The Mount Chiliad Mystery Was About the Journey, Not the Jetpack

A group of GTA fans worked together for months over a perceived in-game mystery. What they found was a stronger community.

One of the biggest easter egg hunts of all time took place in the massive open-world of Grand Theft Auto V. Los Santos is filled with tons of details, from billboards that change as the game’s story progresses to unique dialogue depending on the player character’s clothing. It should be no surprise that the world of GTA V contains tons of secrets and easter eggs.

Mount Chiliad towers over almost every other landmark in Los Santos, with its peak visible from all across the map. On this peak lies an observation tower, with a glyph inside instructing players to return to the mountain on a stormy night once they have a 100% completion save file. When those conditions are met, players will be able to see a massive UFO on Mount Chiliad. However, a dedicated subgroup of the GTA V fanbase believes there’s far more to the mountain than a simple UFO easter egg.

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The subreddit MountChiliadMystery is the meeting place for a group of dedicated lore hunters who believe the glyph on Mount Chiliad was actually meant to lead players to a secret jetpack. The MountChiliadMystery community was well aware of how crazy their investigations would sometimes come across, as they adopted the word “Kifflom!” from GTA V‘s in-game cult as a way to greet each other online.

This theory was supported by a symbol seemingly depicting a man with something strapped to his back. Two others appear to showcase a UFO and a cracked egg. New connections to the Mount Chiliad glyph kept cropping up with new updates to the game and the eventual PS4 and Xbox One releases of GTA V. Secret radio broadcasts talking about a meteor hitting Los Santos, morse code, references to a jetpack in the game files and even a secret black phone that causes explosions above the player’s head were all somehow discovered by the MountChiliadMystery community.

One of the biggest discoveries by this community would be when the PC version of GTA V launched. Hunters would find a strange gold-colored version of the game’s collectible peyote, which would unlock playable versions of different animals in the game. This golden version was eventually found in-game and turned the player into Bigfoot. This also allowed players to find the hunter from the quest, “The Last One,” dead on the ground.

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It would be later discovered that golden peyote would appear in specific locations every day of the week. The original discoverer of the golden peyote, rkRusty, would even get a shout-out by Rockstar in the game’s code when they ridiculed him for “starting his hunt on a Tuesday.” Six months later, a member of the community named the_stoned_ape would crack this easter egg by locating each golden peyote. The_stoned_ape started this process on an in-game Monday, ended on Sunday and eventually unlocked the GTA Online character known as The Beast in the single player’s Director Mode.

Rockstar have shown they’re willing to put complex mysteries into their games. To the easter egg hunting community, this validated the years of research they had since put into hunting down a secret jetpack, and the renewed interest led to tons of new leads materializing. New UFOs were found in the game files, and new murals like the one found at Mount Chiliad were added to the game, ramping up investigations and speculation.

Then, when the December of 2017 brought the Doomsday Heist update for GTA Online, everything came crashing down. Rockstar Games officially added a jetpack to the game’s online that could be purchasedIt wasn’t some secret unlockable, and it wasn’t the payout for the Mount Chiliad mystery. Fans speculated that GTA Online’s success forced priority away from the game’s singleplayer and cut the hunt short. At the time, it seemed as though years of hard work and lore hunting were wasted.

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The Chiliad mystery has been delegated to references in new content updates for GTA Online, such as wall art for the Casino Penthouse added in a July 2019 update. Secret UFOs kept popping up in everything from slot machines to secret symbols in multiplayer maps. Players were even able to find that if a secret mission that involved Online players transporting alien eggs was completed, there was a chance they’d wake up after an in-game night of drinking to find a Mount Chiliad mural-themed tattoo on their backs and a UFO flying away from them.

One of the most recent developments, however, implies that there may be a very specific way that players are meant to complete the main story of GTA V. Dubbed the Golden Path Theory by fans, there’s some evidence to suggest that the usage of the colors red, green and gold throughout critical choices in the main story may lead to a secret ending. This theory has only just been suggested by community member LlamaGuy69 and hasn’t yet been tested, but it may lead to future developments and secrets.

At the end of the day, the Mount Chiliad mystery wasn’t ever really about a jetpack. It was about exploring the world of GTA V and working together as a community to uncover its secrets, many of which were found due to the MountChiliadMystery subreddit’s dedication and passion for the game. Unfortunately, it’s likely that there never was a true mystery to uncover beyond the 100% completion UFO. However, much like Bigfoot in San Andreas, the efforts of a community brought together by strange symbols on a virtual mountain have cemented many people’s love for Grand Theft Auto V.

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