5 Things in Video Games With Unfortunate Original Names
Like with any artistic work, the final version of a video game does not resemble the beginning of it. Ideas that seemed great in concept prove unwieldy or not fun in practice. Challenges in design may spark fresh new creativity leading to unforeseen brilliance.
And then there are moments when you discover you've accidentally named a character or a place a bad thing that will get you mocked if you're lucky and piss off a wide swath of consumers if you're not. Usually, the people who make games employ people to tell them when they've done this. Here are five of the bad ideas that were thankfully caught.
Pac-Man: Long before he became the vaguely racist, eyeball-vomiting 3D adventurer that he is these days, Pac and his bow-headed female counterpart were just doing what yellow circles did best in the '80s: wandering electronic mazes eating fruit and killing ghosts in arcades (Ask your parents, kids). But what's up with that name? Batman is Batman because he's a man dressed as a bat, Mega Man is appropriately mega, and Ralph Dibny is highly elongated (Ladies!). What is a Pac?
Originally, Pac-Man was called Puck Man, because his body shape resembled a hockey puck. That changed for an unlikely reason; markers. Creator Toru Iwatani was informed by the people in charge of distributing Namco arcade cabinets that he could expect every single "P" on every single machine to eventually be vandalized into an "F". Thus Puck Man became Pac-Man, and the concept of a hockey puck hero was left free to be used in a loose collection of Canadian stereotypes by Marvel three years later.
Guy (Final Fight): It's common knowledge that most early video games were made in Japan, and that they were translated with varying degrees of accuracy into English. An lo, did stupid memes about bases and who they are belong to did spread far and wide though the world wide web.
In the first Final Fight we had an emo-ninja named Guy, pronounced like "He's an emo-ninja guy" not like the common French name that sounds like a karate gi... which strangely enough emo-ninjas do not wear. Combing through the game's source code you find that at one point the developers believed Guy to be spelled with an "A" instead of a "U". In a tweet, director Akira Nishitani remarked that the developing team weren't "really aware of English spelling and pronunciation conventions."
Or as Chrome translated the tweet for me...
Guy ... GUY of Final Fight. This, I was spell GAY initial development. But, A is so pronounced I Ei common in America anything, w a claim came to change the spelling immediately Gay ...
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