Starlight Over Detrot has Loads and Loads of Characters, so take note: this is going to remain a partial list for quite some time! Also, be warned that certain characters' descriptions may contain unmarked Act 1 spoilers, and some characters listed may not show up until later on.
Hard 'Hardy' Boiled
- "Read my ass. Im a cop."
The central protagonist and narrator of Starlight. The son of a cop and a Detrot native, this Earth Pony lost his old partner (and mentor) some time before the beginning of the story, and hasn't taken on another yet — which contributes, along with a whole bevy of other factors, to his being at odds with his boss.
- Back from the Dead: After he's successfully assassinated at the end of Act 1, he's brought back to life by means of an emergency replacement of his newly-perforated heart with Cosmo's enchanted one, magic coming unpleasantly close to necromancy and a month-long coma.
- Badass Longcoat: Which doubles as a Bag of Holding, has warming and cleaning enchantments thereupon, and is practically Hardy's trademark.
- Captain Crash: There are standing orders to arrest Hardy on the spot if, at any point, he gets behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
- Cyborg: After having his heart replaced with Cosmo's, complete with a plug on his chest for charging the magical batteries that keep it going.
- Deadpan Snarker: Everypony gets this, but few as much as Hardy.
- Hardboiled Detective: Trenchcoat, check. Sourpuss, check. At odds with Da Chief, check. Now all he needs is a name like, well, Hard Boiled... double check.
- Healing Factor: Once Hardy gets that semi-artificial heart implanted in him, he winds up regenerating very quickly indeed, so long as he has electrical power — which turns out to be a very good thing indeed, later on.
- Indy Ploy: If any of his plans have ever gone right, we certainly haven't seen it happen.
- Occult Detective: His day started off like a regular old homicide. Before long, though, he finds himself delving into the arcane, the occult, and the inexplicable.
- Old Cop, Young Cop: Used to be the "young cop" with his partner, Juniper. Now he's the old cop to Swift's rookie.
- Secret Legacy: Hardy's grandfather, as well as his trusty, Magitek powered gun. Mention of the Crusades is quite common around him, and he's not named 'Crusader' for no reason...
- Trademark Favorite Food: Don't get between Hardy and a plate of warm bagels.
Sweet Shine (aka Taxi)
- "You dont want to talk about it, then its no skin off my nose." Beat "Okay, I lied. Whats in your head? Come on, Hardy... Tellmetellmetellme!"
Hardy's driver, quasi-partner, and childhood friend, this Earth Pony used to be a cop until an incident while working undercover cost her her cutie marks. While she rarely speaks about much of her past, she's been everywhere and back; her practical knowledge of martial arts and her rather open sexuality hint at a wide variety of experiences.
- Abusive Parents: Sweet's father was, shall we say, less than kind to the young Sweet, which led to his imprisonment in the Tartarus Correctional Facility.
- A-Team Firing: Her hopelessly terrible aim is legendary in-story, enough so for Hardy to flatly refuse to let her handle anything with lethal ammo — the last time she did, she shot him in the leg and nearly castrated him by mistake.
- Berserk Button: Don't mention her lack of cutie marks. Oh, and woe betide if you lay a scratch on her ride.
- Companion Cube: Who loves her shiny PEACE cannon, yes she does? That's right!
- Drives Like Crazy: Those within the Night Trotter are absolutely, perfectly safe from harm. Those within a hundred-hoof radius, not so much.
- Extreme Omnisexual: And she certainly has no bones about displaying it.
- Juggling Loaded Guns: Hardy absolutely, utterly, completely refuses to give Taxi access to a lethal firearm, even in the most dire of conditions: it's implied that, just like her driving skills, when she has one in hoof, the only safe place to be is underneath her. Later on, she gets a cannon, which she implies is somewhat safer — that is, she states she's fine with heavy ordnance, just not with small guns.
- The Paralyzer: Her knowledge of pressure points and general anatomy means that she can, just for examples, either render a pony completely paralyzed for several days, or — if she's feeling vindictive — perform... let's just call it a non-invasive vasectomy. Yeowch.
- Stepford Smiler: Behind her happy-go-lucky, relatively carefree attitude lie a lot of issues.
- Team Mom: She tries to be a voice of reason, at least.
- Pay attention to her psych profile; She's convinced she's gonna be some kind of Champion of the People, and has a list of pathologies and complexes you find only in serial killers and war heroes.
Next to every jaded detective is a rookie as green as a freshly-mowed lawn, and it's just Hardy's luck that his is Swift Cuddles, a wide-eyed, huge-winged Pegasus ingenue who Chief Jade dumped on him in an effort to get him to shape up or ship out. Despite flunking out of PACT training due to her size, she's shown many a skill and a frightfully sharp eye, but will those be enough to keep her alive despite that naivete? Time will tell.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Surprisingly, Swift's parents aren't this — but her grandmother certainly is, and the rest of her "family" within the Vivarium aren't far behind. That said, it's more of the 'gently embarassing, but loving' kind.
- Ascended to Carnivorism: Right from the word 'go', Swift finds that she rather enjoys a good bit of Gryphon 'Foine Cooking', as Sykes calls it. It turns out that this is very much not good: her body and mind have been experimented upon by some rogue elements within the PACT, and she's far from the only one.
- Berserk Button: For some reason, she goes completely insane when Essies are even brought up, let alone around.
- Brainwashed and Crazy She was meant to become a perfect obedient assassin.
- Break the Cutie: She keeps winding up seeing very bad things happen to her friends... and especially to Hardy. Between Act 1 and Act 2, she winds up broken, hallucinating and practically dead in a Gryphon dive.
- Embarrassing Last Name: She's not particularly fond of 'Cuddles'.
- First Day from Hell: She gets thrown into a homicide case right from the start, and things get more 'fun' from there.
- Friendly Sniper / Improbable Aiming Skills: Extremely good with a pistol, in part due to pegasus vision: she often provides overwatch and support for the rest of the party.
- Heroic BSoD: When Hardy's sniped from afar, she completely loses it, obliterates his killer, and slips into a deep depression.
- I Call It "Vera": Her Hoof Cannon, Masamune.
- Naïve Newcomer: Swift is so green that she practically spells like pine.
- Scary Teeth: Which she uses to great advantage now and then, particularly on her Intimidation checks. Provided by the spell which was turning her into an implacable killer.
- The Cutie: Compared to the hard-worn Hardy and the Team Mom Taxi, anyway.
- Vomiting Cop: She's got a pretty weak stomach, which really doesn't mesh well with her carnivore tendencies — or, of course, her position on Homicide.
LimerenceThe eminently serious son of Don Tome, this incredibly bookish and uptight Unicorn was, shall we say, instructed to assist Hardy by his adopted father in his continuing efforts to unravel the theft of an ancient and powerful artifact. Despite his regular protestations, he's shown himself to be a valued and trustworthy ally in pursuit of the truth. While he seemed at first to be a temporary member of the party, he joined the core trio for good after the murder of Don Tome, and is now as tightly woven into the dynamic as any.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Shown here and there, but particularly when he's asked to take part in a happy round of the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
- Badass Bookworm: He rarely shows it, but Limerence can be incredibly scary.
- The Comically Serious: Perhaps taken up to extremes when he's dosed with Beam. If there's ever a pratfall, he can be expected to take it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Giving Hardy a run for his money.
- Mr. Exposition: He generally fulfills this obligation in regards to delivering background of the more criminal elements.
King Cosmo (Jingle-Jangle)The leader of an enormous number of criminal and otherwise dubious enterprises within the streets of Detrot, the very well-heeled Earth Pony known as the "King of Ace" is the first obvious lead whom Hardy and co. find in their search for Jane Doe's murderer. While his workings with the drug trade within the city are well known (if unproven) by the PD, that may well be a front for deeper and darker associations...
- Creepy Souvenir: He collects the broken horns of unicorns he's personally mutilated.
- Fantastic Racism: He loathes unicorns, and takes sadistic pleasure in breaking off their horns.
- Freudian Excuse: His hatred for unicorns stems from the fact that his mother, a unicorn herself, cheating on his father led to his beloved brother's death, as his brother was in very poor health and only kept alive by a spell powered by his parents' love for each other. In-story, the main characters do not consider this to be anything like an excuse for what he does.
Iris JadeThe chief of the Detrot Police Department, the long-suffering Unicorn Iris Jade starts off our tale utterly fed up with Hardy's shenanigans and the enormous quantity of paperwork which follows. Her overwhelming temper, and her clear addiction to certain narcotics and amphetamines, leads to screaming fits which can be heard from blocks away — and fuel many an office betting pool. It turns out that her daughter is at risk, and the captors responsible are blackmailing her, fueling her drug addiction and driving her to despair.
- Ax-Crazy: She's an emotionally unstable, extremely powerful and precise telekinetic with ponycidal tendencies and drug addiction.
- Bad Boss: She's only able to rule the department through fear. She really wants to be a Benevolent Boss, though: it turns out she's the subject of Blackmail.
- Da Chief: And oh, doesn't she wish she weren't.
- The Dreaded: When she brings the hammer down, whoever's under it will not enjoy the experience.
- Heroic BSoD: When Hardy states that the police department supports the Church of the Lunar Passage, she finally locks herself in her office and cries.
- Mama Bear: When Hardy promises to retrieve her daughter, she pulls out the stops.
SykesA Gryphon and one of the long-suffering Hardy's oldest friends and coworkers, this rowdy, boisterous gent likes nothing more than a good beer and a plate of meat. To add to this, he fits in remarkably well with the more equine residents of Detrot, to the point where he could well serve as an ambassador. Unfortunately, when the Gryphon tribes spoil for war, he too is dragged into the city-wide conflict.
- Going Native: He's very adept at blending into Pony society. Pity that it estranges him from the rest of his family.
Slip StitchThe city's coroner and magical, magnificent morgue merriment manager, the Earth Pony Slip Stitch is hard to pin down — unless you're playing Pin the Tail on the Cadaver, that is. Not only is he the most advanced forensic pathologist within the Detrot area, he's the only forensic pathologist therein — and one look at him would show just why. That said, he's solid as a rock and as dependable as the sunrise, though his sense of humor leaves much to be desired. He may be descended from Pinkie Pie; certainly, the similarities are profound.
- Black Comedy: Four words: eyeball on a stick.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: His entrance has him spinning on a chair and singing to dead bodies.
- Mad Scientist: Eventually winds up replacing Hardy's heart with Cosmo's. Or, rather, a changeling's. Even Limerence can't believe the work done there.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: When he's not taking part in wild shenanigans, he's performing atrocities on the dead which would make a seasoned veteran lose their lunch.
- Sad Clown: He's not a Stepford Smiler, in that he genuinely is happy — when making others that way, and having fun. Once the party stops, though...
- Vetinari Job Security: Nopony else wants to take the job of forensic pathologist, nor would they be quite so good at it. Despite his rampant eccentricities, Slip is very, very good at his job.
ThalassemaThe helpful and hapless assistant of Slip Stitch, this once-pony, now-giant-hamster found herself permanently mutated after someone slipped some poison joke into her food. While she's quite kind and as friendly as anyone else, she has something of a nervous twitch and a stutter, possibly due to the pressures of her work.
- Baleful Polymorph: She was turned into a giant hamster as a result of contact with Poison Joke while studying rodent breeding cycles. As it turns out, when you eat Poison Joke it becomes permanent...
- Morality Chain: To Slip Stitch, something he desperately needs.
- Only Sane Man: Compared to the rest of the cast, she's practically normal. Aside from the hamster thing, of course.
- Speech Impediment: She has a stutter, for unknown reasons — maybe stress.
- The Woobie: Her job's not exactly thankless, but it feels like she gets the short end of the stick.
Mistress/Aunt StellaWere one to consider dragons and their hordes, the concept of gold, glitter, gems, and all that jazz certainly comes to mind. One does not, however, immediately leap to the image of a sea serpent in drag deep underground, pulling strings and toying at politics from afar. The proprietor and owner of the Vivarium, Stella is every inch a dragon, and let not the elegantly-coiffed mane, the put-upon lisping accent, or the painted nails fool you: those who cross him very rarely live to regret it, while those who befriend him will rarely meet one so steadfast. May or may not be Stephen Magnet.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Lisp and mid-Atlantic accent, check. Deliciously styled mane, check. Sparkling jewelry, painted nails, eyelashes and lipstick: check to all of that. Still a dragon.
- The Chessmaster: You can't keep a good portion of Detrot relatively crime-free otherwise. He also plays the very long game, as his hoard is pretty much the Vivarium itself.
- The Dreaded: The higher-ups in many places have at least heard of him, and certainly don't want to cross him.
- A Father to His Men: The assorted workers in the Vivarium, especially the Stilettos, will quite happily lay down their lives for him.
- Metrosexual: Stella is absolutely fabulous, and don't you forget it. Also: Crossdresser, Drag Queen, and Ambiguously Gay, amongst other such things.
- Our Dragons Are Different: This one is, anyway, and specifically explains it — instead of sitting on a pile of gold, Stella's diversified his assets, and rather than going up against the might of the PACT, he's proven himself to be a valuable asset in his own right.
After GlowThe grandmother of Swift Cuddles, After Glow is the head of security at the Vivarium. While not one of the prized assassins known as Stilettos, she is very much comparable in sheer skill and finesse; her hornwork hasn't dulled a bit, her knifework is as sharp as ever, and her wit is... well, you get the idea. She assists Hardy and the gang, initially, in ensnaring a spy within the Vivarium, while repeatedly threatening our protagonist with a rather brutal death should her grandfilly come to harm.
- Knife Nut: Her Weapon of Choice is a butterfly knife; she can split a fly from across the room, and enjoys playing with it with her magic both for personal amusement and to unnerve other people.
- Mama Bear: To Swift Cuddles. When Swift is brought to her in Act 2, she goes ballistic on Hardy.
- Never Mess with Granny: Hoo, do you not want to mess with her. Stella can only eat you, y'see.
Bake and BoilTwo enormous, heavily scarred unicorn twins addicted to pain. Bake and Boil used to be part of the Detrot Manticores hoofball team until they decided this didn't provide them with enough pain to be worthwhile, leading them to join the Vivarium as Stilettos and to service clients who want to let off steam in more violent ways. They volunteer for Hardy's raid on the drug lab, in no small part because going into the line of fire is after all an excellent way to find fresh pain.
- Combat Sadomasochist: To truly disturbing levels — they greatly enjoy being hurt, and will go to great pains to injure themselves in battle, to the point of devising a shield spell that sits beneath their skin to make sure they don't miss out on anything. This makes them ideal meat shields, since they have no objections whatsoever to soaking up bullets, and at one point they manage to make enemy Mooks faint in terror by singling them out and demanding to be shot.
- Covered in Scars: Their obsession with being injured has left nearly every exposed part of their bodies — their chests, faces, legs, eyelids, everything — covered in scars so numerous and extensive that almost none of their original skin is left. Their scarification is to the point that their fur only grows in isolated tufts here and there in between their masses of keloids and scar tissue.
EdinaEdina is a white, very short and very sadistic griffon Stiletto who joins Hardy's raid on the drug lab in the first act. She tends to be of two minds about most things — very literally so.
- Psycho for Hire: Her sadism plays a large part in why she volunteers for missions. Her work as a dominatrix in the Vivarium is normally enough to satisfy her... needs, but she's very willing to take part in missions elsewhere if it means getting the chance to cut loose without any safewords to spoil her fun.
- Sadist: She derives a disturbing deal of pleasure from hurting and tormenting "meat".
- Split Personality: She has a prominent two-way personality split: she often argues with herself, refers to herself as "we" and tends to switch back and forth between a more unhinged personality and a somewhat more restrained one. This is apparently a consequence of her nature as a chimeric creature — problems caused by their feline and avian halves clashing are endemic to all griffins to some degree or another, and in Edina this manifests as one person with two personalities.
- Whip It Good: Her favored weapons are long whips tipped with bits of jagged metal.
ZetaA zebra stiletto who volunteers for Hardy's raid on the drug lab in Act 1.
- Flash Step: She can move absurdly quickly and absurdly quietly, seemingly going from one spot to another without bothering to pass through the intervening space.Hardy's internal narration: Lightning isn't that fast, and it's definitely not that quiet.
They're best known to the rest of the city as a violent collection of pony — and generally pegasus — supremacists, but the full picture is a bit more complicated. The Cyclones are a united group only insofar as they need to be for dealing with forces from outside the Skids — in all other matters, they have no overarching leadership, goals or shared ideologies, are the various gangs are as prone to fighting each other as the police and Jewelers. The pony supremacists happen to be the ones who interact with the rest of the city the most, but other groups simply want to look after their own and be left alone.
- Fantastic Racism: The Cyclones are best known to the rest of the city for those parts of their loose alliance that loudly and often violently protest the presence of non-pony species in Detrot's society.
WisteriaThe leader of the Aroyo Cylones.
- Pregnant Badass: She becomes pregnant sometime during the timeskip between the first and second acts, and still remains the active leader of her street gang through this. She casually disregards the limits in activity that a pregnant mare should observe, much to her adult daughter's displeasure.
The AncestorsA mysterious group of elders who have the final say in all decisions made by the Aroyo Cyclones. Since they never leave their house and strangers are not allowed to look at them, their identity remains a mystery for much of the story.
- The Ghost: They remain offscreen and invisible for much of the story, communicating with Hardy and his team through Wysteria and the other Cyclones.
Don TomeAn elderly zebra stallion, Don Tome is the leader and funder of the Archivists and Limerence's adoptive father. The Don is a much friendlier and more agreeable sort than other underworld leaders, and is an old friend of Hard Boiled's.
The LadybugsAn odd sort even by the standards of Equestria, the Ladybug Collective is a swarm of Hive Minded beetle-like arthropods created by a wizard who took the idea of surveillance bugs a bit too literally. They make their living by hiring themselves out as living monitoring systems, in exchange for access to soap operas and a steady stream of interesting things to keep them entertained.
- Born of Magic: They're a Sentient Construct — an "S.C." or "Essy" for short — meaning a living being created entirely through magical experimentation. In their case, this seems to have involved the magical equivalent of genetically splicing together parasprites and who knows what else.
- Hive Mind: They're for all intents and purposes a single diffuse mind inhabiting many, many bodies. However, the individual bugs seem to maintain a certain level of individual presence — enough so to wander off on their own if they start getting bored, at least.
- Literal Surveillance Bug: They were magically constructed out of parasprites and a host of other things to be perfect surveillance mechanism in the form of a swarm of sapient insects.
- Thanks to their hive mind and limited shapeshifting, they can shrink and change color to make themselves all but invisible, telepathically share information across their Hive Mind and to anyone wearing one of the bugs, move quickly and quietly to keep track of their targets or get a better shot; they can be controlled remotely with little to no chance of interference; and are all but impossible to destroy.
- The issue, as it turned out, is that they also have no attention spans to speak of and are very prone to wandering off as soon as the action stops, as well as difficult to kept track of and quite eager to spy on anyone and everyone for entertainment and blackmail purposes.