Hellgate: London (Single Player) > General

Hellgate allusions

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Bryan:
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.

Note: I've also dedicated videos specifically to some allusion groups. Said videos can be found here.

Weapons & Armor

(click to show/hide)Agni's Hearth

Agni is the Vedic fire god of Hinduism.The reference 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 (perhaps itself a reference to the famous way of killing vampires through spikes) that returns HP to the user upon inflicting damage.


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.


Buzz's Frightgear

This item seems to be an allusion to Buzz Lightyear, from the Toy Story franchise.
Apart from the pun on similar-sounding names, this is among the few items that also has a second allusion in its flavor text, based on the first. The text reads "Well I guess that's what brains look like... Sort of like... Lasagna... Kind of... Okay, I'll shut up now. -Andy". Given that the item alludes to Toy Story, the "Andy" quoted here would only seem natural to be the character of the franchise with the same name. However, the quote is from the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre, probably tied to the item in terms of it being a saw-like weapon.
Allusions aside, "Buzz" is also reminiscent of the sound the weapon makes when used, and "Fright" seems appropriately descriptive given its very high base damage for its level.


Carroll's Snicker-Snack

This is a very intricate allusion to Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem "Jabberwocky". Specifically, both the weapon's type (a Vorpal Slasher) and the weapon's name may have been derived from verse 5, line 2 ("The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!").
Curiously, this may point to Vorpal Slashers and Vorpal Rippers (as a weapon type) being larger allusions to the "vorpal sword" and "vorpal blade" mentioned in the same poem. This is reinforced by the fact that the phrase is otherwise used for edged weapons, while those weapon types are actually machine pistols in the game.


Demolishman Spaulders

A possible reference to the 1993 movie,"Demolition Man".


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 samurai 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.


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.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.


Ian's Faith

A direct reference to the 1984 rock music mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap", and specifically the character "Ian Faith". The character's quote "[c]ertainly, in the topsy-turvy world of heavy rock, having a good solid piece of wood in your hand is often useful" is used as the item's flavor text, and "a good solid piece of wood" is humorously translated literally, into a Cricket Bat.


Ichabod's Bane

Ichabod is named by the Books of Samuel as the grandson of Eli the High Priest and son of Phinehas. It seems more likely that the item is not referencing the biblical figure, but rather, "Ichabod Crane", the protagonist of the short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hallow" (whose name was incidentally a possible reference to the biblical Ichabod). In this context, "Bane" may well be a play on the sounds of "bane" and "Crane".
The item is one of 2 event-exclusive items, used in the Halloween event "All Hallows Eve", which is likely the factor that ties it to its referenced character.


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  ???
Edit: The item might in fact be a vanity item of Flagship's web manager and writer Ivan Sulic, with Ivan the Terrible being a wordplay allusion.

Jon Luc's Pittards

A reference to the Star Trek character,Jean-Luc Picard. The item's name plays of the sound of the words "Picard" and "Pittards" with a seemingly humorous intent.


Lord of the Night

This Celestial Spiker, like Alucard's Continuum, may be alluding to the vampires' mythological reign over the night.
Conversely, they may be aluding to the 9 Aztec Gods known as "Lords of the Night", but establishing any relationship between them and the item should be dubious.


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.


Tattersall's Mark

A probable vanity item of Marc Tattersall, a Flagship employee.
Conversely, or additionally, a possible reference to Tattersall's horse market (hence the spelling "Mark"), which was started in London in 1766 and is where tattersall patterns in clothing allegedly originated from. This weapon fittingly has a very high RoF (600/m), which could be alluding to the usual check or plaid patterns of tattersall.


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.


Wart's Peg Leg

This weapon is a direct reference to Wirt from the Diablo series,as said character's leg could be looted from his corpse.


Yagyu's Kurijime-no-o

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


Extra tidbits:

Monsters

(click to show/hide)Sumatran Rat Money

This Named Stalker is most likely a reference to the Rat Monkey Sumatra from the 1992 Braindead/Dead Alive movie. Amusingly, Stalkers bear a resemblance to said creature.


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.


Tubby Bastard

This lovable fat zombie may be a reference to the Fat Bastard character from the Austin Powers series.


Typhoid Mary

This iconic zombie is a direct allusion to Mary Mallon (better known as Typhoid Mary), the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever.


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


Talox

The "main", toughest boss of the Abyss, Talox may be alluding to the Aztec God Tlaloc.
Apart from a similar-sounding name, Tlaloc "was widely worshipped as a beneficent giver of life and sustenance" and "was also feared for his ability to send hail, thunder, and lightning". Those abilities resonate with Talox, as he is the only Abyss boss to spawn multiple monsters (unlike Fulcrum's inanimate Totems), and possesses a unique, Tempest-like ability of creating thunder clouds.

Items, NPCs, Quests and locations

(click to show/hide)George

This NPC seems to be a reference to George Romero, the "Father of the Zombie Film". Apart from a reminiscent appearance, this is solidified by the NPC's inspection text, that states "...George used to see dead people even before actual dead people sprung up...".

Source of all Evil

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


The Big Gundown

This quest's name may be a pun on the NIN song, "The Big Come Down". This wordplay is valid in terms of outcome as well, as the...big Exospector...comes down.


The Transmogrifying Cube

This well-known item may be a reference to the Horadric Cube from Diablo 2. Fittingly,the two Cubes have similar functions.


Tiberius

This NPC seems to be a humorous reference to the Star Trek character, Tiberius Kirk. This is solidified by the NPC's mannerisms, both in written and spoken dialogue, which strongly resembles the character's.


Stewart

This NPC may be a reference to the actor Patrick Stewart, possibly as a homage to his famous role in Star Trek. The NPC has a distinct resemblance to the actor, and is next to Tiberius,who is himself an allusion to the Star Trek franchise.


Conrad and the Catacombs (Global only)

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").


The "Brainspotting" poster (found in Green Park)

This poster is a direct allusion to the "Trainspotting" movie's poster. Apart from being a pop culture reference,the poster also plays on the words "brain" and "train",as the actors are replaced by zombies...and zombies love brains.


The Flag & Ship store (found in Russel Square)

Perhaps the most curious reference in my view,this is a wordplay on the Flagship Studios' name.


The Strange Box (found in Piccaddily Circus in SP,and in Closed Station in Global)

This strange box is actually the Tardis from Dr. Who.

bunjke!:
Awesome. Really interesting. Thanks for your work!  :)

Bryan:
Thanks,glad you like it :)

Edit: Fixed some minor mistakes and added a few non-item tidbits.

thegreatcthulhu:
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.

Bryan:

--- Quote from: thegreatcthulhu 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.

--- End quote ---

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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