In this thread, please post only the following items: Easter eggs References to the real world In-game references to the SOTA community In-game references to SOTA community outreach Please include the following information in your post: Zone where the surprise is or where it starts Brief description of the surprise & what it refers to Post step-by-step instructions for completing or finding the surprise (try to include screen shots). Many of the books in game have a direct and obvious real world connection. It would be preferable to list here only the texts that more obscurely refer to the real world (e.g. the "Ode to Spot" poem that is a reference to Star Trek). Also see Solutions to Puzzles & Treasure Hunts for more in-game surprises. ================================= COMPILED LIST Tributes to the Community & Community Outreach Tributes/Memorials to fallen members of the SOTA & MMORPG community Tribute to Lacey [Necropolis] Tribute to Crikey [Owl's Head] Tribute to Linda [Soltown] Tribute to Helen Walker Garriott, Richard's mother [Brittany Graveyard & other zones] Tribute to Owen Garriott, Richard's father [Brittany Graveyard] Tribute to Brad Mcquaid [Brittany Graveyard] - although Brad was not a member of the SOTA community, he was a well known developer of MMORPGs. Other tributes to the SOTA community Poets' Circle - an homage to a guild whose members have composed much of the in-game background music for Shroud of the Avatar [Ardoris]. New Britannia Theater Troupe - an homage to several of the original members of this group. Minerva and her event at HoBLotH 3 - a in-game recreation of Minerva and her Stone Soup activity at HoBLotH 3 [Aerie]. Ultima Dragons - an in-game book honors these Ultima fans [Central Brittany]. Early Backers of the Game - an in-game book honors these players whose pledges contributed to SOTA early development [Central Brittany]. Tombstones in Brittany Graveyard - some names on the tombstones are tributes to real life people [Brittany Graveyard]. Easter Eggs: The initials of level designer Esteben Zaldivar (E. Z.) are etched in the snow [Sanctus Spine] The Singing Rock [Braemar] Sword in the Stone - reference to Excalibur [West Ravenswood] & other references to Excalibur. Death Bunny - reference to a scene in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail [Spectral Mines]. Memorial to "Sweety the Bird" [Spite] Homages to classic samurai movies: Part 1 [Celestis] Homages to classic samurai movies: Part 2 [Celestis] Zombie movies - multiple homages to zombie movies [Eastmarch] Tribute to the heavy metal band Iron Maiden and their zombie-like mascot Eddie - an NPC zombie named Eddie can be seen doing the "headbang" an "sing" emotes near an iron maiden inside the prison [Libris Ruins]. Miniature map of Novia and Hidden Vale - the fountain in the central square of Aldwater shows a miniature version of the map for episode 1 of SOTA [Aldwater]. Jackalope - a Jackalope head is mounted on the wall of a house [Crooked Shank]. Skeleton's picnic - at the top of the highest mountain in Blood Bay, you can find a beautiful view and the remains of a picnicker [Blood Bay]. The Princess Bride movie The Cliffs of Insanity - there is a replica of the Cliffs of Insanity and the terrain where the sword fight occurred [Elad's Lighthouse]. Battle of Wits - homage to the scene where two characters try to get the other to drink poison [Elad's Lighthouse]. Florin - reference to the country in which The Princess Bride was set. [Elad's Lighthouse]. Farewell to Bag Mode [Solace Bridge Outskirts] Changing your chat style - equipping certain items automatically changes your text in chat to match the theme of the item. Pirates of the Caribbean - this is a reference to the Disney theme park attraction and to the movies. Multiple Fantasy Book References - including references to The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Wheel of Time, The Sword of Truth,The Kingkiller Chronicles, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Real World References & Easter Eggs References to the Ultima games References to Ultima characters Chuckles the Jester [Central Brittany] Dupre [Central Brittany & Brittany Fields] Ensorcio [Ardoris] Jaana - the town Jaanaford and the nearby rivers in SOTA are named after the character Jaana from the Ultima games. Janna's granddaughter, Jenna, also appears in SOTA. [Jannaford]. Lord British - there are multiple references to Lord British throughout the game. Lord British is not only part of the lore of SOTA, he is also a player who makes periodic appearances in game. Methods of Killing Lord British - an NPC tells you all the ways that Lord British was killed in the Ultima games [Owls Head]. Also see this reference in Port Harmony. Lord Blackthorn Mariah - the town Mariah Overlook and the Mariah Mountains in SOTA are probably references to the character Mariah from the Ultima games [Mariah Overlook]. Sentri [Elad's Lighthouse]. Shamino - the Shaminian Hills zone is a reference to the character Shamino from the Ultima games [Shaminian Hills]. Sherry the Mouse [Central Brittany] The Guardian - there are references to the Guardian in Central Brittany and in Lord British's Castle. Iolo - a type of food is named after Iolo, also an NPC companion in off-line mode (Fiona FitzOwen) says "Ho Eyo He Hum...Iolos got the key...", which is the exact phrase spoken by Iolo in Utima 1. Elad - a real-world reference to Dale Flatt, a friend of Richard Garriott, who was the inspiration for the character Elad in Ultima 6, Ultima 7, and SOTA [Northwood & Elad's Lighthouse]. Smith the Talking Horse [Port Harmony]. References to Ultima Locations and places Sosaria from Ultima 3 - the continent of Novia in SOTA has a similar shape to the continent of Sosaria from Ultima 3. The location of many towns and underground zones are also similar. East and West Montor from Ultima 3 - the "Twin" Cities inside Blood Bay are probably reference to the cities of East and West Montor from Ultima 3, which were also on either side of a waterway [Blood Bay]. A reference to East and West Montor is also present on the overworld map. Yew - the city of Yew appeared in multiple ultima games, and it appears as a NPC town in SOTA. The Lost Vale - this is the name of an area in SOTA, and was also the name of the unreleased expansion to Ultima 8. References to Ultima themes or items Killing children [Multiple zones] "Wanna Buy a Duck?" [starts in Brittany Fields; Multiple Zones] Bell, Book, and Candle - this shop likely refers to the items used in Ultima 4 and Ultima 9 [Ardoris]. It could also be a reference to a movie of the same name, where the woman (who owns a magic shop) uses a love spell to seduce a man (Ardoris is the City of Love). What's a paladin? - that infamous question from Ultima 9 [multiple zones]. Page of Justice - the Page of Justice in SOTA is analogous to the Rune of Justice in Ultima 4. In both games, these items are found in the House of Justice. Page of Spirituality - the Page of Spirituality in SOTA is analogous to the Rune of Spirituality in Ultima 4. In both games, these items are found in a hidden room in Brittany Castle. Opening a secret area within Brittany castle by playing a specific piece of music - this is present in SOTA [Central Brittany], Ultima 5, and Ultima 9. DND - this is the precursor program to the Ultima series, and it can be played in SOTA. Farewell to Bag Mode [Solace Bridge Outskirts] Inserting cards into a computer - this is a reference to Ultima 3 [Lord British's Castle]. Purple Llama - this is a reference to an Ultima Online spell called "Energy Vortex" [The Breach & Paladis Shardfall]. . References to television programs Star Trek: The Next Generation Data's poem "Ode to Spot" [Blood River]. Ugly Bags of Mostly Water [Lost Vale]. Fame - an NPC is named Bruno Martelli, who was a character from the movie and TV show "Fame" [Ardoris]. You can learn the "Macerena" dance emote from him. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air - Darkstarr's version of the Carlton dance (the Starrlton) is an emote in-game. A Charlie Brown Christmas - an emote in game (called Happy Dance) is actually one of the dances in a scene from this Peanuts television special. Saturday Night Live More Cowbell skit - there is a musical instrument, a dance done when playing the instrument, a shirt, and a hairstyle that all reference this skit. D-ck in a Box skit - a rare in-game sighting that references this skit. Gilligan's Island - a small island in Ardoris is called Gulligan's Island, & it may be a reference to the TV series called Gilligan's Island [Ardoris]. First reported by Traveler13. . References to Music, Singers, Musical Groups, Musical Theater Freddie Mercury from Queen - there is a bard NPC named Farrokh Bulsara, which was Freddie's real name [Ardoris]. Iron Maiden and their zombie-like mascot Eddie - an NPC zombie named Eddie can be seen doing the "headbang" and "sing" emotes near an iron maiden inside the prison [Libris Ruins]. David Bowie - a tribute to David Bowie's Magic Dance from the movie Labyrinth (see Part 2 of the post). Shooter Jennings - multiple in-game references to Shooter. Soltown - this town's name is a sound-alike for Soul Town. As Lum stated "many NPCs in Soltown have names alluding to musicians on our Earth". Lum also said, "Soltown has a lot of soul." Musicians that were alluded to in Soltown include Rick James, Stanley Clarke, and Chad Kroeger. Rick James - an innkeeper NPC named Richard James was a reference to musician Rick James [Soltown]. Stanley Clarke - a bard NPC named Stan Clarke was a reference to jazz musician Stanley Clarke [Soltown]. Chad Kroeger - a beggar NPC named Chad was a reference to Chad Kroeger of the Canadian band Nickelback [Soltown]. Shooter Jennings - an NPC named Shooter Jenkins is reference to country musician Shooter Jennings [Soltown]. Cats (The Musical) - a reference to the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Weber, which in SOTA is referred to as Rats by Anthony Boyd Weber [Westend]. Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two) - this is the first song that was sung by a computer, and it is referenced in SOTA. The Space Bards - this group created a song about Lord British, and the song can be found in game. Also, the gypsy dance/emote in-game derives from a dance in the Space Bards' music video. Up Where We Belong - reference to the lyrics of this song [Ardoris]. Love is A Many Splendored Thing - reference to the lyrics of this song [Ardoris] Love is All You Need - reference to this Beatles song. References to Movies & Books Excalibur - a sword in the stone [West Ravenswood] & other references to Excalibur. Raiders of the Lost Ark - an area under the pyramid has several references to the cave scene in the movie [Blood River Forrest]. King Kong - a large powerful clockwork monkey is named K'kongg, and may be a reference to King Kong [K'rul] Monty Python and the Holy Grail - several references to this movie are present in-game, including: Coconuts - used while pretending to ride a horse. The coconut shells are clapped together to simulate the sound of a galloping horse. Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog - a similar creature is present in-game [Spectral Mines]. Tim the Enchanter - a similar character is present in-game [Ardoris]. The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch - a similar weapon is present in-game. Book of Armaments - a similar treatise is present in-game. Hitting yourself in the head with a tablet - an emote in game is inspired by a group of monks from Monty Python and the Holy Grail [Highvale Outskirts]. Montgomery - a character is named after "Monty" in Monty Python [Highvale Outskirts]. 2001: A Space Odyssey - this is a reference to HAL 9000, the computer in the movie [Lord British's Castle]. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - this is a reference to Deep Thought, a computer in the book [Lord British's Castle]. War Games - this is a reference to the computer in the movie [Lord British's Castle]. Metropolis - the Oracle in Shroud of the Avatar (also known as Ultima Futura Automaton) is modeled after the robotic woman from the movie Metropolis [Oracle Temple in Central Brittany]. Classic samurai movies Part 1 - multiple homages to classic samurai movies [Celestis]. Classic samurai movies Part 2 - multiple homages to classic samurai movies [Celestis]. Zombie movies - multiple homages to zombie movies [Eastmarch]. Fantasy books Multiple Fantasy Book References - including references to The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Wheel of Time, The Sword of Truth,The Kingkiller Chronicles, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Harry Potter Series Severus the wizard Goblet of Fire Alastor Moody's magical eye The Sword of Midras - Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott co-wrote the fantasy novel The Sword of Midras, which is a prequel to Shroud of the Avatar (a series of books is expected, but only one book has been released so far). Many of the themes and places in The Sword of Midras also show up in Shroud of the Avatar. Bell, Book, and Candle - the alchemy shop in Ardoris (the City of Love) is called Bell, Book, and Candle, which may be a reference to a movie of the same name, where the woman (who owns a magic shop) uses a love spell to seduce a man. It may also be a reference to the items used in Ultima 4 and Ultima 9 [Ardoris]. Rocky Horror Picture Show - an emote in game is the Time Warp dance from the Rocky Horror Picture Show (see part 2 of the post). The Princess Bride - The Cliffs of Insanity - there is a replica of the Cliffs of Insanity and the terrain where the sword fight occurred [Elad's Lighthouse]. Battle of Wits - homage to the scene where two characters try to get the other to drink poison [Elad's Lighthouse]. Florin - reference to the country in which The Princess Bride was set [Elad's Lighthouse]. Sword in tree, the albino, and the wheelbarrow [Elad's Lighthouse]. MLT: mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich - reference to a funny dialogue in the movie [Owl's Head]. Aliens - homages to the movie Aliens [Highvale Outskirts]. Ready Player One - reference to Fyndoro's Tablet of Finding & Sword of the Ba'Heer from the novel Ready Player One. A Clockwork Orange - This movie is set in a violent future. In the movie, a cane-wielding thug rapes Mrs. Alexander. Eventually, she dies of pneumonia, although her husband believes her death stemmed from the assault. In SOTA, there is a grave with the inscription "Here lies Mrs. Alexander, victim of the modern age", and inside is a skeleton laying next to a walking cane [Ruins of Ravensmoor]. The NeverEnding Story - reference to the horse that was drowning in the swamps of sadness [Norgard Fens]. Mad Max - a reference to the final scene in the movie Mad Max [South Broken Road]. Logan's Run - a 1976 sci-fi movie. The New You - in the movie, a security officer named Logan breaks the rules of the society. To avoid being caught, he seeks to disguise himself using futuristic plastic surgery in a shop called "The New You", where he can change any aspect of his appearance. In SOTA, there are "New You" shops where you can change the appearance of your avatar. The computer in Logan's Run - this is a reference to something that the computer says about an ankh. The ankh is a major symbol in both SOTA and Logan's run. Pirates of the Caribbean - this is a reference to the Disney theme park attraction and to the movies [Tenebris Harbor]. Super Troopers - a reference to the The Cat Game where the police say "meow" (after following the link, see "Ring of Cat's Grace Spoiler"). Captain Ron - a reference to the main character in the movie [Fishing Expedition]. Caddyshack - a reference to the characters in this movie [Well of Aldur]. Watership Down - a references to the Lapine rabbit language in this book [Spectral Mines]. The Dying Earth - reference to a creature in this book. References to Developers & to Developer's Friends/Family/Pets (here is the SOTA website listing of developers, current and former). All of the developers - a book in-game lists all of the developers [Brittany Graveyard]. Rick Holtrop - "Rick was here" is scratched in the wall of a prison cell, which refers to Rick Holtrop [Libris Ruins]. Scott “Lum” Jennings - the "singing rock": standing on a specific rock triggers a song by Lum called "Lum's Lament" [Braemer]. Travis Koleski (aka List Rostov) - a point of interest is named after this developer. Esteben Zaldivar - his initials (E. Z.) are etched in the snow [Sanctus Spine]. Robert Thompson (aka Dr. Bob) - Dr. Bob is an NPC in-game [Northwood]. Richard Garriott - There are multiple references to Garriett's in-game persona (Lord British) in SOTA. The following links reference Richard's family, his friends, and his property: Garriott's Property in Austin, Texas - including references to his house Britannia Manor, his medieval village called Castleton, and his outdoor theater [Northwood] and also his lighthouse [Elad's Lighthouse]. Garriott's Wife, Son, & Daughter Tribute to Helen Walker Garriott, Richard's Mother [Brittany Graveyard & other zones] Tribute to Owen Garriott, Richard's father [Brittany Graveyard] Dale Flatt is a friend of Richard Garriott, caretaker of Castleton (Garriott's property in Austin, Texas), and inspiration for the character Elad in SOTA, Ultima 6, and Ultima 7 [Northwood & Elad's Lighthouse]. Garriott's Serpent Necklace - references to the serpent can be seen in the overworld map for episode 2 and in the Razer computer company logo. Chris Spears Mojito - Chris' dog in real life (Mojito) is in-game [Owl's Head]. Chris' Mother - a ring in-game is named after his mother. Starr Long (aka Darkstarr) Starrlton - Darkstarr's version of the Carlton dance (the Starrlton) is an emote in-game. Why are scorpions called corpions? More references to Darkstarr Fletcher Kinnear - an NPC in Lost Vale may be a reference to this alumnus developer [Lost Vale]. Scottie Jones - a ring is named after Scottie. Bill Kirkman (aka Chillblain) - a dungeon was named after him. Kevin Wells and Matt Schmitz - ponds in the scene may be named after them [Brittany Fields]. Stephen Daniele - an NPC's name is a reference to this alumnus developer. Tracy Hickman's Novels - Tracy Hickman is the lead story designer for Shroud of the Avatar. After joining Portalarium, Hickman and Richard Garriott co-authored a book called The Sword of Midras, the first novel in a planned series of novels called Blade of the Avatar, which are prequels to the story-line in Shroud of the Avatar. In-game references to novels that Hickman wrote before he joined Portalarium. Computer & Computer Game Related References Famous computers from 2001: a Space Odyssey, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Logan's Run, and War Games. Zangief from the Street Fighter series - Zangoff, the NPC blacksmith, is named after Zangief [Ardoris]. Razer computer products company - Min Liang Tan, an NPC in Ardoris, is a reference to co-founder and CEO of Razer. Also, the Razor logo is seen in game. Massively.com - Massively.com was website dedicated to MMO news, but it was shut down by its parent company in 2015. As a tribute, a tombstone was placed in SOTA with the name "Massively" inscribed in runic [cemetery in Braemer]. Noah Antwiler (aka Spoony) & "What's a paladin?"- a bard NPC named Spoony appears in-game (Central Brittany), and gives many references to the Ultima games and to Antwiler's review of the Ultima games (including the infamous "What's a paladin?" question). Agile Manifesto - a reference to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (aka Agile Manifesto), which was created in 2001 to help improve the software development process, especially through frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans [Blood River Outskirts]. Other References & Special Locations Barrel of Monkeys - a reference to this famous toy [Grusk]. Miniature map of Novia and Hidden Vale - the fountain in the central square of Aldwater shows a miniature version of the map for episode 1 of SOTA [Aldwater]. Jackalope - a Jackalope head is mounted on the wall of a house [Crooked Shank]. Skeleton's picnic - at the top of the highest mountain in Blood Bay, you can find a beautiful view and the remains of a picnicker [Blood Bay]. Picnic Basket - atop a high mesa in Tanglemire, there is a picnic scene with a picnic basket [Tanglemire] Farewell to Bag Mode [Solace Bridge Outskirts] Changing your chat style - equipping certain items automatically changes your text in chat to match the theme of the item. Philosophers Aristotle, Epicurus, and Will Durant - 3 tomes in-game contain the writings of these famous philosophers [Shaminian Hills]. Blue Acara fish - a reference to this freshwater fish that is commonly used in aquariums. Knossos (ancient city in Crete) - many of the characteristic features in the ancient city of Knossos are reconstructed in Elysium mines. Priapism - funny reference to one's "arousal" lasting too long [Ardoris] - see 2nd half of the post. Happy face in Isle of Bones [Blood Bay] Places in SOTA derived from Non-English languages Origin of some of the dances/emotes in SOTA Critical Role - Critical Role creates collaborative, story-driven content, including podcasts, comic book series, art books, and animated series. This is a reference to many of the Critical Role creators. Hidden Dialogue - example of hidden dialogue on NPCs. Remnant of the Past - a temporary zone in 2023 that celebrated the 10th anniversary of SOTA (it was also an April Fools joke that included some Easter Eggs). References that were removed from the game President Trump - one of the NPCs in game may have been a reference to Donald Trump [Blood River Outskirts]. Note: This reference was removed in Release 49 (12/2017). The Release 49 notes, stated "Phineas Polish: We removed some dialogue from his conversation that made it seem like he was intended to refer to a very famous real world personality." For Book & Leaflet Collectors Here is a list of books & leaflets that are part of the Easter eggs & references listed above. Books Doomsday Book of Contributors - contains a list of early backers. Doomsday Book of Dragons - contains a list of the Ultima Dragons. All of Us Thus Far - contains a list of all the developers. Book of Mighty Weapons - contains a reference to Monty Python. Stone Soup - contains a folk tale & is a reference to a real life event. Tomes of Death, Friendship, and Greatness - 3 books, each a reference to a real-life philosopher. Leaflets (single pages) Ode to Spot - poem by Data of Star Trek. Letter to Sweety the Bird - memorial poem to a bird. Encoded Cards - these are quest items, so they cannot be placed as deco.