In yesterday’s Sibset post I made a brief mention of the game Don’t Starve, and it occurred to me not long after hitting publish that the names of the playable characters were worth a mention. I picked up a copy of Don’t Starve during it’s beta release on Steam (i.e. before it’s official release), and have been a big fan of the game ever since.
At it’s heart, it’s a survival game. You’re effectively plopped down in a world by the antagonist Maxwell and the aim is to survive for as long as possible. The three things you need to keep up is your characters health, hunger and sanity. Whilst you’re busy trying to collect fire wood, there are also many enemies out there attempting to kill you.
As for the playable characters, they all possess a W- name. You start out with Wilson and gradually unlock other characters as the game progresses.
A gentleman scientist and the first playable character. His special ability is that of growing a magnificent beard. No, really. The name Wilson means son of William and ranked at #692 in 2013.
The second playable character, who you can see me playing as above. Willow’s special ability is that of spontaneously (or purposefully) creating fire. Willow is a tree name, the name coming from Old English and means to twist, which itself came from Latin, meaning vine. She ranked at #54 in 2013.
The Wendy character is haunted by her dead sister Abigail, whom Wendy can summon as almost a sidekick when fighting mobs. I knew that I’d covered this name before, and was somewhat alarmed to discover that my 3 Long Forms of Wendy post is now 3 years old. Huh. Time flies.
The origins of the name Wendy are often given as being penned by J.M.Barrie when he first wrote Peter Pan. It also has roots as a nickname of the Welsh name Gwendolen, which means fair, blessed or white, but it was when Barrie used the name that it really entered the public conscious. She ranked at #1774 in 2013.
The strongest character in the game, Wolfgang bears a Germanic name, meaning path of the wolf. Only 3 babies were given the name in 2013.
This character is effectively the hard setting for the game, with health, sanity and hunger all decaying much faster for him. The name Wes is the short form of Wesley, a name which means west meadow in Old English. Wes doesn’t rank, but Wesley does – at #655.
This character is an actress dressed up as a viking. She’s a tough cookie, and is spawned in the game with armour. Her name derives from Old High German, and means peaceful warrior. Predictably, the name doesn’t rank.
This character beings the game with Lucy the Axe in his inventory, and is a Canadian lumberjack. Woodie is either a nickname for Woodrow, or simply derived from the word wood. The name Woodie does not rank, but Woody does (no doubt with a little help from Toy Story) – at #464.
This character is a boy who was at some point eaten by a spider, but lives on. His name is therefore a reference to this somewhat bizarre relationship. The name Webber is a surname, and does not rank.
This witch character, like all those below, can only be modded in game. Her name is of Old English origin, meaning quaking aspen. I was rather surprised to discover that the name does not rank in England&Wales.
This name comes as a nickname of Winifred, and is notably the name of beloved bear-character Winnie the Pooh. She ranked at #925 in 2013.
This name started out as a Scottish and English surname, coming from Norman French origins and meaning Welsh/foreigner. The most famed bearer of the name is Sir William Wallace, a Scottish hero whom lead a rebellion against the English in the 13th century. Unsurprising, the name was only given to 4 boys born in England&Wales in 2013.
This name was also originally a surname of Old English origins, meaning town on the River Wylye. The name doesn’t rank.
Our last character bears another surname turned first name. This one is also of English origins, and comes from the Middle English nickname Wildbor, meaning wild boar; he ranked at #730.