Valve Mysteriously Updates Portal, Internet Matlocks Go Nuts

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Portal, the space and mind-pending bending first person puzzler from Valve is an incredible game, and it’s just received a particularly mysterious update. The PC version of the game has been updated, but nobody’s quite sure why yet though. The peculiarly cryptic changelog reads  “”Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations”

It’s also received a new achievement called “Transmission Received,” but with no information on how to acquire it. Also included in the update was a host of new sound files – all white noise and morse code -  that are triggered by doing things with the radio in the starting pod. This is where it starts to get really interesting…

Some clever fellows on the Valve forums ran the sound files through a Slow-Scan Television program. If you’re unaware, SSTV is used to transmit still images via radio band. What they found was really bloody interesting. See the pictures obtained from the sound files here : Valve.

People have also been hard at work decoding the morse-code – some of which translates to 32bit MD5 signatures, others to plain text and all sorts of other completely insane things. check the code thread here.

What could it all mean? Nobody’s quite figured it out yet – and it could just be a case of Valve doing some pretty impressive trolling. It could however lead to the announcement of something big…really big. Episode 3, perhaps?

Put on your detective hats – and tell us what you think it could all be.

Last Updated: March 2, 2010

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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