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Spectral Shadows is known, and often admitted by the author, Perri Rhoades, for containing a lot of Shout Outs and in-jokes referencing a vast majority of things, mainly just whatever they've been into during their lives, but a wealth of them have to do with Progressive Rock and other musical references.


     Characters 
  • Axel Rhoades, Christine's cousin, sounds a lot like Axl Rose. Say the name out loud sometime.
    • According to his Character Index entry, he becomes a slave to dark evil powers in exchange for youth and other perks. Could possibly be a parody of how metal and other rock groups were oft-accused selling their souls to the devil back in the day.
  • Christine (and her Aslander alter-ego, Christy) both turn yellow when activating their powers.
  • In Serial 9 Rael runs into his grandfather, Geno.
  • The Green Meadows Gang was supposed to be like The Get Along Gang.
  • Harrison James, Christine's father, becomes known as The Iron Man when his body becomes reduced to a state of synthesized metal.
  • Ian Payne likes to play music from Foreign Agent and Ultraviolet, which are supposed to be Foreigner and Deep Purple respectively.
  • Jon and Rael being brothers could possibly be a reference to the Genesis Concept Album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
    • Jon's full name, Jonathan Livingston Ommandeer, is a reference to Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
    • And Rael's full name, Raelian, could possibly be a reference to Raeliansim. It Makes Sense in Context once you know that Ra, who exists in another reality, created the world the characters live in and instead of being an all powerful supernatural god is really just a kid.
  • Judy "Ratzo" DiCaro, a detective from the Town of Noir was taught how to speak like detectives from Film Noir while in Detective School.
    • At one point while talking to Christine she proves she can also do a James Cagney impersonation too.
  • Kitsune (aka Renard) speaks like Christopher Lambert, "with a dash of Peter Lorre" when stressed.
    • This is more of an All There in the Manual moment, as the story never states this, only his Character Index entry.
  • Word of God says Lorri Rhoades got her name from Laurie Anderson.
  • Omega, the Final Boss of Aslander, is also known as The Crimson King.
  • Princess Electra of Serial 2 is a future version of an Antrhodriod, and looks like a cross between Funny Animals and Mega Man (Classic).
  • Princess Jenny's hairbuns were a deliberate design on part of the author to look like Sailor Moon's hair.
  • Richard Blackthorn, a member of the Amazing Detectives Agency, is supposed to be a James Bond-like character.
  • Rocinante, the name of Time Captain Shane's Soundchaser (and later, Sir Jon's), is a fictional spaceship that appears in music by Rush.
  • Steven Quatro, The Minister of Pirate Affairs, hires himself out as a mercenary with the slogan "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap".
  • The Street Walker is one of the most toughest player in all of Alsander who challenges Jon at one point.
  • Twee Galaxy, real name Perri Prinz, is not only an Author Avatar, but her full name is Perpugilliam Prinz (As in, Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown from Doctor Who).
  • The author once asked a friend, "We have a Pamela Banks, Kara Collins, and a Miyan Rutherford. What does that give us?" Banks, Collins, and Rutherford are the last names of members from Genesis.
  • In Serial 11 you have Vicki, Christine, and Kacey; Vicki is a blue vixen, Christine is red, and Kacey, while a dusty pink squirrel, is the nerdy type, kinda like Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth. Their personalities even match at various points.
  • There's The Dream Weaver (No relation to the trope, at least thus far, other than a shared name), which is the name of a song by Gary Wright.
  • Serial 10 features a character who eventually becomes known as Rinne Le Ceil.
    • Who is also known early on in the Series as "Lord Death", and his costume is straight out of the live performance for Le Ciel.
    • His companion seen in Serial 11, known as "The Omman Lord of Life", wears an outfit that's straight out of the music video for Le Ciel. Way to cover both ends of the spectrum.
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     Locations 
  • Cygnus, where Serial 11 takes place in, takes its name from "Cygnus X-1", another element from Rush's music.
  • Serial 16 sees the crew of the Rociante visit a world called Fantasia.
  • Over in Serial 4 (going off of the Synopsis Page) we see the planet Pentalous, a paradise planet ruled by colorful equines and their human companions.
  • The capital of Polithsana is Babylon.
  • The Rhoades Mansion is supposed to look and be similar to Collinwood Mansion from Dark Shadows.

     Episode and Serial Names 
  • The title of the serial itself is a reference to Dark Shadows.
    • The idea of it being a "Furry Soap Opera with Supernatural Elements" was also inspired by soap operas with supernatural elements, like the aforementioned Dark Shadows.
  • Serial 1 is titled 'Children of the Ommadawn'
  • Serial 6 is titled 'Blinded by Science'.
  • Serial 7, "Building the Perfect Beast", is also the name of an album by Don Henley.
  • Serial 9 is titled "Mask of the Great Deceiver", which is a song by Kerry Livgren with vocals by Dio.
  • Serial 11, "The Plant of Genetic Misadventure" has no Shout Outs in its title, but there's plenty in its episode titles.
    • S11E45 is titled "Magnet and Steel", which is a Walter Egan song.
    • S11E55 (parts 1 and 2) are titled "Miracles Out of Nowhere", a Kansas song.
    • S11E63 is titled "Red Rain", a Peter Gabriel song.
    • S11E64 is titled "All In A Mouse's Night", a Genesis song.
    • S11E68 shares a title with a Harry James song, "Melancholy Rhapsody"
    • S11E69,"Jazznocracy", is a Jimmie Lunceford song.
    • S11E70 is titled "Faster Than The Speed of Night", a Bonnie Tyler song.
    • S11E76 is titled "Living Sin", which is an Emerson, Lake, & Palmer song.
    • S11E87 is named White Heat.
    • S11E106 is titled "Driving My Live Away", which is an Eddie Rabbit piece.
    • S11E125is titled "When the Night's On Fire", another Mike Oldfield piece. Methinks the author doth like Oldfield much.
    • S11E143 is titled 'Love is Like Oxygen'.
  • Serial 14's title, "Girls with Guns", could possibly be a reference to a sub genre of films and animation.
  • Serial 15 is titled "Around the Universe in 80 Days", which is a Klatuu song.
  • Serial 19's title, "Samurai of the Sun", takes its name from another Mike Oldfield song.
  • Serial 20 gives us the title "Oops, Wrong Planet", which is the name of a Todd Rundgren album.
  • Serial 21's name, "Jumping off the Sun", references a song off of a Colosseum album.
  • The title of Serial 24, "Love Kills", is the name of a Freddie Mercury song.
  • Serial 25 is titled "Quest for the Stairway to Heaven.
  • The title of Serial 29,"Wild West Hero" is a song by Electric Light Orchestra.
  • Serial 33, "Second Sitting for the Last Supper", takes its name from a Genesis song.
  • Serial 34, the planned finale of the story, is titled "I Pity Inanimate Objects", the name of a song by Godley & Creme.
    • There was also a line in the narration that referenced this song somewhat, but it's gone now, as the author removed all links to Serial 1 and 2 episodes.

     Other 
  • In Serial 11 you have the Cygnusians, half human half animal type creatures who often don't wear any clothing. This is meant to be a take on Funny Animal cartoons where the characters wear little to no clothing.
    • Justified In-Universe as Cygnusians' fur usually supplies all the covering and warmth needed, and any genitals, male or female, are tucked away inside the body, the entrances hidden underneath fur, and females only grow breasts when pregnant, with fluffy tufts of fur in place of breasts. Also wearing clothing for too long will thin out and kill one's fur, as seen with Ratzo DiCaro and folk from other towns like Webberton.
  • Anything involving "Ommadawn" is basically this. So the Ommadawn referenced in Serial 1, Omman-Ra, Omman Knights, Omman Lords, etc.
  • Soundchasers, the ships that Time Captains fly, is the name of a song by Yes.
  • Time Captains are supposed to be akin to Time Lords in Dr. Who.
  • Omman Knights, especially those who can use Soul Swords, are supposed to be like Jedi Knights.
  • Serial 10 also has a book rising out of a lake, and the synopsis page even describes it as rising out of the lake "like Excalibur".
  • "Red Vision", a genetic disorder found on Cygnus, takes its name from a Pat Benatar song.
  • "Unfurry Fandom" in S11 is essentially a shoutout to the Furry Fandom.
  • Another Life is this to Second Life.
  • In S11E13 we see Ra as a shared vision between Vicki, Perry,and Christine brings them to him. Ra hurries over to a record player, reversing the music and thus reversing the trio's path while saying "The music is reversible, but time is not! Turn back!"

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