Theory history: Submitted 2012-11-07, Debunked 2014-04-06
Murtaugh Recruitment TheoryI have a knack for identifying parallels in almost every movie, game, and book I see or read, and once found, it's a strong belief. So, after playing through the first 7 Submachine games and SNEE, I still had no idea whose theories to trust. But then Covert Front 4 showed up, and it sparked my own theory.
Now, what we know is that an unnamed scientist created the Submachine (accidental or otherwise) in the Root in 1904. However, coincidence or not, that was the same year MI6 agent Kara discovered the groundbreaking scientist, Professor Karl Von Toten. And, as we saw in his laboratory, he was indeed working on some very Submachine-related material.
- Von toten was building a Coordinate Device to use in the Loop,
- He created a machine that can make anything you want out of thin air, just by typing on a keyboard and throwing a switch.
- He had a sketch showing moving blocks, just like the kind in the Edge.
- His lab was protected by a blue forcefield, which is the same as the ones used by Murtaugh and his soldiers to invade the Core and attack Liz.
- And Von Toten kept some lamps that could project hidden doors onto walls to walk through, like the projectors in Future Loop Foundation.
If the Root was in operation in the same year as Karl Von Toten made his inventions, there is no question then that he was one of the scientists who at least worked there. He may have even met Murtaugh himself, according to the date on his "Note to myself", and judging from the familiar chair Von Toten sits in, this encounter may have been in the Lighthouse.
So, to bring this evidence together: it can possibly be surmised that with one man behind so many revolutionary inventions and with the German military wanting them for winning the war, I'm betting that the Submachine was one - and perhaps the last - of Karl Von Toten's inventions. A machine which can create anything out of nothing is just what the Submachine does - see location 672. Perhaps Von Toten either went too far on his work or an accident happened, which in either way created the true Submachine. It overtook the Root and created the Outer Rim from it, and Von Toten & Kara vanished. With the Germans cut off from those inventions and their creator, World War I simply went on against the German's favor. Murtaugh discovered his Karma arm when the War ended, assuming Von Toten had died, and from there he practiced his new abilities in the Core, killing several others in it.
Murtaugh then retreated to the Lighthouse to isolate himself so as not to hurt anyone again. His only contact was a woman named Elizabeth. This woman was probably a survivor from the war that discovered Von Toten's inventions and in turn the Subnet, knowing what their advantages and disadvantages were. With this information, she discovered how the Subnet was an entirely new dimension. Texts in the core stated that it began by creating flawed copies of existing structures. This is paralleled in that almost every item keyed into Von Toten's machine was previously found in his mansion, somewhere between Germany and Switzerland. And Karl Von Toten's "unreal" self only knew what Kara knew. Then the flawed copies turned into something completely autonomous. This means that the Subnet is learning how to create new structures and places on its own. From a certain angle, this could also mean that the Subnet, one way or another, became sentient and was able to understand humans and destroy them using these places (like the Looping Traps or the Tombs). In Sub 8 we find a note saying that computer processing power surpassed the human brain, which was probably the most important factor in this change, enabling the Subnet to build new things in more and more complex ways than any human could.
Then several years later, a group of people who were conspiring against Mur had decided to bury the entire Lighthouse after what he did to their peers in the Core. Despite having followed Liz' advice to not make another karma portal within the Lighthouse, he built one right into the Lighthouse's lamp to escape the fear of being buried alive. After manufacturing his own way out of the Loop, Mur teleported onto the roof of an old building on the surface, outside the Subnet; in fact one of the houses in Lisbon, Portugal, near the former site of Karl Von Toten's lab. There, he found some old scientists who knew some things about Von Toten's work and, combined with Mur's karma skills, built the XYZ portals to explore the Subnet.
So, in conclusion, Murtaugh and his followers have been carrying on Karl Von Toten's work via exploration of the Subnet and reverse-engineering of its technology, well into the present day. However, others, like Liz and the unnamed group at the Temple (Sub 9), know the downsides and faults of the Subnet and how it can endanger the Earth. With machines that can make anything out of thin air, using existing items as templates and so forth, this could endanger Earth's population. If the Subnet is not shut down or destroyed, it will keep building more and more structures until reality itself will warp, imploding the world from within.
Theory history: Submitted 2014-12-02, Still alive 2016-01-15
Flash location: 245
UntitledWe’ve all heard that people have been recruited by Murtaugh in his 32 year cruise across the Subnet, but how did he treat those recruits? I would wager that he found others that followed in his footsteps—like me—by first stumbling into what we call “The Basement”.
I have a strange feeling the Mur did not intend for them to come this way. Someone known only as “The Player” met him through his old DOS in the Lab on the only location we know is on the surface. (No Question that it’s not underground!) Mur responded saying “Who is this?” I’m skeptical that he knew the Player from the start, like some people think.
The Player however was the only one who managed to not slip through his fingers-figuratively speaking, and die when going to the Edge.
On a creepier note, I bet the Sub-Bots sent the dead guys to a location the teams did not know, to be disintegrated. That’s how the Player saw notes but no people.
Then Mur left the Player for dead. (I have a bone to pick with him on that topic when this is over.)
Every single other person from those teams tried to follow all the same paths before now, but failed probably because they had free will, which the Player did not have. He was an amnesiac to begin with, but the others had memories from the start. The Subnet’s AI drained the memories of them when it was too late to help Mur.
That was the stuff we already know, and now here’s what I’ve hypothesized afterward:
Like the Player, Mur ran into dozens of trapped individuals on his 3-decade, 2-year expedition without expectation. Mur became so surprised that he was no longer alone in the Subnet as he first assumed, and offered those men (and women?) places to stay in the Lab in return for support on his quest for exploration.
They all agreed to help, and he constructed this new section of the Lab for us all.
Now in return for shelter, he has asked us to help him in his quest to explore the Subnet, by performing operations under his observation at the Root.
But, he is not giving us profit for our work. That Gold Coin we found in the Basement? That was some of the saved money he left behind when exploring the Basement.
Now we’re being sent around the Subnet, some finding new places, some fixing machines, some solving mysteries. I myself am a portal repairman.
I wish he could pay us for what we do, instead of stranding some of the first teams out in the middle of nowhere with no memories whatsoever.
I pray that things get better…I hate my job.
Theory history: Submitted 2014-12-02, Doubtful 2016-01-15
Flash location: 245
In 1904, the Root, built in an underground cavern, was once a subterranean research base, but by 1943, just before its downfall, an unnamed scientist was investigating on how to create a world-making computer program: The Submachine.
However, there was one problem: what he had made was not in practical use yet so this scientist gave the program to Murtaugh for safekeeping in hopes that when the time came for its use he would know what to do. The program at that time was nothing but a stack of punch-cards and tape reels but over time Mur reverse-engineered it into a CD, and discovered that it was a computer game, of all things!
So, in 1984, when computers came to popularity, Murtaugh spent his off-time at the Lab playing that game. It seemed that the game did virtually create an entire world, but 1 year later, when Mur almost completed the game, (and prepared to end his obsession over it) something went terribly wrong.
One day, just when Mur was about to click the last part of the final game, the computer blue-screened, and spat out something from the Dot-Matrix printer that he used to give you coordinates.
The object floated downstairs, and into the test chamber where other scientists were working on the first experiments of teleportation. That thing flew into their prototype portal, and, as far as the scientists could tell, headed towards the Earth’s mantle.
Unfortunately, their portals were not yet built for humans, so they could only track the object, not follow it. That’s where the Root’s Observation Room came into play: It was once used in the last days of the Root to study the caverns, but at this point, the scientists reprogrammed it for their use. And the cameras in SNEE were connected to it.
Mur was the key observer, and watched as the object seemed to be creating the world that the game described, by taking bits and pieces of what humans had created, moving them underground within the Earth’s mantle, altered their molecular composition, and reshaped the area into an empty, black, spherical cavity.
Afraid for his life, Mur left the Lab, ripped out and broke the computer’s keyboard on his way out, and drove back to his home in the Lighthouse. Ashamed of what he did, Murtaugh bricked up his own entrance to the Root, and never looked back.
Later, as the ‘90s came around, Mur decided to leave the city for a vacation and to relieve himself of stress. Kent Falls was his vacation spot.
As he was camping by the waterfall, something caused Mur’s arm to disintegrate, replacing it with a glowing white Karma arm. However, he himself could not see it, which is why he called it the “invisible one”.
Murtaugh searched for a place to see what his Karma arm could do, and selected the Winter Palace in Britain not too far from there.
What Mur did not know was that below the Winter Palace was the empty space where the Submachine was being constructed. As he was experimenting, the spatial feedback from his first portals were shattering the palace and its gardens to pieces, and soon those pieces were sucked into the hole leading to the Submachine.
Liz warned Mur about the dangers of placing those portals, but he did not listen, and when he returned home to the Lighthouse, the Winter Palace and South Garden became the Core.
If you noticed the picture in the pamphlet about the palace, that was what it used to look like. The big column at the back happened to be the lighthouse, so it was no surprise why both buildings were made by the same man: Sir Henry O’ Toole, or why they suffered the same fate.
The 2000s arrived, and Murtaugh was close to making a breakthrough. He chose to visit the Ancient Temple which the Root had discovered, one last time. There inside an Egyptian tomb once belonging to a pharaoh of sorts, Mur found an amazing Wisdom Gem.
He thought a gem like that, with so much energy inside, could make an even better Karma portal.
His first test with that gem took him to the Digouts under the lighthouse (462 and 551), and he also tinkered with his own Karma to make that Mechanical Hand in his bedroom.
As a side note, it is unknown why there is the same hand in the Church (218), when the Lighthouse currently looks so much like it, or why it had a transporter from the Root inside. Perhaps the King (or whoever owned the Church) was also a controller of Karma.
12/13/2006 was the day of his breakthrough, but he had to work fast, because the Lighthouse was scheduled to be buried within the month. A letter to Liz was sent out, then Mur hoped he’d be able to make a portal out of the lighthouse completely.
The Lighthouse’s light bulb, no longer in use, was his perfect source of energy: Light. With an amount of energy that great, he’d be able to make a bigger Karma portal out of it.
Setting up all those security measures so no one could use it by accident, Mur was ready to make the jump. Even though he knew it was unstable, Murtaugh used his portal.
He landed at the Loop, and shocked to find the Mur was inside the exact same thing he saw as the game he had. Finding his way out, and continuing on through the series, it comes down to this: A game was created, and now we are in it. Strange.