God of War Ragnarök contains a sly allusion to Sony’s platform fighter PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and all sorts of unsubtle nods to various other PlayStation games. Many also thought Ragnarök strangely referenced 1994’s The Mask starring Jim Carrey (and, by extension, the related comic series and animated show) since Odin’s mask carries some striking similarities to the one seen in the film. However, those were merely coincidences.
Narrative Director Matt Sophos plainly stated that Odin’s mask in Ragnarök “had nothing to do with the Jim Carrey movie” in an interview with MinnMax. Sophos explained alongside Story Lead Richard Gaubert how they wanted the mask in the game to metaphorically reflect Atreus’ search for himself.
But since the mask is green when it glows up, is made of wood like the one from the movie, and revolves around Atreus, who also goes by Loki (the mythological figure the mask hails from from the film series), the parallels were hard to ignore. Even people on the writing team saw the resemblances.
“One of the writers brought [the film] up later and was like, ‘You realize that it was Loki’s mask?’” said Gaubert.
But these similarities didn’t make the team want to change course.
“We went, ‘Ah, crap. Does that mean we need to change it?’” said Sophos. “And we were like, ‘No, it fits because it is about identity.’ He’s all those things that Rich said, and he’s Loki or Atreus. Who is he trying to be? So we went, ‘All right, we’re sticking with the mask.’”
Many brought it up near the game’s release, as it was the subject of multiple articles, some of which went a little further than the developers would at that time. Various members of the team did speak about it then, but were never as direct as Sophos was in this latest interview.
Sophos himself was also one of those other developers who spoke lightly about it in the past. He told Polygon that the writing team “deliberately never [says] where the mask comes from,” but reportedly did not respond to more direct question about its supposed connection to The Mask. Writer Anthony Burch was a little cheekier about it, saying that he sent an image of the mask from the movie to Sophos alongside concept art and summarized the game’s plot as “ssssssomebody stop Odin,” a reference to Carrey’s “Smokin’!” line read.
Game Director Eric Williams also wasn’t as clear about it when he talked about it with IGN. He said that he didn’t “think it was 100%” and that he wanted the mask to be made of wood so it could have carvings on it.
The MinnMax interview touches on a variety of topics from God of War Ragnarök, including how the studio cut a portion of Surtr’s storyline, the unfortunate reason why the game’s characters prematurely give away puzzle solutions, how Kratos died in the beginning in a very early version of the script, an incredibly brief update on the Prime Video series, and more.