[[quoteright:400:[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/f514dc17dff52977142dc78f22b6e890.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:400:Milhouse trying to be radical.]]

->''"Though the villain shames us, we'll pwn all his dark abettors\\
Funny how our names all contain less than seven letters"''
-->-- '''Music/BrentalFloss''', ''Franchise/FinalFantasy Classic [[WithLyrics WITH LYRICS]]''

Many older video games have limits to how many letters can be provided in text entries. This can lead to a character's name shortened to fit into the allotted space. Sometimes an entirely new name is made for the character, other times letters are dropped from the name to make it fit.

This can be quite prevalent in games translated from Japanese--after all, in the UsefulNotes/JapaneseWritingSystem, a single kanji or kana character can represent an entire syllable which would need multiple letters in the Latin alphabet.

Compare SerendipityWritesThePlot when technical limitations change the creative direction of a work of fiction, and {{Cap}}. See also DubNameChange, as differences between languages may cause this to occur when translations are done.
!![[SelfDemonstratingArticle XMP LES]]:

[[AC:[[UsefulNotes/ArcadeGame AC GME]]]]
* Arcade games usually only allowed players to input three initials, which led to:
** ACE for players showing off the skills they'd just used.
** Use of abbreviations for company names, like [[TakeThat changing "SNK" to "CAP"]] in Capcom arcade games.
** TAS for tool assisted runs on emulators.
* In ''Ryu Jin'' this led to AWinnerIsYou: the "s!" in "Congratulations!" couldn't fit on the 14-character wide screen.

[[AC:[[GameShow GME SHW]] PRT]]
* Most game show ports to microcomputers and early consoles allowed eight characters for a player's name.
** The NES version of ''Series/TheHollywoodSquares'' limited players' and panelists' names to four letters.
** The Game Boy ports of ''Series/WheelOfFortune'' and ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' had five-letter limits.

[[AC:[[RolePlayingGame RPG]]]]
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' has Feraligatr and Victreebel, as there's a limit of 10 letters for their names. Victreebel is particularly noticeable as its pre-evolution Weepinbell has both L's. The name limit was increased to 12 for ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'', but the abbreviated names remained.
** In the beta versions of the original games, Gyarados was called "Skulkraken" due to the same problem.
** At first, Vespiquen looks like the second E in "queen" was dropped for this reason, until you count the letters and realize there's only nine.
** For human characters, the name limit was seven until ''Pokemon X and Y'', where it was increased to eight.
** In the English version of ''VideoGame/PokemonStadium'', Giovanni's name is spelled "Giovani" due to Trainer names being limited to seven characters.
** The notorious bootleg ''JustForFun/PokemonVietnameseCrystal'' is made even more nonsensical by retaining character limits obviously not designed for a Western language.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy:''
** ''Videogame/FinalFantasyI'' is filled with these, both with enemies (such as PEDE, as opposed to Centipede, or BLUE D for Blue Dragon) and with spells (such as HRM, LIT). These became especially evident in subsequent re-releases of the game, which had less constrictive character limits and changed many names to be more faithful to their full intended names (example: MADPONY became Crazy Horse, and for a boss, KARY was now Marilith).
** ''Videogame/FinalFantasyII'' changes several characters' names due to space limits. Frionel became Firion, Leonhart became Leon, and Richard Highwind ([[DubNameChange eventually]]) became Ricard Highwind.
** ''Videogame/FinalFantasyIV'', the Four Fiends take their names from ''The Divine Comedy'': Scarmiglione, Cagnazzo, Barbariccia and Rubicante; these became "Milon," "Kainazzo," "Valvalis" and "Rubicant" in the original Super NES release and the Playstation port. In the same releases, the summons Leviathan and Bahamut appear in the menu as Levia and Baham. In addition, due to the six-character limit on party member names, Gilbart was renamed Edward.
** ''Videogame/FinalFantasyVI'', Strago drops the "s" from the end of his Japanese name. Cyan is similarly a simplified version of his Japanese name, Cayenne. These names are still kept in the ''Advance'' port despite the extended character limit.
*** The boss Poltrgeist omits an "e", and the Ultima Weapon drops the space and is renamed [=AtmaWeapon=]. Both are only in the Super NES and [=PS1=] releases; later releases restore Poltrgeist's name to the Japanese name, Demon, and [=AtmaWeapon=] reverted to Ultima Weapon. Also of note in this context is the restoration of the DummiedOut boss [=CzarDragon=] as Kaiser Dragon.
*** Some enemy names were simply shortened to be a crunched version of the original name. For example, the boss monster Dirt Dragon is spelled Dirt Drgn.
** ''VisualNovel/FinalFantasyVIII'', the name of [[SummonMagic Guardian Force]] Quetzalcoatl has to be shortened to "Quezacotl."
* In ''Videogame/GoldenSun'', playable characters get this treatment in the English versions of the game because of this trope, leading to name changes from Gerald to Garet, Garcia to Felix, Jasmine to Jenna and Picard to Piers.
** Character limits are increased in ''Videogame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'', with names like Matthew and Tyrell running around.
* ''Videogame/ChronoTrigger'' has the protagonist named "Crono" as there's a limit to five letters to character names.
** In the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS [[UpdatedRerelease rerelease]], an extra sixth space was added, so it's possible to name him "Chrono" now. Either way, his name appears as "Crono" by default on the "[[HelloInsertNameHere name this character]]" screen, as it's his official English name.
** ''Videogame/ChronoCross'' has a six letter limit instead. A few of the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters had a DubNameChange for it (Mamacha to Macha, Marcella to Marcy, Lucky Dan to Mojo, Spriggan to Sprigg).
* In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', the mini-boss Belome creates clones of party members which are called "X Clone," except for Princess Toadstool (now known as Peach), whose clone is called "Toadstool 2."
* ''VideoGame/YuGiOhDarkDuelStories'' for Game Boy Color has an eight-character limit for all card names and the rest is cut. So, "The Unhappy Maiden" is written as "The Unha", and so on.
* ''VideoGame/LiveALive'' is notable (at least in one English translation) in that several player character names exceed the six-character limit. This means that if you erase the names to input something else, you can't put them back in.
* The ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series often had name entries with enough room for the length of an average name, and it would appear that way in dialogue, but it would be truncated to just the first four letters whenever it needed to fit in menu screens.
** In the first ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters'' game you only had room for four letters, but the main character's default name was Terry. To solve this problem, the name entry screen starts with [[AC:Terry]] written in a completely different font than the rest of the game, and you can just play through the game with his name spelled like that. But it's not possible to spell "Terry" yourself if you erase it.
* The mainline ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' games, just like ''Final Fantasy'' above, give you a whopping four letters to work with. Of course, only the second game lets you rename anyone. Likewise, techniques only had five letters available, so you were left with cryptic spell names like Tsu/Githu/Nathu, Shinb, or Vol/Savol.
* A constant bane in the ''Franchise/BreathOfFire'' series, specially in its early days.
** ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireI'' has to change or truncate most of the main character's names due to a 4-letter limit, such as changing Gilliam into Bo, Builder into Ox or rendering "Zorgon" and "Carla" as "Zog" and "Cerl". ''Every single'' item name was also struck with this, often ending up with confusing names ("A.Ptn" for Agility Potion, "Antdt" for Antidote) or heavily compressed ones with two uppercase letters to indicate type ([=BronzSD=]=Bronze Sword, [=SilverDR=]=Silver Dagger, etc.). Enemy and town names are not excempt, either.
** ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'' is even ''worse'', as it not only suffers the exact same problem as the first, the TranslationTrainwreck turned up heavily compressed and at times almost incomprehensible names. Some beauties include "Bleu/Deis's Room=[=BlueRm=]", "Circlet"="[=SokletAR=]", "Undead Thief" = "Sheef", "Dark Crusader=D.Crsdr", "Mind Blast"="Mindstr" and "Multi-Attack"="Eggbetr".
** ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIII'' increased the character limit for everything (probably due to being the first one on a 32-bit console), but it still couldn't save two of its main characters, as "Garland" and "Pecoros" got truncated into "Garr" and "Peco". A few enemies were also affected, such as the [=ZombieDr=] (Zombie Doctor) and Berserkr (Berserker), too.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}'', an eight-character limit resulted in such obviously mangled place names as "Evegreen," "Sanctuar" and "Grecliff" (which was originally Great Cliff). Crystalholm was truncated to "Crysta," obscuring its connection with the only other town whose name ends in -holm (or -olm, since it loses the H for the same reason). The names of weapons, armors, rings and pins (but not other items) also are limited to eight characters, many of them being {{CamelCase}}d and/or abbreviated (e.g. [=RocSpear=], [=BrnzPike=]).
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Lufia}}'' series, "Selene" was shortened to "Selan" and "Heidecker" became "Dekar". ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns'' averted this by allowing other party members' names to be longer than five characters (TheHero is limited to five, but his canon name merely went [[SpellMyNameWithAnS from "Wein" to "Wain"]]).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Robopon}}'' ''Sun Version'' for the Game Boy, the player's name was limited to four characters. The character length in the sequel for the Game Boy Advance was an improvement--five characters.
* In ''VideoGame/SecretOfTheStars'', item names are limited to eight characters.
* The ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' games follow this trope for the names of [=NetNavis=], which might be an intentional throwback to the older games that had less memory[[note]]It may also be a throwback to DOS limiting filenames to 8 characters, which is another example of this trope.[[/note]]. This leads to Navis named [=FlamMan=] ([=FlameMan=]), the American football-themed [=FootMan=]/[=GridMan=] and [=JapanMan=] (originally [=YamatoMan=].)
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' allowed the player to name Link's horse, whose default name was Epona. Of course, the amount of characters that could be used was limited. It turned out that the Wii version of the game had a flaw that allowed a hacked save file to use a name longer than the allowed name length. This led to the infamous "Twilight Hack", which used a hacked save file where the namespace for Epona was instead filled with a ''program'' that was loaded and executed when the game loaded the save file, allowing the installation of unauthorized software. This led to a revolution in Wii homebrewing.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' [=CamelCases=] item names in encounter screens and scrunches them down to eight or nine letters, for no apparent reason other than {{Retraux}} flavor. For example, butterscotch pie becomes the less appetizing [=ButtsPie=]. When you use a [=SpidrDont=] (Spider Donut) in battle, it says, "Don't worry, the spider didn't." Certain boss fights remove jokes in the abbreviations; for instance, [=SpidrDont=] becomes [=SpdrDonut=]. The name you input at the beginning of the game is also limited to six letters.
* The English version of ''VideoGame/EarthBoundBeginnings'' often removes letters and spaces in enemy, object and [[PsychicPowers PSI]] names because of this, which is why we get things like "[=SuprHealing=]" instead of "Super Healing," "[=Def.Down=]" instead of "Defense Down," and "G.G.F's Diary" instead of "Great-Grandfather's Diary."
* Parodied in ''VideoGame/CthulhuSavesTheWorld'''s bonus campaign ''Cthulhu's Angels'' when Elonalina tries to join October on a quest but can't because her name wouldn't fit in a status box, so she shortens it to "Elona" and joins without trouble.

[[AC:[[SimulationGame SIM GME]]]]
* In ''VideoGame/FTLFasterThanLight'', with certain preparations you can defeat a legendary thief [=KazaaakplethKilik=] and get him to join your crew as... Kazaaak. A crewmate's name ''can'' be longer than that, but the limit is still not enough for the thief's full name.

[[AC:[[SportsGames SPT GME]]]]
* In ''VideoGame/ArcStyleBaseball3D'', your custom characters can have a 9-letter name; but pre-created teams have names longer than that, like Rivertorrent (12 letters).

[[AC:[[{{Internet}} NET]]]]
* Forums, online games, and practically anything else requiring a name on the Internet usually have a character limit. Most are long enough for most names to fit, but others may have shorter character limits. This is why many people may see user names with two words that are spelled out as one word.
* A real life example: Canadian producer Music/{{deadmau5}} came up with his name when he opened up his computer tower and found an actual dead mouse inside. He wanted to use "dead mouse" as his screen name on a forum, but the Web site had a limit of eight characters for screen names, forcing him to shorten it to "deadmau5".

[[AC:[[LiveActionTV LIV TV]]]]
* Series/BumperStumpers exploited the limits of {{Vanity License Plate}}s to make puzzles out of them.

[[AC:[[PrintMedia PRN MDA]]]]
* Conversed when ''Games'' magazine once ran a contest for modern versions of Mother Goose. One of the runners-up ran as follows:
-->John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt\\
Exceeded the data field\\
When he does get junk mail\\
It now says without fail\\
It says "John Jacob Jingleheim", that's it.
* In an Franchise/ArchieComics strip, Archie once asked Jughead to buy him a VanityLicensePlate that read SUPERDUDE. It turned out that only the first eight letters would fit on the plate.

[[AC:[[{{Webcomics}} WEB CMC]]]]
* Obliquely touched on in ''Webcomic/MSPaintMasterpieces''. The author renamed one of the Robot Masters from Elec Man to Electric Man--because he reasoned/assumed that the character would have been named Electric Man originally if the first ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' game hadn't had an eight-character name limit.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' with the name of [[http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/File:Kind_Abstrata.png "kind abstracta"]] (weapon proficiencies) which are limited to 8 characters + "kind", leading to "fncysntakind" if you wield a [[http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Fancy_Santa fancy Santa]] as a bludgeon.

[[AC:[[WesternAnimation WST ANI]]]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Milhouse tries to enter "Thrillhouse" as his name when playing a video game, but it ends up as "THRILLHO" instead. It gets funnier when the viewer realises that "Milhouse" ''would'' have fit the character limit.

[[AC:[[RealLife RL LFE]]]]
* People with vanity plates often run into this.
* In the old days of computing, file names were often limited to eight characters, plus an extension.
* When computers started getting used for school records in TheEighties, there were limits of ten characters for first names. One problem: one of the most common American boys' names of TheSeventies, Christopher, had 11 letters, so teachers often had several [=CHRISTOPHEs=] their class rolls.