1. What am I?
  2. Who exactly are my friends?

To find out more about my friends, look at the 4s of them in the 2nd. Fun fact: Split the 4 and those are the only two ways it can be _____ in 2.

My friends' 4s:

1010 1001 0101 0111,
1000 1100 1100 1101,
1011 0101 0111 0110,
0011 1111 1010 0011,
0100 0011 1011 1001

Note: There's no point in trying to understanding the binary before understanding the image and answering Q#1.

enter image description here


- The color is supposed to be violet.
- The video game series this puzzle is about is one of the most popular series of all time.

You'll need to google the that's required for #2, only very few would know this by heart. Disambiguation is included in the puzzle text.

The clues I included in the puzzle regarding this are:
- "Who exactly are my friends?" (any idea what's the most likely direction this takes?)
- "4"
- Disambiguation: "2"

- My friends are five Unowns, spelling out something. I don't have to show you their shape. Deeper knowledge of the game will lead you there.
- Again, "4". Standard tricks apply ;)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In case you're wondering if anyone is attempting this, pretty sure I have solved #1 entirely (to me the title led me straight there) - just struggling to make some sense of #2 now... :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 10, 2021 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv Additional [knowledge] may be required :) $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2021 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ I've also got #1 done, and am completely stumped on #2. I suspect I don't have the required [knowledge], as getting anywhere on #1 took a bunch of googling. $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Dec 10, 2021 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ @fljx how about posting #1 so that we know what direction you are in and having fellow community members help you out solve it $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2021 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


Following on from Stiv's answer regarding the decoding of Q2.

I believe the 4s refer to the IV's of the Unown we are trying to decode. This is done in 2 different ways, the Generation II method and the Generation III method. Using the hint that 2 is the disambiguation, we can assume to use the generation II method. Taking the centre 2 bits from each nibble, combine them, convert to decimal, then divide by 10, floor and then apply A0-Z25 we get the following:

    1010      1001    0101    0111
    01001011 = 75
    = 7 H

1000 1100 1100 1101 00101010 = 42 = 4 E
1011 0101 0111 0110 01101111 = 111 = 11 L
0011 1111 1010 0011 01110101 = 117 = 11 L
0100 0011 1011 1001 10010100 = 148 = 14 O

Therefore, the friend's are:

The H, E, L and O Unowns (or possibly two different L Unowns)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice work, well done for finishing this one off :) Had totally forgotten about IVs... As a result of this I suspect the intended missing word to fill the blank in the OP's post must be 'generated'. $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jan 5, 2022 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv It's intended to be "shiny", since 'I' and 'V' unowns are the only two forms which can be a shiny unown in gen 2 $\endgroup$ Jun 6, 2022 at 16:05

Here's a partial answer to get the ball rolling... This puzzle revolves around:

Pokémon ('one of the most popular series of all time', as per the first hint block). We can see this by interpreting the images as follows:

- The first image is a reference to Violet City, an in-game location first visited during the Gen II games Gold/Silver/Crystal.

- The second indicates the first four fifths (note the shading differential) of the letter 'alpha' - i.e. ALPH - and a five letter word beginning with 'R'. This would be RUINS, as the Ruins of Alph is a landmark in the game situated just south of Violet City.

- The final image is a rebus representing the word UNOWN, since the number 1 is 'UN' in French, and the asterisk indicates (in cryptic clue wordplay terms) an anagram of what precedes it, which is the symbol for the South Korean currency, the WON. i.e. We have UN + (anagram of WON), yielding UNOWN.

This is where the title confirms we are on the right track...

Because 'It is said that the two are sometimes related' is part of the Pokédex entry in Pokémon Gold for the Pokémon named Unown which live only in the Ruins of Alph, south of Violet City, which reads in full:

Their shapes look like hieroglyphs on ancient tablets. It is said that the two are somehow related.

This specifically relates to the fact that there are 28 different versions of this particular Pokémon in the game - a unique characteristic of Unown among all other Pokémon - each of which resembles a different letter of the alphabet or punctuation mark. As such it would be possible to spell something out using a selection of them, possibly suggesting that we should be able to spell something out using the binary numbers...

The Unown alphabet

And this is where Part #1 ends and Part #2 begins - interpreting the binary - for which I had one quite good idea that has so far yielded nothing...

I considered that the 'friends' mentioned here might be five 4-letter Pokémon from the game, spelled out alphametic-style, where a different binary number corresponds to a different letter of the alphabet. Translated into decimal, our binary numbers here become:

10 –  9 –  5 –  7
 8 – 12 – 12 – 13
11 –  5 –  7 –  6
 3 – 15 – 10 –  3
 4 –  3 – 11 –  9

Following through with this theory:

The second row of numbers could potentially hide SEEL (the only 4-letter Pokémon with 2 middle letters the same) and the fourth ABRA (the only 4-letter Pokémon with the same starting and ending letters). However, this would render the name of the first of the form Rxxx - and no 4-letter Pokémon begins with 'R'...

So I'm currently still standing at the drawing board as far as interpreting the binary goes, but hopefully the knowledge I've been able to contribute to the first part might enable someone else to take the second part forward...

  • $\begingroup$ rot13(ehvaf bs nycu nccrnerq va "vagb gur habja" source, va gur rcvfbqr na vafpevcgvba bs habja nccrnerq source, Gur svefg yvar bs gur vafpevcgvba fnlf Sevraq) $\endgroup$
    – Alex bries
    Dec 12, 2021 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ gurer ner jbeqf nffbpvngrq jvgu rnpu habja ohg gung qvqa'g jbex rvgure $\endgroup$
    – Alex bries
    Dec 12, 2021 at 21:50

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