Sunday, October 16, 2011

Getting Book 1 of the Uplink Game Bible

Spoiler alert - these posts tell how to decrypt the books of the Uplink Game Bible. Be advised that all the books of the Uplink Game Bible are available in unencrypted form in the Uplink Developer CD which can be downloaded via BitTorrent. I use the Vuze BitTorrent client on a Mac and the website

A word of warning - the challenge of getting the Uplink Game Bible was mostly intended for other Software Developers or hard-core computer enthusiasts.

It is not necessary to hack the Game Bible in order to play the game. The Game Bible only contains design notes and sketches the Introversion developers made while developing Uplink, it does not contain any strategy hints, tactics, or secrets necessary to complete the game.

Book 1 is available as an encrypted zip file. AFAIK, the file is not included if you install Uplink on a Mac via download from Steam (as I did) instead of installing from an Uplink CD or CD image.

I got my original copy of the encrypted Book 1 file by creating a virtual Windows machine on my Mac (using Sun VirtualBox), downloading an Uplink Version 1.51 CD ISO image from BTJunkie using the Vuze BitTorrent client, and extracting the Uplink CD ISO image with IsoBuster. Please don't pirate a copy of Uplink, support Introversion by buying the game. Supporting Introversion is in your best interest because we want them to make more awesome games.

In the Uplink installation CD, in the "misc" folder, is a "" file. You can use Windows File Explorer to browse into this zip file to see that it contains "book1", "book2", and "book3" folders.

The "book2" and "book3" folders are empty - they're just there to give you a hint that the Game Bible has three books (or had three books as originally conceived - a fourth book was added later).

The "book1" folder inside the "" file contains a "readme.txt" file and one image for each page of Book 1, 40 images in all. The "readme.txt" file and all the image files are password-protected files.

Following some hints on the Introversion Uplink forum, I did some quick Google Images searches for words like Uplink, box, cover, back, and looked for the strange string on the Uplink CD back cover.

The password appears encoded on the back of the Uplink CD box as this string:


This is a hex-encoded string which decodes to the Game Bible Book 1 zip file password. The password is, "too many secrets?".

To decode the hex string, add a percent-sign before each 2 characters so that it looks like this:


then go to a handy HEX to ASCII conversion tool like one of these: (click HEX Converter link)

Enter the string into the HEX box and click decode. The decoded text, "too many secrets?", will appear in the ASCII box.

In Windows File Explorer, right-click the "" file and from the context menu select "Extract all". Enter the password "too many secrets?" and click Enter.

On a Mac, you cannot use the Archive Utility to unzip a password-protected .zip file. I used a separate utility called "The Unarchiver" instead: see

So what kind of encryption do password-protected .zip files use? AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).