This game is awesome, so I'm not even going to hide this one. But there will of course be some hurdles, the first being this:
No spoilers, no sharing and no hinting please. I may start posting hints if there are no solvers in a couple of days.
Hint #1: Did not really want to give hints for the checkpoint, but replied some comments below. Guess they should count as hints.
Hint #2: That encoding? It's not originally meant for obfuscation of plain text messages, ya know.
Hint #3: Checkpoint Two
Hint #4: If the hammer is giving you unsatisfactory results with it, it might not be a nail, so try another tool.
Hint #6: For the third step.
Hint #7: For the fourth and final step.
The quiz: All three questions are related to a certain book I love. I designed the first two questions to be obvious to those who read the books, but somewhat google-resistant (of course, this didn't stop some of you). I wanted to throw the third question in there, but could not think of a fair and memorable hook for it, so I went the "easily google-able" route.
Q1: George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four contains an appendix named "The Principles of Newspeak" which details the usage of the language that is one of the major themes of the book. In this essay, Orwell explains that any older text dealing with concepts like human equality or political freedom cannot be rendered in Newspeak, which is specifically engineered to limit the range of human thought. He says that one way to translate such texts into Newspeak is by replacing the whole thing with the word "crimethink".
Q2: In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, there is an alien race, Tralfamadorians, who experience "time" just as we experience "space". For them, history is unchanging, and every moment from The Beginning to The End always exists in the same point in the timeline, waiting for them, should they choose to "visit" it. They see death as simply one immovable point in an individual's timeline where the person "is not feeling very well". In the book, whenever a death is mentioned, it is followed by Tralfamadorians' standard refrain about death: "so it goes".
Q3: The sentence in quotes is not uttered exactly by the character in the book (I guess it's from the movie, which kinda sucked) but as a phrase, it is easily google-able. Of course, the answer is the name of the kind gentleman who designed our fjords, as revealed in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Slartibartfast".
Upon passing the quiz checkpoint, you are awarded with a pastebin link, which contains Base64-encoded data.
This Base64 string, when decoded and saved as a binary file, produces a password-protected ZIP file, which contains a single file named "alice wants to send a message".
In cryptography, Alice always wants to send a message to bob, so that is the password. Even if guesswork or google-fu failed, this weak password could easily be brute-forced.
Inside the ZIP is a plain text file, which contains loads of ones and zeroes. This binary data actually represents a 55x6 black and white bitmap. Easiest way to see the "image", would be opening the file in a text editor (with a monospace font) and splitting it into 55-character lines. Replacing all the zeroes with spaces also helps.
For the last step, if any of the books I mentioned are still unread by you, go ahead and try to make time for them. It might very well be a better use of your time than any of the games we may or may not win here.
Thanks for playing.
Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 results.
Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 results.