Steam users have discovered a noir-style mystery hidden among the Steam pages for the Steam Winter Sale, and are asking for help in uncovering all of the clues hidden by Valve.

The Steam Winter Sale often provides the best deals of the entire year, but Valve has upped the ante this time by including a series of mysterious clues which may lead curious Steam users to a hidden page. The digital download service recently underwent a massive privacy glitch and was shut down on Christmas Day, but it looks like the company hasn’t let this detract from their plans to encourage users to snoop around the store pages.

It looks like the clues for Valve’s hidden puzzle were released the same day the Steam sale started, but no one really noticed them creeping in the virtual shadows until now.

The hidden puzzles can be found within the Steam website itself, and some of the more dedicated investigators around the world have started their own Steam Sales Detectives subreddit so that they can communicate their findings. The group has found plenty of red herrings along the way, but they’ve also compiled a list of findings that certainly can’t be coincidence.

Those interesting in joining the hunt to uncover the hidden Steam Winter Sale messages can do so by going to the Steam store and simply typing in the word search. Please note that this message isn’t typed into an actual search bar, but is actually just typed when a user arrives on an application or game page within the Steam website. Once users press enter after typing in search, a blank dialogue box pops up like so:

Steam Winter Sale Dialogue Box

From here, there are many possible answers that users can type in, and the aforementioned Steam Sales Detectives have already uncovered several mysterious steps that take users to new areas. Investigators discovered that Valve’s own noir Steam comic that debuted with the Steam Winter Sale contained massive clues to the puzzle, and gamers were able to take the digits from the comic’s bar code (which has since been removed by Valve, perhaps to make the puzzle even more difficult) and put them into the blank dialogue box.

The digits from the barcode – 94050999014715 – are an obvious reference to the Hitman series, as they closely match the Agent 47’s own barcode number with 9s substituting in for 0s. If gamers enter the barcode digits in the dialogue box on the Hitman: Codename 47 page, the dialogue box gives back this response:

Steam Winter Sale Noir Mystery

Many users-turned-detectives soon surmised that appending that text to the noir comic’s URL might lead to the next clue, and they were spot on: doing so actually brings up a download for an audio file, where a currently unknown voice states that “I was on the right track, I could feel it. Tomorrow, I was going to search again.” Nobody has figured out what where to go after this lead was uncovered, though it’s likely the clue only came out today (the tomorrow which was referenced yesterday, of course).

Though this particular trail is currently at a dead end, gamers found a separate one to follow: typing in the password the comic’s detective gives on the sixth page actually redirects the Steam browser to Undertale, although this only works when gamers are on the Steam page for Grim Fandango, a popular title which is also one of January’s free PS Plus titles. Some arrived to the same destination by typing ‘blitzen’ into the proper Steam search bar, which means there seems to be multiple ways to reach a destination in Steam’s own hidden mystery adventure.

Typing in ‘bullet hell’ while on the Undertale page will bring gamers to the Steam store page for Ikaruga, and thus far it looks like nobody has really figured out what to do beyond that.

Some detectives tracked down the Steam profile pages for some Valve employees, and it looks like one of them left a taunting message to would-be investigators: a literal red herring badge, potentially indicating that the players are following a misleading path. The profile is now set to private, but here’s what it looked like before the profile disappeared from public view:

Steam Winter Sale Fireslash

The noir Winter comic receives an update each day, and it wouldn’t be surprising to find that Valve might hide more clues within each daily update. Only time will tell what will actually come at end of this noir-themed mystery hunt, but it had certainly better be worth all of this trouble!

What do you think about the Steam Winter Sale Mystery, Ranters? What do you think could be hidden among the Steam webpages?

Source: Polygon

tags: Steam, Valve