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#1 2012-10-26 20:27:47

Arcane Flame
Arcane Trotter

End of Ponies

Alright to put my criticism about the End of Ponies fanfic in a more through fashion since it turned into an off topic fest (if need be listen to this first Nerd's Anger Management). Also making it a different thread to keep from clogging up others.

First of all I want to say three things:
1. I have only partly read this fic so these critiques are from me only have read half the fic.
2. I am enjoying this fic - so don't get the wrong idea with these critiques.
3. These are my opinions of what I think doesn't work in the Fic - I am not saying the fic sucks, nor am I attacking it. Just that these are issues I see in the fic.

First of all: Scootaloo. I have found her annoying at times with her flip-flopping between hyper intelligent and then failing to spot the obvious. Let's take for example two major incidents in the Fluttershy section which is the section I just finished. The thing that really got me was that Scootaloo saw Derpy & Dinky's corpses and took special notice of it being in the center of town hall and being surprised at how perfect a snapshot it was of the last day. Then later in the section she sees the living ponies in the exact same position and it's established that it is a very rare thing due to outright pegasi prejudices in the fic's world - yet our hero never remembers it. But in the arc where it would have been important the Last Pony remembers a random factoid out of tons spouted by a random pony (Dinky commenting on the Nematoad's sensitivity to light).

The corpses feel like a failed Chekhov's Gun and what's worse since it was very obvious to the reader it took away a lot of the tension from the arc (minus whether or not Dinky got brain damage). It would have been better done if the corpse were omitted or if they were just casually mentioned in a list of other corpses that the Last Pony saw so that there would be more of an explanation for her not remembering them. My main issue is that she stopped and took particular interest and awe in the odd corpses then never remembered it when it would be useful despite her constantly noticing little things. And this seems to happen a lot in the fic in a kind of plot selective blindness where something is blinding obvious to the reader and seems in consistent with a 'smart character'. Mysteries are a hard thing to do any this fic is attempting one but it's proved semi-sloppy at times with Last Pony who spends a lot of time thinking and pulling up little details but often misses the glaringly obvious ones for plot convenience. Another fic that kinda has this problem is FoE: Project Horizons but in that case it's made more palpitate by the main character believing she's not smart (which is debatable) and habitually not thinking deeply about things - because thinking often leads her down dark roads of despair and activates her suicidal tendencies when she remembers the dead, her traumas, and her many failures. It isn't a perfect explanation but gives a decent excuse for why she would miss something that seems so blindingly obvious to the reader.

Also about LittlePip being bland mentioned in response to my dislike of the Last Pony's personality - that was a good thing. Fallout: Equestria was very much a Milieu Story mixed with a bit of an Event Story - to have an overly strong protagonist would have taken attention away from the world and it's characters. The story was concerned chiefly with exploring the world and the ponies of the Equestrian Wastelands and knew that having an overly strong main character would take attention away from that world. I should wait till the end to full evaluate this aspect but so far the story seems like it doesn't know if it wants to be a mystery based story, a character based story, an event driven story, or even a milieu based story as all these elements seem to be rather very strong to the point that they seem to be competing with one another for the center stage. To go back to the Fallout: Equestria example again Project Horizons only works because it's a side fic and thus can have a strong character based story because the reader is familiar with the basics of the world already - so exploring the world can take less of a center stage to character development and exploring a character and those close to her.

Secondly: the overly forced suspense and mystery that isn't a mystery. This is a big problem when the Last Pony meets Spike given the details given to the reader we know who is chasing her but the chase it's dragged out to the point to loose credibility. I mean she gets chased as Spike rips apart buildings and the Last Pony runs into more trolls and jumps through windows and then she is cornered and begs for her life while spike just stays silent then tests out his experiment by dumping ashes on her then hitting her with fire making her think she was dying/dead before making a dramatic statement. I just have trouble seeing Spike doing that it seems needlessly dramatic and out of character to the point he's endangering the Last Pony's life. Now if this scene had him saying something like STOP! or something else and being misinterpreted this would have given the bit much needed credibility. As it stands it feels very unnatural.

Another thing that bugged me was Scootaloo having no reaction upon seeing Applebloom's corpse. By how she acted previously with concern about seeing her again and her refusal to go to Ponyville because it was too sacred, I expected to have had at least some sort of pained reaction upon first laying eyes on the body. Instead no reaction what so ever when at least something was expected by the Last Pony's previous actions.

Also I still say the Gilda thing where she spent a lot of time despising said character and her gang before declaring that she was going to save the world for her sake would have worked a lot better if she would have learned a lesson about kindness first, had a more clearly ambiguous attitude towards Gilda (perhaps some respect or knew her history with a certain other character), or just something to make the statement less jarring.

As for the Lyra thing since it completely derailed the other thread let us try not to focus on it in this thread - it was not a critique anyways more of a surprise (I said it was OK just unusual which might have been the point) based on what is seen in the show with the personalities of these two characters. When I see a character mentioned in a fic I assume it's based on the character in the show until proven otherwise. For Lyra she is often used for intentionally and purposely used for gags which hinge on her being excitable. It is really one of the only things we know about her. If she is different it should be mindful that she is consistently and conspicuously seen doing actions like that because she is very much known to do that and act in that manner consistently on multiple occasions. To my knowledge she does not actually appear in the fic, so the point is really damn moot to the discussion. And again it isn't a critique more of surprise at an odd choice.



"Magicam operare non est aliud quam maritare mundum."  ~Pico della Mirandola, Conclusiones Magicae


#2 2012-10-26 21:40:14

Fire Blossom

Re: End of Ponies

This fan fiction is in my list to read...and you guys are making me want to drop my current reads and check it out.

TwitterPonies:Fire Blossom, Silver Note


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