What could Notch's cryptic Minecraft code mean? | PCGamesN

Sera is the only companion you need in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Westeros bound: first episode of Game of Thrones premieres on December 2nd

The best PC gaming Black Friday sales

Minecraft

What could Notch's cryptic Minecraft code mean?

Yesterday, Markus 'Markus "Notch" Persson' Persson responded cryptically to Minecraft's milestone shattering eight millionth sale, simply commenting with the following string of digits and letters (spaces added to avoid bursting the site): "69I960EHE0 A4A0IVG0EH E02500R4R0 G1T30PLJ00 V6V0EHE0V1 U01V10U5U0 VGV0V4R". But what does it all mean? Is it a secret message? Is it an ARG? Did Notch spill Capri Sun on his keyboard? Or is he chuckling away to himself as we all scratch our heads?

We've put our top men on the task, and they're working tirelessly to refresh the Reddit thread several times a minute to discover the secret behind Notch's secret message. Here's what we've discovered so far.

Nobody's really sure what it is

Not even the handful of cryptographers who've looked at it. The zeroes might be terminators (the rubbish kind) of discrete bits of information, but even then the remaining chunks just don't add up to anything. Codebreaking geniuses have tried basic substitution ciphers such as ROT-N — in which each letter is swapped for its Nth neighbour — but found nothing but garbled, semi-legible results.

But it's not random

The repetition of certain groups of letters and numbers, as well as the palindromic nature of parts of the string, indicate that Notch's cat didn't do this. The code is either meaningful or specifically designed to appear meaningful. If Notch is playing with us, he's putting a modicum of effort into doing so.

Interpreted one way, something resembling language appears

One Reddit user "got this in a block search using a 0 1 2 3 offset". I don't know that that means, but the results yield the letters "I H A T J V R, E E R V V U, I H E V, E G R L E U G". Taken as a whole there doesn't appear to be an anagram of any single English word or phrase to be found, but I can already spot "I HAVE GLUE", "I HATE GRUEL" and "I HEART RIGEL" — Rigel, of course, being the brightest star in the Orion constellation. A clue perhaps? No, almost definitely not. Sigh.

It's incompatible with 0x10c's DCPU-16

0x10c is Notch's upcoming space sim, and the DCPU is your ship's 16-bit, on-board, fully emulated programmable computer, into which code can be fed and executed. What if we plugged this string into the DCPU and observed the results? Nothing happens. Another dead end.

It generates a cool Minecraft world

When the string is used as a Minecraft world seed it, quite naturally, creates a world. Reddit users have described it as a "very nice" world with a "really weird cave system", but it's hardly special and most likely a fluke. Seeds for better than average worlds are a dime a dozen, and it would be sourly anti-climactic of Notch to spit out an unremarkable world seed in celebration of Minecraft's eight millionth sale.

When expressed as a bitmap in base 64, you get this


Which yet again means precisely diddly-squat. Unless, hold on. Wait just a minute. Zoom in on that square.

It couldn't be, could it? Enhance 224 to 176. Enhance, stop. Move in, stop.

My god.

You again.

Login or Register
Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
Dear Microsoft: about that Minecraft deal

Minecraft

Dear Microsoft: about that Minecraft deal

Cubism: Tate gallery make Minecraft maps of some of history's best-loved paintings

Cubism: Tate gallery make Minecraft maps of some of history's best-loved paintings

Minecraft and Mojang are now officially resting in Microsoft's belly

Minecraft and Mojang are now officially resting in Microsoft's belly

Update for Minecraft will let you control the fanciness of clouds

Update for Minecraft will let you control the fanciness of clouds

Minecraft 2 unlikely from Microsoft:

Minecraft 2 unlikely from Microsoft: "We need to meet the needs of the community"

Minecraft has now sold 17 million copies on PC

Minecraft has now sold 17 million copies on PC

The 100 Best Minecraft Skins

Minecraft

The 100 Best Minecraft Skins

Minecraft 1.8.1 will improve stability, make the ender dragon killable again

Minecraft 1.8.1 will improve stability, make the ender dragon killable again

Minecraft Movie lures Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy

Minecraft Movie lures Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy

Ordnance Survey upscale Minecraft map of Great Britain to be

Ordnance Survey upscale Minecraft map of Great Britain to be "more realistic"

British Museum to be officially rebuilt in Minecraft

British Museum to be officially rebuilt in Minecraft

Garry Newman on Mojang sale to Microsoft:

Garry Newman on Mojang sale to Microsoft: "I'd have done the same thing"

Topic of the Week: What are your fondest memories of Minecraft so far?

Minecraft

Topic of the Week: What are your fondest memories of Minecraft so far?

Notch on selling Minecraft to Microsoft: “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity”

Notch on selling Minecraft to Microsoft: “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity”

Mojang on Microsoft buyout: “Yes, the deal is real.” Notch and other founders to leave

Mojang on Microsoft buyout: “Yes, the deal is real.” Notch and other founders to leave

Microsoft rumoured to announce $2.5 billion purchase of Mojang on Monday

Microsoft rumoured to announce $2.5 billion purchase of Mojang on Monday

Minecraft sale to Microsoft apparently started by Notch

Minecraft sale to Microsoft apparently started by Notch

Microcraft: Microsoft might be trying to buy Mojang

Microcraft: Microsoft might be trying to buy Mojang

How much of Microsoft's $2.5 billion will Notch actually receive?

Minecraft

How much of Microsoft's $2.5 billion will Notch actually receive?

Mojang release 10 months' work in Minecraft 1.8: The Bountiful Update

Mojang release 10 months' work in Minecraft 1.8: The Bountiful Update

British geologists fill the gaps in Ordnance Survey's Minecraft Great Britain

British geologists fill the gaps in Ordnance Survey's Minecraft Great Britain

Mojang postpone Minecon until 2015; still to take place in London

Mojang postpone Minecon until 2015; still to take place in London

Minecraft 1.8 dubbed the Bountiful Update, dated for September 2

Minecraft 1.8 dubbed the Bountiful Update, dated for September 2

Minecraft Bukkit project lead quits, Mojang take over

Minecraft Bukkit project lead quits, Mojang take over