3D Dot Game Heroes Reference List

This is an incomplete list of references found in 3D Dot Game Heroes. If you want to help complete it, post additions as comments - I promise I do eventually get around to checking the moderation queue!

Armored Core

Armored Core is a fairly large series by From Software, the makers of 3D Dot Game Heroes. (Atlus is the publisher, From Software made the original game.) So not surprisingly, there are a few references.

  • The "mech game" that an NPC is creating is a direct reference to Armored Core.
  • The Karasawa "sword" is a version of the Karasawa from Armored Core.
  • After receiving the Karasawa, Dic calls you "Raven" - the name given to Armored Core pilots.

Demon's Souls

I've never played Demon's Souls, so this is from John Thacker:

The "From Cave" contains references to Demon's Souls, another game by From Software. The Sticky White Stuff, the Hero's Soul, the complaints about the game being hard, the writing on the floor, and the messages about healing someone are all references to Demon's Souls.

Dragon Quest

I've never played the Dragon Quest games (well, except part of VIII), so these are all from John Thacker.

  • The slime in Raejack Village who wants to be a human is a reference to Healie the slime in Dragon Quest IV.
  • The fortuneteller and her sister who spends all their money are a reference to the sisters Meena and Maya from Dragon Quest IV.
  • The man in Raejack Village who asks you to decide between marrying a rich girl (with a better spell set) or his childhood friend is a reference to a choice the hero must make in Dragon Quest 5.
  • The "poofpoof" is a reference to the "puff puff" from Dragon Quest, which is essentially marshmallow hell. Which makes that scene so much more disturbing. Thanks for the info on that one, John. Now to get that image out of my head...

Final Fantasy

  • The inventor in Raejack is named "Dic" - Cid backwards. At the end of the game, he explains he's working on a flying ship.
  • Colneria is a direct reference to Cornelia, the starting town in Final Fantasy.
  • An NPC in Colneria will give you a Ribbon, a reference to the Ribbon accessory in the Final Fantasy series. (I'm assuming.)
  • After completing the first dungeon and crossing the bridge outside, a scene plays that's reminiscent of the scene that plays after crossing the bridge in Final Fantasy.
  • A character in Raejack tells you to "Pam nepo ot 1L sserp" - a reference to a backwards-talking broom who tells you how to open the map in Final Fantasy.
  • A scene plays in Ortega showing a mage called Newmin sacrificing himself to give the player the "Ultima Book," a reference to the character Minwu in Final Fantasy II.
  • Another scene in Ortega involves a character named Jose holding a bolder to save three other NPCs, a reference to Josef in Final Fantasy II. (Also present are versions of Guy, Firion, and Maria.)
  • A character outside of Fina's Inn may be a reference to Guy from Final Fantasy II in that he speaks in a similar fashion and claims to be able to speak with animals.
  • One of Sir Signe's signs reads "D3sidlroweht," a reference to a puzzle in Final Fantasy VI which involved the phrase "The World is Square" being written backwards.

The Legend of Zelda

Well, the entire freaking game. But beyond that, more specific direct references are:

  • Lee the annoying fairy is pretty obviously Navi.
  • Fairy fountains are ... fairy fountains.
  • The Hero Sword is obtained by pushing a gravestone in the graveyard. Kind of like the Magic Sword in the Legend of Zelda.
  • Every item: the boomerang is the boomerang, bombs are bombs, the bow and arrow are the bow and arrow, the wire rod/anchor rod are the hookshot, and the flame wand is the upgraded magic wand.
  • The dash boots are the Pegasus Boots.
  • The Silver Ring (reduces damage by 25%) is the Blue Ring, which has to be bought, and the Gold Ring (reduces damage by 50%) is the Red Ring.
  • The Life meter, the Life Up and Life Shards, and the Red Apples are just apple versions of hearts from Zelda.
  • Not to mention that Red Apples are the red apples from the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Certain trees would drop apples when rammed into, which acted exactly like hearts.
  • The Magic Ups are basically the magic increases from the Legend of Zelda II - except they're green.
  • The dungeon setup is basically identical to the Legend of Zelda in that each room is a screen, and there are only four places where doors can be.
  • The goblins (sorry, "Gobles") who tell you that "It's a secret to everybody" before giving you 100G is a reference to various moblins in the Legend of Zelda who would say the same thing (or was it everyone to save space?) before giving a number of ruppees.
  • A Goble in a cave says "grumble, grumble" and his quest is completed by feeding him - a reference to a puzzle used in the first Legend of Zelda where a Moblin says "grumble, grumble" and can only be passed by feeding him.
  • There's a bombable cave where the occupant makes you pay for door repairs - reference to the (annoying) caves in the Legend of Zelda that did the exact same thing. (They're especially prevalent in the second quest, especially in places that used to hide useful items. Thanks to Jinu for pointing this out.)

Enemies from the Legend of Zelda

There are too many to list above, so instead, here is a simple table:

3D Dot Game Heroes Enemy Zelda Original
Spidel / Darkspidel Tektite
Goble / Dark Goble Moblin
Octon Octorok
Centaus / Centathrow Lynel
Scorpion Rope
Soldier Bones Stalfos
Magi / Gray Magi Wizzrobe
Mummy Man Gibdo
Ropus / Dark Ropus Popo (maybe)
Knight / Black Knight Darknut
Vampire Vire
Guardian Armos

A note on the Centaus/Centathrow: with a name like that, you might be thinking that it's just referencing centaurs. But compare the in-game art of the Centaus with that of the Lynel. That's not a human torso on the Centaus.

I'd give a pass on the "vampires" since vampires are generic fantasy as well - except that Vampires turn into a Bat when defeated, while Vires turn into two. So, yeah.

However, I will give a pass on having bats and slimes in dungeons as too generic to be worth mentioning.


  • A character refers to playing a "demon training game" which I'm assuming is a reference to Shin Megami Tensei in general.
  • The description of the Gold Ring explains that it has an effect called an "Abnormous Terror Field" - a reference to the Absolute Terror Field in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • A tablet at the start of the Flame Temple includes a message from "Little Boss" - a reference to Big Boss from the Metal Gear games.
  • After his first entrance, Origin says "Kept you waiting, huh?" - a reference to a line spoken by Solid Snake in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • A guard next to the castle tells you to rescue "Superb Joe," a reference to Bionic Commando.
  • When Dic gives you the Dash boots, he tells you to "get equipped with" them - a reference to Megaman II.
  • The Beam Sword is totally not a reference to a light saber.
  • Despite being "long and thick," the Giga Sword is not a reference to ... never mind.
  • A poofpoof is a backrub, not a ... what is this game rated again? (OK, so this is a Dragon Quest reference, but...)
  • You "have a good night" after staying at the inn with the Princess is a ref-- E10, right? This is rated E10?


A random guy in Raejack at the beginning says "Wanna see some magic...? Pam nepo ot 1L sserp!" which is kinda obvious in my mind.

I guess I could just edit your post.


Dammit, I forgot about that one.

Could be a reference to the honey bee inn from ff vii?

Especially since John pointed out it's a reference to Dragon Quest. I actually played far enough into Dragon Quest VIII to see it, and I forgot about it. Ah well.

The guy in Raejack Village talking about choosing between marrying his childhood friend or the daughter of the rich man (with a better spell set)-- the Hero has make that very choice in Dragon Quest 5.

The fortuneteller girl whose sister who spends all their money she can find right now-- Meena/Nara from Dragon Quest 4, with sister Maya/Mara (depending on which US release). The Hero she's searching for (surrounded by other lights, etc.) is the hero from Dragon Quest 4, and that's why she says you're not the one she's looking for).

The slime who wants to be a human someday-- Healie the slime from Dragon Quest 4.

The "poof poof" is a reference to "puff puff," something in various Dragon Quest games (that apparently means smothering someone in your breasts from behind.)

I just started playing it now...
The princess of Ortego villiage who wants to join the fighting tournament surounded by her 2 gaurds, is homage to Princes Alena from Dragon Quest 4

The entire "From Cave" is references to From Software (who made 3D Dot Game Heroes) other game, Demon's Souls, from the Sticky White Stuff, to the Hero's Soul, to complaining about the game being hard, to the writing on the floor and recommending messages to heal someone.

After finishing the Grass Temple, the guard on the right side of the castle entrance says: "You there! We've located Superb Joe! Head to Area 07 and save him! Please!"

That's an almost exact quote from the original Bionic Commando for the NES, except there it's about Super Joe, not Superb Joe.

Dr. Dic may be mostly a Cid reference, but when he says ""DASH BOOTS COMPLETED! GET YOUR WEAPONS READY! GET EQUIPPED WITH DASH BOOTS" it's a direct reference to Mega Man 2 and what it says when Dr. Light upgrades Mega Man's weapons. Dr. Dic then says "I always wanted to say that."

Wow I'm awful at updating this. Thanks to the Let's Play forum on Something Awful, I now actually know about these references. Yay!

I wonder if the Megaman II thing is a joke added by the translators or if it was in the original? I know that Atlus will add translation-specific jokes to try and make things work for the target audience when the original joke doesn't really work or references culturally-specific things. (Which is a good thing, in my opinion.)

In Ortego Village (itself similar to the name of Ortega, a famous character in Dragon Quest 3), the tomboy princess Elena who is going to enter a fighting tournament and her advisors Brey and Cristo are also PCs from Dragon Quest IV.

The music played when you go to load a game is extremely similar to the music that plays in every single Dragon Quest game at the screen where you choose what save file to load.

The message at the Desert Temple is an exact quote of a message you get from Big Boss in the original NES Metal Gear game.

That message (identical words except from BIG BOSS) is a message you get on your transceiver in the original NES Metal Gear in area which has deadly pit traps.

I also heard someones name was Garland. Could be a reference to ff1 of course.

There is a cracked wall and if you blow it up and go talk to the person inside, they charge you for the repairs for destroying their house