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Being Reference Overdosed, Honkai Impact 3rd has a plethora of pop culture references to various anime and video games.


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    Gameplay 
  • An interview with miHoYo's president, Forrest Wei Liu, confirmed that Devil May Cry and Bayonetta were two classic action games that served as gameplay inspirations for HI3... And it shows in this game's movesets:
    • From Bayonetta:
      • Kiana's White Comet and Divine Prayer battlesuits have a few of the titular Bayonetta's attacks and techniques, including the Wicked Weaves and Witch Time.
      • Meanwhile, Mei's "long blade extensions" are a homage to Shuraba (Bayonetta's katana)'s unique "Wicked Blades".
    • From Devil May Cry, some of them include the following few:
      • A good number of Sakura's techniques are lifted from Vergil's.
      • The "protagonist" of Post-Honkai Odyssey has his sword movements resembling Nero, but with right hand instead of Nero's left. His sword also resembles Red Queen.
    • There are also several compilation videos of these aformentioned moveset comparisons (plus many more examples), such as these.
  • Himeko's sword motions resemble that of Monster Hunter's greatsword attacks. Luna Kindred (Theresa)'s Charged Attack also evokes the Charge Blade.
  • The ultimates of Kiana and Bronya's Herrscher forms are reminiscent of two certain "Archers":
    • Herrscher of the Void summons a bunch of portals and rains down a barrage of energy, not unlike the Gate of Babylon. Before her, the "Dark Bronya" boss can also perform a similar move.
    • Herrscher of Reason transforms Project Bunny into its bike form before creating a bunch of floating laser cannons in a similar manner to Unlimited Blade Works.
  • Kiana's Knight Moonbeam battlesuit has the lyrics of the My-HiME opening written on various parts of it. While too blurry to be read in-game, they're a lot clearer in the "Reburn" animation and in the "AE Invasion" manga. The English version of the manga chapter where the Moonbeam battlesuit appears also makes the reference more apparent, with the chapter being localized with the title "Fairytale They Believe" and including the song lyrics themselves on the last page.
  • The design of Violet Executer (Theresa) is similar to that of Iron Maiden Jeanne from Shaman King, with added juttings based on actual iron maidens.
  • Sakura's "Goushinnso Memento" outfit has writing on it, and it is in fact high-res enough to be legible in-game. The words? "The bird of the Hermes is my the name/Eating my wings to make me tame". It's harder to see on most phones, but it's a lot clearer in the PC version.
  • The game features a number of nods to Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • The most immediately obvious is in the game's English title—Honkai' Impact 3rd, referencing Third Impactnote 
    • The very first game that miHoYo made was called "Fly Me 2 The Moon", a reference to Evangelion's ending theme.
    • The Future Spandex look of the MECH-type battlesuits, especially Kiana's White Comet, is visually evocative of the Eva pilots' plug suits.
    • The Honkai beasts' color scheme is reminiscent of the look of the Mass-Produced Evas from The End of Evangelion.
    • On the PC especially, it's very easy to see that two of the control pods on the bridge are labeled "Balthasar" and "Melchior". Your bridge Valkyrie is often standing in front of the third pod, but someone small and easy to look past like Bronya does reveal the third is indeed named "Caspar" (or rather, Casper). These are the names given to the three cores of the MAGI supercomputer in the heart of NERV headquarters.
    • The figure of Rei Ayanami is split between 3 characters: Bronya (personality wise), Theresa (being a clone of the Big Bad's dead lover, made by him), and Raven (appearance wise).
  • Chapter 3 introduces a girl named Wendy, who has the power to control wind.
  • One of the zombie Elite Mooks (the one in a jacket with an animal-eared hood and armed with Wolverine Claws) is a reference to Spice and Wolf, specifically Holo's nickname "Wise Wolf of Yoitsu". Along with its appearance and fighting style, the zombie's name is "Joiznote  Mad Wolf".
  • The design of the zombies in general evokes Kantai Collection's "Abyssal Fleet".
  • The boss MHT 3-PAX looks similar to the Shagohod from Metal Gear Solid series.
  • Rita's looks may be inspired by Kirumi Toujou from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
  • Seele is very likely an Expy of Sailor Saturn from Sailor Moon, with a similar appearance, purple color-scheme, association with deathnote , and background of being experimented on by their parental figures and being the host of a Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • The older Mei from the "Post-Honkai Odyssey" Open World has a similar look to Ikaruga, down to wielding her katana the similar way. One of her Ultimate Skills its also a lightning version of one of Ikaruga's ninja arts: a blue bird-shaped Sword Beam that flies to hit enemies multiple times.
  • Valkyrie Gloria (Durandal)'s Ultimate Skill seems to be a mix of Ereshkigal's Kur Kigal Irkalla (its initial strike and aftereffects) and Karna's Brahmastra Kundala (its second attack).
  • One of the bosses of Post-Honkai Odyssey, code-named "Code XIII: Death" is one to one of NieR: Automata's bosses, Simone.
  • "Honkai Weekly Trivia" tends to include these in the choices given to the player.

    Dorms 
  • Rapidly tapping any chibi will cause her to do the Macarena.
  • Himeko’s chibis will find a copy of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus in a bookcase, remark that it’s an interesting book, and wonder if it will help them find a partner.
  • If you put the chibi of Mei as Herrscher of Thunder with that of Kiana as Herrscher of the Void, they will have a talk where Mei claims that her "newfound power" is for taking back Kiana from the HOV's hands. Kiana then eventually says "Oh, instead of fleeing, you come closer."

    Story 
  • The Evangelion references also show up in story-related elements:
    • The menu screen listing for the "Honkai Kingdoms" event featured Fu Hua in the "Gendo pose".
    • Older, untranslated versions of the Reburn animation feature a brief scene of Kiana recreating Misato's Beergasm after she guzzles down the soft drink.
    • In Ch. 17, the Pillar of Light that shoots up to the sky as part of the 2nd Divine Key's activation is shaped like a cross, akin to the cross-shaped explosions in Eva.
    • In the "Reawakening" short animation tied to Ch. 20, Dark Fu Hua tries to break through Project Bunny's barrier with her bare hands, mimicking Sahaquiel's attack against Shinji in Rebuild 2.0.
    • In the "Shattered Samsara" animation (in the middle of ch. 22), Kiana pulls Fu Hua out from the Fenghuang Down feather that she sealed herself and Herrscher of Sentience within; the shots used are almost similar to the scene in Rebuild where Shinji saves Rei from being absorbed by an Angel.
  • Some of the settings are similar to Freezing. Both feature female warriors called "Valkyries", they employ a technology called "Stigmata" (super-empowering implants, similar to this game), and the catastrophic events called "Nth Nova Crash" is similar to the "Nth Collapse/Honkai Impact" used in this game.
  • Sakura has a sister called Rin, who has her hair tied in a "two side up" style, and she's living an unhappy life where she's pressured by her circumstances. She then met a "hero" who she looks up to, but said "hero" is the kind of person who strives to save everyone and seemingly cares more about people at large than Sakura herself. This, along with her resentment of her life, caused Sakura to get corrupted with a dark force and threaten the populace, forcing the "hero" to abandon their ideals to try to save her. These are all allusions to a Sakura from another game. Going on from this, said "corrupting dark force" used to be a harmless individual from a distant past who faced imprisonment as people accused them for being evil, and then got unjustly killed, allowing them to "become" said evil, turning into a dark force of vengeance. This person, the Previous Era's Rin, aka Higokumaru, is basically Angra Mainyu.
  • In the updated chapter 2 Fu Hua quizzes Kiana on various game elements, and when she asks you to repeat the game's type advantage triangle you can either give her the correct answer or respond with the weapon triangle from Fire Emblem
  • At one point in Ch. 7, there's a scene where Himeko walks on top of the Helios fighter craft, preparing to fight invading Honkai Beasts. The scene is framed like the infamous "DIO walk".
  • In the side story "Gemina Tales", the girls are making a film where they re-enact scenes from the story mode. Among them is one scene between Kiana and Fu Hua in Ch. 6, but it's played by Rozaliya and Rita, respectively. Then before the "fight", Rita - as Argent Knight - suddenly pulls a "Jojo" pose and summons her Crescent Harvest behind her, complete with the "menacing" effects.
  • In Ch. 13, Rita is weakened by an anti-Honkai gas bomb and cornered by multiple cyborg zombies, while her enemy Raven of the World Serpent in a transmission screen gloats that her squadmates are in the same predicament. She then notices Rita smiling, calling her having a "heart of stone". Rita then says that "I'm thinking of how we could repay you after you fall to our hands". It's almost a mirror to the scene in Stardust Crusaders when Jotaro was under Steely Dan's mercy.
  • At the start of Ch. 14, when Fu Hua describes Kevin to Kiana, she says that he could be "humanity's best protector, if he died in [the final battle in Previous Era]" . He would then live on to do outrageously questionable deeds, even if it is to try to improve humanity and fight the Honkai.
  • Like how Devil May Cry tends to allude to classic literature (Divine Comedy and William Blake's poems), Post-Honkai Odyssey has a shout-out to Duino Elegies, a series of poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke. One of the files you can collect is a few excerpt of the poems, while "Otto" quotes one of the poems in one of the audio recordings.
  • The main villain of Post-Honkai Odyssey, Void Archives, claims that he's a man-made machine that has kept humanity company for its short lifespan. He claims that he wants to save humanity, but in a way they wouldn't appreciate, as he has a rather flawed understanding of humanity. He used to accompany someone who "ruled" a vast "empire", until that someone died and he took on the latter's body, making everyone think said "ruler" has come back to life. He also had a low opinion of this "ruler". This guy is basically channeling Goetia.
  • In Chapter 16, Kiana claims that she can beat all the dangers coming to her and Mei easy. She then says "I can do this all day, everyday."
  • In ch. 17, when Mei laments over how she's too attached to her peaceful past life with Kiana, she ends up saying this:
  • The climax of ch. 17 where Mei, the secondary protagonist with lightning powers, after gaining a major power-up, decides to join the group of someone who's associated with snakes, with The Hero (her friend) not approving of it and them fighting each other because of it; the battle ends with a close-range struggle where Mei ultimately wins and leaves for good, is reminiscent of Naruto and Sasuke's fight near the end of the pre-Time Skip era. In "Lament of the Fallen" video, Mei can even use Sasuke's Chidori technique.
  • In the "Reawakening" short animation, Dark Fu Hua initially attacks Bronya while riding a missile that's erratically flying. Because the former is clad in shadows and the missile features red Tron Lines, it's easy to guess the scene took inspiration from Fate/Zero's Berserker.
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    Achievements 
  • "Achieve a X-Hit Combo" achievements are named after super moves of characters from other franchises:
    • "Oh, Let's Break it Down!" is Lucio's battlecry whenever he uses his Ultimate in Overwatch.
    • "Consecutive Normal Punches" is a named special attack of Saitama from One-Punch Man.
    • "100-Type Guanyin" by Isaac Netero of Hunter × Hunter.
    • "Starburst Stream" is Kirito's unique Dual Blades ability from Sword Art Online.
    • "Flash of the Heavenly Soaring Dragon" is the ultimate secret technique of the Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū (Flying Heavenly Sword Style) from Rurouni Kenshin.
    • "Scatter! Senbonzakura!" is the Invocation said by Byakuya to activate Senbonzakura's Shikai from Bleach.
  • The "Complete X Missions" are references to the Dark Souls franchise.note 
  • Each of the "Increase X character's Affection to 3 hearts" achievements are named after My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU anime episodes.note 
  • "Collect X weapons" are references to the Fate Series.note 
  • "Collect X Stigma" are also references to Pokémonnote  and other anime series:
    • "Knight of The Twin Moons" from The Familiar of Zero.
    • "Come Forth, Shenlong!" from Dragon Ball.
    • "Aionion Hetairoi" and "Aestus Domus Aurea" from Fate.
    • "Santoryu Three Thousand Worlds" from One Piece.
  • From the "Reach Captain Level" achievements, there is "My Conquest is the Sea of Stars" and "To Denounce the Power of Justice and Love", a reference to the "To denounce the power of truth and love" catchphrase of Team Rocket from the Pokémon anime.
  • "Clear Samsaras of Sakura Samsara" achievements have references to Steins;Gate and its anime adaptation.note 
  • "Collect X Characters" achievements has "Rokka no Yuusha".
  • "Receive X Friendship Points" achievements has "Friends, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Lite".

    Events 
  • Anniversary Memories Festival
  • Winter Rhapsody
    • In the event, there is a nod of how players joke about Fu Hua's Rapidfire Fisticuffs.
    • When the captain wakes up in the game world, the first thing he sees is Bronya sitting in front of a bonfire that has the Cleaver of Shamash stuck in the middle of it, mimicking the bonfire save points of Dark Souls
  • Honkai Kingdoms
  • Seele's Summer Suite Event
  • In the "Odd Drifter" event's second half, in the Pavilion, Nuwa gives a remark regarding the nameless dead guy that he may have been reincarnated as a slime.
  • St. Freya Fiesta:
    • The start of the event has the Captain bumping into Theresa and remarking on her outfit
      Captain: Ahem, Theresa... Why are you looking like the evil principal from Matilda?
    • When you go into the lobby to share Red Envelopes and open chests, the "Dance" interaction command makes your chibi do the Macarena; Dawei also does the dance from time to time.
    • When you meet Cocolia during the event and bring her to see Seele in a play, she'll see dark Seele menacing the play's villain with a familiar line from The Shining
      Dark Seele: Come play with me forever and ever and ever, devil! Hahahahaha!
  • In the 2019 Thanksgiving event, when the girls are scolding the Captain for falling asleep and delaying the Thanksgiving meal, Kiana says "Hmph! So that's what happened! As punishment, all your fried chicky is belongs to me!"
  • Cooking with Kiana:
    • One of the things you can make in the event is a Fruity Dango, with a description that references the viral "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen" song
      I have a fruit, and I have a dango. Ah, fruity dango it is!
    • The Invigorating HOMU Cookies are described as "Harder better faster stronger!"
  • "Sanka Saga": Both Mei and her father are heavily involved with experiments in cybernetic replacement of human body parts, to the point of people's souls being bonded into mecha bodies through magical runes. This process and the resulting existential concerns reflect a central theme of the Ghost in the Shell franchise, where technology is so advanced that humans can have their bodies almost completely replaced by cybernetics.
    Ferryman: If all the human body parts can be replaced by artificial components, is the soul transferred to the robotic shell?
  • Empyrean Legends
  • Cybernet Havens
  • In "The Secrets of the Lost Recipe" Facebook Messenger chatbot event, the option to redo your cooking says "This is raw! Back to the kitchen counter!"
  • Honkai Kingdoms: Zero
  • "Emberyan Chronicle": Zhuge Kongming's solution for the appearance of wild locusts is to distribute Purple Gold boxes to the populace for them to use for catching them. Said boxes are used by throwing them at the locusts, whereupon they open up to trap the locusts, shake a bit to indicate the locust trying to escape, before staying still with a familiar starry visual effect to indicate a successful capture. Rita then mentions that while the locust swarm was stopped, the populace had gotten absorbed in battling each other with their pocket locust monsters.
    Villager: A wild locust appeared!
  • The Day You Vanished with the Stars
    • The major part of the plot involves the Captain using a device to repeatedly try to prevent Kongming's death, only for her to die in various other means. The resolution would involve his "future" self leaving a clue for his current self to solve the problem. It's basically Steins;Gate.
    • The plot is eventually revealed to take cues from The Matrix. Golem's "backup programming" considers Zhuge Kongming to be an "anomaly" that it is determined to erase from the timeline, very similar to how the Architect saw humans who rejected the Matrix as a "systemic anomaly" in the Matrix's programming. Golem's assassins (represented by Gray Serpent) are also very reminiscent of the Agents.
    • The event ends with the Captain giving a title to his personal accounts of his journey. After a bit of thought, he gives it a name based on a story he used to love reading.
      Captain: Hmm... it's decided. I'm gonna call it... Cap's Bizarre Adventure.
  • "Apocalypse Scandal": This web event is a reference to the Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia", which features Irene Adler. In the event's story, "Conan Doyle" (i.e you) is the "Holmes" figure, Fu Hua (in her Hawk of the Fog suit) is the "Watson" figure, Otto is the "King of Bohemia" figure (the scandal is different in his case, even though it also features a photograph as a blackmail material), and Rita (as Fallen Rosemary) acts as "Irene Adler".
  • "Rosemary's Floriograph": One of the side materials in the case files is based on The Metamorphosis. Joffrey wakes one morning to find that he's turned into a huge beetle, although no one seems to really notice the change.
  • "Stellar Mythos": One of the cited In-Universe theories about Durandal's true origins is that she's a traveler from a distant land looking for her twin brother.

    Comics & Manga 

  • In Gemini - Origin's second chapter, Rozaliya skips several steps in the narration (something Liliya lampshades) and feels the urge to tell tales about "classic works" such as Vodka's Creed: Sisterhood, Sekigo: Sakura Dies Twice and Dreams of Gemina: 2nd OVA. Liliya then receives a mission call from Cocolia and drags Roza away, with the latter screaming she doesn't want to return to Honkai Impact 3rd.
  • Escape From Nagazora's fourth chapter has the Chamber of Seers scene, which is reminiscent of a SEELE meeting from Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Himouto BRONYA Chan is based on Himouto! Umaru-chan. The manga also has Alloy_Bronya's avatar, which is a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of Naked Snake
  • In St. Freya High's eighth chapter, Bronya puts a Homu-Homu virtual reality comm link on Kiana's head and says "Link start!", causing Kiana to pass out and dive into VR. Looks like the author read a little too much Sword Art Online.
  • In the comic that focuses on Sakura's past, the ending has Sakura appearing in front of Kiana. The former is slumping down while the latter is standing, saying "I ask of you, are you my enemy?" akin to the famous early scene of Fate/stay night (albeit with modified words).
  • Chapter 0 of the London Holiday comic has Durandal imitating the title character of One-Punch Man to take out an Emperor-class Honkai beast.
  • In one epsiode of Cooking with Valkyries season 2, Roza and Lili are eating cherries. Roza gets to play with her cherry, including doing the "rerorerorero".
  • Gemina Invasions
    • In Chapter 4, after Rozaliya is finally imprisoned, the narration notes that she "gave up thinking and accepted her fate".
    • Chapter 5 begins with the Star Wars Opening Scroll. Later in the chapter, the twins do a series of performances, including the dance from the end credits of Kill Me Baby and the symmetrical docking from GaoGaiGar.
    • Chapter 7:
      • The chapter begins with a shout out Fist of the North Star as it shows Otto wearing Raoh's helmet and cape over Kenshiro's jacket. When he leaves Nagazora, he's shown walking through the desert in front of the sun while wearing a cloak, similar to Kenshiro in the anime's first opening.
      • The Mama-jong group is a shout out to Saki, with Himeko and Theresa wearing Kiyosumi High School uniforms while they rule over their zone with mahjong. Himeko even has Saki's signature flower bloom background in their intro.
      • When Mei defeats Empyrean Chefs, she does so by replicating the "Rainbow with Flowers" dessert from God of Cookery, Stephen Chow chef outfit and hand wipe and all.
      • Bronya accidentally takes out Kiana with a Rider Kick.
    • Chapter 8:
      • The first page has Bronya doing the infamous Gendo pose from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
      • During the race, Rozaliya gets a mushroom and blue shell from Mario Kart.
      • The chapter ends with Veliona doing Light's "All according to plan/Keikaku doori" face from Death Note .
    • Chapter 9:
  • Second Eruption
  • Alien Space
    • When Tesla and Raiden Ryoma get notified by Welt that Himeko is coming to New Mexico to investigate alien sightings (in actuality, it's the Arhat whose photos have been leaked online), Tesla reassures Welt that she's going to wipe her memory and send her back home. In a bit of a funny subversion, Ryoma notes that the memory wiper isn't perfect, as it causes people to fall into a coma wherein they'll keep trembling and talking in their sleep for five to ten days.
    • When Welt and Ryusuke get served some really spicy curry by Himeko, they feign appreciating her cooking to keep her happy, and when she's gone, Peppermint, none the wiser, eats some of the curry, resulting in Dark Souls's infamous "YOU DIED" caption.


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