The Ones That Stick With Me · 12:26pm
"Are you ever going to write a sequel to Fallout: Equestria?" I'm willing to bet that's the question I've been asked more than any other.
There are a few reasons why I have sworn to myself not to write a sequel. The first is simply this: the epic story that I really wanted to tell has been told. It wouldn't be right to try to top it just for the sake of doing so. And, as a fan once stated, any attempt "would lack the scale and gravitas of the original." More importantly, as I've said before, I don't want to step on the toes of all the other wonderful authors who have used Fallout: Equestria as a jumping-point for their own Wasteland stories. Many authors strive to keep their stories as canonical as possible to Fallout: Equestria. The absolute last thing I would want to do is to discourage someone from continuing their story by suddenly rendering it "impossible in canon".
However, none of that logic and best of intentions has kept my creative mind from dreaming up ideas for stories set in the world that I created with Fallout: Equestria. Most of these are flights of fancy whose appeal evaporates in under a month. But there are four story ideas that have persistently knocked on the door of my mind. For most of them, I'll occasionally mull one over for a week or two before shelving it again. (Mind you, even if I decided to, none of these ideas are fully formed enough to start writing, each lacking crucial elements.) For the first, I found another way of bringing the story to life. And the last? I know another skilled author is already telling their own tale of what would be a vital part of that story, and I just learned a couple days ago that another part of it is about to be tackled by one of the community's incredible artists. (It is that news, in fact, that stirred up these stories in my head again and drove me to make a blog post about them.)
So I have no idea if this will be interesting to anyone else, but if I don't at least write about them, they're going to eat my brain. These are the story ideas that have stuck with me:
Fallout: Beyond Equestria
Radiation -- ghouls need it to live, Red Eye's engines need it to run. But the Gardens of Equestria have eliminated all radiation from Equestrian lands. The afterword Ten Years Later ends the story of Fallout: Equestria with the shadow of a new energy crisis on the horizon. Set decades after the Gardens of Equestria, this story starts with an ambitious and dangerous proposal to build and detonate a megaspell in a geographically secluded part of Equestria for the purpose of creating an irradiated zone. But when (a very elderly) Fluttershy (the only pony who can reconstruct megaspell technology) politically kills the proposal, an private entrepreneur decides to circumvent the NCR Council and mount an expedition into the heart of the zebra lands to find and retrieve a balefire bomb. Fallout: Beyond Equestria follows that expedition into the unexplored places beyond the Equestrian Wastelands. But in the zebra lands, things are not as they seem. And the new threat which has taken hold there is ready to turn its eyes towards the expedition ponies' homeland.
This story is actually being told. With this one, I have a great plot idea, and a setting that allows all manner of new world-building... but no ideas for characters. And that made this perfect to be reworked as a Fallout: Equestria roleplaying campaign. You've already seen bits of the tale in my Crystal Empire blogs (part one and part two).
Fallout: Above Equestria
Lucky Strike is a pegasus, a non-citizen civilian, and a provider for his family. When his wife needs medical treatment, despite being a pacifist, he is driven to join the military in order to gain citizenship... just weeks before a "megaspell terrorist attack" plunges the Enclave into war with the world beneath the cloud curtain. The story would first follow Lucky Strike and the fellow recruits of his squad in the first days of the war, then Lucky Strike and his family as outcasts struggling to survive on the surface, and finally Lucky Strike and those who soar with him as heroes in the Pegasus Civil War.
This story would play a lot with perceptions of the events in Fallout: Equestria from the point of view of those on the other side of the original story's final conflict. It would also allow for a lot of development of the Enclave and pegasus society. A major thematic element in this story would be family. And one of the ideas that I've toyed with is introducing an alicorn character in part two (based loosely on an RPG character) who would have some very different concepts of family -- both from Unity and from her previous life as a raider. This story has a lot of conceptualized scenes and characters, a solid beginning, some strong moral themes and great potential for world building... but only the sketchiest ideas for the plot arc and character arcs. It's nowhere near something that could be written. (I'm also not a real fan of the title.)
Fall and Rise
Littlepip inspired the ponies of the Wasteland to rise up and make things better. The Wasteland Crusaders were young, idealistic ponies who took up the call for heroes. On the other end of the spectrum, the two heroes "Lion & Mouse" served as a counterpoint to the Wasteland Crusaders -- powerful, weathered veterans with a more cynical, vigilante agenda. In that, they served their purpose in the story well. However, they were introduced late in the story, with little "screen time" and no character development -- they were already at the end of their personal, unseen story arcs. This story would be their story. Primarily, it would be Lionheart's story, beginning in the sunny days of an Equestria at war, and culminating with The Battle of Dragon Mountain.
This story is by far the least developed of the ideas, and has change both title and concept several times. One concept was to tell their stories through the eyes of others, each chapter being a snippet of someone else's life at a point where she or he crossed paths with either Lionheart or the dragon who would become Mouse.
The Search for Harmony
The closest idea to a direct sequel, but a radically different style of story, The Search for Harmony would be a slice-of-life story following the adventures of Calamity, Velvet Remedy, Ditzy Doo and Homage as they search for the final two Bearers for the Elements of Harmony. With occasional guidance from Littlepip (who is searching for promising candidates though the surveillance systems of the SPP), and the aid of the Life Bloom back home, the four will travel to all corners of Equestria in their quest. In the course of these adventures, they get involved in quests and situations stemming out of the consequences of Sunshine & Rainbows and the beginnings of the Pegasus Civil War, and have to deal with the ramifications of events in the original story. Along the way, they form the bonds of friendship that are key to the magic of the Elements.
This story would focus on the growth and development of the characters. The format of the story would be a lot like the television show Lost. Each chapter would focus on one of the four characters, and be told with present-day events inter-cut with scenes from their past. Calamity's chapters would explore his past growing up, his time with the Enclave, and his Wasteland experiences before meeting Littlepip. Velvet Remedy's chapters would explore her life in Stable Two, as well as events in the story from her perspective, including events that Littlepip wasn't there for (such as everybody else's adventure while Littlepip was alone in Fillydelphia). Ditzy Doo's flashbacks would span experiences as far back as show-era Equestria. And Homage's would tell tales of her adventures with Jokeblue, Tenpony conspiracies, and how she became worthy to be the next DJ Pon3. These chapters would help show how each of these characters became who they are, and the trials of their virtues that forged them into suitable Bearers of the Elements of Harmony.
The story would also include occasional "Interludes" that would shift away from the four to look in on Life Bloom as he struggles with the massive bulk download of two months of Littlepip's memories and all her associated commentary. (Life Bloom is, after all, the only pony who has the magical talent to view those memories without taking two months to do so.) These Interludes would also detail Life Bloom's decision to create both The Book of Littlepip and the Repository -- the latter being a historical archive featuring the entirety of Littlepip's two months of memories divided amongst hundreds of memory orbs -- and the Twilight Society intrigue surrounding the hotly contested decision to make the Repository open to the public. (After all, The Book of Littlepip would certainly become a very inconvenient truth for a lot of people, and there would be plenty who would try to reinterpret, cast doubt or deny the events altogether no matter how widespread and overwhelming the collateral evidence -- we have holocaust deniers in the real world -- so Life Bloom and others would insist on having an available source of empirical evidence for any who wanted to check the veracity of The Book of Littlepip. But knowledge is power, and some ponies won't easily give up the chance to hoard it for themselves. Worse, Homage gave Littlepip a tour of the secret places of Tenpony... and while most of that happened between scene changes in the book, the memories are continuous, and that makes letting outsiders see them into a security threat.)
Obviously from the write-up, this last idea is the one that I have entertained the most.