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Literary and other references in the BG games

KalesraKalesra Member Posts: 234
There are a number of literary, historical and pop culture references in the Baldur's Gate series. For example:

Marlowe and Vongoethe from ToB are a reference to Christopher Marlowe (author of Dr. Faustus) and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (a German who later wrote Faust). Both works tell the story of a man who sold his soul to the devil for wealth and power. If you know who Marlowe and Vongoethe are in ToB that makes sense.

Cyrando from the Temple District could be inspired by Cyrano de Bergerac.

Jan Jansen may be a nod to this infinitely recursive rhyme which appears in Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5:

My name is Yon Yonson,
I work in Wisconsin,
I work in a lumbermill there.
The people I meet when I walk down the street,
They say, "What's your name?"
And I say,
"My name is Yon Yonson,
I work in Wisconsin..."

It fits because Jan Jansen pretty much never shuts the hell up.

Xzar says "I am become death, destroyer of worlds." This is something J. Robert Oppenheimer said in an interview about atomic bomb testing. He was quoting the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu religious text where this line was spoken by the god Vishnu.

"Oh Captain, my Captain" (spoken by the Spectator Beholder in ToB) is the title of a poem by Walt Whitman. [edited...I wrote play before because sleep deprivation.]

The moose and squirrel in a cage in Waukeen's Promenade in Athkatla must be a reference to Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Anyone else know of others?

Post edited by Kalesra on


  • madcatmadcat Member Posts: 9
    Peter of the North
    Man with a big stick who likes damp caves.
    Likly an nod to the adult performer Peter North (NSFW)

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    Alora, Dynaheir and likely other characters, have quotes from Songs in their lines. Dynaheir's "These Boots are Made for Walking, and that's just what they'll do." Is from Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made for Walking". Alora's "Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together right now," is from "Get Together" by the Youngbloods. Alora's "Happy Happy Joy Joy" is from a Ren and Stimpy episode. Coran's "Luck Be a Lady" is from the Frank Sinatra song of the same name. Quayle's "I am Smart! S-M-R_-T" is from the Simpson's episode where Homer goes back to college.

    Gotta love Stinky Wizzleteats!

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,797
    Xzar makes another reference. His "tell me about the rabbits" quote is a said by Lennie in the book Of Mice and Men.

    Actually, I think that Xzar and Montaron in general were supposed to be references to Lennie and George, respectively, from that book. One of the characters is much taller than the other one, and the taller character has serious mental issues. They travel around searching for a job. They don't really like each other that much, but they travel together because of some sort of obligation that isn't very well explained at first.

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