May 12, 2007
Since I’ve discussed other name changes, let’s talk about another one: In the Japanese games, Dr. Weil is actually called Dr. Vile. (It was “Model V” in ZX as well.)
Now before you start getting out the conspiracy theories, keep in mind that Vile (in the X series) is named Vava in Japanese. So they are two different names, and there’s no reason to think they are connected in any way.
But of course, when Capcom was translating the first Mega Man X game, they changed Vava’s name. Probably because in Japanese, “Vava” can also be spelled “Baba,” and it’s clear from his appearance alone that he’s a joke on Boba Fett from Star Wars. I don’t know why this was allowed in Japan but not in English, but for whatever reason, though Capcom didn’t alter his appearance, they did change his name. I can only speculate, but I assume they chose “Vile” because it’s an English word that’s fairly close to Vava.
But then, years later, along comes the Zero series. Although the Japanese players wouldn’t have thought anything of “Dr. Vile,” Capcom knew that us English folks would immediately try to figure out what his connection is to some unrelated character in the X series, thereby triggering unnecessary mass confusion.
Ah, the tangled webs we weave.
So now Capcom had to change yet another name. I suppose they could have done another M.Bison/Vega switch—that is, name him Dr. Vava. But they didn’t. I’m told that “Weil” is how “Vile” would be pronounced in German. Fairly clever, if that’s true. That may explain why they decided on Dr. Weil. Of course, that opens a whole new can of worms, because although the name no longer reminds us of Vile, it now brings to mind Dr. Wily.
According to an interview with Capcom, Dr. Weil was supposed to be a totally new character with no connection to any previous series characters. But it seems like every name they come up with for him only raises more speculation. And of course, if Capcom ever does want to create a Model V for Vava... Well, that’s their problem, not ours.
- The MegaMaster