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What’s the story behind Counter-Strike’s bomb code?

A time bomb being planted in Counter-Strike Global Offensive.

7355608 – a string of digits that will be forever etched into the brains of those who’ve shimmed through the doorways of de_dust, inched the precarious bridge of de_aztec, or shimmied through the doorways of de_dust2. But what does it meeeeeaaan? Can such a mainstay of the 15-year-old Counter-Strike series exist without any profound meaning woven into it? Sure. Yep. But I choose to believe this far more interesting theory about the bomb arming code instead. 

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The following fan theory, originall conceived by ‘Jo the fun’ over at French CS:GO community site VaKarM, requires a few leaps of logic, true. But so does the plot of every movie Chris Nolan ever directed. Sometimes you’ve just got to go with it. Without further ado, via the CS:GO subreddit, here’s Jo’s interpretation.

Starting with 7355608, translate it into l33t speak: tessboB. This is the first possible bone of contention in the theory, as some claim that 6 is a ‘g,’ not a lowercase ‘b.’ Indeed, using any variation of l33t in this handy translator, the result includes a ‘g’. As I said though, I’m just going to go with it, because the conclusion’s too good not to.


Flip that controversially interpreted l33t speak around and you get Bobsset. We’re getting somewhere now, no? Particularly if you deploy a tactical apostrophe: Bob’sset. Bob’s set. Bob’s set!

It’s close, but obviously no one spells bomb like that. There’s no getting around it – we need an ‘m’ for this theory to hold water. Okay, how about this mysterious letter ‘m’ on the Counter-Strike Source bomb?Ladies and gentlemen, we have our ‘m’. I think you all know what this means, but all the same I’ll give you all a second to draw your own conclusions privately.

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All done? Cool. It’s the best theory I’ve come across to date, and I’ve checked every day since Counter-Strike 0.1 was released in 2000. And that’s where the trail of breadcrumbs ends, unfortunately. No one on the dev teams of any iteration of CS has ever gone on record to confirm or deny the above theory, or indeed whether the code has any meaning at all.

But then: this is Counter-Strike. CS:GO alone is full of Easter Eggs. Likewise Counter-Strike: Source. These are games literally – literally – dripping with developer in-jokes, nods to other Valve titles, and the like. And let’s not forget that incredibly convoluted ARG Valve orchestrated for Portal 2’s launch in 2011. They know fans will read into the apparently incidental details, and they have a history of popping in Easter Eggs. Is it so far-fetched?