If you  follow the light ARG page on mentorless you probably remember Anton’s detailed Prometheus recap and how it felt like no recap could be longer…


Meet @0bFuSc8‘s recap about what has been recently going on with #markofthespiderman‘s campaign. It is extremely detailed, and very exciting since it is not over.

Read until the end (or jump at the end) to see where the spidey operatives are now, so you’ll be able to join the fun when it starts again.

A few notes before it starts:

And now, let the fun begin:

Day 1 = April 24, 2012:

This all started at 7:31PM when @markofspiderman tweeted
The link lead to the MOTSM website which had been updated with a post titled “Critical Mass Media” with a pic of Peter Parker’s now familiar backpack.


Clicking on either pic in that post lead to Baggage Claim with PP’s backpack, including pics of contents as well as scans of some paged from PP’s notebook.


There were 4 pages/images that immediately stood out:
  1. Image 15 — specifically the writing in the blue highlighted box
  2. Image 20 — Which I knew was an overlay as soon as I saw it.
  3. Image 24 and Image 25 — The Spider Cipher


The Spider Cipher:

It seems like we all gravitated to the cipher 1st. (Partly because you actually had to have a copy of the Chemistry in the Community textbook to decode Image 15 & 20.)

A bunch of us cracked the spider cipher, separately —  but the 1st to tweet or post about it were:

  • The Bruce posted in unforum at 9:48PM
  • Silas Lesnick  tweeted at 9:50PM  and linked to his post at Super Hero Hype
  • djchristensen posted his solution on unforum a few minutes later and I had decoded it then too

The decoded Spider Cipher message read:



The cipher itself wasn’t too difficult:


I started by looking at all the single letter words. There were a bunch of single letter occurrences, but consisted only of 2 spider-symbols which were logically either “A” or “I”. Then I looked at the 2 and 3 letter words and could guess “THE ____ IN THE” at the beginning, which then made guessing “AM” easy. With the spiders for A I T H E M decoded, I went back throught the cipher filling in the letters I knew and then guessing words, each time decoding more spiders until the entire message was decoded.


The single period that showed up in the cipher stood out so that we thought “MAKE.BELIEVE” must mean something, but didn’t know at that point and turned our attention back to the other 2 pages from PP’s notebook.


Image 15:

This was definitely new as well, and was not a part of the notebooks ARGers got earlier.


The writing in the blue box had ” * SWING FROM CENTER POINT OF DISCS” at the top, followed by a list with what looked like page #’s on the right and measurements on the left.


The ISBN # of the Chem. textbook was also written at the bottom of the box.


With the ISBN# I was able to find the Chemistry in the Community textbook on Google Books but since it’s only a preview, I could only find page 110 (blank in preview) and 159. I saw that “MODELING: A HYPOTHETICAL REACTION” matched “Modelling Matter: A Hypothetical Reaction” next to a CD icon on the right side of page 159 of the text.
Seeing this, I interpreted the instructions at the top of the blue box to mean that we should draw an arc of the listed radius from the center of the disc icon on each of the listed textbook pages.


That arc should yield a letter or group of letters. I really couldn’t do much more with this since you need an actual copy of the textbook to go any further, so I tweeted this


@silaslesnick initially tweeted P, T, A, B, S, O but this didn’t work out to anything but @ancalime got “PARKERS” which made more sense (and also posted to unforum around the same time):

Image 20:
The Chemistry in the Community ISBN# appears here again and this was obviously an overlay, but again like image 16, could only be decoded by some one with an actual textbook in hand.


Ancalime and I had exchanged tweets about this earlier (even before decoding the spider cipher) but the letters she initially tweeted back didn’t make sense to me, partly because it was missing a letter:
I posted this at the unforum and tweeted. Silas Lesnick got some letters that made even less sense.
But after Ancalime got “PARKERS” for Image15, we stopped and went back over what we had so far.


Ancalime  had updated the unforum post to add that the letter anagrammed to “viewpoint of” (or “point of view”). Silas Lesnick put it all together and and got “ParkersPOV” (www.parkerspov.com) which he tweeted at 1:19AM 4/25.
We immediately knew there were more puzzles at the ParkersPOV site, but I’ll stop here for Day 1 and pick up in the Day 2 summary.


Day 2 = April 25, 2012:

We knew there was probably more to the Spider Cipher, specifically the “MAKE.BELIEVE” part, but hadn’t gotten anywhere with that and we knew there were puzzles embedded in Parkerspov.com as soon as Silas Lesnick found it.


At first glance there was obviously a puzzle in the “Living Proof” post (aka Contact Sheet 1). I skimmed the rest of the site and thought there was more, but then got distracted trying our frame overlays for Contact Sheet 1 in gimp.
It was then that I noticed the letters around the margins of a few of the pics, but  Silas Lesnick had  already put that together and tweeted by then:


Four of the images on ParkersPOV have pics with letters in the margins. You may recognize the pics themselves from the contents of PP’s backpack, but the pics in the backpack did not have these letters.
Silas noticed this first, printed the pics, cut out the letters and rearranged to get ENGINEERING
We didn’t know quite what to do with ENGINEERING then.
We’d already tried /engineering at both MOTSM and parkerspov. We knew that there was at least one more puzzle in the site, which combined with ENGINEERING must lead either to another site or part of parkerspov but by this time, had reached the wee hours of the morning and decided to pick it up the next day.

SCHOOL SPIRIT (Contact Sheet 2) = THROUGH:

We’d actually called it a night (early morning actually). I’d wondered about ContactSheet2 before I fell asleep but was too tired to do much more then.

I’d saved the images from ParkersPOV to my phone so I could work on them if I had free time at work. I’d noticed that images from “School Spirit” (aka Contact Sheet 2) appeared as posts on the page and that the description read:
Seeing that there were 26 frames in Contact Sheet 2, I figured each frame # would translate to the corresponding letter of the alphabet. I then went through and located all of the pics on ParkersPOV that had come from ContactSheet2 and their corresponding Frame #’s/letters.

This is what that gave me:
  • GROUNDED:            Frame 20                –>   T
  • APPENDAGES:         Frame  7                    –>   G
  • STAYING ALOFT:      Frame 21                   –>  U
  • STANDING TOUGH:  Frame  8                     –>  H
  • LOCK DOWN:          Frame 15                       –>  O
  • STARTING GLANCE:  Frame  18                 –>  R
  • STANDING TOUGH (again but w/o title)     –>  H
That anagrams to THROUGH. I had figured this out at work but had no way to tweet or post. 
Guest User 17 was the first to tweet and post on unforum about it:

LIVING PROOF (Contact Sheet 1) = EVOLVE:

This was actually the 1st part of the site we knew was a puzzle, but was tricky enough that it was the last bit to be decoded. It turns out we were overthinking the puzzle and needed a nudge from the PMs.

At first glance, given the X’s and +’s on the frames, I thought this might be an overlay puzzle. I mage a few attempts early in the morning on GIMP, but it quickly became obvious that any overlay would be too complex, so I gave up on that idea.


My next thought was to try to either match or connect X’s and +’s, but I wasn’t really careful about the location of the X’s or +’s I connected so I pretty much just got a jumble of lines. Finally I tried re-assembling the frames like a puzzle (based on X’s and +’s at the edges), but that too led me nowhere.

Finally at 8PM, @markofspiderman  tweeted:
 which obviously meant we were to connect the X’s and +’s.


I retraced my steps, this time paying attention to connect only the X’s in the same position of the frames (ex. upper left corner), but still ended up getting tripped up by the “V”.


Ancalime was the first to decode EVOLVE:
and uncover the next phase of the viral:

Spider Cipher (still incomplete):

We knew there was more to the Spider Cipher, but our attention had shifted away from it with the decoding of the puzzles on ParkersPOV. 
markofspider-man tweeted
 and updated MOTSM hinting there was indeed more to the Spider Cipher that we hadn’t found.
The “WEB IN PROGRESS” post from the MOTS site stated:


and then “In short: you’ve done some amazing work, but it seems there might still be some left.”
Along with that they posted a pic of Silas Lesnick ‘s decoded Spider Cipher, the snapshot of which focused specifically on the MAKE.BELIEVE part:


So the PMs confirmed MAKE.BELIEVE was important, but we couldn’t really figure out how. We’d already tried MAKEBELIEVE, makedotbelieve, pretend, etc. at both MOTS and ParkersPOV.
There was some twitter convo about it being a SONY marketing slogan. I tried searching for MAKE.BELEIVE and at first looked through a bunch of videos.


Just before I had to call it a night, I found that Sony had an Amazing Spiderman link on their Sony Experience site but I couldn’t get some of the content to load and called it a night.


Not done yet…:

Before the night was over, markofspider-man tweeted:



We knew there was more embedded within the 3 new pics on /evolvethroughengineering, but I think everyone was too tired and called it a night.

Day 3 = April 26, 2012

I had a busy morning and had hope to have some time to get back to MOTS by lunch. Alas things kicked into overdrive about an hour before, so I didn’t really help much with anything decoded in this last phase.
Things blasted off at 10:56AM when markofspider-man tweeted
And then, just over 5 min later:

/evolvethroughengineering  (decoded to UPGRADES):

Now, I was at work when I remembered the arrows/pointers in the 3 pics but was too busy to do anything then.


@MrToasty decoded UPGRADES lightening fast after the MOTSM tweet. He tweeted in just 5min after, at 11:01AM and posted to unforum around the same time as well.


The solution was pretty simple, we really must have been tired to not have seen it the night before. You locate the letters the pointers in each of the pics indicate — they anagram to UPGRADES.



From /upgrades  to WORKINPROGRESS:

This gave us 4 beautiful pics/diagrams of PP’s webshooter, but it’s te first pic that stands out because of embedded code at the bottom (barely visible but stands out on the site because of the border around posted pics).


The Bruce was very quick with this and posted /workinprogress on unforum at 11:09AM.


The stuff at the bottom was binary which decoded to WORKINPROGRESS. You can just barely make out the red/green/black blips. The grey/black stripes are 0’s and the red stripes are 1’s, the green bits are just spacers.


From /workinprogress  to decoded to QUANTUMADVANCE:

This page had just 2 pics, no diagrams and no lettering.
But  The Bruce  had already given us a head start when he posted file names of these pics in his solution post at unforum  —  “Aqduvaa” (see pic above) and “Nntcuem” (see pic below).

krakmunky69 at unforum deciphered this within 3 minutes:  the letters anagram to QUANTUM ADVANCE.

/segment   (decoded from MAKE.BELIEVE)

If you remember the last markofspider-man tweet contained a link that lead to the Sony Experience website.

(Yeah, it’s the one I found last night but couldn’t get the Amazing Spiderman link to load.) Clicking on the “See the winning photos” link takes you to a panorama.

The panorama has Spiders (like the ones from the cipher in PP’s notebook) that decoded to SEGMENT
@BreAnnaWittman decoded this final piece of the Spider Cipher and tweeted at 11:36AM: I’m not positive but I think Bre Anna is also  BoMoJoFoShoYo  at unforum who posted the same thing at 11:40AM.

What’s next?

While we were trying to work on /quantumadvance and /segment to see if they lead anywhere else markofspider-man  tweeted:
and then:
So it seems that this phase of MOTSM has reached its end and we’ve hit “the end of this trail” to use MOTS’s words.
We’re left with:
  •  /quantumadvance — that has a video and 2 beautiful renderings of PP’s webshooter. It’s possible there are hidden frames in the video (I haven’t had time to look yet)
  •  /segment  — that has 3 diagrams of PP’s webshooter — the text from those diagrams hasn’t yielded anything.
Given the tweets above, I’m guessing these 2 pages don’t lead anywhere and MOTSM has gone back to sleep for awhile.
Let’s just hope it’s not weeks before it awakes again.
And this, my friends, concludes THE recap.
Hope you enjoyed it, hope to see you around for the next round, and once again, a big thank you to @0bFuSc8!

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By mentorless| 3 Comments | Personal Buzz, Social Media, Transmedia

3 trackbacks

‘Amazing Spider-Man’ Viral Picks Up with ‘Parker’s POV’ Online Blog
April 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm
เผยโฉมเครื่องยิงใยแมงมุม + ข้อมูลใหม่หลังถูกถอดรหัสในแคมเปญไวรัลของ The Amazing Spider-Man
April 28, 2012 at 7:21 am
Viral point: il virale di The Amazing Spider-man è un delirio | Vita di un IO
April 30, 2012 at 11:20 pm

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