So, for the Magical Burst game I’m running, I made an entire cipher language. Because what’s a Madoka-based game without a weird language for the players to have to decipher? I ended up explaining the details in the form of an in-character essay by a dimension-hopping magical girl, and I decided to preserve most of that here, because why not.
Universe 3, 51 months after the incident
Since messages now appear over my head in that odd language that appears around youma and, occasionally, other magical girls, it seems prudent to try my hand at translating it. Several weeks of research proved fruitless, since it appears that the language isn’t visible to anybody except other magical girls, none of whom keep very detailed notes. It led to my first breakthrough, though, when I realized that what I was seeing were my own thoughts displayed above my head. This allowed me to experiment with the language and start deciphering it.
My biggest roadblock was the fact that, for some odd reason, the language is a cipher for English. I’ve never met an American or British magical girl, and I only know what I learned in high school, yet we’re all followed around with English titles as if it were some weird law of physics. Could English be ingrained into the structure of not only this, but every Universe? How would that even make sense? Wouldn’t that be a little Anglocentric? Such questions are beyond the scope of this essay, so I suggest you just deal with it and get a good Japanese to English dictionary.
In any case, after I transcribed enough of my thoughts to work out a few letters, I was able to begin reverse-engineering the language. It began with the sequence of symbols for r, s, and t:
At a cursory glance, the three letters bear little resemblance except for the strange, blocky shape that the entire language is made out of. However, these adjacent characters did bear some similarities. I realized around this time that only the blocks were important, and the smaller details, such as the dots contained in some characters, were simply meaningless noise. At this point, I was able to decipher most of the more common characters, but encyclopedic knowledge of the language still eluded me.
It was several months before I had the second breakthrough that I needed to understand the language. Disregarding the noise, every character was divided into seven segments:
Each segment was either black or white, one of two values. It was another several months before I drew the connection between that and binary numbers, and it still took some searching to confirm my suspicions. Every character was actually just a 7-bit binary number, with white blocks representing 1 and black blocks representing 0. The numbers encoded in the blocks neatly mapped to the ASCII value for the actual letter. To use the example of V, ASCII character number 86 (1010110):
This only raises further questions, as it would appear that the metaphorical language of the angels, common to every Universe I have visited, is not only among us, but inexplicably is just a different way to write the English language in a computer encoding. The implications are staggering, but quite frankly, if there can be a Japan in every single Universe, I don’t see why we can’t throw one more coincidence onto the pile and call it a day.
Completely OOC Translation: Yeah, the fact that it’s just ASCII is purely in-universe coincidence. Somebody else is running a game based around metaness much better than I could. For much easier transcription into it, I also made an actual font. Because I’m geeky like that. Note that I haven’t done every character, because, you know, I didn’t expect to need the dollar sign that often. The following characters are supported:
A-Z a-z space ‘?!.,
Additionally, since the gribbly bits don’t matter, there are extra copies of the ten most common characters in English. The numbers keys are mapped to the actual characters for the following letters:
0 - space
1 - e
2 - t
3 - a
4 - o
5 - i
6 - n
7 - s
8 - h
9 - r