Tag Archives: masquerade

Earth Key found, the game plays on with EndGame: Sky Key starting October 20th

Went to the local bookstore looking for another book and walked out instead with a copy of Sky Key – the second novel in the EndGame series.

In the EndGame novels, there are twelve characters each representing a different line of people chosen to play a game to save the entire human race and earth. Along with the main story there are puzzles printed within the novel which lead into an online treasure hunt. The first person to solve all the puzzles wins a large cash prize. To catch up on Intervirals’ writeup of the first EndGame novel – click here.

What happened with EndGame: The Calling (or the first novel)?
Last week the EndGame authors travelled to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to award astrophysicist Froylan Moreno with the $500,000 cash prize. Here’s an article on Moreno winning the prize but it’s interesting to see that Masquerade by Kit Williams was an inspiration for one of the EndGame authors.

But there’s another novel?
Yes! Just released on October 6th, Sky Key is the next novel in the series and has been released by HarperCollins.

What’s October 20th then?
That’s the official date when the EndGame: Sky Key online treasure hunt begins, which means there’s six days to finish reading the second novel and get a head start on cracking those puzzles.

Can I win a million dollars this time?
Uh, unfortunately not – the prize pool seems to have dwindled since last time. While reports last year pointed to an increased prize pool – $1 million for the second novel and $1.5 million for the third novel – it doesn’t look to be true. In the terms and conditions of the Sky Key novel, there’s a $250,000 prize pool with the winner only receiving $100,000 and subsequent runner ups getting smaller cash prizes.

How do I start the Sky Key online treasure hunt?
Good question. Still trying to figure that one out too.

On page four there’s an image of a lined notebook with an encrypted string of characters.

Essa 🙂

Unlock End Game: What’s End Game: The Calling and solve the clues which lead to a $500,000 treasure key

end game - ancient truth and the calling

Intervirals Spotlight: The Unlocked Series
Here’s Part Two of Intervirals’ discussion into End Game: part alternate reality game, part armchair treasure hunt. Or check out yesterday’s Part One blog to see what we’re talking about from the beginning.

What is End Game: The Calling?end game - book
The 480 page novel written by James Frey, published by HarperCollins and where the actual events of End Game begin to emerge plus further back story is revealed. It turns out there are twelve ancient societies who each choose a person between the ages of 13 to 20 to represent them. Once the chosen person turns 20, the society selects a new End Game player for their blood line.

At any one time, there are twelve chosen people selected to play End Game and who await for the day where a signal comes for the game to start. In turn, twelve meteorites approach Earth at the same time hurtling over the skies and crash land near enough to each of the twelve players to indicate to them – End Game has officially started.

What is actually End Game?
The twelve chosen players must search the world over for three hidden keys – the first player to discover all three keys wins End Game. However the first player is also the last alive player standing, as they must eliminate the eleven other competitors by using training tactics they have learnt while growing up. In addition, the winner of End Game saves their ancient society and blood line from destruction.

Where do I fit into End Game: The Calling and what about the $500,000 key?
In association with the novel, there is also clues hidden throughout it which when solved leads to additional puzzles and websites on the internet. You, the reader must solve the clues, discover the websites and you’ll get the chance to find a key which will lead to a $500,000 prize on display at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, USA. There’s a 24/7 livestream of the prize here if you’re curious.

If you solve the clues in the second End Game novel, there’s a chance to win $1,000,000 million in prize money and another chance to win $1,500,000 million in prize money if you solve the clues throughout the third novel. Both these novels have not been published as of yet, only the first novel has been published.

How do I start my treasure hunt for the $500,000 key?
Here’s the starting point for End Game: The Calling – https://keplerfuturistics.com/
– You will also need a Gmail account to register your participation in the game, so the organisers can find you if you win the end prize and probably a copy of the novel too.

Final Notes
The end game is for the alternate reality game, the novels and the mobile app game to all pull together in a few years to create the overall End Game universe and experience for players.

“Endgame is real. Endgame is now. Endgame has begun.”

end game - map

Is anyone following End Game: Ancient Truths or End Game: The Calling? How have you found the experience? Share your thoughts below. Or check out the forums here.

– Essa 🙂

Sources for End Game:

Part of The Unlocked Series @ Intervirals.

Unlock End Game: The evolution of armchair treasure hunts to now and an alternate reality game

end game - ancient truth and the calling

Intervirals Spotlight: The Unlocked Series
It’s been 35 years since Kit Williams wrote Masquerade, a children’s book with hidden clues that lead to a golden amulet in the shape of a hare and inspired the armchair treasure hunt genre – where clues hidden in a story hint at the real world location of buried treasure.

So what would an armchair treasure hunt look like today?

Welcome to End Game – part alternate reality game, part armchair treasure hunt with an even bigger prize pool on offer. There’s also much, much more planned for the End Game universe that will be expanded on in future years – three books in the End Game: The Calling trilogy, short stories, along with a mobile app in development with Niantic Labs (the creators of Ingress) and potential movies courtesy of a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox.

The most important thing to realise is the overall End Game universe is made of two parts –
End Game: Ancient Truth (the alternate reality game) and End Game: The Calling (the arm chair treasure hunt in the form of a novel and a online treasure hunt).

What is End Game: Ancient Truth?end game - ancient lines
It’s an alternate reality game, a type of storytelling which occurs in real time across many communication platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, sponsored websites – and these platforms interact with the real world, to make the story appear as if it were real.

Ancient Truth is a prequel of the End Game universe, which follows Stella who has a PhD in Ancient Societies. She knows there are twelve ancient societies with different secret pasts and she blogs six days a week, putting up challenges for players to solve.

It’s also worthwhile to note, Niantic Labs are behind this part of the End Game universe and who are in the middle of creating a mobile app for End Game too. The mobile app – very similar to Ingress – is where a person can join one of the twelve ancient societies, then when using the app see nearby players and form allies or attack enemies. The goal of the mobile app is for players to battle and claim key hot spots to gain resources with the app being released sometime in January 2015 for beta testing.

Where’s Stella’s blog?
Here’s the starting point for End Game: Ancient Truth – http://www.ancientsocieties.com/

What about End Game: The Calling? Or the $500,000 key? 
Come back tomorrow for Part Two of Intervirals’ discussion into End Game. 😉

– Essa


Room Escape Reviews
This week’s reviews of room escape outlets from around the world.

Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Review of Mystery Escape Room –

Turkey: Review of Escape Planet –

Ottawa, ON, Canada: Review of Escape Manor –

Miami Beach, FL, USA: Review of Escape the Quest – Miami Beach

Sydney, Australia: Review of Mission Escape Games –

Part of The Unlocked Series @ Intervirals.

Unlock Masquerade: The original armchair treasure hunt that started in a children’s book – lives again


Intervirals Spotlight: The Unlocked Series
It was a children’s book designed to inspire the imagination of kids everywhere with its paintings and also promised an exciting real world treasure hunt for all ages – to find a real amulet buried within the geographical limits of England.

Written by Kit Williams in 1979, Masquerade was the story of how Jack Hare was delivering a treasure that the Moon had sent to her lover, the Sun. However when Jack finally reaches the Sun, he discovers he has lost the treasure and here is where the reader takes part. The reader would need to look at the paintings throughout the book and solve the clues that would hint at a particular location in England. Upon arriving at the location, the first person there would be able to dig up and unlock the buried treasure – a golden hare amulet with jewels, estimated to be worth $30,000. The treasure was sealed away in a ceramic structure as to prevent discovery by people walking over the amulet’s location with metal detectors in hand.

‘The idea was to bury something in the cold wet earth. It was the romance of it, that whatever people were doing, that jewel was waiting for them.” – Kit Williams, Daily Mail UK.

masqueradeEventually in 1982, the riddle to the puzzles in the book was solved by two teachers who then had to proceed to Ampthill Park on either the Spring equinox or Autumn equinox. A equinox occurs about twice a year and means the day is roughly split in equal – there are about twelve daylight hours and twelve night-time hours.

As instructed by the riddle, they then had to find a statue within the park and when noon struck, they had to dig into the ground where the statue’s shadow touched the ground. The two teachers started digging into the ground, didn’t discover anything and walked away. The buried treasure actually laid undiscovered in the dirt they had dug up and was found by someone else.

Fast forward to 2009, Australian Kate Mulvany contacted the author Kit Williams to discuss creating a stage adaptation of Masquerade due to her love of the book while she was only a child in hospitial undergoing treatment for cancer. He gave permission saying she could create the play but only if she added her own childhood story to it as well.

As a result, the play starts with a mother reading Masquerade to her child in hospital but Jack Hare seems to run into his own problems too, causing a collision between both worlds.

Masquerade (the stage adapation/play) runs for 120 minutes from the 7th to 8th of January 2015 (previews) and regularly from the 9th to 17th January 2015, at the Drama Theatre in the Sydney Opera House, Australia.

Masquerade: The Stage Adaptation Ticket Information –

Free Artist Talk by Kate Mulvany and other artists – 17th January 2015 –  http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/artist-talk-performance-and-the-personal

Source: Daily Mail UK – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2121867/Its-Masquerades-hare-runs-goes-public-display-time.html#ixzz3Nf7JGwao

Has anyone read Masquerade? Or has another book inspired you to go on an adventure? Leave a comment below.

– Essa


P.S. Also, a warm welcome to Escape Game France who has a list of locations where room escapes can be played in France – http://www.escapegamefrance.fr/escape-game-france/

Part of The Unlocked Series @ Intervirals.