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THAT ONE SUMMER

An ARG run in the summer of 2019 about the past, the present, and what She hopes will come after.

NOTE: The following summary is a cleaned-up version of the original document written by marc13bautista, and can be found at the above link. Thank you kindly to his efforts, and all the efforts of the original participants, whom I will try to give credit for all discoveries when I can!

Let's Begin

In mid July of 2019, Hedgehog made a surprising announcement on her Discord server:

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Hedgehog then ceased all activity on both YouTube and Discord, but everyone who left a reaction on that message, or expressed concern about her well-being in any form soon received a mysterious Direct Message which contained only the phrase "IKHMXVMBHG" and this image:

Ikhmxvmbhg.jpg

When taken through a Caesar shift, the phrase was revealed to be "PROTECTION."

Two days later, a video appeared on the main channel.

There were two puzzles hidden within this video. The first was located at the end. If you collected all the flashing images and put them together, you'd receive an image which contained a link to another video. This one was a simple blooper reel, and had no bearing on the rest of the ARG.

In the description, there was a code: "aHR0cHM6Ly9kaXNjb3JkLmdnL0pTbUdSVWc=" . When put through a Base64 decoder, it became a link to a DIscord server. It is still available to peruse, and you are welcome to put the code through the decoder yourself and read through it, as only the most important of highlights will be described here. The important things to note is that the name of the server is "FXNF VXKXUKNF" which when, again, put through a Caesar shift, left the name as "Meum Cerebrum." The server also contained an introduction from the moderator, who simply went by the moniker of "The Bartender":

Intro.PNG

The Bartender greeted each person who found the server in turn, and was asked many questions by the participants about his life and what he'd been up to recently. User Noah happened to ask an interesting question:

Noah.PNG

The First Step

A day later, as promised by the Bartender, the first step in the journey was released:

This video was fairly straight-forward, acting as more of an introduction to the ARG than an actual puzzle in and of itself. Although there were two minor codes for the participants to solve. One was location in the description, which contained only the phrase: "Patm atl lax / xihy ni gy." When the top line was put through a Caesar Shift of 7, and the bottom line put through a shift of 6, the phrase "What has She / done to me" was revealed.

The second puzzle involved a series of numbers that flashed in between two of the pillars, starting at around 6 minutes into the video. These turned out to be Hexadecimal, and when put through a decoder, gave a link to this image:

image9.png

When googled, it was revealed that this was a lyric from the song "Come with Me Now," by the KONGOS.

Time

The participants only had to wait a single day for the first true step of the journey to be released on the main channel:

As you can see, after a certain point the video is entirely out of order. Several savvy users set about unscrambling it, including both Diesel20212 and Kenshin from the Boardwalk. The following is Diesel's version:

Upon unscrambling, an odd extra was discovered. Hidden within the video were a few single-second clips that didn't fit anywhere. However, they did fit together to form a separate phrase, as seen at the end of Diesel's unscramble: "Who am I?"

Space

The participants would have to wait another four days for the next step, and when it did release, it caused them quite a bit more hassle than the others.

In the description was text that required two layers of decoding, binary and then caesar, which finally translated into the phrase: "I'M SO TIRED..."

But the real puzzle was hidden within the video itself. At 3:19 there's a close-up shot of four pieces of notebook paper pinned to the wall:

FirstStep.png

It was quickly discovered that this message was the beginning of a scavenger hunt outside of the video:

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Which led them to the 500 sub special, in which Hedgehog read fanfiction that she wrote when she was twelve.

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The next riddle led them to "Ancient History," the first Ede Valley story.

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Next was the first ever livestream, in which Hedgehog played Cuphead (which was the new, exciting thing at the time) as voted on by the fans.

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This was referring to the first livestream that TheDrag0n100 and James Best, two early frequent stream guests, appeared on, joining Hedgehog and Allimiece to form what at the time was called "the core four". Yes, that's a pretty dumb name, haha, but they were all teenagers, what do you expect?

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Next is, of course, the infamous "Garfield Kart Stream", in which Hedgehog flirted awkwardly at Drag0n for three hours.

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After that is the Boifrond Stream, in which Hedgehog and Drag0n came clean about the fact that they were a couple. They did this in the dumbest way possible, by hiding Drag0n's face behind a pillow.

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And finally the participants reached the 2018 Stream Highlights Compilation, something Hedgehog had put together to celebrate how far she had come, and all of the new friends she'd met along the way. Of course, Allimiece, Drag0n, and James Best are featured heavily.

Space8.PNG

Finally, the link to a new, unlisted YouTube video was revealed, entitled "A Very Good Question". The contents? Just a lot of backwards speaking. Madam reversed it and uploaded the audio:

After hearing it, several participants expressed concern about Hedgehog and her well-being. But the Bartender assured them that everything was well. He might have needed to after being subjected to Hedgehog trauma-dumping unannounced!

AllisWell.PNG

Mind

After the intensity of Space, the participants were given another few days to recuperate, before the next step released:

Mind was less of a puzzle and more of a little experience. Besides the description (a code in Base32 that translated to: “Found in a troubling time.”), there are no puzzles in Mind, just a simple little excursion with several choices to make, secrets to find, but ultimately only one correct path. I invite you to go through it now and see what you find!

Heart

With anticipation, the participants found themselves waiting once more for the next release. Three days later and they were certainly not disappointed.

Heart was hands-down the most complicated and difficult step in the journey. It featured three different puzzles, each of which was slightly devilish in construction. To this day, one of these puzzles has only been solved by a single person. Luckily they were the person that particular puzzle was meant for.

Heart solving was tricky, and required direct interaction with the Bartender, back in the Discord server.

Heart1.PNG

The task was clear: solve at least one of the puzzles and report back to the Bartender with your answer. A task easier said than done, as it turned out. From easiest to hardest:

1). The Music Puzzle:

Throughout the latter half of the video, an audio track was distorted and played backwards. The easiest way to reach the end of the maze was to send the Bartender the title of the original song. When reversed and fiddled with, one of the lyrics was discernible (if barely) and the track was discovered.

2). The Prince of Heart Puzzle:

Of course, the most obvious puzzle in the video was right at its core. It's... heart, it you will.

image5.png

As you can see, the participants eventually realized that the key in the description was related to this puzzle. However, actually solving it took them a considerably longer time than the others before it. The solution was to realize that each letter in the key was four spaces away in the alphabet from each other, and that each letter around the heart in the image could be turned in one of four ways. Going clockwise, you could retrieve the other letters of the alphabet by matching them with what direction they were turned in. So 'P' turned clockwise ninety degrees would be 'b', upside-down would be 'c', then 'd', etc.

Finally, after a very long time of pondering over it, Kenshin from the Boardwalk realized the pattern and solved it, revealing the message: "Felt like I needed to tell you."

3). The Head Puzzle

You may notice that at the very end of the video, a series of quick shots of Hedgehog with her head at various angles and in various directions appears. To this day, this puzzle has never been solved. Well, not publicly, at least. Although the participants certainly agonized over it, all eventually gave up, too afraid to give up their protection, even if it would give them the answer.

What does "giving up their protection" mean? Well. as you see, the Bartender was a daemon by nature, and was always willing to make a deal with the participants. Many of them received the DM with that word, "protection". The Bartender stated that if any participants were willing to give up their protection, he would give them a valuable hint to solve any puzzle. Only one person ever took this deal.

Deal.PNG

It was not the person who solved the head puzzle, by the way. No one was willing to take that step, and so to this day, this final puzzle remains unsolved.

If you had DMed the Bartender either of the other solutions, however, you received something very important in return:

Both the title and description were in code. The title was once again in Base64, and came out as: "I'd think it'd be hard to drink a brain through a straw." The description was simply scrambles letters, which when unscrambled, read: "Doug Bailey? No? Close enough."

Soul

Far too soon for their liking, the journey moved on without that final puzzle being solved. Three days later the next step was released:

Within the story, Cowell urged Her to "Find the Center", and at the end of the video, four choices were presented to the participants. The trick was that all of those videos led to either other videos already present on Hedgehog's channel, or in the case of the "Little Girl" to another outtakes video. The real answer was hidden in the description. See if you can spot it:

Soul1.PNG

Hidden throughout the verbose description is a cut-up YouTube URL, which leads to a video entitled, appropriately enough, "The Center":

The knocking in the video is Tap Code, and when translated reads as: “I bring us together.”

Chaos

After some brief chaos on the server, and the appointing of a new mod to help the Bartender (feel free to browse through the OG doc of the server itself to see what went down), the final step released four days later:

It's title was fitting. There were five codes in this video, though only four were ever found.

The first "Code" was at the very beginning of the video. It was simply backwards text that read: "And keep the daemons at bay."

The second was binary that flashed across the bottom of the screen. When decoded, it translated to: "Being aloneBeing aloneBeing alo".

The third and fourth were a series of yellow and green numbers and letters in both the top corners of the screen. The yellow text (on the left) were hexadecimal, and once decoded, read: “Unable to do anything to help”. The green text (on the right) was tap code, and came out as: "losigeeerythiinggivegainedlosg", loosely translated as: "losing everything I've gained."

The fifth code has yet to be found, but its location is more obvious than you'd think.

Journey's End

Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel. The Bartender announced that this journey was almost at its end, but left one final puzzle for the participants:

FinalStep.PNG

Considering that all of these answers were discussed in detail throughout this summary, I'm sure you'll have no trouble locating them, correct? Unfortunately the Bartender has since left town, but feel free to DM Hedgehog at any time with the correct responses and she will send you your reward. She looks forward to hearing from you!

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