Submachine 5: The Root
Oh. Oh, right. You're all glued to your monitors, aren't you? Point-and-clicking away maniacally, like the addicts you are. Fine, I guess I'll just have to throw away all these commemorative Wisdom Gem t-shirts. What? No, I'm not upset. I mean, I did just spend half my savings on this gem-encrusted "portal" float, but that's ok. That second job at McDonald's should help me pay off the loan in, oh, 15 years or so.
.....ok, enough with the sillies. In all seriousness, this is an exciting day. Murtaugh, aka Mateusz Skutnik, has been a Casual Gameplay superstar practically since the debut of his Submachine series, way back in September of '05. The original Submachine was a fairly easy, relatively simple point-and-clicker that nonetheless became quite popular due to its clever puzzles and clean design. As enjoyable as it was, in my mind the real brilliance of the series began with its sequel, Submachine 2: The Lighthouse, which began in earnest to develop the spooky, enigmatic plot that has continued throughout the rest of the games. In Murtaugh's words, "it's all about puzzle-solving and escaping from closed installations of submerged machines (hence the title sub-machines)." It's not nearly that simple, however; you'll need to play the games to discover more.
Submachine 5: The Root brings the player to what was perhaps the beginning of your long, arduous adventure, the first created Submachine structure. It is the "root" of your quest, and for the first time a bit of light is shed on why and how your journey began. Anyone familiar with the point-and-click genre will find the game easily comprehensible and accessible.
Analysis: The Root does not disappoint. Unsurprisingly, Murtaugh has once again created a beautifully atmospheric, immersive, challenging-but-not-confounding game that leaves the player eagerly awaiting the next chapter. I love how the games' stylistic details mirror and complement the environment and content; from the mechanical noises when switching screens to the near-lack of ambient noise, every aspect of the game reflects the feeling of being inside of a machine. The structure and mechanics of the game are the same as previous chapters, though a few interesting elements are added (I especially like the automatic note-taking function).
My one real frustration with the games is how easily it is to become thoroughly lost while playing (though perhaps that's part of the point). A map would be invaluable, and at least in the context of this particular Submachine would make sense. Still, a minor gripe to a fabulous game.
A word to the wise: While each Submachine can be played and enjoyed without context, I highly, highly advise players new to the series to start at the beginning. A significant part of the pleasure of playing the games are the "aha!" moments when a connection is made between one chapter or another, when the dimensions of the story begin to be perceived. While the Submachines are each well-made, fun point-and-click games, the mystery infused into the series is what makes them truly special. Ah, how I envy you, first-time Submachiners! A bounty of gaming goodness awaits you, a veritable cornucopia of superb casual gameplay.
For the rest of us, it's back to the machine:
We've been here covering the entire Submachine series since the very beginning with reviews and walkthroughs for all of them...
Outside the main storyline, and yet still another great Submachine, is a game created for the band Future Loop Foundation:
- The original Submachine
- Submachine Remix (extended version)
- Submachine Zero: Ancient Adventure
- Submachine 2: The Lighthouse
- Submachine 3: The Loop
- Submachine 4: The Lab
- Submachine 5: The Root
- Submachine 6: The Edge
- Submachine 7: The Core
- Submachine Network Exploration Experience
- Submachine: 32 Chambers
- Submachine 8: The Plan
- Submachine 9: The Temple
- Submachine: Future Loop Foundation
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Submachine 5 Walkthrough
Click the wheel on the pipe.
Continue to click on the wheels.
After the title screen...click the pencil and paper on the floor. This gives you access to notes.
Go left. Open the hatch on the floor by clicking the levers at the sides, then the central mechanism. Go down and down.
Go left. Click the button on the computer under the table. Read the three panels on the computer screen.
Go right twice. Click the button to open the door to the Portal. Step inside.
Go right and open the hatch. Go down twice, then right.
Enter 5-5-2 on the Portal machine and click the button.
Welcome to the Root! Click to the left of the machine and follow the route down to the Secret (1/5). Go back.
Follow the metal walkway to the right until you see the crack in the wall. Enter it and go right.
There is a brown Lead Casing item here in the middle of the screen. Pick it up. Continue right.
In the room with the power box there is a fallen pillar with a plug attached to it.
Click the cover on the power box to remove it.
Click the latches on each side of the plug (look carefully). Click the plug twice to switch on the power.
Go right and down.
Go right three times, then take the ladder up.
Open the grey box by clicking on it. (not sure what this does)
Go left twice. Enter the room. Pick up the Wrench on the floor, under the chair.
Leave the room. Return to the floor below, to the room with a ladder through the floor. Go down.
Go right. Use the Wrench to remove the bolts on the grey panel.
Take the Rusty Key. Go up two floors to the room with the empty boxes on the wall. Enter.
Use the key on the leftmost box. Take Cipher Plate 1.
Go down to the floor below, to the room with the grey box with a button and wires coming from it.
You need to understand how the transporter works. There are two Cipher Plates and two slots on the transporter, Left and Right. Putting Cipher Plate 1 in the Left slot and Cipher Plate 2 in the Right slot will send you to room (1,2). So there are 7 possible destinations. The Root area is (0,0). Got it? On we go!
Put the Cipher Plate 1 in the slot on the RIGHT of the transporter, then click the button.
You've arrived in room (0,1). You can leave the Cipher Plate 1 in the box for now. Go down and left.
Pick up Cipher Plate 2 on the chair.
Go right and down to the bottom.
To find the 2nd secret: Take the ladder down to the bottom floor. If you go to the right, you'll find the charger. You'll need this later. If you click to the left of the ladder, however, you'll come to another room. Remove the gray panel that's leaning on the wall, and use your wrench to unscrew the orange panel. Secret 2 waits inside.
Go back up the ladder to the transporter.
Go to room (2,0). (That's plate 2 in the left slot, nothing in the right slot.)
Click the hatch to open it. Go down. Click the top button. The needle should point to the right. Go back up.
Go left and repeat. Pick up the Empty Coil inside the hatch.
Go left again and repeat. Go left and take a look at the brick wall. Return to the transporter. We'll return here later...
Go to (0,1). Go to the charger. Put the Empty Coil on the raised platform on the charger and click the handle on the wheel three times. Pick up the charged Coil.
Go to (0,0). Go right twice and put the coil into the slot.
Go to (2,0). Go left twice. Click the button to open the box for Secret (3/5).
Go to (0,0) and get the Coil.
Go to (1,0). Go down and right. Put the Coil in the slot.
Go to (0,2). Go down and left. Green symbols are visible on the displays. Go all the way to the left.
Click the wheel. You should hear something being released. (If not, maybe the coil has to be in (0,0). Haven't checked.)
Go to (0,2). In the room all the way to the left (where the wheel on the pipe is), click on the part of the floor behind and to the left of the pipe for Secret (4/5).
Go to (2,0). Go all the way left past the brick wall.
Take Wisdom Gem 2. Go left and up the stairs. On the chair is Secret (5/5).
Go to (1,2). There are four rooms here, arranged in a circle around a fifth room.
Click as follows: into the room, right. Click the light bulb by the door to take it.
Go through the door. Go into the central room.
There are three holes in the wall at head height. Look inside them. You'll see a metal mechanism. It looks like a clock.
You have to line up the "hand" with the ornate thing on the side/bottom/top of the "clock face". You can do this by going through the rooms and clicking the wheels. It's not that difficult...Go on...
When everything lines up, you'll find a Metal Box in the central room. Take it.
Go to (1,0). Go down and right twice. There's a tiled tub here. Click the little brown label on the right to get a note.
Click the top/inside of the tub. Drop the Metal Box into the tub and watch it dissolve. Go back.
Use the Wrench on the outflow pipe on the right of the tub.
Take the Wisdom Gem 1 from the tub.
Go to (2,1). Go right and up.
There are two switches here, one on either side. To open the gate, make sure both have a white light on the RIGHT.
Follow the room onwards. Use the light bulb on the holder in the dark area.
Go left twice. Check your notes for the symbols you saw earlier in (0,2). Click the corresponding ones on the wall and then click the button underneath.
The ladder should slide down. Go down.
Use the Lead Casing on the top slab of rock.
Remove the Lead Casing, then use it on the two other slabs.
Go down and get Wisdom Gem 3.
Return to the transporter (you need to change the switches to get past the door again).
Go to (0,0). Go back to the Portal machine.
Go to 7-4-7. Go right twice. Open the door and go right.
Place the three Wisdom Gems in the diamond slots on the wall.
Click the handle on the control panel to the right.
Congratulations, you win! (With all 5/5 Secrets!)
Posted by: Tom | January 30, 2008 12:23 AM