This page lists well-established allusions in Brütal Legend.
In a reverse reference, the song "Betrayal" by Lita Ford, which is featured on the Soundtrack and written specifically for the game, makes a number of references to the Drowning Doom faction. These include the "Sea of Black Tears" as well as allusions to betrayal and the feeling of such, which the darker form of Ophelia has been vocal about since Eddie Riggs left her for dead.
The demon that Eddie strangles in the debut trailer for the game makes a not-so-noticeable appearance in the game. He seems to be the creature being tortured on the Screamwagon. His voice is different, as well, being changed from the deep, narrator-like voice of the Warfathers to a whiny, higher pitched voice.
One of the paint jobs available in the Motor Forge is called "Wagon of Bones," a reference to the Bone Wagon from Grim Fandango, another Tim Schafer game. Furthermore, its description states "No one will think it’s a company car," in reference to the fact that the Bone Wagon was a company car turned hot rod. When the player highlights this paint job on the menu, the Guardian Of Metal simply says "That's grim," in reference to Grim Fandango as a whole. Similarly, the character Fletus is a demon with an obsession for fast cars, much like his spiritual predecessor Glottis from Grim Fandango.
During the opening cinematic, one of the Kabbage Boy band members is dancing on Eddie Riggs’s stage and nearly falls to his death. The dance and noise the character makes is the same dance (at 0:40) performed by both Razputin and Bobby in Double Fine Productions' previous game, Psychonauts. The goggles that Jack (the Death Rack operator) wears are copies of those Razputin wore in Psychonauts. Richard Horvitz, who voiced Razputin, also voiced the band member as well as Jack the Death Rack operator.
There is a Razputin head that can be put on Mount Rockmore, and an achievement/trophy called Whispering Rock for putting four of them on there. Whispering Rock is the name of the summer camp in Psychonauts.
There is a great deal of non-standard dialogue in the game that can be heard depending on what the player does. For example, when first meeting Ophelia, if a player attempts to activate the Relic while there are still enemies to kill in the shrine, Ophelia and Eddie argue:
Ophelia: [fighting enemies] Are you going you help me fight or not?Eddie: Oh yeah... right. I'll be right there. You should totally come check this out after.”
If a player looks at the shrine when Ophelia is over by the door:
Ophelia: Over here you F!Eddie: Oh, right.”
Also, if a player drives off the collapsing bridge from the Feeding Area, they may hear this reference to Rocky Horror Picture Show before they die, among other quotes:
Call of the WildEdit
When Eddie plays his Call of the Wild solo, he will occasionally say "Call of the Wild was my favorite book!" This is a reference to the book of the same name by Jack London.
Ophelia's name is a reference to a character of the same name in Shakespeare's Hamlet. The two even share a similar fate.
It's also possible that the faction name Tainted Coil is a reference to Prince Hamlet's famous 'to be or not to be speech', in which he refers to dying as 'shuffling off this mortal coil', the coil being the burden of life. Thus, the Tainted Coil would be an evil, corrupted existence.
Bride of FrankensteinEdit
When her veil is off (as seen in her concept art), the Bride's hair has white streaks running down it, possibly referencing the titular character of the movie.
The Bride unit may be a reference to another of Tim Burton's movies, "The Corpse Bride", given the visual style of the Drowning Doom is reminiscent of Tim Burton's work.
The falling crow on Ophelia's sword (later becomes the coat of arms for the Drowning Doom) may be a reference to the movie "The Crow", most specifically the character Eric Draven that becomes "The Crow" after dying because of an unjust attack on his home. Both Eric and Ophelia created an alter ego (Eric became the Crow, Ophelia created Drowned Ophelia), both have a distinct crow symbol on their person, and both willingly serve what would seem to be Darkness itself (Drowned Ophelia wants revenge on Eddie, while Eric wants to slay the mob boss that killed him). This theory becomes more possible as The Crow at a few points plays his guitar on the rooftops to all that will listen and quite often a more gothic tone than he played in life.
A Nightmare Before ChristmasEdit
During "Dry Ice, Wet Graves" one can overhear Ophelia saying "You got a problem? Talk to Jack." a reference to Jack Skellington from Tim Burton's classic film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Additionally, it may be a reference to Eddie's Voice Actor, Jack Black.
When the player tries to access the Motor Forge section with "Locked" on it, The Guardian of Metal says "You're not worthy...yet". Wayne and Garth in both Wayne's World movies chant "We're not worthy!" repeatedly while bowing on their knees many times when in the presence of rock legend, Alice Cooper.
The Deuce upgrade 'A Touch too Much Armor', is a reference to the AC/DC song "Touch Too Much." Also, the axe treatment 'Razor's Edge' is a reference to the song of the same name, from the album of the same name, and the 'High Voltage' guitar strings are a reference to AC/DC's album High Voltage.
It is also noticeable that Fletus' clothing, gruff Geordie voice and affinity for cars are all taken from AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson and that Mangus' name is a reference to both Angus and Malcom Young, founders of AC/DC.
The "Special Tribute" section, below, also contains a tribute to a former AC/DC member.
When Eddie stuns, rides and dismounts a beast, he will occasionally say "Run wild, wild and free!" This is a possible reference to the Hard Rock band Airbourne most well-known song, "Runnin' Wild.", the lyrics are "Runnin' wild and free." Coincidentally, the video for the song features Lemmy Killmister, who voices the Kill Master.
This could also be a reference to the band Running Wild, the Iron Maiden song "Running Free", or to Judas Priest songs "Leather Rebel" (which contains the line "Runnin' wild and free" and is part of the game's soundtrack) and/or "Running Wild".
When Eddie is on top of the Death Rack, he says "Death from above, by car!" which is a reference to the song "Death From Above" by Anthrax. The achievement/trophy Death from Above also makes the same reference.
When you purchase the "A Touch Too Much Armor" Deuce Upgrade, the Guardian of Metal says "Wow! Someone's a little paranoid." This is a reference to Black Sabbath's second album, Paranoid, which contains a song of the same name.
Sabbath Bloody SabbathEdit
The achievement "Practice Bloody Practice", for winning an AI stage battle on any difficulty, is a reference to Black Sabbath's studio album "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath".
When Eddie says the name of the band will be named "Ironheade, with an 'e'", it may refer to the way John Lennon named the Beatles: "We will be 'The Beatles', but with an 'e'".
On one of Tenacious D's tours they were in New Zealand. They met two kids that were street musicians, and the D had those two kids open for their concert that night. The kids' band was named Black Tear.
Blue Öyster CultEdit
When a Metal Beast destroys the enemy stage, the Zaulia riding it may say "History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man." This is a very obvious reference to the Blue Oyster Cult song "Godzilla."
The Drowning Doom's merch booth is called the Well Of Souls, a reference to the Candlemass song of the same name.
Eddie Riggs has a very similar appearance to Glenn Danzig, lead singer of the bands Danzig and The Misfits, this similarity is also pointed out by Toki Wartooth on the Metalocalypse Brutal Legend debut and Dethklok tour promo.
Pickles: Let's fire him when he gets back, just to see the look on his face. When he gets back, okay?
Toki Wartooth: But I likes him. He cuts the crusts off my peanut butters and jelly sandwiches and he looks like Danzigs.Nathan Explosion: Yeah, but young Danzig when he was still something.”
The Druid unit type belonging to the Tainted Coil resemble the skeletal creatures on the album cover of Scream Bloody Gore by the band Death. This album is often credited as being one of the first Death Metal albums and the band itself has been highly infuential on the genre.
Inside the Motor Forge there is a titan demon in the background behind some cave columns and stalactites which resembles the demon on the Dio album Holy Diver. Ronnie James Dio was also to be the original voice of Emperor Doviculus, but was later replaced by Tim Curry.
The Frightwig, a monster that takes the shape of a woman's head and hair, may be a reference to the band Fright Wig.
The mission named "A Number of the Beasts", along with the achievement "Ran to the Hills" are references of the titles of two Iron Maiden songs: "The Number of the Beast" and "Run to the Hills". Also the achievement "Flowerslave" is a reference of the song "Powerslave" by Iron Maiden.
The Bleeding Death is summoned from the sky in an actual Iron Maiden (torture device).
The landmark viewers have the tops of their "skulls" cut open and replaced by a metal piece with a screw in the front - just like Eddie on the "Piece of Mind" album cover.
Eddie Riggs, the star of Brütal Legend, got his name from two sources: "Eddie the Head", the official mascot of Iron Maiden, and Derek Riggs, the artist who first illustrated the mascot.
The Guitar Solo 'Battle Cry' (which is on Lars Halford's sword of the same name) refers to lyrics from the Judas Priest song "One Shot at Glory". The lyrics referred to are "Let me hear the Battle Cry" and "I still hear the Battle Cry", and the song is played during the first battle against General Lionwhyte's forces.
Breaking the LawEdit
In the music video of this Judas Priest song, the band robs a bank armed with guitars rather than guns. It is possible that this is where the idea of guitars as weapons came from in the game (e.g. Eddie playing Clementine to attack his enemies with pyrotechnic explosions and electricity).
Also, if Eddie is near a portable toilet (in the on the beach party for example) the player can hear someone whistling the song's main riff.
The "Eternal Fire Beast Ormagöden" may have been derived from the Judas Priest song "Heavy Metal", specifically from the lyrics "An armor plated raging beast that's born of steel and leather".
One of the guitar string upgrades in the Motor Forge are called "Destroyers", which is a reference to the KISS album Destroyer.
The gear and the Metal Beasts of the Zaulia are all references to the band KISS. Their war paint is a combination of the face paint worn by KISS and the face paint worn by black metal vocalist King Diamond. Also, on the top of the Zaulia temple is a drum set, which is a Peter Criss tribute for they also wear his face paint. Eddie can also wear the face paint of Tommy Thayer (and Ace Frehley) who are other wise referred to as the "Space Man" by downloading the Hammer of Infinite Fate expansion pack.
Kage the Kannonier, who appears in the Summon Fiery Death Secondary Missions, has the body of a Bouncer and the head of Kyle Gass. Kyle is Jack Black's bandmate in Tenacious D (which has a couple of tracks in the Mouth of Metal). "Kage" is Kyle's nickname, derived from his initials "KG".
The Bring it on Home guitar solo is a tribute to Led Zeppelin, one of the earliest influences in heavy metal music. The name of the solo comes from one of the tracks on Led Zeppelin II, a cover version of the song made famous by Sonny Boy Williamson. The flaming zeppelin that falls out of the sky is both a reference to the band's name and the cover of their self-titled debut album.
Lita Halford's appearance and first name is based on The Runaways lead guitarist turned solo artist Lita Ford. Lita Ford voiced Rima and also performed the song Betrayal, written specifically for the game.
When the Lamprey destroys the gatehouse during "Welcome to the Age of Metal", the Deuce ramps out of the debris with Eddie and Ophelia leaning way back in their seats with their eyes closed (seen here and here). This is a reference to Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell album cover.
Sometimes when ordering his men to attack, Eddie may say "Take no prisoners!" which is a reference to the song of the same name by the band Megadeth.
Kill 'em AllEdit
When Eddie sends his men to attack, he may say "Kill 'em all!" which refers to Metallica's debut album of the same name. Lionwhyte's army, the "Hair Metal Militia", may be a reference to Metallica's song "Metal Militia", also from their debut album.
Lars Halford’s first name may be a reference to Metallica co-founder Lars Ulrich.
Ride the LightningEdit
One of the primary weapons available in the Motor Forge is called the Bolt Thrower, referencing the death metal band of the same name. When you highlight this item on the menu, the Guardian of Metal says "Why don't you make someone else ride your lightning for a change?", which is a reference to Metallica's second album, "Ride the Lightning" that contains a song of the same name.
Several references to Motörhead are made in addition to the significant role of the band's founder Lemmy Kilmister in the game as the similarly-named Kill Master and several of the band's tracks being available via the Mouth of Metal.
Ace of HadesEdit
One of the Paint Jobs available in the Motor Forge is called "Ace of Hades," which the Guardian of Metal describes as "Let them know you don’t wanna live forever," a reference to Motörhead’s song "Ace of Spades." When you highlight this paint job on the menu, the Guardian says: "Oh I hate puns!"
Keep Us On The RoadEdit
When selecting primary weapons for The Deuce while in the Motor Forge, The Guardian of Metal will say "Something to keep your company on the road?" This is a reference to Motorhead's song "Keep Us On The Road".
No Sleep 'til BattersmithEdit
Earlier pictures of Eddie’s belt buckle look very much like classic metal band Motörhead’s official logo, 'Snaggletooth'. However, the version conspicuously featured in the first Brütal Legend theatrical trailer looks a little more distinctive. There are also stone structures of Snaggletooth along the path to the Kill Master.
In addition to appearing in the game as the Guardian of Metal and having several tracks available via the Mouth of Metal, Ozzy Osbourne is heavily referenced in the side mission "Fiery in the Pad, Man!". The "Special Tribute" section, below, also contains a tribute to a former member of Ozzy's band.
Fiery in the Pad, Man!Edit
Dadbat, the father of the bat family near the wraith tree, was voiced by Ozzy Osbourne. His portrayal as a bat is a reference to the time he famously bit the head off a bat during a live show (not realising that it was a real one until Sharon told him). The other bats are based on his family, referencing his success on "The Osbournes". While the Dad Bat also bears a likeness to the character Beetlejuice, the giant head on the bat bears a more striking resemblance to Ozzy's appearance on the cover art from his "Bark at the Moon" album and the video for "Bark At The Moon". The bat also threatens to "Bite your head off."
If the player attempts to enter the cave without first talking to the Dad Bat, he will swoop down on Eddie in an effort to ward him away. Eddie will then say one of three things. When Eddie says 'STOP' the Bat will say 'I Don't Want to Stop', a reference to the song off of Ozzy Osbourne's album Black Rain. When Eddie says 'Go Away' the Bat will say 'I'm Not Going Away', another song off the Black Rain album. When Eddie says 'Fucking Die' the Bat will say 'Never Say Die', a reference to the album and song title by Black Sabbath.
The name 'Dadbat' may also be a pun on Heavy Metal band Avenged Sevenfold's mascot, the Deathbat.
No More TearsEdit
The appearance of the Landmark Viewers, specifically the forks over the skull's "eyes," is a reference to the Blackout album cover by the Scorpions, which is itself a self-portrait by the artist Gottfried Helnwein.
Additionally, it may be a reference to the band Rammstein and the cover of the Sehnsucht album, in which the band members have their faces being contorted by machinery/pieces of metal; one of the members has forks over his eyes. This album cover was photographed by Gottfried Helnwein. The Tainted Coil's Warfather units also have forks over their eyes.
The appearance of the Zaulia is like the women in the music video "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by the Scorpions.
On page seven of the game's manual, under the Fans section, the following sentence appears (which can also be seen on the Fan Geyser article): "Every metalhead that spews forth is now your devotee, giving you the resources to fill out your war ensemble." This is a reference to the Slayer song "War Ensemble." Also the song "Metal Storm/The Face of Slayer" is one of the many songs in the Mouth of Metal. Also the mission "It's Raining Blood" is a reference to the song with the same name from slayer.
The Headbanger unit will often say upon seeing the Emperor "We're not going to take it anymore!", a direct line from the song "We're Not Gonna Take It".
The microphone of General Lionwhyte is decorated with scarves like the microphones used by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler.
Special Tribute DatesEdit
On February 19, the loading icon is replaced with a lightning bolt. This is a tribute to AC/DC's former vocalist, Bon Scott, who died on this date in 1980.
The autosave logo changes from Ormagöden's head to RR on March 19, as a tribute to Ozzy Osbourne's former guitarist Randy Rhoads , who was killed in a plane crash on this date in 1982.
On December 8, the Ormagöden loading icon is replaced by a Dime icon. This is a tribute to heavy metal guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was shot and killed during an onstage performance on December 8, 2004.