Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum

Go To
Foreground, from left to right: Princess Celestia, Col. Marcus Renee, PHL!Cheerilee, PHL!Trixie, Maj. Stephan Bauer, and Princess Luna. Background: Queen Celestia and her fleet of airships.

As is typical for the Spectrumverse, we celebrate the true meaning of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Christmas and all that is good in the world against an apocalyptic backdrop of genocide, madness, infanticide, fanaticism and pop-cultural references.
It's a labour of love, after all.
Co-Author VoxAdam, summing up the tone of the series

Go here for tropes featured in the reboot.

The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic formerly co-authored by Redskin122004 and TB3, who stopped co-writing with Redskin after the release of the "Writes of Passage" chapter to continue his professional writing career. Since then it has evolved into a group project with authors Doctor Fluffy, ProudToBe, Drawdex, Kizuna Tallis, Beyond The Horizon, Bendy, ThatClosetBrony, Inquisitor-Awesome, JedR, TheIdiot, Red-Bomber, VoxAdam, and Sledge115 pitching in, eventually drawing TB3 back to the story. It's based on The Conversion Bureau, with a different spin on the premise.

The story begins on a bright and sunny day in Ponyville, with Twilight Sparkle and her friends enjoying the beautiful weather and generally having a good break from their usual calamities and adventures. Suddenly, a magical portal appears, grabbing the Element Bearers' attention. When they go to investigate the scene, they find a bipedal creature that calls itself a "human", who can speak perfect Equestrian. But as they try to make contact, the human viciously attacks the Mane Six, all the while going on about something called "ponification".

Once the mess is cleared up, Twilight, her friends and the Princesses learn from the human, who is named Marcus, that his home world is being attacked...

By Queen Celestia and the Elements of Harmony themselves.

Upon realizing that there is a whole alternate universe of them committing these evil actions, the ponies of Equestria pledge to go to war to aid the last holdouts, human and pony alike, and save humanity from the dark Equestria's "solution" for them before it's too late. But they need to hurry – more than a third of the humans' world is uninhabitable thanks to The Barrier that's slowly wiping away every trace of humanity's existence, the assaults from the Solar Empire and their PER underlings wreak daily havoc on Earth, and over two billion humans have either died or been ponified into near-zombie-like Newfoals. The war grows more unforgiving by the day, and ever more hopeless...

Notable amongst Conversion Bureau fanfics for its massive cast, highly detailed world-building, and unusually high quotients of Nightmare Fuel, The Other Side of the Spectrum is possibly the most thorough and brutal of stories written in response to Chatoyance. You can find a timeline of the universe here, along with another timeline page in the tabs above.

It used to have an official group, but disagreements between Redskin and the rest of the writers led to the group being deleted and the original fic is officially cancelled. Subsequently, the group announced an official reboot called Spectrum, aiming to fix most of the issues found in the original fic. The reboot's tropes can be found under Spectrum. It has an official group, which can be found here.

Also comes with a variety of side-stories, which are unofficially considered to form several loose sequences and trilogies.

    open/close all folders 

  • A Sun in Winter, by Sledge115 and VoxAdam. The long-ago story of the Reindeer princess Anna Erklass and two alicorn foals in the land of Adlaborn. A distant prequel to the Spectrumverse as a whole.
  • Joy To The Worlds, by VoxAdam and TB3. A tale of the duel between the Reindeer king Sint Erklass and the assassin Weaver on the last Hearthswarming Eve.
  • Snowbound, by DoctorFluffy. Midway through the war, a disagreeable, irritable Ragtag Bunch of Misfits go on a deadly trek through the wilderness of Alaska to follow a strange magical signal.
  • The Light Despondent, by DoctorFluffy. The misadventures of one member of the HLF, Viktor Kraber, as he slowly defects to the PHL and makes many picaresque encounters along the way.
  • Last Train From Oblivion, by TB3. During the evacuation of Halifax as the Barrier finally closes in on America, the first pony from Equus Prime, Lightning Dust, arrives.

From the Early Days of War

Read their tropes here.

Voices of Mankind

Read their tropes here.

Reports in Wartime

Read their tropes here.

  • Case Files, a group project between Redskin122004, Bendy, Kizuna Tallis, and DoctorFluffy. An in-universe documentary detailing the HLF, the PER and the PHL.
  • Adrift, by Sledge115. Via an in-universe interview with a pony crew member, the Umbrella Man uncovers the story of a certain smuggler ship and its crew at the outbreak of the war.
  • The Many Faces Of Mankind, by JedR. An in-universe article made to be distributed into Imperial Equestria, interspersed by interviews with various human personages during the war.

Countdown to the Final Battle

Read their tropes here.

  • Calm Before The Storm, by DoctorFluffy. Events in the two weeks following the Battle of Boston, in all three worlds, told through a series of shorts.
  • Shades of the Unsung, by TheIdiot. Up in a prison camp to the North of Imperial Equus, a small band of dissenters work behind the scenes to topple the Solar Empire.
  • The Other Side of the Mirror, by Kizuna Tallis. On Equus Prime, the local versions of the pony protagonists from the Asia Side-Story prepare for the final battle.
  • The Beatification of Lyra Heartstrings, by TB3 and VoxAdam. A religious council travels to Equus Prime to hold a debate on whether or not to beatify Lyra Heartstrings, and several arcs introduced in the Stardust sequence find their closure.



  • Action Girl: As everyone is expected to do their part in the war, several female soldiers have taken frontline positions.
    • Among the PHL ponies, we have the PHL versions of Trixie and Cheerilee in the main story, and Blizzard Flurry and Aquamarine Glimmer in the Asia Side-Story). PHL!Vinyl Scratch and PHL!Spitfire are also mentioned as being among their best fighters.
    • Stephan Bauer is currently training the Prime!Mane Six to become bona fide soldiers.
    • On the human side, there's Alicia of the Bundeswehr, Captain Rebecca Kleiner of the Asian Pacific "Stampede Fleet", Mei Ling and Tatiana of the Underground and honorary Dragons of the East members, and Ana the Equus Army trainer.
  • Adaptational Badass: From Imperial Equestria, several background characters, like Lyra, Cheerilee or Vinyl Scratch become hardened resistance fighters. Sweetie Belle is especially notable, given that she lives in Zecora's old hut in the forest.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: As with other Conversion Bureau stories, the magical Barrier consuming the Earth will vaporize any humans and human-made objects it touches. It doesn't even leave dust behind.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: Subverted. While many of the Imperial Equestrians are dedicated to Queen Celestia's campaign of xenocide, there are also ponies like Lyra and Cheerilee, who are just two of the many resistance fighters. And this is not counting the Prime!Equestrians, who are immediately horrified when they learn what their counterparts are doing.
    • This was Prime!Spike's view of Marcus for a bit, since in Spike's eyes, Marcus attacked and nearly killed his friends for no reason.
  • All There in the Manual: A minor case, but there's a tendency for the authors to reveal various future details of the story in the forums of the official group.
  • Alternate Universe: Notable not just for being this, but also for Imperial Equestria being four years ahead of Prime Equestria chronologically. This leads to problems when Marcus assumes he only traveled through time and attempts to "prevent" the war by trying to kill Celestia.
    • Discord apparently loves to travel to different universes for kicks.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: After the alternate Equestria encountered Earth, Lyra was not only appointed ambassador to the United Kingdom, but went on to lead the resistance against Queen Celestia, becoming a martyr upon her execution at the Tyrant's hooves. Marcus describes her legacy as the Big Good to Queen Celestia's Big Bad as running so deep that the PHL see her as a savior figure.
  • America Saves the Day: Downplayed. While the Americans provide the backbone of Earth's military response to the Solar Empire's xenocidal campaign by virtue of having the most powerful military on the planet and being one of the few countries not seriously crippled by the Barrier, it's very much an international affair, with the British, Germans, South Koreans and Russians in particular playing very big parts in the overall war effort.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: If a human's arm or leg is covered in the potion, they still have a chance to avoid transformation if they remove the affected limb. Getting hit in the face or the chest is an automatic death sentence, however.
  • Anachronic Order: The main story takes place late in the war, and the side stories take place in multiple points during the war, whether during the earlier days (Europe, Asia, Adrift, Once More Unto The Breach), the middle (The Light Despondent, The King's Speech, Joy to the Worlds) or late in the war/around the same time as the main story (Last Train From Oblivion, Shades of the Unsung, Calm Before the Storm).
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Ponification is described as this.
    Marcus: "[The potion] rewrites a person into a pony... changes their body, their mind, binds their soul in chains... takes them away from you."
    • In "For Whom the Bell Tolls", Prime!Luna finds out how the Bag of Tirek imprisoned the Imperial!Mane Six within their own minds and replaced them with puppets. Imperial!Twilight even begs Luna to kill her, as she can't stand to watch the pain and suffering go on any longer.
    • Oddly enough, Elsa the Reindeer somehow manages to be both an inversion and a subversion. Her consciousness is actually kept alive in a magic cloak and rather than taking total control of the body of whoever wears it, merges with the host's consciousness, but with Elsa in the dominant role. In theory the wearer should be subjected to this trope, but they actually consider it an honor to give up their personal lives to give Elsa, who is not only the granddaughter of Sint Erklass but their race's chief mage, a new body. Elsa, on the other hand, feels guilt and shame for taking their personal freedom away for her to continue "living".
  • Animorphism: The ponification serum turns any human that absorbs a given amount into a Newfoal.
    • The main story ("Consequences of Conflict") essentially confirms that Doctor Whooves used to be The Doctor, but transformed into a pony sometime and somehow before Equestria and Earth met.
  • Apocalypse How: Prime!Twilight says that a Class X scenario would happen if all of Equestria simply teleported directly onto Earth.
    • A Class 3 event has already passed for the Changelings and the Reindeer on Imperial Equus. Queen Celestia plans the same for the humans, Minotaurs, griffons and zebras.
    • Class 5 for all of Europe and at least half of Africa and Asia due to the Barrier, and may happen worldwide. Humanity intends to use this against Queen Celestia thanks to the Yellowstone megavolcano, which has nuclear warheads buried underground at its weakest points, to be detonated if mankind's loss appears imminent.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: The few nations that are still untouched by the Barrier aren't exactly in good shape.
    • America: Even though the PHL/UN Taskforce has rather good publicity, there are growing anti-pony movements affiliated with the HLF, which has become a frighteningly hate-filled movement of Right Wing Militia Fanatics with enough firepower and rage to attempt a takeover of a military base. Not to mention, like the people in Rio, most civilians are going hungry a lot of the time, and the PER is still a big enough problem to where no one goes outside alone and not without at least one gun on them.
    • China: By the time of the Main Story, it's devolved into a lawless hellhole, with "reports of mass public executions, mass suicides, riots and God knows what else" in whatever's left of the place (mainly in the western and central regions of the country). And in Asia, we see that one especially notorious HLF group has become large enough to become feared as far as Mongolia due to their sheer sadism.
    • Brazil: We don't see much outside of Rio De Janeiro. However, it's become an almost Cyberpunk Wretched Hive reminiscent of Elysium, full of starving War Refugees, incredibly overpopulated, and so short on food that some jobs actually pay in food rations instead of money (and some people have outright resorted to cannibalism). The narrator of Starvation describes the city as being "damn near a warzone" and considers it a terrible idea to walk outside his apartment without body armor and at least one weapon on him. He also alludes to riots over resources, and there's apparently lost Newfoals in the city causing trouble.
    • Imperial Equestria itself is sliding into a total breakdown. Their economy has crashed, their resources have been stretched irreparably thin, and their war morale is practically at rock bottom due to how many soldiers they've lost and from how long the war has dragged. At the moment, only terror, propaganda, and the mass-exploitation of Newfoal slaves is holding them afloat, and even that's starting to fail.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: To a limited extent. While there's plenty of chaos and murderous madness to go around, the war did make humanity put its differences aside to defeat the Solar Empire, a common threat far bigger than anything they could take on alone.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Prime!Chrysalis gives one to Stephan, asking him what he really knows about Trixie as a person (beyond her skills, what she's survived through, etc.) and how sustainable their relationship would be without the backdrop of the war.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Bag of Tirek is responsible for Queen Celestia's corruption.
  • Artifact Title: The eponymous bureaus don't even really make an appearance in the stories.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Starvation was written by the very same troper who wrote the entry on the fridge page that questioned what happens to refugees when half the world is unable to produce food. Which in turn led to the Asia Side-Story.
    • Calm Before the Storm does this for any Fridge Horror relating to the broken minds and Extreme Doormat tendencies of the newfoals, as well as illustrate just how Equestria would be dreadfully unprepared to support a large influx of billions of new residents.
  • Assimilation Plot: Queen Celestia (really Tirek) is doing this to humanity.
  • Badass Army: The remaining military forces of Earth, along with human-sympathizing ponies and the other races of Equus, form an alliance in the hope of bringing down Queen Celestia.
  • Badass Boast: Part of the Queen of England's final words, which became known as the Balmoral Address.
    Queen Elizabeth II: "You think you can come into MY palace, MY country, and destroy the will of MY people! I may be old and decrepit, but I. WILL. NOT. STAND FOR THIS INSULT!"
    • Princess Celestia delivers one to Queen Celestia for her evil counterpart's sins against the very concept of harmony.
  • Badass Family: The Whooves clan, consisting of the Doctor and Derpy, their daughters Dinky and Amethyst Star, plus Dinky's boyfriend Pipsqueak. And yes, they have got a working TARDIS.
  • Badass Normal: Stephan, who does a good job of keeping up with Marcus despite lacking the Power Tattoos.
  • Badass Teacher: PHL!Cheerilee, a former teacher who is now a hardened resistance fighter, empowered with magic runes... and able to deal one hell of a smackdown on a clone of the Tyrant.
  • Bad Future: Nowhere is safe - Earth is a literal battlefield and is sliding into total anarchy, and Imperial Equestria is only kept afloat through fear and brainwashing.
  • Being Evil Sucks: For those ponies that stayed in Equestria and joined the PER, especially the Element Bearers. The war has done them more harm than good, and many of them have lost friends and family to the dogmatic pursuit of converting all of humanity. To say nothing of the massive ecological damage done in said pursuit...
  • Berserk Button: The Newfoals are Extreme Doormats, no question about it, but they will turn violent against anyone who hurts one of the Imperial!Element Bearers, insults Queen Celestia or says anything negative about Equestria.
    • Do not dare commit xenocide on an unsuspecting species and try to justify it in the name of harmony. Princess Celestia does not approve.
  • BFG: Many characters wield heavy-duty assault arms. Justified, as Newfoals will ignore pain and gunshots to continue coming at their targets, so bigger bullets are necessary to cut down on wasted time.
  • Big Bad: Queen Celestia, known to her enemies as the Solar Tyrant.
  • Big Good: Princess Celestia in the Prime-verse, though she does have to face criticism from several characters.
    • Ambassador Lyra Heartstrings was this to the PHL and much of Earth's people before her death, after which her position is taken over by Cheerilee (who, incidentally, shares Celestia's voice actress on the show). The story gives them both shining moments, with Lyra quoting Charlie Chaplin's speech from The Great Dictator, and Cheerilee getting to actually hold her own in a fight against the Tyrant.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Some of the other races on Equus actually worship Discord, as he's an agent of change and they recognize that sometimes, chaos is necessary. Although that doesn't necessarily mean that they like him.
  • Brainwashed: Most of the Imperial Equestrians are mentally compromosied by magical means. Applebloom barely escapes this fate when Sweetie Belle persuades her to leave for Earth.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Newfoals are brainwashed to be unshakable fanatics for Celestia.
  • Camp: Characters who speak in theatrical fashion, Rule of Cool action scenes, overpowered weaponry, bizarre monsters, gore that comes in Ludicrous Gibs, satirical pokes at certain real-world issues, multiverse shenanigans. While there are sober moments, particularly when depicting military procedure, even the serious side-stories such as Joy to the Worlds or The King's Speech contain a little bit of grandiosity. On the whole, Spectrum prefers to serve as a platform for high-running emotions than as a thoughtful examination in the vein of Not Alone.
  • Cast Full of Gay: There is a more-or-less even split in straight and gay couples seen or otherwise mentioned. And there are loads of couples.
    • Oddly enough, all but three of the heterosexual pairings are cases of Interspecies Romance, and even then, two of those "exceptions" required Animorphism to get that way.
  • Category Traitor:
    • The Solar Empire labels Ambassador Lyra and pro-human ponies as "Betrayers" and "humans on four hooves". While being interrogated by PHL!Trixie, Captain Green Fields of the Royal Guard delivers this burning accusation:
    Fields: "Go to Tartarus! [...] And you're no pony, you're one of those... those human things! You might trot on four hooves, but you're the very image of what Equestria needs to stomp on, squash out, crush underhoof until nothing is left! YOU, ARE, AN, ANIMAL!"
    • The HLF consider the PHL as an affront to humanity, with Marcus and any other humans in relationships with ponies derided as "horse-fucking traitors".
    • The PER are called "the most despised faction of the Conversion War", and it is very easy to see why.
  • Celebrity Survivor: Amongst the ponies of the PHL, Vinyl Scratch (aka DJ-Pon3) seems to be a high-ranking member, Sapphire Shores uses her singing voice to raise morale amongst the troops, and Photo Finish is in charge of creating pro-human propaganda to spread throughout Imperial Equestria.
  • Child Soldiers: The war has made human children and foals carrying weapons a common sight. Cheerilee and Doctor Whooves are saddened by this, but regard it as a necessary evil.
    Doctor Whooves: "No child should ever become a soldier. But desperate times call for desperate measures."
    • In the Asia Side-Story, one of Yon-Soo's responsibilities while stationed in St. Petersburg was to train kids how to fight and defend themselves. He similarly notes that kids should not have to fight, and promises to make the Queen pay for what she's driven humanity to do.
    • In the Europe Side-Story, there is a mention of a teen soldier who "was not older as eighteen years" (the author's English isn't very good, just roll with it), but his exact age is not specified.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The PER, naturally.
  • Colon Cancer: The side stories' titles suffer from this.
  • Colonel Badass: Marcus Renee.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: The people of Earth have become used to mind-numbing tragedy as the war goes on. Best summed up in this quote from the Asia Side-Story:
    They'd all seen yet another city steeped in history and home to millions wiped off the earth for the umpteenth time, destroyed in a manner so contemptuously and anticlimactically simple that there were almost no words that could describe it. It was so very anticlimactic and inevitable that the news barely paid mention to it. Years ago, in Yon-Soo's childhood, the destruction of just an important building would leave the world reeling, but they were now all numbed to such tragedy.
  • Continuity Reboot: Creative differences lead to the original fic and the organizing group being deleted. A rewrite, titled Spectrum, was announced on May 20, 2017.
  • Cool Airship: The Solar Empire's Great Equestrian is described as one of the biggest skyliners ever built, being able to deploy chariots and spray potion clouds.
    The A.S. Great Equestrian, largest skyliner ever built, loomed over the skyline of Boston like an angel of death, disgorging chariots from which unicorn mages began to fire down bolts of lethal magic.
    • In the Europe Side-Story we get to see what it is fully capable of.
    The Royal Guards had sent a giant airship to attack the rest of the human army and to crush the ponies who dare to help them in the Middle East. The city of Herat fell within the day, even with thousands of people fighting for it, it fell due to its new weapon. Potion Clouds. They threw everything they had, but nothing they had on hand could pierce the shield that was covering it, along with a few dozen Potioneer Ships, the entire city of was swarming with ponies.
    • There are also the less threatening Potioneer Ships.
  • Cool Old Lady: Queen Elizabeth II, who took down a squad of Royal Guards and PER agents sent after the British Royal family at the cost of her own life by blowing up Balmoral Castle.
  • Crapsack World: Earth has become one for the War Refugees. Rio de Janeiro especially has become a total hellhole, according to Starvation. It's best described by the main character himself:
    Acevedo: "The city, Rio de Janeiro, is damn near a warzone. Food riots. Race riots. Dead ponies left and right, especially Newfoals. You can't walk outside without protection."
  • Crapsaccharine World: Imperial Equestria paints itself up as a paradise, but any veneer of niceness is easily broken if you dig deep enough. For one thing, it's shown that the Empire is very dreadfully unprepared to support the massive influx of newfoals coming in, and if you even so much as question Queen Celestia's "wisdom", you could get sent to a prison camp where you'll be worked to death, or imprisoned and tortured, as Imperial!Spike learned the hard way. There are also mentions of re-education centers; PHL members Aegis and Verdant Tract allude to having had brushes with those in the past, something which neither of them want to go through again. And according to Imperial!Granny Smith, the whole land is "poisoned and dying".
  • Creative Sterility: Newfoals cannott get cutie marks. What's more, regular ponies have had great deals of trouble earning them since the invasion began, though it isn't impossible – Dinky and the Cutie Mark Crusaders got theirs after fleeing Equestria. It's to the point that they're calling it the Dearth. Why is not entirely clear, although the most likely candidate is Queen Celestia's rampant Mind Rape crushing the freedom of thought required for ponies to find their special talent.
  • Creepy Souvenir: The HLF are overly fond of collecting unicorn horns and pegasus wings.
  • Crossover:
    • With G1 My Little Pony. Tirek's Bag plays a major role, and Megan is revealed to be Marcus' mother.
    • Also with Doctor Who, since Doctor Whooves is confirmed to be the Doctor, and Sherlock, as Mycroft Holmes plays a major supporting role.
    • Discord travels to the Harry Potter universe, revealing the Veil to be a portal between worlds, befriends Sirius Black, and taunts Voldemort. He then goes on to visit Samurai Jack's universe and is forced to rethink his own role in what he accused Equestria Prime of turning into, as well as the fact that Celestia and Luna took power because of his carelessness in the first place.
    • Michael, Lester, Franklin and Trevor lead a heist team in the main story.
  • Deadline News: The reporters at the press conference at Berne interviewing Queen Celestia on the Barrier's expansion got forcibly ponified on camera, kicking off the war.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Remember how Earth is always written as a Dystopia in Chatoyance's stories? Here, Earth becomes a dystopia precisely because of the Barrier.
  • Defector from Decadence: All the PHL ponies.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": As demonstrated by Stalwart Heart and Focus Ray, Newfoals don't take kindly to being reminded they were once human. Stalwart Heart also didn't like being called by his human name (Jacob).
  • Door Stopper: At the time of its cancellation, the main story clocked in exactly 682,072 words... and that's without going into all the side-stories it has.
  • The Dreaded: Tirek scares various characters, including Discord and dragon king Spykoran, who was Tirek's minion before siding with Megan Williams and the Dream Valley ponies.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The earlier side-stories are usually focused on a group of characters in a single location (Europe, Asia, Brazil), and suffer from Colon Cancer. The newer ones take place in multiple locations, sometimes different viewpoints from the established main characters, and have mostly dropped the colon based titles.
  • Easy Logistics: Mostly averted, since while not much detail is provided, the human forces are clearly being worn down by the enemy's constant onslaught, but played straight in that the Solar Empire never seems to run out of vials for the ponification potion. And then subverted in Calm Before the Storm, where we get a good look at the state of Imperial Equestria's economy. The mentioned potion vials are only available en masse due to newfoal slave labor. Otherwise, the laws of economy and logistics have hit them very hard.
  • Emergency Transformation: In the early days of contact with Equestria, the potion was given to cancer patients, amputees, the blind, the deaf and so forth. Needless to say, the cost outweighs the benefits.
  • The Empire: Queen Celestia's Solar Empire.
  • Enemy Mine: There is a recurring theme of bitter enemies feeling so threatened by the Solar Empire that they put aside their differences.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Discord is disgusted by what Queen Celestia is doing to the humans and what she did to his counterpart. Not only that, but even he's scared of the Bag of Tirek. Meanwhile, in addition to having the same feelings as his prime counterpart, the alternate Discord protected several ponies who would otherwise have been killed by collateral damage when Queen Celestia attacked him.
    • Queen Chrysalis balks at Shining Armor's accusation that she raped him while disguised as Cadance, and even seems insulted that he would think such a thing. She still used her Mind Control to her advantage, but not for that specifically. May also be a Take That! to stories which actually have that happen.
    • Chrysalis is also disturbed to realize what Queen Celestia was up to, though that may have been due to the Newfoals' tainted love, which fatally poisoned all Changelings who fed on it. It's safe to say that even the show's greatest villains think the Solar Tyrant is going too far. With one exception – the original nemesis, Tirek, is The Man Behind the Man to Queen Celestia.
    • Less-than-moral characters from other franchises also get in on the act when the protagonists from Grand Theft Auto V play a major role in a raid on a Conversion Bureau. (They do expect payment.)
  • Evil Counterpart: Princess Celestia and the Mane Six have theirs in Imperial Equestria. They are all being controlled by the Bag of Tirek, and the Mane Six themselves were all locked up inside their minds, unable to do anything but helplessly watch as mental homunculi implanted inside their bodies drive them around like puppets, committing war crimes of the highest caliber.
  • Evil Stole My Faith: Marcus hasn't believed in a just God since 9/11. Plus, it's implied that many humans have lost their faith in God because he is allowing something as monstrous as the Queen to wipe out Humanity.
  • Fandom Nod: In-Universe. Much of the chapter "Pushed To The Limits" is a love letter to the various non-prime AU side stories that have sprang up around The Other Side Of The Spectrum, including:
  • Fantastic Racism: The ponies loyal to the Queen against the humans.
    • Many ponies in Imperial Equestria are downright frightened by the Newfoals, but thanks to government spies, they have to stay quiet about it unless they want to be sent to the gulags or to a re-education center.
    • Starvation shows that even pro-human ponies are not safe from this, with race riots and dead ponies being quite common in Rio. This later gets expanded upon with the HLF.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Imperial Equestria. They brought it on themselves, taking on such a huge population increase while going to war and destroying all the human infrastructure they could have used to make colonizing Earth easier.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Conversion for humans. Several have either committed suicide or asked their fellow humans to Mercy Kill them instead of getting converted.
  • First Contact: Imperial Equestria came about because of an accident at CERN HQ in Geneva, Switzerland involving an attempt to track and identify tachyon particles which ended up breaching the fabric of reality and creating a portal.
  • Flawed Prototype: Let's just say that early versions of the ponification potion were rather... unpleasant. Nearly three-thousand people died in the initial trials.
  • Forced Transformation: The potion will turn anyone it makes contact with (except for other ponies) into a perpetually smiling zombie-like shell of a pony that is completely loyal to Queen Celestia.
  • Foreshadowing: In "Harmony and Hegemony", Luna says that Marcus "carries the stench of Discord".
  • Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: The Newfoals always smile, and happiness is the only emotion they can feel. No sadness, no fear, just oblivious happiness, and blindly praising the Queen.
    • The Imperial!Mane Six are twisted mockeries of the actual Mane Six, who are kept enslaved and tortured in their own mind while a fake pony happily lives out their life and ruins countless others'.
  • Future Badass: Most of the PHL ponies, since their Equestria is four years ahead of Equestria Prime.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen Celestia.
  • Gorn: The authors don't shy away from what the weapons on both sides can do to a body. Driven home in the flashback of Twilight testing the prototype of the potion on several helpless people...
  • Goshdang It To Heck: Amongst other things, Newfoals lose their ability to swear. PHL!Trixie thinks it sounds stupid, but the PHL exploit this weak point for all it's worth.
  • Great Offscreen War: The war between the alternate Equestria and a Sombra-controlled Crystal Empire.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Only against alicorns; they work just fine on everypony else. However, there are ways of getting around the threat of guns. Magical shields, if strong enough), can No-Sell most forms of weapons, and there is the old trick of simply taking the guns away using magic and turning them against their owner... which seems to have been largely overcome by the time the main story rolls around. Guns are now modified to be resistant to magic, as well as fire faster, with larger magazines, all through runic magic. And even the alicorn factor is shown to be waning after one of the assault teams uses a sniper rifle to blow off Queen Celestia's ear. Then, in the next chapter, Kraber destroys her spine with the very same rifle; unfortunately, she turns out to be a duplicate created by the Mirror Pool, leaving it open as to how effective the gun would be against the real thing.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: Deconstructed and Subverted. It's made clear that it's just not going to work. Mostly because of the radiation in space, limited resources, lack of habitable planets, and how the few colonists who could escape wouldn't be a match for Celestia if she eventually found them.
  • Hopeless War: For both sides, really.
    • For Earth, millions of people have become War Refugees over the course of the war thanks to the Barrier, which annihilates any human or human-made object in its way. Not only that, but the Barrier is nigh-unstoppable, and every human knows it. The situation looks so bleak that the U.S President has resigned himself to a plan that would destroy all life on Earth, with the small hope it will do something to the Barrier, even as it kills them all.
    • For Imperial Equestria, humanity's determination to fight back and the ensuing advances in battlefield technology has caused enormous casualties, enough to make the Solar Empire's old-fashioned tactics and Zerg Rush usage of the Newfoals just plain impractical. On top of that, the massive influx of Newfoals has upended their economy, and morale is so low that only terror and fanaticism are keeping the Empire afloat. And even that is failing, since more and more natural-born ponies are beginning to question Queen Celestia's actions, either defecting to the PHL or getting imprisoned as "enemies of the state".
  • Humans Are Special: Maybe. The prime versions of Twilight and Lyra have both read books which mention humans coming to Equestria long ago via the Rainbow of Light, and the event where the first portal opened at CERN may not have been an accident, considering that Queen Celestia already knew of mankind's existence and stole Discord's magic so she could travel across dimensions.
    • Later in the story, Spykoran reveals that the Bag of Tirek wants revenge against humanity, following a previous encounter where its maker was defeated by a human.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The belief of Queen Celestia and the ponies still loyal to her.
    Twilight: "The humans are a disorganized mess, they've damaged their planet with how reckless they've been with their industrialization and technology."
  • Humans Are Warriors:
    Discord: "You, bring order to a group of beings that thrive on chaos and order with a mixed bag of general insanity? I have seen them, long ago before you were even a speck in Mother's mind. They are powerful and will destroy you and all your ponies the moment they feel threatened."
  • Hypocrite: The Imperial Equestrians will go on and on about the evils of the human race, but their talk about love, friendship, and harmony is at complete odds with the Mind Rape and forcible transformation of an entire species into zombie-like Newfoals.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Mankind's general acceptance of the Conversion Bureaus prior to the war does stretch Willing Suspension of Disbelief, considering that even "progressive" human societies tend to be slow in embracing new medical practices. Plus, this kind of Genre Blindness feels like it belongs to a world in which works of fiction such as the episode "To Serve Man" of The Twilight Zone (1959) were never made.
    • In the main story, none of the Mane Six find it suspicious when PHL!Trixie disappears into a cloud of smoke, only for Rainbow's father to appear seconds later. Sure, the girls didn't know about the Blue Spy's shape-shifting abilities beforehand, but you'd expect them to put two and two together.
  • Immune to Bullets: Alicorns, unless they're hit by enchanted bullets.
  • Incongruously-Dressed Zombie: Fresh Newfoals usually keep a piece of clothing that they were wearing when they were turned, such as a flannel shirt or a military uniform.
  • Interspecies Romance: There's Marcus and Cheerilee in the main story, Stephan and Trixie, Peter and Sapphire Shores from the Europe Side-Story, Aitmatov and Blizzard Flurry, Sergei and Aquamarine in the Asia Side-Story, and Rebecca Kleiner and Thunderwing from Case Files.
    • Zig-Zagged with Doctor Whooves and Derpy. He used to be the Doctor, but got turned into a pony at some point, though unlike the Newfoals, he's not brainwashed.
  • Just Before the End: It's made abundantly clear in the main story, the Asia Side-Story, Starvation, Calm Before The Storm, and Last Train From Oblivion that the world isn't in great shape. At least a third of the Earth's landmass has been eaten up by the Barrier, people are starving, cities are overpopulated, and Apocalypse Anarchy reigns.
  • Kill All Humans: Guess whose plan that is. No, it's not Queen Celestia's. It's Tirek's.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Human-made energy weapons do exist in the story, but of the two that appeared, one melted itself into oblivion, and only the Lightning Gun mounted under Kraber's machine gun was effective. Judging by the fact that they've only appeared twice, it seems that while they are possible thanks to magic and technological advantages, they're just harder to build than assault rifles.
  • Knight Templar: Queen Celestia and her followers seem to genuinely believe they're doing what's best for humanity. Although the presence of the Bag of Tirek puts into question how much of that is anything but brainwashing. The Mane Six, at least, had their minds replaced entirely by new avatars Queen Celestia created, leaving their original selves helplessly trapped inside their bodies.
    • The HLF are humans who desire to kill every last pony, regardless of evidence that not all ponies support Celestia or her mad plans.
  • Last of His Kind: The Scribe was created to serve as the collective memory of the first alicorn race by Faust, who was the last one to survive the war against Tirek.
    • Queen Celestia killed all the dragons, with the exception of Spike, whom she kept locked up and viciously tortured.
    • In the Europe Side-Story, Chrysalis and her Changeling hive were killed by the tainted love of the Newfoals, with Chrysalis hanging onto life for a good few years before finally succumbing to the poisoned love consuming her body.
  • Like Reality, Unless Noted: The Spectrumverse attempts to represent early twenty-first century Earth as accurately as possible, with some deliberate exceptions. For starters, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was never made note  and instead, Lauren Faust went on to make a TV show of Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls. Additionally, the crew from Grand Theft Auto V as well as the characters from Sherlock both exist. And magic is as real a force as gravity.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Mankind encounters another sapient species from a parallel universe... that wants to assimilate us and our planet, wiping out every last trace of our existence. However, many of the aliens decide to throw in their lot with humanity, and their powers combined with human ingenuity are enough to slow down the enemy's advance.
    • Cosmic Horror Story: In a more traditionally Lovecraftian sense, the reason the alien species wants to destroy us is because their leader, who was once a beacon of hope and enlightenment, first allowed her world to stagnate and was then enslaved by an Artifact of Doom capable of corrupting the noblest of heroes.
  • Mad Bomber: The PER (Ponification for Earth's Rebirth) make liberal use of potion bombs.
  • Magic Antidote: The potion was seen as this in the early days of contact with Equestria, until the mental changes of the Newfoals became more and more apparent.
    [Cadence] still shivered at her aunt's explanation about everything involved with the Sun Tyrant, that lingered in her mind, how she came to the world of Humanity, bearing gifts and good tidings, all the while planning to subjugate them and erase their very existence from their world. How she offered a would be miracle cure; it cured diseases, cancers, gave sight to the blinded, hearing to the deaf, grew legs that allowed those without limbs to walk once more, and so much more. But those that took it... lost everything in return, and when the time was right, when humanity began to learn of the side effects of the potion, she struck.
  • Military Brat: Marcus Renee and his brother Jacob, whose father David died in combat. Porter Stanley's father is one of the soldiers that fought alongside David, making him a Military Brat in his own right. Rebecca Kleiner is also stated to be one in her biography from Case Files.
  • Mind Rape: Becoming a Newfoal turns people into perpetually smiling, mindlessly cheery zombies, with little free will of their own.
    • Most of Imperial Equestria is subject to mind-control as well. Applebloom describes it as feeling like her thoughts are replaced with an irrational hatred for humans and a desire to ponify every person she sees. Queen Celestia also placed a Geas on the Royal Guards, making them follow her every order without question. And then there's the corruption and subjugation of the Mane Six. We even see it happening to Twilight firsthand, and it's written in a way that feels disturbingly similar to actual physical rape. In fact, Queen Celestia herself is a victim of this, given what the Bag of Tirek did to her.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Several factions have arisen in the wake of the war with varying levels of moral stances.
    • For the most part, the Solar Empire ponies genuinely believe they are helping to uplift humanity, but many others are perfectly gleeful in stamping every trace of mankind's existence out. To say nothing of The Man Behind the Man that is wiping humanity out to get revenge for one human defeating him in the distant past, and is reveling in the pain and suffering the war is causing for everyone.
    • While the PER are generally along the same wavelength as the Solar Empire, there are also a number of people that joined because they believe ponification is a second chance for them to get better lives.
    • Though the HLF desire humanity's survival and want to help people, they're very rigid in their anti-pony stance, and the number of psychopaths and fanatics in their ranks haven't helped either.
    • While the PHL are the protagonists of the series, they have some messed up people within their ranks, and aren't afraid to resort to dirty tactics to gain any upper hand on their enemies.
    • The Equestrian Resistance wants to bring Queen Celestia down and accepts Equestria's guilt in starting the war, but their goals and interests serve Equestria foremost.
  • Mutagenic Goo: The ponification potion. Unlike many examples, this one can actually be turned into clouds..
  • Next Sunday A.D.: When the Equestrians arrive on Earth in 2018, the world bears little difference to the fic's time of writing in the early 2010s.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Subverted. The Japanese Prime Minister and the US President are fictional characters, but several major real-world figures appear.
    • The British Royal Family are featured quite prominently. Queen Elizabeth's last act is to take some Royal Guard and PER agents to hell with her. Prince (now King) William and his family are seen getting evacuated out of an over-run United Kingdom, and as of the main story, he is a pilot in the British military. Meanwhile, his father Prince Charles is shown to have been ponified.
    • In the Asia Side-Story, Kim Jong-Un is said to be fleeing North Korea, but his squadron gets overwhelmed by the PER. His ultimate fate is left ambiguous.
    • Itsunori Onodera, the Japanese Minister of Defense, is a real-life person.
  • Point of Divergence: The difference between Prime Equestria and Imperial Equestria is that Princess Cadance never became an alicorn, and thus didn't take the throne of the Crystal Empire, allowing King Sombra to reestablish his power and fight a conventional war with Equestria. However, that only came about because of a heavily corrupted Celestia's influence... Which in turn only happened because Lyra went on an ill-fated scuba diving trip...
  • Precursors: The original alicorn race, including Faust and Tirek, creator of the namesake Bag.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: There are plenty of these to go around. Queen Celestia gives one to Princess Celestia and then Princess Celestia returns the favor tenfold, Princess Celestia gives one to Discord, Discord gives one to Princess Celestia...
    • After he pushes her already strained psyche too far, Princess Celestia gives Prince Blueblood a verbal beatdown for being such an embarrassment to the Royal Family, before declaring him cut off from his inheritance.
  • Rebel Leader: Ambassador Lyra was the first pony to openly defy Queen Celestia, and was also the one who founded the human-sympathizing organization PHL (Ponies for Human Life). Naturally, she ended up paying for it with her life.
    • Marcus leads the bulk of the UN's defense forces, but he isn't actually this to the PHL, serving instead as the prime human liaison to the pony group. The leadership role now appears to have been taken over by Cheerilee and Doctor Whooves.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: The Other Side of The Spectrum has spawned several non-prime spinoffs such as Harmony is Damnation: A Conversion Bureau Story and The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum Side-story: Inner Rage.
  • Reference Overdosed: Has its own Shout-Out page.
  • La Résistance: The Ponies For Human Life (PHL), ponies who fled Equestria and fight alongside the humans against Queen Celestia's regime.
    • The Human Liberation Front (HLF) also exist in this continuity, but they are largely overshadowed by the PHL. On top of that, the HLF are rather... extreme.
    • There is also the Equestrian Resistance, otherwise known as the New Lunar Republic, a decidedly patriotic movement that wish to destroy the Solar Empire and bring Equestria back to a harmonious state.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: The HLF, who are usually the heroic go-to La Résistance in anti-TCB fanfiction, have devolved into this in the Spectrumverse – showing how, while most of them wouldn't get along well with ponies, it is equally unlikely that the military would fall under their umbrella, and their rigidness makes them remarkably ineffective at opposing Imperial Equestria. But it's worth mentioning the HLF weren't originally intended to be this in-universe, having started as support group for helping friends and family of people who converted with the radical personality changes in their loved ones. It quickly attracted a multitude of unsavory characters after the war began.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Bag of Tirek.
  • Semper Fi: Marcus Renee, his brother Jacob, and their father David. And Asia Side-Story lead character Porter and his father Richard, who served alongside David.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Falls somewhere in the middle, leaning very slightly towards idealism.
    • Despite rejecting the misanthropy of traditional Conversion Bureau stories, no bones are made about the human capacity for viciousness, the HLF is depicted as no better than the Solar Empire, and even many humans on the "good" side display psychotic tendencies brought on by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Meanwhile, the ponies who reject Queen Celestia's new order have either lost their innocence or are in process of losing it, while the Imperial ponies are blinded by their dogmatic belief that they are in the right. And the war is so unforgiving that Child Soldiers and "I Did What I Had to Do" methods have become commonplace for the PHL.
    • On the other hand, humans and ponies are shown to be perfectly capable of working together, many of the less morally upstanding characters do have at least one redeeming trait (provided they aren't pro-Conversion), and though this is a situation where love, tolerance and friendship can't magically solve everything, they are still powerful forces which can give people the will to stand firm against whatever the world throws at them. Plus, there are a couple of moments that take a break from the fighting to evoke an underlying sense of wonder at both races' accomplishments.
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic vs. Fantastic: The basic concept of humanity encountering magical ponies would place any Spectrum story in the Unusual category at the very least, but there are nuances.
    • The main story is definitely Fantastic, with many of its chapters revolving around both Equestrias and the action sequences running heavily on Rule of Cool. However, whenever Discord shows up, things take a right turn into Surreal.
    • A clear-cut example of Fantastic in the Spectrumverse would be Joy to the Worlds. It's almost entirely set on Equus, tells of a great battle between two magical beings, and though they are mentioned, no humans show up.
    • Last Train From Oblivion, Light Despondent and Shades of the Unsung, though mainly Unusual, frequently border on the Fantatisc, in no small part thanks to their protagonists' insight into Things Man Is Not Meant to Know.
    • Starvation and Calm Before The Storm are Unusual, being fairly mundane in terms of drama and conflict, but set in worlds where magic exists and war is fought on an unprecedented scale for Earth.
    • One could make a case for the Europe, Asia and Once More Unto the Breach stories to be called "Unrealistic with a touch of Unusual", since they focus more on military deployment and character than the fantastical elements. Rule of Cool is still in place, but it comes off as low-key compared to the main story.
    • Case Files, Adrift, The King's Speech and Many Faces of Mankind take a Mundane approach to the Unusual events they describe.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Ooh boy. Frequent Mood Whiplash is to be expected when reading.
    • Most of the battle scenes are filled to the brim with Rule of Cool, gleefully laying a smackdown on the Imperial Equestrians when the PHL or other pro-human characters have the upper hand; this applies to Discord's fighting style in particular. However, the mood quickly turns grim if the Solar Empire ever gains the advantage, and the aftermath of the battles is rarely pretty. War Is Glorious only when detached from anything resembling real-life warfare; otherwise, not so much.
    • Starvation sums up the Spectrumverse's tone in a nutshell — over-the-top characters messing with each other and dropping silly pop-culture references, while around them, the world is dying a slow, painful death.
  • Stepford Smiler: The Newfoals. They never stop smiling either, unless someone pushes one of their Berserk Buttons.
  • Take That!: Being a series of DeconstructionFics, every story its share of potshots at the Conversion Bureau as a genre. Chatoyance's work in particular is a major targets of the authors' scorn.
  • Taking You with Me: Queen Elizabeth II takes the Royal Guard and PER agents sent after her straight to hell thanks to a rigged Balmoral Castle.
    • The American military has jury-rigged multiple nukes to set off the Yellowstone caldera in case the barrier consumes too much of the planet, as a last blow against Queen Celestia. For reference, the other suggested alternatives included a Last Stand against the Newfoal hordes, all-out nuclear bombardment of the Barrier, or attempting to build a spaceship to escape. The last two were found to be Awesome, but Impractical, because the barrier disintegrates all human artifacts, and a spaceship would consign any unfortunate "colonists" to death by radiation and starvation.
  • Tank Goodness: Tanks such as the M1A3 Abrams, the Leopard 2, and the T-90 make appearances. Discord summons a Leopard 2 as part of a magic trick.
  • Technology Is Evil: How the Imperial Equestrians view human technology. Which unfortunately has not stopped them from appropriating other human concepts.
    Stalwart Heart: "Human technology is what led us to the mess of a planet called Earth."
  • Tested on Humans: The ponification serum. Nearly three-thousand kidnapped test subjects.
  • This Means War!: Humanity declares war on Queen Celestia after she declares her intention to ponify all of humanity, starting with forcibly ponifying a group of reporters at a press conference in Berne.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Once they're transformed by the potion, Newfoals will immediately denounce their former humanity and become loyal to Queen Celestia.
  • Troperiffic: The sheer volume of this page, the number of Shout Outs, and occasional Lampshade Hangings are more than enough evidence of how quite a few of the co-writers are tropers themselves.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Newfoals, and pretty much anyone else loyal to Queen Celestia. It wasn't willingly.
  • Urban Warfare: The Salvation Army's and the Rescue Fleet's main strategy is to corral all humans too weak or exhausted to flee any longer into the cities, which are then bombed full of potion in liquid or gaseous form. Consequently, most of the story's battles take place within a devastated urban landscape.
  • War Fic
  • War Is Hell: Just ask Marcus Renee or Princess Celestia. Stephan Bauer summarizes this to the Mane Six when he begins training them.
  • War Refugees: The civilians that managed to escape their home countries and cities before they were overrun by the barrier, the ponies who defected from Queen Celestia, and Chrysalis for awhile. Starvation focuses on the struggles of various war refugees living in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Discord believes what he's doing is for the best, as he only caused chaos in Equestria the first time so ponies could overcome the challenges necessary to make themselves self-reliant. He's not thrilled with what Princess Celestia's well-meaning efforts to stop him have led to, though his trips through the multiverse do force him to realize his own carelessness and lack of control at the time as well as reconsider his position.
  • When Dimensions Collide: The bad kind which turns into a fight for survival for humanity.
    • Then comes the good kind, where humanity finds some valuable allies.
  • White Male Lead: Played straight with Marcus and Stephan. Zigzagged with Acevedo in Starvation, who is Brazilian but has Caucasian features. Averted with Yon-Soo from the Asia Side-Story, who is South Korean.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Bag of Tirek gave Queen Celestia a huge boost in power... at the expense of making her a xenocidal nutjob.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Imperial Equestrians are willing to potion human children. Even worse, several children made up the three-thousand test subjects used for Twilight's potion trials.
    • On the other side, it's perfectly acceptable to shoot said Newfoal children, especially since they're now the enemy and would happily force potion down people's throats, all in the name of spreading Harmony. It's even seen as a Mercy Kill of sorts.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The HLF in general have this problem. While they, like most other people, want the Imperial Equestrians gone and humanity saved, they completely ignore that the ponies can work with humanity, deriding any pro-human defectors as spies and the PHL as "an affront to humanity." Their desire to defeat the enemey with purely human ingenuity also has its own problems, because it's increasingly clear that isn't going to work; the PHL/UN Taskforce on the other hand uses every bit of Equestrian craft and magic they have at their disposal to fight the Solar Empire and slow down the Barrier, and moreover the PHL's methods actually make progress against the Empire (even delaying the Barrier, no small feat at the time) and accomplish more than senseless deaths. And yet the HLF completely ignore it in favor of seemingly thinking they're in the middle of a desperate last stand full of slowly dwindling and increasingly ineffective resources, degenerating into violence and paranoia. Thanks to this, they are decently threatening in the Asia side-story, but by the time of the main story they are not, and Kraber has called them "a punchline" (among other things generally hinting at incompetence) in response.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: For the PHL ponies. Which is understandable, considering that their home is a fascistic, despotic hellhole that would brainwash anything that kept them different from newfoals out of their minds. In fact, many ponies, such as Fiddlesticks (that Palette Swap of Octavia from "Apple Family Reunion") no longer considers it to actually be her home anymore.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: The Solar Empire is fond of using airships as war machines.
  • Zerg Rush: The strategy of fresh Newfoals, who are used as meat shields for the Royal Guard.

     Main Story (Original) 
First Published: Aug. 04th 2012

  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • During the Battle of Boston, a rune-inscribed crystal 50-cal bullet goes through Queen Celestia's shield and blows one of her ears off. In the same chapter, Discord shows off a tiny gun he acquired in his search for their dimension. It shoots Banzai Bills.
  • Actually a Doombot: The "Celestia" whom Luna and Discord fight in Boston is actually a clone created by the Mirror Pool.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Subverted. Imperial Equestria's use of zeppelins has been confirmed by Redskin to be purely coincidental with the idea that skyliners (the Equestrian equivalent of cruise liners) could be adapted for military use.
    • In Calm Before the Storm, the Prime Equestrians are enthralled with human artwork.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Newfoals are colonizing the land absorbed by the Barrier.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: In a flashback from the chapter "Sanguine Meetings and Bloodied Past", Newfoal unicorn Stalwart Heart (formerly Marcus's brother Jacob) tried to make Marcus back off by magically choking Cheerilee. Marcus responds by killing him.
  • Anachronic Order: The first chapter opens with Marcus restrained in a hospital after his beatdown of the Prime!Mane Six; the following chapter recaps the fight in detail.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: In the chapter "The Writes of Passage", we learn that Flim and Flam of all ponies were present at Granny Smith's side during her last days, when Applejack was not.
  • Apathetic Citizens: What Discord thinks of the Prime Equestrians. This is averted in Calm Before the Storm, when they're exposed to the human arts and see photos detailing the effects of the Solar Empire's campaign or the plight of the War Refugees.
    By the end of it, nopony would have considered isolationism. No matter their occupation, they resolved that they would Do Something Important. Whether it was manufacturing, support, maintenance of communication networks, or fighting on the frontlines with the new modular assault yokes and saddles that they saw at Isaac Dan Der Grimnebulin's stall... they would not quietly sit in their homes as war raged on... They would make absolutely sure that Earth won its fight.
  • Appeal to Audacity: In "Trust", Prime!Luna presses her head directly to the muzzle of an anti-alicorn BFG to convince the PHL soldiers that she's on the level, because would a puppet deliberately put itself in PHL crosshairs?
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: PHL!Vinyl Scratch uses music to power up human and PHL troops in battle.
    Vinyl: "Hey! All my speakers are awesome, you should've seen some of those humans fighting when my speakers are cranked up to 15!"
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The various proposals that President Davis receives. While the "awesome" part is uncertain, they're impractical because they just don't have that kind of time anymore.
    President Davis: "Then there are the various projects that Crowe Labs or any other convenient think tank tries to peddle to us and any other government that still has a couple acres they can set foot on without melting into puddles. They crank out new concepts once a week, it feels like. Wildly unfeasible energy weapons, bioweapons that we're not sure even work against ponies, barrier-resistant materials, spaceships, and something that they called Project Sunflower! All prohibitively expensive, of course, requiring hundreds of imported Equestrian materials, things we'd need to make decade-long leaps in science to make, especially in the time that we have left! It took us a miracle to even delay the barrier! As far as I can tell, we have no choice. I'd love to say no and kickstart Project Sunflower, but the barrier would be at the Rockies by the time we had enough of that done for it to make a difference! From what Stephan has said, they were friendly, and we simply have no options left on the table!"
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Sanguine Meetings and Bloodied Past", one of Marcus' memories shows that he brought Cheerilee to Washington DC because she wanted the PHL to take a more active role in fighting the Solar Tyrant. The visit coincided with a major attack, and Marcus had to kill his converted brother.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Marcus attempts to slit his throat when he thinks he is about to be ponified by the Prime!Mane Six, only for the knife to be taken from him. In desperation, he tries to faceplant on the knife, but ends up knocking himself out.
    • Humanity's last plan if all else fails is to create a mass extinction event by nuking the Yellowstone supervolcano.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Imperial!Pinkie Pie. She commits the same atrocities as the rest of the elements while keeping her usual smile and childlike attitude throughout it all. Not to mention, her party cannon has been upgraded to a more lethal party shotgun.
  • BFG: While going through Marcus's memories, Princess Celestia witnesses one of Vinyl Scratch firing a harness mounted minigun at the Mane Six.
    • The DSR-50 anti material rifle carried by Bundeswehr sniper Alicia, specifically modified with magical runes to kill the Tyrant. She gets a good shot, but Celestia moves her head at the last possible second, leaving it ambiguous as to whether the gun could actually kill an alicorn.
    • To a lesser extent, Ana Bjorgman's old Arctic Warfare Super Magnum.
  • Big Applesauce: Discussed by Doctor Whooves, who says that New Yorkers have survived too much to even contemplate evacuation. New York also serves as a major stronghold for the PHL.
    • Discord builds a duplicate of New York City in Equestria Prime, to serve as housing and training grounds for the various armies which have come to fight the Solar Empire It was purged of every Chuck. E Cheese and Freddy Frazbear's pizza joints.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: Sometimes used by newfoals.
    “Traitor!” he screamed, one hoof coming down on Lyra’s snout with a blistering ‘crack’! “Monster! Meanie-pants!”
  • Both Sides Have a Point: In "Training Days", Marcus discovers Acevedo and PHL!Vinyl's attempts to discover the point of divergence between the two Equestrias, and goes to put a stop to it. They discover it on their own anyway. Marcus argues that the news of Ambassador Lyra's discovery of the Bag of Tirek would cause a huge Broken Pedestal and give the HLF more fuel for their own fire. Vinyl and Acevedo, on the other hand, point out that the truth has to come out eventually, and even if they weren't the ones to break the news, someone else is going to find it, and Lyra did do a lot to make up for her mistake.
    • Discord accuses Celestia of making the ponies stagnate as a culture, while Celestia thinks Discord's "approach" was way too careless with his powers and too irresponsible for it to even allow a culture to exist, much less grow.
  • Brawler Lock/Punch Catch: Marcus and Celestia in "Harmony And Hegemony". It's a bit of both since Celestia doesn't have fingers.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The Cutie Mark Crusaders were disbanded thanks to the war. They get back together in "The Writes of Passage".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Pinkie Pie and Discord shatter the fourth wall in the gag version of "The Writes of Passage", with Discord mocking the sickeningly sweet nature of about half that chapter, then abruptly rewriting its outcome.
  • Break the Cutie: PHL!Bonbon, after being Forced to Watch Lyra's execution, went completely and utterly insane. Not helping matters is the chronological lobular desync disorder, a mental disorder she got after Doctor Whooves had to perform an emergency crossing of the time-dimensional barrier to extract her.
    In simple words, she had suffered a temporal stroke, leaving the two halves of her brain in separate time zones. One was always in the present, while the other...wandered. Sometimes she babbled about events that had yet to happen, or screamingly re-experience past horrors, not just from her own life, but of Eldritch nightmares from eons before Equestria's founding. It was a painful, debilitating and humiliating fate. But at times, the ability to experience the future before it happened was extremely useful.
    • Prime!Lyra in "War March and Past Sins", when she realizes that she could have doomed the world if she had gone on the scuba-diving trip which uncovered the shipwreck carrying Tirek's Bag.
    • Imperial!Twilight (and by extension, the rest of the Mane Six), owing to having their bodies hijacked by Queen Celestia and being forced to witness atrocity after atrocity. She's reduced to an emotionally destroyed wreck, begging for Princess Luna to kill her.
  • Break Them by Talking: Marcus in "Harmony and Hegemony".
    Marcus: "For a while, we simply thought that Celestia had panicked, that she was trying to protect her subjects from a potentially dangerous race..."
    Twilight: "No... I don't want to hear this!"
    Marcus: "But if that was the case, diplomacy would surely have made her see reason, that we wanted co-existence on mutually agreeable terms..."
    Twilight: "Please, stop..."
    Marcus: "But when Lyra showed us the truth, that Celestia was building an Equestrian Empire, we realized that she was just the latest in a long line of despots and dictators, a mad god trampling down on everyone and everpony."
    Twilight: (completely in tears) "STOP!"
  • Broken Pedestal: On Imperial Equus, Applebloom experiences disillusion with regards to her sister, as does Scootaloo to an extent towards Rainbow Dash. But it really isn't Applejack or Rainbow's fault.
    • Defied in "Trust". Marcus chooses not to bring Prime!Lyra with him back to Earth, because Ambassador Lyra's legacy is too great for her to live up to. He also refuses to reveal that Lyra was the Unwitting Instigator of Doom that dug up the Bag of Tirek and caused the mess in the first place.
      • Subverted when Isaac Acevedo and PHL!Vinyl discover the latter, and state that this doesn't change their view of Ambassador Lyra in the least.
      Acevedo: "Lyra's a hero and nothing will change that. I'm a Catholic, and I proudly say that yes, she does deserve to be canonized as a saint. And yeah, she made a mistake, but by God, she did more to fix it in a few years than most people do in their lifetimes!"
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Imperial!Luna after the Tyrant stole all her power from her.
  • Burning with Anger: In "Monsters", the good Celestia alights in solar fire as she delivers her statement of war to the Tyrant, burning with such heat that the surrounding forest catches fire without her even touching it.
  • Bury Your Gays: Ambassador Lyra was turned to stone and smashed to pieces by an angry mob while Bonbon was Forced to Watch.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Imperial!Pinkie Pie takes a while to remember ponifying Kraber's children, much to his anger.
  • Cannon Fodder: The general purpose of the Newfoal Zerg Rushes is to overwhelm their opponents so that the Royal Guard can take them out.
  • The Caper: The protagonists of Grand Theft Auto V, Iron Will, Gilda, and a motley assortment of griffons engage in one to steal a new magical power source from a now-fortified Conversion Bureau.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Kraber and his pony friend Aegis engage in some after they watch Prime!Luna hit the Rage Breaking Point and turn into Nightmare Moon. Though, to be fair to them, it's implied that they're in shock.
    Aegis: "...Kraber?"
    Kraber: "Yeah?"
    Aegis: "I think we know why Twilight teleported out. Whatever happened between Twilight and Luna... appears to have turned her into Nightmare Moon."
  • Celebrity Survivor: Amongst the ponies of the PHL, Vinyl Scratch (aka DJ-Pon3) seems to be a high-ranking member, Sapphire Shores uses her singing voice to raise morale amongst the troops, and Photo Finish is in charge of creating pro-human propaganda to spread throughout Imperial Equestria.
  • Chaos Architecture: Twilight's mindscape in "For Whom the Bell Tolls".
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Luna mentions Discord turning Sint Erklass' granddaughter into a cloak, in "Sanguine Meetings and Bloodied Past". Said granddaughter makes her full appearance fifteen chapters later, as Sint's own second-in-command Elsa Erklass.
  • Childhood Friends: Lyra and Twilight know each other from Celestia's School For Gifted Unicorns.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Amongst the Grand Theft Auto V characters, Michael plays this role to Trevor.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Although they were Childhood Friends, Twilight dismissed Lyra's belief in humans. Sure enough, Marcus's arrival proves that humans do exist... and unfortunately, are under attack from an alternate Equestria.
  • Confusion Fu: Discord's fighting style, mixed with Looney Tunes-style Toon Physics. And lots (and we do mean lots) of Shout Outs.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Subverted with the U.S. military. The United States were building up their military since 9/11 to partake in The War on Terror, but they were preparing for terrorists; now they are using their beefed-up military to fight xenocidal aliens.
    • Queen Celestia had a feeling the humans might have an ace up their sleeve, so she sent a Mirror Pool clone of herself to Boston instead.
  • Dedication: "Sons of Legacies" is dedicated to Drawdex, a pre-reader/editor who had to leave the team for personal reasons.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Rune engraved .50 BMG rounds have been produced for sniper rifles that also have runes inscribed on them. They work so well, that they are able to hurt Queen Celestia.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Discussed; Marcus is a leading figure in the PHL and UN forces, and if he were killed or ponified, it could very well be what sends the surviving humans into a full loss of hope.
    Discord: "With the Commander at the helm of the new Equestrian forces, humanity would give up all hope."
  • Disappointed in You:
    • Prism Flash is disappointed in his daughter Rainbow Dash for fighting with Trixie instead of talking out the problem like he taught her. Except it's part of an act by Trixie, who transformed into Rainbow's father in order to catch her unawares in their training session.
    • The Scribe is not at all happy with how her children have confounded her plans, particularly the fact that Celestia found the Elements before the time was right and locked Luna and Discord away. However, she puts her disappointment aside because there are more urgent matters to attend to.
  • Disposable Vagrant: The ponification potion was created and used for "beneficial purposes" before Queen Celestia did away with the pretense and began her conquest of Earth, but its creation required extensive experimentation. The Imperials picked off humans from poor areas all across the world over a long period of time to avoid detection while acquiring test subjects.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Doctor Whooves detests not only guns, but weapons of any kind. He's in something of a minority position amongst the other characters.
  • Driven to Madness: Bonbon went insane upon seeing Queen Celestia execute Ambassador Lyra by petrification.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Marcus's mother, Megan (yes, that Megan) died of a heart attack shortly after Jacob's ponification. On that same note, Marcus's Aunt Molly and Uncle Danny were killed a year into the war when they were caught in the crossfire of a shootout between the PER and the police.
  • Earth Is a Battlefield: The East Coast of the United States has become the latest battlefield in the war against the Solar Empire; elsewhere, the Barrier has stretched far enough that Nairobi (Kenya), New Delhi (India), and New Brunswick (Canada) are on the front lines as well.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The nukes planted in the Yellowstone Caldera are primed to blow up the Earth if set off.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The PHL base under Freedom Tower is located deep underground and links up to the tunnels and subway systems of New York.
  • End of an Age: At least two characters refers to the death of old Equestria in the face of Celestia's Solar Empire. Trixie describes Imperial Equestria as "Equestria no more". Granny Smith, however, sums it with the following;
    Granny Smith: "No! Landsakes no Bloom! Get yerself away from this place as soon as you ken'. Get out of Ponyville, getch yerself outta Equestria! This whole place has been poisoned. It's dyin' Bloom, and what'll be left will soon be just a corpse, movin' and talkin' and playin' like it were alive, but dead through and through..."
    • In Last Train From Oblivion, Iron Kreme-Brulee spells it out as well:
    "Does this seem like Equestria, where we have to be so afraid? Watch our flanks in the presence of those abominable things?! Since the wedding, maybe even before then, our land, or something in Celestia, has shifted! We're turning into something else, something that isn't Equestria, and my Great Babe doesn't belong to whatever that is! It belongs to Equestria, or whatever of our Equestria is left after Celestia -" (EXPLOSION INTERRUPTION)
    • In "The Writes of Passage", we learn that Tirek's curse reduced the formerly all-alicorn pony race to having only one of the three attributes, resulting in the modern pony races.
    • Equestria Prime is also experiencing its own "end of an age". The Age of Innocence, held up by Celestia for more than a thousand years, is over.
  • Enemy Mine: Princesses Celestia, Luna, and Cadance team up with Discord to end Queen's Celestia's campaign of xenocide. Meanwhile, Queen Chrysalis may despise Princess Celestia with a passion for casting the Changelings out of Equestria into the Badlands, but is willing to join forces with her to help stop the Solar Tyrant.
  • Ensemble Cast
    • Rotating Protagonist: Much of the time, the sotry centers on Marcus, but it has a tendency to frequently switch its viewpoint character.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Princess Celestia's mane returns to its natural pink color after having seen what Imperial Equestria has done to Earth. Since her hair never returns to the style seen in the show, it seems to be her "serious look".
    • Pinkie Pie, after seeing the extent of the suffering and how Newfoals get false happiness imprinted into their brains, has her hair goes straight, which shows that she's done with fun and games.
  • Faeries Don't Believe in Humans, Either: Except for Lyra and a few other eccentrics, nopony in the prime Equestria saw humans as anything other than creatures of legend... then the story begins.
  • Fall Guy: After the disaster of the Ponyville Hostage Crisis, the PHL and the Princesses resort to using Prime!Trixie as a scapegoast to protect PHL!Trixie and preserve the Alliance. Ultimately, however, they decide not to go through with it.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: PHL!Trixie's attempts to help Focus Ray keep ending up getting the good guys hurt. The Blue Spy is eventually forced to kill him.
  • Final Speech: Condemned to be turned into a statue and smashed, Ambassador Lyra got to extensively quote Charlie Chaplin's speech from The Great Dictator in front of an angry crowd of Equestrians calling for her blood. Not an example of Shaming the Mob, since Lyra knew most of them wouldn't listen to her. All she could hope for was that someone would record her last words for future use against Celestia. Which did happen, and Photo Finish uses her words for that very purpose.
  • The Final Temptation: In "War March And Past Sins", Equestria Prime's Bag of Tirek tries to offer Discord something to prevent it from being sent to the stars. Discord shuts it up by asking if it could give him back his mother.
  • Forced to Watch:
    • In the backstory, Bonbon was forced to watch Ambassador Lyra get turned to stone and crushed by an angry mob. It broke the poor girl's mind in two.
    • The TCB!Mane Six are all trapped within their own minds, their bodies taken over by dark puppets. All the girls can do is watch on helplessly, and Twilight even begs Luna to kill her. Soon after this, the memories of Twilight's experiments on human subjects for the ponification potion are forced onto Luna; there were almost three-thousand.
  • From Bad to Worse: When it comes to light that the griffons are sending over Tsumerai to aid the battle for North America, it sounds like good news, right? Just one of them is said to be incredibly skilled, and they're sending all one hundred of them. Except their main duty is to protect the ruling monarch, and the only way all of them are able to come over is because their King just died, leaving Gilda as the last member of the Royal Family. This is for a country that is already on its last legs after being cut off from trade by Queen Celestia.
    • In "For Whom The Bell Tolls", the fight against the Tyrant is interrupted by Luna transforming into Nightmare Moon.
  • Future Me Scares Me: After a fashion. Imperial Equestria is about four years ahead of Equestria Prime, and the Prime!Mane Six and Princess Celestia are dismayed at their counterpart's actions. Especially Celestia, who experienced firsthand through a mind-sharing spell what Marcus' memories were like.
  • Generation Xerox: Blueblood looks, acts and has the same name as an ancestor from centuries back.
  • Ghost Memory: Thanks to Prime!Twilight's mind-sharing spell, Princess Celestia comes to know most of Marcus's life, including his Marine training. The same is true for Marcus, but a mental guardian calling itself "Tia" keeps most of them away from him due to the fact that over a thousand years' worth of memories would make him a vegetable.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Princess Celestia decides to consult Discord about the Bag of Tirek. The talk ends with Discord himself deciding to join the fight.
    • Despite still being wary of them, President Davis states that siding with the Prime!Equestrians is the best course of action, what with all other choices running out fast.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: If Discord is to be believed, Celestia and Luna were only meant to move the sun and moon, not to actually rule over the ponies.
  • Happily Married: One of the few good things to have carried into Imperial Equestria is that Doctor Whooves found Derpy.
  • Hate Fic: According to Redskin, the entire fic came about as this to the original TCB story and particularly the stories of the divisive author Chatoyance.
  • Head Desk: In "War March And Past Sins", Lyra has a frustrated reaction to learning she missed out on finding a ship carrying proof of human existence in the Galloping Sea. And less amusingly, Lyra is horrified upon hearing that said ship contains the Bag of Tirek.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • During "The Answer", PHL!Trixie undergoes a brief but powerful breakdown after finding a tortured Spike in a prison cell.
    • Luna gets so angry with Queen Celestia's actions righ up to the Battle of Boston that she actually turns into Nightmare Moon.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Barrier may be the Imperial Equestrians' trump card, but it's also screwing their Equestria over big time, since it vaporizes everything (agriculture, infrastructure and buildings materials), leaving the conquered lands useless to them, which is especially problematic since food production is breaking down. They're destroying the very resources they need so much, and it's all during wartime, no less.
    • A research article from Prime!Twilight in Other Side of the Mirror expands on this. Since the Barrier is powered directly by TCB!Equestria's magical field, it's draining the lifeforce of the land, leading to the aforementioned food production problems and possibly even the Cutie Mark Dearth itself.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Explored during the "Pale Moonlight" arc. After the fiasco in Ponyville, the Alliance decides to use Prime!Trixie as a Fall Guy to take the heat off PHL!Trixie and avoid stirring fear from the populace. However, they are unable to bring themselves to go through with it, because they feel the move would make them no better than the Solar Empire.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Characters use the expression "Tartarus on Equus".
  • Holy Backlight: In the chapter "The Answer", Derpy first appears gliding out of the TARDIS, explicitly described as being 'backlit like an angel'.
  • Holy City: According to "Setting It Right", Mecca has been wiped out by the Barrier, devastating the Islamic world. And given the Barrier's starting point in Switzerland, Vatican City and Jerusalem were destroyed too.
  • Home Base: The PHL headquarters are located in the Freedom Tower of New York City.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: Doctor Whooves suggests a plan to evacuate as many humans as possible to a planet in the Epsilon Eridani System. It won't be able to get them all, but it'll be something, at least...
  • Humiliation Conga: In "Sanguine Meetings And Bloodied Past", Prince Blueblood is disowned by Princess Celestia, scared and humiliated by Discord, and tripped up by Marcus.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The dragon king Spykoran destroyed all of Dream Valley, burying Tirek's Bag, and killed any pony remaining in Dream Valley that had been corrupted by its influence. He feels massive regret over what he did, but stands by the fact that it was the only way to keep Tirek from returnin.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Marcus tried to reason with Stalwart Heart to bring back his former human self, Marcus' little brother Jacob. It didn't work.
    • PHL!Cadance's and Trixie's efforts on Royal Guard Captain Green Fields prove more successful, but then again, he wasn't a Newfoal.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Marcus nearly manages to get a headshot on Prime!Twilight with a bread knife.
  • In Medias Res: The story begings after Marcus' entry to Equestria Prime, and the main story itself takes place a little over three years after the war began.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Marcus tried to slash his throat to avoid capture, only for Prime!Twilight to take the knife from him.
  • Invaded States of America: After the Barrier has consumed all of Europe, the Solar Empire strikes at the Eastern United States.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: When Prime!Dash calls PHL!Trixie a "fat blue fake trying to fly", Trixie is more offended at being called fat.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: PHL!Cheerilee and more than a few Equestrian defectors holds the opinion that Imperial Equestria cannot be saved. The story does not exactly disagree with them.
  • It's Personal: Marcus' reasons for wanting to kill the Imperial!Mane Six range from Rainbow Dash converting his soldiers right in front of him, to Twilight converting and marrying his own brother, the latter of which led to Marcus having to kill said brother.
    • Luna, thanks to her mind-reading skills, was not only witness to the corruption of Imperial Twilight, but was then forced to see Not!Twilight's memories of experimenting with the ponification potion. Her response? Turning into Nightmare Moon.
    • Kraber is after Pinkie Pie for converting his family at his children's birthday party.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind:
    • Marcus and Princess Celestia go deep into Marcus's past and present with the help of a mind sharing spell. Needless to say, Celestia nearly Goes Mad From The Revelation upon seeing the atrocities her little ponies are committing on the humans.
    • Luna delves into Imperial Twilight's mind in "For Whom The Bell Tolls". The things Luna discovers push her so far off the edge of rage that she turns into Nightmare Moon!
    • Discord has to head inside Marcus's mind to rescue him from Sombra's control in "Sons of Legacies". It quickly turns into a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
    • Luna, Chrysalis, Cadence and Stephan have to go on one of these to break Trixie out of the enchantment Weaver put on her.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Tsumerai, the griffon military's equivalent to the special forces, use katanas as their standard blades.
  • Lampshade Hanging: From Trevor Philips. Yes, ''that'' Trevor Philips. Surprisingly, he takes a firm grip on the Sanity Ball and is one of the few characters who takes note of the absurdity of the story's plot.
    Trevor: "And another thing! When I thought of the end of the world, I imagined big ass fucking meteors, or the Earth deciding that she had had enough of our shit and would just blow the fuck up. Never thought the apocalypse would come in the form of pastel ponies!"
  • The Lancer: Stephan to Marcus, with his own Lancer in the form of PHL!Trixie.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: One of Queen Celestia's favorite execution methods, given that she used it on her universe's Lyra and on Blueblood. She later demonstrates the spell "Ashes of Solaris", which turns bodies into ash from the inside, causing the victim to crumble apart at a touch.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: In a flashback detailing the PER's attack on Washington D.C., Marcus is shown "amputating" a man's arm with a shotgun after it got splashed with potion, saving him from ponification.
  • Lowered Recruiting Standards: By the time the Barrier swallows up most of Europe, the military is recruiting Child Soldiers. The Bundeswehr have also allowed Kraber, a former HLF operative and someone who desperately needs a mental health evaluation, to serve; thankfully, his Ax-Crazy nature is limited to his enemies.
  • Mad Oracle: PHL!Bonbon became capable of seeing the future after exposure to the void when Doctor Whooves rescued her from execution, yet it's at the cost of her sanity.
  • Magically-Binding Contract/Binding Ancient Treaty: The Concordia Maxima, which is used to bring all the races of Equus to join the fight against the Solar Empire. To Celestia's surprise, this includes Queen Chrysalis and the Changelings.
  • The Magic Comes Back: The presence of Equestria is awakening Earth's lost magic, which the PHL is able to use to their advantage.
  • Manly Tears: When Prime!Lyra meets with Marcus in the room he is being held in, Marcus is overwhelmed with emotion to the point of tears, since the Lyra in his universe became a martyr for opposing Queen Celestia, saving many human lives, and was also a good friend of his. It happens again when Marcus tells the Prime!Mane Six about the state of his world.
  • The Medic: PHL!Derpy is one for the human and PHL soldiers out in the field.
  • Medieval Stasis: Discord chews out Princess Celestia over allegedly causing Equestria to turn into a stagnant Sugar Bowl during "Sanguine Meetings And Bloodied Past".
  • Mercy Kill: During his deployment in Mexico City, Marcus saw a father kill his converted son before taking his own life. He later had to do the same to his own little brother Jacob.
  • Mind Rape:
    • The modus operandi of the Solar Empire, be it employing the ponification potion to turn humans into mindlessly obedient Newfoals, or placing homunculi into the minds of the Element Bearers to keem them compliant.
    • Prime!Sombra does this to Marcus to feed off his despair and guilt by making him see the friends and family of his who died during the war. Whereupon Sombra takes control of Marcus' body.
  • Mistaken Identity: Marcus attacks the Prime!Mane Six after mistaking them for their Imperial selves.
  • Monumental Damage: The Barrier destroys all human-made objects it touches, so this is frequent.
    • Westminster Clock Tower (aka Big Ben), the Pyramids of Giza, and St. Basil's Cathedral are wiped out. Hancock Tower was destroyed when the Great Equestrian crashed into it. Windsor Castle is mentioned to be destroyed when a plane crashes into it just as the UK is overrun. The Andrew McArdle Bridge was blown up to obliterate a large Newfoal horde. Mecca has been destroyed by the Barrier, and for that matter, so were Vatican City and Jerusalem. As a silver lining of sorts, the three Abrahamic faiths have made peace with one another.
  • Mood Whiplash: After Discord spends all of Chapter 18 ("Strike") in a humorous Looney-Tunes style fight against the Solar Tyrant, this is followed by "For Whom The Bell Tolls", possibly the darkest chapter and one of only two chapters where the authors felt the need to put up a warning label.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe. The reader gets the choice of at which exact moment Imperial Equestria crosses the line, because there are so many to choose from, but Trixie's discovery of the Cold-Blooded Torture of Spike makes it apparent that this is her own breaking point.
    Trixie's legs suddenly felt as soft as rubber, and she sat with a horrified gasp. Wet tears of her own ran down her face. This was worse than the Newfoals, worse than the war. This was a life brutalized and tortured, by Equestria... Equestria. Loving and tolerant... Equestria. Peaceful and forgiving... Equestria no more...
    • Heavily discussed in "War March and Past Sins", with the eponymous past sin being that Spykoran resorted to drastic measures to keep the Bag of Tirek buried. While the other world leaders of Equus are horrified by what he did, Spykoran himself regrets his actions.
    • For Luna, the line is crossed upon seeing how Queen Celestia corrupted the Element Bearers, together with the gruesome tests performed to develop the ponification potion.
    • In "Trust" (and expanded upon in Case Files), we learn that the backbreaking straw which made the U.S. military take action against the HLF was their kidnapping, torturing and murdering a PHL mare to make an example of her.
  • Ms. Exposition: The Scribe, the godlike incarnation of ponykind's genetic memories and last remnant of the first race of alicorns.
  • Multinational Team: The remainders of Europe's armed forces have now joined together to keep fighting the Solar Empire. The PHL itself is comprised of a diverse roster of fighters from Earth and Equus.
  • The Multiverse: An explicit feature of the story. The Multiverse Journey side story has Discord traveling through the universes of Warhammer40000, Assassin's Creed, The Slender Man Mythos, Naruto, Samurai Jack, and even meeting Q.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: According to Discord, Queen Celestia will only keep going after she has conquered Earth.
    Discord: "The multiverse is vast, each world having vastly varied ways of existing, all with different ideals. Something the corrupt queen wouldn't be able to stand. Oh, there are powers out there that can rival, yes, or even beat her. But she will play it smart; she will gather power from other worlds before finally striking, with a limitless army at her beck and call from dozens, if not hundreds, of worlds."
  • Murder-Suicide: A flashback shows a man killing his just ponified son and then himself after reciting The Lord's Prayer, to TCB!Applejack's disgust and Marcus' horror.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • My God, What Have I Done?: King Spykoran, in an effort to keep the Bag of Tirek from corrupting anyone else, destroyed all of Dream Valley and its inhabitants, and sunk the ship that held the findings of an archaeologist with the Bag itself on board. Despite his regret, he maintains that he did what needed to be done.
  • Neck Snap: Marcus killed his ponified brother this way.
  • Never My Fault: Although his intentions could be considered benign, Discord has a bad case of this in the earlier chapters when he refuses to acknowledge the damage he caused in attempting to bring Earth-like levels of "chaos" to Equestria. His trips through the multiverse force him to reconsider this view, somewhat.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Discord attributes Equestria Prime's Medieval Stasis to Princess Celestia's desire to let the ponies live in harmony, which he contends has only made them overly dependent on her and ill-prepared for the war. In turn, the Princesses only took power because they felt it was their responsibility to clean up the damage Discord's carelessness with his Chaos caused, leading to a misunderstanding and conflict between them that has lasted to the present day.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In "Strike", the PHL are on the verge of attacking Prime!Luna and Discord, when Queen Celestia shows up and indirectly proves the former two are on the level.
  • Nightmare Face: It's not implied to be the case in the text... but just look at Queen Celestia in this cover art. Look at it! It manages to invoke Light Is Not Good and Dark Is Evil at the same time.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Upon arriving in Equestria Prime, Marcus beats the ever-loving hell out of the Mane Six after mistaking them for their counterparts. Later, he even manages to give the Princesses a run for their money.
    • In "Strike" Cheerilee, in a fit of Unstoppable Rage, unleashes a brutal beatdown on Queen Celestia after her "Ashes of Solaris" spell kills a teenage boy soldier.
  • No Indoor Voice: Luna of course, but it's exaggerated when she manifests in Boston.
    Sufficiently to say, even over the roar of the blades, the engines, buffeting winds, and ear protection; William's ears were ringing for several hours after one Princess Luna's proclamation.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In "Harmony and Hegemony", Princess Celestia pulls off her Big Damn Hero moment just as Marcus drives Prime!Twilight to tears while describing Queen Celestia.
  • Nuclear Option: The U.S. President Jack Davis decided to nuke Washington DC rather than let it fall to the Solar Empire. A few years laterm, mankind is rigging the Yellowstone megavolcano with nuclear warheads.
  • Oh, Crap!: Twice courtesy of the Prime!Mane Six during their fight with Marcus, first when Twilight sees that Marcus is impervious to magic, then when Fluttershy's Stare fails to subdue him.
    • In "The Answer", Trixie gets a massive one when she realizes Queen Celestia is modifying the potion to turn the Newfoals from a bunch of Stepford Smiler zombies into an army of soldiers. Meaning that she has over a billion potential new recruits at her disposal. This is a case of Early Instalment Weirdness, since later chapters and the side-stories treat Newfoal soldiers as standard procedure.
    • Everyone present at the Battle of Boston is shocked when they realize that Queen Celestia is within spitting distance of them. Then Cheerilee spots the sudden arrival of Nightmare Moon...
  • One-Man Army: Marcus. His rune markings help with that.
  • Parody Sue: Discussed and vocally Defied at the same time. According to Marcus, the ponification potion turns people into "perfect ponies". Prime!Applejack quickly dismisses the concept of perfect ponies..
    Marcus: "The last time we all met, we were at war. Applejack pinned me down so that Twilight could administer the potion, promising to make me 'perfect'... a perfect pony..."
    Applejack: "Ponies ain't perfect, bub! Anyone tells you otherwise don't know their flank from their face."
    Fluttershy: "A-hum... Ponies can be mean, and cruel... but also kind..."
    Rainbow Dash: "Yeah! Look at me. I mean, I am kinda awesome but well, I can be a jerk some of the time... a lot of the time..."
    Marcus: "I never thought I'd see the day... ponies used to seem like the biggest hypocrites to have ever lived, going on about harmony, friendship, love and tolerance while they did... all that..."
    • In a flashback scene from "For Whom the Bell Tolls", Twilight, right before her corruption, even refutes the argument in front of Queen Celestia. It does not end well for her.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: The Imperial Equestrian army is called the Salvation Army, while their airfleet is called the Rescue Fleet. Averted with the official name of Equestria itself, however, which is now called The Solar Empire.
  • Physical God: Celestia, Luna and Discord are seen as such. They're later revealed to be the brainchildren of the Scribe, the guardian of the first alicorn race's memories and avatar of the last alicorn Faust, who fought Tirek in the distant past. Considering that Discord calls Faust his "mother", Tangled Family Tree this would technically make him Celestia and Luna's brother, which he acknowledges to some extent, calling their trip to seek her out a "good old-fashioned family reunion".
  • Pitying Perversion: Berry Punch, and presumably all other members of the PETN (Ponies for the Ethical Treatment of Newfoals), assumed that the Newfoals' creepy behavior is comparable to coming out of a drug addiction, and that they should be treated with respect. Of course, it never occurs to her that maybe turning them into ponies in the first place was unconscionable in itself.
  • Posthumous Character: Ambassador Lyra and Megan Williams.
  • The Power of Love: PHL!Cadance still believes in this, despite Shining Armor's love for her being unable to overpower the Tyrant's control.
  • Power Tattoo: Marcus' tattoos are actually runes enchanted with an archaic form of magic that greatly enhances his strength, speed and stamina, and makes him resistant to most kinds of pony magic.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Tsumerai act as this to the Griffon Kingdom.
  • Precision F-Strike: The failsafe code for the nukes set up to detonate Yellowstone is "Celestia is a cock loving whore." Deliberately vulgar and insulting to Queen Celestia so Newfoals cannot activate it.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The Cutie Mark Crusaders of Imperial Equestria reunite at the end of "The Writes of Passage".
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Americans intend to invoke this if the Barrier consumes too much of the planet by wiring the Yellowstone volcano with nuclear devices. Even if the Barrier can keep the ash and radiation out, half the supervolcano will be inside the Barrier when it explodes, causing a chain reaction that will turn Earth into a Death World and ensuring that humanity's enemy will have gained nothing.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Marcus has seen a lot during the war, but after ending up in Equestria Prime and encountering the Mane Six, he finally loses his head.
    Twilight decided there and then that, to the end of her days, she would never forget the look of shock, followed by inexpressible rage that plastered itself over his features.
    • In "Sanguine Meetings And Bloodied Past", Discord is visibly angry when he finishes chewing out Princess Celestia over Equestria's Medieval Stasis. During the same chapter, Princess Celestia finally lets loose all her stress and built-up rage on Blueblood when he pushes his attitude too far.
    • Stephan, after seeing Alicia and Daniel fall to their "deaths" thanks to Queen Celestia, begins beating the hell out of the Solar Tyrant's indestructible shield, proving it wasn't as indestructible as commonly thought. Then Cheerilee hits hers as well when the Tyrant kills a child in front of her. And then Luna sees what happened to Twilight's original personality. It's so horrific, it makes even one who has delved as deeply into dreams as Luna think she might get nightmares from it, causing such levels of anger in her that she turns into Nightmare Moon.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: The PHL/UN Taskforce's unicorn personnel are something like this; thanks to Queen Celestia drafting the strongest and smartest unicorns at the best schools across Equestria, the taskforce has very few unicorns actually experienced at "serious" magic. The bulk of their available unicorns are untrained laborers and civilians forced to Take a Level in Badass.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Chrysalis may have had no problem with leeching off his love for Cadance while impersonating her, but she never once considered "sharing herself" with Shining Armor during her attempted takeover.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: What the Royal Guards stationed at the Castle of the Two Sisters think.
  • Redemption Equals Death: During his fight with Queen Celestia, Imperial!Discord saved several innocent bystanders who would have been killed in the crossfire; the Queen eventually overpowered him before slowly and painfully depleting him of his magic.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The PHL ponies aren't afraid to get their hooves dirty when fighting alongside the humans.
  • Right Hand Versus Left Hand: In "Strike", the PHL shooters under Stephan's command mistake Prime!Luna and Discord for their counterparts and would have attacked them, if not for Queen Celestia making her appearance.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Marcus' beatdown on the Prime!Mane Six, although it's misaimed. That said, Marcus seems to be after Fluttershy and Twilight more than anypony else.
    Marcus: "It's you, or me, Flutterbitch. I've dreamed of this moment, for years. How does it feel, to be trapped, like the rest of us, in a vice with no escape? Tables finally turned, bitch. Now, you, are, going, to, DIE!"
    • Queen Celestia kills one of the ChildSoldiers in Boston. Result? Cheerilee completely loses it and, thanks to her runes, tears into Celestia with an unholy fury.
    • The memories within Imperial!Twilight's mind drive Luna to transform into Nightmare Moon, and her first action is to charge screaming at the Tyrant.
  • Save the Villain: Following the "Pale Moonlight" arc and the Alliance skirting with using the Empire's methods of brainwashing those who inconvenience them, Princeess Luna develops a newfound sympathy for the Tyrant and expresses her intent to save her counterpart sister from Tirek if there's even the slightest chance.
  • Schizo Tech: In "War March and Past Sins", Discord claims that the ponies are too coddled by Celestia to have come up with trains or electric generators without getting the inspiration from somewhere else.
  • Seppuku: Rumored to be how Japan's Prime Minister went down. Supposedly, he did it with a torn-out unicorn horn while he was half-ponified.
  • Set the World on Fire: The trees unfortunate enough to be anywhere near Princess Celestia during her little conversation with Queen Celestia catch fire, which is just the warm-up to Celestia's Angst Nuke of rage of her smashing the image of the Solar Tyrant's face with enough force to evaporate a lake and produce a huge crater.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Inverted by PHL!Trixie, who uses her Blue Spy abilities to take on the appearance of Lyra Heartstrings as a distraction during the fight with Focus Ray. Since Ray is a Newfoal, his first reaction upon seeing the Solar Empire's greatest dissident is to drop all else and charge at her.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • Marcus displays the classic symptoms of PTSD, experiencing frequent flashbacks to previous events in the war, and the sheer amount of hatred he harbors toward the Mane Six borders on psychotic. In "Sons of Legacies", zhis actually helps him against Sombra, because all the fear has been burned out of him, leaving nothing for Sombra to use. Despair, on the other hand, he's got plenty to spare...
    • And then there's Kraber. He's frequently said and shown to be a heavy drinker, his hatred of Pinkie Pie definitely qualifies as psychotic, though it's justified in that he hired Pinkie Pie to plan his children's birthday party, only to find his family ponified. On top of that, there's his Long List of crimes while in the HLF, and according to Princess Luna, his nightmares hang over him even during the day. He's also drowning in a sea of guilt and shame over his actions in the HLF, and also exhibits many signs of PTSD as well.
  • Shooting Superman:
    • Before her fight with Queen Celestia, Luna shot herself in the head at point-blank range to prove that alicorns can't be taken out by conventional means. And this was after Luna was Brought Down to Normal from being less powerful than her sister to begin with.
    • Averted in the Battle of Boston, where humans have pulled out entirely new hybrid weapons – a fusion of their own technology, magical runes and crystal fragments. With it, they manage to shoot off Queen Celestia's ear, though it doesn't kill her, since she can regenerate limbs.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • After enduring the Tyrant's attempts to convince her of the evil of humans, and listening to her abuses of the term "harmony", Princess Celestia delivers a heated one to a vision of her evil counterpart in Chapter 4.
    • Equestria Prime's Bag of Tirek attempts to convince Discord not to throw it away into space. Discord asks it if it can bring back his mother. This promptly shuts up the Bag.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!:
    • When Princess Celestia angrily calls Discord out on how his Chaos caused untold amounts of pain to Equestria, Discord retorts that her Harmony has caused its own damage by causing pony civilization to become stagnant, and the ponies complacent.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Marcus, especially by pony standards. Kraber is an even worse case.
  • Split Personality: TCB!Trixie has developed at least three of them due to her emotionally taxing work as a spy.
  • Stepford Smiler: The Newfoals. They never stop smiling either, unless someone pushes one of their Berserk Buttons.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Marcus checks off the characteristics of a Type 4.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    • Discord in "War March and Past Sins", when Spykoran tries to avoid the subject about the Bag of Tirek.
    • Prime!Twilight gets into this mode twice. First is when she demands answers from Dr. Grimnebulin regarding Spike's fate. Second is when she gets fed up with Stephan's domineering attitude after he accuses her of wasting time studying the Elements of Harmony instead of focusing on her military training.
  • Sugar Bowl: Equestria's status as such is attacked by Prime!Discord.
    Discord: Do they really? Oh, woe is me, to try and understand your flawless judgment. I mean, just look at your standing army! You have them equipped with... spears! They question nothing! Trouble? You resolve without an effort Risks? Why worry, the princess knows. Secrets of the past? What secrets of the past? The princess would never lie, so why think further? Why try anything new, when the one proven to know better is in charge? The ponies are going to be stagnant once you reach your limit, which is nearing, and you know it!
  • Super Breeding Program: Celestia and Luna encouraged a lot of intermarriages between the three pony races in order to try getting more alicorns. Celestia rejects calling it anything driven by eugenics, however, as she states that breaking the barriers between the three tribes would have been the right thing to do anyway, and "purity" driven movements did not end well.
  • Super-Strength: Anyone with runic tattoos, such as Marcus and Cheerilee. When his runes are fully charged, Marcus is strong enough to break Celestia's front ankles in a direct contest of strength.
  • Superweapon Surprise: Humanity plans to have the Yellowstone megavolcano act as a Doomsday Device, should things get to that point.
  • Take That!: Nigh exclusively aimed at Chatoyance.
    • The name "Ponies for Ethical Treatment of Newfoals" (PETN) sounds really similar to "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" (PETA).
    • Discord has unfavorable things to say about Chatoyance in the gag version of "The Writes of Passage".
    Discord: If you want characters to suddenly start acting out of character like this, go read a Chatoyance fic!
    • Kraber's backstory is basically one giant middle finger to Chatoyance's story The PER: Michelson and Morely - The Speed of Right, in which the eponymous PER agents ponified a group of children at a birthday party with a pinata full of potion. Specifically, he's what happens when the father finds out what happened to his kids and does not at all like what he finds.
    • While searching through Marcus' mindscape, Discord pushes his way across a horde of Newfoals, at one point stomping on a "white unicorn with gold-rimmed glasses, golden eyes and a frizzy pinkish-orange mane", the spitting image of Chatoyance's profile picture.
    • Prime!Celestia showing a distaste for eugenics is another Take That! directed at Chatoyance, where one story states that her Celestia actually used eugenics to make the ponies better by breeding out any "undesirable" traits.
    • It's easy to miss, but in "Training Days: First Month", one of Catseye's followers considers using the word 'adamant' in their group's name. Chatoyance once wrote a story called The Reasonably Adamant Down With Celestia Newfoal Society, a none-too-subtle potshot leveled at her critics.
    • Prime!Discord makes a couple quick potshots at conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza and notorious evangelist and actor Kirk Cameron.
    • Stephan expresses annoyance at looking like a Twilight vampire when he's turned sparkly by the Crystal Heart.
  • Taken for Granite: Ambassador Lyra, and the Imperial counterparts of Luna and Blueblood were all turned to stone. Lyra was crushed by an angry mob, the sight of which led to Bonbon's complete mental breakdown, Luna is kept as a trophy, and Blueblood got crushed as well, though it's suggested this was because Queen Celestia couldn't stand him.
    • [Prime!Blueblood gets turned to stone by Discord, this time as punishment for being such an Entitled Bastard. But it's temporary in this case.
  • Tastes Like Purple: When the magical portal that transports Marcus into Equestria Prime opens up over Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle remarks that everything tasted purple for a moment when she senses the massive amounts of magical energy radiating from it.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Princess Luna had this with Sombra, although it was one-sided on his part. He claims that her not returning his feelings was one of the main reasons he went evil. Discord even calls it out as trite.
  • The Teaser: The story begins with Marcus already captured and mouthing off at Prime!Twilight.
  • Title Drop: In "The Writes of Passage".
    "They called this negative range of emotions, 'the Other Side of the Spectrum'."
  • Token Evil Teammate: The PHL is not exactly a spotlessly heroic organization, but there are notable characters of this type within their ranks.
    • Viktor Kraber is a former HLF member and one of the most notorious. He has made strides and he only directs his Ax-Crazy impulses towards the PER and Imperials, but he's still very trigger-happy and deeply mentally unbalanced.
    • Pineapple Cutter is a Blood Knight who craves excitement, so much that she's only really with the PHL because they have the best weaponry and they share a common goal of not being enslaved by the Solar Tyrant.
  • Transformation Horror: What the ponification process does to its victims is messed up, to say the least. And that's without even going into the first trial potion tests...
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The Earthside chapters are set in the year 2023, with First Contact having occurred during the then-future year of 2018.
  • Uncanny Village: Ponyville and most of Imperial Equestria are like this now, if the opening description in "The Writes of Passage" is anything to judge by. There's perpetually smiling zombie-like Newfoals everywhere, and something is off about the sunlight. According to said opening description;
    The sun, although bright and radiant, seemed to cast a colder, more pallid light... everything on which it cast its gaze seemed... lesser. Not washed out, or colourless, or even decayed. Just lesser, diminished, reduced.
  • Villains Never Lie: Princess Celestia wonders this about Discord, noting that he may speak half-truths, use Insane Troll Logic and Moon Logic Puzzles, but not outright lie. The narration would support this, but the actual narrative says otherwise.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: When Stephan and Kraber are shown what Imperial!Twilight did in regards to the creation of the potion, both of them start losing their lunches in nearby trash cans.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • Initially averted in that the resistance groups and the military don't seem to have any problems about cooperating with each other. Played straight when humans first meet up with Prime!Luna and Discord. The PHL is all primed to kill them should they twitch wrong, and have brought their best god-killing gear with them.
  • We Can Rule Together: How Stalwart Heart (formerly Marcus' little brother Jacob) tries to convince Marcus to be ponified and join him in "spreading harmony".
  • We Have Reserves: Queen Celestia's plan for using her vast reserves of Newfoals to conquer other universes.
  • Wham Episode: "For Whom The Bell Tolls". It is the single darkest chapter of the story. Readers get to see how Queen Celestia replaced the minds of the Element Bearers with the mockeries seen in the war, followed by a detailed description of what happened to the three-thousand test subjects Twilight used to make the ponification serum work without horribly disfiguring or killing the subject, capped off by Luna turning into Nightmare Moon, which cows Discord into seriousness.
  • Wham Line: "Hidden Truths" ends with Prime!Discord telling Celestia he freed himself because her "ever loving twin" killed his counterpart.
    • "Pushed to the Limits" ends with Prime!Luna announcing to a squadron of human pilots that they have Marcus, meaning that Equestria Prime will finally join the war.
    • In "War March and Past Sins", everyone is horrified by what King Spykoran did to keep the Bag of Tirek buried, and some outright call him a murderer. In his own defense, Spykoran admits what he did was terrible, but maintains that he did what had to be done.
  • When Dimensions Collide
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Prime!Cadance is genuinely afraid of outliving everypony she has ever cared for. Celestia and Luna as well, to a lesser extent.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Marcus suffers from this earlier on, when he initially believes he simply traveled back in time to Equestria before they ended up on Earth, and tries to kill the Mane Six and Celestia to prevent the war. He quickly realizes he was wrong and now has allies that can help turn the tide of the war in humanity's favor.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Luna's antiquated linguistics get lampshaded in Chapter 11.
  • You ALL Share My Story:
    • Stephan, the star of the Europe Side-Story, occasionally fights alongside Marcus, and is promoted to deuteragonist.
    • The crew of the Starvation Side-Story finally meet Marcus in "Trust".
    • Averted for the crew of the Asia Side-Story, who handle things halfway around the world, though Marcus does tell Cheerilee in "Trust" to go look for them so they can help out in the upcoming final battle.
    • Marcus is treated by Isaac Dan Der Grimnebulin at the end of "Sons of Legacies".
  • You Are Too Late: Doctor Whooves tried to save Ambassador Lyra and Bonbon. Unfortunately, Lyra's death was a fixed point in time, and the fallout from the Doctor's meddling caused Bonbon's already fractured psyche to become embedded with visions from all of history.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Ambassador Lyra's death is one of the immutable fixed points in history that Doctor Whooves can't change.
  • Your Head A-Splode: What happens to those close enough to Marcus when he attacks with his "force push".