Lies of P is an intriguing Soulslike video game adaptation of the original 1883 fantasy story The Adventures of Pinocchio, written by Italian author Carlo Collodi. Most of the references follow characters from Collodi’s work, but you might further find nods to other adaptations of Pinocchio throughout, such as the 1940 Disney animated movie.
If you aren’t that familiar with the 19th-century text and are more versed with del Toro’s animated film, Disney’s live-action remake with Tom Hanks, or the original Disney animation, prepare to find out some darker stuff you didn’t know about. And you’ll soon see how the dark fantasy Soulslike elements of Lies of P are a perfect canvas for Pinocchio’s story.
Beware of spoilers for Lies of P below.Updated on October 2, 2023, by Dennis Moiseyev: Lies of P means business when it sets out to be an adaptation of Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio. The references to the characters, settings, and essential plot developments of Pinocchio’s story appear plentifully in some way throughout the gameplay. It’s truly impressive just how many the development team managed to fit into a Soulslike game, with even more now discovered.
17 Lorenzini Venigni – A Name That References Two Other Real Names
Lorenzini Venigni is a successful, filthy rich, and super vainglorious inventor and factory owner of Venigni Works, where all the puppets now stalking the streets of Krat were created. He also reminds you of the character Mangiafuoco from the original story. While his full name sounds odd and may be fun to rhyme, his first name, Lorenzini, was invented as a tribute to the story’s creator.
While the last name Collodi is what the author is well-known by, it’s actually a pseudonym he used to publish his work, and Lorenzini is Carlo’s actual last name. Collodi is the name of the village in the city of Pescia in Tuscany, where his mother was born and where Carlo would grow up.
Lorenzini’s surname Venigni becomes an homage to Oscar-winning actor, writer, and director Roberto Benigni, replacing the “B” with a “V.” Benigni portrayed Pinocchio in the 2002 live-action film, which he also co-wrote and directed. In 2019, Roberto Benigni returned to the cinema world of Pinocchio playing Geppetto in Matteo Garrone’s Pinocchio. You might also know him for Life Is Beautiful, To Rome With Love, and The Tiger and the Snow.
16 The Gold Coin Tree – Featured In The Original Tale And Saban’s The Adventures Of Pinocchio Anime
The Gold Coin Tree in Lies of P has as much significance in the gameplay as in the original book. The tree in The Adventures of Pinocchio was a false promise and scheme plotted by the deceitful fox and cat to whom Pinocchio was gullible. They told Pinocchio if he planted his coin in the special Field of Miracles, an entire coin tree would grow and make him rich. But really, it was a way to rob P of his coin, and no such tree ever came to exist.
The Gold Coin Tree was also the focus of episode 23 of Saban’s 1972 The Adventures of Pinocchio anime, but the change was that it actually came to life just as you see it in the game. In Lies of P, the tree becomes vital for the Gold Coin Fruit you can grow, which can be used in the quest for giving Anotnia the cure, buying new Wishstones, and exchanging for Star Fragments to summon Specters.
15 Venigni’s Submarine, The Pistris – The Terrible Dogfish
The Terrible Dogfish is an iconic antagonist in Collodi’s book, a giant sea monster the size of a whale that swallows Geppetto and has him stranded and surviving inside it for years without Pinocchio. In the Disney version, the design was a much friendlier-looking sperm whale named Monstro, but Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion film and the 2022 live-action remake created a more faithful creature.
Lies of P chose to include the Terrible Dogfish as an easter egg rather than it being an actual boss you had to fight in the story, which feels somewhat of a letdown. Venigni’s submarine that you take to the Isle of Alchemists is called the Pistris, the Latin term for a sea monster, and the design and the way it shoots out of the water is very similar to the Terrible Dogfish.
14 Alidoro – A Mastiff Who Rescues Pinocchio In The Book
Alidoro and Pinocchio both needed each other through the events that occurred in the book, and it’s sort of the same relationship in the game. Alidoro is a merchant who can certainly ease some of the difficulty you’ll face in the game by equipping you with special weapons in exchange for the Rare Ergo bosses have dropped for you.
Although he may be outfitted with a cuter German Shepherd mask in Lies of P, Alidoro is a Mastiff in the book. Pinocchio saved the dog from drowning, and Alidoro later returned the favor by helping Pinocchio escape the Green Fisherman, who planned to eat the puppet.
13 Mad Donkey – Donkey Fever
An important part of Pinocchio’s story is when he meets a nefarious character called the Coachman in the Land of Toys, a place that also shows up in the movie as Pleasure Island. In this location, Pinocchio starts transforming into a donkey along with his friend, believing it’s a disease called Donkey Fever. While Pinocchio eventually recovers from his donkey form (getting eaten by fish, no less), the same can’t be said for his companion.
The donkey in Lies of P comes in the form of an early game boss named the Mad Donkey (itself sounding like Mad Cow disease), who’s threatening Geppetto outside his carriage, which is also symbolic since donkeys pull the Coachman’s carriage in the tale. Once you beat him, you can take his costume and transform P into a donkey in the game with the coat and mask.
12 Giangio – Farmer In The Adventures Of Pinocchio
In The Adventures of Pinocchio, Giangio is the name of a farmer who owns the donkey form of Pinocchio’s friend Romeo, also called Farmer John, and the person Pinocchio eventually ends up working for. Well, there’s a Giangio in Lies of P posing as a merchant in the St. Frangelico Cathedral who takes your Gold Coin Fruit to offer some of the best Wishtones on the market.
Giangio is a very mysterious, almost creepy figure who is quick to be nice and cordial with Pinocchio, but the ending reveals he was a deceitful villain this whole time and a far more powerful Alchemist than Simon Manus. In the post-credit scene, you learn he’s the immortal historical figure Philippus Paracelsus and a key leader in the spread of Petrification Disease for eternal life.
11 Romeo, King Of Puppets – Pinocchio’s Buddy Candlewick, Or Lampwick
Pinocchio’s human friend in the story is named Candlewick, the one who also gets turned into a donkey in the Land of Toys and sold to a farmer by the Coachman. The animated film uses the name Lampwick for the character, but those are both just nicknames for Romeo. In Lies of P, Romeo is of course the King of Puppets, who’s believed to control all the lesser puppet enemies plaguing Krat.
Perhaps not a donkey here, but instead an immensely challenging mechanical puppet boss, Romeo has something in his dialogue that further bridges this connection to the storybook character. He refers to you as Carlo, thanking you as though you’ve known each other. And it turns out the ending reveals Pinocchio was created with Carlo’s memories – Geppetto’s actual son.
The name Carlo is also significant because it’s dedicated to the name of the author and literary creator of Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi. Guillermo del Toro’s 2022 Netflix adaptation of Pinocchio in stop-motion also saw Geppetto lose a son whose name was Carlo.
10 Black Rabbit Brotherhood And The Owl Doctor – Faithful Storybook Bosses
Pinocchio meets many animals throughout his fantasy journey, and some more that show up in Lies of P include the Black Rabbit Brotherhood and the Owl Doctor. These are bosses like the Mad Donkey, Stalkers wearing different costumes, and probably the most one-to-one with the source material in terms of character design.
The Blue Fairy had a band of rabbits come in carrying a coffin for Pinocchio when he was near death and rejecting his medicine as a scare tactic. That’s precisely how the Brotherhood greets P in the game, the Eldest carrying a wooden coffin labeled “Liar.” Owl was one of the doctors the Fairy consulted with regarding Pinocchio’s health and featured here in the same profession, just more deadly.
9 Antonia – Innkeeper And Antonio Reference
Antonia’s character can have double significance in Lies of P’s story. First, she’s the owner of Hotel Krat and thus its innkeeper, a minor character in Carlo Collodi’s story who tells Pinocchio deceiving information he’s fed that gets Pinocchio robbed and hanged. The other reference lies in her actual name.
Antonia is a name awfully close to Antonio, who was a quintessential character in the creation of Pinocchio in the original book. Master Antonio was the first to discover the talking log that would become carved into Pinocchio, as it gave him enough concern to get it off his hands and pass it over to Geppetto. And like the book, Antonia and Geppetto are friends in the game.
8 Spring The Hotel Cat – Lies Of P’s Figaro
Just like Geppetto had a pet cat named Figaro in the 1940 movie, your sanctuary of Hotel Krat also has a resident cat named Spring. It’s not the same tuxedo colors as Figaro, as it looks more like the protagonist of Stray, and this cat hangs around with all the characters in their rooms inside the establishment. You’ll spot the kitty in various locations, like behind Polendina’s reception desk.
Figaro was not adapted from Collodi’s book but was an original and adorable Disney cat character created for the film. It looks like the developer Neowiz went with the Disney version for this character, seeing an opportunity to put a cat in their game like many others have been doing recently. And who doesn’t love having a comforting cat after all that horror outside?
7 Red Fox And Black Cat – The Original Story’s Villainous Duo
The deceitful duo of the fox and the cat in The Adventures of Pinocchio are very important characters. They’re the first non-puppet and non-human creatures (aside from the cricket) that Pinocchio meets and end up breaking his trust. They come off as friendly and helpful but ultimately feed him lies to rob Pinocchio of his coin and leave him for dead.
The game sees you encounter a similar duo in the game just before meeting the character Venigni. They are the sibling Stalkers called Red Fox and Black Cat (possibly another nod to Figaro). Red Fox has a fancy fox mask and red clothing, while her brother has a metallic cat mask and black attire. They’re also pretty welcoming and friendly but do turn into optional bosses later on.
6 Stargazer – Wish Upon A Star
The Stargazers around the map of Krat are the game’s equivalent to Bonfires in Dark Souls titles. They can restore you to full health, act as respawn and fast travel points, and help level you up as well. Their design is like a sprouting white flower petal with Sophia’s blue butterflies fluttering around and also represents another way of her acting as the Fairy in the story.
But why name it Stargazer, you may ask? There’s nothing really star-gazing about the dreary environment of Krat. This is possibly a reference to the song from the Disney movie, ‘When You Wish Upon a Star,’ where the Fairy enters to bring Pinocchio’s puppet form to life after Geppetto gazes upon a shooting star and wishes for just that before falling asleep.
5 Lie System – Pinocchio’s Chief Characteristic
One of the most obvious references to Pinocchio, even if you know little of the original story by Carlo Collodi, is that he often lies, and his nose grows bigger the more it happens. Since Pinocchio’s character model in the game already has both human and automated puppet-like features, this characteristic is showcased in a different, more intriguing way.
Lies of P has a timed branching dialogue lie system, where you can select either a truthful statement or tell a lie as Pinocchio, and your choice will alter the story in significant ways, including the rewards you obtain. In the game, Geppetto created Pinocchio with the ability to lie and disobey the law all Krat puppets must abide by.
4 Sophia – Fairy With The Turquoise Hair
In the original story, the Fairy with Turquoise Hair is the fantasy character credited with nursing Pinocchio back to health after his near-fatal hanging. In the animated Disney film, she was the character that brought Pinocchio’s puppet form to life. The beginning of the game, with her voice audible and a radiant blue butterfly waking P and getting him moving, echoes that inspiration for Sophia.
Sophia is a character in Lies of P representing the Blue Fairy, with her blue hair and a turquoise coat, complete with a matching magical Ergo butterfly brooch, the butterflies behaving and acting as her wings. She’s located in Hotel Krat, and she helps with leveling up your character, which is another sign.
3 Gemini – Jiminy Cricket
Another reference you can easily pick up on is your cricket companion, here called Gemini. While spelled like the zodiac sign, its pronunciation is exactly that of the character in the Disney movie, Jiminy Cricket. The cricket also has a greenish glow and is stowed in a lantern called Monad’s Lamp, attached to your waist like Mimir’s head in God of War.
The role of Gemini in Lies of P is pretty much like in the Disney movie and the original book, though the cricket resurfaces as a ghost after Pinocchio squashes it in the latter. Throughout the story, this character will converse with you often and guide you around the haunting enemy-filled areas of Krat. There’s also a nice touch of cricket chirp noises added for Gemini when beginning to speak.
2 Krat – The Land Of Toys
Lies of P is set in the Belle Epoque era of European history, the period when the book The Adventures of Pinocchio was written by Collodi. The location it uses is the once bustling fictional city of Krat, which may not seem as joyful as The Land of Toys or Pleasure Island, but for that reason, it has many parallels with that setting.
The Land of Toys is plagued by children being turned into donkeys by the Coachman through a rampant disease known as Donkey Fever, and Krat sees alchemist Simon Manus spreading the Petrification Disease throughout the land and creating the monsters you’re fighting. You fight a Parade Master boss in the old circus festival location of Krat, where Pinocchio was sold after he became a donkey, and Krat is under the reign of puppets.
1 Pinocchio’s Fairytale Ending – Starkly Different From The Original Story
Collodi’s story of Pinocchio ends with him finally transforming into a human boy and his puppet form becoming lifeless. Lies of P is one of the darkest adaptations of this children’s tale, and the ending really goes for that angle. In fact, you have multiple endings that veer in quite disturbing directions.
Geppetto will ask for your heart, and if you refuse to give it to him, he gets angry and makes you fight the Nameless Puppet as punishment but still takes the blade for you in the end, dying with disappointment toward your character. If you do give him the heart, he’ll call you a good boy, and stop Pinocchio’s life to revive his son Carlo’s. Then, Geppetto’s first action with Carlo is to have him slaughter everyone left in the Hotel. Talk about fairytale endings.
NEXT: Lies Of P: Characters And Their Voice Actors