All Comments
A (positive) Re-Read of Fallout Equestria and Side Stories.
Chapter 1: Out of the Stable

"...her brain finally catches up with her hormones allowing her to speak full words". XD Oh, I was so happy when I learned that Pip is into mares. LGBT protagonist, go!

It's understandable, on some level, why the others would turn on Pip so quickly, especially if she (as you mentioned) wasn't too well integrated into the Stable society. All they know is that their pride and joy is gone (who also seems to be they're one source of hope in a world of gray) and that Pip looks to be the culprit. Perhaps a bit of insanity driven by isolation dashed in as well?

IMO,the departure from the Stable seems a little rushed (I wanted to get a better view of what she's leaving behind) but I agree with you. The truth is she has nothing really holding her there and several angry ponies wanting her harm. I'm sure we'll learn more about the Stables and Pip's past as the story goes on.

Nice work so far.
Rainbowraptor
thanks, and yeah its a bit fast, but really ther IS nothing in the Stable for her, and the chapter makes that clear

And while I'm sure they get she left on her own, they would still blame Pip for being the reason they can't find her.
Seraphem

AnSTH
Chapter 2: Equestrian Wasteland
The early chapters were a bit gratuitous to me, but at least it shows you quickly "This is about as bad as it's going to get".
Sereg
gratuitous? If you mean the amount of gore and what not, yeah. i'll get into that next chapter i think, but overall I get the idea it was just to show you as bad as it would get, cause after she leaves ponyville the gore never gets as bad again.
Seraphem
So far, I like Lil'pip. She is a pony who, ostracized by her peers, seems to have buried herself in tech but never lost her ability for empathy completely. She's an analytical pony and is able to adapt to(horrible, horrible) situations quickly. Yeah she was just thrust from her home into this rather...head explodey wasteland, but she's used to trying to survive.

I was a little skeptical of her sudden Badass fighting skills, but I guess it's part of being an adaption from video games.

Nice work yet again.
Rainbowraptor
yeah, and it's made pretty clear, she's next to useless in a fight without SATS, that drop kick only worked due to shear surprise.
Seraphem
@Seraphem: Yeah, I agree with you on that.

@Rainbowraptor: How far are you?
Sereg
@Seraphem: I do remember her mentioning that it helped her aiming and all

@Sereg: I'm starting chapter 4
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 3: Guidance
What I said for the last chapter actually applies more here. But yes, I have to agree that killing the raider was the correct action. Fleeing or not. As you said, even if they are no longer a threat to you, they are stil one to everypony else.
Sereg
Ah, the part that's directed at me specifically. Oh, goodie.

Guess the dull-as-fuck action prose made me miss the positioning details.
Pannic (edited by: Pannic)
And I found nothing dull about it, it's all YMMV. Though if you were ONLY looking at the actions, then yeah i can see why it would be dull, the chapter was more about how lil'pip was responding to the actions.
Seraphem
I admit, I laughed. Reward is Clothes! Clothes you couldn't possibly wear you short, short pony!

The apple grenades, I agree, are a nice touch.

I loved her interaction with Ghoul Ditzy (Derpy). I run while I listen to the audio version and nearly collided with a mailbox from laughing.

The bit about Lil'pip allowing the raider to continue with his or her (I don't remember if she mentioned the gender of the pony) little nap bothered me a little. She'd just classified raider ponies at monsters, not worthy of life, and, in fact, needed to be "put down". What better opportunity to put down a pony while they sleep?

Sure, the fleeing pony had threatened her life and committed atrocities before her very eyes but I think it's safe to assume that when the raider pony wakes up, he or she is going to be resuming a schedule of rape and murder...

Of course, it seems to me that this really was the chapter where Lil'pip was learning to deal with what she was seeing. The categorization line I mentioned above was really her trying to restore peace in herself after what she was doing. I don't think she really believes it (at least not yet). In any case, like you mentioned Seraphem, Lil'pip was, at this point, more concerned with rescuing the ponies. Her action to spare the sleeping raider pony establishes a line, a thin one mind you, but a line.

The gore didn't bother me at all but the rape thing made me wince. Won't make me stop reading (hell no) but I'm glad it wasn't descriptive.

Rainbowraptor
Exactly, she will do what she feels has to be done, but she has lines that even then, she will not cross. And killing a completely helpless pony is one of them.
Seraphem
Chapter 4: Perspective.
I must admit that Braeburn and Applejack being involved in industry confused me due to how different that is from how they are in the show, but oh well. The much higher tech-level is an important part of the setting.
Sereg
Yeah Lil Pip was always wiling to Sacrifice for other, and not because she wanted death, atone or punish herself, but because she care for their safety. But some people ignore that and call her twat :/
DeathCloud
I'm very much enjoying this liveblog, it's fun to see the same events written about from someone who likes the story and someone who doesn't. Keep it up!
Unknownlight
Seraphem: The events of the first half do come back to play a small but significant role, but not for nearly forty chapters. (Saying anything more would be spoilers.)
Kkatman (edited by: Kkatman)
Hence why I said "don't seem to" was trying to avoid hinting at spoilers.
Seraphem
I LOVED how Calamity and Lil'pip met XD
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 5: Calamity
Hmmm think I might have made this one to long, would love to hear if i should trim these a bit more. And Thank you everyone for your support, glad you all are enjoying this and feel free to comment on anything you might want to. plan on not stopping as long as anyone is reading, though progress will be fairly slow until after the holidays, except on the few days off work I get. Thanks again.
Seraphem
I don't have a problem with Littlepip being slightly hypocritical and sexist. It's not like she's TOO bad about it.

I actually like Calamity a lot. We normally agree with each other.
Sereg
I agree, they are flaws of hers, but they never really get over played, their just minor things. lets face it EVERYONE has a few hypocritical "do is I say not as I do" moments now and then. And the sexism isn't really there much and it's not personal, it's societal. She doens't think mares should be in charge because they are mares and better then stallions (she didn't think twice about Railright being in charge of New Appleloosa.) But simply because Stables had always been ruled by mares.
Seraphem
The problem is that this is something that was never brought up before and is never, to the best of my knowledge, brought up again. In other words, it's kinda pointless.

It also doesn't help that the chapter seems to make a big deal about gender roles here, but afterwards it falls into extraordinarily typical cliches (Oh, look, the females are in positions of sympathy while the baddies are overwhelmingly male) that don't seem to even get remotely close to being evened out for another twenty chapters.
Pannic (edited by: Pannic)
Pannic: If you haven't noticed it being brought up again, then you are misreading the character flaw. Littlepip's flaw on display here isn't sexism (although that is how it appears to manifest on shallow observation), but rather it is her difficulty accepting things that go against her mental framework of "how things should be". And this is a flaw that comes up repeatedly and frequently.

The Wasteland is new, and so she has little difficulty accepting that she has a lot to learn about it, but Stables? Keep in mind, it's not just the male-dominated society that she's reacting to. Even the Stable's architecture is bothering her because it doesn't conform to her expectations.

As for the observation about gender role cliches, you are simply incorrect. Positive and sympathetic characters of both genders are equally common. And the idea that the baddies are "overwhelmingly male" is just ridiculous (especially once you factor in the alicorns).

Perhaps you should read the story more closely. You have, after all, admitted a tendency to skim and skip stuff.
Kkatman
Okay, fair enough.
Pannic (edited by: Pannic)
Like I said in the review, it wasn't waht the change was, it was the fact that it was any change. She just didn't see how that could be seen as sexist till Calamity pointed it out.
Seraphem
I enjoyed this chapter a lot. World building and all that but I really like how Calamity and Lil'pip bonded. The bit about the jumping around bothered me but only because I'm listening to the audio version and, for some reason, there is no notice when there is a line break or even a chapter change.
Rainbowraptor
""What the hell happened to Equestria!?" The sun and moon no longer being guided by the Princesses, a sarcastic quip from Calamity about them being in pony heaven, pegasi no longer running the weather?"

I don't like explanation for that - Sun and Moon move because Princesses are dead.
DeathCloud
Chapter 6: The Truth of the Matter
"The Truth of the Matter" — the most subtle of the Wham Episode chapters that I had planned. The title is reflected in something DJ Pon3 says, something that will become one of the primary themes of the story.
Kkatman
Wow...I know the "the X of the Y" chapters were the most important ones, but really didn't see why this one till now, just reread D's lines and found it. DAMN, well played. Won't spoil it for anyone.
Seraphem
I really like Velvet as well. Of all the characters in the story, I only admire Fluttershy more.
Sereg
makes sense, given how Velvet consciously tries to be an Expy of Fluttershy. Though my fav is still Ditzy.
Seraphem (edited by: Seraphem)
My fave is Steel Hooves. My favourite character and the character I admire the most are often different.
Sereg
Ah, well, given that, still have to go with Ditsy, just the way, even after everything she's dealt with, she's still so bright, happy cheeful, and eager to help everypony.
Seraphem
Whatever Fallout 2 or Fallout 3 I do the same as Lil Pip, wipe slavers out, and free all slaves (if its possible).
DeathCloud

Seraphem
Chapter 7: Velvet Remedy
I agree that Velvet deciding to stay with the slavers wasn't her best idea, but I can't fault her for what she's trying to do.

I've actually been thinking that maybe the reason that Littlepip only knows telekinesis may be because of the fact that we and her only earnt an important detail about her very late in the story. Once she did, she'd technically be able to learn other spells.
Sereg
I actually wanted to like this character. Somehow that didn't work.
Pannic
I'll get more into spells and what not later, and yes that's one of the controversies around Velvet I'll be giving my take on.
Seraphem
I'm not talking about Velvet's many spells, but Littlepip's lack of them.
Sereg
I know, but figured address them both at the same time.
Seraphem
Love struck Lil'pip=adorable. Angry, murderous Lil'pip=still pretty adorable.

But all jokes aside, I agree with you on Velvet Remedy. Not every pony is cut out for fighting. She's trying the best she can and she DID give the slaves SOME relief.
Rainbowraptor
There are a number of adjectives I could use to describe Littlepip. Adorable is not one of them. Then again, a lot of people seem to ascribe adjectives to her that I find unfitting.
Pannic
And most people completely disagree with all the adjectives you do use, so we're even.

And yes she is adorable, but most adorable Lil'pip is slightly tipsy lil'pip from chapter 5...or 4, one of those. And embaressed Lil'pip from later.

Then again, she's a pony, they can't NOT be adorable at some point
Seraphem
As much I don't think pacifism is good aproach in those situations I still think Velvet wasn't that wrong with helping slavers. Yes she aided slavers but she also helped slaves. All other alternatives were worse from her point of view: she would be slave/dead and slaves would get less medical help. I would complain if she was really agaist Lilpip plan.

And Alicorn thing, before that I wouldn't be exited about idea of FOE vesrion of Super Mutants being much different but Alicorn idea is that AWESOME. For some time it was my favorite part of fic.
DeathCloud
Chapter 8: Derailed.
Littlepip's skils and early selection of perks led me to blieve that she was going to be the rogue of the group, which I think would have been cool.
Sereg
For the most part it seems the perks tried to be tied into something that happened in the chapter, give an in story reason for her to have them other then just game perks. Which I found kind of cool
Seraphem
Oh, I appreciated that. Makes them make sense in story.
Sereg
Again, I'm listening to the audio and, as such, am missing out on the perk footnotes. I'll probably be catching up on those at some point.

As for this chapter, nice action!
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 9: The Moral of the Story
As you sai, very powerful chapter.
Sereg
FORESHADOWING!!!

Any who, poor, poor Silver Bell. Shows just some of the ways ponies cope with the Wasteland. Lil'pip, trying to steal from a crazed pony. Not cool.

Nice work.
Rainbowraptor
which part did you think was foreshadowing? And yes her nearly being willing to steal from Silver is our first real hint at just how bad her addiction is.
Seraphem
The bit about Dash and...you know.
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 10: Course Correction
Might be a bit till the next one, last day off for awhile.
Seraphem
The balefire bomb that hadn't gone off is a reference to a similar unexploded nuke in Fallout 3.
AceOfScarabs
not really, i mean it's a major stretch to call it a refrence to it, since that one was huge, and had an entire town built up around it and all. this one was just discovered out of the way and not all that big a deal...yet.

i mean I can see how it might have been inspired, but refrence, don't see it.
Seraphem
Just because it's been bugging me: Li'lpip, not Lil'pip.

Even after all this time, I still don't know why the raiders in Ponyville attacked the slavers in the first place. Am I missing something obvious?
Unknownlight
Not really, just a general shift in the way things went, or more liekly it was just a fluke and Raiders being Raiders got trigger happy.
Seraphem
It's just weird because Littlepip specifically brought it up as being weird. It still feels like an unfired Chekhovs Gun.
Unknownlight
Yeah, it does. but could have been a coincidence. We really don't know what happened on the bridge to start the fight.
Seraphem
Guess it's a good thing that Little Pip didn't go all questy for that figurine, huh?

I too thought that Gawd was called...God (audio version, oh, you delightful thing). I was overjoyed when Calamity tried to make the joke.

Information about the Zebra magic, cool too!
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 11: Factions
Yeah. Agreed on DT.
Sereg
Honestly, I used Diamond Tiara for this bit for several reasons, one of the most important being that I wanted to show her as no longer the schoolyard bully, but a grown and more mature character — and a sympathetic one, at that.

Considering how significant the Shattered Hoof Re-Education Stockyard was going to be as a location, I wanted to give it a sense of history. And through that history, I wanted to give readers another window into how the world ended, with a focus on the horrors and moral dilemmas as seen by somepony who was essentially an average citizen.
Kkatman
@Kkatman: I like cannibalism as much as the next person but to have DT save prisoners only to have those same prisoners force her to commit suicide in order to avoid being killed and eaten? A bit over the top. As for DT being grown and mature...we don't really get to see that. She just dies afraid and alone. It's really just a sad moment. Really, the same effect could have been achieved with another original character.

That being said, this is FOE! I get that it's easier (not the right word here) for a reader to sympathize for a familiar character. To fully convey the horrors of the EW, namely this particular horror, I think killing DT may have been needed.

I think I understand where your coming from.
Rainbowraptor
Yeah i get where and why. And it was well written just, could have done without. And no wouldn't do to use an OC. One of the really great things about FOE is that it is two separate but connected stories, the past and the Present. the past is the Canon characters story, there is only one OC that makes any sort of major appearance, and he's mostly there as an observer most of the time. And only in a very small fraction of the Memory Orbs
Seraphem
To be honest I would prefer OC to be focus in both past and present. Maybe its to much Dark Fic for me to handle. I just don't want show characters to have that terrible fate (even DT) or just end in failure.

I love FOE for present story.
DeathCloud
Chapter 12: Must go on
Not only does this chapter have a damned dragon (!) but it introduces more gray! Not all raiders are bad.
Rainbowraptor
Yeah great chapter. One of turning points where story gets better and cooler, like in games when we take some bigger quest or boss.

Also I like how that place under Gawd turned out, because I really like faction in games what Gawd thing will be based.
DeathCloud
Chapter 13: Voices of the Past
As you said, some stuff which becomes really import in here. I liked the way that it was presented.
Sereg
Fluttershy! My favorite pony! Oh, don't tell me the orb wasn't a good thing! >.< Now I'm nervous!
Rainbowraptor
I will only say this. Fluttershy had the absolute BEST of intentions.
Seraphem
Chapter 14: Steelhooves
Amazing. You seen to be writing these things faster than people are able to comment on them. XD
Unknownlight
Well, they'll still be here when people get around to reading them.
Seraphem
Have to agree on Steel Hooves's introduction.

And yeah. Beautiful tragedy with the stable and addiction subplot as well.
Sereg
Badass way to meet Steel Hooves. I also really agree about Little Pip's addiction subplot. I love Little Pip so far. I might cosplay as her one day.

But the addiction...it sucks, it makes me groan to listen to her go through this, (while running, the neighbors think I'm nuts) and very frustrated BUT it is VERY realistic.

According to you though, there's more to her vice?

Oh, what fun lies before me...Little Pip...

Nice work.
Rainbowraptor
Yeah seeing her go through that can get pretty bad. But it gets better fairly quick chapter 19 or 20. Though she never fully gets over it, the way you never truly get over an addiction, she stops getting hurt because of it.

And as to the "more to it" well you'll find out once she and you learn just what Mint-al addiction DOES to a pony
Seraphem
Yeah, Steelhooves is best pony. And he had great introduction.

I just realized that Alicorons used "airblast" :D
DeathCloud
Chapter 15: Whispers in the Darkness
I saw some people who thought that Watcher was somepony else.
Sereg
I was thinking it was probably Spike after that, but got thrown off when he mentioned that he made "a study of friendship".

I'll have to disagree with you about the clopping scene. Sure, it can be justified, but it still makes absolutely no sense for it to be there in the first place. Everyone can probably agree that the scene added nothing, and many would argue that it hurt the chapter. Therefore, it's a bad scene. Nothing positive results from its existence.
Unknownlight
It shows just how messed up, scared, lonely, desperate, and just plain not well Li'lpip is. Not just that she did it, again that was only because she was far far FAR from in her right mind at the time. but just the emotions, feelings, desires, fears, worries, everything that made her feel that way.

Now if it had been detailed in what she was doing, yeah that would have been something else, but it only gives enough to know what shes clopping, but nothing else, the rest is all in her mind.

Overall, I don't have an issue with it, but yes I will admit that it could have been cut without really losing anything. But I don't think it's really that bad and does serve some purpose.
Seraphem
The clopping scene bothered me too. As Seraphem explains, it does serve a purpose as it shows her loneliness and...frustration. The big problem, of course, is the fact she's doing it right next to another pony.

Also, pony sexuality is (for some reason) much more hard to swallow than pony violence.
Rainbowraptor
Well that was the fever and delusions taking over, like i said she WAS not anywhere NEAR to thinking straight at the time.
Seraphem
You know that Littlepip has had no friends up until these few weeks, and no realistic prospect of love her entire life. You've seen her crushing on Velvet Remedy, and her gazing at the flanks of females ranging from a griffin to a statuette of Rarity. The idea that Littlepip is lonely and desperate shouldn't be a surprise.

Does it add anything to the story to reveal the levels of her loneliness and desperation in the chapter before she meets Homage?
Kkatman
Like i said I'm fine with it. was kind of WHAT THE FUCK, that is sick. the first time through, but looking back knowing more, it does work. Again only because she wasn't thinking clearly, and it was just all these emotions all fighting at once in her already strained and feverish mind. I get it.

Now if she had done that without the fever and sickness excuse, yeah that would have been rather disturbing.
Seraphem
(hate the edit comments function here) also, Rainbow, if you have issues with pony sexuality...oh, ohohohohohoho. Planning on reading 20.5?
Seraphem
@Seraphem: Probably not.
Rainbowraptor
That masturbation scene didn't bother me as much as I could suspect. And usally hate that stuff but wasn't that bad. And nearly as bad as it was in Evangelion for example.

I'm not sure if I could guess at this point who was Watcher, because I got spoiled it when I started reading.

I like to imagine that Steelhooves have voice of Mark Meer (Shepard to be specific) with distortion made by ghoulification and armor. Yes, because of that video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QCeIp88wEw

DeathCloud
I think that scene works because it barely focuses on what she is doing at all, just enough to let us know what she's doing, but no details, instead it's focusing on the WHY, on her thoughts, feelings, all that.
Seraphem
Chapter 16: Towers
I agree completely with Calamity here.
Sereg (edited by: Sereg)
Yeah, I agree with you about Tenpony Tower and Calamity.
Rainbowraptor
I agree with Calamity too. Its not even issue of punishing evil pony but its about stopping that pony from doing more harm.
DeathCloud
Chapter 17: The Villain of the Piece ((part 1))
I actually really sympathise with Montery Jack. I "get" him.
Sereg
Yeah, it's easy to do so, he doesn't come off as evil or bad really. A bit callous, but he simply illustrates what having a virtue but no friends can cause. And how rigidly holding onto something, anything without any bending isn't good. Really, Almost all the "corrupted virtues" have a real element of relateable tragedy to them
Seraphem
Thank you.

A lot of people had trouble understanding Monterey Jack, prompting me to write a little essay on him in the EQD comments.

(Oh, minor note: the chapter title is "The Villain of the Piece", a British theatrical idiom meaning "someone or something which is seen as being the cause of trouble".)
Kkatman
oh oops, my bad
Seraphem
I understand MJ. But still I think his death is to much. TT shouldn't something in their laws preventing Suicide By Cop.

Also more I think about concept of Virtues more I like them. (Especially after Kkat explained relation between Raiders and virtues). Thats make this fic even more interesting in retrospect.

Love all that gushing about Steelhooves :D
DeathCloud
Chapter 17: The Villain of the Piece ((part 2))
Pinkie's fate was rally heartbreaking, yes.

Probably the dumbest thing Littlepip has ever done, yes.

Some people hate FOE's version of Scooaloo, but I agree with and support her.

As for the Homage/Littlepip relationship. No. I don't see how it makes sense to start this way. Sorry. That's why I preffered the other relationship in the fic. At least that one was properly foreshadowed.
Sereg
Becuase EVERY relationship takes it's time right? Two people never just hook up out of the blue because they are both lonely and end up finding out they're a good fit for each other?

on Li'lpip's end, she is so lonely and desperate, she'd might very well be willing to start dating a ghoullified hellhound if she showed any interest in her

And Homage has spent weeks watching Li'lpip, and as we learn later, kind of has a thing for hero types. She never really thought this would be a long term thing at first, just a few quick flings, enjoying her new hero and helping her to relax and ease her stress til the Wasteland finally takes Li'lpip from her.
Seraphem
Becuase EVERY relationship takes it's time right? Two people never just hook up out of the blue because they are both lonely and end up finding out they're a good fit for each other?

Because you can really know that you're a good fit for each other than quickly. I've seen such rushed relatonships before. They are ugly.
Sereg
Some yes, doesn't mean they ALL are. And homage has had weeks of watching Li'lpip to get to know her, to develop an attraction. And li'lpip, like I said she's just plain desperate.
Seraphem
Chapter 18: Unnatural Causes
Still some foreshdowing here.
Sereg
I don't think there is a single chapter save the last 2 or 3 that doesn't have some foreshadowing in it.
Seraphem
Chapter 19: Betrayal
Yeah. I really liked this chapter.
Sereg
Chapter 20: Behind the Curtain
First of all: "in pony".

Secondly, I thought that Montery planning on having Littlepip ensure his children's safety was confirmed by Kkat.

Also, yeah. Really intnse chapter. I was in tears at the drug dumping. And I was shocked at the Fluttershy revelation. But I never saw it as OOC as I can see somepony getting that desperate and being that naive. That said, the truth is far more in character.
Sereg
Hmmm, well I can see him doing it, just never actually thought he DID plan that extensively. Oh well.

And yeah, I really don't see anything the mane 6 did as OOC once the passage of decades and the stress of running the war for years is taken into account.
Seraphem
I'm pleased that the sense of "major parts" came through pretty much as intended. When writing, I had mentally divided the story into five such parts (which in turn became the book divisions for hardcover printing). The intended "major parts" were as follows:

Prologue - Chapter 12 ; Chapter 13 - Chapter 21 ; Chapter 22 - Chapter 29 ; Chapter 30 - Chapter 38 ; Chapter 39 - End

Kkatman (edited by: Kkatman)
Chapter 20.5: A Mare Worth Fighting For
"A Mare Worth Fighting For" was written by Pacce, and he did an incredible job, managing to write in my style and Littlepip's voice so well that (aside from some of the content) I could almost believe I had written it myself.

As I said on EQD, this story should be treated much like a "deleted scene" extra on a movie DVD — each reader may chose for themselves whether to view it as canon or not.
Kkatman
OK that don't sound bad (porn). Now I'm sad that clop part overshadow that character stuff.

(You keep using original WH 40 K definition of Grimdark when many people use more broad one).
DeathCloud
Chapter 21: The Heart of Twilight Sparkle
The Gardens of Equestria are probably my favourite part of the story as well.
Sereg
For what it's worth, it was very common for helmets worn by knights to have a visor which could be lifted. That design element isn't so unusual. ^.^
Kkatman
Personally, I never really had an issue, though there were some that did, so.... Anyway, yeah that actually, does kind of make sense and work. RD looked up some older designs for armor from back before Equestria was founded and the tribes were much more hostile. And simply copied the idea, because she thought it was cool, not seeing all the possible down sides, or the reason the armor had it in the first place, and why her's really didn't need it, like the Steel Ranger armor. Simply saying, that's kind of cool, lets do that.
Seraphem
(Wow...you've been busy since I've been gone)

Loved, loved Spike. This is one of my favorite chapters so far.

Didn't really think much about the Enclave armor as I doubt the ponies foresaw fighting dragons or having said dragons open their armor and blowing flames into it.
Rainbowraptor
I'm not big fan of stuff to much related with show. But I still like (or even) how Spike turned out and those Gardens. Must be fact that dislike mostly past war time not present. It give goal to Lilpip and way to fix Wasteland for good, thing what we can't hope for original games. Hope, that thing what love too, for all grimdark (yes I will call this in that way) hope make story worth it.
DeathCloud
Except for the fact that the very presence of hope means it cannot, by definition, be grimdark. Since the entire point of "grimdark" is the utter and total absence of hope.
Seraphem
Chapter 22: The Earth Pony Way
I mstly agree with you on cutie marks. Red Eye's rejection of his is part of his delusion. I also think that talents can be a broad as the pony wants. As such, I see nothing wrong with Velvet having a single talent which involves both music and medicine.
Sereg
Yeah, nothing says a pony can't have a natural affinity for more then one thing, the Cutie mark is simply what they are BEST at, what most gives them joy to do, the best metaphor for who THEY are, what makes them unique.
Seraphem
I agree on C Ms. I think RE don't like them because of his vision with everypony being equal. First he whant to achive it by making all blank flanks.

I'm not big fans of hellhounds. I like Deathclavs and making dogs their expy is don't sound right to me. I would prefer some reptile creature in this place (dragon). But thats really big issue, I don't find hellhounds annoying.

DeathCloud
Chapter 23: Patterns of Behavior
I wouldn't call SH Lawful Neutral. He shows to much un lawful action like killing somepony in revenge. I would say he is somewhere between LN, Lawful Good, True Neutral and Neutral Good.

I agree on Steel Rangers. I never liked BOS and Rangers as bad guys, I prefer them as good guys or at least neutral guys. Especially when their goal is lame and stupid : hoard technology for future of humanity/ponykind. Enclave at least have goal what not cause technology to be wasted.
DeathCloud
No, that fits with LN. The only ponies he's murdered are one that betrayed him or those he cared for. In his eyes it was more execution then anything else. Lawful doesn't mean you obey laws, just because they are law.

Steelhooves is far to willing to follow any authority, far to unwilling to alter the status quo. And has far to solid and unwielding a personal code to not be Lawful. And his actions prove he's sure as hell not "good".
Seraphem
Chapter 24: Dances of Light and Shadow
This chapter was a bit of a risk, starting and ending in memory orbs. I hadn't done that before, and I was concerned about confusing the readers with the beginning.

Happily, it seemed to work beautifully.
Kkatman
Chapter 25: Generous Souls
Hell is a bit overused, but it makes most of the rest of the wastes look like Elysium in comparison.

And there are still worse ponies than the Brotherhood of Steel in the fic. Raiders, for a start.

Anyway, I'm still reading nd enjoying.
Sereg
No, well yes, what raiders DO is worse, the Steel Ranger know better, they SHOULD be better. The Steel Rangers are worse because they made the CHOICE to slaughter innocent ponies, that they should have been protecting, helping. They go into ponies homes, into STABLES and slaughter anypony who isn't them, not because they've gone nuts, or because they have just been pushed so far by the Wastes they snap, but out of shear greed. All the while telling themselves they are right, they are simply better then the worthless scum they crush under there hooves.

No the Steel Rangers are the biggest group of bastards who deserve a very painful fate in the Wastes.

And, okay the rest of the Wastes that we've SEEN, happy? heh
Seraphem
Yeah, they SHOULD be better. But raiders ACTUALLY ARE worse. And that's more important IMO.
Sereg
What they DO is worse, what they ARE isn't. Raiders are murderers and rapists and sadists.

Steel Rangers are murderers, thieves, and traitors. Plus raiders admit they are evil, the Rangers try to bullshit justify themselves and claim they are RIGHT to do what they do. That makes them far far more evil in my book.
Seraphem
Rapists and sadists are far worse than theives IMO. At least I can understand wanting something. Sadism has no logic "justifying" it.
Sereg
The reason they are worse is they try to justify their actions and claim what they are doing are right. They do not even see what they are doing as being anything but pure and perfectly good. Raiders know what they do is wrong, they just don't care. I just really really hate people like the Steel Rangers
Seraphem
Raiders know what they do is wrong, they just don't care.

Which makes them worse.

Intentions are a big deal to me.
Sereg
I agree with you Seraphem, Little Pip going undercover scared the crap outta me. There was so much tension while listening. I think it's the very thought of being so helpless. As bad as it was though, things went better than expected.
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 26: Xenith
Xenith is awesome. Her back story of abuse...um, no. Just no. I can't even...

Redeye is a neat villain (in that he is well written) but I just can't feel about him the same way Little Pip does. I get that his goals are admirable, I do, but the end doesn't justify the means. Whatever sort of world he's trying to create will be tainted by what he's doing. I don't trust him for a second.

His methods put Xenith and all those other living creatures in their agonizing situations and if that isn't capital 'E' evil, I don't know what the hell that might be.
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 27: Distress Signals.
I really don't understand why people fault the zebras for believing that. It makes perfect sense.
Sereg
Failure to put information in context of what the characters know versus what the audience knows and to account for cultural mindset differences
Seraphem
The whole situation with the valley always bugged me. Taking Trollestia as canon really rubbed me the wrong way ("Hey, remember that time where you got evil super powers and almost starved or froze everyone to death? Yea, totally gonna make a tasteless joke about that."). The text also explicitly states that the Zebra convoy had Legionaires (emphasis on the plural), which have been stated to be soldiers. Escorting civvies or not, I'm not sure what other response they could have possibly expected when they approached an enemy stronghold with a covered convoy and an armed escort. Did it never occur to anyone to try avoiding being spotted by possibly hostile forces?

On the other hand, I feel like the rest of the stuff with the zebras (not the Equestrian propaganda, mind) was rather beautifully tragic. Here they have this belief that the stars wish the world destruction by causing fighting. So okay, war breaks out and the stars are probably off somewhere cackling madly about the carnage. Seems a bit odd that they wouldn't realize they're basically playing into the stars' hands (hooves?), but maybe at this point they feel things haven't gotten too out of control.

Fast forward and they realize they're losing. At this point, they could stick to their beliefs and refuse to play the game anymore and enter for reals negotiations. Instead, they're so self righteous, they don't realize they've become the perfect examples of the star touched, and respond by giving the world the middle finger and setting off their balefire megaspells. Therefore screwing the world over and doing exactly what the stars wanted. Oops?
KuroiTsubasaTenshi
Well, this wasn't full on Trollestia, just her pulling a little prank, which we know she's not above doing. And she even admits in the end that it was wrong, and seeing that she was doing stuff like that was one of the things that made her step down.

And from the way it was described, it's possible the convoy had no clue what it was doing, all they were doing was heading away from battle, tring to get away from the frontlines and wondered into the school. And even if it had legionaries, doesn't mean they were smart, they could have just been some basic grunts tasked with being bodyguards. According to Xenith they only had one actual high rank/skilled zebra commando, and he was there only because his family was in the convoy.

We really just don't know enough to be sure. but it's possible that they simply wondered near the school accidently, getting lost, and soon as they saw it was filled with ponies just did a collective "okay what do we do now?" not sure how to proceed, while the ponies activated he defenses before they figured it out. Way to many ways it could have played out without knowing more details

And as to them suing for peace, keep in mind, while I agree with all your poits, they still saw Luna as being C'thulhu, and saw their own genocide as better then living under her control. So Peace was never an option for them.
Seraphem
I'd think such a sensitive topic would be right out for anything that could be considered a "little prank." Especially since Luna's response felt rather passive aggressive to me (and rightfully so).

Well, even with one veteran zebra commando around, he should have been taking charge. And given that his motive was protecting his family, I would have expected him to be extra vigilant and say "Whoa, guys, that's stupid, don't do that!"

It may not have been, but going by their beliefs, a peace offering and refusing to continue fighting would have been the way to give Luna'Thulu the middle finger. Instead, they gave everyone but Luna'Thulu the middle finger and played directly into the plan they perceived her to have from the start.

In short, in that AU, the stars were probably pointing and laughing for centuries.
KuroiTsubasaTenshi
Exactly, on the pointing and laughing. That was part of the tragedy, in trying to avoid it, they played right into The Stars plan (if they were real).

How many wars ever simply stop becuase one side decides not to fight anymore without having been defeated? Yeah woldn't work

And as to the convoy, the impression was it all happened to fast for any pony or Zebra to really have time to figure out what went on. Yes if they had just stopped and thought it out, things might have worked out, but they didn't have time.

Again, it was seeing just how far she was going with her pranks, and the general attitude about them that in part convinced her she was unfit to rule anymore.
Seraphem
Chapter 28: The Hour of the Wolf
Just to be clear, I do agree that this act by the rangers was reprehensible and I also agee with Calamity. I usually agree with him.
Sereg
There are three chapters in the story which I consider to be really dark. This is the first one. (The other two are "Edge of Night" and "This Coming Storm".)
Kkatman
I mentioned many times I don't like BOS and Steel Rangers in role of villains and wasn't that happy with thing what they did here (what was more close to game Enclave actions). But Steel Hooves and those forming AJ Rangers fixed that problem. They are closer to my favorite BOS factions - Capitol and Midwest.
DeathCloud
Chapter 29: Racing Apotheosis
Side note: the scene with Homage and Littlepip getting drunk also includes the first glimpse of a danger that becomes significant later.
Kkatman
....hmmmm, time to go reread and see what i missed.

oh right, didn't miss it, just didn't mention the Killing Joke.

Seraphem
Man oh, man. I haven't played the Fallout games like...at ALL so I'm not sure how the bit with the Master was done but I LOVED the details on the creation of the Goddess (you know, aside from the faulty 'science' procedures and all).

Science fiction (magic fiction here I supose ^.^) is my THING, especially when it comes to transformations and such.

Little Pip looking into a memory orb while in the air. Not smart. I agree. What the hell pony?
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 30: Hunters and Prey
I'm odd in that I really like angsty characters as having had deppresion myself, I can identify with it. Especially the self-loathing kind of angst as I personally was emotionally abused to the point that I believed that my existence actively made the world a worse place.

As such, I never had a problem with Littlepip's angsting or "corupted kindness" issue.
Sereg (edited by: Sereg)
Well, I don't mind SOME angst, as long as it doesn't devolve into Wangst, and all the issues they angst over make sense. I never had an issue with Li'lpip for that reason. And it's not an out of 'verse, dislike the story for doing it, it's a in 'verse, want to slap some sense into her kind of way.

I totally understand why she thinks that way, but kind of aggravating she refuses to see herself as better then she does, and goes out of her way to think badly of herself. but that's from an in 'verse perspective, not as to the writing of the story, since in that regard it makes perfect sense.

My issues are with Li'lpip the pony for thinking that way, not Li'lpip the character for being written that way.
Seraphem
This chapter includes the only part of the story where a point of impact is (intentionally) lost if you are unfamiliar with the Fallout games: Calamity's line "Jus' get us t' Old Olneigh, an' we'll be fine" invokes a significantly different reaction in the reader if they are familiar with Old Olney.

This chapter is also unique in that it exists largely because of feedback. The story-critical revelations and plot points in the chapter were originally going to be written into the next two. However, feedback revealed that the swift entrance into Maripony left readers feeling like an important setting had been effectively glossed over, and so I needed to give Splendid Valley more of an exploration with the group's exit.

I was more than happy to, as at that time I was looking for the best opportunity to delve more into the characters of Calamity and Xenith, particularly in relation to each other, and expanding the Splendid Valley adventure looked like the perfect vehicle to do so.
Kkatman
Ah, yeah can tell you were trying to have Calamity and Xenith work off each other.

And yeah I saw nothing odd about Ol Olneigh, though only game I've actually played is New Vegas
Seraphem (edited by: Seraphem)
Chapter 31: Life Interrupted.
Th Memory Gambit is also what gripped me. Very well done.
Sereg
This fic started to be really great many chapters ago but at point its started to be ultra awesome. That memory gambit is my favorite part of story (chalenged only by final moments of Red Eye and his master plan). And its alone can be reason why I consider it best fanfic ever. Truly page gripping.

Well done Kkat.
DeathCloud
Out of all the monsters and twisted ponies Little Pip and her crew face, those damned Hospital Horrors struck the most fear in me. Yes, the Hellhounds are pretty bad but at least they're less alien than those things. I'm not easily disgusted. Hell, I can eat baked beans while watching The Walking Dead. But this chapter, holy hell this chapter. I'm behind you all the way Seraphem.

Kudos to the writer on building the atmosphere.

The Memory thing...yeah. At first I thought I had skipped a chapter or something (my Ipod sometimes like to restart a track, not fun when your trying to run and all). Worth the payoff in the end though.
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 32: Conversations in the Calm Before
This chapter includes one of my favorite Chekhov's Guns.
Kkatman
Chapter 33: Crusaders
Rarity is likely a fair measure of average magical prowess; and while she rarely flaunts her magic, we have seen her use quite a variety of spells. In addition to standard light and telekinetic magic, and her gem detection spell, we have had rare glimpses of more substantial tricks, such as the transformation magic in "Look Before You Sleep", and the rather impressive illusions she casts for "take two" in "Suited for Success" (not to mention the implied ability to infuse magic into materials for desired effect, suggested in the song "Art of the Dress" from that same episode).

Illusion, transformation, detection, enchanting... that's a fair diversity of magical skill, and we can reasonably expect she has other magic that we haven't seen yet. If this is what an average unicorn is capable of who has shown no interest in learning new spells, what should we expect from a unicorn like Velvet Remedy who works to expand her repertoire?

Kkatman
Good point. I agree.
Sereg
And, yeah that's pretty much how I've always seen it. magic linked to their special talent is simply what they know almost intuitively. And it holds up with how Lauren described her views on magic. That it was more like art then anything. Some artists are natural at painting, others sculpting, or music. just like ponies and magic. Just becuase you have a natural talent for one thing, doesn't mean you can't experiment in other areas. A painter can take up sculpting, or someone that works in only water colors can try out working with oil based paints.

Sometimes you'll find you are also good at and enjoy the other forms of art. Or that with enough work you can master that too. While others, are just beyond your ability to get more then a basic ability at. but you never know till you try.

It just seems a lot of unicorns don't bother to push themselves, they settle in at what they can do easily, and just are happy with that. Which, again, some of artists do do, they pick a single style and stick with it.
Seraphem
Regarding Elder Cottage's arguments, they aren't without merit, as a lot of readers have pointed out.

How difficult is it for a nation founded on cruelty and slavery ever really rise above it? Consider the United States. The country was built in fair part from slavery. It took a long time for the Civil War to occur. Even longer for the Civil Rights movement and MLK. In the twenty-first century, you still had states whose capitals flew the Confederate flag and a rather significant effort to deny that the war was about slavery. The depths of racism's grip on parts of the country were brought into the open with a black man's race for presidency; and groups like the Klu Klux Klan, while largely ostracized and marginalized, are far from gone. The nation's slave-based beginnings continue to stain the country's image and the morality of many of its citizens.

How much harder would it be for Red Eye's New Equestria? And how likely would it be that the nation would get worse rather than better, at least for the foreseeable generations? It's not too difficult to see why Cottage Cheese would so completely write it off.
Kkatman (edited by: Kkatman)
Redeye. No not hard to see. But all the rest? Simply dismissing them as degenerate tribals. yeah that part is rather BS. Yes there are plenty of problems, but simply hiding away and letting them go. When you have the power to make a huge positive difference. And then denounce them as weak, useless, or wrong. When with your help they could reclaim exactly what you say you want, and faster....

Yeah, on Redeye he was right. But he's still a psychotic asshole that got what he deserved.
Seraphem
Chapter 34: Edge of Night (part 1)
War, War never changes.

I've seen a comment by Kkat before that the reason she didn't include this line is that it isn't even true in FOE. War is too new a concept to ponies for this to apply.

Like the ideal of what ponies should be, just makes the swerve at the end that much more powerful.

Except I failed to see the swerve. I ended reading the fic with the belief that the ponies of Arbu were totally in the right. I do not consider canabilism an evil action and that is all that there was evidence of.
Sereg
And to ALOT of people that is more then enough. But even if you can acccept that, feeding a boy his own father? Selling meat from a pony claiming it wasn't? While knowing how that is seen. And yes they Kill ponies for food. The preacher for one, hell they mounted his skull over their butcher shop. Plus the list of ponies that the old pony keeps of those who visited the town, and didn't leave till somepony flushed a toilet.

No it is made quite clear that they are killing ponies just to eat them.
Seraphem
I can see the point, and yet, I relly don't thinik it applies. (The War part.) Hell if anything it would be even MORE appropriate. Since even with ponies, who have no concept of this kind of war. Who only even know about the idea of it vaguely. Creatures who are the nicest, and most loving creatures you could get and still have a stable society that can defend itself. Even with every possible factor in favor of them being able to deal with this in a good way...

The war happened just like so so so many others. Not even ponies can change the harsh wrongness of war. Only be changed by it. Really FOE just shows how true "War never changes" is.
Seraphem
It wasn't clear to me. Ad yeah, none of that is anywhere near bad enough to deserve death. The only thing arguable is killing for food. Which is already a far better reason than most.
Sereg
I do not consider canabilism an evil action...

(Woohoo, quoteblock successfully tested! ^.^ )

A lot of the evils of the Wasteland — rape, torture, slavery — are extremely black and white. With Edge of Night/Cold Dawn Light, I wanted to delve into a lot of greyness, including morality of cannibalism itself.

Cannibalism is a very tricky moral subject. Many, like Sereg, see nothing inherently wrong with it at all. For others, it evokes a primal revulsion so strong that a lot of libraries have removed all books about cannibalism. I've learned through my mother, a teacher who works with foreign exchange students, that there are many countries (particularly in Africa) where cannibalism is viewed as so taboo and vile that their educational programs teach that cannibalism is something we made up and that it has never actually happened.

Kkatman (edited by: Kkatman)
Which is amusing as we have canabils here in Africa. In fact, I've heard of places which use the tortured screaming of their victims as advertisement of their products.
Sereg
And Like I said, if they were simply eating ponies that died. I could understand it. The instant they started killing other ponies just to eat them, they crossed the line into evil. They fed a kid his own father! That's Eric Cartman levels of fucked up. Literally. There's a reason that episode is considered his MEH crossing.
Seraphem
And Like I said, if they were simply eating ponies that died. I could understand it.

And that's all we or Littlepip had evidence of.

The instant they started killing other ponies just to eat them, they crossed the line into evil. They fed a kid his own father! That's Eric Cartman levels of fucked up. Literally. There's a reason that episode is considered his MEH crossing.

If they did that. Even if they did, it's still far better than the others you get both in the wasteland and real life.
Sereg
Did you miss the part where they joked about the preacher giving them "solace" during a bad winter, and then mounted his skull over their butcher shop? Make it pretty clear what they did to him.

And then the entire journal we learn about in the next chapter of every pony that came to the town and never came out? They are predators. they act all friendly and nice to lure in prey, then pounce.
Seraphem
Yeah. I completely missed all that. That is very bad, but still not the most evil group in the fic. That said, if that was made clearer to me, I wouldn't really have felt much distaste.
Sereg
Maybe ponies had their own balefire bombs? If thats only source of radiation.
DeathCloud
No, per Kkat, ponies did not have Balefire bombs. The only Balefire found in Equestria was...okay IDEA. They are the waste from a Balefire disposal facility. Where they safely destroyed any captured Balefire weapons.
Seraphem
except lets not forget the radigator factory they didnt need to murder ponies for food since they had a perfectly good food source near by and if they still eat the dead well aslong as their motive for killing the pony is not for food then i have no problem with it
darkdigi
Chapter 34: Edge of Night (part 2)
If they were normal raiders, it would only be a fraction as bad.

Um. No. And I consider torture worse than murder as well. And killing for food is much better than killing for fun.

And yeah, sorry, but the onies of Arbu really don't seem so bad to me. They certainly didn't deserve death based on what we knew.
Sereg
Cannibals. That in and of itself is enough reason. But add in, feeding unwitting ponies meat from, well ponies. Then joking about it. Yes I get you don't see the issue, but for plenty of other people, that's more then enough reason. Like I said, pretty much the single biggest YMMV section in the story.
Seraphem (edited by: Seraphem)
If it was only for the cannibal fact, Littlepip wouldn't have react like this: it was pratically the fact that she was used by them, to do their dirty deeds without knowing it, that really pissed her off.
kimba90
AND the fact that they fed her meat from a pony she already felt guilty about killing. This was just shear rage at finding out all this stuff like this. This wasn't a rationale act this was all those little bits coming together and exploding all at once, with no time for her to calm down before acting.
Seraphem
Honestly, not the first time she acted this way, and not the last either, but this is probably the only time she felt like digging a tomb for herself (though killing the Goddess with a balefire bomb and accidentally causing the death of many mutated Diamond Dogs (also, Steelhooves ;__;) might count as well).
kimba90
........

No she hasn't acted this way. This is the only time she acts out on pure, unbridled RAGE. Yes she's let her emotions cloud her judgment, but there's always been other reasons beyond anger for her actions. The anger just makes her more eager to go with a more physical solution. But she has othe, and better reasons for it as well.

The Goddess, is in no way shape or form the same thing. that was just pure reasoning. She HAD to be destroyed for the good of Equestria and the world, and the bomb was the only option. She didn't even consider Hellhounds into it. And can in NO way be blamed for Steelhooves death.

And I have no idea what you mean by "digging a tomb"
Seraphem
I mean she feels like the scum she always fought before than, she feels even more a monster than raiders and alicorns put together, she just saw what the wasteland turned her into and right now she just want to be burried alive.

And no, I'm not blaming her for poor Steelhooves, she never even knew about the Hellhounds in the first place (if she did, she probably would've think twice before pressing that button), but that still caused an unfortunate chain of events, one that caused the death of a companion. Something that, unlike Arbu, she couldn't prevent (or maybe yes, if the circumstances were different), but she still feel guilty the same way.
kimba90
So many spoilers. I hope people aren't reading these comments along with their first reading of the story.
Kkatman
Okay seeing what you mean, and that's more issues with her sense of self worth, and self esteem. She simply never thinks she's good enough, always thinks the worst of herself.

And also, Kkat's got a good point, we should try to keep the comments spoiler free for future chapters. Anything before on in the chapter sure, anything else, put it in the thread, or wait till that chapter.
Seraphem
@Seraph: The ting is, my reaction was, "She's killing them just because they're cannibals!? And acting so angry about it!? Serously!? Littlepip, I'm very disapointed."
Sereg
Cannibals, who had fed her pony meat, of a pony she had killed. And also fed to his son. AND The evidence of them killing ponies from the preachers skull mounted on the wall. Then who she had exterminated more or less innocent young ponies just trying to do their job and obey orders to help, nearly killing Velvet in the process. All while they were lying to her about that.
Seraphem
Yeah, giving credits to Seraphem, it was more than one thing that made her go total berserk, not just them being cannibals.
kimba90
As mentioned before, there are three chapters in the story which I consider to be exceptionally dark. This is the second one. (The other two are "Hour of the Wolf" and "This Coming Storm".)
Kkatman
Great chapter. I love when hero (but not asshole type) is put in those situations (if done well).

And while I agree Lilpip shouldn't murder town in such way I do think Arbu deserve that or even worse fate. If it was just canibalism (and more justified, with no real other sorce of food) I wouldn't think that, but all rest (what Seraph keep pointing out), turned them into Complete Monsters.
DeathCloud
Stories featuring cannibalism are my some of my favorites simply because cannibalism is one of those practices that is so abhorred by my own culture that engaging in it means being reduced down to something inhuman (inpony in this case). It's a dark point, aside from where cannibalism is a ritual or has a more positive connotation, where there is no going back.

In this chapter of FOE, there is the log of the policepony dealing with the gradual decline, from mundane bickering to more serious problems, of his city (with the 'help' of an eldery mare) AND Little Pip's own 'policing' of the Arbu situation (with the help of an elderly stallion).

Little Pip's reaction is understandable but not by any means correct (and she knows that and is horrified by it). I agree Seraphem, it's a dark point for her if not her darkest. I think it's her own "cannibal" moment.
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 35: Cold Dawn Light
Yes, Steelhooves have view on that situation matching mine. Best pony.

To bad they couldn't enter Friendship City at that time. So they could do Junktowntown and Rivet City inspired quest without Encalve interrupting.

DeathCloud
Cut to DJ-PON-3. Yeah the last few times we got any action, it cuts away without actually showing much, that is kind of disappointing.

Well, for what it's worth, Chapter 36 jumps right back into that battle with all hooves seconds after that cut away, so you do get to see the battle in significant detail. ^.^
Kkatman
Chapter 36: The Very Strange Tale of Midnight Shower
As I've said before, the zebras were perfectly right bsed oh the evidence they had available.
Sereg
(wait, I thought Canterlot Ghouls were immune to the Pink Cloud.)

They are. Steel Hooves wasn't with them at that point, having played distraction while the others broke into the police station.

We also learn that there are ponies living in Zebratown, one saying she does so simply to show the Zebra's that not all ponies blame them for the acts of their country...equines? And I really like that. It does seem so very.... pony.

As a few readers caught, this was the same pony whose door Twilight Sparkle knocked on towards the end of Bridle Gossip.

Kkatman
Oh, missed that. That would explain something I found a bit odd later as well. My bad. Though by this point, I'd say it should be SOP for them to not take him into enclosed spaces if they can help it.

Also missed that, but, damn. Nice.
Seraphem
Midnight Shower...ah, he came off as a representation of all those bigoted doctorate holders and scientists studying other cultures (ethnocentric anthropologists and others). He was fun to listen too.

Rainbowraptor

Seraphem
Chapter 37: The Shadow of the Ministries (Part 1: The Apple Orb)
The opening here takes on more meaning when you read the final chapter and realize who Littlepip is talking to, and why she would consider this point in the story to call for it. Essentially: this is it. This is when you got that little knock on your door that changed your life and your world forever.

Everything before just provided context and explained how those involved got to this point.
Kkatman
Chapter 37: The Shadow of the Ministries (Part 2: The Butterfly Orb)
Yeah, this really does confirm that Fluttershy stayed in character.
Sereg
Argh. This chapter with Rarity's end hurt me the most and I stand by that as I've finished the story now (well, Zecora's almost reaches that level but really that seemed a bit over the top). The shield was pierced by a terminal? What?!

Agree regarding the alicorn battle. Blood weapon=awesome.
Rainbowraptor
Not a shield, just a window.
Kkatman
Sorry, I knew that but somehow forgot it XP
Rainbowraptor
Chapter 37: The Shadow of the Ministries (Part 4: The Balloon Orb)
I actually agreed with Scoots. Her actions were completely reasonable at the time.

As for Pinkie, that was prophecy, yeah. And we already saw that PTM enabled Pinkie Sense could get really crazy.
Sereg (edited by: Sereg)
Chapter 38: Peace in Our Time
Yeah, some really good stuff with this chapter. Dream sequence was great as you said. Especially for what it sets up.
Sereg
I wanted to do something rather special for the first dream sequence where Littlepip is recalling her journey up to this point. Every chapter starts with a single word, and this passage includes every "first word" of the first thirty-eight chapters.

Something easily missed: in the later dream, Pinkie Pie reveals how her drug problem started as she draws a parallel between the Black Book's offer of just a taste of power and how she was offered her first Mint-al — the little gift that starts the addiction.
Kkatman
Chapter 39: The Coming Storm (part 1)
Well. I see that you have a lower opinion of Velvet than I do. I'm guessing that you wouldn't be a Sayaka fan if you watched PMMM.

Personally I thought that Steel Hooves deth was well done. He was my fave character, but that seemed appropriate for him.
Sereg
Well, I don't hate her or anything. I still like her, just, less then any other pony in the group. And yeah Steelhooves death was well done, not saying it wasn't. Just that I'm sad it happened at all.
Seraphem
When writing this chapter, the last in the trio of extremely dark ones, I felt that it really needed Ditzy Doo's level of involvement to bring a light into the darkness.
Kkatman
I didn't liked Steelhooves death but I can accept it. It never bothered me that much anyway. And from all mane characters his death is less tragic since he finally achieved something and maybe reunited with his loved one (at least he was buried with AJ).

DeathCloud
Chapter 39: The Coming Storm (part 2)
I agree on Enclave. They are proven to be dangerous threat like in games but also got "humanized" quickly.

I always have problem when evil nation/race shows that it's not Always Chaotic Evil only much later in story, long after that faction introduction.
DeathCloud
Chapter 40: Sonic Rad-Boom
This is the part that you couldn't remember, in context:

“This. Was. Your. Mission!?” I strode forward, my glare alone almost strong enough to disintegrate the earth pony ghoul. “Assess if Stable Two could be safely taken?!”

He cringed back from me. “I even tried giving them Stable Twenty-Nine instead.”

I rocked on my hooves, my mind teetering on the edge of a dark chasm as I struggled to remember if, in my own hack of Stable Twenty-Nine’s entrance, I might have left clues that the tech-savvy agents of the Ministry of Wartime Technology could have used to figure their way through my own Stable’s door.

Remember, she had gained access to Stable Twenty-Nine by using a backdoor which could likely be used to open any Stable. And she used a recording of one of the CMC stating the secret code that would open Stable Two to boot.

Kkatman
Oh, dang, okay yeah that does work out, damn, sorry, heh.

On it's own yeah it works great, just feels a bit odd that the "Find her tag through computers she hacked" thing wasn't foreshadowed like.. pretty much everything else in the story had been. But does still work and make sense.
Seraphem
Chapter 41: Towards Hope (part 2)
Ponies are herbivorous herd animals, it's almost impossible to understand just how deeply that simple fact could shift their perceptions and attitudes from what we consider normal as people. They would naturally be more caring about the group as a whole, of the herd, more willing to care about others, less predatory.

You have som misconceptions about real life herbivores in general and equines in particular. Herbivores are generally more icious than carniores in real life. Largely because being injured is worse for a carniore than for a herbiore. Horses are no excepion, with fights between stallions getting very bad. Horses are also well known for having infanticide as standard practice.

However, I have to agree with Velvet. Fluttershy was the best pony and any who seek to be like her can appropriate any name they are called with pride.
Sereg
Point stands that they are still more inclined to think in terms of the herd as a whole more so then people. And while they can be vicious when fighting for dominance, still less prefatory instincts.

The combination of being more inclined towards acting and thinking as a group. Which we've kind of seen ponies doing in the show, acting with a type of group think. Nothing major just little bits where it seems everypony is thinking the exact same thing, are acting in perfect sync with others without planning it. And the lack of the more predatory insticts, will naturally create an overall basic thought structure differnt then ours.

And yes even horses can be quite vicious if needed, and when going for dominance, especially stallions, and, look at that, most of the ponies we see being overly vicious, or fighting to win and be on top the hardest tended to be stallions.

And even without that, the simple fact that regardless of reasons, it's been proven quite thoroughly that ponies simply do incline more towards being good. That when it comes to ponies Rousseau Was Right is in full effect. That while there will be some bad apples, in the absence of environmental forces driving them to despair and breaking their spirit, ponies will try and be good.
Seraphem (edited by: Seraphem)
Chapter 42: Into Fire and Darkness (part 1)
That Hellhound mind control thing is proof that Enclave is more that just bullies with adavanted tech and weapons.
DeathCloud
That was a very spot-on analysis of Littlepip.

Most people have a point where they just break, where they lash out or vent when the crap piled on them gets beyond what they can handle with grace. For most people it takes a LOT less than it took for Littlepip.

Whether or not you can understand and forgive when a friend in pain lashes out unfairly at you says a lot more about you than the lashing out says about your friend.
Kkatman
Chapter 43: The Kingdom of the Blind (part 3)
I think it is my favorite chapter. Biggest reason because it change my perception of Red Eye. Unlike many people I dont consider him being best part of fanfic, and he almost was annoying to me. Because he was unfamiliar to me, he wasn't based on character I knew (I haven't played FO 3 or NV before reading FOE), only later I noticed Lieutenant inspirations in him. Without it he was third side what tried to take Big Bad position from Master and Enclave expies.

But here I realized he tried to become improved Goddess, maybe even closer to original Master, not only that but just brilliance of how he tried to achieve this goal (with picking Unicorn and Pegasus pony and luring him to Cathedral) it changed way I looked at him in retrospect, noticing brilliance of his previous actions.

I don't care it was his downfall, this moment make me love him as FOE main villain.
DeathCloud
Chapter 44: Galvanize (part 1)
Because if I had rescued them knowing that they would slaughter more ponies, just like if I had let Autumn Leaf go, then wouldn’t I be at least partially responsible for everyone they killed afterwards?

I do agree with this.

Might the "about to die" not refer to Spike's breath?

Also, as a now fan of Harmony Theory, it's amusing to be reminded that "The Destroyer" is one of Littlepip's nicknames (it's one of the nicknames of one of the villians in that fic).
Sereg
Well, yes I do get that's what it was meant to refer to, but then why would she be saying she was about to die, when she was saying this AFTER getting hit by it? unless she was deliberately trying to build up dramatic tension.

At the point she was saying those words, she knew she had survived it.
Seraphem
Chapter 44: Galvanize (part 2)
I also like to think of Life Bloom as the next bearer of magic.

And I actually liked Littlepip's being breathed on by Spike. I liked the litteral componant of the "prophecy".
Sereg
I don't know, and that's my whole issue. I both like, and dislike the idea at the same time. Maybe if it was the same idea, but different execution or something. That's what makes it so frustrating, it feels off to me, but I can't figure out why.
Seraphem
Epilogue: Of Forgiveness and Fallout, and Afterword
I agree those two chapters are good ending for story. However I still witch it had F1,F2 and NV style of ending.
DeathCloud
Final Thoughts
Thank you. I may not have commented on every update, I may not have always agreed with you, I may have judged certain aspects of the story a bit more harshly than you did, but I really enjoyed reading your opinions and look forward to your next entry.

Of those listed, I'm most interested in your liveblog of CRISIS Equestria, though I STILL would love to see you do Harmony Theory, especially with the fact that their are some sinificant similarities at the premise level, though they are executed differently and the fact that you have yet to discover its awesomeness.
Sereg (edited by: Sereg)
Thank you as well. And, differing opinions are fun, it's what leads to discussion. Most of your views, yeah it's just YMMV. And discussing them is great and half the fun of doing his.

As to Harmony Theory, I rather thought you'd say that. And I would be interested. The one huge things those three over that, is that they are complete. I just get leary about reading stories and getting into them before they are done. in case they end up like PH and just never end but keep going and going. OR even worse Through The Eyes Of Another Pony and simply stop, never actually finishing and giving you the end of the story.
Seraphem
Well, CRISIS Equestri isn't actually completed yet and Harmony Theory updates reasonably frequently, so I doubt it'd be a problem.
Sereg
Yeah forgot about that, since it's been so long since the damn thing updated.
Seraphem
Well done.

Thank you.
Unknownlight
So finished reading this.

Good Job.

I wish you would consider reading and live bloging Heroes. It's unfished but PH is too. And this one would fit more in your tastes. (And this story need more love).
DeathCloud
I think I owe you an apology for not being here to read through your liveblog as originally intended. Big things happened to me in the past year or so that left me, well, no energy to do nothing but cope with day to day life. Won't go into detail but I'll just say, again, sorry.

At somepoint I'll be going back so I can comment on some of my favorite chapters, if anything just to relive the story again. FOE is actually my favorite fanfic, I think for the reasons you stated above and more.

Yeah, FOE is dark as hell but, at the risk of being sappy, the moments where the characters dealt with the dark helped me cope with the Wasteland in my own life.

Rainbowraptor
IT LIVES!
Cool!

Also, do Harmony Theory as well!/obligatory fanboying
Sereg
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