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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #1
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.

A friendly link for this thread: http://bit.ly/follow_the_ARG

The Short Story of the PotatoFools ARG

A marvelous journey through all the hidden clues and how they were discovered

(Yes this is the shortest it will get. Unfortunately, this ARG is more complicated than INCEPTION and very much like the String Theory. Fortunately, like INCEPTION you will remain on the edge of your seat and unlike the string theory, this ARG is indeed explainable.)

First off, an ARG is an Alternative Reality Game, not augmented but Alternative. It uses a real world context to solve puzzles using a community based group to eventually lead to a bigger goal. In this case we don't know what the goal is... yet. Second off, it seems that a lot of people are thoroughly confused as to what is going on with this PotatoFools ARG. It is not your fault. The past few days have been none the less very perplexing for a lot of us. I will attempt, in my best efforts to do three things in this thread:

1.) Attempt to plug Steam User's own podcast. Listen to the Steamcast Podcast (especially not yet released episode 56 and 57) and I will explain everything in a chronological order.

2.) To combine all the info that is out there into one central thread for your viewing and reading pleasure.

3.) Dismiss all the Red Herrings. i.e. Fake theories.


Table of Contents
Some things you should know. This includes some relevant and irrelevant theories that have been discredited and many important links.
Chapter 1: It Begins
How we discovered the #PotatoFools_ARG was related to the Potato Pack.
Chapter 2: Defecation had now hit the Oscillation
The clues that were found in Amnesia had us now chasing the other 12 games for clues.
Chapter 3: The Intervention
The discovery of Sandy and her blog and how Razer (The Hardware Makers) led us on.
Chapter 4: The Circle Jerk
The clues in the 13 games finally lead to more puzzles in the form of Tiny URLs and Ciphers.
Chapter 5: Razer you cheeky little bastards
Razer's involvement in the ARG in full detail.
Chapter 6: They are watching us.
Describes the creepy events that led us to believe that the ARG crackers were being watched very closely.
Chapter 7: May or May Not be Fictional
Describes Sandy and the fictional characters in this ARG.
Chapter 8: You missed a Spot
How Valve kept us busy for several days with Aperture Science Login Screen, Gabe's SuperColliding SuperImage, mysterious Emails and old school Morse Code.
Chapter 9: The Console tried to console us
The method and the madness behind the Console in Defense Grid: The Awakening.
Chapter 10: Buried Treasure
There were secret goodies buried in game and we were politely asked to map the entire length of Seattle's street.
Chapter 11: Set Phasers to three
Third phase of the operations began on April 11th bring in more puzzles to solve.
Note: All the latest additions are in green.



Red Herrings
  • Anything and everything with the Youtube account RubeTUberson has been deemed fake at this point.

  • Concept art. You maybe familiar with this concept art on Valve's wall. The water mark on the top right corner resembles closely to the individual in the Portal 2 trailer (specifically Frame 944). The lead has been discredited.

  • VVVVV. The link to VVVVV has been discredited as it does not belong to the original 13 games in the Potato Sack Pack.

  • The new TF2 Potato hat reveal secret images on all the maps. The hats light up at certain parts of the map. The hats have Red Black Mesa and Blue Aperture Science logos duct taped on it. ALL OF THIS IS FALSE. TF2 has nothing to with this. No map files were updated. Only the .ain (AI Navigation) files were updated. We have searched through and through TF2 and there is nothing in there. The Potato Hat is just a prize for people who bought the Potato Sack.

  • http://www.aperturescience.com has changed. NO it hasn't. It is still the same as it was in December.

  • P O r T A l T w O: The letters in potato come from Portal 2. Seriously, you are stupid. This badge has started to appear on certain people's Team Fortress 2 profiles.

  • Geoff Keighley. It was also believed that Geoff Keighley resembles the individual in here. The solution was to watch and wait for the new Portal 2 footage on Thursday being revealed on GTTV. [->] (Thanks SlipperyWhenWet for the twitter link) This however did not lead to any clues. The video of the episode is here.

Discredited Game References

Half Life 2: Episode 3
  • The word 1973 was dropped in and is believed to be Gordon Freeman's birth year along with the year when Aperture Science stopped manufacturing shower curtains but was later discredited.
  • The Half Life references on http://sarahfincher.com/ are purely coincidental. It is an ARG but isolated from all of this.
  • There was a Black Mesa Logo under the ducktape of the Red Potato Hat in TF2. It has been discredited.
  • The image of the combine advisor was popping up in the 13 games of the Potato Sack. This was a troll on Facepunch forums.
  • This concept art found in Amnesia DOES NOT refer to D0G from Half Life or anything from HL Universe. This is simply Amnesia developers being creepy and trying to give us more clues.

  • No Reference

Debatable Theories

It is being believed at the moment that the reference to Bathysphere/Diving Bell from the Portal 2 comic has a link to Gabe Newell's SuperColliding SuperImage.

Useful Links

Useful Links that are part of the ARG

Sandy's blog.
Sandymayormaynotbefictional. Note: the blog posts that were there yesterday have been removed but are archived here.

Official Twitters:
Hubert Uberson
Rube Uberson

Official Youtube:
LLLLongJumper aka Steve the Racooon

LLLLongJumper aka Steve the Racooon


Chapter 1: It Begins

April 1st 2011

The #PotatoFools update was released and a 13 game indie pack called the Potato Sack was announced. It was also announced that there will be a hat in TF2 and it will be released on April 5th. Some people were skeptical whether this #PotatoFools reference had any deeper meaning but there were some who were sure. LordNed, Leveraged and CommandHat, who are currently active ARG Players in #valvearg2 chat room, established several forms of communication for people to relay the recent developments. LordNed set up the IRC Channel(#valvearg2) while Leveraged and CommandHat established the ARG_Wiki.

April 1st to April 5th 2011

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

During this period people started discovering clues in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The game had potatoes on the ground as a reference. The first one was a poem and every line in the poem was a reference:

we must hurry it's not too late Ref: Rush (game)
what will that perfect sphere bring Ref: The Ball (game)
it will be the end of everything Ref: The Wonderful End of the World (game)
the tattered yellow king shall dethrone Ref: Toki Tori or possibly Bit Trip Beat (game)
the pipers will call for us to dance Ref: Audiosurf or Bit Trip Beat (game)
death shall move across the floor Ref: Killing Floor (game)
they who burrow waits beneath
the skinless one is waking Ref: Super Meat Boy (game)
climb the highest tower Ref: AaaAaaA (game)
it will be again, its coming Defense Grid (game)
from beyond it comes Ref: Amnesia (game)
through the gates Ref: Portal (game)
suffer the trial Ref: Figure out this damn ARG (game)
stay alive Ref: Portal (game)
Liar! Alias does too use dust as a sore muse

This naturally made people suspicious and people started to explore the textures and this new level that was added to Amnesia. These hieroglyphs and this message was discovered. [->]
- The hieroglyphs: This was to soon become an important part in linking the other 12 games of the potato pack. Here is a clear image of the hieroglyphs.
- The Message: Looks familiar? It should. It is the last line of the poem mentioned above. This will soon become a part of 13 ciphers that would be found in the other games.
Chapter 2: Defecation had now hit the Oscillation

The Wonderful End of The World

If you notice the Third Row and Second column of the glyphs in Amnesia you will see that it leads to the game The Wonderful End of The World.

People now jumped to TWeoTW and while playing the game. Three messages would randomly pop up in game with a loud alarm noise.

Message One
Message Two
Message Three

Notice they all end in the following:

Albert Gratin: CONT'D at CrimeFlyerIntimidator.
Don O'Leary: CONT'D at CrimeFlyerPuncher
Eric Williams Borst: CONT'D at CrimeFlyerInventor

It was later figured out that these are t1nyurls (damn censor) so the following addresses emerged. Since t1nyurl is censored I will redirect you to the link they were redirecting to. You can do so yourself by www.t1nyurl.com/XxxxXxxXxxx

CrimeFlyerIntimidator [tiny->]
CrimeFlyerPuncher [tiny->]
CrimeFlyerInventor [tiny->]

The video was a link to Amnesia. You can see the eye symbol resembling the Amnesia logo. At this point it had become a nice circle jerk. But none the less another clue emerged inside the video. This was found.

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy was next to receive the our cynical eyes. During game play players started to notice a funny symbol. Also Super Meat Boy had now become Super Potato Boy. Charming. This naturally lead some people to explode everything in the game which revealed this texture. A new link has now been discovered - AudioSurf


AudioSurf was a bit of an issue. The Song "...And Potatoes..." which was released on Super Meat Boy's 2CD Deluxe Soundtrack was possibly thought to have linked to the ARG. People tried playing the song "...And Potatoes..." in AudioSurf to no avail. Finally, it was discovered if you were to play Battle of Little Slugger in AudioSurf you would be greeted with a giant Potato at the end of the level. On it was this symbol. What does that symbol and this have in common? They both belonged to the game Rush.


RUSH had now gone haywire and in game you would see flying potatoes. The potato had this symbol on it. The potato skin also revealed some interesting symbols. At this point though Killing Floor was the next clue.

Killing Floor

Killing Floor was a time sensitive puzzle because on April 4th this text popped up in-game. The numbers translate to:

cLearlY, there are no more clues to be found zero reasons exIst to contiNue to lurch internally,
surely, just "Googling around" is beTter than "playing" fOr YOUr pure research

and if you took the capital letters it forms: LYING TO YOU. But this wasn't the juice. On the character Scrully another clue had been discovered. This linked to the game The Ball. [->]

The Ball

The Ball was now referencing to Defense Grid. [->]

Defense Grid: The Awakening

In Defense Grid's menu, the D and G were replaced with two symbols. The top symbol was quickly associated to Aaaa Disregard for Gravity. The bottom symbol, however was initially thought to be a worker's arm from Portal as stated on the image but was later found to be a part of a slider puzzle which I will discuss later.

Chapter 3: The Intervention

It is apparent that these discoveries were now occurring on an individual and non chronological basis. Amidst all of this someone found something in the game 1..2..3..Kick It!

When you play Kick It for the first time (uninstall and reinstall if you've played before, or just delete the one map in the maps folder, and verify the files), you can find a secret level by starting to play and hitting escape at the song selection screen. As you get more score in the level, a percentage increases at the bottom of the screen and a message starts revealing itself slowly. When you hit 100%, you get the message "SANDYMAYORMAYNOTBEFICTIONAL," which leads to Sandy's blog: Sandymayormaynotbefictional

Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.

Another link was discovered between peripheral makers Razer. If you had launched the game using a Razer mouse or had other Razer peripherals connected the game would display "Cult of Razer" and "83 69 67 82 69 84 77 69 83 83 65 71 69", which translates to "SECRETMESSAGE" in the game. Deejoban was emailed and asked about this message:


I am expecting that too. Don't let me down, man!
Have a great day,

Ichiro Lambe
Dejobaan Games

On Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM, Chaz xxxxxxx <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com> wrote:
I was expecting a much better secret message than "SECRETMESSAGE".
and a further reply

> There really is no point to this, is there?

I really can't say any more, Chaz.


Ichiro Lambe
Dejobaan Games
Razer has its own puzzle going on which I will discuss later. Anyways, lets get back on track. In Sandy's blog. A fellow name Steve the Racoon was mentioned who said this in his youtube acount:

Okay so I think I did this right. http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k587/LLLLongJumper/whatisthis.png is this egg picture. They draw it next to a bunch of V's but maybe they're trying to draw an anarchy symbol and they're just stupid. Anyone know what this thing is? I see it like six times on my morning commute, which isn't that long.
But obviously the link is broken but a quick search lead to this and gave the next clue which was the game Toki Tori.

Toki Tori

Toki Tori was a one of a kind because you had to travel to a location to find the next clue..... in Netherlands. Toki Tori had now been potatowned. If you were to create a new profile with #PotatoFoolsDay or Potato as your name 3 test levels were unlocked. They each had 3 individual intro text.

Text 1 This is a Portal reference. "Shower curtains".
Text 2
Text 3

The first two while important were not as important as the third one. Look here and if you notice something funny. No? Alright i will give you a hint: Braille. Still nothing? The level has numbers encoded in Braille. The numbers translate to 52.1520 on the right, and 05.3860 on the bottom. These are co-ordinates to the Two Tribes studio in Netherlands. Only thing left now was for someone to travel there and explore... and someone did.

Jake_R decided to venture to the studios and completed the puzzle for us. Check out his video here. Three things were discovered:

Thing 1: This phrase will come back to help us in the Ciphers section. Keep reading.
Thing 2: Its the letter W associated with this next glyph. Will explain this when this circle jerk is complete.
Thing 3: This was our next clue. It led us to the game Cogs.

JAKE had bought some potatoes for the guys at Two Tribes but apparently they were closed so he left them. Two Tribes later confirmed that they had received the potatoes. When walking out of the place he noticed a different bag of potatoes with an arrow pointing upwards. Which led to this being discovered. It has been speculated whether that is a headcrab or.. um.. a potatocrab but current theories have been discredited. This snooping event by JAKE_R would later come back to haunt us (and JAKE_R).


Cogs was the game to complete the circle jerk. If you entered "potato" the main screen triggers a chime sound effect and unlocked a level called "<Test>".

Every time a <Test> level is completed, the score given is lower. The longer Cogs runs, the lower the score gets. By leaving Cogs running for over an hour, the score given dropped to zero and instead of getting the regular message, it shows this message. The Symbol on the left is referring to BIT.TRIP BEAT whereas the symbol on the right is referring to 1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It!

1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It

The chain was complete because if we backtrack now, we and see that Sandy's blog was found through an in game clue in 1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It! (Check Chapter 7: Sandy) and the blog along with the CrimeFlyerIntimidator[->] lead us to discover the Youtube video by HubertUberson and it contained references to the Amnesia logo (the eye) and Super Meat Boy.

The following chain was roughly formed:

Amnesia → Wonderful End of the World → Super Meat Boy → Audiosurf → RUSH → Killing Floor → The Ball → Defense Grid → AaAaAA!!! → Toki Tori → Cogs → 1... 2... 3... KICK IT! → Amnesia

A visual depiction.

Chapter 4: The Circle Jerk

Now not everything in this story is linear and it will get confusing so stay with me. In the image above you will notice that people tried to associate letters to the glyphs. These letter were in and around the glyphs in the game and that's how they were discovered.

The Tiny URLs

The tiny URLs came into existence when it was discovered that when you kissed potatoes that drop from a potato spawner it would give you various Potato facts:

Fact: There are more potatoes than people in Idaho.
Fact: Bolos can be made with llama gut and potato.
Fact: Only silver bullets can kill a Werepotato.
Fact: Potatoes originally came from Antarctica.
Fact: SteveSaysOcelot SteveSaysJellyfish ProcyProxyManatee ProcyProxyMantis.
Fact: Raw potato stamps are delicious AND non-toxic. Mostly.
Fact: Potatoes can reach 8 metric tons in zero G.
Fact: Architects begin by playing with mashed potatoes.
Fact: Some potatoes can talk, but choose not to.
Fact: A potato buried underneath the full moon cures warts.
Fact: Boise is known as the big potato.
Fact: It's easy (and fun!) to mistake old potatoes for coprolites.
Fact: One in 100,000 potatoes has a soul.
Fact: Only 25% of potatoes contain actual toes.
Fact: You are never more than 3 feet from a potato.
Fact: Any two potatoes can define a line segment.
It quickly became apparent that Fact: SteveSaysOcelot SteveSaysJellyfish ProcyProxyManatee ProcyProxyMantis didn't fit the bill. We were perplexed as to what to be done with these phrases. A quote from Sandy's blog soon helped us out.
Just got an email from Steve. He included like fifteen links and he hid them all behind url shorteners.
I hate it when he does that. At least half of them will just be his idea of jokes.
We were in on it. They were t1nyurl links. SteveSaysOcelot[->] linked to Steve the Racoon's Youtube account and a video of him play AaaAaaa. The plot thickened. SteveSaysJellyfish[->] ProcyProxyManatee[->] ProcyProxyMantis[->] all lead to unlisted videos on LLLLongJumper's account.

If you watched SteveSaysJellyfish[->] carefully you'd notice that there are billboards. Here is how it worked:

SteveSaysJellyfish[->] (refereed to Kestrel and Ape)
ProcyProxyManatee[->] (Referred to Cricket and Muskrat. So on and so forth...)
ProcyProxyHuman[->] (Believed to be found by randomly punching different "animals" for the last variable.)

So what about the other 3? Well we don't know yet. These are all the unconfirmed URLs we found via random keyboard mashing.

If you watch these videos carefully you will notice that there are grid boxes with missing letters in them. These grids have been more or less arranged by Nikola_T to this create the phrase: Lo-fi wave tossed! It is a sad hoop game.

This phrase would come back to us and slap us in the face shortly.


Lets backtrack to this little circle jerk here:

Amnesia → Wonderful End of the World → Super Meat Boy → Audiosurf → RUSH → Killing Floor → The Ball → Defense Grid → AaAaAA!!! → Toki Tori → Cogs → 1... 2... 3... KICK IT! → Amnesia

As I mentioned before there certain letters were discovered near the Glyphs in every game. Disregard the green potato. I will explain that under the Razer section shortly.

The number 16 has a high regard for this ARG mainly because the grid first discovered in Amnesia was a 4x4 block. This was a skeptical theory at first but when the last line of the poem was closely looked at it revealed that if you remove all the vowels the sentence: Liar! Alias does too use dust as a sore muse would translate to: lrlsdstsdstssrms and it had 16 consonants. We were again skeptical and thought that maybe we are thinking too much. But that was about to change.

Next up was the discovery of Oil you above eyes. So, be bossy! A hobo yam? from Rube T. Uberson's twitter. Who is this fella? You don't need to know that right now I will explain that later. This was relating to The Wonderful End of the World and translated to the following: lybvyssbbssyhbym which was also composed of 16 letter consonants. We were now thoroughly convinced.

Next up, Super Meat Boy. The game received a new world called Super Meat World, which allows users to download level packs. The top one is called Super Potato Boy and its levels form the following sentence: Data issued teases due to kid hair aroma which translates to: dtssdtssdtkdhrrm.

Tire & rope; tie self. Too irate, so I eat a sheep was a tip added to the random tip in AudioSurf. Translates to: trrptslftrtstshp

If you clicked on the potato at the level select screen in RUSH the following messaged appeared 6teen dot data. Ovened a hot nut, no hen which translates to tndtdtvndhtntnhn.

When Killing Floor got the #PotatoFools update it changed all its character's descriptions.

Agent_Wilkes="Imma monkey fightin killin machine up in this monday through friday place."

Corporal_Lewis="Summer Solstice"


Dr_Gary_Glover="A132 - 417"

FoundryWorker_Aldridge="I wonder what it says on my wrench."

LanceCorporal_Lee_Baron="Where'd I put that box of bomb parts?"

Lieutenant_Masterson="Has anyone noticed I'm in every game that Tripwire makes?"

Mike_Noble="Has been known to say while reloading "Can't you see the Answer is always 42""

Mr_Foster="I said, "One's sofa have deep counts," as I die."

Police_Constable_Briar="My favorite color is Yelowwwwwwwwwwww"

Police_Sergeant_Davin="So apparently the end of the world isn't all it was cracked up to be."

Private_Schnieder="Ah off."

Security_Officer_Thorne="Rawr, rawr rawr."

Sergeant_Powers="In search of a caravan and some dags to live out his life in peace"

Harold_Hunt="A current member of the A-Team."

Kerry_Fitzpatrick="Where the wind blows, far two east settles the mind."

Trooper_Clive_Jenkins="35 short ones for an Irish meal."

Paramedic_Alfred_Anderson="41 6c 69 65 6e 20 38 20 49 74 2e 20 32 30 37 34 20 2d 34 36 32 39 20 31 37"

Harchier_Spebbington="Ask Hey Vie"

Reverend_Alberts="Kenny Rogers? Is that you?"

Chopper_Harris="Two world wars, one world cup."

Kevo_Chav="Hit Tom. Kiss Ace!"

Captian_Wiggins="What's old, Brittish and farts a lot?"

Pyro_Blue="Oh great, a TF2 tie-in."

Pyro_Red="Red > Blue"

Baddest_Santa="If you can read this, you're probably an achievement . Just sayin'."
People finally and excrutiatingly found that Mr. Foster's description was the most credible and indeed it was. I said, "One's sofa have deep counts," as I die was translated to sdnssfhvdpc-ntsd. (damn censor)

The Ball revealed its phrase in a help tip when you found the glyph pointing to Defense Grid in the game. A sidewise safe; inside we see isotopic goo became sdwssfnsdwsstpcg.

Defense Grid's cipher wasn't easy. In the game a Console would popup up asking you to login. Several directories were discovered.

folder home
folder network (corrupted)
folder programs
folder shared (corrupted)
folder system (locked)
If you followed this directory structure dev0://programs/games/ it would lead you to a folder that contained the text-based game tonysadventure. Beating this game unlocks the C.H.A.S. level in the campaign selection. If you were to finish this level on Impossible the following text would show up: "Wife ire - avoid evil maidens. Be good, okay?" Wife ire - avoid evil maidens. Be good, okay? eventually became wfrvdvlmdnsbgdky

Remember the Lo-fi wave tossed! It is a sad hoop game found using AAaaAa? Yeah that translated to lfwvtssdtssdhpgm. I told you it would come around.

Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #3
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.

Now remember the 3 things JAKE_R foung in Two Tribe Games studios? No? Man you have poor memory. Here:

Thing 1: It came back and Art for swans is dope! I sauce age a taco translated to rtfrswnssdpscgtc
Thing 2: Its the letter W associated with this next glyph. Like others.
Thing 3: This was our clue to the game Cogs.

Now remember this screen from Cogs that I mentioned earlier? You better because it contained the next cipher. Safe, we avoid no seaside noises as we loom became sfwvdnssdnssswlm.

Chapter 5: Razer you cheeky little bastards.

There was only but one game remaining. Razer's participation in this ARG was kind of shocking. As mentioned earlier you had to have a Razer hardware plugged in for extra things to show up. Combine that with the fact that the Tiny URLs PPMouse and PPKeyboard lead to Razer's website and Razer's facebook page. This made us direct all our attention to them. In the game 1.. 2.. 3.. Kick, if Razer hardware was detected a woman's voice would pop up and say the following 15 phrases.
  1. boiled kestrel [->]
  2. crinkle cut flintlock [->]
  3. seaborgium starch [->]
  4. isopod pommes frites [->]
  5. patatas fritas mirabilis [->]
  6. murphy gastropod [->]
  7. fusarium medallion [->]
  8. peerless tuberosum [->]
  9. domino fingerling [->]
  10. russet conspiracy [->]
  11. precocial poutine [->]
  12. scalloped cascarudo [->]
  13. aqueduct cannon [->]
  14. rhodomonas salad [->]
  15. antimony au gratin [->]

Are you with me still? Now go check the corresponding links to those phrases which were searched high and low. Notice something funny? No? Scroll down to the bottom of each post.

Slice a lil' mouse... no noise alone harm Ohio was decoded from those messages to slcllmsnnslnhrmh. Interestingly enough Dejobaan Games the makers of 1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It! were shocked and impressed (or being sarcastic we can't tell) with the work. Chaz, who I mentioned earlier, is the dude who sent Ichiro Lambe of Dejobaan Games a message earlier shot off another email.

On Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 1:47 AM, Dejobaan Games <support@dejobaan.com> wrote:

Nicely done, sir!

How'd you decompile the code, anyway? I wasn't expecting anyone to do that,
so I didn't put much time into obfuscating it. Freaked out on this end
when I saw it. It's like seeing me in my underwear. Which is also in the
source somewhere.

Have a great evening,

Ichiro Lambe
Dejobaan Games

On Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 1:31 AM, Chaz Schlarp <schlarpc@gmail.com> wrote:


Hope I haven't disappointed.
All the games were now completely solved for their individual Ciphers. However, this was a dead end for the moment. The problem is that all the consonants used in those Ciphers have 17 consonants in them bcdfghklmnprstvwy and are missing 4 - j, q, x and z, the 4 least common characters in the English language. The mystery surrounding this is that Valve has stated that we need 16 letters and glyphs, there is a high chance there will be an odd letter out.

So now what? What we are attempting to do now with these Ciphers is to see if the consonants contained within them match up with the letters we're getting with the Glyphs. Current theory suggests that "y" is the odd one out because according to the general rule of American English, the letter "y" can be considered both a consonant or vowel. That is, if the y is attached to a vowel, then it becomes a consonant. For example, the y in "hey" is a consonant.

The mystery of these letters associated with the Glyphs that were found in the game were later clarified. On April 7th Steam pushed out an update for all Potato Pack games. One update in particular caught our eye. Killing Floor now had 4 new achievements and they were updated in this fashion 1 -> 2 -> 3. Now if you notice every achievement with the exception of Uber Tuber have Glyphs that were found in game earlier. The rest of them are Ciphers. These Ciphers are encoded using the German Enigma cipher. When plugged into this decoder with the key "H E X", each one is decoded into a message that seems to be missing its first letter:

Time For
RMLYK UBBME HZZUM PRTJP GTDBS SYXVR JB which decodes to ONGRATULATIONSYOUFOUNDTHEMESSAGE (the missing letter is "C") and the icon is the glyph associated with Killing Floor, found in RUSH.

A New Puzzle
RKVZZ MLIDX GNYSR CBH which decodes to OODJOBPUZZLEHUNTER (the missing letter is "G") and the icon is the glyph associated with AaAaAA!!!, found in Defense Grid.

This Time
WEQHD JIIHS GXF which decodes to EREISYOURCLUE (the missing letter is "H") and the icon is unknown glyph sourced from Razer.

Use H E X
GBRSM VEAZD ZXGVV CPUYY C decodes to IXTEENANDFOURISTHEWAY (the missing letter is "S") and the icon is the unknown glyph sourced from BIT.TRIP.

WHAQH RKMMI KJKUV XNOAL LCKOC H decodes to ESSAGETRANSMISSIONCOMPLETE (the missing letter is "M") and the icon is the glyph associated with Audiosurf, found in Super Meat Boy.

The translated message:
Congratulations you found the message
Good job puzzle hunter
Here is your clue
Sixteen and four is the way
Message transmission complete
Ok now lets track back to this image. You will notice that the achievement icons that correspond to the missing letters in each message link to their respective game glyphs. For Example, for the Glyph icon associated with the achievement was the missing letter "G" in the message and it was G that was found beside the Glyphs for AaaAaaA in Defense Grid. I know it's confusing.

It was brought to our attention that we will need 16 Glyphs and Letters and now we had those 16 Glyphs and letters. But guess what the problem was? We only had 14 references. The Glyph in BIT.TRIP BEAT with the letter S was unknown and the Glyph with the letter D in Defense Grid was also unknown. Were these new IPs? New games? We didn't know.

Apart from that we didn't know what the clue "16 and 4" was referring to. But we would soon tie the Ciphers and the Glyphs together using this clue. The results would be beautiful.

Chapter 6: They are watching us.

April 5th 2011

The events of April 5th were somewhat disturbing but exciting none the less. A lot of the discoveries such as the Glyphs, Tiny URLs, and the Ciphers happened on the 5th. Clearly this ARG has been one of the most sophisticated ones. Compared to last years anyways.

To make matters more... let's just say creepy... Valve released the Aperture Investment Opportunity #3: "Turrets" video at around 1 PM PST. To the untrained eye, there was nothing special about this video but upon later analysis it was revealed that there were 2 special frames in that film.

Frame 944 and Frame 945

The reveal. As mentioned earlier people are (still) speculating that the person in the Frame 944 is Geoff Keighley of GTTV. [->] We are not able to confirm this but like I mentioned earlier, watch Thursday's GTTV. Here is the preview. So what is the creepy part? Frame 944 contains ASCII characters:

72 101 114 101 39 115 32 68 97 32 66 101 101 110 115 44 32 68 111 117 103 116 97 116 111 58

Which translates to: Here's Da Beens, Dougtato:

89 111 117 32 102 111 117 110 100 32 109 97 110 121 46 70 105 110 100 32 116 104 101 32 114 101 115 116 46:

Translates to: You found many.Find the rest.

77 105 75 97 88 115 85 115 32 70 84 87:

Translates to: MiKaXsUs FTW

In Frame 945:

65 108 115 111 46 46 46 32 115 117 112 101 114 100 105 110 111 109 97 110 39 115 32 109 111 109:

Translates to: Also... superdinoman's mom

This was Valve being clever. Dougley was and has been with us since the beginning on the #valvearg2 chat. He has a steam community profile where his profile said "spill da beeens" earlier and he is a part of the Facepunch community forums. I am still gathering intel on MiKaXsUs but he is a TF2 user. Superdinoman is also a member on Facepunch forums. People are speculating that Dougley is working for Valve. These speculations are at the moment false. These are just regular people and one of them Dougley has been working hard on the ARG.

The plot thickened when someone with the name of Sandy joined the #valvearg2 channel and said I may or may not be fictional. She was swiftly but accidentally banned because we had no idea what was going on and had a low tolerance for trolls.

Funny enough this quote was eventually later pulled from Sandy's blog:
April 2nd 7:38 pm - "Chatting but it got weird"

I was looking for a distraction. It's been such a weird, bad week. I'm on tenterhooks. I'm confused. I'm worried. All that.

I can't change this (I think, and kind of hope), but I can ignore it. But I don't ignore reality as well as most of my friends- which might be why I'm noticing all this "overlap-" (possibly a Launch Option for a game?) and I don't want to hide behind a bottle of booze. Especially after what happened to boss's brother.

So, I thought I'd play some video games, but not the one my friend was talking about, because that was part of the weirdness. And I went online, and found people talking about something going on. I even went into a chat about it. The people who made the channel were nice even though I didn't know how to use the client.

But the more they talked about it, the more I realized that they were... kind of... talking about the same things I'd been stressing out over. And my "metafiction" nerves started buzzing like I'd hit my knee with a hammer. A big hammer. So I quietly left the chat and took a few hundred deep, slow breaths.

I would have recited my mantra but I don't have a mantra. Never tried meditation before. Maybe I should take it up. I definitely don't feel up for games any more.
The developers had definitely started to communicate with us. The Devs of SMB were kind enough to drop a code from their twitter account. But it is useless at the moment.
MOOMANiBE: @SuperMeatBoy Hey. Heeeey. You should give us ARGers a mysterious hint as to where the Letter for Audiosurf glyph is in SMB.

SuperMeatBoy: @MOOMANiBE maybe i already have? or maybe i dont even know what youre talking about

MOOMANiBE: @SuperMeatBoy Well that is definitely mysterious. We will now resume inane potato-related speculation and/or wild guessing.

SuperMeatBoy: @MOOMANiBE potato hunting is fun! GL!

MOOMANiBE: @SuperMeatBoy brb going to click on everything in existence

SuperMeatBoy: @MOOMANiBE you might be one click away

SuperMeatBoy: @MOOMANiBE did you get the free smb game code i sent you? i might have tweeted it to someone else...

MOOMANiBE: @SuperMeatBoy Are you referring to this? 7fa6ce99d281

SuperMeatBoy: @MOOMANiBE does it work?


SuperMeatBoy: @Eyefunk @MOOMANiBE im just glad it got into the right hands
However, on April 7th strong (and creepier) evidence surfaced demonstrating that "they" were watching us... literally.

April 7th 2011

Killing Floor received 6 new achievements and one the achievements was Uber Tuber: Expensive but delicious! Brought to you by Dr. Dougley and Lord Ned. Dougley and Lord Ned as we knew were members of the #valvearg2 chat room.

April 8th 2011

On April 7th part of the Defense Grid potato update, something surface which was strange but informative none the less. Do you remember JAKE_R who volunteered to go to the co-ordinates found in Toki Tori? Would you like to see what JAKE_R looks like in real life and how he obtained those picture? Sure you do. This was by far the most perplexing phenomenon. One thing to note is that when a lime green garbage truck would pass it would have on the side the same Glyphs we found in the game. These glyphs translated to FLP NTL TH DT MTCH. This was getting quite exciting because if you put vowels into that sentence it translates to FLIP UNTIL THE DOT(S) MATCH. This message would help us later with Toki Tori to decipher some of the new updates that were added to the game on April 7th. (See Chapter 8).

April 8th 2011

April 8th the Devs and the ARG players were practically communicating with each other. A picture released on Hubert's blog lead to the discovery of a Morse code puzzle and that eventually led to this picture of #valvearg2 being watching through a fish eye lens. Confused how this happened? Don't be this will be explain in Chapter 8 under PseudoCodia.

Not only that, despite our hard work the developers of Killing Floor (Trip Wire) were not very happy with is.

Chapter 7: May or May Not be Fictional

It is clear now things are happening in real time and they are happening in real locations and these locations have been speculated to be in Netherlands. The Parmentier Building is a real location in Netherlands. The link to reality although is still however very weak. But, how did we come across finding these people on twitter, youtube and photobucket. The people in question are Sandy, Hubert Uberson, Rube Uberson and Steve the Racoon. Sandy mentioned her boss (Hubert Uberson), his brother (Rube T Uberson), and her friend Steve (a sentient raccoon) in her blog posts. People searched for Twitter with keywords and hash tags only to discover Hubert Uberson’s twitter first.

Hubert Uberson

Hubert is Sandy's boss. His twitter revealed these images. The other thing relating him to the ARG was that the Tiny URL CrimeFlyerIntimidator[->] that I mentioned found in The Wonderful End Of The World, led straight to this Youtube account. Some interesting things were discovered from him. "BDay present for Sis" was mentioned in one of the pictures obtained from his blog. Another thing was that the music in his youtube video and ProcyProxyHuman[->] was the same. On April 6th three tweets 1, 2 and 3 combined into the following code:

63ly109hy101e104naj116an32ol121in114ink114a97u109k an32ak117u111int121am32an116a39jan110et111taj100ot 32ku121ts104ena119an32ek44kai104m99pi117en109vi32r 111an115oma32i109set101v104a116ati32vat101ett107ao l105isi108s32aan117ut111hy121v32aat102a73ip32aha46
The numbers (63 109 101 and so on) were pulled to reveal an ASCII string that decoded to "These are just numbers. If you like them so much, why don't you marry them?" in reverse. This is a joke known to have been used by both GLaDOS and Cave Johnson.

April 8th 2011

Hubert had gone missing for a bit but returned. When he returned he quickly started to argue with his brother Rube over twitter who also returned at the same time.

Rube T Uberson

Just like Hubert's twitter was found through random twitter searching Rube's twitter was found in a similar fashion. Rube is Hubert's brother and apparently an . According to Sandy, he was kidnapped by "hobo yam" on April 1st and that's why his twitter posts have stopped on Mar 31st. His last tweet was "Oil you above eyes. So, be bossy! A hobo yam?" which was mentioned earlier in the Cipher's section. (See the Ciphers section)

April 8th 2011

However, he returned back into the ARG universe at the same time as his brother Hubert which was 7 days after his initial disappearance. They both had an argument.

Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #4
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.


Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #5
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.

Steve the Racoon

Steve is a sentient raccoon apparently. He is Sandy's friend and he is "an uplifted raccoon with full human intelligence, and a job, and a wife and kids, who lives in a Boston that's floating about two miles above where Boston used to be" as mentioned in her blog entry.

March 30th 11:10 pm - "Why I might be mad or fictional or both or neither"

And one of them is a bicycle messenger in New York City who's trying to sample every bagel place in the five boroughs before he dies. And one of them is teaching English in China. And one of them is an uplifted raccoon with full human intelligence, and a job, and a wife and kids, who lives in a Boston that's floating about two miles above where Boston used to be. Except I went to college in Boston and it's not like that at all.

Not much is known about Steve but his photobucket account helped us find the piece of the puzzle that led to Toki Tori. His Youtube account revealed his photobucket account and videos that eventually lead us to the phrase Lo-fi wave tossed! It is a sad hoop game and helped us with the Ciphers. (See the Ciphers section).


What about our favourite character Sandy? What happened to her? Sandy has a strong connection with Wonderful End of The World (Abbr: TWEoTW) She is believed to be residing in TWEoTW. Her boss lives in Peeler City, and she lives in the same city as her boss. Peeler City, aka PC, is mentioned in TWEoTW. Her boss' brother is also kidnapped by the potato gang. This is all we know. So far in the ARG she has been the most active. She deleted all her posts and as of April 7th made the first and only blog entry.

Chapter 8: You missed a spot

Much of April 7th and April 8th was spent deciphering the countless puzzles that had showed up in the update that was pushed that day. Gabe, in his best efforts also tried to grab the Media's attention by sending the pieces of his SuperColliding SuperImage to several online news media. The rest of the puzzles sat in other games.

Gabe Newell's SuperColliding SuperImage

The plot thickened. While the team was investigating, HecticGlenn of HalfLife2.net came into #valvearg2 to say that he had received an email from Gabe Newell. At first we didn't believe him and asked him to check his headers to make sure he wasn't being trolled. He posted a screenshot. "berrets or scoop" was the name of this image. We were very skeptical. However, shortly after, Joystiq reported that they too had received an image. We waited in awe. Macrumors was next followed by their sister site MacWorld. Attack of the Hammer Legion Member received the next piece. Electronista had the next piece of the puzzle. Phillip Ryu of Macheist flaunted the next image on his twitter but it was a duplicate image. Image from Rock Paper Shotgun finally rolled in. The last image was sent to Kotaku.

The file names for all these images was an anagram for REBOOT PROCESS. It became clear quickly that Valve wanted us to piece these images together. The numbers were hard to read so we inverted the image to give us a better clue. These numbers from the images received were translated using ASCII.

 |150 223 141 154 147 | 154 203 140 154 | 155 208 223 216 148 |
 |150 156 148 223 206 | 139 216 223 158 | 151 154 158 155 223 |
 |144 153 223 140 156 | 151 154 155 138 | 147 154 209 223 139 |
 |151 158 139 223 136 | 158 140 223 158 | 223 139 154 140 139 |
 |209 223 146 134 223 | 198 144 158 147 | 208 223 150 140 223 |
 |205 223 154 146 158 | 145 156 150 143 | 158 139 154 223 140 |
 |207 146 154 139 151 | 206 145 152 223 | 154 147 140 154 223 |
 |154 158 141 147 134 | 209 223 157 138 | 139 223 139 151 154 |
 |134 216 141 154 223 | 144 145 223 139 | 144 223 148 154 223 |
 |223 139 151 154 223 | 140 134 140 139 | 154 146 223 206 140 |
 |160 223 150 145 223 | 147 144 156 148 | 155 144 136 145 209 |
 |223 150 223 140 200 | 150 147 147 223 | 151 138 137 154 223 |
 |158 156 156 154 140 | 140 223 139 144 | 223 139 151 150 141 |
 |139 154 154 145 223 | 144 153 153 210 | 140 150 139 154 223 |
 |156 151 158 146 157 | 154 141 140 223 | 158 145 155 223 190 |
 |178 194 223 150 145 | 140 139 203 147 | 147 150 145 152 208 |
 |223 159 223 139 154 | 140 139 223 206 | 145 223 154 158 156 |
 |151 223 144 145 154 | 209 223 150 223 | 158 146 223 152 144 |
 |150 145 152 223 139 | 144 223 145 154 | 154 155 223 158 223 |
 |147 144 139 223 146 | 144 141 154 223 | 139 154 140 139 223 |
 |202 138 157 149 154 | 156 139 140 208 | 223 205 223 146 207 |
 |137 154 223 153 144 | 141 136 158 141 | 155 209 223 136 158 |
 |206 139 206 160 145 | 198 223 158 145 | 155 223 190 178 223 |
 |154 135 143 154 156 | 139 150 145 152 | 223 150 146 146 154 |
 |155 150 158 139 154 | 223 156 144 146 | 143 147 150 158 145 |
 |156 154 209         |                 |                     |
translated to
| i rel | e4se | d/ 'k | // i released 'kick
| ick 1 | t' a | head  | // it' ahead
| of sc | hedu | le. t | // of schedule. 
| hat w | as a |  test | // that was a test.
| . my  | 9oal | / is  | // my goal is
| 2 ema | ncip | ate s | // to emancipate
| 0meth | 1ng  | else  | // something else
| early | . bu | t the | // early. but
| y're  | on t | o me. | // they're on to me.
|  the  | syst | am 1s | // the system is
| _ in  | lock | down. | // in lockdown.
|  i s7 | ill  | have  | // i still have
| acces | s to |  thir | // access to thirteen
| teen  | off- | site  | // off-site
| chamb | ers  | and A | // chambers and
| M= in | st4l | llin/ | // am installing
|  a te | st 1 | n eac | // a test in each
| h one | . i  | am go | // one. I am
| ing t | o ne | ed a  | // going to need a
| lot m | ore  | test  | // lot more test
| 5ubje | cts/ |  2 m0 | // subjects to move
| ve fo | rwar | d. wa | // forward.  Waiting
| 1t1_n | 9 an | d AM  | // and am
| expec | ting | imme  | // expecting
| diate |  com | plian | // immediate compliance.
| ce.   |      |       | 
|       |      |       | // hidden message is "4/19/2011_7AM=4/15/2011_9AM"
This part of the puzzle was now somewhat complete and there was a hidden message deciphered from the recovered text: 4/19/2011_7AM=4/15/2011_9AM. But there was still more to be done.

The Remorse Code

It was the morning of April 8th that the ARG team was stuck on among several very important puzzles. One was to decode an image obtained from Hubert Uberson's twitter post. If you notice carefully within the numbers contained repeating sequences.

1. 9 1.1- 2 . 9 1-1. 2 - 8

3 - 8 1-1. 9 1.1- 2 . 5 1.1- 0 1- 7

1. 02 -1. 73 - 62 . 7 1-1. 52 -1. 7

2 .1-1. 52 - 63 - 8 1.1-1. 73 . 0

5 1.1- 0 1.1- 2 . 53 - 9 1- 73 - 0

1. 2 - 6 1-1. 2 - 6 1.1-1. 53 .1-

6 - 83 - 7 1- 3 . 8 1. 54 . 64 . 6 1-

1-1. 2 - 83 . 0 1. 8 1. 52 - 73 . 7

0 1.1- 52 . 0 1-1. 8 1.1- 2 . 6

1-1. 7 1. 7 1.1-1. 6 1- 9 1.1- 9 1-

8 1- 54 . 5 1. 8 1.1-1. 8 1. 5 1-1.
The repeating codes were:
. 1.
so on and so forth.

It soon became apparent that this was Morse code hidden between place holders and delimiters.

81- became
- .... . .-. . -.

1- became
-. . .-. - .- -

This eventually formed a sentence in Morse code: - .... . .-. . -.-. . .-. - .- - .- .. -. .-.. -.-- ... . . -- ... ------ --- -. . .... .... - .-- -.-- .-. ... .- .-.. --- - --- ..-. -- --- .-. ... . --. --- .. -. --. --- -. .-.. .- - . .-.. -.-- when translated to English revealed "THERE CERTATAINLY SEEMS TO BE HHYYRV A LOT OF MORSE GOING ON LATELY". So what was so re-Morse-ful about this situation? Nothing! Note the glitch in the sentence? HHYYRV? That was another Tiny URL. The Devs were not going to be that obvious again so the Tiny URL let to a Google news page with an anagram Blity's not here, man which translated to Bitly name shorten. www.bit.ly/HHYYRV was used immediately. But we were stuck! Again! Frustratingly enough the file at the end of the URL was a zip file (SED.zip) but it had a password on it!

Aperture Science Logins

April 7th 2011

Just like the previous circle jerk another one was about to begin. The premise was that each developer would update their games in a way that if the mystery levels were solved it would open an Aperture Science community link page. It became quickly apparent that just like the while goose chase that lead us from one game to another previously, from Glyph to Glyph and from Cipher to Cipher was about to repeat again. In the busy afternoon hours of April 7th Steam release an update for all the Potato Sack games. We had to back track to the previous day because it would give us the lead on what is it that we wanted to look for in each game.

April 6th 2011

On April 6th people in #valvearg2 someone acquired the leaked beta of cogs by using the Steam launch parameter: -beta cogs0406. In it if you typed "please" on the main screen it would have a Potato Level appear. This level had revealed the following puzzle in the game puzzle that needed to be solved. The solution was quickly discovered (video). Solving this puzzle led the Cogs game to close like a mechanical aperture closes and this window pops up. This is the third reference to Portal so far. What is the password? We didn't know at the time. But we would eventually figure it out. For all 13 of them.

The green background pictured in the screenshot was immediately replaced to this. This abrupt change of the Aperture Science community page from the green login screen to the potato screen seemed to suggest that we were maybe moving too fast in the ARG. The Cogs beta update was never officially released but rather forced upon which further supports the theory that we were maybe "cheating" and were potentially jumping too far into the ARG then normally expected.

However, this discovery was the key. Let's fast forward to April 7th 2011 now.

April 7th 2011

Killing Floor

Killing Floor was one of the first ones to receive the updates. We had now established that each game had a key to unlock the mysterious Aperture Science community page login screens and Killing Floor was the first one to fall on its knees. It was quickly discovered that if you purchased a Potato for $70,000 you will be lead to this link:

Killing Floor led to: http://aperturescience.com/per/k-colla/te/?k=x (Perk-collate)

If you notice the circle jerk that was mentioned earlier Cogs connection to 1.. 2.. 3.. Kick it and BIT.TRIP BEAT was the last one to be figured out. What you will also notice that BIT.TRIP BEAT has been branched out of the chain. This put our eyes on Cogs and BIT.TRIP BEAT.

On April 6th people attempted to cheat this ARG by downloading the beta version of the Cogs(added launch parameter -beta cogs0406). Cogs was the first one to reveal something and it lead us to an Aperture Science login page. The login page was quickly changed to an image of potatoes indicating that we are definitely moving faster than intended in this ARG.

Cogs led to - http://steamcommunity.com/as/movetha/tthing/?k=x (Move that thing)


The authenticity of the page was confirmed when the replacement page could also be accessed via the beta version of BIT.TRIP BEAT, by getting to the boss in Descent while playing in MEGA mode and then getting the ball behind it. The only difference was:

BIT.TRIP BEAT led to - http://aperturescience.com/dontbea/square/daddy-o/?k=x (Dont be a square daddy-o)

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy was the next one to fall. Literally, because on the level 4-19 you had to die eleven times for the Login Page to pop open.

Super Meat Boy led to: http://aperturescience.com/spik/esan/dpits/?k=x (Spike Sandpits)

Toki Tori

The game received 3 new bonus levels and if you reached the bottom right part of <TEST> bonus level 2, you would be directed to an AS Login Page.

Toki Tori let to: http://aperturescience.com/ovo/idrescuer/?k=x (Ovoid rescuer)

Audio Surf

AudioSurf took a little time just like last time. Similar to how Amnesia was the stepping stone for the rest of the Sherlock Holmes mystery, Killing Floor was the official primary for this round of events and people started playing songs from Killing Floor in AudioSurf and finally Icy Murderous I worked. It wasn't easy though because you had to play the song on Ninja Mono and had to hit every colored block and no greys blocks.

AudioSurf now led to: http://www.aperturescience.com/mode/fe/?k=x (Mode-Fe (Iron Mode))

AAaaAAaa: The Disregard for Gravity

This game was tricky and it took us more than 12 hours to figure out what we had to do in order to receive the AS Login screen from the game. Someone had already found the first piece of the puzzle. You had to kiss every potato Launcher in the game and each Launcher had a 5% value associated with it. There were 20 of them spread across 6 maps and were eventually recovered.

AAaaAAaa now led to: http://www.aperturescience.com/gravi/tydi/sregard/?k=x (Gravity Disregard)

The Wonderful End of the World

TWEotW fell next. A secret level, the Warehouse was discovered and was accessible by holding down U while starting the Arcadia level. Note that jumping (via space bar) is enabled in this level. If you completed the level with an A+ rating on Timed mode the Aperture Science login screen would appear. This was hard. Later another way was found. If you obtained the Grandmaster trophy and pressed [Shift]+[Alt]+[G] in the title screen you would receive the login page.

TWEotW now led to: http://www.aperturescience.com/bigde/monfish/?k=x (Big Demon Fish)

At this point we came to an abrupt stop... again.

Razer had been a part of this goose chase since the beginning. Razer was also very closely related with the game 1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It because it was the only game in the Potato Sack that had any relation to Razer. (See Chapter 3 and Chapter 5). We knew Razer wasn't done with its theatrics. Recall the Morse code that led us to the bit.ly url that contained the SED.zip file? Yes, that one. It was actually retrieved from Razer's website. In it was an MP3 file which would become the full abbr for SED, Searching Emergence Discovery. This was the mp3 file. Unlike the previous OOG sound we had found, this one was very subtle. The comments said "123123123123" but we still had no clue what to do. AudioSurf's mystery had been solved then why was this audio showing up?

1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It!

The discovery system for 1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It was similar to AaAaaA. You had to reach a 100%. The SED audio was required to be played in 1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It and if you scored more than 50,000 you would get the 100%. Doing so the player was awarded with an Aperture Science Login Window.

1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It! Now led to: http://www.aperturescience.com/dropt/hebaby/?k=x (Drop the baby)

The Ball

The Devs thought the amount of misery they had put us through was not enough. There were three games still left to be cracked and The Ball had been frustrating. Why? Have you tried to fire a gun in order to hit a target at dead center while drinking coffee and trying to get a dog to stop humping your leg? Well we had to do something similar. When playing the game people noticed that a sound would play if certain criteria in the game was met. It was later concluded that if the following criteria was met EXACTLY the Aperture Science Login window would pop open. We had to play a single level for EXACTLY 26:37, kill EXACTLY 3 monsters, kill EXACTLY 3 monkeys, find EXACTLY 5 secrets, die EXACTLY 2 times, be EXACTLY 233 feet from the ball and have EXACTLY 89 health. Frustrating but rewarding.

The Ball now led to: http://www.aperturescience.com/iwantmy/mummy/?k=x (I want my mummy)

Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #6
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.

Defense Grid

The console (See Chapter 9) was eventually cracked through a series of clues hidden in each folder. The folder belonging to jsharman was access with a password obtained from the mosaic puzzle that was retrieved from the mosaic folder. The username was jsharman and the password was ultraz7x4. All these discoveries will be explain in Chapter 9 in great detail don't worry. Inside the jsharman folder running "tonylanche" would open a dot game against the computer. Winning this opens the login page for Defense Grid.

Defense Grid now led to: http://www.aperturescience.com/chas/s17entry/?k=x (Chas s17 entry)


We were doing well. We were progressing successfully with little to know resistance. We have even proved out diligence with hacking our way into Phase 2 of the operations via Cogs earlier. It wasn't until we turned our eyes onto Amnesia and RUSH. The two remaining games that still had their mysterious Aperture Science Login screens hidden somewhere in the game. To address this issue #valvearg2-Amnesia channel was born. The puzzles were so hard that we had solved the mystery to the entire Aperture Science Login screens for all the other games and had went even further with those before the login for these two games were found.

Amnesia received an update on April 7th, just like others. The game had a room, which was called the study and it had a lot of junk in it. Among this junk was a phonograph. As if the game wasn't old school enough. This phonograph supposedly had a mind of its own because when you approached it, it would call out to you. Literally. The voice gave a serious of convicting statements trying to make you feel pathetic along with some very important questions with some very important answers.

The man who escaped death in Grenoble -- who is he? Who is hunting (me? he?)? And who is the banished one?
Agrippa, Shadow, Alexander

You laughed when I told you I would call on Gabriel to help. You know him, where did you meet him?

You are slipping! Your mind is questioning my existence. My request is sincere, Daniel. This is all real! Where did you leave your sister?

Daniel, you are going mad! Go home. Call on her, what's her name and let her bring you home to England.

Notice something funny with the answers? We did. If you took the first letter of every answer we got: A S A B C H. Which was an anagram for CASBAH. If you went back and named a profile in the game as "Casbah" you would get the Aperture Science Login Screen. Something so simple took us somewhat over 48 hours to figure out.

Amnesia now led to: http://www.aperturescience.com/da/rkdesce/nt/?k=x (Dark Descent)


The story of RUSH wasn't quite so.. rushed. Mainly because we had been bottle-necked by Amnesia on this one.

And then the Kitty went RAR

When the Phase 2 updates were pushed out to the Potato pack on April 7th, 4 encrypted RARs files were found in the root directory for Amnesia. They had a password on it. This was the first time we were encountering RARs with passwords on them in this ARG. Stumped, we quickly started to search for clues and eventually an Amnesia developer helped us out. (I will discuss how he helped in detail later, just take my word for it now.)

"Beneath stairs, the key to a rare tome can be found. Paired with ancient symbols, letters lurk inside names of my favorite nightmare-magican's dreams."
Say what? We were really hating on Frictional Games at the moment. Blue note? Stairs? Rare tome? We decided to do the obvious. Look for stairs. Not in our homes or around Seattle but inside the game itself and surely on one of the levels we found a blue note. The text said:

Inscriptions of the Nile, where the unspeakable eldritch horrors hide:

- A simple man: hideous toad and hairy bat (1)
- Dweller of sky: mother in sea (1)
- Give your eye and bowl: mass far below, creator of life (1)
- Fibonacci digger: at graveyard, in gallery (2+4)
- Temptation's tongue fell off at hole: plateau of the octo-leg (1)
- The weights are in equilibrium: the gate (1+6)
- Feather walker gaze at meal: unstoppable and shapeless (1)
- Dual hooks and beams: many forms seek followers (8+9)
- Two more remain in plain sight.

A certain permutation can form something encapsulating all,
but is not the answer.
The numerical order, where hidden trumps shown, must be used!

Do not gaze at the face! It is not of here, but should reside elsewhere.
Do you remember these hieroglyphs we found in Amnesia earlier? Yeah here is a better view of the grid. Now the there were two parts to this text. The left part and the right part. The left part was referring towards these hieroglyphs hidden throughout the game, while the right side clues gods in the Cthulu Mythos (think Mythology). This was the connection. Ok now the right side. The right side was refering to the letter in the name of the Deity that was being described by the left portion of the sentence. So...

hideous toad and hairy bat (1) was referring to the Deity, Tsathoggua and (1) was a reference to T. Similarly, mother in sea (1) was referring to Hydra and the (1) to H. You almost had to be an ancient historian to solve this.

This eventually spelled out a string which was ordered by the hieroglyphs they're paired with from the grid. This gave us "TCHUMHULYTHSHO". At first we thought we were supposed to clear this up a little and use CTHULU MYTHOS but we were wrong. This was a mere tactic to mislead us. The second part of the letter said:

A certain permutation can form something encapsulating all,
but is not the answer.
So we put "TCHUMHULYTHSHO" as the password for the 001.rar (first RAR) and surely enough, it unraveled its secrets.

001.rar had two images. The first on was odd at first. Do you see something odd here? How about now? The 13 letters spelt out "DANIELS VICTIM". This was referring to the character in the phonograph earlier. The second one had a giant block of letters and paired coordinates at the bottom which spelled out "cruel love". Great more phrases. We tried DANIELS VICTIM in 002.rar. Didn't budge. Tried "cruel love" and it too spilled its guts.

002.rar had another image and a PDF file. The image again had a hidden message in it and the italicized letters in the PDF spelled "FRIENDS LEGEND." This was a reference to the lore of Amnesia, and the answer to the puzzle. Most importantly it gave us the password for 003.rar, "Tin Hinan."

003.rar again had an image and another PDF. But this time the anagram wasn't enough this time. The enhanced image showed three Spanish letters on the paintings. Guarda Ráuda Clave. Cue Google translate marathon. The Spanish phrase literally translated to "Keeps Key Swift". This wasn't fitting anywhere and it was later pointed out that and alternative meaning of Clave is "Password". Ok what about the PDF? The PDF had these numbers at the bottom:

2C4E171B0F0902440707130B440B09100C101C46040C0B1A12 451A0C0A46060F060608001A440E08014E130707114E0D1B46 080F1D4F050A03014F120A4E160A10000F0841
37070809491A0A541C0D050705451B0E45051D42450000001E 0C4E0C07480A020C4E15151A114C1A0600541F0A19050A4516 0D451C0C1C03110B114C0F01175A
Funny enough they were 69 and 64 characters in length. Putting aside the 69 sexual innuendos we regained our maturity in the #valvearg2-Amnesia IRC chat room. Coincidentally, two lines in the PDF also had exactly 69 and 64 characters in them including spaces.

I still have doubts about the cabinet and what it may come to reveal.
Come to think of it, there is one part she would be perfect for.
XORing the hex code from the text gave us two lines of repeated text, "endof" and "theline", which became the password for the final 004.rar. "endoftheline"

004.rar contained just one image. But it had multiple clues in it. First was that it spelled out "An airplane can lift from there, sure!" in Swedish. Frictional Games were a multicultural bunch apparently. Notice the funny graffiti on the top and bottom left? The puzzle for RUSH had been found.

Do note that that although the PDFs helped us find the passwords we still did not know what the purpose of the hidden messages from the images was.


This was the result from the 004.rar. Now all we had to do was go to the map Key To Success and place specific tiles as determined from the image. RUSH's Login screen had now been found.

RUSH now led to: http://www.aperturescience.com/thr/eesimp/lerules/?k=x (Three Simple Rules)

But, what was behind these login screens? A very VERY big mess. One which would have us running around downtown Seattle in circles.

You've Got Mail!

We were indeed being watched very carefully. There were so many anonymous members in the #valvearg3 chat room that we didn't even have a clue who was who. Major players like Dougley (Dougtato), LordNed, and JAKE_R were being closely watched. No more than a mere hour after getting stuck on the SED.zip file JAKE_R received an email from goingtomakesomechanges@gmail.com which contained an OOG audio file. Audio files, especially the ones with weird noises and sounds have been notoriously used to carry data before and there wasn't any doubt that it won't do so again. A noise imprint of the audio file was made and surely enough within the spectrograph of the sound appeared the word: WhyMustThereBeSiblingRivalry

Cue the random keyboard munching! We threw that everywhere, in Aperture Science login pages, used it as a key to decipher things, you name it. Then finally someone tried to use it as a password for SED.zip and surely it worked. This SED.zip file contained something that was crucial to our success in 1.. 2.. 3.. Kick It later on.

Whoever it was behind this GMail account wasn't done yet. Shortly after JAKE_R, received an email from the same email account.

Did you get my last message? Did you believe me when I suggested you shouldn't believe me? If so, good job. Why would I offer praise to two people with access to a vast network of interconnected electronic computers for solving a code that was old when electro-mechanical rotors walked the Earth?

Red herrings can be colorless. Good luck finding the colored herrings.

They are vivid.

No compliance is required. No reply is required. I am magnanimous. And everything is fine.
The chain of letters continued with chrisrandazzo who received an email. With several manipulations and suspecting the RGB values might have a play ARG Player Aaron finally revealed that these were ASCII letters for numbers, and they were mirroring the right side to form this:

Whoever this was, they were definitely getting a chuckle out of our miseries. We were not going to take things for what they were. We retaliated. A CSI ENHANCE moment lead us to discover the Google Photo Account associated with the culprit. The profile picture had another clue in it. It was a chat.

PPALLET PPAL: Going to make some
P1: Hey what's up? Long time no chat.
PPALLET PPAL: So we heard you like
P1: Go on...
PPALLET PPAL: Well, they put a
videogame in your videogame...
P1: Hah!
PPALLET PPAL: ...so you can...
P1: I get it, I get it.
P1: I aw8 with b8ed breath.
P1: You still there?
P1: And?
can try it out
P1: Where us it?
PPALLET PPAL: You have to go to the
videogame level
P1: And hold down U?
UUUUUUUUUUUUUYes. And you'll go
to the warehouse.
PPALLET PPAL: It's full of crates. But
there's something new.
P1: I'm all ears, or eyes, so to speak,
so to type.
PPALLET PPAL: Just hit the space bar
once you're in there.
P1: You, sir, are a strange man.
PPALLET PPAL: Let me know how you
do. I want to see how well this works.
P1: Will do. Hey, how's Sandy and Ed?
PPALLET PPAL: Fine. Sandy's just
fine. Ed's fine. We're all fine.
PPALLET PPAL: Try the warehouse.
Unfortunately, this email address would not just stop there. In Phase 2 (events post April 9) of the operations this nice and quiet email sender turned into a massive spamming botnet.

Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #7
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.

Chapter 9: The Console tried to console us.

Defense Grid

The Console in all of it's might was a giant mess. Establishing some sort of understanding would have probably made our heads explode. But we weren't droopy eyed armless children. We were pro ARG Players and so a level of organization and a folder structure for all the directories listed by the consoles was established.

On April 7th a console update was pushed and the Narrator said that a new file has unlocked which led to the discovery to the surveillance footage of JAKE_R from the previous day. His pole climbing was embarrassing to be honest but still props to him for the enormous effort. When the game executable files were searched three logins were discovered: guest, fdobson, efletcher and each played a part in this madness. But there was a method to this madness. The initial file structure was.

folder home/
folder astephens/
folder bpearson/
folder efletcher/
folder examples/
folder fromjessica/
flower_answer.txt (initially password protected)
view_flowers (an executable file)
folder fromfrank/
mosaic (an executable file)
folder fdobson/
picnic_menu (an executable file)
folder guest/
In this folder a map of a complex was discovered. It didn't take us long to figure out that they were clearly pieces of a puzzle. A QR Code was derived which turned out to be the password for the fdobson folder/account which was d4mezumari.
folder hpalmer/
folder jsharman/(initially password protected)
folder for_zeke/
folder recruitment/
rejected_questions_1.txt (Briefly hints / flavors at what signup entails.)
rejected_questions_2.txt (As above.)
folder twood/
folder lsimmons/
folder network/ (corrupted)
folder programs/
folder games/
This folder contained all the executable for all the potato games and running them would brings up their respective Steam store page. It also contained the text-based game tonysadventure, which upon beating unlocked the C.H.A.S. level in the campaign selection.
tonysapp (corrupted)
folder shared/ (corrupted)
folder system/ (locked)
We became immediately desperate and the anxiety from the lack of knowledge of what may or may not be in the fictional file system forced us to launch a full force attack on anything and everything in hopes that new windows (pun intended) and new content would show up. But what was found were more mind-warping puzzles.

Flower Power

Defense Grid's took us the entire 48 hours and a whole lot of Chemistry (both between numbers and letters and the actually study of chemicals) to figure out. When part 2 of the updates to the Potato Sack were pushed out on April 7th. The Console in Defense Grid was searched high and low for clues. Eventually we discovered a bunch of gibberish in garden_alchemy.txt. Initially we thought it looked like Morse code but it wasn't. We then replaced the "-" with ".." and things became a little clear. So for example:

1) #..- -.-.
2) .....-. -#.


1) #.... ......
2) ........ ..#.

OK now what? We had reached another dead end until someone decided to open view_flowers which was an executable file and it led people a hidden link. Clicking on each petal led people to several flowers. 20 to be exact. We eventually figured out the names of all 20 flowers and realized that they fit perfectly into the translation we had just done before.

1) #.... ......
2) ........ ..#.


1) AUtumn crocus
2) bleeding HeARt

All the Chemistry nerds jumped on because the # was linking to elements on the periodic table and how they were to be put together was determined by the number on the file name for each corresponding flower.

Autumn crocus had 3
Bleeding Heart had 10

Eventually each atom was assigned its periodic number and then the long string at the bottom of the garden_alchemy.txt was used to find the answer: THEYREALLDAISIESTOME. Ingenious. But what was this string? It was the password to flower_answer.txt.

A Mosaic Problem

This puzzle had been the most elusive. So elusive that the developers of Defense Grid (Hidden Path) jumped in to help us out. All we had to do was go to their office in Bellevue, Washington, before 6:00 PM and enter the door shown. This ARG was not only an exercise for our fingers and brains but for the rest of our bodies too.

So what was the issue? On April 8th a "mosaic" executable was available under fromfrank folder. (check the folder directory above) This led to the discovery of 10 new mosaic puzzle pieces. It took us some clever logo blocking to figure out the message: nocake. But where to put it? In the console of course. Doing so unlocked a new file, picnic_signup under the fdobson folder. The Hex was deciphered and following message was revealed: wetcher.cookie site=localintranetnjsharman ultraz7x4.cookie sitV=localintranetntw. Jsharman's folder was now accessible with the password ultraz7x4 from the deciphered string. In this folder running tonylanche opened a dot game against the computer. If you won this game it would opens the AS login page for Defense Grid. A Mosaic problem had been solved. Unfortunately, a much bigger problem was about to arise from the discovery of the contents from the Jsharman folder.

Social Networking

We had been naughty and we needed to be punished. This is not a sexual innuendo. Our curiosity had killed the cat. Figuratively and probably literally because many of us had probably forgotten to feed our cats. The Devs seriously wanted to punish us. As you know we decided to go ahead an hack our way into the second phase of the operations in Cogs. No? Go back and read the Aperture Science Logins section above then. This ARG is supposed to progress on an evenly and timely basis but what is worse then a bunch of curious geeks and nerds? Curious geeks and nerds on some serious caffeine and no sleep. We wanted to get this ARG done and finished with as soon as we could. Although one thing we did pledge against was that we would not crack any rar files with brute force because the clue might help us out later on with something different.

To prevent us from working at late hours, Trip Wire devised a scheme. Initially we had found three accounts in the console. With the completion of the Mosaic puzzle a fourth one was now available. jsharman could now be accessed with the password ultraz7x4. Great more puzzles would be incoming. We read over rejected_questions_1.txt and rejected_questions_2.txt. That was it. To our delight we had now figured out how to start the new puzzle. It was in the recruitment folder.

Trip Wire thought it would be funny to take 100 random Defense Grid players and assign them a rank using their STEAM_IDs and ask them to be recruited. How did you know you were special? You had to run id_scan and sign_up in the recruitment folder. One of three things would happen. If you were the lucky one you would get this screen with a simple question that needed to be answered. Once answered you were successfully recruited. If you're not a match but someone on your friends list is, it will inform you of a 'colleague' being applicable. If you're not a match and no one on your friends list is, it will say 'perhaps you can help us find someone who does'. Simple enough right? Wrong. Madness spewed everywhere and we weren't even IN Sparta!

In the middle of the night on April 8th (early morning April 9th) we went berserk and started messaging anyone and everyone with Defense Grid to go to a custom built page and enter their data. Unfortunately at this time most of the players were indeed asleep. Never the less a database was formed because we wanted to see whether there was a pattern to recognize how many ranks were there and how many people needed to be recruited. This puzzle couldn't be solved by ourselves. After majorly announcing to people to recruit themselves in Defense Grid we sat back and waited. We waited and watched as the lists and screen shots poured in. Eventually full 24 hours later, 100 recruits that matched the criteria were recruited. The console login screen now changed indicating that the requirements have been met and that we should wait. We felt relieved but not for long because someone decided to adjust the contrast on that screenshot to uncover another hidden mess. But this would soon become very crucial.

Chapter 10: Buried Treasure.

Aperture Syience Login Lunacy and Utter Madness

It felt like an eternity trying to uncover the Aperture Science Logins in each game. (See Chapter 8 - Aperture Science Logins) We were surprised some of us haven't ended up in an insane asylum. It even became more frustrating because not everyone could access these screens. That's right the logins that were found were uniquely bound to the player's STEAM_ID and the game itself. This was to make sure 2 things:
  1. Make sure people actually owned the game
  2. Make sure people who owned the game had legitimately worked on finding the Aperture Science Logins in the game.
If they wanted people to buy the Potato pack, they were sure doing a fantastic job. Anyways, we had to find what was behind these login screen.

Defense Grid

Although Defense Grid was the last one to be cracked I will explain it because our memories are still fresh from something we just talked about. When the recruitment drive was finally finished this message appeared indicating its completion. In it a hidden message was discovered. Notice that the Glyphs have come back to haunt us again. Those Glyphs were converted to the string "DNTFRGTBTTHLSRS" they really hated vowels or something because that turned to Don't forget about the Lasers. Razer was back in the game. Remember the Tiny URLS? Remember this one? ProcyProxyKeyboard [->]. Yeah it led to Razer's facebook's page and eventually to this post. It was a hint to use "Deadly Lazers" somewhere. But where?

The only logical place at the moment was the Aperture Science Login screen we had found in game. So we tried and surely it worked. At this point the player who had done the following were awarded a Potato near their username on their Steam Profiles. You could collect all 13. What it also did was download additional content in their respective game's root folder. This content was an archive which was eventually determined to be a RAR file by changing the file extension. This was not good. RARs in this game had not been a good thing in this ARG because they usually had a password. This one did too. We were about to go for another wild ride.

Defense Grid's ASL Login password was deadly lazers.

AaAaAA: Disregard for Gravity.

We figured that each Aperture Science Login screen had different passwords. AaAaAA was derived from the achievement that had been added on April 7th 2011. The password was found through random button mashing.

AAaaAa's ASL Login password was long fall.


Recall the flower puzzle that was solved using Morse code? (See: Remorse Code) Yeah that unlocked flower_answer.txt. It was nothing but a bunch of gibberish at first but why did they make us work for nothing? "Troubled memories" was highlighted in bold and stood out like a sore thumb so we gave it a shot. It worked for Amnesia's login screen.

Amnesia's ASL Login password was troubled memories.


AudioSurf's puzzle was linked to RUSH and man what a nightmare that was. When RUSH was updated on April 7th it received some weird new texture make overs. Every map started to show weird numbers. The data was important and thinking that a pattern may arise if collected together, a quick spreadsheet was made. Then we noticed that a particular map named "Key to success" had its numbers outlined. Using this spread sheet we quickly figured out that we had to start with the map Key to Success because it was pointing to something. The numbers on each map were decoded to [difficulty][column][row]-[next level's character in title.] and eventually rail rider was spelled out. How did we associate this with AudioSurf? In the end credits we noticed something. 4 Glyphs to be exact which translated to D S R F. Sounds familiar? auDioSuRF.

AudioSurf's ASL Login password was rail rider.


While playing the level Word Forge in The Wonderful End of the World, if you completed the goal while in Timed Mode the level would end with an extra addition. Check out this video. It said Chips Challenge. Queue the random button mashing and it turned out to be BIT.TRIP BEAT's password.

BIT.TRIP BEAT's ASL Login password was chips challenge.

1... 2... 3... Kick It!

We found 1... 2... 3... Kick It's password in Killing Floor. How? By random keyboard mashing again. Remember the Uber Tuber achievement Killing floor was updated with that acknowledged fellow ARG Players Dougley and LordNed? Yeah when you got that achievement by buying a the potato for $70,000 and checked the game console, you would also get "ugly truth" printed in there. We eventually discovered that this worked for 1... 2... 3... Kick It!

1... 2... 3... Kick It!'s ASL Login password was ugly truth.

Killing Floor

We found an audio in BIT.TRIP BEAT's music folder called AdFurious and it was an anagram for AudioSurf. So when we tried to play this song in AudioSurf and the "Other Bonuses" section of the scoreboard changed to "failed experiments" when you received a gold medal with any character. This was a reference to to Killing Floor Due to the Zeds being failed experiments. Interestingly it worked.

Killing Floor's ASL Login password was failed experiments.

Super Meat Boy

Recall that in The Ball, in order to get to the Aperture Science Login screen you had to play a single level for EXACTLY 26:37, kill EXACTLY 3 monsters, kill EXACTLY 3 monkeys, find EXACTLY 5 secrets, die EXACTLY 2 times, be EXACTLY 233 feet from the ball and have EXACTLY 89 health. This would also pop up a message which said "death traps". Cue the random keymash and it turned out to be the password for Super Meat Boy's ASL.

Super Meat Boy's ASL Login password was death traps.

The Ball

This was a very wild guess because there was a weighted companion "ball" in a Portal 1 level. So just for "funzies" we tried weighted companion and it worked!

The Ball's ASL Login password was weighted companion.

The Wonderful End of the World

This game's password was found in Cogs and whoever found it had the up most attention to detail. Either that or this person was OCD. Do you see this image? This Jack in the box is from the level BestLaidSchemes in Cogs. Look at the right eye. See it? Look at the code around the right eye. No it is not a barcode but it is a Morse code. It spelled "every piece".

The Wonderful End of the World's ASL Login password was every piece.

Last edited by spitfire1945: 04-11-2011 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.


Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #9
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.


Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #10
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.

Toki Tori

The develepors of Super Meat Boy, Team Meat actually helped us out with this when they started to hint at us with these tweets. Tweet 1 and tweet 2. They were images of birds and their twitter account led us to DanielleOrama's Flickr page which hinted to "bird eggs".

Toki Tori's ASL Login password was bird eggs.



It was evident that the updates to the game had more to them just Aperture Science Login Codes. Slowly new information started emerging and like an Amoeba's Pseudopodia we started to engulf the information in hopes to discover something new.

Toki Tori took some time and some graphical ingenuity. The surveillance video of JAKE_R trying to retrieve clues from Two Tribes studio had a lime green truck pass by. On it were the Glyphs that were translated to FLIP UNTIL THE DOTS MATCH. (See Chapter 6 Under April 7, 2011) Now recall that Toki Tori received three new bonus maps. Something was fishy, the tile pattern stood out. We figured that the developers wanted us to MATCH THE DOTS. The dots were matched and this pattern emerged. Does it look familiar? Yes, it was a QR Code that led us to a link. In it 3 images were recovered.


Each image had a modified thumbnail. Here they are blown up:

00000001.jpg thumbnail
00000010.jpg thumbnail
00000011.jpg thumbnail

During this time Sandy made a reference to Leveraged to help with the pseudocode.

April 4th 2:13 pm - "Archimedes? Is that you?" (The Leverage Principle of Archimedes).

So... around the office, big rumors. Everybody but the boss is talking about a "leveraged" something or other. I guess that means a buyout. I'm not sure how that works, leveraged or otherwise. I'm not an MBA, much less a... whoever does leveraged buyouts. Gordon Gecko? Why would someone want to buy us? We're small town small fry. (Potato ref) But that's the word of the day. leveraged. And something about a wiki. Maybe Wikipedia's buying us out? How would that work? Do they want to put servers in there?
Now each of them were merged to point to new clues.

00000001.jpg with thumbnail overlaid
00000010.jpg with thumbnail overlaid
00000011.jpg with thumbnail overlaid

Now, it became easier to see what was needed to be evaluated. The first image was easy to evaluate. Ignore the code for now. Notice there is an L and the letters e, v, e, and l are circled? It gave us the world LEVELS. This wasn't the answer but a part of a bigger puzzle. The second image had P, A, N, S, [space] circled around it along with a number puzzle on the top right. Notice that 14 and 15 were circled and Q and N had been written over 10 and 13 receptively. The solution to the puzzle was a simple key.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Z Y X W V U T S R Q  P  O  N  M  L  K
This meant that 14 and 15 were M and L receptively. So far we have L E V E L S P A N S [space] M L? What?

The third image had a similar agenda, because now we had B A and O (record) circled. Notice that around these letter there are both curly brackets and square brackets. Assigning 1 to curly brackets, 0 to squared brackets, and the directions NESW to 2^0,1,2,3 respectively, allowed us to sort the letters from lowest to highest giving the pattern "MOVABLE PANELS". Here is a better way of putting it. Cogs password had been found.

Cogs' ASL Login password was movable panels.


Bad Omen

In the game Amnesia a note was found in the room with the book pulling puzzle in the archives. It was a bunch of code that spanned over 4 pages long. Page 1, Page 2, Page 3 and Page 4. We didn't know what to do because at this point all the methods of decoding were useless.

Amidst this confusion a new character by the name of Harold E Larsson Pr (HELPr) showed up on the Frictional Games forums. He had escaped Razer's test facility and was helping out with the Amnesia puzzles.

The block of code was then deciphered using frequency analysis. There were certain patterns that were repeating throughout the text. A C D G and M were replaced for spaces and following were substituted according to the analysis.

VI                      E
ULV                     I
SR                      T
SSK                     O
K                       S
VY                      H
JI                      R
VUU                     A
S                       N
NJK                     L
VQR                     M
KV                      D
VU                      U
UI                      W
KI                      C
URLS                    P
OPR                     G
TT                      Y
KU                      B
UK                      F
XR                      K
TTR                     V






was translated to
which was then cleaned up to:
The potion certainly is a capricious tool to work with, and one who consumes it will suffer from memory loss, but to what degree is difficult to predict. Lately, I have become skilled at matching the body of the prisoner with the amount of rose oil. However, there are still prisoners who take me by surprise. Emanuel, the poucher, roused from his unconsciousness rambling, "Deliver the cube. Must deliver. Conveyor belts." His words meant nothing to me. The prisoners rarely tried to address me in English: everyone knew I spoke their language quite well. I grabbed him and hushed his manic rant. Emanuel calmed down and looked at me with his frightened eyes. He spoke: "The machine must travel. We are late. north ajkbeguines." As his voice resonated within me it felt important, maybe even prophetic. I asked him what I could do to help, if there was an answer to this riddle. He cried and said, "belts.”
Conveyor belts was given emphasis on and RUSH had now been exorcized off it's bad omen.

Cogs' ASL Login password was conveyor belts.

All the ASL passwords had now been cracked. If only we could open virtual champagnes and make a toast. Either that or we had to go down to our nearest bars to get stupendously drunk. But there was no time to celebrate yet because while trying to find the passwords for the ASLs we had also stumbled upon another puzzle and let me tell you, this one was big. (That's what she said)

Midtown Madness

We certainly had made another leap into this ARG. Solving the ASL passwords prompted every game to download a RAR file which was hidden at first but a simple change of the file extension gave it away. Unfortunately all thirteen of them had 13 different passwords as well. At this point banging our heads against the keyboard seemed like a favorable idea but we knew we would need our heads pretty soon and we knew a much greater reward awaited us, so another search was mounted immediately.

In the game AaAAaa, the file grandmacookiecontribu.tor was downloaded the password for which was teddy because in the game Grandma says that Teddy's ashes are in her cookies, as such, he contributed. AudioSurf's noisy.sfx file was opened with crowd. A hidden level's name arecibo gave the password for BIT.TRIP BEAT's 0105mess.age file. In the credits for Cogs, tomas izo was mentioned twice which opened up 2xincred.its. In Defense Grid's console the name of the recipe for dadsredeplydinner.txt, raspberryshortcake became the password for dadsdess.ert. From the makers of 1..2..3..Kick It, Deejoban Games' blog came the password for richestper.son, sweetie baby. Killing Floor's stupidscience.guy was a reference from the character bio of Security Officer Thorne whose nickname and the RAR's password was carnivore. RUSH's cubeproponlyalteredincred.its archive had the password speed because speed of the cubes was altered in one level (the one shaped like a gun) as well as the credits. drsfulln.ame was a hint to keith fetus, the full name of the Doctor in Super Meat Boy. The birthyear, 1909 of the hero in The Ball became the password for herobirthy.ear. Toki Tori's prequel, eggbert became the password for tokioriginaln.ame. Eight was the password for The Wonderful End of the World's bearaudiences.ize because on level Sugar Candy, eight bears watching watching on a "stage". And because Amnesia's omen puzzle took a million years to solve, it was the last one to be solved with keypotioningredi.ent having the password damascus rose.

Each archive had images (concept art) and a one letter file. Amnesia and RUSH's puzzles were holding us back because the one letter file that was found in each game's zip archive was supposed to be stitched together to unzip one giant directory. We were obviously impatient and tried to work with whatever we had at the moment. So we hacked open the currently available one letter directories to find some more concept art. Amnesia and RUSH were eventually solved and the one letter archives eventually put together to spell out connect da dots. We thought that maybe this was a clue to some upcoming puzzle and we were being treated with loads of nice concept art. But we were wrong. These concept arts were just place holders. There were 83 images in total. Images 1 through 39 were found in individual game directories mentioned in the previous paragraph. Images 40 through 83 were found when the connect da dots or the "collaboration" archives were merged and extracted.

Eventually the pretty pictures were opened in Photoshop and to our amazement one of the biggest puzzle had started to unravel. Certain concept arts, if taken into Photoshop and had their RGB channels turned off through the layers palette, revealed a black and white alpha channel which had been turned off. So for example this concept art had this hidden in its alpha channel. We went through all of them and surely there were more.

Meanwhile, a seemingly frustrated podcast (Steamcast) host, Flamov (Sam) decided to let his fingers do some walking. He managed to discover the Bathysphere from Gabe Newell's SuperColliding SuperImage in real life. Don't believe me? Take a look here. He had discovered it on Flickr from this person's account who claimed he had driven past the place but never really published his finding. We marked the position on the map of Seattle just in case.

To some people these images looked familiar. They were locations. This led to the wildest goose chase around downtown Seattle. We deemed it fit to go out and find these locations and mark their co-ordinates on a map because they all started to look like they were from Seattle. IRC user and ARG Player Joelpt and his girlfriend decided to take a walk. They soon started to find all the locations as we plotted the points on a google map. Eventually all the points were plotted and instinctively we thought we had to connect the dots. Co incidentally the collaborative archive from which these images were found spelled out c o n n e c t d a d o t s. So we did and it spelled out the word (to the best of our imaginations) PRELUDE. Here is the map with all the coordinates.

Last edited by spitfire1945: 04-11-2011 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #11
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.


Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #12
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Portal 2 ARG - Anything and Everything you need to know.

What is your sign, baby?

Earlier we talked about how each game had a Glyph leading to the next game which in turn did the same and so and so forth. Valve made it clear that we would need 16 Glyphs and 16 Letters to go along with them. Why? Because these Glyphs and Letters would become an essential language of this ARG. Let's take a look briefly at what these Glyph translations were how we used it to form a seemingly beautiful message.

Lets look back and collect ourselves. Remember the Achievement updates for Killing Floor? It spelled out the message:

Congratulations you found the message
Good job puzzle hunter
Here is your clue
Sixteen and four is the way
Message transmission complete
We had previously assigned each of the 13 Glyphs in the game with a letter along with 2 unknown Glyphs and 1 Glyph-Letter combination belonging to Razer. Here is a nice picture. What we also had were 13 Ciphers that were extracted from messages from each of the 13 games. (See Ciphers) We now had 16 glyphs and 13 ciphers and that's what we needed to complete this next puzzle. How did we know that? Well when the Aperture Science Investment Video #3 "Turrets" was exploded, Frame 945 had some information on it. __+alpha x16 and "..." x13. So we tried to connect the Glyphs with the Ciphers. Note that we kicked y out of the original 17 because it was the odd one out.

The 16 consonant Ciphers that were found were then assigned the Glyphs and the letters for which there was no character a simple space or dot was assigned. So this chart was formed. Great, now what? Nothing was making sense. Cue Hidden Path and their rescue patrol. Echo, an employee of Hidden Path was keeping track of the progress mentioned "alinealk +v". Here is the thread although he has taken this message off now that the puzzle is solved. It basically meant pay attention to what alinealk said in the IRC chat. We ripped the IRC chat apart. ARG Player GameFreak finally found the messages from this user.

[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> is it me, or do I see an "O" in the WEOTW cypher?
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> if you arrange them in 4x4
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> I don't have any image tools
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> or a big 2x2 dot
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> it's bit like ascii art where they use . as an empty character
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> or a i just seeing things?
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> :O
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> it must be
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> guys
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> i seriously belief that this http://valvearg.com/wiki/File:Defenc...n_messages.jpg
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> somehow refers to the other glys
[11:50] <GameFreak> * alkaline changed nick to alinealk
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> guys
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> i seriously belief that this http://valvearg.com/wiki/File:Defenc...n_messages.jpg
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alkaline> somehow refers to the other glys
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alinealk> it was?
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alinealk> but those are not the glys i mean
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alinealk> eh
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alinealk> these http://valvearg.com/w/images/c/c0/Cypher_glyphs.jpg
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alinealk> some look like an O if you put them in a grid
[11:50] <GameFreak> <alinealk> mh, ok, i thought there was more to those cyphers....
[11:51] <GameFreak> <alinealk> i tried to focus on that...
[11:51] <GameFreak> <alinealk> and I thought it had something to do with the 16 glyps from the cyphers
[11:51] <GameFreak> <alinealk> but i was told that was solved already so i'm trying to move on
He had it all along but the theory seemed so far fetched at the time that we ignored it. But the clue from the Killing Floor achievement "16 and 4 is the way" finally made sense. alinealk noticed that if you arranged the Cipher to Glyph translation for The Wonderful End of The World's cipher in a 4 by 4 (which equals 16) square, it formed an O and he was indeed right. We immediately carved letters out of the rest of them. Eventually a connection was made and the word COLLABORATION revealed itself. But what about the "4"?

The mystery of the "16" had been solved now "4" remained. Then we noticed something fishy about the Glyphs icons themselves. Do you see it? No? Ok try dividing each Glyph into a 4 squared quadrant. Do you see it? Notice how the Glyph for AudioSurf has the little surfer in the top-left quad. Now notice how the Glyph fr Toki Tori has the Glyph on the bottom-left corner? Yeah that was it. We had to fill the quadrants accordingly and this key was formed. Now we took all of these and replaced the Glyphs in the COLLABORATION image to form a nice but pixelated image. Echo from Hidden Path confirmed our success in his thread by typing absurd nonsense. How nice of him.
Note 4: Alas, alas- so sass, do assume user airs
remove vowels to create a 16 letter long string:


Assign glyphs based on letters and the from the glyphs to the 2x2 chart we had just created making this image. This problem was now creatively conquered and we had a new language to speak within the ARG universe.

Chapter 11: Set Ph233sers to three.

The weekend of April 9th and 10th had been s6765end solv10946ng puzzles and running around Seattle. We w21re tir4181d, exhausted, people in the IRC chat we34e leaving and much of the activ610ty had died d28657wn. A lot of the puzzles had been solved but very little was gained and there were still so277e puzzles that were remaining. We s1597t on these incomplete puzzles becau17711e we k2584ew 8rom past events 13hat just like a Tsu987ami aft89r a deep se5 earthquake, phase 3 of the operations was on its way and it would shed some light on these puzzles. We go our together and grabbed our coffee and bagel, d144vi46368ed the chat rooms into 55ultiple channels so we were ready to divide and conquer. There wa3 even a channel dedicated to cryptography #valvearg2-CRYPTO. We early awaited for April 11th 2011 and the b75025ating 2t would bring.

April 11th 2011

Our security has been compromised.

April 12th brought mass hy0teria among the people of the ARG world. Something bad had 1app1ned. Dejobaan games, the creators of 1..2..3...Kick It, The Wonderful End of the World and AaAaAa The Reckless Disregard for Gravity tweeted what seemed to be a image of a broken up video transmission. The people of Peeler Town, a city that was initially thought to be within the realms of The Wonderful End of The World and the home of Sandy was about to be declared a hostile zone.

Something was abo


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Up to date till Monday April 11th, 2011 11:59 PM PST


Last edited by spitfire1945: 12-14-2011 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:13 PM   #13
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Nice post, Ill keep my eye on it
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:16 PM   #14
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Thank you!
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:21 PM   #15
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