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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Feature: Decoding Mata Saitama 2000

Namco has been known to relay secret messages through songs and games (mostly through Soroban 2000), but Mata Saitama 2000 is taking it to a whole new level. It's like The Da Vinci Code in musical form and reduced to three minutes long.

Mata Saitama 2000 is a celebration of the entire line of 2000 songs featuring 'Saitama' in their names, and have multiple references to them, not in the least all the familiar note patterns from the previous songs, but at a higher speed. And that's just for fanservice. For the downright obsessed, there are tons of hidden messages to wade through. Because all this stuff would be really lengthy if put on the series page, I've decided to relegate Mata Saitama 2000's hidden messages to a separate page. There are three secrets in the song (discovered so far), and I'll arrange them in order of difficulty to crack. The last one is seriously a kicker.

1. Phone conversation

In the middle of the song, while the trademark notes of Saitama and Kita Saitama 2000 are being played, a person can be heard talking over the phone. The person introduces himself as Linda AI-CUE, who was going on a trip to Saitama. Again.

えー ワタクシー 
正直、今回のお仕事をいただくまで 川越が埼玉県だということをうっかり失念しておりました。
Linda AI-CUEです。

When translated to English:

"Hey, it's me.
Frankly, my job this time was to go to Kawagoe City in Saitama but then, I totally forgot about it.
I'm Linda AI-CUE by the way.
The three special snacks of Saitama Prefecture are, rice cookies from Souka City, gokabou sweets from Kumaya City, and yam candy from Kawagoe City."

This and a few lines from the (still unofficial) lyrics also make it obvious that the focus in Mata Saitama's jumble of different sounds are the special food items that can be found in the prefecture, instead of simply its geographical structure and location like in Kita Saitama. Linda AI-CUE being on the line also gives away the fact that he had a hand in making the song, even though he said he would abstain from the series after Hataraku 2000.

2. Note pattern

The row of clusters right after the second rest of Mata Saitama is very very frustrating to clear, isn't it? 7 don notes, 4 don notes, 6, 2, 5. Makes for some frantic hand-switching, or rather, button mashing. At first it may not seem like much, but what if we were to change the order a little? This was a keen observation by Japanese players at 2chan and found by crystalsuicune.

Put the numbers side by side. Try as you might, you won't be able to spell anything out of it.

Na  Shi/Yo  Mu/Ro  Ni   Go/Ko
7        4            6         2        5

Now alternate them between two different rows...

7  6  5
  4  2

....and suddenly it makes sense. 765 is obviously Namco (ナムコ), while 42 is spelled out as 'Shi ni' (死に). 'ナムコ死に' to put it bluntly, means 'Death to Namco'. Say what? A death threat against the publisher/developer in a song from a game it made? It doesn't make any sense, but that doesn't make it any less eerie. Ojima (the notecharter), what are you thinking up there?

This is the second note cluster message Namco has made after Joubutsu 2000 (37564), and both are similarly death-related.

EDIT: After confirmation, the streams are actually 7 4 2 6 2 5, with a 2 in the middle invading on an otherwise perfect alignment of letters. Oh well.

3. Phone dialing sounds

This is the kicker I was talking about. While the phone conversation above is going on and for a little while longer, you can also clearly hear the sound of someone frantically dialing numbers on a phone keypad. You might not be able to hear them on today's smartphones, but each time you press a number on an older model cellphone or a home telephone, you can hear a characteristic sound, differing by pitch horizontally and by intensity vertically, creating twelve different sounds from 1 to #.

A Taiwanese gamer managed to pick out exactly which numbers were being dialed (which is no mean feat as they were being dialed so quickly) and put his decoded results on forums and Nicovideo. It turns out that the numbers weren't just random sounds added to the song for the sake of creating rhythm, but had actual messages behind them, believe it or not.

During Saitama notes
0421 0404 0431 0462
0531 0557 0575 0542
0406 0462 0404 0466 0446

Kita Saitama notes
0421 0404 0431 0462
0462 0428 0475 0442 
0462 0412 0404 0466 0446

After slight break
*76 *105 *110 *100 *97 0447
0413 0471 0406 0466
0428 0435 0419 0406 0433 0471 0406

0462 0431 0421 0404 0431 0462 *50 *48 *48 *48

All the numbers are separated into units of 3 and 4 and each unit is a letter using GB2312 encoding, which is mainly used for Chinese letters in software to maintain compatibility with the universal ASCII but also have Japanese hiragana, katakana, English letters and numbers.

I'm not a master of hex values and I don't know what every bit means from 0 to F, but according to the code:


0401 ぁ A4A1 3041 E38181 0402 あ A4A2 3042 E38182
0403 ぃ A4A3 3043 E38183 0404 い A4A4 3044 E38184
0405 ぅ A4A5 3045 E38185 0406 う A4A6 3046 E38186
0407 ぇ A4A7 3047 E38187 0408 え A4A8 3048 E38188
0409 ぉ A4A9 3049 E38189 0410 お A4AA 304A E3818A
0411 か A4AB 304B E3818B 0412 が A4AC 304C E3818C
0413 き A4AD 304D E3818D 0414 ぎ A4AE 304E E3818E
0415 く A4AF 304F E3818F 0416 ぐ A4B0 3050 E38190
0417 け A4B1 3051 E38191 0418 げ A4B2 3052 E38192
0419 こ A4B3 3053 E38193 0420 ご A4B4 3054 E38194
0421 さ A4B5 3055 E38195 0422 ざ A4B6 3056 E38196
0423 し A4B7 3057 E38197 0424 じ A4B8 3058 E38198
0425 す A4B9 3059 E38199 0426 ず A4BA 305A E3819A
0427 せ A4BB 305B E3819B 0428 ぜ A4BC 305C E3819C
0429 そ A4BD 305D E3819D 0430 ぞ A4BE 305E E3819E
0431 た A4BF 305F E3819F 0432 だ A4C0 3060 E381A0
0433 ち A4C1 3061 E381A1 0434 ぢ A4C2 3062 E381A2
0435 っ A4C3 3063 E381A3 0436 つ A4C4 3064 E381A4
0437 づ A4C5 3065 E381A5 0438 て A4C6 3066 E381A6
0439 で A4C7 3067 E381A7 0440 と A4C8 3068 E381A8
0441 ど A4C9 3069 E381A9 0442 な A4CA 306A E381AA
0443 に A4CB 306B E381AB 0444 ぬ A4CC 306C E381AC
0445 ね A4CD 306D E381AD 0446 の A4CE 306E E381AE
0447 は A4CF 306F E381AF 0448 ば A4D0 3070 E381B0
0449 ぱ A4D1 3071 E381B1 0450 ひ A4D2 3072 E381B2
0451 び A4D3 3073 E381B3 0452 ぴ A4D4 3074 E381B4
0453 ふ A4D5 3075 E381B5 0454 ぶ A4D6 3076 E381B6
0455 ぷ A4D7 3077 E381B7 0456 へ A4D8 3078 E381B8
0457 べ A4D9 3079 E381B9 0458 ぺ A4DA 307A E381BA
0459 ほ A4DB 307B E381BB 0460 ぼ A4DC 307C E381BC
0461 ぽ A4DD 307D E381BD 0462 ま A4DE 307E E381BE
0463 み A4DF 307F E381BF 0464 む A4E0 3080 E38280
0465 め A4E1 3081 E38281 0466 も A4E2 3082 E38282
0467 ゃ A4E3 3083 E38283 0468 や A4E4 3084 E38284
0469 ゅ A4E5 3085 E38285 0470 ゆ A4E6 3086 E38286
0471 ょ A4E7 3087 E38287 0472 よ A4E8 3088 E38288
0473 ら A4E9 3089 E38289 0474 り A4EA 308A E3828A
0475 る A4EB 308B E3828B 0476 れ A4EC 308C E3828C
0477 ろ A4ED 308D E3828D 0478 ゎ A4EE 308E E3828E
0479 わ A4EF 308F E3828F 0480 ゐ A4F0 3090 E38290
0481 ゑ A4F1 3091 E38291 0482 を A4F2 3092 E38292
0483 ん A4F3 3093 E38293 0484   null null null
0485   null null null 0486   null null null
0487   null null null 0488   null null null
0489   null null null 0490   null null null
0491   null null null 0492   null null null
0493   null null null 0494   null null null
0501 ァ A5A1 30A1 E382A1 0502 ア A5A2 30A2 E382A2
0503 ィ A5A3 30A3 E382A3 0504 イ A5A4 30A4 E382A4
0505 ゥ A5A5 30A5 E382A5 0506 ウ A5A6 30A6 E382A6
0507 ェ A5A7 30A7 E382A7 0508 エ A5A8 30A8 E382A8
0509 ォ A5A9 30A9 E382A9 0510 オ A5AA 30AA E382AA
0511 カ A5AB 30AB E382AB 0512 ガ A5AC 30AC E382AC
0513 キ A5AD 30AD E382AD 0514 ギ A5AE 30AE E382AE
0515 ク A5AF 30AF E382AF 0516 グ A5B0 30B0 E382B0
0517 ケ A5B1 30B1 E382B1 0518 ゲ A5B2 30B2 E382B2
0519 コ A5B3 30B3 E382B3 0520 ゴ A5B4 30B4 E382B4
0521 サ A5B5 30B5 E382B5 0522 ザ A5B6 30B6 E382B6
0523 シ A5B7 30B7 E382B7 0524 ジ A5B8 30B8 E382B8
0525 ス A5B9 30B9 E382B9 0526 ズ A5BA 30BA E382BA
0527 セ A5BB 30BB E382BB 0528 ゼ A5BC 30BC E382BC
0529 ソ A5BD 30BD E382BD 0530 ゾ A5BE 30BE E382BE
0531 タ A5BF 30BF E382BF 0532 ダ A5C0 30C0 E38380
0533 チ A5C1 30C1 E38381 0534 ヂ A5C2 30C2 E38382
0535 ッ A5C3 30C3 E38383 0536 ツ A5C4 30C4 E38384
0537 ヅ A5C5 30C5 E38385 0538 テ A5C6 30C6 E38386
0539 デ A5C7 30C7 E38387 0540 ト A5C8 30C8 E38388
0541 ド A5C9 30C9 E38389 0542 ナ A5CA 30CA E3838A
0543 ニ A5CB 30CB E3838B 0544 ヌ A5CC 30CC E3838C
0545 ネ A5CD 30CD E3838D 0546 ノ A5CE 30CE E3838E
0547 ハ A5CF 30CF E3838F 0548 バ A5D0 30D0 E38390
0549 パ A5D1 30D1 E38391 0550 ヒ A5D2 30D2 E38392
0551 ビ A5D3 30D3 E38393 0552 ピ A5D4 30D4 E38394
0553 フ A5D5 30D5 E38395 0554 ブ A5D6 30D6 E38396
0555 プ A5D7 30D7 E38397 0556 ヘ A5D8 30D8 E38398
0557 ベ A5D9 30D9 E38399 0558 ペ A5DA 30DA E3839A
0559 ホ A5DB 30DB E3839B 0560 ボ A5DC 30DC E3839C
0561 ポ A5DD 30DD E3839D 0562 マ A5DE 30DE E3839E
0563 ミ A5DF 30DF E3839F 0564 ム A5E0 30E0 E383A0
0565 メ A5E1 30E1 E383A1 0566 モ A5E2 30E2 E383A2
0567 ャ A5E3 30E3 E383A3 0568 ヤ A5E4 30E4 E383A4
0569 ュ A5E5 30E5 E383A5 0570 ユ A5E6 30E6 E383A6
0571 ョ A5E7 30E7 E383A7 0572 ヨ A5E8 30E8 E383A8
0573 ラ A5E9 30E9 E383A9 0574 リ A5EA 30EA E383AA
0575 ル A5EB 30EB E383AB 0576 レ A5EC 30EC E383AC
0577 ロ A5ED 30ED E383AD 0578 ヮ A5EE 30EE E383AE
0579 ワ A5EF 30EF E383AF 0580 ヰ A5F0 30F0 E383B0
0581 ヱ A5F1 30F1 E383B1 0582 ヲ A5F2 30F2 E383B2
0583 ン A5F3 30F3 E383B3 0584 ヴ A5F4 30F4 E383B4
0585 ヵ A5F5 30F5 E383B5 0586 ヶ A5F6 30F6 E383B6

The version used by the phone messages in Mata Saitama 2000 are the 4-digit combinations at the front of each letter. English letters and Roman numerals are denoted first by * in front. Namco themselves released the sheet of numbers dialed on the phone in the lyrics booklet of the Donderful soundtrack CD some time after the fans managed to crack everything, indicating they were intending on having a secret message there.

Therefore, the messages are:

0421 0404 0431 0462 さいたま (Saitama)
0531 0557 0575 0542 タベルナ (Taberuna- Don't eat)
0406 0462 0404 0466 0446 うまいもの (Umaimono- Delicious things)

0421 0404 0431 0462 さいたま (Saitama)
0462 0428 0475 0442 まぜるな (Mazeruna- Don't confuse with)
0462 0412 0404 0466 0446 まがいもの (Magaimono- Counterfeits)

*76 *105 *110 *100 *97 0447 Lindaは (Linda wa)
0413 0471 0406 0466 きょうも (Kyou mo)
0428 0435 0419 0406 0433 0471 0406 ぜっこうちょ (Zekkouchou)

^ Linda wa Kyou mo Zekkouchou is the name of the nerdy Namco Original song from Taiko 10 and revived in PSP DX.

0462 0431 0421 0404 0431 0462 *50 *48 *48 *48 またさいたま2000 (Mata Saitama 2000)

Seems pretty random, however. Personally I think these are there for the hardcore to find out for themselves and nothing more. Still, the fact that so many tiny details within the 3 minutes of the song actually bear meaning....it gets me excited for what else Namco will come up with in the future.


  1. Bit of a fun fact: for the codes of 'Linda' and '2000' (*76 *105 *110 *100 *97 and *50 *48 *48 *48), try using these numbers as the alt-code. It's actually the same.

    Like, type Alt+76 and you get 'L'. lol

  2. I think the English letters are universal between most common forms of letter encoding.

  3. At 2:12 of the video I noticed something. You say the pattern is 74625, but is actually a 742625.. -_-

  4. Why didn't I double check orz. I'll wait for crystal.

  5. Hey, it's me.
    Frankly, by the time I got the job this time, I totally forgot that Kawagoe City is in Saitama.
    I'm Linda AI-CUE by the way.
    When it comes to three famous snacks of Saitama Prefecture, Rice Cookies from Souka City, Gokabou Sweets from Kumagaya City, and Sweet Potato Sweets from Kawagoe City.