Clash at Demonhead

Clash at Demonhead

What, you thought Sex Bob-Omb and Crash and the Boys were the only bands who names were video game references? Yes, Scott’s evil ex is also in a band named after Clash at Demonhead, aka Dengeki Big Bang! A NES platformer that’s a riff on Metroid, it too features seven boss battles and a man trying to save the girl. Fittingly, it’s the first game that Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee ever played.

Lucas Lee: Pro Skater

Skate or die? Lucas Lee dies thanks to some Tony Hawk grinding, in which he tries to keep a combo going longer and longer to get all of those sweet points and bails at the very end. This reference is a lot more defined in the graphic novel, where Scott has to play Tony Hawk Pro Skater to prepare for the Lucas Lee battle, but here he manages to out-skate him anyway. No one can out-act Chris Evans in this role, though.

 

Scott Pilgrim No Clue

Gotta Go Fast

Along with Zelda, there are a ton of Sonic sound effects used throughout the film, most obviously when Scott goes from “No Clue” to “Gets It” on the Ramona/Roxy relationship – note the ringing “Zone Cleared” sound effect when it pops on screen. Another ring sound effect plays when he confronts vegan Todd Ingram, and all of the coins that drop from the evil exes certainly could be more Sonic references. But coins dropping from defeated enemies is a near-universal trope, so we can’t claim the blue hedgehog’s influence on that one.

Scott Pilgrim Bass

Bass Hero

Scott’s shirt is clearly the logo of the bass guitar from Harmonix’s Rock Band series, or as you might all know it, the greatest music video game of all time. It’s surprising that more bands don’t ironically wear their instrument logos on their shirts.

Roxy Richter Belmont

Roxy Richter’s last name calls to mind the heroes of the Castlevania series, the Belmonts. Richter Belmont is the hero in Rondo of Blood and true to his vampire-killing lineage, he wields a whip. So Roxy does too, but her whip is more of a sword, of the style that Ivy from the Soul Calibur series carries.

It’s a perfect game weapon, and her weak spot is very video game-esque, as well. Only one touch destroys her. The only way it could have been more perfect was if it were a giant glowing red spot, although that would have given Scott even more questions to ponder on his road to enlightenment.

Double Dragon Twins

While the graphic novel shows that the Katayanagi twins are supposed to be plays on Jimmy and Billy from Double Dragon, their polished look here is quite different, and they don’t get to do any head-on fighting. Still, the references lives on when they fight Sex Bob-Omb in their battle of the bands and summon…you got it…double dragons.

When the duo is defeated, the speakers blast out and form a Tetromino, or Tetris piece, and Scott earns 1-up that’s his floating head, as is typical of many 8-bit and 16-bit platformers.

Chaos Theater

The Chaos Theater

The Chaos Theater may be owned by Gideon Graves in Scott Pilgrim vs the World, but older gamers might know it as being owned by one Mr. Poochyfud. That’s the owner of an establishment of the same name in the classic Super Nintendo RPG Earthbound. Our heroes run across it and find out that a Blues Brothers-style band called Runaway Five is forced to work there, night after night, due to a $10,000 debt, similar to the way Sex Bob-Omb is being forced to play for Giden. In Earthbound, you and the other neighborhood kids eventually get a wad of cash to help pay the debt and continue your adventures, but the important takeaway here is to never visit a theater named after chaos.

Nega Scott

The evil version of Scott Pilgrim, complete with shadowy clothes and eyes burning red, is a clear take on evil doppelgangers such as Evil Ryu or Dark Link. Of course, while Evil Ryu and Dark Link fight you to the death, Nega Scott seems just as doofy and awkwardly lovable as regular old Scott.

“FINISH HIM!”

Scott’s roommate Wallace was on the fence about Gideon and wants Scott to move on, until he hears Giden talk on the phone. That prompts Wallace to yell the above phrase. One would only hope you know what game he’s referencing, although sadly Scott doesn’t get to rip Gideons spine out of his back.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World: The Game

Perhaps the best example of how perfectly tuned into video game culture the graphic novel and film are is how it made the transition to video games without a hitch. A side-scrolling beat’em up that owed a lot to River City Ransom, it allows four players to play through the story together in a super-deformed and wonderful parody of classic games. Or at least it did, until it was unceremoniously pulled from the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network stores at the end of 2014, apparently due to an expired license. If you had purchased the game you can still download it, but otherwise there isn’t any way to get the game any more. It’s fairly insane, as it’s a really great title and Bryan Lee O’Malley wants to get it re-released. Let’s hope they make that happen.

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