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Wasteland 2 is full of nods to pop culture, spoilers ahead

Wasteland 2 was finally released last week. After 25 years, and a nearly $3 million Kickstarter, the final product is in the hands of backers and available for sale on Steam and

The original Wasteland's grim and gritty world view was an inspiration for many post-apocalyptic games, notably the original Fallout. But Wasteland was also known for its sense of humor and rich story telling.

After more than 20 hours with the sequel, Polygon has found plenty of easter eggs and nods to pop culture. What follows is only a selection.

Spoilers ahead!

The death of print

One of the early missions has players venturing to an experimental agricultural facility. A mysterious plague has swept through the complex, turning the staff into shambling plant zombies.

Deep within the bowels of the complex you can find a triage center that's been hastily abandoned. The patients even left behind some reading material.


Batteries not included

Wasteland 2 is filled with junk. In fact, the detritus you find half-buried in the Arizona sands will be players' major source of income for some time. But it's not all bottles and cans. Sometimes you find a real treat: Teddy Ruxpin, a Nintendo Power Glove, some bitchin' tunes on eight track and yes even a Chia Pet.


Before the fall

Sometimes when your party is wandering the Arizona desert you'll come across a hidden location. There are religious sites, hidden stockpiles and even traders. But the nearly featureless, windswept desert has even more secrets to share.

I mean, who would want to bury a perfectly good video game cartridge?


There's an entire quest line in the early game set inside a carefully curated video game museum, so obviously Wasteland 2 features a cameo by some ‘90s consoles. That means you can provide your party some entertainment in the form of a somewhat dusty Neo Geo and a Sega Genesis.


No word yet on which version of Aladdin survived the apocalypse.

Valet parking

If you're moving quickly through the area outside Wasteland 2's prison, you might miss the fact that Mad Max drove here all the way from Australia. Looks like he's out of juice though.


Stay tuned

It's clear that a lot of care went into the game's backstory, so much so that even the tiny environmental details reward those who dig into them.

Take, for instance, a radio transmission from early in the game. If you listen carefully it sounds a lot like Morse code. That's because it is, and the message being broadcast has to do with a storyline happening parallel to your own.

That's not the only strange radio transmission. When you venture into the North West section of the Arizona map you'll catch part of a radio transmission between two Russian speakers, which is more than a little out of the ordinary. Here's a clip.

Exactly what that transmission contributes to the story we're not quite sure yet, but it did introduce us to Cheburashka, who may be the cutest cartoon mouse to ever come out of Russia.

Have you found anything unusual out there in the wastes, Rangers? Share your stories below and please make liberal use of our handy spoiler tag.

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