A land far away, where the existence of dragons is known to people. A land where wizards care for dragons for thousands of years. A land where you will be swamped with requests by new players to click their eggs.This is the world of Dragon Cave.Dragon Cave is a popular adoptable site created by T.J. Lipscomb, with sprite contributions made by the users. Upon registration, each user is given a scroll that they can fill up with dragons of many different kinds. The dragons' growth is made possible by the amount of views received.
This site provides examples of:
Abusive Parents: If you decide to act like this, you may end up with a neglected dragon. They are incredibly rare and difficult to get, and are therefore some of the most desired dragons in the game.
Art Evolution: Most of the sprites haven't changed since their introduction, but since the site's creation the egg sprites have become more polished and male and female dragon sprites of the same breed now often have different poses.
Also, many of the original sprites were very rushed, and has restrictions on the number of colours used. Now that sprites have more time and colours available to them, they tend to be more detailed and realistic.
Easter Egg: Quite literally. For Easter 2010-2013, there was a "Festival of Eggs" in which several very pretty eggs made by the people who sprited the dragons would randomly appear around the site. They don't hatch into anything, though.
Emoticon: There is an entire hidden page devoted to these, which shows a different face each time you refresh it.
Hell Fire: Hellfire Wyverns, naturally. They can breed with Horse dragons to make Hellhorse hybrids.
Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: With a few exceptions, almost every dragon type can breed with almost every other type. This leads to some odd combinations such as Skywings (dragons with wings but no legs that spend all their time in the air) and Water/Deep-Sea dragons (basically sea serpents).
Now they're just encouraging it, too, with several breeds of dragons that can only be obtained by crossbreeding other breeds. Alternate colors of Striped Dragon can be obtained this way as well.
Hybrid Overkill Avoidance: After a slew of dragon requests which were basically just "Animal X with wings and back spines", much more strict rules about hybrid breeds were made. note Basically, if you could do a zebra dragon in you wanted, say, its stripes, but can't just stick wings onto a zebra picture.
Our Vampires Are Different: Vampire dragons were originally introduced on Halloween '09, and cannot breed but can bite eggs to turn them into vampire eggs.
Our Gargoyles Rock: The nocturne dragons are perfectly normal in the night, but turn rock solid in the day.
Our Zombies Are Different: More of the classical necromancy version, where you can raise a hatchling or adult dragon and turn it into a zombie on Halloween. Somehow this manages to completely change their skeletal structure.
Palette Swap: A few dragons, such as dorsals and coppers, have alternate colors while their sprites remain the same. There are also spriter's alts, which are alternate colored dragons that only the spriters of each dragon own.
Retcon: The formerly all-female Pink dragons "traditionally being thought as female" due to their color, along with a sprite change.
Another formerly all-female breed, the Purples, now have males as well.
Running Gag: Rainbow chickens. There was a rainbow chicken in the Halloween 2011 story, in the Halloween 2012 story there was a rainbow chicken roast, and in the Christmas 2012 Gingerbread House decorating, there was a rainbow chicken decoration.
Pokémon Night itself, when many of the dragons' sprites were replaced with those of Pokémon for a joke.
The Legendary Trio - the codes of three of his were abbreviated versions of Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos' names (Arco, Mlts, Zpds). The Guardian of Nature dragon's description and the fact that a player must obtain all three of the Legendary Trio in order to summon it are references to Pokémon 2000.
Shallow Water dragons' Breed-Specific Action is Splash. Like in the Gameboy games, when you use this, it will say "DRAGON used SPLASH! But nothing happened!" After roughly 100 times using this action, you will gain a Magikarp badge on the top of your scroll.
One of the treats in the 2010 Halloween trick-or-treat scavenger hunt is a cake. If you look closely, you will see the word "LIE" written on the side of the slice.
In addition to the default scroll skin and a St. Patrick's Day skin, there is also a Portal-themed skin you can use for viewing the site.
The Desert Sands release was the Sunstone and Moonstone dragons, which are orange and blue. The release's image said "The Blue and Orange conspiracy theory continues." Members immediately thought of Portal, but in reply TJ linked to a site pointing out Orange/Blue Contrast.
TJ's fake egg "<3", which can be seen here. One member had commented how the new dragons from a certain release matched up with the elements on Captain Planet and joked how the release was missing "the element of heart", so TJ added the heart egg.
TJ used to post all the announcement threads in Saurian, requiring users to translate the message.
All of TJ's dragons are named in Saurian (thus, dragons descended from his are known as "Thuwed" dragons, as "thuwed" is Saurian for "dragon" and appears in the names he gives his dragons - for example, "Wahc Fadb Thuwed", which is literally "Girl Pink Dragon").
In the Halloween 2011 Haunted Mansion event, there were "spells" that were really just words in Saurian.
One of the 2012 Valentine's Day valentine messages was "Xuff0 Lucokado'j Tu0" - "Happy Valentine's Day" in Saurian.
As a shout-out to Homestuck in the 2012 Valentine messages you could send: "I desire you for my flushed quadrant."
All of the Holiday Stories are dragon-themed parodies of actual stories and songs, such as The Twelve Days of Christmas and A Christmas Carol.
The item you collect at the end of the "Haunting in Aliset" story is a sandwich; when someone asked if this is a reference to Heavy Weapons Guy from Team Fortress 2, TJ responded, "Sandvich does not need Heavy Weapons Guy. Sandvich can be star all by itself."
Both Easter 2012 and Trick or Treat 2012 have 'Lilo and Stitch" themed items- namely, an easter egg with Stitch-like patterns, and Lilo's doll as one of the Trick or Treat items.
There're a few references in the item toolbox during the 2013 Christmas event:
Telepathy: All dragons use telepathy to communicate, though they can make the usual squeaks and growls.
Averted with the Drake species, who can only breed among themselves and have an animal-level intelligence.
Teleporters and Transporters: Magi dragons have the "Teleport" Breed Specific Action which allows for safe trading and gifting of eggs and hatchlings.
Up to Eleven: On the forum, users are marked with a number of eggs to represent the number of posts they have, up to ten eggs. TJ's account has eleven eggs.
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Formerly, if a member killed too many of their dragons, their scroll would automatically be erased. As it is now, members can only kill a certain number of dragons before having to wait.