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  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • From The Legend of Zelda series, we have... Zelda. A number of people seem to be under the impression that Link, the protagonist, is named Zelda himself (which in turn causes some people to believe Link is a girl). Zelda is, in fact, the princess. This is a major Fandom-Enraging Misconception. The fact that the games allow you to name Link anything you want means that, if you like, you CAN make "Zelda" the main character. In fact, Zelda is the second most common thing for players to name Link (after, well, Link). That said, one of the biggest open secrets in the gaming community is that using ZELDA as your name in the original The Legend of Zelda unlocks the second quest early.
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    • The Skull Kid's name is not Majora. It's just Skull Kid. For that matter, neither is the mask itself, which is only ever called Majora's Mask by the narrative. Fanon has it that Majora is the name of an evil entity who was sealed within the mask using a method similar to the Song of Healing. This is never confirmed in the games, but instead the manga adaptation.
    • The Wind Waker isn't the name of Link's talking dragon boat in the game, but rather the name of the magic wand Link uses to control the weather in the game.
    • The frequency at which Link's name is thought to be Zelda is poked fun at by the internet meme "What if Zelda was a girl?"
  • Tomb Raider is not Lara Croft's name; it's her vocation. The first second game in the series was titled Tomb Raider II: Starring Lara Croft, but this is still occasionally an issue. The films used the title Lara Croft: Tomb Raider to avoid this, and one game doesn't even use the "Tomb Raider" title (Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light).
  • Metroid is named after the parasitic aliens that appear throughout the series. The main character is Samus Aran, whose goal in the first two games was to exterminate the species. To compound the issue even further, outside those two games (and the GBA remake of the original), several games in the series have very little to do with the Metroid species, if they even appear at all. There have been two attempts to "solve" this artifact title issue, however. Metroid Fusion opened with Samus Aran in a life-threatening situation where the only way doctors could save her life was to make her part-Metroid. Meanwhile, the Metroid Prime sub-series (which takes place between Metroid I and II) have it be a Chozo word meaning "great warrior", and it is used to describe Samus as well as the species they created. Also, the titular Metroid Prime, after being defeated at the end of the first game, fused with Samus's Phazon Suit in order to resurrect itself, becoming an Evil Knockoff of Samus called Dark Samus. Therefore, it technically wouldn't be wrong to call this particular Samus "Metroid".
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    • Perpetuated in the animated series Captain N: The Game Master where Mother Brain's hideout was called "Planet Metroid" instead of Planet Zebes. As they apparently didn't know anything about the Metroid games except that Mother Brain was in it, this should come as no surprise.
    • Also perpetuated in Garfield in: "Along Came a Splut", which has Garfield playing Metroid in the opening, which the story inexplicably claims is about a guy named Metroid who fights the Mama Bran to save the whales.
    • A Miiverse user posted a post of Super Metroid on Wii U Virtual Console, and it would later become a meme: "y can't metroid crawl?"
    • Lampshaded in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U during the "Palutena's Guidance" conversation for Samus. Viridi calls her "Metroid", but Palutena corrects her and points out that Link (above) and Pit (below) have names that don't match their game titles either. This is also discussed in the trophy description for Queen Metroid.
      Have you ever met people who thought Metroid was the name of the game's heroine? Adding Queen to the title would just make it worse. But if you show them what a Queen Metroid REALLY looks like, they won't make that mistake again in a hurry.
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    • Like The Legend of Zelda, this series got hit with an internet meme poking fun at this trope, where "Metroid" refers to Samus wearing her Suit and "Samus" refers to Samus not wearing her Suit. Metroid is the male hero and Samus is his girlfriend.
  • The main character of Kid Icarus is usually named Pit, after Cupid, not Kid Icarus; however, the character was indeed referred to as "Kid Icarus" on the back of the NES box as well as "the original Kid Icarus" in Of Myths and Monsters. This made its way into at least one adaptation, Captain N: The Game Master.
    • Nintendo of America was clearly struggling to come up with a title that would give some idea of what the game was about without being too unwieldy (for the record, the Japanese title is Palutena no Kagami, which translates to "Palutena's Mirror", a reference to the goddess that Pit is trying to rescue).
    • The Centurions actually are called Icarus in the Japanese version; in Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, their forces are called the Icarus Army.
    • Lampshaded in Kid Icarus: Uprising, where Pit asks who this Icarus guy is and when he can meet him. Since they were just discussing the potential for Pit's power of flight to run out and burn up his wings, Palutena quickly changes the subject.
  • Some people call Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic X, after the title of the latest anime based on the games. This was a common issue when the anime was popular. It caused a Newbie Boom of new Sonic fans, however if you read forum posts or fanfics you'll see that many children didn't realize that Sonic's name wasn't "Sonic X".
    • 4Kids themselves refer to Sonic the Hedgehog as "Sonic X" on their website, which makes it even more baffling since the dub itself IDs the character correctly.
    • A Norwegian boy wanted to change his name to Sonic X. The problem... Sonic doesn't really have a surname, and it certainly isn't X.
    • Even better — pretty much every country that bought the 4Kids version were apparently told to use the "Sonic X" name for the character (in promotional materials, ads, etc.. Not in the series itself). And pronouncing "X" in English, no less.
    • Despite the title, and what both comic adaptations claimed, there wasn't a team called Chaotix in Knuckles Chaotix. The name is just a reference to the game's chaotic gameplay; the player characters aren't part of an officially named team. Three of the characters from the game eventually went on to form the Chaotix Detective Agency (aka Team Chaotix), but this happened later, which means that contrary to popular fan belief, Knuckles and Mighty were never members of the team.
  • Halo refers to the massive ringworld superweapons, not the main character who's generally referred to as Master Chief.note 
  • Star Fox refers to the mercenary team from the game rather than its leader, Fox McCloud.
    • Parodied in one ending in Star Fox Command, where Falco's team is called Star Falco.
    • This confusion is understandable since throughout Star Fox 64, all the enemy characters keep addressing the player as "Star Fox". They mean the entire team, but it's easy enough to think that they're just talking about Fox McCloud. There's also one instance where Fox is entirely alone, yet Andross still calls him "Star Fox." Fox himself is only called "Fox" by his allies.
    • Also applies to Star Wolf, a rival team to Star Fox. The leader is named Wolf O'Donnell, not "Star Wolf."
  • Tales of Symphonia. "Symphonia" is not the name of the combined worlds, nor is it the name of the tree. The tree's name is Yggdrasill. Although admittedly you don't learn the true names for the world or the tree until you play Tales of Phantasia.
  • In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom people call Yatterman-1 simply Yatterman. Yatterman is actually the name of the team, and Yatterman-1 and Yatterman-2 are the aliases. Similarly with Karas; that's closer to his title or even his race than to his name (Karas are humans empowered by making a contract with the "Will of the City", giving them jurisdiction over a particular city on Earth; the Karas in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom— the main character of the OVA — is actually named Otoha).
  • The protagonist of Grim Fandango is named Manny Calavera, not "Grim Fandango". The title of the game is a metaphor for death that is used in one character's poetry.
  • A common mistake is to think that there is a character named Banjo-Kazooie in the Banjo-Kazooie games, but it is in fact a combination of names of the main characters, a bear named Banjo and his friend, a bird named Kazooie. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate plays with this; their reveal trailer declares "BANJO-KAZOOIE ARE RARING TO GO!" but they are still listed everywhere else as "Banjo & Kazooie."
    • Also Banjo-Tooie. Many thought there was a character added named Tooie, which there wasn't. This was lampshaded in the ending of the first game: Kazooie thought that by the title she was going to be replaced by someone named Tooie.note  Banjo-Tooie players are justified, however, in using "Banjo-Kazooie" as shorthand for Banjo and Kazooie together, since Split Up allows playing as Banjo or Kazooie separately, with different moves.
  • In Twisted Metal, there is an ice cream truck with a giant clown head atop it. This is Sweet Tooth. The driver of Sweet Tooth is a flaming-headed Monster Clown. His name is Needles Kane. 989 Studios got this mixed up, calling both the car and its driver Sweet Tooth; once Incog, Inc. (formed by former SingleTrac employees) got the rights back, they restored Needles Kane's proper name back to him.
    • Not helped by the fact that TV ads for Twisted Metal III featured convicts spreading the news that "Sweet Tooth" got out of prison recently and was now driving an ice cream truck.
    • Twisted Metal: Black also has Sweet Tooth as the name for both the clown and the driver, but it doesn't appear to take place in the same continuity as the main series.
      • Reading the character bios (in the form of patient files for the asylum), "Sweet Tooth" was actually the alias of Needles Cane, while it listed his vehicle as the "Tasty Treats Ice Cream Truck."
    • Sweet Tooth is probably the most obvious example, being the series mascot, but he's far from the only — pretty much any "character" you can name off the top of your head, from Roadkill to Grasshopper to Mr. Slam, is actually the name of the vehicle, not the driver — those ones are driven by either Captain Spears, Marcus Kane, or John Doe; Krista Sparks; and Simon Whittlebone, respectively. The two major exceptions are Mr. Grimm and Axel — these bear the same name for both vehicle and driver, as Mr. Grimm's "driver" is just an extension of itself, and Axel is physically fused with his vehicle. The fact that early games had the driver names as literally All There in the Manual and even later games more conspicuously feature vehicle names than driver names probably contributes.
    • Some versions, such as the 2012 game, seem to have Sweet Tooth as his clown/serial killer name.
  • The male main character of the Tenchu series is not Tenchu. Actually he is called Rikimaru — Tenchu just means "divine punishment" (the point of the game).
  • Ryu Hayabusa is not "Ninja Gaiden" - gaiden means "side story", or "anecdote" - a title which is nonsensical in Japanese and was only chosen because someone at Tecmo believed that the Japanese title of Ninja Ryukenden (which loosely translates to the "Ninja Dragon Sword Tale") was difficult for non-Japanese speakers to pronounce. Unfortunately, that still didn't prevent people from butchering the pronunciation of gaiden (hint: it rhymes with "guy", not "gay").
  • The instruction manual for the Sega Saturn port of The King of Fighters '95 refers to principal villain Rugal Bernstein as "Omega Rugal", even when describing him during the time frame of '94, when he wasn't Omega-fied. Consequently, there are fans who refer to even Rugal's slightly less SNK Boss-style Rugal as "Omega Rugal", despite having absolutely no qualities of his '95 or '98 Boss version.
    • There's also some fans who think the O. stands for Orochi. This one is semi-understandable since the power Rugal harnesses (and what consequently destroys him in the end) is called the Orochi power. Of course, all THIS is moot considering that in '95 and '98: Ultimate Match, he has a honking great OMEGA in his lifebar.
  • Shinobi comes from the noun form of the verb shinobu (to hide one's presence), which is another word for ninja. The protagonist of the series is Joe Musashi.
  • When Pokémon was at the height of its popularity, there were a surprising amount of people who thought the series name referred to Pikachu and Pikachu alone.
  • Strider is named after the organization of ninja-like assassins/saboteurs that the main character (Hiryu) is part of. The Japanese title of the game is actually Strider Hiryu and the main character is commonly referred to as such, even in his later fighting game appearances in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. There are other Striders in the series such as Strider Cain and Strider Sheena from the manga and NES version, as well as Strider Hien from the arcade/PS1 sequel Strider 2.
  • The Bishamon featured in Vampire Savior (aka Darkstalkers 3) is not actually the Bishamon from the previous game, who managed to free himself from the curse armor of Hanya, but the armor itself, having acquired a conscience of its own. The real Bishamon appears in the ending to ward off the evil spirit that has possessed Hanya.
    • Adding to the confusion is that a) the possessed Hanya and Kien (the sword) still call themselves Bishamon in VS, because they like the name, and b) the real Bishamon is playable in the console versions, as Oboro Bishamon. In this case, Bishamon is in full control of the armor.
  • The LocoRoco are a species, and each of the different colors has their own name.
  • Yume Nikki means "Dream Diary", referring to the main character's diary that she writes in when the game is saved. Her name is Madotsuki, not Yume Nikki.
  • Fallout: The little 50s mascot is named Vault Boy, not PIP Boy, your wrist/hand (it varies by game) computer. Doesn't help that Tactics and Shelter got it wrong.
    • Nor is he called Fallout Boy. That's someone else entirely.
  • Mega Man Zero. The main hero is not a "Mega Man", and the two words are only added in to associate it with the rest of the series. (After all, the "Zero" handle isn't exactly rare these days...) The games themselves never screw this up, but the English manuals do — and the manga adds to the mess by distinguishing between Zero and Mega Man Zero, making the latter Zero's Super Mode.
    • Lampshaded in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 by Zero himself during his ending: "I'm Zero, not Mega Man Zero."
    • Mega Man ZX retroactively makes the title "Mega Man Zero" make sense. In the ZX series, anyone who can use a Biometal is called a Mega Man (male or female). Zero didn't use a Biometal, but Model Z is based on his data, so the term extends naturally to him.
  • The title of Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge, makes it seem like Falcon is the villain, when it's actually the name of the player's own mech from the first game, Battle Clash .
  • Metal Gear is indeed named after the nuclear-equipped walking tank that the protagonist (Solid Snake) must destroy. However, the subsequent model in the canonical sequel (Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake) is not "Metal Gear 2", but rather "Metal Gear D". Snake's Revenge, the non-canonical sequel to the original Metal Gear released for the NES, does feature a mech called "Metal Gear 2" as the final boss though, which is likely the reason why the mech in the actual Metal Gear 2 for the MSX2 went with a different name.
  • Up to his appearance in Super Smash Bros., Captain Falcon was frequently referred to as "Blue Falcon," the name of his F-Zero racer.
  • The tagline for Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus was "He's one thievious, devious racoonus." Sly Cooper is not the Thievious Racoonus, that's the name of his family's book that he's trying to retrieve.
  • The wolf's name is Amaterasu, not Ōkami. Okami is simply a title, which means "wolf" and is Japanese wordplay, as it also means "great god."
  • Inverted in case of Rainbow Six. Rainbow Six is the codename of the leader, the team is simply called Rainbow.
  • The title Donkey Kong originally meant "stupid ape" and wasn't supposed to the actual name of the ape in the game. But when players continually referred to the ape as "Donkey Kong", Nintendo just played along and made that his official name.
    • Spanish language countries aren't safe either.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Mario isn't named "Super Mario." "Super Mario" is just the name for the form he has after he's eaten a Super Mushroom, not the character's actual name.
    • It doesn't help that Super Mario RPG called him Super Mario in the title demo.
    • However calling the hero "Super Mario" is commonly used and justified in countries that have "Mario" as a common people's name.
    • A lot of people in Poland refer to the red-suited protagonist of Nintendo's platformers as one "Mario Bros." This is also true for Spanish-speaking contries and Brazil (where offenders will always pronounce it like "bross").
  • The bald super-assassin is called Agent 47. Hitman is his profession. In Absolution however he is occasionally referred to as "The Hitman" by several people as a nickname of sorts. This is justified, since they can not know what his name is.
  • The name of the family in Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family (Legacy of the Wizard) is Worzen; "Drasle" is really a portmanteau of the series' title. The manual for the NES version didn't help by keeping references to "the Draslefamily."
  • Not about a person, making it a close one between this and Cowboy BeBop at His Computer, but Alpha Centauri in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri is the name of the sun. (It isn't something the designers came up with; it exists in real life as a binary star system; see That Other Wiki for details) The planet's name is Chiron (aka Planet).
  • The manual for The Adventures Of Rad Gravity says "An item you picked up on Sauria will help you defeat the deadly Trogs". Do they mean the rock-throwing reptilian creatures, or the twin robots that are the boss of the level (which require the Saurian Crystals to defeat)?
  • The heroine of Arkista's Ring is named Christine. Arkista is the name of the Elven city that she comes from.
  • Parodied in Dorkly Originals Mistaken Hero Identities.
    So, which one of you is "Contra"? ... Is it me? Am I the Contra?
  • In the NES game Nuts & Milk, the hero is Milk, not Nuts; that the player's number of lives is labeled "MILK" should be a clue. The Waddling Head with Tertiary Sexual Characteristics is neither of the title characters; her name is Yogurt. Nuts is the enemy.
  • Valis is the name of the sword wielded by the game's heroine. The heroine herself is actually named Yuko Aso, who is referred to as the "Warrior of Valis". It doesn't help that the full Japanese title of the first game translates to Phantasm Soldier Valis, which seems to imply that "Valis" is the name of a character.
  • The tall, faceless entity that's stalking you in Slender is called "The Slender Man". Despite this, a lot of people think its name is "Slender", which can often lead to anger coming from fans of the original stories, as anybody calling the character Slender has probably only played the game.
  • The protagonist of Mr. Driller is named Susumu Hori, not "Mr. Driller", which is the name of the title awarded for a No-Damage Run. Even the localizations get this mixed up on occasion, and are very inconsistent about it.
  • The MechWarrior games are named after the pilots of BattleMechs, not the BattleMechs themselves. Luckily, no one seems to mistake the 'Mechs as the name of the miniatures boardgame it was based off of.
  • In WURM: Journey to the Center of the Earth, the WURM of the title is a nickname for the Drill Tank your characters get around in. That name's never used outside of the title and the manual, despite the surprising amount of dialogue and story scenes for a game of its system and time. In-game it's always called the VZR.
  • Skullgirls is not the name of an organization that the playable characters are in; rather, the Skullgirl is a Humanoid Abomination that serves as the main antagonist. Part of the confusion is probably because the game's roster is almost entirely female outside of two characters (and said characters were only added after the game was long-released). Also, the plurality is misleading because only one shows up outside of the backstory and endings.
  • In a rare reversal of this trope, Alice in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle actually refers to Travis Touchdown as "The No More Hero" because he was able to walk away from the life of an assassin after reaching the top ranking in the first game.
  • In a rare video game company example, LJN has this happen. In their Enteractive Video Games, some people have mistook Enteractive (not to be confused with the company) for a separate gaming company. Enteractive was a brand label LJN used on some of their games during 1987-1990.
  • It is all but forgotten that the Galaxians in the 1979 game Galaxian refer to whatever space organization the player's ship (called a Galaxip in the game) works for. It wasn't intended to be the name for the race of enemy aliens. The attract screen includes the game plot summary: We are the Galaxians/Mission: Destroy all aliens.'. The name of the invading aliens' race is not stated. However, Bally seemed to forget this and referred to one of the stages in Gorf as the Galaxians (note the plural) stage. The yellow flagship has made cameo appearances in many Bally/Midway games including Pac-Man. It is often referred to as the Galaxian flagship but there's often confusion as to whether they mean the flagship from Galaxian or the flagship of the Galaxians. The former is technically more correct.
  • Arkanoid is a famous case. The paddle that you're controlling? That's called the Vaus. The giant Moai head serving as the final boss? That's Doh (or DoH, depending on the game). The Arkanoid is the spaceship that blows up at the beginning, only appearing in the opening crawl.
  • In the arcade version of Astyanax, Astyanax is the name of the hero's weapon, not the hero himself. Averted in the NES version.
  • It's easy to think that the sword in Super Mario RPG is the Big Bad Smithy. There's actually no clue otherwise until his in-battle name. It doesn't help that the game's US TV ad actually called him "Smithy the Sword."
  • In Defender, the name of the game refers not to the name of your spaceship but to your mission. Defend the humans on the planet from being abducted by landers. The name of your ship is anybody's guess.
  • The main character of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series in named Neptune, not Neptunia. This however is only the case in the English titles. All Japanese titles have Neptune in the title.
  • No Touhou character falls victim to this individually, but they do all get plastered with it collectively, overseas at least. To be fair, there's no canonical collective name for all the Loads and Loads of Characters, but what else do you call the entire Fantasy Kitchen Sink?
  • According to The Third Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku-hen, The Edel is apparently a general term for "the person who acquired the great power from the Black Knowledge" and doesn't refer to a specific entity. (This makes sense, considering it's an adjective in German.)
  • Final Fantasy VII has a variation. Sephiroth's most powerful form is often referred to as the "One Winged Angel", to the point of becoming the Trope Namer for monstrous villain transformations. Some fail to realize that the real official name for this form of Sephiroth is actually Safer/Seipher Sephiroth, and "One Winged Angel" is just the name of the music playing during his fight. In fact, the name is even a bit of a misnomer as Safer Sephiroth actually sports a grand total of seven wings, which you may recognize as being more than one. It probably does not help the misconception that the song One Winged Angel has become (in)famous of its own right as the bombastic over-the-top boss theme par excellence.
  • City of Heroes's custom mission creator is called the Mission Architect. The fictional company that runs it is called Architect Entertainment. The Architect Entertainment Buildings are marked on the map with its "AE" logo. As a result, most players falsely call the feature "AE" (or, even worse, "the AE").
  • It's easy to think Toren refers to the game's heroine. In truth, it is a Portuguese word (the developers are Brazilian) for "tower", as the entire game takes place on a sky-high tower.
  • Overwatch has an unusual example with McCree's ultimate ability. Officially, its name is "Deadeye", but thanks to the memetic voice line played whenever he uses it, it's hard to find someone not calling it "High Noon".
  • Referenced in Persona 4's The Golden remake. While discussing Halloween costumes, Kanji and Naoto briefly discuss Kanji's Frankenstein costume. When Naoto explains that Frankenstein was the scientist, not the creature, Kanji muses that maybe the scientist really IS the monster of the story. Naoto is impressed that Kanji of all people suggested the theory.
  • Berserk and the Band of the Hawk: A Dynasty Warriors-style Hack and Slash game based on the manga Berserk, this one's original Japanese title is ベルセルク無双 Beruseruku Musou (literally Berserk Unrivalled), "Musou" being in the title of every game in the Warriors game series. For some reason the English localizers gave the game the nonsensical and ungrammatical title Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, which makes it sound as if "Berserk" is the name of the protagonist because it resembles the common Character Name and the Noun Phrase title format, nevermind that berserk is an adjective, not a noun. The protagonist's name is actually Guts, and he is the person who is described as "berserk" because he fights like The Berserker. Guts and the Band of the Hawk, or simply Berserk: The Band of the Hawk would have made more sense.
  • Back in the late 70s and early 80s, you didn't play video games, you played Atari - regardless if you had a Colecovision or Intellivision.
    • From the mid-80s to the early 21st century, the same went for Nintendo. It didn't help that for most of the NES's life span, Nintendo refused to call it a video game console due to fear of a repeat of the 1983 crash.
  • The protagonist of Celeste is not named Celeste. Her official name is Madeline. Celeste is the name of the mountain she's climbing.
  • The mouse hero of the virtual reality game Moss isn't named Moss. Her name is Quill.
  • Nintendo has a handheld console called the Game Boy Advance, not the Game Boy Advanced. The console has taglines such as "Life Advanced", but the console's name is just the "Game Boy Advance".

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