Today, we'll be having a look at the names of the RKS stage bosses. Not the lovely ladies of RKS, mind you. I'm referring to the bosses that never get a character overlay on the Stage Select screen. Wouldn't you know it: Isemiya provided official names for each of the bosses in the game's source code! Where appropriate, we'll be canonizing these names as the official English names of the game's bosses. In a few rare instances, we'll be promoting some fan-made nicknames to the level of canon, with our rationale for choosing these names over the original Japanese ones available for all to see.
Are you ready? Let's get started!
English: "Demon's Wall"
While the circumstances in which this boss is fought are a clear homage to Mecha Dragon from Megaman 2, the boss itself is a Japanese role-playing game staple. You can find Demon's Wall several times throughout the Final Fantasy series (though not always with the same name), as well as in Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire II, and many, many other titles. The little crosses it releases that move like Telly from Megaman 2 are officially known as "Demon's Cross" (「デモンズ十字架」).
"Picopico Glass" is intended as a reference to "Picopico-kun" (literally, "Bleep Bleep Boy"), the boss of Wily Stage II in Megaman 2. "Picopico" (or "pikopiko") is a Japanese onomatopoeia for the bleeps and bloops made by a computer or robot, though its meaning has been expanded to include other cutesy sounds. You might recognize the "Pikopiko Hammer" as a recurring gag weapon in Japanese games: a rubber mallet that makes an amusing squeak upon impact.
While the RKS boss attacks in the same way as its Megaman 2 counterpart, the sound it makes is decidedly more harsh. We briefly considered localizing the name as "Smashy Smashy Glass", but ultimately couldn't get over the fact that the name sounded ridiculous. Moreover, RKS is as much an homage to Castlevania as it is to Megaman, and poltergeist phenomena are a frequent occurrence in the former. Since "Poltergeist" has already been accepted as the English name of the boss, we figured we may as well make the name official.
Ah, death incarnate: Sir Raimund Seyfarth. Thanatos is the god of death in Greek mythology, commonly depicted as a cloaked skeleton wielding a large scythe. Seyfarth earned this nickname with his merciless demeanor on the battlefield. It's only fitting that, after he is brought back from the grave by Zeppelin's necromancy, he appears in the form of the Grim Reaper himself. As I've mentioned before, "Thanatos" is also the name of the stage he appears in (for Tia, at least), and the German subtitle for the stage, "Der Sensenmann", is one of the many German names for the Reaper.
|Count Michael Zeppelin
English: "Count Michael Zeppelin"
There's no real need to include this boss in the list, but I figured I may as well throw him in for the sake of completeness. Since the Japanese script uses the honorific 「伯爵」 ("hakushaku") instead of 「グラフ」 ("graf"), we decided to translate the count's title into English instead of rendering it in German. Count Zeppelin is an obvious nod to Count Vlad Tepes Dracula, so we figured it was only appropriate that their titles match as well.
Amusingly enough, Zeppelin's primary attack (which fans have dubbed "Höllenfeuer", German for "Hellfire"), is identified as 「ウェーブ炎」 ("Fire Wave") in the source code. Come to think of it, the attack does look like a charged Fire Wave from Megaman X...
English: "The Nightwalker"
A nod to "True Dracula" (a mistranslation of "True Ancestor Dracula", or "Pureblood Dracula") from Rondo of Blood, Symphony of the Night, Dawn of Sorrow, The Dracula X Chronicles, and Harmony of Despair -- though the similarities are purely on the superficial level. The name may well be a reference to the nighttime form of the God of the Forest from the Studio Ghibli animated film Princess Mononoke. The RKS demon's posture is similar to that of the forest deity's, at the very least. Coincidence? Who knows. It's a pretty fitting name either way.
English: "Webmaster Spider"
A pun and a two-for-one reference! Naturally, this battle is intended as a nod to Bosspider, the boss of Sigma Palace I in the original Megaman X, as well as the Repliforce jungle commando, Web Spider, from Megaman X4 The 「アミ」 in the RKS boss's name means both a spider web and a computer network (i.e.: the World Wide Web). When a pun in the original Japanese just works in English, I'm honor-bound to preserve it. As a nice touch, Bosspider and Webmaster Spider are both susceptible to ice-based weapons. And, those who know the popular children's song may notice that rain will wash the spider out...
English: "Deviled Egg"
Naturally, this guy is an obvious reference to Yellow Devil from the original Megaman. As tempting as it is to use that name in English, the name "Yellow Devil" is pretty much the property of Capcom. Rather than step on their toes and name one of our bosses after theirs, we decided to go with the visual pun lampshaded by the stage's Game Over reference: the Wind Fish's Egg from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. When a pun that delicious presents itself, we just can't resist.
Speaking of deliciousness: deviled eggs are quite tasty. If you haven't tried them before, give them a shot. They make for a great snack.
English: "Iris Machine"
This one's a no-brainer; it's a reference to Wily Machine 2 from Megaman 2. At first, Iris Machine is reinforced with raw mana crystals, both as shielding and as a power supply. Once the shielding is destroyed, the real battle with Iris Zeppelin begins. The two forms are identified as such in the source code: 「イーリスマシン 岩足場」 ("Iris Machine - Mana Crystal Reinforced") and 「イーリスマシン イーリス」 ("Iris Machine - Iris"), respectively.
English: "Iris Capsule"
Ever since Megaman 4, you could always expect the battle with a Wily Machine to be followed by a nerve-wracking showdown with a Wily Capsule. The series of battles with Iris Zeppelin is no different. Iris's disappearing capsule is modeled after the Wily Capsule as it appears in Megaman 4 and Megaman 5. Curiously, despite her narcissism, Iris doesn't have a personal crest prominently displayed on the Iris Capsule like good ol' Albert...
|The Wings of Madness - Iris Zeppelin
English: "The Wings of Madness: Iris Zeppelin"
Here it is: the final battle. With an Ocarina of Time-styled subtitle, no less. I'm quite happy to see that, for the final battle, [erka:es] decided to do its own thing instead of channeling the final boss battle of another game for RKS's grand finale (mechanically-speaking; visually, it's a clear nod to the final battle with Lumine from Megaman X8). They could have easily had Final Iris channel the Alien from Megaman 2 or something along those lines.
The only real difference between the English and Japanese renditions of this boss's name is the styling. The Japanese reads, "Last Iris - Demented Wings Iris". As you can see, the final name we decided on isn't much of a stretch from the original. Had we retained the "last" bit, we would have definitely reworded it to use "final" instead. Y'know, for the sake of consistency...
...Whoa, it's this late already? Looks like I need to get some shut-eye; even if we're in the final stretch, we're not done yet!
See you next time!