It all began with a 80Mo update of the game Surgeon Simulator 2013 on Steam – purchase it by the way, if not already done, it’s an awesome piece of challenge ! This game got quite a lot of fame lately, and even got rumors launched by the Half Life 3 conspiracy theorists because of some Korean signs. It was actually announcing the begin of an even bigger mystery… Later on called « Code name : Trisha », the update is at first not quite visible. And the evidence previously found, before the update, that wasn’t even solved at the time, was just part of it all. Theories ? We are going to space. Again. And we’ll do some more surgeries. ON ALIENS ?! And so began our adventure to find the secret of a surgeon’s terrible discoveries…
Where to begin, then ? We looked through everything that seemed to have changed. Signs on a notepad, differences during surgeries, readable names on objects… ANYTHING ! That got us a few things already : dialing possible on the phone, mysterious series of digits, Barnardshire General’s website, 9-seconds-long track with noises, bunch of achievements making us dream… But the saddest, Trisha’s number was wrong and we had to recover it, at the cost of Bob’s life ! Nigel, where the hell did you leave the number ? Your Love’s number !
The first part of the enigma was not at the same place anymore. Instead of being at the bottom of the TF2’s Medic toy you get for heavy undergoing surgery, it was at the back of the Medicine Diploma. A line of dots, smaller dots, bigger dots, an arrow… Looking like the solar system, the few theories so far were that the arrow pointed to Saturn. Not only that, there was a word written in Korean (시간은, siganngeun), meaning « Time ». What time ? Would it be about when we see Saturn between Venus and Mercury (26/09/2013) ? When Nigel’s got his diploma (16/02/1987) ? The time on the OST album cover (00:37) ? The time on Nigel’s watch in his avatar picture on tumbr (19:04’38)? Maybe something associated to Saturn. Did we have to turn the letters to digits ? When a fest in honor to Saturn, God of time, was held (12 for December) ? Next year all planets were supposed to form a line (2161) ? The number of moons, rings, satellites Saturn has ? Was the curved arrow linking Saturn to an interrogation point meaning movement ? Did it have to do with Saturn at all ?
On the website, a section « contact info » contained some numbers – that we all dialed carefully –, and calling the Surgery Team’s one (805 54 194 999) lead to a black out, only to wake up with another VHS on the desk. A drawing similar to the one previously found was there, and GGN4X was also written. Putting it in the TV, and the sentence « The ? is in your pocket » popped on the screen, flashing briefly « Britannia 1988 ». Same name as the encyclopedia on floppy discs helping us learn surgery since the beginning. Someone googled it – everything needs to be googled. Britannia 1988 are gold coins. Gold ? Would it be the atomic number of gold, 79 ? Or would it be about the Medic’s pocket ? Did we need the Occulus Rift technology to see in Nigel’s pocket ? Was it about pens in pockets ? Googling GGN4X appeared to coincidentally make a lot of medical website show up… But Dr. Jain has probably nothing to do with it all. Proof was later given that Nigel was in fact… a flying body-less arm.
These were still just two parts of the puzzle. These two clues lead obviously to a 6-digits code, to enter on the device’s panel visible in every space surgery, that was usable during the last one only. During all these searches, some also used a Unity Explorer tool to go through the textures. Traces of an alien video tape, an alien patient and alien hand possibly confirming the theory of alien surgery were found, some numbers (09 and 93), but that was all. Words on the back of Nigel’s beloved radio : ‘BLACK HERON’, googled it and found a track called ‘???’ full of noises. A spectrogram didn’t get us any picture, and playing around in Audacity didn’t get us anywhere either.
Back to Trisha ! The number she left before on a post-it was wrong. The one sticked on the phone didn’t work either. Nigel even complained on his tumblr and IG notepad ! So was it linked to the digits on the notepad (1244281 or /24428/) ? Someone messing around Bob in different surgeries then found out that making a hole in the blood bag during the hear transplant would make a paper with ‘09’ appear, and that‘93’ was written inside a pills bottle during the kidney transplant. The textures found earlier ! That would mean… Trisha’s number was there, dispersed in the various levels. A hunt started. Getting high during the brain surgery got us ‘26’ on the laser box. Lasering the bloody note on the inside door of the cupboard in the ambulance heart transplant got us ‘07’. A reflection, on the notepad of the ambulance kidney transplant, got us a ‘18’. And finally, there was a ‘50’ on the road during the last ambulance surgery. That was it, Trisha’s number. The finger shuddering, we dialed, slowly. Black out. And a note appeared on the desk. Oooh, Trish. Darling. Out of rage, scribbling on it got an interesting result : the last part of the puzzle… Two digits to put in the middle : 61.
Time to look back on the other parts, now… Or using bruteforce ? It was down to 6561 possibilities, now, after all. We quickly got fed up, giving up to return into elaborating new theories, or horribly murdering the poor Bob. It was late, many went to rest their tortured brain. And so ended up the first day of research.
Some disturbed persons stayed up to slowly brainstorm together, desperate for a solution – of course, I was part of the battalion. Too caught up in the thing, like many, it seems like I had a sleepless night before me. A few were still trying brute force, alas ! Others criticized the use of force. We were just turning in circle, looking for any way possible to grasp at straws. If only there was a delicious beverage leading to somewhere at the other end of the straw… ! That’s how we finally looked in and around each and every Orange Burst bottle. Useless, needless to say. And that’s when I took my leave to take a little nap.
After a long nap, during which classes were skipped, I woke up to find that no progression whatsoever was made. Mainly hypothesis that were already brought up before, by a lot a newcomers who didn’t read the thread at all. Sadly, it was already time for me to leave for class. Back to square one. Saturn ? Pocket ? Some checked Deep Dungeons of Doom again, be it the one on the red floppy disk or the phone version. Uranus ? Or maybe just some bad puns. Error pages on the website ? But then… Surprise ! Brute force managed to unlock the space door to amazing new surgeries… 296145. That was it. The key to a whole new medical world. The one we had been working HOURS on. But why ‘29’ ? Why ‘45’ ?
First two digits : the time needed by Saturn to make a whole revolution around the sun. To think that it was one of the first theories, it feels like we ran straight next to it, although it was just there ! The devs warned us we missed something… Last two digits : this, my friends is still uncertain. Maybe the .45 pistol in the pocket of an unknown rapper ? Or the atomic number of Rh, for rhodium pocket watches ? A link to“Is that a Hobbit in your pocket”, name of the episode 45 of The Geek Link – theories about the Hobbit was also stated in the early stages – ? As of the latest news : we’re totally out of it.
« Nope we’re not (quite) that evil »
said Ram JAM!, one of the developers.
« Sorry, Bob ! Gotta go. My people need me. SPAAAAAAAAAACE ! »
Anyway, the wrath of the hunters was appeased. Now was time to grab a radio, and float through space ! After getting sucked out the ship ship, back to desktop after yet another black out. Another tape appeared. The one and only, the holy graal : the alien tape. Nothing too surprising for many, as the textures explorer already found and uploaded the video for us all to see. Numbers & a strange alien language. Sent to space right after that, another panel was waiting for a code. Precisely the one we just saw (4948). Should I had that it was also faaaar easier to input ? The capsule opens. The lights turn on. Smoke-like freezing air comes out… and an alien patient is waiting, wide open for Nigel to fix. ALIEN SPACESHIP ! Mars in the background. New strange-looking alien items. Six canisters full of… hm… organs ? Neat and clean, needless to say. Humans should really learn their lesson. By installing magnetic tables for the instruments. Because gravity, you know.
So ! What were those six mysterious surgeries ? That in itself was leaving us a bit clueless. As alien organs had quite funny names, and we weren’t so connoisseur of alien anatomy, we just had to dig into it. Literally. That’s how, little by little, we discovered what were the names of the stomach-like blueish pouch, the tentaculic tube, the purple LED-full intestine, the basketballish brain-looking sphere, heart-shaped dangerous drugging organ, and the electrifying dice-looking cube, where each were, and how these were removed.
Good luck with this !
Did I tell you ? This guy is my new best buddy now. I also have my radio, of course. But he’s nice and blue. Not like Bob. He wasn’t even looking at me in the eyes when I spoke to him ! Anyway, best bud right here doesn’t really know, so I thought about it for a while and called him Al. I think he likes it. By the way, he loves blueberry muffins. I think it reminds him of his blood. Well… alien stuff, I guess. He’s giving the best high-fives, too. Right, right ?
Finally, the right way to find the last two digits was found. Although it appears that sadly it is not wokring for everyone, anywhere, here is what happens :
Calling your own phone number in game (without forgetting +XX depending on where you live), will have the incredible result of getting an ACTUAL phone call. A weird robotic woman voice articulate some inaudible words, and you then hear beeps. High beeps and low beeps (you can download the recording from PliskiN).
low low high high high low low high
low low high low high low high low
low low high high low high low high
First thought to be Morse code, it actually is binary code. Low beeps are zeros, high beeps are ones. After converting, you then get this : 00111001 00101010 00110101. A quick translation characters to binary later, we had : 9 * 5, wich obviously equals 45 (binary-related discovery by Lord3d). Because, yeah. A phone is always in your pocket.
Who helped uncovering all that ?
alensamhaineld, panfoot6, The Derr Man, MattShea369, Miker525, NewWorldPunk, Suyooo, ghasteater100, karmarok, FoxPeels, AjgorB25HD, Peetie, MaddeStudios, ApplePieEater, Jethro, Something or other, Thunder1, charles560, Imp3rialdron3, morbosfist, Dasorine, Zack, myself & probably many others.
Bruteforce finder : TheCastrator comment #699 – best pseudo ever, for that matter !
Bruteforce tactician : Suyooo – hosting a website to rule out tested codes fast.
Alien expert : FirstyB comment #781 – master of the rainbow organs.
Overall best & quickest (simulated) surgeon : MattShea369 and his youtube channel – seriously, watch his smooth movements and perfect control of the HAND. Simply marvelous.
A biiiiiiiiiig thank you to everyone working on the game at bossa studios UK. It was a lot of fun, and without a doubt better than going to class. Hope to have the community working nights & days on something again, sometime !