Here And There Along The Echo

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Here And There Along The Echo postcard.

Here And There Along The Echo is the third Kentucky Route Zero intermission act, released on October 30, 2014 between Acts III and IV. The game, described as "dialing software," consists of a phone that can only dial the number +1 (270) 301-5797. Calling this number allows players, as Emily, Ben, and Bob, to have an automated conversation with Will, a guide at the Bureau of Secret Tourism who provides information about the Echo River.

Here And There Along The Echo is available for download here. Players may also access the interactive voice response system by calling the phone number on the postcard.

Overview[edit]

The guide offers information about a number of locations seen in Act IV, including the Rum Colony, the Iron Pariah, the Silo of Late Reflections, Sam & Ida's, and the Mucky Mammoth. The guide also describes a town inhabited by horses that walk the streets, and that has its own roads, but no roads leading to or from the town. Dogwood Drive is one of the streets in this town.[1]

Dialing the extension 7360 at the beginning of the game leads to dialogue from Will requesting players to tell the Bureau why they can't sleep. In Act IV, Will checks his answering machine and listens to messages that seem to be responses to this question.

Encoded messages[edit]

If the player lets the phone sit for a while without picking up the receiver, they will begin to receive a series of strange phone calls.

Numbers stations[edit]

One call features a female voice reciting a long string of numbers, similar to a numbers station broadcast. The entire broadcast is just over 40 minutes long and can be listened to here.

This broadcast is an encoding of the following message:[2]

By night we suffer, wandering, night frees the imprisoned spirits, and his cage abandoned Cerberus himself strays. At dawn the law demands return to the pools of Lethe: we are borne across, and the ferryman counts the load he’s carried.

This is a direct quote from Propertius' book of elegies, Elegiae.

Morse code-like cipher[edit]

Another call consists of fax machine noises which sound similar to morse code. This call encodes the following message:[1]

Echo River Central Exchange Fax 270- 3 -81 2
Monday 03:25:17 cc Loretta, Archival for training purposes only
<< Transcript begins >>
Operator: Operator speaking.
Caller: Yes, hello. Hi. Is this Gwen?
Operator: Oh, hello Joe. How can I help you.
Caller: How are you, Gwen?
Operator: Bless your heart, Joe, I’m at work.
Caller: Me too.
Operator: What can I do for you?
Caller: Well, Slim’s got three or four shelves just about full of canned carrots and they’re not moving, you know.
Operator: Ok.
Caller: And he says “Joe, get these out of here!”
Operator: Joe, I don’t mean to …
Caller: I was going to make a few calls and see who wants them.
Operator: I can connect you.
Caller: Got anyone in mind?
Operator: Who were you thinking of calling?
Caller: Well … I don’t remember …
Operator: You don’t remember who you were calling?
Caller: I had a couple ideas, but I don’t remember the numbers.
Operator: I can look them up -- with whom should I connect you, Joe?
Caller: Well I was thinking about this town -- I mean the folks in this town I used to know about.
Operator: Which town?
Caller: When I was a boy, Gwen. I don’t remember the name of it.
Operator: What’s the listing? I can try it by name.
Caller: You’d know it if you heard about it. There’s no roads in or out. But it has its own little roads.
Operator: Joe, I need a name to look up.
Caller: Yeah, I’m trying to remember one. There was a man like a preacher. There was a school, teachers. Garbage trucks. Mail. A young lady who fixed boots …
Operator: You said you had some carrots?
Caller: Canned carrots. For the horses!
Operator: The horses.
Caller: They have horses.
Operator: How about I look up a few horse farms for you, Joe?
Caller: They weren’t farm horses. They didn’t live in a stable -- They just walked on the streets! Like people, you know?
Operator: Ok, Joe. I need a street or something, though.
Caller: There was a … Dogwood Drive!
Operator: Dogwood Drive. Alright, Joe, I’ll see what I can find.
<< Transcript ends >>
Echo River Central Exchange Fax 270- 3 -81 2
Monday 03:25:17

Phone models[edit]

Five different phone models are available in-game. The style of the phone can be changed by following the instructions here.

Weird Telephones[edit]

Between 2014 and 2015, Cardboard Computer auctioned off three real-life telephones. These phones were modified by Jake Elliott so that they were only able to dial the singular phone number.

  • "1986 RadioShack Office Phone"
    • This phone was purchasable between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. PST on December 20, 2014 by dialing (855) 515-FONE. A live stream was viewable at http://now.kentuckyroutezero.com/.
    • An unboxing video of this phone can be watched here.
  • Phone from live auction at "Weird Telephone, Only Dials One Number" event in Chicago
    • This phone was purchasable in-person at a March 21, 2015 event hosted at The Nightingale, a cinema in Chicago, and organized by the Video Game Art Gallery. Remote bidding was also available via the number (712) 775-7031 / Meeting ID 783617705. A live stream was viewable at http://now.kentuckyroutezero.com/.
    • Photos from this event are viewable here.

References[edit]