What’s In A Name? Origins of “Riz-Zoawd”

By Spencer . September 25, 2009 . 3:46pm

image Xseed is bringing Riz-Zoawd to North America under a less puzzling name, Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road. But, why did they name it Riz-Zoawd in the first place? I brought the question to Nobuo Nakazawa, Director of Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road.


“Japanese have a tendency to like meaningless enumerations of letters and coined words. Riz-zoawd is something that we created with that in mind,” said Nakazawa. "So there is no meaning in the word. The reasons we decided to use it is because… it had a ring to it, the feeling of the word, and it sounded good to our ears are the main reasons.”


One mystery solved! We’ll hear more from Nakazawa and Xseed next week in our full Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road interview.

  • Raccoon

    Haha, some riddles are easier explained than one could imagine *g* Personally, I don’t think “Riz-zoawd” has a special vibe to it at all. The name just sounds and looks crazy!

    Hey Spencer, did you ask him about a possible Wild Arms 6? Just curious ^^

  • Ereek

    I’m a bit sad that it didn’t have any special meaning behind it. To me it just looks like a nonsensical word and I’m very pleased about the North American name change.

    I would really like to play the English version, but in these next few months I’ll have an overabundance of games to play, so I won’t be getting it any time soon.

    • Aoshi00

      I’m glad w/ the name change too, it’s just better, like Sands of Destruction. Sometimes when I try to look up “Riz-zoawd”, I don’t even remember how the stupid word is spelled. The cover is great too.

      So it’s being localized huh.. but I say this game is unfortunately mediocre at best. It’s not bad, but it’s not good or anything special either… money is so hard to come by one will need to grind for coins to upgrade armors/weapons, which are sorely needed against more powerful foes. Would be nice if they add a voiceover for narration of the story.

      • Ereek

        It’s actually coming out in North America in 4 days!

        • Aoshi00

          Dang, this is sudden! I guess I never really expected anything for this since it was hard to bring myself to finish the Jpn version, for the reasons I stated.. The turn based battles are standard Dragon Quest turn based style, fun at first but repetitive after a while. The music by Sakimoto Hitoshi (FF12 ,Odin Sphere) is actually quite good, especially the battle theme, somewhat DQ-esque.

          Still, I say this is worth $20 or less, and not the full $30. This has been in the bargain bin in Jpn too…

  • *insert insensitive and, depending on your sense of humor, marginally racial joke here*


  • I just figured it was an anagram or something.


    Just a switcheroo of the letters. No of. Oz-Wizard? Hence Wizard of Oz, literally?


    • Chow

      Yeah, I remember having my mind blown because I noticed that the title is almost, but not quite, an anagram of what it was based on argh.

  • Gestahl

    Have it preordered. Did so in hopes that XSEED would localize Arino Challenge 2. Yeah, I know, stupid of me. >_<

    Still, the game looks gorgeous, couldn't let it pass.

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