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September 19, 2018 / KingsIsle Community

10 Favorite Wizard101 Pop Culture References

Hey all! It’s Nalia Dunestrider (AKA Mallie, KingsIsle Marketing Coordinator), here to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Wizard101 with another top 10 blog post. There’s a lot to love about Wizard101, but one of my favorite parts is catching the references that our writing and design teams include.

The KingsIsle team references everything from music, movies, and TV shows to real life people, places, and events in Wizard101. Some are obvious, while others are a little trickier to find. There are huge lists on our official forums and fansites of all the Easter Eggs and references in the game, but I’ve put together my personal top ten.

  1. This one may be cheating since it’s got so many, but I love the Accursed Play Gauntlet! It’s packed with references to Shakespeare, from his plays to famous Shakespearian actors like Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh.drama
  2. As someone who’s originally from Kansas, I’m a sucker for a good Wizard of Oz reference. The “Not in Kansas Anymore” side quest line brings the magic of Oz to the streets of Unicorn Way. The quest reward is even a pair of ruby slippers! It may be an obvious reference, but it’s one of my favorites since it reminds me of where I grew up.
  3. If you look closely at the crates in Belloq’s tent in Zafaria, you might notice a familiar looking gold statue. It’s a nearly identical replica of the idol in the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” that Belloq (the movie version) steals from Indiana Jones.belloq
  4. In Vestrilund, you’ll find a pair of brothers name Urt and Berni who ask you to rescue Berni’s prized possession: a yellow wooden duck. This one’s a reference to the famous sesame street characters Bert and Ernie and their song “Rubber Ducky.”
  5. Avalon heavily references the legend of King Arthur, and you can’t reference that without including a few references to the greatest King Arthur parody of all time: Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Roger the Shrubber (the Avalon gardening vendor) is named after a character in the movie and you may recognize a line from the movie when completing the quest “There’s the Shrub.” Of course, there are many more Holy Grail references throughout Avalon, but I’ll leave you to discover them.
  6.  Dancing Queen is my go-to karaoke song, so you know I’m a fan of the Zafaria boat “The Dancing Queen.” The boatman gives you a quest called “You can Jive” which is a direct reference to the lyrics in Dancing Queen.dancing queen
  7. In the Pet Pavilion, there’s a double reference to the same band. There’s the “Pet Shoppe Boys Pet Shop,” named after famed British pop duo the Pet Shop Boys. The “West Ende Girls Snack Shop” is named after one of that band’s most famous songs, West End Girls.
  8. The Labyrinth Fish in Dragonspyre is modeled after David Bowie’s costume in the 1986 movie Labyrinth. The description even references the famous line “You have no power over me!”labyrinth fish
  9. Horror fans with a keen eye might notice that the hybrid pet quest you get from your professor at level 78 references a Stephen King novel, novella, or short story depending on your school. Each school gets a different quest/Stephen King title:
    • Balance – “It”
    • Death – “Bag of Bones”
    • Fire – “Firestarter”
    • Ice – “Misery”
    • Life – “The Green Mile”
    • Myth – “Eyes of the Dragon”
    • Storm – “Hearts in Atlantis”
  10. There’s a Marleybone quest called “Reckless Necklace” that has you visting Jared Banks, a jeweler. When you deliver the repaired necklace to Ms. Marphely, she exclaims “You went to Jared’s?” which is the tagline of a series of ads for Jared’s jewelers. jared

As I mentioned earlier, this is just a small list of my favorite references. There are hundreds if not thousands more for you to find as you explore the Spiral. I’d love to hear your favorite in-game pop culture references in the comments below!

September 12, 2018 / KingsIsle Community

Leah’s Top 10 KingsIsle Live Moments

For those of you who don’t know, KingsIsle Live is the monthly livestream where KingsIsle shares news about all of our games, MMO and mobile. To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we asked Tom and Leah (prolific KI Live hosts) what their 10 favorite KI Live moments are.

Last week, Tom told us all about his favorite moments. This week’s post comes from Professor Falmea, AKA Leah. Leah says it best: “Tom picked out some really good moments that are super fond memories of mine as well, and now here’s a collection of more memories that I either remember fondly, or that just plain made me laugh.”

1.     A Very Special Guest

Puppet Merle! Need I say more?

2.     Tropical Vacation

While I was out on vacation, Jeff Toney stepped in to help co-host our holiday special. Tom’s sassy moments during my vacation segments still make me laugh to this day!

3.     Dress Like a Unicorn Day

Tom and I donned our unicorn best for this KI Live to celebrate the release of our Unicorn Hoard Pack. I’m rocking my favorite unicorn onesie and Tom… well, you’ll have to see it to believe it.

4.     Tom’s Ship PVP Woes

Poor Tom couldn’t catch a break in our Pirate101 Ship PVP segment! Decius’s bonus appearance as Squid Man makes this my favorite Tom vs PVP segment.

5.     The Nerf Gun Ban

In our special 8th anniversary KI Live interview, a few members of the team told the dramatic saga behind our office Nerf gun ban.

6.     Interview with a Kane

We had a very special interview with the leader of the Armada himself, Kane! We found out that he joined the QA team after his defeat and he can recognize a joke… who would have thought?

7.     Working with an Eye patch

Two Halloweens ago, we convinced a few KingsIsle employees to join us in dressing up like Pirate101 characters or pirates in general. We even got a group shot to share on KI Live!

8.     Check Your Sound

The only thing scarier than a Halloween KI Live is forgetting to unmute ourselves!

9.     Christmas in July

I don’t know what I like more in this one, our Christmas in July attire or our Hawaiian Christmas intro!

10. Corny Interviews

At the request of our players, we gave ears of corn to everyone that we interviewed for our 8th birthday. It was a corny celebration, but definitely one of my favorites!

There you have it: Leah’s top 10 KI Live moments! What are some of your favorite KingsIsle Live moments? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we upload new KI Live episodes after the livestream.

September 5, 2018 / KingsIsle Community

Tom’s Top 10 KI Live Moments

For those of you who don’t know, KingsIsle Live is the monthly livestream where KingsIsle shares news about all of our games, MMO and mobile. To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we asked Tom and Leah (prolific KI Live hosts) what their 10 favorite KI Live moments are.

KI Live.PNG

Today’s post is a top 10 list from the man himself, Tom Purdue! He sent over his favorite moments and his explanations for why they’re his favorites. We’ve added links so you don’t have to hunt through hours and hours of KingsIsle Live. Get ready to laugh, cry, and… who am I kidding? You’ll mostly be laughing!

1.     The Blooper Reel from our Early Days on KI Live

Ahh the good ol’ days when Leala handled all the technical aspects of running the show and all I needed to do was show up and act goofy.

2.     A Look Into the Air Ducts

I love that this segment started as honest curiosity and a bit of inventiveness from the Marketing Artist and myself. We wanted to know what it looked like in the air ducts, so we rigged up a way to “selfie stick” my camera up there to find out. After we were done we joked about how funny it would be to make a jump scare out of it. All it took was a quick email to Damon.

3.     Tom and Leah Show Off the New Office

We had just moved into the new building and finding a place to film that was as unobtrusive as possible was a bit of a challenge.  This led to an Andy Sandberg-esque skit where we just showed people around the office. I’ll never forget the looks on our coworker’s faces as we “popped into scene” randomly that day.

4.     KI Live with Damon

I couldn’t have been happier to give Damon the spotlight. He helps us so much with great video productions at KingsIsle that it was fun to flip the camera on him.

5.     Vanessa’s Keyboard Slamming Skills

Well known are the Pet Derby skills of Vanessa Mythdust!  We’ve watched her defeat me on several occasions of KI Live, but I’ll never forget her “Fingers of Fury” live in the KingsIsle office. You can actually see the vibrations in the camera as she worked her magic!

6.     TROLL!

I wish we would have used this gag more!

7.     Dancing in Empyrea

Damon and I call this trick the “Tom Bergeron” gag as an homage to when they’d put Tom Bergeron’s head over other people on America’s Funniest Home Video. It turned out better than we expected.

8.     Street Fighting at SXSW

SXSW gaming was such an amazing chance to meet up with you all, share what’s coming up for KingsIsle, and for me to show off my sick Street Fighter skills. GG Leah, GG.

9.     Turret Boss Mayhem

I love a little chaos, and what better way to bring chaos than to use my special server commands to drop some turrets in Pirate101 Ship PVP?

10.   Krampus or Claus?

I can’t pass up the chance to be a game show host, which is why I loved filming our Krampus or Claus segment.

 

KI Live day is a favorite day in the KingsIsle office. Filming new segments, revealing new and exciting things in our games, and chatting with the community live are the best parts of our job! We love being able to share these moments with you and would love to hear what your favorite KI Live moment is in the comments!