The profanity filter in Tactics Ogre Reborn is so strict you can't use one of the default names

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Tactics Ogre Reborn, a remastered version of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, itself a remake of a strategy-RPG classic, assigns a default party name based on your character's date of birth. If your date of birth is between May 2 and May 25, that default name is Flamescale. As Twitter user Choojermelon points out, even though it's one of the names the game picks for you, trying to accept it results in the error message, "Text contains banned words. Please change your entry."

Choojermelon suggested it could be because Flamescale contains the word "mescal", an abbreviation of "mescaline", as in the hallucinogenic drug. Others theorized it might be thanks to containing "lame" instead, but trying it myself "lame" on its own is fine while "mescal" is not. Also banned: cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and heroin, though not marijuana.

It wouldn't be the first time a profanity filter has been tripped up by an innocuous word because another word on a ban list was inside it. The Dark Souls 2 profanity filter was infamous for preventing players from having the word "knight" in their name because it filtered out anything containing the letters "nig". Dark Souls 2's banned word list has been uploaded, so you can read it and be baffled by the inclusion of such innocent strings of letters as "but" (surely just banning "butt" would do the job?) alongside longer words of bizarre specificity like "cockfucklutated".

What makes the harshness of Tactics Ogre Reborn's filter more notable is that it's an entirely singleplayer game. We're used to online games having chat filters, and resulting oddities like Genshin Impact censoring the words "Taiwan", "Hong Kong", "Putin", "Hitler", and "words", but seeing a strict filter in a singleplayer game is more surprising. Is it a remnant of a canceled multiplayer mode, or was it included for the sake of restricting streamers and pranksters who might upload a screenshot of a rude word on social media?

It's a long way from Fallout 4, which not only let you enter "Fuck", "Fucker", or "Fuckface" as your character's name but rewarded you by having robot butler Codsworth greet you with lines recorded specifically for them. I tried calling my party "Fuckface" in Tactics Ogre Reborn, but it wasn't having a bar of it. "Cockfucklutated" was right out.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.