Drew Mackie at Back of the Cereal Box has put together an exhaustive post on the origin of video gamer character names with special attention paid to the classic characters of Nintendo. If you have been interested in how a popular character like Mario or a less well know character like Ax Battler got their names you will enjoy this post.
Here is an excerpt:
Upon hearing the name Ax Battler, you might think the name is actually a description of the character. It’s not. You might also think he’d be the one of the three characters who fights with an axe — if not the very axe referenced in the game’s title. Nope again. Mr. Battler carries a sword; it’s Mr. Thunderhead who carries the axe…
It’s a Secret to Everybody [@] Back of the Cereal Box