The Box?


Whats in The Box?

The video above links to this website.  whatsinthebox.nl appears to be a website aimed towards promoting a new movie.  But Half-Life 2 Sound Effects, and similar looking characters and environment?  That is indeed strange.  Could Valve be pulling our legs again?

Babel

Babel research.eu is another funny website.  This website was found a while back, but became popular during the portal radio transmissions I will describe below.  The website is copyrighted 2018, and as 3 logos at the bottom.  The Hanso Foundation being the most interesting.  The Hanso Foundation is the company in the TV Series Lost which is kind of the evil company that made things go bad (as I understand).  I do not watch TV, but I will take their word on that.

The other 2 logos are Aperture Science, and Black Mesa.  Both fictional companies which Valve created for use in Portal and Half Life 2 respectively.  Interesting to note, that 2 of the 3 products listed on the babel website, are used in the film displayed above.  The Involuntary Stomach Discharger, and the Computer Brain Interface.  Yet these websites claim they are not related to each other...  Odd isn't it?  Perhaps Babel Research is a new fictional company which will be the 'good guys' in the new upcoming Portal 2, or even Half Life Episode 3.

There are many secrets within the website itself.  The most obvious is the flashing cat in the lower left hand corner.  This cat, when clicked on, may allow you to download an audio file.  The file is a reversed audio transmission, which translates to "Found, Project Detainable has failed!"

Portal Updates

The Portal updates last week included the patch note 'Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations'.  Which of course got all the TF2 conspiracy theorists to dig up their copy of Portal (or buy a copy) and try to figure out what that means.  In the end it ended up being a ham radio operators dream.  Morse Code at about 20 wpm, and SSTV Transmissions could be found through the Portal game-play.  Decoding them turned into an interesting adventure.

The Slow Scan TV Images showed various clues...  But in such a way to be confusing.

Each image was picked up at a separate location.  There are a few hints in there at a BBS number.   A BBS is a Bulletin Board System, which allows users to connect via modem, and download or read information which is posted for public or subscriber consumption.   These systems sometimes have user names and passwords to protect them for subscribers only.

After decoding the string of visible letters and numbers in each SSTV Scan, People found the string "9459C6CAC8C203B8128B7CC63068D4FD" which is an md5 hash of (425) 822-5251.  So now we know the BBS Telephone number.

But what about the user name and password?  Oh yes, there was one!  At this point, you would think, gee what if these people were wrong, and this phone number was a private number...  or a private link somewhere...  That would of been interesting.  But none the less, indeed the user name and password were found in the morse code.

The 2nd morse code string translates to "SYSTEM DATA DUMP ACTIVE USER BACKUP ACTIVE PASSWORD BACKUP ACTIVE".  So someone tried using User name 'Backup' and Password 'Backup'...  This worked.

Other Morse code transmissions were...

“INTERIOR TRANSMISSION ACTIVE EXTERNAL DATA LINE ACTIVE MESSAGE DIGEST ACTIVE”.

“BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP”, which is in turn Morse Code for “LOL”.

“9E107D9D372BB6826BD81D3542A419D6″, which is the MD5 hash of “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”.

There are many other hidden 'easter egg' clues in many places.  I think that everywhere you look, you will find some clue...  Or something that looks like a clue anyhow.  It is after all lent.  So the easter egg hunt is on.

Half-Life Link?

So far, many of the images we have seen, relate to both Portal and Half Life 2 in some way.  It has been said before that these 2 time lines are in fact linked...   And it is quite possible that every valve game is linked in some way in some large story arc, which will all be interconnected at some time.  With the announcement of Portal 2 confirmed, we can only assume that this new Portal game brings us closer to the Half-Life universe.  Portal is said to be a prelude to the events which take place in Half Life.

Portal 2 will include a 2 person co-op player mode, which will allow 2 friends to work together to solve campaigns.  I think this is a great idea, and look forward to Portal 2's release.

For now however, I must say that I love Valve.  Undeniably THE BEST computer game company ever!