Cryptic ‘Destiny 2’ puzzle sends players on a real-life scavenger hunt

Destiny 2
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Warmind, the newest expansion for Destiny 2, includes a complex multi-part cipher that led intrepid explorers to a real-life cache of game swag in upstate New York.

rundown of how it began was reported by Kotaku, in which players stumbled across some strange symbols on the bunker of Rasputin, depicting three keys around a large lock with six different symbols that needed to be decoded.

You can follow the progress over at the Reddit thread r/raidsecrets, which involved such esoteric pursuits as translating Braille characters and transcription of a Tchaikovsky ballet. The whole thing led to a Vigenere cipher, which is a method of encoding messages that dates back to the 16th century. Without the letter sequence that encodes the message, it’s very difficult to decipher.

A user named Randomiser finally completed all five steps of the puzzle, including decoding a text string three times using a Vigenere cipher with three different keys, leading to this message:

“thank you for taking the time to piece together this message, friend. the time of our final conflict is drawing closer and you and ana have an important role to play in the events to come. so watch over her, guardian. i would have no life without ana or the exoprogram. i regret that we have become strangers, but we each have a path that we must walk. and, ironically, there never seems to be enough time. tell her, rasputin’s first attempt was in the right location, but the wrong moment. look here: 43.549573, -73.544868”

The coordinates pointed to the Sleeping Beauty Mountains north of Albany, close to where developer Vicarious Visions is located. Redditor I_love_science was first to discover the stash, which contained a Valkyrie spear replica (a weapon that’s used in the Warmind expansion) as well as a cache of coins and a logbook. In a letter accompanying the treasure, explorers were encouraged to each take a single coin and record their names in the logbook.

A “fireteam” from Freakopolis Network also set out to discover the secrets of Rasputin’s Chamber, and documented their adventures with a YouTube video.

For game lore aficionados, the decoded message would also seem to confirm what many Destiny players have long suspected: that Elsie Bray is indeed the Stranger from the first game.

Although the intricate storyline might be somewhat overwhelming for new players, Destiny 2 improves on its predecessor in almost every way and may well be the best shooter of the year. If you need some help leveling up, we’ve got it covered, and our Legendary Shards guide will buff your character in no time.

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