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In the magazine business, the Back Page is where you’d find all the weird goofs that we couldn’t fit in anywhere else. Some may call it “filler”; we prefer “a whole page to make terrible jokes that are tangentially related to the content of the mag”.
We don’t have pages on the internet, but we still love terrible jokes — so welcome to our semi-regular feature, Back Page.
You know, when I was a little gal, monsters used to have sensible names. Names like “Bowser” and “Ganon”, “Ridley” and “Sephiroth”. Cool mononyms, you know, like Cher and Madonna. They’re memorable. Punchy. Sensible. If Bowser has a last name, I don’t know it, and I don’t want to.
Nowadays, you’re less likely to be caught in a battle with Nemesis or Mother Brain, and more likely to come face-to-face with something called Ceaseless Discharge, a Dark Souls boss that I still cannot believe exists. Please do not name your horrible bosses after body fluids! That’s weird!!!
At the same time… I love it. I really do. I love the moment when I enter a boss arena and the name comes up, and I find out that this huge behemoth that I have to defeat has a name like GERALD THE NEVER-WED, DESTROYER OF SMORGASBORDS. It gives me a sexy little bit of story. A bit of intrigue. I want to know more about Gerald, just as I want to put a sword into one of his eighteen faces. Why’s he never been wed? Was it because of his propensity to destroy smorgasbords? Was his fiancée a smorgasbord? I need to know!
The latest game to employ this, shall we say, Tolkienesque approach to naming its monsters is Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which — for the record — I have not played yet, as I discussed in the above video with one of our video chaps, Zion. But I have seen a list of something the game calls “Unique Monsters”, and I have to say, it might actually be the thing that gets me to play the game.
Here’s what I can tell about Xenoblade Chronicles 3 from its… interesting naming conventions:
You’ve maybe heard the word “petrichor”, the name for the smell of the earth after rain. But have you heard of… petrivore? It’s a combination of the Greek, “petra”, meaning rock, and the Latin “vorare”, to eat. Judomar loves eating rocks. That is Judomar’s defining quality. Apparently, he is a dinosaurish lad, with a big ol’ mouth for crunching. And you know what they say: You gotta work with what your mama gave you, and in this case, it was a big ol’ mouth for crunching. Live your bliss, Judomar.
This absolutely sounds like a mild-yet-passive-aggressive nickname used in the teachers’ lounge to describe that one very talkative girl in their class. And it’s such a normal name? TRACY? I love that there are monsters out there named TRACY, like they were born in the 1970s. Sharpwitted Tracy used to have a massive perm and way too many bangles. Now she runs a PR company.
I looked up what Unobtrusive Liggy is, and it’s a spider. I like that. Spiders are, generally, pretty unobtrusive — they build little webs in corners and generally try to stay out of the way, unless they get stuck in the bath. However. I cannot forgive the writing and/or localisation team for naming a spider character “Liggy”. Like “leggy”. Because it’s a spider. Come on, lads.
I do not believe this is a monster. This is an Italian scooter.
Jingoism is not an adjective that I thought I would ever see in a JRPG! I usually hear it almost entirely in the context of Brexit, given that it means “nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy”, and while I’m not getting into politics here (this is a silly article about monsters, mate), it’s rather unusual in a way that makes me want to know more.
Gigantus actually has an image on the Xenoblade wiki, and he’s a large orange gorilla-baboon hybrid. I have no idea what he’s even jingoistic about. Does he run a country? Does he have a foreign policy? Why is it important to know that he is extremely patriotic while fighting him? Honestly, I can’t wait to find out.
(Bonus note: Apparently Jingoistic Gigantus and Territorial Rotbart are similar enemies. Maybe they’re just running a thesaurus on the word “territorial”?)
Kilocorn Grandeps raises one important question: Does he have 1,000 horns, like a unicorn has one? Or is he just really boastful about how much corn he has? Probably the former. But I’m hoping for the latter.
We’ve all had dreams. Budding Francis dreams of being a Real Francis some day. He probably won’t get to be, since it’s your mission to kill him. So sad.
They named a Xenoblade monster after… a first-century BC Roman poet. Sure, why not. No one would bat an eye if your two children were named Tracy and Catullus, right?
Catullus — the real, non-monster one — is well-known for his poetry, which largely concerns his utter obsession with his married girlfriend. Occasionally he also writes about other subjects, like cool boats, or how much he hates basically everyone who is mean about his poems. It’s fair to say that the man was “sensitive”.
I legitimately cannot imagine a monster with this name.
This sounds like the stage name of a weird clown that your uncle booked for your birthday party. He smells like cigarettes and divorce.
Do y’all watch Grand Designs? It’s a show in which a nice, exhausted man named Kevin McCloud goes to meet a couple who are embarking on an underbudgeted, massively overambitious housing project, like “what if a house was inside a mountain” or “we are going to build a three-storey mansion out of nothing but bottles”. Kevin says “this is a stupid idea.” He then visits them a year or two later, only to find that their house is still a pile of mud. He then says “I told you so.”
Anyway, I’m imagining that the Househunter Carly fight is like that, except you play as Kevin McCloud, and you have to beat her by convincing her that £1,000 is not enough for a kitchen refit.
Gombaba is not a monster as much as a friend who cannot be trusted to keep a single secret. Do not tell Indiscreet Gombaba anything, because the first thing they will do is tell the person the secret is about. This boss battle, I imagine, is just catching up with Gombaba over drinks and not giving them any juicy information, instead keeping the conversation to safe topics like the weather and sports. Terribly boring.
Make Your Own Stupid Xenoblade Monster Name
Bust out your D20, roll it twice, here’s your Xenoblade Chronicles monster:
|Number||Roll One||Roll Two|
Apparently, all of the Xenoblade games are like this. Other monsters include, and I am not making this up, “Flabbergasted Jerome” and “Musical Vanflare”, which sounds like a fancy term for a really loud car. You could be forgiven for thinking that “Mysterious Barnaby”, “Unreliable Rezno”, and “Final Marcus” were all Beatles B-sides written by Ringo, and that you should see a doctor if you ever experience a “Soothed Aglovale”, lest it turn into a “Conflagrant Raxeal”, or worse, a “Peeling Kircheis”.
You know, I might have played a Xenoblade Chronicles a long time ago if it meant that I might come to meet anyone with the name Plump Sprahda. Just sayin’.