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Author Topic: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest  (Read 6331 times)

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Offline Tatyana.o

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2019, 02:17:16 AM »
Updated the start page  :cool:

Now only if I can figure out how that is helpful, SOB  :wink:.

Lol... I meant it as a joke earlier, thinking I was one step away from "moving along" to the puzzle#2, but now it's not so funny anymore  :shocked:. Oh well, there is always tomorrow  :laugh:

Edited: at this rate I may finish it by next Christmas, lol. I need to work on my time allocation for this challenge, hummm.

:cheesy: ... you did understand me correctly about the clue, I wasn't really SOBbing  :laugh:

I hear you, my wife asked the same for xmas : buy me free time she said. I was close to bring a Boromir stating that's there's no such thing like free time, plus "free time" is actually exepensive  :cheesy:

Anyhow, referring to SOB, I though you posted this regarding the contents of the start page of the challenge ? mmmm
whoooops, I gave up a clue I'm afraid  :cheesy: :angel:

:exclaim: Expensive I can maybe manage :wink:, negligence I can not :undecided:.

Based on my experience, finding the clue(s) was not my problem. However, thinking that I understood them is another story  :shocked:. Apparantly, "this is not what I'm looking for" and I should "move along"  :embarrassed:
You are an  :evil: genius when it comes to your use of acronyms.

Offline erv

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2019, 02:37:10 AM »
You are an  :evil: genius when it comes to your use of acronyms.

I'm trying hard, with some success  :evil: :angel: :cheesy:

Offline erv

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2019, 03:21:30 AM »
as some have progressed a good deal, and since it's christmas day here, I'll spoil you with a clue


Online K-2SO

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2019, 05:24:51 AM »
I see the torture is progressing well...  :laugh:

I find your arguments vague and unconvincing.

Quiet! *Slap* And there’s a fresh one if you mouth off again.

Offline erv

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2019, 12:54:00 AM »
for the "stuck at the door people", here's something, as my doormat is getting worn out now lol:
Pixel - Wikipedia(2015_film)
Invisible Man - Wikipedia

and this because we're in spoon feeding mode


For my other "maze runner" friends:
Occam's razor - Wikipedia

Offline kissymark

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2019, 07:22:07 PM »
Checking in regularly for clues I can understand ahahaha.

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2019, 08:19:18 PM »
The torture is continuing... Excellent.

I find your arguments vague and unconvincing.

Quiet! *Slap* And there’s a fresh one if you mouth off again.

Offline erv

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2019, 12:34:43 AM »
The torture is continuing... Excellent.

 :angel: :angel: :angel:

Checking in regularly for clues I can understand ahahaha.

not notified automatically ?

Offline erv

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2019, 10:08:32 AM »
Perseverance is the key. Even with trolls. I have spoken (spoken, spoken, spoken). Those hotel corridors, so much echo  :cheesy:
This is the way (out) !

Offline ANAKIN SKYWALKER

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2019, 02:31:33 PM »
1:

https://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/start2019.html

This page suggested to "RTFM" by talking about a starting point.  The starting point for using a CFX should always be reading the manual.  Searching any number of terms (Moria, Lord of the rings, even "search"itself) revealed a hidden text section on page 96. 


The search of La Moria. You might have searched for “Lord of the Rings” as well and landed here just the same
(congratulations)
This is the Plecter's Variant of the Durin Door: you can reveal it with a mouse click, which we though more convenient
than starlight on a single day of the year 
http://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/0634561.bmp


2:

http://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/0634561.bmp

This page contained a bitmap that had hidden text at the bottom and a hidden symbol of the Doors of Durin.  It was easily revealed in photoshop with a brightness adjustment.  The text was http://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/adventure.zip

3/4:

http://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/adventure.zip

This zip file contained a firmware for CFX as well as a text file (adventure.dat and discontinued.txt). 


discontinued.txt:

Forged in the heart of the Maker,
Rewards the Customers,
Out of stock for a whiley,
Boobs joke still on display
And hides out of bounds:
Journey started safe and sound

Anonymous, circa 1138 AD
(Carbon 14 dated, +/- 8000% of error)

The answer to that riddle was the stickers pack in the discontinued products section on http://www.plecterlabs.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=71

Hidden as white text on the page was a hex string that contained the link for the next clue.  687474703a2f2f7777772e706c65637465726c6162732e636f6d2f4d656469612f46756e2f323031392d4368616c6c656e67652f6c616d6f726961686f74656c2e7a6970

Which converted to:

http://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/lamoriahotel.zip

The contents of that zip folder were just a bunch of wav files (and one odd mp3 file that never was used) that the new firmware would use.  When the contents of that zip were put on an sd card with the firmware "adventure.dat" flashed onto the CFX, a text based adventure game was revealed through the serial terminal.  We used docklight for our serial terminal, but there are lots of other options.  This game took about 5 days to get through, and we only made it after the most recent hint. 

During the course of this game, we were given lots of information at various points in time.  The first thing we found while blindly trying to map out the environment manually was Harry Potter.  He had a lot to say, the important piece of information at the time was the latin translation for "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good".  This command in the game revealed the map of the entire area.  We could give an entire walkthrough for the game, but it would take a long time to do so.  He also said:

"When things fail, it's nice to have a band-aid"
484152525920504f5454455220574153204845524520544f204d455353205550
fdf5603e20a7c6df22b29fe7348f1c4aeab84187c895e164690b6e6a457a6e20

The first hex string there converts to "HARRY POTTER WAS HERE TO MESS UP", and the second string is gibberish.  We spent days trying to make that into something useful, but it wasn't (yet).

Along the way, we found a sword on the ground, which led us to find out we were already carrying a swiss army knife.  There was a knight guarding a lever on the wall with a very specific "DON'T TOUCH THIS" sign behind him.  After dispatching the knight, ignoring the sign, and pulling the lever, a door opened up.  Going to the newly unlocked location, we meet the "RED-MAD Troll."  This is where the wheels came off.  We tried basically everything we could do here for days, over and over again.  Talking to the troll multiple times, and every possible other interaction we could do with any and every character and empty space in the entire game.  Talking to the troll is the longest sequence in the game, and you have to do it 3 times in order to get the troll to unlock another door.  Behind that door was a princess, who... had some needs that we had to take care of.  Once we satisfied her thoroughly, she gave us another hex string and unlocked the final door. 

687474703a2f2f7777772e706c65637465726c6162732e636f6d2f4d656469612f46756e2f323031392d4368616c6c656e67652f73616d75656c2d736f746f6d61796f722e7a6970

This translated to:  http://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/samuel-sotomayor.zip

However, at this point, the game wasn't over, so navigating the final hallway revealed another URL, http://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/blink182.zip


5/6:

If it wasn't clear that we had to finish the game, there was a text file in the first zip folder telling us we needed to finish the game.  Once again, the first folder contained firmware and the second contained the necessary sd card contents to continue on.  This time, however, the firmware was corrupt.  We found that out by logging our flashing process with docklight.  This brings us back to "HARRY POTTER WAS HERE TO MESS UP" and his statement "When things fail, it's nice to have a band-aid"  Inspecting the firmware file revealed the ASCII string "HARRY POTTER WAS HERE TO MESS UP".  Replacing those characters with the other 32 byte hex string that we didn't know what to do with earlier, the firmware was able to be loaded onto a CFX successfully. 

At this point, the saber was playing a long sequence of Morse Code, which spelled out "Y E S Y E S T H E P I X E L A C C E N T S E Q U E N C E R I S C O M I N G R O B E R T : - ) H T T P : / / W W W . P L E C T E R L A B S . C O M / M E D I A / F U N / 2 0 1 9 - C H A L L E N G E / S M O O T H S W I N G V 8 . Z I P"

7:

http://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/smoothswingv8.zip

This folder contained a readme file that said:

Very, very, very smooooooth...
This is an experimental smoothswing V8 test font, use at your own risk
Known issues :
- Obvious intellectual limitation of the font maker
- Possible Alternative title "Short Bus Font"
- Jedi Fallen Order because 63817425 swap

Enjoy !

This one required reordering the smoothswing pairs in order of "63817425", and then speeding them up and reversing them (individually reversing the waveform).  When correctly modified, the files provided the link http://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/itsoveranakinihavethehighgroundyouunderestimatemypowerdonttryit.zip

8:

We are provided with another BMP file here and a text file that says

More smiling face :-)
Now where in the worlds is Waldo... errr... Mando ?

In this bmp, we see baby yoda sipping his soup in the middle of a battle where Obi Wan is leading a squad of clones.  After some heavy adjustments to the image (black and white plus further color, brightness, and contrast tweaking) we see some very small lettering underneath baby yoda.  It says "Shoulder".  Moving to Obi Wan's shoulder reveals the 9th, and final link.  In this case, it was just the end of the link "boromir-rocks-you-win.html"

9:

https://www.plecterlabs.com/Media/Fun/2019-Challenge/boromir-rocks-you-win.html

Fin.



Online K-2SO

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2019, 05:30:42 PM »
Well, well, look who made it out of his medical pod. Came back for more, I see.  :rolleyes: :police:

You always were a glutton for punishment,  :tongue: :wink:

I find your arguments vague and unconvincing.

Quiet! *Slap* And there’s a fresh one if you mouth off again.

Offline erv

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2019, 01:52:46 AM »
You always were a glutton for punishment,  :tongue: :wink:

when you think about it, it's totally the definition of anakin skywalker IMHO  :cheesy:

Congratulations Alex (if you're still talking to me  :cheesy:).
Stuck a few times,but I didn't have to spoon feed you, and La Moria Hotel was a hard game. I will post the sources of that game asap on github, you even found a glitch there so that's a real bonus (but I only spent 2 days on writing this).

I'd also like to thank Enzo who, while very busy with his pre Engineering school studies accepted to spent some time trying the game La Moria Hotel without taking the challenge. The game had a lot of easter eggs that I wrote along the way, and I want to give inspiration credits to the game designers who gave me a wonderful childhood (at that time, on Apple II and Amstrad CPC6128). I spent AGES playing those games, started applying my (new) english knowledge at that time (10-11 years old) programming in BASIC, cracking games protections and playing RPG.
Among the list, most vivid memories go to LORICIEL and their Orphée game, from which I pulled the horrible things that can happen to you in the hotel, using the classic "do it once, ok, do it more, you'll die". Also, the game SRAM (and SRAM 2) in which if you were mean to the computers with insults it will disable save your progress until you have type 100 times "I will not insult the game" or something.

The writing to the game is crude (for the developers out there who will be sure to spit a "meh" on it) but based on the amount of time needed to write those things, I rather decided to write more puzzles and spend less time on a super smart game engine coded from scratch, or worse, compile the ZORG engine on the CFX. Instead, time and effort went on the story and fun, but I'm not sure how many actually reached that point aside Alex.

I have refactored the code to make it run on a 32 bit duino, without sound. You can of course play it on the CFX using the compile firmware.
Looking at the source code will also show you all the horrible things that can happen in that hotel :-)

one of the clue in there was indeed that certain things can happen if you use them more than once. The easiest way to find out was to bang against the walls of the hotel while trying to figure out the map (until you find harry potter).

One thing I'm proud of is the gameOver() routine and some of the puns I've hidden in there. Was fun to write and even fun to play with during testing. Everybody should at least try this and die once in the game to enjoy the gandalf ending.

GitHub - flety-emmanuel/plecter-challenge-2019-adventure-rpg: This is one of the

Many things were to be learned in there. Install a firmware. Read instructions (!). Use the serial terminal. Use debug (typing debug in the samuel sotomayor firmware would display the morse code as ASCII - and . for an easier decoding).
Search the manual (with CTRL+F ! Amazing !! PDF search !! so new !!) for keywords.

I'm pretty happy how I was able to stick to the theme, mixing LOTR with starwars, and with some clever use of black (PCB) and white (hidden text). Quite coherent.


Holidays season is ending, I hope that the people who participated to the challenge had fun and/or learned things.
And congratulations to the winner !

[ADDON] : know issues with the game
You can kill the knight with nothing in hand, wrong weapon testing (but you'll die if you try with the swiss army knife)
The keyword / command "take" to take an object. I know alex took a while to figure out, I just didn't thing about so many synonym when writing the game, some came along the way for other commands. Sorry about that.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 01:58:10 AM by erv »

Offline Tatyana.o

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Re: Plecter Labs 2019 Christmas Challenge & Contest
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2019, 03:19:10 AM »
Congratulations, Alex!!!  :smiley: