Portal ASCII Images Revealed: Portal 2's First Screenshot?


Posted March 2, 2010 - By Stephen Johnson

Portal 2 ASCII Images Revealed

As we reported yesterday, some info seems to be leaking out about the yet-to-be announced sequel to Valve's Portal. The image you see above represents part of the prize at the end of an epic gamer-treasure hunt, and it may be the first "screenshot" from Portal 2.

Here's how it went down: Valve recently issued a patch for Portal that added a new achievement, "Transmission Received." Gamers on various internet message boards recognized a rabbit hole when they saw one and got to work figuring out what it meant.

  • The patch notes released via Steam read: "changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations"
  • The radios from Portal were carried from room-to-room, revealing weird radio interference in some places.
  • Gamers yanked .wav files out of game content folders and ran them through steganography/cryptography programs, revealing 26 mysterious messages in a numbered sequence.
  • The number strings were run through an md5 hash translator, and decoded into a telephone number near Kirkland, Washington.
  • It is a BBS, the ancient, pre-internet networks geeks used to use to share files, games and socialize.  
  • The BBS login and password were obtained through a clue on one of the files.
  • The BBS hosts a bunch of ASCII artwork. Check it out here.
  • Above, you see an image created from turning one of the ASCII pictures. It's believed to be the first "screenshot" from the game.

Is that an epic tale of adventure or what? Read more at Steam's official message board.

Tags: Videogames
Portal ASCII Images Revealed: Portal 2's First Screenshot?


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