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Fanfic / Substitute Harmony

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the substitutes

"Substitute Harmony" is a multi-chapter fanfic of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic by Blayze Kohime.

Plot synopsis: A strange group of ponies (who just happen to be main characters from the original G1 My Little Pony series) attempt to kidnap the Mane 6 with the apparent intent of stealing the Elements of Harmony. Pinkie Pie is the only one that escapes, and is briefly blamed for the commotion due to a misunderstanding.

Her sisters, Blinkie and Inkie, arrive to help, wrecking Ponyville town square in the process. The events also bring Trixie and Gilda to the town, for various reasons. Oh, and Ditzy's here; she's brought you a letter. When the circumstances end up pushing them all into a group, they are forced to work together to find out where the strange other-worldly ponies have come from and what dark force is leading them.


Read it here.

This Fan Fic provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Pinkie Pie's 'cupcake cannon'.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Posey apologizes to Fluttershy repeatedly when they first meet, Especially when she drugs the latter's tea.
  • Axe-Crazy: Surprise. Sweet mother of mercy, Surprise.
  • Batter Up!: Surprise's Weapon of Choice is a baseball bat. In her first scene, attacks Mrs. Cake with it, beating her unconsious while laughing the whole time. She later trades it in for a whiffle bat.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: It's clear early on Fluttershy's counterpart is Posey. And it's also clear the G1 crew are - changed - enough they're willing to kill if they think they need to, or to avoid getting into trouble. It's not so clear that Posey will now kill when she doesn't need to, and when she knows it will get her into trouble - and she also mirrors Fluttershy's ability to exploit her genuine personality to manipulate others.
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  • Big Bad: Helios.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Pinkie Pie's saddle bags and the TARDIS.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The amulet that Twilight Wish is wearing in the initial scene turns out to hold a corrupted Rainbow of Light that can be used as a weapon
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Mane 6 are beating the G1 ponies in their first battle with them, but in the second round when only Twilight Wish remains for them to fight, she pulls out her Chekhov's Gun and decimates them.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The G1 world of Dream Valley became this.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The G1 ponies set an elaborate trap for the Substitutes, only to get stomped once the trap is sprung.
  • Dark Is Evil: Averted. The Prince of the Sun from the other world is the villain, Luna, the Princess of the Night in Equestria, is good; as is her otherworldly counterpart.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Celestia arriving to restore order and getting her head blown off by Pinkie's friends. She got better.
  • Dull Surprise: Prince Blueblood is rather nonchalant at meeting Helios, even after almost getting tele-fragged by the latter.
    • Justified: Prince Blueblood knew that would happen because, well, Blueblood is Helios.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Helios attempts to spare non-combatants and goes out of his way to not 'technically' lie, even to his enemies.
  • Everybody Lives: Even one character who was supposed to have already been dead.
  • Genius Ditz: Ditzy, especially when we learn that her 'special talent', bubbles, covers bubbles of all kinds - even space-time ones.
  • Giggling Villain: Helios briefly after he licks the crystal that contains Pinkie's Laughter element.
    • Helios laughs like a mad pony when the substitute six release him due to the chains being quite ticklish. This ends up subverting the trope, as at the time his hysterical, malicious laughter means nobody really believes this claim... but it ultimately turns out those chains really are extraordinarily ticklish.
    • Surprise is of the Laughing Mad variant.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Discord does not act in this story, nor did he plan any part of the plot. No character in the story is serving him and the one instant where it seems he could benefit gets immediately quashed. But it turns out he's intimately connected with every aspect of what's going on, and even in absentia none of it would have happened without him.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Trixie and Twilight Wish get into this; Gilda complains about it.
  • Healing Factor: All alicorns, it seems. It isn't automatic: we see multiple examples of alicorns prioritizing something over healing themselves. But it also doesn't require having a functional brain to choose to invoke it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: As is typical for MLP, every villain in the story ends up becoming good after their defeat. Yes, even Helios.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Oddly by Helios, via throwing himself into the time rift to save Selene. He didn't die, but he thought he would.
    • Earlier, Celestia's response to being attacked is so oriented towards protecting everybody else she manages to instinctively save the lives of two different groups of enemies doing self-destructive things she didn't consciously notice.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Helios is fond of this. For instance when he breaks a truce and attacks Luna:
    I know this is stereotypically villainous of me, but...think fast! (blasts Luna with magic)
    • "This is the part where the villain underestimates the hero and is soundly defeated, right?" Of course, both sides firmly believe the other side is the villain.
  • Les Yay: An In-Universe example; At least part of Gilda's motivation to rescue Rainbow Dash is because of her romantic inclinations towards her. She takes it surprisingly well when Ditzy informs her that Dash doesn't swing that way and only regrets not confessing her feelings to Dash so she could hear it herself.
  • Madness Mantra: Quoth Surprise, while clobbering Mrs. Cake with a bat: "NO WITNESSES! NO WITNESSES!!"
  • Mind Rape: Helios' 'conditioning'.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever happened between Helios and Doctor Whooves at some point in the past.
    • This is not the first time that Ditzy has been involved in the accidental release of a banished villain from its imprisonment.
    • Also whatever the 'grounding' was that Blinkie and Inkie referred to. (If it isn't a Shout-Out to Sabrina the Teenage Witch, referring to being buried up to your neck in the ground.)
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Helios at his worst. He's not entirely sane, but remains mostly rational and entirely goal-focused. His motive for villainy in the first place is that he doesn't trust that he can attain his goals by moral or ethical means. At the same time he's very much aware both of the self-defeating nature of evil and of the nature of the Elements of Harmony. (He made them, after all.) So as much as is practical, he demonstrates honesty, kindness, and generosity, shows loyalty to his allies, and takes care to retain laughter and playfulness. As it turns out, enough so the Elements can't touch him; he's neither evil enough nor threat enough to ponykind.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: The eponymous substitutes include Pinkie Pie, her similarly crazy sisters, Blinkie and Inkie, Ditzy, Gilda and Trixie.
  • Reverse Polarity: Ditzy advises Trixie to reverse the polarity because it always works.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Helios. Though slightly different in that he wasn't exactly evil prior to being sealed; rather the being sealed itself made him evil.
  • Stable Time Loop: The substitutes end up waking up Helios in the past, causing him to attempt to kidnap the mane 6 in the future, which causes them to go back in time to wake him up to begin with.
  • Shout-Out: After regenerating her previously destroyed head, Celestia gives a surprisingly inelegant exclamation.
    • Pinkie's sisters, Blinkie and Inkie, are the names of the ghosts from Pac-Man.
  • Take Me Instead: Luna attempts this after Helios captures Celestia.
  • Tele-Frag: Helios attempts to do this to Luna.
    • Blueblood almost suffers this, but accidentally on Helios' part. Blueblood even uses the trope name.
  • The Dragon: Twilight Wish. It's made very clear she's set above her friends, both authorized to threaten them and allowed to know when the threat is empty (because they have to both try hard and fail).
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Trixie's initial reasoning for wanting to help rescue Twilight Sparkle.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The G1 ponies are under the impression that they will get to live in a better society if they succeed.
  • We Have Reserves: Subverted, Helios will risk the success of his plan if he must to protect the lives of his minions like when he rushes to rescue Firefly and Surprise.
  • 0% Approval Rating: The reason for Helios' initial banishment; his subjects were rather harsh.


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