Many Sundered players have been curious about which language is heard to be spoken in the game by Eshe’s sinister companion, The Shining Trapezohedron, the same language that is also prominently displayed throughout the game in on-screen text. Some have ventured a few guesses as to it’s origin: Arabic, German, even Welsh! But it may surprise you to know that the language was in fact created from scratch by our writer extraordinaire, Catherine Le Caroff! But don’t take my word for it, here’s the writer herself to tell you more!
I’ve been told that some of you asked how we came up with the Eschaton language. So it only seemed fair you get an answer directly from the writer! Although the language looks fairly complicated when you first look at it, my method for finding the alphabet wasn’t so laborious. Still, the final version that appears in the game actually wasn’t the language’s first version.
Despite the fact the game is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, I didn’t want to use the exact same language that appears in his books. Mostly because I wanted the game to stay original to itself but also because Lovecraft never actually wrote down an alphabet, which complicated things a bit. So I took my inspiration from Old English and German pronunciation. So if you ever think some of the words have a slight German ring to them, then you assumed correctly!
After a few months of working with the first version, we realized that it didn’t sound sharp enough. It was a tad too melodious to match the appearance of Sundered’s creatures. So I tweaked it a bit and added more harsh sounding letters, such as more “R,” “G” and “K”s.
To make sure our voice actor (Olivier Barrette) didn’t go crazy, I had to remove some of the letters to make the words shorter, at the same time ensuring that the length of the sentences matched the English ones. So you might see a difference between the subtitles and the way the actor pronounced things, but, alas, it was a necessity. It’s not everyday someone is asked to speak an eldritch language!
Fortunately, Olivier was amazing and also had a solid grasp on several languages, like I did, which allowed us to make a kick-ass team when the time to record showed up!
All of that said, anyone who pays close attention to the words could find a pattern in them, since there is an alphabet! I’m not going to reveal anything, because where would the fun in that be? [Too late – we spoiled it all on Facebook! -ed.] But any player who would want to delve a bit deeper in the universe could learn how to translate the words into English.
So yeah! Basically, Old English, German and my brain were involved in the making of the Eschaton language, and I hope all of you will appreciate the result! It was a huge challenge, but I had a lot of fun working on it, and I do feel it adds a lot to the game. Poor Eshe is going to feel completely lost! Good thing our girl has no intention of giving up so easily!
I hope this answers your questions, and if you have more, always feel free to ask our team!
Tag’ht’aeng’c yeh’liui shli mg’uikht’ fhlir’l ph’lw’aeyeh’yng’gl!!
C. Le Caroff – Sundered’s writer.