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The Albinocorn


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Jun
14th
2015

Postscript: Sunset of Time · 12:33am Jun 14th, 2015

The story is over.

I set out to do what I wanted to do, and now it is done. It took longer than I would have liked… a lot longer… but now, Sunset of Time is completely finished.

Now that’s it’s over, I feel the need to go back and reflect on everything that’s happened. Everything that went into it, all the good, the bad, and the ugly. So this is what this blog is: a sort of self-review/behind the scenes extras of how this story was made and changed over the years being written. It’s more for me really than anything, so feel free to walk away, though maybe I’ll answer any of your lingering questions or concerns along the way. Be warned, I digress a lot.

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my first Postscript.



It goes without saying that there will be spoilers. So yeah, if you haven’t finished the story, I recommend doing that first.


So, I guess the best place to start is the beginning. A lot of you know (though many of you don’t) that I came up for the concept of Sunset of Time and Sunset Shimmer’s character quite some time before her reveal in Equestria Girls. Before then, she was just a toy in a blindbag with a mysterious caption. I found it while browsing Equestria Daily, and was instantly intrigued by the thought of Celestia having had a former student before Twilight. I gave it a little thought, but passed it up to continue work on my other stories.

A few days later, I stumbled across a comic (which I can no longer find) showing Sunset as Twilight's new student and my mind began trying to put pieces together. The idea of this Sunset Shimmer character being both Celestia’s former student and Twilight’s future one greatly appealed to me.

I fell asleep that night exploring story possibilities. My initial one was of Sunset returning from somewhere, and Celestia passes her on to be Twilight’s first student. More of a slice of life fic than anything. But, I wanted to start with Sunset grounded in Twilight’s teachings already. At the same time, I wanted to explore Sunset’s training and relationship with Celestia. Thirdly, I was craving adventure.

The question was, how did I combine the three of them?

I can’t quite recall my train of thought after that. But I was eventually led to the idea of Sunset as a time traveler. The first concept was her to make multiple jumps through time, starting at one point, then working her way up until she reached her current time in an alternate future she helped create.

That quickly turned into a jumbled mess.

Plus, there was still the problem of having two Sunset’s taught by two different teachers. And I still needed a villain.

Why, hello there doppelganger cliché! Hmm, no. Needs to be stronger than that. I want them to be two actual ponies. But how do I do that and put them in the same place in time? One from the past and one from the future?

Souls.

I had to look beyond time travel and go for souls, one of my favorite concepts to explore. A few more days of tinkering and outlining, and I had the premise of the story you just read.

I immediately started on chapter one, knowing that this story would start at the end of the world. It was the perfect setup for this, and I tried my best to go all out in creating this decimated Canterlot and one pony watching the world crumble around her. For the most part, I think I succeeded. Earlier drafts did have Sunset a bit more… panicky. I think the scene on the bridge helped show off her magical abilities and the determination she has.

Fun fact: A super early version of the story had Sunset with a phobia of fire as a sort of post-traumatic stress. Part of the story would involve her trying to get over that fear so she could use her special talent again. I decided against it because I was told she was already coming across as a sort of ‘weak’ character. I’m pretty sure the reason I was trying to give her so many flaws was to make sure she wasn’t looked at as a mary-sue. Probably my biggest fear at the time.

My other big fear was the use of deus ex machina. How did I get through this story without using the EoH the first time they came across Vesper? Or, how did I stop Celestia from just flying out and blasting her? Or Luna? Or Discord?

I mean, seriously! This show is full of OP characters and deus ex machina, it’s ridiculous!

I originally meant for the ponies to take the Elements with them throughout the whole trip, but I really didn’t want to use them, so I thought, ‘well, what’s the point?’ I tried to have Twilight make the argument that Vesper wasn’t an ancient evil that needed to be stoned. She was just a criminal that needed to be tried first. I’ll let you be the judge of that argument.

On the topic of Vesper Radiance, I think that’s where I made my first critical failure. Is the name cool? Yes. Does it give away too much? Hell yes. I didn’t expect half of you to know what ‘Vesper’ meant and the other half to google it. I thought you, like me, would just go with it. I underestimated my audience's intelligence, something a writer should never do.

Though how you figure out Vesper Radiance is Sunset Shimmer, but can’t understand Long Road to Friendship is ship fic until I put up a giant sign that screams it is beyond me.

Regardless, I think my biggest wish if I could redo this story is to change Vesper’s name and hope it would come as more of a surprise during the reveal. But boy, was she fun to write!

Vesper was always intended to be the crazy, murderous psychopath I wrote her out to be. I had to hoLd myself back in someplaces to keep from pushing the rating up. I wanted to show her decline into madness, both during the flashbacks, and every time the group would run into her. A lot of inspiration for her character came from Yuki Terumi from the Blazblue series. He tried to destroy the world just for shits and giggles. All hail the king of trolls!

Pretty much, every time Vesper laughs, I hear this

Flaws: standard villain arrogance. She could have killed the group on quite a few occasions but didn’t. You could say it was the last shred of her moral fiber.. or you could say it was the author trying not to kill any of the main characters.

I don’t have any regrets with her. I really love how she came out. I mean, if I were smarter, I would have devised more complicated plans for her. But I’m not, so…

Moving on to her replica and our favorite heroine. Other than making sure she wasn’t a mary sue, I was trying to make sure she wasn’t a clone of Twilight. That became easier as the story progressed, but like they say, first impressions are everything. Sunset looked up to Twilight and idolized her in some ways, so I did intend for her to take after the princess. But I meant to give her a bit more of a brash nature. More of an act first, then think to oppose Twilight’s think and then act.

I don’t think she quite matches up with what I had in mind at the start, but I think she became a solid character with her own charms.

Regrets: I do wish I got to have a little more interaction between her and Twilight when there wasn’t something depressing or world shattering in between them. Just have them talking and laughing like two normal friends. Guess that’s the price I pay for writing adventure.

My other regret is chapter 4, where Sunset meets the rest of the cast. Just, uuugh, that chapter makes me cringe. I want to rewrite it, but I don’t know how. I just hate the way I presented the rest of the mane 6 to Sunset: all of them doing their standard stereotypical activities. Dressmaking Rarity, farming Applejack. At least I didn’t have Fluttershy stammering her name for two pages. It’s all just so cliché and reeks of new writer syndrome.

I think the most difficult thing about Sunset was figuring out what her cutie mark meant. My editors and I spent a whole day talking about it, what it related to, and what special talent she had. I wanted it to have something to do with the sun to give Vesper that delusion that she and Celestia were meant to rule together.

I believe JustAnotherTimeLord still has the full conversations we had. Needless to say, it was long. But we finally came up with her unique power. I made sure to give it the drawback of lighting her inside on fire. Because OP. The idea also worked because of the dual nature of fire—it’s ability to create or destroy things, which is reflected in the oppositions of Sunset and Vesper.

Look at me, I’m a philosopher!

And then there was everyone else. Characterizations I had come to familiarize myself with over three then going on four seasons. They were all pretty easy to write for, it was more of where are they standing at this particular moment, and does X really need to say something at this time?

I got to go into every character’s perspective at least once, and the hardest to write for was Pinkie. Rarity was a close second. It’s hard to balance Pinkie understanding the gravity of the situation while still trying to be her upbeat, ridiculous self. I think I got better as the story progressed, but it was definitely a hard endeavor.

Back to the story itself, we’d be here all day if I listed all the changes that went into it. The addition of the griffon mercenaries was one of the first major additions to the story. I needed someone other than Vesper for the group to fight, otherwise, that’d get pretty stale and detract from the main fights with her.

The fight in the desert was my first real challenge of if I could handle, not only a fight scene, but the mane six’s response to a fight of this caliber. These guys aren’t changelings that can be one-shotted, they’re meant to pose a continuous threat.

If anything, I pride myself on splitting the fights up to make them more manageable and easier to follow. Having seven ponies, five griffons and a dragon all fighting at once… I might still be writing it.

This is also where I knew I wanted to make use of the hourglass again so it wasn’t just a one-hit wonder. And yes, I took a lot of inspiration from Hermione and the Time-Tuner. Though not the rock part with Rainbow Dash, that one was just me thinking it would be funny.

Leading up to the time travel, I was really pounding my head against the keyboard trying to figure out how they were going to pull it off. But as I got closer, it kinda just wrote itself out. A perfect, self-contained loop. More on time travel later.

The first big deletion came with first confrontation of Vesper in the wind cavern. That had been the place where I intended, from the beginning, that I would reveal Vesper’s identity to everyone. I only wanted to do it once, and while I didn’t stun any of you, at least I stunned my characters.

-Cries on the inside-

Anyway, the major change in that chapter was the battle. Vesper was going to do minimal fighting originally, instead, she would create a large golem made of stone. I scrapped that idea when I got to it because I realized the battle with the Frostlich was going to be too similar. Unfortunately, that left me with the situation of, how do these ponies fight her without dying?

Magical (plot) armor!

I have mixed feelings about this idea. I really just made it so I could have Vesper not have to pull her punches but still have the mane six live. At the same time it feels… cop-outish? I dunno. It either that, or have everyone but Twilight and Sunset fight Vesper, and I hate hate that idea. They’re all important!

Another change was shortening the adventure after Sunset’s revelation in Tall Tale. I was going to have Vesper destroy the train and make everyone walk to the Empire. Throw in a few challenges on the way. There were a number of problems with this, the foremost being Celestia. Luna would no doubt tell her about what she and Sunset learned, and at that point, I had no excuse to keep Celestia out of the fight. Realistically, she could fly to the Empire at a pretty decent speed, but I didn’t want her to come in until the final battle.

Another problem was that it allotted too much time for Sunset to regain some hope. I couldn’t give her too much of that at the time. it had to be just the right amount that Vesper could totally crush. Funnily enough, Fluttershy was originally going to give Sunset the hope speech. The Pinkie’s dialogue popped into my head and I realized that was something only Pinkie could do.

That, and I let Fluttershy deck Vesper in the face, which was, hands down, my favorite scene in the entire story.

This is where things started getting tricky. I really had to gauge Vesper’s actions and think ‘what can she still get away with at this point?’ I wanted her to have a little confrontation with Cadence, but knew she would also need to escape, which meant Shining would get the shaft, something I hated doing because I think Shining is a legit character. Like Celestia, he gets shunted aside too easily.

There was a brief period where I considered having him go with everyone else, but I really wanted to that last fight, and the farewell to just be the core characters of this story. So the trick here was finding reason for him to both stay, and let them go off without any escorts.

Twilight not wanting to be responsible for any more deaths seems reasonable, right? But it’s still something I was a little iffy on. But if I had sent guard, Vesper would have killed them. And then we have the ‘royal guards suck’ trope. Not going there.

Which brings us to Sunset’s death! She actually wasn’t going to die for a minute. Discord was going to heal her wounds along with giving her the hourglass back. But that was waaaay to deus ex machina for me. And Discord’s presence was already toeing the line.

Then I remembered, ‘oh yeah, she’s technically immortal.’ So that saved me some trouble there. Except for the fact that she’d still be in massive amounts of pain.

Discord. Uuugh, Discord. Probably the most mixed feelings I have about the story. I was really hoping he wouldn't feel left field, but at the same time, he’s Discord. He’s nothing but left field. I made sure the only thing he did was explain why Sunset wasn’t dead and give her the hourglass back, because, realistically, he was the only one who could.

And after explaining it twice, I still don’t think I did an adequate explanation of how the frostlich’s powers work. The body is turned into a ‘jar’ that pretty much locks the soul inside, so even after sustaining old age or copious amounts of damage, the soul won’t leave. In a sense, it’s like a Horcrux. It’s said they can take damage, but they’ll repair themselves if it doesn’t destroy them entirely. Which is why the Frostlich could snap it’s bones back together.

Now, could Vesper have come back to life after being disintegrated? Maybe. But it would have taken a really, really, REALLY long time. And I tried to show as subtly as I could in the epilogue, Vesper dispelled that power and moved on thanks to Sunset.

Backing up to the final battle. It pretty much went exactly how I wanted it to go. It wasn’t easy, and took me about a week just to line things up in my head. I had to keep jumping between scenes because I would get stuck in the other. The thing I really wanted to get out of this was Spike and the Mane Five fighting the Frostlich. I needed to show they were competent without Twilight and her magic.

Again, not easy. Magic makes for the most dynamic battles. Unless you’re Rainbow.

Twilight and Sunset’s fight I actually cut short because, well, some of it was starting to become recycled material. That, and when I really stopped and thought, Twilight would only fight a defensive battle against her, so it would just be blast, teleport, blast, shield. So I saved it all for Celestia and Vesper. Sunset’s and Twilight’s would be a game of wits, something to break up the constant stream of action.

For the alicorn match, I was really trying to avoid anything too Dragon Ball Zish. I didn’t want them just punching each other into craters and blowing mountains up. It was more of a ‘who can manipulate magic better?’ I love trying to innovate magic, because it really tests my imagination.

When it came time to pit Sunset against Vesper, I realized, it didn’t need to be a long fight. Vesper’s immortal. Sunset knows she is. Fighting her is kinda pointless. There still needed to be a struggle though. And I wanted to do that mirror scene of Twilight and Nightmare Moon. The only thing missing from it was Twilight going, "I taught her that!"

All that was needed at this point is a plan to end this. For a long time, the last fight was going to take place inside the rolling sphere of darkness, similar to the first chapter. Sunset was going to be alone with Vesper and have a beam-o-war match. During it, she can hear all the voices of her friends and family which gives her the strength…

to do what the Elements couldn’t do and destroy Vesper. Hmmm…

I had to reevaluate that for obvious reasons. That windy road eventually led me to what you see now. And it was an ending I found much more fitting because it really hits a lot of the messages in this story, and calls back to the flaw in Sunset’s power. Vesper killed herself because of her own hubris., and Sunset acts as a shield and defends her friends.

And then we have the ending.

From the very start, I wanted Sunset to disappear. That’s why, for the sake of the story, I made time linear. At the same time, she could only disappear if an event directly relating to her existence was altered. The library in Cloudsdale was destroyed, but that had nothing to do with Sunset. The only thing that would erase her was if the Regalia was destroyed or Vesper dies.

Her existence hanging in the balance added another layer to the story that I really wanted to explore. Sacrifice and letting go. Not everyone comes home from the battle.

Of course, the ultimate endgame was Sunset coming back. Come on now, me kill best pony? Permanently? Naaah. However, getting there was the hardest and most drawn out part of the story. I had ideas, scrapped them, brought them back, and scrapped them again. Funny enough, it ended up coming full circle, as this played out similarly to the original ending I had. Other endings included: the magic of the Tree of Harmony being powerful enough to carry Twilight’s beliefs that it brought Sunset back. One problem I realized with this is, yes Sunset was whisked out of existence, so standard death doesn’t apply to her. But she still died, so if she came back, she’d be… dead. Another would have actually led to a sequel, where Sunset kinda exists in a limbo, and Twilight wants to find her, only the rest of her friends don’t remember who she’s talking about, because Time.

Ultimately, I knew there was going to be a paradox somewhere because almost every time traveling adventure has one. The only one I can think of that doesn’t is the anime Steins Gate. Brilliant and one of my favorites! But yeah, time is a bitch. It was always going to erase Sunset, so I knew the solution to that would have to be something stronger than even time.

Sunset willed herself back into existence because of… well, you should all know by now.

My regret for the epilogue is that I didn’t have room to give closure to Celestia. Like at all. She lost her daughter for the seconded time, and while the story really revolves around Sunset and Twilight, that still sucks. A lot of people have been hating on her and I can’t figure out why. The only thing she did wrong was let Sunset walk away the first time and not go after her the second. (Of course if she did, we wouldn’t have a story) Yes she made mistakes, but she’s only equine. What else do you do when your daughter is a megalomaniac who won’t go make friends and is obsessed with you?

Again, I held back with Vesper in some places. I was this close to giving her an Oedipus complex. No joke.

On the topic of my writing, wow, did I become less telly as we progressed. Probably the biggest stride I made. There are hundreds of places where I could have described things better, but I think it was a sold job, with help from my editors of course.

And speaking of which, this story would be half as good without them! All my thank goes to JustAnotherTimeLord and Icarus_Gizmo for helping me iron out the plot and get the ball rolling! To Cerulean Voice for being a thorough one man editing team for a good chunk of the story. To amacita for helping Sunset of Time get to Equestria Daily. To Bad_Seed_72 for editing the last chapters and bringing this baby to a close.

And to all of you, for putting up with my slow updates and my cliffhangers, and for following Sunset Shimmer on her first adventure.

Is it the best? No. There will be better authors. But it’s mine. I can finally say I finished this. And I love what I made, flaws and all. Now, I can do even better next time.

So, that’s it. Like always, I’m probably forgetting something, so this is your opportunity to ask me anything! All bets are off… for this story. I will be more than happy to answer it.

Otherwise, thank you again! See you guys around.

Sunset of Time. End.

P.P.S: There will not be a sequel… but there might be a oneshot...

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Comments ( 37 )

I really need to get around to reading this one...

This was SO AWESOME! Tell me, when Sunset was reborn, is she now Twilight's child? And how many years was it until she was reborn? Those are pretty much all the questions I have. Great work! I'd love to see the one-shot!

3146816 No, she wasn't Twilight's child, just her student. And it was the same time gap as the first time. Thirty-one years until Sunset was born again. She's roughly twelve at the epilogue.

3146828 Wow...! AWESOME! As I said before, this was simply too good! Please think about writing that One-Shot!

Is it the best?

If not, it's pretty damn close. Who else has done a Sunset Shimmer adventure of this scope and scale?

Excellent reading your author's notes. Hindsight is always 20/20, to abuse a cliched term. I think, as authors, we're never fully satisfied. I look back on a lot of stories I've written and think "man that sequence sucked" or "I wish I had thought of that during the initial writing." Since we created it, we recognize its flaws and strengths easier than readers who take it at face value. Yeah, there's a couple things you could have handled better, but pft, those problems are negligible. This is a masterpiece and should be remembered as one of the great Sunset Shimmer fics out there.

Now, get back to writing that other great Sunset Shimmer fic. :raritywink:

3146844 My work is never done.

3146853 Indeed not! I didn't even know "magical trio" was a tag on derpibooru. Is it to late to change the pairing to an OT3?

3146877 Who said it wasn't already? :trollestia:

I hate you and I love you at once.

You made me cry.

My dear Albinocorn, Sunset of Time is one of the best stories I've read, and it would have been the best if all the characters were your creation.

You made me want- crave for Sunset to NOT disappear, even though I knew it had to happen. Of course, either Sunset reincarnaiting a second time or not would have made for equally beautiful and emotional endings.

I even played sad piano music while reading the last scene. And heck, the last time I cried was many years ago, and now you broke my record.

Beautiful story, and beautiful characterizations. If you ever decide to write a book, know that you can count with my full support. But for now, I'll just patiently wait for you to finish Long Road to Friendship, Firebird Dhalia, and any other stories you start in the future.

Congratulations, and thanks.

Q07

I think you sell yourself short on the part where Sunset meets the rest of the gang. They were all doing their jobs, and that's the most likely state you'd find them in right? Anyway, if the others weren't doing what you had them up to, then what would the scene have looked like? Just a more casual setting or whatever?

3146828

That's what I imagined as well :3. There wasn't a whole lot of implication, but it was too fitting to be anything else: we skip ahead to Twilight in the future with Sunset as her student, just as she was in the beginning.

And honestly? while I imagined Vesper would be Sunset (or at least related to her), the name honestly went past me. I literally only just looked up the name 'Vesper' in the dictionary right now XD.

I suppose I may as well ask what kind of life Sunset is living :). Does she live with her adopted Mom and Dad like the first time? or live in the palace with Twilight? how is everypony else doing?

I'm glad I stuck with this for so long. This is undoubtedly one of my all-time favorite stories. :twilightsmile:If that one shot you mentioned explains what happens between Sunset's revival into existence and Twilight's moment with her at the end, I will definitely read that and instant fave it.

:pinkiehappy::rainbowdetermined2::pinkiesmile::raritystarry::scootangel::twilightsmile::yay::moustache:

By the way, have you ever played the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon video game series? Because the ending and this epilogue both remind me of those.

Wow. This is without a doubt one of my all time favortie stories I ever read, and I'll admit I'm sad to see it end. But I'm glad I came along for the ride and it was 100% worth it in the end. :pinkiehappy: :ajsmug: :twilightsmile:

Thank you for making such a great and enjoyable story, and you deserve nothing but praise for making it this far.

This is my favourite Sunset story. There will never be a better one.
I feel so privileged to have worked with you on this. It brought us closer together as actual friends, and led to many other things outside of the story with other people as well.
I salute you, Albinocorn.
I'm sorry I couldn't stick around to see how it ended. I've been super busy and preoccupied with full time work and other things. But now I get to enjoy the final chapters as a fan: like I originally was.

3146943 That's partly the reason why I haven't rewritten it. I can't think of a situation that doesn't seem... forced. In the end, it does the job it's suppose to do, but it sill irks me.

3147029 Sunset lives in the palace with Twilight, like how Twilight did with Celestia. She goes and see her mom and dad every weekend. Everyone else is doing fine. Almost fifty year later, they're all getting on in life. Since Pinkie isn't cursed, she acts as the head chef for the royal palace. Twilight has assumed the title of head princess while Celestia and Luna act as advisers and continue to raise the sun and moon.

3147105 I took inspiration from the Mystery Dungeon series, yes. The ending was very powerful and had a lasting impression on me.

3147897

Ohhh, so her adoptive parents are around after all. It sounds like Future Sunset is living the same idyllic life that she did before with her friends, family, and of course Twilight. Happily, it will stay that way this time ^^.

I don't think there is anything else I can say! nothing except to echo what's been said before: this is the best Sunset Shimmer story ever produced and one of my favorite stories in general. It's still early in the summer and I'll probably read it many times over. While I really enjoy LRTF, I couldn't help but be more excited for this one. Especially as the ending got closer and closer. I'm still eagerly anticipating more of that story and whatever future projects you and your friends intend to make :).

For the moment though, I honestly feel you should give yourself a break. After over two years of this story, it feels like you deserve it :twilightsmile:.

Hap

I have to say, this story is the only big novel I jumped in on at the beginning, and rode it all the way to the end.

I have no regrets.

Huge congratulations on finishing an epic length novel. A good one, at that.

This single story takes up a rather large chunk of my life, believe it or not. I remember first discovering our dear Albinocorn when I read his Crusaders, Go! story, an inspired piece of work that truly got me hooked to his imagination. What this young writer lacked in clarity, grammar, and form, he made up for in the ideas he came up with. It's something I've always admired about him. I'm merely the editor; my imagination is filled with things such as ending the argument over the Oxford comma, or maybe a day when everyone uses correct grammar at least in text. That's why I spend my time admiring other people's works to compensate for my lack of works. :rainbowwild:

But I came forward to him and asked if he'd be willing to let me edit for him. He came to say yes, and that's when I came to learn about all the rest of his projects, some still in desperate need of an update. Sunset of Time was the first story that I fully engaged in not only the clean up and polishing of the work, but the actually weaving of the story. Alby had all the story basically outlined in his head, but it needed some help tying looses ends, and we eventually rehashed certain ideas entirely.

Well, I say we, but Alby still was the mastermind of this story. I'd like to share my favorite scene of the entire story, a scene that wasn't even originally there from the beginning. In the second chapter "Storyteller," Sunset entertains ponies at a park with a story of her life. Alby came up with the idea of Sunset displaying the entire story using Sunset's skills at magic and sticks. To this day, I cannot get over how awesome this idea was. It blew me away with how . . . inspired, I guess (I'm going to use this word ad nauseum, I'm sure), it was. It was a wonderful way to introduce a "new" character, telling us all about this new Sunset Shimmer. I don't know how Alby came to think of that, but there are no scenes in this story that I enjoy as much as this one.

And yes, I do still have the original messages between Alby, Icarus, and I. I don't have access to them, but I can at least tell you that it took an entire day of nearly non-stop discussion to finally reach a final conclusion on what Sunset's cutie mark represented. I can't take any more credit than anyone else, but I can say that it was the most exciting thing I've ever been a part of. Another great thing was when we originally contemplated how the ending would go. I was the only one to put up the idea of a sequel, but that was squashed fast. How she would die, how time worked, and more all came from us three. We did amazing work, and it's unbelievable to see it finished.

And on the success of this story, I don't take credit for anything because it was always a success. No matter if it had 100 likes or 1,000, it would be a an amazing story. But I do think that me pushing Alby to finally get a spot on Equestria Daily did wonders for pushing Alby to improve himself as a writer, something he now loves to death. I wanted him to blossom, to become a magnificent writer that could fully utilize his gift of imagination, and I think that I might have done something. He's now super famous and stuff. You know, with a hilltop house, and he's driving fifteen cars. Pony fame is pretty awesome. :derpytongue2:

But I digress. AJ, thanks for being amazing. You have a gift, my friend. A gift that you may still not realize. Hell, I always used to joke about you writing a shipping story so you could become a shipper, and now look at you. A joke turned into a successful story! You have a gift, and you can do mystifying things with it. Do squander what you got!

3151137

Do squander what you got!

Well, if you insist. I will now spend the next year doing absolutely nothing productive! :derpytongue2:

In all seriousness, you flatter me with your kind words. This story wouldn't be much of anything without you. Twas fate that day you decided to peek at Crusaders, Go! You, Chris and Adren have taught me a lot, and while I have a long ways to go before I'm ready to storm the real world, I can look back and remember three of the people who really helped me get my feet off the ground.

Now, onward I go, down the Long Road! May our paths cross again someday.

It's a perfectly good story, even with it's flaws, but I felt the epilogue was pointless. It makes out that, after all the crazy, all that really happened was that the world didn't end in flames and a few well loved characters didn't die. In the absence of a sequel or a few more chapters, I would contend that not having that epilogue is an improvement. It never explains, except in vague detail, Sunset's past in the future. It never addresses why or how she'd end up as Twilight's student. It offers no real closure on anypony's part. While I concede that there are plenty of reasons not to make Sunset the child of Twilight in the future, that would handily explain a number of things and make Twilight different than Celestia in some sense (more successful as a parent?).

If nothing else, I think it's something you should at least consider thinking about and perhaps writing if your further thinking takes you that way. There is little point to there being a Sunset-like pony in the future if she isn't essentially the same and doesn't eventually remember some or all of the past. If it's not a reincarnation and you won't write a story for it, it remains pointless.

3156359 It is her reincarnation. That's the same Sunset, on her third, and probably final, life. I wrote the epilogue mostly for closure. I've put enough cliffhangers throughout the story, that leaving it open like that at the end would have upset more people than anything.

As for a direct sequel, again I have a few one-shot ideas, but I don't think I could write another story with this Sunset that could live up to the story I crafted here. There really isn't a struggle, external or internal I can think of to justify a sequel. It would just be me making her do stuff, which I guess could work as a slice of life sort of story. Maybe.

Okay, reading this cleared up allot of the confusion I had after finishing the story. I still find Vesper's defeat kinda improbable, I mean she had the Frostlich's power and enough magical strength to match Celestia, not to mention the skill she displayed even when she was raging in the big alicorn fight, so I found it hard to buy she'd lose control to the degree she'd vaporize herself, or that any spell which was so powerful that the fueling it vaporized her super demon-alicorn body wouldn't have also leveled the continent (I mean rereading it her big final ultimate destruction attack doesn't honestly seem to do that much given just much energy she supposedly put into it), but at least now I understand why she didn't rise again after being vaporized. and I agree its sad we never got a conclusion for Celestia, who I thought was really well portrayed, though I don't know how that might have been worked in either.

Still overall I retain my opinion, this was a really good fic and I'm glad to have read it, thank you for sharing it with us.

You got me to actually care about Sunset Shimmer. Coming from someone who refuses to even acknowledge that the EqG movies exist, that's a pretty something.

Uh... Why not simply make a second epilogue featuring Sunset and Celestia?

I was this close to giving her an Oedipus complex.

Females don't get Oedipus complexes. It's called an Electra complex with them.

Great story, though.

3169206 Typically you only have one epilogue. Any more just seems messy.

3169441 Huh. The more you know.

3159407 perhaps an internal struggle as sunset tries to live up to the expectations of Twilight (or what she perceives them to be) coupled with an external enemy who is cunning, influential, and power-hungry? Plus it would give world building to the future and how Cadence and Twilight set up their version of the government. If a ruler looks weak, the people (or in this case, ponies) will not allow that person to rule for very long. Just an idea.

3159407
Reincarnation has the implication of knowledge of a past life and/or memories from it. The way I see it is that this is hardly a reincarnation at all. Honestly whether or not people are upset is a pretty poor reason to do anything in particular. Particularly when it is just their opinion. Why should/did she even end up as Twilight's student again anyway. There is no reason for that at all in the context of this ending. Particularly so if Twilight is not bound and determined for that to be the case, which would be utterly pointless if Sunset remembers nothing at all and is truly a blank slate except for fate.

3173136

Reincarnation has the implication of knowledge of a past life and/or memories from it. The way I see it is that this is hardly a reincarnation at all.

Sunset's barely spoken a line, so I don't know how you're assuming she can't be a reincarnation. The first time she was reincarnated, it took nineteen years and a trip through time for her first memories to wake up.

Honestly whether or not people are upset is a pretty poor reason to do anything in particular.

Granted. I probably should have mentioned that I wanted this too. I put through Sunset through hell, so of course I'm going to give her a happy ending.

There is no reason for that at all in the context of this ending. Particularly so if Twilight is not bound and determined for that to be the case

And now, I have no idea what you're talking about. Of course Twilight wants this; it's her friend and student.


3173135 An interesting idea if I really want to peruse a sequel. Along with an idea, it comes down to if I have time to write this.

3173198
Except that Sunset can't and won't ever be the pony she was before.

3173198

That would be kind of interesting! there's definitely nineteen years of future world-building to explore as Sunset grows up :).

Thank you. Thank you for writing this amazing story. Sunset has easily become one of my favorite characters. I liked her as a reformed villain in Rainbow Rocks, but I've absolutely loved her from the characterization from the stories on this site. Sunset of Time is easily the best, and one of the best stories I have read here period.

And though it may seem minor, I want to say thank you for not leaving Vesper, the original Sunset, to end as the villain she was. The entire time I read this story I couldn't help but feel sorry for her, you wrote her as one of the most tragic characters I've ever seen. I was very glad that Sunset helped her find peace. Though she was the villain, she was also the original, and I couldn't keep the eager unicorn filly that became Celestia's student out of my head.

You mentioned that you regret Celestia not gaining any closure. Perhaps in the one-shot you mentioned Celestia's Sunset would find a way to communicate from the afterlife to make amends? I must admit, I would be beyond excited to read something like that. And Celestia did say that "perhaps, someday, you’ll see her again."

Wonderfull story and probally the best sunset one I've read. Although have you thought about the possibility of Discord bringing Sunet back? Because it WOULD be chaos if someone who doesnt exist comes back, right? Btw, will Twilight ever tell "new" Sunset all of this?

3210111 I gave thought into Discord and whether or not he could do that. I came up with an inconclusive answer, and even if he could do it, having him do it just wouldn't feel right. It's like straight up deus ex machina.

And yes, Twilight plans to tell Sunset everything when she gets a little older.

3210312 Ah cool... Although I wouldn't mind it written *wink wink*, could be fun to see Sunsets reaction to it!:twilightsmile:

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