[ARG] The Pizza Code Mystery


#5381

It’s not really my find. It was first found in the original mod release by @ev1te some 10 days into the ARG:

On October 12, 2012, an anonymous user added the following to the wikia page about Dr. Horn:

Then, on October 14, wikia user Dr Horn (the same user who later added the Tempus Omnia Revelant page and the blank Storyline page) made the following edit to the page (the part highlighted in green):

… which only adds to the mystery.

For some reason, the line was deleted from the page by a user named The Zog. on March 5, 2015.

And there seems to be more to this story. The Tau Cannon was again brought to our attention when on February 4, 2014, just a few days after 0418_08151814 was outed on the forums, this mysterious message appeared in a comment on the 752 Hex Code page:

[code]Aug 09

W### has been p########## well on the L#### O####### L######## Can####, other#### kn### as the T## Cann##. My t##### to the #####etic
induction coil have reduced the likelyhood of overcharge by 200%! I still cannot fathom why the fuse we introduced continues to fail
however, perhaps the leptons have a mi7s6d0976)(&^A)S()F ()A^SF) A()&^ ^)(AS&^ (^6097^)(76)(")")(")(!")(!")(!"*)(… … …[/code]


#5382

I was checking the easter egg’s thread and I don’t even remember if this was looked into, it’s been so long. Halos may be in the game after all. The silver rotating gamma that appears on some in-game screen is probably inspired on Cyberax, the AI from the series bugs. But Cyberax was a face. There is a face that appears on one of the screens.

‘Easter Eggs’ and Cool Stuff

Third post in that page is a face on a screen. Maybe it’s a case of pareidolia, like the face on mars, or maybe there’s something on the screens that hasn’t been found. I remember looking even into the white noise of the screens, but I don’t remember ever looking into reflections. I don’t even have the game installed, would anyone know how to look, or if it’s even possible there’s something in the reflections?


#5383

Found the same thing in the same screen in the same map in the mod release (I have the steam release but i have been having problems with it.). Here is what it looks like.

[attach=5616,none,1366][/attach]


#5384

It does look like a face. Anyone knows how this reflection would be created? Is static and the data is on a file, or it’s something that is created by the engine due to a particular arrangement of the lights on the room?


#5385

Hi, can I have a slice of pepperoni and double cheese pizza, please? thx


#5386

@Angel - Generally they’re built by the engine based of the cubemaps (or reflection probes as some other engines refer to them as) in the map - So the data is static, but based off the view of the nearest cubemap (generally in the same room, or at least hopefully similar lighting conditions)
It is possible to have a specific, pre-made cubemap that’s not generated in the map, but IIRC the only way to do that is specifically in the material, so if that were the case it would show up on every monitor using that “screen off” skin. It does look uncannily like a face with an extra set of eyes to me, but I’m guessing that’s probably just happenstance caused by the game picking the nearest cubemap to the model and it being the wrong one.
Almost certainly just pareidolia instead of an intended thing, as that monitor is used plenty of times with that skin throughout the game and I can tell you from looking through the model view in Hammer there isn’t a “special” variant of it just for that one instance (though if it were intended, that’s almost certainly how they’d do it, for anyone taking notes for their own ARG!)


#5387

Ok I really think we are missing something. so I went in and checked some of the background maps using the thing bellow.

ent_fire point_viewcontrol disable

And I got nowhere well except I found out that all but 2 of the maps have a pizza, one has the questionable efficacs logo, and almost all of them had teh pizza is a lie somewhere. teh damn one has to be my favorite as where the generators would be in that one area is this.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1241710322

There is a button that seems to do nothing on the QE background map, and its the only one with a weapon you can pick up for some reason.


#5388

Just wanted to pass this along, the phone number listed on BMRF.US has been reassigned to a different company. I called this morning and a lady answered, she was baffled when I asked if this was BMRF. Then she asked what number, she said she just got this number for a funding company.


#5389

The father or mother of AI?

Ferranti, the NIMROD computer, the NIMATRON, the original AI. … the game of nim, the game of NIM involves the taking of objects. It was also called something like the taking of stones or taken stone.
Made by a Phd. Graduate of Cambridge, named john makepeace bennet.
They made a computer, referred to as the first Artificial Intelligence, was made to play the game of NIM. There are many variations of the game of NIM

Remember lies image? DR. STONE WILL PAY, LIES, STEALS IT CONSUMES IT. That is basically the rules, its a math game.

Ferranti is also involved with a lot of stuff, to include power grids, steam generators and more.

The release of the NIMROD was on MAY 5TH. THE RELEASE OF BLACK MESA SOURCE ON STEAM WAS MAY 5TH.

and as a side note, there was someone who made a company named mamadada, on may 5th…

SO, yeah, there’s all that. Now if we were to set up the hex, into heaps and apply the rules of NIM. Could this lead to something?

EDIT: Or maybe something like proton and neutron counts?
Fe53_KNC.png


#5390

Because nobody else seems to have posted this here yet:

The Black Mesa twitter posted a GIF of what seems to be a XEN 3d / wire model, but it’s all kinds of messed up.

(This reply is also interesting.)

Not sure if ARG-related, but with just the caption “Geomodeling from initial Xen Expedition” and no explanation on why it’s all garbled I’d say it was at least worth a mention.


#5391

So, what can we say about this GIF?

  • It’s not the first mysterious post with “Xen Expedition” in the caption.
  • Twitter converts GIFs to MP4 video files. The direct URL to the .mp4 is: https://video.twimg.com/tweet_video/DU4P2Y1V4AE0gjc.mp4
  • The video resolution is 610x284.
  • Using ffmpeg, I converted the .mp4 file to a series of .png files, one for each frame of the animation. These were posted in the General Xen Chit-Chat Thread.
  • @F_SchoManno made a restored version of the image:
  • The image looks similar to the 3ds Max wireframe screenshots of scenes from Xen posted by dev @bkdale86 in the Xen 2.0 and prop models thread. You can tell the screenshot was taken in 3ds Max by the 3ds Max ViewCube[sup] [/sup]3D navigation control, which you can just about make out in the top right corner of the image.
  • One theory about the scene we see in the image is that it could be the underside of one of the floating islands.
  • The glitches and distortion we see in the individual frames look like the results of .JPG file corruption. My theory is that they ran an image through some kind of JPG glitch tool a few times and then put the different resulting images together into an animated GIF, including enough frames with just enough combined details to be able to almost fully piece together the complete image, as you can see above.
  • Since Twitter has converted the GIF to MP4, which is a lossy format, I doubt we’ll find any steganographically hidden message, since most common types of image steganography will probably be lost in the conversion.
  • For the same reason, if there was a comment embedded in the original GIF, it would probably be lost in the conversion as well. I checked the metadata of the .mp4 file and I didn’t find anything interesting.
    My conclusion: It’s just part of a Xen teaser (hype) campaign, and not directly related to the ARG (at least not the ARG we’ve been trying to solve for the past five years.)

#5392

I’m curious about what looks like tentacle’s/root’s.


#5393

Had a look at GG-3883.com. There is nothing to look at on wayback machine. It says Universal trading and supply with the GG-3883.
Below it is a barcode, that I’m not able to scan, but I ran it against a barcode translator and it spit out 8351801FE2633AFBCF5D552B23687BF5. Havent had any luck translating that though.
The code is type 39 with a length of 32.
Here are the images on the page. Nothing really indicating anything on the page, just thought it was a tad odd, and being that I cant find anything on the site, or who owns it. Of course, there is nothing at all pointing to the arg. Just an odd page.

ps,
Remember the old robo skin from Half-life? Was really only seen in the German version, what if that was a halos android?
3883.png


#5394

Radboy16 on the steam forums seems to have found something;
http://www.blackmesasystems.com/

Following thread compiles all recent finds; http://steamcommunity.com/app/362890/discussions/0/2860219962092848571/


#5395

Ok, some further digging shows this is registered officially. This may be an actual company. (Albeit one that’s probably violating copyright laws)
It’s probably best to wait until CC tells us if it’s part of the arg before any further digging.


#5396

Mysterious. The barcode changes every day, it seems, with a new 32 digit hex code.

A reverse IP lookup reveals other sites hosted on the same server/IP which seem to point to a specific individual. However, I can’t see any obvious links to this ARG.


Bizarre. At least they’re not hiding where they took (stole?) the company name from:


#5397

So, are we really assuming that this new website is not related to the ARG? I don’t understand how it can be a legitimate company, especially if the people who created it actually did their homework. The logo may not be trademarked, but if it is, they would be facing some very serious infringement because they have not altered the logo in any way, and they are also utilizing the exact same name. I doubt it’s anything other than part of the ARG–it is very easy to create websites like that, and we have seen Storm go to these lengths before. He is very dedicated to his masterpiece, so it wouldn’t surprise me. That said, @9seed noted that it is registered officially, so perhaps it actually is a real entity–if that’s the case, that would be kind of a bummer. I’ve been hoping for something new now that we are likely going to be visiting Xen very soon.

EDIT: In the past, we were told when something posed directly as part of the ARG and wasn’t (or certain members were banned)–I expect the same will happen here if we are being duped.

Also wanted to share this–not sure if I have yet, but it might be something worth trying if anyone still has the original “HALOS.txt” file. This was submitted through the blog:

"Hello, only just stumbled upon this whole ARG thing tonight and managed to work my way through to the HALOS.txt point at which all seem stuck.I understand that ALL of which has been done would’ve been absolutely way beyond my thinking but just wonder if maybe it’s possible the filename (HALOS) is just simply suggesting the text could be copy/pasted into a file for a Linux system, whether it be the equivalent of an exe file or some form of image? And if it were to be as an image, perhaps the pizza image file could be ‘placed’ over the top of it to reveal the relevant pieces, as it were?I’m almost 100% sure this will be utterly incorrect and way beneath the level of thought required but thought on the off-chance that everyone who has seen to this point thus far were on that plane way above that of my own then it’s arguably possible something far simpler was overlooked.

Good luck, and hope I one day see someone cracked this!

@Mister_TIBS"

One thing to keep in mind about this, however, is that “TIBS” is an acronym for “This Is BullShit”–so take it with a grain of salt.


#5398

Looking into this, cant find a phone number, also, the backround images, they don’t look real to me. Also it shows a backround app that is called NETNUK, I cant find anything with that name anywhere aside from NETNUKE. But that’s different. Cant find a business address, only a zip code. Scheduling a 1 on 1 appointment seems difficult if you cant talk to anyone. The contact feature seems fake as well. It says message sent, but it doesn’t ask for your contact number. Also, they talk about HL7 GATEWAYS in some of their pdf’s. L7 stands for level seven. " You should bring pizzas… level seven cases…" I also wanted to see what their shop had to offer, as mentioned prior, it is just lisa20, which has a monthly fee. I decided to check the forms of payment. I added it to my cart, and went to check out. There is no check out area, its a dead end. So I’m leaning towards this is completely fake, or part of the ARG, I don’t believe this is a real company. It may be a registered company, but I don’t believe it actually exist.


#5399

Reading @drgibbles post gave me an idea, one I’m not sure we’ve delved into yet. Is it possible that, despite us assuming that HALOS is simply the name of an AI (which, to be fair, was basically backed up by Storm himself), the capitalization is simply a hint that it’s an acronym for something? I’m not talking HAL Operating System or anything like that, but something more direct that could potentially lead us to a solution? Something right off the top of my head, and which deals directly with the ARG, is “Has A Level Of Seven”–which is exactly what it says in the actual IIRC clue that was a prelude to the actual HALOS.txt file IIRC clue. I don’t know–it seems kind of mundane, but I can’t help thinking there’s some other reason those letters are capitalized–look at the last clue that points at the actual HALOS.txt file, and how the capitalization is so odd of those few letters in the “pizza is a lie” message. It bothers me, and I can’t help thinking that the name of the file/entity may be the key to actually solving it.

EDIT: Also, does anyone else think it’s strange that the second to last IIRC clue says this:

“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.”

. . . and that the new website has a page about “cases?” Granted, it’s about cases of hackers attacking hospitals, but I still think it’s something we can’t pass up investigating.


#5400

The BlackMesaSystems website describing itself (with very clumsy writing that seems very unlike Stormseeker) as named after Black Mesa the GAME and not Black Mesa the RESEARCH FACILITY very much puts it as being nothing to do with the ARG. The ARG has always worked within the fiction of existing in the same universe as the actual BMRF and has never been so meta as to suggest it exists in the same reality where the BMRF is nothing more than the setting in a computer game.

Conversely this twitter post seems to point incredibly strongly to that 3883 website as being connected to the ARG I would have thought?
https://twitter.com/BlackMesaDevs/status/964205452480339968