Three weeks ago, we reported on the Frozen Indigo Angel game promoting BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend music festival. On the same day, we also found out about a season two preview for Perplex City. As it turns out, the two were fated to be reported together, as they were officially connected on May 12th in a blog post on Violet Underground, with a puzzle found in one of Paul Denchfield’s videos leading to a new PXC game web site.
Within a day of finding the puzzle, players of the Frozen Indigo Angel (FIA) game had solved it (see this thread at unofficialmills.co.uk) and discovered the tie-in with Perplex City. On the 14th, Denchfield posted on his blog about the recent activity and the new PXC web site, and Violet blogged about receiving emails which put her in touch with Denchfield himself. At this point, the story revolved around Cyrus Quinton, a member of the myserious Third Power who had set up a secret web page at the newly discoverd Silburn-Griggs Mining web site. Cyrus, according to Violet, is a “sound-engineer-slash-mass-murdering-psychopath,” and Denchfield warns about a “subliminal messaging scheme” Cyrus has planned for the Big Weekend concert — just as Cyrus warns his agents about Denchfield.
From the 15th to the 18th, Cyrus created “ticket challenges” for people to take part in during real world events. These challenges were noted by both Violet and Denchfield in separate blog entries, and players quick to solve the puzzles were awarded with tickets for the concert event. However, not everything is as it seemed, as a timetable was discovered at the same time, revealing that Cyrus was planning on using Perplex City technology during the weekend to send subliminal commands to listeners of Radio 1 who attended the Big Weekend concert. Alas, even as players, led by Denchfield, were told to do whatever they could to stop Cyrus from broadcasting a “primer” over the airwaves, the signal ended up going out on the 17th, “drowning out Beyonce and Shakira.”
All was not lost, as on the 18th Violet revealed a new plan which involved interfering with five transmitters hidden in various areas of the Big Weekend concert grounds. She urged players to find sets of mysterious symbols, take pictures and send it to Paul, who was going to be at the festival in person. The collaborative efforts by the players would solve a coded puzzle on the Project FIA web site, leading to a map of the transmitters’ locations. On the 19th, as Denchfield updated his blog, Flickr and Twitter in real time, the search was successful, as Denchfield and Violet both reported. However, the transmitters that were supposed to be found at those locations weren’t in place yet.
On the 20th, Denchfield received transmitter locations from Violet and posted updates on his Twitter page. As it turns out, only four transmitters had to be destroyed as players were told to cut the red wire of the transmitting devices. After player had thwarted his evil plan, Cyrus ran, but not before stealing musical equipment from Big Weekend performers. This led to another week of game play as players were able to take part in an “instrument hunt” to track down and find the missing instruments — and keep them afterwards.
As hectic as the events seem, things seem to have ran very smoothly. Both the BBC and Mind Candy should be commended for their work in creating and running this experience, as it appears to have been exciting, fun and unforgettable. Hopefully we will see more of Cyrus in the upcoming season two of Perplex City — he seems like a villain people can really get to hate.