Difference between revisions of "Oddworld: Soulstorm"
|[unchecked revision]||[unchecked revision]|
|Line 11:||Line 11:|
Revision as of 10:23, 4 February 2017
|Oddworld Soulstorm ARG|
|Oddworld Soulstorm - An ARG centered around lore from the Oddworld universe linked to the currently unreleased game Oddworld Soulstorm|
|Creator||Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc|
- 1 Spirit of 1029
- 1.1 Smells like Mudokon Spirit
- 1.2 The First Transmission
- 1.3 The Second Transmission
- 2 Loose Ends
- 3 Chronology
- 4 Media Appearances
Spirit of 1029
Early in 2016, Twitter account @edmudokon began posting cryptic messages that seemed to be related to the Oddworld universe. The account appears to be run by an average Mudokon named Ed who claims to have information he wants to share, but he seems to be in constant danger and can only access the outside world via a faint connection. Beginning around March 2016, @edmudokon engaged users with an elaborate series of puzzles and challenges, releasing information both on twitter and via the official Oddworld website, http://www.oddworld.com/soulstorm/. These puzzles eventually led to the revelation of a website, http://1029.io, as well as a message: "now you know. you can help. join us. together we can rise."
The http://1029.io webpage features glitchy effects and another rendition of the ASCII-art logo, but with the numbers 8291 replacing some characters. At the bottom of the page is an e-mail signup form, above which is a message:
THE FALL OF RF1029 WAS THE SPARK TO IGNITE A REVOLUTION. FOR TOO LONG, THEY HAVE CONTROLLED THEIR GIANT INDUSTRIAL MACHINES, GRINDING THE BONES OF OUR KIND INTO DUST IN THEIR ENDLESS PURSUIT OF POWER AND WEALTH.
WE WERE TAUGHT THAT THIS IS ALL THERE WAS: OBEY.
THE TRUTH WAS HIDDEN FROM US. OUR HISTORY WAS HIDDEN FROM US. WE WERE BRED TO WORK, RAISED TO OBEY AND FORCED TO COMPLY.
OUR NATURAL CONNECTION TO MOTHER PLANET WAS ERASED FROM THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF OUR PEOPLE. LOST WAS OUR KNOWING. LOST WAS OUR UNITY, OUR CONNECTION, OUR POWER AND OUR PURPOSE. ALL THAT WE WERE WAS A COMMODITY TO BE TRADED AND EXPLOITED IN THE ONGOING RACE FOR MORE WEALTH. WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE PROTECTED, WE WERE TRICKED INTO KILLING. WHAT WAS WORST FOR US, WE WERE TOLD WAS BEST. WE WERE TAUGHT TO TRUST THOSE WHO WOULD DECEIVE US THE MOST.
THAT HAS ALL CHANGED.
THE HERO HAS SHOWN ALL OF US THAT OUR OPPRESSORS CAN BE TOPPLED. HE HAS FOUND OUR WILD AND KNOWING BROTHERS. HE HAS RECONNECTED THE FACTORY-BORN TO OUR NATURAL WORLD AND ANCIENT WAYS. HE HAS LIT A FIRE IN OUR HEARTS THAT CANNOT BE EXTINGUISHED.
WE WILL GIVE HELP TO THOSE WHO ARE HELPLESS. WE WILL LEND STRENGTH TO THOSE WHO ARE WEAK. WE WILL FIGHT FOR THOSE WHO ARE DEFEATED. OUR MOVEMENT WILL SPREAD LIKE A RAGING INFERNO AND WE WILL TAKE BACK THE POWER FROM THOSE WHO HAVE ABUSED IT.
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY THE MEDIA CIRCUS. WE WILL NOT BE IGNORED. WE WILL NOT STOP. WE WILL NOT OBEY. WE WILL RISE AND WE WILL RISE AGAIN, UNTIL WE HAVE BURNED THROUGH OUR TATTERED BONDS AND RAZED THE MACHINE TO THE GROUND.
WE WILL RISE. JOIN US.
THERE’S A STORM COMING.
In the source code for the page, only the letters E and D of the message remain capitalized.
Later that day, the Twitter account @SPIRITOF1029 revealed themselves as a "Clandestine organization dedicated to doing good on behalf of the Mudokons and revealing information about a new horror being perpetrated against their species." They also tweeted their first message, parroting the http://1029.io URL and adding their own message: "There is a storm coming. Join us."
Up until December the feeds went dark, posting only reiterations of the URL with messages like "Rise up" and "We are the storm. Join us". Then, in January of 2017, activity on the accounts surged once again and the first hints of a second phase of the ARG began to appear.
Smells like Mudokon Spirit
The flurry of new activity in January mainly consisted of @edmudokon and @spiritof1029 talking back and fourth about about whether or not Ed would be able to help the organization's cause. At this point, the Spirit of 1029 makes their message very clear, stating "Oddworld has been blind to the plight of the noble Mudokons for too long. We will rise. Join us! http://1029.io". More notable activty includes the organization's quip "We recommend knowledge of many different codes and ciphers - you never know who is listening. #learnyournameinmorsecodeday", hinting that the coming information would be enciphered in some way.
Oddworld Inhabitants (Oddworld developers, @OddworldInc on Twitter) was contacted by the organization at this time, being told by Spirit of 1029 "We will help @edmudokon but we can't send anything unencrypted. You'll have to break our code. We'll be in touch." Very shortly thereafter, on January 19th, Spirit of 1029 tweets: "We have received a transmission. We will pass it on as soon as we can verify. We need your help." and the Oddworld Webpage is updated to make available two files for download.
The First Transmission
The Spirit of 1029's first transmission came in two parts, a photo and an audio file. The first part consisted of a photograph, pictured on the right as it looked upon transmission. It appears to show a tattered document with many portions of text redacted, burnt at the edges and bearing the Spirit of 1029's logo with the slogan "We Will Rise". The text on the document, where it is legible and not redacted, reads:
Date: Period: XXXXXXXXXXX Specification Details: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX -Observe XXXXXXX and XXXXXXXX changes in test subjects -Assess long term XXXXXXXX on XXXXXXX -Determine product safety Authorization: XXXXXXXXXXX Tests requested: -XXXXXXXX Pronostics - ?Access whenever? product XXXXXXX -Acidity Levels - ????? XXXXXXXXX -Product safety Expected results: XXXXXXXXXX make XXXXXXXXX interesting Test results: -XXXXXXX highly XXXXXX -XXXXXXX this XXXXXX ?? XXXXXX ?nice? XXXXXXXX -Highly XXXXXXX -Subjects: XXXXXX - XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Conclusion: Product (ready) for consumption -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ??? : XXXXXXXX there is XXXXXX here but it will XXXX ???? XXXXX --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As headway is made on the puzzles, the official Oddworld webpage was updated to reflect the progress, and moreover to shed light on which theories may be valid by linking to theories on the right track in their updates.
Directional Arrows, Pigpen, & Anglo-Saxon Runes
In addition to the text in the photo, there are several areas featuring symbols and runes. Along the top of the document, Anglo-Saxon runes spell out
ED. Along the bottom, BabelStone Club Penguin pigpen cipher, which is a font, spells out
YOU ARE THE KEY YOU KNOW IT IF YOU WERE LISTENING. Running along the right side of the image, arrows pointing in a number of different vertical, horizontal, and diagonal directions, pictured right, can be seen. After thorough investigation, it was discovered that these arrows can be decoded by taking their angle measurement and deducing an "alphanumeric" equivalent, or a number between 0-25 where each number represents a letter of the alphabet. It just so happened that each arrow had an angle which ended in a zero, and thus, the first "arrow cipher" decodes to:
12 15 15 11 6 15 18 15 21 18 13 5 19 19 1 7 5 8 5 1 18 15 21 18 22 15 9 3 5
L O O K F O R O U R M E S S A G E H E A R O U R V O I C E
The cleartext ends up as
LOOK FOR OUR MESSAGE HEAR OUR VOICE.
First Audio Clip
The second part of the Spirit of 1029's first transmission consisted of an eerie-sounding 1:40 audio clip. Hidden in the audio clip was Morse code, which proved difficult to decode by ear due to the overpowering audio laid over the code. However, the code also appeared to be playing in reverse, which added an additional layer of difficulty. Eventually, the code was cracked by using a spectrogram of the audio which revealed the code visually as a guide to decoding it by ear.
With the image as a guide, the code yielded its secrets. Although rough in some spots, the decoded Morse read:
Moments before the Morse had been decoded, however, the community had made another exciting discovery. Using portions of the Morse already decoded accurately by ear, it had been discovered that the decoded Morse was actually to be used as ciphertext in a shift cipher, and that the key to be used was "storm". This was what the pigpen text on the document was meant to indicate; earlier in the ARG, @spiritof1029 often tweeted the messages "There's a storm coming" and "We are the storm". The pigpen served as a hint to look back at previous communications in order to unlock the current hurdle. With the newly-complete Morse code now in their possession, the community was finally able to accurately decipher the ciphertext they had obtained from the reversed Morse code. It read:
ten twenty nine dot io nonqexer dot io foeserdsdaspjaepository forwardslash asset ninety eight forward slash img zero fofrfiueonedst
Although clearly not entirely accurate, through trial and error the community was able to locate a new URL branch of http://1029.io, http://1029.io/repository/asset98/imgzerofourfiveone/.
First Hidden URL
The community quickly realized these were cut up pieces of a larger puzzle. Oddworld Inhabitants updated their page to read "Once you've got everything together - show us!", so the community had a clear goal in sight, the product of which can be seen on the right. This image was tweeted out to @OddworldInc, and by January 20th, the next day, they had replied, instructing the community to hang tight while they cleaned up the image.
First Unlocked Photo
While waiting, the community picked up on what appeared to be some writing on some of the pieces. This writing was later verified to read "Who?", "Where?", "So Tired", and a set of numbers likely to be "8291". After three days, @OddworldInc tweeted out a scrambled image, pictured left, stating "We received something and there's one last thing we need you to do. Share it. Spread the word.". The next day, after the tweet gained 100 shares, they tweeted another image, pictured left, this time unscrambled. At this time, they stated "While you shared our message 100 times we worked away to bring you this. We're clearing it up even more, we'll share what we find Thursday.", while the webpage was updated with the message "Update 5: Thanks to you guys sharing the previous images online, we've managed to decode the photo further and have updated the thumbnail here. We'll return on Thursday with the finished, fully decrypted image - but until then, please do let us know what you think!" And, true to their word, when Thursday came @OddworldInc tweeted out a final picture of a render from the upcoming Oddworld: Soulstorm, pictured right, in all its unscrambled un-cropped glory. The release of this image signaled the end of the first of five phases of content release Oddworld Inhabitants have planned.
The Second Transmission
NOTE: This section will be updated and formatted once investigation of the second image concludes.
On Feburary 2nd 2017, the Spirit of 1029 again reached out to the community, tweeting out via @Spiritof1029 "Our agent has delivered another transmission. We will verify its origins and pass it on." Several hours later, Twitter account @OddworldInc sent the message "We were just contacted again. Don't go anywhere, we might need your help with this...", and the Official Oddworld Site was updated with a message as well as an image, pictured left. In addition to the image, a newsletter was sent out to everyone who signed up at the bottom of http://1029.io. The newsletter features basic info about the ARG so far, as well as a barcode at the very bottom, which, when scanned, reveals a code:
Ivzw gsv mfnyvih pmld gsv gifgs
This code, when passed through a cryptogram solver, reveals a hidden message:
READ THE NUMBERS KNOW THE TRUTH
An "in-progress" image, pictured on the right, highlights the hidden details found so far & outlines their currently known solutions.
The Morse code in the image turned out to be fragments of a larger single code, seen below pieced back together:
The Morse decodes to... more Morse code, of course!:
DASHDOTDOTDOT DOT DASH DOTDOTDOTDOT DOT DOTDOTDOT DASH DASHDASHDASHDASH DOTDASHDOT DASHDASH
Which in turn decodes to:
-... . - .... . ... - --- .-. --
Braille & Upside-down Pigpen
A message in Braille, pictured right, in the bottom-left of the image reads "Spread our message". The Babelstone pigpen code, when flipped upside down:
KNOW YOUR CODES
KEEP THEM CLOSE
YOU WILL NEED THEM
Directional Arrows Puzzle
Using the same method as was used to decode the first cryptic arrows, these arrows turned out to decode to:
7 14 9 8 20 25 18 5 22 5 5 4 15 3 5 4 H O J I U Z S F W F F E P D F E
This ciphertext, when decoded using a Caesar cipher set to a shift of 25, reveals the message
GNIHTYREVEEDOCED, which is
DECODE EVERYTHING backwards.
Hidden Barcodes & Second Hidden URL
Much experimentation by the community led to speculation that the strange box in the bottom-right of the image sent by the Spirit of 1029, pictured left, was a fragmented barcode. After many failed attempts to reconfigure them correctly, the two barcodes were both finally correctly assembled and, when scanned, led to the discovery of two messages:
Combining these messages into a single URL, http://www.1029.io/repository/asset98/findawayshowthetruth/, led to the discovery of a new page with the Spirit of 1029's scrambled logo, pictured right, on it. In the source code of the page, an extensive message containing several presently-unsolved puzzles is written. It reads:
!-- Can’t reach any.. Listening anyon… there? Can hear us anymore- need to… can’t fnd We will never give… what they… from us A9539 \\ B2919 /\\ C4882 /\ D4627 \ E6758 \ F???? //// /\//\\//5,1:4.1,2:8.1,3:2.3,3:2.4,3:3.7,3:3.1,5:3.4,5:9.5,5:2.7,5:4.7,6:6.3,7:3. Does… care? Freedom isn’t gi… will take… We have never…. Given… deserve. We… take… our righ… \\//\/KDIUTHANPUYHHDQOEPLNDOALJGUDITHBBDOZLGFERKJGLSAOE Stand up and fi… Don’t be afr…. \////JUTYROSLNGNALEHGNWOTIQPOKSDNTPNOJAWEOBNGLAWKJNWNR E=5OUEHRA? \\\\/\2,1:2.3,1:2.6,1:4.1,2:4.3,2:2.3,4:4.5,5:2.6,5:3.7,5:3.4,7:8.5,7:3.7,6:4. 7777338883366899984477733 33 They want to… kill- don’t- Stop them from…. Hurting- they… think We are no less- they think… aside Don’t believe what… told- liars… A5989 \\ B5176 \ C2863 \ D2558 //\ E3413 \ F???? //// Can’ fnd anymo- We wil silnced Killin- they are dy.. \\\/\\JHWUITUHABSJGNEWKLALNVGJKWELKJLWQQPRUTJHJJSBFMMH Hurting the.. Back down unt… resist. Intercep… our messa… we will fight ///\\/JQEABTVKNUCSEYCMBILDKOSCYSITECPAGFAXHKETJNZURWCIE We will ri… Cannot… silenced when ther… who need… now We won’t ba… we have beat…. Before… Must not- \///\//\1,1:3.4,1:2.6,1:9.2,2:2.6,2:2.2,4:4.3,5:2.5,5:2.7,5:3.4,7:3.6,7:2.7,7:2. Spent so long…. Afraid… never let- again ...Storm… find it’s way- end Why are … here? Only...profit- nothing more… importnt as- - lies they… will tel- Believe- nothing… terribl- things… \\//\\\/4,2:6.6,2:4.7,3:3.2,4:8.3,4:2.4,4:2.7,4:3.2,6:2.4,6:3.6,6:2.1,7:4.3,7:2. -->
Source Code Comment Numbers Puzzles
These numerical puzzles were found in the source code for the official Oddworld website as early as the date of the Spirit of 1029's first transmission. Their solutions have been found, but the intended use of the solutions remains unknown.
!-- 72 99 \ / 27 45 \ / 18 39 \ / 21 36 \ / ?? 28 \ / 13 21 \ / 7 -->
SOLUTION: 12 7+2+9+9 = 27, 2+7+4+5 = 18, thus 2+1+3+6 = 12
!-- 16 _ 37 _ 58 _ 89 _ 145 _ 42 _ ?? _ 4 |_________________<_________________| -->
SOLUTION: 20 1^2 + 6^2 = 37, 3^2 + 7^2 = 58, thus 4^2 + 2^2 = 20
Other Source Code Comments
On http://1029.io, the following comments could or can be found in the page's source code:
!-- we'll be here, waiting. -->
!-- Well, I //--/ED Mudokon/. But who// _____ r///u/ //?
Written Text on "Puzzle Pieces" Image
Writing which was noticed written over the image on the puzzle pieces, but which is absent from the final released image. The significance of the writing remains unknown.
Anomalies In First Released Image
Hidden against the background of the first released image are several text strings, pictured below. Their significance is unknown.
1101110BC 100000BD or 100000BC 010100BD
26th Jan 2017
27th Jan 2017
28th Jan 2017