The viral marketing campaign for the J.J. Abrams-produced monster flick that was trailered before Transformers has gotten into full swing. It started small with the official site: http://www.1-18-08.com. As Russ previously reported, there’s nothing there but a teaser image, and if you stop there, this doesn’t seem like much of a campaign. But then word of the sister sites http://www.ethanhaaswasright.com and http://ethanhaaswaswrong.blogspot.com got out, and we’ve officially got some sort of weird-ass mythology being built involving endtime prophecies and Lovecraft-ian madness. We’ve even got them directly soliciting Chewers.
I spent a good bit of time last night immersing myself in the mystery, and it’s a head-scratcher. The latter blogspot link is populated with a few posts from “Mezin” a disbeliever in the writings and visions of one Ethan Haas, the enigmatic central figure of this whole mess. It conveniently links you to the Flash-filled Ethan Haas Was Right site, and there you have some puzzles waiting for you. If you’ve played Prince of Persia or other puzzle-based videogames, this will all seem familiar, and each puzzle rewards you with a grainy videoclip of “Van,” a believer in Haas, rambling on about a number of things – the two most important being that you must master the site by August 1st and also that you must bring others here. You’re welcome, Van.
As for the puzzles themselves, I’m still on the fourth out of five challenges. The first was a simple memorization bit much like the old electronic game Simon. The second is a password puzzle that relies on two fundamental links: The stars above. Clicking on one star takes you to an email link, and you’ll really want to send something – anything – to it. Hovering above the other star gives you an alphabet, not completely unlike our own, that will help you solve it once you get a reply from the email link. The third puzzle….well, I got two words for you: Cracker Barrel. Amazingly enough, I knocked this one out on the first try. It’s the fourth that’s vexing me, and that’s because unlike the previous three, the mouse is useless here, so if you don’t know any better, you’ll click for minutes at a time thinking the game is broken. It aint. Your arrow keys are the interface here, and I can’t tell you much beyond that. I haven’t gotten to the fifth yet, but supposedly when you solve it, you get prompted to enter an email address for even more mystery goodness.
Don’t take my word for it, tho. Try it for yourself, kill a bunch of time on a slow Friday, and weigh in on the boards once you complete it.