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Fanfic / Fallout Equestria: Shadows in the Dark

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Did anypony bring a flashlight?

Shadows in the Dark is a Recursive Fanfiction for Fallout: Equestria. It is a fanfiction adaption of a small roleplay on

An expedition to a stable underneath the tundra of the Frozen North, in search of a legendary pre-war artefact, quickly turns into a disaster, as everypony quickly ends up separated and lost in a dark and spooky stable, where every shadow wants them dead. Can they work together to defeat the psychological horrors that lurk in this stable?


Shadows in the Dark contains the following tropes:

  • Accidental Pun: Concerning the Crystal Heart, and immediately lampshaded:
    Cadence: I know in my heart, you'll do the right thing...
    Cadence: I made a punny. Ohhh Cadence... You still got it...
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Darkness. It can’t be reasoned with, is always trying to kill you, and has a twisted sense of humour.
    Lightning: What do you want with me? If you wanted to kill me you would have done it by now, so clearly you want me for something; so what is it?
    Darkness: Oh? What if I simply enjoy getting to know lunch? Muahahaheheha…
  • All There in the Manual: There are several comments, perks, and item descriptions that are only mentioned in the roleplay, that are not mentioned in the fanfiction.
  • And I Must Scream: Cadence has been in a state of suspended animation for the last 200 years, using her magic to keep the Darkness locked up in the stable. It’s not known whether or not she was conscious the whole time. Or even if she’s still like that.
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  • Anyone Can Die
  • Anything That Moves: Mirage.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The terminal entries.
  • Big Bad: The Darkness
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Crystal Heart is successfully retrieved, and its healing magic will likely go a long way to restoring Equestria to what it once was, but almost all of the ponies sent to find it are killed, and the two survivors are both haunted by what they experienced for the rest of their lives, in two different ways.
  • Black Comedy:
    East Cost: Have fun, stay safe, and if a little blue marker disappears, and you hear my pained, foalish screams of terror, please tell Trinity to find a good necromancer.
  • But Thou Must!: A voice tells Noria to go to the Overmare’s Office, through the Atrium. Noria decides that she wants to go to the Pipbuck Storage Area first, but the voice just tells her to go the Overmare’s Office.
    Noria: Great, I can't go where I want to.
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  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Trinity, you are so random.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Diamond Pick is eaten alive by the Darkness, and East Cost is frozen while being choked and pulled into the void.
  • Cyborg: Over half the player characters.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Sleet Gray.
  • Death Trap: The stable, naturally. It’s mentioned how many ponies came looking for the place and never returned.
  • Demonic Possession: A piece of the Darkness becomes a part of Sleet Gray after she tries to freeze it. It's the only bit of the Darkness to survive when the stable is destroyed.
    • Gives her a perk.
      • Scarred by the Abyss: You've looked into the Abyss, and it's looked into you. And like it or not, it raped you with its eyes. You will no longer be threatened by any sort of dark manifestation. They see you as one of them, because you kind of are. Your body is warped due to your exposure.
        When at full hp, it will simply look like a very odd splash of black coating. It will look natural... Almost.
        At 3/4ths hp it will begin to look like a shadow has been cast on those areas of your body.
        At 1/2hp it will begin to actively avoid light by spreading across your body, you will also hear the voice of the void.
        At 1/4 hp it will bubble in light and actively shift around in the areas where you are tainted.
        At 10% hp it will grow tendrils and attempt to kill any threat to it. Light, living things and it will not kill you, but it will attempt to knock you unconscious for your own safety.
        At 5 % hp it will engulf your entire body, and take over, using your body for as long as it takes for you to regenerate to a quarter of your hp, or until sunrise, whichever comes first. You will have no active memory of the things you do in this state, but you may relive them in nightmares or be forced to remember them by your shadow half.
        You will have persistent nightmares until the day you die, and perhaps not even then will they stop.
        You also have a connection with the void. This gives you a multitude of powers you don't fully understand or can control.
        You have a shadow half of yourself effectively giving you schizophrenia. It always sees the worst in you, brings out the worst in you, but is not overtly evil to you, or anyone else. It's only purpose is to make you question all of your actions and truly hate yourself. It only ever tends to agree with you when your life is on the line.
  • Due to the Dead: Sleet Gray closes East Cost’s eyes after he’s killed.
  • Eaten Alive: Diamond Pick.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The stable itself is very large, and many parts aren't visited during the story.
    • This stable was made to be a museum. Art, artefacts, technology, even the ponies in here... This place was designed to keep everything in here safely locked inside... Apparently most of them didn't know they were sharing this prison with... Something else.
  • Eldritch Location: The stable is this, even by Fallout: Equestria standards.
  • Fangirl
    • Lightning towards Twilight Sparkle.
    • Lemon Strudle towards Cadence.
  • Friend or Foe: Nero’s Echo Locator can determine if something is there, but not whether or not it’s hostile.
  • Hope Spot: At the end of the story:
    • The darkness within the stable met a permanent end here, at least here that is. There will always be a darkness in the cold of night, but at least for now... The boogeyman is gone.
  • Irony: Nero finds a magazine titled "Ten tricks on how to pick a tough lock" immediately after losing a lockpick on a tough lock.
  • MacGuffin: The Crystal Heart.
  • Mind Rape: How the Shadow chooses to operate if it doesn’t just try to kill you outright.
  • Named Weapons:
    • Sleet Gray’s custom magical incineration pistol, Black Powder.
    • The Lazer Phaser.
  • Non-Player Character:
    • Quick Buck- An earth pony merchant of the unsavoury type. He financed this whole venture. It's clear he's hiding something though, something more than perhaps a shady past.
      • East Coast- A unicorn scientist and doctor joined the expedition in the hope of getting the stable up and running to use as a sort of massive clinic. He wears a Followers of Fluttershy lab coat with armored plates.
      • Trinity- An awkward, brash unicorn mare who seems to follow East wherever he may go. She apparently is his assistant and is far less opposed to violence then her employer. She's a cyberpony with cybernetics that redefine advanced.
      • Debonaire- A genius, millionaire, philanthropist with a flair for old word clothing, this unicorn seemingly is here to remind Buck that Debonaire did more than most of the actual financing for this trip, and that Buck simply brought everyone together. Whenever asked about the purpose for the excursion he always laughed warmly and cleverly changed the subject.
      • Mirage- Brilliant, seductive, pragmatic, and bitchy are great words to describe this Zebra scientist. She spent most of her time arguing with East Coast, then trying to sleep with him. She's a beauty with a brain and never answered why she was on this expedition.
      • Diamond Pick- A looney old cutter who led everyone in. There seemed nothing wrong with this tannish unicorn besides the way he didn't want to be anywhere near this place, and frequently talked about how many ponies came looking for this place and never returned.
  • Player Character:
    • Nero- A male unicorn cyberpony.
      • Lightning- A pegasus mare cyberpony.
      • Noria- An earth pony mare cyberpony, with cybernetics more advanced than any other.
      • Sleet Gray- A pegasus mare, who keeps her wings hidden under a coat sleeve.
      • Sky Lock- A changeling.
  • Put on a Bus: Quick Buck, Debonaire, and Sky Lock all appear once and are then never heard from again.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The members of the expedition all come from radically different backgrounds and all have their own reasons and motivations for being there.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Is one for the original Fallout: Equestria.
  • Red Herring: Near the beginning of the story, Lightning picks up a key and puts it in her saddlebag. Towards the end of the story, she comes across a locked door that she can’t hack or pick, so she tries the key she picked up. It doesn’t work.
  • Sadistic Choice: Lightning has to make the choice of either destroying the Darkness but losing the Crystal Heart, and destroying the Darkness and saving the Crystal Heart but killing everyone else. She chooses the latter.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Sleet Gray.
  • Sequel Hook: “With the Crystal Heart in tow, history awaits your decision. What will be done about the heart, is a story for another day...”
  • Ship Tease: Nero and Trinity.
  • Shout-Out
    • The Darkness is implied to be a remnant of King Sombra’s magic.
    • When Lightning turns on the light on her Pipbuck, the light creates a safe zone of light for a radius of 85 centimetres from the Darkness. This is a reference to Byakuya Kuchiki’s Bankai from Bleach, which has a safe zone of 85 centimetres.
    • Nero remarks that a certain weapon looks like it was made in Pinkie’s dungeon, having heard stories of the notorious Pinkamena Diane Pie. Sounds kind of like a certain fanfiction…
  • Talking to Themself: Most of the characters, since they spend most of the story on their own.
  • The Needs of the Many: In the end, Lightning chooses to sacrifice the lives of the ponies in the stable in order to destroy the Darkness and save the Crystal Heart, instead of using the Crystal Heart to destroy the Darkness, which would have saved the ponies in the stable, but lost (or even destroyed) the Crystal Heart forever. With the Crystal Heart retrieved, it can be used to heal the wasteland and save many more lives.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Mirage is extremely manipulative, condescending, and is readily willing to kill the other members of the expedition if it means getting what she wants. Whenever she helps someone else, it’s ultimately just to help further her own goals.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Cadences’ Kiss for Lightning.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: A mysterious voice speaks to Noria in her mind, telling her to get to the Overmare’s Office, and based on how it sounds, it’s likely not the Darkness. May be Cadence.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The Darkness’ illusions, if you’re not smart enough to see through them.

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