Kong: Skull Island was a an explosive monster movie spectacle. It really delighted our inner-nerds, and it's not wonder: director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is a huge nerd himself. That's absolutely not a dig at him, either. He'd proudly admit this to you if you spoke to him, and he's been very vocal about how video games have influenced his creative work.
In fact, Kong: Skull Island was directly influenced by one of the greatest video games of all time: Shadow of the Colossus. In an interview Vogt-Roberts waxed poetic about how the game's giant, beautiful beasts found their way into his heart, and how that connection found its way to the silver screen:
“Shadow Of The Colossus was a huge influence on me on this movie. It's such a beautiful thing to have a boss fight where you feel sad after you've killed the boss. The colossi in those games have such a slow, melancholy, morose quality to them. And the sense of scale. Honestly, Shadow Of The Colossus was one of the biggest influences on this film. Just the vibe the creatures have. I think and I hope that Kong has a similar vibe in the film.”
But that's not the only game that has influenced Vogt-Roberts of the years, and it's not the only game that influenced Kong: Skull Island. Throughout the film there are little Easter eggs scattered and hidden in plain sight for those who have the eyes to see. Some of the video game shoutouts are blatant, while others flew completely under the radar.
It seems enough time has passed since Kong: Skull Island debuted, and Vogt-Roberts is done waiting for you so-called nerds to pick up on his creative nods to a few of his favorite games. He took to Twitter to reveal a handful of video game Easter eggs in Skull Island that went unnoticed, and now we just feel silly. He also revealed a few video-game-inspired scenes and creature that didn't make the final cut. Did you catch any of these? Keep scrolling to see them all.
At one point there was a very OKAMI inspired creature in KONG. I was obsessed with a tiger that had antlers. Didn't make the cut. pic.twitter.com/E8zv9MU20p— Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) May 18, 2017
"At one point there was a very Okami inspired creature in KONG. I was obsessed with a tiger that had antlers. Didn't make the cut."
The image used here really is quite striking, and anyone who's played the beautiful Okami will recognize Amaterasu (or "Ammy") as an obvious influence, as well as the striking white and red palette used throughout the game.
Skull Island is home to a large number of fantastical creatures, frightening and beautiful. Considering the rest of the film's featured creatures, this horned tiger almost seems a little too beautiful. Maybe that's why it didn't make the cut? What gives, Jordan?
The Legend of Zelda
In my last video game related KONG post today...The Sky Devils logo has a very Zelda / Hylian influence. Surprised no one has spotted this. pic.twitter.com/8djyilXen5— Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) May 18, 2017
"In my last video game related KONG post today... The Sky Devils logo has a very Zelda / Hylian influence. Surprised no one has spotted this."
Now that we look at it we can clearly see the similarities to the Hylian crest here, but then, the Hylian crest is also somewhat derivative of symbols and glyphs that have made their way into several flags, crests, and emblems in the real world (as well as many fantasy worlds). When it comes to royalty and power, triangles and winged creatures are commonly used to represent freedom, sight, power, and stability, so we'll forgive ourselves for not immediately recalling The Legend of Zelda.
Vogt-Roberts also revealed in an interview that the skull-crawlers on Skull Island were influenced by a fan-favorite Kanto Pokémon.
"We're looking at [the Skull Crawler], and we're like, ‘What does this remind us of?’ Because I was, like, ‘I want it to have this white face - this weird, bone-white face, and this black, scaly skin.’ Both [my friend] and I were staring at it, and we had this weird moment where we were like, ‘Oh my God.’ We realised that we'd created this unintentional fusion of all of our nerdy childhood influences. Because I love Cubone. Cubone has the saddest story of him wearing his dead mother's skull on his face.”
The fact that Vogt-Roberts knows Cubone's canonical Pokémon backstory seals the deal: He's one of us.
Small details no one will ever notice but I spent wayyyy too much time designing: The Megaman, Gundam & Metroid inspired helmets in Kong. pic.twitter.com/UQawzrDJBS— Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) May 18, 2017
"Small details no one will ever notice but I spent wayyyy too much time designing: The Megaman, Gundamn & Metroid inspired helmets in Kong."
We imagine Jordan sitting in his bedroom the same way we did when we were in elementary and middle school, doodling and scribbling in spiral notebooks, trying to draw cool armor and helmet designs based on our favorite heroes and things we'd seen on Saturday morning cartoons. The difference between us? Jordan actually had the talent and budget to bring his nerdy doodles to life in a live-action movie seen by millions of people.
I've drawn some sweet helmets too, you know. I still have a few doodles kicking around that would look great in... Ah, forget it.
Metal Gear Solid
"Dan Gilroy wrote an unused sequence where [Tom Hiddleston] broke into a military base. Naturally, I was going to get VERY Metal Gear with it..."
Here we have another idea that never made the final cut, and we're pretty disappointed. PS1 owners will instantly recognize the scene laid out here. A lone agent with his back against the perimeter wall of a well-guarded compound; guards patrolling their pre-determined routes; plenty of places to hide until it's time to strike; disposing of evidence...
More than anything we wish this scene made it into the film because we want to know if Jordan would have worked that signature "alert!" noise into the scene when a guard notices Hiddleston's character.