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Small Details Only True Fans Noticed In Arcane

"Arcane," the hit Netflix animated series created by Riot Games, expands on and refines the rich lore already established for the online battle arena title "League of Legends." Set in the regions of Piltover and Zaun, the show offers a look at a nation divided, dancing ever closer to the brink of disaster. Sisters Jinx and Vi find themselves at the center of the conflict, along with a cast of new and familiar faces.

Though the show draws from years of established lore and champion biographies, it doesn't require familiarity with its source material to understand or enjoy. "The most important thing was just to tell a good story, and we felt like a good story wouldn't require you to come in with knowledge in advance," co-creator Alex Yee explained to UnGeek. "We really wanted players to be able to open up and share the world that they've been spending so much time in with people around them, be proud of it, and have this as a way of having a conversation with people who are on the outside [of the League fandom]."

Though Riot designed "Arcane" for broad appeal and accessibility, it also included several subtle details to honor and entice longtime fans of "League of Legends." These aspects are easier to overlook if you aren't familiar with the game's champions, mechanics, and accompanying world building. Some are simply fun Easter eggs, while others provide key insights into potential future "Arcane" plotlines.

Get Jinxed and Fortiche

In "Arcane" Episode 4, Jinx sings along to a catchy track on the record player while attempting to assemble her own version of Jayce and Viktor's Hextech Crystal stabilizer. "League of Legends" players who were around all the way back in 2013 when the champion first joined the roster may recognize the tune as "Get Jinxed." In addition to gracing the client login screen for a while following Jinx's release, Riot debuted an accompanying music video featuring the infamous troublemaker. More than just the music made it into the show: you can spot a replica of the rhino Jinx rides in the video on the floor of her domain, as well as the cymbal monkey that created so much heartache in Episode 3.

Beyond heralding the arrival of a new playable character, "Get Jinxed" represented two other important milestones. "That was the first music video that we did," "Arcane" co-creator Alex Yee told ComicBook.com. "And it was also the first time that we worked with Fortiche." A French animation studio, Fortiche combined forces with Riot Games to create the Netflix series. Those familiar with the "League" music scene may recognize the studio's work, as it also animated the popular "POP/STARS" music video for "LoL" virtual k-pop girl group K/DA, among other projects.

League of Legends champion abilities

"Arcane" includes several references to or overt demonstrations of champion abilities that appear in "League of Legends." In Episode 1, you can spot some cupcakes on a balcony as the kids traverse the Piltover rooftops. Vi later nicknames Caitlyn "Cupcake." Both instances appear to be a nod to Caitlyn's in-game Yordle Snap Trap ability, which resembles a bear trap baited with a cupcake.

During Episode 4, Viktor and Jayce present Heimerdinger with a new generation of Hextech creations. The lineup includes the Atlas Gauntlets, which Vi later dons and utilizes, and a prototype for the Hexclaw. Known as The Machine Herald in "League," Viktor uses the Hexclaw to perform his Death Ray ability, unleashing a magical beam of energy similar to how the device behaves in the show.

Episodes 8 and 9 draw heavily from "LoL" kits. Jayce uses both his Lightning Field and Shock Blast skills while hitting the Shimmer factory. He even busts out his ultimate, transforming the Mercury Hammer into the Mercury Cannon. Vi activates her Blast Shield passive during her showdown with Sevika, and Jinx closes out the first season by targeting Piltover's council with her own ultimate ability, Super Mega Death Rocket.

Singed and his daughter

Singed reveals during Act 3 that he once had a daughter, a detail that may become more relevant in "Arcane" Season 2. This appears to be a new facet of the scientist's past that Riot added for the show, as children do not feature in his "League of Legends" biography. While this could be an attempt to humanize Singed or seed a new character, it may also serve as a set up for the introduction of another champion from the game: Orianna.

Orianna is one of several Piltover champions who has yet to show up in "Arcane." Orianna earned the epithet The Lady of Clockwork after her father replaced her organs with artificial implants to keep her from dying. While Singed did not take on the role of her father, a famous artificer named Corin Reveck, in the original lore, casting him in this part for the series could be a tidy way to tie their stories together. Riot could even incorporate this into why Singed was forced to leave the Academy and seek solace in Zaun.

Ekko and the Z-Drive

Viewers can spot several hints regarding Ekko's identity as The Boy Who Shattered Time in "Arcane." While deviations from the lore, especially regarding the historical timeline and development of Hextech, altered his origin story and rise to power in the series, it seems Ekko may already be on the path to earning his title from "League of Legends." Episode 7, which focuses heavily on the Firelight Gang, drops some key references.

Before his true identity is even revealed, you can spot a stylized "Z" in the music video that kicks off the final act. In the game, Ekko uses a device he created called the Zero Drive (or Z-Drive) to wind back time and execute his ultimate ability. Later in the episode, Ekko places the Hextech crystal in a container that resembles his Zero Drive. This could be a prototype he created after Piltover unveiled Hextech, indicating his equipment and time-related research could have already progressed quite far.

With Heimerdinger's assistance and a proper power source, it's not a stretch to assume a functioning Z-Drive will show up in Season 2. Riot may have already set this up with the sequence that precedes Ekko's fight with Jinx on the bridge, which shows her beating him as a kid, only for time to "reverse," allowing older Ekko to evade her shots and overpower her. While seemingly a symbolic representation of his "LoL" skillset, signs point to the Firelight leader actually altering reality in a future episode.

Vander may return as another champion from League of Legends

Though Vander seemingly died after sustaining extensive injuries at the close of Act 1, details from "Arcane" and "League of Legends" indicate Riot may have a different fate planned for Vi and Powder's adoptive father. He could remerge in Season 2 as Warwick, a Zaunite turned into a bloodthirsty, wolf-like beast by Singed's devilish Chemtech experiments.

Act 1 set Vander up for this transformation in several ways. After capturing Vander and bringing him to his hideout, Silco asks, "You'd die for the cause, but you won't fight for one?" Vander responds, "I'm just ... not that man anymore," prompting Silco to declare, "I'll show you what you really are." This exchange mirrors a line from Warwick's "League" biography: "Singed would reveal his subject's true nature—the deadly beast hidden within a 'good man.'"

Another detail highlighted in Warwick's champion rework breakdown seems like a perfect match for Vander's character progression. "[Warwick] is someone who in the past vaguely remembers doing good things, helping people, and it didn't work," said narrative writer David Slagle. "Zaun is so messed up that he couldn't make a difference." This sounds eerily like Vander, who couldn't save the Lanes, or his friends and children, despite years of effort. Given these similarities and the fact that a figure resembling Vander and/or Warwick appears in Episode 9 (appropriately titled "The Monster You Created") suspended in Singed's lab, his inclusion in the next season seems all but guaranteed.

Zaun Gray, Hextech crystal origins, and missing Piltover and Zaun Champions

"League of Legends" features over 100 playable characters, with new ones popping up every year. Given this, and general storytelling best practices, it's hardly surprising that "Arcane" doesn't include or reference every champion, even excluding some of those from the Piltover and Zaun regions. The writers chose to focus on a core group, while also potentially setting up the addition of more champions in Season 2.

Throughout the three acts, multiple references to Zaun Gray, the cloud of chemical pollution that plagues the undercity, pop up. Enforcers don gas masks when travelling into the area, Silco uses the toxin to threaten his would-be usurpers, and Jayce links Viktor's terminal illness to the often fatal smog. At least two other champions, Janna and Orianna, are connected to Zaun Gray, indicating they could have roles to play in "Arcane."

Another thread "Arcane" touches on but does not explore is the origin and true nature of Hextech crystals. According to "League" lore, non-synthetic Hextech crystals are forcibly obtained from and powered by the Brackern, a sentient race of crystal scorpions. The souls of these beings are trapped in the crystals, a fact that is not common knowledge. This could be why Viktor's Hex Core adapts and responds to organic matter. It could also point to the introduction of Seraphine, a champion who can hear the songs of the spirits contained in the crystals. As a key member of Clan Ferros, the family that discovered and monopolized Hextech crystals, Camille also seems destined to appear.