It has come to my attention that strange messages have been appearing throughout Black Mesa, and have been causing somewhat of a conunDrum concerning what has become known as "The Pizza Code Mystery".
I have long suspected that there was something stRange going on during the development of this facility. The unexplained disappearances, misappropriation of funds regarding cheesy oven-baked bread products and an ominous feeling that something is constantly watching this all from the shadows, Have added up to create something that needs solving, and sOlving fast.
As a result, I am offering a small reward to the first peRson that can solve this mystery and provide me with the answers I need. Together, I'm sure you caN crack this.
This wiki details our efforts since 2012 to solve The Pizza Code Mystery: a complex and multilayered ARG found in Black Mesa, a re-envisioning of Valve Software's seminal classic Half-Life. As of January, 2022, The Pizza Code Mystery ARG is still ongoing, with active and unsolved puzzles, and many aspects of the story and lore yet to be fully pieced together.
It is possible that some information here may be incomplete or out of date. For the latest activity and theories, join the official Crowbar Collective server on Discord (https://discord.gg/crowbarcollective), and go to the #pizza-delivery-arg channel there. You can also check the archived forum thread for older information (formerly on forums.blackmesasource.com).
- December 23, 2021
- Prof. B posted the message "helping" in the Discord chat, followed by an image showing a chessboard filled with letters.
- April 26, 2021
- The full version of the Xen Museum was officially released on the workshop and the incomplete leaked version removed from the game files in another update patch.
- April 25, 2021
- A new map named "xen_museum" was found in an update patch to Black Mesa published on April 24, 2021, on the public-beta branch. Stormseeker had previously hinted of a Xen museum when commenting on the non-existing c2a4d map.
- December 23, 2020
- A user named Prof. B posted a coded message in the Discord chat. In other news, the official game mapsrc folders were released.
Current Unsolved Puzzles
- Myonmasgift2 from Prof. B - New puzzle dropped on December 23, 2021 (aka Myonmas Day). Partially solved.
- Coded message from Prof. B - Puzzle dropped on December 23, 2020.
- Flashing color pattern sequence - Flashing colored lights on the gate in Dr. Horn's Xen lair. Discovered November 23, 2020. Partially solved.
- "Meet the Devs" code puzzle - Puzzle discovered on August 23, 2020.
Apart from the puzzles above, there is also the task of tying everything together and working out the full story of where Dr. Horn has gone, what he has become, and how the pizzas tie into it. And there are still many unanswered questions and lingering mysteries. Below is a list of some of them:
- The story - Some parts of the picture are known, but the entirety isn't.
- HALOS - An entity worked on by Dr. Horn. Thought to be an AI, created in conjunction with investigations into multiplexed exotic matter based systems with the goal of creating hard-light holograms. HALOS' ultimate purpose, capabilities, and evolution are not fully known or understood.
- 21 into 1.
- Unsolved elements found on the "conspiracy" whiteboard.
- The mystery of the non-working (but now evolving) gate and its unknown destination.
- Circled letters on Xen whiteboards that spell out LOCUTS.
- The Myons - Creatures or characters linked to both Stormseeker and Dr Horn.
- It has been hinted that there are still secrets in the game (Black Mesa) that have not yet been found.
- The meaning of the references to Arcadia, Paradise Lost, Dante's Inferno and "the island".
Below is a list of items that may contain additional clues in addition to the clues found in the solved puzzles. Some of them may be related to the recently solved puzzle:
- 21 into 1 - A hint left by Stormseeker.
- Whiteboards - Whiteboards found in game throughout the Black Mesa facility.
- Tempus omnia revelant - Mysterious message from User:Dr Horn.
- 1001085139140914 / grilledpizza.jpg - Hidden message left by Dr. Horn. May hold clues to the story.
- Wiki clues - An overview and description of clues and hints that have appeared on this wiki.
- Pizza Box and Graffiti Arrays - Patterns of pizza boxes and graffiti found in some of the background maps in the steam release.
- Dr. Sezen's computer monitor - Contains a hint for the key to the 752 Hex Code puzzle.
- Dr. Horn's Xen Lair - A hidden cave in Xen.
- Dr. Horn's Discord statements - Statements made by Stormseeker/Dr. Horn on Discord that may provide further clues.
- Status messages - A list of status messages observed on Stormseeker's Discord profile that may be ARG-related.
- Definitive Edition clues - Clues found in Black Mesa: Definitive Edition.
- Sprite entity name code - Running key. Clue containing coords. to St. Herbert's Island + word "PRISON"
The original puzzles that introduced the ARG.
- Code A - 1001 - Dr Horn explains that he has hidden 4 codes (A,B,C,D)
- Code B - 0851 - Composite of several paintings
- Code C - 3914 - SSTV encoding
- Code D - 0914 - a SECOM cipher
- The combination of these solutions revealed a hidden area on Stormseeker's Website containing the 1001085139140914 message and the grilledpizza puzzle
Puzzles that were given to us by Watcher on the now defunct IRC channel
- IRC clue 1 - base64
- Led to the discovery of the Terminal website.
- IRC clue 2 - base64, Contains 2 longitude/latitude combinations
- Led to the discovery of a hidden message on Johnathan Welsh's website
- IRC clue 3 - base64, Another location clue
- IRC clue 4 - base64, Navajo Code, Playfair
- IRC clue 5 - base64, Running Key
- IRC clue 6 - base64, ASCII85, Points to HALOS.txt on Stormseeker's Website
- 752 Hex Code - 752 hex characters (376 bytes), Rijndael-256-256 in CFB-8 mode
- Solution contains a passcode for site activation
- Stormseeker's Website - Main website surrounding the ARG.
- terminal.blackmesasource.com - A message from Dr. Horn.
- Dr J. Welsh - Johnathan Welsh's main website with a hidden message.
- www.bmrf.us - The "homepage" of the Black Mesa Research Facility.
- terminal.bmrf.us - BMRF employee login terminal. Purpose unknown. (Site is down?)
- KXBM.net - Website linked to BMRF.us (separate ARG, confirmed as not related to The Pizza Code Mystery).
- Timeline and Concept Map - Compiled information to assist with narrowing the focus of the ARG's clues and puzzle solutions.
- Stormseeker - The ARG's creator and puppet-master.
- Extra Game Info - Everything extra that may or may not have any relation to the ARG.
- Back References - A list of game assets with their coordinates.
- Pizza Code Mystery Blog - A blog focused on centralizing solution attempts, providing updates and communicating, in addition to the forums.