Names are important. Names have power. A mighty character should have a mighty name. Something that precedes them like the calm before a storm. Whenever you play an RPG don’t you spend several agonizing moments trying to decide the best name for your character? A name that inspires courage in your allies and dread in your enemies?
Yes, it’s important to have a bad-arse name. Something that encapsulates the coolness of the character. Unfortunately, you can have too much a good thing, and this list is dedicated to those characters whose creators pushed a little too far in trying to come up with a legendary moniker. The name detailed on this list are trapped on the thin line between awesome and terrible, between cool and kitsch.
And all of them are incredibly improbable.
5Sgt. Rex “Power” Colt – Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
A quintessentially – perhaps even tragically – 1980’s style name for a 1980’s style hero. Rex Colt is part man, part machine and all cyber commando. Forged in the radioactive fires of Vietnam War 2, he’s ready to save humanity and kill a whole heap of enemies. The man loves America, violence and witty one liners. He’s basically the distilled excellence of all the 1980’s action moves put together. And that just blows the mind.
Now perhaps its cheating to have Sgt Colt on this list, considering the corniness is entirely intentional and perfectly suited to a game as hilariously tongue in cheek as Blood Dragon, but you have to admit it is a pretty awful name. Rex Colt would have been bad enough, Rex Power equally so, but Rex “Power” Colt? Well played Ubisoft.
4Travis Touchdown – No More Heroes
Travis Touchdown, a delightfully improbable name for an eccentric anti-hero. Travis is a colossal anime geek who lives in crappy hotel in an equally crappy town. After obtaining a bitching sweet Beam Katana via online shopping and through a series of improbable events, Mr Touchdown begins a quest to cut a bloody swathe through a group of superpowered assassins in an attempt to become the number one killer in the land. He accomplishes this with lots of blood, a lot of wrestling moves and an abundance of dick jokes. It is a Suda51 game after all.
Despite the fact that Suda51 was going for a name that was lame by Western standards, Travis Touchdown is actually pretty fantastic. It’s so ridiculous it’s straight up cool. Especially if you consider that he earns the titles of “The Crownless King” and the “No More Hero” by the second game. Special mention should also be given to his long lost Irish twin brother and rival Henry Cooldown. Yeah. I don’t know either.
3Sol Badguy – Guilty Gear
Sol Badguy is one of the two poster boys of the Guilty Gear series, and along with Ky Kiske, they form the Ryu-Ken duo of this particular fighting game. Of course, one is substantially cooler and more integral to the plot than the other and I’ll give you a hint to which one it is. It’s the one with the weirder name.
No longer human, Sol is a former scientist turned science experiment and since becoming post-human he’s been a knight, a bounty hunter and an all-round flame wielding badass. Abrasive, rebellious and despite his role as a hero, definitely deserving of the surname Badguy, Sol is one of the coolest characters in fighting games, and his ridiculous/awesome name reflects that. It’s also notable that he picked that name for himself and that his human name was Frederick. Yeah, I’d probably go with Sol Badguy as well.
2Rock Thunderheart – Zone of the Enders
Rock Thunderheart. Often called “Thunder” by his friends. Wow, ok that is pretty awful. Not quite as awful as number one, but still pretty awful. Why not just call him Hercules Rockerfeller? Or Handsome B. Wonderful? It’s a name so ridiculous it makes the previous three names on this list seem positively understated in comparison.
Anyway, the worst part of this isn’t his name. No. The worst part is, he doesn’t warrant it. Rock is just some average joe in Zone of the Enders and accomplishes little. He’s not a main character. He’s not even a major character. His chief role was to doubt the protagonist. Honestly, if you’re going to create a name that’s so cool it becomes awful, at least give it to someone who could use it.
1Edge Maverick – Star Ocean: The Last Hope
…Edge Maverick. Jesus H tapdancing Christ. Only you Japan. Only you. We’ve gone so far past the point of cool, we’ve rocketed past uncool and straight into puppy eating levels of social unacceptability.
Edge Maverick, apart from having the sort of name that only someone with appallingly bad taste could come up with, is the stereotypical plucky young hero you’d expect in a Japanese Role Playing Game. So that means he’s idealistic to a fault, naïve to the point of idiocy, often stuck in romantic comedy shenanigans, wields a sword, has incredibly hammy dialogue and warrants a name as awful as Edge Maverick.
I’m almost certain that a name like that classifies as a war crime against the English language. It is without a doubt the worst name I have ever heard in a video game, and that includes such highlights as Ceaseless Discharge. And with that, I have just also neatly fulfilled our Editor In Chief’s policy that there must be at least one Dark Souls reference per article. Where are the others that you can’t see? Subliminal messaging. Enjoy!