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What's The Video Game In Loki Episode 5?

Contains spoilers for "Loki" Episode 5

The fifth episode of Marvel's "Loki" is full of surprising Easter eggs and references. The Disney+ series' fifth installment takes place almost entirely in a strange, desolate dimension known simply as The Void. It's explained in the episode (entitled "Journey Into Mystery") that The Void is a dimension that exists at the very end of the Sacred Timeline, where every variant and branch reality pruned by the Time Variance Authority gets sent. As a result, it's a place where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) finds himself crossing paths with well over a dozen other Loki variants — some of whom turn out to be friendlier than others.

But The Void isn't just populated by random Loki variants. It's also filled with all kinds of odd technology and artifacts left over from all the branch realities that have been clipped by the TVA. That means the dimension features different variations of numerous buildings and items from previous Marvel films, as well as obscure things from Marvel comics that have previously never been brought to life on the big screen, including Thanos' prized helicopter.

There's one Easter egg in "Loki" Episode 5, however, that has nothing to do with either the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Marvel comics.

Loki Episode 5's video game is a reference to a popular urban myth

"Loki" Episode 5 sees the God of Mischief led into an underground bunker by four other Loki variants. The bunker — actually a crumbling bowling alley — features a wide array of obscure pop culture references and Easter eggs. The biggest and most noticeable is the "Polybius" arcade game cabinet that can be spotted frequently over the shoulder of Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant). The game isn't a Marvel comics or MCU reference, but is instead the subject of a popular urban legend.

The story goes like this: In the early 1980s, a strange game began appearing on arcade game floors around Portland, Oregon. The game itself allegedly proved to be seriously addictive, but also produced severe psychological side effects in the minds of those who played it. The gaming machines were said to have been visited and monitored by men in black suits — likely government employees — who many believe were using the machines to collect data about players' responses to its psychological side effects.

It has yet to be proven that the game ever actually existed, but there are some who insist that they remember playing it in the early '80s in Portland (via Portland Monthly). With that in mind, it looks like "Loki" has provided its own MCU-based explanation for the urban myth, similar to how the Marvel series' premiere episode offered up its own take on the well-known D.B. Cooper mystery. That is to say that, according to "Loki," a game named "Polybius" may have very well existed in the MCU at some point, but was ultimately pruned by the TVA.

As far as explanations go, it's not any more far-fetched than many of the other theories concerning "Polybius" either.