Riddle Me This: When Does Batman’s Enigmatic Cipher Hunt Become an ARG?

In August 2020, Warner Bros shared the first trailer for Robert Pattinson’s debut as the caped crusader at DC FanDome. Attentive fans noticed that during that trailer, the Riddler carefully wrapped up a greeting card for Batman, posing an initial challenge: “What does a liar say when he’s dead?” The card went on to say “Haven’t a Clue? Let’s Play a Game, just Me and You…” before devolving into a series of nonsensical characters. Nonsensical, at least, until a fan decoded the script to complete the macabre puzzle: HE LIES STILL. A fun, throwaway easter egg that has since returned, launching what looks suspiciously like a new alternate reality game leading up to the March 4th release of The Batman.

Known cipher letters: EHILST

Image by @Bat_Source on Twitter – (full resolution image on their account)

The Batman (Cipher) Returns: Finding the Rabbit Hole
Last week, fans started to notice an enigmatic message at the bottom of movie standees at their local theaters. Using the letters uncovered from the prior easter egg, the message spelled out ??? ??E EL ??T? ?L???. Incredibly, fans were able to piece together the context clues to spell out YOU ARE EL RATA ALADA – a message that doubled as multi-lingual accusation of being a “winged rat”, as well as a clue to check out the URL “RataAlada.com“. At the time, visitors were greeted with a glowing green question mark, and nothing more.

Known cipher letters: ADEHILORSTUY

A New Round of Riddles
Earlier today, RataAlada.com unlocked with a series of riddles, designed for players to prove themselves, kicking off with the message “Let’s play a game just me and you?” If you’re here looking for hints, the answers have been shared, in ROT-13.

  • “What’s black and blue and dead all over?” ONGZNA
  • “I can be easy or a dead end. Careful when you cross me.” N FGERRG
  • “Those who make me are likely to break me.” YNJF

While the chatbot serves a highly utilitarian process in the experience, it hides more than a few delightful surprises to taunt players who try and get creative with the challenge. Checking the source code reveals a console.log message “Nice try. You won’t find anything here”, while navigating away from the page triggers lighthearted taunts: upon return, you might be greeted with the message “you scour the internet for truth, but you still need to answer me”, or “you search for the right answers, but you need to look deeper.” Wrong answers can lead to even harsher admonishments, with the chatbot’s chiding going so far as to say “with answers like that, no wonder Gotham suffers.

Once all three riddles are answered, the site’s chatbot rewards visitors with a JPG featuring a series of three sketches Pattinson’s Batman, with the beginning of an additional coded message hidden in the URL. Returning to the site, visitors are posed with a new question: “Have you ever been to the Iceberg Lounge?” Whatever the response, visitors are given the link to one final reward: a final ciphered message from the Riddler, along with a message: “That’s all I have for now. I’ll be back with more soon. Just stay vigilant.” The message doubled as promise of more to come and decoder ring for the final puzzle, as those final words were the key to unlocking more letters of The Riddler’s cipher.

Around the same time RataAlada.com went live, DC’s Twitter account shared an animated gif that translated the site’s opening prompt of “Let’s play a game just me and you” into the Riddler’s cipher text. The looped gif only replaced previously identified letters, but served as additional reinforcement for prior solutions.

Known cipher letters: ADEHILNORSTUVY

Does This Mean We Finally Have a New Batman ARG?
While it was easy to write off the Riddler’s initial coded message as an easter egg, the launch of RataAlada.com paired with the promise that the Riddler would be “back with more soon” makes Batman’s return to the world of alternate reality games all but certain.

It may not be as expansive as Why So Serious‘ multi-year campaign leading up to the release of The Dark Knight in 2007-2008 – their ability to do everything from a live event enlisting SDCC attendees into the Joker’s heist crew to holding Harvey Dent campaign rallies and hiding burner phones inside cakes was predicated on having over a year to roll out the narrative beats, and the release of The Batman isn’t too far off. But it does look like Warner Bros is returning to familiar ARGish territory to help welcome Robert Pattinson into the cinematic Bat Family, and the experience has promised more to come in some form.

So stay vigilant, and keep your eyes peeled for more signs and ciphers of things to come, on RataAlada.com and other dark corners of the world (both real and virtual). After all, with prior entries coming from both official trailer and in-theater promotional materials, who knows where we might next find the Bat’s signals?

Updated 1/27/2022 to add: The RataAlada.com website has been updated, with three new questions (answers in ROT-13, easily readable through websites like Rot13.com):

  • “The more I’m revealed, the less I exist” – FRPERG
  • “It sinks and swims. It can be rotten even when it’s all dressed up” – VPRORET
  • “Payback comes to all who accept one” – OEVOR

Answering those three questions unlocks an additional image from the film, as well as another block of cipher text adding the letters B, M, and W to the Riddler’s alphabet. Thanks to JC Denton in the comments for flagging the update!

Updated 1/30/2022 to add: The update frequency has increased, with an additional batch of questions:

  • “When the game is on, what corrupts absolutely? – CBJRE
  • Without a doubt, Gotham’s elite live here – between light and dark” – FUNQBJF
  • Underneath the bridge the tarp has sprung a leak. It’s okay to eat the fish because they don’t have any…what? SRRYVATF

This unlocked yet another image, as well as a new block of cipher text introducing the letters “F”, “P”, and “X”.

Updated 2/18 to add: A new batch of questions dropped:

  • “When I fall, I rise. Though I am not human, some say I have a heart.” – QNEXARFF
  • “I’m Greek. I’m Latin. I’m 500 Years Old. I speak in riddles. What am I?” – RAVTZN
  • “Giving you this would be giving you the answer” – PYHRF

Yet again, this unlocked a new image and block of cipher text, introducing the letter “Q”. Earlier in the month, a new set of movie posters introduced the letter “K” to the list.

Updated 2/25 to add: One more batch of questions:

  • “From birth to death. From boy to man. All things change, but htis is one thing he will always be.” FBA
  • “The end is the middle, twice. Test your mind and try not to get baffled by me.” CHMMYR 
  • A man worth billions, in a manor of speaking.” JNLAR

You know the drill – new image, new cipher text, new cipher text, and the introduction of the letter “C” to the Riddler’s almost-complete alphabet.

Updated 3/2 to add: With this potentially final round, things got a little more complicated. The first step: solving an initial batch of questions:

  • “What was new, is new again. Rebirth. Restoration. Reformation.” – ERARJNY
  • “I am first a fraud or a trick. Or perhaps a blend of the two. That’s up to your misinterpretation.” – PBASHFVBA
  • Fear he who hides behind one.” – ZNFX

After solving those three riddles, a password protected file named What_Am_I.zip is provided. To open it, players must solve a final riddle, contained in the URLs of all the prior files:

I’m not an imposer
Rearrange your jumbled
Perspective just
Do not break me

Players solved the riddle last week, and using that password unlocks a short video, Thomas_Wayne_Lies.mp4, featuring a defaced campaign ad from Thomas Wayne’s mayoral run.

An excerpted image from Thomas_Wayne_Lies.mp4

A final coded message provided the letter “Z”, leaving only the letter “J” unidentified for the full cipher alphabet.

Updated 3/6 to add: After the film’s official premiere on Friday March 4th, the website was updated with traceroute-based references to past Batman comics, a new block of cipher text and a “loading bar” incrementing approximately once every 2 hours. The loading should be completed at some point around Friday March 11th.

Updated 3/11 to add: Once the loading bar hit 100%, the site was updated with a file download for know_what_i_know.zip, containing images from the Riddler’s surveillance as well as an excerpt from his journal. The new block of cipher text that came along with it should be a familiar teaser, for fans who watched the film.

Updated 3/18 to add: We’re back to traditional riddles, with a new round of questions:

  • “No city is eternal. Not even Gotham. An empire falls, but this word still rings true.” – IREVGNF
  • “The famous crave me. Others protect themselves from me. No matter how you define me, I always end with certainty.” – RKCBFHER
  • “While it shouldn’t be a controversial policy, many of Gotham’s elite prefer to do the opposite of what is best.” – UBARFGL

This unlocked an illustrated image of the phrase The Riddler – Year One (a new comic coming to DC) framed by a pair of spectacles, paired with a countdown to six days from now. It also led to an additional block of cipher text, providing the final letter of the Riddler’s cipher (as well as a second, barely legible message on the bottom of the page).

Updated 3/24 to add: After the countdown finished, a new set of questions popped up, with a strong theme running across the questions:

  • “It’s not a joke, but sometimes you have to shout it twice to really mean it” – UN
  • “To wit: a wild card in the truest sense” –WBXRE
  • “Once you’ve been set up, it hits you at the end. Straight on.” – CHAPUYVAR

Completing this round of riddles unlocked a deleted scene from the film.

If this really is the end for Rata Alada, there’s a certain narrative resonance. Why So Serious‘ alternate reality game opened with a pixel-by-pixel reveal of Heath Ledger’s face as the Joker, before launching into a months-long campaign that brought players into the world of Gotham. So having Rata Alada close out events with a deleted scene introducing Barry Keoghan’s Joker to DC fans brings things full circle, in a way.


  1. MPG

    Hmmm. In those sketches, is that a bar code? I couldn’t get a scanner to read them.

  2. KC


    • JC Denton

      With it having been over a month now with no updates, I can’t help but feel as if this is the key to something that was overlooked…

      • MPG

        I am sooooo with you. I reached out to Jett over at Batman-On-Film hoping he might have an “in” with the marketing, but he said he hasn’t even been following it. Another dead end.

    • MPG

      KC: I tried a series of words to go along with the “IM NOT AN”, but to no avail.
      I tried like this https://www.rataalada.com/rpo/9-13_14-15-20_1-14_5-14-9-7-13-1.jpg and like this https://www.rataalada.com/rpo/5-14-9-7-13-1.jpg for ENIGMA, to no avail. I also tried other words like ANGEL, ENEMY, ORPHAN to no avail.

      • JC Denton

        I did similar – tried a host of URLs (and .jpg) to no avail – all the obvious ones.

        But… site is updated with new riddles today (or maybe yesterday, I didn’t check).

  3. Theo

    There’s a new update that happened literally hours later. At least I think it’s a new update, cause I haven’t seen anyone talk about it. It asks you if you think Gotham is safe, and prompts different responses for answering yes or no, but drops the same picture both times, but I’m not sure if the picture is new.

    • MPG

      I see the new set of riddles. Got two of the three.
      Struggling with the answer to “It Sinks and Swims. It can be rotten even when it’s all dressed up.”

      • Michael Andersen

        The article has been updated with solutions to those questions, encrypted in ROT-13 to avoid spoiling people who want to solve the riddles on their own.

  4. Nostromo

    the revealed picture is named “imposer_rearrange” in caesar-shift

    • JC Denton

      The original reward was titled “I’m not an” with a substitution cipher

      If we put them together, we get “I’m not an imposer_ rearrange”

      If we take it literally, the best anagram I can find for imnotanimposer is “impersonator” … but it leaves a left over “M”.

      • JC Denton

        Edit: Impersonation – not impersonator

  5. Peter G.

    There are new riddles. The first one is “WITHOUT A DOUBT, GOTHAM’S ELITE LIVE HERE – BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARK.”

    • lucas


      • Peter G.

        Correct. (My first guess, “in the shadows”, was rejected, leading me to try a bunch of worse answers that were also rejected, but eventually I came back to “shadows” when I realized the earlier riddles all had short one-word answers.

        The other two were easier: WHEN THE GAME IS ON, WHAT CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY? (The traditional answer was not accepted, but when I shortened it to one word, that worked.) and UNDERNEATH THE BRIDGE THE TARP HAS SPRUNG A LEAK. IT’S OKAY TO EAT THE FISH BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE ANY… WHAT? (The answer to this was also the title to the one hit song from one Maurício Alberto Kaisermann.)

      • Peter G.

        Three correct answers gave me a clickable link to a photo montage featuring John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, and a possibly disappointing final text: YOU’VE REACHED THE END OF THE GAME, BUT SOME GAMES NEVER END.

  6. Mauricio

    what is ROT-13

    • Michael Andersen

      …sorry, ROT-13 is an encryption method that shifts all the letters forward 13 spaces (so, A becomes N, B becomes O, etc.)

      There are a lot of tools online like Rot13.com that let you decrypt those messages so that the answer is accessible to people who want it, but doesn’t spoil people who don’t.

  7. JC Denton

    New .png file name (which may or may not have its own stuff hidden within) is another shift cipher. This one is a 13 character shift, giving us “your_jumbled”


    I feel as if part 4 will give us more of the sentence. Perhaps we will have to rearrange our jumbled riddle answers?

    • h4ck5t3r

      after yesterday’s reveal, it could look like this:

      “I’m not an imposer.
      Rearrange your perspective.
      Just . “

      • h4ck5t3r

        “Just …” could be an incomplete sentence with later puzzles revealing more.

      • h4ck5t3r


        “Rearrange your jumbled perspective”

      • Omar

        “who I am” is the title of the new video of Thomas Wayne

  8. MPG

    Hey, did we just get “K” from:

    • JC Denton

      Yep! First place K was seen if I’m not mistaken.

      Let’s hope we get an update soon…

  9. MPG

    Looks like a new set of riddles today.
    First Reward:
    Do we have any thoughts about the end of this URL?

    TSUJ_EVITCEPSREP = Just Perspective?

    • Tonyynot

      Finally got a new letter today, only 3 more to go!

    • JC Denton

      It makes a bit more sense (arguably) if we take as “perspective_just”
      All the URL rewards have had cipher text in the file name.

      You remember Image 1 (the police sketches) was a substitution cipher that gave us “im_not_an”. The Falcone/ Penguin pic got us “imposer_rearrange”. The other Falcone pic was a ROT13 cipher that got us “your_jumbled”.

      I’d argue “I’m not an imposer. Rearrange your jumbled perspective. Just ____ ” makes the most sense (with more to come). But it could also read “rearrange your jumbled, just perspective” (referring to how our perspective of what is “just” or not is jumbled). While fairly clumsy grammar, technically the second option isn’t wrong…

  10. MPG

    “Do not break me”

    • Michael Andersen

      Someone on Twitter flagged that this is a new riddle, and that the answer is PROMISE (an anagram of imposer, and something you shouldn’t break). The only question is where to use that information…

      • Daniela

        It is the password for the mp4 file offered as a reward for the new puzzle. The “What_Am_I.zip” archive is downloaded, which contains the “Thomas_Wayne_Lies.mp4” file, encrypted with the password “PROMISE”

  11. MPG

    03/02/2022 1:17pm Eastern Time. Looks like new riddles on Rataalada.

    • MPG

      Haven’t cracked this one yet:

      • boredumbkids

        This one has got me stuck!

      • JC Denton

        fraud or trick = “con”
        blend of the two = “fusion”

        misinterpretation = confusion.

  12. Beam

    Fear he who hides behind one – Mask
    What was new, is new again. rebirth. restoration. Reformation – Renewal
    I am a fraud or a trick or perhaphs a blend of the two. That’s up to your misinterpretation. – Confusion

    Reward is What_Am_I.zip password is “promise”. I won’t spoil what is in the zip file itself.

    Refreshing get’s last cipher: Maze of Riddles, adding Z to the alphabet. Also confirms the end.

  13. Omar

    I’m stuck with the

    • Andrés

      The letter j is missing

      • Omar

        J of Joker

    • MPG

      See Above.

    • Daniela


  14. Omar

    Look like the only letter that is missing if “J”
    The one and only letter that doesn’t appear in the periodic table
    Who knows?

  15. Omar

    J is missing because is the initial of Joker!
    We know who is gonna be our next villain!!!

    • Giles

      Well he was in the movie lol

  16. lina

    I mean the scarecrow works with chem stuff the next villain could be him or a “doctor” like Doc Hugo Strange

  17. moons

    i figured out two of them, “mask” and “renewal”, but i’m still stuck at the fraud – trick one

  18. John

    Me too I was hoping to find the awnser here

    • Michael Andersen

      It’s mentioned a few times above, but the third answer is CONFUSION.

      JC Denton has a particularly nice explanation of why.

  19. bee

    7 bombs 7 letters in the word justice yet no j in the code?

  20. Jackson M.

    I’m wondering if there’s any more or if this is the end of this little game. My original thought was that it was intended to be a fun little teaser for those who haven’t seen the movie yet, and I was sad for it to come to an end, even though I saw the early premiere on Tuesday. Now I’m not so sure. Why would it say “Keep your eyes peeled for my return” AND offer a post credits URL for people who have already seen the movie? Fingers crossed for more fun

  21. JC Denton

    Site has updated yet again…
    It’s not over yet.

    Upon first visiting the site, you get a “traceroute” program, and at the end an email address – [email protected]. Having emailed it, it didn’t get kicked back, so the address is real, but no response yet.

    New cipher with a “loading screen” — started at 0% at around 10am MST when I checked today. 4 hours later it is at 1%.
    Not sure if this is time based, or based on some other criteria (emails sent, site visit counter, etc.).

    cipher cracked: “you think i’m finished but perhaps you don’t know the full truth every ending is a new beginning something is coming” with the title of the picture being its_not_over_yet.jpg

    • Noah Bellis

      Decoding the IP addresses in the trace route gives you a list of release dates of important DC comics. Here they are along with important characters they contain:
      May 1939, DC #27-Batman
      March 1940, Batman #1-Joker
      December 1941, DC #58-Penguin
      October 1948, DC #140-The Riddler
      March 1987, Batman #405-Two Face and Carmine Falcone
      April 1943, Batman #16-Alfred
      October 1974, Batman #258-Two Face
      March 4 2022, The Batman Movie

      • Ian

        How did you decode it?

  22. Andrés

    La letra j aún no aparece
    (sorry, I don’t speak English)

    • Adrian

      No hermano, esa está sin usarse aún, queda vacia

  23. Adrian

    hello, im already finish the movie tonight, i entered the site and give a loadinng wait screen after the encrypt message, it said:
    Loading 22% at 12:35 right now

    • Adrian

      i send the email to the [email protected] and the loading change to 23%

  24. Star

    Is anyone thinking it may be Two-Face next? I mean he would have dirt/truth on Bruce Wayne and Batman, he was running for mayor one time and promised to make Gotham better again, the percentage (i think) goes up every 2 hours, I mean if he did have something against Bruce/Batman hed probably want to expose him as riddler wanted too.

  25. Beam

    100% at Noon Central today

    • Xavier

      It gives you a pdf and the message: You did so well. And you know…

  26. Andrés

    The site has been updated

  27. James

    the barely legible message at the bottom say: “you’re part of this”