Down Below presents another hunting environment, very different from the environments of Jungles and Breaches. Vaguely similar to original D&D and Rogue, it is a maze of passages aligned to the 4 compass points. The monsters, known colloquially as Foebots, roam the passages and fight you upon contact. When you are high enough level, you will get a distraction from The Watcher giving you a quest. At that time, the entrance the the Intriguing Hole in the Ground will not be closed to you. When you enter you will be in a choose-your-own-adventure story in a small section of maze, and will learn something of what is Down Below. Report to the Watcher.1)
The next time you enter, you will receive a pamphlet, and then you enter the actual maze and can begin swatting Foebots. The pamphlet is cheaply-printed and flimsy, and reads:
What we know about Down Below
The caverns beneath the Island are labyrinthine, dangerous, and not for new Contestants. This pamphlet explains what we know about them so far.
Time and space Down Below
Each Outpost has its own entrance to the labyrinth. The position of Outposts above bears no relation to the position of Outposts below. It is sometimes possible to enter the labyrinth from NewHome, walk a handful of feet, go down one level and exit in AceHigh. Furthermore, the positions of Outposts can change day by day, and various levels of the labyrinth may shift their walls around at midnight.2)
NewHome is the only Outpost that does not change position, existing always at the upper level of the labyrinth. FoeBots at the upper level are weaker than ones further below. Openings in Outposts apart from NewHome may enter the labyrinth at extremely dangerous levels, and should be treated with caution.
Combat Down Below
Down Below is filled with FoeBots; mechanical beasts with painful electrical stunners. Their complexity and capabilities increase as you descend the levels of the labyrinth.
FoeBots are immune to monster repellent spray and ZAP grenades. The use of BANG and WHOOMPH grenades is unavailable in combat, due to the fragile nature of the labyrinth walls and the possibility for cave-ins - however, BANG grenades can be used outside of combat situations to strategically destroy walls, and WHOOMPH grenades can be used to block the advance of FoeBots.
Helping and hindering forces
While Down Below, it is important to map your progress. Paper, a pencil, and a drawing pin to mark your current position will suffice. Some unknown force will also mark your map with the locations of useful items, level entrances and exits, and even the current locations of FoeBots, if they are in or near to a position you've previously explored.
Whatever force allows you to heal overnight above the Island is not present Down Below. Furthermore, One-Shot Teleporters cannot lock onto a signal underground. If you get knocked out, you will be unable to move until you are ejected from the labyrinth, or until a fellow Contestant helps you escape. If nobody helps you escape, then each time you sleep,3) an unknown force will raise you one level in the labyrinth, until such time as you reach a level with an Outpost entrance.4) When that happens, you will be ejected from the labyrinth and escorted to the Retraining Vessel.5)
In short, it is far more important to fight conservatively Down Below, as the consequences of loss are far greater.
Rewards Down Below
Useful items, Requisition, and Cigarettes can be found Down Below. In addition, you will be scored, per level, one point per monster killed, multiplied by the number of square meters explored, multiplied by the level of the maze. Scores are invalidated if you get knocked out - scores only become valid for Hall Of Fame purposes if you exit the labyrinth conscious and unaided. You will be rewarded for any useful parts of destroyed FoeBots you manage to bring back to the surface. You probably won't have time to pick up every piece of scrap, so choose carefully what you decide to bring back with you.
We hope that you have found this pamphlet helpful.
The scene posted below contains spoilers for the end of the story surrounding your initial exploration of Down Below.
If you have not done this quest line yet, you may want to wait to read this!
The first time you exit the actual maze (after receiving the pamphlet), you will be told 6):
You see a sign posted on the noticeboard, with a handful of people gathered around it:
LET IT BE KNOWN
The tunnels beneath Improbable Island are filled with dangerous machines that we will call, for want of a better term, FoeBots. These machines were programmed by person or persons unknown to torture and kill the KittyMorph contestants Denko and Jouta. The Watcher is seeking volunteers to head down below and destroy as many of these machines as possible.
Due to health and safety concerns, Retraining Personnel will not venture Down Below. If you are knocked out while Below, you will have to have a friend drag you out. Whatever energy exists on the Island that allows you to heal broken bones overnight does not work while Below - you will wake up still injured and immobilized, and at the mercy of fellow Contestants. In short, do not get knocked out.
We are now officially at war with the FoeBots.
Things are different Down Below. Some things on your bandoleer will be unavailable in combat (e.g. teleporters, grenades). Some things in your inventory can't be used (e.g. cooking pan), and some now have use buttons (e.g. Bang and Whoomph grenades). Many buffs work (e.g. clan aura, candy, monster repellent spray (if applied before entering), cookies, maybe others ), but we haven't tested everything. Same for implants. Update this entry with your discoveries.
New Days won't affect you (for better or worse) while you are conscious, and when you exit you will experience one New Day if any were missed while Down Below. When you are knocked out, New Days move you as discussed above 7)
It is unclear whether the combat algorithm is in fact different from jungle fighting. Read the detailed combat reports; maybe you can figure it out and report here.
Foebots will move while you are fighting one, so you may have to fight several before you get to recover.