Harder than Sephiroth. Tougher than Lavos. Alduin doesn’t stack up either. Gwyn? Ha! Don’t make me fuckin’ laugh. No, for me the toughest RPG fight of all time isn’t one of the legendary ones listed above, or the many other hundreds that I couldn’t be arsed to remember, oh no. It’s the one right at the beginning of any new quest. Before a single spell is cast. Before an entry-level sword is bequeathed upon me. It’s the sacred act of naming your character.
Oh, if only it was a default choice in all games. Final Fantasy 7, the first proper RPG I ever played (hey, I was a Sega kid, and Sega kids didn’t have any) allowed me to just keep the name that the developers had decided suited the person, if that’s what I wanted to do. And that is indeed what I wanted to do. No worries.
I just cannot name a character with any skill or grace. Oh, the pressure! How do I bestow a name upon a human who I know is set to save the world? How do you possibly christen someone with a name that will be on history’s lips by the time I’ve guided them to victory. A name that will be forever remembered, championed and sang from the heavens. Naming him Dave just doesn’t cut it. (Sorry Dave’s of the world)
I honestly suck at this. Suck hard. The pressure weighs down on me and before I know it, I’m staring slack jawed at the screen, energy saving mode has kicked in, the birds outside are singing. It’s a new day. The kids need taking to school. I haven’t slept. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t moved. I haven’t named my fucking character.
The look? That’s easy. I resort to my two default builds like a seasoned junkie loading up a crack pipe. Male? Aragorn template. Female? Elvish, intense, no nonsense. Done. Name? …shit.
My more recent attempts with various characters across various games has seen me flirt with a sense of gravitas; an attempt to weld a sense of weight to my cluster of polygons. It’s always failed miserably and I end up just feeling like a cunt with access to Google. On Skyrim I actually looked up the Latin word for fire, and the Latin word for dragon, and combined the two. I laboured for 120 hours as Draco Ignis. What a prick.
So, for my upcoming play of Dark Souls 2, I have pledged for things to be different. I took to Twitter for an opinion poll. I cast out my net, and asked of my audience, my friends, my family “what will my name on Dark Souls 2 be?”. And after a bit of back and forth, I’m pleased to announce that it will be … *sigh*
Here’s to your future legacy, big guy.