Top 5 Most Interesting ARGs

Top 5 Most Interesting ARGs

If you have been on the internet long enough, you have most likely stumbled across an ARG before. ARG is an acronym for “Alternate Reality Game.” Basically, from my interpretation, it is a story told through cryptic messages and imagery that the viewer would have to solve in order to progress in the telling. Most ARG stories come off as disturbing, in fact they can be categorized in the horror genre. In this article, we will be looking at the Top 5  Most Interesting ARGs on the internet.

5. Ben and Ed

In 2015, a game called Ben and Ed would be released for PC. Ben and Ed is a platformer with the premise of Wipeout. You play as Ed, a zombie forced into a game show in order to save Ben, who’s a child. When reaching a specific checkpoint within the game, there is a secret pathway above the player. After climbing up the wall made of blocks, you can reach this path. The path also consists of blocks that give away after stepping on them, which forces you to run. The atmosphere is very dark, so dark you only see the path itself. At the end of the path, you see a sign. “Go to smiley face + book (Facebook) Bennnnnnned.” When searching the account on the specific social media platform, you are given a page with cryptic imagery which have deeper meaning when editing them. On March 6, 2016, a new mode would be added to the game known as “Bencalypse.” If you beat Bencalypse, you will be greeted by a flashing screen which says that you can’t free Ben, along with referencing the Facebook page from earlier. However, in the bottom right corner, you can see GPS coordinates, which lead to Essen, Germany. Ryan Voosen would arrive at the location to find a package which contained drawings, an old iPhone, a torn up picture, and a bone. The coordinates had also led Ryan to a drain, one that was shown on the Facebook page. People began to ask Sluggerfly, the developers of Ben and Ed, what exactly was the meaning of this. They responded by saying they don’t have any association with the Facebook page, the coordinates, the package, or even the easter egg in the game. BersGamer, a streamer that had been studying the ARG, would fly out to do an interview with the two main developers, Christian Patorra, and Dominik Plassmann. When asked about the ARG, they said that some of the content in the game was outsourced by someone they only knew through the internet, and went by the name “Benedict.” From that point BersGamer, Ryan Voosen, and the 2 developers would go back to the drain to find another package. This one included more drawings, fabric, another torn up photo, and a piece of a bank note from Hong Kong. The group investigated a nearby abandoned building, where they found more clues including more bones. This would be cut short after realizing that they weren’t alone. The Facebook page would stay active, posting more cryptic imagery, along with referencing the group’s visit to Essen by saying the “sacrifice” shall begin. One of the images on the page showed a picture of Ben with four cut marks, along with listing locations such as France. As expected, a package was found in France after finding coordinates within another post from the Facebook account. This package contained another piece of the photo, along with the other part of the bank note. There were also coordinates to Italy, which led to a package which contained more drawings, a screw, and bone fragments. From here, we can put together the story of this ARG. From what it seems, Ben had been dismembered into four pieces, and each piece would be stashed in a specific location. Essen, France, and Italy, and as of now an unknown location. We can also assume that Ben was dead before his dismemberment, for though some clues hint that he had drowned, which would explain why most of the locations were either at the sewers, and or body of water. As of writing this, this ARG hasn’t made much progress, yet we may see more added in the nearer future.

4. gunslingerpro2009

On June 13th, 2017, a Youtube channel known as gunslingerpro2008 would begin to post short Team Fortress 2 videos created from Garry’s Mod. If you are unaware, years ago there were videos based off of Team Fortress 2 characters while using Garry’s Mod. These videos would lack quality,because there was never really any animation. Instead, ragdolls would be puppeteered by the physics gun to create the illusion of walking, and moving limbs. On Nov 21st, 2019, a video called “spy is sandvich” would be uploaded to the channel. In the video, we see the red heavy walking down a hallway with the help of the physics gun. He stops in his tracks when seeing a sandwich on the floor. He goes to further examine it, but is left in utter confusion when it vanishes and reappears as a blue spy. The spy has moves smoother than the heavy as he is fully animated. He turns towards the screen and begins to bang on it constantly. Due to his body language, one can assume that this is a cry for help. We can see the blue light of the physics gun from the side of the screen. The video lags and shows one frame of the spy being pushed to the ground by the physics gun followed by a faint scream. In the next video, gunslinger shows how to create a walking cycle for ragdolls. After showing an example with a red soldier, he goes to remove him. Before getting rid of him, the soldier shakes his head no. He then demonstrates how to create a walking cycle using the blue spy from the previous video. Towards the end of the video however, the spy uses the walking cycle to his advantage in order to run away from gunslinger. Unfortunately for him, this plan fails because gunslinger goes into noclip in order to fly over to him. The next video differs from all of his other videos, for though it acts more like a lost recording than an average Gmod video from 2010. From the overall environment we know that we are in the dark room on the map Construct. The way this is recorded leaves us to believe that the cameraman is very small. Not only that, but he may not be human as we see two spider legs in front of the camera. After moving around the floor for a while, we see a glimpse of the one holding the camera via the mirror. We see that is a creature made up of a cardboard box, a watermelon, and the blue spy’s severed head. Realizing what the spy had become, he charges at the mirror causing it to fall over and reveal the exit out of the dark room. At the end of the hall we say two ragdolls in positions as if they’re in a video. Gunslinger then appears, physics gun in hand, and charges at what remains of the spy. The next video is similar to his very first video, where the red sniper had turned into an object. However, here it is a bit more disturbing. We are introduced to the red demo man shouting, “The sniper’s a bloody sentry!” We then cut to a red engineer, who represents Gunslinger, next to his new contraption. It was a sentry gun with the legs and torso being of the sniper. We then cut to a group of blue enemies being gunned downed as they stand there with their heads down in defeat. The next video is a tutorial video similar to the one with the walking cycle. In this video, Gunslinger demonstrates how to create a sled out of cardboard, and signs. Before he tests the sled, he brings along the red heavy from “spy is sandvich.” The sled experiment is a success, which leads to the heavy complimenting Gunslinger. He responds by grabbing his physics gun, enabling noclip, grabbing heavy and throwing him around in the air. As of writing this, the sled video is Gunslinger’s latest video, and when he’ll upload again is unpredictable. What we can take from this, is that this is an ARG taking place in the 2010s, with living ragdolls that fear Gunslinger, for though he’s the overall master. The reason why the blue spy is the main victim in half of these videos is because a blue spy is a red engineer’s nemesis. It makes you wonder if at some point the spy or any of the other ragdolls will escape Gunslinger’s grasp.

3. The Sun Vanished

On April 30th, 2018, a twitter account by the name TheSunVanished would make several tweets including “Where is the sun?” He would began to make frequent tweets talking about his situation, which also included a video showing a news report talking about how the sun went abruptly missing. He lets the viewers decide on what he should do, which they all vote on him going outside and investigating. He does as the viewers say, and ends up going outside by the nearby forest, but quickly retreats after noticing a flashing red light. Once returning home he notices that there are no stars in sight, that the sky is pitch black. From here we can theorize that the sun hadn’t vanished, but something is covering the earth preventing him from seeing any stars, or the sun. The light flashing represents a face in a way, which makes you think that this may be some sort of invasion by unknown creatures. A day later, the user claims that something had flew over his house. The temperature appears to increase by 10 or 15 degrees after this encounter. The user then posts an image of a man at his front yard, back facing the window. He then decides to get in contact with Danyon, one of his friends. He informs the user to avoid any confrontation with the man outside, and to avoid the windows with the lights off. He then hears screaming outside the house, possibly the screams of the man. The user then posts a video showing that the creature is near the house. The flashing light is white at first, but turns red when seeing the user. He still hears screaming, yet can’t ever catch it while recording. He believes that it may be coming from the neighbors house, and goes over to investigate. He discovers food and water supply he can use in order to survive for a bit longer. He also notices that the neighbor’s water is clearer than his own water. The water from his house appeared to be darker than his neighbors. Over twitter, he is able to share his experience with someone name Tucker, who is also apart of this alternate reality. Unfortunately for Tucker, he would stop posting to his thread after noticing a blue light underneath his door. However, TSV (user) sees the light as well, but it eventually leaves. There is a way more than what I have talked about, but from here we can understand what is happening in this reality. In TSV’s universe, unknown creatures, possibly aliens, have invaded earth by shielding it’s atmosphere. They don’t wish to kill all humans, because they would have just left the earth covered, and have it freeze. However, they keep the earth warm judging by the possible UFO encounter with TSV earlier. They use red lights to create insane people who only follow the creatures’ orders. The blue light however tends to kill people. Again, there is way more to this ARG, more than all the other articles listed, that is why I suggest you check it out by going to twitter and searching @TheSunVanished.

2. Kanye Quest 3030

On April 24th, 2013, a developer by the name Phenix on rpgmaker.net would upload an role-play game known as Kanye Quest 3030. The game had received great coverage by articles like Rolling Stone, Vice, and the Hollywood Reporter within a month of its release. The game itself is your generic, meme based adventure game filled with many gags and cameos. The story centers around Kanye West and his adventure into the year 3030 to destroy an evil clone of Lil B, and restore the true based god order. While playing you’ll encounter other rappers like Tupac and Ice Cube.  However, almost 2 years later, an anonymous user would post to Pastebin saying that he found a dark secret within the game. When arriving to the first futuristic area in the game, Bay Area 3030, there is an accessible building that appears to be abandoned. In the building you’ll see a terminal, and when interacting with it, a message will pop up saying “.—-/–.—.-Bas.d Inf.rmati/. Sy.tem—/-..–/—-ASC/N. a/d wo..hip T.e Ba//dG.d.” It took anon a moment to understand what the text was saying, which was “Based Information System, ASCEND and worship The Based God.” Later on, anon finds an NPC known as the “Task Force Member” on the streets. The NPC asks the player “What do you want to do?” Anon is prompted a 6 letter space in which lets you respond to the Task Force Member. Depending on what you say, the NPC will repeat your response back in a format in which would come off as a small joke, however if you responded with “ASCEND” you would get something way different. Instead of a quick joke made the NPC, Kanye becomes a big beam of light which covers the whole screen for a solid moment. When the light fades away, anon notices that the entire atmosphere had changed. Everything appears colorless, and there are many terminals. We no longer control Kanye, but rather a small butterfly. A text bubble then appears and says the following: “Congratulations! You have proven yourself to be an open-minded and curious thinker. We must apologize for deceiving you, but we can reveal that the game you were playing until this point was a ‘front’ constructed to protect what you are currently accessing. We must ask that you do not reveal this area to the public. If you believe that you may be prone to revealing information, or do not wish to participate, please close this program immediately by pressing ALT-F4 or selecting the NO option when it appears. By selecting the YES option, you agree to participate and not reveal information. If you select YES: The following is a thought exercise designed to help teach you something beneficial. By undertaking this exercise, you will hopefully be affected in a positive way. Due to the nature of the exercise, this ‘something’ cannot be revealed immediately. This exercise may or may not be restricted to this software. It is important to remember that the purpose of this exercise is to benefit you. You will not be timed. We cannot provide any more information, except that we wish you good luck! You may begin now. Welcome to your ascension.” From here you will have to find passwords for the many terminals. There is another room that insists of a large QR code, but when scanning, it goes to a dead website. Anon would have to open the rpgmaker files in order to access these passwords. These passwords had names like “Jagatai” and “Petuntze.” Before putting the passwords into the computer, anon would search these terms up on the internet. This would lead anon to an Unfiction forum about a cult known as “Ascensionism.” Anon would also reach out to the developer, Phenix, to find out why this was in the game. Phenix would then admit that he was never really the creator of the game, but rather the uploader. Anon also found a secret within the official trailer for the game. At the very end of the video, you can hear distant morse code saying “ASCEND” as a faded symbol appears. The symbol shows one eye with the pupil being of a triangle. Ascensionism itself originated from the year 2006. They have a belief that there are two spirit that make a whole body, the physical spirit, and the ethereal spirit. “Long story short, souls live lifetime after lifetime until they reach a point where they are judged by themselves after a death and, upon deciding they have been sufficiently good, destroy themselves and become primordial soulstuffs from which new souls form.” They also frown upon any form of self doubt, and encourage others so say “They will” instead of “They’ll try.” Knowing this, you may believe that this makes them wholesome in a way, but their other beliefs beg to differ. They also believe that any harm or misfortune that happens to an individual was actually asked upon by their soul. So, by their logic, you could be robbed, severely injured, and maybe lose someone in your life, yet they think it is justified because “Your spirit asked for it.” Going back to the terminals, after entering the passwords you are given yet another text bubble. “You have proven your worth once again. You have ascended. However, further ascension is always possible. If you do not wish to ascend further, your journey ends here, so please close this program by pressing ALT-F4 or selecting the NO option above. By selecting the YES option, you agree to participate further and you grant us permission to interact with your possessions. Would you like to participate? If you choose NO, you get sent to the title screen. If you choose YES, it shows this: Over the following two week time period, we will interact with you and your possessions in several ways. Keep an eye out, as some of these ways may be subtle. Others may not be. We may attempt to contact you directly. If we do this, we will attempt to notify you of our prescence using a key-word. If you still consent to participation, please select the YES option above. Do you wish to participate?” When choosing YES, you are given a form where you would put in your first and last name, state, city, address and zip code. You are then prompted to wait as your information is transferred. You are then given this text: “Thank you, (Your name!) Enjoy the next two weeks and await instruction.” Fortunately, if you were to fill the form out today, your information wouldn’t be transferred to anyone, for though rpgmaker’s online services no longer work. After this secret was revealed to the public, any other way of contacting members of Ascensionism became very difficult to find. What has been found of the cult is a member by the name Lyon, and many cryptic pieces of music associated with the cult. I suggest that you look into this yourself, for though there is more than what I have listed.

1. Local 58

On Halloween of 2017, a video from the channel LOCAL58TV would be posted to Youtube. The video shows a dashcam of someone’s car following directions on his or her GPS which would lead him or her into the woods. The car would come to a stop, as if the driver is confused on why he or she was led to this location. When the head lights go back on, the driver would be greeted by a lanky, anorexic creature standing with the tall trees. This causes the person to do a complete 180 and floor it out of there, which leads to the car crashing and leaving the driver most likely dead. The next video acts like a news broadcasting channel, known as “Local 58.” It shows that the broadcast will be concluded, and to basically say “see you tomorrow”. Right before the video fades to black, the broadcast is interrupted by an official message from the United States, saying that they are forced to surrender to their enemy. “Though they may occupy our borders, our streets and our homes… the enemy will never occupy our spirit.” The message further explains that all American citizens are call upon to “act.” “Even in defeat we claim victory.” At the end, we can see that the message was written by Lyndon B. Johnson, which leaves us to believe that this loss happens during the Cold War era. After the message, the viewer is left with instructions. “Access to a loaded firearm is ideal. Place muzzle (hole of gun) upward to roof of mouth. Thank you.” If it wasn’t obvious enough, the act that all Americans shall commit is suicide. The most messed up thing is that it states as I quote, “Regarding your children: tend to them before yourself. Use a calm tone of voice. Everyone can do their part. All citizens are suggested to have them die outside on their front yard in the “Victory Position.” “Remember the 3 ‘F’s: Front lawn, Face up, Feet together.” When the message is finished, a statement from Local 58 appears saying that what we had saw is a hoax and they apologize for any confusion. The next video serves as a Emergency Broadcast Message alerting any viewer not to go outside, and to avoid looking at the moon. However, the message is two sided, for though a bit of it says to look at the moon while the rest says not to. The next video is titled “Show For Children.” We are introduced to a character known as Cadavre, a beret wearing skeleton. Cadavre is a real life character from those short comic slides you’d find on the newspaper. However here, he has his own TV series. The episode within this video is called ” A Grave Mistake.” We then see Cadavre walking through a grave yard. He stops in front of a grave with an open hole, thinking there might be a beautiful, skeleton girl in there. He then peeks into the whole to be greeted with a more realistic depiction of human remains. This causes Cadavre to freak out, and run. He keeps walking in the grave yard, yet he looks more uneased after what he had seen. As this is happening to him, we see the moon in the background, smiling down at him. Cadavre stops in front of another hole, and peeks down it. He sees the remains of a deformed bird covered in cob webs. The bird lets out a faint, raspy squawk. Cadavre gets scared, and runs away again. He keeps walking as the moon in the background is noticeably distant, and has lost it’s smile. He stops at one last hole, and looks down it once more. There is no remains in the hole, instead the hole expands further and further. Cadavre decides to go down the hole and ends up in a cave. As he walks further, he begins to shiver. He lays down right below one of the grave holes, as if he has accepted defeat. In fact, Cadavre is in the victory position explained in the message from Lyndon B. Johnson. He demonstrates  the 3 Fs: Front lawn, Face up, Feet together. Cadavre squints his eyes up at the surface to see the moon looking back down at him. When it cuts back to Cadavre, he had become a lifeless, still pile of bones. The broadcast ends soon afterwards, but there is something that we can take from this. We can make the assumption that the Moon is not what we think it is, and is causing people to decay just by looking at it. The next video titled “Real Sleep” serves as a instructional tape brought to you by “Thought Research Initiative.” Before that, we are given Phase 1, a trivia on what parts of sleep are a myth or fact. Then, we are given Phase 2, instructions to go to page 9 in some workbook in order to look at the Kleitman Map, which serves as an index of electric activity in a brain burdened by dream stimuli. Finally, Phase 3, is where things get a bit strange. Phase 3 is made up of 3 sequences. In Sequence 1, you are instructed to look at the center of the screen as a face appears while rapidly changing. In Sequence 2, we then see two faces rapidly changing as they slowly merge with each other in the middle, creating one singular face. In Sequence 3, you are told to say the repeated phrase aloud “There are no faces.” As you do so, a mutilated face begins to twitch severely on the screen. Sequence 4 tells you to say the flashing sentences without looking at the screen. Examples of these flashing sentences are, “Sleep is not civilized,” “There is work to be done,” ” I will never sleep again,” ” Stay out of your bedroom.” Afterwards, the broadcasts ends with a simple “Goodnight.” The last upload on the channel titled “Skywatching” consists of someone recording the outside. He or she sees the moon and zoom in on it only to find out that the moon is made out of something that I can only describe as flesh. A text appears saying that the moon is “His throne.” As the cameraman inspects the moon further he notices an arrow on the it before it the moon vanishes. As he or she adjusts the camera a bit, the moon reappears closer to the earth. Distant screams can be heard as a siren goes off. The cameraman sees the moon and holds his hands up as another text appears saying “Rejoice.” As of writing there is no other upload, and we may see a newer video soon.