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Fanfic / Equestria Total War

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Equestria: Total War is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction written by emkajii. Feeling threatened by the highly magical nature of Equestria, the Kingdom of Gryphonia has launched an all-out invasion. The bearers of the elements of harmony find themselves impressed into service as leaders of the newly created Equestrian army in an effort to repel the invading forces. Unfortunately, they find themselves woefully unprepared for the ravages of war and struggle to remain true to the virtues that they represent.


Meanwhile, in Ponyville, Derpy Hooves finds herself thrust into the position of leadership of a militia of ponies drawn from local civilian populations. What initially becomes a struggle of resistance against the invading forces soon turns into pitched battle as Derpy's competent and inspiring leadership begins to win the admiration and respect of her followers and the attention of the enemy. Derpy finds herself struggling with the necessities of fighting a war while still trying to hold true to some form of morality that allows her and her army to remain ponies.

Note: As the Fan Fic this page is about is currently incomplete, this trope page is currently under construction. Anybody who has read Equestria: Total War should feel free to add any tropes we seem to have missed.


This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: Battles are hooves vs. teeth/talons combined with Napoleonic-era tactics. Plus magically-powered artillery, which fire something resembling napalm.
  • Action Mares: Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie by virtue of spending a lot of their time fighting on the front lines.
  • Badass Bookworm: Twilight Sparkle's artillery wreaks havoc upon the enemy forces with the power of math.
  • Becoming the Mask: Derpy Hooves, several times. Over the course of the war, she takes more and more ruthless actions and eventually the griffons call her the Grey Mare and treat her on the same level as Princess Celestia. When a captured griffon officer asks her her real name, she responds that Grey Mare is as good a name as any, but adds that he can call her Derpy if he wants.
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  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Rarity works as a quartermaster. When supplies begin to run low, she spirals into a rather nasty version of this.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Screwball. Given that she's the "daughter" of Discord...
    • To a lesser extent, Derpy Hooves and Pinkie Pie.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Derpy's willingness to do whatever it takes to win no matter how questionable slowly but surely alienates Big Macintosh.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: When Gilda says that Screwball doesn't know much, Screwball responds by rattling off all sorts of random statistics, including the financial status of a farmer visiting Manehattan, the number of birds in one square mile of the Silvertail Forest, the current state of walrus politics, the health of Gilda's lungs, how many children were laughing at that moment, and the approximate number of ponies that had orgasmed in the last hour.
  • Break the Cutie: Oh so very very much.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Units made up of Pegasai or Gryphons are referred to as "cavalry", everyone else is "infantry".
  • Cannon Fodder: Pinkie's "light infantry" and Applejack's heavier "line infantry" units are implied to be this.
  • Child Soldiers: Derpy goes to great pains to prevent the Cutie Mark Crusaders from becoming these. Unfortunately, Scootaloo had other ideas and signed up anyway.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Surprisingly, doesn't feature all that much, but it's implied that the population of Fillydelphia tried to collaborate with their Gryphon occupiers.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The reason that the gryphon armies think that Derpy Hooves is a monster is that she's not bound by any silly sort of hang-ups about honor or tradition like they are. After all, she was the first general in their history to use suicide bombers in order to win a battle.
  • Complexity Addiction: Word of God has stated that this is Luna's greatest weakness as a commander, as she can come up with all kinds of devious strategies when there are simpler ones that might work just as well. The author has also stated that Luna is one of those ponies that is really good at strategy games, but fails to understand that ponies are not just game pieces and can't be moved around so easily. It's this, along with Rainbow Dash's heroics that cause several problems with the Royal Army's first battle in the war. However, only the latter problem is addressed, so Luna doesn't actually learn anything about her own faults which comes back to bite her in the next battle.
  • Dead Fic: Sadly, this seems to be the case. The last update was on January 30th, 2012, and the author has not logged into Fimfiction.Net or otherwise been heard from since, with even his Reddit account apparently abandoned.
    • Before starting the fic, the author left a comment containing a series of four speeches. While three of those speeches had already been incorporated into the story by the time it stopped updating, the fourth, which was almost certainly meant to be in the epilogue, wasn't. Although this last speech does not explain everything and leaves many, many open threads, it gives us more or less an idea of ​​how the story was supposed to end and provides us with some closure.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: There are multiple historical parallels real-world history, from the winter at Valley Foal, Sweetie Belle's various songs, to Derpy's rousing speech promising that they will fight on through the scarred fields of Equestria. They will fight on through the broken buildings of Manehattan. They will fight on through the forests and through the hills. Through the swamps. Through the farms. And across the rivers and through the towering mountains and splendid valleys of Gryphonia itself.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. A good portion of the story is devoted to the number of casualties inflicted on the ponies by sheer attrition rather than open battle.
    • Rarity's biggest pet peeve. All the other mane six are effectively ignorant how hard she has to work and how low she has to stoop to keep their army supplied. It's a glory-less job that she's never congratulated for; and finally almost snaps when everypony else decide to alter the Army's marching orders without consulting their logistics to even see if it would've been possible.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Gryphon King. It's actually forbidden to use his name.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Derpy, after she loses her "bad" eye. She looks at herself in the mirror and notes how normal she looks and how clear everything seems.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Essentially, Rainbow Dash's punishment for her actions at the battle of Westmarch is to be one of these. Everyone thinks she's a hero, but she is shown that the original plan would've accomplished the goal with much less loss of ponies. As a result, she has to endure knowing she got lots of ponies killed because she couldn't follow orders. Her ensuing Heroic Safe Mode prevents her from putting a single hoof out of line, or, for that matter, showing any real initiative whatsoever.
  • Fantastic Racism: The war (and the "incomprehensible" success of somepony she's written off as a hopeless mental defective) have brought out the bigoted nitwit in Rarity.
    • This is also the status-quo of Gryphonia, in that the lions that make up the bulk of the cannon fodder for the army are slaves.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Well, from the first chapter, ( Literally called "Flashforward") we know that Derpy and some semblance of an army reaches and fights in the Gryphonian capital. Not a conclusion, but definitely something very close to one.
  • Funetik Aksent: Nikolai and Anna, zey speek like zis, da?
    • Ze Generals, Zey also speek like zis.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Gilda and another member of the Talons accompany Screwball on a mission to find a Power Nullifier artifact that will allow them to shut off Celestia's magic so that she can be killed. Unfortunately, once they succeed, Screwball basically gains the ability to modulate her sanity, but has nothing resembling a concept of right or wrong to govern her decisions. So now, she's nothing more than a child with godlike powers who chooses to use them to kill anypony that crosses her path in horrifically creative ways as she carves a bloody path on her way to find and kill Celestia's herself. She may be doing what the Gryphon king wants, but she's being a lot more messy about it than.he thought she would be (not that he seems to mind).
  • Guile Hero: Derpy, as well as the mane force. Gryphons, not so much, what with their relatively straightforward thinking and Honor Before Reason.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Averted. The author's done his homework on the art of war and does a brilliant job of adapting it to a setting occupied by multiple varieties of fantastic animals.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Big Mac pulls this on Derpy. Claiming that invading Grphonia will make them just as bad as the Gryphons since it's morally wrong. Of course, ignoring the fact that she's doing it for completely different reasons...
  • Inspiration for the Work: As mentioned in the Pony Fiction Archive, emkajii was first inspired to write the story after reading a one-shot comic page by Equestria-Prevails.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Implied to be the eventual fate of Bright Eyes (a.k.a. "Derpy Hooves"); she started out as a young mother trying to protect her beloved child. It's clear that she'll end by becoming, at best, at as bad as the tyrant she's fighting against.
  • Karma Houdini: Pinkie Pie. She goes out and surrenders herself and her division to the Gryphons as part of a ploy to break out and ambush them in the rear. She does this against orders and without informing her superior officers. Despite being incredibly reckless and could've liably gotten them all killed, she's congratulated because it worked. Notably, Dash made similar actions at the beginning of the war and was properly court martialed for disobeying orders...
  • Laughing Mad: Poor Pinkie Pie...
  • The Mole: The first chapter reveals that this was Gilda's reason for being in Equestria.
  • Motive Rant: The Gryphon King would rather see his kingdom burn than to be ruled over by Celestia and doesn't mind saying so.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nice job winning your first battle, Rainbow Dash! Too bad your heroics ruined the Princess' cunning plan and tripled the number of pony casualties...
    • Also nice job trying to get ponies to listen to reason by denying them the supplies Derpy needs to conquer the gryphons. You've just signed the death warrant for gryphon-kind.
  • Not So Different: The Cutie Mark Crusaders team up with a trio of Gryphons for a while, and learn this.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: The crime itself happens offscreen, but Sgt. Lucky disobeys Derpy's orders and tortures a gryphon prisoner for information. When Derpy learns of this, she has Lucky tried for his crimes and executed. She does use the information, albeit reluctantly.
  • Offered the Crown: Celestia has made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that should anything happen to her and Luna, the Mane Six will be the new rulers of Equestria.
  • The Red Baron: Derpy Hooves receives the moniker "The Gray mare" from the griffons after becoming infamous in a battle against them.
  • The Pollyanna: Pinkie Pie. Who really creeps out everyone around her.
  • The Power of Friendship: But of course! To quote the author:
    Emkajii: No matter what happens, as long as we're in Equestria, Friendship is still Magic.
  • Pretext for War: The Gryphons start the war for religious reasons, as they believe that the ponies' absolute control over nature is blasphemous and fundamentally immoral. Naturally this motive is complete horseshit, and Derpy even finds out that no gryphon officer higher than a lieutenant actually believes it. As it turns out, the real reason for the war is far more disturbing...
  • Reality Warper: Screwball.
  • Redshirt Army: Both sides suffer horrendous casualties. Quite a bit of this is through attrition, though, rather than actual battle.
  • The Resenter: Rarity begins turning into this, as she receives less and less recognition for keeping their army supplied while everypony else is congratulated for saving the day. She eventually comments that she's only promoted to Colonel despite being completely in charge of the Army's logistics, while Twilight is being promoted to Field Marshal to an army which is almost non-existent after their defeat.
  • La Résistance: Derpy again.
  • Rousing Speech: Derpy's forte.
  • Sanity Slippage: It's strongly implied that Rarity is suffering from untreated PTSD.
  • Schedule Slip: It's been years since the last update.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Fluttershy deserts the equestrian army early on, and spends much of the second act of the story (chapters X to XXIII) hiding in a cave and pretending that the war isn't happening.
  • The Strategist: Derpy Hooves winds up turning out to be this.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: It's My Little Pony meets total warfare. What more could you want?
  • Suicidal Pacifism: While not one in general, Big Macintosh shows shades of this in a big-picture sense when he objects to invading Gryphonia, despite overwhelming historical precedent indicating that the Gryphons would restart the war in a few years (and continue to do so until they finally won) unless their military and current government were completely dismantled.
    • Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie also insist that they're suppose to be heading north to stop Derpy from invading Gryphonia so that a peace treaty can be signed.
  • Suicide Attack: At one point, Derpy's army is forced into the impossible situation of having to fight two full armies of Gryphonic soldiers at the same time. In desperation, Derpy creates a program called the Royal Special Attack Force, which consists of hundreds of terminally ill and mortally wounded (but still flight-capable) pegasus volunteers strapped into bomb vests. The RSAF's effect is devastating, and allows Derpy's army to score the most decisive victory of their campaign. After the battle, Derpy suspends the RSAF program indefinitely.
  • War Is Hell: Both sides commit war crimes, thousands die of disease and starvation, some of the Equestrian forces have to steal food from their own villagers just to survive, and almost all of the main characters are left horribly traumatised.
  • We Have Reserves: The Princess' and later Derpy's strategies have shades of this.

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