One of the biggest secrets in video games is hidden in one of the most famous titles in the world: Grand Theft Auto V! Yes, in Rockstar’s blockbuster, a strange painting has been stirring the minds of the most hardened fans for ten years. Aliens? Bigfoot? Links to Red Dead Redemption 2? Here is the story of the mystery of Mount Chiliad, which will probably not be solved with the arrival of GTA VI.
In Grand Theft Auto V, at the top of the highest mountain, sleeps a secret that still stirs the dreams of the most loyal fans. Ten years and three generations of consoles later, the Mount Chiliad Mystery remains intact, or at least has not yet found a satisfactory answer. In 2013, it all started with a strange painting left by Rockstar developers for all to see at the station that hosts the Los Santos cable cars. A painting which very clearly represents the mountain in question, overhung by one eye, and which keeps in its belly five “squares” adorned with an X and three symbols: a UFO, an egg, a man carrying a jet-pack . What does it mean ? And the truth is when? This is the story of Mount Chiliad.
You can imagine, as soon as the players found the famous painting, they started to search everywhere. Rapidly, two discoveries are required! The first concerns five drawings on the very surface of Mount Chiliad, no doubt in reference to the five squares with an X. On three of them, we can see a quarter moon, a cloud in rainy weather, as well as the Mountain top. The second find is not far off, since it is engraved on the wood from the point of view of the rocky pile. It’s a sentence, which says “come back when your story is finished”. Under the structure, we can see the drawing of a big red eye… the same as the one at the very top of the painting.
So easy, before going any further, you must first complete the Rockstar game at 100%, that is to say each main quest, annex, and challenges of all kinds (80 hours according to How Long to Beat). Once back, Franklin, one of the three heroes of GTA V, will be approached by a strange hunter. The man is sure he has seen the Bigfoot, and asks for your help in tracking him down. Neither one nor two, you comply, before realizing that the terrible creature is just an ordinary man – in disguise. And the drawings on Mount Chiliad? These are clues to see a UFO at nightfall, once at 100%. Two more can be found, but in 2013 the hunt for secrets seems over.
“All of this information led players to believe that what was happening at Mount Chiliad was something very big,” says creator TheEpicNate, in his video popular on the secret of Grand Theft Auto V. “Entire sites and YouTube channels have sprung up just to solve this one puzzle (…) beyond reasonable“. More than one fan then thinks that the great secret of Mount Chiliad is dead, especially in the absence of a Single-player DLC, meanwhile abandoned by Rockstar. “What if the answers everyone was looking for were supposed to be from this added content?” notes TheEpicNate. But that was before the arrival of the improved versions of GTA V on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
The hunt for files
It’s 2014 and two new clues are popping up in the “next-gen” lands of Los Santos. First, a kind of alien glow on the satellite antenna field, in the desert. And above all, the presence of 27 new little flowers on the map that change into animals anyone who dares to eat them… All in all, the fans are fired up! Rockstar finally seems ready to revive the enigma of Mount Chiliad, but it will however be necessary to wait a year before the investigation really progresses. In 2015 the PC version of GTA V was released and data miners entered the arena.
The secret of Mount Chiliad then takes on a new dimension. The strange painting, yet at the origin of the treasure hunt, takes a back seat, and the investigation focuses almost exclusively on the game files. A game of cat and mouse that Rockstar is monitoring, of course. The American firm will even go as far as respond to a user Reddit in code for GTA V. The recipient is called “Rusty”. It was he who found the location of another plant – golden, this time – which allows him to become a Bigfoot. “He was wrong to start his hunt on Tuesday,” Rockstar says, in a digital line added in the meantime. In reality, there is not one but seven golden plants. Swallowed in a specific order, they lead to a Werewolf.
“Even if the fresco of Mount Chiliad plays an important role, we realized that we should not be interested only in this enigma” confides WarBob, moderator of the Reddit forum devoted to the secret of Mount Chiliad , at the house of Red Bull. “We needed to solve other mysteries that had nothing to do with Mount Chiliad. We expanded our objectives, finding all the hidden content and solving puzzles with the hope that a day, one could understand the meaning of the fresco.” In the same paper published in 2018, another moderator, Bluntsarebest, notes that “the game is so detailed that players dwell on things that have no meaning. importance”.
Clues in the online
After years, every detail of GTA V is open to interpretation. Whether it’s a car paint that shows an alien invasion, a simple graffiti on the wall downtown. However, after 2017, the puzzle of Mount Chiliad will take a more concrete twist. Remember the canceled single-player DLC that was supposed to answer all of this? Obviously, whole sections of this content have been transferred to Grand Theft Auto Online (the online dimension of GTA V). Therefore, many of the online title updates echo the secret of the mountain. This is particularly the case of the DLC Gunrunning (2017) which, in a very difficult to trigger supply mission, takes the player to a UFO crash to find… an egg! Reminds you of something? Of course, before doing the in-game mission, everything was found in the files.
“Even though this scene (from Gunrunning, editor’s note) has no narration, it was a huge discovery” comments TheEpicNate. “From that moment, we had the egg, the UFO, all that was missing was the jetpack (from the painting of Mount Chiliad, editor’s note)”! And players didn’t wait long to get it. A few months later released the update Doomsday Heist, which contains not only the precious flying machine, but more importantly a main quest about a mad scientist whose base is hidden (yes, you have it)… in Mount Chiliad. “Come on, that’s it for us on JV, thank you for reading us”? Well no. Because in the base, there is a fresco in four parts with symbols that recall everything we have mentioned so far: moons, Bigfoot, an eye, one of the 27 plants, the famous mural. “Shit, here we go again” as said dear “CJ” in GTA San Andreas.
An answer, one day?
Even today, many fans are trying to unlock the secret of the four-part mural, as can be seen on Reddit for example. Why not reverse it? Read it top to bottom? Or make it coincide with the reliefs of the map? Of course, that’s not helped by the “new clues” found along the way, which have arrived with the other GTA Online updates. Players even believe that there are conclusive links between GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar’s latest blockbuster, about Mount Chiliad. “Everything is considered a hint put by Rockstar Games”, estimates moderator Bluntsarebest, via Red Bull. “Many players think that the studio has created a huge puzzle”. When one is interested in the subject, difficult not to be stung. Very quickly, theories fuse and the desire to invest is there. For Rockstar? A great excuse to keep fans engaged.
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