Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dharma, finally, wants us

Well it was a day late for most time zones, but the dharmawantsyou.com site finally launched for all us fans to take their test. There has been an immense about of clues and new information (as is typical with a big ARG advancement), so I'll try and summarize everything in a concise way. I think its prudent first off to take out the pre-launch email which anyone who signed up to the Octagon Global Recruiting newsletters should have by now. If not, see a webpage version of it here. The email is mostly generic, but there are two things of interest in the site's source code. The first is "banks claw", which thanks to DarkUFO and WickedSlip for figuring out that this is an anagram of black swan (which could tie in with the origami swan on those Comic-Con flyers, and a general DHARMA reference). Furthermore, there's another source code item, which is a URL link (written in DOUBLEU... form, just to be irritating). This actually links to the bluetooth video from Comic Con on YouTube in high quality, courtesy of uploader RuckusGuy

There's a couple of language lines in there, both French and German. The best translations I've seen are, for the French, "à voyager à grande vitesse sur de longues distances" meaning "to travel far away at high-speed" and "... d'obligation sociale en priorité sur la sécurité personnelle" meaning "of social obligation in priority on personal safety". Note this will tie in with Icelandic translations which I'll mention in a few. As for the German, ToastPsycho on the YouTube comments section had: "...doch dabei Schwankungen im Raum-Zeit-Kontinuum..." meaning "...but thereby variations in the spacetime continuum..."Let us know if you've got conflicting translations.

And so finally that's all the pre-site stuff sorted - but of course the site itself had interesting tidbits. Most of it is just information with no clues - such as that once completing the test we find that more tests will be coming over the next few weeks - which are apparently "real" tests as there's actually a leaderboard to boot! I can already foresee the competition and indeed the cheating (by checking what the answers are before you do it) that will emerge... so no offense TPTB, but I'm already taking the scoreboard thing with a pinch of salt. It is interesting though that the format appears similar to Find 815 in that the updates are gonna be quite explicit (and indeed its the same production company behind) - so not perhaps will it be on the same scale as the Lost Experience (which I had kind of anticipated, as I heard TPTB had trouble with the sponsorship to make something like TLE again). Anyway, I digress.

The test itself is pretty structured, no Jupiter category choices like at Comic-Con. In the interest of being concise, if you want a complete Q&A list, see here. The most interesting thing in the course of the test was some audio, and I believe Lostpedia users were amongst the first to realize that it was actually Icelandic (I do love a global community, my money was on Danish though à la Hanso). So here is the full translation of that audio:

Þeir sem koma að dharmaverkefninu munu þurfa ferðast yfir hafið um langan veg á umtalsverðum hraða. Vinnan mun fela í sér útiveru og líkamlegt athæfi. Þú munt jafnvel einnig geta upplifað [óstöðleika á tímanum á samfylgdinni]. Vonandi ert þú sem og margir sem finnst vinnan mikilvægari en persónulegt öryggi þitt.

Those who come to the Dharma Initiative must be transported a long way across the sea at a considerable speed. Work will include being outdoors and physical labour. You may also experience some instability of time along the way. Hopefully you, like many others, feel that your social duty is more important than your personal safety.

Very interesting, can we take this information about time as canon though is the question - I don't see why not, as its almost certain that the writers did have a hand in this ARG. I guess we'll just have to wait and see, and also if RuckusGuy makes any more hacks. One final possible clue is that after taking the test, you have to enter some personals on the site, but the DOB is oddly set at July 17th, 1978 - which is 30 years before now, as in around the time of that DHARMA booth video from Comic-Con, which featured Pierre CHANG for the record not Cheng (we got that confirmation from the man himself, François Chau).

So, finally, that is everything that has happened in the last 24 hours in the world of the Lost ARG. Did you pass the test?

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