It didn't take long for people to "beat" the Silent Hills teaser -- but nobody understood how exactly they did it. There were theories, sure, but nothing concrete... until now.
Since we initially wrote about P.T., people have solved certain aspects of the overall puzzle. People know that they have to get a phone to ring in order to get the Silent Hills ending. Doing so requires getting a clock to chime, as well getting a certain number of baby laughs. While solutions were found to the first and final baby laugh, triggering the second laugh seemed random. @tortoiseontour, however, has found a method that works -- they have not only tested it out at least 30 times, they have gotten multiple people to confirm this solution. They also explain how they go it in the video below.
Buckle up, because this one is a doozy.
@tortoiseontour used translations of the messages that periodically appear throughout the demo, and figured out that they were actually instructions to how to solve the esoteric puzzle. @tortoiseontour then rearranged these messages, and was able to determine that the game tells you to stop moving once your controller starts vibrating -- and then instructs you to utter a specific name into the mic. The problem was figuring out what specific name.
@tortoiseontour was able to connect the seemingly random loading screen numbers, as well as the numbers of the studio -- 204863 and 7780s -- to specific letters of the alphabet. @tortoiseontour also recalled that at one point in the game, you get a message from someone with a name that starts with the letter "J." From there, @tortoiseontour was able to whittle down potential candidates using the letters they solved, and landed on the name "Jarith." Interesting factoid: Jarith has ties to the Book of Enoch, which potentially means that the story has something to do with fallen angels.
In any case, if you say "Jarith" at the final loop of the demo -- you'll get another baby laugh consistently. You can see evidence of this in the video itself, as @tortoiseontour tries it out multiple times. The laugh usually takes a few seconds to trigger, but it will trigger. From there, folks already know that you need to stay perfectly still in order to get the third laugh, and then boom -- phone rings, and you did it.
p.t. has finally let me experience what being a conspiracy theorist feels like
— tortoiseontour (@tortoiseontour) August 21, 2014
"I haven't done a proper speedrun yet, but using this and other methods I'm sure you could beat it in about 30 minutes," @tortoiseontour told me.
"[The experience in solving PT] was really fun though," Tortoiseontour said. "I bought my PS4 specifically to play PT, and I've gotten so many hours of entertainment out of this free demo."
But why go through all this trouble? It was because many of the proposed solutions didn't seem right -- so Tortoiseontour set out to solve it.
"'204863 = Kojima's birthday' didn't seem right. So much emphasis on that number and it's a birthday? Plus that solution forgoes the '0' in the number," Tortoiseontour explained. "I knew there had to be something more. That and the final puzzle still being hit-and-miss."
The hit and miss part is key -- while this method consistently gets an ending, it's entirely possible this isn't the only solution to the puzzle. Not everyone will have a mic, after all. Reportedly, people have used the mic to solve the puzzle in different ways, though Tortoiseontour says that uttering anything other than Jarith never worked for them. Many people responding to Tortoiseontour on Twitter also report that this specific method worked for getting the second baby laugh as well. Personally, I asked a friend to try this method out, and it worked for them too. There is some talk that perhaps any name starting with "J" works.
It makes sense. This solution seems to hit many of the points Kojima outlined about the puzzle, such as it requiring cooperation of people around the world to decipher the hidden messages in different languages. Suggesting that players stream the experience could have been a roundabout way of telling people to use the microphone, too -- since typically, the entire point of streaming is to hear someone talk. In order to talk, you need a mic. If nothing else, streaming does contribute to having multiple coming together to solve the puzzle.
This does not, of course, mean the entirety of P.T. has been solved. There's a chance the demo still hides secrets -- and nobody has been able to figure out what the deal is with the multi-coloured flashlights. But for now, the biggest mystery surrounding the teaser has been how to solve the final puzzle, as well as how to trigger the second laugh -- and it seems like someone finally solved it. Whew! That was a trip, huh?