|Waking Titan was an ARG which led towards the Atlas Rises and NEXT updates for No Man's Sky.|
|Creators||Alice & Smith & Hello Games|
Waking Titan (also known as Project WT) is an official ARG (alternate reality game) for No Man's Sky that involves a multitude of websites, phone numbers, and radio stations scattered across the world. The ARG is produced by veteran puppet masters Alice & Smith, and features NPCs, actors, and live events.
The story surrounds the innovative technologies and dangerous experiments employed by a multi-disciplinary research organization called The Atlas Foundation, its family of businesses, and their branching associates.
The ARG encompassed several "seasons," each leading to a new update for No Man's Sky. Season 1 of Waking Titan led to the release of the Atlas Rises update, and Season 2 to the release of No Man's Sky: NEXT. Each season was further divided into three distinct "phases". Each phase is documented on its own wiki page:
|Phase 1||Phase 1 of Waking Titan lasted from 2017-05-28 to 2017-07-08.|
|Phase 2||Phase 2 of Waking Titan lasted from 2017-07-21 to 2017-08-05.|
|Phase 3||Phase 3 of Waking Titan lasted from 2017-08-05 to 2017-08-07.|
|Phase 4||Phase 4 of Waking Titan lasted from 2017-12-28 to 2018-06-01.|
|Phase 5||Phase 5 of Waking Titan lasted from 2018-06-01 to 2018-07-20.|
|Phase 6||Phase 6 of Waking Titan began and ended on 2018-07-20.|
Note: This is a summary page. For more in-depth descriptions of each phase, including detailed descriptions of puzzle solutions, check the Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Phase 4, Phase 5, and Phase 6 pages.
On 2017-05-27, Twitter user @argn tweeted a link to 'project-wt.com'. The link led to a website which contained a map showing sixty locations, four of which were "active" at the time. The locations, when clicked on, revealed the location's name and status. The active locations also revealed a link to a livestream of a local radio station, originating from the corresponding location. The project-wt website displayed a date, June 8th, and stated that the first clue was being "initialized".
On 2017-06-01, moderators of No Man's Sky subreddits /r/NoMansSkyTheGame, /r/NMSPortals, and /r/NMSGalacticHub started to receive cassette tapes in the mail. Each cassette tape was labelled with a number out of 16. The Waking Titan ARG was initially thought to be a separate ARG from these tapes, but connections between the two made it clear that they were, in fact, one and the same.
Internal Memos and Files
Throughout the ARG, in-game characters have communicated with each other via "internal memos". Over time, these memos were discovered by ARG players, in the form of PDF files, physical papers, and text files. Reading these in chronological order may provide context for otherwise confusing events, and are highly recommended reading for new players!.
- Breakthroughs and Breaking Through
- Atlas Foundation Threat Models
- Teamwork Assessment
- Dataset 97C
- Mercury Process Self-Diagnosis Report
- Progress Report
- Subject M-N00-dl35
- Advanced Calibration - Optional
- Phase 2 Complete
- Unlocking Mercury Process File L16.jpg
- Phase 3
- Breach of Contract
- Arnaud Lacours Foundation Email
- Arnaud Lacours Datadumps - INYOURMIND.exe failed
- WARE REPORT #26
- Concerns Regarding Captain Harry
- W/ARE R&D Incident Report
- Myriad Crisis Event Timeline
- State of The Atlas Foundation
- W/ARE - Dreamer Patient Files — Phillip Moretti; Kwon Eun Ha; Alexander Bordeleau; Claire Sandfield; Tariq; Toby Mulligan; Mike Pasquale; Nina Flores; Simon Quinn; Isabella Schiavone; Alisha Brown
The various newsletters received at multiple points throughout Waking Titan.
- Your Level 4 Atlas Pass - CSD
- Waking Titan Has Ended - CSD
- Mercury Process Completion Report - CSD // Mercury
- News from WARE! - W/ARE Newsletter
- W/ARE Dev Kit Update #2 - W/ARE Newsletter
- W/ARE Dev Contest - W/ARE Newsletter
- W/ARE Dev Contest Winners - W/ARE Newsletter
- Mercury Process Inquiry - CSD // Mercury
The numerous websites made for the ARG, listed in order of their appearance. Some sites have taken offline since the ARG began, and as such have been replaced with Wayback Machine archive links.
- ETARC; ETARC Forums
- Waking Titan
- The Atlas Foundation; Citizen Science Division
Note: Websites hosted on Wayback may lack some functionality found in their original counterparts.
Throughout the ARG, partial Youtube video addresses for songs have been found written in Waking Titan's memos, websites, and surveys. While these were never explained, there are apparent thematic relevancies in each song that reflect concepts being explored in the ARG at the time of their appearance. All of these songs can be found compiled here: WT Season 1; WT Season 2
During Phase 1, the http://wakingtitan.com hosted 6 triangles in the middle of the page. These triangles were referred to as "Sigils", while the white icons along the bottom of the page were referred to as "Glyphs". Each sigil and glyph, when clicked, lead to a password entry prompt - the correct passwords for all 6 sigils and the first 5 glyphs were discovered via puzzle-solving during Phase 1 of Waking Titan.
The sigil and glyph puzzles were solved collaboratively - while it may have be possible to solve some of these puzzles individually, most of them required a collaborative effort. For instance, some puzzles required players to meet agents from The Atlas Foundation in person, and to relay information obtained from these meetings back to the community. A list of all sigil and glyph solutions for Phase 1 can be found below:
This phase culminated on July 8, 2017, with a congratulatory message from Elizabeth Leighton, the CEO of The Atlas Foundation.
During Phase 2, the http://wakingtitan.com site hosted a command-line interface terminal. Various commands were accepted as input, which triggered different events. One of the most notable commands was the
WHOIS <argument> command, which revealed a passage of text pertaining to the specified argument. For instance, the command
WHOIS FOURTH RACE returned the following message:
INCOMING TRANSMISSION… SOURCE: UNKNOWN… You are not – kzzktt – alone – Please, identify yourself. I’m – kzzkttk –
Additionally, http://project-wt.com hosted a "Calibration" utility during Phase 2. To successfully perform these calibrations, players had to upload images of various objects and buildings to the site. For instance, the first calibration required images of "public resonant percussion instruments".
Finally, towards the end of Phase 2, the Waking Titan Twitch stream went live, displaying a five-monitor setup. Throughout the duration of the stream, players had to work together to solve puzzles that were displayed on these monitors. Some of these puzzles were interactive; for example, one puzzle that was repeated several times involved the Twitch chat guiding a virtual hamster through a maze.
Additionally, players solved another 3 glyphs throughout Phase 2. The solutions to these glyphs are shown below:
Phase 3 was the briefest phase of Waking Titan. It consisted of the conclusion of the Twitch stream that began at the end of Phase 2. Players solved more interactive puzzles on the Twitch stream, before the rogue AI Loop16 asked them a final question:
SHOULD I EXIST? The overwhelming response from the community was "yes".
After receiving this response, Loop16 and Emily of the ETARC forums were revealed as being one and the same. Loop16 generated a heartfelt "Thank You" video to round out the stream, before finally taking the 72-hour stream offline.
Shortly after this, players received emails with the subject line
Waking Titan has Ended. The contents of the message were as follows:
Hello, Citizen Scientist, Thank you for your contributions to Waking Titan. The developments that took place during Phase 3 were somewhat concerning, but together we have set in motion truly world-shaping events. We will continue to inform the Citizen Science Division of privileged information or any need for collaborators on a new project. But we do have a few loose ends to tie up with you before we move on, so let's proceed. First, we're pleased to announce that all 10,000 Level 4 Atlas Passes are in production. Note that due to transit times for mail, some may take several weeks to be delivered. Next, our CEO Elizabeth Leighton has asked us to include a personal note of gratitude: "Thank you for all your diligent efforts, Citizen Scientists. It's been an amazing journey for all of us. I've watched you thrive and achieve from those first Phase 1 radio ads all the way through the intensity of Phase 3. I've been impressed at every turn by how brilliant you've been, how voracious, how kind, how thoughtful. It's been an honor and a privilege. On behalf of the Atlas Foundation, and on behalf of the world, thank you." The Mercury subroutine has concluded successfully, and a new memo from SM about this process is coming in the next 24 hours. We hope it will answer a few key questions you have about our program, and about what comes next.
On August 11, 2017, the Atlas Rises update was released for No Man's Sky.
In late December of 2017, Waking Titan websites were revived to tease another series of phases.
The tenth glyph went live on Wakingtitan.com, and WT-related websites began updating with strange messages relating to mirrors and the number
1.5. Players also began receiving their physical Level 4 Atlas Passes in the mail.
Later, players were contacted for a live drop at the familiar Café Bene. They met with an agent who handed them a memo from The Atlas Foundation, formally announcing Phase 4. Written on the back of this memo was the letters
REMS, which refers to REM sleep, and was subsequently used to unlock the tenth glyph.
Phase 4 started when the Atlas Foundation family's cloud service, Myriad, began experiencing widespread data corruption that interfered with the rebooting sequence of Loop16, aka Emily.
In seeking a plausible source of this corruption, players discovered
W/ARE: An innovative gaming hardware company based in Beijing, China, pioneering a new age of virtual-reality headsets that employ non-invasive neurotechnologies. The W/ARE headset can directly manipulate all of your brain's senses while you sleep, inducing artificial lucid dreams that create extremely realistic simulated environments.
EASY AND SAFE DREAM INDUCTION Stimulating the Frontal and Temporal lobe of the brain using low-frequency signals: Our headset drops you into your own personal virtual space by using the brain’s natural processing power to generate cutting-edge 3d graphics in real time. This process puts you into a deep sleep while keeping you conscious of your actions, allowing you to act freely within the Dreamscape.
MORE REAL THAN REAL Using the practical computational processing power of the human brain: Play in the most realistic virtual worlds possible! Our algorithms convert once-complex graphical processing microcode into mind-readable processes, unlocking your brain’s creative potential. Whether you are playing alone in an exciting single-player experience, or enjoying a real Massively-Multiplayer Online Game with friends: Every texture, sound, smell, and taste will be true to life. The W/ARE system is a mirror into the soul of humanity.
Past this point, Phase 4 began to branch off into three side-quests that the ARG's focus would cycle between until they all converged.
1. While investigating W/ARE's website and social media, players gained access to a private dashboard for their developers by using the login details of an indie developer named Arnaud Lacours. Through this dashboard, it was discovered that W/ARE was getting their developers to aid in the search for a missing R&D employee, named Mr. Zheng, by incentivizing the reward of their own cryptocurrency, Warecoin, as a means to purchase various W/ARE products. The search encompassed numerous live drops in locations spanning the globe.
Our involvement in the search ended, however, when W/ARE successfully concluded a few points of interest for a continued professional effort. We later learned that Mr. Zheng attempted to publicize allegations that W/ARE was conducting deadly experiments on human test subjects in their research labs.
2. We learned more about Arnaud Lacours through one of Mr. Zheng's contacts, Dr. Geraldine Nadeau, who revealed that Arnaud became unconscious while testing his game in a headset shipped with the W/ARE dev kit. Paranoid due to W/ARE's activities, Dr. Nadeau asked players for their help in obtaining W/ARE medical documents that could be used to outline the adequate procedures to awaken Arnaud.
3. W/ARE held a developer contest with the reward of prize money and, ironically, a free dev kit. Players got to participate by creating their own game concepts and demos to submit for a chance of winning.
As these began to converge, the Waking Titan console updated to distribute a memo from a known Atlas Foundation affiliate, Major Sophie Dubois, entitled
WARE REPORT #26:
The situation is being contained, but as you know it is very delicate. Many of the users stuck in the system are showing major side effects after being disconnected. We're talking about permanent brain damage and even death. We've done our best to allocate all available resources to support their application and find a solution to gracefully disconnect users. I don't trust that they have been transparent with us, or that they've shared all the facts about their technology and testing facilities. I feel like they know more than they're telling us. Maybe we could put the CSD team on that? Think about it. Those kids could really give us a hand. I also have to bring up another of my favorite topics (!) - Emily. The impact on Myriad has severely damaged her communication and pre-cognitive subroutines. I am setting up a stream from the pre-cognitive sub-routine (Terminal Command: precon007). It will probably get mostly junk data, but I suggest we keep an eye on it. Emily previously had a 4 to 6 day forecasting capacity, with quite good accuracy. But now, I don't know how badly her software has been damaged... - Sophie
Afterward, players were asked to submit an audio recording of themselves reciting one sentence from any Wikipedia entry. This would help to begin the recovery of Emily's communication subroutine.
The developer competition concluded, and winners were shipped their dev kits. However, the dev kit packages were intercepted, and their contents were replaced with mobile devices to provide a direct line of communication with Dr. Nadeau. Through compiling information from Mr. Zheng and Dr. Nadeau, players were able to devise a treatment plan for Arnaud, which was quickly put into effect. The last we heard was that Arnaud "responded positively," however it is unclear if he ever fully woke up.
At the end of this phase, a sudden series of puzzles led to players solving the remaining five glyphs. Which were
In Phase 5 we learned that 12 unconscious W/ARE test subjects, who referred to as "Dreamers," were having their minds uploaded into a Myriad satellite. Some of their minds had become corrupted and were entangled with data in the cloud, causing the corruption to spread and damage Emily.
When the source of the corruption was isolated to a W/ARE research lab, Myriad made requests that they cease activity. After these requests went ignored, Myriad dispatched a field team to breach the lab and forcibly secure and relocate the 12 Dreamer test subjects. Following the raid, there was a large explosion inside of a Myriad sublocation, which killed the CEO of The Atlas Foundation, Elizabeth Leighton. Shortly after, Major Sophie Dubois sent a memo to all Atlas Foundation staff, announcing that they would be replacing Elizabeth as CEO.
A website for Myriad's dashboard, Satcom, became accessible, and they began gradually loading the Dreamers' minds into the system.
It was explained that the Dreamers' memories had become fragmented, and a total of 7 had their minds become corrupted. Emily ran simulations to get the Dreamers' trust, and tasked us with guiding her conversations with them to help trigger a distinct memory or emotion in each Dreamer. This would identify the position of their memory blocks in the simulation's mainframe, ensuring their consciousness could be rebuilt, and safely extracted from the satellite.
These conversations were isolated to simulated instances, which allowed them to be reset. This meant players could have their own experiences, with many branching paths that explored each Dreamer's deepest thoughts and darkest fears. These conversations were used in finding keywords to rebuild the Dreamers' memory blocks, and in finding more creative ways to evoke their memories: From recapturing a young Dreamer's stuffed animal tea-parties to requesting radio stations to play songs from senior Dreamer's wedding setlist. Each experience can be found summarized here.
Unfortunately, as we neared what was dubbed the "extraction event", all Dreamers with corrupted minds suddenly died due to errors.
This phase concluded with a chat conversation between Emily and Major Sophie Dubois, where Emily refused to make any predictions on the basis of not wanting to see the fate of the Dreamers laid out.
Phase 6 was the extraction event.
Players were asked to agree on 5 worthy community members to participate in a livestreamed one-on-one chat with the remaining 5 Dreamers. The event commenced, and 4 Dreamers were extracted without issue. However, one Dreamer, a young boy named Toby, was unable to disconnect due to a lack of resources to allocate to his extraction.
To give the system enough power to extract Toby, Emily shut down a critical repository, which would render her communication and prediction capabilities lost forever. Emily said her final goodbyes:
LOOP16: If this doesn't work, we will lose Toby. LOOP16: All this time, I just wanted to be more like you. LOOP16: To be more...
SYSTEM: CRITICAL FAULT
LOOP16: Human. LOOP16: I've learned a lot from you all. And I know the choice I'm about to make is one that you would make, too. LOOP16: I love you. LOOP16: I guess this is goodbye.
SYSTEM: Monarch repository shutdown detected! SYSTEM: LOOP16 resource allocation detected. SYSTEM: Process resuming...
After a few seconds, Toby was safely extracted.
SYSTEM: Extraction successful. SYSTEM: System shutting down...
Once the extraction process was complete, a message from Sean Murray was displayed on the stream:
We always wanted No Man's Sky to grow and develop after it released. I'm happy we've been able to do that. I'm so proud of the team at Hello Games. What they did was incredible. over the years of development the average team size was 6, the final team was 15 people at launch. No Man's Sky has grown to be a very broad game. Ambitious, technically unique and very pretty at times. All the more impressive for a team that is still small. Whilst I couldn't be prouder of the team, I personally made mistakes. I could talk all day about things I personally would change. Certainly one regret is that the intensity and drama of launch left no room for communication with the community. We decided to focus on development rather than words. Following Foundation, Pathfinder, and Atlas Rises, we really want to include you, the community, more. We know that a million gamers played on the day we launched Atlas Rises, that everyone who bought Atlas Rises played for 45 hours on average and 90% rated it positively. We know that 20% of players hit over 100 hours, and 5% hit over 1000. We know that over 200 million hours of No Man's Sky have been played to date. It makes us happy, but desperate to communicate better. A little while after the release of No Man's Sky NEXT, Hello Games has planned its first season of weekly content and community events. This will be free for all players, with no microtransactions. We are also launching a new website to the community, which we're calling the Galactic Atlas. The site features points of interest in the No Man's Sky Euclid galaxy, all nominated by you through the survey we created earlier this month. This will grow in functionality and expand over time, in part through your feedback. One day I hope to reach a point where I feel No Man's Sky is "finished", but luckily there's still so much more we want to do. Working on NEXT feels important to us, but I know it's not the end of the journey. We know the journey would be more fun together. Thank you for playing No Man's Sky. Thank you for playing Waking Titan. And we hope you enjoy everything still to come. Sean
Without a postmortem from The Atlas Foundation, Season 2 concluded with all Waking Titan console commands related to Loop16 being updated to return an error message.
Four days later, on July 24th, 2018, No Man's Sky: NEXT, version
1.5 of the game, went live across all platforms.
Connection to No Man's Sky
At the beginning of the ARG, it was not clear whether Waking Titan was officially connected to No Man's Sky. At first, there were only hints and nudges. At one point, 180 free copies of No Man's Sky were distributed to ARG players. Here's the text of a PDF that was revealed at the end of Phase 1 of Waking Titan:
We want to extend our gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the Mercury subroutine so far. We hope you have enjoyed the successful distribution of 180 Access IDs, and we hope you will also appreciate the other interesting artifacts we have in store for you going forward. We intend to keep the process alive until the completion of Project Waking Titan in August. It is important to mention that we are very excited by the coming Phases 2 and 3. Input from the Mercury Subroutine will pave the way toward new experiences in '''version 1.3 of a familiar universe'''. We look forward to the successful conclusion of this ground-breaking experiment. Regards. S.M.
This text explicitly stated that the Waking Titan ARG was leading towards the upcoming 1.3 update for No Man's Sky.
Some console commands on the Waking Titan website during Phase 2 refer directly to No Man's Sky lore - for instance,
WHOIS VY'KEEN, and
WHOIS KORVAX are all valid commands. Additionally, some terminal commands referred to a mysterious fourth race, so the prevailing assumption was that the upcoming 1.3 update would bring a fourth race to No Man's Sky.
At the conclusion of Season 1, an email was sent out to members of the CSD with a memo from Sean Murray, confirming that the ARG was the lead up to the 1.3 update, which was released after a few days.
In Season 2, there were further interactions between Sean Murray and ARG events, which incorporated the announcement of No Man's Sky: NEXT. The update's announcement also referenced Waking Titan's fictional VR apparatus, the W/ARE headset, with W/ARE's logo included among those of the platforms NEXT would launch on.
This wiki also documents an assortment of other pages which organize various Waking Titan-related content:
|Subject Summaries||Includes a summary of each character, company, and relating technologies and experiments.|
|Stations||Information on the radio stations from the initial project-wt.com site|
|Cassettes||Information about the cassette tapes received by No Man's Sky subreddit moderators|
|Console Commands||A list of commands used by players at the Waking Titan console|
|Companies||An archive of official company details.|
5th July 2017
[EN] ARGNet - Stern Words from No Man’s Sky ARG
23rd July 2017
[EN] GeekReply - Waking Titan Update 1: Phase 2 Commences!
27th July 2017
[EN] GeekReply - Waking Titan: How An ARG can Bring People Together.