Dec 12, 2011

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RUMOR: Half-Life 3 Reveal Coming in 60 Days

UPDATE 2: The legitimacy of @Doug_Rattmann has been called into question. One N4G user notes:

Guys, I’m from the Episode 2 Sub forum from Steam.

During the Potato fools day ARG, We discovered that the Rattman twitter is actually fake. We believe it was being used by a fellow named, dougley who was trying to derail our progress the entire ARG.

Sorry.

The website ValveARG.com has also posted an email response from Gabe Newell, Managing Director of Valve Corporation, that denies any ARG. Nevertheless, we invite readers to read on for the full list of clues gleaned from Wheatley’s speech and decide whether Valve is at least hinting toward the existence and announcement of Half-Life 3.

UPDATE: @Doug_Rattmann, the enigmatic source for Valve’s cryptic ARG’s, has tweeted that a new data transmission will be coming in 60 days. This comes on the heels of Half-Life 3 clues embedded in Spike TV’s 2011 Video Game Awards.

ORIGINAL STORY: What a ride the last few weeks have been for gamers desperate to see the next chapter in Valve’s critically-acclaimed Half-Life series. The fervor began when a Valve employee appeared at a local games conference wearing a Half-Life 3 t-shirt (and volunteered to be photographed). Now, keen-eyed gamers have spotted clues in a video Valve produced for the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards, which debuted on Saturday. The video, depicting Portal 2 fan-favorite Wheatley stammering through an acceptance speech in space, was played as Wheatley’s nominee speech for “Character of the Year” (an honor later lost to Arkham City’s Joker).

Wheatley – Nominee for “Character of the Year” (50% Speed)

YouTube Preview Image

The following are a list of clues that have been gleaned from the video:

  • A series of Cyrillic symbols (СПУТНИК НАБЛЮДЕНИЯ <<ЛАНТАНУМ>>) can be seen above Wheatley. Translated, the message reads: Observation Satellite “Lanthanum”. Lanthanum is a periodic element in Group 3.
  • Translated to Greek, “Lanthanum” reads λανθανω. Note the lambda symbol, a gaming icon that screams Half-Life.
  • Numerous constellations can be drawn in the stars behind Wheatley, all forming lambda symbols.
  • Wheatley finishes his speech by attempting to give coordinates of his location in space. He only has time to say “1, 1, 1″ before being cut off. 1 + 1 + 1 = 3
  • The atomic number of Lanthanum is 57. 5 and 7 are the starting and ending dates in July for next years E3. 5 + 7 = 12. 6/5/12 – 6/7/12.
  • Images of what appear to be a Headcrab can be captured within the video’s final second.

During the video, a series of numbers on the right can be seen changing. Here’s where it gets REALLY interesting. @Doug_Rattmann, the official Twitter feed of the Portal universe’s mysterious Ratman, has not been active since the data-streaming ARG that marked the release of Portal 2 months ago. Yesterday, he tweeted something for the first time since August 21.

Note the Greek symbol β, or “beta”.

What follows after this tweet is a series of transmissions that relay every number appearing throughout the video. Check out Ratman’s Twitter feed to see them all for yourself.

What does it all mean? Valve is only too happy to string fans along with teases before making big reveals, and Half-Life 3 would arguably be one of the biggest reveals in gaming history. We know that Wheatley’s video must be significant in some way, if only for its connection to @Doug_Rattmann’s cryptic tweets. Other clues drawn from the video may have some worth, or they might be false trails laid by Valve to keep us guessing. Still, any Half-Life fan worth his/her salt would instantly recognize the Headcrab in the captured image. Meanwhile, the appearance of the element Lanthanum might be scientifically accurate – Lanthanum (III) oxide’s high refractivity and low dispersion is useful for camera lenses – but the λ  symbol that appears in its Greek translation seems like a very intentional product.

Sound off in the comments with your thoughts and speculation, and stay tuned to Vivid Gamer for more on this intriguing twist in the ongoing Half-Life 3 saga.

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About Kyle Prahl

You can friend him on PSN (geist226) and follow him on Twitter: @PaybackPrahl