More Blog Posts164

  • 3w, 14h
    Pinkie's Saucy Chocolate Chaos Crisis

    I wrote Seth a poem for Eqd. I hope you enjoy it, probably the best you'll get out of me for a while! ;)

    0 comments · 44 views
  • 3w, 21h
    EqD April 01

    Pascoite and I have been helping out Seth and have gathered a list of all season 7 episodes, see it here:

    I actually like a lot of these ideas. They are all top-tier feature box bait. Someone please write them, you have my permission for the ones I came up with, which are:

    Sauces for Horses, Part 1

    To-may-to, To-mah-to

    BBQ For You

    Twilight Signs Up To Tumblr

    The Tooth, And Nothing But The Tooth

    Ponyville Nightmares

    Ponyville Goes Meta

    Sweet or Savoury?

    The Return of King Sombrero

    Now You Sea Me

    The Death of Twilight Sparkle

    Scanners 2

    Say Cheese

    A Souper Day Out

    Clearly a Vegetable, Part 1

    Also I wrote Seth a poem, that should be up soon too!

    8 comments · 141 views
  • 4w, 17h
    Story thing signal boost

    Hi everyone

    Garnot has written a story that is a sequel to a story someone else wrote that was based on a tune I hummed once, and he said he will never leave me alone or play computer games with me again if I don't signal boost it

    It's about ponies doing stuff I guess. I bet it has Scootaloo in it. I hope it does.

    2 comments · 76 views
  • 44w, 9h
    Rainbow Dash Presents

    So, this happened:

    29 comments · 717 views
  • 100w, 1d
    Equestria Daily: The Clicking Game

    8 comments · 615 views
  • 106w, 5d
    Exciting new fan theory blog project

    Did you know:

    Twilight Sparkle died at the end of season 3?

    Omega is the chief villain of Doctor Who and we've already seen him?

    Tony Stark is a robot?

    Game of Thrones is the sequel to Battlestar Galactica?

    The Cutie Mark Crusaders are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

    I BET YOU DIDN'T! Because clearly you guys aren't as good at watching stuff as me, and you need my kind guiding hand to show you what to really think!

    This is an EXCITING NEW blog where I post the absolute best fan theories I can think up and then try and defend these crazy wild statements. Does that sound good? No! It sounds AMAZING!

    "Boy this is amazing and I hear there is new content EVERY DAY! How can I keep up?"

    Well, little Timmy, there is some sort of Twitter feed thing:

    And some sort of Facebook page thing.

    Feel free to join those if you want, I will use them to secretly keep track of who is my real friend and who is my enemy

    Also if you see something especially dumb, blog it or share it with your friends and family in the hope of winding them up! I'd appreciate any and all pimping of this!

    I also need ideas, either suggestions for theories or completely written out theories. It could be about any tv/film/book, but they gotta be 1) Barking mad and 2) Somehow evidenced. Just saying crazy things with no justification isn't half as fun.

    13 comments · 534 views
  • 107w, 3d
    Season 7 synopses

    I have been helping out Seth by using my Hasbro contacts to leak season 7 plots. I think these are fantastic, so if anyone wants to turn one into a fic, feel free.

    9 comments · 365 views
  • 121w, 3d
    Doctor Who Humble Bundle

    Hi guys! Very important news: There is a Big Finish Doctor Who Humble Bundle up! These are full cast audio plays and you can get them for really cheap, which doesn't make me bitter as I paid a heck of a lot more for them a while back. OH WELL.

    Seriously though. $15 for a ridiculous amount of Doctor Who. It is such good value you'd need to be insane to say no if you're vaguely interested.

    Just to help tip you into buying, here is what they have:

    Tier 1 - Pay what you want

    Dalek Empire 1 & 2. This is a collection of two series of audio plays, 1 hour each and 8 in total. The Doctor isn't in them, these are the adventures of those roguish Daleks as they try to take over the universe and kill everyone. It is a lot of fun, though the first series is better than the second, I think.

    Tier 2 - Pay the average

    You also get Dalek Empire 3, which is 6 x 1 hour stories, featuring David Tennant (though this was made before he became the Doctor)

    There is an additional locked content, which is rumoured to be the collection of three stageplay adaptions, where they got the original cast of official stageplays from the 60s, 70s and 80s to record them. I hope it is them as they are... interesting

    Tier 3 - $15

    The Lost Stories - 8 stories, 1 1/2 hours each

    This is the best bit, I think. Back in the mid 80s, Dr Who was cancelled (put on 'hiatus') for a year, and everything they were going to make got scrapped. This is a collection of stories that were going to be made but weren't, or ones that were going to be made but passed over for other scripts.

    Basically, they are a mixture of amazing (Point of Entry) and mind-bogglingly awful (The Hollows of Time). All of them written by tv professionals, and some of them scuppered only by circumstance. There are more good than bad though, and the bad ones (for my money Mission to Magnus and Hollows of Time) are SO awful they go right round into becoming good.

    Meanwhile I am still D:, we will see what the new year brings

    5 comments · 356 views
  • 122w, 5d
    The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Thingy Things

    I saw the new Hobbit film! Yeah, that was a thing. If you like a 2 hour fight scene, then this is the film for you! There was a lot to like but I found myself clock-watching quite a bit during it. Can you guess which are real spoilers and which are hilarious fake ones:

    Smaug dies in the pre-title sequence

    They accidentally film a page of Peter Jackon's fanfic from when he was 12, when Gandalf is rescued by the X-Men teamup of Galadrial, Elrond and Christopher Lee who must fight the Ringwraiths! Radaghast turns up late, having popped round the back to get the car (his rabbit sled). Then Sauron turns up and they have to fight him too!

    Christopher Lee does kung-fu and somersaults everywhere

    Thrushes talking to people is silly and so was removed from the adaption. But ravens talking to people is perfectly fine.

    The orcs team up with the sand worms from Dune

    Legolas has gained the power to defy physics and can run up falling masonry in midair.

    Orcs and goblins are literally made of paper. It is not unreasonable for one character, even a peasant, to cut through 50 of them in one go.

    The chief orcs have 1000 hit points and are practically invincible. Thankfully they stay nowhere near the battle.

    Bard just vanishes from the film about 3/4s through, but not before he has SURFED ON A CART TOWARDS A MONSTER!

    Thorin gains the ability to spawn fully armored battle goats using only the power of his mind

    Radagast saves the day by summoning eagles and air-dropping Beorn at the attacking Orc army. This is so efficient we don't even need to see the army be defeated, we can just assume it is.

    Beorn, the shape changing bear guy, is only in the film for five seconds. His actual role in the story is given to Legolas.

    There are only four armies

    24 comments · 518 views
  • 137w, 5d
    Rise gets 5th place!

    The results for the EqD contest are in! Rise came 5th out of 109! Not bad, not bad at all!

    That means I am a winner and as I am in the top ten, I get some art too! Yay! What art that will be, who knows! I'm very happy about the placing though!

    Go read it if you've not yet!

    10 comments · 520 views
  • 139w, 4d
    BUCK 2014 Fanfiction Panel

    Hi guys and gals!

    BUCK is coming up this Saturday, and is very exciting (if you are going, that is!). Even more exciting than that is that there will be a FANFICTION PANEL starring all your favourite people (and me).

    If you are going to BUCK, please come along and say hi! It will be at 11am on the Saturday morning, more details here:

    Joining me, will be Knighty, Scribbler, Arcanium, Greatodyer and Metaphor

    (You may remember that Scribbler did some amazing readings of some of my stories, and Arc decided Scootaloo sounded like a pirate for our Fimfic charity livestream. I certainly haven't forgotten!)

    Come on, how amazing does that sound! If you're at the con and don't go, your life will be full of tears!

    (No idea if the panel will be filmed and put online, I don't think so, unless anyone is planning on going along with a camera!)

    4 comments · 526 views
  • 140w, 1d
    'Rise' has, uh, risen

    I am a machine! A pony machine! It turns out that after a few weeks of scraping out a few hundred words on another story, the threat of a deadline on this one got me there with time to spare!

    Yup, 'Rise' is now complete, and actually within the word limit. The response has been amazing, and so I really hope it doesn't disappoint. Some of you might be upset it is a self-contained story (though it was always going to be, and the ending was the first thing I thought up). I may return to this idea though, and I have no problem with anyone else wanting to riff off it!

    I ended up above a thousand words above the word limit. Fimfic's word count isn't as accurate as gdocs, but it was still a bit much. I ended up removing some minor bits, but also the firefly section. I will leave it below, and might drop it back in after the contest has finished! So uh, sorry if you liked that bit!

    Something caught her eye. A flicker of light above the enormous entranceway to the castle. It was fire in a jar.

    No. Misty narrowed her eyes, looking closer. She started to storm toward the entrance, a new sense of determination rising. It wasn’t fire. With a leap she rose into the air, ignoring the screaming of her sore wings as they took her closer and closer to the jar.

    It was sitting on a ledge above the door, sending gentle light all around. It wasn’t fire though. She pressed her face against the smooth glass, watching the trapped fireflies within, circling their tiny prison.

    “Don’t worry, I’ll get you out of there!” she whispered urgently, looking this way and that in case a pony should see what she was up to. When she was certain the coast was clear, she hefted herself onto the top of the jar, which seemed to be made out of metal. Despite the obvious join, she could see no gaps in the top. She tried using her sword to pry it apart, but nothing would budge.

    “Damn pony magic!” she cursed, sinking down beside the jar in defeat. She watched her pained reflection, illuminated by the streaks of light from within. An idea formed in her mind; she slowly stood up and hefted her front limbs against the jar. “Okay, little buddies! Hold tight!”

    Straining against the glass, she hefted as hard as she could. It began to scrape against the ledge and then started to violently shudder and topple. Misty fell forwards as the jar launched itself onto the ground, barely managing to not fall herself. Below her, it exploded into a thousand shards of crystal that lit up as the fireflies danced free, soaring into the black of the night and vanishing amongst the stars.

    Misty smiled. She had done it. She had struck a blow against the ponies the like of which had never been seen before. It wasn’t enough though. Winter was still coming. But there was something the ponies didn’t know. Misty was coming for them.

    Now to finish Seapony story!

    5 comments · 632 views
  • 140w, 2d
    EqD Prompt Competition Madness

    Okay guys, I have put everything on hold in a frenzied attempt to actually write a story for the EqD Outside Insight Summer Fanfic Contest. I have posted up what I've done in order to shame myself into finishing it. Another 5k by tomorrow... it's doable!

    Actually, my worry is that it will be too long, as the limit is 15k. But then I guess you all still get a bonus story, so everyone wins!

    Let me know what you think!


    It is about Breezies, but EVEN SO give it a go!

    5 comments · 507 views
  • 142w, 5d
    Video Review: Twilight's Best Friend

    I just got messaged by Emeraldcomet who showed me a video review he did of my story Twilight's Best Friend. I always like to see what other people made of my stories (and if you do something like this, please let me know!)

    It's an old story (early 2011 I believe) but still one of my favourites, if a little rough around the edges in retrospect! Anyway, check out the review here:

    3 comments · 499 views
  • 143w, 1d
    Prompt fics!

    1 comments · 531 views
  • 143w, 2d
    Free and Cheap Doctor Who audios

    I know a lot of you also follow Doctor Who, so it would be totally remiss of me not to mention this. Big Finish, the company that make Doctor Who audios, are celebrating their 15th anniversary this week. Over the course of 15 days they are putting up different special offers.

    For the next 24 hours only (so GO GO GO), they have several of their audios for download for £1 each. A pound! Or whatever that is in dollars. And they accept Paypal! There's no excuse! Three of the ones on offer are some of my favourite stories in any medium ever, which is why I'm pretty keen to spread the message. So seriously, even if you are only slightly interested in Doctor Who, go and pick up the following, in order of preference (again, £1 a download! Mad cheap!)

    Jubilee - The story the New Who episode 'Dalek' was adapted from, but much more massive in scope, and even better (and 'Dalek' was a 10/10 episode as it is!)

    The Holy Terror - By the same writer, by turns absolutely hilarious and terrifying. Also it features a shapeshifting penguin from the Marvel comics

    Spare Parts - An origin of the Cybermen story. It is credited as 'based on' in the New Series episode 'Rise of the Cybermen', but apart from a few scenes, there is not much similarity. As this one is good.

    The offer is good for the next 24 hours only! Go go go! The link to all the other offers is here, but everything else pales in comparison to the above.

    Also they have put up some free short stories. I've not listened to them yet so I've no idea if they're any good.

    No Place Like Home

    The Ratings War

    2 comments · 475 views
  • 143w, 5d
    Most Dangerous Game Judging Reviews - 4

    The last lot of reviews for the Most Dangerous Game competition. Don't forget to vote for the finalists here! I will upload the reviews of the finalists after the competition has finished.

    Rest for the Weary, by Nightwolf289

    Story: A dying soldier travels to Equestria, turns into an alicorn and meets Fluttershy.

    I didn't really get a feel for this story, I'm afraid. There's an awful lot of timejumps that just skip over all the character development, so it is more like getting snapshots of something longer than an actual story. All we know about the soldier is a few melodramatic speeches, and despite the length it seems like everything happens too fast. There's not really much more to it than 'Fluttershy cares for someone', which is a well-tread trope all by itself.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria, OC alicorn, shipping (a bit)

    Less is probably more in this case. The OC alicorn part, for example, is unexplained, and nothing would change in the story would the human have been turned into a normal pony. The human himself is very undeveloped, which makes the relationship undeveloped. The story skipping months in between sections doesn't help this either.

    Two Roaming Souls, by Belligerent Sock

    Story: In the future, Spike wanders the lands with a little human, looking for a witch

    I wanted to like this story more than I did. The style is good and the start is intriguing, but as a whole it feels very incomplete. The entire story is about Spike travelling into the forest with a human (who remains a cypher) to find a witch. They find the witch, it turns out it is Zecora, and she informs them that the girl is a seventh Element of Harmony and... that's the end. It feels more like chapter 1 of a longer work than something in its own right, as it ends just as it begins to explore its premise.

    Also the human speaks in anagrams. I found that annoying, as it just created more work to actually enjoy the story.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria and Seventh Element of Harmony

    While the actual setup of the story is nice, the human aspect feels very disposable. Due to the aforementioned language issues, there is no real engagement between her and Spike, and she remains a mystery. In many ways you could replace her with any other creature or even object, and the story would work the same. The writer tries for a double-score by inserting a seventh element right at the very end, but this backfires and just raises more questions than it answers. Sometimes, less is more.

    The whole thing feels like the setup to something longer. It's a story I'd enjoy reading, but taking this chapter as the entire story, doesn't feel complete at all.

    The Hunter’s Story, by Borg

    Story: A pony hunter discovers that ponies are actually intelligent.

    An oddly dark story; part of the style is quite simplistic in places, but that helps make it feel that big darker, as it's left to the reader's mind to work out some of the nastier stuff that is left unsaid. I liked the general concept behind it, but everything happens very fast. There's not really much time to get into any of the character's motivations and the idea that this character (and many other humans) have been in Equestria for over two years and yet none of them ever realised ponies could be intelligent stretches credulity too much. None of the ponies really react as if Equestria has been under siege from humans stealing ponies either, it's all business as usual. If there was more time spent working on these background issues, the story would have ended up a lot stronger.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria

    I like that the prompt wasn't a straight human arriving in Equestria, and actually involves another maligned idea, that of 'ponies arriving in our world', instead postulating that this is because humans actively travel to Equestria to hunt them. As before though, it's not really developed much past that, and there are several glaring plot holes that distract from absorption in the story.

    Trial by Flower, by AugieDog

    Story: Ponyville's third (fourth) most popular seed seller gets to help out when crocodahlias attack.

    Crocodahlias! What a great name! This story gets points from me just from the cleverness of this. It's a nice story; the characters are all well defined in a short space of time, the main character has a good voice, and the pacing is good. There's not a whole lot of incident in the story, but it is short so this works in its favour.

    Prompt: Second person and OC shipped with mane

    Two prompts used here, with varying degrees of success. I thought the second person narration was excellent: there's a good use of voice, and the writer gets all the characterisation across effortlessly. I also appreciated the use of the format in skipping time from the point of view of the main character as well. The shipping is less successful - I enjoyed the distraction of him liking Twilight and her not knowing his name, when the real ship was with Fluttershy, but that ship, whilst telegraphed early, lacked an amount of substance, based mainly on Fluttershy liking the look of his backside.

    Awakening, by Razalon the Lizardman

    Story:  A human travels to Equestria and discovers he is really a fictional character created by ponies who record the adventures of lifeless meat-puppets onto crystals for entertainment.

    The idea of a human travelling into the fictional Equestria being flipped on its head is an interesting one, but I'm not sure the story really explores this in any meaningful way. The set-up, that Lyra and Iron Will have a room full of meat-puppets that they move about and film on crystals is a bit hard to accept given how outlandish it is, and there's not really much effort put into explaining why this is a logical chain of events.

    For a story told in second person, we don't really get any view on the character's emotions. He (I assume) sees the bodies of all his family and friends lying discarded, and barely seems to care, then we are told they break down, but the narration style doesn't change at all to reflect this. Then the main character recovers really, really quickly! It's an interesting idea, but not really supported by the rest of the story.

    Prompt: Human and Second person

    As I said before, I really liked how the 'human in Equestria' prompt is turned on its head, even though the story doesn't really fulfil the promise of the concept. The second person narration starts well, but as the main character practically drops out of the story for the last third, it becomes more third-person. It feels like a trick was missed at the end, if the point is that the main character is undergoing mental turmoil, you would expect the narration to focus on that rather than a clinical description of what everyone else is doing.

    Eternal Love, by BumbleFlow

    Story: Luna falls in love with a pony.

    Pretty much as it says on the box. Unfortunately this story is riddled with grammar and spelling errors which are very distracting. I am generally quite laid back about stuff like that, but even I found it hard going. The sentences are either really short or really long with lots and lots of commas, that makes it a strain to read, though the style does improve towards the end. I'd suggest to the writer that they go over their story and use what they learnt as they wrote it to rework the start.

    As to the story... I was intrigued by the description, about how Luna falls in love with a mortal and decides to make him immortal, but... that's the entire story. That's it. That's actually the ending of the story. I don't like judging stories on what they're not, but it feels like the interesting idea happens at the very end and then isn't explored. The rest is a rather rushed romance.

    Prompt: OC falls in love with mane character

    Yes, falling in love with Luna is dangerous, as far as the fandom goes! Props to the writer for trying a tricky one. However there is no real build up to any of the relationship, and the actual 'getting to know each other and falling in love' section mostly happen between chapters 1 and 2. The OC doesn't really have much of a personality either. As a result, the reader never really gets a chance to get to grips with what is going on.

    Weeping Fire, by Civviq Writer

    Story: There's quite a few grammar errors I picked up right off the bat, which unfortunately spoiled the reading of this. The story is about the reader travelling to Equestria and turning into a pony where they meet their terrible alicorn OC, Weeping Fire, fall in love with Applejack and then go home.

    I feel like it falls too far on the side of 'parody' for my liking, especially given the contest rules about no parodies. The story is also very rushed, with so much going on that it's hard to get involved at all. Making it longer or focussing on one or two of the many plot elements inside it would have helped focus the story, as it is there is just too much going on and it becomes confusing.

    Prompt: second person and OC alicorn

    I'll give the writer points for trying, there's more than one prompt used here! (Yes, I know you only need to use one, but fortune favours the bold!). There's definite second person and OC alicorn, also an attempt at human in Equestria (though they are ponified so it doesn't count) and one of the mane 6 falling in love with an OC (the main character falls in love with Applejack, but it is unclear if she returns the feelings, as this is near the end and it feels quite rushed.

    I think the narration counts as second person (as it seems to be narrated at the reader), there are tense mistakes and it shifts into first person a few times, which is distracting.

    The use of the OC alicorn doesn't really seem to have much to do with the story, in that if you take her out it would pretty much be the same, given how light the actual story is. Their name also changes halfway through to 'Healing Fire'. Additionally, calling the alicorn a 'terrible Mary-Sue' in the story seems to push it too far into 'parody' which is against the rules. Still, I will give points for effort, as there is a big effort to go all-out.

    Servant of Chaos, by Yukito

    Story: A unicorn is left with wings after an attack by Discord, and everyone hates her for it.

    This story is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it's quite refreshing, and paced well. Nothing about it outstays its welcome, and the basic idea is nice. On the other hand I found the core concept hard to swallow - yes, the story talks about how terrible Discord's attack was, but only briefly and then we only get the hatred towards the character to back it up. Without that foundation, everyone seems mean for the sake of making a sad story sadder. The ending also seemed very contrived, with the main character getting a chance to save the life of the little pony that befriended them, when no-one else could! That said, I liked the style, and I don't say that often about first person present tense!

    Prompt: OC alicorn

    An interesting use of 'OC alicorn' as they aren't technically an alicorn... or are they? Sadly the story doesn't really seem that interested in exploring that idea. It's also very difficult to place the setting - is it in the past, the present day, or the future? We  have a mention of Celestia, so whilst everyone is hating on this pony for being 'marked by Discord', surely someone would have thought 'hang on, they look like a princess!'. None of these are deal breakers, but their omission was very odd, especially in a story dealing with the experiences of someone in the main character's situation.

    Foals, by Scarheart76

    Story: Celestia has babies

    This story annoyed me. I'm seriously really annoyed right now. Not because it was bad, far from it. It was a great story, or at least start of a story. Yes, what we have so far is excellent, but it is clearly just the setup for something longer. More than anything, this is clearly a chapter 1. It's a story I'll be wanting to follow, but in its current state it isn't even a story and as such is impossible to judge. If it is complete... it's not a story. If it isn't complete, then it is very good, but can't be compared to the other, complete stories in this competition.

    Prompt: OC alicorn and Human in Equestria

    The OC alicorn aspect, ie Celestia's babies is very good. Yes, they only appear at the end, but their impact is felt throughout. The human in Equestria aspect is literally shoehorned in and serves absolutely no purpose at all. You could remove the parts with the humans and not a thing would change about the story.

    The King in the Mountain, by Carabas

    Story: So, it turns out Celestia has a brother she keeps locked away in Tartarus!

    I'm in two minds on this one. On the one hand, the pacing is quite odd. The first section where Celestia arrives at Tartarus doesn't really add much (if anything) to the plot and actually, I found it a bit confusing, as it wasn't apparent it was Tartarus Celestia was going to visit until she actually entered. The meat of the story starts 1,500 words in, which is a bit of a pace killer for a piece so short, especially as this preamble doesn't really seem to add much to the overall themes of the story.

    Once we get to the story proper, there's bits I liked, and bits I liked less. I liked some of the sprinklings of pre-history put into the story in a non-infodumpy way, I liked the idea of each alicorn having some sort of personal 'Nightmare' within them (which begs the question, what is Twilight's?) and the author has some fantastic turns of phrase. I can buy into the central concept, but the OC alicorn comes across as a bit comically villainous for my liking, murderer of cities and children that he is. As a result, there's not really a moral argument to be had (as he's super evil and is unrepentant about it), it's not about what to do with him (as he's been locked up there for years) or how Celestia feels (we know from the start she is still quite angry, as yes, he's a horrible murderer). The ending was interesting, though! I feel like the story would be stronger as a whole if it had more of that ambiguity in it.

    Prompt: OC Alicorn

    We've got an evil black alicorn, though it seems like Carabas is playing it a bit safe by having him be a sibling of Celestia's from pre-history. The story is certainly about the evil alicorn, and there's some interesting alicornisation stuff thrown in to boot. It's not the first evil black alicorn I've seen, and it won't be the last, so while it loses some points for originality, it gains those points back by using it in a more novel way. Once the actual story starts, it gets quite a lot done in a short space of time.

    And That’s How Equestria was Made..., by Dusty the Royal Janitor

    Story: Equestria is created!

    This is a tricky one to judge, actually. It's not a story in the traditional sense, instead it is a creation story, set out like a tale of old. There's no real plot or thread moving through it apart from 'the creation of the world', but at the same time, this isn't something that type of story really sets out to do, so that isn't a failing. The style of writing certainly feels right and I like the G1 references. There's some nice original idea here, but it does feel more like a source document to support other stories than a work in its own right.

    Prompt: OC Alicorns

    OC alicorns! Loads of them! Coming out of your ears! I feel that the writer has played it safe a bit by having all the OC alicorns as god-like beings in the distant past, but then he does do some ridiculous things such as having one with six wings and yet still make it feel 'right' in the sense of yes, these are akin to the crazy Greek gods. There's also an alicorn Lauren Faust called Faust; I know that is a lot of people's headcanon and I won't begrudge anyone for it, but it isn't the most original idea and dangerously skirts the 'don't use any existing OC rule' for this competition.

    Remember Vigil, by Supersnot

    Story: An alicorn called Vigil stands guard over something mysterious, and meets Twilight Sparkle.

    I feel this is a story of two halves. On the one hand, there's an interesting idea here, the writer doesn't overplay his hand by revealing too much, and it's a very focussed story. On the other hand, there's not much to the plot, nor is there really an exploration of why Vigil is standing watch over something he knows nothing about, apart from some ponderous asides. Stylistically the story is quite difficult to get on with. Part of this is due to grammatical issues with comma overload, but part is due to the voice. It's very stilted - at first I assumed this was because Vigil was narrating it, but once it hits third person, the narrative style is the same, and then Twilight talks in the same tone. It's quite heavy going, I'm afraid.

    Prompt: OC Alicorn

    It's an interesting use of an OC alicorn, in that they're not obviously all-powerful, but just stuck in a location as a guardian. Unfortunately it does mean they are interchangeable with any other guardian character such as, say, a sphynx or golem or anything. There's nothing about Vigil that makes him uniquely alicorn, nor does the story explore this; you could swap him out with any other mythical long-lived creature and it would read the same. It's a minor criticism, but something that struck me, especially in a competition that revolves around the prompt.

    The Magnificance of Pinkamena Diane Pie, by The_Weatherbug

    Story: Pinkie Pie gives a speech about how earth ponies need to murder everyone else, all earth ponies are cool with that.

    With dark stories, and especially stories like this that have a plot which relies on pretty much every aspect of the theme being changed completely (in the olden days, the unicorns and the pegasi murdered babies! Flim-Flam get to adopt Apple Bloom! Pinkie Pie's a bit like Hitler! Everyone is into good old ultra violence!) there needs to be some sort of easing in and worldbuilding to ensure the suspension of disbelief. There's not really anything like this in the story; instead we have Pinkie Pie as 'Pinkamena' giving an angry rant about how in the distant past, the unicorns and pegasi were jerks, so the earth ponies need to kill everyone and take over, and the entire audience is absolutely fine with this concept.

    Pinkie doesn't sound anything like Pinkie Pie. It could be argued that this is the point as she is 'Pinkamena', but then that begs the question of why use her in the first place if her personality is going to be completely different. The story tells us that Pinkie is a bit crazy, and that everyone is going along with her for some reason, but never why. Given the use of 'you' in the second person, this lack of motivation is a bit strange. The idea of angrily wanting justice for some ancient wrong which is completely out of living memory is actually an interesting one, and relevant to our own world, but this story doesn't really explore that. The idea that something bad happened thousands of years ago is seemingly met with a logical 'let's kill everyone now, then!' without any dissent. Then Pinkie murders Thunderlane because he's a filthy pegasi.

    Also there's a spelling error in the title.

    Prompt: Second person

    The narration isn't really that involving. For example, early on apparently 'you begin to rant a little', but as the story doesn't give a hint as to what 'you' are ranting about or anything you say, it creates a divide where 'you' don't feel that you are 'you' at all, as you don't know what 'you' are doing. Unfortunately, the narrative style doesn't add anything to the story. 'You' are just a passive onlooker, watching Pinkie Pie give a speech so there's never a chance to do anything interesting with the prose style. All of the action is taken up by Pinkie Pie and other characters; it would just take a few tweaks to turn this into a third person story.

    Outlier, by FanOfMostEverything

    Story: A human wakes up in Equestria, has a chat with Lyra, leaves.

    I need to be quite careful here, as it seems that this is an authorial self-insert. I was going to mention that I felt the use of long, verbose speeches upon waking up in Equestria didn't seem particularly 'realistic', but then I don't know the author. Perhaps this is how he speaks. The latter half of the story flows better and is a lot more naturalistic, but the first half feels really stilted. I can't tell from the story whether the human knows what is going on (he certainly has some long speeches prepared and knows some mysterious acroynms [which are only explained in the author's notes, bad writer, bad!]) but at the same time acts confused and doesn't even know if ponies speak english. I imagine this is more down to the length of the story and tryng to get everything in it that needs to be there, but having such self-assuredness alongside confusion about some of the basics was an odd mix.

    Actually, that's a thread that goes through this story. I like the central idea, but there doesn't seem to be any point where the main character has any sort of change or comes to a decision about his situation. He seems to arrive in Equestria already knowing what he is going to do (nothing) and why, but at the same time is quite surprised. Apologies if this is not what is happening, but that is my reading of it. It feels like the important part of the story happened in the moments before the story began.

    Also, there's a Harpflank and Sweets reference. That made me smile.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria

    This is a story that is not only all about the prompt, but grapples with it and attempts to deconstruct it, the idea being 'what would it really be like?' or at least deals with that question for the author’s own situation. I can even forgive the use of Lyra in this sort of story, as it is needed for the deconstruction genre. I'm not sure if it goes far enough in this respect, in that while we are told the character's thought processes, we don't really get to understand them.

    7 comments · 625 views
  • 143w, 6d
    Most Dangerous Game Judging Reviews - 3

    Some more reviews for the Most Dangerous Game competition. Don't forget to vote for the finalists here!

    Beneath Harmony, by Rootbeer Dew

    Story: The OC alicorn-related origins of the Tree of Harmony

    A bit of a tricky story, this. There is an exciting tale in here, but the style makes it really tricky to get into. For some reason the sentences are all really short and most of the paragraphs are one sentence each. It is also unclear exactly what is going on at the end, and why the alicorn is asking for forgiveness.

    Prompt: OC alicorn and 2nd person

    As mentioned, the style of writing is extremely hard to read as it's quite stilted. The whole story isn't second person, as it breaks for third person for a section. The OC alicorns are undeveloped apart from several unneeded detailed descriptions.

    A Sparkling Gem, by Havok SCOUT

    Story: Someone is kidnapping ponies!

    This is a story which had a much stronger start than ending. Actually, once the villain is revealed, I'm not really sure what to make of the ending, where she just gives up and everyone forgives her for kidnapping children and sucking out their lifeforce in a horribly painful way. Though it is Scootaloo, so maybe everyone is secretly happy? Despite the story being second person, I didn't really get a handle on the main character (or even realise they were an alicorn until halfway through). Overall it feels like it runs out of steam at the mid point.

    Prompt: Second person, OC alicorn

    In many ways, the prompts seem the least important part of this story. Yes, it is in second person, but this style doesn't really add much to the story, and it is functional at best. The alicorn aspect may as well not be there, save for a few mentions, and there's an attempt at shipping that doesn't really go anywhere. Points for effort, but I wish any of these had been developed and worked into the story a lot more.

    Those Forgotten, by shinygiratinaz

    Story: Discord has locked up all the alicorns

    Really, this story is two separate but linked vignettes: an alicorn who is imprisoned and thinking about his life, and Celestia confronting Discord about it. The first section is okay, but the character is not really developed much aside. The second section has an effective ending, but Celestia's sudden confrontation with Discord is jarring - surely if he really had kept all the alicorns locked up that would be her first priority; no explanation is given as to why she's suddenly getting round to sorting it out now. Also she talks about 'defeating Discord' as something that would let them free... but didn't that happen 1000 years ago anyway? It's a nice idea, but too short and needed more exploration of the ideas and motivations.

    Prompt: OC alicorn

    The OC alicorn in this story is more symbolic of the whole race of alicorns that Discord has locked up, rather than a character in his own right. As such we don't really get a sense of character from him, especially as the story is a tale of two halves, and the second half is just Celestia and Discord. I like the concept overall, and the ending is actually effective, but could have done with more fleshing out.

    And the Prairie Grass Blew, by Avid_Reader

    Story: Flashback Granny Smith shipping

    This is one of those stories that I dread reviewing. There's nothing /wrong/ with it per se: technically it is well written, there's nothing about it that strikes me as bad... but at the same time it was just a slog to get through. It lacked any sort of spark that encouraged me to want to read more. It's difficult to express why though, since as I said, technically it was good. I think it is a combination of flat characters and lack of incident. Not bad, but not good, either.

    Prompt: OC shipped with main character

    This feels a very 'safe' use of the prompt. Granny Smith is no-one's favourite character, but at the same time is one of the few characters in the show who clearly had some sort of relationship in the past. There's not a lot in the relationship either, it all feels pretty much by the book, with very few hooks.

    Omega-7, by KaBar41

    Story: Some humans arrive from space to shoot some aliens and rescue some horses.

    This is a very military story, complete with men with guns shooting things until they explode and lots of swearing (I am not a fan of swearing in stories based on MLP, but I won't hold it against the writer). The story assumes that the reader knows what the world is already, as there is not a lot of effort put into the worldbuilding, either. It feels like the reader is expected to understand the setting before it has been portrayed. There's no explanation of who the 'Com' aliens are until much later, and then only briefly. It feels a lot like a crossover, in fact, in that the writer is writing in what seems to be an already defined world.

    The story as it stands is very light and ends almost as it gets going. The most interesting part is the intro where it states "All of these accounts were taken from helmets and interviews" and then unfortunately turns into a normal story. Something told via interviews and 'helmet-cam' pieced together in a documentary style would be far more interesting.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria

    Military humans in Equestria is an old trope, and this story doesn't really do much with the idea. I feel like I've read this story already several times. Additionally, the use of Equestria is very vague. You could easily replace it with any other planet/lifeforms and the story would play out identically. I did like the mistranslations used in dialogue though, that was interesting.

    Our Little Accident, by JMac

    Story: The life of an alicorn born to two scientists.

    I thought overall that this story was quite sweet, and certainly an enjoyable read. It takes place over a long period of time, which means some sections that could be felt to be important are skipped over, and others (most notably the start) are covered in a lot of detail, making the lack of detail in others feel strange. But if not being long enough is the only criticism, then we're in good hands.

    Prompt: OC alicorn

    The story is about the childhood of this OC alicorn. As it encompasses a large span of time, it is by necessity quite brief in places, though gives a decent overview of the character. I feel it would have been effective if there were some more character beats, as mostly we are told what this character is like rather than shown it. The parts where we are shown it is good, and I'd like more in that vein. Also perhaps a bit more to explore the ramifications of the ending for all the characters.

    Wander, by Jet Howitzer

    Story: A human arrives in Equestria with a fish

    This story feels more like setup than an actual story. We get the box ticking of a human arriving, meeting a pony, then meeting Celestia and then it ends. While his backstory is interesting, it isn't really developed or explored. The pacing of the story is also strange for a complete tale, as the first half deals with the pony Whisper meeting him, and the second half about Celestia. If this was just a chapter 1, it wouldn't be a huge issue, as a standalone work, it is.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria

    This story doesn't really do much with the prompt that is out of the ordinary, or explore it much. The entire story is about the human meeting ponies and Celestia and agreeing a way forwards, and... that's it. It reads more like the setup to a much longer story. Whilst the Hitchhiker's reference is cute, it does take up an awful lot of the story, and skirts very close to the 'no crossovers' rule for this competition as it feels like most of the story is about the babelfish (or Adams Fish, as in Douglas, I assume).

    Tainted Reflection, by Imperaxum

    Story: One of Pinkie Pie's reflections from the mirror pool escapes destruction and goes to live with the griffons

    Yes, you've read that right. No, it isn't season 3 still. There was a time when Fimfic was flooded with every possible combination of these stories, and it feels a bit odd to see one pop up now. The first third of the story being basically a novelisation of that episode hurts it a lot, but I guess it is a necessary evil to bring the reader up to speed and ensure it is a complete entity. Once the story becomes original, it improves a lot more. It's a fun, interesting read, though ends a bit suddenly, I assume due to it coming up to the word limit.

    Prompt: 7th element

    I struggled to find the prompt in this story, to be honest. I assume it is a '7th element' due to one mention (though technically it is Pinkie's element split in half). It feels really shoehorned in to the story, as if this was a story being written anyway and just had this prompt pushed into it to make it eligible. It is a tangential relation at best, which is a shame as overall I liked the story.

    Ascension, by BlazzingInferno

    Story: A newly-ascended alicorn has a hard time adjusting

    This story is an enjoyable read: the characters are decently strong, it is paced well and has enough in it to keep the interest. That said, it feels a little light overall. The story works towards a 'moral', but it seems to be at the expense of everything else. There's a bigger story in there that has been restricted by such a tight focus. That said, I did enjoy reading it.

    Prompt: OC Alicorn

    This story deals more with the effects of alicornisation in an interesting and readable way. Whilst the reader feels sympathy with the main character, there's not enough backstory to really gain that much appreciation of their character. I appreciate wanting to keep some of the pre-alicorn stuff til the end, but this does affect how the reader sees the character. What there is, is good though.

    Johnny Never Knew What Hit Him, by Horse Voice

    Story: A human who is injured in a war travels to Equestria, becomes an alicorn, gets engaged to Rarity, yada yada

    This is a story that is far more clever than its premise would have you believe. Pretty much every point that I felt wasn't done well turned out to be absolutely deliberate, and fits together into a quite engrossing narrative with a scary monster at the end. Perhaps my only criticism was that the ending felt a bit rushed, and doesn't really get to grips with what the main character is feeling after all the revelations thrown at him. Still, a good, entertaining read.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria, OC alicorn, OC shipping and 7th element (sort of)

    This is mainly a human in Equestria and OC alicorn story, with the other prompts being handled in a very interesting way. I don't want to say more than that because it's a good surprise, but it all feels natural, and very effective. I was fooled, at least!

    I Ain’t Your Sacrifice, by Dragor

    Story: A pony finds himself in the clutches of a cult who is murdering foals to resurrect King Sombra.

    Well that was grim! There's stuff to like in this story: it's not too long, the backstory is nicely laid out and it has a good ending. That said, a lot of it relies on the characterisation of the main character, but this doesn't really come across. He starts off not wanting to get murdered and deciding to escape, and then almost instantly decides to join up with the evil murderous cult, all the time giving a lot of chatty dialogue. Perhaps if this was developed more, the story would flow better.

    Prompt: I don't know

    I'm genuinely unsure what the prompt used here is. I am assuming it is 'OC alicorn' but aside from a mention of the character being 'red and black' and about how special he was when born, it isn't mentioned anywhere in the story. There is an exchange where he states he is a unicorn 'yet has a horn'; I assume that was an error and meant to be pegasus with a horn? It's not clear.

    In Times of Need, by Pascoite

    Story: Luna summons a human to Equestria to help.

    There's a lot to like here. Pascoite's style is good as always, and it's an easy and interesting read. That said, the story itself feels rather piecemeal. While the parts where the same actions are narrated from different perspectives are good, the shifting of viewpoints from Luna and the human at the start, to Twilight at the end confuses the story somewhat. Luna vanishing only to reappear having solved the crisis off-page is jarring; I think this story would benefit from something more from her point of view at this point, rather than having to rely on her explain what happened to Twilight. I got the feeling that the story was supposed to be about sacrifice, but as this is held back as a late twist, it's not really built up to as much as it could be.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria and Seventh Element

    Points for using two prompts in a way that feel natural, though I don't feel that either are adequately explored. There's not really enough time spent with the human to get a good feel for him (and it felt strange that for someone who lived in a world where MLP was a real show he didn't recognise Twilight) and he drops out of the narrative at the end as the story becomes more about Luna. It actually feels like you could swap out the human for anything else and the story would work the same.

    The seventh element idea is more interesting, albeit introduced late and  not really delved into much. As Twilight notes, Luna is very flippant about this; perhaps more buildup on this note, especially early on using the viewpoint of the human as an advantage could have helped.

    The Janitor Named Dustbowl, by MrAlbum321

    Story: A janitor is secretly an alicorn, and his secret is uncovered during a robbery

    There's a lot to like in this story. It has a sweet overtone, is paced well, and doesn't overstay its welcome. The early parts could do with more development, as we don't really get a feel for Dustbowl's world and life before it all goes wrong, but it's nice to have a story like this that deals with a more mundane destiny. That said, there's an awful lot of casual swearing which kept breaking suspension of disbelief.

    Prompt: OC alicorn

    Straight in with the OC alicorn, this is a story where a character isn't alicornised by mistake, but explores the idea of someone becoming an alicorn for more mundane reasons with no amazing powers. It's an interesting way to look at the prompt, though the explanations offered at the end by the princesses seem slightly rushed, especially given the rest of the story. It also feels like the story could have done with more development as to the character's prior experiences early on. Though this is rectified later in the story, not knowing his motivations make him harder to understand.

    Red Tornado, by Alaborn

    Story: An alicorn is a general who has beat the griffons and now wishes to die

    War stories are always a bit tricky, as it's very much against the ethos of the show. This story gets around it by skirting about the issue a lot. The first half is mostly a very dry description and summary of this war with a smattering of character points, the second half is about this character wanting to become mortal. I don't feel that the two halves really join up that well, or at least the first half really should have used the opportunity to build on this alicorn's character more, rather than using him as a device to narrate some history and worldbuilding.

    Prompt: OC alicorn

    Really, the OC alicorn aspect only appears in the second half of the story, the first is just a description of this griffon war. Once the story gets around to addressing the alicorn and his wish to become mortal (which seems to necessarily involve dying) it becomes interesting, but there's not much that is really developed and we don't really get to know him that well.

    The third alicorn, by Monokeras

    Story: The life of Celestia and Luna's brother, who is basically pony Fate.

    There's a lot to like in this story. It's told from the viewpoint of the titular character, in a very archaic style, though the writer manages to consistently get the 'voice' right and keep it interesting - an especially impressive feat as that sort of style doesn't really do it for me. Less successful is the voice of Celestia, who seems to vary between being very regal and giggling out sentences.

    The idea of Fate who designs cutie marks is a good one, and I especially liked the exploring of the show canon through this character's perspective. It even used Cadance without setting my teeth on edge. I wouldn't mind reading more about this character!

    Prompt: OC Alicorn

    The OC alicorn in this story is Celestia and Luna's brother, and the use of him as a very mythical figure feels very natural, and plugs in some existing gaps in the universe, namely 'where do cutie marks come from, explaining them in a satisfying way.

    8 comments · 688 views
  • 144w, 16h
    Most Dangerous Game Judging Reviews - 2

    Here's the second lot of reviews for the Most Dangerous Game contest - remember to go vote for the finalists here:

    There are some good ones in this lot, promise! There was quite the fight for a place in the top 5, some very good stories only narrowly missed out.

    Faun, by Present Perfect

    Story: There's a half-human, half-pony running about the Everfree forest. Someone's been naughty!

    Wow, that was dark. I'm a big fan of taking a crackfic premise and dealing with it in a totally serious way, and this story really does it, going straight for the throat and holding back no emotional punches. I heartily recommend this one. Perhaps I might have wanted to see a bit more about Lyra's thought processes and experiences over the last ten years (that's an awful long time), the letter at the end is completely unneeded, and it partly feels like a 'kick the cute puppy' story (the moral is 'abandoning your helpless baby in the forest for ten years expecting that monsters will eat it is a bad thing to do') but then again, that's what the writer sets out to do and he nails it.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria

    I was going back and forth on this one as to whether it was a bit of a cheat not having an actual human, but I decided it was totally appropriate, dealing with the aftermath of such a visit in a way I don't think has been done before. Also having the human literally be 'Anon' but taking the premise deadly seriously. That's the sort of thing I appreciate. It's original and feels like it explores the concept well.

    Home, by KitsuneRisu

    Story: A human travels to Equestria because he's the best and no-one appreciates him and he is king of card games.

    I love unreliable narrator stories, and this is a good example of one. The narration is engaging and it slowly creeps up on you how wrong everything is. The character has a very consistent voice, and it is clear the writer has thought through all the many layers of the story, creating something that is actually pretty brilliant.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria

    Definitely an interesting take on 'human in Equestria', albeit one that isn't 'real'. I won't hold it against the story though, as there was nothing explicitly in the rules against it, and it is done so well. This is a story built around the prompt and that actually uses it to its advantage.

    Succession, by Archonix

    Story: A young alicorn meets Queen Twilight Sparkle

    As a story, this is very enjoyable. Personally I love stories which are really well grounded in the writer's world, yet don't serve everything up on a plate. There's an awful lot in this story that is going on under the surface and isn't thrust in the reader's face. The writer's style is very readable, and despite the length, it flies by really well. There's great character work, and I really can't say enough good things.

    Prompt: OC Alicorn

    The character feels natural and not forced, and their character was good, if not developed too much. As a prompt fic though, the focus of the story is on Twilight, and the OC alicorn used to explore her and the history of the world. That said, it's a good story and what we have is well done.

    The Shaman, by Skyguy7_13

    Story: Celestia is keeping a human locked in her dungeon.

    Apparently Celestia owned a dungeon that is full of dead bodies and poo. That's how the story opens. There's a human locked in a cell in these conditions, for the crime of killing and eating a pony, but it turns out it was a changeling so that's okay. Luckily Celestia locked him in the cell with the skeleton of his victim, enabling Twilight to figure it out because no-one else bothered to check. Yes, suspension of disbelief shatters, I'm afraid.

    This story really needs a spelling and grammar check, it's littered with all sorts of errors that are very distracting, a lot of them changing the meanings of the sentences themselves.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria and shipping with main character

    While a shaman might be more interesting than your average human, this character remains completely undeveloped. It's not explained why he felt the need to eat the imposter changeling rather than warn anyone about it. We are told he's gone mad from imprisonment, but then is absolutely fine and making funny quips. Then out of nowhere he turns into a zebra and immediately ships himself with Zecora. This story feels very rushed, and needed a lot more space to develop character and the ideas.

    A Brush with Beauty, by Burraku_Pansa

    Story: A human wakes up in Equestria

    This is an enjoyable read. The style is very readable and while the plot itself isn't particularly novel, there's enough interesting ideas going on here, relating to a wider tale about the human condition rather than just 'human in Equestria'. Does it go far enough in this respect? I'm not sure, but I like what I read.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria

    I found this story hard to describe, as the actual plot isn't really much more than 'human in Equestria', though with this story it is all in the presentation. The writer manages to take the prompt and make it interesting to read, if not entirely interesting in execution. That said, I'm still not exactly sure what was going on in the story at the end, though it seems like there was supposed to be deliberate ambiguity.

    Fairy Tale Garden, by MissyAngel

    Story: A human in Equestria has a chat with Twilight about going home.

    This was a nice little story. It's a two-hander (hoofer?) between the human and Twilight where they chat about life and about how the human would get home, but it felt easy to read and quite light. If I had one criticism, it would be that the human seems to change their mind about definitely wanting to stay to becoming really homesick a bit too quickly, and Twilight's dialogue feels off (she says "ya" a lot) but apart from that it was very solid.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria, second person and seventh element

    Three prompts, all of them used well, I'm impressed. The writer painted a very good picture of the character quickly and easily from the start, the second person style felt natural aside from one tense slip that I noticed, and the seventh element aspect was not only appropriate, it was what the story and its ideas were built off without being obnoxious.

    Prologue: A New Life, by Super_Big_Mac

    Story: A genre-savvy Japanese schoolgirl arrives in Equestria.

    I didn't have much hope going into a story explicitly called 'Prologue' but to my surprise, yes, this was a self-contained story which was more about discussion of genre and storytelling than just an intro. That said, I found the initial section which talked about this character's life in relation to storybook logic far more interesting than when they actually go to Equestria. She meets Pinkie and has a fourth wall breaking conversation, then goes back home. It's rather brief, unfortunately, and any revelations the character makes are ones narrated to us rather than shown as a process. There's a lot of tense slips too; this may have been deliberate in parts due to the nature of the story, but there's some early on which clearly can't be on purpose.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria/OC alicorn

    Arriving in Equestria, the human promptly turns into an alicorn. This feels rather shoehorned in, as it's not particularly important to the plot as they then leave Equestria after a brief chat with Pinkie. Any pony type would have had the same effect (sans 'alicorn magic'.). In fact, for all it adds to the story, they didn't even need to have turned into a pony.

    Rarity dates Prince Nightshade, by Dream Volt

    Story: Rarity dates a changeling Prince

    This story is pretty much what it says on the tin. Rarity meets a changeling, falls in love with him instantly and they decide to marry after one date. This story is either a sequel to something, or firmly within the writer's headcanon, as there is a dizzying amount of other events referred or inferred with little to no explanation. A story like this really needs better worldbuilding. There is also not much incident, and it is strangely lacking in any sort of twist (The twist is yes, they do really want to get married after one day, which is... odd as no reason is given).

    Prompt: Shipping with main character

    Despite the story being first person, there is little in the story to explain exactly why Rarity is in love with this character apart from him being a prince. We don't get a grip on his character at all, and both he and Rarity sound the same (neither much like Rarity).

    Union, by JakBed96

    Story: Twilight's boyfriend decides to get married

    I'm in two minds about this story. Originally I was going to complain that the relationship between Twilight and this character is undeveloped, and the main character is a cypher who feels a bit creepy. Then I got to the end and it turns out that's the point of the story. I actually liked the ending and how it changed how the rest of the story worked, but believe it would have been more effective if we'd actually seen some more interaction between him and Twilight. It achieve what it sets out to do though.

    Prompt: Shipping with main character

    As I said, originally the relationship was really undeveloped, but then as a twist ending (spoilers!) it turns out he was using dark magic to ensnare Twilight and make him love her. I'm not sure if this is cheating in regards to the prompt though, as it turns out it isn't 'really' shipping because she's being mind-controlled. It's probably not, but even so it feels like the 'easy way out'.

    Fingers, by WiseFireCracker

    Story: A pianist finds himself in Equestria... turned into a pony with no fingers!

    As a story I rather liked this one. It's well paced, it has some good incident, and I was left curious and intrigued by the character. It certainly feels like a complete story, and one that doesn't always go the expected route either.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria

    The human is ponified straight away, but it deals with the ramifications of being ponified as the central point of the story. There's some interesting flashbacks and a good sense of character.

    The Price of Harmony, by Quill Scratch

    Story: An alicorn grows up in the Everfree raised by Zecora and her human husband

    If ever there's a story where the moral 'too many cooks spoil the broth' can be displayed, it is here. Only instead of cooks it is ideas, and instead of a broth, it is a story. The tale of this alicorn is nice and well-written, but there's so much pushed into the story that when the ending comes (and it is a good ending), it hasn't been built up to appropriately as we still don't have a good grasp on the character due to everything else the author has been trying to push in.

    Prompt: All of them... sort of.

    It's a valiant effort, but a self-defeating one. The alicorn's father (we never know if he's the natural dad) is a human in Equestria. He is married to Zecora in the Everfree forest. There's some mild Derpy shipping too. There's some stuff with the Elements in at the end, though it's not quite a 'seventh element' story. It's in second person. The issue is, that the story's ending really relies on the reader having a firm handle on the character, but given the large timespan the story takes place over and the dizzying amount of ideas thrown in, there's never a chance to do this. I don't want to sound too down, because I did actually enjoy reading this story. In this case though, I think less would have been more.

    Entertainment for Immortals, by Saakra

    Story: A human is sent to Equestria by Discord to stir up trouble.

    Perhaps there is a fun story here, but the whole tale feels really rushed. There is barely any introduction to the characters, and it almost seems like the reader is supposed to know who the bizarrely-named 'Omnispar' is. The moment he turns up in Equestria, he gets blasted by the Elements for little defined reason, then turns into a pony with a swastika (yes, really), swears a lot and gets banished to the moon. It's over really fast, there's no buildup of anything and little humour apart from swearing and swastikas, which isn't funny by itself.

    Prompt: Human in Equestria and seventh element.

    While the story is primarily a seventh element story, there is an aspect of HiE, though the human gets turned into a pony (for little reason) very fast so it doesn't really count. The seventh element part is just a story concocted by Discord so isn't a 'real' element (and if it somehow is, there's little exploration of it). If you removed that mention, the story would still run the same, as the element doesn't factor into anything.

    Special, Deluxe Special, by DeluxeMagnum69

    Story: A human arrives in Equestria and discovers he is special.

    I found this story really hard to read. The text is littered with some really odd turns of phrase which are just stilted or strange. It feels like it hasn't been proofread at all, and a single sweep would probably sort most of these issues out. With them in, they're just too distracting. The story itself feels like something I've read many times before, and unfortunately as it gets to the end the plot becomes more and more rushed, skipping over most of the interesting parts.

    Prompt: All of them

    This is another story where whilst a noble effort in including all the prompts, the end result is very messy, and the story probably would have been better off with just a few. The second person narration has issues, as mentioned above. The Human in Equestria angle is unremarkable, he turns into an alicorn for little reason (and the story would have been identical had that part been skipped), there's something very rushed in the end about him being a seventh element and needing to sacrifice himself for some reason, and then he and Twilight suddenly kiss to fulfil the shipping aspect, with no warning. Points for effort, but this is a story that has too much too fast.

    You Are A King, by Kalash93

    Story: Equestria's old king gets a visit from Luna

    There's a lot to like in this story, but I feel it gets buried under too many flashbacks. I like the idea of a previous king being bitter over being left alone and seeing everyone else thrive, but despite all the flashbacks we never really find out why he's in the predicament he's in, or really much about his personality beside 'belligerent'. This is the sort of tale I'd like to see fleshed out a bit more.

    Prompt: Second person, OC alicorn

    The OC alicorn is done well, though as mentioned we don't really get too deeply into his motivation and relation with the princesses apart from the 'he is pompous'; there's a much more interesting story waiting to be told, I think. The second person narration is functional, though I don't' think it adds much and the story could easily be told in first or third person with few changes.

    Happily Ever After, by spideremblembrony

    Story: Applejack and co end up in a parallel world with an alicorn superhero team.

    This is a bit of an odd story. There was lots of parts I liked in it: some decent twists and nice ideas. That said, most of the story, despite its length, feels really rushed. There are so many characters in it that there's no time to get to know anyone or their motivations, and once the villain is revealed they are dispatched with very little explanation as to their motives. A story that could benefit from being a lot longer, I think.

    Prompt: OC alicorn

    Going into an alternate universe to do the OC alicorn seems like taking a bit of a 'safe' path when this competition is all about danger, but then again it has some decent twists in the tale. That said, the ending where all this is revealed is very rushed, and could easily have done with some fleshing out. We don't really get a grip on the characterisations of these alicorns, or get the chance to care about them, mostly due to the sheer amount of characters in the story.

    8 comments · 652 views

As you know, I'm really into the new XCOM game that was released late last year. I even wrote a fanfic about it, XCOM - Equestria Unknown, in which an XCOM team went to Equestria and died horribly because they are awful. Of course, I am a far better player than that, such things would never happen in my games.

As a bit of fun, I decided to make an all-pony team in my latest game. I'm playing the Classic Ironman version, which is difficult plus you can't reload if it goes wrong. All decisions are final! After a disastrous mission on board an alien battleship where I lost most of my best soldiers, I thought "What the hell, let's go pony!"

Here we go! All your favourite characters, now with big guns! Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Twilight are support class, Fluttershy is the heavy, Rarity is the assault and Pinkie Pie is the sniper. I also gave Pinkie Pie my one archangel armour so she can fly (in retrospect it would have been funnier if that were Twilight, ho ho) while everyone else has to make do with a mix of titan armour for extra protection and skeleton armour for extra dodging ability.

Weapons are a mix of laser and plasma, so these bad boys should pack a punch! The aliens won't know what hit them! That's XCOM, baby!

Aliens are attacking Moscow and we need to stop them! This is a terror attack mission which means that somewhere on the map are 18 civilians which the aliens are trying to kill. You need to rescue them, or at least one, or the country it occurs in pulls out of the XCOM project and all the other countries in the continent panic.

Operation Twisted Fog? That doesn't sound so bad! It's not "Bloody Death" or something. It'll be fine!

Okay, straight away we have a horrible situation. This is not a good map. I have had some very bad experiences on this map which I do not wish to discuss.

The aim is to rescue civilians. Unfortunately there aren't any nearby, so we're going to have to push in quite deep if we want to rescue the requisite one to not fail the mission. Unfortunately there's only half cover to protect us, and most of the cover is cars. Cars tend to explode. Meanwhile the aliens will be on the roadway, which is high ground thus giving them better cover and aim, and lots of places to hide behind.

I have had some very bad experiences on this map.

I decide to push forwards and fan out. The best way to do this is to run two soldiers to each furthest edge of the area you are moving to. This reduces the likelihood of discovering aliens on the last move of your turn. As this is a Terror Mission, you can mostly expect Chryssalids (scuttling things which lay eggs in your face), Floaters (they fly) and Mutons (big guys with big guns).

Fluttershy and Rarity take the lead as they have the worst aim, while everyone else holds back. Straight away we uncover two Heavy Floaters. This isn't good, because Heavy Floaters can fly, have powerful weapons that can kill you in one shot, heavy armour and grenades. This means they need to die quickly.

Unfortunately, this is what I'm dealing with here. Yeah. 7% to hit. With no-one on my squad able to shoot worth a damn, no skills like suppression to keep them in check, and no hope to kill the aliens in one turn, my choices are to hunker down (which increases my defense), take some shots, or go into overwatch (which makes them shoot if the enemies move, but if the enemy can see you in overwatch, they won't move, they'll just shoot at you).

I take a mixture of these depending on where people are, and lay down a smoke screen.

Then three more Heavy Floaters move into view. That's five Heavy Floaters together. I don't think I've ever seen that many!

With the odds against me, I need to get rid of those floaters FAST. Fluttershy brings the pain with her one rocket, and uses it to explode the cars the floaters are hiding behind, murdering one and severely injuring the other. Just uh, ignore the body of the civilian being flung into the air by the explosion. It's war! These things happen!

My main mistake this mission was to put Pinkie Pie up in the air. Snipers are excellent in Archangel Armour if they have the Squadsight ability, which means they can target anything anyone else can see. If they don't have that, they can't hit much, and putting them in the air just means they're easier to shoot. So the alien move results in everyone shooting Pinkie Pie, until she falls from the sky, mortally injured.

I decide to use Twilight to save Pinkie with the team's sole medpack, and then everyone else brings the pain on the Heavy Floaters! Pew pew pew! The odds are a lot better now!

...And then these guys show up to the party while I'm trying to mop up the floaters. Because I'm an idiot I ran Rarity forward for an easy shot on one of the Floaters, which uncovered these fellows. A Sectopod, which is a gigantic tank with huge lasers and missiles which can fire twice in a round, and two Drones, which have their own weapons, but can also repair the Sectopod. God. Damn. Look at those red bars. Those are its armour. God. Damn.

So Rarity takes her shot at the Floater, because she's out of movement points, and is stuck in front of the giant death machine! The Floater still has one health point left, but hey, that's what friends are for, and Applejack makes the kill.

"HAY GUYZ!" says the Sectopod. "COME OVER HERE, IMMA HAVIN A PARTY!" So two more Heavy Floaters turn up out of nowhere. If you are keeping score, these are not good odds.

Rarity survives the Sectopod's shot (which also blows up the car she's behind) so I decide that my theme will be 'pull the hell back'. I start to move everyone back to hopefully limit the number of enemies I have to fight.

What I forgot was that the Sectopod has a ridiculous number of shots, and can make shots and then go on Overwatch. When I tried to pull Rarity back further, the Sectopod used its overwatch shot to blast her! Rarity was mortally wounded and needed a medkit to stabilise and save her life, or she would bleed out within three turns. Unfortunately I WASTED my medkit on Pinkie Pie. Rarity's only hope to survive was that I could kill all the aliens on the map within three turns.

Spoiler: That's is very unlikely

How will I pull this terrible situation out of the fire? Can Twilight, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Applejack save the civilians and defeat the aliens? Keep watching to find out!

UPDATE: The rest of the mission can be found here

Report Blueshift · 3,230 views ·
#1 · 220w, 21h ago · · ·

...Is this being updated during play or?

#2 · 220w, 21h ago · · ·


After-action report!

#3 · 220w, 21h ago · · ·

I also gave Pinkie Pie my one archangel armour so she can fly (in retrospect it would have been funnier if that were Twilight, ho ho)

#4 · 220w, 21h ago · · ·

>>785310 Ah, always loved the X-com games and this one did't let me down....until I played it on Ironman Impossible....ah panic mission you're so

#5 · 220w, 19h ago · · ·

game pulling out the hax?

Hax it back with backhax!

#6 · 220w, 19h ago · 2 · ·

Sending all squaddies to a terror mission after naming them all after ponies?

You sadistic bastard, Blues :raritydespair:

#7 · 220w, 19h ago · · ·


Don't worry Vimbert, I am expert XCOM commander

#8 · 220w, 19h ago · · ·


>implying skill means anything when the game decides "OH IMA DROP A TANK ON YOU K"

Before this is over, somepony will die.

I'm hoping Rarity.

#9 · 220w, 19h ago · · ·

You'll win by fighting harder.  How do you fight harder? Play this

on an infinite loop. But beforehand, you gotta get all super pumped up an' shit,

like so. Go all super-tryhard and you just might not lose Rarity. Here's a tip:

get more of these.

Oh, wait. That only works in real-time games, not turn based games... going into tryhard mode won't help you there...

Author Interviewer
#10 · 220w, 18h ago · · ·

That Pinkie is hilarious. My sides.

#11 · 220w, 17h ago · · ·

I get it.  You employed Pinkie as Sniper because, like any sniper worth their multibillion-dollar rifle, her aim bounces all over the place.

A correction at the end:  Rarity's only hope is for Twilight to gain alicorn powers and bring her back to life, hopefully not as a zombie.

:twilightoops:: You know, I bet this could have been avoided if you brought all six soldiers.

:ajbemused:: ...

:twilightblush::  Oh, eheh, I guess he did.  Sorry, Southern-stereotype OC.

#12 · 220w, 17h ago · · ·



#13 · 220w, 17h ago · · ·


Yay Chryssalids! :pinkiecrazy:  They're like Changelings, only you die!  Twice!  And kill your  squadmates in the process!

#14 · 220w, 16h ago · · ·

And to think, I kept you alive all throughout my Ironman Impossible playthrough.

#15 · 220w, 16h ago · · ·

Y u do that to humanized poni?

That is worz dan Autumnout Equesrtia.

#16 · 220w, 16h ago · · ·

I hate that damn map

#17 · 220w, 15h ago · · ·

what is your steam name (if you have one)?

#18 · 220w, 14h ago · · ·

Chryssalids (scuttling things which lay eggs in your face), Floaters (they fly) and Mutons (big guys with big guns).

Pretty much sums up what they are.

*Sees the Sectopod picture*


A Sectopod, which is a gigantic tank with huge lasers and missiles which can fire twice in a round, and two Drones, which have their own weapons, but can also repair the Sectopod.

Yep. Got to hate to see them. New or old. They are strong.

"HAY GUYZ!" says the Sectopod. "COME OVER HERE, IMMA HAVIN A PARTY!" So two more Heavy Floaters turn up out of nowhere. If you are keeping score, these are not good odds.

Heavy Floater: 7

Sectopod: 1

Drone: 2

Zombie Makers A.K.A. Chryssalids: ?


Not good.

#19 · 210w, 3d ago · · ·

When I first read this post, I had no idea what XCOM was, and was in fact kinda incensed that you wrote some wacky story about it instead of something I could truly enjoy.

But last weekend, I saw this on sale on Steam, and remembered that you said it was fun. So, I bought it.

I emerged from my cave yesterday, an experienced Assault Colonel, plasma rifle in one hand and a Sectoid Commander's head in the other, dog tags of my dozens of fallen comrades hanging around the collar of my Titan armor, eyes alight in a psionic fury. And now, I truly understand this post.

... Did you really send a group staffed by Squaddies for a terror mission? I only do that when I feel like re-enacting the Marine-slaughtering scene from Aliens, and when I feel like roleplaying, I just rename what good soldiers I do have. Even with the best gear, you just gave a special name to this group of redshirts.

Still, as Dwarf Fortress taught me, failing is fun!

#20 · 210w, 3d ago · · ·


Glad you have been sucked in to defending the world!

Login or register to comment