WTF does Castlevania even mean?

#1 Edited by IBurningStar (2190 posts) -

I get the castle part of the name, but what the hell is vania? A quick Google searched showed me that it could possibly be referring to a name that means "brings good news." Uh, not exactly sure if that fits...or makes sense when the game is considered.

It did not occur to me until just now that Castlevania is a completely nonsensical title.

#2 Posted by believer258 (12188 posts) -

A Japanese game has a nonsensical title?

Couldn't have seen that one coming.

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Like Transylvania? Where vampires tend to live?

#4 Posted by FriendlyPhoenix (467 posts) -

The 'Vania' part comes from Transylvania, a location associated with vampires and, more specifially, Dracula.

#5 Posted by Spitznock (599 posts) -

The 'Vania' part comes from Transylvania, a location associated with vampires and, more specifially, Dracula.

^^^^ This.

#6 Edited by Make_Me_Mad (3116 posts) -

Just from some google searching, I've found that 'Transylvania' supposedly roughly means "Beyond the Forest", which I can kinda see because I've heard 'Sylvan' used to refer to foresty-things before. By the same logic, Castlevania seems like it'd basically be saying "Forest Castle". The spelling and grammatical weirdness is excused because, hey, translation is hard enough when you aren't making up words. The Castle IS generally in a forest, for what that's worth.

Note: I'm going more off pronunciation than anything when I assume that the "Stlevan" on the end would be roughly equivalent to the "Sylvan" in Transylvania.

#7 Posted by BBAlpert (1576 posts) -

Castlevania is the name of Dracula's castle.

#8 Edited by SpaceRunaway (873 posts) -

@believer258 said:

A Japanese game has a nonsensical title?

Couldn't have seen that one coming.

Hey now, the Japanese title was Castle Dracula (more or less). I think that the only time the Castlevania name has been used in Japan has been for the 3D games (including Lords of Shadow).

Edit: Konami tells me that the GBA games Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow were Castlevania games too.

#9 Posted by falserelic (5407 posts) -

Don't know, but the series has some cool music..

#10 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

A Japanese game has a nonsensical title?

Couldn't have seen that one coming.

It's not called Castlevania in Japan.

#11 Posted by TAFAE (153 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@believer258 said:

A Japanese game has a nonsensical title?

Couldn't have seen that one coming.

It's not called Castlevania in Japan.

Right, but it's not uncommon for the titles of Japanese games to be a little wacky either way.

#12 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@tafae said:

@hailinel said:

@believer258 said:

A Japanese game has a nonsensical title?

Couldn't have seen that one coming.

It's not called Castlevania in Japan.

Right, but it's not uncommon for the titles of Japanese games to be a little wacky either way.

The Japanese title is actually pretty straight forward. Akumajou Dracula, which roughly translates to Devil's Castle Dracula. (Hilariously, Google Translate recognizes Akumajou as Castlevania, because Google's engineers are awesome like that).

#13 Posted by Fredchuckdave (6146 posts) -

Judgment

#14 Posted by Belegorm (676 posts) -

Well in Japan it was Akumajou Dracula, meaning something like "Devil's Castle Dracula" which makes sense. However, blame whoever the localisation team was for thinking up the name Castlevania.

That said, I've always thought Castlevania was a completely fitting title for the series, and it certainly goes over better in English than "Devil's Castle Dracula"

#15 Edited by Dalai (7070 posts) -

Well sylvania is Latin for forest, Transylvania, something about castles.

And that's how they came up with Casylvania?

#16 Posted by believer258 (12188 posts) -

@hailinel: @spacerunaway: A Japanese game with a title that makes sense in Japanese but doesn't in English?

Still couldn't have seen that one coming! Though, I didn't know that these games were known by a different name in Japan.

#17 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@tafae said:

@hailinel said:

@believer258 said:

A Japanese game has a nonsensical title?

Couldn't have seen that one coming.

It's not called Castlevania in Japan.

Right, but it's not uncommon for the titles of Japanese games to be a little wacky either way.

The Japanese title is actually pretty straight forward. Akumajou Dracula, which roughly translates to Devil's Castle Dracula. (Hilariously, Google Translate recognizes Akumajou as Castlevania, because Google's engineers are awesome like that).

Ha. Yeah, that's pretty cool.

#18 Edited by CornBREDX (5997 posts) -

Seems pretty obvious.

A castle + Transylvania. Castlevania.

Simple.

I doubt there was much more thought to coming up with it than that, either.

#19 Posted by Akeldama (4257 posts) -

Resident Evil is a really dumb name too when you think it over, but it is also very evocative of what the game is. Much like Castlevania.

#20 Posted by Eirikr (1010 posts) -

@dalai said:

Well sylvania is Latin for forest, Transylvania, something about castles.

And that's how they came up with Casylvania?

Dalai puts it succinctly here. The name is literally this play on words, since the "t" in "castle" is silent, creating a portmanteau with "sylvania."

#21 Posted by ShaggE (6700 posts) -

Castlevania is the perfect game title. It says it all.

"Well, there must be a castle in this game, and within it lies either vampires or people eating cheesesteaks and drinking Yuengling, and it's probably vampires. Cool beans. Give me one Castlevania please, shopkeep!"

#22 Edited by Belegorm (676 posts) -

@shagge said:

Castlevania is the perfect game title. It says it all.

"Well, there must be a castle in this game, and within it lies either vampires or people eating cheesesteaks and drinking Yuengling, and it's probably vampires. Cool beans. Give me one Castlevania please, shopkeep!"

What, are you suggesting that they were going to make Phillyvania? That'd be pretty awesome, particularly how the way the series has kinda been on a very slow decline since SotN (good games but mostly the same thing every time; also the visual style has been lacking and some of the newer gameplay systems are also meh).

#23 Edited by John1912 (1969 posts) -

Yea, tried to google vania, but didnt see a meaning. Didnt dig when it wasnt immediatly jumping out. I would assume vania means town, county, or something to that effect. Something akin to burg. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/burg

#24 Edited by ShaggE (6700 posts) -

@belegorm said:

@shagge said:

Castlevania is the perfect game title. It says it all.

"Well, there must be a castle in this game, and within it lies either vampires or people eating cheesesteaks and drinking Yuengling, and it's probably vampires. Cool beans. Give me one Castlevania please, shopkeep!"

What, are you suggesting that they were going to make Phillyvania? That'd be pretty awesome, particularly how the way the series has kinda been on a very slow decline since SotN (good games but mostly the same thing every time; also the visual style has been lacking and some of the newer gameplay systems are also meh).

I was going for Pennsylvania in general, actually. :P

(also, I accidentally clicked "flag" instead of "quote", sorry for the false flag, mods)

#25 Posted by mlarrabee (3061 posts) -

'Donkey Kong' is supposed to mean 'stupid ape.'

I'm sure 'Castlevania' is supposed to mean 'Not-necessarily-in-Transylvania-but-definitely-related-to-Dracula Castle.'

#26 Posted by Castiel (2733 posts) -

@friendlyphoenix said:

The 'Vania' part comes from Transylvania, a location associated with vampires and, more specifially, Dracula.

^^^^ This.

^^^^ That.

#27 Edited by Yummylee (22538 posts) -

@akeldama said:

Resident Evil is a really dumb name too when you think it over, but it is also very evocative of what the game is.

lol, that's precisely what I came in here to say. Though it certainly still beats out 'Biohazard'. Even if it does make more sense (and is the name Mikami prefers for the series), it's just so painfully generic.

#28 Posted by kagato (960 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@akeldama said:

Resident Evil is a really dumb name too when you think it over, but it is also very evocative of what the game is.

lol, that's precisely what I came in here to say. Though it certainly still beats out 'Biohazard'. Even if it does make more sense (and is the name Mikami prefers for the series), it's just so painfully generic.

There had already been a couple of games with the name Biohazard out in the West and although they could have gotten around it, renaming was the easiest way. Its the same reason Star Fox was called Starwing in europe, although that made less sense since the game they thought would confuse everyone was a game called Solarfox.

#29 Posted by Raven10 (1923 posts) -

Have we gotten so bad as a society that we don't know that Dracula comes from Translyvania? Do people neither read nor watch the actual story of Dracula anymore? Sad.

#30 Posted by Humanity (10077 posts) -

Guys guys! What about... Metroid-vania B^}

Online
#31 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (3029 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

Like Transylvania? Where vampires tend to live?

Or more like Pottsylvania is a fictional country of spies that appeared in the televison series Rocky and His Friends. Boris Badenov, Natasha and Mooseberry bushes come from Pottsylvanis.

#32 Posted by The_Ruiner (1139 posts) -

Akumajō Dracula (悪魔城ドラキュラ Akumajō Dorakyura?, lit. Devil's Castle Dracula) wasn't quite as acceptable to american business men in the 80's. So they came up with the clever little portmanteau combining the castle which featured prominently, and The second most well known pop culture vampire reference, Transylvania.

#33 Edited by Marmalade (192 posts) -

What is a Castlevania?

A miserable little pile of sequels.

#34 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

I really like everything about the name Castlevania.

I like the fact that it's a made up word.

I like the way it looks.

I like the way it is evocative of a castle and vampires without being either.

Honestly, I think games with nonsensical titles like Castlevania or Contra hold up so much better than the crappy names they have now like "Overstrike"!. I have no idea if that's a game or not but it definitely sounds like it probably is.

#35 Posted by Reisz (1527 posts) -

It may be nonsense but it's the best nonsense title ever. Castlevania. Even typing it feels good.

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