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Video Game / Star Stable

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"...Jorvik has always cherished its strong and lasting bond with its horses, and some say they're the very soul of the island."
Star Stable is an MMO horse game and the sequel to the Starshine Legacy games. First released in 2005 by Star Stable Entertainment and playable here, the player creates a starter horse and rider to begin with, though many other horses are available in-game.

The player character is introduced as having come to the fictitious island of Jorvik, famous for its love of and close connection with horses and the equestrian arts, for a summer. However, what is supposed to be a summer of fun and horses quickly goes awry when a greedy construction company, GED, threatens to tear down the local stable. After stepping up to help drive off the developers, the player is drawn into a series of horse-related adventures, from riding in races and mucking out stables to stopping corporate greed from destroying the island's wonders.

The Soul Riders series of novels, written by Helena Dahlgren, is set in the Star Stable universe.

Tropes present in this game:

  • Abandoned Area: There's an abandoned farm not far from the starting stables. It's not creepy or anything; it's just...kinda dull.
    • There are several GED construction sites that become this once you succeed in putting a stop to their illegal activities as well. Knowing that your actions helped stop those machines and forced the workers to clear out is very satisfying.
  • Allegedly Free Game: You can putter around in the starting region for free, but to actually finish the plot, create a guild, or even just learn to jump, you'll have to pony up some real money.
    • A later update to the game moved the quest that teaches jumping to the free-to-play area, allowing all players to pick up the skill. You still have to pay if you want access to the full game, though.
  • Alpha Bitch: Loretta, queen bee of the Bobcat Girls.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Kinda runs on the assumption, as you don't have a gender option (you have to play as a female).
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Certain missions require you to wait until the next real-life day. If you wish, you can sleep in-game to progress to the next day (using real-money currency, of course), making it an unenforced version of the trope.
  • Art Shift: Starting in late 2018, the developers implemented a massive overhaul of the game's graphics, updating old areas and adding many new touches that wouldn't have been feasible when the game was first released.
  • Ascended Glitch: Some players found a bug that would make it appear as though they were playing in a non-existent first-person mode. The glitch become so popular that the developers added the ability to shift the game's POV field.
  • Automaton Horses: While your horse will slow down without encouragement from you, you can theoretically gallop forever (provided you don't run into things).
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A fictitious breed of horse called the Jorvik Wild, available only during special events, changes its colors depending on where it is in the world. Near man-made structures and populated areas, Jorvik Wild horses look like ordinary horses, but out in the wild, they take on vibrant colors that would never appear in real life. The downside is that they can only be bought with real-money currency, have no natural stat boosts, and, until recently, were much slower compared to more mainstream breeds.
  • Bad Boss: Apparently, you don't want to know the fate that awaits construction grunts if they disappoint the head of the company...
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: If you don't want to earn the shillings for the fancy bridle that makes your horse turn faster, you can just cough up some real-world dough and buy it with no work at all.
  • Character Customization: You can select the look of both your horse and rider. There's also a great deal of freedom to change your look up later—just head to the right shop in-game and you can buy a new makeup palette and hairstyle. Or use the corkboard in your stable to change the appearance of your character and your horse. The first makeover is free, but you have to pay with real-money currency for future attempts.
  • Cool Horse: Of course.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Kembell, head of the local construction company. Ms. Drake also counts, as she takes genuine delight in ruining the lives of everyone around her, including her employees.
  • Death by Childbirth: Justin's mother died giving birth to him. His grandfather hates him and his father both for killing his daughter, despite the fact that it was entirely out of their hands and they both miss her, too. The tutorial questline has you attempt to reconcile the family in order to save their beloved stable from greedy developers.
  • Endless Winter: The Valley of the Dinosaur is perpetually freezing and snowed over, with a rather thick mist to boot.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: The Goldenhills Valley area.
  • Green Aesop: The local construction company are complete jerks, dishonest to the core about everything except for the fact that they enjoy exploiting nature. Yes, you're supposed to hate them. The quest named "An Unpleasant Task" is really just you tying demolition marking tape around trees in exchange for a bulldozer to clear out a path blocked by rubble.
  • Horseback Heroism: A couple of quests have you rescuing people.
  • Horse Jump: If you're a paying subscriber, you can undertake a quest to learn to jump on horseback.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The game has a day-night cycle that runs on the server's internal clock. Playing when the server thinks it's night can get annoying.
  • Luke Noun Verber: Enforced. Players must select a name from a set of predetermined (albeit quite extensive) lists. And choose carefully—once you decide on a name, you can't change it.
  • Most Gamers Are Male: Inverted. The game is targeted towards girls, and female is the only gender option for your avatar.
    • Pet The Horse is on full display here; even characters who don't like the player character personally will still care about horses. If they hate horses, they're probably a villain.
  • Pony Tale: Obvious simply from the game's name. Almost everything on Jorvik involves or revolves around horses, and local legends say that the horses who live there have an unusually strong bond with the human residents.
    • One of the first people you meet is Loretta, the leader of the local riding club and resident Alpha Bitch—though she turns out to have her good qualities once you get to know her.
    • Justin Moorland plays the role of the loyal best friend, at least until he's kidnapped by the forces of darkness. He gets rescued later on.
  • Rearing Horse: If you press X to stop your horse really fast, it will rear. This is never treated as a training problem as it would be in real life. Your horse may also rear if you run into things, but this is slightly more understandable.
  • Regenerating Health: If you or your horse take damage, you need only wait a few seconds for your health meter to return to full. Really, the only way you're going to need a doctor/vet is if you intentionally smash yourself into walls repeatedly, and even then, you've got to try really hard to both get up to speed and find that next wall before your health is full again.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: In addition to needing to pay to complete the plot, there are certain costumes, saddles, etc. which can only be bought with real-money currency. These may do something fancy, or they may just be a Cosmetic Award.
  • Run, Don't Walk: When off your horse, your human character walks normally for a few steps and then takes off into an absurdly-fast (faster than most of the horses!) and poorly-controlled run (the game was clearly made to be played on horseback as much as possible, because the controls aren't up to snuff for going on foot to be feasible; this makes tasks like mucking stables much more tiresome than they would be otherwise). Walking is not an option if you intend to move more than four or five steps.
    • Averted with your horse, however. When you ask your horse to move forward, you'll first go at a walk, then a trot, then a canter, then a collected gallop, then a full-out run with each successive press of W. If you don't continually encourage your horse, it will slow down until it completely stops after a few minutes.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The head of the local construction company is hardly concerned with things like who really owns the local stables; he'll find one way or another to get his hands on it and bulldoze it to the ground.
    • He tries to pull this again after you make it clear the stables are off-limits—this time, by drilling for oil with stolen equipment. No points for guessing how that turns out for him.
  • Somewhere, an Equestrian Is Crying: Zig-zagged. While Automaton Horses is played completely straight, players need to feed and groom their horses daily—or pay to have it done for them—or suffer consequences in the form of sad-faces and debuffs. Horses start with low stats and must be trained and leveled up by participating in races and competitions. Many elements of proper horse care, such as shoeing and cleaning out stables, are referenced. In addition, the developers have gone out of their way to make the horses look and move realistically, even going so far as to give different breeds bonuses to different stats based on the real-life breed's strengths.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: One of your first objectives is to sneak around and disrupt the GPS surveying equipment so you'll have more time to prove that the stable should not be razed. You can sneak on your horse; the guards are idiots. Some later missions are less forgiving, but you still have to mess up pretty badly to get caught.
  • White Stallion: Loretta has one. You can have one, too, if you like.
  • Who Forgot The Lights?: Playing at night is not advised simply because you can't see anything and you're likely to run head-first into a fence. Possibly intentional, since the target audience is teen and preteen girls who probably have to wake up early for school and so shouldn't play late at night anyway.