Sombra PC Giveaway
At MercoMods we like give back to our viewers. For our Overwatch themed Sombra PC project we decided to give away PC to a clever viewer.
Sombra’s existence has been hinted at since early pre-beta builds of the game. A series of cryptographic puzzles about Sombra were slowly released, dubbed the Sombra ARG by the community.
What better way of giving the PC away than making our own ARG (Alternate Reality Game).
For anyone that would still like to try and solve the riddle, you are very welcome to do so. Although it got already solved, it is still active for anyone to try out.
We also made the riddle in a way, that there is no specific puzzle solving or decryption knowledge needed, so anyone with a bit of patience is able to solve it.
In this post I will be going through the puzzle and explaining each step:
The intro shows a short explanation on the left side and a cryptic text on the right. Removing all but the first fourth letter or pausing at the right moment, will leave you with the following text: “THERE ARE HINTS IN THE VIDEO ON HOW TO WIN. GOOD LUCK.”
This step is not mandatory to complete our puzzle, but is made to give a small introduction.
2. Finding the code
Stopping the video in the right moment will make you see “bit.ly/”. Connecting this with the code we spray painted on the IO shield, will create the URL “bit.ly/2yPKH2V” and redirect you to this PAGE.
A side note: a fellow memer created a TinyURL version which led to a Rick Roll. This was not made by us! 😀
3. May 27, 2015
The next step only shows you the date “May 27, 2015” and the current riddle status.
Finding this date on our Facebook page will lead to one of our first posts, where the next clue is visible.
4. 1. DESC
If interpreted the right way “1. DESC” leads to the description of our first video. There we added the following: “(code in nature) @mercomods.com”
5. Code in nature
Back in the video description it says “(code in nature) @mercomods.com.”
Writing anything to ZYLT8-Q4L3E-NMZ8Z@mercomods.com will get you this automatic response “https://mercomods.com/23kjfsnmd9/”.
7. Three foundations of the Sombra PC mod
On this site you are asked to put the three foundations of the Sombra PC behind the current URL in alphabetical order behind the current URL: https://www.mercomods.com/23kjfsnmd9kingstonmsithermaltake.
This is the last part of the puzzle, so we tried to make it really hard to solve.
If you analyse the picture for some time, you will notice that on one of the cars there is a numberplate which says “Kansas”. This obviously does not fit into the image, since it looks like an Asian location.
Looking even further will make you notice, that in the top right corner of the image, there is a text on the wall of a building, that is a little bit too sharp and looks edited in. It reads “18.8720° N”.
The two things you can see in the image are Kansas and a North coordinate.
By searching “Kansas coordinates” on Google, you will get the following: 39.0119° N, 98.4842° W
Replacing the North coordinate with the one found in the image will make this coordinates: 18.8720° N, 98.4842° W
Entering these coordinates in Google Maps, will lead to a random location in the middle of Mexico.
11. Small hint
Back on the website you see the text ” Some times the very best place to be is within your own imagination”. This gives you a small hint on what to look for on the location given by the new coordinates. By zooming in a little on the map, you will notice a location called “Hostal Imagina”.
12. Google reviews of Hostal Imagina
Imagina means Imagination in Spanish, so if you check the reviews of the hostel, you see one written by “Sombra S.” It was written in Spanish, but for the sake of explaining, it says “ It was a really nice place and a pleasure to stay. If you still have any questions about this, you can contact me here sombra224341 (at) gmail com. Ask me how my stay at Hostal Imagina was.”
13. Ask Sombra about her stay
Write a email to email@example.com and you will get a response, that you won the PC.
This was the very last step of the puzzle and Florian, who goes by the Reddit name Sheigutn, was the first one to solve this it.
I went to meet him on 23.12.2017 to deliver the PC personally. Three others, that completed the puzzle shortly afterwards, also got a small prize of an Amazon Giftcard.
We definitely learned a lot by doing this community event and are aware that it did not go down perfect. But in the end it was still a very fun experience and we would love to do something like this again in the near future, so stay tuned!