It all began with a 80Mo update of the game Surgeon Simulator 2013 on Steam - purchase it btw, if not already done, it’s an awesome piece of challenge ! This game got quite a lot of fame lately, and even got rumours launched by the Half Life 3 conspiracy theorists because of some korean signs. It was actually announcing the begin of an even bigger mystery… Later on called « Code name : Trisha », the update is at first not quite visible. And the evidence previously found, before the update, that wasn’t even solved at the time, was just part of it all. Theories ? We are going to space. Again. And we’ll do some more surgeries. ON ALIENS ?! And so began our adventure to find the secret of a surgeon’s terrible discoveries…
Where to begin, then ? We looked through everything that seemed to have changed. Signs on a notepad, differences during surgeries, readable names on objects… ANYTHING ! That got us a few things already : dialing possible on the phone, mysterious series of digits, Barnardshire General’s website, 9-seconds-long track with noises, bunch of achievements making us dream… But the saddest, Trisha’s number was wrong and we had to recover it, at the cost of Bob’s life ! Nigel, where the hell did you leave the number ? Your Love’s number !
The first part of the enigma wasn’t at the same place anymore. Instead of being at the bottom of the TF2’s Medic toy you get for heavy undergoing surgery, it was at the back of the Medicine Diploma. A line of dots, smaller dots, bigger dots, an arrow… Looking like the solar system, the few theories so far were that the arrow pointed to Saturn. Not only that, there was a word written in korean (시간은, siganngeun), meaning « Time ». What time ? Would it be about when we see Saturn between Venus and Mercure (26/09/2013) ? When Nigel’s got his diploma (16/02/1987) ? The time on the OST album cover (00:37) ? The time on Nigel’s watch in his avatar picture on tumbr (19:04’38)? Maybe something associated to Saturn. Did we have to turn the letters to digits ? When a fest in honnor to Saturn, God of time, was held (12 for december) ? Next year all planets were supposed to form a line (2161) ? The number of moons, rings, satellites Saturn has ? Was the curved arrow linking Saturn to an interrogation point meaning movement ? Did it have to do with Saturn at all ?
On the website, a section « contact info » contained some numbers – that we all dialed carefully –, and calling the Surgery Team’s one (805 54 194 999) lead to a black out, only to wake up with another VHS on the desk. A drawing similar to the one previously found was there, and GGN4X was also written. Putting it in the TV, and the sentence « The ? is in your pocket » popped on the screen, flashing briefly « Britannia 1988 ». Same name as the encyclopedia on floppy discs helping us learn surgery since the begining. Someone googled it – everything needs to be googled. Britannia 1988 are gold coins. Gold ? Would it be the atomic number of gold, 79 ? Or would it be about the Medic’s pocket ? Did we need the OcculusRift technology to see in Nigel’s pocket ? Was it about pens in pockets ? Googling GGN4X appeard to coincidentially make a lot of medical website show up… But Dr. Jain has probably nothing to do with it all. Proof was later given that Nigel was in fact… a flying bodyless arm.
These were still just two parts of the puzzle. These two clues lead obviously to a 6-digits code, to enter on the device’s panel visible in every space surgery, that was usable during the last one only. During all these searches, some also used a Unity Explorer tool to go through the textures. Traces of an alien video tape, an alien patient and alien hand possibly confirming the theory of alien surgery were found, some numbers (09 and 93), but that was all. Words on the back of Nigel’s beloved radio : ‘BLACK HERON’, googled it and found a track called ‘???’ full of noises. A spectrogram didn’t get us any picture, and playing around in Audacity didn’t get us anywhere either.
Back to Trisha ! The number she left before on a post-it was wrong. The one sticked on the phone didn’t work either. Nigel even complained on his tumblr and IG notepad ! So was it linked to the digits on the notepad (1244281 or /24428/) ? Someone messing around Bob in different surgeries then found out that making a hole in the bloodbag during the hear transplant would make a paper with ‘09’ appear, and that ‘93’ was wirtten inside a pills bottle during the kidney transplant. The textures found earlier ! That would mean… Trisha’s number was there, dispersed in the various levels. A hunt started. Getting high during the brain surgery got us ‘26’ on the laser box. Lasering the bloody note on the inside door of the cupboard in the ambulance heart transplant got us ‘07’. A reflection, on the notepad of the ambulance kidney transplant, got us a ‘18’. And finally, there was a ‘50’ on the road during the last ambulance surgery. That was it, Trisha’s number. The finger shuddering, we dialed, slowly. Black out. And a note appeared on the desk. Oooh, Trish. Darling. Out of rage, scribbeling on it got an interesting result : the last part of the puzzle… Two digits to put in the middle : 61.
Time to look back on the other parts, now… Or using bruteforce ? It was down to 6561 possibilities, now, after all. We quickly got fed up, giving up to return into elaborating new theories, or horribly murdering the poor Bob. It was late, many went to rest their tortured brain. And so ended up the first day of research.
Some disturbed persons stayed up to slowly brainstorm together, desperate for a solution – of course, I was part of the batallion. Too caught up in the thing, like many, it seems like I had a sleepless night before me. A few were still trying bruteforce, alas ! Others critisized the use of force. We were just turning in circle, looking for any way possible to grasp at straws. If only there was a delicious beverage leading to somewhere at the other end of the straw… ! That’s how we finally looked in and around each and every Orange Burst bottle. Useless, needless to say. And that’s when I took my leave to take a little nap.
Who helped uncovering all that ?
alensamhaineld, panfoot6, The Derr Man, MattShea369, Miker525, NewWorldPunk, Suyooo, ghasteater100, karmarok, FoxPeels, AjgorB25HD, Peetie, MaddeStudios, ApplePieEater, Jethro, Something or other, Thunder1, charles560, Imp3rialdron3, morbosfist, Dasorine, Zack, myself & probably many others.
Original steam thread here. Reddit thread here.
Game’s website here.