So, I’d welcome anyone who has a more than vague recollection of books they’ve read 15 to 20 years ago to pitch in if they notice anything else.
Whoever created those instances seems to be a massive classical literature/mythology nerd.
Let’s talk about PoH first. What first rang a bell for me was the name of the final boss of the instance, Phobettor. Although spelled differently, Phobetor (or the Frightener) is a reference to the personification of nightmares (depicted as a beast, serpent or bird) from Ovid’s Metamorphoses .
Keeping with the theme of Metamorphoses the work is composed of 15 books which is sometimes grouped into 4 divisions (the 4 floors of PoH).
- The Devine Comedy. (Cyberdemon)
- The Avenging Gods. (Azdaja a malevolent dragon from Slavic folklore)
- The Pathos of Love. (The Maiden)
- Rome and the Deified Ruler. (Phobettor himself).
Although apart from floor 2 and 3 I don’t quite see the connection between the themes of the divisions and the bosses themselves.
Two further things worth mentioning here, the sigils dropped in the instance needed to create the Awakened armor set are clear references to Dante Alighieri and Niccolò Machiavelli both classical authors (tho references to Dante’s works pop up in other places too), the second thing is how the sigils collected from the instance whose final boss is the personification of nightmares creates an awakened armor.
Now the Condemned Subway.
The first boss of the Subway, Eliminator Shiro is an agent who for some reason wears a dog mask, which I think is a reference to Cerberus the guard dog of the underworld, guarding the entrance to it.
The 2nd boss (if you chose to not leave it for last) is Eumedines is a reference to a part of the Oresteia. The Eumedines is another name for the Greek Furies or Erinyes (agents of justice) who pursue Orestes for his crime but eventually show mercy towards him after the intervention of the Goddess Athena, after which these agents of justice are refereed to as the Eumedines (the merciful) representing mercy in justice when warranted.
The Slum Queen, could be a reference to Echidna as the mother of monsters as she spawns and spams spiders.
The Psion on the other hand could perhaps a reference to Typhon who is associated with a gaze that creates fires and causes volcanic activity, as the Psion spams fires throughout the fight.
But again, I think these two might be a bit of a stretch.
I’m a loss about Bloodcreeper. I honestly don’t think it really refers to anything mythological but rather is a callback to the Bloodcreeper from the original lowbie Subway.
The next boss is perhaps the most explicitly obvious one. Virgil and his work the Aeneid, Virgil ties back to Dante’s Inferno as in that work he acts as Dante’s guide through hell.
Abmouth Supremus is a bit more complicated. I personally believe it could be a reference to Ugolino a historical figure (who was starved to death with his children) and was placed in the final circle of hell by Dante where he was tortured with a constant hunger.
So, what do you guys think? Am I reading too much into this? Did I miss anything? Am I just straight up wrong?