A video game question

Why is rank “S” higher than rank “A”?

What game has these ranks? I’ve never heard of them.

Because of Japan:

It’s common in Japanese games and some Western games have adopted it as well.

I’ve seen people asking why for years but have never seen a good reason. Probably as simple as “Someone did it once. Other people liked it and copied it.”

You left off the end of that quote…

“Many people have wondered what the S stands for… Special? Super? No one knows for sure.”

Everything I can find online discussing it seems to refer back to the Giantbomb article as a “source”, but that article was written by anonymous people on the internet. (Think of a Wikipedia article with no sources and even less credibility.) So basically there is no information readily available about it. Even the info about it originating from the Japanese school system is speculative if not totally fictitious.

One of the iPhone/Android “Walking Dead” games uses them as a measure of how strong the team you’ve assembled is.

The first example of this I can think of is the DreamCast game, Sonic Adventure.

I thought we were talking about Devil May Cry. I honestly had no idea the “S” was common in other games

I am familiar with it from some Gran Turismo auto-racing game. I figured it stood for “Super” or “Special” or some such, not that I gave it much thought.

It is also the way the hero rankings work in One Punch Man- ascending order is C-B-A-S.

Perhaps it’s like going to 11. You know: one grade better than rank A.

It also shows up in Japanese anime/manga.

In Yu Yu Hakusho, the highest class demons are S-class. They are stronger than A-Class, which are stronger than B-class and so on. (I think D-class is the lowest.)

It’s in Forza as well; Turn 10 split S into three levels.

Come to think of it, the highest level in Forza is X.

Is this sort of like how, when I dabbled in Starcraft II multiplayer, I wasn’t quite as completely pathetic as some of my early opponents, and so ended up placed in Gold league? I.e., you want to give your middling players a rank that sounds good, but then you need more ranks above them for the players who are genuinely good.

There is also Sonderklasse = special/exceptional class. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class was introduced in 1972, and the S-class yacht classification in 1898, so it’s not like the term had not been floating around.

Elite monsters in the Final Fantasy XIV MMO (which is, of course, Japanese in origin) also follow this classification scheme (B are the weakest, then A, then S).

This Gameranx video (skip ahead to 3:30 or so) points to a possible origin in Japanese rock concert seating grades, before spreading to other areas of Japanese culture (including video games).

So, it is like the Japanese version of an old Disneyland ‘E’ ticket?

Are there signs that the Japanese got it from the Germans (or whomever), though? Or is it an original Japanese invention to use S in seating grades, league classification, etc?