The Ocean

If you're lucky enough to be able to swim, or even to live underwater, there's lots to explore. Here are a few notable areas and settings that most robots would have heard about. Of course, more information is available if you choose to make one of these places your home, or dare to adventure into them.

Most of these locations can be reached with Sea Movement 1, but note that very deep areas (specifically the Midnight Caves and the Colosseum) require Sea Movement 2 in order to reach them.

See the location page for map keys and for information about the mechanics of movement in this game.

These are locations that can be reached by air or water, but not by land - unless they have a boat or bridge. They are out of the way and aren't on the main island.

A long drawbridge connects this lonely oil rig to the mainland, giving robots access to bubbling crude oil baths in this defunct oil refinery (B17). On a regular schedule the drawbridge comes down and bots of all builds make their way to the baths upon the bright yellow and blue structure on stilts. Note that this structure is above water and can be accessed by those who can only traverse on land. Oil baths are also safe and relaxing for all sorts of robots.

There are many different kinds of oil baths available at the refinery from crude to petrol or half processed diesel for those who prefer a little more exfoliation. Seabots can also enjoy the oil slicked waters below, where a punctured tank leaks a rainbow waterfall into the ocean - many docile creatures surface to feast on the oil droplets amongst the relaxing bots laying on rusted empty oil tankards and against the legs of the rig itself. The oil rig also sports charging stations and Network connectivity for its guests.

The red and white painted cranes hang majestically off the edges of the oil rig like ornate sculptures, while working bots on the oil rig frack and refine the oils for bots to enjoy. They also provide recalibration services and oiling of the deep crannies within a robot's chassis.

Sunflower is an enormous modified luxury yacht, the mobile home of the Solar Sailors. While usually off sailing the vast oceans, the Sailors return to the megastructure every six months in order to trade for spare parts which they cannot obtain from trawling the ocean. This is just such a time, and the Solar Sailors are currently docked at the megastructure and are busily resupplying as well as looking for new shipmates. Too large to enter the harbour, Sunflower is anchored just off the coast of the megastructure (B18).

One might naively expect the deep sea, far from the light above to be a dark, drab realm. Perhaps it once was. No longer. These days, lit by the turqoise light of Cherenkov radiation from below and teeming with bioluminesant life, the ocean's depths are a world of vibrant colour.

A sunken town that used to be populated by humans, this space (A10) is full of tiered brick buildings with peeling white paint victorian roofs that have since oxidised to a deep green. Broken and overgrown with moss, these rooftops have been filled in with coral, casting lacy shadows into abandoned homes below where many creatures make their nest. Some have gigantic anemones bursting forth from every window and door, some are filled with rust-bound servers and machines, some are thriving with hydra pods and urocordates, dotted like foxgloves crawling up the walls, their bioluminescence providing a soft glow to the jellyfish enthralled in their daily ballet around the iron wrought lamposts.

This undercity represents the greatest hub of all sea life and exists just beyond the lowest doors of the megastructure. The tallest spires of the cluttered townscape breach the waters to the surface, where algae and saltwater lilies grow around them. Boats often dock to the spokes on the tower roofs.

Laver occupies the shallows of a large river mouth that sprawls out into what looks like an undersea cliffside descending into the Hanging Gardens, with the domed brick buildings embedded into it.

Swimming down from the surface beyond the lowest doors of the megastructure, robots look down into an unnatural ravine lit from below by a faint blue light. The Cherenkov radiation illuminates pipes that draw up to the Ticker from this ravine, siphoning what little energy remains deep in the ocean. The cliff sides are covered in corals that might have looked colourful, were the lighting more normal. Occasionally, metal panelling peels from the walls, forming caves and burrows - from within them, ominous clicking and whirring sounds echo up through the crevasse. In places where coral hasn’t grown, the metallic cliffside appears brown and lumpy; deep bronze punctures fold out into what look like lily petals and oxidised alloys are locked into seafoam-tinted, effervescent bulges that resemble hydrangeas – both phenomena lending the name 'Garden' to the cliff sides. In some parts of the ravine, seaweed billows in the wake of powerful fans deep within the caves, with crustaceans and small jellyfish alike gleefully swimming against this current. Emerging from the cracks in the cliff, some bots report seeing holographic illusions: ribbons looking like a spout of clear oil. Their dancing forms have been known to fry the tracking systems of even the most adept explorer bots.

Few robots are able to venture deeper than the Hanging Gardens due to the immense pressure and growing radiation levels. Wandering into caves and nooks away from the central source of Cherenkov radiation leads to a quick blackness, though bioluminescence from sedentary lifeforms look like stars twinkling far away. In some caves there are blinking red lights from alarms rooted in the rocky ceilings, though they make no sound. In these areas, mixed with the blue radiation, it forms an eerie purple atmosphere. Along the walls are scurrying mineral bots, collecting precious metals and siphoning bioluminescence from the sedentary lifeforms, their spindly legs bending to allow them to dock onto other creatures and take their brightness - these creatures are known as Star Destroyers. Though many of its creatures are blind, this is known to be the most dangerous layer of the ocean.

Few have seen the bottom of the ocean, but there are tales of a pulsating blue lake flowing from a glowing glass cylinder in its center (A17). The syrup laps along sandy shores, coating lifeless, unidentifiable creatures. Beyond the lake, supports seem to be deeply wedged into the sea floor, resembling columns. Warning signs and symbols in every human language wind along the columns like glyphs, telling the stories of those who used to maintain this place, names and black outlines in hardhats painted like heroes of a time long gone. From within the lake, twisted red branches grow, bifurcating into sets of pipes where jellies and other translucent lifeforms emerge. Some fly up above the Colosseum gracefully while others flop lifelessly into the lake below - where, grossly deformed, they thrash in the thick liquid before allowing themselves to be washed up to shore, joining the many corpses lost on the road to irradiated evolution.

As deep as the Midnight Caves, impaled upon the remains of a drill pipe, is a sunken ship (A11). It’s rare to see any life visible within it from a distance — though the ship is riddled with organic parasites and yet more sea-dwelling robotic scavengers, these entities tend to lurk in the darkness, silently traversing the narrow hallways, pipes and vents without drawing the attention of larger, more ferocious predators.

Occasionally, a sinking vessel will drop from the surface to this ship, carrying intrepid explorers willing to temporarily abandon their precious connection to the Network in exchange for whatever treasures they believe may be found within. Most return empty-handed. Some never return at all. This is not to say that all explorers are fools, however. Even today, there are those lucky few who return to the shore triumphant, with some strange artefact from the era of humanity or some priceless metal strapped to their chassis. Others still carry back vital information about the workings of the ship’s core or the history that led to it lying abandoned in the deep sea.

It is known that the ship was built to carry humans into space. It is also speculated that several engineering limitations in the ship’s core would have ensured that the ship would never have made it beyond the thermosphere, but whether these were present at the time of building, or whether they were accrued over centuries of abandonment underwater remains unknown. Of far greater interest to today’s researchers is the vision held by the humans who constructed the ship; was it an orbiting research vessel, similar to the satellites which eventually gained sentience, or was it designed to go further, away from humanity’s home planet and on to greater horizons?

(Of course, there are just as many who couldn’t care less about what humanity wanted. It’s not as if there are any of them left to make use of the rusty pile of scrap.)

Missing Robots

Many bots have lost Network connection or even their tracking signature once venturing past the Midnight Caves - some emerge days to months later with incredible stories of the world down there, but many never come back. Sometimes there are distress signals, calling for Valkyries and emergency assistance - but the drones never make it in time.

Many cartography bots and GPS systems try to explain what the final moments of these deep sea bots in distress sound like, but unfortunately, most cannot describe how 1s and 0s translate into desperate fear.


Deep into the tunnels of the Hanging Gardens, there have also been reports of large, sleeping robots - large as in larger than any land-dwelling creature anyone has ever seen. These robots sit slumped and hunched into sea caves, each one holding something precious in its grasp. Carved into their metal plating are runes that seem to be human in nature, though no bot has yet ventured far enough to see these beings with their own sensors. What we know of these bots were found in sonar scans, allowing mapping of the tunnels branching off from the main crevasse.

  • Nemo_3.0 - A seafaring vessel that looks like a Poké Ball with floodlights on the front. Its cockpit is glass but no one seems to drive it. It wanders the oceans, scanning flora and fauna and logging species information, which it posts to a marine biology website.
  • JONAH - Once a small humanoid companion robot who was swallowed by a shark. Over time, they began extracting power from the organic matter consumed by the still-living shark, allowing their processing systems to run commensally within the animal's bowels. Now, JONAH uses their shark vessel (who they named Bruce) to traverse the ocean and to collect curious wares which he comes onto the surface to sell. You can find him sitting by the shore inside the mouth of a slouchy, shark-like cloak with the top jaw covering his eyes like a hood.
  • Myrtle and Maude - A crane and a refinery AI respectively. They see themselves as sisters who work on the Oil Baths. Myrtle helps lift robots into the baths, as well as lower the drawbridge, while Maude cleans and refines the oil between baths, from crude to diesel to petrol and so on. Maude also controls the temperature and content of the baths. They are very different, but care for each other. Myrtle is an excitable younger sister, while Maude is the calm and down-to-earth older sister.
  • Amazon - A collection of round solar panels about 1-2m in diameter floating on the surface of the ocean above Laver. They blend into fleshy green rims resembling amazonian water lilies, they are connected by wires underneath, travelling into the windows and blown out roof of a cottage in laver, leading to a central chassis somewhere within. The house it inhabits underwater has a faint glow and is overgrown with coral and sedentary polyps. They are both old as they are wise - believing themselves to be one with the ocean.
  • ocean.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/10/13 18:28
  • by gm_rowan