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Woobie / The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum

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It would take far less time to list the characters that don't qualify as a Woobie in the Spectrumverse. But since we're committed to this, and literally every heroic character (and even a few antagonists) qualifies as an example, we might as well...

  • Let us start with our hero, Marcus. The war has turned him into a nearly empty and borderline psychotic shell of a man who is barely able to keep his head above the water. Even before the Solar Empire's invasion, he lost his father at a young age, then witnessed the worst of mankind during his time as a soldier in the Middle East. When the story begins, Marcus is the last member of his family still alive, and he's done some pretty brutal things fighting to stop the Solar Empire.
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  • Stephan more than qualifies during "Sons of Legacies". He might have it together a bit better than Marcus, but it's clear he's utterly destroyed by the destruction of his home country and he's had to do some brutal things to survive the war (including being forced to Mercy Kill a bunch of ponified children).
  • The argument could be made for every surviving human. By the year 2023, three years into the war, millions of people are refugees with literally no homeland to return to, since the Barrier annihilates any man-made object in its way (not even leaving dust behind). Even those who haven't lost their home yet are just counting down until the Barrier reaches their front lawn. Try living for all that time, attempting to go about your daily lives, while knowing that your world is dying inch by inch.
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  • Viktor Kraber certainly qualifies, despite being a highly trigger-happy Blood Knight... or possibly because he is when you consider why. He accidentally got his girlfriend pregnant while they were still in college, but he stepped up to the plate, worked hard to get his medical degree so he could support his family, and succeeded, and he went on to live a happy life for a while... only to promptly lose them all to TCB!Pinkie Pie and the PER, an event he blames himself for because he hired Pinkie to plan out his kids' birthday party. It's very clear that between losing his whole family, his time in the HLF and eventual recruitment into the Bundeswehr, the war did not have a good effect on his general state of mind. He's frequently mentioned as being an alcoholic, and that's not even touching on his guilt for the (implicitly) horrifying things he did in the HLF. According to Luna, his nightmares hang over him, even when he's awake. Not to mention, since the only way to free the Newfoals from the mind control is to Mercy Kill them, Kraber's going to lose his family all over again. On top of that, he's aware that he's a bastard, and full of self-loathing. He's also implied to be suicidal.
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  • The same goes for the ponies who fled Equestria, many of whom are fighting the imperialist nightmare their once beloved home country has turned into. Making things worse is that even though most of them were just as taken by surprise as mankind when Queen Celestia declared war on Earth, there are enough humans who hate all ponies indiscriminately for their lives to be continuously endangered by the very people they are trying to help.
  • TCB!Lyra surely counts, though it doesn't get as much focus as the more inspirational side of her character. This is a mare who got to live her dream of meeting humans, and thanks to being in Celestia's good graces, she got to become an ambassador to humanity. But then she realized just what the Queen was planning, feeling utterly betrayed, and it was clear that denouncing her once beloved home country was not easy for her. And aside from the burdens of leading a planet-wide rebellion against her own homeland, facing fear and mistrust from the same humans she was trying to protect, her own girlfriend (initially) decrying her cause as little more than paranoia and a waste of time, and getting sentenced to a horrible death (while her girlfriend was forced to watch, no less), there's also the fact that if she found out what the Bag of Tirek did to Celestia, Lyra would have had to live with the guilt of knowing that what happened was all her fault, without ever being able to tell anyone. Being Good Sucks, indeed.
  • TCB!Bon-Bon, whose mind was broken after the Queen executed Lyra. Nowadays she's just a babbling mess diagnosed with chronological lobular desync disorder (think of it as a stroke which lets you view both the present and any point of history at the same time, with everything that implies).
    Sometimes she babbled about events that had yet to happen, or screamingly re-experienced past horrors, not just from her own life, but of Eldritch nightmares from eons before Equestria's founding.
  • The TCB!Princesses; Cadance was betrayed by her true love thanks to him being brainwashed into an unshakable fanatic for the Queen's cause, and Marcus states that at one point, TCB!Shining Armor "attempted to subdue [Cadance] and drag her to the Tyrant with a smile." And Luna was emotionally manipulated by her sister (specifically, Celestia used any of Luna's doubts to make her afraid she was becoming Nightmare Moon again) despite her doubts about the conversion bureaus and the war, and when she finally gained the courage to defy Celestia once more, she ended up getting turned to stone for her trouble.
  • The TCB!Cutie Mark Crusaders; Scootaloo suffers from a disease which causes the tissues of her wings to become necrotic, eventually requiring her to have them amputated. Her having an elaborate dream of gaining use of them only twists the knife further, so to speak. Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle and Applebloom could only helplessly watch as their beloved sisters became hateful nutjobs hellbent on destroying all of humanity.
  • TCB!Trixie (aka the Blue Spy) is a PHL operative who seems to be Becoming the Mask to the multiple personae used in her spy work, and fears that she is becoming just as bad, if not worse than the people she fights against.
  • TCB!Spike. Once he and Rarity realized what was happening to the other Elements of Harmony, they tried to escape, but failed. Not only were his friends and the mare he loved corrupted by darkness into becoming the Queen's tools of evil, but he himself was imprisoned and horribly tortured for going against Celestia. When Trixie finds him, he's pretty much a shell of his former self.
  • King Spykoran. In order to ensure the Bag of Tirek would never be used again, he was forced to annihilate all of Dream Valley. Let that sink in. He was forced to kill everyone he knew and loved plus their entire families, all to prevent the bag from ever harming anyone else again (and in at least one universe, that didn't work). His guilt is so massive that he can't even take his hundred-year nap because he's still haunted by what he did, even though he maintains he did what he had to do.
  • Shockingly, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" reveals that the TCB!Mane Six are this. TCB!Twilight was initially against the plans for ponification, which provoked the Queen to horribly Mind Rape and imprison her within her own body, while a dark personality was implanted to take over it. All she could do was helplessly watch as her friends were led to suffer the same fate and the homunculi using their bodies to commit Moral Event Horizon grade acts against the humans (Twilight in particular was Forced to Watch as the thing inhabiting her body killed nearly three thousand people to perfect the ponification potion). When Luna explores her mind to get some information, TCB!Twilight desperately begs Luna to kill her and the other Bearers. A special mention also goes to TCB!Rarity, who was the last one to be corrupted; she realized what was happening to her friends and tried to escape with Spike's help, but failed.
  • Rio/Nepenthe. Oh, lordy... Rio. It counts as almost a mercy that her past hasn't been expanded upon and most of it is barely explained, but from what little she reveals, she was disowned by her family, lost her husband, got raped by someone she considered a friend and got pregnant as a result (though she did love her child), and then her son went missing. After all that, it's not too hard to imagine why she thought the Solar Empire was a perfect paradise where she could live a happy life... and then it got worse for her, when she does get ponified and learns the hard way that the Solar Empire doesn't care about her as she gets Mind Raped into becoming everything she hated.
  • Prime!Catseye, believe it or not. She may seem like another Politically Incorrect Villain who is endangering all Equestria stands for by listening to the Solar Tyrant in her dreams. But between her heritage and her attitude towards non-ponies and pony hybrids, it's not hard to imagine how miserable and self-loathing she is and how pliable that made her towards Queen Celestia's influence. The worst part is there are hints in her narration that she has her doubts about this, but both the Queen and her own followers keep shooting down any second guessing in someone who's ripe for a Heel Realization.
  • Tess Jones, who's lost literally everything to Equestria, has accidentally killed civilians at least twice, and accidentally left her family to die during an evacuation.
  • Verity Carter. For all her attitude problems, it's also pretty clear she's a very scared and sad young woman who has lost just about everything to the Solar Empire. Her beloved mother took the ponification serum as a cure for a medical condition she had, and then abandoned her to live in Equestria, spurning her to join the HLF. And then she somehow was turned into a pony yet still retained her free will and original personality. Besides getting turned into what she hated most, there's also the fact that her father disowned her after seeing her as a pony and all her former friends and comrades are gunning for her.
  • Hyong-Jin. As if being a citizen of North Korea wasn't hard enough, his father died when he was young, he discovers his mother and little sister (whom he vowed to watch over after his father's death) were ponified, and then he finds out that his home country got nuked into oblivion.
  • Porter is revealed to be one in "The Face of the Enemy" when he reveals that he convinced Eun-Hee to go to the press conference in Berne where she was ponified and continues to carry a lot guilt on his conscience for it. He even admits that if he didn't have the support system he has now, he would've become just as vicious and vengeful as any other HLF member.
  • The unnamed former Headmaster of Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns can count. For one thing, the Bag of Tirek forced him to carry it over to TCB!Celestia, and he's utterly traumatized by the experience. But he steps up to the plate nonetheless to atone for his mistake, putting considerable mental and physical stress on himself as he goes between Equus and Earth, seeing the worst depths both ponykind and humanity have sunk to and seeing his beloved homeland turn into a fascist hellhole. Oh, and to rub more salt into his emotional wounds, Weaver was his former student, and as a result he feels directly responsible for many of her crimes too.
  • Prime!Lightning Dust in the Last Train From Oblivion side-story counts as a Jerkass Woobie. The fact that she is legitimately frightened and disgusted with what her TCB counterpart is doing to the humans does help to redeem her.
    Lightning Dust: "Then suddenly, I'm the enemy and beings I've never seen before are trying to kill me! And apparently, I'm in love with that filly that did a sonic rainboom in this world, and my home's at war and trying to turn people into what look like zombies! I still have barely any idea what's going on, I've gotten nothing but horror since I got to this nightmare world, I have NOTHING to go back to, and I'll probably get killed if I try to go back to Equestria!"
  • Inkwell. Initially a sheltered young unicorn and aspiring Intrepid Reporter with a desire to do good, his efforts to expose the unjust treatment of Newfoals gets him in very hot water when he ends up getting too close to the truth. He winds up in a brutal prison camp, forced to mine for raw materials, seeing the low depths his fellow ponies have sunk to in their xenophobic crusade, all the while the Warden has singled him out as someone to keep an eye on.
  • Rockwell. Sure, he's a grouchy and crotchety old stallion with a personal dislike of unicorns... but he hasn't had it easy either, what with feeling the corruption of Equestria hard enough to feel sick as a result, his attempt to save his Royal Guard brother from getting controlled by the geis ending with said brother being put in a coma, being forced to leave his wife and daughter on Earth to protect them, and then getting exposed to the Bag of Tirek, where he sees the awful fate that befell the TCB!Mane Six, the potion tests and even meets Tirek himself. He could also count as an Iron Woobie too, as he still soldiers on.
  • Weaver barely hesitates to follow any of her queen's orders, even killing children, but that doesn't mean that she's in any way happy about it; hers is the fate of a desperate person, so ground down by the untreated chronic depression she's endured since childhood that she had become genuinely convinced the Tyrant is leading all into a truly more harmonious future... all while knowing that she could never belong in the ideal world she seeks to create, and has already accepted she will need to remove herself from the picture once the Empire's crusade is done. Whichever way you look at it, the chances are slim to none that there's a happy ending in store for her.
  • Poor little TCB!Frost Wind in Joy to the Worlds. His older brother is a soldier fighting in the war on Earth and most likely has died in action, his fun cousin (and surrogate big brother of sorts) left home and never came back, his friend (and crush) Comet Tail left home thanks to the war, and on top of that, he has to watch his home turn into a fascist, poverty stricken hellhole filled with the freaky zombie-like Newfoals.
  • TCB!Comet Tail doesn't have it easy either. In Asia, she still tries to stay cheerful despite everything that's been happening to her, up to and including losing her her once-beloved father (whom she disowned out of anger and bitterness), her friend (and mutual crush) Frost Wind, and just being exposed to things that no child should be exposed to. By the time Other Side of the Mirror rolls around, she's a pretty effective Child Soldier who guns down Newfoals with ruthless efficiency (to the point her perfectly well-adjusted Prime counterpart sees her as a badass hero... much to her own parents' shock and disgust).
  • If you don't feel sorry for Prime!Berry Punch and her family, you have no heart. Already before the divergence and the war on Earth, Berry appears to have had it pretty rough, given the (unexplained) absence of Ruby's father and her subsequent descent into alcoholism. Berry managed to go on the wagon but was left heavily anxiety-prone from the experience, motivated primarily by her desire to keep her daughter safe... which puts her in a rather tight spot once the humans arrive and, despite her misgivings, she's drawn to the Loyalists. And just as she looked ready to face her fears, it ends with her getting stabbed to death by a crazed Blue Spy, as witnessed by both Ruby and Berry's own sister, Cheerilee.
  • And in the form of Unintentionally Sympathetic, Queen Celestia herself is probably the biggest victim in the story. She was just as benevolent as her Prime counterpart, but the Bag of Tirek has corrupted her mind and is now a puppet controlled by Tirek. The reason why she's an example of Unintentionally Sympathetic is because the story didn't put a lot of emphasis over the fact that she's possessed and has no control over her actions.

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