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Friendship is Card Games: Rainbow Dash Presents: Captain Hook the Biker Gorilla · 1:29pm January 16th

This week, we’re putting ourselves four degrees away from the source material. It’s a card blog based on a video based on a story based on a song based on FiM. Let’s get going.

For those unfamiliar with Rainbow Dash Presents, we’re actually looking at Rainbow Factory, that classic tale of quasi-Spartan eugenics and the dark underbelly of industrial meteorology, which was in turn inspired by WoodenToaster's song of the same name. Long story short, weak pegasi get put in the corpse juicer.

We open with the creators venting their frustration on Equestria Daily. When the site is called “Trixie Variety Show,” it’s not exactly subtle, to say nothing of the glances at the fourth wall while discussing the bias of the people taking video submissions.

Oh! It’s not just a poorly aging “Take that!” but also justifying the… unusual title of this episode of RDP. I’d forgotten that part. Also, lovely touch with Dash reading a Wonderbolt comic inside the Linux book. And it appears that Thrackerzod cannot comprehend the amorphous enigma that is a beanbag chair.

I do love the balloon harnesses on the unwinged Crusaders. Probably more reliable than the glitter wings spell. Though tying them to Scootaloo’s tail just before she takes a flight exam seems… ill-advised.

“I’m Orion. Orion Comet! You can call me OC for short.”
Ah, metahumor. The colt is simply known as “Orion” in the source story, so it’s not too much of a stretch here.
(Correction: In the original, he's Orion Solstice. This is what I get for skimming. The joke still lands.)

I do love Scootaloo’s Johnny Bravo-esque poses launching Thrackerzod like a tail-mounted flail.

In the original story, the trial instructor is described as “A massive, musclebound pegasus.” Here, it’s literally green Cheerilee with wings. Though I suppose if you’re recoloring an earth pony, the resulting pegasus might look musclebound by comparison… :trixieshiftright:
Also, continuing Dawn Somewhere’s prophetic track record, this Blossomforth got named almost two months before “Hurricane Fluttershy” aired.

Unexpected, incongruous Best Pony. I appreciate that. And one of the judges supplying her with more gum.

“And what if we pass?”
“Then you exit the educational system, and that is a world an educator is frowned upon to understand. I know not what will happen.”
This is one of those jokes that gets a lot less funny as you age.

In the original story, Aurora makes a good show of it before her wings snap. Here… Yeah, not so much.

Ah, zero-tolerance policies. Because nuance is for people with a bigger budget.

“The system does not have time to understand its own intent.”
“No amount of logic or reasoning can persuade the educational system, you guys.”
Seriously, this is equal parts hilarious and painful. Don’t fall through the cracks of your college’s bureaucracy, folks. It can end well, but it won’t end quickly.

I do love the van with clouds in place of tires. I suppose wheels are reserved for vehicles that might have to land on solid ground at some point.

The cat on a hoverboard is icing on the ludicrous cake. And given what we see in Season 10, said cat having a medical degree isn’t actually outside the realm of possibility.

I only just noticed that Aurora’s cutie mark is a bottle of glue. Which, given her role in the original story, is accurate.

Holy crap, the drive-through Blubbo’s whale. Delightfully unexpected Homestar Runner reference. Sever your wing, please, for it is indeed the greatest day.

The “mechanical mud pony ride” raises a number of concerns, but it does feel right for Rainbow Factory Cloudsdale.

Surprise as Willy Wonka is still delightful. As is Thrackerzod’s demand to become an Oompa-Loompa.

“You don’t need to run away through the cloud floor or the walls or anything.”
I mean, given that the foals being fed into the Device failed a flight exam, that’s not exactly a plot hole.

I have to wonder what grabbed that poor secretary through their laptop.

And so OC learns that crying “moral outrage” is a lot like crying “wolf.” Press that button too many times and no one cares when it really matters.

Thrackerzod actually has it wrong. Even in the original book, all of the children survive the Wonka factory. Some are shrunken, bloated, warped, or otherwise mistreated, but they all come out alive.

:unsuresweetie: “I declare that this cannot go wrong!”
Of course the eldritch horror trusts clowns.

Oof, that poor Truffle Shuffle recolor. As if the magical glandular problem weren’t bad enough, even his cutie mark is a Twinkie.

“There’s cookies and punch by the doors.”
One of the jokes in this one that’s stuck with me since I first watched it. Repetition helps.

Yeah, the Oedipus complex is getting weird here. Even more so than Scootaloo’s warped metaphor.

:applecry: “Y’all should be a tuna, ‘cause they’re the chickens of the sea.”
Honestly, this could almost work in the show.

Even as a self-insert, this Rainbow Dash isn’t exactly the most competent pony. Though to her credit, she does try to prevent aforementioned corpse juicing.

The masks are a part of the original story, though that had a cult of elitism to soften the blow of systemic child murder. And the luchador masks are a good way to blend individuality and anonymity. Say what you will about her ability to keep a secret, this Dash is certainly interested in her subordinates’ welfare.

I do love the bathroom graffiti.
“Put Fluttershy in an episode.”

Ooh, very nice touch with Dash’s nervous preening to the point of biting her feathers ragged.

Oh right, I forgot there was a song. And that it led to this bit. We’ve truly come full circle.

Nice touch with the flux capacitor on the machine. and Thrackerzod begrudgingly joining in the panicked huddle because everypony else was.

“We’re not chemists so don’t ask us
How this method got so vaunted.”
Love it. You’d think there’d be a method to manufacture dyes without child murder.

The history is pretty much as per the story, though with causes and effects laid out a bit differently. In the original, Celestia only abandoned rainbow production after she had to start moving the moon. (And, double-checking that source, ponies are allegedly the best and only option where magic and pure, Platonic color run freely together. There’s no explanation for why they’re still doing it now, but going by the AU tag, it’s possible that Luna was never redeemed in that timeline.)

I do love Trixie’s ancestor as the unicorn representative. Truly, the Lulamoons are a storied and notorious family.

Oh, Rainbow. Don’t name the puppies. It’ll only hurt more.

Ah yes. It is a mystery why putting a box of crayons in the machine improves the process.

Thrackerzod is distracted by finding something familiar. That sacrifice won’t dedicate itself to Azathoth!

Using the exam steps as a code for the escape attempt is indeed part of the original story. And yeah, maybe use something you didn’t fail at earlier in the day?

I don’t know what I love more, the Star Trek door sound or Thrackerzod casually defying time and space and creating a bootstrap paradox.

Ah, the Legends of the Hidden Temple reference. Lovely stuff. And it really does capture the feeling of watching someone struggle with the Silver Monkey.

I do love the fridge logic with the puppy. There wasn’t anything holding it up, after all.

Nice touch with the accurate parabola on Thrackerzod’s photo.

This is exactly the sort of thing I appreciate, twisting grimdark scenarios into something absurd. It’s as much a classic as its source material, for very different reasons. Now, let’s see how much further the chain of inspiration can stretch:

Virtual Abduction W
Exile target creature with toughness less than or equal to the number of artifacts you control.
As you gaze long into the screen, the screen gazes also into you.

Abyssinian Medic 2W
Creature — Cat Cleric
T: Prevent the next X damage that would be dealt to any target this turn, where X is the number of creatures in your party. (Your party consists of up to one each of Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard.)
Never underestimate fuzz therapy.

Masked Engineer 2W
Creature — Pegasus Artificer
Megamorph 3WW (You may cast this card face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its megamorph cost and put a +1/+1 counter on it.)
When Masked Engineer is turned face up, put a +1/+1 counter on each artifact creature you control.

Zero Tolerance 2WW
When a creature deals damage to you, sacrifice Zero Tolerance. If you do, destroy all creatures.
The system does not have time to understand such minor details as nuance, guilt, or the system.

Arcane Hacker U
Creature — Unicorn Wizard
T: Until end of turn, change the text of target spell or permanent by replacing all instances of one color word with another, one basic land type with another, or one creature type with another.

Temple Raiders 2U
Creature — Pony Rogue
Temple Raiders can’t be blocked as long as you’ve ventured into the dungeon this turn.
4U: Venture into the dungeon. Activate only as a sorcery. (Enter the first room or advance to the next room.)
“We can assemble it later! Just grab it and go!”

Double Back 2UU
Exile target creature you control. At the beginning of the next end step, return that card to the battlefield under your control, then create a token that’s a copy of it.
“Linear time. How quaint.”
—Thrackerzod, entirely normal filly

Enthralling Anemones 3U
Creature — Jellyfish
At end of combat, you may gain control of target creature Enthralling Anemones blocked this combat until Enthralling Anemones leaves the battlefield or you gain control of another creature with it.

Dark Inscription 1B
Whenever a creature dies, put a soul counter on Dark Inscription.
1B, Remove four soul counters from Dark Inscription and sacrifice it: Create a 6/6 black Demon creature token with flying and trample.

Gates of Shame 1B
Creature — Wall
Whenever another creature dies, that creature’s controller loses 1 life.
Those who pass through are already dead. What follows is a formality.

Cacao Thrall 2B
Creature — Kithkin Minion Rigger
When Cacao Thrall enters the battlefield, it assembles a Contraption. (Put the top card of your Contraption deck face up onto one of your sprockets.)
Compared to their old life, unpaid drudgery is paradise.

Cloudsdale Zealot 3B
Creature — Pegasus Assassin
When Cloudsdale Zealot dies, destroy up to one target creature without flying.
“Praise the Flock.”

Rainbow Quota 3BB
Each player sacrifices a white creature. Repeat this process for blue, black, red, and green.
Equestria demands beauty, ignorant of or indifferent to its cost.

Bizarre Rockglider 2R
Creature — Pegasus Mutant
Bizarre Rockglider can’t be blocked by creatures with flying.
“I tinkered with the concept a bit, but pony minds are more fun to twist than pony bodies.”

Consuming Hellfire 2RR
Consuming Hellfire deals 4 damage to target creature or planeswalker. If that permanent would die this turn, exile it instead.
Sometimes you go to Hell. Sometimes it comes to you.

Silverback Road-Raider 3R
Creature — Ape Pilot Pirate
Whenever Silverback Road-Raider crews a Vehicle, that Vehicle gains trample until end of turn.
Ribbons of asphalt stretch like lianas between urban jungles.

Mass Panic 4R
Creatures target player controls can’t block this turn. Each of those creatures deals 1 damage to that player.
The processing floor was filled with panicked whinnies and flailing hooves.

Catastrophic Crash 1G
Strive — This spell cost 2G more to cast for each target beyond the first.
Destroy any number of target creatures with flying.
After the Rarity Incident, the Cloudosseum thoroughly reviewed its safety measures.

Hollow Consolation 1G
Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
Gravestorm (When you cast this spell, copy it for each permanent put into a graveyard this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
“There’s cookies and punch by the door.”
—Rainbow Dash, factory foremare

Squeamish Mercy 1G
Spells and abilities your opponents control can’t cause you to discard cards or sacrifice permanents this turn.
Draw a card.
Ruthlessness comes at a cost some aren’t willing to pay.

Guardian Lumberknot 2GG
Creature — Treefolk
Whenever an opponent casts a spell during your turn, venture into the dungeon. This ability triggers only once each turn.
The temple’s guards linger on, whether in their own bodies or others.

Ragged Cloudwagon 4
Artifact — Vehicle
Whenever one or more creatures crew Ragged Cloudwagon, exert those creatures. (They don’t untap during your next untap step.)
Crew 2 (Tap any number of creatures you control with total power 2 or more: This Vehicle becomes an artifact creature until end of turn.)

Spectra Extractor 4
T, Sacrifice X creatures: Add X plus one mana in any combination of colors.
“‘It works without foals’? What do you mean ‘It works without foals’!?”
—Surprise, factory engineer

Flux Catalyzer
Artifact — Contraption
Whenever you crank Flux Catalyzer, choose target creature. After the first combat phase this turn, there is an additional combat phase. Untap that creature at the beginning of that combat.

Moral Outrage RW
Moral Outrage deals damage equal to the damage dealt to you this turn to any target.
Sometimes justice is just another word for revenge.

The Sisters’ War 1WB
Enchantment — Saga
(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I — Put a +1/+1 counter on each white creature you control.
II — Put a +1/+1 counter on each black creature you control.
III — Destroy all nonwhite, nonblack creatures.

Rainbow Factory
Legendary Land
T: Add C.
T, Sacrifice a creature: Add C and one mana of any color.
Equestria is a land where dreams come true. That includes nightmares.

Hidden Temple of Olmec
Temple Gates — Untap target permanent. (Leads to: Mine Shaft, Quicksand Bog)
Mine Shaft — Target player mills three cards. (Leads to: Temple Guard Ambush, King’s Storeroom)
Quicksand Bog — Target creature gets -1/-1 until your next turn. (Leads to: King’s Storeroom, Vipers’ Nest)
Temple Guard Ambush — Target player sacrifices an artifact. (Leads to: Shrine of the Silver Monkey)
King’s Storeroom — Create two Treasure tokens. (Leads to: Shrine of the Silver Monkey)
Vipers’ Nest — Target creature gains deathtouch until your next turn. (Leads to: Shrine of the Silver Monkey)
Shrine of the Silver Monkey — Create a 3/3 colorless Monkey Golem artifact creature token with trample.

(Note: Same room layout as Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Comments ( 10 )

Orion is actually called Orion Solstice in the original fic. And Luna was definitely redeemed going by the sequels.

This was always my favorite of the MAS pieces. "The Fastest Supervisor in Equestria" still cracks me up.

There’s no explanation for why they’re still doing it now

It's not about making rainbows, it's about purging undesirables.

This is awesome. RDP actively shaped Pegasus Device with a lot of the plot hole and ridiculous concepts being called out. There's even a line where Scootaloo tells the new failures how stupid her escape plan was. Whenever I need a good laugh, I'll pull it up.

Spectra Extractor 4
T, Sacrifice X creatures: Add X plus one mana in any combination of colors.
“‘It works without foals’? What do you mean ‘It works without foals’!?”
—Surprise, factory engineer

I've always imagined this card like such:

Pegasus Device 4
Legendary Artifact
Sacrifice a creature with flying: Add one mana of each color in target creature's mana cost.
T, Sacrifice a creature: Add X mana of any color, where X is target creature's mana value.
But a rainbow's easy, once you get to know it.

Though I've never been good at properly balanced MTG cards.

Nice to see you cover this. Rainbow Dash Presents has always been a good series, but in my opinion, this was the episode where it became a great series. It's not my all-time favourite RDP (that would be the My Little Dashie episode), but it's a close second. Lot going on in this one.

I should probably reply to these at some point... :twilightblush:

Duly noted on both fronts. I haven't dug deep into the setting, but that first one I can only pin on my skimming the first story to refresh my memory of it.

"I want to be an Oompa-Loompa!" still makes me smile. Especially the implication that there's some eldritch ritual at work.

Oh yeah, I was spoiled for choice in terms of finding card material here.

Oh my goodness! I was not expecting feedback from the original story's author! Glad to hear you enjoyed this. :twilightsmile: Also, Scootaloo's last line has stuck with me since the first time I read the story. Great job there.

It's not about making rainbows, it's about purging undesirables.

True, true. The political machinations tend to take a backseat to liquefying children in my mind.

As for your Pegasus Device, I assume it's meant to refer to the sacrificed creature rather than a different one still on the field. In that case, it's an interesting blend of Food Chain and Charmed Pendant. Because both abilities don't work with tokens, it's much less abusable than, say, Phyrexian Altar. There is an infinite mana/storm-count combo with the Device, Enbdbringer's Revel, and a five-color flier, but if a card were broken just because it was part of an infinite combo, there wouldn't be many cards left. :derpytongue2:
Besides, I see getting maximum potential out of the Device through a living rainbow and an unspeakable ritual as an outstanding flavor win.

I should note I believe I misunderstood your original question as to why the factory is still producing rainbows even though Luna is back.

It's never been addressed in the main story line, but some of my supplemental materials (specifically the company history) did address this.

1000AN: Princess Luna returns to the Crown. Due to the critical nature of the weather production
contracts for the survival of the city-state and its population, the arrangement is maintained.

Basically, they were able to convince Canterlot that to take away rainbow production would be a major economic blow now it had been so ingrained into Cloudsdale's existence.

But yeah, as per why they still make rainbows out of children, is because they're cartoonishly evil facists =D

One last note. I don't see the infinite mana in your supplied combo. PD's first ability provides you with WUBRG if you sacrifice a WUBRG, but you then need to spend 4 of that to bring the creature back, and then cast it again. Am I missing something? ^_^;;

Thanks for brightening my day for being here, apropos of nothing in particular.

I'd argue they're closer to Nazism than Fascism. Purging those deemed detrimental to society is more of a thing there; Fascism isn't really concerned with that aside from silencing dissidents. It is interesting to not however that their mentality is closer to Fascism than Nazism when it comes to the actual core ideal they're working towards, it being a thing rather than a person, which I suppose helps explain how the ideology survived so long.

Nope, you're completely right; I skipped a step. :twilightsheepish: Now, if you can give a Gravecrawler flying...


A fasc-inating distinction I had not realized!

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