Got a favourite game but no idea how the names or characters came about? Some of the most played games in the past decade draw inspiration from quite surprising sources – be it a celebrity tie-in or even a random mistake that later became the game’s trademark! Beware – the following may surprise you!
1. Tomb Raider
In the early stages of development, the original Tomb Raider hero was thought to be too similar to a famous archeologist of the time. To avoid potential lawsuits, the hero was changed to a South-American heroine named Laura Cruz, a tough treasure hunter with a long brad and short shorts.
After a UK based company bought the studio, “Laura Cruz” was later changed to “Lara Croft” so make the character more “British-friendly!”
2. Mario Bros
“Jumpman” was the original name for this mustached-hero, who originally debuted in the Japanese game “Donkey Kong.”
While Nintendo was preparing to release Donkey Kong to the US market, the Company’s landlord allegedly barged into their office demanding that month’s rent. The landlord, whose name was “Mario,” became the inspiration for 1983’s Mario Bros and the face of Nintendo around the world.
3. Street Fighter II
The sequel to 1987’s Street Fighter introduced the innovative “combo” attacks – the coordination of certain button sequences to produce a simultaneous combination of attack modes.
In actual fact, combos were considered a bug uncovered only during late-stage testing, and left in the game to as a “surprise” for players. This, of course lead to combos being the hallmark of all fighting (and indeed other) games.
4. Resident Evil
Resident Evil surprisingly started out as a remake of an existing horror game (the haunted House thriller “Sweet Home”).
The developers then decided to branch out on their own to form their own project, which included changing the perspective to third-person shooter and drawing inspiration for their house from famous “haunted” houses and houses of horror like The Overlook Hotel, from the 1980 classic “The Shining.”
5. Legend of Zelda
Developed by Nintendo, this fantasy-adventure game follows hero Link in pursuit of his princess Zelda, who was apparently named after Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald! The game’s producer claimed to “like the sound of her name.”
Sonic the Hedgehog
With the rise of Nintendo, Sega set out to create their own mascot to carry its success. “Sonic the Hedgehog” was thus born, famously decked out in blue to match Sega’s logo and some spiffy red and white shoes which were inspired by Michael Jackson! Apparently the character’s designer liked the red and white contrast from Jackson’s 1987 “Bad” album cover!
7. Final Fantasy
One of the most popular role-playing games, “Final Fantasy” actually got its name from almost being one of the last projects its creator ever worked on! Hironobu Sakaguchi planned to quit the video game industry if the game didn’t do well. However despite its small team of developers the game sold exceptionally well, inspiring a long line of sequels and spin offs!
So what did you think – crazy huh? Let me know of any others you know of!