State of Decay is riddled with easter eggs and references to a massive list of material. Some of these references were easy to spot. Some of them took time and research to find or realize. This guide will detail all the references found in-game, which are all verified through several sources (including past/ present SOD developer live streams).
If you’ve ever spent ample time roaming Trumball County, you’ve probably noticed several references to movies, games, TV shows and books. But, did you ever get a grasp on just how many references exist within the county? I know I didn’t, and I had been playing this game since it’s very first release in 2013! Between playing on Xbox 360, and the YOSE edition on PC, I managed to tally a good portion of this list on my own. But, there were several that flew right over my head, and after some research, I feel this right here is the final, completed list! It’s a doozy, but if you ever wanted to see all the references in-game, this guide is for you!
(This is still somewhat a WIP, by way of adjusting the sections and making them look pretty. I would also like to add images in due time after I’m finished compiling them all)
Film Director References
In Marshall there are green shipping containers with “Oremor” painted on the side of them, which is “Romero” spelled in reverse. George Romero made the original Night of the Living Dead (1968).
One of the potential Home sites in Marshall is the Savini Residence. This is a reference to actor, stuntman, director, special effects and makeup artist Tom Savini (aka “The King of Gore” and “The Sultan of Splatter”). He was in charge of the makeup and gore effects for Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, as well as many horror films such as Friday the 13th (1980) alongside with Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Maniac (1980), The Burning (1981), The Prowler (1981), Creepshow (1982), and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986). Additionally, many shipping containers around the map (such as one in front of the courthouse) read “INIVAS”, which is Savini spelled backwards.
In the southeast side of the town of Marshall, there is a large, heavily fortified and burnt
out building with the name “Cronenberg Elementary School”, visible above the main doors. David Cronenberg is an acclaimed Canadian filmmaker, screenwriter and actor who is among the first to popularize the horror genre known as “body horror”. His notable films consist of The Brood (1979), Scanners (1981), The Dead Zone (1983), Videodrome (1983), The Fly (1986), and Dead Ringers (1988).
The portion of the Trumbull County Fairgrounds that you use as a home site is called the
“Argento Stockyards”. This is a reference to Italian horror director Dario Argento, in which
his films consist of Deep Red (1975), Suspiria (1977) and its sequel Inferno (1980),
Tenebre (1982), Demons (1985) and its sequel Demons 2 (1986), Phenomena (1985) and Opera (1987). Zombie-wise, he re-cut and re-scored the 1978 Dawn of the Dead for its international release. His daughter, actress Asia Argento, also starred in Land of the Dead.
In downtown Marshall is “Papa Fulci’s Pizzeria”, along with the Pizza Delivery cars around the map for this shop. These are a reference to Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci who is notable for his films consisted of City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981), The House by the Cemetery (1981), and The New York Ripper (1982). However, he is more notable for directing Zombi 2 (1979). The building’s sign and the delivery cars include a caricature of a chef’s face with glasses and a beard that bears a striking resemblance to Lucio Fulci before his death.
In keeping with naming home sites after prominent zombie figures, Snyder Trucking Warehouse in Marshall is named after Zack Snyder, who directed the Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake. There are also Snyder cranes in the game, one located just across the bridge closest to this home site and another at the road construction near Jurassic Junction.
Night of the Living Dead
-Beside the Zippcom warehouse in west Marshall there is a warehouse marked as “Duane Jones Contractors”. Duane Jones is the actor who played the main character Ben in the original Night of the Living Dead.
-Around the map are campaign yard signs to “re-elect Sheriff McClelland for Trumbull County Sheriff”. Sheriff McClelland was a character in both the original and remake of Night of the Living Dead.
Dawn of the Dead and its remake
-In both Marshall and Fairfield there are semi-trailers that bear a logo for “Foree Electronics”. This is a reference to Ken Foree, who portrayed the main protagonist of the original Dawn of the Dead movie and had a cameo as the televangelist in the remake.
-Various abandoned houses have the question “Where do the dead go when hell is full?” scrawled on the wall. This is a reference to a line said in the both the original Dawn of the Dead (1978) and
its remake (2004), both times said by the same actor (Ken Foree again) but in different roles:”When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth”.
Day of the Dead
-In downtown Marshall there is a business called “Howard Sherman Real Estate”, along with
advertisement placards placed on buildings around the map in various states of selling. Those names
switched around read as Sherman Howard, who played the zombie nicknamed “Bub” in the original Day of
the Dead (1985).
-Around town are campaign lawn signs for “Richard Liberty: Public Health Inspector”. Richard Liberty
portrayed Dr. Logan in the original Day of the Dead. The tagline for these signs is “Acting on Instinct’.
In the movie, Dr. Logan’s was researching if zombies could be taught to overcome their ‘instincts’,
namely, not killing and eating the living.
Land of the Dead
-In both Spencer’s Mill and Marshall there are mechanic shops named “Big Daddy Auto Repair”. This is
likely to be a reference to the leader zombie from Land of the Dead (2005), who wore a mechanic’s jumpsuit
with the name tag “Big Daddy” on it, and first appeared in the movie exiting a service station named
“Big Daddy’s Gas and Repairs”.
-As mentioned above, The actual portion of the fairgrounds that you set up base in is called the
“Argento Stockyards”. Asia Argento starred in Land of the Dead.
-There are several water towers around the map with “Kaufman” on them. This possibly references the
character Paul Kaufman. who was the antagonist of Land of the Dead (portrayed by Dennis Hopper).
Survival of the Dead
-There are several semi trailers located around the map for “Plum Island Produce”. Plum Island is
the setting for most of the movie Survival of the Dead.
Land, Diary and Survival of the Dead
-In downtown Marshall is the Sprang Van Rental company. Alan Van Sprang has also appeared in 3
“of the Dead” movies, all 3 times as a soldier. He was first in Land of the Dead (2005) as a
soldier named Brubaker, and Sarge in both Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009)
The Return of the Living Dead
-There are numerous campaign signs around the map for “Prop 18”, which appears to be a ballot proposal to hire
more emergency service workers. The Taxi includes a sign on the driver’s side of its rooftop light for more “rescuers”,
while the yard signs for this Proposal read “Send More Paramedics”.
Shaun of the Dead
-Occasionally, when with another survivor on foot, the survivor may say “You’ve got red on you”
after killing several zeds. This line is similar to the “you got red on you” running gag in the movie.
-In several spots around town, there are little yard signs advertising “Simon and Nick’s Landscaping.”
This is probably a reference to the stars of Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg (Shaun) and Nick Frost (Ed).
The first 2 zombies encountered by Shaun and Ed in this movie (whom they finally acknowledged were zombies)
were in their garden.
-The Cricket Bat weapon is described in game as a “Good quality movie prop replica”. It must refer to Shaun’s bat.
Starting at the scene above, Shaun kills zombies with it for half of the movie.
Movie References Part 2
-In the office buildings just north of the Courthouse, there is a travel agency with four posters on the wall; Wichita, Columbus, Tallahassee and Little Rock. These are the names of the four protagonists in Zombieland.
-The description of Cardio calls it “Rule #1” This is a reference to Columbus’s Rules to surviving the zombie outbreak. There is also a store in the Fairfield Shopping Plaza called “Cardio: Rule Number One in Style”. “Rule #1” is also the name of the cardio achievement.
-The achievement for killing zombies with a car door is called “Gotta Enjoy the Little Things”, another of Columbus’ Rules. Tallahassee’s intro the movie has him killing a zombie with the door of his SUV.
-The Dog-leg weapon is based on a cut down Winchester lever rifle known as a Mare’s Leg, which is the character Tallahassee’s weapon of choice.
-The Snack item bears a resemblance to a package of Twinkies, the food item that Tallahassee obsessively hunts for during the film.
-The “Blaine’s Grocery” supermarket in the town of Marshall is a reference to the supermarket that Tallahassee and Columbus enter trying to find Twinkies, but instead get carjacked for the first time by Wichita and Little Rock.
Braindead / Dead Alive
– In Marshall there is a nursery (across the street from Blaine’s Grocery) with a sign in front of it, bearing the words “Vera Cosgrove’s Child-Care”. In the movie Braindead / Dead Alive, Vera Cosgrove was the widowed mother of Lionel, the movie’s protagonist. The sign’s following sentence “No one will ever love you like your mother” is a direct quote from the finale of the movie when Lionel battles his super-mutated zombified mother.
-“Uncle Les Self Storage” is a reference to another character in the movie, with locations in Spencer’s Mill and Marshall as well as billboards throughout the map. Uncle Les was Lionel’s sleazy uncle on his mother’s side.
-There is a brand of farm equipment named “Lionel” in the game, mostly equipment large enough for farm work. The smallest Lionel machine in the game is a push lawn mower, the character Lionel’s zombie-killing weapon of choice from the film’s finale.
-The model badge on the Modern Pickup identifies it as “Wray”. El Wray, spelled the same, was the main protagonist of this movie.
Trailer Park of Terror
-Like the Modern Pickup, the Old Pickup’s model name is “Norma”. Norma was the head zombie in Trailer Park of Terror as well as the comic series it was based on.
Just east of downtown Marshall is the office for Madeline S. Parker, Attorney at Law. Madeline Short Parker was the main character of White Zombie (1932).
-There are magazines strewn about in several locations. One among them is titled “OBEY”. This is most likely a reference to They Live (1988), bearing the same font style as the hidden messages around the world in the film.
-The description of the Golf Club melee weapon is “It’s in the hole!” This is a line spoken by Bill Murray’s character in Caddyshack.
-Also on the theater named above is a poster for “Musk”, claiming to come “from the best-selling novel”. The tagline is “She was a nerdy high school girl, he was a Northwestern mythological beast”. This is a reference to Twilight, only instead of dating a vampire, she’s dating Bigfoot. While it might not be directly related, gun stores in the game also contain posters that promote hunting Bigfoot as a family event.
-The achievement “Ya Always Were An A-Hole Gorman” (for dying in a Blaze of Glory) is a reference to the movie Aliens. In the movie, Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein) said this line to Lieutenant Gorman (William Hope) just before the two of them sacrifice themselves with a grenade to slow down a pack of xenomorphs.
-The Slogan for RJ Overnight shipping in Danforth is “We mostly ship at night. Mostly.”
-To the far east, along the main road that circles the Trumball County map, is a rest stop called “Jurassic Junction”, a direct reference to Jurassic Park.
-Additionally, it’s possible to find an SUV that is painted identically to the tour Jeeps shown transporting characters in the first Jurassic Park film.
-The “Movin’ on Up” achievement is a reference to the theme song to The Jeffersons, a sit-com series from the 1970s
-The “Everywhere You Look” achievement is a reference to the TV sitcom Full House, a lyric from the show’s intro song.
-The “Come and Knock on Our Door” achievement is a reference to the TV sitcom Three’s Company. It’s the first line of the theme song.
-The “Home Improvement” achievement is named after the same named 90s sitcom starring Tim Allen.
-The “Arrested Developments” achievement is a reference to the TV show Arrested Development.
-The “I’ll Be There for You” achievement is the name of to the theme song for the TV sitcom Friends.
-If you have a medical lab, the description to make mild stims says, “Restores max stamina a little.
Fresh from our med lab. Heisenberg would be proud.”
-The first name of the Breakdown DLC character Walter Degrasse is likely a reference to the character Walter White in the TV show “Breaking Bad”. He also has chemical knowledge, carries Thermite, and wears a Hazmat Suit.
-Slightly east of the northern bridge to Marshall, there is an un-enterable building covered in graffiti.
On the northwest wall of this building is a stylized rendition of a man missing the right half of his face along with the words “Adios Gustavo”. This is a direct reference to the death of Gustavo Fring.
-The Pipe Bender melee weapon added in Breakdown includes the description “Ask not for whom the bone bones. It bones for thee”. This is a quote from the robot Bender. He was paraphrasing a quote from the Ernest Hemingway book “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.
-When something has gone well, survivors with Marcus Campbell’s voice set will occasionally shout
“Everything’s coming up Milhouse!”, a line spoken by Milhouse Van Houten.
-The licence plate on the Modern Sedan spells out “SCOO-B”. While Scooby Doo and the gang usually confronted cartoon human villains only pretending at the supernatural to scare the public away, they once encountered actual zombies in Scooby Doo on Zombie Island.
-In the Year One Survival Edition, the image for snacks in the inventory, which looks very much like Twinkies, is actually labeled as “Jinkies”, a common exclamation said by show character Velma.
-In the UNIT stories in Doctor Who in the 70s, Greyhound One was the callsign for Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Greyhound Two was the callsign for his second-in-command, Captain Mike Yates. In- game, Greyhound is a company of the U.S Military which is led by Major Alicia Hawkes.
Better Off Ted
-The GSG-W rifle mentions it’s creator “Veridian Dynamics” as a company. This “evil” corporation is the tech company in which Better Off Ted is created.
Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood
In west Marshall is “Ma Rogers’ Corner Store”. This is actually a reference to the much-beloved children’s TV icon Fred “Mr.” Rogers, who actually gave George Romero his very first directing job.
Video Game References
Plants Vs. Zombies
-Behind one of the houses in Spencer’s Mill, one can find a few lawnmowers lined up behind a row of sunflowers
and many dead zombies scattering the garden. One of these zombies has a cone near its head and another has a bucket.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
In downtown Marshall just south of the courthouse is “McDermott’s Tavern”. Joe McDermott is a musician whose past
work includes scoring the video game Zombies Ate My Neighbors (1993). His most recent zombie-related work is an
instrumental piece called Zombie Caprice, which seems to relate back to early 1990’s video game music.
-A few zombies and survivors can be seen with Undead Labs shirts.
-There is an office block in Marshall (near the police station) that looks very similar to the Undead Labs office.
-At the Blaine Supermarket in Marshall, there is a DVD rental stand with State of Decay, Breakdown and Lifeline
shown for rental.
Command & Conquer
Occasionally when a construction project completes, Lily will say, “Construction complete. I always wanted to say
that.” This is a reference to the EVA voice over in various Command & Conquer games.
Xbox 360 Consoles
Inside one of the Houses in Spencer’s Mill, an Xbox 360 Elite slim and matching controller can be seen on a desk.
Xbox 360s can also be found in various houses throughout the game map. This is a clear reference to Microsoft’s
role in funding the game and naturally, its release on the Xbox 360 console.
The description for the weapon Cracked Pipe “A pipe with flow valve. Valves are cool.” is a direct nod towards
Valve, the company who created Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Half-Life, Counter-Strike, and more.
Left 4 Dead 2
There are government notices posted on the barricades outside the High School that read “Quarantine: Contagious
Disease” that strongly resemble the CEDA quarantine posters from Left 4 Dead 2.
The Lifeline DLC achievement “War Never Changes” is a reference to the Fallout series of games. Traditionally,
Fallout games begin with the voice of Ron Perlman stating “War, war never changes” as part of the opening dialogue.
Book/ Comic Book References
The Walking Dead
-The Kirkman Residence Home Site might be a reference to Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead series. Additionally, some shipping containers (such as ones in front of the courthouse) read “Namkrik” which is Kirkman spelled backwards.
-Several lawn signs around the map display “Richard Grimes for Sheriff”. This is a reference to the main character of The Walking Dead TV series and comic, Rick Grimes.
-Upon arriving at the Church of the Ascension for the first time, Lily’s first words to Marcus are “Come on, I’ll give you the nickel tour.” — A direct quote from The Governor, upon first meeting Rick Grimes in the Walking Dead comic book.
-At several spots around the map you can find semi trailers for “Adlard Moore Freight Company” written on the side. This is a reference to Charlie Adlard and Tony Moore who are the original artists of The Walking Dead comics.
–The RV model throughout the game appears to be based on a 1973 Winnebago Chieftain, the same as Dale’s RV from the first 2 TV seasons.
-There is a character called Ben Greene. His last name may be a reference to the show’s Greene family: Hershel, Beth and Maggie Greene.
-In downtown Marshall is “Penny’s Antique Furniture Emporium”. Penny was the zombified daughter of The Governor.
-At the Trumbull County Fairgrounds, there are banners for “Andrea’s Texas Style Cheesy Fries”. Andrea was a survivor from the first 3 seasons of the TV show and is still alive in the comic.
-As mentioned above, there is a “Duane Jones Contractors” warehouse in west Marshall. The character Duane Jones appeared in both the comic and TV show as the young son of Morgan Jones. Kirkman named him after the actor from the original Night of the Living Dead.
–“Merle’s Second Hand Goods” is a small shop to the right of the massive grocery complex on the east side of Danforth, and a clever joke about the fate of Merle’s hand in TWD.
-In the Port Norton shipping yard area near the top of the Danforth map there is a warehouse named “Chandlers Rig & Maintenance”. This is a direct reference to Chandler Riggs, the actor who plays Carl Grimes on the TV show.
The Crashed Plane in the center fields of the Trumball County map is a direct reference to this novel series.
The licence plate on the Modern Sedan has a border with the words:“My other car is a BROOM”, a potential reference to Harry Potter, wherein Ron Weasley has a flying car, along with a broomstick.
In Marshall, across the bridge near the Savini Residence, there is a park named for Maxwell Brook City Park. This is probably a reference to Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z.
H. P. Lovecraft
-In some houses, there are paintings of a scene from the story Call of Cthulhu by the writer H. P. Lovecraft. The paintings depicts a ship being attacked by Cthulhu (A large sea monster). This story and the eponymous monster are the most famous of Lovecraft’s creations.
-A type of arcade gaming-machine with Cthulhu on the both sides of it can also be found several places. The name of the game seems to be something like “Elder Gods Rampage” (although it’s very pixelated and hard to read).
-There is a graffiti to be found in several places showing a strange, winged creature with a star on it (one is located on the trailer next to the County Court House). These seem to depict one of the “Elder Gods” from Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, which he describes most prominently in “At the Mountains of Madness” and other stories.
In downtown Marshall is a pharmacy named “Scholzman Drug Store”. Steven Schlozman is a Harvard Medical School professor and author of The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse.
This one is pretty blatant. All Swine & Bovine restaurants have “REV 20:12 THUS IT ALL ENDS” written on their signs out front. This is a reference to a verse in the Book of Revelation dealing with the resurrection of the dead at the end of days for God’s final judgment of humanity.
Among miscellaneous scenery in buildings, one can find a white postal package from a company called “NedFx”. This is an obvious reference to the real-world postal company “FedEx”.
The Black Fever disease seems to be named after the real world Black fever (Visceral leishmaniasis), the second largest parasitic killer in the world after Malaria.
On the sides of every supply box in every home, outpost and enclave in the game is written “ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ”, Greek for “Come and Take”. This line is attributed to Leonidas I, spoken in defiance at the Battle of Thermopylae when he was commanded by the Persians to ‘surrender their weapons’. This line even appears on the monument beneath his statue at Thermopylae, Greece. Today, it’s mostly used as “Come and get them!”, spoken by Leonidas in the movie 300, directed by Dawn of the Dead remake director Zack Snyder.
The description for the Microphone Stand weapon includes a song lyric attributed to “JP”. That stands for Judas Priest and their song “Sentinel”.
The achievement titled “Get Outta My Dreams” is a reference to a Song by Billy Ocean titled “Get Outta My Dreams (Get into my Car)”.
The first weapon of Story Mode, the Wooden Branch weapon is description reads “Speak softly and carry a big…” This is a part of a quote from past US President Theodore Roosevelt, who attributed it to a West African proverb. The missing part following the ellipsis is “stick, and you will go far.”
“Nerdfighter” is the term used for fans of the “Vlogbrothers” and “Crash Course”, and many other fandoms. The “Vlogbrothers” are John and Hank Green, whom also run the Foundation to End World Suck, and their motto is “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.” Soterios Green, in the game, is listed as having been trained to be a nerdfighter, under which it says “Don’t forget to be awesome” and in his description it says that he is an “internet junkie who wants to make the world a better place, “ paralleling the foundation name and the fact that Hank is known for his internet activities.
Here we come to an end for State of Decay: Year-One Easter Egg/ Reference Guide hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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