Image credit: VICE.com
Primarily, gaming is a form of entertainment, relaxation, and suchlike. Perfect for rainy days, having friends over – or if you’re an avid gamer, which is probably the case, perfect for just about whenever, really.
On your typical day, you might come home from work, switch on your console or PC, and enjoy a quiet evening mining plutonium and cataloging weird-looking creatures in No Man’s Sky.
It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane and unimportant details of these typical days. You fall into a routine, playing whichever game is big in the moment, all under the illusion that you’re enjoying it. As long as that illusion persists, all is well. It’s when the illusion begins to fade that the real problems start setting in.
Many of you might have experienced this with No Man’s Sky recently, or perhaps even the complete opposite.
No matter the case, the next big game is always just over the horizon. Is it the next illusion, or the next masterpiece? Games like Uncharted 4 and The Witcher 3 live up to expectations, surprising critics and fans alike. Unfortunately, some games aren’t so lucky. Perhaps, a distraction should present itself, something exciting and new that the community hasn’t seen before – essentially, a new game.
We’re pretty excited about this new game. To be honest, it isn’t really a game. More so, it’s a trail, or a mystery. For the past few years, gamers have been noticing mysterious symbols and glyphs in seemingly random, unconnected games (thanks, VICE).
The earliest game to feature one of the symbols is Kingdom of Loathing, which released way back in 2003. It’s one of nineteen games so far to feature the symbols, and in this instance, the symbol led to discovery of the following image on the image’s subdomain of Kingdom of Loathing:
The symbols themselves are located by digging around the files of any one game, and investigating any strange files. As of this moment, the nineteen games to feature the symbols are as follows:
- Moon Hunters (2016)
- Soda Drinker Pro (2016)
- Slide the Snakes (2016)
- Souls of Darkness (2016)
- Quadrilateral Cowboy (2016)
- Duskers (2016)
- Mini Metro (2015)
- Crypt of the Necrodancer (2015)
- Legend of Dungeon (2015)
- The Magic Circle (2015)
- Neon Struct (2015)
- Mos Speedrun 2 (2015)
- Flickers (2015)
- Bellular Hexatosis (2015)
- There Came an Echo (2015)
- Sokobond (2014)
- Clockwork Empires (2014)
- You Have to Win the Game (2012)
- Kingdoms of Loathing (2003)
The symbols appeared on some of the above games from release, and some were added after release – like in Kingdoms of Loathing, where the symbol was added in 2014 (eleven years after the game’s initial release). For more specific information on each game, head here.
Once a symbol was discovered, you’d know whether or not to begin the search for the glyph, in the same game. The glyphs are the objective, and the symbols tell us which games feature said glyphs.
Incredibly, one of the glyphs was actually found by decoding morse code in Slide the Snakes, and following the coordinates the morse code conveyed. This led to the discovery of a USB drive in Los Angeles, which contained yet another glyph. Exciting indeed.
Vice and Kotaku‘s Patrick Klepek emailed several developers whose games featured the symbols, but replies were vague, to say the least. Developers told Klepek that they’d promised to keep a lid on things, but one answer in particular stood out from the rest, from Crypt of the Necrodancer’s Ryan Clark (Designer):
Patrick, you’re not trying to put me in a JAM or a PICKLE, are you? She’d pulverize me!
A few other developers opened up too. Tim Keenan, who designed Duskers, said the following, in regards to him being asked to cooperate with the mysterious overlord of the mystery:
Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed to say that I don’t know exactly what it’s all about. For me, it’s kinda like an ARG-in-an-ARG in a way because how Duskers got involved is sorta cryptic too. Whatever it is, it sure is weird.
Even the developers aren’t fully aware of what’s going on. Keenan told Klepek that he actually checked with other developers whose games featured the symbols, just to be safe.
The most exciting response, it seems, comes from a designer involved with Kingdoms of Loathing, Zack Johnson. He insists it’s “leading somewhere,” but he can’t say anything specific yet. He’s sympathetic, at least – he understands “it must be frustrating.”
That’s one word for it. Me? I’m excited. So far, the amazing folks over at Game Detectives have put together the following – a culmination of all the glyphs discovered so far, and it’s still not finished.
There’s sure to be an influx of news regarding the mystery in the coming weeks or months, with all the publicity it’s been receiving recently. Having been dubbed “Eye Sigil ARG,” the game is long underway, and the solution draws nearer with every passing moment thanks to the hard work being done over on Game Detectives, and in the wider community – Klepek and his emails, for instance.
Whatever the case, we’ll be sure to keep you updated as new information emerges. Stay tuned to Fraghero for all the best on “Eye Sigil ARG” and more.
UPDATE 2: Another glyph has been found, this time in Bombernauts, which released during 2015. The glyph appears by inputting “CRIT” into an “awesomeness” option whilst in settings. This only works on the map “Sigil” and the letters come from the titles given to players on the level, which are complex, reduced, irrational, and transcendental. The glyph appears after inputting the letters – why not try it out for yourself, if you own the game?