The most recent Star Trek movie has been a rousing success, earning $76.5 million on opening weekend. And like many projects involving JJ Abrams, Star Trek was promoted using an alternate reality game, Alert Vulcan. While the game has wrapped up, one fan has created a video summarizing the experience, and five lucky players are still receiving rewards for their contributions in the mail.
Back in April, Hollywood party blogger The Cobra Snake posted a series of Star Trek mixers in Hollywood and Paris. Hidden in the background of some pictures were barely discernable text strings that led players to a distorted video of the Narada, Captain Nero’s Romulan vessel in the film. Further code lead to a chat log of five Romulans conversing in English, French, Spanish, Japanese, and German.
One of them left an item in France, which was recovered by “Malako.” Following a series of clues, players uncovered a staged Romulan crash site with Romulan symbols visible from the air. They also gained the ability to manipulate a digital hologram of a starfield via webcam by going to johannbayer.eu, entering the code U04C5NMD413, and printing out the background image, using a system similar to the Experience the Enterprise viral.
Eventually, players received phone calls explaining the situation: two sets of Romulans crash landed on Earth, with one group attempting to help Captain Nero destroy Earth, and the other group attepting to prevent it. By recreating a transmission at AlertVulcan.comand reposting the file across the internet, players were able to prevent the end of the world.
Capping off the alternate reality game, Leonard Nimoy personally congratulated the participants on YouTube, five players in particular. Matt was selected to receive a replica of the USS Enterprise, while the other four top contributors received a collection of Star Trek related products pictured here and here.
Special thanks to ellisrico for putting together a great video summary of the game.