* In general, any game with a less obvious title that doesn't include the main character's name runs the risk of this. Of course, there are plenty of games that ''do'' have the main character's name in the title, so the confusion is understandable.
* From the ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series, we have... Zelda. A number of people seem to be under the impression that Link, the protagonist, is named Zelda himself (which in turn causes some people to believe Link is a ''[[ViewerGenderConfusion girl]]''). Zelda is, in fact, the [[DamselInDistress princess]]. This is one of the offenses that causes one to hit the FandomBerserkButton.
** The fact that the games allow you to name Link anything you want means that, if you like, you CAN make "Zelda" the main character. In fact Zelda is the second most common thing for players to name Link (after, well, Link). This is partly Nintendo's fault, as they gave players a reason to do it -- one of the biggest open secrets in the NES era was that using ZELDA as your name in the original ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'' unlocks the [[NewGamePlus second quest]] early. And in most games since, naming him Zelda unlocks some other EasterEgg.
** The Skull Kid's name is not [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora]].
*** For that matter, neither is the mask itself, which is only ever called Majora's ''Mask'' by the narrative. {{Fanon}} has it that Majora is the name of an evil entity who was sealed within the mask using a method similar to the Song of Healing, but this is never confirmed in-universe.
* ''Franchise/TombRaider'' is not Lara Croft's name; it's her vocation. The [[strike: first]] second game was called ''Tomb Raider starring Lara Croft'', but this is still occasionally an issue. Recent games (and the movie) have altered the series name to ''Lara Croft: Tomb Raider''.
** The XBLA/PSN game eschews "''Tomb Raider''" altogether, and is called ''Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light''.
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' is named after [[AntagonistTitle the parasitic aliens]] that appear throughout the series. The main character is Samus Aran, the person sent to kill them.
** To make matters worse, several games in the series have [[ArtifactTitle very little to do with the Metroid species]]. ''Metroid Fusion'' had almost no Metroids in it, and the story revolved around its natural enemy, the X Parasite. In that case, the heroine was ''part Metroid'' due to being given Metroid DNA in the game's intro to save her from an X Parasite infection, so at least it came the closest to escaping the trope. ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime: Hunters'' featured no Metroids at all, except in the demo version bundled with the launch editions of the DS.
** This was apparently retconned to change "Metroid" into a Chozo word meaning "great warrior", and used to describe Samus as well as the species. And also making Samus part-Metroid early in ''Fusion'', as mentioned above.
** Perpetuated in the animated series ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'' where [[BigBad Mother Brain]]'s hideout was called "Planet Metroid" instead of Planet Zebes.
** Also perpetuated in Fanfic/GarfieldInAlongCameASplut, which has Garfield playing ''Metroid'' in the opening, which the story inexplicably claims is about a guy named Metroid who fights the Mama Bran to save the whales.
* Many people seem to think that American [=McGee=] was a clever nonsense name given to a game studio, rather than the personal name of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_McGee the developer,]] who worked on ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', among other projects.
* The main character of ''VideoGame/KidIcarus'' is not named Kid Icarus; it's Pit. This made its way into at least one adaptation, ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'', although ''Captain N'' really [[TheyJustDidntCare wasn't trying very hard]].
** NonindicativeName. Nintendo of America was clearly struggling to come up with a title that would give some idea of what the game was about without being too unwieldy. (For the record, the original Japanese title is "''Hikari Shinwa: Palutena no Kagami''", which references the goddess Pit is trying to rescue, not the hero himself.)
*** Discussed by Sakurai saying that the hero in ''The Legend of Zelda'' is Link, not Zelda; ''Metroid'' is the name of the alien creatures fought by Samus; and that the angel's name in ''Palutena no Kagami'' is Pit.
** The latter show also referred to "Metroid" as a universe and later as a planet. As they apparently didn't know ''anything'' about the ''Metroid'' games except that Mother Brain was in it, this should come as no surprise.
* Some people call Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog ''Anime/SonicX'', after the title of the latest cartoon/anime based on the games. [[Creator/FourKidsEntertainment 4Kids]] themselves refer to Sonic the Hedgehog as "Sonic X" on their website. Even more baffling, since the dub itself [=IDs=] the character correctly.
** Even better -- pretty much every country that bought the [=4Kids=] version were apparently ''told'' to use the "Sonic X" name for the character (in promotional materials, ads, etc.. Not in the series itself). And pronouncing "X" in English, no less.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' refers to the massive ringworld superweapons, not the main character who's generally referred to as Master Chief.
** Whilst never really an issue, a whole meme was spawned off in 2007: [[Memes/VideoGames "I think Halo is a pretty cool guy. eh kills aleins and doesn't afraid of anything."]]
* ''VideoGame/StarFox'' refers to the mercenary team from the game rather than its leader, Fox [=McCloud=].
** Parodied in one ending in ''Command'', where Falco's team is called Star Falco.
** This confusion is understandable since throughout ''VideoGame/StarFox64'', all the enemy characters keep addressing the player as "Star Fox". They mean the entire team, but it's easy enough to think that they're just talking about Fox [=McCloud=]. There's also one instance where Fox is entirely alone, yet Andross still calls him "Star Fox." Fox himself is only called "Fox" by his allies.
** Also applies to Star Wolf, a rival team to Star Fox. The leader is named Wolf O'Donnell, not "Star Wolf."
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia''. "Symphonia" is not the name of the combined worlds, nor is it the name of the tree. The tree's name is [[spoiler:[[WorldTree Yggdrasill]].]] Although admittedly you don't learn the true names for the world or the tree until you play ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia''.
* In ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'' people call Yatterman-1 simply Anime/{{Yatterman}}. Yatterman is actually the name of the team, and Yatterman-1 and Yatterman-2 are the aliases. Similarly with {{Karas}}; that's closer to his title or even his race than to his name (Karas are humans empowered by making a contract with the "Will of the City", giving them jurisdiction over a particular city on Earth; the Karas in ''[=TvC=]''-- the main character of the OVA -- is actually named Otoha).
* The protagonist of ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'' is named Manny Calavera, not "Grim Fandango". The title of the game is a metaphor for death that is used in one character's poetry.
* A common mistake is to think that there is a character named Banjo-Kazooie in the ''VideoGame/{{Banjo-Kazooie}}'' games, but it is in fact a combination of names of the main characters, a bear named Banjo and his friend, a bird named Kazooie.
** Also ''Banjo-Tooie''. Many thought there was a character added named Tooie, which there wasn't. This was lampshaded in the ending of the first game: Kazooie thought that by the title she was going to be replaced by someone named Tooie.[[note]]In case you haven't got it yet, it's the second game: phonetically, Banjo-2-ie.[[/note]] ''Banjo-Tooie'' players are justified, however, in using "Banjo-Kazooie" as shorthand for Banjo and Kazooie together, since Split Up allows playing as Banjo or Kazooie separately, with different moves.
* Similarly, in ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'', there is an ice-cream truck with a giant clown head atop it. This is Sweet Tooth. The driver of Sweet Tooth is a flaming-headed MonsterClown. ''His'' name is Needles Kane. The 989 games got this mixed up, calling both the car and its driver Sweet Tooth; once Incog, Inc. (formed by former [=SingleTrac=] employees) got the rights back, they restored Needles Kane's proper name back to him.
** Not helped by the fact that TV ads for ''Twisted Metal III'' featured convicts spreading the news that Sweet Tooth got out of prison recently.
** ''Twisted Metal: Black'' also has Sweet Tooth as the name for both the clown and the driver, but it doesn't appear to take place in the same continuity as the main series.
*** Reading the character bios (in the form of patient files for the asylum), "Sweet Tooth" was actually the ''alias'' of Needles Cane, while it listed his vehicle as the "Tasty Treats Ice Cream Truck."
** Sweet Tooth is probably the most obvious example, being the series mascot, but he's far from the only -- pretty much any "character" you can name off the top of your head, from Roadkill to Grasshopper to Mr. Slam, is actually the name of the vehicle, not the driver -- those ones are driven by either Captain Spears, Marcus Kane, or John Doe; Krista Sparks; and Simon Whittlebone, respectively. The two major exceptions are Mr. Grimm and Axel -- these bear the same name for both vehicle and driver, as Mr. Grimm's "driver" is just an extension of itself, and Axel is physically fused with his vehicle. The fact that early games had the driver names as literally AllThereInTheManual and even later games more conspicuously feature vehicle names than driver names probably contributes.
** Some versions, such as the 2012 game, seem to have Sweet Tooth as his clown/serial killer name.
* The male main character of the ''VideoGame/{{Tenchu}}'' series is not Tenchu. Actually he is called Rikimaru -- Tenchu just means "divine punishment" (the point of the game).
* Ryu Hayabusa is not "VideoGame/NinjaGaiden" - gaiden means "side story", or "anecdote."
* The instruction manual for the Sega Saturn port of ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters '95'' refers to principal villain Rugal Bernstein as "Omega Rugal", even when describing him during the time frame of ''[='94=]'', when he wasn't Omega-fied. Consequently, there are fans who refer to even Rugal's slightly less SNKBoss-style Rugal as "Omega Rugal", despite having absolutely no qualities of his ''[='95=]'' or ''[='98=]'' Boss version.
** There's also some fans who think the O. stands for Orochi.
** That one is semi-understandable since the power Rugal harnesses (and what consequently destroys him in the end) is called the {{Orochi}} power. Of course, all THIS is moot considering that in ''[='95=]'' and ''[[DreamMatchGame '98: Ultimate Match]]'', he has a honking great OMEGA in his lifebar.
* None of the protagonists of the ''VideoGame/{{Shinobi}}'' series are named Shinobi.
* When ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' was at the height of its popularity, there were a surprising amount of people who thought the series name referred to Pikachu and Pikachu alone.
* The main character in ''VideoGame/{{Strider}}'' is named Hiryu, not "Strider." The Japanese version avoids this problem completely by being titled ''[[MarketBasedTitle Strider Hiryu]]'' and Hiryu is even referred by that title in-game (which was carried over for his later [[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom fighting game appearances]]). There are other Striders in the series (Cain and Sheena in the NES game, as well as Hien in ''Strider 2''), but they're bit players compared to Hiryu.
** In the 2014 game, most of the bosses ''do'' refer to Hiryu as "Strider." However, during the battle with [[DualBoss Nang and Pei]], Nang scoffs that there must be an entire village of Striders out there. Because the game's backstory has multiple Striders before Hiryu attempting to infiltrate Kazakh City to assassinate the Grandmaster and failing at various points, this suggests that they know he one's of many Striders but either can't be bothered to learn his name or aren't privy to that information to begin with (which, honestly, would make sense considering the organization specializes in tactical espionage and assassinations).
* The Bishamon featured in ''[[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Vampire Savior]]'' (aka ''Darkstalkers 3'') is not actually the Bishamon from the previous game, who managed to free himself from the curse armor of Hanya, but the armor itself, having acquired a conscience of its own. The real Bishamon appears in the ending to ward off the evil spirit that has possessed Hanya.
** Adding to the confusion is that a) the possessed Hanya and Kien (the sword) ''still call themselves Bishamon'' in VS, because they like the name, and b) the real Bishamon is ''playable'' in the console versions, as Oboro Bishamon. In this case, Bishamon is in full control of the armor.
* The VideoGame/LocoRoco are a species, and each of the different colors has their own name.
* ''VideoGame/YumeNikki'' means "Dream Diary", referring to the main character's diary that she writes in when the game is saved. Her name is Madotsuki, ''not'' Yume Nikki.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'': The little 50's mascot is named Vault Boy, not PIP Boy, your wrist computer. Doesn't help that ''[[VideoGame/FalloutTacticsBrotherhoodOfSteel Tactics]]'' got it wrong.
** Nor is he called FalloutBoy. That's someone else entirely.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManZero''. The main hero is not a "Mega Man", and the two words are only added in to [[ViewersAreMorons associate it with the rest of the series.]] ([[MyHeroZero After all, the "Zero" handle isn't exactly rare these days...]]) The games themselves never screw this up, but the English manuals do -- and the manga adds to the mess by ''distinguishing'' between Zero and Mega Man Zero, making the latter Zero's SuperMode.
** Lampshaded in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' by Zero himself during his ending: "I'm Zero, not Mega Man Zero."
** ''VideoGame/MegaManZX'' retroactively makes the title "Mega Man Zero" make sense. In the ''ZX'' series, anyone who can use a [[TransformationTrinket Biometal]] is called a [[TheChosenMany Mega Man]] (male or female). Zero didn't ''use'' a Biometal, but Model Z is based on his data, so the term extends naturally to him.
** A similar problem occurs with ''VideoGame/MegaManX'', the protagonist of which is simply named X, ''not'' Mega Man X. (Confusing the issue is the fact that in the North American release of ''VideoGame/MegaManX2'', X is referred to as "Mega Man X" a few times, though this is not the case in the Japanese version, where he is still X, just like he is in every other game throughout the series.)
* When ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' was first released, some players thought that the title refer to the newest model of the titular mecha (which is actually called Metal Gear Rex).
* Up to his appearance in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'', [[VideoGame/FZero Captain Falcon]] was frequently referred to as "Blue Falcon," the name of his F-Zero racer.
** It doesn't help that "Blue Falcon" was also the name of a certain [[WesternAnimation/DynomuttDogWonder blue-clad Hanna-Barbera superhero]].
* The tagline for ''VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRaccoonus'' was "He's one thievious, devious racoonus." Sly Cooper is not the Thievious Racoonus, that's the name of his family's book that he's trying to retrieve.
* The wolf's name is Amaterasu, not VideoGame/{{Okami}}. Okami is simply a title, which means "wolf."
** ''Okami'' is a Japanese wordplay, as it also means "great god."
** To be fair, her BossSubtitles give her the name "Okami Amaterasu." This is a rather dubious example...
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in case of ''VideoGame/RainbowSix''. Rainbow Six is the codename of the leader, the team is simply called Rainbow.
* The title ''Franchise/DonkeyKong'' originally meant "stupid ape" and wasn't supposed to the actual name of the ape in the game. But when players continually referred to the ape as "Donkey Kong", [[SubvertedTrope Nintendo just played along and made that his official name.]]
* A lot of people in Poland refer to the red-suited protagonist of Nintendo's platformers as one "Mario Bros."
** Spanish language countries aren't safe either.
* [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] isn't named "Super Mario." "Super Mario" is just the name for the form he has after he's eaten a Super Mushroom, not the character's actual name.
** It doesn't help that ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' called him Super Mario in the title demo.
** However calling the hero "Super Mario" is commonly used and justified in countries that have "Mario" as a common people's name.
* The bald super-assassin is called Agent 47. ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'' is his profession. In ''Absolution'' however he is occasionally referred to as "The Hitman" by several people as a nickname of sorts.
* The name of the family in ''Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family'' (''VideoGame/LegacyOfTheWizard'') is Worzen; "Drasle" is really a {{portmanteau|SeriesNickname}} of the series' title. The manual for the NES version didn't help by keeping references to "the Draslefamily."
* Not about a person, making it a close one between this and CowboyBebopAtHisComputer, but Alpha Centauri in ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'' is the name of the sun. (It isn't something the designers came up with; it exists in real life as a binary star system; see ThatOtherWiki [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri for details]]) The planet's name is Chiron (aka Planet).
* The manual for ''VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfRadGravity'' says "An item you picked up on Sauria will help you defeat the deadly Trogs". Do they mean the rock-throwing reptilian creatures, or the twin robots that are the boss of the level(which require the Saurian Crystals to defeat)?
* The hero of ''Arkista's Ring'' is not named Arkista, but Christine.
* Parodied in WebAnimation/DorklyOriginals [[http://www.dorkly.com/video/25177/dorkly-bits-mistaken-hero-identities Mistaken Hero Identities.]]
--> So, which one of you is "VideoGame/{{Contra}}"? ... Is it me? Am I the Contra?
* In the NES game ''VideoGame/NutsAndMilk'', the hero is Milk, not Nuts; that the player's number of lives is labeled "MILK" should be a clue. The WaddlingHead with TertiarySexualCharacteristics is neither of the title characters; her name is Yogurt. Nuts is the enemy.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Valis}}'' series, Valis is the name of the heroine's sword. The heroine's name is Yuko, who is also known as the "Warrior of Valis" (until the ChangingOfTheGuard, that is).
* The the tall, faceless entity that's stalking you in ''VideoGame/{{Slender}}'' is called "The Slender Man". Despite this, a lot of people think his name is "Slender".
* The protagonist of ''VideoGame/MrDriller'' is named Susumu Hori, not "Mr. Driller", which is the name of the title awarded for a NoDamageRun. Even the localizations get this mixed up on occasion, and are very [[InconsistentDub inconsistent]] about it.
* The ''VideoGame/{{MechWarrior}}'' games are named after the pilots of [=BattleMechs=], not the [=BattleMechs=] themselves. Luckily, no one seems to mistake the 'Mechs as the name of the [[TabletopGame/{{BattleTech}} miniatures boardgame it was based off of]].
* In the obscure Nintendo game ''WURM: Journey to the Center of the Earth,'' the WURM of the title is a nickname for the DrillTank your characters get around in. That name's never used outside of the title and the manual, despite the surprising amount of dialogue and story scenes for a game of its system and time. In-game it's always called the VZR.
* ''VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}}'' is not the name of an organization that the playable characters are in. Rather, the Skullgirl is a HumanoidAbomination that serves as the main antagonist. Part of the confusion is probably because the game's original roster is entirely female.
* In a rare reversal of this trope, Alice in ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2'' actually refers to Travis Touchdown as "The No More Hero" because he was able to walk away from the life of an assassin after reaching the top ranking in the first game.
* In a rare video game company example, Creator/{{LJN}} has this happen. In their Enteractive Video Games, some people have mistook Enteractive ([[NamesTheSame not to be confused with the company]]) for a separate gaming company. Enteractive was a brand label LJN used on some of their games during 1987-1990.
* It is all but forgotten that the Galaxians in the 1979 game ''{{Galaxian}}'' refer to whatever [[TheFederation space organization]] the player's ship (called a Galaxip in the game) works for. It wasn't intended to be the name for the race of enemy aliens. The attract screen includes the game plot summary: ''We are the Galaxians/Mission: Destroy all aliens.'''. The name of the invading aliens' race is not stated. However, Bally seemed to forget this and referred to one of the stages in ''{{Gorf}}'' as the Galaxians (note the plural) stage. The yellow flagship has made cameo appearances in many Bally/Midway games including ''{{PacMan}}''. It is often referred to as the Galaxian flagship but there's often confusion as to whether they mean the flagship from Galaxian or the flagship of the Galaxians. The former is technically more correct.
* ''VideoGame/{{Arkanoid}}'' is a famous case. The paddle that you're controlling? That's called the Vaus. The [[EenieMeenieMinyMoai giant Moai head]] serving as the final boss? That's Doh (or [=DoH=], depending on the game). The Arkanoid is the spaceship that blows up at the beginning, only appearing in the opening crawl.
* In the arcade version of ''{{Astyanax}}'', Astyanax is the name of the hero's weapon, not the hero himself. Averted in the NES version.
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