Video Game / Story of the Blanks

It is recommended that you play the game before reading this page. All spoilers will be unmarked.
A mysterious pony draws you deep into the Everfree Forest. Seems legit.

Friendship is 8-bit: Story of the Blanks is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan-made game made in the style of traditional 8-bit games.

It follows Applebloom as she wanders away from Twilight Sparkle in the Everfree Forest and happens upon a village (called Sunny Town) full of ponies preparing for a party. She's invited to come in and enjoy herself, and aside from the fact that none of them have Cutie Marks or even know what Cutie Marks are, everything seems wonderful and straightforward...

...until she discovers what lies within the fireplace, and learns of their terrible secret.

The game isn't very long (if you don't die, you could finish in ten minutes), but still a great play, and even won Equestria-Gaming's "Creepy Game" contest. Play it for free here (DeviantArt) or here (Newgrounds).

Not to be confused with The Blank, and no such Blanks appear in the game.

An unofficial HD remake was in the works, but it's since been cancelled.

Story of the Blanks contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The comic version is going to have three more chapters. Of note, two things that stand out in the first volume. Mitta mentions the town "didn't deserve this," whereas in the game she says they did deserve it. Also, upon speaking with Ruby after being chased by the residents of Sunny Town, Ruby specifically says she might've triggered something upon entering the town, implying she is not a resident in the comic. There also appears to be some kind of unicorn or alicorn who may or may not be responsible for the curse.
    • The HD Remake, going by this swimming animation and a comment from someone working on the game, new content will be added. Exaggerated: At some point, they were talking about making it with original characters so that (besides avoiding getting a cease and desist from Hasbro) they could hire paid voice actors, have more mature situations and jokesnote , and create toys and other merchandise... This all when talking about the remake of a fangame that takes about fifteen minutes to play from start to finish.
  • A Fête Worse Than Death: A subversion. The townsponies never intended to kill someone during the party, but Ruby's Cutie Mark appearing forced their hooves. Apple Bloom discovering this forces their hooves again.
  • All There in the Script: The Level Editor reveals a few names and identities:
    • The zombie ponies are called Nightmares.
      • The skeletal Nightmares are called Bone Fiends.
    • The fast Nightmare is Starlet, making her a case of Beware the Quiet Ones.
    • The two Nightmares who appear with Roneo at the front of Sunny Town are both also Roneo, which may be a case of Self-Duplication.
  • Big "NO!": Applebloom's reaction to finding Ruby's bones in the fireplace.
  • Blessed with Suck: Since the ponies in Sunny Town murdered those with cutie marks and those indicated you had discovered your special talent, the only way not to be murdered was by never figuring out what you were best at.
  • Burn the Witch!: Clearly what these ponies thought when they saw that magnifying glass.
  • Call It Karma: The entire town is cursed into becoming Nightmares for what happened to Ruby.
  • Colon Cancer: Before the game's title was changed to Friendship is 8-bit: Story of the Blanks, it was My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Story of the Blanks.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: here (fanmade, but approved by the creator of the game). The creator of the comic has stated that the comic will continue beyond the story of the game (which has also been approved by the creator of the game).
  • Crapsaccharine World: The town Apple Bloom finds.
  • Creepypasta: Called as such in the Newgrounds and Deviantart descriptions. This is more of a case of non-TV Tropes Trope Decay than anything. Basically it just means it's horror.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Albeit in a different sense. Ruby's magnifying glass cutie mark, based on her knack for finding things, triggered the village into killing her.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Cutie marks are treated like a curse in Sunny Town, even though they just marked awareness of your special talent. The thing you were awesome at. However, with the episode "The Cutie Pox" now out, it becomes more horrifying in that they may have had an actual, semi-justified reason.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Ruby.
  • Dark Fic: An odd example, as even though it's a generally dark story, it still seems to follow the themes and tone established in the show.
  • Dark World: Sunny Town becomes this after Apple Bloom's fateful discovery, though it's confirmed to happen every night anyway.
  • Dead All Along: Ruby, and the rest of the town.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In terms of gameplay, anyway...
  • Deliberately Monochrome: (red, black, and grey) Apple Bloom's escape sequence, to unnerving effect.
  • Dem Bones: the Nightmares. Most noticeable when they first appear-they seem to assemble themselves from a pile on the ground.
  • Easter Egg: The Level Editor.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: The inhabitants of Sunny Town are cursed to become decaying zombies called Nightmares.
  • Fan Sequel: The fanmade Comic-Book Adaptation will continue beyond the story of the game.
  • Fetch Quest: This is how it starts out, but then...
  • Foreshadowing: Zecora tells Twilight and Apple Bloom to get out of the forest before it gets dark. And then along comes Ruby...
  • Fluorescent Footprints: Apple Bloom follows some of these, presumably created by Ruby, to escape from the Nightmares (temporarily).
  • Freudian Excuse: The Cutie Pox supplies one for the townsponies.
  • Friendly Enemy: Sort of. Mitta is a Nightmare after The Reveal that is not fatal to touch.
  • From Bad to Worse: As you first start playing, it seems like a straightforward find-and-give game, though just a little bit ominous with Mitta. Then Applebloom looks into the fireplace...
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Nightmares' and Ruby's sprites suggest this, although the latter is a friendly character.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: It's heavily implied that every year the town's last party is acted out as it happened then, and everypony (except Mitta) just pretends that nothing is wrong in order to entice new visitors in.
  • Hellish Horse: The nightmares are blackened pony skeletons kept together by a bloody red glow, which shines through the eyes and ribs.
  • Idiot Ball: Let's face it Apple Bloom, leaving your guardian to follow some random pony into a haunted forest wasn't the best idea you've ever had.
    • It was almost a Curiosity Killed the Cast situation.
    • Of course, this is Apple Bloom we're talking about. Doesn't sound at all improbable she would pull a stunt like that.
  • Interface Spoiler: Once Applebloom enters Sunny Town, the text boxes' border design changes, possibly hinting that something isn't quite right about the place. The borders go back to normal after Applebloom and Twilight Sparkle leave the forest, but the narration at the end still uses the alternate design.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ruby, which is a central plot point.
    • Also Apple Bloom if you can't dodge the Nightmares and escape town.
  • Kill the Cutie: Poor Ruby.
  • Level Editor: An Easter Egg, it can be accessed by pressing the home and end keys during the game, and is only visible if you resize the window to be taller than it is wide (which is only possible if you're viewing the SWF file itself, whether online or a downloaded copy).
  • The Lost Woods: Everfree Forest.
  • Lost World: Sunny Town.
  • Mood Whiplash: As soon as you check the fireplace.
    • Also the sudden switch from the frightening and narrow escape to the cheerful and bubbly theme song over pastel-colored credits is extremely jarring.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Mitta, the only Nightmare who shows regret at what happened.
  • Noodle Incident: Apple Bloom tells a humorous story to Twilight about what happened with her friends that apparently involved them being "Cutie Mark Crusaders Park Rangers", but since Twilight doesn't care, we only hear part of it.
    Applebloom: Every. Single. One.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The enemies are completely black when you first encounter them, and there are a few screens where the ground is completely black. There are no invisible enemies in these "black ground" screens, but try telling your mind that.
  • Novelization: Here (fanmade, but approved by the creator of the game).
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Touching the Nightmares is instant-death.
  • Palette Swap: Apparently done just to mimic the NES's style. Three Leaf (her overworld sprite in particular) looks like a palette swap of Pinkie Pie, although Pinkie doesn't actually appear in the game.
  • Parting Words Regret: One of the Nightmares, Mitta, laments about not protecting Ruby when she had the chance, and being forced to share in the fate of the rest of the townsponies.
  • Prophet Eyes: Ruby.
  • The Reveal: Everything seems okay in Sunny Town, but once Apple Bloom follows Ruby into her house and looks in the fireplace, she sees the burnt remains of her skeleton. Ruby later tells Apple Bloom that she was killed by the other townsponies after she received her cutie mark.
  • Redemption Equals Death: This is subverted with Mitta.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Nightmares have these.
  • Retraux: Down to the graphical limitations!
  • Scenery Gorn: The village when everything's revealed, the Retraux style doesn't lessen the impact at all. It's probably not an accident that it looks so similar to Glitch City (interestingly, the most well-known Glitch City of Pokémon Generation 1 was given the Fan Nickname "Sunny Town" before a town with the same name appeared in the anime).
  • Self-Duplication: The Level Editor reveals that the two Nightmares who appear with Roneo at the front of Sunny Town are both also Roneo.
  • Sequel Hook:
  • Schmuck Bait: Three Leafs and Roneo. Similar to Mitta, they are not actively hostile. Unlike Mitta, however, they will turn you into a nightmare if you touch them.
  • Stepford Suburbia: Although Sunny Town is technically more of a rural hamlet. It still fits the trope.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Upon encountering the fallen logs, the only way to make the game progress is to wander off away from Twilight, then follow a mysterious figure into the depths of the forest.
  • Surprise Creepy: As soon as Apple Bloom looks in that fireplace.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know
    "Thoughout Equestria, relics of the past lay forgotten and alone, never truly resting, awaiting recognition..."
  • These Hands Have Killed: Mitta holds herself personally responsible for Ruby's death due to her failure to intervene and prevent the other townsponies from killing her.
  • Together in Death: This is subverted with Mitta and Ruby, along with the other townsponies, and Roneo and Starlet.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Sunny Town seems perfectly nice until you find out about the dead body...
  • Wham Line:
    "The Curse had befallen her this very night. She had the Mark! She had to go!"

    "Don't worry. You will never become like her. We will protect you... F O R E V E R."
  • Wham Shot: The whole game is quite sugary... until Apple Bloom sees the pony skeleton in the fireplace. Then all hell breaks lose.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Zig-Zagged, Apple Bloom seems disappointed when she finds a ruby the size of her hoof, but it's actually what Roneo intended to give Starlet as a present.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: What makes Story of the Blanks so disturbing is the very firm possibility that it could happen in the show, given the mysterious and unsafe nature of the Everfree Forest.
    • As well as the potential of the cutie pox having led to the town's fear of cutie marks.