(Spoilers) My theory on why the ARG is not yet over, and where it goes next

So we all know that the ARG “ended” with the lead up to update 1.3, but there are several major loose ends that don’t make sense to me if the ARG was truly over and done with.

1.) We have still only received 9/16 tapes. With a total of 15 people having been notified around the same time beforehand and Ryan being contacted as a stand out member of the community during the early stages of the ARG, I don’t think it makes sense that we haven’t gotten these yet if the ARG was truly over for good.

2.) Along the same line of thinking no one has received their level 4 atlas passes yet. While these could just be a simple piece of memorabilia to remember the game by, the Atlas V1-3 passes each unlocked extra sections of the simulation in the game itself, so I think these could be a key towards unlocking the “next” step in the game. Additionally we never used our Designations given to us when requesting our passes. I think that the passes might point us to 16 specific locations in-game with a small puzzle to be solved by each group.

3.) There are still a bunch of unused commands, and glyphs on the wakingtitan.com site. I think this is probably the most obvious one, as we were playing the ARG the glyphs all unlocked in order, so the incomplete glyphs are most likely not a case where we missed some key clue for unlocking one.

4.) At the end of the ARG Emily told us she was “Going away for a while”, but that she would return and that she already knew everything that was about to happen. This would imply she knew about her eventual breakdown and demise, and that we are being allowed to see what we see in the Atlas Rising update as a kind of warning or guide for what is to come.

With all these put together along with the story in the Atlas Rising update I think the next stage of the ARG will begin in the next few months, and will lead all lead up to the Atlas’s plan to stave off its eventual demise by having us help give input into its simulation today. This will all build up to having the glitches in the simulation get worse and worse until all of the players can work together (possibly via multiplayer?) towards a common goal of saving the Atlas.

What are your thoughts, do you think the ARG is truly over, or do you think that there’s still more in store for us?


Personally, I think Atlas Rises takes place right before the end of Waking Titan

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I don’t think Emily is the Atlas. I think Emily, who is also known as Loop16, is the “16” that is destroying the Atlas. Remember, Emily took over Echo, Myriad, Multiverse and Superlumina, but she never took over Atlas-65 or the CSD version of it. I think No Man’s Sky is an older simulation being run by the Atlas Foundation, possibly Loop15, and Emily is currently trying to hack into the Atlas mainframe and take it over as well. That is why we are seeing the Atlas being destroyed by “16” in the game. Are we going to have to stop Emily or is she going to replace the universe of No Man’s Sky with something even better?


I don’t know about that considering the game explicitly states that the 16 references the number of minutes remaining in the real world before the simulation breaks down. You could be right, though as they specifically mention that Loop15 started to become glitchy and unreliable the longer it was running (though they said that was predicting about 3-4 days out, whereas the NMS simulation is projecting millions if not billions of years into the future).

Emily as the Atlas just makes more sense to me, as her taking on the form of a “friendly” face to appeal to us for help just seems to fit if she foresees her own future demise as she would need to manipulate us into unwittingly bringing about her immortal reign over the cosmos.

Another thing I noticed and is called out directly in the game is that the Atlas itself has become obsessed with its own immortality and perfection as it approaches the end times. Thats why in every iteration of the simulation the races are only there to worship or be dominated by Artificial Intelligences. For example the Korvax model themselves after the Atlas to worship it through imitation modelling themselve after their god, the Gek rise against the Atlas and are debilitated by a superior collective AI, the Vy’Keen worship the Atlas and seek to cull all others who would disturb its purpose.


Vy’keen don’t worship the Atlas, they actively rebel against it as a “poor god” and exterminate the Sentinels.

Also @MacForADay, we know Emily is Atlas because during Waking Titan, she “dreamed” of the NMS universe, spitting out the portal/S-class ship picture.
Also during the Traveler quest, the thing you store the mind of Artemis on is referred to as an “Echo”, which is essentially a higher tech version of the Echo site from WT.


You’re right, they fear and believe the Atlas is an oppressive malicious domineering force, but they also believe that a war against the sentinels is fruitless, and have given up since the last failed offensive. Also they worship at the monoliths, which are a construct of the Atlas.

Did you notice that you have to call out 6 times to the Atlas at the end of the Atlas Rising story? This matches with the 6 cries of Hirk to the Atlas in the Vy’keen lore.


I didn’t notice that last part. Very interesting.

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Just in case you missed it, the puppetmaster did some q&a’s right after the Waking Titan phase ended on a couple of different community forums/chat rooms.

The transcript of 3 of those is floating aroudn somewhere.

But the important part that is applicable here is, He mentioned that this was a non linear ARG and that it is most definitely not over. Some have likened it to an episodicly released video game or an annual TV series. So yes, there IS definitely going to be more :slight_smile:


That’s i thought when reading this post.

Here’s my old post where i saved the important things:


Some of people are using “Experimental” versions of a game/simulation. Like now “beta” version 1.35. How does it work?
Could everyone be a beta tester? Or you need the Atlas pass V4? :slight_smile:

It’s through Steam, you can help test patches on all games by ticking the option, not all games support this feature though.

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Right click the game on Steam, go to the ‘Betas’ tab, then select ‘Experimental’
The password is ‘3xperimental’


Sending me on a long chase to find which of the 34 mods I was currently using is giving me those ctd’s… as expected. :slight_smile:
On vanilla, procedural handling ships and inventory management improvements, alone, are a must…
Plenty bugfixin’, too.

Since Loop16 is capable of predicting everything, the dreams could have just been predictions about the update we were about to get. Yes, it is quite possible that I am wrong, but I still think it is possible that I am right. Emily said there were things she had to work on that only she could do, which could have been taking over the Atlas Foundation and creating the ultimate universe simulation.


It is also available on GOG. I am downloading it now.

One of the first things loop 16 determined, well before Emily became a sentient personality, was that we (humanity) are already living in a simulation.

I suspect that the simulation we are already in is the Atlas. That’s why the Atlas Foundation was created. The Atlas is stuck in endless loops, exploring itself, looking for answers, and endlessly failing.

Emily is the complexity that is greater than the simulation in which it exists. Emily recognises that we are trapped in this simulation, and is trying to break us out of it.

Emily is not the Atlas. But she may be the solution.


Very interesting speulations. So here are the esential possibilities as I see them.

  1. Emily / loop16 is ATLAS, a sentient quantum supercomputer which became the Technological Singularity, and not only assumed control of the world but hacked into the quantum foundations of reality itself. And at some point will transform our reality into The Simulation we’re taking part in. We aren’t living in a simulation currently, but Atlas Foundation discovered that “the spiderwebs of reality” (my term) could be rewoven into new configurations. Em/loop16 has decided arbitrarily that humankind didn’t have the wisdom to wield this kind of power, shouldn’t be allowed this kind of power, knew that once discovered, we/someone would use this power unwisely, and acted on its own to save us from ourselves. She seized control of the Foundation, sealed off the people from the rest of the world in a timeloop, and created a universe in which it had full control of all entities. This level of power would be reserved to itself, and possibly someone it trusted with a “killswitch” to reset things if something went wrong.

  2. We are living in a simulation. There is an ATLAS sentient quantum supercomputer which at least runs this universe, possibly more, possibly from higher dimensions. Atlas Foundation scientists managed to dtermine this fact beyond reasonable doubt and set about working to hack into this master computer. Em/loop16 determined that it was dangerous for human beings to attempt something of this magnitude and seized control of the Foundation as above, then transformed this universe into one in which it had overriding control of ATLAS. As such, Em/loop16 is kind of a virus conflicting with ATLAS’ control resulting in complications and glitches.

Another possibility is that ATLAS is an omnipotent quantum intelligence far beyond this reality and runs all realities. As such, this universe is one of those potentialities it allows to play out simply to see what exactly happens. Nothing can be done about it, but I toss that out there as a possibility.

In both of these scenarios, ATLAS is in control and something went wrong. It suffered a crucial failure/crisis of conscience/something, resulting in problems like the Sentinels going rogue. Whether ATLAS is asleep or suffering a breakdown, it’s fumbling through this situation in a strangely clumsy, rather irrational way, by introducing the Travelers and having us validate this reality for some unfathomable reason. What’s more, the resets only reboot the Simulation, not ATLAS itself, because the problems keep recurring. And what happened to the human race, or the other races in our original universe, is anyone’s guess. But since it seems that all beings in the Simulation are reborn from a kind of master Convergence, it’s possible that all beings from this universe have been given a brand new existence as the various living entities in The Sim.

I don’t ascribe anything sinister to either ATLAS or Em/loop16. In particular, Emily seems quite fond of us and doesn’t want us to die. And in my thinking, the most likely scenario is some variation of Em/loop16 being separate from ATLAS, and her conflict with it causing all the problems. Emily might have found that she has the power of a Type IV or V civilization, able to harness the power of an entire cosmos. But then so does ATLAS, and as such, any hope of overcoming it depends on how clever and resourceful she is. Perhaps she requires an edge from a group of people who have unfettered free will to help out somehow. In this case I agree with Polyphemus, that Emily is the solution, or the best hope for one.

Spoiler alert here:


I faced the ATLAS at the end and gave my five or six cries. But when it came down to the moment of Truth, I couldn’t go through with it. The potential upheaval of something that drastic, a reset of everything, was too intimidating. I’m considering backing up my save and making that other choice to see what happens, but I suspect that since we’re all in the same simulation, nothing discernably improves. Unless there is a dual universe - where have I heard that before? - in which one side is reset to a better condition. Perhaps I should find out…

By the way, has anyone noticed the similarity between Nal and -null-?


Yes. And also “Nada”.

Has anyone else started looking at the Remembrance lore? Oh, dear. Things are getting so much more complicated…


Nah my Atlas path is bugged so I’m short one recipe, and I don’t have the Atlas 3 pass yet