18 Movie References You Might Have Missed in Shadowgun Legends
by Lee Adams
We love movies at MADFINGER Games and Legends is packed with film references. Some that you might not expect to see in a sci-fi shooter…
1. Twin Peaks
“The Ghost Ship” side quest has become a player favourite, and the distinctive red drapes and black-and-white zigzag floor is a homage to the Twin Peaks TV show and its film prequel Fire Walk with Me. What many players often don’t pick up on is that the Captain’s Log they’re searching for is literally a wooden log, in a nod to the show’s famous Log Lady.
2. Big Trouble in Little China
Hakim the Moneymaker seems to be a fan of John Carpenter’s action supernatural buddy kung-fu monster comedy adventure flick. He quotes from the showboating philosophy of buffoonish truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) twice in the Fame Hunter missions:
“Fame surely awaits a warrior like you, unbowed and unbent, and saying to whoever’s listening: Give me your best shot — I can take it!” — Fame Hunter Mission, Ultimate Warrior
“Make the earth quake and the pillars of Heaven shake… cause as much damage as you can and bask in fame’s pure glow! “— Fame Hunter Mission, Big Hitter
Both originating from:
“Just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big old storm right in the eye and says: Give me your best shot. I can take it.” — Jack Burton
3. Army of Darkness
Another of Hakim’s Fame Hunter missions is called Boomstick Glory, namechecking Ash’s weapon in Army of Darkness.
4. The Big Lebowski
The Dude abides, and The Big Lebowski gets quoted all the time here at MADFINGER Towers because… well, why wouldn’t you quote The Big Lebowski?
One entire side quest, The Family Heirloom, is an ode to the Coen Brother’s stoner classic, featuring collectables such as Jesus Quintana’s bowling ball and the Dude’s rug.
Also in one of Big Red’s side quests, The Guffman Files, there’s a little bit of background trivia on Senator Guffman’s son in the loading screens:
“Hayden Guffman hasn’t always been the wild and crazy guy we know from the media today. As a teen, he defied his father’s wishes and dropped out of college to join a Dudeist commune on Daignaa…”
Giving a tip of the hat to the pseudo-religion inspired by the film.
5. Withnail & I
A deep cut for the penniless British students out there…
“Thanks to you Big Red has managed to patch up things with his wife. He also had plenty of surplus flowers to sell on to a contact of his. This particular type of flower’s seeds can be refined to create the new drug known on the street as The Embalmer”— Side Quest, In The Doghouse
The drug is a tribute to Danny the spaced-out dealer (Ralph Brown) in the perennial cult classic Withnail & I:
“If I medicined you, you’d think a brain tumour was a birthday present! This doll is extremely dangerous; it has voodoo qualities. [Danny takes a pill out of doll] Trade: Pheno-dihydrochloride-benzorex. Street: The Embalmer” — Danny, Withnail & I
6. The Lawnmower Man
“Damn, that was some real Lawnmower Man shit, bro!” — Side Quest The Bear Truth 2
Pedro namechecks the early ’90s CGI-fest starring Pierce Brosnan and…Jeff Fahey.
7. The Marx Brothers
In Big Red’s Side Quest Heavy Metal Hunter, the player searches for rare alloys called Grouchonium, Harponium and Chiconium. Obviously, by the 24th-century mankind are running out of things to name stuff after, so they’ve moved onto naming alloys after classic comedy acts like The Marx Brothers.
8. Scarface (1983)
“Man, you got the audience eating out of your hand! This galaxy’s like a great big chicken waiting to get plucked…”- Pedro, Grind Quests
This might sound familiar to fans of Brian de Palma’s Scarface, but the quote comes from an infamous TV edit of the line: “This town is like a great big pussy waiting to get fucked.”
Thanks to the censors, the line became: “This town is like a great big chicken waiting to get plucked.”
There’s also a nod to the film in the Fame Hunter quest Your Little Friendwhich involves mowing down enemies with a machine gun. The title references Al Pacino’s often quoted line “Say hello to my little friend!” during Tony Montana’s demented last stand.
9. The Day of the Triffids, Little Shop of Horrors AND 300
We like to give people a bang for their buck at MADFINGER Games, so in the PvP Event mission Chef of Death you even get three movie references in one debrief:
“What a showdown at the end of the first episode — a bunch of Triffids duking it out against a giant toothy pot plant! It sure lives up to its tagline: TONIGHT WE MULCH IN HELL!”
Referencing the ’60s killer plant movie The Day of the Triffids, Audrey the pot plant with a taste for human flesh in Little Shop of Horrors AND Gerard Butler’s famous rant in his underpants in 300.
10. The Jerk
“Not many people know it, but yours truly once entertained the troops. I was known for my spectacular cat juggling act! It was a real feast for the senses, but didn’t work so well in zero G…” — Nitro, PvP Event Mission The Entertainer
Sadly we didn’t invent the art of cat juggling. I nicked it from Steve Martin’s The Jerk:
11. Fight Club
“Have you heard of subliminal imagery? I’m using my new super spy skills to hack the GHN signal and splice very fast images into the broadcast! I knew all those dick pics would come in handy some day…” — Nitro again, Double Agent PvP Event “Don’t Blink”
This is a reference to Tyler Durden splicing porn images into family films in Fight Club — “A nice, big cock” — which in itself is a reference to the subliminal shot of a hard-on at the beginning of Ingmar Berman’s Persona.
12. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension
“Dr Roosevelt Singh — rockstar combat surgeon, theoretical physicist, footballer, linguist, dentist, neuroscientist, lead saxophonist for a smooth jazz combo, and Head of Genetics at Masaryk University Brno…” — PvE Event For Science.
The multi-talented Dr Roosevelt Singh was inspired by Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) who counted being a physicist, neurosurgeon, test pilot and rock musician among his many abilities. If you look closely at the artwork for the event, you’ll see that Dr Singh is wearing a blazer and tie combo similar to Buckaroo’s under his lab coat….
13. Pink Flamingos
In the loading screen entitled The Bar of War, it mentions that S.A.R.A’s joint was once “formerly a gentlemen’s club called Pink Flamingos”. No wonder they went out of business, because anyone who’s seen John Waters’ infamous puke-fest knows that this is a terrible name for a strip joint…
14. Blade Runner
There are several references to Ridley Scott’s influential sci-fi, such as the Tyrell range of auto rifles “Developed for the replicant insurgence of 2019.”
There’s also a nod to Roy Batty’s famous “Tears in Rain” speech in The Battle of Tannhauser Gate loading screen, and the design of a certain NPC was inspired by Pris (Daryl Hannah).
15. Monty Python and The Holy Grail
“The Torment have unleashed their most terrifying plan yet! They’ve crossbred cuddly domestic bunnies with violent, reptilian hare-like creatures from the planet Caerbannog!”— PvE Event, Bad Hare Day
We had to squeeze the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and The Holy Grail in somewhere, so the most recent Easter Event seemed like the perfect opportunity!
16. Vampire’s Kiss & Dracula (1931)
For the Halloween event, how about two movie references for the price of one? The sniper rifle is named Vampire’s Kiss after the crazy Nicolas Cage bloodsucker movie of the same name, and source of the well-known meme:
The description for the weapon: “Listen to it, the sniper rifle of the night. What sweet music it makes.” paraphrases a line from Bram Stoker’s Dracula that was immortalized by Bela Lugosi in the classic 1931 film version:
“Listen to them — the children of the night. What music they make.”
17. The Exorcist
“Ideal for 360° spray fire, the Pazuzu is guaranteed to turn heads.”— Pazuzu SMG description
The gun was named after the demon who possesses poor Linda Blair in The Exorcist, and the description references one of the symptoms of her possession:
18. That Night in Rio!
Lastly, perhaps the weirdest movie reference in the game…
YouTuber Johnny from JHC Gaming was wondering what the fruit hat was all about recently in a rundown of all his cosmetic headgear. Well Johnny, strap yourself in… it’s inspired by Brazillian singer and actor Carmen Miranda, who rose to fame in the 30s largely thanks to her ability to wear a fruit salad on her head and still look pretty hot.
So that’s it, a pretty good rundown of some of the movie references in Shadowgun Legends. It’s not definitive — I left a whole bunch out, firstly because I wanted to keep some back in case I ran out of ideas for a blog post in future, and secondly to give readers the chance to call out any others they’ve seen in the game! Let us know any others you’ve spotted…