Submachine: Future Loop Foundation
Submachine: Future Loop Foundation (or SubFLF) is a spin-off from the Submachine series. It was originally made for a band's (the Future Loop Foundation's) website, and leads you to a secret section of the website. It was later updated in its HD version (formally known as FLF Redux HD) to fit the main storyline better instead of being just a band promo.
The online version of the game features a total of 34 rooms (13 in the first location and 21 in the second).
To prevent leaked spoilers no images (aside from teaser image) or detailed descriptions will be given at this time about Submachine: FLF Redux HD besides some basic facts listed below. This is because the game is currently buy-only and is not made free to the public. To jump to the HD description of the game, click here.
After a short introduction (with the quote "All memories are lost in time like tears in rain") the game starts and the player (Patient 3218) finds him/herself locked into an isolation cell with padded walls. The only thing in the room is an old tape recorder.
Right outside the isolation cell there are mysterious ruins and on a wall you can find some runes also seen in Submachine 2: The Lighthouse. By using an old image-projector the player can teleport in-between two different locations. In the second location the player can find a few old music cases labeled "Memories of a Fading Room" and "Future Loop Foundation Scratch & Sniff E.P." and listen to a guitar song in a pair of headphones. There are also several real-life photographs to be found. It seems as though this person has suffered severe memory loss (although it's never explained how or why), but seems to at least partly recover by the end of the game: in the end, an old film is played and the text appears: "It's all coming back now, I almost remember my name, I know where I must go now, to find the root of all this", hinting that the game takes place before Submachine 5: The Root.
The player in this game may or may not be the same player in the main series. The player in this game could be Mur since many thought he was insane and they could have locked him up there.
List of locations
This area consists of an isolation cell as those used to lock some patients with severe mental illness. It is fully padded. Outside you can see several abandoned-looking rooms, and an area which suggests that the game is set in a part of a prison. There is a projector that can be used to arrive at the Memories of the player.
This area is where the player comes after viewing the slide projector, and is dedicated to the band Future Loop Foundation with real images of his life and of his records. Through the box with a picture of a projector can return to the first area of the game. Solving various puzzles, the player can finally see a movie and apparently able to recover his memory.
The "Player Is Delusional" Theory
Several aspects of the game hint towards the player being delusional (or at least not having a firm grasp of reality), and nothing really contradicts this. For example:
- You start the game inside a padded cell.
- When trying to hit a light switch, the call of an owl is heard (though this is a clue to look at the numbers that appeared on the owl picture that can be used later to listen to music).
- Some things do not appear until you need them.
- A Space Hopper can be found in the ruins.
- Travelling to another location by stepping through a projected slide (or through a picture on the wall) seems even more hallucinatory than most other methods of travel in the series.
The "All Just A Dream" Theory
Many of the examples listed above could also hint at the game being a dream (or traveling to the FLF location through a dream). In addition, at the beginning of Submachine 5, the player finds him/herself next to a bed. A note from Mur later in the game then asks, "Sleep well?" However, this message could also simply be a reference to the beginning of Submachine 5, as the player begins Sub5 in someone's living quarters. At the end of FLF the player says "I know where I must go now...to find the root of all this." which could be a reference to the player going to the root or it could have just been a title drop of the next game. This may be more than a dream, this could be some kind of dream traveling that has never been seen before.
The "Human Experiment" Theory
It could also be that the Submachine captured some humans to run mental tests on them, trying to figure out what they are vulnerable to.
The "Research Lab" Theory
This base could be some orientation center for Mur's new recruits or where Mur and other scientists researched and almost could cure the memory loss (or maybe both). Here are several reasons to support this theory:
- Near the end there was a room with a projector and chairs set up for some kind of assembly. (In a room that looks like it is part of the Lighthouse Digouts.)
- At the end the player says: "It's all coming back to me now, and I almost remember my name." Which may mean that this part of the Subnet has special properties.
- There are many pictures, videos, music, and objects (like the space hopper) which the player seems to recognise. These could be memories that the submachine has absorbed and then projected into the room.
Development and history
The online version of the game was released on June 6, 2007.
On December 8, 2014, Mateusz Skutnik formally announced the upcoming release of Submachine FLF HD. Calling it a "redux version", he stated that the HD version would be revamped with new puzzles, music and locations, and that it would be "basically [a] new game". He also uploaded a screenshot of the HD version of the game.
The redux version was released in HD on 15 December 2014.
Submachine: FLF Redux HD
Both versions of Submachine: FLF are to be considered canon.
In the Redux version, the music and pictures associated with Future Loop Foundation has been replaced with Thumpmonks music and other pictures. The game also expanded in size from the original and includes more puzzles.