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Submerged: Miku and the Sunken City is a post-apocalyptic Environmental Narrative Game by Uppercut Games, which takes many cues from Shadow of the Colossus.
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Miku and her badly-injured younger brother Taku drift into a half-drowned city in their small motorboat. Leaving Taku resting at the base of a decaying clock tower, she sets off to find supplies to care for him. All under the scrutiny of the strange, plant-like inhabitants that seem to have designs on them.

Completely lacking any combat, gameplay consists of exploring the waterlogged city, searching for buildings to climb. Each building is something of a maze, with you having to figure out a path along the precarious ledges, hanging vines and other climbable surfaces to reach supplies, as well as pictographs that tell the story of the ruined city.

A sequel, Submerged: Hidden Depths, was released in April of 2022. Now Miku and Taku take the boat together to save the city from the Black Plant, the evil version of the Mass that had appeared in the previous game.

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Available for iOs, Steam, Xbox One and Playstation 4.


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    Tropes common in both games 
  • 100% Completion: Apart from finishing the main campaign, you can keep on playing to collect all books, boat upgrades, and find all types of creatures. In addition to this, Hidden Depths has relics (old pieces of technology that can be fished out of the water), styles to customize Miku's and the boat's appearance, and flowers that Miku can put in her hair.
  • After the End: The game takes place after climate change has flooded the world.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The collectible City History secrets, which reveal the story of the global flood and rise of the infectious algae in Sunken City, and that of the seafarers' ill-considered dealings with the Big Man in Hidden Depths.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Reinforced concrete deteriorates rather quickly when exposed to water, especially salt water. Yet there are several hi-rise buildings still standing even after their foundations being submerged in seawater for who knows how many years.
  • Benevolent Architecture: You have to climb ledges to do it, but there is always one path where you can reach your destination on those ruined buildings.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Miku is always barefoot. It doesn't tend to be a bother, despite the post-apocalyptic ruins. Taku is equally content to walk barefoot on splintery planks and coarse rubble in Hidden Depths.
  • Flooded Future World: The game takes place after Global Warming flooded the world, and is set in the crumbling ruins of settlements whose tallest buildings are now like an archipelago of small islands.
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: Pods of dolphins occasionally pass Miku's boat, splashing about and whistling cheerily to one another. More prominent in the first game, but also happens in Hidden Depths.
  • Future Imperfect: Miku has no idea what many of the cities' decrepit landmarks originally were, so the brief animations as she sights each one give them names appropriate to what she does know (e.g. the protruding upper portions of a suspension bridge are called "the Silver Pass").
  • Ghost Town: Not only are both games set in Ghost City ruins After the End, but the city from Hidden Depths had been reclaimed by survivors and built up into a thriving settlement, only to be deserted again after the inhabitants enraged the Mass. This second abandonment must have been very recent, to judge by the spoiled-yet-intact fish hung out to dry at numerous outposts.
  • Green Aesop: Global Warming's bad, kids.
  • How We Got Here: As you find supplies, the first game reveals the sad story of how Miku and Taku fled their home and wound up in the Sunken City. The second reveals their wanderings between games, bit by bit as the Seeds are retrieved and returned.
  • Improvised Zipline: A few of the major buildings Miku climbs have cables running between sections of rooftop, which she can zip down. The Scavenger World settlement used jury-rigged rope ziplines to get around some outposts.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: The game has a predefined playing area, meaning you cannot go where you are not supposed to go, even if logically you should be able to. You can climb obstacles higher than yourself, but you cannot pass a waist-height obstacle if the game designers didn't think you should go there.
  • Intelligent Forest: The Mass is an underwater variant: an apparently self-aware network of vegetative tendrils that rose from the seabed, in the wake of the global flood. Its massive growth entwines the city from Hidden Depths. Smaller outgrowths make an early appearance in a post-main-quest patch expansion to Sunken City.
  • Language Drift: Miku in Sunken City is almost a Heroic Mime, but the few voice lines she does say (mostly after delivering supplies back to the home point) indicate this trope is in effect; if you listen closely, you can pick out a few words clearly derived from English. It's easier to tell the siblings are speaking a pidgin form of English in Hidden Depths, mostly because they have each other to talk to, so say a lot more.
  • Le Parkour: Miku (and in Hidden Depths also Taku) uses incredible skills to get around those ruins, mostly of climbing ledges and running down improvised ziplines. Hidden Depths adds some more tricks to the collection.
  • Noisy Nature: Even the manta rays emit croaking cries when they breach.
  • Photo Mode: It can be selected from the pause menu, where you can move the camera around freely. It doesn't provide a way to capture the screenshot, only to remove all GUI elements, then you can make the screenshot yourself. In the first game, the game's logo appears in the lower right corner, but it's removed in Hidden Depths.
  • The Precarious Ledge: Crumbling ledges are a major source of handholds for climbing buildings.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: While some buildings have collapsed into rubble or denuded support-structures, others are in remarkably good shape.
  • Scavenger World: The main quest of the first game is to collect emergency supplies from the top of buildings that were probably dropped there when the city went underwater.
    • In Hidden Depths, the second city was heavily built upon by post-flood seafaring scavengers, using a blend of this trope and Bamboo Technology. Taku hauls collectible relics from underwater as well.
  • Scenery Gorn: It's a post-apocalyptic city, which has obviously suffered for the end of the world...
  • Scenery Porn: ...but it's rendered so beautifully with such deep attention to detail it's arguably more beautiful. The blend of architecture and nature reclaiming it is jaw-dropping. The games even include specific vantage points from which to view and appreciate the spectacular scenery: a giant crane in the first one, and seafarer-built "lookout" stations in the second.
  • Schizo Tech: Justified by the After the End setting.
    • Miku's family has a motor boat, but survives by spear-fishing. It's not clear where the fuel for the engine is coming from, though.
    • The former settlers of the second game's city had jury-rigged a means of powering up salvaged pre-flood electronics using stolen Seeds from the Mass. They don't seem to have benefited from doing so, but kept trying at the Big Man's urging.
  • Spiritual Successor: The influences of Shadow of the Colossus are rather blatant. You're climbing buildings instead of stone giants, but it's the same puzzle-y gameplay of trying to figure out the correct route, you're trying to save someone you care about, and becoming corrupted while doing so.
  • Sunken City: A moderately substantial one traversed by boat, with once-modern buildings in various states of collapse. The second game's city is even larger, with several clusters of ruins suggesting residential, financial, and industrial neighborhoods.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending:
    • Over the course of the first game, Miku gets increasingly infested with the algae while the city inhabitants watch. The impression is that she's either dying or turning into one of them. At the end the inhabitants gather around her and somehow draw the algae out of her, and she and her much-recovered brother leave in their boat.
    • The sequel implies a darker ending is coming also, between the siblings' growing disagreement about Miku's mission and the giant, menacing Big Man monster. But it ends with the Big Man's unquiet soul reconciled with the Mass, and Taku willingly risking himself to see Miku's task completed.
  • Threatening Shark: Subverted; while a huge shark's fin and tail do cruise by Miku's boat at times in the first game, it's a harmless whale shark cruising for plankton. The second game's "shark" is likewise harmless, and is even one of the more beautiful Planimals in the game.

    Tropes specific to Submerged 
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy / Eyeless Face: Sunken City's current inhabitants... aren't very human-looking anymore.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Despite the open wound on Taku's stomach, and the game saying you need to 'stop the bleeding', there's not a drop of blood to be found.
  • Catapult Nightmare: After finding a supply crate, Miku will catch some shut-eye. At one point, the inhabitants surround her sleeping form and one reaches toward her menacingly, then she bolts awake revealing it to be a dream (maybe.)
  • The Corruption: As Miku progresses, she develops a worrying cough, and her skin begins turning green-and-grey like Sunken City's inhabitants. In fact, it almost seems as though she is being overgrown with algae (and if you look closely, the same can be seen happening to her boat). This same condition also afflicts much of the marine wildlife.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After their mother was lost at sea, their dad turned to the bottle.
  • Festering Fungus: More like Festering Alga, but its effects upon Miku and the Sunken City's wildlife are comparable.
  • Taking the Bullet: Well, the spear, in this case. In the backstory, Miku tried to break her father out of his funk by taking away his booze. He grabbed his fishing spear and tried to stab her, and Taku intervened and ended up with his belly sliced open, followed by Miku grabbing him and heading off in the family boat.

    Tropes specific to Submerged: Hidden Depths 
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Most of the time, you control Miku while on land. In the smaller buildings, however, you control Taku.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game adds fast travel option, as well as more detailed information on how much of the collectibles you'd collected from the main attractions. There are also lookout towers which reveal the position of nearby collectibles. Justified as the map is larger and has much more collectibles than the previous one.
  • Bamboo Technology: The former colonizers of the ruins left behind some fairly complex mechanisms — elevators, drawbridges, cargo slings — cobbled from wood and rope.
  • Big Bad: In the backstory of the city, the Big Man convinces the city's inhabitants to exploit the Seeds to power the shiny but ultimately useless machines. While eventually he realizes that what he'd done was wrong, it's too late and the city is taken by the Black Plant. By the time the game takes place, the Big Man becomes a huge and actively malicious monster that is a threat to Miku.
  • Boats into Buildings: One of the Seed sites is the Marinelli, a massive cargo ship that got lodged on top of an industrial site during the global flood. It was later used as a platform for one of the seafarer settlements.
  • Botanical Abomination: The Big Man, the usurper who'd convinced the second city's residents to exploit its Seeds for electricity, was seized by the Mass and remade as a gigantic, frightening humanoid of twisted Black Plant tendrils. Partway through the main quest, it rises from the depths to wade its way around the city, stopping to watch Miku's progress ominously with each subsequent Seed she retrieves.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Taku now joins Miku exploring the city.
  • Cargo Cult: Prior residents of the city made a practice of gathering old electronics from pre-flood days and arranging them in piles like shrines, sometimes with decorative adornments.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Black Plant turned all the city's inhabitants into plant-like remnants.
  • Disappears into Light: Those collectible Planimals which inhabit the buildings of Hidden Depths do this when they retreat from Miku, dispersing into clouds of drifting sparks. Groups of collectible sea Planimals (dolphins, pelicans, etc.) also disperse as speck-clouds if they collide with objects such as the boat; in their case, the specks are dark, probably to make them visible against the sunlit water.
  • The Driver: Taku spends most of his time steering the siblings' boat, although he does take a turn at searching the smaller logbook-sites.
  • Fertile Feet: Carrying one of the Seeds grants Miku this quality, as pink flowers sprout up in her path even from bare boards or concrete. Proximity to the Seeds also makes the Black Plant's vines turn green, opens its barriers, and sets its Planimals and green figures to blooming.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The city's residents stole the Seeds from the Mass, eventually leading to the Black Plant wiping them out.
  • Green Aesop: Exploiting natural resources (in this case, using the Seeds for power generation) for superficial entertainment is bad.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Big Man realizes that taking all the Seeds was a bad idea, but it's too late by then.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the end Miku and Taku decide to offer themselves to the Big Man. Subverted as at the last moment, the freshly restored Mass turns the Big Man into a huge tree.
  • Planimal: All of the collectible creatures are animal-shaped vegetative constructs generated by the Mass.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Miku's brush with the Mass in the first game leaves her with a strange connection to it and its creations.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The monster that the Big Man became is black on the outside and fiery red in the inside.
  • Title Drop: The last part of the city's history.
"In time, the Mass subsided. But the Mass remembers, and the anguish of the Big Man echoes even now in the hidden depths below."
  • Transflormation: Miku and Taku discover stationary human-like figures shaped from plant matter scattered all over the city. Miku surmises these are its former inhabitants, transformed by the Mass. At the climax, the fearsome Big Man monster changes into a gigantic and unmoving tree.
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