Secret Project

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Secret Project
Completed on 2020-03-06
NewExample3.png
Type Official
Creator Frictional Games
Discovered 2020-01-23
Completed 2020-03-06

Main Page > List of Investigations > Secret Project

Secret Project is an official ARG created for Frictional Games' Amnesia: Rebirth, originally titled Secret Project #1.

The ARG is taking place on the Next Frictional Game website, mostly comprised of finding YouTube IDs by solving puzzles hidden within the site.

Throughout this article, information has been taken from this Google doc.

Background

Since 10/12/2019, one second videos of a growing embryo are uploaded bi-weekly to the Next Frictional Game website. The name of each video represented the date the video was posted on, in this format: mm/dd.
Each video got deleted from the site after being replaced by a new one.

1210


It wasn't until the 23/01/2020, that the first clue for the ARG finally appeared on the site.

0123.mp4 - the first video that appeared with an ARG clue.

Update 1

Summary

noborder
noborder

On 23/01/2020, a new eye icon was spotted at the bottom right of the website, along with the other social media icons.
Hovering on the icon reveals a YouTube video ID suWaF-aIdV4 which leads to a video named Box 52, Tape 16.

The HTML code of the site was inspected as well, and another YouTube video ID pBW3V85Y-I4 was found inside an element named artefact.
The ID leads to a video named Box 7 Reel 2, Partial Success

Box 52, Tape 16

Marked Shetpe, KSSR.

The video shows a collection of rocks near a body of water, and then zooms in on a rock with peculiar symbols craved on it. The description of the video mentioned it's a cassette marked Shetpe, KSSR.

KSSR refers to Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, now Kazakhstan.

A notable location regarding the mentioned location in the video is Sherkala, A mountain located near the town of Shetpe.
It is the remains of medieval caravanserai. Tunnels were built inside the mountain during a besiege.

Box 7 Reel 2, Partial Success

Triple Crown.

Nothing can be seen in the video, but three monstrous screams can be heard.
The description describes this video as an artefact, which is marked Triple Crown.

Update 2

Summary

noborder

On 29/01/2020, a hidden text was added to the site that was discovered by highlighting the lower part of the website.
The text reads Exxpedition: frrequenncy oof raddioo 78.3 short WWave seQQuence.

By putting together the double letters and the numbers, we get: xrnodo783WQ. This served as a YouTube video ID which lead to the video Box 12, Recent Acquisitions.

Box 12, Recent Acquisitions

The video takes place in Salzburg, Austria, in an expedition site. The person in the video wears a bracelet with a black feather on it.
A note can be found inside the ammunition box. The transcript of the note is as follows:

Recovered 12/5/2018, via source S576a. Salzburg, site TBD. Document retrieval failed, investigation commissioned.
There is an itching behind my eyes as if a beetle
burrows there in the gold of my brain, boring
its way in, mandibles clawing at grey matter
as if a gnarled finger has been pushed
into my skill, a broken fingernail working 
into my thoughts. I want to reach in
with a needle to scratch it or
perhaps a piece of wire through the tear duct, threading through the
lacrimal canal.

Threadlike black worms squirm in my eye. When I think about them they
are agitated and start to trash around. 
They know I am scared
and it makes them worse.

If I hold myself still, if I ease my mind, if I empty 
my head and try not to be afraid
of [...] then the itching fades to the
tickling of a feather. I've tried
filling myself with the notes of a
song or the colours of a beautiful picture, but it doesn't work.
Only emptiness gives me any [...]
I wish I had my gun.


A notable location regarding the mentioned location in the video is the Salzburg Catacombs, which include ancient christian underground tunnel systems.

Update 3

Summary

noborder

On 04/02/2020, a new element was added to HTML page code, named transmission.
By adding /transmission to the site url, a file can be downloaded.
After a .wav extension was added to the filename, the file could be opened.

Upon opening the file, an audio that resembles morse code is played.
The morse code was translated to V0FFI3DDMXXWH4.

By treating the double letters as uppercase and the rest as lower case, we get v0Fi3DmXwh4,
which results in the YouTube ID for the video Box 11, recent acquisitions.

Box 11, recent acquisitions

Recovered 3/3/2017, website acquisition. Private workshop, Saint-Denis, Paris. Cover note: "Qu'avec cette vieille radio et qu'en cet endroit précis."

The video takes place in Saint-Denis, Paris, in an old workshop.

The person in the video is seen operating a short wave radio, which plays an ominous sound of a person singing the song "See Saw Margery Daw".

Cover note translation: "Only with this old radio and in this specific place."

A notable location regarding the mentioned location in the video is the Paris Catacombs, which include ancient underground tunnel systems.

Update 4

Summary

Result of the re-arranged image pieces.

On 13/02/2020, a new button named Press Kit was added to the site.
The button lead to a google drive folder, which contains sub-folders for each of Frictional's games.
Inside the unannounced folder, another folder was found, which contains 11 image files. The name of each file is made of one letter.

The images were placed together and formed an incomplete image.
The names of each photo were put together from top-left to bottom-right, and resulted in: 1KaDkmxsvTo, which is the YouTube ID for the video Box 12, Recent Acquisitions (Card 3)

Box 12, Recent Acquisitions (Card 3)

Recovered 13/7/2018, via source S576a.

The video takes place in Algeciras, Spain, in an ex-warehouse, previously owned by different people.

The person in the video wears a bracelet with a black feather on it, suggesting it is the same person from Box 12, Recent Acquisitions.
This events in this video take place two months after Box 12, Recent Acquisitions.

A Twanas-looking artifact made of sticks with feathers can be seen.
A golden ring is located inside the artifact, with symbols craved on it.
Too much light is reflected from the ring to get a good look at the symbols.

Update 5

Summary

On 20/02/2020, a new entry appeared in the HTML code:

// Kifpd kmxdzs rwxszr xe f rbkrwfspz bsdsxls
// Woz fsxnfiv uxzr sxw itz ts woz covrtpfi exmn
// Kzvxsu rtjow, woz itszr xe woz lxmiu wltrw flfv emxn zhbtitkmtbn fsu fmz mzrofczu
// Tw tr f wzfm ts woz gzti
// Lofw itzr kzvxsu?
// Tr wotr lofw kzpfnz xe Pfrrfsumf?
// ztjowstszvwufroztjowztjowMogH

Using the substitution cipher rules, the text was deciphered and revealed the following message:

Black broken stones of a substance unknown 
The anomaly does not lie in the physical form
Beyond sight,the lines of the world twist and are reshaped 
It is a tear in the veil 
What lies beyond? 
Is this what became of Cassandra? 
eight nine yt dash eight eight RhvQ

Cassandra is a reference to the character from the Greek mythology.

The YouTube ID is: eight nine yt dash eight eight RhvQ -> 89yt-88RhvQ which led to the video Box 11, Recent Acquisitions (Card 15).

Box 11, Recent Acquisitions (Card 15)

Recovered 12/2/2016, website acquisition. Saint-Jérôme, Quebec. Recovery team dispatched, could not locate site or anomaly.

The video shows a person walking with a compass towards the "black broken stones of a substance unknown" from the cryptic message.
When they reach near the black stones, the compass starts to show anomalous behavior, and the video feed cuts.

Update 6

Summary

On 28/02/2020, 11 letters and symbols were scattered across the internet, mainly in Frictional's social media sites:

1~ - From FG's twitter banner.
A* - From a FG forum thread.
K§ - From description of Card 15 video which was updated.
y^ - From Tumblr post.
I$ - From FG's linked-in page.
j= - From Grip's desk.
[email protected] - From FG's instagram post.
l# - From Frictional Games facebook post.
c/ - From c.png in press kit google drive
F! - Found in the Press Kit page in FG's site.
o% - From FG's twitter bio.


In addition, a new entry appeared in the HTML code, which consists of 11 lines short story.
The letters were matched with the sentences by associating the meaning of the sentences to the symbols attached to the letters. The result was:

The rise and fall of dunes, the waves of a waterless sea - 1~
A single star burns in the void; below it is nothing but dust - A*
Two lizards dance in the heat, writhing across the sand - K§
A tower pierces the sky; an impossible point of ascent - y^

To plunder the earth for gold, then realise your coin has no worth - I$
To travel a well-trodden road, then find yourself pathless and lost - j=
To gaze at a circle of glass, to discover a world lies within - [email protected]
Life is the simplest of games, a game it seems no-one can win - l#

The veil is split in two, - c/
The fear gives rise to rage, - F!
A hundred lives from now, all this will be memory, lost in the desert. - o%


Combining the letters in order from top to bottom, results in the YouTube ID 1AKyIjYlcFo, which led to the video "i am Tasi"

"I am Tasi"

This is the first video that provides in-game footage.
It the protagonist of the game is called Tasi, a seemingly middle-eastern female. Tasi is looking for someone.

Tasi experiences something anomalous which makes her to reassure herself she is in fact still her, and not something else.

Game Reveal

On 06/03/2020, The ARG ended and Frictional Games revealed their new title - Amnesia: Rebirth.