The Receda Trail
PERPLEX CITY, SEASON ONE
In early 2005, after a year of anticipation, we learned name of the Cube: The Receda Cube. No explanation was given for the origin or meaning of the word Receda. It would be several more months before we even knew how to pronounce it. But the matter was never addressed directly by anyone in Perplex City, and was soon dropped by players.
Eventually, we learned about Pietro Salk, and the Salklogs.doc. We learned of an Advisor named Monica Grand. We learned what she did. And on 16 September, 2005, we were bore witness to tragedy and dismay.
|Search for the sign
of no use to me now. I do not know much.
I do not have much time. There will be
keywords. You will be able to put them to-
gether to make up the address of a website.
This is all I know. I cannot follow where
this trail leads. You must follow for me.
When Cube hunters showed up at Imperial College, they found a peculiar set of posters advertising for The Receda Approach, a "hit new band, inspired by perplex city". Players discovered www.recedaapproach.com, which also included other appearance dates and locations:
the receda approach will be playing pre-show support at all screens in these greater toronto area famous players cinemas from friday 23rd september:
coliseum 10, coliseum scarborough
silvercity brampton, newmarket, north york, mississauga
richmond hill, yonge-eglinton, yorkdale
No time was specified. No one knew what to expect. Canadian locals dashed to theatres, only to be left empty-handed. The clues were either delayed, or too subtle to notice, right away.
In any event, The Sentinel's Madame Bianca sent every signal she could, urging people via their Futures to return to the theaters once again. Success! (Madame B is ever so sharp, isn't she?) Viewers watched a short movie trailer featuring a series of images, hard data on the Receda Cube (finally, we had a sense of proportion!) and the next step of the trail: The Receda Sign, a movie coming to Earth in 2006.
Could it be? An actual movie? And what of the band we were promised? What was really going on, here? None could be sure. Another website was identified: http://www.therecedasign.com, featuring the movie trailer.
And then came the phone numbers.
On the website for The Receda Sign is the credit for "Meridian Cross Studios". Interested parties could telephone them, in England or America.
The party on the other end, however, was not a movie development company. A developer of the Theater of the mind, perhaps. The Receda Institute for Somnatherapy was discovered to be an entirely automated phone voice machine. The department names and functions were many and oscure.
Soon, players determined a careful path through the trail of dreams. At night, an entirely different set of messages was given. Voices describe a world of mighty giants and amazing locations. The able-minded observed the similarities between these venues, and the seven wonders of the world.
And the system gave us a set of global coordinates.
Remember, Go quietly: North 40 degrees 35.745 West 73 degrees 30.539
These coordinates led to a 9/11 memorial park and obelisk at Jones Beach, New York, but no new clues were discovered, then or later.
What *should* heve been found at the memorial park was a box of business cards for the Receda School of Music. In fact, these cards were never located; according to Mind Candy, they may still be there.
When following the global coordinates yielded no new information, PXC players turned to the darker side of ARGs, reasoning that "the show must go on." Someone did a domain search for "receda" and discovered http://www.recedaschoolofmusic.com. The Receda School of Music seemed to offer little to no information. Due to the method of its discovery, some argued it was not even on the Receda Trail at all. Many were still wondering what the global coordinates meant.
However, a listing on the School's website advertised music lessons, and following the link to re-cedasrevenge.com provided the next step in the trail.
Receda's Revenge - some sort of retro text adveture's homepage? No one had any idea what to expect here -- but that'd be about par, now wouldn't it? About this time, talk of the nature of the trail began to surface. The website promised something happening a week or so away, so Cube hunters had plenty of time to adjust their thinking caps. What did Receda mean? It became apparent to some, each step along the trail was some sort of keyword -- the keywords mentioned in Monica Grand's hidden message. But more on that, later.
At last, Receda's Revenge was unveiled. Very rapidly, players located an IRC server and engaged a game. The game was reminiscent of early Earth computer games: text based parsing of basic instructions. Players were engaged in a rambling tour of Perplex City itself, and died often. (No worries, it's only a game: death simply results in another player taking over the controls, and the game continues apace.)
This has been called one of the greatest highlights in all of perplex City (and possibly in all of ARGing history). Those who missed out can read Receda's Revenge Highlights, which gives all the major plot points, quotables, and deaths.
In the course of the game, players discovered scrolls reading: "CENTRE", "UK", "SKY", "ER", "HE", "ST", "NC", "MA", "TOWN" Which is, in some order: SKY CENTRE MANCHESTER TOWN UK. They also got a slashed message saying "The key to the kingdom is" .... "sortails". Following this to http://www.re-cedasrevenge.com/sortails revealed the engame message:
The first chapter of your quest is complete!
Never again will Lord Flaganroth endanger anyone's life... or will he?
Lord Flaganroth's birth, the Princess's curse and much, much more! Check back soon for more details.
Sunday 9th October - 2-3PM
Sky Centre, Manchester? Players discovered that no such building exists. So, what could it be? Looks like we'll find out on 9 October.
Players converged in Manchester and witnessed a banner, tagged along behind an airplane, directing us to http://recedaresorts.com.
Receda Resorts - Friendly vacation getaway? Maybe. Lost in the woods? Possibly. Charming layout? Of course (are those the Tanraga Mountains in the background?). Its content does include one important feature, however.
In the image of stone cabin ruins are multiple hotspots, labeled 1-26 and 99. A keyboard! A frantic search for passwords took place. The resulting password: thirdpower. Entering this took us to a seemingly taunting page: http://recedaresorts.com/accessmainframe/
The messages on the Receda Resorts mainframe access page hinted about an event happening in London, informing all operatives to remain alert, especially because an unidentified Earth network has infiltrated their system. They even link to the interloper's website: http://www.weneedtofindthem.com, which explains the mainframe's mysterious message:
I'm on the trail of a dangerous organisation called the Third Power. They come from a place called Perplex City, where they are involved in the theft of the city's most valuable artefact. When I found out that they're here in our world, and even in London, I knew I had to do something to stop them. Along with others, I've managed to break into their systems.
It turns out that the Third Power are planning a rendezvous in London on Saturday 22nd October, in order to exchange some kind of password. They know we're onto them, so they're going to hide the location of the rendezvous in a series of cryptic tasks in Clapham Common.
The Third Power again? That seems ominous. The good news here was that the Cube Hunters had assitance on Earth. The bad news was of course, more questions. Who posted this page, why are they helping us (or why are we helping them), and where did they come from?
The Websites, In Summary
|The Receda Trail|