Video Game Character Names Everyone Pronounces Differently

Before video game voice acting became commonplace, players would often have to guess how a character's name should be pronounced. Names from different cultures or inaccurately localized names names left some players confused, resulting in mispronunciations and forum debates, some of which still occur to this day.

Regional accents, of course, play into the way people pronounce anything. This often leads to the odd "May-rio" or the like, but some mispronunciations transcend accents, based instead on individual interpretations of unfamiliar names. Some of this comes down to ignorance, where Western fans who aren't accustomed to hearing non-Western names come up with skewed interpretations, but many times, entirely made-up names have no clear pronunciation.

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Related: Pokémon Names Everyone Pronounces Differently

While mispronouncing a video game character's name has become far less common in recent years, there are still many that players either get wrong or choose to pronounce differently, sticking with the pronunciation they learned growing up. Here are some of the most commonly mispronounced video game character names.

Ryu From Street Fighter

Ryu throwing a fireball

One of the earliest and most common character name mispronunciations falls on Ryu from the Street Fighter series. Many players pronounce Ryu's name as "Rye-yoo," as in "rye bread." The correct pronunciation is "Ree-yoo" (more precisely, "Ree-oo"), as in "reboot."

Dr. Wily From Mega Man

Dr Wily Mega Man Smash Bros

Doctor Albert W. Wily is the main antagonist of the original Mega Man series. Some fans refer to him as "Dr. Willy" pronounced "Will-ee," but the actual pronunciation is "While-ee," as in "Wile E. Coyote." Especially in the early period of the series, there were very few audio clips of the main Mega Man villain's name being spoken out loud.

Cait Sith From Final Fantasy 7

Cait Sith Final Fantasy VII

While most Final Fantasy 7 character names are fairly straightforward, Cait Sith is one whose name has been the cause of much debate. Many players assume his name is pronounced "Kate Sith," as in the name "Kate" and "Sith lord." The correct pronunciation is "Cat Shee," according to Scottish tourism company Timberbrush Tours, as it's the name of a Scottish mythical creature - a "malevolent ghost-like cat [with] all black fur aside from a small white spot on its chest [that] supposedly haunts the Scottish Highlands." This also explains why Cait Sith has a Scottish Accent in more recent appearances.

Related: 15 Amazing Video Game Characters Who Only Ever Appeared Once

Aerith Gainsborough From Final Fantasy 7

FF7 Remake Aerith

Most people who played the original Western release of Final Fantasy 7 went through the entire game calling Aerith by the wrong name. This is due to a translation error that resulted in it being written as "Aeris." When written in Japanese Kana, Aerith's name reads "Eh-ri-su," which can be transliterated as either Aerith or Aeris. It wasn't until 2002, when Aerith made a guest appearance in Kingdom Hearts, that Western fans discovered the correct pronunciation of the much-beloved character's name.

Quistis Trepe From Final Fantasy 8

Final Fantasy 8 FF8 Quistis Trepe

A particularly divisive character name is that of FF8's student-turned-teacher, Quistis Trepe, as there is a surprising lack of official media that references the correct pronunciation. Discussions regarding how the name should be read can be found on multiple online forums going as far back as the early 2000s, with fan pronunciations ranging from "Ku-is-tis" to "Kwai-s-tis" and even "Kiss-tis."

An official pronunciation was finally revealed in 2016's World of Final Fantasy game, where it is spoken aloud by Final Fantasy 8 protagonist Squall as "Ku-is-tis." While the exact pronunciation of her last name, Trepe, is still a mystery, fans of FF8 and Quistis can rest easy knowing there is at least an official, audible reference for her first name.

Lara Croft From Tomb Raider

Fortnite Season 6 Lara Croft

While there are a great deal of references for the official pronunciation for Lara Croft, the Tomb Raider protagonist's name is often incorrectly pronounced as "Lor-uh," as in "Laura." Instead, her name is meant to be said like "Lah-rah."

Related: How Tomb Raider's Lara Croft Was Inspired By Virtua Fighter

Tidus From Final Fantasy 10

Final Fantasy X Tidus laughing

First appearing as the lead protagonist of Final Fantasy 10, Tidus' name is often mispronounced as "Tide-us," as in the "tide" of the ocean. The correct way to say it is "Tid-us," as in "tidbit." The mispronunciation appears to have been influenced due to the heavy theme of water and oceans in the game, leading many to assume the protagonist's name is pronounced as "Tide-us."

While some gamers will always have their own preferences for how to pronounce a video game character's name, the advent of voice acting and improved localization now means players are far more likely to pronounce a character's name the same way.

2022-08-15T01:04:12.000Z

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