The No Man’s Sky community has been busy mining code and concocting theories about what Hello Games is planning next. All because of an egg.
It all started on Monday when Hello Games’ founder, Sean Murray, authored a tweet consisting of nothing more than an egg emoji.
Under normal circumstances, this would be insignificant, but we’re talking about Sean Murray here.
The No Man’s Sky creator isn’t what you’d call a prolific Twitter user, having learned the hard way that anything said on social media can come back to haunt you.
No Man’s Sky’s disastrous 2016 launch saw Murray scale back his activity and adopt a conservative approach, only sharing news and updates when Hello Games had solidly implemented these into the game. A cautious approach, you’d say, but one imposed by a gaming community irked by perceived broken promises and death threats over butterflies.
Nowadays, he’s a little more relaxed, predominantly tweeting out updates and the occasional No Man’s Sky community creations. The success of the Next and Beyond updates has reversed much of the discontent leveled at both Hello Games and No Man’s Sky.
Once in awhile, his tweets carry a veiled meaning that the community is more than happy to deconstruct. Part of this stems from successive No Man’s Sky Alternate Reality Games in the leadup to massive updates. These saw players solve complex puzzles, seek clues in real-world locations, and generally find meaning in the seemingly ordinary.
Murray has a history of tweeting random emojis that predate updates. On the eve of the Visions update’s launch in November 2018, he posted a similarly cryptic rainbow emoji. Soon afterward, Hello Games revealed it was incorporating rainbows into the game.
Alongside the egg tweet, an image of a rather more elaborate alien egg hit the No Man’s Sky Facebook page on Monday.
The post reads:
A mysterious egg has been sighted in the Anomaly. Origin and genus unknown…
Players unearthed the very same image alongside another when data mining the files from the latest 2.26 update released in January. Hello Games labeled them as SPECIAL.MYSTERYEGG and SPECIAL.STORYEGG, respectively.
Since last week’s 2.27 update, an in-game item with the same image features as a Quicksilver reward available from the space anomaly.
Called “Void Egg,” it’s in the process of being unlocked, languishing at 22% based on the latest reports from the community. As it stands, it has no discernible function.
With all this in mind, this egg means something, but what exactly? That’s a mystery.
Not content with idly sitting by, the No Man’s Sky community is hard at work concocting theories about the egg. Some predict an update for Easter in keeping with the egg theme.
A Development Update blog post from January appears to corroborate this. Hello Games promised:
another, more substantial update arriving in the not-too-distant future.
Others wager that No Man’s Sky is on the cusp of introducing pets hatched from the eggs or possibly a new decorative base item.
Yet, reports of a mysterious new questline offer a tantalizing suggestion that Hello Games will be injecting the game with something more substantial.
The reports surfaced nearly two weeks ago, well before Hello Games’ egg-themed social media activity. A previously unheard of quest dubbed “Melody of the Egg” is randomly triggering for a handful of players.
The mission itself seems to be called The Melody of the Egg, and as far as I can tell it’s a series of ten random transmissions that you receive also randomly after you warp to a system with a dead world for the first time. I’ve gotten two transmissions so far.
Unable to trigger the quest with any degree of consistency, players looked to the source code for clues. They’ve found the quest files in an entry called NMS_UPDATE3_ENGLISH, added to the game with update 2.26.
Each transmission consists of a number and name alongside the occasional bit of cryptic law:
From there, players noticed that the names were cryptic descriptions of portal glyphs. No Man’s Sky glyphs allow travel to a specific point in a galaxy when input into a portal in a particular sequence.
After trial and error, the glyph sequence led to the abandoned Runanch-Gisa system in No Man’s Sky’s starting – and most populated – galaxy, Euclid.
Interestingly, a certain HelloGamesP discovered one of the planets in the system called Erptrith Raya on Jan. 20. Based on this, the community is reasonably sure they’ve found the right place.
Following the lore instructions mined from the source code, players visited the north pole of the planet, but nothing happened.
Further mining established that a certain number of conditions were required to trigger an event when inputting the glyphs at a portal. There’s speculation that the egg may be the key and one of the prime conditions.
The search has hit a roadblock. With the egg still in a state of unlocking, there’s not much else players can do but wait.
While the egg may be nothing than a new cosmetic item, there’s a sense among the community that there’s more to it. Maybe Hello Games intended for players to go searching through game files as part of an ARG-like path to a new update?
Recent changes to No Man’s Sky’s Atlas Path narrative arc add new lore elements that suggest the story may be moving forward.
No Man’s Sky lore is one of cyclical simulations, entities, anomalies, and intertwined galaxies. It’s great stuff that compliments a meditative gaming loop.
Yet, apart from a substantial overhaul in August 2017’s Atlas Rises update, little has changed in the intervening years. Successive updates have brought new activities, cosmetics, multiplayer, and a host of quality of life achievements, but haven’t propelled the game’s narrative forward.
The timing seems right. After revamping virtually every other aspect of the game, Hello Games’ alien egg may be hiding a significant story update.