The Big Terrible Picture – The Secret World and Roman Ciphers

So I’ve been playing The Secret World, lately, and one of the investigations called The Big Terrible Picture had us crack a cipher that turned out to be offset to the left in the English alphabet, a classic Roman Cipher (aka a Caesar Cipher). I can’t believe they still put cool puzzles like this in MMOs, I haven’t seen anything like it outside of old adventure games. Here is the set of ciphered texts and their decrypted texts:

cngu bs gur fha – eryngrf abg whfg gb gur fbyne obql ohg gur geniry bs gur uhzna obql ovegu orlbaq

rvtug synzrf – rvtug fgngvbaf ba gur cngu bs yvsr? nygubhtu gur beqre vf abg jung frrzrq vavgvnyyl boivbhf


path of the sun – relates not just to the solar body but the travel of the human body birth beyond

eight flames – eight stations on the path of life? although the order is not what seemed initially obvious

Pyre 1:
vasnapl – n dhvpxyl qbhfrq synzr


infancy – a quickly doused flame

Pyre 2:
ovegu – gur oevrsrfg oynmr


birth – the briefest blaze

Pyre 3:
lbhgu – arire gehyl rkgvathvfurq


youth – never truly extinguished

Pyre 4:
puvyqubbq – bayl gehyl snqrf nsgre byq ntr


childhood – only truly fades after old age

Pyre 5:
nqhygubbq – fybjre ohea guna vasnapl, snfgre guna byq ntr


adulthood – slower burn than infancy, faster than old age

Pyre 6:
vzzbegnyvgl – bapr npuvrirq, hadhrapunoyr


immortality – once achieved, unquenchable

Pyre 7:
qrngu – qrngu vf rire cerfrag


death – death is ever present

evghny bs qnlf – gur pbzvat sbegu ol qnl – n sbphfvat bs yvtug hcba qnexarff.

gur cevrfgubbq bs nzha qevira haqretebhaq ol ngravfgf – ranpgf gurfr evghnyf va frperg – jul urer?


ritual of days – the coming forth by day – a focusing of light upon darkness.

the priesthood of amun driven underground by atenists – enacts these rituals in secret – why here?

Lineage Puzzle:

evghny bs yvarntr – n cenlre orsber eblnygl? pehqr qrcvpgvbaf bs nxurangra – gurfr jrer abg znqr gb ubabhe uvz

pbafvqre gur anzrf – nxurangra’f anzr renfrq nsgre qrngu – ohg gung jnf abg uvf gehr anzr n cenlre gb gehgu


ritual of lineage – a prayer before royalty? crude depictions of akhenaten – these were not made to honour him

consider the names – akhenaten’s name erased after death – but that was not his true name a prayer to truth

If you want to make your own Roman ciphers, visit this site.

6 thoughts on “The Big Terrible Picture – The Secret World and Roman Ciphers

  1. A3

    Interesting, I just wonder how one would find out how many characters do you have to offset in the alphabet to decrypt it properly.

  2. admin Post author

    The easiest way is to work with the small words, one, two and three characters long.

    Like N, BS, and VF.

    Basically, take those and try an offset to the right and left until you find something that you think fits. Then try what you came up with on a larger, more complex word.

    This cipher happens to be *SPOILER* a thirteen *SPOILER* character offset.

  3. Chris

    This is no longer the way the cipher works, it is now the *****SPOILER***** fold the alphabet in half and each letter corresponds with the one in the same position of the other half for example M is the 13th letter and Z is the 26th so M=Z and vice versa. *****SPOILER*****

  4. admin Post author

    Spoilers are fine, it’s a spoiler page 😛

    Are you sure it’s no longer an offset of 13 characters? I can’t actually test it anymore to say for sure… Have any sceenshots of the new encryption?

  5. Pick

    The ROT is based on a clue given earlier on the quest (Ancient Roman History), and is still the same ROT as Beta.

  6. shopach

    Offsetting by 13 characters and folding the alphabet in half is the…same thing. So the letters are reciprocal in nature. That is to say, if E=R then R=E

Leave a Reply