Prior to the release of Angel in February 2011, a group of fans decided to create an Alternate Reality Game chronicling the rise of Itex, a megacorporation that played an important role in the plot of the series. I was one of those fans. Together we created images, audio files, and one physical object. The ARG itself happened on the Max-Dan-Wiz forums, where an in-character account interacted with other fans and posted the content we had created.
With the disappearance of MDW, the ARG itself exists only on the Internet Archive. The files I've been able to locate are here, listed in the order in which they were posted.
At the bottom of the page you'll see a list of links - these go to our behind-the-scenes discussion, on our own forum, while we were masterminding the ARG. You do not need to join the forum to view them.
The ARG centered around a fictional college student named Elena Mueller, who received a box of mysterious documents from her uncle, Roland ter Borcht. Seeing the company name "Itex", she Googled it and ended up on MDW, where she proceeded to post about those documents for a month before mysteriously vanishing.
The ARG materials were created by a group of people. Some of them posted in the thread while it was ongoing to help shape the discussion in constructive ways.
During the ARG, I was the main person behind the "Elena" account; I also created fake documents, did audio editing, and voiced Marian Janssen.
An ARG is an event as much as it is a readable text. The event occurred between 15 January and 14 February 2011. Some of the thread where it happened is still viewable via the Internet Archive.
View the thread.
While the ARG was still ongoing, the user DZMom created a blog post to track uploaded documents. You can read that post here.
DZMom also created this thread to speculate about Valentine's identity.
To see just the content of the ARG, use this page.
(To read transcripts of the content, see this page.)
To see content that we made for the ARG, but did not use, go to this page.
On the first day of the ARG, "Elena" made a blog post containing the same content as the original version of the thread.
The ARG couldn't be planned on the same site where it was going to be played out. We did our work on our own offsite forum, which still exists. Planning started on 7 September 2010, and continued into January 2011.
Planning thread. This was the first thread we made to talk over the idea of creating our own ARG.
The ARG planning group.
Documents and pictures. Some of these files may have been altered before their final use in the ARG. I don't remember.
Audio (and transcripts). There's a list of audio recordings in the first reply; some still work, some do not.
The posting schedule we used.
The ending. This letter was the official "end" of the ARG, and the reveal that it was a fan-made ARG.
Responses to the end of the ARG.
Last update: 13 January 2021.