One Steve Limit/Video Games

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Inversions of, and exceptions to, a One Steve Limit in Video Games include:

  • Secret of Mana has a character named Phanna, and a separate character named Fanha. This is entirely coincidence, and no attention is brought to it.
  • Given the 500ish characters that have appeared in the Suikoden series so far, it's something of a miracle that there were only a handful of names (Hugo, for one) ever shared by multiple characters (time-traveling teleportresses in Suikoden III aside).
  • In Tactics Ogre, there are two Lans (Lancelot), one on the protagonist's side, and one on the antagonist's. Both are Knights, and the first stage in the game involves confusing one for the other. The prequel reveals that this is a title.
  • There are two robot masters named Oil Man, Wave Man and Blade Man in the Mega Man series. All three of the originals are from the fairly obscure PC games, not made by Capcom.
  • The Metal Gear series has six characters whose names are variants of John - two Johns (one also called Jack), another Jack, two Johnnys and an Ivan, plus two more of the similarly-sounding Jonathan. Five of them appear in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and each game in the series has at least one. The same series also includes two Davids, Jim and James, Natasha and Nastasha, two President Johnsons (the real-life Lyndon B. Johnson and the fictional James Johnson), and no less than five characters who have at some point gone by the codename Snake.
    • In the later versions of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Natasha Marcova was renamed Gustava Heffner, long after said character was already referred by her original name in the plot summaries included in most versions of the first Metal Gear Solid.
  • Kingdom Hearts faced this problem when they added Pirates of the Caribbean to their cast of Disney Worlds, now having TWO playable characters named Jack. (Jack Sparrow, from the aforementioned movie and Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas). Since this would have interfered with the games level-up system for additional party-members, the pirate-Jack is referred to as "Sparrow" in the game's pause-menu and level-up boxes; interestingly, Sora, Donald, and Goofy also call him "Captain."
    • And when a version of Rikku from Final Fantasy X turns up, they simply don't call her anything, to avoid confusion with the original character Riku.
      • This is actually why Yuffie is with Squall Leon in the first game: the original plan was to have Rikku accompany him, but the powers that be decided it'd be too confusing with two Rik(k)us.
    • Not to mention where this is done in the plot. Mickey spends much of Kingdom Hearts II searching for Ansem to request his help. No, not Ansem the villain from the first game, but Ansem the Wise, who the villain of the first game actually stole the name from after deposing him. The villain's real name is Xehanort, which soon leads to....
      • And then, of course, there's MASTER Xehanort- who's actually the same person as the Xehanort calling himself Ansem the Great, before he played Body Snatcher with Terra. Basically, most instances of this trope in the Kingdom Hearts series are really just Master Xehanort fucking with our heads.
      • The Kingdom Hearts wiki refers to Ansem (the evil one) as "Xehanort's heartless".
    • The Virtual Paper Doll in Kingdom Hearts coded has parts for both Terra and Terra.
  • In the Might and Magic series, there are multiple characters called Crag Hack, Sandro, Corak and so on. Lampshaded during the good ending of Might and Magic VII. Subverted in Might and Magic I and Might and Magic V, both have a character called Alamar. The subversion is that in the first game Alamar is imprisoned by Sheltem who then impersonates him, while in the fifth game Sheltem appears on another world and just calls himself Alamar to hide his true identity.
    • Usually played straight by necessity, though, as few characters have a (known) last name.
      • Corak twists it around further: where the others (including Alamar—another shows up in the Heroes series) are different characters that happen to share a name, the Coraks are robots, with Corak being the name for the model.
    • A rather confusing example turns up in Heroes of Might and Magic V. Despite being a new setting, the game refers to a Sandro several times. From what little is known, he seems to have a lot in common with the previous characters named Sandro
  • An important plot point in Tsukihime. The main character and the Big Bad are both called Tohno Shiki. The main character is adopted, in fact, it seems the main reason he was adopted was because the head of the family thought that it was amusing that he had the same name as his son.
    • The two names are spelled differently in kanji though, so after The Reveal there's no confusion whatsoever to the readers. It had previously been assumed that he just wrote his name in katakana as kid out of laziness. English fans of the series write out SHIKI in all caps to differentiate.
    • Then there is Tohno Shiki's Alter Ego Nanaya Shiki.
    • Interestingly, the author also used this exact name confusion thing in Kara no Kyoukai:. It's even the same name: Shiki. Again, they're spelled differently in kanji and in fact both of them are different from both of the spellings in Tsukihime. Furthermore, this Shiki has three personalities.
    • So all in all, there are six different characters that bear the name Shiki in the Nasuverse.
  • In the Pokémon games since Pokémon Gold and Silver, the individual, nondescript Trainers you fight all have unique names. While few of them share names exactly, you'll often run into two totally different Trainers with slight spelling variations in their names, such as an Allie and an Alli, or a Sean and a Shawn. This is at its most amusing in Platinum, where there's a Zackary (a Camper) and a Zachary (a Fisherman) on the same route.
    • Of course, somewhat realistically given the completely different settings, this happens quite frequently across different games. For example, in FireRed and LeafGreen there's a Bug Catcher Colton, and in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl there's a Swimmer Colton.
    • The Spanish translations of the game averted this twice: First in Pokémon Gold and Silver, where two of the trainers who gave you their phone were called Ángel (The game called them "Ángel1" and "Ángel2".), and in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Brendan was renamed "Bruno", just like the Elite Four Trainer, who kept has name in the Spanish version as in English and is even referenced in-game. At least the former was fixed on the Updated Rerelease, where the second guy was simply renamed Ángelo, making one wonder why they didn't come with that the first time around.
    • It was also rather close to being averted with a major character in the English version of Platinum - the Frontier Brain Caitlin differs by just one letter from a generic trainer on Route 203, Kaitlin. Their Japanese names (Cattleya and Sayuri respectively) aren't similar.
  • In Beyond Good and Evil, both the "leader" of Jade's children and The Quisling share the same name: Fehn. Since it seems to be a largely made-up name, and since they're introduced by name within a few minutes of each other, it sticks out even more.
  • Three instances in the Castlevania series. John Morris (Bloodlines) and his son Jonathan Morris (Portrait of Ruin). Aeon the time traveler (Judgment) and Aeon the fat chef (Order of Ecclesia). And Elisabetha (Dracula's first love), Lisa (Dracula's second love and Alucard's mother), and Elizabeth (Dracula's niece and servant in Bloodlines).
  • In RuneScape, there are several Alis, several Petes, several Jacks and also few Bobs, Sarahs, Brians and Charlies. There are few other repeating names too.
    • Parodied with Alis and Petes. All Alis, for an example, come from Pollivneach and some don't like to be called Ali. For other names, the similarity is just a coincidence.
    • And, while not exactly names but instead titles, the Mysterious Old Man, the Strange Old Man, the Weird Old Man, and the Odd Old Man. The Wise Old Man is a borderline, since his title isn't a synonym for "strange" and he does have a real name.
  • Elite Beat Agents has Sofie Hudson the weather reporter and Sophie Keen the supermodel.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei, the law hero's girlfriend is arrested when the government rounds up everyone with the same name as the heroine. One character wonders how many people with that name there can be.
  • In Persona 4, playable character Kanji Tatsumi shares a name with Tatsumi Port Island (the location of Persona 3), which the characters visit at one point. In Japanese they're written with completely different characters that just happen to be pronounced the same way, but there's no distinction between them in the English version.
  • In Ever 17: no two characters actually share the same name, but the names that the player initially knows them as can sometimes be one of several characters. "You" could be either Youbiseiharukana Tanaka or Youbiseiakikana Tanaka, "Kid" could refer to Ryogo Kaburaki or Hokuto.
    • One example actually does exist, though it is a minor one. Takeshi Kurenari is the name of the main character, and shares his given name with the father of another character (Coco Yagami), although Takeshi Yagami is only mentioned in dialogue and never appears onscreen.
  • Hakkar (the soulflayer, a serpentine troll god) and Hakkar (the houndmaster, a demon leader) in the Warcraft universe. Chris Metzen, the guy in charge of creative development, later apologized.
  • The Overlord series currently has four different distinct characters named as such, due to Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" and that the Overlord is a Legacy Character.
  • In Touhou, there's Reisen Udongein Inaba and another Reisen, the latter possibly being named after the former. Debatable, though, as the former's name is written in kanji while the latter's is written in katakana. English fans call the latter "Reisen II".
    • Rin Kaenbyou shares name with a Dummied Out character of EoSD, Rin Satsuki.
  • Almost every Final Fantasy game has a character named "Cid". While the individual Cids that do not co-exist with other Cid in their own worlds are most likely something belonging to some other trope entirely, Final Fantasy XII embraced this one by including 2 Cids: Al-Cid Magrace and Professor Cidolfus Demen Bunasa, Al-Cid and Cid for short respectively. As if that alone wasn't enough, in Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Al-Cid makes a return, only to be in the same clan as an important character named Cid. That makes three Cids in the same Universe.
    • Although a better example would be in Final Fantasy IV where you have the bard Edward Chris von Muir, who is the Prince of Damcyan. Later on you, recruit the Ninja Edward Geraldine, who goes by the alias of Edge. Did we mention he's the prince of Eblan? And then later they are both kings in the sequel. Now, if only there was a character named Ed, we could have a Ed, Edge, and Edward party... Played straight in the Japanese versions where Edward is named Gilbert.
  • In terms of Capcom crossovers, Namco X Capcom had MOMO and Wonder Momo, and Tatsunoko VS Capcom has Viewtiful Joe and Joe the Condor. Incidentally, Tatsunoko VS Capcom, while being the first Capcom crossover to feature Ken the Eagle, is the first one not to have Ken Masters (not even as a non-playable cameo).
  • The Street Fighter series itself has a "Juli" from Street Fighter Alpha 3 (whose real name is "Julia") and a "Juri" from Super Street Fighter IV. The former's name was even misspelled "Juri" in SVC Chaos.
    • Then there's Mike from the first Street Fighter and the boxer from Street Fighter II, whose original name was Mike Bison (officially abbreviated to M. Bison). Since they're both black boxers with roughly similar designs, this has to the speculation as to whether they're the same character or not.
  • This is the case in the original Backyard Baseball and Backyard Soccer. After the pros first appear in the series, the trope is averted.
  • The first case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All has two witnesses; Dick Gumshoe and Richard Wellington. Though the name similarity isn't pointed out at all, since their names were completely different in the original Japanese version. Similarly, the series also features Larry Butz and Lawrence Curls, though they don't even appear in the same game. The English version of Ace Attorney Investigations plays this trope straight and dodges it, changing the character Zinc White's name, probably to avoid any connection to Redd White from the first game. One case has two characters named Manny Coachen and Manfred von Karma, although the latter's a character from an earlier game.
  • The Paradox Interactive games Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis: Rome have Loads and Loads of Characters and only so many names in the random generator's database; justified, as medieval Europe and (especially) Ancient Rome heavily averted this trope.
  • In The Legend of Zelda game series, there are four characters named Link (or whatever the player calls him) other than the Legacy Character heroes. Two of them are explicitly named for hero-Link (Darunia's son in Ocarina of Time and a pig in The Wind Waker), one is a cat that lives in the same village in Twilight Princess implied to be, and the fourth (a goron in Majora's Mask) is done as a gag (he has a reservation at an inn where the innkeeper has trouble remembering faces, so within the right time frame, hero-Link can claim his reserved room.)
    • There have been several characters named "Fado" in the series. The only thing they have in common is living in a forest.
    • Twilight Princess has a swordsman and resistance member called Rusl, while Spirit Tracks has the leader of the Hyrule Castle guards called Russell.
    • Additionally every female born into the royal family has to be named Zelda, yes every single one.
    • (The) Link(s) himself/themselves may count, although not at the same time as one another unless he got ahold of the four sword. No Link is immortal, but another one is always born at the right time. In universe, they are referred to by specific titles instead of by name when there is a Continuity Nod. You'd think Ganondorf would seek out and destroy any guy named Link before they became a threat by now...
  • Strongly averted in the Silent Hill series: there are two James (Sunderland and Stone), two Frank (Sunderland and a man in the Arcade game whose last name isn't mentioned), two Eric (Walsch and Lake), two Sharon (Blake and DaSilva) and possibly more that I'm forgetting.
  • There are quite a few examples of characters in the Fallout series sharing names. For example, Whiskey Bob in Klamath and Herbert Bob the tree.
    • Also, Vault 108 in Fallout 3 is populated entirely by Garys.
    • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas have multiple characters that share the same name. This is never pointed out in dialogue, and confusion is generally avoided due to some of the characters only appearing in the backstory or being known on a Last-Name Basis.
  • Final Fantasy X averts this trope with party member Wakka and semi-important NPC O'aka XXIII. It's so bad that, in the Blitzball Tournament plot point, you'd swear that the crowd was calling for that middle-aged shopkeeper you keep running into.
    • Somewhat also referenced with Tidus's line, "It didn't even occur to me to think that the Auron Yuna was talking about...and the one I knew from Zanarkand could be two different people. I don't know why, but I knew it was the same guy. I knew it was the same Auron."
  • Averted with Captain John Price and Sergeant (later Captain) John "Soap" MacTavish in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and its sequel, although the latter's first name was never given in-game until MW3.
    • Several of the characters from Modern Warfare shared surnames with characters from the original Call of Duty series. In turn, some of these were named after the developers. There are also a few randomly-named Marines in Call of Duty 4 that share names with each other.
  • In X-COM, the names of your squad members are randomly generated each time you play, and can be customized. In the demo version, however, the names remain static. And in the demo version squad, you have Manfred Geisler and Manfred Unger.
  • Averted in No More Heroes with three characters named Jeane: Travis's long lost love, his cat (probably named after the former), and a little girl in the real ending.
  • Dead Rising. In an entire packed mall hit by the Zombie Apocalypse that it was being used as a shelter from, none of the survivors happen to have the same first name.
    • Averted in Dead Rising 2 in several ways:
      • One of the poker players is named Jessica, sharing the same name as one of the main characters in Dead Rising 1.
      • John Boog, Johnny James, and Jonathan Kilpatrick, who also goes by the nickname Johnny Pipes.
      • Left hand Lance and Lance Pennington.
      • Andy Talbat and Randy Tugman
      • Kris Bookmiller and Kristin Harris
      • Hell, One of the main characters, Raymond Sullivan, shares a name with Ray Teller. But this is justified, since Raymond Sullivan is reffered to as "Sullivan" in every instance.
  • Utterly averted in The Sims, especially in Pleasantview, where there are two Brandis (Broke and Le Tourneau) two Orlandos (Centowski and Bertino) two Amins (Bear and Sims) and two townies with the exact same full name: Ivy Copur.
  • The Total Extreme Wrestling series has Jack Bruce and Jack Giedroyc on their roster.
  • Averted in Hinatabokko, where both the player and another character are both named Natsuki. It doesn't help that the protagonist has no sprite, meaning that sometimes the only way to tell the Natsukis apart is the context and the fact that the protagonist-Natsuki has no voice.
  • Due to being a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, the Super Robot Wars series tends to avert this, despite the individual properties used usually following it - this allows them to Play With The Trope by having characters get confused about which Masato or Megumi someone is referring to. Super Robot Wars K even has a scene where they point out several cases of shared names for laughs.
  • While it never becomes an issue in-canon, when discussing Ghost Trick you may have to specify whether you meant Sissel the protagonist/cat or Sissel the dead fiancee of Yomiel, who goes on to live in the new timeline.
  • The Elder Scrolls series, with its massive amounts of named NPC's, averts this trope beautifully. Given names tend to be recycled among members of the same sex and race (which actually makes sense because we recycle names ourselves in real life), for example, "Alessia" is a common name amongst Imperial women. This appendix in UESP contains all the names in the Elder Scrolls.
  • The Mass Effect series normally follows this rule, but...
    • There have been four (and counting) Jacobs in the series.[1] One of BioWare's writers must like the name...
    • Invoked in Mass Effect 3 with James Vega, who was originally named James Sanders during development. The name was changed to avoid people thinking he was related to Expanded Universe character Kahlee Sanders. This is referenced in-game if you take James to the Grissom Academy mission and meet Kahlee—he mentions that his father had the last name Sanders ("no relation").
  • In Epic Mickey, there are two extras named Ian. No attention is brought to this, though the game distinguishes them by referring to the pirate as "One Eyed Ian" and the ghost simply as "Ian."
  • Catherine has the protagonist, Vincent, caught in a romance between two girls named (wait for it) Katherine and Catherine.
    • Ironically, the game has only one Steve.
  • In Minecraft's singleplayer mode, there can be only one Steve.
    • Averted in SMP, where there can be many Steves.
  • Shining Force games love to recycle names. Not just common names like Max or Arthur, but also more oddball ones like Hig(g)ins.[2]
  • Tales of Symphonia has an interesting example of a by-product of this: While Raine claims that Mithos is a common male name the "Mithos is THE Mithos" revelation is pretty transpartent because you never actually meet anyone with that name other than him (and judging by Genis's reaction, the party didn't "off screen" either). A similar example is when Zelos becomes suspicious of Regal's identity and admits that he's wondering if he's "that Regal or not", he is, and you never meet anyone else with that name.
  • In Dissidia, there are two characters named Cloud - Cloud Strife, a moody, pointy-haired BFS-swinging Tomato in the Mirror hero, and Cloud of Darkness, an evil Ms. Fanservice who wears basically a cape and a Censor Steam and shoots magic lasers. Generally, Cloud Strife is addressed as 'Cloud' and Cloud of Darkness's name isn't used at all.
  • The original Double Dragon has Billy Lee (the Player 1 character), Williams (an enemy Mook) and Willy (the final boss, often nicknamed "Machine Gun Willy" to avoid confusion). All of them being variants of the name "William" (although "Williams" is technically a surname).
    • While the first game featured a Giant Mook named Abobo, Double Dragon II: The Revenge featured two other ones named Bolo and Abore, although the former looks exactly like Abobo, but with long hair (to the point that he is even listed as "Abobo" in the Mega Drive version).
    • The arcade version of Double Dragon 3 has a "Jim" as the first boss (not to be confused with Jimmy Lee, one of the heroes) and a "Li" as the second boss (who is unrelated to the Lee Brothers, despite being a Bruce Lee Clone like them). Then there's "Sonny" (the third Lee brother) and "Sunny" (the second Urquidez brother), two different character with similar names.
  • Clannad has a main character by the name of Tomoya with a primary female character by the name of Tomoyo. Only a one-letter difference.
    • And also Tomo, her half sister in the sort of sequel.

  1. Mass Effect 2 party member Jacob Taylor, the guy on life support from the "Lost Freighter" sidequest in the first game, Rebekah Petrovsky's late husband, and her unborn son.
  2. Higgins (two "Gs") is a Paladin in Shining Force II, while Higins (one "G") is a Ninja in Shining Force Gaiden II