Follow TV Tropes

Following

Fanfic / Spectrum

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spectrum_cover_by_grace_2.png

"We're not going to make the same mistakes this time. Sure, we'll probably make new ones. But not the same ones. I may not be the best person to offer help... yet I'm someone who can help, all the same."
Cap. Alexander Reiner
Advertisement:

Spectrum is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic by Team Spectrum, a group of authors headed by Sledge115. Comprising the team are VoxAdam and RoyalPsycho, as well as formerly TheIdiot, Doctor Fluffy, Kizuna Tallis, ProudToBe, TB3, Jed R and The Void. Following the discontinuation of The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum, it serves as the main story in a Continuity Reboot of the Spectrumverse.

On a beautiful day of sight-seeing in the Everfree Forest, Lyra Heartstrings stumbles across the Tree of Harmony and witnesses a magical portal release a creature such as she has always wished to meet - a human. Yet wonder soon gives way to fear as the human, a soldier named Alexander Reiner, reveals that his homeworld of Earth is under threat... by Queen Celestia, and a corrupted Equestria.

Advertisement:

Upon learning that the human race is faced with the Sadistic Choice between extinction or the total enslavement that is Conversion, Princess Celestia, Lyra Heartstrings and the Bearers of Harmony vow to come to the aid of the alliance between mankind and humanity's sympathizers, and hopefully, uncover the source of the madness which has taken hold of the fallen Celestia...

What starts off as a spin on The Conversion Bureau gradually evolves into an Ultimate Universe of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and MLP Generation 4, packing in elements from the comic books, the tie-in storybooks and the 2017 Movie alongside several familiar concepts from the fandom, such as Human-in-Equestria, Ponies-on-Earth, G1-to-G4, a Solar Empire or a hidden sister of Celestia and Luna's, all with the stated purpose of tying them together into one cohesive whole.

Advertisement:

Side-stories in this 'verse include:

Equus

  • A Sun in Winter, by Sledge115 and VoxAdam. A distant prequel to the series as a whole, recounting the childhoods of Celestia and Luna in the Reindeer Kingdom of Adlaborn.
    • Joy to the Worlds, by VoxAdam, TB3 and Sledge115. The tale of a fateful battle on the last Hearthswarming Eve and the destruction of Adlaborn on Imperial Equus.
    • Snowbound, by DoctorFluffy. In the wake of Joy to the Worlds, PHL troops investigate the source of a mysterious signal in Alaska.
  • The First Second of Eternity, by Sledge115. Another distant prequel to the story, telling the story of a lonely watcher and her centuries-long vigil over Equestria.
  • In Night's Garden, by Sledge115. Princess Luna's life and times, connected by the thread of her gardens.
  • The Rose of Florentina, by Sledge115. The story of Princess Celestia and her first meeting with the long-lost heir to the Crystal Realm, and the life-changing decision she has to make.
  • Wallflower of Canterlot, by Sledge115. Little Wallflower Blush's quiet life in her flower shop is interrupted by the Princess' personal student, Sunset Shimmer.
  • Celestia Regina, by Sledge115. Fresh off the loss of her younger sister, Princess Celestia steps forth to quell a rebelling city - but all is not what it seems.

Earth

  • Story of the Asian Front, by Kizuna Tallis. The reboot of the Asia Side-Story of the original Spectrum.
  • The Slow Mutants, by DoctorFluffy. A long-converted human, who is gradually losing their identity, goes on a search for salvation.
  • The Light Despondent, Remixed, by DoctorFluffy. A rewrite of the original Spectrumverse side-story centered on Viktor Kraber's defection from the HLF.
  • Dissonance, by RanOutOfIdeas. A story centered around a PER unit and the moral quandaries which they face every day.
  • Starvation, by DoctorFluffy. A horror tale about starving refugees in Brazil.

A timeline of "Prime" or "Sunny" Equestria can be found here, with unmarked spoilers up to Act II's ending. You have been warned.

Tropes (beware of unmarked spoilers):

    open/close all folders 

     Main Story 

First Published: May 26th, 2017

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Princess Celestia, compared to her less calm and collected depiction in the original story, with the authors themselves stating that one of the first changes they made while conceiving the reboot was to avert the less-than-flattering treatment given to her in the classic Spectrum.
      DoctorFluffy: "You know how I always complained about Celestia's characterization in the original story, and you probably did too? Well, not anymore! Coming in this fic, a new and better version of her! Written by people that actually like her! With depth, and resemblance to her show persona! WOW! I have consistently told my friends that if there was anything I could change about the main story, it would be that. And now I can!"
    • The Solar Empire in general is much more cunning and competent compared to its depiction in the original story.
    • Archmage Twilight is considerably more competent and dangerous compared to her original story counterpart, and despite ultimately losing the fight, still manages to hold her own against and injure Luna.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: The final part of Act I, which steadily introduces more and more elements familiar to the show-watchers post-Season 3. In the space of several chapters, Ember, Thorax, Pharynx, Queen Novo and the hippogriffs, and the Abyssinians are all introduced and play a role in Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima").
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • For all the good it's done for her, Diamond Tiara is briefly mentioned by Cheerilee as having attempted to organize a resistance against the Empire.
    • Sunny Blueblood is also given this treatment, being given an important role to the story and a much less obnoxious characterization from the get-go.
    • The HLF this time around is much more friendly and heroic. Justified, in that there are a few HLF splinter groups, and the ones Luna and Cadance encounter happen to be the friendly, Spader-aligned HLF.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: A downplayed example. In contrast to how Megan was in the original story with regards to Marcus, Megan here has a much frostier relationship with Alex.
  • Adaptational Name Change: The Crystal Empire here is renamed the Crystal Realm.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Not that he's a gentle flower, but Alex can best be described as Marcus with the rough edges and vicious streak toned down. This was very much intentional.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Imperial Redheart is one such case. Word Of God says that this, and any other cases of it that appear in the story, were done due to Rule of Drama, as a reminder of how seemingly good people can join evil causes. Fluffy relates one brainstorming session describing this reasoning as such:
    Fluffy: But please, for the love of god, we cannot let the PHL get all the background ponies and one episode wonders that everyone likes. It was like a minor itch compared to several broken bones but it still annoyed me.
    Sledge: (Sarcastically) They have a name, ergo, they must be good.
    Fluffy: I don't know how I can respond to that. But it dampens the effect of EEEEVIL coming to Equestria if only the nameless faceless masses fall in line, the jerks seem to have always stayed, and the mane cast (and celestia) are there because brainwashing. Anyone can fall victim to the lies of an evil person. It's not just people you don't care about, it could even be your friends.
    • Queen Celestia mentions zebras, crystal ponies and hippogriffs among her Empire's ranks. And unlike the original, the Crystal Empire isn't said to be a dystopian nightmare - the prevalence of crystal-based technology imply that they are instead willing collaborators and the key reason why the Empire has magitek superior to humanity's.
    • Chapter Sixteen ("An Angel's Wings") reveals that Spike is in service to the Empire, though not by choice.
    • In the original story, Sombra was portrayed as a student of Luna's who grew to be resentful thanks to his Unrequited Love for her. Here, he killed her descendant, Princess Amore, and wiped out most of her family. This resulted in Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon, thanks to a combination of jealousy over her sister and her grief over her family's destruction.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The main human character of the original Spectrum story, Marcus Renee, has been cut out of this new continuity, partly due to the authors figuring it would be in poor taste to use a character that was clearly important to Redskin122004 after having split from him on acrimonious terms and partly because some (especially Jed and Fluffy) were just tired of writing him. He's replaced with Alexander Reiner.
    • The story overall tones down the use of crossovers, relegating them to Shout Outs for the most part - as an example, there's no indication that Time Turner is the Doctor. Another case is the crew from Grand Theft Auto V, due to the authors feeling that their inclusion didn't fit the overall tone of the story.
    • Jacqueline Dionna Reitman, the founder of the PER in the original Spectrum, will be cut out as well. Replacing her is Dr. Caitlyn North, the doctor who made the ponification potion available for public use.
    • Related to the removal/rewriting of Marcus Renee, his brother Jacob has been removed as well. The Archmage here instead has feelings for Princess Luna.
  • A Day in the Limelight: While Lyra is the main protagonist, the story progressively shows more and more POV segments from various different characters. Princess Luna in particular takes center stage in Act II. See Ensemble Cast below.
  • Aerith and Bob: Among those who attend Ambassador Heartstrings' speech to establish the Greater Pan-Equine Co-Harmony Sphere, we have Queen Novo, Malikah Ylam bint-Karistal, Princess Cadance of the Crystal Realm, Duke Nibiru and Duchess Silili, Prefect Dondola, Prince Abraxas... and Gaspard of Griffonstone.
  • Always Someone Better: Imperial Cadance (who's a "Lady" rather than a Princess) initially isn't too thrilled that Sunny Cadance is everything that she is, and significantly more, as she's just a pegacorn while the Princess is a full-fledged alicorn.
  • Alternate Universe: Both the Imperial and Sunny Timelines count as such. The Sunny Timeline in general seems to generally follow the show canon with several Broad Strokes that makes it an amalgam of the show, the comics, and even the chapter books. The Imperial timeline, meanwhile, diverged from the Sunny Timeline at an unknown point, sometime before Season 2. It's strongly hinted that it's all because their Cadance never ascended to become an alicorn.
  • Anachronic Order: "Child of Crystal", the second Interlude, has a Framing Device set before Act II.
  • And I Must Scream: Zig-zagged. On one hand, the Archmage seems to be oblivious to what actually is going on in reality, living an idyllic life in her mind. Show her the truth, however, and this trope starts to kick in as she becomes aware of the truth behind the Empire.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Archmage Twilight wasn't exactly happy to see her Lyra or Luna defect from the Empire - but she still mourns their death and Taken for Granite fate, respectively.
  • Anti-Magic: Orichalcum metal, rare enough as it is, is forged by the Empire into anti-magic weapons to negate powerful magical users. They are so rare only high-ranking Imperials wield them - The Archmage and Weaver each carry one sword, in order to dispatch Princess Luna and Imperial Sint Erklass, respectively.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: Boston is a far cry from its pre-war self, being turned into a desolate warzone contested between humanity (represented by UNAC) and the Solar Empire.
  • Arc Villain: Each Act has one, with Queen Celestia as the overall Big Bad:
    • Act I has Redheart, seeking to prevent Sunny Equestria from joining the fray.
    • Act II has Archmage Twilight taking on the role, being sent to Boston to deal with Princess Luna.
    • Act III brings in Weaver and the Storm King.
  • Arc Words: Luna's promise to the Archmage sums up Sunny Equestria's plan and commitment; "We'll make it right."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Celestia asks her sister the reclusive, stoic Galena about the sort of life she's led. It takes a good few moments for Galena to claim she does not understand the question. Galena's side story reveals she's lying.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The Mane Six (especially Twilight) and Lyra play a much bigger role in this story than they did in the original.
    • Ana Bjorgman was a fairly prominent, but ultimately supporting character in the original story's Hostage Crisis arc and a minor side character from the side story Adrift. Here, she's the second human POV character to appear.
    • The Archmage was once just one of the Dragons for Queen Celestia in Boston. Now she's the primary antagonist of the equivalent arc.
    • Princess Cadance suffered from a case of Out of Focus in the original. Here, not only does she play a crucial role in defeating the Empire at Boston, she's also the first Sunny Equestrian to deal in diplomacy with mankind, and as it turns out, her counterpart's lack of alicornhood may be the single key difference between their worlds.
  • Bad Omen Anecdote: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy shares an anecdote about a 'death tree', explaining the legend of a group of pegasus soldiers who rested near it and were never seen again. A few moments later, Alex Reiner shows up.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • A human, almost identical in description to Marcus Renee, is sent to Equestria. Except he's not Marcus.
    • A mysterious Eldritch Abomination is confronted by Discord, but the identity of it isn't the big reveal of Chapter Five ("Understanding Dawns"), in contrast to the original story. Rather, it's who comes after that's the big one - Celestia and Luna's missing sister.
    • Luna and Discord find themselves 'invited' as guests of Queen Celestia. Instead, though, they meet with Archmage Twilight.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Celestia, who almost single-hoofedly shut down Alex in his tirade while he's threatening Fluttershy. It worked.
  • Big Bad: Queen Celestia serves as the main antagonist of the entire story, though each Act has its own Arc Villain.
    • By Act III, the presence of the Storm King introduces a full-on Big Bad Duumvirate, as the Storm King is regarded by many of the denizens of Equus Prime as a more worrying and immediate threat than the Solar Empire, and the Empire themselves have a history of conflict with him on their homeworld. In narrative terms, the Storm King serves as a clear and present danger to Lyra's Expedition.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Much of Act II shows the Battle of Boston.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Chapter One ("The Human"), Rainbow Dash laments her book order arriving late. Come Chapter Seven ("Unto The Breach"), she comes back to Ponyville to retrieve the order, and ends up being the deciding factor in Redheart's defeat.
    • In Chapter Two ("Friends On The Other Side"), Celestia trusts Luna to be The Cavalry if things go wrong in Ponyville. In Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me Up"), it's revealed that Luna did come to their rescue in the TCB version of the Wedding Invasion.
    • In Chapter Two, Pinkie muses about the musical numbers in the show. Come Chapter Nineteen ("When The Dust Settles"), and Luna almost breaks into song twice.
  • Book Ends: The second memory Luna views in the Archmage's mind shows Imperial Papillate treating with the Elements. The last of the apparitions in Twilight's mind to disappear is Papillate.
  • Bottle Episode: Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me Up"), apart from the beginning and end, only has Luna and Twilight in most of the chapter.
  • Bread and Circuses: The xenocidal, hyper-nationalist Solar Empire has popular domestic support and steadfast equine allies because they provide their subjects and allies with security and stability, as well as unprecedented technological advances.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Chapters Ten to Twelve wind down a little, building up to the Convocation of The Creatures. Twilight's plotline in these chapters in particular exemplifies it, as she's trying to reconnect with Moondancer.
    • Chapter Twenty-Four ("Unveiled") mostly consists of the characters in Sunny Equestria relaxing and preparing for their various tasks. Then the final scene happens, with Luna's dream-walk culminating in the realisation she shares a link with Archmage Twilight.
  • Call-Back: Celestia briefly reminiscences about her early childhood in Adlaborn, three-thousand years ago.
  • Call-Forward: The story makes references to the future seasons that have yet to occur in Spectrums time, such as;
    • Twilight trying to approach Moondancer and rekindle their old friendship in order to make up for her snubbing. Unlike canon, however, it doesn't quite work out.
    • Luna's fondness for gardening (shown in Season 7's "A Royal Problem") and subsequently Pharynx's attitude towards decorative plants.
    • Ember and Thorax bonding (shown in Season 7's "Triple Threat").
    • Gallus and Silverstream's Ship Tease throughout Season 8 is implied by the Archmage.
    • Princess Luna is just as fascinated by an email as she is by the post office.
  • The Cameo:
    • Kraber makes a brief appearance in Chapter Four ("Nightfall over Boston"), and is mentioned twice in the same chapter. He makes a full appearance in the next.
    • The Changeling trio introduced in Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima")) briefly appear in a flashback to the Canterlot Wedding Invasion in Imperial Equestria.
    • Terramar appears as one of Archmage Twilight's personal guards.
    • Silverstream is mentioned in Chapter Nineteen ("When The Dust Settles"), as the Archmage gives Captain Gallus some tips in wooing her.
    • The Sunburst of Imperial Equestria appears as Twilight's colleague and fellow researcher, first in a flashback, then in person.
    • Imperial Pipsqueak appears at the very end of Act II, to Luna's surprise.
    • Vapor Trail and Sky Stinger are briefly mentioned in Chapters Nine ("In Darkest Hour"), then show up in Chapter Twenty-One ("So Say We All") as PHL operatives.
  • Call-Back: Act II frequently refers back to both the series premiere and the Season Two episode "Luna Eclipsed", from Luna encountering Archmage Twilight on opposing sides, only this time their alignments are flipped around, to Luna reminiscing about the events of Nightmare Night, and finally, the penultimate scene of the Act, where Luna meets the counterpart of Pipsqueak.
  • Cain and Abel and Seth: In Chapter Six ("The Trinity Harmonious"), Galena is introduced as the older sister of Celestia and Luna.
  • Cassandra Truth: The Archmage insists that she had nothing to do with the fate of Adlaborn, something Luna scoffs at. Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me Up") strongly implies she really was unaware, having her memories suppressed and compartmentalised.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Luna pulls this off during the Battle of Boston, managing to rescue Cadance as the latter, unconscious, falls from the Great Equestrian.
  • Central Theme: VoxAdam has stated on a couple of occasions that he "isn't sure Spectrum has themes", but themes seem to have grown from the story as it went on, much like the garden motif which became central to Princess Luna's character. To wit;
    • Connection. Although perhaps no great surprise as a theme for a work based on Friendship is Magic, the story places greater emphasis on a holistic worldview, in which everyone's actions affect someone else, however modestly. Loneliness and the desire for connection lies also at the heart of various characters, but none less so than all three Alicorn Sisters in different ways — right down to how Celestia and Luna never knew about Galena, yet she knew of and long wished to meet them.
    • Grief. Interestingly enough, perhaps only half of the characters' experiences' with grief in the story correlate directly to the war. Life itself and the march of time are shown to be inherent catalysts for sorrow and regret, and the question arises of where one should strike a balance between cherishing the past and accepting the future.
    • Individualism vs. Collectivism. If everyone is connected, and yet personal pains are inevitable, where does a person's worth lie? Again, while either side is depicted as having its positive qualities, both of the primary antagonistic parties in the story showcase the negatives of taking these to extremes, be it the veneer of utopianism enforced by the Solar Empire or the hyper-capitalism of the Storm King.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Archmage Twilight has an unseen appearance in Chapter Seven ("Unto The Breach"), giving the order to Redheart to retrieve Alex's locket by letter. She has a much more significant role come Act II, serving as the primary antagonist for that Act.
    • Prismia is mentioned briefly in Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima") as an important factor in how Cadance became an alicorn. This comes back in Chapter Nineteen ("When The Dust Settles"), when it's revealed that Lady Cadance doesn't even know Prismia. Then, the second Interlude ("Child of Crystal") explores Cadance's past and explains Prismia's involvement with her. Here, it's revealed that Prismia is none other than another alicorn, even older than Galena is.
    • The Storm King is often mentioned in the background, as a constant threat shadowing several other nations. Then, in "Child of Crystal", it's revealed that it was he who orphaned Cadance, seeking to take her power for himself, and Chapter Twenty-Six ("Here's To You") introduces him as the Arc Villain, seeking to pursue Lyra's Expedition for an as-of-yet unknown reason.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The original Spectrum used Nightmare Moon as a power boost Superpowered Evil Side for Luna in battling the Tyrant's clone, and had Sombra as former student of hers that turned evil because Luna didn't return his feelings. Here, Sombra murdered Luna's family in the Crystal Realm, something that indirectly led to Luna turning into Nightmare Moon out of her jealousy towards her sister and her rage and grief over losing her family.
  • Condescending Compassion: Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me up") reveals that this is why major environmentalists and environmental organisations didn't support the Empire, then-Equestria, before the war began. Equestria's offers to provide another world for them to live in is taken as a slight, because it meant that they would have to abandon the cause they championed in favor of an easy way out that doesn't really solve the entire issue in the first place.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Alex, though he's more cool-headed than Marcus was. Unlike the original story, however, none of the ponies are driven to becoming a sobbing mess like Celestia was then, even if they're still horrified by it. Luna also doesn't turn into Nightmare Moon after viewing Twilight's memories.
  • Continuity Nod: Has its own page.
  • Continuity Reboot: Of the original Other Side of the Spectrum.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The Solar Empire, obviously. A widely-beloved alliance between the various equine people of Equus, built on the basis of technological advances, mutual corporation, and genocide. Prime Equus, on the other hand, is a lesser case. Equestria is a Sugar Bowl, but the rest of the world varies from place to place.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: The Krampus is referred to in the present tense three-thousand years later by Celestia. It's a Sealed Evil in a Can who may know what is going on behind the scenes of Imperial Equus.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: In that it's incredibly grotesque; the necrotic spell used by Imperial Guards is said to be this, to the point that Sunny Equestria has forbidden it from being used by non-Guards.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Alex has a less-than-stellar relationship with his mother due to him reminding her too much of her late husband and playing obvious favorites with his half-sister, and Chapter Five ("Understanding Dawns") shows he's done some unsavory things throughout the war that weight heavily on his conscience.
  • Dawn of an Era: The end of the Crystal War was this for what would become the Solar Empire, as it kicked off an era of technological progress and peaceful expansion of the Equestrian hegemony on Equus. And then came Earth, and the Conversion War.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Whereas The Other Side Of The Spectrum put heavy focus on deconstructing everything, including the show's Sugar Bowl setting by liberally applying a Darker and Edgier take on the backstory, Spectrum takes a slightly different approach. Verisimilitude still applies and Sunny Equestria acknowledge their inexperience with war, but then proceed to embrace their idealism anyway. On that note, Spectrum also has a closer-to-canon emphasis in its backstory.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: There are some differing cultural norms between the people of Equus and standard Westernised twenty-first-century Earth.
    • The age of accountability, e.g. of legal adulthood, is universally recognised as sixteen. Princess Ember, having just turned that old, gets chosen by the dragons as their delegate to the Convocation of the Creatures.
    • Nor is being put to work prior to adult age that uncommon, as the Kirin-funded expedition to the Sunken Dream Valley has crewmates as young as thirteen working aboard ship. Galena's observation of this indicates it isn't the norm in Equestria, at least, but still more prevalent in other parts of their world.
    • Saddle Mareabia greatly invokes this trope. While a matriarchy, their culture is nevertheless polygamous. The fosterage of children from one upper-class family to another for political purposes is also treated as a completely normal practice.
    • Played more humorously with the lack of a nudity taboo on Equus, since Prince Blueblood fails to notice anything unusual about a sunbathing Ana Bjorgman.
  • Demoted to Extra: Downplayed; Alex is still the main human character, but he plays a Supporting Leader role, appearing only once as a POV character. The humans in general are less focused on compared to the original story, with Sunny Equestrians taking centre stage (chiefly Lyra and Luna).
  • Despair Event Horizon: A species-wide example. By 2024, with no clear end to the war, most of humanity, as Hanne notes, is on the brink of giving up fighting altogether.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Faced with the Lord of Chaos himself, the Imperials do the logical thing—blindside him with their crystal technology and turn him to stone.
  • Disappointed in You: Sunny Luna is none too impressed with Archmage Twilight taking the Queen's words at face value, directly contrasting her usual scientific methods.
  • Distant Prologue: The prologue takes place centuries before the main story begins properly.
  • Doorstopper: 550,000 words and counting. Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima") clocks in at 50,000 words. Forunately, most of the other chapters are a good deal shorter, though still numbering 15,000 words on average.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Like in the original Spectrum, Imperial Equestria feels a lot like Nazi Germany, but a more overt comparison is made to Imperial Japan as well this time around, with the "Pan-Equine Co-Harmony Sphere" as a cornerstone of the Empire.
    • Imperial Twilight suggesting that mankind should move to Equestria touches on the idea that humanity should look towards other planets like Mars instead to resettle.
    • A devastating attack on a major city leads to a long campaign of retaliation against the perpetrators that also results in the slow erosion of civil liberties, such as the implementation of mass surveillance on its own populace. The post-Canterlot Wedding Imperial Equestria, or The War on Terror?
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted. Chrysalis' use of Thorax as a footstool, while absurd and almost cartoony in its image, is rightfully treated as abuse, and Ember is discomforted by the image.
  • Do You Trust Me?: During Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me Up"); in the Archmage's mind,Luna asks this to her, adding to the quasi-romantic tone of their relationship. the Archmage says yes.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In Chapter Twenty-Four ("Unveiled"), Princess Luna's dreamwalk turns into this when she has a vision of alicorn Twilight.
  • Driving Question: A few are scattered throughout the story;
    • How and why did the Solar Empire turn to evil?
    • Who is the Architect?
    • Whatever happened to Megan Williams?
    • Who was Cadance's mother?
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Deconstructed. Icewind's compulsion to help Redheart is a Tragic Mistake - since he chooses to help Imperial Redheart.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Sunburst appears in passing throughout Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me Up"), before he makes his proper debut in Chapter Twenty-Three ("Castles In The Air").
  • Enemy Mine: Queen Chrysalis sets aside her hostilities with Equestria to attend the Convocation. Doesn't stop her from acting like a Jerkass, though.
  • Ensemble Cast: While the story still has Lyra as the main protagonist, it gives plenty of POV segments to many others, including Twilight, who takes a more prominent role as Deuteragonist while her Evil Counterpart serves as Act II's Arc Villain, and Princess Luna, who is the central (and titular character) of Act II.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Upon finding Redheart unconscious at her home, Bonbon puts two and two together, takes aside Icewind that she's come to the conclusion that they have a Changeling situation. The actual situation is... a bit more complicated than that.
  • Everyone Can See It: By Chapter Twenty-Six ("Here's To You"), it's become abundantly clear to everyone else that Luna likes Twilight.
  • Exposition Cut: In Chapter One ("The Human"), Twilight's explanation of the Alicorn Amulet is interrupted by a scene of Lyra, and we only see the end of it.
  • Expy: Alexander Reiner replaces Marcus Renee as the Commander of the PHL although according to the authors, he will be playing a different role overall.
  • Extremely Short Timespan:
    • Act I, approximately 270,000 words long, takes place over two weeks. Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima"), which is 50,000 words long, takes place over three days.
    • Act II, approximately 150,000 words long, takes place over two days.
  • Faeries Don't Believe in Humans, Either: Except for Lyra and a few other eccentrics, no one in Equestria saw humans as anything other than creatures of legend... then the story begins.
  • Fallen Hero: The entire Solar Empire and the Co-Harmony Sphere they lead. It started off as a well-intentioned alliance against figures like Chrysalis and Sombra, while championing a technological Golden Age in Equestria. By 2024, however, they're locked in a xenocidal campaign against humanity, becoming the very villains they swore to destroy, and deep down, they've been subjected to heavy mental manipulation, or at least people like Twilight Sparkle to force them to commit atrocities.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Empire isn't exactly fond of humanity. Even the more benign Imperials, like Scootaloo and Whistle Stop, couldn't help but laugh at a racist joke made at their expense.
  • The Federation: Imperial Equestria used to lead one of these, consisting of many equine nations. Nowadays, while their allies remain, it's more of The Empire with a Federation paint job.
  • Final Solution: The Empire's ongoing war against humanity is centered on one, and they've already wiped out the Reindeer.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Luna aggressively demands to know Imperial Spike's fate to Twilight, before he emerges to join the battle by Twilight's side
  • For Want of a Nail: The Imperial Equestria's timeline is drastically altered thanks to a few pivotal events. Chapter Nineteen ("When The Dust Settles") hints it all stemmed from their Cadance having never ascended to alicornhood.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • Chapters Four and Nine take place on Earth instead of Equestria, from two new viewpoints - Cheerilee and Ana Bjorgman.
    • Act II, appropriately titled Moonrise, shifts the focus to Princess Luna, moves the setting to Boston, and is in general a much more fast-paced arc compared to Act I.
    • "Child of Crystal", the interlude prior to Act III, is written in the style of a fairy tale, framed by Cadance telling Alex the story of how she became an alicorn.
  • Future Badass:
    • Ambassador Lyra Heartstrings is one to Lyra, having been one of the chief architects in the Co-Harmony Sphere, led diplomatic efforts on Earth, and finally became the leader of the PHL movement.
    • One of the Royal Guards in Chapter Six ("The Trinity Harmonious") would go on to serve the Empire and die a heroic death on Earth, according to Imperial Redheart.
  • Genre Roulette: The story, though essentially an epic war fantasy, frequently changes genre, with the shift being subtle at times, and others, not so much. Act I is primarily a fantasy drama, but it has dabbled in both slice of life and war drama. Act II meanwhile takes the setting to Earth, and flips between fantasy and war drama, and touches on the political drama as well. Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me up") meanwhile slips into psychological horror in the veins of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and The Shining.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Celestia makes the decision to call on the leaders of all the other species and nations on Equus in order to prepare for the war. The meeting in full is shown in Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima").
  • Good Counterpart: The Concordat is shaping up to be one, formed in response to the Solar Empire and their Greater Pan-Equine Co-Harmony Sphere.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Crystal War is oft-mentioned as a crucial stepping stone in Equestria's transformation into the Solar Empire. In a spin of this trope, the war itself is overall a much smaller affair than the ongoing Conversion War.
  • Happily Married: To Luna's pleasant surprise, Imperial Pipsqueak has grown into a cheerful stallion and married to Imperial Dinky, with a two year old son. It drives her to shed Tears of Joy.
  • Happy Ending Override:
    • Poor Lady Cadance's marriage with Shining Armor is torn apart by the war.
    • For Megan Williams. After she grows up, Megan meets and marries a soldier, who gets killed during the Gulf War. She remarries, but has a strained relationship with her son Alex, favoring her daughter Maxine. Now, with Imperial Equestria's appearance on Earth and the war, she has since disappeared to parts unknown, leaving her son and daughter wondering what became of her.
    • The end of the Crystal War and the Golden Age that followed is seemingly Equestria's own happy ending... then came Earth, the war, and the Empire.
  • The Heavy: Imperial Redheart serves as this role for Queen Celestia and the Empire as a whole, at least at the start.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Non-romantic example. Luna discovers, and is moved to tears, by a grown-up Pipsqueak, alive and well, raising a family together with Dinky Hooves in the PHL.
  • The Hero: Sunny Lyra Heartstrings, in contrast to Marcus for the original story.
  • Hopeless War: By 2024, things really aren't looking good for humanity, with society being on the brink of collapse due to the ongoing refugee crisis and still no closer to destroying the Barrier. All the Empire has to do is sit behind it and wait.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Imperial Redheart seemingly comes close to a Heel–Face Turn in Chapter Six ("The Trinity Harmonious"), but the moment passes and she resolves to kill Alex.
    • Luna gets really close to convincing the Archmage to defect. And since the PHL weren't informed of her plan, Ana ends up nearly killing the Archmage and ruins the entire plan on accident.
  • How We Got Here: The front half of Chapter Fourteen ("Silent Night") begins forty-five minutes before the back half.
  • Hyperlink Story: Characters and sub-plots in Spectrum all connect with one another in some form. While it may not reach the extent of You All Share My Story, in that not all characters will interact or even be aware of each other, everyone is closer than they may realise.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the drastically altered timelines, some canon events still happen, just out of order;
    • Thorax and Ember still meet as they did in Season 7 and befriend one another.
    • In Imperial Equestria, Gallus still becomes a Guard, though serving the Empire this time around, and he still gets to know Silverstream.
  • Internal Reveal: Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima"), reveals to everyone assembled at the Convocation the true scale of the war and Alex's story.
  • It's Personal with The Dragon: While, obviously, Luna is faced with the idea that her sister could turn evil, the centerpiece of Act II is the dynamic between her and the Archmage, who is closer to her counterpart than she is to her Twilight. This leads to both of them trying to capture the other and turn them to their side, hoping to convince the other of their ways.
  • Kill and Replace: Subverted. Imperial Redheart simply incapacitates her Sunny counterpart before taking her place.
  • Kill 'Em All: The fate of the Reindeer on Imperial Equus is that of genocide and the destruction of their homeland, for reasons yet unknown. The way the Archmage talks about it, or rather, how she skirts around the topic implies that not even she knew why it happened or what happened in the first place, insisting that the Reindeer simply closed themselves off.
  • Lensman Arms Race: By 2024, one of these is ongoing in the war. The human-aligned forces possess magitek weaponry and Magic Knight soldiers among their ranks. Meanwhile, the Empire has developed advanced Newfoals, sophisticated potion grenades, and powerful WaveMotionGuns capable of destroying human armored vehicles. Chief Engineer Awesome Fire also reveals that the Empire is in possession of an even larger one.
  • Like Reality, Unless Noted: Earth has this general feel, with the point of divergence being 2016. Also, while Vladimir Putin is seemingly still the Russian President, Tim Kaine replaces Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
    • Chapter Fourteen ("Silent Night") showcases this, with a lot of real life figures mentioned in office, just not the ones they have in real life. For example, while Putin and Xi Jinping remain leaders of Russia and China, France, Great Britain and the United States each have either fictional leaders or their leaders don't actually hold the office they have.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the original, as best demonstrated by Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me Up"), the rough equivalent of the original story's "For Whom the Bell Tolls". This time around, the story uses significantly less Body Horror and Gorn imagery in favor of Nothing Is Scarier and Psychological Horror.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • Princess Cadance is actually a descendant of Luna, found by Celestia in a far away village.
    • Chapter Five ("Understanding Dawns") ends with The Reveal of Celestia and Luna's previously unknown sister Galena.
  • Make Them Rot: A necrotic spell is used liberally by the Imperial Guard. The effects on the human body are not so pretty.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The ethereal reindeer dancing in the campfire, in Chapter Nine ("Unto The Breach"). It baffles absolutely everybody who sees it.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Pinkie senses that something is wrong in Chapter Three ("They Are Us"). She should be, because it's not the Nurse Redheart they knew.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter Nineteen ("When The Dust Settles") has Luna disguise herself, and it involves her acting like a huge dork - a huge contrast to the previous chapters in Act II.
  • Mook Horror Show: Chapter Eighteen ("Moonrise Over Boston") showcases a battle between UNAC and Imperial forces, from the latter POV. It's not a pretty sight. On the flipside, though, they actually turn the tables once they reach friendly positions.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe, Galena considers the destruction of Adlaborn and the slaughter of its people to be the Empire's worst transgression, and so seeks to correct it by bringing Alex Reiner to Sunny Equestria.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: While the story, being an Anti-TCB deconstructionist story, falls squarely in the camp of "Conversion is bad and wrong" in its portrayal of the central conflict, factions and characters may range from one end of the spectrum to the other.
    • True to the source material, Equestria's Royal Family and the Element Bearers are presented as the most unambiguously "good" characters. Some form of realistic consequences, though, in how obviously out of their depth the Element Bearers and Lyra are in the face of a global conflict. As such, expecting the show's heroes to solve the crisis on their own is never even suggested – instead, Princess Celestia chooses to call on international support. Not all of the Equestrians are inclined to side with humanity, as shown with Catseye and Icewind. And while Princess Luna and Prince Blueblood are on the side of good, both are still shown to carry around a lot of emotional baggage. The closest thing to a straight up Messianic Archetype is Princess Cadance.
    • The people of Equus who gather at the Concordia are morally all over the place, but more guided as a rule by personal interest than by altruism, with the noteworthy exception of the Reindeer and Minotaurs. Both the griffons and Kirin have mercenary tendencies – literally for the former, whose representative is a throne claimant in search of legitimacy, while the Kirin are an aloof Proud Merchant Race. As represented by Princess Ember, the dragons are capable of diplomacy, yet even the "nice" Ember treats raiding as just a way of life. Finally there are the Changelings, who are led by the despotic Queen Chrysalis, but include good and honorable drones in their ranks.
    • While humanity is unjustly beset by the threat of annihilation and fighting for its right to live, individual people respond to the dire situation in a variety of ways, prone to the same failings as before the Conversion War. As an alliance of human nations, UNAC is the main force for good on Earth, yet it's hinted the old power divides subsist, even after half the West has been consumed by the Barrier. Operating outside governmental oversight are various militias who identify as HLF, who are largely benign yet often substitute being government stooges for corporate stooges, and whose image is tainted by a highly-visible minority of xenophobic fanatics.
    • The PHL were founded by Ambassador Heartstrings as a humanitarian organization and to promote harmonious co-operation between Earth and Equus. Over time, however, especially following the Ambassador's death, its paramilitary branch has grown in size and influence, to the point the PHL's detractors claim it has gained too much traction as a minor N.G.O. Superpower and is neglecting the search for a potential counter-agent to Conversion. Incidents such as the towns of Nipville and Defiance paint the PHL in an overly gung-ho light which it tries to keep hushed up. Nevertheless, the PHL retains a strong core of true, if jaded believers in the cause of harmony with humanity.
    • Furthermore, the Solar Empire is an expansionist super-power guilty of xenocide... Yet the story never lets the readers forget that, at the end of the day, these are still the Equestrians from the show, only twisted fifteen years later by external circumstances that include the toll of war and Mind Control. The Co-Harmony Sphere is essentially an alternate incarnation of where Equestria's enterprise of world-wide harmony could lead if taken over by an equine-supremacist ideology. Many individual characters on the side of Imperial Equestria are depicted sympathetically, giving back their loyalty to what they perceive as a nation that has been loyal to them.
    • And lastly there is the Storm King. Although of no great concern to humans, since his influence is not felt on Earth, everyone on Equus speaks of him as a threat to be either opposed or appeased. Equusites aligned with the Solar Empire and Co-Harmony Sphere cite their desire for protection against him. Considering the good standard of living within Imperial Equestria and the affable nature of many Imperial-aligned Equusites, if it weren't for the Conversion of humankind, the argument could easily be made for the Solar Empire representing the lesser evil when placed next to the Storm King.
  • More than Mind Control: How the Empire gains both popular support at home and in the other equine nations. In contrast to the original story, the Empire here has a softer and more subtle way of controlling its subjects, being more of a suggestion than forcing them to do anything and by twisting well intentioned ponies to do things in the name of what they believe in, Like the Archmage.
  • Morton's Fork: The Solar Empire's choices for humanity; either they submit to Equestrian rule, stripped away from everything that makes them human, or they can die with the Barrier.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Discussed briefly. Pinkie wonders if the musical numbers in the show are thanks to thaumaturgons.
  • Myth Arc: Part of Act I is dedicated to building up one, all revolving around an enigmatic figure only referred to as The Architect.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Ember and Thorax do get along just fine, even without ever having met Spike in this continuity.
    • Gallus is implied to have feelings for Silverstream, mirroring his Ship Tease with her in canon.
    • Princess Luna is just as excited with sending herself an e-mail as she is with sending Celestia a post-card in the post office
    • The Storm King's scene with Tempest Shadow is nearly the same scene word for word as G1 Tirek's first scene from Rescue at Midnight Castle.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Played With. Ana follows her orders to the letter, and she ruins Luna's attempt to redeem the Archmage. See Poor Communication Kills.
  • Nice to the Waiter:
    • Imperial Redheart treats both Royal Guards guarding Alex's room pretty well, and flirts back with one of them.
    • Likewise, the Archmage is cordial towards her Guards, and know them by name.
  • Not Himself: The conversion serum completely takes away the victim's original personality. This trope is also central to why Luna wholeheartedly believes something isn't quite right with Celestia, as all hints point to something pulling the strings.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Fluttershy is, of course, the kindest of the ponies towards Alex. Doesn't stop him from holding her by the neck in a fit of rage, though thankfully Celestia was there to stop it.
  • No Nudity Taboo: The majority of Equus generally eschews clothing, so there is virtually no taboo on nudity. The naturist Ana discovers this when Blueblood casually and in an entirely non-sexual manner talks to her while she's naked in the Hall of Unity's garden.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • Apart from their voices, we never actually do see the Imperials in Chapter Four ("Nightfall Over Boston"). At least until close to the end, and even then it's a corpse. Later, in Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima"), The Solar Tyrant herself appears through text, not in person.
    • Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me Up"). There's a whole lot of nothing in the first half of the chapter, Luna notices. Until everything unravels.
  • Not His Sled: At least to those readers familiar with the original Other Side Of The Spectrum', certain plot details turn out differently;
    • For starters, as it turns out, Discord isn't the reason Alex is transported into Sunny Equestria.
    • The Imperial leader that who with Luna and Discord in Boston is not the Clone of Queen Celestia, but Archmage Twilight Sparkle.
    • The Blue Spy never rescued Spike, leaving him under the Empire's control.
    • The reason the two Equestrias diverged wasn't because of Ambassador Heartstrings finding the Bag of Tirek, but because Lady Cadance never became an alicorn.
  • One-Man Army:
    • As Ana ironically observes, the PHL is mentioned to have this reputation by the Empire, although conversely, their influence has been reduced compared to the United Nations Allied Command.
    • Princess Luna, when she lets loose, is a formidable foe against the Imperial Guards - the only Imperials who even came close to going toe to toe with her are the Archmage and Spike.
  • Poor Communication Kills: It turns out not communicating your plans to your allies will inadvertently screw you when their plan interferes with yours. Luna learns this the hard way when Ana shoots the Archmage, as the PHL is completely unaware of her attempts to redeem the Archmage.
  • Precocious Crush: Featherweight has one on Sparkler. She's seemingly unaware of it, to his dismay.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Act II reveals that a lot of Imperial Guards and their allies aren't fanatically devoted; just normal soldiers following their orders, like Whistle Stop.
  • Realpolitik:
    • In the face of a world war, it's immediately clear that for all their exploits before, the Element Bearers (and Lyra) are out of their depth - and Princess Celestia takes charge immediately, calling for international help.
    • Despite fighting a world war and xenocide targeted at them, UNAC still consists of many separate nations with their own national interests, as Hanne notes, with command being decentralised alongside old alliances and blocs such as the US with Canada on one side and China and Russia on the other.
    • While the UK, France, and Russia are all still on the Security Council, it's noted that they're really only there because of their legacy and historical power. Russia is specifically noted to be a shadow of its former self, thanks to the destruction of European Russia where most of the population resides.
  • Reconstruction: Spectrum, while firmly anti-TCB, takes the time to give a new lease to those elements of a Conversion Bureau scenario which are the most popular targets of decontruction;
    • A common argument of anti-TCB is that Equestria at war with all the nations of Earth should turn into a Curb-Stomp Battle — with Equestria as the losing side, were it not for the Barrier, owing to the technological disparity. While the Barrier is clearly the Solar Empire's greatest asset, the invading Equestrians have had years to prepare for the war, boosted by a crystal-tech industrial revolution.
    • Here, the issue of how the other people of the ponyworld react to Equestria's actions on Earth gets headed off at the pass; by establishing the Co-Harmony Sphere, a coalition with the hippogriffs and fellow equine nations, Equestria effectively rules more than half of its homeworld in this timeline, which also lends it an increased economic and military capacity to conduct its Earth campaign.
    • How is Equestria able to support the monstrous population growth brought on by Conversion? Although it is shown to be a difficult undertaking, the Equestrians are a lot more careful about preserving the human infrastructure than is usual for the genre, strategically employing "thaumon-seeding" on buildings and other inanimate objects to protect them from the Barrier. In fact, the only reason Equestria requires a military presence at all is to stop the humans from using a scorched-earth policy.
    • The Equestrian public are kept supportive of Celestia and her military operations on Earth thanks to excellent propaganda and leisurely distractions; tight media control leads the public to believe Conversion is done with the voluntary co-operation of humanity, while the military engagements are downplayed as "skirmishes" against a minority of dissidents.
    • Lastly, although the majority of slave economies have historically proven to be unsustainable, it's a system that is shown to be nastily effective when the slaves in question are programmed to be completely willing and subservient like the Newfoals.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Chrysalis gets away with keeping Garble in a cage because she tells everyone, point-blank, that he's afflicted with a dangerous disease. Hardly anyone questions it, because it really isn't every day that one sees a dragon kept in a cage.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In the Spectrumverse, Cadance is known to be Princess Luna's long-lost grand-daughter.
    • Princess Amore and Radiant Hope are mother and daughter here, and they in turn are descended from Luna. It's strongly hinted that Cadance is Radiant's daughter as well.
  • The Reveal: Given the nature story, it's got plenty;
    • Chapter Three ("They Are Us") reveals to the ponies exactly who humanity is fighting; themselves.
    • Chapter Five ("Understanding Dawns") ends with the revelation that Celestia and Luna have a sister they never knew about.
    • Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima") brings a lot to the table; Tirek's involvement as well as Megan Williams' involvement for one.
    • Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me Up") drops these left and right, with the most prominent being the Archmage and the Empire being Brainwashed and Crazy to an enormous extent.
    • Chapter Nineteen ("When The Dust Settles") reveals that Lady Cadance doesn't even know Prismia.
    • The second Interlude, "Child of Crystal", is a tale of how Cadance ascended to alicornhood... and also reveals that Prismia herself is a very, very old alicorn, and that the Storm King murdered Cadance's birth parents.
    • Chapter Twenty-Four ("Unveiled"), reveals that Princess Luna and the Archmage have a bond in their mind.
    • Chapter Twenty-Five ("Family"), reveals that the Staff of Sacanas used to belong to Scorpan.
  • Rotating Protagonist: Lyra is the main protagonist, but as mentioned in Ensemble Cast, she isn't the only protagonist, with various POV segments from many different characters. Princess Luna takes central stage in Act II, and Word Of God says Lyra returns to this role for Act III.
  • Schrödinger's Canon: A lot of the previous Spectrumverse elements are in limbo regarding their canon status, though gradually elements of it are being reintroduced.
    • The Prologue opens on the destruction of Adlaborn, as witnessed in Joy to the Worlds.
    • "They Are Us" directly references Celestia and Luna's childhood in Adlaborn, as seen in A Sun in Winter. When prompted about whether she knows anything about humans, Celestia says that she vaguely remembers hearing tales of them from an old pegasus called Firefly.
    • "Nightfall Over Boston" re-canonizes Starvation with a few alterations, while the mentions of Stephan Bauer and the Dragons of the East confirm material to have carried over from Europe and Asia .
    • The exact canonicity of Last Train From Oblivion is in fluctuation, but it's been hinted that Pretty Privates do exist in this version of the Spectrumverse.
  • Serious Business: Galena becomes defensive when Luna expresses surprise that, of all things, she has a doctorate in geology.
    Galena: "It is a proper science, Luna. The knowledge gained is as important as any other science, thank you very much."
  • Setting Update: The story now takes place during Season 3 of the show, instead of between Seasons 2 and 3. However, there are mentions of locations and races only introduced in future seasons. In the first Earth chapter, it's confirmed that first contact occurred in 2016, setting it firmly in a different timeline compared to the original. It's finally confirmed in Chapter Fifteen ("Two Faces") that Imperial Equestria is sixteen years ahead of Sunny Equestria.
  • Sherlock Scan: Rarity deduces that Alex came from an advanced civilization just by taking a look at his garments.
  • Shout-Out: As to be expected. The pop-culture references are, however toned down compared to the original Spectrum.
    • Chapter Three ("They Are Us"):
      • Lyra explains that a prior expedition to find the mythical Sunken Dream Valley was numbered LP-426, which could also be said to count as Foreshadowing.
      • This comes in conjunction with a rather subtle Shout-Out; said expedition's ship was named the Nellie, a reference to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. In Alien, the ship is the Nostromo, itself a reference to Conrad's novel of the same name. And of course, "Heart of Darkness" is an apt descriptor of what the expedition may have found up in Dream Valley...
    • Chapter Five ("Understanding Dawns"):
    • Chapter Nine ("In Darkest Hour"):
    • Chapter Ten ("Witnesses"):
      • Frozen (2013): Ilsa Erklass makes her first appearance in the reboot, and her sister Anna is mentioned as well.
    • Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima"):
      • Progress: Luna has an abacus in her room.
      • Celestia's opening speech at the Concordia takes several cues from Commander Adama's at the end of the Battlestar Galactica (2003) miniseries.
      • A later chapter is even named "So Say We All".
    • Chapter Fourteen ("Silent Night"):
    Princess Luna: "Have no fear, people of Earth. For we are here."
  • Shown Their Work: In Chapter Seven ("Unto The Breach"), Archmage Twilight's message to the Imperial Redheart instructs her to trace Alex Reiner's heart-shaped locket by detecting "Microcrystalline Quartz, Density 2.6-2.7, RI 1544-1553". This is the scientifically accurate terminology for citrine crystal.
    • The geography of Boston is faithfully reproduced throughout Act II, albeit courtesy of plenty of Scenery Gorn.
  • Single Line of Descent: After a thousand years and a purge by King Sombra, Cadance is apparently the last living direct descendant of Princess Luna. However, Celestia notes the implausibility of it all, and wonders how Cadance really can be Luna's last scion. It's quite strongly hinted that Radiant Hope is her mother, significantly narrowing the family down.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Veers more on idealism than the original story. While the war is just as bleak as the original, both Sunny Equestria and the Solar Empire are portrayed closer to how their canon versions are; Sunny Equestria is portrayed as the living symbol of hope collectively (especially Cadance), while the Solar Empire isn't the borderline-Always Chaotic Evil they were portrayed as in the original, leaving the door open that they can be redeemed.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: King Sombra is long gone in Imperial Equestria, but the six month Crystal War he instigated led to the rise of the Solar Empire. His slaughter of Luna's family in the Crystal Realm also significantly contributed to her fall to darkness.
  • Speech-Centric Work: Owing to the focus on the wide array of characters and their relationships with one another, Spectrum features a lot of scenes in which people spend time talking, certainly more than one might expect from a War Fic.
  • Start of Darkness: The Empire's downward spiral from a benevolent kingdom to a dictatorship began with the Canterlot Royal Wedding and the Crystal War.
  • String Theory: Lyra's living room has one of these, to Bonbon's annoyance.
  • Swapped Roles: Luna first met Twilight Sparkle as Nightmare Moon, and she was freed from darkness thanks to Twilight and her friends. In Act II, this time, Luna meets the evil counterpart of Twilight, and this time around she resolves to redeem her in return.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: Celestia's pet phoenix, Philomena, has healing tears, though it's only stated to work once on each person it's used on. Philomena uses her tears to heal the Archmage's missing ear, though it's too late to regrow it.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: It helps that the devil in this case is a well-meaning Fallen Hero. Luna feels a strong sense of sympathy for the Archmage, having seen just how far she's been manipulated and twisted by Queen Celestia.
  • Take That!:
    • The yaks are conspicuously absent from the Convocation. Several chapters before then, Twilight's inner remarks encapsulates what a lot of the fandom felt about them initially;
    Twilight didn’t know what exactly her fascination was with humans – as myths went, Twilight found them rather one-note and featureless, not unlike the myths about belligerent Yaks in the Frozen North.
    • Pinkie and Rarity's discussion on what makes magic, well, magic, is a veiled one towards midichlorians:
    Pinkie: "The way Granny Pie told me, without the thaumaturgons, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of magic. They continually speak to you, telling you the will of Harmony."
    Rarity: "Actually, it kind of takes away all the mystique when you put it that way."
    • Cadance mentally compares Xi Jinping to a bear, something he infamously isn't happy about in real life and consistently mocked about.
    • The future Imperial Equestria managed to recruit plenty of Conversion test subjects from the USA because of how many people couldn't afford the country's infamously expensive healthcare.
  • Tangled Family Tree: The Equestrian Royal Family, as it turns out, typically by virtue of adoption.
    • Princesses Celestia and Luna were raised as infants by the Reindeer King, Sint Erklass, whom they nevertheless refer to by his common honorific of "Grandfather", rather than their father. The Alicorn Sisters, including Galena, were created long ago by Lady Tau Sunflare, effectively their mother. Of the three alicorns, Princess Luna was the one to have borne children and produced a dynasty, yet she prefers for her grand-daughter Cadance to call her "Aunt", same as Celestia. As it happens, Luna's husband was a Blueblood, although the present-day Prince Astron Blueblood is not descended from her. While Celestia herself never had children, she did take on the orphaned Sunset Shimmer as her adoptive daughter, as well as personal student; when Cadance was brought into Celestia's household, Sunset and she came to see each other as sisters. Lastly, when Spike was hatched, he was raised by the family of Celestia's new student, Twilight Sparkle, as a little brother, but Celestia considers him her godson. Got all that?
  • Tank Goodness: A Challenger 2 appears in Chapter Eighteen ("Moonrise Over Boston"), pinning down an Imperial outpost. Then it turns out that the Empire has figured out a counter to human-made vehicles; genetically engineered Newcalves, a hulking brute of a Newfoal.
  • Tears of Joy: Luna breaks into tears when she sees a grown-up Pipsqueak among the PHL's ranks, raising a son with his wife Dinky, and just as enthusiastic as he was when he first met Luna during Nightmare Night. It's just about the first bright spot she has, after having seen the other Celestia, Twilight, and Scootaloo all siding with the Empire.
  • Terminator Twosome: With Alexander Reiner and an evil version of Redheart. In Fluffy's own words, it was made to set the reboot distinctive from the original.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Initially, Luna is none too happy about just how far the the Archmage and the Empire has fallen, and comes close to outright killing her in retaliation. Until she sees how afraid she is, and takes pity on her. And then she also finds out just how and why the Archmage fell to evil.
    Princess Luna: "We, are going to burn this atrocity you’ve perpetrated down to ash. Inch by inch."
  • Time Skip: The Prologue begins sometime in the distant past, and ends with the aftermath of Adlaborn's destruction and Sint Erklass's death thousands of years later, in Imperial Equestria.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The Reindeer of Imperial Equus. The fact that their genocide is covered up by the Empire implies that the other members of the Co-Harmony Sphere wouldn't take kindly to the revelation.
  • Translation Convention: While this is not examined too deeply, the text occasionally reminds readers that Aliens Speaking English is not in effect and the Equestrians speak a language of their own; Alexander Reiner's ability to communicate with the ponies when he arrives in Sunny Equestria stems from him having learned Modern Equish. An affinity for the language is also a factor in determining which humans get sent to represent the PHL on Sunny Equestria, Ana Bjorgman amongst them.
    • Going in the opposite direction, when Princess Luna and Princess Cadance visit Earth to open relations, their ability to speak not just English, but German and Mandarin, is justified by alicorns having a Gift of Tongues.
      • At one point, conferring with Qabil-al-Husan, Princess Celestia notes the fact she cannot read Alex's rune tattoos is a rare occurence.
    • The different people of Equus each have their own languages, as well, but they communicate with one another using a "Common Tongue".
  • Ultimate Universe: Word Of God states, as of "Child of Crystal", that Spectrum is intended to be this, weaving in the show's canon, the comics, and Spectrum's original lore into one cohesive continuity, while remaining mostly true to canon in a Broad Strokes manner. The Sunny Equestria timeline also highlights this, with the backstory being based off what the show presented and the original Spectrum's concepts.
  • Uncertain Doom: By the time the story kicks off, the hippogriffs of Imperial Equus are ruled over by Queen Skystar, and no mention is made of the fate of her mother Novo.
  • United Nations Is a Superpower: While individual countries are mentioned, the United Nations Allied Command, or UNAC, is mentioned as the chief organization for humanity's war against the Solar Empire, replacing the vaguely-omnipresent reach the PHL had in the original Spectrum.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Tau Sunflare parts ways with Sint Erklass after having a conversation to this effect in the Prologue.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The penultimate scene of Chapter Nineteen ("When The Dust Settles") has a brief glimpse into the Archmage's daily life; reading books in the Canterlot Palace Gardens. It also has her give Gallus some tips in wooing Silverstream.
  • War Fic: Sorta. While the war over Earth is the driving force of the story's conflict, the narrative's attention is largely given over to the characters dealing with the existential repercussions of the three worlds colliding, with the war going on in the background.
  • A World Half Full: Earth is in the midst of an apocalyptic war, and humanity comes close to the brink of collapse in the face of a genocidal Empire. But as the story starts to show, the spark of hope from another world, where said enemy never turned evil, starts to give hope that the war can be won after all.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • Despite coming together under UNAC leadership, the nations of the world still has national interests, and therefore act on their own on occasion.
    • Pharynx notes that Equus Prime's people just aren't ready yet for a proper alliance between so many races with a long history of bad blood between them... much like humanity.
    • Ironically, the one major faction that averts this so far is the Solar Empire and their allies, with the Empire's native Guards working side by side with Saddle Mareabians, zebras, and hippogriffs without much complaining.
  • We Can Rule Together: Archmage Twilight tenderly offers Luna that she can join them in the Empire's cause. Luna ultimately decides on letting her know where she can stuff it.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter Three ("They Are Us"), which definitively shows the Solar Empire as the enemy force fighting to eradicate humanity. While this could count as a Late-Arrival Spoiler given the story's reboot status, what makes it a Wham Episode is how the reveal is presented.
    • Chapter Five ("Understanding Dawns"), which begins innocuously enough and serves to characterize Reiner further, swerves into this when it reveals Celestia and Luna's other sister.
    • Chapter Thirteen ("Concordia Maxima"), the concluding chapter of Act I, reveals Tirek's involvement and Alex's familial bond with Megan Williams, and ends with Redheart's death and Queen Celestia acknowledging the Concordat as a potential foe.
    • Chapter Fifteen ("Two Faces") ends with Discord being petrified by the Imperial Elements of Harmony, taking him out of commission.
    • Chapter Seventeen ("Thus, Lift Me Up") in spades. Luna's mind delve into the Archmage reveals a lot about how the Solar Empire came to be, how their world differs from Sunny Equestria, and just how far gone Twilight Sparkle truly is.
    • "Child of Crystal", the second Interlude, is a seemingly innocuous fairy-tale-esque chapter about how Cadance earned her alicornhood, and Prismia's involvement. It ends simply enough, with Cadance retelling the story to Alex and Shining... then it keeps going past the ending, revealing that Prismia is an alicorn, and far, far older than anything else alive on Equus, and the Storm King orphaned Cadance.
    • Chapter Twenty-Six ("Here's To You") is an otherwise mundane chapter filled with Slice of Life moments, until the very end, where it's revealed that none other than the Storm King has set his sights on the Expedition, wielding a staff very much like what Scorpan once wielded...
  • Wham Line:
    • The ending to Chapter Five ("Understanding Dawns");
    Galena: I am the Scribe of the Stardust, keeper of the plan of our existence. I am your sister and keeper both, Celestia. My name is Galena. And I need your help.
    • Early on in Chapter Fifteen ("Two Faces"), crucially establishing the time gap:
    Archmage Twilight Sparkle: (To Luna) We... first met eighteen years ago.
    • The ending of Chapter Nineteen ("When The Dust Settles"), where Princess Cadance asks Lady Cadance about the Alicorn Amulet and Prismia:
    Princess Cadance: "Could you have… done something wrong when you got [the Alicorn Amulet] off Prismia?"
    Lady Cadance: "Who?"
  • Wham Shot: Written example. In Chapter Twenty-Four ("Unveiled"), witnessing Twilight's memories, Luna sees none other than alicorn Twilight, in the very last shot of Friendship is Magic
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Amethyst calls out the PHL leadership for being too cynical regarding Sunny Equestria, spurring them to formally establish relations through Princess Cadance.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Played with. Luna admits that she has no idea what a mortal life is like, and wonders if she truly is immortal.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Reconstructed. Princess Cadance and by extension the whole of Sunny Equestria, lampshaded by Lady Cadance, are all comparatively idealistic. However, she doesn't necessarily say their relative innocence is a bad thing, and even warns the Princess about losing her innocence in the war. Afterwards, Commandant Cheerilee rebukes Putin for his pessimistic outlook on the war during the meeting with Princess Cadance, having regained her confidence thanks to the presence of an Equestria that wasn't corrupted.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Icewind, who believes himself to be the hero uncovering the Awful Truth of his world inevitably tumbling towards subjugation and war-torn devastation. It's a bit more complicated than he thinks it is.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: As Hanne reflects in Chapter Fourteen ("Silent Night"), Europe is gone, leaving her and her fellow Europeans without a homeland.

     A Sun in Winter 
First Published: Dec. 27th, 2016

  • Action Prologue: The prologue takes place from the viewpoint of Lilja, a doe mage tasked with retrieving the infant alicorns Celestia and Luna.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Expands greatly on Celestia and Luna's past as Ilsa's charges.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Anna Erklass, especially since the previous two Christmas Episodes focused on her sister and her grandfather.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Subverted; Anna strongly mistrusts ponykind, and initially begs Sint to send Celestia and Luna away from Adlaborn.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The prologue feels more like a conventional epic fantasy, before the story switches over to Anna, taking a more Slice of Life tone.
  • Big Bad: The Krampus, a genderless, satanic entity imprisoned by Sint Erklass, and the figure behind the intensifying predatory attacks.
  • Christmas Special: The third one.
  • Distant Prologue: An extended one for Joy to the Worlds and the whole of Spectrum, taking place in the distant past.
  • Fantastic Racism: Ponykind's conflicts have painted a less than stellar image for them - but the birth of Celestia and Luna throws any prejudices out the window for Sint Erklass.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Though the story takes place before things get rolling, a few things stand out, namely that Anna will become Ilsa's first host after she was cursed, and the genocide is still yet to come.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: A... fairly light-hearted fantasy tale in the past, compared to the main story's contemporary tones.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Adlaborn, the Reindeer homeland, and its main city Vologda.
  • Lighter and Softer: The most lighthearted story in the entire Spectrumverse - contrast The Light Despondent and Last Train.
  • Predators Are Mean: The Krampus' underlings are shown to consist of predatory animals, such as wolves and polar bears. Even the demonic Windigos are implied to consume flesh as well.
  • Properly Paranoid: Anna is terrified of the possibility that outside forces will come for her homeland, with the foals inside. Given that Lilja was nearly killed in her mission, she may be right.
  • Screw Destiny: Sint Erklass denounces the idea that Celestia and Luna shouldn't be taught how to lead, in favour of nurturing them instead.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Krampus is imprisoned in a magically reinforced snowglobe, with enchanted snow keeping him from breaking free.
  • Take That!: Sint's above statement is this to the idea that Celestia and Luna were never meant to lead, as espoused by Discord in the original Spectrum story.

     Joy To The Worlds 
First Published: Dec. 25th, 2014

  • A Day in the Limelight: For Sint Erklass.
  • After the End: Takes place just after the extermination of the reindeer.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The bad news is that Sint perishes at the end, and the reindeer almost completely exterminated. The good news is that Ilsa survives (although being a piece of cloth, she can't do much unless she possesses a host), as well as the siblings Eadmund and Lucie. The story ends after he blesses the two with his powers and sends them off to Earth to aid humanity, finally passing away.
  • Christmas Episode: Well, a Hearthswarming Episode, technically. And a far darker and sadder example than others.
  • Continuity Nod: Frost Wind, the little colt that finds himself missing the Reindeer on Hearthswarming Eve, knows Aquamarine Glimmer and Comet Tail from the Asia Side Story, and is the cousin of Stellar Wind from Adrift.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Hearthswarming incorporates elements of both Christmas and Hanukkah.
  • Defiant to the End: Sint Erklass refuses to go down without a fight.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Weaver successfully kills the oldest living being in Equestria.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Sint Erklass was mentioned to have been killed in the main story, while the Reindeer were exterminated.
  • Genocide Backfire: Despite their efforts, the Solar Empire didn't totally exterminate all of the reindeer, and it's clear that the survivors will make them pay for what they did.
  • Last of Their Kind: For the Reindeer of Imperial Equus, there's Ilsa (whose soul is bound to a cloak), and two orphaned siblings named Eadmund and Lucie.
  • The Magic Goes Away: What Frost Wind feels about Hearthswarming without the reindeer.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Weaver, Sint's assassin, tells him she doesn't like what she is ordered to do, but will carry out her Queen's will.
  • Stay with Me Until I Die: Inverted. Ilsa decides to stay with her dying grandfather rather than be worn by one of the two orphans.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Frost Wind's older brother promised that he would be back by Hearthswarming. As he serves in the Royal Guard and going by their mother's evasive reluctance to talk about it, it's more likely than not that he was killed in action.

     Snowbound 

First Published: Feb. 05th, 2016
Rebooted: Dec. 03rd, 2017

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Kgalakgadi.
  • Alaska: The setting of the story. Word of Fluffy is that it was inspired by the long list of abandoned things one can find out there - be it abandoned trains, abandoned military installations, or wolf puppies.
  • Body Horror: Johnny C claims to have seen a man's artificial hip exploding out of his body as he was being ponified.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Johnny C, to the point of forgetting to wear a winter coat when getting out of an airplane.
  • Cool Train: The 501, a large 2-8-0 steam locomotive made for hauling cargo that debuted in Light Despondent, returns!
  • Creator Provincialism: Yes and no. While New Hampshire, and the author's family farm show up, it's very much not the focus of the story.
  • Description Cut: Henri Bartholomeaux explains how sensitive the information in his decoy briefcase is, and how it's probably safe. Cut to a PER spy screaming about something in their eyes.
  • Hand Cannon: Johnny C carries a revolver so massive it's described as "almost the length of his forearm" and he holsters it on his back.
  • Holy Is Not Safe: Sint Erklass' corpse in Alaska. When a PETN/PER expedition finds it and tries to retrieve it, the latent magic starts to sabotage their work using Cosmic Horror Story tactics.
  • In Medias Res: Combines with Distant Prologue - the story starts sometime before the Distant Prologue to Light Despondent, flashes back to pre-war, then settles in early 2022 of January.
  • Noodle Incident: Kraber claims, in the Distant Prologue, to have died before, saying that "it hurt".
    • The story itself is an explanation of one - it was alluded to as early as March of 2015, with a mention of Johnny C, Fiddlesticks, and several others having recovered a totem-prole from Alaska. The specifics were vague, but Fluffy physically couldn't keep himself from writing it.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The incredibly irritable characters we see introduced early in the story? They end up being sent to investigate the mysterious signal found up north.
  • Rescue Romance: Suggested to be between Johnny C and Fiddlesticks, as the former shot HLF attempting to kill Fiddlesticks on the grounds of his family apple farm.
  • Shown Their Work: The author did a lot of research on Alaska for the story.
  • World of Snark: Everyone has a witty comment in response to everyone.

     The First Second of Eternity 

First Published: May 1st, 2020.

  • A Day in the Limelight: The story is focused on Galena, and her life before the events of Spectrum proper.
  • Arc Words: Mother's commands to Galena, the first words Galena ever hears, and the only things she says until the very end of Chapter One, as a Badass Creed.
    Galena: "I am Galena, Scribe of the Stardust. I am the bastion of rationality and memory. Where chaos rules, I shall preach order. Where the plan goes astray, it is mine place to correct it. I shall watch, I shall learn, and I shall protect."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After having spent centuries doing exactly as she was told, it finally occurs to Galena that there is nothing quite like her on the planet. At first, she recites the words her Mother told her, to reaffirm her duty. Then she asks herself a question, the only words other than her Mother's orders spoken in the first chapter.
    Galena: "... Who am I?"
  • Bittersweet Ending: Galena outlives all of her friends, but continues to remember them, and ends the story finally meeting her sisters.
  • Continuity Nod: The hamlet Galena lived in expands into a city that survives into the present day; Stratusburg, the hometown of Vapor Trail and Sky Stinger.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Reindeer freely opens its gates to all who seeks shelter, for as long as they need it, generously provides to the needy, and doesn't seem to demand payment in return. The way it's contrasted to ponykind's use of currency and then-feudal nature makes it clear their society operate on some form of Socialism.
  • Doomed Hometown: Subverted. Galena returns to smell ash in the air, but finds that her hamlet has expanded into a small town. And then, the town's name makes it all too clear that it survives into the present day - Stratusburg.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Given how Celestia and Luna are both surprised at Galena's existence by the time of the main story, it's abundantly clear that Galena's quest to meet her sisters is doomed to fail.
    • Conversely, readers of Spectrum would realise that, one day, Galena will meet her sisters after all.
  • God in Human Form: Galena, like her sisters, is capable of shifting into a mortal guise in the form of one of the three pony tribes. In her case, she chooses to be an earthpony.
  • Homage: To the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, The Shepherd Boy - in that, much like the bird in that tale, Galena spends time chipping away at a mountain.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Within the first few paragraphs, it immediately spoils the main story plot point that Galena is an alicorn.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to most of the other side-stories, and its parent story.
  • Mayfly–December Romance:
    • Galena and Broadleaf Heart grow closer throughout their time together, though it's never made official before Broadleaf's death. A flashback indicates that Galena and Broadleaf made love, though how much of it is true is unknown.
    • Downplayed example with her most recent partner, Snow Mist. Though they very much enjoy their time together, they agree to keep it a simple one night stand.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Galena needs a way to keep track of time. So naturally, her solution is to punch a mountain, chipping away at it over centuries.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Galena is unusually fond of worms, snails, and bees - worms for their elusiveness and benefits to the soil, snails because of their slowness, allowing her to watch them carefully, and bees, for their commitment to a duty together.
  • Scenery Porn: What most of the first chapter consists of - Galena's travels through the wilderness and her observations.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Galena, aloof and distant yet kind, falls for the noble and gentle Broadleaf Heart.
  • Their First Time: Galena and Broadleaf surrender to their feelings by the riverside, although Galena wonders if it was true or her grief clouding her memory.
  • Time Abyss: No mention is made as to how long exactly Galena has been doing her duty, by the end of the first chapter, but it's inferred that many thousands of years have already passed by the time Galena asks herself a question.
  • Tragic Mistake: Galena promised Broadleaf that she would return. She did... several decades too late.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The travelling cloak worn by Galena is her last gift from her one-time love, Broadleaf Heart.
  • The Reveal:
    • The entire story is an extended reveal of how Galena isn't really as cold and heartless as she initially seems to be in the main story.
    • The cloak Galena wears is the last gift she has from Broadleaf Heart.
    • The mysterious Snow Mist, mentioned twice by Galena in the main story, was her most recent one night stand.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Galena and Broadleaf are quite clearly attracted to one another, but makes no clear move and with Broadleaf's passing, never will. But the flashback in Chapter Six indicates that they did consummate their relationship, though it's left ambiguous if they really did.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Centuries pass in the span of a paragraph or a few sentences, from Galena's point of view. She sees a tree grow from a sapling, adulthood, and finally to its death over decades the same way she would watch a little bird from hatchling to death.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Galena and Broadleaf. A flashback implies they did, but it was still short-lived.

     In Night's Garden 

First Published: January 13th, 2021.

  • A Day in the Limelight: Princess Luna is the primary focus of the story. In the first chapter, specifically, Mistmane receives focus as well, as Luna's mentor.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Why Luna chooses to be a dreamweaver.
  • Continuity Nod: It's mentioned that Prince Polaris Blueblood plants chrysanthema for a maiden who'd never come home to him. Given what's been revealed of his family history with the Reindeer, Anna Erklass especially, this does not bode well for her...
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Luna will become a dreamweaver, as she is in the present day. What is revealed in the story proper, however, is that she chose to be one instead of it being her duty from birth.
    • Despite everything, Mistmane and Starswirl still disappear without a trace, and by the present day neither Luna nor Celestia are aware of what became of them.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: A whimsical, slice of life drama set in the otherwise grim Spectrumverse.
  • Flower Motifs: Natch.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Pony of Shadows, being responsible for Starswirl, Mistmane, and the other Pillars' disappearance. Downplayed, though, as otherwise the story has no central antagonist.
  • Lighter and Softer: A quiet slice of life drama in an otherwise war-centric universe.
  • Screw Destiny: Luna, in spite of Starswirl's orders to not intervene in dreams, does it anyway, and pledges to protect her subject in her realm as best as she could.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: It's not at the forefront, but Celestia is noticeably kinder at the end of the first chapter than she is at the start, comforting her sister as they grieve over the loss of their respective mentors.

     The Rose of Florentina 

First Published: February 22nd, 2021.

  • A Day in the Limelight: For Celestia and Cadance.
  • Book Ends: The entire story is structured as a palindrome, starting and ending on the same point;
    • The first and last person to speak is Kibitz, Celestia's advisor.
    • The story starts and ends in Canterlot Palace.
    • Sunset Shimmer appears at the start and end, first as a mention, the second time in person.
  • Burning with Anger: Subverted - Cadance thinks Sunset Shimmer is this, but it turns out just to be her fur colour. Though Sunset Shimmer is quite angry when she sees Cadance.
  • The Cameo:
    • Sunset Shimmer is mentioned by Celestia early on, when she asks Kibitz not to tell Sunset that she's going away for a while to retrieve an alicorn. She makes an appearance at the end, not at all very happy that Celestia does just that.
    • A very indirect cameo, but Sunset is mentioned to visit an earthpony flowershop often - later revealed to be Wallflower Blush elsewhere.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The scenic country of Oleander is essentially Italy.
  • First-Name Basis: Played With. Celestia refers to Cadance by Mi Amore, because at the time that's all she knew about her name.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Cadance inevitably comes to Canterlot with Celestia, though the story reveals that it was partially her choice to do so.
  • Lighter and Softer: The single most light-hearted story in the entire Spectrumverse.
  • Retcon: Cadance's home country is renamed Oleander.
  • Scenery Porn: The country of Oleander, with its rolling hills, beautiful forests, and colourful flowers.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Cadance sees right through the mask Celestia wears, and sees her for who she really is; a compassionate mare reeling from nearly a thousand years worth of loneliness.
  • You Are Not Alone: It turns out that Foregone Conclusion aside, this trope is why Cadance chose to go with Celestia.

     Wallflower of Canterlot 

First Published: April 9th, 2021

  • A Day in the Limelight: For Wallflower Blush - the pony one, that is - and Sunset Shimmer.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite her intense jealousy towards Cadance, Sunset can't bring herself to actually hate her outright, and nothing from Cadance implies they have had an unpleasant relationship.
  • Foregone Conclusion: No matter what goes down in the story, Sunset is fated to leave Equestria through the Crystal Mirror.
  • Precocious Crush: Downplayed - Wallflower is four years younger than Sunset, and her crush on her began when she was nine and Sunset a thirteen year old.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Wallflower, alone with her crush Sunset, has the opportunity to tell her that she loves her. But she realises that this isn't what Sunset actually needs, to hear and instead she tells Sunset that she's worth something even without alicornhood.

     Celestia Regina 

First Published: June 28, 2021

  • A Day in the Limelight: For Celestia, serving as the primary focus of the story.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The story implies that Celestia will be forced to intervene directly militarily in quelling the rebellion. She does, but not by force. Within an hour of arriving, she orders the siege dismantled.
  • The Cameo: Vanhoover's ferrymare is none other than Galena in her earthpony disguise.
  • Canon Foreigner: In addition to Tranquility and Equinox, who originated from Luna's Daughters, there's also Greyhoof, Ironhoof and Serving Bell, all of whom came from What Hath Joined Together.
  • Children Are Innocent: The working-class children of Vanhoover. They are positively adorable and also lack tact, repeatedly asking Celestia if has food, and she has nothing but the greatest patience in speaking to them.
  • Continuity Nod: Tranquility and Equinox are both mentioned again, as are Amore and Radiant Hope. Additionally, Sint Erklass is mentioned (though not by name) alongside Starswirl and Mistmane, all in the context of their relation to Celestia as family.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Celestia vocally rejects the title of Queen here, preferring to retain her Princess title out of respect of her sister. Knowing what becomes of her in the future that is the Solar Empire... well...
    • Celestia privately laments her loneliness in the wake of her family's seeming extinction with the Crystal Realm's disappearance as well as Luna's banishment, wholly unaware that Luna's line survived to eventually produce Cadance in the future. She's also completely oblivious to the fact that the ferrymare accompanying her as she laments this is in fact her estranged secret sister Galena.
    • Celestia notes that, had Luna known of Vanhoover's Undying Loyalty towards her, she might have been less bitter than she was.
  • Fantastic Racism: As this is set a thousand years in the past, racism is still rampant in Equestria, strongly demonstrated by unicorn supremacist Captain Ironhoof.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The rivalry between Equestria and Thrace harkens back to Rome and Carthage as well as the Punic Wars.
  • Friend to All Children: Celestia shows nothing but care and concern for the children of Vanhoover, and by the end of the story she drafts a public education law to ensure that they receive the education they need.
  • Hate Sink: Like he was in his original fanfic, Captain Ironhoof is this in and out of universe - a racist, ruthless jerkass who brings only contempt to Celestia and readers alike.
  • Title Drop: A bilingual one; Baroness Downfeather remarks that half the country would happily call Celestia a Queen (Regina in Latin), a title Celestia immediately rejects out of respect for her sister.
  • Undying Loyalty: Played With. The city of Vanhoover remains loyal to Luna's memory because of her actions as well as her daughter's. But the Baroness expressly insists that Vanhoover isn't seeking independence from Equestria, they just want to know what happened to their patron.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Played straight; Celestia is accidentally blasted in the face by a trigger-happy unicorn Royal Guard. But her alicorn biology, on the other hand, allows her to completely No-Sell the attack with nothing but a tingle. It's later strongly hinted to have been an attempt by Ironhoof to kill off his rival had he appeared in Celestia's stead.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Celestia finds it difficult to figure out the ferrymare's accent. By the text's description, it's heavily implied to be Irish, though in-univrrse the ferrymare claims it's Stratusburg. As she's actually Galena, she's telling the truth.

     Story of the Asian Front 

First Published: Dec. 29th, 2017

  • Continuity Reboot
  • Framing Device: The prologue shows Yon-Soo being interviewed, recalling the early days of the war on the Asian front and the formation of the Dragons of the East.

     The Slow Mutants 

First Published: Feb. 27th, 2017

  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Or, rather, prequel main character. While Kraber wasn't exactly a stranger to tricking his way out of situations, Hope is much less combat-oriented and more prone to sneaking out of bad situations.
  • Emergency Transformation: Like many pre-war newfoals, Hope took the potion to save herself from an advanced case of terminal cancer. She wishes she hadn't now.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Hope is a newfoal trying to preserve her identity and find her cutie mark. We already know she's going to fail.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Enforced. Even thinking swear words is like pulling teeth for Hope at times.
  • Villainous Rescue: The first chapter ends with Hope being rescued from an angry mob (consisting of both PHL and HLF personnell who assume Hope is a PER spy) by members of the actual PER, who kick off the second chapter by potioning a roadblock. Hope has to contain her horror through the Mother of All Poker Faces to keep herself beneath suspicion.

     The Light Despondent - Remixed 

First Published: Dec. 27th, 2017

     Starvation 

First Published: Nov. 08th, 2013
Rebooted: Oct. 27th, 2017

  • Apocalyptic Log: Much of the story is this, being a record of Acevedo's recollections of his life and experiences during the war.
  • Body Horror: Isaac Acevedo claims that he's become skinny enough for his ribs to start showing through.
  • Crapsack World: Most of Earth has devolved into this. Brazil specifically is overcrowded with refugees, most people are going hungry due to the barrier covering a large chunk of the Earth's landmass, and the Apocalypse Anarchy has gotten so chaotic that Acevedo considers it a bad idea to go outside without wearing his armor and carrying at least one gun.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: What the characters expect the broadcast to be, to tell any sapient aliens elsewhere in the universe of humanity's existence and the war that wiped them out.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: Some people have resorted to cannibalism, or at least making a meal out of the Newfoals, due to the lack of fresh food. Acevedo ate a newfoal shortly before he made his broadcast, and he's utterly disgusted with himself for it, although his friends try to reassure him that he did what he had to do.
  • Race Lift: Acevedo in this version is mixed race (half black and half white) though still ethnically Brazilian.


Top