The Origin of Ald
Continuing on from yesterday’s post about my first MMORPG, i thought i’d get into the first ever character i created as well as where his name came from. Well surprise surprise, it wasn’t actually Ald. No, my first ever character was named Saxon and he was and remained a lowby hume (human) Red Mage in FFXI. My first passion has always been music and i decided to name him after a New Wave of British Heavy Metal band from the late 70’s and early 80’s. To be honest it wasn’t my first choice but options were limited and i liked having a short name. I had my character and i was set! Only not so fast. I wasn’t too thrilled with my race or class choice.
At the time i had a man crush on Dante from Devil May Cry 2, which just came out the year before. I wanted my character to look more like him and less like the one i had already created. This was the start of a serious problem i still have to this day when i make new characters. I spend hours getting them to look just so because i’m going to spend years staring at them. I had to create a new character which of course meant having to come up with a new name. Again, another thing i struggle with to this day. It can take me hours and hours to come up with a name and then more hours to actually settle on an appearance. This was gonna be tough but i had the interwebs to help me!
I decided rather quickly and stupidly, like i always do, to go with something from the Star Wars universe. I mean when you’re out of ideas why not reference something you love right? What to pick though from a rather large library? I honestly don’t remember how or why but after a few hours of searching i settled on Alderaan. There were more famous choices for sure but this one seemed more obscure to me. That was my thinking anyway. What did i know?
The name had three benefits going for it. First, it was Leia’s home planet that went poof and thus automatically cool. Sort of like paying a tribute to all those voices that were suddenly silenced. Second, it kind of sounded Japanese if you shout it out like Mifune from any Kurosawa film. I was playing a Japanese game with global servers so i wanted to sort of fit in. Lastly, it began with an “A”, which i learned in my short time in game put you at the top of search lists looking for groups. This might sound silly now but it totally worked back then!
I had a name and now i had to pick a race. Well the only choice when it came to looking like Dante was elvaan (elves). I remember picking a hairstyle that looked like exactly like him and i decided to make him as tall as possible since i’m tall. I would come to regret these decisions for the remainder of my years in game. I didn’t do my research on running and combat animations, which i later found looked terrible as an elvaan. I’d go on to use a 3rd party app to change my race just on my screen so i didn’t have to look like a gigantic, skinny, hunched over ape-man with really long arms. The irony is now all new characters i make in any new game i play tends to look like my original Saxon and is always a human.
As someone that makes a habit of screenshotting anything and everything nowadays, i really hate that i don’t have anything from my first 8 months in my first MMORPG to show you guys and gals. For one i was on PS4 at the time and by the time i switched over to PC i went through numerous hard drives. I have nothing but memories from my first journey to cap. It stinks not having something to look back on other than that but i can’t do anything about that now. All i can do is hit my screenshot hotkey like a madman and back up my images so nothing is lost again.
Now obviously no one calls anyone by their entire name when a shortened version is easier and available. Ald became not only my nickname in game but turned into my online personality over the years if you will. All new characters have carried on with that name when possible. The games that don’t allow for three letter names tend to be simple variations of Ald. I don’t always like them but i try my best to not go overboard with silly stuff like “Xaldx” or “Aaaaald”. Sometimes it’s Alde, Aldee, or Alds. I try to keep it simple but true to the original. My name’s Ald – welcome to my blog.
As for the blog name, well that one should be obvious as well.