I think you’ll agree with me when I say that “The Cloverfield Paradox” has brought up many questions for regular movie watchers.
Most people who don’t know about the “Cloververse” won’t understand anything in this movie because of the time periods and events that happened in this universe. After finding additional information online, I believe watching the movies is not enough, a lot that happened in this universe was documented on websites and clues through the “Alternate Reality Game” (ARG) based on the first and second movies.
Unfortunately, most of the websites are not active anymore for one to look at them and find clues but there have been loyal fans who have documented the findings. For those who don’t know about ARG, it is an interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and uses multiple platforms and formats of storytelling to deliver a story that may be influenced by the players’ ideas and actions.
To be honest I didn’t know about the ARGs and missed the clues and website. I must say the concept of the ARG was pretty cool. I wonder why it didn’t become viral. The story and the clues are very interesting. As you see watching this film requires some homework, which most people apparently are not fond of.
In some reviews, you can clearly notice that they have no clue how to interpret the film and/or didn’t even try to understand it. One disadvantage of these films is that they are not connected directly through the story, they are basically stand-alone films connected through clues found in the ARG, which the regular movie watcher wouldn’t know existed.
Honestly, I believe critics should provide an objective view but also guidance on the films and tell if you need to see the previous films or are missing information. Well, it appears that we have to do our own research. Does that surprise you? I don’t think so.
I have watched both films years ago but missed out on the ARG and went to see “The Cloverfield Paradox”. Like its name, it is a Paradox I didn’t understand at first. I went to re-watch “Cloverfield” and “10 Cloverfield Lane” and then watch “The Cloverfield Paradox” a second time, look for what I could find about the ARGs online and I have to say that now it makes more sense and I’m more interested in knowing what’s next. So before watching “The Cloverfield Paradox”, I strongly recommend you to re-watch the first two films.
Understanding the Cloververse
To give you a little insight about the movie “The Cloverfield Paradox,” let’s discuss the Cloververse assuming that you have already watched the movies “Cloverfield” and “10 Cloverfield Lane.” But if you haven’t, to avoid any spoilers, please save the link to this page and come back later after watching the films.
The Cloververse or The Cloverfield Universe is a shared fictional universe that was created by J.J. Abrams, Drew Goddard, and Matt Reeves. It all began in 2008 when footage from a monster film titled Cloverfield was found. Subsequently, 10 Cloverfield Lane was produced in 2016, and The Cloverfield Paradox was produced in 2018.
These creative productions became the Cloververse which became larger with the creation of the Cloverfield/Kishin Manga; it was a monthly publication that ran from January 2008 to May 2008. The audience has an amazing experience with these publications because of the viral marketing techniques which were done with an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) designed to allow the audience to participate in the story by unfolding previous events through online clues and website associated with the corporations and the characters of the Cloverfield films.
About the Manga
The Manga consists of four chapters that were initially published on the Kadokawa Shoten’s website. It is a story that revolves around the lives of two students who need to find shelter before the occurrence of an event similar to the Chuai Station incident as depicted by the film’s viral marketing material. They experience some internal conflicts with the appearance of the monster.
In the story, one of the students is being tracked by a cult group linked to the monster and the fictional Japanese drilling company named Tagruato. Why is it interesting? The manga is primarily focused on the materials used in viral marketing rather than the film. These materials are part of the Alternate Reality Games such as Slusho! and Tagruato. And there are many new revelations about the nature and biological attributes of the monster.
Alternate Reality Game
The Cloverfield 2008 ARG and the 10 Cloverfield Lane ARG stand out as two significant creative productions developed from the multimedia platform for the Cloverfield storyline. The scenes and depictions featured in these two ARG games are not represented in the main films, but they have been widely acknowledged on the websites which were active when the first two films were released.
The Cloverfield ARG
1-18-08 is the date Cloverfield was released, and it is the name of the website which was used to promote the film as a part of the viral marketing strategies. On the website, many pictures were posted to provide clues that could reveal the origin of the monster. The other side of the pictures contains certain information regarding the viral marketing strategy. For a brief period, the date was used as the film’s unofficial title. After releasing the trailer, it was shown to audiences in cinemas before the viewing of Transformers. The Teaser Trailer indicated the title of the movie as “1-18-08” instead of the real title. This was a strategy to create more mystery regarding the exact content of the film. The website is not currently active.
The next website was created for Tagruato, a Japanese mining company owned by Ganu Yoshida. The company owns oil rigs in the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Indian oceans. They operate using what they call “a groundbreaking deep-sea drilling technology.” Tagruato also owns subsidiaries that manage deep-sea genetic research (Yoshida Medical Research), advancing technology (Bold Futura), and they produce paraffin wax byproducts from their Petroleum reservoir (Parafun! Wax Distributors), other investments include a beverage company called Slusho!.
The Tagruato corporation recently announced the occurrence of an unknown altercation at one of their Atlantic Ocean oil rigs (the Chuai Station) which resulted in an “eco-terror cell” that is responsible for the disturbance.” Their website is active.
On a curious note, a Building with the Tagrauto name and logo could be seen in the San Francisco cityscape.
The T.I.D.O. Wave is the latest initiative being developed by the Les Guerriers de Mère-Terre, a nonprofit grassroots, and environmental activist organization dedicated to protecting our planet from one of the world’s most nefarious corporations. T.I.D.O. Wave criticizes Tagruato for its oil mining operations in the Earth’s oceans.
T.I.D.O. Wave uses all means possible to hinder the activities of Tagruato, but they have emphasized that they will never go as far as taking a life. Tagruato and the media have labeled the T.I.D.O. Wave as an “eco-terrorist” group. Their website is not currently active.
The next clue is Slusho! This is a soft drink company located in Japan; this company is also owned by Tagruato, the organization that hired Rob Hawkins. The Slusho! Products are the classic Slush beverages developed with a unique ingredient called the Seabed’s Nectar, which makes it highly addictive. The company claims that Seabed’s Nectar makes its beverages very healthy.
On the Slusho! website site, there is a special History section where it is claimed that the ingredient was discovered deep in the ocean’s floor in a condition characterized by exceptional pressure and extreme cold. Perhaps, these are features that can be used to create an association between the product and the monster or particularly the parasites.
One of the quotes in the Happy Talk section states that “Slusho! Makes my stomach explode with happiness.” It is presumed that the excessive mining of the Seabed nectar from the ocean floor made it possible for the creature to arise from the ocean floor. The drink has flavors such as Blueberry Zoom, Chocolate Rage, Mikan, Nashi, Banana Anime, and Strawberry Tasty and first appeared on the TV series “Alias”, “Heroes”, “Fringe”, “Lost” and in the movies “Star Trek” (2009) and “Super 8” (2011).
The “Whistleblower” is the nickname of the spy who works at the Tagruato headquarters. He successfully sent three messages through which he made it known that there was no oil at the Chaui Station but they were hiding a dark secret there. He also included a sonar picture of the monster and the Seabed Nectar.
It has been a long time since T.I.D.O. heard from their members (Teddy and his group). They eventually decided to go and investigate the Chaui station and its surrounding location. They returned with the information that there was no station at that location. The viral news report which showed the destruction of Chaui was filmed a few days before this event. The fact that the destruction of Chaui happened a few days earlier was confirmed by a letter from Tagruato, which was featured in the English and Japanese version of the news report. Tagruato estimated that the destruction of Chaui occurred between 26th and 27th of December. The Chaui station was destroyed before the T.I.D.O. team visited the site.
A few days later, T.I.D.O. updated their website; they informed their members not to return to “the farm.” The farm is the T.I.D.O. headquarters from where all its operations were coordinated. It was supposed to be swarming with Tagruato agents. They also mentioned that their members played no part in the destruction of the station and that they would never kill to accomplish their goals.
As expected, Tagruato blamed T.I.D.O. for destroying the Chaui station; it labeled T.I.D.O. as a terrorist group that had used explosives to destroy the station. Tagruato officials knew what had actually destroyed their station, and it had no plans to inform the public of the incident which had also led to the awakening of an underwater life form by the Tagruato submarines which were sent down from the Chuai station.
After that time, the missing TIDO members (Teddy and his group) were not heard from again. Ganu Yoshida, the owner of Tagruato wrote an open letter regarding on the organization’s official website, he expressed his sympathy to the families of the victims, and he stated that his organization would do anything to ensure that the culprits behind the act were found. Ganu Yoshida traveled for a four-day business trip to New York after he wrote the letter. He met with people who wanted to introduce Slusho! into the American market. The day he was scheduled to leave New York was January 18, 2008(01-18-08). But he was forced to extend his stay due to an attack by TIDO Wave members on the street.
In addition, on 01-18-08, TIDO Wave’s official website was shut down by the External Affairs Department. This action was taken due to the acts of terrorism carried out within the national boundaries. The public blame Tagruato leveled at TIDO Wave had worked as planned. TIDO was only able to post their last message the previous day. The message read: “Horns down. If we go quiet, it won’t be permanent. May the great mother protect her servants in their greatest time of need. She guides our hands.” The underlying message in this statement has not yet been confirmed.
Jamie posted a few more videos in which she declares that she only feels hatred for Teddy. The particular feature of the hate videos is that in one of them, she ate the “evidence” Teddy had sent to her. She said it tasted very good and subsequently she became unusually hyper. Her last video was on the night of the attack in New York, just before Rob’s goodbye party.
Teddy Hanssen’s sister, Alyse Hanssen, created a website that was dedicated to finding her missing brother (the website is still active). She had little knowledge about the company Teddy worked for, but she suspected that Tagruato or TIDO had something to do with the case of her missing brother. Alyse posted several updates on her website, and she got in contact with John Garrettie, a CIA agent. He claimed there was little he could do to help her, but he was going to do something about her appeal for help.
A few weeks later, Alyse contacted an anonymous person (most likely John Garrettie) who promised to send her link to a website where she will find the answers she sought regarding her missing brother. After successfully accessing the website, she saw three valuable pieces of information. One was the photo of the monster attacking the Chaui station, another was a photo of the parasites walking at the bottom of the ocean, and the last was a transcript of two Chaui employees communication while the station was under attack. Alyse’s last post on her website stated that she did not believe the photos and she thinks they had been photoshopped. However, since the night she made a post about expecting a new lead regarding her missing brother several weeks ago, she has not posted any further information.
The 10 Cloverfield Lane ARG
The ARG for 10 Cloverfield Lane includes only an update on the Tagruato website and FunAndPrettyThings website. The ARG was an extension of Howard Stambler’s story and his relationship with his daughter Megan.
On February 2016, the Tagruato website was updated with an employee of the month page; the website is however no longer active. One of the pictures showed Howard being celebrated as the employee of the month at Bold Futura for the previous year. On his profile, Howard is seen wearing a t-shirt with the inscription- Radioman70. Accessing the website Radioman70.com will redirect you to a page named FunAndPrettyThings.com.
On the website, many photos are showing Megan’s hobbies, including a screenshot from the movie, “Pretty in Pink,” which is the only tab that can be clicked on, and you will be requested to input a password. The password is “Do you want to talk?” it is a phrase from a particular scene in “Pretty in Pink.” After entering the password, you will be directed to a chat site. The chat features messages sent by Howard (under the alias Radioman 70) to his daughter Megan whom we referred to as Radio girl. The messages indicate that Howard attempted to warn his daughter about an upcoming attack while some messages include links to real websites and news stories.
Reading this information helped me understand the Cloverfield universe more and I am sure it will help you as well. All this information on the Cloververse and the related ARG of the first two films are from the websites Cloverfield Wikia, Cloverfield Clues, Tagrauto Blog, and the YouTube channel InsideAMind
Read the next article on the ARG of The Cloverfield Paradox.
Hope this is helpful for you too. Let me know in the comment section below if you have seen the first two Cloverfield movies and if you already knew about the Cloverfield Universe? What do you think of this concept of having an ARG related to the movies?