Game Theory ARG
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|Game Theory ARG|
|It's just an ARG. A Game Theory ARG!|
|Creator||Game Theory (Matthew Patrick, Stephanie Patrick)|
The Game Theory Merch Mystery and an unnamed arg commencing on 29/8/2018 are ARGs created by the Game Theory Team: Matthew Patrick and Stephanie Patrick. The Merch Mystery was created to promote new Game Theory merchandise, so it may be possible that the next ARG is created to promote more products by Game Theory.
- 1 The 1st Merch Mystery
- 2 The Holiday Merch ARG
- 2.1 What is MatPat Hiding?
- 2.2 Prelude: You Are Prepared
- 2.3 Gate 1
- 2.4 Gate 2
- 2.5 Gate 3
- 2.6 Gate 4
- 2.7 Gate 5
- 2.8 Gate 6
- 2.9 Gate 7
- 2.10 Beta Gates
The 1st Merch Mystery
On 08/10/2018, MatPat announced on his twitter account that New Merch had been released, and that a puzzle involving the merch was also created. Although the clues necessary to complete the puzzle were hidden in merch, no purchase of said merch was necessary to complete the puzzle.
Some people who purchased the merchandise noticed 1 of 6 spelling errors on their carrier bag that the item was stored in. The 6 spelling errors were all in place of the letter "o" in the word "theory".
The 6 spelling errors could then be rearranged to spell "t#30r%". This would be used later on in the ARG.
The next clue would be hidden in the Game Theory Journal. All of the eyes of the characters in the notebook had letters located within them. When spelled sequentially, they would spell a website name: hasmatpatgonemad.com
This website showed a A 1:00 minute video of MatPat's face with big eyes surrounded by a weird background a rays coming from his head.
Keen eyed investigators saw that Matpat's blinking was actually Morse code, seen below:
- ... . / - .... . --- .-. .. ... - / --. .- -. .-- .- -.-- / -.. --- - / -.-. --- --
This decoded to
THE THEORIST GATEWAY DOT COM, and led players to a new website.
Players were greeted with one final 6 character password to put in. Players found the password to be
t#30r%, from the merchandise bags. The first 100 players to solve the puzzle received a prize for completing it so quickly.
The Holiday Merch ARG
What is MatPat Hiding?
On September 16, 2018, The Game Theorists YouTube channel released a video titled What is MatPat HIDING?. In it, MatPat did a post-mortem on the Merch Mystery and what his plans for the future are. He also hid 3 clues within the video. 2 were red herrings and 1 was real.
At the 0:08 mark an encrypted message was shown:
Uifsf bsf op Fbtufs Fhht jo ifsf. Hp bxbz.
When decrypted with a ROT25 cipher, players discovered the following message:
There are no Easter Eggs in here. Go away.
At the 12:38 mark a string of numbers with dashes is shown:
23 5 - 23 15 21 12 4 - 14 15 20 - 13 1 11 5 - 9 20 - 20 8 1 20 - 5 1 19 25
When decoded with a letters-numbers cipher, the message was:
we would not make it that easy
Finally, a suspicious looking tag may appear within the video description, titled
#UCVNTZJXAuvE3C7SfOsPNgEA. This was found to be a YouTube channel ID, which led players to a YouTube channel titled
The channel's banner consisted of a black image with the message "patience is the key" repeated across it.
The channel icon consisted of a red, inverse Game Theory logo, with the text
pow zNb Xdd MnH instead of
yroeht emag. This may be interpreted as it is, or can be turned upside down to give
HuW ppX qNz mob.
Some players also tried going on thetheoristgateway.com again after discovering these clues, and were greeted with this message:
We ju5t wanted to say thank you 2 everyone w4o participated in our firs7 ever Merch Mystery Treasure Hunt. lt was somet4ing fun we wanted 2 test out, and sure, we thought some of you would enjoy it, but W3 had no idea how absolutely deep down the rabbit hole you were willing 2 venture. l mean, HEX conversions? Really?? I am thrilled you all went th3re, and let me tell you that you've made me the proudest Theorist on the planet. This first experience really wa5 just our “toe in the water." Consider it our open b3ta. We’ve read your recommendations for future ARGs and we’re ready to go all out! So my dear friends and fellow T4eorists, get ready, because it’s about to get real.
Concatenating the numbers gives "524742323534". This can be converted from hex into text, giving the following result:
This hinted at altering the image so that each of the RGB values of colour are changed to 254, 1 less than 255. This was also hinted at in the filename, ff is 255 in hex, therefore fe is 254 in hex.
When the image was altered according to these instructions, a timestamp was discovered. The timestamp is dated 29/9/2018 at 00:00:01 PST (08:00:01 UTC).
If you also look at the source code for the site, you will find the hidden message "Return on the date which is hidden."
Prelude: You Are Prepared
At 8:00 UTC, https://www.thetheoristgateway.com was updated, changing from the letter to a broken countdown.
The file's name (patienceisthekey6974736a75737461636c6f636b6775797372656c6178.gif) contained hex that translated to
The only other clue on this page was located on the css of the page. Mysterious class names called "patience" and "enter the URL" suggested there were other clues to be found.
At the same time, A video was released on the tenretni olleh channel. The video was a distorted 1-minute version of the intro to game theory videos. Many clues were hidden within it:
- At 0:06 and 0:07, a string of hex characters can be seen for one frame. When translated, they read:
july 15 1983
the first 1
- At 0:17, the title screen at the end of the intro changes the usual Koopa to Link from Zelda. As of now, it holds no clue but Matpat may change it again in other videos revealing clues.
- Between 0:35 and 0:57, a sentence made up of unique, never seen before symbols are shown. When converting each symbol to a separate letter of the alphabet, and then using a cryptogram solver, it reads:
FIND THE SEARCH - READ THE NOTES - FEAR RABBITS THAT VENTURE INTO HOLES - THE GATES SHALL SUMMON YOU - PATIENCE - AND KNOW THIS - YOU ARE PREPARED
- When the audio is but into a spectrogram, more symbols are discovered. These are believed to be a complete alphabet of all characters, including letters, numbers and operation signs.
- Finally, At 0:13, a sequence of binary is shown for one frame. When translated, it reads:
[www.thetheoristgateway.com/notthefirst18fc17.html That website] shows an incomplete website link with a spinning red game theory logo replacing a directory.
Using the HuW ppX qNz mob and pow zNb Xdd MnH from the channel profile picture of tenretni olleh, 2 new URLs are discovered:
The first URL shows a still image of an equation, a word search and some symbols from before. The symbols translate to
that's not a tvpo , and the filename of the image (HuWppXqNzmod_57656c6c20746861742077617320656173792e20446f6e277420676574207573656420746f2069742e.jpg) contains hex which translates to
Well that was easy. Don't get used to it. .
The second url shows a gif of a changing crossword, with a longer equation and more symbols. The symbols translate to
must be a typo , the filename of the image (powzNbXddMnH_536c6f70707920776f726b2c20796f756e67205468656f726973742e203c696e7365727420534d48206d656d653e.jpg) contained hex which translated to
Sloppy work, young Theorist. <insert SMH meme> , and the numbers in the equation can also be translated as hex, which read
At the bottom right corner of the first image, using imaging software revealed a clue:
the first 17
Through a jump in logic, it was suggested this could be referring to the first 17 games made by Nintendo. This was confirmed when the games could be found within the word search in the first URL.
These game titles also all had one symbol within them that could be translated. These symbols also had a specific color. When ordering the titles by release date and grouping by the color of the symbols, a message could be deciphered from it:
This was the final clue, and inputting it into a bit.ly link (bit.ly/lucktoheaven) lead to the final URL: https://www.thetheoristgateway.com/leavelucktoheaven.
This image is believed to be the end of the "warm-up". In similar fashion to the notebook from the first ARG, the image contained a wealth of information about the ARG and the plans moving forward. The image also reveals a date for the arg to start. The time on the iPhone next to the notebook reads 12:07 11/24/18. Assuming the date is in PDT, The confirmed start of the arg (and release of new merch) was 12:07:01 PDT (19:07:01 UTC) 11/24/18 November 24th was also the release of the Until Dawn theory, but no link between the future ARGs and the video has been found as of yet.
By converting the numbers from the barcode of the pen in this picture from hexadecimal to text, the word
yoshi is outputted.
Upon checking the file titled "main.css" on this image, MatPat leaves a message:
Wow you guys are digging deep. I guess we could put something in here, couldn't we?
Later, a theory was uploaded to the Game Theorist channel which included a section in the intro with the Tenretni Olleh logo and a long string of repeated phrases: "THAT'S JUST A THEORY" and "THAT'S NOT JUST A THEORY." Converting the former phrase to 1's and the latter to 0's revealed an incoherent string of binary. Altering the string to make it decipherable revealed the phrase
the clue is purple, however, many players found the method used to find this result to be questionable at best.
All Answers and hints to puzzles will be revealed after the arg is over.
The Gate Opened on 11/24/18 at 20:07:00 UTC, and contained 5 keys. Each of these required a puzzle to be solved. Once all 5 keys were solved, a "final clue" would be revealed, which may take effect on Gate 7.
- 1 word (7). A gif of something released on July 15 1983.
- 2 words (5,6). An Image of Link with the text "The one replaced" below him. A link to the "The END of Princess Peach" video on the Game Theory channel was also placed beneath the image.
- This puzzle was divided into 3 sections, and all of them involved this youtube video:
3a. 2 words (6,6) 3b. 1 word (9) 3c. 1 word (11)
The second gate was counting down seemingly as normal but when the website is visited it displays the message
‘Hey Theorists, Gate 2 is postponed. Thank you so much for your understanding. We were so excited to launch this most epic Gate for you, but on the bright side, we can make Gate 2 even moar epic while our engineers continue to work through the technical issues. :-] Again, 7468616E6B796F750A 🙂.’
7468616E6B796F750A is ‘Thank you’ in hexadecimal. The word more in this announcement is misspelled but no other information has been found.
On December 8th, the gate was opened, however the volume of traffic the site received caused the site to crash. The majority of people got stuck on a 404 error page, with a tiny amount of people actually managing to get to the real page. Creator Ink, the site that hosts The Theorist Gateway, decided to postpone gate 2 until after the site could handle the theorists, and said they would change the clues.
On December 14th, it was announced that there would be "Beta" gates before they reopened gate 2.
The Beta Gates were announced after the failed opening of gate 2. The purpose was to check if the site would be able to withstand the sheer volume of theorists that were entering the site. It was also announced that the Beta Gates wouldn't affect the leaderboard for the real gates, but would instead have their own leaderboard.
Beta Gate 1
The first of the Beta Gates already hid a clue, even before it opened. In the time leading up to the gate's opening, the gate flashed a message in morse code, which translated to "Break Me". Prizes were promised for the first 77 to finish. The Top 77 would get some 'Free' merch (Excluding shipping), and the top 10 to finish would get a $50 Creator Ink Gift Card.
On December 20th, the first Beta Gate opened. Unlike the main gates, it only consisted of 3 keys, but they were still as hard as usual. The site stayed up this time, unlike with gate 2, but the leaderboard still had problems.
Overall, however, the first beta gate was a huge success, just as Creator Ink tweeted about after the event. See Tweet
- 1 Word (13). This Key was a picture With some words and if you squinted you could make out something else on the image
- 4 Words (3, 2, 3, 4) This key had the original YouTube Video called youareprepared and the following line: "Complete this sentence: BLACK IS ZERO..."
- 1 Word (28) The final key in gate 1 had another YouTube video by the name of break me.
Beta Gate 2
The Second Beta Gate opened on December 28, 2018 at 20:00 PST.