The novel suggests that the Martian mountain Quaid and
Melina look at in his dream is meant to suggest it is a
buried alien pyramid. This may be the Mount Pyramid
mentioned later by McClane as part of the standard Mars
package at Rekall.
In the background at 5:12 on the DVD, a photo of Quaid and
Lori can be seen on a bookshelf in their bedroom.
At 5:22 on the same shelf, a sculpture of a can of
Cola pouring into a glass can be seen. The same sculpture is
seen again on a shelf in the dining
area at 7:27! (After Quaid's violent
encounter with his wife, the sculpture is seen having been knocked
to the floor at 26:22). I guess it's a Pepsi
household because at 25:31 there are
two real cans of Pepsi seen
in the apartment, a regular and a
||Dining room Pepsi
(over Quaid's shoulder)
At 5:35 on the DVD,
Evian bottled water and
can be seen in the kitchen as Quaid is preparing breakfast.
Also, a bowl of nuts that was sitting to screen-left of the
mixing bowl previously is now missing.
The news broadcast being watched by Quaid in the kitchen
tells us that mining of turbinium ore is one of the primary
profit centers of the habitats on Mars. Turbinium appears to
be a fictional compound and its properties and usefulness
are not explained within the film, though Cohaagen remarks
that the Northern Bloc's entire war effort depends on Mars'
turbinium. (The novelization specifies that the ore is
essential in the Northern Bloc's particle beam weapons
For breakfast, Quaid seems to have prepared some kind of
homemade power-shake of spring water, wheat germ, nuts, and fruits.
This may be intended as a slight nod to the fact that Quaid
is so muscular (he's portrayed by professional-bodybuilder-turned-actor Arnold
Schwarzenegger). The novelization seems to confirm this.
Notice that at 6:25 on the DVD, Lori turns off the news when
she sees that the newscaster is talking about Mars and
Cohaagen. Her action could be seen as enforcing her mission
to prevent Quaid from remembering his past on Mars (if he
really is a mind-wiped secret agent) or just a wife not
wanting her Mars-obsessed husband to get any more ideas (if
Quaid is really just Quaid).
At 6:55 on the DVD, Lori is looking at a Sharper Image
catalog. At the time the movie was made,
The Sharper Image
was a retail brand that produced a monthly catalog selling
unique electronic and gift items. The retailer went bankrupt
in 2008 and the name is now licensed to be placed on
products made by other companies. There is also a Sharper
Image store seen at the Mars Hilton at 51:37 and in
Venusville at 54:19.
After the news broadcast, a commercial comes on for the
fifth game of the World Series on ESPN.
ESPN is a real world
sports cable channel. The commercial states that the game is
taking place in Tokyo, Japan, where the Tokyo Samurais will
face-off against an opposing team whose name can't be made
out over Lori's dialog. There is no real world MLB team
Tokyo Samurais at this time.
When Quaid asks Harry if he knows anything about Rekall,
Harry tells him about a friend who went there and nearly got
lobotomized and advises him not to go there, saying, "Don't
fuck with your brain, pal. It ain't worth it." This could be
a subtle reference to Hauser, whom we learn in the course of
the story had the false personality of Quaid imprinted on
his brain as part of his and Cohaagen's scheme and winds up
not able to return when Quaid's personality proves too
strong to give up his body. This also plays into Harry's
"real" role as one of Quaid's watchers, trying to keep Quaid
away from Rekall, where he might blow his secret identity as
Hauser. On the other hand, it could point to Rekall's
process being a dangerous one that could end with Quaid
losing himself in the simulation.
At 11:25 on the DVD, Quaid looks up information on a
computer screen labeled Proton. Proton is a defunct company
that made monitor screens and other electronics at the time
the film was produced. A Proton television also appears in
the Rekall lab at 16:03 and on the subway at 31:49. Even
Mars has Protons, as seen at 59:46. (The
production must have gotten a bargain price on Protons!)
The cathode-ray tube monitor at the secretary's desk at
11:38 on the DVD dates the production!
The monitor screen that shows Quaid the details of the
standard Mars package mentions a "personal tour guide to Mt.
Olympus." This is a reference to Olympus Mons (Latin for Mt.
Olympus) on Mars, the tallest mountain in the solar system.
At 13:44 on the DVD, there appears to be a can of Hills
Brothers Coffee on the shelf behind McClane.
is a real world maker of packaged coffee.
While discussing additional memory options with Quaid,
McClane remarks, "No matter where you go, there you are."
This quote has been attributed to both
As the monitor screen flips through some alien options at
Rekall, one of the images looks to be one of the four-armed
green Martians from the Barsoom series of books by Edgar
Rice Burroughs featuring John Carter, Warlord of Mars.
Dr. Lull comments that the alien artifacts reportedly found
on Mars date back a million years.
Dr. Lull refers to the condition Quaid seems to suffer from
as a schizoid embolism. There is no such term in the real
world, but it likely is meant to describe a psychological
event (a personality/schizoid
that Rekall has seen before; notice Dr. Lull says "another
schizoid embolism" (emphasis mine). (The term may be based
on the "psychotic interlude" alluded to in
"We Can Remember It for You
During Quaid's enraged "fit", why does McClane yell at Dr.
Lull, "You can't do a simple goddamn double implant?!" What
is "double" about it? If it's meant to suggest the
implant of a Mars vacation over Quaid's memory, over the
real identity of Hauser, then how does McClane now about
The Johnnycab voice is performed by
actor Robert Picardo. And, unless I
miss my guess, the artificial face
of Johnnycab is modeled after that
of Picardo as well. (PopApostle
reader D. Cameron found an article
Hemmings Daily that confirms
Picardo's likeness was used for the
face of Johnnycab:
The futuristic cars of Total Recall,
behind the scenes)
According to the Production Notes on the DVD, the tune whistled by the Johnnycab robot
is the Norwegian national anthem.
The videophones that appear throughout the film appear to
have been manufactured by
Novatel, a company that has
marketed electronic devices since the early 1990s.
If what Lori tells Quaid about their "marriage" at 26:04 is
true, Hauser underwent the memory implant of Quaid six weeks
Notice that at 26:57 on the DVD, Lori surreptitiously spots
her backup approaching on the video monitor behind Quaid.
At 30:11 on the DVD, we can see that the tracker device used
by Richter's men is made by
Notice that at 30:39 on the DVD, Quaid uses a bystander who
has been shot already by Richter's men as a human shield!
The instantaneous two-way communication seen between Richter
and Cohaagen in the car shouldn't be possible. At the speed
of light, communications between Earth and Mars would take
several minutes each way. The novelization mentions that
faster-than-light communication had been invented, allowing
As Quaid exits the subway station at 33:14 on the DVD, a
neon billboard for
is seen in the background, as well as signs for
Philips Audio Video.
At 33:25 on the DVD, Quaid appears to be headed for the
Hotel Ritz. But the hotel room we see him occupy later does
not resemble the luxury provided by the two real world Hotel
Ritz locations in Paris and London. Presumably this Hotel
Ritz is just a flophouse that has "borrowed" the Ritz name
At 33:27 on the DVD, the license plate of Richter's car is
visible. No state or country is indicated on it, simply
At 35:25 on the DVD, a billboard for
can be seen in the background.
At 35:29 on the DVD, there is a
newspaper machine in the background. At 52:40, there is a
Mars Today newspaper machine, which also shows the slogan,
"The newspaper of the universe"; the G symbol on the
machine's support stand is the logo for the
Company, which owns many newspapers, including USA
At 35:32 on the DVD, a large video display for
Trinitron can be seen in the background. Trinitron was
Sony's brand name for their premium color televisions of the
time (now only used for Sony's video monitors).
As Quaid hops into the Johnnycab at 35:54 on the DVD, neon
signs for Coors Extra Gold (now known as Extra Gold Lager)
and Beck's Beer can be seen. Another Beck's Beer
sign is in the window of the Last Resort at 54:20.
When the Johnnycab says, "Fasten your seatbelt," it's sort
of a joke for the audience, indicating that we're in for a
A neon ad for Peňafiel is seen above the mayhem at 36:40 on
Peňafiel is a brand of mineral water in Mexico (the subway
and chase scene were shot in Mexico City).
In the briefcase, Quaid finds several ID cards under
different aliases. We see two of them: a Pyramid Mines ID as
Steve Leonetti; and an "operator's card" (possibly a
driver's license) for James D. Brubaker of El Paso, TX.
When Quaid pulls the tracking device out of his nose, it
makes a "pop" sound as it's yanked out of the nostril!
pop goes the nostril
Hauser tells Quaid to check in at the Hilton Hotel when he
gets to Mars.
Hilton is a chain of full-service hotels
across the world. Besides Mars, there is also a Hilton in
Space Station Number Five (from the 1968 film 2001: A
At 42:09 on the DVD, for some reason there is a
Soup can next to the cement block Quaid had been sitting at
while he watched Hauser's message. There is also an old
coffee pot laying next to it. I guess some vagrants had been
living there or something. At 42:27 another soup can is
laying on its side next to the "laptop viewer".
When Quaid is disguised as a heavyset woman upon arriving on
Mars, the passport he presents is in the name of Priscilla
Allen, the actual name of the actress!
At 45:26 on the DVD, Richter runs past some boxes labeled
Northwest which show the logo of Northwest (Orient)
Airlines. The logo changed from this one in 1989, probably around the time
the film was in production.
Everett can be seen wearing a patch for the Federal
Colonies, which appears to feature a representation of Mars
with its two moons.
On the Mars train at 47:32 on the DVD, some wanted posters
for Kuato can be seen on the wall behind Quaid, reading:
DEAD OR ALIVE
The man Quaid talks to on the train at 47:39 is actor Mickey
Jones, who played Chris Farber on
The mountain outside the train window in the scene mentioned
above is the Pyramid Mine and is the same mountain Quaid saw
in his dream. The man he's talking to tells him they
allegedly found "alien shit" inside.
At 50:39 on the DVD, there is a neon sign at the Hilton bar
that says Coors Martian Red, obviously a fictional brew by
the real world Coors Brewing Company (now
Miller/Coors). The sign is also seen
in the Last Resort at 55:20. The "Martian Red" name is
likely meant as a play on the red coloring of the landscape on
At 50:59 on the DVD, the hotel clerk slides Quaid's Brubaker
ID into a Sargent System 45 device. The
Sargent System 45 is a real world product from the Sargent
Manufacturing Company; it's actual use is
making key cards in
The Identi-Guard thumb-print reader used by the hotel clerk
at 51:14 appears to be a fictional device.
At 53:43 on the DVD, in Venusville, there is a Curtis Mathes
sign on a storefront behind Quaid. The
Curtis Mathes Corporation is a real world retailer of
electronic products and repairs. At 1:06:35, a Curtis Mathes
television is seen as the elevator floor level indicator.
A Pepsi sign is visible in Venusville at 53:48 on the DVD.
Next to the window of the psychic business at 54:09 on the
DVD is another wanted poster for Kuato.
A neon Jack in the Box sign is seen in Venusville at 54:17
on the DVD.
in the Box is a U.S. fast food chain.
Across the alley from the Last Resort is a restaurant called
The Last Resort seems to have a lot of posters hanging
behind the bar for both male and female wrestling events.
A neon sign for Miller Lite beer is seen in the Last Resort
at 54:48 on the DVD.
A sign for Miller Genuine Draft beer is seen at 55:47.
When Quaid meets Melina, she recognizes him as Hauser and
it's obvious they have a past together. She grabs him in the
crotch and asks, "What you been feeding this thing?" to
which he replies, "Blonds". This is a reference back to his
sham marriage to Lori.
lights in Melina's room at the Last
Resort are reminiscent of the
tri-chrome camera stalk of the
Martians in the 1953 film classic
War of the Worlds.
|Light in Melina's
eye from War of the Worlds
I don't know what is playing on the
multi-set TV screen in the
background at the Last Resort at
59:25 on the DVD, but there appears
to be a robotic carnosaur on the
screen! Later on in the film at
1:12:53, there is some kind of
armored person or robot on the
The wall art hanging above the bed
in Quaid's room at the Hilton
appears to be an abstract
representation of Mars and its two
moons, Phobos and Deimos. (The
picture of a tower of some kind on
the right-hand wall is more visible
at 1:05:37 and the word below it is
seen to read "Oldenburg", which may
be a reference to one of two cities
by that name in Germany.) Another
representation of Mars and the moons
is seen on the opposing wall from
the bed at 1:00:08.
A very in-your-face Miller Lite sign is seen at 1:05:57 on
During Melina and Lori's catfight at
1:07:04 on the DVD, a Pepsi and
water dispenser is seen on the wall
behind Lori. Later, the second row
of cans is seen to be Barq's Root
Beer. The money changer can be seen
to the left of the refrigerated case at
At 1:09:18 on the DVD, crates can be seen moving along a
conveyor belt along the cliff outside, through the window
Using frame advance on the DVD as Benny's cab crashes
through a small room at 1:11:18, the opposite wall can be
seen starting to buckle outward before the car has even
breached the first wall! This is an indication that the wall
was rigged to be pulled down manually, at least in part, to
allow the car to more safely appear to be buckling it.
A Best Western sign is seen behind Richter at 1:11:22 on
Western is the largest hotel chain in the world(s).
At 1:11:39 on the DVD, Coors Light and Hawaiian Tropic signs
Hawaiian Tropic is a brand of suntan lotion sold around
At 1:11:46 on the DVD, a neon sign for Killian's Red can be
seen in the background. This is an Irish-heritage beer,
currently brewed by Coors.
Thumbelina pulls a wicked-looking bowie knife from
underneath a tabletop at 1:12:58. But just seconds later,
the knife looks quite a bit smaller and is entirely gray
(i.e. fake) as she runs towards Helm and guts him.
During the chaos of the massacre at the Last Resort, at
1:12:59 a female extra in the background can be seen smiling
through it all!
At 1:13:03 on the DVD, bottles of Gordon's Vodka and George
Dickel Whisky are seen. Both are real brands, though I don't
know why the Dickel whisky appears to be blue!
At 1:14:37 on the DVD, a Fox Photo sign is seen in
Venusville. Fox Photo was a chain of 1-hour photo processing
stores across the U.S. from the 1980s through around 2001.
During Kuato's mind probe of Quaid, we see in his mind's eye
Cohaagen, Richter, and two scientists walking through the
alien complex inside the pyramid mine. Since Hauser is not
present, it doesn't seem to be his memory, so how is Kuato
able to see it? Has Quaid's mind somehow augmented Kuato's
and given him enough clairvoyance to see a scene from the
During the mind probe mentioned above, one of the scientists
remarks that if they turn on the device it might set off all
the turbinium on the planet, causing a meltdown.
The scientists say that the alien device appears to be about
500,000 years old. That is also about the time that modern
humans, Homo sapiens, diverged from our common
ancestor with Homo neanderthalensis. Whether this is
important in the context of the film is unknown, but given
the potential trap of the alien mechanism as suggested in
the novelization, it seems reasonable that the aliens may
have built the machine and left the solar system at that time
intentionally, in order to let the new species grow on Earth
and see if they progress to using the device properly or
destroying themselves with it.
At 1:22:31 on the DVD, there is a police-tape-like strip,
rippling from the disturbance of the firefight, that appears
to say 'Federal Colony'.
When Cohaagen's crew puts Quaid and Melina through the
memory restoration process, why are they not sedated as they
were when Quaid earlier went to Rekall? (In the
novelization, they do receive sedation. Quaid is able to
both fight it off and get the extra strength needed to pull
his shackle from the chair due to the No'ui information
implant that was reactivated during his mind-meld with Kuato.)
At 1:36:39 on the DVD, it looks as if the two groups of
soldiers would be hitting each other with their gunfire when
they're shooting at the hologram of Quaid.
At 1:45:44 on the DVD, there is a neon sign for Barq's Root
Beer in the window of the Sleaze Bar. You'd think though,
that a place called Sleaze Bar would serve something more
potent than root beer!
Once the alien device is activated, it seems unlikely that
it could pump oxygen into the atmosphere quickly enough to
save Quaid and Melina from depressurization on the surface
or turn the sky blue so fast. (In the novelization, Quaid's
knowledge from the No'ui tells him that the atmospheric
process is sped up in ways humans do not
Anne Lockhart is credited as an "Additional Voice" in the
credits of the film. She is best known for playing Lt. Sheba
on the original
The obvious unanswered question is whether Quaid's adventure
was real or just part of the memory implant he receives at
Rekall. Richter uses the title of the film "Total Recall" to
describe the possibility that Hauser
may begin to remember everything now that he
has popped his Quaid memory implant. But if we imagine the title
as "Total Rekall", using the Rekall brand name, it may be a
clue that the whole thing is totally a dream, totally Rekall.
Evidence that it's real:
At the very beginning of the movie, Quaid's dream features
both himself and Melina on Mars. How could he be dreaming
about a woman he'd not yet met? This is the strongest
bit of evidence that Quaid is
just a cover personality for the
original man, Hauser, who met Melina
previously as part of his undercover
mission to infiltrate the Martian
At 7:27 on the DVD, there is an upside-down copy of The
Widows Handbook on the shelf behind Quaid.
The Widows Handbook
is a real book, a guide for women who have recently lost
their husbands and how to cope in the world anew. The fact
that it has been shelved upside-down may be an indication
that it was recently perused. Possibly, Lori has been
reading it because she is forced to be separated from her
real husband, Richter (if she is really a secret agent and
not Quaid's wife).
Evidence that it's a dream:
At 15:56 on the DVD, Dr. Lull asks Quaid if he would like
them to integrate some alien stuff into his spy scenario, to
which he responds, "Sure, why not?" As the monitor screen
flips through some alien options, the final screen looks
exactly like the alien oxygen processing device that Quaid
activates near the end of the movie. Then she tosses a
computer disk to her assistant in the procedure and he reads
the label, saying, "That's a new one. Blue sky on Mars."
These are all additional links in the chain of evidence that
story we see is just a memory implant.
As Quaid describes the type of woman he likes, the computer
builds the model on the screen. The final version is 41A,
seen at 17:27 on the DVD...and she's Melina! Pretty damning
evidence by itself. However a scene in the script that was
cut from the film has Melina telling Quaid that she used to
model for Rekall (this scene is also present in the
Dr. Lull's assistant for the memory implant procedure remarks,
"...he's gonna have a wild time! He's not gonna wanna come back!"
And when Quaid, now on Mars, is told it's all just a memory implant,
a dream, and he needs to wake up and come back to his real life, he
doesn't want come back.
Dr. Edgemar tells Quaid that if he, Quaid, shoots Edgemar in
his "dream" then "the walls of reality will come crashing
down". When Quaid does shoot Edgemar anyway, the hotel room
wall suddenly explodes, "crashing down", to admit armed
fade to black before going to the
end credits. Total Recall
fades to white instead. Maybe an
indication of the now-lobotomized
Quaid waking up at Rekall?
Notes from the novelization of
Total Recall by Piers Anthony
(The page numbers come from the 1st
printing, paperback edition, published June 1990)
The information about the two moons of Mars, Phobos and
Deimos, given on page 1 is accurate.
The information about the environment of Mars' surface, such as
atmospheric pressure and strength of gravity, on page 2, are
The dream sequence of Quaid on Mars suggests that he is on a
mission of some kind on the planet's surface.
On page 2, Quaid looks up at Olympus Mons, the tallest
mountain in the solar system (actually a dead volcano). The
book compares it to Mauna Loa in Hawaii, Earth's largest
mountain, only a third the size, and also a volcano. These
are both true, Mauna Loa is technically Earth's tallest
mountain, although most of it is under the ocean, unlike Mt.
Everest, the tallest mountain above water.
Page 3 mentions alien pyramids, faces, and artifacts
scattered about the surface of Mars. This is meant to lead
into the alien artifacts subplot of the story. It also seems
to be an intentional touchstone to the real world theories
of the Face on Mars and other ancient structures and
artifacts believed by some fringe researchers to exist on
Mars (see Richard Hoagland's
Enterprise Mission website for more on this research).
Pages 3-6 take Quaid's dream farther than that shown in the
film. He and Melina walk to an artificial shaft in the
ground and he rappels down it, but starts to fall, at which
point he awakes from the dream.
Chapter 3 of the book seems not to have been properly edited
in this first printing. Several sentences, phrases, and
topics are repeated from one page to the next. There also
seems to be a discrepancy in the social level Quaid and Lori
are described as living at; at one point it says he agreed to move uptown
and live largely off her family's wealth instead of his
construction worker salary, then later the narrative
indicates they bought the best multi-screen, color
television they could afford which meant no 3D. It seems as
if two drafts of the chapter got mashed together improperly.
On page 13, Quaid reflects that he's no "Hi-Q professor".
Possibly "Hi-Q" is meant to be slang for "high I.Q".
On page 14, Quaid is referred to as a Construction Engineer,
Site Preparation Specialist. This is an actual title for
some construction workers who break up old foundations, etc.
on existing building sites to make way for new building.
This might be intended as an allusion to the building of
Quaid's identity on top of that of Hauser.
Page 14 also mentions new buildings of plasplex being
constructed. As far as I can tell, plasplex is a fictional
Page 15 describes Quaid and Lori as living in a conapt.
Conapt is short for condominium-apartment.
On page 17, the newscaster reports on the Northern Bloc's
bombing of a shipyard in Bombay. Presumably this is a
reference to Bombay, India (currently more popularly known
by it's original name, Mumbai), which would seem to indicate
that India, or at least the city of Bombay, is part of the
opposition Southern Bloc.
The news report (and the overall novel) mentions that
scientists have found that six stars that are known to have
gone nova in the past should not have; they were not the
right type of stars to do so. This is part of the alien
technology subplot of the novel that was cut from the
shooting script of the film. The ancient aliens had left
booby traps in their technology such that if it was not used
properly, it would cause the local sun to go nova, wiping
out a potentially hostile space-faring species. The six
irregular novas suggests that there is other life in the
galaxy that has fallen prey to this trap.
When stepping out of his apartment to head for work on page
23, Quaid has a vision of the sun going nova.
On page 25, the term "hophead" is used. A hophead is an
We're never told what city Quaid and Lori are living in.
Page 30 of the novel mentions that traditional automobile
manufacturing plants are being shut down for new plants that
manufacture cold-fusion-powered vehicles, so possibly the
city is Detroit, long known as an auto-manufacturing hub of
(In the short story that inspired the film,
"We Can Remember It for You
Wholesale", the city is Chicago.)
On page 34, Quaid enjoys the sight of the secretary at
Rekall, who is wearing a variable transparency blouse, which
allows it to be transparent under certain lighting
conditions from certain angles. Author Piers Anthony
modified this from the original short story, which describes
the secretary as bare-breasted.
McClane is wearing a suit made of the skins of Martian frogs
(actually Earth frogs raised on Martian farms who develop
unique properties in the reduced gravity and increased
radiation). This is borrowed from the original short story,
though there the frogs are described as native to Mars
(having been written before we knew the lifelessness of the
On page 38, McClane explains to Quaid that part of the
Rekall package is that he won't even remember going to Rekall; it
will seem as if he actually went to Mars. (McClane also
tells him this in the short story.)
On page 40, McClane mentions parts of the spy package,
including double identities.
After Dr. Lull asks Quaid if he wants them to integrate some
alien artifacts into his scenario, she doesn't show him any
images on the monitor screen as she does in the film. Instead the book describes Quaid
fantasizing about exploring and discovering the remnants of
a vast alien complex, discovering its superscience and stunning the
world with his achievement.
On page 45, Quaid briefly thinks it's odd that Lori still
looks exactly the same now as she did when they met 8 years
ago; she hasn't aged a day.
On page 48, Quaid notices that model 41A on the console
looks just like the woman in his dreams.
At the beginning of Chapter 7, McClane tells the female
client in his office, "...we really can remember it for you
wholesale." This is a nod to the Phillip K. Dick short story
on which Total Recall is based,
"We Can Remember It for You
Page 50 reveals that Dr. Lull's first name is Renata.
The book reveals that the drug used to finally put Quaid
back under is called narkidrine. This appears to be a
fictional drug. Author Piers Anthony borrowed the term from
"We Can Remember It for You
The book reveals that the Agency mentioned in the movie is
not the CIA, but another semisecret government outfit, one which
will use any means to achieve its goals. It was originally
set up as a watchdog agency over the numerous intelligence
groups of the Northern Bloc and was headed by Cohaagen.
Gradually, Cohaagen absorbed the other groups into the
Agency and became powerful himself, eventually gaining
damaging knowledge against the Chairman of the Bloc such
that he forced the Chairman to name him as Mars Colony Administrator.
Cohaagen knew that the turbinium mining on Mars was the real
key to the Northern Bloc's strength and by controlling it,
he was effectively in control of the Bloc.
When Lori starts shooting at Quaid as he exits the bathroom
in their apartment, the bullets are described as tracers.
Tracer bullets have a small pyrotechnic charge built in that
is ignited by the burning gunpowder, leaving a visible trail
which allows the shooter to adjust the aim of their weapon
toward the target more accurately.
On page 71, Quaid recalls his and Lori's honeymoon (now
revealed to be just a memory implant). They rode the
transcontinental zaptrain and drank blue Venusian champagne
from crystal flutes grown on the space stations. As far as I
know, "zaptrain" is a fictional term invented for the novel.
The crystal flutes might one day be real; experiments in
growing crystals in space have already taken place.
The lunar diamond mentioned on page 72 is probably a similar
analogy to the crystal flutes grown on the space stations on
page 71 as mentioned above.
Page 89 suggests that Hauser had been in the habit of making
"Beauty and the Beast" jokes about Lori and Richter.
Beauty and the Beast, of course, is a classic
fairly tale about a beautiful woman who meets and befriends
a hideous-but-loving beast-like man and gradually falls in
love with him.
Page 94 seems to hint that Richter and his men questioned
and killed the Rekall staff when they realized Quaid had
been there: "...they had made a quick trip there to question
the Rekall staff and dispatch them."
Pages 98-102 contain a scene not in the movie. The man
claiming to be a friend of Quaid's from Mars who brings the
briefcase to him, is revealed to be named Stevens. After the
briefcase drop-off, he reflects on how Hauser had brought
him into the Agency and even saved his life more than once.
While searching for Quaid, Richter and Helm spot and grab
Stevens. Despite a quick but thorough beating, Stevens refuses
to tell what he knows about Quaid's whereabouts and Richter
finally shoots him in the head. (In the film, Cohaagen
claims that "Stevens" was part of the scam to help Quaid
survive and get back to Mars so he could lead the Colonial
government to the rebel leader Kuato.)
When the Johnnycab won't respond to Quaid's pleas to "Go!
Anywhere!" he finally tells it to go to
this doesn't work either because the Johnnycab responds,
"There are fourteen McDonald's franchises in the greater
Page 109 reveals exactly what turbinium is and how it is
used and classified by the government.
In the book, Quaid stops to open the briefcase and view
Hauser's message at an abandoned
Toyota plant instead of a
Pages 110-111 reveal that the
briefcase left for Quaid by Stevens also contains the
mask of the heavyset lady he later uses as a disguise, some
galoshes that create a holographic image around his lower
legs to make them look like the woman's, and (ironically)
Mars candy bars.
Instead of telling Quaid to stop
shoving the tracker-removal probe
into his nose when he hears a crunch
as in the film, Hauser here says to
shove all the way up to the
maxillary sinus. The maxillary sinus
is located above the roof of the
mouth, so after shoving the probe up
his nose, the internal metal
tentacle would have to direct itself
downward through the nasal passage
to grab the tracking device; this
would explain Hauser's comment that
the probe is self-guiding. (Image at
right is from Gray's Anatomy of
the Human Body 20th U.S.
edition, 1918, public domain.)
Driving through the rain, Richter thinks to himself how,
given its dryness, there would never be any rain on Mars.
This is an ironic foreshadowing of events after Quaid
activates the alien device near the end of the story.
Chapter 14 gives details of the trip to Mars for both Quaid
and Richter, both of whom are on the same ship, Quaid in
disguise as the heavyset woman.
Page 120 mentions the space cycler. To my understanding, a
space cycler is a ship that would move in a figure-eight orbit around
two solar system bodies, in this case Earth and Mars. When
the space cycler is in the proximity of Earth, shuttles
would take off to/from the space cycler and to/from Earth
with passengers. As the cycler continues its orbit, it comes
back into proximity to Mars and shuttles would again go
to/from the planet. So the ship we see arriving in the movie
is actually the shuttle from the space cycler. The best time
possible by a conventional spacecraft between Earth and Mars
would be about 5 months; longer when the two planets are at
the extreme ends of their orbits. It's not made clear how
long the trip takes in either the book or film, but the
comic book adaptation suggests that the passengers are in
suspended animation for most of the trip, most likely
meaning it was a fairly long voyage of weeks or months.
The references to the canyon, Valles Marineris, dwarfing the
Grand Canyon, and the enormous shield volcanoes of the
Tharsis region, are accurate.
Page 131 reveals that the Northern Bloc is officially known
as the Confederation of Northern Nations.
Page 141 reveals that Venusville is located in the Chryse
Planitia region of Mars. Chryse Planitia is an ancient,
giant impact crater. Viking 1 landed in Chryse
Planitia in 1976.
In both the movie and comic book, Quaid checks into suite
610 at the Hilton. Here in the novel, it is suite 280.
Page 143 reveals that just as there is a sleazy part of town
called Venusville on Mars colony, there is a sleazy part of
town called Marsville on the Venus colony.
Throughout the book, Benny claims he has 6 kids to feed
instead of 5 as in the film.
Page 146 mentions that the Mars day is about a half-hour
longer than that of Earth. This is true, a Martian day is
about 24.6 hours long.
In his hotel room, after watching Cohaagen's declaration of
martial law on the TV, Quaid changes the channel and sees a
televised execution taking place. Cohaagen's colonial
government is executing three law-breakers by exposure to
the Martian atmosphere for the crimes of defacing public
property (probably spray-painting "Kuato Lives"), resisting
arrest, and treason.
On page 169, Quaid takes the pill from Dr. Edegmar's hand as
he considers whether to believe him and swallow it. Then,
when he's almost convinced on page 172, he takes the pill
from Edgemar's hand again!
In another editorial slip, an almost identical sentence from
the end of Chapter 18 is repeated at the beginning of
In the movie, the fans circulating air into Venusville are
stopped by Cohaagen. Here in the novel, they are stopped and
then start turning in reverse, actively sucking the air out.
But couldn't the residents jam up the fans to buy themselves
Page 191 suggests that the mutations are caused as much by
radiation from the turbinium in the mines as by the
unshielded sunlight coming through the cheap domes.
Page 196 suggests that Hauser's first name may also be
Douglas (as is Quaid's).
Page 197 goes into more detail about Hauser's interaction
with the rebels previously. According to George (Kuato's
brother and host), a year ago
Hauser was working for Cohaagen but fell for Melina and
decided he wanted to help the rebels. He said he would help
them find out what was in the pyramid mine that had Cohaagen
so spooked. He and Melina had put on spacesuits and hiked to
a strange shaft in the ground that led inside the
pyramid-shaped mountain. Just as in Quaid's dream as
presented in Chapter 1, Hauser lowered himself down the
shaft and fell. The rebels never heard from him again until
Quaid showed up; they didn't know if Hauser had been killed
in the fall or been captured by Cohaagen.
Page 198 describes George as having a rubber chestpiece
designed to look like his chest to help hide Kuato's form
trapped in his body.
Chapter 21 is entirely different from anything that happens
in the film. As Kuato uses his mental powers to open up
Quaid's mind, Quaid sees himself as Hauser entering the
alien construct. He learns from Hauser's own thoughts that
he had been sent to the rebels to infiltrate and betray
them, but he fell in love with Melina and knew he couldn't
hurt her nor, therefore, her cause. Hauser has entered the
construct to try to find out what it is. He makes his way
to a chamber within it marked by the figure of a man. He
steps inside and a pre-recorded communication with the
alien builders, an ant-like species called the No'ui,
begins. He learns that the galaxy is teeming with life and
trade occurs among them. But as the galaxy was slowly consumed by
the black hole at the center, many alien homeworlds were
destroyed and, often, the civilization and species chose to
let itself die out. This required the advancement of new
civilizations to join in the galactic trade, so potential
species on primitive worlds were watched for signs of
evolutionary advancement that would indicate a possible
future space-going species. 50,000 years ago, this was
Homo sapiens on Earth. The No'ui built the alien device
on Mars so that it could only be reached when humanity had
achieved a limited space-going technology. Then the humans
would have to discover and figure out what it was and how to
use it. If they chose not to use it, they would be left
alone. If they used it wrongly, it would trigger the species'
own destruction before they could spread their warlike ways
through the galaxy. If they used it rightly, it would not
only make Mars habitable for them, it would yield
technological advances that would allow them to eventually
join the galactic community and become trading partners.
Notice that the names of the No'ui that Quaid sees in his
vision are all analogs of himself and the women recently in
his life: Q'ad=Quaid, M'la=Melina, L'ri=Lori.
The description of the components of hydrazoic acid on page
216 is accurate.
In Chapter 23, Quaid deduces that Hauser had deliberately
mislead Cohaagen, coming up with the plan to suppress his
own memories and create the Quaid identity as a complex ploy
to protect Melina and allow himself, as Quaid, to return to
the rebels and deliver the alien information he had to Kuato.
Only it hadn't quite worked out as intended and Quaid had
been captured and was now about to be erased to restore
Hauser's identity, which, during the process, would bring to
light Hauser's, up to now, secret knowledge of the aliens and
On page 246, Cohaagen reluctantly makes the decision to kill
his former friend Hauser, now Quaid. When Richter makes his
"about time" remark, Cohaagen silently makes the decision
that Richter is expendable as well.
Page 257 mentions the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower, of
course, is a 1,063 foot iron lattice tower built in Paris,
France in 1889.
Quaid's final showdowns with Benny, Richter, and Cohaagen
happen a bit differently than in the film, even including a
couple different, patented Arnold one-liners such as "Am I
boring you?" as Quaid drills through one of Cohaagen's
with a jackhammer.
Cohaagen, angry that Quaid has taken over Hauser's body,
mocks him, saying, "'You could have been somebody."
This is likely a reference to the 1954 film classic On the
Waterfront, in which Marlon Brando's character, Terry
Malloy, says, "I coulda had class. I coulda been a
contender. I coulda been somebody instead of a bum,
which is what I am."
As the alien device is pumping oxygen and moisture into the
Martian atmosphere on page 275, the crumbling rock around
Pyramid Mountain reveals that it is an actual pyramid, built
by the No'ui long ago to house the machine. Although there
are suspiciously pyramid-like hills on Mars, there is no
Pyramid Mountain by name located in Chryse Planitia or
elsewhere on Mars.
The aliens' terraforming process even includes the seeding
of plant life as the new atmosphere takes form.
As Quaid and Melina recover from near suffocation on the
surface of Mars, it starts to snow.
the comic book adaptation published by DC Comics
Written by Elliot S. Maggin
Illustrated by Tom Lyle
The depiction of the Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, on
page 1, is not very accurate. In reality, the two moons are
oddly-shaped non-spheroids (possibly two asteroids that were
captured into Mars orbit long ago) not the perfect spheres
seen here. The linae (lines) drawn on the left-most
moon in panel 1 makes it look more like the Jupiterian moon
The spacesuits worn by Quaid and Melina are depicted with arm
patches that read Pyramid Mines.
Instead of falling down an escarpment and smashing his
faceplate as he does in the film, Quaid and Melina are
scuffling down a steep slope and a pebble is kicked up by
their feet which strikes Quaid's faceplate and cracks it,
causing the glass to shatter.
On page 6, Quaid and Harry are using Bosch jackhammers at
the construction site.
Bosch is a real world company that
manufactures jackhammers and other power tools.
On page 8, as Quaid's about to begin the memory implant
procedure, a few panels of upcoming scenes are depicted,
including the alien
oxygen processing device.
Page 19, panel 3, reveals that the cement factory Quaid
hides in, while he watches the message from Hauser, is Magco
Cement Mfg. As far as I can tell, this is a fictional
On page 20, Quaid is eating a Stars bar, standing in for the
Mars bar as revealed in the novel.
Page 22 shows the Mars shuttle
attached to rocket boosters and a
fuel tank similar to that used by
the now defunct U.S. space shuttles
to reach Earth orbit.
suggests that the passengers are in suspended animation for
most of the trip between Earth and Mars due to the lengthy
travel time (of 5 or more months by current technological
On page 28, the three-breasted prostitute, Mary, is depicted
wearing a tank top instead of the open shirt as seen in the
movie (Comics Code Authority, y'know).
Page 35 reveals that the business through which Benny's cab crashes
is Madame Fatima's Psychic Parlor. Later, on page
50, we also see Madame Fatima's Massage Parlor! I guess the
lady gets around.
I'm always back in the morning.wav
the girl of my dreams.wav
no wonder you're having nightmares.wav
climb the mountains of Mars.wav
take a vacation from yourself.wav
I don't want to spoil it for you.wav
things hardly ever fuck up around here.wav
would you like us to integrate some alien stuff?.wav
blue sky on Mars.wav
he's not gonna want to come back.wav
you're in a Johnnycab.wav
hope you enjoyed the ride.wav
your whole life is just a dream.wav
who the hell am I?.wav
I'm sure she hated every minute of it.wav
fuck you, you asshole.wav
I am not familiar with that address.wav
fasten your seat belt.wav
get your ass to Mars.wav
the Martians love Kuato.wav
who told you to think?.wav
more money, more freedom, more air.wav
man don't even know if he's been to Mars or not.wav
do you want to know the future?.wav
I got five kids to feed.wav
not free, but available.wav
what you been feeding this thing.wav
look who's talking.wav
relax, you'll live longer.wav
if you need any help with this one.wav
wish I had three hands.wav
you ever fuck a mutant?.wav
elements of your Rekall holiday and Ego Trip.wav
she's real because you dreamed her.wav
you'll be lobotomized.wav
you know how much I hate this fucking planet.wav
consider that a divorce.wav
you led us right to him.wav
I ain't even married.wav
the best mind fuck yet.wav
that's my body you've got.wav
you think this is the real Quaid?.wav
see you at the party.wav
home in time for corn flakes.wav
all dreams come to an end.wav
what if this is a dream?.wav
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