18
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--storyline--

Recently, an ancient tomb of unknown origin was discovered during the deep-earth mining operations of 2035. Inside, there was a mysterious metallic box with engravings on each face, as well as a large carving on the back wall using what appears to be the same symbols.

Whatever the box is, tests have shown it to be impervious to all attempts to open it, scan it, or otherwise determine it's purpose or origin. As such, the task instead fell on the hands of those adept at deciphering unknown messages, which is where you all come in.

--task--

Using the shown images of the faces of the cube and wall carving, work out how to open the box.

Clues will be provided daily to try and nudge people in the right direction, unless that would make it too obvious.

Preferably discuss theories on what you think it could be, along with information you discover and any links to existing media you find (in general, not SE specific). I would very much like to read over how you dissect it.

I also suck at art stuff, so the images will in fact be a black-and-white pixel-art image for each face and the wall carving.

Hint 1:

Some glyphs are used for more than one thing

Hint 2:

Glyphs do not lose their meaning if taken away from the others

Hint 3:

Maybe the ones who wrote the message also have dogs that lie around all day?

No hint today (#4), first 3 should allow you to decode the messages fully.

Hint 4:

TQBFJOTLD

Hint 5:

The name is an important entity in a video game which shares these glyphs

--images--

Wall carving:

enter image description here

Faces:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ There seems to be 26 unique glyphs. I have applied an english letter to each one, and I noticed that the wall carving is very sequential, with only a handful of characters actually repeating. $\endgroup$ – Ryan B Jun 9 '15 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ There are in fact 25 glyphs in total. That should suffice to tell you that it isn't simply a 1:1 conversion into english text. $\endgroup$ – Hexicube Jun 9 '15 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ Looking at the incomplete columns on the left-hand side, I think the symbols are meant to be read top-to-bottom then right-to-left. $\endgroup$ – 2012rcampion Jun 9 '15 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I just noticed I mapped F and Q to the same character. Another thing to note is, there are 7 different shapes. One being the square, and the other 6 having 4 directions each. $\endgroup$ – Ryan B Jun 9 '15 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ 2012 that may be true, but you'd been to know what you're reading first. Ryan most are just rotations of a shape, but in this question the rotation makes it a different glyph giving 25 and not 7. What made you map F and Q to the same glyph? $\endgroup$ – Hexicube Jun 9 '15 at 15:55
7
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I solved the message

I am your guide to the location that is everywhere

I can show you a world from a view you couldnt imagine

I can help you transcend the limits of your environment

Utter my name and be taken on a journey like no other

Utter my name and see the world for what it truly is

Utter my name and become forever changed

And his name is obviously

Dot

Explanation for the message

The wall panel reads "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" which was given by the most recent hint, tqbfjotld.
Putting letters to each symbol gave the key to the cipher, where the square shaped one was a space and the symbols for the letters K/Q and U/V were shared.

Using the cipher on the cube faces in the order given in top to bottom right to left order spells out that message.

And the name Dot comes from the character in the Video Game "Fez" from which these glyphs originated.

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  • $\begingroup$ Naming the name is part of the puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Hexicube Jun 16 '15 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ Looking back on the messages after 4 days, I think I may have made it too obscure. I'll probably give a fairly strong hint as to what it is for the next due hint. $\endgroup$ – Hexicube Jun 16 '15 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ After that last hint, I'm really surprised it took this long, considering it was using Fez's glyphs exactly the same way. $\endgroup$ – Ryan B Jun 16 '15 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ Gomez is incorrect, however you're close. $\endgroup$ – Hexicube Jun 17 '15 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ If it's not Gomez, then I suppose it has to be Dot? There doesn't seem to be much indication in the puzzle, unless I'm missing something. Maybe because of the relevance to your name? $\endgroup$ – Ryan B Jun 17 '15 at 14:32
6
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In case it helps somebody, I have transcribed the glyphs into a copyable format.

  • Wall carving:

    L2  F4  J3  O1  F2  F1  G1
    J4  F2  O1  F3  C4  G4  P1
    P4  O1  G2  G4  L3  O1  G3
    F1  P3  L1  C1  O1  G4  F1
    J3  C4  O1  L2  F4  J3  O1
    C3  L4  C2  P2  O1  J1  G4
    J2
    
  • Cube faces:

    G1  O1  J4  L4  P4  O1  F4  J3      F1  L2  L2  J3  C4  O1  P3
    C3  L1  O1  P2  G4  F1  O1  L2      P2  O1  P4  L4  P3  J3  O1
    C4  L4  P4  C1  J4  J3  P4  J1      L4  P4  J1  O1  F3  J3  J4
    O1  L2  F4  J3  O1  C3  G1  P3      G4  P3  J3  O1  G2  G4  C4
    G1  L2  C1  O1  G4  G2  O1  P2      J3  F1  J3  C4  O1  J4  F4
    G4  F1  C4  O1  J3  P4  F1  G1      L4  P4  J2  J3  J1
    C4  G4  P4  P3  J3  P4  L2
    
    G1  O1  J4  L4  P4  O1  C1  F4      F1  L2  L2  J3  C4  O1  P3  P2
    G4  P1  O1  P2  G4  F1  O1  L4      O1  P4  L4  P3  J3  O1  L4  P4
    O1  P1  G4  C4  C3  J1  O1  G2      J1  O1  C1  J3  J3  O1  L2  F4
    C4  G4  P3  O1  L4  O1  F1  G1      J3  O1  P1  G4  C4  C3  J1  O1
    J3  P1  O1  P2  G4  F1  O1  J4      G2  G4  C4  O1  P1  F4  L4  L2
    G4  F1  C3  J1  P4  L2  O1  G1      O1  G1  L2  O1  L2  C4  F1  C3
    P3  L4  J2  G1  P4  J3              P2  O1  G1  C1
    
    G1  O1  L4  P3  O1  P2  G4  F1      F1  L2  L2  J3  C4  O1  P3  P2
    C4  O1  J2  F1  G1  J1  J3  O1      O1  P4  L4  P3  J3  O1  L4  P4
    L2  G4  O1  L2  F4  J3  O1  C3      J1  O1  F3  J3  O1  L2  L4  F2
    G4  J4  L4  L2  G1  G4  P4  O1      J3  P4  O1  G4  P4  O1  L4  O1
    L2  F4  L4  L2  O1  G1  C1  O1      G3  G4  F1  C4  P4  J3  P2  O1
    J3  F1  J3  C4  P2  P1  F4  J3      C3  G1  F2  J3  O1  P4  G4  O1
    C4  J3                              G4  L2  F4  J3  C4
    

Note that I rotated +90 degrees first (so that the ragged edge fits with typical LTR writing). Here is the glyph mapping (after rotation):

enter image description here

Frequency Analysis (Glyphs)

enter image description here

O is by far the most common.

enter image description here

Each of the glyphs is present in each of its rotations, but one or two of the rotations are far more common.

enter image description here

O is the only glyph shape that doesn't occur twice in a row: I suspect it may be a spacer of some sort.

enter image description here

By far the most common (13 times) pair is J3 O1. The only glyphs which occur twice in a row with the same rotation are L2 (three times) and J3 (once).

Frequency Analysis (Words?)

It seems that treating O as a space makes some sort of sense. If we break up each text into words, discarding the Os, we end up with the following distribution of word lengths:

enter image description here

This seems to match the distribution given here. Looking at word frequencies, we see that several words occur more than once:

L2 F4 J3         5
G1               3
L4               3
P3 P2            3
L4 P4 J1         3
P2 G4 F1         3
P4 L4 P3 J3      3
F1 L2 L2 J3 C4   3
G1 C1            2
J4 L4 P4         2
P2 G4 F1 C4      2
P1 G4 C4 C3 J1   2

Again, this seems to match up pretty well against English. I'm wary of proceeding too far down this route though, since OP said "it isn't simply a 1:1 conversion into English text."

(Todo: placement of repeated words.)

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  • $\begingroup$ One thing that we both might be overlooking is the positioning within a "space" on the panels. for instance, L3 always sits at the very top left corner of it's given space. I wonder if this implies overlaying the letters on top of each other? (And each letter occupies space in a 10x10 px grid. $\endgroup$ – Ryan B Jun 10 '15 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ Also, Combining L1-L4 or C1-C4 using O1 and keeping in mind the 10x10 grid creates a perfect # symbol. $\endgroup$ – Ryan B Jun 10 '15 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @RyanB All except the F glyphs enter and exit the square at the 2nd and 4th row/column, this seems to support your hypothesis that they fit together somehow. (Ever play rivers, roads, and rails?) $\endgroup$ – 2012rcampion Jun 10 '15 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Hex By the way, thanks for making the images pixel art: it's really easy to process them this way! (I had Mathematica transcribe the pictures for me =) It's pretty automatic except for the special case of the smaller grid.) $\endgroup$ – 2012rcampion Jun 10 '15 at 19:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Now that I think about it, it's probably significant that the two non-symmetric symbols (P and J) have all four rotations present, but no reflections. $\endgroup$ – 2012rcampion Jun 10 '15 at 19:50

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