clue found under ultraviolet lightWhile it’s not quite a return to the gold rush days of yore, the alternate reality game for Velvet Assassin, dubbed Violette’s Dream by the players, involves much more than just fake Nazi gold bars. In fact, much to the delight of Dee Cook (addlepated) and Russel_k at the Unfiction forums, there are authentic gold bars ready to be found in the real world! According to a press release sent to us, while these gold bars are the first to be discovered, “[m]ore caches of gold are still being hunted down.”

The ARG, a campaign for the upcoming XBOX 360/PC game Velvet Assassin, has been entertaining players for three months thus far, and continues to play out at trailhead/meta site The premise of both the ARG and the video game is unique in that it is inspired by real-life British spy Violette Szabo. The video game launches in fall 2008, and we expect the ARG to continue past the release of the game, as

Along with the press release came some photos of the find in Fredricksburg, Texas, which you can see after the jump.

Dee Cook poses with gold

swag from the Violette's Dream game

As you can see, there were a number of items in the Fredricksburg package, including WWII antiquities, bank notes, jewellery, coins and a letter with an address. Getting to the cache wasn’t a simple process, as the press release reveals:

A rogue developer at Replay Studios dropped a few online clues to direct people to the aforementioned site and it grew as followers began talking to each other about the mystery. Two months later and after several phone calls, email exchanges, trips to local bookstores and some online sleuthing, the first cache was found by Dee Cook – a real bar of gold and a replica of rumored Nazi treasure.

As for Russel_k’s adventure, the journey was no piece of cake either. After receiving an in-game tip about another gold cache, players had twenty-three hours to get an envelope from the manager at The Foundry in London, England. Luckily, this industrious player was in the area at the time, because the letter led him on a race to Victoria Station, a little more than four miles away, where a baggage reclaim ticket was exchanged for a “khaki green bag and an envelope inside,” labeled WHEAT. Inside the envelope was the prize, a “rather heavy gold ingot,” accompanied by information important to the game.

Violette’s Dream seems to have captured the hearts of a number of dedicated players, regardless of their proximity to potential riches, and even after many weeks of game play, it looks like a game that could be picked up fairly easily at this point. So, whether you’re in it for the fame, the fortune, or simply the fun, head on over to the Unfiction forum thread or the in-game forums to get started.