Yao Guai Bear!

I've been playing the game Fallout 3 on my Xbox 360 for a while now, and I've recently started encountering a deadly bear-like creature called the Yao Guai. Here's one:

That's a strange name, I thought - but as the game's back story involves a war between China and America, I assumed 'Yao Guai' either meant something in Chinese or was chosen as a meaningless 'Chinese-sounding' name.

It wasn't until a couple of days later, when I was thinking about the likely pronunciation of 'Yao Guai', that I realised the name was probably a humorous reference to the much friendlier Yogi Bear. Oh, the wit of those game developers!

By the way, my Xbox 360 gamer tag is jdlondon, if anyone wants to add me as a friend.


Gareth said...

Actually, I believe it means "demon" in Chinese.

JD (The Engine Room) said...

Interesting! But there's no reason it couldn't both mean 'demon' *and* be a reference to Yogi Bear... After all, the creature resembles a bear more than it does a demon.

Anonymous said...

With its long snout and its long, thin legs, the thing in the picture looks doglike but not at all bearlike to me.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think the choice of the chinese 'Yao Guai' as a name for a mutated Bear is an intended pun (or double entrendre) on YOGI bear.
I looked for confirmation of this online, but was disappointed to find only inflexible unimaginative people dogmatically defending their preconcieved ideas,
oh fo'shame!
Considering the high level of humor in the game I consider this explanation to be VERY LIKELY.
Many people appear to have seen the connection though, but they are frequently told (by those who understand too quickly)
'No it means monster in chinese'!

Puns, Double-Entendres and word plays do not have exactly duplicate the word they are taking off..
'cos you know sometmes words have two meanings'

I Chiao Tung (Joe) said...

I am Chinese, and I kind know about everything about Yao Guai. It is actually Chinese Demon that are referring to all kind of demon animals. I guess people read Naruto right?? Actually, the Night Tail Fox is the most powerful Yao Guai in the mythology of East Asian. Besides the fox, ancient Chinese thought any animal can be Yao Guai after they practice Taoism. However, it is all about how people view these "animal" because the dragon and phoenix that are close to gods should also fall into the category of Yao Guai, but we usually call them as the beast of God because they are the mounts of God.....

Anonymous said...

I just heard a Native American legend about a monster bear. Their term for monster bear was pronounced Yao Guai. I'm not sure which nation the language was from.