Opening Ceremony

Here's the script for the opening ceremony. Embedded among the script are a few pointers to presentations and instruction PDFs that teams received; you might need to extract some of the puzzle rules from those.

Before 8:00

Each team receives a set of T-Shirts, along with this page of introduction and instructions.


Setup Tunis. We should have: a laptop connected to the data projectors. The display should show the Googol Conglomerate logo, such as it is. The laptop should be configured to not go to sleep in 5 minutes nor to lock the screen with the current user. 8) The room should be set up for a lecture audience. We may have up to 200 people at the start. Google Security will likely have someone standing at the Tunis entrances nearest B40 and Tripoli to keep tabs on guests.


Registration opens. Two GC staffers are stationed outside of Tunis (B43/2) at a desk. They have with them: a list of all teams; all the boxes of shirts. They greet every team, check them off, and give the first people from that team all the teams' shirts. The staffers direct players into Tunis.

Start playing the Character Bio slideshow in Tunis.


Activity picks up at the start of the head of the room. Melissa Mayor, VP of Consumable Products, fidgets with the computer, looks a bit nervously at her watch. She taps on the mic, leans over the podium, and talks to a volunteer sitting in the front row.

Melissa: Where are they?

The volunteer shrugs.

Melissa: Go find out.

The volunteer runs out. (Pretty quickly)

He comes back in a few minutes later shaking his head and shrugging. Melissa looks angry, but then takes a deep breath.


Several minutes past the apparently intended starting time, Melissa apologies to the crowd: "I apologize for our bit of confusion. We're still waiting for our founders to arrive and to say a few words to kick off the Open House. I'm Melissa Mayor. While we're waiting for them, well, we were planning to bring out the activities later, but here's something you can start looking at now."

(switches laptop, showing the T-shirt page of the Opening Ceremonies presentation)

Melissa twiddles the computer and a picture of the T-shirt puzzle appears. It's a photo of someone wearing the shirt and looking back over their shoulder and down at the shirt. The photo should be as big as possible but should show substantially all of the shirt design.


After five minutes of teams looking at the shirt-photo in walks Schmeric Idt, CEO of the Googol Conglomerate. He walks over to Melissa, who stands up to speak with him. He looks rather concerned and dissatisfied and says something to Melissa. Melissa responds with dramatic and clear jesticulation and words that she's fed up to 'here' with this show, that Schmeric can run his own damn Open House, She is sick of doing everything on her own as one by one everyone around her leaves. She also tells him she has a better offer somewhere else. He pleads with her that it's a trap, and that she'll disappear like the all rest. Melissa slaps an envelope into Schmeric's chest and storms out of the room. Schmeric opens the envelope, unfolds the letter, and holds it up for everyone to see. In 288pt font the mesage reads, I QUIT. Schmeric shrugs his shoulders, makes a face, and starts to speak up (should appear to be trying to save face):

"Well then. I'm sorry you all had to see that. But let's see if we can't save something from this Open House. I'm Schmeric Idt, I'm the CEO of the Googol Conglomerate. I see that Melissa already brought out one of our activities. Is this the sort of thing you folks enjoy? Good, it looks like we've brought in the right set of people.

"I imagine you all have heard the bad rumors that have been flying around about our Mars office. I'd like to say that they're untrue, but I can't: the truth is, our employees have been disappearing. But, not in some sci-fi way: they're just leaving to other companies for one reason or another. Melissa, in fact, was our last full-time employee still working here and she just quit. What we can't figure out is why. I mean, sure, Googol isn't everyone's cup of tea, but we're worried that there's something far more sinister going on.

"For example, we've heard that some of our former employees have been lured away by compensation and benefits beyond your wildest dreams -- $1,000,000/yr salaries, hundreds of millions in stock options, interplanetary spacecraft as signing bonuses, the list goes on -- but we frankly don't know how these companies could afford these kinds of perks.

"We actually fear that our archrival, the Gazillion Corporation, may be involved somehow, but that's only our suspicion, and we don't know exactly what their motivation would be. There's also a lot about the Gazillion Corporation we simply don't know, but we're hoping this is something you can help us with.

"The worst happened just a few weeks ago. We sent our founders, Perry & Lergey, out here to Mars to investigate what's going on, and to our horror they've disappeared, presumably to some horrible fate, although we don't know any more details than that. And we need our founders back! Who else will pose for magazine covers next to our solar array here on Mars, or push for a space elevator back on Earth for easy interplanetary transportation?

"This is where we need your help. Neither I nor the Googol Conglomerate Board can directly investigate these mysteries without attracting attention from regulators or from the press. But we need to find our founders before word gets out of their disappearance. We suspect they and the rest of our former Googolers are being held against their will where ever they may be, yet we don't know even where to start looking. One thing we do know is that it seems that each former employee has left behind some clue as to their fate. If you can decipher these clues you can help us free our Googolers and rescue our founders. Here's what we know so far (and, by the way, you'll get all this information in your group envelopes in a few minutes):

"I and the Board are at your disposal during your investigations, so please feel free to contact us if you need assistance: We may also, from time to time, check in on you.

"We've brought in a skeleton staff to keep the Mars office going through these times, and they have important work to do, so please don't disturb anyone who looks like they're doing their usual Googol work here on campus. As you walk around campus please wear your badge, as usual, and if you're a guest please bring along a Googler as an escort.

"Some of the messages left by our missing employees are more fragile than others, either physically or technologically. Please be careful with them, and certainly, please be careful to not do anything that would make another group have less fun at our Open House.

"You're free to go about any place on campus, and our locations are both indoors and outdoors. None of them will require you to wander deeply through cubicle farms. If you're ever in doubt about checking out a location, please feel free to contact us.

"If you have any questions, please let us know. BUT Please Hurry, we need to discover where our employees have gone, and rescue Perry and Lergey, before the public at large finds out, and we lose our founders forever."