THE ANNOTATED ALLSPARK ALMANAC
A detailed, itemized list of all the references to Transformers and the rest of popular culture that are hidden within the pages of TRANSFORMERS ANIMATED – THE ALLSPARK ALMANAC.
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Pg 9a – Sorensen and Forster hail from universal stream Quadwal -3760.925 Theta. Universal streams are a means of classifying the numerous Transformers universes devised by authors Greg Sepelak and Trent Troop, which first appeared in the Transformers Collectors Club story, “Withered Hope”. But what's it mean?
The first part of a universal stream designator denotes the “continuity family” to which the universe belongs - Generation 1, Unicron Trilogy, and so forth. “Quadwal” is a term created for the book, which appears to denote the “real” world (“quad” from “four”, “wal” from “wall”, referring to the “fourth wall,” the barrier that separates fiction from reality).
The numerical portion of a universal stream is derived from when the universe came into begin. For a fictional universe, this is derived from the publication date of the first comic, or the broadcast date of the first cartoon, or something along those lines. As this is the real universe, -3760.925 indicates 25th September 3760 BC, the date of creation according to the Hebrew calendar. Also of note is the fact that the only other universal stream thus far to have a minus sign in it is the evil parallel universe of Shattered Glass, so it may be a double meaning – after all, the Sorenson and Forster of our world are nice, law-abiding chaps, but those native to Quadwal -3760.925 Theta are incarcerated criminals!
The final component of a universal stream designator denotes the media through which the story of the universe is told (“Alpha” for cartoon, “Gamma” for comic, and so forth). “Theta” denotes a live performance or spoken word – only fitting for the “real world”!
Pg 9b – The amusing Reverse-Pretender technology used by Sorensen and Forster is a reference to several 1980s Transformers toy commercials, which featured a child leaping into the air and transforming into Ultra Magnus.
Pg 9c – The number on Sorenson's mugshot card, 214-782, is the Auschwitz concentration camp number of X-Men villain, Magneto. Forster's mugshot number, 356-325 was supposed to read “356-323”, the birth and death dates of Alexander the Great (356-323 AD), but got changed by accident. This was in reference to the Iron Maiden song, “Alexander the Great”; Forster is a huge fan of the band, and this was going to be the first of numerous references to them in the book. The snake looming over his shoulder is one of his real-life pets.
Pg 15 – Optimus Prime's axe is identifed as a Solitarium ultra-axe. Solitarium is a mysterious and powerful element featured in the Japanese Robot Masters storyline.
Pg 20a – Ratchet is a Protihex Medical Mechanical graduate. Protihex is one of Cybertron's city-states, which first appeared in Dreamwave's original The War Within mini-series.
Pg 20b – Lockdown refers to Ratchet with the nickname “Cool Hand Lube”. This was an epithet coined for the original Generation 1 Ratchet by writer Bob Budiansky, who included it in his original Transformers Universe bio. While it didn't make it into the finished Universe profile, it did appear in an early version printed in Marvel's Transformers Comics Magazine digest collection.
Pg 34 – Unnamed in the Animated cartoon, the alien planet visited by the young Optimus, Sentinel and Elita-1 populated by giant spiders is here given the named Archa Seven. Presumably, this puts it in the same system as Archa Nine, from the BotCon 2002 comic story, “Betrayal”.
Pg 35 – Sentinel Prime's shield is dubbed a Skyboom shield, after the Mini-Con weapon from Armada. It is described as being “nigh-invulnerable,” a term frequently used to describe the superhero, the Tick, upon whom Sentinel Prime was visually based. Check pg 135 for more Tickishenss!
Pg 33 – Ultra Magnus's hammer is here given the name Stormbreaker, after the hammer possessed by comic book super hero and Thor analog, Beta Ray Bill. Alas, both the toy's packaging bio and the cartoon itself would give the hammer different names: “Stormbringer” and “the Magnus Hammer”, respectively.
Pg 37 – Jazz is a master of Metallikato and Circuit-Su, classic Cybertronian martial arts originally introduced in the Tech Specs of Generation 1 Bludgeon and Bugly, respectively.
Pg 44 – Ratchet recalls an old flame from Crystal City, a Cybertronian city that originally appeared in the Generation 1 cartoon episode, “The Secret of Omega Supreme”.
Pg 46 – Ratchet speculates that Wreck-Gar must have “27,000 gags” hidden in his trash bin. The number 27 is a running gag in the songs of Weird Al Yankovic, the parody singer who provides Wreck-Gar's voice.
Pg 55 – Omega Supreme's profile contains numerous references.
The language describing Omega's strength deliberately harkens back to Generation 1 Omega's Transformers Universe profile, describing how he can pulverize “steel cubes” of impressive volume and hit diminutive items from a great distance with his head cannon. Numerous Cybertronian units of measurement are used in the process; Omega is said to be able to like 600,000 kilo-units (a measurement used by Bulkhead in the Animated episode “Rise of the Constructicons”); the dimensions of the aforementioned cube are given in mechanometers (used in the Generation 1 episode, “City of Steel” and mentioned twice more in the book); and the distance at which he can blast a small object is given in hics (from the Marvel UK 1991 annual story, “The Magnificent Six!”, and used once more in the book).
Omega is also noted to be armed with concussion blasters (the personal weapon of Generation 1 Soundwave), pulsar bombs (used by the Predacons on two occasions in the Robots in Disguise cartoon), quasar beams (Generation 2 Blowout and Beast Wars Cheetor both wielded quasar cannons), friction cannons (G1 Runamuck was armed with a friction blaster) and aquasting missiles (weapon of choice of the Beast Wars Fuzor Injector).
And finally, Omega has armour enhanced with rheanimum, a metal-strengthening gas which appeared in Marvel's Generation 2 comics.
Pg 60 – Mentioned here and restated on pg 127, Megatron's swords are forged from tironium, an extremely tough metal mentioned in the Beast Wars episode “Power Surge”. As noted in his tech specs, his armour can deflect anti-proton lasers; anti-proton weapons were wielded by Cybertron Unicron and Classics Megatron.
Pg 66 – As on his toy packaging, Lugnut is referred to with the nicknamed, the “Kaon Krusher”. Kaon is a Decepticon city-state on Cybertron, which first appeared in Dreamwave's War Within: The Dark Ages mini-series. Lugnut's explosive punch was nicknamed the “Punch of Kill Everything” by fan Beastbot X. Writer Marty Isenberg took a shine to the name and canonized it in the pages of The Arrival comic book, and The AllSpark Almanac carries on its use. Blitzwing calls Lugnut a “five-eyed, no-brained, flying purple people eater,” paraphrasing the 1958 Sheb Wooley song, “Purple People Eater”.
Pg 74 – Shockwave's cannon can fire blasts from anywhere in the electromagnetic spectrum, just like Generation 1 Shockwave could.
Pg 77 – Swindle's gyro gun and scatter blaster are named after the weapons of the original Generation 1 Swindle.
Pg 81 – Starscream claims to be the handsomest 'bot “this side of the Benzuli Expanse”, a region of space introduced in IDW Publishing's Spotlight: Galvatron.
Pg 82 – Starscream's first sycophantic clone is given the numerical designation 2716057, the serial number of hard-drinking robot Bender from Futurama. The first cowardly clone, meanwhile, is marked 3370318, the serial number of Bender's identical duplicate, Flexo.
Pg 83 – Thundercracker exults in the traits he got from Starscream by exclaiming “Aces High!”, after the song of the same name by Iron Maiden.
Pg 83-84 – Having gone unnamed in the Animated cartoon, Thundercracker, Sunstorm and Skywarp were all given names and powers derived from their Generation 1 counterparts when they were released as toys. The liar and female clones did not get toys, but The AllSpark Almanac carries on the trend; the liar clone is named Ramjet and is noted to have a reinforced nosecone for mid-air collisions, while the female clone gets the brand new name of Slipstream (which was previously revealed at TFCon 2009).
Pg 88 – Numerous weapons used by Lockdown in the Animated cartoon are here given the names of similar weapons from other corners of the Transformers multiverse. He is armed with sleep nets (from the Generation 1 coloring book, “Bumblebee to the Rescue!”), nova spray (from the 2007 movie Glu mobile phone game), and a lightning whip (the personal weapon of the G1 Pretender Cloudburst). His sonic javelins do not appear to be an obvious reference to anything (it was a weapon in the video game Legend of Legaia, but I'm not convinced its an intentional ref). His chainsaw is also described as being “micro-serrated”, language frequently used to describe the beak of Generation 1 Buzzsaw.
Pg 94 – Swindle plans to imitate Angry Archer's antiquated dialect to help facilitate his next deal with the Darkling Lords of Prysmos. This is a reference to the 1987 Hasbro toyline, Visionaries; Prysmos was the planet upon which that series was set, and the Darkling Lords were the villains of the franchise.
Pg 97 – Slo-Mo is here given the first name of Samantha, and on pg 143, the surname of Lomow. So hey, it turns out that her real name is the same as Hasbro Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Samantha Lomow, on whom she was based.
Pg 101 – The name of Prometheus Black's company is given as Biotech Unbound, referring to the Greek poem, “Prometheus Unbound”, which was also the title of a Beast Machines episode.
Pg 103 – In the Animated cartoon, the bat-monster is noted as having formerly been Meltdown's lawyer. Here, Captain Fanzone notes that the shark-monster was his stock broker. In addition, he calls it a “Seafood Louis creature”, after the crab salad notable among Transformers fans for having been served at several BotCons, and says it “kicks some serious fin”, one of the numerous catchphrases of the titular characters in the cartoon series, “Street Sharks”.
Pg 105 – Ming-Li is named after author Jim Sorenson's wife, Ming-Li Wang, and derives her nickname, “The Surgeon”, from the fact that the real Ming-Li is a real surgeon. Shana Story is named for a friend of author Bill Forster, Shana Storey, who is credited in the acknowledgements section of their previous book, The Ark II. Solon Kitakaze is named after Deathsaurus's cyborg son from the infamously kooky Victory manga. Roxy Sparkles is not one anyone could have easily figured out: the name was coined by Bill Forster several years ago when trying to remember the name of a deceased musician (Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley). It evolved into a running in-joke between him and a friend, and he slipped into into the Almanac as a gag.
Pg 106 – Porter C. Powell's limousine is branded as a “TUX model”, named for the Tonka GoBot it was designed to resemble.
Pg 108a – The events of “Transform and Roll Out,” Part 1, are given the timecode 9521.6. This was the stardate for the Star Trek movie, The Undiscovered Country.
Pg 108b - The space bridge being repaired by Prime's crew in the series pilot movie is given the designation RA-678, the same alpha-numerical designation as the E-Frame shared by Nara Burns and Marsala in the animated series Exosquad. The bridge is located in the Azazel Asteroid Belt, which you might think is a reference to something (beyond the obvious reference to the fallen angel), but the name is a pre-existing one, having been given to the belt in the first issue of The Arrival comic book.
Pg 108c - The symbol writing that decorates this and many subsequent pages is Cybertronix, the coded writing used in the Beast Wars animated series. In this book, as in the cartoon, translating it reveals many secret messages! This page, and all those presented as “Autobot incident reports”, use the “Maximal” font.
Taken together, the header (the text surrounding the Autobot logo) and background text (behind the image of Megatron) translate as the opening blurb from the instruction manual of the 1988 video game, Wasteland. It reads: “The following is an excerpt from The History of the Desert Rangers, The Early Years, by Karl Allard, 2087, Allard Press, Ranger Center. Tensions grew with the coming of 1998. The United States' Citadel Starstation was slated to be fully operational by March, Soviet charges that the space station was merely a military launching platform alarmed a number of nonaligned nations. The right wing governments in the South and Central Americas, many of them set up by the U.S. during the Drug Wars (1987-1993), pledged their support to the U.S. The NATO nations, including the new African members also declared their alliance with the U.S. That move forced most of the remaining neutral powers to join the Soviet protest. In six short weeks, only Switzerland, Sweden, and Ireland continued to declare themselves neutral nations.”
The page footer translates as “40 degrees 45' 53.39” N, 74 degrees 10' 2.75” W”, co-ordinates of latitude and longitude denoting the location of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, where author Bill Forster used to work as Art Director.
Pg 109 – This page is Entry 1.21 from Isaac Sumdac's journal. 1.21 was the number of gigawatts of electricity needed to activate the flux capacitor in Back to the Future.
Pg 110 - “Transform and Roll Out,” Part 2, is dated to 46379.1, stardate of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Emissary,” Part 1. Cybertronix on this page translates as:
The header reads “A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill”, a quote from science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein.
The two chunks of background text are taken from the instruction manual of the original Legend of Zelda video game. Together, they read: “A long, long time ago the World was in an age of Chaos. In the middle of this chaos, in a little kingdom in the land of Hyrule, a legend was being banded down from generation to generation, the legend of the "Triforce": golden triangles possessing mystical powers. One day, an evil army attacked this peaceful little kingdom and stole the Triforce of power. This army was led by Gannon, the powerful Prince of Darkness who sought to plunge the World into fear and darkness under his rule. Fearing his wicked rule, Zelda, the princess of this kingdom, split up the Triforce of Wisdom into eight fragments and hid them throughout the realm to save the last remaining Triforce from the clutches of the evil Gannon. At the same time, she commanded her most trustworthy nursemaid, Impa, to secretly escape into the land and go find a man with”
The footer is another set of co-ordinates, this time reading: “40 degrees 34' .01” N, 74 degrees 11' 14.39” W”, the location of the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, New York.
Pg 111 – “Transform and Roll Out,” Part 3, is dated to 46423.7, stardate of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “Babel”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads “Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane”, a quote from science fiction author Phillip K. Dick.
The two pieces of text behind the image of the Crimson Angel jet are a pair of quotes from the TV series Max Headroom. They read: “You know how we said there's no future? Well this is it” and “You might care to call it the Phoenix, Mr. Bryce. My word, you could have all your politicians in little boxes. It's very handy.”
The text behind the image of the dead Optimus is a list of the “Code of Virtues” from the video game Ultima V. It reads: “Thou shalt not lie, or thou shalt lose thy tongue. Thou shalt help those in need, or thou shalt suffer the same need. Thou shalt fight to the death if challenged, or thou shalt be banished as a coward. Thou shalt confess to thy crime and suffer its just punishment, or thou shalt be put to death. Thou shalt donate half of thy income to charity, or thou shalt have no income. If thou dost lose thine own honour, thou shalt take thine own life. Thou shalt enforce the laws of virtue, or thou shalt die as a heretic. Thou shalt humble thyself to thy superiors, or thou shalt suffer their wrath.”
Pg 112 – An observation of the events of the first issue of the Animated comic by the trans-dimensional Vector Prime, one of the original 13 Transformers, introduced in the Transformers: Cybertron series. He uses the aforementioned Universal Stream classification system to catalogue this manuscript, identifying the Animated cartoon universe as “Malgus 1207.26 Alpha”. The designation is later used again on pg 117.
Pg 113 - “Home Is Where The Spark Is” is time-coded 46461.3, the stardate of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Aquiel”. Prime's clash with the Angry Archer early in the episode is noted as being logged under a different file, dated 46424.1, the stardate of the Next Generation episode “Ship in a Bottle”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds,” a quote from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita.
The text behind the image of the pocketbot is a quote from Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and reads: “Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.”
The footer reads: “Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement,” a quote from Ford Motor Company founder, Henry Ford.
Pg 114 - “Total Meltdown” is time-coded 46477.5, stardate of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “Captive Pursuit”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads: “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield,” a quote from the Tennyson's poem, Ulysses.
The text behind the image of the church bell is the opening monologue from the second season of the TV series, Bablyon 5. It reads: “The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. A self-contained world, five miles long, located in neutral territory. A place of commerce and diplomacy for a quarter of a million humans and aliens. A shining beacon in space, all alone, in the night. It was the dawn of the Third Age of Mankind, the year the Great War came upon us all. This is the story of the last of the Babylon stations. The year is 2259. The name of the place is Babylon 5.”
The footer is another set of co-ordinates, “29 degrees 47' 25” N, 31 degrees 12' 33” E”, denoting the location of the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur, Egypt.
Pg 115 – Cybertronix on this page, and all others rendered as various Decepticons' “internal logs” are written in the “Predacon” font. On this page:
The header reads “Is the chemical aftertaste the reason why people eat hot dogs, or is it just some kind of bonus?” a quote from DC Comics character Death in her series The High Cost of Living, written by creator Neil Gaiman.
The footer is a quote from Planet of the Apes. It reads: “I'm a seeker too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be.”
Pg 116 – Presumably, the trans-dimensional magazine Venus is named for Beast Wars Blackarachnia's voice actor, Venus Terzo. Whatever currency its cover price is in, its represented with a “B” in Predacon Cybertronix! In addition to the large illustration of Animated Blackarachnia wearing the crown, shoulderpads and cape donned by Generation 1 Starscream for his coronation in The Transformers: The Movie, the cover contains numerous references, many of them to some very obscure characters and concepts. Further, each page reference on the cover leads to a related page within the AllSpark Almanac itself.
“Sparkmate” is a term used in the N64 Beast Wars: Transmetals video game, to describe Tigatron and Airazor's romantic bond. It leads to page 207,
“Chain of Command” is the title of a Beast Wars episode.
Clio is a Decepticon Powermaster mentioned by Blaster in the letters page of issue #315 of Marvel UK's Generation 1 comic. She is pitted against Lyzak, sister of Decepticon Breastforce warrior Leozack, who appears in the final issue of the Victory manga.
Manta Ray is a Beast Wars McDonalds Happy Meal figure, who was established as being female by IDW Publishing's Beast Wars Sourcebook. She is up against the equally aquatic Scylla, from Beast Wars II.
Flamewar and Nightracer are both BotCon exclusive female Decepticons, from 2005 and 1995, respectively. The match-up has a deeper meaning; Nightracer was created by notorious Decepticon fan Raksha, and some fans believe that Flamewar's personality is based on Raksha, though her creator Ben Yee denies it.
Revenge of the Fallen's Pretender Alice teaches readers how to disarm a foldspace warhead, a weapon which appears in the second issue of the UK's 2007 live-action movie comic.
The magazine's gossip columnist is Freezon, the Decepticon car included with Tyco's Transformers Electric Racing Set released in the 1980s. She is dishing the dirt on Lugnut and Strika's relationship, which was established in Strika's profile, published in issue #24 of the Transformers Collectors Club Official Magazine.
Beta Maxx is the partner of BotCon 2007 exlusive Alpha Trion, while Caliburn is partnered with 2004 exclusive, Megazarak. The cover identifies them as Mini-Cons, despite the fact that no previous writings ever done so (Caliburn is explicitly a Micromaster, while Beta Maxx has only been referred to as an Autobot). Funnily enough, in late 2008, author Jim Sorenson was involved in an argument on the Transformers Wiki about Beta Maxx being a Mini-Con... hmmmn. Anyway, they're talking to Cybertron Thunderblast!
The magazine's (functional!) barcode reads 8757NC, the designation of an important Viper spacecraft in Battlestar Galactica.
Pg 118 – The events of “The Thrill of the Hunt” are timecoded 46531.2, stardate of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Q-Less”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads “There's an angel on my shoulder, in my hand a sword of gold, let me wander in your garden, and the seeds of love I'll sow,” lyrics from the Led Zeppelin song, “Houses of the Holy”.
The text behind the image of Ratchet is the first paragraph of the Robert A. Heinlein novel, “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.” It reads: “I see in Lunaya Pravda that Luna City Council has passed on first reading a bill to examine, license, inspect—and tax—public food vendors operating inside municipal pressure. I see also is to be mass meeting tonight to organize “Sons of Revolution” talk-talk.”
Yet another set of co-ordinates for the footer: “42 degrees 19' 53.76” N, 83 degrees 2' 51” W”. That's slap-bang in the middle of Detroit, setting for Animated.
Pg 119a – Most of the weapons Swindle sells Lugnut and Blitzwing, and the planets he gets them from, are established, if obscure, Transformers items and locales. Most of them were named in the comic story this page covers, “Everthing Must Go” but a few more things are named here, and they all get serial numbers that are references to other shows, movies and suchlike. The full list includes:
An anti-gravity cannon (from the Find Your Fate Junior book “Desert Flight”) from the planet Andellor (from the second issue of Blackthorne's Transformers in 3-D comic). Its serial number is TOK715, the alpha-numeric designation of the character Cameron from the TV series, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”.
A triple-crusher cannon (the personal weapon of the G1 Seacon Nautilator) from the planet Talos Four (probably derived from a mistake on TFWIKI.Net, which misspelled Taros Four from the Transformers Collectors Club story “The Dark Heart of Sandokan” in this manner for a time). Its serial number is VR-X9-4-M2, the full name of the character Aveeare from the comic strip SnarfQuest.
A decompression pump from Torkulon (as seen in the Generation 1 episode “Webworld”). Its serial number is NDR113, the designation of Andrew, the central robot character of Isaac Asimov's “The Positronic Man”.
Glass Gas (the personal weapon of G1 Cliffjumper) and a Digital Impact Mace (the weapon of choice of BotCon 2000 exclusive toy Apelinq) from the planet Dahros (a misspelling of the planet Darhos, from The Headmasters anime episode, “Find MegaZarak's Weak Spot”). The serial number of the gas is CPE 1704 TKS, (the missile launch code from the movie WarGames), while the mace's number is BZ2UH, the password to Bryce's lab in Max Headroom.
Super glue from the Menonia (an other-dimensional world visited in the G1 episode “Madman's Paradise”). Its serial number is TTKR117, the license plate of robotic car KITT from Knight Rider.
An omega bomb (from the G1 episode “The Quintesson Journal”) from Ganzvort (mentioned in G1 Rewind's Transformers Universe profile). Rewind's profile notes that there is a New Jersey on Ganzvort, and this book carries on the trend of the planet sharing city names with Earth, as Swindle notes that he “must visit Okayama” when next there; Sorenson and Forster both lived in Okayama for some time. The bomb's serial number is 2X4B-523P, the official designation of the mechanoid Kryten from the sci-fi TV series, Red Dwarf.
Two nemesis shields (from the Armada Playstation 2 video game) from Garo and Com (both from the Beast Wars Neo episode, “Mach Kick Voluntarily Enlists?!”; “Com” is a misspelling of the planet's correct name, “Comb”). The shields are labelled Type 11A (currently identified) and Type 2B (a brand of Star Trek: The Next Generation phaser), and their serial numbers are LV426 (the planet from Alien) and TK412 (the “codename” of noted Star Wars fan Arturo Delgado) respectively.
A Chaosmaster bomb (from issue #4 of the Marvel Generation 2 comic) from Xeptos (a subatomic planet mentioned in the biography of the eHobby exclusive toy, Magnificus). Its serial number is 26517, the numerical classification of the USS Excalibur, a spacecraft from the Star Trek: The New Frontier series of novels.
Circuitry repair patches from Cheyne (from issue #63 of the Marvel Generation 1 comic). Their serial number is N6MAA10816, the model number of Roy Batty, a replicant from Blade Runner.
Pg 119b – Optimus's evaluation form is rendered in the style of classic Transformers Tech Specs, but not any one particular design. The training exercise from the comic story “Survival Skills” is revealed to have taken place on Kaiba-5, a planet mentioned in the 2007 live-action movie video game as having been destroyed by Ironhide. The exercise is time-coded 8130.3, stardate of the Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Khan.
Pg 120 – The events of “Nanosec” are timecoded 46579.2, stardate of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Birthright,” Part II. The apprehension of Nino Sexton from the start of the episode is noted to be a separate file, coded 46578.4, the stardate of “Birthright,” Part I. Cybertonix on this page:
The header reads: “Oh my God, it's full of stars,” a famous quote from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The text behind the Sumdac Systems technician (who is here named “Eddie” - check out page 200 to learn why!) is the first sentence of the Dan Simmons novel, “Hyperion”. It reads: “The Hegemony Consul sat on the balcony of his ebony spaceship and played Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp Minor on an ancient but well-maintained Steinway while great, green, saurian things surged and bellowed in the swamps below.”
Behind the illustrations of Nanosec's ageing head is an excerpt from the instruction booklet for the Metriod video game. It reads: “In the year 2000 of the history of the cosmos, representatives from the many different planets in the galaxy established a congress called the Galactic Federation, and an age of prosperity began. A successful exchange of cultures and civilization resulted, and thousands of interstellar spaceships ferried back and forth between planets. But Space Pirates also appeared to attack the spaceships.”
Co-ordinates in this page's footer are: “35 degrees 52' 57” N, 76 degrees 30' 48” E”, location of the mountain K2.
Pg 121 – The events of “Along Came a Spider” are dated to 46682.4, the stardate of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Starship Mine”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header contains three numbers: 136199, 134340 and 90377. These are the formal designations of the dwarf planets Eris, Pluto and Sedna, respectively.
Together, the two text passages behind the images of Sari form the complete lyrics to the Duran Duran song, Electric Barbarella. I'll not bother recounting them here!
The footer for this page reads: “Right ascension 05h 55m 10.3053s, Declination +07 degrees 24' 25.426”, coordinates denoting the position of the star Betelgeuse.
Pg 122 – Professor Princess's recollection of the comic story “Whatever Happened to Whatsisname?” is written on stationery produced by “Seventh Son Industries”, a reference to the Iron Maiden album, “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.”
Pg 123 - “Sound and Fury” is dated to 46731.5, stardate of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “The Chase”. Sari and Bulkhead's clash with Professor Princess from the start of the episode is given a separate reference, 46729.1, stardate of the Deep Space Nine episode, “The Storyteller”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads: “the majesty of Rock, the pageantry of Roll”, lyrics from the Spinal Tap song, The Majesty of Rock.
Behind the image of the xylophone are some lyrics from the Electric Light Orchestra song, Mr. Blue Sky. They read: “Mister Blue Sky, please tell us why You had to hide away for so long Where did we go wrong?”
More lyrics lurk behind the picture of the pinata, this time from the Blondie song, Shayla. They are: “Lost in space and down she came, Suddenly some subtle entity, some cosmic energy, brushed her like shadows.”
Co-ordinates in this page's footer are: “63 degrees 51' 36.13” N, 149 degrees 24' 50.62” W”. These co-ordinates denote the location in Alaska where the body of wanderer Christopher McCandless was discovered. Go look up the book “Into the Wild” for some more info.
Pg 124 – The events of “Attention Surplus Disorder” from The Arrival #2 are rendered as an issue of the Detroit Powell Press, the newspaper which appeared in the Animated episode, “Three's A Crowd”. The lead story is written by Irwin Spoon, a journalist who appeared in a three-part story in Marvel UK's Generation 1 comic. The article contains several references to numerous other characters and concepts of varying obscurity.
The Assisant District Attorney mentioned in the article, Harrison Schweiloch, is named for a friend of the authors, who is thanked for his proofreading help in the acknowledgements of the two Ark books, as well as this one. He's also a real ADA!
Quake-Maker is a supervillain from the UK's Animated comic, later pictured on page 152.
The Mechanic is a human criminal who battled the Autobots in two issues of the Marvel's original Generation 1 comic.
The Jack Boys are a motorcycle gang from the Super-God Masterforce cartoon.
Jake Lomax is a mob boss from issue #13 of Marvel's Generation 1 comic.
Jacob Lee Bonaventure is an industrialist from IDW's Hearts of Steel mini-series.
The sidebar on the page also makes numerous references:
Hannah and Sarah Rose Isenberg are (one would assume!) the real-life daughters of Animated writer Marty Isenberg.
In addition to referring to the Generation 1 Protectobot combiner, “Defensor United” was the name of a “mecha-soccer” team mentioned in the letters pages of the UK Generation 1 Marvel Comic. The team is thrashed by real-life football team West Ham, included as another Iron Maiden reference, as it is the the favourite team of band member Steve Harris; it seems to be a complete coincidence, then, that it is also the favourite of Transformers comic book writer Simon Furman! The match took place at Tigatron Stadium, the venue named for the Beast Wars character which appeared in the Animated episode, “Five Servos of Doom”.
In the Animated universe, the Generation 1 Decepticon ally, mad scientist Doctor Arkeville, is the surgeon general! He recommends Ding Dongs (favoured by the President of the United States in the live-action movie!) as a cure for the hate plague, a rage-inciting disease that appeared in the Generation 1 two-part episode, “The Return of Optimus Prime”.
Racing queen Junko Shiragami is a human female from the Binaltech Asterisk toyline (who was in turn based upon Kelly from Robots in Disguise). Here, she is dating scientist Michael Avery, who appeared in the 2007 movie prequel novel, “Ghosts of Yesterday”.
Street Demon racer Roxy Sparkles (earlier named on page 105) is here noted to be a member of the band Purple Fungus, who were a favourite of Buster Witwicky in the Find Your Fate Junior novel, “Attack of the Insecticons”.
“Princess Ringo” was the nickname by which Kiss Players character Ringo Chikuma preferred to be known. Here, she has recently visited Mont Porte, the country that is home to the Super-God Masterforce Headmaster Junior Minerva.
Pg 125 – Adverts on this page refer to:
Dancitron, a musical event named for a dance club from the Generation 1 cartoon episode “Auto-Bop”. It is located in St. Nick's Hall, location of Iron Maiden's first concert. The Irons theme is continued in the location of the hall - 22 Acacia Avenue, the title of an Iron Maiden song. The phone number of the hall is “KL5-3226” (the number of Homer's Mr. Plow service from The Simpsons). Musical acts attending are all fictional groups from other shows, comics, books and so forth, and include: The New Originals from This Is Spiral Tap, Vitaly Chernobyl from Neal Stephenson's “Snow Crash”, Dingos Ate My Baby from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Shag Carpeting from Ben 10, King Thunder from Quantum Leap, Jerrica Benton from Jem and the Holograms (misspelled – perhaps deliberately? - as “Jessica”), Josie McCoy of Josie and the Pussycats, Scrantonicity from The Office, Mystik Spiral from Daria (misspelled “Mystic Spiral”), Billy and the Boingers from Bloom County, The Lords of the Underworld from South Park and The Electric Insects from Life on Mars. Most significantly for Transformers fans, Cold Slither are also on the playlist; Cold Slither are a band from the G.I. Joe cartoon episode of the same name, created as part of an evil Cobra plot. The piece of music composed as their signature tune was used as incidental music in several Transformers episodes.
Wyatt Toys, the toy store named after Animated art director Derrick J. Wyatt which appears in several episodes of the cartoon. The store is located on the “corner of Winslow and Arizona”, a reference to the Eagles' song Take It Easy, which includes the lyric: “Standin' on the corner of Winslow, Arizona”. The advert notes that the store sells Diaclone and Microman figures, the two toylines that were Transformers' progenitors.
Roadhog Horton's Motorcycle Show, named after Randy “Roadhog” Horton, a member of the bounty-hunting motorcyclist Roadjammers from issue #46 of the Marvel Generation 1 comic. His show also features autograph signings from Rorza, a reference to the Rocket-Cycle Racer from Rigel III of the same name from issue #44.
A horror movie named “Monster From Mars!”, an elaborate reference to the movie of the same name that was the central plot element of “Monstercon From Mars”, issue #45 of the Marvel comic. In said issue, Decepticon Pretender Skullgrin starred in the titular role; this poster features a monster designed to look like Skullgrin in the style of Meltdown's fusion creatures, in reference to the fact that Skullgrin's fellow Pretenders Submarauder and Bomb-Burst were the base for the two fusion creatures in the cartoon. In both the original comic and this version, the movie is directed by Rollie Friendly and stars Jake Colton and Carissa Carr; this version also adds Karen Fishhook, an actress from the Generation 1 cartoon episode, “Hoist Goes Hollywood”. The movie's soundtrack is by the High Rollahz, a band featured in the “Keepers Trilogy” novel, “Hardwired”.
Also playing at the theatre showing “Monster From Mars” are other fictional movies, including “Happy Scrappy Hero Pup” from Clerks, “The Flower That Drank the Moon” from Ghost World, “Jack Slater II: Above Reproach” from The Last Action Hero, “Who Dat Ninja?” from 30 Rock, “Colonel Dracula Joins the Navy” from The Simpsons, “Where Apes Fear to Tread” from King of the Hill (misquoted as “Where Apes Dare to Tread”), “Bikini Party Summer” from Futurama, “Coupon: The Movie” from Mr. Show, “Shao Pai Long” from Macross (perhaps better known to Western readers as “Little White Dragon” from Robotech), “Exploder: Evacuator Part II” from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, “Tinfins” from Sealab 2021 and “Prognosis Negative” from Seinfeld.
Pg 126 – Cybertronix on this page:
The header is the opening sentence from Mary Shelley's “Frankenstein”: “You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.”
The text behind the images at the bottom of the page is from the opening monologue from Quantum Leap. It reads: “Theorising that one could time travel within his own life time, Doctor Sam Beckett led an elite group of scientists into the desert to develop a top secret project known as "Quantum Leap". Pressured to prove his theories or lose funding, Doctor Beckett prematurely stepped into the project accelerator...and vanished. He awoke to find himself in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not his own, fortunately, contact with his own time was maintained through brain wave transmissions with Al, the project observer, who appeared as a hologram that only Dr. Beckett can see and hear. Trapped in the past, Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life”
Pg 127a – Cybertronix in the summary of “Stiletto” includes:
The header reads “watch out for snakes,” a quote from the 1962 horror movie Eegah!, made famous by Mystery Science Theater 3000's lampooning of it.
Sticking with the theme, the text behind the image of Stiletto is the original theme song to Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Pg 127b – Unnamed in the original comic that debuted it, “Bots of Science”, Ratchet here notes that he has dubbed the cure for Cosmic Rust “Corrostop”, which was, of course, the name of the cure invented in the Generation 1 episode that originally introduced the disease. Its ingredients include Ingredient X (also a component of Corrostop in the G1 episode in question) and razon gas, from the Kid Stuff storybook “When Continents Collide”.
Pg 129 – The events of “Headmaster” are dated to 46778.1, stardate of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Frame of Mind”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads “Mars is wild, untamed. I'm forming a cadre of Martian knights charged with enforcing Martian law,” a quote from Sealab 2021.
Get ready for this one... behind the image of the warbot are the lyrics to the theme tune of Neon Genesis Evangelion... in ROMANIZED JAPANESE! Zankoku na tenshi no you ni...
The footer carries on the theme started by the header, offering up the co-ordinates “51.2 degrees S, 30.9 degrees W,” the location of the crater Galle on Mars.
Pg 130 - “The Insincerest Form of Flattery” is time-coded 46830.1, the stardate of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Suspicions”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads “Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth” lyrics from the Rolling Stones' “Sympathy for the Devil”.
Behind the image of the Bulkhead in Powell colours are the lyrics to the opening theme of the Adult Swim show, Saul of the Mole Men.
While most of them are not visible on the page, the text behind the other Bulkheads translates into the lyrics for the Doors' song, “Land Ho”.
Pg 131 - “Nature Calls” is dated to 46844.3, stardate of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “Progress”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads: “The future is not fixed, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves”, a quote from The Terminator.
Below the header, rather than as a footer, are another set of co-ordinates: “0 degrees 40' 0” S, 90 degrees 33' 0' W,” denoting the Galapagos Islands.
Largely obstructed on the bottom left of the page are lyrics from Supertramp's “The Logical Song”: “But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible, Logical, responsible, practical, And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable, Clinical, intellectual, cynical.”
In the bottom right on the page is the opening monologue from the first season of The Twilight Zone: “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”
Pg 132 – Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads: “What do you mean I ain't kind? I'm just not your kind”, lyrics from the Megadeth song, “Peace Sells”.
Behind Megatron's damaged body are the lyrics to the Bob Dylan song, “All Along the Watchtower”.
Pg 133 – The events of “Megatron Rising, Pt II” are time-coded 46853.2, stardate of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “If Wishes Were Horses”. The events of Pt I are noted to have been logged in a separate incident report, dated 46852.2, stardate of the Next Generation episode, “Rightful Heir”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header is a tricky one, as only three words are legible, but it reads: “Whether wholly heartened life fades away,” lyrics from the Beach Boy's Feel Flows.
Behind the image of Megatron is a quote from the Egyptian Book of the Dead: “I am the Lion-god who cometh forth with long strides. I have shot arrows, and I have wounded my prey. I have shot arrows, and I have wounded my prey. I am the Eye of Horus, I traverse the Eye of Horus at this season. I have arrived at the domains. Grant that the Osiris Ani may come in peace.”
Pg 134 – The events of “The Elite Guard” are dated to 46910.1, stardate of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “Dax”. The Elite Guard ship is here given the name the Steelhaven, after the craft commanded by Fortress Maximus in the Generation 1 Marvel comic. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads: “My son, ask thyself for another kingdom,” the spoken line which begins Iron Maiden's song, “Alexander the Great”.
The footer is another set of co-ordinates, “13 degrees 7' 0” N, 122 degrees 32' 0” E”, resting place of the Japanese battleship, Musashi.
Pg 135 – All three pieces of Cybertronix on this page translate into quotes from The Tick. This is, of course, nothing if not fitting: this page is from Sentinel Prime's private journal. The quotes are, from top to bottom:
“You're not going crazy. You're going sane in a crazy world.”
“You know why super villains are so unhappy, Arthur? They don't treasure the little things.”
“I hate broccoli, and yet, in a certain sense, I am broccoli.”
And tucked away almost unnoticeable in the bottom left: “Spoon”, the Tick's catchphrase.
Pg 136 – Sari's notebook paper is decorated with an illustration of “Hello Nekomimi Pop-Star”, a chibified, “Hello Kitty”-style version of Nekomimi A from the Energon episode, “Distribution”. Nekomimi B appears on pg 147 in a similar fashion.
Pg 137 – Cybertronix on this page:
The header translates to lyrics from Eric Clapton's Tulsa Time: “So there I was in Hollywood, Thinking I was doing good, Talking on the telephone line.”
The text behind the image of the Tachyon Transmitter and rapid-transit system translates into Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.
Pg 138 – Garbage-O's are a product of Extensive Enterprises, the evil corporation run by Cobra operatives Xamot and Tomax in G.I. Joe. Also, check out the brand of tyre used for the “O” in Garbage-O's – Wheeljack Tyres! Most of the garbage in the illustration is either a model from Animated or an original drawing by Forster, but snuck in on the left of the page is the cover of the Derek and the Dominos album, “Layla”.
Pg 139 – References on the back of the Garbage-O's pack are copious.
In the “fueltritional facts” box alone, there are references to mercury sauce, a favourite of the Mechcannibals from the Marvel Generation 1 comic; Rarefied Energon, introduced in the Transformers Collectors Club magazine storyline, “Crossing Over”; Energon Z from Zone; several types of Vibranium from the world of Marvel Comics; Morbidium from Bablyon 5; Kryptonite from the pages of Superman; Tillium from Battlestar Galactica; Dalekanium from Doctor Who; Dilithium from Star Trek; Molecular Acid from the Alien movies; Impervium from Star Wars; Bassnium from Mega Man; iron filings, another treat enjoyed by the Mechcannibals; scrith startch (referring to Scrith from Larry Niven's “Ringworld”); chakan oil from Farscape; budianskium basil (referring to Transformers writer Bob Budiansky); protocultured yeast (referring to Protoculture from Robotech); grated gears (a serving suggestion for ants by Beast Wars Rampage in “Transmutate”); chemical x from The Powerpuff Girls; janick jaAm (“janick” from Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers; see below for “jaAm”); m'kraan crystal salt (referring to the M'Kraan Crystal from Marvel Comics); heinlein honey (named for sci-fi writer Robert A Heinlein – anyone picking up on a recurring Heinlein theme here?); melange from Dune; and lastly, aluminum mallard (referring to a space ship from the Space Quest video games).
The little arrow and the “GO!” beside it at the beginning of the maze are lifted from a sticker on the inside of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime toy's trailer.
The word jumble unscrambles to read “You lived a warrior ans died to an hero”, an infamous quote from the late-1990s fanfic by MG-Dinobot, “Dinobot's Old Technology”, which was itself a misquote from the Beast Wars episode “Code of Hero”. The quote went on to become one of the most famous online memes from that era of Transformers fandom. The answer at the bottom of the page, however, claims it actually says “WhY mY ShOuldErs hUrT?”, a tortured quote from British fan Blueshift's famous re-scripting of the first Armada pack-in mini-comic. This was also the source of the above-mentioned “jaAm” line, which was since been immortalized on the license plate and packaging bio of the 2009 Universe Hot Shot figure.
Illustration B in the “spot the difference” puzzle is, of course, Generation 1 Grimlock's character model lineart.
The barcode (also fuctional like the Venus barcode before it) reads BP1729, the serial number of the starship Nimbus from Futurama.
Pg 140 - “Velocity” is dated to 46915.2, stardate of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Second Chances” (note the gaffe in which Bumbleebe gives the wrong timecode for “Nanosec,” instead giving the code for “Total Meltdown”). The sole piece of Cybertronix on this page is part of a quote from Exosquad; in full, the quote reads: “Gravity is the response matter makes to the loneliness of space.”
Pg 141 – The events of “Rise of the Constructicons” are time-coded 46925.1, stardate of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “The Forsaken”. The skirmish with Blitzwing and Lugnut at the start of the episode is coded 46922.3, stardate of the DS9 episode “Dramatis Personae”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header is part of a quote by George Carlin. The complete quote reads: “Honestly may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.”
The large block of text behind the image of Bulkhead is part of a quote from Exosquad's Phaeton. In full, the quote reads: “Of all the creatures who have occupied the Earth, it is we, the Neosapiens, who have proved most fit to rule. The door to our future is opening, and beyond that door lies the road to greatness! Life is a journey. Every action we take, every decision we make, large or small, is a step on that journey! Only when we take the last step is the final destination revealed.”
Pg 142 – Cybertronix on this page:
Spoiler alert! The header reads: “Soylent Green is people,” the famous twist revelation of the movie, Soylent Green.
The text in the bottom-left of the page is the opening text crawl from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. “Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute. Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships, the greedy Trade Federation has stopped all shipping to the small planet of Naboo. While the Congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, to settle the conflict...”
Pg 143 – The evidence reference number X-LN247 is another reference from Max Headroom, where it appeared as a project code on a video tape. This particular bit of information is nowhere to be found on the internet, and eluded me until Bill Forster coughed up the goods! The scrawled-out note below, meanwhile, isn't an easter egg, and just refers to where the machine was found.
Pg 144 – This entry from Shockwave's personal log notes that he created his Autobot persona using data stolen from historical files, a fact originally established by the toy's on-package bio. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads: “He is the Kwizatz Haderach He is born of Caladan And will take the Gom Jabbar,” lyrics from Iron Maiden's “To Tame a Land”, which are in themselves a reference to Dune.
The text behind the devices is the opening monologue from the first two seasons of Farscape. “My name is John Crichton, an astronaut. A radiation wave hit and I got shot through a wormhole. Lost in some distant part of the universe on a ship, a living ship, full of strange alien life forms. Help me. Listen, please. Is there anybody out there who can hear me? Being hunted... by an insane military commander. Doing everything I can. I'm just looking for a way home.”
Pg 145 – Ultra Magnus's memoir is prefaced with a haiku from “Sky-Byte, Decepticon poet”, referencing the loveable haiku-writing Predacon Sky-Byte from Robots in Disguise. He has to be Decepticon here, of course, because there are no Predacons in the Animated universe. In the course of this page, Magnus mentions mitotic sparks, a term from Magmatron's Beast Machines toy bio, the Angarix Sector, a region of space introduced in the Generation 1 episode, “The Quintesson Journal”.
Pg 146 – The events of “Black Friday” are time-coded 47025.4, stardate of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “The Descent,” Part II. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads: “I'm not a number, I'm a free man, Live my life where I want to,” lyrics from the Iron Maiden song, “The Prisoner”. The entire song (and these lyrics in particular) are in turn a reference to the 1960s cult TV show, The Prisoner.
The co-ordinates hidden in the footer are “34 degrees 39' 54.65” N, 133 degrees 56' 9.79” E”, the location of Okayama Castle (the second reference to Okayama in the book).
Pg 148 – Megatron refers to the act of branding the Constructicons with the Decepticon symbol as the “Rite of the Deceptibrand,” after the Autobot equivalent, the “Rite of the Autobrand”, from issue #14 of the Marvel Generation 1 comic. Cybertronix on this page:
The header reads “Don't forget to drink your Ovaltine.” This is a terribly meta reference to the movie A Christmas Story, which features a subplot that involves a kid using a decoder ring to translate a secret message, only to find, much to his displeasure, that it is a commercial for Ovaltine.
The text behind the Rite of the Deceptibrand paraphernalia is a quote from the robot Box from Logan's Run, which reads: “Welcome, humans! I am ready for you! Fish, plankton, sea greens and protein from the sea. Fresh as harvest day. Overwhelming, am I not? Are you, too, startled? Am I too removed from your kin? I'm more than machine or man. More than a fusion of the two.”
Pg 149 – The events of “A Bridge Too Close, Part II” are dated 47182.1, stardate of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “Invasive Procedures”. Part I is dated 471711.2, stardate of the DS9 episode “Cardassians”. Cybertronix on this page:
The header repeats the lyrics from Blondie's Shayla featured on page 123. Bill Forster notes that these were supposed to be lyrics from an Iron Maiden song that got lost in the shuffle.
The text behind Sari's damaged arm, and the final piece of Cybertronix in the book, is the closing narration from the final episode of Robotech. It reads: “Convinced that he will be able to find Rick Hunter's lost battle fortress in the vastness of space, Scott Bernard abandons his homeworld and his past, as he sets off toward the unknown, and his rendezvous with destiny.”
Pg 161 – Starscream uses the expression “a few lipoles short of a nest”, referring to the metal-eating bat-creatures native to Jupiter's moon Io, from the Generation 1 multi-part episode, “Five Faces of Darkness”.
Pg 164 – Lockdown's spaceship is named the Death's Head, after the bounty hunter from the Marvel UK Generation 1 comics, for obvious reasons, given Lockdown's profession. It used to be an “IG-2000” class ship, referring to the Star Wars ship that bore that name (piloted by another bounty hunter, 1G-88) but has been upgraded using parts obtained from the planets Jormungandr (from the Beast Wars Neo manga issue, “A Battle Fought Alone”) and Taxxon (a world of alien centipedes from Animorphs), and the Jabbi-Ko (aliens mentioned in the Marvel Generation 2 comics). It is outfitted with Deckard cannons (named for Rick Deckard from Blade Runner, yet another bounty hunter), Samus-blasters (named for Samus Aran from Metroid, our fourth and final bounty hunter reference), Vandarian holographic technology (from the same planet as the Vandarian fuzz-worms mentioned in a “Mini-Mayhem” strip on the Transformers Collectors Club website) and cybertitanium cables (made from the metal introduced in the Japanese Generation 2 storyline). The ship has isomorphic controls preventing anyone other than Lockdown from piloting it, as does Doctor Who's TARDIS. Lockdown rounds out the paragraph by saying “a bot's got to know his limitations”, paraphrasing Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force.
Pg 165 - “A three hour tour!” cackles Blitzwing, quoting the theme tune of Gilligan's Island.
Pg 170 – Bulkhead describes candy as being like Ultra-Energon for kids, referring to the super-charged form of the Transformers' customary fuel that first appears in IDW Publishing's Infiltration series.
Pg 171 – Halloween costumes seen on this page include G.I. Joe characters Cobra Commander, Destro and Flint, and an incarnation of Strawberry Shortcake, albeit with a cherry theme, rather than a strawberry one. While I'm only really listing references that are created for this book, rather than ones that originated with the show, these designs don't appear to have made it into the finished cartoon, so they're debuting here, and worth making a note of!
Pg 174 – Newscaster Lester Black is revealed to be the great-nephew of Hector Ramirez, the news reporter created by Sunbow writer Buzz Dixon, who appeared in G.I. Joe, The Inhumanoids, Jem and the Holograms and the Transformers episode “Prime Target”.
Pg 178 – Mayor Edsel is revealed to be the nephew of famous actor Harold Edsel, who appeared in the Generation 1 episode “Hoist Goes Hollywood”.
Pg 183 – The Sidney Biggles-Jones Memorial Solar Fusion Plant is named after the scientist from the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe storyline that led into the Generation 2 comic. Scientists named as working on solar fusion are Brian Jones (from Energon), Daichi Onishi (the Japanese name of Doctor Kenneth Onishi from Robots in Disguise), Peter Morris (from the Marvel UK Generation 1 comics) and Felix Adle (named after Professor Adle from the Stargate Battles manga, who did not have a given first name).
Pg 185 – In the top right, an Animated version of Bobby Bolivia from the live-action Transformers movie appears, in another example of a design that was created but never implemented before this book.
Pg 189 – Jeff Litvack is a friend of Jim Sorenson's, who he credits in the acknowledgements of this book. Krista Kohlhausen is Bill Forster's “favourite person,” according to the acknowledgements of The Ark.
Pg 200 – The generic Sumdac Systems technicians are named Eddie Fairchild and Matt Conroy. These are the names of two prototypical characters who existed in the development phase of the Generation 1 cartoon, who eventually evolved into Spike Witwicky and Chip Chase.
Pg 203 – Noted architect George R. Apple. G.R.Apple? Anybody? Anybody? C'mooon!
Pg 206 – The Nemesis is equipped with a Grand Mal class force field, named after the Grand Mal, the giant fortress-cum-giant head occupied by Beast Wars Megatron in the latter stages of the Beast Machines cartoon. It has a cybertroid alloy star drive (just like the Generation 1 Nemesis, as mentioned in the G1 episode “Microbots”), and has the most sophisticated sensor array this side of the Eshems Nebula, a region of space introduced in IDW Publishing's live-action movie-based Defiance series.
Pg 207 – To escape the damaged Nemesis, the Decepticons used Devolan escape pods. The planet Devola was the site of a huge victory for the Decepticon Tidal Wave in the Armada universe.
Pg 211 – The crashed Decepticon ship on Archa Seven is named the Twilight, after the flagship from the Marvel Generation 2 comics.
Pg 219 – In his “thanks to” section, Bill Forster declaures “Up the Irons!”, another reference to Iron Maiden. All of his thanks, meanwhile, are anagrams. Most can be solved by consulting the acknowledgements section of the two Ark books:
A Bipedal Glitter – Brigette Padilla
Shank Author's Lake Inn – Krista Ann Kohlhausen
A Glacier Ax – Alex Garcia
Ace Circle Gun – Gene Carlucci
Am. Roadway Ten – Andrew Yamamoto (one M short...)
A Data Memory – Marty Amodeo (an O instead of an A there...typo?)
Rancher Chilli Swoosh – Harrison Schweiloch
A Red Minion – Iron Maiden
Baron Ye Gult –
Friar Ilia Tote –
Dankly Woolens –