11 Japanese Video Game Names You Won’t Believe Are Real

11 Japanese Video Game Names You Won’t Believe Are Real

Today marks the release of lovely little adventure game Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, and if you think that’s a silly name, you’re not alone.

For decades now, Japanese developers have whipped up a great number of video games with titles that seem more than bizarre to Western audiences. As an unabashed fan of Japan-made games, I’ve grown to accept that. But it’s still hard to believe that some of them exist.

Japan isn’t the only country that makes games with strange names, of course, but they do make some of the funniest. Here are 11 Japanese video games with titles as fantastic as Virtue’s Last Reward.

Cacoma Knight in Bizyland


According to the product description for Cacoma Knight in Bizyland, the king of Bizyland is named King Cacoma. Why is there also a Cacoma Knight? Is it somehow unusual or title-worthy that one of Cacoma’s knights is in Bizyland? And how hard can it be to stop someone named Queen Wagamama?

Infinite Undiscovery


Developed by Japanese studio tri-Ace (best known for the solid Star Ocean series), Infinite Undiscovery is supposed to mean “an infinite number of unknown discoveries.” I don’t know if they really got that across.

Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together


The only way this name could possibly make sense is if there was a comma after “Tactics” and the whole thing was a line of dialogue. And if you were friends with Shrek.

Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel


“Oh, come on,” you might be thinking. “At least maybe this one makes sense in Japanese.” It does not. “Ar tonelico” is the name of the series; “Qoga” is a made-up word in the game; “Knell” is an English word that refers to the sound of death bells; and “Ar Ciel” is the fictional planet that the series takes place on. And Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel is a GameStop clerk’s worst nightmare.

Bravely Default: Flying Fairy


Still unannounced for U.S. release, Bravely Default: Flying Fairy tells the harrowing story of a winged pixie who can’t afford to pay off her mortgage.

Tales of Graces f


Tales of Graces actually ain’t all that bad. Sure, the double-plural is awkward — “Tales of Grace” might read better — but the name isn’t terrible. Then there’s that F. Dangling off the end of the title like a barnacle on a frigate, that F is supposed to symbolise the game’s bonus chapter. Instead it looks like they were going to add another word but then just kind of gave up.

Suikoden Tierkreis


Suikoden is Japanese for “Water Margin“. Tierkreis is German for “Zodiac.” Put together, they’re English for “I don’t want to ever say this out loud.”

Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman


On one hand, “Unlosing Ranger” and “Darkdeath Evilman” are actually the names of characters in this strategy-role-playing game for PSP.

On the other hand, “Unlosing Ranger” and “Darkdeath Evilman” are actually the names of characters in this strategy-role-playing game for PSP.

Irritating Stick


The only thing more amusing than the name Irritating Stick is the thought that there were people — multiple people! — who thought it was a good idea to release a game called Irritating Stick. Irritating Stick!

Evolution: The World of Sacred Device


Here are the names of the characters in Evolution: World of Sacred Device. These are the actual names from the actual game.

Mag Launcher. Gre Naid. Linear Cannon. Chain Gun. Pepper Box. Eugene.

Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy


I don’t want to say Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy is a stupid name, but if a game’s title has enough letters, numbers, and symbols to register as a strong password on Gmail, it might not work.


  • Maybe it’s just me but I do not find most of these even the slightest bit odd or silly. Though years of growing up playing rpgs has probably done that.

  • Zettai Hero Project – Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman is intentionally long and stupid. I loved that game :p

    • Yeah, that and it’s a NIS game, so saying it is mad Japanese with a long convoluted name is like saying


  • Half of them have vaguely relevant names. And regardless of the relevance of Irritating Stick, it is chuckle-worthy at least.

    On “Unlosing Ranger” and “Darkdeath Evilman” they are awesome names!

    and this “Mag Launcher. Gre Naid. Linear Cannon. Chain Gun. Pepper Box. Eugene.” had me singing “one of these things is not like the others” and is also awesome.

  • Most of these just seem like translation errors or at least difficulties creating a meaningful direct english translation. Unlosing Ranger or Darkdeath Evilman while awkward don’t seem like that much of a stretch from things like Invincible or Doctor Doom.

    • Its very trendy in Japan to name things using transliterated English words (via katakana). I assume for a lot of these names the English name is just a reverse transliteration from that. So the culprit, funnily enough, is probably bad JAPANESE translation!

  • “Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel” is actually something the US localisation team came up with. The Japanese title was Ar Tonelico III: Sekai Shuen no Hikigane wa Shojo no Uta ga Hiku, with the subtitle meaning something along the lines of The Girl’s Song that Triggers the End of the World. Maybe a bit long but that sort of long subtitle is super common in Japanese stuff. The other two games in the trilogy had similarly long subtitles. But all in all, it’s not Japan’s fault the American localizers decided to make the title look even worse.

  • Nothing can beat Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy for a title, although Irritating Stick comes close!

  • Let Us Cling Together is named after the queen song, so therefore it is awesome and is exempt from this list.

  • Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do To Deserve This?

    The Japanese come up with (or rather inspire translators to) the best titles. They’re not afraid of not having their game sell because it’s title is not sensible and boring.

  • Tactics Ogre is the subseries of the Ogre Battle Saga – this is one of the 2 games in the Tactics line. The rest of the name is explained below. Quoting Wikipedia, because I cbf.

    “The subtitle of Let Us Cling Together is a reference to the Queen song “Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)” from their album A Day at the Races. This is one of many references to Queen songs in the series, including Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, which references “Ogre Battle” and “The March of the Black Queen”.”

    It’s not Engrish at all. Maybe Ogre Tactics would have made more sense, but it doesn’t sound right.

  • From Ar Tonelico Qoga’s part:
    ” “At least maybe this one makes sense in Japanese.” It does not.”

    It doesn’t need to, Japan didn’t call it that. For some reason the localization team thought that using ‘Qoga’ the Hymmnos (invented language for the series) word for ‘finale’ would work better than ‘III’. Lord knows why but I think it had something to do with scaring off people who wouldn’t want to jump into the third game in a series. Stupid thinking since the game’s story references previous and characters a bunch (hell one main character was also a main character in the second game) so it’s not like people wont notice but then Nisa America aren’t exactly best in breed when it comes to localizing.

  • I was pretty shocked that What Have I Done to Deserve This, My Lord! Holy Invasion of Privacy! Didnt make it on to the list.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!