Grand Theft Auto 5's 'Chiliad Mystery' is fascinating. Since the game's 2013 console launch and PC intro two years on, an intrepid section of players has dedicated its time to unearthing a conspiracy of sorts that's tied to a cryptic mural, UFOs and weird egg assets.
Last week, new information was datamined by these players—a community of self-proclaimed 'Gurus' that better mirrors subculture status than hobbyist enthusiasts—relevant to the crime sim's latest Gunrunning update, however they were then unsure of how to spawn their discoveries in-game. They've now worked that out, and have made contact with an alien race.
Could this mark the end of the 'Chiliad Mystery' as we know it? Perhaps, but lead Guru Tadd suggests the latest revelation could be tied to GTA 5's single-player portion.
"This has probably raised more questions than answers for the 'Chiliad Mystery' and has a lot of the long-time hunters asking WTF," Tadd tells me. "I can't comment on what Rockstar's plans are in general, but I can say that two things are obvious: One is that GTA Online is set (time-wise) before single player mode, so hopefully this means this is some kind of set up for something in single player. And two: like with the beast character in-game (bigfoot vs the beast peyote hunt)—he came to Online first and then to single player in a nice little easter egg hunt.
"I am not classing this as the end or anything. More that this could possibly be the beginning of what we have wanted for so long. It has however ruffled some feathers (as we knew it would) regarding the Chiliad Mystery, by not being included from day one."
Onto the discovery itself. First, here's the footage as it happened, followed by a description thereafter.
Tadd explains the above by telling me the Gunrunning scripts he and his team uncovered last week pointed to a damaged spaceship that was quickly located in the newly added game files by Guru Gramz. Guru members Tom and Shishya then helped Tadd piece together the remainder of the mission's code, before discovering assets from Michael's main game Grass Roots mission were being reused—most interestingly, alien models and related sound effects.
"So anyway we then went on to chase everything through the scripts and realised it was being handled like any other Gunrunning supply run mission," explains Tadd. "People then went mad online trying to get the Gunrunning missions completed in hopes of having this spawn in game but no one was having any success. Despite us having all the code and exactly where and what would happen in game, we still couldn't work out the trigger for it, besides knowing that it all hinged on a global variable (a value used globally across all scripts) being set to 20.
"We searched for days in the code, only to be lead to complicated script events and what looked like an element of randomness. Eventually our good friend Dexyfex helped me trace it back to a tunable (something Rockstar can tune, i.e turn on or off or increase the chances of it occurring for someone)."
Despite this realisation, Tadd and his Gurus still struggled to initiate the mission spawn—and it was perfectly likely Rockstar was yet to turn it on at its end.
Tadd continues: But then using the knowledge we had gained reading the scripts our very own Guru WetNips (he's our Black Ops member who is willing to do whatever it takes to get a result!) decided to use a tool made by Polivilas (a member of our discord) to force the global to 20. He did so and began a supply mission like any other and the waypoint it set was at our crash site. He then went that and what you see happen in the video is what he was greeted with: an alien egg supply run mission."
The result is what you see in the above footage. Tadd notes that the above is of course forced, meaning it wasn't triggered in the way the game is supposed to trigger it. He suggests there could well be a lot more to it, and has many more questions now—"What research will be done using the alien egg as the supplies for it? Where and how does the undamaged ship (imp_prop_ship_01a) discovered in the import export update tie in? Does it have any impact on single player mode?". Nevertheless, this is a stellar achievement for the Gurus and the Chiliad Mystery community as a whole.
Is this mystery solved, then? A sizeable number of players on the Chiliad Mystery Reddit seem to think so and don't appear best pleased for it—"The truth is out there The truth is very bland and disappointing," so says one user. But for the Chiliad Mystery Gurus, this is but the start of another chapter and another mystery to dig into.
In Tadd's words: "The Guru Team work silently, day and night, on our Discord, our YouTube channel, and our website to find anything we can for the community. Most of us have been hunting for a long time, myself since the release of the game.
"We enjoy the hunt and at first my own motivation was to be 'the guy who found the jetpack', but in my time searching for it I've become the number one chiliad mystery hunter and now have the best and most dedicated team with me. We have hackers, gamers, Mythbusters and we fully intend to tackle more secrets in GTA 5, and perhaps even other games (we're looking at you, RDR2.)"