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Shout Out / The Secret World

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Faction Hubs

  • A mission for Dr. Aldini involves a business card for P. Schuyler and Sons, a company in London that specializes in grave robbing, which is also the name of a business owned by a family of necromancers in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura.
  • In London, there's an underground pit fighting ring in the middle of the slums. Among the crowd there is an immediately recognizeable reference for those who've played Anarchy Online: A mud golem named Heckler.
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  • The first quest in London is called London Calling.
  • Conversely, the first quest in New York is No Sleep Till Brooklyn.
  • NPCs in London will complain that only Templars are allowed into the Temple Club, but say it's a silly place anyway.
    • In a similar vein, an NPC will occasionally grumble that she didn't vote for the Templars. No mention of anarcho-syndicalist communes, though.
  • Civilians in London sometimes ask, "Is this about that American Werewolf? 'Cause he's quite tame really."
  • Templar guards will occasionally tell you to "Keep calm and carry on". Other references include:
  • In the Illuminati introduction, while Dr Zurn has you Strapped to an Operating Table, he raises a syringe and jokingly asks "Is it safe?"
  • The Templar Old Guard have two thugs named Pit and Pendulum to express their displeasure among the lower ranks.
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  • Issue 11 features Daimon Kiyota meeting up with Dragon players in Seoul, and discouraging you from following the memory-wiped Bong Cha with a quip of "Forget it, Jake: it's the roulette game."
  • In London, there is a fish and chips restaurant named "The Yellow Sign".
  • The Achievement Vendors in the three Faction Hubs are named after the eponymous doctor of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
  • Upgrade items for the Museum all come with a description reminding players that, despite the artefact's monetary value, "it belongs in a museum."

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Solomon Island

  • Kingsmouth is full of those: there's an Elm Street, a Poe Cove, a Belmont Avenue, a Lovecraft Lane, an Arkham Avenue, a Miskatonic River, an Innsmouth Academy and a Journey's End. There's also Dagon Bay in the Savage Coast.
  • Kingsmouth is probably either the combination of Kingsport (a more obscure town from the Cthulhu Mythos) and Innsmouth, or a direct reference to Stephen King.
  • The entrance to the first hell dungeon is in a motel called The Overlook Motel.
  • There are several World of Warcraft references in the game: a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to Leroy Jenkins with Mission Control predicting a repeating 33.3% chance of survival on the Ur-Draug, and flavor text on a weapon called "Warlock's Dying Wish" which mentions a flicker of green flame, referring to the fact that the Warlocks in WoW have been crying for green fireballs for at least two expansions.
  • There's a questgiver in zombie-infested Kingsmouth, that so happens to be a mechanic named Ellis, although he looks a lot more like Coach. This may be due to the fact that the real Ellis is dead, and this is simply an agent of the Phonecians. He's also stuck in an airport, and one of the quests he gives is called Dead Air.
    • Ellis Hill also strongly resembles a non-zombified version of Big Daddy, the "alpha" zombie from Land of the Dead. Both are tall, black men with a shaved head and goatee, and Ellis' blue boiler suit with an embroidered name tag is almost identical to the one worn by Big Daddy.
    • A skater in Kingsmouth actually name-drops Left 4 Dead as evidence of why he should be trusted with a gun during a Zombie Apocalypse despite only being 15.
  • Carter sarcastically refers to Innsmouth Academy as Hogwarts.
  • Boone, self-styled last of the cowboys, provides a mission entitled "For A Fistful Of Zombies."
  • One of the investigation quests in Kingsmouth is called The Kingsmouth Code. It is, quite appropriately, a clue scavenger hunt.
  • A quest available near the biker-turned-handyman Moose Jansen is titled "Zen and the Arts of Weapon Maintenance."
  • The quest that introduces the player to the gigantic zombie hulks is appropriately titled "Hulk Smash."
  • Meanwhile, quests available from Innsmouth Academy include such titles as "The Breakfast Cult," "The Faculty," "To Sir, with Love," "The Rec Center Cannot Hold," and "Strange Boathouse In The Mist."
  • One of the quests featuring Atlantic Island Park is (somewhat inevitably) titled "A Carnival Of Souls."
  • Last but certainly not least, finding a chainsaw out in Blue Mountain grants you the quest "Maine Chainsaw Massacre."
  • In a darkly hilarious twist, the lore entry on the Lady Margaret opens with the line, "The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed."
  • Headmaster Montag, voiced by Jeffrey Combs, looks like his character from The Frighteners, but discusses his curtailed medical career and preference to use a shovel for killing the undead.
    • He's also wearing what looks like blue gloves.
    • When asked about the Illuminati, he says one of their goals is to create a world where nothing is true and everything is permitted.
    • The Filth-infected version of him from "The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn" will use a summoning attack called "Don't Expect Them to Tango".
  • All over the place when investigating the history of the Franklin Mansion.
    • In one of the past scenes set during winter, a family runs into trouble as the son is chased by mysterious creatures and the father goes crazy and attacks his family.
    • In another set during the '60s, a bunch of people in the house are attacked by a minor zombie apocalypse. Then it turns out to have been an attack caused by a madman named Billy Lee who looks an awful lot like Charles Manson.
    • And on that note, a guy named Billy in an arts commune who's unable to avoid violence? That sounds a lot like the Billy Jack films.
    • Also, the Franklin Mansion's lore begins with "They're here!"
  • In the filth-infested swamps of Blue Mountain, near the Franklin Mansion, you can find a thin, spindly, multi-armed, faceless monster called an Ender Thing roaming around.
  • Carter, the lone surviving student of the Innsmouth Academy. She's a traumatized, school-age girl with lots of blood on her and powerful pyrotechnic powers, just like Carrie White. She even remarks about having once lost control of her powers at a Halloween prom. Given the number of Lovecraft's references in Solomon Island, her name could also be a nod to his recurring protagonist Randolph Carter.
  • Another Carrie reference from the Savage Coast comes with Carrie Killian, a young woman with psychic powers who was abused and viewed as a witch by All of the Other Reindeer, eventually dying when her house burned down (a fire that they started in order to kill her, but still).
  • The ISBN number of a specific edition of Foucault's Pendulum is the password of a Conspiracy Theorist's computer.
  • Scrapyard Eddie and Danny Dufresne refers to the Draug as "Smurfs".
  • Scrapyard Eddie owns two dogs named Tango and Cash.
  • Daniel Bach, the war reporter in Overlook Motel, sounds and looks a bit like a younger version of the Photojournalist from Apocalypse Now.
  • Kingsmouth's sheriff is named Bannerman, after the sheriff in The Dead Zone and Cujo.
  • One of the Innsmouth Academy teachers is Professor Dyer, who teaches geology and trepanation.
    • In fact, most of the Innsmouth Academy faculty are named after characters from Lovecraft's stories.
  • Joe Slater shares his name with the possessed hillbilly from H. P. Lovecraft's short story "Beyond the Wall of Sleep".
  • There is a unique wendigo roaming around called Algernon, named after (or perhaps implied to be) the author of the story The Wendigo.
  • And of course, the eponymous character in the Halloween mission "The Death of Dr Armitage" draws his name from The Dunwich Horror. More disturbingly, Armitage claims to have inspired Lovecraft to create the character.
    • Additionally there is also a rare spawn in Kingsmouth which is called the "Dunwich Road Horror".
  • One of the weapons acquired from the Polaris dungeon is a pair of pistols named "Conviction." According to the text, the words "There are four lights!" have been carved into the grips.
  • The Moon Bog in Blue Mountain shares its' name with one of Lovecraft's short stories.
  • The League of Monster Slayers is a great big reference to The Monster Squad — and a bit of a deconstruction of it as well. The kids started out as just monster nerds like in the film, but when a pair of kids from Kingsmouth were mauled to death, they took up hunting for the Wendigo that killed them. Without the intervention of a student of Innsmouth Academy named Jackson Miller, they would have all died. And of course, they proved helpless in the face of the fog; by the time of the game, there's only one surviving member, Danny.
  • The number plate of the Orochi Van, 23383 IY during the "Funeral Crasher" mission is a reference to the novel 11/22/63 where the main character has the same number plate.
  • Deputy Andy is himself a reference (Twin Peaks), but near his chair is a small pile of Duff beer cans.
  • The ending cutscene for Hell dungeon has the succubus, Saccharissa, namedrops "Sorry. Your Princess Is in Another Castle!."

Egypt

  • The last words of Doctor Klein, final boss of the Ankh are "Mein... Leben."
  • In The Ankh, Klein's digital journal can be read. His final entry only states "And to think, I hesitated."
  • Most of Nassir's missions are named for the action movies he adores: "Live Free, Die Hard", "Demolition Man", "Mean Streets".
  • The City of the Sun God looks a lot like Mordor, complete with a giant black building and a fiery eye.
  • As for the City's most notorious inhabitant, Akhenaten is popularly known as "The Black Pharaoh" — a title also given to Nyarlathotep in the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • Issue #6, "The Last Train to Cairo", has so many Shout-Outs to Indiana Jones that it's almost a Spiritual Adaptation. The music deliberately evokes the franchise, finding a snake during the mission "The City Beneath Us" is rewarded with the achievement "It Didn't Have to be Snakes", and a rather distinctive fedora and jacket are made available at Egypt-based vendors. The whip is not included, however — you get that during one of the missions.

    As for Shout-Outs to other properties in Issue #6...
    • One of the purchasable titles that becomes available is "The Time Tomb Raider".
    • Finding a whip nets you the achievement "In Belmont's Shadow."
    • One of the side-missions in the issue is "Know Them By Their Works", which seems like a reference to Matthew 7:16.
    • At the end of "The City Before Us," living Said calls the Time Tomb a Tardis.
  • An issue #14 side mission is named "It Belongs in a Museum."
  • At the beginning of "A Time to Every Purpose", you're shown a journal that contains notes on the operation of the Time Tomb, including a sketch identical to Doc Brown's flux capacitor schematic (minus the words "Flux Compression").

Transylvania

  • Completing the mission "The Cost of Magic" rewards you with the achievement "The Romany Holiday".
  • The introduction to the lore entry on "The Facility" features the words "My God, It's Full Of Stars!"
  • Fittingly enough, lore for the Vampire Crusades begins with the line "for the dead travel fast."
  • Lore on the village of Iazmaciune opens with the line "the owls are not what they seem."
  • One of Emma Smith's missions is titled "They Mostly Come At Night". For good measure, the quest giver is a little girl wandering in a monster-infested wasteland — or at least, the memory of her.
  • Two prominent Orochi scientists in the area are named Winston and Julia Smith, and spend most of their time being filmed by a camera in their living room.
  • One piece of equipment that can be looted from the Slaughterhouse is a talisman called the Ludovico Counteragent, the flavour text reading "be cured alright."
  • In the boss fight with Mara's attacks refer to both songs and musicians such as "Grateful Dead" and "Sweet Child O' Mine".
  • In a confrontation with his treacherous former lover, Vlad Dracula quotes the tagline for Bram Stoker's Dracula: "Love never dies".
  • Much like how Issue #6 was basically an Indiana Jones game in the Secret World universe, so is Issue #7, "A Dream to Kill", a James Bond game in that universe, right down to the title being a reference to A View to a Kill. The mission "When the Hatchet Falls" has an achievement called "Vampires Aren't Forever" for killing the ancient vampire imprisoned in the abandoned Soviet base within the time limit, while the mission "You Only Die Twice" (itself a reference to You Only Live Twice) is built around a snowmobile chase straight out of a spy flick, and beating it without getting hit by any bombs rewards you with the achievement "The World is Not Enough". The cutting laser that Lilith uses to chop your legs off is a direct reference to a famous scene from Goldfinger. And the Council of Venice agent you encounter is a pastiche of decades' worth of Bond girls, right down to her Spy Catsuit and exotic Russian accent, though none of Bond's ladies turned out to be an ageless, immortal monstrosity.

    As for other works that are given Shout-Outs in Issue #7...
    • One of the purchasable titles that becomes available is "International Man/Woman Of Mystery."
    • The aforementioned ancient vampire is named Janos Dragosani — presumably a reference to Boris Dragosani, the Soviet necromancer turned vampire from Necroscope.
    • The mission "The Sound of Children" brings us the villain Dr. Schreber, who's decidedly creepier than the original article. For good measure, he even has an assistant called J. Murdoch.
    • The Illuminati after-mission report to "The Sound of Children" features Geary flat-out quoting The Usual Suspects in her attempts to explain just how dangerous the Keyser Soze analogue Lilith is.

Venice

Tokyo

South Africa

Abilities

General Achievements

  • The achievement for killing ten thousand vampires is titled simply "Let the Right One In."
  • Achievements for killing Draug include "The Old Man and the Sea," "Wide Sargasso Sea" and "The Ancient Mariner"
  • Killing a thousand Orochi Drones is rewarded with an achievement titled "The John Connor Award."
  • The highest achievement for killing spectres is "I See Dead People," while the title you gain for this is "Ghostbuster." In a similar vein, one of the achievements for killing spirits is called "Proton Packer."
  • Eliminating a hundred Wendigo nets the achievement "Pet Cemetery."
  • Chasing twenty-five flocks of crows grants the achievement "Edgar Allen". Similarly, the achievement for dispersing fifty such murders is awarded with an achievement simply titled "Poe."
  • Destroying ten golems grants the achievement "Geppetto". Continuing the puppet themes for golem achievements, killing fifty is rewarded with "Punch and Judy."
  • Killing five thousands Familiars grants the achievement "Vision of Zosimos".note 
  • Collecting all the Transylvanian theatrical items is rewarded with the achievement "Exit, Pursued By Vampire."
  • Completing the Samhain season mission "The Cat God" grants you "Tails from the Crypt."
  • Many of the Zombie-killing achievements reference famous zombie movies: 25 Days Later, Soulless Consumerism, Night of the Dying Dead, and simply Romero.
  • The achievement for killing fifty scorpions is titled "Get Over Here." Killing five thousand of them, on the other hand, is rewarded with "Scorpion King."
  • Killing ten thousand Hellsoldiers nets the final award of "Divine Comedy."
  • In a pretty similar vein, killing five hundred Jinn is awarded with "Paradise Lost."
  • Exterminating a thousand locusts rewards players with the achievement "They Shall Fill Thy Houses" - a quote from Exodus 10:6, naturally concerning the eight of the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
  • Naturally, Scarecrow achievements reference The Wizard of Oz: the award for killing ten is titled "Brainless," while the award for killing ten thousand is "The End Of The Yellow Brick Road."
  • Slaying five thousand werewolves nets the achievement "Wolfenstein."
  • One of the Museum of the Occult achievements is named "Friendship is Murder".
  • Participation in the summoning dance of the Shem pets is rewarded with "Happy Feet."

General Lore

  • The Illuminati lore not only begins with the line "That's the way to do it!" but also directly portrays the Illuminati as Punch and hands the role of Judy to anyone who made mistake of getting in the faction's way.
  • Morninglight lore deliberately misquotes T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land with the line "I had not thought self-help had undone so many."
  • The Council of Venice lore begins with "SOUND AND FURY SIGNIFYING NOTHING."
  • Naturally, lore for the Halloween 2013 event features the lines, "Oh great pumpkin, where are you?" and "Nine, ten, never sleep again."
  • Saimhain 2014, already replete with references to classic radio dramas, has a lore entry with the lines "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" and "I am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night."
  • Halfway through lore on "The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus," the Buzzing stops halfway through expositing to proclaim - of all things - "There must be more than this provincial life!"
  • Lore for "The Jinn and the First Age" features "I am ashes where once I was fire," a stanza from a poem by Lord Byron.
  • Lilith's character lore begins with the line "Dynamite with a laser beam, guaranteed to blow your mind."
  • Naturally, the Bestiary lore is replete with quotes from H. P. Lovecraft. To begin with, the Ak'ab lore begins with the line "They were not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor vampire bats, nor decomposed human beings," a quote from the short story The Festival.
    • Lore on the Cultists features the line, "From inner Egypt came the strange dark one to whom the fellahs bowed" a quote from the poem Fungi From Yuggoth specifically referring to Nyarlathotep.
    • The Filth Guardians lore quotes directly from The Call of Cthulhu itself: "...were not composed altogether of flesh and blood. They had shape... but that shape was not made of matter."
    • Finally, the Zombie lore entry begins with a line from Herbert West–Reanimator: "Damn it, it wasn't quite fresh enough."
  • Arthropod lore commences with a quote from Leviticus: "whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination."
    • Also from the Bible, lore on the Jinn commences with a quote from Job: "My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me."
    • Drifting back to Leviticus, the Vampire Masters lore begins with "You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood."
  • Fittingly enough, lore on the Blajini kicks off with "Hand in hand, with fairy grace, will we sing, and bless this place."
  • Bogeyman lore quotes directly from G. K. Chesterton with the line "FAIRY TALES GIVE THE CHILD THEIR FIRST CLEAR IDEA OF THE POSSIBLE DEFEAT OF BOGEY."
  • Another popular source of lore quotes is The Divine Comedy, with lore on the Deathless beginning with "They have no hope of death, but a blind life so abject, they envy any other fate."
    • From Rakshasa lore: "Now we descend to a greater wretchedness."
    • From lore on the Soldiers of Hell: "As we descended I heard the din of lamentation."
    • In further hellish entries, Spirits of Flame lore features the line: "I have come to lead you to the other shore; into eternal darkness; into fire."
    • Last but not least, Werewolf lore begins with "Silence, accursed wolf! Attack your own insides with your devouring rage."
  • Oddly enough, lore on the Deep Ones doesn't start with another Lovecraft quote, but the words, "Lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes... when he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'."
  • Draug Drone lore begins with a quote from American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940's Until Now by Isaac Bashevis Singer: "MULTITUDES OF LIVING BEINGS - ALGAE, WHALES, SEA MONSTERS - REVELLING IN AN ORGY, FROM THE SURFACE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA."
  • Lore on the Draug Leaders opens with "the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep, and is often seen in various shapes," a quote from Tobias Smollett's The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle - specifically referring to Davy Jones.
  • Naturally, lore on the Familiars features the words "IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE!"
  • Faun lore appropriately references Pan's Labyrinth, directly quoting the character of the Faun with the line "Old names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce."
  • Lore for the Filth and Humans features the quote, "You're not human tonight, Marlowe."
  • Ghoul lore begins with an old Stephen King favourite: "Sometimes dead is better."
  • In their lore entry, the Kyonshi are described in the opening lines as "neither ghost nor demon, but yet who partakes the dark natures and possesses the mysterious and terrible qualities of both," a quote from The Vampire, His Kith and Kin.
  • Lore for the Little Ones quotes directly from the Ray Bradbury short story: "Strange, red little creatures with brains that work in a bloody darkness we can't even guess at. Elemental little brains, as warm with racial memory, hatred, and raw cruelty."
  • In yet another appropriate selection, lore on Mummies opens with the line "For he would arise a walking disease, a plague upon mankind."
  • Orochi Tech lore features the opening quote of "They'll fix you... They'll fix everything." Appropriate, given Orochi's cyborg experiments.
  • The lore entry for the Padurii begins with "HER VOICE MAKES THE EARTH GAPE, IT LURES THE SPIRITS FROM THE TOMBS...AT HER BEHEST, SNOW FALLS FROM A SUMMER'S SKY," a quote from a poem by Catullus.
  • Revenant lore begins with a series of lyrics from Neil Gaiman's "The Butterfly Road (The Faust Song)": "Now there's no going back, and there's something undead in your mind and your eyes and your heart and your head."
  • In another nod to more famous scarecrows, lore on the Scarecrows begins with "If I Only Had A Brain."
  • Ironically, the opening line for Sasquatch lore is "simply the call of the wild personified, which some natures hear to their own destruction," a quote from the Algernon Blackwood story The Wendigo.
  • Lore for the Spectres quotes directly from the Robert Frost poem The Witch of Coos: "Doesn't that make you suspicious, that there's something the dead are holding back?"
  • Succubi & Incubi features the line, "I danced with one who was more or less than human, and who was drinking up my soul as an ox drinks up a wayside pool," from Rosa Alchemica by W. B. Yeats.
  • Vampire lore quotes from a letter by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "AND WITH ALL THAT, WHO IS THERE WHO BELIEVES IN VAMPIRES?"
  • Ironically, Wendigo lore avoids quoting from Pet Sematary and The Wendigo, instead settling for Denis Johnson's The Laughing Monsters: "To be eaten pays a compliment to your power."
  • The Wisp lore kicks off with a quote from Isaac Newton, referring to "A vapour shining without heat."
  • The Zmei, having already been identified as either trolls or ogres, are provided with a lore entry that begins with the line "Be he alive, or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread."

Equipment and Collectibles

Agents and Agent Missions

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