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Tear Jerker / The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum

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Ah, The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum. A very well-received The Conversion Bureau Deconstruction Fic... and possibly one of the most heartrending.

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     Main Story 
  • What happened to TCB!Spike. In the event that you do not have the willpower to resist unspoilering, we'd just like to warn you that the answers are as bad as you think they are. If not worse. TCB!Trixie even considers it to be Equestria's Moral Event Horizon!
    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...
    • Even worse is that when he and TCB!Rarity found out what was happening to the other TCB!Elements, they tried to escape but failed, ending in Rarity being imprisoned in her own mind while a dark personality is using her body as a vessel to carry out Queen Celestia's will on the humans and being all but completely powerless to stop this.
  • A retroactive one mentioned under Fridge Horror. It's been confirmed that all of the TCB!Mane Six, the Royal Guards, and most of the Equestrians were brainwashed. Whether or not Princess Celestia is able to free them from the Queen's control, just how will they react when they realize what they have done to the humans? No matter which one it is, it won't be pleasant.
  • TCB!Cadance's life is not pleasant either. When the war commenced, the love of her life, Shining Armor, has been brainwashed and left her without a second thought to serve the Queen. Not only that, but according to Marcus:
    Marcus: "Last time I even met Shining Armor, he attempted to subdue his wife and drag her to the Tyrant with a smile."
  • TCB!Bon-Bon. Dear lord, poor, poor TCB!Bon-Bon.
  • Marcus' flashbacks during Chapter Four, which is aptly titled "Monsters". Of note is when he has to evacuate the British royal family out of England before it's overrun by the barrier, and after a scuffle against TCB!Fluttershy (culminating with Lyra being forced to use a gun for the first time), Marcus and the newly-promoted King William look on with sadness at the Newfoals that used to be their fellow soldiers and the literal death of innocence.
    King William: "Damn them... Damn us... So much loss, so much death and pain and suffering and rape of innocence... We'll all go to the Devil for this."
  • The flashback of Marcus being forced to kill his own ponified brother. Throughout their confrontation, Marcus keeps trying to reach out to Jacob, aka Stalwart Heart, who himself kept trying to make Marcus join him in "spreading harmony", making it clear just how deeply the Queen brainwashed the Newfoals. There's nothing of Jacob's original self left in there at all, and Stalwart Heart just displays such utter contempt for the man he used to be... it may be the saddest and most unnerving depiction of a Newfoal in this or any other Conversion Bureau fanfic. And then there's the way Marcus breaks down crying after having to kill him.
    • And just to add salt on the wounds, it's indirectly implied that Jacob probably was still in there and the Mind Control keeping his pony mind in place was simply too strong to let him escape until Marcus killed him.
  • In order to become the mindlessly cheerful zombies they are now, the Newfoals' souls are literally broken to pieces and bound to Queen Celestia's will. Even worse, according to the zebra's elder shaman, it is utterly impossible to repair said souls until the Newfoals themselves are dead, meaning even if the Queen is defeated, only mass euthanasia will return them to normal (and that's only if they don't simply just fall over dead once the Bag of Tirek is neutralized).
    • Something else horrifying and heartbreaking in equal measure: while the newfoals are generally little more than mindless drones, there are a few that possess some degree of intelligence and cunning. Focus Ray from "The Answer Part Two" is one such example of the latter. During TCB!Trixie/Blue Spy's confrontation with him, she manages to break his spine, and he undergoes a Villainous Breakdown, crying how he failed his Queen. All the while, she wonders...
    The pain in the words was heart-wrenchingly real, and Spy wondered if it was a scream from the golem that thought it was a pony, or the horror of a man pleading for deliverance from the nightmare he was living. She shivered in horror.
  • King Spykoran was forced to annihilate Dream Valley to ensure the Bag would never be used again. Let that sink in. He was forced to kill everyone he knew and loved and their entire families, just for that... and in at least one universe, it didn't work.
  • TCB!Granny Smith died a short time after the war began, according to "The Writes of Passage". Her last wishes were for Applebloom to leave Equestria before she became swept up in the gleeful extermination of humanity like the others. Bloom initially didn't listen, and it's clear she was starting to develop a hatred of humans herself, at least until she finally does escape with help from Sweetie Belle.
  • TCB!Scootaloo loses her wings due to a necrotic disease. The fact that much of the first half of "The Writes of Passage" was All Just a Dream and a Hope Spot for her only makes the impact harder.
  • The fact that TCB!Lyra's Final Speech prior to her execution by the Tyrant copies heavily from the ending of The Great Dictator doesn't make it lose any of its raw emotional power.
  • Continuing from a similar line of thought on the Fridge page, what of the friends and relatives of the TCB!Mane Six who've not been mentioned so far, like Twilight Velvet and Night Light, the extended Apple clan, Magnum and Pearl, Maud Pie and the rest of Pinkie's family, Prism Flash note , Mr. and Mrs. Cake, Fluttershy's family, among others? Given how TCB!Applejack couldn't be there for her dying grandmother due to the uncaring homunculus implanted in her mind to carry out Queen Celestia's will, not to mention the fact that TCB!Shining Armor was brainwashed like the rest of the Royal Guards by the Geas, just how damaged have the TCB!Mane Six's relationships with their families become? And to say nothing of the pain and fear their parents and siblings must feel over the girls being in the middle of a war, committing xenocide on an entire species to boot.
  • In Chapter 14, TCB!Doctor Whooves hauntedly reminisces how after all his years of running, it seemed that he could finally settle down with a wife and children, only for a new darkness to appear on the horizon when Celestia became Queen.
    • During a therapeutic session with Bon-Bon in the same chapter, he sees her have a fit where she nearly gets Maddened Into Misanthropy. Fortunately, he manages to make her snap out of it by asking whether she truly believes that Lyra was evil.
  • 'Strike' has a very heartbreaking scene wherein Jean, a teenage boy soldier is disintegrated into ashes courtesy of the Queen's "Ashes of Solaris" spell. TCB!Cheerilee desperately tries to comfort him in his last moments, all the while he tells her not to cry for him. Right before he dies, Cheerilee notes the look of fear in his eyes that no kid should have.
  • Canon!Luna explores TCB!Twilight's mind to dig out some secrets in "For Whom the Bell Tolls". She discovers that Twilight initially opposed the ponification of humanity, and was downright frightened by the cursed magic behind the potion. She ended up getting imprisoned within her own mind and her body taken over with a puppet personality constructed by the Bag of Tirek. Over all this time, she could only helplessly watch as the same thing happened to her friends, see Spike get tortured, and her body used as a puppet to commit xenocide on the humans. No wonder Luna flew into an Unstoppable Rage at the chapter's end.
    • Even worse is how Luna first encounters an inner Twilight, who is a scared, helpless little filly crying out for her parents and Shining Armor to come to her rescue, sobbing that something is hurting her. And then Luna finds the real TCB!Twilight, who is so utterly broken by everything she's been forced to witness that she desperately begs and pleads with Luna to Mercy Kill her and her friends, because she literally just can't keep going on like this anymore and to end everyone's suffering. Poor Twilight...
    • Aside from the pure unadulterated Nightmare Fuel of Not!Twilight's prototype potion tests, there is just the visual of several innocent people screaming and crying as their family members (children included) are being killed by the Flawed Prototype versions of the serum before they get picked off themselves. Of note is the scene where the first successful conversion takes place — all we see is a poor woman screaming in Spanish that the Newfoal dancing on the table is not her daughter. All the while, Luna can only watch in utter horror.
  • In "Sons of Legacies, Part 1" Canon!Sombra Mind Rapes Marcus to feed off his despair and guilt, by conjuring images of his friends (including TCB!Lyra and Nurse Sutra Crossnote ) and family members (including his father, who declares Marcus "a disappointment") that all died during the war. As if Marcus wasn't a massive woobie already...
    "Exactly," Celestia nodded, shivering from the memory of what had happened to the other version of her precious student, and what that implied for the other Elements. Oh, it would either be a miracle or an unparalleled cruelty if their true personalities resurfaced completely sane! She struggled not to think about their adjustment back into society, if — no no, there was no if, there had to be a when — they managed to free them from her dark self's interests. She foresaw mass suicide, insanity—
  • "Sons of Legacies, Part 2" has Stephan facing the Dark Door, being shown his worst fears. It's hard not to feel for the guy when he's shaken out of the door's hold on him, and completely breaks down sobbing.
  • "Sons of Legacies, Part 3" has Discord in Marcus' mind realizing that what Marcus fears most is the death of others for him when he doesn't feel worth it.
    • Marcus's nightmare of TCB!Cheerilee being hanged by Newfoals, while a converted Lyra watches and smiles.
  • In "Training Days: First Days Part 2", the assembled armies of Equus are brought together to a full recreation of New York City, courtesy of Discord. And they are treated to a show of newfoals ruthlessly descending upon humans and the ensuing carnage and despair.
    • King Spykoran's flashback to a moment with Megan showing him a picture of a helicopter. What clinches it is that he does weep during this.
    Megan: (in flashback) "Trust me Spike, we've got so many things that you and the ponies of Dream Valley could only ever imagine. I wish I could take you with me to Earth someday..."
    Spykoran: (present-day) "I'm here now Megan... I'm here now..."
  • Gale (the canon universe counterpart of Aquamarine Glimmer's husband and Comet Tail's father) expressing his rage and heartache over what happened to his family's counterparts. His heartache and worry over what happened to TCB!Comet (who is a Child Soldier) is the stuff Adult Fear is made out of, as well as his desire to rip TCB!Celestia a new one for what she did to them and knowing he can't do much.
  • 'Training Days: The Second Month': Acevedo, TCB!Vinyl and a small group of fellow soldiers have gotten to work to see where the Point of Divergence between Canon!Equestria and TCB!Equestria happened. Marcus tries to stop them, even activating his runes and threatening to mess Acevedo up. This, as well as the revelation that TCB!Lyra was the Unwitting Instigator of Doom in all this, nearly causes Vinyl to lose all her trust in Marcus, and though the two make up, it's clear things aren't going to be complete smooth sailing from hereon out.
    • What's worse is how this shows just how deeply traumatized Marcus himself is. He, for many good reasons, feels that everything he's gone through, lost and worked so hard for could all be lost if the news that TCB!Lyra was the one that freed Tirek (albeit, accidentally) were to come out.
    • Prime!Twilight finding out what happened to TCB!Spike. She is demanding that Doctor Grimnebulin tells her because she can't bear to hear it come from Spike due to his clear hatred of her counterpart.
  • The chapter "Final Words", where Marcus wonders about his mother's final moments, and his realization in hindsight that Megan did want to tell him and Jacob, but by that point, keeping her Dream Valley adventures a secret had become almost second nature to her and she was afraid they wouldn't believe her.
  • From the chapter 'Only Human': the death of Berry Punch, to everyone involved. Ana's reaction is that of despair and utterly unforgiving rage at the Blue Spy, and Cheerilee, her sister is at an utter loss of words. But most of all, Ruby's heartbroken reaction compounds the fact that she's just lost a mother.

     Starvation Side-Story 
  • The whole story makes it painfully clear that being a refugee is the worst type of existence to have in the TCB world. These people's homes have been destroyed, they face the horrifying possibility their culture and history will be lost forever and the entire human species may well go extinct, and all of them can only scrape by day-to-day, barely able to get enough to even eat. Some people have even resorted to cannibalism and making meals out of Newfoals, because food has become that hard to come by.

     Europe Side-Story 
  • What happened to TCB!Chrysalis. When the first newfoals came to Equestria, full of love for Queen Celestia, Chrysalis and the changeling hive thought they were in for an all-you-can-eat-buffet. However, the newfoals' love was tainted and every changeling that fed on it became sick. Whatever remained of the hive pulled a desperate Last Stand to smuggle Chrysalis to Earth where she could hide out and safely replenish their numbers... only for her to discover the newfoals' poisoned love had rendered her eggs sterile, making their sacrifice all for naught, and leaving Chrysalis as the Last of Her Kind for a good few years before she herself succumbs to the poisoned love rotting her body away from the inside. Sure, she was one of the series' worst villains, but that is still pretty rough, plus it helps that she spent those last few years helping the PHL, particularly training TCB!Trixie in becoming a shapeshifter and giving Stephan his Claymore.

     Asia Side-Story 
  • When the guys discover all of North Korea was nuked because nearly every citizen had been ponified. Hyong-Jin's reaction is especially heartbreaking, considering there is no doubt left that his family and friends from there are all dead.
  • Everyone's reaction to the news of Washington DC getting nuked. President Jack Davis is desperately trying to be stoic in the face of his very hard decision but fails, while everyone else (Porter and Hyong-Jin especially) are just downright horrified. Porter then points out with a heavy heart that the ruthless nature of the Conversion War is going to force everyone to cross some kind of line if they have any hope of winning this thing.
  • Aquamarine and Comet's backstory. Gale, Aquamarine's husband and Comet's father, was a Royal Guard and a soldier in the war against the Sombra-controlled Crystal Empire, and they had hoped that life would go back to normal despite the arrival of Equestria to Earth. However, Gale's increasingly belligerent attitude with anything to do with humans and complete acceptance of the newfoals scared Aquamarine. Her fears were confirmed when she confronted him about this and he accused her of being a traitor to the Solar Empire, and even moreso when the war began. The mother and daughter escaped to Earth, where they were forced to survive in the wilderness out of fear and paranoia before getting captured and tortured by the HLF. It's a good thing Yon-Soo and his friends found them before any permanent physical damage could be done.
  • The crew's reaction to Lyra's death. Firebrand nearly loses it, feeling that it's partially his fault because he couldn't be there to protect her, while everyone else is hoping against hope that it's just some cruel joke and reminiscing on what she accomplished.
  • Porter reminiscing about his girlfriend Eun-Hee (one of the reporters that got forcibly ponified at the press conference in Berne).
    "Protect what you have... Because you'll never know when they will be gone."
  • Comet crying over the fact that TCB!Sint Erklass was killed by Queen Celestia.
  • 'The Face of the Enemy' reveals that Porter convinced Eun-Hee to go to that fateful press conference, making her conversion partially his fault. He even admits that if he hadn't stopped himself (and didn't have Yon-Soo and Hyong-Jin around), he could've easily ended up like any other HLF member indulging in Revenge Before Reason.

     Calm Before The Storm 
  • The first chapter reveals that TCB!Octavia died on the day war broke out. She and Vinyl Scratch threw a party along with several of Earth's musicians, hoping to smooth things over in the wake of the Barrier's expansion; the next thing they knew, Queen Celestia made her announcement at the Berne press conference, and the Royal Guards were storming the place. Octavia was killed trying to defend Steven Nelson when a Guard threw a couch at her, knocking her out the window and causing her to drop down ten stories and land on a car, dying instantly.
  • From the second chapter, focusing on the Solar Empire:
    • TCB!Fancy Pants thinks about how far Equestria has fallen and the depths Celestia has sank to as he tries to keep a good face on for his wife and the public while keeping his dealings as The Mole for the PHL a secret. At the end, Fleur discovers what he's been doing, and after a brief confrontation, a newfoal butler in their home overhears this and tries to kill them. Fancy sends Fleur off with the trust that she'll do the right thing, before taking his old swords out for one last run, killing several newfoals and blowing up the house with him and Queen Celestia inside to buy his wife more time to escape safely.
    • There's a brief mention that TCB!Shining Armor (who was placed under a geas into obeying every one of Queen Celestia's orders) personally destroyed every statue, painting, and anything else containing Cadance's likeness. Ouch.
    • TCB!Big Mac's segment, where he reminisces on happier memories with his family, on Granny Smith's death, and how much he wishes he could "smack the sense back into Applejack" while knowing that there's something else deeply wrong with her is downright heart wrenching. It's made abundantly clear by this story that he's hit the Despair Event Horizon, and it's not hard to see why.
      I'm tired of it all, tired of whatever it is that's happened to Equestria. I've seen too much happen to Equestria to call it the same land I grew up in, and it's hollowed me out like an old Nightmare Night pumpkin.
      I want my sister back and all I have is a monster with her face, a damn caricature that looks for all the world like her but has none of her soul inside. I want to tell her how I feel but I cower away like a foal away from her eyes. Eyes that no longer have that stubborn but warm love and care; just hatred and wrath for anything that goes against Queen Celestia and the so-called 'greater family and herd'.
  • Chapter 3 has a quote from Fiddlesticks (the fiddle-playing Octavia Palette Swap from "Apple Family Reunion") stating that most of the Apple family isn't on speaking terms with each other, no one wants to talk to Applejack, half the family has escaped from Equestria to Earth and anyone staying behind in the Empire is using newfoal slave labor, and then saying that there is no home for her to go back to in the Solar Empire.
  • Kraber's flashback talking about his Heel Realization, when he couldn't bring himself to kill a pair of ponies despite trying to convince himself they were evil, all because he saw a vision of his wife and children just looking down at him with disappointment.
    • On top of that, he still keeps the stuffed animals that belonged to his children.
  • Porter's flashback, or dream, of David Renee's funeral.

     Case Files 
  • He may be an Ax-Crazy Sociopathic Hero, but when you get down to it, Kraber's backstory is pretty awful. He accidentally got his girlfriend pregnant while they were still in college, but he stepped up to the plate nonetheless and worked very hard to get his medical degree, and he succeeded at that, living a perfectly happy life with his family... and then he promptly lost his children to TCB!Pinkie Pie (which he feels is his fault, because he hired her to plan out his kids' birthday party). It's clear that this and his time in the HLF didn't have the best effect on his sanity. Oh, and because the only way to free the newfoals from the mind control is to Mercy Kill them, he's going to end up losing his children all over again.
    • It's later revealed that Kraber's girlfriend, Kate Baldwin, was in high school when they first got together, making this a case of (accidental) statutory rape.
  • Aegis' backstory is pretty rough too. He lived a perfectly normal and happy life with a wife and two foals, but then she became swept up in the Empire's madness and adopted a pair of newfoal orphans, resulting in her pushing her actual family away and forcing Aegis to take the children and escape to Earth.

     Shades of the Unsung 
  • Rockwell's backstory. The old stallion has lost just about everyone and everything - his wife and daughter are forced into hiding out on Earth for their own protection, his brother is comatose due to Rockwell trying to keep the geis from corrupting him, and that's not even getting to the things he was forced to witness when he was forced on a journey through the minds of the TCB!Mane Six and Queen Celestia, even coming face to face with Tirek himself.
    • Even worse are the TCB!Mane Six's true selves crying out in pain, and for someone, anything, to end everyone's suffering. Especially heartbreaking are TCB!Applejack sobbing out apologies to her family, TCB!Pinkie Pie screaming "I'm not making them smile!" and TCB!Rarity feeling pathetic that she couldn't protect Sweetie Belle and Spike.
  • We get to see exactly what went on during Rockwell's journey through the minds of the TCB!Mane Six and Queen Celestia. He's revealed to also be related to Applejack by being married to her distant aunt and Pinkie Pie by being a member of the Rock/Pie family, and his heartache over not being able save either of them (especially considering the horrific torture they've been forced to endure thanks to the Homunculi that have taken over them) is especially harsh.
    • The real TCB!Pinkie Pie breaking down sobbing as Rockwell tries to snap her back to her senses. It's especially heartwrenching because this is Pinkie Pie we're talking about here. Break the Cutie doesn't even begin to come close to describing how bad this all is.
  • A newfoal stallion named New Bloom's human memories start to resurface, and he keeps seeing flashes of a crying human girl (heavily implied to be his daughter), and having the sudden and powerful urge to comfort her. He pushes himself to try remembering her again, but the spellwork keeping his "programming" in check collapses and he passes out from the strain. All the while, he keeps trying to remember the girl.
    • Even sadder is that New Bloom is actually the ponified form of Verity Carter's mother Jazmin, a transwoman who was turned into a stallion by the potion.

     Last Train 
  • Is Verity a Jerkass? Yeah. But it turns out that, in some ways, her backstory rivals Kraber's for sheer torment, possibly outright beating it. Her mother, Jazmin, a Mormon who was exiled from her church for being transgender, suffered from early-onset Alzheimer's and took the potion, only for it to turn her into a stallion and much like what we saw earlier with Jacob, held such contempt and disgust for her former human self, all the while TCB!Pinkie Pie gleefully said that it 'fixed' her. And from there, it all went downhill.
    • There's also the painful way her first serious girlfriend Astrid broke up with her, claiming their relationship "wasn't right". It's implied Astrid's father had something to do with it though.

     The Light Despondent 
  • We get to see Kraber's Heel Realization that he mentioned in Calm where he decided to spare two ponies... and find that his mental state is even worse than it is at the time of the main story.
  • Verity's situation as of chapter 6. For all her attitude problems, it's made clear by Kraber that she's a scared, sad young woman who's lost everything and needs some form of comfort. On top of that, the way her father Mike disowns her over videochat after seeing her turned into a pony (yet still retaining her mind) is simply heartbreaking.
    • It's also pretty sad if you think about it from Mike Carter's perspective. According to the Official Timeline and from the 'Lost In Dispatches II' chapter of Last Train, his wife Jazmin took the potion as a cure for her early onset Alzheimer's, and literally turned into a completely different person, abandoning him and Verity. And then he sees his daughter turned into a pony, and as far as he knows, she's just one more newfoal among many and believes he's lost them both now.
  • Kraber ends up developing some awareness of what kind of person he is in chapter 8. Funetik Aksent aside:
    "The moral's that war reveals the truth in people. So... we had war. And it toorns out this is what Ah am. A mass-murderin', terroristic, serial-killin', child-murderin' kontgesig thit likes what he does. Sure, Ah'm proud ay some ay the death ah've caused, ay killing PER like her. But... turns out, this is who I am. This is what I dae. Twenty-eight fokking years of people calling me a sociopath, even in fokking grade school, of people telling me I had no empathy, of people accusing me of rape that one time. Course, I'm not a rapist - Ah didn't know she was underage - but it still hurt. Cause I really did love her and our children. I... I wanted to be a doctor, so I could help people. I loved those children, I really did. I thought I was a correct ou, but I... turns out I'm... this. There's some days when I like the bloodshed, and some days when I hate myself for it. I wish... I wish someone would turn me off and just... fix me."
    • And immediately after that, he says it was probably better that his children were ponified, because he thinks he would have been a horrible father. Damn. Right after that, he embarks to kill the PER on what could be read as a form of Suicide by Cop, saying it's all he's good for anymore.
    • Part of his reasoning in convincing Caduceus to heal him with magic - which, as far as anyone knows, could kill him - is that he's convinced nobody will miss him, and his parents will probably actively celebrate his death. Word Of Fluffy states that they wouldn't, but Viktor doesn't know that (or possibly even doesn't believe it). Really puts into perspective just how much self-loathing he possesses.
  • The last update of Light Despondent, which makes it the last update for the classic Spectrumverse (aside from the ending Kizuna Tallis promised for Asia). The fact that it's titled "Let It Die" may not help, though Word of God is that he was just in a "very Suda 51 sort of mood" when he titled it months before the split. As Fluffy says in the author's notes:
    Fluffy: "But wait," some of you may be asking, "Isn't the old Spectrumverse canceled? And doesn't that mean that Light Despondent is over?"
    Yeah. It does. This will be the last update of Light Despondent as it currently is. Any more writing I do for Spectrum, or fimfic (assuming that I don't end up creating a non-TCB idea) will take place in the new SPECTRUM continuity reboot. Because - and I can't stress this enough - I can't write in the old continuity.
    I just... I just can't. And so I'm posting this last chapter, written by me and Jed, because, well, why not? It was pretty much complete, it was around, and this is as close to closure as I can give you, what with the chapter immediately after this being unfinished indefinitely.
    If you want more Light Despondent, more Fluffy, then check out my most recent stories, Light Despondent Remixed and The Slow Mutants."


     Joy to the Worlds 
  • A colt named Frost Wind is staying up all night, waiting for the reindeer... only to be gently told by his mother that they're not coming. The whole scene with him simply reeks of sadness.
    • Gently told is putting it simply. Snowdrop can't bear to tell her son that Sint Erklass and the reindeer are all dead.
      • He's also waiting for his brother to come home on Hearthswarming, as he promised. His brother is a Royal Guard, fighting in the war on Earth, and it's heavily implied from his mother's tone, that he's been killed in action.
    • Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: In spite of the changes Celestia brought on Hearthswarming, and the changing attitudes of his friends, Frost stubbornly continues to remember the reindeer and holds their memory close to heart.
  • Even the characters loyal to the Solar Empire are a little sad to read about in this short story, which has shades of a Villain Episode.
    • Weaver is a murderer and assassin who really Would Hurt a Child, no question about it. But her words and demeanor indicate that she is far from heartless, showing concern for her troops' wellbeing, treating Sint Erklass very courteously even as she prepares to kill him, and seeking to make the fawns' death as quick and painless as possible. Most tragically, she knows well that she's not a good person, but her devotion to Queen Celestia's cause is such that she's willing to continue until she puts an end to her own life in its name. Just to further twist the knife, the depression she's endured since childhood means she was deeply unhappy before the Solar Empire ever came to be.
    • Captain Crumpit is a bit character, yet what we see of him may be worth a few tears. Think of an Expy of The Grinch, except this one never finds the true meaning of the holiday, and ends up feeling like something has been lost from their lives after they help steal it away.
    • Remember, Frost's older brother is a Royal Guard. One of the ponies working to doom mankind to a horrible fate. Assuming that he's dead, whatever kind of stallion he was, there were still ponies who loved him and were shattered by his demise. Because Even Evil Has Loved Ones.
  • TCB!Elsa and Sint's last moments together. No more needs be said.

     The Other Side of the Mirror 
  • 'Close Enough to Lose. While it is sweet to see some of the side characters' lives in a more peaceful environment through their Prime!Counterparts, it also drives in just how much these normal ponies have lost and how much the war has changed them.
    • Aquamarine, Comet and Gale. Knowing that their TCB counterparts' family is broken up and seeing how the war changed them is just painful. The three of them really do love each other and are determined to be there for each other, and Prime!Comet and Gale are shown to be especially close, which makes TCB!Comet's disowning of her own father hit harder.
    • Coal Embers' cameo. In Calm Before the Storm, she's a snarky Little Miss Badass who is a little Wise Beyond Her Years and bit too enthusiastic about setting PER members on fire. In Mirror, she's a very cheerful and sweet filly, and it's noted that the way she and her father (whose TCB counterpart is hinted to have died) are clinging to each other has become a very common sight among Equestrians ever since the news of the war came out.
    • Seeing Aegis' counterpart and his foals, as well as his voice becoming sad when he thinks on his wife's state of mind. To reiterate, his wife's counterpart left her husband for a newfoal.
    • Prime!Aquamarine, Comet, Gale, Winter Truce and Frost Wind going through the Dispatches From a Dying World (which details the state of Earth as the war raged on) and Broken Mirror (which details the effects the war has had on TCB!Equestria) exhibitions.


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