As part of the Helios anomaly series, VI released Access Dive 4, which not only included passcodes as rewards, but also hints as to the locations of special portals that provided crucial information regarding the anomaly. In addition, the Dive was structured so that decoders of different skill levels could participate, with several codes that were easier presented along with some devilishly tricky ones. This walkthrough will concentrate on the path which was generally built with easier puzzles. It follows the middle path, and traces the glyphs “discover” and “new”.
If you haven’t started there already, you may want to check out Part I of this walkthrough, which brought us from the starting node of Access Dive 4 along the first few nodes of the easy path. We pick up on the last node in the Discover glyph.
Please note! Some passcodes on this branch may still be alive, but many will have been Fully Redeemed for several weeks by now. Remember, this walkthrough is designed to help you learn how to solve codes before they’re fully redeemed, not to just give you free gear!
The Access Dive 4 console an be found here: http://veruminveniri.com/ad4/console
Gong (Difficulty: 5/5)
Almost through with the “Discover” glyph, we have one more node to go. This time, it presents an audio file to us, which could introduce all sorts of interesting tricks:
Well, that’s certainly… atonal. Doesn’t seem like listening to it normally is going to be much help, so let’s go find a sound file editor and see how this thing looks visually.
So, it looks like we have here 12 rectangles of various widths and heights. They all fit within a one second window. So, presumably, we somehow have to convert those into our letters and numbers. Since we know the format we expect the passcode to take, let’s focus on the blocks that probably represent the numbers first. (We’ll also ignore one of the channels, since they look to be about the same anyway.)
Interesting. The blocks that are likely numbers are all nearly the same height. Thinking about how numbers are represented in ASCII, if we were in hexadecimal, they’d be in the range 30-39. But in decimal, they can range from 48-57. The widths of the blocks are all over the place, but since these “number” blocks are all shorter than the “letter” blocks, and have a slight height difference between them, it seems likely that the height might represent the tens digit of a decimal ASCII character, and the width might represent the ones digit. Let’s see how big these blocks are.
Since the heights break out so evenly, and match our expected values for the numbers, we’ll start numbering the lowest one as “4” and go up one for each step. On the widths, it seems that each pulse is an even number of tenths of seconds, except for one which is an incredibly narrow slice. So, let’s assume our ones digit is the tenths of seconds, and that super-short one is a zero.
77 73 78 68 55 88 90 51 49 65 79 53
One last step to go. Convert those numbers into their ASCII representations, and we can leave this glyph and head to the next one.
By the way, did you notice there’s another node hanging off this one? That’s a hidden node. It was captured by entering the single use code posted by Verum Inveniri in this post about Gong.
Fit to Print (Difficulty: 3/5)
This time we get text, but not plain text for once. This time, we’ve got some strange coloration involved.
So, we have a variety of colors here. Looks like cyan, white, yellow, and magenta. This puzzle is a lot easier if you know a little bit about how color images are printed. If you’re working with paint, your primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. If you’re using light, the primary colors are red, green, and blue. But for print, the colors that are used to build everything are referred to as CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key. (Key? What color is key? It’s black, just roll with it, and check out Wikipedia if you’d like to know more.) Since we don’t have actual black here, let’s just assume the white is being used in its stead.
Now, the letters don’t seem to be following a specific pattern with their colors, so it’s likely the colors themselves are key somehow. Let’s break out the letters by their colors and see what that grouping looks like.
C:opsnart M:qbxeses Y:ssullun K:gdmetpe
Well, some of those bits look like they might have promise. The first group, the cyan letters, they almost look like they could make a word. Actually, if you flip them the other way, that looks interesting. Starts with “trans”. Let’s try reversing each group.
C:transpo M:sesexbq Y:nulluss K:eptemdg
Transpo.. se? Transpose looks like a good keyword. Also, it looks like there might be some Latin numbers in there. Let’s pull those groups together and space things a little differently.
transpose sex bq nullus septem dg
Remembering my many years of Latin that I never took, let’s turn to the wisdom of the Internet to find that sex = 6, nullus = 0, septem = 7. Let’s put it all together!
Hang on. We’re missing something. The VI passcode format is keyword#xx##xx#, but we’re short one digit. Well, it has to be one of only ten options, so that should be pretty quick to run through the options on. Let’s see… 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7…
Brute forcing that digit seems a little annoying. Perhaps there’s another way to figure out what that digit should have been. If anyone has any theories, please feel free to discuss!
Fit to Print (Difficulty: 4/5)
Okay, one more node to solve. What do you have in store for us now, VI?
So… Almost a crossword, then? Looks like we need to figure out what each of those items is referring to, then see what the highlighted entries give us. We’re going to need help for this one, unless you already know all the backstory of Ingress and Niantic by heart. Here’s a great reference: Niantic Project Wiki.
Now, bear in mind, there are several possible ways to interpret a LOT of these. I’ll give you my best guesses as to what might have been intended, and I at least have some reason to believe it’s right, because we do end up with a working passcode in the end. If you’re faced with something like this, try to nail down the ones you’re confident in first, then see how many different options you have for the ones you’re less certain about. Narrow down the number of possibilities where you can.
Everyone reading this is probably familiar with the Power Cube, especially with the increased drop rate during Helios. But did you know it was invented by Dr. Oliver Lynton-Wolfe? His last name fits our blanks here.Lynton-Wolfe
Back in the beginning of the Ingress storyline was Epiphany Night. Following that event, Carrie Campbell started recording something she called the Vision Journal. Since we’re looking for six letters here, let’s go with her first name.Carrie
Worked with Shannel
Not much is known about this character, but there is one hit on the wiki about Shannel. The character bio for Nessel claims she worked with Shannel, so that must be the one we need.Nessel
Arecibo is apparently a project that Devra Bogdonavich was involved with in the mid-90s. According to the VI passcode format, we’re due for a number, so since we need a number, let’s try the year. Not sure exactly which year is needed here, but fortunately we only really care about the decade. Let’s just pick the dead center and move on.1995
Calvin, Hank, Fiona
These characters all have one thing strongly in common. Their employer, past or present.IQTech
Dead man pseudonym
In reviewing the character bios, looking for dead characters, one that jumps out is Curter Zokiev. It’s speculated that this was actual Victor Kureze, as the name is an anagram. Both the first and last name are six letters, so theoretically either could work. In actually solving one like this, you may need to try both options. But for now, I’ll tell you that it’s the last name.Zokiev
There are three major XM corporations that recur in the Ingress storyline: Hulong Transglobal, Visur, and IqTech. Add the NIA to that group, and you get four organizations total.4
Leningrad could refer to a lot of things, but so far, we’ve been matching the VI format pretty well, so let’s look for another number. In researching Leningrad, the year 1943 comes up prominently, so we’ll use that one and move on. After all, as long as we’re in the right millennium, we’re fine.1943
Several characters are listed as working for Visur, but Claudia Glas is marked as being a “soldier”, and has a four letter name.Glas
One of the earliest media drops about Ingress was a series of posts on YouTube about a strange phone someone had bought at an auction, and which seemed to be malfunctioning. That someone? Ben Jackland.Jackland
Needed to make a field
And finally, we get to one that any player of Ingress should be able to answer by heart. We need a number, and the number is how many are needed for a field. And you know what? It’s a magic number.3
It’s been a long road and a lot of searching, but we’ve put all the pieces together now. Let’s stitch together those highlighted characters to get our passcode and finish out this path.
Solving this one opens up one final node, but at the time of this walkthrough, it is listed only as “Disabled node”. Perhaps sometime in the future another puzzle will appear here, but for now, all we can do is wait.
Or can we do more?
Guess what? This was only one path of three from the starting node. There are many, many more puzzles to solve in Access Dive 4, but the difficulty starts to go higher from this point forward. Take a look at the other puzzles in the Dive. There is some incredible creativity, and even if you can’t solve them by yourself, talk with friends and enjoy the decoding. And get ready, because nobody knows when we might start Access Dive 5.