Underwater Ruins deciphered

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    Time Traveler Silktree's Avatar
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    Default Underwater Ruins deciphered

    I would have expected to see some sort of discussion about the ancient text in the ruins somewhere in the English-speaking community, but apparently that sort of thing isn't very interesting. In the Japanese community, on the other hand, the text was deciphered no more than a week after the games' release. I've known about this for some time, myself.

    As is typical of Game Freak, the secrets of the ruins are written down in ancient script (this time in cuneiform) found on walls. Some fans at 2ch decoded the characters, and it turned out that almost all of characters are meant to be substituted with the alphabet letters, which is to say that the messages are essentially written in English (unlike the Unown text in Johto and Sinnoh, which was written in romaji in the Japanese versions; similarly, the braille in Hoenn and the Sevii Islands was code for hiragana characters).

    This page has the decoded text (in English) as well as the Japanese translation. The text is as follows:

    Listen to King's words.
    Primes lead to truth.
    King is brave.
    King never loses hope.
    King is kind.
    King has a dream.
    King is adventurous.
    King accepts all.
    King turns 2nd corner.
    King turns 3rd corner.
    King turns 5th corner.
    King turns 7th corner.
    Have the heart of King.
    Here we praise King.
    King's light shines.
    King moves his people.
    King acts with love.
    King fought hatred.
    No king gets lost.
    Go on, brave king.

    Life is gratitude.
    Eating is receiving life.
    Good or evil isn't all.
    Do not be barbaric.
    One must not waste.
    All is precious.
    Wars create tears.

    King talks to all beings.
    Saved all from waves.
    King is hope for all.
    Think act with love.

    King defeated ③ alone.
    ④ joined King in a day.
    King called ⑤ beings.
    King is hope and future.
    The great King ⑥.
    The first two paragraphs seem rather extraneous and full of so-called words of wisdom, not unlike some of the braille text in Generation III. I think that Game Freak were just being pompous by referencing prime numbers, of which 2, 3, 5 and 7 are examples.

    The last paragraphs are a mystery. ③, ④, ⑤ and ⑥ denote characters that aren't interchangeable with alphabet letters, possibly representing three or four Pokémon. In fact, the order of ③ and ④ is reversed between Black and White, suggesting that they either pertain to Reshiram and Zekrom (as the wiki suggests) or to Tornelos and Voltolos. Now, the king is said to have defeated Reshiram/Zekrom and befriended its counterpart, whereas the legend told in the main story asserts that the two Dragons were split from the same Pokémon (by the twin heroes that had founded Isshu together with that Pokémon). Unless Game Freak wanted to compound the Dragons' origin story, the story told in the ruins would seem to be in reference to the Genie trio. But then, what would that mean? That Landlos is actually a human in disguise, and this is what makes it different from its counterparts? The trio lack any sort of established backstory that would either support or rule out this possibility.

    If we do interpret the text as referencing Reshiram and Zekrom, then the problem lies in that the king is said to have defeated Reshiram/Zekrom and befriended its counterpart, whereas the legend told in the main story asserts that the two Dragons were split from the same Pokémon (by the twin heroes that had founded Isshu together with that Pokémon). Considering that the items in the ruins date back 3000 years, that would almost certainly mean that Reshiram and Zekrom started out as a pair only to be merged at some point, and then they were split again by the twin heroes. This renders the theory somewhat cumbersome, but it still has its merits.

    On the one hand, the mythology in the main story is fairly straightforward as it can be understood as a reference to the founding fathers of the US (and also to the civil war, seeing as Isshu was also destroyed in a war at one point by the sons of the twin heroes). On the other hand, we have these underwater ruins, whose story is told through an odd script which few players will bother to decode. It is possible that Game Freak created this ambiguity in preparation for the third version, since Black and White's plot as-is doesn't leave much room for Kyurem. Perhaps Kyurem had nothing to do with the founding of Isshu, but it used to be the king of the civilization that had lived there before. Perhaps some event made the king turn into a Pokémon, as well as causing Reshiram and Zekrom to co-exist as one being. This would mean that ③ is Reshiram/Zekrom and ④ is the other one, with ⑤ being their combined entity and ⑥ being a humanoid Kyurem.

    In the third version, Kyurem might wish to battle N due to the latter taking the former's position. It is possible that the king sacrificed himself so that Reshiram and Zekrom could be as one, and so it would pain Kyurem to see the two split again. The only problem I could see is this: Would Kyurem be able to revert its form to that of the original king? We don't actually know that the king was ever an ordinary person, but even if that were the case, I could still see Kyurem having a more majestic form which it would gain by holding the Ancient Crown (the last item found in the ruins) in the third version. Granted, the item is already accessible in Black and White and has no such effect, but the NPC who buys the item implies that there is more to the crown than meets the eye.

    In summary, it seems that much like the Solaceon Ruins foreshadowed HGSS and the Sinjoh Ruins event ("All lives touch other lives to create something anew and alive."), the Underwater Ruins hint at Black and White's third version. The finer details are tentative (the Japanese wiki proposes different theories from mine), but this gives us more to discuss than Rayquaza and Giratina ever did.

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    Illogical. Yabukuron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    Finally, someone made a thread about this! It's a bit late for me to analyze and sink in fully, so I can't really share my thoughts on it right now. On the other hand, I look forward to what others have to say about this when they get back.

    Thanks for posting this here, really. I thought we almost forgot about this part of the game...
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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    I was wondering when we'd get a translation. Thank you very much.

    It is rather cryptic. I think however it only truly makes sense if we know what the numbers at the end stand for. The dragon trio would make sense I suppose, but I'd like to have the thing fully deciphered before I say that's what it is talking about.

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    Time Traveler Silktree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    There is no way to decipher those four characters. They obviously don't denote letters, but rather words or names. The other characters were deciphered by recognizing that there were 26 of them and using trial and error to get cohesive and logical sentences. There are also four more characters that denote the numbers 2, 3, 5 and 7, but those were relatively easy to make sense of by counting the number of lines in them.

    This isn't like Braille; it is a code that looks similar to cuneiform script, but was designed by Game Freak based on English text. They made the text harder to decipher by reversing the order of the characters (they're meant to be read from bottom to top and from left to right) and by using different characters for the same letter depending on the floor; for example, the three-wave character stands for 'b' on the second floor and for 'a' on the third one.

    ③ resembles a person, ④ looks like two Unown, and ⑤ - like a fish. Does that mean anything? I doubt it, since ⑥ doesn't look like anything familiar, and the meaning wouldn't make much sense.
    Last edited by Silktree; 6th November 2010 at 04:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    Its possible we arent supposed to know what it means until the 3rd version. Im thinking that the Underwater Ruins will play a bigger role in the third game, but i could be wrong.

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    Time Traveler Silktree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    Quote Originally Posted by BanditKeith View Post
    Its possible we arent supposed to know what it means until the 3rd version. Im thinking that the Underwater Ruins will play a bigger role in the third game, but i could be wrong.
    I think it's clear that we are meant to garner a guess based on other things in these games. For instance, N was crowned by the seven Sages, but neither one of the twin heroes was said to be have become king in the end. When did the Harmonia tradition start?

    This begs the question of why Game Freak would choose to make Isshu's history less straightforward than what the main story would have us believe. Why do we need to know about a king from ancient times if the twin heroes were the ones that shaped Isshu? As I see it, Kyurem can't elegantly fit into the story of the twin heroes, so Game Freak started thinking of another way to make it relevant.

    But above all, Game Freak wanted us to discuss the meaning of the ruins; I doubt they expect us to care all that much about the price of the ancient items. It seems that they have failed at this, at least as far as the Western community is concerned.

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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    Are we sure this is a legend, and not a prophecy? Because someone defeating either Reshiram or Zekrom and befriending the other sounds a lot like what happens in-game. That would remove the need for cumbersome explanations involving a separate-then-merged-then-separate Reshiram and Zekrom.
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    Time Traveler Silktree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    Quote Originally Posted by kiera2 View Post
    Are we sure this is a legend, and not a prophecy? Because someone defeating either Reshiram or Zekrom and befriending the other sounds a lot like what happens in-game. That would remove the need for cumbersome explanations involving a separate-then-merged-then-separate Reshiram and Zekrom.
    That's an interesting interpretation, but it raises three problems:

    1) Why use the past tense?
    2) If the king is N, then the prophecy was wrong since while one of the Dragons did join N, he didn't defeat the other one.
    3) If the king is the player, that means the prophecy was wrong about the king defeating Reshiram/Zekrom alone and then being joined by the other one.

    Overall, I don't think that this interpretation makes for a much simpler theory, and I would think that Game Freak wouldn't have been so cryptic about an event that actually happens in the games.

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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    This topic seems interesting and one of the reasons I joined the forums in the first place. Anyway, let me give you my input.

    Character 3 gives me the image of something on a pedestal, the something most likely being flame. Now since it seems like flame on a pedestal, it could refer to Reshiram or Victini, both fire type legends. I believe it refers to Reshiram as characters 3 and 4 were switched around in the different versions, and as Silktree noted, these could refer to the version exclusives. The only version exclusive fire type legend is Reshiram, so I believe character 3 to be Reshiram.

    As a Mandarin speaker, character 4 seems like the character for thunder or for wind upside down. Now if it is wind, it could refer to the Raijin trio, or just Tornelos, the pure flying type. After all, it is based on the God of Wind. However, if it actually refers to thunder, it is most likely pointing towards Zekrom or Voltolos. That it refers to Voltolos would be fine, as Voltolos is based on the God of Thunder and Lightning after all. But, I lean more towards Zekrom being the one candidate for character 4. This is because of my earlier belief that character 3 refers to Reshiram. As noted above, characters 3 and 4 switch places, therefore if my speculation for character 3 is correct and it is Reshiram, then character 4 must refer to Zekrom by that theory.

    Character 5, as many have said before me, reminds me of a fish. Now, since the message says that the King called ___ beings, I think it refers to a group of pokemon. By process of elimination, it should be the Musketeer trio who would be called. Since I don't really know how to decipher this, as there is a extra line there. Without that extra line, it would be just a fish. The extra line makes it more troublesome to decode it.

    Now for character 6, on first impression, it looks like a bunny or a mouse. However, looking at it from another angle, it looks a little like Kyurem. There are the two wings and the face. So my impression is that it could refer to a new forme of Kyurem. This would complete the trio given in characters 3 and 4. As you may have noticed on Bulbapedia, this trio lacks a trio master. Maybe this new forme of Kyurem will be their trio master?

    This is my theory. I should note that symbolism is heavily important in Chinese, as Chinese characters are created out of what things look like. Therefore, symbolism should be important in Japanese as well, as it is derived from Chinese. Therefore, the characters may symbolize something rendered in a simple form of drawing. However, this is just my theory and it could be entirely wrong, so don't take it as fact.

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    Time Traveler Silktree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    Quote Originally Posted by VentusAstrum View Post
    As you may have noticed on Bulbapedia, this trio lacks a trio master. Maybe this new forme of Kyurem will be their trio master?
    Even though I suspect that Kyurem will have a new Forme which will turn out to be the ancient king, I don't see how Kyurem could be its own master. Remember that Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza form a trio, with the latter being superior to the former two.

    This is my theory. I should note that symbolism is heavily important in Chinese, as Chinese characters are created out of what things look like. Therefore, symbolism should be important in Japanese as well, as it is derived from Chinese. Therefore, the characters may symbolize something rendered in a simple form of drawing.
    What would you make of the fact that the other characters denote different letters on different floors? To me it implies that symbolism wasn't on Game Freak's minds when they came up with this script.

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    Pinnacle of Life Kars's Avatar
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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    all of this is simply mind blowing

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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    What would you make of the fact that the other characters denote different letters on different floors? To me it implies that symbolism wasn't on Game Freak's minds when they came up with this script.
    This is actually veryy interesting. I actually forgot about the Underwater ruins. And that doesn't seem logical - I don't see why the characters meaning would be switched, that's too cryptic for most to understand. I mean, if you figured out one floor's writing and used the same symbols for the same meanings on the next floor and they denoted different letters, I know I'd never get it.

    Either that or I misunderstand. XD

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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    May I ask where ③ and ④ in Black and White respectively? It could explain why Reshiram/Zekrom were turned into stones in Black/White(I don't think it was ever said that the dragon N gets was ever a stone to start with)

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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    Open if you want. It's my pre-review thoughts.


    Now for some interpretation of what it says:

    Listen to King's words.
    Primes lead to truth.
    King is brave.
    King never loses hope.
    King is kind.
    King has a dream.
    King is adventurous.
    King accepts all.
    King turns 2nd corner.
    King turns 3rd corner.
    King turns 5th corner.
    King turns 7th corner.
    Have the heart of King.
    Here we praise King.
    King's light shines.
    King moves his people.
    King acts with love.
    King fought hatred.
    No king gets lost.
    Go on, brave king.

    I feel this has to do with the layout of the temples, telling the player to turn various corners and obtaining items (Have the heart of King) or maybe reaching an important room (heart of the king, referring to the center of the kingdom? Is there a throne room there?)

    Life is gratitude.
    Eating is receiving life.
    Good or evil isn't all.
    Do not be barbaric.
    One must not waste.
    All is precious.
    Wars create tears.

    This seems to make various references to the legendaries of the Isshu region,

    Eating is receiving life. (Landlos, the "god of fields")

    Good or evil isn't all. (Reshiram and Zekrom, or Black and White, Good and Evil, etc.)

    Do not be barbaric. (A possible Keldio reference? Not to Keldio itself but to its home burning down?)

    Wars create tears. (A refernece to Victini, the Victory Star himself and perhaps something bigger?)


    King talks to all beings.
    Saved all from waves.
    King is hope for all.
    Think act with love.


    This is where things start to go weird, in my opinion.

    King talks to all beings.

    Hmmm. Able to talk to humans and Pokemon? Meloetta? *shrug* Meloetta does seem to represent communication.

    Saved all from waves

    Did Kyogre visit Isshu or was Isshu literally torn asunder by war and allowed for waves to hit inner Isshu? There's something here we are missing. Waves of War?

    King is hope for all.
    Think act with love.

    Whoever this King is, he is certainly a huge figure in this. The king seems to be Isshu's last hope. I can't tell what this means. Will a huge war break out in Isshu by Grey?

    King defeated ___ alone. - No idea. Perhaps the one who tore Isshu apart with war?
    ___ joined King in a day. - The musketeers?
    King called ___ beings. - The Jinns?
    King is hope and future.
    The great King ___ . - ...


    I can't really tell much from this.

    Apparently, Isshu was torn apart with many waves of war, perhaps the brothers from legend tore the land apart and "The King" stopped them?

    I don't think this fits Kyurem, seeing as it is already found in the Giant Hole, and disaster, not peace and things that the king seems to have instilled, seems to happen to those who go near the hole. But that doesn't eliminate the possibility that it could be referencing Kyurem. In fact, the Giant Hole could be the center of the war described in the cuneiform.

    Could "the King" be refering to the player? The first paragraph seems to support this.

    We don't know much as of yet but... maybe we can find something in here?

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." -George S. Patton
    Arceus is a false god. Only science knows the true answer.

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    BattleFanatic Eitarou's Avatar Archives StaffBulbapedia Editorial BoardModerator
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    Default Re: Underwater Ruins deciphered

    This king sounds a lot like N to me
    RedSapphire likes this.

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