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The Deleted Message Sending Helldivers 2 Fans Into A Frenzy

Gamers don't typically spend a ton of their free time digging through social media posts from game developers, but "Helldivers 2" has trained fans to behave a little differently. Arrowhead Game Studios and its CEO Johan Pilestedt post pretty frequently, and most of what they put online is meant to tease fans in one way or another. If you can catch them lying on social media, you just might be able to figure out what big changes are coming to the game next. Now, Arrowhead Games is at it again. On April 10, the official "Helldivers 2" posted a long string of binary code. Even more mysteriously, it quickly took the post down. Fans have been through this kind of thing before with "Helldivers 2," so they gathered some screenshots of the post and got to work decoding it. The binary translates to an all-caps question: "WHERE IS KARL?"

We don't have many named characters in the world of "Helldivers 2." In fact, the most important named person — Joel, Arrowhead's Game Master — isn't actually in the game at all. Much like Joel, the Karl in question might not be in "Helldivers 2," either. Fans are theorizing that this is a reference to "Deep Rock Galactic," but the story might actually be a bit more complicated than that.

Deep Rock Helldiving?

"Deep Rock Galactic" is a co-op shooter developed by Ghost Ship Games. It came out in early access just three years after the original "Helldivers" and clearly took some inspiration from Arrowhead's approach to team-based action. In "Deep Rock Galactic," up to four players fill the role of spacebound Dwarves delving into deep caves and blasting through all manner of alien creatures. It has plenty of differences from "Helldivers" in its procedural generation, character classes, and fully destructible environments, but it's absolutely the kind of game that would appeal to any "Helldivers" fan. Karl is a character in that game, but he's one that players never actually get to meet. Karl is the stuff of legend, and you'll encounter references to his adventures and great deeds throughout the game. The popular theory about Karl is that he was a former teammate for the player characters, and that he died on a planet called Hoxxes IV.

The binary message from the official "Helldivers 2" account seems to be an obvious reference to "Deep Rock Galactic." Over on Reddit, fans are arguing about what that means. Is Arrowhead just cheekily calling out one of its favorite games? That's the obvious answer, but some think that this is a sign that we're going to get a crossover between the two games sometime in the near future. That might sound like a leap, but there are a couple of reasons to suspect that theory is right on the money.

He who denies it...

If the original binary post hadn't been deleted, we'd be inclined to think that Arrowhead is just bringing some attention to a developer that it views as a kindred spirit. It's the sudden removal of the post that turned this incident into yet another unanswered mystery about "Helldivers 2." Then, the post seemingly became even more important because the Ministry of Truth showed back up to outright deny that it ever happened.

The mere fact that Arrowhead bothered to address the post is inherently suspicious. The devs have a history of lying right to our faces (in a fun way), and when they do, it usually means there's a big in-game reveal coming soon. There's also the text of the denial to consider. Arrowhead uses the phrase "Super Earth deep-range transmissions," and simply including the word "deep" is enough to get fans to perk up their ears. Adding to the excitement is the fact that the official "Deep Rock Galactic" account replied to the Ministry of Truth post with its own binary message. This one translates to "WE DON'T KNOW EITHER," presumably referring to Karl.

Of course, we can't say for sure that this means "Deep Rock Galactic" is coming to "Helldivers 2" in any form (or vice-versa), but we'll definitely be keeping an eye out for a Karl or a Hoxxes IV the next time we're patrolling the galaxy.

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