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"Sunless Sea" Walkthrough: Fallen London

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

Sunless Sea owned by Failbetter Games. Images used for educational purposes only.

Sunless Sea owned by Failbetter Games. Images used for educational purposes only.

All good sea voyages begin in port, and in Sunless Sea that port is luxurious Fallen London. Escorted belowground by 'bats' (or so the story goes), Fallen London is the Neath's greatest bastion of human civilization. It's also where you live when you're not zailing the Unterzee in search of terror and profit. This article will help familiarize you with Fallen London, and make the most out of each stay in the city.

General Knowledge

Fallen London is your home. You start here, you return here, you move back and forth from here, you receive your orders here, you do just about everything in the game with the intention of ultimately coming back to Fallen London. Not planning to return to Fallen London is a foolish notion, and will probably get you killed.

Fallen London is the only place where you can have Lodgings, which means it's the only place where you can gain a restful night's sleep. It's also the only place where you can consult with the Admiralty, a good way to collect Echoes, and Supplies and Fuel are much cheaper here. Fallen London also serves as a bastion of safety from Terror: returning to Fallen London will immediately return your Terror to 50, assuming you jumped above 50 to start.

Your Lodgings

Your home is always located in Fallen London. After every voyage to zee you should return to your Lodgings, as there's almost always something waiting for you within. You begin with a Room Above the Blind Helmsman, and if you're willing to spend some money you can upgrade to fancier digs. You can perform the following actions in your Lodgings:

  • Rest. Resting will reduce a small chunk of your Terror. It will also give you Restful Night status, handing for warding off the effects of your Nightmare, and if you've been Wounded you'll get it repaired.
  • Read the news. Check into your Lodgings and you can get one Recent News with this option. You can then pass the News on to someone else while journeying, as many people in the colonies are eager to learn of goings-on in London. You'll occasionally get a bonus Supplies while reading the news.
  • Purchase New Lodgings. This is where you come if you want to upgrade from, say, the Room Above the Blind Helmsman to an Elegant Townhouse. New Lodgings are quite expensive, so expect to spend a fair bit of time at zee before you return home to anything other than nightly rent.
  • Write a Will. Normally if you die in Sunless Sea you'll lose virtually everything you accrued over the course of the game. Writing a Will allows the next character in line to inherit your Lodgings and heirlooms, assuming you died. You need at least an Elegant Townhouse, as well as 200 Echoes, to write a Will.
  • Adorn Your Lodgings With Captivating Treasures. Same idea as the Will, only in this case your money gets passed on. You Need an Ironclad Will, one Captivating Treasure, 10 Echoes, and no more than 11 Heirlooms to perform this task.
  • Convert a Collection of Outlandish Artefacts Into an Heirloom. Another method of passing on the money. In this case, you need the Ironclad Will, no more than 11 Heirlooms, 20 Echoes, and 12 Outlandish Artefacts.
An overview of the player's ship in Sunless Sea.

An overview of the player's ship in Sunless Sea.

  • Write the Zong of the Zee. You will craft an intricate zong based on the many stories you've collected. With the right starting Ambition, this will end the game. The Zong of the Zee requires one Live Specimen, seven Strange Catches, 77 Memories of Distant Shores, 77 Zee-Ztories, 77 Tales of Terror, seven Lamentable Relics, seven Outlandish Artefacts, one Captivating Treasure, 77 Secrets, one A Port Report: Port Cecil, and one A Port Report: Mt Palmerston. Yikes.
  • Consider Retiring from Zeefaring Life. Another win situation. In this case, all you need is either an Elegant Townhouse or a Zeeside mansion. Slightly easier than writing the Zong of the Zee.
  • Collect Your Reward. If you captured any pirate ships while at zee and sent them back with a few of your men . . . and succeeded in your Luck check, mind . . you'll receive a reward of 100 Echoes, as well as the three Crew you sent away. If they nicked the ship instead, well, tough luck, mate.


Much of the action here happens on the streets. Fallen London is full of weird and wonderful stuff, and you can partake of all of 'em if you like.

  • Visit the Admiralty's Survey Office. Here you can undertake commissions for the Admiralty, submit Port Reports, and ultimately speak to the Dark-Spectacled Admiral. We'll address this option below, as completing three Port Reports will turn the visit to the Admiralty into an independent option.
  • Visit the University. Once you have at least a single Secret to share, a scholar working here will welcome you in with eccentric arms. The University becomes an independent option that we'll explore below.
  • Carouse in Wolfstack Docks. Carousing will reduce your Terror by five for a cost of 30 Echoes. You may receive Recent News while Carousing, and if you're lucky you'll find someone to romance. Continue with the romance to gain a Locket with their picture inside.
  • Hire on More Crew. For a modest Hearts challenge and 30 Echoes, you can potentially hire Crew in London, to a maximum of 3 per shot.
  • Put Your Ship in Drydock. Drydock is where you repair your ship after battles.
    • The Leadbeater & Stainrod Shipyard offers the cheapest repairs at 25 of Hull for 15 Echoes, but they may cut corners and potentially screw things up for you down the line.
    • The Cotterell & Hathersage Shipyard does the same job for 30 Echoes without the additional risk.
    • The Admiralty Yards will offer the same services for 20 Echoes and five Admiralty's Favours, which, I think, is kind of a ripoff.
    • Last, you can Employ rattus faber engineers to repair your ship, but the results are unpredictable - and they'll eat every bit of Supplies you have, to a minimum of 10. Not the greatest idea, and you can't use them if you have a Wretched Mog aboard.
The player visits the Dark-Spectacled Admiral in Sunless Sea.

The player visits the Dark-Spectacled Admiral in Sunless Sea.

  • Offer Passage to Tomb-Colonists. Each time you use this option you'll gain three Tomb-Colonists, and it'll be your duty to escort them to Venderbight in the north. You'll gain 15 Echoes for each Tomb-Colonist successfully escorted. Easy pay if you're headed that direction, but the Tomb-Colonists will occasionally cause trouble and eat your Supplies along the way. If you do this, make Venderbight your first stop.
  • A New Recruit! Fallen London is by far the best place to recruit new Officers, and this is the option to do it. You'll gain a listing of Officers currently available for hire, as well as the option to hire a single, normal Crew for five Echoes. Try to pick up new Officers whenever you hit London (assuming, of course, you can pay their fee), as this option is only available after you've spent some time at zee.

The Dark-Spectacled Admiral

After completing a few missions for the Admiralty of London you'll gain undisputed access to the Dark-Spectacled Admiral, the closest thing to a leader in Fallen London. Though sinister, the Admiral offers a number of lucrative deals. They are as follows:

  • Ask What He Needs. If you don't already have a commission, the Admiral will send you out to a remote port for Strategic Information. Return with said Information for a hefty prize, typically 150 Echoes. If you do have a commission you'll get a generic message outlining his desires.
  • Submit Your Port Reports. Each time you visit a port and don't have a matching Port Report for the location, you can gather intelligence. Return to the Admiralty with these Reports for a small reward. The more remote the location, the higher your reward. Not a fantastic money-maker, but if you're at zee already anyway . . .
  • Submit a Revelatory Chart. I have not found one yet. When I do, I'll update this!
  • Speak of Moves in the Great Game. Same here. Update pending.
The player encounters the Blind Bruiser in Sunless Sea.

The player encounters the Blind Bruiser in Sunless Sea.

The Alarming Scholar

Rather a strange fellow/madame, the Alarming Scholar will give you Echoes in exchange for Secrets, stories, Artefacts, and other weird tidbits you'll pick up on your journey. You need at least one Secret to access the Alarming Scholar. This article covers some of the details regarding the Alarming Scholar, and what he/she wants.

A Little Gift

After setting out from Fallen London once you'll discover a one-eyed man waiting for you at the port when you return. He'll offer five Supplies and ten Fuel, then heads off with a grin, telling you to someday visit his master at the Medusa's Head. Seems sketchy . . .

. . . and it is. The next time you hit Fallen London he'll have a request from his master that will send you to a distant port to deliver some cargo. Come back without having delivered the cargo and you'll be in for a rather nasty surprise. In essence, this little quest line can make your return trips to Fallen London perilous indeed, and should not be undertaken lightly. Check out this article for more details on the Blind Bruiser, purveyor (but not architect) of this quest.

Other Tidbits

All that aside, Fallen London is also home to a liberal number of shops:

  • Bultitude's House of Vision. A lovely little shop that carries equipment for your ship, specifically stuff that increases your Mirrors score. Very handy for combative characters.
  • Caminus Yards. A small shipyard that carries Rattus Faber Assistants, as well as some heavy-duty firepower.
  • Carrow's Naval Surplus. A larger shop that offers a wide range of weaponry. Expect to come here often if you like to fight.
  • Mrs. Plenty's Shipside Provisioners. A small, simple shop that offers Supplies, Fuel, and Foxfire Candles. Expect to visit this place almost every time you make port in Fallen London.
  • Wolfstack Exchange. Here you can buy and sell a large number of items. Occasionally they fit into challenge or event parameters, but this place is mostly useful for getting rid of cargo in exchange for Echoes.
  • The Iron & Misery Company. In a word: Engines. When you want more powerful Engines, this is the place to visit.

You can also visit the Shipyard in London and exchange your current ship for a newer model . . . though expect to pay through the nose for the privilege. Be warned, too, that the cheaper ships available aren't necessarily better than your starting vessel. Compare stats carefully before making a purchase.

And that, folks, is Fallen London. Hurrah! Is there more to see and do here? No doubt, no doubt, but you'll have to explore the rest of the world to unlock the depths of London's secrets . . .