A Quick Diversion:

A new year, a new me! As always I can’t thank you enough for visiting the site and enjoying the fun stuff we have here. I hope to start doing some live-streaming soon… come join the fun!


The Actual News:

So as you may know, Pokémon Day was a couple weeks back, and we covered both the pre-event rumor hype and the post-event review. Check it out when you get a chance!

However, perhaps the real big news of the event was the announcement of Pokémon Legends: Z-A. For a quick refresher, here’s the trailer:

While everyone has been debating the gameplay potential, the storyline, the fact that it’s the second game covering a generation that maybe they didn’t like… but all those opinion are just a boring yawn fest. The REAL juicy news is: just what is the secret Galarian/Paldean text actually saying??

This has actually been the talk of the town on Reddit and word is beginning to spread fast as others begin to try to crack the code… and as the internet’s resident Galarian/Paldean language expert, I’m here to say… sorry, it’s nothing.

Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not going to bury the lead here: the text is what I like to call “Galarian/Paldean Lorem Ipsum“, or “Garbage Text”. But… not completely. But before we get too far, however, let me break things down.

Galarian/Paldean is a language script seen in the last two Pokémon games: Pokémon Sword/Shield and Pokémon Scarlet/Violet. It’s used anywhere that you would imagine text to be… route directions, signs, placards, signs, menus, signs, signs, everywhere signs. Above is a perfect example of how often Galarian/Paldean is used. But basically the text is unintelligible… although how unintelligible it depends on the context.

Some words are definitely intended to be recognized as names, for example these gym leader names:

  • Milo = 94QQA7 (from “YARROW”)
  • Bea = 3VL4J (from “SAITO”)
  • Allister = WSTWS (from “ONION”)

Notice how they make sense within their own name—two Q for two R in “YARROW”, two WS for two ON in “ONION”… but they don’t connect with the other names—J, A and W all equal “O” for all three names? The internal consistency is enough for people to recognize those names, but none of the letters used in one can be used in other words, thus limiting its ability as a cypher. Other Galarian/Paldean words exist like this, such as the name Galar (GA9A4), Pokémon Types (WKDKJ8 = HAGANE = Steel-type) and Town Names (M8EDDK = BRASSI = Wedgehurst).

On the other hand, other words are used which are not meant to be anything. In fact, there’s just too many instances of Galarian/Paldean words for everything to be given a unique word, so it’s obvious that asset artists are given a list of randomized Galarian/Paldean words which exist solely to fill in text. They are never meant to be understood as anything other than to trigger that language part of your brain to understand “these are words”. I call these the Galarian/Paldean Lorem Ipsum, named after the concept of “Lorem Ipsum text“.

In these two examples, you can see how the Galarian/Paldean text D+OX ZU24+O VV^63 appear both on a t-shirt of Leon and in a bit of text of Rose talking about this or that. And these aren’t the only instance of D+OX ZU24+O VV^63 appearing either, let alone other bits of text. And as you may notice, it appears in the PLZA preview video: “A vision of beautiful coexistence between People and Pokémon…”. So, alas, that example is simply just nothing more than Galarian/Paldean Lorem Ipsum.

But is it ALL just Lorem Ipsum text? Let’s compare them to what I’ve already discovered in both the Galarian and Paldean Word Lists pages.

  • D^26ZU (“Confidential“) — yes, this appears on a T-shirt called “Scary face
  • D+OX ZU24+O VV^63 (“A vision of…”) — see above
  • A5FN2IO2^! (“Urban Redevelopment Plan“) — a lot of random places; it’s in the above classroom screenshot and the meme below
  • CQDAB RQ94 (“Lumiose [Miare] City”) — Now THIS is actually new! In fact, I think it has a new letter…?! (more below!)
  • QSXVX8 (“????”) — This is also a new company name… maybe it’s “QUASAR”?

Those were pretty much all the words seen in the video, and as you can see, most of it is just jibberish that has already been seen elsewhere in previous games. In face the “Urban Redevelopment Plan” text has been seen so many times it’s already been meme’d’ified (if you made this, please let me know so I can credit you!):

However, the words for Lumiose City and that random company are completely new, which is kinda neat. In fact, the first letter is almost certainly something new, as it has never been seen before. I mean, it KINDA looks like either C or I, but not quite. In fact, it’s almost certainly not I because it appears in the word A5FN2IO2^! right above it. This is actually kinda interesting… but there isn’t much to go on right now, unfortunately.

Another new bit is the company name QSXVX8, although this is just a guess based on what makes the most sense. For example, the third and fifth letters look just like plain X’s, but there is no single “X” character in Galarian, just the “double X” X letter. Maybe that’s just a style, or a mistake? Or maybe it’s a reference to Rayquaza??

What do you think is going on? If they had no problem with using Galarian/Paldean Lorem Ipsum text, why not just use it for everything? But instead, they ended up creating new words for “Lumiose/Miare City” and that company name. As you can imagine, these questions have been plaguing us since they started using Galarian in Sword/Shield: why are some words intended to be known, while other’s aren’t? When is one to be used over the other? If you have a few theories, feel free to pop on over to the PA! Discord’s Language Institute and consult with our experts. Maybe you’ve got an idea that cracks the case wide open??

But in summary:

  • Most of the text is just nonsense which has been used many times already…
  • …except for the words for “Lumiose/Miare City” and that random company name (does it say “Quasar”?)
  • And the first letter in “Lumiose/Miare City” is actually a brand new letter never seen before! Is this some kind of clue??

Anyways, that’s all I got for tonight. Good times.