Atomic Heart fan spots Soviet-Russian rock band reference in the game’s opening

Those mustaches had to come from somewhere.


Screenshot by Gamepur

Atomic Heart is set in an alternate timeline where the Soviet Union developed technology that propelled it to become the most advanced civilization on the planet. But it seems even advanced tech designers aren’t immune from being influenced by pop culture, as one fan has discovered in the game’s opening sequence.

YouTuber Pivo today published a short video explaining where the mustachioed Lab-Tech robots in Atomic Heart get their iconic look from using a direct visual reference between one of them in the game’s opening hour and a clip of the Soviet-Russian rock band Альянс (Alliance).

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The robot in question is one of the first Lab-Techs you see in the game. As you’re walking through the packed streets to your first objective, you can stumble upon a Lab-Tech with some very funky eyewear playing two keyboards and bopping to the beat. This visual seems to be a direct reference to Oleg Parastayev, a Russian musician who is best known as the keyboardist for Alliance.

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Given Parastayev’s iconic look, it’s even possible that developer Mundfish based the design of the standard Lab-Tech robots on him. They all sport the same mustache, though this early Lab-Tech is the only example of one wearing futuristic shades. It seems like too much of a coincidence, and as Pivo points out, it would make sense in the lore of Atomic Heart for these robots to have their design based on a pop star or famous individual. It makes them easier to accept in society rather than an amalgamation of parts with a creepy plastic face.

The female version of these Lab-Tech robots, Tereshkovas, are in a similar boat. Their design is based on a model and actress within the game’s lore. Even their voice uses a synthesized version of the celebrity’s, once again making them easier to accept into society because the person they’re based on is so well-loved and recognizable.

Atomic Heart is a first-person shooter that’s similar to BioShock in many ways. Players enter the world of Facility 3826 just as robots have become hostile, killing every human in sight. It’s up to you to find out what’s happened and stop the robots from killing anyone else around the world.