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  • F*ck man or Hubert?
    F*ck man or Hubert?

    Do you know what game didn't want to be called F*ck Man? Or which famous game character had to be called Hubert? Check origins of some classic game's names.

  • Tetris
    Tetris

    When Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov named his famously addictive video game, he decided to combine two words: tetromino and tennis. A tetromino is a geometric shape comprising four squares (why there is word for something like that?!). Tennis was just Pajitnov's favourite sport.

  • Pac-Man
    Pac-Man

    It's not easy to create a game based solely on concept of eating. But Namco employee Tōru Iwatani did just that in 1980 by taking the idea of a pizza with a slice missing, and then having it eat a bunch of dots while being chased by ghost in a maze (I don't know what he was smoking to came up with this idea).

    The name of the game, Pakkuman, was inspired by the Japanese onomatopoeia(I love this word), paku-paku, which describes the sound of eating, similar to English word "chomp". As the game was brought to market the title morphed into Puck Man.

    But when Puck Man made his way to North America there was concern that the arcade cabinets would be vandalized by making the P into an F to spell something entirely different. A compromise was reached and the game became known as Pac-Man instead. Thanks to the American marketing machine, the name was eventually adopted for the game all over the world.

  • Metroid
    Metroid

    The name of Nintendo's classic game is actually a combination of two words: metro, as in another word for subway, which is allusion to the game's underground setting; and android, referring to the game's protagonist, Samus Aran, who appears to be a robot through most of the game. SPOILER ALERT - Samus is a woman (Quite old spoiler though)

  • Grand Theft Auto
    Grand Theft Auto

    According to one of the original game's developers, Gary Penn, GTA was initially called Race 'n' Chase. And instead of only playing a car-stealing gangster, the game gave you the opion of being a gangster-chasing police officer, too.

  • Wolfenstein 3-D
    Wolfenstein 3-D

    Id Software's Wolfenstein 3-D essentially created a whole new genre - the FPS - but its name is hardly original. The title roughly translates to "wolfstone" and was first used in 1981, when Muse Software released Castle Wolfenstein for the Apple II. The object of the game was to find secret Nazi plans and get out of the titular castle alive. But Castle Wolfenstein wasn't a simple run-and-gun action game like its namesake; while the player did occasionally have to kill enemy soliders, the preferred method of play was to sneak around and evade capture. This makes it one of the first games in the "sealth" genre that has since spawned titles like Metal Gear and Splinter Cell.

    Because 1992's Wolfenstein 3-D was heavily influenced by the original game, Id Software hoped to use the name if it wouldn't be too expensive to license. However, Muse Software had gone out of business in 1987, so the name was no longer protected by copyright and was free to use.

  • Doom
    Doom

    After the success of Wolfenstein 3-D, id Software programmer/designer John Carmack was already hard at work on a follow-up. The concept for the new game was said to be Aliens meets Evil Dead II, so the game's working title, It's Green and Pissed, seems pretty self-explanatory. But Carmack admits that a game with that name might have been a hard sell. Instead, inspiration struck while he was watching the Tom Cruise/Paul Newman billiards film, The Color of Money.

    There's a scene where Cruise's character, Vincent, is holding his custom pool cue case, waiting for the next game on a table. The winner of the current game walks over to him and asks, “Whatchu’ got in there?” Vincent rubs the case and asks, “In here?” He smiles a cocky grin and replies, “Doom.” Vincent then goes on to destroy his opponent, which is what Carmack thought he and his id buddies would do to the industry once their new game hit the market. He was right.

  • The Legend of Zelda
    The Legend of Zelda

    Zelda is the princess that the hero, Link, is trying to save. According to the game's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, the name was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, simply because he liked the sound of it.

    As for Link, he was originally going to be named Chris or Christo after Shigeru's godfather, but the name Link was ultimately chosen because he is meant to be a “link” between the player and the fantasy world of the game. Of course if you don't like the name Link you can always give him whatever name you want at the start of a new quest. If you decide to call him Zelda, you'll unlock an Easter Egg that lets you play a harder version of the game.

  • Final Fantasy
    Final Fantasy

    The year was 1987. Four years earlier, Hironobu Sakaguchi had left school mid-semester so that he could take a job as a game developer at a company called Square. Now, though, he was starting to wonder if this video game thing was really for him. He decided to give it one last shot with his latest title – an expansive role-playing game - but if it wasn't a hit, he was going back to college to finish his electrical engineering degree. As a sort of inside joke, he decided to call the game Final Fantasy, because he figured it would most likely be his last. It wasn’t. The game sold 400,000 copies for the Nintendo Entertainment System, has gone on to sell millions of copies across nearly every gaming platform in existence, spawned 13 sequels, and more spin-off titles than you can count.

  • Q*bert
    Q*bert

    When game developer Gottlieb’s Warren Davis and Jeff Lee started to create what would become Q*bert, they initially called their project Cubes after the M.C. Escher-inspired boxes that the main character hops around on. After they added the ability to shoot balls of slime from the character’s snorkel-like nose in order to defend himself, they changed the name to Snots and Boogers. But when it was decided that slime-ball-shooting made the game too complicated, the name didn’t really make sense anymore, so the marketing team started brainstorming.

    One idea was to name the game @!#?@!, the curse-word grawlixes that appear whenever the player gets caught by a bad guy. They also thought about naming it after the main character who, until then, didn’t have a name. Someone came up with Hubert, which was later combined with Cubes to make Cubert. But as the art designer made the logo, he changed it to Q-bert, only to later have the dash become an asterisk, resulting in the game’s final name.