All throughout the book series are scattered random references and minor details.
References to Outside Material
- In The Road to War, specifically in the short story Retrospectus, the Saratoga's ventral power vault is located behind "panel nine-and-three-quarters": subtle, but a reference to the Harry Potter franchise, which features a 'Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters' at a railway-station.
- The Lancer's Creed is a thinly-veiled version of the Rifleman's Creed. My apologies to all those who might find this offensive.
- On that same note, the Medical Oath aso borrows heavily from the Hippocratic Oath.
- In Author of the Gust when Hunter Jusenkyou meets Ryo Sansen in a cave, he comments that he is "lost, and not ready to try Hare Krishna yet". This is actually a reference to the Great Muppet Movie, in which everytime one character mentions being lost, someone else asks them if they've tried Hare Krishna. The same scene is repeated from Hunter's perspective in The ByWay to Freedom.
- It's no coincidence that every time the cardinal elements are mentioned, they always appear in the order: earth, fire, wind, and water. Even when one is missing, they are always arranged in that configuration. This is a subtle nod to Captain Planet. You can pretty much imagine the intro-sequence to that show every time you read those four words and you've got a good idea of what's going on inside my head.
- The card game even allows you to summon a special unit called Kernel Earth.
- The covers of all five books are colored black, red, blue, green, and white: the five colors from the trading-card game Magic(R): The Gathering. Further, the title of the opening story from each book references the MTG Invasion dragon cycle. Finally, the MTG colors are traditionaly listed in the order Blue, Black, Red, Green, and White. If you place the Course Books in that order (by cover) you get Blue: The Concourse to Victory, which contains the first story-order introductions of most characters, and then goes on to directly set up numerous events for Black: The Path to Ascension, which leads quite fluidly into Red: The Road to War. Finally, Green: The Inclination to Destiny followed by the final book White: The ByWay to Freedom. While this does not place all the stories in chronological order (this is impossible without splitting the books up), it does present a good order to read.
- The name of Arch Magus Julius Phinius Juto follows aristocratic Roman naming structure, except in the choice of components: 'Phineas' is a Greek name, and 'Julius' was never a first name, in the modern sense, until the Renaissance.
In the short story Curious and Long Forgotten Lore, the memory card from Jason's digital camera has a a capacity of "60 L", a reference to the "Sager Pyramid" from The Office.
There are a lot of minor shout-outs to Star Trek in there:
- Hunter Jusenkyou's teacher at Gudersnipe is named Instructor Gailen, & Gailen was also the name of Captain Picard's archaeology professor. Picard describes Gailen as "like a father who understood [me]". Hunter does not have similar feelings about his Gailen.
- Hunter's ship is called the Saratoga, & this is also the name of the ship Ben Sisko (of Deep Space Nine fame) was assigned, before the series began. It's unclear whether this is a deliberate reference or a random coincidence.
- A component of the Python Reactor (the FTL propulsion system used in the books) is called a "warp coil": a component of the warp drive from Star Trek.
This refers to actual figures in stories or articles, not the #-#-# you see scattered at seemingly random. Any time numbers appear in the series(or even here on the wiki) you can assume one of three things:
- The numbers are based on some multiple of three and eight (3, 8, 5, 11, 13, 15, 24, etc, etc)
- The numbers are the result of extensive research and practical mathematics and are, at least as best as can be expected, accurate. OR have some actual meaning within the story-world (E.G. the Saratoga's Registry Number).
- The numbers are someone's birthday, phone number, bra size, some historical event, or any number of referential things.
Numbers are, in the Course Books, never random.
Of the planned Course Books-related IP, if you take the various books, group them by series, then arrange the various series in chronological order, the number of books in each series are: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8. Fibonacci numbers.