It’s been only four days since the last hunting day and I don’t know about you, but this experience almost feels to me like a Neverland dream. It is strange to go back to a more predictable routine and not be on red alert 24/7 looking suspiciously at every bench and wondering if a motorcycle is going to come down by parachute in Stockholm.
So, the last clue had been dropped at 2pm PST and we had the almost-full grid:
Only the First flower was missing, and I thought/hoped it was going to be auctioned for the greater good, so I was considering the day a wrap. I was mourning, with many fellow hunters, over the end of an era, trying to realize that there wouldn’t be a climatic/gigantic/frenetic last big hunt for premiere tickets or something like that, when Trent Reznor tweeted at 3h15 PST:
And Mouth Taped Shut tweeted ten minutes later:
That triggered the beginning of a frenetic virtual hunt gathering a lot of new Happy Participants but not so many of the regulars who I feel are mostly on Central, East or Greenwich Time. (In other words, heading home, having diner or sleeping after the knocked out from the 5 earliest hunts).
When you added /first to the What Is Hidden In Snow url, you had this appearing:
And as I upload the picture, I realize that while the hunt was on I never took the time to really read the first sentence: The First Flowers Petals Grow Anew; The First To Solve Shall Reap Them. The entire time I was convinced something special was going to be unlocked when they had been very clear about the prize all along. Damn me.
For this first clue, you had to recognize that each line corresponded to the name of a The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo song (the score had been available to buy for a week). Once you had done so, the next step was to:
In other words, the first song you see from the list above is An Itch, which is the song number 16 on the album (if we still can call it that way). If you subtract 1 from it (one being the number in front of the anagram), you got (drums) 15, which corresponds to the letter O.
Then you obtained the word:
Kudos to @variant5g who figured out the mechanism and mellifluous in twenty minutes, which seems like a long time compared to some other ciphers, but really is not when you look at all the steps.
As you probably guessed from the top picture above this wa only the first step of a long series of clues. /mellifluous unlocked this:
It was figured out pretty quickly that it referred to the infamous Hard Copy video that burnt so many hours of this tribe. I believe @jtq1 is the one who solved the puzzle first around 4h15pm PST. Here is how he did it:
I’d love to give you a list of these words, but we didn’t find the same words and I am not going through this video one more time (sorry).
/latentmystery opened a new door but not the last one:
At that point, I felt like a silence on twitter for a split second. MTS was sending our way one wave of adrenaline after the other, we were blind, not knowing how many ciphers were left and how to use our remaining brainpower, and this one looked… complicated (yes, I could feel all that through the nano-silence of the twittosphere. That’s called a useless superpower.)
and the answer four minutes after:
So how blockout? Explanation:
and here is the visual result (courtesy of @dag_kurt):
Finally, /blockout lead us to this:
This one was found by @leviathant, although the result was posted on twitter by @fixedspiral at 5h05pm, Leviathant sharing, along with many more, on this site. If you want to find out how he did go from ‘Difference’ to ATAUNTINGANTHOID, you can read his full recap here.
And that was it. Leviathant called a number and won the first that ended up being the last flower.
I feel there is a lot to say about this transmedia marketing campaign brilliantly run by 42 Entertainment (Yes, it is confirmed, and we can whisper their name now) but I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything they have done, and this being my first active participation to any campaign of the sort, I might be lacking comparisons points to appreciate fully their work yet.
All that to say that it might take me some time before I come up with the full length conclusion with my notes on what worked for me, and what didn’t work so much. (As an ‘educational’ tool obviously, because this is just the beginning for this type of storytelling and things will only go crazier and faster, as that’s how the world rolls…)
But (there is always a but) I couldn’t help wondering: what if we had find the San Diego flower when we were supposed to? How were they planning to wrap it up?
Because obviously they did give us a sort of climax (although I would debate about the time frame once again, but that’s me being stubborn I’m sure) in terms of clues, but why 5 ciphers for one flower when 1 cipher was always good enough? (In other words, where is my motorcycle gracefully coming down from the sky on a riff of guitar?)
I know it doesn’t matter that much, but I still wonder. Obviously there’s been a lot of perks for people leaving in big cities this week, between free-advanced screening and free shows, so that could be considered as a climatic week before the movie is officially out, but for those who have been dreaming, eating and sweating over MTS game (and not leaving in big cities) I am wondering how fulfilling this last hunt felt…
One final note: last night I was at the advanced-screening of TGWTDT and it was a great experience. (I’m staying quiet and calm here, because I’d rather you seeing it first before giving my not very important opinion that I will share if you ask me by email or DM.)
I also had the chance to say hi to some of the 42E staff members, and I can now confirm that this has been orchestrated by humans (and nice ones) and not Dutsch Android Hamsters, as I first thought. I thought you’ll be glad to know that, and if you want to crash their company’s email to say how much you enjoyed the ride, they’ll probably say thank you and not Grutti Frutti Kawafifiki (private Dustch Android Hamster joke).
Thanks to all of you for reading and sharing the reports, I thought about giving up several times but you made it too fun for me to stop. Happy Helpers, Happy Hunters, we are all Salandarian Padawans.
And because it’s always better to live people with hope than despair, I’ll finish saying that you might or might not read something from the infamous Star Nubalo at some point in this lifetime about her very own experience as the plant who didn’t know she was one. (I’m actually still negotiating with her lawyers for her to write something, so it might end up being about gardening in Senegal, but we’ll still read it!)
** If you want to review the Treasure Hunt from the start, you can click here.**