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Sep 19, 2023

As far as references go, this is about as obscure as you can get.

Even before release, we knew that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was going to be chock full of references to other Spider-Man media from throughout the decades. All of the movie's posters have contained little nods to past versions of Spider-Man, delighting everyone and making every bit of pre-release marketing a little competition, with people competing to see who could spot the most obscure references. Now the movie is actually in cinemas, we can do it with the full release too.

However, you'll struggle to find a reference as obscure as the one that takes place in the second half of the movie, one that only the older Spider-Man fans among you would clock right away. Be warned that we'll be talking about some very light Across the Spider-Verse spoilers if you still haven't seen it yet. You've been warned.

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First shared by ComicBook, at some point in the movie you'll see Miles Morales introduced to a variety of villains from across several different Spider-Man projects, with some video game characters sprinkled in there for good measure. One of these video game villains happens to be the Green Goblin, though you'd be forgiven for not recognizing him at first due to him being a bunch of pixels floating around in a tube.

That's because this version of Green Goblin is the one that appears in an Atari 2600 release called Spider-Man which was released way back in 1982, the very first video game based on a Marvel property. The game has Spider-Man swinging along a variety of different buildings whilst saving civillians, all in an attempt to defuse bombs planted by the Green Goblin. One you reach the top, you need to fight Green Goblin and defuse his "Super Bomb" to win.

Given that Green Goblin in this game is made up of nothing but three colors and a bunch of pixels, it's rather surprising to see him show up in a movie as good-looking as Across the Spider-Verse. Still, it shows that the creators behind the movie have gone out of their way to cram in as many references as possible, and it's a much more entertaining time as a result.

Of course, there are a bunch more Spider-Man video game references in Across the Spider-Verse if you keep you eyes peeled, as we're about to go from talking about the oldest Spider-Man game to the most modern. That's right, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 does make an appearance during the movie, as Miles' best friend Ganke can be seen playing the game on his PS5. Not only that, but it's new footage too, meaning you can get a decent glimpse of Spider-Man 2 if you squint hard enough.

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Joshua Robertson is a News Editor for TheGamer. When not playing Pokemon or scaring himself silly with the latest horror games, he can usually be found begging FromSoftware for a Bloodborne remaster.