March 25, 2004
I’ve noticed a bit of confusion about Dr. Light’s “true” name, so I thought I’d share the information that I have gathered over the years.
Technically speaking, Dr. Light’s full official name is “Dr. Thomas Xavier Light”...but this knowledge is so obscure that I’ll bet even most of Capcom’s own employees aren’t even aware of this. Therefore, generally his official name has just been shortened to “Dr. Thomas Light.”
Where did the Xavier part come from? It’s hard to say. Years ago, long before the World Wide Web, strategy guides and magazines were using this name, so I have to assume they got it from Capcom somehow (as it is stretching coincidence to assume they all just happened to randomly pick the same name). These sources, however, were listing Xavier as his first name, rather than his middle name, which turned out to be incorrect—when Mega Man X1 came out, it quite clearly specified Dr. Light’s name as Thomas.
I like to try to explain away such goofs if it is possible to do so without the explanation becoming absurd. As such, a long time ago I once speculated on this website that perhaps his full name was “Thomas Xavier Light” and the sources which were listing Xavier as his first name were doing so because it was his “common” first name. There are many people in real life who actually go by their middle names rather than their given names. So it’s not out of the question that Dr. Light may well have “Thomas” on his birth certificate but, for whatever reason, throughout his life his friends and associates called him by his middle name, Xavier, instead.
My theory turned out to be validated when Capcom posted Dr. Light’s full name on their website a while back (about two revamps ago). The name isn’t up there anymore, because the site’s structure has long since been changed and Dr. Light’s section removed. This is why I say that most of Capcom’s current employees probably never even knew the name existed in the first place.
I continue to use my theory in The Series, however. This is why everyone in the books, in particular Dr. Wily, runs around calling Dr. Light “Xavier.” This is habit on the part of the characters, as opposed to ignorance. Dr. Light still uses “Thomas” on official documents and the like.
Outside of that, this information is, of course, generally useless. Which means it makes good fodder for a trivia quiz.
Side note: Dr. Wily’s official name is still up in the air. We know it is “Dr. Albert W. Wily,” but the middle name has not yet had an official expansion as far as I know. I like to speculate that the “W” stands for “Wiley” because that would explain away the goofs that Capcom has made throughout the years (they can’t seem to decide between the spellings “Wily” and “Wiley” when they write his name). This would be a little silly, however, because that would make his full name “Dr. Albert Wiley Wily”... heh heh.
- The MegaMaster