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- In Chapter 1, Marcus incorrectly comes to the conclusion that the Queen captured TCB!Lyra and erased her memories which devastates him. Prime!Lyra attempts to comfort him.
Lyra: I don't think we've ever been friends. But I'd like to be.
- There's a brief instance in the third chapter where Prime!Pinkie Pie, saddened at hearing about people getting converted against their will and the TCB!ponies' atrocities, brightens up a little at the thought of what amazing parties there'd be if the transformation spell were used benignly. An extra layer is added when she admits she'd love to have wings like a griffon, which given her first encounter with a member of the species is quite big-hearted.
- Even the Tearjerker and Nightmare Fuel filled fourth chapter has such moments. After one of his guards gets ponified during the scuffle with TCB!Fluttershy, the newly christened King William calls for the injured newfoal to get medical treatment. When another soldier protests that he's the enemy, the King refuses to hear it.
King William: This 'enemy' was one of my subjects two minutes ago, and God help me he still will be come the end of all this! MEDIC!
- Having confronted her evil self and received a little pep talk from Luna and Cadance, Celestia tells them both that she loves them and then declares that Equestria will help the resistance against the Queen's dark forces.
- Another minor example, but this line from TCB!Cadance in Chapter 7 is just plain comforting.
Cadance: It worked... love won, love... love can win again...
- To add context, during that scene, Cadance and TCB!Trixie were interrogating a captain of the Equestrian Royal Guard and managed to undo the brainwashing that the Queen put him through by making him recall his love for his daughter and grandchild. This manages to give Cadance hope that perhaps Shining Armor (and likely the Elements of Harmony) can be freed from the mind control as well.
- At the end of that same chapter, Trixie is so emotionally broken from having to resort to Cold-Blooded Torture to help break the Guard, that the sight of the newly-rescued TCB!Spike being cared for by doctors of both species leaves her feeling numb. Then Stephan comes and reassures her that she is still a good pony at heart; her disparate personalities all agree that love is what they fight for.
- Seeing and being utterly moved by what Marcus has endured, Princess Celestia gives him a big comforting hug and reassures him that for all the brutal things he's had to do throughout the war, he is fundamentally a good person.
- 'The Writes of Passage':
- In the "Gag" version, TCB!Scootaloo was diagnosed with "Disharmony Necrosis" (meaning that her underdeveloped wings never received any real love or support, and thus began decaying) and receiving surgery, Scootaloo will finally be able to fly.
- TCB!Cheerilee's concern for Scootaloo.
- TCB!Sweetie Belle and Applebloom's reunion and Applebloom finally defecting from Equestria. Even more is when the two also reunite with Scootaloo and finally receive their cutie marks.
- Despite not having the best history with the Apple family, TCB Flim and Flam still coming to see Granny Smith before she died and attend her funeral when Applejack didn't is a sweet gesture.
- TCB!Lyra's posthumous speech, where she says that there's room in both worlds for everyone, that humans and ponies need each other, and ends with a rallying cry for the races of Earth and Equestria to unite against hate and to fight for a new future. In her final moments, she turns to Bon-Bon and tells her that the future belongs to them and that she loves her.
- Turns out that Michael actually managed to reconnect with his family and have a good relationship with them, eventually becoming a prominent director. Well, how about that.
- 'Trust": Marcus and TCB!Cheerilee's reunion.
- 'Sons of Legacies (Part 1)': while Princess Celestia is having an emotional breakdown over finding out what happened to the TCB!Mane Six, feeling like she did coddle the ponies too much and will now be sending them to their deaths in the war, Discord gives her a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man slap, and then genuinely apologizes to her for having previously chewed her out on the latter, admitting that he did cause a lot of damage with his chaos and by failing to stick to the role the Scribe gave him.
- 'Sons of Legacies (Part 2)': Celestia comforting Stephan after the latter's traumatizing experience with the Dark Door. Especially moving since Stephan nearly tried to attack Celestia in his daze, yet she doesn't care in the least. Even more is that this is what helps Stephan finally become able to fully trust her.
- 'Sons of Legacies, (Part 3)':
- Discord admitting that he considers Marcus a friend.
- Princess Celestia's Rousing Speech to the crystal ponies, giving them the drive to power up the Crystal Heart and drive Sombra away forever.
Princess Celestia: (Royal Canterlot Voice activated) I ask you not to be frightened of this new age, but be filled with love. Not to live so deep in the past with those you've lost that you can't see the true joy of life, but to cherish the friendships and loves you will make in our Equestria! To not shy away but welcome a new world with open hooves and minds! Remember who you are! Before Sombra. Before all the heartache and misery. You are citizens of the Crystal Kingdom, not some despotic slave pit where you are forced to mine crystals for a deranged tyrant! You are ponies, not slaves! You were once happy and full of love, and it is that love that will cast the darkness away!
- Marcus seeing a vision of his mother Megan.
- The Prime!Mane Six slowly but surely developing a friendship with TCB!Trixie, especially when Applejack tries to reassure Trixie that Stephan will be okay out in the Crystal Empire.
- Stephan helping Luna up after the battle.
- In a very small way, Discord acknowledging Celestia and Luna as his sisters (since they were all the creations of Faust, and Discord considers her to be his mother) makes it clear the level he took up in kindness is sticking.
- Training Days, First Days: Part 1": It's a quick moment, but the scene of Prime!Chrysalis smiling at a young Changeling yawning and cuddling up to her is downright adorable.
- Rarity's utter rage at what happened to TCB!Spike. It's not even Comical Overreacting of the "This is the worst! Possible! Thing!" sort, she's genuinely appalled at what they've done to him.
- 'Training Days: The Second Month': This Patrick Stewart Speech.
In my youth, I was just another unicorn with quirks. Silly, silly quirks. Then came a war... the war I lost my family to in the opening days, when Sombra's monsters stormed Manehattan. Sweet, naive Lyra cried for days after that, so new to the concept of pain and loss. That war... that war was started by a pony, imperfect as the rest of us. But no, the great Queen finally conquered the darkness he spread, and in turn opened the gates of humanity to us. Sad, crying Lyra stood up to face them, to show a strong mare to all of them. A mask to keep them away from her. Broken, shattered Lyra met others that understood her pain. They built her up. They supported her. They were human. They saved poor, sad, broken Lyra. Ponies couldn't see past her mask, but humans did, and they helped. The war started anew. But there was no silly, silly Lyra. No broken, sad Lyra, no more! Only a proud and strong Lyra remained. Who created a way to survive. Who gave her entire being to a cause. A Lyra willing to lay her life on the line to save others. I may have died, killed for standing up for what she thought was right. (addresses Reitman)
But you were given the chance to become a pretty little pony. To be all that you desire. So only one question remains... Why didn't you just drink that potion and be done with it?
- 'Invasion Plans';
- After she sees how the Resistance plans to effectively cripple the Empire on Invasion Day, essentially rolling out the welcome mat for the PHL's assault, Cheerilee immediately grants a request to allow the Resistance's leader Miss Harshwhinny to visit Prime!Equestria and see something like the home she remembers.
- While she's indeed a harsh and hard-nosed mare, spoiler:Harshwhinny's concern for the plight of the Breezies and her Undying Loyalty to Luna is genuine and touching.
- While she's mostly convinced TCB!Equestria is beyond help, Cheerilee quietly admits that there still is a small part of her that wishes for the old home she'd once known.
- 'Of Broken Pasts';
- Celestia, Luna and Discord bonding as siblings and helping each other out.
- Celestia depetrifies Blueblood, who has done some soul searching during his imprisonment. The two of them admit to their own faults and mistakes from the past, and begin taking the first steps towards repairing their relationship, while Blueblood seeks to redeem himself.
- During the 'Pale Moonlight' arc, the Alliance was in the process of using Prime!Trixie as a Fall Guy to take the heat off her TCB counterpart who'd just been brainwashed by Weaver to go on a rampage and destroy the PHL's credibility (and ended in Berry Punch's accidental death). However, they ultimately decide to not go through with it, trusting the Equestrian public with the full truth of the matter, while giving Prime!Trixie a second chance.
- In "Out of the Void", while diving into the dreamscape together with Stephan on their way to rescue TCB!Trixie from the brainwashing Weaver placed on her, Luna, Cadance and Chrysalis come across a memory which finally gets the usually reserved Stephan to open up about why he loves Trixie. He himself used to play at being a magician when he was a child, and has retained some of his happiest memories from then. Even Chrysalis is touched.
- It's a small moment, yet Cadance guiding the others to sleep by singing a lullaby is pretty sweet. Bonus points for using a real-life poem about love and friendship (as well as blood), Hareut.
- In 'When the Metaphorical Crap Hits the Fan', Porter and Yon-Soo have this quick exchange:
Yon-Soo: We have to get going. There's going to be more of them coming soon, and they'll most likely try to target civilians still trying to get out of the city first. We'll have to hold them off for as long as we can.
Porter: (smiles) You're definitely getting the hang of this, Yon-Soo.
Yon-Soo: Hey, I only learned from the best.
- 'Don't You Worry Child';
- When the crew learns of Lyra's capture and execution at the hooves of the Tyrant, Firebrand flies into a mixture of rage and grief, asking what the PHL will be without Lyra to guide them. Hyong-Jin manages to pull him out of this funk and give him comfort.
Hyong-Jin: Just stand for what Equestria once stood for, like how Lyra always described it. And you don't have to do it alone, Firebrand. We got your back.
- Yon-Soo making it clear they're his True Companions.
"I've fought with you guys for over a year; you've all had my back, and I've had yours. I can safely say that I trust you all with my life. I'm staying with all of you to the end."
- Most moments with Comet Tail are guaranteed to be this, as her presence does help provide some calm levity for the soldiers.
- 'The Face of the Enemy': Porter reveals to Yon-Soo and Hyong-Jin that he had convinced Eun-Hee to go to the press conference in Berne. He admits that he owes the two of them a lot for helping him stay sane through it all and not let his guilt drive him insane. Yon-Soo and Hyong-Jin simply smile and state that they're glad to have helped because they owe Porter a lot for helping them out when they needed it.
- The Finale, while a Gainax Ending, has these sprinkled throughout.
Calm Before The Storm
- The first chapter thoroughly puts the lie to Discord's earlier accusations of the ponies being Apathetic Citizens when they see the exhibition of humanity's arts and accomplishments, as well as photos and movies detailing the effects of the Solar Empire's campaign and the plight of humanity.
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.
- The third chapter has TCB!Big Mac and Applebloom's reunion.
- Porter goes to see his family, and he and his father Richard recall the Renee family. Richard then hugs Porter and tells him how proud he is of his son.
- Young Porter and Marcus bonding during David's funeral, as well as baby Jacob hugging Porter goodbye and Megan telling Porter he could call her Aunt Megan.
Last Train From Oblivion
- Chapter 3, 'Bloodstained Sketches From A Small Town':
- For much of the chapter, Lightning Dust has been plagued by awful visions, providing her with a condensed look at the nightmare-inducing events that have befallen Equus and Earth, culminating in a full-on head trip as she is surrounded by shadowy once-humans then a powerful voice cries out "Enough!", striking away the creatures, and Bon-Bon appears at Lightning's side. They look on as the shadow-monsters converge into the shape of Queen Celestia and engage the owner of the voice. It is Lyra, who has become an alicorn.
The Light Despondent
- Chapter 3, "Sunset City/God Bless Us Every One": Kraber's spent most of the chapter being a dick to Verity. But, by the end, he feels terrible about it and tries to set up a video conference with Verity's father. It doesn't go well, but it was still very sweet of him. He even tries to get Verity to join the PHL, saying they'll help. That also doesn't go well, but again still unexpectedly heartwarming for one of the most mentally unbalanced and abrasive characters in the narrative.
- And then the group of people and ponies he was telling his story to come in, and Vinyl gives Kraber a Die Antwoord album as a Christmas present. At which point, it's revealed that they bonded over a love of punk rock.
- Kraber's almost childlike glee upon realizing that he's not a sociopath... and then getting hug-dogpiled by Dancing Day, Rivet, and Amber Maple while yelling "No! My only weakness! HUGS! How did you know!"
Shades Of The Unsung
- 'Welcome to the Gulag': Inkwell tries to help out a crystalpony filly being chased by Royal Guards despite being horribly starved, tired and hopelessly outclassed. He doesn't succeed sadly, but it's the effort that counts, and it shows that Inkwell, sheltered upbringing and naivete aside, is a good person.
- 'Rockwell's Travel Through Darkness': After temporarily freeing her from being suspended on a tree branch, Rockwell comforts TCB!Pinkie Pie and Pinkie Promises that he'll make it stop. Doing this made her actually feel happy again.
Joy to the Worlds
- Frost Wind, a little colt, stubbornly waits all night for the reindeer to come on Hearthswarming, in spite of his friends' changed attitudes as well as Celestia's own changes to Hearthswarming. Doubles as a Tear Jerker; the reindeer are all but extinct by the time of the Christmas Episode.
The Other Side of the Mirror
- Crossed with Tearjerker in many ways, but seeing the various side-characters' lives in a more peaceful environment (or at least their counterparts' lives) is very sweet.
- Aquamarine Glimmer, Comet Tail and Gale. Gale is a Royal Guard, and despite the war looming over them, they're determined to be there for each other and are a genuinely loving and caring family.
- Frost and Comet becoming friends, combined with Aquamarine and Snowdrop becoming slight shippers on deck for the two.
- Winter Truce promising Comet that the PHL and the allied forces of Equus will make the Solar Empire pay for what they've done.
- A meta example: the friendship of the "Team Spectrum" people (authors, side story creators, and editors). Doctor Fluffy's thanks for the help he's gotten while writing the Calm Before the Storm side-story stands out especially.
- Unfortunately, this becomes pretty heartbreaking in hindsight considering the way the team split up in May 2017.
- TheIdiot's Fimfiction blog post commemorating Team Spectrum's members and fans. Putting in a shout out to other members of the Anti-Conversion Bureau group and its most famous stories (including The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone, The Conversion Bureau: Cold War, Ten Rounds, The Price of Generosity and The Conversion Bureau: Conquer the Stars) also cements how much those stories played a role in the creation of the Spectrum-verse.
- In spite of the downright heartbreaking way the Spectrum Team split up from Red, they've all made it clear that they hold no ill will towards him and acknowledge his role in the friendships they've made with one another, and when discussing the team's decision to have Marcus Renee be Adapted Out of the reboot, Jed had this to say:
There are a few reasons Alexander Reiner stepped in to replace Marcus. The big one for me, however and prepare to be astounded by irony here, guys is this: Respect. Not for Marcus, necessarily, but rather for Red.
See, it's no secret that the vast majority of the crew parted from Red on acrimonious terms. A lot of us have strong feelings about Red's conduct over the years, myself included. However, there is no denying that without Red, we would not have worked with one another. We would not have made what we have together. I personally would not be on this site at all. And I respected Red for a long time, even as I disagreed with him on matters of storytelling and other things. I even dare say the opposite was once true as well, though it seems obvious how Red feels now.
Red, if you do read this, consider the incorporation of Alexander Reiner to be our last mark of respect towards you as the man who started Spectrum. Or don't. Think what you want, really, I don't care anymore, because as Fluffy says in a minute, either way I don't think we'd have had Marcus Renee in this story. I'd just rather think we're doing it to be kind than spiteful. Personally, I'm sick of spite.
To everyone else: I hope Alexander Reiner's story grips you as much as Marcus Renee's ever did.