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Idiosyncratic Episode Naming / Video Games

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  • Each level in The Game is called "[Subject] :the game: AKA [witty comment on subject]". The third game, Reimagine :the game:, drops the "AKA" but keeps the witty comment part.
  • The chapters in each of the Gyakuten Saiban games all feature the word "gyakuten" (which means "reversal" or "turnabout") in it. This carries over to the series' English adaptation, Ace Attorney, where each chapter has "turnabout" in the name (except for "Rise From the Ashes", the "bonus" fifth chapter in the DS version of the first game, and that only in the English translation).
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  • The name of the Ogre Battle series, along with the subtitles of the first two games (Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen and Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together), are titles from Queen songs. Yasumi Matsuno, the director for the first two games of the series, originated this due to him being a major Queen fan. He also inserted Queen references of varying prominence into all of his other games. Most notably, Final Fantasy Tactics has a chapter titled "Somebody to Love".
  • All of the map themes in Fire Emblem: Sword of Seals have are titled "Roy's ____" (Courage, Challenge, Battle, etc.)
  • Examples in the Metal Gear series.
    • Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake were followed not by Metal Gear 3 but Metal Gear Solid. This was actually a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that the franchise's third game was also the one to make the jump to 3D polygon-based graphics; a 3-dimensional object is, after all, a solid. The problems pile up when we bring up the sequels, all of which retained the Metal Gear Solid moniker. So Sons of Liberty is technically Metal Gear 3-2, and so on. This was disguised better than Square Enix's Final Fantasy X-2, which received derision for actually using the numbering out loud, but also went on for six games longer.
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    • The expanded editions of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater are titled Substance and Subsistence (both words that start with "sub-" and end with "-stance/stence"). However, Integral, the expanded version of the first Metal Gear Solid, does not follow this pattern.
    • The five Snake Tales in Substance are named alphabetically: A Wrongdoing, Big Shell Evil, Confidential Legacy, Dead Man Whispers, and External Gazer.
    • The Snake vs. Monkey missions in MGS3 are parodies of popular film titles: Escape from the Jungle, Dragnet of the Apes, Dawn of the Apes, Ape Fear, and Gone with the Apes. The PAL version (as well as the Subsistence edition in all regions) added two extra missions titled "Return of the Living Apes" and "The Apes of Wrath".
    • All five acts of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots end with the word "Sun", appropriately with a massive sun dominating the background whenever the title is shown at the beginning of each act. Although not exactly acts, the ending and post-credits "Debriefing" are similarly called "Naked Sin" and "Naked Son", respectively.
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    • All the downloadable expansion packs for Metal Gear Online are named after the story themes for each of the previous MGS games - Gene, Meme and Scene.
  • Every scene in Dynamite Headdy has a name parodying that of some famous film, e.g. "Mad Mechs", "Stair Wars", "Fly Hard", "Fatal Contraption"...
  • The Half-Life franchise has consistently used tongue-in-cheek episode names, such as Surface Tension (heavy fighting in an outdoors environment), Insecurity (in the Expansion Pack Blue Shift, where you play as a security guard) or Route Kanal (in Half-Life 2, escaping City 17 via its sewer system).
    • Half-Life itself, as well as the titles of the expansion packs, Opposing Force and Blue Shift, and the PlayStation 2 side-game Decay, are all scientific terms.
      • Some offer a nice bit of foreboding: after all, there's a reason We Don't Go to Ravenholm.
      • Not to mention the golf references: "Water Hazard" and "Sandtraps" (bonus points for being called "Bunkers" in the Spanish translation).
  • The Castlevania series, starting with Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, have usually had musical names (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance) or X of X names that described a main plot point (Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin). The Japanese releases usually have a similar name (Harmony was originally Concerto of the Midnight Sun).
    • Averted in the Wii title Castlevania: Judgment, the Game Boy game Castlevania Legends (although it was originally titled Dark Night Prelude in Japan), and the PSP remake of Rondo, called The Dracula X Chronicles. The canceled Dreamcast title Resurrection (starring Legends' Sonia) would have also been an aversion, but... well.
  • The Halo games have these strewn about every level in campaign, including such Halo: Combat Evolved favorites as "The Gun Pointed At The Head of the Universe", "Breaking Stuff To Look Tough", and "I Would Have Been Your Daddy."
    • While these are mostly idiosyncratic, the "I Would Have Been Your Daddy" level is named after something the character of Sergeant Johnson can say during the level, as a taunt to the enemies. The full line goes "I would have been your daddy...but the dog beat me over the fence!"
    • Try to start the section titled "It's Quiet..." without saying aloud "...too quiet..."
    • Halo 2 introduces us to a level where, not only does its name respond to the last line of the cutscene opening it, but it actually changes depending on difficulty - on Easy and Normal, it will be "Ladies Like Armor Plating", while on Heroic it will be "Ladies Like Grinding Treads", and on Legendary it will be "Ladies Like Superior Firepower".
  • Every Diner Dash spinoff (except for Avenue Flo and the two Shop Hop games) is called ...Dash, eg. Wedding Dash, Doggie Dash, Soap Opera Dash.
  • Marathon, Halo's spiritual predecessor, had its fair share of these. All the levels in Marathon 1 involving the Pfhor (the aliens of the game) were titled with such pun-ishing phrases as "phfor your eyes only", "ain't got time phfor this", and "two times two equals...". Later chapters in the series had names such as "Begging for Mercy makes me Angry!", "If I had a Rocket Launcher, I'd make someone Pay", and "You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time!". Not to mention the occasional latin three-word title thrown in, occasionally with some form of grammatical or lexical error.
  • The level names of The Ultimate Doom's fourth episode and the episode name are phrases taken from the Bible: Thy Flesh Consumed, Hell Beneath, Perfect Hatred, Sever the Wicked, Unruly Evil, Against Thee Wickedly, They Will Repent, ...And Hell Followed, and Unto the Cruel.
  • Bubble Bobble series: Bubble _________ and/or "The Story of Bubble Bobble (confusing installment number)".
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse uses the series-traditional moon phases as chapters of the story, one of the few games in the franchise to tie moon phase to story progress rather than as a repeating cycle that only exists for gameplay purposes. The chapters go New Moon, 1/8 Moon, 2/8 Moon, etc., all the way to Full Moon, followed by Misoka Moon for the endgame.
  • Just about every Sonic game restricts its level names to having two words max, sometimes followed by the word "Zone." The ones from Sonic the Hedgehog CD are also alliterative, such as "Palmtree Panic" and "Stardust Speedway".
    • Sonic 3's multiplayer levels are named Azure Lake Zone, Balloon Park Zone, Chrome Gadget Zone, Desert Palace Zone, and Endless Mine Zone.
    • The levels in Sonic Blast all have colors in their names: Green Hill Zone, Yellow Desert Zone, Red Volcano Zone, Blue Marine Zone, and Silver Castle Zone.
    • The names of the racetracks in Sonic R all start with the letter "R" - Resort Island, Radical City, Regal Ruin, Reactive Factory, and Radiant Emerald.
  • Mario has a few of these. All of the boss levels in Super Mario 64 are called "Bowser in the ______" (Dark World, Fire Sea, and Sky, in that order). All of the main levels in Super Mario Galaxy are "[Alliterative pair of words] Galaxy".
  • Entire video game consoles have had this with game titles, but that's its own trope.
  • Dead Space. The first letters of each level spell something plot-relevant.
  • In Thunder Force II, each separate area equates to half a stage. So one overhead section and one side-scrolling section equals to one stage.
  • In The World Ends with You, each day is essentially its own chapter. And there's three weeks, totaling up to 21 days, with each week being a different arc.
  • Each new installment of Rappelz is called an "Epic", and they're numbered with Roman numerals.
  • Raiden Fighters Jet's simulation stages start at level 1, then go up to level 5, then in increments of 5 up to level 50, with the exception of a jump from level 20 to 30 (there's no level 25). Additionally, unless you're playing the full mode in the 360 port, you don't go up the stages sequentially; you may jump stages depending on your performance, and on one instance you can actually go backwards (level 40 to 35).
  • All of Eternal Sonata's chapter titles are named for or are references to Chopin's works except the last chapter, "Heaven's Mirror."
  • The chapters of Vampire Night all include the name of a musical form. The last chapter is "Moonlight Symphony" (not to be confused with "Moonlight Sonata").
  • The Tales Series of course, each game begins with the phrase "Tales of". What comes after is either an original name that includes a root word that fits a theme of the game, like Tales of Phantasia (Fantasy), Tales of Symphonia (Symphony), or Tales of Vesperia (Vesper). Alternatively, it'll just include the word itself rather than make something new out of it, such as with Tales of Destiny, Tales of Innocence or Tales of Graces, once using an article in Tales of the Abyss, though Crossover Games are more likely to use one. If a game gets a Spin-Off, the title will include a short phrase, like in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World.
  • Each of the first LittleBigPlanet's patches are named after a cheese.
  • The sectors of Iji each have an abstract noun as the title: "Hope", "Reality" etc.
  • More of a meta-example but Crytek's current library of published games all have the word "Cry" in them, likely as a self-nod.
  • The first, second, and fourth installments of the Command & Conquer: Tiberium series are Tiberian Dawn, Tiberian Sun, and Tiberian Twilight, respectively, leaving 3 (Tiberium Wars) as the Odd Name Out.
  • The vast majority of quests in Fallout: New Vegas are named after songs, typically pop or country tracks from the '50s and '60s (aside from a few odd ones out such "No Gods, No Masters"). All the quests in the Lonesome Road add-on are two words long, starting with "The."
  • The stages in Radiant Silvergun are numbered chronologically rather than in the order they are played. Thus, the order goes "3, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 1" (Stage 2 is a flashback and Stage 1 takes place in the past after the player enters a time warp).
  • Pokémon games, being One Game for the Price of Two, usually have the titles for each pair of main games be complementary in some manner: be it colors, precious stones, metals, celestial bodies, or medieval weaponry. The only mainline games that technically subvert this are Gen VI's Pokémon X and Y, as letters can't really be complementary, and Gen VII's Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, two Pokémon that have traditionally never been seen in a complementary manner outside Yellow giving your rival one.
    • The Gen I games were originally Red and Green, which are complementary/opposite colors (despite first appearing on the Game Boy, which could not display colors). However, it was changed to Blue for international release. Pokémon Yellow, the third game, means that the four games were named for each of the four primary colors: red, green, blue and yellow. The red/green pairing was returned for the remakes, FireRed and LeafGreen. Gen V years later had Pokémon Black and White and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
    • Gens II through IV were all precious metals or stones. Pokémon Gold and Silver plus Crystal, (remade as HeartGold and SoulSilver), Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire plus Emerald (remade as Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire), and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl plus Platinum.
    • Gen VII had Pokémon Sun and Moon, which was followed by Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
    • Gen VIII gave us Pokémon Sword and Shield.
    • The game titles also represent the colors or some other aspect of the cover Pokémon. Blue/Green, Red and Yellow have green for grass and Bulbasaur, red for fire and Charmander, blue for water and Squirtle, plus yellow for Pikachu's color and for electricity/lightning. Gold for the golden Ho-oh and Silver for the mostly silver Lugia. Ruby and Sapphire have the ruby red Groudon, the sapphire blue Kyogre and the emerald green Rayquaza. Black and White have the black Zekrom and white Reshiram. X and Y have Xernas's antlers and Yvetal's body shape. Sun and Moon have the sun-loving lion Solgaleo and the nocturnal bat Lunala. Diamond and Pearl are the exceptions. Palkia is kind of pearl-colored, but Dialga is bluish green rather than diamond colored (or at least the color you'd expect a diamond to be). Giratina, the Platinum mascot, does have a grayish white lower body like the metal, but has other colors as well.
  • Every story sequence in the Parappa The Rapper series (and its spinoff, Um Jammer Lammy) is named after a line of dialogue from said story sequence. The exception is Parappa's story in Um Jammer Lammy, in which all the story sequences are titled "On [day of the week]".
  • Throughout the Kirby series, level names are almost always two words put together, like Peanut Plains or Ripple Field. Exceptions are usually made for final levels which go for longer and more dramatic names.
    • In Kirby's Adventure, each of the seven levels is alliterative, but also happens to traverse the "Roy G. Biv" mnemonic in reverse order, reinforced by the seventh level being Rainbow Resort. Also, the first six have food-related names (Vegetable Valley, Butter Building). Ignoring that there is also a Level 8, Fountain of Dreams, though it encompasses just the final boss battles.
    • In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, each level is a new planet for Kirby and his friends to explore, and so each has a two-word name that ends with "Star" (Pop Star, Rock Star, Neo Star).
    • Kirby: Canvas Curse has level names that double as references to colors in the order of the rainbow, as well as spelling out RAINBOW when put together. All the stages inside are two-word alliterative phrases.
    • Kirby's Epic Yarn, each level comes in the form of "[Noun] Land", with [Noun] being something describing the environment, like Grass Land or Water Land.
    • In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, once again the seven levels are alliterative and with a food-related word in each name (Cookie Country, Onion Ocean). In addition, the first letters of each level spell out "CROWNED". And once again, there's an eighth level containing the end bosses and that dispenses with these patterns.
      • Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition provides three more worlds with the same naming format for its powerup challenge runs. The first letters spell HAL.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe has alliterative names, once again, this time spelling out "FLOWER". The final level is named Eternal Dreamland, extending the acronym to FLOWERED.
    • And again with Kirby: Planet Robobot, spelling out "PROGRAM". This time the names are related to technology instead of food. Unlike previous Kirby examples, the final level's name is part of the acronym, but it still isn't alliterative.
  • Up until the Homeworlds comic book series, all Mass Effect Expanded Universe titles were abstract nouns ending in "-ion".
  • Star Trek Online normally names its missions in similar style to the Star Trek TV shows. However, the missions in the "Breen Invasion" story arc all have a Pun-Based Title involving the word "cold".
  • Super Smash Bros. seemed to be heading this way with the English titles for the second and third titles being synonyms for "fight", being Melee and Brawl respectively. The pattern was broken with the fourth title.
  • The realms in Ball Revamped 5 are named after flowersnote . Not that the flowers have anything to do with the realms.
  • Each chapter of Portal 2 starts with "The": "The Courtesy Call", "The Reunion", and the final chapter "The Part Where He Kills You".
  • The English versions of the World of Mana games, save for the very first one, always follow the theme name "<Noun> of Mana".
  • Every chapter of The Reconstruction is titled "___ And ___": A Birth And A Prayer, The Red And The Blue, Life And Debt, Sea And Sky, Free And True.
  • The prequel Reconstruction Zero: I Miss the Sunrise doesn't have a consistent scheme for the whole game, but all the Missions in Episode 4 are called "The [word beginning with "Re"]": The Return, The Reassignment, The Reacquisition, The Request, The Reckoning.
    • As a variation, all the tracks in the soundtrack have one-word titles (except for "Too Late").
  • Each entry in The Elder Scrolls series is a One-Word Title most often named after the setting of the game in question (though this latter part is often a bit of a stretch).
  • Most mainline The Legend of Zelda games since The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time have the subtitle be the main MacGuffin or otherwise important plot element.
  • All games from the Grow series start with "Grow" and end with a noun related to the specific game often indicating where the game take place (ex: Grow Island) or what you need to build (ex: Grow Tower).
  • Most games in the Touhou series follow the "Touhou [Japanese title] ~ [English title]" pattern. For example, Touhou Youyoumu ~ Perfect Cherry Blossom and Touhou Fuujinroku ~ Mountain of Faith. Only a few Gaiden Games stray from this naming scheme. This extends to even non-game installments, like Touhou Ibarakasen ~ Wild and Horned Hermit.


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