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Shout Out: Asterix & Obelix XXL 2
Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Las Vegum
brings the penchant of the Astérix
books for parody and pop-culture references to the extreme
, featuring a large number of Shout Outs
to video games - and a few more from other media, too.
Super Mario Bros.
The Legend of Zelda
- Even before entering Las Vegum proper, you'll face the first special Roman soldier. He has a big moustache, a helmet with a red Roman Eagle shaped like a M, and turtle shells as shoulder pads. He's equipped with a FLUDD device (Super Mario Sunshine was the most recent entry of the main series at the time of XXL 2's development). When defeated, these Mario Soldiers emit a muffled "Mamma mia!" They get some statues on the Arc de Triomphe, and small flags near the Eiffel Tower.
- In one of the employee back rooms, a menhir colored like a Yoshi egg◊ is clearly visible.
- A giant Super Mario World-like wall is visible from some spots in Lutetia. If you look around from the top of the Eiffel Tower, you'll also notice a few of the characteristic striped hills.
- There are several small portraits of Toad◊ on the walls in Venetia.
- Also in Venetia, you can see rows of small flags with red Yoshi eggs and mushrooms.
- A transition room in Venetia has the faces of Mario and Luigi◊ near the two big buttons. The buttons themselves are of the same red and green as the Mario brothers.
- Later in Venetia, in the square inside the giant dark hall, you can see several statues, among them Princess Peach and a Shine Sprite (you can find two more a little later).
- In the large courtyard at the beginning of WCW, there's a big green pipe◊. You can enter it and find an entire Mario-themed area. There are floor mosaics of carnivorous plants, tiles of mushrooms, flowers, banana peels and Shyguys, unstable platforms shaped like Shine Sprites and POW blocks, and Thwomp-like devices◊ (although they are designed to make you fall rather than crush you).
- Also in the exterior areas of WCW, there are two◊ small◊ Mario-esque artificial hills that stand out evidently.
- At the end of WCW, before entering Pirate Island, you can notice wall tiles reproducing Super Mario blocks.
- On the beach of Pirate Island, you can find towels with the crab enemy from the original Mario Bros.. A few Starmen can also be seen on the sand (although they may be just cartoony starfishes).
- Near the end, after the section with the Zelda and Link statues, you enter a waterway whose walls are decorated with Bloopers and Cheep Cheeps◊.
- Leaning on one of the souvenir carts at Las Vegum's entrance, you can see a portrait of a roman-ized Link. It can be seen again much later in the game, just after leaving WCW.
- At some point in SeizeUs Palace, you'll have to take on an outside area that's an homage to the Zelda games. The statues you have to destroy are two of Link (one sitting, another riding a horse) and one of Princess Zelda (double parody, since it also reminds the Statue of Liberty). When you reach the top, you'll be treated by a relief of Caesar with an ocarina. And if you look around, you may notice smaller reliefs of Caesar... wearing Link's beret. Two more statues are visibile at the sides of the place of the penultimate battle.
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory
Sonic the Hedgehog
- As you enter the back rooms, where several props are stored, at the beginning of the game, you'll find four Egyptian obelisks with many hieroglyphs engraved. Among them, several iconic aliens. A few are visible on the sarcophagus a few steps later, too.
- Not much later, in one of the back rooms, you can see several panels with hieroglyphs◊.
- At the base of the Eiffel Tower, you can find a stand with miniature obelisks◊ decorated with Invaders and the ship. This is an odd Early-Bird Cameo: they are reproductions of a bigger obelisk you'll reach (and demolish) only after clearing Venetia and freeing the first druid.
- Small flags of the Invaders can be seen in Venetia◊.
- The Invaders are literally everywhere◊ on the hieroglyphs in LuckSore, and I really◊, really◊ mean it◊. Even on some luminous insignias◊.
- In the employee changing room at the beginning, you can see a conveyor belt with three costumes. One of them is a Sonic-like armor, making this an Early-Bird Cameo (the actual enemies aren't met before roughly halfway into the game).
- Sonic Romans are introduced inside LuckSore. They are fast and often roll, strike with ring-shaped blades, and a "ring collected" sound is heard when they are defeated. They get some statues and posters in SeizeUs.
- Sonic Romans can be seen rolling in the Internetus tunnels around the Mario-themed area under WCW.
Legacy of Kain
- On the conveyor belt in the employee changing rooms, you can see a Bomberman costume. Like the Sonic example, you may think it's an early cameo of an enemy you'll meet later, but sadly it's not the case.
- However, soon after you will be introduced to bombs shaped like Bomberman's head◊.
- Niches with Bomberman's face are on the sides of the Obelisk in Lutetia, to remind you what's needed there...
- In cutscenes with Caesar, you can see many vases shaped like the Mog piloted by Caith Sith in Final Fantasy VII. There's even "VII" written on them! You can see a few in-game◊ much later, in SeizeUs Palace.
- They can be spotted again in two cutscenes of Asterix at the Olympic Games, where the same room is lazily recycled.
- In the same palace, you can find other things that may refer to Final Fantasy. The bird decorations over some doors may be Chocobos, and strange lamps seem to be modeled after the head of Final Fantasy IX's Vivi.
- The balloon near the Eiffel Tower is mostly yellow but has two small red patches, a big purple patch, and a ghost-shaped patch inside it. The gondola is also an upside-down ghost.
- Several small portraits and reliefs◊ of Pac-Man can be found throughout Venetia.
- Also in Venetia, the Pac-Man Roman enemy is introduced.
- Past the first Pac-Man Roman, there's a transition room with dots on the floor◊.
- St. Mark's Square in Venetia has wall and floor decorations looking like Pac-Man, a ghost and cherries. A better look at the pavement also revels that a good chunk of the square reproduces a Pac-Man maze◊, with "XXL" written on the ghosts' lair.
- Among the many Space Invaders hieroglyphics in Luxor, you may spot some ghosts too.
- A ghost decorates the wooden horse in WCW Challenge 3.
- A small insignia of a ghost is found in Pirate Island, along with a row of Pac-Man and ghost flags.
- The bases of a few tall torches in SeizeUs (some bear exit signs), and the pedestals of statues, have small Pac-Mans engraved on them◊. Very easy to miss.
- One of the unlockable postcards has a Pac-Man Roman chasing a Ghost Roman (an enemy found only in Pirate Island).
- Finally, several small cabins (the ones from where the air carts are taken) have a small Pac-Man decoration◊ too.
Jak and Daxter
- You can find portaits of Rayman◊ on the walls in Venetia.
- At the beginning of LuckSore, Rayman Romans are introduced. Like the character, they have no limbs (no explanation is given how Caesar got hold of such soldiers - results of experiments like the ones that produced Deth Mach?) and punch with a similar animation. Hilariously, they can be defeated only by stomping on them, like they are enemies of a traditional platformer. They get some posters in SeizeUs.
- The corridors of WCW are full of vases shaped like Rayman's body.
- The big dark hall in Venetia has searchlights projecting a figure similar to the iconic MK dragon... Only that is a seahorse.
- Later, at the end of the dark hall, you'll be treated with a transition room with two statues of Romans reproducing Scorpion's "come over here!" move. Above the door, two energy bars and the word "Fatalitum" are painted. These statues can be seen a couple more times in WCW.
Spyro the Dragon
Chu Chu Rocket
- A square in the giant dark hall in Venetia has several statues of videogame characters; among them, Donkey Kong holding a barrel.
- Right after exiting the dark hall, you can see a Donkey Kong fountain.
- As you enter the last part of Lutetia after freeing the first druid, you'll be welcomed by giant barrels rolling down a slope.
- In WCW there's a scaffolding with barrels rolling down◊, shaped like a level of the original Donkey Kong. The camera even switches to a side view as you scale it.
- Some Donkey Kong tiles are visibile on the ground, in front of the giant monkey head in Pirate Island.
- More rolling barrels inside the cave in Pirate Island.
- Another scaffolding with side view is in Pirate Island. On the top of it, you can find a wooden cutout of Donkey Kong wearing an eyepatch.
Examples from other media
- The parody starts right from the game's cover. The layout is closely patterned after the cover of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Mission: Las Vegum is written with the same font as Vice City.
- The Roman defector spy who helps Asterix and Obelix was already present in the first XXL but here he gets a name, Sam Shieffer, and a characteristic visor. The character was carried over to Asterix at the Olympic Games.
- This is very easy to miss. An ornate sarcophagus in the storeroom at the beginning (it's near the giant sword) has a decoration that is made of two mirrored Half-Life logos. Several more sarcophaguses like this one can be found in LuckSore.
- We already mentioned a conveyor belt in the employee changing rooms. Beside Sonic and Bomberman costumes, it also has a Pey'j costume! Another Pey'j mask can be seen nearby.
- One of the employee rooms has several "Danger: Cows" signs stored in a corner, and if you look up, you'll see a fridge hanging from the ceiling!◊
- Some insignias in Lutetia portray the little dragons from Bubble Bobble.
- Likewise, some other insignias◊ are the logo of Atari, the game's publisher.
- Introduced in Lutetia are buffed-up Roman soldiers who look like a mix of Ryu and Guile, and throw energy balls and uppercuts with voice clips sounding like a muffled and distorted "Hadoken" and "Shoryuken". Their defeat animation is in slow motion. They get small flags near the Eiffel Tower, and a couple statues in WCW.
- The character of Larry◊ Craft◊ gets a cameo before being actually introduced, as a parody of a poster by Toulouse-Lautrec. Then he appears in a cutscene, and he has the same dress and hairstyle as Lara Croft (for the record, he's fat and stocky). In LuckSore and WCW, there are many posters of him striking the same poses as Lara on the covers of the early Tomb Raider games, and even some statues of him. Some players have seen the fact he fights with swords mounted on his forearms as a reference to Bloodrayne's melee weapons, but it may be just that they had to use something in place of guns.
- On the Arc de Triomphe, you can see stone reliefs◊ of an ancient Roman rendition of Dante.
- In the square of the Arc de Triomphe, one building stands out: an inn with an insignia reading "SLIPPIS" and the giant head of a toad on the roof.
- Scrolling banners of Lemmings are clearly visible from the bridge in Lutetia.
- The entrance of Venetia has an insignia whose writing uses the same font as the logo of Columns.
- The first section of the big dark hall in Venetia has a giant statue◊ of Blinx dominating over it.
- As you get on the side of the above statue, you can see a small tower surmounted by a bust of Ratchet, and a Clank-shaped pendulum underneath.
- There's a giant hourglass nearby. Although it's quite a stretch, it may be a loose reference to the Sands of Time trilogy of Prince of Persia.
- And as you turn your sight left of the hourglass, you'll see a contraption reproducing Pong!
- The Roman Super Soldier is called Deth Mach.
- In a large room in LuckSore there are two bigae with several logos: Subarum, Atari, Etranges Libellules (the developer), and the first XXL game.
- Some rooms of LuckSore have Egyptian-style paintings depicting a parody of The Sims. Two rooms have also a panel with the House and Forniture icons of the game.
- In WCW, there are several posters advertising an "Arena Tournament"◊, made with the same logo and font as Unreal Tournament.
- Also in WCW are roman-ized versions of the covers of Tekken 3 and Tekken 4.
- At the beginning of Pirate Island is a warehouse. Inside, a few crates◊ have a number painted on them: XIII.
- The entrance to a cave◊ you must open as the ultimate objective of the Pirate Island area, is shaped like the head of a monkey.
- Beside Donkey Kong, some tiles in front of the cave portray the monkey from Super Monkey Ball.
- The ride with dolphins on Pirate Island may be a loose reference to Ecco The Dolphin.
- In the waterway near the end of the game (the same whose walls are decorated with aquatic enemies from Super Mario Bros.), there are freaky wall sculptures◊ that may be Imps from Doom.
- During Asterix's awkward conversation with Kerosene, he attempts to excuse himself by saying, "wouldn't want to keep you waiting, huh?" This is almost certainly a reference to Solid Snake's Catch Phrase in the Metal Gear Solid series - "Kept you waiting, huh?", especially since it is a little shoehorned in.
- Las Vegum is obviously a parody of Las Vegas, and its six thematic areas are loosely inspired by some of the most famous hotels in Vegas.
- Lutetia is the ancient name of Paris, and the area parodies the current city, complete with Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. The balloon near the tower suggests a reference to the giant balloon-shaped insignia◊ of the Paris Las Vegas. Furthermore, it is fitting that the starting area refers to the capital of the country from which both Asterix and the game's developer and publisher originate.
- Venetia. Beside the inspiration from The Venetian in Vegas, the area reproduces several spots of the current Venice or rather, fittingly, The Theme Park Version of it, with Carnival imagery in several spots.
- LuckSore obviously refers to the Luxor hotel◊, complete with a sphynx-shaped entrance to the Pyramid. It also fits with the frequent connection of Asterix with Egypt. Curiously, this Punny Name applies only to the English text and voice track - other languages use just "Luxor", and the in-game insignia on the entrance uses the French spelling "Louxor".
- WCW refers to the MGM Grand and the iconic lion-shaped entrance◊ the hotel had in its early years (it has retained the lion motif though). Since the area consists of several challenges in arenas, it may also be a sport reference, although there's no event related to Pro Wrestling there. The name is made by just turning the MGM letters upside-down - if you look at the insignia◊ closely, you can notice the C is in fact a G.
- Pirate Island has the loosest connection: it's probably inspired by the Buccaneer Bay attraction of the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino (back when it was more family-friendly) but, in fact, it has just a generic pirate theme.
- SeizeUs Palace may be the most (relatively) close to the the source, Caesars Palace. Casino imagery can be found inside, and the palace's logo uses the exact same font of the hotel's logo, as do several writings (like exit signs) throughout the game. Again, the Punny Name applies only if you play in English, other languages call it just "Caesar's Palace".
- Finally, bonuses can be gained betting helmets on slot machines strewn throughout the entire play area.
- Some souvenir carts at the beginning of the game have masks of a Roman soldier◊ whose helmet is shaped like mouse ears.
- There are some vending machines with a paint job similar to the Coca Cola logo - but they are supposed to dispense little amphors instead of cans.
- The posters in Lutetia are parodies of famous French illustration from the late XIX - early XX century. You can see Larry Craft as Aristide Bruant in the famous poster by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec◊, or the poster of Le Chat Noir◊ with a lion replacing the cat.
- The fake Notre Dame church in Lutetia is called "Nostra Damus". Doubly ironic because Nostradamus was also French.
- When you start noticing some tiles with the @ symbol◊, you may think it's just a throwaway reference to The Internet. Later, the Internetus is introduced, with Caesar◊ even commenting "how did we live without it before?" It has even some importance in the ending (it's thanks to this fast communication system that Caesar, accepting defeat, can rapidly make an order of retreat reach his legions in Gaul). Interestingly, the way the Sonic Romans are portrayed to bring messages throughout the Internetus reminds of the portrayal of interferons in Once Upon a Time... Life, a French edutainment cartoon about the human body.
- A few times throughout the game - for example, at the top of the Eiffel Tower◊, or before entering SeizeUs◊, you'll have the chance to spot a gigantic VENI VIDI VICI (Caesar's motto) in the distance, modeled after the Hollywood Sign.
- Like Venetia wasn't full of videogame Shout Outs already, it has even a movie one: in the big dark hall, after the square full of statues, you can spot a cartoony Moon with a face, and a big thing wedged in its eye. This is an obvious reference to the silent classic A Trip to the Moon.
- While the contraptions on the backs of the flying Romans are visually inspired by Pokemon, their mini-helicopters and the way they hold the handles seem to be a nod to Inspector Gadget.
- Several floor tiles in WCW have the shape of an old cinema projector, maybe a vague reference to the movie theme of the MGM Grand. Near the Donkey Kong scaffolding, you can see a series of these tiles with several names on it◊, among them Ben Hur - likely, a gladiator parody of the Walk of Fame.
- One of the Sonic Romans statues in the last area has an inscriptions on its pedestal, which reads "Hasta La Vistae Babis".
- The fight before the final boss is a big parody of The Matrix Reloaded. Caesar says "Surprised to see me, Mr... Anderson?" This leaves Asterix and Obelix understandably perplexed, thinking Caesar has gone mad - if it wasn't that Asterix says "It ends tonight, Caesar!" soon after. Then, dozens of Caesars start pouring in, exactly as the Smiths in the movie. No explanation is given of how Caesar got all these "clones". When the actual fight begins, they managed to slip in a reference to another movie: you have to defeat 88 Caesars.
- The last unlockable postcard has Deth Mach and the flying Romans as King Kong and the planes, with Kerosene the nordic druid as the damsel.