Playing the name game
The name Baten Kaitos might sound strange at first, there’s actually a detailed meaning behind it. The name comes from an existing star: Zeta Ceti, a star in the constellation Cetus (“The Whale”), which is traditionally named is Baten Kaitos. The phrase itself is derived from Arabic, meaning “belly of the sea monster” or “belly of the whale.” Those who’ve played the game know just how apropos this name is.
Naming games (or any media, for that matter) is a tough proposition. There are people out there who won’t ever look into a game because of its name, but sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling. That’s exactly how Yasuyuki Honne, director of the series, felt when he was looking to name the debut game.
According to Honne, there was a ton of opposition from Namco’s higher-ups on the Baten Kaitos name. Honne stuck to the name though, and eventually he got Namco to see his position. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear why Namco was so against the name in the first place!