Ready Player One

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Ready Player One

Rp1 logo.jpg

An ARG linked to the movie adaptation of Ernest Cline's book Ready Player One'
Creator Warner Bros.
Type Investigation
Status Completed
Discovered 2017-12-10
Main Page > List of Investigations > Ready Player One

The Ready Player One ARG was a promotional ARG linked to the release of the movie Ready Player One. The movie itself is an adaptation of Ernest Cline's novel, of the same name. The story takes place in the near future, where a virtual world called the OASIS has risen to prevalence in society. When James Halliday, the creator of the OASIS, dies, he leaves his entire fortune to whomever can discover the Easter egg he has hidden within the OASIS. Ready Player One follows those who choose to search for this Easter egg.

Ready Player One is set to release on March 30, 2018.

Halliday's Ghost

The trailer in which the QR code was found

On December 10, 2017, the first official trailer for Ready Player One was released.

QR Code

At the 1:10 mark of this trailer, a QR code is visible:

Rp1 trailer 1 qr.jpg

Scanning this QR code leads to the URL http://www.jointhequest.io/HallidaysGhost/, which contains a profile on James Halliday, the creator of the OASIS. On the left side of the PDF, some binary is visible:

01010100 01010011 01000001 01010010 01011001 00001101 00001010 01010101 01000101 00100000 01001110 01010011 01000111

Deciphering this binary into ASCII (eg. using this site) yields the following text:

TSARYUE NSG

These jumbled letters are an anagram for GUNTERS SAY, which is the first half of a password for the main Join the Quest site.

Reddit Account

The obituary posted by HallidaysGhost

On the same day the trailer was released, a Reddit account named HallidaysGhost posted this image to the Ready Player One subreddit.

On the right side of the image, some binary is visible, similar to the previous binary:

01000101 01000101 01001110 01010010 01001001 01000101 00100001 01000100 01010110

Deciphering this binary into ASCII (eg. using this site) yields the following text:

EENRIE!DV

These jumbled letters are an anagram for NEVER DIE!, which is the second half of a password for the main Join the Quest site.

Are You Ready?

The two anagrams were combined to form the passphrase GUNTERS NEVER SAY DIE!, which was a valid passphrase for the main Join the Quest site. Submitting the passphrase led to this video, titled Are You Ready?

The video prominently displays imagery of an egg, in reference to the concept of an Easter egg. Throughout the video, each of the words WHAT IS THE QUEST briefly appear. After the video has completed, an animation of a rotating egg is displayed on the Join the Quest site.

Return of the Halliday

80s net

On January 22, 2018, six Halliday's Ghost social media accounts each posted an image depicting an 80s movie character in ASCII art. All the posts, apart from the Twitter and Instagram posts, were titled or captioned "SEE THE FUTURE". The bottom-right corner of each image contained a coloured rectangle.

Reddit

The reddit post showed the gopher from Caddyshack. Its corner was lime green.

Imgur

The Imgur post depicted a critter from Critters and had a purple corner.

Instagram

The Instagram post portrayed Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors and had a red corner, but no caption.

Facebook

The Facebook post depicted Bubo from Clash of the Titans and also had a lime green corner.

Tumblr

The Tumblr post showed Gizmo from Gremlins and had a light-blue corner.

Twitter

The tweet depicted Falcor from The Neverending Story. Its corner was white, but the body of the tweet contained a riddle similar to Halliday's clues in the book:

The meal that you crave is in characters hid
From bits in a link to points on a grid
And if you take hours 2 answer this call
What was once for Gunters will be shared with all

SEE THE FUTURE

The "See The Future" trailer

At the same time as the social media posts were made, a new trailer for Ready Player One was released. The end of the video contained the letters "2DfgLjh":

RP1 See The Future trailer code.png

This led to a bit.ly address, which redirected to http://www.jointhequest.io/acapella/, which had an embedded, unlisted video on the Halliday's Ghost channel.

Acapella

The "Acapella" video

The video contained a series of black squares with coloured boxes and flashes. When the frames from the video are overlaid on the social media images with the same colour in the corner, they highlight letters. Once unscrambled, the message "NEVER FEED A GUNTER AFTER MIDNIGHT" was revealed.

Grail Diary

At the same time, http://www.jointhequest.io/ was also updated with a "Grail Diary" of images and videos relating to the film and the ARG. It also had a password box, and entering the message from the Acapella video unlocked the "See the Future" trailer. This password box was later removed and the trailer added to the site for all to view.

Joust

On February 13, 2018 at 2:04 PM UTC, Halliday's Ghost posted a new tweet suggesting that the next puzzle would be Joust-related. Shortly thereafter, the Joust logo was added to jointhequest, and when Sorrotto's IOI ID number is entered into the password field, an option to play Joust appears. The game appears to be a fully functioning Joust ROM.