Bandai Namco Disliked Baten Kaitos’ Title

With the September release of Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster, we’re learning more about these GameCube card-based RPGs. Thanks to our sister site, Time Extension!, series director Yasuyuki Honne revealed that Baten Kaitos almost wasn’t called that.

Honne tweeted that Namco “opposed” the name (translated by Simon Griffin and SatsumaFS for Nintendo Everything). We’re glad Namco, now Bandai Namco, changed their mind, but Honne doesn’t say why.

Nintendo Everything translated Honne’s tweet:

“Thanks to the kindness of Bandai Namco, the world I worked so hard to create, and the maps I worked so hard to draw twenty years ago have been resurrected! Incidentally, I was the one that named the title ‘Baten Kaitos’, but there was a lot of opposition from higher-ups at Namco to the name…we got it passed though!”

Baten Kaitos is an unusual name, but players may have researched its meaning. Baten Kaitos is the traditional name for Zeta Ceti, a Cetus binary star. It’s Arabic for “sea monster’s belly”. Cetus—”The Whale”—is named after a Greek sea monster.

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean and Origins feature constellations and a sea whale. Arabic star constellations name many locations, weapons, and moves. Collecting star constellations and rebuilding a map is an entire sidequest. The sea whale is more spoilery but important to the series’ lore. “Baten Kaitos” is deliberate.

Honne responds to a fan’s tweet with this connection. Honne, who was also the art director and map painter on the two games, had to specify many things ahead of time “in order to create a real sense of grandeur” because Monolith Soft had a limited budget. Honne first named an airship, saying:

“…then the world grew based on that keyword, expanded further by the story writer, and that was the flow. Using the names of constellations also helped localization as the words are universal, and that’s how it started.”

Baten Kaitos’ world revolves around constellations, which newcomers will discover when the game launches on Switch on September 14 in North America and Japan and September 15 in Europe and PAL regions.