Easter Eggs & Real World References (Spoilers!)

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

  1. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Bug Hunter

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    Real Word Reference
    Multiple zones and regions

    The names of several zones and regions in SOTA are derived from real world Non-English languages.


    I am not sure that all of the examples listed below were intentional.
    Also, note that many of the northern areas in Novia are named using languages from northern European countries, such as Norway and Iceland.
    In the list below, zones are towns or adventure scenes that the avatar can enter, whereas regions are areas on the map of Novia that describe a certain geographic area or structure (but there is no zone to enter).
    I am sure there are some names that I missed.


    Spindelskog - derived from "spindel skog", which is Norwegian for "spider forest". Spindelskog (zone) is on the continent of Mistrendur, and is a forest filled with spiders.

    Myrkur - derived from "myrkur", which is Icelandic for "dark".
    Myrkur (zone) is so dark inside that it is often hard to see anything!

    Drachvald
    - derived from "drachenwald", which is German for "dragon forrest".
    Examples in SOTA: Drachvald (region), North & South Drachvald Spur (zones)


    Grunvald - derived from "grünwald", which is German for "green forrest".
    Examples in SOTA: Grunvald (region), Grunvald Shardfall (zone), North & South Grunvald Barrens (zones)


    Hinterlands - derived from "hinter", which is German for "behind" (these lands are all located behind mountains)
    Examples in SOTA: North & South Hinterlands (zones), Far Hinterlands (zone)


    Brisach - derived from "breisach", which is Celtic for "break water"
    Examples in SOTA: Brisach Mapple Forrest (zone), Brisach River (region) - these areas are next to the coast, where a break water would be.


    Regalis - derived from "Regalis", which is Latin for "royal". Regalis (region) is near the towns of Brittany, which is the area dedicated to royal Lord British.

    Norgard - derived from "nord gård", which is Norwegian for "north farm". Norgard (region) is in northwest Novia.

    Estgard - derived from "øst gård", which is Norwegian for "east farm". Estgard (zone) is a town in the Norgard region.

    Valhold - derived from "Valholl", which is Old Norse & Icelandic for "Valhalla" (translation is "hall of the slain"). In Norse mythology, Valhalla was a hall where those who die in combat go to upon their death. Valhold (zone) is in Northwest novia on the island of Norgard.

    Ardoris - derived from "Ardor", which is Spanish for "Burning".
    Examples in SOTA: Ardoris (zone) is the city of love, burning with passion.

    Celestis - derived from "Celestis", which is Latin for "Heaven". Celestis (zone) is a city on Novia, near Ardoris.

    Ulfheim - derived from "Ulf Heim", which is Norwegian for "wolf home".

    For an Easter Egg that involves translation, see the post below.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
  2. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Bug Hunter

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    Easter Egg - reference to a real-life art thief
    Zone: Ardoris

    In Ardoris, there is a daily quest that can be done with either a reputable art dealer or a shady art dealer.
    The shady art dealer is named Stephanie Broadmeadow, who wishes to buy art even if they are forgeries.

    [​IMG]

    In Ardoris, she is located outside a building at the green arrow.
    [​IMG]
    .
    Stéphane Breitwieser is a notorious art thief in real life, who stole hundreds of art pieces over many years. He also tried to sell some of his stolen art pieces (effectively becoming a shady art dealer).
    The name "Breitwieser" derives from the German language ("breite" = broad, "wiese" = meadow), which refers to someone who lives by a broad meadow.
    Stephane Breitweiser (the art thief in real-life) became Stephanie Broadmeadow (the shady art dealer in SOTA)!
    This Easter Egg was placed by @Elgarion (who gave me a little hint to help me figure this one out!).
    .
    More References to Developers

    In the zone Spindelskog, there is a rock that jets out over a cliff. This rock is a point of interest called "Rostov's Finger".
    Travis Koleski (in game Avatar = List Rostov, forum name = @Vas Corp Por) is the developer who designed and created Spindelskog.
    I spoke to List Rostov and it turns out that he did not put his finger in the game. Another developer, Keith Quinn (forum name = @Sannio), who added the daily quest, creature spawns, and some other details to Spindelskog, apparently also added "Rostov's Finger" as point of interest (it was a surprise for List, he initially did not know about it!). Effectively, Sannio made sure this work of art was "signed" by the creator: the name "Rostov" is now part of the zone.

    I am standing on "Rostov's Finger", which you can see is listed as a point of interest on the compass (red arrows).
    [​IMG]

    The reputable art dealer in Ardoris is named "Caravaggios Wolf" which is the alter ego name of alumnus developer Stephen Daniele, who created much of the concept art for Shroud of the Avatar (you can see most of it on the SOTA Concept Art webpage, but you also see it on the loading screens when you enter a new zone). You can see his real name and his alter ego name on his twitter account. He also has a website that displays his artwork (including some of the SOTA concept art) and some details about his work in the gaming industry.

    [​IMG]

    In Ardoris, he is located inside a building at the green arrow.
    [​IMG]

    There are many more references to developers. Go the the initial post in this thread, and look in the section titled "References to Developers & to Developer's Friends/Family/Pets"
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
  3. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Bug Hunter

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    Minor Easter Egg: picnic scene
    in Tanglemire

    In Tanglemire, there are some mesa-like formations that have hexagonal stone columns around them. One of these mesa-like formations has a waterfall flowing from the top of it. If you jump to the top of this mesa, you will see the picnic scene. I was only able to get up there using a Ring of Frogkin or Ring of Cuttlekin, both of which increase jump height (however, even with one of these rings equipped, getting to the top of the mesa is still challenging).

    This picnic scene appears on the compass as a point of interest called "Picnic Basket" (location 138, 152, -176).
    On a fur blanket, there is a basket of potatoes, 2 wooden plates, a jug of whiskey, and a book called "Writing A Book".


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This picnic scene is very similar to the Skeleton's Picnic in Blood Bay.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
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  4. Cora Cuz'avich

    Cora Cuz'avich Avatar

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    Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see mention here of the Obsidian Forge and its reference to U9.
     
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  5. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Bug Hunter

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    Easter Eggs
    Location: Lord British's Castle

    In the Barracks room (Location: 24.4, 30.1 7.9), there is a dark head mounted high on the wall.

    This head has a striking resemblance the the Guardian from the Ultima series. Here is another in-game reference to the Guardian.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the mounted head as viewed from across the room
    [​IMG]

    In the Music room (Location: -15.2, 44.0, 8.8), there is a music sheet on the piano. The music sheet is "The Return of Lord British", a song by the Space Bards.

    [​IMG]



    "The Return of Lord British" is an original homage to the return of Richard Garriott to computer gaming with the MMORPG "Shroud of the Avatar." It was conceived for "A Quest from Lord British" video contest held in April 2013, and the song won the contest.

    During the sequential battles in Lord British's Castle, if you listen closely when you approach the swirly aura that spawns the creatures, you will hear part of this song play, and it gets louder as you get closer to the aura. In order to hear it, you must have the sound effects (SFX) slider set loud enough in the OPTIONS > AUDIO menu.


    There is another reference to Space Bards in the game: The gypsy emote is a reference to a dance done by the gypsy in the video above. See this post for details on the Gypsy dance reference.

    In the large flower bed near the entrance to the scene, the flowers form Lord British 's heraldry emblem. In the pic below, the emblem is shown on the Lord British throne and the Lord British Round Shield (left side of pic) and shown in Lord British's Castle scene in the flower bed (right side of pic).
    [​IMG]

    Outside the castle, there is an outdoor theater.
    This may be another reference the the Curtain Theater in Garriott's Castleton (for more information, see the other reference to this theater in Northwood).


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2020
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  6. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Bug Hunter

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    Easter Egg reference to Ultima 3
    Location: Lord British's Castle

    In both Ultima 3 and in SOTA, cards are inserted into a computer.

    In Ultima 3:
    In
    Ultima 3, the avatar had to collect 4 cards. These 4 cards were then inserted into Exodus (a computer-like device) which was the main enemy that the avatar had to defeat to win the game.

    In SOTA:
    One of the quests (given by a guard at the entrance) is the obtain three "encoded cards", which can be obtained as you progress through Lord British's castle. These cards are a reference to real-world "punch cards" that were used to load a program into a computer.
    If you enter into the vault, there is an encoded safe (which essentially is an NPC computer that uses part of the DND teletype graphic). If you give the 3 encoded cards to the "computer", you get experience points and gold (and take a negative hit to your virtue).
    For more Easter Eggs, see what is written on the encoded cards in SOTA.


    Below is a picture of the "Encoded Safe" inside Lord British's vault.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  7. Cora Cuz'avich

    Cora Cuz'avich Avatar

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    Anybody find any loose wall plaques yet?
     
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  8. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Bug Hunter

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    Easter Eggs: references to computers in 2001 Space Odyssey, Hitchhikers Guild to the Galaxy, Logan's Run, and War Games
    Location: Lord British's Castle

    In Lord British's Castle zone, there are 3 encoded cards that are located on bodies and in bags. As you progress through the zone, you can eventually get all 3 cards. The cards are quest items, and each card contains an encoded Easter Egg.
    You can give these cards to either Captain Marisha (who is near the entrance of the zone) or to the encoded safe (which is a computer-like device in Lord British's vault). Giving (or "inserting") cards into a computer is a reference to Ultima 3.

    The encoded safe is essentially an NPC computer that uses part of the DND teletype graphic.

    Below is a picture of the "Encoded Safe" inside Lord British's vault.
    [​IMG]

    For a description of the War Games Easter Egg, see this post.

    The Reference to the computers in 2001 Space Odyssey, Hitchhikers Guild to the Galaxy, and Logan's Run are all hidden on the encoded cards. The Encoded Cards are a reference to real-world "punch cards", which were used to load a program into a computer. In SOTA, each of the encoded cards has a list of binary codes (base 2 codes consisting of 8 zero's or one's). These codes are all references to notable computers.

    If you convert the binary codes to decimal codes, and then convert the decimal codes to ASCII character codes, you will decipher the text on the encoded cards. However, the simplest way to decipher the encoded cards is to double click the encoded card in your inventory, copy the contents of the card to the clip board, and then paste the contents into this binary to ASCII converter, and then click convert.
    Reference to HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey & to IBM 704 (Encoded Card #1)
    Card #1 says "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you." This is part of the famous song "Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)", which was composed in 1892. Daisy Bell was the first song ever sung by a computer: in 1961, the IBM 704 used speech synthesis to sing Daisy Bell. Shortly thereafter, the code was transferred to a newer system (IBM 7090) and computer generated music was added. Here is the actual audio recording with voice and music created on the IBM 7090 (released in 1962 on the record album shown below). This milestone was referenced in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, when the computer HAL sings Daisy Bell. And now, Daisy Bell is in SOTA!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Reference to the computer from Logan's Run (Encoded Card #2)

    Card #2 says "That is the name of the object: Ankh." This is a quote from the movie Logan's Run. In this futuristic movie, the computer asks Logan about the Ankh symbol, but Logan does not know what it is. The computer responds "That is the name of the object: Ankh." Here is a clip of the scene in the movie. There is another reference to Logan's Run within SOTA: the New You Salon.

    Reference to Deep Thought from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Encoded Card #3)

    Card # 3 says "There is an answer. But, I'll have to think about it." This is a quote from the book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. In this book, someone asks the Deep Thought computer for "The Answer", and the computer responds "There is an answer. But, I'll have to think about it." The passage in the book from which this quote derives is shown below.

    “O Deep Thought computer," he said, "the task we have designed you to perform is this. We want you to tell us...." he paused, "The Answer."
    "The Answer?" said Deep Thought. "The Answer to what?"
    "Life!" urged Fook.
    "The Universe!" said Lunkwill.
    "Everything!" they said in chorus.
    Deep Thought paused for a moment's reflection.
    "Tricky," he said finally.
    "But can you do it?"
    Again, a significant pause.
    "Yes," said Deep Thought, "I can do it."
    "There is an answer?" said Fook with breathless excitement.
    "Yes," said Deep Thought. "Life, the Universe, and Everything.
    There is an answer. But, I'll have to think about it."

    Pictures of the Encoded Cards

    You can translate the codes yourself by copying each code and pasting it into this binary to ASCII converter, and then clicking convert.

    Card #1
    01000100 01100001 01101001 01110011 01111001 00101100 00100000 01000100 01100001 01101001 01110011 01111001 00101100 00100000 01100111 01101001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01101101 01100101 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110010 00100000 01100001 01101110 01110011 01110111 01100101 01110010 00100000 01100100 01101111 00101110 00100000 01001001 00100111 01101101 00100000 01101000 01100001 01101100 01100110 00100000 01100011 01110010 01100001 01111010 01111001 00100000 01100001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101100 01101111 01110110 01100101 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00101110

    Card #2

    01010100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101110 01100001 01101101 01100101 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101111 01100010 01101010 01100101 01100011 01110100 00111010 00100000 01000001 01101110 01101011 01101000 00101110

    Card #3

    01010100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 00100000 01100001 01101110 01110011 01110111 01100101 01110010 00101110 00100000 01000010 01110101 01110100 00101100 00100000 01001001 00100111 01101100 01101100 00100000 01101000 01100001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01101110 01101011 00100000 01100001 01100010 01101111 01110101 01110100 00100000 01101001 01110100 00101110

    [​IMG]

    Here are some other Easter Eggs in Lord British's castle.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
  9. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Bug Hunter

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    Easter Egg: reference the movie War Games (and its main computer WOPR)
    Location: Lord British's Castle

    In the vault of Lord British's Castle, there is an encoded safe (which is a computer-like device in Lord British's vault).
    This computer has some hidden dialogue (the key phrase that trigger's the hidden dialogue is not listed in the conversation window).

    [​IMG]

    Type the phrase "Lord British", and the encoded safe responds "Hello Lord British. Shall we play a game?" It now offers 3 new conversation options at the bottom of the dialogue window:
    1. "Yes, I'd love to."
    2. "How about thermonuclear war?"
    3. "No"
    [​IMG]

    If you select "Yes, I'd love to" or "How about thermonuclear war?", the encoded safe responds with "Searching...game not found."
    If you select "No", the encoded safe responds with "Ready."


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The statements "Shall we play a game?", "Love to", and "How about thermonuclear war?" are references to the computer in the 1983 movie War Games.
    Here is a brief except from the movie showing all 3 of these statements:



    For other Easter Eggs in Lord British's castle, see these links:
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  10. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi Bug Hunter

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    Easter Egg: reference the movie Caddyshack
    Location: Well of Aldur

    Some NPC's in this zone are references to characters in the movie Caddyshack.

    Smails In Caddyshack
    Judge Elihu Smails was the country club's arrogant co-founder and director of the caddie scholarship program.
    Judge Smails was played by actor Ted Knight , whose first name was actually Thadeusz (Polish for Thaddeus).

    Smails in SOTA
    Professor Thaddaeus Smails - this NPC's name is derived from a combination of real life references:
    • First name: Thaddeus - reference to Ted Knight's birth name of Thadeusz (Polish for Thaddeus).
    • Last Name: Smails - reference to Elihu Smails, the character played by Ted Knight in Caddyshack.
    In Caddy Shack, Smails was a judge who was owner/director the country club, whereas in SOTA, Smails is a professor who was director of the mission to Well of Aldur.
    Based on the conversations in this zone, you will see that Smails in SOTA is arrogant, just like Smails in Caddyshack.
    Hidden Dialogue - type Rodney (or Rodney Dangerfield), and he responds "I can't place the name. One wonders if he was one of the crew of my airship."
    In other dialogue, Smails mentions the Knights of Norgard - this may have been an intentional reference to Ted Knight.

    Czervik in Caddyshack
    Al Czervik was a wealthy, wild member of the country club, whose crude behavior often irked Smails. Czervik was played by actor and comedian Rodney Dangerfield.
    Czervik in SOTA
    Rodney Czervik - this NPC's name is derived from a combination of real life references:
    • First name: Rodney - reference to Rodney Dangerfield.
    • Last Name: Czervik - reference to Al Czervik, the character played by Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.
    In Caddyshack, Czervik was a member of Smails' country club, whereas in SOTA Czervik is an member in Smails' crew.

    In SOTA, there are a few wood ducks near Smails. These ducks could also be a reference to Caddyshack (although, I may be over-reaching a bit for these duck references).
    The country club in the movie was called "Bushwood", and the ducks in-game are "wood ducks", so maybe the "wood" ducks are a reference to Bush"wood" in the movie?

    Also, there is a famous line from the movie that involves ducks. Czervik farts, and then asks "Oh, did someone step on a duck?" (behavior which further irks Smails who is sitting nearby). In SOTA, Perhaps the ducks near Smails are a reference to the "step on a duck" line from the movie?


    One of the wood ducks in SOTA
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
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  11. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    In Release 88, two of the recipes that @Elgarion added are based on ones my mom always served. Norgardian Lefse is based on the traditional Norwegian flatbread, which she always served for holidays. Papa Holly's Savory Sandwich is something her father created for the cafe that their family ran to use up turkey after Thanksgiving. They called it a Narrowgauge, and its a baked, open faced turkey sandwich with pepper gravy, bacon and asparagus.

    My mom passed away 10 years ago, but she is memorialized in Shroud as a housing vendor in Brittany. She was a real estate agent, and her alter ego Mari Holly can be found on the path leading to Brittany Castle. And now, her recipes can be enjoyed by all.

    Thanks to Lum the Mad, who added her NPC into the game, to Elgarion who added her recipes, and to Richard and Chris for giving me a place to do so.
     
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  12. Elgarion

    Elgarion Community Manager Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Both very good recipe suggestions too, thanks again Jayson :)
     
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