When we talk about the ways in which the internet has changed entertainment, we say a lot about streaming video and the way it has changed our viewing habits. What’s less discussed are the ways in which the active internet audience has changed the means by which creators build shows and the things they build in. A perfect example is the recent season of Archer, which was filled with small Easter Eggs, hidden visuals and dialogue gags, all baked into the show for the amusement of the show’s energetic internet fanbase. Recently, a group of Redditors uncovered one such Easter Egg which unspooled into a small ocean of bonus content for fans of the show.
Usually Archer Easter Eggs consist of visual gags or inside jokes aimed at a specific subset of diehard fans, but this one is basically a bottomless rabbit hole of augmented reality fun. Brace yourself, because the level of detail here is both impressive and a little bit disturbing. Redditor aglidden was the first one to spot the hidden clues and go public with the Easter Egg. It all started with Conway Stern, a recurring character on the animated spy comedy. The Redditor spotted the agent’s serial number in a scene from episode two of the show’s sixth season and recognized it as a hex code. The code lead them to a YouTube video.
The video contained some indecipherable audio which fans then ran through a spectrogram which revealed a message engaged with a cipher. When decoded, the message provided the URL to a Craiglist ad (unfortunately now expired) written in the character of Dr. Krieger, Archer’s popular mad scientist character. That cipher lead them to a ton of bonus content including “Krieger’s” Flickr account (some Pam pics may be NSFW)
Don’t worry, it goes even deeper. The Flickr account leads to Krieger’s personal website Algersoft.net, a fictitious web site meticulously designed to match with Krieger’s various illicit extracurricular activities on the show. The public face of the website is entertaining enough, providing some insight into the kind of mad scientist-for-hire services that Krieger is moonlighting with. “Bespoke hardware and software,” “cyborg enhancement” and “submersibles” are all on the menu. You can even access the user side of the site with the ID KRIEGER. Fans of the show won’t be surprised to learn that the password is “guest.”
There may be even more content to unlock, but we’ll need to wait for future episodes of the show to reveal more clues. The level of detail, both in creating this trail of internet bread crumbs and matching up the content on multiple sites to reflect the show’s reality reveals an impressive level of commitment on the part of the Archer team and their fans. Creators must have been fairly confident that a segment of their fanbase would be sharp enough to locate the clues and intrepid enough to follow them to their ultimate conclusion. One more example of the way the internet has made passive TV watching more immersive and engaging.
You can check out the Reddit thread for more details or explore the site on your own. It’s a pretty impressive feat of art brought to life, and now that the hard work is done, it should be a treat for fans.
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