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Meaningful Name: Video Games
In video games, when a name is given to a character, it quite often holds a special meaning.
  • The German soccer management game Anstoß 3 (earlier installments had been translated to English as On the Ball) allows you to send your team to a Chinese training camp led by one Dr. Do Ping, who puts special ingredients into the food served …
  • Arcana Heart's Aino Heart means (roughly) "Heart of Love".
  • The first campaign mission of the Military Sim ARMA 2, you and your squad are ordered to mark an enemy communication centre in the remote coast town of Pusta, Chernarus for aerial bombardment. In the process, you will find that the rebels who occupied the town, massacred most of the townsfolk, and ditched them in mass graves on the outskirts. Now, for everyone who speaks Russian, the town's name foreshadows this unfortunate turn of events, as Pusta means "empty " in Russian.
  • In Assassin's Creed I, the main character Altaďr Ibn-La'Ahad translates as "The Flying One, Son of None". In Assassin's Creed II, the new Player Character Ezio Auditore da Firenze's first name is a Latin derivative of "Eagle." There's also the leader of the Assassins in the first game, Al Mualim, which translates as The Master.
    • In the third game, Connor is named so by Achilles in order to better blend in with white people. It seems at first that it's a random name, but the end reveals that this is Achilles's dead son's name.
  • In Backyard Hockey, the character Beverly Backstop is the best goalie in the game.
  • The numerous punny names in Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock! often are this. For example, Connie Vection (convection) specializes in atmospheric sciences, which Sue Nami (tsunami) specializes in oceanic sciences.
  • In Bioshock, the name of the leader of the city of Rapture - Andrew Ryan - is an anagram of "Ayn Rand" with a few extra letters added. The names of several other characters are also references to Ayn Rand's writings.
    • As The Game Overthinker has pointed out on multiple occasions, ANDREW RYAN = WE R AYN RAND.
    • Some enemy names are also this. Big Daddies that use Rivet Guns are named Rosie in reference to Rosie the Riveter, a famous Allied propaganda heroine that urged women to work on factories in wartime. The gun-wielding Splicers are named Leadheads, both in reference to their Weapon of Choice and because they frequently wear metal masks to protect their faces.
  • In the assorted Carmen Sandiego media (computer games, game shows, and the infamous TV series), all the villains save Carmen herself have such names. Baron Wasteland (succeeded by Baron Grinnit, easily the cleverest of the gimmicks), Jaquilene Hyde, Contessa, Dr. Sara Bellum (not to be confused with every other campy mad scientist ever created), Miss Demeanor, etc.
  • In Castlevania , Juste and Richter mean "Just" and "Judge" respectively, appropriate for a pair of vampire hunters, no? Additionally The Just scale is actually an old means of developing the octave scale, as opposed to the modern tempered scale. Music? Hmmmmm...
    • Soma Cruz. His last name is Spanish for Cross; the katakana rendering ("Kurusu") tends be translated as Crucifix. As for his first name, several meanings can be taken from it depending what language you use, it's Spanish for Vessal, Hindi for Moon, or even White. All fitting, considering his role. Also, his first name in Japanese translates to "pale (blue)" and "successor/inheritor".
    • Arikado's name more or less means Demon's fang. And an amusing pun on "Alucard" (it's more obvious with a bit of understanding of Japanese).
    • If a boy named Malus comes up to you looking for help, should you believe him?
    • Christopher and Simon have the names of a saint (the patron of travellers, even) and apostle respectively. Christopher's son has a Meaningful Name as well, though an understandable translation snafu robbed the overseas audience of it: 'Solieyu' is a phonetic spelling of the Japanese katakana phonetics for Soleil - the French word for sun. Bad puns are a bonus!
    • Retconned Belmont Sonia bears a moniker that's short for Sophia (in Russian). Her game featured her gaining the wisdom behind her clan's power, and gathering relics that would later be useful to her descendants.
  • Catherine has Katherine McBride, the girlfriend of main character Vincent who is pushing for a stronger relationship.
  • Cave Story has the leader of the Mimigas, named King. There's a cheerful character named Misery and Ballos who eventually takes the shape of a ball.
    • A bit more obscure, but still valid, is the name "Sakamoto". The parts of which make up "Hill" and "Underground".
    • If you're on track to the Golden Ending, you discover the protagonist is named Quote. Considering that he's a Heroic Mime, this has to be a joke. Also, Curly Brace. Think about it and look at your keyboard. The curly brace is on (read tied to) the back of the Quote.
  • Teleios from Champions Online. Teleo in ancient Greek means Finished or Completed. Appropriate for a man who wants to create the ultimate life form via genetic science.
  • About every level in Chips Challenge, which gets lampshaded in "Southpole", its hint tile reads "What was the name of this level?". The obvious solution (but surprisingly not the fastest one) is keep moving down.
  • City of Heroes' Jim Temblor is a mutant with control over the Earth and the son of the supposed villain who destroyed the Overbrook neighborhood via earthquakes, Faultline.
    • During a Resistance mission in Going Rogue, you're supported offscreen by a pair of snipers, named "Griefer" and "Headshot". Guess where the names come from.
  • The Covenant family from Clive Barker's Undying, of course.
  • Let us just say that Command & Conquer's ultra-character named Kane is not coincidental. If the various hints dropped by him and relics from under his Temple aren't enough, the Interpol file referring to him is named GEN#4:16...
    • From the Command & Conquer "Incursion" motion comic: The main character's name is Christian Pierce, which given Kane's ascension and its debatable similarities to the Christian rapture, and his task to decimate anyone who stands in the way of the GDI / Nod alliance, seems to make perfect sense.
  • Brad Fang, the wolf-man in Contra: Hard Corps for the Sega Genesis. His teammate Ray Poward? Not so much.
  • In the second half of Darksiders, the Third Horseman (known as War) finds his steed again, "For what follows War, but Ruin?"
  • Dark Souls has Firelink Shrine. This name sounds like standard flowery naming until the end of the game where you realize it is named after the process of sacrificing one's self to fuel the First Flame.
  • The name of the Dead Space's protagonist: Isaac Asimov + Arthur C. Clarke = Isaac Clarke.
  • If you thought that there wasn't enough of a contrast between the embodiments of Red Oni, Blue Oni in Devil May Cry 3 (Half-Human Hybrid protagonist Dante and his Evil Twin Vergil), just wait until you see the names of their trademark swords. Vergil wields a katana named Yamato while Dante brandishes a broadsword-esque weapon called Rebellion. Yamato (大和) is an ancient name of Japan that usually holds the connotation of symbolizing the Japanese people and their traditional ways of old. Rebellion hearkens to the Meiji period of Japan, a time where modernization began and some of the old customs such as imperial families and samurai were passed over in favor of Western-style innovations like guns. Now look at Dante and Vergil, their style of clothing, and their weapon preferences. How can that not be an allusion?
    • Dante and Virgil may also be inspired by The Divine Comedy, the first part (the Inferno) following the protagonist through hell.
    • In addition, many of the bosses and enemies have meaningful names: Blitz in Devil May Cry 4 is a lightning monster, and Blitz is the German word for lightning, etc.
    • The names of important characters in Devil May Cry 4 are related to Christianity in a way: Kyrie, Sanctus, Credo, Gloria and Agnus are names of Catholic Masses which are sung in Latin (Except Kyrie, which is in Greek), and Kyrie is the only one among them who doesn't have demonic power, then Nero is named after the Roman emperor who persecuted the Christians of his era.
  • The Death Jr games follow the misadventures of the Grim Reaper's son (nicknamed DJ) and his friends. His best friend Pandora is good at opening locks and has never seen a box she didn't want to open, Seep is a limbless body in a liquid filled tank on wheels, Stigmartha has a hole in each of her hands that bleed when she's nervous, Smith and Weston are conjoined twins who handle DJ's weapon upgrades, and finally there's Dead Guppy.
  • In Deus Ex, we have JC Denton, as in Jesus Christ, who can fulfill the Messianic Archetype. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a prequel, gives us Adam Jensen, who is one of the first augmented humans in the world that can handle augmentations with no rejection. In fact, it's speculated that his DNA was used to genetically modify Paul Denton.
    • Human Revolution also has Eliza, who is named after a chatbot.
  • Diablo: The third game introduces Imperius the Archangel of Valor. "Imperius" is clearly a differently spelled "imperious", which means "domineering, overbearing, arrogant; urgent; (obsolete meaning) imperial or regal". Interestingly enough, "valor" or "valour" means "value; worth; strength of mind in regard to danger; that quality which enables a person to encounter danger with firmness; personal bravery; courage; prowess; intrepidity; a brave man; a man of valour; arrogance". When you think about how Imperius tried to stop Diablo all by himself, and that he seems to be unbelievably arrogant, well, his name and title says it all!
  • Disgaea had a comic relief Recurring Boss named Mid-Boss (who called himself "Vyers, the Dark Adonis" — not that anyone else in the game noticed or cared) by Laharl, whom he didn't feel was powerful enough to take the title of Overlord of the Netherworld. It didn't stop Mid-Boss from trying, though.
    • The Big Bad of Disgaea 4 is a man who apparently cast off his original name as he believes That Man Is Dead. For the sake of convenience, he calls himself Judge Nemo. "Nemo" is Latin for "no one" as Desco points out. Also, he claims to be passing judgement on the world for its sins.
  • For the initial release of Doom II, its engine was at version 1.666.
  • In Double Switch, one character has the name "Brutus". It is a Latin name that can be interpreted as "brute" or "stupid". The character himself proves to be pretty stupid in some ways.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Morrigan is a Shapeshifter mage specializing in attack spells. An Irish goddess who could change her form and theWelsh goddess of war and death share this name. Also, the Welsh goddess' symbol was a crow, and Morrigan's costume is decorated with crow feathers.
    • Alistair is a Scottish form of Alexander, "defender of men", and he is the toughest of the warriors you can recruit due to his weapon-and-shield specialization.
    • Wynne means "blessed", appropriate for a character who is being sustained by a spirit of Faith.
    • Leliana is a variant of a French diminutive of Elizabeth, which has strong religious connotations in the original Hebrew.
    • The Dwarf Noble's surname is Aeducan, from the Dwarven word "Aeduc". While the precise translation hasn't been revealed, clues hint that it likely means either "Shield" or "Stone".
    • Sebastian was a 3rd-century saint martyred by arrows.
    • Fenris is similar to Fenrir, a wolf in Norse mythology. Referred to in-universe, as his master intended a name meaning 'little wolf' to be intimidating.
    • Aveline is another in-universe example. She was named for the patron saint of female knights in Thedas.
    • Both the Hawke and Amell families are named after Birds of Prey. Amell itself means "The Power of an Eagle". Flemeth lampshades this, telling Hawke that when the time is right, they should not be afraid to leap, as it only then that they will learn how to fly!
    • More humorous is the name of a nobleman, Reginald Thaddeus Spincter, who sends a letter to Hawke concerning his daughter. Hmmmm...
    • The city of Kirkwall is also actually another meaningful name. Kirk is an old word in English for church. So it means Church Wall. Given the content of the game... well... you decide.
  • In Dragon Quest IX, all of the named Celestrians are based off of the avian constellations. Aquilla, the most important, outside the Big Bad who's name is Crovus , is the only major constellation. You can continue this with your Player Character.
    • The first town you enter which your character is supposed to look after is called Angel Falls. Near the beginning of the game, your character falls out of the Observatory into that town. Did we mention that Celestrians look like angels?
    • In the Dragon Quest franchise, pretty much every single NPC has either this or a Punny Name (and they often overlap)
  • Drakengard has a love affair with these. Caim is Gaelic for Cain, who was big on the murderin' of his brother. Arioch is Hebrew for "fierce lion" and was also the name of a fallen angel in Paradise Lost, both apropos to her character. Seere is also a demon, a prince of hell with 26 legions who was of an indifferent nature, not evil but not good, and very beautiful. Manah, from the religious concept of manna, and her character being referred throughout the game as a "tool of the gods."
    • In the sequel, the dragon called Legna which is Angel spelled backwards. Considering that Angelus is the dragon of the first game (and Angel in the Japanese version) AND Legna was the same dragon that killed Caim's parents and made a pact with Inuart this is foreshadowing in spades.
  • In Duel Savior Destiny Taiga gets the sword Traitor at the very beginning, but it's not until halfway through the very final route that the sword's name is actually referenced. And no, Traitor doesn't betray him. Traitor defines himself as rebelling against God and is thus the Mr. Exposition for what everyone needs to do to save the universe from God, who is kind of a jerk.
  • There is an in-universe book in The Elder Scrolls series written by Zurin Arctus, called The Art of War Magic. It mimicks Sun Tzu's The Art of War both in content and in style. Oblivion has a more subtle example: the only surviving (bastard) heir of the Emperor is Martin Septim. Martin, as in 'related to war' - his entire 'reign' consists of the war against the Mythic Dawn/Mehrunes Dagon.
  • Elite Beat Agents Has Chris Silverscreen, a movie maker. Cap White is a white blood cell that just so happens to look like a nurse. Now switch the name order around and think of the Hollywood Dress Code for nurses...
    • The Rhombulans, whose leader is in a rhombus. Also a shout out to Star Trek and the Romulans.
  • Eternal Daughter had its final boss named Baphomet, which is either a pagan fertility god, a mistranslation of "Mahomet", or a Satanic figure. Regardless of the meaning you use, it's fits him well enough.
  • All the proper names in Eternal Sonata are related to music, but some stand out:
    • A viola is an instrument played with a bow. Viola uses a bow as a weapon.
    • Similarly, "Arco" in music means to play with a bow (usually as opposed to pizzicato, meaning to pluck the strings). Arco is the name of Viola's pet.
    • Fermata means "hold", and reflects the current and original purpose of the fort that bears its name. The musical symbol for it should be familiar to anyone who's been inside.
    • Mt. Rock. Ho ho.
    • An elegy in music is a type of musical work, usually of a sad or somber nature; in literature, it's often used as a funeral song or lament for the dead. The Elegy of the Moon is where people who die of mineral powder poisoning go.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, we have Robert House, a consummate schemer who owns the city of New Vegas outright and is playing the two main powers in the area against one another; his name happens to fit quite well with the gambling motif that runs through the entire game.note 
    • Ulysses is also an example. He mentions he took his name from Ulysses S. Grant, who "turned two flags into one and lost himself in the process."
    • Jason Bright has the Prophetic Name variation — he had that name since before the Great War, and has become a glowing one (a variation of ghoul that glows with radiation).
    • Dr. 8 has a form of OCD that makes him obsessed with the number eight. He will frequently arrange things in sets of eight and lives in house number 08 (out of six).
    • Dr.O's real name is Dr.0 as in the number, its just that everyone has been reading it as O. He explains that he likes the number zero because its unassuming and no one expects anything from it, where O is similar to the sound people make when they are disappointed. In this light both names are appropriate, he is widely considered to be the most useless doctor.
  • Final Fantasy and similar games are rife with this.
    • Final Fantasy IV had the Four Fiends of the Elements, who were all named after demons in Dante's Divine Comedy (Scarmiglione, Cagnazzo, Barbariccia, and Rubicante). Oh, and its traitorous Anti-Hero, contrasted with his benevolent counterpart, was named Kain. Big Bad Golbez was named after Golubaeser, a type of black fly named for the Serbian town Golubac. According to folk legends, these venomous flies were born from a dragon's corpse. This fits with the fact that Theodor Harvey became Golbez shortly after the double whammy of losing both of his parents. Compare that to Cecil who in Mysidia's legend was known as the one "birthed from womb of dragon's maw". In fact Zemus is the one who renames Theodor, directly comparing him to the Golubaeser folklore. It also happens to be a name of a demon in a book called "Devils" by J. Charles Wall.
    • Final Fantasy V had its Affably Evil Dragon, Gilgamesh, named after the legendary Sumerian hero; Big Bad Exdeath/X-Death/Ex-Death seems a lot less cheesy given his name was probably meant to be "Exodus".
    • Final Fantasy VI has a nihilistic villain named Kefka.
      • Tina Branford (known outside Japan as Terra Branford) derives from "Christiana", the latin feminine form of "Christian", and was derived from a saint who was tormented by her father, which itself mirrors how Tina/Terra was tormented by the Empire for most of her life, including being brainwashed.
    • Final Fantasy VII was a more subtle offender. It doesn't take a lot of trouble to work out the significance of the self-confused hero Cloud Strife or the god-wannabe Sephiroth (who is derived from the 10 manifestations of God, the Sephirot), but then there's Tifa Lockheart, whose name is derived from the Kabbalist concept of the Tifaret, the symbol of love; freedom fighter Barret Wallace and the multiple Norse Mythology references, such as Nibelheim (Niflheim), Midgar(d) and the Midgar Zolom, which is a bad romanization of the Norse word for "midgard serpent". Aerith sounds phonetically close and is nearly an anagram to "Earth". This also gives some additional meaning to Cloud's name considering their romance from when they meet in Midgar up to Aerith's death. (i.e. Cloud and Earth)
    • Crisis Core has revealed that cheerful hero Zack's last name is Fair, as in weather, to contrast with broody Cloud Strife. There is also the Angeal, a thinly veiled angelic figure complete with white wing and Genesis, the first of a line of experiments similar to the one that created Sephiroth. A slightly subtler example in Crisis Core is Lazard Deusericus. His last name is "Silken God" in Latin which doesn't seem meaningful until you realize that Shinra can mean the same thing. It's implied that Lazard came up with the name himself as a reference to the fact that he is the bastard son of President Shinra.
    • Final Fantasy VIII's troubled but courageous hero is named Squall (a term for a violent windstorm, in keeping with the franchise's love of weather-based names) Leonhart. His kindhearted and passionate Love Interest uses the surname "Heartilly."
    • Tidus and Yuna are named after the sun and moon respectably and also reflects their personalities. Tidus is sunny and optimistic, compared to Yuna who is gentle and quiet. As if the game wanted to make the point a little clearer, you need the Sun Crest and Sigil to activate Tidus' ultimate weapon, and the Moon Crest and Sigil for Yuna's.
    • From the sequel Final Fantasy X-2, Lulu and Wakka name their child Vidina, Al Bhed for future, symbolizing Spira's future. Also some Fridge Brilliance to show that Wakka no longer hated the Al Bhed.
    • The games' creators have even lampshaded their love of weather-based names for protagonists (Cloud, Squall, Kaze (wind) in FFU, Sora (sky), Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII), in a throwaway line by Zidane in Final Fantasy IX:
      Zidane: No cloud, no squall shall hinder us!
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, the fal'cie Orphan's name is possibly a reference to the Ophan, a high-ranking class of angel who were described as fiery wheels with many eyes lining their rims. Orphan's design is certainly wheel-like, with those many faces on his rims possibly representing the eyes. Also, during the final battle with Orphan, he will take on an a very angel-like form when he is staggered.
    • Every second name in FF series are based off of something or other. A full list can be found here.
    • Hope, who has this explicitly lampshaded when Lightning tells him to "Find the hope you were named for." His name also becomes subject to many puns.
      • Invoked in-universe during the same cutscene: Lightning actually outright explains the symbolism in her alias:
    Lightning shines bright, then fades away. It can't protect. It only destroys.
    • The name of the series itself was a reference to the fact that the very first game in the series was created by Squaresoft as a last ditch effort to save Squaresoft from becoming bankrupt.
  • Fire Emblem has quite a lot of meaningful names, as well as using plenty of mythology references:
    • The Myrmidon class can be passed over as another mythology reference, but most people belonging to the class have an obsession with fighting that could easily be described by the modern use of the word.
    • From Fire Emblem Akaneia, Marth is named after a God of War.
    • From Fire Emblem Jugdral:
      • One subtle example can be found in the 4th game, Ayra is an alternate spelling of Ira, in Latin one of the 7 deadly sins (wrath) and Ayra has quite the temper.... On the other hand, she could just be the commonly used shorting of Irene, ironically meaning peace.
    • From Fire Emblem Elibe:
      • The name Roy comes from a French word meaning king. It's also a Gaelic word meaning red, so both names are appropriate.
      • That a mysterious, Bishounen bard has the name Elfin is probably not a coincidence. On the other hand, that isn't his real name.
      • Fire Emblem 7 has Lucius, a monk who uses light magic.
    • From Fire Emblem Tellius:
      • Ike, being short for Issac, can signify the importance of his parentage. Ike may also be a reference to Dwight D. Eisenhower; surprisingly, they have quite a bit in common. The cheer for Ike in Super Smash Bros. Brawl also reinforces this connection. ("We like Ike!" was also one of Eisenhower's campaign slogans.)
      • Soren might be a meaningful name: It's a corruption of the Italian name Severino, which is the diminutive form of Severo, which means grouchy. (See Snape from Harry Potter, above.) Soren is, indeed, both small and grouchy. Soren's original Japanese name was Senerio. Which is part meaningful, part pun. (A tactician named Scenario? Really?) Interestingly enough, in Japanese, Soren means "Russia".
    • Another (unintended?) example in the 8th game, the 2 lords wield Siegmund and Sieglinde, named for a Norse hero and his sister/lover, their wielders have bit of subtext.
    • Ranulf (can shapeshift into a cat) Fire Emblem 9 and 10 has also a subtle one. Ranulf means "raven wolf". When applied to the same system as Beowulf ("bee wolf") mean "bee hunter" or "bear", Ranulf means "raven hunter" or "cat".
  • First Encounter Assault Recon. Read the acronym it forms and you should know what the series is specialized in causing.
  • Folklore has a Halflife called Scarecrow. He is, indeed, an animated scarecrow. He wants to Scare humans with the fear of death, so that nobody would kill anyone anymore, and his One-Winged Angel form is a monstrous Crow.
  • All of the bosses in Gatling Gears. The Vanguard is the Freemen's last line of defence protecting their village. The Gardener is a robot made to uproot trees and transport them onto trains.The Excavator was made to excavate rocks and minerals. Shockstorm uses lightning attacks and summons a storm. The Bouncer is the enemy preventing you from entering Katharsis, similar to how a bouncer prevents people from entering a bar.Finally, The Butler is Julius's personal mech which you fight in his estate.
  • Kratos is named after an a minor god in actual Greek Mythology, who was, like the Kratos in the game, a personification of power and strength. (The franchise also has a subtle Mythology Gag related to this; the mythological Kratos is one of three gods - along with Hephaestus and Bla - who bind Prometheus to the stone in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound; in the first God of War, the protagonist binds Prometheus, while in the second game, he frees him.
  • The surname of crimelord Dimitri in Grand Theft Auto IV, Rascalov, is likely a pun of 'Rascal', meaning a troublemaker. His business partner, Mikhail Faustin, is named after Mikhail Gorbachev, and his surname evokes Faust.
  • In Half-Life 2, Gordon Freeman is seen as a messiah. One of the highest people in the Resistance (His followers) is Judith Mossman. The name Judith has a male version: Judas. Guess what she does. However, she then betrays the Combine, subverting this.
    • Eli Vance is effectively the figurehead of the resistance as he is the most gifted of their scientists and therefore one of their greatest weapons against the Combine. Funnily enough, Eli means "God of mine" in Hebrew and Arabic.
    • Doctors Kleiner and Magnusson both fit this trope, as "klein" is German for small and Magnusson's root word is "magnus" which is Latin for "large". Kleiner is very meek and easily intimidated, while Magnusson is very forceful and verbose.
    • Gordon Freeman's name has symbolism that is referenced in-universe - he is repeatedly referred to as "The Free Man" which is funny because, unknown to most, it doubles as an Ironic Nickname as he's G-Man's pawn. On the other hand, he freed an entire race that returned the favor.
    • Related to Half-Life 2, the final revision of a military-themed mod for it, SMOD: Tactical, was version 5.56.
  • The FPS Hexen, published by Ravensoft, had an end-of-game boss called Korax — from corvus corax, the Latin name for the common raven. Another monster (a fire-spitting avian) was called an afrit, though whether there is any connection with the legendary crossword composer Afrit (A. F. Ritchie) is not known. And hexen is German/Old-English for witches.
    • "Afrit" is a variant spelling of "ifreet", a supernatural creature of Arabic origin (similar to a genie). The game also features two-headed monsters called ettins, named after the two-headed giants popularized in Dungeons & Dragons.
  • In Hidden Agenda, "Chimerica is a chimera of a country. Body of El Salvador, neck of Nicaragua, claws of Cuba, head of Haiti, it is a composite of different parts that together form a beast representative of all."
  • Ikaruga is the name of a type of bird you see in the credits, the Japanese Grosbeak. In fact every ship in the game except the Sword of Acala (itself and the Stone-Like a reference to Vajrayana Buddism) is named after a bird in Japanese.
  • In I. M. Meen, the main antagonist, Ignatius Mortimer Meen, has a fitting last name.
  • Inazuma Eleven has a ton of these for the story characters. Some examples:
    • Endou Mamoru's full name (円堂 守) is a pun on "endo o mamoru" (エンドを守る), which means "to protect/defend the end" ("end" in the soccer jargon sense here). Being a talented goalkeeper, that's exactly what he does.
    • Kazemaru's surname means "wind circle".
    • Similarly, Toramaru means "tiger circle", a reference to his Animal Battle Aura.
    • Fubuki's surname means "snowstorm".
    • Tsunami's surname (綱海) is a pun on, well, "tsunami" (津波).
    • Megane Kakeru's full name (目金 欠流) is a pun on "to wear glasses" (眼鏡かける, pronounced exactly the same). He's the only member of the team who wears glasses.
    • Tachimukai Yuuki's full name (立向居 勇気) is a pun on "the courage to fight" (立ち向かう勇気, "tachimukau yuuki").
    • Kabeyama's surname means "wall mountain". He's a defender who's built like a sumo wrestler, his signature hissatsu technique is named The Wall, and he later learns another aptly named The Mountain.
    • Fudou's surname means "immobile" or "idle". This may not seem all that meaningful at first, but then he shows up again in the third game and the corresponding FFI arc of the anime, and promptly finds himself stuck as a benchwarmer for so long that some fans started to jokingly ship Fudou x Bench.
    • Demonio Strada's full name consists of the Italian words for "demon" and "road". He's an Italian teen trained by Kageyama to be a stronger and faster carbon copy of Kidou, whose surname also consists of the kanji for "demon" and "road" in Japanese.
  • inFAMOUS has Cole pronounced as coal. The villain who will destroy the world is the Beast.
  • The surname "Smith" is related to a word meaning "to hit". In Video Game/Killer7, the Smiths are assassins, i.e., "hitmen".
  • From Kingdom Hearts:
    • The main trio of the first game: Sora, Riku, and Kairi; Sky, land, and sea, respectively, though Sora is the only one that is referenced: "There are many worlds, but they all share the same sky."
    • Moving on to later games, you have Namine. Nami means wave, while ne can mean either "sound of" in Japanese, or "born from" in French. There's the obvious reference back to Kairi, with the water-related name, but remember: waves are formed by wind moving over water. The joke behind all this? She's Kairi's Nobody, and was created when Sora freed Kairi's heart from his body.
    • Then there's the Organization, who're all pretty simple to figure out; they're Significant Anagrams of their original selves' names with an ''X'' added in.
      • The 'X' itself having a meaning: It signifies Xehanort's obsession with the χ-Blade, the memories present within Xemnas, his Nobody.
      • Then there's Xion, whose name is loaded with double meanings. There's the first (phonetic) part of her name, shio, which means tide, and is another call back to Kairi. This is a Red Herring: she's not connected to Kairi like Namine is, but rather she's an imperfect copy of Sora's memories and therefore takes on Kairi's form. Then there's the references to scion, meaning heir, as well as her original name: No. i. As in the imaginary number.. There's also the fact that "Shion" is the Japanese name of a flower that stands for "I won't forget you", ironically referencing the fact that after her death everyone forgot about her existence... although as of DDD, certain individuals are having inklings of remembering her.
    • Birth By Sleep gave us Terra, Ventus, and Aqua, who have the "land, sky, sea" Theme Naming going on again, only this time in Latin instead of Japanese. Not only do their Command Styles, Keyblades and attacks reflect their namesakes, but their stories also reflect Sora, Riku and Kairi's in some ways. Terra is the eldest, and like Riku, is struggling with his inner darkness. He also winds up body-snatched by Master Xehanort, and eventually becomes the person whose Heartless would take over Riku. He also bequeathed to a young Riku the power of the Keyblade. Ven is the chipper, upbeat cute little boy whose friends mean everything to him. He later fights his literal darkside at the end of game, much like Roxas and Sora did at the beginning of KH1 and KH2. His heart is also linked to Sora, and has been ever since Sora was very, very young. Said heart currently sleeps within Sora, and gave Roxas, Sora's Nobody, Ven's face and voice Aqua is the level-headed of the two and often helps hold the trio together. She finished the game lost in the Realm of Darkness; the same one that Kairi's letter helped Sora and Riku out of at the end of KH2. Aqua is also the only one of Birth by Sleep's Power Trio who met little Kairi, and inadvertently gave Kairi the power of the Keyblade.
    • Finally, there's Vanitas, whose name is similar to Ven's and means emptiness in Latin. He's Ven's Enemy Without. Also, the kanji used to spell sky and ''emptiness' are the same, and Vanitas has Sora's appearance and voice, plus Paint It Black and gold eyes.
  • Knights of the Old Republic has several. Darth Malak, a double Bilingual Bonus, as "Malak" is both Arabic for "angel", while he might be considered a fallen one, and also more obviously Latin for "jawbone", which he no longer has, instead wearing an artificial one that makes him sound like Vader. Then there's Darth Revan, whose name has been stated to come from "revanche", which fits the character; however, it also bears a suspicious resemblance to "Revenant", a spirit that comes Back from the Dead—as he or she more or less has.
    • The 2nd game has several, too. Darth Nihilus is an Omnicidal Maniac poised to devour all life in the galaxy - "nihil" is Latin for "nothing". Atton Rand is a dual reference to Ayn Rand (he has a similar Darwinist outlook) and to his current role as The Atoner (which counts in-character, too, as it's an assumed name).
      • Darth Sion's name is a phonetic respelling of "scion," which is an heir or descendant. His entire character arc involves his pent-up rage and self-loathing from being trapped under his mentor's control (directly or indirectly).
  • In The Legend of Zelda:
    • Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that Zelda was named after famous jazz singer and wife of F. Scott, Zelda Fitzgerald. Though probably unintentional, since it does only apply in the last few installments, "Zelda" can also mean "She-Warrior". Finally, the full version of the name Zelda is Griselda, which means "gray-haired woman".
    • Link's name is a reference to the fact that he's the player's "link" to the video game world. In a nice little coincidence, "links" is also the German word for "left", and Link was made left-handed after Shigeru Miyamoto.
    • Some are obvious, such as Midna of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, who's obviously associated with darkness and shadow (but is a protagonist).
    • In a possible Shout-Out to Shakespeare, Ingo of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Ingo is jealous of Talon's success; Shakespeare's Iago coined the term "Green-Eyed Monster".
    • There's also Termina of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, a world that will end in three days without Link's intervention.
    • Rauru, the Sage of Light, has name similar to "aura". In fact, in Twilight Princess there is a charatcer named Auru who bears a resemblance.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker's Tetra means "Four". Not counting the sleeping princess, she was most likely the fourth individual Princess Zelda introduced into the series. Also, she is apparently able to cast a spell that emulates the power of the Four Sword, as shown in the Japan and Korea-Exclusive Spin-off game "Navi Trackers". Then, there's the fact that the early depictions of the Triforce-pieces were Tetrahedrons...A tetra is also a type of fish. Given that the game she was introduced in took place almost entirely on the ocean, this could also be a likely name origin, though tetras are exclusively freshwater fish.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: Yuga (油画) is Japanese for "oil painting", while yūga (優雅) is Japanese for "elegance", perfectly reflecting his abilities and his obsession with beauty. But there is another meaning to it, when you read the name with Hinduism in mind. In this case Lorule can be seen as a universe, which is in its last epoch, the Kali Yuga, as it is headed to its imminent destruction. In addition, almost all Loruleans have lost their virtues, which is also a marking for the last era of the cycle, as humanity starts absolutely virtuous in the first era and declines through the four Yuga ages to a World Half Empty, which is destroyed at the end. After the Kali Yuga has passed, the universe will be created anew in a new Yuga cycle.
  • Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken is rife with these:
    • The titular hero, Daigo, has "Raioh" as a first name: it means "King of Lightning" in Japanese.
    • Yuki Shirogane, a girl with snow-based magic powers, has her name meaning "Silver(-coloured) Snow" in Japanese.
    • Rankerk Hatred, who's the game's Jerkass-ish Anti-Hero.
    • Terrific Forelock, who sports a very long hair forelock.
    • Misa Atago, whose name, written in Japanese kanji, can be translated as "Bawling for love". Her storyline revolves about her making a trip to forget about her break-up with her boyfriend, and actively searching for a new love.
    • Adolf, the masked Hero of Justice, has for a first name "Rätsel", which means "Riddle" in German.
    • Hiroo Shirogane, the big and bulky champion of the game's All There in the Manual national fighting tournament, has its name "Hiroo" meaning "Big Man" if read with its Japanese kanji.
    • Disguiser, a creature working as the game's Ditto Fighter.
  • Kliche from Linear RPG is one of the many names. Given that it's a parody of RPGs this is to be expected.
  • The bosses of all of the chapters of Live A Live except Oersted's all have similar names for a reason. They are all more or less incarnations of the Big Bad Demon King Odio throughout the past, present, and future. Odio in Spanish means "I Hate"; indeed, all of the bosses embody hatred in their own way.
  • From Mass Effect:
    • Legion, A mechanical teammate, he/it makes it very clear that you are never addressing one person; at any time, that body is being accessed by hundreds of different individual AIs, making its insistence to refer to itself as "we" very, very appropriate. Legion gets his name after he reveals that he is realy 1,183 individual Geth, prompting the Bible Quote to be said. He agrees the metaphor is appropriate.
    • Curiously, Jacqueline is a feminine derivative of Jacob...Doesn't have quite the same significance as most examples on this page, but still...
    • Miranda is apparently a derivation of a Latin term meaning "admirable", and given her history it is entirely possible that is intentional. Also, her original last name (before they cast an Australian to voice her) was "Solheim", meaning "Sun home", which probably had something to do with the fact that she is the only major character (except for (possibly) Commander Shepard) who is from Earth. Her current last name is either a reference to Henry Lawson, one of Australia's best and most well-known writers; or to William Lawson, one of the trio of explorers who discovered a route through the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, and who subsequently become one of the largest landowners in the country as well as the commander of the Bathurst settlement and a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council.
    • "Reaper" is a disturbingly appropriate name for the Big Bads. The first game reveals that they "sow" organic life along the lines drawn by their mass relay network. The second game shows the "reaping": they liquefy entire sentient species to provide the raw material needed to create new Reapers.
    • Shepard is probably so obvious that it doesn't even warrant a mention. Especially since in Mass Effect 2 the whole Jesus-thing is made really obvious when s/he's not only resurrected, but resurrected because s/he is humanity's only hope... and you recruit a team of twelve people. Shepard also shares a name with Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr., the first American in space. Word of God is the name was deliberately chosen as a reference to Rear Admiral Shepard.
      • Made explicit at the end of the series when s/he starts being referred to as "The Shepard."
      • Weirdly inverted in 3, where if the Genophage is cured and Wrex is the leader of the Krogan, he vows that from that day forth, the name Shepard will mean "Hero" in the Krogan language.
    • In order to infiltrate Hock's party, Kasumi creates for Shepard a fake history as a mercenary and the alias "Solomon/Allison Gunn", depending on their gender. Interesting enough, Solomon and Allison mean "Peace" and "Noble" respectively, while the surname Gunn means "Battle". Overall, rather appropriate for a mercenary, wouldn't you agree?
    • Saren. Meaningful in that it's one letter away from "sarin" or "sarin gas," which is over 500 times more lethal than cyanide. Him being a mass-murdering fuckhead, it's quite fitting.
    • In Arabic, the anglicized name Samara translates as 'guardian', making it an appropriate name for a Justicar.
    • Urdnot Wrex has a fondness for wrecking things. He’s also a rex (Latin for "king"), assuming he survives the game.
    • Kasumi means 'mist' in Japanese, while goto means "robber". So Kasumi's name translates to "mist robber", fitting for a Phantom Thief.
    • The Protheans are the species everyone looks to as Precursors, the ones who built the mass relay system and created the Citadel. They're not - they just found the leavings of the Reapers, but they still managed to Fling a Light into the Future for the species that would come after. Take both those facts, and strike a few letters from "Promethean".
    • The Normandy is named after the Normandy landings, one of the pivotal battles of World War Two and the largest amphibious assault of it's time. Rather fitting for a vessel meant to rapidly deploy marines into dangerous combat zones. Also, the Battle of Normandy was notable for the misdirection and disinformation applied beforehand to conceal the landing site, and for being a successful multinational operation between one-time rivals. This fits the SR-1 like a glove, as it is a joint human-turian stealth warship. The multinational part is less relevant for SR-2, given that it was made by Cerberus, a human supremacist group.
    • A minor character in the third game is the subordinate to Jona Sederis, leader of the Eclipse mercenaries. Unlike his boss, who is a psychopathic murderess, this man is Sayn.
  • In Meat Boy series, Meat Boy who's made out of meat, Bandage Girl, Dr. Fetus and Brownie.
  • Dr. Vile (Dr.バイル, Dokutā Bairu, localized as Weil), Big Bad of the Mega Man Zero series. Very accurate...
    • Zero himself, once Weil brings the Laws of Robotics into play while ignoring the fact that forcing Zero into inactivity would be a violation of the Zeroeth Law.
    • The name "X" in Mega Man X represents infinite possibilities displayed by the titular hero, as Dr. Light has described him. He even has a theme song named Variable X.
    • Bud Bison and Damian Wolfe from Mega Man Starforce. Their EM forms are the animals of their respective last names. Then, the guy who believes that only weak people form groups and does everything alone is named Solo.
  • The Metal Gear series deserves mention here:
    • A reiteration of the "hunter" example in the description — Metal Gear Solid's Gray Fox's real name is Frank Jaeger — shameless hunter. And he's a fox. Geddit?
    • If you're German or you're fluent in German, you pretty soon get the hint that there might be a connection between Frank Jaeger and Naomi Hunter, as their family names mean exactly the same thing.
    • "Naomi" itself is a name in both Japanese and English (by way of Hebrew), and since Naomi's cover story was that she was half Japanese, this makes sense. Also, Project MKNAOMI was the name of a CIA program about using viruses as weapons, giving a big hint to her role in the plot as well as continuing the military Theme Naming of many of the characters.
    • And the rest. Campbell beats us over the head with it in the first game in case we don't get it: "Psycho Mantis, with his powerful psychic abilities; Sniper Wolf, a beautiful and deadly sharpshooter; Revolver Ocelot, expert in interrogation and a formidable gunfighter". He's called revolver and he's a gunfighter? Seriously, Roy? It's a good thing you're around to tell us these things.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2 starts off with a Dave, being backed-up by a Hal, aboard a ship called the Discovery, using a computer called, if you're good at reading machine code, Monorith. Then, when the ship sinks, we're introduced to a young couple named Jack and Rose. If it wasn't movies it would be symbolic, or something.
    • Vamp appears to be a subversion... at first. Raiden asks if it comes from his fangs and tendency to drink blood (which he has), and Snake answers: "No, it's because he's bisexual." This is not a subversion, however, because that's what the term "vamp" originally meant.
    • Fatman is grossly overweight, but his codename is also the codename of the Nagasaki Bomb.
    • "Iroquois Pliskin" shares the surname of another famous Plisken, which further gives the player a hint as to his true identity.(Also "Iroquois" means "rattlesnake" in Algonquin Indian, the civilisation that used to colonise Manhattan, where Metal Gear Solid 2 takes place.)
    • The single greatest one in the series, though, has to be Ivan Raidenovich Raikov, which has several layers of meaning thanks to a clever trilingual pun. "Ivan" is the Russian equivalent of John, which is also the main character's real name, because the main character must disguise themselves as Raikov. "Raidenovich", when written in katakana, could also be read "Raiden no bitch", which translates to "Thunderbolt's bitch", Thunderbolt being the nickname of Volgin, his lover. In Russian, the name means "son of Raiden", the character being a Discontinuity Nod towards the Replacement Scrappy of the same name. As for "Raikov", it's the surname of a notable anti-gay protester in Russia, just to add that final sting of irony. Also, the English version of John is Jack, as in Raiden's name.
    • Otacon actually lampshades his own Meaningful Name, Hal Emmerich, in an optional conversation in Metal Gear Solid. He complains that he's always hated his real name growing up, because "I'm not a computer, I'm a person!". He seems to enjoy the 'computer' role a little more once Snake reveals that his real name is David.
      • Otacon's code-name not only is meaningful due to his Otaku nature, it's also possibly an allusion to his backstory: It's two letters off from Shotacon. He's a statutory rape victim.
      • He shares the surname Emmerich with a director notorious for making movies in which America gets graphically destroyed. This is appropriate, since Otacon's entire family are 'cursed' to make civilian-slaughtering weapons, with Otacon creating Metal Gear REX, a tank seized by terrorists in order to destroy America.
      • And "Hal" means "leader of armies." One Man Armies, maybe.
    • Solid Snake's real name, David, is a Shout-Out not only to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but also to Hideo Kojima's previous work Policenauts. Meryl Silverburgh's partner was also named "Dave" and she addresses Snake as such in her ending. David is also the first name of Solid Snake's voice actor, but this has been explained to be a coincidence (since the name was already decided before Hayter was cast).
      • Also he's known for destroying the Goliath-like Metal Gears.
    • EVA more or less spells her codename's meaning out for us, in case we didn't know, and it foreshadowed what we found out in Guns of the Patriots.
    • And then there's EVA's co-conspirator in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: Adam.
    • In Peace Walker, Kazuhira (nickname "Kaz") and Paz both have names meaning "peace" which sound the same, with Vladimir, Kaz's director and Paz's teacher, having the name "ruler of peace". When Paz and Vladimir's plans are revealed, this provides a pretty big clue towards Kaz's real motivation (at first). Pacifica Ocean, a Russian spy and MSF's nemesis, gets her name from the way the logo of MSF looks like Pangaea - Pangaea was surrounded by the Pacific Ocean - as well as from the body of water that divides Russia and America. Pacific also means 'peaceful'.
    • "Big Mama". It's a playful phrase, as well as an obvious Distaff Counterpart of "Big Boss", and its literal meaning is obvious (since Big Mama gave birth to Big Boss's children). However, "Big Mama" is also a Chinese term for an internet censor, internet censorship having been the goal of The Patriots in Metal Gear Solid 2, providing an indication as to what organisation she works for (or rather, formerly worked for).
    • "Big Boss" managed to have a Meaningful Name way back in the first and almost story-less Metal Gear. It's a cute nickname people give to the director of their company, which makes sense since he's in charge of FOX-HOUND. It's also a cute nickname given to a video game Final Boss. In Metal Gear Solid 3, this was revealed to be a title he received upon killing The Boss, who was the game's most powerful character that the entire story focused on the eventual killing of - The Boss of the game, if you will.
    • Nobody can compare to Raiden. Raiden's real name is Jack, or at least that's what's given to him. During World War II, Jack was the codename for the Japanese plane "Raiden". Solidus Snake tells Raiden the reason behind his name in order to Mind Screw him and remind him that he's nothing more than a weapon.
    • A much more straightforward example in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is Steven Armstrong, the only boss in the game who fights primarily with his own bare hands due to possessing nanomachine-enhanced strength.
  • "Metroid" is a Chozo name meaning "Ultimate Warrior." Applying this to most of the games is iffy since, though repeatedly stated to be incredibly effective bioweapons, they are also almost always portrayed as monsters and antagonists. It becomes a very Meaningful Name, though, in Metroid Fusion: thanks to a vaccine made from Metroid DNA, Samus Aran essentially becomes part-Metroid. The same Samus Aran who regularly blows up planets and wipes out Space Pirate armies single-handedly.
    • Also, the name "Samus" can be interpreted as a feminine form of the name "Seamus," a Celtic name meaning "he (or in this case, she) who supplants (ousts, pwns, decimates, etc.)." Fitting, since Samus outs the Space Pirates. Multiple times. In addition, her last name, Aran, can be traced back to a word meaning "island" or isloated area —exactly what the Pirate Fortrees of Zebes is —therefore, the name Samus Aran means "she who supplants an island."
    • Ridley is named after Ridley Scott, signifying the close link the games have with the Alien franchise.
  • Mother 3 has the villain Fassad, called Yokuba in the Japanese. Yokuba comes from the Japanese word Yokubari, which means greed. The fan translation named him Fassad, to make a similar pun, as "Facade" means a false appearance, and in Arabic, "Fassad" means "Corruption". All of which point to Fassad's nature as a corruptive force on Tazmily, and the kind face he puts up to trick Tazmily. Going even further, Fassad has a secret identity, and a name to go along with it: Locria, the missing Magypsie. All the Magypsies have names based on the musical modes. Out of the musical modes, the Locrian mode has a tritone as its tonic code, instead of a perfect fifth like all the others. Historically, the trintone has been associated with evil and the devil. How's that for meaningful?
    • Also from Mother 3, we have "Lucas" and "Claus". Think about that one for a second.
  • Safiya, one of your primary allies in Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of the Betrayer, bears an Arabic name translating as "Pure." Given that she is the fragment of Nefris that contained all the traits that Akachi loved best and is the only one of the three fragments who had no knowledge of who she was or memories of that which came before, it is rather apt.
  • The final boss theme from Mushihime-sama is named "Cry! Scream!" and trust me, you will.
  • No More Heroes 's nearly-Villain Protagonist Travis Touchdown (Travis T.). Plus Letz Shake, the creator of a huge earthquake machine; Shinobu (the female form of shinobi), a samurai-themed assassin; Henry Cooldown Travis' cooler-dispositioned long lost twin brother; Count Townsend, aka Death Metal (a British rocker a la Pete Townshend); and Naomi, who is quite possibly a reference to Metal Gear Solid 's Naomi Hunter. Also, Travis' name as written/pronounced in Japanese is Torabisu, and "tora" means "tiger." He has copious tiger imagery, the man he thought of as an equal rival in the second game is named Ryuji (Thunder Dragon, a reference to tiger/dragon symbolism), and he can even turn into a tiger as one of his Dark Side powers in the second game.
  • In Odin Sphere, there's a ring called Titrel that plays a huge role in the plot. One of the protagonist's names, Gwendolyn, means "blessed ring". Her sister (who falls in battle at the very beginning) is named Griselda, and her name means "dark battle". There's a mountain called Horn Mountain in the game. Another protagonist's name (Cornelius) means "horn".
  • A complex example in Osmos. Osmos is meant to be short for Osmosis, the natural flow of water from the areas of high liquid concentration to areas of low liquid concentration. However, the gameplay is the opposite, as larger cells will fully absorb smaller ones. The only way it makes sense is if the largest cells are also areas of high solute concentration, which would then make water flow towards them. Even then, though, the smaller cells shouldn't be drained completely, but only until the concentration gradient is even. In short, don't think too hard about it.
  • Otomedius features the gunship Big Core DX. In combat, the Big Core DX deploys up to six game-breaking Options that cannot be destroyed, and quickly fills the screen with death. Therefore, the 'DX' is the face you make.
  • Some of the fairies from Panel de Pon: Lip (as in "tulip") the flower fairy, Windy the wind fairy, Sharbet ("shard" and "sherbet") the ice fairy, Ruby the jewel fairy, Flare the fire fairy, Neris the mermaid, and Seren (as in "serenity") the Sailor Moon Expy.
  • Something of a cross between a Punny Name and a meaningful one, the main characters of The Path, which is based on Little Red Riding Hood, are six sisters from the family Red. Their first names are Scarlet, Carmen (i.e. carmine), Ruby, Ginger, Rose, and Robin. Red things.
  • Takahisa Kandori of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona aspires to nothing short of godhood only to find it's Lonely at the Top. His surname can be translated as "god-taker", or more fancifully, "usurper of gods".
    • In Persona 3, there is Ryoji Mochizuki, whose family name is written with characters meaning "aspire to/expect/desire" and "moon." Shuji Ikutsuki's family name can be read roughly as "toward the moon." Both of these names are very relevant to the plot. Shinjiro Aragaki's surname is written with characters meaning "rough" or "rude" and "wall." Aigis's name is derived from "Aegis," the mythological shield, and she is motivated by a strong desire to protect the protagonist.
    • Persona 4 has Yukiko Amagi. While fighting your way through her dungeon to save her, her inner thoughts explain that the kanji for her name means "snow child", and that snow is fleeting and without any purpose or use, much like how she thinks of herself.
    • Labrys from Persona 4 Arena shares her name with her signature weapon, a giant symmetrical double-headed axe.
  • In Pokémon, most of the significant characters (e.g. Gym Leaders and the Elite Four) are barely-concealed puns — if not in meaning, than at least in "spirit", so to speak. And let's not get started on the names of the Pokémon themselves.
  • The main character in Prey is a Native American named Tommy Tawodi. "Tawodi" is Cherokee for "hawk", and "Tommy Hawk" sounds like "tomahawk".
  • Alex Mercer with his first full name being Alexander, "defender of men". It's subverted and played straight. The human Alex expected to destroy the human race by unleashing the Blacklight Virus. That's the subverted part. Now for the played straight part: The Blacklight Virus, aka Alex, saves the people of New York from a nuke.
  • In Psychonauts there’s El Odio, the rampaging bull that torments the thoughts of a Spanish artist. the name translates to "The Hate", which turns out to be appropriate when you figure out where El Odio came from.
    • Raz's surname is (Wordof God) Aquato, and there's allegedly a curse on his family that keeps them from being able to swim. Raz's first name is short for Rasputin, after (sorta) Grigori Rasputin, a historical figure believed to be a psychic (and a robot from the future). Also, the "official]" cause of Rasputin’s death: [[SuperDrowningSkills drowning.
    • Oleander, who is the big bad has a name that refers to a poisonous plant. Then, his first name is Morceau, which is old French for "morsel"— or rather, something small. Guess who the shortest adult in the game is.
    • Sasha Nein and Milla Vodello's names are both significant in their native languages, German and Portuguese respectively. ("Nein" is "no" in German and indicates his repressed nature. He's also the one who first introduces you to the Censors, who have "NO" as their battle cry. "Vodello" is probably a play on the verb "to fly," and her specialty power is levitation. She's also very upbeat and optimistic.)
  • Video Game/Pulseman's father was the benevolent scientist Doc Yoshiyama... until his Face-Heel Turn, at which point he became the Mad Scientist Doc Waruyama. "Yoshi" and "Waru" are Japanese for "good" and "bad".
  • Nearly everyone in Punch-Out!! is like this. Super Macho Man, Bear Hugger, Mr. Sandman, Narcis Prince, Masked Muscle, Disco Kid... One caused by an attempt to dance around copyrights: in the Wii Punch-Out!!, Piston Honda had his last name changed to "Hondo". A hondo is the main chamber of a Buddhist temple, and according to That Other Wiki is an archaic name for Honshu, the main island of Japan, which Piston Hondo's hometown of Tokyo is located on. Now recall that all foreign boxers in Punch-Out!! are Captain Ethnic....
  • Creator from Radiant Silvergun. This also applies to many bosses after decrypting them.
  • Rainbow Six Vegas gives us Gabriel Nowak, Rainbow Operative and The Mole (and in the sequel, the Big Bad). Nowak is a common polish surname that is derived from the word for "new" and was originally a nickname for someone new to a profession or village. A flashback shows Gabe making rookie mistakes due to his gung-ho attitude, resulting in the death of a negotiator, a reputation as the team screw-up, and later his convoluted plot against Rainbow in revenge.
  • In Remember Me, the names of all security robots have meaning. The angel-like airborne robots are known as AV48S Seraphim, for a type of angel, while the ground-based robots are called AV48N - Nephilim, which is most commonly translated as fallen angel. The huge mecha guard at the entrance to the Bastille Prison is called AV78 Zorn, which is German word for "wrath". Fittingly, the move you use to hack them over to your side is known as Rust In Pieces.
    • The wife of the founder of Memorise corporation is Scylla Cartier-Wells. Mythological sea hazards Scylla may have been a shoal with a risk of a shipwreck. The defining moment of her life, one which made her distant to Nilin and drove her husband to create his invention is naturally, is a car crash. It's also a meaningful name in-story, where she legally changed her name to her childhood nickname; she was called "Scylla" because she was a terror as a child, but proudly took that name as a sign that she was trouble for anybody or anything in her way.
    • The locations also get in on the act: Bastille used to be the most dreaded prison in France under the Bourbons and the French Revolution began with its capture and destruction. Its reconstruction and eventual destruction show that the social inequality of the era and the distance between the wealthy and the underclass has made a comeback. The Parisian slums that house said underclass are known as Slum 404, which signifies their invisibility to those in power.
  • The eponymous planet of Rescue on Fractalus! was named that by the developers because its landscape is generated through fractal theory. The alien race "Jaggi", meanwhile, had their name inspired by the pixelated, jagged graphics.
  • In Ristar, both the protagonist Ristar (a star-shaped creature) and principal antagonist Greedy (a solar system-looting Space Pirate) have rather obvious Meaningful Names, and in the international version (but not in the Japanese version, which boasts names like "Omaclove"), each Single-Biome Planet has a name reflecting its dominant environment.
  • In Mega Man tribute game Rokko Chan (here), the Dr. Wily and Dr. Light expies are given the subtly-meaningful names "Dr. Mad" and "Dr. Sane", respectively.
  • In the RollerCoaster Tycoon expansion, Corkscrew Follies (Or Added Attractions if it's the British version), there's a park called Fiasco Forest. Fiasco means something that's a total failure and wrong on any levels. Also, there's a Water Slide called Death Slide. The park has so many problems that makes you wonder if it was made by a 2 year old child. The ride called Death Slide? If you wait for five seconds after you entered the scenario, the ride will crash!
  • RosenkreuzStilette has the RKS Magi, whose first names are all tells of their personality/history, except Dolis Warmind. (Furthermore, except for Zorne Sepperin (Zeppelin) and Dolis, their last names are derived from those of actual German game designers. This being a video game....
  • The villain in Sabre Wulf was one Dr. Dolittle-Goode.
  • In Sakura Taisen V, two of the potential love interests in the Star Division have a sign of the zodiac directly in their names (Gemini Sunrise and Rikaritta /Rosarita Aries). Two of the remaining love interests have corruptions or variations (Sagiitta Weinberg/Cheiron Archer -as in the constellation Sagittarius, representing the centaur Chiron/Kheiron- and Diana Caprice -as in Capricorn), while the last two are slightly subtler (Subaru Kujo -the Japanese name for the Pleiades cluster in the Taurus constellation- and Ratchet Altair -the brightest star in the non-zodiac constellation Aquila). The five that reference zodiac constellations (also the five that can be chosen before a New Game+) just happen to have been born under those signs, and all express personality traits consistent with their signs. Also, Gemini has a split personality stemming from having a second heart—an embedded twin sister. The game also includes CGs of each character referencing their constellation, just in case a player didn't catch the references.
  • The main villain in Samantha Swift And The Fountains Of Fate used the alias M'Alice ne Pei.
  • Kyrie from Sands of Destruction means 'Lord' in Greek, quite fitting due to his nature as the Destruct. For a more obvious one, Morte the "heroine" means "Death" in Italian and she wants to destroy the world.
  • In Secret of the Stars, one major villain has the euphonious and subtle name of BadBad.
  • Sigma Star Saga has Your CO from earth, Commander 'Tierney', and the leader of the Krill aliens, The Tyrannical Overlord. Pronounce 'Tierney,' and note how the two are Not So Different in their willingness to sacrifice their own homeworlds to get what they want.
  • Silent Hill 2 features James Sunderland looking for his wife, who has been dead for three years. In reality, she has been dead for much less time, (speculated to be anywhere from a few hours to around a week), due to James killing her and then suppressing the memory. By the end of the game, James realizes that he killed her, shattering the reality he created where she's been dead for years. In other words, his "land" has been "sundered", as evidenced by his last name.
  • In The Sims, some of the playable pre-packaged characters include Don Lothario, Castor Nova, Nina and Dina Caliente, Brandi Broke, and Nervous Subject. Everyone has a meaningful name.
  • The Sly Cooper series has a slew.
    • Sly is the nimble thief who crawls around in vents, sneaks along ledges, and occasionally hides in a barrel, which are made by coopers. Clockwerk's name refers to his being a robot. Panda King's name sounds almost like a pro wrestler's, which matches his personality. Muggshot's name refers to his life of crime. Don Octavio is a singer. Don Octav(e)-io. Dimitri's last name is Lousteau. He's a diver.
    • Arpeggio's name refers to a musical arpeggio, where the notes of a chord are played in sequence rather than simultaneously. This could refer to his auspicious plans that worked out in sequence, each plan relying directly on the one below it, (the nightclub food, the spice, the blimp, the lights, and finally the Clockwerk body) building up to create a 'harmonius' chord. Alternately, it foreshadows his downfall. One direct translation of 'arpeggio' from Italian is 'broken chord'. What does Neyla break right after the Clockwerk body is assembled? His fucking skull, and every other bone in his body, and ruins his entire plan, 'breaking' the harmony of the end product. This could also refer to Arpeggio foiling the Cooper Gang's plans after Menace of the North.
    • Constable Neyla deserves a mention that's a bit of a stretch. In the end of the game, she fucks up both the plans of the Cooper Gang and the plans of the Klaww Gang, upsetting the stability in the progression of both teams' missions. She's against stability; a con against stable things.
    • Most of the other character's surnames are for whatever animal they are supposed to "be", however.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog , you've got the eponymous main character, who's really fast, the guy with two tails is nicknamed Tails but his real name is "Miles Prower" (say it fast). The guy who punches things and has spikes on his knuckles is named Knuckles. The man shaped like an egg and looks like an Walrus is Dr. Eggman. His other name, Ivo Robotnik, also has meaning: he makes robots, and his first name is "Ovi" (latin for "egg") spelled backwards.
    • The name Amy also means "beloved" or "love". Her surname (or secondary name), "Rose" is French for "pink", and is also a symbol of love. Shadow’s name refers to his dark past and mysterious ways. Him, Cream, and Silver also have names that refer to their fur colors.
    • Minor characters also get in on the act: Blaze has fire powers, Marine loves ships and the ocean, Jet is a speed maniac hover-boarder and his teammates/siblings names, Wave (the calm and relaxed one) and Storm (the big and strong one) follow suit. Espio is a ninja chameleon. His name comes from both the Spanish term for to spy and the word "espionage". Shade dresses in dark blue/black, Big is both tall and fat, Rouge often wears makeup and Charmy is cute. Chaos (the blue goop monster, not the cute things it guarded) is pretty obvious, especially in its most powerful form.
    • Professor Pickle likes cucumber sandwiches. The Erazor Djinn is a double, as he wields a giant straight razor like a sword and wants to erase the 1001 Arabian Nights. Fang has an enormous fang (almost a tusk, even) sticking out of his mouth.
    • One meaning of name Tikal is "Place of Voices". Now consider what happens which you bump her orb of light. It also refers to the site of an ancient Mayan civilization, which reflects her culture’s similarities to the Mayans in general. Similarly, her father Pachacamac is named after an ancient Peruvian temple.
    • Invoked in Sonic Unleashed where Sonic gives Chip a name due to his favorite food of chocolate chip ice cream.
  • The Space Bar has the main character, Alias Node. In computing terminology, "node" refers to a connection point for sending and receiving information, while "alias" refers to symbolic alternate names for information. Put it together, and it's essentially a descriptor of Alias' interrogation technique, where he can telepathically read other people's minds and replay living through their memories.
  • Why Spyro the Dragon is called "Spyro": "pyro-" relates to fire, but the word "spiro-" as a prefix relates to breathing (spirometer, inspire, expire). He's called Spyro because he breathes fire.
  • Fenix of StarCraft gets killed after an early Protoss misson; later his body is recovered and stuck in a Dragoon.
  • Suikoden V has the Godwin clan. Who pursue a policy of militarism and genocide against nonhumans. They also employ an assassin named Dolph.
    • Several places in the game have meaningful names as well, most notably Hatred Fortress, built by the Godwins to prevent water from reaching Lordlake.
  • The Super Mario Bros. series uses meaningful names for nearly every character and enemy, as well as a good dose of theme naming.
    • Some of the Japanese names are this too, Teresa (Boo) means Shy, and there is not even a need to think what their name for Bullet Bill is (Killer).
    • The biggest one of them all combines with Bilingual Bonus. Luigi in Japanese (which would be spelled "Ruiji" there) means "similar to, imitation of." He just can't escape his brother, can he?
      • In English, it's reversed. His name means "famous hero". While that is true in real life, only the "hero" part is true in the games.
    • In Super Paper Mario, Dimentio is "dimension" + "dimentia", Mimi is "mimic" and Luvbi (as in "love", i.e. hearts), is a Nimbi. She ends up turning into a Pure Heart. Then, there’s Nastasia, whose name is similar to the greek "Anastasia", meaning "Resurrection". Who apparently survives a fatal attack.
    • At some point in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Mario can fight generic mooks called "X-Yux", which are alien creatures serving as guards for the same organization as TEC-XX, and using Goombella's Stat-O-Vision move makes clear that the "X" in the X-Yux's name is pronounced "Cross." Sure enough, TEC-XX double-crosses the organization.
    • Beldam, head of the Shadow Sisters from The Thousand Year Door, is extremely old and withered. Her name means "crone", and was once a word for witches (see: Coraline). Comes as little surprise she serves the Shadow Queen when you know that.
  • Lemon Browning of Super Robot Wars Advance. "Browning" simply alludes to a connection with the character Excellen Browning from Super Robot Wars Compact 2, but Lemon? It's a term used to refer to faulty used cars. Turns out Lemon's a cyborg built from the corpse of an Alternate Universe Excellen, who was killed in a shuttle accident. Ultimately, her parents rejected her for not being a good enough Replacement Goldfish. Whether this was intentional or not is still up for debate, though.
    • Another one, although more of a meaningful nickname, would be Ratsel Feinschmecker, (which is actually an In-Series Nickname used by the series' Char Clone Elzam V. Branstein) which roughly translates to "The Mysterious Gourmet". Makes sense as he's quite the franchise's equivalent of a Supreme Chef.
    • Super Robot Wars Destiny. To round off quickly, we have The Ruina, The Big Bad Perfectio (Perfection) and his mecha Fatum (Fate) , Aquila (Eagle) and his mecha Fortis Ara (Strong Wind) , Umbra (Shadow) and her mecha Priskus Nox (Ancient Night) , Glacies (Ice) and her mecha Fabularis (Like a tale), Ignus (Flame) and his mecha Impetus (Impulse) , Contagio (Disease) and his mecha Violaceum (Violet) , Ventus (Wind) and his mecha Studium (Zeal)
    • In Super Robot Spirits, "Tolar" is a loose romanization of the word "Torah", meaning "the law" in Hebrew. "Levi" is one of the twelve tribes of Israel in the Old Testament and are designated as the priests, who were charge of the law, hence Levi being the "Priestess of Judecca".
  • Subverted with SHODAN from System Shock. "shodan" is the name of the lowest "dan" rank in Japanese martial arts, and SHODAN sees herself as superior to all forms of organic life, especially human beings, which means that she's at the very top. This status is better represented by her acronym: Sentient Hyper Optimized Data Access Network.
  • Tales of the Abyss has a couple:
    • Luke's name in-universe is translated from the ancient tongue as "Light of the Sacred Flame", and it actually does mean "light" in Latin, from the same root as Lucifer. It also gives meaning to Asch's name - he no longer goes by Luke, as his identity has been stolen by his replica; he is the "ash" of the Sacred Flame.
    • Guy's real name is Gailardia, a flower that symbolizes loyalty. Then, there’s Emperor Peony - peonies are a traditional symbol of wealth and honor in Asian cultures. Furthermore, the Japanese word for peony, botan, is also used as an Unusual Euphemism for boar meat, making his pet rappigs a bilingual Pun.
    • Several of the protagonists of Tales of Symphonia have this going on: Lumen is either "Light" or "Day", Ventus is "Wind", Ignus could be "Fire" or "Firebrand" , Glacies is "Ice" or "Frozen" , Tonitrus is "Thunder" and Solum is "Land", "Country", or "Soil"
    • The most notable example is Kratos and Zelos, the two choices for Magic Knight: they're named for a pair of twin Greek gods (hence the Name's the Same with the protagonist of God of War), Kratos the god of might/authority and Zelos the god of passion/jealousy. Extra points for Zelos' last name being Wilder, which is fairly self-evident.
    • Presea Combatir is definitely handy to have on your side in a fight. Then, the Sage siblings are very smart, and their names before the Dub Name Change were Refill (for the healer: refills your health) and Genius. (Turning them into Raine and Genis in English is generally regarded as a good move.) Finally, Regal Bryant's names both mean "noble".
    • The Big Bad, Yggdrasill, actually plays with this a bit: he was named after the World Tree of Norse mythology, but mostly so that the Mana Tree could be named for him (and his sister) at the end of the game. His first name plays it straighter: Mithos, from mythos, because he's the hero of ancient legend.
    • All the Centurions in the sequel are Latin for something related to their element. For instance, there’s Tenebrae for "Shadow" or "Night" and Aqua for "Water".
    • In Tales of Destiny 2, Kyle randomly named a mysterious masked fencer with a bone mask as 'Judas', since he doesn't seem to care about names. Obviously, Kyle never read The Bible, as Judas turns out to be Leon Magnus, who betrayed Stahn in his past journey
  • Touhou is absolutely full of this, ranging from Colourful Theme Naming (Chen, Ran and Yukari, meaning orange, blue and violet, respectively, and their power levels rise respectively), names associated with their element (Marisa Kirisame, meaning drizzle, that's her weather in SWR), Names to Run Away From Really Fast (Flandre and Remilia SCARLET, and the game is called "Embodiment of Scarlet Devil), literal names (Patchouli Knowledge, guess who is the librarian around here?), the Three Mischievous Fairies (each named for the celestial body that provides them with their powers) and many, many other un-troped ones.
    • For those interested, just search the name of any character in TouhouWiki.
  • Ultima V has Saduj. He's a traitor, and Saduj backwards is...
  • Four of the five members of the terrorist group Odessa in Wild ARMs 2 were collectively known as Cocytus, which was Dante's name for the ninth (and lowest) circle of Hell. The members themselves were named for sections of that same circle (Antenora, Caina, Judecca, and Ptolomea).
  • Joshua's family name is "Kiryuu". Which, considering what Neku (Joshua, Day 2) suspects, (Joshua, Day 3) comes to believe, (Joshua, Day 7) comes to believe is not true, then finally (Beat, Day 7, after beating the Composer) comes to find out really did happen after all, is quite appropriate. If you still don't get it, swap out the "r" for an "l", then say it. And as for his first name... "Joshua" is derived from the same name that "Jesus" comes from. His Japanese name, Yoshiya, is pretty similar to the name "Jesus" is derived from: Yeshu'a. Joshua is The Composer in human form, whose powers are somewhat godlike. And his crucifixion poses; an example of which has helped inspire the Fan Nickname of one of his attacks: Jesus Beams.
    • On top of which, his surname is written with the kanji for "paulownia tree" and "life." Given that the paulownia tree has associations with the phoenix of death and rebirth, that not only adds to the Jesus symbolism but also alludes to the fact that, as the Composer, he has the power to re-form Soul and bring it back to life. Dude has layers.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Genn Greymane, king of Gilneas, who was infected by the werewolf-esque Worgen curse that took over his kingdom. Really, with a name last like "Greymane", he should have seen it coming. Also an example of Prophetic Name, as he was named before his worgen plotline was decided upon.
    • There's also Archimonde, whose name is almost an anagram of "archdemon" (or an actual anagram of "I, archdemon").
    • Ignis (Ignus) the Furnace Master in Ulduar, Ignus meaning "Flame".
    • Arthas like (King) Arthur, both whose lives were forever changed when they found a mythical sword, and both became king.
      • And then there's Uther Lightbringer, Arthas' mentor, and Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father/mentor.
    • Thrall—formerly Orc warchief, now a shaman trying to save the world of Azeroth—has the birth name "Go'el". "Go'el" is Hebrew for "redeemer" (and one of the titles of the Messiah). His given human name, Thrall (meaning "slave"), was also quite obviously this trope at the time, but has since been quite soundly subverted by the Orc himself.
    • Considering Varian's two personalities and the mood swings they cause, it's interesting that his name is Spanish for "they vary".
    • Akama wields kamas.
    • The shady dealer Griftah.
  • Xenogears named many towns after Hebrew months. Some were likely mistranslated such as Thames (Tammus), Aveh (Av), and Elru (Elul). The characters' names range from Shitan / Citan being a potential allusion to Satan (Shatan) to Id alluding to Freud's name for the unconscious of primal and often violent instincts to Elly being a diminutive not only for Elhaym but also for Elohim (God). And Miang's real name, Myah or Myahle, being Elhaym reverted; Her surname, "Hawwa," is also a transliteration of the Hebrew name for Eve, and literally means "mother".

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