Buried Debts – Not A Fun ARG At All

Turns out, there’s a whole Buried Debts ARG (Augmented Reality Game) tied in with the Thermia Fractures event. I mentioned the whole Data Hashes thing briefly in my previous article, but I want to talk about these data hashes specifically.

The premise is simple. The players need to find and scan a bunch of data hashes, 14 in total. As you scan them, Eudico and Zuud will start discussing things. The data hashes lead to a secret on the edge of the Orb Vallis. The community needs to band together and scan all of these things to unlock further secrets. It turns out, once we get to 100%, the glitchy messes turn into Corpus letters, which translated and taken out from their anagram, read “THE DEAD HAVE DEBTS”. Which frankly we already knew.

Before I continue, I’m going to mention the Solaris United ARG. That was a pretty enjoyable ARG with real world things to find and lots of clues and stuff. It was all kept together in a discord server. It came out in little, bite-sized chunks. Sure, like most ARGs, there were tedious bits and interesting bits, but it was good fun.

The Buried Debts thing… not so much.

A Data Hash, found in a cave on the Orb Vallis
A Data Hash, found in a cave on the Orb Vallis

You see, there was a map that needed deciphering. A map that not many people knew about because it was badly announced that there was even a thing going on. All the casual player would have seen was a bunch of scrambled things on the Navigation menu. There was a clue to scan data hashes but that was it. No idea what the data hashes looked like and no idea where they were located if you didn’t have a map. And even if you DID have a map, many of these were located inside caves and in little tiny nooks and crannies!

To put it in perspective, the Orb Vallis is about 9km2. It’s a fucking big place. The data hashes you have to scan are smaller than ammo pickups and only make their presence known when Helios or your Codex/Synthesis Scanner actually scan them. And most of them were in places people don’t really go anyway.

For example, one data hash is located at the back of the Space Port. Right at the back. In an area no one would ever go.

I mean, can you find the data hash in this image? If it wasn't for Helios and my stubbornness to get this done in one sitting, I probably would have missed it.
I mean, can you find the data hash in this image? If it wasn’t for Helios and my stubbornness to get this done in one sitting, I probably would have missed it.

As you scan the hashes, Eudico and Zuud talk to you, with Zuud getting more and more scared and anxious as you do so. I find it sad that she’s called Rude Zuud because she’s not rude at all, just frustrated and angry, with obvious voices in her head. And these data hashes are making things worse.

Once you’ve found all of the 14 data hashes, Eudico gives you one last statement, suggesting that, even though she doesn’t want to go there, she feels like they have to. She directs you to the north east part of the Vallis. In the distance, you can see a building that looks just like the entrance to Fortuna. But you can’t approach it, your Warframe starts freezing up as you get closer and closer. The frozen winds of Venus (that felt weird to type when Venus actually is a hot planet) stop you from going further.

An abandoned deck on the very edge of the Orb Vallis
An abandoned deck on the very edge of the Orb Vallis

Really, she’s directing you to a small cave right on the boundary of the Orb Vallis. It’s hidden away but the old deck building is still visible from the entrance.

A cave on the edge of the Orb Vallis
A cave on the edge of the Orb Vallis
A console that can't be hacked yet.
A console that can’t be hacked yet.

Inside the cave is a console with the data hashes on it. Over time, these have changed into Corpus symbols, but the console remains unhackable.

All that way and we’re stumped by a console.

But the thing is, we all kinda know what’s inside anyway. Eudico and company have been talking about it for ages, and the Fortuna emblem on the ground nails the point home further.

This is the place where Solaris United died last time, before we brought it back.

Or at least, it will be. Assuming people still care, because most people had no idea what to do.

Even by Warframe’s standards, the event was badly explained. Actually, the thermia fractures were barely explained as well, but at least Eudico will repeatedly say things as you approach a fracture. Even the location wasn’t accurate, I was told that it was “somewhere north east” of one of the big craters. Except it wasn’t particularly close to the crater at all.

Here’s hoping what comes next doesn’t need a dozen external community guides…

Medic

Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 45% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *