• Published 21st Apr 2019
  • 7,642 Views, 324 Comments

Death March to Equestria - Toxicfox

After a long death march and his deadline closing Jason Black is finally able to sleep before his next but when he awakens he's not only on another world but a new body

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Jason Black is a twenty-seven-year-old digital artist working for Hex Studios, a game development company located in the USA. Their current and only project is a subscription-based MMORPG called Beast Quest; a fantasy game where players battle hordes of monsters, save cities and gain glory.

It’s the fifth year of the game's life span in which the company has seen better days. After a large controversy involving the ’pay-to-win’ item store bugging and a scandal amongst the corporate executives, massive layoffs followed by financial loss occurred. Faced with a situation of this type several investors withdrew their funding due to not wanting their reputations to be damaged. Now under new management, the Devs have decided to launch a massive expansion to remove the pay issue, bring back their lost player base, and redeeming their company’s reputation.

This new Expansion offers players the ability to construct and/or conquer their own bases. Breeding, capturing, and training monsters to serve as their allies in defending the fort. The ability to create custom items under specific conditions if they had the right class mastery. Players are able to gain greater abilities from a brand new skill tree that expands over a thousand branches. In addition to the upgraded UI, the game received a massive NPC overhaul introducing vast dialogue trees and a wide range of jobs classes with quests that reward SP.

Even a relationship system was introduced to allow players to befriend, even to seduce NPCs for discounts and stat bonuses. The announcement gained high praise with the first released beta version reaching many positive reviews and feedback. Things were beginning to look up for the entire company.

Except... for the Devs team. With the promise of large customization options, the Devs have been hard at work for several months creating the numerous assets and programming for the expansion. The task was like a mountain that kept growing larger by the day.

Wednesday, March 20th, 10:45 p.m.

”UUUUGGGGHHH, HOW MANY MORE DO WE HAVE TO MAKE?!” angrily shouts David slamming his head on his desk.
”One hundred twenty-six characters, thirty-five environments, and five hundred seventeen items to go, ” says Jason in an exhausted monotone voice.

”This isn’t faaaaiiirrr!” says Caroline, the last word came out as a yawn. She takes a large swig of her red bull, ”we only have one month till the deadline, and they fucking double the demand on us.”

”Oh, boy! Guess it’s going to become another death march, ” Jason states sarcastically, raising his arm.
”Yaaayyy, ” his fellow developers say joining him in sarcasm.

Friday, March 22th, 2:37 a.m. Two days since the ’death march’ has begun.

With several employment cuts to their company, the programming and art teams have been forced to share the responsibility of not only building the game but testing for bugs in it as well. At the end of every week on Friday, five members from both teams take a shift in bug testing and guess who’s turn it was this week...

”So, far... *yawn* so good, ” said Jason leaning on his arm. His screen was the only point of illumination in the room, the other death marchers have already passed out in sleeping bags or at their respective desks. Jason has been testing the game items and combat mechanics using his custom test character named Blackjack.

By the final hour of his shift, he had endured over seventy-two hours of staying up. His eyes had dark heavy bags under them and five empty cans of red bull were pulled on his desk. The end was nearly in sight he just has a few minutes to go. ”Alright, the combat and crafting system is completely bug-free, now for the boss test.”

The boss was a giant dragon that according to the quest script has been killing the nearby village’s sheep. His character encountered it in the mouth of a cave, it's piercing red eyes had a green glow to them. It came up bellowing a loud roar, the dark purple chest scales glowed as it mowed out dark smoke from its nostrils. This boss stood above his character. The battle went relatively smooth with no major bugs that couldn’t be fixed in the next update patch. He defeated the dragon just in time as his exhaustion reaches its limit, it made the boss fight strenuous yet with a little determination and the magic of Red Bull he managed to kill it.

The black dragon’s attack patterns consisted of several slashing claw attacks followed by a powerful flame attack. It had a special area affect that could poison the player hence the purple coloring. Blackjack’s experience bar began to fill up and the loot distributed with no issues, his enemy dropped its standard items while you had to hit weak points to get the rare items.
The standards were a bag of ten thousand gold, ten black dragon scales, and a dragon claw. Its rare items included a dragon fang, a dragonhide battle coat, and finally the rarest item a black dragon egg. Jason sighed in relief upon seeing the egg’s texture had loaded properly. ”Okay... let’s see if these actually work, ” he says clicking the items. The coat equipped to his character with no issue, it doesn’t clip through his sheathed dagger. ”How about the fang, and other dragon part items, ” he clicks on the fang first causing it to transfer followed by the other dragon parts into his inventory.

His inventory was already filled with other items and equipment from his previous test runs. ”Last, but not least, ” he sleepily says as he clicks the dragon egg sliding it to his beast incubator slot. The egg transfers smoothly while the hatching time begins to count down.

”Yes!!” he shouted causing some of his coworkers to slightly stir, ”finally finished and not a single major bug in sig...”
Jason pauses as he looks at his stats, ”oh fuck, ” he curses under his breath as he sees his character continue to gain EXP. It was well beyond what the dragon was meant to give players. A long sigh escapes from his mouth as he looks at what time it is.

”I guess the EXP distribution is glitched *yawn*, we’re going to have to adjust that, ” he mutters half asleep. Jason somehow managed to email his big report before his fatigue finally catches up to him. He passes out on his keyboard with the game still on, a black spark flickers on the screen in the same place his character was.

March 23rd, 12:42 p.m., Everfree Forest.

Twilight Sparkle and Spike fly over the wild forest, their destination was the Castle of the Two Sisters. ”So, tell me again why we’re heading back to the old castle?” he asks while flying next to the purple alicorn.

”To gather artifacts for one of my magic class lectures, ” she responds. ”In times predating the founding of Equestria, the princesses collected many artifacts from the ancients.”

”The Ancients?” asks the young dragon.

”An ancient race of advanced creatures who had mastery in not only magic but equally advanced technology, ” she replies with clear zeal in her tone, ”creatures so old that they outdate every type of magic beast we know today. Including dragons mind you.”

“Wow, “ said Spike as his eyes widen, “Any idea what these guys looked like?”

“Only simple observations, they were bipedal with long legs and arms. The ancients had very small patches of fur on their bodies. They also wore clothing all the time to protect their skin from the elements, “ she answered, noticing Spike’s surprised expression.

“You mean like that?” he says while pointing down.

“What?!” Twilight shouts while coming to a sudden stop, her eyes follow the direction where Spike is pointing. Below them was an unmoving figure who looked abnormal from the distance. Both decide to investigate by flying down and landing next to the strange creature. The figure is about six feet tall with dark brown skin, strangely enough, a black spade tattoo decorated his right eye. He had medium straight black hair with a white streak running through it. Clad in a black trench coat that has a white fur color, he wore black combat pants and steel-toed knee-high boots.

Twilight cautiously approached the creature with Spike hiding behind her back hoofs. “I-is it...?” he asks trailing off at the end. When the purple alicorn reaches him, she lightly places her hoof on his neck.

“It’s still breathing!” she states stepping back in surprise. Her number one assistant takes a quick peek at the creature, still a little hesitant.

“Should we do something with it?” asks Spike, he goes over to poke the side of its face. “Not sure he’ll survive out here if we leave him like this...”

Suddenly, the strange creature spoke. “Mhm... five more... minutes, Mom...” sleepily says Jason as he rolls onto his side. This surprises both Equestrians causing them to take a sudden step back, they didn’t expect him to move in his sleep.

“What should we do?” asks Spike looking to Twilight for a decision. The alicorn was scanning the man with her eyes.

“Let’s get him to Princess Celestial, he might look okay now... but, there’s still a chance he could be injured somewhere, “ says Twilight, “she probably knows more about ancients like him than I do.”

Author's Note:

Edited and Improved by Insecgon, https://www.fimfiction.net/user/355454/Insecgon

MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game.
Devs short for Developers.
UI is User-Interface.
NPC stands for Non-Player Characters.
SP is Skill Points, not Stamina Points.
Death March is a term used when a Devs Team needs to spend several days and nights to hurriedly finish their project before a deadline.
EXP- Experience Points.

The story's opening is based on a lesser known isekai named "Death March to a Parallel World Rhasphony" the rest of the story will have a completely different plot than the anime it's based on, due to no tag for it I thought I should mention it, aside from that this takes place in an alternate world where Equestria Girls never happened. Feel free to give me some feedback