For the past few months, Blizzard has dropped numerous hints about a mysterious new Overwatch character named Sombra, and the conspiracy-level shenanigans have reached new heights during the ongoing Summer Games event.
In what is turning out to be a massive Alternate Reality Game, clues have included files on tables and blurry field distortions above the Lúcioball goal. Rumored to be a hacker/stealth character, Sombra is the most talked about puzzle in Overwatch since Hanzo’s chicken legs. Yet, with all the information out there, it may be hard to know where to start.
That being said, here’s a breakdown of some of the most convincing Sombra hints and theories thus far:
- Dorado: A picture in a newspaper reads “Who is Sombra?” and shows a shadowy figure. Security terminals in Dorado also show off the warning “UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS: PROTOCOL SOMBRA.”
- Ana Amari Origin Story trailer: Two messages appear in flashes. The first, when decoded reads S O M B R A, the second decodes to a full message, stating, “She who has the information, has the power.”
- Dev video: Converting static at the end of a recent developer video into binary, then into pixels and a QR code lead to the message “Was that easy? Well, now that I have your attention, allow me to make things much more difficult.”
- Overwatch comic: Reaper speaks about Sombra. She is real!
- Summer Games: A trail of code was found behind Tracer in the trailer, which people are still attempting to decipher. Compass directions were also spotted behind characters in the trailer, leading to much confusion. A blurry distortion can also be seen above one of the goals in the game, that many people also believe to be Sombra.
- Skycode: In Dorado, a sky code has been found that overlays perfectly on the map’s fountain. Is this what Game Director Jeff Kaplan meant when he said that the mystery was “so far over my head?” Perhaps!
There are many other theories running as well, from the hypothesis that Genji has been hacked by Sombra to musical notes encoded Dorado’s bank vault shelves, which need to be played in the proper order on that map’s bells. The Overwatch reddit has been flooded with posts like these for months, however, and a lot of the positive movement on the ARG is coming from a massive community on the Game Detectives Discord channel, which I’ve been lurking on (obsessively) the past three days. Here, across two rooms (for verified and unverified users), the community, composed of everyone from electrical engineers to musicians, is working together to piece together the puzzle Blizzard has laid out.
“ARGs are amazing because they introduce mystery to the game and give players something to be clever about,” said Lavos, a Discord user, about the search. “The feeling of being the first one to discover something is unparalleled and drives people to spend hours searching and solving.”
Hopefully, the community will continue to unravel the mysteries of Sombra, concluding with a much more rewarding finale than some ARGs in the past. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Bungie.