Everything You Need To Play OpAphid
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If you are new to ARGs, IRC, and OpAphid, Please read this article. Everything you need to get caught up is here. This should answer most of your questions regarding the two. Happy playing!
Please bear in mind the following information. All the sites featured by OpAphid will be public locales. At no point will the personal details of any of the Creators, production staff, actors, and/or crew of Lonelygirl15 be considered to be "in-game". This ARG will never compromise their privacy. We ask that all participants use discretion, common sense, and courtesy in this regard.
Thank you and have fun!
- 1 OpAphid... The Story So Far
- 2 The OpAphid ARG's Character Accounts:
- 3 IPOD OPERA (What is it?)
- 4 Communication/Working Together
- 5 The Drops
- 6 The Puzzles:
- 7 IRC
- 8 Falling Behind:
- 9 Thank You
OpAphid... The Story So Far
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away....
No no no...that's all wrong.
Once upon a time, in a state far, far away from many of you, there was a shadowy secret organization called OpAphid. Although the individual members of OpA may have loved puppies and sunshine, OpA's purpose was far darker and more mysterious...
...I'm sorry. I'll stop now.
OpAphid is an organization about which little is known, save that its task appears to be to protect the secrets of the Order, another shadowy religious organization. OpAphid first came into our lives to support Bree's decision to abandon her online blog in order to concentrate on the ceremony. After a brief period of time, however, OpAphid realized that the real money lay in Cassie, a shadowy former friend of Bree's who had been monopolizing the attention of many of Bree's fans with pleas to prevent the ceremony. In five YouTube video blogs, OpAphid alerted Cassie's supporters that Cassie was not as harmless or honest as she seemed. Within those vlogs, OpAphid (OpA) concealed a phone number which their true supporters could use to contact them, provided those supporters were clever enough and dedicated enough to find the number. The phone number led the worthy to a voicemail with a message that prepared them for a momentous future event.
What OpA planned, we will never know, because their organization was disrupted by a break-in at one of their information-gathering facilities, and an unknown amount of information was stolen. Making quick use of their new network of contacts, OpA notified us via their YouTube profile, asking us to check the thief's last known location and recover any stolen items the thief had left. Drop operative Noava22 headed out to La Cienega Park (where the thief had last been seen), where he was met by archetype1. They quickly discovered a package containing an SD card and a postcard with a weeping bunny on it. While at the park, Noa was also contacted (via pay phone) by a man who declined to give his name, but who, after ascertaining that Noa knew a certain password, demanded information about his "sister." When pressed, it became apparent that the "sister" in question was also the person responsible for the break-in at OpA's facility. Immediately after hanging up from that call, Noa received a call from OpA, Letting him know whether he passed or failed.
Noa, wary of the consequences of all this communication, kept the contents of his conversations to himself, but revealed to OpA's other followers at LG15.com the fact that he had received phone calls. After receiving permission from OpA, he also shared the contents of the package found at the park, which were quickly dissected and analyzed. Shortly thereafter, OpA pointed its followers toward the YouTube profile of someone calling herself Tachyon and identified her as the thief, although OpA admitted that it did not know Tachyon's true identity. Throughout, concern and frustration over the contents of the phone calls continued to grow, climaxing when the male caller, identified as Brother, began calling those who had previously left their numbers on OpA's voicemail. These calls proved to be a test of loyalty for everyone, because those who gave Brother too much information were declared untrustworthy by OpA, while those who kept their secrets to themselves were asked by OpA to conceal the contents of the phone calls as well.
All the secrecy and tension surrounding the phone calls caused some people to abandon OpA's side and defect to Tachyon's. Others, who had been growing increasingly concerned about OpA's motives and methods, did the same. Still others grew even more committed to OpA as a result of the break-in and aftermath. Slowly but surely, sides began to form, although many undecided people remained. It was revealed that the voicemail line was Brother's, but was tapped by OpA.
Meanwhile, analysis of Tachyon's YouTube videos revealed that she had been working undercover within OpA, although it was not discovered what she was looking for or what her position there was. Although she was on the run, Tachyon attempted to contact Brother with information about where she was going to be, but the communication was intercepted by OpA's followers. The communication turned out to be a false lead, but fortunately Brother fell for it as well, and OpA's followers were able to get to Tachyon's next drop ahead of him. A late-night dash by Ladron121 and archetype1 out to Pea Soup Anderson's in Santa Nella revealed another postcard, another SD card, and an annotated copy of Aleister Crowley's Book of the Law.
True to her name, Tachyon was on the move again, and we didn't hear from her until she made contact from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. This time, Ladron121 and Luv2LuvEm found a copy of Nancy Drew's Guide to Life in addition to the postcard and SD card. Tachyon had attached a note to the book letting us know that she thought it had a lot of wisdom to offer the inquiring mind. Shortly thereafter, Brother proved that although past interactions with him had indicated that he wasn't technologically advanced enough to use a screwdriver, much less create vlogs, he could indeed find the "any key" and much more. He created a music mashup on the voicemail line telling Tachyon that he had a new, secure line and giving her clues to what it was. Extremely dexterous followers of both OpA and Tachyon worked to discover the message, which proved to be a direct communication between Brother and Tachyon, in which Brother dropped his "I don't know which end of the phone to hold" personality and revealed that he suspected he was being watched.
The situation between Tachyon and OpA grew increasingly complex, especially once it was revealed that Bree and Gemma knew an acronym for APHID that differed wildly from what we had learned about OpA's methods. No questions were answered when Tachyon left yet another package, this time in Petaluma, which contained (in addition to the SD card and postcard) a copy of Morihei Ueshiba's The Art of Peace, a birthday card, and a note which was clearly not directed at Brother. This opened the possibility that Tachyon had other contacts we were unaware of and had been communicating with them for some time. Meanwhile, OpA, which had been watching Tachyon, Brother, and Bree and Daniel, entered Bree and Daniel's hotel room and ransacked it looking for the note Bree's parents left her when they were taken away.
After her room was ransacked, Bree and Daniel continued on the run, and began living in an abandoned building, feeding off of trash. Sometime between their room getting ransacked, and them moving into an abandoned building, Jonas was introduced to the story. After a few video blogs of his were released, the followers of LG15 were asked to choose whether they trusted him or not. Well, consensus ruled that he could be trusted. Bree decided to go with what the forum thought, and she went with Jonas. Daniel, on the other hand, did not trust Jonas. And upon meeting Jonas, Daniel left Bree and went back home.
Shortly before Christmas, Tachyon began releasing videos showing that Gemma was indeed part of the Order. They showed her deceiving Bree, and even had a piece of a phone conversation in one video. Eventually, Tachyon sent Brother two emails, heavily encrypted, detailing the depths of Gemma's perfidy. The first email was an exchange between Gemma and someone named "Sebastian," who was revealed to be Brother in disguise. Apparently, Brother had gone to London on some mission, and Gemma had been tasked by the Order to get close to him and do some...intimate spying. The second email was one from Tachyon to Brother explaining that there had been a plot against Brother's life. The Order had planned to blow up the building Brother was in, and Tachyon's organization had had to plant a false body in the rubble, and then send Brother into deep hiding.
After releasing these videos, Tachyon left a mission for her brother that gave him a chance at revenge on Gemma. The mission was "a simple task, one that even a monkey could do". Basically, he was directed to "take care of Gemma". Brother released a video where Gemma is seen walking down an alley. She is being watched through the scope of a gun, after which the shot fades out into white. Later on, a voicemail was discovered on Brother's phone, with what sounded like a "mission accomplished". The voicemail is still being analyzed, and it is still unknown whether or not Gemma was actually disposed of.
In early January, OpAphid called upon its followers to help recover a fake ID left by Daniel at a bowling alley and bar. The ID helped OpAphid locate Daniel, and resulted in his kidnapping.
The OpAphid ARG's Character Accounts:
- OpAphid: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=OpAphid
- Tachyon: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Tachyon
- Brother (10033): http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=10033
IPOD OPERA (What is it?)
When viewing OpAphid's profile we can see they are a member of:
- Group Name: ipod opera - a hint?
- Description: mimic unto nonchalance
- Tags: ihit dan poor ape
- Created: September 27th, 2006
Name anagrams to: OPERATION APHID
- Description anagrams to: COMMUNICATION CHANNEL
- Tags anagram to: OPERATION APHID
Known members (11 total):
- rustybug found by shifty
- saint696 found by Xrynaem
- jimmyjm found by Ziola
- Jamesdoof found by gtrichar
- Avasta found by sparkybennett
- lolm3n found by kristy2520
- ihearthevoices found by kristy2520
- kapjatokbe found by Lola
OperationAphid is also a member of the groups:
- All three groups were created the same day but the last two have no other members.
- All groups are invite only
- All group members have the same green layout and have their names in brackets.
Working Together To Solve Clues:
The whole story of OpAphid is followed and progressed by solving strings of clues. In order to solve these clues, everyone involved must work together. There are two ways in which the players of OpAphid work together to solve clues, the first being IRC. This is very beneficial during a drop or during a clue which requires immediate solving. That IRC is a wonderful way to work with the others, and a fun area during down time, but information is very easily looked over, and people often get off topic.
The second form of communication is via the forums. The forums are the easiest, most beneficial way to solve the clues. Information is not lost or looked over, and it can be organized in an understandable manner, unlike in the IRC. Also, the forums give everyone involved an opportunity to follow along. ALL the information regarding OpAphid, Tachyon, 10033, and etc. can all be found on the forums.
Guys, I can not stress this enough. Please read the forums and get a good understanding of what is going on before entering chat. If you have general questions, the IRC is not the place to ask them. The IRC is meant for solving and discussing clues and videos. If you have general questions, please send a private message to either a moderator, or veteran player.
Communication with Opaphid, Tachyon, and 10033:
There are two ways of communicating with the characters of OpAphid. The first way is via their YouTube profiles, but as most know, YouTube is not the most reliable at delivering messages.
If your message does not need to remain private, please utilize the In Character Communication threads. They are located here:
- OpAphid: http://www.lg15.com/lonelygirl15/forum/viewforum.php?f=98
- Tachyon: http://www.lg15.com/lonelygirl15/forum/viewforum.php?f=99
- 10033 (Brother): http://www.lg15.com/lonelygirl15/forum/viewforum.php?f=100
All correspondence that you wish to share with the forums must be screencapped. To do this please do the following:
- Hit the PrtSc/Print Scrn/Sys Req key
- Open up Microsoft Paint
- Upload to a photo hosting site. http://www.photobucket.com/ or http://www.imageshack.us/
- Post the image URL in the corresponding thread.
For a Mac:
- You hold down COMMAND(Apple key) SHIFT 4. That gives you a target. You click and drag that over the area of the screen you want to capture. When you let go, it takes that picture and saves it to your desktop.
What Is a Drop?
A drop is a physical clue that the PM of the game leaves for players to retrieve. Sometimes these clues are more vital than text clues. A drop is made known when Tachyon uploads a video on her YouTube profile with the phrase "Tag you're it." It usually shows distinct landmarks, signs, buildings, and a brief pan of the general area of the drop to help identify the location. Drops can be a lot of fun, even for those not going to retrieve it. Drops are taken seriously, however, and rules are expected to be followed.
The Drop Rules:
- If you are near a drop, and would like to retrieve it, you MUST inform both the forums AND the chat that you will be going. You need to let them know where you are leaving from, how long it will take you to get there, and any other arrangements. You also will need to make prior arrangements with the others who will be going to retrieve the drop as well.
- Once you have confirmed that you are going to retrieve the drop, pick somebody who has access to the forums AND the IRC to be an operator. Make sure that you have a mobile phone with you at all times, and that they have the number. Please stay in touch with your operator for as much of the drop as possible. Communication is the key!
- Bring a flashlight! Most drops happen in the dead of night, in VERY dark locations. A flashlight is not only beneficial for finding the drop, but also for your safety.
- No hats. After the Pea Soup incident (the person recovering the Pea Soup Andersen Drop was wearing a hat and couldn't see the drop because it was above his head,) it has become a rule that hats should NOT be worn to a drop.
- Meet with your group AWAY from the drop. People retrieving the drops should meet in a public area away from the drop, and leave together. This way everyone arrives at the drop at the same time, and introductions will have already been made.
- All drop retrievals must be recorded! There are no exceptions to this rule! Everything that happens at the drop site must be recorded. Walking to the site, walking around, searching areas, finding the drop, opening the drop, and so on, must be on video recorded. After finding the drop, ALL items MUST be photographed. Every side, marking, symbol, sentence, etc. MUST be on film. Video needs to be uploaded to YouTube in a fast, timely manner. And pictures need to be hosted as well. If this isn't done quickly, Opaphid will ask you for them herself.
- After all this action, SLEEP! Everyone else can wait. Your health and safety are most important.
For Those Not Retrieving the Drop:
You are just as important as the group retrieving. After a drop is confirmed, those not retrieving will be doing several things.
- The forum and the IRC chat will work together (All of us -- because in those heated, frantic moments there is no division between followers of OpAphid or Tachyon; we all work as a unit) to uncover the locale of this drop. Once we feel that the location is verified to our satisfaction (and believe me, we're picky), we will find who is closest to the drop and is willing to take a trip. In the past drops the closest people have been from fifteen minutes to several hours from the location of the drop.
- We will make sure that the brave soldiers have swapped phone numbers with someone in our group. We will also confirm that they are able to videotape their recovery.
- In some cases, we will need to help direct those on the mission.
- Follow along closely, because once something is found, it all happens quickly.
- La Cienega Park, Beverly Hills - 10/28/06
- Pea Soup Andersen's, Central Ca. - 11/02/06
- Golden Gate Park, San Francisco - 11/11/06
- Phoenix Theatre, Petaluma, Ca. - 11/26/06
- Sea Bowl, Pacifica, Ca. - 12/03/06
- Phoenix Theatre, Petaluma, Ca. Revisited - 12/11/06
- Yokayo Bowl, Ukiah, CA - 1/25/07
Many sleepless nights have been spent solving puzzle after puzzle for the OpAphid crew, some taking minutes to solve, others taking literally days, but the end result has always been a huge reward for those who engaged in solving it.
- Set of Five
- The Test (USA Today) - 11/01/06
- Adventures in New Phone Lines: The Musical - 11/15/05
- High Complexity: A John Cusack Puzzle - 12/01/06
- Step By Step Puzzle (Be Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine) - 12/10/06
- Puzzle (Language Labs) - 12/16/06
- Dancing In The Dark - 2/27/07
Some Very Important Puzzle Solutions:
- (213) 814-2839 - Tachyon's phone lost at her "last job"
- (310) 933-6263 - Temporary line used for mash up
- (310) 933-5901 - Brother's phone
- (415) 670-9198 - Tachyon's latest phone
- (415) 287-0211 - The number for the "dry cleaners'" that Bree calls
- (213) 985-3597 - Bree's "father's" phone
Puzzle Solving Tools:
OpAphid is a puzzle-based game. You will solve puzzles of different types, styles, and difficulty. Many will be in text, mathematical, picture, hex, base64, etc. form, and it is up to everyone to solve these puzzles. There are many tools and tutorials throughout the Internet to help aid in puzzle solving. Also, in some cases, research will be needed in order to solve a puzzle at hand.
- Anagram engines (there are many): http://wordsmith.org/anagram/ http://boulter.com/anagram/
- Binary/Hexadecimal/Base64: http://www.paulschou.com/tools/xlate/
- Morse code: http://morsecode.scphillips.com/translator.html
- Rotation Ciphers: http://www.unfiction.com/resource/rot-it/
- Vigenere Cipher: http://makcoder.sourceforge.net/demo/vigenere.php
- Any base to any other base (numeric): http://www.math.com/students/converters/source/base.htm
- Reverse text: http://www.reversetext.com/
- More Ciphers (tons): http://rumkin.com/tools/cipher/index.php
- More Tools: http://www.unfiction.com/resource/otools/
What Is an IRC?
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a form of real-time Internet chat. It is mainly designed for group (many-to-many) communication in discussion forums called channels, but also allows one-to-one communication via private message.
For more on IRC's, please refer to this article.
How To Get Into IRC:
To use Java:
- http://java.freenode.net/index.php (channel: #operationaphid)
If you do not wish to use Java Chat, you will need to use a chat client. Chatzilla and mIRC are two suggestions.
For chat clients:
- Server: irc.freenode.net (Channel: #operationaphid)
- In your browser address bar, put: irc://brown.freenode.net/operationaphid (replace brown with your corresponding server)
If You Are Using mIRC:
First off, mIRC is an application you can run on your computer to connect to IRC chatrooms. This will give you much more versatility and reliability in the chat. Here are the steps to get started:
- Download the mIRC client at http://www.mirc.com/get.html
- Install mIRC with the default settings.
- Follow the directions to setup mIRC found here: http://www.mirc.com/install.html
- Go to the Options menu, under the Connect->Servers category and if FreeNode is in the IRC Network dropdown menu, select it and move to the next step. Otherwise, hit the Add button. Input the following information in the corresponding boxes:
- Description: FreeNode Main
- IRC Server: irc.freenode.net
- Port: 6667
- Group: FreeNode
- And then select FreeNode from the IRC Network dropdown menu.
- Go to the Options menu, under the Connect->Options category and hit the Perform button.
- Hit the Add button and select FreeNode, then click ok. Ensure FreeNode is selected for the Network. Then in the perform commands text area, put "/join #operationaphid" (Ensure the "Enable perform on connect" option is selected).
- After signing in with your chosen username, I recommend that you register it. You can do this by typing:
- "/ns register yourpasswordhere"
- If you get a message saying "That username is already registered," this means someone already has that name and you will have to come up with a new name. You can change your name by typing:
- "/nick yournewnamehere"
- After registering your username, it is required that you identify yourself each time you sign on. mIRC makes this easy but auto-identifying yourself if you follow this step:
- Go back to the perform menu from step 6, and add the following line after the "/join #operationaphid" line: "/ns identify password"
Following these steps will set up the client to automatically join the channel on connecting to FreeNode and identify you.
- Q: How do I do an emote?
- A: To emote, simply type: "/me texthere"
- Q: How do I join another chat channel?
- A: To join another chat channel, type: "/join #chatnamehere"
- Q: Why does my username have a number after it?
- A: Your username may have a number after it if you are disconnected and rejoin. This is called ghosting. You can remove the ghost by typing: "/ns ghost yourusername yourpassword" then change your username back by typing "/nick username"
- Q: How do I change my password?
- A: You can change your password by typing: "/ns set password newpassword"
- Note: where "yourpasswordhere" is written, you insert your own desired password.
Rules of the IRC:
- On-topic when work needs to be done. When no clues are being solved, have fun.
- Basic human decency shall prevail at ALL times.
- As needed.
- Abusers of the watchbot or sparklebot shall be summarily disemboweled by the ops.
Common Chat Abbreviations:
- PM- Private Message
- AFK- Away From Keyboard
- BRB- Be Right Back
- ATM- At The Moment
- FTW- For The Win
- RL- Real Life
- IMO- In My Opinion
- TBH- To Be Honest
- IIRC- If I Remember Correctly
If you miss a day or two, or even a few very eventful hours, please utilize the forums. Most puzzles are updated as solved, in the first post of each puzzle thread. Sometimes, when a major puzzle is solved, people create their own summary videos, which will help aid in catching you up. A few users who are (or have) created summary videos are:
- Iconologia: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Iconologia
- ladron121: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=ladron121
- pcxl: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=pcxl
- WatchingOpAphid: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=WatchingOpAphid
Were useful but now have had videos taken down:
- Arche28: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Arche28
- LordCel: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=LordCel
- Noava22: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Noava22
Special thanks to Romanceismusic, Tigerlilylynn, Sad_Panda, Tiltingwindward, Shifty, Acidfingers, and everyone that helped make this possible.