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The fifth book is kind of light on the videogame references, but at least it starts off with a great one: a parody of the Double Dragon III logo:
The message “[Character] joined the party!” is a fixture in just about every story- and character-driven JRPG ever made. But here it’s kind of funny because, see, the robot’s joining an actual party, with people and drinks and music! Instead of, you know, a gang of brooding murderers who band together over their shared love of freedom/the planet/the idealistic healer/princess with a voice like a yappy dog. And call themselves a “party.” Yes.
The t-shirt Scott’s wearing on the Chapter 29 splash page should be instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever played Rock Band – it’s the game’s bass-guitar logo. Appropriate, since Scott plays bass in Sex Bob-Omb.
Among Scott’s many anti-talents is the ability to immediately and completely forget people he’s only just met. So he’s probably actually lucky to remember that Kyle and Ken Katayanagi have a name that sounds kind of like “Katamari.”
Now, if their attack robots could roll giant trashballs around as well as kick Scott’s ass, this book would be perfect.
UPDATE: Turns out this is actually a double reference. Randy and Andy were the names of the "infamous Dragon Twins" from River City Ransom, who showed up near the end of the game to menace heroes Alex and Ryan before the final confrontation with Simon.
It might be tempting to think that anything called a “hurricane kick” is from Street Fighter, but that’s a red herring. (And seriously, when have you ever seen a double hurricane kick in Street Fighter?) This one’s actually from Double Dragon, specifically Double Dragon III – no surprise, really, given the title-page splash at the beginning of the book.
Performing a double hurricane kick was a two-player feat that required careful cooperation and timing – especially important with “friendly fire” turned on, since a wrong move could knock one or both of you out of the air. Pull it off, however, and Billy and Jimmy would lock arms and do a ridiculous spinning kick that would nonetheless obliterate everyone standing nearby.
UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Protospasm for pointing out that this can also be read as a Randy and Andy reference, who were themselves a Double Dragon reference. Leave them unpunched for too long and they'd pull off a double hurricane kick, although closer inspection reveals it's not the arms-linked one the Lee brothers executed.
Scott gets an Achievement for beating both twins at once? Yeah, that sounds about right. All that’s missing is the logo and the satisfying blip noise. Although we'll probably see those when the Scott Pilgrim vs The World game comes to 360 later this month, seeing as this is already a Trophy in the PS3 version.
The title of Chapter 31, which begins after Ramona’s disappearance, is a direct callout to Final Fantasy VI. More specifically, it references what happens to the game’s world after villain Kefka “wins” halfway through and reduces the world to a twisted, desolate cinder that the heroes are then forced to wander. One of them (potentially) even attempts suicide. It’s that inevitable point in any adventure when the heroes are at their lowest – just like Scott is here.
Man, the book’s just turning into a bag of smiles at this point, isn’t it? It’s not really that appropriate to flash a “game over” here – there’s still another book to go, after all – but it gets the point across.
Reference-wise, it’s impossible to pin down; the list of games that never say “Game Over” is probably a fraction as long as the list of those that do. So let’s call it a general reference and move on.
Ditto the “Continue?” panel – it’s a very general reference that applies to a very wide variety of games. Although the aerial camera angle here is a little evocative of Grand Theft Auto’s death scenes. And somehow, I’ve always imagined the announcer from Soul Edge reading this particular line.
Oh well, greener pastures ahead.
Next page: Volume 6! At last! And also some extras!