Shards of Glim: Zubmariner

A warning to all zubmarine captains: minor spoilers are lurking in the darkness ahead.

Waiting for the game on Day Zero felt like being 12 years old again. The game’s release was scheduled for 6 PM, so I launched my laptop and kept refreshing the Steam webpage, getting impatient with every minute. Eventually, the ‘Purchase’ button appeared onscreen a few minutes after seven. After typing my PayPal password with shaking fingers and clicking ‘Continue’ over a dozen of times, I started downloading the expansion pack. Finally, I was able to see this wonderful screen:

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I’ve been waiting for a year for this beautiful sight.

Obtaining a zubmerzible vessel isn’t a particularly difficult task even for a Captain who has just begun his adventure in the Neath. The first requirement is to undertake a long journey to the Neath’s southern rim and find a mysterious and generous patron who owns a secret laboratory. Then you have to assist the researchers working for her by donating certain items. I’ve decided to sacrifice an Extraordinary Implication and hilarity ensued.

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Creative madness.

The next step was to find blueprints for a Zonar, which requires a short journey and again is remarkably easy. When I finally returned to the laboratory with the plans and completed the task, I was surprised to find out that they didn’t construct an entirely new ship; the engineers simply helped me to convert my vessel into a zubmarine. What’s even more strange, the conversion passess to each new ship you buy in London, so you don’t have to complete the same quest again.

There are other odd things about underwater zailing. There’s no electric engine and the zubmarine burns coal just like an ordinary ship on the surface. Cannons work perfectly well. There is no periscope. There is no depth meter. Well, I shouldn’t be surprised at all, because Failbetter Games has never promised us to create a realistic simulation game about Victorian-era submarines hunting The Great Cthulhu.

Coincindentally, turning my corvette into a zubmerzible saved the Tenth Captain’s life. While he was returning to Port Carnelian with the zonar plans, his ship was ambushed by a flock of Blue Prophets and heavily damaged. For some reason, the d—-d birds kept hovering over the port and attacked again when the Captain was leaving, but he managed to hide under the waves literally in the last seconds before getting shredded to tiny pieces.

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What a promising start of the Great Underwater Adventure, isn’t it?

After having played Zubmariner for a couple of hours, I still don’t have much more to say about the gameplay. So far, I’ve visited two new locations and won a skirmish against bloodthirsty zub-pirates, but I’m staying on the surface for most time, earning money, training stats until I feel prepared to explore the depths under the Neath in a serious way. Of course, I will write another post soon to share my experiences.

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5 thoughts on “Shards of Glim: Zubmariner

  1. I really enjoyed Sunless Sea so I’m glad to see the expansion is keeping the game fresh. The problem I had was that once I started playing with my 4th captain or so, I started to find the stories very smart, even with the inclusion of new ones by signing up to the email service. Still a damn fine rogue lite game though!

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    • Currently I’m playing my 10th captain and I know the feeling; I simply click through the old stories as fast as possible, without even reading them.Still, a few new stories on the surface were added to the game just before Zubmariner was released, so you may find a pleasant surprise even when visiting old locations. And the best thing is that your Officers interact with each other (usually in form of a passive-aggressive banter).

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      • I agree that was one of the best questlines in the game. Losing a race with time and letting my Snegurochka melt away made me feel like a complete failure. After I decided that my parallel character in Fallen London will never, ever work for the Masters again.
        And again I’m taking video games too seriously :^)

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  2. I really like Sunless Sea and its combination of storytelling (especially the curious word play) and exploration of a strange, wonderful and atmospheric, though somewhat bleak, world. Haven’t played in a while though, but when I have chance I might pick up the expansion.

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