1. source code

In this context, source code is the raw html of the web page in question. It can be viewed by right-clicking anywhere on the page and selecting "View Page Source" in Netscape (or something similar in other browsers). Since your browser only displays that information which the code specifies it to display, the creator of the page may have included otherwise "hidden" meta information in the source code, or even inserted clues as "comments".

2. brute force

Using a program to bombard a site with scripted input or page requests in order to 'solve' a form-based puzzle or discover hidden directories or pages.

taken from: unfiction

3. ARG

Alternate Reality Gaming: A genre of interactive fiction using multiple delivery and communications media, including television, radio, newpapers, Internet, email, SMS, telephone, voicemail, and postal service. Gaming is typically comprised of a secret group of PuppetMasters who author, manipulate, and otherwise control the storyline, related scenarios, and puzzles and a public group of players, the collective detective that attempts to solve the puzzles and thereby win the furtherance of the story.

taken from: unfiction

4. PM

Puppetmaster: An individual working "behind the curtain" to control an alternate reality game.

taken from: unfiction

5. #matrix

The chatroom used by unfiction players for discussing this game.


It's easy to notice that the first letters of the first three words in the caption "Grabbing Internet Files" form the word "gif" - a common picture file extension. Since the file that was captioned with this was called 00001001.jpg, someone thought of changing the extension (jpg) to .gif, and indeed, such a file was there.

7. stegged images

Steganography: Hiding a secret message by concealing it within another medium, such that the secret message is undetectable unless you know to look for it. For example, a message might be hidden within an image by changing the least significant bits to be the message bits.

taken from: unfiction

8. base 64

base64 is a data encoding scheme whereby binary-encoded data is converted to printable ASCII characters.

taken from: wikipedia

*It looks like the converter LokiNZ used may not be available anymore, in which case a good substitute is here.

9. paintover puzzles

The paintover puzzles usually involved a trial-and-error of the image's elements: the speaker of the quote would be the userid; the filename - the missing/incorrect word in the quote; and the password, domain, and directories would be derived from other elements of the graphic.

10. Labyrinth

Months later we found that Labyrinth was actually quite a real project - created by MU PMs, Labyrinth is an application designed to develop and record storylines and plots; available for download here.

11. ROT

ROT stands for ROTation - meaning to rotate letters of the alphabet forward. The
alphabet wraps around, so ROT-1 would mean that a=b, b=c, c=d.....x=y, y=z, z=a.
There are 25 possible ROT settings, covering the scope of the alphabet.

taken from: unfiction

12. Image Names

How did we know the boy's name was Jesse? Simply look at the picture names (right-click on the image, choose "properties", and identify the filename).

13. 00011010.jpg

It is easy to see that Scratch compiled his image from this image on the Nekodas' homepage and the picture of MC's headquarters. We knew that the image of the MC building lead to the domain where the new set of files was hosted; however, the Nekodas' clouds were determined to be Scratch's reference to Caesar's "agenda" (namely, his connection to the Nekodas).

14. Leak

A while back xnbomb had this theory that .bh (a.k.a. Leak) was actually an AI, who defied Caesar's attempts to divert the matrix bots by using images as clues; and, since most of the Urchins never met rl, was able to hide the fact that he wasn't human; this theory was so well-received by the PMs that they... well, here's what they said:

I loved the speculation regarding .bh. It was concise, logical, exciting. It seemed only natural that Leak should then demur, politely, to join the rest at the Vortex. He was simply not able. :D

krystyn, PM


That^ is what you get if you look up Katherine Cunningham in Redland Database as of Nov. 19th. We know "transferred" means trouble (after all, that is what the record states for Thomas Anderson), but don't know what kind of trouble it means specifically for Katherine :/