How to Solve Brain Chase Spring 2017: The Mask of Tomoe Gozen


What did the Olympics have to do with anything? What was meant by the “order” clue? Where in the world was the Mask of Tomoe Gozen buried? 

Mask found

There were five types of clues hidden in the Spring 2017 Mask of Tomoe Gozen animations: red letters, clusters of pigpen code, groups of numbers, hidden Olympic images, and of course, the hidden masks, keys, and other items. Here’s how everything fit together.


Hidden Masks, Keys, and Other Itemskey

Each episode contained three hidden objects that related to the overall story: a mask, a key, and something tied to that week’s bonus challenge (decoder rings, mp3 players, UV lights, combination locks, tracking devices, and protractors). These images related symbolically to the treasure hunt, but neither the objects themselves nor their placement in the animations contained any clues to the location of the buried treasure. These images were intended to provide motivation, a diversion, and a feeling of accomplishment to participants who might otherwise have felt overwhelmed by the more intricate puzzle.



Red Letters

red lettersThe first episode of each week of Brain Chase began with a quote about the Olympic games. Certain letters of each quote were highlighted in red. As the other letters disappeared, the red letters remained, with each set of letters spelling a word that would prove a vital hint to solving the treasure hunt: Olympics, scores, divisors, degrees, order, and backfield jhg).

More on these words later…




Pigpen Clusterspigpen

Each animation contained a cluster of pigpen letters. We learn in the first red letter clue that the treasure hunt relates somehow to the Olympics; running each pigpen images through the decoder ring (or the virtual version we provided) produces the title of a different event from either the summer or winter Olympic games (i.e., Men’s Individual Figure Skating, Women’s Speed Skating 3000m, Women’s Weightlifting 53kg, etc.).

But what do we do with the event titles?



Olympic Images

olympicsThe second red letter clue implies that we’re looking for specific scores. But which scores, and how do we find them?

Three other hidden images also appeared in each animation: an international flag, an Olympics mascot, and an Olympic medal (either gold, silver, or bronze).  An online search reveals that the mascots each correspond to a specific session of the Olympic games. Then, using the event title from the pigpen ciphers, the image of the medal, and the hidden country flag, we can identify a specific medal winner, and find their precise score for the event. For example, the first video of Week 3 contained an eagle mascot, a gold medal, a US flag, and pigpen code reading “Mens Diving 10m Platform.” We learn from that the eagle (nicknamed “Sam”) was the mascot of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, California. Further investigation reveals that the winner of the gold medal for Mens Diving 10m Platform in 1984 was Greg Louganis, with a score of 710.91.

Each animation contains similar information to track down a specific Olympic score, for a total of 12.



Groups of Numbersletters

Divisors, the third red letter clue, implies that some math will be involved before we can derive the necessary degrees. That’s where the hidden groups of numbers come into play. Each episode contained a hidden number preceded by a letter and parenthesis, which ordered the numbers alphabetically through the episodes. But why was there a letter before each number? If the numbers simply corresponded to each episode’s scores, these letters wouldn’t be necessary.

The answer lies in the final red letter clues, order and backfield jhg. What in the world is a “backfield jhg?” It’s only a perfect anagram for “abcdefghijkl,” or in other words, the correct order in which the divisors should appear.




Putting It All Together

If you place the divisors in the correct order and then apply them to the scores from each episode (in some cases, moderate score modification will be necessary), you’ll get 12 new numbers. As the red letter clue insinuates, these numbers are the degrees on a map that point to the treasure. We don’t have any other numbers, so we can’t measure distances. But what we do have is a starting place for each measurement – the city center of the Olympic games referenced in each episode.





Once you start drawing lines at the correct degree measurement from each Olympic city center, you’ll quickly find them all intersecting at a single point on planet earth – a small spot roughly five miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. There, in a beautiful forest, the Mask of Tomoe Gozen waits patiently to be unearthed.


x marks the spot


fairbanks circle


Congratulations to our winner! 

There’s plenty more adventure where this came from. Register today for the next Brain Chase program, and you could be the next treasure hunter traveling around the world to claim your prize. 


Good luck!


Dad and Co-founder

Team Brain Chase