One of the big talking points surrounding Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is that George Miller and his co-writers had so much material for Mad Max: Fury Road, in the form of backstories and character biographies, that all of Furiosa was written before Fury Road even filmed. This is, naturally, incredibly impressive. What’s more impressive is that it’s true, and we have quantifiable evidence. In 2015, Avalanche Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive released a video game of Mad Max with seemingly tenuous connections to Fury Road. However, a ton of that material actually came from the full Furiosa bible.

Left, Mad Max as seen in the 2015 Mad Max video game; Right, Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Warner Bros Interactive/Warner Bros. Pictures

The game Mad Max takes place, it would seem, just before the events of Fury Road. It begins with Max (a.k.a. you, the player) attacked by War Boys and the Interceptor stolen. Max has a fight with an all-powerful warlord who runs Gas Town. Despite Max lodging a chainsaw in his head, the war lord survives. Max then has to build a new car with the help of the Blackfinger (master mechanic) named Chumbucket.

I’ve played the game all the way through four times, the most recent of which in the past few weeks after seeing an early screening of Furiosa. I knew the game’s story came from some of Miller’s notes, but I didn’t expect there to be so many characters and events from the game in Furiosa. When seen in isolation, it feels like the game is unrelated other than name and a few basic concepts. After Furiosa, it feels like Mad Max the game is the prequel to Fury Road from Max’s point of view after all.


Warner Bros. Interactive

First main point: Gastown is the end goal location of the game. As you and Chumbucket collect scrap throughout the dunes and wastelands, you know you eventually need to make it to Gastown in order to retrieve your Interceptor. Chumbucket calls Max “Saint” and refers to the car you build as the “Magnum Opus,” but for Max, it’s just a car for right now.

Gastown is one of the discussed locations in Fury Road, but it’s a major location in Furiosa. Dr. Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) and biker gang besiege Gastown and take it over, killing Immortan Joe’s brother, the former ruler of the refinery, in the process. The Gastown in Furiosa looks a great deal like the location in the game, including the gates and various winding roads surrounding the refinery itself.


Warner Bros. Interactive

The main villain of the Mad Max gang is Scabrous Scrotus, who we learn in the game is one of Immortan Joe’s sons. In Mad Max: Fury Road we only see Rictus Erectus and Corpus Colossus, so you can imagine Scrotus is just a character made up for the game. But no! In Furiosa, while we don’t see Corpus Colossus, we do see Scrotus alongside Rictus. Scrotus here is played by Josh Helman, who played War Boy Slit in Fury Road.

Scrotus in the film is a lot different in appearance and attitude than he is in the game. The film has him slightly smarter and wilier than his hulking, dimwitted brother Rictus. The game’s Scrotus is basically a Rictus clone. Another sub-boss, Stank Gum, seems a bit more like the Scrotus of the movie. That was nearly 10 years ago so maybe the original idea for Scrotus was more Rictus-like. Things can change.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Really, in the game, you only see Scrotus for one scene at the beginning and the final boss fight. However, his name and influence are everywhere. All the War Boys and War Rigs Max destroys in the game are Scrotus’. It’s clear, after the events of Furiosa, Scrotus got a chance to rule Gas Town. By the time of Fury Road, it’s Joe’s acolyte the People Eater running it. Scrotus dies at the end of the game, which explains why he’s nowhere to be found in Fury Road.


Warner Bros. Interactive

Chumbucket is the player’s sidekick character in the game. He talks a lot (like a LOT) and he both fixes your car on the fly and fires the harpoon during car combat. Chumbucket offsets Max’s more stoic demeanor really nicely in the game, and he has a pretty sad arc. We learn from his dialogue that he used to be a Blackfinger for Gas Town but left after “seeing the light” of the Angel Combustion.

In Furiosa, toward the end, Furiosa builds herself a prosthetic arm and wants a vehicle to go after Dementus. She asks if anyone has a car, though non-War Party people in the Citadel shouldn’t have one. Suddenly, a little guy says he’s building a car and reveals a shabby little buggy that looks to be falling apart.

I wasn’t sure, but I had an interesting feeling. I checked the end credits and sure enough, an actor has the credit “Chumbucket,” and it was indeed that character. Thrilling is the only word for this.

Dr. Dementus

Warner Bros. Pictures

Once again, spoiler warning for Furiosa, but Dementus does not last until Fury Road. He’s Furiosa’s nemesis, not Max’s. As such, I didn’t think I’d find Dementus anywhere else. However, we do get a reference to him in the game, which I only realized on my post-screening playthrough.

Throughout the game, you get little quests from various NPCs that take you out in the wasteland. These often include finding vehicles or supplies or what have you. One such quest—given to Max via Hope, the closest thing the game has to a heroine—takes Max out to the furthest south part of the map. She tells Max that he’ll find a car designed to honor one of the Biker Lords of Old. She mentions the name “Dr. D,” and when you find the car, it has a motorcycle on the roof with a skeleton riding. The name of the car is “Demented Chariot.”

Warner Bros. Interactive

This was the coolest Easter Egg ever for me. It’s such a minor, inessential part of the game’s story, and even that utilizes lore from Miller’s universe bible. Dementus in the movie literally rides a chariot made of motorcycles. And sure enough, that is the exact car Dementus drives toward the end of Furiosa. Finding this car, in a video game, nine years before they’d even made the movie, felt amazing.

Mad Max isn’t the best video game in the world, but it’s one I return to time and again. Now knowing it really is part of the greater story, I encourage others to go check it out. Or play it again!

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. He hosts the weekly pop culture deep-dive podcast Laser Focus. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Instagram and Letterboxd.