Valve vs. BioWare.

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Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:16 pm

Valve is at it again, times 100.

Early this morning, Steam popped up with a notification saying “Steam has finished downloading Portal”. Eager to see what was updated, I opened the News page, to find the following:

Updates to Portal have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted.

Portal

* Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations

Eager to see what this was about, I hit up the Steam Forums to see what it was all about. I was not expecting dinosaurs and elephant greens.
Transmission Recieved

The first clue was given by eatpie75, who noticed that there was a new achievement, “Transmission Recieved”. The achievement description simply read “..?”. SirPorkChop noticed that the radios ingame were given a red light, and KeRupTion posted that you can progress towards unlocking the new achievement by standing on the button in the first test chamber, while holding the radio. The light on the radio then turned green, and morse code was played. Note that this only happens once you have completed Portal.
Dinosaurs

There were also 26 new WAV files included in the update, first mentioned by BillyTheRatKing, named dinosaur1.wav through dinosaur26.wav. Shrewsbury posted a screenshot of the second radio, in test chamber 2. It didn’t take long to realise that there were an additional 25 radios planted throughout the game, and each one played the corresponding WAV file when taken to a specific location in it’s test chamber. When near the location, but not withing the sound-playing area, the radio simply played static.

* Klusark decoded the first WAV file as “INTERIOR TRANSMISSION ACTIVE EXTERNAL DATA LINE ACTIVE MESSAGE DIGEST ACTIVE”.
* SilverWolf decoded dinosaur12.wav as “SYSTEM DATA DUMP ACTIVE USER BACKUP ACTIVE PASSWORD BACKUP ACTIVE”
* SilverWolf also decoded dinosaur17.wav as “BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP”, which is in turn Morse Code for “LOL”.
* Crazydog115 decoded dinosaur5.wav as “9E107D9D372BB6826BD81D3542A419D6″, which is the MD5 hash of “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”.

Back in the days of Dial-Up, did you ever pick up the phone while the modem was connected, and listen to the data transmission? That’s what the remaining Dinosaur WAVs sounded like, and Z-95 suggested they were SSTV. I had never heard of SSTV before, but Wikipedia quickly informed me that it was:

Slow-scan television (SSTV) is a picture transmission method used mainly by amateur radio operators, to transmit and receive static pictures via radio in monochrome or color.

Z-95 then confirmed that dinosaur2.wav was indeed SSTV, and Don818 on FacePunch posted that the letters and numbers in the SSTV images made up the string “9459C6CAC8C203B8128B7CC63068D4FD”, which is the MD5 hash of (425) 822-5251 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (425) 822-5251      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (425) 822-5251      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (425) 822-5251      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. That number is registered to a landline in Kirkland (near Seattle), which is where Valve was founded.
The BBS

To access the BBS hosted at that number, you need a 56K modem, and software such as HyperTerminal. The username and password, as given in dinosaur12.wav, are “backup” and “backup” respectively. No username and password combination worked for a good while, and Robin Walker was quoted as saying:

Nobody is looking in the right place. You need to look beneath the elephant green for the login information.

Yet after a while, backup/backup worked. Upon logging in, ASCII art is shown, sometimes with some text such as “Human Enrichment & Testing Initiative, Resource Acquisitions”, apparently an Aperture Science document. BBS logs can be found at http://kevin.fobby.net/portal_puzzle/raw_bbs_logs/xkeeper_turns_back_to_binary/ and all over the Steam Forums and other forums, as well as enhanced versions of the ASCII art, and what they (supposedly) represent.

Valve is doing something BIG, be prepared. (I DID NOT write this!)

See here for all the details:
http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=902578


Last edited by BY2K on Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:44 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  DRTJR on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:46 pm

fobby
since when is Fobby a reliable source

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  SurgePox on Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:37 am

Calling it right now, this is viral marketing for Portal 2.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Raya on Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:01 am

I love stuff like this. Same as when Cloverfield was in production, giving out lots of little clues for the fandom to work out.

Although part of me is wishing it had something to do with literal dinosaurs though...

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:01 am

http://kotaku.com/5484157/valves-portal-puzzle-so-far-the-files-recovered-from-aperture-science

What has been discovered so far.

Best viral marketing campaign ever.

So, there was a date in the code. March 11. The GDC is at that time, with Gabe receiving an award. This is where he will drop the bomb.

I... am speechless.

Yet another Portal Update:

* Added valuable asset retrieval

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:13 pm

HOLY SHIT! PORTAL HAS A NEW ENDING!



This goes deep!

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  .. on Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:19 pm

SurgePox wrote:Calling it right now, this is viral marketing for Portal 2.

This.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Warchamp7 on Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:52 pm

SurgePox wrote:Calling it right now, this is viral marketing for Portal 2.

Thanks Dr. Science

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:34 pm

This is bigger than viral marketing, this as turned into a ARG.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  .. on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:36 pm

Valve loves to play games with people. Gabe Newell is a mastermind.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Avalanche on Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:34 am

you mean the boss of a video game company loves to play games?

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:57 am

A progress bar as been found in the BBS. Real meaning unknown. Possible date of completion: March 5th, 2010 12:30PM PST

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:16 pm

So, with what people know by know, some have theory that this may lead to a Blue Box announcement. Containing both Portal 2 and HL2:EP3 (or HL3).

Both Orange Box and Blue Box are terms related to hacking device. (Plus, before the Orange Box, Valve wanted to release the Black Box - but was cancelled - Black Box ALSO refer to a hacking device related to phones (related to the BBS used in the puzzle.))

BTW, new calculations has been done, the progress bar SHOULD complete on 3/5/2010 8:00 AM PST.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  .. on Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:20 pm

The Black Box can be bought on Steam. But I guess it was cancelled for Retail.

HL3/Ep3 was shot down for this year. That is, unless Gabe is playing games with us. Damn you Gabe! When we need defibs the most in L4D2 you deny us and give us Katanas!

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Smashy B on Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:21 pm

I love Valve. Always making awesome content and always announcing against the grain.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:22 pm

Valve is not just playing with us, they're abusing us!

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  .. on Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:24 pm

I love Valve, I don't really know why. They are just my favorite Game Company.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:27 pm

Outlaw wrote:I love Valve, I don't really know why. They are just my favorite Game Company.

Me too. The way they communicate with their fanbase, all the jokes, the humour. And of course, the GAMES!

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:06 am

Portal 2 officialy announced!

The cake returns this holidays!

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  TheTJ on Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:46 pm

.... o.O

SsssqqqquuuuueeeeEEEEE!!!!

I'm EXCITED!

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  SurgePox on Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:46 pm

This is the best kind of news.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:55 pm

Be sure to check out the Game Informer website, each two days they will reveal something about the game for the month of March. (5/8/10/12/15/17/19/22/24/26/29/31)

According to GameSpot's reservation page ici, the game would be out October 26 (only act as an indication of the holiday season, really) but the information in the description of the game gave a lot about it, maybe some of the stuff Game Informer had to reveal.

Valve even made them cut off some of that stuff, they were pissed.

Actual version :
Spoiler:
Coming this holiday. Portal 2 is the sequel to 2007's Game of the Year and draws from the award-winning formula of innovative game play, story, and music that earned the original over 70 industry accolades. Features single and multiplayer co-op modes.

Version from 3 hours ago :
Spoiler:
Coming this holiday. Portal 2 is the sequel to 2007's Game of the Year and draws from the award-winning formula of innovative game play, story, and music that earned the original over 70 industry accolades. Features single and multiplayer co-op modes.Portal 2 draws from the award-winning formula of innovative gameplay, story, and music that earned the original Portal over 70 industry accolades and created a cult following. The single-player portion of Portal 2 introduces a cast of dynamic new characters, a host of fresh puzzle elements, and a much larger set of devious test chambers. Players will explore never-before-seen areas of the Aperture Science Labs and be reunited with GLaDOS, the occasionally murderous computer companion who guided them through the original game. The game’s two-player cooperative mode features its own entirely separate campaign with a unique story, test chambers, and two new player characters. This new mode forces players to reconsider everything they thought they knew about portals. Success will require them to not just act cooperatively, but to think cooperatively

Good... GOD!

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  The Meta Knight on Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:42 pm

Conspiracies.... EVERYWHERE bounce


Just replayed through Portal and unlocked the new achievement. That ending... omg...

This game creates so much glorious paranoia.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  TheTJ on Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:47 pm

Co-op? More GLaDOS? multiplayer?

This is WIN-YES.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

Post  Bugman on Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:41 am

The magazine story has been leaked.

http://www.fpsbanana.com/threads/168193

I love you, Game Informer, but next time make sure nobody leaks your magazine when you have something amazing in it.

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Re: Valve vs. BioWare.

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