The Trials Riddle: Good Game, Squirrels, And The Letter ‘E’

It’s been a little over a month since I posted this article detailing the Trials HD riddle and what an amazing month it has been. The article received such a huge response and there was so much interest in the topic I thought I’d do a follow up just to let you know how we are progressing.


When I set out to get the word out to as many people as I could, I never imagined that it would lead to a television appearance. As you would have seen above, I have been working with the Good Game team over the past few weeks to put a story together for their show. This is the first time that the Trials HD riddle has been featured on a television show anywhere in the world and I am excited to see what comes of it. The ABC staff have been amazingly supportive of this push to get the riddle solved and I have every confidence that they will do it justice. They will be live tweeting the episode as they always do using the tag #GGTV. I will be joining in for the evening so will be available to answer questions and generally chat about where we are up to. You can follow me using @FatShadyLive. Make sure you watch the show and say hi tonight.

New Discoveries

As the main goal of this article was to get some more clues solved, I am pleased to announce that a number of new discoveries were made as a direct result of this article. I have detailed each of these below:

SKA 788 Box
In the article, there was an image of a cardboard box that we literally had no idea about. While one suggestion was that this related to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescopes, this was not the case.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank ‘KieranCoughlan’ for the post that solved it. Kieran immediately recognised this as a numbering sequence that was featured on a documentary about Stanley Kubrick a few years ago. The 2008 documentary detailed the 1,000 or so boxes that were left behind in Stanley Kubrick’s house after he passed away. These boxes contained a huge amount of detailed information about the various projects that Kubrick was involved in along with personal items.

As a result of your lead, a number of us watched the related documentary and even managed to capture this screen shot of the actual box. You can clearly see the attention to detail that the developer had when creating the replica. What is even more interesting about Kieran is that he is Irish and followed a link from a friend’s (Jon) Google+ feed. It was amazing to see the power of the internet reach the exact person that we needed to solve this. Thanks again guys.

As a result of this clue being solved, I even went as far as contacting the Archives and Special Collections Centre, University of the Arts London, where the Kubrick archives are now located. It turned out that the SKA number was simply used as a numbering system while the boxes were in transit to the University. Once there, the boxes were destroyed and the items catalogued. While I doubt it is relevant, there is now no way to trace this box back to its contents so we will never actually know what was inside.

One final footnote to this story was that the replica box, the one that was sent to the fans of the game as a clue, was actually a box that Kubrick himself designed. The Finnish developers went to the trouble of ordering these boxes from the UK months before they were sent out. You can learn more about the ‘Kubrick Boxes’ from this short video embedded within the companies website.

Fibonacci With Binary
For the longest time, the binary at the bottom of the Fibonacci pattern was interpreted as 10101001111 as we were told to replace the dots with the number 1 and the spaces with a zero. What ‘arete’ was able to point out was that we were missing the final zero. By identifying that there was a final zero at the end of the binary string, the number now read 101010011110 which, when converted to decimal is 2718. This is a reference to 2.718 which is the value of the mathematical constant ‘e’. This clue had been hinted at a number of times but we had never been able to piece it together. It was such an easy thing to miss and all it took was a fresh set of eyes looking at it.

We still have no idea how ‘e’ is related to the Fibonacci sequence or golden ratio but we are making progress all the same.

‘Nosesquid’ was correct in pointing out that squirrels were not mentioned in the article. This was an intentional ommission as I didn’t want to get sidetracked by them. For anyone that does not know, there are more hidden squirrels in this game than there are ‘other’ easter eggs. It has always been assumed that they are related in one way or another but it was only last week that I was able to even come up with a theory about it.

When Fibonacci was writing Liber Abaci (The Book of Calculation) in 1202, he wanted to display the significance of the, as it is now known, Fibonacci sequence and its application in nature. He used the population growth of rabbits to highlight this. It is suggested that the number of squirrels in the game is a reference to this famous example about rabbits.

Unsolved Clues
While there are a number of clues that may have only been partially solved, I would be very interested to hear from any of you regarding the below.

There is a line with dots and a number 4 indicated along the line. It is thought that this is significant and that it relates to the Divine Proportion manuscript by Luca Pacioli but to date there have been no solid answers provided that connects these.

As mentioned above, we are not sure how the mathematical constant ‘e’ relates to the golden ratio in this image and would love to hear any theories about how these are connected.

Where To From Here

Well we are getting a better understanding of the riddle every week. We are also starting to pull all of the clues together. This is not the final answer but I will attempt to articulate the current thought process, for those still following this riddle.

The clues all point toward certain individuals and the significant contributions they have made toward progressing various scientific fields. Humans have never been satisfied with what we know. It is in our nature to attempt to understand what is going on around us, to go beyond our limits and to pass this accumulated knowledge on to subsequent generations. It is what sets us apart from other species.

It is with this in mind that we draw on the similarities in the clues. This is highlighted in many clues from cave paintings that show hunting methods to the earliest attempts to map the globe all the way through to Darwins observations on evolution. Many of the clues are pushing toward the single realisation that mankind has and will continue to progress. On the flip side to this optimistic view of the world is the lack of control that we actually have. A single meteorite could hit earth tomorrow and each and every one of us would perish. Looking at the clues of the Mammoth (now extinct) and the Tunguska event, it shows a much more pessimistic yet related view of the world. This all becomes all the more interesting when you realise that there are theories about how life started on this planet that involve meteors providing the ‘spark’ that started the formation of life on earth. The exact same event could bring about an end.

All of this culminates with the launch of the Voyager Golden Record. This golden record was released into space and it contained what it means to be human. In the words of Jimmy Carter directed at potential recipients of this package; “This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.”

If I had to sum up this riddle as we know it right now, that would be it. We are still seeking both the question and the answer to the riddle. The Redlynx developer has suggested that there is a hint regarding the question contained within the interview tonight. Here’s hoping.

For further information or to assist in anyway, please see the below link:

There has actually been a large amount of progress made over the past 4 weeks so If you are interested, please join in on the conversation and we can bring you up to date.

Easter Egg thread [Red Lynx Forums]

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