Eye Sigil ARG
|Eye Sigil ARG|
|The Eye ARG, also known as the Sigil or Eye Sigil ARG, lasted for nearly a year and spanned more than 25 seemingly unrelated indie games.|
|Hall of Fame||Hall of Fame|
For a condensed timeline of events, see Eye_Sigil_ARG/Timeline
In May 2015, a strange image was found in the SteamApp root directory of the game "Crypt of the Necrodancer." The purpose of the image remained unknown until another glyph was obtained, by snooping through the original image using a hex editor. No clear answers about the images emerged for some time.
Around the same time, a similar image was found by players of the game "The Magic Circle" that also consisted of circles and arcs. The image was behind an airlock and had a similar sigil depicted on it, shortly after the game's release in June 2015.
Then, on 23 Jan 2016, a user discovered yet another similar marking in a game called Mini Metro. Shortly afterward, users came forward and claimed that they had seen similar markings in other games, including Sokobond and Kingdom of Loathing. By a combination of astute observation and dumb luck, the image, coined the "eye sigil" (the word "sigil" came from the resource names used in the games), now tied half a dozen games together.
In each game where the sigil is present, it is accompanied by a second, hidden circular glyph with little circles, squares, and triangles on concentric arcs. While the sigil itself was easily visible (even though been in vague places or displayed after very specific actions), seeing the second image required completing some challenge or figuring out some devious puzzle planted in the game. In certain cases, the glyph was first recovered using data-mining strategies (i.e. digging through the files and assets of the game), before solving the mystery the intended way.
The Big Picture
After several glyphs had been discovered, it became clear that each of them was a fragment, intended to be joined together to form a larger puzzle. While at first it was not certain how these pieces ought to be assembled, as more pieces were discovered we were able to fill in the blanks.
You can now try putting the puzzle together yourself with a tool made by DukeBG. Give it a go!
The arrangement of the map was complete as of 14 Aug 2016 with two "straight" arcs left as speculation lines. On 13 Oct 2016, the final lines were confirmed and there were no speculative lines left.
These resources were made before there was any solid information in regards to how the map should be used or solved. They are included here for historical purposes:
Commonality Between the Games
The question of whether or not the games involved with this ARG were linked in some way was very difficult to answer. It was first postulated that each game's developers had attended Indiecade; however, this theory was later sunk. For all we know, the games (and one book) were created by a comparatively small teams or indie developers (with a broad definition of this word, pretty much just being self-published). Many of them follow each other on Twitter or know each other in one form or another (including brothers David and Kyle J. Pittmans, who each had a sigil in their games).
Who Holds The Knowledge
As the ARG developed, some of the developers disclosed that they didn't actually know where all of these sigils were leading. They were presented, by a mysterious third party, with two images — the sigil and a map piece — and asked to hide the map piece behind the sigil (we can assume they were not told any particular instructions about hiding since all the developers did it in any way they liked). Moreover, they received subtle assurances that the ARG was nothing they’d be upset about supporting. Some developers seemed to hold more knowledge, however, saying that the answer will reveal itself in time (this was said not as a clue, but as a remark by Kevin Simmons from Kingdom of Loathing at PAX West 2016).
On 9 Nov 2016, Firewatch was updated on PC with the Free-Roam mode. Unlike the Xbox One version that had been available since September, the PC version also added a sigil. The sigil is on a board in one of the abandoned old shelters at Camp Arapahoe and on a cover of a journal found behind it. Before the update, that board had a symbol that reminded Bloodborne Hunter's Mark. The text of the journal found behind the board had some letters italicized, which spelled out `firewatchgamecomdataclientjpg`. That was a valid link on the game's website and a letter soup.
It was discovered that we had to overlay our map over it to read the line. DukeBG made a tool to do it, which allowed for moving, resizing, rotating and flipping of the map over the letter soup.
A remark about the letter soup: it has the letters along the bottom and right edges cut off, we entertained the idea that we only have a quarter of the full letter soup. Also it has some anomalies that suggest manual letter placing (namely, the :V spot and the 26 spot).
It took several days for people to try to fit the map on the letter soup. Eventually, the answer was found:
This turned out to be a correct login/password combo for the Frog Fractions 2 ARG terminal at http://time-travel.club/client.html, which was previously thought to be a completely seperate ARG!
After logging in on that terminal, we discovered four soup tasting videos featuring Jim Crawford and Ben McGraw. They were first uploaded as unlisted videos on 11 Oct 2016, but were updated to public on 16 Nov 2016 after we discovered them. You can watch the videos on the SoupTasters YouTube channel.
In August 2016, a person named "Sigil Master" contacted the journalist Patrick Klepek after he wrote an article about the Eye Sigil ARG. The message was limited to an Eye of Sauron image from Lord of the Rings movies and a text messages "The stars are not yet right", and the Gmail address was deleted right after that.
The Sigil Master appeared again on 14 Nov 2016, right as the Firewatch letter soup was being solved, stating in an email to Patrick that "The great cathedral lies now in rubble, its halls no longer filled with glorious song. Doubt not my words." Coincidentally, the letter soup was solved and Patrick wrote about the results. Sigil Master then contacted Patrick Klepeck for a long conversation again, and then talked to another journalist, Austin Walker, through Twitter. All of the logs of these conversations can be found here.
While this person could have been a creative troll reacting to the articles, the Sigil Master called out "Bit Bit Blocks" as a game with another sigil. They were proven right (the sigil was planted on 12 Nov 2015, and yielded a map piece that was almost identical to the Slide the Shakes one). Additionally, in his conversations he mentioned "Celulitte Church", which is actually something from the Frog Fractions 2 ARG lore. The style of communication also strongly resembles that of Justin Bortnick, the Frog Fractions 2 writer.
The message from the Sigil Master Lorakis to the people that found his sigils was to push forward with whatever information they have, thus a portal [to Jixandlia] may be discovered. This may or may not mean the game Frog Fractions 2 itself and would be further covered on the according wiki articles.
In the days following this, the Sigil Master reached out once again to Austin Walker, and answered a select few questions, particularly about this portal to Jixandlia. Yes, the portal to Jixandlia... though if we may be saved remains to be seen. You would have to emerge not only at the right place, but the correct when as well... the odds are low, but it is possible. He also suggests that seeking the remaining sigils may not add any further information to the search: While it is possible that you have not found all of them, enough have been gathered to suffice, else this conversation could not occur. If it amuses you to continue to hunt by all means do so, but do not let that distract you from the task at hand! Finally, he revealed that he has knowledge of one of the characters from the Frog Fractions ARG, Pontiff Zagmar, cursing the name and saying he was long dead, slain by the Empire when it was still a bastion of righteousness.
After the Firewatch letter soup was solved, it was concluded that the Eye Sigil ARG was, in fact, a part of the existing Frog Fractions 2 ARG. To learn more about Frog Fractions 2, check its wiki page!
On April 8, 2020, Jim Stormdancer posted his original sketch of the map on twitter.
|No.||Found In||Store||Price||Release date||Sigil Added||Sigil Location||Sigil Image||Solution||Puzzle piece||Video|
|1||Crypt of the Necrodancer||Steam GOG||$14.99||2015-04-25||2015-05-29||Image placed in the root directory of the steam game folder||Piece is embedded inside the sigil image file||YouTube|
|2||Mini Metro||Steam GOG iOS||$9.99||2015-11-06||2015-02-13||Sigil appears by going back and forth between credits and menu||Clicking the sigil takes the player to a secret Canberra level. Puzzle piece is obtained by recreating the sigil on this level.||YouTube|
|3||Legend of Dungeon||Steam||$9.99||2015-09-13||2015-12-08||Sigil appears when clicking the dwarf in the pause menu.||Puzzle piece is unlocked when using the remote control in a room on the 26th floor after finding the sigil.||YouTube|
|4||The Magic Circle||Steam||$19.99||2015-07-09||2015-07-09||Sigil appears on the door of an airlock.||Puzzle piece appears above the room with the airlock.||YouTube|
|5||Neon Struct||Steam||$17.99||2015-05-20||2015-05-20||Sigil appears on the shirt of a character named "Stranger".||Puzzle piece found by playing through the game talking to all strangers, getting all geocaches, saving a displacement orb for the end, and throwing it past the ending trigger.||YouTube|
|6||Mos Speedrun 2||Steam Android iOS||$8.99||2015-09-03||2015-10-15||Sigil appears in a secret area in stage 3-4 after unlocking three eye pillars on different stages.||The puzzle piece appears in a hidden level accessible after unlocking the sigil and completing the subsequent series of challenges throught the game.||YouTube|
|7||Flickers||Website||$0.00||2013-05-01||2015-09-11||Sigil appears on tree shortly into the game.||There is a dot on the sigil level that disappears after a short time. Piece appears when reaching it (i.e. speedrunning the level).||YouTube|
|8||Sokobond||Steam GOG||$9.99||2014-01-21||2015-01-31||Sigil appears whenever you solve a level with a solution involving hydrogen. When this happens, it appears with a count of such solutions you completed (out of 12 total).||The piece will appear on screen once 12 solutions involving hydrogen are completed.||YouTube|
|9||Moon Hunters||Steam GOG||$14.99||2016-03-10||2016-02-09||Sigil appears in some levels as a statue structure.||Two players (or more) have to perform a specific pose while standing on the sigil in multiplayer. The piece will appear on screen.||YouTube|
|10||Soda Drinker Pro||Steam||$9.99||2016-04-13||2016-04-13||Sigil appears in the corner of the room in Level 2.||Puzzle piece found by glitching through wall.||YouTube|
|11||Bellular Hexatosis||itch.io||$0.00||2015-11-06||2015-11-06||Sigil is visible at the start of the game. Clicking on the sigil causes it to spin.||Puzzle piece found by clicking the colored mushrooms found elsewhere in the game in the order the sigil displays after spinning.||YouTube|
|12||Slide the Shakes||Android iOS||$0.00||2016-02-24||2016-02-24 (presumably)||Sigil appears in the corner of the room in Level 88. Morse code hidden in the level spells out "ARCHUSB".||Piece was on a USB hidden at an arch in L.A., that was a landmark in another ARG by the same devs.||N/A|
|13||Souls of Darkness||itch.io||$8.00||2016-01-02||2016-01-02 (though webdings added only on 2016-05-10)||Sigil appears next to the name of the map. Symbols underneath the sigil are webdings and correspond to a series of numbers.|| The numbers were a book cipher to be used on the GAME SOLVERZ HINTS after each of the 11 chapters in the book. It led to
|14||Kingdom of Loathing||Website||$0.00||2003-10-02||2014-10-03||Sigil appears on first visit to The Secret Government Laboratory adventure zone.|| The drops of the monsters in the Secret Government Laboratory (Excluding those from Monster Manuel) had the first letters being all different letters from A to M. In alphabetical order, the last letters of each name give the string
|15||Quadrilateral Cowboy||Steam||$19.99||2016-07-25||2016-07-25||Visible above several clocks in the "Malta Stock Exchange" level.||One of the monitors on the "Malta Stock Exchange" level says "MISSING CHUNKS". Within the games files, the code that renders text on this screen needed to be modified: "DELETE_THIS_CHUNK" part should be deleted and the missing chunks that are spread in comments of other scripts should be "restored". Then the piece is displayed on the monitor, drawn by rectangles defined by the chunks.||N/A|
|16||There Came an Echo||Steam||$14.99||2015-02-24||2015-02-24||Visible on the wall in level 5, near a point called Foxtrot 6||Datamining the sigil revealed an equation (solution=EIEIO), leading to "Old McDonald Had a Farm" phrase. Using this voice command in-game in front of where the sigil is shows the piece on screen.||YouTube|
|17||Duskers||Steam||$19.99||2016-05-18||2016-05-18||Hit f1, f2, f12 or del on launch, then hit enter on seeing %*)!@(#$@*#$(&& and it appears in the top left for a split second||Choosing the %*)!@(#$@*#$(&& option opens the browser with an URL containing a string of characters. An in-game clue links this string to another similar string, leading to the second URL with a login form. Currently the legitimate credentials to this form are not known, but the puzzle piece was found in that folder under the filename piece.jpg.||N/A|
|18||Clockwork Empires||Steam||$29.99||2014-08-15||2015-09-16||Seen in the promotional drawing on their website update page for v43. Same art appears ingame at certain "strange artifact" events||The puzzle piece was hidden with OpenStego steganography software with the password 191761112 in the image with the sigil. The password is composed of the amounts of times the symbols in the promo image appear on the Phaistos Disc in order.||N/A|
|19||You Have to Win the Game||Steam||$0.00||2012-05-06||2015-08-20|| Seen on the Listen to the Wind screen of the Extra Spicy mode near the end of the campaign. Alternatively available in the list of sprites by using the
|| Following the trail of clues in changed titles of the rooms, the player arrives to the clue Backmask the Myth, referring to the screen Hydra is Myth of the original campaign. By playing the original campaign and entering the password
|20||Bombernauts||Steam||$9.99||2015-07-31||2015-09-12||On a map named Sigil|| There is a setting in the options menu called Awesomeness that takes text input and can return secret functions. The players on the Sigil level are given titles, namely complex, reduced, irrational, and transcendental. Inputting
|21||QWOP||Website||$0.00||2008-11-12||2015-08-04||Appears on a barrier if you go 3m backwards from the starting line (WebGL version only)||To see the piece you need to have a device with an accelerometer. Go backwards to see the sigil and turn the device upside down. The gravity will switch and you'll fly up to the piece in the sky.||YouTube|
|22||Choice Chamber||Steam||$9.99||2015-07-16||2016-09-15||In a normal playthrough you can only get a glitching heart after the cheating heart, which requires a shop that doesn't occur earlier than level 10. But using the debug mode to travel through rooms you can get the glitching heart on level 8. You'll see a pulsing sigil over the chest if you get to it.||Obtaining a glitched heart from a chest under the sigil pops up an error message that includes "say nothing". Saying "nothing" in a linked twitch chat while in room 8 causes the chat bot to emit a reversed imgur url. The image, also mirrored, is cryptically asking you to go back 501 rooms from the beginning and into room -500. Once there you needed to wait while the map piece assembles itself.||N/A|
|23||Reagan Gorbachev||Steam||$9.99||2016-02-24||2016-02-24||Sigil is in a hidden room in Level 22. Find the rocketlauncher and shoot the right wall at the end to get there.||Trigger an alarm so the door the enemies come through on the top of the level will open. You can walk through it after that and the piece is out there as seen here||N/A|
|24||Firewatch: Free-Roam mode||Steam||$19.99||2016-02-09||2016-11-09||Sigil is on a cover of a journal found at Camp Arapahoe in one of the abandoned old shelters. Inside the journal there is a text, some of its letters are italicized. These letters spell out firewatchgamecomdataclientjpg. That's a valid link on the game's website||Not applicable, leads to the letter soup rather than the piece||N/A|
|25||Bit Bit Blocks||iOS Android||$2.99||2015-11-12||2015-11-12||The sigil appears on a menu screen next to the version number of the game.||Hit the menu buttons repeatedly. It will start playing the melody for the Ode to Joy. Go back to the main screen and tap the 4 blocks. They expand to 8, and play notes when tapped. Repeat the melody to obtain the piece.||N/A|
|26||Read Only Memories||Steam||$19.99||2015-10-06||2016-10-10||Sigil is shown in the post-game email section, as one of the email icons. Replaced a conspiracy-alike image that used to say "watching you…".||The email with the sigil's icon says to send a message to an email address; after following a scripted (but possibly manually operated) exchange, the piece was attached in the final message.||N/A|
After the ARG got enough popularity and press coverage, a lot of developers (especially the ones, who felt they didn't get invited) talked about adding the sigil in their own games for various purposes (be it fun or trolling, or just willingness to be included). It's easy enough to make a hoax like this and people who are solving the puzzle don't have a reliable way to verify the authenticity of the sigil. Especially when it's planted long after multiple media articles.
Since sigil-like images like that do pop up and people raise questions about them, we're documenting them too. Once there is enough investigation, a sigil can turn out to be real and will be moved to the confirmed section.
|Found In||Release date||Sigil Added||Sigil Location||Sigil Image||Reasoning|
|Roblox level||2016-08-26||2016-08-26||Appears after a button press in the beginning||Roblox levels are user-generated content. There is no developer name or any sort of credibility to it. The user that posted the level (ChallengerDelight) registered on the website the same day. Here's what happens after beating the level|
|Accounting||2016-10-18||2016-10-18||On the credits whiteboard|| 1. The people on the development team joked about the ARG after discovering it before, see here. 2. The image is very different from the actual sigil in the bottom part, this is common for parodies. 3. Very late inclusion of the sigil.
After the Jig Was Up, it was confirmed that the sigil did not originate from Jim Crawford, but William Pugh was added to the credits nevertheless, making it an official part of the ARG.
Sigils That Were Not Found
We predicted that there are more sigils that we didn't found based on the fact that every spot of the map was otherwise covered by multiple pieces (a redundancy to allow solvers not to find every single one). In the end credits Frog Fractions 2 lists "Extra Special Thanks" to people who planted sigils in their games, so we can find them ex post facto.
|Person's name||Game||Release date||Sigil Added||Sigil Location||Sigil Image||Piece Image||Notes|
|Chandana Ekanayake||Wayward Sky||2016-10-10||2016-10-10||On the bottom of a suitcase filled with coloured bricks in a sandboxy menu / hub world area||The game is a PS4 exclusive and console games have gaint gaps between going gold and releasing, so the sigil was probably planted months before october, although at the moment of release it could have hardly been relevant for solving the ARG.|
|Megan Fox||Hot Tin Roof||2015-02-20||2015-08-10||In a hidden dungeon, behind a fake wall||Each color is tied to a key/controller input: Blue = jump, Red = interact, Green = reload, Yellow = shoot. After you complete a sequence one of the bottom parts lights up. Once you've completed all sequences that you are presented with and all the bottom parts are lighten up, the piece is displayed. Youtube|
|Daniel Mullins||Pony Island||2016-01-04||2021-03-20||There is no sigil||This one was not from Jim, but added by the developer after the ARG blew up in the news, the developer was dared by two friends to add a fake one. The game does not have a sigil itself, but a puzzle piece and the developer felt bad about it afterwards. However, it was never found until 2020-03-24. This piece is located on the fake computer in the text file help.txt place your cursor at the bottom right and the piece will appear at the left of the file. The piece was nevertheless made official part of the ARG by listing Daniel in credits.|
|Alejandro Quan-Madrid||Glitch City Magazine||2015-06-17||2015-06-14||In the corner of the front page of Glitch City Issue 3, a print-only zine.||This sigil was in a print-only Zine given out somewhere in June 2015 from Glitch City. The puzzle on page 7, attributed as "???" to Rachel Sala, is a connect-the-dots diagram that produces the code for the imgur link of the piece.|
|Josh Sutphin||Legacy of the Elder Star||2016-06-07||2016-06-07||The sigil is on the main menu once you clear the game's Story Mode without using any continues.||The sigil was on a screenshot that a player of the game taken on 17 June 2016, so it's safe to assume it was added on release. Clicking the sigil shows the icon of a boss skull and then leads to a grid, where you have to input a binary code — use the numbers at the end of each boss's name (88, 124, 175, 201, 254) converted into binary. After that the grid disappears and the sigil is shown once again. Clicking it opens the piece in a new tab. Detailed album of everything|
Developer Exchange Archive (horribly outdated)
25th Jan. 2016
[EN] PCGamer - There is an indie ARG on the loose
[EN] VG24/7 - Is this a Steam AR game to promote The Witness?
[EN] Kotaku - For Years, A Few Steam Games Seem To Have Been Hiding A Larger Secret
[DE] Gameplane - The Witness – ARG, eine Sigille und Rätsel über Rätsel
26th Jan 2016
[EN] MXDWN - The Game Is Afoot! Steam Games Hiding A Secret
14th Feb 2016
[EN] DVSGaming - Crypts to Trains: The ARG That Connects 9 Random Games
31th Jul 2016
[EN] Vox Ludicus - There is a new ARG, encompassing 15 indie games on Steam.
16th Aug 2016
[EN] Kotaku - The "Eye Sigil" Conspiracy Is Indie Games' Most Arcane Mystery
17th Aug 2016
[EN], [DE], [IT] [ES-MX] [RS] Vice Gaming - These Mysterious Symbols Have Been in 19 Video Games and No One Knows Why
19th Aug 2016
[EN] Fraghero - A mysterious symbol has been found in 19 unrelated videogames and no one knows why
[EN] Mygaming - The greatest unsolved mystery in video games
[CN] 触乐网 - 两年来，这张神秘图片出现在19个不同的游戏中
20th Sep 2016
[PL] CD-Action - "Więźniowie labiryntu", issue#261 (11/2016), page 82
15th Nov 2016
[EN] Waypoint — Those Mysterious Symbols Hidden In 24 Games Have Crossed Over With 'Frog Fractions 2'
[EN] Kotaku — Indie Games’ Most Cryptic Mystery Apparently Just A Frog Fractions Teaser