The lights are on
Lost is apparently every game designer’s favorite show, because even though the series finale aired two years ago, the show is still getting referenced all the time. It’s pretty easy to shoehorn the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 somewhere into a video game, hide a hatch in the middle of a jungle, or feature an Oceanic flight. We like our Lost references to be a little more creative. These are our favorite ones.
10. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – I know I just said that placing the iconic numbers in a game is the easiest way to reference Lost, but Metal Gear Solid 4’s is at least somewhat hidden. The opening television commercials are a weird addition to Metal Gear Solid 4’s opening so you would be forgiven if you got distracted and didn’t notice that the five channels to choose from are channels 48, 15, 16, 23, and 42.
9. Grand Theft Auto 4: The Lost and The Damned – During the expansion's final mission "Get Lost," there is a siren blaring that will sound familiar to anyone who made it into season two of the show. To all those people that say that the name of the mission is a reference to the game’s title and not the show, I simply repeat the name of the mission back to them and move along.
8. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 – Episode 2 features the numbers, which is easy, but it also features the computer needed to enter the numbers, and a faded Dharma initiative logo on the wall. Half-Life was also featured in an episode of the show, so that makes it special.
7. Fallout 3 – In Fallout 3 there is a Ghoul named Desmond, which doesn’t share many similarities with the character on the show, until he takes refuge in an underground bunker with a hatch on top.
6. Singularity – The numbers make an appearance in Singularity, but the much more interesting reference is finding the gigantic wheel. In the show, the wheel moves the island. In Singularity, getting close to the wheel unlocks the achievement, “The Wheel?”
5. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts – Among the many collectible Jinjos in the game, there is one named Hurley who says, “dude,” a lot and tells you to hurry up because it’s lunchtime. He also claims to be lost on an island. I suppose it could be a Gilligan’s Island reference.
4. Quantum Conundrum – There is a little drinking bird which Professor Quadwrangle calls the repetitive periodic articulating gruidae that repeatedly pushes buttons for you. The bird has another name, though: Desmond. At one point in the game, Quadwrangle even congratulates you for getting as good at pressing buttons as Desmond.
3. Diablo III – Deep in the desert exists a broken-down ship called the Black Rock. The ship was captained by a Hanso, just like the Black Rock ship in the show. You can also discover assorted ledgers from the ship which describe a Mr. Reyes (like Hugo “Hurley” Reyes), and how the survivors of the crashed ship are trying to figure out what is going on while fighting stealthy jungle monsters.
2. Just Cause 2 – Just Cause 2 has an island that cannot be fast-travelled to that features a few references to Lost. For one, if you fly over the island in a plane, your plane will automatically crash. Along with some plane wreckage, there is also an enemy on the island that is constantly spewing smoke who cannot be killed by shooting at him. Finally, you are able to find a mysterious hatch.
1. Batman: Arkham City – The Joker decides to break down the fourth wall in the middle of the game by discussing the keeping of secrets in storytelling (something Lost did to a fault) and how it pertains to storytelling. The Joker’s speech referenced the story of Arkham City itself and Lost in one meta-Lost-fueled monologue. Only the Joker would be insane enough to try that. Here’s the full speech where the Joker is talking about how good he looks after curing his disease:
“I can hear you all now: ‘How did this happen?’ ‘Can I get me some of that crazy cure?’ ‘I want answers, d*** it! Now!’ Well here's the thing. Answers don't give you everlasting satisfaction. Sometimes you need to brace yourself for disappointment. Think about it. Imagine your favorite TV show. You've been through it all. The ups the downs, the crazy coincidences, and then: Bang! They tell you what it's all about. Would you be happy? Does it make sense? How come it all ended in a church?”
Something about Lost just appeals to game designers. It doesn’t seem like its references will be going away any time soon. We see movie references in video games all the time, but can you think of any other television shows that have inspired so many game developers?
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