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Fanfic / Ace Combat: Equestria Chronicles

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They aren't Ghosts of Razgriz, but they can certainly perform great feats (from left to right: Lightning Bolt, Rainbow Dash, Medley, Fluttershy, Firefly, Cloud Kicker, Derpy.

"We're in for a wild flight."

A mini-series of Crossover 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 Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.

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 behavior and experiments, seeks to return and exact revenge on the princess. Wings of Unity has been dormant since March 2018.

There is also a spin-off story, Ace Combat: Gryphon Wings, written by Slowusaurus a.k.a. 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 has many characters, and more information can be found on them by going here.

Common tropes featured in the stories:

  • A Friend in Need: Rainbow Dash helps Firefly adjust to a new situation in the first few chapters of The Equestrian War. She also goes on a solo mission to rescue Applejack in chapter 6.
  • Ace Pilot: On the pony side, there is Mirage squadron and the Wonderbolts. The griffins have the Aquilla squadron in the spin-off Gryphon Wings.
  • Adaptational Badass: Several ponies, especially the ones flying in Mirage squadron. From characters who had little screen time and next to no words spoken in the show, they're given distinct personalities and traits.
  • The Alliance: Equestrian Allied Forces (EAF)
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In The Equestrian War, the griffins besiege Canterlot from chapter 15 to 17. Earlier, in chapter 8, they take over Cloudsdale. It remains theirs until it's recaptured in chapter 14.
    • Canterlot is actually taken over by the Exiles in Wings of Unity.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Mirage squadron.
    • Downplayed with enemy forces: In The Equestrian War, Gilda (and a one-off mention of female Mooks in a late chapter) were the only female enemies the Allies faced.
    • Wings of Unity has a mare Big Bad in the form of Aurora Starlight, but Reaper Squadron are all stallions.
  • Anachronism Stew: Regular weaponry, such as artillery and anti-air guns, are coupled with laser weaponry, especially on the griffon side.
    • Justified somewhat in Gryphon Wings, with the narration mentioning non-magical races (like the titular griffons) developing advanced technology to make up for a lack of arcane abilities...and semi-divine rulers.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Ever since chapter 2 of The Equestrian War, where Firefly helps Rainbow Dash out against Talon squadron, it had almost became a tradition.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Rainbow Dash lets out several of those.
  • Break the Cutie: In every story, there are multiple characters that suffer terribly due to war. Firefly was broken long before the first story even began.
  • Canon Immigrant: Firecracker Burst, a Hot-Blooded unicorn who can use fire-based magic.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Some of the stuff Firefly shows to her wing-mares help in future battles.
  • Child Soldiers: The Cutie Mark Crusaders. They use a custom-made catapult to help in defending Ponyville against the griffin attack in The Equestrian War (a small help, but still better than nothing), while in Wings of Unity they help Firecracker Burst with a sabotage mission against some Exile tanks.
  • Continuity Porn: The stories contain multiple references to the show and Ace Combat series.
  • Crossover: The Fusion Fic variety, although a few ponified Ace Combat characters do appear.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In several chapters of both The Equestrian War and Wings of Unity, the Mirage squadron (sometimes with the help of their allies) manages to easily overcome their opponents, be it the grifins or the Exiles.
  • Disney Villain Death: If not disposed of by Neck Snap or other methods, most Mooks taken out by the heroes are knocked from the sky and fall to their dooms, their injuries leaving them unable to recover flight.
  • Death from Above: Anytime bombing raids come into the picture or when fliers from either side perform diving attacks from a high altitude.
  • Evil Virtues: Mirage's foes for all their villainy tend to be tight-knit units loyal to their cause, commanded by intelligent (if sometimes questionably sane) leaders.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: There are several instances of them in all three stories. Check below for known examples.
  • Fusion Fic: The entire story takes place in Equestria, and there is no mention of Strangereal. However, the story is told in the style of the Ace Combat series, and there are numerous Shout Outs to Ace Combat, as well as some characters from the series.
    • The author recently confirmed that the stories are placed in Strangereal timeline and occur between 2018 and 2021.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Obviously. Sometimes, they involve Good Old Fisticuffs.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Both main stories have at least one scene where an enemy bomber is disposed of with their own explosive.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Several Pegasi and griffins are capable of various dangerous tricks or maneuvers used to defeat their opponents. Mobius is a prime example.
  • Meaningful Name: Lightning Bolt, Cloud Kicker, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash have their callsigns named after their cutie marks.
    • Firefly picks her callsign ("Flash") to emphasize on her agility, while Medley, being the youngest Pegasus among the seven heroines, is called "Kid".
  • Mythology Gag: Quite a few lines of dialogue from Ace Combat games are incorporated into the stories.
  • Neck Snap: A non-stealthy variant of this (necks being broken from punches and kicks) claims several characters, mostly Mooks.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Rainbow Dash is subjected into one in chapter 11 of The Equestrian War at the claws of Gilda.
    • In chapter 17, Night Raven does a brutal one to Fluttershy. But she manages to return the favor.
    • In chapter 14 of Wings of Unity, Rainbow Dash is on the receiving end of such beatdown again, this time by the Reaper squadron.
  • No Name Given: No parent (except for Derpy) is named in the stories.
  • Never Say "Die" : Unnamed enemy fliers taken out by the heroes are sometimes referred to as being "defeated", rather than explicitly "killed". Justified when one considers that even if they weren't killed, they were knocked clean out of the sky and taken out of the fight. (Perhaps crash-landing, being rescued by a medic, or returning to battle off-screen.)
    • However, it is often made clear that an enemy was, indeed, killed. This is indicated either by the use of words such as "eliminated", or the injuries inflicted by the heroes. (The narration sometimes describes attacks as breaking necks, or being aimed at a foe's head, both obviously lethal injuries). Named antagonists (so far, only the griffons) who fall in battle are largely acknowledged as being killed.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Of the "blink and you'll miss it" variety: battle scenes sometimes have quick, subtle descriptions of clever tricks and kills by the heroes alongside the more detailed action.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In The Equestrian War:
      • The Wonderbolts' reaction when the turrets open fire at them in the first chapter.
      • It's probably the best way to summarize the expressions of Lightning Bolt, Derpy, Medley and Soarin' when The Burning Talon's laser smashes the Cloudsdale gates to pieces in chapter 8.
      • The griffins have the same reaction when they see The Burning Talon being destroyed in chapter 10. May count as an Ironic Echo.
      • Firefly's reaction when she notices that Scythe attempts a Suicide Attack to bomb Stalliongrad in chapter 13.
      • Red Cyclone gets a glorious one in chapter 19 when Firefly comes to help Rainbow Dash.
    • In Wings of Unity:
      • When the main heroines notice smoke coming from New Saddle, which have just been attacked.
      • Two in chapter 3, both happen when Scinfaxi prepares a missile attack.
      • Two more in chapter 4, one from an Exile Mook when Sunburst throws his own bomb back at him after stopping his bombing run; the next comes from the heroes when The Exiles call in a dragon wearing magic-resistant Power Armor as back-up.
      • One for the villains in chapter 6. When Clad Hoof orders his troops to bombard Canterlot, the Princesses shield it with their magic, prompting Clad Hoof to mutter that he Didn't See That Coming.
      • When Tornado Swirl and Overdrive encounter Orgoi in chapter 11a, Overdrive utters: "Oh my Celestia..."
  • Original Character: All Pegasi team leaders. Firebolt and Gale may also count. Same for the griffins (besides "G" aka Gilda) and the foreign aces.
  • POW Camp: Downplayed. There's little mention of prisoners being taken in large enough numbers to require these by either side. Somewhat Justified when one considers that defeated enemy fliers are unlikely to survive their falls to surrender and/or be taken captive in the first place (and that's only if they weren't already killed in mid-air). Moreover, Word of God has implied that injured troops, on both sides, are largely rescued by their own medics off-screen.
    • Though as of Chapter 11a in Wings, a sizable number of Exile POWs have been taken.
  • Ramming Always Works: Fliers on both sides will sometimes forego punches and kicks and simply slam into an enemy in an aerial tackle. Lightning Bolt's Shining Spark is essentially a ramming attack, boosted by her own skill and some Pegasus magic.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Has a spin-off titled Ace Combat: Gryphon Wings.
  • Revenge: A central theme for each story.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In The Equestrian War, Firefly did it as a filly (combined with Berserker Tears) against Black Star when he shrugs off the fact he killed her parents, as told in chapter 8. Rainbow Dash attempts one at the end of chapter 14. Both fail.
    • Lightning Dust does this in chapter 11a of Wings of Unity against Orgoi. She manages to force him to retreat... or so it seems.
  • Schizo Tech: There are communicators and radars, the griffins have access to laser technology, but there are no fighter jets at all.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Talking to the Dead: Derpy does it halfway through chapter 15 of The Equestrian War in a really heartbreaking manner.
    Derpy: Carrot Top…you were smiling until the end…I…I will never forget you. I will always remember the moments we shared together…Goodbye…I hope you will have beautiful dreams…Rest easy…I will avenge you!
    • And she does.
    • In Wings of Unity, Blackberry also has a solemn conversation when she visits her sister's grave in chapter 5.
  • Time Skip: There's a three-month break altogether between chapters 10 and 13 in The Equestrian War.
    • The epilogue takes place one month after the war.
    • Wings of Unity begins two years later, during the third season of the show, but excluding episodes after "Spike at Your Service".
  • The Power of Friendship: Despite the horrors of war, the ponies always stick together and believe that as long as they do that, they can accomplish everything.
  • The Squad: Mirage, Gult, Talon, Northwind, Reaper, Racer and Burner just to name a few.
  • Total Party Kill: Entire squadrons of fliers, on either side, are sometimes wiped out to the last in all three stories. Also done by implication; i.e., no mention of lifeboats when an Exile battleship is destroyed in Wings of Unity.
  • Try Not to Die: Said word-for-word by Firefly to Rainbow Dash in chapter 6 of The Equestrian War. Similar pleas happen in other parts of all three stories.
  • Virtual Soundtrack: The author is using themes from Ace Combat games in order to incorporate atmosphere into the stories. Listening to those tracks is purely optional.
  • War Is Hell: Especially in Gryphon Wings.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: The EAF forces have, so far, never attacked non-military targets beyond liberating their own turf from enemy occupiers. Given the series' White-and-Grey Morality, this is unlikely to change unless things become truly drastic.
  • You Are Not Alone

Ace Combat: The Equestrian War provides examples of:

  • 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.
  • 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 Dialogue:
    • 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.
    • Not to mention this conversation between Firefly and Rainbow Dash as they're escaping from the collapsing Fortress Intimidation:
      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 nightmare.
  • 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.
  • Drama Bomb
  • 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??: Averted, as in the Ace Combat games. Before the Burning Talon was destroyed by Firefly's team, they were just another squadron of Pegasi. Afterward, 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.
  • Energy Weapon: How the Burning Talon operates.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Dark and Stormy Night: At the beginning of chapter 5.
  • Karmic Death: Red Cyclone in chapter 19. He dies inside the very fortress he created.
  • Kidnapping Bird 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!
  • 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 Him 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, I Am Behind You: How Firebolt defeats Vulture in chapter 8. It also happens throughout the story at certain moments with other characters.
  • 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:
    Firefly: You know what? TO HAY WITH YOU!
    • In chapter 16, when Rainbow Dash tries to calm her down:
    • In chapter 19, she does it for the third time, this time aiming it at Black Star:
  • 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.
    Twilight Sparkle: 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. 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 Hands 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 He's Got to Do Himself: 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.
  • 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 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 Handful 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 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.
  • Breaking Speech: Deathwing delivers a devastating one to Firefly, when she chases after the Reapers.
    Deathwing: How does it feel, Firefly? How does it feel to lose another member of your family… because of your own stupidity? Do you feel… helpless? You could have helped her… but you weren’t there when she needed you… You failed her.
  • 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.
  • Defiant to the End: Even when she is completely outmatched by the Reaper squadron, Rainbow Dash refuses to surrender.
    Rainbow Dash: I won't go down that easy!
  • 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.
  • From Bad to Worse: Chapter 13 is pretty much this for Rainbow Dash. First, she engages Lightning Dust in a dogfight and, though Rainbow had the upper hoof for most of the fight, she lost to her rival when she pulled out an unexpected special attack. After Lightning Dust left and just as Rainbow recovered from her injuries and was about to head back to Manehattan, she was ambushed by the Reaper squadron, which was just heading to the EAF base themselves. Due to Shockwave's jammer, Rainbow is unable to call for backup and has to fight the entire squadron by herself. She ends up being brutally beaten by them and her fate is left uncertain.
  • Groin Attack: Trickster deilvers a nasty one to exposed Rainbow Dash, while she's immobilized by Havoc in chapter 14.
  • 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!
  • It Will Never Catch On: 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.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Lightning Dust rips the EAF insignia off her vest when she decides to leave the base in chapter 12.
  • 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
    • Done once again in chapter 11b, where Princess Celestia focuses her magic toward the sun, creating a powerful beam of energy to destroy burst missiles fired from Scinfaxi and ultimately reveal its location, with a little help from Princess Luna.
  • Kill It with Fire: 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.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Despite falling from an altitude of 3000 feet, in Deathwing's words, Rainbow Dash survives the crash, mainly due to the numerous tree branches lessening the impact, as well as her vest, which slightly cushioned her fall.
  • No Transponism 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.
  • No-Sell: In chapter 14, when Deathwing is hit by Rainbow Dash in the face, he doesn't even flinch. Granted, the Zeal is giving him additional toughness, but he is aware that Rainbow is injured and not in full strength, so he has nothing to fear.
  • 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 Hero Is Dead: In chapter 17, Princess Celestia announces to the ponies in Crystal Empire that Rainbow Dash has fallen. However, her fate remains ambigous and Celestia does this to in a way to inspire other ponies to keep fighting.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Firebolt's death in chapter 6, as evidenced by her Last Words note :
    Firebolt: Mo...ther...
  • Punctuated Pounding: After Deathwing NoSells Rainbow's attack in chapter 14, he unleashes a series of brutal punches and kicks, each one precedded by a word:
    Deathwing: Is... that... all? You... are... such... a dissapointment...!
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Though the Exiles are denied their chance to make it to Fillydelphia in chapter 3, almost the entirety of 1st Fleet (save for 3 ships) is destroyed by Scinfaxi's burst missiles. And the Exiles managed to disembark anyway elsewhere.
    • The EAF manage to regain control over the Manehattan Air Force base in chapter 11a, but they ultimately lost about 60% of their forces over the course of the operation. Also, the Avion batallion got decimated by Orgoi.
  • Man 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.
  • 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..
    • Chapter 13 gives four armored suits powered by "the Zeal" for the Reaper squadron to use.
  • 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.
  • 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 Man 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.
    • Chapter 14. Rainbow Dash, having stumbled upon the Reaper squadron, suffers a devastating defeat and is believed to be dead.
  • 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.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In chapter 16, Commander Clad Hoof attempts to use Cynocrine to poison every colt and filly in the Ponyville schoolhouse.

May the sun and moon shine upon us!

Alternative Title(s): Ace Combat The Equestrian War