Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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 M√ľnnich 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.

1 comment:

  1. It's been a while since I've wrestled with Notpron. Maybe I should take another crack at it and see what I can do! Thanks a bunch, Brynna (and probably also Josh)!

    It's good to be the first.