Top 15 Pop Culture References in Trophies and Achievements

Note: [All opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of GamerXChange]

Have you ever heard that Trophy ding, that Achievement bloop to see a title jokingly referencing your favorite movie so cleverly that you bust out in laughter? Developers have creative minds, that is for certain, but when you see em take that creativity and toss in something witty and humorous, there’s something special about it. Taking the extra time to appeal to a much broader fanbase is always respected in the gaming community, so here’s 15 awesome references seen in trophies and achievements.


1. No Drake. You can’t have these

  • Origin – God of War: Ascension
  • Reference – Uncharted series

A nod to another PlayStation hit, the newest entry to the acclaimed God of War series brought forth multiplayer and another epic tale in Kratos’ saga. The trophy list squandered controversy with the “Bros Before Hoes” trophy, which has since been renamed to Bros Before Foes. Several other trophies are witty in their own retrospect, but this Trophy stands out the most. For collecting all hidden Treasures, players are awarded with this Trophy, coinciding with the name perfectly. Looks like Nathan Drake won’t be getting his hands on these anytime soon.


2. My Brother is an Italian Plumber

  • Origin – Borderlands
  • Reference – Super Mario Bros. series

Ah, Borderlands. A title well known for its many easter eggs and references, and for being one damn good cooperative Role Playing Shooter, one of the standouts of the list has got to be this witty trophy/achievement title. Clearly referencing Nintendo’s Plumber mascot, this trophy/achievement requires players to kill an enemy by jumping on top of it. What is Mario’s iconic way of taking care of his enemies? Yup, landing on their head. Self explanatory, right.


3. Zed’s Dead, Baby, Zed’s Dead

  • Origin – Lollipop Chainsaw
  • ReferencePulp Fiction

Where’s Zed? He’s spewing vulgar comments towards a cheerleader slashing away at his zombie minions. Well, that’s before you kill him. After that – Zed’s dead, baby, Zed’s dead. Lollipop Chainsaw was met with mixed reception, but the nod in this trophy/achievement title cannot go unnoticed. A reference to the classic scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, this trophy/achievement is awarded to players after they take care of Lollipop Chainsaw’s first boss – a zombie punk rocker by the name of Zed. The same title was also used in Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare expansion for a trophy/achievement. I guess Zed had a thing for zombies.

4. Frickin’ Laser Beams

  • Origin – Resistance 3
  • ReferenceAustin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Mutant sea bass? No, I wanted frickin’ sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads! Sorry, Dr. Evil, but it looks like a Bronze Trophy is all you’ll be getting. Resistance 3 sold underwhelming amounts, but it still stands as the best entry to this PlayStation exclusive shooter series. This Trophy is awarded to players for passing a certain segment in the game without being hit by a sniper rifle which has – you guessed it – FRICKIN’ LASER BEAMS! Pretty easy, rrrrright?


5. This Is My Boomstick

  • Origin – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • ReferenceArmy of Darkness

Shop smart, shop S-mart. A nod to the popular Evil Dead series, specifically Army of Darkness, this trophy/achievement surprisingly enough doesn’t require killing enemies with a double barrel shotgun. In the hit Modern Warfare 3, players earn this trophy/achievement by netting 30 kills with the XM25 weapon in the ‘Black Tuesday’ mission.


6. 88 Miles per Hour

  • Origin – Sonic CD
  • ReferenceBack to the Future

Great Scott! What’s the maximum speed to travel through time? 88 miles per hour, of course, according to Doc Brown! Sonic CD incorporated time traveling elements, so when given the opportunity to remaster the title for current-gen consoles, they took advantage in naming their trophies/achievements when tossing a nod over to the classic Back to the Future film series. Earning this trophy/achievement is relatively simple – travel through time.


7. Hot Swedish Action

  • Origin – DJ Hero 2
  • Reference – ABBA

This trophy/achievement is a lot more subliminal then others. Of course, ABBA is a Swedish band, but the reference doesn’t end there. Instead, the reference is hidden in the game’s requirements. In DJ Hero 2, players are scored on their scratching, taps, crossfading, and freestyling. This trophy/achievement requires players to earn a score of A, B, B, and A respectively. Yup, this spells ABBA. Seems Freestyle Games is composed of a few ABBA fans.

8. Day Tripper & Hard Day’s Night

  • Origin – Sonic Unleashed
  • Reference – The Beatles

This is technically cheating, but Beatles references must not go unnoticed! Sonic Generations incorporated two different styles of gameplay – standard running day stages, and beat em up night stages. While the night stages, or Werehog stages, were received negatively, the day stages were a blast. Players earned the Day Tripper trophy/achievement by completing all day stages in the game, and the Hard Day’s Night trophy/achievement by completing all the night stages. Crafty, Sega, crafty.


9. The cake is not a lie!

  • Origin – Fat Princess
  • Reference – Portal

Ah, but Fat Princess, the cake is a lie. What has become a meme across boards everywhere started in a very simple puzzle game -Portal. Growing into a superb series, the original Portal featured a very deceptive AI that never gave us the cake players rightfully earned. Fat Princess, a solid multiplayer PSN title, had players protecting a fat…princess from opposing players. Feeding your princess with cake makes it harder for other players to take your princess. A simple concept made for one nifty game. Players earn this Trophy by completing the game’s story mode.


10. Over 9000!

  • Origin – Devil May Cry 2 HD
  • Reference – DragonBall Z

What?! 9000?! There’s no way that can be right! A classic line from DragonBall Z, and a growing meme across the internet, it was only a matter of time before we saw it on our trophy and achievement list. Hell, there is even a Twitter bot that automatically responds to a tweet with the words “over 9000” with the classic reply. In the HD remaster of Devil May Cry 2, players are rewarded this trophy/achievement by passing 9000 floors in the classic Bloody Palace mode.

11. 1.21 Gigawatts

  • Origin – God of War HD
  • ReferenceBack to the Future

1.21 Gigawatts?! Great Scott! As noted earlier, the God of War trophies are littered with witty remarks and references, so this one comes to the surprise of no one. Back to the Future was listed earlier, but with another classic line comes another awesome trophy title. Likely the first trophy players will earn while playing the original God of War game, the requirements for this trophy is to acquire Poseidon’s Rage. Poseidon?! Great Scott!


12. Get To The Chopper

  • Origin – Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Reference – Predator

The only way this trophy could get better is if instead of the ding we hear the line said in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic accent. A nod to the classic monster movie Predator, Sanzaru Games throws in another nod to a classic film with their first major release in the fourth entry to the Sly Cooper series. Alongside (yet another) Back to the Future reference in the game’s prologue, this trophy is awarded to players for completing a segment of the game that involves – you guessed it – a helicopter without taking damage.


13. Warriors, Come Out and Play

  • Origin – UFC Undisputed 2010
  • ReferenceThe Warriors

Who could possibly forget that creepy, cackling voice taunting the New York gang to come out and play? Hard to forget. THQ realizes this as well, which would explain why they made sure to reference it in their 2010 entry to the UFC game franchise. Awarded for starting an online camp, the nod perfectly fits the nature of the cult classic film The Warriors. Start your camp and wait out for others to come an play…*click click, click click*

14. I Used to Be a Human Like You

  • Origin – The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
  • Reference – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Remember that guy who used to be an adventurer? Well, times have changed now, but arrows still seem to aim at that one area. Yup, knees. In the critically panned Walking Dead: Survival Instinct game based on the TV’s license and developed by Terminal Reality – the creative minds by the critically praised Ghostbusters game – it was an interesting decision to throw in such a humorous nod to the evergrowing in popular Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. What started as a very repetitive phrase turned into a meme and now found its way onto player’s trophies and achievements list. Well, players who were unfortunate enough to have to sit through this title.


15. Hurt Locker

  • Origin – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty HD
  • Reference – The Hurt Locker

A 2008 hit war film, it was only a matter of time before a war shooter or shooter in general referenced this truly spectacular film. Both the reference and trophy/achievement description couldn’t be more easy to read. The description of the trophy/achievement? Shove an enemy into a locker. Yup, that simple.

Did I miss any references or nods in your trophy or achievements list? Anything you feel I may have overlooked? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!



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