Author Topic: Hellgate items and their allusions  (Read 423 times)

Bryan

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Hellgate items and their allusions
« on: Dec 16, 2016; 12:22 PM »
Heya :)

I've been meaning to write down a list of Hellgate's allusions for a while.It has always been very amusing for me to decipher what or who the items' names refer to,and how that's related to the items themselves.
So,let's see what we can find,both in SP's and Global's item libraries.


Agni's Hearth

Agni is the Vedic fire god of Hinduism.This is solidified by the fact that the weapon itself deals fire damage.


Alucard's Continuum

"Alucard" being a popular backwards spelling of "Dracula",this weapon refers to the mythical Dracula.This is enhanced by the weapon itself being a Dart Pistol that returns HP to the user upon inflicting damage.
Perhaps the weapon being a Dart Pistol is itself a reference to the famous way of killing vampires through spikes,but now I'm nitpicking :P


Atlas' Burden

A reference to the mythical Atlas of Greek mythology,who would bear the sky on his shoulders.Interestingly,the item itself is shoulder armor.


Blade of Behemoth

A direct reference to Behemoth from the Bible,this blade is actually pretty huge itself.


Final Attempts of Merihim

Another direct reference to Bible demons,Merihem are described as "purveyors of pestilence".This fits the weapon itself,as it has both Toxic damage and Poison attack strength.


Fontaine's Impressive Pair

I have no idea if this is a reference to any historic figure or place,but "Fontaine" curiously translates to "fountain".That,coupled with the ambiguous "pair" noun there,makes me think this is a plain lewd wordplay :P


Gabriel's Fury (and Call of the Archangel)

The former being a direct reference to the Archangel Gabriel from the Bible,this pair of weapons seems to be a perfect set of counterparts.Their rate of fire is reduced compared to the ordinary,and it's pretty similar (20 and 30/m,respectively) :)


Hattori's Tekou

A direct reference to Hattori Hanzō,a famous ninja of the Sengoku era (which Flagship seems very fond of).This,among other "Swordsman" gear,seems to do justice to its referred figures by resembling equipment of the era.


Hecate's Storm

A reference to the ancient Greek goddess Hecate.The weapon deals fire damage,possibly as a reference to her usual depiction as one who holds two torches,or due to the common association of the fire element with grand "Savior" deities.


Hera's Lance

A reference to the ancient Greek goddess Hera.A very appropriate reference,given that the weapon is a Zeus Rifle  ;D


Hero of Heorot

Heorot is the mead-hall described in the epic Beowulf,which later served as a palace for King Hroðgar.The blade's massive size and poison damage may be referencing the size and nature of the beasts slain within the famous epic.


Hero's Halfshell

A subtle reference to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' theme song lyric,"heroes in a halfshell".Fittingly,the item is torso armor :P


Hestia's Vision

A reference to the ancient Greek goddess Hestia.This seems fitting,given that Hestia's iconography often includes the domestic fireplace/oven,while the gun itself is a Nova Gun that deals fire damage.


Hidra's Tentacle

An obvious reference to the mythical beast,the Lernaean Hydra,a serpentine monster.The item's added armor and points in Elemental Revenge and Elemental Fortitude may be a reference to the beast's own fortitude and regenerative ability.


Hikida's Lamentation

A possible reference to the 1573 Siege of Hikida Castle.
Flagship is fond of the Sengoku period!


Hokus Pokus Locus

An obvious reference to the famous "hokus pokus" chant,this item is fittingly a Focus Item.


Ichabod's Bane

Ichabod is named by the Books of Samuel as the brother of Ahitub.The item's added Toxic damage and Poison attack strength may be alluding to Ichabod's supposed (and disputed) death.


Illiaster's Majestic Sun

Illiaster is referred in the "To Reign in Hell" book by Steven Brust,as "stuff of order" from which "came consciousness that resulted in the firstborn angels: Yaweh, Satan, Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, Leviathan and Belial.".This is solidified by the fact that the weapon itself deals fire damage.


Ivan's Terrible Advantage

This seems to be a pun on the name of Ivan the Terrible,but I have no clue how the weapon is otherwise connected to the historical figure  ???


Mahomet's Surcoat

A possible reference to the Islamic prophet Muhammad,as spelled in Ciardi's traditional spelling in the famous epic "Dante's Inferno",OR as spelled in the title of Voltaire's tragedy,"Mahomet".I'm not entirely sure how the item itself references the historical figure in anything but name,sadly.


Marlowe's Shadow

Possibly an allusion to playwright Christopher Marlowe,famous for his play "Doctor Faustus".The reference may be reinforced by the fact that the weapon deals Spectral damage,possibly in reference to Faustus's (or Marlowe's...) own grim fate.


Menlo's Spark Rifle

A reference to Thomas Edison,"The Wizard of Menlo Park",playing on the sounds of "Menlo Park" and "Menlo's Spark".This is supported by the fact that the weapon deals Electric damage.


Nikola's Polyphase Rifle

A simultaneous reference to Nikola Tesla and his polyphase system,the weapon appropriately deals Electric(/Spectral) damage and (playing on the word "polyphase") has added Phase attack strength.


Olympus Bolt

An obvious reference to Mount Olympus,the residing place of the ancient Greek Gods,this weapon is fittingly a Zeus Rifle.


Person of Thor (Jupiter)

An obvious reference to the Norse God Thor,this weapon fittingly deals Electric damage.I'm not sure how Jupiter is related though...


Shaun's Trusty Sidekick

A reference to the protagonist of "Shaun of the Dead". The allusion seems fitting,both due to Shaun using a bat to fend off zombies in the movie and due to the weapon itself having extra damage against necros.


Shiva's Trishula

A reference to Shiva,one of the principal deities of Hinduism.The Trishula,apart from being a weapon,is also a Hindu-Buddhist religious symbol.


Sol's Invictus

Edit: As Thegreatcthulhu kindly informs me,Sol's Invictus was named after the Hellgateguru.com webmaster, "Sol Invictus".In turn,that name itself is a direct reference to "Sol Invictus" ("the Unconquered Sun"),the Sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers.
Fittingly,the item is a Templar Torso Armor that provides points in Aura of Defense.


Sword of Weyland

Probably a reference to Weyland (or Wayland) the Smith,a legendary smith in Germanic and Norse mythology.Fittingly,the weapon is,well...a sword.


The Riddler

A pun on the famous Batman villain,"the Riddler",this weapon's name plays on the words "Riddler" and "riddle",as its high rate of fire allows this weapon to riddle enemies with holes.


Thor's Hammer

Another obvious reference to the Norse god Thor,this weapon deals Electric damage as well.Curiously,Thor seems to be the only deity to have 2 weapons referencing him.


Toshizo's Sode

Possibly a reference to Hijikata Toshizō,a famous swordsman.


Yagyu's Kurijime-no-o

Possibly a reference to Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi,a famous samurai in Japan's feudal era.



-Extra tidbits (monsters,locations and quests/quest items)


The Reaper and Carnagor

Those minions have some very interesting random names,which are often puns or allusions themselves.
For instance,the Reaper name "Roflol the Amused" is a play on the popular acronym ROFLOL,while the Carnagor name "Khaaan" is an obvious reference to the famous Star Trek soundbite/meme of the same name.


Sydonai (and Imps!)

This big bad boss (and subsequently Imps which seem to be in his image) seems to be heavily inspired by H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu.Murmur's remarks of terror upon Sydonai's arrival seem to resonate with Cthulhu's reputation of being terrifying enough to drive men insane.


Shulgoth

Very amusingly,I recently realised this iconic boss monster may be inspired by Shakespeare's depictions of King Richard III,as "a hunchback with a limp and a withered arm".The statues of Shulgoth scattered around Ancient Bloods seem to fit the idea that Shulgoth may have had his share of royalty among lesser demons too!


Beast of Abbadon

An obvious reference to Abbadon from the Bible,this guy's size matches his name's weight!


Moloch

This fan-favorite old-timer demon is a direct reference to the biblical Moloch,a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice.Curiously,the root "mlk" translates as "King",which Moloch stands up to with his imposing size.
Plus,he summons Priests,appropriate for a God  ;D


Source of all Evil

This quest item may be a reference to "The Charmed Ones"'s villain,"The Source of all Evil".


Conrad and the Catacombs

Quite possibly the most intricate literary allusion in the game,if it is one.The whole area and the subsequent boss seem to allude to Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness":
-The quest giver's very name is Conrad.
-The Catacombs feature 2 stations between the entry and the final level,much like the 2 main stops of Marlow's (the protagonist's) trip.
-In the book,the trip is hindered near its end by thick fog that caused difficulties in navigation.This may be mirrored in the Catacombs by the fact that the levels would get increasingly darker as they progressed.
-The character Marlow eventually meets is Kurtz,a slavelord who is revered as a demigod.Not only is his status reminiscent of Occulis' own assumed status (as a Spectral Lord),but the reader is also introduced to Kurtz through a painting of "a blindfolded woman bearing a torch against a nearly black background",a symbolism in accord with Occulis' appearance,name ("Oculus" is Latin for "eye"),status (as an "All-Seeing"),and spawns ("Eyes of Occulis").



That's the ones I've pinned down so far.If anyone else is interested in this and knows of other subtle references,please let me know :)
« Last Edit: Jan 04, 2017; 06:04 PM by Bryan »
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bunjke!

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #1 on: Dec 16, 2016; 01:50 PM »
Awesome. Really interesting. Thanks for your work!  :)
Ukka MM

Bryan

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #2 on: Dec 16, 2016; 02:46 PM »
Thanks,glad you like it :)

Edit: Fixed some minor mistakes and added a few non-item tidbits.
« Last Edit: Dec 16, 2016; 03:05 PM by Bryan »
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thegreatcthulhu

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #3 on: Dec 17, 2016; 12:59 AM »
I believe that Sol's Invictus was named after the Hellgateguru.com webmaster, Sol Invictus*. If I recall correctly, Flagship made a few "community" items that were named after various community members. For example, Scaper's X-Flexers are named after the old HG community manager Scape.
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Bryan

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #4 on: Dec 17, 2016; 01:14 AM »
I believe that Sol's Invictus was named after the Hellgateguru.com webmaster, Sol Invictus*. If I recall correctly, Flagship made a few "community" items that were named after various community members. For example, Scaper's X-Flexers are named after the old HG community manager Scape.

A reference to a reference!Wow,how can a name travel :P

I generally wanted to avoid vanity items,because frankly the analysis would only go as far as "it's named after this or that employee or fan".It's very interesting to see Sol's Invictus fall in that category,as the allusion itself hasn't lost its validity.
...but yeah,perhaps I need to list vanity items as well.Although that name-hunt may be a tad tougher.
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Malachor

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #5 on: Dec 17, 2016; 02:32 AM »
Quote
Perhaps the latter is itself a reference to the famous way of killing vampires through spikes.
Perhaps it's more about the vampire getting nourishment by biting the neck then sucking the victims blood.
Also Atlas didn't/doesn't hold up the earth but the sky.

NiKKeZ

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #6 on: Dec 17, 2016; 05:00 AM »
Hellgate was such an exciting and mysteriously interesting vision which almost produced a rich game all round.

It's still pains me that it ended the way that it did. It's also a great loss to the gaming world that nobody that was interested picked up the single player IP and developed it further. I was happy enough to play Global as multiplayer because it was better than nothing and certainly gave me many hours of enjoyment once I got used to the savage monetisation.

What I really yearn for is a true Hellgate 2 that has a single player experience that builds on the original. Even by today's standards, the DX10 version of Hellgate: London looks good enough graphically, and the gameplay is as fun and as addictive as it always was. I dread to think how many real life hours I've put into Hellgate: London single player/multiplayer and the same goes for Global as well. It will certainly be in the thousands combined.

There's still life in this game yet, even if the commercial world appears to have turned its back on it.

Bryan

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #7 on: Dec 17, 2016; 09:57 AM »
Quote
Perhaps the latter is itself a reference to the famous way of killing vampires through spikes.
Perhaps it's more about the vampire getting nourishment by biting the neck then sucking the victims blood.
Also Atlas didn't/doesn't hold up the earth but the sky.

Whoops,fixed the Atlas bit!
Rephrased the vampire bit as well,as it probably didn't tumble out properly :P
What was in my head about that was that,once the life-leeching part was out of the way,perhaps the projectiles themselves being spikes also fits the vampire theme.Though in hindsight,that may be a little far-fetched...

Hellgate was such an exciting and mysteriously interesting vision which almost produced a rich game all round.

It's still pains me that it ended the way that it did. It's also a great loss to the gaming world that nobody that was interested picked up the single player IP and developed it further. I was happy enough to play Global as multiplayer because it was better than nothing and certainly gave me many hours of enjoyment once I got used to the savage monetisation.

What I really yearn for is a true Hellgate 2 that has a single player experience that builds on the original. Even by today's standards, the DX10 version of Hellgate: London looks good enough graphically, and the gameplay is as fun and as addictive as it always was. I dread to think how many real life hours I've put into Hellgate: London single player/multiplayer and the same goes for Global as well. It will certainly be in the thousands combined.

There's still life in this game yet, even if the commercial world appears to have turned its back on it.

I can really,really get behind this.

I,too,feel it's an absolute shame the IP is where it is today.And the grand injustice is,we probably won't get a Hellgate 2,or at least not one anywhere near what we now expect of a successor to London.10 years later,and with the original team long scattered,somehow I can't quite hope a team of equally creative developers will acquire the IP and deliver on our expectations.That,plus the IP's infamy...Bah,don't let me get all gloomy here.

It is a tad poetic that it was Hellgate's massive aspirations that stretched Flagship so thin,which in turn (partially) brought its downfall.But I can't help but still be in awe,all these years later,at how much creativity seems to have been on the blackboard.Much of it hasn't been fleshed out properly of course,but glimpses of it are still scattered all over.

Which is also the reason for this thread,eh? :P
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chakl

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #8 on: Dec 31, 2016; 05:54 PM »
They made a ton of items and named them after people's aliases on community day many years ago. I remember going to the flagship studio and having a shot with bill roper as i ogled his star wars statues.

Sol's invictus named after Ian (or solinvictus) the HGG webmaster. There were a bunch, like Pyke  and myself included (chakl's kabuto). pretty sure there were tons more, but i don't really remember too well.

Bryan

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #9 on: Jan 01, 2017; 08:41 PM »
They made a ton of items and named them after people's aliases on community day many years ago. I remember going to the flagship studio and having a shot with bill roper as i ogled his star wars statues.

Sol's invictus named after Ian (or solinvictus) the HGG webmaster. There were a bunch, like Pyke  and myself included (chakl's kabuto). pretty sure there were tons more, but i don't really remember too well.

Welcome Chakl :) It's an honor to have veterans such as yourself join us.

Yeah,I've been trying to sort out the community/dev items and make a separate list of them. But admittedly it's quite hard to identify them after all these years,as you say. The dev items are a tad safer though,such as,say,Schaefer's Foul Recoil. At least those I can cross-check ;)
Sol's Invictus is a perfect example of the mistakes I'd like to avoid,for instance.
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chakl

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Re: Hellgate items and their allusions
« Reply #10 on: Jan 02, 2017; 07:21 PM »
happy to be back,  looking forward to seeing the development here.