Hidden Message in Portal Update

CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
22,642
Aren't there more images than this? I saw one with a skull...

Yes there are. I don't want to go digging through the hundreds of pages of Steam forum threads. Didn't figure this out until later though. That particular pic had a very bleached out skull (white/yellowish tinge) on a desk sitting amongst test tubes and beakers, and the number. This lead me to believe that the skull was a prop like those inside classrooms and labs, not an actual skull from a dead person. If that skull had been intended to be an actual one, I don't think Valve would have overlooked this detail and got a better movie prop that looked real (grayish/white).


Anyways... here's some more ASCII art people have gleaned from the BBS terminal. Try zooming in on the text. Hilarious stuff about "aquiring" some "low risk test subjects" such as hobos/tramps, orphans/foundlings, psychiatric patients, and seniors.

portalasciilarge2.png
 
Last edited:

Spewn

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 5, 2001
Messages
3,459
Someone over at Reddit commented that based on the sequence of messages it seems that GLaDOS may be restoring herself from a backup copy using a wireless transmission to an offsite location. She has been unleashed into the wild.

Looks like Cave Johnson is in control, to me. Also looks like this is leading up to the prequel, which is what they said Portal 2 would be, isn't it? Cave Johnson, "dead"? Not quite.
 

CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
22,642
Here's an update of all that has happened for those wondering WTF is going on.
Straight from Steam forums:
-Portal gets surprise update yesterday afternoon
-People see new mystery achievement
-People play and see the radio in the beginning room now has a green light
-Carry it around and notice it makes strange broadcast interference noises in certain places
-Locate and place all 26 of these mystery radios for achievement
-Smart people yank wav files out of game content folders and run them through steganography programs
-Produces 26 weird cryptic image files in a numbered sequence
-Some dude runs the number string through an md5 hash translator and gets a landline number
-Internet traces it to Kirkland, WA (near Valve HQ)
-People find out its not a phone/fax line but a data line hosting a BBS and telnet it
-Use a clue from one of the files to figure out the BBS user/password login info
-End up with a bunch of weird ASCII artwork
-A collection of the ASCII artwork is posted: http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/6278/portalascii.png
-People get to work on the ASCII and an ingame screenshot may very well have been found by turning one of the ASCII artworks: http://cdupload.com/files/123623_btxvo/rotate1.jpg
-Speculation on another ASCII image, showing 2 robot like creatures starts.
http://img706.yfrog.com/i/android.png/
Some believe they are connected, whilest other dispute it, claiming it shows the skeleton of a chicken and therefor they are not connected.
Others speculate that this may be Combine Super Soldiers. (http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/File:Super_soldier.jpg and http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/File...er_Soldier.jpg)
-Another new collection of ASCII is posted here: http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/930...sciilarge2.png and a blurred version is posted here: http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/9...ortalascii.png
 

Thanatos.

Gawd
Joined
Jun 24, 2005
Messages
744
Here's an update of all that has happened for those wondering WTF is going on.
Straight from Steam forums:
-Portal gets surprise update yesterday afternoon
-People see new mystery achievement
-People play and see the radio in the beginning room now has a green light
-Carry it around and notice it makes strange broadcast interference noises in certain places
-Locate and place all 26 of these mystery radios for achievement
-Smart people yank wav files out of game content folders and run them through steganography programs
-Produces 26 weird cryptic image files in a numbered sequence
-Some dude runs the number string through an md5 hash translator and gets a landline number
-Internet traces it to Kirkland, WA (near Valve HQ)
-People find out its not a phone/fax line but a data line hosting a BBS and telnet it
-Use a clue from one of the files to figure out the BBS user/password login info
-End up with a bunch of weird ASCII artwork
-A collection of the ASCII artwork is posted: http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/6278/portalascii.png
-People get to work on the ASCII and an ingame screenshot may very well have been found by turning one of the ASCII artworks: http://cdupload.com/files/123623_btxvo/rotate1.jpg
-Speculation on another ASCII image, showing 2 robot like creatures starts.
http://img706.yfrog.com/i/android.png/
Some believe they are connected, whilest other dispute it, claiming it shows the skeleton of a chicken and therefor they are not connected.
Others speculate that this may be Combine Super Soldiers. (http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/File:Super_soldier.jpg and http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/File...er_Soldier.jpg)
-Another new collection of ASCII is posted here: http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/930...sciilarge2.png and a blurred version is posted here: http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/9...ortalascii.png

Slight correction 22 were images 4 were morse code - here are the translations of the morse codes
1- "interior transmission active external data line active message digest active"
2 -"9e107d9d372bb6821bd91d3542a419d6" which is MD5 hash of "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"
3 - "system data dump active user backup active password backup active"
4 - spells out "beep beeeep beep beep beeeep beeeep beeeep beep beeeep beep beep" which when converted to morse code as well = .-.. --- .-.. which translates to "LOL"
 

MatDef

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
4,706
Found a new update, haven't seen this here or on the steam forums (maybe I didn't look hard enough):

---- BEGIN RECORD 'C:\02622005.965\06615262.757' (863 BYTES) ----
MEMORANDUMS: Filed under CJohnson: 1085839-G

This one's important, folks, so no skimmin'. Cave Johnson here, your boss and
founder of Aperture Science?the best damn applied sciences company on Earth.
How good is the science here? Get a load a? this: as of this morning, I am
dead!

Now, yer probably askin? yourself, "Cave, come on now, how is this possible?
Are you some manner of Dracula? Or Frankenstein? Or dependin? on yer cultural
heritage, a Blackula or Latin Frankenstein?"gh632jj3

ksjdo sir! It's science. Thanks to our diligent Aperture engineers, I am
writin' memos to you today, literally, from beyond the grave! Furthermore I'd
l#ke t5o inf))))m 34verybody wePPPPPing a blue shi%%$rt today th32232t y*u
@##re f)*# TF FFs0&^t ##f gd fghDFRt 665 ^ $%& 4%^^$. ZSFGS D FGsd5 E$
5^57&w$% &6&778*$ 4^77 r6ty u$65####################3
---- RECORD ENDS ----
-- WARNING: NO ERROR DETECTED
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Messages
567
I had to use putty during a Linux class, but I'll be damned if I remember how to use it. I gave that a shot and came up with nothing.
 

krameriffic

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
3,214
Reminds me of some of the stupid cryptic bullshit they pull with TF2 updates. Personally I think they should just come out with it rather than dangling a carrot in front of the faces of a bunch of mouthbreathing nerds with waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands, but then, I'm old fashioned aren't I?
 

veritas7

Gawd
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
736
I love~~ these type of things.

There's a reason why LOST is so damn popular. It's all the hidden ideas and plot devices that drive people to dig deeper and connect the pieces.
 

weebling1

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Messages
2,233
I don't know which is more surprising, that people still have modems or that someone figured out Morse Code

(for the love of god, please tell the OP of the morse message it's DOT and DASH not BEEEEEPs)
 

LeninGHOLA

Vladimir Hayt
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
18,416
Reminds me of some of the stupid cryptic bullshit they pull with TF2 updates. Personally I think they should just come out with it rather than dangling a carrot in front of the faces of a bunch of mouthbreathing nerds with waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands, but then, I'm old fashioned aren't I?

Yea, exactly. I hate it when companies go out of their way to give you good story and be creative. Stupid, well educated, mouth breathing nerds!

I think it is great that Valve puts effort into things like this, I find it refreshing.
 

extide

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
3,494
I connected to that IP and got:

AUXILIARY CONNECTION TO (425) 822-5251
-----------------
APERTURE SCIENCE EXTERNAL RESEARCH LABORATORY
GLaDOS BACKUP LOG SERVER DATABASE v3.02
ACTIVE SESSIONS: 42
COMMUNITY 'DON'T TELL APERTURE WE BORROWED THIS' SERVER
-----------------
GLaDOS Username: backup
Password: backup

COMMANDS: LIST, READ <FILENAME>, COUNT
1 new file(s): LOG11OUT
>
 

FranklyShankly

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
1,024
Cool marketing idea, but not the first time it's been done.

Funcom has been using these types of puzzles for viral marketing of The Secret World for almost 2 years now. Pretty much all info from the game has been gleaned from hugely obscure puzzles like this.

Still think it's great, but Valve isn't the first.
 

Mohonri

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
5,755
Well-played indeed. I agree that the one picture does indeed look like a combine super-solder (as linked). That's good, since it conceptually bridges the gap between the foot solders and striders better than the Hunters do. Certainly I think it falls better into the HL2:E3 style. (granted, it's supposed to be the same universe, but still)

How about a bit of speculation? GLaDoS joins the combine? Combine find the backup GLaDoS/Aperture labs and adopt some new technology? Chell and Alyx have a catfight over Gordon? C'mon, there are all sorts of crazy stuff that could make it into the next episode, if you include Aperture Science content!
 

anthrex

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
1,873
Valve...best software developer ever! Can't wait for Portal 2 and more HL2!! Work hard internet and discover the mysteries...so I don't have to :p
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Messages
567
Did you make sure to change the port to 379?

I did, but it occurs to me now that since I'm on a machine at a customer site, there could be some kind of firewall in place to block this type of connection? Will check when I get home later.
 

tikicult

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
1,172
I don't know which is more surprising, that people still have modems or that someone figured out Morse Code

(for the love of god, please tell the OP of the morse message it's DOT and DASH not BEEEEEPs)

The morse code in the game spells out B-E-E-P and B-E-E-E-P. Then, that those "beep noises" are translated through morse to spell out L-O-L.
 

polonyc2

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 25, 2004
Messages
20,777
The morse code in the game spells out B-E-E-P and B-E-E-E-P. Then, that those "beep noises" are translated through morse to spell out L-O-L.

sounds like R2D2...maybe Valve's big surprise is that they are making a new Star Wars game :D
 

zshift

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
98
Just curious, has anyone tried running the ascii art through an NFO reader? Maybe they can point something out that we've been missing...
 

Navilor

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
193
Connecting to 71.48.33.49:379 via RAW Putty connection I was able to see the following:

AUXILIARY CONNECTION TO (425) 822-5251
-----------------
APERTURE SCIENCE EXTERNAL RESEARCH LABORATORY
GLaDOS BACKUP LOG SERVER DATABASE v3.02
ACTIVE SESSIONS: 42
COMMUNITY 'DON'T TELL APERTURE WE BORROWED THIS' SERVER
-----------------
GLaDOS Username: backup
Password: backup

COMMANDS: LIST, READ <FILENAME>, COUNT
1 new file(s): LOG11OUT
> list
LOG10OUT
LOG11OUT
LOG1OUT
LOG2OUT
LOG3OUT
LOG4OUT
LOG5OUT
LOG6OUT
LOG7OUT
LOG8OUT
LOG9OUT
THECAKEISALIE

END OF LIST
> read thecakeisalie

THIS ONE IS NOT A LIE
*
|
_..--'''@ | @'''--.._
.' @_/-//-\/>/>'/ @ '.
( @ /_<//<'/----------^-)
|'._ @ //|###########|
|~ ''--..@|',|}}}}}}}}}}}|
| ~ ~ |/ |###########|
| ~~ ~ ~|./|{{{{{{{{{{{|
'._ ~ ~ ~ |,/`````````````
''--.~.|/

DATA retrieved 03 02 2010

Logfile Contributors: Keven_b_er
and Robo_Leader
BBS logs decoded by: Xkeeper
Replay Server by: Xkeeper

APERTURE SCIENCE BACKUP LOG SERVER
WE ARE THE SAVIORS OF MEMORIES
irc.chat-solutions.org - #portal
>


Easy to do. As stated on the site you have three basic commands
LIST
READ <FILENAME>
COUNT


Every time I type in COUNT I get the following:
ACTIVE SESSIONS: 41

I do not have an IRC client at the moment or I would visit irc.chat-solutions.org - #portal
 

Azazel90x

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 10, 2006
Messages
2,807
irc.chat-solutions.org - #portal is completely chaos, all the real hard work is being done in private channels :/
 

Silent.Sin

Gawd
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
969
I saw that too, but I haven't tried connecting to it yet.

Firefox has a built in irc client. Type in irc://irc.chat-solutions.org in the address bar and select Mibbit to open it. Then just choose a nick and type in #portal for the channel.

Also, you don't need PuTTY to connect if you are using Windows. Just type this in cmd:
Code:
telnet 71.48.33.49 379
 

PrincessFrosty

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 6, 2009
Messages
5,905
Just spent the last hour+ reading through the SA forum thread which basically documents everyone working this stuff out as it happened.

It's very clever, and interesting, and I have to say well played valve. It's also apparant to me that this is just massive viral marketing kind of like the hype build up to films like cloverfield. The only difference is this requires some effort to dig down for the reward and required an entire community of skills to accomplish.

I see a portal 2 announcement coming up, and if valve have any sense they'll be doing another package like the orange box, which could mean that this would be packaged with HL2 Ep3 which is confirmed to be set in the same "universe" as portal.

My prediction is Portal 2 and HL2 Ep3 will be announced soon and will be packaged together like the orange box, I also think it's quite likely that at a minimum the 2 will either be subtly linked throughout the games if not tied in closely together. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see portal themes, features or characters appear in the finale for Ep3. I also predict that it will be left on fairly lame cliffhanger like all the others have been, causing more questions than it answers.

Half life franchise may become the new lost ;)
 

BravO)))

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Messages
6,384
Up coming announcement, "The Oranger Box. Complete with HL2 ep3, Portal 2, and Counter-Strike 2.0." /hopeful thinking.
 
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