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Hi, I'm Berry. Welcome to my page.



Please feel free to leave a message on my talk page if you'd like to contact me. This is my preferred method of contact and the fastest way to get in touch with me. If you feel you must contact me privately for some reason, you're welcome to try the e-mail form. :)

About me

I've played Urban Dead since 2005-07-12 (under a completely different name; "Berry" of Malton isn't me) and am still very active there. When I first heard about Shartak and started to look into it, I recognized Simon's name from his positive influence in the Yahoo! "NecroTech" Group, so I had a good feeling about it. I'm glad that Shartak uses a familiar interface, while adding improvements, changing the scale, and bringing a fresh and exciting approach to gameplay. Also, I happen to have been born on an island, myself (Oahu, Hawaii), so that's one more reason why I have an appreciation for this game.

My Shartak characters

Mamoru - A Shaman from Raktam. My first character. Left his home village on the first day and promptly got entirely lost. The experience sparked my interest in mapping the island.

Berry - A Villager from Wiksik. My second character: "Let's try this again, from the top, only let's be a little smarter about it this time". Berry didn't leave the village at all during the first several days. Mapped Wiksik's perimeter and hut locations, then spent a few days searching in huts. Got a knife and a machete and some other provisions before striking out to the north.

Devon Maru - An Explorer from Derby. My third character. Created to find out how the GPS works -- and because I wanted to transplant one of my dormant Urban Dead characters over to this part of the world. ;)

Ganning A Pirate from the shipwreck. 'Cause I mean, c'mon, you gotta have one pirate character in this game! Running around going "ARRRR!" and "Avast, ye scurvy natives, where be ye rrrich storrrrehouses of gold?" Anyway, points to you if you can guess the inspiration for this choice of name.


Current projects


I've used one of my characters to write some song lyrics across several squares on the north beach. The lyrics seemed appropriate for the surroundings. I wonder how long it will be before anyone sees them, and when someone eventually does, I wonder if they'll recognize the song. I think I'd like to do more multiple-square thematic lyric or poetry posts in the future. --Berry 14:04, 21 March 2006 (GMT)


I'm curious about whether communications between natives and outsiders without any language skills turn into purely random gibberish or if there's a discernible, repeatable transformation taking place which can be figured out, like the Al-Bhed "language" in the Final Fantasy game series.

To this end, I have attempted to establish a "language hut" in Raktam, where I hope outsiders and natives will visit peacefully and practice speaking a lot just for the sake of getting large samples of both languages out in the open.

There are possible pitfalls and setbacks, of course - the place might attract hostile/combative visitors, for example - but I have fun figuring out stuff like this, so it's worth the risk to me.

I'd like to have my character try reciting the alphabet to someone of the other team, and waiting to have it recited back, a few times.

--Berry 13:45, 12 March 2006 (GMT)

The "language hut" has been marked outside. It's located at (10,13) on the territory map on the wiki page for Raktam. I don't know the GPS coordinates for that location yet.

I'm encouraged by what seems to be a bit of possible interest:

You say "Hello. You don't seem to be from around here. Nice to meet you, how do you do? I'm Mamoru, what's your name?"
You say "I've taken the liberty of marking this hut as a place for us to talk to you, if that's all right with you."
Since your last move:
(a native) says "hello"
(an outsider) says "yun yun!"

--Berry 05:21, 13 March 2006 (GMT)

Well, some higher-level fellow native attacked me and the outsider, leaving me wounded and the outsider nowhere to be found. Darn. So much for that idea, I guess.

--Berry 11:20, 13 March 2006 (GMT)


An outsider spoke to my native Mamoru today. Neither of us possess any language skills from the skill tree, but I could make out some of what they said:

They said, "Hum, cu yun uheththidu mun? Ing'mun arar Ing du'thi shurar nuhing. Ing ar Thimunnuh. Ar orrshureth."

My thoughts:

  • My initial interpretation was: "Hmm, can you understand me?" (something something) "I'm a Scientist. An outsider."
  • "Hum, cu yun uheththidu mun?" -- In retrospect, now that I see the "th" pair in "uheththidu", maybe it was "Hey, can you assist me?"
  • "Ing" seems to be the pronoun "I"; "Ing'mun" is possibly "I'm".
  • If "mun" is "me" and "Ing'mun" is "I'm", then we can speculate that when an outsider says a word that has "m" at the end of a word by itself or followed by a vowel, natives hear "mun" at the end of the word instead.
  • "ar" might be "a/an" -- but also might be "am" or "are".
    • "arar" -- not sure. typo in the original?
  • "Thimunnuh" seems to be a proper name. An introduction? "I am Thimunnuh".
    • Wait, wait, waaaait a minute. What? *brainstorm* I was reading that name with a short "i", like the word "liminal". But with a long "i" -- "thigh-mun-nuh"... Simon?? :-O

--Berry 10:31, 15 March 2006 (GMT)

More stuff for you to ponder over... Mamoru says "Hok Tammogn, dal yak ack, coo Ick uckecktamdal yak? Dal yak sik, yak ack ack ocksikeck? Yak coo tamlal tam mog ackyakickeck." --Simon 10:37, 15 March 2006 (GMT)

  • Aaaaha, that was you! I'm glad I had enough healing herbs on hand to repair all that target practice. ;D I've been omitting your character's name on this page out of respect for privacy. --Berry 11:10, 15 March 2006 (GMT)

A native said this to an outsider:

Hi (name), did you ask, can I understand you? Did you say, you are an outsider? You can talk to me anytime.

And the outsider heard this:

Hok (name), dal yak ack, coo Ick uckecktamdal yak? Dal yak sik, yak ack ack ocksikeck? Yak coo tamlal tam mog ackyakickeck.

It seems, from this small sample, that Natives and Outsiders definitely hear each other differently, rather than there being a single "confusion filter" that's applied both ways.

In particular, it seems Outsiders are hearing a lot of "ack ack ack" in Native speech, while Natives probably think the Outsiders are talking with their mouths full.

--Berry 11:11, 15 March 2006 (GMT)

My native character Berry just found this message carved on the side of a hut in some ruins:

"Thishur Rarnuh humvar bareth cuarmundu ing thi nuhmun orr Hum Ingethar Munjuhshuryun Queeth Varthiing"

Given its location, and the fact that there were two outsiders inside the hut, I'd guess that it says something like:

"These Ruins have been claimed in the name of Her (?) Majesty Queen (?)"

If this is so, then it suggests that:

  • trailing "th" means "n"
  • some vowels are getting dropped, and, in turn, some consonants gain extra sounds, like "ur" or "un" or "uh" or "ar"
  • letter "l" also conspicuously absent.
  • "orrshureth" (from Simon's earlier message) seems to be "often"
    • which implies that "shur" is "t", at least sometimes; possibly applied to two-consonant combinations like "st" and "ft"
    • similarly, "thi" seems to be at times "the" and at times "si"

The word "Ingethar"... "English"? "Royal"? "Imperial"?

"du'thi" = ?

"shurar nuhing" = "still new"?

--Berry 15:52, 15 March 2006 (GMT)

Conclusions so far

It seems clear to me that, to an unskilled native character, the signal-to-noise ratio is too high for an algorithm to reliably work out the original intended message. Especially in light of evidence that letters are being dropped. At best, I believe it's possible to figure out only the rules and patterns used to distort the text. For decoding, rely on context first.

Past projects


Mapping out the perimeter of Wiksik, the "long way" (that is, without possessing the in-game skill). -- Berry 09:41, 5 March 2006 (GMT)

Interesting idea. Email me and I'll share some thoughts I had on that. --Dr. J 13:39, 5 March 2006 (GMT)
The map obtained from cartography/exploration skills is only a rough approximation so if you want to map out Shartak to block level, go ahead! --Simon 15:33, 5 March 2006 (GMT)
Hey guys! Feel free to check out my first block level map on the Wiksik page. :D --Berry 09:44, 6 March 2006 (GMT)

Mapping out the perimeter of Raktam, the "long way". --Berry 09:37, 7 March 2006 (GMT)

Completed --Berry 10:56, 7 March 2006 (GMT)
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