When revealing this past weekly set of bonuses in Grand Theft Auto Online, Rockstar Games dropped the first hints for this year's Halloween Surprise update. The annual celebration of "spooktober" as it's become known among netizens always has some kind of theme, and it seems this year it's aliens.
The initial tease consisted of a newspaper headline indicating that UFO sightings in Blaine County and Los Santos have increased ahead of Halloween. True enough, ever since this announcement went out, players have begun reporting the appearance of flying saucers.
Specifically, these UFOs would appear each day between the in-game times of 10:00 PM and 3:00 AM. One flying saucer would appear over a specific location and simply hover there until the time was up. Seemingly, it is impossible to coax any kind of interaction out of them.
These flying saucers can't be damaged by anything - no matter what kind of weapon you shoot them with, it will have zero effect. Granted, nobody has tried punching them yet, as it is impossible to get near - they automatically disable all vehicles in close proximity, and by hovering so high above ground you could only possible get on board with some kind of aircraft.
We wonder what would happen if someone approached vertically from above, so even upon having their vehicle disabled they'd fall on top of it - but no such attempt has yet been documented by the community.
If you want to take a swing at fiddling with the alien visitors, here are the UFO sighting locations:
- On the coast Paleto Forest above the beach
- North point of the map near Paleto Bay - right above the undersea UFO wreckage
- Peak of Mt. Chiliad
- Around the lighthouse near Grapeseed
- Altruist Camp radio tower to the west of Mt. Chiliad
- Alien Camp near Sandy Shores
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That said, one form of interaction has been discovered and documented by players. Since the GTA community is so thoroughly experienced with aliens and alien easter eggs, players are really exhausting every possibility in the game to trigger some kind of response. Extreme measures, it seems, was the answer.
One player, documenting the phenomenon and posting on Reddit, decided to try shooting the flying saucer with their Orbital Cannon controlled from their Facility. You know, those really expensive one-shot death lasers with the long cooldowns and the fancy overhead targeting interface.
Well, while the flying saucer itself was completely unfazed by the shot, it did at the very least attract attention. Right after the player exited the interface following the shot, the Orbital Cannon's countdown immediately restarted, which shouldn't really be possible, and then some sound effects played indicating that the Facility itself got shot; that's right, the aliens hijacked the Orbital Cannon and ignoring the cooldown shot back.
I tried to orbital cannon the UFO and this happened. from gtaonline
This doesn't actually do any damage to the facility, and even the effect is pretty mild - no shaking or anything like that - but getting the aliens to react in any way at all is pretty cool in and of itself. Easter egg hunters caught the smell of blood, and if there are any other ways to coax a reaction out of the aliens, they'll find them.
GTA Online has quite the history with aliens and easter eggs, what with the Mount Chiliad mystery having been all the rage among the community years ago. Rockstar Games added the Mammoth Thruster in a rather anticlimactic end to all that, but UFO and conspiracy theory hunting has remained a staple of the game. Now, all of you who miss the glory days of the Chiliad mystery can relive the thrill - at least until the Halloween Surprise drops.
We expect the annual Halloween update to be released either this Thursday or the next, so players don't really need to wait long until all of this alien hype comes to head in-game. Hopefully it amounts to more than similarly static easter eggs, and we'll be able to interact with the extraterrestrials in GTA Online directly.