Sunday, June 5, 2016

Levels 41-45

Level 41

This one I was rather proud of back in the day of solving Notpron with my husband over skype. It's the only time I felt clever in this entire puzzle and have never really captured that again since. But that's ok, I have 41!

There's not much in the source here, and you're probably starting to miss those levels already where there were a ton of hints, huh? Well, you have all you need here, but a bit of Google might help as well once you have what you need.

You can solve this the hard way, or if you find something in the source, the easy way, depends on if you have an ear for it.

Level 42

Unfortunately no reference to HGttG here, bit of a missed opportunity.

Check your source carefully, as usual. No snarky page for trying to go to 52, slightly disappointing. There is a train of thought you can go down that'll get you an extra clue to work with, but it's not necessary to solve it. Google is all you need for this one.

You'll be seeing some familiar stuff in here, so shouldn't get stuck too badly, long as you answer the question.

Level 43

I'm going to save you a bit of time on this and explain something about some of these pictures. David's camera...well, let me just quote straight from the book.

"My digital camera is now almost 5 years old; it's always producing a purple pixel somewhere on the right or left side. It's in many pics of the riddle."

Ignore that pixel if you run across it. It's nothing. I bring it up here because it seems to be more noticeable in this one, where there isn't much going on in the picture and with the lack of any other hints to go off of, it looks important.

That said, this is a really dumb one. It took us a long time to solve, not because it was hard, but because of the opposite reason--it was almost too simple. By this time, you're on level 43 of Notpron, you've done some really weird out there crap, and you don't really expect more "unexpected" answers.

Change what you can and search it carefully, that's all I can really say. At least one snarky page that I know of in here.

Level 44

You get to do a bit of hands on with the image on this one, but MS Paint is all you really need, nothing fancy like Gimp. Your main hint here is really the title, but you may have to think a bit abstractly.

That's about all I can say without giving the answer away. It's not a puzzle that you're likely to solve immediately upon seeing it, but once you figure out the trick, it all makes sense from there.

Level 45

Here we have a pretty interesting puzzle, which does make sense, involves research (but nothing super obscure), and feels really good to solve. One of the better levels in this section of the game, I'd say, which is good because you'll probably be spending a decent amount of time on it.

The page is in no short supply of information. It goes without saying at this point, but check all the usual suspects until you think you have everything, and then you'll want to figure out what they all mean. Doing that shouldn't take too long, and that leaves you with a series of information that is definitely leading up to something, but how do you decide where the next one falls in place? Sometimes the best solution is to map out what you have.

Only other thing I'll say on this one is that the subject of the picture is irrelevant. There's necessary information you have to take from it, but it has nothing to do with a cat. I didn't have this problem myself, but apparently some people did, so I'll just squash that one outright.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Levels 36-40

Level 36

Running a little dry on hints here, but everything you need can be found. It's just a little more cryptic than the last couple levels. I'll give a bit more of a nudge than usual here because I feel like this is a harder level.

The title is relevant here, not in terms of what the solution is, but how the tools you've been using might not be good enough for the job. In a previous puzzle, you had to use GIMP to do some image editing, and that led to a solution. Try and do that with this picture, and you'll get a message (which is viewable anyway but might be harder to see on dark monitors), and that's where you'll be stuck without finding the next piece of the puzzle.

Obviously at this point you're checking the source. Most puzzles have some kind of hint in the comments, and sometimes the names of files can be hints as well. But what else can be looked at? If it looks unfamiliar, maybe a quick Google search can explain what you're looking at and what should be done with it. About ten levels ago, you did a similar step to get what was needed to work with.

Level 37

Don't overcomplicate! You've got a Google bar, so if you don't know what something is, double check it! The picture will help you narrow down what the title is, and you should come to the conclusion soon. If it leads to something that doesn't immediately look like the next level, don't write it completely off as a dead end page.

Level 38

Another major level change from after the book was written, and a straightforward one at that. It might be showing its age a little bit here, but I'm fairly sure the source code points you to something that even if you don't use it, you can find documentation on. Not much to really say here, just figure out what the icons in the picture are and answer the question in the title. The 4th what?

Level 39

I did warn you this was an 18+ game right? The title has no relevance, ignore it, unless you want to know what it is, in that case you can Google it. There's a hint you've run into in an older level that has the same wording as here in the source, remember that? Once you get your answer from that, use the picture hint to get to what you need. Remember not to discount pages that look like dead end pages.

Level 40

The level difficulty has a strange curve. It's not really a curve, more of a giant zigzag line up and down a paper at random. The picture will be your key here. That's really all I can say here. The answer is unexpected!

Levels 31-35

Level 31

Remember how in some of the earlier levels (Level 8 comes to mind in particular), there was a funky solution that may have been something you'd never think of trying without the hints provided? This is along the same lines of those, but you don't necessarily need to change anything this time. Definitely still try the usual stuff here, and you might run into a dead end hint page if you look in the right place, but this is one of those "newly learned skill" levels where the method of finding the answer here is only a piece of a larger puzzle in later ones.

For obvious reasons I'm not going to directly say what you need to do here, but I will mention that this level should probably have a Google bar. Not necessarily for looking up any sort of obscure information, but for getting the necessary tool to get the job done. If you're not sure what you're supposed to be looking for, check the (admittedly scarce) hints this level gives you. Again, you might not realize that info can be found, but it can if you know how.

Level 32

The source says it all! There's a small difference somewhere--might be helpful to compare an older level's source to find it. That's ... about it, actually.

This level was actually redone completely after the PDF book about the making of Notpron came out, as he has no notes on updating this level in there, and it was a completely different answer. As a way of weeding out cheaters, David went back and fixed some old solutions so they wouldn't match the walkthrough anymore. You can find the "you cheated" page fairly simple by doing the opposite of the answer you find, though. Don't worry, it's just a web page and doesn't bar you from the rest of the game. 

Level 33

This is kind of a weird one, honestly. The answer does make sense, but I feel like there were too many different ideas being mixed together into one incohesive pile. The most useful thing I can say without being too obvious is that you should probably ignore the source code hint. It does logically fit with the puzzle, but I feel like it's more of a thing you'd look back at and think "oh, now I get why that's there", rather than having it actually help you.

There's a few hint pages in this one, if you get part of the answer or close to it but not exactly. Those are good because they at least tell you that you're on the right track, and without them, it's a lot more difficult. The only other thing I can say about this one is to pay close attention to the image, because everything you need is in there. And there is a slight callback to a previous level, but only in the sense that the game was designed by a German and takes their regional ... "arrangement" into account. Hopefully that made sense.

Level 34

Remember your title here. This one might be slightly "guessy", but I feel there might be enough hint pages to keep you going. As long as you recognize what is in the picture, you should be good. Keep in mind words for things are often different in various continents and to look up what something may be called if you don't know.

Level 35

Don't get distracted too much and don't overthink. What are the clues? How can you find out what to do with them?

This is a "showing its age" puzzle. Certain programs that were used back then weren't as easily accessible as they are today. Thankfully, the clues still work, and the technology has gotten so good, it'll only take a few minutes to figure out the answer to this one, and put it into the username/password field.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Levels 26-30

Level 26

Try the obvious stuff first. If you know anything about URLs, remember to add what it needs on the end. There's a good hint page here, if you find it, as well as a snarky text one. In previous levels, we've messed with .htm, .jpg, and even .mp3. Any other file extensions worth looking into?

These next few levels go off the rails a bit. Remember that the number in the picture NEVER lies!

Level 27-29

I personally am not a fan of levels 27-29. You can kind of think of them as one big level, but they do count seperately. Once you reach 27, just be prepared to do a lot of weird manipulation of things to progress one step at a time. The levels in this batch are all very nonstandard and you may not even feel like you're progressing, but you are. Again, the number in the corner never lies.

Once you hit Level 30, things will return to normality again. In the meantime, if you're having trouble in this section, my best recommendation is to just try stuff that you might initially think is "too easy" or even somewhat cheaty in a way. You never know what will actually work. And also remember that you're trying to move forward, rather than stay put or "correct" the level you're currently on.

Level 30

So you've made it through the mess of the last levels. Congrats, those were a bit convoluted.

Your prize is now 30, which brings a new bit of confusion to the table.

I've been speaking of the creator without mentioning his name too much. This is for people who find the blog on Google in the middle or something like that, so as not to confuse them too much. But yeah, the guy responsible for this is named David Münnich. You don't know much about him, do you? He didn't only make the puzzle, he's the webmaster of the entire website, and can hide stuff wherever he wants. Who knows where you might have to look for an answer?

This one is fairly obtuse, but I don't want to give any more hints. The level doesn't give you much to go on, but the one hint that it does give is important, and that last push I gave will hopefully be enough. Just pay close attention to your surroundings and know that nothing is an accident.

Levels 21-25

Level 21

Go through your checklist. Soon I will stop saying this, as it will become a "goes without saying" thing. There is a lot of info given to you here, the title, even the extra green text. Have you been checking everything in the source this whole time? When looking at the source, it's easy to just skim and look for green text, but it's important to look at anything else that may be important. You've had to mess with stuff in there before, so just remember what you did there.

After that, a bit of work will get you your answer. A lot of levels require mental leaps, but this one is a bit more hands on. Figuring out what the symbols in the picture are would be useful. The trickiest part of this level is realizing there is a trap, as the title may suggest, so be sure to pay attention to what you are given to work with, and figure out which ones don't fit.

I think a little push might be in order for the easter egg. Anything else you can change in the URL besides the .htm name?  ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°

Level 22

There are times when you must think, and times when you must try the obvious (though sometimes in Notpron, it's good to do that anyway). Even though you may get the answer quickly, it might be fun to try and find the easter eggs.

Level 23

As you may have realized by now, the puzzle went through many "temp-ends" every time a new batch of levels went up. Level 22 originally had a more difficult solution, so it was a point of honor to reach this point for many people. You also had to actually call the creator on his phone, so I can understand why he probably changed that fairly quickly, though his number is available on the Notpron website.

The key is in the title. Keep in mind if your answer is something microscopic, that isn't something you can actually see. You might be able to solve this without that hint, but it would be unlikely if this is your first time going through the game since what you are looking for is obscure.

Level 24

Compared to previous levels, this might seem like a dry desert of no hints. But there are a couple things to go off of. The title isn't of any help, toss that to the side. Sometimes all it takes is one hint and knowing what to do with it. There is a Google bar for a reason on this one, since the answer could be figured out manually, but it would take a bit longer.

Level 25

The source code is only important if it's got green text or other stuff you can mess with, ignore the large block of letter vomit, as that's for the page coding. This level was the first level that I gave up on for a very long time before coming back to years later. The reason for this isn't because it's hard, I just didn't have the tools necessary. However, 10 years later, that tool(s) are readily available to the normal person who owns a computer. Times were different back in my day! *shakes cane*

Just to eliminate any question of what this level requires, you need an image editor, and MS Paint isn't going to do the trick this time around. The original intent of Notpron was to allow a player to get through all the levels without requiring any programs that would have to be purchased separately, so Photoshop is out of the question in that regard. But apparently David M's solution for this one was "just download the trial version and use that". I'm not sure if that's still an option, but it doesn't need to be. Check the sidebar for GIMP, a free image editor that can do all sorts of things, and it's perfectly suited for your needs.

Now what do you actually do to this picture? The page does pretty much flat out tell you "multiply OR limit channels". If you're having trouble finding that, you can look under the "Levels" menu. If you've never used the program before, you may have no idea what that means and have to do a bit of research--but that's the fun of Notpron! Learning new things is a big thing in this game, and this is just the start. You'll feel like a pro fairly soon.

Levels 16-20

Level 16

You can kind of think of this level as the "boss" level. This was the original "end" of the puzzle until David M. made more levels. Obviously. But anyways, let's take a look at this one.

When you first look at this, you may feel overwhelmed. Don't be! There is a lot of stuff happening, but the more info the better in this game, believe me. Better to have more than less. Since this is a more complex riddle, I shall take a moment and analyze the hints with you.

Let's touch briefly on the straightforward text at the bottom of your source. I of course KNOW you've been saving all the stuff you've been writing down, riiiight? In addition to saving the level urls and username/passwords, it's ALSO good to write down your train of thought and HOW you solved the level. Because when going back to look at things, you sometimes think "huh? how did I get that?". You can't write down too much stuff, honestly. Keep it organized, keep it safe.

Remember when we spoke to you about the various codes you can have for the alphabet? Another one is actually mentioned right here in the source. While there may not be a Google bar, you can search anything you want if you want a quick tool to help you transcribe a code. The internet has almost anything you need. I was lazy one day and wanted to remove spaces from a sentence. The internet provided. However, this one is easily solvable by just laying out the alphabet in notepad yourself and writing it out manually.

The source also refers to data you have seen before. So, whatever process you use for decoding that text in green, # = that process. When looking at the numbers this level is providing you, you'll obviously notice that some have the # symbol and some don't. But don't get confused and think that it's asking for two types of data. I made that mistake when I first played it and wasn't sure why it didn't work. It's definitely possible to look at a hint and interpret it two different ways, so if you get an answer that doesn't look like real words, you probably did something wrong.

Level 17

The last level was pretty complicated and had you use what you learned and wrote down from before. Don't overthink this level. Answer the question in the source. There are a number of dead end pages here, so be sure to note if you find something extra.  ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°

Level 18

Source code? Check. Title? Check. Music? Check. Go through your common list! If you also listen to the green text in the source code, you may start to find some extra stuff.  ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°

The "extra stuff" in this case doesn't actually help solve this level (well, a little), but it's kind of its own thing. The only thing you really need to do here is work with what's given to you, and if you don't have the natural skills to piece it together, there are free programs that can do it for you.

Level 19

This level is fairly straightforward, despite the fact that it doesn't give you too much to work with. However, it does give you what you need. What is the object in the picture? What is it doing? How does that relate to the source code message? Remember that Notpron really enjoys utilizing what you've learned so far.

Level 20

Not everything in this picture is relevant. It's still good to keep up the habit of checking source code, though you can see straight away there isn't anything there. Just the title and the picture this time. The password hint is a bit odd, we solved this puzzle without understanding what it meant, but looking back we kind of get what it's saying. Don't worry about it too much, you don't need it to solve this level. It's just a confusing statement altogether.

As Windows users ourself, we aren't sure how this game is in terms of being Mac-friendly or not. Mac users may have to look up extra stuff. Useless story time: as a kid, messing around on our computer (which was probably Windows 95 or earlier at the time), I found a program called the "Character Map", and being a young bab, I thought this was something with a bunch of cartoon characters that you'd be able to look at or something. It wasn't anything like that, but it did turn out to be useful in later years.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Levels 11-15

Level 11

Whenever you have a username/password combination, you will always get them at the same time, with the exception of level 13. So be aware of that for this level. Not much can be said for this one, just look for unusual and out of place things in this. The creator never tries to trick you on what page you are on. So be aware of what things look like in relation to one another.

Level 12

The picture and the caption below it (plus hints in the source code and password field) are all you need to solve this one, but for people who aren't good at doing the "trick" required here, there's luckily an alternative way to solve it.

It's worth pointing out that the "" link at the bottom of the source does link to something interesting, but it's not needed for the puzzle and doesn't provide any hints towards it. Sometimes the best way to give a hint towards a level is to say what isn't important, so it's good to rule out things like that.

Ever look at one of those "spot the differences" puzzles? They were popular in kids' magazines like Highlights for Children. This puzzle is similar to that, but the images shown here are from slightly different angles, just keep that in mind when you are trying to figure out what's different.

Level 13

This level has a fair amount of information and it can be hard to know where to start. Just write down all the things you think may be useful in that notepad I know you're keeping. This is the level where you get the username and password separately, but of course it's still on the same level, just not in the same image. You can extrapolate the password from the other word you found in this level. Who is the "I" referring to in one of the hints?

Also, since I remember personally having trouble with this one when I first started the puzzle, you may want to keep an open mind when it comes to some of the shapes in the image. Not everything is necessarily oriented right-side-up.

Level 14

The references to level five may make you think you need to go back and take a look there, but you don't. It's simply referring to the fact that the objects were used before. Look in all the usual places for your hints! It's also worth mentioning that this level had a changed solution because of browser incompatibility. Look in all the usual places for your hints!

Level 15

There are many different alphabet codes, such as 1=a 2=b, etc. A good way to tell what sort of code you may be working with is looking at the boundaries of your code itself. The source has numbers in brackets. Do they go over a certain amount? Why not? What could that be referring to in context with your other hints that you found? Even if you aren't French, you can be nosy. Otherwise, just ignore it.

Levels 6-10

Before getting into the next levels, a quick recap of what we've learned:
  • Most of the time, solving a level involves finding a word (or words) that you will either put into the url (address bar) or a password field. There are exceptions, but they're rare outside of the very first few.
  • Aside from some of the really late levels, you'll always be given a few hints to start the thought process. The page title is always a good place to start, and we'll be seeing a few more places to look soon.
  • Sometimes the pictures are relevant to the solution, such as Level 5, where most of the info you need is in the picture itself. Sometimes it's not, such as Level 3, where you have a stack of blocks and the only reason the picture is important is because of the flashing text. They'll only get more irrelevant from here.
  • Get used to searching Google for knowledge of certain subjects. You've already had to do it twice in the first five levels alone, and it's certainly going to continue. Any level with a Google bar will generally require this.
As stated last time, solutions are not going to be given directly here. The purpose of these writeups is to nudge a player into the right direction, not to state flat-out what needs to be done. At this point, I'm not going to post up a picture of the level either--we are assuming that you are playing the game and have come here and using this as an added bit of help.

Level 6

When I first played this level back in 2005 or whenever it was, this was my first major snag, and it's not because I wasn't able to interpret the hints correctly, it's because I was missing a major piece of the puzzle. Before I get into that, though, there's a new major thing to discuss in this level, which is hinted to in the page's title.

If you're not sure what source code is, this is going to be a very important thing to learn. Every web page is built off coding, in this case HTML, and it's possible to view this coding directly. In your browser, all you have to do is right-click an empty part of the page (somewhere in the black will do) and find the option for "view page source" or something along those lines (it may be different depending on the browser). Once you're in there, you'll be able to see how the page was assembled, and if you're not sure what all the different tags mean yet, that's not super important. Not yet, at least. You'll want to get familiar with them eventually, but it's not fully necessary quite yet.

The main thing you'll be interested in at the start is the commented-out text, which is surrounded by <!--  --> tags. In any of the modern browsers I've checked (IE, Firefox, and Chrome), this text is always written in green. This text is important, because it's basically messages that are not part of the visible web page. Normal websites usually have this as notes to explain parts of the coding for future references, or things to add later, or stuff like that. In Notpron, this text is usually an extra hint towards the level, and from this point on, you're basically going into a level with no help if you don't think to check it, so it will always be one of the first things you do.

Now I just got through saying that the commented-out messages are always in green, but in this level it actually doesn't appear to be. Not sure why that is. That's not normal, but it teaches you to keep an eye out for mundane details anyway, which is never a bad thing. So counting the hint there, here's what we have so far:

  • "...the source code might help", which is now fully established
  • "an ALTernative?", written underneath the picture
  • There's another password field to enter, if you haven't found that yet. It gives a hint as well - "anagram".
  • "ascii is an alternative"
And with that, you pretty much have what you need, aside from one very major component that is required to get you the actual username and password. If you haven't figured out what to do yet, remember, this post isn't meant to spoon-feed you the answer, so you may want to do some Googling to see what some of those terms mean. I will let you know that it definitely involves computer knowledge, and if you've ever taken a language like Español, or even if you're a Pokémon fan, it's something you may have learned at some point.

As for the missing piece of the puzzle though, this is where I originally got stuck. There's a couple ways to figure it out, one method being to read the source code carefully and notice that something's amiss. If you want to try that method, go for it, but I'm not going to say what to look for. The other method is basically to get bored and start trying stuff with suspicious parts of the page and you might bump into it.

Level 7

Remember your training from the last level--the very first thing you'll want to do from here on out (yes, in every single level from now on) is to check that source code. If you know what the object in the picture is, you might try the obvious, which is to put the answer into the url, replacing "tieman". 

This level has a number of what I like to call "dead end hint pages". This is something the creator likes to sprinkle throughout the game to let you know either you are on the right track and need to do something else, or if it's just a completely wrong obvious guess, that way you don't continue to waste your time there. On this level, there are five hint pages that we are aware of--can you find them all? If you've solved the level, don't waste a lot of time finding these hint pages, they aren't necessary to progress.

In Level 6, you had to do a fair amount of searching to get all the info you needed, and might have needed to learn a new skill along the way. This level is more like Level 5 - once you have the hints that the page gives you, it really only requires some Googling and a couple minor mental leaps to put the hints together into a proper answer. I don't want to give anything major away, but I will say that "tieman" is not a nonsense word, nor is it something you need to Google. It does have a specific meaning that will become clear once you figure out the puzzle, and if you don't figure it out on your own, the hint pages surely will give it away.

Level 8

This one has a new skill for you to learn! Don't you feel smarter already though? There are a number of hints in this level as well, about six or so, including the obvious ones. I'd consider this level to be a particularly tricky one for this point in the game, so I do want to give a bit of extra help here without giving the answer away. So even though most of the hints are readily available and not particularly hidden, let's go through them one at a time.
  • "Say it loudly and proudly". What is it referring to?
  • "JAY should PACK his stuff". Those words are capitalized for a reason. Try working with just those two hints for a bit and see if you get what's being suggested here.
  • "water became wine" is a biblical reference, but more literally, it's talking about one thing turning into another, and that's definitely needed here.
  • The hint in the password field is "mom, he formatted my second song". What second song is this talking about? Maybe look at the source code again.
If you work with what you're given here, this will lead you in the right direction, but this level does involve something that your average person might not realize is possible. If you use computers for internet browsing and basic use of programs without delving into the more complex things they can do, it's a concept that simply may not occur to you. I'll say this - a file is nothing more than data being read in a certain way by a program that is designed to read it in that specific way. If a different program tried to access it, you wouldn't get the result you necessarily want, but it would at least try to do it.

As you can see, it is difficult to talk about the new skill in this level without completely giving the answer away for you. So what I would suggest is to make sure your computer can handle what you need to do. If you are on Windows, you'll want to make sure your file extensions are showing. Control Panel --> Folder options ---> view and then make sure that "hide extensions for known file types" is unchecked. With anything before Vista, and anything that isn't Windows, you will have to Google on how to change this setting. With that, you are set up to solve the riddle of this one.

There is a hint page that will lead you in the right direction if you try what you are supposed to do, but in the wrong manner.

Level 9

This level is fairly more straightforward than the last one. Everything you need is in the place you should always check first. There are old band references here, but the references aren't necessary to proceed. No Google bar here, so everything you need is right here! And I should probably mention that one of the hints on this level (I don't say which one, just to leave it a little more vague) is a hint to an old solution and can be ignored.

No really, that's about it. The solution here just involves being observant and playing around a bit with what you're given. I don't want to skip over any level completely, since different people have different ways of approaching puzzles, so I apologize if I ever say that a level is really easy and then you end up getting stuck on it for a long time. If that happens, that's basically a way of letting you know to not overthink it.

Level 10

Considering that Notpron is over a decade old now, there are a few things that no longer apply in terms of hints that are given. To be honest, it's surprising that the whole puzzle is still solvable despite the changes in technology. In fact, technology that has been created has actually made a few of the latter levels easier.

I mention this, because the source code tells you to check out a program that may not exist on newer computers. An alternate free program will do you well here, Audacity is a great one that many people use. Nothing more complicated is needed than that, but if you have any sort of editing software, it should be able to handle what you need to do here. The sidebar has links to a few useful programs that are all free, Audacity being one of them.

With that said, did you remember to check everything? The last few levels involved checking the source, the password fields, and stuff like that, but what about the background "music"? It's different in this level, in case you had it muted still. I think with that knowledge and the hints given, you should be able to work this one out. The answer isn't going to present itself to you without doing some work though, so don't be afraid to do some editing where necessary. When you do get your answer and it doesn't work, be sure to try various spellings of words, such as the difference between American and British English.

That'll be all for this post. The official "hints" page on the website only goes up through Level 8 and then leaves you on your own. The goal here is to basically continue in that fashion through all the levels, but don't expect a giant writeup for all of them, because I definitely don't want to ruin the game. Sometimes it's just good to bounce ideas off someone, and if you're playing solo, then this can be a good resource.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Levels 1-5

Navigation on the Notpron Website

It seems a silly thing to explain how to navigate the webpage that is going to lead you to the "hardest riddle on the internet", but I suppose it'll be good to know where to go for things. You'll be tempted to go straight into the game, but who knows, you may have to come back here eventually.

The front page of Notpron is fairly simple. Don't hit the start button yet!

Scroll down and it'll show you some interesting stats about the game, and give you a choice of three languages: English, German and Chinese. Presumably if you are reading this blog, you'll be using the English version, but keep in mind the creator of the game is German, and there are a few puzzle solutions based on this. Clicking on the flag will lead to various helpful and interesting pages. You don't have to go into the pages right now, but be aware they exist.

You can access the forums through this and the forums will have a thread opened of every level, which as mentioned before is helpful to go through.

Level 1

Even a person trying out this game with no idea of what they're in for should be able to get past this level in a matter of seconds, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about here. Since this is the first level, it actually establishes quite a few things that will hold true for most levels in the future.

A notpron "level" generally consists of an image on a black background and not much else that is immediately obvious. Sometimes you'll have some extra text at the bottom of the screen, but other than that, most of the hints are going to be hidden away somewhere, and that will be explained pretty soon. But pay attention to what you're already given here.

The picture has a number in the corner. This is obvious, but it's one of the few things you can trust in this game to not be misleading. I don't believe there's ever a level in this game where the number lies to you (ie, making you think you skipped a level, or hit a dead-end, or anything like that), and if I'm wrong, I'll point that out if it happens.

There's also some background noises. It's actually a slowed down clip of the audience cheering in an Elvis concert, but it's fairly creepy. Most browsers should play the sound automatically, due to semi-recent changes in the html. It used to only work on Internet Explorer, so if you see any pages saying that only that browser is recommended, you can mostly ignore those. Feel free to mute the sound, but every time you reach a new level, it's a good idea to at least make sure the sound is still there, because you never know when it'll change up on you.

Level 2

One of the first quotes you'll run into on the website is "it's not just a point and click thing!". Although that was the solution to level one, this one requires a bit more finesse.

Another thing to keep an eye out while playing levels is the title of the page in your browser. This one is named "something was in his way". If you try and click on the door again, you'll see what that means.

This level has actually four solutions. Since these are the first few levels, giving the answer here isn't really frowned upon, but try and figure it out on your own. This is a good way to really learn what Notpron is about and how you go about dealing with solutions. If you wish, you can highlight the next paragraph to see the solutions.

  1. "Trick it" is what the popup says. Tricking the popup basically means to run your mouse over the doorknob, keep it there and then close the popup without moving your mouse by hitting either space or enter.
  2. An alternate way of tricking it is using the TAB key to highlight the clickable objects on the screen. Anything that is clickable will have a line surrounding it, and then you can use the enter key to trigger the page without causing the popup to appear.
  3. The last way is to pay attention to the hand in the picture. It is pointing up towards something. The popup does mention something about an address. The URL, or address as it's commonly called can be changed manually to "level3.htm". Just replace level2.htm. Fairly standard for Notpron.
  4. The last solution is not one that the game even teaches you can do yet. If you aren't a computer person, this will be taught later, but we're putting this here for completion's sake. You can view the source code and click the link to the next page that way.

Level 3

If the last level was meant to wean you off the point-and-click solutions, this one eliminates that mindset entirely. The third solution listed for the previous level (if you haven't read it, go back and do so. I only used spoiler tags so you could try to figure it out on your own) is actually going to be the method used to progress in the majority of levels from this point on. It's not just as simple as replacing a level number though. If it was, there would be no puzzle here. At this point in the game, things are still pretty easy, but only compared to what lies ahead. Don't feel bad if this one takes you a while to figure out.

So let's analyze the clues given here. The page title, "Turn me ON!", is actually a remnant of the solution to the old version of this riddle, which was more complex. You can read more about that in the official walkthrough book mentioned in the first post if you want to get into that, but that's another story entirely. You can basically ignore that hint. If you know where to look for further hints, you can do that here, but it's not a required step yet, so I'll go into that once it's necessary.

That leaves one major hint here, and that's the flashing text in the image. If you're having trouble reading it, remember that you can take a screenshot of your current computer screen with the Print Screen (or prt scrn, as it's usually abbreviated) button on the keyboard. Just hit the button when the text flashes, paste the image into Paint or any other image software, and there you go. Just think about what the hint tells you to do, and look at the url carefully. Saying any more at this point would probably give it away, so just give it a couple minutes if it doesn't immediately make sense and I'm sure you'll get it. It's not unusual to spend many hours, days, weeks, etc on a single puzzle once you get deeper into this, so just keep that in mind.

Level 4

Two new things are introduced in this level, the Google bar and the password authentication field.

The Google bar indicates that you more than likely will have to look up information to pass this level. Without very specific knowledge that most people won't know offhand, Google will be your friend. The Google bar in the pages is meant to include the "-notpron" search tag to avoid spoilers, but you are free to use Google in a new tab if you wish, just be aware that spoilers may exist especially if you are searching for a very specific phrase. This level you won't have to worry about that.

We said earlier that the game has weaned you off of point and click solutions as the main thing to do, but that doesn't mean you don't ever have to do it. A very obvious click hotspot is here in the form of a gold clock. Click on that and you'll find the password field. Don't forget to use your combined knowledge of past levels, such as reading the name of the page.

Password fields don't mean that you have to sign up for anything (indeed, the only thing you'll want to ever sign up for is the forums), but you will have to input two specific words or phrases in the username and password field. The text at the bottom of this page goes over the specific rules for the password fields that you may want to remember. The popup field should give a hint, but it might not all the time, so keep that in mind. Also note that when mousing over the item you have to click, it will show you the URL to the next page, but this is never a hint to the solution to the current page.

Another thing to note is that in these earlier levels, pictures do help to solve the puzzle, but in later levels, they sometimes have nothing to do with the solution. It is always helpful though to search through the picture carefully.

So putting together the hints you have at your disposal on this page, let's tally them up and see if we got the same things:
  1. The name of the page "Look in the dark..."
  2. Taking that hint, we can look in the darkness of the picture and notice a pattern shown on the dresser on the left of the screen. Look familiar? Yep, Morse Code. This is one of those situations where an average person would probably know what Morse Code is, but not how to read it. Everyone has different exposure to things though, so if you don't know what it is immediately, searching for something like "dots and dashes" would probably lead you in the right direction. Most of the puzzle solutions are things that most people would be at least vaguely familiar with though.
  3. In the password field you'll see "Light this place now". This I feel isn't needed as a clue, but the original picture of this level had very hard to see Morse Code, which David changed so people could see it better.
At this point, these clues are really all you need to solve the puzzle; finding the username and password. 

Level 5

Accompanying the picture underneath is "What was the name of this song again?". Remember your Notpron knowledge--check the page name and notice that a google bar is here, which means you must search for something in google.

The username/password field is a bit more well hidden here, but a quick tab in the window will show you the clickable spot, otherwise you can watch your mouse turn into a hand over the proper spot.

This level is actually a bit of a step down from the previous one. It uses the same general solution, but not as obscure of a subject. At least with the clues given in the picture and on the page. Let's compare the clues again, and see if you get all of them along with me.
  1. Page name, "Light your torch", prompting to look in the darkness again
  2. The password popup has the clue "live"--not sure offhand actually if that is relevant to anything. Welcome to notpron, where you never know!
  3. The name of the CD "Big Bad Voodoo Daddy"
  4. In the darkness of the picture you'll see (quite clearly, honestly) "eyes like an angel smiles like a devil"
  5. Text under the picture "What was the name of this song again?"
This should be more than enough to get you your answer. On a side note, the band on the CD is actually really fun and nice to listen to, I have some of my favourite songs in my car. Just if you want to try something new!

And that's levels 1-5 of Notpron. Next time we will discuss 6-10. At this point, any direct answers to solutions will stop, and we will merely try and guide you as best we can while still teaching you what you need for the latter levels of Notpron. Hopefully this helped you with the basic understanding of Notpron and how it works, and what it expects out of you.

An Introduction to Notpron

Notpron is labeled as "The hardest riddle available on the internet". Since Notpron was started in 2004 and finished in 2008 (the last level before that was in 2006, but more will be explained about this later), then perhaps that quote isn't the most accurate, but it certainly is one of the hardest riddles available. It was created by David Münnich as basically a challenge to himself to create a game with coding.

As of 6/1/2016, 17,569,690 people have entered the first level of Notpron. Only 35 people have been certified as to finishing the game. As stated on the front page, that's about 0.0001% of players. Do not go into this thinking that it's an easy ride from start to finish. Yes, there are "easy" levels, but they almost seem to be put there as a break, plus everyone thinks a bit differently.

The game is best handled by a small group of people of about 3-5 (though 2-3 works) where you can bounce ideas off of and utilize each of your strengths in certain subjects.

Be warned--despite the name of the game being "Notpron", there is pron. And it's not really anything you are going to be able to avoid. It's more what's called "erotica" than porn, I would say, think pinup posters and such, but it's still enough to where I would suggest being "of age" before playing this game in the presence of your family. Which I probably wouldn't do anyway, but just putting that out there.

I also want to let you know there is a "paywall" at about level -33. You only have to donate 1 euro (about 1.12 USD), or you can buy the book for 10 euros. Or you can send candy to David, he likes foreign candy. This "paywall" is to weed out cheaters, making sure that people are getting that far on their own. Cheaters usually stop at the paywall. I highly recommend the book though, it's interesting and not that expensive in the grand scheme of things.

Don't be scared off by the paywall, it's only the price of a bottle of soda, a double cheeseburger or a cup of coffee. You can pay through Paypal, so it's safe too. Once you hit the paywall, hints are barely ever given on the forums and it is not recommended to share information with anyone not in your close group. More on this will be explained once we hit that point in the posts.

I came into Notpron in 2011, introduced to it by my husband, who had been working on it since 2005 or so. With 140 levels, he had only gotten to about 25 or so. With a fresh pair of eyes, together we flew through many levels together. As of this writing, we are on the Delta level. The level progression in this game is 1-82, then jumps down to 0, moves downwards to Minus 44, then goes into Greek letters up to "Nu".

If you are new to Notpron, it is a good idea to throw away preconceived notions on how games work. The rules are fairly simple to this game. Get to the next level. You aren't limited by the mouse either--you have to use your keyboard, check behind the scenes of the current page, or use outside help such as Gimp and Google. You will learn how to do many things during the course of Notpron. There is usually no connection between levels of Notpron--the next level "url" is usually unrelated to the previous.

Lastly, all Notpron players should, nay, must have Notepad or some other word program to write down the past levels--every URL they come across, every hint they find, and of course write down the answer to the level. You will kick yourself if you don't. Backup this notepad on google drive. Just do it.

There are a few levels where all the hints in the world just might not help you. This is because these levels aren't really puzzles or riddles, but more like "guess" the correct word. I say "guess" because they always say that you have what you need, and indeed, the first person to ever solve a level must have had what they needed, or else we wouldn't have any winners, but a lot of people do admit to brute-forcing the answers to some levels.

Most of the time, you will be changing the URL to get to the next level, provided you have the correct word. There are many levels however that do require a username/pass that you have to find. Most of these are found at the same time, so you won't find a username without a password nearby. There is only one exception that I can think of.

I will briefly outline what we do in each level as a usual thing. These things go without saying in the later levels, so be sure you get in the habit of doing these things on each level:
  1.  Change the URL to an obvious answer that may be the next one. I will go over this more in the next post. 
  2. Check the source code.
  3. Check the filenames of the picture, background music and anything else given on the page to determine if anything can be changed or give hints to anything.
  4. Check the Notpron forums. Go ahead and sign up for them, it's useful to at least sift through the threads for each level. They might not be helpful sometimes, but they can get the brain juices flowing.
  5. As levels progress, there are more things you'll want to do on each level, but they aren't necessary for the first number of levels.
On the sidebar here, I will give a link to most used programs I have for Notpron. This will get you a start on it at the very least, so not saying that you won't need anymore than the ones listed.

Just to be clear, I will state it here (and it will always be on the sidebar), this is a HINT blog only. You will find no answers in any of these posts. In keeping with the spirit of the game and not exposing everything, but wanting to give good hints to those who don't want to cheat. You guys need another source other than the forums and cheat pages that give no viewpoint on how they got that answer. You might be so close to the answer, or doing something right, but it doesn't help you to just give you the answer.

Next post I will talk about Levels 1-5. They usually won't be clumped together in a large group like that per post, but it all depends on the complexity of the puzzle. And you'll soon see that they get very, very complex.


I would suggest using Firefox to play this game. The forums say to use Internet Explorer...but *snerk* no. You can use IE to download Firefox if you need it.

We used a combination of Chrome and Firefox "back in the day", but Chrome updated to not show popup text (or hints for the password field won't show properly). You can check this post for more information.