The Actual News:
Okey dokey! Even though it’s been almost a month since my Unity courses actually ended… the fact that those courses encapsulated my life so completely meant that I basically spent this last month playing catch-up in other things in my life, such as getting all the bits and bobs I needed to finally get a hold of in order to keep this site on the cutting edge. But with that stuff out of the way, I can finally share some of the other things I missed out on this past few months! I’ll try to keep things short, but no promises!
Alright so first off, something really nifty! So now that I have some serious Unity skilled under my belt, and because making the ultimate Pokémon TCG fake cards has always been my number one goal on this site, I’d like to share with you something really awesome I discovered: REAL holo fake cards! Well, real in the sense that you can actually get a holographic sheen on a digital-only fake card… here, just watch this video really quickly:
Ok yeah, the video is a bit long winded… but check it out! If you can’t actually print out a fake card on ACTUAL holofoil paper, then this is the next best thing! I can’t wait to implement this on my own fakes in the near future!
Second off! Over on the Fake Card Mania channel of the PA! Discord, hot shot faker and part-time clock oiler nelsinios shared these fakes with everyone. Now of course, when you think of Pokémon “fake cards”, you mostly think of fan-made custom cards for the Pokémon TCG, right? Well nelsinios totally went big brain on us and made fakes in the style of the Bandai CARDASS cards. That’s CARD-DASS, not CARD…. uh… butt. Don’t know what CARDASS cards are? Well, maybe not by name, but you’ve certainly seen these Pokémon cards before, right?
Yeah! It’s the cards-before-the-TCG-cards with all the really weird installment weirdness and pseudo-prototypical artwork. Well, imagine an alternate universe where the CARDASS cards continued on after Gen 1… because that’s exactly what nelsinios did! Check them out:
Pretty nifty work, huh? I’ll admit I’ve always had a sweet spot for anyone who could do the “Ken Sugimori” style… (partially because I never was able to…), so seeing these authentic-looking CARDASS fakes showing off what could-have-been warms my cold, dead heart. If it was up to me, I’d love to see this continue onto its logical conclusion… yep, alllllll 800+ remaining Pokémon and their regional forms. Get crackin’, nelsinios!
Third off, despite the fact that we’re still in-between Pokémon games, and we’ve pretty much worked out everything that can be worked out from Lentalian in New Pokémon Snap… it doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge laundry list of other languages left to be deciphered in the mean time!
For example, it looks like Pokémon Unite will have its own language just the same:
…but that could just be “UNITE” is a “Generic Pokémon Script”.
Wait, what’s the “Generic Pokémon Script” you ask? Well, there isn’t a single generic Pokémon script, but ElementsnStuff over on the Research Sector channel on the PA! Discord has put together a chart showing all the different scripts used in various Pokémon games and how they’re all basically ciphers for the Latin Alphabet:
PHEW! This is a lot to go through! But as you can see, even though different scripts are clearly unique to their own platform, they do at least share a number of similarities with one another. For example, certain letters seem to share many similarities, such as the various characters representing the letter “T”. So in the case of the “Unite Language” (whatever it ends up being), while it’ll most likely be its own unique script, it’ll also be one based on the Latin alphabet.
BUT! As it turns out, there might be two Pokémon scripts which DON’T seem to be based on the Latin alphabet one bit: the Hoenn script seen in Pokémon OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire and the Alolan script seen in the Pokémon Sun/Moon games.
intensive intents and purposes, these scripts are basically pointless and have no real meaning other than to underline the fact that “you’re not in the same land you were in last time”. But like every complicated idea, none of it was born out of a vacuum, there has to be some kind of underlying meaning or at least a source… right?
As it turns out for the Hoenn script, there is a source: it might actually be based on… Korean?? I scoffed at the idea when ElementsnStuff revealed that bombshell… afterall, I speak Korean, and—ahem—that Hoenn script does NOT look like Korean! (No shinola, Sherlock!) But hey, none of those other script look like English, but they’re certainly based on the same Latin script. But when ElementsnStuff shared an important connection, it was impossible to deny it. Here, take a look:
What the….! They have the same number of characters. In fact, they use many of the same characters!
YOU’VE GOTTA BE KIDDING
For those who don’t read Korean (or Hoennian), the highlited word 포켓몬 is Korean for “Pokémon”. So as you can see, not only do the letters match up, but the number of characters between the Hoennian and Korean lines of text match up as well. So after this, it was hard to deny the connection.
But OK, now we know almost for certain that the Hoenn script is based on Korean. Then what? Well, ElementsnStuff tried to draw further connections between the Korean and Hoenn characters… but sadly hit a dead end:
For example, even though some instances of “포켓몬” matched up with its Hoennian counterpart, other instances of “포켓몬” did not. In fact, the Hoennian characters for “포켓몬 컬렉터” are the same ones used for “포켓몬이 다치…” Drat! Sadly, this was as far as we could get with Hoennian… but maybe the Alolan script seen in the Sun/Moon games might reveal something interesting?
Well, thanks to the power of emulation, ElementsnStuff was able to pull a really high quality screenshot of this magazine written in the Alolan script:
And look! Right away we’ve got our first clue: at the top of the page it clearly spells out “ALOLA” (or maybe its romaji form “ARO-RA”). We’re off to a great start! So next, ElementsnStuff took the magazine’s title and the first page of text and did the first thing all great decipheringers do: simply attach a specific, unknown letter to a known letter of the alphabet and see what comes up. In fact, in doing do, it turns out that there is 25-26 unique letters in the Alolan script… if you wanted a good reason to believe that this was a substitution cipher for English (or at least any other Latin script-based language), it would be this!
Anyways, take a look at the Alolan script next to the Latin letters that IcarusAvery wrote up and see if maybe something else look right to you:
We racked out brains on this for a while, buuuuut…. unfortunately, we hit a dead-end here just the same. Despite the fact that the script text didn’t look like it was completely randomized and seemed to match the Latin script almost completely, that it didn’t have regularly repeating patters (as if the generated text looped over the same letters over-and-over again like Galarian does), and that the letter distribution for the script had similar results to other actual languages… none of the text that we could see amounted to anything. Sure “ALOLA” (or “ARORA”) might have been a good guess, but after plugging in those letters, no other words seem to have revealed themselves. Now I’m really summarizing the discussion we had on the Research Sector channel on the PA! Discord, but long-story-short, it looks as if Alolan is pure gibberish.
But we could be wrong! We certainly could use an extra pair of eyes on all this. If you want to try your had on this, ElementsnStuff wrote up the entire magazine article AND airplane ticket using a temporary substitution cipher, which you can download here. Feel free to do your own substitutions, or use the Word Pattern Matcher page to see if any particular substitution works or not. I mean, it took 50-some-odd years for the Zodiac Killer’s last cipher puzzle to be solved, and only because someone found something that other people missed… so maybe you might find something we missed? Give it a go, and good luck!
All that said, the Alolan script is still pretty nifty-keen, and if you want to write in Alolan, ElementsnStuff has got you covered once again! Simply click here to download his Alolan (SMUSUM) font, and you’ll be writing Alolan love poems and war chants in no time! (Quality of said love poems and war chants cannot be guaranteed.)
OK, I’d say that’s about it for now! Sorry that the language stuff didn’t have a more satisfying conclusion, but hey, they’re all still works in progresses! Maybe you can give us a hand and discover that these languages AREN’T so random gibberish afterall? I’d say it’ll be good times regardless.
That said, I have just one more “Catching Up” post left in the pipeline… this one involves a neat little project developed by the same researcher who told me about the rather unique bootleg cards Hydrofire and Construct… as well as an interesting tidbit they recently learned about those very cards and where they might have really come from. You won’t want to miss that post, so be sure to stick around to check it out!
Alolan can be deciphered, but most of that magazine text just happens to be gibberish.
“Aro-ra Daitokusyuu”(big focus article on Alola) and “Sirline Pokemon”(‘airline’, typo’d) look like the only readable parts of that initial screen.
A Japanese fan solved it almost immediately – apparently, there are texts elsewhere which aren’t 99% gibberish – and published a key and font here: http://nnnyanko.blog75.fc2.com/blog-entry-59.html
Though, they were redrawing tiny letters from a 3DS screen, so an actual high-quality font would still be a useful addition.
Just as BDSP is unlikely to be deciphered correctly, ORAS is unlikely to be Korean.
From that image, it looks to me like possibly just ‘Japanese if you squint at it’.
“Favorite Pokemon” in Japanese would be 好きなポケモン [suki na Pokemon], and the smudges resemble “すキ?PKMン” [suki ? PKMn]
“About Me” in Japanese would be 自己紹介 [jikoshoukai], and the smudges resemble “自己?カ” [jiko?ka]
The 自己 part seems very clear at least.
The Alolan script has actually been deciphered, as the previous comment says, although not every message has been able to be translated.
I had a take on translations and most of the ones I could translate are just descriptions of what they are referring to, like “Cafe” for the café in the Pokémon centre or “Surf” for the sign in the surf club.
Others are actual gibberish, like the Wela Volcano Park sign, which shows most of the alphabet in order, like a Rosetta Stone.
If you like to have a guess in what some untranslated texts are, I have a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmYuLFBBStY that may help, although it’s in Spanish _:)