Torment (puzzle game)
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|Release date(s)||April 12, 2007|
Torment is an internet puzzle game created on April 12, 2007. Created by a person using the alias 'Grngecko', the puzzle is widely known for being unsolved for over 4 years. Almost nothing was known about 'Grngecko' apart that from he/she is the creator of the game, until his email account was hacked by members of Anonymous in May 2011. In June 2011, Grngecko declared the puzzle over with the words "Show's over, go home" on the popular puzzle site Tweleve after provocation from a member of the site. Since then the Torment site, and all affiliated sites (deaddrop.cc, themostabtruse.com) have been closed, although the Torment site itself has since been online.
Torment features different levels or stages that one must complete in order to complete the game. The game features extremely difficult puzzles, mostly cryptograms. The player must figure out the cipher before progressing onto the next stage. An example of such a cipher is the one used in Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Gold-Bug", commonly referred to as the Gold Bug cipher. On each stage, one or more images, pictures or gif files are featured. These images usually give hints to the desired answer. Some cryptograms may contain coordinates leading to a historical figure or object, which the players must name.
Different internet forum users have created threads in order to try to solve the puzzle, each one being unsuccessful. Users mainly try to only give subtle hints to each other, rather than handing out solutions, much because Grngecko does not want the game to become too easy. Multiple red herrings and dead-ends have been put into the game by Grngecko. For example, typing "man" into the solution key will bring you to a picture of worms with no way to advance. Certain red herrings make it look like there is a way to advance, even though there is not. For obvious reasons, Grngecko has included red herrings into the game for people trying to cheat their way through. Typing in "theend" brings you to a page that follows no pattern to other pages, which in that case most players would describe it as a red herring.
The site was offline, presumed dead, as of June 2011, but has since reemerged with an entirely new set of puzzles. Typing in old puzzle URLs will lead you to the index page.
As of February 2012, after roughly a month of various changes, including the removal of the answer box on the newest puzzle page, Grngecko.com stopped hosting the Torment puzzle altogether. It was moved to a new domain, "www.themostabstruse.com/torment.html", where the newest puzzle from Grngecko.com was used as the first puzzle, making it seem as though Grngecko was attempting to reset Torment. However, the website was destroyed soon after being posted for unknown reasons.
Currently, there is no known trace of the puzzle on the internet.