Category Archives: Aurebesh to English

Czerka: Titans of Industry, part 2

This week we return to CZ-198 to look at some more of the unique displays created for Czerka’s secret moonbase, focusing on signs found in the the flashpoint Czerka Core Meltdown.

At the entrance of the area, visitors are greeted with a helpful map, which indicates their position and annotates the major sections of the research facility that makes up the flashpoint.

Aside from the areas of note, this sign is of interest because it demonstrates one of several ways the Aurebesh handles upper and lower case letters. Formal Aurebesh makes no allowance for case, but several of the official and unofficial Aurebesh fonts handle capital letters in different ways. If you’re playing at the time this is posted, you may have noticed an image in SWTOR’s launcher promoting the Nar Shaddaa Nightlife event that contains Aurebesh letters that seem to be mirrored. That’s because the image was created with a font that uses reversed Aurebesh glyphs when generating upper case letters. The font used in this CZ sign, however, simply renders capitals as larger than lower case letters. Neither version is correct. It’s just a matter of the various font creators finding different solutions to fill the gaps in the Aurebesh font family.

Venturing deeper into the flashpoint, visitors will come across two signs outside the facilities Biomes that contain two of the flashpoint’s boss encounters. One biome recreates the environment of the desert work Tatooine, and the other replicates the swampy interior of Dromund Kaas.

Each sign includes information on the planets in question. The resolution of the letters is not very high, making the text somewhat challenging to read. Moreover the text on the Tatooine sign is fragmentary. However, content of these signs was derived from swtor.com’s holonet entries on Tatooine and Dromund Kaas, and you can read the complete entries on each planet there.

The text in both planetary signs seems to have been pasted into the text box with the hyphenation option active, so some words are broken up across lines. I have maintained the original hyphenation in my translation.

Finally, all three of these signs are available as stronghold decorations from the CZ-198 reputation vendor in the Sith and Republic staging areas outside the flashpoint portals. Check ‘em out!

Update: While collecting screenshots for this entry, I came across a poster, which I had previously examined in this blog. However, the example I translated was cropped, and it seems there was additional Aurebesh text on the poster that I missed. Therefore, I have revised and expanded my entry on that poster.

Comments Off on Czerka: Titans of Industry, part 2

Filed under Aurebesh to English

Czerka: Titans of Industry, part 1

During SWTOR’s Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion, patch 2.3 brought players to the secret moon base CZ-198, one of many clandestine research facilities owned by the Czerka Corporation. In addition to being home to a daily quest hub and two flashpoints, CZ-198 is adorned with numerous examples of Aurebesh signage and decorations.

Czerka has it’s origins in the earliest days of the expanded universe, with the company and its logo created as a weapons manufacturer. Czerka played a significant role in both Knights of the Old Republic and in SWTOR where their operatives are the major antagonists of the Tatooine story-arc.

Many of the graphics, especially the ones with specific context, such as signs for the “Tram Station”, “Freight Depot” and “Waste Disposal” are unique to the moon, although a few of the displays can be seen elsewhere in the galaxy, including on the bridge of the Gravestone. Several of the unique signs contain information about Czerka’s research base. The display shown above directs visitors to the various offices found on CZ-198. One department has been appropriately renamed for the setting, and it’s amusing to note that the publicity department seems to have been consigned to the basement beneath even the moon’s facility operations.

Czerka also made sure to provide its employees with the finest nutritional offerings at the Cafeczerka which has options for any tastes and any budget. I’ve got to tip my hat to the artists at Bioware for doing their research on this one. The dishes on the menu are derived from sources across the Star Wars canon. A few do seem to be unique creations of the Czerka Culinary Division, including the spicy Nar Sha Dip and the too often overcooked Alderaan Crisp. Evil geniuses never understand that char is not a flavor!

While this vendor stall can be visited in the Czerka flashpoints, it is also available as a stronghold decoration for folks who like to keep their characters well fed.

There is too much signage on display on CZ-198 for me to cover in a single post, so I will be returning to this moon in the near future.

 

Comments Off on Czerka: Titans of Industry, part 1

Filed under Aurebesh to English

Fly the Unfriendly Skies

This week, we pay a visit to fragrant, scenic Nal Hutta, adopted home of the Hutts and the starport at Jiguuna. A prominent sign outside the terminal announces arrivals and departures and their current status.

The listings are of transport services, many of which have their origins in Star Wars lore. Camura Lines was first mentioned back in West End Games’ Star Wars The Roleplaying Game. Yarella is a common Hutt name and thus appropriate for the sign’s context. Rim Shipping is generic enough, but could also be a precursor to “Core to Rim Shipping”, which also appeared in WEG’s SWRPG. Finally Gronco seems to be a Star Wars-ification of the word “bronco” or simply just a funny name that could very well apply to many a Hutt, Wookiee, Gamorrean or a hot shot pilot.

Only half of the scheduled flights are on time, and nearly a third are cancelled, so getting to and from Hutta is a coin flip at best. And you better hope the Hutt Cartel hasn’t overbooked your flight. Being put into Carbon Freeze and dumped in with the luggage is standard procedure for folks who won’t give up their seats. But at least you get there. Thawing and dealing with the consequences of hibernation sickness, however, are your own responsibilities.

This is one of many signs in SWTOR that uses the non-standard Aurebesh font Galactic Basic. The small, red glyphs that bracket the large sign seem to feature a stylized Senth letter, so I have re-created it as “s” in my version. Given that the sign is for a star or shuttle port, it seems like a safe pick.

 

Comments Off on Fly the Unfriendly Skies

Filed under Aurebesh to English

Futhork meets Aurebesh

After an unexpected break, we’re back! This week, let’s look at this huge poster which hangs over the outdoor docks in Coruscant’s Old Galactic Marketplace. Unlike most other posters you might see in this area, it is not an advertisement. Instead it is a notice of trade restrictions that are probably no longer enforced now that the Migrant Merchants Guide is running the zone.

The most notable feature of this poster is the use of the Futhork font in its prominent center section and in the small text at the top and bottom. Conceptual designer Iain McCaig created Futhork as one of Naboo’s writing styles for The Phantom Menace. and it is featured throughout the prequel trilogy. In SWTOR, Futhork and many other languages can be seen most commonly on Nar Shaddaa in the neon and holographic signs that dominate the skyline of the infamous Smuggler’s Moon.

Futhork is described as an elegant hand-written font and I imagine it is used in the same way as Blackletter or Gothic script to make a design seem more elegant or official.

The poster itself has a nice warm feel that I quite like. The Futhork flourishes make it stand out from other signage in the game. The accidentally repeated word in the third line of the block of text in the center section again exposes the danger of writing in an alien language, but I don’t think it detracts from the overall design. Another nice touch is in the orange tabs at the top and the bottom. Although the layout is the same in both sections, each of the small boxes has its own element.

Finally, the text in the two white sections is blown out and difficult to read. If you look at the poster from an angle or play with the levels in Photoshop, however, the text becomes visible. In my translation, I kept the words readable.

Patch 5.2: The War for Iokath

Since I last posted, patch 5.2 was published and I thought I’d share some quick impressions. Overall, I’m pleased. The story itself is mainly seems to be prologue to the next big arc and thus has a lot to set up: the return to Iokath, the return of two of the game’s signature companions, the renewed conflict between the Republic and Sith, the return of Zakuul’s old gods and the emergence of a traitor in the ranks. That’s a whole lot ground to cover and not everything gets the space it needs, but I’m curious to see where things go from here.

Without getting into spoiler territory, one thing that did impress me was the use of Quinn. It’s an understatement to call him one of the game’s most infamous companions. My consular sided with the Republic, and while Elara remained mostly a background character, I was pleased that the story did a good job making Quinn into a quality antagonist who I wouldn’t mind seeing as a recurring villain. Given how story choices work, I’m not sure he’ll ever pop up again, but I never thought I’d want to see more of Quinn!

The operation’s first boss Tyth is a fun fight, requiring appropriate coordination on Veteran Mode, but remaining welcoming to new and inexperienced players on Story Mode. I look forward to facing the twins Esne and Aivela next.

I haven’t spent too much time in the daily area. I received so many reputation tokens just from the story that I haven’t felt the need to dive too deep into the dailies and have only completed the weekly once. The zone is sprawling and still confusing to me. This is a good thing; I don’t mind knowing that I will need to explore the area and get comfortable with its layout. That said, the map’s tooltips pointing to quest objectives need some work. The environment itself is very cool, and I’m happy to just stop and admire the scenery.

However, some of the quests are buggy. I’ve killed the Colossal Droid twice but have yet to receive credit, and surely the Mouse droid daily isn’t meant to be so frustrating and difficult as it is now.

I know having to spend power shards to access the quests to control the various droids and vehicles on Iokath has been controversial, but I can see what Bioware is going for with this system. The problem with daily areas is that they get old fast, and adding a mechanic where certain quests can only be unlocked with extra effort strikes me as a neat idea. The notion that taking control of a walker is something I have to save up for makes it a bit of a special event. The rub is in making these quests as fun and rewarding as possible, and I’m not sure they’re there yet. I won’t lie, getting killed by random mobs while wandering around as a mouse droid is not awesome, especially since I have to burn more shards just to try again.

My stash of shards is pretty thin right now, but if the Iokath currency becomes like all the other event and area currencies in the game, I’ll eventually have shards coming out of my ears, so having a use for them after I have all the reputation rewards I want doesn’t strike me as a bad idea.

Hopefully the bugs will get squashed in short order, and I’m curious to see what comes next.

Lastly, SWTOR’s new Game Producer Keith Kanneg and Creative Director Charles Boyd have both made some appearances on the forums recently and their posts have included actual information and teased upcoming improvements. This has been a most welcome change of pace and I’m hopeful this continued engagement with the community will continue.

 

Comments Off on Futhork meets Aurebesh

Filed under Aurebesh to English, KotET

Shop Together. Happy Together.

This week, let’s examine a pair of posters that regular visitors to the Republic’s Carrick Station or any player of Huttball will surely recognize.

The orange banner is another travel poster, this time for an interstellar transport firm called DGB. The meaning of the initials and the numbers along side them are unknown to me. The second poster with its delightfully Eighties contrasting blue and pink color scheme advertises a galactic marketplace.

I can only speculate on the meaning of the large letter Besh: Balmorra? Bespin? Buy n Large? The Mern or M letter, however, is a common element on some other marketplace posters. I’ve speculated on its specific meaning before, and see no reason to stop now. The double Ms could very well stand for the Migrant Merchants Guild, which seized control of Coruscant’s Old Galactic Marketplace.

Both posters use design elements seen elsewhere in the game. The triangular “triforce” symbol and the connected hexagons are often seen on their own in any neon-soaked location from the Huttball arena to Nar Shaddaa’s Promendade.

It seems that even in a galaxy far, far away corporate branding is as inescapable, as it is in our own.

 

Comments Off on Shop Together. Happy Together.

Filed under Aurebesh to English

Just Breathe

My pledge to take the week off has faltered yet again with the release of the trailer for The Last Jedi and its inclusion of Aurebesh on Finn’s medical pod.

Much of the text is so blurry and distorted that it is difficult if not impossible to decipher. Moreover, what is readable, specifically the sets of four characters that shift during the second or two this shot is on screen seem to be random characters. This information can easily be chalked up as medical jargon and acronyms obscure to all but the most seasoned of medical droids.

The information at the top of the red block, however, does seem to be translateable, and might constitute a very minor spoiler, so Caveat Clicktor!

As is often the case with Aurebesh ligatures, they are not used as letters but rather the English keyboard symbol that the font uses to generate them, so I translated the Cherek and Shen glyphs as brackets.

There seems to be more Aurebesh in white on the right side of the pod, but it is far too blurry for me to take a stab at.

To make sense of the Aurebesh in the screen shot, I did have to apply some technical jiggery-pokery in Photoshop. Even so this translation involves more guessing and perhaps wishful thinking than usual. Other translators may very well come to different conclusions.

 

Comments Off on Just Breathe

Filed under Aurebesh to English, General Star Wars

No TV Party Tonight

One of my favorite flashpoints is Kaon Under Siege. From its slow build to its crazy mutant-space-zombie apocalyptic climax, it’s an effective and thrilling bit of storytelling. One of Kaon’s most distinctive environments is the abandoned auditorium. Players often race through the theater quickly. pausing only to deal with a pair of rogue security droids patrolling the area. However, passing through an area that would normally be bustling but is currently devoid of life adds to the flashpoint’s mounting sense of unease. Prior to the arrival of the Rakghoul plague, I’m sure it was a lovely place to catch a holovid.

The auditorium’s screen features a large display that, as far as I can tell, appears no where else in the game. It has three sections of scrolling Aurebesh, several inset portraits of aliens and animated graphics of maps and geometric shapes.

The Aurebesh itself is non-specific and draws from SWTOR’s often used pool of mostly random text that can be seen around the galaxy, from the scrolling text that the bottom on the holonet newsfeed in the cut scene that introduces players to the Rakghoul Resurgence event to the Eternal Empire’s Zakuulan language monitors.

This translation includes all four repeating lines that are shared in the two side boxes as well as the crawl atop the screen. To add some visual variety to the repeating letters, the Aurebesh at the top of the graphic is mirrored, and the text in the side boxes is upside down. This technique is common both in SWTOR and in the Aurebesh seen in the Star Wars prequels.

There are items of interest in the content of the Aurebesh. First is the word “slothfurnace” which seems to be a reference to a real company that makes replica Star Wars props such as lightsabers and blasters. I suspect this secret bit of buzz marketing slipped by without official notice. Finally there is a long series of numbers in the first line of the side boxes. I can’t say for sure, but these digits look like a pair of dates to me: June 28, 1976 and November 16, 1977. A couple of birthdays perhaps?

 

Comments Off on No TV Party Tonight

Filed under Aurebesh to English

Falling Down a Bottomless Pit is Never Fatal

A friend of mine who got an invite to the PTS for the upcoming patch 5.2: The War for Iokath sent me this screenshot from the new daily area’s imperial quest hub. He doesn’t know Aurebesh, but figured I could translate it for him so I thought I’d give it a go.

At first glance this seems like a bog standard Imperial recruitment poster featuring one of the game’s most beloved Dark Lords. It’s topped with an invocation of the Sith code, but its tagline, however, is a different thing entirely. Not only does it have significant implications for the future of SWTOR but for the entire Star Wars saga.

Whether this is an inside joke for folks on the PTS or kind of a big spoiler, I cannot say. Click on the thumbnail and see the translation at your own risk. You’ve been warned!

 

Comments Off on Falling Down a Bottomless Pit is Never Fatal

Filed under Aurebesh to English, General Star Wars, General SWTOR

Put Another Credit in the Jukebox, Baby


If you’ve ever dropped a token in a cantina jukebox or have one as a stronghold decoration, you may have noticed that the monitor on the machine will light up with text when activated.

The three different screens that flash through display Aurebesh that, when translated, is revealed to be, not surprisingly, lists of songs, the machine’s playlist as it were.

Looking at the names of the songs, there are several items of interest. First, it’s amusing how easy it is to turn a line from the Star Wars movies into a convincing song title. “You know it to be true.” Is that a threat from a Dark Lord of the Sith, or a refrain from a love song? Context matters!

In addition, one of the songs in the listings is not just a KOTOR reference but an actual use of the term “KOTOR.” Whether this leaves your fourth wall shattered is up to you, but I’d say it barely counts as a crack.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that many of the songs displayed on the jukebox are actual songs from the game’s soundtrack. They can be selected using the cantina jukeboxes and can be heard on the stronghold decoration versions as well.

On a related note, it’s not well known, but SWTOR’s wonderful soundtrack is available for download for free from swtor.com. My favorites are the tracks for Tython and Balmorra. It’s worth a listen!

 

Comments Off on Put Another Credit in the Jukebox, Baby

Filed under Aurebesh to English

The Sith Empire Asks That You Stay Alert

This week, let’s look at two Alert posters that can be found on Dromund Kaas, a world that really knows how to make visitors feel welcome.

This notice is posted on many walls throughout the capital. At first glance it seems to be a pretty standard “If you see something, say something” poster not unlike one that might be seen in a major city or airport in this day and age, but the addition of the macrobinoculars makes it clear that not only do the Sith want you to keep an eye out for trouble, they actively want you to be spying on your neighbors, even at a great distance.

I’ve only seen this poster in one dark corner of Dromund Kaas and have tweaked the contrast to make it more readable. Again, this poster looks to be a typical “No trespassing” sign until you get to the last line. You’ve got to admire the efficiency of the Sith Empire. They won’t waste time threatening scofflaws with arrest, prosecution or imprisonment; instead they’ll just let you know that if you cross that line, they’ll kill you. No muss, no fuss. Somewhat ironically, this fenced off area can only be accessed by the Jedi Knight character during the climatic chapter of their class story.

 

Comments Off on The Sith Empire Asks That You Stay Alert

Filed under Aurebesh to English