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[GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:49 pm

Downloaded Skill wrote:Hinds I'm rather curious about how much the Phoenix Soul Talisman and the truly prodigious amount of soul magic interact with Rampage's anatomy on a more technical level. We know it allows perfect reincarnation, but does it allow her brain to control her body even without a physical pathway? We don't really have concrete details yet which is why I want to speculate.

I notice a lot of her deaths would have her brain or heart compromised in some way. Are you saying that Rampage's body would accept commands since the soul magic allows a non-physical connection between her brain and body? Since Rampage's brain is alive for a few seconds after decapitation, supposedly, it would be possible for the body to make the kill if the "soul magic connection" theory is true.
I don't know, I'm afraid; I was but hypothesizing.


@Meleagridis:
Thank you for the error spotting, though the three that you pointed out were actually already reported (sorry).
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:57 pm

Mel wrote:This chapter pulled me in like a whirlpool.
Agreed. For the parts I really liked I couldn't keep up a commentary, I was so engrossed. So I just collected my thoughts for the overview.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:16 pm

A thought: maybe I would have been okay with seventeen point nine seconds if Blackjack had shown her work. What steps she would take and the responses she expected, even recalculating as things failed to go as planned, rather than her pulling a random number point something out of her butt and expressing dissatisfaction when whatever she expected to happen didn't.
Maybe even keep up that theme of logical detachment from the fight, rather than doing that once, then proceeding without further "calculation".

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:45 pm

swicked wrote:
Harmony Ltd. wrote:I'll just just point something out : Rampage doesn't lose her memories, even after painting the walls with her own brain and regenerating a new, fresh one. This is possibly a clue. Of what, I don't know, but I'll just leave this here.
That's because it is magically regenerating her to her previous state. Contemporary healing, however accelerated, wouldn't allow for regrowing limbs... even ignoring conservation of mass and regrowing her from nothing as required.
The magical blueprint it's using for the spell includes everything about her, all the way down to her most recent memories.
Though now I wonder if she can even form new memories without an attached brain, making the brain entirely redundant next to the soul jar...
It occures to me, if her healing talisman were somehow suspended, this would be hillarious in old world blues.
"Ah! The lobotomite speaks! It must be the almighty Tesla Coil we... no, wait, I have that right here. Huh..."

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:00 am

And now I have an entire series of interractions in my head in which Rampage meets the think tank, gives them tons of entirely inaccurate information about both the outside world and pony anatomy, eats every last one of their mint-als, bullies them mercilously before playing therapist and fixing all of their mental problems.
With exception, of course, to Dala... who she just ends up "accidentally" giving an aneurysm with her raw, sexy, teddy bear fleshyness.

She's basically their antithesis.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Meleagridis on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:04 am

swicked wrote:
It occures to me, if her healing talisman were somehow suspended, this would be hillarious in old world blues.
"Ah! The lobotomite speaks! It must be the almighty Tesla Coil we... no, wait, I have that right here. Huh..."

I'm trying to think of who would be the best one to place in Big Mt. Rampage would be fun, but she'd have the same solution to everything. Glory would probably science through everything... and fly over the rest. P-21 would just sneak through it all.

Y'know, for some reason my brain is saying Snails. Snails or Boo.

Addendum: This was before I saw what Rampage would do to the Think Tank. Now I'm not so sure.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:21 am

Glory wouldn't make it passed her first chat with the think tank.
She'd just keep correcting them, trying to fix their work, etc. They, being non-violent, would object but be unwilling to simply throw her out. She'd only stop when she got hungry or tired, would go solve those issues, then return to badger them more.
They're supposed to be smart. They aren't. They think they are and perform terrible, flawed experiments. Glory couldn't deal with that.

P-21 would listen to their speech, get them to cut to the point, quickly perform all the tasks he needed to to get out of Big MT, then set things up so that no one could ever wander into the valley again. He's not one for such nonsense, really.

Edit: This is all assuming, of course, their brains were "perfectly" extracted despite their not being shot in their heads, of course.
This was one reason why Rampage was preferable... it wouldn't matter if they messed up removing her's :P

Edit2: Actually, P-21 might have a mind to kill mobius or the Think Tank, but maybe not. It would depend on how things go.
Yes, they've done terrible things, but they live in their own little slice of eternal hell. They aren't happy, but are all fairly insane. It'd be a difficult choice, for him... but I'm fairly confident he'd leave them alone, in the end, and just make sure no one can enter their hell ever again.
Not that anyone typically was, anymore, anyway...


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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Luminous Lead on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:38 am

This chapter was... well done.  It felt different, but in a good way.  It was short compared to some of the previous monster chapters, but the flow and pacing were good.  The melding to cannon was handled very well, definitely no qualms there.

Off the wall, I have to say I really like how Blackjack was mildly horrified at Lil'Pip's "Master Plan".

Hey, imagine what would have happened if Lacunae had died in the balefire, and all those alicorns had left Maripony WITHOUT getting back their memories and hearts?  It would've been like the Zerg when their Overmind died: indiscriminate bloody slaughter, everywhere. Come to think of it, Blackjack just saved the wasteland way more than Lil'Pip!  

Man, that violin music really brought home her (apparent) death for me.  Very appropriate choice!  Lacunae's sendoff was touching enough to move from denial to acceptance in relatively short order.  Come to think of it, if Lacunae too has no original soul, then Rampage should be able to take a little comfort in the fact that she was not alone.


Goddess wrote:Triumphant, a pegasus within Unity identified.

I thought one of the problems with Unity was that it only had unicorns in it?  Was this changed/retconned at some point?  Am I simply crazy?

Blackjack wrote:
I was already imagining it.  LittlePip was smart.  She’d try and hit the Goddess in some way the Goddess wouldn’t see coming.  Maybe she was going to dump those thousands and thousands of memory orbs that had been hidden under Shattered Hoof into the Goddess.  No clue what would happen.  The Goddess made sure she’d telekinetically repel anything small and round.  The Black Book?  Maybe she had some spell to affect the souls in Unity?  That was pondered gravely.  What if LittlePip could extract the Goddess’s soul from Unity and bind it in a soul jar?  Or an even more powerful spell.  Twilight recalled the zebra lore of a star falling on Equestria.  Perhaps that?
I loved this scene.  It really reminded me of a moment in Animorphs where the main character, Jake, has his head infested by a brain-dwelling parasite.  The parasite then uses Jake's paranoid brain to imagine all the events and threats in the surrounding area, to no avail.

One of the problems with the Goddess was that by cramming divergent views into a single entity (Lacunae), Unity became overspecialized to the point that she had massive blindspots, and relying on the mind of a mare with terrible foresight was not nearly enough to make up for these shortcomings.

Now we only need to deal with Cognetium, and Hoofington city.  Good thing Blackjack has her epic tier armour, and a magic bullet. :)

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Moodyman90 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:49 am

If my memory serves it's not that Unity as a whole was only made from Unicorns, just that because the main four that made up the Goddess was only Unicorns that there was a bit of a problem.

That's the big thing about Red Eye's plan. He wanted a suitable unicorn and Pegasus to take the dip with him, an Earth pony, to hopefully get the even balance and mix that The Goddess and her Unity seemed to lack.

And I guess hopefully the fact the God/Goddess he was trying to create would actually be able to make male Alicorns since it wouldn't be all mares as the main and core component.  I really don't remember if that was a goal for Red Eye as well or if I'm misremembering as a whole.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by SilentCarto on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:54 am

Ch. 58 Commentary:

‘wanted to give you this.  Take Fleur and go home.  Stop Lighthoves.  Hope I see you again.  Sorrie if I don’t.  Talk to
Love you.  Blackjack.
PS: don’t freek out.  Last nite was awesem.  Giv 21 a hug frm
Please tell me this isn't BJ's usual level of writing. Surely being in Stable Security requires you to fill out paperwork and written reports.

The Operative walked the Wasteland once more.
I have a whole lot of nothing to say through this entire section. I'm just getting swept along with the story, and it's just... so wonderful in its stark hopelessness.

“I… will… not!” Lacunae roared in response to the dark skies overhead.
You tell 'em, Lac! ...not that it'll do any good, but the fact that she can talk back to the Goddess is so beautiful. Compare this Lacunae to the mare we met back at Chapel. The difference couldn't be clearer.

I knew them, and they knew me, and yet… something was wrong.  Okay, maybe I didn’t have much of a right to judge the state of telepathic mass minds, but as I felt all those different intellects, there were so many and so… little.
This is just a fantastic way to describe what's wrong with the Unity in a nutshell.

Oh dear sweet Luna.  They were the same pony?  They hadn’t been joking about that?!  How... she... I...  I couldn’t believe that a tiny, sweet, smart mare like her could be the strapping goddess of Wasteland death!
That was good for a giggle in spite of the circumstances.

Of course, I’d been half drunk the whole time and had no clue what LittlePip had actually gone there for, just that she’d done it.  She’d needed… what?  Information?
Holy crap. Holy crap! It never even occurred to me that you deliberately set that up so that BJ wouldn't know exactly what Pip needed from Red Eye!

MIND = BLOWN

This was Twilight Sparkle’s plan… a Twilight stripped away of compassion and concern and ethics.
I was afraid of that. If most minds in the Unity are empty, Twilight must be emptier than most.

There would be only alicorns and their Goddess, a mother and her children.  One mind.  One will.  One note united forever. ... The Goddess had become like a void sucking in everything good and transforming it into more of itself.
Nice parallels with the Eater of Souls.

Fill your head with horribly catchy pre-war pop songs that would drive anypony crazy?
"Tenser, said the Tensor..." :D

I… I should be doing something.  Following something with my friends.  Scotch Tape… and… and who was she?  And there’d been another… I could see them for an instant: a blue stallion and a gray pegasus.  They were frustrated with me… amused by me… I loved them… I…

I loved who?
;_;
This part is heartbreaking and absolutely chilling. I can't say anything else about it.

Only she flipped upside down completely the instant I made contact.  I tried to flap my wings, but I was aberrant as well.  Heavy.  I passed through the bottom of her shield with an electric crackle and slammed into the muddy ground.
This fight is totally awesome. There haven't been many magic duels in PH, but this one is making up for it in spades! I love how the magic, bullets, and brawling all mix together in this constant, flowing ballet.

The boxcar had disappeared too.
I suddenly felt a sensation of déjà vu…
Wahahaha! Trixie's not going to trust trains, either, now!

I could see it glowing in the middle of that jumbled mess of memories… the one true thing that was Lacunae’s and only hers.  Hope.
Psalm's talent, fillies and gentlecolts.
"The dark is generous and it is patient and it always wins -- but in the heart of its strength lies its weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back."

According to classified notes discovered in the facility, #8 and #9 had performed marvelously.
I'm trying to imagine what event(s) this is referring to.

To the side I saw a pair of large rocks about three feet high and five or six feet long arranged in a wedge pointing towards the crater.  It was the only thing in that blasted landscape that might count as cover.
It's no refrigerator, but it'll do.

her shield already blown apart like a paper bag with a grenade in it.
Love this imagery!

I am a collection of memories and feelings placed within my body, and that gave rise to my consciousness.  If I give those memories back…
And there's the downside to my whole 'personality is the person' philosophy. It's good to support Rampage's personhood, but when Lac loses the scraps that made up her personality... *sniff*
I wonder if Psalm is going to be trotting around with 200 years of Lac's memories, now. Even if the personality is gone, the memories should be stored somewhere in her brain...

I finally came to a stop at the base next to a large rusty refrigerator on the banks of a muddy creek.  I saw, as I struggled to sit up, a pony skeleton lying curled up on its side within the metal container.  I looked at it a moment, wondering how the bones, the refrigerator, and an old gambler’s hat came to be on the banks of this muddy little trickle in the middle of nowhere.
Heh. You went there too.

Then the air was split by the crack of four hooves impacting against the side of a hellhound’s skull, and I stared at the sight of a blue pegasus with a rainbow mane slamming into the hellhound above me.
Woo! Cavalry!

“The Proditor said it was the ‘Blackjack defeat effect’.”
Hee! Well, he HAS shot her enough times to pass the initiation.

Then paused as Rampage’s decapitated body reached out with her power hooves and touched its face, patted its cheek, and then smashed a powerhoof upside its head.
This doesn't seem physically possible!

“But Blackjack has this certain gravity that keeps us all coming back to her.”
This chapter should have been named "Gravity".

We sat in a circle on the deck, with Boo at the helm, seeming fascinated by the wheel.   Somepony had put an old captain’s hat on her head, and the sight was so ridiculous and precious that I couldn’t keep from smiling a little when I looked over at her.
Oh, now you're just doing that on purpose.
(I approve of Boo Dress-Up as a running gag. XD)
P.S. Who is driving? Oh my god, Boo is driving! How can that be?!

Aboard the Fleur and away from the ground, I told them everything.
At last! I'm really glad everyone's being calm and rational about this and giving BJ the chance to explain herself. I think it kind of speaks to Glory's increasing confidence that she's no longer terrified out of her wits by BJ vanishing.

This month I’m moving down to vegas, so I can’t put an honest ETA on when 59 will be out.  School is starting too, so things are going to get interesting soon.  I hope things work out for me both professionally and financially so I can keep plugging away at Horizons.
Good luck, Somber! Don't get abducted by a Legion raiding party!


Overall thoughts: My perception of events at Maripony in FOE was frantic and chaotic, while this chapter depicted them as more sedate, with time for the Goddess to consider and argue and break down. Granted, 30 minutes is a long time, and all that Unity stuff could take place at the speed of thought. It's not that I object, really, I just had to keep readjusting my sense of urgency. But, looking back at FOE, it was actually a full two minutes between >BOMB and "CHILDREN! FLEE!" so I assume you did your homework on that front.

I was really feeling exhausted by the time the hellhounds attacked, but the arrival of BJ's friends injected fresh life right when it was needed most. A real high point in the chapter! This one was pretty heavy, but it fit together very well both with itself and with FOE. So, um... great job!
Editing:

I’d forgotten to give it to her… being thrown against a wall by an irate marefriend can have that effect…
This should end with a period.

It was a huge unknown, but it was all the more frustrating because every memory of Twilight studying the Black Book with Rarity had been removed.
Removed into Lacunae, or pulled out into a memory orb before the Last Day? The subsequent reference, "What if there was a clue in one of those missing moments that had been thrown away because the thought of her friend hurt so very much?" doesn't necessarily clarify.

And how she moved… as if she were in pain… still she smiled.
still, she smiled.

“Rarity… they’re amazing!  I… I don’t deserve them,” I said as I lifted the rest out.  “They’re so lifelike.”  I said as I assembled them on my desk.
Twilight has a desk in Rarity's office? I think you meant Rarity's desk.

While I originally planned on keeping them a set… I really couldn’t.
"Keeping them a set" tricked me on the first reading. I read it as a misprint of "keeping a set". I'd make it, "keeping them together as a set".

This was Twilight Sparkle’s plan… a Twilight stripped away of compassion and concern and ethics.
Remove "away".

Aside from some gutted, concrete storage buildings and some rusted train cars, there was nothing of interest here.
No comma after "gutted".

Gun smoke wreathed around the black form.
Remove "around".

The pair had gotten their shields up in time, but it’d take themselves a while to disentangle themselves from the wreckage.
take them a while

Even after two centuries, the rifle fit together perfectly one piece into another.
perfectly, one

Within was a .50 round of black diamond carefully etched with magic glyphs.
.50 caliber

Of course the Goddess knew who they were, but to the Goddess they were four flat entries akin to what one might feel reading a dictionary.
entries, akin

The fall of Canterlot and Rarity touching the melted glass tore through unity like a fresh wound that ached with the image of the unicorn skeleton with her hoof melted to the glass.
This sentence... needs work.

A colossal swirling gray machine of death.
colossal, swirling, gray machine

Beneath the power armor wings, small pegasus camera teams flew about capturing the glorious sight.
"Power armor wings" sounds awkward to me. I'd use "power-armored wings", or better yet, "power-armored air wings" to make it clear you're talking about formation-wings, not limb-wings. And comma after "about".

The old stallion clapped his hooves together, laughing uproariously.  “Bravo!”  He levitated his star covered pointed cap and set it atop the beaming filly’s head.”
pointed, star-covered cap
Excess quote mark at the end.

“I don’t want to die,” the Goddess asked, fearful and small.
That wasn't an 'ask'.

I didn’t know how the Enclave would take it, but all at once gravity reversed and now was pushing me away from Maripony.
once, gravity reversed, now pushing

I checked above me and saw the Raptors and the Triumphant pulling away laboriously.
laboriously pulling away.

To the side I saw a pair of large rocks about three feet high and five or six feet long arranged in a wedge pointing towards the crater.
side, I
long, arranged

Then, in advance of the flame, a strange shimmery bubble of air blew out from the crater.
strange, shimmery

Every dead tree was snapped in two and tossed on the wind like so many matchsticks.
"Every dead tree" and "like so many matchsticks" don't match, no pun intended. Should be "Dead trees were snapped..."

Zenith escaped on the griffinchaser,
Xenith

Believe me, I almost gave myself a seizure trying to tell you and still couldn’t do it.
you, and I still


Last edited by SilentCarto on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:58 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Valikdu on Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:56 am

Let me rephrase the query: after Lacuna's personality dissemination, wouldn't her body contain Psalm's soul and fragments of Psalm's memory?

Of course, if it was so, Psalm would probably take her own life immediately, but still.

I really don't remember if that was a goal for Red Eye as well or if I'm misremembering as a whole.

I think it was.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Kaidon on Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:31 am

Awesome chapter, though I've heard that song used as satire far too many times to take it seriously anymore, but that's my own fault I guess - It was a good choice.

On a side note, does anyone know if there's a list of the songs linked in PH around somewhere? They always accompanied amazing scenes.
As for fan music I'd imagine there's a list of it on the FOE resource site.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Sparklecake on Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:47 am

Hello. Decided to register just so I could toss in a comment here and there. I've been reading PH since about February. As a professional lurker, I also skimmed through most of the comment threads on it while I was reading (yes, there were tens of thousands of comments...) at EQD and here.

I have to say, Somber: I enjoyed FO:E a great deal. It appealed to me on many levels, though it certainly has its flaws. However, PH goes a bit beyond simple entertainment. The fact that the story is about colorful ponies in the magical land of post-apocalyptic Equestria doesn't even faze me anymore. It's been one hell of an experience for me, evoking every emotion imaginable and taking me through feelings I didn't know I had. Honestly, when I read 33 I had to take a break from the story for two weeks just to process everything that had happened up to there. That wasn't a bad thing, though. It was just very, very intense.

What's funny is that, despite the content, I don't even feel like PH is "grimdark". There's way too much hope, fun, adventure, silliness, comedy, friendship, and other positive aspects for that. PH treads a fine line between grim darkness and hopeful light. For every atrocity, there's a triumph. For every worry, there's the thought of a better tomorrow. I honestly don't enjoy standard grimdark stories (e.g. Game of Thrones isn't really my thing), but it's this mixture of positivity with darkness that really sets stories like PH (and FO:E) apart for me. The darkness and horror emphasize the adventure and moments of happiness, making them that much sweeter and more meaningful. I find it inspiring that you've managed to mix MLP's core values into the story in such a fundamental way.

I know that as a writer you prefer hearing reasons and explanations to mindless compliments, and I could probably write a couple hundred pages detailing my thoughts on PH, but for the time being (I don't know if I'll post more or not) I'm going to keep this relatively simple: I think PH is incredible. I don't care how long it takes to finish; I agree with the school of thought that since PH isn't a novel and acts more like a serial, criticizing it for its length is only tangentially relevant (though criticisms related to pacing in individual arcs are certainly valid, I have no issue with its pacing so far). So long as the character interaction continues to be as varied and interesting as it is, I could probably read it forever.

I hope everything works out for you in your life, Somber. You don't know me, but I do care about what happens to you. Thank you for putting so much of yourself into making this story the best you can, and also to the editors and everyone else who helps with the story.

Small comment on 58:

Derpmind wrote:
Spoiler:
Lacunae was a very strange being, but wasn't she at her base still built off of Psalm? Maybe Psalm will come back together, and keep some memories of being Lacunae? Psalm isn't Lacuane, but I'd like some part of Lacuane to live on, and for Psalm to have a second chance.
 
Spoiler:
This was my thought exactly. If Lacunae sent all the stolen memories back to their original bodies, that would make Psalm's memories go to her body. Then that leaves the memories Lacunae developed during her travels with BJ, which should also go to Psalm's body. The resulting entity won't be the same as Lacunae, but she'll be a variant of Psalm that has already dealt with many of her issues (through Lacunae's experiences) and has a particular affinity for BJ's group. That could make her stable enough to not kill herself. This could definitely make for an interesting character. I figure that Twilight's mind was stronger than Psalm's, and so dominated the body while her presence remained, but once Twilight fades away, Psalm might regain control. I hope we haven't seen the last of Psalmunae.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:15 am

Greetings, Sparklecake!
I, personally, do think of PH as grimdark. FoE is, too, after all. They aren't for the simple sake of being so, but it is part of their theme to occasionally come across a room of living pony flesh, eat the occasional heart freshly torn from a friend's chest and gas a bunch of innocent psychotic cannibals.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Sparklecake on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:02 am

Certainly, it's true that PH is viewed as grimdark by many sources (this thread's title included), and I'm not trying to argue that it's objectively not grimdark. It's not a well-defined term, after all. Obviously, there's going to be a lot of disagreement because of that. For my purposes only, to qualify as "grimdark", it's not adequate just for a story to contain horrifying themes. Those themes need to be dominant, and more importantly, hopelessness needs to be a constant theme throughout the story. PH is (very roughly) a 50/50 mix of dark themes and lighter themes, and that's a big difference compared to verifiably grimdark media like Warhammer 40k, where hopelessness is the defining feature of the property.

Like I said though, I'm not trying trying to force this definition on anyone. That's just how I feel about it.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Somber on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:12 am

Welcome Sparklecake.  You have a very interesting idea.  It'll be interesting to see if you do. :3  Also, I don't see PH as Grimdark either.  I like to think of it as 'epic adventure'.  Things happen that are dramatic all heading towards a heroic climax.  I hope that it come out well.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:22 am

Sparklecake wrote:Certainly, it's true that PH is viewed as grimdark by many sources (this thread's title included), and I'm not trying to argue that it's objectively not grimdark. It's not a well-defined term, after all. Obviously, there's going to be a lot of disagreement because of that. For my purposes only, to qualify as "grimdark", it's not adequate just for a story to contain horrifying themes. Those themes need to be dominant, and more importantly, hopelessness needs to be a constant theme throughout the story. PH is (very roughly) a 50/50 mix of dark themes and lighter themes, and that's a big difference compared to verifiably grimdark media like Warhammer 40k, where hopelessness is the defining feature of the property.

Like I said though, I'm not trying trying to force this definition on anyone. That's just how I feel about it.
Calm thyself, fellow reader. I don't think of PH as simply grimdark, but it is part of the theme and setting. It is an epic about the struggle against evil and does everything in its power NOT to glorify its horrors, but to offer them as a contrast to the hope and love you've described.
I agree with you, essentially, I just don't see the label as negative. Nor important, for that matter. It is a good story, but one must occassionally describe it. To that end, I think "grimdark" fits more than occassionally.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Sparklecake on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:24 am

Oh, I'm not upset. I was just trying to be explicit about how I feel about it. Sorry if I came off that way. I also agree with everything you just wrote, short of semantics.

Somber, "epic adventure" is word-for-word how I've described it in the past. It makes me very happy to know that's the same term you use. Looking forward to the future.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:41 am

Sparklecake wrote:Somber, "epic adventure" is word-for-word how I've described it in the past. It makes me very happy to know that's the same term you use. Looking forward to the future.
Somber has often stated he doesn't intend the story to be "grimdark".
He writes PH and this stuff kinda just... happens. This is what he writes.
He would have Blackjack's adventure be lighter and happier if he could, but given everything, what he's written and what he will write is what happens.

Edit:
Example:
Back when BJ & co. visited hoofington stadium for the first time, somber described he had a sudden realization that, given everything that had happened, what P-21 had to be feeling... he would attempt suicide. He just would.
So P-21 did and Blackjack had to save him.
The grimdark comes from a dedication to the work and his characters, not in the least any desire to be "grimdark".


Last edited by swicked on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:50 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Valikdu on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:47 am

Certainly, it's true that PH is viewed as grimdark by many sources (this thread's title included), and I'm not trying to argue that it's objectively not grimdark. It's not a well-defined term, after all.

Grimdark isn't a real word.

...

Well, I suppose that it has become a word, now. If I'm right, it's supposed to define a piece where the "dark" element has been deliberately turned up so high that it doesn't really make sense anymore, like in Warhammer 40.000 (where it's the grim darkness of the far future and there's only war).

And PH certainly has a lot of dark elements, but it's not the main defining quality. [see above posts for well-worded explanations of what is]
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Sparklecake on Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:00 am

swicked wrote:The grimdark comes from a dedication to the work and his characters, not in the least any desire to be "grimdark".
Indeed, though I'd personally call that realistic writing (in that things that should be reasonably expected to happen tend to happen, which is one of my favorite parts of PH), not grimdark.

Valikdu wrote:
Grimdark isn't a real word.

...

Well, I suppose that it has become a word, now. If I'm right, it's supposed to define a piece where the "dark" element has been deliberately turned up so high that it doesn't really make sense anymore, like in Warhammer 40.000 (where it's the grim darkness of the far future and there's only war).

And PH certainly has a lot of dark elements, but it's not the main defining quality. [see above posts for well-worded explanations of what is]
Yeah, that's pretty much exactly what I mean. As grimdark isn't a "real word", it's not well-defined, so it's hard to say if something is or isn't grimdark. In my personal view of things, PH isn't grimdark, but I have no problem with those who choose to view it as such.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:03 am

Valikdu wrote:If I'm right, it's supposed to define a piece where the "dark" element has been deliberately turned up so high that it doesn't really make sense anymore,
If that's the definition, I'll stop using it.
I just considered grimdark to be grim and dark themactically a signifigant portion of the time. Certainly darker than dark.
In PH, ponies aren't just tortured and killed. They're forced to watch their entire community fed through a rock grinder, put halfway through themselves, then left there as a message to the hero.
That's pretty extreme, which is why I use the term.
I don't think it's so dark, though, that it "doesn't make sense".

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:14 am

@SilentCarto:
Thank you as always for the error spotting.

@Sparklecake:
Welcome!
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Sparklecake on Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:24 am

O. Hinds wrote:@Sparklecake:
Welcome!
Thanks! And thanks as well for your work on the story.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by WavemasterRyx on Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:59 am

O. Hinds wrote:Yes, I saw that on your tumblr and thought that that was probably what it was for; I think that it does its job quite well.  Good luck with the crying (hopefully you don't wear glasses; I do, so whenever my eyes water too much I have a choice between disabling my vision for a bit or getting saltwater stains on the lenses).
Thank you, Hinds. I just had to do something for her... it's not as good as she deserves, though.
And thank you again... I do wear glasses, but they only keep me from straining my eyes, so I can see without them, I just get migraines from it, and I'm used to washing the tears off them. I managed to make it through writing my commentary without sobbing uncontrollably again, at least. Still cried quite a bit though...

Sparklecake wrote:Hello. Decided to register just so I could toss in a comment here and there. I've been reading PH since about February. As a professional lurker, I also skimmed through most of the comment threads on it while I was reading (yes, there were tens of thousands of comments...) at EQD and here.
Hello, sir. I hope you enjoy your stay here.

Somber wrote:Right now I'm in extreme pain from a bad tooth.  Take everything I say with that in mind.
I'm very sorry you're having trouble again, sir... I really do hope things get better for you soon...
Please just try to take care of yourself, sir, and remember that I believe in you.

I think you did a very commendable job with this chapter, sir, especially for how important it was to FoE.
Thank you for writing Project Horizons, and thank you to Hinds and Bronode for all of your help with it. And a special thanks to your three guest assistants as well.

*hugs each of you gently*

Chapter 58 Commentary:

This will probably be a considerably shorter commentary, because I want to try and get it done before I start crying too much to see, again. Despite how gravely the loss of Lacunae saddens me, I still think it was a good chapter, I would like to think you achieved what you had wanted from writing it.

I'm sure some people will complain about Blackjack leaving the note for Glory, but I'm very glad she was able to do so. I think it does set some small undertone of hope for a happier ending to the chapter.

The analysis of how to kill Pip's party, and the way the Goddess so quickly and offhandedly kills the two griffons through Blackjack is certainly unnerving.

Lacunae's reaction to seeing Blackjack in Psalm's armor is what made me first start to really cry while reading. It's a very emotional scene.

The description of the memories inside Lacunae being like "colored stones tagged with cutie marks" is quite an interesting visual.

I'm still angry at Goldenblood, but at least he apologized, for whatever it's worth. Getting to see Rarity give Twilight her statuettes was incredibly touching. At least they were able to share that one little moment together...

The Goddess' vision of the future is pretty terrifying... Especially with the note of "she knew the effectiveness of Stable 99". With Blackjack's mention of how small and empty Unity seemed outside of Hoofington, it really does make it quite a sad future.

Blackjack's laughter and taunting as she tells the Goddess how she'd kill her in LittlePip's place is fairly chilling as well.

And then this scene... I think when the Goddess tears apart Blackjack's mind is when I really lost it crying...

The following fight between Blackjack, Lacunae, and the alicorns is incredibly well done, and terrifying.

I think your explanation for the Goddess' reaction to the four names was completely reasonable.

The flashes of memory as she tries to find out about balefire were very touching. The way the memories eat away at the Goddess was handled very well, I think.

The alicorns all trying to escape, the Goddess apologizing and trying to help Blackjack... and Blackjack forgiving her as only she could... was all incredibly emotional.

The description of the balefire blast was very well done, and the image of Lacunae absorbing the radiation and using it to save Blackjack was incredible as well.

I know she did the right thing, and I know you can't save everypony, but I'm going to miss Lacunae. She was real, existed, and she deserved a chance to be happy. I thought I was prepared for it, but I wasn't at all...
When I was through reading the chapter I just sat there and cried, I don't even know how long.

It was hard even to smile at Boo in the Captain's hat after that, but it was nice that they were able to find Blackjack safely. And even if I couldn't laugh, I think you did manage the humorous aspect of their reunion perfectly fine.

With everything going on, I'd actually forgotten that the whole reason Lancer had sprung his ambush in the first place was from hearing the Goddess take over Blackjack... it's nice that he had the sense enough to help...

It's also good that nothing bad happened with P-21 and Glory waking up together, I realy was worried about how they'd react.

I think the reminiscing at the end was a very important touch...

Goodbye, Lacunae.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by O. Hinds on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:18 am

WavemasterRyx wrote:I do wear glasses, but they only keep me from straining my eyes, so I can see without them, I just get migraines from it, and I'm used to washing the tears off them.
I'm sorry about all the tears, but you can take some consolation that you've better eyesight than me.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Overlong Analysis Cobalt on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:45 am

@SparkleCakes
Hiya, welcome to the forums and all!
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:19 am

As distasteful as it would be to say were Lacunae a real person as opposed to a fictional one, was I the only one that never really liked Lacunae?
I just never connected with her. I couldn't get into her head. Her emotional responses were always so muted and she almost never opened up. I know WHY she was like this, but knowing that didn't help. I never grew any sort of attachment to her so I really don't mind that she's gone at all. One less character, perhaps to make room for a more interesting character to join (not lancer, he can't possibly last that long) or simply to have a reduced cast.

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by Overlong Analysis Cobalt on Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:35 am

@Swicked
I don't think it was really possible to get inside Lacunae's head; certainly not easy, anyway. That said, I did like her, more from how she interacted with others (mostly Blackjack) than from connecting with her. She's not my favorite or anything, if we were to play favorites, but it was always nice and sort of cute/awkward/charming when she came out of her shell (or, more often, was forced out) for an instant.
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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

Post by swicked on Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:39 am

Overlong Analysis Cobalt wrote:@Swicked
I don't think it was really possible to get inside Lacunae's head; certainly not easy, anyway. That said, I did like her, more from how she interacted with others (mostly Blackjack) than from connecting with her. She's not my favorite or anything, if we were to play favorites, but it was always nice and sort of cute/awkward/charming when she came out of her shell (or, more often, was forced out) for an instant.
...now that I think about it, while I expected remorse from all of them, Rampage's reaction was pretty extreme, even for her.

I wonder if Lacunae was special to her somehow. Maybe the therapist's therapist, or at least someone she could talk to. Beyond that I don't really know what their relationship could have been.
Might be worth asking Somber...

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Re: [GRIMDARK] Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons Discussion

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