Vlaanderen Reference Guide. WARNING! Extraordinary Spoilers Ahead!

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Addiction – The picture depicts a scan of brain activity. Not just any brain, but a brain beset by the horrors of…you guessed it…addiction!

Atomium / Atomium, Turned Alive – The technique “Shield Sphere” is a reference to a Magic Card of the same name, which it resembles in function.

aXx d00d – The most popular piece of Art in the Flanders adventure box.

Beach Ball Brigade – When I encountered Brussels / Charleroi Airport for the first time, right in the terminal were beach balls hanging from the ceiling.

Belgian Chocolatier – The Evil Wafel God is on the tray.

Belgium Rail Train – With colors to match.

Bell Jar – Not exactly what an art director was looking for, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Blue Creature Band – There is a map of Belgium on the drum.

Blue Creature Club – Possibly inspired by a well-known Belgian franchise involving small blue things.

Brussels Fashion District – The cloths, the cloths!

Christoffel Plantijn  – One of the namesakes of the “Plantin en Moretus Museum”

Devil Drink – I might get sued for that name, but if I used the name of a copyrighted beverage I would get sued even harder.

Druon Antigoon, No Hand / Druon Antigoon, Yes Hand – The giant of Antwerp whose hand is one of the primary landmarks of the city. Dispatched by Silvius Brabo.

Fearless Leader – Inspired by a keepsake I received once when I assisted a children’s puppet show when I was working in Poland.

Flemish Lion, Untamed – A sinister version of the Flemish Lion, found on the flags of Flanders. Also visible, although less sinister, on the Vlaanderen Adventure Box Art.

Galeries Royales St-Hubert – The fact that the numbers are 302 and 303 are a reference to Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography. The Kaverini Slogan is also sprayed as a graffito with some significant changes.

Grand Place –  Bird’s-Eye-View of the flower carpets that periodically grace the square.

Holy Mackerel – Corrections are for comic effect. Faint Hebrew words in the background reading “Holy, holy, holy”, from Isaiah Chapter 6.

Hibschy the Really Cute Bird!!! – German “Hübsch” = “Cute”

Jack of Diamonds – Jack in the Box + well-known character from a film somewhere.

Jan Breydel – One of the Bruges Matins’ leaders, inspired by the statue in the Markt in Bruges.

Jan van Eyck – Don’t lie and say you don’t recognize that painting.

Jan Van Eyckplein – It’s in Bruges. That’s the statue.

Jan Moretus – One of the namesakes of the “Plantin en Moretus Museum”

Land of Strange Delusions and Other Things – Woody Guthrie.

King Leopold I – Belgium and Germany buttons on his coat instead of medals, inspired by one of his paintings. The collar design has absolutely no reference to anything whatsoever.

Pandora’s Box –The idea of it being a cardboard box? What? You don’t like that?

Phil the Curious Elephant – The name “Phil” references the word for “elephant” in Hebrew and Arabic.

Pieter de Coninck – One of the Bruges Matins’ leaders, inspired by the statue in the Markt in Bruges.

Plantin en Moretus Museum – The museum in Antwerp that houses the world’s oldest printing presses. The displays look like that picture.

Postcard – Swedish introduction, “as bilong mi” is Tok Pisin for “My House” (Tok Pisin = Pidgin English of Papua New Guinea) and that address is a museum I worked at once.

Schild en Vriend ­– The tongue twister, meaning “Shield and Friend”, responsible for the Flemish victory of the Bruges Matins. The shield has a cartoon Flemish Lion on it.

St. Baaf – Inspired by a painting. He’s also the patron saint of Falconers, even if he doesn’t seem too comfortable with it.

Taxation – The small font inspired by tax codes around the world. The illustration was inspired by my friend Daniel Scherban who, in middle school (or our closest equivalent) would amass “armies” of robots which were represented by writing the number “9” over and over again and then frequent multiplier and/or exponent marks. (The idea was to say “these are how many killer robots I have”).

The Diamond District – I recall a sign with something like the illustration on it. Also, the Saturday-no-effect clause is a reference to the fact that there are many people who work in that area who are Jewish and very religious.

The Giant’s Hand / Giant’s Hand Awakened – That landmark in Antwerp.

Tourist Bag – Logo inspired by something I actually saw in Bruges.

Unsightly Exhibit – My freshman year of college at Wesleyan University I would have a mail server that would constantly swap out images for “This Image Has Been Removed for Security Reasons”. I found a new home for those words here, although not with the same font.

The Lamb of God – The primary focus of the Gent Altarpiece, probably the most famous piece of art in all of Belgium. The platform resembles the one in the painting, as does the green background.

Weezl Worm – That best friend, see “King Leopold I”.

Xenophobia – Illustration of Earth taken from the back of “All-Flag” cards in the game

Zbigniew – The comic book is viewable for free at the website of WorldWhile Comics. Now if you can find which book it is…

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