The most mispronounced game names EVER

Way back in 2007 we cobbled together a fun little list of frequently mispronounced game names. Far more obnoxious than the simple “Mah-rio/May-rio” switch, these names are routinely butchered and for a defensible reason – they’re almost all nutty as hell.

We thought we’d expand on that original feature, as 2007 is like 70 million years ago in internet time. So here’s a 2010 update!


You say: “Fax anna dew”
Should be: “Fah zanna dew”

“Xanadu” is the name a famous (nearly infamous) 1980 movie and soundtrack, a prominent mansion in Citizen Kane and an ancient Mongolian city that was also the inspiration for Kubla Khan. If you have to google some of those references, we’re not surprised – now imagine a bunch of ‘80s children attempting to pronounce the Famicom version, portmanteau’d into Faxanadu with no regard to our still-forming intellect. Made sense in Japan, but our feeble US minds had to dub it “Fax anna dew” and move on.


You say: “Eye-co”
Should be: “E-co”
Simple mistake, this one. You’re not horribly wrong by calling it Eye-co, but if you’re going to be one of those people (and we all are from time to time), you should follow the Japanese translation. In this case, the “I” is like “kiwi,” not “identical.”


You say: “Wise, Yeez, Y.S., Yis”
Should be: “Ease”

Ys has been around for more than 20 years and people still can’t say it properly, even though the game’s cheesy narrator clearly says the name in plain English. “Y” is a confusing letter to just slap an “S” on, which is possibly why the series hasn’t become more popular – if no one knows what to call it, they can’t tell anyone to buy it.


You say: “Swy ko den, Sue ick o dan, Swike odin”
Should be: “Swee ko-den”

A great case of a publisher keeping the Japanese name when the obvious English option (Stars of Destiny) would have made it far easier on the many parents struggling to pronounce this massive vowel movement. Konami’s never let up, having released Suikoden: Tierkreis just last year. Say what?


You say: “Ur-guys, Air geez”
Should be: “Air-gites”

We've heard this one manhandled for years, even though the announcer says the name at the title screen. Need more help? Turns out “ehrgeiz” is German for “ambition,” making this a second Square title with a German name (Einhander would be the other).

Deus Ex

You say: “Deuce Ex, Dee us ex, um, Day of sex?”
Should be: “Day-us Ex”

Finally, a name we can’t pin on the Japanese. This time it’s those conniving Latin-speaking folk who’re to blame for years of “actually, it’s pronounced hurrr hurrrrrr.” Kind of like what we’re doing right now.

Ninja Gaiden

You say: “Ninja Gay-den”
Should be: “Ninja Guy-den”

“Gaiden” is a common term in Japanese videogames (meaning side-story or supplemental content), but most English speakers’ first exposure to the word was Ninja Gaiden, which quickly became “Gay-den” in uncouth arcades around the country. Two decades later and we think just about everyone’s figured it out.

Next page: More things you thought you were pronouncing correctly but in fact were not!


  • D0CCON - June 20, 2011 6:49 a.m.

    Well, one year later and I actually pronounce these names right (mostly because I'm hearing their names in video reviews and TDar now). I never would have learned to say Suikoden right without this, but the others I mentioned in parenthesis I managed to get right without remembering this article.
  • CountZero - March 4, 2010 6:54 p.m.

    I don't get Lumines pronunciation. Is there any word in the english language with the ending "ines" that is pronounced "in-ess"?
  • american-idiot367 - February 22, 2010 4 a.m.

    you know wats funny? even the Pokemon tv show sez it wrong
  • Crysero - February 18, 2010 2:10 a.m.

    Lol look at ninja gaiden and he though we said ninja gayden
  • D0CCON - February 16, 2010 1:36 a.m.

    at least I got disgea, shenmue, and xexyz right
  • D0CCON - February 16, 2010 1:31 a.m.

    Not only did they pick great games for the list, they also showed how I pronounced many of them, (Ninja Guy-Den, Deuce Ex, Swike Odin, Eye Co, wow I stink. At least I got pokemon right, unlike my sister.)
  • SlightlyBetterName - February 14, 2010 6 p.m.

    I'm gonna go work in the Lou Mines after i'm done with this article. Ironically my manager is Duke Lombardi.
  • Jima - February 14, 2010 5:33 a.m.

    Also surprised you didn't mention the reference to the Norse myth of the world tree Yggdrasil in Yggdra Union
  • Jima - February 14, 2010 5:29 a.m.

    Surprised you didn't mention the reference to Arabian Nights in The Magic of Scheherazade.
  • SimOniS - February 13, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    Forza You say: "For-za" Should say: "Fort-za" Confirm/Deny ?
  • Japanaman - February 13, 2010 5:06 a.m.

    I knew how to pronounce 2/3 of those correctly, but thanks to you, I'm 100% literate!
  • Frend - February 13, 2010 1:41 a.m.

    Im not so sure disgaea is pronounced like that.
  • secretsearcher - February 13, 2010 12:28 a.m.

    I am now happy I took AP Latin, since I got "Deus Ex" without trying. And I think you guys should do an installment of the most mispronounced game CHARACTER names. For example: Altair from Assasin's Creed You say: "Al-tare" or "Al-ta-ear" Should be: "Al-TIE-air" another example: Micaiah from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn You say: "Me-ca-eye-ah" or "Mec-eye-aye" Should be: "Mic-EYE-ah"
  • AndyGiff93 - February 12, 2010 5:38 p.m.

    Tatsunooka what?
  • zarometro - February 12, 2010 4:23 p.m.

    I hope I never have to go inside a Ninja Gay-den....
  • FriendlyFire - February 12, 2010 4:34 a.m.

    It seems like knowing a Latin language helps tremendously as I didn't really get an issue with any of those names, even Japanese ones. English is just the odd language that requires people de-learning pronunciation :P A nice article though, some of those names truly seem to come from nowhere.
  • Lutrian - February 12, 2010 4:01 a.m.

    You forgot an old game (originally arcade, later home consoles) from the early 1980s, Qix, a game where you draw shapes while avoiding a bouncing helix. Qix was sometimes pronounced "quicks" or "Kicks," the latter is probably the correct one.
  • ZuluSierraPapa - February 12, 2010 1:22 a.m.

    Oh man... I remember walking into a convenience store with my dad while I was playing Gameboy. The clerk said "Oh, you're playing some Pokie-manz?" Wanted to kill the woman. It was even worse than when that lady on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire" got the question wrong about which of the options was the name of a Pokemon.
  • TheWebSwinger - February 11, 2010 11:49 p.m.

    "Atelier is far from an uncommon word even in English" Errr, yeah...I say it at least once per conversation.
  • MiaMo - February 11, 2010 9:58 p.m.

    I heard a middle school principal say they weren't going to allow a club for "Boogeyman" cards :P.

Showing 1-20 of 61 comments

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