Cypher

Cypher

Year:  2018

Genre:  Adventure

Links:  Steam

Cypher is a first person puzzle game that sees you as a nameless protagonist walking through a museum of cryptography and solving the puzzles provided. There are 7 Steam Achievements, all documented in the walkthrough below.

Entry Hall

In the first room, turn around the read the text on the wall behind you. Notice that some of the letters are in bold - these spell out the solution to the first puzzle. Now approach the console and enter GOLDENKEY. Head through the doorway ahead and read the introduction, then continue through to a large hallway. The main sections of the games all arise from here, and you can proceed through the first doorway on the left. Once you complete each section, you can return to the hall and enter the next.

01: Steganography

Puzzle 01

Simply read the first letter of every item in the inventory to see the solution: SPYSUSPECTED.

Puzzle 02

Read the passage from "The Raven", by Edgar Allen Poe. There are 6 spelling mistakes in the text, with either letters missing or added. These letters spell out the solution: LENORE.

Puzzle 03

Walk up very close to the writing on the wall and you can make out some text as the solution: INVISIBLEINK.

Puzzle 04

Look at the words in italics, and note that they are all similar to single digit numerals. Place these in order to get the solution: 2143.

Puzzle 05

Walk up very close to the writing on the wall and look at the final period. Written in very small writing is the solution: INPLAINSIGHT.

Puzzle 06

Convert the numbers shown into corresponding letters in the alphabet (A=1, B=2) to come up with the solution: CHRONO.

Puzzle 07

The grid of symbols needs to be converted into Morse code. The symbols with the top right missing are "." and the symbols with the top left missing are "-". The total conversion gives the solution: SAMUEL.

Puzzle 08

The writing here uses two font sizes. Convert the large characters to A and the small characters to B. This gives the sequence AAAAB, AAAAA, AAABA, ABBBA, ABBAB. Use the Bacon cipher to convert this to the solution: BACON.

Complete all steganography puzzles

02: Transposition

Puzzle 01

For the first puzzle here, the solution is a simple anagram: CIPHER.

Puzzle 02

To decipher this text, read one letter from the left sequence, then one from the right sequence. This will spell out the following sentence: "The jewels are hidden beneath the elm tree". You can enter this solution: ELMTREE.

Puzzle 03

The cipher text here is written backwards, making this the solution: REFLECTION.

Puzzle 04

You need to read the letters in this grid in a down and right diagonal direction, starting from the bottom left corner. Substitute X for a word break, and you will get the following text: "Assassin en route trust no one hide the jade dragon". You can enter this solution: JADEDRAGON.

Puzzle 05

The cipher text here is in blocks of 3 letters, each prefixed by the letter Q. Read each block backwards to get the following solution: STRIKEATDAWN.

Puzzle 06

Knowing that there are 32 letters in the cipher text, break it into blocks of 8 letters and place them one above the other. Now read vertically to get this text: "The men plan a mutiny return to Bristol". Enter this solution: BRISTOL.

Puzzle 07

If you jump around the letters using a "Knight's move" you will be able to spell out the following words: Castle, King, Queen. Enter this solution: CASTLEKINGQUEEN.

Puzzle 08

Knowing that there are 30 letters in the cipher text this time, break it into blocks of 6 letters and place them one above the other. Now read vertically to get this text: "Two plus six times three minus one". Enter this solution: 19.

Complete all transposition puzzles

03: Monoalphabetic Substitution

Puzzle 01

This is a straight-forward substitution cipher. Decrypt the text to read the following passage from "Dracula" by Bram Stoker: "Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country." Now enter the word in bold as the solution: TRANSYLVANIA.

Puzzle 02

This is another straight-forward substitution cipher. Instead of some initial substitution hints, you are provided with a relative frequency chart at the bottom. Decrypt the text to read the following passage from "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley: "Soon after my arrival in the hovel I discovered some papers in the pocket of the dress which I had taken from your laboratory. At first I had neglected them, but now that I was able to decipher the characters in which they were written, I began to study them with diligence." Now enter the word in bold as the solution: LABORATORY.

Puzzle 03

In this harder substitution puzzle, you must gradually replace the symbols with corresponding letters. You will eventually reveal the following passage from "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle: "There is ever a flaw, however, in the best laid of human plans, and the murderers of John Openshaw were never to receive the orange pips which would show them that another, as cunning and as resolute as themselves, was upon their track. Very long and very severe were the equinoctial gales that year. We waited long for news of the Lone Star of Savannah, but not ever reached us." Enter the highlighted words as the solution: LONESTAR.

Puzzle 04

This text is made more difficult by the lack of word boundaries, but can be solved by first counting the frequencies of the letters in the cipher text. It eventually reveals a passage from "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson: "Dear Livesey -- As I do not know whether you are at the hall or still in London, I send this in double to both places. The ship is bought and fitted. She lies at anchor, ready for sea. You never imagined a sweeter schooner -- a child might sail her -- two hundred tons; name, Hispaniola." Enter the name in bold as the solution: HISPANIOLA.

Complete all monoalphabetic puzzles

04: Polyalphabetic Substitution

Puzzle 01

This first puzzle gives you the key of "flash" for a polyalphabetic cipher. For each letter, subtract the numerical value of the corresponding letter of the key from the cipher text to get the plain text. For example, Z - F = T and T - L = H. After reaching the 5th letter, start from the F in "flash" again. Decrypt the entire message to get the solution: THUNDERANDLIGHTNING.

Puzzle 02

The second puzzle only gives you the cipher text, but no key. There is repetition of the "VL" segment multiple times, as well as the segment "JCW". You can work out the key is 3 letters long based on this. If you try to decrypt so the first word in the plain text is "The", you will get a key of "pur". The entire message is "The cat sat flat on the mat". Enter the word in bold as the solution: MAT.

Puzzle 03

This puzzle has a much longer cipher text, but the same principles for solving. There are several repeating 3-letter segments, including AFH. If you try to decrypt so this segment becomes "The", you will get a key of "cgx". The entire message is two separate passages from "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle: "I think that I can help you to pass an hour in an interesting and profitable manner, said Holmes, drawing his chair up to the table" and "I am fairly familiar with all forms of secret writings, and am myself the author of a trifling monograph upon the subject, in which I analyze one hundred and sixty separate ciphers, but I confess that his is entirely new to me." Enter the word in bold as the solution: MONOGRAPH.

Complete all polyalphabetic puzzles

05: Mechanised Cryptography

Puzzle 01

You are given the entire structure of the modified Enigma machine, which is as follows:

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Input/output
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
UWYGADFPVZBECKMTHXSLRINQOJ
Scrambler I
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
YRUHQSLDPXNGOKMIEBFZCWVJAT
Reflector

Solve this puzzle by plugging in one letter from the cipher text at a time. Each time a new letter is entered, the Scrambler part of the machine moves to the left by one position.

  • Start at Z for input/output; move the Scrambler to the left, then go straight down from Z to arrive at A. Now start at the bottom row of the Scrambler and go straight down from A to D. Use the Reflector to match D with H. Go back up towards the bottom row of the Scrambler to get from H to V. Finally go from the top row of the Scrambler and go straight up from V to U.

  • Start at Y for input/output; move the Scrambler to the left, then go straight down from Y to arrive at A. Now start at the bottom row of the Scrambler and go straight down from A to C. Use the Reflector to match C with U. Go back up towards the bottom row of the Scrambler to get from U to N. Finally go from the top row of the Scrambler and go straight up from N to L.

  • Start at D for input/output; move the Scrambler to the left, then go straight down from D to arrive at G. Now start at the bottom row of the Scrambler and go straight down from G to A. Use the Reflector to match A with Y. Go back up towards the bottom row of the Scrambler to get from Y to W. Finally go from the top row of the Scrambler and go straight up from W to T.

  • Start at N for input/output; move the Scrambler to the left, then go straight down from N to arrive at R. Now start at the bottom row of the Scrambler and go straight down from R to Q. Use the Reflector to match Q with E. Go back up towards the bottom row of the Scrambler to get from E to V. Finally go from the top row of the Scrambler and go straight up from V to R.

  • Start at I for input/output; move the Scrambler to the left, then go straight down from Z to arrive at N. Now start at the bottom row of the Scrambler and go straight down from N to R. Use the Reflector to match R with B. Go back up towards the bottom row of the Scrambler to get from B to F. Finally go from the top row of the Scrambler and go straight up from F to A.

Enter the decoded word as the solution: ULTRA.

Puzzle 02

This machine is the same as the first, however the Scrambler starting position is unknown. You are told that the first two letters of the plain text are "XV", and you can use this knowledge to work out the correct starting location.

  • Start at Q for input/output; move the Scrambler to the left, then go straight down from Q to arrive at R. Now start at the bottom row of the Scrambler and go straight down from R to T. Use the Reflector to match T with Z. Go back up towards the bottom row of the Scrambler to get from Z to U. Finally go from the top row of the Scrambler and go straight up from U to T. Since this is not X, this is not the correct position. Try again.

  • Start at Q for input/output; move the Scrambler to the left, then go straight down from Q to arrive at S. Now start at the bottom row of the Scrambler and go straight down from S to Q. Use the Reflector to match Q with E. Go back up towards the bottom row of the Scrambler to get from E to F. Finally go from the top row of the Scrambler and go straight up from F to D. Since this is not X, this is not the correct position. Try again.

    Repeat this until the following happens:

  • Start at Q for input/output; move the Scrambler to the left, then go straight down from Q to arrive at V. Now start at the bottom row of the Scrambler and go straight down from V to D. Use the Reflector to match D with H. Go back up towards the bottom row of the Scrambler to get from H to C. Finally go from the top row of the Scrambler and go straight up from C to X.

    Now you need to continue and make sure the next letter works:

  • Start at H for input/output; move the Scrambler to the left, then go straight down from H to arrive at N. Now start at the bottom row of the Scrambler and go straight down from N to Q. Use the Reflector to match Q with E. Go back up towards the bottom row of the Scrambler to get from E to B. Finally go from the top row of the Scrambler and go straight up from B to V.

Now you have correctly identified the structure of the modified Enigma machine, which is as follows:

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Input/output
FGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCDE
DFPVZBECKMTHXSLRINQOJUWYGA
Scrambler I
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
YRUHQSLDPXNGOKMIEBFZCWVJAT
Reflector

Continue to decode the rest of the message to get the solution: PURPLE.

Puzzle 03

Now you have to work with a complete enigma machine. You are given all required information, which is as follows:

BACDNFHGIJKQMEOPLRZTYVWXUS
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Input/output
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
AJPCZWRLFBDKOTYUQGENHXMIVS
Scrambler II
EFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCD
ADFPVZBECKMTHXSLRINQOJUWYG
Scrambler I
BCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZA
AGBPCSDQEUFVNZHYIXJWLRKOMT
Scrambler III
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
YRUHQSLDPXNGOKMIEBFZCWVJAT
Reflector

Solve this puzzle by plugging in one letter from the cipher text at a time. Each time a new letter is entered, the first Scrambler moves to the left by one position.

  • Start at G for input/output; due to the plugs you will end up switching to H. Move Scrambler II to the left, then go straight down from H to arrive at I. Go down from Scrambler II to Scrambler I, from I down to A. Go down from Scrambler I to Scrambler III, from A down to B. Go down from Scrambler III to the Reflector, from B down to C. Use the Reflector to match C with U. Go back up from the Reflector to Scrambler III, from U up to L. Go up from Scrambler III to Scrambler I, from L up to M. Go up from Scrambler I to Scrambler II, from M up to B. Go up from Scrambler II to the Input/Output, from B up to A; due to the plugs you will end up switching to B.

  • Start at Y for input/output; due to the plugs you will end up switching to U. Move Scrambler II to the left, then go straight down from U to arrive at W. Go down from Scrambler II to Scrambler I, from W down to H. Go down from Scrambler I to Scrambler III, from H down to N. Go down from Scrambler III to the Reflector, from N down to M. Use the Reflector to match M with O. Go back up from the Reflector to Scrambler III, from O up to H. Go up from Scrambler III to Scrambler I, from H up to B. Go up from Scrambler I to Scrambler II, from B up to S. Go up from Scrambler II to the Input/Output, from S up to Q; due to the plugs you will end up switching to L.

Continue to decode the rest of the message to get the solution: BLITZKRIEG.

Complete all mechanised cryptography puzzles

06: Digital Cryptography

Puzzle 01

Each row of 8 digits is a binary number. Converted to decimal, these are 100, 97, 116 and 97. Converted to ASCII, these are "data". Enter this as the solution: DATA.

Puzzle 02

Each row of 8 digits is a binary number, and needs to be XORed with the ASCII values of the provided text of "HELLO". This will give the solution: WORLD.

Puzzle 03

The numbers across the top indicate the number of times you need to slide the binary numbers in the underlying column downwards. If you then convert the binary numbers reading across each row into ASCII, you will get the solution: BITWISE.

Puzzle 04

You are provided with a grid of 4x4 pixel values in binary. If you create an image with the values you will see the writing ".J". If you then take the least significant bits of each pixel (the final digits) you will get the sequence 01010000, 01000111 which corresponds to "PG". Now you can enter the solution: .JPG.

Puzzle 05

For this puzzle, all the steps are provided explicitly. Start with the first key (YS):

1
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
1

Swap columns 1/2 and 3/4 of each block:

0
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
1

Substitute (XOR) text block using key block:

1
1
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
1

Shift rows of text block +0, +1, +2, +3:

1
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1

Start again with the second key (BX):

1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
0

Swap columns 1/2 and 3/4 of each block:

1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
0

Substitute (XOR) text block using key block:

0
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
1

Shift rows of text block +0, +1, +2, +3:

0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
0

Convert back to ASCII to get the solution: FN.

Complete all digital cryptography puzzles

Challenge Puzzles

Puzzle 01

Compare the layout of the letters with a standard Periodic Table of Elements. Corresponding with the blank spaces are the following elements: N, S, Cl, Eu, U. Rearrange these to get the solution: NUCLEUS.

Puzzle 02

Each row of the provided text can be converted to a color: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Enter this as the solution: RAINBOW.

Puzzle 03

The top row of letters represents the planets in our solar system. You need to find out the length of a day in hours for each of the planets, which is as follows:

  • Mercury: 1408
  • Venus: 5832
  • Earth: 24
  • Mars: 25
  • Jupiter: 10
  • Saturn: 11
  • Uranus: 17
  • Neptune: 16

Now rearrange these into ascending numerical order to get the decryption key: JSNUEMMV. Decrypt the cipher text as a polyalphabetic cipher to get the solution: GALILEOGALILEI.

Puzzle 04

Use the following text from "The Gold-Bug" by Edgar Allan Poe: "Many years ago I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand. He was of an ancient Huguenot family, and had once been wealthy; but a series of misfortunes had reduced him to want. To avoid the mortification consequent upon his disasters, he left New Orleans, the city of his forefathers, and took up his residence at Sullivan’s Island, near Charleston, South Carolina. This Island is a very singular one. It consists of little else than the sea sand, and is about three miles long. Its breadth at no point exceeds a quarter of a mile."

Find the words corresponding to the list of numbers, and write down their first letters: ARIAVOLTPORT. This is an anagram of another work by the same author, which is also the solution: OVALPORTRAIT.

Puzzle 05

Convert the notes displayed into their corresponding letters; where there are multiple letters, add up their numerical values:

  • E
  • E+G = 5+7 = L
  • G
  • A
  • G+B+D+E = 7+2+4+5 = R
  • E+G+C+G = 5+7+3+7 = V
  • E+G+C+E = 5+7+3+5 = T
  • E
  • D+G+C = 4+7+3 = N

This gives the text: "Elgar V Ten". Edward Elgar composed a work called the Enigma Variations, the 10th of which remains undeciphered. The name of this variation is the solution: DORABELLA.

Puzzle 06

Start by using the Sator Square, as shown below:

S
A
T
O
R
A
R
E
P
O
T
E
N
E
T
O
P
E
R
A
R
O
T
A
S

Now use the 2-digit numbers as references to rows and columns in this square to get the following: ORTEASTSOTEST. This appears to be missing some letters to create the phrase North East South West. This gives you a hint for the final solution: COMPASS.

Puzzle 07

Start by using some mathematics to get appropriate values for x, y and z:

  • x = 4 (sin = opposite/hypotenuse)
  • y = 19 (list of prime numbers)
  • z = 3 (circumference = diameter * pi)

Now perform the Mod(y) and Add(z) calculations on each provided integer and convert to ASCII to get the following: ODUCTCIPHERPR. If you now rotate this so that you would have started from 32, 72 (4 digits shifted to the right) you will get the solution: PRODUCTCIPHER.

Puzzle 08

If you move around and particularly go quite close to the dots on the wall, you should see that there are some that are floating in front of the wall. These are letters from the Braille alphabet. The top line reads RESISTOR, the second line reads REDGREENRED and the bottom line reads QCANLJNSKVXIKSKZ. If you look into color codes for resistors, you will find that a resistor with red-green-red bands is equivalent to 2500 ohms. Use this to encode the text from the bottom line (move the first letter forward 2, the second 5, the third 0, the fourth 0, and so on). This will give you the text SHANNONSMAXIMXKZ. Look into Shannon's maxim and you will get the solution: THEENEMYKNOWSTHESYSTEM.

Puzzle 09

The upper row of symbols comprises pairs of overlapping letters: LI, NE, AR and B. Search for Linear B ideograms online, then you will find a lot of the symbols in the bottom row. Use the codes for these symbols as well as some more overlapping letters to identity the solution: CRYPTOGLYPHICS.

Puzzle 10

The first section on "The perfect cipher" refers to a one-time pad. The second section on "Rossignol's masterpiece" refers to the great cipher. Break each of the 3 cipher texts into letter pairs, then write the known first two plain texts below them. Assuming the Playfair square remains the same through all 3 cipher texts, you can then work out some parts straight away:

Cipher 1: CO QY LS GY LZ          
  ON ET IM EP AD          
Cipher 2: FK QX AQ RY BN FW QA      
  TH EG RE AT CI PH ER      
Cipher 3: IL SQ CS KF FK AQ QY KC CO GY
        HT TH RE ET   ON EP

Playing around further with the Playfair cipher you should be able to come to the final cipher text of SIXEIGHTTHREETWOONE. Enter the solution in numerical form: 68321.

Puzzle 11

Using the hint, we know to convert from the 16 possible 2-letter combinations into the full 26-letter alphabet, using the following conversion list:

  • AA = A or Q
  • AC = B or R
  • AG = C or S
  • AT = D or T
  • CA = E or U
  • CC = F or V
  • CG = G or W
  • CT = H or X
  • GA = I or Y
  • GC = J or Z
  • GG = K
  • GT = L
  • TA = M
  • TC = N
  • TG = O
  • TT = P

Now you can convert the cipher text into the following: PASSWORDISCT. CT needs to be converted to its full name for the solution: CYTOSINETHYMINE.

Puzzle 12

Start by finding the two locations on Google Maps, and then finding the points of intersection of circles with the given radii; one of these corresponds to a church that has a plaque for John Dee. Research his glyph and the associated Monas Hieroglyphica. The symbols in the cipher text relate to a 26-letter alphabet based on parts of Dee's glyph; the symbols without a dot are in the first half of the alphabet, and the symbols with a dot are in the second half. They are ordered from A-L and M-Z in a clockwise fashion around the glyph. Now enter the final solution: TETRAGRAMATICUS.

Complete all challenge puzzles