3D Dot Game Heroes contains many classic game references from The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and even Metroid. Most game references are directed towards the NES/Famicom and SNES era, where 2D games were a standard and used either 8bit, 16bit, and the later 32bit graphics engines. Most references can be found through the many loading art screens.
The Legend of ZeldaEdit
There a significant number of Legend of Zelda references in the game ranging from the original, Link to the Past, and more.
- The Life Shards are a copy off of the Heart Pieces found in every Zelda game (except The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: Link's Adventure). Just like in the Legend of Zelda, four Life Shards give you one more Health unit. In 3D Dot Game Heroes, each point of health is an apple, which closely resembles a heart.
- The many caves you can bomb open with people inside who either take or give you gol is a direct reference to a few of the Zelda games such as original and Oracle of Ages and Seasons. The famous line "It's everybodys secret" used by the old men who give you gol is a reference to the phrase "It's a secret to everybody" used in the Zelda games.
- The fairy Lee who follows your character throughout the game is a reference to Navi from the Legend of Zelda: Ocerina of Time. Lee also tries to tell you how to solve certain puzzles or say obvious statements, but not quite to the extent of the infamous Navi.
- Fairy Fountains are found in most of the early Zelda games like those in 3D Dot Game Heroes.
- The six sages is a possible reference to the seven wise men of The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past or the six sages from The Ocarina of Time.
- While it is likely unintentional, the name of Dark Lord Onyx is similar to The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons' main antagonist, Onox.
- When you attack a Chicken more will come and they will swarm and attack you like in most Zelda games.
- The Forest of No Return functions like the Lost Woods, and similar locations, found in most Zelda games starting with the original.
There are many small references within the game directed towards the Final Fantasy series. These references range from Final Fantasy I to VI.
- The inventor Dic is "Cid" spelled backwards. In each of the Final Fantasy games, a character by the name of Cid could always be found who was either an Inventor, Engineer, or Scientist, much like 3D Dot Game Heroes inventor Dic. Aditionally, at the end of the game, Dic mentions working on a ship that can fly, a reference to Airships which almost every Cid in Final Fantasy is closely related to.
- A character found in Hotel Nialliv by the name of Dim is "Mid" spelled backwards. Mid is Cid's nephew in Final Fantasy V.
- Colneria Village is a misspelling of the Final Fantasy I town and castle "Cornelia." Like in 3D Dot Game Heroes, Cornelia is located just north of the sea in Final Fantasy.
- In Raejack Village, a boy in the town centre says "Wanna see some magic...? Pam nepo ot 1L sserp!" which is "Press L1 to open map" backwards. This references to Matoya's cave in Final Fantasy I where a magic talking broomstick says the same thing (replacing L1 with Select B).
- Loading Art #26 is the box art for Final Fantasy I in Japan.
- Loading Art #35 is the box art for Final Fantasy II in Japan. It shows Firion in his most iconic pose.
- Loading Art #46 is the box art for Final Fantasy III in Japan.
- Loading Art #48 is the box art for Final Fantasy IV. From left to right with the 3D Dot Game Hero characters models in parenthesis: Cecil (Hero), Rosa (Princess), Edge (Scholar), Black Mage (Magi), White Mage (Ghost), and a Chocobo (the Chicken).
- Loading Art #61 is the box art for Final Fantasy V in Japan. The Hero is Bartz Klauser and the large chicken behind him is his pet Chocobo, Boko.
- Loading Art #70 is the box art for Final Fantasy Mystic Quest.
- After clearing the Aqua Temple, a girl in Colneria will give you the key item "Ribbon" and talks about how she doesn't understand how it wards off sickness. The Ribbon is an item found in every Final Fantasy game which wards off status effects of the character equiping it. It is often one of the most powerful items you can aquire.
- After clearing the Desert Temple, a man will stand outside the center house in Ortego Village and will use all his life energy to break a sealed door so you can obtain the key item "Ultima Book." This is a direct reference to Final Fantasy II where the White Mage, Minwu, used all the magic he had in him to open a door so Firion and his friends could obtain the ultimate mage, Ultima. Minwu died in the process much like the man in Otegro does and the fact it is called "Ultima Book" is a reference to how magic was taught to characters through tomes in Final Fantasy II.
- In another scene in Otegro within the center house, there is a man by the name of Jose holding back a rock so the three people can escape. This is a reference to Josef from Final Fantasy II who did this very same heroic action to save Firion, Maria, and Guy from a massive boulder.
- One of the Block Defense Plus levels is called "Gilgamesh Beach" which is a reference to one of the most memorable characters in Final Fantasy V; Gilgamesh.
- The man next to the dog by Fina's Inn speaks in a way similar to the Final Fantasy II character, Guy. Guy can also speak to animals (ie the Beavers).
- After beating the first temple, a scene similar to the one seen in Final Fantasy I is used.
There are quite a few Dragon Quest (also known as Dragon Warrior in the US up until recently) references from almost the entire series.
- The "Poof Poof" girl in Ortego is a direct reference to a common Dragon Quest event.
- At the back of Dotnia Castle, there is a man who says "May the light guide you" followed by the screen flashing. This is a reference to Dragon Quest.
- In Raejack, you have the option to choose who an NPC marries. Either a childhood friend or the daughter of a wealthy family. This is a reference to Dragon Quest V.
- Loading Art #09 is the box art for Dragon Quest I in Japan.
- Loading Art #18 is the box art for Dragon Quest II in Japan.
- Loading Art #29 is the box art for Dragon Quest III in Japan.
- Loading Art #44 is the box art for Dragon Quest IV in Japan.
- Loading Art #51 is the box art for Dragon Quest V in Japan.
- Loading Art #55 is the box art for Toruneko's Great Adventure: Mysterious Dungeon in Japan.
- Loading Art #65 is the box art for Dragon Quest VI in Japan.
- In Dotnia Castle, there is an NPC who asks you if you'd like to trade him for his "Demons game" and says that it's too hard.
- West of Dotnia Castle, there is a cave that is called "From Cave", a reference to the developers of 3D Dot Game Heroes and Demon's Souls, From Software.
- In From Cave, you will step on a tile and hear a message, "I'm in trouble. Please recommend this message!" If you say yes to this, it will follow up with, "Somebody was healed." This is a reference to the system of leaving messages for other players in Demon's Souls. If a player's message in Demon's Souls is recommended by other players, the messager's health gets restored slightly.
- In From Cave, another tile you step on allows you to find "Sticky white stuff", an item from Demon's Souls.
- In From Cave, one of the NPCs says something along the lines of, "I don't see what the problem is. This game isn't that hard." Demon's Souls is notorious for its over-the-top difficulty.
- In From Cave, if you try "talking" to an NPC lying on the ground, the game tells you that it's just a corpse. After that, you receive a "Hero's Soul" item. In Demon's Souls, you find Soldier's/Hero's/etc Souls on corpses in the game.
Other Game ReferencesEdit
- Loading Art #1 is the box art for Tower of Druaga.
- Loading Art #2 is the box art for Challenger (NES).
- Loading Art #3 is the box art for Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (NES).
- Loading Art #10 is the Japanese box art for Ghosts 'n Goblins.
- Loading Art #17 is the box art for Madoola no Tsubasa: The Wing of Madoola.
- Loading Art #24 is the box art for Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II.
- Loading Art #27 is the box art for Metal Gear (NES).
- Loading Art #31 is the box art for Kai No Bouken: The Quest of Ki.
- Loading Art #37 is the Japanese box art for Mega Man II.
- Loading Art #38 is the box art for Space Harrier.
- Loading Art #47 is the box art for Ys III: Wanderers From Ys (SNES).
- Loading Art #50 is the Japanese box art for Street Fighter 2.
- Loading Art #52 is the box art for Shin Megami Tensei II.
- Loading Art #53 is the box art for Castlevania.
- Loading Art #62 is the Japanese box art for Chrono Trigger.
- Loading Art #64 is the box art for Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together.
- Loading Art #72 is the box art for Tactics Ogre on the PSX - the dragon replaces a griffon ~
- Loading Art #74 is the box art for Lemmings (NES).
- Loading Art #75 is the box art for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES).
- Loading Art #77 is the box art for Populous (NES).
- Loading Art #78 is the box art for Doom.
- Loading Art #81 is the box art for Secret of Mana (SNES).
- Loading Art #83 is the box art for Vagrant Story (PSX).
- Loading Art #88 is the box art for Clu Clu Land (NES).
- Loading Art #90 is the box art for Another World.
- Loading Art #100 is the box art for Contra (NES).
- Loading Art #101 is the box art for Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest.
- Loading Art #102 is the box art for Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (NES).
- Loading Art #104 is the American box art for Street Fighter 2.