The site features a virtual Enigma machine, a cipher machine that the German military used to encrypt sensitive communications before and during World War II. The Allies’ work to break the cipher allowed them to decrypt those radio messages, which is credited for turning the tide of the war in their favor.
Call of Duty: WWII fans are putting their minds together to tackle the challenge on the game’s subreddit. They’ve already made a bunch of progress, kickstarted by yesterday’s discovery of a coded phrase — IUFDJ BHLOP JMUBA — hidden in the teaser image for the game’s Nazi Zombies mode.
Entering that phrase into the Enigma machine yields the decrypted message “a new horror rises,” a reference to the Nazi Zombies mode. Then the website brings up a dossier with two images inside: one of Frederick Barbarossa, aka the medieval Roman emperor Frederick I, and the famous Raphael painting Portrait of a Young Man. The connections to World War II are evident — Operation Barbarossa was the codename for Germany’s 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union; the painting was stolen by the Nazis during the war, and hasn’t been seen since 1945.
The other piece of information that the subreddit sleuths have picked up on so far is a set of coordinates printed on a plate below the Enigma machine’s keyboard. The coordinates in question lead to the center of Dunkirk, a coastal commune in the far north of France that was a famously contentious location during the war.
It’s unclear if there’s more to figure out, but as for the discoveries to this point, it’s possible that they will serve as settings or plot points in Call of Duty: WWII — whether in its campaign, multiplayer or Zombies components. See if you can contribute to the efforts to crack the code.
For more on Call of Duty: WWII, which launches Nov. 3 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One, read our in-depth feature.
Update (May 1): The Redditors have cracked the code. Over the weekend, they brute-forced the algorithm and found five more five-digit keys — GNULV YGXSH CEODL IBHQB QKEQW — to reveal the names of four characters from Call of Duty: WWII’s story mode: Crowley, Rousseau, Red and Zussman (as well as their corresponding dossiers). The third name refers to Pfc. Ronald “Red” Daniels, the protagonist of the campaign.
At that point, the website also presents you with a code to claim your “calling card.” However, it appears that the site where you enter said code isn’t working properly at the moment.