Three years is a long time in video games, so when Valve released a PC update for the critically acclaimed Portal yesterday, the forum communities were intrigued. The update included a new achievement, Transmission Received, which requires players pick up 26 radio transmissions from around the game. Not so interesting, you may think.
These transmissions are puzzles in themselves, which the Portal fan community is busy unraveling. The ingenuity is pretty surprising – the transmissions are in fact hidden messages transmitting SSTV encoded photographs, which show 26 grainy, enigmatic images watermarked with Portal’s Aperture Science logo. Further investigation has produced some strange ASCII artwork too.
What it all means is so far a mystery. Some hope for more Half Life, in whose universe Portal exists, but it’s anyone’s guess at the moment… Portal is my favorite 3D puzzle game, being both mind bending and incredibly atmospheric. I hope there’s more to come!