Writing Systems

This page remains incomplete.

This page details the varied writing systems present in all Final Fantasies. Most are used to write English, although some also have their own language connected with the script. Languages are presented on their own page.

Gaia (7)

Coming soon

Spira

Spira comes with three different scripts of its own, one for each of its two major languages of common Spiran and Al Bhed language, and the last for religious scripts used by the Church of Yevon. The first two are the common type of alphabet familiar to western people where one sign corresponds to one type of sound, while the third is more akin to Egyptian hieroglyphics in that it can be read phonetically, but some signs are also used to represent concepts.

Spiran


Spiran is the tongue in use by most the peoples of Spira, and it appears that even among the Al Bhed who are confirmed to have their own language people can be rather fluent in it. The letters used to write it are very close in form and function to the western alphabet in the real world.

The Spiran alphabet can be seen in use all over Spira, usually in various signs scattered around the major travel routes and in cities to advertise.
script_ff10_spiran.jpg

Al Bhed


The script used to write the Al Bhed language appears to be a distant relative to the common Spiran script. If you look closely at the forms of the letters, vague outlines of the Spiran letters can be found within them, more clearly in the capital letters. This seems to indicate that at some point in history the two scripts were one, but separated at some point. script_ff10_albhed.jpg

Yevon

script_ff10_yevon.jpg

By far the most interesting script in the world of Spira is the Yevon script, seen in use in temples and the summon sigils that appear with aeons. It doesn't bear even a passing resemblance to the other two scripts found in Spira, and while when read the phonetic way the alphabet are the same, the Yevon script signs also function as symbols representing a full word in one sign.

The Meanings

As the meanings of the word-signs in the chart have been written in Japanese, their English equivalents are listed here. It bears noting that the chart isn't complete, the game features more Yevon script signs than is featured in it.
In addition to the meanings listed in the chart, the signs also correspond to various aeons and the temples they reside in. This meaning has been listed below as well.

A - Yevon
B - Darkness, Anima, Baaj
F - Lightning, Ixion, Mindy (of Magus Sisters), Djose
I - Light, Bahamut, Bevelle
L - Ice, Shiva, Macalania
N - Flame / Fire, Ifrit, Sandy (of Magus Sisters), Kilika
T - Empty / Nothing, Valefor, Besaid
W - Water, Cindy (of Magus Sisters)
Z - Sin
East
West
South
North

Ivalice

Ivalice, being presented in the game from several times and several dimensions, also has several different scripts used in its various incarnations. As it cannot be confirmed when and where each Ivalice game happens1, nothing substantial can be theorized based on those differences.

Old Valendian

This script (official name missing, on Chrysalis named after the time period it's used in) is a cursive ink pen script that closely resembles that of fancier real-Earth calligraphy fonts. However, the shape of the letters is slightly different, and due to the flourishes used in its writing the letters can be very hard to recognize.
The script has both capital and lowercase letters, as well as a logically constructed numbering system. Each number is divided into the top and bottom halves, and the shape of each half tells you how the number should be interpreted - an I in both halves stands for zero, an O in the top half and I in the lower half stands for 1, and so on.

script_ff12.png

Ivalician

The Ivalician script (official name missing, on Chrysalis named after the kingdom it's used in) can be seen in use on the map (/main) screen of Final Fantasy Tactics. It has some resemblance to both the real-Earth latin alphabet and scandinavian runic scripts.

script_fft.jpg

Gran Pulse

Within the world of Final Fantasy XIII (and related titles), there are several distinct cultures, and as a result there are several distinct writing systems. Two of them, those used by the cultures of Gran Pulse and of Cocoon, have enough similarities that they likely have evolved from a common origin, long ago. The third is entirely distinct and not used by human cultures.

Gran Pulsian

The script the ancient cultures of Gran Pulse used for their writing. It bears noting that not all western letters are present in the script. It is unknown if this is due to them not being designed/not being present in the game, or if this is a feature of the script itself.
In the latter case, the missing letters are likely substituted with a similar-sounding letter, just like the case is when writing real-Earth languages that do not have a letter of their own in the script you are using. For example, for K and Q you would use C, T for D, Y for J and possibly I, etc. The lack of a V sound is notable, and considering real-Earth languages the most likely substitute for that and W is U. it would also indicate that the sound is not natively used in Gran Pulsian languages.

script_ff13_pulse.png

Cocoonian

Unlike the Pulsian script, the script used in Cocoon has come to include both capital and lowercase letters. All in all, it is functionally identical to the alphabet used in real-Earth English, right down to the myriads of fonts used on digital displays.

script_ff13_cocoon.png

Eidolonic

script_ff13_runic.png

The third writing system in Final Fantasy XIII is only present in Eidolons and their weapons, possibly indicating non-human origins, and most certainly indicating non-human usage. It is possibly a language used more widely in Valhalla, although this is mere speculation.

The pictures presented are rather indistinct, but the script appears to have certain similarities with European runic scripts. The upper picture says 'Odin', while the lower, more unclear one, says 'Brynhildr'. This is a different spelling for the summon Brunhildr.

Hydaelyn

As the world of Hydaelyn is much more vast than has been shown in the game so far, not all scripts of the world are known. The only one confirmed so far is the Eorzean script.

Eorzean

The Eorzean script is widely used in all corners of Eorzea and is in living use. It can be found everywhere from guide posts to advertising posters to scripts on weapons and armor. However, it remains unknown how much of the Eorzean population is literate. The widespread usage of the script seems to indicate an equally wide-spread literacy rate, but this is not confirmation of it.

The script itself is relatively simple, with one letter corresponding to one of our letters, both capital and regular ones. Both are pictured below. The usage of numbers is unknown.
It bears noting that while the letters themselves are the same, some words are written slightly more phonetically than regular English. Examples of this, however, are few and far between.

script_ff14_eorzea.jpg

Crystal Chronicles

Coming soon

Orience

Coming soon

Wonderland


Not much is known about the writing system of Wonderland, or more specifically how it came about and where and how often it's used. It does seem common with higher-technology cultures, but nothing beyond that is known. script_ffu.jpg

Category: Encyclopedia

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License