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Trials Evolution's insane century-spanning ARG/scavenger hunt solved

The prize will be unveiled in 2113. Really.

Astute readers may remember that Trials HD contained loads of cryptic easter eggs and fourth wall-breaking riddles. Naturally, developer RedLynx decided to continue this trend into 2012's Trials Evolution, only this time it's gotten much, much more ambitious.

In fact, Evolution's riddle is so epic that it took the community over three years to crack the code only to lead to a conclusion that won't be revealed until 2113. No, really.

So, excavating this chest was but one of the clues. [Image courtesy of Kotaku.]

Trials superfan/sleuth Brad "Professor FatShady" Hill posted a rundown on this unbelievably convoluted alternate reality game / scavenger hunt on Kotaku. The details are extraordinarily complex, so here's a cliff notes rundown on how this case was cracked.

  1. Trials Evolution contains a number of wooden planks that when placed together spell a coded message.
  2. Smart people deciphered said message to reveal that it provided instructions to perform a certain maneuver in the game that would unlock a song.
  3. The song was converted into a "Spectral analysis" visualising program that revealed a morse code message.
  4. The morse code led to a website containing cryptic images that were updated every day starting in April 2013.
  5. Someone realised these images were a reference to a scientist, whose name was used to decipher the codes into the English alphabet.
  6. This led to yet another riddle, which someone solved with the phrase "Big freeze with no complete end", a theory about the end of the universe.
  7. Solving that last part revealed yet another website giving coordinates and clues to four objects scattered throughout the real world in Helsinki, San Fransisco, Sydney, and Bath.
  8. The coordinates led to hidden boxes. Three of which contained a metal key and a quote by author John Green: "It seemed like forever ago". (The full quote is "It seemed like forever ago, like we've had this brief but still infinite forever. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.")
  9. The fourth box, located in RedLynx's native Helsinki, contained actual 300-year-old documents pertaining to a land sale of French property in the 1700s. It contained the phrase: "Today 25th of April, one thousand seven hundred forty before midday (or noon)". The Helsinki box also included a map.
  10. This map led to a cemetery with another box, this one containing an antique pocket watch from 1916.
This authentic pocket watch from 1916 was found in a Helsinki cemetery. [Image courtesy of Kotaku.]

All four boxes included the phrase:

"Midday in Year 2113.

1st Sat in Aug

One of Five keys will open the box

Underneath the Eiffel Tower"

FatShady actually interviewed RedLynx's Antti Ilvessuo under the Eiffel Tower yesterday, where the developer stated, in no uncertain terms, that he's made arrangements for the key holders to receive something special in that spot come 2113.

"I made sure that something happens [at that] exact time, for people who have the key," he said.

"That's no joke," he added, before clarifying that this particular riddle won't be implemented in future RedLynx games. (But who knows about other riddles.)

FatShady drew further connections between this scavenger hunt and the actual game, which contains numerous references to the passage of time. These range from carvings found at the 3000 BC archeological site Göbekli Tepe to more futuristic stuff like the currently under construction 10,00-year clock.

For the full story of how all this went down, check out FatShady's investigation on Kotaku. It's a doozy.

We'll update in 2113 when we know what the special something is.

Cover image for YouTube videoTrials Evolution Riddle - The Interview.