The Four Fiends of FF1 all have mythological names. The idea
of four elements (earth, fire, air, and water) making up all matter in
the cosmos goes back to the ancient Greeks. But the Fiends' names
aren't all Greek. They're more obscure than most, and many game players
might miss them. So I've outlined them here...
- Kraken: A mythical giant squid, supposedly. I've also heard stories of Kraken being a sea monster. Could be either Scandinavian or Greek in origin. Supposedly a Kraken lies in the Straits of Gibraltar waiting for unlucky ships.
Arcanus Dominus writes: "From Norse mythology and Scandinavian lore. The Kraken is widely thought of as being Greek *only* because the monster appeared in the film "Clash of the Titans."
- Kary: The Fiend of Fire in FF1, Kary could be an alternate spelling of Kali from Indian myths. Kali demanded human sacrifices of her worshipers and had skin blacker than the night sky. She had three eyes, four arms, and giant tusks coming from her mouth.
Xbalanque clarifies: "The boss character Kary (Marilis in FF9) is not based on a Buddhan but a Hindu goddess. Kali was the three-eyed female counterpart of Shiva the Destroyer in Hindu mythology. When they danced, they wrought destruction upon the world, though they each had the power to keep the other in check and help maintain balance in the universe."
- Lich: "Lich" is Old English for "corpse" or "dead body". (The German word for "dead body" is "Leiche"; they're related.) Also, a Lich is a kind of undead mage with no soul; a powerful magic user who chose to trade his soul for immortality as an undead.
- Tiamat: See Monsters.
Garland: A garland is a wreath of flowers worn about the head. silentshadow notes that they were often bestowed upon great military heroes in ancient Greece, and are also left on the graves of fallen warriors or soldiers. Garland's alterego, Chaos, is self-explanatory.
Sarah: Hebrew for Princess.
Underhill: From Alex Scott: "Underhill" was Frodo's short-lived alias at the start of his journey in Lord of the Rings.
Sarda/Sadda: From BRPXQZME: The Sadda is the main holy scripture of the Zorastrian faith.
Bikke: From Arlen Pavka: "Bikke the Pirate from FF1 is most likely a nod to Vicky Viking, a Swedish Children's Story written in 1963. It was adapted into a very popular Anime in the 1970s and commonly romanized as Bikke ("Chīsana Viking Bikke").
Cid's name was probably inspired by the Spanish story "El
Cid". The Tale of El Cid was one told by Spanish minstrels and bards
called juglares. It was a well known story throughout Spanish cities and
towns as it was told in town squares across the land; each bard had a
different interpretation for the tale. It is also believed that there
was an actual Cid de Castilla who took the kingdom of Valencia from
Moorish rule through certain artifacts that were found in Valencia.
Some people claim that they found his two mythical swords La Tizona and
La Colada which he used to slay actual Moorish kings. cristobalcid9 says: One legend tells that El Cid was killed in a battle with the Moors, but then later was resurrected to help finish the war. This may explain Cid's constant reappearances in each game. :)
From Megaman984: In an engine, cylinders displace air. The amount of air displaced used to be given in Cubic Inches Displaced or Cid for short. This actually makes a lot of sense considering Cid is the main inventor of the FF series.
Gareth: From Cain Highwind: Gareth was nephew to King Arthur and one of the knights of the Round Table. Damian Maxwell mentions it's also Anglo-Saxon for "Strong Spear", which fits him nicely.
Hilda: From Damian Maxwell "'Hilda' means "War" in Anglo Saxon, "Battle Maiden" in English, "Fighter" in Swedish, and "Battle Maiden" in Teutonic."
Paramecia, Emperor: Christoffer Bagger Christensen likens him to Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars series. I'm sure I'll get other e-mails to this vein, so I'll post it but say that I'm a bit skeptical that Square would be that blatant. 8-)
Interesting to note that two main characters of FF2 (in Japan) are Richard and Lionheart... put them together to get the famous British king from the Middle Ages.
Hyne: Khessed quotes the name of the Dutch Grim Reaper, "Magere Hein". Since Hyne is skeletal, it does make sense.
A Jinn is a mythical being who could be summoned to influence
mankind (also spelled "djinn"; actually, "djinni" is one and "djinn" is
plural). Probably why Ifrit was translated as Jinn in FF4; an ifrit/efreet is a type of djinn. See Summons (Ifrit).
Archmage Noah is undoubtedly named after the biblical Noah, who began a new world after the great Flood (or Deluge). Delilah is also a biblical name, but seems to have no bearing on this particular character.
Sara: See FF1.
I'd like to think Cecil was named after former Hanshin Tiger
Cecil Fielder (they're pronounced the same way), but this probably
can't be proven. Aelfwine mentions that the name literally means "dim-sighted one". Matthew Chouest says that Cecil's last name, Harvey is old English for 'battleworthy'.
Edward was known as Gilbert in the Japanese version. From Barak Michener: "His name probably refers to William S. Gilbert, better known in the duo of Gilbert and Sullivan. With the operas "The Mikado", "HMS Pinafore" and "The Pirates of Penzance" under their name, it's not hard at all to see the bard connection." Nate Borcherding has the following to say, though: "I'd think that the Japanese use of the name, Gilbert, for the bard character in FF4 would more likely be related to Gilbert O'Sullivan's popularity in Japan. O'Sullivan was a mega star during the early 70's who was famous for writing sad, depressing songs like 'Nothing Rhymed' and 'Alone Again, Naturally' , who is still popular in Japan. I think that he's had some songs or albums that have that have gotten to the top of the charts there even in recent years. Anyway, O'Sullivan would probably have been a much nearer cultural reference point for the Japanese makers of the game than Gilbert and Sullivan."
From ChaosAkita: Edward comes from an Olde English name meaning "rich guard". As we see in FFIV, Edward is a wealthy prince to tried to protect Anna at any cost. Makes sense.
The Four Fiends in this game are all demons who show up in
Dante's Inferno. In the story, Dante and the Roman poet Virgil
make a journey through the nine circles of Hell. The book was written
around the beginning of the 14th century, and the story takes place on
Good Friday, 1300. Three of the Fiends' names are misspelled in the
- Milon, or Scarmiglion in FF4j, is one of the
demons in Malebolge, the eighth circle of Hell. His name was probably
shortened to 'Milon' because of space limitations.
MIR THE GREAT writes: "The name probably refers to the verb "Scarmigligliare" which usually refers to the action of dishevel somebody's hairs. Therefore Scarmiglione is a demon notable for his ruffled hairs."
- Rubicante is another demon in Canto XXII. His name means "he
who grows red"; appropriate for the Fire Fiend.
MIR THE GREAT writes: "The name "Rubicante" probably comes from the latin word "ruber", red. The suffix "-ante" has an almost identical function to the english suffix "-er" for verbs. Therefore Rubicante is "someone who gets red" implying that he's prone to anger. Rubicante in the Divine Comedy is defined as "pazzo", mad, and it is said to possess long an sharp nails."
- Kainazzo, a. k. a. Cagnazzo is another demon from the
same circle. It means, roughly, 'the big Kain'. Another coincidental
explanation (I thought of this long ago and assumed it to be true ^^;)
is the Japanese kanji 'kai' (sea) + 'nazo' (mystery). That's
coincidental though. Alex Scott adds that Cagnazzo actually means "Dog Nose."
MIR THE GREAT writes: "Cagnazzo is simply the pejorative of the word "cane" (dog). The suffix "-azzo" or "-accio" can be used practically with any word to change them in a derogative way. Cagnazzo could mean "bad dog", "ugly dog" or both. Currently "cagnazzo" could be still used to refer to a dog that's particularly ugly or agressive. In the Divine Comedy it is made clear that the demon Cagnazzo has animal features, enforcing the idea that it's probably a humanoid dog in appearance."
- Valvalis, a. k. a. Barbariccia: (In Japanese, 'b' and
'v' sometimes aren't distinguished, like 'r' and 'l'.) Barbariccia is
the leader of the ten demons that Virgil and Dante meet when exploring
MIR THE GREAT writes: "Italian names ending with the vowel "A" are almost invariably female names. This is probably why in FF4 Barbariccia is female in appearance. However in the divine comedy Barbariccia is male and his name can be translated into: "Curlybeard". Barbariccia is described as the leader of a group of ten demons, three of them being Cagnazzo, Scarmiglione and Rubicante."
And from Chase: Calcabrina was one of the demons featured in Dante's Divine Comedy.
King Giotto (Giott), the king of the dwarves shares a name with the famous Italian Renaissance artist, Giotto di Bondone. This fact was pointed out by tylerhauck.
There's a person in the Christian Bible named Cain,
similar to FF4's Kain. In the Bible Cain was doomed to be a wanderer, which might be where Cain got his "wandering" loyalties from. Or, as many people have noted, Cain's jealousy for his brother Abel might parallel FF4's Cain's jealousy for Cecil over Rosa. Damian Maxwell notes that Cain is actually Hebrew for spear, which fits perfectly.
Namingway and the tribe of Humingways possibly got
their names from twentieth-century American writer Ernest Hemingway, with a pun on "Naming", as in "renaming", which is what they do. 8-) (Thanks to LittleUnicornBoy.)
Rosa's name just means 'rose' in Spanish. (How could I forget to put
this in? :) [This document originally created by Mark Rosa. 8-)] It also means "pink" in Italian (thanks to MIR THE GREAT).
Rydia is supposedly named
after the legendary country of Lydia (the names are the same in
Japanese), which was the richest in the world in its day and the first
to use coins as money. They once had a king named Croesus, and he's the
one they're talking about in the (seldom-heard) expression "as rich as
Croesus". However, Aelfwine disagrees with this, since it's still spelled Rydia in (e.g.) the FF4 Piano Collections sheet music.
Zemus: From Sebastian: "I think that it may be a cross of Zeus (the most powerful Greek God...fitting as he's the last boss in the game) and Zemu/Zenu/Xenu/Xemu, an evil interplanatary space warlord who, according to certain beliefs of L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology) imprisoned being on Earth and nuked them with bombs billions of years ago. Considering how Zemus is from another world and has bombed people (not directly, but through the Red Wings), it makes sense!"
Bartz Klauser: Damian Maxwell says his last name may come from Klaus, which is German for "hermitage". God knows what that has to do with Bartz, but eh. Paul Zim confirms that Klauser is a real word meaning "hermit". andrepasteur tells that the word Butz from the FF5 translation is derived from a Germanic word meaning "sprite" or "spirit". Bartz isn't especially mischievious, but he does inherit the spirit of the crystals, so maybe that relates.
Boko, Bartz's faithful steed, is a pun in Japanese: the characters for Chocobo are "Chi-yo-ko-bo" and for Boco are "bo-ko" - it's just the last two characters of "Chocobo" backwards.
Cara (5j): From Yama dev/null: "Cara means either "beloved" in Italian or "friend" in Gaelic. I'm going for the first one."
The Dark Mage Exdeath: This name just means "exceeding death". In the PSX version this was hammered home by naming him "X-death". According to Ghostcipher, the Japanese phonetics for ExDeath (e-ku-su-de-su) sound somewhat similar to the word Exodus, possibly signify is migration and freedom from his prison to Bartz' world.
Faris: Damian Maxwell goes all out and says: Faris is Arabic for "Knight", English for "Strong", and Muslim for "Perspicacity" or "Horseman". (Make of that whatever you wish.)
Gilgamesh: He was a legendary hero in Mesopotamian culture.
In the library of Nineveh, there exist 12 slabs on which are written the
exploits of Gilgamesh. The real Gilgamesh ruled Uruk in the 3d
millennium BC, and later his tale was embellished to the point where
Gilgamesh was a hero of legendary magnitude. Supposedly he was rather
harsh as king, and so the god Anu created a wild man named Enkidu
to stop him. However, Enkidu became the companion and servant of
Gilgamesh after the two men had a test of their strength. There are
many stories about the two of them; in one, they travel to defeat the
forest guardian Humbaba (a. k. a. Huwawa); in another, Gilgamesh rejects
a marriage propposal from Ishtar, the love goddess. Later Enkidu dies
and Gilgamesh learns the location of a plant that granted eternal youth
from Utnaphistim, survivor of the great flood. But a serpent steals it
and Gilgamesh dies. The epic ends with the spirit of Enkidu promising
to recover the objects that Ishtar gave to Gilgamesh. In FF5, Gilgamesh
has a partner named Enkidoh; surely this is the Enkidu from
legend. DarkFalzz mentions that Humbaba is also known as Phunbaba, probably the origin of the monster from FF6.
Gogo - In the play "Waiting for Godot," there is a character
named Estragon, nicknamed Gogo. WTG3 notes that Vladamir
and Estragon spend a lot of time repeating each other (one will ask "Does it
hurt?" and the other will respond "Hurt? He wants to know if it hurts!" et
cetera), which alludes to Gogo's mimicry. mistersaturn informs us that Gogo may be based off of the mythical Ebu_Gogo people of Indonesia (the name is now given to a recently discovered tribe of pygmies in the area) who are infamous for mimicking the words of a speaker in a parrot-like fashion.
Reina: The English name of Lenna is Spanish for "queen" (from Joey Martin). Alvanista12 says that Lenna itself might come from the name Lena, which is Greek for "light".
Sage Guido: Grant suggests that he may be related to the character from Dante's The Divine Comedy by the name of Guido da Montefeltro. Guido, a man infamous for giving false counsel, admits to Dante of his deception thinking that Dante would never escape the Inferno (no one had ever returned from Hell to Earth)and he would remain free of infamy, though Dante does end up escaping. This draws a parallel with Bartz and co. meeting Sage Guido in Galuf's world, believing they will never be able to return to their own world, and receiving information from Guido that leads to the Elder Tree.
Stella: Latin for "star" (as in English "stellar"). Thanks to Damian Maxwell for the reminder.
Tycoon, Alexander Highwind - see Places.
Billy: In FF6j, Baram (from Shadow's dreams) is called
Billy. Since he's a train robber, maybe his name was inspired by Billy
the Kid, famous outlaw from the American Old West? Also Shadow's real
name is Clyde, like one half of the famous pair of outlaws
"Bonnie and Clyde". Also, in Bret Harte's story The Outcasts of
Poker Flat, there was a thief named Billy Setzer (!) who gets kicked
out of town.
Celes Chere - Celes's last name is French and means "dear."
Her first name could be related to "celestial", or heavenly, which would
be in contrast to Terra's "earth".
From The Final Fantasy Usenet FAQ: Celes probably got her name from the Roman goddess of grain and harvests, Ceres ("Demeter" in Greek mythology). According to Greek myth, Ceres's habits and work schedules were what caused seasons to happen - her daughter, Persephone, was taken by Pluto to be his wife. Jupiter would allow Persephone to be with Ceres half of the year (between late March and early September) and be with Pluto the other half; therefore, when Persephone was with Ceres, she would be at work and crops would prosper, and when Persephone was with Pluto, Ceres would confine herself to mourning and crops would be affected. Thus, the seasons are created - Spring and Summer when Ceres is at work, and Fall and Winter when Ceres is sequested in mourning.
Chupon: Identical to Typoon from FF7. Wilfredo Martinez writes: "Chupon" is Spanish for "sucker"- as in an octopus'. Thus, the perfect name for Ultros' sidekick!
Cyan Garamonde - "Monde" means "world" in French; Nate writes that "Gare" is French for "train station", possibly a link to the Phantom Train sequence. Also
there was a famous typesetter named Garamonde. The font named for him
is used in Apple's manuals. (Jack conjectures that maybe the letters he wrote to Laura were typed, hence the name.) Cyan is a light-blue color. In Japan his name was Cayenne, a kind of pepper.
Daryl - Her name means "well-loved." Appropriate for her
relationship with Setzer.
Duncan - Although a normal English name, it just might be a vague reference to King Duncan from Shakespeare's Macbeth. Duncan Kolba adds that it means "tough warrior" in Gaelic.
Edgar Figaro - His name is of Teutonic origin. I've seen it
defined as either "wealthy gentleman" (he is a king) or "fortunate
spear" (the spear is his best weapon) There is also an opera called
"Edgar," so he's got a double operatic name. Also, Praetor Rusty mentions that he may be named after Edgar, the elder son of Gloucester in Shakespeare's King Lear. In the play, Edgar disguises himself as the beggar Old Tom, perhaps echoing FF6's Edgar disguising himself as Gerad. As for his last name, the famous opera "The Marriage of Figaro" features music by Mozart.
Elayne - Elaine was the "Lily Maiden" of Arthurian legend. She
was related to several important people (Lancelot, I think, was one) and
when she died, she was sent out to sea in a funeral barge. In fact, she
is the mother of Galahad in T. H. White's "The Once and Future King".
Gau - Back in the times of the Romans, France was known as
Gaul. There were tribes of wild men living in the north. They might have
been called Gaus, or Gauls. Isamu has one that's probably more accurate: This is the sound of a lion's roar or dog's "grrr" in Japanese (like how they have "nyau" instead of "meow").
Gerad: This is almost too obvious to stick in here, but oh well: It's an anagram (mixed-up letters) of "Edgar".
The Evil Emperor Gestahl (gesh-'tahl): Well, this name sounds
a bit like "gestohlen" or "stahl", both of which mean "stole" in German.
(For grammar experts, "gestohlen" is in perfect tense. "Stahl" the noun
means steel.) In the original FF6j his name was "Ghastra" - probably from the word "ghastly" - but they changed it in the translation.
Gogo - See Gogo from FF5.
Hidon: Now this name is interesting! It's the same in both
the Japanese and American games, but has two completely diferent
meanings. In the English version, Gungho says something about "as his
name implies," referring to the word 'hide' embedded in 'Hidon'. In the
Japanese version, however, 'Hidon' brings to mind the word 'hidoi',
which means 'terrible' or 'scary'. A nice coincidence! (However, Maou says "Hidon" is actually "Hidun" in FFVIj, so unfortunately the hidoi ("cruel") reference is weakened by this, as the "du" is actually an extrememly unnatural sound in Japanese.")
Kappa: From Wilfredo Martinez: The KAPPA of japanese legend don't wear crowns- the top of their head is a water-filled bowl! If tricked into bowing, they would spill the water and lose their strength! Masonvygr elaborates: "The kappa also display a certain vunrebility. They always return a low bow, and in doing so they spill the water, which empowers them, from the saucer-like depressions in the tops of their heads."
Kefka: Well, his name vaguely resembles that of Czech author
Franz Kafka. One of his works is entitled "Metamorphosis", and that's
the effect of the Ragnarok Esper - "Metamorph". Several readers have also noted that the name of the music track that plays during the statue scene on the Floating Island is called "Metamorphosis" as well. Maou, though, reminds us that Kefka's Japanese name is Cefca, which means this doesn't hold water. 8-) MoogleFan argues that in the Japanese FF6, Kefka was actually 'Kefuka' due to the lack of a 'c-sound' in Japanese phonetics. Cefca was apparently the spelling used on Japan-only CD's and artwork. cristobalcid9 says that Kefka's last name: Pallazo could be also pronouced as the Spanish word, payaso (the double L sound in Spanish is pronouced as a y-like sound) which means 'clown'. Perfectly plausible for this villian's appearance. Ghostcipher says that 'palazzo' is Italian for castle or palace, possibly signifying Kefka's wealth and power.
Locke Cole: Could be named after John Locke, a philospher
whose beliefs were instrumental in shaping America's early history.
There's also the obvious pun on the word "lock" - you need him to unlock
the doors in Narshe - and in that vein, there's a company named "Cole"
that produces keys! Maou reminds us that his Japanese name actually was Lock, although that doesn't preclude the translator from making the connection to John Locke and changing the spelling. Also, Aaron Montrois mentions that the character's name is rather ironic, since John Locke wrote a lot about the justice in acquisition of property rights, and Locke the character's raison d'etre is ignoring all that. 8p paperkut_98 makes the clever connection that Cole means 'kale' which is a slang for money. Which is exactly the kind of thing a thief would be after.
Madonna: From Trevor Powell: "Aside from
being the name of the singer, Madonna is actually an old Italian word used as a form of respectful address of a lady. In addition, it is often used to describe the virgin Mary." Note that Mary, being the mother of Jesus, is parallel to FF6's Madonna, being the mother of Terra.
Maduin: Originally spelled "Mael Duin." (but "Madin" in FF6j; it's been postulated that Madeen from FF9 is the same creature)
Mael Duin is a major hero of Irish Mythology. Son of Ailill, he was
raised by nuns after his father was killed by raiders. When told his
father's story, Mael Duin sets out with sixteen warriors to avenge his
death, and his subsquesent voyages have been called the "Irish Odyssey."
Owain - Uwain was one of Arthur's knights and a king in
the English legends. He was Gawain's brother and he ruled the kingdom
for a time. Kim Arntsen says: "A famous 15th-century Lord named Owain Glyndwr(Owned Glendower in English) led a revolt against the English in Wales around 1400."
Rachel: From weapon_x_33: In the Bible, Rachel was the wife of Jacob and whose relationship with that man was scorned upon by Rachel's father, much as Rachel's father in FF6 forbids Locke to see Rachel. A neat parallel.
Ramuh: See Summons.
Sabin - His name is of Italian origin. It comes from the
Sabine tribe. According to legend, the Roman settlers kidnapped all of
the Sabine women. (That part has nothing to do with Sabin.) The name is
more common in Europe in the feminine form, Sabine. His middle name,
Rene, means "reborn" and is also more common in the feminine form. Also
there was a biologist named Sabin, who was responsible for curing a
muscle virus. And Sabin's muscles look pretty tough, right? In the Japanese version his name is Mash, which probably refers to his ability to mash his opponents into a pulp. 8-) Hroþgar adds that contrary to popular opinion, Sabin's name might actually be Matthew in Japanese (it's spelled the same as Mash).
Also note that Edgar and Sabin have middle names: Edgar's is Roni and Sabin's is Rene. Sounds very similar to the legendary brothers Romulus and Remus, the ones who founded Rome. Anyone who's played Xenogears should also recognize these names.
Setzer: OK, here's some more speculation. "Setzer" by itself
means "typesetter" (hardly a meaningful name). But the German expression
used when betting on numbers or horses is "setzen"! For example, "10
Mark auf Nummer 23 setzen" means "bet 10 Marks on number 23". So
"Setzer" could imply "the one who puts down the money -> "gambler";
though I've never heard the word "Setzer" used to mean "gambler".
Anyway, it's still nice-sounding even if it's a coincidence. It's my
single favorite character name in the entire FF series.
Davide Azzotentira writes that "Gabbiani" is Italian for "Gullwings" (!) MIR THE GREAT writes: ""Gabbiani" is italian for "seagulls". This surname actually exists. It could come from "Anton Domenico Gabbiani" an italian baroque painter or "Giuseppe Gabbiani" a formula one driver. Neither of the two is exceptionally famous, though."
Siegfried ('ziek-friet): Named for the hero of the legendary
German tale of the Ring of the Nibelung. (This was the story upon which
Richard Wagner based his opera, which contains many famous music pieces
including "The Ride of the Valkyries". Trust me, you've heard some of
these before.) Incidentally, Siegfried literally means "victory" (Sieg)
and "peace" (Friede).
Here's a short summary of Siegfried's story: The god Wotan
(aka the very familiar Odin) wanted to reclaim the Ring of the
Nibelung and tried to use the hero Siegfried to do it. Siegfried's body
was invulnerable except for his shoulder blades, and he could talk to
animals. He was born and raised in a forest and proved his heroism by
killing Fafner, the evil dragon. The sword he used was made by a dwarf
named Regin, and the idea that dwarves make the best weapons (which
frequently pops up in these games) came from this mythology. But he
ends up getting killed and his beloved Brunnhilde kills herself in the
end. (That's in one version of the story; in another, he and Brunnhilde
survive Ragnarok and repopulate the world.)
Terra: Her name means "earth". Could have something to do with
her being the link between the Earth and the Esper world...? But also,
there was a building named "Terra Firm" located just outside the Square
offices in Washington... maybe Ted Woolsey looked out the window and
thought, "Hmmm....? In the Japanese version her name is Tina, though. Javier Alvarado notes that there's a famous midieval Spanish book called La Celestina. That's Celes + Tina. 8-) According to sunken_state that Terra's esper background may be explained in that the Latin 'tera' means 'monster'.
MIR THE GREAT writes: "While it became common in english regions, its origin is italian. Tina is the abbreviated form of the diminutive form of a wide array of female names. Confusing, uh?
The suffix "-ino" (or "-ina" in the female form) can be added to any word to change it in a diminutive way. So if "gatto" means "cat", "gattino" means "little cat", and so on. Many parents named their children adding this suffix to existant common names, disregarding the fact that they would eventually become adults. However the names became too long to pronounce and so they were abbreviated keeping just the suffix and the consonant before. This spawned a long sequence of four letter names like: Dino, Gino, Lino, Mino, Nino, Pino, Rino, Tino, and the respective female forms: Dina, Gina, Lina, Mina, Nina, Pina, Rina, Tina.
Now it is impossible to trace the origin of Tina, because it could come from: Agostina, Albertina, Annunziatina, Assuntina, Clementina, Concettina, Giustina, Martina, Valentina, Elisabettina and Celestina, which you also mentioned. However Celestina comes from "Celeste" which refers to the the light blue color or "the color of the sky"."
Vicks and Wedge, the two soldiers from the Empire, are
characters in the famous 1977 George Lucas film "Star Wars". They're
pilots for the rebel alliance. But in actuality, Vicks should be
Biggs... In later FF games, the Biggs was restored, and even in the FF Anthology re-release of FF6. However, in Chrono Trigger it's still Vicks.
Ultros: Arcanus Dominus writes: Ultros is probably a mistranslation of "Orthros", a two-headed
dog in Greek mythology owned by Geryon who was slain by Hercules during
one of his Labors. This would explain his association with
Chupon/Typhon - Orthros was one of the sons of Typhon in Greek
mythology. Of course, how they got a nutty purple octopus from a
two-headed dog is anyone's guess. [This is confirmed; his Japanese name was indeed Orthros.]
Vargas: From Damian Maxwell: "Varg" is Swedish for "wolf". From LuizaTSM: "Vargas of FFVI could be named after Getúlio Vargas, who was a brazilian dictator from 1930 to 1945. and later bacame the brazilian president in 1952 and comitted suicide in 1954."
Yura: Just a nickname for "Yuri", a popular Russian male name.
Before I get to Mark Rosa's main section, I found a very interesting FF7 name section by Moritz Sommet, on his FF7 Revelation site. Most of it takes the FF7 names and works them into religious contexts; definitely worth a look. There's a little bit of repetition/overlap in the two documents. ^^; I'll let you know when we return to the main Name Origins page.
Both "cloud" and "strife" are English words.
-Clouds Christian name alludes to his mysterious,
unclear past and his unpredictable development in the future: his
memory is clouded, he has his head in the
clouds and no one knows what his next move will be. In
nature, clouds do not move by themselves but are driven by the
wind. Likewise, Clouds development is influenced by others
rather than by his own decision. At first, Sephiroth/Jenova is
controlling him; later, it is Tifa who has to show him his true
-"Strife" illustrates Clouds aggressive behavior
towards others, as well as his inner fight that is the central
conflict of the story. In the last duel between Cloud and
Sephiroth, this fight finds its conclusion.
Aeris (Aerith) Gainsborough (Gast)
The Latin word "aeris" translates into "air;
atmosphere; cloud; aether".
-"Air" and "atmosphere": this seems to be
an allusion to Aeris connection to nature and her
importance to the planet. Without air and an atmosphere, there
would be no life. C.f. her first Limit Break, the "Healing
~The translation "cloud" implies that there is some
kind of mystical connection between Aeris and Cloud Strife; like
Cait Sith says, they are "made for each other".
~"Aerith" is an anagram of "I Earth"
~The word Aeris is pronounced similarly to "heiress",
which aptly illustrates Aeris role as the last Cetra and
the rightful heir to the planet.
This name derives from the Kabbala, a religious lore that has its
origins in Jewish mysticism:
"At the Creation," explains Kabbalist spokesman Steve
Edelman, "God sent out a pulse of energy into the void. It
presently branched and sorted into ten distinct spheres or
aspects, corresponding to the numbers 1-10. These are known as
the Sephiroth. To return to God, the soul must negotiate each of
the Sephiroth, from ten back to one. Armed with magic and faith,
Kabbalists have set out to conquer the Sephiroth. Many Kabbalist
secrets have to do with making the trip successfully.
"Now the Sephiroth fall into a pattern, which is called the
Tree of Life. It is also the body of God. Drawn among the ten
spheres are 22 paths. Each path corresponds to a letter of the
Hebrew alphabet, and also to one of the cards called 'Major
Arcana' in the Tarot.
"Some Sephiroth are active or masculine, others passive or
feminine. But the Tree itself is a unity, rooted exactly at the
Bodenplatte. It is the axis of a particular Earth, a new
dispensation, brought into being by the Great Firing."
(Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon, p. 753)
The character Sephiroth tries to become a god by
destroying the planet, hence the religiously connoted name. Also,
Kabbalists believe that mastering the Tree of Life is a method to
achieve divine enlightenment, and thats basically what Hojo
wants Sephiroth to do: "Ha, ha, ha...... Go beyond the
powers of science...Before your presence, science is
powerless...". The Great Firing that brings a
new world into being reminds us of the Nibelheim accident where
Sephiroth becomes insane.
The Hebrew name of God is Jehovah. The last two syllables of
Jenova, nova, translate into new.
Jenova is a new god, or wants to become one.
Shes an usurper trying to rob the powers of the planet.
Tiferet is the central aspect of the Tree of Life
(see above). Lockheart is composed of the English words to
lock and heart.
-The sefirot Tiferet represents beauty, balance and love- a
description that applies fairly well to the role of the
character, Tifa. Also, Tifa is the one who saves Cloud through
her love and Christian Kabbalists believe that Tiferet symbolizes
self-sacrifice and "the will to carry ones
neighbors cross". On Tarot cards, Tiferet is pictured
as a heart (as in Lockheart!), and sometimes as an angel
(Tifas bar is called the "Seventh Heaven" and her
last Limit Break is the "Final Heaven").
-Her surname, Lockheart, illustrates her natural shyness and
inability to express her love for Cloud. And the key to
Clouds past is "locked" in her "heart".
The Latin verb "vincere" translates into "to
conquer, outlast, defeat"; St. Valentine is a Christian
Saint protecting lovers.
-"to outlast" would be the most fitting translation for
vincere since Vincent sleeps in the basement of the
Shin-Ra Villa for almost 30 years.
-Vincents sub-plot with Lucrecia is a tragic love story,
hence his surname.
The prefix "euphe" in Old Greek translates into
I dont think its too much of a stress to say
that Yuffie is a lively, outgoing or downright goofy character,
so the name suits her well.
Could be a reference to the 13th century Scottish rebel
William Wallace a.k.a. Braveheart (yes, the one in the movie).
-After all, both are leaders of an uprising against a tyrant
government. Also, both of them are fighting to avenge their dead
Goes back to a family of hereditary regents to the shogunate of
Japan who exercised actual rule from 1199 to 1333. During that
period, nine successive members of the family held the regency.
The Hojo took their name from their small estate in the Kanogawa
Valley in Izu Province.
-Hojo = power. There may be a more subtle meaning to this, but I
fail to see it. Any Japanese out there willing to help me?
The name is of Gaelic origin and translates into "fat
-In Irish fairy-tales, Cait Sith is the protagonist of countless
"King of the Cats" stories. Thats why Cait Sith
in FF7 is carrying a crown.
An English word meaning:
1. The local representative of the king in a shire until the
early 13th century.
2. (In medieval England) A manorial steward who supervised the
daily affairs of the manor.
3. (In Canadian government) A president of a local council,
especially in a rural area
4. (Formerly) A minor local official
-I think that most of these descriptions match up with Reeve's
position. He's the representative for the Urban Development area
for Midgar, under President Shinra who is more or less the 'King'
of Midgar. He supervises the day-to-day running of the city, he's
the president of the 'local council' of Urban Development and as
such is a minor local official.
-a person wearing two crossed palm leaves as a sign of a
pilgrimage made to the Holy Land
-wife of G. H. American educator; president, Wellesley Coll
-American chiropractor; founder of chiropractic in America
-American scholar & educator; author of The Odyssey of Homer
(translation), The Field of Ethics, etc.
-Several geographic areas are named Palmer (all in the antarctic
-The Palmer in the game seems to be the direct opposite of these
definitions (Palmer was not a man with two crossed palm leaves,
or a scholar, and certainly not the author of a book about
ethics). Unless the Square designers thought Palmer looked like a
penguin from the Antarctic region, I don't see a connection.
Lucrecia was a woman who was raped by Tarquinius, the last Roman
king. "The Rape of Lucrece" is a poem by Shakespeare
based on this.
-This is a strong allusion to the way Lucrecia conceives her
child, Sephiroth. Either Hojo raped her (which the story does not
necessarily suggest) or the name is just intended to show that
Hojos experiment are "a rape of nature", an
Latin for "the red one".
-Rufus has red hair.
"Leno" is Latin for "brothel keeper",
"squanderer" or "pimp" (the letters R and L
and monophone in Japanese).
English Synonym for "impolite"
Rude doesnt like to socialize and isnt very
talkative at all, so the name befits him quite well
An alternate form of Eleanor, meaning light.
Perhaps because she has blonde hair?
A bright shade of red.
-She wears a red dress. This also suggests a connection to Rufus
(see above). The Shin-Ra logo is also red, so maybe the colour
red is meant to represent Shin-Ra.
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was a famous German philosopher best
known for his existentialist theories. Also, during World War II,
there was a Wehrmacht general called Heidegger.
-Maybe Shin-Ras Heidegger was modeled after the Wehrmacht
general. I dont know much about the general, but if he was
part of the nazi war machinery, he most likely committed war
~Some of Martin Heideggers existentialist theories could
have influenced the authors of Final Fantasy VII. It would take
too long to explain this in detail, but if you are interested in
Heideggers works, simply do a Yahoo! search.
"Corneo" is Latin for "made of horn" or
~The name Don Corneo also bears a vague resemblance to Don
Corleone from The Godfather
~Probably of Egypt origin, translates into "Dark
God" and is used to describe a mythological creature similar
to a vampire.
-Shin-Ra, Inc. is evil, hungers for power and seeks total world
domination- hence "dark god". Also, they rely heavily
on Jenovas powers.
-Barret: "It [Mako energy]'s the life blood of the planet.
But Shinra keeps suckin' the blood out with these machines."
Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558) was one of the "founding
fathers" of the early Protestant church in Europe and a
close friend of Martin Luther. He helped organizing the
Reformation in Northern Germany and Scandinavia and became a
famous theologian and scholar as well as an expert in matters of
public education and social questions.
-Bugenhagens name illustrates his wisdom and his reputation
as a man who is master of both religious lore and
In Latin, the nomen "cetra" describes a small
military shield that was used in the Roman army.
-The Cetra are the defenders of the planet.
Gorky and Chekhov
These two bosses appear in Yuffies pagoda. Their names
derive from the famous (dead) Russian writers Anton P. Chekhov
and Maxim Gorky.
-One of the other bosses in the pagoda is called Shake- possibly
an allusion to Shakespeare, making the pagoda a veritable Dead
Poets Society. Another boss, Yuffies father, is called
Godo. This may be a stretch, but he could be named after Godot
from Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot".
I have absolutely no clue why Square included these names.
Contributions from MSommet
Additional contributions by FFOnline's Forums' Members Blackjack Gabbiani, Dark Knight, Slipstream. Thanks a lot!
End of FF7 Revelation name origins; we now return to Mark Rosa's document.
Aeris: John-Peter sent in this neat piece of info: "There is a minor goddess in greek mythology named Eris. Now when I was taking a mythology class at the University of Wisconsin Madison, I asked the professer how to pronounce that name, he told me air-ies (that may be hard to understand but it was basically just a minor
corruption of Ares). What's more, Eris is Ares' sister and companion, thus bringing
her closer to Aeris' name. Finally and the real trick: Eris is the goddess of
strife! So Aeris is one letter extra from having the same name as the Greek
goddess of strife." And Cloud's last name is Strife, isn't it?
Tabris writes that Aerith (the Japanese name, and the correct one) is ancient Greek for "divine one". Also Guillermo Kelly says that the Gainsborough may be named after Thomas Gainsborough, an 18th-century English painter. Also, vize says that 'Erith' is a Hebrew word for flower. Aeris is a flower girl so it so suits her.
Argento: Latin for "silver".
Azul the Cerulean: Azul is Spanish for "blue." Cerulean is a purplish shade of blue.
Thanks to Jeffrey Goebeler for this tip: There's a brand of firearms made by a company called Barret. Fitting for a man with a gun on his arm, don't you think?
From ChristinaJStrife: "If you were to look in
the Guiness Book of World Records, 2002 edition, hardcover, there is something called the 'Barret Hand', which was, at the time, the most technologically advanced robotic hand." She also quotes a source saying it meant "dispute" in Middle English. Other dictionary sites of old English say it means "bear-like", as in strength.
Bugenhagen: Sam Massey has the following to offer: "It seems that Bugenhagen is the name of a
blind priest in the famous horror movie 'The Omen.' Bugenhagen warns the
main character of his adoptive son's Satanic origins and how the world is in
if he is allowed to live. Sounds a bit like the Bugenhagen in FF7, right?" Verified by Alex.
Cait Sith (pronounced, roughly, 'kett shih') is Irish. It
means 'fairy cat' in Gaelic. Supposedly, it's a kind of spirit that
brings good luck. Of course, they don't normally ride around on
Cid Highwind's last name is a reference to Cain Highwind of Final Fantasy 4, who also used a Jump attack like Cid's limit break (thanks to Michael F.X. Durant).
Don Corneo: From Brian O'Neil: Corneo is Latin for horn. I don't think it's much of a stretch to say it's talking about someone who's "horny". 8p
Dyne: From Ultima Mage Dyne: dyne (din [long 'i']) noun. Physics The fundemental unit of force in the cgs system that, if applied to a mass of one gram, would give it an acceleration of one centimeter per second per second. Abbv. d., D. What that has to do with the character, I don't know, but maybe the word was just going through their heads at the time. ^^; Zidane's Trance skill in FF9 is also called Dyne; the meaning fits a *little* better for that. From Psi: Since Corel is a mining town, Dyne's name may simply come from the word 'dynamite' which is often used in mining.
The names of Elder Bugah and Elder Hargo, two old men in Cosmo Canyon, are just Bugenhagen's name split into two.
Elena: From MIR THE GREAT: "Elena is very common female name in Italy, Greece, Romania, Spain and Slavic regions. The corresponding english version is Helen. It must be said, however, that the japanese katakanas are I-RI-NA. Incidentaly Irina is another very common slavic female name and the english version is Irene. Both Helen and Irene trace their origin from the ancient greek civilization, the first means "Light" the second means "Peace"."
Shinra goon Heidegger shares a name with an early 20th-century
German philosopher, Martin Heidegger. Dominic Jesse thinks this one makes sense, since Heidigger had links to the Nazis in World War II (however, it should be noted that Japan and Germany were allies in the war). Damien thinks it may be something different: Nathaniel Hawthorne (an early American writer, who wrote the Scarlet Letter) wrote a short story called Dr. Heidegger's Experiment, about a doctor who discovers the Fountain of Youth and brings it to his old friends to try out; the effects turn out to be fleeting, however.
Hojo: From Maou: Better written as "Houjou" (though the prononciation is the same to American ears, much like Tokyo vs. Toukyou), the kanji used are [Takara] ("Treasure") and [Jou/Eda] ("Branch"). In short, like most Japanese family names, Houjou doesn't have much more meaning than, say "Roberts." The power-related 'hojo' is a different word. The connection with that old Japanese family seems dead-on, though I can't be sure without the kanji. (see entry above). Michael Robinson says that the name may also mean "support" or "help", which may fit his role as the one who aids Sephiroth.
Nanaki: From RoastBeefLips1: Remove the last letter from that name and you are left with Nanak, the historical figure who is considered the founder of Sikhism, a religion of the Indian subcontinent fusing Hinduist and Muslim belief systems. All the more interestingly, Nanak was an Indian, a "true" Indian, and Red XIII, son of Seto and Cosmo Canyon, ecological warrior, wearer of headdresses, is clearly too meant to symbolize the "Indian" native peoples of North America, stereotypically viewed as scrupulous protectors of their land and devoted praisers of their forebears.
Several people have also mentioned that Nanaki is an anagram for Anakin (as in Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader). However, not only does this have nothing to do with the character Red XIII, but the characters are different in Japanese (Na-na-ki and a-na-ki-n are the two words). Then again, Anthony Furfari writes that the Red Squadron in the original Star Wars had 12 fighters; 13 would be the next one. Hmm...
Nero the Sable: Nero in Finnish means "genius." In Italian, it means "black." (probably the correct approach, since the Tsviets are all named after colors). In Japanese, it means "sound." Nero was also the name of a famous Roman Emperor.
Palmer: Michael Northington says: "A Palmer makes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In the Bible Israel is referred to as both the Holy Land and the Promised Land. This makes sense because he works for Shinra, who seek the Promised Land."
Reno is a city in Nevada.
Rosso the Crimson: Rosso in German means "horse." In French, it means "vicious." In Dutch, it means "to ride recklessly." In Italian, it means "red". In Russian, it means "wolverine." One can easily see the French and Italian connections. Rosso is definitely vicious, and her title is "the Crimson."
Sephiroth (seh-fee-rowth) has a great origin! It's Hebrew for 'numbers' and
is directly related to Arabic 'sifra', French 'chiffre', German
'Ziffer', and English 'cipher'. (Sanskrit 'shunya' meaning 'void',
originally.) In Hebrew (among other alphabets), each letter has a
numerical value, and the art of adding the letters in a word or phrase
to get a certain value is called 'gematria'. In Hebrew, the word
Sephiroth has the value of 756; in Greek, 894. Can anyone find any
significance in these numbers? I was hoping to relate them to the safe
combination in the Shinra Mansion, but they don't seem to work. ^^;
Here are the ten important Sephiroth:
(There are variations on these; this list is from 777 and the
Cabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley.)
- 1 - Khessed, Kindness
- 2 - Chokhmah, Wisdom
- 3 - Binah, Understanding
- 4 - Gedulah, Greatness
- 5 - Geburah, Strength
- 6 - Tiphereth, Beauty
- 7 - Netzach, Firmness and Victory
- 8 - Hod, Splendor
- 9 - Yesod, Foundation
- 10 - Malchuth, the Kingdom
Note: Chokhmah, Binah, and Gedulah are typically not in the list. The "Kh" and "Ch" sounds are both pronounced like a hard "ch" as in "Bach". The Sephiroth are, depending on who you ask, the steps between man and God, or the different ways with which God manifests His will on earth. Either way, it fits nicely with Sephiroth's quest for godhood.
The final enemy, Safer Sephiroth, might be meant to be Sepher
Sephiroth, which means 'the book of countings' in Hebrew. (No book of the Judeo/Christian Bible is actually called that, though Aura writes that there is one in the Catholic Bible.) Maybe the name also has something to do with all the little numbered black clones that
are skulking around in Nibelheim. Matt Myers notes that numbers appear at the bottom of the screen after Sephiroth's Supernova attack. Or "Safer" might be a pun on the fact that he casts Wall on himself during the fight. However, I've gotten remarks from too many people to note that there was probably a mistranslation here and the word was meant to be "Seraph", a type of six-winged angel (also the highest in the angelic echelon, which is fitting for where Sephiroth's aspirations place him).
One of Sephiroth's attacks is Pale
Horse, which probably refers to 'Death on a Pale Horse', a 1905 (?)
painting by Ryder. From WTG3: Safer Sephiroth's attack Pale Horse is more likely a reference to the
Revelation of St. John, the last book in the Christian Bible. ("When he broke
the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature cry out,
'Come Forward.' I looked, and there was a pale horse. Its rider was named
Death, and Hades accompanied him." Rev. 6:7-8)
Maou, however, says that the original spell in Japanese was called "Pyro Holes". So much for that idea. 8p ido_alpha_omega explains further telling that the Japanese phonetic spelling of Pyro Holes is "Pa-i-ro Ho-ro-su" which may be why the word was mistranslated. Darn Engrish!
Seto: Moogle Fan says this is Japanese for "hidden" or "back door".
Shelke the Transparent: Oddly enough, according to MIR THE GREAT, "Shelke" is Urdu for "orange".
Teioh: This is the name of Joe's black Chocobo. According to Simon Ammundsen, this is Japanese for "Emperor" or "Sovereign".
The Turks: Tohl tells us that during the 20th century, a New York vice crime group known as the Turks were an active organization. This could relate to the vice, mafia-like actions of the Shin-ra Turks.
Weiss the Immaculate: In the game, Weiss's name is pronounced much like "vice." In German, the letter "w" is pronounced as "v." When translated from German, it means white. Originally, this name would have been written "Weiß."
Yuffie Kisaragi: Moogle Fan tells me that Kisaragi is Japanese for "February". Ryoko Habuki, however, says: "Kisaragi is NOT japanese for February, that is 'nigatsu'. Kisaragi means 'second month of the lunar calendar'."
Zack: From Satoshi Ka-Nyanko: Zack (short for Zachariah) "means 'Jehova hath remembered.' Therefore this can be linked with Jenova and Cloud, considering Zack's memories and dreams had collided with his own thanks to the help of Jenova."
Before anything else, here's a neat tidbit from Jason Copeland: "There had been somewhat of a mystery as to Squall's
paternity. What seemed obvious (and possibly an
intentional red herring, which I'm sure Square enjoys
creating to enrich the whole FF mythos), was that
Laguna and Raine were Squall's parents. What was the
hint? That all of their names are water-related.
"Squall" referring to a storm at sea, as was mentioned
on your site; "Laguna" is Spanish for "lagoon" (a calm, enclosed body of water
sharply contrasting a squall); and "Raine"...well for
rain." Continuing on that theme, WTG3 also mentions that Laguna's last name, Loire, is a river in France. baka-neko says that Raine could actually be a mistranslation of Rhine, another river; the pronunciation is the same.
Adel: From Damian Maxwell: This is German for "noble". firefreak clarifies that the word is a noun, so would actually mean "nobility".
Caraway, General: Nick says a caraway is a type of white flower/herb. tasuki100 says that Nick Caraway is the exact same name of the narrator in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
Edea: Ebony thinks it's a cross between "Eden" (as in Garden of Eden) and "dea", Latin for "goddess" - sort of a reference to her having created the SeeDs. Master Dreamer I-Chan thinks it may be based on Medea: "In Greek mythology, Medea was a princess and sorceress of Colchis who helped Jason obtain the Golden Fleece from her father, lived as his consort, and killed their children as revenge for his infidelity. This might have something to do with her being taken over by Ultimecia and trying to kill the Orphanage gang who in a sense were her own children."
Fujin and Raijin mean "wind god" and "thunder god" - which explains Fujin's absorbance of Wind elementals and Raijin's Thunder elementals. Raijin was also the Japanese name of one of Edge's ninja magic spells. StarZander says the following: "According to some legend, Raijin and Fujin were originally demons who opposed the gods. The great Buddha ordered his army to capture them. After a severe battle between the two demons and 33 gods, the demons were captured and converted.
"Some other info on Fujin: The Japanese god of the wind and one of the eldest Shinto gods. He was present at the creation of the world and when he first let the winds out of his bag, they cleared the morning mists and filled the space between heaven and earth so the sun shone. He is portrayed as a terrifying dark demon wearing a leopard skin, carrying a large bag of winds on his shoulders. Sounds alot like Pandemona, no?"
Irvine is similar to the names Irwin/Irving, both of which mean "handsome" or "beautiful" in the British dialects. See next entry as well.
Laguna comes from the word Ragnarok, a sword used throughout the series and a spaceship in this game. Those who don't speak Japanese may be in the dark until they find out that Ragnarok spelled out in Japanese is "La-gu-na-ro-ku". Druff has an anecdote from what sounds like a very reputable source, as follows: "FF creator Hironobu
Sakaguchi had been spending a good amount of time at Square's offices
in So. California, Costa Mesa to be exact. During his visits he came to
really fall for two neighboring towns: Laguna Beach, and Irvine. It was
said that he liked them so much that he insisted on naming two
characters from the upcoming FF8 after them."
Piet is the head of the Esthar space program. There's an Admiral Piett in The Empire Strikes Back (the second Star Wars film). "Piette" also accompanies Wedge and Vicks (Biggs) in Chrono Trigger, in Norstein Bekkler's lab.
Quistis Trepe - I have no clue about Quistis, but the Trepe may come from the word "trepidation", which basically means nervousness - a state many students find themselves in when around her. 8-) Alexander Megius-Keyho thinks the name may come from here: "Most likely from Quistia. An ancient witch who cursed a manour in Lancashire. She said if another woman lives in the house she will never be happy with a man. The curse is true to this day."
Rinoa: From silentshadow: I've heard that "Rinoa" is a katakana form of the name "Lenore", which is linguistically very feasible, especially since the name is a French form of "Eleanor", which means "light". She brought light back into Squall's life, didn't she? And "light" contrasts sharply with the dark, brooding sense of the name "Squall".
Seifer: Just a coincidence, probably, but in Hebrew this word has the same root as Sephiroth. Secretzman writes: Seifer's name is pronounced "sigh-fur" [confirmed]. "Sigh-fur" is pronounced the same way as the word "cypher (cipher)," which means "zero" or "one having no influence or value; a nonentity." In the game, Seifer was a pawn, a puppet that was being used by Edea/Ultimecia to fulfill their needs. Although he believed he was important as the sorceress's knight, he was in fact just an expendeble pawn with no real value to the sorceresses. Also since Seifer is a German name that I believe is associated with the Teutonic Order, you can draw comparisons between Seifer's Blood Cross symbol and the cross-shaped insignia of the Teutonic Order, which also worn on the
sleeves of the Teutonic Knights. Kim Hessel tells me the German name actually means "Sword of God".
An uncomfirmed e-mail from Strom 4 says that there's actually a type of cactus called the seifer almasy. O_o Anyone to confirm this?
Squall Leonheart: A squall has a few meanings in English: a sudden storm at sea, a scream, or (as lately it's been used) trouble of any kind. I think Square meant for him to sound like someone who enters your life and then leaves it, like a sea storm. Leonheart is close to Leon; either a reference to his lion symbol, Griever (the music for the final battle is also called "Maybe I'm A Lion") or the character Leon from FF2. Alex Scott adds: "Just to clear things up, 'Leonhart' is the proper romanization of Leon's name in the Japanese version, so Squall's last name probably is a reference to Leon (though Squall's the only one with all the lion imagery) -- FF Origins' translators obviously noticed as well, as "Leon" was also Squall's alias in Kingdom Hearts."
Also, see Leon/Lionheart from FF2.
Ultimecia: Possibly from Ultima; see here. Arcanus Dominus thinks it may come from Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon. "In Greek mythology, Artemis was part of the triple goddess (along with Selene and Hecate) associated with the moon, women, and witchcraft. Hecate in particular was considered the goddess of witchcraft and magic." Regann disagrees: "Her name could also be derived from the name Artemisia, the queen of Caria who spent her life building the great Mausoleum to her beloved dead husband (ya know, the whole 'time' thing?) The mausoleum at Halicarnassus was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world."
Amarant Coral: Amaranth (poetically, 'amarant') is a flower. The original Greek means 'everlasting'. It was imaginary and was supposed to never fade, but now several species of flowers are called amaranths. It can also mean 'purple'. (OED) (From Nora Stevens.) Galaway Nosora says the following: "Amaranth" was a name for Red Dye #2 (That's the toxic one). This could be the reason for Amarant's disturbing personality (And will to fight, like
Red 2 making you sick...maybe?). Anyway, my theory is that he would have
been named Amaranth, except there isn't enough space in the name- It only
supports 7 characters. bryan_w reminds us that Amarant's Japanese name was Salamander. His nickname "The Flaming Amarant (Salamander) makes more sense with the Japanese name since salamanders are considered to be elemental creatures born of flame in many medieval lores.
Artemicion, the purple Moogle who runs Mognet, has an almost identical name to Ultimecia, so check there.
Baku:From The Squaresoft Repository: "In Japan, it is said that nightmares are caused by evil spirits. If one was troubled by nightmares, one could call upon Baku, the devourers of dreams, to take away one's nightmares, and turning one's nightmares into good fortune."
Ken Oshima, though, doesn't think it likely that the leader of a troupe named for Greek mythology would have a Japanese mythological name. After a lot of poking around, he came up with the name Bacchus! Basically, the Greek Bakhou (extremely likely that the pronunciation of that is indeed "baku") corresponds to the Roman Bacchus. And there was actually a theatre called the Theatre of Bacchus in Rome! Fitting for the Tantalus troupe, no?
Beatrix: According to SapiekaFam, she might be named after Beatrice, the young lady beloved by Dante in his Divine Comedy. However, Mandy Roberts from the FF Forum opines that, keeping in touch with all the Shakespearean tendencies of FF9, she's probably named after Beatrice, the strong female lead in Much Ado About Nothing. She also says "There are some similarities in her relationship with Benedick as Beatrix's relationship with Steiner. In the beginning, they seem not to like each other much - they're competitive, but by the end, there's something there."
Damian Maxwell notes that the name itself comes from the Latin for "bringer of joy"; Beatrice is the Italian version of it.
Brahne: Itai R. says: "In hinduism Brahma, or Brahm, is the ruler of all the divine essence, the other gods are manifistation of this essence. Brahne tries to conquer the world so she may have a connection."
Cid Fabool: "Fabool" = "Fabul" from FF4. (From Nora Stevens.)
Cinna: This is actually the name of not one, but TWO characters from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". One is a conspirator to assassinate Caesar, the second is a poet who is mistaken for the first one and lynched. 8-)
Dr. Tot: weapon_X_33 says that Tot is a French word for 'early'. From Zordan: Tot bears resemblance to Thoth, the Egyptian god of magic and wisdom in both name and physical appearance in that both characters are anthropomorphic birds.
Eiko: Moogle Fan writes that Eiko is a common Japanese name that means "a splendid child; long-lived child". Ryoko Habuki says it means "variation in life". Atrophied_Night tells that in the Japanese version her name was Eeko, which when pronounced, sounds like Echo. Possibly fitting for the flute playing girl.
Freya: The Norse god of love. (From Bucherschrank). Sephy1024 elaborates: "Freya was Odin's wife, and helped him devour the souls of the dead.") Moogle Fan, though, says: "I don't remember reading anything about Freya devouring souls...What I've read is that, Freya (or sometimes Freyja in old Norse) was a goddess of love, riches, and witches. Freya was Queen of the Valkyries, and was very strong-willed and independant. Later, she married Odin."
Several people have e-mailed me to say that the above were getting Freya mixed up with Frigg (aka Frigga), mainly because both of them are godesses of beauty/love. Freya was apparently also the goddess of seers and prophecies. phila1986 adds three interesting aspects of the goddess Freya, to the character's nature. First, she says in one legend, Odin disappeared and Freya mourned crying tears of gold. This is similar to Freya's mourning over her loss of Fratley. Freya also had a feathered cloak that allowed her to fly and jump great distances much like Freya's Dragoon abilities. Also, Freya's brother, Freyr, was the God of Rains and Sun. This possibly relates to the gloomy weather of Burmecia and the sunny weather of Cleyra.
Garland: See above.
Garnet: A reddish semiprecious gem. Thanks to Sephy1024 for reminding me. An interesting parallel from TheInnuendo: Since Dagger's real name is Sarah and she arrives on a boat at Madain Sari. It seems to be very akin to the arrival of Christ's daughter, Sarah to France on another wooden boat. This theory is presented in the book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln.
Hilda: The_Innuendo tells us that Hilda Garde may be derived from the name Hilda Gadea, the wife of Argentine revolutionary leader Che Guevarra. The rebellious nature of Hilda against her husband Cid in FFIX may relate in that both the real and fictional Hildas were revolutionaries.
Kuja: Moogle Fan writes that Kuja is a Hindu god. The name means "son of the earth" (note that Terra means "earth" as well). Seraph says: "Kuja is also known in Hinduism as the equivalent of Mars, the Red Planet in some astrology teachings, also fitting considering that is Terra."
Lani: Moogle Fan writes that her name means "sky" or "heaven" in Hawaiian.
Leo and Cornelia, from the play at the start, sound remarkably like King Lear and his daughter Cordelia, from Shakespeare's "King Lear"
Marcus: Reiko-Chan mentions he's in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
Mikoto: Moogle Fan (again) says that it's Japanese for "life" or "angel". Ryoko Habuki says it means "the spoken word of a ruler". ManaMoggle adds that 'mikoto' can also be Japanese for "lord" or "prince".
Necron: Joey Martin writes: "The prefix 'necro-' means of or pertaining to death... do the math. Also, his name in the Japanese version was "Ein no Yami." Or "darkness of eternity/eternal darkess." He calls himeself the "darkness of eternity" in his funky speech in the US version."
Puck: The name of a mischievous spirit from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
Quina Quen: According to shepherdboy23 explains Quina's name is a play on words in that Quina is Japanese for "to eat" and Quen is Japanese for 'cannot eat' or 'inedible'
Sara: See FF1.
Steiner: Simon Ammundsen writes: "Stein" is German for "stone" or "jewel" and is essentially just a common German name. Moogle Fan adds that his first name may be from Teutonic origins and be added from "adel", "noble", and "bert", "bright; noble heritage". Several people have added that the name could come from a beer stein, which is a closed mug with a shape slightly similar to Steiner's helmet.
Stilztkin: Probably named after Rumpelstiltzkin, a legendary dwarf who could spin thread into gold (Stiltzkin's coat is a bright yellow).
Vivi: Nathan Tryon thinks the name "is probably based on the latin word for "life" - in vivo, in vitro, etc., which makes sense considering the character." Thorne Melcher says it literally means "to be alive". Also, a whole bunch of people have mentioned that the name may be "VIVI", or Roman numerals for "66". However, I don't like that for two reasons. First, Roman numerals for 66 would actually be "LXVI", and second, Vivi was a prototype, so his number would be "I" if any.
Holden Mann has a delightful take on this which I don't think is true in the least, but is just so neat. 8-) "'F' is the sixth letter in the English alphabet. Write out Vivi's name as VI-VI, substitute 'F' for VI, and you get FF - the acronym for our favorite RPG series."
Zidane: Several people have sent me the name of a popular French soccer player named Zinedine Zidane. I'm extremely skeptical that Square would base one of their main characters on an actual person, though. Ebony opines: "For
me it's coming from "gitan" (a french word meaning gipsy) and "tzigane" (this one also exists in English). In RPG, the gitan class is close to the thief class, so it fairly fits for FF9's main character. Also Tribal alludes to how the gipsys live (in tribes), and Zidane is also living with a band." A note from ShinyMasamune: I was messing around with anagrams, and I discovered that "Zidane Tribal" can be rearranged to "Lazier Bandit". Probably not at all relevant, yet a fun and striking coincidence :).
Auron: After some rooting around I haven't been able to find anything really satisfactory about this name. The closest I came is an attempt by Moogle Fan which says that it may be "a Celtic name which combines 'aur' (gold) and 'on' (a divine ending or death)." Note that Aurum is Latin for "gold" as well, but I haven't been able to really link the word with the character. ^^; Yuna Lesca says that the name is similar to Aaron, Moses' brother, from the Bible, but I personally see no similairities at all between the two people. Andrew Edwards suggests that the name is based off of the lights of the aurora, relating to the fact that Auron is an unsent and made up of pyreflies (the floating, flickering balls of life energy found in Spira).
A more generic one (and oddly the one that seems most fitting) comes from silentshadow: The name "Auron" sounds very similar to "aura" and "aurora", both words with Latin roots related to dawning and light, and with a sort of ghostly, ethereal sense to them. Makes sense when you consider the fact that he's an Unsent, a ghostly being made of light and pyreflies. (The pyreflies kinda look like 'aurora borealis'--the northern lights...)
Belgemine: From Marigold Futura: "In
Japanese, can translate to 'mountain peak' ('berugu' meaning mountain, and 'mine' meaning peak or ridge). As for the possible symbolism of it, this is kind of a reach, but...mountains are viewed as a connection between the two worlds (of Heaven and Earth), and Belgemine is caught between two worlds, being that she's...well, you know if you played the game."
Calli: fractyl2 tells us that her Japanese name is Hikari which means "light".
Gandof: The summoner who long ago defeated Sin and built the towers in Thunder Plains and solved the Cactuar stone mystery. According to weapon_X_33 Gandof is likely a nod to Gandalf in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.
Kimahri: Another tough one... the closest one I got here is from Yuna Lesca who says: "Kimahri comes from the 66th spirit of the Goetia with different names like Cimeies, Cimejes and Kimaris. This spirit can also discover lost/hidden things and treasures."
Moogle Fan sez: "Final Fantasy X's Kimahri is spelt as Kimari, when translated from katakana to romanized Japanese. Kimari means 'settlement', 'conclusion', 'regulation', 'rule', and 'custom' in Japanese."
Leblanc: From Moogle Fan: This is French for "the white".
Arlen Pavka has an interesting tidbit: "I believe I have an interesting origin for LeBlanc from X-2. Not the name but rather the design of sorts. LeBlanc and her two subordinates resemble a common theme/trope in Anime made by famous by Tatsunoko Productions' Time Bokan series called the "Skull Trio". The Skull Trio consisted of a sexy, but vain young woman and her two lackeys. One short and stout which served as the group's muscle, and the team's genius who was generally tall and scrawny. The three of them would cause trouble for the series' heroes only to be defeated in forumulaic fashion. The fun, ironic bit that's worth mentioning about these characters were that they were designed by Yoshitaka Amano."
Logos: From Moogle Fan: There are several different meanings attributed to this. Pre-Socratic philosophy holds that "logos" is the principle governing the cosmos, the source of this principle, and human reasoning about this principle. Also means "the word of God". Michael Robinson notes that Logos originally worked for the Yevonites, so it fits. firefreak says that the word doesn't necessarily have to do with God, but is the Greek word for language in general; considering Logos's more intellectual nature, it also might fit well.
Lulu: More from Moogle Fan: This is a name meaning "famous warrior maiden". Also, according to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 'lulu' was an early 20th century term used to described a woman with unique talents or ability. From Shah: Lulu's looks and names may have been inspired by silent film star Louise Brooks. See this Wikipedia entry for more info
Seymour: Seraph has the following to say: "I dunno what Seymour in FFX actually connatates for, but I do know the origins for his different forms. They're all Latin.
1) Solus (the very first battle, I've seen it mentioned in places) - means alone, ignored, which fits considering his circumstances.
2) Natus - this links to the idea of birth (nativity, naitre is French for to be born) which is ironic considering he just died, and this transformation could be considered as a rebirth.
3) Flux - this means change, but also links to flowing, leaking of water (the water theme of Seymour perhaps?).
4) Omnis - means "everyone, everything, the Universe" e.g Omni in English. Relevant considering at this point he plans on becoming Sin and killing/becoming one with everything.
As for his hench monster, MortiBody and Mortiorchis, these are Latin and English (Mortis/mor meaning Death, corpse) for Dead Body and Dead Plant (loosely, Orchis means orchid, esp. of fleshy stem and having spike, which kinda fits considering the look of the thing)."
Zephyr adds: "The japanese name for Seymour's Mortiorchis translated closer to Mortivessel. Quite fitting since if you look you can see Seymour Natus inside Mortivessel."
Seraph adds: "Seymour can mean "seaman" which is kinda basic but links to the water theme, but it's the religious background that is more relevant. The name Seymour is derived from several variations of a saint's name called Saint Maritius/Maurus, etc, which fits due to the fact he is a Maester of their religion. However, the French equivalent is Saint Mortez, which is even more relevant as Mort is French/Latin for death, also fitting Seymour's intentions."
Shinra: See Misc..
Sin: I want to note first that I don't think there's any big reference behind his name other than its immediate meaning of little-s "sin". But I've gotten enough letters about it to at least post the idea that I don't agree with. 8p The latest is from Michael Robinson: "Sin (Babylonian/Akkadian/Sabaean) The moon god is the husband of Shamash to the old Persians. He is symbolized by the lying sickle of the quarter moon & is equal in essence with the Sumerian Nanna. His worship centres were at Assur and Harran (Syria). Might be the god which was worked over into Allah by Muhammad."
Tidus: Hiro2k explains: "Tidus" (which is pronounced Tii-da in the Japanese version, not Tee-dus or Tide-us) is from the Ryukyu (Okinawan) dialect of Japanese, and means "sun". It comes from the honorific once used to refer to an Okinawan king: Tidanukwa, or Tedako in Japanese, which means, "child of the sun".
I do NOT think that his name comes from the word "Tide", tying him in to Squall and Cloud. The words are pronounced completely differently.
Vidina: ex_soldier_ff7 informs us that Vidina, when ciphered into Al Bhed, means 'future'.
Wakka: Michael Robinson says that it means "water" in the Ainu language, spoken on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
Yu Yevon: Moogle Fan says that "yu" is Korean for "the spirit of the dead or afterlife; secret, obscure, or secluded" (means the same as the Japanese word "yuu"). Ryoko Habuki says it comes from the word "possession". A neat little tibit from assamite316: In Japanese, as we all know, Yevon was "Ebon". This has nothing to do with Ebony, but is in fact based on the Hebrew Name of G-d, the Tetragrammaton. In English, this is known to be "Jehovah" or "Yahweh". An approximate (we never know) transcription of the Hebrew Name would be "Yehovah". In Japanese, it is "Ehoba". If we were to restore the proper consanants in place, we get:
Ehoba = Yehova and
Ebon = Yevon
Yuna: Hiro2k again: "Yuna" (Yuu-na) is also from the Ryukyu dialect, and means "night," and also refers to the hibiscus flower, which is called "yuna" because of the fact that it is more open at night than during the day. Tara Mars mentions that this flower also decorates Yuna's outfit and jewelry.
Yunalesca: Moogle Fan mentions that the "lesca" may come from the name Leska, which means "defender of mankind" in Greek.
Zaon: From Moogle Fan: Zaon is an ancient name for the sun in Sanskrit. The relationship between Zaon (sun) and Yunalesca (moon) parallels that between Tidus (sun) and Yuna (moon).
Promathia:SUPRIMEAU2525 suggests that Promathia may relate to Promethius, the titan who created mankind in Greek mythology. Since the trailer for Chains of Promathia suggests that Promathia is some sort of dark creator god,he may relate to the mythological character.
Vaan: From David Hannah: This is Dutch for "flag". Perhaps illustrating Vaan's patriotism.
Penelo: From David Hannah: "Penelo may be an abridged form of Penelope, a name chosen by Homer to be the faithful wife of Odysseus. According to the wikipedia article on Penelope, the name is taken from the Greek word for "web" and the Greek word for "eye." The name is often associated with loyalty."
Fran: From David Hannah: "Fran may have derived from the Old French term "franc" meaning "free" or "sincere." It is also worth noting that the term "frank" derives from the freemen, the Franks, or those that conquered Celtic Gaul from the Romans in c.500. As the conquering class, they were the only freemen."
Basch: From David Hannah: "Basch is a German surname abridged from the German name, Sebastian -- a name whose Latin origin 'Sebastianus' was meant as 'a man from Sebastia'. Sebastia was a city named from the Greek 'sebastos' meaning 'revered.' Hence, the name Sebastian (and by extension Basch) can mean: 'A man from a revered city.'"
Deweg and Gibbs: From ShinyMasamune: The guards at Nalbina Town are actually old friends in disguise! Their names are anagrams of the ubiquituous pair, Biggs and Wedge.
Larsa Solidor: From Catherine Wheeler: "He was apparently named after the ancient Mesopotamian city of Larsa, which was first mentioned in inscriptions as early as 2700-2800 BC. It was most notable for breaking away from the larger city of Isin and then going on to prevent Isin from flourishing by capturing other nearby cities and cutting off Isin's access to nearby canals. Maybe this could be compared to how in FF12, Larsa eventually 'cut off' from Vayne."
Zalera: From Olin Cannon: The name Zalera is an anagram of Azrael, who is the angel of death.
Benjamin: This is supposed to be the real name of the hero. BlinkFlame notes that Benjamin was Jacob's youngest son (see Reuben below). Matthew Chouest states that Benjamin comes from the Hebrew word 'Binyaman' meaning 'son of the south'.
Kaeli: Kaeli Kreider was one of the producers at Squaresoft.
No myths here. ^_^
From Justin: "I believe Kaeli is also the feminine of the Gaelic name Kael (also Kaellen, and about 6 other spellings). This name
means 'mighty warrior'."
Phoebe: Her name means "moon." She was one of the Titans in
Greek mythology. Andrew Smith disagrees: "Phoebe does not mean moon. It is Greek and one of the female Titans had that name, but it was also an epithet of Artemis. That was because her brother, Apollo, had the epithet Phoebus. Both words mean 'shining one,' '-e' being the feminine ending, and '-us' the masculine. Because of that, they were sometimes confused with the proper Greek deities Helios (god of the sun), and his sister Selene (goddess of the moon)."
Pazuzu: There was a demon named Pazuzu in
Reuben is a biblical name; he was the oldest son of Jacob.
Tristam: His name means sorrowful. In the Arthurian legends,
there is a knight named Tristan or Tristram, the nephew of King Mark
(hey, that's me) of Cornwall. Tristan fell in love with Mark's bride to
be, Isolde (Iseult) because of a love potion. This legendary romance is
the subject of an opera by the great Gareth Wagner ("Tristan und
Isolde" in German). Also baseball Hall of Famer Tris Speaker's real
first name is "Tristram".
From FF Tactics
Adrammelech: From the GameFAQs FFT Board: Also spelled Adramelk and Adramelechk. A demon worshipped at Sepharvaim, an Assyrian town, where children were burned on his altar. It was usually represented under the shape of a mule, or sometimes, of a peacock. Some say that it was a combination of both, a mule with a peacock feather tail, because besides being though of as a very stubborn demon, Adramelech displayed pride in his position as the lord chancellor of Hell, 'Keeper of the Wardrobe of the Demon King' and president of Satan's private council, the High Council of the Devils.
The name Adramelech (also Adrammalech) appears in the Old Testament only twice. The first time, he is mentioned as a son of the Assyrian King Sennacharib along with Sharezer, who murdered their father while he was worshiping in the temple of his idol, Nisrach. The second time Adramelech is mentioned is in the context of a Samarian sun god who was worshipped by the Sepharvites.
Alma's name comes from Hebrew and means "young woman". Águeda Oliveira mentions that it's also Latin for "soul".
Altima: A mistranslation of Ultima; see here.
Beoulve: Cain Highwin> notes that this might be a meandering reference (via French pronunciation) of the hero Beowulf (see below).
Beowulf, one of your companions, has the same name as the hero
from the ancient Anglo-Saxon legend. In the story, Beowulf kills
Grendel, a monster who's been preying on the people. Dave Chou adds that in the Beowulf Saga, Beowulf met his demise as he fought against a dragon, in the end they killed each other. There's irony in the game as Beowulf
is in love with a dragon (Reis) wheras from the Anglo-Saxon legend he is in quite the exact opposite terms with the dragon.
Tenshi no Ai also talks about Beowulf's last name, Cadmus. "Cadmus, who in Greek mythology is the first king of Thebes, was exiled from his homeland and forced to wander with his soldiers to find a new home. They encountered a serpent sacred to Ares, and after a long battle Cadmus killed the serpent at the cost of all of his men. Athena appeared and told him to pull out the dragon's teeth and plant them, and he watched as the dragon-teeth-men fought and killed each other until there were only five left. These men would become the ancestors of the Thebans. However, for the sin of killing Ares' dragon, Cadmus was fated to turn into a dragon along with his wife Harmonia late in their lives."
Bordam Daravon: His first name sounds uncannily like "boredom". 8-)
Draclau: Cain Highwind notes that this is an anagram of Dracula. Chrono Trigger adds: "The Dracula mentioned is not based after the vampire but on the historical figure "Dracula Vlad Tepes" who was a crusader from the Catholic church who fought against the Turks in the mid-1400s. Even though he was a religious person, he's very unforgiving to anyone who opposes him. The connection is Dracula sent a general on a mission but he failed it, so Dracula executed him, just as how Draclau murdered Ludovich for failing his mission. The Vampire Cape however is probably more based on the vampire than Vlad Tepes." (Interestingly enough, in a scene in Castlevania: Spirit of the Night for PSX, Dracula is called "Dracula Vlad Tepes". Probably overzealous myth-making, though.)
: From the GameFAQs FFT Board: "Hashmalim are one of the upper choirs of angels in Jewish mysticism (possibly Christianity as well)."
Malak: John Charbatji says this is a masculine name in Arabic meaning "king" or "master". Fade adds that Malak is also Arabic for 'angel' referring to Marach as a Hell Knight. (Hey, he could be a fallen angel.)
Orlandeau: SapiekaFam writes in that he might be named after "Orlando, a Paladin of Charlemagne, a hero of romance and
Queklain: A mistranslation of Cuchullain, an Irish folk hero, foster son of King Conor. One of the more famous portions of this hero’s stories is the account of his fight with his friend Ferdiad, leader of the Connaught knights.
Rafa: John Charbatji says this is a feminine name in Arabic meaning "happiness" and "prosperity".
Wiglaf, called Wiegraf in the English version, is one of
Beowulf's "thanes", or warriors, in the Beowulf saga.
Velius is probably a mistranslation of "Belial". Literally the word means "wicked", but is often used for various different demons, devils, leaders of said demons/devils, etc. A.L. adds that velius (also velieris) is Latin for skin, hide, or fleece, and that "they get fleece from rams, don't they?" Dark Labrador adds that Belias is derived from the French word "Belier" which is their word for the Zodiac ram, Aries.
Zarela/Zalera: Either way it's spelled, this is an anagram for Azrael, the Jewish angel of death. (Note that that's Zarela's Job.) "Azrael" means "God's help" or "God's helper".
Adrammelech: See Adrammelech.
Babus Swain: From Mike Clapperton: Babus is probably derived from Babier/babied, which means "Of or having to do with a baby," which would most likely be Mewt. Swain has Icelandic roots from Svenn, which means a servant.
Exodus: Means "mass departure". There's a book in the Old Testament called this, referring to the Jews' exodus. I highly doubt this is a reference to ExDeath, so please stop telling me so. 8p
Ezel Berbier: From Mike Clapperton: Ezel is from the bible and means to "walk/go abroad". emperor_tomato tells that Ezel is a Dutch word meaning 'donkey' which symbolizes stubborness and endurance. He also tells that Berbier is Greek for "barbaric".
Hanzou: You fight this ninja in mission #96. Cain Highwind says: "In Japanese history, there is such a man named Hattori Hanzo who lived in the mid to late 16th Century, and is considered to be the "most famous of Ninjas of Iga". His nickname was "Devil Hanzo" because of the tactics he used such as night raids on enemy strongholds. He is also a character in SNK's Samurai Spirits (aka Samurai Shodown outside Japan) fighting game series."
Llednar Twen: "Mewt Randell" backwards.
Marche Radiuju: From Rouse01: Marche is the present tense conjugation of the French 'marcher' (to march). Quite suiting for the lead hero of a military tactics game.
Mateus: From Mike Clapperton: "English form of Matthaios, which was a Greek form of the Hebrew name Mattithyahu which meant "gift of God". Saint Matthew, also called Levi, was one of the twelve apostles (a tax collector). He was supposedly the author of the first Gospel in the New Testament. Kinda fits with the whole protector idea."
Montblanc: This is French for "white mountain". Lord Kyrn adds that the real Mont Blanc, in the French Alps, is the highest mountain in Western Europe.
Pam Le Fey: According to bluekirb: Le Fey is derived from French for 'the fairy'. Very appropriate seing that she is a Titania.
Ritz Malheur: "Malheur" is French for "bad hour". Sinistral sends in a revision saying that "mal heure" would directly translate to bad hour, but "malheur" is a word which means "bad event" or something along those lines.
Mike Clapperton sez: Ritz means "To behave or live in an elegant, ostentatious manner". Kinda fitting given she dyes her hair.
Some of the random names of PCs include Dolce and Gabbana. In addition, MIR THE GREAT writes that two of the random names are Lukino and Visconti. Lukino is probably as mistransliteration of "Luchino", since "Luchino Visconti" was a famous Italian director.
From FF: The Spirits Within
Aki: Moogle Fan says this name is Japanese for autumn or fall. Adding to this, shepherdboy23 says that according to his FF:TSW DVD, Aki was named after the creator Sakaguchi's mother whose death inspired the film.
From FF: Unlimited
Ai: Japanese for love.
Chobi: Henry Wright says that Chobi may be a conjunction of chocobo and 'chibi', the Spanish word for small. ShadowMan, a native Spanish speaker adds that 'chibi' is actually not Spanish at all, and is likely Japanese in origin.
Crux: Ai's Kareshi notes that this is an English word for "a difficult matter; a puzzle". Phantasious suggests that Crux may come from the Latin word 'crux' meaning cross.
Fabula: Canis says Fabula is Latin for 'fable'. Quite appropriate for a storytelling woman.
Fungus: Canis reminds us that fungus is simply a more scientific word for mushrooms.
Helba: Wilfredo Martinez mentions that it may be based on "herbal" - thus her plant motif. (In Japanese, "r" and "l" are interchangable.)
Kaze: Just Japanese for "wind", as in "black wind".
Kiri: From rdrango: 'Kiri' is simplu Japanese for 'mist'.
Knave: From dragoneye13: Knave is a term for a Jack in playing cards. Quite appropriate since he is head of the also card-themed 'Comodin'.
Kumo: From rdrango: 'Kumo' is simply Japanese for 'cloud'.
Lu Lupis: Canis tells us that Lupis is a Latin word for "wolf". Apparently, this character is a wolf-girl.
Pisco: Canis says Pisco is Latin for 'fish'. Appropriate for this character's water themes.
Oscar: Canis discovered a very interesting possibility for this name. He found that if you anagram the Japanese spelling of 'chaos' (KA-O-SU), you can get O-SU-KA or Oska/Oscar. Well, done!
Yu: Ryoko Habuki says this is Japanese for "help".
From FF:Crystal Chronicles According to hawkfangor, Yuu is Japanese for 'Courage'. It's also neat how there are two characters named Yuu and Ai. A clever Japanese/English pun!
Mio and Raem: According to Clappers.Seraph, if you anagram the names of the final bosses of this game, you can get "Memoria". This greatly reflects the games theme in memories and remembrance.