• Member Since 6th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen Nov 19th, 2012

Captain Gamer

Video games are my medium of choice, so applying games to ponies is my way of showing my love. I'm totally going to make this a real bio someday later.


A fighting tournament comes to Ponyville! The town is caught up when the monarch of a far-off country arrives at Ponyville and brings with her the Cutie Mark Clash. With such a change of pace and a cash prize to win, everypony has fight fever!

Not all about this tournament is so straightforward. An evil organization named Shadohoof has other interests and the seldom-seen Princess Luna graces the tournament with her presence with a purpose. Just what in the hay is going on!? And what is with this Clopperfield place and its ruler, Lady Aremis, anyway?

Join the mane cast and your favorite background ponies of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in this action-packed, emotionally driven story inspired by the medium of video games and fueled by the most loving and tolerant fandom in the known world!

Chapters (9)
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Comments ( 20 )

Very well written, I like it so far. Though some things can be fixed, I like it.:twilightsmile:

200388 Thank you for the kind words! Don't be shy about what needs to be fixed in the story. I'm always looking to improve my work!

Awesome! I'm a big fan of this story, and I'm definitely happy to see it posted here. So does this mean we'll be seeing new chapters soon?

Hayley is cool.:pinkiehappy:

200550 Yes, I've been well underway after my internship-induced hiatus. Chapter 9 is about 5/6 done and it'll be followed by chapter 9.6. The REASON behind 9.6 has sorta passed but it'll serve an important purpose anyway. Hint: The number has a purpose.

I remember attempting to read this on EqD...

I remember immensely disliking it. I also remember that merely thinking about it made me angry and I could never figure out why. In fact, it was only after I ended up ruminating over it for several weeks that I finally figured out what was so very wrong with it. You may remember me as a particularly long winded anonymous, given that these were the early days of EqD when we were allowed to post anonymously, before everyone had to get a username. I was the anon at July 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm where I said that it was merely personal opinion as to why I didn't like it, but after some further rumination upon this story over a few more weeks, I managed to figure out just where the story went wrong.

You see, this story, if you'll believe it, was the very first fanfiction that I reviewed I believe, and it's actually one of my bigger regrets as I have learned several tricks and things to look out for in the intervening months. More to the point, I said a number of things that were, quite frankly, wrong. If you don't mind, now that this story is here on FiMFiction, I wouldn't mind attempting another go at this one, as miffed as the subject matter makes me. I'd like to attempt to read this again, and see if I can make a better, more informed, more experienced review, if you don't mind.

I apologize in advance if my review gets too scathing or rude. :twilightblush:

200611 You don't know how awesome it is to find you again. Your feedback was among the most valuable. It showed that I did get across a sense of uneasiness and that maybe I did start the story off a little strong in the negative. A little emotional evocation is good, but not when it turns someone away completely.

I look forward to a more informed review, and don't worry about the scathing. A few lost eyebrows are an acceptable sacrifice for constructive criticism.

200606 Glad to hear it :twilightsmile:

I was actually thinking about this story a few days ago and wondering what had happened to it. I was wondering if you had just abandoned it or something, but I'm happy to see that isn't the case. I can't wait to see what you've got in store.:pinkiehappy:

200454 Well, one part that particularly jumped out at me, in Chapter 8, was this:

"However, Applejack got fed up. However she saw it coming.":applejackunsure:

It could be rephrased as to explain more and vary your wording. Something that might work would be; Applejack was fed up with Rainbow and fuming, but nonetheless she saw the pegasus' next move coming.

If I may review this story on a chapter by chapter basis...

I'll start by outlining the more positive aspects of this story. You manage to do a particularly good job of setting up the premise in general. There's a traditional fighting tournament that is held by another nation called Clopperfield on whatever world Equestria exists in, ruled by an Alicorn named Lady Aremis. You do a decent job of giving us an idea of the sort of place that Clopperfield may be; a more hardened, warlike place, or at least one with a longer history of conflict in place. Something of a Sparta to Equestria's Athens. I would assume that, given simply how idyllic Equestria is that the world has entered into some sort of new enlightenment of peace or something, but that would in no way lessen traditions and certain ways of thinking. Hence, you actually manage to, relatively quickly and handily simply through what you give us, portray what sort of place and people Clopperfield is.

It is also interesting how you introduce the "Hoof of War" and the various aspects and rules of the tournament. It suggests that a great deal of time and effort has been put into making this culturally significant event safe, interesting, and accessable to everypony, which paints a picture of an athletic, active, once warlike community that has entered into a new age but remembers its roots. Lady Aremis is an interesting figure and her scholar, while he can get annoying at times, is at least useful... mostly.

That said, while you do a very nice job of worldbuilding and introducing a culture, and your job of the technical aspects of writing, such as description, grammar, and atmosphere are all stellar, you run into a major problem with your characters.

I'll keep it brief for now, but suffice it to say that, with the exception of Rainbow Dash, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and MAYBE Pinkie Pie and Applejack... every single pony (and dragon) in this story is out of character.

You know how at one point, Hayley says 'This town doesn't seem to be the type'? Well... the fact of the matter is it isn't. I can fully believe in Rainbow Dash's competitive spirit interesting her in joining a tournament where she can prove she's the best. The Iron Pony competition is full evidence of that.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders I can believe joining simply because, well... they're the cutie mark crusaders. They've done a lot of dangerous things without thinking simply by their obsessive, impatient, and hasty nature of doing things. I can fully believe that, caught up in the moment, they might take it upon themselves to try out a tournament called "the Cutie Mark Clash" in an attempt to get their cutie marks. But I have trouble believing anypony else.

Pinkie Pie, on account of simply being unpredictable... I might be able to grant you. Her reasoning is a little iffy though. As Equestria's premiere party pony, you'd think that she'd understand that a party isn't generally accompanied by people getting punched in the face, unless you live in Ireland. In fact, I would think she would know that getting violent and starting fights is a very fast way to bring a party down. Now due to her simply unpredictable nature, I might be able to believe her joining, but it's... iffy.

Applejack I have an easier time believing, simply because I do see her as a sort of 'Mama Bear' sort when it comes to Applebloom. She's shown great concern in the past for her sister after all. I have trouble believing it because of what I think I remember about the rules of the tournament, though. Since those haven't been adequately explained in this chapter, then I'll go ahead and wait for the next chapter when they are explained.

The rest of the ponies, though, I simply have a hard time believing that they would join such a thing. I also have a hard time believing Spike's character in this story. While I think you were attempting to invoke Spike's attempts to get Twilight to show up Trixie in Boast Busters, here, the problem is that that was a very specific situation. Trixie was being a loudmouth showboater in the middle of town, and Spike felt that she needed taking down a peg ('Pleeeease! She's unbearable!'). Here though, there's no reason for Twilight to join, and he has no reason for her to want to join other than for the sake of joining. I can't imagine that she needs the money, being the student of Princess Celestia and all, so that's not a reason. He seems to be trying to say "You're more awesome than any other unicorn, so why not?" But the thing of it is... that line of thinking suggests that he's encouraging her to act LIKE Trixie. Which I can't buy. Spike is supportive, but he's not a bad influence. He doesn't push Twilight to do things she doesn't want to do, unless there's some good reason for it. Here... there's really no reason other than 'it would be cool to see,' and that's really not good enough.

Fluttershy's doesn't make sense simply because she's Fluttershy. I'm sorry, but there is no way that I can picture Fluttershy as being that confrontational. I will openly admit that she is rather 'mama bear' about her animals, and that she does have a more assertive side that comes out in defense of her friends, as seen in Dragonshy and Stare Master... but the fact that she is in general the most pacifist character in the world, added to the rules of the tournament, which I will elaborate on further next time, I simply don't see this happening.

Rarity makes no sense either. Her motivation is completely screwed up. You do get right that she is an artist with dreams of seeing her designs all over the world. This makes sense for her. The idea that she would like to make things for Clopperfield ponies is a good motivation to get her into the plot... but not the tournament itself. Remember, Rarity is a lady. Rarity is also intelligent. Fighting in a tournament is neither ladylike, nor intelligent behavior. And while I get that you said in story that she was making a custom outfit for herself as basically advertisement for her shop... this seems like a very... bad... reason to join a tournament like this. I can think of several different ways she could get her wares to the tournament goers, or people in Clopperfield. One good idea would be to make a suit for Hayley, free of charge. Given how much he talks I would damn well bet that he'd be able to spread some word-of-mouth advertisement for her. Another would be to approach ponies in the tournament to make THEM battle suits. Say that she'll make them padded things that will streamline their bodies by getting manes and tails out of the way and will also be padded to lessen impacts. These are good plans.
But making herself a battlesuit and then joining? Bad plan. People that fight her are going to be focusing on where she's kicking, and what their next move is going to be. They're not going to be focusing on her outfit. If people focused on outfits and looks in fighting tournaments, Kitana would have won every Mortal Kombat tournament ever.
Also, what bust? Unless these are anthro ponies, pony breasts are down in the crotch area.

And finally, we come to Twilight. Twilight is sorta a paradox. See, Twilight is the sort of pony that loves to please others and hates failing other people. She does seem to be the type that might bend to peer pressure and join something if everybody else pressured her to. In that regard... she SORTA makes sense? The problem here is that since nopony else makes sense to join this tournament, she doesn't make sense by proxy.

Something about me: I used to be an instructor at a Tae Kwon Do studio. I have a black belt. I have experience with people fighting and with tournaments. While it's true that all walks of people would come and learn how to fight, and would end up sparring in the ring together... only a very select few people ever joined the tournaments. Those were people like Rainbow Dash or people that had their hearts into athleticism and the sport.

See, the problem that I see with this story is that the characters are out of character... but not by that much. As a result, a variant of the Uncanny Valley effect takes place. The characters are ALMOST perfect, and seem like in other contexts they would be acting like themselves, but here, they're just barely out of character enough that it's incredibly off putting when you see the ways in which they're acting outside the norm. It's kinda like "Friendship is Witchcraft" which has the peaceful setting and look of ponyville, with a deceptively saccharine bunch of characters, that are all actually in their own ways rather cruel or malicious or have some sort of unsavory element or agenda to them. Except while FiW makes it work by being a parody of the show and playing it all up for laughs... this story plays it straight. And it doesn't really work...

I'll expand on this in the next chapter once I get back from work. This whole review process may take a few days, but I hope to power through this story and get this out there.

EDIT: ...okay in retrospect, I guess this wasn't that breif... :twilightblush:

Does this chapter ends in "saves your farm from a lot of raw deal", like an unfinished sentence for anyone else? From what is available, however, this is a nice chapter and I still like how you describe your battles. Keep writing!

That sentence also kind of jumped out at me, but I think that second 'However' is not 'despite being troubled, she saw her' but more 'somehow she saw her'. So I'd argue that the second 'However' should be kept. That first 'However', however, can just be cut since Applejack getting fed up by Dash's attack is not an unexpected thing.

Alright back from work, onto this chapter.

Ah, yes... this was the chapter that made me almost quit when I read the fight between Applejack and Big Mac and couldn't comprehend how everything seemed to be okay, and yet everything felt so very wrong.

Before I begin, I have to ask a quick question. That being... was this chapter edited at all since I last reviewed this? I ask because there's one part that seems very tacked on that looks pretty important that I don't ever remember seeing the previous time I read this. That being: "The true colors of all ponies who participate are shown. All resentment, insecurity, and locked-away malice are laid bare under the Cutie Mark Clash's flag. Friends against friends, family against family... relationships tested... and broken."

It seems vaguely important and explains a lot (though at the same time raising a lot more questions), but I swear I don't remember seeing that the last time I read this... and I remember things pretty well most of the time.

In any case, to start with some of the more positive aspects...

You write fight scenes very well. I'm not even joking that these are some of the best written fight scenes I've ever seen in a fanfiction, and they're definitely professional quality. To be fair, this is one area where I might even have to come and learn from you, because I don't write fight scenes all that well. But the fights you describe are fast paced, clear, and they make sense... even if the fighters don't.

I also must commend your portrayal of Trixie. She's the only character I really see here who appears to be perfectly spot on. And again, from a technical standpoint, the story is damn near perfect. Grammar, atmosphere, world building... it's all there and it's all pretty good. The tone is a bit light for what's going on in my opinion, but it's obvious that I feel very similarly to Applejack just about the whole shebang.

Again, the problem comes around with the characters... as well as some things that simply don't make sense from a logical standpoint. I'll get the latter out of the way first.

Most of what doesn't make sense from a simple logical standpoint revolves around the Hoof of War/Cutie Mark Clash, and the citizens general reaction to it. Now, Hayley (who is still rather annoying), has stated that the Hoof of War tends to protect against serious injury, and yet a) he's needed to bring medical attention to ponies, and b) there was apparently a big problem at one point involving a lot of really hurt ponies in Canterlot at some point or another. This sorta... raises alarm bells to me and I can't help but wonder why Applejack is the only other pony with bells a-ringing. Granny smith kinda makes sense, being a laid back old kook and all, but what about the rest of the citizens? What about high-strung Twilight, who seems more annoyed by it than wary? What about nervous fluttershy, who's not against ponies getting hurt so much as she's worried for her animals? Why does nobody stop and think for a minute that maybe this is a bad idea?

Now, I said that I was a Tae Kwon Do instructor, and it's true. I've seen numerous people end up going at it with martial arts in the ring... but the thing is that there, and in most tournaments that I know of that aren't faked (with the exception of maybe Boxing, which I don't know much about...), there's a real emphasis upon proper safety. People wear protective gloves, vests, helmets, mouth-guards... there's always a referee and a medical team nearby... And people always make sure to stop the fight BEFORE someone gets knocked out. I'll get back to that one in a minute.

There's a severe lack of safety here... and given how skittish most of the ponies in Ponyville seem to be, I would THINK that more of them would catch on that maybe... just maybe... this isn't the best idea. This goes DOUBLE if there's actually some sort of psychological effect to the Hoof of War as Trixie suggests. It sounds to me as if she heard that from Hayley, which would suggest that he told everybody about it. I can't imagine that ponies like Lyra and Bonbon... best friends at least and married couple with a kid at most (don't know which they are in your version)... would risk breaking their relationships if they were cognisent of the effects that it had on mentality. In fact, given how idyllic most of what we've seen of Equestria is (no proper knoledge of weapons in Appleoosa and using pies for battle instead/A young filly safely walking the streets of Manehattan alone in what is presumably one of the biggest cities in the world), I'm surprised that given all of this, the Cutie Mark Clash is at all popular... It feels incredibly inconsistent with canon.

Furthermore, if Hayley DIDN'T tell everypony about the psychological effect of the HoW lowering your inhibitions, and if he perhaps covered up that serious injury can occur and safety is not guaranteed... then I'm honestly surprised that Celestia isn't butting in and telling them to cut it out, or at least reveal the truth. Malice among her little ponies has a tendency to cause problems. But this situation would suggest something fishy going on with the tournament itself, which would make for an interesting twist, and probably explain everything... except for why Celestia has let it go on so many times for so long over the years, and why it's so popular around the world. The whole thing just raises so many questions...

Now, as for character issues again...with the reveal of the new rules and the fact that the Hoof of War can refuse to fight somebody... here's where I get two the two "I'll get to it later's" that I brought up with Applejack and Fluttershy come in. Presumably you cannot fight in a Cutie Mark Clash with someone not participating, who doesn't have a Hoof of War, correct? Otherwise that would suggest that this would be a perfect time for, say, thugs to break into houses and beat up ponies and steal stuff, or bullies to gang up on smaller children, or people with grudges to take it out on nonparticipants, right? I'm going to assume that the Hoof of War won't activate against someone not actually IN the tournament, and not wearing an HoW.

That being the case, let us remember that Applejack and Fluttershy entered the tournaments defensively. Applejack in defense of her sister, and Fluttershy in defense of her animals. Now here's a puzzler for you... if they wanted to defend their respective friends... why join the tournament in the first place?

Applejack has already been proven to be able to hold her own in canon, and she reaffirms this here. While she won't get any fancy powers without entering, the presumed lack of activation on the part of the opponent as well suggests that she'd be able to chase people that wanted to get in a fight with her sister off BETTER if she wasn't actually IN the tournament. If she wasn't in the tournament, she'd be able to do a better job of defending her sister, than she will by actually being in the tournament. Not only that, but she'll end up being distracted from her duties as a defender presumably somewhat often by ponies looking to challenge her, which she said before that she wasn't interested in... and unless she actually wanted to fight Big Mac, which suggests all sorts of out of character-ness (more than already present), I'm going to guess that a pony can't refuse a battle once one's been challenged. The fight with Trixie suggests that perhaps the challenger can forfeit at some point, but not the challenged. And Applejack doesn't seem the type to go picking fights in this case so... Basically Applejack screwed herself over here. She's ended up making it MORE difficult for herself and made it HARDER to protect her sister, than she would have if she hadn't joined.

And Fluttershy's done the exact same thing. Not only would she have been able to Stare away anypony that tried to fight and trample little animals beforehand, but the fact that she's participating actually suggests that ponies are going to come around actively looking to challenge her. Meaning, it's now open season at her house and she can't stop the ponies from coming around to her and using her house as a battlefield since she's now taking part in the tournament.

Now... it could be possible that they simply didn't know about this beforehand. In that case, it would only make more sense for them to drop out of the tournament as soon as they knew this rule was in effect.
...but they didn't. In fact, when asked, Applejack said she wanted to stay IN the tournament, even though it's plainly obvious it'll make her job harder.

Of course... this all does presume that a pony with a hoof of war can't challenge someone who doesn't. If they CAN, however, then again, I must ask the question... why hasn't Celestia put a stop to this? Unless you're taking a Tyrantlestia approach to this story, in which case, since most of the rest of the story seems to at least attempt to follow canon pretty closely, I'm willing to step back and explain all the ways that Tyrantlestia does not and will never make sense in the context of canon.

I'll go a little further into character issues in the next chapter, because I'm pretty sure that's where I saw them at their most disgustingly worst before I stopped reading before if I'm remembering correctly, and I can retroactively explain the problems with Big Mac and Applejack there, seeing how long this particular portion is running.

Onto Chapter 3...

201875 Thank you for this! I had no idea it was cut off like that, nor do I understand why it would do that. The rest of it is now up there.

Alrighty then, here we go...

Now, Again... I have to give credit where it's due. Aside from all the things that you got right in the first couple chapters... I have to admit that I really enjoyed the first fight in this chapter. Scratch, being a background pony with no set character, was an acceptable match, and her fight with Gil was at the very least interesting enough. In fact, I wouldn't put it past the usual fanon interpretation of her to join something like this... though I must say that the music battle was perhaps a better match for her character than an actual out-and-out physical fight. What would be even better than both of those though is a fight like the one with the fifth and sixth evil exes from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Somebody totally has to write a story like that. Vinyl Scratch vs. the World needs to happen now.

...sorry got a little sidetracked there...

While I'm a little bit off put by the number of OC's starting to crop up, I can at least respect Gil for what he is: A pony-expy for Guile. Hayley has long since gotten ungodly annoying though. If he were some sort of jester instead of a scholar and maybe cracked a joke or two at some point he might be more acceptable, but as it is he really just slows things down. Several times I've found myself screaming at my screen for him to just shut up already and get on with the point. Lady Aremis... has barely shown up at this point, so I'll let her slide for now.

The fight between Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy vs. Billy and Hoops was alright, though I can't help but find Rainbow Dash's pleading to Fluttershy a far cry from the "Leave her alone" attitude she had in, say, Cutie Mark Chronicles. This one's a bit iffy, but honestly I don't think I remember Rainbow Dash ever being quite so pushy to get Fluttershy to do things she didn't want to do, that might put her in danger, when it wasn't absolutely required (Like in Dragonshy). The cheering thing was harmless, and if Fluttershy didn't straighten up and fly right in Dragonshy, then Equestria could have been covered in smoke for 100 years, but other than that, Rainbow has been more defensive and protective of Fluttershy than anything else. Now Rainbow Dash is demanding and holds her friends to a higher standard, don't get me wrong, but while she may be brash and abrasive at times, I've never seen her as that much of an outright asshole that she would force her friends into dangerous situations when it isn't absolutely required. I suppose others might take a slightly different interpretation to this, but it still feels a little bit wrong.

Also, this bit sorta highlights Fluttershy's uncharacteristic stupidity in this story. If Fluttershy is so well versed in the rules of the tournament... then why did she join in the first place if she could obviously accomplish this job of animal defense easier if she weren't actually IN the tournament?

The part that really deserves looking at, however, was the third section with Big Macintosh and Zecora. This section sorta highlights all the character issues I've seen up until this point.

Now first, I want to point out simply how infuriating Big Macintosh is in this story. lowered inhibitions by the HoW or not... some things just simply can't be accepted at this point. What is his motivation in this story? We don't even know. Why did he join the tournament? What is so important to him that he would go so far as to beat up his own sister... Knocking her unconscious no less, suggesting that he would go so far as to outright give a concussion to his own kin to get... whatever it is that's so important to him? How could he possibly be so arrogant and selfish to consider himself still 'in the right' after doing something like that? I'm sorry but so far, about the only motivation I can think of for him from what we've heard is some quest for independence or attempting to prove himself to himself or something like that and that just doesn't fly.

You say he felt remorse for his actions. Quite frankly... I can't see it. If he felt remorse, he would go back and apologize or try to make amends... or at least take some action other than taking a little stroll. You need to SHOW us his remorse here, not just tell us what he's supposed to be feeling at a given point in time, because as it is, with his still thinking he's in the right and his willingness to jump right back into another brawl with a complete stranger, I'm not getting the sense that he's sorry at all. I get the sense that he's a sociopath, fighting people he doesn't know and even those he should care about, all for some vague agenda. As far as I can SEE, he has absolutely no emotion about his fight with Applejack. His actions in the previous chapter towards her all completely lacked emotion or remorse and he didn't even hesitate to jump into Mortal Kombat with her. It was his first course of action. And he didn't stop to check if she was alright after the fight or apologize or bring her back to the house for medical attention or anything. He just wandered off. I simply can't rationalize how in the hell anyone could think of him as being in the right, when I can't see anything more than selfish reasons for his fighting, and everything Applejack said was a damn good point and her only reason for joining, though it was a kinda stupid thing to do, was defensive in nature.

Big Mac is a horrible person.

But the real thing that lays all the problems with this story bare here is Zecora. Now, Zecora is a wise, mysterious witch doctor, right? Her mysterious nature shrouds her in a sort of enigmatic character, so I might be able to believe she would join the tournament for maybe some sort of cultural or traditional reason or something... but her actions in this chapter simply make no sense. And the thing about them is that they lay bare the biggest problem... the whole underlying issue with character development and portrayal that this story has.

Zecora sees that something might be fishy with the CMClash, right? Okay... as a rational zebra what would be the smart, in character thing for her to do when she sees a pony like Big Mac, who she saw would play a big part in this upcoming tourney? The logical thing would be to call out to him and say 'Hey I need to talk to you" and then turn it into a rhyming couplet and take him to see Twilight Sparkle, right? Get to the bottom of whatever is so fishy as fast as possible with minimal conflict so as not to possibly exacerbate whatever is hinky with the CMClash, right?

But that's not what she does, now is it? Instead, she decides to jump Big Macintosh and challenge him to a fight for no reason other than 'why not?' and get her flank kicked.

And here we have the story's biggest, most unbearable, and yet sneakily hidden problem.

You see, on a personal level, all of the ponies (with the exception of Big Mac who I swear must be the Sweet Apple Massacre version of the character in this story) are completely in character. Twilight is bookish, sarcastic, cautious, but caring about her friends and eager to please them. Applejack is honest, cares about her family and wants to do them right, and joins the tourney for at least partially believable reasons. Rarity is artsy and wants to make business. Pinkie Pie is random and silly. The CMC are impatient and naiive. Fluttershy is nervous and loves animals and is soft spoken. Rainbow Dash is competitive and brash and wants to be the best. Everybody seems to be in character, right?

The problem is that you only have half the equation here. While everybody is in character on their own perhaps even more important in any story is how a character acts when interacting with other characters.

...and this is where the story messes up.

Zecora comes across as mysterious and wise, yes. But how does she normally act when interacting with other characters? Well, she treats them kindly, though she tends to be a little shifty at times due to her mysterious nature. She's very generous and giving, and more than happy to share her knowledge with other ponies. She is open and eager to meet new people, but doesn't force herself on ponies, and she doesn't take offense easily.

She does not attack ponies for no reason.

See where I'm going with this? When Rainbow Dash interacts with Fluttershy, she tends to act brash and demanding, but she doesn't get on her knees and beg her to do something that might put her in harm's way. When Applejack interacts with Big Mac, they act like close siblings, acting friendly and lovingly, but they don't go yelling at each other and then kicking the living crap out of each other, and when the other is hurt, they act casually, but not maliciously as this story suggests. When Rarity interacts with Twilight, she is occasionally caught up in the moment, but she is never outright dismissive of her worries or ignores her. Spike is a supportive friend, but he doesn't push his friends to do potentially bad or violent things. Do you see what I'm getting at? Virtually everybody in this story, when they are forced to interact with somebody else acts in a way that is unbecoming of them, and usually hints at something rude or unfriendly or even downright sinister. When the characters interact with other people in this story, most of them act CLOSE enough to how they normally would (with the exception of Big Mac and Zecora) that it's almost unnoticable, but there's something niggling in the back of your head that sorta says "something here feels very wrong." And this, combined with the well made personal character development, causes the characters to fall into a variant of the uncanny valley effect, and at the end of the day, the result just feels very very wrong. It feels like all of the happiness and joy and friendship and harmony that Equestria is founded upon and is so prevalent throughout the show is falling apart around them... and nobody seems to care. This is happening even before the tournament begins.

And that's where the problem lies. Among all the more obvious things that I pointed out earlier, the character interactions simply fall in just the absolute perfect place for everything to just feel wrong. It's like the ponies have been replaced with pods from outer space and are all acting almost right, but there's just something about them that you can't help but be wary about.

This was as far as I got when I tried to read it the first time, and at this point I've pretty much summed up my feelings about the story. I'm not going to chicken out this time, though. I'm going to go ahead and read the rest of the story. I won't be posting another review until I get to the end of Chapter eight, though (or whatever is the last chapter when I get caught up), so I'll leave you with the thoughts I've done so far.

Anyway, it was good to go back and review the first story I ever reviewed again with a little bit more experience under my belt. I hope I didn't offend at all. Most of the story is actually really well done. The fight scenes are absolutely brilliantly written and while you could do well to show emotion more often than you tell it, the atmosphere, original characters, and overall formulaic standpoint of the story are all really well done, and there are even a couple fight scenes that I can't help but enjoy. Despite my gripes about them, I did, in fact, enjoy the fights with RD and Fluttershy versus the bullies and I did, in fact, enjoy the fight between VInyl and Gil. The pacing is pretty decent, although it would be nice if you got on with the actual plot soon rather than just going down fight scene by fight scene, and the foreign elements necessary to make the story, such as Clopperfield and the Hoof of War, are at least decently introduced. Your only real problem falls into character interaction, unfortunately... that is a big problem... Made worse by just how close you really were from getting it perfectly, which sadly made the flaws feel all the more glaring, and landed you in that variant of the Uncanny Valley.

I would love to see this story with just some slight editing in dialogue and character interaction, because I know it could be one of the most enjoyable things I ever read. Just a few different words here and there in most of the conversations and actions when two characters interact (and fight) could make a HUGE difference here, and it would be great to see this story with that pod pony feel gone. For the most part you've done a pretty decent job here. I'd give it about a 'B' at this point.

that roster chart makes no sense to me u should go
twilght 1-1
rarity 1-0
dash 2-1
fulttershy 2-0

and so on it makes it easer to keep track thats what i think that chart is soo confusing

I feel bad for the Crusaders...:applecry:

Pokemon G/S/C music?


I read this a while ago, lost it, then found it all over again. Pretty interesting concept and one of my favorite characters, Trixie, get character development!

The fighting is exciting and creative, which is good since the story focuses so much on it. Looking forward to seeing some of the upcoming matches.

I hope to see this continued, someday!

When will this story be updated?! I LOVE this story!:pinkiehappy:

...It's not canceled, is it?:applecry:

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