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    Alphabet Guide by Heian794

    Version: 0.5 | Updated: 03/19/10 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Alphabet Guide - Version 0.5 (March 7, 2010)
    
    by DaBubba (heiankyo794@yahoo.com)
    
    This is a "translation" guide to the two alphabets used by people 
    in Cocoon and on Pulse.
    
    Square (and Square-Enix) have created alphabets for several previous 
    games, and while you were never required to decipher them to complete 
    the game, they were still a fun diversion.  FF Tactics, for example, 
    had an alphabet which was never mentioned in the game or the promotional 
    material, and was a total easter egg in the actual game.  FFX had three 
    alphabets, and FFXII also had at least one (a gold star to anyone who 
    found the phrase "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead!" in that game!), 
    though there were few opportunities to see it.  
    
    This game continues the tradition, and this time the characters are seen 
    many times -- though you can finish the whole game without paying any 
    attention to these letters, the game clearly wants you to notice them.  
    This guide will take you through each chapter and describe the examples, 
    which are given in CAPITAL LETTERS.  I based it on the original Japanese 
    game, so there may be differences, particularly in place names, when the 
    English version comes out.
    
    I've numbered this guide 0.5, as it's perhaps half-finished.  (For 
    example, I haven't found all the Pulse letters yet, and haven't yet 
    included ASCII-based drawings of them in this guide.)  
    
    If you find more examples of writing, or can decipher some of the stuff 
    that was too small for me to see, post about it on GameFAQs and I'll 
    include it in the next update!  (Don't send me e-mail; I get barraged 
    with it and can't reply to every individual.)
    
    ----------
    
    Now for the letterforms.  This is primitive, but you'll get a basic idea 
    of the alphabet if you look at what's below, making sure that you're 
    using a monospaced font, have at least 72 characters per line, and make 
    sure the spacing between lines is as close as possible.
    
    ....-....1....-....2....-....3....-....4....-....5....-....6....-....70 char
    
    
      0           1             2          3            4
    
         *****       ***        ******       ***         **    **      
       ***  ***        **            **        **        **    **
       **    **        **            **        **        **    **
       **    **        **                                **    **
       **    **        **        *****           **      **    ** 
       **    **        **       ***              **       *******
       **    **        **       **               **            **  
       **    **        **       **               **            **
       **    **        **       **               **            **
       ***  ***        **       **               **            ** 
        ******         **        ******     ******             **    
    
    
    
      5           6            7           8            9
    
       *******     **              ****      ******       ******   
       **          **                **     **    **     **    **
       **          **                **     **    **     **    **
                                     **     **    **     **    **
       ******      *******          **            **      ******
            **     **    **        **       ********           
            **     **    **       **        **    **           **
            **     **    **      **         **    **           **
            **     **    **      **         **    **           **
            **     **    **      **         **    **           **
       ******       ******       **           *****            **
    
                     
    A               B             C               D             E
                                         
       *******              **                     **    ***    ***** 
      **     **           **       ****              ** *           **
     **       **          **      **  *              ****            * 
    **  *****  **    **   ****    *                   **             **
      **     **     ** *  **      ***********        ** *            ***** 
      *       **       *  **               **      **    **              **
      **               *  **                *     **       *              * 
       ********        *  **                *     *        **             *
              **       *  **               **     *         *             *
      **      **       *  **              *       *        **            **
       ********         **             ***         *********    **********
     
    
    F                G             H              I                 
          *  ***          *              **    *     **  **  ** 
          ****        *********          **    *              
        ****         **   *    *        **    *                
       ** *          *    *    *     *  **    *          *    
    ***   *          *         *     *********           *       
      ******        **** **** ***    *  **               *  
         ******      *         *     *  **              ***    
          *  ***     *         *     *  **             *****
          *  ***     *    *    *     *  **            **   ** 
         ****        **   *    *     *  **           **     **  
      *****           *********       *             **       *** 
    ***   *               *                           
     
                       
    K              L             M              N              O
                          *                                           
        **  ****         **        **              *******        ******* 
       ***               **       ** **                  **      **     **
      * **              **        *  **                   *      **      ** 
     *  **              *         *  **                   *      **      ** 
    **  ******         *  ***      * **   ****          **       **      **
        **           **  **  *      ****  **        ** **        **      ** 
        **           *  **   *       *******         ***          ********
        **           *  *    *       **   ****&       *                 
        **            **     *       **   **        ** *        *         *
        **                ***        **   **       **  **       **       **
        **          *******           *****                      *********
                        
                        
    P               Q              R              S             T  
                                        *             *         
     ***********      *********        **  *         **  *      *********
          *    **    **   *   **      **  ****      **  **              **
          *     *    **   *   **     **  ** **     **  **         *      **
         *      *    **   *   **    **  **   **   **  **  ***     *      ** 
        **     **    **   *   **   **  **     *      **  ** **    *      **
        **     *     **   *   **      **     *      *****    *    *     **
       **     **      *********      **     **      **       *  *********  
       *      *           *          *     *                **    * 
      **     **      *    *    *          **               **     * 
    ***    ***        *********         ***              ***      * 
    
    
    
    U                V            W                   Y 
                                         
       ********                                       **     *******
      **      **      *********     **        **       **   **  
      *        *     **       **    **   **   **        ** ** ** 
     **        **    **       **    **   **   **         **    **
                      *********     **   **   **        ** ** 
    ***        **      *****         ******   **       **   **      
      *        *      **   **             ******      **     ** 
      *        *       *****                         **       ****** 
      **      **                                       
       ********                               
    
    
    
    Z
    
    ****
    
    ****
           **
    ****    **
     **     **
      **   **
       *****
    
    ----------
    
    
    ....-....1....-....2....-....3....-....4....-....5....-....6....-....70 char
    
    
    
    Now for where you'll actually see all of this.  Keep the above letterforms 
    in mind, and you'll soon be reading everything in sight!
    
    
    Chapter 1 / Hanged Edge
    
    * On the train, in the opening sequence, you can see RENNZOKU (somewhat 
    unusually-romanized Japanese for "consecutive") on the ticker-like display 
    above the door.
    
    * The Manasuvin monster has CA-13 on its arms.
    
    * Let Lightning fall in battle, and, in big blue Cocoon letters behind the 
    English ones you'll see: GAME OVER
    
    * In the tutorial information about PSICOM, you can see "PSICOM" in Cocoon 
    letters, then, below that and much smaller, "PUBLIC SECURITY AND 
    INTELLIGENCE COMMAND".
    
    * "NO. 8 A2" can be seen on a red label on the ground in Hanged Edge.
    
    * The first shop you get access to is called UNICORN MART, which is what the 
    logo says. There are many more online stores, and to avoid spoilers, I'll 
    present all of them together at the end.
    
    * You can see "KEEP OUT" repeatedly on the yellow barrier strips that seal 
    off restricted areas.
    
    * Gadot's jacket says NORA on the back, wrapping around both sides.
    
    
    Chapter 2 / Pulse fal'Cie
    
    * There's something on the fal'Cie boss, but it's too brief to see (and if 
    you pause, the screen blurs so that you can't see it).  (Anybody have this 
    one?)
    
    
    Chapter 4 / Bodhum Flashback
    
    * At the end of Chapter 4, there's a brief scene with Snow at the beach in 
    Bodhum. This is a giant treasure trove of Cocoon writing! We have:
    
     - All the way on the left, there are some motorbikes. The big writing says 
    NORA and the small stuff above that says NO STEP.
    
     - Above the entrance to the cafe: BEACH HOUSE
    
     - Yellow sign next to that: BEWARE (I imagine it's one of those 'danger, 
    swim at your own risk' signs for the beach, not the restaurant)
    
     - Vending machines to the right, outside the entrance: BEVERAGES
    
     - Menus inside the cafe: yellow one, to the right of the register, says 
    DRINK MENU, WATER, SODA, COLA, ETC.  Next to that is another sign 
    advertising RENTAL, ALL 300: PARASOL, LOUNGE CHAIR, INNER TUBE, DECK CHAIR, 
    and BODY BOARD.  On the far right is FOOD, followed by several items with 
    prices (including some kind of ICE for 300 gil), DRINK (including WATER for 
    300, SPARKLING WATER for 400 and SODA WATER for 450; ORANGE JUICE for 400, 
    TEA for 450, and OOLONG TEA for 400).  These prices, presumably in gil, are 
    somewhat high were they to be in Japanese yen.  Perhaps the Bodhum beach-
    going tourist crowd is on the affluent side.  (Then again, the rentals are 
    reasonable.)
    
     - Above the cash register: RESTAURANT BODHUM, and nearby: REGISTER
    
     - Behind the cash register are some signs and vending machines. There's an 
    ad for SHOUT! soda (above that it says EDEN, and there's also a bottle of it 
    up front), a poster of some guy named INFOMA, an arcade-game-like machine 
    that says ENN, and two more shelves full of the drink LAGO BLU.
    
    
    Chapter 5 / Gapra Whitewood
    
    * Immediately upon entering the Gapra Whitewood, you'll see more of the 
    familiar KEEP OUT yellow tapes. Near those are some very small letters that 
    say COCOON BARRICADE and NO TRESPASSING.
    
    
    Chapter 7 / Palumpolum
    
    * West Avenue:
    
     - The ubiquitous KEEP OUT barricades can now be seen close up, and you 
    might be able to make out OFF LIMITS AREA in black-on-yellow.  There's some 
    more smaller writing that's impossible to read... for now.  Eventually we'll 
    see this close up.
    
     - There are some screens with advertisements rotating through them.  One 
    has, PALUM RECORD in purple on black, rotating with a second sign 
    containing, in black on a yellow background: PALUMPOLUM PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL.
    
     - These two are seen in some wall ads too, along with RAINBOW BOOK STORE 
    (Sazh must shop there), EDEN / THE SANCTUM, GUARDIAN CORPS, and one more 
    that seems to say NOCCEPT and THUROMS AND GUOLS -- not that I know what that 
    last one means.
    
     - Orange-and-yellow, with a picture of a buffalo: BUFFALO PHARMACEUTICAL 
    COMPANY.
    
     - With a picture of a dog: PET SHOP.
    
     - In gold on a copper window: PALUM RECORD again.
    
     - Overhanging the area where Snow fires a gun into the air to disperse the 
    civilians, in teal and orange with a picture of a cow: PALUMPOLUM 
    SUPERMARKET.
    
     - On a large sign overhanging the road: FELIX 26.
    
    * In the Libera district:
    
     - More advertisements for SHOUT and INFOMA, plus one black sign that says 
    SPEEDY.
    
    * Snow, talking to Hope, will point to a sign reading A GREAT PLACE FOR 
    FAMILY LIVING.
    
    * At Hope's house, many books are labeled NOCCEPT.  (Is that a word?  Google 
    knows precious little about it.)
    
    Chapter 8 - Nautilus Park
    
    There's lots more writing to see here, too.  This game doesn't offer many 
    chances to sit back and smell the roses, but this is one of them.
    
     - To the right of the starting point, on the green-on-yellow sign: WELCOME 
    TO NAUTILUS and INFORMATION TERMINAL.  To the left, there's another such 
    sign with WELCOME and REST PLACE.
    
     - On the big red-on-black train schedule, we've got SUNLETH on the left and 
    NAUTILUS on the right, with LINES below that.  Immediately below are 
    ARRIVALS on the left and DEPARTURES on the right.  Below that are train 
    times from 10:00 in the morning to 21:43 in the evening.
    
     - From the first area, you can see, in white on a yellow circle, A on one 
    side and B on the other side.
    
     - In blue writing, with a cityscape in the background, is BODHUM.
    
     - An orange and blue sign has some very small writing that I can't make 
    out, plus EX in blue.
    
     - Obviously translated using Google or the like: IT WATCHES OUT FOR THE 
    PICKPOCKET is on a pink sign. ("Beware of pickpockets" is probably what they 
    want to say.)
    
     - There's a white-on-pink sign similar to the above with KOUKOKU BOSHU at 
    the bottom.  This is Japanese for "advertisements wanted", or "your ad 
    here"!
    
     - The vending machines say MILK and SODA on the left side, tilted 90 
    degrees.  In the background of that area is MOKU MOKU, a sound effect for 
    drinking in big gulps.  On a red button on the right, much smaller, is 
    COCOON.
    
     - A big green map of the park, with black writing, has the numbers 1 to 13, 
    with 7 pointing to PARK.  To the right is NAUTILUS MAP.
    
    After the "war" performance in Nautilus Park, :
    
     - In extremely stylized writing, but with a nice big picture alongside to 
    give you a hint, CARBUNCLE.
    
     - There's a wagon with NAUTILUS SHOP selling Carbuncle plushies.  Everyone 
    wants one!
    
     - There's a message board with a wall of orange text on a black 
    background.  It's a bit messy and scrolls by quickly, but it looks like a 
    lot of badly-romanized Japanese.  I can make out HITOTOORI KANRYOU 
    ("finished"), KYOU HA II OTENKI (kyou wa ii otenki, "the weather is good 
    today"), and CYOCOBO ("chocobo").
    
    * By the elevators, you'll find: NAUTILIFT (one of the patrons wants to ride 
    it) and what looks like AEQUOREA.  You'll see WELCOME TO THE PARK here too.
    
    * In the chocobo area, in multi-colored letters rotating in mid-air: WELCOME 
    TO THE PARK.
    
    
    Chapter 10 / Fifth Ark
    
    When you enter Fifth Ark, you'll get your first chance to see and decipher 
    Pulse writing.  These characters are basically the same as those of Cocoon, 
    only written in a much more cursive style.  Imagine Cocoon letters written 
    very quickly, and by a right-hander (i. e., generally starting strokes on 
    the left and pulling to the right), and the relationship will become clear.  
    The numerals in particular are a good example.
    
    * On the airship in Upper Aisle, the very first area, you'll see HE PS25 103 
    in Cocoon lettering.  Aside from this, everything else in this section is in 
    Pulse writing.
    
    There are two kinds of signs: one squarish one with: 5TH ARK on the top, 
    another row of small writing, and then a large letter and number at the 
    bottom; the other type is long and rectangular and is divided into three 
    sections.  Both exist in various colors, and I'll use slashes to separate 
    lines (on the big signs) and sections (on the long signs).
    
    - In the Upper Aisle, you should see square signs saying TO AREA 2 / N 06 
    near the starting point.  On the path to the other train platform-like area, 
    you'll see a "path" sign that says TO / N06 / 02.  Go through here to reach 
    an area with another TO AREA 2 / N 06.
    
    - The next areas are the Narthex.  Here you'll find CAUTION on the stairs, 
    and 28 on a box.  Head into the Lower Aisle, and at the fork in the road on 
    the way out of the platform area, you'll see TO AREA 9 / E 06.  Entering the 
    path, you'll see a long purple sign saying TO / E06 / 09.  The next path has 
    two signs (one right near where you obtain a Rainbow Anklet) saying PAS / 
    E07 / 04.
    
    - The next area is the Top Crossing, which has two exits.  From either of 
    them, you'll enter a large cylindrical open space, and a few signs will be 
    visible on the walls.  One, in reddish-purple, is very highly visible and 
    says CTR AREA A / N 08.  Above this we can see a similar sign with 07, 
    leading us to hypothesize that that last number indicates how many levels 
    down we are.  On the way out of this area, we've got PAS / S09 / 05 in dark 
    blue.
    
    - This leads to the Nave.  Avoid or fight the Berserkers, grab the Rigel for 
    Sazh, and spot the S09 above one door and LFT ? / E09 near the elevator.
    
    - The lift will take you down to the Inner Aisle; try to spot signs 
    indivating levels 10 and 11 as you descend to LFT ? / E 12.  Leaving the 
    platform out of this area, you'll see TO / E12 / 02 on a teal sign, and then 
    before exiting this path, you'll see TO / E13 / 11.  In this platform area 
    you'll see TO AREA 11 / S 13.  Work your way through a few sign-less 
    passageways until you pick up 7 Beast Claws; the next area will be the 
    Choir.
    
    - On your way in here, spot TO / E16 / 05 in the passage, and TO AREA 5 / S 
    16 on the platform.  The path out of this platform will have a green sign 
    saying PAS / S09 / 05.  You'll then fight a boss battle and traverse a few 
    more areas without signs.
    
    - The next area of note is the Synthronon.  Between the round hubs of this 
    area will be passages marked PAS / S25 / 06 in blue, followed by a large 
    open cylindrical area again.  Its entrance says PAS 06 / S 25, and on the 
    far walls, levels 24 and 25 should be visible.
    
    - Head downwards into the Presbyterium.  Entering it from the corridor 
    should reveal PAS 08 / N 26, and the passages between hubs will say PAS / 
    N26 / 08 while the entrances to the hubs will say CTR C / N 26.  The 
    elevator downwards will say LFT AREA C / S 26.
    
    - On your way down, spot 26, 27... down to 31.  Exit the lift and look back 
    at the sign, and you'll see LFT AREA C / S 32.  The corridor will say PAS / 
    N33 / 24.  Fight Bahamut and look for ? AREA C / E 33 above the door.  In 
    the following corridor, find PAS / N33 / 25 followed by PAS / S33 / 30 on 
    the wall. 
    
    - The next open area is the Sacristi.  Above the door you came in through is 
    ? 30 / N 33.  Exiting this area is the Apse, which brings the long Fifth Ark 
    segment to a close.  Good thing we had these signs to keep us interested!
    
    It looks like the signs are giving the following information: PAS indicates 
    a passageway, LFT a lift, and CTR a central point.  The big number at the 
    end of the squarish signs, and the middle number on the long signs, shows 
    how many levels down we've come; 05 is at the beginning and 33 is at the 
    end.
    
    Following this area, Chapter 11 will begin and we'll be in Oerba, where 
    you'll see plenty more Pulse writing.
    
    
    Chapter 11 / Archylte Steppe
    
    * The map of the lower world has an N indicating north.  Since the world map 
    rotates depending on which direction you face, use that N to orient 
    yourself!
    
    
    Chapter 11 / Oerba
    
    * There are several signs bearing the number 37 along with arrows pointing 
    to certain places.  FRONT, CARGO, SCHOOL, STATION.  A face-down sign on the 
    ground shows OERBA in reverse.
    
    * The clock in the schoolroom shows numbers from 1 to 13 -- it must be a 13 
    (or 26) hour day on Pulse!
    
    
    Chapter 11 / Taejin's Tower
    
    * The lifts will use Pulse numerals to indicate how far up you are.  It 
    looks like each major level is approximately 100 units apart.
    
    
    Chapter 12 / Eden
    
    * Returning to Eden means returning to Cocoon writing.  Here, we can see ENN 
    (Eden News Network, maybe?) on a blue sign, along with EDEN GP NETWORK.  The 
    light towers say 34, and an advertisement says FORVULA.  The familiar yellow 
    COCOON BARRICADE / NO TRESPASSING signs from the Gapra Whitewood are here 
    too.
    
    * On the highways, we can see EXIT ONLY, 20-50, 600 M, Z, and, in white-on-
    green, CTRL ST.  A speed-limit sign says 120 KM.
    
    * In the last area before entering the Senate building, you'll see familiar 
    signs for LAGO BLU and the PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL, plus BOOK, NEW MODEL, A 
    GREAT PLACE FOR FAMILY LIVING (Snow pointed one of these out to Hope earlier 
    in Palumpolum), and ACE / SUPERNATRUAL POWER.
    
    * Entering the Senate building, you'll go through a path full of purple 
    numbers running along the walls.  I can't pick out any pattern to these.
    
    
    Chapter 13 / Orphan's Cradle
    
    * In the final battle, the boss raises a sword that seems to have Latin on 
    it; the same words that appear in the song lyrics.  I can pick out TUUM 
    MUNDUM DISPERTARIS ("you awaken from your world"), VIATOR ELAMENTABILIS 
    ("lamentable traveler"?), RAGNAROK, TUUM FATUM SEQUERIS ("you follow your 
    fate"), TUUM SANCTUARIUM AFFLIGEAS ("you throw off your sanctuary"), but 
    nothing else; it's too fast.
    
    
    Et cetera / Shop names
    
    In addition to the UNICORN MART that you have access to from the beginning, 
    there are many more shops, and they all have logos with Cocoon writing; some 
    more exotic than others.  The second shop, obtained in Chapter 2, is "B+W 
    OUTFITTERS".  Following that, you'll gain access to UP IN ARMS (Ch. 3), 
    CREATURE COMFORTS (Ch. 5), LENORA'S GARAGE (Ch. 4; defeat the Dreadnought), 
    MAGICAL MOMENTS (Ch. 5; defeat the Behemoth), PLAUTUS'S WORKSHOP (Ch. 8), 
    MOTHER LODE (Ch. 8; defeat the Lwe), MOOGLE WORKS (Ch. 10; defeat Cid 
    Raines), EDEN PHARMACEUTICALS (Ch. 12), SANCTUM LABS (Ch. 12), plus two 
    optional shops: PSICOM RND DEPOT (finish Mission 07), GILGAMESH INC. (finish 
    Mission 46).
    
    ---------
    
    Bonus: The Eidolon Alphabet
    
    Now for the more obscure and difficult writing system, that of the Eidolons.  
    I've saved this for the end because there are very few chances to see it 
    during the course of the game, and what little you can see usually flashes 
    by so quickly that you wouldn't be able to read it unless you captured the 
    video and then replayed it frame by frame.
    
    What follows was gleaned from the pictures in promotional materials and 
    guidebooks such as the FFXIII World Preview (800 yen new), published a week 
    before the game's release and containing a few chapters of the "Episode 
    Zero: Promise" prologue in printed form, many screenshots of battles and 
    locations, close-ups of all the characters, charts of relationships between 
    them, and interviews with the creators.  Whets your appetite for the actual 
    game.
    
    * The easiest example to spot is the words DRIVING MODE on the black needle 
    gauge that appears at the bottom left part of the screen when you summon an 
    Esper.  The rest only appear during the summon animations.
    
    * Odin, Lightning's summon, has his name ODIN on his sword, and on his 
    shield seems to be the following, in Latin: CUSTOS VERITATIS SUBVERSOR 
    [C]ORRUPTIONIS
    
     - The C is missing from CORRUPTIONIS, but 'orruptionis' doesn't seem to be 
    a word, whereas 'corruptio' is, and in the genitive, it's 'corruptionis'.  
    The phrase means 'guardian of truth and overthrower of corruption' (or, if 
    you prefer Latin-derived English words, perhaps 'custodian of veracity and 
    subverter of corruption' ^_^;)
    
     - Some more writing can be made out on Odin's saddle.  Only the left side 
    is visible, but the words ARMA ('weapons'), EQUUS ('horse'), NUNTIUS 
    ('messenger'), ODIN, and ARTE ('art') can be seen.
    
    * Vanille's summon HECATONCHEIR has his name written on his body in several 
    places, as do Hope's ALEXANDER and Snow's SHIVA; the latter uses a somewhat 
    more cursive and stylized script.
    
    * Sazh's Brynhildr has BRYNNHILDR - VALKYRJA on the front wheel.
    
    I can't find any writing on any of the other summons.
    
    ----------
    
    That's all I can find so far, "so far" being one playthrough of the Japanese 
    original, with about 45-50 of the missions complete.  As more are confirmed, 
    I'll update this guide.  Hope you enjoyed it!
    
    
    --EOF--