The Star Trek Alternative Reality Game has been abuzz with activity over the weekend and into today. TrekMovie has already done three articles on this game, but it is very complex and so TrekMovie has designated one of our community members to try and sort it all out in this fourth update.
STAR TREK ARG UPDATE APRIL 20TH
by Aliotsy Andrianarivo
There are more exciting developments with the Star Trek ARG. But first…
A quick review:
The Star Trek Alternative Reality Game began a couple of weeks ago after some fans spotted URLs on the walls of ‘Star Trek Dance Party’ photos up at thecobrasnake.com, these clues led to more sites, which in turn led to more clues. Here are the previous three TrekMovie articles on the Star Trek ARG:
- April 10th – first article identifying ‘binary’ sites
- April 15th Update, identifying ‘Malak0’
- April 17th Update: more ‘PHP chat’
…and now to the new stuff [all new clues identified by the date of this report, even if they clue may have come up yesterday, just easier to keep track]
April 20 Clue 1: 2387-42.com chat updated – leading to Twitter
As anticipated by PHPChatUser5’s comment on Friday to meet back “in 2,” the chat participants on viral site 2387-42.com logged in again on Sunday at around 5pm GMT:(Translation courtesy of “StarTrekkie” and “Commodore RedShirt”)
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) “Ca”?
* PHPChatUser1: “Ca”?
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) Is somebody here? Please type something here.
* PHPChatUser1: 誰かいる？誰か何かタイプしてよ。
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) Don’t wait, input something here! Now!
* PHPChatUser1: ふざけないで、何か入力してってば！！早く！！
* user3 Janus (german) Calm down. I’m here, surprisingly. I think I have found the trajectory. Well, I am close to it. Maybe I should ask “Ca”.
* PHPChatUser3: Beruhig dich mal. Ich bin hier, überraschenderweise. Ich glaube, dass ich tatsächlich die Flugbahn herausgefunden habe. Naja, ich bin nah dran. Vielleicht sollte ich „Ca“ fragen.
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) I’m working on my frequency. But Fe has not made contact with me. He’s okay?
* PHPChatUser1: “Fe”と僕で周波に取り組んでたんだ。でも、彼僕に連絡してこなくなって。彼大丈夫？
* user3 Janus (german) You should relax and have fun with this duty! Take it as an opportunity. We are bigger and stronger than these people. Women will finally take notice of you. I bet they have noticed me.
* PHPChatUser3: Du solltest dich entspannen und Spass an der Sache haben! Nimm es als eine Möglichkeit. Wir sind größer und stärker als die meisten. Frauen werden dich endlich wahrnehmen. Sie haben mich bestimmt schon bemerkt.
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) You’re serious? Because we can not trust anyone! We could be killed if we are caught! ! Even though I’m tired of this, you are risking the lives of so many people I can not even imagine.
* PHPChatUser1: 君本気？僕ら、誰も信用できないんだってば！いつ捕まって殺されるかもしれないんだよ！！僕、全然眠れもしないのに、君は想像も出来ないくらい多くの人間の命を危険にさらして。
* user3 Janus (german) Try not to focus on it.
* PHPChatUser3: Versuche, dich nicht darauf zu fokussieren.
* user5 Unknown (english) “Ca” is dead.
* PHPChatUser5: “Ca” is dead.
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) What? How do you know?
* PHPChatUser1: 何？どうして分かったの？
* user4 Candir (spanish) Just because he is not here does not mean he is dead.
* PHPChatUser4: Sólo porque él no está aquí no significa que está muerto.
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) I think maybe I should go try to find him Can I go to his place? His device is very important.
* PHPChatUser1: 彼を探し出さなきゃ！彼の所に行っていい？彼の道具が必要なんだ、多分僕が行くべきだと思う。
* user5 Unknown (english) There’s nothing to find. Except the device. He lost it, and now one of them has our only comm. unit! Why do you think he gave us its location? He is gone.
* PHPChatUser5: There’s nothing to find. Except the device. He lost it, and now one of them has our only comm. unit! Why do you think he gave us its location? He is gone.
* user3 Janus (german) How do you know?
* PHPChatUser3: Das kannst du nicht wissen!!
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) “Ca”? What should I do? Should I go there?
* PHPChatUser1: “Ca”？どうしたらいいんだろ？僕、行くべき？
* user3 Janus (german) Her name is "0" you idiot!!! How hard is it to remember the stupid codes? Are you a total moron? Do you have an image of your mother by your bed? I’d be surprised if you did not wake up in your own urine every night.
* PHPChatUser3: Ihr Name ist „O“, du Trottel!! Wie schwer ist es, sich diese dämlichen Codes zu merken? Bist du denn ein kompletter Vollidiot? Hast ein Bild deiner hässlichen Mutter neben deinem Bett – bin überrascht, dass du nicht jede Nacht in deinem eigenen Urin aufwachst.
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) You’re wrong This is all a mistake! We have to go home.
* PHPChatUser1: これって間違ってるよ、やばい予感がする。全部間違いだったんだ！家に帰ったほうがいいよ！！
* user4 Candir (spanish) It is no longer ours.
* PHPChatUser4: Ya no es la nuestra.
* user5 Unknown (english) There is NO going back! There is NO Federation to stop him, we MUST move on without “Ca”!! Their ONLY fighting chance is if we get this thing sent!!
* PHPChatUser5: There is NO going back! There is NO Federation to stop him, we MUST move on without “Ca”!! Their ONLY fighting chance is if we get this thing sent!!
* user3 Janus (german) Ok, nobody needs your yapping. I’m doing this for Karnis. Btw, I think I’m near the coordinates we have to focus on.
* PHPChatUser3: OK, keiner braucht dein Gequatsche. Ich mache das für Karnis. Übrigens, ich bin nah dran an den Koordinaten, für die wir es anvisieren müssen.
* user5 Unknown (english) And I am on the magnetic field, we didn’t calibrate for interference.
* PHPChatUser5: And I am on the magnetic field, we didn’t calibrate for interference.
* user4 Candir (spanish) I can send you some information on the frequency, Where do I send it?
* PHPChatUser4: Puedo mandarte alguna información en la frecuencia, ¿Adónde debo mandarla?
* user5 Unknown (english) Hold it for now, it’s useless without getting Ca’s wave pattern.
* PHPChatUser5: Hold it for now, it’s useless without getting Ca’s wave pattern.
* user4 Candir (spanish) We will be fine. keep paying close attention.
* PHPChatUser4: Estaremos bien. Presta buena atención.
* user3 Janus (german) Are we done with this?
* PHPChatUser3: Sind wir fertig hier?
* user5 Unknown (english) I’ll post locations as I find the key fields. I’ll need you to go them exactly when I say.
* PHPChatUser5: I’ll post locations as I find the key fields. I’ll need you to go them exactly when I say.
* user3 Janus (german) Ok, that’s it. Everyone is doing their job.
* PHPChatUser3: Ok, das war’s dann. Jeder macht jetzt seinen Job.
* user5 Unknown (english) Pictures are tough here, but we must start sending each other the access points – @PHPChatUser5. Not sure yet how to get Ca’s – but the input site will soon be live for all our fixes, hopefully generates something that works.
* PHPChatUser5: Pictures are tough here, but we must start sending each other the access points – @PHPChatUser5. Not sure yet how to get Ca’s – but the input site will soon be live for all our fixes, hopefully generates something that works.
* user3 Janus (german) I hope, they’ll find me
* PHPChatUser3: Ich hoffe, die finden mich.
* user5 Unknown (english) Don’t do anything stupid!
* PHPChatUser5: Don’t do anything stupid!
* ____user3 Janus (german) has disconnected____
* ____PHPChatUser3 has disconnected____
* user1 – Yarakashita (japan) I need to go now. I need to rethink all of this.
* PHPChatUser1: 僕もう行かなきゃ。全部、もう一度考え直さないと。
* user5 Unknown (english) Wait, we have to talk about how you’re handling this.
* PHPChatUser5: Wait, we have to talk about how you’re handling this.
* ____user1 – Yarakashita (japan) has disconnected____
* ____PHPChatUser1 has disconnected____
* user4 Candir (spanish) Do not worry. Even if this hasn’t worked before I know that we can resolve these things together.
* PHPChatUser4: No te preocupes. No trabajabas bien solo antes, y sé que podemos resolver estas cosas juntos.
* user5 Unknown (english) What does that mean?
* PHPChatUser5: What does that mean?
* user4 Candir (spanish) Nothing, it’s just that the idea of being left helpless with you sounds fun to me.
* PHPChatUser4: Nada, es sólo que la idea de estar dejado desamparado contigo me suena divertida.
* user5 Unknown (english) What?
* PHPChatUser5: What?
* user4 Candir (spanish) Think about it… and me.
* PHPChatUser4: Piénsalo y en mí.
* user5 Unknown (english) Don’t do this, not now.
* PHPChatUser5: Don’t do this, not now.
* ____user5 Unknown (english) has disconnected____
* ____PHPChatUser5 has disconnected____
* ____user4 Candir (spanish) has disconnected____
* ____PHPChatUser4 has disconnected____
Perhaps the most intriguing part of this chat is validation for Malak0, who many people suspected was not “in-game.”
Community members also quickly picked up on @PHPChatUser5, suspecting it was a Twitter username. Sure enough, there are Twitter accounts for all five chat participants:
Notice that these users are identified as php alpha, php beta, php gamma, php delta, and php epsilon, respectively.
April 20th Clue 2: ASSEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Email from Malak0
Remember Malak0 from last week? Well he is really part of the game and apparently he is fed up with all the clueless emails he’s been getting. He sent a mass email to many people who’ve contacted him, translated as follows (thanks Eric):
Enough is enough. Since no one realizes how great this device is, I’ll film it to show you. Maybe one of you is smart enough to tell me how to start it so that I can give it back to its rightful owner. I know none of you is since you all believed in the wrong color I gave about it. I’ll post the video tomorrow or in the following days.
(Not Robau, not Kirk, not It, not an Alien, not Nero – just MalakO)
April 20th Clue 3: Twitter conversation between “O” and “Fe”
Today, at about 5pm GMT, PHPChatUser5 (“O”) tweeted the following:
Here, start sending yours.
PHPChatUser4 (“Fe”) responded, shortly thereafter sending multiple tweets to “O,” who did not respond.(Translation provided by StarTrekkie)
@PHPChatUser5 I have completed my access point, but this is not why I write. What I am trying to say is, "Si" is not the only thing driving you crazy. . This is because I’m so crazy to say the following – this can be the end for us, for everything, and I know that at least I told you how I feel. There is nothing for us here and now. But I realized that although we have a house yet, although he has not gone mad and the dogs pursued him, still would not have anything. You were and are my only chance for happiness. I think you’ve ever felt that way. If I come, I pray you, let you come. Tell me where you are and I will be there.
April 20th Clue 4: “O’s” Twitter Profile Picture
“O” is the only chatter so far with a Twitter profile picture.
php epsilon’s user picture – notice anything?
A number of users noticed a pattern overlaying the picture, blew it up, and sharpened it:
Recognizing it as a QR Code, community members ran it through a decoder and found the following:
As it turns out, “Apus” is a constellation, first depicted by Johann Bayer in 1603. There also happens to be a painter named Johann Christoph Bayer, who lived from 1738 to 1812….and guess what he looked like:
Analysis: Who are these people?
There’s been a lot of speculation about the various chatters on 2387-42.com. They appear to be a team of time travelers, who have a tenuous alliance with each other, on a mission to the past – our present. Something cataclysmic seems to have happened in the future, and they’re trying to prevent it from happening. They aren’t here voluntarily – perhaps arriving in 2009 was a mistake. And someone is after them, as one member of their team has likely been killed.
This is what we know so far …
PHPChatUser1, Codename “Si”
Also known as/represented by: Silicon, alpha, HORI KEI, email@example.com
Real name: unknown
Associated “binary” site: 0101001101101001.jp
Associated nationality and language: Japanese
Profile: “Si” seems to be young, perhaps the youngest of the team. Technically proficient? Male, possibly not human (“We are bigger and stronger than these people. Women will finally take notice of you”). Upset and emotional over their current predicament.
PHPChatUser2, Codename “Ca”
Also known as/represented by: Calcium, beta, Camille Dupont, firstname.lastname@example.org
Real name: unknown (Karnis?)
Associated “binary” site: 0100001101100001.eu
Associated nationality and language: French
Profile: Dead, possibly murdered. Male. Suggested splitting up as part of the plan. Dropped a “comm. unit” in Paris, presumably retrieved by Malak0.
PHPChatUser3, Codename “Al”
Also known as/represented by: Aluminium, gamma, Albert Stein, email@example.com
Real name: Janus
Associated “binary” site: 0100000101101100.eu
Associated nationality and language: German
Profile: Male. Arrogant, but honor-bound to duty. Prone to “lose control.” Possibly not human. Reluctant participant in alliance.
PHPChatUser4, Codename “Fe”
Also known as/represented by: Iron, delta, Ferdinand Franco, firstname.lastname@example.org
Real name: Candir
Associated “binary” site: 0100011001100101.eu
Associated nationality and language: Spanish
Profile: Male. Likely past romantic link with “O.”
PHPChatUser5, Codename “O”
Also known as/represented by: Oxygen, Epsilon
Real name: Unknown
Associated “binary” site: 01001111.com
Associated nationality and language: American/English
Profile: Female. Seems to be the leader. Likely past romantic link with “Fe.”
There are still many open questions:
- What’s the significance of “APUS:01-05?”
- What is the device Malak0 has?
- How did “Ca” die? Who is after this team?
- Is there any more to be gleaned from the binary sites? Does “VI” mean anything more than the time of the first chat?
What do you think — and A NOTE before you comment
Before you post clues or speculation in the comments below, check the previous TrekMovie articles (including comments) to be sure they haven’t already been covered.
- April 10th – first article identifying ‘binary’ sites
- April 15th Update, identifying ‘Malak0’
- April 17th Update: more ‘PHP chat’
- ARG site Unfiction also has a thread dedicated to the game
- Thread at startrekmovie.com
- Chatroom (set up by TM community member ‘Tom’)
Ideally a forum should be created for this. If someone in the community does not create one, but if no one does that, we will create a special forum. Until then try and work things out in the comments below and/or work with the other communities.
TrekMovie will continue provide an updates on the Star Trek ARG as the game progresses.
Do you have any new clues or theories? Let us know?
but again, be sure to check previous posts to make sure they haven’t been covered. If you really think you are on to something, send in a clue to tips [at] trekmovie [dot] com. However, please keep tips to new (at least semi) verified clues, and not just speculation, that is what the comments are for.
Much ado about nothing. First?
As frustrating as it is interesting.
this is a lot more involved than the “simpsonize yourself” promotion for the simpsons movie.
As Pine said: What Are You Talking About Man?
“The adult weight greatly varies with the weather, and is heavier in May than later in the summer”
(Lack: “The Breeding Biology of the Swift Apus apus”)
This seems even more complex than the Dark Knight online games. Perhaps they’ll send out prizes like the TDK phones, cakes, etc.
perhaps this is real? and they are using the Star Trek movie as a way to get good thinkers to help them?
haha just kidding
And the newer startrekmovie.com thread is
Nice write up Aliotsy, this should definitely help keep everyone up to speed!
The VI clue, if taken to represent the time of 6PM, has been correct 3 times now in GMT zone. The original PHP Chat, the 2nd and also the twitter updates.
Thanks for the update!
Nothing new to contribute at the moment, but I’ll keep thinking and reading!
Just sent an email to Anthony, but I have forums on my personal site, and I can make a forum for the ARG ;) We’ll see what he says…
Could Malako have something to do with Maco’s from Enterprise?
Right… none of this makes ANY sense whatsoever – what have I missed?
Those names are all Elements! wow! Ok this is getting complacated!
Nice synopsis on all the stuff that came out of our other thread.
My guess is that the next thing to happen will be:
1. the other PHPchat users will tweet back and possibly post profile pictures with more embedded code or
2. Malak0 will post the promised video of the device. Anyone care to guess as to where he might post such a video?
I sent them all this:
Si, Al, Fe, O listen I can help you but I need some information first.
Al (Janus) is a klingon, as if you are get off your Klingon arse and do the honourable thing and particapte in the alliance to help protect the other team members from the same fate as Ca.
Was Ca murdered?
Fe, (Candis, Karnis) focus your efforts on protect the Deltan, (O). Yes you have history but don’t let it affect your duty.
Please report al information you have on APUS:01-05.
Wait for the reply.
I give it a C in terms of creating some good fiction, but allocating most of the needed brainpower to deciphering URL’s and deciphering code. This appeals to a vast minority of Trek fans.
The story, about a futuristic device having been dropped at a cafe in a non-descript part of Paris is exhilarating and exciting, given the dialogue amongst the characters and the guy who found it, malak0, and the Google tie-in to the cafe. And, it’s Paris.
The story, of 5 time-travelers, having come to us to avert some un-named disaster, is compelling. There are relationships, and a potential death of a main character, and mystery as to what is going on.
There have also been attempts to ‘gamejack’ us, which are, I assume inevitable.
Also, unfortunately, the specific expertise required kicks out many of us, and the lack of real pace has made it boring. It’s great to sit in on the Chat that ‘Tom’ set up, but you just want a clue that allows you to explore real-world clues, and not just decode advanced barcodes.
Malak0 has a YouTube channel…might not be the same one, but it is French.
Maybe he’ll post the video there? Well, I’m subscribing to his channel so I’ll know if he does.
On second glance, maybe it’s not French. Maybe Spanish or Portugese…here’s hoping it’s the same guy.
@20 – I seriously doubt it, because it says he joined youtube in 2006 – waaaay before this.
(There’s also a http://www.youtube.com/user/MalakO ) but same as with the other account, this one is form 2005, so probably like 99% chance it’s unrelated.
@20 – I saw that too, but I don’t think its him. That account was created in 2006 and hasn’t been logged into for a week. I think its just a coincidence, but worth keeping an eye on just in case.
#21 – Portuguese.
#24 – Thanks. It probably is unrelated, but worth watching for anyhow.
That is clearly not part of this ARG.
i hope no, because it doesnt make any sense
seriously, what’s the point of this?
So the Janus VI mines are no clue… pity :p
I’m with those who thank Aliotsy for a GREAT writeup, and a nice clarification of the details of this. I’m pretty much hooked, I’ve got to say! My only regret is having to go to work, and having most video streaming sites filtered. Rats!
My only addition:
In the translation of the “twitter’ conversation, I’ve seen the “Si” translated into ‘yes’ (spanish / portuguese to English), but I don’t think that’s correct — “Si” is the codename for PHPChatUser1 —
Therefore, the line should read:
“…I have completed my access point, but this is not why I write. What I am trying to say is, Si is not the only thing (one?) driving you crazy….
This might imply a personal relationship / lovers triangle?
Keep up the good work, everyone!
apparently 30 but some of the references do seem to be from things well Established in TOS,TNG.DS9, VOY,ENT and the 10 Previous movies!
@31 – That’s how I took it too. Si should not be translated into “yes.”
This is SO obvious if you use Batman logic:
From Memory Alpha: Rosie Malek-Yonan: An Assyrian born in Iran, Rosie Malek-Yonan (born 4 July) aspired to compete in the 1980 Olympics in figure skating, but was forced to leave her place in the games because the Islamic government required Christian Olympic representatives to convert to Islam, and female athletes were required to wear robes and head scarves.
She played the role of Tekoa in DS9: “The Assignment”.
Malak0 Malak 0 == The 0 indicates she did not complete her goal. (We all speak binary here)
She played Tekoa.
Tek: Alternate reality machine in Shatner’s Tek War books.
Oa = center of the universe, home of the guardians.
Bill Shatner = center of the Star Trek Universe.
Alternate reality = Created by Nero, creates the movie timeline we see.
This is SO obvious:
Bill Shatner is in the new Star Trek movie.
One thing about PHPChatUser4’s message…
“I think you’ve ever felt that way” doesn’t make sense…maybe it should say “I don’t think” or “I think you’ve never.” Or maybe he’s saying She’s always been that way to him. What bearing this has on anything, I don’t know. But I think the basic idea of this message is:
“Even though we’re safe for the time being, I won’t be happy without you. But at least I’ve told you how I feel. Please tell me where you are and I will find you.”
34: LOL…if I’d been drinking something, I would need a new monitor.
Now, this is a fascinating quest
#8 — you may have something here. What if it is real?
#36, thanks! I’m a fan of the old Batman TV show and ANYTHING makes sense following “Batman Logic!”
Can’t wait until May 8!
Anthony, when will your review (with spoilers) be posted?
Have the proper names and assosciated emails been confirmed?
Any responses from the emails of the PHPChatters?
#34 – I hope not… :s
Apus – A constellation in the southern sky (as posted earlier).
01-05 — could these refer the the three brightest stars in that constellation?
Apus is in the southern hemisphere, the south polar sky.
I think I MIGHT have solved the “VI” clue: Oxygen, Silicon, Calcium, and Iron are each separated by six spots on the periodic table (8, 14, 20, 26). Aluminum is the oddball at unlucky number 13. Could Aluminum be a traitor or destined for something bad to befall them?
‘VI’ seems to have referred to the time of their first chat. I think ‘VI’ is behind us, now. Like the thought, though!
You can also find the whole chat from http://2387-42.com/ and twitter translated to English here:
Thank you SO much for the rundown. I don’t know about anyone else, but my head was beginning to spin trying to remember everything.
Here’s my personal theory of what’s going on, it’s largely based on the ‘Countdown’ comic series being a backdrop for the ARG:
The 5 chat users are Romulan with a possiblility of a Klingon or 2 thrown in (I saw at least 3 unnamed Romulans on Nero’s crew, and there were 2 Klingons on board Narada with Wort that you never see get beamed away). Somehow they are separated from the rest of the Narada and transported here, after it enters the singularity that Spock creates to engulf the supernova. I haven’t figured out whether or not they know where the Narada is, but I’m fairly certain that getting back to the ship isn’t an option at this point. That being said, their goal would be to send a warning message to Romulus, hopefully preventing it’s destruction from the supernova in the future.
There are a few problems with this plot device but I believe I’ve found plenty of backup throughout the PHPChat, twitter chat, and the ‘Countdown’ series to support it. The biggest fault is I can’t seem to figure out why there is such a sense of urgency to their actions. Romulus won’t be destroyed for another 300 years soooooo…….
1. They have been discovered by ‘us’ and are trying to get the message sent before the authorities or some other group finds them.
2. Federation operatives from the future are after them (there is no evidence of this, but it’s been discussed)
3. The message will take every bit of 300 years to get there, so they have to get it sent ASAP
And that brings me to a small side theory that brings in a BIG variable. What if the supernova was transported back in time with them? What if instead of sending a signal, they are making a last ditch attempt to stop this thing? In ‘Countdown’ it kept growing….maybe it’s on its way here? In-game ‘here’ of course :)
I agree that the VI was the time for the first chat.
However, there could be something else to this clue and we should not discount it.
…same as the Makak0 connection. It was easy to discount it, but turned out to (most likely) be in game.
I am curious to see how the twitter chat works out. My guess is it is legit and not full of game-crashers.
I am currently keeping an eye on the blank flickr page registered to malak0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/13767372@N08/
Malik0’s first posting and the resulting comments
(btw malik0’s profile comment is “Please … draw me a sheep.”)
the phpchat page
and the 5 binary sites listed above.
And good job, Aliotsy!
This is massively confusing, but I take it as a compliment that the filmmakers consider us geeks smart enough to solve it. :)