Last year, fans found a golden peyote plant in GTA V that could transform players into Sasquatch. This discovery was actually the tip of the iceberg of a much larger, way more ridiculous mystery.
First, some recap, just to get you up to speed. The initial discovery of the golden peyote was made possible by perusing the code that makes up GTA V itself. By skimming through the game files, players were able to find the exact coordinates of every single peyote in the game. Thing is, some coordinates were completely unaccounted for; nobody could find the associated peyote plants that this code supposedly pointed to. And as if that wasn’t enough, Rockstar was outright winking at mystery hunters by leaving a small comment in the code of GTA V itself, as you can see in the highlighted text below:
Image credit: rkRusty
What does “he was wrong to start his hunt on Tuesday” even mean? Well, the only way to get that original golden peyote plant to spawn was by going to a specific area of the GTA map, while the weather was foggy or snowy, on a Tuesday. In context, Rockstar’s code comment appeared to be telling players that there was still more to be found, that the Tuesday peyote was only a part of the whole thing. And so players kept digging.
“Each and every patch, a dedicated team of code readers called The Codewalkers constantly check if something new was added into the [GTA V] code,” Louis C Leblond, one of they key players involved in solving the latest GTA V mystery, told me in an interview. “They compare [databases] and [from there we got] clues about what was added or not. This is all very difficult because Rockstar are masters [at] hiding their code.”
Franklin, staring at a peyote plant.
Starting with the Tuesday clue, players from the r/chiliadmystery subreddit recalled that the code referenced seven total peyote plants. The collective assumption then became, “oh, each peyote must align with a day of the week,” and the only way to get these other peyotes to spawn is to be at the special coordinates at the right time. After all, the only way they got the first peyote to spawn was by being in the right place at the right time. But this realisation also meant that, thanks to the code coordinates, players knew the “where” but not the “when.”
While messing around with the original golden peyote Bigfoot, fans noticed that pressing a button would activate a sonar that would point them toward the location of the next peyote plant. This was crucial in figuring out the order and days that needed to be assigned to each of the coordinates; Tuesday led to Wednesday, and so on.
Like the first peyote plant they found, every new plant needed to be eaten in foggy or snowy weather, between 5:30-8:00 AM. Basically, it was impossible to perform these series of actions without cheating in some way, because there’s just zero chance of having both the time and the weather align as needed so many days in a row. I’ve tried. Even getting a single day to have the exact weather you want, at the time you want, was a major pain in the ass. Then again, given that Rockstar was using GTA V’s code to speak to the secret hunters, all concerns about solving this mystery “legitimately” can be thrown out the window, huh?
So, the GTA V mystery hunters went through all this trouble, performing each arcane step exactly when they needed to, only to find absolutely nothing. Yup. Nothing at all. The trail went cold. Fortunately, Rockstar updated GTA V once more after that. For most players, this update was business as usual: there was new content to play and enjoy. For mystery hunters, the update was hiding the next big clue: Rockstar allegedly changed the “Tuesday” line to say “His quarry seemed familiar.”
“The consensus so far has been that Rockstar only added the rest of the secret into the code when they knew that we had completed the 7 golden peyote spawning mystery,” LeBlonde said.
“For everyone, this was a 100% confirmation that Rockstar was communicating something with us,” LeBlonde said.
Okay, but again: what in the world does that line even mean?
“We only understood [it recently],” LeBlonde said. “We realised that all along...we were basically chasing a beast...quarry in this sentence means an ‘object of pursuit.’”
The hunt became literal at this point. Players realised that, after eating every peyote in order, GTA V actually started a new mini game that spawned a new beast on the map, as you can see in the distance here:
Image credit: Pir-o
Since the peyotes eaten along the way turned the player into Bigfoot, fans figured out that they could use Bigfoot’s roaring mechanic to make the monster respond with a roar of its own. Using that audio cue, players then needed to race to the appropriate location, passing through invisible checkpoints that were littered with the victims that the creature presumably murdered. The chase was relentless, too: some players reported running after the monster for over an hour, across paths that sometimes required backtracking or going in circles over and over again. It all seemed to be a reference to GTA Online’s Hunt The Beast mode, given the similarities in chasing/hunting mechanics.
The first player that actually managed to stay the course without having the beast run away was LeBlonde, and you can watch that dramatic pursuit from earlier this month below. There’s a thunderstorm during the showdown and everything:
Once LeBlonde actually killed the beast, the game rewarded him with a new selectable character in GTA V’s “director mode,” which allows players to create their own in-game movies. Naturally, that newly unlocked character was the beast itself.
Image credit: Sir_Galehaut
“If you didn’t know, the beast is a direct reference to Teen Wolf with Michael J. Fox,” LeBlonde said. “Seems like Rockstar wants us to make some movie reenactment.”
“It was really a complete group effort between more than 30 persons,” LeBlonde said. “We were all live chatting on our dedicated Discord server [to solve it], with the codewalkers streaming live while they were deciphering the code.” LeBlonde says that one of these sessions took a whopping 16 hours of sifting through code, trying to find clues. But it was worth it, because now LeBlonde can say he feels “like a proud hunter finding a legendary beast.”
For years now, hardcore Grand Theft Auto V players have sworn that the game is still hiding secrets that nobody has found yet. Most of the time, the “discoveries” that people make in this realm are bullshit; just folks reading too much into things that aren’t there. But there is a reason that the game can inspire such devotion in the first place: sometimes, there really is something else out there after all.