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Easter Eggs & Real World References (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Player Created Resources' started by Rinaldi, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Minor Easter Egg: HELL spelled out in bones
    In Ruins of Ravensmoor (which is inside Ravensmoor)

    When you enter from the Ruins of Ravensmoor, there are multiple crypts in the first room. The contents of one of these crypts has bones that are arranged to spell the world "HELL".

    [​IMG]

    If you look at the plaque that is mounted on the crypt, it reads:
    [​IMG]

    Maybe "Luci" is short for "Lucifer"?

    .

    This Easter Egg has been known since release 4.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  2. Daxxe Diggler

    Daxxe Diggler Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    I'd also like to note that when you play this emote, there are some latin(?) words that your avatar speaks in the chat box just like in the monks speak in the movie:

    Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem.

    ;)
     
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  3. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Memorial for Haydn Godony
    In Owl's Head

    This post was created to honor one of SOTA's fallen players, and to increase the awareness of this in-game tribute.

    Haydn Godony is an Australian SOTA community member who passed away in October 2014 at the age of 58. His forum name was Crikey (I believe his in-game name was also Crikey, and his Avatar can be seen in this Release 8 video at time 52:40 to 54:30).
    A memorial for Haydn was created in Owl's Head in the cemetery next to the church (the cemetery is near the Tesla tower).
    Hover your mouse over the tombstone that is shown below and you will see the writing on the stone (you have to hover over the far edge of the tombstone, near where the blue arrow is pointing, to see the tribute).

    [​IMG]

    Chris Spears (a developer) commented about this memorial: "It is a tribute to a fallen player from Australia... We did this before there were player owned towns. More recently we've suggested people make these tributes in their towns vs public spaces since that is now an option."

    Rest in Peace, Crikey.

    To all of our fallen Avatars: You will not be forgotten.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  4. krashd

    krashd Avatar

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    I'm sure the Reapers are in reference to Ultima Online, as that is what I thought of when I saw them, not Ents.

    I think I've stumbled over a few great names ingame, I particularly giggled at Farrohk Bulsara as being a Brit I recognised that as Freddie immediately. At the moment the only thing that springs to mind that has not been posted on here (I think) is that the duo of crafting merchant and crafting trainer standing next to one another in Ardoris is Chip and Dale. Which reminded me of Chip n' Dale from the Rescue Rangers who loved to build stuff.
     
  5. krashd

    krashd Avatar

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    Just stumbled across a "Used Shovel Salesman" called Stan who does a lot of hand gestures. Clearly a Monkey Island reference, he can be found manning his Used Shovel stall in Crooked Shank.
     
  6. krashd

    krashd Avatar

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    Possibly found another, though this one is a stretch. As soon as I saw the name of the troll Tork'Dawl in Ravensmoor I immediately thought of Tarka Dal of the Vindaloovians from Red Dwarf, though obviously the spelling is different the sound is very similar phonetically...

     
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  7. Helvig Ingvildsdottir

    Helvig Ingvildsdottir Avatar

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    Perhaps I simply overlooked someone posting this before. I can't believe no-one did.

    The manifesto in the Bloodriver Outskirts quest is a reference to the Agile Manifesto of 2001.

    [​IMG]

    Original:
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  8. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    ? Easter Egg: Happy face in the Isle of Bones
    In Blood Bay

    I am not sure if this one is intentional or not, but it is rather funny.

    .
    If you climb up the mountain in the middle of Blood Bay, and then look down at the Isle of Bones, you see this :D:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    .
     
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  9. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Memorial for Linda
    In Soltown

    Linda, Svahn's beloved wife and cherished member of the SOTA community, passed away suddenly in January 2015 at the young age of 38.

    When Svahn announced Linda's passing, he shared his heartfelt emotions and described Linda as "the gentlest and nicest person I have known in my whole life. A cat lover with a big heart...my best friend...my beloved.." Shortly thereafter, a fellow avatar @enderandrew contacted Svahn, and helped create an in-game tribute to Linda: she is memorialized as an NPC in Soltown who is also named Linda.

    This post was created to honor Linda and Svahn, and to help ensure that players understand the special significance when they encounter Linda.

    Linda In Real-life
    Svahn described Linda as "kindness personified" and "the gentlest and nicest person I have known in my whole life." Linda always offered to help those in need. She was happy and cheerful, and brought out the best in everyone. Linda was schooled and certified as a baker, but she could not continue in her baking career because she developed a food allergy. Ultimately, she worked part time in finance and part time providing in-home care for people who needed assistance. Linda's greatest joy was cats. Linda and Svahn had 3 cats: Whiskey, Cissi, and Tiger. Linda liked being an active member of the cat-show community, and she also helped out at the local cat association. Linda took Whiskey to many cat-shows (and Whiskey won several contests).
    Linda also liked playing MMO's, but she really only enjoyed MMO's when playing together with Svahn. Her favorite MMO was City of Heroes. When Shroud of the Avatar was announced, Linda and Svahn "decided to take a chance on it" and they both became early backers.

    Linda In-Game
    Linda is an NPC in the tent camp in Soltown.

    Linda was a Baker in Solace Bridge, but she cannot work as a baker anymore because she was forced out of Solace Bridge. So, she does what she can to help the refugees in Soltown. In-real life, Linda was also a baker who ultimately could not continue to bake anymore, and so she engaged in helping others (such as in-home care).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Linda is accompanied by her 3 cherished cats, who always remain close to her. Linda's cats in-game (Whiskey, Cissi, and Tiger) are also the names of Linda's cats in real life.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If you ask Linda about her cats, she will describe the personality of each one (and the descriptions are based on the real-life personalities of Linda's cats).

    [​IMG]
    In real-life, Whiskey is a blue British shorthair cat who has been awarded many titles at cat-shows. As Svahn said, Whiskey "is very special to us" and "is one of the kindest and calmest cats we have ever met." In-game, the dialogue reflects Whiskey's real-life characteristics, including being Linda's "pride and joy" and winning a cat show.​

    [​IMG]
    In real-life, Cissi is a small redish common housecat who is very shy. Linda And Svahn adopted Cissi from a shelter.​

    [​IMG]
    In real-life, Tiger was a black and white common housecat. Sadly, Tiger developed diabetes and passed away when he was 5 years old. After Tiger passed away, Svahn and Linda adopted Whiskey as companion to Cissi.​


    In-game, Linda's husband Svahn has passed away, whereas in real life, it was Linda who passed away. Linda expresses her deep love for Svahn and her profound sense of loss (just as Svahn had done in his post about Linda).

    [​IMG]


    Svahn said, "We looked so much forward to playing this game and enjoying this world together...She told me every now and then how much she looked forward to be in the finished SotA with me, us together, exploring." For many player's, real-life is often closely intertwined with SOTA. The SOTA community is often like a family: sharing the celebration in times of joy, offering encouragement in times of doubt, lending support in times of hardship, and providing solace in times of sorrow.

    @Svahn offered sage advice, "Do not take life and family for granted!" Linda in Soltown is an not only an homage to a wonderful person, but she also serves as a reminder to cherish family and friends each and every day.
    To all of our fallen Avatars: You will not be forgotten.

    Thank you to @Svahn who expressed his support for this tribute and who helped finalize its content.
    Thank you to @Alley Oop for making me aware of Linda and Svahn.
     
  10. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Real World Reference to Darkstarr (aka Starr Long)


    Starr Long (aka @DarkStarr) is Executive producer of Shroud of the Avatar. He worked with Richard Garriott on many projects over the years, including Ultima Online.

    Background
    Lord Blackthorn, who first appeared in Ultima V, was virtuous friend of Lord British. When Lord British left to explore the Underworld, he appointed Lord Blackthorn to govern Britannia. At first Blackthorn was a virtuous ruler, but he became tyrannical, oppressive, and evil when the Shadowlords corrupted him. In Ultima Online, Blackthorn founded the philosophy of Chaos to counter the virtues of Lord British.

    The Blackthorn character was not based on any particular real world person; however, Starr Long played Blackthorn in Ultima online.
    When Starr Long joined SOTA, he could not use the name Blackthorn (which was owned by Electronic Arts), so he started using the name Darkstarr instead. In SOTA, Darkstarr is one of the first mages of Chaos and is an antagonist of Lord British's virtues.

    1. The Starrlton Dance - see this post.
      .
    2. Why are scorpions in SOTA called corpions?- see this post.
      .
    3. The Darkstarr Corpion - this creature can be found in some of the overworld corpion encounters (shown below with its loot).
      [​IMG]

      .
    4. Child in the Confluence Chamber - this child says that living by the virtues is boring, but following Darkstarr's Chaos is fun!
      [​IMG]
      .
    5. Various foods in-game
    6. Various items in-game

     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  11. Jack SinAssist

    Jack SinAssist Avatar

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    Elad's Lighthouse is named after the Lighthouse built at Castleton by Richard Garriott's friend Dale. Not to mention that Elad is Dale backwards :p
     
  12. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Real world reference to Chris Spears' dog: Mojito
    In Owl's Head

    .
    In Owl's Head, there is a dog named Mojito on the bridge:
    .
    [​IMG]

    .
    Chris Spears (@Chris), technical director of SOTA, has a dog named Mojito in real life.. Chris posted about this real world reference in his Daily Work Blog in February 2018. Mojito is Chris's forum picture.
    .

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
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  13. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Real World Reference to: Fyndoro's Tablet of Finding from the novel Ready Player One

    Fyndoro's Tablet of Finding is a flat circle of polished black stone that allows an avatar to find the location of another avatar once every 24 hours. The tablet will reveal the location of any avatar whose name is written on the tablet.

    Fyndoro's Tablet of Finding in SOTA is also a flat circle of polished black stone that allows an avatar to find the location of another avatar once every 24 hours. When you click on the tablet, a window appears that lets you find the location of another avatar (If they are playing SOTA, then the tablet reveals the current zone they are in. If they are not playing SOTA, then it reveals that they are on Earth). If you try to use the tablet again within 24 hours, it will tell you how much longer you have to wait before you can use it again. The tablet was a pledge reward for early backers of SOTA. Ernest Cline, the author of Ready Player One, granted permission for Portalarium to use Fyndoro's Tablet of Finding in Shroud of the Avatar.
    [​IMG]

    Initially, this item was in-game and could be placed as decoration, but was non-functional. Starting with release 51 (2/2018), the tablet was made functional and could be used to find another avatar. The announcement that the tablet was made functional and its reference to Ready Player One was revealed in the Release 51 instructions [see Pledge Rewards section: "Fyndoro’s Tablet of Finding: This pledge reward item can now be used once a day to find the in-game location of a single player by typing in their name, just like in the book (and upcoming film) Ready Player One."]
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  14. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Easter Egg & Real World Reference: History of the all the methods used to Kill Lord British in the Ultima series
    In Owl's Head

    Go to the stables in Owl's Head (near the crafting pavilion), and talk to Nob the Stable Boy. In conversation with Nob, type in "kill Lord British" or "destroy Lord British" and he will tell you the many ways in which Lord British has been killed throughout the Ultima series.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Some of the ways to kill Lord British in the Ultima games are summarized below:
    • Ultima 3 - let Lord British chase you to the docks, and use a ship cannon to kill him.
    • Ultima 6 - multiple ways to kill Lord British, including killing him with a glass sword while he slept and surrounding Lord British with powder kegs and igniting them.
    • Ultima 7, The Black Gate - double-click, the gold plaque above the castle gate when British is standing directly underneath, and the plaque will fall on his head and kill him. This was inspired by an incident at the Origin building: a metal bar, attached to the door by a magnet, fell on Garriott's head, warranting a visit to the hospital.
    • Ultima 7, Forge of Virtue Expansion Pack - Lord British British can be killed with the Black Sword.
    • Ultima 9 - When the game begins in the Avatar's house, cook a loaf of poison bread using rat poison. Replace Lord British's regular bread with the poison bread, and he will eat it and die.
    • Ultima Online (beta test) - An avatar named Rainz killed Lord British during a server population stress test using a fire spell.
    Note: Based on SOTAwiki's information on Nob, this Easter egg appears to have been leaked during a live stream with one of the developers a few years ago, but the link to the video seems broken.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  15. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Easter Egg, Real World Reference, & Community Tribute to the New Britannia Theater Troupe
    in Desolis

    The New Britannia Theater Troupe (NBTT) is a group of people who create audio recordings of written works, and then podcast them for the community. They not only podcast theatrical plays, but they also perform them in-game! For more information about NBTT and for the podcasts, see their website: Echoes from the Caverns.

    In Desolis, there is an NPC named Theodric. He states that he is helping to write The History of New Britannia, Vol. 1. He also mentions that Nystal Timelord, Amber Raine, Gabriel Nightshadow, Lord Baldrith, Asclepius, and Sir Stile Teckel are companions that have "many exciting adventures together!"

    [​IMG]

    The NPC Theodric is based on a character from the writing and podcasts of Gabriel Nightshadow (a member of NBTT). In the podcast titled Avatar Chronicles 1 - Return of the Avatar, Theodric was described as "one of the five monks currently writing sections of The History of New Britannia, Vol. 1..." (which is exactly what Theodric in-game says he is doing!).

    The companions mentioned by Theodric in-game are based on real people who are all founding members of the NBTT:


    By the way, almost all of these NBTT members have been awarded the Order of the New Britannia Empire for making outstanding contributions to the SOTA community, which is probably one of the many reasons why they received this nice in-game tribute.
    Thanks for all your contributions and congratulations on your Easter Egg!

    NOTE: I bug reported the misspelling of Lord Baldrith's name in the conversation shown above.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  16. By Tor

    By Tor Avatar

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    Easter Egg:

    Captain Cugel in Ardoris is in reference to a Jack Vance book about an anti-hero named "Cugel the Clever".

    There's a guard in Harvest named "Darmok" which is the name of a popular Star Trek: The Next Generation episode.
     
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  17. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Real Word References to Ultima


    Reference to The Lost Vale (reference to Ultima 8)

    In SOTA, Lost Vale is a area that you can access only during a specific time in-game.

    The Lost Vale was also the name of an Ultima 8 expansion pack that was never released (see this webpage for plot description, screen shots, and development docs).​


    Opening a Secret Room in Brittany Castle by Playing Music (reference to Ultima 5 and 9)

    In SOTA, a quest requires that you play a certain piece of music in a certain place inside Brittany castle. When you play the music, it opens a secret wall, which allows you to access to a secret room.

    If you talk to Spoony (who is in the throne room of Brittany Castle), he gives you a hint about the music that must be played in the library:
    [​IMG]
    If you go up to the library, the sheet music for "The Baron of Eastwick" is on the table. Pick it up and put it in your inventory. Then, play "The Baron of Eastwick" on the piano (or any instrument that you have in your inventory). Next to the piano, a secret wall opens, which allows you to access the secret room where you can obtain the Page of Spirituality.
    [​IMG]

    In Ultima 5, a quest requires that you go Lord British's bedroom inside his castle, and play the song "Stones" on the harpsichord. When you play the music, it opens a secret wall, which allows you to access to the Sandalwood Box.
    Here is a video that shows this happening in Ultima 5.

    In Ultima 9, a quest requires that you go Lord British's bedroom inside his castle, and play the song "Stones" on the harpsichord. When you play the music, the sandalwood box on the nearby table will disappear, revealing the ankh of spirituality that was inside the box. Here is a video that shows this happening in Ultima 9.
    .
    .

    Reference to DND (the Precursor of Akalabeth and Ultima)

    DND was one of the the first computer role playing games and was created by Richard Garriott (aka @Lord British) in the late 1970's. DND was written on a teletype, and is the precursor to Akalabeth and the Ultima series of computer games. See this brief history of DND, including pictures of the teletype, the paper tape spools on which the program was stored, and an example of the game output. Garriott created a contest that challenged the SOTA community to make a "faithful recreation of the original" DND that would run on a modern platform. The winners of the contest were announced in Update of the Avatar #78 in 6/2014. The unity version (created by Richard Fleming) was eventually incorporated into SOTA in late 2015, so that Avatars can play DND on a teletype within SOTA! (shown below).
    [​IMG]

    More info on DND at sotawiki:
    1. http://sotawiki.net/sota/Teletype/DND1
    2. http://sotawiki.net/sota/Teletype
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  18. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    Haha, Pirates of the Caribbean?

    [​IMG]

    @Rinaldi
     
  19. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Avatar

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    Easter Egg: Farewell to Bag Mode
    Zone: Solace Bridge Outskirts

    This Easter egg was found by @Elnoth

    When SOTA began development in 2013, the inventory could be viewed and manipulated in either "list mode" (items listed as text) or "bag mode" (items shown in graphic form). The bag mode was first used in Ultima 7 and continued to be used in Ultima 8, Ultima 9, and Ultima On-line. Bag Mode would display the player's inventory visually on screen inside a bag (or backpack, or chest, etc). Here is video that shows the visual "bag mode" in SOTA:


    Portalarium wanted to include "bag mode" to for the nostalgia (after all, SOTA is the spiritual successor to Ultima). However, few people used bag mode and Portalarium decided to remove bag mode from SOTA in early 2018 (see Darkstarr's announcement).

    Enter the Ancient Cemetery in Solace Bride Outskirts. You will find a tombstone that has a bag, a skull, and a candle on it. Hover your mouse over the tombstone to read its inscription.
    R.I.P. bag mode!


    [​IMG]

    .
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  20. Dermott

    Dermott Avatar

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    Easter Egg: A Clockwork Orange
    Location: Ruins of Ravensmoor

    Inside the crypt, off east of the first main room, past the room with four sarcophagi and a chest mimic is a room with a sarcophagus, a ghost, and 1 or 2 skeleton mages. The inscription on the sarcophagus is "Here lies Mrs Alexander, victim of the modern age". Inside is a skeleton with a walking cane.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]