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Sunset's smile on the cover doesn't represent how she feels through most of the story.
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All the Equestria Girls are excited to be at the Starswirl Music Festival, but no one is more excited to see PostCrush, the most amazing pop duo ever, than Sunset Shimmer and Pinkie Pie! The only problem is... Sunset Shimmer is trapped in a time loop! She keeps reliving day one of the festival over and over, and she hasn't been able to make the right decisions to get to the big show. Help Sunset Shimmer find a way to figure out what kind of Equestrian magic is behind this and make it to the PostCrush concert with her best friend so she doesn't stay stuck forever!

Written by Whitney Ralls; unlike previous book in the franchise, this one is a Gamebook where Sunset Shimmer finds herself in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, so she and the reader must make the right choices to break it.

The events of the story were adapted from a cartoon special, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Sunset's Backstage Pass.

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Make Your Own Magic – The Starswirl Do-Over provides examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: There's more action here compared to the books that came before it.
  • Alternate Timeline: There are different starter routes, different Red Herrings and different decisions. Yet, all of them can lead to a happy ending and be "canon".
  • And I Must Scream: There are endings where Sunset is permanently trapped in the time loop.
    • The endings do not redirect the reader to other pages to try again like most routes through the book. Instead, you just get "The End".
    • After the good ending route, Sunset implies to Pinkie that she's been trapped in the time loop for a year. Also, the RV ending has her saying that she's been trying for a year.
  • Auto-Tune: Sunset Shimmer notices this when she sees the Dazzlings singing at the festival. Adagio however states that she doesn't use it, Aria and Sonata do.
  • Broken Aesop: The reason why PostCrush has been using the MacGuffin is because they want to have a perfect performance, and in the good ending they get talked down by Sunset that not everything comes up the way you want. Thing is, Sunset on the good ending manages to defeat them due to trial and error, and should the reader choose it, Sunset can ignore the time loop and do trivial stuff like yoga or mess around and still get a good ending.
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  • Brought Down to Normal: The Dazzlings are just normal humans with no access to magic.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Dazzlings appear after not having a main role since the Rainbow Rocks movie. Their last Non-human appearance was in the 2018 My Little Pony: Legends of Magic comic, issue #12 as the sirens.
  • Catchphrase: "Sunset at Sunrise". At first played straight by Sunset, but later invoked when she notices the Equestria girls are sleeping and didn't hear it, so she repeats the phrase again and louder.
  • Character Check: When Sunsets ruins the music festival, it serves as a throwback to the time Sunset was bad.
  • Colon Cancer: Full title: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Make Your Own Magic: The Starswirl Do-Over.
  • Covers Always Lie: The story is not as happy as the cover implies.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the other books, this story gets dark with the bad endings. The story in general can have this vibe from the very beginning. If you pick the starter route, its highlight is Sunset getting angry at Pinkie bad enough that she disappears a couple of pages before that starter route ends.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • PostCrush is another set of villains who in the good ending learn their lesson and are on good terms with Sunset.
    • Adagio and Aria play with this. They clearly don't like the Equestria Girls all that much. However, it's left unclear if they are still "evil" and they still bother to answer to Sunset's doubts, which Sunset is grateful for.
  • Downer Ending: Surprisingly (by MLP standards), there's more bad endings than good ones. Some examples are:
    • Sunset tries to stay awake throughout the time loop, falls in love, and gets back in time to before the festival even started.
    • Sunset accidentally breaks the time-loop MacGuffin and gets stuck in the time loop for all eternity.
    • Sunset tries to drive away from the festival to escape the time loop, gets a deflated tire every time, and gives up trying.
    • PostCrush offers to let Sunset join their band, but when she shows up at their tour bus they turn her away and Sunset has to spend every day of the time loop getting rejected by her favorite band.
    • Sunset gets the festival cancelled, and she breaks time and space so much that the time loop repeats at hyper-speed all around her and leaves her permanently trapped.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: What the MacGuffin can do.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Fluttershy is a fan of SkullCrusher, a death metal band, and dresses accordingly for that on the festival while headbanging to their music.
    • At one of the multiple starter routes, Pinkie confuses a bunch of boxes as art at the art gallery and, trying to find a meaning, says: "Oh when you don't believe in yourself you put yourself in a box", and proceeds to un-ironically wipe her tear drop.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Even if it's due to the reader's choice in-universe, what must be going on in Sunset's head to be aware of the time loop and decide to spend anywhere from days to months doing yoga.
    • So Sunset, you've just noticed that there's a time loop. What are you going to do? Sleep, of course!
    • Oh Sunset, hasn't Trixie proven to be on your side, time and time again?
    • In one early scene, Sunset and Pinkie get carried away by a balloon and end up stuck in the air for hours, missing the concert. Neither of them even considers calling Rainbow Dash, who can fly, to help them get down.
    • Some of the bizarrely/irrational choices (choosing to be on a fashion show with Rarity while Rarity is on her RV and you are following your spy) kinda imply that Sunset's Idiot Ball is just her not doing well in the head after repeating the same day for a year.
  • It's Probably Nothing:
    • Sunset on any path, even the good one, can ignore the time loop due to this, should the reader choose to.
    • Sunset doesn't acknowledge doing impossible things...
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: Happens to Sunset in the "Ice Cream Bar" route while chasing Pinkie. She gets her feet stuck in a caramel river and has to leave her boots behind to free herself.
  • MacGuffin: The time loop device is the Time Twirler, an ancient Equestrian device that recently disappeared and was discovered by PostCrush. It can reset time 24 hours, but PostCrush abuses it for every concert until they get one perfect.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The book has multiple starter routes that all end with a Red Herring to fool the reader about what's causing the time loop.
  • Not Me This Time: Adagio explains this to Sunset after she accuses the Dazzlings for being to blame for the time loop.
  • Power of Friendship: Pinkie tries to use this with the guards of the VIP section; it fails hilariously.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Rainbow Dash is quick to suggest this to Sunset if she tells her friends about the time loop. Sunset can choose to do this in all situations regardless of her friends' knowledge.
  • Reset Button: What happens every time PostCrush activates the MacGuffin.
  • Reset Button Ending: The Runaway ending ends in failure. A downer version of this takes place when Sunset breaks time and space.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Downplayed and subtle, but even in a flawless good ending route Sunset states that she's been on the loop for a year, implying that she has done the optional routes. (Note that you can do some optional stuff and choose some bad/irrational decisions that may get you to a bad ending and still get the good ending.)
    • Invoked if the reader chooses it. You can end up with a Sunset that starts losing the notion of time and suddenly appears in other scenarios unrelated to what she was doing. For example: Sunset notices a mysterious shadow spying on her, so she follows it. The choices are: "Go left", "Right", and "have a fashion show! Wait what?", then Sunset proceeds to materialize in a fashion show when all her friends are on the RV.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Sunset Shimmer, on the route where she tries to escape the time loop, by leaving the music festival.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Of the Choose your own adventure type, but still applies here. Sunset gets an alicorn plushie and you can choose to give it to Applejack or a PostCrush band member. This doesn't lock you out of the good ending.

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