Part 7: Chapter 2, Stage 2 & Stage 3
[Templar] enters a battle-worn courtyward.
ISA SOLDIER 1
Hail, Captain. The General said thou wouldst be arriving presently.
I have my orders. Come, to the Research Building. The key is--
ISA SOLDIER 2
Yea, tis a troubling foe.
The ISA duck while the sound of strafing jet bikes and gunfire sound overheard.
ISA SOLDIER 3 [over comms]
Attend! All personnel from the main building have retreated.
Any soldiers still defending must have need to fall back.
ISA SOLDIER 2
Lend me thy ear, soldier. The SD Platform. Have thou knowledge of it?
ISA SOLDIER 1
Captain, I can let thou into yonder Research Building. Thither lie the key.
God speed, sir!
Exit ISA soldiers. [Templar] steps through a "doorway" and meets with another soldier.
ISA SOLDIER 3
Captain Templar. Here, thou must taketh this key to General Vaughton.
Tis a situation most foul, but he hath fallen back from the Comms Building.
The Helghast push too deep and force us to abandon our posts.
I must go to him, sergeant. Regroup with thy commander, and wish me luck.
ISA SOLDIER 3
Aye, may the god's look favourable upon thee.
Not a lot of super cool subtext in these levels. At this point, we're still in the game's extended prologue that consist of its first four chapters. Right now Jan needs to do whatever it takes to get the SD platform key and get to General Vaughton. We're going to wander through vaguely Black Mesa/Pillar Of Autumn-esque hallways and catwalks, but that's about the extent of it aside from some more pictures.
Military history seems deeply important to the ISA. Not necessarily to the same extent of the Helghast, where everyone serves and dies for their country, but the ISA are happy to plaster large photographs all over their research and communications buildings. These are clearly real photos, but I'm not sure where they come from or what war they were a part of. There's an image of sandbags--
--what appears to be the conning tower of an aircraft carrier (maybe someone with a better eye can confirm/deny that for me)--
--a radar dish--
--and some soldiers in masks firing a machine gun. It's a bit difficult to make out the gun, but judging from the masks I'm going to hazard a guess that his particular image is from World War I.
We've also got Colonel Al Pacino here and--
--and Brigadier General Peter Sellers.
Enemy-wise, we bump into what I'm going to term a Helghast Scout (or maybe a Recon?). These guys wear short sleeves and have Riddick goggles. They function identically to standard Helghast infantry, but in later games they operate specifically as Grenadiers. And I mean that in the "they only use grenades and forgo the use of firearms" type of grenadier. But we'll get to that.
This is interesting. Visari comes into power and claims that the people of Helghan, the Helghast, are no longer human. It's all rhetoric. Despite the genetic differences between the Helghast and humans on Earth/Vekta, the are absolutely still the same species. It's been mentioned already and is a recurring thing throughout the series, but Helghast and humans have no problem intermarrying and bearing viable offspring. In fact, one of Killzone's main characters is Half-Helghast/Half-Human. He should just be considered human, but prejudice is alive and well in the future.
More evidence of Visari being a Hitler/Mussolini-like character. This is the point where the "term" Helghast and all the associated iconography uniting them as a single people appears.
Much of this has already been touched on in earlier posts, particularly the connotations behind the Helghast Triad and the similarities to the Third Reich, but the new alphabet/language thing hasn't. It's interesting that the alphabet stuck but the new language couldn't get off the ground because it was easier for everyone to just keep speaking English. Heh.
Anyways, some fans of the game translated the Helghast alphabet in Killzone 2 and came up with this chart:
Pretty neat stuff. Unfortunately, not always used to its full extent. Not all graffiti on walls translate to something legible. Some of it is just nonsense. This is confirmed by the devs. A knee-jerk reaction might think that this is just willful laziness on the dev's part. However, I like to think that this is an incredibly subtle bit of context. This unique Helghast alphabet can't have been in use for much more than a decade. I'm sure the Helghast are all real proud of it, but I doubt they all know how to write in it. I think that the reason some of the graffiti is nonsensical is because not all Helghast know how to write in it. That doesn't stop them from writing Helghast symbols everywhere to try and show some pride in the homeworld, but while it might look intimidating to any Vektan who comes across it, it's going to be gibberish to anyone fluent in reading it.
Nice move, Guerrilla.
God-damn, looking at that chart, Helghan has features of Russian and Chinese in there, with maybe one sound that you can definitely attribute to germanic (ch, which it shares with Welsh and quite a few other languages). Don't get me wrong, I like the effort, but god-damn if writing your own alphabet language for a game doesn't give me a huge headache.
As someone with a (very) amateur interest in linguistics it's nice to see an alphabet that's not just a lazy substitution cipher. Particularly because English has exceptions for nearly all of its own phonetic rules when using the Latin alphabet, to the point that "ghoti" can be pronounced the same way as "fish". It's not perfect (English has a lot of vowels, for instance, and I suspect Helghast is closely related) but I can see some influence from IPA there.
^^Choice words from a Welshman.
Should also be noted that ch - as in, the Scottish (possibly Welsh, but the only example I'm going by is "Loch"), coughy ch - is present in most Slavic languages as well. Of course, those tend to have a distinct, different c as well.
Boy, I bet the Vektans sure feel silly for dismantling their fleet now! Also, it's nice that the Helghast got their skyhook up and running again.
At least they're being proactive with their SD platforms. The original ones are half a century old, so it's good to supplement them with new tech, right? Well, as we saw in the opening cutscene, it didn't do much good. But hey, General
Enjoying this LP. I've never owned a playstation or known anyone who got the Killzone series, so it's fun to finally see the game.
Speaking of the ISA logo, these are the logos of two branches of the Norwegian postal service:
They were introduced four years after Killzone, though.