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HacknSlashAnnounce
Posted: 10 December 2013 01:46 PM
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hacknslashthegame.com

Click on the picture to download the file:
HacknSlashAnnounce.zip.jpg

Opening it in an image view gets you a snazzy picture.

Unzipping it reveals the following three files:
Outdoors.mp4
MainTheme.mp3
WorldTablet.txt

I suggest playing the theme song on loop for the next part.

The text file is straight forward to read, with each three word phrase repeated once. It is “A   note   from   the   Acting   Regent   Wizard”

The video, other than just showing a nice scene, displays a series of characters on the bottom left. I assume they can be further decoded into a message.

I also assume there is more to discover.

Edit:

Here is a summary of what has been discovered to date.

Looking at the file in a hex editor reveals a message.
The MP3 file has some interesting metadata.
The text file is more interesting than I first thought. It actually contains a hidden 3d image (yes seriously!).
Here are screencaps of the symbols in the video.
The message in the video has been deciphered.

[ Edited: 10 December 2013 04:39 PM by mundanename ]
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Posted: 10 December 2013 01:50 PM
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How are you unpacking the ZIP? I tried renaming the file to .zip and opening it, but was told it was an invalid compressed file.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 01:54 PM
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I did not have to do anything special.

I am using 7-zip on a windows xp box.

The file is “12,976,128 bytes” on disk.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 01:55 PM
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Twoflower - 10 December 2013 01:50 PM

How are you unpacking the ZIP? I tried renaming the file to .zip and opening it, but was told it was an invalid compressed file.

I think that’s because its not a zip, that’s a red herring. I changed the file extension to .rar and was able to extract the files with 7zip.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:00 PM
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I can’t say how eternally GLEEFUL I was when I saw this announcement. YAYAYAYAYAYAYYAY!

HTML code for the page contains:

<!-- What secrets await? --> 
[ Edited: 10 December 2013 02:07 PM by buckysrevenge ]
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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:02 PM
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The MP3 metadata contains the comment:

“passwords read like incantations when spoken in all capital letters”

The genre is “aes-256-cbc”

The text file, when the width is adjusted, contains a cross-view hidden message:

“The embedded application is enciphered with the incantation presented by the first observed glyphs”

This seems to strongly hint that one of the files is an AES-encrypted executable.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:07 PM
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I’m having trouble extracting this on a mac.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:10 PM
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On Mac, open a Terminal window and use cd to go to the folder where you want to extract the files to, then type “unzip ” (note the space), drag the zip file into the terminal window, and hit return. It will show an error but extract the contents anyway.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:11 PM
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I think the problem is that I didn’t get the full file. redownloading the file gives different file sizes. Will try with a new one.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:11 PM
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I’m working on extracting the text cleanly from the video for people to transcript.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:13 PM
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Twoflower - 10 December 2013 01:50 PM

How are you unpacking the ZIP? I tried renaming the file to .zip and opening it, but was told it was an invalid compressed file.

First make sure you have the full file, 12,976,128 bytes (~12.3 MB) on disk. The first time I attempted to download the file I got one only about 1/10th the size. Once I had the full file it extracted fine using 7-zip after removing the “.jpg” to make the extension “.zip.”

Also for those that missed it here is the message that was in the subject of the original image:

You may have figured out that this JPEG is more than just an image. It is not an ARG. It is not a transmedia narrative. It’s just a puzzle we’ve built for you that will give you some more Hack ‘n’ Slash tidbits as you peel back its layers. If you’re into that kind of thing, we hope you enjoy it!

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:16 PM
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DoomsDay1990 - 10 December 2013 02:13 PM

First make sure you have the full file, 12,976,128 bytes (~12.3 MB) on disk. The first time I attempted to download the file I got one only about 1/10th the size. Once I had the full file it extracted fine using 7-zip after removing the “.jpg” to make the extension “.zip.”

Yup, getting the full file fixed the problem. It included a text document, mp4 movie with some interesting stuff happening with the glyphs, and an mp3.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:19 PM
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Here’s the text from the file WorldTablet.txt, with a readable indentation : http://pastebin.com/bbijaLFg
phort99 : how did you get the hidden message ?

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:23 PM
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phort99 - 10 December 2013 02:02 PM

This seems to strongly hint that one of the files is an AES-encrypted executable.

I opened the file Outdoors.mp4 in a text editor and near the beginning of the file is the text “crackme.enc”. I think these are the droids we are looking for.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:24 PM
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I recommend taking a look at the actual jpg shown on the page in a hex editor.

Image Attachments
HacknSlashAnnounce.jpg.png
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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:32 PM
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Belvar - 10 December 2013 02:19 PM

Here’s the text from the file WorldTablet.txt, with a readable indentation : http://pastebin.com/bbijaLFg
phort99 : how did you get the hidden message ?

If you resize the window text editor window so the two identical messages are side by side (make sure your text editor uses a fixed width font) you can cross your eyes so the two identical messages overlap. Some of the words are inset in the resulting 3D image. The inset words are the secret message.

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Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 1.30.40 PM.png
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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:36 PM
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There is also encrypted data in the press release. Not pasting it here since it screws up the forum page formatting.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:39 PM
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Here is the text frames cropped from the video Outdoors.mp4 in the order they appear.

UPDATE 3: I made a black and white version of this, which you can see in a later post on the next page.

UPDATE: I did a less naive color distance algorithm for detecting frames with text and it turns out I was missing some frames.
Dropbox image will update as I double check my work.

hacknslash_script.jpg

[ Edited: 14 December 2013 12:11 PM by Lokno ]
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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:43 PM
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Woah you guys are so fast!! I don’t know the solution(s) either so it’s fun to watch you all figure it out. Good luck! :D

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:51 PM
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So the first glyphs are in x,y coordinates:
3,2
5,5
5,3
1,6

Or more likely in an array:
4,2; 1,4; 3,4; 0,0

[ Edited: 10 December 2013 03:14 PM by ClapBedon ]
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Capture d'écran de 2013-12-10 16:44:45.png
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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:51 PM
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phort99 - 10 December 2013 02:32 PM
Belvar - 10 December 2013 02:19 PM

Here’s the text from the file WorldTablet.txt, with a readable indentation : http://pastebin.com/bbijaLFg
phort99 : how did you get the hidden message ?

If you resize the window text editor window so the two identical messages are side by side (make sure your text editor uses a fixed width font) you can cross your eyes so the two identical messages overlap. Some of the words are inset in the resulting 3D image. The inset words are the secret message.

OMG that is banana town.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:55 PM
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You don’t have to look at cross-eyed; they are just the words that are not in the same place in the nearly identical columns.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 02:57 PM
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For those (like me) that can’t cross our eyes to make things 3D:

Screenshot_2013_12_10_13_51_33.jpg

(I live a shallow life never having known the joys of magic eye pictures…)

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Posted: 10 December 2013 03:02 PM
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phort99 - 10 December 2013 02:32 PM
Belvar - 10 December 2013 02:19 PM

Here’s the text from the file WorldTablet.txt, with a readable indentation : http://pastebin.com/bbijaLFg
phort99 : how did you get the hidden message ?

If you resize the window text editor window so the two identical messages are side by side (make sure your text editor uses a fixed width font) you can cross your eyes so the two identical messages overlap. Some of the words are inset in the resulting 3D image. The inset words are the secret message.

For those that can’t cross their eyes, like me, here’s what you find when you compare both columns:
embedded application is enciphered with the incantation presented by first observed glyphs

A   note   from   the   Acting  
A   note   from   the   Acting  
Regent   Wizard:  I   have  
Regent   Wizard:  I   have  
imposed     stringent   new  
imposed     stringent   new  
laws   for   the kingdomis  
laws   for   the   kingdomis  
safety.    My     security  
safety.    My     security  
forces   have   discovered  
forces   have   discovered  
individuals   embedded among  
individuals embedded  among  
us   that   seek   to   bring  
us   that   seek   to   bring  
chaos   to   our   kingdom. 
chaos   to   our   kingdom. 
The   application of   these  
The application  of   these  
laws   will   be   focused on  
laws   will   be   focused on  
preventing   their   success. 
preventing   their   success. 
It   is imperative   that we  
It is  imperative   that we  
capture   these   dangerous  
capture   these   dangerous  
dissidents.        First, 
dissidents.        First, 
all     enciphered   messages  
all   enciphered    messages  
are   forbidden.  We   cannot  
are   forbidden.  We   cannot  
secure     our     radiant  
secure     our     radiant  
kingdom     with   secrets  
kingdom   with    secrets  
kept   from   each   other. 
kept   from   each   other. 
Second,  no   one   is   to  
Second,  no   one   is   to  
enter   the forest.  I have  
enter the  forest.  I have  
many     powerful   spells, 
many     powerful   spells, 
but   no   incantation will  
but   no incantation  will  
rid   the   forest   of   the  
rid   the   forest   of   the  
evils   that   have   awoken  
evils   that   have   awoken  
there.  You have all heard  
there.  You have all heard  
the   tales   presented by  
the   tales presented  by  
our   brave   military   men  
our   brave   military   men  
who   have   managed   to  
who   have   managed   to  
escape   the   forest   alive. 
escape   the   forest   alive. 
Finally,  I   have   set   a  
Finally,  I   have   set   a  
reward   for   reports   of  
reward   for   reports   of  
dissident   activity;    it  
dissident   activity;    it  
is   my   hope   that   by our  
is   my   hope   that by  our  
collective   watchful   eye, 
collective   watchful   eye, 
we   can   find   the source  
we   can   find the   source  
of   these   new   evils  
of   these   new   evils  
facing   us.  I   will   be  
facing   us.  I   will   be  
the   first   and   loudest  
the first   and   loudest  
to     celebrate     their  
to     celebrate     their  
passing.  Restoring   peace  
passing.  Restoring   peace  
will   allow me to pass on  
will   allow me to pass on  
the   regency   to   our fair  
the   regency   to   our fair  
princess,          having  
princess,          having  
successfully   observed   my  
successfully   observed    my  
oath   to   prepare   the  
oath   to   prepare   the  
kingdom   for   her   reign. 
kingdom   for   her   reign. 
I   long   for the day when  
I   long   for the day when  
the   glyphs of   her   name  
the glyphs  of   her   name  
appear   upon   the   crown  
appear   upon   the   crown  
that   is   rightfully   hers. 
that   is   rightfully   hers.

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Posted: 10 December 2013 03:05 PM
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phort99 - 10 December 2013 02:32 PM

If you resize the window text editor window so the two identical messages are side by side (make sure your text editor uses a fixed width font) you can cross your eyes so the two identical messages overlap. Some of the words are inset in the resulting 3D image. The inset words are the secret message.

I thought for sure you were just making this up but no this totally works.

Magic Eye hidden messages in a game announcement. Double Fine once again shows how they are the coolest kids at school =)

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Posted: 10 December 2013 03:13 PM
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Txt File deciphered!

“the embedded application is enciphered with the incantation presented by the first observed glyphs”

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