History Main / ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish

26th Jun '16 4:27:18 PM Ebrbfureh
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A related trope in fiction is to [[HighlyVisiblePassword have the password entry plain and clear]] - on the screen - for all to see. No sense in bleeping out the characters with asterisks or a mute prompt. Of course, scriptwriting-wise, a particularly amusing password can elicit a humorous response from the audience this way without dialogue exposition.

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A related trope in fiction is to [[HighlyVisiblePassword have the password entry plain and clear]] - on clear]]--on the screen - for screen--for all to see. No sense in bleeping out the characters with asterisks or a mute prompt. Of course, scriptwriting-wise, a particularly amusing password can elicit a humorous response from the audience this way without dialogue exposition.



* Similar to the aforementioned ''Tenchi'' example: In one episode of ''Anime/LupinIII'', Lupin and Jigen break into NASA using a series of stolen voice-command passwords. When they encounter one more password than they expected, the pair panics and Lupin swears in frustration - which turns out to be the final password. (Extra note: In the [[strike:GagDub]] English dub, all the passwords are ''Franchise/StarTrek'' {{Catch Phrase}}s.)
* The password that Barnette uses to protect the systems of the Nirvana in ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'' is ridiculously simple, yet it proves to be a big hurdle for the Mejale forces - and to the heroes, who try to get away with the ship.

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* Similar to the aforementioned ''Tenchi'' example: In one episode of ''Anime/LupinIII'', Lupin and Jigen break into NASA using a series of stolen voice-command passwords. When they encounter one more password than they expected, the pair panics and Lupin swears in frustration - which frustration--which turns out to be the final password. (Extra note: In the [[strike:GagDub]] English dub, all the passwords are ''Franchise/StarTrek'' {{Catch Phrase}}s.)
* The password that Barnette uses to protect the systems of the Nirvana in ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'' is ridiculously simple, yet it proves to be a big hurdle for the Mejale forces - and forces--and to the heroes, who try to get away with the ship.



* Seto Kaiba of ''Anime/YuGiOh'' successfully hacked into Pegasus J. Crawford's system because he accurately guessed that Pegasus was so vain as to believe no one would get that far. Password? [[spoiler:Pegasus.]] Interestingly, the password in the Japanese version is a tidy bit harder - since, according to Kaiba's logic, the Duelist Kingdom is a metaphorical prison island from which none can exit, the password is a reference to that - "Alcatraz".

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* Seto Kaiba of ''Anime/YuGiOh'' successfully hacked into Pegasus J. Crawford's system because he accurately guessed that Pegasus was so vain as to believe no one would get that far. Password? [[spoiler:Pegasus.]] Interestingly, the password in the Japanese version is a tidy tiny bit harder - since, harder--since, according to Kaiba's logic, the Duelist Kingdom is a metaphorical prison island from which none can exit, the password is a reference to that - "Alcatraz".that--"Alcatraz".



* In ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'', guess the challenge and response chosen by the kids guarding Princess Kushana? "Valley" - "Wind".

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* In ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'', guess the challenge and response chosen by the kids guarding Princess Kushana? "Valley" - "Wind"."Valley"--"Wind".



* Used in ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'', by Gina Diggers. User: Password, Pass: User. Even Gina couldn't figure it out, since she couldn't remember WHAT stupid thing she did! Gina Diggers continued the poor passwords with her personal laptop's password "Studpants", which for Gina is no surprise at all - and caused trouble when one of her sister Brianna's [=AIs=] did get access to it. To make matters worse for Gina's precious computer security, [[spoiler: two other characters share much of her memories (sorta three, but it's hard to imagine a password that would keep out a time traveling future self)]] and would have an extra-easy time guessing.

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* Used in ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'', by Gina Diggers. User: Password, Pass: User. Even Gina couldn't figure it out, since she couldn't remember WHAT stupid thing she did! Gina Diggers continued the poor passwords with her personal laptop's password "Studpants", which for Gina is no surprise at all - and all--and caused trouble when one of her sister Brianna's [=AIs=] did get access to it. To make matters worse for Gina's precious computer security, [[spoiler: two other characters share much of her memories (sorta three, but it's hard to imagine a password that would keep out a time traveling future self)]] and would have an extra-easy time guessing.



* In ''Film/OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank'', the password to access the HX 368 computer is "IY 479" - in other words, "HX 368" with each characters shifted up by one. After it's cracked, they add another level of security to the system...which turns out to be nothing more than reversing the code. With predictable results.

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* In ''Film/OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank'', the password to access the HX 368 computer is "IY 479" - in 479"--in other words, "HX 368" with each characters shifted up by one. After it's cracked, they add another level of security to the system...which turns out to be nothing more than reversing the code. With predictable results.



* ''Film/JumpinJackFlash''. The key is in the song ''Jumping Jack Flash''. Terry racks her brains at which of the lyrics is the password, til she realizes that the key is the ''key'' - that is, the ''musical'' key of the song. Later, when under truth serum, when asked what the password is, she burbles, "The key is the key!", confusing the antagonists.

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* ''Film/JumpinJackFlash''. The key is in the song ''Jumping Jack Flash''. Terry racks her brains at which of the lyrics is the password, til she realizes that the key is the ''key'' - that ''key''--that is, the ''musical'' key of the song. Later, when under truth serum, when asked what the password is, she burbles, "The key is the key!", confusing the antagonists.



** This is besides how you can actually make good passwords in reality - passwords that are easy to remember for humans and realistically impossible to crack for computers. Unfortunately, most password protections do not allow such really long passwords. Instead humans are forced to remember ridiculous capitalization and numbers in their passwords, things that computers are good at, but which are hard to remember for humans.

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** This is besides how you can actually make good passwords in reality - passwords reality--passwords that are easy to remember for humans and realistically impossible to crack for computers. Unfortunately, most password protections do not allow such really long passwords. Instead humans are forced to remember ridiculous capitalization and numbers in their passwords, things that computers are good at, but which are hard to remember for humans.



** A door has an inscription above it, which Gandalf interprets as "Speak, friend, and enter." After trying a few things, he (or, in the movie, Frodo) realized that he assumed the wrong punctuation - the inscription actually read "Say 'friend' and enter." The password was "mellon", the Elvish word for "friend". Justified, it isn't actually a password, merely a test if the reader knew elvish. The gate was specifically built to trade only with elves in the first place, who could be considered friends by default; the word was more like a trigger to open the door than an actual password.

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** A door has an inscription above it, which Gandalf interprets as "Speak, friend, and enter." After trying a few things, he (or, in the movie, Frodo) realized that he assumed the wrong punctuation - the punctuation--the inscription actually read "Say 'friend' and enter." The password was "mellon", the Elvish word for "friend". Justified, it isn't actually a password, merely a test if the reader knew elvish. The gate was specifically built to trade only with elves in the first place, who could be considered friends by default; the word was more like a trigger to open the door than an actual password.



** On a related note, [[spoiler: some episodes later, the tribe is at the lab they think might help them figure out the antidote - Jack and Dal try to get ''anything'' to happen with the computer system, but nothing does until Jack, again accidentally, discovers that the system is voice activated]].

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** On a related note, [[spoiler: some episodes later, the tribe is at the lab they think might help them figure out the antidote - Jack antidote--Jack and Dal try to get ''anything'' to happen with the computer system, but nothing does until Jack, again accidentally, discovers that the system is voice activated]].



** A ShoutOut to ''[=WarGames=]'', and will always have ''Joshua'' as the password and zero security. It's also the only password in the game that can't be cracked by the Password Breaker program - you need to get the reference.

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** A ShoutOut to ''[=WarGames=]'', and will always have ''Joshua'' as the password and zero security. It's also the only password in the game that can't be cracked by the Password Breaker program - you program--you need to get the reference.



* At one point in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', villainous Booster speaks a password to open a door. In an interesting variation, the password is whatever you, as the player, named your save file. Also, on the [[BigBoosHaunt Sunken]] [[DownTheDrain Ship]], there's the locked door leading to the King Kalimari fight - in this case, the password is always 'pearls'.

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* At one point in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', villainous Booster speaks a password to open a door. In an interesting variation, the password is whatever you, as the player, named your save file. Also, on the [[BigBoosHaunt Sunken]] [[DownTheDrain Ship]], there's the locked door leading to the King Kalimari fight - in fight--in this case, the password is always 'pearls'.



* Discussed, exploited, and [[spoiler: played straight]] in VisualNovel/{{Danganronpa}}: When Kyouko finds a password lock, the first thing she does is try every piece of data on the person who set it she could find. [[spoiler: It turns out to be the name of his daughter - Kyouko - but since she hated the man and thought he abandoned her, she never even considered the possibility.]]
* Alex Mason's password on the computer terminal in ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'' is "password". There's also an email from Hudson, telling Mason to change the password or he'll change it for him. None of the others are much better, either - UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy's is "lancer" (his Secret Service code name), the [[TheGhost unseen]] Dr. Adrienne Smith and UsefulNotes/RichardNixon use the names of their pets, etc. - to the point that once you know a password other than Mason's it's relatively easy to figure out the passwords for ''every'' character who has an account on the terminal just by reading emails.

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* Discussed, exploited, and [[spoiler: played straight]] in VisualNovel/{{Danganronpa}}: When Kyouko finds a password lock, the first thing she does is try every piece of data on the person who set it she could find. [[spoiler: It turns out to be the name of his daughter - Kyouko - but daughter--Kyouko--but since she hated the man and thought he abandoned her, she never even considered the possibility.]]
* Alex Mason's password on the computer terminal in ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'' is "password". There's also an email from Hudson, telling Mason to change the password or he'll change it for him. None of the others are much better, either - UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy's either--UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy's is "lancer" (his Secret Service code name), the [[TheGhost unseen]] Dr. Adrienne Smith and UsefulNotes/RichardNixon use the names of their pets, etc. - to --to the point that once you know a password other than Mason's it's relatively easy to figure out the passwords for ''every'' character who has an account on the terminal just by reading emails.



* In an episode (''Uneasy Allies'') of ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' we learn from Empress Sela that every imperial Romulan computer has an override - Username ''Sela'', password ''Empress One''. Granted, there may be some kind of recognition software involved as well, but it is never stated.

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* In an episode (''Uneasy Allies'') of ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' we learn from Empress Sela that every imperial Romulan computer has an override - Username override--Username ''Sela'', password ''Empress One''. Granted, there may be some kind of recognition software involved as well, but it is never stated.



* [[http://www.starblazers.com/html.php?page_id=382 Tim Eldred's second]] ''[[Anime/UchuuSenkanYamato StarBlazers]]'' webcomic lampshaded it nicely: Desslok, Evil Emperor, sneaks his passwords to his trusted lieutenant, Talan, who snarks that the ones generated by a computer are good - but all the ones Desslok chose himself are variations on the name "Starsha", Desslok's dead girlfriend. "Why am I not surprised..."

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* [[http://www.starblazers.com/html.php?page_id=382 Tim Eldred's second]] ''[[Anime/UchuuSenkanYamato StarBlazers]]'' webcomic lampshaded it nicely: Desslok, Evil Emperor, sneaks his passwords to his trusted lieutenant, Talan, who snarks that the ones generated by a computer are good - but ---ut all the ones Desslok chose himself are variations on the name "Starsha", Desslok's dead girlfriend. "Why am I not surprised..."



* Following a German hacker in 1986, Clifford Stoll, author of ''The Cuckoo's Egg'', discovered that many of the default passwords for the VMS operating system made for DEC's PDP and VAX computers hadn't been changed - even in military installations and computer companies producing ostensibly secure computing systems.

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* Following a German hacker in 1986, Clifford Stoll, author of ''The Cuckoo's Egg'', discovered that many of the default passwords for the VMS operating system made for DEC's PDP and VAX computers hadn't been changed - even changed--even in military installations and computer companies producing ostensibly secure computing systems.



* The theft of 6.5 million password hashes from [=LinkedIn=] in 2012 resulted in a [[https://lastpass.com/linkedin/ password checking tool from LastPass]] which lets you check to see if your password was one of those compromised - 'swordfish' is in the list, along with password, 123456, 12354567 and 12345678 (12345 isn't because of the minimum 6 character requirement). I'm sure if you can be bothered, any other easy password on this page is probably in there.

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* The theft of 6.5 million password hashes from [=LinkedIn=] in 2012 resulted in a [[https://lastpass.com/linkedin/ password checking tool from LastPass]] which lets you check to see if your password was one of those compromised - 'swordfish' compromised--'swordfish' is in the list, along with password, 123456, 12354567 and 12345678 (12345 isn't because of the minimum 6 character requirement). I'm sure if you can be bothered, any other easy password on this page is probably in there.
21st Jun '16 12:23:58 PM Morgenthaler
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* In one ''AgentsOfCracked'' episode, there is a scene where Michael can't remember his password. He tells Dan to try "swordfish", to which Dan replies "It's never swordfish, why do you always guess swordfish?"

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* In one ''AgentsOfCracked'' ''WebVideo/AgentsOfCracked'' episode, there is a scene where Michael can't remember his password. He tells Dan to try "swordfish", to which Dan replies "It's never swordfish, why do you always guess swordfish?"



* Spoofed in a small article in ''TheOnion'' ''Ad Nauseum Vol.14'', where a 14-year-old guesses his parents' AOL password on the first try, because it's the name of the family pet. {{Lampshaded}} by the boy himself, who says he can't believe they would use something that obvious.

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* Spoofed in a small article in ''TheOnion'' ''Website/TheOnion'' ''Ad Nauseum Vol.14'', where a 14-year-old guesses his parents' AOL password on the first try, because it's the name of the family pet. {{Lampshaded}} by the boy himself, who says he can't believe they would use something that obvious.
16th Jun '16 6:04:53 AM LadyJaneGrey
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* Both subverted and averted in the ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'' episode "Child's Play." The girls have to reprogram a machine that is creating evil dolls that regress adults into childish behavior. Alex remarks that passwords in these situations are always obvious choices, so she tries "Toys" and "Little Ann" (the name of the doll in question). They don't work, prompting Alex to angrily comment that the MadScientist [[MonsterOfTheWeek of the week]] "doesn't know the rules." Then Sam unplugs the machine, shutting it down.

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* ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies''
**
Both subverted and averted in the ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'' episode "Child's Play." The girls have to reprogram a machine that is creating evil dolls that regress adults into childish behavior. Alex remarks that passwords in these situations are always obvious choices, so she tries "Toys" and "Little Ann" (the name of the doll in question). They don't work, prompting Alex to angrily comment that the MadScientist [[MonsterOfTheWeek of the week]] "doesn't know the rules." Then Sam unplugs the machine, shutting it down.


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** Played straight in "Future Shock", where Sam finds out that her future counterpart has the ''same'' log-in password that she has, obviously because she never changed it. (She makes a note to do so as soon as she gets back to her own time.)
12th Jun '16 9:21:58 AM Maniago
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Added DiffLines:

* Another Stephen King example from ''Literature/MrMercedes''; the password to Deborah Ann's laptop is Honeyboy, her nickname for Brady, which would be easy to guess for anyone who knows her. Subverted however in because Hodges, Jerome and Holly don't know her, so they still have a hard time figuring out her password. Hodges finally deduces the password when he sees the name written on the back of a photo of Deborah and Brady.
**For that matter, Brady’s passwords to activate the lights in the basement, starting up his laptops, and, most importantly, deactivate the countdown of the suicide program, are all common words rather than complex letter-number combinations. Still a bit more secure than most examples since the passwords have to be spoken out loud and are protected with voice recognition, but anyone who can mimic Brady’s voice close enough can use them. Like Jerome.
7th Jun '16 2:06:34 AM Morgenthaler
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* In the ''{{Sten}}'' series of novels by Allan Cole & Chris Bunch, the secret network for automated mining and distribution of the {{Unobtainium}} that was the monopoly of the Eternal Emperor's power had its several command stations guarded by no password at all. As the stations had to be dirt-simple in their circuitry (due to the requirement of possibly needing to run decades or centuries without maintenance) and could not use complex physical locks or passwords (due to the requirement of possibly needing to be accessed by a man on the run without the resources to reconstruct complex electronic keys and who might not be in possession of all, or any, of his memories), the security system was simply set to self-destruct the installation if more than one person ever entered the control room at a time. The Eternal Emperor's reasoning was that no intruder with the remotest amount of sense would enter a hidden base that was heavily booby-trapped and could contain any number of potential ambushers without taking along armed backup or a bomb squad, and that only the legitimate owner would dare to walk in by himself. The theory fell down when the protagonist, a black-ops qualified demolitions expert commando, did a one-man ninja run on the base -- although the titular Sten did muse at his exceptional luck in that his partner Alex was unavoidably busy doing something else in another star system at the time, as if he'd been available Sten ''would'' have brought him along.

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* In the ''{{Sten}}'' ''Literature/{{Sten}}'' series of novels by Allan Cole & Chris Bunch, the secret network for automated mining and distribution of the {{Unobtainium}} that was the monopoly of the Eternal Emperor's power had its several command stations guarded by no password at all. As the stations had to be dirt-simple in their circuitry (due to the requirement of possibly needing to run decades or centuries without maintenance) and could not use complex physical locks or passwords (due to the requirement of possibly needing to be accessed by a man on the run without the resources to reconstruct complex electronic keys and who might not be in possession of all, or any, of his memories), the security system was simply set to self-destruct the installation if more than one person ever entered the control room at a time. The Eternal Emperor's reasoning was that no intruder with the remotest amount of sense would enter a hidden base that was heavily booby-trapped and could contain any number of potential ambushers without taking along armed backup or a bomb squad, and that only the legitimate owner would dare to walk in by himself. The theory fell down when the protagonist, a black-ops qualified demolitions expert commando, did a one-man ninja run on the base -- although the titular Sten did muse at his exceptional luck in that his partner Alex was unavoidably busy doing something else in another star system at the time, as if he'd been available Sten ''would'' have brought him along.
5th Jun '16 3:41:10 PM eroock
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* Subverted in the FullMotionVideo ''VideoGame/TheXFilesGame'' Video Game. During your investigation, you find Scully's laptop. It's password-protected, and you can ask Skinner for suggestions on what the password might be. None of his guesses (such as "faith") are correct, and after three incorrect tries the laptop locks you out. [[spoiler:In fact, it's impossible to gain access to the laptop. [[ButThouMust You have to send it to the FBI's IT division to get it hacked, so that it can later be stolen just before you get the information inside]]]].

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* Subverted in the The FullMotionVideo ''VideoGame/TheXFilesGame'' Video Game. During Game:
** Played straight when you try to find the password to
your investigation, own computer which turns out to be a place from a postcard tagged to the wall next to your desk.
** Subverted when
you find Scully's laptop. It's password-protected, and you can ask Skinner for suggestions on what the password might be. None of his guesses (such as "faith") are correct, and after three incorrect tries the laptop locks you out. [[spoiler:In fact, it's impossible to gain access to the laptop. [[ButThouMust You have to send it to the FBI's IT division to get it hacked, so that it can later be stolen just before you get the information inside]]]].
2nd Jun '16 10:20:16 AM DaibhidC
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* In ''Literature/TheManWhoWasThursday'' by G.K. Chesterton, when entering the guarded anarchists' lair, you knock five times and then are asked who you are. The correct response is "Mr. JosephChamberlain", an influential British politician of the time. So, a celebrity, but an odd choice for the anarchists!

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* In ''Literature/TheManWhoWasThursday'' by G.K. Chesterton, when entering the guarded anarchists' lair, you knock five times and then are asked who you are. The correct response is "Mr. JosephChamberlain", Joseph Chamberlain", an influential British politician of the time. So, a celebrity, but an odd choice for the anarchists!



* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'': As the Literature section points out, [=DnD=] has a spell called "Knock" which opens pretty much any lock that isn't magically protected. However, one 3rd edition lock had a clever inversion of this trope where opening the first locking mechanism would close the second locking mechanism. Only a high DC Open Lock check could break it.



-->'''Nick''': This guy's Mensa application has just been revoked.



* {{Lampshaded}} in ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0863.html #863]]:
-->'''Nick''': This guy's Mensa application has just been revoked.
1st Jun '16 11:06:43 PM wolftickets1969
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* Used in all manner of fashions in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. The hacking minigame involves educated guesses involving plaintext words (The computer tells you how many letters there are and which ones are right and in the right place, i.e., lets you play Mastermind with the password system), and passwords that get given to you run the gamut from the name of the daughter of the Vault Overseer to a hexadecimal pointer string. The last mission even ends with you inputting a security code that's never told to you outright [[spoiler: but you've been hearing throughout the storyline.]] Bad Wolf?

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* Used in all manner of fashions in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. The hacking minigame involves educated guesses involving plaintext words (The computer tells you how many letters there are and which ones are right and in the right place, i.e., lets you play Mastermind with the password system), and passwords that get given to you run the gamut from the name of the daughter of the Vault Overseer to a hexadecimal pointer string. The last mission even ends with you inputting a security code that's never told to you outright [[spoiler: [[ArcNumber but you've been hearing throughout the storyline.storyline]].]] Bad Wolf?



* And the system returns in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}''.

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* And the system returns in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}''.4}}'', where the Boston Public Library has 123456 as an employee ID number.
30th May '16 4:43:37 AM LadyJaneGrey
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* In ''VideoGame/MapleStory'' the password to the Desert Scorpion's cave isn't written down anywhere, but when you try to enter, the narration gives you a hint by saying that since it's a cave in the desert, the answer should be obvious. [[spoiler: It's "OpenSesame")]]


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* In ''VideoGame/MapleStory'' the password to the Desert Scorpion's cave isn't written down anywhere, but when you try to enter, the narration gives you a hint by saying that since it's a cave in the desert, the answer should be obvious. [[spoiler: It's "OpenSesame")]]
30th May '16 4:40:52 AM LadyJaneGrey
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''VideoGame/MapleStory'' the password to the Desert Scorpion's cave isn't written down anywhere, but when you try to enter, the narration gives you a hint by saying that since it's a cave in the desert, the answer should be obvious. [[spoiler: It's "OpenSesame")]]
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