Rainbow Brite and the War of Darkness is a three-part fanfic based off of the 1980s cartoon Rainbow Brite. It was written in 1999, first published in 2000, and finished in 2005.
The story starts several years after the adventures of the cartoon. Brian is now an adult with a wife and kid, however Rainbow Brite and the Color Kids are still as eternally youthful-looking as ever. Starlite has recently retired of old age and Twink has passed, but there's a new Twink to take up the mantle. One particularly boring day, Rainbow gets an ominous message from her old friend Plonk describing his death. This kickstarts the trilogy.
Rainbow Brite and the War on Darkness began life as the author's ideas for a second season. He had outlined an entire 24-episode second season and had wanted to submit it to Hallmark, however the division that made Rainbow Brite had been shut down already. Eventually the writer began expanding on his outlines until it became a story on the origins of various things in the series called Rainbow Brite and the Quest for the Past. Some elements remain in the final fic, however the original idea only lasted a few chapters before being scrapped. After discovering other Rainbow Brite fans online, he was inspired to revise and complete the story.
Rainbow Brite and the War on Darkness provides examples of:
- Adaptational Intelligence: Rainbow mentions that the cartoon erroneously made Lurky into an idiotic Minion with an F in Evil. The real Lurky was dangerous and intimidating, but he eventually ran away because he didn't have the same malicious desires as Murky.
- Adaptational Jerkass/Adaptational Villainy:
- Murky and Lurky (especially Lurky) are bumbling antagonists in the cartoon. This story mentions that the "real" Murky and Lurky are genuinely evil people.
- The man Sorrell the Sorcerer is based on is nothing like his cartoon version. He's a powerful amoral magician.
- Adaptational Name Change:
- Downplayed. Murky's full name is "Murkwell".
- The Dark Princess is just called "the Princess".
- Adaptational Species Change:
- Lurky's species is unclarified in canon. Here he's a mutated Sprite.
- In the show, Rainbow is clearly shown to have been a human child named "Wisp". In this story, she's explicitly not a human. She's the same species as the Color Kids.
- Age Lift: The "real" Krys is an adult, not a Kid Hero as depicted in the cartoon.
- Alliterative Family: There's Krys and his older sister Krystina.
- Continuation: It's a darker unofficial sequel to Rainbow Brite.
- Dark Fic: Downplayed. The first chapter notes that Brian's cartoon based on Rainbowland wasn't accurate to reality. Most was fluffy fantasy. The reality of the events was too dark for kids. Rainbow Brite and the War of Darkness depicts the real story behind Rainbow Brite. It's not anything too mature and is still kid's cartoon levels of graphic, but it's darker than the original cartoon.
- Dead Guy Junior: "Twink" is essentially a title. Sprites are a short-lived species. Every generation, a new all-white Sprite is born to take over the mantle of "Twink".
- FaceHeel Turn: Subverted. Patty seemingly betrays Rainbow, but it's quickly shown that she's possessed.
- Fear of Thunder: The last Twink had a fear of thunder. As a result, he hated interacting with Stormy.
- Flanderization: Rainbow notes that Murky's fictionalized version became goofier and more incompetent as the episodes went by.
- Generation Xerox: Brian has a son named Brian Junior who is ten years old and looks a lot like himself. Junior learns of Rainbowland's existence and begins visiting it.
- Lighter and Softer: In-universe, this is what the Rainbow Brite cartoon is to reality. It's mainly a fantasy aimed at children, with minimal relation to the actual events.
- MayflyDecember Friendship:
- Sprites are short-lived, while Rainbow is all-but immortal. Rainbow has befriended many Twinks since arriving at Rainbow Land.
- Starlite's species of horses is long-lived but not as long-lived as the Color Kids. Starlite has already retired of old age.
- Named by the Adaptation: The Dark Princess is named Krystina.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Plock's mysterious death kickstarts the story.
- Puppy Love: Subverted. Canary Yellow and Red Butler are a couple who look like children. However, they're considered adults in their species.
- Really 700 Years Old:
- Rainbow looks about eight years old but she's actually several million years old. She's considered an adult for her species, but just barely.
- Starlite is nearly as old as Rainbow, but he isn't of The Ageless like her. He's simply long-lived. He's nearing the end of his lifespan.
- Murky is from a long-lived species. He ultimately aged past his prime and died trying to attack Rainbow.
- Related in the Adaptation: Krys is the younger brother of the Princess.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Moonglow is spelled both "Moonglow" (the official way) and "Moonglo" (a misspelling from a VHS).