clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The weird brilliance of the LocoRoco theme, 9 years later

New, 3 comments

LocoRoco was a 2006 game for Sony's PSP system, and it featured a theme song that's equal parts amazing and annoying. It's fun to sing, it's hard to get out of your head and it makes no sense. After I saw someone tweet about this morning, I found myself humming it once again and trying to figure out the lyrics.

Here's the kicker: There are none, or at least no lyrics that make sense in a single language. There are a few listings for lyrics out there, but this is one fan's attempt to piece it together.

Bajumbo moi noi noi jecker
Dabatto bunkergait jun jun
Nora juerue-rotto pura-pura petto
Puraret dum dum
Papuranoi noi noi jecker
Dabatto bumperget tum tum
Ora poerketino bookeran tan-tan-so

Bokeretyo kyenturanai mimani unlalhood-cha-la
Terra hooki-ra pishi-to diki-ra poody-to
Seni-kidi koseibo
Kokorenkyo kyenturanai mimani unlalhood-cha-la
Terra hooki-ra shishi-sho tusura hajiki yo

Bajumbo moi noi noi jecker
Dabatto bumperget tum tum
Nora juerue-rotto rokorolo-petto
Pura-purarun dum dum
Papuramoi noi noi jecker
Dapatto bumperget tum tum
Ora poerketino bookeran tan-tan-so

Tsutomu Kouno was the designer of LocoRoco; he also worked on Ico's level design. Kouno had an interesting approach to LocoRoco's music, although this interview was about the game's 2007 sequel, LocoRoco Cocoreccho.

"Personally, I like reggae, soul and R&B music and always felt that not enough games utilised different genres. Because of this I put music that I like into the game. I burned a lot of my personal music collection to a disc and sent it to my composer. He did the rest," Kouno told Engadget back in 2007.

"As for the lyrics, I tried to get all the languages I could find and wrote down interesting words in katakana. Then I changed these into words that Japanese people would find cool, so that people could not recognize individual words of any particular language. I had invented my own language."

The music was written by Nobuyuki Shimizu and Kemmei Adachi, although Kouno had given them some instruction about the sound of the game. "There are various kinds of songs, but since they are all sung in the language of the LocoRoco world, I think there is a sense of unity," he said in an interview with Eurogamer. "I also asked the composers not to use electronic sound as much as possible in order to give the feeling of live sound."

What has happened in gaming in the past nine years? One of the interviews discusses the fact that LocoRoco had one of the first PSP demos to be distributed online. There was a question about the franchise utilizing the just-announced tilt controls of the PlayStation 3's controller in future games. It was a different world.

For now though, you can join me in song: "Bajumbo moi noi noi jecker..."