On words and meanings in TSP.

If anyone’s played TSP and is curious about certain references, I will save you some researching trouble in this blog entry.

On good and evil

Most references in the game are about the good vs evil dichotomy. Many real books mentioned, like The Dwarf, explore the evil aspect of the human nature, but there are also slightly more obscure clues and easter eggs hidden throughout the game.

The first dialogue in the game is between Magnus and Ord, and Magnus asks Ord if he’s searching the “perpetual overcast for cracks”, to which Ord replies, “well, that’s where the light gets in.” This is a reference to Leanord Cohen’s Anthem, and could be said to describe how the flaws in things or people (the cracks) can be the blessings (they let the light in).

In the newspaper in Ord’s appartment you can read the last part of an article that explains the Theodicy problem, which is pretty much what the game is about in large – how can there be evil in a world ruled by a benevolent God?

The secret password to the church cult is a passage from the book of Job, in the Bible. Job’s book is said to be the part most concerned with the notion of good and evil, or more precisely why God lets the righteous suffer.

Inside the church, there’s a “quote of the day”, saying “you worship what you don’t know; we worship what we do know”. This is from the section about the Samaritans in the book of John. referring to the game’s title.


Other references and clues are not about the good/evil theme. Ord’s name is Swedish for “Word”. Both “Semita” and “Stig” mean “Path” in their respective languages (Latin and Swedish). Torgav and Jonatan mean roughly the same thing, if you consider that Tor is a Norse god (“Thor gave”). Jonathan means “given by Jehova”. Many other names in the book world have Norse origins which describe the characters and how they’re related.

…and a really obscure one

In the dragon’s cave, Freja and the dragon have the following exchange

(Semita) Maybe they like the pain?

(Freja) Nobody likes pain, or it wouldn’t be called pain.

This is a (very obscure) reference to the text that can auto-fill a document, “Lorem ipsum dolor, etc”. If translated, a passage within it (which isn’t just random text, by the way) may look similar to Freja’s response. If you paid attention, the game opens with a page full of the Lorem Ipsum text. This hint may reveal that Freja’s fairy tale is mostly a filler; just padding that Bergwall added before he revealed the shocking ending.


1 Comment

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One response to “On words and meanings in TSP.

  1. Lasca

    Leanord is a beautiful name, but it should probably be Leonard, no?

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