This morning, I played Kanye Quest for the first time in forever. I never played past maybe 5 minutes of it the first time before quitting for two years, so I decided to really sit down and play it. For those of you still unaware, Kanye Quest 3030 is a video game whose setting is that Kanye gets warped from 2010 into the future where an evil clone of Lil B is running the entire US while pretending he's the original Lil B who had been dead for nearly a thousand years.
He teams up with formerly deactivated clones of 2pac, RZA, and MF DOOM to take on to take on various clones of rappers, including Biggie Smalls as the head governor of the eastern half of the United States of BasedGod. In the end, they kill the false clone and Lil B's soul returns to earth. There's a very Evangelionesque "CONGRATULATIONS" moment, and then kanye wakes up, the whole thing being a dream. Cut to 2013 and Kanye is on stage with a giant gold cross behind him yelling "I AM A GOD." To be continued etc.
Remember the whole evil clone thing. It's semi-important.
In the game, there are Based Information Systems that tell you how to play, tell you your current task, tell you to praise Lil B, etc.
In the first future area of the game, Bay Area 3030, you can walk into an abandoned building and find a trashed Based Info Sys. It's semi comprehensible, but the majority of its letters in the messages are swapped with periods and backslashes.
I hit "view current task" on it, and it showed a message that said:
.----/--.---.-Bas.d Inf.rmati/. Sy.tem---/-..--/----
ASC/N. a/d wo..hip T.e Ba//dG.d.
After thinking for a minute, I realized it said "ASCEND and worship The Based God." I thought "oh, cool fluff messages" and just kept walking
Later on, you meet a BasedGod Taskforce cultist in the street who randomly asks you "What do you want to do?" You're given a six blank space prompt where you can put in any character. For shits and giggles, I put in "ASCEND".
If you saw spirk's video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aetdKQZ3lpw), you see that you get transported to another area that asks you to keep the level a secret and tells you it's part of a thought experiment and that the whole game was a front. It also changes your avatar to that of a butterfly.
The full level start text:
Congratulations! You have proven yourself to be an
open-minded and curious thinker. We must apologise
for deceiving you, but we can reveal that the game
you were playing until this point was a 'front'
constructed to protect what you are currently
accessing. We must ask that you do not reveal this
area to the public. If you believe that you may be
prone to revealing information, or do not wish to
participate, please close this program immediately
by pressing ALT-F4 or selecting the NO option when
it appears. By selecting the YES option, you agree
to participate and not reveal information.
If you select YES:
The following is a thought exercise designed to help
teach you something beneficial. By undertaking this
exercise, you will hopefully be affected in a
positive way. Due to the nature of the exercise,
this "something" cannot be revealed immediately.
This exercise may or may not be restricted to this
software. It is important to remember that the
purpose of this exercise is to benefit you.
You will not be timed. We cannot provide any more
information, except that we wish you good luck!
You may begin now. Welcome to your ascension.
You're then put into a level that is a successive number of horizontal hallways that get smaller and smaller. inside each one, there are a few terminals and a locked "PORTA" (door).
These terminals don't offer any information besides a roman numeral and a prompt with 8 blank spaces.
If you walk south from there, you reach a large, four-room area with a black and white mural in the center. If you take screenshots of each part of the mural and paste them together, you get a QR code that redirects you to http://q4i.co/Fm which is now dead.
Apparently, this is how we were going to get OUR codes for our half of this recruitment ARG. More on that in a second.
I couldn't find any way but the long-deserted tumblr to track down the main dev, "phenix", for questions so I contacted someone else that was listed as a scripter. Guy's only response to me was that it wasn't his game at all. I also noticed that at the end of the trailer, morse code for ASCEND can be observed, and on the youtube page, the link to the tumblr is also a morse code arrangement of ASCEND. However, there is nothing on the internet that links the word ASCEND to the game at all.
With no other way to go, I did what chuckles did. I opened the files in RPGmaker, took a look at the event scripts, and found the passwords. The first three I found were "Jagatai" "Petuntze" and "Eyen". I found these words to be weird as fuck, as they had no link to the Kanye game, so I googled them together and found this.
At the same time they released the game, this well-established new age cult called Ascentionism (note the reference to ASCEND) was running an ARG-type-thing off of a youtube page and were using the same words. The users of that forum also mentioned the word BOLIVIA being used. I checked, and surely enough it was the final password for that line. I checked the rest of the passwords and they all looked to be random words. Idle, Ogden, Financial. nonsense except for usage as secret codewords.
It's at this point that I have to point out that the ASCEND level is broken into 3 divisions.
The area with all the computers and hallways is I.
Once you finish the last computer in I, you get sent to ASCENTION.
the room is all white except for a single computer terminal.
In the final white room before the final terminal, you are accosted by an enemy with no sprite named JFZZJNMS. This fight is extremely short, ending immediately after it starts.
If you hit the terminal, the following text plays:
You have proven your worth once again. You have
ascended. However, further ascension is always
possible. If you do not wish to ascend further, your
journey ends here, so please close this program by
pressing ALT-F4 or selecting the NO option above. By
selecting the YES option, you agree to participate
further and you grant us permission to interact with
your possessions. Would you like to participate?
-If you choose NO, you get sent to the title screen. If you choose YES, it shows this:
Over the following two week time period, we will
interact with you and your possessions in several
ways. Keep an eye out, as some of these ways may be
subtle. Others may not be. We may attempt to contact
you directly. If we do this, we will attempt to
notify you of our prescence using a key-word. If
you still consent to participation, please select
the YES option above. Do you wish to participate?
-If you hit YES again, it gives you a form that asks for the following:
-Then it tells you
Thank you, [whatever name you put]!
Enjoy the next two weeks and await instruction.
-The game pretends to send the info. It is not sent anywhere. No idea what the point of entering the info is.
-In the final white room before the final terminal, there are random encounters with an enemy with a circle-ish sprite named JFZZJNMS. These fights are extremely short, ending immediately after they start.
could possibly be related to/inspired by http://www.sculpture.net/community/showthread.php?t=7167
Now, it's time for me to explain who the Ascensionists are.
Ascensionism is a New Age cult that goes back to at least 2006. Its main beliefs focus around there being two spirits that make up a whole being. A physical spirit, the body, and an ethereal spirit, the soul. Long story short, souls live lifetime after lifetime until they reach a point where they are judged by themselves after a death and, upon deciding they have been sufficiently good, destroy themselves and become primordial soulstuffs from which new souls form.
Apparently, orthodox Ascensionism believes that all souls, before combining with the spirit of the body, form pacts with the souls of all beings that they will encounter into the future. This leads to the ascentionist belief that any harm done to a person was agreed upon prior by their soul during a contract signing with the other person's soul and that they were, quite literally, "asking for it", thus justifying any harm they can perpetrate against people.
They also believe that if a person is cloned, their soul is split into two parts, and as such, they do not truly die until the clones are dead because any soul from a dead clone or originator will just wander until it finds another clone with the same host spirit and will combine with it.
This is bad, to ascentionists. They believe that if a soul lives on for too long, it becomes corrupted by the bad circumstances it has accumulated and will become evil and twisted over time because they cannot be purged of their experiences by death to start anew. They believe that souls that become evil and are wandering from clone to clone are the "shadow people" that people see in the corners of their eyes. According to them, there is some ancient group of 9 people or so who have lived for centuries by cloning themselves repeatedly and indefinitely, and their clones are what constitute the majority of the "shadow people" seen today (not really centuries, per se, because ascentionists measure time in eons that are determined by a certain number of lifetimes a spirit has, but you get me.) This goes back to the plotline of the game, where all of the evil characters were continued clones of rappers who had accumulated evil by being alive for so long and never truly dying, while the good characters, aside from Kanye, were clones that had been dormant for so long that they couldn't accumulate the bad energies gained through experience.
So, with all of that out of the way. There's a few things that we can try to do, if we really want to continue this. We can input all the passwords and send them our info. (bad idea since any evil acts are justified by them)
We can try to use the other half of the ARG from that forum and pick up where they left off.
And as for whether it's real or not:
I can't say for sure, but I'm leaning on it being a real recruitment method used by a potential sect of the cult. The fact that they never pushed the ARG and instead left it for people who would find it through creative thinking means that they're potentially looking for people they deem to be "intellectuals" and are looking to get worthwhile members or something. Not that I consider myself an intellectual, but that just seems like the kind of thing I would do if I wanted to make a cult of smart people or something. I found that shit on accident though.
If it's fake, then there's a few questions that are raised:
Why make an ARG and then never push it?
Why make a semi-popular game as a front for it?
Why study an entire obscure cult and then intertwine its philosophy and belief system into the plot but never even make it obvious that the cult has anything to do with it?
Among other things.
Lastly, on becoming a butterfly:
Butterflies apparently represent hope, traditionally. This usage of hope refers to our hoping that something would happen to us; winning the lottery, buying a nice car, etc. To Ascensionists, these hopes create imprints in our souls that they carry even after losing all experiences of past lives. As these imprints build with each life, they develop the soul and mature it, readying it for its final self-judgement.
The WIP Wikipedia page that shows that Ascensionism at least goes back to 06:
The page that taught me the most about Ascentionism:
And the page that showed how they justify violence and harm:
Ascensionism is all over google. If you search for it you'll find a lot of articles and blogs by outsiders and practitioners.
Ascensionism also has its own website, but because it's a cult, and thus a scam, it sends up red flags on most browsers:
They also have an official record label to fund the cult:
Repeating Triangle motifs:
THE ENDING SCENE:
http://i.gyazo.com/4543af3f02f763ac1682f99561508cb4.png (invis square is Kanye in the cutscene)
ASCEND LEVEL SHRUNKEN:
ASCENTIONIST YAHOO PAGE FROM 06:
According to the Yahoo page I just found that seems to be some of the earliest mentions of it:
-Stylized mountain for the mountaineering connection.
-Stylized 'A' of 'Ascensionism'(ok, sort of).
-Stairway to heaven, each step symbolizing a level of self-
actualization and enlightenment (and stages in our hands-on program).
-NEW: the golden diamond shape symbolizes transcendence and
ascension; the moment when men become gods. It's the ultimate goal
and logical conclusion of the personal empowerment program.
-NEW: the oval represents the universe (and/or the Earth). Could
also be a regular circle, but an oval looks slightly more
The level ASCEND
It has very odd background music
It's a repeating tone, like a bell being struck
And in one part, there's backwards speech, and then later on there's more speech
However, it's been too quiet to be deciphered definitively
For the reversed speech:
"There's four possibilities the way I see it
And the trailer for the game:
I missed one room in the pastebin
Spirk was able to find this room by entering the first set of passcodes and going back into the QR room
There's nothing in the room except for a single PC that has the identifying roman numeral: XXXIVYES
There is no visible floor
But, in the RPGmaker kit, there's a set of blank switches that don't activate anything.
As you enter passwords and progress, the room gets progressively darker and darker.