What game names really mean

From Katamari to Mass Effect, we reveal games' secret meanings

Suikoden (PSOne, PS2)
The game itself is kinda-sorta based on the classic Chinese story Shui Hu Zhuan (Water Marginin English), so the literal translation, based solely upon the characters present in the title, is something like "Story near water." That's more or less Water Margin, so there you go.

Bujingai: The Forsaken City (PS2)
Another grab-bag of Kanji that works in Japanese, but in English comes out as "Warrior sword city." It also pseudo-starred Gackt, in case you give two farts about international pop stars.

Disgaea (PS2)
More or less means "against the Earth." We figured that was right, then had publisher NIS America confirm it: "From the developer side, Disgaea means absolutely nothing, it just sounded cool and different. We could say that their souls were actually looking for “anti-earth” so Disgaea came to their mind even though they don’t know English at all. It was the magic of Disgaea!"

Otogi: Myth of Demons (XB)
Near as we can tell, "Otogi" alone doesn't mean anything, but does generally refer to stories or fairy tales. So, despite the game's protagonist being based on a real-world person (Minamoto no Raiko), the embellished demon-slaying storyline can just say "eh, it's a myth."

Daikatana (PC, N64)
Yes, we know, it's one of the biggest flops in game history. Good to know that even its name, "big sword," is just as uninspired as the rest of this mess.

Drakengard (PS2)
Root words are hard at work here, making sure this "dragon realm" remains safe, even after one of the mostwtf endingsof all time. Cannibal babies? Nooooo!

Rengoku (PSP)
Another blah game with a blah translation. Rengoku is purgatory, plain and simple. It's also a series of really crappy games.

Hoshigami: Ruining Blue Earth (PSOne, DS)
In between all the summoning spells and hand-flung lightning bolts, gamers might also bow down to their "star god" - which is exactly what Hoshigami means.

Atelier Iris (PS2)
New to the US but well known elsewhere, this cutesy RPG series borrows the French term for "artist's workshop." And then Iris, well, we know already. Also: goplayIris 2. If the heated battle system doesn't suck you in, the adorable anime girls sure will.

GrimGrimoire (PS2)
You probably knew this one, but just in case you couldn't read the box's messy title font, GrimGrimoire easily becomes "book of black magic." That or "sad book," and the former sounds cooler.

Next page - the stragglers that defied categorization.


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