Shout Out: Ace Combat The Equestrian War
As a crossover, the fic contains numerous references to Ace Combat series, but also a few others:
Ace Combat related
- The Burning Talon is a combination of Excalibur from Ace Combat Zero and Stonehenge from Ace Combat 04.
- Mobius to Mobius 1, the player character from Ace Combat 04. He even uses the same callsign. There are also Talisman and Shamrock, the two leading protagonists of Ace Combat 6. Finally, Sky Eye. The two latter characters even mention (though it is not explicitly stated) the respective wars they took part in: The Usean Continental War and Operation "Katina" (Mobius and Sky Eye) and the Anean Continental War (Shamrock and Talisman).
- Also, the EAF logo is modeled after the ISAF logo.
- At the end of chapter 9, the ponies sing "Gotta Stay Fly" from Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, though with slightly altered lyrics.
- The Gult squadron ("Yellow" in Romanian). For that matter, majority of squadrons names are derived from different Ace Combat games.
- Likewise, most chapters have their titles derived from various mission names or musical themes in different Ace Combat games. Examples include First Flight, Shattered Skies, Flicker of Hope and The Liberation of Grace... er, Canterlot.
- Night Raven is named after a superplane from Ace Combat 3.
- This line from Rainbow Dash at the end of chapter 8:
: (to Fluttershy)
Donít worry about me. Weíll return... and weíll take back our shattered skies
- In chapter 15, there is a flashback moment taken directly from Ace Combat 6, only that Shamrock tells Talisman about his dead little sister rather than wife and daughter, like it was done in the original.
- Chapter 18 has Lightning Bolt reading a book about four pegasi ponies who fought in a conflict together and disappeared after said conflict ended. The book's title? The Unsung War.
- Red Cyclone's Fortress Intimidation is basically a homage to most major superweapons from Ace Combat series. It's located in The Valley of Kings, named after Fortress Intolerance (which Medley lampshades), has three power generators, similarly to Megalith, anti-air defense of Chandelier and finally, its tunnel is based on the one from Ace Combat 5. Oh, and the burst missiles are launched from there, too.
- Chapter 19 is full of references in dialogs.
- Gale says almost the same thing that Crux does at the beginning of mission "End of Deception", just replace Aurellia with Equestria:
Gale: To all units. This is probably our final sortie. Unlike you, fighting on the frontlines, I sit behind the monitor and observe the battle. Iím in no position to ask you anything, but please allow me this one request. End this war and return to Equestria. That is all.
- Black Star says a couple of lines that may immediately bring up an image of Ilya Pasternak:
Black Star: Everyone fights for what they believe in. For me, there is only one thing left worth fighting for in this world. And that is the future. Only by fighting you I can let my sins take reign.
Red Cyclone: Youíre going to fly straight into your deaths!
- Chapter 20 has Gilda acting similiary to "Solo Wing" Pixy, right down to using several of his quotes.
- The Anthem of Harmony sang in the epilogue is based on "The Unsung War" from Ace Combat 5.
- Some of the griffin names may sound familiar: Greyback, Jet, Slip.
- Zeakros is named after Forest of Zeakros, a location in Amiga game Shadow of the Beast 3.
- Lightning Bolt's Shining Spark is based on one of Shin Getter Robo's special attacks.
- The group's first Big Damn Heroes moment is reminiscent of the Trope Namer scene from Firefly:
: Seems like we've arrived in the nick of time. What does that make us, Thunder? Lightning Bolt
: Big Mane Heroines
- In chapter 9, Firefly says that there is more than meets the eye about Rainbow Dash.
- When Rainbow Dash comforts Fluttershy in chapter 10, she briefly paraphrases Solid Snake.
Rainbow Dash: You may not believe me, but I understand how you feel. Every pony feels horrible when they do something awful for the first time, especially if they kill someone. Unfortunately, killing is one of those things that become easier to bear the more you do it. During the war, all of ponykindís worst instincts may surface. Itís important to not let them take you over.
- In chapter 13, Pinkie Pie says: "You know what they say, the more the merrier!"
- In chapter 19, Black Star, while fighting Firefly, quotes Sephiroth:
Black Star: If itís despair you seek... then I shall provide.
- Earlier, Firefly quotes Squall:
Firefly: I know that Iím not alone! Thatís why I can fight by myself!
- The epilogue also does a number of shoutouts:
Cloud Kicker: Hey, Fluttershy... are you all right?
Fluttershy: Yes, Iím fine... but itís a terrible day for a rain.
Cloud Kicker: Itís not raining...
Fluttershy: It is... *reveals a crying face*
- The moment where Firefly speaks with the spirits of her parents is reminscent of a certain scene from The Lion King.