Cerebus Syndrome: Fanfic

Examples of fanfiction getting progressively more serious.

  • ''Zenith, Darkness, Reverie'', a Death Note fanfiction, commences with a rock-climbing, Redditing nightcore fan locating a Death Note. It's destined to become a relatively light, humorous fanfic, of course. By chapter five (or approximately there), the protagonist is soliloquizing about obliterating humanity. By chapter fourteen, she has committed over one thousand murders.
  • The Child of Love: This story started off as a dramatic but mostly romantic tale with bits of light-hearted comedy. In the chapter 4 the story begins turning darker when it is revealed Gendo has designs upon Asuka and her baby. From that point the dramatic, dark elements increase and overtook the comedic ones.
  • The Lion King Adventures started off as a cute, comedic adventure series featuring Simba and Nala starting a romance as cubs. However, it evolved into a dark, gritty drama, rife with character deaths and tragedy.
  • While the story was never all that lighthearted to begin with, Racer and the Geek has definitely been going this way, starting from about chapter 3 with the introduction of gunponies, but with some fairly meaningful foreshadowing showing up in chapter 2. Considering who the author is, this is not unexpected.
  • Pedestal started out as a lighthearted fic about the narrator's Pokémon journey. Halfway though, things suddenly get much, much worse.
  • The Tamers Forever Series: the author says it best:
    "When 'Tamers Forever' was originally conceived, it was supposed to be a ten-story series mainly concerning a Takato/Rika relationship. It was supposed to be more of a romantic comedy, however, I realized my strong point wasn't comedy, as I unconsciously deepened and filled the plot with questions and secrets."
    • To give the man due credit though he never completely abandons the humour, in fact several scenes from later books are absolutely hilarious
    • The drama is taken Up to Eleven during Silent Sorrow
  • Nine Knackered Souls started as the RvB cast thrown into the wonderful Sugar Bowl world of ponies, and trying and failing to fit in. Then Maine appears....
  • In Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, despite things going well for the ponies for majority of the war, the griffins always find a way to get them on the edge. Then chapter 15 comes.
  • Six Days The Animorphs Were Idiots begins as the crackiest of Crack Fic, with silly events happening and no real plot to speak of. Marco takes acid and hallucinates the brightly colored clouds on the book covers, Vissers 1 and 3 go on a date, Cassie forms a whale-worshipping cult. But the cast ends up hijacking a Yeerk spacecraft and travel to the Andalite homeworld, and the plot takes a turn for something that would not be out of place in the original book series. The sequel/prequel fanfic, The Other Attack begins with roughly the same level of serious that the first fanfic ended with.
  • Clash of the Elements Part 1 starts out with a little bit of humor and some light-heartedness you'd come to expect from a Mario game, but as time goes on and more details get revealed, everything starts becoming rather grim, culminating in the final battle where everything pretty much goes to hell and even when things are resolved it is a rather Bittersweet conclusion...
  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Series is mostly comedy, but it gets a fair amount more adventurous with each passing season. The Season Finales are quite dramatic, however.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the Series Finale, Black Rain, with an open that could pass for a slasher film, and Dr. Thunderstorm and Shadow possibly die at the end. Oh, and Slender Man appears. And he's a good guy.
  • God Save The Esteem begins by exploring the quirks of having Daria be raised by punks instead of yuppies. By the end, her father has nearly died, Daria has nearly been killed, a friend is in psychiatric treatment the school has been shut down for good thanks to a prank that Daria pulled on the cheerleaders, and martial law is declared, culminating in an epic battle of punks vs. police (with the National Guard preparing to move in).
  • The Intercontinental Union of Disgusting Characters is a series about exploiting the loopholes in the 1st Edition AD&D rules. But by the middle of The Sick Kids, well ... just try reading the final moments of Sick Sword's life without getting a lump in your throat. (Or the funeral for Ringman in The Intercontinental Proliferation of Disgusting Characters.)
  • Children of Time is a Doctor Who/Sherlock Holmes Crossover that starts goes from typical Doctor Who adventure and angst to Darker and Edgier in the three-part finale, helped along by a definite Knight of Cerebus, Professor Moriarty. Holmes himself does a Face-Heel Turn.
  • My Little Alicorn starts out as a quirky comedy about Celestia being turned into a filly and Twilight and Luna having to put up with her antics while they also struggle to effectively rule the country until they can turn Celestia back to normal. Eventually though, things get much more serious and dark as we're shown how no one has forgiven Luna for her crimes as Nightmare Moon, we see just how self serving and manipulative the Canterlot nobility is, Blueblood becomes increasingly violent and deranged as he becomes obsessed with getting revenge on the Mane Six for the events of The Best Night Ever, and we get a firsthand look at how dark and graphic Discord's reign over Equestria, and the war to topple him was. And this is all before the appearance of an Ax-Crazy sorcerer who has murdered literally millions in his quest for immortality.
  • Getting Back on Your Hooves begins as a Slice of Life fic dealing with Trixie...well, trying to get back on her hooves with assistance of the mane six. While some serious moments, its still comical and Trixie's mess ups are presented comically. Then the Cutie Mark Crusaders decide to try and find a camping spot in the Everfree Forest, forcing Trixie and Fluttershy to go on a dangerous adventure to save them...and then Checker Monarch enters the story and pushes the plot in a direction more in tune with the two parters of the actual series.
  • The Nuptialverse: The first story, Post Nuptials, is a WAFF about the Mane Six dealing with the Guilt Complexes that resulted from not believing Twilight about the imposter Princess Cadence and their friendships coming out stronger for it. Then Families comes out and, on top of having to still deal with Spike's guilt and Pinkie's personal problems with her family, they also have to deal with a conspiracy to discredit and usurp Princess Celestia one member of which happens to be Scootaloo's total monster of a father. And that's not even mentioning the side story Metamorphosis, which explores Queen Chrysalis' incredibly dark Start of Darkness.
  • The MLP fanfic Trixie has a Problem, by the author of Ask Twixie Genies, starts out as a comedic Slice of Life fic where Trixie is accidentally turned into a human, and the hijinks that ensue as Twilight struggles to cure her. Then Human!Trixie is kidnapped by the Apple Family, who in this story turn out to be cannibals.
    • And then comes chapter 6, where Applejack murders Twilight just because she tried to save Trixie.
  • Ask Jappleack began as a NSFW ask blog. After the success of PONY.MOV it started developing a plot. A plot which got progressively more dark, serious, and strange.
  • The Fan Fic Sonic Evil Reborn Zero. Already a Deconstruction Fic, the story makes a sharp turn southward at the start of the second arc when Sonic abruptly, for seemingly no reason, turns towards the dark side to join Eggman and Wikke (it's so abrupt even Eggman isn't prepared) and, immediately after, goes on a genocidal rampage through Station Square. Before this, it had been like a darker Sonic Adventure , with some chapters dedicated solely towards comedy and others towards drama, but this was the turning point where it remained dark. Amy's misery makes it worse.
  • When Innortal published his first time loop stories, the characters were just screwing around with their cannon. Then Saphroneth came along and started his My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic loops, not only codifying the Infinite Loops setting but deconstructing parts of the premise, though the plot was still mostly the characters screwing around. The Mega Man loops open with their reboot being represented as a garbled datastream and an entire reality being obliterated, necessitating a three-way anchorship and traumatizing Rock, Roll, and Blues.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, post episode 5, the characters' morale and the tone of events in the story have taken an increasingly dark turn. This is best exemplified by the episode 10 epilogue, which is a nonstop string of tragic events.
    • Episode 11 is the darkest one yet, but has hopeful moments that become most prominent in chapter 11.
  • Happens across the entirety of the Mass Vexations trilogy. The first two parts are a relatively light-hearted romp through the Mass Effect series, with a sense of humor that wasn't afraid to tap into Medium Awareness at some points. The third fic ends with a Class X-2 Apocalypse How over Earth.
  • In Crowns of the Kingdom, the cartoony pratfall type gags taper off as the plot heats up.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos starts a lot like the original third season of Sonic X. It doesn't take long before the heroes realize just how messed up the galaxy really is. And then there's Episode 74...
  • The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity starts out with some family drama but is overall quite optimistic- up until Time Turner cameos in Morning Glory to deliver sudden Foreshadowing, cemented by the very end of Phases of the Moon (which takes place first anyway). If one reads in publication order, the ending of "The Sin of Envy" has this effect as well, but it is meant to be part of a relatively self-contained arc (and also takes place after the other moments).
  • Constant Temptation is a light-hearted, fluffy Romantic Comedy until Beyond Birthday shows up.
  • My Little Portal is exactly what it sounds like: a fusion of its namesakes, with Twilight Sparkle and various personality cores based on her friends traversing a test course. Sounds like silly fun, right? Aside from occasional dark hints of Back Story and a slightly sinister atmosphere (much like Portal, at that), it is... for just about four episodes, until we learn just how everypony got there: Canterlot was sacked by the changelings a decade before and Celestia and Luna were killed, which we get to see in gory detail, and the amnesiac Twilight is expected to be rehabilitated and lead La Résistance.
  • Hear my Song! used to be a light-hearted fluffy fic. Then, it started to take the focus off Miku and Luka and onto other characters. Though there were a lot of dark points, pretty much everything involving Haku counting as one, things didn't get really dark until IA and Yukari entered the plot. And at that point, things went to hell.
  • Star Wars Light In Dark Time started out as a lighthearted Troll Fic with some Crack Fic elements; however, starting from chapter 3 onwards, the series takes a more serious turn, introducing dangerous villains, serious deaths, and a cohesive plot.
  • The Legend Of Cynder Series starts off as mostly a comedy, with the focus being 'what would happen if Cynder replaced Spyro?' as well as generally poking fun at the Fridge Logic and Head Scratchers the original series presents. (Cynder calling out the guardians for sending a kid dragon to dangerous places while they wait behind, Cynder flying over most enemies and tough areas instead of fighting them, and in general finding ways to cheese a lot of the bosses in the series by fighting them in ways they weren't intended to.) All this continued until Cynder reached Boyzitbig, where the series experiences a Wham Episode where Cynder watches as a pregnant mole is killed in front of her, and she couldn't do anything to save her. Though the series is still not above poking fun at Fridge Logic and Head Scratchers, the story in general gets a lot more serious since then, and doesn't gloss over the fact that the characters are in a war that they're slowly losing ground in...
  • The My Little Pony fanfiction The Lost Element started off as a slice of life story where the main character gets transported to Equestria and has to deal with being the first human to exist there. While the story does take a temporary dark turn when Diamond Tiara tricks James into hiding in the Everfree Forest in fear of having broken an outdated law that prevented sexual intercourse between a human and pony, and he in turn discovers Sunny Town, where the ponies turn into zombies at nighttime, it goes back to the usual lighthearted plotline of the first few chapters. The story takes another trip into the darkness with the discovery that the ponies at Sunny Town murdered a filly for having a cutie mark, before dumping her corpse into an abandoned house and being cursed by Princess Luna to roam the night for all eternity until they atoned for their sins, as well as the return of Nightmare Moon, which sets off a story arc involving the serious injury of several characters. The story ONCE AGAIN goes back to the regularly scheduled daily life observation, until things go to utter crap with the return of Discord, which leads to James witnessing all his friends turning away from him, and him even being dumped by Fluttershy. This causes him to slip into a grief induced madness that causes him to trick Discord into a fight to the death where James beats the crap out of Discord, tears off his wings, eats them, dismembers him, tears the Elements of Harmony out of his chest, and finally kills him. To make it worse, all of James's friends get to watch as all this happens, including Rainbow Dash, who wasn't corrupted by Discord.
    • To make it worse, the author then immediately put the story on hiatus so he could write an EVEN MORE depressing story where James gets killed in the battle with Discord and the Mane 6 have to deal with the repercussions, opting to finish this story before continuing the main one.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality starts off as a frequently hilarious fic about a brilliant Ravenclaw Harry who plans to overturn the Wizarding World through the application of Reason and Science! The laughs have been few and far between since Hermione was brutally killed by Mountain Troll, thereby triggering a prophecy suggesting that Harry will destroy the world that has even Voldemort himself in a panic.
  • While it was never light per se, Young Justice: Darkness Falls takes a sharp turn into danger and darkness on chapter 40, which has [[the partial destruction of Watchtower]] by the forces of Apokalips and the scattering of several team members.
  • The Demesne Of The Reluctant Twilight Sparkle is in large part a Slice of Life story dealing with Twilight's (increasingly less) reluctant sudden sovereignty over Ponyville and the surrounding lands, courtesy of disused laws and a gift from Luna. Then it turns out that so many nobles now know that they have claims to their own demesnes that they threaten to plunge Equestria into civil war.
  • The Equestrian Wind Mage starts out with a relatively light-hearted first season as Vaati adjusts to life in Equestria. Then Dethl shows up, and his presence reveals that Equestria has caught the eye of none other than Majora himself, who now intends to bring Equestria under his dominion, by any means necessary.
  • I Against I, Me Against You starts with Twilight Sparkle's hapless adventures with Church and the other Blood Gulch boys, but gets progressively darker as more of Equestria's connection to Project Freelancer is revealed.