A game’s name might well be one of its most important aspects. It’s the first thing any player is likely to hear when discussing a title, and it’s what that player will associate with said title forevermore. For that reason, choosing an awkward, bizarre, or downright idiotic name…probably isn’t the best way to draw in players. Someone should have let the developers of these MMOs in on that fact.
See, I like to think that what you call a game you’ve created says a lot about you as a developer. Pick out an awesome, memorable, or interesting name that players will be sure to remember? Great! That’s good, you’re doing a great job as a development professional. Vomit out a title that sounds like it was devised by an LSD-addled five year old?
Well, uh…I guess the important thing is that you make money, right?
Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. Here are some of the strangest, most absurdly-named MMORPGs I’ve ever come across. You’ll probably find one thing to be rather clear: the weirder the name, the weirder the game.
I’ve placed this one fairly low on the list, as even though it’s a bit of a mouthful, it’s…well, actually pretty descriptive. You’ve got a bunch of little mini Gundams you can summon into combat to do battle with other mini Gundams in third-person combat. Basically, it’s kind of some bizarre mash-up of Pokemon, Gears of War, and Gundam Wing. I’ll let you discover the specifics of that on your own, I can’t really write seriously about for much longer.
Next up, we’ve got Helbreath, an MMO which launched way back in 1999. It’s basically early Ultima Online, except developed in South Korea. The game’s setting tells the story of two warring nations – Aresden and Elvine – separated from one another by Middleland and Promiseland and connected to each other by a massive, underground dungeon. If you’re interested in some especially old-school RPG action, it’s actually not a bad game to try. To be honest, the main reason Helbreath made the list is because I cannot, for the life of me, work out what the developers were going for with the name.
One theme you’re going to find is quite common on this list (besides the fact that either Koreans have very strange naming conventions for games or translators just aren’t doing much of a job) is that most games on this list have a title which has virtually nothing to do with the narrative, core gameplay, or target audience. It’s like the marketing division was handed a completely different product and instructed to figure out a title that’d fit. SUN – Soul of the Ultimate Nation – is first on the list; a medieval hack and slash MMO that put players in a rebel group known as “The Guidance” doing war against what I can only assume to be some sort of evil empire (it’s not actually all that clear). As for how the title fits in…
You know, I’m still trying to figure that out. Maybe the rebels are trying to recapture the ‘soul’ of what once made their nation so grand? Yeah…let’s just move on.
I keep reading the title here as “Email Chronicle Online,” at which point I wonder why anyone would want to play an MMORPG centered around checking your inbox. It’s at that point I realize it’s “Emil,” decide maybe I should give it a chance, get distracted, and repeat the whole cycle over. I’ve done this about five times now. Sleeplessness is a hell of a drug, isn’t it?
Anyway, “Emil” in this case refers to the name the developers gave to this universe’s humans, who are locked in an eternal power struggle with Titanias (angels) and Dominions (demons). Apparently, it’s set in the distant spacefuture, at a time when scientists decided to bridge Earth to heaven and hell in search of resources. Hey, we all know the devil’s sitting on some pretty deep oil reserves – the dick.
Developed by Gala Lab, Flyff’s off-color name actually has some bearing on the MMOs gameplay – which is the main reason it’s not higher up on this list. See, above level 20, Flyff’s main mode of transportation is flight. Also, everyone’s a shopkeeper who goes around fighting when they’re not gainfully employed.
Japan is weird.
I like to think that Dofus is one of those games that doesn’t really take itself very seriously. To me, that’s the only thing that’ll explain the name, which feels like a very unfortunate pun or tongue-in-cheek joke. The game’s name isn’t the only area which seems to ascribe to this design philosophy – Dofus is set in the World of Twelve” (there are twelve gods), and features character classes like Sadida’s Shoe, Ecaflip’s Coin, and Foggernaut’s Steam.
Alternatively, the developers are just lazy sods.