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Submachine fictional universe

Not to be confused with Submachine Universe, a side-game of the Submachine series.

The subnet is an interconnected structure made of various areas, called submachines, each of which is defined by a characteristic theme. Each submachine is broken into smaller divisions called locations. The term "Net" refers to the fact that all the areas seem to be connected together via portals, which are able to teleport the player across physical space.

Most, if not all, of the subnet is believed to be located underground. How much space it truly takes up, and even where it is, is unknown. Some sources say that the Subnet is located underneath a place called Kent.


The subnet is a non-homogenous agglomerate of buildings, that is constantly expanding. There are two known methods of expansion to this date: creation and adoption.[1]


A submachine is created and built by submachine itself, without a model, seemingly randomly. A possible model of how one could be generated can be seen in the New basement of Submachine Universe. Areas of this type are the basement complex, the edge, and the loop.[1] All of these locations are repetitive, simplistic and lack complexity.


Existing data of real-life places and cultures are adopted into submachine locations (see Cultural influences in the Submachine series). Known locations of this type are the lighthouse and the ancient ruins.[1] These locations are all complex and have significant differences from each other.

The subnet is powered and at least partially controlled by a binary computer system. This system helps power the net of submachines, which acts as a body for a supercomputer known as S.H.I.V.A.. No information is given on where S.H.I.V.A. came from or why it was formed, other than it was possibly formed by humans to answer some of life's deepest questions.


Floating submachines, as seen from the radio lab.

The Subnet is composed of individual submachines, which are areas connected to each other by portals, physical pathways[2] and possibly other means. The submachines can have a variety of physiognomies, from ancient temples to futuristic laboratories.

Some submachines have been seen freely floating in the empty void that can be seen from many submachines. Most individual rooms of submachines are cubical, which makes it possible for them to move in relation to each other, an ability which was exploited in the Edge. It also makes it much easier for the different submachines to agglomerate.

There are some recurring themes that submachines can have, such as the basement, which might form bigger entities in the network. The two biggest main parts of the Subnet are the Outer Rim and the Core. The Core is the original, natural submachine, which is known to include many adopted locations. The Outer Rim on the other is a mass of rapidly expanding submachines created by mistake when humans managed to build submachines. It includes many created and adopted locations.


The original subnet was contained in the Core, what is thought to be the "center" of the subnet today, and no one has - as of yet - any idea where it came from. The first man-made Submachine - the Root - was built around 1904 by an unknown group of scientists. The author hinted that one or more of the scientists that originally built the Root had triggered some unknown process that made the Subnet expand uncontrollably. This caused the creation of the wilderness of unmapped Submachines known as "the Outer Rim".

The main features of the subnet that hold it together include the plan, which attempted to store data in the subnet by copying it six times and interlacing the resulting different realities on top of each other. The realities are known as dimensions or layers.

The Subnet itself seems to also have a proper timeline divided in eras since in Submachine 5 Murtaugh refers to sub-eras.[3]. However, due to the distortion of certain areas in the subnet, the timeline has been warped beyond repair.