The PAYDAY Secret ARG (alternate reality game) was an event conducted by the developer Overkill Software in August–December 2012. The ARG consisted of clues found in-game and on the PAYDAY Steam forum, which helped players discover the second (secret) vault in First World Bank, now known as "the Overvault." ARG participants were awarded in several ways: those who contributed significantly to the ARG puzzle solution had their names listed in the Overvault; the first team of players that reached the Overvault was depicted in the First World Bank conference room's painting; and players who legitimately reached the Overvault during the event were invited to the Payday: The Secret Steam group, thereby unlocking the Secret mask set.

The ARG was initiated shortly after the Wolf Pack DLC was released in August 2012. Some Steam forum members speculated about the possibility of completing the entire Counterfeit heist stealthily. Initially, popular opinion was that it could be done, with the Pacifist achievement being unlocked after a successful run.

Bo Andersson, the CEO of Overkill Software, started to provide cryptic clues a few days after the Wolf Pack DLC was released. The in-game puzzle was first solved in early November upon discovery of the Overvault. Bo announced this to the public, and issued a 30-day challenge to conclude the Secret ARG.

During the given period, players were required to record their journey to the Overvault without cheating or exploiting, and then send the video to Overkill Software. 837 players reached the Overvault and were rewarded. The following patch in December added references to the ARG's contributors, allowed players to access the Overvault on any difficulty level while wearing any mask, and reduced the Overdrill's duration to 33 minutes and 20 seconds (2000 seconds).

History[edit | edit source]

Time (CET/Sweden), Author Event or hint description
2012-08-07 19:00 Steam The Wolf Pack DLC was released as part of Patch 13.

Players who attempted to unlock the Pacifist achievement soon speculated about the possibility of completing the entire Counterfeit heist stealthily.

2012-08-09 20:44 Bo No please don't ! The secret is in the banks vault.... on OVERKILL 145+

In the thread: Bo, this means war. Bo's replay after some forum members blackmailed Bo by threatening him to kill his in-game alter ego "Bank Manager".

2012-08-09 20:51 Bo no.. you want your accuracy - let the cameras be. Cops will appreciate it.

In the thread: Accuracy doesn't count cameras. Bo's replay on TheEngiGuy's question regarding the accuracy points when shooting security cameras. Bo's recommendation is in line with the Secret philosophy and mechanics.

2012-08-18 21:58 ArcterZero Let the games begin.

The first static picture sound triggers automatically in Counterfeit map played in multiplayer. Radio plays music and then the static.

2012-08-22 13:28 Bo UPDATE 15 is LIVE - Added a tester achievement to test a new way of giving out achievements - u can not get it right now only OVERKILL devs can.

In the thread: Patch progress and info. Inconspicuous note about Tester achievement that appeared in the Steam stats. Since this patch Overkill got the tool to discover, if the Secret had been resolved.

2012-08-22 23:44 finale WE ARE IDIOTS I believe I have the answer to the boxes. The vault hallway in FWB perfectly matches the diagram in the first image. 8 square columns, space to move all around, positioning for 4 people at each arrow, and the X corresponds to either the entrance or the area behind the desk.

In the thread: Counterfeit Static Decoded. Finale identified the first static picture real location and players positioning. Unfortunately this theory wasn't proven until the Anniversary poster was released.

2012-08-25 20:31 Bo Ages of angst. Sob sob sob... I have seen ppl almost there - so close Guys you have to have faith. And if you dont just take a hint from the French sit down with a couple of friends in a quiet place and have a drink. It always makes me think better. Speaking of that I'm almost back. Thanks for the cheers guys, Im soon back to my old evil self. Bo

In the thread: Counterfeit Static Decoded. Bo provided a clue about the second static in the Wilson's cellar.

2012-08-26 9:21 Many Shots New static and message discovered in Counterfeit! Rearranged the code now looks like this: s16 33 42 26 yg gd ra sil 68 40 48 w36. Get to work everyone, figure out what those numbers (with a letter or two) mean!

The 2nd static picture is triggered when 4 players in Counterfeit map sit on 4 chairs in Wilson's cellar during the stealth phase.

2012-08-26 10:50 Bo Hey Many Shots - WELL DONE! and kudos to Extramrdo, FinerBinkie4, Himself, ZebraJCH, and Vertikol as well. You got that from the hint. You had the Last Supper with your friends - and someone else found the static in the radio AT the table on the patio looking like the Last Supper (and it is also Wilsons and Mr Ms last supper out there if you think about it). The Compas that you guys been looking at points at the wall withe the last supper... and some place downstairs.. like in Wilsons basement. You even used that compas to confirm the rearrange of the Yggdrasil - brilliant. Lots of other non linear clues leads to the two statics as you have seen. Well done anyhow. Now in the other threads - there is one guy who is perticulary smart when it comes to reading the static picture ... you should hook up with him I think you can put 2 and 2 together and have ppl watch you take the gold. It is all in there to go all they way. Great to see ! Bo

In the thread: New static and message discovered in Counterfeit! Bo's replied on the current progress. The sentence "ppl watch you take the gold" might be the additional clue related to Golden Masks and letting people watching means through working security cameras, however this double meaning sentence was not identified as a clue yet.

2012-09-01 11:34 StealthSnakeNL ok so i just saw this it's found inside the game files and if i remember correctly Bo was mentioning french stuff. also look at the bodhi tree. maybe the one that finds the secret get these masks.

In the thread: The PAYDAY secret - a theory & what we know summation. Some people hacked into game files and found textures of the new Masks later revealed as the Locard / Secret Masks.

2012-09-10 21:21 Bo Setting things in order. Hi guys, I need to step in here and set a few things in order. As hacking of files and short cutting is making you run in circles. First some ppl hacked the files and got access to clues due to be unlocked by other clues. Basically the first Static was to be found by: Reading all the clues pointing towards the PATIO where the RADIO plays the Static. These clues are the Last Supper amongst others. Many by passed this and now take these clues as other clues. 2nd Static was to be found by reading Last Supper and downstairs clues by pictures and compass rug pointers. Also figuring out that you need to be 4 ppl. Now you have found 2 statics and you have a number of clues in there for the next step. That step is in there you just need to read the statics - it is in there. Some have been close. It is close to finale. First static gives this (and you need to work with it). BALDWIN 1174...what is so special with him? How does he relate to PAYDAY? 8 squares or what/where are they? MURUA - Face it - it is backwards. X - what is X supposed to be? It is the secret or is it just the start of it? 2nd Static is put together by forming Yggdrasil (and the compass points to the Tree - should give you the idea to put it static together in the right order (the Norse saga of the gods - tree of life) All that gives a google coordinate that shows: Bolivia? Temple? What is it? How can it be used? Have you looked at it ? Really? 4 guys and 1 problem... you should win. Bo

In the thread: The PAYDAY secret - a theory & what we know summation. Bo's response to game hacking initiatives.

2012-09-20 0:34 Bo Guys I'm heading to France for 4 days of R&R so I wont be checking much. In the meantime I ask you: Blue pill or red pill? Whats it going to be? Consider that when you ponder upon the pillars of which this mystery lies. Baldwin, Gold, the temple and the X. Before I head north from France and back home again I trust you have solved this. Bo

In the thread: The PAYDAY secret - a theory & what we know summation. Bo's message before his short leave provided further clue about the pillars, which are in game located in the First World Bank vault hallway - (elevator room).

2012-09-20 13:41 Bo Quote by thaismai: "NEW HINT : THE 8 BLOCKS ARE PILLARS (from BO) com'n ! Let's think about all that again with this clue ! and another thing, the cross is considering as an hint himself so I think more than a cross, more than a start of finish point, the X is something !"

I trust u are now running for the finale

In the thread: The PAYDAY secret - a theory & what we know summation. Bo confirmed the pillars meaning, but without First World Bank location.

2012-10-18 18:41 Almir Payday anniversary poster revealed
2012-11-01 Team 7200 steam group created - the first group of players who activated the Secret
2012-11-05 Payday: The Secret

Steam group created

2012-11-08 18:06 Bo THE SECRET - DISCOVERED (BO) The DAY has come! Heisters - united you have fought well... and someone came out on top! Glory to all but hell ya to some! I won't reveal their names just yet - they get to post a little message here and then we roll. LET'S DO THIS! Here is how Team 7200 did it! BO

Bo informed about the Team 7200 activated the 7200 seconds drill (later became known as Overdrill). The whole Secret puzzle wasn't known publicly to be resolved due to 2 hours drill yet.

2012-11-08 18:10 Bo Quote by Super Powio: "Congratulations to the one(s) that discovered the secret first. I just hope now that the rest of us can get this moving along."

Oh you will - for a limited 30 days. Pay attention tonight. Countdown starts - now. GO

In the thread: THE SECRET - DISCOVERED (BO). Bo set up 30 days period for finishing the Secret from activation to the Secret end.

2012-11-09 4:11 Bobmuffins So, the tiles are in a 5x5 pattern. This all traces back to Counterfeit. The only pattern on Counterfeit that can be inserted in a 5x5 pattern and is the same up and down.]

In the thread: THE SECRET - DISCOVERED (BO). Bobmuffins linked the tiles to Counterfeit carpet pattern. The Counterfeit carpet pattern was discussed in early secret run stage, however it's importance was discovered now.

2012-11-09 7:50 Korvalis Did it Bo. Loved every minute of it (even the 2 hours...Sorta). Thankyou so much for the best gaming experience of my life

In the thread: THE SECRET - DISCOVERED (BO). Using the trainer Korvalis' team was the first after Team 7200 to discover the tiles puzzle solution and get the "Tester" (renamed later to Overdrill) achievement.

2012-11-09 10:16 noxwyll Payday Secret Challenge! (Rules and Info)

Noxwyll summarized the official conditions under which Overkill Software would accept the Secret run for granting the grand prize.

2012-11-14 UPDATE 20 is LIVE

- Fixed an exploit in First World Bank where players could hide under the table in the Bank managers office, making AI unable to reach them

- Fixed a spawn related issue in First World Bank where players could avoid triggering certain spawns if the termite wasn't used

To balance and make Secret runs more fair Overkill Software fixed few things.

2012-12-05 Overkill Software decided to postpone the deadline of the Secret from weekend (8-Dec-2012) to Monday 10-Dec-2012 23:59 (Sweden time) to help players from other timezones.

Between 6-Dec and 11-Dec the Steam forum was down in order to fix some serious security issues.

2012-12-11 8:14 Almir Last day of the SECRET. Hello everyone, You've missed these forums, haven't you? Since the forum's been down, we've decided to give you another couple of hours to complete the secret. All applications that are in before 23:59 tonight UTC+01:00 will be accounted for. Good luck. I can hear Santa nearby...

Due to Steam forum being down Overkill Software decided to postpone the deadline once more.

2012-12-11 23:59 Deadline for Overkill Software accepting the proofs of the successful Secret runs.
2012-12-13 12:19 Almir UPDATE 21 is LIVE

Patch 21 brought many alterations related to the Secret in the game.

2012-12-14 19:01 Mr.Bain MESSAGE FROM BAIN: Team, we finally made it. Hitting FWB and stealing the Mayan gold under the nose of Mr Trust. This surely sent a message on the CrimeNet. I'm picking up much more heat than expected though. We have to lay low for a while and then get out of town. Senior Hector is eager to close this deal. We will meet up with his right hand man in DC next year to test the grounds and fence the gold. Over Christmas you guys need to stay low - don't spend anything! This is the big one gentlemen - we have to nail it and then we can sip drinks in the Caribbean - resident style. I'll arrange the gear ahead of time and will get back to you on the specifics in a while. This is our PAYDAY! Bain.

The message from Bain is the second part of the Grand Prize.

2013-01-09 18:10 Mr.Bain White Wolf: I saw this in the general public. To retort; we didn't get an invite - but it's OK - someone's already been there. Bain.
2013-05-16 19:32 Mr.Bain SETTING UP CRIMENET NOW. Guys, I've been under the radar. DC is harder than anticipated. Feds are on me, one particular female agent has her ideas. They don't know what they are dealing with - and she is way over her head. Work on crimenet has gone well but the time it has taken to change locations has made me unable to communicate with you. Our last job in London went well. I was pleased with your performance but - as always - I won't be where you are. I have my reasons. I've setup in a temporary location to make sure crimenet registration goes online. I've managed to lose the local law enforcers for now but I will need to switch soon. The discussions with the contacts is going as planned. They are eager to use the system to communicate with you directly. As you know, when we did FWB, BG, PLO and the others, I represented you and gave you the information you needed. With crimenet I will allow you to talk to the contacts directly. I'll still be involved, but you will need to establish yourself in DC and communicate with me on the secure crimenet line. Setting up crimenet registration ASAP. Keep your eyes here. I'm not sure how long I can keep it up, so spread the word. Share it with the crews and the others so they know. Attaching picture of my current setup. Working on providing the URL. Talk soon, B.
2013-06-14 Almir THE FINAL PRIZE IS HERE!. Hello everyone! Almir here. So listen, PAYDAY 2 has had a great E3. We are humbled by the great response and we probably haven't heard the end of it. Now the work of finishing the game continues. I'm happy to announce the final prize of the Secret group. An hour ago I told the people in the Team Evil Stream that this was happening. I am inviting members of this group to join the PAYDAY 2 focus test group. Bain has given me and continues to give me tips on the best heisters in this group. We won't be able to invite everyone at once, but my ambition is to invite as many of you as possible in time. Does this mean that all 800+ members will get an invite? Possibly not - but hopefully so. It all depends on how the focus tests go. We will start with 20 people. These will be able to stream the game to the world when I have given them the signal. These 20 have already been decided and contacted. They will focustest different parts of the game. They will be asked to give us feedback and we will discuss the game with them. As you understand, it's a unique opportunity for PAYDAY fans to participate helping us finish PAYDAY 2. We want to give our fans this possibility because we make PAYDAY 2 for our fans. I'm proud to give you this possibility and I hope that when I ask you to join the focus test group, you will say yes. I will contact you when I will be able to invite you. Please don't send me e-mails about this, as I already have really, really many e-mails that I need to take care of after E3. :)

Clues[edit | edit source]

Some clues were found in-game, and others published by Bo Andersson on the Steam forums. Some of the clues were known for long time, but omitted. Other clues' relevance to the solution were never fully explained.

Bo's hint about the First World Bank[edit | edit source]

Bo stated, "The secret is in the banks vault.... on OVERKILL 145+" in early August. This information was dismissed as trolling or a joke after Bo's alter ego, the Bank Manager, "got blackmailed."

Bo's hint about the cameras[edit | edit source]

Bo stated, "no.. you want your accuracy - let the cameras be. Cops will appreciate it." in early August. This clue was understood as related to cameras and accuracy statistics. Bo's probably had freshly in his mind the plans about the Secret trigger, so he answered such a way instead of more straight answer to the original question about why shooting such small object as a camera is not counted positively into the accuracy stat.

Bo's hint "have ppl watch you take the gold"[edit | edit source]

This was part of Bo's cryptic reply to the discovery of the second static picture. It means players must wear golden masks and leave the [security cameras intact.

First static image[edit | edit source]

Static audio was quickly discovered during multiplayer games, and absent in single player. The decoded image shows "MURUA", four arrows, eight squares, an X, and "Baldwin 1174."

The arrows show the positions in which the four players must stand in First World Bank's vault hallway, as well as the positions in which they must look. The squares are the pillars in the vault hallway. The X marks the location of the strobe light that is activated when the Overdrill can be placed. When the letters of "MURUA" are reversed, "AURUM" (Latin for "gold") is the result. "Baldwin 1174" refers to Baldwin IV's coronation as the King of Jerusalem in 1174. Because Baldwin IV suffered from leprosy, he often wore a mask. Interpreting "AURUM" and "Baldwin 1174" together, the result is golden mask.

Compass rug[edit | edit source]

The compass rug in Wilson's

The southern marker points to a painting of The Last Supper and a depiction of Yggdrasil. The compass and the map with the magnifying glass are oriented the same way, 45° off from the streets.

Map with magnifying glass[edit | edit source]

The magnifying glass is focused on a location in Bolivia, also given by the second static picture's latitude/longitude coordinates.

The Last Supper[edit | edit source]

The painting of The Last Supper in Wilson's hints that players should have a dinner at Wilson's cellar: sit on the four chairs. Bo's hint regarding the "quiet place to have a drink" supports this.

Yggdrasil[edit | edit source]


The picture of Yggdrasil is related to the second static image, and is divided into four columns like the image.

Bo's hint for the second static image[edit | edit source]

Bo stated, "Ages of angst. Sob sob sob... I have seen ppl almost there - so close Guys you have to have faith. And if you dont just take a hint from the French sit down with a couple of friends in a quiet place and have a drink. It always makes me think better. Speaking of that I'm almost back. Thanks for the cheers guys, Im soon back to my old evil self. Bo"

Static sound in Wilson's cellar[edit | edit source]

This hint was discovered by ManyShots, who correctly interpreted Bo's hint for the second static. He triggered it by having all four players sit on the chairs in Wilson's cellar.

Second static image[edit | edit source]

Second static image

The decoded image reads, "33 42 26 S16", "GD RA SIL YG", "40 48 W36 68", arranged in rows. By rearranging the columns to spell "Yggdrasil" (move the rightmost column to the left end), one obtains the coordinates S16°33'42.26" W68°40'48.36", which point to Pumapunku temple in Bolivia.

Pumapunku temple[edit | edit source]

About Pumapunku as a clue several speculations were made. The most reasonable seems to be theory explaining that Pumapunku has a lot of concentric designs in it. The most concentric design possible is the spiral, which links the tiles puzzle solution to a spiral rug. Fleur-de-lis was used as the north arrow on old European maps. The rug nearest the one with the tiles puzzle pattern was a compass, with north very clearly marked out. The Fleur-de-lis in the Overvault hallway besides the tiles puzzle was also the same distance and direction from the tiles as the two rugs were from each other. The Fleur-de-lis and Pumapunku clues were supposed to lead the secret hunters to the correct tiles to be pushed.

Leaked Secret mask textures[edit | edit source]

The Secret masks' textures were discovered and leaked. It is not known if this clue was intentional. The artwork on the masks refer to certain elements from Counterfeit.

The "β-2" written on Dallas' mask does not appear to be relevant to the solution. One may speculate that it refers to beta access to PAYDAY 2 as a reward.

The fleur-de-lis on Hoxton's mask is a symbol of French royalty that is also shown on the painting in the boy's room of Mitchell's house, near the Overvault's tile puzzle, and on the anniversary poster card's back sides. Lilium is a toxic flower, and its depiction in the Overvault hallway may serve as a warning about poison gas.

There is heavy French influence on the ARG; Mitchell speaks French and has a French accent, Baldwin IV was of French ancestry, and Bo was using French in his forum replies. However, its relevance to the solution is unknown.

The pattern on Wolf's mask is a reference to Baldwin IV. It is specifically a reference to the mask's depiction in the film Kingdom of Heaven, where the monarch wore a silver, embellished mask to conceal the effects of leprosy. The true Baldwin IV did not wear such a mask. The likely root cause of using Baldwin IV was due to modern era conspiracy theories of his involvement with the Templars and stealing gold from the Temple in Jerusalem.

Yggdrasil, depicted on Chains' mask, was used for the clue in the second static image.

Bo's hint about pillars[edit | edit source]

Bo stated, "Consider that when you ponder upon the pillars of which this mystery lies. Baldwin, Gold, the temple and the X." This was interpreted correctly by thaismai, who equated the pillars to the blocks in the first static image. Bo confirmed this in his reply.

Anniversary poster[edit | edit source]

Payday Anniversary Poster

On October 18, Overkill Software published the anniversary poster, which contains all the clues needed to trigger the secret:

  • "Prima Mundi Ripam" – Direct translation of "First World Bank" from Latin; it is the heist in which the secret lies.
  • The strawberries, candles, and chocolate on the cake – These represent the players, pillars, and desk respectively in the vault hallway of First World Bank. The corkscrew symbolizes a drill.
  • All the crewmates are wearing golden masks – Players must wear golden masks.
  • The first static image
  • Two operational security cameras – All four cameras in the vault hallway (elevator room) must be operational
  • Thermite can – The Overvault door is next to where the thermite is placed
  • Playing cards with the fleur-de-lis.

Tile rug[edit | edit source]

Counterfeit 6×4 rug

The highlighted spirals on the rug in Counterfeit show which tiles to push after the Overdrill door is opened. This rug existed and was discussed prior to the Overvault's discovery, but the connection was made only after.

7200 seconds Overdrill walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Players who wished to earn the grand prize were required to record a video showing the secret trigger and tile puzzle solution, and send it to Overkill Software along with each crew member's Steam ID. Cheats, hacks, and exploits were disallowed. Players who were in custody during the Overvault's reveal still received the grand prize, but needed to enter the Overvault and unlock the Tester achievement (now named "Overdrill") before they could wear the Secret masks.

7200-second Overdrill

In the secret's original form, players were required to all wear golden masks, play on Overkill 145+ difficulty, and wait two hours for the drill to finish. See Overdrill for details on triggering the secret and opening the Overvault.

Because of the long wait, ammo conservation and health preservation were the biggest problem. The recommended loadout for the secret run was Extra Start Out Ammo, two Big Game Hunters, two More Blood To Bleed, two ammo bags and two doctor bags. The Bronco .44 and GL40 are relatively ammo-efficient for their respective weapon slots. A clock or stopwatch is useful for determining when to proceed to the Overvault.

For the host player the easiest way to gain full ammo and health is to be traded from custody by a controlled falling into bleedout before the assault ends. In the First World Bank map on Overkill 145+ difficulty the assaults take 7:30 minutes and the pause in between assaults is exactly 1:00 minute. Knowing the secret trigger conditions and the solution to the tiles puzzle, the easiest strategy was to start the game and wait out the first drill entirely while camping in the bank management area. Until finishing the first drill, the heist was fairly easy and players should keep almost all health and ammo for the Overdrill without needing to drop either ammo or medic bags. Players were advised to take as many hostages as possible around the map for later use. Triggering the Secret after keeping cameras in the vault hallway intact and standing in the correct positions was sometimes difficult due to sync issues between players. After the Secret was successfully triggered, the drill player was supposed to place the drill on the revealed Secret door to the Overvault hallway. After the Secret is triggered, the remaining cameras may be destroyed.

The real challenge is to survive for two hours. The easiest camping location is at one of four niches at the entrance to the vault hallway. Players should split into two pairs, staying in niches on both sides of the passage, dropping a medic bag on one side and ammo on the other. After two or three assaults, the game may enter a balanced state with almost no cops approaching the camping location from the bank's front office. At this point, the majority of law enforcers come from the vault hallway. Because players are positioned on both sides of the passage, they can easily establish a cross-fire, allowing cops to be killed with ease and making ammo possible to recover at little risk to the player. Occasional Tasers and Cloakers can be killed pretty easily, and Bulldozers are almost never encountered.

Using bags was necessary only in dire situations to conserve resources. Players traded from custody regain 100% of their ammo if they are the host, and regain 50% of their ammo otherwise, so it may be preferable to allow a player to enter custody and be quickly traded out as a method of ammo recovery. Before the last assault is over, players should refill health and ammo, dropping the last bags if necessary. As soon as the assault pause is announced by Bain, all four players should storm the vault hallway and fight their way to the opened Overdrill door and Overvault hallway.

Three players should defend the player interacting with the tile puzzle in front of the Overvault door. When he is done, the Overvault opens and the players are awarded with the Overdrill achievement. Players currently in custody or those that were not members of the lobby from the start were not awarded this achievement.

There are 70 golden bars in the Overvault, each worth 1,000 K. After taking the gold the players may eventually continue the heist and complete the remaining map objectives. However, this was not necessary for Overkill Software to accept the team into the Payday: The Secret group.

Overvault[edit | edit source]

The Overvault was decorated with four Secret masks and a message from Overkill Software:

Welcome! Show Overkill how you got here. Record a video and send the link to Overkill Software. Overkill salutes you!

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Following the conclusion of the event, Overkill Software released Patch 21, which modified the Overvault's mechanics and added several features to First World Bank related to the event.

2000-second Overdrill

  • The "Tester" challenge and achievement were renamed to "Overdrill".
  • The secret can be triggered on any difficulty while wearing any masks.
  • The Overdrill's duration was reduced from 7200 seconds (2 hours) to 2000 seconds (33 minutes and 20 seconds).
  • The secret masks and message in the Overvault were removed.
  • The Christmas present was placed on top of the table in the Overvault.
  • Two plaques were placed on the left and right sides of the Overvault to immortalize those who contributed significantly to the secret's solution and helped others reach the Overvault. The names listed match the usernames of their Steam forum accounts, and may not reflect their Steam names. See the gallery below.
  • The Mayan gold was rearranged slightly to accommodate the above changes to the Overvault.
  • The projection screen was moved, and in its original position lies a painting of Team 7200. There is a 30% chance that a spooky version of the painting will be displayed, along with spooky melody being played on the nearby radio. It was confirmed by a Team 7200 member that the spooky version occurrence is purely based on the RNG [1].

Grand prizes[edit | edit source]

Upon Overkill Software's evaluation of the video submissions, players were:

  • Invited into the Payday: The Secret Steam group. This, along with unlocking the Overdrill achievement, is necessary to wear the Secret masks.
  • Messaged by Bain ([2], only visible to members of the above Steam group) on December 14, 2012:

Team, we finally made it. Hitting FWB and stealing the Mayan gold under the nose of Mr Trust. This surely sent a message on the CrimeNet. I'm picking up much more heat than expected though. We have to lay low for a while and then get out of town. Senior Hector is eager to close this deal. We will meet up with his right hand man in DC next year to test the grounds and fence the gold. Over Christmas you guys need to stay low - don't spend anything! This is the big one gentlemen - we have to nail it and then we can sip drinks in the Caribbean - resident style. I'll arrange the gear ahead of time and will get back to you on the specifics in a while.

This is our PAYDAY!


As a follow up Overkill Software announced in June 2013 the final prize was choosing players to contribute beta testing of Payday 2. Initially 20 people got the beta test invitation earlier than some others from the Payday: The Secret group and players that pre-purchased the Career Criminal Edition. More players from Payday: The Secret group got invited over time for the Payday 2 beta testing.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Overdrill achievement and challenge were released in Patch 15 under name "Tester." The changelog reads, "Added a tester achievement to test a new way of giving out achievements - u can not get it right now only OVERKILL devs can."
  • In the early stages of the ARG, many players speculated about completing the entire Counterfeit heist stealthily because they were unable to pick up the ringing phone in Wilson's. Since then, the recurring joke "Have you tried to answer the phone?" has appeared.
  • In the early stages of the Secret ARG, a Steam forum user named "Deputy Callahan" posts what seemed to be several clues related to the Secret. In his posts ([3][4][5]), he linked to images of a search warrant, Wilson's O.W.I. report, and a dispatch audio log with a morse code message, and an investigation update. However, further analysis of Deputy Callahan's posts did not help with the Secret. Almir confirmed that Deputy Callahan and his friend were intended to "entertain the community"[6] in "mysterious ways."[7]
  • The player community complained that the orientation of the compass rug was incorrect, based on the Florida beach, the position of the sun in the sky, and time of the heist. The northern marker of the rug used to point towards the Yggdrasil and The Last Supper pictures, but the rug was rotated 180° in one of the patches.
  • The first group triggered the Secret in early November 2012. They were dubbed "Team 7200" and their Steam group was created soon thereafter; "7200" is the number of seconds needed for the Overdrill to finish. Team 7200 reached the Overvault on November 3, 2012, and went into contact with Bo.
  • Just after the Secret discovery was announced by Bo, Team 7200 released their Downfall parody video [8] showing Hitler being mad after his subordinate officers inform him about the Secret solution progress and discovery of the 7200 seconds long drilling. At the time of publishing the video it was not publicly known yet, what is behind the Overdrill door. Hitler also speculates that behind the door there might be another puzzle, which, if done wrongly, would gas the crew.
  • The Hitler video initiated speculations about possibility to trigger some shortcut that would decrease the drilling time to 8 minutes. Nevertheless, there is no such shortcut and players had to survive the whole 2 hours.
  • On November 8, 2012, the 7200-second drill was dubbed the "Overdrill" by Steam forum member eeth.[9] This was widely accepted by the community and Overkill Software, so the "Tester" achievement was renamed to "Overdrill" in Patch 21.
  • The Team 7200 painting is the Overkill's salutation to Team 7200 and its spooky incarnation (which is randomly displayed) was put into game for Team 7200 amusement.
  • The 500th member of the Payday: The Secret group received an invitation to the Payday Troll group, granting him the troll masks.
  • The last team to enter the Overvault during the event did so about 15 minutes before the deadline. They did not complete the heist because they needed to process the video and submit it to Overkill Software. Their video, titled "Legendary Last Run," also shows the Overdrill finishing and the door opening.
  • A list of all the players who were eligible for the grand prize is located here.
  • Almir confirmed there is no possibility to reset the tiles puzzle once failed[10].
  • Some time after the secret event was discovered, many players of the community complained that the methods needed to reach the secret vault was too difficult. This most likely influenced Overkill to change the mechanics of the Overdrill after the secret event was over so that everyone could get a chance at reaching the vault.
  • There are many players who reached the Overvault several times, as shown in the table below.
Successful runs 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 15 Total
Count of players 599 152 48 20 10 5 1 1 1 837

Secret continous.png

Open questions[edit | edit source]

Following the event, successful participants were invited into the Payday: The Secret Steam group and received the grand prize. However, there remain open questions:

  • Was the Pumapunku theory correct? Much effort and clues were needed to discover the second static image, but its connection is not clear.
  • How do the Secret masks' designs relate to the secret? Only Chains' Yggdrasil mask explicitly represents a clue, while Hoxton's and Wolf's seem to depict features in the Counterfeit heist. Dallas' does not appear to be related to anything in-game, except Mitchell's language (French).
  • Is the fleur-de-lis more related to the solution than just the tiles puzzle? Fleur-de-lis is shown in several places:
    • The Overvault tiles puzzle
    • The boy's room under the ceiling painting in Counterfeit
    • The cards on the anniversary poster
    • Hoxton's Secret mask
    • A paper box on the right side of the spooky Team 7200 painting
    • The Crimenet flash animation; it is only visible in the bottom-right row of deposit boxes when the flash file is directly loaded
    • Bain's Guide to the Criminal Underworld, which is shown on the image for the PAYDAY 2 Career Criminal edition
    • In several PAYDAY 2 heists
  • Was Deputy Callahan simply trolling, or were his posts real clues that the community has not yet deciphered? His posts appear to be quite elaborate.
  • Are there any clues other than Bo's posts, which were published before the Anniversary poster was revealed, to make players avoid destroying the cameras in the vault hallway? Bo's posts were considered as trolling, because the week before (August 2), Bo launched the Troll event with Troll masks as the reward.
  • Are there other clues, such as in-game sounds and hints by Overkill Software, that were missed? Almir's response to this question was just a winking smiley ( ;) ) [11].

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