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Author Topic: Origin of video game character's name  (Read 8517 times)

RandomHeretic

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2016, 03:52:37 pm »
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« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 02:26:35 am by RandomHeretic »

Bregalad

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2016, 04:04:59 pm »
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Concerning Castlevania and the name Belmont, it is certainly not a French name, because its katakana transcription is "berumondo", whereas in French, the final -t of Belmont is not pronounced and it would certainly be written as "berumon".
Personally I never pronounted the "t" of Belmont in any Castlevania game, as a french native. So either the japanese transcription is incorrect, or the latin transcription is incorrect. I'd bet on the former, japanese guys were looking at french names, and transcribed it in katakana without knowing the final "t" is not pronounced.

I'll also add that before 1860, the border between France and Italy (or rather I should say - the border between the French world and the Italian world - Italy wasn't founded yet) were not properly defined. There was an independent country named Piedmont-Savoy which was part of what is today southestern France and northwestern Italy, and it was bilinguial. Most people spoke hybrid dialects that were neither french nor italian, but sort of in-between. The modern Italian state of Aosta valley is still French sepaking, although it has been vastly italianized during the XXth century, particularly under Mussolini. All place names and most people's family names are in French there, even if most young people have Italian as a mother language. (Only in more remote places - and this valley is full of them - people still speak French or a French dialect at home, but before WW2 everyone did).

Some villages in western Piedmont just next to France are in a similar case, I guess, but they have been italianized more quickly because they were not part of an unified french-speaking region within Italy.

Again, since the games are supposed to take place in Transylvania, the name should be in Romanian, Hungarian or German since those are the 3 ethnies who populated the country between the middle ages and the second world war. Also family names appeared between 1200-1500 BC so earlier Castlevania games heroes shouldn't even have a famiily name at all.

EDIT : Also, most family names in europe were not required to have one precise orthography before the end of the 19th century or the begining of the 20th century. The concept that "it's wrong if it's not written exactly like that" is fairly recent in comparison to the history of family names. So having an orthography oscillate between Belmont, Belmond and Belmondo randomly actually makes perfect sense in regard to real life.

Quote
I just had pizza.
Even if pizza is an italian dish, it was popularized by american-italian and not by italian-italians, so pizza is actually more from America than from Italy in some sense.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 04:18:49 pm by Bregalad »

BlackDog61

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2016, 04:30:18 pm »
Now I just had pasta. I'm getting closer to becoming a fat plumber, who jumps on unsuspecting turtles. That or Leonardo da Vinci. Either way.
1 - Congratulations! You have either a lucrative job on a neverending market, or a great future in front of you.
2 - Don't forget to eat very mushroom and flower you can get your hands on! Beware of bees, though. (Summarized this way, it makes me feel like someone was high when the game was invented...)

RandomHeretic

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2016, 04:56:42 pm »
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« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 02:26:57 am by RandomHeretic »

KillerBob

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2016, 06:23:56 pm »
Personally I never pronounted the "t" of Belmont in any Castlevania game, as a french native. So either the japanese transcription is incorrect, or the latin transcription is incorrect. I'd bet on the former, japanese guys were looking at french names, and transcribed it in katakana without knowing the final "t" is not pronounced.
Well, his name was written Simon Belmondo in both Akumajou Dracula FDS and in Castlevania NES. The Belmont transcription didn't appear in-game until Dracula II FDS. So it could be the result of either the American or European Konami divisions. The North American NES release never mentioned his name in manual or packaging, they completely removed the original backstory. But the back of the European box of Vampire Killer (Akumajou Dracula MSX2) released the same year does say Belmont. I wonder how various game magazines and newsletters wrote his name back in '87.

Bregalad

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2016, 06:27:23 am »
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I was thinking that the Belmonts had some Transylvanian Saxon ancestry, considering one of them is named Richter.
But transylvanian saxons started to colonize Transylvania from Germany only in the 12th century, but the earliest Castlevania game (the PS2 game) takes place in the 11th century. Also I believe the concept of family names in the Christian world didn't even exist before the 13th century or so, thus...

RandomHeretic

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2016, 08:17:43 am »
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« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 02:27:30 am by RandomHeretic »

Bregalad

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2016, 03:10:50 pm »
Some Transylvanian Saxon ancestry, not complete ;)
Definitely. Transylvanian Saxons and Maygars formed the upper, ruling class while Romanians and Gypsies were the lowest classes. I cannot possibly imagine the belmonts being from any of the lower classes.

Also German culture and language is much, much more well known and widespread arround the world than Maygar/Hungarian culture. This probably explain the German names for most Belmonts : Not only Richter, but also Ralph/Trevor from CV3 (he has 2 names but both are german names), Reinhold from CV64. I guess Simon and Sonia can be a given names in many languages, including German ("Simon" is definitely of Jewish origin, "Sonia" could be too but I'm not sure). Juste and Julius however I don't think it can be a German given name - please correct me if I'm wrong.

Morris as a family name is I think of British origin (with that spelling), obviously it was given as a reference to Quincey Morris from the original Dracula book.

Charlotte Austin seems to have a french given name and family name as well.

I'm unsure about the origin of Soma Cruz, I belive Soma is a japanese given name and that Cruz is a spanish family name, please correct me if I'm wrong. Mina Hakuba is obviously japanese.

Dimitrii and Dario (the names from the vilain in Dawn of Sorrow) seems to be Russian given names, I wonder why they picked them.

I wonder about the origin of the given name Shanoa (from Order of Ecclesia). I cannot possibly have any clue where this name's from. I tought it could possibly be jewish, but it doesn't appear to be the case.

RandomHeretic

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2016, 07:07:57 pm »
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« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 02:27:51 am by RandomHeretic »

Grimoire LD

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2016, 12:12:30 am »
Interesting you mention Ganondorf, apparently the name "Ganon" means "Garden" and the "dorf" addition meaning "someone who lived in a village". It adds a bit of an irony to Ganondorf's character that he is the King of the Desert, but his name means Garden, it also may add a reasoning why to drop the "dorf" from his name.

That said I feel Ganondorf and the Gerudo in general are more based upon Arabian culture than Jewish, though it was interesting to see that Ganondorf's name is probably Judaic in origin.

RandomHeretic

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2016, 07:29:26 am »
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« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 02:28:12 am by RandomHeretic »

Bregalad

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2016, 11:45:07 am »
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"dorf" addition meaning "someone who lived in a village"
Dorf means "village" in German language. Also many villages ends in -dorf in Germany, and some even ironically became huge cities (i.e. Düsseldorf).

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Sonia - Russian (huh?)
Shanoa - Australian (wtf?)
Source, please.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 04:05:18 pm by Bregalad »

RandomHeretic

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2016, 06:14:06 pm »
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« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 02:28:33 am by RandomHeretic »

Bregalad

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #33 on: October 05, 2016, 06:28:37 am »
Shanoa - http://www.babynology.com/meaning-shanoa-f6.html (???)

I've never really heard of this name outside of CV before. It could be a rare name used in the newer parts of the Anglosphere.
I wonder whether this source is reliable at all. It seems the page for this particular name is mostly empty. (EDIT : Just checked again more in detail, this site is a huge mess and mostly bullshit it mixes up all origins together completely - for instance 80% of so called "French names" aren't french at all in the 1st palce)

To me it souds like a deformation of the jewish name Shana or Shania (they added a 'o' somehow).
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 06:34:56 am by Bregalad »

RandomHeretic

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2016, 10:55:38 am »
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« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 02:28:55 am by RandomHeretic »

Spooniest

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2016, 08:57:17 pm »
I'm unsure about the origin of Soma Cruz, I belive Soma is a japanese given name and that Cruz is a spanish family name, please correct me if I'm wrong. Mina Hakuba is obviously japanese.

I only have heard the word "Soma" in two places; Final Fantasy 4 has an item called the "Soma Drop" which increases your MP, although it might be called different things in the various translations. Also there is a song by the New York-based rock band The Strokes called "Soma," centered around a type of street drug of some sort.

Mina Hakuba is a Japanization of the character name "Mina Harker," the damsel-in-distress from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Winona Ryder played her in the 90's movie.

Yamero~~!

MathUser2929

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2016, 09:00:19 pm »
Amy Yasbeck played her in Dracula: Dead and Loving it.

KillerBob

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2016, 11:49:14 pm »
I wonder if Belmont isn't rather a bad transcription of "Belmondo", which would rather sound Italian, and which incidently is also the name of one of the most well known worldwide French actor (Jean-Paul Belmondo, of Italian descent), quite popular in Japan, since the character of Space Adventure Cobra was designed upon him...
Great theory, it sounds very likely what with the whole film theme of the game and all the other spoofed names in the credits.

Hiei-

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Re: Origin of video game character's name
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2016, 04:00:38 pm »
Concerning Castlevania and the name Belmont, it is certainly not a French name, because its katakana transcription is "berumondo", whereas in French, the final -t of Belmont is not pronounced and it would certainly be written as "berumon".

I wonder if Belmont isn't rather a bad transcription of "Belmondo", which would rather sound Italian, and which incidently is also the name of one of the most well known worldwide French actor (Jean-Paul Belmondo, of Italian descent), quite popular in Japan, since the character of Space Adventure Cobra was designed upon him...

Belmondo = ベルモンド so it's written exactly the same in japanese.

The japanese wikipedia page says :

主要登場人物の多くは「ベルモンド (Belmondo)」の姓を持つ一族となっている。なお、欧米でのシリーズ名は『Castlevania』であり、「ベルモンド」は「Belmont」表記となっている。日本でも初期作品では「ベルモント (Belmont)」と表記されることもあったが、後に「ベルモンド (Belmondo)」が日本版での正式表記になった。

To summarize, it says the western name of the game is Castlevania and use "Belmont" name. Then, it say at the beginning, the name Belmont (ベルモント) was used in Japanese and then they started to officially use the name Belmondo (ベルモンド).

Maybe Western releases wanted to avoid any problems (like in JoJo Bizarre's Adventures. In the US versions, lots of names are changed because they are groups names/music names), maybe they just thought it sound better or maybe the romanization error come from the japanese. As it seems they were also using this name as the beginning, this answer seems the more plausible one.