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Riotous Mar 7, 2013 @ 3:16pm
Deciphering Lara's Journal [May Contain Spoilers]
I started this thread on reddit but would love to get more input.

This could be absolutely nothing, but it seems too related to be random bits thrown on a page.

The page in question: http://i.imgur.com/L61tBU6.jpg

Now, it's possible that the devs said "Throw some history stuff on the pages and let's wrap it up already." but in doing a bit of digging I think it may be more than that.

I originally thought the top right was a misspelling of "Croatian" but I can't imagine Lara (or the devs) would make such a mistake. So I did a bit of Googling and, among other uses of the word Croatoan, found a lot about Roanoke Colony. For those unfamiliar with it Roanoke Colony, was an English settlement in what is now North Carolina in the late 1500s. It mysteriously disappeared and there was no sign of "foul play," in fact the colonists had clearly deliberately dismantled their colony and simply vanished, leaving only the word "Croatoan" carved into a post. Roanoke is now known as the Lost Colony.

Now, there are other uses of the word Croatoan, such as a Native American tribe or an island (more of a reef, really) which are both in the same area but the next bit is why I believe Roanoke was what was being referenced.

On the left page we have, among other things, a note paper with Cyrillic writing. Redditor milancheee let me know that the writing is actually English but just using the Cyrillic alphabet and translated it as:


Eight have origin
Time essential
Lost deel village

The lost village bit combined with the "Croatoan" is why I believe we are referring to Roanoke.

Below that we see a bit of paper with the number and roman numeral for 3 on it. This is what actually got me looking at this stuff in the first place. Redditor SomewhatSpecial asked about Trinity, a mysterious organization you learn very little about and questions are left unanswered. All we seem to know comes from two files:

Number 1 http://i.imgur.com/qUsxUbR.jpg

Number 2 http://i.imgur.com/kci0CP8.jpg
(Screenshots from SomewhatSpecial)

Lara finding this reference to Trinity on the island may have her seeking out more about them/it. I believe that the presence of the 3 and III with the question mark could mean what we're seeing on the pages are related to Lara's search for more information about Trinity.

The bottom of the original screenshot is German. Redditor darthbiki reports that it is "Sie ist der Schlüssel" meaning "She is the key".

So here are the general elements of the page:
1: Top Left, note with Cyrillic. Translation:
Quote:
Eight have origin
Time essential
Lost deel village
May refer to Roanoke. I do not know the significance of "eight have origin."

2: Behind the note you can see a drawing of what could be a spear, arrow, window, etc.

3: Note with 3 and III? - Could be referring to Trinity

4: Drawing of some cliffs with what appears to be a cave circled in red. The drawing is taken from a book of some sort, indicated by the Figure: Etching underneath.

5: German - She is the key.

6: Top right is the word Croatoan with an arrow pointing towards a spot on the map below. Croatoan may refer to Roanoke.

7: The map is faded and it is hard to compare it to any area maps I've looked up of the area around Roanoke or Hatteras Island, historically called Croatoan. There are red lines drawn, some of which appear to follow a border and/or river. Interestingly the arrow does not point to the same location that is marked with the x on teh map but to a separate spot.

8: Blood stained paper saying _runter. I can't make out the first letter clearly but, if in English, the logical word would be grunter. However the first letter doesn't appear to be one used in the English alphabet so this may be in an alphabet like Cyrillic that shares some characters with English.

9: The writing at the bottom appears to be in Cyrillic or an alphabet that shares characters with it, but due to the font my layman eyes can't determine a way to read it.

Furthermore I was searching for a map to compare to the faded map in her journal and found this map of the area surrounding Roanoke:
http://i.imgur.com/DHA2Fsi.gif

Note that Roanoke is located at Trinety Harbor. Could be something.

So there you have it, there's everything I know. Any other contributors care to share any knowledge they can put forward, or any fun fan theories? Anyone able to read the (possibly Cyrillic) writing on the bottom of the right page?
Showing 1-13 of 13 comments
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Freelance Stalker Mar 7, 2013 @ 3:40pm 
interesting how you made an entire story to it :) it's in russian and it says "village". the developers typed in the word the way you normally would on a keyboard but they used russian language bar.
edit:sorry i see you already deciphered that :D
Last edited by Freelance Stalker; Mar 7, 2013 @ 3:43pm
StupidBunnySuit Mar 13, 2013 @ 5:59pm 
Bumping this because it's been a week and more people have beaten the game by now. First of all, great job on finding all that!
I'm not sure what the "_Runter" part is. I'm probably just translating it wrong but it doesn't seem to mean anything when translated from Cryllic to English. Maybe it's an anagram of some sort? The word under that (which isn't covered by the band) is the same as the last cryllic word on the left; village.
I'm seriously interested in Trinity and their "interests." What would a random organization care if Himiko came back? Why is it a threat to them specifically? My guess is that they'll show up in the next game as the baddies... maybe after the same thing as Lara?
Draken/Eitan Mar 13, 2013 @ 6:24pm 
Thats all very interesting. I was very curious who Trinity were and why they have to destroy some sort of star. That is how I understood it. Given that its related to aqusition, I was expecting to find some sort of artefact.

There are things to note on other documents. You mentioned that the colonists of Roanoke colony vanashed, but partly dismantled the colony and left no sign of struggle. There is one referring to the disappearance of guards, where there was no sign of struggle, no sign of tracks leading away, only the guards helmet (It was the first document I picked up in the costal forest when I just got the bow, I can look up the name later and screenshot it). I may not remember every single document, but I'm sure there may even be other references. I'm sure I heard of Trinity more than documented above and I will have a look at the rest later too. (Which is actually something I look forward to - they are narrated so nicely, and it would be the first time to listen to them all chronologicaly).

***Edit: And here is the screenshot. The text hows hysteria which is just additional to the "facts" presented. Poor guy is hysterical about Oni and such but its important to not there was no signs that Kosuke was taken, only that he is gone without trace.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=132261666
***

But I am guessing that this could be related to a future DLC. There is a section of the map on the east that had very little level coverage compared to the west. It could be some sort of starting point for something quite interesting. If its relating to disappearing villagers, I am hoping for something like a teleport system... but to where? It seems far fetched to travel to North Carolina in a DLC so perhaps it is a hint for future story lines of a full title.

Edit: For "_runter", it somewhat looks like the first letter is a squiched A in cursive writing, but I have never seen the word Arunter before. Maybe it refers to some sort of name. {edit} A quick Google search seems to be of a German name, which seems to be from an album since mostly the results are about downloading or listening to an album. Its getting late now so I will maybe look deeper tomorrow.

{Edit} The song is "Di zun vet Arunter Gayn": Its a song in Yiddish surprisingly enough - my Yiddish is incredibly rusty but there is no mistaking the sound. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRTriCPpW-U If that is the correct spelling, I wonder what it could mean for plot. "The sun will be setting behind/beneath the mountain" - Could be what tied that part to the plot. I guess Arunter refers to setting, well it all fits for a Sun Queen, but perhaps unrelated to the rest of the journal.

{General edits - I typo lots :P}
Last edited by Draken/Eitan; Mar 14, 2013 @ 11:36am
GrimAquatic Mar 13, 2013 @ 10:01pm 
Originally posted by StupidBunnySuit:
Bumping this because it's been a week and more people have beaten the game by now. First of all, great job on finding all that!
I'm not sure what the "_Runter" part is. I'm probably just translating it wrong but it doesn't seem to mean anything when translated from Cryllic to English. Maybe it's an anagram of some sort? The word under that (which isn't covered by the band) is the same as the last cryllic word on the left; village.
I'm seriously interested in Trinity and their "interests." What would a random organization care if Himiko came back? Why is it a threat to them specifically? My guess is that they'll show up in the next game as the baddies... maybe after the same thing as Lara?
I believe it's German word "drunter", which can be translated as upside down or topsy-turvy.
Kyonko802 Mar 14, 2013 @ 12:50am 
Seems like someone's already busy mapping out the script for the sequel. It's a good thing this game turned out to be good, or the hook at the end would have been a complete waste.
Riotous Mar 14, 2013 @ 4:25am 
Hey, this post died after I posted it so I didn't come back an update it. There have been some developments! Here's the updated post with the new information, for those interested. I've got a thread here, on the Tomb Raider forums, and on reddit. For the most up to date edits check the thread on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/TombRaider/comments/19shjj/deciphering_laras_journal_may_contain_spoilers/



This could be absolutely nothing, but it seems too related to be random bits thrown on a page.

The page in question. http://i.imgur.com/L61tBU6.jpg


Now, it's possible that the devs said "Throw some history stuff on the pages and let's wrap it up already." but in doing a bit of digging I think it may be more than that.

I originally thought the top right was a misspelling of "Croatian" but I can't imagine Lara (or the devs) would make such a mistake. So I did a bit of Googling and, among other uses of the word Croatoan, found a lot about Roanoke Colony. For those unfamiliar with it Roanoke Colony, was an English settlement in what is now North Carolina in the late 1500s. It mysteriously disappeared and there was no sign of "foul play," in fact the colonists had clearly deliberately dismantled their colony and simply vanished, leaving only the word "Croatoan" carved into a post. Roanoke is now known as the Lost Colony.

Now, there are other uses of the word Croatoan, such as a Native American tribe or an island (more of a reef, really) which are both in the same area but the next bit is why I believe Roanoke was what was being referenced.

On the left page we have, among other things, a note paper with Cyrillic writing. Redditor /u/milancheee let me know that the writing is actually English but just using the Cyrillic alphabet and translated it as:

Eight have origin
Time essential
Lost deep* village

The lost village bit combined with the "Croatoan" is why I believe we are referring to Roanoke.
Below that we see a bit of paper with the number and roman numeral for 3 on it. This is what actually got me looking at this stuff in the first place. Redditor /u/SomewhatSpecial asked about Trinity ( http://www.reddit.com/r/TombRaider/comments/19rosa/spoilers_gps_secrets/ ), a mysterious organization you learn very little about and questions are left unanswered. All we seem to know comes from two files:

Number 1 http://i.imgur.com/qUsxUbR.jpg
Number 2 http://i.imgur.com/kci0CP8.jpg
(Screenshots from SomewhatSpecial)

Lara finding this reference to Trinity on the island may have her seeking out more about them/it. I believe that the presence of the 3 and III with the question mark could mean what we're seeing on the pages are related to Lara's search for more information about Trinity.
The bottom of the original screenshot is German for "it is the (Schissel?)" but I'm unable to figure out what Schissel would be.

~~Edit: /u/darthbiki[7] reports that the German at the bottom of the page is "Sie ist der Schlüssel" meaning "She is the key"~~

So here are the general elements of the page:

Article 1: Top Left, note with Cyrillic. Translation:
Eight have origin
Time essential
Lost deel village
May refer to Roanoke. I do not know the significance of "eight have origin."

Article 2: Behind the note you can see a drawing of what could be a spear, arrow, window, etc.

Article 3: Note with 3 and III? - Could be referring to Trinity

Article 4: Drawing of some cliffs with what appears to be a cave circled in red. The drawing is taken from a book of some sort, indicated by the Figure: Etching underneath.

Article 5: German "She is the key" (See Edit #6)

Article 6: Top right is the word Croatoan with an arrow pointing towards a spot on the map below. Croatoan may refer to Roanoke.

Article 7: The map is faded and it is hard to compare it to any area maps I've looked up of the area around Roanoke or Hatteras Island, historically called Croatoan. There are red lines drawn, some of which appear to follow a border and/or river. Interestingly the arrow does not point to the same location that is marked with the x on teh map but to a separate spot.

Article 8: Blood stained paper saying _runter. I can't make out the first letter clearly but, if in English, the logical word would be grunter. However the first letter doesn't appear to be one used in the English alphabet so this may be in an alphabet like Cyrillic that shares some characters with English.

Edit: Redditor /u/Come_mai believes this may be drunter, a variant of darunter which is German for "beneath" While the lower case d would seem out of place the word also makes use of a lower case e so clearly letter capitalization isn't perfect and Come_mai may be on to something.

Article 9: The writing at the bottom appears to be in Cyrillic or an alphabet that shares characters with it, but due to the font my layman eyes can't determine a way to read it.

So there you have it, there's everything I know. Anything other redditors can input, or any fun fan theories? :D

(And yes, I will feel silly if this is all just random stuff that means nothing but, hey, I'm having fun trying to play detective, and I even learned the basics of reading Cyrillic so, yay.)

Edit #1
I was searching for a map to compare to the faded map in her journal and found this map of the area surrounding Roanoke:

http://i.imgur.com/DHA2Fsi.gif

Note that Roanoke is located at Trinety Harbor. Could be something.

Edit #2
/u/darthbiki reports that the German (item 5) is "Sie ist der Schlüssel" meaning "She is the key"

Edit #3
/u/Come_mai has this to say regarding article 8.
it looks like "drunter", which is a common variant of "darunter" in german, which means beneath"

Edit #4
Been brainstorming and thinking back to previous villains which, naturally, the first thought goes to Natla. Being a reboot theres absolutely no need for them to ever bring Natla into the series, they can and probably will go an entirely different way, but it's worth mention that Natla, along with Tihocan and Qualopec, formed the triumvirate that ruled Atlantis. It could be (and probably is) purely coincidental but Triumvirate and Trinity are both groups of three powerful people/beings.

Edit #5
I've been taking a closer look at Article 9 and cross-referencing it with handwritten Cyrillic cursive and I believe I had mis-identified a few of the letters. I took a closer look and the second, larger word is once again English Cyrillic and is виллагэ, translated as village. Seems stupid that I missed it now since you can see it handwritten on the opposite page, it's just not in cursive so it's not as obvious.

Edit #5b
Article #9 is "lost deep* village"; even though letters are cut off by the bookmark strip you can clearly see it shares the same characters as the same "lost deep* village" Cyrillic on the previous page. *-See Edit #7

Edit #6
A day or so after I made this thread a similar one ( http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=134407 )popped up on the Tomb Raider forums. While it's just a rehashing of some of the information here there is one alternate German translation that may be worth mentioning:

In regards to what I have previously referred to as Article 5, the German at the bottom left, they first translated it as "sie ist der schisser" meaning "it is the sailor." Character-wise it works better than She is the key, the german characters line up. However translation-wise it does not pan out. Sie is feminine, der is masculine so currently we have a choice of a phrase that makes sense but doesn't quite fit character-wise (she is the key) or a phrase that fits character-wise but goes against basic German grammar.

Edit #7
Because of my epic fail at translating Cyrillic in Edit #5 I decided to revisit some bits of Article 1 that didn't make sense, in particular the second to last word. I've seen it translated lost deel village and lost deed village. Deed's a word at least, but still makes no sense. That's because I was identifying the last character as Л when, in hindsight it could instead be a П. Handwriting varies, of course, but you'll notice the Л in the word village (the last word) bow out a fair amount more than the straighter-looking letter ending the previous word. If the letter is actually suppoed to be П which would turn the translation into "lost deep village" which makes slightly more sense.
Draken/Eitan Mar 15, 2013 @ 8:51am 
I was looking at the journal again, and it occurs to me that there is a question mark beside the roman numeral for 3 near the symbol 3, perhaps meaning that it is not sure that the symbol is even a 3. That reminds me of a handwriting form for the character "צ" in Hebrew. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsade - It looks like a 3 but is the exact same shape as the symbol on the journal. If its any relevence, the symbol can have a numerical value of 90.

Of course, it could just be a 3 in strange hand writing, and I'm seeing something where there is nothing.

edit: Also but less likely it could be the handwriting form of "ד" but thats much less likely. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daled

edit: Also, another script form: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashi_script

Given that there is a "?" there, it may be better to not assume that the character is "3" since it could be many things and each of them could be very interesting. :) But again all speculation :D
Last edited by Draken/Eitan; Mar 15, 2013 @ 8:59am
fatwednesdayite Mar 15, 2013 @ 12:10pm 
Well done for finding all this out. Seems like some fantastic research. I doubt that the developers would leave cognitive clues behind but this seems very feasable. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I really hope that there will be a DLC or an expansion pack - the single player was just too good!
GrimAquatic Mar 15, 2013 @ 12:17pm 
Originally posted by fatwednesdayite:
Well done for finding all this out. Seems like some fantastic research. I doubt that the developers would leave cognitive clues behind but this seems very feasable. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I really hope that there will be a DLC or an expansion pack - the single player was just too good!

To be completely honest, the fate of the lost colony is not really an archaeological marvel. It's also located on the other side of the world from Dragon's Triangle. I'd rather she investigates Gobekli Tepe or Nazca Lines or something.
fatwednesdayite Mar 15, 2013 @ 12:20pm 
Originally posted by GrimAquatic:
Originally posted by fatwednesdayite:
Well done for finding all this out. Seems like some fantastic research. I doubt that the developers would leave cognitive clues behind but this seems very feasable. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I really hope that there will be a DLC or an expansion pack - the single player was just too good!

To be completely honest, the fate of the lost colony is not really an archaeological marvel. It's also located on the other side of the world from Dragon's Triangle. I'd rather she investigates Gobekli Tepe or Nazca Lines or something.

Or Lara could try raiding a tomb. It's worked before...
GrimAquatic Mar 15, 2013 @ 12:26pm 
Originally posted by fatwednesdayite:
Or Lara could try raiding a tomb. It's worked before...

I meant she'd go there to do what regular archaeologists do, discover some omnipotent thingamajigy, starts to fight over it with alien Nazi zombies, and then discover true purpose of the gizmo. Which is to make cheese. Or something to that affect.
Last edited by GrimAquatic; Mar 15, 2013 @ 12:26pm
fatwednesdayite Mar 15, 2013 @ 12:29pm 
Originally posted by GrimAquatic:
Originally posted by fatwednesdayite:
Or Lara could try raiding a tomb. It's worked before...

I meant she'd go there to do what regular archaeologists do, discover some omnipotent thingamajigy, starts to fight over it with alien Nazi zombies, and the discover true purpose of the gizmo. Which is to make cheese.

LOL. Yep. Follow the ancient formulae of a successful Tomb Raider game.

By the way, ever since I was a Tomb Raider fan, I began to pay a bit more attention to archaeology and I must say that in reality, it must be the most sombre and monotonous profession in the academic world. Lara Croft is probably the first and last interesting or fascinating archeologist out there (and she's not real).

Shame that archaeology is nothing like Tomb Raider. It would prove to be a lot more popular.
GrimAquatic Mar 15, 2013 @ 12:51pm 
Originally posted by fatwednesdayite:
LOL. Yep. Follow the ancient formulae of a successful Tomb Raider game.

I just want premises of the following games be grounded in archaeological reality, like Yamatai.

Originally posted by fatwednesdayite:
By the way, ever since I was a Tomb Raider fan, I began to pay a bit more attention to archaeology and I must say that in reality, it must be the most sombre and monotonous profession in the academic world. Lara Croft is probably the first and last interesting or fascinating archeologist out there (and she's not real).

What about Indiana Jones? )

Originally posted by fatwednesdayite:
Shame that archaeology is nothing like Tomb Raider. It would prove to be a lot more popular.

I don't know about that. Seems like it would demand to be more fit than Olympic medalists, have a game at all weapons and be a daredevil. Sounds too exclusive.
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Date Posted: Mar 7, 2013 @ 3:16pm
Posts: 13