One of the easiest ways to customize or personalize a playthrough of a game is to give that character or characters names. Especially when playing an RPG or online game, you want to become that persona and feel connected in some tangible way. But how do you formulate a name, and what process do you undergo to get that perfect name for a character?
When thinking about the names I’ve created for characters, I tend to come up with something either in the spur of the moment or apply long used names that I have used for characters based on the genre or setting of a game. For example, when I play a Zelda game, I always apply my name to the character because it is my favorite game series and I want to be Link and vision myself as the hero of Hyrule.
In 2001, I picked up a game you all might be familiar with called Animal Crossing for the Nintendo GameCube. The game was so unusual with its concept, but also very fun and addictive. You assume the role of a villager, and one of your first tasks is to give it a name. I had been eating some fig newtons while playing, and because of that I randomly thought I should just name my character Newton, but I didn’t care for that as a first name. So, I started thinking some more. Now, I had recently played Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble, and while I was playing that I was trying to come up with a new name for the bears in the game who all had names beginning with the letter “B;” one name I had come up with was “Barsh.” It was then decided: my villager would be Barsh Newton.
A couple years later in 2003, I picked up another GameCube title: Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II. This hack-and-slash RPG style game was a fun multiplayer that allowed the players to choose from 3 separate classes. When thinking about a name for my character, I first created it and chose a blue green hue for the overall color. It made me think of the color cerulean, and the thought of green plankton soon popped in my head ,which lead to thinking of the crustacean “krill” (don’t ask me why I went down that rabbit hole). Ultimately, the name “Krilleon” was decided on.
The last game was both a GameCube and Wii game that came out in 2006 that we all know called The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Of course, I named myself Shane, but also in this game you had the ability to name your horse. As much as I wanted to use the canonical name of Epona, I opted to name the creature “Nice Legs” so that every dialogue box that contained the name made for some really comical instances. Some examples being “This allows you to call Nice Legs any time,” or “I washed Nice Legs for you.” These quotes were priceless.
When it comes to names, how do you go about the process of naming your characters? Are you creative, or do you put little thought into it? Let’s hear your best names from the past or the present!
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Image source by the author.