• Member Since 18th Oct, 2014
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Trick Question

Here, feel this.        (Patreon)


In the Academy, you learn that a spy's choice comes with great responsibility. When there's only one option available, it's much easier to act. You can work on instinct alone. You don't even need to think.

Usually, that's a good thing. But for Special Agent Sweetie Drops, it's the dilemma.

Written for The Writeoff Association's "The Endless Struggle" contest.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 22 )

Bon Bon is good name... except in writing when it says, "Hey! You repeated a word!"
AND YES! I ALREADY KNOW THAT Computer Microsoft word!

HEy Sweetie Drops no one especially Twilight and Starlight are to know you were a secret agent

Two fics in one day? Oh Trick Question, you sexy thing you, you spoil us~:heart:

The colorful sparkles were like the headlights of a psychopathic bulldozer.


I'm glad to see this one migrate over from Original-ville! :heart: I liked this back in the Writeoff and the added context in this version is nice.

I enjoyed this one. It's an interesting perspective on how time loops can be really annoying. When your only choices are to end it all or do the same thing, is it really a choice?

Just wondering, have you played Bastion? The end of that game has a lot of similarities, though it's not an exact copy at all.

It's a little obvious that all ponyness was retrofitted on afterwards, but it's done well enough that it doesn't hurt the story so no harm no foul.

Wow, I feel like my definitions of "uncanny" and "hopeless" have just been updated

Dusky Novel has kindly performed a reading of this story, here:

My word. This was haunting. Especially the high frequency of the loop. There's no chance for poor Sweetie to even stop and catch her breath. She must spend every second of her existence running, or she won't get any more seconds to exist. What a bleak, hopeless state of being.

Of course, that's what you were going for. Well done in that regard.

I think I have it on Steam, but I haven't played it yet, no. The games I like most are puzzle games with insane difficulty level, which are very difficult to find (I'm currently working my way through Tetrobots, which is a great deal of mind-stretching fun).

Also, you're right about the ears and tails being tacked-on. This is the only story I've ever published on Fimfiction that isn't a pony story in any way (apart from after-the-fact ponifications, which were fun but unnecessary). :applejackunsure: I regret that, but I liked it too much to not publish it here. Perhaps it was a mistake and I'll move it to my "crap I've removed" archive at some point.

Ah, I'm a huge fan of hard puzzles games. I played Tetrobots and enjoyed it, but not especially so. Here's my favorites:
1) Stephen's Sausage Roll
This is by far the best stupidly difficult puzzle game I've ever played. It's expensive, but very worth it if you enjoy extremely difficult puzzle games. Limited playtime, but what is there is exquisitely mind-bending. Warning: VERY hard.
2) The Zachtronics games: Infinifactory, Spacechem, and the programming ones TIS-100 and Shenzhen I/O. Manufactoria is a free game with similar style (made by someone else)
These are all engineering problems more than puzzle games, but that just makes it better since you can optimize. Heck, the developer has claimed that he never beat the last levels in several of these games. As to balancing them... "That's what metrics are for!"
3) Johnathon Blow's games: Braid and The Witness.
Braid is more of a traditional puzzle game, whereas The Witness is more of a big grab-bag of things with a unifying theme. I've even done a bit of modding with Braid.

Any recommendations? I'm always on the lookout for more. I'm currently playing through Snakebird, which is probably going to reach the list by the time I'm done with it.

As to the removal: like I said, the conversion was done well enough that it doesn't hurt the story. It's noticeable, but not so much so that it becomes a problem. If you didn't mention it in the description I'd probably have mentioned something about it being a bit too AU or needing more explanation of how the characters have changed, but it doesn't matter. I'd much rather read a solid story with minimal pony elements than read a bad story filled with pony (and there are plenty of those on this site anyway).

DROD by Caravel Games. It's absolutely amazing. Very complex, but amazing. Start with the most recent version. There are hundreds of game elements and they all interact with each other in fascinating ways. There's an online community that makes up puzzles for it and some of them are unbelievably clever. I've never found a game more immersive, intelligent, challenging, or rewarding when I win. I think it's on Steam now too.

I cannot say enough good about this game. You'll love it. I haven't played in a while because I dealt with some pushback from the community for being too openly brony (although most in the community pushed back against the pushback, it's really only one or two people who had an issue, and I'm certainly being way oversensitive).

There's also DROD RPG, which is novel. It's a game of the "what order do I choose to take actions in" variety where cost/benefit analysis is key. The same community does puzzles in it which can be super challenging.

The online community is really the key in both places. You can save your progress in all the games online, and see where you rank against other players, and compete for high scores (minimal moves, or in RPG, maximum health—which will require going back to the beginning and trying a completely diff strategy for some breakpoints, though RPG isn't nearly as popular as DROD).

I'm unfamiliar with the first two sets; I'll check them out.

Braid is very nice. I like the hidden messages in the ending that reveal what the braid really represents, but I suspect there is one I've missed that I don't know how to activate. The story is what makes that game, though the puzzles are fun and extremely creative. (Don't tell me anything about the thing I missed if I did miss something, other than I did. I never accept hints.)

I'll have to try DROD, it looks interesting.

As to Braid: I'm not sure what you mean. I'd like to discuss further but not knowing what you did miss, I can't really say without potentially spoiling. I don't really think there is a specific meaning to the braid, though the princess is definitely a metaphor.

I wasn't able to find the hidden message in the final room (the castle). I found the ones in all the other ending-rooms.

Ah, that's what you mean. Sorry, I was thinking of the Alternate Ending. AFAIK there's no hidden message in the castle room (no red book for it to trigger from).

Hmm. If by AE you just mean the second half of the last level, then I know what you're referring to.

We should take this offline though. PM me if you are curious about my interpretation.

Dusky Novel has performed a reading of this story on YouTube.

So she didn't remember the other times? Is that because the thing touched her this time?
Make the leap into faith, Bon Bon, you can do it!

Nope, she remembers every time.

Oh, the "one exception" phrase threw me off, because it isn't really much of an exception. Mise en abyme eliminates the individuality of each repetition.

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