Germany might not be the most important country in the games sector. Americans and Japanese generally buy more games, they are more interested in consoles, they usually get most games way earlier (I want Super Paper Mario T_T) and they develop far more and better games (although some German games are really good, such as Farcry). But still sometimes you'll find some ingenious use of the German language in US or Japanese games, mostly Japanese, though. Some titles using German terms are just plain ridiculous to a German, but I guess they sound cool, mean or whatever to Japanese. Here's the Top 10 uses of German in video games.

All three PS2 Xenosaga episodes feature different books written by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche as their subtitle. While "Der Wille zur Macht" (The will to power) has a nice, hard sound to it, typical of the German language and "Also sprach Zarathustra" (Thus Spoke Zarathustra) is pretty hard to pronounce for non-native Germans, I choose "Jenseits von Gut und Bose" (Beyond Good and Evil) as my favorite, just because it actually isn't Bose, but Böse (or Boese, in case gamefaqs doesn't allow for umlauts), using a letter not present in most languages. It makes it more exotic, I guess. ^^

This is a rather unknown action game, having you slaughter waves of monsters and summoning your own creatures. The interesting thing about it is the main character: Sieg Wahrheit. Sounds German? Hell yeah! Probably is a real name? By no means! Sieg Wahrheit would translate as Victory Truth.

Now that's a title I really like. Ok, ok, there's another umlaut in there, but that's not the point. The name has a nice sound to it and I just like the word, which could be translated to cult image servant...or at least something similar. I hope you get the point of what Götzendiener means, though. To be honest, the game itself doesn't have anything to do with a Götzendiener. Gainax probably also just thought of it to be a cool term.

In this horizontal shooter you control a space ship (who would have thought?) with some sort of weapon arm below. Einhänder consists of the words "ein" or "eins", meaning "one", and "Händer" or rather "Hand", obviously meaning "hand". Einhänder can refer to a person using only one hand for most activities or to a sword that's only held by one hand. Is it just my opinion or aren't there loads of other games which would rather fit this name, than Square's shooter does?

Yes, there has been a Square fighting game before Dissidia: Final Fantasy and The Bouncer. You struggle in Tekken-esque battles as a Final Fantasy character, who probably has lots of Ehrgeiz to win. Ehrgeiz means ambition. Actually Square yould have named this one Einhänder.

There are lots of great German cars like Porsche, Mercedes, Maybach, BMW and many more, but Namco likes to make up their own. You get to drive cars like "Gnade" (mercy), "Himmel" (heaven) and "Soldat" (soldier). Somehow, though, the latter one is an Italian car in the game.

Castlevania on the N64 would also have been a good choice as it has you control Reinhard Schneider (which after all really is a German name), but the PC-Engine-episode is a lot cooler in terms of German: The whole intro is read in perfect German, although the game has only been released in Japan. Transsylvania is located in Romania, but somebody at Konami seems to think that German better fits an occult ceremony held to resurrect the vampire lord.

In Europe, Japan and even the US, the second Panzer Dragoon game has a zwei in its title. Zwei means two, which makes it kind of clear why Sega put it in the title of the German version, but why did they do it for all others, too? We'll probably never know.

This is a tactic RPG exclusive to Japan...and please don't ask me what Wachenröder means. It's just completely made up, not even resembling any real word. Wachen could mean Wache (guard), but there's no such thing as a Röder.

Now which game did you expect to be in the first spot? It simply had to be Wolfenstein 3D. Not only is it crammed with swastikas, Hitler paintings, Hitler clones and even a Mech Hitler, but all those pesky soldiers and SS officers keep bubbling some German phrases. Some of them are ok, some of them way to hard to understand and some just ridiculous, yet all of them certainly add to the atmosphere of being alone amidst loads of Nazis. Who could forget sentences like "Mein Leben" (my life), "Die, Führer, Die" (well, ok, die, führer, die, I guess, though you might want to translate führer to leader), "Operation: Eisenfaust" (Operation: Iron Fist), "Nein so was!" (hard to translate...probably something like "y hello thar" would be best ^^). It's also a nice thing id let Americans record the speech in the game, which certainly adds to the somewhat ridiculous sound.

Nine out of ten games in this list are Japanese, but the top spot goes to a US game. Honorable mentions only consist of additional Japanese games, like Schwarzschild (PC-Engine, "black shield"), Neugier (SNES, "curiosity"), P.N.03 (Gamecube) with the main character Vanessa Z. Schneider, Zeitgeist (PSX, also known as Jupiter Strike) and various Beat 'em Up characters like Leopold Goenitz (KoF), Wolfgang Krauser (Fatal Fury), Hugo (Street Fighter) and Siegfried (Soul Calibur).

List by KeeperBvK (06/11/2007)

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