NORCO Info, Resources & Bibliography
A catch-all list of resources/information/trivia/literature/inspiration/etc related to the game NORCO. Not all resources are directly referenced in the game, but may serve as a springboard into further research on the game's themes. This page will be updated as time allows.
TODO: general cleanup; add links to resources; add "Ecology" section; add additional resources to
"Fenceline" & "Christianity, Mysticism & Gnosticism" sections.
Last update: August 20, 2022
If you have questions after finishing the game, there's a lore app that addresses some details; and an interview with Gaming in the Wild that touches on the ending.
Norco is a real community located in Saint Charles Parish, Louisiana. It's an acronym for New Orleans Refining Company. Nicholas Kennedy wrote for GamesHub about the overlap between NORCO the game and Norco IRL.
The game takes place in an alternate reaity winter of 2017/2018 (Twitter post with more context).
The tab that's open in the bedroom is a sub called "scp_anglers" - ie, St. Charles Parish fishing.
Here's a Twitter post/discussion that covers the regional use of the terms bruh/breh/brah.
The community of "Dimes" is partially inspired by Diamond, Louisiana, a fenceline community in Norco whose residents scattered following Shell's buyout program.
Anatomy of Oil
GEOLOGICAL PROSPECTING OF PETROLEUM (Beckmann, 1976) - A good read for understanding the
anatomical components of oil drilling and prospecting. Part of a series.
PETROCHEMICAL AMERICA (Misrach & Orff) - Heavily and creatively illustrated, captures a lot
of the social/physical/visual/political themes that define Louisiana's River Parish region.
PETROLEUM REFINING FOR THE NON-TECHNICAL PERSON (Leffler, 1979) - Good for a quick
understanding of how oil refineries operate -- distillation, cracking, cooling, etc.
FLUID CATALYTIC CRACKING HANDBOOK (Sadeghbeigi, 2000) - Deep dive into how cat crackers work.
The Norco Shell explosion of 1988 was caused by a rusted pipe elbow in one of these machines. This
event informs the fictional narrative of the game.
Industrial fencelines in South Louisiana have very fraught histories. Diamond, a neighborhood in Norco,
is a good microcosm for understanding the phenomenon of the "extown" -- ie, industry moves in,
and residents relocate for a variety of reasons (negative externalities, buyouts, etc).
UNEASY ALCHEMY (Allen, 2003) - This is imo the best piece of work on "Cancer Alley" -- the
stretch of heavily industrialized land btw New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Details the events that led
to the relocation of the Diamond neighborhood in Norco. If you want to understand the dynamics and
actors at play in South Louisiana's fenceline struggles, it's a good place to start.
DIAMOND (Lerner, 2006) - A range of interviews from Diamond residents that includes a lot of
experiential details about the 88 explosion.
SACRED GROUND (McDowell 2019 article in AntiGravity) - Excellent summary of the unmarked
graves of enslaved and formerly enslaved ppl. By @timesnewrobin on Twitter.
MOSSVILLE: WHEN GREAT TREES FALL (Documentary film, 2019) - The Mossville buyout in SW
Louisiana follows a similar pattern as Diamond.
Christianity, Mysticism & Gnosticism
TEMPLARS IN ACADIANA (Wilbur Stiles, 2015) - Puts forward the heresy that Christ's bloodline may have made its way to Louisiana via the Acadians. This theory helped to inspire the game's "bloodline" narrative -- the so-called "Da Vinci Code bullshit".
THE GNOSTIC RELIGION (Hans Jonas) - A general introduction to the topic and a pleasure to read.