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Video Game / Dragonvale

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DragonVale is a park sim along the lines of FarmVille available on iOS devices. The player runs a zoo/conservatory for dragons, and they must purchase elemental habitats and dragon eggs, as well as breeding new species of dragon. Dragons collect coins based on their type and level, and levels are increased with dragon snacks (which in turn cost coins). The game is notable for its absolutely immense number of dragons and quirky Flavor Text that often makes refences to pop culture.

This game provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: It depends on the player as to how far they take this. Some players are satisfied with collecting one of every dragon, while some will not stop until they have every normal dragon, twin, pedestal, twin pedestal, and decoration in the entire game. The game rewards getting every dragon by having the Dragonarium breathe fire. After collecting all the twins, it will breathe blue fire.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The starting island costs 50 DC to summon, while the twenty first costs 16,000,000,000 DC. This also happens with the summoning times for the islands: the starting island appears instantly, but later islands can take up to sixty hours to become available.
    • Everything in the Rift works this way. The more islands you buy, or the more miasmic ether you clear, or the more times you breed, the more etherium it costs you. Thankfully, the costs for breeding reset at the start of each day.
  • All Your Elements Combined: The Panlong Dragon has all four classical elements (Fire, Water, Earth, Air) at once and the Paper Dragon (released on DragonVale's first anniversary) has the first four elements from the game (Plant, Fire, Earth, and Ice).
  • April Fools' Day: The Motley dragon was released for April Fools Day, as it can be bred from any breeding pair at all, even if its elements are not included in the breeding pair. This leads to players accidentally breeding many, many unwanted Motley dragons.
    • In 2012, Backflip Studios claimed they would be releasing an 'invisible dragon' on the first of April, accompanied by a false screenshot. The dragon was never released in the game, however, it was made available on April the first, 2017, in DragonVale World, with no in-game announcements or external notifications whatsoever.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: A growing number of dragons (about 50% of the total, and a larger majority of dragons that aren't esentially Com Mons) are only obtainable under certain dates or events. Some, like those celebrating yearly holidays, return once a year, but others, like those created for each anniversary, only really have their event once. To help players achieve 100% Completion, there are two features;
    • One, every December is the Bring 'Em Back event, where every single dragon is breedable.
    • Two, The Daily Rewards system tracks each day a player visits their park, and every hundredth day gives a Wish that can be redeemed for any acquirable in the game. This is especially helpful for the Monolith and Snowflake dragons, which can only be bred from other Monolith and Snowflake dragons and as such aren't helped by Bring 'Em Back.
    • Additionally, Daily Rewards occasionally gives the player a random dragon egg, regardless of season. Random eggs are also available for purchase in the Rift.
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  • Artistic Licence – Biology: The Fungus dragon is classified as a plant hybrid, even though fungi are classified as a separate kingdom to plants, and are genetically closer to animals than plants.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: The Acid dragon is a metal hybrid, even though many metals are bases, meaning they can neutralise acids.
    • The Sulfur dragon is mentioned to have a strong odour, but in real life sulphur is odourless.
  • Breath Weapon: Most dragons have their own elemental breath. This ranges from ordinary (fire breath for fire dragons, ice breath for ice dragons, etc.) to unusual (Gold Dragons breathe gold coins, Rainbow Dragons breathe rainbow sparkles). Two-headed dragons, like the Brass and Solstice dragons, each have different breaths. It is mostly for show, of course.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Food, coins, and the rare crystals are all available for purchase for real money. Getting them, especially the crystals, makes the game far, far easier.
  • Cherry Blossoms: The Sakura Dragon was released in late April, to correspond with sakura-zensen. It was available until early May.
  • Color-Coded Elements: Each element has its own color: green for Plant, red for Fire, brown for Earth, light blue for Cold, yellow for Lightning, blue for Water, purple for Air, orange for Metal, light yellow/white for Light, and dark purple/black for Dark. All of the basic element dragons come in these colors, save for the Air Dragon, which is dark blue and cyan. This also allows players to identify what kind of egg they have. The primary color scheme of hybrid dragon eggs corresponds with its main element and the pattern on the egg corresponds with its secondary element. For example: Lava, a Fire/Earth hybrid has a red egg decorated with small stone chips.
  • Dark Is Evil: Many of the Dark hybrid dragons are based around more sinister concepts, for example, the Ruin dragon, the Nightshade dragon, the Miasma dragon, and the Crypt dragon. They also tend to be more Ugly Cute rather than Ridiculously Cute Critters like most of the other dragons.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The game emphasises that both Light and Dark are needed to bring balance to the world, and that Dark dragons are fiercely loyal to their owners. The Dark habitat is also stated to keep the coats of dragons clean, rather than making them dirty.
  • Dem Bones: The Halloween-exclusive Bone Dragon.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Quite a few of the dragons look a lot like dinosaurs.
  • Dumb Dodo Bird: The Dodo dragon is said to have originally lived on the island of Mooretoss, where cave drawings depicting an ancient, flightless dragon which was initially thought to be extinct were discovered by the explorer Lewis Dodoson.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Clover Dragon, Leap Year Dragon Blue Moon Dragon, and Solstice Dragon were among the first limited dragons, and they're all altered versions of preexisting dragons rather than having their own completely original artwork. The Blue Moon dragon in particular is literally just a blue Moon Dragon with a horn on its head. Since then, all new dragons have completely unique appearances within the game, with the exception of common enemy element hybrids, which have the appearance of one element and the color scheme of the other.
  • Elemental Powers: Most dragons are classified in ten elemental types: Green Thumb, Playing with Fire, Dishing Out Dirt, An Ice Person, Shock and Awe, Making a Splash, Blow You Away, and Extra-ore-dinary. Light The Way and Casting a Shadow were added to the game in late 2013.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Most elements have a opposite, which they cannot be bred with (fire and cold, or earth and air, for example), unless you create a hybrid first. Initially, they were also affected negatively by the Boost item for their opposite element, though this has now been removed.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The Rainbow Dragon. Taken to the extreme with the Double Rainbow Dragon.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The Zombie Dragon was the third Halloween-themed dragon to be added to the game. Its description makes a reference to the popularity of this trope. It's also mentioned to not necessarily eat other dragons... as long as it's properly fed.
  • Experience Points: Most actions, from feeding your dragons to clearing away dead trees, will net you experience.
  • Fairy Dragons:
    • Butterfly dragons, created by breeding an Air-aligned dragon with a firefly dragon, have colorful butterfly wings and no forearms.
    • Moonstruck dragons have green mothlike wings and patches of fur resembling moth antennae. They're extremely affectionate, and spend much of their time gazing distractedly at beautiful things.
  • Fiery Salamander: Salamander Dragons are quadrupedal, amphibian-like creatures without wings but possessing a long fin running down their backs. They're created by breeding a Fire-aligned dragon with a Water-aligned one, and are described as sleeping among old logs that they sometimes set on fire in reference to the origin of the salamander myth.
  • Floating Continent: Your zoo is located on a floating island. As you level up, you can get a whole archipelago of islands for your zoo plus the epic breeding island and the gemstone island.
  • Follow the Leader: Of FarmVille, which was itself following other Facebook games. It was later followed by other dragon-breeding apps like Dragon Story.
  • Fountain of Youth: An actual fountain which allows your mature dragons to revert to their baby stages while retaining their levels. The effects can also be reversed.
  • G-Rated Sex: Breeding Cave descriptions admit that nobody's sure exactly how breeding happens.
    • Doubles as Fridge Brilliance: Saying the breeding is just 'magic' and nobody's sure how it happens can help avoid awkward questions when you have kids playing the game.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: The Gold dragon, which along with the other treasure dragons, has its own habitat which is full of gold coins and treasure. Also, the most expensive pathway in the game is gold, which costs a whopping 7500 gold pieces per tile.
  • Gold–Silver–Copper Standard: The Treasure Dragons, which have their own habitat, though this standard is Platinum/Gold/Silver/Bronze. There is a Copper Dragon, but it is a lightning and metal hybrid. Also, there are three tiers of Olympus Dragons: Bronze, Silver, and Gold to correspond with their Olympic theme.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: All the different breeds of dragons, including rare dragons and holiday-only dragons. There's even an achievement for it, though some of the rare ones aren't strictly necessary to get it.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the introduction of Twin Dragons. These are rare versions of normal dragons, which have a low chance of being created from breeding in the Co-op Cave. Considering how rare even normal versions of some dragons are, this can make getting all the twins virtually impossible.
    • The Rift update introduced Rift versions of all the normal hybrid dragons, and some of the Halloween-themed dragons. As well as their normal elements, Rift dragons have an elemental 'trait' which is separate and unrelated to their type. This means to achieve 100% completion, a player must breed every type of dragon with each of the ten possible traits. There's also the extremely rare Twin Rift dragons, which can only be obtained through mystery eggs. However, these are so difficult to get, most players don't count getting them as part of 100% completion.
  • Head Swap: The Clover dragon, which has the Flower Dragon's wings and body with minor alterations, but an original head and tail tip. The Solstice dragon is a two-headed version of the Sun dragon and the Blue Moon dragon has a horn on its head and a full moon on its tail rather than a crescent moon.
  • Holiday Mode: The islands change with the seasons, being snowy in winter and green in summer. There are also season-themed decorations for the islands and holiday-only dragons which can only be bred in the month surrounding their respective holidays. In fact, exaggerated, considering the list of holidays and events that get their own dragons include the Chinese Year of the Dragon (the Panlong Dragon), the leap year (Leap Year and Double Leap Year dragons), several for Valentine's Day (Love, Moonstruck, Thorn, Rose, Stoneheart, Rosegold, Ambrosia, Cuddlewing, Surprise, Melancholy, Delight, Serenity and Ire dragons), St. Patrick's Day (Clover Dragon), April Fool's (Motley dragon), Easter (Monoliths 1-6, Plateau, Pond, Tulip, Stoneshell, Tansy, Cumulus, Chrysalis, Duskwing, Glowwing, Lacewing, Marbletail, Starwing, Swallowtail and Bloom) Earth Day (Terradiem dragon) and Arbor Day (Arbor dragon), the Japanese Cherry Blossom festival (the Sakura Dragon and Sumi dragon), Mardi Gras, Mother's Day (Bouquet dragon) and Father's Day, Deaf Awareness Month (the Butterfly Dragon), the solstice (Solstice dragon), the equinox (Equinox dragon), 4th of July (Firework dragon) and Bastille Day, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games (the Olympus Dragons and Victory Dragon), Halloween (Bone, Ghost, Nosferatu, Bog, Decay, Garden, Ortreat, Spectre, Thicket, Trick, Lycan, Nether, Zombie, Nightbloom, Pharaoh), Christmas (Gift, Holly, Mistletoe, Regift, Reindeer, Trinket, Dazzling, Flicker, Lace, Ornamental, Ribbon, Snowflakes 1-5, Tinsel, Verglace, and Twinkle) the blue moon (Blue Moon dragon), eclipses (Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse dragons) and the 2012 end of the Mayan calendar (the Apocalypse Dragon). Plus each month and season gets its own Gemstone Dragon, based on that month's birthstone. Each season also has two seasonal dragons each (Winter and Seed, Spring and Sprout, Summer and Leaf, and Autumn and Berry).
  • Hybrid Overkill Avoidance: There are many crossbreed dragons, but when hybrid dragons breed their offspring will usually have two of their parents' types; no more. Though there are a couple of exceptions when it comes to holiday-only dragons (the Panlong Dragon has the four classical elements; the Love Dragon is fire, lightning, and plant). Many epic dragons are also counted as having all ten elements at once when breeding or questing.
    • Each of the Gemstone dragons can only be bred by a unique combination of hybrid dragons.
  • Infinity +1 Element: Originally Rainbow, Sun, and Moon; which had their own habitats and couldn't be bred with dragons of other types. Several other elements were later added to this level; but by then they had been surpassed by Gemstone Dragons, which have their own island, can't be bred with, and generate crystals instead of coins; and later Galaxy Dragons, which also have their own island and can only be bred through cooperative breeding.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Everything in the game runs on real time. Dragons earn coins per minute, food crops take between 30 seconds and one and a half days, depending on amounts, breeding dragons takes hours and sometimes days, as does hatching eggs and constructing habitats. There are also a lot of dragons based on the calendar and related astrological events (the leap year, the solstice and equinox, the blue moon...).
  • Last Lousy Point: The Leap Year, Double Leap Year and Blue Moon Dragons. They're not required for any achievements or anything, but most holiday dragons are only available for a few weeks a year. These dragons are instead only available for a matter of days, and only show up every three or four years. (That said, the game has had at least one event where for a month or two every dragon was made available.)
  • Make a Wish: Every time you play the game for 100 days, you get a wish that you can spend at the wishing well. This allows you to get one of any item in the game for free, no matter the cost, or whether it is currently available.
  • Merlin Sickness: The Epoch dragon ages backwards. At level 1 it looks elderly, at levels 4-7 it looks like an adult dragon, and at levels 9+ it is a baby dragon.
  • Milestone Celebration: Special dragons are released for the app's anniversaries (the Paper, Cotton, Leathery, Garland and Wyrmwood Dragons) and 100-dragon marks (the Century, Bicentennial, Fates, and Seraph Dragons).
  • Our Alebrijes Are Different: The Alebrije Dragon of Dragonvale World is categorized as a Spirit Dragon and its description is a fantastical take on the real-life origin of alebrijes. It states that an artist by the name of Pedro created such lifelike alebrije pieces that a real-life alebrije dragon snuck into his workshop thinking it had found others of its kind. Pedro subsequently adopted the dragon.
  • Palette Swap:
    • The Blue Fire, Frostfire, Malachite, Plasma, Current, Leap Year, Sandstorm, Ironwood, Shadow and Mirage dragons are recolors of the Fire, Cold, Metal, Lightning, Water, Rainbow, Air, Plant, Light and Dark dragons, respectively. The Dodo dragon has the same body as the Earth dragon, but has horns on its head and wing-like feathers on its back rather than spikes.
    • Twin dragons look identical to normal dragons, except that the orb above their heads is blue and yellow rather than the colour of its first element. Similarly, twin eggs look the same as normal eggs, except they have a blue outline and are tinted blue.
  • Punny Name: Several of the default names for the dragons are very punny, either ironically (Speedy for the very slow Earth dragons) or straight (Faraday for an Lightning dragon).
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Most of the dragon babies. The ones that aren't are usually Ugly Cute.
  • Seasonal Baggage: The Seasonal Dragon will change depending on the season.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The Cave dragon seems to resemble a spider, but it bears a greater resemblance to amblypygi, a type of cave-dwelling arachnid.
  • Shout-Out: Numerous.
    • The Ash Dragon is an obvious reference to the Evil Dead series, complete with a magical "boomstick" involved in its discovery.
    • There is a decoration called the Ami'Lya Pond. Moreover, the description for the River Dragon mentions the pond as well as the words "melody" and "river song". You can't get more obvious than that.
    • One of the treats you can grow is a Sarjin Pepper.
    • The Metal dragon's description states that it was found in the Tull Caverns by an explorer named Dickinson Osbourne.
    • The description for the Large Plant habitat has references that are legend—wait for it— dary!.
    • The Love Dragon's description references a mountain range named the Berrywhite mountains.
      • Several decorations also include the word 'Berrywhite', such as the Berrywhite Bench, the Berrywhite Tree, the Berrywhite Heart and the Berrywhite Breeding Cave. The Berrywhite heart is also said to give passersby warm and fuzzy feelings.
    • Everything about the Zombie Dragon seems to be a reference to zombie tropes.
    • The Shield Dragon is a massive reference to Marvel Comics. It's named after S.H.I.E.L.D.; it was released the day before Captain America: Civil War; its description involves an acronym for "S.H.I.E.L.D." (in this case, "strong, honorable, interesting, elegant, loyal, and devoted"), the phrase "in a fury in the nick of time", and a reference to iron; and the two dragons needed to breed it are Hail and Hydra.
    • Whitbee describes the Artificial Bone path as "too spooky for me!"
  • Socialisation Bonus: The Co-op breeding Cave allows you to breed one of your dragons with a friend's dragon, which allows you to obtain expired limited dragons you would not normally be able to get. Galaxy Dragons are never available for breeding normally, so this is the only way to obtain them. Breeding in the Co-op Cave is also the only way to get the rare and highly sought-after Twin Dragons.
  • Spiritual Successor: Gizmonauts by the same creators, which in many ways just exchanges dragons for robots.
  • Time Master:
    • Kairos, the game's first legendary dragon, can accelerate any event in the game by a few hours (breeding, building, etc.) He can be levelled up to speed up more and more time, and when fully levelled he can speed up events by a whole day.
    • The legendary dragon Gaia can instantly hatch any egg, no matter its breeding time.
  • Wishing Well: Every 100 days you play, you get a wish which you can spend at the Wishing Well. This allows you to get one of any item in the game for free.
  • A Wizard Did It: Quite literally the explanation for everything from why you can have frozen patches of ground for your cold dragons to how your islands are constructed and summoned.
  • Wings Do Nothing: When the Lava Dragon grows, its wings don't, yet it's still capable of flying. This led to the conclusion that Lava Dragons use magic to fly. The Iceberg Dragon also has wings that are too small for its large body.


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