Portal Patch Fuels Sequel Speculation

Valve has released a patch for Portal, fueling speculation that something is in the works.The patch notes, as listed on Steam, simply read “Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations,” but the actual effects are rather different.Players have noted that, since the patch, various radios have been added to the game and when moved into certain positions, they broadcast some fairly weird noises.An Achievement has also been added to the game, titled “Transmission Received” and described as “…?” which is reportedly solved by carrying all of the radios to their broadcast positions.As expected, Portal fans are hard at work trying to figure out what all of this means. A summary on Steam’s Portal forums notes that users have pulled the .wav files out of the game content folders and run them through stenography programs, producing 26 images in a “numbered sequence.”Following this, “some dude runs the number string through an md5 hash translator and gets a landline number,” which turned out to be for a BBS near to Valve HQ. Users then used a clue from the initial images to get the username and password for the BBS, and got a load of ASCII artwork in return, which fans have since been trying to decode.We’ve no idea as to what it all means, and there’s plenty of speculation going around that it’s all a hint to a Portal sequel or a Half-Life 2: Episode 3 tie-in, but we’re looking forward to finding out. We’ll keep you posted.

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