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Video Game / Submerged

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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.

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.

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


I need to find tropes for Taku:

  • After the End: The game takes place after climate change has flooded the world.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy / Eyeless Face: The 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 developes a worrying cough, and her skin begins turning green-and-grey like the 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.
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  • Does Not Like Shoes: Miku is always barefoot. It doesn't tend to be a bother, despite the post-apocalyptic ruins.
  • 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 city's wildlife are comparable.
  • Flooded Future World: The game takes place after Climate Change flooded the world, and is set in the remnants of a metropolis 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.
  • Future Imperfect: Miku has no idea what many of the city's 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").
  • Green Aesop: Climate Change's bad, kids.
  • How We Got Here: As you find supplies, the game reveals the sad story of how Miku and Taku came to be in the city.
  • Improvised Zipline: A few of the major buildings Miku climbs have cables running between sections of rooftop, which she can zip down.
  • Noisy Nature: Even the manta rays emit croaking cries when they breach.
  • 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 part of the gameplay is to collect emergency supplies from the top of buildings that were probably dropped there when the city went underwater.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sprint Meter: The boat's boost meter. The amount of time you can boost can be increased by collecting boat upgrades.
  • Sunken City: A moderately substantial one traversed by boat, with once-modern buildings in various states of collapse.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: Over the course of the 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.
  • 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.
  • Threatening Shark: Subverted; while a huge shark's fin and tail do cruise by Miku's boat at times, it's a harmless whale shark cruising for plankton.


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