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Video Game / Canterlot Siege

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Canterlot Siege is a series of Tower Defense flash games made by futzi01, based on the cartoon series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

The first Canterlot Siege has the Mane Six rallying to keep assorted villains from invading Canterlot. The second game instead stars a series of supporting characters with the same goal. The third game, appropriately subtitled "Inversion", flips the concept to the villains defending their bases of power from the attacking heroes. The fourth game, the Power Ponies edition, has the titular heroes as the towers as the Mane-iac sends an army of clones at them.


Gameplay in all the games follows typical Tower Defense rules. Waves of enemy spawn and follow a pre-determined path to a goal. The player must line the path with assorted characters each with their own type of attack and form a strategic defense to defeat the enemies before they reach the goal. Every ten waves a boss enemy spawns with special powers and higher stats. Defeating enemies earns bits for the player to upgrade and expand their forces. If too many enemies get by the player's defenses and reach the goal, represented by a lives counter, the game is lost. The player wins by defeating all waves before that happens. Each version also undergoes Sequel Escalation, introducing new tower types, new power-ups, more enemy types, more waves, and so forth. From the second game on a password feature saves the player's progress, including which maps they've beaten, if they got a perfect score or not (no enemies reached the goal), and in the fourth version, which potions and artifacts they have.


The series' music is composed by Dynamite Grizzly

  • Action Bomb: Chrysalis's super power in the third game rains down explosive Changelings.
  • Agony Beam: In Inversion, Trixie fires a beam of red energy for her base attack.
  • An Ice Person: The Masked Matterhorn fires shards of ice to damage and slow down targets.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In the second game, the Doctor's Ultimate makes his slowdown ability absurdly powerful... but he continuously targets an enemy until it gets out of range, as opposed to simply hitting it and switching to an unaffected enemy. Useful for bosses, not so much normal waves, particularly Shadowbolts.
  • Blow You Away: Rainbow Dash fires whirlwinds to attack.
  • Bonus Boss: After the second game, there's always enemies beyond the last wave.
    • The second game has a wave of Angel Bunnies.
    • The third game has a Boss Rush, the Power Ponies, followed by Derpy.
    • The fourth game has the Equestria Girls Humane Six. And if you beat the girls on "Hard" or "Insane" mode, you fight a lawyer from Hasbro!
  • Boring Yet Practical:
    • In all four games, one of the simplest and most effective strategies is to line the path with the low-range melee attacker of the game: Applejack, Lyra, Gilda, and Saddle Rager. The other characters available certainly have their utilities and you can't win by just using one character type, but your main source of damage output is going to be those three.
    • In the third game, the basic stat boosting orbs, which give a +10% boost to range, speed, or power. Still, that extra bit of pixels could let them hit an entirely new part of the lane, or the little extra punch might mean the difference between an enemy slipping by them or not.
    • Also in the third game, the Wealth Orb. All it does is give +20% bits from enemies defeated by the character holding it. On the right character in the right place, it can make you a fortune.
    • Mistress Mare-velous in 4. She doesn't do much damage, but she saps the defense of enemies with each hit. When enemies with 50% and higher defense start coming, you'll quickly realize how invaluable she is in spite of her low damage output on her own.
  • Boss Rush: After beating Wave 50 in Inversion, six more boss enemies attack one at a time. The waves prior to that pretty much count too, with the Mane Six and their friends and family members coming at you one wave at a time.
  • Call-Back: In 4, the abilities of the Princess hero towers are mostly based on their special attacks they had in 2.
  • Clone Army: The enemies in 4 are waves of clones the Mane-iac has created.
  • Colony Drop:
    • In the second game, Luna's super power is to drop the moon on an area, dealing heavy damage. Twilight's rains down shooting stars.
    • In 4, Luna's super is the shooting star rain, while Celestia's drops the sun on enemies.
  • Confusion Fu:
    • In the second game, Discord does not follow the path and walks around randomly, entirely messing with your layout.
    • In Inversion, the Bonus Boss randomly rearranges your characters at their entrance.
    • Radiance in 4 deals random damage which each attack. To a lesser degree there's also Fausticorn, whose first ability deals random damage and second upgrades three random stats of a tower.
  • Continuity Porn: Oh yes. There's a lot of in-jokes.
  • Colour Coded Elements: Inversion assigns colors to the three major stats and their associated orbs. Strength is red, Range is green, and Speed is blue. Related to this as another type of damage class, Unicorns are pink, Pegasi are light blue, and Earth Ponies are brown.
  • Creator Cameo: Lauren Faust appears in 4 via her alicorn Author Avatar.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Inversion has three orbs that each allow a tower to deal +60% damage to one enemy type (unicorn, pegasi, earth pony), but at a -20% damage penalty against the other two types, resulting in this trope.
  • Critical Hit Class:
    • In 3, Gilda's special ability tacks on extra critical hit percentage, and her ultimate is just another 15% on top of the 10% she has fully upgraded. And then she can hold an Orb of Chaos for another 50% boost.
    • Radiance in 4 has critical hits as her main advantage — not only does she have higher critical hit chance than others, but her ultimate saps enemy defenses on a critical hit. And if she's lucky enough to get the Sunglasses item, her critical hit chance becomes 100 percent.
  • Crutch Character: Area-of-effect characters are great for early waves — they're cheap, hit multiple enemies over a wide area, and thus they can hold off waves on their own. Later on though their low base damage is going to seriously hamper their effectiveness against bosses and stronger waves.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The main type of boss in all three games. Boss enemies usually move slow, but they have a ton more HP than normal enemies.
  • Deflector Shields: In Inversion, Cadance and Shining Armor summon a barrier shortly after entry, protecting them from damage and status ailments until it's worn down.
  • Degraded Boss: In the first two games, bosses returned in late-game waves, usually in multiples. This is lessened in 3 to just Spike and the Cutie Mark Crusaders returning, and dropped in 4.
  • Dual Boss:
    • In the third game, Cadance and Shining Armor, and later Luna and Celestia.
    • In the fourth, all of the Mane-iac's five accomplices enter with a Mook to support them.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Completing one of the Inversion maps with a perfect (no lives lost) score unlocks four secret orb types: the Orb of Fear, Orb of Nightmares, Orb of Chaos, and Orb of Greed. Each subsequent map unlocks a new one until, with all four completed, all four are unlocked.
    • 4 also has maps from previous games to unlock, along with a Secret Character as a hero tower, Fausticorn.
  • Edible Ammunition:
    • In the first game, Pinkie throws cupcakes to attack.
    • In the second, Derpy throws muffins and Bon Bon throws explosive candies.
    • As a call-back to Pinkie, Filli-second in the fourth game throws poisoned cupcakes.
  • Enemy Summoner: In the second game, Chrysalis summons several changelings, one at a time. She does it again in 4.
  • Final Boss: Nightmare Moon in the first game, King Sombra in the second, Luna and Celestia in the third, and Mane-iac in 4.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: An odd variant — the Masked Matterhorn in 4 fires ice, while Zapp fires lightning that inflicts the "Burned" status.
  • Fragile Speedster: Generally the faster an enemy is, the lower their HP. Naturally this eventually gets subverted in higher waves.
  • Gemstone Assault: Rarity, and the Diamond Dogs and King Sombra in Inversion, attack with gemstones.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • In the first two games, Rarity and Bon Bon have long range and high damage, but low attack speed.
    • In the third game, Boss Towers likewise have long range, high damage, and can hit multiple enemies, but they attack very slowly.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Many characters in several games have attacks to hit multiple enemies. Generally, they either hit enemies in a radius around them, or damage enemies in a linear line of fire.
  • Heroic Second Wind: In Inversion when Spike is defeated he respawns, transforms into Humdrum, and restores his HP to half to continue on.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: After the Mane-iac serves as the villain for most of the fourth game, she's hijacked after Wave 50 by Queen Chrysalis and Nightmare Rarity, who decide to fight you with the villains from past versions of the game. However, they fail and then the Mane-iac serves as the Final Boss anyway.
  • Interface Screw: In the third game, Celestia can emit blinding light that prevents you from accessing the interface for a few seconds, in addition to blinding your towers and stunning them.
  • Interface Spoiler: Averted. In Inversion, there's no spot in the interface for the four "boss" orbs until you unlock them, and 4 has no space for the Secret Character until you unlock them.
  • Kill Sat: The advanced mode of the first game unlocks the Orbital Friendship Cannon, which deals massive damage to all enemies on-screen, but is very expensive to use.
  • Light 'em Up: In the second game, Celestia's super power is a scorching beam of light shot over a linear area of effect. In the fourth her normal attack is a beam of light over an area of effect, and her powers manifest as blinding light and a solar-variant of the Colony Drop.
  • Mighty Glacier: For the player, their heavier-hitting characters tend to attack more slowly and have lower range.
  • Money Multiplier: In the second game Fancy Pants, in the third game Flim and Flam. Both increase the money earned by nearby towers. The Wealth Orb and Ultra Orb respectively increase the bits earned by their holders by 20% and 15%, and the Orb of Greed doubles the bits earned. The fourth game returns the Wealth Orb and Ultra Orb, and adds money boosting effects to the Orb of Luck and the new Crystal Heart relic.
  • Musical Assassin: Vinyl Scratch attacks with shockwave-type sound blasts from her DJ table, and Octavia plays her cello to fire sound waves over a linear area.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If Discord, one of the rabbits, Derpy or the lawyer escape, the game is instantly lost regardless of remaining lives.
  • Nostalgia Level: Winning in the second and third games unlocks the four maps from the previous games.
  • Not the Intended Use: In the third game, you can acquire orbs that instantly increase two of a tower's stats to level 5. When you sell a tower, the game credits you half the bits you put into upgrading it. The game doesn't seem to recognize when you upgraded a tower using one of these orbs though, so you can buy a tower for 30 bits, slap an upgrade orb on it, then sell that tower for 75 bits. True, you're out the orb now, but if you have plenty to spare this is a quick loophole to make a bit of extra cash.
  • Playing with Fire: In the third game, Sunset Shimmer shoots fireballs.
  • Power Glows: Towers upgraded with their ultimate glow.
  • Projectile Spell:
    • Queen Chrysalis fires lasers to attack in 3.
    • In 4, Celestia and Fausticorn attack with beams of magic.
  • Pure Energy: Twilight in 4 downplays the Star Power theme to use an attack and abilities based on raw magical power.
  • Rare Random Drop: In the third game, the Ultra Orb. It gives a +15% boost to attack power, speed, range, critical chance, and bits earned, but is very rare, so rare you're lucky to get even one. Use it very wisely. Slightly more common but still rare are the three "Super" orbs, Super Damage, Super Range, and Super Speed, which confer a 50% boost to their associated stat at a 20% and 15% penalty to the other two. The four hidden orbs are likewise very powerful, but very rare.
  • Secret Character: Finishing two of the new maps added in 4 unlocks Fausticorn as a hero tower.
  • Secret Level: Finishing the game in 2 and 3 unlocks the four maps from the previous version. 3 further has the maps from the first version unlockable with passwords, and a secret "Level 0", which is a straight line across the screen.
  • Sequel Escalation: Every sequel adds new enemy types, new characters, new powers, and more waves. Accordingly with towers generally becoming more effective, enemies get stronger between games too. The first Canterlot Siege seems downright simplistic compared to 3 and 4.
  • Shock and Awe: Zapp shoots lightning to attack.
  • Spam Attack: In the first three games, there's a low-range fast-hitting melee attacker (Applejack; Lyra; Gilda) who attacks very rapidly, as in several times a second. It adds up. With the ability to use a Super Speed orb and a linked Lightning Dust support tower, Gilda can reach an attack speed of 0.07 seconds. The hidden Orb of Nightmares makes her even faster, 0.03 seconds. At that point she's literally faster than the eye can see, her sprite seems to stop attacking and instead begins "twitching" when enemies come near.
  • Status Buff: Support towers can increase the stats of nearby towers. In the second game, Cadance's special ability increases the stats of towers for a short time; she retains the ability as a hero tower in 4, though it only affects towers immediately close to her.
  • Status Effects:
    • Universally, all three games have a character that can slow down enemies temporarily. There are also characters that deal damage over time, can temporarily stun enemies, or can knock them back down the lane.
    • In the third game, the Boss Rush enemies can sap tower stats in various ways.
    • The fourth game allows numerous enemies to sap tower stats.
  • Support Party Member:
    • All three games have a character that can't attack, but slows down enemies.
    • The second game introduces characters that increase the stats of nearby towers.
    • Cadance in 4 has a sub-par attack, but her two abilities power-up nearby towers.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:invoked One wave in Inversion consists of Coco Pommel, Cheese Sandwich, and Seabreeze. The first two were well-received by the fandom; the third, not so much. So it is that Seabreeze has 1 HP and is the slowest non-boss enemy in the game. Seabreeze is noticeably left out of 4 when a similar wave comes, replaced with Silver Shill.
  • Trap Master: In Inversion, Discord and Sombra's super powers cause enemies to take continuous damage when they enter a particular area.
  • Weather Manipulation: Discord summons chocolate rain to attack an area over time.
  • Whip It Good: Mistress Mare-velous attacks with her whip.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Many bosses come with weaker enemies to draw fire. Some bosses are actually teams of enemies, such as the Wonderbolts in the third game.
  • Villain Teleportation: In the second game, Sunset Shimmer teleports along the path, potentially past your towers.
  • Zerg Rush: Many waves consist of lots and lots of weak enemies, but none better for the trope than a wave in 4 which sends 150 parasprites at you; it's a good thing they die quickly.