|We are the same as we ever were. We are people. We are conscious human souls. We are the signal that rises above the noise.|
The Human Souls ARG, also known as Signal and Noise or Pangent Technologies, was first discovered on February 12th, 2016. A huge amount of content has been posted regularly since then, via the Signal and Noise Youtube Channel and the Pangent Technologies Tumblr.
This ARG was solved by a dedicated group of players on the unofficial Human Souls ARG Tumblr and the Game Detectives Discord Chat. All puzzle solutions are posted at that Tumblr in order, so puzzle solutions will not be mirrored here.
The players discussions throughout the process are now archived in the #human-souls channel on the Game Detectives Discord, now that the ARG is solved.
However The Pangent Technologies Twitter (run by Leslie it would appear) is still active, and perhaps indicates the ending is softer than we know?
Somewhere outside of linear time, there is a computer system known as 555, or The Cube. The Cube can save people's minds as data.
Two minds were uploaded before their deaths: a man named Eric, and a woman calling herself Rachel.
Rachel is still mourning the loss of her husband Bill, who was killed in an accident. Eric has apparently lost his wife, Charlotte, along with his daughter. (Video "Complete")
The Tumblr begins as a personal blog for a woman codenamed Argentina (Lottie) who works to develop the Cube technology as Project 555 at Pangent Technologies in London in 2017.
We get to know her friends Sharon and Eric, and Leslie and her cats.
The Cube (Project 555) is of particular interest to an individual codenamed "Lancelot," who is the cofounder of Pangent Technologies. He is eccentric, manipulative, and dying of cancer. His son, "Galahad," creates trouble for Lottie, and could lead the project towards disaster.
Since the Cube is outside of linear time, players have influence over the events of the story and may be working toward a happier ending than the first video implied.
Almost any Signal and Noise Youtube video posted publicly has a code in it, linking to other videos and material. See The list of Public Signal and Noise Videos with Solutions for a handy cross-reference.
For New Players
Some important videos and apps.
- Leslie Walsh (MayorSassenheim/Sporty)
- Charlotte (Lottie) Baird (Argentina/C/Ginger)
- Dean Schreyer (Lancelot)
- The Cube (Project 555)
- Eric Rook (E/Limonada)
- Liam (Matadork)
Pangent had many forms of player interaction that are included in puzzles.
Pangent Technologies includes a system for reserving lockers which later turn up in puzzles. See that page for more details and a listing of known reservations, along with links to the puzzle solutions. In order to reserve a locker, you need to ask them on their Tumblr. (Anonymous asks work too)
If you would like to contribute a puzzle to Pangent, contact our Sister Location (#human-souls on GameDetectives discord) to Seek Employment. This is very encouraged and welcomed by Pangent!
The Pangent Technologies Sister Location has come to refer to the player base, and in-game is a Pangent location in Vancouver run by 'Remote Employees'.
An official summary of the events in the ARG's story:
A place outside of linear time. The sound of data rushing in like a wave. The signal and the noise. The Cube. Project 555. Two minds, uploaded to a computer system after death. Trapped for eternity. The limitations of the system mean that both are incomplete and missing data. She calls herself Rachel, though she can no longer remember why. He calls himself Eric, and he will never forgive himself for that. He's not lying to her. But he's not telling her the whole truth either. He erased her. Decades of her. To bring her back. To stop her from breaking. He shouldn't have done that. He's been in there for awhile without her. Mourning the loss of his wife and child. She's mourning too. Her husband, Bill, who died in a car accident. Or so Eric says anyway. She's not sure what to believe, now. Eric died in a car accident too. And his wife saved him. To the Cube. Originally, the Cube was developed by the London branch of a company called Pangent Technologies. Nice people, some of them. Leslie (MayorSassenheim), a coder who loves her cats. Sharon (Guineapix). Charlotte Baird, a scientist. Also known as Lottie, and argentina. She began work on Project 555, alias the Cube, made up of a substance of mysterious origin retrieved in a covert military operation from a vacant lot in Long Beach, California in the early eighties, and returned to Pangent in London decades later. The Cube is made up of a glowing blue substance unlike anything else on earth. It is constantly generating energy which needs to be worked off somehow to prevent an explosion. Its surface area is fractal and theoretically infinite. The man who retrieved the Cube was Lancelot (Dean Schreyer), a founder of Pangent Technologies who named the company. He is eccentric and how he treats Lottie (and others) is ambiguous - Usually friendly but with a threat underneath that. He is manipulative and, as he is dying of cancer, wants Lottie to develop the Cube into technology which could preserve his mind after his death and effectively make him immortal. He feels the Cube's unique properties make it ideal for data storage. Lancelot's son is Alex (X/Galahad). He was Lottie's assistant, but becomes her boss, failing upward after getting the company in trouble by insulting people on Twitter. He is a perpetual thorn in the side for Lottie, Leslie and Sharon, who form a sort of group as "The Spice Girls" to oppose Alex when he tries to mess with them. This never works out in practice. Lottie, who gets very tired and strung out working on the Cube project, isn't willing to do anything terrible to Alex. December 2016. Alex has already gotten Lottie in trouble by losing his temper on Twitter. This causes Pangent Technologies to rethink their social media strategy. Alex is promoted while Lottie gets demoted, and in more and more trouble. She is asked to delete old posts on both the Tumblr and Twitter, but can't make the Python script work. The Tumblr and Twitter crash and a lot of data is lost. Lottie is fired. Leslie, who is then Alex's assistant, takes over for a bit. She loves cats, notably her own cats "Mayor Sassenheim" (who is running for reelection against Cat Trump) and "Caterine Dogememe." Later, Caterine has four kittens, and there are two or three other cats around as well (Chani, Melsy?). This is irrelevant. Eventually, Leslie will end up working on the Cube project as well. While Lottie is away, Alex searches through her old data to find out about a project codenamed "Percival." This was Lottie's project to record human thought as computer data. It was overly ambitious and failed due to the impossibility of storing that much data. Alex contacts his father (Dean/Lancelot), who brings The Cube to Pangent. The Cube's properties are so volatile and otherworldly that even looking at a photograph of it is enough to make a person very ill, or pass out. Looking at it in person will certainly knock someone out. Alex freaks Lottie, Leslie and Sharon out by sending them photographs of the Cube. Lottie had already gained a reputation for being reckless and destructive in her work, getting results by trying things others would be scared to try. She is drawn to the danger of the Cube project, and is rehired at Pangent. Both Lottie and Leslie sign contracts which are very unfavorable and give Pangent all rights to their work. Maybe more. Sharon, Lottie's friend, refuses to sign the contract and will continue to apply pressure on Alex to keep him in line, and to keep him from doing anything horrible to Lottie and Leslie. Lottie shoots down any effort to do anything really terrible to Alex instead. Leslie stops being Alex's assistant, replaced by a young woman named Kristi who Alex starts dating. Lottie and Eric begin dating over Christmas break 2016. Eric is neurotic and unsure of himself, and later that year he will awkwardly propose marriage to Lottie over the phone, which was pretty much designed to fail. They break up for awhile, but Leslie and Sharon take some effort to get Lottie and Eric back together. We later find out that Eric is an artist, and he and Sharon collaborate on a video game project, The Heart and the Crown, based on a script by Lottie. This is a fantasy story deconstructing the hero's journey - and pointing out that we as human beings are designed to die, and immortality isn't what it's cracked up to be. But before all that, working on the Cube project takes a great mental, physical and emotional toll on Lottie. The Cube's strange properties and her own self-destructive work ethic chip away at her. Alex is working the whole time to undermine her and take credit for her work, while Dean/Lancelot works to control and manipulate her. Lottie draws a comic called "Stressed Penguin." This later inspires Leslie to draw a comic of her own. Lottie makes great strides in getting Project 555 to the point where it could save a human mind as data. However, it's not ready enough yet when Dean/lancelot steals the Cube and hooks himself up to it. He passes into a coma and never wakes up. The Cube transmits several messages suggesting that some of Lancelot's mind was saved to it. The last message being "Hell is real." Dean dies. Alex fires Lottie from 555 and orders Kristi to erase the Cube. Alex starts his own team for 555, with Kristi and a reluctant Leslie, as well as Liam (matadork), who had worked with Lottie on the disastrous "Project Four," a study of the limits of the human mind which apparently involved a lot of sleep deprivation, alcohol and drugs. This team is called "Team Rocket" by Sharon, and later "Team Cricket" (after Kristi's handle). Lottie doesn't forgive Leslie for joining the "bad guys," which breaks Leslie's heart. Liam asks Lottie to resurrect Alyssa, a "drunken AI" she programmed for the disastrous Project Four. Alyssa's code is rewritten to be a simulation of Lottie herself. This is then stolen by "Team Cricket" and uploaded to the Cube. A year of data is lost, taking us up to late 2017. Lottie is much happier and living a normal life with Eric. Leslie, working on 555, gradually becomes as stressed out as Lottie was, due mostly to Alex being his awful self. Alyssa, the AI, uploaded to the Cube, becomes self-aware and almost human, referring to herself as 999 or "Entity." Existing outside of linear time she interacts with both the Pangent and Cube timelines. Inside the Cube, Eric has been trying to reconstruct Lottie's Tumblr and Twitter accounts and other archives, as a way of reconstructing memories. Alyssa now intervenes with this process, making the archive even more cryptic. "The source" at the center of the cube is blinding white light which creates and erases data, and is gradually erasing Eric as he works - though slowly enough that he accepts it. Cube Rachel is affecting the code too, also at great physical risk to herself. She is able to unlock Leslie's data, at the expense of Lottie. This results in a huge amount of data loss, and lots of videos of Leslie and her cats which overwhelm Eric. Alyssa the AI is trying to "unlock the pigs" (Sharon aka guineapix) even as she becomes more self-aware and a little insane. We know that Eric will die horribly in a car accident, and Lottie will save him as data to the Cube. Much later, she will join him inside the Cube and die. As Eric attempts to resurrect her data, he erases decades from her and creates "Cube Rachel" - an incomplete version of Lottie who doesn't remember or trust him. But Lottie's data - her blog posts, emails, and so on - are still in the Cube, as they were used for testing, and Eric spends his time compiling them into an archive. But if the Cube exists outside of linear time, perhaps there is still some hope for both of them.
Previously on Signal and Noise - Summary Playlist
In January of 2021, Pangent posted some public videos which led to the creation of a 49 video 'Summary Playlist' of Unlisted, Story-related Videos from the ARG over the years of its run (so far). See Previously on Signal and Noise to see how the playlist video IDs were found.
See This YouTube Playlist for all 49 videos in order if you want to watch them all in the order they were presented.
Signal and Noise Endgame - Finale Playlist
See The Signal and Noise Endgame Playlist for the videos which were revealed after 'Previously on Signal and Noise' up to the end of the credits.