This page contained a video, initially obfuscated, that became clearer (at least visually and sonically) once iceflies were retrieved in the previously mentioned locations.
The retrieved iceflies blinked for some time, in a sequence identified as Morse code. Unfortunately only few people seemed to be able to write down the sequence, and I haven’t come across yet to anybody having translated the complete message. Those who got part of the message seem to agree on the “.COM” end of it, which suggests we are dealing with a URL (probably “survivalcode.com“). This URL in fact appeared also in the video for a couple of frames, once all the iceflies were retrieved.
SurvivalCode.com prepares the next stage of the game. A video gives more texture to the whole experience, and characters become more defined.
You are then redirected to a small flash movie that sees you approaching the entrance of a facility. You are not granted access to this building yet, as a timer counts down to the moment in which I guess the door will open. Reaching this point unlocks a set of log files in your profile page, in the form of pieces of concept art.
Another interesting detail: In the profile page there’s an image that seem to be a QR code. I initially tried to decode it, unsuccessfully.
The structure of the page makes me believe that we are dealing with only a section of the code itself, which will be unveiled later in the experience. What we are seeing now is only 1/9th of the code, hence the fact that we can’t decode it yet. Moreover, this fragment of the code seem to be the same for all users.
If you are not already, you should definitely follow the #missionicefly hashtag. Quite a lot of updates in there!
Also three other valid subdirectories were found (even if I don’t know exactly how):
..and a new one I just found googling “site:traelekinstitute.com”..
This is definitely a legit lead.
Here the transcription of the prerecorded message that met those who called the above mentioned number:“”Thank you for calling the Traelek Institute, celebrating its 25th year of operations. Please listen to a word association quiz that we issue to new students upon matriculation: DECOY. ASCENT. BLAMELESS. MISGUIDED. What do these terms illicit in your mind’s eye? There are no correct answers, only questions. At the Trealek Institute, we believe that the pursuit of sensory data is its own reward, so check back at our website if you have any fresh impulses as a result of the quiz you just sampled. Goodbye.”
“1″ -- “Thank you for calling. Please leave a message, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.” [beep]
“2″ -- “Thank you for calling. Please leave a message, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.” [beep]
“3″ -- “Thank you for calling. Please leave a message, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.” [beep]
“4″ -- “Thank you for calling. Please leave a message, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.” [beep]
“5″ -- “Invalid extension.” [beep]
“6″ -- Made a weird noise… just a short little hiccup of a sound clip that sounds kind of like someone inhaling sharply. Then it seems like it’s waiting for some kind of PIN number or command. I’ve tried a bunch of combinations, always resulting in: “The number you have entered is invalid.” You get three tries, then: ”Goodbye.” [disconnect]
Here we go again! While Halo 4 is still being developed, a new prerelease marketing campaign seems to be in its very infant stage.
Reports from multiple sources seem to associate a new mysterious site (called TestSubjectNeeded) to the creators of ILoveBees, the great Alternate Reality Game campaign that served as viral marketing for the release of Halo 2. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this will give you a clue.
Anyway, on TestSubjectsNeeded you are asked to volunteer for “unconventional experiments” at the Human Preservation Project. Hints about sensory enhancement make me think about the Spartan augmentation programs, but we will see what is this all about..!
But participating to this initial evaluation test will not allow you to get to know about the mission of the Human Preservation Project. I guess it’s one of those “you will be hearing from us” internship application thingies..
After the test you are encouraged to create a badge representing your “cognitive landscape”, and to register in order to submit it to the system.
Another interesting detail consists in the fact that if you click on that bug logo on the top-left of the screen you will be redirected to MissionIcefly, a different site providing a countdown, a list of cities and the promise that when the count will be over, volunteers will be asked to follow “a signal” in one of those cities listed.
A clickable box links to this video, whatever its meaning might be:
In conclusion, what do we have?
No idea. I guess the Human Preservation Project is related to Dr Hasley’s SPARTAN-2 biological augmentation program, but more than that, no clue!
I’m looking forward to see what’s gonna happen 23 hours from now, when the countdown will reach 0..
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Every day is potentially a coding day! ..But today there was a South Park marathon on tv, so some sofa coding in da kitchenz was a must.
Perfect occasion to start checking out the Halo Reach API, which allows developers to retrieve information about games and players from the Halo universe.
So yea, just for knowledge sharing sake, here a couple of links that supported me in the creation of that small dynamic banner in the sidebar, which automatically loads my current armor and rank using the Bungie.NET API.
First of all, HaloReachAPI.net has a great crash course, which will get you up and running in no time. It also contains what seemed to me to be the most detailed documentation out there.
In order to access the API you will need a valid API key. This key is unique, and can be easily obtained by any Bungie Pro subscriber registered on the Bungie.net forum. You can then use the key to make calls to the API, and juggling with the available methods you will eventually find out a way to obtain the info you were looking for.
In my case I needed the following two things:
- Armor picture. Every player in the Halo universe can customize its armor. Ranking up grants access to unlockable equipment, keeping players constantly on the run to Inheritor. I will never reach that rank, but I do love the idea of a customizable armor, and it is very perceivable how this adds incredibly to the identity of an otherwise anonymous model. Your armor becomes your face, and sometimes even recognizing the helmet of that “MLG Pr0 Snip3z” guy entering a room can infuse terror on the lines of bootcamp-fresh noobs. Lol!
- Rank. Everyone loves outranking members of the adversary team ! Prematch lobby psychological warfare i guess.. Some people fights for them, some farm them, and others eventually get them. I’m in the first and third category. So yea, pretty proud of my Brigadier badge..
Allright, here how to obtain that info in PHP! First of all you’l need to make a call to the API:
$apiKey = ‘ultraSecretAPIKey‘;
$playerGamertag = ‘an evil morlok‘;
$url = ‘http://www.bungie.net/api/reach/reachapijson.svc/player/details/nostats/‘ . rawurlencode($apiKey) . ‘/’ . rawurlencode($playerGamertag);
Remember to substitute apiKey with your actual (secret) API key, and playerGamertag with the player whose info you’re trying to retrieve. According to the method that you are trying to call, the url will look slightly different. In this case I’m executing the GetPlayerDetailsWithNoStats method, which requires such a structure.
$output = file_get_contents($url);
$obj = json_decode($output);
if(!is_object($obj)) die(”Error parsing JSON response\n”);
if(!$obj->Player) die(”Player not found…”);
Here we execute the query to the API, convert it into a PHP object and validate it. If everything succeeds obj will contain whatever the method we called returned us.
And there you have it! You can finally very easily interact with the obj object and retrieve all the fields contained in it. In our case:
- Armor: printf(”<img src=\”http://bungie.net%s\” />”, $obj->PlayerModelUrl);
- Rank: printf(”<img src=\”http://www.bungie.net/images/reachStats/grades/med/%s.png\” />”,$obj->CurrentRankIndex);
..Come on, you can do it!
..Getting rid of some unwanted cornflakes, with style!