The concept of Hyrule having languages and alphabets of their own has actually been a staple in the Zelda world for quite some time. A Link to the Past was technically the first game to mention that there were ancient texts that were only legible with a keen eye and a vast intelligence (or just the Book of Mudora), the language wasn’t fully fleshed out and was just a repetition of a few symbols. Ocarina of Time gave the Hylians their own alphabet, but, much like the Wind Waker alphabet that succeeded it, the alphabet was based upon the Japanese kana syllabary and not the standard 26-letter Latin alphabet the Western world is familiar with.
But it turns out that Twilight Princess wasn’t actually the first Zelda game with a Western-style alphabet. And with the help of Hyrule Historia, Zelda Universe forum member Sarinilli has shown us that those honors go to the Gerudo alphabet back in Ocarina of Time.
And now you can download the font to speak Gerudo like all the cool kids. Hit the jump for more details!
The Gerudo alphabet has actually been staring at us all this time, but the discovery of it actually meaning something didn’t take place until very recently. The problem all this time is that there wasn’t much of the Gerudo text in the game, making it therefore pretty impossible to figure out if it actually meant something. What’s more, given the fact that the Hylian alphabet represented the 46 basic mora, few would have guessed that a different alphabet would map to the English 26-character alphabet.
Hyrule Historia calls the alphabet “Gerudo’s Typography.” The alphabet is based upon the standard A through Z, has a few characters of punctuation, but the numeric system of the alphabet is more strange than anything else. The book only reveals the numbers for one and five, leaving the rest of the digits absent from the book. It’s possible to speculate the fact that the write numbers in a format similar to Roman numeral in groups of V and I; however, there’s no clear indicator for a zero in order to leave out units when skipping places. It could also mean that those are the only digits, and that to express large numbers, you have to write a lot of fives.
Or it could be that we just don’t have a complete symbol table here due to the constraints on fitting it into the margin of the page. Or maybe this is Miyamoto’s secret attempt to troll us. You can decide.
You can download the font from Sarinilli’s deviantArt page.
Sarinilli, you’re one of our Zelda superheroes.