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