Decoding a Morse code Easter Egg

One of the sports in the Wii Sports Resort game is Island Flyover, where you get to pilot an aeroplane round the island and its surrounding waters.

Island Flyover (Screenshot: User “Nic olivares” on Wuhupedia, under CC-BY-SA)

There is a lighthouse, and when you fly near it, you hear a sound very like Morse code. My younger two children and I decided to see if this really was Morse code, or just something made to sound a bit like it.

Our first job was to capture the audio while a player flew the plane near the lighthouse. This is what we got:

This was going to be tricky for us to analyse, so, in Audacity, we applied a high-pass filter to try to cut out some of the engine noise, and then also slowed the recording down considerably. Once we’d done this, it did sound like it might genuinely be Morse code, which was exciting. We now had something we had a chance at transcribing.

Here’s a snippet of the first message:

And here’s a piece of what sounded like a reply:

Now it was possible to pay attention, pause often to look up the symbol, and write down the letters, which — spoiler alert! — were:

Why does anyone use Morse code anymore?

Good question.

I think it’s cool that the designers and programmers chose to put a real Morse code message into the soundtrack here, rather than just some random beeping.