Part 33: Short Asides - Meanings of Names
Midnight Voyager posted:
I just wanted to mention that I love this interpretation. I totally see it! I honestly don't think there's a wrong way to look at the sprites in this game, so I love hearing the way other people see them.
Also, since we're getting close to the end of this area, I wanted to mention a few things about the names we've seen in zone 1!
Dedan is the ancient name of a city mentioned in the bible, now known as Al-`Ula, in Saudi Arabia. It was an important trading location, and the name translates to "low ground". (Source)
Zacharie is derived from Zachariah, who was the father of John the Baptist. After doubting a prophecy from an angel, he lost the ability to speak until the day his son was born and he accepted that the prophecy had been fulfilled. (Source)
The best I can find for Elsen is that it's a name derived from Elijah, which in itself means "My God is Jehovah". Elijah was a pretty important biblical prophet who raised the dead and rained fire from the sky. You can read more about Elijah the Prophet here.
I'm just going to post a screen capture of my source for tying Elsen to this name, because nobody else needs to visit biblical-baby-names.com or wherever the fuck I found this.
Damien is the area of zone 1 where we enter the smoke mines for the first time. I think this is a reference to "Damien" typically being the name of the son of the devil, but that's established in pop culture rather than in any religious texts.
Pentel is the area where the metal farms were, and is the name of a Japanese pen company. I can't find any religious tie-ins for this name, except that they make pens specifically for highlighting bibles. (Source) The only reason I bothered including this Japanese pen company fact is that
Shachihata is also the name of a Japanese pen and stamp company. This is where the post office is located. I have no idea if there's any significance here, or if Mortis Ghost was just looking at crap on his desk for names for areas. vv (Source)
Alma, a place that so far appears to have been referred to as a capital city or extremely important place in zone 1, comes from the Book of Mormon. Specifically, the Book of Alma, which tells the story of Alma the younger, who was "a prophet and 'chief judge' of the Nephites." You can read more about it here.
Anyway, none of this is really relevant to the game, I just thought it was interesting to try and root out where the names are coming from! If anyone has further insight on this feel free to chime in, I'm only going by my own google-based research.