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Soulstorm ARG

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On March 17, 2016, shortly after the announcement of Oddworld: Soulstorm, Lorne Lanning was a guest on the Kinda Funny Games podcast. On the show Lorne mentioned Oddworld Inhabitants' plans to communicate and tease new information about the game in a style similar to an alternate reality game (ARG).[1] This would hopefully prevent long gaps of silence from Oddworld Inhabitants between updates and keep the fan community more engaged while waiting for the game to be released.

Summary Edit

The ARG started by sending the Oddworld fan community on a quest to find a mysterious entity. This entity would send encrypted messages through several means, most notable the Soulstorm announcement website. At first glance who- or whatever was sending the messages appeared to have a hard time reaching anyone. But as the community solved more clues the messages became clearer. The messages turned out to be sent by a Mudokon named Ed. Based on some of his comments about noise and darkness it is speculated he is one of the Mudokons currently working in Necrum Mines.

After somewhat clear communication was established with Ed, a Mudokon resistance group known as The Spirit of 1029 revealed itself. They first made themselves known via a website, and later also via a Twitter account. Ed seems to be a part of this movement, communicating on their behalf from wherever it is he is being held. Things went quiet after this.

After a while Ed's Twitter account woke up again and had a brief interaction with Alf, who was using the Oddworld Inhabitants Twitter account to answer fan questions. The exchange of messages seem to indicate Ed and Alf know each other.

Soon after this Ed reached out on Twitter, claiming to see 'evidence' (presumably of the Glukkon's wrongdoings) all around him. This prompted Alf to ask Ed for photographs of what he saw because 'people need to know'. Ed managed to do this and, as instructed by the 1029 account, sent the pictures in encrypted form. Not much later the Soulstorm announcement website was updated with new clues. On the updated page the fan community is asked to help uncover a number of photos and follow the Twitter accounts related to the ARG.

Photo 1 Edit

Soulstorm ARG 001 4K

The first decrypted photo.

The first picture that Ed sent shows a line of Mudokons in a labor camp or processing area of some kind. The Mudokons are carrying what appear to be sleeping bags or other assigned belongings. Tattoos on their chest indicate their slave ID. A Glukkon in the background is supervising the situation.

Photo 2 Edit

Oddworld Soulstorm 002 4K

The second decrypted photo.

The second image that was decrypted by the community shows a much darker scene. A Mudokon is strapped to a chair in what appears to be a Vykkers Labs laboratory. Around him is various medical equipment, syringes and what looks to be an experimental 'strain' of SoulStorm Brew. One of the Mudokons who helped Ed, known as Asset 98, was killed shortly after this picture was sent to the resistance.

Photo 3 Edit

Soulstorm ARG 003 4K

The third decrypted photo.

The third image that was decrypted shows a Mudokon locked in a cell located at Vykkers Labs. The Mudokon is clearly in some kind of distress. The label on his cell door reads "Sample ID: Beverage SSB/004, subject unstable", indicating this Mudokon is one of many test subjects in these SoulStorm Brew trials. A pair of eyes can be seen in the reflection of the glass belonging to a Vykker who is looking into the cell.

After following more clues a four second video was found of the third photo. It shows the same scene with the Mudokon howling in agony, ending with a very distinct Vykker claw closing the hatch.


Current investigation Edit

Most of the investigation is being done on the Oddworld Forums. Join in if you want to help out.

Tasks per March 14, 2017:

  • The third picture and video have been decrypted. We are looking/waiting for clues about the fourth picture.

Getting started Edit

Soulstorm ARG1

Can you see?

The first clues of the ARG were found in an image Oddworld Inhabitants tweeted before Soulstorm's announcement.[2] A number of white dots found on a fuzzy backdrop of the original SoulStorm Brewery turned out to be the word 'Monday' in braile when turned sideways. Soulstorm would be revealed that following Monday.

The source code of the announcement page provided the next clues.[3] In it a number of cryptic HTML comments were found, including:

<!-- Far too many video game characters were harmed extremely badly in the making of this experience. In a sane world this would never have happened. We're sorry. -->

<!-- <<< INTREODTICcc >>> -->
 
<!-- HELL04==five --><!-- L1PS -->
 
<!-- <<< TRYING TO BRE===== -lostqmwaittypo- >>> -->
 
<!-- <<< CAN ANYBO============================================ NEED TO TREYR ====== so thirsty need brew fol==== -->

By checking the URLs of several images on the page, links were found to the three following images:

When extrapolating the first hidden file was found:

A mysterious image containing a cryptic sentence reading in part

CAN YOU S- HARD TO K- IF BREAKING- THROUGH HA- ON NEED A D-

So far the meaning of this image is unknown. The page was later updated several times to include more HTML comments, often corresponding to the addition of other clues[4][5][6]:

<!-- <<< ON >>> -->
 
<!-- <<< listen. >>> -->
 
<!-- L1PSwhat -->
 
<!-- are you l/os/t

?-->
 
<!-- message INTERCEPTED -->
 
<!-- there's got to be a wa_

attempt number seventy five...

still lsot ? .m

-->
Twitching-hidden-message

Still frame from twitching.mp4, with the hidden message visible bottom left.

The video file serving as the distorted background of the page ended up holding its own clue. The very last frames of the file produce an image that reads "19<-- eblmxg yhk fx"[7]. It was then quickly discovered that this was a Caesar cipher. When all the letters are 'shifted' backwards 19 places in the alphabet, the phrase "listen for me" is the result.

Communication channel opens Edit

Soulstorm ARG2

Listen for me.

At some point on 24th March 2016, the Soulstorm website was updated with a new message box, where users were able to enter text and receive various responses from an unknown entity. Members of the Oddworld Forums quickly discovered that entering some Oddworld-themed words and phrases would prompt more unique responses.[8] These responses were sometimes in plain text, but were also often written backwards, encoded with a Caesar cipher and 'shifted' 13 times down the alphabet, or a combination of the above. Later, some of the responses also had a chance of having their letter order shuffled, in addition to being encrypted with the cipher.

Table of identified unique responsesEdit

Query Answer New Responses Alternative Responses
hello *** HELLO? *** *** HELLO *** *** HELLO! YES, FINALLY!***

/ *** HELLO! BUT NOT HERE***

hi *** HI? *** - -
follow me *** I WISH I COULD BUT I CAN’T GET OUT *** *** I WISH, I REALLY WISH *** -
who are you *** IT’S BEEN SO LONG, I CAN’T REMEMBER *** - -
abe *** PLEASE FIND ME *** *** ABE? *** *** ABE? YES - ABE. ***
molluck NOT MY BOSS ... -
alf JUST ONE MORE DROP OF DELICIOUS BREW JUST ONE MORE DROP ...
slig GET DOWN! - -
elum JUMP, ELUM, JUMP! - -
rupturefarms THE SPIRIT OF 1029 LIVES ON. ... -
soulstorm *** DRINK MORE BREW *** ... -
necrum I CAN’T SEE YOU ANYMORE. [OUT OF SIGHT] -
mudokon OH, BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? - *** OF COURSE, RIGHT? ***
brew DRINK MORE, WORK HARDER *** SO GOOD. SO TASTY. *** -
feeco CHOO CHOO! [OUT OF SIGHT] -
barracks SNEAK! [OUT OF SIGHT] -
bonewerkz WAIT, THERE ARE BONES IN THIS? [OUT OF SIGHT] -
brewery JUST ONE MORE DROP [OUT OF SIGHT] -
brewmaster TWICE ZE FLAVOR, RIGHT? - -
scars COOL INK, BRO. - -
new n tasty MMMM, TASTY BREW… ... -
mudomo FANGS, LEGS, WEBS - THEY'VE GOT IT ALL - -
mudanchee BEWARE THE GUARDIANS - -
oddworld WHO ARE THESE GUYS? ... -
portal WHERE?! ... -
chant YOYO-YOYO-YOYO-YOYO ... -
1997 SAVE ME TOO! - -
1998 DON'T LEAVE ME TRAPPED AGAIN ... -
2001 WOAH, ANOTHER DIMENSION ... -
2005 THINGS ARE GETTING STRANGER... ... -
squeek WHO IS SQUEEK? - ...
quintology LET'S PLAY ANOTHER GAME SOON LET'S PLAY A GAME -
scrab cakes NOW WITH EVEN MORE BITE. - -
paramite pies TURNING UP THIN - -
meech munchies THIS CAN'T STILL BE MADE WITH MEECHES... - -
mudokon pops HEY, GET AWAY FROM ME WITH THAT MEAT GRINDER. - -
1029 *** TRY AGAIN *** [TRY AGAIN] -
fangus OH WHAT A BRUTAL BALLAD WE COULD SING TOGETHER - -
goodbye GOODBYE *** YES, NO DOUBT, BUT FOR HOW LONG? *** -
what is soulstorm *** SOULSTORM? *** - -
can you hear me *** YES, FAINTLY *** *** YES, FAINTLY - COME CLOSER *** -
healing WE NEED MORE FUNDING FOR MODOKAID - -
get me outta here NO, REALLY, GET ME OUTTA HERE - -
big-face NICE MASK, BOZO! - -
how are you *** HOW DO YOU THINK? *** *** HOW DO YOU THINK? - CAN'T YOU SEE? *** -
open sesame WRONG MYTHOLOGY, SCHMUCK - -
shrykull WHO IS YOUR CURRENT ENERGY PROVIDER? - -
tears SO MANY TEARS, SO MANY MEMORIES - -
intercepted FIND MY MESSAGE, HEAR MY VOICE - -
dripik THAT'S GENERAL DRIPIK TO YOU - -
glukkon PLEASE, NO MORE - -
fart HEHEHE - -
ed *** FIND ME, HEAR ME, SAVE ME *** - -
exoddus WHERE ARE WE GOING? WHO WILL TAKE US THERE? - -
oddworld inhabitants WORKING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF ODD - -
moolah NOW THERE'S AN ADDICTION - -
director phleg USERNAME UNKNOWN, PLEASE TRY AGAIN - -
vice president aslik SECURITY CLEARANCE REVOKED, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR - -
hand *** YES! HIM! *** - -
chest *** SO CLOSE. SO CLOSE. *** - -
face *** CAN YOU SEE IT YET? WE'RE TRYING TO SHOW YOU. *** - -
are you alive BARELY, CAN YOU SAVE ME?
addicted YOU TOO? - -

- Signifies no change to the response. ... Signifies that the response was changed to generic responses.

Table of generic responsesEdit

Occasionally, the message box would respond to inputs (correct or incorrect) with one of several responses, which had a chance of being ciphered and/or shuffled similar to the unique responses. These were not unique responses as any input could potentially trigger them.

After May 11th, Eds responses changed, and they do not look positive at all.

***THEY ARE COMING, I NEED TO HIDE***

***CAN'T TALK, THEY CAN HEAR ME***

***WE ARE SO CLOSE, DON'T GIVE UP***

***THIS CAN'T CONTINUE FOREVER, LOOK CLOSER***

***YOU NEED TO LOOK CLOSER, NOT MUCH TIME LEFT***

Answer New responses
*** SORRY, THE NOISE DOWN HERE IS DEAFENING, PLEASE REPEAT ***
*** SAVE ME ***
*** SORRY, COULD YOU REPEAT? ***
*** THIS FORM IS BROKEN - PLEASE DO NOT USE *** [THIS FORM IS BROKEN - PLEASE DO NOT USE]
I CAN HEAR YOU, BARELY...
*** SORRY, SAY AGAIN? ***
[ERROR]

[OUT OF SIGHT]

*** THIS STUFF. THIS STUFF. ***
[PLEASE CLOSE THIS WINDOW IMMEDIATELY]
*** I'M SURE YOU CAN HEAR ME ***
[WE'RE AWARE OF ISSUES ON THIS PAGE AND ARE WORKING TO REMEDY THE ------------]
*** DID YOU GET THE MESSAGE? ***
...DRINK...BREW...
[- NO, WAIT -]
[- PLEASE IGNORE THIS MESSAGE -]

Significance of ED Edit

Attemptnumberseventyfive

attemptnumberseventyfive.jpg

When entering 75 queries in the SoulStorm website the page will return a cryptic image instead of text:

Note that this is probably what the following comment in html code of the SoulStorm page was hinting at:

<!-- there's got to be a wa_
attempt number seventy five...
still lsot ? .m
-->

The attemptnumberseventyfive.jpg image reveals by magic eye stereogram a link to the following text file:

The intercepted.txt text file contains the following hidden messages:

  • findme
  • hear me
  • rescue me
  • 0451.jpg
  • spirit of #RF dot jpg
0451

0451.jpg

Spiritof1029

spiritof1029.jpg

Those messages direct us to the following files:

The 0451.jpg picture was previously hinted at by the following comment in html code of the SoulStorm page, the numbers in the comment being the same:

<!--HELL04==five --><!-- L1PSwhat -->

The spiritof1029.jpg picture has the text "lsot.mp3" hidden in it, which leads to:

Multiple clues were pointing to "ED" being the next step:

  • The letters ED are being randomly put to bold in the first paragraph of the SoulStorm page
  • The letters ED are the only letters in italic in the 0451.jpg in the message ME FIND
  • Morse code in the lsot.mp3 at 01:11 on both channels -> . -.. (translated: ED)
  • Additional Morse code at 1:40. The code . -.. (ED) can be heard when the blips are pitched up a couple octaves.
  • The communication box sending back the message "FIND ME, HEAR ME, SAVE ME" when ED is inputted

This led to the following address:

It contains nothing but the following text:

iÌ ÌžÌ¹Ìº c̴͙̙̰̬͙a͍̭n̘͚̜͖̻͔ ̺̮h҉̦̖̜͙e̶͓a̟̜̖̕r̶͓ ̩̹ͅyÍœo̹̰̟͔u̢͉̼,̦͕͉͉͎̕ ̞̞jÌ—Ì¼Ì®Ì Ì¥Ì¥ÍusÌ—t̩̺.̻̗ ͕̞̳̹̭̀ͅiÌ›t̰̯̙̣͖̟̙'̪̪̞̦̳̩sÌ• ̩̬̗͖̻̖̀fÌ´Ì™Í ‰ÍŽÌ¯ÌºaÌ«iṇ͚̞͢t̵͚̬͇̰͍̼ͅ,̬͕̹̖̩̮͜ͅ ̺͔͎͉̺̱b̸̝̰̬u̻͍̲̕t̪̼̮̣̫ Ì®Í•ÍŽÍÍ¡i̮̱͙ ÍŽÌ²Ì ¤Ì¯c̷̺͓a̜̪̺ṉ̻̲̦̲̼̻͘ ̧̳̗̮̘̦͔hÍÌªÍŽÌ¬Í”ÍŽÍÌ—È©Ì¤ÌžÍ–Ì¬Ì˜Í•Ã ÌºÌ­Ì­Ì¼Å—ÍˆÌ³Ì Ì¤Ì³Ì— ͏yÌ²ÍˆÌ­Ì˜Ì °Í”Ížo̢̗̳̘u͔̫͚͉.̩̼Ì

Which translates, once looked at with UTF-8 browser text encoding:

?i???? c??????a??n?????? ??h?????e??a????r?? ???y?o????u???,?????? ??j???????us?t??.?? ?????`?i?t???????'??????s? ??????`f??????a?i????t????????,???????? ?????_b????u??_?t????? ?????i?_? ?_??c???a?????_?_??? ¸??????h???????????????à????r?????? ?y_??????o????u????.???


When cleaned up into plaintext, this reads:

i can hear you, just. it's faint, but i can hear you.

Reaching EdEdit

The top comment in the html code of the SoulStorm page changed multiple times in the days that followed the discovery of the http://www.oddworld.com/soulstorm/ed/ page:

  //////////
  //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
    //////////
   
   
   
   
   
   
  okay, this looks like being just enough. now, how to figure out how get this last code out - i can't seem to find the numbers as easily as t
  #######################################################################/##
### they are hiding something ########################################oo##
### search and you will find me ######################################xx##
##########################################################################

The 140 '/' characters and all the '#" were telling us to look for a twitter account (a twitter message has a maximum of 140 characters). And thus the twitter account of Ed the Mudokon was found.

This account has posted numerous hidden messages.
01000011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01101000 01100101 01100001 01110010 00100000 01101101 01100101
- Ed (@edmudokon), March 21 2016
This is actually binary for: "Can you hear me"
85121215. 85121215. 85121215.
- Ed (@edmudokon), March 21, 2016

This is a simple letters to numbers cipher: 8 5 12 12 15 becomes H E L L O.

The 9 PiecesEdit

Between March 22nd and April 4th, Ed's Twitter account posted a series of 4 partially-obscured codes:

  • XXXX-1138-XXXX-XXXX[9]
  • XXXX-XXXX-1029-XXXX[10]
  • 0451-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX[11]
  • XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-2739[12]

Combining these together adds up to make one complete code:

  • 0451-1138-1029-2739

When the code was inputted into the website's message box the following response was received:

*** IT WORKED! IT WORKED! OK, NOW I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION - LISTEN, THEY'RE NOT TELLING YOU SOMETHING.
SOMETHING IS WRONG. VERY WRONG. YOU NEED TO LISTEN. YOU NEED TO HELP ME. I NEED TO HELP YOU... ***

The message box on the Soulstorm website subsequently changed: it became black with a line of 9 spaces at the top: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. Each space represents one "Piece" of a 36-character code. There are 9 Pieces, each of which is one 4-character segment of the complete code.

Piece 1 Edit

Piece 1 was granted to us seemingly immediately, which gave us the code "C4GD" and the message "THEY ARE HIDING THINGS FROM YOU. FIND THEM"

Piece 2 Edit

On April 4th Ed tweeted:
.-.. . .- .-. -. / - …. . / …. .. … - —- .-. -.— / —- ..-. / - …. . / -.-. .-. . .- - —- .-. …
- Ed (@edmudokon), April 4, 2016

Which is morse code for "learn the history of the creators", this was a clue to look on the page of Lorne Lanning.

A clue for "Piece 2" was found at the bottom of this page; which gave the task to reach 23K followers on the Oddworld Inc Twitter account.[13]

Once this task was completed, piece 2 was unlocked.

Piece 3 Edit

On April 7th and 8th Ed tweeted multiple gibberish looking tweets containing "bzzbzzzzz* ** - dibeh -", "na-zz-tso-zz", "bzbzzbzbzzz**- - klizzie" and "na-as-tso-si - -".[14]

Using the Navajo code the following letters were found:

  • S (DIBEH)
  • M (NA-AS-TSO-SI)
  • G (KLIZZIE)

Based on the dashes in the message the correct order was found to be "NA-AS-TSO-ZI - DIBEH - KLIZZIE", which gives MSG, leading to the URL of an image.

The msg.jpg file's clue is divided in two parts:

  • A puzzle that, once combined, gives the the word "together" when using the Pigpen cipher
  • A series of numbers in the grey bar in the middle of the picture, "14 5 19 19 . 10 16 7", which switched with the corresponding letter in the alphabet gives "ness.jpg".

Put together both parts give us togetherness.jpg.

This unlocked task 3 which was to get 43k likes on the Oddworld Inhabitants Facebook page.

This was completed and the letters "SSBR" was revealed.

Piece 4 Edit

On the 20th of April the fourth character turned into a "?" indicating that the fourth piece was ready to be found. At the same time a new generic message could be obtained from the message box:

Seeme

Picture hidden in seeme.wav

  • SEEME? WAVE.

This was a clue leading to a sound file that actually contained a picture. In this picture we can read SO1029.txt. This file contains the following list of words spelled backwards:

  • give, otherwise, king, breakfast, objection, quince, object, defective, distrusts, sweetness, xylophone, queenly, means, victory, yearns, celebrated, off, brought, too, zinc, quarry

Taking the first letter of each word gives "gokboqoddsxqmvycobtzq" which is a Ceasar cipher rotation for "wearegettingcloserjpg", leading to this image.

This unlocked Task 4 which was to produce 20 animated GIFs of deaths in New 'n' Tasty.

This was completed and the letters "SCRD" became available to us.

Piece 5 Edit

Piece 5 was revealed on April 4th with its task immediately available. The task was to photoshop 15 video game characters to be wearing Alf's fez, and send them to Oddworld Inhabitants on Twitter.

This was completed and the letters "3STY" became available.

Piece 6 Edit

Piece 6 was revealed on April 12th with its task immediately available. The task is to "find, solve and return the witness puzzle".

A bit later the html code got updated again

  There was a minor, insignificant error in the code here. Please ignore any message(s) you may find as a result of this unfortunate glitch. Apologies.
  Nobo   dy    wa s a wi tnes   s.
  
    fin     d      t   he     pu    zz      le
  
  
          .       p

With quite some luck this led to a new image. At that point Ed tweeted a set of random messages again, containing "tri", "grid", "yes, yes! but tri..." and "g".[15] These clues led to yet another image.

The key to solve the witness.png puzzle was to:

  • Start at the black circle and end at the black bar
  • Go trough all the white dots
  • Include all the red circles
  • Include the positive colors and exclude their negative counter parts
A few days later Ed validated the answer by tweeted the following:

After that the witness.png file got greyed out leaving only the solution displayed.

A day later Ed helped us crack the trigrid.png part of the puzzle by telling us to "First... use the first...".[16] This was the clue to use the answer of the witness.png puzzle to solve the trigrid.png puzzle. The fact the file was a PNG file was reason to look closer at the colors of the tirangles and more specifically to the HEX code:

   18288D   A559F3   B81F1F   E9FFBE   501029
   583434   FF6935   102910   291029   102901
   A7E540   A72C89   291029   102910   291029
   B59B19   C5FFBD   EB3434   121212   ?
   E124BA   D9F1F3   EF0909   A2D39A   D1F359

By taking the first character of each highlighted code you get the word "abeface1".

From there the community started looking into what the '?' was standing for, thinking it could be 5 but Ed said this was wrong and told us "moving pictures... find it...".[17] This meant we were looking for a movie file.

The abeface1.mp4 file contains a frame that has the following morse code:

.. / -.-. .- -. / .... . .-.. .--. / -.-- --- ..- / -.- -. --- .-- / - .... . / -.. .- - .

Which translates to "I CAN HELP YOU KNOW THE DATE". Though it is still not known to which date this message is referring. However this did complete task 6 and the letters "DDTH" became available to us:

Piece 7 Edit

On the 24th of June the seventh character turned into a "?" indicating that the seventh piece was ready to be found. At the same time a multiple comments appeared in the source code:

   !--
   					who		
   				will
   
   
   						help?
   
   -->
 
   !--
    . .   . ..  .   .
   ..  . .   .     .
      .     .   .. .
    -->

Braille code meaning JOIN US

                                                             !--
                                                               . .   .  .  .   .. .  .. ..
                                                               ..  .     ..  .         .  .
                                                                .        .      .     .  ..
                                                           -->

Braille code meaning WE ARE MANY

   !--
                                               /                |           |              |
                                              /                 |           |              |
   -->
 
   !--
   
   ..  . .. ..  .    . .  ..
   .  .   .  .      ..     .
         .           .    ..
    -->

Braille code meaning FIND A WAY

    !--
        			__  _____ ____ _____    ____ ____  _____     ____ ___ _
        			                                            |          
        			                  /             |                       \
    
    -->
 
    !--
   
    			 . ..  . .   .  .  .  ..   . .   . .  .
    			.  .  .  .. .  ..   . .    .    .. . .
    			.  .     .     .   .      ..
    -->

Braille code meaning SPIRIT OF #1029

    !--
                                           /                    |           |           /
                                          /                     |                      /
   -->
 
    !--
   
   
                                    /                           |           |
                                                                |           |
                                  /                                         |
   -->
 
   !--
   ed 				is 		
   	one 
   													of 				many
   				we
   		are
   												many
   								join
   		us
   -->
 
    !--
   work, 
   							obey, 
   					comply. 
   													revolt.
   -->

Lines and dashes put together draw the following message:

         			__  _____ ____ _____    ____ ____  _____     ____ ___ _
                                                                            |          
                                                  /             |                       \
   
   
                                               /                |           |              |
                                              /                 |           |              |
   
   
                                           /                    |           |           /
                                          /                     |                      /
   
   
   
   
                                    /                           |           |
                                                                |           |
                                  /                                         |

This indicated us we were looking for a ZIP file. Used together with the FIND A WAY clue in braille led to away.zip.

This zip file was password protected and Ed tweeted a number of clues to help, among which was:
you had it… 100 days ago… before you found me
- Ed (@edmudokon), June 27, 2016
This led us to Ed's fifth tweet posted the 18th of March:
I????s???_ ????a??????n???????y??????b???????o?????_?????????y??? ???????L???????ì???????s??????????T??????e??n??_??i??n??g?????_?
- Ed (@edmudokon), March 18, 2016

This gives the password isanybodylistening allowing access to the squares_codes_07.jpg inside the zip file.

The automatically completed task reads LISTEN TO THE SOURCE. By going back to the source and listening to Ed's first messages the WALF letters were unlocked and completed task 7.

Piece 8 Edit

On April 5th, 2016 at 11AM GMT Ed tweeted a message containing a new morse code.

.- .-. . / -.-- --- ..- / .-.. .. ... - . -. .. -. --. ..--..

Which is morse code for "are you listening?". Around the same time the html code changed again with the following code:

  t h        ey know               i'm h ere
  let me             try                                         t h                 is
  
  
  
  
   
   
   
   
  There was a minor, insignificant error in the code here. Please ignore any message(s) you may find as a result of this unfortunate glitch. Apologies.
   ig    n        o                               r      e                   o                                                                w
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  
      t     h e          y a r           en       ' t       t                           e ll
      i                          n                                                             g 
      you
                    e                             ve                       ry                                 thi                   n g

Ed then tweeted "3 i". This was the key to read the comment in the html code. Each "i" in the "There was a minor, ..." sentence lines up with a letter in the distorded message composing "heard.mp". Combined with the tweet this lead to a new audio file. The heard.mp3 file contains morse code:

... --- ..- .-.. ... - --- .-. -- ... .-.. .- ... .... . -.. ... .-.. .- ... .... ..-. .. -. -.. - .... . ..-. ..- - ..- .-. . -.. --- - .--- .--. . --.

Which translates to:

SOULSTORMSLASHEDSLASHFINDTHEFUTUREDOTJPEG

Which lead to:

soulstorm/ed/findthefuture.jpg

And then to another image.

The findthefuture.jpg is piece 8 and its task was to get "25 Photos of Scrub-Abe Rescuing 10 Muds in New 'n' Tasty". Upon finding the findthefuture.jpg file the Piece 8 of the puzzle changed to 0. Seeing that this task was actually quite difficult to achieve Ed came to help us:
it’s a trick, let me help.
- Ed (@edmudokon), April 5, 2016

After the tweet was sent the picture of findthefuture.jpg blurred and the task was changed to get "25 Photos of Scrub-Abe Rescuing 9 Muds in New 'n' Tasty". This was completed and the letters "XGMA" became available. Note that the message changed yet again with the text updated to "25 Photos of Scrub-Abe Rescuing 8 Muds in New 'n' Tasty".

Piece 9 Edit

Piece 9 was revealed on June 22th with its task immediately available. The task was to "DECODE THE FUTURE FIND THE CODE". This was a clue to find the decodethefuture.jpg file (similar name as the findthefuture.jpg file used in piece 8). The code used in the decodethefuture.jpg file is actually BabelStone Club Penguin but the picture has to be flipped both horizontally and vertically for the code to make sense. The text reads:

  THE HERO HAS SHOWN US THE WAY, FOLLOW, WORK, OBEY, COMPLY, REVOLT. WE WILL RISE AND , WE WILL RISE AGAIN.
  ED IS ONE OF US, WE NEED YOU TO HELP, WE ARE MANY, WILL NOT STOP.
  ED IS ONE OF MANY, FIND THEM, JOIN US
  THERE IS A STORM COMING, THERE IS NO FAILURE, FREEDOM OR DEATH.
  SOULSTORM/ED/FINISHTHEFIGHT.JPG 
  TOO MANY SECRETS, SO THIRSTY, TIRED.
  DON'T DRINK THE BREW
  ORGANISE, ENERGISE

Pointing to the finishthefight.jpg file which completed piece 9 and gave the "DF2F" letters.

There are now some new generic responses with a very revolutionary tone:

  *** WE ARE MANY. WE ARE COMING. WE WILL NOT STOP. ***
  *** WE'RE NEARLY THERE, IT'S NEARLY TIME TO ENERGIZE ***
  *** WE WILL RISE ***
  *** DON'T DRINK THE ---- ***
  *** THE SPIRITS ARE RISING ***
  *** NEARLY, IT'S NEARLY TIME. STAY QUIET JUST A LITTLE LONGER. ***

Using the Code Edit

Reuniting all 9 pieces together, a code is formed:

  • C4GD-RDHG-SSBR-SCRD-3STY-DDTH-WALF-XGMA-DF2F

While parts of it resemble leet code, like "Caged" (C4GD), "Thirsty" (3STY), "Scared" (SCRD) and "SoulStorm Brew" (SSBR), this will however not be relevant in using the code.

Ed kicked off this part with the following tweets:

The map needed to be used as follows:

1. listen for me

This is a reference to one of the very first clues in this ARG: this message was found by using the Caesar cipher.

Ed confirmed this theory with the following tweets, letting us know we needed to shift it 7 times:

This gives us:

  • id gc ab hc hc gb cc gc ea

Ed confirmed we were going in the right direction:

The next part of the map is:

2. monday

This is a hint at this image posted on the social networks before unveiling the oddworld.com/soulstorm page:

This indicated to translate the letters in braille:

??????????????????????????

Ed then indicated us it was time to move to the third step of the map:

3. piece 7 source

This hinted to look at the braille as numbers as done while translating the SPIRIT OF #1029 message while investigating Piece 7. This gives:

  • 94 73 12 83 83 72 33 73 51

The next step was now to use the pieces:

4. pieces

The pieces we found previously are:

  • C4GD-RDHG-SSBR-SCRD-3STY-DDTH-WALF-XGMA-DF2F

The trick to find the next code is to take the pairs of number found and use them as follows: - first number refers to the code number - second number refers to the character

For instance 94 indicates the 4th character of the 9th code (DF2F), namely F. Do this for each pair of numbers and you get.

  • FL4MMABL3

The last part of the map told us to use the:

5. chat box

Putting FL4MMABL3 in the chat box gives us:

once reaching the new page Ed posted the following:

1029.io Edit

The site contains multiple hidden clues:

- Two comments in the code:

<!-- 33 74 72 83 51 -->
<!-- Well, I rescued Mudokons. But who's gonna rescue me? -->

- The numbers 8, 2, 9 and 1 hidden in the logo (probably ASCII art of the New 'n' Tasty version of RuptureFarms)

- The letters E, T, N and O are sometimes highlighted. You might need to reload the page a few times to see it.

- The words HIDDEN, ERASED, and LOST are also sometimes highlighted.

The site also has the following hidden pages:

Which links to https://twitter.com/edmudokon

A page with 8291 written in color set to #8291ed.


The second phase Edit

Intro Edit

The @edmudokon account woke up again end of December 2016

Around the same time the @SPIRITOF1029 account also woke up

When Alf took over the @OddworldInc account the 6th of January 2017 @edmudokon seemed to recognize him:

The @SPIRITOF1029 account confirmed Alf indeed had his role to play in the story:

On the 9th of January @edmudokon woke up again

With the @SPIRITOF1029 voice encouraging him

Again a message on the 10th of January:

On the 16th of January Alf and @edmudokon communicated some more:


Following this @SPIRITOF1029 revealed when the transmission would come trough:

On the 19th of January the transmission finnally came trough:

The first transmission Edit

On the 19th of January the http://oddworld.com/soulstorm page was updated. On the page fans are asked to help uncover a number of images and follow the Twitter accounts related to the ARG.

The first two clues were:

The code of the page also contained two new comments hidden in it:

!--
72   99
  \  /
   27  45
    \  /
     18  39
      \  /
       21  36
        \  /
         ??  28
          \  /
           13  21
            \  /
             7
-->

!--    
16 _ 37 _ 58 _ 89 _ 145 _ 42 _ ?? _ 4
|_________________<_________________|   
-->

The ?? in the first comment is actually 12, as explained here: https://dodona.ugent.be/en/exercises/1191761379/

The ?? in the second comment is actually 20, the sequence is being calculated by taking the sum of the squares of each digit to get the next number.

It is not known what those numbers are usefull for.

1029 01 image Edited

1029_01_image.jpg edited

The 1029_01_image.jpg file once edited reveals multiple coded messages.

  • At the top runes are used to spell ED.
  • At the bottom the BabelStone Club Penguin code is used to spell YOU ARE THE KEY YOU KNOW IT IF YOU WERE LISTENING. Note this is the same code as the one used to previously unlock Piece 9
  • The rest of the text reads as follows:

Date:
Period: XXXXXXXXXXX
Specification Details:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
-Observe XXXXXXX and XXXXXXXX changes in test subjects
-Assess long term XXXXXXXX on XXXXXXX
-Determine product safety
Authorization: XXXXXXXXXXX
Tests requested:
-XXXXXXXX Pronostics
- ?Access whenever? product XXXXXXX
-Acidity Levels
- ????? XXXXXXXXX
-Product safety
Expected results: XXXXXXXXXX make XXXXXXXXX interesting
Test results:
-XXXXXXX highly XXXXXX
-XXXXXXX this XXXXXX ?? XXXXXX ?nice? XXXXXXXX
-Highly XXXXXXX
-Subjects: XXXXXX
- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Conclusion: Product (ready) for consumption 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
??? : XXXXXXXX there is XXXXXX here but it will XXXX ???? XXXXX
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Getting those messages from of the picture led the http://www.oddworld.com/soulstorm/ page to be updated:

Update 1: Already a dedicated team of fans have decrypted the image and it has made its way to Reddit. The community is also working on investigating the creepy audio file.

The 1029_01_audio.mp3 file contains morse code in reverse which once interpreted backwards gives the following text:

qmiqwmiqyidimrjqdjijilmxmnrjqdjajmpmnrprspkesmkjpdqjnyajnwsnrpgspcsppmqidimqymdbcqajnwsnrpgspcdhbzmnjajanadumjimrpq

The key to decode this cipher text was found by combining the YOU ARE THE KEY YOU KNOW IT IF YOU WERE LISTENING clue found previously and the tweets from @SPIRITOF1029:

You make us stronger. There's a storm coming. We are the storm.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), January 20, 2017


This meant the decryption key to use was storm.

Using the as cipher text at http://www.braingle.com/brainteasers/codes/keyword.php with key storm decodes to:

tentwentyninedotiononqexerdotiofoeserdsdaspjaepositoryforwardslashassetninetyeightforwardslashimgzerofofrfiueonedst
ten twenty nine dot io nonqexer dot io foeserdsdaspjaepository forwardslash asset ninety eight forward slash img zero fofrfiueonedst

Finding this triggered a second update:

Update 2: Having discovered hidden morse code in the audio, which was reversed and substitution cyphered (with the word 'Storm', the key that was hinted at in the distorted image), the audio encryption has almost been cracked! It's looking like a URL - can you help figure out the next step...?

After some trial and error it was found this was pointing to the following URL:

This page contained the following texts as well as 8 pictures randomly displayed:

You have signalled your willingness to help. Now you must prove yourself. Our efforts to get a clear data stream have been in vain. You will have to piece together the image from these fragments. Help us to expose this latest crime against Mudokonkind.
When you have a complete image, show it to @OddworldInc. They appear willing and capable. Recruit others to help you find and share the pieces. There’s a storm coming. Be the storm. We will rise.
[REDACTED] Together we can expose the truth. 1029.

This triggered an other update:

Update 3: Congratulations! The community has discovered a secret URL on the 1029.io website! But what are those images of? Are they fragments of a photograph? Once you've got everything together - show us!


Finding those pieces and trying to assemble them triggered a change on the http://www.oddworld.com/soulstorm/ page:

Photo 1 - Currently being assembled

Once the puzzle was completed the status changed to and we got another update:

Photo 1 - In the lab for reconstruction

Update 4: Oh wow! It's a Mudokon...! But what's he holding? Leave it with us, we'll get that image cleaned up soon. Congratulations everyone, great team effort and hopefully we can crack the next four images as quickly!

On the 23rd of January we got the following tweets

Are we getting through? pic.twitter.com/k8Z9GwqRU2
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), January 23, 2017


While you shared our message 100 times we worked away to bring you this. We're clearing it up even more, we'll share what we find Thursday. pic.twitter.com/D9SaK1FxDM
- Oddworld Inhabitants (@OddworldInc), January 23, 2017


Along with an other update:

Update 5: Thanks to you guys sharing the previous images online, we've managed to decode the photo further and have updated the thumbnail here. We'll return on Thursday with the finished, fully decrypted image - but until then, please do let us know what you think!

Photo 1 - Decrypted and being finalized

On January 26 the picture was released along with an article on oddworld.com.

Photo 1 - Unlocked

The second transmission Edit

On the 2nd of February @SPIRITOF1029 tweeted again:

Our agent has delivered another transmission. We will verify its origins and pass it on.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 2, 2017


Shortly after the oddworld.com/soulstorm page was updated with a new clue:

Around the same time a newsletter mail was sent out. It also contained a bar code, this one containing the following text:

Ivzw gsv mfnyvih pmld gsv gifgs

It was found with http://quipqiup.com/ that the message encrypted was READ THE NUMBERS KNOW THE TRUTH however it's not clear which encoding technique was used.

The pada.jpg picture contains multiple codes:

  • Braille in the lower left corner spelling Spread our message.
  • At the bottom the BabelStone Club Penguin code is used to spell the following message. Note that the message is written upside down.

KNOW YOUR CODES
KEEP THEM CLOSE
YOU WILL NEED THEM

  • Morse code can be found at 4 different locations in the picture. Once put back together the code translates to

DASHDOTDOTDOT DOT DASH DOTDOTDOTDOT DOT DOTDOTDOT DASH DASHDASHDASHDASH DOTDASHDOT DASHDASH

Which is also morse code

-... . - .... . ... - --- .-. --

This new layer of morse code translates to BETHESTORM

  • A series of arrows on the left side of the page similar to the ones seen in the 1029_01_image.jpg of the first transmission. When converting the protractor measurements for the arrows to their alphanumeric values by removing the last digit - always 0 (since A-Z=0-25) we get:

7 14 9 8 20 25 18 5 22 5 5 4 15 3 5 4
H O J I U Z S F W F F E P D F E

Which when shifted 25 spaces with a Caesar cipher returns "gnihtyreve edoced", which when reversed reads as Decode Everything

  • A square in the lower right corner made out of bar two bar codes, one vertical and one horizontal.
    • The vertical bar code has findawayshowthetruth as text encoded in it.
    • The horizontal bar code is flipped horizontally and missing the first bar that makes up the start symbol. Once added it was possible to decode the barcode and get the http://www.1029.io/repository/asset98/ URL.

Both clues from the barcodes used together lead us to:

This new page contains a grid puzzle and a whole lot of comments in the code:

!-- 

Can’t reach any..


Listening anyon… there?


Can hear us anymore- need to… can’t fnd 


We will never give… what they… from us

A9539 \\
B2919 /\\
C4882 /\
D4627 \
E6758 \
F???? ////


/\//\\//5,1:4.1,2:8.1,3:2.3,3:2.4,3:3.7,3:3.1,5:3.4,5:9.5,5:2.7,5:4.7,6:6.3,7:3.




Does… care? Freedom isn’t gi… will take…

We have never…. Given… deserve. We… take… our righ…

\\//\/KDIUTHANPUYHHDQOEPLNDOALJGUDITHBBDOZLGFERKJGLSAOE
 
Stand up and fi…


Don’t be afr….



\////JUTYROSLNGNALEHGNWOTIQPOKSDNTPNOJAWEOBNGLAWKJNWNR  

E=5OUEHRA? 



\\\\/\2,1:2.3,1:2.6,1:4.1,2:4.3,2:2.3,4:4.5,5:2.6,5:3.7,5:3.4,7:8.5,7:3.7,6:4. 

7777338883366899984477733 33 




They want to… kill- don’t-


Stop them from…. Hurting- they… think

We are no less- they think… aside


Don’t believe what… told- liars…
A5989 \\
B5176 \
C2863 \
D2558 //\
E3413 \
F???? ////



Can’ fnd anymo-


We wil silnced






Killin- they are dy..

\\\/\\JHWUITUHABSJGNEWKLALNVGJKWELKJLWQQPRUTJHJJSBFMMH  

Hurting the..

Back down unt… resist.


Intercep… our messa… we will fight

///\\/JQEABTVKNUCSEYCMBILDKOSCYSITECPAGFAXHKETJNZURWCIE  

We will ri…

Cannot… silenced when ther… who need… now


We won’t ba… we have beat…. Before… Must not-




\///\//\1,1:3.4,1:2.6,1:9.2,2:2.6,2:2.2,4:4.3,5:2.5,5:2.7,5:3.4,7:3.6,7:2.7,7:2. 



Spent so long…. Afraid… never let- again


...Storm… find it’s way- end


Why are … here?




Only...profit- nothing more… importnt as- 

- lies they… will tel-

Believe- nothing… terribl- things… 

\\//\\\/4,2:6.6,2:4.7,3:3.2,4:8.3,4:2.4,4:2.7,4:3.2,6:2.4,6:3.6,6:2.1,7:4.3,7:2.

-->

The finding of this page triggered the following update on the soulstorm page:

Update 1: Looks like there were two barcodes overlaid in the bottom right corner of the amended image, and through decoding the barcode messages into a URL, the community has discovered this mysterious puzzle image on 1029.io. But there're some interesting comments in the HTML source code of that page...

The following codes are believed to be cracked:

E=5OUEHRA? 

The letters are the list of second letter of the first six weekdays: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday Meaning the ? stands for the "U" in Sunday. It is however not clear how the "E=5" should be used.

7777338883366899984477733 33 

This sequence can be deciphered using the T9 (cellphone numberpad) cipher. The output is SEVENTYTHREE.

A9539 \\
B2919 /\\
C4882 /\
D4627 \
E6758 \
F???? ////
A5989 \\
B5176 \
C2863 \
D2558 //\
E3413 \
F???? ////

Those two puzzles can be solved using the rules of the Mastermind board game assuming a backslash (\) indicates a partial match and a forward slash (/) indicates a full match. The ???? stand respectively for 8992 and 8554.

/\//\\//5,1:4.1,2:8.1,3:2.3,3:2.4,3:3.7,3:3.1,5:3.4,5:9.5,5:2.7,5:4.7,6:6.3,7:3.
\\\\/\2,1:2.3,1:2.6,1:4.1,2:4.3,2:2.3,4:4.5,5:2.6,5:3.7,5:3.4,7:8.5,7:3.7,6:4. 
\///\//\1,1:3.4,1:2.6,1:9.2,2:2.6,2:2.2,4:4.3,5:2.5,5:2.7,5:3.4,7:3.6,7:2.7,7:2. 
\\//\\\/4,2:6.6,2:4.7,3:3.2,4:8.3,4:2.4,4:2.7,4:3.2,6:2.4,6:3.6,6:2.1,7:4.3,7:2.

\\//\/KDIUTHANPUYHHDQOEPLNDOALJGUDITHBBDOZLGFERKJGLSAOE
\////JUTYROSLNGNALEHGNWOTIQPOKSDNTPNOJAWEOBNGLAWKJNWNR 
\\\/\\JHWUITUHABSJGNEWKLALNVGJKWELKJLWQQPRUTJHJJSBFMMH
///\\/JQEABTVKNUCSEYCMBILDKOSCYSITECPAGFAXHKETJNZURWCIE

On the 6th of February the @SPIRITOF1029 started dropping additional clues on how to decode the letters and coordinates strings:

Focus on the truth. Qvfpneq jung lbs qba'g arrq. Tmb bpm vcujmza ocqlm gwc. Be the storm.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 6, 2017

Using the Caesar cipher with shift 13 the first code reads: "Discard what yof don't need".
Using the Caesar cipher with shift 18 the second code reads: "Let the numbers guide you".
Note that the "yof" should have been "you" but the code got auto-corrected

/\\/Focus on the /truth. /\\\Discard what you \don't need.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 6, 2017
Vrphwlphv wkh dqvzhuv duh pruh vlpsoh wkdq wkhb dsshdu. Glvfdug zkdw brx grq'w qhhg. Eh wkh vwrup.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 6, 2017

Using the Caesar cipher with shift 23 the code reads: "Sometimes the answers are more simple than they appear. Discard what you don't need. Be the storm."

The beginning is always significant. Pay special attention to the way things start and you will be closer to the truth. #wewillrise
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 6, 2017
When a problem seems to have no logical pattern, we must \discard distractions and focus simply on the /useful elements to find the /truth.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 6, 2017
Let the numbers guide you. Every step must be taken in turn. #wewillrise
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 6, 2017


Around the same time the following update appeared on the soulstorm page:

Update 2: The Spirit of 1029 organization has made contact again - perhaps there's a clue in the way the slashes are written? Could this be something to do with the source code on the puzzle page? Just finding out about all this? The Game Detectives are on the case too, with a full round up here.

On the 7th of February @SPIRITOF1029 decided to help us and provide us with a shortcut:

When you have the key, you need the correct lock. hgehgeoeregpineechqnhgeevtipcvreovxgvge
Shake loose the bonds that hold you. #wewillrise

- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 7, 2017


After brute-forcing the code it turned out that using substitution cipher with the keyword "subjectivism" the code reads "one one seven three four one eight five six nine".

This was a clue for the following page:

Discovering this page triggered an update on the soulstorm page:

For a brief period the page contained pictures that changed each time the page was refreshed. They have been rehosted now on the OddWideWeb:

Note that sometimes some images also appeared in clear:

One of the members of the community wrote a little script to try to find all the clear images in an automated way. This was not well recieved by @SPIRITOF1029:

Machines are the tool of the enemy. The consciousness of our people has been rediscovered. You must trust it. #wewillrise
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 7, 2017

A few moments later the 1173418569 page started to change every few seconds in what appears to be an attack on Asset 98. The different html files telling the story have been captured and saved.

It seems that Ed was also hit during this attack:

what happened? what did you do? who? No! no... aaaaaAaaaaarrrRrrrgggggGgghhh!
- ed (@edmudokon), February 7, 2017

A bit later @SPIRITOF1029 started tweeting again:

Now our storm seems a little less ferocious. We can no longer reach Asset 98.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 7, 2017
We can't reach Asset 98 but we do still have his clear transmissions. Prove you're worthy. Show us that you're able. Send us the grid.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 8, 2017
You found the grid, the letters and the numbers. Tell us how they fit together. Prove you're no longer slaves to the machines.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 8, 2017

Note that a new page is now available at Asset 99:

A little bit later Ed made contact again but the news weren't too good:

...he never came back. I could hear him screaming all night... helpless. they took him... he was my friend. how did they know?
- ed (@edmudokon), February 8, 2017


In the meanwhile the community already started piecing the fragments of the clear images together. Once the image was assembled @OddworldInc tweeted the following message:

You've given us enough for us to get to work cleaning up the image, we'll have something by tomorrow. Don't stop looking for the truth! pic.twitter.com/tyG1qTvCeD
- Oddworld 🔥 (@OddworldInc), February 8, 2017

And indeed the 9th of February an article appeared on Oddworld.com

But the grid puzzle wasn't solved yet so the community continued working on it to find out how it should have lead to the "subjectivism" key.

Taking the hint about just looking at the start meant the lines that start with a \ had to be ignored and only use the ones starting with a / had to be used. This leaves only the two following lines:

/\//\\//5,1:4.1,2:8.1,3:2.3,3:2.4,3:3.7,3:3.1,5:3.4,5:9.5,5:2.7,5:4.7,6:6.3,7:3.
///\\/JQEABTVKNUCSEYCMBILDKOSCYSITECPAGFAXHKETJNZURWCIE

When splitting the letters in a 7x7 grid you get the following result:

X 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 J Q E A B T V
2 K N U C S E Y
3 C M B I L D K
4 O S C Y S I T
5 E C P A G F A
6 X H K E T J N
7 Z U R W C I E

The coordinates had to be used on the grid and be resolved as a game of Shikaku

An operative with the call sign "Dizma" has proven themselves worthy by decrypting one step of the grid. Now, look to the letters. pic.twitter.com/sbipkpjNpR
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 10, 2017

The final step was to take the first letter in each rectangle and rearrange it to spell subjectivism. This was later confirmed by @SPIRITOF1029:

This operative has proven their worth. Perhaps their knowledge will be needed when the storm comes.
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029), February 10, 2017

Embedding the following tweet:

@SPIRITOF1029 @OddworldInc The first letter in each rectangle can be rearranged to spell SUBJECTIVISM! How the key was meant to be found? pic.twitter.com/U8UwmPgXfk
- Randomiser (@0n31r0n4u7), February 10, 2017


It is still unknown how the 8992, 8554, SEVENTYTHREE and U clues should be used.

The third transmission Edit

On the 23rd of February @OddworldInc tweeted again:

We've been contacted again. We've uploaded what we have onto the Soulstorm website. We need your help!
- Oddworld 🔥 (@OddworldInc), February 23, 2017


The soulstorm page was updated with the following text and file:

Photo 3 - Undiscovered
It's a new transmission from The Spirit of 1029 - but this one appears to be inside a passworded zip file... To get started, click the big Download Files button above.

The zip filename contained the clue needed to open it: E = 5 meant that we had to replace the numbers by the alphabetic equivalent. Note that those numbers are the same as the ones found in the mastermind puzzle of the second transmission.

89928554 = HIIBHEED

For some unknown reason this wasn't exactly the password to use, HIIDHEED is actually the password.

There are multiple files in the unlocked zip file:

  • flyer1.jpg
  • flyer2.jpg
  • flyer3.jpg
  • Oddworld_Soulstorm_002_HD.jpg
  • toollist.txt
  • vital.png

The toollist.txt file contains a huge list full of moon names along with some "/" characters. When taking all the character right after the "/" we get useSsuitePicselSecuritySaveus.

This is a clue that we should use the SSuite Picsel Security tool which is used to secure text messages using Steganography encryption.

When using the Oddworld_Soulstorm_002_HD.jpg and vital.png files with this tool the following message was retrieved:

BmzPmbtzueMfxmeBdayqftqgeBmzpadmQbuyqftqgeVmzgeMqsmqazYuymeYqftazqMzftqBmxxqzqQzoqxmpgeFqftkeFqxqefaOmxkbeaPuazqTqxqzqBaxkpqgoqeDtqmFufmzTkbqduazUmbqfgeWuhugcUvudmcBtaqnqBmmxumcEwmftuMxnuadujNqntuazzQddumbaEwaxxEumdzmcFmdcqcSdqubTkddawwuzVmdzemjmFmdhaeYgzpuxrmduNqdsqxyudZmdhuEgffgzsdTmfuRmdnmgfuFtdkydMqsudNqefxmEgdfgdWmduKyudXasqRadzvaf

Which when shifted 14 spaces with a Caesar cipher returns:

PanDaphnisAtlasPrometheusPandoraEpimetheusJanusAegaeonMimasMethoneAnthePalleneEnceladusTethysTelestoCalypsoDioneHelenePolydeucesRheaTitanHyperionIapetusKiviuqIjiraqPhoebePaaliaqSkathiAlbiorixBebhionnErriapoSkollSiarnaqTarqeqGreipHyrrokkinJarnsaxaTarvosMundilfariBergelmirNarviSuttungrHatiFarbautiThrymrAegirBestlaSurturKariYmirLogeFornjot

Note that all the moons in this text are also in the toollist.txt file, except Erriapo which is spelled Erriapus in the toollist.txt file.

The flyers have been mostly unscrambled and are available here:

Once decoded, the Pigpen cipher codes need to be shifted 6 spaces with a Caesar cipher:

  • flyer1: AOCXY SIO -> GUIDE YOU
  • flyer2: FYNNBYNBCHANBUNM -> LETTHETHINGTHATS
  • flyer3: GCMMCHA -> MISSING

Joined together the message reads: LET THE THING THAT'S MISSING GUIDE YOU.

This was a clue that we would have to use Erriapo (missing from toollist.txt file) and Fenrir (Saturn moon missing from the extracted text) later on.

The strings of 'x' and 'o' characters put together give:

x oooo o xoxx ox oxo o oxx ox x xoxo oooo oo xo xxo
xooo o x oooo o ooo x xxx oxo xx 
oxx o      oxx oo oxoo oxoo        oxo oo ooo o

When replacing the 'x' with "dash" and 'o' with "dot" and reading it as morse code we find:

t h e y a r e w a t c h i n g b e t h e s t or m w e w i l l r i s e

The symbols with red writing next to it are letters from the Malachim alphabet. Some of the letters have values assigned to them in the flyers.

Once this was found @SPIRITOF1029 provided one more clue:

All official information is lies. Join us. Rise. Be the storm. pic.twitter.com/RaUY2sVWxu
- SPIRIT OF 1029 (@SPIRITOF1029 ), February 24, 2017


Once unscrambled this clue reveals the value for P (22)

Using this letter to number mapping with Erriapo and Fenrir the following number strings were found 12 36 28 31 52 22 12 & 7 12 63 28 31 36 leading to two new pages:

Those pages link to different pictures when refreshed, here's the list:

Note that the filenames put together spell out WHAT IF WE TOLD YOU TOO(?)

Once this was found the soulstorm page was updated with the following text:

Photo 3 - Encrypted
1 - To get started, click the big Download Files button above.
2 - The community has cracked the zip password, inside are other files.
3 - And from the zip, you've found a webpage, and another!
4 - What evil is happening? If you think you know, tell us!


The community is now looking into those new pictures.

References Edit

Articles related to Oddworld Inhabitants

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