Pinned [ARG] The Pizza Code Mystery

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    • Those boats are hard to find!

      I only wish they had something to do with the ARG, but I'm assuming they do not.

      Still had a good time trying to find some of the missing ones :)
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)
    • A while back, this was put up on the wiki page.
      "quod coronae ubique vivere ergo non credidistis illi eum persequimur me, auxilium postulo non intellegere Latinam obsecro, quia caritas Dei adiuva me
      sunt persequimur eum adiuvent eum salvum illum iungo Valyria Rubrum quaerere Gallo RSPS"

      It was later taken down as a possible hoax. When translated it didn't make any sense....

      BUT, if you flip and reverse it, and try different languages, some pretty weird things show up,

      "...We are waiting for you in the future..."
      "...multi-shotgun..."
      "...the mouse does not ilstsipiperc Print…"
      "....I'm still an ogre, I'm not sure that I'm going to say anything else, I'm going to smell Olutsop not just mankind, so I'm sorry I'm sorry"
      "...Wet Mulberry..."

      I havent finished the whole thing yet. I was also reminded that it is likely a Red Herring.
      A few things stand out to me right away, "multi-shotgun and mouse" lots of genomic work has been done on mice, and multi-shotgun, could be referencing the act of using a BLAST tool, see
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun_sequencing

      "Wet mulberry", silkworms sure love their mulberry

      In the ogre line, we see the word "OLUTSOP" interesting word that one, but still not quite right.... but when used in "mirror hand" you get "POSTULO" which is translated as "needle" or "point". This points to the book called "SOLOMON'S KEY THE CODIS PROJECT: A CONSPIRACY THRILLER" by R. Douglas Weber.
      Here is an image of the text in the book, I have also included a portion of the translator that I used for portions of the above.

      Oh yeah, the languages I have used so far, are.... Latvian, Latin, Corsican
      Files
      • postulo.jpg

        (166.3 kB, downloaded 3 times, last: )
      • WTF.jpg

        (414.98 kB, downloaded 4 times, last: )

      The post was edited 1 time, last by drgibbles ().

    • I'll clear a few things up for you, as you are really stretching on alot of these solutions.

      firstly -
      `quod coronae ubique vivere ergo non credidistis illi eum persequimur me,
      auxilium postulo non intellegere Latinam obsecro, quia caritas Dei
      adiuva me
      sunt persequimur eum adiuvent eum salvum illum iungo Valyria Rubrum quaerere Gallo RSPS` Has nothing to do with me, its a hoax and has nothing to do with the arg.

      translated it appears to be - `
      then did ye not then believe him? The fact that crowns him chasing me everywhere, to live, to understand the need not to the help of the Latin, I pray thee, because the love of God, help me,
      are chasing him wherever he may seek safe to connect Valyria Red Rooster RSPS`


      which appears to be someone getting into the theme of the arg, but its not actually part of it.

      When solving something like this, its rarely a good idea to translate it into different languages, as this massively complicates things, and its extremely rare for an ARG author to write something in Latin, but want it translated outside of the main characters language - which in the case of this arg is English.

      I've not used any poetry from Teasdale as you mentioned in your tweet.
      Those aren't gold footprints, thats alien blood. (deleted post, i can see those too :P)

      At the moment, there is only one puzzle that still needs to be solved from things I have posted, and the answer to that is visible and clues have been given on how to solve it. The arg will conclude with the release of Xen, regardless of whether that is solved - but the secret within it, may never be known.

      Xen Lead / Game Designer / ARG Designer / Bug Fixer / Programmer Annoyer / 4th Wall Breaker / Xen Plan Writer (paperplansarecool)
    • I don't know about you all, but I'm not satisfied with just having the end result--it's not just the fact that not knowing something I know can be uncovered drives me literally insane (ask my wife--if she hears about this puzzle one more time, she's probably going to slap me), but it's also the suggestion that we may not get the full picture. The whole point of this, at least in my eyes, isn't the end result, but what it's all about. All these pieces we've been given, they have to fit together, somehow.

      In layman's terms, for me it's like watching a really complex movie, or perhaps a running series, that has all these parts and characters and motives, and then seeing that all coalesce into a singular entity--the payoff is what makes it worth it, sure. But if you can figure that point out before the ending, or before the result is handed over by the directors or writers--well, that's an even better feeling. I've always been a fan of mind-bending films and complex crime plots, so this has been especially painful. I always try to guess those before they end, and sometimes I get it, but not always. And with this puzzle, well, sometimes I get this feeling out of the blue, either at work or what have you, that we've already uncovered the answer, we just don't realize it. Like it's so obvious, we looked right past it. That's probably not the case at all, but I can't help that feeling.

      Anyway, I hope I'm not alone in saying that I think we should give it one more go, hopefully not a "last hurrah," but if you want to call it that, fine. I'm going to do my part--I'm going to go to the very beginning, back when all we had was the first encounter with a clue in the game, and try to sort it all out in a timeline. Maybe that will help. I have a couple days off of work, so I'm going to hit up the library and spend the change to print everything out I can get my hands on--it can't hurt to be able to see it all laid out physically, not just digitally.

      I'll report back if anything comes of it.
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)
    • Jacky wrote:

      What about bmrf.us and ext 12? Back then, we were able to call that number and dial in extension 12 to be asked for password. Was that intentional? Or was it something we stumbled upon?
      intentional, but so old now, it expired. Got to remember on top of making Xen, we all have other stuff going on as well, so what with phone numbers costing etc and the arg being spare time work for nothing, sometimes we can't continue on things. Solution won't vanish with Xen, but the scope may be reduced, however even when concluded - it may not be over.

      Xen Lead / Game Designer / ARG Designer / Bug Fixer / Programmer Annoyer / 4th Wall Breaker / Xen Plan Writer (paperplansarecool)
    • That's very good to hear.

      Also, as I was piecing some of the old information together, I came across one of the posts on your Steam profile--you responded to a question, and part of that response was: "There will indeed be a conclusion to the ARG, when people have moved beyond the current gateway puzzle, but it might be a while before you get to it. ;)"

      That was back in January of 2013--now almost six years ago. That's crazy, man. Crazy.

      That moment when we finally do solve it (and I feel it in my bones that we will)--God, that's gonna feel sooooo good.
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)
    • Gunsrequiem wrote:

      .....Anyway, I hope I'm not alone in saying that I think we should give it one more go, hopefully not a "last hurrah," but if you want to call it that, fine. I'm going to do my part--I'm going to go to the very beginning, back when all we had was the first encounter with a clue in the game, and try to sort it all out in a timeline. Maybe that will help. I have a couple days off of work, so I'm going to hit up the library and spend the change to print everything out I can get my hands on--it can't hurt to be able to see it all laid out physically, not just digitally.

      I'll report back if anything comes of it.
      I'd like to see your report as you are going over things instead of at your conclusion. I'd love to see what you find as you're doing it so I can make sure that I didn't overlook anything in my own notes.

      stormseeker wrote:

      ....Solution won't vanish with Xen, but the scope may be reduced, however even when concluded - it may not be over.
      What do you mean when you say "the scope may be reduced"?
    • CPU wrote:

      Gunsrequiem wrote:

      .....Anyway, I hope I'm not alone in saying that I think we should give it one more go, hopefully not a "last hurrah," but if you want to call it that, fine. I'm going to do my part--I'm going to go to the very beginning, back when all we had was the first encounter with a clue in the game, and try to sort it all out in a timeline. Maybe that will help. I have a couple days off of work, so I'm going to hit up the library and spend the change to print everything out I can get my hands on--it can't hurt to be able to see it all laid out physically, not just digitally.

      I'll report back if anything comes of it.
      I'd like to see your report as you are going over things instead of at your conclusion. I'd love to see what you find as you're doing it so I can make sure that I didn't overlook anything in my own notes.
      I would be happy to! I'll figure out a good way to sort everything out and present it--either as a numbered post or maybe visually somehow. However I do it, I'll make sure I respond on here.

      EDIT: You may have already located this previously, but I sort of did this back in the day--there has been more since then, however: thepizzaisalie.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_and_Concept_Map

      Sorry for that hot garbage of a Concept Map--I'm not sure what I was thinking when I made it, but it made sense at the time.

      Anyway, I'll get back to you!

      EDIT: I've gone very far down into the rabbit hole, and I was basically just pulling anything and everything I could. A couple of things I noticed:

      This post - It's very strange that the user only posts once, and they bring to light a post about the stardates in Star Trek, which look very, VERY similar to the extension on our whiteboards.

      That led me to this whiteboard, which we've examined countless times: thepizzaisalie.wikia.com/wiki/File:C2a4x_labboard15.jpg

      I feel like that board has the answer--Storm literally just said that our answer is "visible." Remember the "seek code out" message as well? Maybe it wasn't about the person, but about the word--this whiteboard has it in black and white (and red)!

      I'm not the best with finding tools to decrypt, but I'll do my best with what we have available online. I would stress that we start with the whiteboards that have "DO NOT WIPE BOARD!" on them--there are 3:

      1. The one with Code D (solved)
      2. The one with the "Accelerated Lepton Optronic Linearity Cannon" on it--this has been referenced multiple times as well throughout the ARG
      3. The one with the mention of leptonic decay (a reference back to the cannon)

      I'm wondering if we've had everything we needed from day one, and everything Storm has provided us since then has literally been him screaming at his screen "GO BACK TO WHERE YOU WERE BEFORE!" If you look at a lot of the clues we've been given, they may even direct us right back to this board, such as the image on the Tempus page--it literally says on the board: "Anthony, please stop stealing my pizzas!" And then you look at the underlines in the image, and the underlined "Anthony" on the board, and the reference to "STEALS IT. EATS IT." And then the IRC clue #5 that literally has the words MIX CASCADE in it, possibly literally directing us to that whiteboard and cascade ciphers. It just . . . makes sense.

      I mean, I could be completely wrong here, but come on--with any other solution, we would just be guessing and checking. There's no direction in that, no sense of confidence. At least with this we have stable parameters that we can work within. Maybe it was a simple as what I mentioned back in November of 2012--maybe it is cascading ciphers.

      If anyone has any reliable sources for decryption, I would really appreciate a link. I'm going to do my best with what's online.

      I really can't think of anything else at this point--we have discussed this time and time again, sure, but Storm did say we were close back on May 22 of 2013. There were only a few key ideas on the table at that point, and some of the other information we've had since then makes sense. The whole "the CIA couldn't brute force it" bit seems to imply heavily that it's either one very complex cipher, or perhaps two other ciphers that, together, would be impossible to crack without the key(s). Furthermore, that would explain the random-looking data in the Hex file, as two encryptions could produce entropy like that.

      Anyhow, I really think this is where we should focus our efforts--or at least where I'm going to focus mine. Everything else, all these years--I think it was just noise. I really think that whole "staring me in the face" feeling all those years may have been this simple fact: We had it in front of us, we just didn't use it--or at least didn't use it with enough confidence, thus quickly moving onto something else.
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)

      The post was edited 5 times, last by Gunsrequiem ().

    • Gunsrequiem wrote:

      EDIT: I've gone very far down into the rabbit hole, and I was basically just pulling anything and everything I could. A couple of things I noticed:

      This post - It's very strange that the user only posts once, and they bring to light a post about the stardates in Star Trek, which look very, VERY similar to the extension on our whiteboards.
      Incidentally, that post mentions the number 47, which is interesting, given the fact that the hex code in binary form can be grouped into 376 bytes, and the number 376 can be factored into 2*2*2*47, or 8*47. When you look at 8*47, it looks strangely familiar:
      Good morning and welcome to the Black Mesa Transit System. This automated train is provided for the security and convenience of the Black Mesa Research Facility personnel. The time is 8:47 AM.
      You can't really compare the expression 8*47 with the time of day 8:47, so this is pure numerology. But if it is a hint, it could be a hint that further strengthens the 64-bit block cipher theory. But then again, it could be a complete coincidence.

      EDIT:

      Gunsrequiem wrote:

      I'm wondering if we've had everything we needed from day one, and everything Storm has provided us since then has literally been him screaming at his screen "GO BACK TO WHERE YOU WERE BEFORE!" If you look at a lot of the clues we've been given, they may even direct us right back to this board, such as the image on the Tempus page--it literally says on the board: "Anthony, please stop stealing my pizzas!" And then you look at the underlines in the image, and the underlined "Anthony" on the board, and the reference to "STEALS IT. EATS IT." And then the IRC clue #5 that literally has the words MIX CASCADE in it, possibly literally directing us to that whiteboard and cascade ciphers. It just . . . makes sense.

      I mean, I could be completely wrong here, but come on--with any other solution, we would just be guessing and checking. There's no direction in that, no sense of confidence. At least with this we have stable parameters that we can work within. Maybe it was a simple as what I mentioned back in November of 2012--maybe it is cascading ciphers.
      I agree that a lot of things seem to be pointing to this board. The three ciphers mentioned on the board are also the three possible ciphers of interest suggested by 0418_08151814. The problem, again, is the block size mismatch. Another HUGE problem is the question whether or not the BENALOHPAILLIER password is part of this puzzle, or if it was meant to be used at a later stage (for logging in somewhere). On at least two occasions, stormseeker has referred to this puzzle as "HALOS file", and the solution to IRC clue 5 literally says that the password to the HALOS files is BENALOHPAILLIER. But then the text in the metadata of qecode.ogg says that it's the password to HALOS' area, which to me sounds like it's the password for accessing some kind of file share. The whole puzzle seems to be littered with these contradictions—for every piece of information, there's another that contradicts it.

      If BENALOHPAILLIER is indeed the key, then one would think it would be contradicted by "the CIA couldn't brute force it" quote, unless we are indeed dealing with a complex cascade cipher, or the password string needs to be processed somehow, like for example being run through a hash algorithm. 0418_08151814 talks about rainbow tables, and that might suggest the use of MD5.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Flavrans ().

    • Let's not forget that the sum of the 4 original clues, which was also the password for the first site (Stormseeker's site), is also 47.

      1001085139140914 = 47

      We should take this to heart, and also see if maybe there's some other way this number can be used.

      EDIT: I'm thinking that number is likely important in other ways, too, because not only does it add up to 47, but it's also 128 bits (AES, anyone?)
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Gunsrequiem ().

    • Something I noticed on the Tempus page in this chunk:

      "FURTHER ANALYSIS...

      TRANSMISSION SOURCE TRIANGULATION NOT POSSIBLE.<|>

      ---

      95Nb 41 54 94.9068358(21) 34.991(6) d β- 95Mo 9/2+ "

      That "<|>" part--is that in relation to Haskell's <|> operator, in the sense that we get a choice of one or the other? Would this be why there's a cutoff point right after it? In essence, we have a choice between the top portion or the bottom portion?

      I'm not sure why this would be important, and for all I know it's just a random symbol thrown in there for aesthetic appeal, but I wonder if we're only supposed to use some of the information on that page, and maybe the rest of it is just fluff/garbage.

      Anyway, just a thought.

      EDIT: So, we know 47 is important--or at least, feel strongly it is.

      The other thing I've thought a lot about is the fact that we haven't followed all the clues. What I mean by this, is that we haven't gone down every path open to us--at least, not completely. If you look at the first "gate" puzzle, we were given four clues--the final one of which opened up the next part of the ARG.

      Code A tells us that we've entered the ARG, and provides the website for the password to be inputted.

      Code B we are led to directly with the message "Dr Horn - your pizza is ready for collection from the staff canteen"--solving that gives us another part of the password.

      Code C was randomly found, but it gave us a hint as to how to solve Code D.

      Code D was the final piece needed.

      Now, if we look at these puzzles the same way, we can interpret exactly what it is that we need--in essence, we should follow each to all of its possible conclusions. What I'm referring mostly to is this whole "Prime site/SITE/HALOS area" spiel--do we even know what this is? We've been given the bmrf.us website, and one clue directs us right to it, but it seems like a dead-end because we can't find anything else on that site, and terminal page is static (can't interact with it, as far as we know). So, either there's another page hiding on that website, or we are completely missing a whole site. At least with Storm's website, we knew where to put the final answer. Here, we don't have that.

      So then the question becomes--if the site isn't where the final answer goes, then is it simply another lead to take us to the right answer, and thus the solution to the puzzle? In other words, if that site isn't the final answer, then it must just be a piece of the puzzle. I'm sure we've all spent some time looking at the websites we know of, but is it possible we missed something somewhere?

      I don't think the whole phone number thing was supposed to actually want us to enter a password, but was instead a heads-up like "Hey! You need to find somewhere to enter a password!"

      Honestly, the website could be named anything, and if it's meant to be hidden, there likely won't be anything related to pizzas or mystery or so forth on it. We may have to get clever with our searches. But if we can find something that looks like it's related to the ARG, maybe that's it. The other thing we can work on is perhaps trying to piece together what exactly "HALOS" stands for. Is it as simple as a type of operating system, or is the name itself a clue on how to solve it?

      Also, @Flavrans--the BMRF.us information on the Wiki says as follows:

      "May 1, 2015: The site now is a distorted video feed and has three glitching numbers in the middle, apparently, going Days, Hours, Minutes, counting down to 5 May 2015 08:47:00 UTC -6:00 as stated in source code of the page."

      There's that time again--very strange that it's come up so many times--I know it's part of the canon, but it also fits in with our HALOS code. God, this is literally driving me nuts!
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Gunsrequiem ().

    • Gunsrequiem wrote:

      I don't think the whole phone number thing was supposed to actually want us to enter a password, but was instead a heads-up like "Hey! You need to find somewhere to enter a password!"
      I dont think so. After all, when you connected to ext. 12 it literally asked you for password ("Please enter your password followed by pound key").

      I dont know though, maybe I just want to get something right so I ignore rest of it :/
      The Pizza is a LIE Steam group
      steamcommunity.com/groups/PizzaARG
    • That is true--perhaps there was some inner clue that would have given us something related to the larger puzzle.

      Also, can I just play Devil's advocate here for a second? I think I've earned that right after six years. So, yes, we've been reaffirmed by Storm directly that there is a solution to this, but I'm starting to wonder . . . the whole "the cake is a lie" thing was based on the fact that in the end of Portal, the cake was just a way to get you from point A to point B, and there were scribbles of "the cake is a lie" all over the wall.

      This begs a few key questions:

      1. Who is actually writing this? If we assume that the ARG is related to the Portal situation, then someone has to be writing these messages, right? But who would actually be writing them, and in blood? Is someone mortally wounded (or at least wounded enough to provide enough blood to write the messages) and trying to warn others about the fact that the entire puzzle is a fake, that it's just there to either confuse or perhaps to hide a more cleverly-disguised purpose? In the story of the ARG, who do we know was mortally wounded? The only one I'm sure of was Paul Bottomley--is he the one trying to warn us?

      2. If "the pizza is a lie" just like "the cake is a lie," then perhaps the whole phrase is a hint about the greater purpose of the ARG. Didn't Storm say something to the extent of "It's everywhere you look?"

      From the urban dictionary for "the cake is a lie:"

      "Implies that a promised reward for one's work is false, with the one proffering the reward never intending to give it in the first place, possibly because the reward never even existed (see also: "there is no spoon"). This phrase can be used to express grief or frustration regarding any situation where there is an imbalance between effort and reward. This phrase was popularized by the game "Portal" by Valve Software Corporation. "

      It could just be a tongue-in-cheek way of Storm assuming we were going to have a lot of trouble with this, and the "small reward" may not be worth it, or it could just be a reference to the Portal game. I'm more inclined to go with the former, that he knew this was going to be hard, and that some may not find the reward to be "worth it." In my eyes, however, a printed certificate would suffice, just as long as we find the actual answer!

      3. There's another part to that urban dictionary entry:

      "During the game, GlaDOS, an artificially intelligent operating system and the game's passive-aggressive guide, uses the reward of cake as a motivating factor in an attempt to manipulate the player. It is first mentioned during the "impossible puzzle room", where she urges the player to "quit now and cake will be served immediately". In a later stage, the player can access a "hidden" area of the testing chamber to find a previous test participant had scrawled "The cake is a lie!" among other warning messages. Cake continues to remain the promised reward for completing the test and/or obeying GlaDOS, particularly in the final stages of the game. Finally, in the ending song, GlaDOS cheerfully sings about how "there's no sense crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying 'till you run out of cake.""

      And this is the kicker--what if we aren't the intended audience of these messages? I'm starting to think that someone either came before us, or that perhaps HALOS was already used for dastardly deeds, and we are simply the clean-up crew or the fools that stumbled upon it by happenstance. Who do we know in the story of the ARG who would write bloody messages claiming "the pizza is a lie," and, furthermore, why would pizza be offered as a reward? If HALOS, like GlaDOS, was trying to use someone with pizza as the motivating factor, there would be two follow-up questions--1. Was pizza the actual reward offered for following HALOS's direction, or was there more to "the pizza?", and 2. What did HALOS want from this person?

      Even though we've come to know Dr. Horn as the villain, what if there is far more to the story? Is Paul Bottomley the only victim of all this? Is he the one that wrote the messages? If you think about it, the messages are usually hidden, too. Perhaps someone went around and cleaned up after it was all said and done.

      Anyhow, I'm not sure if this is helpful at all, but it's just something that struck me as odd.
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)