CS:GO went three to play and got a battle royale mode last week – but the surprises didn’t end there, as players discovered a cryptic message which some speculated was an ARG to tease Portal 3. Despite the best efforts of CS:GO sleuths, however, Valve has since confirmed this is actually just an Easter egg – although it’s still a pretty neat discovery.
The fun and games began when YouTube user snaileny posted a video of a “strange broadcast” they’d found on the new battle royale map dz_blacksite. According to snaileny, to hear this you have to stand in Room 3 for over two minutes before the (slightly creepy) message begins to play.
Players figured out the beginning of the list is in the NATO phonetic alphabet, and translates to PGPW50 SMS757 – the first half of which refers to the PGP word list (an extended biometric word list designed to prevent wiretapping). The transmission, when converted into the PGP word list, gives you 50 pairs of numbers and letters. Reddit user GetSomeGyros then figured out that the “SMS7” part of the message, meanwhile, refers to GSM 7-bit encoding: and when you put PGP pairings into this, you get the following message:
“This was a triumph. I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.”
Aside from sounding like something Trump would tweet, the phrase is also the first line from the Portal end credits song Still Alive – which led many to speculate Valve was hinting at a third Portal title with a new ARG. But, as with every rumour of a third entry in a Valve series, the rumours turned out to be prem-aperture. An email from Gabe Newell was shared on Twitter, in which he confirms the message was an “Easter egg, not an ARG.”
— Tyler McVicker (@ValveNewsNetwor) December 10, 2018
Although the Easter egg isn’t anything more than that, it’s still an unusual and exciting find – and the speed with which it was decoded by the community is rather impressive. If you were hoping for Portal 3, however, you’ll probably be waiting rather a long time. As ever: the cake is a lie.