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Given the amount of inspirations behind this series and its adaptations, all references to other works now have its own page.

Captain Ersatz and Expy

Fantasy Works

  • The series is essentially a love-letter to old-school Dungeons & Dragons:
    • When Priestess registers at the Adventurers Guild in the beginning of the story, the registration form in the Manga has the same layout as a character sheet.
    • Magic users are only able to cast a certain number of spells per day: for example, Priestess can use three 1st-level spells per day, just like a 1st level Cleric.
    • The regenerating, spell-casting ogre in Volume 1 of the Light Novel is literally an Ogre Mage.
    • Flaming oil, mostly frequented by Goblin Slayer, when used as a weapon, is a staple for experienced players with low-level parties; it even hits harder than Magic Missile!
    • Surprise is a more important factor in combat than party numbers, gear or Character Levels; the Greenhorn Team learned this the hard way.
    • In Volume 1, when Guild Girl briefly describes some monsters as "those with blasphemous names and many eyes", it's accompanied in the Manga by a silhouette of a beholder; the aforementioned Giant Eye is clearly the latter.
    • Goblin Slayer's handling of the notorious "orc baby problem" was first posed in the adventure Keep on the Borderlands.
    • Prior to the Water Town demon's transformation in Volume 2, this character cusses about Goblin Slayer killing his goblin minions and sealing away a gate mirror, peppering his dialogue with "fudge" and "fooey", while invoking the name of "Gygax" to send him to hell.
  • Word of God is a self-admitted fan of Choose Your Own Adventure Gamebooks from Fighting Fantasy. In Year One, a porcelain-ranked Goblin Slayer takes a goblin quest while a nearby adventurer takes a quest to kill "an evil sorcerer on Firetop Mountain". Guild Girl warns the latter to be careful as the sorcerer lives in a labyrinth, a reference to the "Maze of Zagor".
    • A particular favorite of Fighting Fantasy from Word of God is the Spin-Off Sorcery! series, as each of the first five volumes of the Light Novels (barring the fourth) borrows a major element/setting from the four titles: "The Shamutanti Hills" is Volume 1 (Goblin Slayer and the Guild confront a goblin army in an open field), "Kharé – Cityport of Traps" is Volume 2 (Goblin Slayer's party head beneath the populated Water Town), "The Seven Serpents" is Volume 3 (Dark Elf's ability to produce a total of seven arms is a parallel to the titular Seven Serpents) and "The Crown of Kings" is Volume 5 (Goblin Slayer's party infiltrate an ancient dwarven fortress).
  • Combined with a Take That!, Goblin Slayer also references Dragon Quest: not only are Goblin Slayer and Priestess an Expy to pre-existing Dragon Quest entities, the Greenhorn Team at the start of the story (Warrior, Fighter, Priestess and Wizard) is an archetypal setup in many Role Playing Games. Some of the characters have appearances that wouldn't be out of place in the first three installments, with the girls wearing what would be a standard Gendered Outfit for their respective Character Class. Even the title of Goblin Slayer can be seen as an inverted Shout-Out: whereas Dragon Quest implies a low-level character working their way up the ranks in an adventure to fight high-level beasts like a titular dragon, Goblin Slayer implies no adventure at all, but a (presumably) high-level adventurer fighting low-level monsters.
  • Dark Souls is loosely referenced, considering that magic in Goblin Slayer runs on similar Vancian Magic mechanics of the first two games, especially when some spells require catalysts and most defense- and healing-related spells are classified under "Miracles". Furthermore, that Sword Saint, upon meeting Goblin Slayer for the first time, assumed the fully armored character was some kind of undead, is a nod to The Chosen Undead, a protagonist in the Dark Souls franchise.
    • When the Rookie Duo asks Guild Girl in the Brand New Day for some adventuring pointers, she says defense is key. In the Manga, an illustration of an armored soldier Dual Wielding two shields evokes the "Giant Door Shield" from the Dark Souls 3 Downloadable Content The Ringed City.
  • The series is filled with J. R. R. Tolkien references, specifically The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit:
    • When High Elf Archer shares an elf traveling ration with the party, it resembles Lembas in the Manga.
    • Goblin Slayer's In-Series Nickname, given by High Elf Archer, is "Orcbolg", a parallel to legendary swords such as "Orcrist".
    • A subtle reference to the films comes before the end of Volume 1: when Female Knight is aghast that despite slaying a goblin champion, it's still only worth one gold coin, Guild Girl's response is identical in spirit to Gimli's retort of Legolas defeating an Olyphant, "That still only counts as one!"
    • In Volume 2 of the Light Novel, the party's fight against the Water Town goblins while trapped in an inescapable room is reminiscent of the Fellowship of the Ring's stand against Moria orcs, with the appearance of a goblin champion being a parallel to the cave troll.
    • During Goblin Slayer's Flashback to the days when he was given Training from Hell by Burglar, one of the riddles the latter posed was "What have I got in my pocket?", an exact word-for-word question Bilbo Baggins uses against Gollum in the fifth chapter of The Hobbit, "Riddles in the Dark".
    • In Chapter 30 of the Manga, as Lizard Priest is eating roasted meatloaf with melted cheese topping, he says "If all had such fine food and a bed to sleep in, there would be no more wars", he's paraphrasing one of Thorin Oakenshield's last lines of dialogue from The Hobbit.
    • In Volume 7 of the Light Novel, High Elf Archer's cousin is named Shining Helm, which comes from a poem called "The Fall of Gil-galad" that was sung by Samwise Gamgee before he and his hobbit companions reached Weathertop:
      His sword was long, his lance was keen.
      His shining helm afar was seen;
      the countless stars of heaven's field
      were mirrored in his silver shield.
  • Aside from Heavy Warrior being a nod to Guts, another Berserk reference is loosely used via an illustration in the Manga during Goblin Slayer's He Who Fights Monsters monologue to Guild Girl: the titular character's monstrous visage over a pile of goblin corpses renders him like Guts in the Berserker's Armor when his Superpowered Evil Side takes control.

Other Works

  • Keen-eyed fans have drawn comparisons between Goblin Slayer to Doom: the titular character is likened to the Doom Marine/Doom Slayer as both are Combat Pragmatists with an obscenely genocidal tendency for the species of their ire (goblins and demons, respectively), right down to being ready to tear their foes apart with their bare hands when enraged. The Doom allusions continue with an illustration from Volume 7 of the Light Novel, where Chosen Heroine and her party are fighting a horde of demons, with the former mimicking the Doom Marine's pose from the original game's cover art; simultaneously, a mountain-sized behemoth of a demon akin to the Titan in a lore entry of DOOM (2016) is vaguely visible in the background.
  • In the Manga, when High Elf Archer demonstrates curving an arrow shot that kills two goblin sentries in the fortress leading to the ogre, she quotes Clarke's Third Law almost verbatim, but replaces the word "technology" with "skill". Furthermore, the degree of the "arrow curve" is likened to Wesley Gibson's ability to curve a bullet.
  • When Goblin Slayer asks for the Guild's help in the Animated Adaptation, Newbie Swordman stated that he became an adventurer on the same day as him, a Call-Back to the former's introduction in Year One.
  • The "spear wall" used by the adventurers in Volume 1 to counter a pack of goblin riders is identical to the same tactic William Wallace used to decimate the English Heavy Cavalry at the Battle of Stirling in Braveheart.
  • In the Manga, when the Water Town demon transforms to fight Chosen Heroine, it takes on an elongated appearance with a gaping maw similar to the Violator.
  • When Goblin Slayer informs Arc Mage in Year One that he has seen goblins dig through walls to ambush him, she quotes "the sound of frying bacon", a word-for-word line from Starship Troopers about how Bugs digging under the Mobile Infantry's ground-penetrating sonar is described as, while dismissing it as an inside joke when Goblin Slayer is confused by the reference.
  • In Brand New Day, the two demons that ambush High Elf Archer, Dwarf Shaman and Lizard Priest look like Red Arremers; the creatures even use that name in Pokémon Speak to make it clear it's intentional.
  • When Rookie Warrior retrieves his sword back in Brand New Day, he decides to call it "Chest Burster".
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