“Frak”, “Lords of Kobol” And Other Oddities…

I’ve recently played the Battlestar Galactica board game (totally awesome by the way) and been watching the series (started first episode some time ago). There was couple of “odd” things that kind of make the series less “immersive” (so to speak). I thought this could apply pretty well to gaming world so thought to share my thoughts.

In the series (which is rated K18 here by the way, Sweden & Norway having it at K15 I believe) they use word “Frak” (instead of “f***”). Whenever somebody is about to curse, they say “Frak”. The first thing I thought was “Frag” (as in “fragged by somebody” in Quake). The next thing I thought that it was bit funny, and kind of gives a slap to the watchers face. It’s like… I’m watching this television series they gave K18 rating and they cannot use word f*** (my blog is pretty family friendly as you can see)

It feels odd that grown up people use the word “frak”.

But anyway, other odd thing is that instead of word “god” they use words “lords of kobol”. I think this is also something that doesn’t quite fit in. Everybody speaks English and are human and are doing things American style, and then they replaced “god” with “lords of kobol”. This is okay with me – I just feel that it just doesn’t quite sound right. It sounds… fake. Kind of.

Don’t get me wrong – I really enjoy watching the series.

The point is this.

If there’s something in your game world that doesn’t “fit in” (and follow the logic you present in your game), it means that you might be taking away something from the immersion. It might make the world less believable place.

Just a thought.

(P.S. No spoilers in case you comment, please. :)

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Now, after watching the series I finally came back here to read the comments.

    Lords stuff was… well okay. I didn’t find the religious aspects so well done in the series, nor didn’t like the ending (the coolest thing in the series was to wait and see who the cylons were! not the story :))

    And that frakkkking frak word. My brain still hates every letter in it :]

  2. i really hope that i don’t drop a bomb on you here. have seen all the eppys, many times now. so sorry if i spoil something for you.

    the main reason that the work F*** is not used in the series is that the FCC requlations in the US will not let it be aired, nor the God Da**’s that are frequently used.

    in reference to the gods and not just god….
    there is an old mythology going in with the relogious aspect of the show.
    it’s is going the historcal route of the transference from roman/greek mythology (multiple gods) to christianity (one sectular being). all the lords of kobal are all referenced to the roman/greek gods from mythology.
    from what i have gathered from all the eppys now that the show has cam eto an end is that the final 5 are representation of the mytholoical demi gods…ie hercules, odessius, hermies…and so on.
    a perfect site for more info on this info is…

  3. Duncan: some designer on the show cut off the corners of all the paper in the pilot episode to show the network that funded them how they budgetwise had to cut corners all the time. The idea just sticked I guess.

  4. Frak was an obvious substitution to get around US censorship. It’s also addictive. After watching short marathons of the shows I wind up thinking and even saying it.

    Lords of Kobol (and gods instead of God) has to do with the internal mythology of the series, and is brilliant. I love the underlying Greek mythos.

    The cut-off corners is just ridiculous. The worst is when it’s used on TVs in the series. The screens are rectangular (HD, I would think), but the video has the corners needlessly cut off. What the Frak?

  5. Well, if you watch the series some more you’ll perhaps know that “Lords of Kobol” is a reference to the religious background woven into the entire series … I personally think it’s a pretty damn good trade-off between entertainment value and genuineness.

  6. Last part again without as many typos:

    Firefly (another great sci-fi series) also has its own gorram words that you will get to love :) It also uses Chinese language cleverly to avoid beeping things out when characters get mad.

  7. Juuso: As the others say, soon you will see the word ‘frak’ as perfectly normal when you or someone else frak things up ;)

    Firefly (another great sci-fi series) also has its own gorram words than you will get to love :) It also uses chinese language cleverly to avoid beeping things out when character get mad.

  8. I have to agree with those disagreeing :)

    Frak, Lords of Kobol (which has a different meaning than ‘God’, as Stoper points out), and the cut-off corners of all paper seem odd at first, but all of them immediately set the tone for the viewer once they get over all of the comments like ‘What the f*** is frak?’ and ‘It’s pointless to cut the corners off of paper!’. I find it very immersive. I do give you one point – at first it draws you out to ask more questions than it pulls you in, but I’m willing to bet that you will like thee items once you get into the series.

  9. I feel quite the opposite.. The use of Frak draws me further into the world, as does them saying ‘gods’ instead of ‘god’. They are subtle nuances that slowly lull you into their world over time so that eventually you are up to your ears in BSG and you don’t even realize it. It is working when you find yourself saying ‘frak’ in real life without even noticing it and hear someone say ‘my gods’ at a funeral(true story). They take something we are very used to hearing and tweak it just a little bit, you notice it right away but after 6-7 episodes your brain does a switch and then It becomes the norm, again without you even realizing it

  10. Frak is pretty cool, after watching all the seasons :)
    Also Lords of kobol != God.
    BSG is one of the best, if not the best, series I’ve ever seen, but they are quite dark sometimes. Keep watching, and don’t fear that seasons will worsen (like I did) eventually, because they keep getting better! :)

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