Hidden Homages of Wreck-It Ralph

Okay, so the movie isn’t out yet, but today’s new trailer of Disney’s animated feature about a video game that never existed reveals a bit more of the story and teases gamers with quick glimpses of games old and new. Even the first Wreck-It Ralph trailers included scenes of the titular characters interactive with well known denizens of the gaming world, including Bowser, M. Bison, Dr. Robotnik and a ghost from Pac-Man, but this latest trailer reveals quite a bit more, from classic arcade cabinets to the characters themselves, fully realized as living, breathing residents of this hidden world. First the trailer, and then a few screengrabs:

Now, let’s have a closer look at those cabinets and the citizens of the world inside.

In this opening time-lapse-like shot of the real-world arcade, the Fix It Felix Jr. cabinet, featuring the 8-bit Disney logo,  is flanked by some of the most well known arcade titles in history. To the right: Pac-Man, Battlezone and Frogger. To the Left, Space Invaders (blocked by a boy’s head), Asteroids and Street Fighter. Not to be picky, but the screen is Street Fighter II despite the cabinet’s title card saying otherwise.


As the camera pans back, it seem the title card has corrected itself, a few cabinets have been moved around and now Food Fight and Centipede come into the picture.




Further back still, there’s the classic (and my all time favorite) vector Star Wars cabinet on the left next to Atari’s Agent X otherwise known as Cloak & Dagger. I’m guessing they couldn’t secure to rights to use of the latter name. On the far right, there’s Bally/Midway’s Tapper.



District 51 is likely a take on the Area 51 light gun game in this shot. The stand up Star Wars arcade has been replaced by the cockpit version, a clearer view of another made up title, Fatal Assault is in the back and now Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles side scroller is on the right.



An NBA Jam knock off, Hoop Jamz and House of the Dead have take the place of Star Wars and Distrct 51 and the cabinets on the right have been removed in favor of the Sugar Rush racing title belonging to one of the supporting characters of the film. Wak-A-Troll too.



A few more frames of camera pull back and here’s Dance Dance Revolution X2 and if you look close enough on the back wall, you’ll see VirtuaCop. In the foreground a peek of the Wheel of Fortune quarter swallower, I mean ticket prize machine.



After the arcade closes, the characters make their way to whatever homes outside of the cabinet by way of… wait for it… the Pac-Manorail.




This is the Game Station terminal. There’s a LOT going on here, but there are a few characters of note. We couldn’t figure out where the little children with the halos came from, perhaps a nod to The Sims. In the bottom left-ish though, you’ll notice a Nathan Drake/Indiana Jones like character chatting it up with a football player and some sort of astronaut. In the center though, there’ you’ll find Inky, Blinky and Sue, the ghost-monster from Pac-Man making their way through the crowd. Just in front of them, we THINK it could be Paulina (Princess Peach’s brunette doppleganger) and a red-shelled koopa. Scan over to the right and there’s Paperboy about to crash into Pong. Guess that’s what they get for playing in the middle of a busy thoroughfare.  Cannot for the life of us figure out if the T-Rex, the giant Sun with a bowtie or the scattered little teddy bears with the floppy Link-like green caps are from actual games or are specific to the movie. Leave us a comment if you recognize them.

This is a great shot. As Ralph is walking through the halls, the smaller-in-stature good guys scatter in fear. Here we have those weird little angel characters (anyone know where these guys come from, if anything?), Frogger looking like a deer in headlights and Dig Dug, quickly doing what he does best to escape. You can see another one of those teddy bears in the back-left too.



Last shot. There’s your generic ninja, centurion, baseball player, medieval knight, a koopa (maybe?) basketball player and the adventurer guy. More importantly, an adorable Pooka and Frygar from Dig Dug are headed out, probably to have a beer after a rough day underground.




There’s sure to be dozens more in the scope of a two hour movie, warranting repeat visits if the movie turns out to be entertaining.

Wreck-It Ralph, starring John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, presses start November 2nd.

Christopher Kirkman

Christopher is an old school nerd: designer, animator, code monkey, writer, gamer and Star Wars geek. As owner and Editor-In-Chief of Media Geeks, he takes playing games and watching movies very seriously. You know, in between naps.

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5 Responses

  1. Yuri says:

    I think the two little angel-like kids are from the game actriser…

  2. Alex says:

    the kids with halo’s are from Sega’s Angel Kids

  3. Shane says:

    Not sure if the misc characters you mention are from games or not, but it might be worth asking Corey Loftis as he seems to have had a hand in designing them…


    Great art!

  4. Jeff says:

    The T-Rex is tiny from meet the Robinsons.

  5. Wendi says:

    When they are pulling into the station on the Pac-manorail, on the walls it is spray painted “Aerith Lives” and “All Your Base Are Belong To Us”

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