Hidden Joseph Smith LEGO Portrait, Giraffes on Temple Square + Other Bizarre Latter-day Saint Connections to Video Games


What do Fallout, World of Warcraft, The Last of Us, Need for Speed, and the LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean have in common?

Well, aside from all being video games, virtually nothing. Nothing, that is, except rather obscure connections to Latter-day Saint culture.

Disclaimer: This article is in no way endorsing the following video games. 

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After publishing a story about a LEGO version of a famous Joseph Smith painting in the LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean game, readers began leaving comments left and right about other Latter-day Saint connections to video games that were rather unexpected. Don't believe me? See for yourself:

You'll also like: 4 Temples on "Minecraft" You Have to See to Believe

Need for Speed, The Run

It's called "The Run" for a reason. In an illicit, cross-country race from San Francisco to New York City, gamers are encouraged to break laws, evade lethal cops, and do everything necessary to reach the final destination.

With the breakneck pace of the game, it doesn't seem like the time or place to take a leisurely tour of Temple Square.

However, the game includes beautiful and incredibly detailed replicas of the Salt Lake Temple, Tabernacle, Assembly Hall, and Joseph Smith Memorial Building that provide a contrasting calm to the game's frenzied pace.

You can even see "Holiness to the Lord, The House of the Lord” etched on the temple if you look closely enough:

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Images courtesy of Justin Tate.

The Last of Us

In a post-apocalyptic United States filled with ravenous zombies and violence, gamers come to the final moments of the game to see a stunning sight in this dark world: the Salt Lake City Temple. Giraffes escaped from the zoo wander before the temple grounds, making this an unusually peaceful moment in the game. 

"I think it's actually the most beautiful moment in the game," Nate Wells, lead environment artist for The Last of Us , told the Salt Lake Tribune. "It was really important. [It's] a moment where those two characters are regaining a sense of hope after the winter."

But, Wells insists, the game has nothing to do with the Church on a larger scale. The ending scene in Salt Lake simply made sense in the geography of the story and the skyline of Salt Lake City, with its temple, made a powerful shot.

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Image from Salt Lake Tribune.


In another futuristic and dystopic video game, Fallout: Las Vegas,  Latter-day Saints play a much more central role to the plot. Set in Nevada, California, and Arizona, players of the game find themselves in the middle of a conflict between three major factions. One of these factions, the Followers of the Apocalypse, have set up their headquarters at an Old Mormon Fort.

What's more, later in the game players learn of Latter-day Saint missionaries in this devastated world. Mixing true history with an invented future history, the game shows that Latter-day Saints still survive in the wasteland, mostly around Utah where they are generally left alone by most factions because they often give medicine or aid to those in need.

"I think Mormons are interesting because they occupy such a unique position in American society. Since their early days, they've had a lot of conflicts with the people around them and rapidly pushed west, out of the Midwest, and eventually into what would become Utah," the game's project director and lead designer Josh Sawyer said.

"Unlike many other powerful religious groups, the geographic concentration of Mormons is quite dense, so I think it produces an interesting dynamic in American politics and culture. The military history of the Mormons (fighting against and for the federal government) and the central role of J.M. Browningin the development of many of the U.S. military's most notable weapons . . . throws another element into the mix."

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Image of the Old Mormon Fort from

World of Warcraft

The last reference to Latter-day Saints in popular video games we discovered is the most obscure—it may have even been coincidental. In the fantasy multi-player game World of Warcraft, there comes a moment during a quest in the Burning Steppes, the "Trial by Magma," that the gamer must release and slay Magma Lord Kolob in battle.

The word and doctrine behind Kolob is unique to our faith, but one has to wonder if this obscure reference is merely happenstance or whether it has connections back to Latter-day Saint culture.


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