Today, at BlizzCon, Blizzard unveiled Sombra, Overwatch’s newest hero. The announcement comes out of an apparently endless wild goose chase for information about her that has left fans exhausted.
Here’s her trailer:
Since June, Blizzard has been teasing Sombra. Overwatch’s “alternate reality game,” or ARG, slowly (so slowly) revealed hints about her — her name, her background, and more. Because Sombra is a hacker, several clues were hidden under many layers of code, unearthed from the game, update videos and throughout the web. A thousands-strong collective called the Game Detectives has coordinated over several chat rooms and forums to translate and decrypt information from Sombra’s ARG.
In July, Blizzard released a video revealing the Overwatch hero Ana, which secretly contained several hexidecimal numbers. A Hex to ASCII translation, put through an XOR Cipher with a 23 constant, bore the sentence, “la que tiene la información; tiene el poder...,” which in English, means “She who has the information, has the power...”.
As far as the Sombra ARG goes, that sequence of events was pretty tame.
There have been several-layer datamoshed photos; video static that, converted into a bar code and translated into binary, led to a meaningless quote; a glitched-out page on the Battle.net forums that melted into a Base64 code; two skulls drawn out of rambling numbers and letters; Base64 strings that, when all the non-UTF-8 characters were removed, and 0x23 was substracted from each value, gave a hint; and a month-long countdown on amomentincrime.com that led to a message that said, “There was no point” and implied that, in the next update, something would happen, among other frustratingly complicated hints.
At one point, the Game Detectives thought that Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan’s blinking patterns were meant as a hint. Thankfully, the ARG didn’t run that deep. By late August, the Game Detectives were exhausted. And yet, they kept going.
Finally, just a few weeks ago, the Game Detectives received some real lore: Sombra sent them a message on a website called Lumerico.mx. In Overwatch, a Mexican corporation called LumériCo is headed by a corrupt president named Guillermo Portero. Mexican citizens would be forced to pay for what they thought would be an enormous temple, but was actually a scheme to enrichen him. Sombra wanted to take Portero and his company down. The Game Detectives hacked into Portero’s fictional email account and intercepted his messages. After Sombra helps expose him, Mexican citizens revolt.
We will update with more information about her.