[UPDATE: Turns out the countdown just led to a website with more clues. Full details here]
Ever since Blizzard announced that new post-launch characters will be coming to Overwatch, the community has been following every tidbit of information that’s been dropped about these new heroes. The only new character that’s been added to the game’s roster so far is the support sniper Ana, and while she was a welcome addition to the cast, a majority of players are still hunting down clues regarding one mysterious character that’s been teased for months: Sombra. No one knows who or what this character is, but thanks to a new clue, we may be one step closer to finding out the identity this new Overwatch hero.
A new thread was started over at the Blizzard Forums in which there’s a single post that reads “la que tiene la información; tiene el poder” – a Spanish phrase which translates to “she who has the information, has the power.” For those who have been following the recent Sombra ARG, you will immediately recognize that phrase from previous teaser material, but this time it has a new surprise – after a few seconds in the that forum post, the whole page will suddenly “glitch” before eventually resolving itself into a new block of code.
Eager internet sleuths have since decoded that block of code, which ultimately revealed an ASCII skull – much like the previous Sombra ASCII skull code. However, thanks to the efforts of fans over at the Overwatch sub-reddit, it was discovered that there were differences between the two skulls when someone thought to use a Caesar-23 cipher – which, not so coincidentally, corresponds with Sombra bringing the Overwatch character roster size to 23.
This effort subsequently unlocked a new Spanish phrase whereby Sombra appeared to address the ARG group The Game Detectives directly, and the group responded by working out the URL to a hidden video located on Blizzard’s asset mirror. The video contains the name Janina Kowalska – which is believed to be a pseudonym of Ana’s – but following the video’s description of “You seem to be really interested in these “heroes”. Maybe it’ll interest you knowing some details I know about them?”, sleuths found another hidden message from Sombra, this time in Morse code.
Using this new clue, The Game Detectives were led to a new website for a fake TV show in the Overwatch universe, which contains the phrase “Protocol Sombra v1.3“. If players decide to send an email to [email protected], a new clue is revealed in the form of some more code.
At this point, the trail goes cold and The Game Detectives have yet to solve the next clue at the time of writing. With the ARG seemingly not close to being finished yet, it appears that Sombra will remain in the shadows for some time still, though this is definitely not a bad thing. Given Overwatch‘s brilliant and understated storytelling, getting players involved in unraveling who Sombra is has proven to be a fantastic way to keep the 15 million-strong community engaged with the game.
With new skins, maps, and fixes coming in a future patch, there’s a chance that Sombra could make an appearance, but seeing how elusive this mysterious new character has proven to be, it looks as though players will be playing Blizzard’s compelling little ARG for the foreseeable future.
Overwatch is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.