Modded CP16

Cinema Purgatorio #16 Modded cover by Nahuel Lopez

Annotations for “Where is the Rat King?” 8 pages in Cinema Purgatorio #16

Writer: Kieron Gillen, Artist: Nahuel Lopez

>Go to Cinema Purgatorio annotations index
>Go to Modded annotations index

Note: Some of this is obvious, but you never know who’s reading and what their exposure is. If there’s anything we missed or got wrong, let us know in comments.

General: This episode seems to be alluding to the 1986 arcade video game Bubble Bobble, sometimes hailed as the greatest co-op game ever.


  • Left to right are: Tommy Zero (in sky), Fluffbumble, Mister Boom, Bloody Susan, Fringe and Junior Ultramyocyte.

The Story so far

  • “The fucker of my fucker is a right fucker” is a take-off on the proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Page 1

panel 3

panel 5

  • The “old men” (Gnoll, Mere, and Snout) appeared in issues #4 and #5.

panel 6

  • “This is Modded! Who gives a fuck about story?” references the story set-up scenes that gamers often skip to get to the action. It is also perhaps Gillen having a self-deprecating laugh.

Page 2

panel 1

  • coming soon

Page 3

panel 5

  • “There be dragons” is a play on the ancient mapping phrase “here be dragons.” (For what it’s worth, there is a 2011 film titled There Be Dragons.)

Page 4

panels 3-4

  • First appearances of The Rat King.

Page 5

panel 1

  • coming soon

Page 6

panel 3

  • “Riding a dragon is the only way” references how, in Bubble Bobble, “Later levels can only be completed by mastering tricky techniques, like riding on bubbles to get out of otherwise inescapable pits. “

Page 7

panel 1

  • “Work on many levels” is a line which itself works on multiple levels, as he is referring to:
    – Metaphorical levels of meaning.
    – Different heights of platforms.
    – Successive “levels” of a game like Bubble Bobble.
  • Ladders and platforms are ubiquitous within the “platformer” game genre.
  • The rainbows are likely a reference to the first Bubble Bobble sequel, Rainbow Islands.

Page 8

panels 1-2

  • Platforms made of brick, and large mushrooms, are both design elements from Super Mario Bros., possibly the most influential platformer.

panel 5

  • Commenter Greenaum points out that in Rainbow Islands, if you spend too much time in any one level, deadly water starts rising quickly from the bottom.

>Go to Purgatorio Annotations Index
>Go to Purgatorio 17 Modded annotations


One thought on “Modded CP16

  1. On Bubble Bobble, a game I’ve put MANY MANY hours into, if you hang around a level too long, Baron Von Blubba comes to get you. He’s a skeletal dragon-head thing. But, in Rainbow Islands, if you’re too slow… the water rises! The bottom of the level floods, not with lava but water, though the effect is the same. It floods pretty quickly, so you’ve got to stop messing about hunting for bonuses and get up them platforms!

    It’s nice spotting all the little easter eggs in this strip.

    Liked by 1 person

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