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Headscratchers / Subnautica

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  • A minor irk from the AEP suit data log. The last line in the log states that, in case of a hull breach, the AEP suit should always be put on before evacuating using one of the lifepods. Now maybe it's just me, but I'd prioritize getting away from the imminent death through explosion or vacuum. The AEP suit is handy, but all its functionality is aimed towards long-term survival, so there seems to be very little reason to put on the suit before evacuating (and a lot more reasons to do it the other way around).
    • The AEP is listed as, "AEP suit: a hermetically-sealed personal environment, designed to withstand the most extreme conditions in the known universe." It's most likely a quick don suit, much like military nuclear, biological, chemical suits (NBC's). Without the AEP you probably only have 15 seconds of useful consciousness. With the AEP you can make it to a pod regardless of how far away it is. It's also possibly the reason the pressure doesn't bother you when you dive.

  • Why do the Warpers never go after the protagonists like they go after everyone else from the Aurora?
    • Notice that the protagonist's life pod is the only one that has succeeded at floating, while all the others have plunged down into the ocean. If the Warpers have a weakness, is that they can't exactly fly - or attack upwards, for that matter. Likely, they've swept up all the other survivors from the sunken pods and called it a day before realizing they've missed one guy. Moreover, the protagonist's habit of holing up in environments filled with a thin gas instead of proper water has probably left them scrambling to capture this weird, non-aquatic creature.
      • At the risk of being a pedantic nerd: Lifepod 4 also makes it to the surface. It's just that it's the surface near the crash zone, and... well.
    • Perhaps they are trying to get to you. But all the other lifepods are scattered into biomes with deadly fauna anyway, and they weren't knocked unconscious so didn't immediately set about trying to get to the rendezvous point. Our intrepid hero is late to the party and lucky to start in the safe shallows. You do intercept messages saying there is one unaccounted for target, but you've had time to establish yourself. You can fend off the Warpers, and the fact the Warpers also have to deal with countless infected fauna anyway means even if you're high on the priority list, they have other things to worry about.

  • Why bother going home at the end? The plague is cured, the Warpers no longer have any reason to mess with you, and the planet looks like a rather nice place to live as long as you don't run afoul of any Leviathan class predators. Going home just means being trillions of credits in debt. Screw that.
    • True, though being by yourself forever would be lonely, especially if you have family or friends back in civilized space. Maybe sending out a signal to have people join you there would be better than going back to super-debt.
      • Yeah, I mean you control the orbital cannon so you can decide who is allowed to land and the ion cubes give you a good exportable resource. So claiming the planet and sending out a call for colonists would be a viable approach. I suggest prioritizing a good sushi chef.
      • You don't control the orbital cannon though, by curing yourself you only gained authorization from its computer to leave the planet without getting shot down.
      • Aside from other people, your only source of entertainment is playing with the leftover toys from the Aurora and Mr. Cuddles the Cuddlefish. We can turn off the game if it gets boring; Ryley is stuck there and probably losing his mind.
      • More than likely your debt is cleared before you land. In the sequel, the Corporation lands on the planet to scoop up the Alamanac technology. Given that you're the one who made that possible and they practically drool over the tech, they probably exchanged freedom from debt for information on the planet and the aliens. It could so be the AI is just being a shit and that debt gained during the course of survival isn't actually a thing. Either way, you have incentive to scan everything on the planet as the more knowledge you gain, the more you have to trade. On top of that, one of the reasons you go to the planet in the first place is to find the Degasi, the Mongolian ship which is why there's a Mongolian emissary is aboard. It helps that you finish that Diplomatic mission which can be used to appease the Mongolians for getting their emissary killed accidently. Finally, you have all of this information which you can't give them until you're cleared to land and you can't be cleared to land until your debt is cleared. Unless they willing to board you and risk destroying the data, they had to clear it for the sequel to happen (ignoring the possibility that they remotely uploaded the data, but your verbal testimony has a lot of worth as well).
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    • I don't know. If everything is the property of the Alterra Corporation, Alterra, like any proper megacorp, could just say, "Yeah, everything means everything, Mr. Non-Essential Systems Maintenance Chief. That would include the awesome glowy ion cubes and the alien data scans. Oh, you're running away or hiding behind the orbital cannon? You're not stealing our property, are you?" That said, the positive PR of presenting Ryley as a Brave Heroic Explorer type (sponsored by Alterra!) would outweigh getting rid of him and facing possible backlash, so if Alterra was smart they'd rescue him, pat him on the back, give him a nice little nest egg and then plunder/weaponize the cool new stuff as much as humanly possible.
      • Considering Alterra provided Ryley with his survival-manual in the first place, they won't have much of a legal leg to stand on: his company-issued PDA's instructions told him it was essential that he use local resources to survive, and explicitly taught him how to do so. Charging the guy a fortune for following official Alterra guidelines would be a really stupid precedent to set.

  • Inconsistencies between building requirements: for example doesn't it seem like the Neptune Launch Platform should require a LOT more materials considering its size? Also vehicles have crush depths that require upgrading but both the player character can survive outside the vehicle at any depth and habit modules do not have a maximum crush depth either.
    • Regarding the pressure resistance, it's possible Alterra took their biomedical tech and modified the Aurora's crew for the mission or the ship is already planned to work on missions with potential water landings.

  • How has the crashfish survived as a species thus far? There's a lot of wildlife in the safe shallows and they seem to attack anything that disturbs them (Mostly the player, but I assume occasionally a stalker or other predator makes it over to the caves). And their main method of attack is charging at the offending creature and then exploding violently. So, how do any of them survive long enough to reproduce without blowing themselves up?
    • Crashfish don't attack everything that comes near it's nest, only you. This is likely due to your size. If you notice, you are the largest thing willing to swim into the cave systems they nest in (other predators like Stalkers have likely evolved to avoid Crashfish nests). Your size makes you appear as a threat to it's nest. Crashfish eggs are also the most common egg you will find in the shallows, meaning they reproduce in significant numbers to support their defensive reaction.

  • Degasi with Alterra Technology?
How does the Degasi crew wich is from “Mongolia” have Alterra bases and vechicles/tools. A PDA clearly states that the Mongolians have little or non relationship with Alterra. So if that is true then the Degasi should not have the same base style as the player, since the player’s base pieces are from Alterra. Yet the Degasi base pieces look the same. How is this possible?
  • We don't know that Alterra has an exclusive patent on all of their designs, or even if they were the original designers. They (Mongolia and Alterra) could easily both be licensing designs from a third party, or using open-source designs. Or perhaps the Degasi gear was purchased from a reseller on the open market.
  • Optimum engineering for underwater structures is mostly dictated by the laws of physics, not by corporate design-philosophies. Same as how cars from different manufacturers tend to become more and more similar in their design, the more fuel-efficiency we expect from them.

  • Possible Destroyed Ecosystem?
I noticed that the area where the Auroa crashed in is pretty huge. And I wondered: is it possible that there where a bunch of biomes there that are now gone? This would also explain why you can't find the Safe Shallows base Bart Torgal built, the one you see in the trailer. It got destroyed by the Aurora. And wouldn't a huge part of the crater's ecosystem being destroyed cause a massive imbalance in the ecosystem of the entire crater?
  • There is a mini biome called the Crash Zone Mesas in the southern, less damaged part of the Crash Zone. This was likely its own biome before the crash. It would seem to have had more verticality and was likely a natural breeding ground for Reaper leviathans. The western part of the Crash Zone seems to mostly be former Safe Shallows, Kelp Forest and Grassy Plateaus. Scan data from the Dunes biome suggest the ecosystem was already deteriorating before you arrived. Though curing the Kharaa Bacterium from the world would do more to upset the balance anyway even if it does a net good for the planet.

  • Below Zero seaglide graveyard
While it's helpful to have so many scannable fragments scattered about, who was it that kept wrecking seaglides in the shallow zone? Seriously, there's dozens of them scattered about the biome, all ruined! And this game doesn't have the excuse of a crashed ship scattering debris everywhere.
  • Yeah, it does—the Mercury II. And there's the Koppa mining site, the Omega Lab, the Delta Station, Marguerit's base... frankly, it's a miracle there isn't more debris lying around. (The seaglides specifically is probably just because the game really wants you to have one on hand before you get the Sea Truck.) The fact that the sea trucker keeps crashing and being attacked by wildlife, losing trucks and cars in the process is even mentioned in an audiolog.
  • Seaglides are personal transport, so Alterra probably intended for every base and outpost to have enough of them on hand for the region's full complement of personnel to grab one and evacuate to the nearest shelter in the event of a major mishap or power failure. That makes for a lot of those things being present, as well as (probably) a tendency on the users' part to treat them as disposable items you can ditch once you reach shore.

  • how did Marguerit survive the Kharaa? She was infected with it ten years before Below Zero started. The sea emperor was only freed a few years before Below Zero started, and she should have been long dead by then.
    • Eating half-rotten Reaper flesh for weeks, maybe? We know Enzyme 42 was a leviathan's digestive secretion, and enzymatic processes keep operating, albeit chaotically, in a decomposing carcass. Perhaps Marguerit bringing Bart slaughtered sea life for study wasn't as much of a dead-end line of research as Bart or the Architects presumed? Especially since the notion of eating an animal carcass, which the PDA expects even a human of the Subnautica era to find appalling, had become utterly unthinkable to the far-longer-"civilized" aliens.

  • Did Robin have any plan to get off the planet once her business there was finished? Was she expecting to leave in the same shuttle that brought her there? Because if so, then landing during a meteor storm to avoid Alterra's surveillance was probably not worth the risk.
    • Given that there's already one well-documented case of a lone, untrained castaway building a rocket to escape that planet, Robin may have arrived prepared to do the same. She just didn't count on losing most of her tools and rocket-construction datafiles in the crash-landing of her own capsule.