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Underwater Base

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Think of it as your regular secret base. Except instead of birds, you have sharks.

"If you're looking for me,
You'd better check under the sea,
'Cause that is where you'll find me
Underneath the Sealab
Underneath the water
At the bottom of the sea."

Characters have their base of operations underwater. Somewhat more common with villains. Good for keeping out unwanted visitors. After all, it takes more effort to break in if you have to be looking out for giant squids at the same time.

Compare Elaborate Underground Base, Island Base, Space Base. See also Underwater City.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Daimos: The Brahmins' Home Base on Earth was an underwater base served like their headquarters to launch attacks from.
  • Boa's fortress in Flying Phantom Ship.
  • GaoGaiGar: The Gutsy Galaxy Guard's headquarters is an underwater "Harbor Reef Base" located underneath the Japan Aeronautics headquarters. Later, after the 31 Primevals trash both the Aeronautics headquarters and the base with their attacks, they relocate to an orbital space station base.
  • Mazinger Z: The Dragon Baron Ashura was commander of Dr. Hell's sea and submarine fortresses and had two underwater bases: Salude and Bood.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has had a few, and thus by extension, so did Eagle Riders and Battle of the Planets.
    • The most noteworthy is Crescent Coral Base (Center Neptune in BotP) which had thrusters on the bottom allowing it to physically move and change locations if discovered and projected a fake coral reef above on the water surface to fool people.
    • Gatchaman II had G-Town, a huge mobile base (more like a city) at the very bottom of the ocean.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • Aquaman: Plenty of these have shown up in stories. For example, Dr. Stephen Shin worked at a research station called Triton Base.
    • Super Sons: Batman and Superman gift one of these to Jon and Damian after they proved their ability to work as a team. It comes with everything: weight rooms for training, a supercomputer for analysis, and a mini-fridge for snacks.
    • Superman:
      • Superboy Volume 4: The villainous Silicon Dragons' base is an elaborate underwater affair off the coast of Maui that gets flooded section by section as Superboy and the Suicide Squad infiltrate it.
      • Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man: Lex Luthor has a mobile submarine base (until Superman destroys it).
      • Superman established an undersea Fortress in the Sargasso Sea in Action Comics #244, but he abandoned it shortly after.
      • Supergirl: Supergirl has her own undersea base — called Sanctuary — in Supergirl Volume 6 #12. Unfortunately it got blown up in issue #20.
  • Star Wars: Invasion: The resistance on Artorias is based in a complex under its seas, the only place left unscathed by the Vong's Hostile Terraforming.

    Fan Works 
  • Soul Eater: Troubled Souls has Subterrene, the base of operations of Novus Partus located directly beneath the surface of Bermuda.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The movie Captain Nemo and the Underwater City puts the city of "Templemere" under a dome at the bottom of the ocean, where the submarine Nautilus has its berth. And this is supposedly done during a time when the best technology is Steam powered.
  • The drilling rig in The Abyss.
  • Stromberg's home in The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Austin Powers: "Welcome to my submarine lair! It's long, hard and full of seamen."
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra features one of these as the villains' main base.
  • The titular research base in DeepStar Six.
  • The research base in Leviathan.
  • The two drilling rigs in Underwater. The reason why the spoiler is there is because when the protagonists reach the second rig, lost some time prior to the film, they find more evidence that the company they work for is running on Weyland-Yutani rules: the stuff they drill is much more important to them than their lives and potentially those of the entire human race.
  • The 1966 film Destination Inner Space is about an underwater research station, being menaced by an icthyoid alien.
  • The plot of The Neptune Factor starts with the destruction of a small undersea research station.
  • Virus Shark: The majority of the movie is set on the Cygnus Research Facility, an underwater base that was repurposed as a research facility.

  • Animorphs: The plot of #15 involves the Animorphs morphing sharks to investigate and destroy the Yeerks' underwater base where they're modifying sharks to have brains controllable by Yeerks, to use in the invasion of Leera.
  • Sphere is primarily set in a US Navy deep-saturation underwater research habitat.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events alludes to the Ancient Conspiracy owning one.
    • Also, in The Penultimate Peril, Hotel Denouement is actually a library under the water that reflects the hotel. Everything on the hotel is written backwards so that it's correct in the reflection.
  • Beebe Station from the Rifters Trilogy.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Rangers' base in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. Deliberately chosen because water is the demons' Weaksauce Weakness; otherwise, they would have destroyed the base as early as episode 2.
  • The Doctor Who story "Warriors of the Deep" was set in an underwater base, from which nuclear weapons were controlled.
  • The UFO (1970) episode "Reflections in the Water" has an underwater alien base.
  • The Looking Glass station on Lost, used by the Others to block all communications coming to the island.
  • Lost in Oz had a heroic version with Bellaridere's underwater palace.
  • In the 1960s German television series Raumpatrouille Spaceship Base 104, the military headquarters and that of the Galactic Security Service as well as the crew's private homes were all situated at the bottom of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
  • The New Avengers: In "Forward Base", the eponymous base turns out to be an elaborate submersible community hidden in Lake Ontario.
  • Total Recall 2070: Farve the android's mysterious creator is hiding in a derelict underwater base inside a radioactive lake that hasn't been visited by humans in decades.
  • MATnote  has one such base under Tokyo Bay in Return of Ultraman. The base is destroyed in the final episode.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Kadath Station in Deep Madness is halfway between this and Underwater City. On the one hand, it is a very extensive location that requires trains to connect between sections. On the other hand, every square inch is necessary for the base's function, there are no commodities and it's very claustrophobic.
  • Several new underwater territories have been added to the futuristic Risk 2210 A.D. board game, compared to its original, much better-known, incarnation.
  • Transhuman Space features a wide range of established sub-aquatic operations; the most exotic are deep in the ice-covered oceans of Europa, a moon of Jupiter, where a miniature war is being fought for the future of the moon.
  • The Old World of Darkness book Blood Dimmed Tides features one of these in the form of Project Deepwater, an underwater laboratory built right on the edge of the Mariana Trench. The result of an ongoing alliance between Pentex and the Technocracy, it was established for the purposes of harvesting supernatural resources from the ocean - and for continuing Pentex's efforts to ruin the environment.
    • As discussed in the splatbook for the Void Engineers, there are several that are maintained by the Engineers, as their explicit aims are to explore everything, not just space or Umbral realms (plus, things learned with underwater exploration are frequently applicable for exploring space/other dimensions). However, prior to the Avatar Storm, this was given much less attention (and, consequently, much less budget than other Engineer programs). Post-Avatar Storm, their remoteness (particularly from the Sleepers) combined with the loss of bases in Umbral realms result in increased importance of these bases for the Technocracy as a whole; several even get upgraded to Underwater Cities.

    Video Games 
  • The Pasadena Ocean Lab in Deus Ex was just an advanced research facility for the Big Bad, and devoid of life, but information there is vital to his plans, and The Dragon makes an appearance.
  • The last mission of the WOPR campaign in WarGames Defcon 1 have the players locating the last NORAD base, which is hidden in the Sea of Japan, by capturing a NORAD lab in Tokyo causing the base to rise out of the waters. They then send their units to destroy the base, leading to WOPR's The Bad Guy Wins ending.
  • The final location of Within a Deep Forest, and the setting of the Knytt Stories level An Underwater Adventure, which is an alternate version of Within a Deep Forest's story.
  • There's an abandoned underwater base in EarthboundBeginnings, which was originally used by Ninten's great-grandfather.
  • The Final Boss battle of zOMG! Chapter One takes place in Labtech X's Underwater Base.
  • Final Fantasy V had the Catapult, an underground/underwater base of Lost Technology. Among other things, it features an airship docking bay, a teleporter and a ship-sized elevator to the sea surface. And the icing on the cake? It's yours now.
  • Since X-COM: Terror from the Deep is basically X-COM UNDERWATER!, these make up the bases of your organization. The alien bases, including T'leth, also apply.
    • The final mission of XCOM 2 involves an assault on an ADVENT controlled underwater base.
  • Eggman has a few of these.
  • The Ocean Palace of Zeal in Chrono Trigger at least before it turns into the Black Omen.
  • Knights of the Old Republic has one owned by the Selkath on Manaan. "Owned" being in the past tense.
  • Constructing underwater structures is a popular activity in Minecraft.
  • The deep-sea military installation, NORAD VI in The Journeyman Project, where a robot was sent to launch a nuclear missile that would disrupt world unification.
  • The underwater research facility, Pathos-II is this, in SOMA, It was primarily used for building satellites to be launched in a magnetic rail-gun, but since comet Telos scorched the Earth above, only the base's inhabitants survived.
  • The future time zone of Dark Fall II: Lights Out contains a submerged research facility close to where the lighthouse used to be; called D.E.O.S. (Deep Explorations Of Space). It's where the sentient space probe, Malakai, was developed and launched from.
  • Cycorp's Manufacturing Center in Net:Zone is a Cyberspace variant, accessed by a virtual submarine. Cycorp used it to construct their CY-11s, but it's since been taken over and altered by Walter Sayle for building and unleashing his Cyberworm virus.
  • Rockman 4 Minus Infinity had the second half of Dive Man's level. Mega Man finds it by using Rush Marine to dive down to the point where the background is black and heads right.
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire the undersea base of the villainous team. Which team it is depends on what you're playing. In Ruby, it's Magma, in Sapphire and Emerald, it's Aqua (while Magma's base is instead hidden inside Mt. Chimney)..
  • The Swedish game Djuphavsjakten ("The deep sea hunt") features this. The exact details are a spoiler: it features this trope twice, as it turns out — once you capture the villain's first underwater base of operations, it turns out he has a larger underwater base deeper into the ocean, leaving the good guys to build up the captured base for their own underwater operations.
  • Deep Fear is essentially "Resident Evil, but in an underwater military base!", although it does make use of the setting update, mainly by adding the lack of oxygen and conserving it as major game mechanics. It also quietly acknowledges how incredibly expensive a facility would be to make, requiring civilian corporations to share parts of it for maintenance after the US Navy cut its funding — one of which was an agricultural company breeding surface animals to become your enemies when a mutating virus spreads around. Whoops.
  • Rapture of BioShock of course is an underwater city, but the more utilitarian areas of it fits this trope.
  • The Blackwater Research Facility in Tomb Raider III: The Lost Artifact, covertly built beneath the Channel Tunnel between France and the UK.
  • In Beyond: Two Souls you infiltrate an underwater base where the Chinese are trying to build a condenser portal.
  • In Subnautica, you can make these using the Builder tool, the right blueprints, and raw materials. You get most of these blueprints from scanning abandoned bases left behind by the survivors of another human spaceship that crash-landed on the planet years earlier. And then you find decidedly non-human installations built by the very same alien Precursors that are responsible for your predicament in the first place...
  • Grineer Mad Scientist Tyl Regor from Warframe owns several labs under the surface of Uranus' oceansnote , featuring Grineer Drekar units and water leaking from the ceilings.
  • This is the setting of the entire game of X-Perts, an underwater research facility/nuclear weapons storage that has been hijacked by terrorists.
  • The sci-fi city builder game Anno 2070 requires you to build a few of these to harvest certain high-end resources. There's also an NPC faction, the Ebashi Trench Observatory, who may have a base in the region. You can trade with them, and they'll even sell you spare submarines.
  • Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin takes place in an abandoned underwater research station originally built by the Psychonauts to harvest and study Psilirium, a mineral that has severely disorienting and mind-altering effects on psychics. The reason it was abandoned was that the Psilirium deposits were so big and powerful it overwhelmed nearly everyone working there, causing vivid hallucinations.

    Web Comics 
  • Madblood's lair (a later one) in Narbonic.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, the UNS Internal Affairs Intelligence agency's base is a huge, roughly spherical submarine that drifts about in the ice-covered ocean of the moon Europa.
  • In We Are The Wyrecats, Lamar's base of operations is located in the Mariana Trench.

    Web Original 
  • Villain Source (Your Online Source For Everything Evil) naturally has one of these for sale. However you have to provide your own aquatic construction personnel. And avoid flooding the place from the obvious and accessible control panels.
  • Coyle Command has Poseidon's vault.
  • How to Hero mentions that the superhero team Hero Force has an underwater headquarters where they host mahjong night for retired superheroes every Thursday at 3 pm.

    Western Animation 

  • Sea Base Alpha in the EPCOT attraction The Living Seas, before the Nemo makeover.
  • Jules Verne Undersea Lodge was once a research base off the coast of Puerto Rico, but was moved to an artificial lagoon in Key Largo, Florida. It now serves as a unique hotel room.