15 Baffling Inspirations Behind Iconic Pop Culture Franchises

Multimillion dollar franchises are sometimes launched by, say, a bad dice roll in a D&D game, or the creator’s house burning down. Just check out these 15 examples of that kind of thing happening:


Street Fighter II basically ripped off a 1975 Charles Bronson movie. BAPCOM The backgrounds are pretty much just scenes from the movie (which is known in Japan as The Street Fighter). Capcom's chairman told Street Fighter ll designer Akira Yasuda to draw on the movie for inspiration, whicho- as he

Source: 5 Famous Games Inspired By The Most Absolutely Random Things


Mass Effect took its look from a janky old CGI movie. Mass Effect Final Fantasy The game's art direction was heavily based on Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, a 2001 movie (that had totally tanked) - including everything from characters and spaceship to details like wrist-mounted holograms. The art director had

Source: 5 Famous Games Inspired By The Most Absolutely Random Things


Roald Dahl drew on his school experiences for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He and a bunch of boarding school classmates were test subjects for Cadburys --they got new chocolates each year, and were asked to review them. That got Dahl thinking about what chocolate factories and the process for

Source: RoaldDahl.com


Fight Club grew out of an awkward time at Chuck Palahniuk's workplace. He showed up to work one day after getting totally beaten up on a camping trip, and he was surprised that nobody asked him where the bruises were from. realised that if you looked bad enough, people would

Source: The Guardian


The Secret of NIMH was based on a real (and horrific) experiment. The book and movie are about rats escaping from the lab that made them super-smart. That was inspired by an experiment in which mice were put into a very safe environment and left to breed until the whole

Source: The Secret Of NIMH Was Inspired By A Horrific Experiment


Pokemon was inspired by Satoshi Tajiri's bug collecting hobby. As a kid, he loved collecting bugs, but by the time he grew up, bug collecting became pretty hard for kids because urbanization was happening so fast. So, once he became a game designer, he made a game based on bug

Source: TIME


E.B. White got the idea for Charlotte's Web from a really gross experiment. He saw an intricate web in his barn, and, weeks later, an egg sac but no spider. So he took the sac to his NYC apartment in a box that he cut air holes in, and put

Source: NPR


107 Dalmatians was inspired by a real-life Cruella de Vil-type remark. DISNEY 1O1 DALMATIANS Writer Dodie Smith had nine Dalmatians, and a friend of hers once said Those dogs would make a lovely fur coat which ended up inspiring a novel (that later turned into a movie). CRACKED.COM

Source: Disney


Pac-Man gobbles up stuff because its creator thought women were totally into eating. Arcades at the time were filled with violent sci-fi games that mostly attracted boys, and Toru lwatani wanted to attract more women, so he began designing a game for them. First he thought fashion or romance themes

Source: CNN


Dune grew out of an article Frank Herbert was assigned to write. It was about the largest swathe of coastal dunes in the U.S., the Oregon Dunes but he never finished it. He just kept researching the topic, and wrote a science fiction novel inspired by it years later.

Source: TIME


Star Fox' gameplay comes from Shigeru Miyamoto's visits to a Japanese shrine. LOOK!! When he walked through the gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine, he thought about what it'd be like to quickly fly through them sO he gave that idea to the Star Fox team when he talked to

Source: DenOfGeek


The sims couldn't have happened without Will Wright losing his home. After it burned down, he had to rebuild it from scratch, which also meant he'd have to learn the fundamentals of architecture and to figure out what he could and couldn't buy later on. So he got the idea

Source: GamesRadar


lan Fleming kind of based James Bond on a 17th-century polymath. John Dee was an alchemist, mathematician, and philosopher who spied for Queen Elizabetho -and he'd sign letters to her with 007. 7 was a lucky number in alchemy, and the double O's symbolized his eyes (through which she looked).

Source: The World of English


Doom was based on a bad dice roll in a D&D game. DOOM In id Software's D&D campaign, John Romero accidentally summoned a demon horde that took over the whole world - so he had the idea that their upcoming game could involve demons, not aliens, being unleashed on the world

Source: The Guardian


The Dark Crystal was hugely influenced by a Scientology -esque spiritual text. A SETH BOOK SETH SPEAKS DESK Serhdictates hiks hHe startling of the universe through channeler lane Roberts RKX KSTGAL JANE ROBERTS Creator Jim Henson was really into Seth Speaks, a book by sci-fi writer Jane Jacobs who claimed that Seth,

Source: Gizmodo