Web Animation: My Little Portal
My Little Portal
It's OK, lads. You can like the cute test subjects and AIs
is a fanmade animated web series created by Christian David Cerda. It is a crossover between the animated TV series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
and the video game Portal
A grave mishap with the Equestria Laboratories scientific research facility's newest artificial intelligence, DISCoRD, forces Princess Celestia to relocate the facility to the moon. Celestia's faithful student Twilight Sparkle is more than happy to go to the new Celestia Laboratories to help put things in order—and then she wakes up from cryogenic sleep at the lunar facility ten years later with no memory of who she is or why she's there.
DISCoRD has now overrun Celestia Laboratories, and the original AI, CELesTIA, needs Twilight's help to restore order. Armed only with her wits, magic, and a Hoofheld Portal Device, Twilight navigates the facility alongside mechanized versions of her forgotten friends to find the Elements of Harmony and stop DISCoRD. As they overcome DISCoRD's obstacle-ridden "test" chambers, they will discover what exactly happened at the facility—and to themselves—over the last ten years.
The first episode was released on July 6, 2012. There are currently five episodes in total. The series so far can be viewed here
This series has been featured on Equestria Daily
This series provides examples of:
- Abandoned Laboratory: Celestia Laboratories, the Equestrian equivalent of Aperture Science.
- After the End: Much of the series takes place ten years after the "Fall of Canterlot", as the characters discover.
- And I Must Scream: Despite anesthetics, Rainbow Dash is fully conscious during her very painful cybernetic transformation.
- And Show It to You: In episode 5, this is the fate of Shining Armor.
- Arm Cannon: DASH-E's cybernetic foreleg can turn into a Portal Gun.
- Art Evolution: In just three episodes released over a period of six months, several characters have undergone redesigns ranging from drastic (DISCoRD◊, CELesTIA◊, Trixie◊) to subtle (Twilight◊, Pinkie◊note ). In DISCoRD's case, there's an in-universe explanation for his new looknote , but for the rest...
- Big Bad: DISCoRD takes over Equestria, and later Celestia, Laboratories once his AI goes haywire. It's later revealed that the changelings, and thus Queen Chrysalis, are responsible for his rampage—but then there's The Reveal that King Sombra is influencing Chrysalis' actions.
- Big Good: CELesTIA.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Episode 5, thanks to the flashback to the fall of Canterlot. Fluttershy is nearly eviscerated, changelings are smashed and blown up all over the place, Chrysalis rips out Shining Armor's heart and snaps off Twilight's wings with visible bones, Twilight accidentally gores Celestia to death with her horn... it earns its foreboding Content Warning.
- Booby Trap: True to Portal form, DISCoRD's test chambers are set up like this, from deadly lasers to giant crushers.
- Cerebus Syndrome: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic meets Portal? It's bound to be silly fun... for a few episodes, before we find out Canterlot was sacked by the changelings and Twilight is being trained to go back down and lead La Résistance.
- Cold Opening: Episode 2 and onwards have been doing this. See Meanwhile, in the Future, down below.
- Companion Cube: Averted; Fluttershy is a fully sentient Portal Companion Cube who can speak and even move a little.
- Content Warnings: One is usually given before each episode to inform the viewer about potential disturbing scenes.
- Played for Laughs at the start of episode 4, where the usual warning appears before an follow-up reveals the only distasteful thing is Trixie.
- Crossover: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic meets Portal.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Episode 5 is full of this. Fluttershy has her spine ripped out and is left to bleed out, Shining Armor has his heart ripped out, Celestia is brutally impaled, Luna is torn apart by Changelings, etc.
- Cybernetics Will Eat Your Soul: Rainbow Dash's conversion removes much of who she was.
- Dark Is Evil: DISCoRD, especially his design from episode 2 onward.
- Decoy Protagonist: Rainbow Dash (a test subject) and Dr. Whooves (a lab researcher) are set up as the protagonists in the first episode. Then RD gets curb-stomped off-screen by DISCoRD before the Doctor gets CELesTIA and LUNA to shut him down, and the focus shifts to Twilight for the rest of the series. Though considering the opening, this is hardly surprising.
- Demonic Possession: Seems to be the case with Queen Chrysalis, who is shown to be possessed by King Sombra in episode 5, altering her appearance and making her immensely more powerful at the expense of constantly hearing his voice motivating (or reprimanding) her actions.
- Even Evil Has Standards: King Sombra possessing Queen Chrisalis keeps calling her out on failing Pragmatic Villainy forever. But it all falls on deaf ears.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: DISCoRD, Type 2.
DISCoRD: I think you're really going to love the next test chamber. It really is quite funny.
Rarity: You call giant crushers funny?!
DISCoRD: Well, no, not really. Not unless they crush you. Then it's hilarious.
- Eye Scream: Rainbow Dash's right eye is replaced with a mechanical one during her transformation into a cyborg. For some reason, both appear robotic when she closes her helmet.
- Expy: This being based loosely on Portal, this is to be expected:
- Twilight is this story's version of Chell.
- The Pinkie Core is Wheatley.
- DASH-E and A-JACK are Atlas and P-Body, respectively.
- DISCoRD, CELesTIA, and LUNA each represent a different facet of GLaDOS.
- Dr. Whooves is one to Gordon Freeman and the ratman.
- Cranky Doodle Donkey is a Cave Johnson-type character.
- Face-Heel Turn: The CMC have been turned into turrets that want to kill Twilight and Trixie, simply to earn their cutie marks as turrets. They screw up the chance before they even get to take one shot at them by fighting over who shoots them first, resulting in their decision to follow the gang until they're killed.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Tartarus is shown in the begging of episode 5 as a volcanic wasteland.
- Fun with Acronyms:
- DISCoRD = Digitally Intrinsic System Contrivance of Robotic Dissonance
- CELesTIA = Combat Effective Linear equation system Technical Infrastructure Automation
- LUNA = Lunar Utility Navigation Automation
- DASH-E = Direct Assault Sentry Honorguard - Eradication Class
- SPIKE = Supportive Processing Innovation Kilobyte Entity
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The activation of Equestria Laboratories' newest AI (DISCoRD) results in the incapacitation of two bearers of the Elements of Harmony, and will ultimately lead to "unforeseen consequences". It turns out that this was not an accident, but sabotage.
- Guttural Growler/ Evil Sounds Raspy: All of the male changelings have horrifying voices.
- Heel-Face Turn: In episode 5, one of the changelings, Christalia, becomes disillusioned with the war and helps evacuate the city in the form of a pony before she is caught by her own kind.
- How We Got Here: Episode 5 is this for the entire series. Being a prequel, there are many Foregone Conclusions that had to happen to lead into the current events.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In episode 5, Twilight uses her horn to inflict this on Princess Celestia, who Queen Chrysalis disguised as herself.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Queen Chrysalis tore off Twilight's wings while she was grieving over the death of Princess Celestia, who she'd just killed by accident.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Twilight and her friends only remember bits and pieces of their lives before they awake at Celestia Laboratories ten years after the incident at Equestria Laboratories. In Rainbow Dash's case, her memory is wiped shortly after her resurrection as a cyborg to keep her from going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the doctors who did this to her.
- Last of His Kind: Twilight and Trixie appear to be the only ponies left; everyone else died during "The Fall of Canterlot".
- Leave the Camera Running: Much like Double Rainboom, there is a frequent tendency to linger on static shots, even in the middle of action sequences.
- Light Is Good: CELesTIA, though Trixie begs to differ.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: DISCoRD goes on a rampage not because of a malfunction, but because his AI was tampered with.
- The Man Behind the Man: Episode 4 suggests the changelings, and by extension Queen Chrysalis, are responsible for DISCoRD's rampage.
- Meanwhile, in the Future: Each Cold Open from episode 2 onward sheds light on what happened at Equestria Laboratories ten years ago.
- Mecha-Mooks: The DASH-E sentry robots, which are modeled after Rainbow Dash.
- The Mole: In episode 4, Dr. Brown confides with Dr. Whooves that a changeling spy has been discovered within the facility. As episode 5 suggests, Brown is the spy.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Brown goes to some extreme lengths to save Rainbow Dash from death.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: More like a ten-year deactivation (not that it makes much difference to him), but DISCoRD has this conversation with Dr. Whooves before it happens:
: You cannot stop what I have set in motion. Even if you shut me down here, you will have to prepare. Dr. Whooves
: Prepare? For what? DISCoRD
: Unforeseen consequences
- My God, What Have I Done?: Twilight's reaction in episode 5 when she is tricked into killing Princess Celestia by Queen Chrysalis.
- Mythology Gag: Zecora's memory potion shows up in episode 5, allowing Twilight to catch up on the fall of Canterlot.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- The Pinkie Core accidentally bumps into the Big Red Button labeled "Do Not Press" that reactivates DISCoRD after his ten-year-long stasis.
- During the changeling invasion in the past, Twilight tried to help Celestia against Chrysalis when, unbeknownst to her, Celestia was about to finish off Chrysalis anyway. Chrysalis sensed her arrival and switched her own and Celestia's appearances, and Twilight unwittingly stabbed Celestia to death.
- Not His Sled: Though having shades of the plot to Portal and Portal 2, this story stands entirely on its own.
- Power Limiter: DISCoRD expressly forbids Twilight from using her magic to teleport her way through the test chambers on the basis that he will make the tests even harder if she does.
- Quest for Identity: Word of God says the story is about the main characters finding out who they are and why they're at Celestia Laboratories.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: DISCoRD, more so with his redesign.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Defied; the doctors at Equestria Laboratories wipe Rainbow Dash's memory after turning her into a cyborg for the express purpose of saving their own hides from a vengeful robot pony.
- Shadow Discretion Shot: Chrysalis's murder of Shining Armor.
- The Smurfette Principle: Christalia is notable for being the only female changeling besides the Queen. She is the only one who opposes the invasion and is clearly not on the side of evil.
- Ship Tease: A couple of cases during the flashback in episode 5:
- Dr. Whooves dons a HEV Suit in episode 1.
- DISCoRD says that there will be "unforeseen consequences" when he's shut down. These are the recurring Arc Words of the Half-Life series.
- The doctor operating on Rainbow Dash in episode 2 bears a suspicious resemblance to a certain medic.
- Fluttershy hides in a box labeled "The Orange". Get it?note (Word of God states that's a Metal Gear Solid reference, though.)
- When Twilight imagines herself getting crushed by spikes, she goes out in a Mega Man-style explosion.
- Tempting Fate: Right before activating DISCoRD for the first time:
: I just don't think we're ready to launch the system. We still have to run tests on it. Dr. Whooves
: I know, but Cranky says we need it running as soon as possible. Besides, what could go wrong?
- Snow Means Death: The violent invasion of Canterlot is accompanied by a brutal snowstorm. By the end, everything is covered in snow.
- Stealth Pun: In episode 5, when Twilight asks where are the sentries, the next shot is of Flash Sentry.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Twilight sports one towards the end of the flashback in episode 5 after losing her brother, mentor (at her own hooves), and wings.
- Time Skip: The first episode is set apart from the rest of the series by ten years; the first scene of each episode after that is a flashback meant to bridge the gap between the first two episodes.
- Uniqueness Value: SPIKE is the only robot model of his kind.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Rainbow Dash is rebuilt as a cyborg after getting mauled by DISCoRD.
- Wham Episode: Episode 5, starting after Twilight drinks a memory potion. It details the fall of Canterlot mentioned under Wham Line.
- Wham Line: From episode 4:
Twilight: Pinkie, do you have any information on this place's history?
Pinkie: Of course! But only up until the Fall of Canterlot.
- What Have I Become?: Rainbow Dash's response becoming DASH-E, in the episode 3 Cold Opening.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Rainbow Dash thinks the idea of basing an AI on Discord is nothing short of evil.
- You Have Failed Me: In Episode 5, the famous Trope Naming scene from The Empire Strikes Back is quoted almost directly when Chrysalis kills a general who failed to stop the DASH-E sentries. This is followed by You Are in Command Now to the next in rank, as well a posthumous apology acceptance similar to the one Captain Needa received.
- You Shall Not Pass: Luna attempted to hold off the changeling army while Twilight and friends fled after the fall of Canterlot, though it didn't stop their shuttle from getting blasted.