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Fallout 3 'Numbers'


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#1    ThreeDog

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:52 PM

Fallout 3 contains several in-game radio stations. The most diverse and important station is Galaxy New Radio. Many players of the evil persuasion know that you can kill Three Dog and he will be replaced by the technician Margaret. She is not a charismatic person and has very little it say, seeming to not enjoy her new announcing duties. She also never appears in person, and therefore cannot be killed. Once Three Dog is dead, you're stuck with Margaret.
What most players do NOT know is that under certain circumstances, GNR will become a "numbers station." A numbers station is a station that broadcasts an unusual coded message. Many of these exist in real life and some hypothesize that they are a nuclear retaliation control network. Simply check Wikipedia for more information about these odd broadcasts as they relate to the real world. Back to Fallout 3...

No one is really sure which actions are needed to hear the numbers station in Fallout 3. It appears that you must kill Three Dog, because no one has reported hearing the numbers station with him still alive. It also appears that you have to skip over the quest "Galaxy News Radio" where you help boost the signal so that the station can be broadcast further than just the immediate DC area. This is easy enough to do with either a speech check or simply using the FalloutWiki to look up where to go next and advance the main plot. Finally, you definitely have to destroy Raven Rock. The is the actual trigger to turn GNR into a numbers station and it will remain such for the rest of the game. However, the vast majority of the players who perform these three actions still continue hearing the standard GNR broadcasts, so there must be several more requirements the community has yet to isolate.

If you're lucky enough to have hit upon the right set of circumstances, just after destroying Raven Rock, you will get the message, "Radio signal lost" and a few seconds later, "Radio signal found." You cannot, however, actually listen to GNR just yet because you didn't boost the signal, and are out of range of the broadcast at the exit of Raven Rock. Luckily, Raven Rock is situated in the mountains and is right near one of the few places outside DC that you can get high enough to catch the signal. So far, the confirmed location to hear the GNR numbers signal are:

1. Within the immediate DC area obviously...this is true for the regular GNR throughout the game.
2. At the top of the ferris wheel at point lookout
3. On the tops of some of the satcom arrays you can climb in the northwestern map area.
4. On the roof of Tenpenny Tower, though this may be within normal broadcast range anyway. Feel free to playtest and get back to me on this.
5. On the highest point of the broken bridge around Arefu...again, may be within braodcast range anyway.
6. On some of the highest points of the mountain tops in the area near Raven Rock. This is obviously your easiest chance to first listen to the numbers station.

When you tune in, you will hear an old familiar voice...Three Dog, despite the fact that you killed him earlier. However, you will quickly notice that he does not seem to be "in character." So I guess it's not technically Three Dog, but just the voice actor, Erik Dellums. He reads a series of numbers in a monotone, depressed sounding voice. He always recites a list of single digits between 9 and 12 characters long. For example, "nine-three-seven-nine-one-seven-two-zero-three-four." Hever never uses a multi-digit number like "eleven" or "forty." These numbers are followed by widely varying lengths of Morse code. This is then followed by the song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire." All other music tracks seem to be inactive on the numbers station.



The Morse code was the easiest part of the mystery to crack, as the code is widely available and many people actually know it by heart. We quickly had a list of a great number of messages in English. Some sounded completely mundane and even comical, such as "Washed the car today, maybe Chinese for dinner." or "Have you watched my YouTube video yet, I uploaded myself kicking bums in the nuts."

You may be saying, "But wait, YouTube doesn't exist in the Fallout universe," and you are right. As far as we could tell, all of the messages sounded like they were based in our reality somewhere near present day.

Some of the messages, however, are quite sinister, such as, "The Queen has died today. The world mourns, as on days like these, we are all Brits." or "I can't believe they're actually done it. Not long left. The noise. I can't take the noise anymore. I have a pistol in the attic."



Just recently, a player on the wikiforums noticed a message that brought to light the meaning of the messages. He was reading a thread that collected all known messages, transposed from Morse to English, and saw the line, "one-two-zero-five-five-two-eight-two-zero-one-zero. What are you talikn' about? You'll be missed." He realized this referred to the recent death of Gary Coleman, and the quickly realized the numbers were the time and date of death. He immediately scanned through the messages to try and find more examples of this apparent future telling by a game that's more than a year old. The next message he read shocked him and pushed him to enlist the aid of the others to decipher the codes. The message was "nine-four-five-four-two-zero-two-zero-one-zero. Accident in the gulf, several dead. Oil spill apparently averted." He realized this was the BP explosion and the erroneous day-one assessment that the well was not leaking.

From this point on, all numbers will be transcribed as times and dates. All times were given in game in military format and remain so in this document.

Numerous members of the FalloutWiki message board began looking over the messages to see what else we could learn. We quickly found that most of the dates were after the game had been released, yet oddly some were from the past. "22:15 April 15, 1865 He's dead and blame will probably be placed on that actor, Booth. Johnson better not cheat me out of the payment." This shed new doubt on the official version of the Lincoln assassination.

As the community quickly started piling up interpretations of the messages, the mods of the site summarily banned everyone who had posted in, or even read the thread. All reference to the numbers station was removed from FalloutWiki and filtering software was put in place to prevent reposting of any relevant information. A few people, however, are trading emails and slowly finishing the translation of the remaining messages and putting dates to the existing ones.

"The Queen has died today. The world mourns, as on days like these, we are all Brits." 4:02 March 19, 2014

"Have you watched my YouTube video yet, I uploaded myself kicking bums in the nuts." 24:16 December 24, 2012

"I can't believe Britney's actually won an Oscar!" 21:33 Fruary 27, 2023

"I can't believe they've actually done it. Not long left. They were warned, but they just had to keep pushing the boundaries of science. The noise. I can't take the noise anymore. And the light, dear God! The Universe is slowly unravelling around us. I'm not going to wait for death. I have a pistol in the attic." This is actually the only message not preceded by a strig of numbers.

It may be worth noting that the latest date on any of the messages is 1:27 July 6, 2027.

And yes, I'm named after three dog.


#2    Grey14

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

"Sounds almost believable, doesn't it? There are of course, several problems with the story. Firstly, there's no evidence of these radio stations on the internet. Secondly, the technique to unlocking them is hazy at best - even if you do fulfil the scenario requirements, there seems to be something else you have to do to hear them. And thirdly, the original forum post where all these things are said to have been discussed is nowhere to be found, supposedly deleted by its mods with bans coming for anyone who tries to talk about it again."


Best game hoax of all time?

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#3    karmakazi

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:05 PM

Hmmm...

Well since I was about to start a new character to go after the neutral achievements, I'll have to try to get this radio station if it's really there :D

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#4    Rlyeh

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:01 PM

If this is correct, the GECK would list the media and the scripts to activate this. It doesn't. The theory is 100% bs.




#5    ThreeDog

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:56 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 15 February 2012 - 07:01 PM, said:

If this is correct, the GECK would list the media and the scripts to activate this. It doesn't. The theory is 100% bs.


They might of done something to hide the audio files, but it could be a hoax.


#6    karmakazi

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:29 AM

View PostThreeDog, on 15 February 2012 - 09:56 PM, said:

They might of done something to hide the audio files, but it could be a hoax.

I'm assuming it's a hoax but gonna try anyway  :w00t:

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#7    hilton1337

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:32 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 15 February 2012 - 07:01 PM, said:

If this is correct, the GECK would list the media and the scripts to activate this. It doesn't. The theory is 100% bs.

i have played fallout 3 and fallout new vegas for around 500 hours in total between them both, following script and my own way's and have found there is still a few missions that are not on the g.e.c.k system or wiki... some will only become available if fame is balanced right but if main charters are killed it glitches some of the other missions and also open's up availability of a side mission through someone else... for instance on new vegas, you will not get in the remnants bunker if you dont allow Arcade Gannon' to follow you and get him to like you (do the right things)  

i have been testing games now for a while finding bugs and glitches and yes this is all possible

can you say "subliminal messages"

Edited by hilton1337, 17 February 2012 - 04:33 PM.


#8    DKO

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 07:03 AM

This reminds me of the apparent urban legends in GTA: San Andreas, like bigfoot, UFOs, panopticon killer. All of them apparently needed a series of actions/tasks to be performed in specific areas of the game at specific times. A lot of fake videos came out but no proof.

I hate to say it but when I was younger I wasted a lot of time searching for these. There were even heaps of forums dedicated to GTA 'myth hunters', most of them had crazy theories and fake videos just like ghost/crypto/UFO hunters.

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#9    Dougal

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:25 PM

Surely if this is true they'll be files within the game for it? I don't have fallout 3, (or the skills to find the files!) but if it were true I'm sure somebody would have found the files and posted them up a long time ago.

I mean, almost every game you can find people have taken apart and activated/found things that were in the beta but not in release.

Does sound pretty cool though ;)

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#10    gooder

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:43 AM

its mods with bans coming for anyone who tries to talk about it again.Posted Image


#11    ploppy

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:32 PM

It sounds pretty cool (though I've never heard of this before), but I can't find one video of this on youtube. And you'd think someone would have tried this and uploaded it.  :mellow:


#12    _Only

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:22 AM

Another silly urban legend.

But at least I learned 1 thing I never knew. Margaret, eh?

"I think there may be "ghost phenomenon" that may be still not fully understood or dismissed, but that doesn't make it spirits of the dead, anymore than "UFO" means "spaceship" or even "UFO" or "spaceship" is directly related to aliens, or anything else. There is way too much assumption and a baseless reliance on anecdotal lore, like when people assert this or that about the spirit world or the astral plane or Ouija board demons, or religion. I say 'says WHO?'" - Paranormalcy

#13    Mr Supertypo

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:58 AM

hahahaha coool, love this kind of legends.

My brother plays alot with fallout, so im going to ask him if he know something....

Finally got my black belt....

#14    George Ford

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:34 AM

Hmmm. Im not in front of my pc right now so can't check. But are there videos online that play the numbers?

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#15    _Only

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:13 PM

View Postbulveye, on 18 March 2012 - 11:34 AM, said:

Hmmm. Im not in front of my pc right now so can't check. But are there videos online that play the numbers?

No, the "numbers station" doesn't actually exist. :P

Closest thing in the game is the Morse code transmissions you can pick up, but those are different.

"I think there may be "ghost phenomenon" that may be still not fully understood or dismissed, but that doesn't make it spirits of the dead, anymore than "UFO" means "spaceship" or even "UFO" or "spaceship" is directly related to aliens, or anything else. There is way too much assumption and a baseless reliance on anecdotal lore, like when people assert this or that about the spirit world or the astral plane or Ouija board demons, or religion. I say 'says WHO?'" - Paranormalcy




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