The fictional Empire in the game has a lot of similarities with the Roman Empire: the characters have genuine Roman names (Tiberius, Victoria, Julia, etc.), the Empire holds "games", which are actually gladiator battles that attract millions of spectators, and so on. The Phoenix tribe doesn't have an obvious historical prototype, but it is interesting that most of its people (Daniel, Jericho, Esther, and others) have Jewish names. There are some subtler references to the prophet Daniel, with whom one of the game's heroes shares his name: a certain level in the game is called "Daniel, the Past: Judgment". The Biblical prophet Daniel was famous for his wise judgment; the name "Daniel" itself means "judgment of god". Those allusions only emphasize the tragic irony of the level's title.