub-locations, but that would be an artificial division, as it's likely that the distinction between locations isn't naturally defined by Submachine.

Travelling through the layers Edit

Big green karma portal

The big green portal that Mur created ( Sub 7 )

It is well known that sufficiently energetic karma portals can create a link between two layers, probably the same way as the hypothetical worm holes would do. Also, there are other ways of travelling from a layer to another. In Submachine 7, for example, Murtaugh manages to draw a Karma Portal from Layer 1 to Layer 5, while Elizabeth does the same but using an escape pod instead of a portal.

Moreover, these portals shatter the fabric of the layers' space-time, so you can recognise a karma portal by the rubble around it.

Comparation with our reality Edit

The Submachine universe, as seen in the games, has at least three spatial dimensions and a temporal one. Due to the continuous references to cultural manifestations, items and objects and dates belonging to our universe, it is very likely that the Submachine reality is based in the universe we live on.

However, it is also clear that there are many differences between the two of them, both historical and physical. Furthermore, space and time in Submachine are not linear, as it can be seen, for example, in the Chronon or in the Loop.


Main article: Timeline
Sub7 pamphlet

Pamphlet with information about the Palace.

At the Layer 1, in the early events of the Submachine plot, it is known that there was a nation called Western Kingdom. That kingdom was governed by a dynasty of kings called the Fourth Dynasty. That perhaps implies that there had been three dynasties before this one. In the year 1832, a young architect called Henry o'Toole, mere servant of the King's Master Urbanist, received orders of the King to create a Winter Palace dedicated to people of science, with an observatory and some gardens around, where those who looked for solitude and tranquility could relax under their blessed florae. O'Toole utilised for its creation the anti-structural architecture, free from material bounds, and it's very plausible that from this kind of structure arised in a natural manner the Submachine. Some time later o'Toole also created a lighthouse in Kent, located probaly in the same Kingdom, and where presumably he used the same structure.

In the early twentieth century (1905-1906), a man got directives for trying to create a Submachine that mimicked the models of the natural Submachine, though it isn't well known if this was exactly like that. That was how the first man-made Submachine appeared, the Root, located under the Lighthouse judging from its architecture. Thence would came the name of Submachine, from "submerged machine", since the medieval prison on which the Lighthouse was built was under the ground level. After, though it is unclear how, this artificial structure cleaved from the Lighthouse and started to expand itself through th dimensions, originating new Submachines, both created from scratch and after preexisting places, like the ruins of an ancient temple that maybe in 1932 became an independent Submachine, Ancient Ruins location. The set of all these artificial Submachines was later named Subnet, or also Outer Rim. The Subnet treated humans as a plague (although it isn't known if that treatment was caused by the destruction made by Murtaugh and his portals) and had created a Defense System to try to keep them at bay.

Lighthouse portal

The Lighthouse's portal.

Murtaugh and Elizabeth, along with some other people, inhabited for some time the Core (the name given to the place where the natural Submachine was found), but in a camping under the waterfall of Kent Murtaugh lost his left arm and discovered his karma arm, a third invisible arm with which he could draw karma portals. These portals shattered the fabric of space-time, so Elizabeth warned him not to draw any more portals, but Mur ignored her warning. His partners finally buried him alive in the lighthouse, where he was working after the accident. However, he continued sending and receiving letters from Liz. Short after, he ventured to the Subnet, ignoring again the warnings of his friend, through a portal that used the energy of a gem and located at the top of the Lighthouse.

After spending 32 years exploring more than one third of the Subnet and inauguring a Laboratory, where he hired people and put for them many traps and tests for checking whether they were well prepared for his mission, he finally could return to the Core with the help of the Player, who, fooled by him, passed all the tests and disabled the peripheral Defense Systems of the Net so that its turrets didn't prevent the invasion. Mur arrased the Santuary and headed to Liz's Ship with the aim of murdering Liz and those who buried him in the Lighthouse. Liz escaped to the Layer 5 to alert them, but Mur followed her drawing a giant Portal towards that layer, which destroyed the ship. The player escaped the Edge, where he had been deserted by Mur, and managed to follow them.

At the Layer 5 live the enemies of Murtaugh. Nothing is known yet about the history of this layer or of the rest of them.


Main article: Cultural influences in the Submachine series
Big wheel of dharma

An example of cultural influence in the series.

It has been observed that there is a large span of influence on the Submachine series that originates from ancient civilizations and cultures from our universe. Many theories of the Submachine says that it can travel through time so that could be the explanation for these relics and temples. another explanation is because the Submachine seems to be able to "absorb" things into itself, old abandoned temples that are far away from people and hard to find would be perfect to spread into. Yet a third option is that the people who built the Submachine used ancient "magic" to help in the building of the Submachine (like the Chronon in the Edge), although the true explanation may be some combination of the three.

There are also some references to popular culture, such as television series (Lost) and films (Matrix, The Ring), or even numismatics (see Ancient coin). However, it isn't known whether the Subnet can, fictionally, have access to our world's culture or they are just references to things that the author likes.

Physics Edit

It is difficult to talk about physics in a computer game controlled by a mouse pointer; in fact, there are devices like the mechanical hand or the movement of fluorescent plants which depend on this concept for their explanation. However, we can say that there are some events, like those which imply levitating objects, that may not have an explanation based on the regular physical or chemical laws:

  • The device from Submachine 1 that spins when four tiles are inserted and brings up a lift of nowhere.
  • Floating objects such as the cubes from the Bells, the Metal Box and the Mover.
  • Expansion of the Subnet and existence of the Loops.
  • The virtualization and materialization of the Player (in Sub6) and of locations like the New Basement from SNEE.

Some ambients and music sequences' procedence are unexplainable, like the ones of the Lab or the el Sanctuary, while others can be explained as coming from the objects or devices in the location.

Despite this, generally the level of realism of the Submachine world is quite accurate, inasmuch as it allows its format of flash game.

Trivia Edit

  • The author has stated several times that the Submachine universe is NOT and will never be mixed with other fictional universes from his other games, such as Covert Front or Daymare Town.
  • It isn't either a dream of the player, hallucination or anything similar, and the Submachine is truly real. The author has confirmed it at least three times in the forums.
  • There are many posts on PastelForum made by Mateusz Skutnik where he gives clues about the Submachine reality, and he says that the page where many of those post are saved in this Wiki helps him to remember all the volume of data he has provided and not to contradict himself later in the games.
  • In the exploration project named Submachine Network Exploration Experience, theories made by players and fans of the series get their own place inside the Subnet as sets of notes, or sometimes pictures. This maybe shows the huge extent of the Subnet, being able to accomodate all sorts of events.

References Edit

  1. Forum Post.
  2. Forum Post.
  3. Forum Post.
  4. Forum Post.

See also Edit

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