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The item descriptions in Flight Rising are chock full of references to all manner of things.


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  • Marsh Stalker: "The snack that scowls back—until you bite their heads off." (Goldfish snack crackers)
  • Satin Mouse: "Living in arcane-infused fields does strange things to Satin Mice. All that matters is they're magically delicious." (Lucky Charms cereal)
  • Common Sparrow: "As small and plentiful as this bird is, most dragons consider it junk food. Bet you can't eat just one!" (Lays potato chips)
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Anime and Manga

  • Tuxedo Urchin: "This mysterious urchin appears only when the situation is most dire, never mind what that means." (Sailor Moon)

Comics

  • Nightwing Bat: "The Nightwing once nested with a darker, more cunning species of bat. That species is now extinct." (Batman)

Film

  • Sparrow Skull: "It smells as if it was soaked in...rum?" (Pirates of the Caribbean)
  • Ruby Webwing: "This hummingbird never stops growing. Pray that it is not altered any further." (Star Wars)
  • White Squirrel: "This species of squirrel spends its life on the ground, perhaps because it can't jump." (White Men Can't Jump)
  • Fever Fly: "Dragons find biting this fly to be fine - but if the fly bites them it can impart high temperatures and the urge to break into dance." (Saturday Night Fever)
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
    • Black Knight: "Keeps fighting no matter what."
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    • Newt: "It's said evil magic can turn dragons into newts. If that's true of this one, it never got better."
  • Speedy: "Speedy is a rebel looking for a cause." (Rebel Without a Cause)
  • The Soylent food items, particularly Soylent Green: "Totally not made out of anything weird. Especially not that thing you may be thinking about. Life is perfect." (Soylent Green)
  • Silver Featherfin: "This fish is your friend." (Finding Nemo)

Live-Action TV

  • Doctor Who
    • Simple Red Fez: "Fezzes are cool." (The 11th Doctor)
    • Animated Statue: "This peculiar statue wasn't standing there when you last looked, and it certainly wasn't posed in that way either. Don't turn your back. Don't look away."
    • Regenerating Reedjumper: "Long-standing scientific journalism has stated that this species of frog can only regenerate 12 times, but that has recently been proven false."
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  • Otherworldly Collar: "The workmanship on this collar is incredibly advanced - perhaps too advanced? That is not to say that it was aliens...but it was aliens." (Ancient Aliens)
  • Cloak of the Cosmos: "Fun fact: this cloak and its wearer are both made of star-stuff." (Cosmos)
  • The URL for the Predict Morphology page (which allows you to preview what genes/colors will look like on dragons) ends with "morphintime". (Power Rangers)

Literature

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • Cloud Chaser: "As it ascends into the heavens, the clicks and whistles it emits can be roughly translated to 'So long and thanks for all the fish.'"
    • Cindershroom: "Though the spores of the Cindershroom indeed look like smoldering cinders, it's mostly harmless."
  • Harry Potter
    • Brown Wizard Hat: "Placing this upon your head fills you with the urge to decide the fates of children."
    • Serthis Potionmaster: "This potions specialist has been trying to teach shadow magic for five years... but the congregation keeps passing him over for less-experienced Serthis."
    • "Time Turner's Sandglass"
  • Phantasmal Halfmask: "It's perfect for listening to the music of the night." (The Phantom of the Opera)
  • Sun Baked Oysters: "It is said that, apart from dragons, the only predators of this oyster are walruses and carpenters." (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
  • Crystal Quartz: "This crystal catches the light and reflects it in a scattering of color. Octarine is not present." (Discworld)
  • Sun-Flecked Fieldmouse: "Named for the way it sparkles in sunlight, this strange rodent can leap great distances and has a tendency to brood." (Twilight)
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Amber-trapped Mosquito: "May contain a recipe for disaster."
    • Micro Goat: "Where's the goat?"
  • Little Red Riding Hood: "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?" ("Little Red Riding Hood")
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Simple Harp: "A delicate handheld harp. Will you play a song of ice...or fire? Perhaps both?"
    • Winter Wind: "Winter is coming."
      • Also a frequent reference from members of the Ice flight.
  • Sea Hare: "This might be the only hare that can't beat the tortoise in a race." ("The Tortoise and the Hare," Aesop's Fables)
  • Scary Storybook: "The foreward indicates that these are best told in the dark. The black and white illustrations throughout are crude, sketchy, and haunting. Don't read the one about the neck ribbon." (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark)
  • The Emperor's New Clothes: " Not nearly as dire as the name would lead one to believe, this clothing is only visible to the keenly intelligent."
  • Bluebite Rattler: "Despite warnings from their elders, rebellious dragons who chew these snakes turn an odd shade of violet before swelling up like a blueberry. Stop, don't..." (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

Music

  • Black Fedora: "Black coat, white shoes, black hat, Cadillac." ("Time Bomb" by Rancid)
  • Tourmaline Vulstal: "No one is quite sure what these creatures sound like." ("The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" by Ylvis)
  • Prim Highnoon Spurs: "White leather boots that look equally great on city-slickers and rhinestone cowboys." ("Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glen Campbell)
  • Moonbeam Crayfish: "Have you ever danced with a crayfish in the moonlight? If not, opportunity is knocking." ("Dancing in the Moonlight" by King Harvest)
  • Golden Pepper: "Not as good as the red hot chili variant that was popular back in the day, but starting to grow on you." (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • Roc: "Like a roc, it was strong as it could be." ("Like a Rock" by Bob Seger)

Theatre

  • Shrew: "Contrary to popular belief, these animals cannot be tamed." (The Taming of the Shrew)
  • Rose Quartz: "A rose quartz by any other name would smell as sweet- ...why are you smelling quartz?" (Romeo and Juliet)
  • Poultrygeist: "A ghastly turkey, gobbling from beyond the grave. This bird was clearly victim of a murder most fowl, strange and unnatural." (Hamlet)
  • Diamond Talonclasp Pendant: "Diamonds are a dragon's best friend." (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)

Video Games

  • Red Fedora: "Where in the world would you go once you own this hat? You certainly won't be doing much hiding." (Carmen Sandiego)
  • Pokémon:
    • Jungle Grass: "All manner of creatures can hide in this tall grass."
    • The introduction to Bestiary is titled "Gotta Catch 'Em All," the slogan of the series.
    • Sunkernel, named after the similar seed pokemon Sunkern.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Fire Flower: "Consuming this flower gives dragons of the fire flight the sudden urge to channel their magic into projectile spheres of flame."
    • Fungus Cutter: "It seems rather large for an ant. Maybe it has something to do with its mushroom diet."
    • Decorated Turtle Shell: "Lie in wait and let your hatred grow: sabotage the leader of the pack!" note 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Speedy, a hedgehog whose name is a reference to Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • The Palette Swapped normal hedgehog description reads "It’s no speedier than any other hedgehog, alas."
    • River Royalist/Desert Dynasty Tail Rings: "A set of several golden/silver rings, worn primarily on the tail. Hedgehog familiars find them very comforting.'
    • Emerald: "It is very difficult to harvest emeralds, as their formations are the choice nesting ground for the extremely territorial Scarlet Echidna."
  • Mystic's Bark Mask: "A mask fashioned out of the hardened bark of an old tree. There's something eerie about it, and you can't get the sound of beating drums out of your head." (Crash Bandicoot)
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Daredevil Covers: "It is said that the wearer of this mask will be granted unfaltering wisdom / immeasurable power / unfailing courage in exchange for his or her vision."
    • Aether Hermit: "Some say this crab can shoot beams of arcane energy at foes, but this one only pinches. Maybe it’s out of mana?"
    • Grove Piper: "If one listens very carefully, they can follow the notes of a grove piper's song through the darkest and most twisted forest maze. If the tune fades, best take a different path."
  • While their descriptions don't reference it, the Stone Borer and Frost Delver enemies/familiars look suspiciously like Big Daddies from BioShock.
  • Steelhound Core: "Hey, look at THAT thing! No, that other thing." (Portal 2)

Webcomics

  • Fossilized Fish: "how i mine for fish?" (VG Cats)

Western Animation

  • White Reaches Crab: "When startled, males of this species make a high pitched whooping sound while scuttling away." (Futurama)
  • Spinach: "A hearty, leafy plant chock full of vitamins. Eating a lot is great for the biceps." (Popeye)
  • Nightrage Axolotl: "This toothless amphibian hides in the shadows. No one has ever captured a Nightrage Axolotl... until now." (How to Train Your Dragon)
  • The Lion King:
    • Parasitic Grub: "Slimy, yet satisfying." (a reference to Timon and Pumbaa)
    • Dustrunner Meerkat: "This quirky species of meerkat has developed an unlikely cohabitation with the tusked boars of the region." (also a reference to Timon and Pumbaa)
  • Seaberry: "Even berries are better down where it’s wetter." (The Little Mermaid)
  • Red Squirrel: "The Red Squirrel is known for its erratic, some might say screwy, behavior." (Screwy Squirrel)
  • Looney Tunes:
  • Chromefeather Lookout: "Step 1: Draft blueprint of robotic guard. Step 2: Revise until prototype is obnoxious and hilarious. Step 3: ??? Step 4: Profit." (South Park)
  • Rubber Laboratory Gloves: "What a fine day for science!" (Dexter's Laboratory)
  • For one of the questions Tomo asks in her minigame ("Where does the Tidelord reside?" to be exact), one of the given answers is a pineapple.
  • Bluesand Agate: "Also known as Tidelord's Tears, this agate is rumored to grant its bearer premonitions." (Steven Universe note )
  • Calculating Candelabra: "A thick, romantic accent and welcoming grin enchant your senses. You feel like a guest here, but can't quite let your guard down." (Beauty and the Beast)

Other

  • Blackberry: "Though they’re not really addictive, some dragons become very dependent on Blackberries." (Blackberry phone)
  • Deviant Darter: "No one understands this fish." (DeviantArt)
  • Grey Squirrel: "Though their diet consists primarily of nuts, some squirrels long for a grapefruit." (Eddie Izzard)
  • White Rook: "Also known as a white castle. For some reason it makes you crave meat." (White Castle fast food chain)
  • The Sköll and Hati familiars are references to Norse mythology. Like their descriptions mention, the mythological Hati and Sköll are wolf brothers who chase the moon and sun (respectively) across the sky.
  • Olympia Oyster: "A delicacy fit only for the gods. Dragons are advised to eat quickly, before theirs notices!" (Classical Mythology; Mount Olympus is the mountain on which the major gods were said to reside, and the concept of a food only gods are allowed to eat is similar to ambrosia)
  • Billy Bass: "These fish have evolved to burst into frantic song when removed from the water. An effective adaptation, as many dragons will toss them back in horror." (Big Mouth Billy Bass)
  • Cinnamon: "The practice of attempting to hold a mawful of cinnamon sticks for extended periods of time became strangely popular among juvenile dragons." (the "cinnamon challenge")
  • Twitter:
    • Red-Crested Tweeter: "A surprisingly talented bird with the ability to repeat brief sentences of speech, as long as they are sarcastic or politically-charged."
    • Ire Tweet: "Lets a dragon know when it has encroached on its territory in 280 characters or less."
  • Valkyrie Blade: "Onto Valhalla!" (Norse Mythology)
  • My Brother, My Brother and Me
    • Lilium Floron: "Colloquially known as the 'Bramblepelt', this territorial species of Floron is covered in a thick brown outer coat of thorns for the majority of the year. It sheds this coat in the spring." (Episode 33: Bramblepelt )
    • Four-Eyed Phylactery: "Someone in your lair picked up this 'haunted doll' as a gift in the easternmost bay of the realm. The seaside hawker claimed it was (quote): 'Very independent! Do not try to pin this doll down!'" (Episode 267: Face 2 Face: Target Conditioning)
  • Ruby Tetras: "It's rumored Ruby Tetras have their own language; too bad they have nothing to say to you." (Ruby programming language)
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