This is a cliche used in many horror games, but abandoned facilities offer a multitude of creepiness levels. Imagine being stranded on the bottom of the ocean, nobody being alive except some digital scan of former living people, mutant creatures that would chase and kill you once they hear you approaching.
As you continue with the game, you will need to get your hands on a submarine, a DUNBAT model – which could take you into the abyss where the ARK is situated. But things aren’t that easy.
The submarine is quarantined. You need a cipher to unlock it, and you cannot use the computers until you reset the routers. Here is where you encounter the Proxy monster. Genuinely creepy and scary. It is blind, it is fast and it is deadly. You have to move quietly near him or you will encounter your doom.
Proxies are employees who have become mutated by Structure Gel. This mutation results in their upper bodies being bloated, with varicose veins standing out; this bloating has encased the creature’s arms, possibly trapping them. Their bodies are also covered in pustules and tubing. The Proxy’s head is permanently bent slightly backwards by the mutation; it lacks eyes and its facial expression is frozen in a perpetual scream. In contrast to its bulky upper body, the Proxy’s lower body is atrophied; its legs are thin, and it lacks proper feet.
Due to lacking eyes, the Proxy is blind. However, it possesses an acute sense of hearing. It doesn’t react to Simon’s flashlight, but can hear the sound it makes when being turned on and off.
When idle, the Proxy shambles around slowly and aimlessly, but if provoked, it will break into an extremely fast sprint. It is also capable of operating automatic doors.
Due to the areas the Proxies are encountered in being very confining and their fast running speed, it is extremely difficult to outrun an alerted Proxy. The best strategy is to simply crouch and move silently. Additionally, it is possible to take advantage of the Proxy’s keen hearing by throwing props around to lure them to a specific area.
In this level, you see yourself in the mirror for the first time, you discover the living quarters of Catherine and her scanning laboratory, you find out details about the other crew members and you discover that you were a legacy scan of Dr. Munshi who was stored and attached to a body in order to be started in the future. Your body belongs to Catherine’s girlfriend, which she almost says it, but stops and rephrases the sentence.
To obtain the cipher you have to manipulate one of the ARK scans, making him feel comfortable enough to tell you the desired information. After you’ve done that is time to try to access the submarine. And again things get complicated when this machine starts speaking blaming Catherine for the disaster and it launches itself into further depths.
Continuing your journey within Pathos-II, you end up in a laboratory where you find more information about the ARK, a prototype and you can find out how to get on the ARK by running a simulation. A few interesting puzzles can be solved here.
Another interesting part that has a taste of the abandoned flooded spaces from Penumbra is the Theta Maintenance section. You climb ladders, you explore almost unreachable points only to find out that a Proxy was all the way after you. So you cannot travel to the ARK from this point until you’ve reached site Omicron and use an elevator to get further down.
For a full written walkthrough, you can access these links if you have problems in finishing any of the game’s levels.
[next article – S.O.M.A. Guide – Part 4 – Battle for Continuity]