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Y-san's Last Dance

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September 29, 2009

After graduating from Redrum University (with dishonors for having blown up the chemistry lab in her search for Enigmaticium...twice), Y-san turned her focus to taking down IETNAT, the illusive and dastardly covert criminal organization.

Working together with the ever vigilant Police Chief Leroy and her protegee and rival from Ecidius University, B-kun, the team had managed to collapse most of the infrastructure of the group, leaving the remaining fragments to scramble and hide to avoid capture by the respective authorities.

Now, Y-san was taking a well-deserved break at the gorgeous beach house on loan to her by B-kun's very wealthy parents. As she reclined in inexorably comfortable chair, sipping a chocolatini, appreciating the view out of the sunset from the entirely-made-out-of-glass side of the house that was suspended over the ocean, she heard a sound from her laptop alerting her that a new file had been added to her Dropbox.

It was a stepfile for the game Stepmania, and had been put into her "Creative" folder. It must be from B-kun, she thought. He was the only one with access to that folder that played the game. Curiosity and laziness waged a brief battle within her, but finally her inner cat won out and she reluctantly pulled herself out of the far too comfortable chair and started the game.

[steps]

After a verse, she frowned. The steps did not quite go with the music and didn't span the entire length of the song. More over, the steps were awkward, which was completely unlike the graceful and proud B-kun.

Seeing him online on gchat, she messaged him. "Hey, what's up with these steps?"

B: "Huh? What steps?"

Y: "The steps in the file you just put in my Dropbox."

B: "I haven't put any files in your Dropbox recently."

Y-san frowned. Then who could have put it there? Had someone hacked in? To put a stepfile in her box?

She went to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of diet green tea, which sat next to the catch of the day presented to her as a gift from a local fisherman whose fishing schedule she had helped to optimize and make 90% more efficient, then returned to her chair and studied the notes again, carefully, grabbing a pen and paper and scrawling some ideas, and finally, realization dawned on her. She leapt out of the chair this time and snatched up the keys to her car. She rushed to the door, swung it open, and...

"And where may you be going?" asked the man standing in the doorway. The man in the expensive-looking suit, with the expensive-looking watch, and an expensive looking haircut. The man holding the expensive-looking gun pointed at her.

Y-san shrugged. "I just realized the sea air doesn't quite agree with me, after all."

"Well, that's unfortunate, but don't worry, I'll see that you don't have to endure it too much longer." The man replied. "But for now, I'm afraid I have to ask you to step back inside." He gestured with the barrel.

"You're Harold Mortimer." It was a statement, not a question. "The kingpin of IENTNAT."

"I prefer 'CEO'. 'Kingpin' sounds so...criminal. Those as clever and audacious as us deserve to own the world , I only organize them to take it."

"Well, apparently not clever and audacious enough," Y-san couldn't resist quipping.

Mortimer conceded a nod, then waved the gun dismissively. "We'll rebuild. As long as key players of ours are still in the game, we can always win. And after you're gone, there will be no more distractions for my godson."

"Godson? You mean Trick?" Last she heard, Patrick "Trick" Moriarty had escaped from prison for the third time, after she had helped put him there for the third time.

Harold Mortimer nodded. "Yes, he's a very bright boy, so much potential, for his weakness is that he seems to have some inexplicable fondness for you."

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, the sentiment is not reciprocated," Y-san muttered.

The kingpin smiled smugly. "I'll tell him you said that when I relay to him the news of your demise."

Y-san let out a resigned sigh. "Well, if I'm going to die, care to have one last drink with me?" She stepped towards the kitchen.

Mortimer shrugged. "Why not. But don't try any sneaky stuff."

A lopsided smile crossed Y-san's face. "Me, sneaky?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The police arrived on the scene forty minutes later. The neighbors had reported hearing a gunshot, followed by a loud CRASH, and had called 911. Police Chief Leroy had heard the report and shot to the scene faster than he would have thought his 2004 Toyota could have gone.

The door had been locked when he got there, and he had had to break it down to enter. The scene confirmed his worst fears. There was overturned furniture, broken glass from what looked to have been a tumbler or two, and a pool of glistening blood on the marble tile floor. There was a trail of blood splatter leading to the side of the house facing the ocean, and the glass had been shattered outward as if something...or someone...had gone through it.

Gulping his last bit of hope, Leroy stepped to the opening and looked down. Having somewhat of a case of vertigo, he immediately drew back after glancing the shear drop to the ocean below.

A bead of sweat trickled down his brow and he looked around for something to wipe it. On the marble kitchen counter, he saw a napkin, which he moved towards. As he neared, he saw there was something hastily scrawled there in a brown substance. It said:

Goodbye, my friends. It's been fun. Remember the Autumn of 267.

The Police Chief let out an immense sigh. She just had to be enigmatic, to her last breath, didn't she? His weary eyes gazed upon the final rays of the setting sun disappearing over the infinite ocean horizon. That woman.

Why did Y-san rush to leave?

What did her message mean?

...To be revealed when 1 and 2 are solved ;P

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Posted · Report post

Okay, I realize that it's hard to track all the steps with just a video. For the life of me ;P I can't find a program that will annotate the steps from stepmania (although I've found multiple threads requesting one...guess the developers haven't really been listening), so the best I can do is to take screenshots of the editing screen and paste them in a somewhat orderly fashion into a document. It was too big to upload directly so I put it in google docs. The numbers on the left of the bars should help you keep track of where you are.

Hope that helps with part 1. Part 2 should be pretty easy, especially for detective fans ;). And detective fans will definitely want to get to part 3...;P

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This definitely helps. I'll give it a go when I'm done editing and rewriting the mystery interlude of my TWE!

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I really wish I was smart enough to figure this out, but I'm not :( I don't suppose there are any hints for people like me that have no idea where to start? :P

Edit - Those two abouve posts were not there when I wrote this :dry: Gimme some time to look at the doc :D

Edited by Panther
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We are supposed to know the game Stepmania if i understand correct ?

There are tons of such games, done by the same principle. Some probably more common in certain parts of the world, others in other parts. Personally i never heared of it till now.

I dont believe it should be included in a riddle. Y-san you make Sphynx cry. Just explain what you meant.

Edited by Potok
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We are supposed to know the game Stepmania if i understand correct ?

There are tons of such games, done by the same principle. Some probably more common in certain parts of the world, others in other parts. Personally i never heared of it till now.

I dont believe it should be included in a riddle. Y-san you make Sphynx cry. Just explain what you meant.

No, you don't have to know anything about the game...and if I could make a Sphinx cry that would be awesome :P. It's like...making a banshee chuckle or a buddha lose their composure.

Think of the steps as a 'representation'...they don't work well as actually steps for the game, as pointed out, so they must be something else

;)

Edit: And for the second part, its completed unrelated to stepmania, although it is related to one of my other loves...;P

Edited by Yoruichi-san
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Well, the first question to figure out is: do we read the steps across or down? The second is, is this a cipher? If so, does each row represent a letter or each arrow represent a letter?

A single arrow can face four different ways or be absent; it's not sufficient to represent a letter. Two arrows covers almost the entire alphabet, though - 25 combinations. So we could have to read them by twos and work that way. Alternatively, an entire line could code the alphabet somehow.

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havent really gotten anywhere thus far. offering up/bumping for some group think? had been toying with the steps representing a known code (Morse or other?) or some other representation rather than a unique cipher. am thrown by the blue slides? too. and the couple of instances where two arrows and none are in a line? maybe that suggests distance between arrows is significant. now just thinking on the fly. will keep studying.

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I've been feeling a little disheartened (by life) lately :/, and I'm really happy to see that there is still a good effort going here :). Thanks.

In return for the good work (discussing ideas is good too, sometimes I feel that people are hesitant to post unless they have an answer they are certain of...building off each other is a great way to interact and nothing feels better in the end than a team effort), here is a hint to make it a tiny bit easier...

...spaces ;P. Hopefully this will help guide you a little. There is another hint I could give...but I'm going to hold back for a while and see what magic is worked with this tidbit first.

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Initial analyasis:

Widly assumeing that someone has four limbs one bar could represent 16 values (15 if Spaces are Spaces), As this is not enough to for an alphabet (even worse if only feet are involved, which they appear to be) more than one beat would have to be used to for a character of the English alphabet. Only 4 values can be represented using one foot and 6 more with 2 feet, for a grand total of 10 values (Spaces are done with no feet). This of course is not counting the extended notes which each extend 3 bars and appear to be done with only 1 foot. Additionally there are a total of 41 (0-40 inclusive) beats which cannot be evenly divided so some of the "letters" must be a different number of beats. Extended notes as well as some of the spaces extend for 3 bars however counting back this is not consistant with a waltz (groups of 3) over the whole message

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Ok so do the facts that the 1st two screens repeat and that one/two of them are blurry mean anything or are they errors ?

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LOFL blurry cause of a bad zoom. The repeatance is prolly deliberate aswell.

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y-san's hint may bode well for Morse Code as three dots = the length of silence indicating a space.

@ Potok - think the repeated first page is not intentional as y-san was just making it easier to see/study the code by taking screen captures of the original video.

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Ok so here's some observation sharing:

Predicting that we're going from top to bottom, each line represents one of 8 directions. So there are only 8 possible "arrow patterns" for a line. So i was thinking of a phone keypad with the T9 function, but we're lacking a symbol for 5 then (center direction), and i thought the "up left - 1" could take it since there are no letter on the key 1. This actually produced a few existing words, but then again others totally collapsed in this theory. I'd like to get a clear explanation of what were the spaces mentioned above - are they the empty lines ? And would also like a clear picture of the lines under the black top/bottom edge of the screenshots to be sure how many arrows are there and which ones in each line. It can be predicted with the current screenshots but we should be able to know for sure i hope.

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Sorry about the repeated first screen...it's a remnant of first making a word document, which turned out to be too big to upload, and then attempting to copy-paste into google docs, which failed the first time (except apparently the first image), and then attempting a second, successful copy-paste.

I'm not sure what blurriness you're talking about...the image is clear for me. As for the edges, those bars are repeated in the images above/below (use the numbers on the left for reference), so that you need only focus on the area from, like, the number next to the two yellow rectangles on top to the last number on the bottom.

Yes, spaces refer to an empty space. Multiple (3) empty spaces indicated the end of a line.

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Are you refering to Odaenathus (who was murdered) or Zenobia (who replaced him)?

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Are you refering to Odaenathus (who was murdered) or Zenobia (who replaced him)?

Um...neither?

As an aside, you should sign up for my new

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So there are only 8 possible "arrow patterns" for a line.

4, but you have 2 feet so

4 possible with one foot (tap)

6 possible with two feet (jump)

4 possible with hold?

@Y-san, I believe our border has already called dibs on Benedict Cumberbatch

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4, but you have 2 feet so

4 possible with one foot (tap)

6 possible with two feet (jump)

4 possible with hold?

I thought the game mechanics weren't important ? And there are actually 10 possible patterns, next to the 8 directions, there are also left+right and up+down in a single line.

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4, but you have 2 feet so

4 possible with one foot (tap)

6 possible with two feet (jump)

4 possible with hold?

@Y-san, I believe our border has already called dibs on Benedict Cumberbatch

The chirality (or whatever the equivalent 'feetedness' term is), is not important. But good job on noticing all the different elements. The Witch of Secrets was on the right track, minus the spaces, and you've noted the missing elements. Now just put it together and make it add up to a nice number ;).

By border, you mean country? If so...I officially declare war :P.

Just kidding...I'm into the character, not the actor...although the good looks don't hurt, I suppose...*whistling*. But ironically, you're getting much closer to the solution to part 2...;P

Edited by Yoruichi-san
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By Autumn you mean something about a "Fall" don't you? (and here was I thinking that I had finally caught an American using proper English)

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By Autumn you mean something about a "Fall" don't you? (and here was I thinking that I had finally caught an American using proper English)

[spoiler=:D]Do I? Care to further x-PoUNd on that? ;)

Et, desolee, je ne suis pas Americain, je suis Chinois ;P

Edited by Yoruichi-san
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I'm guessing B-Kuns beach house is not in Samoa (not now at least). Or was the date of the events just a clue that there was something odd about the message ? (there is no way Y-San could expect anyone to have recalled Autumn 267, let alone herself)

* begins looking for out-of-the-box in mainland china *

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Holds and Jumps count as 2

Ignoring jumps and holds if we are to take two lines of taps we end up with 4 x 4 = 16 symbols We then have 4 holds and 6 jumps 16 + 4 + 6 = 26 symbols

Coincidence?

If so here is another coincidence for you if we count all holds and jumps as two and all taps as one each word in the message is always an even number long.

This should make the solution a simple substitution cipher

http://25yearsofprogramming.com/fun/ciphers.htm

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What is a hold and what a jump ? Where do you get 16 symbols from the arrows ?

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YOU ARE IN DANGER

GODFATHER COMING TO KILL YOU

GET OUT NOW

PS HE IS DEATHLY ALLERGIC FISH

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