posted by NanaKrustofski,
Dota 2 got most of its heroes from Warcraft, since it was originally a mod of the game. But all characters were invented at some point. Let's take a look at four heroes and what could have been the inspiration behind their creation. Some of Dota’s name givers might have been inspired by looking into the night sky. Puck and Miranda are moons of Uranus, whereas Io is circling around Jupiter. But the developers could have drawn inspiration from many different sources: anime, physics, history, mythology, prose – the list goes on.

Io: One of Jupiter's moons

If you look at the official overview from NASA, you notice that several parts of Io’s description fit our support hero (or carry, if you're brave enough). The moon’s atmosphere is described as “wisps only”, being very thin and consisting primarily of the gas sulfur dioxide which fits the general appearance of Io, the Wisp.

Image source: NASA

Io does not have any rings but creates a gaseous torus of material surrounding it – which sounds like the hero’s Spirits. This magnetosphere is caused by Jupiter’s magnetic field which tears off Io’s material. The loose material forms a “doughnut-shaped cloud of intense radiation”, also called plasma torus. The Spirits ingame circle around the hero in a similar way, with the additional explosion once colliding with an enemy hero.

The moon is also described as being in a constant tug-of-war between Jupiter's gravity and pulls from two neighboring moons. The in-game-equivalent with its ability Tether knows the pull towards other heroes all too well.

Puck: Shakespeare in Dota

While Puck is the name of a moon in our solar system as well, the name itself has a different origin. The moon as well as the hero are named after a mischievous sprite or fairy in William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream”. In terms of personality, the character, which also has the alternative name Robin Goodfellow, shares a lot of similarities to our Faerie Dragon.

First of all, the fairy Robin Goodfellow aka Puck is genderless, just like the hero. The question whether Puck is a female or male faerie dragon has been asked in the Dota community for years – but its simply neither, and it frankly doesn't need a gender anyways since it is a digital dragon.

The two characters also have a similar, mischievous personality. Robin Goodfellow was described as a prankster, but it did not have any intend to severely harm others. One of its pranks was that it pretended to be a milkmaid's stool, then disappearing just as she is sitting down. The Dota hero has the ability to suddendly disappear as well, as it can Phase Shift.

There is however an important difference between the two Pucks: Robin has a harmless nature, whereas the Dota lore explains that "While Puck seems at first glance a mischievous, childish character, this quality masks an alien personality. [...] Its motives are therefore inscrutable, and what appears to be play may in fact indicate a darker purpose or just its endless fondness for mischief."

Lina: Icefrog was a weeaboo?

The fierce sister of Crystal Maiden: Lina the Slayer embodies fire and a heated temper. Lina was inspired by the character Lina Inverse from the anime Slayers which was created in 1989.

Image source: Valve / Granblue Fantasy

The Dota version of Lina shares several similarities with its original character. Lina Inverse also has issues with her sister as she suffers from an inferiority complex to her. She is an incredibly powerful sorceress and has mastered black magic spells. Her signature spell: the Dragon Slave. The Light Strike Array in Dota was called Explosion Array in the anime, and Lina's ultimate Laguna Blade stems from the Ragna Blade.

Magnus: Using laws of physics for his skills

The magnataur Magnus might have been named after the German physicist Heinrich Gustav Magnus who discovered the so-called Magnus-effect in 1852. This effect describes the force on a spinning cylindrical or spherical object that moves through a fluid (meaning liquid or gas, like air).

It basically explains the phenomenon you can see when a pitcher throws the ball in a curve. He causes the ball to spin, which creates an asymmetry. The difference in pressure of the fluid on the opposite sides of the objects causes it to move in a curve.

The hero Magnus uses force and gravitation as well. His Shockwave pulls enemies towards him and his ultimate Reverse Polarity plays with the laws of physics as well. The official description says: "Magnus changes properties of matter, sucking all nearby enemies in front of him". Magnus uses a gravitation pull similar to the effect, where he changes the enemies direction in a much more exaggerated way.

Sources: NASA, Mydotablog, dev.dota2, maxcheaters

What other hero origins do you know?

Photo credit: SeeingTriangles / Godzy