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Pop Culture References in Hacks
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - Pop Culture References in Hacks
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I'm not talking about full-on crossovers, like the ones you find in a Roberto Zampari hack. I'm talking about making references to things outside of Mario, usually in whatever text a hack may have. This is something I'm pretty fond of doing, and it can most often be seen in hacks where levels have unique names, like Kamek's Island or Mario is Missing Done Right. These references can fall into one of 3 categories:

This reference will pretty much only pop up in level names and take the form of naming a level after a song. Examples include Larger than Life, form Kamek's Island, named for the Backstreet Boys song, and Welcome to the Jungle, from Tatanga's Return, which is named for the classic Guns N Roses song.

These can show up in level names, like the musical references, but also come up in Message Boxes, like the one that pops up when you first hatch a Yoshi. Examples of this include Commence Countdown from Mario is Missing Done Right, which was originally going to be named "Cliffjumper, Commence Countdown," to further highlight the referential intention. Unfortunately, text limitations got in the way. An example of a game reference can be seen in the same hack. When you first get Yoshi, he'll say he knows how the average Chancellor of Guardia feels, a reference to Chrono Trigger.

I'm not TOO serious to not have memes at least referenced in a hack, or, more recently, in a tileset I submitted. When you hatch Yoshi in Vanilla: Made to Order, he'll make a "Noot Noot," in reference to the Pingu meme.

Do any of you make such references in your own hacks, or have you spotted such references in the hacks you've played? Post here!

Quintesson Judge: Silence, or you will be held in contempt of this court!
Hot Rod: I have nothing but contempt for this court!
- Transformers the Movie (1986)
In Luigi's Lost Levels I named one of the levels Machine Civilization. This is a song from World Order, and I was listenning to it while looking for a name for the level, and since it's an industrial environment, I went with it.

Super Mario Pants World
Luigi's Lost Levels
New Super Mario Pants World
VLDC12 - 72HoKaizo#1
Yeah, I've done that on occasion, including naming levels after songs. In Peach's Quest: A Princess Story, 1-1 is called Goomba Stomping Day, which is a reference to Weird Al's "Weasel Stomping Day"; 1-4 is Underneath It All, named after a No Doubt song; and 2-2 is The Peril Deep Below, which admittedly could just be a standalone name but was intended as a reference to Dragons of Deltora.
In Super Luigi Bros. 3: Bootleg Hell, there's a secret level in the first world named Hard Times. The level takes place on an icy mountaintop. This is a reference to the Jetzons song "Hard Times", which was used as the basis for the Ice Cap Zone theme from Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

R.I.P old layout :(
I love putting references in my own hacks.

Super Mario FML
-If you read the message boxes in level 1, you lose the game.
-The castle level is called Hogwarts, and so is my 2016 VLDC entry

Mario Must Die series
-The first stage has a message box that reads “You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.” Right before falling into a pit.
-The fourth stage is called “Keep Moving" and uses Yoshi's Island music.
-“Impossible Palace” uses the Mission Impossible theme.
-The sequel has a message box in the 4th stage that reads "All my life I've been good but now. I'm thinking What the Shell.”
-The following level is called “Cave Johnson” while the submap it's in plays ‘Still Alive.'
-The threequel has the word “YATTA" at the end of the penultimate level.
-There’s also a puzzle level titled “Nonary Palace” which appropriately happens to be level 9 and is inspired by Zero Escape, even using the phrase “seek a way out.” The digits above the doors even add up to 9 while the switch blocks around them are kinda like VLR’s chromatic doors.
-The actual final level has a message near the end with the phrase “a fate worse than a fate worse than death". IDK where it's originally from but I saw it referenced in The Lion King Adventures.

Hertz Donut
-The OW has a drawing of Nyan cat made of stars and plays the corresponding theme
-The level Brooklyn Rage was inspired by this, even using Lady Gaga’s Poker Face as its custom music.
-The final level’s name Omegalomaniac was derived from this.

Vanilla Vengeance (in progress)
As of this post I have no videos or download yet but eventually you won’t have to take my word for it.
-The first level has a Coyote Peterson reference in the form of a message box that reads “I'm Mario Mario, and I'm about to enter the Chomp Zone. Here we go” and another message at the end that reads “Be brave, stay wild, and we’ll see you on the next adventure.”
-The title screen and intro level design is a reference to Cuphead's tutorial, while the title screen movements are inspired by that one guy who couldn't pass the tutorial.

-Combo Breaker’s forest submap has a level called “Bat Country” which is the title of an Avenged Sevenfold song
-‘Mario is Stupid’ was originally titled ‘Nadafinga’ which is from A Christmas Story.
-Thirty Tens references the Super Dictionary, Human Centipede, and 3OH!3.
-YOLOshi’s Island’s second level is called Shut Up and Drive, a.k.a. the sexual song used in a Disney movie.
-IDK if anyone caught this yet but the line guides in MegaHertz Donut’s intro are a loss meme

There’s probably way more than what is mentioned here.

Legacy custom music
A site where you can watch my YT videos AND be able to hit that dislike where your dislike will be visible to other people and not have to rely on a browser extension

Fart World level 3 and boo bosses portray 'goatses'.. not sure if goatse is considered pop culture tho.. probably not
Not sure if this counts but Palace of Hentai from Panic In The Mushroom Kingdom was pretty funny
Originally posted by NaroGugul
Fart World level 3 and boo bosses portray 'goatses'.. not sure if goatse is considered pop culture tho.. probably not

That is poop culture.

Yeah i know, the joke was so free i'm sure you did it on purpose
^ nice one

My hack has only two worlds done so far, and I've already made eight references to songs, one to mathematics, and one to programming, all in the level names. (More to come.) I find that level names work really well being either references or puns.

Reading this thread, it kind of surprises me how many references there are in hacks. Most of them are probably lost to most of the audience.


Originally posted by Sokobansolver
IDK if anyone caught this yet but the line guides in MegaHertz Donut’s intro are a loss meme

What meme though? I'm legitimately curious cause I didn't catch it.

One of the levels of Facedesk is named Dudley's Creek and makes an obvious reference to Dudley Puppy. If you open the overworld editor, there's also a message in the same level number that has the lyrics of the introduction.

There was also a message in a level I was planning to include that had something among the lines of "you will pay for what you did Mario! You and your little friends!" (sic), a Scooby Doo reference.

My hack claustrophobia was inspired by the movie "Cube".
You can kinda see where the overworld came from on this clip of the movie

not a literal copy, but the influence should be very obvious
Originally posted by Katerpie
What meme though? I'm legitimately curious cause I didn't catch it.

Assuming you don't know about Loss? It's a comic that's been made fun of and remixed so many times that its even recognizable in the most bare-bones form (one vertical line in panel 1, two vertical lines in panels 2 and 3, one vertical and one horizontal line in panel 4).


I dunno what can be so funny about a comic that presents something serious and that's not drawn in an amusing, but still cartoon style. Uhhh, people these days!
I have a Discord server as well!


Basically, I believe in peace and bashing two bricks together.
because it's done so incredibly melodramatically, and pretty much came out of nowhere in what had previously been a gaming comedy webcomic. it's been diluted into a pattern meme in the past few years, but the reason it was a meme in the first place is because of how heavy-handed and nonsensical it was in its original context
Finally, time to reveal my secrets.

In Krack The Hack, there are a lot of quotes taken from movies and games used in it's plot.
-Krack's need of sending people to "The River Twygz" is a reference to the River Twygz from Super Paper Mario.
-When Larry exclaims that Daizo is not wrong, and that a "huge doomship is "approaching fast", that is a reference to Darius Twins when a boss enemy comes into the stage.
-The Rixzo "Drax" gets his name from the character of the same name from "Guardians of the Galaxy".
-The first 5 words spoken from Krack after he's been imprisoned is a reference to Spy Kids 2 where Mr Floop sings the song "Who what when where and why?"
-When Yanni gives Krack the morph potion, he spits out the same "It's contents will help you on your way" line from SMB3.
-Chuckles and Charlie's names are taken from Aterraformer and raocow's names for the Chargin' Chuck enemies.
-Markiplier's name drop speaks for itself.
-When you choose Brent as Krack's name, Krack himself spits out the line "Because it's so easy being evil!", it's a near-direct quote from the Voltire song "It's so easy being evil".
-When Krack says that his assigned number is #1, Krack spits out the lyrics to
Lazy Town's "We are Number One"
and Chuckles gets annoyed.
-The level "Kastle Keytastrophe" is a reference to Mario's Keytastrophe. The theme used in Mac and Zac's battle even uses a resampled version of the "Boothoven's Symphony" track as their boss theme specifically for that level.
-Both Thwomp Farrel and Mole Myers are references to Will Farrel and Mike Myers, along with their designated quotes.
-When Bowser exclaims that Mac and Zac interrupted him on his "bad villain day", that's a reference to King K. Rool in the DKC Cartoon when his minions interrupt him on his "bad villain day".
-When Bowser gets defeated, Bowser
throws himself in a lava pit
and shouts "See you in hell valley!" This is a reference to the Shiverburn Galaxy's beta name from Super Mario Galaxy 2 confirmed by the "Hell Valley Sky Tree" monsters.
The entire escape sequence is ripped from Super Metroid.

-When Daizo and Krack do meet up again, Krack mentions that both Mario and Luigi's last name is "Mario". This is a reference to the Super Mario Bros Movie.
-Newfoundworld and Leveldor contains the level
, and in it plays a pitched down version of Megalovania from Undertale. The pitch references the very first version of Megalovania from the Earthbound Halloween Hack.
Bowser's ancestor, Grievous Koopa, gets his name from General Grievous from Star Wars.

When The Great Koopa and Bowser meet up once again to talk about "The Dark Armour", Bowser exclaims that he can finally send Mario to the "Underwhere". What Bowser was referring to was Super Paper Mario's version of hell.

100 Rooms of Enemies does not have that many references, but...
-The whole premise is based on Pit of 100 Trials (pretty obvious).
-Room 52 has a cheetamen hiding behind the window behind the turn blocks, referencing Action 52.
-There is a hidden Luigi in Room 61, referencing the "Year of Luigi".
-The way the final four rooms are presented, portraits and all, is a reference to Kirby Super Star Ultra's True Arena with it's "Final Four" (Creepy music too!).
Room 100
is based on the Ornstein and Smough boss fight from Dark Souls (the fact that one boss can gain the ability of the other depending on which one you defeat first).

Want progress on 100 Rooms of Enemies: The Nightmare Edition? Go here to see.

Are you a sample porter and wanna help with 100 Rooms of Enemies: The Nightmare Edition? Private Message me or Mellonpizza for details. Expect trading "resources" in exchange. 4 more left.

in my hack The Joy Of Kaizo (based on bob ross paintigs and quotes)
- you fight the devil in a lighthouse.. thats a reference to Lucifer (light bringer)
- there are some eventual upside down crosses and pentagrams.
- the latest version can be read as 1.666
- also the spikes in the final level were inspired by mortal kombat.. on 'moderate' and 'advanced' difficulties you will find yoshi, mario and Luigi dead on the spikes
Originally posted by NaroGugul
- there are some eventual upside down crosses and pentagrams

pentagrams aren't satanic... they're just symbols of protection.

R.I.P old layout :(
Originally posted by TheEvilKingBowser
Originally posted by NaroGugul
- there are some eventual upside down crosses and pentagrams

pentagrams aren't satanic... they're just symbols of protection.

"The 'Pentagram' has magical associations. Many people who practice Neopagan faiths wear jewelry incorporating the symbol. Christians once commonly used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus. The pentagram has associations with Freemasonry and is also used as a symbol by other belief systems."

- Citation: Wikipedia

Oh, man opening a huge can of worms by using the wiki...
it depends on the cult.
I pretty much follow LaVey.. so there you got the reference
Hack 5 includes
an appearance by Donald Trump, mentions of Kanye West, Stormy Daniels and Marvin Gaye.
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