|Originally introduced to the forums on February 14th this puzzle has progressed from an Easter egg to an assumed ARG and back to an Easter Egg. Current summary and FAQ are available at the bottom of the article.
- 1 Introduction to the forum community
- 2 The research begins
- 3 Yume removes the curtain
- 4 Progression of the gate
- 5 Forum threads: discussion, summary & FAQ
- 6 References
Introduction to the forum community
|Originally discovered by wahoozerman during the Gather the pieces event, this Easter egg turned potential ARG was brought to the attention of the forum community on February 14, 2012.
The original instructions:
1) go to www.funcom.com
2) click anywhere on the page that isn't a link.
3) type 33
The research begins
|Primal_Zed noted that the image contains the Elder Futhark alphabet and Cobrikhan pointed out the unusual shape of the Ingwaz symbol.|
Feb 15, 2012
|Many community members note that the Otael (Ethel) and Daeg runes have their positions reversed (numbers 23 and 24); XPhiler found a reference showing that this position change is not uncommon.
|fishi adjusted the various light levels of the image and discovered that not all the runes are the same.
Thurisaz - TH = The seeing of the future.
Eihwaz - EI = Yew Tree
Ingwaz - NG = Fertility
Thurisaz - TH = Thorn or Giant. Oak tree. God Thor
Eihwaz - EI, I, or Y = Yew Tree. God Odin
Ingwaz - NG = Can also mean home or family. Apple tree. God Ing or possibly Freyr
Feb 16, 2012
|Valiah worked through connecting the history of "eight" or "the eights" in relation to previous ARGs, the 33 puzzle, and the Everything is true trailer.
|kenzoid, posted that the image changed between 9:30 and 10:00 PM GMT. It went from a dark room with minimal light to a semi-lighted room with 12 glowing red bars around the edge of the gate. Various squares also became a light blue color and some of the brick work became etched in a green-blue color.
February 17, 2012
|Teri, using rune poem definitions, made comparisons between the three factions and the three oddly shaded runes.
|Geargoyle expanded on his theory of squaring the circle, possibly linking the runes to the Freemasons in relation to the use of the square and right angle compass symbols, which look like the use of Ingwuz on the inner circle. Xeromaru expanded on the squaring the circle theory and noticed a resemblance to the Gar rune.
February 18 - 20, 2012
Similarities between the rarely used form of the NG rune and the Khazarian Rovas script used by Varangians (mentioned in connection to The Polaris) were explained by Sire. Celladine further researched the sign, explaining that it the angled-b, one of four types of 'b' in the script.
Amelia theorized about gates and the Council of Venice. And then Valiah, using Amelia's research, added to her expanded 8's theory from February 16.
Alijah further speculated about placement of other gates in relation to 33 and previous ARGs and mapped them.
February 23, 2012
|Uhrm noticed that, at 9:45 PM ET (3:45 AM GMT February 24, 2012), the red lights were now pulsing and a tick-tock sound could be heard. Several other posts noted the whole image pulsed; a 33 second loop, the lights going dark, and then returning to "normal".
February 24 - March 1, 2012
|Doomsinger breaks down the meaning of the "boot process" window and how many of the values are outside of normal bounds, are no longer used, or have never been used. Now with theory correction.
To summarizes the value 2147483547
Unsure of why the number is specifically listed. Potential reasons:
|the9thcircle posted a tool to help analyze the timing and intensity of the pulsing red bars. Yanek and Alijah both provide data (Yanak's, Alijah's) showing the pulse timing.|
At approximately 3:15 PM GMT, community members attempting to view the gate image instead saw a dark or blank screen. Several posts described it as something being placed over the camera lens or the lights rather than substituting a black screen image for the actual gate image. At roughly 5:35 PM GMT the gate returned with a slightly changed image loading sequence. Viewers now saw the blue screen with the 5:2 signal lost/signal detected flashing text and then a black screen before the gate loaded. The red lights still pulse and flash every 33 seconds.
scarydog pointed out that 'Seventeens Unifies Troy' anagrams to 'University of Tennesse'. The university has a super-computer, Nautilus, which attempts to use Amdahl's Law to make predictions.
Alijih mentioned that the initials S.U.T. could also be a reference to System under test which "is commonly used to refer to software testing and would also correlate with Amdalh's law as a measure of multiple processors being used to process," various testing procedures.
When exploring the Pandora jewelry shop angle, scarydog noticed you can dedicate the charms/stars in the sky. The dedications are likely not related to the ARG as anyone can dedicate one.
|Although there were high expectations no one reported finding any changes to the gate, the runes, the code of the page, or either of the stage websites that have been discovered so far.
Eris has proposed that instead of 3/3 it is actually 3/5 based on the number stairs (5), steps (3), and stripes (12) using the European dating system (5 March, 2012 which is read in the U.S. as March 3, 2012). AngryAngel found merit in the theory and labeled a diagram to explain it. There is a great deal of disagreement over the possible interpretations of reading the number of stones or stairs as dates.
On March 4, BudtheSlug made connections between previous ARGs.
Yume removes the curtain
Over the course of two days Yume removed as much of the mystery as he was able.
On March 5, Yume posted the following:
- Time to put this megathread of almost 200 pages to rest, even if I break a few ARG hearts. A little birdy (who may or may not be a wagtail) just told me the 33 puzzle isn't connected to any of the previous ARGs. Nothing to do with the Scarecrow puzzle or Tarot story or Nyte at all.
- The 33 gate is a forgotten artifact from when the new TSW website was created a couple of years ago. Wahoozerman remembered, dug it up, and now the person who forgot about it is playing around with it. It might lead to something (such as open beta announcement or Ragnar getting sick from the bizarre food combinations he's eating in San Francisco); but then again, it might not lead to anything. Who knows. A little birdy doesn't know, and the big birdies don't know either (considering they've got important stuff to do, like make the best MMO ever, and eat interesting food combinations, that's understandable). The one person at Funcom who knows is experimenting in his evil underground volcano laboratory lair and laughing maniacally, but completely unaware of the confusion and frustration and tears and crying children and all the kittens getting hurt in this thread.
- This doesn't mean the 33 gate is a wild wagtail chase; the mad scientist might have something up his sleeve, he just hasn't told anyone else about it. But don't get your hopes up. And please don't smash your Pandora charms, those things are expensive.
- If they do want to make an ARG out of it, there are plenty of terrific ideas in this thread.
But then followed that with:
- Well, the fact that the ARG went all glowy means the mad scientist is aware he's being watched. So something might come of this. Something from GDC would be nice, wink wink nudge nudge say no more.
And then to clarify with this:
- Ok, let's squash a few conspiracy theories. The little birdy is Nyte, who would know about any ARG shenanigans since he's been pulling the strings for them since way back in the olden days before Lyrhea was born. When Nyte says it's not an ARG, just a very naughty boy fooling around with an old website code everyone forgot about, then it's definitely not an ARG. The only one who knows if there are plans for the 33 gate is the very naughty boy fooling around with the old website code -- Lord Orion, aka the Phantom of Funcom (he operates in the shadows, and you can only hear him sing!).
Progression of the gate
|The first image change occurred on February 16 between 9:30 and 10:00 PM GMT. The gate went from the original dark image to the image that has twelve red lights. The original image file was named bg_moonlight.jpg and the updated file is hlszzkpcxly_powering_up.jpg. "hlszzkpcxly" decrypts to "wahoozerman" using a Caesar cipher with a 15 letter shift.
Forum threads: discussion, summary & FAQ
The active discussion thread is here.
- http://www.arild-hauge.com/efuthark.htm#2 efuthark#2