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"This is a true story about the internet. Please, don't go. It's also the story of a treasure map and a murder, and it's a story that I stumbled upon just as anyone else might. Let me show you..."
The Narrator

A fast-paced and experimental film told through fragments of internet videos, animations, blogs and news articles.

A person going by the username "Al1" creates a website declaring that he has hidden £9000 somewhere in the UK, and challenges anyone who wishes to try and find it by deciphering his clues. A YouTube vlogger known as "Fortress" decides to take him up on that challenge.

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Written and Directed by Adam Butcher in 2010, the short film can be found on his website and on YouTube.


This story contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: The dead man's body was never identified. Clearly, Al1 and Fortress fought and one killed the other, but nobody will ever know which one was the killer and which one was the victim, or what the motive for murder was.
  • Asshole Victim: Fortress was your standard obnoxious internet asshole who can't go five minutes without calling someone a faggot and refers to Wales as "Sheepshagger Land"... but it's possible he's the killer and not the victim.
  • Based on a True Story: The narrator declares it to be a true story at the beginning, but it's actually not. Though it's so convincingly put together that it's fooled many viewers into believing it is.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: Fortress's penknife, which may be what ended up killing either him or Al1.
  • Color Motif: Yellow. The text on Al1's website is yellow, and his clues send Fortress to The Yellow House Bar in London and a yellow rapeseed field (which itself is shaped like a house) in Yellowstone, Wales. This itself is a clue that reading only the yellow letters in Al1's final clue results in a secret message revealing the true nature of the treasure hunt.
    I've been alone so long. But you'll find me now.
  • Death by Materialism: If Fortress is the victim.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: There was no £9000. Al1 was just incredibly lonely and wanted to make a friend.
  • A MacGuffin Full of Money: The story is kicked off when Al1 announces on his website that he has hidden £9000 for anyone to find.
  • Meaningful Name: Al1 > Al One > Alone. Pretty on the nose for a guy who devised a cryptic treasure hunt all for the sake of hopefully making a friend.
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  • There Are No Girls on the Internet: The narrator says he doesn't know for sure whether Al1 is a man or a woman, but assumes he's a man for the sake of convenience and probability.
  • Treasure Map: Even though the narrator describes it as one, it's less an actual map and more of a series of clues. Though Fortress at one point uses his own map to point out a location the clues lead to.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The clues all reference Chaucer's The Pardoner's Tale, a story about three men finding treasure and then killing each other because they each wanted it all for themselves. This story ends up in much the same way, though with only one of the two men dead.
  • Yandere: The narrator presents Al1 becoming enraged and killing Fortress for not agreeing to be his friend as one possibility for what happened.

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