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Monday, January 14, 2008

Find 815: Raiding Owen Talbot's Room

Note: This post contains spoilers for the Find 815 LOST ARG. If you're playing along, you may wish to read this after completing the Chapter 3 activity or if you need some hints. Non-spoiler speculation also follows.

In the first part of Chapter 3, Sam Thomas decides to break into Owen Talbot's room. I won't give away all the secrets, but suffice it to say that the player needs to search the room for certain objects, and time is limited. It may take a few tries to figure out how the activity works and be able to figure out all the clues in time.

Need a hint? When you get the cell phone working, make sure to use the arrows on the display (NOT the up and down buttons on the phone) to scroll through the list of phone numbers. I assumed after pressing the phone's down button that it wasn't possible to scroll, and it turned out that not only is it possible, but a crucial clue is only visible when you scroll down. I attribute that to poor game design; the screen doesn't appear to be a touch-screen and none of the buttons on the phone work, so this was very misleading.

The numbers on the phone are as follows:
L. Allan - 259 773 821
J. Brooks - 259 320 555
M. Duffield - 259 534 890
J. Graf - 259 826 612
M. Griffin - 259 654 238
N. Hammond - 259 125 436
A. Harris - 259 274 022
J. Hogendorn - 259 472 025
C. McCulloch - 259 934 885
P. Manera - 259 843 701
C. Morrow - 259 845 002
A. Mullins - 259 852 930
R. Owen - 259 465 789
M. Smerdon - 259 194 032
T. Sullivan - 259 731 903
S. Vagg - 259 124 093
If after several tries you can't figure out what the briefcase code is, highlight the text between the bars below for a really big hint:

|Which phone number matches the initials on the briefcase (A.M.M.)?|

Still can't figure it out? Highlight the text between the bars below for the code:

|852 930|

After successfully completing the activity, we find out that the briefcase contains documents from The Maxwell Group. As you may recall, at the beginning of the Find 815 game, someone from this group apparently sent Sam the e-mail that started his search for answers. Could it be that the person to who owns the briefcase is the same Maxwell Group employee who contacted Sam? Also very interesting is that we find out for the first time that The Maxwell Group is "A Division of Widmore Industries"—the company connected with Penny's father, Charles Widmore!

The Maxwell Group: A Division of Widmore Industries
This connection is observed on the cover of a confidential "research brief" titled "Proposed Salvage of 'The Black Rock' Shipwreck":

After Sam finds this information and begins to leave the room, Owen Talbot catches him and accuses him of looking for something. Sam tells Talbot that he was merely closing the door which had been left open. Talbot says "Some people think you're an asset to this expedition," and then indicates that he doesn't think so. So who does? Perhaps Mr. Ockham, the captain, who was impressed by Sam's fix-it challenge in the last chapter of the game. But perhaps Talbot is hinting that he knows people within The Maxwell Group that believe Sam could be useful in finding the Black Rock.

Are we to assume that Owen Talbot is working for The Maxwell Group? If so, why would he seem to have stolen the briefcase from a member of the group? Or did someone from the group give or lend the briefcase to him? Might he have stolen the briefcase knowing it contained information on the Black Rock so he could find and recover it for profit? If he's not working with The Maxwell Group, then why would he have a phone number from someone in the group in his phone? Or did he steal the phone from someone else in the group? Perhaps this is reading a bit too far into the story, but it does seem very strange that Talbot would go to lengths to hide a briefcase with someone else's initials on it.

So now that we know the name of at least one person in The Maxwell Group, could this give us a possible username to use at www.the-maxwell-group.com? Perhaps, but as of right now it seems that nobody can log in; when a username and password are entered on the site, an error message appears that seems to indicate that the site is expected to be working again on February 1st (or perhaps January 2nd, depending on how you read it):
Authentication Server Temporarily Down

The server is currently being serviced. It is expected to be back in service by
02/01/2008 00:08:15 UTC
Stay subscribed to this blog for more information and theories as the game develops!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the help with the briefcase code.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 3:09:00 PM  
Anonymous islanbatman said...

thanks miester your the best.

Thursday, February 07, 2008 7:16:00 AM  

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