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Huey, Dewey, and QE

Name Cameos in Jeff's Games

266 posts in this topic

There are additional Saturday Night Live regulars and a host in the Castle:

Gilda (Radner) is back at Records

Lorraine (Newman) has the entrance maps

(Dan) Ackroyd is quartermaster

(John) Lithgow doles out stipends

(Jane) Curtin is in the Magi area

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Bump for a handful of updates (including, I think, everything submitted in recent posts to this thread) and some better organization. More updates will be coming: I've just culled a list of approximately 10,000 named people and creatures from G1 onward and will be going through it with a... well, skimming through it, anyway.

 

Major reorg and reformatting, archiving old version here.

 

[spoileralt=Old version]This is a growing list! Please post your own contributions and I will add them to this post.

 

LEGEND

X = Exile/Avernum

E = Exile

A = Avernum

N = Nethergate

G = Geneforge

V = Avadon

R = Avernum Subtitled Remakes (only used when the person does not appear in E or A)

 

If the name given is the name of something other than a person (e.g., a town) this will be indicated in parentheses.

 

FAMILY

[A3] Jeff Vogel = Jeff Vogel, of course

[X1] Elmer (in Mertis) = Jeff's grandfather

[A?] Default party member Cordelia = Cordelia Vogel

[X3] Miranda = Miranda Vogel?

[G4-5] Miranda = Miranda Vogel?

[V1] Miranda = Miranda Vogel? see below

[X1] Mariann (A1) & possibly Marianne (E1) (Karzoth's consort) = Mariann Krizsan

[X2] Mariann Krizsan = Mariann Krizsan

[G3] Krizsan Eye = Mariann Krizsan

[X3] Krizsan (city/province) = Mariann Krizsan

 

PAST ASSOCIATES

[X3] Monoroe (province) = Shirley Monroe (now at Google)

[X3] Sharimik (province) = Cherilyn Michaels? Shari Moskow?

[X3] Karnold (province) = ?

[X3] Bigail (province) = ? (Abigail?)

[X3] Shayder (city) = Shaynee Snider?

[X3] Footracer (province) = ?

 

FRIENDS

[X1-3] Erika = high school friend

[X2-5] Prazac = high school friend

[X2] Mancuso (town) = Tina Mancuso?

[A2] Bjorn (in Halls of Chaos) = Bjorn (a friend?)

[A4-5] Lark = Lark Griffin?

[G4] General Crowley = Sharon Crowley?

[E1, A2-4, BoX, N] Rippel = Jennifer Rippel?

[X1-2, A4, N] Shaynee = Shaynee Snider?

 

SPIDERWEB AFFILIATES

[X3] Jordan Bojar = E. Jordan Bojar of Foglio Studios

[N] Foglio = Phil Foglio

[G1] Heustess = Brent Heustess (beta tester; also on usenet)

[G4] Reiner = Tileset creator

[G4] Ellsworth = Beta tester

 

RUTGERS MATH COLLEAGUES

[X1-4] Tor Gunston = Tor Gunston '98

[X1-4] Carol Hamer = Carol Hamer '98

[X1-3] Rita Cskany = Rita Cskany '98

[X1-2] Aimee

[X1] JR

[X1] Bohman (in Spire Fort) = Tom Bohman '96

[X1] Marco (in Patrick's Tower, with Rita) = Marco Lenci '99?

[X2] Cecile Vidican = Marie-Cecile Vidican (Rutgers-related connection)

 

SCA FRIENDS

[X1-2] Patrick Padraig

[X1-2] Hathwisa

[X1-4] Bevan

[X1, A4] Anastasia

 

TALK.BIZARRE PERSONALITIES

[X1-6] Solberg = Andrew Solberg

[X1-2, A4] Rone = Ron Echeverri

[X1-4, A6] X = Mr. X of X Industries, a.k.a. Xian (real name may be Chris L.)

[X1-3, N] Starcap = Starcap'n Ra

[X1-?] Crisper = Crisper Than Thou

[X1-2] Leith = Sunshine on Leith

[X1-3] Elspeth = Elspeth

[X1-3] Nance = Ty Nance

[X1-4] Yong-Mi = Yong-Mi Kim

[X1-2, N] Boutell = Tom Boutell (now an iPhone app developer)

[X1] Gooley = Markian Gooley

[X1-4] Houghton = Blair Houghton (seems to have been a longtime usenet acquaintance on other groups, too)

[X1-2] Silverio = C J Silverio

[X1] Zed = Zed

[X1-2] Chevyn = Kevin "Chevyn" McAuley

[X2] Limoncelli = Tom Limoncelli (now at Google)

[X2] Waldby = Julian Waldby

[X1-5] Gypsy = Gypsy

[X1] Miles = Miles O'Neal

[A4-5] Sorengard = Soren Ragsdale (Soren + rag backwards + d)

[X2] Vail the Scrivener = Johnathan Vail

[X2] City of Egli = Paul Egli

[X1] Diane = Diane Wilson

[X1] Caitlin = Caitlin Burke

[X1] "Doc" Josh = Josh "Doc" Hayes

[X1] Bill and Bill = Billbill

[X1] Gilbert = Zvi Gilbert?

[A1] Legare = M. Legare?

[X1-4] Townsend = J. Eric Townsend

[E2] Arbanel = Jenine Abarbanel?

[X2] Nathan = Nathan Torkington?

[X2] Thompson = Ben Thompson?

[X2] Genevieve = Genevieve Williams?

[X2] Schnitzius = Kevin Schnitzius?

[X1-4] Captain Johnson = Ken Johnson??

Scott Dorsey

Jane Horvath

Meredith Tanner??

 

EVERQUEST GUILD (CHAOS JUSTICE) AND ASSOCIATES

[G3] Meraia, Tuona, Muram

[A4] Kabraxaz, Nociduas, Abisynthe, Trysbrina, Lyun, Uggluk, Imiriel, Sinedin, Tuona, Kasaz, Zarbonn, Kragg

 

COMEDIANS

[X1] Maher = Bill Maher?

[X1] Cleese = John Cleese?

[A4] Chapelle and Redd (in West Silvar) = Dave Chapelle and Redd Fox

[A4] Cross, Oswalt and Silverman (in the Great Cave) = David Cross, Patton Oswalt and Sarah Silverman

[A4] Gilliam = Terry Gilliam

 

TV/FILM CASTS

[X2, A4] Gilda/Radner, Ackroyd, Lorraine, and Curtin (in Castle) = cast members of Saturday Night Live

[X2, A4] Kristen, Lithgow, Levitt, and (also) Curtin (in Castle) = cast of 3rd Rock from the Sun

[X3] Foley, Thompson, McKinley, McDonald, and McCulloch (in New Formello) = cast of Kids in the Hall

[boX] Kilborn, Winstead, Brown, Littleford, Unger (in Blinlock in VODT) = original staff of the Daily Show

[boA] Stewart, Colbert, Carrell, Samantha, Corddry, Helms, and Walls (in DWTD in Seleucia) = some later staff of the Daily Show

[G5] Privates Savage & Hyneman = Adam Savage & Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters

 

TV/FILM CHARACTERS

[X2] Edina, Patsy, Saffron, Marshall, and Oliver (in Blosk) = characters on Absolutely Fabulous

[X3] Londo, G'Kar, Ivanova, and Delenn (in Golddale) = characters on Babylon 5

[X3] Lennus & Squiggus (towns) and Laverne, Shirley, Carmine (residents) = characters from Laverne and Shirley

[X3] Spud, Renton, Begbie and Sick Boy (in Shayder) = characters from Trainspotting

[X3] Lumok (in Moon) = portmanteau for Thundercats fanfiction pairing of Luna/Amok ???

[X3] Zang (in Moon) = Sailor Moon character ???

[boX] Kenny and Eric (BoA) Cartman (BoE) (in Zaskiva in ASR) = characters from South Park

[G1] Rydell, Dayna, Jaffee, Natley, Godwin, Pixley (in Pentil) = characters on Sports Night (names mangled slightly)

[G1] Sorkin = Aaron Sorkin, Sports Night creator

[G2] Manny and Bernard = characters on Black Books

[G2] Kima, Macnulty, and Bunk (in Loyalist Encampment) = characters on the Wire

[G2] Brent, Gareth, Dawn, and Finchy (in Gheth) = characters on the Office (UK)

[G3] Gob, Tobias, Bluth, and Maeby (in Dhonal's Keep East Docks) = characters on Arrested Development

[A4] Pea Eye, Lorena, Call, Bolivar, Augustus (in Silvar) = characters from Lonesome Dove

[A4] Carrie, [Jason] Vorhees, Janet [Weiss] (in Mertis) = horror film characters

[A4] Gunderson (innkeeper in Almaria = character from Fargo

[G4] Mars, Duncan, Kane (in Rivergate Keep) = characters on first season of Veronica Mars

[A6] Rumson, Halloway, Stirling, Olssson (Draco raiders) = characters from Mad Men

 

 

AUTHORS

[X2] Gibbon and Stoppard (in Formello), Orson and Locke (in Draco) = authors?

[boX] Vonnegut (ASR) = Kurt Vonnegut

[G3] Swanwick, Resnick, Willis (and Chadwick?) (Shapers on Isle of Spears) = SF writers

[A4] Krugman, Conason (in Merchant Caravan Oasis) = NYT writers

[G4] Mouawad, Uchitelle, Zernike, Fackler, Barbaro, Kirk, Swarns, Urbina, Vecsey, Zinser, Sabrina, Archibald, Manohla = NYT writers

[G5] Tasha, Koski, Modell = writers for the Onion A.V. Club

[G5] Steen, Seling, Kiley, Schmader, Mudede, Savage (in Citadel East) = contributors to the Seattle _Stranger_, September 13, 2007

 

LITERARY CHARACTERS

[boX] Levitz, Bruning, Lilian, McKean, Crouch, Bristow, Axel (VoDT Sweetgrove); Brosterman, Laserson, Hilty (ASR Muck); Jenette (both); Stephano, Kim, Houlihan (ASR Liam); Luna (ASR Buzzard); Zulli (ASR Zaskiva); Ocampo, Mayer (ZKR Fort Goodling); Kimzahn [Timothy Zahn] (ZKR) -- all credited DC comics editors, artists, or writers (there are probably more with names that are too generic to pin down)

[boX] Maria, Penelope, Covington (VoDT); Stone, Smith, Maya, Caroline, O'Grady, Helena (ASR); Vale, Edward (ZKR) -- names of DC comics characters, mostly involved in Crisis on Infinite Slarties Earths event

[G1-5] Masha, Solyony, Tuzenbach, Treplev, Astrov, Avdotya, Anya, Ivanov, Gayev, Sofya, Borkin, Gavrila, Ferapont, Serabryakov, Vershinin, Varya (G1 Sholai) and Telegin (G2 Sholai) = characters from Chekhov's plays

[G3] Norrell, Strange, Arabella, Susanna (in San Ru) = characters from & author of _Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell_

[A4] Elphaba (in Fort Saffron) = character from Wicked

[A4] Kimmer, Misha, Mariah, Oliver (in Tower Colony) = characters from _Emperor in Ocean Park_

[G4] Gibbons, Veidt, and Motz (in Illya Safehouse) = graphic artist and characters from _Watchmen_

[G4] Shaftoe, Eliza, and Moseh = characters from Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle

[A5] Incantatrix Bella = Bellatrix Lestrange from _Harry Potter_?

[A5] Antrobus, Sabina, Maggie (in Gladwell's Keep) = characters from _The Skin of Our Teeth_ by Thornton Wilder

[A5] Kilgore, Pefko, Fuller (in Harkin's Landing) = characters from Kurt Vonnegut's novels

[G5] Skimpole, Jarndyce, Guppy, and Carstone (in West Foundry Core) = characters from Dickens's _Bleak House_

[G5] Hoyt, Brawne, Silenus = characters from _Hyperion_ by Dan Simmons

[G5] Kellen (in Nodye Coast border) = character from Obsidian trilogy

[G5] Erasmus, Orolo, Sammann = characters from _Anathem_ by Neal Stephenson

[A6] Vladimir and Estragon (in Dharmon) = characters from _Waiting for Godot_

[A6] Regan, Edgar, Edmund (in Almaria) = characters from Shakespeare's _King Lear_ (Noam and Tardiff in the same town may be critics who wrote about the play; the play is also a possible source for older Caius [X1] and Cordelia [A1?])

[A6] Andros, Hapscomb, Stuart, Frannie (Fort Duvno) = characters from _The Stand_ by Stephen King

[V1] Miranda = Miranda from the Tempest? see above

[V1] Cosette, Eponine, Varoche [Gavroche] = characters from _Les Miserables_

 

MISCELLANEOUS PROFESSIONALS

[X1] Sylow = Norwegian mathematician?

[X2] Tori = Tori Amos

[X2] Ethridge = Melissa Etheridge

[G3] Celeste, Vincenzio, Sestilia = family of Galileo Galilei

[A4] Corin, Carrie, Janet, and Kinney (in Mertis) = members and name of Sleater-Kinney (band)

[A6] Neko and Case (farmers in Webbed Woods) = Neko Case (musician)

[A6] Djokov and Bahgdatis (Tower of Magi) = pro tennis players

[R1] Newman, Neko, Dahle, Bejar (Spire) and Calder (Bargha) = The New Pornographers (band)

 

VIDEO GAME REFERENCES

[X1] Zanthia (in Tower of Magi) = Legend of Kyrandia 2 protagonist? (also an alchemist)

[X3] Moon (town) = town in Ultima 3

[G3] Barxt = EverQuest raid target

[A4] Keldovan = Keldovan the Harrier, EverQuest raid target

[A4] Raider Hanvar = Warden Hanvar, EverQuest raid target

 

ANCIENT OR MYTHIC FIGURES

[X3] Anaximander

[V1] Redbeard = inspired by Bluebeard, titular character of Bartok's opera, himself derived from folktales

[R2] Morrigan & Castinan (in Tower of Elderan) = Celtic warrior goddess & aspect of Roman Venus related to non-male-performing men

 

GEOGRAPHY

[A1-6] Avernum = Lake Avernum in Italy

[X3] Golddale = Silverdale, a town in Washington Jeff was once associated with

[X3] Port Townsend, Bremerton, Poulsbo, Colfax, and Gorst (towns) = towns in Washington State near Silverdale

 

UNSPECIFIED CATEGORIES

[X3] Unspecified Services = organization in _Infinite Jest_ by David Foster Wallace

[X3] Malloc & Calloc (towns) = C functions

[G3] Sauza, Macallan, Bailey, Maker, Morgan, Agatha (in Stonespire) = varieties of alcoholic beverages

[G5] Zoka = Seattle donut shop

 

OTHER CHARACTERS WE EYE SUSPICIOUSLY

Linda (Linda Strout? no -- most likely predates her)

Strout (G1 Servile, A4 Fort Monastery resident -- Linda Strout? -- unclear)

Micah

Bernie ("the Chart")

Mairwen

Karzoth

Skunky Joe

Etunimdiam (G4 gazer) -- sounds like "et unum diem", Latin for "and a day" -- has an xbox live account listed under Seattle, WA

Skarp (A5 Exodus) -- Seattle WA band.

 

Forbes, Chelsea, Aboro, Welde, Madeleine (ASR Willow) -- all figures in (mostly political) news in late 1996

Elinor, Klivans, Haedrich (ASR Selathni) -- cookbook authors; Vonnegut in same town[/spoileralt]

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Not necessarily a cameo, but Mahdavi is an adjectival for Mahdavia, a minority sect of Islam. That's kind of random, but surely it's not a coincidence?

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It's also a reasonably common name. My money's on coincidence. Lots of common names mean things. For one possibility, there are some mathematics scholars named Mahdavi who published papers in 1995, and there are a few other possible math-paper-author names in the mix.

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Anyone know whether Jeff is a fan of the Raiders or Steelers? Probably a coincidence but an unusual enough name that maybe not - right now I'm in the Portal Fortress and I'm fighting Commander Fuqua.

 

(John) "Frenchy" Fuqua was one of the prime suspects in what is maybe the most famous play in NFL (pro american football) history: the Immaculate Reception. Steelers vs Raiders, Terry Bradshaw (Steelers) threw a pass intended for Frenchy Fuqua (Steelers), Jack Tatum (Raiders) smashed Fuqua and sent the ball flying... which "miraculously" Franco Harris (Steelers) snatched out of the air (some argue, off the ground) and ran for a touchdown to win.

 

Fuqua was also a very flashy dresser who dubbed himsel "The French Count", and his fanclub was known as "The Foreign Legion", which, may be able to have some tangential relation to The Empire.

 

Or maybe not.

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Although it's a longshot, something to look out for are the names of Daz3d poser vendors. From G1 onwards, Jeff uses Poser renders for sprite models. I have recognized quite a few of the models, and have been conducting extensive searches via the Wayback Machine etc., compiling a list of what I've seen. I have no idea if he put their names in any of the games of not (note: it's not intended as advertising, as such I'm not going to list any of the products seen in the games, just the vendor name and their real name if it is available, divided into a few game categories-- e.g. G1~G3, A4~G5, Avadon 1~Av2CS. Besides that, most of the G1~G3 era products are either defunct/from defunct vendors or no longer list the vendor's name, anyhow.)

 

BTW, completely unrelated to the above, but this name sounds familiar-- is there a character named Mylakhrion in any of the games?

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Do you have any examples of names showing up in both places? I looked through a list here and see very little that even looks like a personal name. Is there some other reason to suspect this?

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BTW, completely unrelated to the above, but this name sounds familiar-- is there a character named Mylakhrion in any of the games?

 

There's a Melanchion in Avernum 5 and 6. Might that be what you're thinking of?

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No, that's not it. Maybe it was some other place that I saw that name...

 

Do you have any examples of names showing up in both places? I looked through a list here and see very little that even looks like a personal name. Is there some other reason to suspect this?

 

Yeah, you really have to look. Some were available during the first few years of DAZ's existence on the vendor page (thank you, Wayback Machine), Some give their real names on ShareCG or some other place. (one example-- the vendor named Valea-- her textures show up under a file named "Michelle". IIRC a few vendors have their names in their sigs or some other place when they post on the forums. Several vendors also have their own websites, though I have never checked there for names-- for the most part I just keep an eye out for aliases in case they sell products on another site under a different name) Many vendors are smart enough not to reveal their real names anywhere online, such as Faveral, as far as I can tell (whose products show up the most on Jeff's games as far as furniture and other background objects)

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Basically, using the current Daz site in and of itself, that is. Like I said, many have their names floating around the net somewhere. Though the two vendors Jeff uses overwhelmingly for background objects (Faveral and Redhouse Studios) didn't make their names available as far as I know.

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Okay, so if I understand correctly:

 

- We have no actual example of a Daz/Poser name being used like this in a SW game.

- We also don't have a reasonable list of such names.

- We have no specific reason to suspect those names have been used.

 

Is that accurate or am I misunderstanding you?

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I've been compiling a list for someone more knowledgable of the game to see if they have-- I'm doubtful though. I guess I'll drop that though if you really think I should :(

*Notes that you're a mod*

I'm going to assume yes then and just drop it... and feel horribly embarassed.

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No stress, Hyena! I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing a connection you had pointed out. (Also, I wasn't sure if you were exhorting me to take on this search, or what.)

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Ah, thanks. That's a huge relief. No, I most certainly wasn't exhorting you to participate in the search, LOL.

 

Edit: Holy...! I just found all of the Geneforge 1~3 Lovecraftian creatures (and they still exist...! I wonder if they work in Daz... Wow, the artilia, the vlish, the turret, the worm, the crawler, and even the glaahk... And LOL at the model that the worm is from, it's literally strapped to a levitating platform!) On that note, looks like Jeff (or whoever does his 3D/sprite renders) is a massive Davo/Davorama fan. <_< >_>

 

Anyone know if Jeff is an HP Lovecraft fan?

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Just met a cat named Felix in Avernum 2: Crystal Souls. One would say it's Felix the cat! It's Jade's familiar, in the Tower of Patrick.

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Good catch! And it's been there since Exile 2, as well, which makes it one of the earliest pop culture references, even if probably a more off-handed one than Abfab et al.

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These are the names that I'm most curious about, all from G3:

 

ACADEMY (what is the pattern?)

Hanna

Senea

Stover

Therese

 

SAN RU (Remaining chars)

Diwaniya

Lizette

Micheline

Tik

Vandrin

 

FORT WILTON (remaining chars not named after Galileo family)

Caplan

Heather

Lynn

Mooney

Philip

 

BULWARK INN

Jaym

Komoa

Sobel

 

Any ideas?

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James Cameron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet. Cameron was the writer, director, and producer of the film "Titanic". DiCaprio and Winslet starred in it, and those three lend their names to the characters in the Blades of Exile scenario, Bandit Busywork.

 

The fourth character is Ilona. I don't know where that comes from, but it's not in the "Titanic" Wikipedia article. Could it be a reference to Helen of Troy? Wikipedia says "Ilona" is sometimes speculated to be a cognate of "Helen", and as the face that launched a thousand ships, it could be the cause of the shipwreck that is Bandit Busywork. I don't know though, maybe there's a less speculative reason for the name.

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Nice catch. The timing is pretty perfect, too.

 

For clarification for anyone reading, there is no actual shipwreck, or ship even, in Bandit Busywork. Which makes that Helen reference seem pretty unrelated. Ilona shows up in numerous languages, however, including Hungarian. Given Mariann's background, and how involved she was with BoE scenarios at the time of BoE's release, I would suspect some kind of connection there.

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I'm surprised nobody mentioned this before, not even me. Is Jeff a fan of The Who? There is a city in Exile/Avernum 3 called Port Townsend. It's the name of anearby ttown, as noted, but the lead/rhythm guitarist, principle songwriter, and frequent lead singer of The Who is Pete Townshend, and there is another town in E3 called Moon, IIRC, and the lead drummer for The Who was named Keith Moon. It's been a very long time since I played Exile or Avernum 3, so I'm wondering if it's possible that there are other references to them in those towns or elsewhere. If any of you don't know, the other members of the band are Roger Daltrey, primary lead singer, and John Entwistle, lead bassist, occasional brass player, and occasional lead singer and songwriter. When Keith's drug addiction killed him, he was, after a time, replaced by John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards, and Kenny Jones, formerly of Small Faces/Faces, on drums. That lineup lasted for two albums and the band broke up for the forty-seventh time.

 

John Entwistle also had a drug problem and died from a cocaine-induced heart attack during preparations for their Endless Wire album, but that was long after Exile III. Pete's devotion to Meher Baba, a man who claimed he was an avatar of the divine alongside Buddha, Jesus, etc., requires sobriety. His devotion to Baba is one of Pete's favorite things to write about, alongside child abuse and psychology.

 

I included the word "lead" that many times because the whole band could keep their own time perfectly and therefore didn't need a rhythm section. It makes for a very unusual sound.

 

Townshend and Entwistle each came up with a bunch of interesting characters, because they like telling stories with their music. I'm about to vomit up every one of them I'm familiar with and will let you all sort it out. Notable characters with names: Boris the spider, Tommy Walker and his father, Captain Walker (he is introduced in the song "Rael" from The Who Sell Out, but not by name; it acts as the background of the rock opera Tommy - you can even hear a motif in "Rael" which also plays in "Sparks" and "Underture" from Tommy), Sally Simpson, Uncle Ernie the child molester (Moon played this role in the film version of Tommy), Cousin Kevin, Jimmy Cooper who struggles with dissociative identities, Ivor the engine driver, Happy Jack, transboy Bill and his sisters Jean-Marie, Felicity, and Sally-Joy, Lily the dead pinup model, the Ace Face (Moon performs lead vocals, playing the character in the rock opera Quadrophenia), the Acid Queen, Mary Ann with the shaky hand (haven't heard the song yet but she's named obviously). There's also Sister Disco, whom I believe is just disco music personified for poetic effect, but there it is.

 

I'm not as obsessive about these guys as I am about The Beatles or They Might Be Giants, but if you see something suspicious that might be related, I might be able to confirm or deny it if Internet searching doesn't suffice.

 

EDIT: Tommy's mother, known only as Mrs. Walker, is a major character in Tommy as well, and you might be able to count Whiskey Man, a hallucinatory drinking buddy. It's a psychology song but in this case Entwistle wrote it, not Townshend.

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff

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That sounds pretty unlikely, particularly in light of how solidly established the Washington towns source is, and the fact that Townshend isn't an exact spelling match and doesn't really support the Port part.

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I pulled up Harehunters map of Exile III and I definitely think the WA state theory is sound. I enjoy the Who and would enjoy seeing a village in Avadon 3 populated with the band and the cast of Tommy, but I do not think that Jeff has mined that source yet.

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I think there's an undeniable similarity between the words "Port" and "Pete". It's the same consonants on either side of differen vowels. It might be something to keep an eye on anyway. I haven't played E/A3 too indepth.

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Pick any name you want, and you can find a hundred names that have that level of "undeniable" (but very vague) similarity with it. A single isolated connection is not enough for inclusion. Furthermore, if you look at the rest of the cameo list, there are almost no examples of names changing in that particular way. That doesn't mean it can't happen but it does mean stronger evidence is needed than what we have here, especially given how many connections there are reinforcing the contradictory Washington towns possibility.

 

EDIT: Also, Port Townsend and Moon are very far away, and we have seen a very consistent pattern of using a given name source for stuff that is all in one area.

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In Geneforge 3 there is an elusive character named Mooralas. This is a reference to Molasar/Rasalom in the novel The Keep by F. Paul Wilson.

 

Also the novel SIMS by F. Paul Wilson is an obvious inspiration for the serviles in Geneforge.

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Hmm. Maybe? Mooralas is Hoge's apprentice, right? This seems plausible, but not a given, especially given the extra O. Is there a thematic connection between the two that I am not getting from the Wikipedia entry on the book? Alternately, are there any other potential character connections?

 

I note that the series has some other general points of parallel, with Grah-Hoth, Demonslayer, and the monster plagues. None of them are too specific though and some of them are generic, so this is hard to read into.

 

SIMS is interesting. It does suggest serviles... first published (as hardcover, though) mid-2000, a few months before development on Geneforge began.

 

In general Jeff has not been shy about dropping loads of references to things that inspire him: in G1, we can just look at Chekhov, for example. Really on the fence about these and would love to have some more points to push them to more or less likely.

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Hmm. Maybe? Mooralas is Hoge's apprentice, right? This seems plausible, but not a given, especially given the extra O. Is there a thematic connection between the two that I am not getting from the Wikipedia entry on the book? Alternately, are there any other potential character connections?

I don't think there are any thematic/character connections other than the name, but I've never actually encountered Mooralas in the game, I've only seen his name mentioned.

 

I note that the series has some other general points of parallel, with Grah-Hoth, Demonslayer, and the monster plagues. None of them are too specific though and some of them are generic, so this is hard to read into.
I've only read The Keep and SIMS, can't really say anything about his other books.

 

SIMS is interesting. It does suggest serviles... first published (as hardcover, though) mid-2000, a few months before development on Geneforge began.
Well, in the book

the company makes a big deal about the Simians being basically chimps with a little genetic material from humans. In the end it is revealed that it is actually the other way around, the Simians are mostly humans with a little genetic material from chimps. Very similar to what Learned Clois says in Geneforge 1.

 

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Just going by naming it's much more suggestive of Moorelas of the Sun Sword books. Which also have no clear thematic relationship to Geneforge, and Moorelas is a barely-mentioned mythical figure of the distant past, but he did have a magical sword and was involved in fighting supernatural threats.

 

I also don't see Jeff trying almost-anagram names of characters from somewhat obscure books with no relation. When he does pull in those sorts of names he's usually pretty unconcerned with hiding them and usually groups them to make the reference clearer.

 

—Alorael, who is sad that there aren't more Sun Sword references floating around. They're fantastic books that haven't gotten much attention.

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I also don't see Jeff trying almost-anagram names of characters from somewhat obscure books with no relation. When he does pull in those sorts of names he's usually pretty unconcerned with hiding them and usually groups them to make the reference clearer.

 

Well if he was to do something like that, wouldn't they likely be way to obscure for people to notice anyway?

 

(In which case, yeah, not much point looking for them, anything arguably may or may not be a cameo)

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Slithzerikai seems to be a combination of the sleeth, intelligent reptilian humanoids in Gamma World, and the githzerai, gaunt humanoids from Limbo in Dungeons & Dragons.

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I... wow. I'm not sure I buy the githzerai connection -- I'm sure Jeff would have been familiar with the githyanki and githzerai, but the githzerai don't fit sliths in any way, so at best we're talking "inspiration for a syllable or two"... but the sleeth, wow, that's a truly remarkable resemblance.

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Is it? It's a lizardman. I don't see any particular design similarities within that. The face is different, the legs are different. Slith don't have any superpowers like sleeth apparently do. I don't buy it.

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The name is pretty similar, and it's a highly intelligent lizardman, which is very different from the ubiquitous fantasy standard of the dumb lizardman. It's a bipedal upright lizardman, which neither property invented (and the face and legs are irrelevant because there was zero remotely detailed art of sliths until years after Exile was released).

 

Gamma World was full of creatures with mutant abilities. Exile has none of that, but instead, sliths are highly talented spellcasters. And I note that a lot of the slith-related story in Exile involves sliths using their magic to destroy magic barriers put up by Exile's mages -- it's not quite force-field negation but it's not a far cry from it, either.

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I would guess both "slith" and "sleeth" are just taken from "slither", which snakes (which are reptiles) do. I doubt it was borrowed from sleeth.

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The central cavern guards in the Avadon dungeon in Avadon 3 are named Spencer and Davis. (Tho funnily enough the Spencer Davis group aren't named among the musicians in the thanks section of the manual; but what else could they refer to?)

 

Not noted here before (apparently?) but all the Avadon games have Hanvar's Council, named after the in-universe Overlord Hanvar, who in turn is probably named after the Warden Hanvar of EverQuest, also namechecked in Avernum 4. (An unusual singleton name reference, but given that the name has been used before in a different Spiderweb game, and was very definitely a reference then, it seems reasonable to assume that this also is a reference to EQ.)

 

EDIT: The Pact commander of the forces at Zhethron's Keep is Commander Wallace, and the quartermaster is Craftmaster Pynchon.

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Hmm. The two name pairs from Avadon 3 are interesting. Especially the pair of authors, which fits with previous choices, and includes Pynchon, which is less of a common name. Spencer and Davis are more common, so they could be random names; or they could fit into the "Bottmless Well of 70s Rock and Pop"... (also, this has got to be the first time I've ever seen King Crimson and Taylor Swift listed next to each other.)

 

Circumstantially I'm less convinced: I just went through (and googled in various combinations) all the other names in Avadon 3, and those pairs are the only ones that don't sound like they came straight out of a name generator. In a series with close to zero name cameos, what would prompt them to include these four cameos -- in two different zones, which are both otherwise full of name-generated and returning characters? Definitely possible, but given how few new entries (read: zero) there have been in new releases for years now, I dunno.

 

Re Hanvar, one thing Jeff has not done on this list is to name world-framing characters or institutions after a clear referent. Maybe that's where the name came from, but I think it's more likely to fall into the Miranda and Cordelia category: Jeff just uses the name repeatedly because he likes it.

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It's odd that Avadon 3 alone of its trilogy would have name cameos, but maybe he's just getting back into the groove of them after the dearth of cameos in 1/2? It is a mystery. (Alternately, maybe his name generator broke and he had to reach for new names on short notice.)

 

Spencer and Davis are conspicuous in Lynaeus by virtue of having real-world names, and that they're paired up (they even share their dialogue) suggests very very strongly to me that they're meant to be a reference to Spencer Davis (and his Group). Unless Jeff has a pair of friends named Spencer and Davis, the musician seems like the most logical reference. (That they're named at all strongly suggests that it's some sort of cameo: none of the other guards in Avadon, Zhethron's Keep, etc have unique names.)

 

I wouldn't have thought Wallace was a name cameo except for his proximity to Pynchon, when of course my mind jumped to that other great writer of postmodernist doorstoppers.

 

Incidentally, also very conspicuous and maybe cameos- all flavor characters on the main floor of Avadon:

-Magdolna (described as having a Mohawk hairdo, which strongly suggests some sort of in-joke to me)

-Virag

-Erhard

All have real-world names. "Magdolna" and "Virag" are both Hungarian feminine given names, which sends up flags regarding their potential connection. Erhard is a German name, though, so maybe it's not connected to the others.

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The thing is that the older games were generally full of cameos. They were everywhere, and many of them were obvious, so there was no doubt involved. Now it's a harder sell.

 

The other thing going for Wallace/Pynchon is that Jeff previously included a DFW reference, in Exile 3. (Admittedly, that was 20 years ago.) But it does add to the "maybe it IS" pile.

 

Re the real-world names: if you go through all the names in the Avadon series, you'll find that the bulk of them are either real-world names, or slightly altered real-world names. Many of them show up on multiple name lists used by name generators. Names from similar ethnic backgrounds show up in characters from similar parts of Lynaeus. And in looking through all these names, they just don't have the sorts of convincing connections with real or fictional people that the cameo names do.

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The thing is that the older games were generally full of cameos. They were everywhere, and many of them were obvious, so there was no doubt involved. Now it's a harder sell.

 

I agree! But- just because he pulled back on using cameos doesn't mean he can't or won't start using them again. There might be other cameos in Avadon 1/2 that everyone missed; I posted the Spencer/Davis and Pynchon/Wallace things here because they're conspicuous and very much fit the pattern of prior Spiderweb name cameos, such that I'd be very surprised if they were not cameos. The names are just so incongruous in context that it's hard to believe they're not an intentional reference to something.

 

Names from similar ethnic backgrounds show up in characters from similar parts of Lynaeus. And in looking through all these names, they just don't have the sorts of convincing connections with real or fictional people that the cameo names do.

 

This also is true. That said, I suspect a real-world person connection with regards to Magdolna and maybe Virag on the grounds that 1) they are both Hungarian feminine given names and 2) Mariann Krizsan immigrated from Hungary to the USA in the 70s. A quick googling reveals a good dozen or so "Magdolna/Magdi Krizsan"s with internet presences, so I suspect one or both names are references to friends or relatives of Mariann's... perhaps she has a cousin who got an embarrassing haircut recently?

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Those are not the only Hungarian names ever to appear -- far from it. And nothing makes them suspicious. Seriously, if you look through all the names in all three Avadon games, I suspect you'll agree with me on this. If you want to turn up something that connects those names on google, I'll listen, but this list is definitely not going to indulge in speculation based entirely on a Spiderweb staff member's ethnic background.

 

Also, while I agree that Spencer/Davis and Pynchon/Wallace may be cameos, I would caution that that does not make them "an intentional reference to something." Some of the names on this list were clearly just used as the source of a name. In this case, it might well be that they needed 2 names, didn't want to bother to load the name generator just for that, so pulled the first 2 names they saw off the bookshelf or whatever Pandora was playing. It's hard to know.

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Those are not the only Hungarian names ever to appear -- far from it. And nothing makes them suspicious. Seriously, if you look through all the names in all three Avadon games, I suspect you'll agree with me on this. If you want to turn up something that connects those names on google, I'll listen, but this list is definitely not going to indulge in speculation based entirely on a Spiderweb staff member's ethnic background.

I'm not saying "these names should be on the list", I'm saying "these names strike me as conspicuous and might be fruitful ground for further inquiry". The Mohawk thing is a pretty wildly incongruous feature in what is otherwise a pretty grim game (the character herself talks to you about Redbeard committing war crimes), suggesting some sort of in-joke or personal reference; the form of the name (Hungarian) suggests a potential avenue of research. I'm not personally acquainted with Mariann Krizsan and I'm not inclined to try to dig through others' lives to find out what the secret behind a video game character's name is. I'm just trying to convey that the facts might imply a particular point of entry for an in-joke.

 

Also- when I say "intentional reference", I do not mean in the sense of a content-related reference: obviously nothing about Zhethron's Keep evokes any plot points from Gravity's Rainbow, or whatever. I mean that the names are intentionally drawn from a particular real-world source, the referent of which would only be clear to the initiated (eg, people who've read Pynchon and Wallace). I'm sorry if I was unclear: I meant "intentional reference" to mean basically the same thing as "cameo" is used to mean in this context.

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No apology necessary, and fair enough. It sounds like we may have different associations with the mohawk, which didn't really stick out to me, and perhaps that is why we had a different reaction to it.

 

Anyway, sorry for the, ah, intensity of debate here :) Regardless of agreement or not, I appreciate the additions.

 

I see that I have a few past additions, above, to update the list with as well. I hate editing it because the board software tends to mess up the formatting every time I do, so I'm going to wait a bit and see if anything else comes up from Avadon 3 (or anything else about these observations).

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I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned, but Jeff has explicitly stated multiple times that the Avadon series was inspired by a Hungarian opera. Why would it be at all surprising to find Hungarian names in it...? :confused:

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Perhaps because Jeff has never, ever referred to said opera, or its characters, by their Hungarian names -- only by the names they have in English translation.

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I'm not sure what we're talking about here. As far as I can tell, what we know is:

 

1) There are a few real Hungarian names in the Avadon series, some of which are applied to characters who have descriptions somewhat suggestive of in-jokes.

 

2) Avadon was inspired by a Hungarian opera (called "Bluebeard's Castle" in English) with two named characters (Judith/Judit and Bluebeard/Kékszakállú).

 

3) Mariann Krizsan is an immigrant with a Hungarian name.

 

None of this proves anything, but it is suggestive. Given 3) and 2), 1) isn't "surprising," but neither does it tell us much. It could be that some of Avadon's characters are named after Hungarian friends or relatives of Mariann. It could be that Jeff grabbed a "name your baby" book and just used Hungarian names that he liked. It could be that he put together interesting-sounding syllables and accidentally made Hungarian names. With only this information, we don't really know.

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