Afraid of the depths and got into Subnautica. History.

Masochism in its glory.

People have different emotional responses to everything around them. Some can look at bloody uncensored dismemberment without any tangible problems, some may vomit from such explicit footage. Somebody gets scared for a character in a movie who plunges into the deep sea realm. It becomes so scary that it makes the viewer want to turn off the movie. I include myself in the latter described group as my emotional response to depths is hard to call normal. My "strong" relationship with water began in deep childhood and continued to evolve until I learned to swim better than an axe. The residue from my childhood years remained. I wanted to take advantage of it and look at myself and my perception of depth, but not while watching a movie, following a certain character, but in a game where the perception of what's going on is much higher. And that game is Subnautica.

Batophobia. Personal perception.

Fear of the depths (bathophobia) is that you have thoughts in your head about the depths, those unpleasant and scary nasties that can live there and just fear of the uncharted sea abyss. Such a reaction to the friendly water in most cases is caused by childhood trauma from too deep familiarity with it. Some sources say that phobias can be inherited without any mental trauma, but my case is exactly connected with bright childhood experiences. Unlike one of my relatives with phobia of depth I don't feel uncomfortable watching e.g. Jaws or educational shows about underwater world. I'm also not afraid of the bodies of water themselves. Swimming in the local river, the only thing I experience is a little tension coupled with a little fear when trying to swim to the buoy. I don't experience uncontrollable panic when I get my feet caught in the seaweed. It can be creepy and a little scary, but I control myself.
And then recently, I find out about Subnautic. I have a lot of interest in finding out how I will feel in a game that is all about exploring the deep sea. The experience was unforgettable.

The rule of 150 meters.

The game begins by taking you to a planet covered in ocean. All you see in the first few minutes is your escape pod and an incredibly huge spaceship that has been hit and is about to explode. You are left to your own devices as everything tells you that you are the only survivor. Explore, build, explore and get out of here. The first attempts at exploring the local flora and fauna are interesting and safe. Without hands-on experience, it's clear who the predator is and who you can eat yourself, because your character is hungry too.

The underwater world was explored at a leisurely pace. Unable and unwilling to go below 150 meters, I explored almost everything within that limit and learned that there is a story here. There is no narrative as such, but occasionally the game throws you points of interest, thereby forcing you to explore the world in depth and breadth. Over time, this plot pushes you directly to discover a strange island and gives you a hint that there's a second one just like it. Thanks to my extraordinary observation I determined where it could be, gathered my resolve into a fist, took my glider with me to speed up my movement in the water, and set off on a journey towards the unnatural fog, not knowing if the target I was looking for was there.
And here I am at the distance of one kilometer from my comfortable and safe base and I see an unnatural fog in front of me that does not want to get closer, the battery in the glider starts to run out and I have not made any food reserves. At such an inopportune moment a genius idea occurs to me - to look down in the hope to see something interesting or useful down there... Without a second thought I lower my head and realize that I can not see the bottom. I can't see anything at all! Only darkness. In a couple of seconds I consider whether to swim to the island fighting the looming fear or to return back to the comfort of my base, to get ready and to reach the destination with a clear mind. No sooner do I choose the lesser of two evils, the island begins to reveal itself through the unfortunate fog. A sigh of relief. I am about to land, but another curiosity begins to overpower me. It's an island, so it must be shallow around it, but a few seconds ago I couldn't see the bottom. It took me a moment to see - it' s floating. Since an entire island could float, what could live beneath it? The fear, which was almost gone, began to attack sharply from all sides, and all because of the unstoppable thoughts of what creatures could be down there... But as I set foot on the ground - all thoughts and fears fade away.
Getting back down didn't cause much of a problem. I understood that I had to go only 400 meters and then the next step would be the section I had explored. Everything is calm there; I know who and what is there. There's nothing to worry about.

There's nothing to worry about if...

My next contrived objective was to explore the sea space around the wrecked ship called the Aurora. The size of this spacecraft was about 500 meters in length and about ten times less in width and height. Since the terrain on the Aurora's port side was no deeper than 150 meters, I explored it in those first ten hours of play, but the most interesting part was behind the engine and on the starboard side. Out of this contrived mission came an entire expedition. This time I took provisions, water, batteries, and a good old glider. Sailed up to the Aurora, combed the port side once more and headed towards the engine. The view there turned out to be terrible. It was like a constant sandstorm with only a submarine, but I made out the crater and decided at first glance that it wasn't deep and it was within my range of 150 meters. I can make it. And then there are loud scary and warning sounds. I get curious. It makes sense that there should be a dangerous and interesting predator near a ship that gives off little radiation. Maybe even a boss. And here Leviathan is in front of me, fifty meters long, with big and incomprehensible sharp grip in front of his jaw in the form of hands with one pointed finger, he swims out from somewhere from the depths, the bottom of which I can not see because of the sands, makes the same terrifying and simultaneously warning roar and swims away from me... At that moment I was frightened and admired, it was graceful and beautiful, but as if deliberately as if by a script. Trying to understand this pleasant mishmash of my own sensations, I noticed that I slowly staggered back towards my base and those scary noises were gone. It's really gone. I thought so ...

I give myself time to lose excitement from the first meeting with leviathan and to explore less dangerous nooks and crannies and the next day, having calmed down completely, to repeat the expedition


The order of actions has not changed at all. I also take water, food, glider and batteries. I return to the place of the meeting with the giant and I hear... Silence. No more screams of warning. He's definitely sailed away and that was evident from his animation last time. I tentatively start to descend into the crater and... Indeed. Nothing's happening. The engine is to my left. I turn my head in its direction to understand the distance and I hear a scream. The same scream that climbs into my ears and says "run". Not listening to the warnings that are climbing into my ears, I immediately turn my head back, and this monster is already in front of me literally at arm's length. It reaches out to me with its sharp grip, screaming and threatening, but the panic that has taken over my consciousness takes control and makes me turn around and swim the hell out of here. I can't even manage to turn sideways. Leviathan grabs me, throws two punches and lets me go for fun. He wants to play, but I don't. I manage to turn around and hit the damn W button. I press it like I've never pressed it in Need for Speed. Without looking back, I make it to the base and realize that the creepy thing didn't even try to chase me. But that doesn't make up for the experience in the slightest. The whole thing happened in a couple of seconds, but at that moment it seemed to last an eternity. After an unforgettable rendezvous a kind of burning sensation mixed with fear remains, and I understand that all that remains in my memory is the arrival at the meeting place and the meeting itself. What happened afterwards I do not remember. I think I was waving my arm trying to swim faster, I think I shouted when the leviathan appeared, I am not sure if it has actually grabbed me or if it has simply swum past. It's all a fractured memory in flashes, like an experienced dream, and I'm trying to make sense of the timeline and starting to make something up to make it all coincide.
The next run into the game wasn't until a week later.

To get off this soggy planet we need to get even lower. It's not about 150 meters, it's about 1.5 thousand kilometers, but alas and alas again. I realized that when a character is protected, such as in a small bathyscaphe or a large and cool-looking robot walking on the bottom, then no matter how grandiose and creepy it is around - don't care. Just swoop in one at a time. Not scary at all. Anything bigger and scarier than a leviathan? I'm in the robot with a drill in my hand. Come and talk to me. And after an unforgettable meeting with leviathan my courage was enough only to study it from a safe distance with the help of controlled cameras. And only after the second such study I could swim close to it in the bathyscaphe and look at it from a safe distance. Though, the Leviathan I studied later was different, and I have never said goodbye to the first acquaintance, even before flying away from this damned planet. And didn't go there at all after what happened.
What was behind the engine and on the starboard side of the Aurora I never found out. games, subnautica Write a comment Total comments: 12