[ARG] The Pizza Code Mystery

Doing a post with the boats, and then I’ll add their locations to the wiki.

I’ll start with the ones I have, then fill in the maps as I (if I) find them:

NOTE: This first one is a shadow, right above the pool with the infinite waterfall.

bm_c4a1a - setpos: -3551.58 -1925.16 9179.14

bm_c4a1b1 - setpos: -1640.37 9682.5 573.92

bm_c4a1c - setpos: -1927.2 -78.49 6247.82

Sorry, this post is going to be a bit of an infodump, but I thought it might help in framing our way forward in the ARG. Essentially, it’s an analysis of each of the messages and clues, and should help summarize for those who are new to the ARG:

August 9

Message posted on Wiki – Talks about work progressing on the LOL Cannon and devolves into random symbols, letters and numbers.

October 10, 200X

Diary Log of Dr. J Welsh – Welsh complaining about all the lists he has, as well as the secret project Horn is working on impacting the budget. He and the others are going to steal his pizzas and hide them through the facility, thus requiring Horn to look for them for “months.”

Code D Solution:

“It has come to my attention that research into potential alternative bridging methods may be supported by the inclusion and application of the laser optronic linear inducer array to act as an axis modulator for regulation and focusing. An unknown energy form was detected whilst investigating this hypothesis. Please use Code D 0914 to complete the sequence on my site.”

Grilledpizza.jpg Puzzle:

Message in HTML of page: “They stole the lie, as if that matters to me, HALOS is far too complete to stop now. They can’t hide there, not now, not now I have this, this holds the key to all things… they CAN’T hide from me. I will follow them, I’ll set up a link and this to remind me.

Perhaps I should hide it on the secure site, perhaps that would be best. I’ll find them though and they will pay, they will definitely pay.

Dr Marcel was right when he said, “When you’re building a cage for Satan, you don’t ask him to wait around whilst you put the doors on.”

Welsh is probably behind this, but he won’t get away with it.”

Decrypted binary message from triangles: “congratulationsyouwonthePIZZA”

“PIZZA” is referred to as a password

HALOS.txt File:

Message: “[INCOMING TRANSMISSION CLASSIFIED SOURCE]SUBJECT ANALYSIS - TENACIOUS. SITE OFFLINE…

…{Primary Servers Overloaded}… USER ACTIVATION REQUIRED… PASSCODE INPUT FOR SITE ACTIVATION REQUIRED…

SET FOR FINAL TEST PATTERN…

ANALYSIS COMPLETE>>> [CLASSIFIED INFORMATION LEVEL 8]”

Level 8 was also referenced on Xen whiteboard #1

IRC Clue #1:

INCOMING TRANSMISSION – UNKNOWN SOURCE

Dr. BonAmi is Not ami it’s KONami Code. Dr HORN. Don’t LET HIM find us. Dr Welsh.

Fragmented, interrupted code similar to the August 9 message. Ends with random characters and many of the letters in the message are missing.

IRC Clue #2:

“N38°57’8.05" W77°8’44.82".

Solution two ignore loc data N32°52’50.77" W106°20’49.40" not buried at initial loc, fly here.

Travel 14.16 miles east we transferred the niobium there.

Await further instructions.”

  • Message similar to Kryptos #2, in that it provides location data where something is buried.
  • Capitalized letters in message spell out NOTEWELSH.

IRC Clue #3:

“INCOMING TRANSMISSION - LOC 2 LAYER 2 SUBSTRATA 3 X01/X02 HALOS PROJECT INITIATED

41Nb recovered. HAFB Compromised.

Transfer to site complete, project HALOS underway. Further INFO [Classified].

CODE BASE 64 compromised, switch to old code talker.

They are watching, assume leaker on site.

WSMR No longer viable location, move to main site, check external sources.”

  • HAFB – Holloman Air Force Base
  • WSMR – White Sands Missile Range
  • The entities named in this clue were referred to by location in IRC clue #2—identifies where the Niobium is buried.
  • First time we see a direct indication that project HALOS has begun.
  • We also have a leaker on the site—who is the leaker?

IRC Clue #4:

“HALOS project under threat. Site offline as response. Switching to new protocols.”

Decrypted message: “PRIMESITECOMPROMISEDRETURNBMRFLOGINHALOS”

Indicates the prime site is compromised, which was also mentioned in the previous clue. So, the Niobium was moved to the main site, but then the project fell under threat, so the site went offline. They switched to new protocols and the message regards the site becoming compromised.

IRC Clue #5:

“[INCOMING TRANSMISSION UNKNOWN SOURCE]LEAK SOURCE DETECTED. TRIANGULATING…MIX CASCADE

HOP DETECTED…ATTEMPTING TIMING ATTACK…[TERMINATED] CANNOT CONNECT TO HOST…ATTEMPTING CONNECT TO USER H… SENDING DATA. SECURITY LEVEL 7 ALPHA.”

Decrypted message: “THISISAMESSAGELEFTFORDRHORNJUSTTOREMINDYOUINCASEOFEMERGENCIESTHATTHEPASSWORDTOTHEHALOSFILESISBENALOHPAILLIERIHAVEPROGRAMMEDHALOSTOSENDINLEVELSEVENCASESYOUSHOULDBRINGPIZZAS”

“This is a message left for Dr. Horn. Just to remind you in case of emergencies that the password to the HALOS files is BENALOHPAILLIER. I have programmed HALOS to send in level seven cases. You should bring pizzas.”

Mentions HALOS being programmed to “send”—either to send itself, or possibly send something else?

IRC Clue #6:

“[INCOMING TRANSMISSION]ThEpIzZaIsaLiE…HALOS[Transmission Ends]]”

  • Capitalized letters spell “TEIZILE”
  • Lower-case letters spell “hpzasai”
  • Capitalized letters in earlier part of message spell out “SITE”
  • It’s assumed this clue was merely to point back to the website, which had the HALOS.txt file at that point

KXBM.net Website:

Radio is found on the page that sends out a message in morse code when the button is pressed. Message is: “ DE AI5BM AI5BM AI5BM BLACK MESA RESEARCH FACILITY BIODOME LABS. TRAPPED, NEED RESCUE. EVAC ZONE NOT SAFE. MILITARY HOSTILE K”

EAS Message (from BMRF.us Site):

“The following message is transmitted at the request of local authorities. At 9:47 AM, Mountain Time, a disaster of unknown type has occurred at the Black Mesa Research Facility causing significant damage and failure to various power and communication systems in the surrounding areas. An immediate evacuation order has been issued for all residents within a 75 mile radius of the facility, and on-site military has been dispatched to provide assistance. Make sure to bring an emergency supply of food, water, clothing, first aid kit, flashlights with extra batteries, and battery powered radios. Follow local evacuation routes which have been marked by local authorities and only use one vehicle. Do not return to the warning area until the all clear has been given. If you are not in the evacuation zone stay where you are. If you are within the evacuation area and have no transportation locate your nearest police department or military officer. Do not use telephones or cell phones except in the case of emergencies. Stay tuned to local news media outlets for further details and information on this situation.”

Similar message replaced on 5/4/15:
“The following message is transmitted at the request of the New Mexico Department of Emergency Services.

At 9:47 a.m., Mountain Standard Time, a disaster of unknown type has occurred at the Black Mesa Research Facility causing significant damage and failure to various power and communication systems in the surrounding areas. This message replaces the previous alert, which expired at 12:01 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, this afternoon.

A full quarantine has been issued for the Black Mesa area. In the interest of public safety, all residents within a 150 mile radius of Black Mesa, New Mexico are adviced to evacuate the area immediately. Take only essential supplies and a battery powered radio. Do not use more than one vehicle for traveling. Follow local evacuation routes which have been marked by local authorities. If you are within the evacuation area and have no transportation, locate your nearest police department.

If you begin experiencing a fever, coughing, nausea, dizziness, muscle ache, pneumonia, hair loss, or any such similar ailments, please contact your nearest disease control center immediately as these symptoms may be related to recent events.

Stay tuned to local news media outlets for further information on this ongoing emergency.”

Comment left on BMRF.us Wiki Page: “This unlocks at the start of the end. 21 into 1.”

Whiteboards (Xen):

Message on Whiteboard #1 (red lettering) – “Samples to be acquired from sector C – classify level 8. –Dr. Horn”

Message on Whiteboard #2 (red lettering) – “Propagation of evanescent waves to increase resolution (use focus array Lab D)”

Message on Whiteboard #3 (black lettering) – “Full colour projection will occur at higher resolutions should the beam photons be focused more using a needle seam optronic laser. Use focusing arrays in labs X01 and X02, keep flux dispersal regulated with 500MW – 694.3 MW ruby booster (temp for testing only.) Booster used for HALOS binary stream normally.”

Message on Whiteboard #4 (red lettering) – “Spin states require higher quality dielectric medium. Contact Dr. Stone in Sector C.”

Messages on Whiteboard #6 (red lettering) – “Leave time for transit to biodome – Call Sezen Ex. 0013”

(black lettering) “Next supply drop In – Mon – 07.30 Out – Mon – 9.00 [To LC SE complex]”

(black lettering) “Get forms for requisition

Messages on Whiteboard #7 (red lettering) – “Locate mysterious gate site 8-B. –DH”

(black lettering) “Dr. Nielsen – Please use memo pads for personal notes :[ Dr. Horn.”

(black lettering) “Pick up pizza in cafe.”

Message on Whiteboard #8 (red lettering) – “Contact Dr. Horn EX-186759 about sample–Mon 8.35 AM”

Holy Crap im in Game. TheWizard99 is my Steam Account before i changed it XD

256%20BLOCK%20C
The general interpretation of this is that it says ‘RIJNDAEL 256 BIT BLOCK C’
However, the image doesn’t appear to support that interpretation. You can read ‘256’ but it appears there are only two letters after that and they don’t say ‘BIT’. It looks like the characters are F5 but that doesn’t appear to make any sense. What else could it be?

Looking at Gun’s full size images, I can pretty clearly see 256 bit. Is your image from a different source, because it does look different than the ones upthread.

I just read that it can use 128,160,192,224 and 256.

Can you show me where his image is?

That’s correct, but only a few, if any, available crypto libraries support the 160 and 224 block/key sizes.

The aforementioned post is no longer needed, as Flavrans discovered the gate was from Guild Wars 2, and then things just kind of spiraled from there. So we know what the gate is, we know what the symbols are, we know what 21 into ONE means (partial translation from a game language) and so forth.

Brief summary–the gate is from Guild Wars 2, and is a portal players use to travel great distances in a moment. The Asura script is as follows (also discovered by Flavrans):

image

From this we can see the 21 into ONE is what I think is the E and the N symbols, although the Z also looks very similar to a 2, so hard to say. It’s just a thought.

But aside from that, the biggest thing is the message starting at the top of the circle and moving clockwise is MYONS. More about this below.

Finally, I think the triangles on the whiteboard represent the five main cities of the five main species/races, and I believe the spiral is the one jumping puzzle in the game, Morgan’s Spiral:

And a Google search turned up this: Meet the Myons. “Snax” are mentioned as a favorite treat of one of the characters, Scwuffy Myon.

And that’s pretty much where we stand. Credit goes to Flavrans for the GW2 catch–can you believe one of his characters was his avatar since the inception of the ARG? Lol. That one stings a little, but it’s also hilarious.

So where we stand now is figuring out what this all means, what it has to do with the two Horn’s in HEV suits, and where the hell the actual Dr. Horn is.

Any takers?

EDIT: Finally, after many years, the Hex code is solved. With help of many others, after countless theories, it was Rijndael encryption–using this tool:

Final key was: 173467321476Charlie32789777643Ta
IV: 000000

HALOS REPORT - SUBJECTS SHOW REMARKABLE TENACITY AND ABILITIES TO USE AVAILABLE TOOLS AT HAND. DETECTED CAMBRIDGE COMP SCI LABS. TEST SUBJECTS SUITABLE FOR TESTING AT MAIN FACILITY. .PROJECT FILES SECURED. REMAIN SECURE UNTIL PASSCODE GIVEN .OMEGA LEVEL - [1-7-3-4-6-7-3-2-1-4-7-6-Charlie-3-2-7-8-9-7-7-7-6-4-3-Tango-7-3-2-Victor-7-3-1-1-7-8-8-8-7-3-2-4-7-6-7-8-9-7-6-4-3-7-6]

So we give the passcode: 1-7-3-4-6-7-3-2-1-4-7-6-Charlie-3-2-7-8-9-7-7-7-6-4-3-Tango-7-3-2-Victor-7-3-1-1-7-8-8-8-7-3-2-4-7-6-7-8-9-7-6-4-3-7-6

. . . and we wait and see what’s next!

Great job over all these years to each and every one of you. It was a crazy ride and happened all in the span of one night, if you can believe it.

Cheers!

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Ladies and gentlemen, we got the 752 HEX code. Thanks to everyone especially Gunsrequiem on the Discord, as well as here.

Key: 173467321476Charlie32789777643Ta

IV is the Hex of MYONS: 4d 59 4f 4e 53

HALOS REPORT - SUBJECTS SHOW REMARKABLE TENACITY AND ABILITIES TO USE AVAILABLE TOOLS AT HAND. DETECTED CAMBRIDGE COMP SCI LABS. TEST SUBJECTS SUITABLE FOR TESTING AT MAIN FACILITY. .PROJECT FILES SECURED. REMAIN SECURE UNTIL PASSCODE GIVEN .OMEGA LEVEL - [1-7-3-4-6-7-3-2-1-4-7-6-Charlie-3-2-7-8-9-7-7-7-6-4-3-Tango-7-3-2-Victor-7-3-1-1-7-8-8-8-7-3-2-4-7-6-7-8-9-7-6-4-3-7-6]    

Via Rijindael 256.

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And Flav, for sure–he figured out the gate, which is likely our next target. We might get more info with the hex code, but I think we still have a couple things to figure out. We shall see, though.

Night all!

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WOW!!
Congratulations to both you and Flav!
Been following your progress on Discord tonight, checking in at around 30 minute intervals and have been blown away by the work of you two.
H A I L T O E A C H O F Y O U !!!

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Wow! Kudos to all, especially Gunsrequiem and Flavrans. Seven years of work finally paid off. :slight_smile:

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Well done guys! So excited to see where this leads.

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Holy crap, you guys actually did it? Congratulations!!!
You guys are absolute legends!!!

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Kudos to everyone involved, especially Gunsrequiem and Flavrans.
For completeness sake: The IV is the all-zero vector (like @Gunsrequiem posted).

mcrypt --decrypt -s 32 --no-openpgp -k 173467321476Charlie32789777643Tango732Victor73117888732476789764376 -b -a rijndael-256 -m CFB --keymode mcrypt-md5 --noiv -F < HALOS.bin 2>/dev/null
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So, we still have some unsolved things we need to figure out:

Unsolved Points

“Time reveals all” - We still don’t know what this is in reference to

“Pizzas” - I think the pizzas might have something to do with Scwuffy Myon, who was “many times accused of stealing snax from other people, however its only really borrowing, they didn’t want the snax anyway, thats why they were lying there and not eaten. “

Also, there are pizzas in the game Guild Wars 2:

The two HEV suits that have “HORN” nameplates

Where is Dr. Horn?

The whole “This unlocks at the start of the end. 21 into 1.” remains unsolved, although that could pertain to the whole giving the passcode thing. Although my theory on the 21 into ONE (as it’s written on the whiteboard) is the Asuran script–essentially, the N and the E symbols look like the numbers 2 and 1.

Oh shit, it actually happened. Good job guys! It’s amazing how fast it went down after all these years.

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Never thought i would live to see this, congrats guys, especially Guns and Flavrans.

I have few questions though:

  1. why was only a part of password from st:tng used? Why not whole?
  2. is this the end?
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