In Reality was an ARG in three parts and a sequel/successor to my first ARG, Mystery of the Emblem. It was very ambitious and unsurprisingly it didn’t live up to what I had planned, but it was still an interesting experience, and I think people liked what parts of the story they did understand. As before, it’s documented on the GameDetectives wiki.

The first part was a trail of ten puzzles set by a woman researching the Window. You can still have a go at it, starting from this reddit post – it might be a fun way to improve your puzzle-solving skills (LEVELS and ae27ff are also good for this).

The second part appeared to be an entirely separate ARG called Watching You. It was run by four members of a weird organisation, and offered puzzles to train and recruit people for the organisation, which was later revealed to be the dastardly AWBO! The website is still up here, and I think there are a few puzzles that haven’t been solved if you want to give them ago. We tried rebooting it in December 2016, but it failed to get any interest as the GameDetectives admins decided to run an entirely separate puzzle advent calendar, and theirs had actual prizes and better puzzles.

The third and final part brought together the first two parts and MotE (with some references to other ARGs), telling the story of Yukimura, the in-universe puppetmaster of MotE. It was pretty overcomplicated and there were only a few people who actually stuck around to play it, but I learnt a lot about what makes a good ARG and what doesn’t from running it. The main site for this one is no longer available, but it should be decently documented on the GameDetectives wiki. If you really want to look through it, contact me and I can send you the files from it.


Several people helped out a lot with this ARG:

biscuitboy1211 Team Look in the Bushes puzzle development (Watching You)

KingFail Team Look in the Bushes puzzle development (Watching You)

Benolot support

gayfarang hosting (Electronic Freedom Society)

Sengabz location support

MrsButterfly puzzle concept

Thank you a lot also to everyone who took part in any part of the ARG (Mystery of the Emblem, Part 1, Watching You, and Part 3), and to the rest of the GameDetectives staff for being so great!

Teragon Group, Order of the Crimson Temple and Electronic Freedom Society created by gayfarang and used with permission.

Pangent Technologies created by Human Souls.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is created and owned by Nintendo and Monolith Software.

Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, the Fire Emblem series, and related assets are created and owned by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems.

Crypt of the NecroDancer, Flickers, Kingdom of Loathing, Legend of Dungeon, The Magic Circle, Moon Hunters, Mos Speedrun 2, Neon Struct: Die Augen der Welt (a video game), Soda Drinker Pro, Sokobond and their related assets are created and owned by their respective developers.