Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Breaking Down Video Game Character Names

by Kyle Hilliard on Jan 28, 2013 at 05:00 AM

A fair majority of the people who make video games take a lot of time to think about them. They analyze every detail down to how a character’s limbs should move, how fast  a character should walk when someone applies pressure to the control stick, and how high a character should jump when the player tells them to. One aspect that might not get enough thought, however, is what these characters should be called.

Here's a picture of Cloud posing with some clouds.

Cloud Strife – Final Fantasy VII
A cloud is basically water that isn’t as brave as rain. It’s comfortable in its home in the sky, far too rigid to succumb to change and fall to the ground. It’s also worth noting that a cloud can basically be defeated by fanning your arm at it, and they constantly let airplanes walk all over and through them. How one of video game’s most beloved protagonists came to be named after a puff of moist air is bizarre.

Griffin Spade – Battletanx
The world of Battletanx is one plagued by nuclear war, where the female gender has become so rare, you can count the number of women on one hand. There is one ray of hope, however, in the form of Griffin Spade, and his fiancé, Madison. That’s right, the fate of the world in Battletanx rests in the hands of a man whose family name is an alternate word for shovel. What Griffin should really do is give up, and use his last name to dig himself a hole.

Marth – Fire Emblem
According to my extensive research with my one Wikipedia search, Marth, “is a Thuringian municipality in the district of Eichsfeld in Germany, in the Verwaltungsgemeinschaft Haustein-Rusteberg.” Here’s a list of notable things about the history of the municipality of Marth that I was able to track down:

  • Nothing

Here's a picture of Stick Breitling trying to prove that he is the best at puffing out his chest.

Stick Breitling – Zombie Revenge
If we really break down Stick’s name, and really analyze it we find that the first part is the word “stick.” You may have heard of sticks. They’re those little pieces of wood you might throw for a dog, or step on while you are quietly sneaking around the woods. The second part sounds like a word someone might use if they were trying to describe the luminosity of a light bulb, but didn’t understand how the English language works. If you were to use it incorrectly in a sentence you might say, “Wow, that bulb has a lot of breitlings coming out of it. It’s really hurting those things that are below those little short horizontal tufts of hair on my face.”

Hot Coldman – Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
I think this is a really good name for a video game character and don’t have anything funny to say about it. Honestly, I’m not sure why I chose to keep him on this list.

Dogs Bower – Blue Stinger
We’re currently making our way through Blue Stinger, which is what called our attention to Mr. Bower. His first name is a plural version of that pet you might throw Stick Breitlings to while playing fetch. Also, his last name is very close to Bowser. It’s only one letter away from being a hilariously overt reference to Mario’s greatest nemesis. Instead, it’s just a name you will have trouble pronouncing because you are so used to saying Bowser.

Fox McCloud - Star Fox
Fox's father James is the least creative person in the Star Fox universe. I can understand why Fox was so happy to see him in the end of Star Fox 64, because clearly James only had time for flying, not for parenting. He couldn't even pause one moment to to come up with a name for his son. He must have thought, "Hmm, my son is a fox like me. Let's call him Fox!" and then he jumped into his Arwing and got killed fighting Andross. It's basically the equivalent of a human parent naming their child Human.

Did I miss any ridiculous video game character names? Let me know in the comments.