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First Name Basis / Video Games

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Examples of First-Name Basis in Video Games.


  • Since Commander Shepard of Mass Effect has a Hello, [Insert Name Here] first name, if the player chooses to make Shepard female and to pursue a romance with Lt. Kaidan Alenko, their growing intimacy is indicated by Kaidan switching from "Commander" to Last-Name Basis, and Shepard can comment on the increased familiarity. Shepard, meanwhile, starts calling Kaidan by his first name.
    • Male Shepard starts out calling Ashley either "Chief" (her rank) or "Williams" (her surname), but by the end of the game he has taken to calling her "Ash".
    • It's averted with the other squad members, probably because unlike Kaidan and Ashley, none of them are members of the same military as Shepard, and therefore there are no concerns of rank versus familiarity to worry about and Shepard is free to call all of them by their given names.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Joker and EDI (the pilot and shipboard computer, respectively) spend most of the game sniping at one another. At the very end, after Joker risks his life to put EDI in charge of the entire ship, their relationship changes to the point where she starts calling him "Jeff."
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    • Also, Joker originally always referred to EDI as "it," to indicate his contempt for the machine, After the above event, he starts referring to EDI as a "she," in much the same manner as her calling him "Jeff" instead of "Mr. Moreau."
    • Inverted with Miranda and Tali. The only time Shepard doesn't refer to either by their first name is during their respective romance arcs.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Provided the Ryder siblings keep their default names, as the game goes on teammates and SAM will refer to them as "Scott" or "Sara", rather than just "Pathfinder" or "Ryder".
  • In the second episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: Strongbadia the Free Strong Bad denies The King of Town's authority after being put under house arrest for not paying the new and retroactive e-mail tax he hadn't found out about yet, and declares he will simply call him "The of Town" from now on.
  • Persona:
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    • Persona 2: Most of the party in Innocent Sin go by first-name basis with each other, especially after they remember that they were close childhood friends.
    • Persona 3:
      • In the English version, Mitsuru Kirijo will always use the last names when addressing or referring to anyone else in SEES, contrasting everyone else who uses first names instead. The only people she refers to on First-Name Basis are Akihiko (whom she's known for years), Yukari (after the two become close friends), and the protagonist (if you advance her Social Link sufficiently). In the last case, she even lampshades the switch.
      • Another interesting case is Junpei, who addresses all of his female classmates (but especially Yukari) by their first names with "-chan" or the playful and quite familiar suffix "-cchi" appended. Since this doesn't translate so well into English (where using first names with your classmates is normal even if you don't know them personally), a woolseyism changed it into having him call Yukari "Yuka-tan", an extremely familiar manner of address that carries over the mocking tone of the original (and which only people already well-acquainted with Japanese culture would know, but then again most of the game is like that). Of course, what makes "Yuka-tan" a Woolseyism is that, even if the audience is unfamiliar with Japanese Honorifics, having a classmate mock your first name by associating it with "Yucatán" is funny in and of itself (and quite in character for Junpei).
      • Another change is that the upperclassmen are referred to as [given name]-senpai in the English version as opposed to [family name]-senpai in the Japanese.
      • In the Playstation Portable re-release, at the last stage of Akihiko's romantic Social Link with the female protagonist, he asks her to call him by his given name. The English translation preserves the intimacy implied in his request by having him ask her to call him "Aki," a nickname previously only used by his best friend. Portable also has an example in Ken's romantic social link; he refers to all his teammates in the proper -san honorific, but promise to stay with him on the last social rank and he drops the -san when referring to you (at least in private).
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    • Persona 4: In both the English and Japanese versions, Rise oddly insists on calling Kanji by his first name without honorifics (which he's taken aback by) for no explained reason. They are the same age, but so is Naoto who at least gets a -kun suffix from her, while the upperclassmen (Protagonist, Yosuke, Chie and Yukiko) all get a -sempai suffix from her. Additionally, Yukiko and Chie call each other by their first names, signifying their deep friendship.
    • Persona 5,
      • The tight-knit and rebellious-minded Phantom Thieves are all on a given-name basis with each other, with even seniors Makoto and Haru insisting that their juniors call them by given name with no honorifics. The one exception is Goro Akechi, who's referred to almost exclusively by last name, highlighting the other Thieves' distrust of him since they know he's actually working for the evil conspiracy.
      • Support Party Member Futaba Sakura takes this to the point where she even calls her father Sojiro by his given name, which is really informal even considering that he's only her adoptive father. Regardless, Sojiro seems to be completely fine with it, though he's moved to Tears of Joy when Futaba finally calls him "Dad" in Rank 9 of his Confidant.
      • In Royal, new party member Kasumi goes by "Yoshizawa-san" for most of the game, as a hint that she's not actually Kasumi, but once she finally joins the Phantom Thieves during the third term, she asks them to call her by her first name- that is, Sumire.
  • Gary Smith from Bully seems to have trouble getting through his sentences without using the name of whoever he's talking to.
  • Almost all of the characters in the Pokémon games are known by either their first or their last names, with only certain exceptions:
    • Green/Blue Oak and his older sister Daisy
    • The alternate player character in R/S/E, who is the child of Professor Birch.
    • Steven Stone.
    • Ghetsis and N Harmonia.
    • Only four Pokémon professors (out of seven) have known first names: Samuel Oak, Aurea and Cedric Juniper, and Augustine Sycamore.
  • Reinforced in the ending sequence of The World Ends with You, showing a clip (with voice acting) of Shiki saying "Neku, that's the first time you've used my name." Until then he had used such nicknames as 'Stalker'.
    • Well, that sequence has a number of voice-acted lines, most of which were just text to the player when they were actually said; this particular line was from near the end of the first week. (Why is this an exception, anyway? I thought it aptly showed the progression of their relationship over the week.)
    • Beat initially refers to Neku as "Phones", a nickname derived from his constantly wearing headphones. Later on in the week in which Neku partners with him, around the time Neku finds out how he and Rhyme died, he calls Neku by name.
  • At the end of Metal Gear Solid, Snake invites Meryl or Otacon (whichever one is on the back of his snowmobile) to address him by his real first name — David. For some reason they rarely do.
    • Probably justified, in that Snake continues to call Otacon by his nickname, and by the time we see Meryl speak to Snake again in Metal Gear Solid 4, they've grown farther apart.
    • Naked Snake and Ocelot exchange their real first names at the end of Metal Gear Solid 3, signifying them coming to respect each other as equals.
    Ocelot: You're not a snake, and I'm not an ocelot. We're men, with names.
  • In Discworld Noir, Lewton tells his friend Samael (a vampiric pianist/Casablanca reference) that they've known each other long enough, that Samael shouldn't call him by his last name. Samael retorts that they've known each other long enough, that he's earned the right to call Lewton whatever he wants, and prefers the last name.
  • Bayonetta usually refers to her stalker Luka (yes he has a crush, but that's not why he's stalking her) as "Cheshire" after her old stuffed cat. Later, after he cheats death and Bayonetta gets her memories back, she gets some more respect for him and calls him by his real name.
  • Used for drama in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey: during the Neutral Ending, the Artificial Intelligence Arthur, who has been nothing if not professional and measured (though never cold or detached) when communicating with the crew, decides to sacrifice himself to seal the Schwarzwelt. When he confesses fear about it, he addresses you, the Protagonist —but not as Crewman [Hello, [Insert Name Here]] as he always does, but by your first name. And then Arthur asks you to give him the strength to overcome that fear so he can carry out his mission.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Midna only starts calling Link by his name after he saves her life after their run-in with Zant. Before that, she called him things like "you" and "hero", if she called him anything at all.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Riju is usually referred to by her Gerudo subjects as the Chief or Chief Riju. In one conversation after the Vah Naboris episode, Link can call her Riju; her protective personal bodyguard Buliara thinks this is a breach of propriety, but Riju thinks it's nice to be called by her actual name every so often.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Averted, in that the use of first names doesn't seem to have any particular connotations of intimacy OR condescension. While many characters have first and last names, it seems to be common practice that most people get addressed (even by complete strangers) by their first name (e.g., Rufus, Lazard). Therefore, when only one name for a character is known (e.g., Hojo, Kunsel, Reno, etc.), it's impossible to know for certain whether this is their first or last name.
  • Inazuma Eleven has this to Double Standard levels for the most part. The girls are called by their first names and the boys by their last names. The only boys who follow this trope include the family members of somebody on a Last-Name Basis, the non-Japanese characters, as well as Toramaru, Hiroto, Jin (although he averts it in the anime adaptation) Tenma, Shinsuke, Taiyou and Asuto.
  • In The King of Fighters, the trope is zigzagged all over:
    • Iori Yagami is The Rival to Kyo Kusanagi and takes their ancestral-based rivalry very, VERY seriously. As an example, he refers to Kyo by his first name and without any honorifics, which is considered very offensive in Japanese etiquette if it comes from other than family and close friends. (Kyo responds to this via referring to Iori by Last-Name Basis to keep his distance — and without any honorifics either, to make clear that he doesn't have much respect for Iori either.)
    • Kyo Kusanagi himself is a rough speaker by Japanese standards, and calls those close to him by this trope and zero honorifics. Some examples are his "student" Shingo, his girlfriend Yuki, his friend Athena, Athena's Hopeless Suitor Kensou and his Vitriolic Best Bud Benimaru. (Exceptions are Chizuru and Daimon, whom he refers to by surnames since they're older than he is — though an early CD drama has Kyo and Benimaru calling Daimon "Goro-chan" to tease him.)
    • Daimon, Yuki and Benimaru also refer to him simply as "Kyo". In Yuki's case this is done to show her playful care for him; in Benimaru, it reflects their Friendly Rivalry, and in Daimon's it's because he is Kyo's Big Brother Mentor. Curiously, Yuki also calls Iori by first name, though adding "-san" to keep some distance.
    • Athena and Kensou, as very close friends and partners (though Kensou would like to go further), tend to address each other like this as well. He called her "Athena-chan" in their shared KOF 99 intro, but she didn't like it too much. ("W-what a mess...!")
      • Athena tends to refer to almost every person she talks to by first name + "-san", except for people like "Daimon-san" and "Sakazaki-san". See below as well...
    • Almost everyone refers to Ryo and Yuri Sakazaki by their first names. This is to distinguish them from their father, Takuma.
    • Shingo is also referred to by first name as well, and often without honorifics. (Likely because he's younger than many cast members and a rather playful, affectionate Nice Guy.) Yuki, however, calls him "Yabuki-kun" in KOF:KYO.
    • Since we don't know Yuki's last name (though fanon speculates it could be "Kushinada"), everyone calls her "Yuki" and add honorifics in a case-by-case basis, save for Kyo's already mentioned case. (Athena, Chizuru and Shingo use "Yuki-san", Kyo's parents and Kensou say "Yuki-chan", etc.)
  • In Project Firestart, everyone who addresses protagonist Jon Hawking by name calls him "Jon".
  • In Shin Super Robot Wars, Professor Daimonji calls Professor Anzai by her first name, to show that the two are getting closer.
  • Resident Evil 6:
    • Leon is on such friendly terms with President Benford that he refers to him by his first name, Adam.
    • Likewise, Piers is the only member of Chris's squad to address him by name rather than "Captain," though he only does so a few times.
  • In Tales of Fandom 2, Jade's Story includes a lovely Not So Stoic moment for Jade: while he usually calls his best friend Emperor Peony "Your Majesty" (as a proper stoic and snarky best friend should), when it looks like Peony has been assassinated, Jade shouts "Peony!" while reaching out toward him.
  • In Beyond Good And Evil, Double H always refers to the heroine as "Miss Jade", as befitting both his polite and noble nature, and the fact that he regards her as his boss. However, not long after Jade's home is destroyed, he drops the "Miss," and starts simply calling her "Jade." It's proof of their fire-forged friendship.
  • Cortana mostly calls Master Chief "Chief" throughout the Halo series, only using "John" during particularly emotional moments. However, in Halo 5: Guardians, she noticeably starts to consistently call him John. This of course makes her betrayal even worse, considering how much earnest affection she shows using his name.
  • Everyone in Animal Crossing is this way. Almost no characters have last names. This is referenced in New Leaf when a grumpy villager will mention they feel more comfortable using your name rather than calling you "Mayor".
  • Despite taking place in contemporary Japan, this is the default in the Japanese version of Yo-Kai Watch. Everyone is on a first name basis with each other.
  • A couple of interesting examples in Ensemble Stars!:
    • During the first week of school, Midori mulls over what to call Yuuta and Hinata, because he doesn't feel like he knows them well enough to use their first name (and doesn't want to invite trouble by befriending Hinata in particular), but he can't call them both by their surname or it'd get confusing, and Yuuta objects to being called 'the younger Aoi' because he doesn't want to be known only by his twin brother.
    • Eichi consistently refers to Chiaki by his first name with no honorifics, even though they don't have any kind of especially strong relationship and Eichi is normally polite in his speech, which went completely unexplained for (out of universe) years before it was finally clarified that he and Chiaki met and became friends when they were both in the hospital as children, though they ended up forgetting about it.
  • In BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! plenty of characters are on first-name basis with close friends, or even semi-friends, but Kokoro takes the cake by using yobisute with the entire cast, including her seniors, regardless of relationship.
  • In Fallout 4, your pre-war robot butler Codsworth is the only person in the whole game who will call you by name - not your spouse, not your son Shaun, not any of your other companions. Granted, it has to be chosen from a surprisingly robust list of names, but it's still impressive.
  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls has a few examples that are mainly significant in the Japanese version (less so in the English version, where most people are called by their first names).
    • At the start of the game, the protagonists, Komaru Naegi and Toko Fukawa, don't exactly get along, although Komaru does try to be polite to Touko until she snaps early in Chapter 3, so they call the other "Fukawa-san" and "Omaru"(the Japanese word for "toilet"), respectively. After midway through Chapter 4, Toko starts calling Komaru by name, while Komaru gradually starts calling Toko "Toko-chan."
    • Komaru herself is almost exclusively referred to by her first name, with a few people using her full name. Similarly, Haiji is generally referred to by his first name by most people, except for Toko, who uses insulting nicknames on him, and Monaca, who calls him "Big Brother.
    • Both the female Warriors of Hope, Kotoko and Monaca, are called by their first names, while the male Warriors of Hope are referred to by their last names. In Monaca's case, she doesn't even give her last name, at least until Komaru and Toko find out that Monaca is Haiji's younger half-sister.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has everyone with a given name and surname, but most characters will generally address you and each other on a first name basis and the text boxes will also use first names only. The only times a character's full name is used is in their introduction to someone or when addressing them with a title or similar moniker. Beastmen have Only One Name.
  • After Jeff marries Elli in Harvest Moon 64, he remarks that he's still getting used to calling her "Elli" instead of "Little Elli".
  • The survivors in Left 4 Dead are only known by their first names and refer to each other as such. Bill is the only character that has a known full name, though "Bill" is just a given name/nickname while his actual name is William Overbeck and everyone just calls him Bill anyway. The survivors in Left 4 Dead 2 also follow the "first name basis" rule while Coach is Coach.
  • Yakuza 0 has Pocket Circuit Racing where every racer is Boy-kun or Girl-chan, which includes Kiryu, resident badass of Kamurocho, being called Kazuma-kun.

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