A Naming Revolution

Pokémon Battle Revolution doesn’t particularly stand out nowadays, despite being one of the first ways to Wi-Fi battle in full, beautiful 3D. It has no story mode, mini-games, or trade functionality, but it does have something that other Pokémon games lack: an exclusive look into the development of Diamond and Pearl. Wait, what?

While looking for possible connections to a list found within Pokémon Home (you gotta go all the way back sometimes), we meandered into the files of the NTSC version of Battle Revolution and peeked into the sound folder. If you happen to have a backup of PBR, you can take a look for yourself, too. There among the music and sound files are, naturally, all 493 of the Pokémon cries.

Yes, a sort of… “cry list”. Oh, how we love our cry lists. This time, however, it isn’t about what order the Pokémon were placed in. The cries are neatly organized in Pokédex order, and labeled with their romaji Japanese names. What is so important about this list is that, well, several of the names of the Generation 4 Pokemon are different. Some of them, in fact, are oddly familiar…

“Oh my god” -the author upon finding this

Many of the names are incredibly short and/or basic. They sound like placeholders before better names were created for them. For your convenience, we’ve recreated the list:

Filename Possible kana name Final Japanese name Final English name Notes
naetoru   naetoru ナエトル Turtwig
hayasigame   hayashigame ハヤシガメ Grotle
morigame モリガメ dodaitosu ドダイトス Torterra Mori = forest, game = turtle. Very rudimentary
hikozaru   hikozaru ヒコザル Chimchar
moukazaru   moukazaru モウカザル Monferno
goukazaru   goukazaru ゴウカザル Infernape
pottyama   pocchama ポッチャマ Piplup
whotta ヲッター pottaishi ポッタイシ Prinplup Water?
enperio エンペリオ enperuto エンペルト Empoleon Seems like a small spelling change
mukudori ムクドリ mukkuru ムックル Starly Dori is from tori, bird
mukubaado   mukubaado ムクバード Staravia
mukuhooku   mukuhooku ムクホーク Staraptor
biibaa ビーバー bippa ビッパ Bidoof Just sounds like beaver
biibaru ビーバル biidaru ビーダル Bibarel Also sounds like beaver
kobosi コボシ korobooshi コロボーシ Kricketot  
koororin コーロリン korotokku コロトック Kricketune  
patiti パチチ korinku コリンク Shinx Probably comes from pachipachi, a sparking sound
batiti バチチ rukushio ルクシオ Luxio Bachibachi
batibatti バチバッチ rentoraa レントラー Luxray Same pun as Luxio
subomii   subomii スボミー Budew
rozureido   rozureido ロズレイド Roserade
patiki パチキ zugaidosu ズガイドス Cranidos From pachycephalosaur
patikingu パチキング ramuparudo ラムパルド Rampardos Pachycephalosaur + king
tatetopusu   tatetopusu タテトプス Shieldon
toridepusu   toridepusu トリデプス Bastiodon
minomutti   minomucchi ミノムッチ Burmy
minomesu ミノメス minomadamu ミノマダム Wormadam Mesu means female, fitting with the theme. Can be seen in the debug Diamond files
gaameiru   gaameiru ガーメイル Mothim
hekisagon ヘキサゴン mitsuhanii ミツハニー Combee Hexagon…
kuinbii クインビー biikuin ビークイン Vespiquen Name reversed
patirissu パチリッス pachirisu パチリス Pachirisu Doubled the S
buizeru   buizeru ブイゼル Buizel
buizeruga ブイゼルガ furozeru Floatzel Probably a placeholder
theririn チェリリン cherinbo チェリンボ Cherubi Just a different cute cherry name
therisyu チェリシュ cherimu チェリム Cherrim cherish?
siiusi シーウシ karanakushi カラナクシ Shellos Sea ushi = sea cow. This is a pun on ウミウシ umiushi, sea cucumber. Can be seen in the debug Diamond files
siidorugo シードルゴ toritodon トリトドン Gastrodon Sea dorugo = Sea Dolgo (kaiju). Can be seen in the debug Diamond files
biipamu ビーパム eteboosu エテボース Ambipom A palm, B palm
huusen フーセン fuwante フワンテ Drifloon It just means balloon
barubon バルボン fuwaraido フワライド Drifblim Ball?
minitto ミニット mimiroru ミミロル Buneary Mini + to..?
baanitto バーニット mimiroppu ミミロップ Lopunny Bunny + to?
muumaou ムウマオウ muumaaji ムウマージ Mismagius Muuma + maou (devil)
donkarasu   donkarasu ドンカラス Honchkrow
rizumhi リズムヒ nyarumaa ニャルマー Glameow Rhythm?
kyattora キャットラ bunyatto ブニャット Purugly It sounds like a mix of cat and tora, tiger. Hopefully this wasn’t another Kotora attempt
ririin リリーン riishan リーシャン Chingling  
sukanpuu   sukanpuu スカンプー Stunky
sukatanku   sukatanku スカタンク Skuntank
seidoo セイドー doomiraa ドーミラー Bronzor Could be a pun on sei (spirit) and dou (copper/bronze)
dootakun   dootakun ドータクン Bronzong
usohati   usohachi ウソハチ Bonsly
manene   manene マネネ Mime Jr.
korakkii コラッキー pinpuku ピンプク Happiny Literally “child Lucky (Chansey)”
perappu   perappu ペラップ Chatot
mikage ミカゲ mikaruge ミカルゲ Spiritomb Extra ru
doran ドラン fukamaru フカマル Gible Could these be a pun on do, “ground”?
doragun

ドラグン

gabaito ガバイト Gabite  
doraguon ドラグオン gaburiasu ガブリアス Garchomp  
gonbe   gonbe ゴンべ Munchlax
ruka ルカ rioru リオル Riolu Sounds like an early placeholder name. Can you guess which one was created first?
rukario   rukario ルカリオ Lucario
zimezou ジメゾウ hipopotasu ヒポポタス Hippopotas Jime seems to be short for jimen, ground. Zou could be from elephant, possibly indicating it was originally an elephant
zimedon ジメドン kabarudon カバルドン Hippowdon Don from mastodon? If we follow the elephant theory
sukoopii スコーピー sukorupi スコルピ Skorupi Scorpy
dorapion   dorapion ドラピオン Drapion  
gureggu グレッグ guregguru グレッグル Croagunk Maybe it was changed because it sounds like Greg…?
dokuroggu   dokuroggu ドクロッグ Toxicroak  
haezigoku ハエジゴク masukippa マスキッパ Carnivine Haejigoku (literally Fly Hell) is a name for the Venus Flytrap
uotto ウオット keikouo ケイコウオ Finneon Uo means fish
gyotto ギョット neoranto ネオラント Lumineon Gyo means fish
tamanta   tamanta タマンタ Mantyke  
yukikaburi   yukikaburi ユキカブリ Snover  
yukinooo   yukinooo ユキノオー Abomasnow  
manyuura   manyuura マニューラ Weavile  
dekakoiru デカコイル jibakoiru ジバコイル Magnezone Deka means big
berorion ベロリオン beroberuto べロベルト Lickilicky  
dosaidon   dosaidon ドサイドン Rhyperior  
mozyanbo   mojanbo モジャンボ Tangrowth  
erekiburu   erekiburu エレキブル Electivire  
buubaan   buubaan ブーバーン Magmortar  
togeon トゲオン togekissu トゲキッス Togekiss “-eon” and “-ion” were often used for the new evolutions here, only Gliscor (Guraion) kept this suffix.
yanmaoo ヤンマオウ megayanma メガヤンマ Yanmega Oo means “king”
riifi リーフィ riifia リーフィア Leafeon The same as its SW97 name
aisia アイシア gureishia グレイシア Glaceon Icia doesn’t have the same ring to it
guraion   guraion グライオン Gliscor  
manmuu   manmuu マンムー Mamoswine  
porigonz   porigonz ポリゴンZ Porygon-Z  
kirurion キルリオン erureido エルレイド Gallade Sounds like Kiruria (Kirlia) and kiru (cut)
biggunozu ビッグノズ dainoozu ダイノーズ Probopass “Dai” means “big”, so…
yonowaaru   yonowaaru ヨノワール Dusknoir  
yukimenoko   yukimenoko ユキメノコ Froslass  
purazuma プラズマ rotomu ロトム Rotom
Plasma, its species name. “pa-ru-su-ma-n” and “pu-ra-su-ma” are similar in structure, so it may be a Pulseman reference.
rei レイ yukushii ユクシー Uxie “Rei” means “spirit”
ai アイ emuritto エムリット Mesprit “Ai” means “love”
hai ハイ agunomu アグノム Azelf “Hai” probably means “faith”
ia   diaruga ディアルガ Dialga “ia” in “Diamond”
ea   parukia パルキア Palkia “ea” in “Pearl”
hiidoran   hiidoran ヒードラン Heatran  
rezikingu レジキング rejigigasu レジギガス Regigigas Regi King
kimairan キマイラン giratina ギラティナ Giratina Sounds like “chimera”. Shares the -ran suffix with Heatran; both are encountered in the postgame.
muubasu ムーバス kureseria クレセリア Cresselia Possibly from “moon”
erufi エルフィ fione フィオネ Phione Name is closer in structure to Manaphy. Elf is a descriptor similar to Sea Angel…
manafi   manafi マナフィ Manaphy  
daaku ダーク daakurai ダークライ Darkrai  
eurisu エウリス sheimi シェイミ Shaymin Sounds like “Eris” and maybe “risu” (squirrel)
ausu アウス aruseusu アルセウス Arceus This one is really weird. Seems to be a shortened form of its final name, possibly a reference to Australopithecus…?

These names shed some light on the interesting process of naming Pokemon, and inspire a lot of questions about how these Pokemon were thought up in the first place. Monsters with particularly intriguing name changes include “Kimairan” Giratina, who perhaps once resembled a chimera, the mysterious “Eurisu” Shaymin, and “Zimezou” Hippopotas, potentially having been a different species altogether.

Battle Revolution came out in Japan in December 2006, only 3 months after Diamond and Pearl’s release. It’s likely that Genius Sonority worked in tandem with the DP team as both games were being created. Due to the division of labor and the creative process of ‘coming up with better names,’ the cries were probably finished before all of the names were finalized, and then the same list was imported into Battle Revolution to use for the cries there. The files may or may not have been updated with the final names before Diamond and Pearl came out, but that’s for Game Freak to know, and not us.

In addition, we noted in the list that Minomesu, Siiusi, and Siidorugo exist in in the Diamond debug cart’s text strings. You can’t find it in the debug functions or interface at all, but here is a screenshot from dumped text:

Even the romaji is the same

To push the envelope, “Siiusi Save Data” is a debug string still present in the final game, most likely related to Shellos’s two location-based forms. It also shows us the proper kana for the prototype name:

In conclusion, we hope this little nugget hidden inside Battle Revolution inspires you to look under overlooked rocks sometimes, especially if those rocks are Pokemon-related.

 

9 Comments

  1. Doragun,ドラグン looks like ドラゴン (doragon), which is dragon transcribed into katakana. I feel like that was the pun they were going for in the Gabite line.

  2. Some mindblowing with the possibility of Purugly caught some inspiration in Kotora!! I remember seeing the differences between some shinies of GSC with Stadium 1/2 and between RSE with Colosseum/XD; it happens with Battle Revolution? Any shiny different from DP games?

    Taking the opportunity, do you intend to someday make an article based on the colors generated by nicknames at Pokémon Stadium? For me still one of the biggest mysteries of pokémon and that I see less and less interest from the community over it.
    Thank you for all the work you are engaged, a fan of Brazil!

  3. ヤンマオウ also strikes me as a possible play on 魔王, a pretty stock title for “demon king”- and “dark lord”-type villains in Japanese media, although I’m not sure how much sense that’d make with the lore Yanmega ended up with. Maybe it was originally flavored very differently? Or maybe I’m just seeing connections where none were intended.

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