The Big Terrible Picture
is an investigation style mission of The Secret World found in the Scorched Desert. It’s a quest given by Montgomery, a member of the Oxford team that has been excavating the area for clues about the past. This is a rather interesting mission and is rather lengthy, too, with a hearty 6 tiers to play through. Below you’ll find out full walkthrough of The Big Terrible Picture for all tiers.
Once you begin this mission you’ll be presented with this information:
Montgomery had been taking notes throughout the excavation, but his research was interrupted by the dangers of the desert. Follow up on his work and dig deeper into the mystery of this ancient site.
Examine Montgomery’s Map / Examine Montgomery’s Notes
If you walk around the tent of the excavation camp you’ll find a small table. On it there are a map and some notes. Examine these objects for more information. Montgomery’s map has 3 locations listed on it: Ritual 1, Ritual 2 and Ritual 3. Then the notes read:
Ruins to the northwest of particular interest – research curtailed by this beastly latter-day Atenist cult. Forced to abandon notes and translations. Trust these have remained for Oxford eyes only thanks to simple cipher. In the event of my and Dr Singh’s absence – a rudimentary knowledge of Roman history should put key to lock.
After reading both objects you’ll progress to the next tier of the mission.
For full walkthroughs for EVERY quest, several powerful builds for EVERY character in EVERY faction and a full guide to everything in The Secret World be sure to check out the Secret World Domination Guide!
Find and Decipher Montgomery’s Research Notes
Once you’re at the ruins you’ll find Montgomery’s ritual notes lying on the ground near one of the large pillars next to the short pillar with fire on top. Examine them and you’ll read what looks like absolute gibberish:
cngu bs gurfha-eryngrf abg whfg gb gurfbyne obql, ohg gur geniry bs gur uhzna obql-ovegu gb orlbaq rvtug synzrf-rvtug fgngvbaf ba gur cngu bs yvsr? nygubhtu gur beqre vf abg jung frrzrq vavgvnyyl boivbhf
Your task is to translate these notes into readable English. Fun stuff, right? This is pretty tricky and time consuming unless you’re an absolute nerd and have been cracking ciphers on the side for years. The cipher is a Roman cipher which is a system of shifting letters x amount of spaces over from their original location in the alphabet. As mentioned, time consuming. Here’s what the ritual notes cipher reads when translated:
path of the sun relates not just to the solar body, but the travel of the human body birth to beyond
eight flames eight stations on the path of life although the order is not what seemed initially obvious
Gotta love the riddles that Funcom throws into the missions. But basically you have to click on the braziers in a specific order (sequence) based on their meanings. To save time here is the correct sequence:
Facing toward the stairs the 2 closest braziers to the stairs are Infancy (left of the stairs) and Birth (right of the stairs). Behind Birth are Childhood and Adulthood. Behind Infancy are Immortality and Old Age. Final is Death. Once you click on each brazier in the right order the mission will update saying this:
Inspect Where the Beams are Pointing
Once you reach the location that the blue light beams off the braziers are pointing to you’ll get another update asking you to “Collect the Metallic Scarab”. Jump up onto the platform and make your way down the path until you find the scarab. Grab it and you’ll move on to the next tier of The Big Terrible Picture.
Perform the Ritual of Days
Now you’ll have to examine another set of notes, the ones sitting at the top of the stairs. Reading these presents you with yet another cipher reading:
EVGHNY BS QNLF
GUR PBZVAT SBEGU OL QNL
N SBPHFVAT BS YVTUG HCBA QNEXARFF
GUR CEVRFGUBBQ BS NZHA QEVIRA
HAQRETEBHAQ OL NGRAVFGF
RANPGF GURFR EVGHNYF VA FRPERG
You don’t have to decode this one but when it’s translated back into normal English it reads as follows:
Ritual of Days. The coming forth by day a focusing light upon darkness. The priesthood of Amun driven underground by Atenists enacts these rituals in secret. Why here?
Once you’ve read this you’ll be given a puzzle. It’s a light refraction one. To make quick work of The Big Terrible Picture puzzle here is the answer for it… move the gems around to make the light bounce around and hit the eye on the wall. Once you get it done you’ll see the passageway open up for you so that you can go inside and grab the metallic ankh.
Ritual of Lineage
Here you’ll have to examine Montgomery’s ritual notes which are posted on a wall full of hieroglyphics. Upon reading them you’ll get yet another cipher set. This one reads like this when decoded:
ritual of lineage -a prayer before royalty? crude depictians of akhenaten-these were not made to honour him consider the names-akhenaten’s name erased after death – but that was not his truename a prayer to truth
For this tier you need to do the /pray command in front of the statues in the correct order to progress. If you want to try and figure this out yourself you’ll have to go by the hieroglyphics and translate them using a guide. A hieroglyphic chart on Wikipedia can help with this particular part. If, however, you want the solution you have to pray in front of each statue according to its true name (refer to wikipedia chart). The right order is found on the right side of the tomb. Go inside and grab the metallic eye.
Place the Metallic Objects on the Aperture
This is pretty self explanatory. Put the metallic scarab, metallic ankh and metallic eye on the aperture. Upon doing so a hologram like image will appear. That’s it for this tier of The Big Terrible Picture.
Return to Montgomery
Head back to Montgomery. When you do you’ll get a cut scene. After that run inside to Montgomery’s tent and check out his notes to complete the mission and claim your rewards. Rewards include a huge amount of XP (over 900k), 22500 Pax Romana and 4 tokens.
TSW Quest Guide