Friday, December 14, 2007

The complete list of dorky achievement references

RECOMMENDED READ: Thoughts of the Community Manager of Kongregate

I'm not going to lie -- coming up with achievement and challenge names can sometimes take a long time. If you were to wander by my desk in the Kongregate office to see me absent-mindedly fiddling with paper clips, there's a very good chance that I've spent the last 15 minutes agonizing over what to call the newest achievement that I've created.

In these lapses of creativity, I often find myself falling back on obscure references to books, movies, TV, video games and general pop culture. I honestly have no idea how many people pick up on some of these references, but I try to make them make at least SOME sense even if you have no idea what they're referring to. I thought I would take a few minutes to explain every single achievement reference on the site. It might help clear a few things up, it might give you a glimpse of what goes on in my tiny little brain, and, if you leave a reply, it might give me a general idea of just how many of these get noticed or go completely undetected. Enjoy after the jump!

Counter-Terrorists Win: A reference to "Counter-Strike" and the phrase many of us have had burned into our brains after countless house of playing that damn game.

Defender of Earth: Gordon's title from "Disgaea: Hour of Darkness."

Rotation Rotation Rotation: A reference to the real estate phrase of "Location Location Location."

Merry Poppins: An incredibly lame reference to "Mary Poppins."

Red Light District: A reference to everyone's favorite hang-out in the world.

No Orb Left Behind: A reference to the military saying "no man left behind."

"Do You Has a Flavor?": Brad Borne (one of the developers of Nuclear Eagle and the developer of Fancy Pants) actually INSISTED on this name as a Lolcats reference, despite its grammatical weirdness. Don't blame me!

Speck Revolution: A reference to the game itself, "Speck Oppression." The corresponding challenge was a bit easier and called "Speck Civil Disobedience."

Star Power: A reference to the common phrase, applied more literally here.

HMO Practitioner: A reference to the awesome health care I've historically gotten at Kaiser Permanente.

Chatmaster: A very light reference to "Chessmaster."

Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goon Slayer: A not-so-subtle reference to Calvin and Hobbes.

Magnoliophyta Master: "Magnoliophyta" is the scientific name for a flowering plant.

Meaning of Death: A reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as you must reach level 42 to complete this achievement.

Scale of Justice: Alison actually made this one, a reference to the famous statue relating to the United States legal system.

Rock Mobster: Okay, so there are rocks, and maybe I was reaching way too hard for a "Rock Lobster" reference here.... The challenge name "Rock Attack" for Asteroids Revenge III received far more praise as a reference to "Rockettack" by MrcredsAlex.

Knee Deep in the Undead: A reference to "Knee Deep in the Dead," the first episode of "Doom."

Master Trainer: A very light Pokemon reference.

BattleBot Endurance Champion: A reference to those horrible marathons of "BattleBots" that Comedy Central used to run when they didn't have anything else to show. Many people understood this reference a bit better upon actually completing this incredibly dragged-out badge. I actually apologized to Weasel for how much this badge killed his game's score, but he replied by saying that it was all right, and that the game had plenty of issues anyway. Like BattleBots, Hover Bot Arena is perhaps best enjoyed in 5-minute doses.

Sergeant Grumbles: A reference to The Perry Bible Fellowship, seen at

General's Slaughter: A reference to the movie "The General's Daughter." I've not actually seen this movie, but I heard it was horrible. Perhaps undeserved?

Ball Breaker: I try to avoid references to genitals, but every now and then, one slips through.

Born Again Sinner: I believe Jim actually came up with this one, a reference to "Born Again Christian." Or maybe Emily came up with it. Who knows? They're basically the same person.

Flawless Victory: Take your pick as to whichever fighting game this could be referencing.

Chron-O-Johnny: Negative One, the programmer of Johnny Rocketfingers 2, had only one request for the badge name: a reference to an old Lucas Arts adventure game. I went with this, a reference to the "Chron-O-John" from "Day of the Tentacle."

Balloon Fighter: A reference to "Balloon Fight."

Line Rider: A not-so-subtle reference to the most famous Flash game of all time. Its subtlety is enhanced only slightly by the names of the other badges in "Line Game," which go with a similar theme.

Junior Ecto: A reference to "Ghostbusters" (that Sling guy reminds me of Slimer).

Citizen Snips: One of the more popular badge names, I think, this is a reference to one of the greatest scenes/characters ever from "Futurama."

Register Biscuit: A reference to "Penny Arcade," as seen at

Hitchhiker: Another reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Ghost Breaker: Another reference to "Ghostbusters." I was reaching a bit with this one....

Candy Man: A reference to, well, the Candyman.

The Chosen one Zero One: A reference to the generic "Chosen One" term used across many books and films.

Double Dome Defender: What? You defend two domes. Totally innocent, I swear! Oh, wait, I think you actually just defend one dome... (okay, fine, boobs)

Malus Domestica Connoisseur: Much like the Sprout badge, Malus Domestica is a scientific reference to an apple tree, which is a reference to the classic tale of Isaac Newton's discovery.

High Warlord: Somewhat generic, but also meant as a light reference to the final PvP rank for the horde in "World of Warcraft." I was somewhat proud of myself for going this long without a single WoW reference, seeing as how I've been addicted to it for 3 years now.

The Sun Eater: Aww, crap, two "World of Warcraft" references in a row. There goes my pride. "The Sun Eater" is a very popular sword in WoW (which my own warrior has had for many months), but I believe even the WoW reference is its own reference to the living weapon in the DC Comics universe. Or so Google tells me.

Mechanical Samadhi: Wikipedia defines "Samadhi" as "a Hindu and Buddhist term that describes a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object." Seeing as how you absolutely must "be one" with a robot that seems to ignore most of your commands in order to earn this achievement, I thought the name was appropriate.

Bloody Buccaneer: Shit, a third WoW reference? I'd gone so long. At least it's a light one, referring VERY loosely to the lovable Bloodsail Buccaneers.

Scurvy Scallowag: I had the Calvin and Hobbes "Calvinball" song in mind when I came up with this one, but it's a pretty generic pirate phrase as well.

Shark Jumper: A reference to the common phrase "jump the shark," which is a reference to Happy Days and its downward spiral. This is in no way meant to imply that Dolphin Olympics 2 is anything but a great improvement over the original, however.

Fish Thankfulness: Yes, a third Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference, but this one is a bit more justified, as the task in the game itself also makes the same reference (both the restaurant at the end of the universe and the combo phrase "So long and thanks for all the flips").

Done in 60 Seconds: Another horrible movie reference ("Gone in 60 Seconds," which I absolutely HATED, but couldn't resist using here), which could also have unintended sexual connotations.

Guitar Champion: A very light reference to "Guitar Hero."

Anika's Delivery Service: A somewhat light reference to the movie "Kiki's Delivery Service."

Y2K Relived: A reference to all the doomsday predictions floating around in 1999 regarding a minor computer bug.

Duck and Cover: Probably the craziest achievement reference I've ever made. Not only is the name a reference to the famous 1950s "Duck and Cover" video (look it up on YouTube if you haven't seen it -- it will be the best 9 minutes of your life), but the image itself is lifted straight from the video as well, making this the only achievement on the entire site that doesn't use an image grabbed for the actual game. Hopefully this is legal.


Focus said...

I never played MAD, but I will soon or I won't have my first amazon card :o. Anyways, when I went to the badges page today I saw a strange duck. I didn't know what it was, but it didn't look like something from a missile onslaught game. :P

Greg said...

Argh, I did not mean for this to take up half of the front page. I can't figure out how to hide the majority of it with the "read more of this article" link. Can anyone let me know how to do this, or just change it themselves? My email address is Thanks

Fabian920 said...

The Anika Odissey badge name reference?

JudeMaverick said...

What, Defender of Earth is Gordon? Make it the 37th Defender of Earth next time as it's a better Disgaea reference :P

Ryan said...

I do believe that there was a badge with the terms "It's over 9000" in it. I can't find it anymore...

Greg, did you make it? If so, is it a strong reference to a famous Bash comment?

Malachi said...

Wow, a lot of these, I hadn't even thought about! Thanks for the article Greg... Good read.

Sylicas said...

Aw man, I only got 3 refrences out of all of them!

Greg said...

Fabian: Yeah, the description is indeed a reference to that. I couldn't bring myself to make it the actual name, though.

Jude: It's a light reference, and pretty generic at that...

Ryan: Good memory! That was actually a points challenge, though, lost from the site forever now. It was indeed a reference to the famous clip.

Sylicas: That sounds about right. It says more about me than it does about you. :-P

NorthernPolarity said...

lovable bloodsail buccaneers? Just wondering, but have you gotten the pirate hat? O.o

Greg said...

Haha, no, but one of our programmers did (Ben Vinson). He also directed the Leeroy Jenkins video.