What game names really mean

Suikoden (PSOne, PS2)
The game itself is kinda-sorta based on the classic Chinese story Shui Hu Zhuan (Water Margin in 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 most wtf endings of 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: go play Iris 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.


  • archnite - June 19, 2012 7:38 p.m.

    Revengers of Vengeance oh my god why would someone name their game something so stupid. get that dumd"of" out ah their Revengeancers is where it is at!
  • The4X - February 11, 2010 6:40 a.m.

    Substract heroin & amphetamine from Speedball, add some weed & i'm buying!
  • hamsterdoom360 - January 21, 2010 1:43 a.m.

    I just thought someone should know that HALO is a military maneuver (aka High altitude, low opening) which is used to deploy supplies and/or personnel into an area. Similar to how ODSTs are dropped into a warzone in the Halo series.
  • ulmxn - October 10, 2009 4:06 a.m.

    i skipped through most of the names that i dont recognize but, u can doo eet!
  • LordUberDowzen - October 9, 2009 10:28 p.m.

    Um, not sure if this is a joke or not, but Mass Effect refers to the technology that humans find on mars which allows them to use FTL drives and stuff.
  • HypherionWing - September 3, 2008 8:59 p.m.

    Who said it was supposed to be funny? I found it informative 8) ^^ 8)
  • norcemastero - September 1, 2008 8:51 p.m.

    haha not all too funny
  • swbf69 - September 8, 2009 7:17 p.m.

    I thougt it was a good article and good work with your history knowledge Hinro. Your very accurate.
  • Hinro - September 5, 2009 7:37 p.m.

    A good article but I just want to clear something up about the 300 movie. It is true that 300 spartans went to hold of the Persians while the rest of the Greek armies prepared a battle else where. What is not true is that it was just those 300 spartans that faught. Each Spartan had 3 servants (who were not considered to be Spartan citizens but live in Sparta) with them at the battle of Thermopoli (I know I spelt that wrong sorry to any english majors who happen to read this but this message is about history) meaning that there was actually around 1200 people who were battaling the Persian. I know my response is a little late and it's unlikely that anyone will read it but anyone who does will know the truth of the story behind 300.
  • ZeRo - April 4, 2009 9:01 a.m.

    Revengers of Vengeance????? WTF?
  • linkmaster21 - April 2, 2009 11:42 a.m.

    funnny and imformative but what exactly is a galaga i want to know
  • Resident - April 1, 2009 5:41 a.m.

    Exaaactly , i found it informative too , and we too like to learn some things ;) Let the other features for fun // I love Katamari, it's a nice word and means something
  • Hinro - September 18, 2009 1:14 a.m.

    Thanks Swbf69. I try my best. And good catch on the meaning of Deus Ex Machina sovtek37
  • sovtek37 - September 16, 2009 6:06 p.m.

    Deus Ex Machina does not mean "act of God", it means "God from the machine". It is a storytelling device which originated in Greek theater. With regard to the video Game Deus Ex, the title of the game was a take on the true theater meaning (an inexplicable event is central to the resolution of the plot), and also a take on the literal translation (that technology is enhancing the state of humanity). Wikipedia: Dues Ex Machina
  • sovtek37 - September 16, 2009 5:57 p.m.

    Actually wrong about "Deus Ex Machina". It is NOT an "act of god", it is actually "god from the machine". A completely different meaning and usage that originated in Greek theater.
  • Styrophoamicus - April 2, 2009 3:20 p.m.

    Sol-Feace ftw. Sun poop.
  • musashi1596 - January 30, 2009 8:42 p.m.

    I too found it informative. Keep up the good work!

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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