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Insistent Terminology / Video Games

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  • Zorbak is an "ebil" moglin Necromancer present in several original Artix Entertainment games, and he frequently corrects people who call him evil. What, exactly, separates evil from "ebil" is up for interpretation, but, if the little blue troublemaker's actions are anything to go by, being "ebil" seems to mean being more a Stupid Evil Jerkass than a real villain in one's own right.
  • In Assassin's Creed III, Robert Faulkner gets uppity when Connor calls the Aquila a boat, insisting that she - not it! - is a ship.
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  • In Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, Reyfer and Threia don't have arguments according to Reyfer. They "express differing opinions at elevated intensity and volume."
  • In Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey, at one point, when you make a Bomb, Revy appears and asks Firis if the names she uses for the items are one she comes up with on her own. She says that sometimes they are, but sometimes she just uses the old names. He suggests pepping them up a little - for example, the Bomb becoming the "Searing Orb of Crimson Flame." Firis immediately takes to the idea and the scene changes to Liane asking Firis for an Uni Bag and a Zettel, which Firis has now taken to calling the "Fury of the Earth" and the "Blessed Paper of God's Grace."
    Liane: Huh...? Fury of earth...? Blessed... What?
    Revy: Heh heh. Firis and I thought of new names for her items. Aren't they awe inspiring? Epic?
    Liane: Um, sorry. They're too hard to understand now. Could you change them back to their old names?
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  • The title character of The Bastard of Kosigan, a Burgundian during the period when which the Duchy of Burgundy was an independent state, has the option of taking offense when people refer to him as a Frenchman.
  • In Batman: Arkham Origins, Jervice Tetch, the Mad Hatter, insists that he's not "crazy", he's mad. There is a difference... even if he can't remember it.
  • In Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack wishes to make very clear the difference between "choking" and "strangling".
    Handsome Jack: No, no, Jimmy, choking is something you do when you eat too fast. As I'm crushing Mr. Moorin's windpipe with my watch chain, what I'm doing is actually referred to as strangling.
    • And later:
    Handsome Jack: Mr. Tassiter—maybe you can settle up something for me—do you know the difference between choking and strangling?
  • Crysis 3: Claire insists on calling Prophet "hardware". Prophet disagrees.
  • Paws from Cthulhu Saves the World would like to remind you that he is not a cat, but an ultharian (a race of green feline-shaped aliens whose tails can transform into Combat Tentacles), a fact Umi won't learn any time soon.
  • The Pirate Barbers in The Curse of Monkey Island prefer the term "Buccaneer Hairstylists".
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
    • Horsemaster Dennet will never address the Herald of Andraste as anything except "Inquisition." Not Inquisitor, which is his/her later title, but "Inquisition."
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    • Dalish of the Bull's Chargers insists that she's an "archer," despite it being very obvious that she's an apostate mage. She also claims that her magic staff is a "bow". The glowing crystal is for aiming; old elven trick, you wouldn't understand. The other Chargers go along with this to protect Dalish from people who don't like apostates (which is pretty much everybody). Hilariously, in the tie-in comic Magekiller, Dalish's mage staff is finally seen and it actually is shaped like a bow.
    • Imshael is not a desire demon. He is a Choice. Spirit.
    • The Qunari do this a lot whenever some of their members don't quite fit in their roles, particularly gender roles. If a woman wants to be a soldier and proves to be very good at it, she is allowed to fight, but is also considered a man while fighting. Because women under the Qun aren't soldiers. Likewise, the Qun treats mages as dangerous things (literally, the Qunari term for mages, "Saarebas," means dangerous thing) that must be chained up like animals. If a mage earns the respect of the Qunari, the Qunari simply don't think of that person as a mage. They are non-mages who just happen to be able to perform magic. But they are not mages.
    • Dorian is mildly annoyed by the fact that "Magister" is used as a general term for all Tevinter mages among non-Tevinters, since it's an official position. He has to specifically explain that while he is a mage from Tevinter, he is not a Magister.
  • The Dwarf Fortress community insist on calling hell Hidden Fun Stuff. Demons are Clowns, and adamantine is cotton candy. Also, any mention of possible failure or defeat is referred to as "Fun."
  • In Eien no Aselia there's a kind of pastry that's basically identical to a waffle filled with some sort of sugary fruit. Lemuria constantly corrects him when he calls it a waffle instead of a yofwal, while in turn he stubbornly refuses to refer to them as anything but waffles.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Dremora are an intelligent race of lesser Daedra who are most commonly found in the service of Mehrunes Dagon as his Legions of Hell. Though they are commonly referred to as "Dremora", they prefer to identify themselves as "The Kyn", which translates to "The People" in the Daedric language. This is because they consider themselves superior and more intelligent than the other lesser Daedra, which they see as little more than mindless beasts.
    • In Oblivion, an aspiring Orc "knight" named Mazoga insists that the player call her "Sir Mazoga" or similar, and will get angry if the player does not. Depending on dialogue choices and how the player handles the associated quest, she eventually realizes she's being a pompous jerk.
    • In Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC, Knight-Paladin Gelebor - the last surviving uncorrupted Falmer - prefers to be called a "Snow-Elf", since the term Falmer has become stigmatized due to the actions of their debased kin, to whom he refers as "The Betrayed".
  • Fallout:
    • In Fallout 2, the citizens of Vault City keep a slave labor force, but insist upon calling them "Servants", and make a habit of expelling those who say otherwise. Unlike Ashur there is some meaningful contextual differencenote , but mostly it is just Vault City being elitist jerks.
    • When you meet Angela Bishop for the first time, she will ask if you are one of her dad's goons. One of the possible answers is that yes, you are one of Mr. Bishop's ENFORCERS, thank you very much.
    • Similarly, in the Fallout 3 DLC Pack "The Pitt", The leader of the Pitt Raiders, Ashur, insists that his subordinates refer to the slave populace as "workers".
      • Also in 3:
    Butch: I'm a barber, not a hairdresser! There's a difference!
    • Fawkes the token good Super Mutant insists that he is a "Meta-Human". Also, Dr. Barrows in Underworld calls Ghouls "post necrotic humans", feral ghouls are "Ferocious Post Necrotic Human Dystrophy," and Glowing Ones are "Luminous Post Necrotic Humans."
    • And in Fallout: New Vegas, we have the subtle distinction between a scavenger and a prospector, along with the varying ways to say Caesar's name note 
      • Ranger Jackson is not allowed to hire mercenaries. However, if what he needs done just happened to randomly get done somehow, he might "accidentally lose" some supplies...
      • Mr. House doesn't hide the fact that he'd be the sole ruler of New Vegas, but he'd be an autocrat, not a dictator.
      • Raul, a ghoul who was alive before the bombs fell, insists that the Arizona city now known as "Two-Sun" still is and will always be Tuscon, dammit!
      • Dr. Klein of Old World Blues makes it clear that Big MT is meant to be Big Mountain and not "Big Empty" as it is known elsewhere.
  • Cid in Final Fantasy II wants to make it perfectly clear that he's lending you his airship. But seeing as those are his last words...
  • Locke of Final Fantasy VI. He's not a thief, he's a treasure hunter. And he'll rip your lungs out for saying otherwise! What makes this one line particularly funny is that the SNES translation is so aggressively kid-friendly that it refuses to acknowledge the existence of pubs and the word "death" and its variants... but threatening to pull out somebody's internal organs is A-OK?
    • He's much less violent in the GBA remake. He'll just beat the crap out of you.
  • Ashe from Final Fantasy XII, leader of La Résistance - not the Insurgence.
  • Canas from Fire Emblem Elibe would like to remind you that it is incorrect to refer to the Elder magic that he practices as "Dark" magic.
  • Regardless of certain quirks, Freddy Fazbear and his friends from Five Nights at Freddy's are animatronics, not robots, Homicide Machines, or RoboCop clones in Funny Animal costumes.note 
  • An example from Gabriel Knight 2: "I do not know what it's like where you're from, Mr. Knight, but people refer to me as Herr Doktor Klingmann here."
  • It's Mr. Game & Watch. Not Mr. Game and Watch. If you type Mr. Game and Watch into Google, you don't get anything. Therefore, it's Game & Watch.
  • Both In-Universe (as referenced in Stop Poking Me! quotes) and out, Heroes of the Storm is a Hero Brawler, not a MOBA.
  • Delsin Rowe of inFAMOUS: Second Son insists that you refer to his kind as Conduits, not Bioterrorists.
  • Jak II: Krew prefers the term "freedom challenged" over "slave".
  • In Katawa Shoujo, this comes up in a context surprisingly unrelated to any disabilities. Lilly and Shizune both insist that their Big Fancy Houses are not "mansion(s)".
    • Lilly Satou, after Hisao realizes she is a Covert Pervert, will say that she has "a healthy adolescent sex drive".
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • In King's Quest (2015), the Merchant of Miracles insists that the creatures who pull his wagon are unicorns, even though they're very obviously goats with horns tied to their heads. If questioned about it enough times, he will break down and explain that this is actually a justified example: the trolls who live under the bridges eat goats. But as long as they think Mr. Fancycakes and The Other One are unicorns, the trolls will leave them alone.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: It is implied that Tetra got a lot of this after it was revealed that her real name is Princess Zelda, but in the game itself it only happens in one short exchange, where she told Niko to keep calling her "Tetra" instead of the other name. Tetra's level of anger about this seems to imply that it has happened before and started to annoy her.
  • Resident Black Magician Girl Dark Chick Chloe from the second Mana Khemia game insists that her curses and black magic that regularly summons demons in combat be referred to as "incantations".
  • Marco and the Galaxy Dragon: Marco prefers the term "treasure hunter" to "thief", though she readily admits that she steals things for a living.
  • The Mass Effect universe has quite a few of these.
    • Robots with AI programs running in them, are referred to as "synthetics" to differentiate them from naturally evolved "organic" life.
    • People with telekinesis ability are referred to as "biotics".
    • The salarian scientist Mordin insists that the Depopulation Bomb known as the genophage is not a sterility plague, but a "fertility rate adjustment to optimum growth levels". Salarians also do not get married, they "negotiate reproduction contracts".
    • Illium does not allow "slavery", it allows "indentured servitude". Though from what we hear about the rules and terms of the practice, indentured servitude actually is the more accurate term.
    • The quarian-made electric pulse gun known as the Adas Anti-Synthetic Rifle suffers from a reversal of this trope, with Alliance (human) marines saying that it doesn't have a rifled barrel and doesn't fire bullets, so it shouldn't be called a rifle.
    • The geth insist on calling the Robot War in which they drove out the quarians from their home planet as "The Morning War" since it occurred immediately after they "woke up" (gained self awareness).
    • This pops up in an amusing conversation between Shepard and Tali in Mass Effect 3:
      Shepard: How are you getting drunk?
      Tali: [completely plastered] Veeeeeeery carefully. Turian brandy, triple filtered, then introduced into the suit via an emergency induction port.
      Shepard: ...that's a straw, Tali.
      Tali: Emerrrrrgency. Induction. Port.
    • In Mass Effect 2, it is revealed that all quarians refer to the leader of a ship as "captain", regardless of their actual rank: while Shepard never made the rank of captain, they are still responsible for the lives of the crew of the Normandy, hence, Captain Shepard. This is something Real Life human navies do too.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has an Agent who insists on calling an ex-cop turned security guard "Officer" because he's trying to get him to kill Neo.
    Agent: Do your duty...Officer, kill him, kill him now.
    • Another example with a girl who insists on calling Neo's cassock a "dress".
  • Mega Man Zero: Copy-X knows that he is a copy from the original Mega Man X, but he insists that he is the perfect copy and even casts himself in a superior light to the original one. Of course, Zero quickly proves him wrong.
  • Mortal Kombat: Sub-Zero would like you to know that he is a Lin Kuei assassin, not a Ninja. It actually makes sense because ninja are Japanese which makes his rival Scorpion a true ninja, whereas Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei are Chinese - he even points this out in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero.
    • Tanya thinks "enforcer of the Deadly Alliance" is such an ugly term. Personally, she thought of herself as an ambassador.
    • Since Mortal Kombat X came out, the term "Revenant" is being applied to any kombatant who has been killed to be resurrected later as an undead warrior. In Mortal Kombat 11, however, Noob Saibot prefers the term "Wraith" - his shadowy nature doesn't fit the usual characteristics of a Revenant. Same goes with DLC character Spawn, who is... well... a Hellspawn.
  • Onmyōji: Kohaku does not take too kindly to being called a dog by other characters, especially Minamoto no Hiromasa.
    Kohaku: I said, I'm not a dog, I'm a fox shikigami!
  • In The Dentist trailer of Payday 2, when asked about his profession by the titular Dentist, Dallas replies that he works in financial transfers. Of course, through his connections, The Dentist knows who he was dealing with and offers him a choice: Work for him for a few jobs and get an opportunity to free Hoxton, or have the Dentist use his connection to destroy him.
  • Phoenix Wright is a lawyer. Not a dentist, policemen, detective or parliamentarian. And no, his badge is not made of plastic and not available in a Gumball Machine. (He has to insist on those facts so frequently, it actually strikes him as strange whenever anyone actually gets it right.)
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the Pastoria City Gym Leader, Wake, insists on being called "Crasher Wake".
    • Yet when you fight him, he's still called "Leader" Wake, just like any other Gym Leader. This is mostly due to character restrictions for in-battle text.
  • In the Professor Layton games, don't bother trying to call Luke Triton anything other than Layton's apprentice. He simply will not accept any other name for their relationship. He even cuts off Layton himself whenever the professor tries to clarify it.
    • And in Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Layton repeatedly corrects that he is not a detective, which is actually true; he's a college professor of archaeology who dabbles in puzzle solving. This doesn't stop the people of St. Mystere from constantly thinking that's the case, though.
  • Tear from Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is a loan shark (not quite that bad, she's nice and helpful about it) but doesn't like to be called as such.
  • In Rune Factory Tides Of Destiny during Joe's second friendship event, Sonja calls Joe a 'pervert' for looking through a crack in the women's bath. He insists that he is a 'treasure hunter' who is after 'a different sort of treasure'.
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  • In Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse, Sam and Max argue over what to call the Sam clone army; Sam insists on "Samulacra", and Max insists on "Dogglegangers". This develops into a Running Gag. Amusingly, when playing as Sam and mousing over one of the clones, the text indicating the name of the object reads "Samulacra", but when playing as Max it reads "Dogglegangers".
  • The students and professionals in Senran Kagura are Shinobi. The promo materials occasionally call them ninja, but never kunoichi. While the latter is a decently well-known term for female ninja even in the west, it carries the connotation of relying on deception and feminine wiles, which Shinobi just don't do.
    • There's also an odd example in the narrative of Shinovi Versus. Using dark powers to force your will on someone is "brainwashing", but apparently using your influence to take in young orphans with a specific and tragic background and then raising them in complete isolation to foster a fanatical, homicidal hatred for a specific group is not. Could have something to do with Dougen being the Big Bad and Kurokage feeling guilty about his actions on his deathbed and asking Honzo to deliberately undermine what he'd done, but the narrative is suspiciously hesitant to label a "Good Shinobi's" outrageously selfish plan anything negative. Of course, that might be the point.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has Gaston, a military officer from Mikado who insists that you call him Sir Gaston. Though he later drops it due to a demotion and going through a fair bit of Character Development.
  • In Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, the humans that have settled the new planet have vowed not to repeat the mistakes that turned Earth into such a Crapsack World, and as such they will not declare war on one another. Factions will have prolonged periods of armed conflict against each other when they become displeased, but they call it 'Vendetta' instead.
  • Meta-example for Star Trek Online. Cryptic insists the Klingon Bortasqu'-class is a "battle cruiser" despite the fact that stats-wise it's really a Starfleet-style cruiser with the serial numbers filed off: an engineering/tactical Mighty Glacier. This led to them not giving it all four cruiser commands when they debuted (although in practice "Attract Fire" isn't that useful in the PVE metagame anyway).
  • Early in Star Wars: The Old Republic's Knights Of The Eternal Throne, you meet former-Moff Lorman who, in the intervening five years since everything which took place before Fallen Empire, rose to the rank of Minister. With the player character (regardless of whether they were affiliated with the Sith Empire or not) being accompanied by a former Republic SIS agent (Theron Shan) and a Sith who was the former right-hand of a traitorous Dark Lord (Lana Beniko), all three of them can - and, if given the chance, will - get in on intentionally omitting his new title. Or referring to him by his old one. The more they do it, the more irate he gets.
  • In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: 8-bit is Enough, Strong Sad ends up in the world of Peasant's Quest wearing a pointy hat. He insists that he's a wizard, and gets miffed if people call him a princess.
  • In Super Robot Wars Original Generation, Dr. Marion Radom flat out refuses to call Kyosuke's and Excellen's machines the Alteisen and Weissritter, instead using their original, production-model names — the Gespenst Mk. III and Gespenst Mk. II Custom, respectively.
    • Until OG2, anyway, when she's impressed enough by their performance to call them by their codenames. Her selective hearing still keeps Excellen from getting a proper upgrade for "Weissy," though.
    • Somewhat justified in her dislike for the name of Alt Eisen, as it's name is German for "Old/Scrap Iron" was partly picked as a means of mocking Radom's stubborn refusal to use alien Extra-Over Technology, and preference to sticking with the somewhat aging Gespenst design that she helped develop in the first place, when the military brass and other manufacturers wanted more advanced technology instead. Not that Radom didn't have justifiable concerns, given her ex-husband was nearly killed due to a serious malfunction of an Extra Over Tech based engine in the planned next gen Huckebeins that halted their development for some time.
  • Tales of the Abyss:
    Jade: Why if it isn't Dist the Runny!
    Dist: The Rose! R-O-S-E, rose! Dist the Rose!
    Anise: You mean Dist the Reaper.
    Dist: Silence! I refuse to accept that name! It's Rose! ROSE!
  • Tales of Symphonia:
    "It's Magnius from the eastern ranch!"
    "That's LORD Magnius, vermin!"
    • And of course, the sequel has the Nazdrovie / Light-Frog debate between Centurion Tenebrae and the main cast. The main cast start out calling it the latter while Tenebrae insists on the former. Being that Tenebrae is normally The Gadfly, they decide to get back at him by purposefully using 'light frog' until he gives up and starts calling it that too, at which point they suddenly start calling it a Nazdrovie instead.
  • Team Fortress 2. In "Meet the Sniper" video, the Sniper is discussing his career choice with his unseen father over the phone, and it's evident from the Sniper's exasperation that they've had this conversation many, many times before:
    Sniper: Dad? Dad, I'm a—Ye—Not a "crazed gunman", dad, I'm an assassin!... Well, the difference bein' one is a job and the other's mental sickness!
    • Also, it is not "a jar of pee". It is jar-based karate.
    • With Halloween 2011, we now have MONOCULUS!, all caps and exclamation point necessary. Upon being killed by him, players must raise their hands to the skies and shout his name (then explain to the cops when they show up).
  • Lara Croft of Tomb Raider uses a more honest euphemism than most examples of this trope. "Tomb Raider" can be converted to "Grave Robber" just by replacing words with their synonyms.
  • Marisa Kirisame of the Touhou Project series doesn't steal things. She borrows them. Without permission. For the rest of her life.
    • Also, regardless of what kinda first impression her clothes might leave you with, Marisa totally isn't a witch. She is, in fact, a miko/nurse/merchant/burglar. And her name is Reimu Hakurei.
    • Yukari Yakumo is the one responsible for humans being spirited away. So if someone disappears without her involvement, they haven't been "spirited away" and she'd appreciate it if you referred to their disappearance using some other terminology.
  • Dr. Hello in Treasure Hunter G gets rather peeved when Red addresses him as just that, insisting on being called "the last remaining mad scientist, Dr. Hello"
  • Creator version. The makers of the When They Cry franchise insist their Visual Novel's are "sound novels" due to their reliance on sound.


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