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Hard-to-pronounce words in video games.


Consoles

  • The GP2X Caanoo handheld is an especially confusing entrant: Is it pronounced like 'Canoe', or based on a Korean pronounciation guide? Even so, what pronounciation would it take from that?
  • There appears to be a generational divide in the pronunciations of NES and SNES — older gamers who played the systems when they were new favor the "each letter individually" renditions, en ee ess and ess en ee ess, while younger gamers playing them as retro consoles favor the one-word renditions "ness" and "sness". Nintendo itself used en ee ess and soo per enn ee ess. Then you have those who just say "Nintendo" and "Super Nintendo". The divide is more regional than anything else; North Americans are more likely to use the acronym-based pronunciation, while in Europe the phonetic style is the norm. "Nintendo" and "Super Nintendo" are more commonly used by older audiences who grew up with the brand name as a slang term.
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Publishers

  • Sega was this in the early days. While "SAY-ga" is the official pronunciation, some people had been pronouncing their name as "SEE-ga". The correct pronunciation was heard as early as 1983 in an ad for the home console versions of Congo Bongonote .
  • Enix (now part of Square Enix). is it "EE-nix" or "EH-nix"? If the Japanese katakana spelling is anything to go by, it's the latter.
  • This problem also arises with video game publisher Ubisoft, which is either pronounced YOU-bee-soft or OOH-bee-soft.

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Games

In General:

  • Happens sometimes in sports games. For example, EA NHL '07 would pronounce Stajan (correct pronunciation: "Stay Gin") as "stay an". The next game would fix the pronunciation for some situations but leave it broken for others.

Specific Examples:

  • Armored Core has a minor one in 4/fA: Is Rayleonard Corp. pronounced Ray-lee-oh-nard or Ray-leh-nerd? US localization favors the former while Japanese pronunciation uses the latter (in Katakana: 「レイレナード」). Seeing that this is taken from a boxer's name, Sugar Ray Leonard, the former may be correct, but since it's combined into one word...
  • Any of the Mohawk names in Assassin's Creed III, particularly the main character Ratohnhaké:ton. It's pronounced "Ra-don-ha-gay-don" in game but everyone just calls him Connor... which he was given by Achilles Davenport because "I am not even going to try to pronounce that."note 
    • In the previous game, Ezio's name is always pronounced correctly, but outside the game the pronunciations "Enzio" and "EE-zio" are often heard, and occasionally poked fun at by Ubisoft. The correct pronunciation is "ET-see-oh". Referenced in the second Sonic Twitter Takeover'', combined with an Actor Allusion (since Sonic's voice actor also voices Ezio):
      Eggman: That's right, it's him! Enzio! Or Ee-zio, or however you say it.
      Ezio: No no, my name is Et-see-oh-
      Eggman: (cutting him off, dismissively) Yes, nice, nice.
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  • The ancestral name of Battleborn's Mellka, Hyenyota is kinda hard to pronounce. There's actually a phonetic key in one of her lore challenges though that somewhat helps. In the same entry also, Ghalt left a note advising not to mispronounce Mellka's ancestral name in front of her. If it has to be said, practicing a few times using the phonetic key has to be done first otherwise just stick to "Mellka". He ends the note saying to "Trust me on this one".
  • Castlevania:
    • In addition to the Claimh Solais example mentioned above, we have Alucard, which in the original Dub is pronounced "Al-oo-card". More recent dubs flip flop between that and "Al-you-card." They can both be correct, it depends on whether you pronounce it as it is written, or pronounce it as Dracula backwards. Though that has it's own set of problems. (refer to literature)
    • Maria Renard. Maria isn't a problem. Lenard is. "Re Nahrd"? "Ren erd"? The original japanese has it something like "Learned", which may be a reference to learning magic, but it doesn't help as far as the dub goes. There is a clue to the former though, with the character Eric Lecard (another Dub Name Change, the original was Eric Ricardo), who is strongly hinted to be Alucard and Maria's descendant. His last name is a portmanteau of "Renard" and "Alucard".
    • Then there's Juste Belmont, which has been suggested as "Just", "Joost", "Justay", etc. The actual pronunciation of the name is actually "Yoost". No clue on how to pronounce the last name of his rival Maxim Kischine, however. In Dawn of Sorrow, Dark Lord Soma pronounces Julius's name with a Y-sound as well.
    • Some of the enemies too. Gaibon. "Guy Bawn" or "Gay Bin"? Dhuron appears to have this problem, but it's simply a mistranslation of Dullahan, which averts it.
  • Chrono Trigger: Ayla's name is supposed to be pronounced "ay-la", like her namesake from Clan of the Cave Bear. It's spelled Eira in the katakana, which supports this. And how the heck is Schala supposed to be pronounced?
  • Destiny: Mithrax complains that the Guardians keep calling him “miff-racks” instead of his proper name, Misraaks (pronounced “my-si-racks”). It’s implied that the characters have actually been badly mistranslating all of the Fallen names/terms they’ve picked up; Variks is indicated to really be called something like Varisis, and just doesn’t bother to correct anybody.
  • Dota 2:
    • In-game and out, no one can seem to agree on whether Roshan's name is pronounced "RO-shan" (rhymes with "man") or "ro-SHAWN" (rhymes with "dawn"). For what it's worth, players don't really care which you use, and he's usually just referred to as "Rosh" anyway.
    • A lot of players get confounded by both the pronunciation of the name "Strygwyr" and how IceFrog came up with such a name. Unsurprisingly, said hero is usually just referred to by his title, Bloodseeker.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, Zevran pronounces his name 'zev-RAHN'. No one else does. Same with Leliana ('LEL-i-anna'), pronounced 'lelli-AHNA' by most other characters. Of course, they are both foreign. It's not surprising that native Fereldans would have trouble pronouncing their names.
  • The final boss of the first two EarthBound games, which has been translated as both Giegue and Giygas. Guyguh? Gyiguh? Giygus? Guy-gas? Giga? Guygway? Guygyoo? Geeguh? There are no limits to the possible pronunciations, and no matter how unlikely it seems, there's at least one supporter for every possible pronunciation.
    • The original Japanese pronunciation is "Giigu", and it appears in the opening of Mother 2 as "Gyiyg". This suggests that "Giegue", at the least, is supposed to be pronounced "Gee-goo", though "Gyiyg" should probably be pronounced as either "Geeg" or "Gyeeg" (rhymes with Tweeg). "Giygas" is therefore likely "Gee-gas" or "Gee-gahs".
    • This official ad pronounces the English version "Guy-gus."
    • You cannot grasp the true form of Giygas' name!
    • The person who localized the name says it's pronounced as "Geegus".
    • There's also the issue of Lucas, the protagonist of MOTHER 3, whose name is deceptively harder to pronounce than it may look. Creator Shigesato Itoi has gone on record saying that he based Lucas off of a character, also named Lucas, from Agota Kristof's novel series The Book Of Lies. As the novel is French, it follows that Lucas's name, too, should be pronounced as though it is French, e.g. with a silent 's' as "luc-ah" rather than "luc-as". The rendering of Lucas's name in Japanese katakana as リュカ Ryuka, rather than ルーカス Ruukasu, also supports the French pronunciation. However, when Lucas made his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the game's announcer opted for the English pronunciation of the name, with a hard 's' sound. The No Export for You nature of Lucas's debut game, combined with the ease of using the Anglo-phonetic pronunciation for most English speakers, has rendered the issue essentially moot, but based on the katakana alone it would seem that "Lucas" was intended to be pronounced with a silent 's'.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The voice actors in Oblivion couldn't agree on how to pronounce various words and names, such as "daedra" (DAY-dra or DEE-dra) and "Cheydinhal" (hard or soft "ch"). Word of God has given definitive ways of pronouncing the name of each race. Unfortunately, nobody told the voice actors or directors. Here it is. No one seems to stick to these, of course. "DEE-dra" should be the canonical pronunciation, and then there's stuff that's totally thrown out the window like "doon-MARE" for "Dunmer", "DWAY-mare" for "Dwemer", and "BOE-mare" for "Bosmer". These usually get pronounced "DUHN-muhr", "DWEE-muhr", and "BAHZ-muhr".
    • Skyrim has it better, but there's still disagreement on how to pronounce certain words, sometimes between NPCs who have the same voice actors. For example, no one seems to know how to say "Justiciar", with Ondolemar saying it how it's spelled, roaming Thalmor agents (who, if male, have the same VA as Ondolemar) introducing themselves as "Judiciars", and Stormcloak officers saying "Justicar". Also, Madanach is apparently pronounced "MAD-a-nock", but there's an NPC (again, with the same VA as Madanach) who says "Ma-NAD-nack", for some reason.
    • The Elder Scrolls Online keeps up the trend with an Altmer and Bosmer making fun of the Khajiit's pronunciation of Cat's Eye Quay as "Key" — before revealing that they pronounce it "Kay" and "Kway" respectively.
    • From the series' lore, there was much debate in the fandom regarding the pronunciation of the "dead" creator god's Aldmeri name, Lorkhan. Former series' writer Michael Kirkbride clarified on Twitter that it's "Lore-Khan".
  • The Final Fantasy series... where to begin...
    • One of the longest-running debates in the fandom was whether the recurring Chocobo creatures were pronounced "choke-oh-bo", "chauk-oh-bo" or "chock-oh-bo". Square Enix eventually ended this one with a Lampshade Hanging in Final Fantasy VIII. Final Fantasy X finally confirmed the former pronunciation.
    • The names of both Bahamut and Ifrit find origins in old tales in ancient languages, so it was a surprise for most people to hear them pronounced Ba-ha-MOOT and EE-freet in Final Fantasy XII, rather than Ba-HA-mutt or i-FREET. Except in Final Fantasy XIII, Fang pronounces Bahamut as Ba-ha-mutt.
    • In Final Fantasy II, the character Josef's name should be pronounced like "Yosef", not "Joseph."
    • Starting to come up thanks to the Updated Re-release of Final Fantasy IV. In real life, both "SEE-sil" and "SES-sil" are used. Many people had assumed that Cecil had a long "E" in his name, like Cecil Turtle from the Bugs Bunny cartoons, and were thus surprised to hear it pronounced in-game with a short "E" to match the Se-shi-ru spelling in the Japanese version.
    • Final Fantasy VI:
      • In part because the character was renamed when the game was released outside of Japan, there's still no consensus on how to pronounce Sabin (known as Macias, nicknamed "Mash", in Japan).
      • Celes: "Seals", "SELL-lez", "KELL-lez" or "Se-LESS?" (Apparently the proper pronunciation is "se-LEESE." Though World of Final Fantasy pronunced it Se-LESS)
      • Gau: "Gow", "Gaw", or "Go"?
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Happened to some extent with both Tifa and Yuffie, though most fans rationalised that Yuffie's name was an implictly Chinese name, Yu Fei.
      • Cait Sith in Final Fantasy VII. His name has never been voiced, apart from when Cid refers to him as merely "Cait" in one line of Dirge of Cerberus, pronouncing it like "Kate". It's actually pronounced "Kett shee", and is based on the Cat Sìth, a creature from Scottish folklore, which is pronounced the same way.
      • It seems like it should be obvious how Zack (as in Zack Fair) is pronounced, but the Japanese consistently spell (when writing in katakana) and pronounce his name like "Zacks", with a distinct "s" sound on the end. Similar with Rufus, who is "Roo-fows" (rhymes with "house") in Japanese media, rather than the more sensible "Roo-fuss".
      • There is some discrepancy between how to pronounce Sephiroth; the Japanese version pronounces it SEF-ee-roth, the English language versions always pronounce it Sef-er-roth. This despite the fact his second form's battle music has lyrics that include his name.
      • Before voice acting happened in the series, there was argument over how to pronounce the Turks' names. Reno was either Ren-oh, Ree-no or Ray-no (the katakana reading of "Reno" would indicate that "Ren-oh" is correct, but it's sometimes pronounced "Ray-no" by the English voice actors). Similarly, an English speaker would naturally pronounce Elena's name as "EL-en-a", but the katakana (Irīna) suggests her name is pronounced "I-LEE-na". Tseng's name was usually pronounced phonetically until Crisis Core showed it was actually pronounced "Tsahng", with a nasal sound at the end (and again, the katakana reading of "Tson" shows this).
      • Aerith. Possibly due to the continuing debate on how to spell her name (Aeris vs. Aerith), it's never been voice-acted at all. Correct pronunciation (according to the katakana reading, which is "Earisu") is Air-rith. Nonetheless there were people thinking it was 'eh-rith' or even 'ee-rith' until Crisis Core confirmed that it was 'air-rith'.
      • This is lampshaded in a video by Dorkly Originals called "Final Fantasy VII Controversy". Cloud, Tifa and Red XIII confront Sephiroth in the North Crater, and Cloud prepares to summon Neo-Bahamut (Nee-oh Ba-HA-mutt). Sephiroth corrects him that it's pronounced "Ba-ha-MOOT", but Tifa agrees with Cloud's pronunciation. Cloud prepares to drink an Ether (ETH-er) to get more "Mako Points" (pronouncing "Mako" as "May-ko" instead of "Mah-Ko" like in the games), whereupon Tifa corrects him that MP stands for Magic Points, and Red XIII says that it's Mana Points. Cloud rebukes Red XIII, pronouncing his name as "Red Ex-Eye-Eye-Eye", and upon Red's incredulence sarcastically retorts "Oh, I'm sorry, is it Red Shee? I never know how to pronounce Asian names? Why can't you have a simple name like TIE-fa?" Tifa corrects him to "Tee-fa", while Sephiroth remarks he thought it was Tiff-uh. Cloud angrily retorts that he didn't ride his Golden Chock-o-noh all the way from Nibble-heem to get a lesson in pronunciation, and urges the party to stop Sef-a-roth before he can summon Muh-TAY-or. Then, in the end, when Cloud finally summons Neo-Bahamut, the confused Summon can't figure out how to pronounce his own name, and just goes with "RED DRAGON!"
    • What about Quistis from VIII? It's commonly mispronounced as "Quiss-tis" when it's supposed to be pronounced "Kees-tis". But World of Final Fantasy adds more to the confusion and goes for "Quiss-tis".
    • Then there's Zidane from Final Fantasy IX. Zy-DANE? Zid-dan-NEE? Zid-NEE? Zee-DANE? Zih-DANE? The suggestion coming closest to the original katakana, read Ji-ta-n, is "Zee-DAHN", like the footballer. It's actually supposed to be Gitan (pronounced zhee-TAN and transliterated as Jitan), which is French for gypsy. The translators mistook that for the name of a French soccer player.
    • And what of his diminutive summoner sidekick, Eiko? Ee-ko? Eye-ko? According to World of Final Fantasy, apparently it's Ay-ko.
    • Tidus' name is never spoken out loud in Final Fantasy X or Final Fantasy X-2, and it's even inconsistent in Kingdom Hearts. Usually fans just apply their language's own rules for vowels in words (Spanish and Japanese would assume a 'e' sound, English would assume a hard vowel) while others say Meaningful Names should be pronounced based on however the name originally referenced sounds. It's pronounced and written as TEE-da in Japanese. Tidus' name is pronounced Tee-dus in the English versions of Kingdom Hearts I and Dissidia Final Fantasy but Tide-us (similar to Titus) in Kingdom Hearts II, as well as some promotional material such as cast interviews. It really depends on whether you are using "tides" (English) or "tida" (varies by source as Okinawan for "sun" or an English->Japanese loanword) as the meaning. It should be noted that Dissidia was released after Kingdom Hearts II, so it seems that Square-Enix corrected themselves and are going with "Tee-dus" as the official pronunciation.
    • The village of Besaid is pronounced like "Beside" in Japanese (ビサイド Bisaido), but "Be-SAYD" in English.
    • Many names in Final Fantasy XI, especially Zilartian names. Zi'Tah, Kam'lanaut, frickin Pso'Xja come to mind, as well as the name of The Empire in one of the expansions, Aht Urhgan. Final Fantasy XI related podcasts are painful to listen to for anyone who can actually read names like 'Valkurm' and 'Qufim'.
    • The Nu Mou race in the Ivalice games. "New mow?" "New moo?" "New moy?" Pronunciation is given in Final Fantasy XII by Fran (Fran mentions one of their legends in passing at one point). It's pronounced "N'Mow" (there is supposed to be a 'u' sound between the N and the M, but it's almost entirely drowned out by said consonants.
    • There's also that NPC named Ktjn. Apparently it's pronounced "kitten", though the Japanese say "katreen".
    • Most of the enemies in the game also have names that aren't pronounced phonetically, at least if one goes by the Japanese readings of their names. For example, the Aerieel enemy looks like it should be pronounced "Air-ree-eel", but it's actually just said like the English word "aerial". Infamous Bonus Boss Yiazmat's name is pronounced "Yaz-mat", not "Yee-az-mat" (Yazumatto in Japanese — the name came from Yasumi Matsuno's nickname of "YAZZ" and the "mat" of his surname).
    • The Miqo'te race in Final Fantasy XIV. (Japanese pronunciation is Mikotte, so "Mi-kot-tay" is probably how it's pronounced in English.) For that matter the female names from the Keepers of the Sun tribe, is the first letter pronounced as is, or part of the name? note 
  • Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels:
    • The English dub actually changed the pronunciation of a character's name — Oerba Dia Vanille is pronounced "Worba Die-uh Vanilla" in Japanese (ヲルバ=ダイア・ヴァニラ Woruba Daia Vanira), but "Air-ba Dee-ah Van-eel" in English.
    • The Archylte Steppe's name is never said in voice acting, so most players are left guessing how to pronounce it unless they look it up. Bafflingly, the Japanese reading is アルカキルティ (Arukakiruti), which seems to indicate an extra syllable (Ar-ka-kil-tee). The best approximation is Ar-kill-tee.
  • Without very much voice acting in general, virtually none where a character's name is spoken, and plenty of Aeriths, figuring out a couple of the names in Fire Emblem Awakening can be a bit difficult. While "Panne" actually ends up subverting this, as the word is an uncommon term for a type of fabric, how in the hell do you pronounce Kjelle?note  "Tharja" seems straightforward, but in a similar vein, going by her Japanese name it'd be pronounced "Thar-ya", and "Kellam" would actually be "Kell-um".
  • Galaga: Is it "GAL-a-ga" (similarly pronounced like the comedian "Gallagher"), or "Ga-LAG-a"? It's the latter, since it is the sequel to Galaxian, pronounced Ga-LAX-ian.note 
  • Galatea from Emily Short's Interactive Fiction game of the same title is pronounced "gal-uh-TEE-uh". There has apparently been some confusion over this. Some say gal-uh-TAY-uh or similar variations.
  • Gradius: "Radius" with a 'g', or what appears to be an Engrish version of "Gladius"? Both pronunciations have been used in-game, though the latter is used more often. Gradius Gaiden pronounces it both "radius-with-G", and as "Gruh-DEE-us". Gradius V pronounces it with a short "A" as in the word "action" or "lateral". If it's an Engrish "Gladius", then the "ah" syllable is appropriate. Latin doesn't have a long A sound (Technically, the way we pronounce "radius" is wrong too).
  • The horror/platformer flash game Gyossait. Per a comment from the game's creator in the trailer, it's apparently pronounced "gi-yo-zite".
  • Kingdom Hearts has a lot of this, mostly caused by many bizarre names such as those of the members of Organization XIII:
    • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories had it rough due to being the only game where voice acting was limited to Voice Grunting, so one couldn't tell how the names of new characters should be pronounced without turning to the Japanese text. Fortunately, the fully voiced remake for the PS2 revealed all:
      • Marluxia is "mar-LOO-sha", not "mar-LUK-see-uh" as many had assumed.
      • Larxene is "lark-SEEN".
      • Vexen is "VEK-sen" in English, and "Vixen" in Japanese.
      • Lexaeus is "LEK-see-us" in English, and "LEK-say-oos" in Japanese.
      • Zexion is alternatively "ZEX-yun" or "ZEK-see-un".
    • Kingdom Hearts II added to the Organization conundrum with unspoken names like Xigbar, Demyx, and Luxord. Later games revealed Xigbar to be "ZIG-bar," Demyx to be "DEM-iks," and Luxord to be "LUKE-surd."
      • The human names of the Organization's founding members, first mentioned only in the Secret Ansem Reports, also suffered from this until later games. Names like "Even" and "Dilan" are identical to "Evan" and "Dylan", while "Braig" is "Bray-g" in English and "Brigh-g" in Japanese.
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days: The title itself. No, it's not "three hundred fifty eight slash two days". According to the way this subtitle is arranged in Japanese katakana, it's "three-five-eight-days-over-two".
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep pointedly avoids this when introducing the χ-blade. That's the Greek letter "chi", so the name is pronounced identically to "Keyblade". Xehanort even notes that "kye-blade" is an alternate pronunciation, which some fans like to use in spoken conversation to differentiate the χ-blade from regular Keyblades.
      Master Xehanort: Chi. A most ancient letter. Some say "kye", but the meaning is the same.
  • The King of Fighters:
    • K9999, which is pronounced according to SNK as "K Four Nines", not "K Ninety-nine Ninety-nine", "K Nine-Thousand-Nine-Hundred-Ninety-Nine", or "K Nine Nine Nine Nine".
    • The name of K′ (that's a letter "K" and a prime mark, not an apostrophe) is always pronounced "K Dash" in Japan. In the overseas versions, his name tends to vary between "K Dash" or "K Prime" depending on the game.
  • Kirby:
    • Recurring foe King Dedede had this going as well, mostly from confusion of how to pronounce the vowels depending on adaptations. "Dee-dee-dee", "Deh-deh-deh", or "Day-day-day"? Occasionally his name is written logo style as just DDD. Lampshaded in Brawl where the audience would appear to get into an argument over how it is pronounced. Italian translations use "Dee-dee-dee" in the cartoon and "Deh-deh-deh" everywhere else.
    • Adeleine's name is pronounced differently by different fans. Some think it's a pun on "add-a-line" and pronounce it that way, some go for "Add-a-lyn", and other fans have other pronounciations (such as "ade-le-yn-e", "ada-leen", and "ah-do-ren").
  • Legacy of Kain:
    • Many of the location names are faux-German so, at first glance, names such as Uschtenheim, Ziegsturhl, Vasserbünde, and Steinchencröe can be a little daunting. And then there's Janos, whose name is actually Slavic and is pronounced YAW-nos in the game (in reality, the name Janos is often pronounced YAW-nosh).
    • There also seems to be some confusion about Raziel's name. Raziel pronounces his name raz-EYE-el, Kain and the Elder God call him Rah-ZEE-el, and Janos (justified seeing as he has a pretty thick accent) pronounces his name as RAHZ-yuhl. The pronunciation of everyone else's names stays relatively consistent.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • It's debated whether "Hylia" is pronounced "high-lee-ah", "hill-ee-ah", or "hee-lee-ah". (Breath of the Wild goes with the first one.)
    • Even though it's a real word that exists outside the series, there is much argument amongst players on whether the first syllable of "ocarina" should be said as an "oh" sound or an "ah" sound, and discussions on the matter can quickly dissolve into threats of physical violence. For the record, the former is the proper pronunciation in the original language.
    • Really, a lot of characters in the series have names whose pronunciations can't easily be discerned due to the lack voice-acting. The debate over how such names as "Gerudo", "Majora", and "Saria" are pronounced still rage on, though "Gerudo" now has a consistent pronunciation due to Hyrule Warriors and Breath of the Wild (geh-ROO-doh, with a hard "G").
    • Hyrule is usually pronounced "hi-rule". The Latin-American Spanish dub of Breath of the Wild pronounces it "Eh-ru-le" ("irule").
  • With NPCs like Ruairi, Heulfryn, Neamhain, and Nuadha; places like Sidhe Sneachta, Tir Chonaill, Taillteann, and Courcle; and monsters like Glas Ghaibhleann and Claimh Solas, the MMORPG Mabinogi can be frustrating to talk about without an extensive understanding of old Irish.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid, perhaps stemming from the rushed nature of the dub, has plenty.
      • Naomi pronounces "nootropics" with the very odd pronunciation, "no-oh-TROPE-ics". In Twin Snakes she says (the correct) "nuTROPics".
      • In the original Metal Gear Solid, Meryl's voice actress pronounces "Otacon" as "Oat-a-con" in the ending, while the other two characters who use the name (Snake, and Otacon himself) both pronounce the initial o similar to the 'o' in 'box'. This is a more accurate pronunciation since the nickname is derived from the root word "Otaku", but Otacon says the word "otaku" with a long o... Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes standardised the short-o pronunciation across all characters.
      • The original PSX version describes the shaman Raven as a "shay-men" ("Vulcan Raven, giant and shay-men"), and in The Twin Snakes he is a "shah-mun".
      • Greg Eagles' Ninja tells Snake, "A fight to the death with you... Only in that can my soul find res-PYTE!". In Digital Graphic Novel, Larc Spies' Ninja instead says his soul can find "RES-pit".
      • Sniper Wolf calls Big Boss "Saladin", pronouncing it similarly to "salad-bin".
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3, the otherwise very cool and satisfying scene where Ocelot betrays Volgin is ruined by neither voice actor being able to consistently pronounce the name "Volgin" — Ocelot's VA says it with a soft 'g', Volgin's with a hard G. The voice actors are also confused on how to pronounce the name of (real historical figure Nikita) Khrushchev.
    • Eli in Metal Gear Solid V is inconsistently called both "EE-lie" and "EH-lee".
  • Metroid: Until Super Smash Bros. came out, the only time Samus Aran's name was spoken was the commercial for Metroid II: The Return of Samus. Those that didn't see the commercial would sometimes use the pronunciation "SAY-mus" instead of the correct "SAH-mus". There is still some confusion over how to pronounce her last name (if the commercial is correct, all the "A"s are pronounced the same). Brawl has Otacon pronounce the surname "Air-ran". Planet Zebes and Ridley also get this too. Even then, there's a difference in the syllable emphasis. The Melee announcer pronounces it "Sah-mus", while Metroid Prime 3 and Brawl pronounce it "Sam-is." (Interestingly, in some Midwestern American accents, these are considered the same sound and people cannot tell them apart.) In Japanese, it's written Samusu, which would be pronounced something like "Sam-oos". Her surname is Aran, pronounced "Ah-ran".
  • In the MLB Power Pros American releases, the commentator and game announcer will pronounce the player names differently. The announcer is usually correct, but it's difficult to hear him over the commentator. Considering these are real people, it can't be that hard to find the correct pronunciation, but these become frustrating when the player's names are mispronounced at their home stadium.
  • The main character of Monument Valley, Ida. Is it EE-da or EYE-da? Doesn't help that both pronunciations of that name are accepted in real life.
  • Qara in Neverwinter Nights 2. Most characters pronounce it "kwar-uh", but some say it as "kar-uh". The second, less popular pronunciation is technically the correct one if you go by English pronunciation rules.
  • As the ninja in The Angry Video Game Nerd put it:
    Ninja Gaiden. I haven't heard that name in ages. Normally, they say "Ninja GAY-den".
  • For anyone unfamiliar with Japanese pronunciation, Myau in Phantasy Star might be confusing. It's pronounced like "meow" (the character is a talking cat).
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Battle Revolution brought this up with some fans, as the pronunciations used by the announcer in that are different in several places than the ones used elsewhere — contradicting the anime, previous games with voice acting, and commonly-used pronunciations for those critters not yet in the anime. While generally disregarded (consensus uses the anime pronunciations, even for fans who don't watch the anime), some fans stick with the Battle Revolution pronunciations.
    • The announcer for Pokémon Stadium wasn't much better — "EEK-ans" as opposed to the accepted "EH-kans" stands out in particular. And is it "Arc-uh-nine" (Anime) or R-K-9 (Stadium)?
      • It's probably the second, given it's probably supposed to be a pun on "arcane" and "canine".
    • The anime managed to pronounce Raikou (the Japanese name roughly pronounced as Rye-Koh) as Rye-kuu.
    • In fact, the name Pokémon has several mispronunciations, as "Pokeymon", "Poke-a-mon", "Pokeyman" to name a few (it's actually "Po-keh-mon" as the accented é is supposed to indicate, but even the English Super Smash Bros. Brawl got it wrong).
    • Hey You, Pikachu! has a nasty Guide Dang It! in the form of this with its quiz show where the easy part is naming the Pokémon, yet the hard part is finding the "correct" name to pronounce it. Nidorino comes to mind as a good example because it could potentially be "nihdoh-rihno" or even "nihdoh-reno", but the correct answer is actually "nihdoh-ryno", referencing a rhino.
    • Most people figured Arceus was pronounced "AR-see-us" (which is supposed by Battle Revolution), but the dub of the movie had "Ar-SAY-us", and Pokemon.com (ostensibly the most "official" source) threw everyone by a loop by stating it's actually "ARK-ee-us".
    • Regice is another example. In Lucario and the Mystery of Mew and Pokémon Battle Revolution, it's pronounced "REG-ee-ice", but in the anime it's "REG-ice" (see Ash's last battle v. Pyramid King Brandon). There's never been any official word as to the correct pronunciation, and both are generally accepted by the fandom. Regice (as with most legendaries) kept its Japanese name, which was written in katakana as Rejiaisu, so the former is more likely.
    • Ever notice how the announcers for the original Super Smash Bros. and Melee pronounce Pikachu and Jigglypuff as "Pee-kaw-chu" and "Jiggle-ee-puff" while the Pokemon themselves clearly say "Pee-kuh-chu" and "Jigg-lee-puff"? At least Brawl corrected that.
    • When Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were new, there was a debacle over their cover Legendaries, whose Japanese names were Diaruga and Parukia. It's "di-AH-ru-ga" and "PA-ru-ki-a", but lots of people insisted they were "DEE-a-ROO-ga" and "pa-ROO-ki-a" who then complained when the names were accurately transliterated for the English-language release. This persisted even after "Dialga" and "Palkia" were confirmed to be the intended English spellings for the Japanese versions too.
    • They weren't the first cover legendaries to have this problem: Suicune was, as can be evidenced by the page quote.
    • Rayquaza, the mascot of Emerald, has been variously pronounced as "Ray-Quay-Za" and "Ray-Quah-Za" by fans. In this case, looking at the Japanese name doesn't help (the katakana is Rekkūza, pronounced "Reck-koo-za"), but the anime does: it's the former.
    • The Bug-type Illumise looks like it would be pronounced "Ill-oo-miss", but it's actually "Ee-loo-MEE-zay". Reuniclus has a slight case of this since it's not "Re-oon-ih-clus" but "Re-oo-NEE-clus"
    • Roserade. While its masquerade theme would lead people to assume that its name was pronounced "rose-uh-rade", it's actually just "rose-rade".
    • Ferroseed and its evolution Ferrothorn looks like they should be pronounced "Fare-oh-seed" and "Fare-oh-thorn" respectively, which makes sense, because the 'Ferro' comes from the Latin name for iron, Ferrous, which is pronounced "Fare-us". However, the official pronunciation revealed by the anime and Pokedex 3D Pro say they are actually pronounced "Fur-ah-seed" and "Fur-ah-thorn" respectively.
    • The new Pokedex 3D Pro app for the Nintendo 3DS averts this, as it pronounces the name of any Pokemon as soon as you go to its page, making it much easier to know how to pronounce the name of any Pokemon you desire. It uses "Arc-uh-nine" "Ark-ee-us", "Nee-dor-EEN-a/o", and "Rej-ice" as the pronunciations.
    • The official pronunciation for "Poochyena" and "Mightyena" is apparently "Pooch-ee-enn-ah", and "Mite-ee-enn-a", despite this contradicting the normal pronunciation of "hyena".
  • GLaDOS from Portal: Is it pronounced like "Gladys"? Is it GLAD-ose? GLAY-dose? Something else entirely? (Turns out, the Audio Commentaries pronounce it three different ways: Gladys, Glad-OSS, and Gla-DOSE, the former of which was spoken by her own voice actress.) One would assume that it's "glah-DOSS", as the DOS is presumably for "Disk Operating System", which is pronounced as "DOSS" It's "Gladys" according to Valve. It's also pronounced that way in Poker Night 2.
  • RuneScape has a mahjarrat race and many other words which have disputed pronunciations.
    • The actual name of the world is "Gielinor" (Gee-lin-or? Gie-lee-nor?), a race of lava people are "Tzhaar" (and anything related to them is equally un-pronounceable, such as one of the strongest monsters: the "Tztok-Jad"), a major city is "Ardougne" (Arr-doong? Arr-doyn?) and one god is named "Armadyl".
    • Some people joke about "RuneScape" being pronounced "Run Escape" rather than "Rune Scape".
    • Runescape's official YouTube channel now has some videos of Jagex Moderators trying to pronounce many of these words. The Fourth-Wall Mail Slot also once replied to a letter asking how to pronounce several of the Elven words.
    • Subverted now — Jagex have released an official pronunciation guide. Gielinor is "Gill-in-or", Tz Haar are just "ZAR" (though Tz Tok-Jad is "tuz-tok-JAD"), Ardougne is "Arr-DOYN" and Armadyl is "ARM-uh-dill". Still doesn't stop people from claiming Glacors is GLAY-koars (official pronunciation is GLAY-soars, as in glacier).
  • In Shin Megami Tensei, we have YHVH. Is it Why-Ache-Vee-Ache? Or maybe one of the multiple ways the Tetragrammaton is pronounced the real world. Apparently, it's like the Patriots — humans can't say it and when it's spoken aloud by the COMP in recent games, it is replaced with a sound effect instead of the actual name.
  • Skies of Arcadia: the lands of "Ixa'taka" and "Nasr".
  • From Sonic 3 & Knuckles, there is Hydrocity Zone. Is it pronounced as a compound word or does it rhyme with "velocity"? It's "Hydro City". The kana used in the Japanese manuals are "ハイドロシティ" — Haidoroshiti — which includes the usual kana rendering of "city" (シティ); "velocity", on the other hand, is written "ヴェロシチー".
  • Marie from Splatoon. Her name is either pronounced "Ma-ree" or "Muh-ree". It's likely the former due to her "calamari" pun with Callie, however the North American and European Directs still use different pronunciations.
  • In the Star Control series, the alien races have some very peculiar names. The intended pronunciations were revealed in the 3DO version of Star Control II, which had voices recorded by the original developers of Star Control, and these voices are also available for The Ur-Quan Masters. But largely because the 3DO was such a failure, most players didn't hear these voices until The Ur-Quan Masters, and many even assume (wrongly) that the voices are fan-made.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Since Jedi Starfighter was released three months before Attack of the Clones, not all details were provided to LucasArts, leading to the pronunciation of Count Dooku's name as "doh-koo".
    • Characters in Knights of the Old Republic vary on pronouncing Taris as tar-is or tear-is (as in rip or terra, not cry). This gives the planet a double meaning, as it is a once prosperous planet that is currently in decline (i.e., mud or tar).
  • Street Fighter:
    • The announcer in various games. A few examples include "Barlog" (rather than Balrog), Abb-ull (Abel) and Dan (his name is supposed to be pronounced "Dahn"). Even characters in the game seem to disagree with a few of his pronunciations. Among the fans, there's also "Rayu" (which carried into the movie and cartoon), "Zan-geef" (instead of Zan-gyeff) among others.
    • The pronunciation of Yang's name was changed between the Japanese and English versions of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. In Japan, his name is written as 「ヤン」, which rhymes with "fun" and "son". In turn, it's based off of how the name is pronounced in Chinese, which sounds like "young" (just like Yang from Final Fantasy IV, listed further up in the Final Fantasy entries). Listen to the way the announcer says it here. However, Yang's name rhymes with the word "sang" in the English version, which is incorrect.
  • Suikoden Tierkreis does this one weird. Pronounciations in voiced dialogue are consistent, but it quickly becomes apparent that they're based off of different romanizations than what ended up in the text. So you have thing like Rizwan being pronounced with an L sound in place of the R and the W, Sisuca like the first two syllables of "shishkabob", and Kureyah being pronounced as Claire.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Ask anyone from the New York metro area how they pronounce Mario. Especially Mario Cuomo. Ask most people in Britain how they pronounce Mario, it's almost always Marry-O. An Italian person will probably tell you its MAH-ree-oh. "It's-a-me, Mah-ree-oh!" This pronunciation of Mario has been consistent since the 1990 commercial for Super Mario Bros. 3, but before that, Mario's name has been pronounced "Mayr-ee-oh" in certain old commercials. In fact, the pronunciation debate seems to go back to the Atari days — The famous commercial for Mario Bros. on the Atari 5200 has Luigi use "Mahr-ee-oh" while the ad's narrator says "Mayr-ee-oh."
    • "WAHR-ee-oh" or "WOAR-ee-oh"? Wario's voice actor in the Super Mario Land series commercials and in Mario Kart 64 uses the former.
    • Bowser. Bao-ser, or Boh-ser? Quite ambiguous, but Hotel Mario, Super Smash Bros. and Super Mario Sunshine would have you pronounce it "Bao-ser". Try telling it to people that haven't played those games or watched YouTube Poop though.
    • Kamek. No one's quite sure how the vowels in his name are pronounced. The most common pronunciations seem to be "Kah-meck", "KAY-meck", and "Kam-ick". The announcer in the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series pronounces it "Kam-eck".
    • To a certain extent, Lakitu can be hard to pronounce. "Lock-ee-too"? "LA-ki-too"? Turns out it's the "la-KEE-too".
    • Is Ukiki "You-kiki", "Ooh-kiki", or "Uh-kiki"?
    • The franchise's name. It's officially pronounced "Super Mario Brothers" however it's not uncommon, especially in non-English speaking areas, for people to literally call it "Super Mario Bros". The same error applies to Super Smash Bros.
  • Tales of Xillia: It's pronounced "Ex-illia" according to the katakana, but some people will pronounce it "Zillia" or "Sillia".
  • Video GameTekken is meant to be pronounced "Tek-KEN" with a long "k" sound (if you're confused about how that works, it's like the "k" sound in the phrase "black cat") and the stress on the second syllable. Non-Japanese speakers will usually pronounced it "TEK-un".
  • In Tomb Raider, scion is pronounced "ski on" although the general Anglophone pronunciation is "sigh on".
  • Touhou:
    • Marisa Kirisame. Despite being a western name, it is written in kanji as opposed to katakana, resulting in confusion as to whether it's pronounced "Mah-RIH-sah" as per the English pronunciation or "MAH-ree-sah" as per the Japanese.
    • English-speaking fans have trouble with some of the characters, especially Keine (Keh-ih-neh), Eirin (Eh-ih-ren), Reisen (Reh-ih-sen) and Sanae (Sah-nah-eh). In one fanfiction, Keine even notes that her family name (Kamishirasawa, which is pronounced exactly as it's spelled) is pronounced correctly more often than her given name.
    • And then there's China. Until an official pronunciation was settled, her name could be any combination of the Hoan/Hon/Hong Meiling/Mei Ling/Meirin. Or, to complicate things further, her name could also conceivably be read in Japanese, in which case it came out as "Kurenai Misuzu". Her nickname even stemmed from the fact that nobody could read her name, so they all decided to compromise with China (even ZUN!).
    • From the same game, we have Flandre. How is it pronounced? Flahn(like the dessert)-dray? Flahn-durr? Flan-druh? Given its French origin, the last is probably closest, though the Japanese pronunciation (and katakana spelling) is "Fu-ra-n-doo-ru".
    • Maribel's name is just ridiculous. You would expect it to be pronunced as is, but in katakana, it's マエリベリー, or ma-e-ri-be-rii. How this translates to "Maribel" is a mystery. Her friend Renko lampshades this, who has all but given up on trying to pronounce it and just calls her "Mary" instead.
  • Toby Fox has his own pronunciations for the names of most of Undertale's names (some of which he only decided on for localization reasons), but says fans can pronounce the names however they want. Most are pretty obvious, being mostly English words or puns on English words, but others are open to interpretation:
    • Fox pronounces Undyne "UN-dine", but occasionally you'll hear people pronouncing it "oon-DEE-nay" (like the Undine, the mythical water spirit from German folklore).
    • Is Alphys "Al-fees" or "Al-fiss"? (Fox uses the former)
    • Is Asgore "As-gore" or "Az-gore"? (Fox uses the latter)
    • Is Mettaton "Met-a-ton" or "Met-a-tun" (and is the stress on the first syllable or the last)?
    • Many pronounce "Chara", the nominal Canon Name for the Fallen Child, as "KAH-ruh" or "CHA-ruh". As it's an abbreviation of "character", the Japanese localisation uses "Kyara" (a transliteration of "care-uh").
  • The indy platforming game VVVVVV. Seriously, it's the letter V six times. How are you supposed to pronounce that? Well, there's several different ways. One is exactly like that: "the letter V six times", which is used in the URL for the home site (www.thelettervsixtim.es); the developer and the composer pronounce it "Vee"; many other people pronounce "Vee" an arbitrary number of times (usually six or close to it, unless they're going for Overly Long Gag); and there are even people who pronounce it literally: a very long V sound with no vowel.
  • Warframe: The ancient Orokin Empire is variously pronounced OrOkin and ORokin.
  • "Elw" in the Wild ARMs games.
  • Wings Of Vi: the main character's name is short for "Violet", so "Vi" would be pronounced with a long "i" (Vai). On the other hand, we have the main villain Jeh'Oul... have fun with that one. It's apparently based on the Danish "djævel", which is pronounced "Jay-ohl", more or less.
  • The Wonderful 101, having voice acting, pronounces the names of most of the alien antagonists of the game. However, there is one exception: Heyourgah. He's killed offscreen before he even makes an appearance. The only character who tries to say his name is Vorkken, who calls him "HIGH-OAR-something", but as Vorkken has a pretty terrible track record of Accidental Misnaming (a Running Gag in the game being that he calls Wonder-Red "Blunder-Red" and Earth "Dearth") it's hard to believe he even got the first two syllables right.
  • Are the Draenei in World of Warcraft pronounced "DRAN-eye" or "DRAHN-eye"? The narrator in their intro pronounces it the first way. Characters in-game pronounce it the second way.
    • This is lampshaeded in one of the /silly jokes for Female Draenei.
      "Why does everyone have trouble with the name of our people? It sounds just like it is spelled."
    • Then there's the ongoing Heigan debate (is it HEE-gan, HAY-gan, or HIGH-gan?).note  Us WoW players also can't decide whether to use a hard CH or a soft CH (Archavon etc.)
    • Meanwhile, what's the difference between "x" and "xx" (Naxxramas, Axxarien, etc.) supposed to be?
    • There is also the age-old debate, stretching all they way back to the days of classic WoW, over the correct pronunciation of Scholomance. To be more precise, it comes down to whether the 'Sch' is pronounced as a hard 'Sk' sound as in 'school', or a soft 'Sh' sound. There was a lengthy forum thread on the subject and Blizzard later lampshaded this in their spoof April Fools' Day patch notes for 1.11: http://www.wowpedia.org/Patch_1.11_%28Evil_Patch_Notes%29. (It's "SKO-lo-mance", apparently).
    • The voice actors don't seem to agree on whether Sin'dorei is pronounced "sin-DOOR-ee" or "sin-dor-EYE".
    • Try getting someone who doesn't play the game to pronounce "Y'Shaarj" and see if they get anywhere remotely close to the correct pronunciation. (It's "YAH-sha-raj", pronounced to rhyme with "mirage.")
  • Xevious (a Word Purée Title): Some have variably pronounced it as "ZEE-vee-us" or even "X-EE-vee-us", but the official pronunciation is "ZEH-vee-oos"... at least in Japan. In America, the pronunciation was changed to "ZEE-vee-us" to rhyme with "devious", fitting the American slogan "Are you devious enough to beat Xevious?"


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