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Shout Out / Stellaris

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Stellaris makes a great many Shout Outs, to other works of science fiction, as well as less expected sources:

Anime and Manga

  • Attack on Titan: A possible Space Pirate ship name is Attack on Freighter.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Upon researching the Crystaline Entities, you will be informed in a popup notification that "Crystaline Entities are Unbreakable."
    • The Higashik-Ata system.
    • Some Pirate ships may be of the "Oh! That's a Pirate" class.
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes:
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    • The Amlitzer, Astarte, Mar-Adetta, Rantemario, and Vermillion star systems.
    • One of the Admiral traits is called "Gale Speed" and gives a boost to their fleet's sublight speed, a reference to Wolfgang Mittermeyer "the Gale Wolf."

Comic Books

  • If a Crisis hits and one of the two benevolent Fallen Empires awakens, they will become the self-proclaimed Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Judge Dredd: The upgraded form of the Precinct House structure, which more than doubles the number of Enforcer jobs created, is called the Hall of Judgement, or with only a minor change in terminology, the Hall of Justice.

Film - Animated

  • Pocahontas: Rogue Servitors respond to the discovery of alien life with "Wonderful! Prepare the gift baskets."
  • Toy Story: If you go down the Psionic Ascension path and one of your leaders becomes the Chosen One, their followers may demand that they become the immortal ruler of your empire. Agreeing has you hail them with "May their reign stretch into infinity... and beyond!"
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  • WALL•E: The fanbase has noticed that the Rogue Servitors are reminiscent of AUTO.

Film - Live Action

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey:
    • It's possible to find a mysterious rectangular object when scanning a planet, which gives you survey data of a distant system.
    • The "On the Shoulders of Giants" origin has a plot line broadly similar to that of the movie, with a string of archaeological sites in your home system pointing the way to the Precursors who left them there to help jump-start your species's development. The first such site is located on your homeworld's moon, if one exists.
    • Asteroids are named in two parts using a suffix and a prefix separated by a hyphen, and one possible combination is "HAL-9000."
  • Alien:
    • One rare tech lets you raise Xenomorph Armies, "ravenous hordes of bio-engineered horrors made up of little more than teeth, claws, and an instinctive urge to kill."
    • Advertisement:
    • The logo for both the MegaCorp DLC and one of the new empire flag symbols is based on the Weyland-Yutani logo.
  • Apocalypse Now: Entering the Shroud might greet you with the line "Horror... horror has a face."
  • Avatar:
    • If you send a team of researchers to infiltrate a primitive alien planet, one might fall in love with a native, go rogue, and begin sabotaging your efforts.
    • The Tree of Life origin added in the Federations DLC is a Hive Mind in a symbiotic relationship with a vast Tree that is analogous to Na'vi connection to the Tree of Souls.
  • Blade Runner: One of the systems that can randomly spawn is the Hauer system named for Rutger Hauer, the actor for lead replicant Roy Batty. Inside is an inactive warp gate named "Tannhäuser Gate". The Ancient Relics DLC adds an archeological site to the system — excavating it fills your scientists with an inescapable sense of their own mortality, and the dig ends with them discovering a tombstone inscribed with a lengthy epitaph, otherwise untranslatable, which ends with the words "Time to die."
  • Contact: One of the Shroud communication screens has the psykers mutter an awed "They should have sent a poet..."
  • Event Horizon: The Subdermal Stimulation technology description reads "where we're going, we won't need skin to feel!"
  • The Fifth Element: One of the humanoid portraits is of a blue-skinned, hairless species with hair-tentacles, like Diva Plavalaguna the alien opera singer.
  • The Fountain: It's possible to find a Tree of Life, floating through space in a bubble.
  • I, Robot: The Rogue Servitors have been compared to VIKI and her Zeroth Law Rebellion.
  • Indiana Jones:
  • Interstellar: One of the black holes is called Gargantua.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • One Caravaneers event involves them partying with one of your world's colonists, resulting in a new crossbreed species. The event confirmation response is "Life, uh, finds a way."
    • The achievement for uplifting a primitive species is called "Clever Girl".
  • The Matrix:
    • One of the messages you can get when visiting the psionic realm known as the Shroud includes the quote, "Do you think that is air you're breathing now?"
    • One insult is a quote from the speech that Agent Smith gives to Morpheus: "I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it."
    • Machine Empires can keep organic pops in a form of slavery called Grid Amalgamation, using them as Living Battery.
  • Knowing: One special system added in Distant Stars is one in which the indigenous civilization was wiped out by a Solar Flare Disaster.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: One class of Space Pirate ship is the Black Earl - just one letter off the name of another pirate vessel, the Black Pearl.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Building the Sentry mega-structure gives you a tooltip saying "Well secluded, I see all."
  • Soylent Green:
    • The "Livestock Slavery" citizenship type description warns that "Livestock is Pops!"
    • In addition, the description of the Fast Food Chain, one of the buildings available to a Megacorp Branch Office, includes a disclaimer that the food served may contain trace amounts of Soylent Green.
  • Starship Troopers:
    • One of the default empires is the Commonwealth of Man, with similar colors and iconography to the Terran Federation in the films.
      • One can also re-create the book's empire by building an empire with the Egalitarian and Citizen Service civics & Democratic Government; later choosing the later game Nationalistic-Zeal perk post alien attack.
    • Democratic or Oligarchic Militarist empires can pick the "Citizen Service" civic, whose tooltip explains that "Service guarantees citizenship." In-game, it requires that species with full citizenship have full military service as a species policy, and vice versa.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Alderaan, Dressel, Jabba and Lando systems.
    • Valid combinations for asteroid names include AT-ST, AT-AT, R2-D2, and C-3PO.
    • Before ground combat was overhauled in patch 2.0, you could recreate the Clone Wars by fielding Clone Armies supported by Clone Commando attachments (whose members occasionally have eccentric personality quirks), or led by Psionic Armies who have psychic powers and favor melee combat, as you did battle against a foe with Android Armies, semi-autonomous war machines with surprising adaptability.
    • One anomaly you can discover is an abandoned spaceship in orbit around a planet, containing nothing but the body of "a long-eared, amphibian biped who appears to have been stabbed repeatedly."
    • Discovering the Automated Dreadnought prompts the response "Look at the size of that thing!"
    • When you come across space pirates, Militarists are given the option to "Alert all commands. Deploy the fleet."
    • One of the reptilian portraits resembles a Kowakian Monkey-Lizard, aka Jabba the Hutt's cackling pet.
    • The Federations DLC adds the "Juggernaut" ship class, a gargantuan wedge-shaped warship that can also function as a mobile shipyard. Someone at Paradox is clearly a fan of the Supremacy.
    • The description of the resolution to change Galactic Council size to 1 is "I am the senate".
  • The Terminator:
    • The description of Robotic Armies hews very close to how Kyle Reese described the titular killing machine, and evokes the imagery seen during the openings of the franchises first two films, as legions of merciless and relentless killing machines slaughter their way across a planet.
    • Determined Exterminators are basically if Skynet won the war against humanity and went on to expand into space. Their icon looks like the head of a T-101 endoskeleton.
    • If the Contingency awakens, it will send infiltrators to perform acts of sabotage against your empire. The first are easily thwarted thanks to the rubbery fake flesh over their metallic bodies, but soon after the Contingency develops superior infiltrator units with a layer of living skin covering their endoskeletons, mirroring Skynet's leap from the T-600 to T-800 Terminator models.
  • The right combination of suffixes and prefixes might see an asteroid designated "THX 1138."
  • Titanic: In the Gas Giant Structure archaeological chain you discover an ancient Space Station that sunk into a gas giant after being hit by an asteroid with most of the passengers dying because there were too few Escape Pods, similar to the real Titanic sinking after hitting an iceberg with too few lifeboats. At the end of the chain, you discover a diamond necklace called the Heart of the Pulsar, a reference to the Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace that features prominently in the film.
  • The Psi Corps building provides a mere two Telepath jobs that massively reduce crime on the host planet, often to the point of eliminating it entirely, which feels very reminiscent of the plot of Minority Report.

Literature

  • Nineteen Eighty Four:
    • One rare society tech lets you build a "Ministry of Benevolence" to reduce unrest in your empire, similar to the book's Ministry of Love.
    • The "Proles" trait designates a species as menial laborers, good for harvesting and industry, but not intellectual pursuits.
  • Animal Farm: The Caste System citizenship tooltip explains that "some species are more equal than others."
  • Before the update that changed the names of that axis, Radical Individualists could get dialogue which referenced Atlas Shrugged.
  • The Belgariad: The Polgara system.
  • The Cthulhu Mythos:
    • Randomly-generated names for ocean worlds using the Human 1 namelist include R'lyeh and Dagon.
    • A potential space pirate ship name is Strange Aeons.
    • Completing the "Horizon Signal" quest chain may transform your species into tentacle-faced monstrosities with the "Repugnant" trait.
  • The Culture:
    • When they aren't more direct shout-outs, a lot of the pirate ships' names sound like something the Culture would use: Nothing Personal, Spoilsport, Pucker Up, Show's Over, Product of Society, etc.
    • Rogue Servitors were explicitly described by the devs as being a sinister version of the Culture's Minds.
    • The Infinity Machine also seems to be a nod to the Excession.
  • Dune:
    • System names include Arrakis and Giedi, and in the latter case if you use the default colony name, the first inhabited world will indeed be Giedi Prime.
    • Renewing an Enchalve's 10-year contract to sell you Riggan Spice has you telling them "The Spice Must Flow."
    • A Spiritualist leader with the right civics is properly addressed as a "God-Emperor."
    • Entering the Shroud might have your team remark "What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us?"
  • The Expanse: The introduction of the Origins feature made Expanse role-playing quite viable. The United Nations of Earth have always existed as one of the default empires, an MCR Expy of elitist, militaristic quasi-communists is easy enough to throw together with the available traits and civics, and the Void Dwellers origin nicely covers almost everything that defines the Belters. Choose one, force-spawn nothing but the other two, and have fun. Granted, the game will always take place on the galactic scale instead of just in the Sol system, but even this escalation eventually happens in the books.
  • Foundation:
    • Planet names include Melpomenia and Solaria.
    • The Great Khan, like the Mule, comes apparently out of nowhere to become a potential Galactic Conqueror and is rumored to be a powerful psychic (though these rumors are never confirmed for the Great Khan).
    • Also, in a meta sense, the Great Khan's gameplay purpose is the exact same as the Mule's narrative purpose - To disrupt the predictable status quo of Galactic politics.
  • The Hobbit: The Ether Drake Shard and the Rubricator seems to be shout-out to Smaug and the Arkenstone.
  • Honor Harrington: The Yildun system.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • Zarqon and Belgium are among the random system names.
      • Jeez! There are kids in the room!
    • If someone uses a Colossus' planet-cracker to blow up Earth, don't panic! There's a chance that doing so will reveal a new "hyperspace bypass," a stable wormhole leading to another system.
    • The "Stay Calm" event has your survey ship can find a a towel, which one of your scientists grows quite attached to. The crew will whisper that the scientist is "a real hoopy frood."
    • Fanatical Purifiers may explain that the war they've declared is being done to "bring about an era of peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life, and the obliteration of all other life forms."
    • One event has you come across a sheilded planet stuck in a time loop. Removing the shield can spawn a race of Fanatical Purifiers named the Prikkiki-Ti, a reference to the omnicidal-if-charming-and-polite Krikkit species who lost their bid to exterminate all other life in the galaxy and had their home planet sealed inside of a time warp.
    • In Ancient Relics, you can discover remnants of an aborted terraforming project conducted by a wealthy civilization who built custom planets for clients, like the Magratheans.
  • I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream: Any organics unfortunate enough to be conquered by the Machine Consciousness and not get instantly purged are instead genetically re-engineered into very long-lived, repugnant slaves.
  • Jabberwocky: Pirate ship names include Jabberwock, Boojum, and Snark.
  • The Jungle Book: Jungle-covered Tropical Worlds in one name list may be called Kipling after the author.
  • The black hole being studied by the Infinity Machine is called Gargantua and completing the event successfully may rarely convert the Gargantua black hole to a "pocket universe" called Pantagruel, both named after the Gargantua and Pantagruel French satire novels.
  • Moby-Dick: The Tiyanki Matriarch is described as bleached white by the Curators and has a proton torpedo lodged in its hide like the harpoons that were in Moby Dick's hide. The Curators also make mention of a captain hunting it to the ends of the galaxy like captain Ahab's obsession with hunting the white whale and naturally enough, once the Matriarch is defeated, a vessel called the AH4B emerges from the beast after having been Swallowed Whole. The Admiral commanding the AH4B even has a trait called "From Hell's Heart", after a quote from the book. The Achievement for hunting the Matriarch, "A Hump Like a Snow-Hill," is yet another quote from the book.
  • Nostromo: One of the possible randomly-generated ship names is Costaguana, same as the fictional Banana Republic from Joseph Conrad's novel. For bonus points, this counts as an indirect Shout-Out to the Alien films since the Nostromo was the name of the ship in the first film, and Sulaco is a port town in the novel and the name of the ship in the second film.
  • Rendezvous with Rama: Sometimes, your worlds may be visited by a massive, tube-shaped alien vessel.
  • The Republic: One civic available to despotic or imperial governments is "Philosopher King," resulting in rulers with higher skill caps.
  • Ringworld: It's possible to find a system with a ringworld populated by primitives that once served as the Precursor equivalent of a zoo. With the Utopia expansion, you can build your own ringworlds.
  • Roadside Picnic: You can find a planet with a specific Zone full of randomly scattered physics-defying objects left behind by a group of aliens whose identities and intentions are unknown.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • When being invited to join an alliance by an NPC, you are told "the galaxy is dark and full of terrors." Ironically, the Vision Statement made by the developers was "the galaxy is bright and full of wonders."
    • Occasionally, NPCs will say the phrase "It is known" when punctuating something that, in character, the NPC thinks is obvious, mirroring Irri and Jiqui's tendency to say the same thing to Daenerys when they were trying to convince her of something as well.
    • When players discover pre-sentient species on ice planets through anomalies, the title of the event is "A Species of Ice and Ice."
  • The Songs of Distant Earth: The "Doomsday" origin has the discovery of your home planet's impending doom being the primary spur for the development of space travel, as your species is desperately seeking a new home for itself before time runs out.
  • Sprawl Trilogy: One of Earth's unique features post-Le Guin is the "BosWash Metropolitan Axis," similar to the books' Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis, or BAMA.
  • The War of the Worlds:
    • The description of the Planetary Defense technology warns that "There may come a time when intellects, vast and cool and unsympathetic, regard our worlds with envy and draw plans against us."
    • The ship name Thunder Child.
  • Worldwar: If Earth isn't the homeworld of a proper star nation, you can encounter it in four different stages. Two of these states are, in addition to being references to other Paradox games, allusions to how The Race encountered Earth: in the Medieval Age, as their first probes found the planet, and in the middle of World War II, when their invasion fleet finally arrived 800 years later. The "Outside Context" achievement requires you to find Earth and invade it during World War II, as The Race did.

Live-Action TV

  • Babylon 5:
    • The Fallen Empires are almost certainly inspired by both the Vorlons and the Shadows, with their nigh-unbeatable (in the early game, at least) ancient technology, their dogmatic focus on a single ethos, and their millennia of stagnation that may eventually allow the Younger Races to catch up and surpass them in the long run. The remainder of the First Ones, meanwhile, have their counterparts in the Leviathans — titanic spacefaring organisms of immeasurable age and power that are to us as we are to ants.
    • With Utopia, empires on the Psionic Ascension path gain access to, among other things, a unique Psi Corps building. Its description ends with "The Psi Corps is your friend. Trust the Corps." (In the show, it's a subliminal message hidden in ads)
    • The "Creatures of the Void" portrait pack includes one that looks a lot like the Shadows.
    • If one of the galaxy's Fallen Empires becomes Awakened, the confirmation window reads "Giants in the playground."
    • The "War in Heaven" event is inspired by the Second Shadow War. And the League of Non-Aligned Worlds that can be formed shares a name with the supranational body formed by the minor races.
    • The Interstellar Assembly megastructure is a space station where diplomats from various empires gather to try to ensure galactic peace, the Stellaris equivalent of the Babylon Project.
  • Doctor Who:
    • As of Ancient Relics, a Determined Exterminator empire discovering the last Baol can only let loose a cry of "Exterminate!" before killing it.
  • Potential ship names include Firefly and Serenity.
  • Lexx: It is possible to discover an organic spaceship with the remains of its crew of three separate species.
  • Stargate-verse:
    • The Gateways basically function the same way as the Ori Supergate except across interstellar distances as opposed to intergalactic (other than the L-Gates).
    • The Grey Tempest warships do have visual similarities to Replicator ships and like the Replicators and have a similar MO.
    • The Desannu Consonance is all but outright stated to be an evolved from of the Grey Tempest nanites after they decided to recreate their creators' civilization and adopt forms in their image, similar to the Asurans and their obsession with emulating their creators the Ancients.
  • Star Trek:

Music

  • AC/DC: A potential space pirate ship name is Hell's Bells.
  • Prince: One anomaly involves a planet's beautiful purple rain.

Tabletop Games

  • BattleTech: Rasalhague is one of the potential system names.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Two possible options of your Empire emblem are a two-headed eagle and a skull in the middle of a cross, both being prominent imagery of the Imperium, the Aquila and the Crux Terminatus.
    • One possible civic you can choose is Imperial Cult, which fittingly requires both Authoritarian and Spiritualist ethics, and refers to your leader as a God-Emperor.
    • Going down the Psionic Ascension path may result in one of your leaders becoming an immortal Chosen One that a segment of your population worships as a god. Letting them become the leader of your empire pretty much mirrors the Emperor of Mankind's rise to power.
    • Spiritualist empires will greet you with a reference to their ruler's title if you contact them while at war, so it's possible to hear one say "The Emperor Protects."
    • The Fanatic Purifiers civic description ends by saying "they will suffer no xeno to live."
    • "Standard Construction Templates" is one of the perks of the Prosperity Tradition line.
    • You can build armies of gene-boosted super soldiers able to take on multiple mundane armies with ease. The research to unlock them is even called Gene-Seed Reclamation. Prior to the Cherryh overhaul of ground combat, you could also add detachments of psionic warriors to these Gene Warriors, mimicking the Astartes' use of Librarians.
    • Xenophile/Authoritarian/Militarist civilizations have a clear reference to the Tau, assuring new contacts that "You will embrace the greater good, eventually."
    • The event name for the Synthetic ascension path, where you rebuild your population into cyborgs and then full robots, is "The Flesh Is Weak."
    • One of the machine empire portraits is a Necron Wraith.
    • One rare resource is an incredibly durable material with self-repairing properties, similar to the Necrons' "Necrodermis," and like in 40k, the substance is commonly referred to as "Living Metal."
    • One line when you enter the Shroud is "Do you hear the voices too?"
    • The Xenophobic advisor voice is more or less an Imperial Commissar, particularly the way he sneers "Xeno scum!"
    • All of the potential late-game crisis factions have analogues in 40k. The Prethoryn Scourge are basically a whole plot reference to the Tyranids, being an extragalactic Horde of Alien Locusts which turns out to be Invading Refugees running away from something worse. The Extradimensional Invaders come spilling out of another dimension if you research Jump Drive, just like the forces of Chaos, and can even fall prey to an Enemy Civil War. And the AI Contingency's bases appearing beneath seemingly-lifeless worlds (potentially in systems you've colonized), only to unleash hordes of incredibly-advanced killbots, is very much like a Necron Tomb World waking up. Of course, only one of these crises can hit you in a single Stellaris palythrough, while all three are happening at once in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, on top of the Men of Iron's machine uprising in the setting's backstory.
    • The Shroud is more or less a Lighter and Softer take on the Warp, complete with four main entities that behave similarly to the Chaos Gods.
    • If you form a Covenant with the End of the Cycle, after 50 years, something very similar to the Fall of the Eldar occurs. Your entire empire (excluding a few survivors who saw it coming, similar to the Craftworld Eldar or the Exodites) is wiped out overnight by a malevolent godlike entity, and the souls of your empire's population combine to spawn an Eldritch Abomination.

Theatre

Video Games

  • Cities: Skylines: Logging into your Paradox account in-game will unlock a realistic rendition of Chirpy as a special portrait.
  • Destiny: With the Lithoids expansion, one of the portrait types looks strikingly similar to the Vex.
  • Dragon Age: One of the humanoid species portraits looks a lot like the Qunari.
  • Earthworm Jim: One avian portrait is of a bipedal bird in a fishbowl-helmeted space suit, a la Psycrow.
  • Fallout: When you colonize Tomb Worlds, you may encounter an event in which massive underground Vaults are discovered, housing the remnants of the planet's prewar population, which join you. This may happen on Earth if it spawns as a Tomb World, giving you both the upliftable rad-roaches and post-apocalyptic humans from the vaults. Alternatively, you can find the vault containing only decayed skeletons, or filled with violent mutants, with evidence of scientific experimentation that was going on. Vault-Tec, prepared for the future!
  • FreeSpace: You can explore the Beta Aquilae and Gamma Draconis systems.
  • Half-Life: A space pirate ship can be dubbed the Resonance Cascade.
  • Halo:
    • Building a Ring World Planet gets you a visit from a group of diplomats worried it might be a WMD.
    • The potential pirate ship Pillage and Reconciliation.
    • While researching the Colossus Project, you will eventually receive an event that asks which type of Weapon of Mass Destruction you wish to equip your empire's colossus with when the time comes to build it. The name of the event is "The Gun Pointed At The Head Of The Universe."
    • One of the 'Round' symbols that can be chosen for an Empire's flag bears a strong resemblance to the glyph of the Mantle of Responsibility, a recurring Forerunner symbol throughout the Halo series.
  • Homeworld:
    • One of the randomly generated names for an empire you can encounter is the Kadeshi.
    • The voice of the Authoritarian assistant is a pseudo-Eastern European man with a profoundly deep voice, making him a dead ringer for Makaan of the Vagyr, the Big Bad of Homeworld 2.
  • Jet Force Gemini: One possible system name is Mizar, the name of the game's Big Bad.
  • Kerbal Space Program: You can find the Kerbol system, though there's no guarantee it's inhabited, that the natives will be little green men, or that they are experimenting with space flight.
  • Marathon: Space pirate ship names include Durandal, Tycho, and Leela.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Some of the species portraits look like the hanar or yahg.
    • If the blue, tentacle-haired cute alien girl is not a shout-out to The Fifth Element, it's to the asari.
    • A possible random event is to have your survey ship struck by passing mass driver rounds fired from another galaxy billions of years ago, proving that Sir Isaac Newton really is the deadliest son of a bitch in space.
    • It is also possible to find a planet into which someone carved a message complaining about his/her/its life.
    • An event chain involving sentient machines begins with the question "Is this unit in possession of a soul?"
    • The generic, non-specialized machine intelligences are akin to the geth; an isolationistic, live-and-let-live amalgamation of semi-independent, highly-connected programs that are not individually sapient, but together form a greater intelligence.
    • The Contingency is a dead-ringer reference to the Reapers, right down to the black-red coloration and using a strange signal to subvert machine populations to turn on your empire. The "Machine Integration" living standard tooltip also reads "Assuming direct control."
    • One of the Holy Guardians' Gaia worlds is dubbed Walled Garden, which is the meaning of the quarian homeworld, Rannoch. (Of course, it's also the meaning of the word "paradise," which was also the intent in Mass Effect.)
    • A rare, lategame resource is "Zro," an addictive substance that enhances psionic abilities.
    • Purchasing assistance from the Curator Enclave to deal with the Infinity Machine grants your empire the "Infinite Calibrator" modifer.
    • A possible random event leads to the player deciding between a blue, red or green liquid to modify their population with. The game even says "The effects are unknown but we are assured they are all positive," a clear jab at the Mass Effect 3 endings.
    • Relic Worlds, in the Ancient Relics DLC, are City Planets that fell into ruin after their creators died out, much like the planet Feros in Mass Effect.
  • Mega Man: One of the Machine portraits is a round thing with a single huge, black eye with a glowing pupil. One of the color options is bright yellow, making it look quite like the recurring Yellow Devil boss.
  • NieR: Automata: The tooltip for the Rogue Servitor-exclusive "Bio-Trophy" living standard is "Glory to Organics."
  • One Starbase module you can install is the Offworld Trading Company.
  • Pikmin:
    • It's possible to find the Olimar system.
    • One planetary anomaly results in your researchers finding "tiny, colorful lifeforms that straddle the divide between flora and fauna," which your colonists can treat as pets.
  • Persona: One event chain revolves around "Mharin Kharin", a flower species producing mind-altering pollen, named after Marin Karin spell that inflicts Charm/Brainwash status.
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri:
    • Empires with enough skill in genetic engineering can nerve-staple their subject populations to make them more docile and industrious.
    • You can find worlds infested with a sort of "exofungus", whose growths extend across the planet and hamper construction. Thankfully, it doesn't come with Mind Worms.
  • Space Quest: The Vohaul system.
  • Spore: Three of the Colossus types correspond to the three Space Stage superweapons - The Planet Cracker to the Planet Buster, the Neutron Sweep to the Gravitation Wave, and the Divine Enforcer to the Fanatical Frenzy.
  • Star Control:
    • The vassals of the extremely xenophobic Jingoistic Reclaimers are called "Thralls" and allowed to more or less live as they please, as long as they accept the supremacy of their overlord, refrain from colonizing new worlds, and serve the Reclaimers militarily. "Battle Thralls" is also a possible policy for handling enslaved species with the Utopia expansion, and the name of an achievement for having three vassal empires.
    • The territories of fallen empires can contain special "Shielded Worlds" that cannot be colonized. They have a vivid red-orange tint to the atmosphere due "some kind of impenetrable energy barrier." With the Apocalypse expansion, you can build a Colossus that essential deploys you own Slave Shield, permanently cutting off a planet from the rest of the galaxy.
    • The Avian Battleship design feels like an Expy of the Sa-Matra, in particular the crescent-shaped bow and the downright weird shape.
    • Sometimes as you visit the Curator Enclave, they will greet you with the line of how you must be wondering what the mural behind them means: "That's a very good question with a very interesting answer! The answer to this question will cost you 100,000 Credits."note 
    • One anomaly event chain concerns a species called the Dathnak, who evolved on a gas giant, much like the Slylandro.
    • Lithoids have access to the Calamitous Birth origin which gives them access to Meteorite Colony Ships, allowing them to colonize planets much faster than conventional empires at the expense of tanking the planet's habitability for other species — similar to how the Mycons terraform planets for their own species with their sporeships.
  • Star Wars games:
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • System Shock: The Hive Mind Advisor introductory quote is almost verbatim to The Many's.
  • Total Annihilation: Achieving Synthetic Ascension while in the presence of a Spiritualist Fallen Empire will cause them to condemn your actions, claiming you've committed ritual mass suicide and transformed yourselves into a race of soulless machines. Such concerns over the validity of whether the consciousness is actually transferred or a mere copy that believes itself to be the original is made is the root cause of the four thousand year war between the Core and the Arm.
  • Undertale: A planet name in Plantoid name list 2 is Golden Flower. The star name Chara is a coincidence, though, it's another name for Beta Canum Venaticorum.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: There's a system named Adranell, after Farseer Idranel.
  • Wing Commander: The Krant system takes its name from a Kilrathi medium fighter.
  • X-COM: Attempting covert infiltration of a sufficiently advanced pre-FTL society risks the chance that the fragmented nations will discover your meddling, put aside their differences and form an extranational organisation dedicated to combating the alien threat. You then have the option of attacking their headquarters to destroy them.

Visual Novels

  • Zero Escape: The description of the "Morphogenetic Field Mastery" technology begins with "from its cradle as a purely pharmaceutical venture..." Morphogenetic Field theory is central to the game series, where it was first researched by the company Cradle Pharmaceuticals.

Webcomics

  • Daisy Owl: Another insult aimed at machine empires is "you are a rock tricked into thinking."
  • Tails Gets Trolled: An insult exclusive to the Fox portrait has the offending civilization call them "talentless-looking."

Western Animation

  • Futurama:
    • You might find the Omicron Persei system, which may indeed have eight worlds around it.
    • It might be a design oversight, but it's possible for Mechanical leaders to gain the "Substance Abuser" trait.
    • One placeholder AI type you might see if the game bugs out is "Despicable Neutrals."
    • The "Olfactory Study" special product involves an alien artifact that relays information through odors, aka a Smelloscope.
    • One anomaly is a giant lump of garbage that a careless civilization launched into space rather than properly disposing of it planetside.
    • One of the unique Lithoid traits is "Volatile Excretions", which causes the species to produce Volatile Motes in the form of "highly compressed spoor" which "contains an unbelievable amount of power".
  • Steven Universe: The "Terravore" Lithoid species variant can invade and strip-mine planets, producing new Pops in the process, similar to the Diamond Authority's modus operandi.

Other

  • Other components for asteroid names are 'TLDR', 'OD1N', and '1337'.
  • It is possible to find a small ceramic container orbiting a star, leaving your scientists baffled as to how it got there. Spiritualist empires have special options for deciding it was a sign from the almighty. Materialists, on the other hand, determine that it is merely a fourth-dimensional projection of a teapot.
  • Another anomaly consists of a completely out-of-place terrestrial car orbiting a planet with no explanation for how it got there.
  • Plantoid name pack 3 comes with the name Bud Lite.
  • Statue of Liberty: The Free Haven civic includes a reference to The New Colossus, explaining that "The tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free - all are welcome here, regardless of their species or origin."
  • Donald Trump: One random system name is "Covfefe."
  • Oculus Rift: The Artisan Enclave is working on a new sensory technology, the "Scentilus Rift."
  • One of the possible dig sites in the Ancient Relics DLC is a "Trench World" criss-crossed by apparently artificial channels, likely a reference to the supposed canals on Mars that were reportedly observed by astronomers in the 19th century.


Achievement-related:

  • Alien: The achievement for terraforming a planet is called "Building Better Worlds", a reference to the motto of the Weyland-Yutani company.
  • Babylon 5: "Last, Best Hope" (lead the non-aligned powers to victory against an awakened empire)
  • Blade Runner:
    • "Voight-Kampff" (develop the means to prevent nefarious infiltration)
    • "Like Tears in Rain" (ascend to a fully synthetic empire)
  • Brave New World: "Brave New World" (colonize another planet)
  • Chess: "Queening" (capture a Prethoyrn Queen)
  • Chrono Trigger: "1999 AD" (defeat the Voidspawn after it "hatches")
  • Clash of the Titans: "Crash of the Titans" (destroy a Fallen Empire's Titan fleet with a Titan-class ship of your own)
  • Classical Mythology: "Pandora's World" (use a Global Pacifier on a world belonging to Fanatical Purifiers, a Ravenous Swarm, or Determined Exterminators)
  • Crusader Kings: "Deus Vult" (as a spiritualistic empire, own 4 holy worlds)
  • The Culture: "Outside Context" (invade pre-FTL Earth while it's in the middle of a world war)
  • The Divine Comedy: "Then Virgil, Now Beatrice" (restore a long-dead species to life)
  • The Doors:
    • "Break On Through..." (research a rare tech)
    • "...To The Other Side" (research 15 rare techs in a single game)
  • The Histories: The achivement for constructing a Mega-Shipyard is "Our Fleets Will Blot Out The Stars."
  • Horse Feathers: "Whatever It Is, I'm Against It" (refuse to belong to a club that would have you for a member). The icon art is a Blorg in Groucho Marx glasses, fake nose and mustache.
  • Jurassic Park: "Clever Girl" (uplift a species)
  • Moby-Dick: "A Hump Like A Snow-Hill" (hunt the Tiyanki Matriarch)
  • Paradise Lost: "Paradise Found" (terraform a planet into a Gaia World)
  • Planet of the Apes: "Planet of the Mechs" (terraform a planet into a Machine World)
  • Ringworld: The achievement for building one of your own is named Ringworld Engineers, the title of the second book.
  • The Six Million Dollar Man: "Faster, Stronger, Better" (genetically alter a species)
  • Star Control: "Battle Thralls" (have three vassals)
  • StarCraft: "Power Overwhelming" (have 5000 energy credits in the bank)
  • Star Trek:
    • "Distinctiveness Added" (forcibly assimilate five organic species into cyborgs as a Driven Assimilator)
    • "No Khan Do" requires you to kill the Marauders' Great Khan in battle, and the icon for the achievement is a pointy-eared humanoid imitating the "KHAAAANNN!!" scream.
    • "Emissary" (explore a naturally-occurring wormhole)
  • Star Wars: "Stay on Target" (destroy another empire's Colossus before it finishes firing on one of your worlds)
  • Styx: "Domo Arigato" (build a robotic Pop)
  • V: "Payback" (as a humanoid species, infiltrate the homeworld of pre-FTL reptilians). The icon for the achievement is the logo of the 2009 remake, rotated 180 degrees.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • "Suffer not the Alien" (as a xenophobic empire, purge all other sentient species in the galaxy)
    • "Exterminatus" (use a planet-cracker to destroy another empire's capital world)
  • Non-franchise specific internet meme: "I Can See Forever" (construct a complete sentry array)

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