The Great Escape

When a team completed the seventh Phase Two meta, Captain Blastoid called them and said: "Excellent work, team! Due to your rescue efforts we've been able to activate the black box recorder, and now we need your help to retrace the path of the Brass Rat and find the coin! This is going to be a tough mission, so please meet us in Lobby 7 in 15 minutes. You will need to bring at least eight people, each with a cellphone if possible, and a laptop computer with a USB port and sound capabilities. You may be using the computer continuously for a while, so please bring a power cord to recharge the battery. Also bring anything you think might be useful for navigating through Zyzzlvaria, and anything that might be useful in the case of a disaster."

The last sentence encouraged them to bring their Collectible Disaster Response Sheets (awarded at the three events) and their game board.

When the team met with Captain Blastoid in Lobby 7 (a.k.a. "Outpost 0"), they were handed the Black Box, a black jump drive which contained a simple web application. Upon activation, the application played a recording of the HAL-9000ish ship's computer, a set of directions which guided the team to Outpost 1, in Strobe Alley. They were also given icons indicating a set of three puzzles (from the Harvoid round) and a number corresponding to Algernon, who was ejected from the ship at the end of the recording. The team used a letter shared by the answers of those puzzles, Algernon's number, Algernon's Disaster Response Sheet, and elements of the surroundings to determine a password which activated the directions to Outpost 2. Abandoning a team member to remain behind as "Algernon," the team continued to follow the path.

Upon arriving at Outpost 2, the recording ended again with three puzzle icons, but this time the team was given numbers for both Algernon and Harold. They then had to determine a password for Harold at Outpost 2, and also communicate with "Algernon" by phone to get a second password. This process continued through eight Outposts, with the team leaving behind seven crew members and entering up to seven passwords at a time before finally reaching Outpost 8, a location familiar to the team as Zyzzlvaria Alpha.

The locations of the outposts and the recordings of the Ship's Computer:

  1. Strobe Alley: Runaround01.mp3
  2. Building 14N: Runaround02.mp3
  3. Green Building, 11th Floor: Runaround03.mp3
  4. Building 7, 3rd Floor: Runaround04.mp3
  5. Lobby 10: Runaround05.mp3
  6. Stata Center Lobby: Runaround06.mp3
  7. Nautical Museum: Runaround07.mp3
  8. Walker, 3rd Floor: Runaround08.mp3

At Outpost 8, the recording suggested the use of a particular map to proceed further (a map which was conveniently being carried by a member of Blastoid's camera crew). This led to Outpost 9, and the following puzzle:

This final puzzle could be used to find the coin.