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THE HFOA

The HFOA is the elaborate Alternate Reality Game (ARG) that connects each Change Studios game to one universe.With each new game comes a new chapter in the HFOA story. Every puzzle presents new challenges to conquer and new mysteries to uncover.The first person to complete each chapter is rewarded with a cash prize.

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Learn the Solutions

This page contains only the solutions to the puzzles of the first chapter of The HFOA. It does not include solutions to puzzles that are purely for lore and storytelling purposes.

Puzzle 1: Transcript 0

A text file named "Transcript 0" can be found inside of the source files of An Odd Tale, and can also be downloaded directly from this website.The file contains a transcript between two agents, codenamed Agent 15-4 and Agent 3-7. They discuss changing dimensions to "#d-3851919." The transcript is copyrighted to "hfoa.agency/".By entering "hfoa.agency/#d-3851919" as a web address, you will arrive at a page titled "Dimension 3851919."

Puzzle 2: Dimension 3851919

This dimension contains two strings of encrypted text. Neither of them needs to be solved in order to progress, but they may reveal useful information to the overarching storyline.To move onto puzzle 3, simply click on the second string, which links to an image download on MediaFire.

Download the JPG image to begin the third puzzle.

Puzzle 3: Propaganda

The image displays an altered version of The HFOA's logo on top of a layer of fire. By adjusting the tone, you can see the letters "HFOA" appear in the background of the image.

By opening the image in a text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit, and scrolling to the bottom of the image data, you will find a strange message with randomized capitalization and no punctuation.

The end of this message requests a rendezvous in dimension #d-715. Revisiting the HFOA's webpage, now at hfoa.agency/#d-715, will bring you to the fourth puzzle.

Puzzle 4: Intelligence Correction

Dimension 715 contains a mysterious message, a book code for a (currently) unknown book, and a link to a new dimension: a strange Reddit page.

The only post relevant to puzzle 4 is the one titled "Key," which contains an array of Mayan numerals.

Each numeral represents a letter or number in the subreddit's name. By replacing the numbers in the name with the A1Z26 letter of their corresponding Mayan numeral, the real name of the subreddit becomes "georgeorwell" (George Orwell).

Puzzle 5: The Book

George Orwell's most famous novel is 1984. This is the book that the book code from Dimension 715 corresponds to.

The final puzzle requires two steps: decrypting each post title in the subreddit and using the book code to form one final message from the decrypted titles.Start with the first post on the subreddit:

Decrypting this with a Vigenère cipher using the keyword "georgeorwell" turns it into "WAR IS PEACE."

Do this for every Reddit post. When finished, you should have...

WAR IS PEACEFREEDOM IS SLAVERYIGNORANCE IS STRENGTHHe sat back. A sense of complete helplessness had descended upon him. Tobegin with, he did not know with any certainty that this was 1984. It must be round aboutthat date, since he was fairly sure that his age was thirty-nine, and he believed that hehad been born in 1944 or 1945; but it was never possible nowadays to pin down anydate within a year or two.For whom, it suddenly occurred to him to wonder, was he writing this diary? Forthe future, for the unborn. His mind hovered for a moment round the doubtful date onthe page, and then fetched up with a bump against the Newspeak wordDOUBLETHINK. For the first time the magnitude of what he had undertaken camehome to him. How could you communicate with the future? It was of its natureimpossible. Either the future would resemble the present, in which case it would notlisten to him: or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless.He sat back in his chair, slightly ashamed of himself, and laid down the pen. Thenext moment he started violently. There was a knocking at the door. Already! He sat asstill as a mouse, in the futile hope that whoever it was might go away after a singleattempt. But no, the knocking was repeated. The worst thing of all would be to delay.His heart was thumping like a drum, but his face, from long habit, was probablyexpressionless. He got up and moved heavily towards the door.

This new block of text is a compilation of lines from 1984.

Now it's time to use the book code. 1:2 corresponds to the first line, "WAR IS PEACE," and the second letter, "a".Do this for each line in the book code and you'll reveal the final message:

are they onto us thats it lets cut off communications until the next game theyve been using the codename project order

The solution to this chapter, and the codename for Change's next game, is "Project Order."While this chapter was active, a comment could be found on the subreddit's key linking to one final dimension.This last dimension asked the visitor to confirm their identity as an agent by inputting the codename for the HFOA's current project. The first person to submit "Project Order" won this chapter of the HFOA and a cash prize of $100.This dimension now displays the following message to visitors:

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