[ARG] The Pizza Code Mystery

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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It’s only part of the password because only the first 32 bytes (256 bits) are used, since it’s Rijndael 256-bit.

As for this being the end, Storm has indicated the ARG is more story-driven, so although we don’t have further puzzles at the moment, the key to “solving” it is determining how everything is connected. Also:

  • Is Dr. Horn dead? If not, where is he?
  • How are the Myons involved?
  • What’s the deal with the two “HORN” HEV suits?
  • What is the deal with the pizza? Is it GW2-related, or something else?
  • What is HALOS, and what is its purpose?
  • Even though “21 into ONE” could be from the Asura script letters, it hasn’t been confirmed. If it’s not that, then what is it?

These are all things still left unanswered, and there may be a few I’m forgetting. The key is to put them all together and see what the whole story is.

I recently mentioned that my take on it is that Dr. Horn was the in-game avatar of Chris Horn (or possibly someone else), and that person kept being drawn back into GW2. This would explain why the other scientists talk about Dr. Horn disappearing and reappearing at will. It would also explain the extra “HORN” HEV suits–essentially, they were “previous runs” of the Xen level in which the player (in this case, likely Chris Horn) died. So maybe he got frustrated and went back to GW2?

I don’t know–there’s something very meta about it that I think will end up breaking the fourth wall, and there may be WAY more to the story than we know. I expect we will receive more information soon, likely after Storm has time to get his new PC up and running and figure out how to present whatever leftover data there is to us.

Stay tuned!

I can only speak for myself, but the Data uses the NATO alphabet to spell the letters, where only the first letter is of import, the rest is redundancy to cover for bad channels (think of it as an error correcting coding of sorts). The computer also only writes down the first letter, so I didn’t think of actually spelling out the whole thing. I thought we still lacked the proper transformation from Data’s passphrase to the 32 bytes needed for the cipher, but it turns out that this was just plain md5-hashing (and repeating) :slight_smile:

As for 2.:

[17:52][LD] Stormseeker: The arg is almost done
[17:52][LD] Stormseeker: you all just need to work out exactly whats going on
[17:53][LD] Stormseeker: which isnt done yet :3

Edit: Also, due to all the waveguide and projection talk on the whiteboards we started wondering whether HALOS is not only an AI but also coupled to some holographic projector. This might explain the two Dr. Horns, maybe one of them is only a hologram

DIARY LOG OF DR WELSH:

……I got a call from Dr Stone over in Sector C, and he thinks Dr Horn has been misappropriating funds from the lab budget to buy pizzas with and fund some secret project we don’t have the access levels to get at. Only Dr Horn and Dr Bottomley seem to have access to those rooms, hmm perhaps Dr Junek too…

All I know is, we had a complaint from the main administrator Dr Montero that Lab D funding had a grossly disproportionate impact on the lab funding, especially considering work currently under way on the biodome in the sub levels of the facility.

We have a plan though to get back at Dr Horn, we’re going to steal all his misgotten goods, and hide them throughout the whole facility, he’ll spend months looking for them.

Was Dr Horn taking money from his BM budget in order to buy more pizzas in GW2?

Was Welsh hiding them in order to prevent Storm from gaining the enhanced abilities that pizza offers?

Do Bottomley, Junek. Stone and possibly Welsh also play GW2?

Does X01 and X02 contain apparatus that enables a way to get to GW2?

Was Dr Horn acquiring pizzas in order to enhance his abilities in GW2?

Ability enhancements of pizza ,

From https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Food

Expertise

Condition Damage

Mushroom Pizza +50 Expertise
+40 Condition Damage
Fancy Veggie Pizza +60 Expertise
+50 Condition Damage
Super Veggie Pizza +80 Expertise
+60 Condition Damage
Rare Veggie Pizza +100 Expertise
+70 Condition Damage

All, except for the Cheese Pizza, allow you to earn a Feast of Pizzas that you can share with anyone in the area. The feast stays active for only 5 minutes.

Yesterday was an incredible day. Years of perseverance and persistence, highs and lows, have finally paid off. Like with the Code D holding puzzle, it was Gunsrequiem who made the final leap in deciphering the 752 hex. Fantastic job.

Just for correctness sake, in the excitement last night, when I first posted the deciphered text on Discord, I just copied the output from my script, which was an ASCII dump where linefeeds were replaced by periods. Here’s the correctly formatted text with the linefeeds intact:

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]

The cipher details are on the wiki.

Wow. We solved the HEX Code? Well Done Ladies and Gents.

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It makes more and more sense that Dr Horn was traveling between GW2 and Black Mesa. and I believe this is where the story line leads us.

Remember this statement?

“HALOS is far too complete to stop now. They can’t hide there, not now, not now I have this, {is he speaking of GW2?} 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.”

That comment was made on November .3, 2012. Guild Wars 2 was released just a few days prior to this statement that he made!

See my post about 3 posts above.

EDITED INFO:
I had originally asked if Bottomley, Junek. Stone and possibly Welsh also played GW2. Today, I found some information verifying that Chris Horn, Paul Bottomley and Johnathan Welsh actually do play GW2

A statement from Stormseeker’s “Meet the Myons” where he explains the origin of his name as Kal Stormseeker: This was originally the name I chose for Elder Scrolls Online, when John, Paul and I were playing the Beta, and decided to leave it due to monthly payments for Guild Wars 2

So at least the three of them left Elder Scrolls and went to GW2.

So you did it? I mean… it is solved?! Ya’ll should post your findings on the steam forums so everyone can applaud your tenacity!