Deadly Premonition began its life as a game called Rainy Woods, which was shown at Tokyo Game Show 2007. Many bloggers criticized the game's obvious references and similarities to the 1990-1991 television show, Twin Peaks, which led the game developers to scale the references back somewhat.
Changes between Rainy Woods and Deadly Premonition include:
- A pair of dwarves modeled after The Man From Another Place were replaced with the twin boys, Isaach and Isaiah Ingram.
- A protagonist named David Young Henning, whose name may have been too similar to Dale Cooper, was replaced with a tougher-looking Francis York Morgan.
- The physical appearance of the sheriff who became George Woodman was changed to look less like the sheriff of Twin Peaks, Harry S. Truman.
However, even after the changes between the trailer for Rainy Woods and what eventually became Deadly Premonition, many references remain, including entire characters:
- Agent Francis York Morgan may look less like Agent Dale Cooper, but he shares many of his quirks including his appreciation of good coffee (though Dale takes his black), his trust in his strange dreams and his monologuing habits (though Dale records tapes for his secretary named Diane and York speaks to Zach.).
- Anna Graham is similar in many respects to Laura Palmer, the victim discovered in the beginning of Twin Peaks. Both are described as the most beautiful girls in their respective towns, both were clearly involved in some way in their own murders (instead of being random victims selected by a serial killer) and both have best friends who were involved in the murder in some way. It could be said that Laura's spirit lingers throughout the entire series of Twin Peaks, much the way that Anna is literally visible to Agent York at times. The name is also a play on "Annie," which was the name of Dale Cooper's love interest, Annie Blackburn, in the second series of Twin Peaks. and "Heather Graham" who was the actress that played the character of Annie. Hence Anna Graham.
- Anna's cause of death was loss of blood, the same as Laura
- Diane Ames has no equivalent character in Twin Peaks, but her name is likely a reference to Dale Cooper's secretary, Diane.
- Thomas MacLaine is similar to Deputy Andy Brennan, who cannot photograph a crime scene without crying.
- Sigourney, the Pot Lady, is the counterpart of Margaret Lanterman, the Log Lady. However, the Log Lady is more mysterious while Sigourney is comedic relief, and her log was a witness to the crime.
- The restaurant in Deadly Premonition, the A & G Diner, is named similarly to the Double R Diner.
- Deadly Premonition features a cross-dressing character who works in law enforcement. Probably a nod to Twin Peaks Denise Bryson.
- The motif of duality is heavily used in Deadly Premonition and Twin Peaks.
- In Anna Graham's room, looking at the pictures on the wall, one can see the picture of Laura Palmer from the closing credits Twin Peaks.
- The side quest for Psychic Spot B takes place in an abandoned rail carriage; in Twin Peaks, the site of Laura Palmer's murder was also an abandoned rail carriage.
- The story which Keith Ingram tells you about Psychic Spot C involves a young female victim whose case sounds similar to that of Laura Palmer.
- In Deadly Premonition, York finds a bag of red powder in the gas tank of Quint Dunn's motorcycle; in Twin Peaks, Bobby Briggs plants a bag of cocaine on James Hurley by hiding it in the gas tank of James' motorcycle.
- In Deadly Premonition, as York is observing the autopsy of Anna he finds a red seed, which has appeared in previous cases he's taken. Although during Dale's observation didn't find a red seed, he did find an alphabetic letter under her ring finger, the modus operandi of a serial killer in Twin Peaks.
- The coverage photos in the "SPECIAL" menu include photographs of filming locations used in Twin Peaks.