Fan Fic: Ace Combat: Equestria Chronicles
"We’re in for a wild flight."
A mini-series of Cross Over
fanfics by Polish Valsionnote
that combines My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
with the Ace Combat
video game series.
In the first story, Ace Combat: The Equestrian War
, the griffins prepare an invasion on Equestria and a team of brave pegasus ponies (Firefly, Rainbow Dash, Lightning Bolt, Cloud Kicker, Fluttershy, Derpy and Medley), known as "Mirage" squadron, is attempting to protect their land and mount a comeback.
While not a direct adaptation of any Ace Combat game, the story uses a lot of references to the Playstation 2 titles
, as well as Ace Combat 6
and the latest Assault Horizon
.The complete story is here
In the sequel, titled Ace Combat: Wings of Unity
, a group of ponies, descendants of those who were exiled from Equestria by Princess Celestia long ago for their dangerous behaviour and experiments, seeks to return and exact revenge on the princess. The story is currently being written and can be read here.
There is also a spin-off story, Ace Combat: Gryphon Wings
, written by Slowusaurus aka Bwaak. It deals with events that happen between the two conflicts from the perspective of Black Star
, as he struggles with his own problems and tries to fight a major threat to the Griffin Kingdom. This story can be read here
can be found here.
Common tropes featured in the stories:
Ace Combat: The Equestrian War provides examples of:
- Abnormal Ammo / Edible Ammunition: Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo fire frozen apple pies and various other foodstuffs at the griffins.
- Air Jousting: Done by Rainbow Dash and Gilda in chapter 20, recreating the final duel between Cipher and Pixy.
- Airstrike Impossible: Surprisingly subverted in chapter 10, where Rainbow Dash performs a Sonic Rainboom to break inside the Burning Talon.
- Played straight, however, in chapter 19.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Several griffin soldiers, but especially Echo, though he wasn't all that evil.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Overdrive to Tornado Swirl. He doesn't mind.
- Arc Words: All ponies are "children of this land".
- Back from the Brink: Things start hard for the ponies, but finally, in chapter 17, they turn the tables.
- Battle in the Rain: Rainbow Dash fights Gilda during a rainstorm.
- Big "NO!": Fluttershy in chapter 17. Firefly does a bigger one in the next chapter, after experiencing a nightmare.
- Bilingual Bonus: Echo's "Gult" squadron. It means "Yellow" in Icelandic.
- Bittersweet Ending: The ponies manage to win the war and end Red Cyclone's plans. They even reconcile with the griffins. But at the same time many ponies and griffins had died during the conflict, many others were traumatized and majority of Equestria was ravaged by the conflict.
- However, the epilogue gives a happy ending to several characters. See below.
- Break Them by Talking: Gilda does this to Rainbow Dash in chapter 11, combined with a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
- Comes back to bite the former hard in the butt during their second and final confrontation.
- Breather Episode: Chapter 9. Since the next chapter, things get serious.
- Broken Tears: Every main heroine sheds those at least once in the story, with the exception of Lightning Bolt. To elaborate: Firefly in chapters 7, 8 (in the flashback) and 16, Fluttershy in chapter 10, Rainbow Dash and Medley in chapter 11 (Rainbow carries them to chapter 12), Derpy and Cloud Kicker in chapter 15. Each of them has a justified and valid reason to cry.
- Call Back: Fluttershy uses The Stare to scare two griffins in chapter 3.
- Medley, in chapter 4, sneaks between the trees to track the griffins who kidnapped fillies. It may bear resemblance to Apple Bloom doing the same thing while following Zecora.
- Pinkie Pie's party for Gilda is mentioned in chapter 11.
- Canon Foreigners: Mobius, Talisman, Shamrock and Sky Eye.
- Casual Danger Dialog: In chapter 19, Flare Star says the following gem after knocking a griffon soldier down:
Flare Star: Hey, Spitfire! When this mission is over, I’m ordering a first-class cold shower!
Spitfire: Sure, as long as you’ll come back alive.
Firefly: You know…this is probably the most intense flight I've had in my life! Hahaha!
Rainbow Dash: Yeah…but we gotta make it out of here, so we can live to tell others about it!
Firefly: Let’s speed up! Now it’s only a straight way out! There’s a light in front of us!
Rainbow Dash: I hope it’s not a passage to the other world! *laughs*
- Catapult Nightmare: Firefly experiences one at the beginning of chapter 18 due to a Bad Dream.
- Cheerful Child: Dinky tries to remain optimistic despite the carnage of the war happening around her.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Gilda performs it on Medley in chapter 11. Applejack is also subjected to one in chapter 6.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Said word-for-word by Rarity in chapter 3, when she introduces the vests for Firefly's team, each being colored to match a pony's coat. These vests are used by both ponies and griffins in order to distinguish their alignment and to which unit they belong.
- Cooldown Hug: Lightning Bolt gives one to Cloud Kicker when she breaks down into tears in chapter 15, assuring her that no matter what will happen, they will remain best friends.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Firefly.
- Crowd Song: At the end of chapter 9. What's better is that the ponies sing "Gotta Stay Fly" from Ace Combat: Assault Horizon , though with slightly altered lyrics.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: The second battle of Cloudsdale in chapter 14. Thanks to the support of Mirage squadron, the Wonderbolts and the three foreign aces, the Pegasi managed to beat a griffin group army roughly twice their numbers, losing no more than ten fliers.
- Darkest Hour: Chapter 15. Canterlot is seized by the Griffin Army, with the castle being the only save area; many ponies are injured, several died and things generally look bleak for the heroes.
- Dead Person Conversation: Firefly speaks with the spirits of her parents in the epilogue.
- Death Wail: Derpy did not take Carrot Top's death very lightly.
- Decisive Battle: In chapter 17, when the EAF operational army is split into two groups. One defends (or at least, tries to defend) the city, while the other leads a counterattack on the enemy's rear.
- Deflector Shields: Princesses Celestia and Luna put one together around the entire Canterlot Castle!
- Demoted to Extra: The Mane Cast besides Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy gets much less focus in the story.
- Ultimately subverted. They become a vital ground support during the Battle for Stalliongrad, help in the liberation of Canterlot and lead the ground forces into the Final Battle.
- Despair Event Horizon: Rainbow Dash comes dangerously close to crossing it in chapter 12. Thankfully, Medley's Get a Hold of Yourself Man changes the situation.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Carrot Top dies in Derpy's arms in chapter 15.
- Disc One Final Boss: The mission to destroy The Burning Talon in chapter 10. It is a great success for the EAF, but the story is only halfway there...
- Downer Beginning: The Wonderbolts are taken down by the griffins, leaving Equestrian skies almost completely defenseless. Good thing Firefly returns to Equestria on the same day.
- Dude, Where's My Respect??: Beautifully averted, as in the Ace Combat games. Before the Burning Talon was destroyed by Firefly's team, they were just another squadron of Pegasi. Aftermath, they are revered as great heroines. And it seems other ponies are aware of the Elements of Harmony and those who bear them.
- Duel Boss: Quite a few.
- Firefly and Black Star.
- Lightning Bolt duels with Greyback, while Cloud Kicker (later supported by Fluttershy) fights Razor in chapter 10.
- Fluttershy battles Night Raven while Derpy fights with Axe (both in chapter 17).
- Mobius against Echo.
- Rainbow Dash and Gilda. Overlaps as Final Boss.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: As reported by Flare Star in chapter 15, Blueberry fought against four griffins all by herself and even managed to kill one before Night Raven killed her.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Equestria is slowly recovering from the ravages of war, Rainbow Dash becomes a honorary member of the Wonderbolts, Derpy adopts Pipsqueak and Firefly stays in Equestria, becoming Rainbow Dash's older twin sister (even though they are actually cousins).
- Twilight Sparkle gets to see her whole family at the celebration, this includes Shining Armor and Princess Cadance.
- Easily Forgiven: The ponies are quick to forgive each other for mistakes. They are also willing to forgive the griffins after the war is over.
Rainbow Dash: There is another face of pride... it's called forgiving.
- The Empire: This is the direction The Griffin Kingdom is headed under Red Cyclone's leadership.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Some griffins (Zeakros, Echo, Edge) are actually honorable warriors. General Silverbeak refuses to accept Red Cyclone's Evil Plan.
- Falling into the Cockpit: Or as close as one can get without any aircraft. The first time Rainbow Dash and company tangle with the griffons in chapter 3, they haven't even been properly inducted into the military yet. They even put up a great fight, and judging by Cloud Kicker's confusion at Fluttershy not finishing a falling griffon off, they're prepared to use lethal force despite being civilians.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Greyback gets fried by the Burning Talon's laser.
- In the latter part of chapter 12, just as Mirage squadron (sans Rainbow) joins the battle to ward off the griffin atackers, one of the pegasi fighters is grabbed and later, the griffon tears his wings clean off his body, spraying blood and causing the flier to plummet down to his death.
- Also, Blueberry's death, as described by Flare Star and Wind Whistler. She was beaten to an inch of her life by Night Raven, who then, in a similar fashion to the death above, ripped her wings off her body, causing her to fall to the ground and crash. Then he dived after her and smashed her spine, just to make sure she won't get up again.
- Foe Romance Subtext: Between Rainbow Dash and Gilda, especially in the case of the latter.
- For the Evulz: Apparently, the only reason Gilda breaks Medley's wings after exposing her to a great pain beforehand.
- Forced to Watch: Rainbow Dash had to witness the moment mentioned above on her own eyes. Had she moved, Medley would end up wingless…
- Freak Out: A temporal one for Firefly in chapter 16, when she hears that Black Star actually feels remorse for killing her parents. She bursts into hysterical laughter before unsuccessfully trying not to scream, tearful. Thankfully, Rainbow Dash manages to calm her down.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: How the Burning Talon operates.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: In chapter 12, Medley smacks Rainbow Dash in the face in order to snap her out of a Heroic BSOD.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: The author tries his best to avoid making ponies say any vulgar words, replacing curses with pony-specific words (hay, buck) at worst. The same can't be said about the griffins, though.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Rainbow Dash encountered a certain old friend after the battle for Ponyville. And it didn't end well at all.
- Go Out with a Smile: Carrot Top in chapter 15. Echo in chapter 19.
- Graceful Loser: Both Night Raven and Echo praise their opponents after they are defeated.
- Heroic BSOD: Fluttershy experiences one in chapter 10 when she thinks her attack killed Razor. Upon until this point, she never took any real offensive actions against the griffins. Doubles as My God, What Have I Done?.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sea Spot. Overdrive doesn't take it well.
- Heel-Face Turn: Edge in chapter 16, Zeakros in chapter 19.
- Hold the Line: The Battle of Stalliongrad certainly seems like that kind of mission.
- The plan to liberate Canterlot presented in chapter 16 may count as well, at least for the main defense force.
- Hope Spot: In chapter 14, the Pegasi manage to retake Cloudsdale. Then Canterlot is attacked and besieged by the griffins.
- In chapter 17, Canterlot is liberated and the griffins are driven out of Equestria. But by the end of the chapter Derpy reveals that Axe told her about Red Cyclone's new super-weapon, Fortress Intimidation.
- In chapter 19, Fortress Intimidation is destroyed, Red Cyclone died and it seems the war is over. But as ponies and griffins alike celebrate, Firefly is struck down.
- Insult Backfire: In chapter 19, after Red Cyclone tells Rainbow Dash about his ambitions.
Rainbow Dash: You know what? I've met many psychos and weirdos in my life, but you…You are downright insane!
Red Cyclone: That’s your opinion.
- It's Personal: One of Firefly's reasons for coming back to Equestria.
- It Has Been an Honor: Firefly says this to her companions in chapter 18 before she resigns as a leader of the squadron and designates Rainbow Dash as the new one.
- Rainbow Dash says it in the epilogue to Mobius as he leaves Equestria with Sky Eye. He responds with I Kiss Your Hoof, acknowledging Rainbow as his equal.
- It Was a Cold And Cloudy Morning: At the beginning of chapter 5.
- Karmic Death: Red Cyclone in chapter 19. He dies inside the very fortress he created.
- Kidnapping Birds of Prey: Edge's Crimson squadron in chapter 4, when they kidnap little fillies as hostages.
- Kirk Summation: Rainbow Dash to Gilda during the last battle. Predictably, she responds with a Shut Up, Kirk!
Rainbow Dash: You’re the one who can’t let go, Gilda! You refuse to leave the past behind, you live in your own world! And that’s why you can’t beat me in this fight!
Gilda: Shut up! I don’t need lectures, especially from you!
- Knight of Cerebus: Gilda in chapter 11, at least as far as Rainbow Dash is concerned. Earlier, Black Star in chapter 7, as he fights Firefly on equal ground and openly states that only she is capable of defeating him.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: By the end of chapter 19, Sky Eye says: "Well, it's Game Over for him", referring to Red Cyclone.
- Leave Her to Me: Red Cyclone gives his soldiers the following order when facing Mirage squadron:
Red Cyclone: Kill those cursed Pegasi, but that rainbow-maned one is mine!
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Many griffins don't really want to fight the ponies, but they do so because they believe it would bring glory to their kingdom. Also, it's about orders.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Fluttershy pulls this off against Night Raven and even manages to kill him.
Fluttershy: My name is Fluttershy! I’m a member of the Mirage squadron! And I've sworn to protect Equestria and my friends! I’m a pony that represents the Element of Kindness! But, to you…I will show no mercy!
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Rainbow Dash is subjected into one in chapter 11 at the claws of Gilda.
- In chapter 17, Night Raven does a brutal one to Fluttershy. But she manages to return the favor.
- No, I Am Behind You: How Firebolt defeats Vulture in chapter 8. It also happens throughout the story at certain moments with other characters.
- Obligatory War Crime Scene: Averted. The heroes never attack civilian targets; in fact all of their missions revolve around defending their home turf, or attacking purely military installations.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Derpy, in probably the biggest Tear Jerker in the whole story says this to Carrot Top in chapter 15:
Derpy: Carrot…Please…Please don’t die…Don’t leave me…Don’t leave me all alone!
- Firefly does it toward the spirits of her parents in the epilogue. She gets over it, though.
- Post-Climax Confrontation: Rainbow Dash vs. Gilda.
- Posthumous Character: King Lightbeak, Firefly's parents, Morning Glow.
- Post-Victory Collapse: Happens to Fluttershy in chapter 17. She passes out after Firefly congratulates her for defeating Night Raven.
- Precision F-Strike: Firefly seems to be fond of those. In chapter 12, she yells at Rainbow Dash, who is suffering from a Heroic BSOD:
: You know what? TO HAY
- In chapter 16, when Rainbow Dash tries to calm her down:
Firefly: I CAN’T CALM THE BUCK DOWN!
- In chapter 19, she does it for the third time, this time aiming it at Black Star:
Firefly: I DON'T GIVE A FLYING FEATHER ABOUT YOUR ORDERS!
- Redemption Equals Death: Played straight with Axe, but averted with Black Star.
- Relationship Upgrade: Tornado Swirl and Overdrive.
- The Reveal: Chapter 16 (and, by extension, chapter 19) reveals that the entire conflict was orchestrated by Red Cyclone.
- Rousing Speech: Twilight Sparkle delivers an epic one in chapter 17.
: We have to stand together once more, but this time, not as Earth Ponies. Not as Unicorns. Or Pegasi. We must stand together as the ponies of Equestria! It’s true that, on the outside, each of us is different. We live in different parts of Equestria, we have different names, we look differently. But…we have fought, suffered and died together! Deep inside, in our hearts and souls, we are all children of this land
! We cannot ignore the time when our land is in danger. We must fight! We must have courage! I don’t know if you will decide to follow me or not, but I want to live in Equestria with my friends! That’s why I will
keep fighting! To the bitter end, if it must be! […] Everypony, we’re gonna take back Canterlot today! Let us make haste! The sun and the moon will lead our way to victory! Know that this is not the day we will surrender! This is not the day we fall! This day we fight
! FOR EQUESTRIA!!!
- Rule of Three: Both griffin super-weapons have three generators that power up their systems. Mobius helps the Mirage squadron three times. And as mentioned above, Firefly delivers three Precision F Strikes.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Blueberry. She is properly introduced in chapter 13. Her death is reported two chapters later.
- Sacrificial Lion: Carrot Top. She was present in the story since Chapter 4.
- Sadistic Choice: In chapter 11, Rainbow Dash faces one: either she could try and stop Gilda which would most likely end in Medley's death or abandon her friends and Equestria to join forces with Gilda. Being the Element of Loyalty, she chooses the former and Medley survives, albeit with temporarily broken wings.
- Sand In My Eyes: Firefly's reaction to Fluttershy calling her a real friend in chapter 10.
- A Single Tear in chapter 15, when she overhears that Derpy decides to adopt Pipsqueak.
- Screw the War, We're Partying!: At least in chapter 9, thanks to Pinkie Pie (actually, it was the idea of Princess Celestia).
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Defied with the rookie griffon Slip: he almost deserts, but decides to keep fighting because he knows he'll be executed for deserting. Not to say he's really brave, though, or a good fighter, as he's killed in battle with very little effort. Night Raven did him in.
- Also defined with a griffon Mook in chapter 13: When he spots Derpy diving on him, he drops his bomb and tries to bug out. Derpy catches up with him anyway, and, while the ponies are passing the bomb between them and later throw it back at him, Derpy knocks the griffon out of the sky and he gets caught in the blast of his own bomb as he crashes onto it.
- She's Back: Firefly returns to Equestria after five years of absence. Rainbow Dash comes back into action in chapter 12 after experiencing a Heroic BSOD.
- Shrine to the Fallen: Seen in the epilogue. It was build in the Canterlot Gardens, to honor all fallen ponies.
- Ship Tease: A mild one, being Fluttershy and Shamrock.
- Skyward Scream: Rainbow Dash makes a chilling one by the end of chapter 11.
- Sole Survivor: Tornado Swirl and Overdrive are the only original members of their teams who survive the assault on Canterlot. Before her death, Blueberry.
- So Proud of You: Firefly got this treatment from her parents when she was younger.
- Take That: Slip is one to Slippy Toad. From constanly recieving beatdowns from Mirage—complete with pleading for his comerades to save him—to generally being useless. He even has green feathers!
- Tears of Fear: Medley in chapter 11.
- These Hooves Have Killed: Fluttershy behaves this way in the second part of chapter 10 before she is comforted by her friends.
- Averted with the rest of Mirage, who are prepared to use lethal force from the get-go, despite being civilians. Cloud Kicker is even confused why Fluttershy doesn't finish an injured griffon off in Chapter 3.
- This Cannot Be!: Red Cyclone, moments before his death.
- This Is Something She's Got To Do Herself: Spitfire tells Medley to let Rainbow "do her job" and face her rival in the second and final duel between them in chapter 20.
- The War Has Just Begun: At the end of chapter 10, as Firefly addresses the ponies gathered on the castle grounds in this fashion, even quoting the trope's name.
- Title Drop: "The conflict that would eventually be known as 'The Equestrian War' was set to begin soon…" in the first chapter.
- Also, several chapters have characters say its title in one way or another; though it's usually in a way that fits naturally as dialogue without sounding shoehorned in.
- Trauma Conga Line: Derpy, once again. Her daughter gets kidnapped early in the story (though she is rescued) and she loses her two best friends. First she learns of Raindrop's death, and then Carrot Top dies in her arms...
- Troubled Backstory Flashback: As told by Firefly in chapter 8.
- Trying Not to Cry: In chapter 15, Cloud Kicker confesses to her friends that she tried to cover her worries with cheerfulness. Carrot Top's death was the straw that finally caused her to cry, big time.
- Unfriendly Fire: A particularly cruel instance. Night Raven kills Slip for desertion…even though Slip had changed his mind and decided to keep fighting.
- Villainous Breakdown: Scythe suffers one at the end of chapter 13.
- Also, Gilda goes gradually more ballistic during her second confrontation with Rainbow Dash, as the blue pegasus slowly gains advantage over her.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Burning Talon's laser is capable of firing at a long range and dealing considerable damage to Cloudsdale. Any contact with the beam will result in the victim being burned to death, as Greyback found out.
- We Have Reserves: Red Cyclone has no problems with killing a few griffins if it means defeating the ponies.
- Wham Episode: Chapter 7. Firefly's encounter with Black Star sends the whole story into Darker and Edgier territory.
- Chapter 15 counts as well.
- Chapter 19. Equestria has won. Red Cyclone is dead and even the griffins want peace. But at the last moment, Gilda suddenly appears and strikes Firefly down (she survives), forcing a final confrontation between her and Rainbow Dash.
- Wham Line:
- From chapter 7, when Firefly meets Black Star and is clearly upset about it. There's a good reason for that:
Firefly: Because…he…he…! He killed my parents!
- From chapter 16, when Edge tells Firefly that Black Star has a message for her:
Black Star: I feel regret for killing her parents. Let her know that.
- At the end of chapter 19:
Gilda: "So, have you found your reason to fight yet? Dash…"
- What the Hell, Hero?: In chapter 3, Firefly smacks Fluttershy for refusing to fight the griffins and calls her a moron. Lightning Bolt calls Firefly out in chapter 12 after she yells at Rainbow Dash.
- White and Grey Morality: There's no question that the Equestrians are the good guys, but aside from Red Cyclone the griffons are, at worst, doing their jobs and hold no animosity towards ponies beyond that of being enemy soldiers.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Rainbow Dash gives one during her final battle with Gilda.
Rainbow Dash: I hate to break it to you, G, but you've lost this battle the moment you attacked Firefly. No…actually, even back when you hurt Medley. But I've got to thank you for one thing. For challenging me! Thanks to you, I still have one more reason to fight and live! We may not be so different after all, but I can clearly see who is who. And you’re not yourself! But since there is nopony else in the sky besides us, now you’ll get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see just how fast I really am!
- You Are Not Alone: Lives and breathes this trope.
Firefly: "Mom... Dad... I’m home. I’m finally home. My journey is finished. And I am not alone."
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: The griffins eventually manage to seize Canterlot in chapter 15. At least, the city itself.
- You Gotta Have A Blue Mane: Gale, Firefly, Tornado Swirl, Sunburst, Blueberry and Sky Eye.
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Rainbow Dash has this reaction in chapter 14 when she sees Canterlot being attacked by the griffins:
Rainbow Dash: Oh, HAY NO! This is not happening!
- You Killed My Parents: Firefly holds bitter grudge against Black Star for killing her mom and dad when she was younger.
- Not helped by the fact that Red Cyclone falsely accused them of trying to stage a mutiny against the Griffin Kingdom, which was the reason Black Star was sent to kill them.
Ace Combat: Wings of Unity provides examples of:
- A Hoofful For An Eye: In chapter 8, Derpy tosses a snowball in an Exile flier's face, blinding him and throwing off his attack. Seconds later, he's shot full of holes by an AA gun controlled by the Equestrians.
- As You Know: The Ulyssess Disaster and its catastrophic effects are still remembered by the ponies and pretty much everyone in the world. However, it happened 20 years prior to the story, at the time when most of the main heroines were not even born yet. It's mostly for this reason that Spitfire explains major facts about it to Rainbow in chapter 8.
- Badass Creed: A villainous example from chapter 3:
Deathwing: We are the servants of Lady Aurora. We are the Reapers. We will be your death.
- Blood Knight: The as-yet-unnamed pegasus—heavily implied to be a ponified Demon Lord/Cipher—from the end of Chapter 8, and in spades. He savagely kills the four Exile survivors; even laughing as he kills the last one via Neck Snap (whose last words were terrified pleas for mercy).
- When Mirage hear about the corpses of said Exiles being found by an intercept squad, they're rather put off by how brutally they were killed. Considering that they're all veterans who've killed their own fair share of enemies, that's really saying something.
- Flare Star serves as this for the good guys, though she's nowhere near as brutal or sadistic as other Blood Knights in the series.
- Firecracker Burst may qualify as of Chapter 10b, given her... enthusiasm for using her fire magic on Exile troops.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Aurora is clearly the winning side after the first few chapters. She has several chances to annihilate the EAF soldiers (including members of the Mane Six), but ultimately decides to let them retreat, because she doesn't consider them to be a threat and believes that fear will eventually make them incapable of fighting.
- She's shown it in previous chapters as well: The Exiles' victories so far have largely been due to Aurora springing an unexpected asset into the fray, and catching the heroes off-guard. And even then, it's only after her forces have taken considerable casualties. This is most clear in Chapter 3, when Reaper Squadron isn't deployed until late in the battle...by which point, an entire wave of landing ships has been sunk (undoubtedly killing hundreds of troops), followed shortly by a good chunk of the invasion fleet's warships being destroyed.
- Break the Haughty: Lightning Dust gets this treatment in Chapter 11a as she watched her wingmates being killed by Orgoi.
- Call Back: Spitfire and Rainbow Dash are talking about Lightning Dust and her antics during and after the Wonderbolts Academy.
- The Crystal Empire, as well as the events that happened in it during and after Sombra's reign are referenced in chapter 6.
- Babs Seed is referenced in chapter 11a.
- Crazy Enough to Work: In Chapter 10b, Twilight decides to send Firecracker Burst alongside with Rumble, Scootaloo and Dinky to sabotage the Exile tanks. Had she not heard from Button Mash about possible ways to dispose of them, this plan would've never been realized and EAF would experience much bigger casualties.
- Darker and Edgier: The body count is definitely higher than in The Equestrian War and the ponies don't have the problem of not saying "damn" anymore, though Griffon Wings is still the darkest entry in the Chronicles so far.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Princess Celestia makes it clear in Chapter 9 that overusage of alicorn magic can lead to a catastrophic result.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Lightning Dust taunts Orgoi after performing a successful attack on him in chapter 11a. Things would probably end pretty bad for her had Aigaion not ordered Orgoi to return. because he overused the Glacial Sapphire's power, rendering him vulnerable.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Par for the course given the Darker and Edgier route the story takes:
- An Exile flier is reduced to a pony-shaped crisp via his own bomb in Chapter 4.
- Firebolt's death wasn't pleaseant either. Probably comes with being attacked by a dragon.
- Another one for the Mooks: an Exile flier is shot down by a highjacked AA gun in Chapter 8, filling him full of holes. The sight of his "bloodied corpse" hitting the ground is enough to make the EAF gunner almost throw up. Later, an entire Exile Army is burned to ashes or slammed against mountains by the Princesses.
- It's averted via rescue, but by all implications Flare Star was about to kill Pearl Eyes by squeezeing her until her ribcage caved in in Chapter 10a.
- Several Exile troops are explicitly burned alive in Chapter 10b, mostly Firecracker Burst's magic... as Firecracker herself laughs her head off. The EAF forces are appropriately disturbed by this, and Twilight even has to ask Colgate to reign her in.
- Half of Lightning Dust's squadron is brutally offed by Orgoi in Chapter 11a.
- Four Is Death: The Reaper squadron. It consists of four pegasi and each of them is a dangerous oponent.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Wings of Unity seems to be headed this way. We have sympathetic Exiles in the form of Bolt Burst and Pearl Eyes, and the Equestrians have their share of battle-loving troops. There are also more scenes of the heroes killing fleeing or injured foes than in the first story.
- Heroic BSOD: Spitfire suffers a major one in chapter 7 after Firebolt's death.
- Quox is hit hard with one in Chapter 11a after her unit gets annihilated by Orgoi.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Firebolt in chapter 6; she saves Spitfire's life, but gets shot down by Aigaion and dies a slow, agonizing death from burns.
- Husky Russkie: Cold Steel aka Big Bear. He even speaks with a Russian accent!
- Infant Immortality: Subverted.
- It Will Never Catch On / Doesn't Like Guns: Rainbow Dash is skeptical when Lightning Bolt (and later, Tornado Swirl) shows her some strap-on machine guns she can use in flight, preferring to just use her hooves...even though they give her a long-range attack that's been unheard of In-Universe so far, and have the potential to revolutionize warfare.
- Later subverted, when she puts the guns on and uses them to shoot down a cruise missile launched at Fillydelphia. She has yet to use them again, though.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Princess Celestia uses her own magic to launch a devastating beam of energy at the Exiles, which threaten her subjects in chapter 8. Princess Luna finishes the job.
- Kill It with Fire / Fireballs: Aigaion's way of disposing of his enemies, naturally.
- Frecracker Burst makes very good use of a flamethrower spell.
- Kill It with Ice: Orgoi can either freeze his foes and crush them to tiny pieces or impale them with a storm of sharp icicles.
- Loophole Abuse: Princess Celestia and Princess Luna do not take part in fighting directly, but they still support their subjects with their powerful alicorn magic.
- No Transponyism Allowed: To put it lightly, Aurora's attempts at earning alicorn wings were not met with Princess Celestia's approval.
- Though that might have had more to do with Aurora's experiments requiring the deaths of several ponies than her science-granted ascension in of itself.
- Magitek: The gems which power up the armors that the Drake Generals are wearing allow them to use various powerful attacks. Interestingly, similiar amplifying gems appear in the spin-off, Gryphon Wings, where they are called Zaubenschaft.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": Gleipnir's appearance produces this reaction from both the Mirage squadron and, later, the ponies who are defending Ponyville.
- The Exiles get one in Chapter 8, courtesy of the Princesses themselves. (See Mook Horror Show below for the details).
- Mook Horror Show: The end of chapter 8. The story (thankfully) doesn't go into excessive detail on what the Princesses' attack does to the Exiles, but we do know that most died screaming in agony and burned to ashes. And that the few survivors were smashed against mountains as they tried to run away. Yikes.
- It's also telling that no order to comb the area for any survivors or take prisoners is given.
- A briefer example happened in Chapter 3, when Derpy bombed the Exile battleship. Right after the bomb drop, there's a brief depiction of the terrified crew desperately trying to escape and get to lifeboats...and then things cut back to Mirage as they watch said battleship explode, and lifeboats are nowhere to be seen. Like Chapter 8, it's a quick scene, but captures the Exiles' Oh, Crap moment very well.
- One-Hit Kill: Chapter 3 has Fluttershy (in the midst of a Freak Out) take out an Exile flyer with one punch, screaming in rage. Firefly remarks on how she'll avoid making her angry at all costs.
- Happens later when Derpy bombs the Exile battleship, the bomb implied to have detonated the ammo storage.
- One-Hit Polykill: Downplayed in Chapter 3, when Mirage arrive at Fillydelphia. Rainbow Dash pulls a Sonic Rainboom right as she zooms through a flight of Exiles, knocking all of them out of the air with the shockwave. It's implied she did get a few kills with this, but most of her targets rejoin the fight and have to be dealt with hoof-to-hoof.
- Played straight with Flare Star and Tornado Swirl in Chapter 6. They each manage to blow up a nice cluster of Exile AA guns in a chain reaction, both using one bomb each time.
- Our Dragons Are Different
- Pietà Plagiarism: Firebolt's death in chapter 6, as evidenced by her Last Words note :
- Pony On Fire: When Sunburst kills an Exile pegasus with his own bomb in Chapter 4, the unfortunate Mook is caught in the explosion, and all that hits the ground is a smoking pony-shaped crisp.
- Chapter 10b has this happen to Exile ground troops, courtesy of Firecracker Burst.
- Power Armor: Aigaion and his Drake Generals wear these.
- Gleipnir's armor allows him to absorb unicorns' magic attacks and make him stronger (same for Orgoi), while the one wore by Aigaion lets him perform two devastating fire-based attacks..
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Derpy, Sunburst and Flare Star all get great ones, in Chapters 3, 4 and 6, respectively. All three of them involve killing Exiles by way of a bomb.
- Firefly quips "Sorry boys, it's all over for you!" in Chapter 11a, just before finishing off two straggling Exile pegasi trying to flee the battle over Manehatten.
- Start of Darkness: Aurora was a curious unicorn filly at first until she learned about the alicorns. When her desires and methods of obtaining wings were met with Celestia's disaproval, she was banished from Equestria for life, because her experiments were perceived as dangerous. For the next 50 years, she was planning revenge against the princess she used to adore.
- Stealthy Colossus: Aigaion and Gleipnir are able to use optical camouflage system that is provided by the armors they're wearing.
- Story Branching: The author confirms that a couple of chapters will be divided into two parts and shown from perspectives of different characters.
- Tank Goodness: Subverted. Exile tanks do show up in Chapter 10b, and are recognized as a significant threat, but they're all destroyed by the Cutie Mark Crusaders and Firecracker Burst before they can engage in any meaningful action.
- That Mare Is Dead: When Celestia addresses Aurora with her original name in chapter 2, the renegade alicorn quickly corrects her and then interrupts her when she says it again.
Princess Celestia: Your experiments were dangerous to both you and other ponies, Starlight. I had no choice, but to prevent you-
Aurora: My name is Aurora!
- Villains Want Mercy: Chapter 8 ends with the only four survivors from the Exile army group easily disposed of by an unknown gray pegasus. The last Exile begs for his life, clearly surrendering...only for the unnamed Pegasus to snap his neck. And it wasn't via impact of a punch or kick, like most Neck Snaps in the series. He just wrenches the guy's head and snaps his spine. Yikes.
- Chapter 10a has an Exile pegasus named Pearl Eyes (who's portrayed somewhat sympathetically, along with her lover Bolt Burst) tearfully beg Flare Star to spare her life after getting thoroughly battered by the former.
- We Have Reserves: Aurora has shown willingness to press attacks despite taking heavy causalities (usually courtesy of Mirage squadron), seemingly regarding the deaths of her troops as mere setbacks... even when they're taken out by the hundreds (such as losing a wave of troop transports during the attack on Fillydelphia.)
- Wham Episode: Chapter 6. Canterlot is taken over by the Exiles, despite the EAF valiant attempts to defend it. Also, Firebolt dies after she saves Spitfire's life.
- Chapter 8. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna use their powers to aid their subjects for the first time, in a very effective way no less.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: One has to wonder if there are other Exiles like Pearl Eyes and Bolt Burst... and how many have been casually killed off by the EAF forces.
- You Will Not Evade Me: When the Exiles go into retreat in Chapter 6 after their initial attack falters, the EAF forces briefly chase down straggling Exiles for some easy kills, none of whom manage to escape. Thunderlane in particular gets style points for casually finishing off an enemy pegasus with a quick kick to the neck as he tries to flee, summing it up with a calm "Eh, just doing my job."
- The mysterious gray pegasus at the end of Chapter 8 follows this trope to a T.
- Firefly chases down and eliminates two fleeing Exiles in Chapter 11a (one of which had an injured wing), after their sqadron has already been wiped out.
May the sun and moon shine upon us!