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Manhunt 2 - Trivia

The trivia section has been split up into two categories. Game trivia which consists of pieces of information related to Manhunt 2. With the second category being references, where any game or form of media that Manhunt 2 may use have been referenced in or possibly references.

It is also worth pointing out that the majority of the references are based on observation, rather than being fact of basis.

 

Development History

Development on Manhunt 2 commenced shortly after the release of the first Manhunt, with Rockstar North working on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas development was handled over to Rockstar Vienna and was being conceived under the supervision of Rockstar North.

On May 11th 2006 Rockstar Vienna was abruptly closed, leaving the future of Manhunt 2 unknown. As 2006 closed to an end rumours began to surface that Rockstar North had took reign of the project completely, this went unconfirmed until the game was officially announced on February 6th 2007 for release on the PS2, PSP and Nintendo Wii with a targeted release of summer 2007.

The games production was took over by Rockstar London for the PlayStation 2, Rockstar Leeds for the PSP release and Rockstar Toronto would be helming the Nintendo Wii version. The project was completed under supervision from Rockstar North, creators of the franchise and sole developer of the original game in the franchise.

Easter Eggs
Awakening - Leo Laying Dead In the opening episode ‘Awakening’ after the elevator has reached its destination you will notice that there is a body lying at the elevator door entrance that looks to have been halved due to the moving elevator. If you take a minute to look at the body you will notice it is none other than the body of Leo Kasper.
If you look over at the windows across from the sex shop in ‘Red Light’ you will see some strippers performing a live show, if you look at one of the strippers long enough you get a glimpse of Daniels wife.
Assassination - J.E.C. and Sons Construction During ‘Assassination’ there is a crane with ‘J.E.C. and Sons Construction’ written on it, this could possibly be a nod to the protagonist of the original Manhunt, James Earl Cash.
Most Wanted - RSV Gasoline During the episode ‘Most Wanted’ there is gas station named RSV Gasoline, this is likely a reference to the one time developer of Manhunt 2, Rockstar Vienna.
In the episode ‘Origins’ the name tags on all of the body storage doors in the morgue body doors are of Rockstar development team members.
Broadcast Interrupted - White Rabbit On one of the sets within ‘Broadcast Interrupted’ you can see the White Rabbit from the original Manhunt hanging dead from the ceiling. The set design is also reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz.
The TV channel ‘TVMK’ is a possible reference to Project MKULTRA. Project MKULTRA was the code name for a mind-control research program set up by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence in the 1950s. This theme is very much in fitting with the plot of Manhunt 2.
The TV set for Five Past High Noon is designed to look like a western movie set, by watching the TV monitor you can watch a short movie clip that is potentially a nod towards the western videogame for the PlayStation 3 that Rockstar showed of at E3 2006. It could also potentially be a reference to another Rockstar franchise Red Dead Revolver, although the main character does look a little different to Red.
Ratings Issues
A matter of weeks prior to the initial scheduled release of Manhunt 2 rumours of a European delay started to circulate, these rumours turned out to be fact and the game was delayed for a single week, there was a lot of speculation as to why it was delayed a mere 7 days. Then on June 19th 2007 the BBFC revealed that they had refused Manhunt 2 classification in Britain, effectively banning the game from hitting retail. In response to the actions taken by the BBFC, Rockstar responded by saying they where disappointed by the outcome and feel as though the game was within guidelines to follow suit of the original title, but that they would honour the decision made by the ratings board.

Hours later rumours started to circulate that the game would face a similar outcome in America and it wasn’t long before the results were in, the game was to be rated AO (Adults Only). The AO is in effect a ban in America with several major retailers refusing to stock titles with such a rating.

Nintendo and Sony both issued a statement on the 20th of June saying that they do not permit AO rated titles on their system, in effect leaving Manhunt 2 high and dry. Take-Two responded on the 21st of June by saying that they were temporarily suspending Manhunt 2 so that they could evaluate the situation and better address distribution of the game. On August 01st, 2007 Rockstar confirmed to the media that that they had appealed the BBFC over their refusal to classify Manhunt 2, they made the appeal to VAC (Video Appeals Committee).

In March 2008 it was finally revealed that Manhunt 2 would see a release in the United Kingdom and would carry a BBFC rating of 18+ following the VAC once again favouring Rockstar with a 4 votes to 3 resolve.

Release Dates

Once a game has finished its development cycle it must be submitted to a ratings board in order for the game to be permitted release. Games released in Britain must be reviewed by the BBFC and by the ESRB in America. Due to issues with the BBFC and ESRB Rockstar were forced to delay Manhunt 2. Below is a list of the original proposed dates given by Rockstar and the final date in which the game hit retail shelves.

Country

Platform

Initial Date
Delayed Date
Final Release Date

Europe

Nintendo Wii

July 06th 2007

July 13th 2007
October 31st 2008
USA
Nintendo Wii
July 10th 2007
-
October 31st 2007
Europe
PlayStation 2
July 13th 2007
July 13th 2007
October 31st 2008
USA
PlayStation 2
July 10th 2007
-
October 31st 2007
Europe
PlayStation Portable
July 13th 2007
July 13th 2007
October 31st 2008
USA
PlayStation Portable
July 10th 2007
-
October 31st 2007
Plot Theory
Please note: this is being left here as reference only.

Towards the end of the official teaser trailer for Manhunt 2 you will hear the line ‘What seest thou else in the dark backward and abysm of time?’ This actually comes from Shakespeare's ‘The Tempest’; it is believed that this is what the story of Manhunt 2 is loosely based around. It is believed that Daniel Lamb has been isolated for years in a laboratory being experimented on for the purposes of mind control by Dr. Whyte. This is similar to the tempest as Miranda, has lived on a deserted island for 12 years with only her father who has shaped her reality by controlling her beliefs, her knowledge, and consequently her ignorance.

The Tempest

Prospero’s control of Miranda is evident throughout The Tempest, even from their first conversation. He says, “Canst thou remember/ A time before we came unto this cell?/ I do not think thou canst…” (1:2, p.4). After Miranda recalls a foggy memory of her maids, Prospero demands, “But how is it/ That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else/ In the dark backward and abysm of time?” (1:2, p. 4). He vacates Miranda's memory by causing her to doubt what she thinks she remembers; then he proceeds to give her new, slanted memories. Prospero deliberately causes Miranda doubt herself, for how could anyone be confident with a “dark and backward abysm” for a mind? Because Miranda has seen only one human being in the last twelve years (her father), Prospero has been able to construct Miranda's complete perception of reality by controlling her beliefs, her knowledge, and consequently her ignorance. He says to her, “…Here/ Have I, thy schoolmaster, made thee more profit/ Than other princess’ can, that have more time/ For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful.” She replies with her characteristic gratitude, “Heaven thanks you for ‘t!” (1:2, p.8). Miranda never questions what Prospero teaches her, and even if she did, her circumstances on the island would not allow her to come to know the truth. Prospero understands this advantage but takes care to retain his daughter's loyalty, for Miranda is his world, just as he is hers. Miranda is purely a product of her father and as her creator, so he enjoys inherent power. She becomes whatever he wants her to be.

Version Differences

Check out the Version Differences page for a more detailed look at some of the differences between the various releases of Manhunt 2.

There is a bonus tutorial added to the Nintendo Wii build of the game to familiarise the player with the game controls and mechanics. The Wii Remote also gives off sound effects to match the in-game happenings.

The Nintendo Wii version of the game also has some other differences, including more detailed environments, additional dialogue; new hunters introduced in the scene Sexual Deviants, alternate weapon placement and an additional manhole execution in Ghosts and Daniel becomes increasingly more covered in blood. In addition to the aforementioned there are also more animations for Daniel and Leo to carry out, specifically in the hand to hand combat variety.

The Nintendo Wii version of Manhunt 2 features three exclusive weapons not found in the PlayStation 2 or PlayStation Portable version of the game. Those weapons are a bottle, mace and a razor. The PS2/PSP version however does feature a weapon not found in the Wii, during Broadcast Interrupted you can find the katana/samurai sword.

On the PS2 version of Broadcast Interrupted you can view a short video of Leo slicing up the weather studio crew using the Katana, Daniel later asks what happened and Leo says that he (Daniel) wouldn't want to know.

As there is (currently) no headset for the Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation 2 version of Manhunt 2 is the only version of the game to support headset use. With the headset the player is able to create sound diversions to lure the hunters in the game.

 

24

24 day 3 episode 5 features a prison break as staged by Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) to free Ramon Salazar (Joaquim de Almeida) that at times looks similar to the opening of Manhunt 2. While the prison break in 24 is very different to that in Manhunt 2, the mayhem, pacing and selective shots look similar to Awakening. It is possible that during the conception of the episode the Rockstar team looked at this episode of 24 as partial inspiration.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

In the past Rockstar has made a few passing references to the TV series 24, not least of which in recent screenshots released for 24. the advertisement campaign running up to the release of the first Grand Theft Auto IV trailer ‘ Thing’s Will be Different’, Rockstar had a 24 style countdown clock running, which each second that passed the clock made a sound similar to the sound of time passing in 24.

Grand Theft Auto Series

Much like the original Manhunt, Manhunt 2 also references Rockstar North’s other established franchise, Grand Theft Auto. Both Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt exist in the same gaming world as such similarities are to be expected.

In the instruction booklet that comes with Manhunt 2 it states that Daniel Lamb graduated from San Fierro University in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Additionally some of the hunters in Manhunt 2 make reference to San Andreas, including one line suggesting that Daniel should return there.

If you listen to the background music during the introduction cut scene for the mission ‘Life’s a Beach’ in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas you will notice that it is the very same piece of music used in the porn theatre for the episode ‘Safe House’ in Manhunt 2.

There are several lines of dialogue in Manhunt 2 that specifically mentions Vice City.

The intro cut scene for Sexual Deviants shows Daniel and Leo hiding behind a car as they scout the club up ahead. The car featured is known within the Grand Theft Auto franchise as a 'Voodoo'.

Grand Theft Auto: Voodoo Car

The episode ‘Assassination’ features a billboard advertisement for 'Thirdleg Clothing', this advertisement was first seen in the October 2005 release of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. The advertisement itself is a sexual reference to the male anatomy, as to suggest the member is so well hung their trousers require a third leg to be attached.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories features fast food chain by the name of 'KING KNUTS', the logo of which is a king's crown. In Manhunt 2 there is a street gang known as the 'Red Kings' who also have a king's crown as their insignia, which can be seen carved into the walls surrounding ‘Red Light’. Vice City Stories was initially released for the PlayStation Portable in October 2006 and was developed by Rockstar Leeds in conjunction with Rockstar North, both of which were involved in the development of Manhunt 2.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

If you enter the building complex in which Dwayne Forge resides (Vespucci Circus, Northwood) you will find various pieces of graffiti on the walls of almost every floor. One such piece features the word ‘King’ with a crown next to it, both of which are coloured red, this could possibly be a reference to a pack of hunters from Manhunt 2, the Red Kings. There is also another piece of graffiti that reads 'Welcome to Hell', this could be another reference to Manhunt 2, in the initial teaser for Manhunt 2 Daniel said he lived in hell during the narration. It could also be a throw back to the original Manhunt, throughout Carcer City you would find various quotes spray painted throughout the environment, some biblical, some insults and others instructions.

Harry Potter

During the episode ‘Safe House’ at the end of the episode (near the theatre exit doors) there is a poster for a forthcoming matinee that reads 'Hairy Palmer and the Gobblin' which is possibly a reference to the J.K. Rowling novels or more specifically 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'. The book of which was adapted into a major motion picture in 2005 by Steve Kloves and directed by Mike Newell.

Harry Potter

Hostel

Released in summer 2006 the Eli Roth written and directed movie Hostel is the story of three backpackers whom are travelling through Europe, upon arriving in Slovakia they are lured to a hostel by a group of beautiful women. Before long all goes awry and they find themselves slowly being picked off by some seedy underground organisation that offers up bodies to the highest bidder to do as they wish with.

A bunch of the hunters in the episode Sexual Deviants look to be inspired by the torturers from the movie Hostel. To take this one step further the Nintendo Wii version of Manhunt 2 also features several hunters with animal masks on, a little like the iconic mask from the original Hostel movie.

One of the members of the Pervs who inhabit the dungeon in Sexual Deviants is even experimenting on a ‘patient’ whom was previously locked into a dental chair, to allow for the Perv to do as he wishes. The dental chair can also be used as a form of environmental execution in Manhunt 2.

Hostel

Hostel 2 features the lead character Beth (Lauren German) ripping the genitals off one of the American businessmen clients that have paid for the rights to kill someone. Initially the gruesome execution for the pliers in Manhunt 2 had Daniel ripping the hunters’ genitals off. While this is similar, it is not believed to be a reference on either bodies part as both game and movie were in production at the same time.

The actual set up of Hostel is not to dissimilar to the basic premise of the original Manhunt either, where the common theme is killing for entertainments sake.

Jacob's Ladder

During the build up to the release of Manhunt back in 2003 the developers at Rockstar North were constantly asked what forms of inspiration were taken during the conception of the game. While the developer cites various moods as the primary source of inspiration amongst the small amount of movies they listed as serving as influence was Jacob's Ladder. During the final third of the movie Jacob (Tim Robbins) experiences a dream in which he is strapped into a hospital bed and is being wheeled around a run-down beat up hospital full of loonies. One such loony he passes can be seen with his hands pressed against a window continually beating his head off the glass, so much so that the window has blood from the inmates’ forehead. Towards the end of the opening episode in Manhunt 2 (Awakening) you will come across an inmate carrying out the exact same routine, blood splatter and all. You can spot in the very last room you enter within Dixmor Asylum, just before you break out the window and onto the facility grounds.

Machinist, The

Released in 2004, The Machinist is the story of Trevor Reznik (played by Christian Bale) whom is a lathe-operator that suffers from chronic insomnia; he is exhausted, malnourished and hasn’t slept in a year, basically killing himself from the inside out. The effects of which result in him suffering from hallucinations, seeing co-workers that do not exist and finding post it notes with cryptic messages.

The opening cut scene to Best Friends features of a shot of Daniel holding a photo of Daniel and Michael on a fishing trip. This photo is identical to the photo that Trevor Reznik holds in the movie.

Machinist, The

As the move draws to an end and Trevor begins to piece together the story, slight similarities begin to arise to what triggered his condition, the answer of which is very similar to those that Daniel faces.

Max Payne 3

During chapter 9, "Here I Was Again, Halfway Down the World" of Max Payne 3 you will come across a logo not entirely dissimilar to that of the "Red Kings" featured in Manhunt 2. A promnent instance of this is noticable on a wall just before your first combat encounter of the level.

Max Payne 3

Later in the game, during chapter 13, "A Fat Bald Dude with a Bad Temper" you will come across another varient of the logo throughout the cells. In one case it is seen besides the graffiti art of a street gang in Max Payne 3, the "Comando Sombra", with the initials "C.S." written besides it. It is a possible overlook on behalf of Rockstar and may very well not be a direct reference to Manhunt 2. At the same time many developers that contributed to Manhunt 2 also worked on Max Payne 3, including Rockstar London and Rockstar Toronto.

Max Payne 3

Memento

Memento has quite a few threads that could be drawn as potentially influencing the development, or in this instance story of Manhunt 2. Released in 2000 and directed by Christopher Nolan, the story Memento deals with a character who is unable to make new memories post the death of his wife, throughout the movie Leonard (as played by Guy Pearce) sets out to track down his wife’s killer and find answers for what has happened. This is not too dissimilar to the basic set up of Manhunt 2, or in least the motivations going forward follow a similar trajectory.

At the start of 'Safe House' Daniel finds a photo that he had taken of Judy at the ‘Bees Honey Pot Brothel’, in Memento Leonard takes photos of all the people that he stumbles across and interacts with in his life and writes notes on the back of the photos to help him remember who they are.

Memento

Leonard has plastered the walls of his hotel room with notes and images that draw out a plan of action for him to follow; he does this due to his inability to make new memories. At his safe house Daniel has left himself a similar set up of instructions, images and newspaper clippings, like Leonard from Memento, Daniel is also looking for answers and in order to get answers he has to track some people down.

Memento

In one cut scene Daniel says that he left himself a box of matches in order to help him ‘remember’. In the movie Memento the lead character suffers from short term memory loss as such he leaves clues for himself to remember, such as tattoos, photos and other effects.

Memento

Without giving too much away, the ending of both the movie and game features the central characters getting closure to their answers, when they come face to face with the answers both characters struggle to come to terms with the resolve.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Dr. Whyte strikes quite a resemblance to Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) from the 1975 feature film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Both characters oversee the inmates of their respective mental institutions and both characters like to keep all the inmates on their watch under heavy medication, Dr. Whyte however does seem to have more morale than Nurse Ratched, whom is fairly corrupt.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Saw 3

The toilet environmental execution in Sexual Deviants is possibly inspired by the use of the toilet cistern in Saw 3. While Daniel uses the toilet cistern lid to cave some skulls in, in Saw 3 detective Matthews (as played by Donnie Wahlberg) uses it to break his ankle in hopes of escaping the shackles that hold him in captivity.

Saw 3

Safe House and Sexual Deviants feature a bunch of two way mirrors with cameras behind them, cameras are positioned in such a way multiple times throughout the Saw movie franchise.

Silence of the Lambs, The

The car with the American flag on it is reminiscent of the car owned by Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs.

The Silence of the Lambs

Warriors, The
The gang the Red Kings are very reminiscent of lead gang from The Warriors, down to their vests and hats.
Trivia
- Easter Eggs
- Ratings Issues
- Release dates
- Plot Theory
- Version Differences
References
- 24
- Grand Theft Auto Series
- Harry Potter
- Hostel
- Jacob's Ladder
- Machinist, The
- Max Payne 3
- Memento
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
- Saw 3
- Silence of the Lambs, The
- Warriors, The
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