This is an ongoing list of the cultural references found in video games Goichi Suda has contributed to. Suda typically does not explain every instance of his derivative material, and as such this article attempts not to list anything that is merely speculation - the reference should be either confirmed or obvious.
- The name of the Lost Highway nightclub is a reference to David Lynch's film Lost Highway, released nine months before Moonlight Syndrome.
- Clock Tower, a survival horror game also published by Human Entertainment, is first seen advertised on a poster and later is actually played by the characters.
The Silver CaseEdit
- The helicopter flying over mikumo 77 has the words "GHM Tokyo" painted on its side. These three letters are used in reference to the game's developer, Grasshopper Manufacture. The website Grasshopper Network is another reference to the studio.
- Koichi Sugita has a Godzilla action figure standing on his dresser, among several other mecha figures.
- Suda51 took inspiration for the game from the French film Nouvelle Vague, written and directed by Jean-Luc Goddard.
- The club Ronny Rockets is a reference to an unproduced screenplay by David Lynch.
- Phrases at the conclusion of each case or report reference songs by New Order. These are "Vanishing Point," "Bizarre Love Triangle," "Love Will Tear Us Apart," "Regret," "The Perfect Kiss," "World in Motion," "All the Way," "True Faith," "Shellshock," "Love Less" and "Blue Monday." "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was originally written by Joy Division, however New Order was Joy Division's successor and was the first to popularize cover versions of the song.
- The song names that appear at the conclusion of the 2017 update chapters are "Singularity" by New Order and "Dead Souls" by Joy Division.
Flower, Sun, and RainEdit
Film and televisionEdit
- The Lost Highway road connecting Lospass Island to Micronesia is a reference to the David Lynch film of the same name.
- The Rocky film series is referenced twice in the game. The first time is when Sumio Mondo meets the Balboa brothers and presumes them to be boxers, likening their surname to the boxer Rocky Balboa. The second time is after Mondo realizes the poisoned Yayoi Hanayama is actually asleep, when in her dreaming she yells the name Adrian. Rocky's wife is named Adrian Pennino Balboa, causing Mondo to deduce, "She's dreaming...about Rocky?"
- The "Fat Boy Slim" weight loss device mentioned in The Lospass is named after the British DJ of the same name.
- The game shares its title with a song by Japanese supergroup Pyg.
- Two of the films mentioned in The Lospass, "1979" and "Tonight Tonight", are named after songs by The Smashing Pumpkins.
- In order to unlock every prize in the game, Mondo must travel 510,000 steps. This is a reference to Suda's nickname, Suda 51.
- The name of the Flower, Sun, and Rain hotel's architect, Igor Ishizakaski, is likely a reference to the game's background modeler, Akihiko Ishizaka. Ishizaka's name was later alluded to in several of Grasshopper's later titles.
- The skeletal design of Extra Costume 6 is an allusion to the outfit worn by professional wrestler La Parka.
- Alberto Ferrente's story of the Italy-Brazil match is almost identical to Roberto Baggio, a real Italian soccer player who actually was one of Italy's top players in the 1994 World Cup. The Cup Match against Brazil was almost exactly as described in the game; the only difference is that when Baggio's turn for the penalty kick came, Italy was already losing and even if he scored, the next Brazil kicker had to miss to give a chance to the Italian team. However Baggio missed and the last shot was unneeded. After the match was lost, Baggio actually proclaimed, "La vita continua."
- In the epilogue of the game's third Request, Edo Macalister expresses his passion for soccer, particularly the "Rangers" team. This name is used by a number of soccer teams, so it is uncertain which he is referring to.
- After obtaining all Lost and Found items in the Nintendo DS version of the game, Mondo gains access to Extra Costume 7, the outfit worn by No More Heroes protagonist Travis Touchdown, which even comes equipped with Touchdown's Tsubaki Mk-III beam katana.
- As Flower, Sun, and Rain is a pseudo-sequel to The Silver, several pieces of music from the latter were recycled or remixed for the game, particularly during the Requests featuring Yoshimitsu Koshimizu and Remy Fawzil, and in the epilogue where Peter Bocchwinkur reveals himself to be Tetsuguro Kusabi, all three of these characters whom originally appeared in The Silver.
- Hanayama bares some resemblance to, as well as having the first name of Yayoi Itsushima, a character in the video game Moonlight Syndrome.
- Since the game's worldwide Nintendo DS reissue, the four-note chime heard after solving a puzzle has sometimes been confused for a reference to "Energize," which can be heard in No More Heroes. This is false, as the chime can be heard in the original PlayStation 2 version of the game, which predates No More Heroes by nearly seven years.
- AYAME Blackburn has a passion for anime cosplay and enjoys making radically cliché introduction speeches in Japanese while striking action poses like those of Sailor Moon, among other magical girl-based franchises. This is more evident in a beta screenshot, where she resembles Sailor Moon.
- Battleship Island is based on the real-life Japanese island Hashima, popularly known as Battleship Island for its appearance. The island in killer7 does not hold the same resemblance, however.
- In the opening of killer7, Christopher Mills passes government instructions to Garcian, hidden in a copy of the Oscar Wilde novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.
- Garcian Smith keeps a copy of the Ravi Shankar album Improvisations on a shelf in his trailerhouse. Copies of the album can also be seen on several shelves in the KAKU Building. Garcian also has a copy of the Santana album Abraxas.
- The surname "Smith" used by the Smith Syndicate is a reference to the British indie pop band The Smiths. Additionally, each of the courier memos carries the name of a song by The Smiths, and one wall in the game has the words "How Soon Is Now" scrawled in blood.
- Those who turn into Heaven Smiles are said to be touched by the light that comes from the hand of God (Kun Lan). "Touched by the hand of god" is the name of a song by New Order.
- The characters' weapons are named after songs from various punk bands. (The weapon names were given in promotional material and aren't listed in the game or Hand in killer7). The songs to some extent represent the characters.
- Harman's rifle "GLIDER" - Glider by My Bloody Valentine
- Garcian's pistol "ELECTROLITE" - Electrolite by R.E.M.
- Dan's revolver "HANDSOME DEVIL" - Handsome Devil by The Smiths
- KAEDE's gun "CONNECTION" - Connection by Elastica
- Kevin's knife "DEBASER" - Debaser by The Pixies
- Coyote's gun "FREAK SCENE" - Freak Scene by Dinosaur Jr.
- Con's pistols "DISARM" - Disarm by Smashing Pumpkins
- MASK's grenade launchers "DREAM ALL DAY" - Dream All Day by The Posies
- Travis Bell's shirts in Target04: Alter Ego are all named after singles from the band Quruli.
- ISZK Land is likely named in reference to art director Akihiko Ishizaka.
Television and filmEdit
- Emir Parkreiner's weapon, a golden gun, is a reference to the same weapon publicized in the novel and film The Man with the Golden Gun.
- Linda Vermilion's appearance is based on Nami Matsushima in the film Female Convict 701: Scorpion.
- Pigeons encountered by the Smith Syndicate are named after Bond girls.
- The Handsome Men are a parody of the television series Super Sentai. This is more evident in that The Handsome Men's alternative name, Punishing Rangers, mirrors the series' name in North America, Power Rangers.
- Holbert's habit of leaving his findings on numerous casette tapes is likely a reference to Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks. Like Holbert, Cooper frequently records his progess on his investigation using a tape recorder, and both men are FBI agents.
- The film draws influence from the 1973 Yakuza film Battles Without Honor or Humanity: Hiroshima Deathmatch.
- Edo Macalister, who works at the reception desk of Hotel Union, previously appeared in Flower, Sun, and Rain as the manager of the Flower, Sun, and Rain hotel.
- The Oracle is Mithra from the video game Moonlight Syndrome.
- The icon for Terry's fame statistic is reminiscent of the scene in Rocky IV where the titular character ends his training by running to the top of a mountain and screaming his opponent's name.
- The Professor occasionally mentions that he's reading a book written by Haruki Murakami, a postmodern author, postmodernism being the same self-referential style of storytelling that many of Suda's games employ.
- Caldoaxa Ruins' Spice Shop was likely named after the shop of the same name in Flower, Sun, and Rain.
Blood+: One Night KissEdit
- The unlockable 'Perfect Kiss Mode' is named after the song by New Order.
- In the Zaka Mart, there is a poster for a Moonlight Syndrome 2.
No More HeroesEdit
Anime and mangaEdit
- Glastonbury is a reference to the lead mecha of Space Runaway Ideon.
- Jeane references the manga Miyuki while fast-forwarding her story.
- Shinobu's design is similar to Afro, from Afro Samurai series.
- Strawberry, Blueberry and Cranberry of Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly were inspired by the protagonists of Pretty Cure and the 90's anime Magic Users Club. The anime is again referenced by a Pretty Angels poster adorning Touchdown's living room wall.
- The Lovikov Balls are a reference to the titular artifacts of Dragon Ball. The game's instruction manual refers to them as being part of a wish-granting dragon - another reference to the series. Furthermore, the Strawberry on the Shortcake Dark Side Mode trance mirrors the Super Saiyan transformation in Dragon Ball.
- The resonating sound of guitar chords leading into and out of the game's loading screens may have been lifted from Trigun, which uses the same technique between scenes. Furthermore, the anime-only Trigun character Caine the Longshot wields a sniper rifle with an extremely long barrel and support mounts, similar to Speed Buster's Buster Launcher.
- The Schpeltiger resembles Kaneda's motorcycle in the manga Akira, as well as its film adaptation.
- The theatre where Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarrskii performs has a similar design to the Metropolitan Opera House as it appears in Blood+. This is worth noting as, before developing No More Heroes, Grasshopper worked on a video game adaptation of Blood+, titled Blood+: One Night Kiss.
- An assassination gig in the game directs Touchdown to kill the CEO of fast food chain Pizza Butt, a reference to Pizza Hut.
- A "Card" sticker almost identical to the logo for Visa can be seen in the Motel "NO MORE HEROES" office window, albeit replacing Visa's upper blue portion with red, and Visa's middle white portion with blue. Above this sticker is another sticker with vague similarities to the Mastercard design.
- The Denki Bosatsu T-shirt promotes the real-life sake brewery Kikusakari Sake. Randall Lovikov can be seen holding a bottle with the same logo in his PR illustration.
- The Famitsu series of T-shirts promotes the real-life magazine Famitsu Weekly, and was illustrated by actual Famitsu staff members.
- The GHM series of T-shirts promote the game's developer, Grasshopper.
- The Manga T-shirt features the logo and slogan of real-life manga culture magazine Megahertz.
- Death Metal's saber, the Orange II, has a symbol which parodies Apple Inc.'s logo as it was designed by the fictitious Orange Computer, also a parody of Apple Inc.
- During Ranking Battle 9 when Touchdown fights through Destroy Stadium, inside vending machines on the first two floors can clearly be seen actual bags of Lay's and Doritos potato chips.
- Each time a ranked assassin is slain and the player is shown the United Assassins Association Ranking List, the player is complimented with a "Marvelous!" This may be a reference to one of the game's publishers and a frequent Grasshopper affiliate, Marvelous Interactive.
- On the menu of Destroy Stadium booth Purple Elephant, "teriyaki smiles" are included as free of charge. This is a parody of McDonald's restaurants citing on their menus that smiles are free.
- Grasshopper's logo can be found in several parts of Santa Destroy, namely on the sides of newspaper dispensers and on the WGHM 86.6 FM billboard, a radio station which itself references Grasshopper's three-letter abbreviation, GHM. These initials also appear on the door of a Bear Hug Studio portable toilet.
Television and filmEdit
- After emerging victorious from a Ranking Battle and viewing the UAA leaderboard, when the player presses a button to continue, the screen transitions with effects similar to the hyperspace sequences seen in the original Star Wars trilogy.
- Beef Head takes its name from the surreal film Gokudō kyōfu dai-gekijō: Gozu.
- Concerning Dark Star, concept art on Trading Card No. 83 shows that the character may have originally been planned to remove the entire upper-half of his helmet, leaving only a portion of the lower-half, further connecting him to Darth Vader, particularly his death scene in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
- Dark Star's revelation that he is Touchdown's father is a reference to the same revelation Darth Vader makes to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, although Dark Star's claim may not be entirely true.
- Despite numerous references to the plot of Star Wars, the concept of beam katanas was lifted from the Star Wars parody film Spaceballs, although they do have the same function as lightsabers.
- Dr. Peace's weapon, a golden revolver, is a possible homage to Parkreiner's weapon in killer7, which itself referenced the titular weapon in The Man with the Golden Gun.
- During the Chocolate Cranberry Sundae Dark Side mode, the color of Touchdown's beam katana blade changes to red. This mirrors the most prevalent color of lightsaber used by the Sith in Star Wars.
- Henry Cooldown's coat resembles that worn by Rick Deckard in the film Blade Runner.
- Jeane's history of sexual abuse and prostituting to fund her combat training is a homage to the cult film Thriller: A Cruel Picture.
- Masked bikers who taunt Touchdown en route to Dark Star's castle resemble the Star Wars character Darth Vader and are called T.I.E. Riders, a reference to the TIE Fighter vessel in Star Wars. Their motorcycles have a glass panel on the front of the body similar to the one built into the cockpit module of TIE Fighters.
- Messages left by the unseen Diane may reference Twin Peaks, wherein Dale Cooper frequently leaves messages for a likewise unseen woman named Diane on his tape recorder.
- The design of Motel NO MORE HEROES is modeled after the Discount Inn in the film Memento. Travis' map of Santa Destroy, with polaroid photos and accompanying location descriptions, also serves as an homage to a similar poster made by the film's protagonist. The film is, notably, also about an amnesiac man seeking vengeance for a murder.
- Santa Destroy's baseball team, the Santa Destroy Warriors, is named after the film of the same name. However, their appearance is similar to a gang in the film, the Baseball Furies, sans the corpse paint.
- Sylvia Christel calls Touchdown's cellphone before facing each assassin, telling him to "trust your Force," likely a reference to the power used in Star Wars by the Jedi and Sith.
- The color of blade emitted by beam katanas is determined by the color of the Power Up Part it is equipped with. This mirrors the color of lightsaber blades in Star Wars, which are determined by the type of crystal used in the weapon's construction.
- The credit roll in the game's false ending parodies the introductions of each Star Wars film, the background song here even being entitled "Staff Wars EPISODE I."
- The death of Touchdown's mentor Thunder Ryu before his eyes is a reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi's death in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
- The Eat T-shirt references the musical comedy The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- The final attained Job Center mission, Bike Jump, might have been based on a skit seen in Jackass Number Two, where the group rides bicycles fitted with rockets off of a ramp in an effort to catapult themselves into a river.
- The Forest of Bewilderment may have been based on the dank planet Dagobah seen in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
- The Fudo T-shirt references the cult martial arts documentary BUDO: The Art of Killing.
- The Killer Lodge T-shirt references the Friday the 13th film series.
- The Looker T-shirt resembles the theatrical poster for the horror film Jeepers Creepers.
- The monochrome Cranberry Chocolate Sundae Dark Side mode sequence and the violent executions it entails may have been inspired by the horror film Psycho, particularly its pivotal shower scene, one of the most famous scenes in cinema history.
- The Schpeltiger resembles the Star Wars X-Wing vessel.
- The song "Hustlin' and Tusslin" features an excerpt from the talent show theme heard in the film Revenge of the Nerds.
- The soundtrack to the comedy film Wayne's World can be found on a shelf in Touchdown's living room.
- The Superwild franchise in the game is an allusion to Star Wars, with the installment Superwild: The Third Story likely referencing Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, as its name, poster and cover art seem to mirror the film. Touchdown's living room contains several Superwild toys as well, which parody R2-D2, a B1 battle droid, Jar Jar Binks, Chewbacca, two stormtrooper variants, C-3PO, Darth Maul, Luke Skywalker and Jabba the Hutt. There is also a toy of the motorcycle ridden by T.I.E. Riders, evidencing it to be part of the parody.
- The title for one of the mature videos Touchdown is prompted to return to Beef Head, Coffee and MILF, may be based on the pornographic film series Honey and MILF.
- The "To Be Continued" logo at the end of the game's credits is a reference to the Back to the Future film series.
- When Touchdown's closet is opened at Motel "NO MORE HEROES", a white button-up shirt with what appears to be red ink on the breast pocket can be briefly seen. This may be a reference to a recurring joke in the comedy film Shaun of the Dead.
- The Townsend Residence entrance bares a strong resemblance to Tony Montana's mansion in the crime film Scarface.
- Touchdown's Dark Side Mode references the "dark side of the Force" in Star Wars.
- While promoting No More Heroes in the months leading to its release, Suda noted a Job Center mission where Touchdown would participate in human bowling. This does not appear in the game, but the task as it was described mirrors a skit in Jackass: The Movie, where the cast lines up several trash cans on a ramp bordering a lake. A well-padded Jason Acuña is then pushed forward on a rollerboard to "bowl" the "pins," the water safely breaking his impending fall.
- As inspiration for the character of Travis Touchdown, Suda51 showed the team working on the game multiple clips from Jackass and Jackass: The Movie, the most noted being a stunt in which a baby alligator bites Johnny Knoxville's nipple, clamping down for an extended period of time. He apparently showed this clip to his staff regularly, saying that "I wanted my staff to understand the kind of person that Travis is."
- The UAA Ranking Battles reference 'The Highlander' in the fact both scenarios involvle combatants battling to the death , a commonly used kill in he game is decapitation, and Travis gaining more health from his victims is similar to 'the quickening', where the the victim's knowledge is transferred into the winner.
- Area 51 is a reference to the nickname for a Nevada military base in in the western United States.
- Despite taking place in California, all of vehicles in Santa Destroy feature New Jersey license plates.
- Destroy Stadium bears some resemblance to Yankee Stadium. Yankee Stadium's famous "facade" can be seen on the outfield walls.
- Santa Destroy is alleged to have been based on San Francisco as depicted in Dirty Harry, and the post 1970's Dogtown area of Venice, Los Angeles.
- The game makes frequent wrestling references to the Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta. Calgary was formerly the home of one of the toughest wrestling training facilities, the Hart House.
- Santa Destroy's subway system in the game is similar to the subway system in New York City. One example concerns the turnstiles and signs warning passersby not to do anything to the doors. Additionally, in the Rounding Body Press and Bow and Arrow stations, subway schedules note the J, M and Z trains in brown circles, and the N and R trains in yellow circles. The letters and colors of these five trains match those of New York City at the time the game was released.
- Destroyman's theme song, "Stop Hanging DJs," is a reference to the Smiths song "Panic," which contains the refrain "Hang the DJ."
- Helter-Skelter was named after the Beatles song of the same name. Additionally, in British English the term "helter-skelter" means "in disorderly haste or confusion." While Helter-Skelter was named after the Beatles song "Helter Skelter", which refers symbolically to a spiraling amusement park slide, the dash in his name appears to have been lifted from the spelling of the dictionary term. It should however be noted that in the teaser trailer for No More Heroes, the assassin's name was spelled without the dash.
- Talbot and Weller's names may be homages to Mick Talbot and Paul Weller of the British pop band The Style Council.
- The "AtM" logo on Letz Shake's visor appears to be styled after the "PiL" logo used by British rock band Public Image Ltd.
- The building across the street from Beef Head has a large poster displaying "No me toques lo cojones-Grasshopper." The design of this poster is a parody of the Sex Pistols' album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. Furthermore, a cosmetics store in western Santa Destroy is called Never Mind the Botox., also a parody of the Sex Pistols' debut.
- The Dark Side Mode attack Anarchy in the Galaxy may be a reference to the Sex Pistols song "Anarchy in the U.K."
- The Earthquake Generator's Disaster Blaster technique may be a reference to the White Zombie song "Disaster Blaster."
- The game shares its name with that of an album by The Stranglers. A poster stating "Whatever happened to the heroes?", a lyric from the album's title track "No More Heroes", also appears throughout Santa Destroy.
- The Miami Bass T-shirt sold at Area 51 is a reference to the American rap group 2 Live Crew.
- The name for Shinobu's katana, the Three Girl Rhumba's Sword, is a reference to the Wire song "Three Girl Rhumba."
- Glastonbury is also a reference to the popular British music festival of the same name.
- The multiple characters named Jeane are likely named after the Smiths song of the same name.
- Concept art for Peace's revolver shows "Dr. P" engraved into the gun's handle. The "D" and "P" letters overlap each other in a manner similar to the initials "DD" on the Marvel Comics character Daredevil's costume.
- It is hinted by his dialogue that Thunder Ryu has had sex with Touchdown on some occasions, referencing the ancient practice of pederasty in some Japanese samurai castes.
- Moai statues can be found throughout Santa Destroy. Inside Destroy Stadium and the subway system, advertisements describing Moai Financial can be seen.
- Peace's name may be a pun on the homonym "piece" being a common slang term for a handgun.
- The design for the massive Tsubaki Mk-II may have been inspired by the recurrence of large weapons in Japanese mythology and popular culture.
- The design of Thunder Ryu's beam katana, the D.O.S., bares resemblance to a shirasaya, a plain Japanese blade mount.
- The game frequently breaks the fourth wall. In the opening sequence, Touchdown references the average gamer's lack of patience, and then says, "For you, there, holding the Wii Remote like that? Just press the A button." In one of the final scenes of the game, Jeane says, in reference to her dark backstory, "It alone would jack up the age rating of this game even further," as well as, "What if the game gets delayed?" The reference to age rating is analogous to Suda's claims of making No More Heroes more violent than Manhunt 2, a game which was originally rated Adults Only by the ESRB. In the game's true ending, Henry Cooldown also expresses that he "would've thought [Travis] and the player would have figured it out by now," in reference to his being Touchdown's twin brother.
- The game makes frequent references to tigers, including trading cards in the Mask of the Legendary Wrestler set, the tiger seen in the upper-right corner of the screen, and Christel's tiger-related remarks such as, "Go get 'em tiger" and "Eye of the tiger." This is due to Touchdown's Japanese name (Torabisu) roughly translating to "tiger." "Go get 'em Tiger" may also be a reference to a Mary Jane Watson quote in the Spider-Manfranchise, while "Eye of the tiger" maybe reference the Survivor song of the same name.
- The name for the King Tut shop in Santa Destroy is a reference to Tutankhamun, an Egyptian Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty, during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom.
- The name for the Pirates & Ninjas shop in Santa Destroy is a reference to an Internet meme debating who would win in a fight between pirates and ninjas.
- Touchdown can be seen in an early cutscene placing his hands on a Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly poster and uttering, "Moe" (pronounced "mo-eh"). This is a slang term frequently used by otakus, referring to a fetish or love for "cute"/"innocent" characters in video games, anime and manga.
- Christel's name is an allusion to European actress Sylvia Kristel, while her appearance is based on Scarlett Johansen.
- Destroyman's alter ego, John Harnet, bares a strong resemblance to American heavyweight mixed martial arts fighter, Josh Barnett. Suda51 has also stated that Travis Touchdown is in part based upon Barnett. This influence is addressed in a GameTrailers video interview with Suda.
- Counting down to the game's release in Japan, 51 video clips were uploaded to No More Heroes' Japanese website, in reference to Suda's nickname, Suda 51. Rolling Cradle Highway buses also use Road 51 to reach Speed City, another Suda reference.
- Holly Summers' background may reference former model Heather Mills, who also has a prosthetic left leg. Unlike Summers however, Mills' accident is what terminated her career in modeling.
- Dr. Peace bears a strong resemblance to American actor Charles Bronson, famous for film roles in which he plays a police detective, gunfighter and hitman: all three of which apply to Dr. Peace.
- The crotch grab Letz Shake performs is reminiscent of the dance move performed by American singer Michael Jackson.
- The name for the Egbert theatre in Santa Destroy is a reference to American film critic and screenwriter Roger Ebert.
- Touchdown bears a strong resemblance to Jackass crew member Johnny Knoxville. This influence is addressed in a GameTrailers video interview.
- Volodarrskii bares a resemblance to real-life magician Criss Angel.
- When buying videos from Beef Head, Shidux quips, "Don't tell me you're passing up the latest Miike," referencing film director Takashi Miike.
- Concerning his name and armor design, Dark Star may be inspired by the logo of Darkstar Skateboards.
- Each region, and several businesses and streets of Santa Destroy are named after a wrestling move, such as Body Slam Beach, Piledriver Realty, Rounding Body Press Station, Suplex Pizza, Tag Team Taco Twins and Avalanche Hold Street. More precisely, there are a number of references to lucha libre wrestling, such as the Luchaco gas station and the Mask of the Legendary Wrestler set of trading cards which each represent various masks of popular fictional lucha libre wrestlers.
- At various points throughout the game, usually following the death of Touchdown, a "Zaka TV" screen is displayed. Zaka TV is a news station featured in two other titles written by Suda, Michigan: Report from Hell and killer7.
- Before telling her story, Jeanne quips, "You don't want this to be No More Heroes Forever, do you?" This is a reference to Duke Nukem Forever, a game which was infamous for its protracted development schedule.
- Behind Touchdown's armchair is a shelf containing many collectible items, among them a Nintendo 64 (in the HD port, it is replaced with a Genesis/Megadrive and both of its add-ons are connected to it). Also, the cartridge of the Pure White Giant Glastonbury game playable on Touchdown's television after defeating Volodarrskii resembles a Nintendo 64 cartridge.
- Cat Jeane may be a reference to the stray cat Ryo Hazuki cares for in the Dreamcast game Shenmue.
- Destroyman's "Destroy Cannon" move may be based on the "Hadouken" move of Street Fighter.
- In addition to Diane's potential Twin Peaks television series reference, the Hitman video game series contains a character named Diana Burnwood whose face is also not seen.
- In the months leading up to the release of No More Heroes, issues of Weekly Famitsu featured concept art for each of the game's cast grouped together. Each character was blackened, but with each issue a new character would be colorized and revealed. The manner in which the characters are grouped together is similar to the way the cast members of Kurayami,(a prototype of Shadows of the DAMNED) were grouped in early concept art released in 2006. Especially worth noting is the prominence of a tall, ominous character with protrusions from their head and some form of shoulder pads standing behind the rest of the characters.
- No More Heroes continues to use text-to-speech like in The Silver and killer7, particularly the Mac "Whisper" voice.
- The electronics manufacturer ISZKTEC is mentioned in the manual, previously making a much larger appearance in killer7.
- The Forest of Bewilderment may be a reference to the Legend of Zelda series' Lost Woods, forests with the same maze-like quality.
- The game makes several references to Suda's previous effort, killer7. Examples include Bad Girl's fridge in the Destroy Stadium basement containing a "Chiller7" label, "Bad Girl" being a slogan seen on one of Travis Bell's muscle shirts, techniques taught to Touchdown by Randall Lovikov being named after the likenesses of Smith Syndicate members, and Ermen Palmer being a homage to Parkreiner. Also, lucha libre masks Touchdown encounters before each Ranking Battle contain letters signed "M.S.", which may refer to Mask de Smith, an assassin and wrestler in killer7. It is somewhat unclear how many of these are mere homages and how many are intended to be plot connections placing No More Heroes in the world of Kill the Past.
- The game's minimap was likely inspired by the map used in the Grand Theft Auto series.
- The game's pause menu graphically resembles that of a second generation video game console. The Pure White Giant Glastonbury game playable on Touchdown's television assumes the appearance of a second generation shoot 'em up game as well.
- The game's title screen plays a four-note fanfare of the chime heard after solving a puzzle in Flower, Sun, and Rain.
- The left and right margins in Pure White Giant Glastonbury may reference those seen in the video game Mobile Light Force.
- The name for Thunder Ryu's beam katana, the primitive D.O.S., is a reference to the family of operating systems for IBM compatible PCs marketed between 1981 and 1995.
- The purpose of the Accelerator may have been based on the Stone of Agony item in the video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which also causes the controller to vibrate in the presence of buried secrets.
- How Travis talked to himself during his bout with Death Metal is a reference to the ramblings of the Prince, seen in Prince of Persia.
- The visor Letz Shake dons during the Disaster Blaster's initiation phase resembles Nintendo's Virtual Boy, while the Earthquake Generator contains engines that refer to the PlayStation 3's cell microprocessor and the Xbox 360's Trinity engine. Concept art on Trading Card No. 72 shows another peripheral Shake was meant to don during the Disaster Blaster sequence, a glove with a design similar to a Virtual Boy controller.
- There are a number of references to Fire Pro Wrestling, a game series Suda had previously directed. A comic in the game's Japanese instruction manual references the fictional Super Fire Pro Wrestling Lucha Libres. The manager of Job Center wears a GONGS T-shirt, GONGS being the wrestling federation in Fire Pro Wrestling, based on the real-life federation RINGS. The "Mask de Panther" mentioned in Beef Head's Video Vol.1 and Video Vol.3 reference the name given to recurring character Tiger Mask in American releases, "Tiger Mask" itself being a reference to the 1968 manga Tiger Mask. Finally, Touchdown's mentor Thunder Ryu is a character lifted from the Fire Pro Wrestling series, originally being based on the real-life wrestler Genichiro Tenryu. Burger Suplex advertises a Super Fire Hamburger Special, a reference to Super Fire Prowrestling Special, Suda's first video game effort.
- Three trading cards in the game are of professional wrestlers El Flor, El Sol and El Lluvia, meaning The Flower, The Sun and The Rain. Also, a Japanese two-page print advertisement for No More Heroes features Christel sunbathing in a bikini without a top, sporting the letters "F.S.R." while a plane flew by in the background. These are obvious references to Flower, Sun, and Rain.
- Helter Skelter's appearance is similar to Sephiroth, the main villain of Final Fantasy VII
No More Heroes 2: Desperate StruggleEdit
Anime and mangaEdit
- After being vertically bisected in the first installment, Destroyman reappears in Desperate Struggle as an android. This situation may be a reference to the Dragon Ball Z character Frieza, who was also converted into an android after being slashed in half and left for dead.
- Charlie Macdonald's Santa Death Parade resembles Dekabutsu in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Like Dekabutsu, it also contains its face in its chest, as well as a head.
- Cloe Walsh's predicament may have been inspired by the Elfen Lied character Lucy, who is also bound in a maximum security cell.
- Mimmy bears resemblance to Vocaloid avatar Rin Kagamine.
- While the three protagonists of Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly in No More Heroes were based on Pretty Cure, two new characters were added for Bizarre Jelly 5 in Desperate Struggle, now based on Yes! Pretty Cure 5. These are Gooseberry and Nutberry.
- Pizza Bat is a reference to the restaurant chain Pizza Hut, although this allusion is more obvious in No More Heroes, where the fictional chain is referred to as "Pizza Butt."
- Alice Twilight's ASURA-6 jetpack gives her the resemblance of Star Wars' General Grievous, who could wield four lightsabers at once.
- As Suda is a known fan of Batman, Walsh may reference the Batman and Robin incarnation of the character Poison Ivy. Both share red hair, a seductive personality, control poisonous fumes and use kissing as a weapon. Poison Ivy also returns to life in a similar manner to how Walsh is released by Touchdown.
- In his Ranking Battle against Matt Helms, Touchdown remarks that "It's time for some pro bono ghost-bustin'!" This is an allusion to Ghostbusters.
- In the game's teaser trailer, Touchdown declares "I'll be back!" before engaging a battle with Twilight. This is likely a reference to the Terminator film series' catchphrase "I'll be back." Furthermore, Touchdown's words here initiate a clip of music similar to that of the Terminator scores.
- In the job Getting Trashed, the top part of a silo behind the building is shaped after the top-half of the Death Star.
- Kimmy wields a double-bladed beam katana. This weapon may have been inspired by the dual-bladed lightsaber used by Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
- Suda named Desperate Struggle after the yakuza film Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Hiroshima Deathmatch.
- The black glove Shinobu wears over her right hand, which Touchdown severed in No More Heroes, may be a reference to the glove Luke Skywalker wears over his hand in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, which had also been previously severed.
- The scene where Touchdown encounters Nathan Copeland is visually reminiscent of a scene in the Alejandro Jodorowsky film The Holy Mountain.
- The Superwild-based T.I.E. motorcycle, which first appeared in No More Heroes, is a reference to the TIE Fighter vessel in Star Wars. These motorcycles have a glass panel on the front of the body similar to the one built into the cockpit module of TIE Fighters.
- The theme song for Motel "NO MORE HEROES" in Desperate Struggle is called "Bates." This is a reference to the Bates Motel in the film Psycho.
- The way Christel relates the story of Desperate Struggle trough a glass window in a stripping booth is a reference to a famous scene in the film Paris, Texas, which Suda has frequently cited as his favorite film.
- When activating Dark Side Mode, Touchdown utters, "Be one with the Force."
- Prison Island is likely a reference to the former prison island Alcatraz, also located in California.
- Jasper Batt Jr. attacks Touchdown with batarangs. In addition to this, above a doorway in Batt's office is an emblem inspired by the Batman logo.
- In the most obvious reference to ties between East and West in a Grasshopper title since killer7, the American Touchdown, associated with the tiger, faces off against the Japanese Ryuji, associated with the dragon, during Ranking Battle 7.
- Margaret Moonlight wields Le croissant du ange, a pair of sniper rifles modeled after scythes, and believes her qualities not to be unlike those of the Grim Reaper. Moonlight is the fourth-ranked assassin in the game, the Japanese number four being shi, another word for "death."
- The term Uncanny Valley is a hypothesis in the field of robotics which holds that when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. Considering Uncanny Valley's role as a clothing brand in the newly monopolized Santa Destroy, this is likely a jab at modern consumerism and conformity brought on by conglomeration.
- Touchdown faces off against Ryuji at Ironclaw Point at sunset. At this point in the story Touchdown has recently gained the beam katana pair Rose Nasty, while Ryuji enters the battle wielding a single, large beam katana. This encounter could have been heavily based on the famous duel of Miyamoto Mushashi and Sasaki Kojirō.
- Vladimir Taktarov wears an insignia similar to the Star Trek logo on his chest.
- Walsh has the ability to generate a high-pitched sonic "scream" for a variety of effects, potentially referencing the Thunderbolts character Screaming Mimi or DC Comics' Black Canary.
- Ashuras are a fanatical tier of deities found in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, most popularly known as multi-limbed and faced beings common in popular fiction, but are known in their respective religions as belligerent, indulgent, and materialistically inclined beings, notable for their anger, harsh temperaments and ignorance, ranking above humans yet lacked the means to have truly incarnated as devas and Bodhisattvas, seeking transcendent power and enlightenment through their own methods. Being born as an Ashura is also seen as one of the four unhappy births in Buddhist thought, representative of a human being driven by anger, always seeking violence, addicted to force and power, and incapable of making peaceful solutions and answers; despite their rankings above humankind, the fate of being born an Ashura is considered a path of suffering worse than human life, their lives always filled with neverending carnage and constant conflict. Considering the series' own focus on ultraviolence, assassins, and unrestrained fighting to the death, Alice may symbolically represent these demi-godly beings, considering her rank in the UAA, her weapon of choice, extraordinary combat skills, her outlook on life, and the ascetics training she has taken before her fight with Travis.
- In a cutscene, Sylvia says, "Anything less would be uncivilized." This sentence was used as the tagline in a commercial for Right Guard deodorant.
- The theming for Travis' character to be associated with a tiger, is a somewhat popular theming derived from the influential Chinese classic tale The Tiger of Chao-Cheng, where a feral tiger reforms in penance of his deed of devouring the son of an elderly woman; derived from this, often incorporated into Japanese literature, tiger themed characters start off antagonistic, yet grow as characters to be heroic protagonists in their own right after righting their wrongs. More modern examples would be the Street Fighter character Sagat and Rurouni Kenshin Jinchu Arc villain Yukishiro Enishi.
- The idea of Travis taking down the corrupted town of Santa Destroy under the influence of Pizza Batt is likely a nod to the Confucian proverb "Bad governance is worse than a rampaging tiger."
- After Shinbou's phone call with Christel in the cemetery, a gravestone bearing the name Hart is prominently shown. This may be a reference to wrestler Owen Hart, who had an untimely death during a pay-per-view event.
- In the game's teaser trailer, a row of buildings can be seen, topped by flags of Santa Destroy. Each building is numbered, with one building labeled "51," in reference to Suda's nickname, Suda 51.
- Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike makes a cameo appearance as a friend of Bishop who relays the Rose Nasty to Shinobu, which are to be delivered to Touchdown.
- The clothing store Airport 51 is also based on Suda's name as well as the previous store Area51.
- Touchdown begins the game ranked 51st in the United Assassins Association, another reference to Suda's nickname.
- Touchdown's keyring can be heard jingling as he walks. This is reportedly based on one of Suda's habits.
- A common thug in the game wears the same suit as Garcian in killer7.
- One of the shops in Santa Destroy is named Samantha's Soap Shop. This is likely a reference to Samantha Sitbon from killer7.
- Prison Island is a nod to the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid.
- Skelter Helter may have been based on Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII, wearing clothes similar in style and brandishing a beam katana similar to his Buster Sword.
- The brothel establishment where Touchdown visits Christel is called Heaven's Smile, a reference to the Heaven Smile enemies found in killer7.
- The increasing length of the Peony may be a reference to the Final Fantasy VI Ultima Weapon, a growing energy sword.
- The exceedingly long Peony beam katana model may have been inspired by the Final Fantasy VII Masamune, and like its wielder Sephiroth, Touchdown is capable of wielding it single-handedly.
- Twilight bares a strong resemblance to the Kingdom Hearts character Marluxia.
- After the player kills or defeats a boss, the kanji for "Dead" will appear on-screen. This is a reference to the death screen for killer7.
- The automobile repair shop Great Nick Auto is a reference to the Grand Theft Auto series.
Shadows of the DAMNEDEdit
Film and televisionEdit
- Act 2-4's title, "Riders of the Lost Heart" is a reference to the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Christopher sometimes proclaims, "Who you gonna call? Chris-topher!" to the tun of the Ghostbusters theme, which he proceeds to hum.
- Garcia Hotspur's quote in Act 4-5, "I'm a Mexi-can, Johnson, not a Mexi-can't," is derived from the film Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
- The credit roll disclaimer that no demons were harmed during production, bar George Reed's horse getting sick and a Goat Lamp being shot is similar to the disclaimer at the end of The Simpsons episode "Dog of Death."
- The title of Act 3-3, "As Evil as Dead", is a reference to the Evil Dead franchise. Other references include Johnson likening their predicament to a film when he and Hotspur retreat into a cabin, the demon trying to escape from the basement and Hotspur's quote, "My God, how do we stop them?"
- Hotspur compares the conclusion of The Legend of Stinky Crow to an Alanis Morissette song.
- The words on Hotspur's jacket, "Love will tear us apart" and "Dead souls" are Joy Division songs.
- At the library entrance in "Ghost Hunter," Johnson suggests that Hotspur "Dewey-decimate" his foes. This references the Dewey Decimal Classification.
- Suda is referenced shortly after slaying Maras Grim, by a signpost reading "51 Bridge Road."
- Characters named Paula and Justine previously appeared in another Grasshopper title, Michigan: Report from Hell, contrasting the Shadows of the DAMNED characters Paula and Justine Divangelo.
- Paula bares several similarities to the Devil May Cry character Trish. Both are beautiful women who suddenly appear to their respective protagonist (Dante in Devil May Cry and Hotspur in Shadows of the DAMNED), try to kill the protagonist on several occassions, are revealed to be powerful demons serving the main antagonist (Mundus in Devil May Cry and Fleming Whatshisfaces in Shadows of the DAMNED) and have origins that are left largely ambiguous.
- In contrast to Trish, Paula shares some qualities with Devil May Cry 3's Lady, as both characters possess similar hairstyles and heterochromia.
- The six wings of Paula's demonic form are a reference to the Seraphim, a race of angels who were said to appear as six-winged humans and were considered to be the angels closest to Yahweh. Coincidentally, Lucifer and several other demons were said to be Seraphim prior to their falls from grace.
- In the first stage, Johnson is puzzled by a diagram found on a building wall, which references the trajectory figures from Portal.
- The titles for Acts 4-2 and 4-4 are "Great Demon World Village" and "Great Demon World Forest." The Japanese title for the video game Ghosts n' Goblins is Makaimura, or "Demon World Village." The stage map seen throughout Shadows of the DAMNED also resembles the collage of stages in the Ghouls n' Ghosts games. Like Ghouls n' Ghosts' Arthur, Hotspur too is stripped of his clothing as he takes damage.
- Garcia Hotspur is similar to Dante from Devil May Cry in the fact that they both use guns, have a similarity in appearence and have some sort of demonic force attributed to them. Garcia has Johnson, a demon skull that turns into his weapons and Dante has demon blood from Sparda, a demon warrior who is also his father.
- When the first demons who extinguish Goat Lamps are encountered, Johnson asks Hotspur, "Would you kindly bust a cap in these motherfudgers before they turn off the lights?" The phrase "would you kindly" is a recurring line and central plot device in BioShock.
No More Heroes: Heroes ParadiseEdit
This section only contains material that is not referenced in the original Wii version of No More Heroes. For more references, see the No More Heroes section above.
- Heroes' Paradise contains a number of references to Suda's "Suda 51" moniker. Score Attack's Network Rankings list the top 51 PlayStation Network accounts with the most points. Among the game's 51 trophies are rewards for killing 51, 510 and 5100 thugs and destroying 51 and 510 objects using the Schpeltiger.
- The shirt Bad Girl wears in Very Sweet sports the logo for Heroes, an early name No More Heroes was given during development.
Evangerion Shin Gekijōban -Saundo Inpakuto-Edit
- The gameplay of Saundo Inpakuto seems to be entirely based on the premise of the ninth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, "Moment and Heart Together," where both Shinji Ikari and Asuka Langley Soryu are required to defeat the angel Israfel in synchronization through rhythm via dance and music.
- During one of the sequences of Teardrop, the telephone wires and background buildings appear on-screen in beat-sync with a particular drumbeat. Both are references to the video for Star Guitar by The Chemical Brothers
- The blast generated by Ronotra Koss' special weapon, the Punk Spirit, is based on the current Grasshopper Manufacture logo.
- Domus is alternatively referred to as "Ssob Pu Dekcuf," much like the Moor Pu Deckuf zone in Shadows of the DAMNED. When reversed these respectively spell "Fucked Up Boss" and "Fucked Up Room."
- One pre-release screenshot of Sine Mora features a billboard advertising Black Knight Sword.
- The Busujima Saeko and Miyamoto Rei costumes were borrowed from the anime Highschool of the Dead.
- The Haruna Costume was borrowed from the anime Is This a Zombie?.
- The Manyu Chifusa Costume was borrowed from the anime Manyū Hiken-chō.
- The Shiro Costume was borrowed from the anime Deadman Wonderland.
- After jumping on zombies in San Romero High School, the camera changes to Juliet's front with the zombies behind. She then says "You're already dead." before the zombies explode. This is no doubt a reference to the anime Hokuto no Ken.
- After slaying Lewis Legend, Starling insults Swan, calling him a "whiny, Myspace-haired jerk."
- Juliet Starling believes she may be a Facebook friend of the zombie outbreak's perpetrator, whom Starling surmises might have used the social website to learn her birthday so as to plan the attack for that date. Later a woman Starling saves tells her she will send a friend request, presumably also on Facebook.
- Starling's wish to insert an MP3 player into Carlyle's head so he can become a "boyfriend and an iPod, all in one," references Apple Inc.'s popular music device.
- Juliet ponders if Rosalind knew to give her the Nick Popper as a birthday gift after seeing it on Juliet's Amazon Wish List.
Film and televisionEdit
- A downloadable costume available with early purchases of Lollipop Chainsaw at Gamestop gives Starling the appearance of Ash Williams in The Evil Dead.
- Anastasia was allegedly arrested for breaking into actor Seth Green's house, where she played with his Star Wars figurines.
- Carlyle mentions that it would be funny to see zombies wrestling. This occurs in the film Land of the Dead.
- Carlyle reacts to Legend's many comebacks by pondering if he and Starling are being "punk'd," in reference to the prank television series Punk'd.
- In a drunken binge, Christine received a High School Musical tattoo.
- In his lifetime, Peter's favorite film was The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie, which he instated as required watching at his San Romero Baptist Church Sunday Bible study group.
- Seeing Vikke, Starling remarks, "Well if it isn't the Pirates of the Jerk-off-ian," referencing the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.
- Starling calls Chat, the black chicken monster on the O'Bannon Farm, Foghorn Leghorn. This is the name of a Looney Tunes character.
- Starling and Nick Carlyle's puzzlement over running zombies references the remade Dawn of the Dead film, in which zombies are presented as agile. The film is again referenced by the twenty-fifth lollipop wrapper, labelled Dawn of the Candy, and once more with Samantha who is described as thinking running zombies were stupid before ultimately becoming one.
- Starling comments on the Walt Disney characters Chip 'n' Dale when observing Zed's interest in torturing small animals.
- Starling's exclamation "If it bleeds, I can kill it" references a line in the science fiction film Predator.
- Starling is startled by the zombified Ryu's use of a firearm. In the film Day of the Dead, the zombie Bub learns how to shoot a handgun.
- The Star Wars character C-3PO is listed among Josey's interests.
- The trophy Zed's Dead, Baby, Zed's Dead references a line of dialogue in the film Pulp Fiction.
- Tobe is said to have stabbed his mother's thigh with a sharpened pencil because she did not record a Game of Thrones episode.
- When Starling and Carlyle enter the second arcade game at the Fulci Fun Center, Josey exclaims, "I'm Josey James, bitch!" This is a reference to comedian Dave Chappelle's "I'm Rick James, bitch!" quote on the sketch comedy series Chappelle's Show.
- When a student en route to the Stadium is rescued, he claims that "Girls in Kenya have big butts."
- Bathory and Enslaved are listed among Vikke's interests.
- Caryle sometimes shouts "Jerry Lee Suckass is a real pain" during the battle with Legend, referencing musician Jerry Lee Lewis.
- Chuck Berry and Eddie Cochrane are listed among Legend's interests.
- En route to the Stadium, Caryle cries, "I can't get this Katy Perry song out of my head. What a terrible way to die!"
- If Starling is slain, she utters, "Oops... I did it again." This is a reference to the Britney Spears song of the same name.
- In his lifetime, Jerry was the drummer for a Chumbawamba tribute band.
- In the thirteenth telephone message, Rosalind informs Starling that she is listening to Mindless Self Indulgence, whose singer Little Jimmy Urine voices Zed in Lollipop Chainsaw.
- Jefferson Airplane is listed among Mariska's interests.
- Joy Division's song "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is referenced by a zombie shouting "Love is tearing me apart."
- Lucid is said to have cried upon learning the members of Slayer did not worship Satan.
- Michael Bublé is listed among Killabilly's interests.
- Mikaela is said to have danced to Pink Floyd's The Wall in front of her mirror for an hour.
- Parliament-Funkadelic and Rick James are listed among Josey's interests.
- Rosalind is described as wanting to slay Justin Bieber to claim his skull.
- Starling wonders aloud what "goo goo g'joob" means. This is a lyric in the Beatles song "I Am the Walrus."
- The Misfits and Black Flag are listed among Zed's interests. The Misfits are again referenced when a zombie cries "Die, die my darling," one of their song titles.
- Brett believed in conspiracies regarding unidentified flying objects, Bigfoot, September 11 attacks and felt Keebler Elves in his head, controlling his thoughts with levers.
- Carlyle asks Starling is she has ever tasted a space cake, which she assumes is slang for Ding Dong snacks.
- At the Fulci Fun Center, Carlyle claims to spot zombies performing the moonwalk and robot dances.
- Fitzgibbon previously attended furry conventions, even taking part in furpiles.
- Mark is said to have used Photoshop to superimpose Starling's head over "Miss April 2008," although it isn't stated who this Miss April was crowned by.
- When Carlyle grows dizzy on the O'Bannon Farm, he remarks that the feeling reminds him of when he was roofied by a Father O'Malley, referencing Catholic sex abuse scandals.
- When Starling arrives at San Romero High School and discovers zombies, she exclaims, "OMFG," abbreviating "Oh my fucking God." Another online term is used when Starling is amused by the thought of looking down on a horde of zombies in the formation of a smile emoticon.
- While fighting Vikke, Carlyle jokes that the Dark Purveyor is auditioning for Stomp 2, referencing the percussion dance troupe Stomp.
- A student Starling rescues in the parking lot notes that his favorite President of the United States is Warren G. Harding.
- Aldous Huxley is listed among Mariska's interests. She also refers to Huxley's novel The Doors of Perception.
- Black chicken monsters in the hallucinations on the O'Bannon Farm are referred to as Colonel Sanders' worst nightmare by Carlyle.
- Carlyle's quip about the idiot who came up with the idea of running zombies references Lollipop Chainsaw co-writer James Gunn, who wrote nimble zombies into the film remake Dawn of the Dead. The trophy Gunn Struck is another reference to Gunn. Gunn may have inspired the game's comic book-inspired menus and segueways, after working on the superhero film Super in 2010.
- During the fight with Legend, Carlyle wonders if Ashton Kutcher will come out admit he and Starling have been punk'd.
- Fulci Fun Center borrows its name from Lucio Fulci, an Italian director famous in the zombie genre for helming the film Zombi 2.
- Killabilly takes his appearance after Elvis Presley.
- M. Night Shyamalan is listed among Killabilly's interests.
- San Romero High School is a reference to zombie film pioneer George A. Romero. An early named zombie, George, may also be a nod to the filmmaker.
- Seth Green is referenced with the character Anastasia, who is said to have felt a spiritual connection with the actor, breaking into his house to play with his action figures.
- Starling continually mistakes Josey's speaking through Auto-Tune as an imitation of Stephen Hawking.
- Starling is referred to as "the Babe Ruth" of Zombie Baseball.
- Starling sarcastically calls Swan and Legend "Mary-Kate and Ashley," in reference to the Olsen twins.
- Starling's Pin-up Outfit is an allusion to American model Bettie Page.
- The Little Jimmy Urine Outfit is inspired by the looks of musician Jimmy Urine, who voices Zed in the game.
- The trophy JULIET51 references the nickname of director Goichi Suda, Suda 51. Furthermore, on PlayStation 3, players who obtain the game's 50 trophies are awarded an additional platinum trophy, bringing the total to 51. As with Shadows of the DAMNED and Heroes' Paradise, this is likely an unintentional reference, as there are not 51 achievements in the Xbox 360 version.
- When the zombie Stephanie is slain, she cries, "Now I hate you more than Carrot Top," referencing the comedian.
- DokuroMen share a resemblance with Pac-Man, and are even encountered in a similar-styled maze.
- Lollipop Chainsaw shares several elements with Grasshopper's earlier efforts, such as Starling's incoming phone calls and the death of her mentor, much like the cost of Thunder Ryu's life during Travis Touchdown's quest to become number one in No More Heroes. Starling's alliance with a disembodied head is also akin to Garcia Hotspur's partnership with the floating skull, Johnson, in Shadows of the DAMNED. Zed uses special attacks previously displayed by Henry Cooldown in No More Heroes, such as his spinning jump drop and a dashing thrust; he also sports a similar look to the one seen in Letz Shake's concept art, with a shaved towering red mohawk cut atop his pale face. Starling's Nick Popper shooting mode is much like Touchdown's Blueberry Cheese Brownie, in that movement becomes limited, firerate is slow and a similar camera angle is used.
- Super Mario is referenced with Caryle's quip about "a little dude in a red cap and blue overalls."
- The Tricolour arcade cabinet has a similar playing field as that seen in Q*bert.
- When Starling and Carlyle become part of Josey's video game Funk Patrol, they are essentially trapped in a Pac-Man maze. Upon noticing this, Carlyle notes that, "things just got all Commodore 64," Starling retorting that their foe, a DokuroMan, thinks they're "blue ghosts." The third game they enter is a variation of Breakout.
Killer Is DeadEdit
- Killer Is Dead borrows its title from the Smiths album The Queen Is Dead. The first scene of the game fades into the sight of a chessboard with a fallen Queen piece.
- Most of the chapters are name "The Man Who Did Something". This might be a reference to David Bowie's album "The Man Who Sold the World".
Let It DieEdit
- One of the games advertised in the Hated Arcade is "Bigmouth Strikes Again", which is the name of a Smiths song.
- The fountain in the center of the Waiting Room is called the Vanishing Point, which is the name of a song by New Order; it was also the first New Order song to be referenced in The Silver Case.
- Uncle Death refers to the game Rogue when he calls Let It Die a roguelike, which is a term referring to any game that is "like" "Rogue", i.e. following the basic design concepts that were codified by Rogue (random area generation and permadeath).
Travis Strikes Again: No More HeroesEdit
- In the game's trailer, Touchdown's trailer contains a "20th Anniversary Marvelous!" decal. This alludes to publisher Marvelous Entertainment having recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary on June 25, 2017.
- Grasshopper Manufacture references itself when the Hotline Miami Carl Mask appears on Touchdown's television. This locust mask resembles a grasshopper.
- Nintendo is referenced in Touchdown's trailer where a T-shirt hangs and reads, "Flick of the Switch." A gloved hand also appears on the shirt, performing a flicking gesture. This references Mario and the Nintendo Switch console.
- Travis Strikes Again is named after "Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths.
- The Travis Strikes Again logo resembles that of the television series Stranger Things, itself a reference to classic Stephen King novel covers.
- Touchdown is playing Hotline Miami when Badman bursts into his trailer. The game's masks are also scrolled through, with the Louie, Phil, Nigel, Earl, Jones and Carl Masks being shown on the television.
- Touchdown wears a shirt which reads, "Unreal Engine is killing wasted resources." The Unreal Engine is the game engine Grasshopper has largely used since Shadows of the DAMNED.
- The backstory of the Death Drive console line was inspired by the urban legend video game Polybius.
- ↑ The CIA: Complete Internet Database
- ↑ Two new playable characters, the final word on MotionPlus, Classic Controller support, obscure trivia, and exclusive new screenshots. Matt Leone. 1UP.com. September 17, 2009.