[ARG] The Pizza Code Mystery


#5421

We know Dr. Horn is getting all the pizzas, but where are they coming from? He has to pick them up in the canteen, does that mean someone is making it and possibly slipping something into it? If there is anything actually in it.


#5422

I never played the uplink mod that was made for Black Mesa, There is a redux in the works, but I played the old one today for the Legacy version of BM. The creator said there were two Easter eggs in it related to the arg, one small one, one big one. I so far have found one of them I’m assuming is the little one. There is a scientist behind some storage containers dead, with a note that says “where is code D?” in a rot format, there is also an image of Dr. Horn next to it along with the pizza is a lie painted on the wall. I was curious if anyone knows of the other Easter egg that I have not found.


#5423

Well, there’s a hidden maze somewhere, with something hidden in it. The maze is behind a closed door, and you’re going to need someone to open the door for you. Or, cheat.


#5424

The Gman has a heated chat with someone in the beginning of the game. They notice you and close the blinds, but their chatter is very muffled. Ihave not been able to find a resource for it. Does anyone know what it is they are saying?


#5425

It is pure mumble. There is nothing they are saying. I can verify this as a voice actor of the team.


#5426

Thank you.


#5427

She’s a diversion. She is trying to hide the truth.
Don’t give up!

cough sarcasm


#5428

Yet, there is this:

Found in bms_misc_dir.vpk -> \scenes\c1a0a\gmanroom_conversation.vcd:

channel "Expression" { event flexanimation "Facial Animation" { time 0.113070 37.356339 param "" flextimingtags { "THIS" 0.016656 1 "IS" 0.030084 1 "NOT" 0.040036 1 "YOUR" 0.054027 1 "DECISIOn" 0.058906 0 "MAKE" 0.084216 1 "TO" 0.085401 1 "YOU" 0.112728 1 "MUST" 0.130448 1 "NOT" 0.144994 1 "GET" 0.157953 1 "IN" 0.165888 1 "WAY" 0.179905 1 "I" 0.434212 1 "WANT" 0.446367 1 "TO" 0.458191 1 "GIVE" 0.468435 1 "HIM" 0.477156 1 "ANSWER/OFFER" 0.492545 1 "HE" 0.501273 1 "WONT" 0.504270 1 "REGRET" 0.509912 1 "MY" 0.699102 1 "EMPLOYERS" 0.710651 1 "DONT" 0.733925 1 "AGREE" 0.752791 1 "YOUR" 0.814326 1 "SCIENTISTS" 0.829577 1 "ARE" 0.869690 1 "A" 0.883972 1 "FRAUD" 0.894727 1 "BACK" 0.923202 1 "OFF" 0.934310 1 } ...
Originally mentioned here and here.


#5429

http://vod-share.com/video/Io1g4gCjlt/3879.html


#5430

The April fools video may have something hidden of interest @~1:35.

youtube.com/watch?v=9BJ7drbyLZY


#5431

First time posting, I signed up to the forums entirely to add something that I don’t think anybody’s found yet.

I’ve been interested in this ARG for a long time, but I have basically no experience with encryption, I’ve always felt that I’d never be able to really help. One of the things I do have, however, is experience with the Source SDK. Just out of desperation to hopefully stumble across something, I decided to poke through the files for the Steam version of the game, futilely hoping I’d track something down.

The logical first place to look for me, considering I’m most comfortable with Hammer, was in the mapsrc folder, found at […]steamapps/common/Black Mesa/bms/mapsrc. I figured that, since people had discovered decals and pizza boxes in a few of the background maps, maybe there would be something in the map files themselves. Luckily, everything was neatly categorized, including a “backgrounds” folder. Bingo.

The first thing I did was opening the map files themselves, hoping that maybe there would be something obvious.

Unless I’m missing something, probably nothing to see here. So, I did what any self-respecting individual with too much time on his hands would do; I opened the map files in a text editor. This is where things get interesting.

The first thing I noticed was that, in background10, there was a lot of entities prefixed with the “hidden” tag, which would obviously prevent them from showing up in the editor:

The “hidden” header is used internally by Hammer, usually for entities that have been QuickHidden or are in visgroups that have been toggled off. But wait… nothing’s quick-hidden, and the only manually-created visgroup present is an obsolete entity related to lighting:

Again, these only show up in background10; I have yet to comb through the proper campaign maps, however.

But, even more intriguing is that all of the entities here have an extra parameter, “logicalpos” and then a set of coordinates. This is a parameter that’s only used by a defunct, hidden feature of Hammer, hidden away with no easy way to access it besides registry editing; the Logical Entities View. I’ll spare you all the details, you can look it up on your own time if you’re curious, but to the best of my knowledge, just creating an entity doesn’t automatically assign it a logical entity position. Here’s the logical view of all three background maps; there’s no super-obvious message, which is disappointing, but it feels like there’s something I’m not seeing. Maybe people with a more analytical, pattern-focused mind can see anything? Or maybe I’m just reading far too much into things in a desperate attempt to keep this thing running, who knows.




#5432

Is there any difference between different colored dots on map (purple, blue, yellow etc.)?


#5433

As far as I’m aware, no, although entities do have a “color” keyvalue assigned, which I’m not sure if that affects their logical entity color


#5434

This is good stuff, Zak! I’m at a bit of a disadvantage right now in terms of hardware capability (my desktop is down as I just moved into a new house–I’m on a reformatted laptop right now that hasn’t seen the light of day in years) but I had some thoughts. First and foremost, I’m wondering if you created an overlay of all three of these, if it would somehow make more sense–I would suggest either using Excel or something to plot them out on a single graph, or simply inverse the colors on the editor screenshots you took and line them up using good old printed paper. Another thought I have is somehow using the coordinates along with the Hex code, although I’m not sure if anything would be obvious from simply having them both in hand. One thing I am curious about–I see in the text example you provided that the coordinates are pretty round numbers (3000, 7000)–are all of the coordinates like this? Even in the diagrams they are in a pretty rigid grid, even with the outliers. Now, I’m not familiar with the Hammer editor, so this could simply be a signature of the program itself, but otherwise I think I see what you mean when you say it looks important. Any thoughts on this, or can you expand a little on where you’re thinking this may be heading?

EDIT: Wait a minute–I could be pretty far off here, but just by spatially visualizing it . . . is that the damn Tau cannon, with the barrel pointing up? Those curved parts look awfully familiar, and the general construct if you were to combine them is a rather straight edifice. Man, I so badly wish I had a printer right now. I’m not sure what those outliers would be (particles?) but damned if that didn’t send chills down my back. We’ve had lots of clues regarding the Tau cannon–what the hell are we missing here?


#5435

A couple of things to add, the above photos that zak put up, the texture is entitled army_net. Net is how we referred to radio. I don’t know anything about mapping, so I don’t know if “net” would have another meaning. But, if it IS net, it may be freq hop, or spread spectrum. Something else worth adding if it is indeed radio. Depending on the freq band, there are given ranges, BUT, there are rules that are applied so that freqs can be rounded to a multiple of 5 out from the center channel out. There are also +/- ranges added to each to ensure enough space between channels. Some channels can overlap, some cannot. Here is a text file with some sporadic notes, cut and paste that explains the important parts. Also an image.

Lastly, I don’t know if it was this way before, but playing for a few minutes today, I noticed that rail carts now have a speedometer? That has a digital readout. Maybe I never paid attention, maybe its new. I thought it was odd that the digital readout also had decimals.


some freq rules…txt (1.11 KB)


#5436

I was curious about these hidden objects, so I decided to see what they were. They come into view when you click the Show button in the Hammer Filter Control Toolbar, which will disable visgroups and show all objects, hidden or not (and with a little bit of Select All and Move Selection to VisGroup trickery, you can isolate them and attach them to a new visgroup):

They appear to be light fixture props and light spot entities in the middle of nowhere. However, if we look in the full map, bm_c2a4a, where the same hidden objects are also present, it starts to make sense:

Here we can see that they are in the exact same position as lights that are currently in the map. I’m guessing that the lighting in this room was changed at some point, the old lights moved to a visgroup and disabled/hidden, but then the visgroup link somehow got lost, and the objects became orphaned, but remained hidden.

Unfortunately, this turns out to be false, at least with regards to current versions of Hammer. From what I can see, Hammer automatically assigns a Logical (Entity Flowchart) View position for each entity in the map. The coordinates seem to follow a grid with a 500 unit spacing. Negative coordinates, however, appear to be shifted 268 units in the negative direction, but are still spaced (multiples of) 500 units apart. Also, a lot of entities are often stacked on top of each other at the same coordinates.

Since the automatically assigned Logical View positions seem to follow a grid, you’ll see that the coordinates are nice and round, like for example: [tt]“logicalpos” “[1500 12500]”[/tt]. However, once you start moving entities in the Logical View, the coordinates will be non-integer decimal numbers with a decimal point, like for example: [tt]“logicalpos” “[1621.37 12378.6]”[/tt]. This is because the entities don’t snap to the grid when you move them in the Logical View.

Therefore, if there are no “logicalpos” entries containing non-integer decimal numbers in a map file, I think it’s safe to assume that the positions of the entities in the Logical View were not changed by hand in Hammer. I did a search in all the offically released .VMFs, but couldn’t find any “logicalpos” entries that contained a decimal point.


It’s just the name of the texture for the camouflage net, or netting.


#5437

How many other things related to this entire ARG, from the very beginning, have been tied to the Tau Cannon?

First of all, the fact that the ARG originated in QE, which is where players get the Tau Cannon the very first time. Every time the dev team releases a new patch to the game, I always go back and replay that level, from start to finish.
Codes A, B, C, and D… all still there.
Nothing gets changed in QE… which means… that there’s still something there that we need to find, and see. If it’s important to the ARG, then it’s obvious that Storm would do whatever necessary to preserve it, right?

Secondly: Stormseeker’s website. We’ve gleaned whatever we could from it via the wiki, thank goodness, but the site itself is still down. If that meant that there’d be no way of continuing the ARG in any way - either through some sort of password input, like some have suggested - then wouldn’t you think that Storm would’ve set up some way for us to find a mirror of that site? Or modified the ARG somehow to point to, say, a site belonging to Dr Welsh instead?
Which means that we might have what we need already.

Thirdly, the Terminal page. Also no longer resolving on its own. Possibly for the same reasons as Storm’s site not being loaded back up.

Fourth: all the IRC clues seem to be backstory to the HALOS project, don’t they? At least, IRC Clues 2 and 3 talk about picking up the niobium near the compromised Holloman AFB, and that apparently the team wanted to move HALOS out of Black Mesa to White Sands, but were unable to because it was deemed unviable. And then in IRC Clue 4, there seems to be a retreat from yet another sort of migration: from some “prime site” back to the Terminal page. (Where would that terminal’s server be housed, I wonder? Maybe in QE?) IRC Clue 5 makes it sound like the message is being sent from behind closed doors directly to Dr Horn. Note the wording: “you SHOULD bring pizzas”. Artistic choice of words? or an actually optional suggestion? I thought that Nb was necessary for the HALOS project… but this makes it sound like it’s not? Otherwise, to save on space, the message could’ve just been shortened to “bring pizzas” not “you should bring pizzas”. And then ending with IRC Clue 6 to basically tell us to look at the site.

Fifth: BMRF.us is still online. It only still has that one slideshow and references to Surface Tension (the beautiful level right after QE), a lab scene (could be QE), and robotics (littered throughout the facility).

If there is anything that we need to glean from all this, it’s that the Tau Cannon, whatever its history and function, needs to be further investigated, if it’s still being referred to and referenced this much “after” its initial mention.


Also, can we talk about how, I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but…
< [email protected] >The domain in the IRC clues where Storm or any of his aliases were logging on…
dslgb.com
I know it’s supposed to be a reference to DALsystems, but… what do the L, G, and B stand for?


One other thing, just for the shrugs:


A list of the suspects and major players, which need to be confirmed / exonerated for their involvement or lack thereof. The one exception being Bottomley, I think?
And yes, that typo. Truly accidental? Or intentional?


#5438

I don’t think we were supposed to enter password on storm’s site. And besides, he said that sub ran out and didn’t bug (I forgot the name of one of the devs) to put it back up.

Terminal page was the key, so I thought. On bmrf.us there is phone number which, when called, would play BM disaster warning. HOWEVER, if you typed in *12 (as extension on terminal page) you would be asked for a password. I tried many key-number combinations but no-go. Sadly, phone number is no longer in use. :confused:


#5439

https://who.is/whois/dslgb.com

dslgb.com is registered to VodaphoneUK
The registrar is Ascio Technologies, Inc. Which looks like a legit business.

Unless it’s a fake in the context of the ARG? In which case,

D - DAL
S - systems
L - ?
G - ?
B - ?


#5440

digital subscriber line Great Britain? As for BMRF.US, aside from the Dalsys login, I think the dates may be important, when comparing the dates on the site, to dates, or indications in game, it gives us a start date, for instance it mentions Gordon joining the fold, then it gives a date for the decathalon, which if i recall in game, is the day that the resonance cascade takes place. Which is still somewhat confusing, All the calendars in game say December, but if we go off of what BMRF.US says, its August.