1001 Video GamesPsychonauts appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Bobby ZilchThe annoying bully-type character in the game, Bobby Zilch, is based on the camp bully from Schafer's real life experiences, who was also named Bobby.
BoydThe dialogue of the paranoid security guard Boyd is partially based on a mentally ill person which used to swipe Double Fine's doorstep once a week and talk with Tim Schafer about his conspiracy theories.
NamesSeveral characters' last names mean "no", "none" or "nothing", including Bobby Zilch and Sasha Nein.
OstrichOne idea Tim Schafer had for the game's protagonist was a mentally unbalanced (with multiple personalities) ostrich. However, this idea was dropped as Schafer is a strong believer in games being a form of wish-fulfillment, and he came to the conclusion that not many gamers would dream of being insane ostriches. One wonders if there would have been a personality-changing game mechanic consisting of the ostrich sticking its head in the ground and pulling it out again with a different persona.
RazNot only is Raz played by Invader Zim voice acting talent Richard Steven Horvitz (who was born in 1966); if you work hard, you may be able to unlock a Primal Memories journal entry with concept art showing Raz to be simply a non-green Zim with goggles!
The original main character was going to be named D'Artagan, but was cut. He is referenced twice though; in the beginning cutscene, when Coach Oleander is trying to guess Raz's name, he says, "Starts with a D!" Also, the original D'Artagan model can be seen poking out of the outhouse in the ending cutscene.
The name comes from Razmig Mavlian, an animator at LucasArts who later joined the Psychonauts team. It could also be a reference to Grigori Rasputin (died in 1916), the famous Russian "court mystic", who was considered by many a religious charlatan. Raz's special psychic powers is a reference to Rasputin's alleged mystic healing powers.
- In the campfire area there is a tree with a crashed van and three tombstones under it. Some say this is a Day of the Tentacle reference, as the truck looks similar to the one used by three characters in the game. It is also a double entendre stating Schafer's opinion of LucasArts' commitment to adventure games - dead.
- After getting the canoe from Cruller, you can ask him "Admiral Cruller? That canoe...are you...in love with it?" This is a reference to Sal in Grim Fandango asking if Manny was in love with Meche.
- When you need a Marksmanship learner's permit and don't have it yet, you can tell Sasha "I left it in my other pants." Guybrush says something similar in Monkey Island 2.
- The obligatory Star Wars reference: When Clem and Crystal are standing on the roof of the lodge, you can overhear their conversation which includes, "We're going to be so powerful, aren't we?" and a reply of "More powerful than you can possibly imagine."
- The Russian immigrant Mikhail Bulgakov is named after the Soviet/Russian writer, author of the popular novel The Master and Margarita
- The character of Edgar Teglee is based on the real artist Edgar Leeteg who popularised the Black Velvet style of painting of that level's art style. Leeteg initially worked as a billboard painter and sign writer in California before losing his job due to the depression. Later he went on to achieve infamy for his cheesy art style.
- The four painting dogs in the same level are the dogs from the famous Dog's Playing Poker painting, actually called "A Bold Bluff" by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge.
Release delayThe PC version was inexplicably delayed to April 27th, even after the announcement that both the Xbox and PC were shipping on their original release date. This is likely due to manufacturing complications.
Xbox exclusivityThe game was originally supposed to be an Xbox-exclusive title. Microsoft dropped the publishing contract in 2004, at which point it was picked up by Majesco, who requested PC and PS2 ports.
- 2006 – Best Xbox Game of the Year
- BAFTA Video Game Awards
- October 10th 2006 - Best Screenplay
- Computer Games
- March 2006 - #10 Game of the Year 2005
- 2005 – #7 Xbox Game of the Year
- 2005 – Xbox Platformer of the Year
- 2005 – Special Achievement in Art Direction (PC)
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 22/2008 - names as having one of the "10 Coolest Levels" for the Milkman Conspiracy. (It manages to connect parody with playing elements and the three-dimensionally twisted environment unifies theme and style.)
- PC Powerplay (Germany)
- Issue 02/2006 - #3 Action Game in 2005