“Hey!” Pinkie Pie tapped on the veil separating their world from ours. “So I’ve noticed a lot of you have been complaining that Konseiga hasn’t done a couple things that you would have liked to have seen. Well, listen up!”
The pink pony began to pace back and forth, taking on a teacher-like demeanor. “The first thing I’d like to address is the conspicuous lack of me and Rarity in the last chapter. Well, as Konseiga was churning out this story for your reading pleasure, he decided that, with the atmosphere he had created, Rarity and I didn’t quite fit into the scheme of things.” Pinkie Pie shook her head. “We just don’t like the kind of games Luna does, sorry!”
“The second thing,” Pinkie continued, planting her flank on the ground with a thump, “is all the complaints about ‘why didn’t you use this game?’” She affixed the audience with a glare. “Konseiga was attempting to make the story believable by using games that he played himself. He doesn’t own a Wii or a Playstation 3, so quit berating him over games that he didn’t include. He’s doing his best, okay?”
Pinkie Pie cut her glare off and gave the audience a wide smile. “He’d also like to thank everyone for making his work popular. It was hardly posted for two days, and it got over three-and-a-half thousand views!” She clapped her hooves together excitedly. “Which is amazing! He appreciates ever single one of you commentators, followers, favorite-ers…” her ears twitched. “Favorite-ers? Is that even a word?”
She threw her hooves in the air. “Forget it! It hardly matters! Without further adieu, delay, or any sort of hampering on my part, I’d like to present the second part of ‘There’s a Gamer in All of Us’. Bring out your popcorn and crack open those cans of soda with those strange spiders attached to your hooves, because ‘Community Gaming’ is comin’ at ya!”
And with that, Pinkie Pie reached out of the frame and drew a curtain of blackness over the veil.
Munch munch sip munch munch. “Yeah?”
Luna frowned. Her sister had hardly moved from the Royal Gaming Swivel Chair. Despite the younger alicorn’s efforts, the floor had remained a constant mess of empty coffee cups, chip bags, and various crumbs from snack foods that the white alicorn had consumed. “I think you should take a break.”
“Your note has been noted. Please note that your note has been noted by this noter,” Celestia’s gaze remained glued to the computer screen.
“Noter isn’t even a word,” Luna accused, “and I’m serious. You’ve been playing for over three days straight.”
“I see no problems with this,” Celestia said in a contented tone. “The world hasn’t ended, has it?”
“Not yet,” Luna muttered. The Night Princess was glad that she had regained her touch since coming back from the moon, letting her move both the sun and the moon without too much effort. She had done just that, lowering the moon and raising the sun not a few minutes ago.
It was annoying, though. “What are you even playing now?”
A look of irritation flashed over Celestia’s face. “Ponycraft 2: Horns of Liberty.”
“Oh? When did we get that?”
“Yesterday,” the white alicorn replied.
“You never left the house!” Luna exclaimed. “When did you go pick that up?”
“Silly, silly sister of mine,” Celestia chided. “You underestimate my magical prowess. I merely teleported a copy to myself.”
“YOU STOLE A COMPUTER GAME!?”
“’Stole’ is such a harsh word. Everything belongs to m- us… anyway.”
Luna threw her hooves in the air. “Whatever, your highness. So what are you doing in Ponycraft?”
“Conquering the Reptile Race as the Pony Race. I’m so OP,” Celestia giggled. “Now, if you’ll excuse me…” she waved a hoof dismissively at her sister.
Luna tsk’d and mockingly bowed out of the Royal Computer Gaming Room. “I’ve created a monster,” she muttered under her breath. “Still, at least she won’t bother me while I try to play MY games. And the day just started, so…”
With a squee, Luna bounded onto the Royal Gaming Couch, flicking on both the Royal Gaming Plasma Television and the Official Royal Gaming Console.
As the green box flickered to life, however, Luna was hit by a wave of a feeling she always dreaded; disinterest. She realized that she had no true desire to immerse herself in her own lonely little world, conquering whatever planet or killing some unfortunate enemy player.
No, what she craved was a little bit of community, and a whole lot of classic fun. With a small smile on her face, she levitated the Royal Communications Device over and dialed a number.
“Yes, Twilight?” Luna smiled. “I’m fine, thank you.” Pause. “No, Celestia isn’t mad at you.” Pause. “Yes, I gave her your apology.” Pause. “Yes, she accepted it. Hey, listen. Are you and your friends free today?” Pause. “You are, but you don’t know about the other five?” Pause. “Lovely. I would like to invite you all over to the palace.” Pause. “Not, it isn’t official. Just think about it as some community time with your princesses.” Pause. “Great. See you soon.”
An hour and a half later, an apprehensive group of six ponies were standing awkwardly in the Royal Reception Hall.
“Um, hello?” Twilight called out. “Princess Luna? Princess Celestia?”
A bumping sound came from a plain door situated behind the throne as it was kicked open. A midnight blue hoof beckoned to the group. “Twilight and co.! Please, come on in!”
“Okay…” Twilight took the lead as the six mares slowly approached the door. The alicorn’s hoof had disappeared back inside the portal, and the faint pulse of music came from the open door.
“FRICKEN’ CELESTIA, THIS IS SWEET!” Rainbow Dash refused to complete the cliché, choosing instead to hasten into the Royal Gaming Lounge. A smug-looking Princess Luna was situated on the Royal Gaming Couch, with the Royal Plasma Television aglow.
“Fricken’ me what?” Celestia poked her head out of the door to the Royal Gaming Computer Room.
“Hey there, Princess,” Rainbow Dash waved a cerulean hoof at the ruler of Equestria, but the disinterested alicorn had already retreated back into her enclave.
Rarity blinked. “Princess Luna, I don’t mean to pry, but your sister looks positively disheveled.”
Luna cracked a smile. “I guess that’s mostly my fault. I turned her on to Real-Time Strategy games.”
Rainbow Dash stuck her tongue out. “Yuck. I never had the patience for those.”
“Patience is a virtue, Rainbow,” Twilight chided.
“Don’t lecture me, miss Equine Warfare. You’re always diving into those virtual conflicts guns blazing.”
Twilight shrugged. “Situations call for action.”
Fluttershy scraped a hoof against the ground. “I r-really don’t l-like those k-kinds of games…”
Rarity and Applejack nodded in agreement. “Violence is simply un-fabulous,” Rarity affirmed.
“Yeah, I never really got inta ‘em mahself,” Applejack added. “Which brings me ta mah next inq-, que-, awh, hayseeds, mah next question. What exactly are we doin’ here?”
“Don’t be rude, AJ,” Rainbow Dash waved a casual hoof. “Whatever Luna has planned, I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome!”
“Well, I figured that, even though you six have spent more time with my sister than most ponies throughout Equestria, we haven’t spent time together.” Luna smiled at the six. “So I decided that we could have a relaxing day together, as friends.”
“So what are we going to do during this funapalooza?” Rarity inquired. “Makeovers?”
“Save h-helpless animals?”
“Iron Pony competition?” (Applejack and Rainbow Dash said that one together.)
“Read?” Twilight asked excitedly, drawing strange glances from her six companions. “What?”
“Equestria to egghead,” Rainbow Dash teased, “not everyone likes burying their noses in books all the time.”
Twilight deflated. “I’m so fragging you next time we play together,” she threatened quietly.
“Actually,” Luna floated an archaic looking box in front of the six, “I thought we might have some fun with this.”
“A box? Does it have streamers and confetti and balloons?”
“No, Pinkie Pie.” Luna smiled. “Well, somepony should open it.”
Rainbow Dash floated over, wings flapping slowly, and opened the box with careful hooves. Her eyes went wide as she saw what was inside. The other five moved closer to see what made the rainbow mare react in such a way. Their jaws dropped.
“I’ve only read instruction manuals about this!”
“Oh, darlings, I haven’t seen one of these in ages!”
“Wowzers! I still have one of these!”
“M-me too, Pinkie…”
“Uh, what in tarnation is it?”
Applejack was immediately barraged by disbelieving sounds. “Are you kidding me?” Rainbow threw her hooves up in exasperation. “You’ve never seen a Equindo 64?!”
“Uh, nope. Ah sure as hay’ve heard about this ‘Equindo’ company. What’s the 64 mean?”
“This was the first ever console to utilize a dynamic color scheme consisting of sixty-four bases and any combination thereof,” Twilight coolly explained.
“Put that in farmer pony-talk, and maybe Ah’ll get it this time around.”
“It was special,” Twilight frowned. “That’s all there is to it.”
“Yeah! And you can totally drop cakes and pies and all manner of baked goods on them and they’ll still work!” Pinkie Pie giggled. “And you’ll find no party pony who can beat me at Pony Kart!”
“Care to make that a wager?” Princess Luna teased, floating out a grey block-like cartridge that was curved on the top.
“Bring it, sister!”
“Four ponies can play at once. Who wants the other two spots?” Luna floated up two controllers. One of them was immediately snatched by Rainbow Dash.
“That wasn’t completely unexpected,” Luna muttered. “Anypony else?”
“Um, I-I’d like to have a turn. If you don’t mind…” Fluttershy scuffed a hoof against the ground.
“Absolutely, Fluttershy,” Luna smiled and passed her the controller. “We can rotate after we’re done.”
“Oh, don’t mind us, dearies,” Rarity waved a hoof. “I’m just interested to see how this turns out.” Applejack and Twilight nodded in agreement.
Luna quickly set up the Equindo 64 to the Royal Plasma Television. “Such glorious pixilation, don’t you think?”
“Can’t tell if complaining or sincerely impressed,” Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes at Luna.
“Enough talk!” Pinkie Pie yelled. “Let’s get ROLLING!”
“Dibs on the skinny dragon,” Rainbow Dash called.
“What?! You can’t have Toasty!” Pinkie Pie shrieked. “I ALWAYS play as Toasty!”
“Then I guess you’ll have to change your style a bit, huh?”
“I’ll be playing as myself,” Luna claimed.
“O-okay,” Fluttershy said with a shy grin. “I’ll play as Celestia.”
“WHAT?!” Celestia peeked her head out again. “LIKE HELL YOU’RE GOING TO PLAY FOR ME! I’m having WAY too much fun, and if you even THINK about taking this from me, I’ll send your flank TO THE MOON!”
Slam! The door shut tight.
The seven ponies looked at each other, wide eyed. “Uh, ‘Tia?” Luna called out. “We’re playing Pony Kart. Fluttershy isn’t going to play for you, she’s just going to play your character, okay?”
“HAH! ONLY NOOBS TRY AND CHEESE THE GREAT PRINCESS CELESTIA!”
“She’s not listening…” Luna facehoofed. “Fluttershy, don’t worry about her. She’s gone a little crazy.”
“I’m sure she’ll be fine. She’s a princess, after all.” Rarity asserted. The rest of the ponies just shrugged and turned their attentions back to the Royal Plasma Television.
“Guys, this is still a problem!” Pinkie Pie moaned in horror. “Who am I going to play?!”
“Play as Weegie,” Twilight suggested. “You can’t go wrong with Weegie.”
Growling, Pinkie Pie flicked her control stick until a green earth pony with a mildly disturbing expression on his face was highlighted.
“What course do you guys want?”
“ROYAL RACEWAY!” Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash yelled in unison.
Luna shot an amused look at a timid Fluttershy. “Royal Raceway alright with you?”
A checkered flag filled the screen for a split second before the Royal Plasma Television split into four sections. The cartoony ponies and one dragon were settled on horrendously undersized carts, and Applejack couldn’t help but snort at the peculiar sight.
A baby chicken (“Scootaloo?” Pinkie asked quizzically) that was settled on a cloud was holding a vertical traffic light. It flashed red twice, then glowed blue, signaling the start of the race.
“Hey! Cheater!” Rainbow Dash yelled as Pinkie immediately blocked the pegasus’s vision with a round pink flank.
“I’m using my resources!” the pink pony snapped in reply, earning a swift hoof in the backside.
“Get outta my way!”
All four ponies became completely absorbed in their controllers, tongues sticking out at the sides of their mouths. The track was a long and elaborate string of paved roads, neatly groomed hedges, and glistening ponds. All things considered, it looked fairly tame.
A set of three red dragon scales popped up in a box at the corner of Fluttershy’s screen. The yellow pegasus pony glanced at the other three racers. They were all vying for first, so Fluttershy quietly fell behind; far enough take her out of the competition for first but not far enough to take her out of the race.
Pretty soon, the pony spectators figured out why. A huge jump over a tranquil moat loomed ahead. A deviously uncharacteristic grin split Fluttershy’s face as her character gained a ring of spinning red spikes.
“Don’t fall into the moat, Pinkie!”
“Watch your own flank, Dash!”
Luna just giggled.
Luna was the first victim of Fluttershy’s homing scales. Her character exploded on contact with the projectile, and was promptly flung into the moat. Luna exploded with laughter, the controller falling out of her telepathic control.
Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash were the next victims, being struck almost simultaneously by Fluttershy’s destructive weapon. Both were flung immediately into the moat, and the two players’ jaws dropped.
“THAT WAS SO COOL! You suck, but it was cool anyway! (Did I mention you suck?)”
The rest of the race was a complete blowout, as the three other racers merely shrugged and admitted defeat. Fluttershy’s Celestia zoomed around the course in less than five minutes. Pinkie Pie looked like she was on the verge of tears, but she hugged Fluttershy anyway.
“Congratulations, Fluttershy,” she sniffed. “You officially have the title of best Pony Kart player in all of Equestria.”
“Oh, thank you, Pinkie.” Fluttershy smiled warmly. “I think I’m done playing for now, though. I’ll let some pony else have a turn.”
Rainbow Dash gave everypony present a look that would wilt flowers. “I’m not done yet,” she muttered, guarding her controller jealously. “I’m tired of playing Pony Kart, though.”
“But you only played one game,” Twilight pointed out.
“And I’m tired of it!”
“Ah, let ‘er be, Twi’,” Applejack chuckled. “She’s jus’ a sore loser, is all.”
Rainbow Dash muttered something that rhymed with “mucking witch” and turned back towards the Royal Plasma Television.
Luna just nickered with amusement. “Well Rainbow, I might have a game that better suits your tastes.” She floated another grey cartridge in front of the rainbow mare’s face. Rainbow’s jaw dropped.
“No way! You have Celestial Smash Sisters?” a thin line of drool ran from the corners of Rainbow’s mouth as she mindlessly snatched at it.
“THE ONLY THING I’M SMASHING IS THE OPPOSITION! BEY-YETCH!” a howl of laughter came from the room Celestia had barricaded herself in.
“You should get her hearing checked soon,” Rarity suggested.
“She’s wearing headphones.”
“LUNA!” Rainbow Dash screamed. “ONE VERSUS ONE!”
Luna raised her eyebrows at the two ponies. Applejack and Twilight looked at each other, grinning. “Actually, Rainbow,” the lavender unicorn started, “we would like to play.”
The cerulean pony growled, but nodded.
“So it’s going to be a team setup!” Luna said happily, turning on Celestial Smash Sisters.
“Me and AJ,” Rainbow said quickly.
Luna grinned. “If you insist. Twilight?”
“At the ready, Princess,” Twilight replied.
The four ponies dove into the game. Luna and Twilight had both picked the Royal Sisters (oddly enough, Twilight was Luna and Luna was Celestia), while Rainbow Dash and Applejack had both picked two bulky-looking earth ponies. One of them was extraordinarily annoying and kept darting around yelling “FALCON HOOF!” and the other pony was dressed in orange looking armor and kept throwing around a long blue chain.
Applejack was the first casualty of the game. Her character had “FALCON HOOF”’d into a terrible position, and Luna ‘sent her to the moon’, making Applejack’s character disappear. Huffing, Applejack bumped Twilight, who was locked in a flurry of hoof punches with Rainbow Dash.
“Hey! Quit cheating!”
Unfortunately for Applejack and Rainbow Dash, the orange pony’s K.O. was just a harbinger for things to come. The two Royal Sisters tore through the comparatively weak earth ponies.
“STOP SENDING ME TO THE MOON!” Rainbow Dash yelled.
“I ONLY SENT ONE PONY TO THE MOON!” came the resounding shout from Celestia’s game cave.
Luna snickered and swiftly scored one last K.O. on Rainbow Dash before time ran out.
“Blue team wins!”
“Awh, yeah!” Twilight and Luna gave each other a high-hoof. “Blue Team for the win!”
“It’s a good thing Celestia is the most imbalanced thing on the face of Equestria,” Luna snickered.
“YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT! I’M OVER POWERED!”
“Seriously,” the Rainbow Pegasus moaned. “That’s really getting annoying.”
“ANNOYING?!” Celestia came flying out of her enclave, chip debris in her mane and her bloodshot eyes wide. “DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S ANNOYING? SPENDING A THOUSAND YEARS ON THE MOON!”
Celestia’s horn glowed a bright white, enveloping all seven ponies, who vanished in a bright flash.
“There,” she sighed. “Now I can dominate in peace."
“No!” Konseiga shouted, angrily standing up from his chair. He had been playing this little pony-based RPG for a few hours now, deciding to put off working on his other projects. His back ached and his eyes were tired, but he balled his hands into fists as he glared at the screen.
“That’s the fifth time I’ve ended up on the moon, even though I played through it perfectly!” he ranted. “Screw it, I’m going to get food. It’s a stupid game anyway…”
As he slammed his room door shut, a grinning face of a certain white alicorn popped up on his computer screen.
“Successful trollicorn is successful.”