Jump to content

Naming the Protagonist


Recommended Posts

This is one of my big pet peeves.  I hate VNs where you can rename the protagonist, because it makes it difficult to empathize with the characters (like when they say 'you' instead of the protag's name, or only use the last name, even if they are lovers).  VNs where you can name the protagonist generally are low quality in the first place, and the dehumanizing effect of you naming the protagonist just makes it worse. 

 

There is a good reason why this is a dying feature in VNs.  Ten years ago, about thirty percent of non-nukige VNs had this feature.  Now, less than one in fifty has it.  The simple reason is that it is much easier to get into a VN if the heroines actually say the character's name in the voice-acting.  There is nothing I hate more than features that knock me out of 'the zone', which is one of the names I've given to the state of engrossment I experience when reading something interesting. 

 

Why am I raving about this?  I started up a VN from last month and this feature popped up about ten minutes into the game.  My first thought was 'What the hell?!' and my second was 'Someone didn't learn anything from the history of the medium'.  I find it depressing that new non-dating sim VNs are still popping up with this horrid feature...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I have to agree on this one, even other types of video games had me raging about this (I'm looking at you FFX). Author chosen names seem to give characters meaning because it is what they want to show to the player, especially in Japanese due to the use of Kanji, and the voice-acting point is another totally valid one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Clannad and Kanon had the option but I never changed the name. Even if every VN had this option I'd never use it anyway.

 

I started up a VN from last month and this feature popped up about ten minutes into the game.

 

Did the protagonist have a name set by the makers and asked you if you want to change it or did it only ask you to choose a name? If it was the second that seems like a disastrous choice and something I'd totally hate.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kanon was, but I don't remember whether Clannad had the feature.

 

Lol this brings back memories. Kanon was my first VN. After I finally got it to work and I discovered the option to change names I totally did. I had fun with that for a good 10 minutes. Then I installed the voice patch and it completely killed the novelty. I changed the name back to his original and have never used that feature in any VN since. That was years ago, I actually only remembered about that recently. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol this brings back memories. Kanon was my first VN. After I finally got it to work and I discovered the option to change names I totally did. I had fun with that for a good 10 minutes. Then I installed the voice patch and it completely killed the novelty. I changed the name back to his original and have never used that feature in any VN since.  

What did you name yourself?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really a VN but... yeah I remember hating this back in Mass Effect, no matter the gender of your character, or who they hook up with, you`ll be called "Shepard", like... what was the purpose of the first name giving anyway? The only place you can read it is in the Squad menu.. it's useless.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did several combinations. But again it's a bit hazy in my memory. Other then a few joke names (that I've forgotten) I remember changing the name to my last name.  

Oh, still better than the names I always pick, like I'm twelve; "Fartballs", "Skidmark", heh... I feel stupid now

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. It should only be allowable for VNs with no voice acting. I escpecially hate this trope in video games, where it's still going strong. RPGs like "Persona", which rely heavily on character relationships, should obviously have a default name for their protags. This is just common sense.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read Clannad and Kanon before I stopped turning off voices in VNs, and those are the only 2 VNs I recall having a rename feature (AIR might also have it, not sure, but I read it much later), and since the voices were turned off it worked pretty well for me. But now that I've stopped committing such heresy, I agree that it kind of ruins the VN.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. It should only be allowable for VNs with no voice acting. I escpecially hate this trope in video games, where it's still going strong. RPGs like "Persona", which rely heavily on character relationships, should obviously have a default name for their protags. This is just common sense.

Funnily enough on the topic of Persona all of the protagonists actually do have default names, they're just not included in the games.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate nameable protagonist. They serve absolutely no purpose other than to destroy characterization.

 

Do you really feel more immersed by having your name stamped on the dialogue box and having the characters constantly refer to you as "You". To me it just feels cringey and sounds bad no matter how I look at it.

 

Even with non voiced VNs I still don't like it, because i don't want to be the protagonist, I want the protagonist to be a character and have a life of his own, naming him after myself or whatever and then seeing him act in a completely different way is just pointless and destroys that bond you could have formed with a character.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pre-voice-acting, being able to name protagonists was fine.  Most jrpgs allowed you to do so, and most people did so (the localized names were usually annoying as hell).  However, once voice-acting got into the picture...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate nameable protagonist. They serve absolutely no purpose other than to destroy characterization.

 

Do you really feel more immersed by having your name stamped on the dialogue box and having the characters constantly refer to you as "You". To me it just feels cringey and sounds bad no matter how I look at it.

 

Even with non voiced VNs I still don't like it, because i don't want to be the protagonist, I want the protagonist to be a character and have a life of his own, naming him after myself or whatever and then seeing him act in a completely different way is just pointless and destroys that bond you could have formed with a character.

 

Sometimes I had to remind myself that the protagonist of Hoshimemo is indeed named 'You' lol.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Funnily enough on the topic of Persona all of the protagonists actually do have default names, they're just not included in the games.

Then, they're not "default" names. P4's main character now has a canon name in the series thanks to P4A, but none of the others' names are conon in the game series at all. That goes for Makoto Yuuki as well: until P4A came out, Yu's name didn't exist in any game and therefore wasn't canon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Then, they're not "default" names. P4's main character now has a canon name in the series thanks to P4A, but none of the others' names are conon in the game series at all. That goes for Makoto Yuuki as well: until P4A came out, Yu's name didn't exist in any game and therefore wasn't canon.

Their names existed prior to the P4A, in their mangas and such.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol this brings back memories. Kanon was my first VN. After I finally got it to work and I discovered the option to change names I totally did. I had fun with that for a good 10 minutes. Then I installed the voice patch and it completely killed the novelty. I changed the name back to his original and have never used that feature in any VN since. That was years ago, I actually only remembered about that recently. 

Don't hate on him and just enjoy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...