Giant Bomb News


Giant Bomb Mailbag: Numbers Station Edition

Instead of weird food or drinks, we receive... a mystery!

A nondescript manilla envelope showed up at the Giant Bomb offices this morning, and since its recipient wasn't here to open it, I took it upon myself (sorry Brad!) to rip into it, only to discover a mystery within! A mystery that neither Vinny or I were able to make any immediate sense of, which is why we now bring it to you, the infinitely smarter Giant Bomb audience.

Inside the envelope, which featured no return address, was an unmarked 1GB USB drive, which itself contained just two files: a 4KB README.txt file, along with a 1.5MB station.mp3 file. I've quoted the contents of the README file below, and you can listen to the MP3--which seems pretty clearly patterned after numbers stations--here.







Additionally, we found the following text code embedded in the MP3 file.

00000000 00000210 00000825 000000000037474B 00000000 0016FDA0 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000    

Through a little audio editing snoopery, Vinny figured out that the backwards voice near the end of the MP3 file is saying "Don't believe everything you see." Aside from this clue, and the fact that the words in the README file make the obvious acronym CIPHER, I can't make much sense of this. It seems pretty clear to me that this is the first step in some kind of game-promoting ARG, but the question remains, what game could it be for? The fact that the voice reads the letters "NOD" might suggest some sort of Command & Conquer connection, though with C&C4 already out, it seems like an unlikely candidate. The only other game that jumps out at me as a possible connection is Fallout: New Vegas, mostly because of the nature of the vocabulary featured in the README file.
I imagine this same package is showing up at other game publications today as well, so let's see if we can't be the first ones to crack it wide open! Get to it in the comments below! 
UPDATE: It would seem that with some simple character shifting, folks were able to figure out that the letters and numbers being read decoded into a website address, This is just the second step in the puzzle, though, as there's more numbers station fun to be had there. Keep it going, folks! 
UPDATE #2: The goodly folks at Joystiq have taken this the rest of the way, and though there's still no official confirmation, the signs seem to point very directly towards Fallout: New Vegas. Thanks for playing!
Posted by CharkeeFarlee

woah, this is bad-ass!

Posted by Valiom

on the linked website there was 2 cipher options to chose from, might have something to do with it?

Posted by aurahack

Argh, this is fucked up but so very, very awesome.

Posted by guts450

In the Fallout series who was the president before everything went down? is there some cannon about it?

Posted by Zoidoid

Line breaks indicate where the voices switch. The # symbols indicate where they have that "terminate" noise. The - indicates where they have that "woosh" noise. Sorry for the large post.

Posted by Masonvd

Haven't we kind have solved I? 
Clearly it has to do with the two uranium isotopes Ur 235 and 238. But I guess that doesn't lead us into P. P might be purple hell.

Posted by EasyPeasey
@Skrattybones: i thought the letters in the audio file did that?
Posted by divisionbyzorro

In Bacon's Cypher you need two typefaces.  In the web audio, there are two voices. 
But I'm not getting anywhere with it. So far it's gotten me :
Which, according to wikipedia, becomes one of the following:


Edited by Sweep

Interesting things about Richard Wright:

  •  Young black writer, apparent communist sympathies, living in chicago in 1927
  • "In 1937, Richard Wright moved to New York, where he forged new ties with Communist Party members there after getting established."
  •  "Wright gained national attention for the collection of four short stories titled Uncle Tom's Children (1938). He based some stories on lynching in the Deep South."
  • " The collection also earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, which allowed him to complete his first novel Native Son (1940). Native Son was selected by the Book of the Month Club as its first book by an African-American author. The lead character, Bigger Thomas, represented limitations that society placed on African Americans. He could only gain his own agency and self-knowledge by committing heinous acts. Wright was criticized for his works' concentration on violence. In the case of Native Son, people complained that he portrayed a black man in ways that seemed to confirm whites' worst fears."
  • "He then went to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he and Paul Green collaborated on a dramatic version of Native Son. In January 1941 Wright received the prestigious Spingarn Medal for noteworthy achievement by a black. Native Son opened on Broadway, with Orson Welles as director, to generally favorable reviews in March 1941."

Here's something really interesting:

  •  Wright moved to Paris in 1946
  •  His Existentialist phase was depicted in his second novel, The Outsider (1953), which described an African-American character's involvement with the Communist Party in New York.
The Outsider is an upcoming game by Frontier Developments. Potential clue?
Edited by EasyPeasey
@divisionbyzorro: change a's and b's to ones and zeros and try  binary translator?
Posted by Creamypies

Well according to Wikipedia "a nova is a cataclysmic nuclear explosion caused by the accretion of hydrogen onto the surface of a white dwarf star, which ignites and starts nuclear fusion in a runaway matter."
There have been over 53 novae registered since 1890. One worth noting is GK Persei.

Posted by munnyman5

All I can do for this is share my science knowledge with you. Not from Wikipedia, but from good ol' high school first year university, couple-hundred-dollar textbooks, and professors. There are so many reasons that this info is SOME OF THE REAL.
"Isotopes" of "Hydrogen" are used in nuclear fusion, namely deuterium (one proton and one neutron in the nucleus) and tritium (one proton and two neutrons). Each of the isotopes, as well as just plain old one-proton Hydrogen has one electron in the "1s" orbital. In nuclear fusion, you basically throw two Hydrogen isotopes at each other hard enough that the nuclei fuse into a Helium atom, and release a metric shit-ton of energy in the process.
The video on definitely shows a nuclear fission chain reaction, probably a Uranium-236 or something nucleus being split by a neutron, producing more neutrons to go off and split the resulting atomic nuclei. This is the type of reaction used in nuclear bombs, which are basically an uncontrolled, runaway fission chain reaction. In some bomb designs there is both fusion and fission used for the destructive energy, for example, fusion being used to produce the neutrons required for fusion. In most cases, the fission is responsible for the destructive force of the bomb.
So basically, I'm jumping on the Fallout bandwagon. But seeing as it's been announced and all, and Portal 2 already had its little ARG thing, this might be something totally new. Remember that super-nice-looking trailer with that guy in non-Master-Chief-but-kinda-close-minus-the-helmet white armor, and everything's all gray and washed out, and dude has a gun? Maybe it's that. I dunno. Brink? Was there a nuclear war in Brink?

Posted by Skrattybones
Oh shit, you're right. We used the string we're talking about for something, though.. didn't we run it through a hexcode translator to come up with something?
Posted by divisionbyzorro


Edited by divisionbyzorro
Put the code I gave you before in there. It becomes APRIL WEEK TWO. Apparently we have to wait now.

Posted by ez123

Baseball, Isotope, Rebirth

Edited by Xeiphyer
@MAST said:

" The website shows (I think) atoms splitting, explosive graphics, talks about a "new world order" and generally just has a post-holocaust vibe to it. It also shows John F. Kennedy, whatever significant that holds I have no idea.
That also fits with the mention of Francis Bacon that someone else found. "Bacon's vision for a Utopian New World in North America was laid out in his novel New Atlantis." Looks like that guy had "New World" utopia ideas as well.  Not sure if any of that has any significance. Just throwing it out there. "

It also has Uranium-235 in there, so a post apocalyptic new world order thing seems about right.
Also those music notes.. anyone know if they have any significance? I am sure they must.
Seems very much a Fallout New Vegas thing. Neat =P
Also: turning the nob down really helps
Posted by pbhawks45
@Skrattybones: Came up empty. What other websites are checking this out?
Posted by Skrattybones

According to Joystiq the male/female letters turn into APRIL WEEK TWO    
Posted by divisionbyzorro

@srkattybones DAMNIT! Did Joystiq beat me?

Posted by Downandout
@Skrattybones: so next week reveal basically?
Posted by EasyPeasey

ok so april week 2? then what? theres more to this.

Posted by demontium

filed under alternate reality. lol/ 
This must be valve announcing another game.

Posted by Masonvd
@creamypies: The Gk Persei is mention in the H.P Lovecraft novel " Beyond the wall of sleep". Could that be related?
Posted by EasyPeasey
@Darktoad450: if theres a lovecraftian game announced next week that would be awesome
Posted by guts450

wait isn't this technically the 2nd week of April?

Posted by Skrattybones
Apr 5th 2010 at 4:12PM }


Posted by Titl

God, i love the internet.

Posted by pbhawks45

Where the hell is the post on Joystiq? I can't find it anywhere.

Posted by Creamypies
@Darktoad450 said:
" @creamypies: The Gk Persei is mention in the H.P Lovecraft novel " Beyond the wall of sleep". Could that be related? "
I checked that out... couldn't see anything that stood out. The GK Persei Nova must be related somehow though.
Edited by Masonvd

I may be taking this lovecraft thing to far but from Wiki: 
"  In other tales, an entire society is threatened by barbarism. Sometimes the barbarism comes as an external threat, with a civilized race destroyed in war (e.g., "Polaris")" 
I'm still leaning towards fallout or at least SOMETHING post apocalyptic. Could this be that game that was on IGN a while ago? Can't remember the name of it. In the game you're the slave of some woman or something like that. 
That's my second guess. anyone remember the name? 
EDIT: Game is called Enslaved. My guess is it's for that.

Posted by EasyPeasey
@guts450: maybe ther saying april 14th?
Posted by Skrattybones
Posted by ZeroCast
 It's April 6th today, and a week is 7 days so until its April 8th then yes we can consider it the 2nd Week of April.
Posted by Ronin147
Posted by divisionbyzorro
Posted by EasyPeasey
@divisionbyzorro: giantbomb>joystiq
Posted by BODDAH
Posted by Sweep

If it turns out to be The Outsider then i'm going to be so fucking smug for the rest of the year....

Posted by divisionbyzorro
Posted by Masonvd

Well, I guess we'll have to wait untill next week but I think everyone here deserves a pat on the back for figuring it out ourselves to at least the same point Joystiq did. Great Job Giant bomb!

Posted by EasyPeasey
@Sweep: i would just be excited. that game sounds awesome in concept
Posted by guts450
@ZeroCast:  fair enough, I just go by the boxes on the calendar lol
Posted by Tuggah

This is so for Madden 2011.

Edited by Downandout
@Darktoad450: Maybe we'll unlock a new channel with more stuff on? or those channels will unlock one every day until next week? as there are 4 more orange lights. Just a hunch.
Posted by Nictel

Probably some more clues in the next few days since we still have 4 words left.


It would be kinda weird if it was New Vegas. I mean, Vegas has already been announced, so would make little sense starting up such a mystery about a game we all already know is coming, right?

Posted by Masonvd
@Downandout: That could be it too. Good guess.
Posted by Creamypies

It would be kinda weird if it was New Vegas. I mean, Vegas has already been announced, so would make little sense starting up such a mystery about a game we all already know is coming, right?

Exactly what I was thinking. This sorta viral marketing always seems pointless when it's for an already announced game.
Posted by EasyPeasey