Edited 2 years, 3 months ago

Poll: Are you any good at remembering elaborately made-up names in fiction? (106 votes)

Yes, I'm excellent! Almost as good as Arum Cra'huum, Grand Keeper of the Knowledge of the Al'ghar'thul Domissaariat. 5%
Fairly good. 18%
I get by OK if it's stuff I'm interested in. 52%
Not really. 6%
No, I'm terrible. 17%
Sorry, I forgot the question. 3%

Maybe it's just my own memory in general deteriorating, but I've found that I'm often impressed when the likes of Brad and Vinny bust out the weird-ass made up names from some of the fiction during games discussions.

I'm pretty sure that when I was younger I used to be fairly good at cranking out the bizarre things that writers chose to call their creations in games, movies and other fiction, but now... not so much.

I'm interested to know how well you guys feel you tend to remember the strange names of characters and places that crop up in the multitude of games that you've played over the years?

#1 Edited by MildMolasses (3192 posts) -

I don't think its the fact the the names are made up, it's the fact that they are so unusual to our language norms. The same problem I have keeping track of characters in sci-fi or fantasy is the exact same as problem I had following characters in War & Peace and The Brothers Karamazov.

#2 Posted by Jimbo (10269 posts) -

I remember Dritz O'Donnel but that's about it.

#3 Posted by Morningstar (2327 posts) -

In the warcraft universe, yes, otherwise no.

#4 Posted by ArtisanBreads (4864 posts) -

Depends. I'm bad at names in real life so a lot of that transfers over. I watch Game of Thrones and it took me forever to remember anyone's name. Still don't really know a lot of them.

#5 Edited by ripelivejam (6470 posts) -

ASOIAF is the only place i'm somewhat decent at this. and only cause i've read each both at least twice. and also the names aren't that complicated really. i'm actually glad they didn't succumb to the trope of having 14 letter names that are all vowels.

#6 Posted by JasonR86 (10030 posts) -

It depends. I remember a lot of dumb, pointless shit about Star Trek but I don't remember shit about the games I've played lately. I was completely lost when I played Halo 4. I had no idea what a Forerunner was, what the Halo rings did, etc. So I guess if I really care about the fiction I'll remember more about it.

#7 Posted by Dagbiker (7022 posts) -

Galaflakalacklaka is the one that comes to mind, the cyborg from dr whos titanic christmas special.

#8 Posted by Fredchuckdave (7459 posts) -

I remember the Silmarilion pretty well though that's tied to Starcraft Used Map Settings maps in the same venue. And of course I remember most of the people from Three Kingdoms and various other historical periods. As my respect deteriorates for something I used to like a lot like Star Wars then my memory drops off somewhat as well.

#9 Edited by Gamer_152 (14300 posts) -

Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Personally, if I'm interested in the fiction I don't find it that hard.

#10 Posted by Nightriff (6472 posts) -

Depends, Twin Peaks I got really into and remembered most names, but for the life of me...anything that deals with Italian names I completely get lost, Godfather films are really hard for me to follow because of the names.

#11 Edited by Andorski (5469 posts) -

Fucking terrible at it. I finally got myself to watch The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a couple of hours ago, and that movie probably less than 10 characters introduced throughout the entire film. The only names I can remember are Arthur Dent, Trisha, and Ford.

#12 Edited by Wacomole (983 posts) -

@andorski said:

Fucking terrible at it. I finally got myself to watch The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a couple of hours ago, and that movie probably less than 10 characters introduced throughout the entire film. The only names I can remember are Arthur Dent, Trisha, and Ford.

See, this where I then realize that there are certain names that have stayed with me for most of my life, the characters in Hitchhiker's being some of the most prominent. Then again I found it very difficult to forget the name Hotblack Desiato growing up as it was emblazoned on the estate agent boards all around my area.

#13 Edited by pyromagnestir (4386 posts) -

Depends a little bit on the medium, but usually no. I barely remember normal looking names of the characters in most movies. I literally just finished Looper and I can tell you the main character's name was Joe, and there was a guy who was called kid something... And other than that I couldn't tell you a single characters name. In most movies you really only tend to hear a characters name once or twice at most, and it's over in a couple hours anyway, so why bother? I'll remember faces instead.

Books and games, depends on how prominent or memorable the character is. But I don't retain that information for long. And I don't often remember full names. Again, why bother?

For example the last game I beat, which I only just finished yesterday, was Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon and I can tell you the main characters name was Seto, and there was a dude named Crow, and... That's about it.

#14 Edited by MikkaQ (10296 posts) -

Not only do I never remember them, but the weirder the name, the less value I place on the character. I can't identify with people who have made up names, it makes them far too alien to me.

#15 Edited by Canteu (2890 posts) -

If it's a book, I'll remember the name. If it's TV, I usually just refer to the characters as "girl" or "ugly guy" and such, this is often the case with games too.

Movies, I never remember the characters names.

#16 Edited by Pr1mus (4107 posts) -


#17 Posted by DirkGently (99 posts) -

@andorski: Please listen to the original BBC radio series if you liked the film at all and haven't done so already. (The fact the names are a bit vague make me assume you haven't). It was a full production with sound effects and music that still is as listenable today as it was then. That universe was full of great names and places like Squornshellous Zeta and Gag Halfrunt.

The more obscure names are easier to remember for me. The HHGTTG isn't a fair test case though because I've read/listened/watched it all so much.

#18 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

I can't keep track of jack shit. When I play games in franchises (which I feel compelled to do - I don't like to play Blah Blah XIII unless I go back and play Blah Blah 1-12, first), I tend not to remember the plot for long. Certainly not over the last two years since the last release and definitely not to the beginning of a serious. I guess there are some exceptions, but . . . few.

Fir instance, I've played all three Gears of Wars games and all I can tell you is that there's like some aliens that invade a planet that live underground and some of them shoot up into the air when they come out of the ground and you fight them with huge roided out dudes and guns and Dom's wife is killed and there's some other guys (originally people who are infected with something or whatever) who look like burning ashes and are called "lambents" and then the main dude's dad has something to do with the aliens coming and there's an insect alien woman that you fight that knows your dad and you kick her ass at the end of the franchise.

I don't get people who can remember everything about every movie, book, game, etc that they consume. I mean, I've seen all three star wars movies and can quote a couple of lines, but the only reason I know who Boba Fett is, is because people use the name all the damn time. I could give you the rough outlines of the story, at best, and that's it. But there are people who can tell you everything about every character and every turn of the plot. Go figure.

#19 Posted by Levius (1324 posts) -

Yeah, I can remember more that I would ever admit in real life. Not by choice, I just have a really good memory for facts and stuff like that.

#20 Edited by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

I just assume everyone is named Roger. Gets me by just fine.

#21 Posted by Zekhariah (700 posts) -

I can get by, but if the author has a lot of long names made up of random characters, I just short-hand them (and will remember the short name afterward).

Something along the line of Hizzarimeryl Al-Mourdushzour is just Hiz as far as I would remember. Though books where the author makes bad name choices are usually not good themselves. If the author just rolls their face across the keyboard to name something, they probably also did not exactly take a lot of care with the plot.

#22 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

im pretty good at it. though oddly enough im horrible with normal real-world names.

also REALLY bad with asian names. like super bad.

#23 Posted by Dixavd (1525 posts) -

I better at remembering fictional names than the names of real people (including friends I see almost every day). I am just generally bad at it in general, but I find in stories that they likely fill in the persona and properly fit (due to people planning their actions, attitudes and then putting a name to them) rather than people I meet who have to stick with a name that was chosen for them before they could even pronounce it. (Still not great at either though).

#24 Edited by TobbRobb (5216 posts) -

I have fucking teeeeerrible memory. I'm the kind of person who can forget what a character is called mid-conversation. Even if the name is completely normal!

I really only remember things that get repeated a lot AND I care about to some extent. Emotional connections are a big deal if I'm going to remember, well, anything.

#25 Posted by Weltal (2301 posts) -

Forget elaborate names, I forget regular names in fiction almost immediately. Video games, movies, television, doesn't matter, I can't remember anyone's name without specifically trying.

#26 Posted by Nottle (1932 posts) -

I have tough time remembering names a lot of the time. Though I think its much easier when characters have shorter nick names or names that let them stand out. I could probably name anyone from the Metal Gear Solid series and I find it easy to remember Game of Thrones characters because they usually have a unique look as well as nick names like "Hound" Mountain, Ned, Bran, Snow, or Kingslayer.

I have watched FLCL several times and I still don't know everyone's name. I can name the episode names, but not many characters outside of Naoto, Mamimi, and Haruka. I think the very Japanese names throw me off.

#27 Edited by Beforet (3006 posts) -

I have an easier time remember fictional names than I do remembering real people names, that's for damn sure.

I remember having a huge problem remembering the names of my aunts and uncles, and my mother actually asked me why I could remember video game characters but not them. I think it mostly has to do with exposure. After spending 40-80 hours with a JRPG, I don't care how much anime fantasy bullshit (or just straight up Japanese) they put into those names, you are going to remember those characters.

#28 Edited by ArtelinaRose (1912 posts) -

I am horrible at remembering names, in real life and outside of real life. I tend to remember faces easier. think the craziest name I can remember off the top of my head is Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri.

#29 Edited by ArbitraryWater (12896 posts) -

My ability to make sense of what was happening in A Memory of Light despite having read the last wheel of time book more than a year previously suggests that yes, I'm alright at remembering dumb fantasy character names.

#30 Edited by McGhee (6128 posts) -

I have more trouble with Korean names because so many have the same last names and the first names are two parts and are also often very similar.

But generally, the weirder a name is, the easier it is to remember.

#31 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5904 posts) -

Nope. I'm bad at remembering normal names.

#32 Posted by JZ (2343 posts) -

XxXel_NagaxX420 bro

#33 Posted by Hunter5024 (6447 posts) -

I read a lot of fantasy and I never really have any trouble keeping up with all the names of characters and locations. Even in books with a ton of them like Song of Ice and Fire and Wheel of Time. Unless the author puts in lots of apostrophes and stuff. However, I have a whole lot of trouble with names in anime. I can handle simple ones like Goku, but ones with a whole bunch of syllables like Arararagi or Hachikuji drive me crazy. I had to look those up to even write this post. As far as I'm concerned their names are Weird Hair Guy and Backpack Girl.