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Fallout 4 Nuclear Winter countdown concludes with new coded message

1 Dec 2013  by   Peter Parrish
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Fallout vaultboys

Are we being led on a merry dance here?

Update: Two new codes have appeared.

We’re not really any closer to knowing, conclusively, whether this thesurvivor2299.com site is a Fallout 4 hoax or an actual teaser site for a forthcoming announcement. The ‘Nuclear Winter is coming’ timer concluded today (after some suspicious hiccups,) resulting in … just another coded message.

That seems a bit underwhelming after a special countdown, honestly; and the server shenanigans that occurred before the new message appeared make me even more skeptical about this page than I was before.

Still, the new code and (now) decoded message keep the Fallout 4 ARG game going just a little longer. Perhaps in precisely the manner the hoaxer desires. The site’s new message ran as follows:

KVNGR REV ALPHA PPS VT PIZ UHMYLPVOQ CM XHWMZP. NBJB SPI’F BYQS QT D’Y BYFGEOB FI VQDYL MAQ. -NGQHT 5120- Nuclear winter has come

Thanks to the ever-diligent work of r/Fallout, this has been fairly quickly decoded. The first part (up to “PIZ”) is the code instructions. Keyed Vigenere cipher, reverse alphabet, passphrase Vault Tec. If you head to a site like this one hit the drop-down to say ‘decrypt,’ type the alphabet in reverse into the ‘alphabet key’ box, add ‘Vault Tec’ as the password and paste in everything from “PIZ” you should get the following:

THE INSTITUTE IS SEALED. THEY WON’T HELP US I’M HEADING TO BLACK ROW. -TBNLS 5120-

Another Institute reference (the MIT of Fallout) and the introduction of something called Black Row. Nobody seems to have convincingly figured out what ‘TBNLS 5120′ means just yet.

Again though, rather strange that a special countdown just lead to another code.

Update: There also appears to be new Morse code: “Calling all stations, this is overseer 119 emergency enemy unknown, SOS. Vault 119 Quabbin 7667, repeat, SOS, Vault 119 Quabbin 7667 enemy unknown”

So what are your thoughts everyone? Is this a hoax? Cast a vote in our ongoing poll.

[yop_poll id="12"]

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  1. Bryan
    +7

    Just typed in Vault 119 on google and got a site called Vault119.com that said secure your space today. Under that was a place to enter an email address. I entered one of mine and was givin a message that said “Your information will be held in the strictest confidence.” and nothing more.

    I’m not sure if this is connected in anyway to thesurvivor2299 but so far my inbox is empty and nothing has changed.

    December 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm

  2. Androme
    +11

    Vault119 is confirmed fake, you shouldn’t have given them your email address.

    December 1, 2013 at 11:37 pm

  3. Jeff
    -1

    Has anyone been to falloutorgins.com … linked from vaultofthefuture.com?

    Part of the falloutorigins.com source … 10.23.2014 … there is a solar eclipse that day… possibly coincidence.
    Fallout: Origins

    December 2, 2013 at 12:36 am

  4. Nick B
    +12

    i think it is important to point out that, according to Wikipedia, \Interplay’s rights to sell and merchandise Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel will expire on December 31, 2013.\. And apparently, Bethesda will for the first time have 100% of all the rights to fallout from here on out to do with as they please.

    when i saw this info around E3, i was pretty sure we wouldn’t hear anything from Bethesda about fallout until after December. considering they just went through a lawsuit over the series twice, the first time they lost. their lawyers might advise them to wait until no other company is attached to the series.

    i don’t know the specifics behind the lawsuit or if they would have to go through any legal sit downs and/or document signings with Interplay. but being less than a month away from that date, i would be a a little surprised that they announced now.

    with that being said, because they fought a lawsuit over the series and won, they are going to release another game, if not more. because you don’t spend the money to fight a lawsuit over something you don’t plan on doing anything with.

    another angle is to say Thesurvivor2299.com is the teaser to fallout 4 but due to the legal deadline, they are rolling it out without actually saying it’s fallout or directly connecting it to Bethesda. at the VGX awards, we could even see a few second of the clock counting down with the Morse code in the background, then the clock fades out but background sound still running, and then Thesurvivor2299.com fades up, then every few days a new clue and clock pops up to keep/generate more news until after the legal deadline, then it will actually say or forward you to the fallout 4 website. but that’s just me embracing the fun of Thesurvivor2299.com.

    whatever the site is or isn’t, doesn’t really matter, because, unless Bethesda goes bankrupt, a new fallout game is certainly being worked on. and in my opinion, they can take as much time as they need to make it right.

    just a few thoughts to keep the gears moving.

    December 2, 2013 at 2:42 am

  5. AnarchyArcher

    Not sure if this is a major find, but in the time since the page has gone dark – at least I haven’t been able to connect to it – I had one of the pages I had entered to search come back with this text:

    Welcome to nginx!

    The system (nginx) sounds like the kind would be used for the kind of site thesurvivor2299 is, but I don’t know if this is a red herring lead. In any case, I don’t know what to do with it.

    Here’s the source code, if anyone’s interested:

    Welcome to nginx!

    Welcome to nginx!

    December 2, 2013 at 3:30 am

    1. guest
      +1

      from this site:
      http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/screen-welcome-nginx-sign-aol-mail/

      “Nginx (Engine X) is an open source web server and reverse proxy server. Many websites use it, for example Facebook.

      The “Welcome to Nginx!” message means that something has gone awry on the server side. It’s a glitch.”

      December 2, 2013 at 3:42 am
      1. Yep. Probably overloaded and the server admin was in the process of reconfiguring the settings.

        December 2, 2013 at 4:56 am

  6. Calin
    +1

    I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, just in case anybody didn’t read my last one.

    If you right click on the website and hit “View Page Source”, you can look at the website’s direct code. In this code, there is quite a few spots that deal with an ‘Age Verification’ sequence, even though you don’t need to verify your age right now to get into the site. a few websites I have seen have done this in their code before launch, but most recently is the website for Payday 2.

    Does this mean it is official? No. Does this mean it will actually need age verification? no. All I’m saying is that some hoaxers have gone through a metric butt-ton of work covering their tracks if it turns out to be fake. Putting in fake code to make it seem more real is pretty damn intense if you ask me.

    But then again, so is creating Morse Code… and a phone line to play Fallout music… and putting in random codes for us to decipher…

    December 2, 2013 at 5:08 am

    1. Alan

      I think the age verification and the cookies are used to update the pages instead of what you think ! eg when this is 23 days only do this etc

      December 2, 2013 at 6:24 am

  7. Jason
    +4

    I do think its real. If you do a whois on thesurvivor2299.com, it comes back as registered to “ZeniMax Media Inc.” Which, according to google, is the parent company to Bethesda.

    December 2, 2013 at 7:50 am

  8. theshakal2179

    New morse code just popped up. Translated to as follows:

    CQ CQ DE VT 119 SOS LVL4 UND ATTK OS IS DEAD II SOS LVL4 UND ATTK OS IS DEAD WE WNT MK I+Q

    December 2, 2013 at 8:18 am

    1. Feannag
      +2

      Calling all stations, Calling all stations, this is Vault 119. Level Four under attack, Overseer is dead. Repeat- Level Four under attack, Overseer is dead. We won’t make it.

      December 2, 2013 at 9:24 am

  9. Lord Thrzday
    +3

    Every one seems to be forgetting one important thing, Bethesda religiously shoots down hoaxes, but when asked to comment on survivor 2299 the refuses, they have done this before, when news for skyrim was leaked just after e3 10 they also refused to comment, they have a really bad \poker face\ they never shoot down facts they just avoid commenting, proof when they where asked on the legitimacy of teaser trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGg6m7CEluE the almost instantly rejected it, they even complimented the fan who made it, then stated, it didn’t have that \obsidian touch\ they have pride in there work, and the sole fact they haven’t shot it down w/ burning spears from the sky, kind of gives survivor 2299 credibility till proven otherwise.

    December 2, 2013 at 9:04 am

  10. Feannag

    An interesting fact about the Quabbin Reservoir. It’s construction and the subsequent flooding of the valley are mentioned in two of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories- “The Colour Out of Space” and “The Dunwich Horror”.

    Noting Bethesda’s love of subtle Lovecraft references, it makes me wonder if we’ll find either of these locations if we explore the reservoir. (Assuming this whole thing is legit, and Fallout 4 is based in Massachusetts…)

    December 2, 2013 at 9:32 am
  11. Avatar of
    Scientist

    I’m not sure is thesurvivor2299.com is a hoax or not but I think shortly we will know.

    December 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm

  12. Feannag

    Latest Morse code translation from r/fallout: “Calling Black Row and other Stations, GX is Safe, too late LVL 4 breach, no survivors, 899 corpses we are leaving Vault 119, Over.”

    December 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm

  13. geddy76

    It’s most likely real. If it’s a hoax, they are doing Bethesda a favour.

    December 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm

  14. stasinua
    +3

    Maybe TBNLS: Time Boston Nuclear Launch Sequence?

    December 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm

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