Metacortechs ARG / Project MU

List of questions for the upcoming PM-chat V1.09




1.            [BriEnigma] How did the project get started?


2.            [BriEnigma] How much money went into this? We can kind of calculate the prices of the stock photos, hosting, and voicemail--but what about the other things: the outbound calls, Wongmo's phone line, or whatever else?


3.            [Wishi] Did you have any funding for it? Did you begin to run out of the money you'd set aside and that's why some of the sites never appeared and there seemed to be quite an abrupt end?


4.            [King Mob] How did you develop the idea of taking ARG's to the next level, into the realm of reality? The CD's, the Halloween telephone call, etc.


5.            [King Mob] I'd still like to know how you decided which cities to put the CDs in, and where, and which game-players to phone, etc. And was that guy at the Cyberia Internet cafe that Trip visited in on the whole thing?


6.            [King Mob] What was the timeline of events, within the game? In terms of when Avery disappeared, when the Nekodas were captured, etc.


7.            [King Mob] Was this just inspired by the Matrix, or was it also set within the Matrix? If set within the Matrix, at what point was it occuring in relation to the Matrix trilogy?


8.            [Karl H] WHY DID THE GAME END? Did any team solve it? Was it planned to end on a certain date?


9.            [Moatie] Can there be a source, one big zip file of all the images, text, and HTML, swf, media etc... made up.


10.       [Omnie] For that matter, was there anything else we were supposed to get that we totally missed?


11.       [Omnie] *ahem* ????


12.       [Xtrava] There are huge amounts of things that aren’t explained, maybe on purpose...?


13.       [Karl H] Can I get my own Metadex? Please...?!


14.       [Medemia] Was there a Cyberpunk website somewhere?


15.       [Medemia] Schuffhausen wasn't on your website list. Was that impromptu?


16.       [Karl H] What's metacore.bit from the Project MU credits?


17.       [Cyfre] This ARG, while great and amazing, seems to have ended abruptly and without any real conclusion. Was the "climax" what we all experienced, or is this just a chapter in what could easily be an ARG to be experienced in instalments?


18.       [Niobexrev] Have you looked at the T-shirt thread? Like was it okay for us to make T-shirts based on this game?


19.       [Omnie] I wonder...are you guys going to post a plot outline? Because we really haven't figured it all out yet.


20.       [Niobexrev] What did you guys think of Revolutions? (give us a review)


21.       [Catherwood] Will there be a bloopers reel?


22.       [Colin] Can we still find how lifeandcasulaty fits in?


23.       [Catherwood] Is Project MU pronounced "moo" or "mew"?


24.       [Sh1ft] What was the most amusing 404 error from Apache's error_log?


25.       [ChainedLightning] Where can we get a hi-res copy of the last .bh picture without the writing on it?


26.       [Wix] What was the motivation behind this project? Was it backed by any financial organization, or just a hobby?


27.       [Bagsbee] Will there be a sequel? (I fear for your safety if the answer is not "YES")


28.       [Bagsbee] Was there a lot of brute forcing going on?


29.       [Bagsbee] Did anyone actually try/succeed in hacking any of the sites?


30.       [Bagsbee] Are there any legal issues faced by having a tie-in with a certain movie which shall remain nameless?


31.       [Burnin] What about the spelling of Metacortex/Metacortechs. Why there are two?



PM’ing this game


32.       [BriEnigma] As the ARG unfolded, did you have to keep in close contact with one another? With various forums? With IRC? (Any cool anecdotes?)


33.       [BriEnigma] How much did you deviate from your original plans/scripts/whatever for the sake of interactivity? For example: Trip's CD pickup, Beth's log referring to the unexpected snow/slush in the Portland area, etc.


34.       [BriEnigma] Will we get a chance to peek at your story/plot/character notes? Were they as messy and convoluted as this:


35.       [ThirdRenaissance] Will you be doing another ARG? Perhaps suggest the idea to the WB?


36.       [Moatie] Who did the voice of Wongmo/Dr. Shuffhausen on those phone calls?


37.       [FlanInTheFace] Did you get frustrated when people who called thought it wasn't in-game?


38.       [Anthrax101] At what points did we do something totally unexpected that caught you by surprise, and how did it change the story?


39.       [Moatie] What were your feelings when the sites were looked up by reversed WHOIS, and we knew about them prematurely?


40.       [Karl H] It would be nice if you could make a history over the progression of the game, i.e. what team solved which puzzle first and so on...


41.       [Moatie] Was the Beth on AIM the same person or multiple people? What kind of setup did you guys use? How many simultaneous chats were there?


42.       [Flynn] was the Beth on AIM/YM a bot or a real person?


43.       [Omnie] Who wrote Dina? YOU ROCK! Seriously, go write a book. Please?


44.       [Colin] How many hours do you think it took to prepare this?


45.       [Colin] How did you choose when to update, when players found something, or was it pre-planned? Why so late at night (US time)?


46.       [Colin] How many unique hits did everything get (well not everything just the most hit and the least hit)?


47.       [Colin] What puzzle did we solve quicker than you thought, and which was slower?


48.       [ChainedLightning] Have you had any contact with Warner Brothers or the Wachowski brothers, and, if so... what was said?


49.       [Yanka] Who wrote brutus3.mic?


50.       [Yanka] Were you VERY frustrated when we couldn't figure out how theyaremissing = Averies = Emersons = Nekodas?


51.       [Wishi] Are you all interested in the paranormal too?


52.       [Trip] Are they just a bunch of friends playing together, or was there a point? What about Karetao?


53.       [Bagsbee] Are you guys Karetao or associated with it?


54.       [Omnie] I hope you guys didn't get too annoyed about the Karetao leak thing...


55.       [Catherwood] Are we [unFiction] the biggest group of players? Were there competeing forums?


56.       [Trip] Which one of you was the main writer?


57.       [Omnie] Did you guys enjoy, what's the word...artistic tributes?


58.       [Catherwood] Did the players ever find any plot hole or inconsistancy you had to plug up?


59.       [Wishi] Were you up as many hours of the day as us? ;)


60.       [Lolo_vast] Who created the oct 31 voice mail?


61.       [TheGuru19] How the hell did you accomplish the 1,000 phone calls on Halloween?


62.       [Lolo_vast] Do you feel a pretty significant sense of accomplishment?


63.       [Xnbomb] To what degree did you guys keep an eye on us?


64.       [FlanInTheFace] Were there any IRC spies on #matrix?


65.       [Giskard] After the thing with the Aquapolis FTP site went wrong, you switched to website locations. Was that planned, or was that a deviation from the orignial plan for security’s sake (i.e. were all other locations also planned to be FTP?)


66.       [Bagsbee] Other than the FTP/HTTP snafu, were there ay other major blunders on your part?


67.       [Bagsbee] Who did Wongmo's Mailbag?


68.       [Bagsbee] Were you as amazed as I was by the dedication of certain players to the game? For example, BrianEnigma's repository at NetNinja (claps loudly)?


69.       [Anthrax101] Were any of you in any way related to Lokinz (the player that found MLO’s password)?



Characters / Storyline


70.       [BriEnigma] If Avery was garbage-collected, what's up with the Dimitri photos? Was that the "new" Avery?


71.       [BriEnigma] What music did Scratch use?


72.       [BriEnigma] What were Kat's dealings with Agent Jones? Was she supposed to be a not-so-likable "good guy" or a "bad guy?"


73.       [ThirdRenaissance] Did you make an employee page for Thomas Anderson? If so, what is the login/password?


74.       [Critter42] Was there any meaning to Random's "quotes" and what tool was used to generate them?


75.       [Monki] So, now that Beth has some free time, do you think I can get her number? I haven't been to Washington in a while and I'd love to spend some time up there.


76.       [Flavin] What were the hacker aliases/extensions? (Did we get them correct?)


77.       [Insomniac] What were all those damn AIM conversations with Beth about!?!?


78.       [Anthrax101] How did you pick the hackers names? What were the ones we missed?


79.       [Moatie] From your perspective, who were the bad guys and the good guys: Marcus Ormond, Kathterine, Wongmo?


80.       [Moatie] Was Phillip intended to be the academic ideologue?


81.       [Moatie] Did Beth have a "relationship" with Avery or Phillip?


82.       [Omnie] Did Avery actually die? If he did, what was with those pics of him crawling around and randomly walking around barbed wires?


83.       [Omnie] What was with Dina's dream, the one that sounded like the "real" world?


84.       [Omnie] Why didn't anyone get unplugged?


85.       [Omnie] Monitors = Agents?


86.       [Omnie] Did Kat do something to Laika?


87.       [Omnie] Oh, and Dimitri...who was he? Whose side was he on?


88.       [Omnie] Why did Dina have to DIE?!?!?


89.       [Omnie] Explain the whole Zurich thing. Did Avery go? Wasn't he dead by then? Did Beth go with him, or was she talking about some other trip?


90.       [Omnie] Err, what exactly was the fate of the Collector?


91.       [Omnie] Why didn't Beth wake up when she understood that the world wasn't real?


92.       [Omnie] Why did AQN's relocation seem like a glitch? Was he doing anything sinister to Dina?


93.       [Omnie] Who was Leak/.bh?


94.       [Omnie] What exactly did Jesse find out, and what did it have to do with Metacortex? If the answer to that last bit is "nothing", then why the cover up? What was Metacortex doing that was so evil? Safesys?


95.       [Omnie] Who was Todd Rogan? (Scratch?)


96.       [Omnie] Who was the girl in the pic with Jesse? (Texel?)


97.       [Omnie] What was Random smoking, and where would I get some?


98.       [Omnie] Was there something we were supposed to get from him that we didn't?


99.       [ChainedLightning] Why was MLO away from the office so much?


100.   [Medemia] Since Katgirl gave the info about Beth to the agents, is Beth truly safe?


101.   [Flavin] What about Cairo? What did these two items on Phillip’s list mean: “Check on EM” and “Call UH about LK”


102.   [Colin] Did Revolutions affect the way the game ended or change anything at all?


103.   [Yanka] Who was the British investor?


104.   [Yanka] What would have screwed up Avery's flash?


105.   [Yanka] Latin text?? Why 4 anomalies?


106.   [Yanka] Mr. Rhineheart - was he supposed to be in Redland's db?


107.   [Yanka] Did Scratch leave with the gang? Why didn't he ever post in to-night?


108.   [Yanka] Why did the animosity between Scratch and Caesar start?


109.   [Yanka] Did you intentionally borrow last names from the shorts on the official site (Drummond, Avery)?


110.   [Yanka] How/why did Kat die?


111.   [Yanka] Was Leak supposed to be AI? Or did he/she turn into one after the theory was proposed here? Why wasn't he/she "able" in to-night?


112.   [Yanka] Was Wongmo/Kane/etc. supposed to live in Hawaii? If not, then where did Phil spy on him?


113.   [Yanka] What were projects Labyrinth, Gorgon, and Daedalus supposed to be about?


114.   [Xnbomb] Near the end when all the websites went down, right around the time when I imagined Beth's friend would have been doing his magic for the hackers with the version space, was this your way of creating for us a superwhomp in terms of the media by which this game is communicated?


115.   [Xnbomb] What did Marcus Ormond know about Avery's disappearance? Was he genuinely looking for him as it appeared, or was he in on his disappearance (or even a cover-up of his disappearance to allow a smooth transition of power to maintain stock value)?


116.   [ChainedLightning] Did ya'll mean to make look so much like a young Carrie-Anne Moss?


117.   [Catherwood] Why Pleasanton, CA for a murpha project?


118.   [Flavin] What was beth's middle name?


119.   [Giskard] And what about MLO’s?


120.   [Omnie] What was up with Stone Jeffreys? What was his purpose?


121.   [Omnie] Could you explain Kat's story arc? Who was she working for? Did she actually do anything to Beth's mom?


122.   [Omnie] Why did GC malfunction? What was the problem there?


123.   [Omnie] Jesse's post about his epilepsy - when did that happen? His time with the Emersons, or earlier? (That was a great piece of writing, btw)


124.   [Omnie] What was the deal with MLO's request to be transferred to Seoul, and Avery's refusal? Also - Emily? Who?


125.   [FlanInTheFace] Was naming one of the hackers Statik a tribute to Statik who found the Metacortechs website?


126.   [Wix] Why the brevity of the storyline? The plot seemed a good base, seemingly with a bunch of possible offshoots. Why not take it further/deeper?


127.   [Bagsbee] Was there more planned for the Phillip/AQN arc? I still don't get how it tied in the main plot?


128.   [Worker] What does life look like for Phillip and the other characters (MLO, SafeSys, ...)?


129.   [Omnie] What was Robert Emerson's relation to Ryan?


130.   [Omnie] Why did the Emersons get reprogrammed if the Averys were killed?


131.   [Omnie] I don't know if it's just me, but I really don't understand exactly what the GC did. In the pictures (if those pictures are of the Averys), it looks like Agents were after them. Where does the GC come into this? He freed up their memories after they died?



The Aquapolis


132.   [BriEnigma] What was up with The Aquapolis/SafeSys?


133.   [Critter42] Where did you film the Aquapolis cams (especially the drowned guy)?


134.   [Yanka] What was on Delos in Aquapolis?


135.   [Yanka] Wth were the webcam updates supposed to represent?


136.   [Yanka] Please explain the breach codes in the logs


137.   [Yanka] Why was the beta module breached in the first incident? Was it not a flood?


138.   [Yanka] Was there a missing level in the Aquapolis?


139.   [Xnbomb] I imagine that the Aquapolis is some particular PM's baby. It is really very cool . Kudos! I love it as a concept ... but if I was ever going to go inside it, I'd bring scuba gear :-). I built some pretty detailed spatial datafiles of the Aquapolis that allows the creation of decent 3D renders of it, and the datasets I've built also represents it in a sort of object structure. With a little work, it is capable of being a very cool and realistic looking sort of SafeSys interface (i.e. it can easily show the Aquapolis from any perspective, and can change any object any color you'd like to signify it's condition...). If you'd ever like to do any more with it, I'd be happy to contribute some of the material I've designed. I'd love to chat with the PM who designed the Aquapolis about it ... I'm sure Yanka would too.



Little Boxes


140.   [BriEnigma] What really *WAS* the pattern to the paranormal events?


141.   [Flavin/BJC] If xnbomb and Moriar had come up with good arguments for some other place, would we be hearing from Beth about that place instead?


142.   [Xnbomb] To the extent that is possible, please describe how you decided to place the paranormal events in space and time. I think we ended up with a pretty good idea of both the spatial and temporal extents of the pattern, but I'm curious about what the method used was, and just how precisely it described locations and times of occurrence. If the idea that you took a cue from our speculations as to where subsequent events were to occur is in fact the case... I think I will... explode! BTW, I'm a geographer by trade, so this kind of question is my obsession, both professionally and recreationally.


143.   [Yanka] Archive #58 (c. attachments) - was there even an attachment?


144.   [Yanka] What was "‘attar say rye in’" in Archive 56?



Paranormal Journal


145.   [Moatie] Seems like a ton of effort went into the Paranormal research Journal Site. Was there more of a story line planned? Are there clues there that we missed?



Underscore Hosting


146.   [RicarDog] Was there a valid login for USH Members page?





147.   [Alan Eising] Will the winners of the wongmo contest recieve their price? (I really want my t-shirt :)


148.   [King Mob] What purpose did Wongmo/AQN's character serve?


149.   [Joebrent] Did you guys have as much fun writing Wongmo stuff as we did reading it?


150.   [CriminallySane] I still think that Wongmo's center was supposed to spell out 'Wanker.' Lil easter egg in there, mebbe?



The Nekodas


151.   [Colin] Was ../autumnal.html there all the time? Did it frustrate you that we didn't find it?


152.   [Yanka] Did we miss any of Dina's pages?


153.   [Omnie] What did we miss in our interpretations of Dina's hidden writings?




154.   [Bagsbee] Was the background for Paintover stock? If not, who did it (very creepy and "Ring"-like)?




155.   [Peter Magenheimer] What was so special about


156.   [King Mob] Why did you make Oct. 1 so @*&)%$£ complex?


157.   [Critter42] Where were the screwed-up subway LED signs filmed?


158.   [Flavin] Did we solve the carelessly.qm2 correctly?


159.   [Moatie] What was the relevance of Boston Parking Garage 8-23?


160.   [Moatie] Was tuxmp_ from #matrix one of the PM's, or some other player who had figured out MLO’s password?


161.   [Anthrax101] Explain the october 1st picture.


162.   [Moatie] Do you have a transcript of that phone call on Oct 31


163.   [Karl H] Please translate the Greek text on SafeSys page at Project Mu site


164.   [Omnie] Explain the Dimitri files - from who, given to who?


165.   [Omnie] Were the pics of the Agent encounter on the CD really from the Avery takeover?


166.   [Omnie] What was "the 2nd event" that Ormond refers to in his heismissing notes? For that matter, what's the first event?


167.   [Omnie] What's the significance of the "no trespassing" pic on the CD? Kat?


168.   [Cyfre] Were there any backward messages on the Halloween call we all received?


169.   [Yanka] Code strings in flash and screensaver - did they mean anything?


170.   [Yanka] Was there a puzzle in carelessly.doc (also)?


171.   [Yanka] What was "extension granted" in MLO's files about?


172.   [Yanka] Were the binary filenames translated correctly?


173.   [Yanka] Was there anything in ""?


174.   [Yanka] The scrambled letters in Avery's flash and Metacortex on Halloween - did that mean anything?


175.   [Yanka] How were we supposed to interpret the phonecall?


176.   [Sh1ft] Did we miss any steganographic files? (If not, why weren't there more?)


177.   [Xnbomb] How did the idea to use Betamaze for a puzzle come up? Did you think we'd solve it by finding it on the web or through substitution? In your wildest dreams, did you think the result of your using it as a puzzle result in a huge spike in interest in betamaze and betamaze generating and decoding technology? Have you had any contact with Terrana Cliff (inventor of Betamaze)? I have and she's a little amazed by all this.


178.   [Yeahyeah] Okay, so what was the deal with the Betamaze? Were the misspellings on purpose?


179.   [Yeahyeah] The general who what where why and how would be nice too… (such as how did you know of betamaze, was it hand drawn, were corrections made to even up parts, etc.)


180.   [Xnbomb] Were's Caesar's images designed to thwart the detection of their messages by algorithmic analysis (i.e. to keep an AI or person using a computer from easily ascertaining their meaning)?


181.   [Xnbomb] Re: October 1 image: what is that red thing the girl is looking at? I ... must ... know


182.   [Xnbomb] What is the font used for the 'Always to have lessons to learn!' text? Is the metagraphology article in PNJ any kind of hint at all? It seems awfully pertinent to an unidentifiable font!


183.   [Yanka] The wallpaper background - what was that?


184.   [Yanka] Where was the Santa Monica CD?


185.   [Yanka] What generated Random's "borsch-poo"?


186.   [Giskard] What’s up with the CascadeVortex picture? Was it intentionally fake-looking?


187.   [Catherwood] No unsolved puzzles for us to track down? No easter eggs hiding anywhere?


188.   [Catherwood] Did i miss an explanation of whether that overlay [on Oct.1 pic] was indeed a skeleton?


189.   [Omnie] MLO's notes on sheismissing - why does she have no credit history? Why the receipt from Chicago?


190.   [Omnie] MLO's notes on heismissing - "She wanted contact info // long distance bills" Who is she?


191.   [Omnie] The subway morse code message - that wasn't in Dina's dream. How did that happen? Was someone sending her a message? Is there a plot-related explanation for this?


192.   [Worker] Were there any puzzles that took hours/days/weeks to create, and we solved in minutes?


193.   [Worker] Were there any puzzles that took minutes to create, and we solved in hours/days/weeks/never?


194.   [Worker] Why didn't you tell us to stop looking at the October 1 picture?!


195.   [Fubarz] In Beth’s travel around the world with Collector, was there any pattern or were they just points picked at random?


196.   [FlanInTheFace] Did you get the idea for the Phoenix aspect of Schuffhausen from the Firebird-part1.mp3 submitted by Joe B. or was that planned all along?


197.   [Wix] What was the target audience of this ARG? What was the knowledge background targeted? It appears that your puzzles were rather shallow, when they certainly could have been more complex. Kudos to the tapestry maker, though.


198.   [Wix] Did you ever think of deeper puzzles? Did you contemplate taking pieces of one solved puzzle and another "unrelated" puzzle, and combining them for yet another clue?


199.   [Bagsbee] What were the missing composers for BALLADSOFFROGS? I don't think we ever positively identified 1,5 and 10.


200.   [Bagsbee] Were there ever any logins for Metacortechs?


201.   [Bagsbee] Is there some reason, other than sheer sadism, that you didn't/couldn't direct us away from 10/1 Paintover pic?


202.   [Bagsbee] Was there anything to the binary filenames at Paintover ("FIND THEM")? Or was that just more "finding shapes in the clouds"?


203.   [ChainedLightning] The missing letters on the employee directory for Avery - surely ya'll weren't pointing to a football game between Miame and Tennessee? What were we supposed to get from it?


204.   [Trip] Was there anything I should have done at Cyberia Chicago that I didn't do? (Was there questions I could have asked, or information I could have gotten, had I said other things?) If I had left a note with my e-mail address at Cyberia Chicago, would Dina have e-mailed me?


205.   [Trip] Where the leaves in the Indy book in game, or a funny coincidence?


206.   [Trip] How many calls did Dr. Shauffhausen get, and how did we do getting information from him? It took us a little while to realize it was in game!


207.   [Omnie] What was with all the pictures of music on Dina's hidden pages?


208.   [Omnie] What were we supposed to get from the sketch of Jesse, "I'm holding on" and the butterfly on the door?


209.   [Omnie] Dina's "The Picture" - no connection with Oct. 1st at all then? Were you aware of how similar it was?


210.   [Wix] Did you plan to send that [Halloween] phonecall to begin with? Or was it something you had to do to point us towards the noble/roman thing?





1.            [Joebrent] Ozy, I linked to that 80's quiz from your journal, and missed out on getting 100% because I misspelled "Jessie's Girl" (I spelled it 'Jesse', so it's clearly your fault). I'm trying to have the Supreme Court order a recount, will you be available to testify?


2.            [BriEnigma] When can people in cities near the various PMs take them out for a congratulatory drink? It sounds like a New York thing has been planned--but what about other cities?