Update [12/02/2013 – 07:45]: Now that one of Survivor 2299’s countdowns has run to zero, yet more codes have spawned from the mysterious site.
It appears that a story is starting to finally take shape, with Vault 119 having encountered an “unknown enemy.” The details can be found in the next article:
Original Article [11/30/2013 – 17:26]: The so-called “hype train” for Fallout 4 continues, with the legitimacy of Survivor 2299 still very much in contention. However, as quickly as new ciphers, messages and clues emerge from the mysterious teaser site, fresh evidence comes to light that disproves old findings and theories.
For those unaware of recent events, the Las Vegas Guardian Express has been keeping abreast of the latest developments, eternally spilling from the Fallout 4 rumor mill. The following articles will help catch you up to speed:
- Fallout 4 ‘Survivor 2299′ Morse Code Signals Possible VGA Announcement: Oscar Zulu Station and Nuclear Winter [Update]
- Fallout 4 Trailer Audio Potentially Leaked: Reddit Questions Legitimacy [Update]
- Fallout 4 Set in Boston? ‘Survivor 2299′ Plot Thickens [Update]
- Fallout 4 Conjecture: Caesar’s Legion, Desmond Lockheart and ‘Survivor 2299′ Code Breakdowns [Update]
- Fallout 4 ‘Survivor 2299′ Teaser Reveals Stage 7 Warnings and Vault Tec Message [Update]
- Fallout 4 “Survivor 2299″ Air Raid Sirens, Frequency 3450 Transmissions and Boston’s Destruction
With rumors circulating over the potential news of such a high-profile video game, naturally, a few pointless hoaxes are to be anticipated. For example, as previously reported, the newly posted “Vault of the Future” teaser site is now widely considered to be a fake, constructed to subversively acquire the e-mail addresses of unsuspecting Fallout fans; it is speculated that these e-mail addresses might then be used by a spambot.
Warning: the material contained herein should be considered speculative, until such a time as Bethesda or ZeniMax officials are able to confirm. The Legitimacy of Survivor 2299 remains questionable.
Leaked ‘Trailer Audio’ a Patti Page/Mario Mashup
The Las Vegas Guardian Express had recently reported on the upload of a contentious Fallout 4 audio clip, which many Redditors and fans of the franchise had theorized to have derived from an official teaser trailer.
Speculation went into overdrive when the news was reported by a Reddit user. The individual in question, going by the unwholesome and insalubrious alias of pooperf****r, posted the following message on the illustrious social news and entertainment website:
Many Reddit users were convinced of the audio clip’s legitimacy, and made the point that it sounded professionally edited. Indeed, the audio was convincingly edited and was fitting to the Fallout universe. Likewise, whether intentional or not, the audio was the perfect length for a possible Fallout 4 teaser trailer, with moody undertones that remained consistent with previous trailers that Bethesda had launched for Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.
For those unaware, the audio segment was just shy of two minutes in length and was uploaded around seven days ago. The clip opens with Patti Page’s The End of The World track, a song that was originally covered by Skeeter Davis in 1963.
At the halfway mark, the song then gradually transitions into dramatic orchestral music, before concluding with a brief vocal from an unidentified female vocalist. Check out the clip, below:
Suspicions were immediately raised when Reddit user PlatinKing established that pooperf****r’s Reddit account was newly created. It had also been suggested that the finale of the track was unfitting for the Fallout universe.
Meanwhile, other Redditors were mistrustful of the user’s unconvincing explanation as to exactly how he/she stumbled across the baffling audio clip; pooper argued that he was “… messing around with puush trying to spy on what people uploaded…” when he made the chance discovery.
Luckily, a remarkably observant and resourceful Redditor, called whistletense, provided the community with the smoking gun, well and truly dispelling the “teaser’s” authenticity. Quite rightly, he presented evidence to show that the orchestral music was originally used as the Castle Theme for Super Mario World.
Hopping ahead to around the 1:20 mark, it becomes quite evident that the “leaked trailer audio” was simply a mashup between Patti Page and Super Mario:
This prompted pooper to issue his trolling confessions to a rather disappointed, albeit surprisingly forgiving, Fallout subreddit. His unapologetic and boastful post briefly indicates how he fabricated the clip:
User TenSecondsFlat summarized his thoughts on the matter, quite aptly:
“I can’t decide whether I love you or if I want to find and kill you. Well done, sir. Well done.”
3450 kHz Broadcasts an FCC Violation?
Fallout fanatics were, once again, excited to discover a brand new Morse code sequence blaring out from the Survivor 2299 site, on Wednesday Nov. 27. After deciphering the cryptic message, it was suggested that Boston had fallen prey to a fictional, nationwide nuclear strike:
“Calling all stations, calling all stations, calling all stations. Boston is gone, I repeat, Boston is gone. No Hope. Frequency 3450 Return Transmission. God Bless America.”
The message seems to support the tenet that the next iteration in the Fallout franchise will be set in Boston. The orchestrator of the message then appears to issue the imperative for frequency 3450 to return a transmission.
Naturally, this led the Reddit community, led by fiberkanin, to commence investigation of frequency 3450 kHz in Massachusetts. Soliciting the efforts of members of the Pirate Radio Forum, a number of enthusiasts took to the airwaves, in the hope they would glean further information and rumors regarding the imminence of Fallout 4.
Ultimately, this yielded some pretty interesting results and the following sinister transmission was recorded over the airwaves:
Halfway through the recorded broadcast, a series of telephone beeps ring out, as the air raid sirens continue to sound out, ominously, in the backdrop. The general consensus of opinion was that these high-pitch tones represented a form of telecommunication signaling, called dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMF), often sent out over analogue phone line systems.
The pattern of touch tone noises were matched to the corresponding button presses and the Reddit community conjured the following message: “IMSECURE.” This was interpreted to mean “I’m secure,” a likely response to the previously mentioned message, which requested a “return transmission.”
Alas, there is huge debate stirring over whether these broadcasts were part of yet another underhanded rouse. Frequency 3450 kHz is reserved as an aviation frequency and it appears that there was no record of a flight test, of any description, having been registered for this spot.
In addition to this, many point towards the legality of the material that was broadcast over this frequency. Throughout the transmission, a World War II style air raid siren was played, along with an Emergency Alert System (EAS) message.
For example, TBS was recently fined $25,000, by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, for airing a promo that included a sound believed to simulate the EAS distress signal. The promo concerned was aired back in April 2012 for Conan O’Brien’s late-night chat show, Conan.
On this basis, it would seem highly unlikely that a distinguished company, such as Bethesda, would risk their activities falling into disrepute, or being slapped with a hefty fine. In an FCC document, the organization outlines an enforcement advisory, relating to the unauthorized use of EAS signals and prohibited tones.
What is more, the message was only broadcast for a very short duration. Logically, if the event was orchestrated as part of some grandiose stunt to drum up publicity for the game’s arrival, the message would likely be looped for a number of hours.
Further still, some have argued that these illegal transmissions call into question the legitimacy of Survivor 2299 itself.
The Disappearance of the Trademark
The fake teaser trailer audio and radio broadcasts, however, were merely fanning the flames of an already hyped Fallout fanbase. The event that spurred this frenzied investigative activity, and kindled the hope that the post-apocalyptic game was on its way, transpired when a trademark for Fallout 4 was submitted to the Office for the Harmonization of the Internal Market (OHIM). This act, in itself, raised eyebrows, with many questioning the motives of the Maryland-based company in filing a trademark application in the European Union, rather than the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
However, according to CVG, the application was subsequently investigated by OHIM officials and immediately discarded. Although the organization refused to comment on individual cases, they did specify that virtually anybody is capable of submitting trademark applications. Simply put, the website is frequently exposed to hoaxers on an all-too-frequent basis and bogus proposals remain visible for the world to see, up until OHIM are able to pass final judgment.
This news comes in the wake of a spate of fake trademark filings for a number of high-profile video games, starting with Half Life 3 back in October. The latest hoax application was made for Shenmue 3, on Tuesday Nov. 26. A Sega spokesperson confirmed the filing to have been a hoax and are currently hunting down the “origins of the application.”
Could the latest Fallout 4 hoax trademark have served as the catalyst for another prankster creating Survivor 2299? Only time can answer that question.
Meanwhile, no fresh clues have been released from the teaser site, since Nov. 27. A number of Redditors have leapt to the assumption that the website has gone dark because ZeniMax’s offices have been closed over the Thanksgiving holiday period.
Of course, we plan to continue providing updates on Fallout 4 and the Survivor 2299 teaser site, in the coming days and weeks. We would like to thanks our readers for keeping us updated on the latest events, and for providing us with so many invaluable tips.
By James Fenner
Fallout Wikia (Survivor 2299)