On this page, we shall have a closer look at the intentional and speculative, that is potential inspirations, that fed the conceptual development and creational process of Realms of the Haunting.
According to producer Paul Green, the lore of Realms of the Haunting originated in the ideologies and concepts of both orthodox and occult religions, in particular Hebrew texts dealing with the realms Heaven, Earth and Hell and the roles of angels and demons. Another source of inspiration came from the pseudo-historical book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, published in 1982, about a secret society called the Priory of Sion which would later on install the Knights Templar as its military arm and financial branch.
During the interview for Retro Gamer, Paul also talks about some of his cinematic favourites as having had some sort of influence on the game's sombre mood and atmosphere, specifically Michael Mann's The Keep, because "[he] just loved the creeping sense of doom and horror it created."
Secondly, Paul mentions John Carpenter's The Thing, "which you can obviously see in the title sequence to the game."
In his lengthy feature on Realms of the Haunting and interview with Paul Green, PC Power writer Paul Mallinson compared the cinematic look of the game to modern horror films like Clive Barker's Hellraiser and to the "classy realms of Italian horror, in the past provided by the likes of Soavi, Bava and Argento."
- For a closer examination of the similarities between Realms of the Haunting and Robert Jordan's series of fantasy novels, please refer to this page.
The Tower as well as the Ire show significant similarities with features of "The Wheel of Time", a series of epic fantasy novels written by Robert Jordan (nom de plume of late American author James Oliver Rigney, Jr.), precisely the so-called Ways and the Machin Shin. According to the Wheel of Time wiki, the Ways are "an area outside of reality," whose pathways are suspended platforms and bridges with the purpose of linking various so-called Islands which "are marked with large slabs of stone, labelled with Ogier Script, called Guidings." The Ways used to be a bright location filled with greenery, but during the War of the Hundred Years "the Ways began to grow dim [and] people began to avoid travelling the Ways, and some that did return came back mad, raving and screaming about Machin Shin, the Black Wind."
During a conversation about Eternity, Rebecca freely quotes from Robert Jordan's second book in the Wheel of Time series of fantasy novels, The Great Hunt, where it appears as a proverb inherent to the Shienaran race of people.
Adam: So now we have Eternity - the Dragon Sword. This thing's as light as a feather you know.
This line apparently is not an invention by Jordan, though, but seems to originate from the codex of the Japanese samurai, as suggested by GOG forum user Lafazar.
Although some believe that Jordan is the author of this, it is in fact a Japanese proverb (義は険しい山よりも重く、死は大鳥の羽よりも軽い) best known for its use in the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors. It is itself a variation of a Chinese proverb that can be traced back at the very least to Han dynasty writer Sima Qian, Death can be as heavy as Mount Tai, or lighter than a goose feather (死有重於泰山,輕於鴻毛).