The Agent Network and Pop Culture Sources


#1

I think that it has been well established that popular culture references have been used in numerous Agent character and Mission creations.

Some are super obvious, however i’d wager some more vague and tenuous in identification.
List any correlations if you can.


#2
  • Drill Deeper series - Arthurian legend / Rathad Chaluim

The ‘Drill Deeper’ series revolves around the legendary island of Avalon, suggested as being off the coast of Scotland. Avalon is a strongly featured location in Arthurian legend, and according to Historia Regum Britanniae is the place where Excalibur was forged.

Visitors to the remote island of Raasay, which lies off the north west coast of the Scottish mainland, would be told the tale of a local ageing crofter and lighthouse keeper who had single-handedly cut the ~3km island road (Rathad Chaluim) over a 10 year period using only his hands, spade, pick and wheel-barrow. A little known and super-human effort already makes Calum MacLeod (1911-88) a genuine secret world legend.

  • Agent Margot Crowley-Mathers is probably a reference to British occultists and Secret Chief correspondents Aleister Crowley and Samuel Liddell Mathers.

  • Agent Virgil refers to the Roman poet who acted as Dante’s guide through Hell and Purgatory.

  • Warlawurru is the Wedge-tailed eagle of Warlpiri Dreamtime legend.

Other connections include;

• A Most Dangerous Game - The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
• Ape On A Boat - Snakes On A Plane
• Dante’s Circle - The Ninth Gate / Inferno
• Dead Peeps Walking - The Walking Dead
• Don’t Fall Asleep - A Nightmare on Elm Street
• Flowers For Dipodidae - Flowers for Algernon
• From The Heart, You Don’t Know Me - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
• It Looks Like Us - I, Robot
• NOW Can I Have One? - Gremlins
• Quite A Party - Die Hard / Nothing Lasts Forever
• Riotsville - Riot (2015) / Oakdale Prison Riot
• Roll Of The Dice - Jumanji
• The Missing Piece - conspiracy of Tutankhamen’s removed penis
• The Round House - Stickney Mansion
• They Only Come Out at Night - Friday the 13th
• To Catch A Killer - Evan & Peel Detective Agency London bar


#3

I haven’t investigated much into the agent network but I imagine Dax Reagan agent is based off of Zak Bagans.


#4

I forgot the name and RNG didn’t make it pop up again, but there’s a mission with a puzzle box that opens a portal to basically hell. - Hellraiser.


#5

Nice finds! :intel:

  • I Don’t Want to Believe & Agent Sarah Skelly - The X-Files.

#6

A little amusingly, Agent Saenchai Khamsing is named after an actual Muay Thai boxer, whose professional name, per Muay Thai tradition, once incorporated both his own (Saenchai) and that of his sponsor (Somluck Khamsing). Hardly a flattering homage, given Agent Saenchai’s background!

Agent Wu Liang-Zhi’s name, more amusingly, could be translated in Mandarin Chinese as ‘no conscience’, which is hugely ironic given her profession and personality. Of course, the name would very well mean something else, but without the exact pronunciation it’s difficult to tell.

Agent Ann Thophora is, of course, named after the bee genus Anthophora.

Agent Queen Ranavalona IV may be fictional but her ancestor was not.

Agent Ibrahim de la Fuente takes his name from the Fountain (‘fuente’ in Spanish) of Youth he seeks. It’s possible his first name is also a reference to Abraham…

Agent Pierre Delacroix shares his first name with the founder of the Priory of Sion, which he is a member of. Further, his last name is French for ‘of the Cross’, a reference to the conspiracy theory that the Priory protected the secret of the lineal descendants of Christ.


#7

Down the Drain (t2 mission) – Super Mario Brothers
Hickory Dickory Dock (t5 mission) – The Hellbound Heart / Hellraiser
Night Terrors (“special” mission) - The Dreams in the Witch House by H.P. Lovecraft

Edit: found the mission name I’d forgotten.


#8

The agent Victor Cromley’s name is a reference to Victor Crowley, the villain from the Hatchet series of slasher movies. The actual character isn’t based on Crowley, but he does seem to be based on Dexter Morgan (to wit: they’re both forensic technicians who moonlight as serial killers, hunting those they see as having escaped justice), right down to him looking like Michael C. Hall.


#9

Awesome additions everyone! :intel:

  • The Great Jinn Escape - The Great Escape (1963)

#10
  • Tick, Tick, Boom! - Die Hard with a Vengeance / Inferno (2016)/Angels & Demons (2009) Which, in addition to being about riddle solving to find a hidden bomb, is also about the Templar’s difficulty in adapting to evolving science and technology, and causing a lot of trouble in an attempt to pin it on the Illuminati, but failing.
    So likely Dragon is involved. Probably represented by some incidental character like a tour guide or little girl in the square.

#11

Welcome to the Jungle - a song by Guns N’ Roses

Shipping Up to Boston - a song by Dropkick Murphys

A Lurker by Any Other Name - a reference to the phrase “a rose by any other name” used in Romeo and Juliet


#12

They Only Come Out at Night - (Edit: Friday the 13th horror films) / music album by Edgar Winter Group (cover art mentioned in Stephen King’s 'Salem’s Lot) / a name of a music track by Finnish hard rock/heavy metal band Lordi and the book title to a s supernatural tale of urban terror by F.M. Kearney, based in the New York City subway system.

Aliens mostly come at night…


#14

Something From the Snow / The Land of Ice and Snow / Those Are Some Huge Footprints

The Thing / The Thing from Another World / Who Goes There?


#15


#16

Jerónimo de Montejo - Likely a merging of the names associated with the 16th century Spanish conquest of Mexico and Central America; Francisco de Montejo and Jerónimo de Aguilar.

Francisco de Montejo was the name of three men; Francisco de Montejo y Álvarez, his son Francisco de Montejo the Younger and the nephew (or cousin) Francisco de Montejo (the Nephew).
Francisco de Montejo the elder was a conquistador with the Hernán Cortés expedition and all three were Spanish conquistadores involved in the conquest of Yucatán.

Gerónimo de Aguilar, a Franciscan friar, was shipwrecked near the Yucatán Peninsula with 11-12 other survivors who were captured by the local Maya. Five of the survivors were sacrificed to the Maya gods, others were overworked as slaves or died of disease. However, Gerónimo and one other managed to escape and survive eight years with a rival tribe, until the 1519 invasion of Hernán Cortés which he joined as a Maya and Nahuatl translator.

Gerónimo de Aguilar died in 1531 in an unknown location.


#17

" The ‘Drill Deeper’ series revolves around the legendary island of Avalon, suggested as being off the coast of Scotland. Avalon is a strongly featured location in Arthurian legend, and according to Historia Regum Britanniae is the place where Excalibur was forged."

I’m frankly surprised no-one’s mentioned the OTHER Historia Regum Britanniae and ‘island off the coast of Scotland’ connection -Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. (In the Seed of Destruction, Hellboy’s first appearance (in an English church) is triggered by Rasputin’s simultaneous occult activities on the Scottish island of Tarmagant, while in the movie version both Rasputin’s activities and Hellboy’s first appearance occur on ‘an island off the coast of Scotland’.

Subsequently in ‘The Chained Coffin’, Mignola uses a genuine medieval English folk tale about a repentent witch to provide a (flimsy if you ask me) rationale for claiming Hellboy to be ‘The Once And Future King’ of Arthurian lore (bit of a stretch, right?) by making the witch -who gets dragged off to Hell despite the best efforts of her monk son and nun daughter to ask for her salvation- the last living descendent of Morgan le Fey and, eventually, Hellboy’s mother.

[EDIT. Next day and it suddenly occurred to me that ‘drilling on island off the coast of Scotland’ could via the same Hellboy connection also refer more directly to Rasputin’s efforts to open a portal to the Ogdru Jahad on such an island in Seed of Destruction and in the movie. Portal is a hole, which is what a drill drills and the Ogdru Jahad would certainly be an ancient evil. Just a thought.]


#18

I don’t know if this really a “pop culture source”, but it is interesting none the less.

The mission “Don’t Wake the Dead” references construction on the Pyongcang Olympic Stadium which started in 2015, finished in 2017 and demolished in 2018. That means that although the main story takes place in and around 2012 (“New Dawn” probably later), the agent missions appear to take place several years after the main story.


#19

A bit of a vaguer one, and I’m not entirely sure if it’s actually intentional. But while we know now that Dark Agartha’s been released what was going on in the later parts of Jeronimo de Montejo’s mission story arc, the way it’s depicted and written about on a ‘closer’ level in the agent network seems to borrow a lot from the book and movie Annihilation.


#20

I believe Our Town is a reference to the Fringe tv series.


#21

“Our Town” is also the name of a play where the actors each act out a part of living in a town largely without props or stage dressing which is sort of what the shapeshifters are doing (if I remember the mission text correctly).