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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 01:47pm
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Meh. I wasn't really that impressed with it. The Changeling Queen was hugely underwhelming compared with Discord, both in terms of power and basic intelligence. I swear her defeating Celestia was just a desperate attempt to make her seem like she was a threat, but I wasn't convinced. I'll admit Discord is one hell of a tough act to follow, but this? A cackling Disney-esque idiotic evil Queen? That's really the best they could do?

And who the hell made that threat to Canterlot? I'm guessing it must have been the Changelings, but that's just too stupid to imagine. Without that threat there would be no magical shield, and the shape shifting bad guys would have been free to just quietly mosey into town and start feeding without making a ruckus. Hell, if they actually needed to make a ruckus, then they could have launched a Pearl Harbour sneak attack and invaded without any warning. But great idea, issue a threat so they beef up their security and make your job ten times more difficult. Genius.

I couldn't believe my eyes earlier, when Twilight tries to tell everyone Cadance is evil. When her own friends shake their heads and walk away from her, I was actually speechless.

Twilight wrote:
I've learned that sometimes the solution to your problems can come from where you least expect it. It's a good idea to stop and listen to your friends' opinions and perspectives, even when they don't always seem to make sense.


Twilight wrote:
Always expect the best from your friends and never assume the worst. Rest assured that a good friend always has your best interests at heart.


Mane Cast wrote:
Dear Princess Celestia, we're writing to you today because today we all learned something about friendship. We learned that you should take your friends' worries seriously. Even if you don't think that she has anything to worry about. And that you shouldn't let your worries turn a small problem ... into an enormously huge entire-town-in-total-chaos Princess-has-to-come-and-save-the-day problem!


Twilight: Guys! Cadance is really evil and up to no good! You have to believe me!

Friends: Uh-huh, sure, yeah. C'mon girls, lets ignore our completely trustworthy saved-the-world-twice-before totally brainy best friend forever and go double check on the Wedding preparations.

Twilight: *jaw drops*

Oh, and Twilight? One last thing.

Applejack wrote:
Sure I could tell you I learned something about how my friends are always there to help me, and I can count on them no matter what, but truth is, I knew that already too.


Twilight: Hey AJ! I'm soooo glad you're my friend and I count on you to be there for me!

Yeah, sure, I might be making a big deal about this, but I have actually seen MLP draw attention to this before. AJ accepts her friends help during the cider contest precisely because she had learned her lesson. Twilight was able to eventually defeat Discord thanks to being reminded of the very friendship lessons she herself had written, some of which I just quoted. The entire point of the show is learning about friendship, which includes learning to trust your friends and stick by them.

And then when Twilight (correctly!) accuses Cadance of being evil and up to no good ... her friends don't stand by her, don't support her, and walk away from her leaving her ashamed and in tears. Sure they apologise later, but they've had two entire seasons worth of friendship lessons and damn well should know better. I would have been far more impressed if at least some of them moved to stand by her side, out of simple trust and loyalty. She's their best friend. They've fought an enemy as devious and powerful as Discord, so should be prepared to accept that anything might be possible. She's extremely smart and capable, and if she genuinely thinks Equestria is in danger then they really ought to listen to her.

When Twilight declared that she had been visited by her future self with a warning about an impending disaster, everyone listened to her and helped her prepare for the worst. But Princess Cadance being evil? Pah! Twilight's just being crazy. Visit from future self though? Oh yeah, that's totally believable, sure I'll listen to you and help you out!

You know, I wonder what things would have been like if Twilight had been around a thousand years ago.

Twilight: Princess Celestia! Your sister Luna has turned evil!

Celestia: Twilight! How dare you?! You can forget about being my personal student! *glares* You have a lot to think about.

*Celestia gets zapped by Nightmare Moon*

Twilight: ... yeah, friendship is soooo magical. :roll:



"And the writers sayeth unto the firmament: let there be a hokey plot convenience! And lo, I sayeth it shall be a curse upon Voyager, and all the people who dwell within, and they shall surely feeleth like a collection of jackasses."

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 01:59pm
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That was my main problem with the finale too. But to be fair, Celestia and the other ponies do know from experience that Twilight can get more than a little crazy when she's under stress.

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 02:01pm
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Correct. It was the entire point behind Lesson Zero - if your friend has a major concern, you should actually listen to her rather than ignoring her and letting the shit really hit the fan. Guess what? If they actually had learned Lesson Zero as they claimed, they would have listened to Twilight and may have prevented the attack altogether. Instead they repeated the same mistake as they made in Lesson Zero, ignoring Twilight's concerns, and it blew up in their faces. Again. Idiots.



"And the writers sayeth unto the firmament: let there be a hokey plot convenience! And lo, I sayeth it shall be a curse upon Voyager, and all the people who dwell within, and they shall surely feeleth like a collection of jackasses."

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 02:38pm
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Heh, looks like Love truly does conquer all.

As for the changeling attack, I kind of figured that the mass of undisguised changelings attacking from above was meant to distract from more changelings who were already disguised who snuck inside the shield. Seeing the train enter the city before, it looks like the shield can open at specified points like the railroad tracks as long as an authorized pony allows it. That train could have had disguised changelings on board to let them get past.

I figured that during the attack, the changelings behind enemy lines could have sabotaged defenses or outright turned against the ponies of Canterlot to weaken them for the zerg rush. Then, during the attack, any couples they ran into would get attacked and allowed to flee. Mare and Stallion are together, three changelings rush them and seperate them, one changeling turns into a stallion, the other a mare, and both run off with the other pony to "Get away from the horrid monster". If the attack had succeeded and they overthrew the Canterlot government, then the ponies wouldn't be able to call in the army to get rid of the changelings and would more or less have to rely on their friends and family for support... friends and family who could all be changelings feeding off their love.

Cue any number of other things behind the scenes, schools full of foals who see the changelings attacking outside and secure the students inside the classrooms until the trouble is over. Meanwhile the changelings capture the principal or teacher and go from classroom to classroom to "check on the kids" and keep them inside to keep them safe and harvest their love.


I figure the reason that they wanted to conquer Equestria outright was because infiltrating normally requires alot of skill and risk and if someone finds out what's happening it would give Canterlot time to plan a way to weed them out. This plan had only a few steps and if it worked would let them take over the government and eliminate the ones who could prevent them from feeding on everyponies love. Heck, after they one they could have just locked all the guards in a dungeon (or otherwise disposed of them) had Chrysalis take on Celestias shape, replaced all the guards with changelings, and made it look like everything was hunky dory. Sure, alot of ponies would know something was up but as long as the masquarade was in place it would make things tolerable for the ponies to stick with the plan and have their love harvested and make fighting them seem futile.

I guess Queen Chrysalis would need Celestia alive to have her raise the sun and moon each day at least.

Hmmm... I'm sure someone could write a Matrix-like crossover fanfic where it looks like everything is fine until Neo Pony comes into contact with the resistance and finds out that the changelings have indeed taken over Equestria and harvest everyponys love.

Oh, and as for the beam-of-war where Celesta lost. It could just be that Chrysalis had an advantage in that specific situation. She was feeding off of Shining Armors love (and love is a type of friendship, and friendship is magic, so she could be feeding off his magic). Shining Armors special talent is "protection" or something similar. Could be that when harnassing his power, that made her own magic a little more 'protective' and let her blast knock aside Celestias beam of energy. Net result is that Chrysalis didn't necessarily have to be stronger or have more magical power than Celestia, she just had to better know how to win at beam-of-war duels or have an advantage at it. It's likely that Celestia doesn't have much experience with such things because she's not combat oriented and she doesn't think there's anyone around she can duel with without risking hurting them.



Fry: No! They did it! They blew it up! And then the apes blew up their society too. How could this happen? And then the birds took over and ruined their society. And then the cows. And then... I don't know, is that a slug, maybe? Noooo!

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 02:51pm
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Yeah, and the fact that Chrysalis could cast a green fiery "banish a pony to the caverns under the city" spell right in the room the others were in a few seconds ago with security jacked up as it was was pretty annoying as well. Even if her friends all gave in to peer pressure and ignored Twilights warnings, you'd think that at least Spike would want to stick with her and say something sarcastic. Also, it was jarring how "Cadance" was able to be in the room to banish Twilight when she ran out the door moments earlier. I guess she teleported or turned invisible or something and... snuck past Pinkie Pie, the others, and Celestia.

As for the reason for the up in security... could be they tried taking over before and something went wrong and that's why security got beefed up. So her plan right now was sort of salvaging her previous plan that went south, and when Twilight busted that she went with a third plan... and when she defeated Celestia she ran with that plan... so Queen Chrysalis could just be good at making up plans on the fly and was defeated when she ran into something she couldn't rapidly account for.



Fry: No! They did it! They blew it up! And then the apes blew up their society too. How could this happen? And then the birds took over and ruined their society. And then the cows. And then... I don't know, is that a slug, maybe? Noooo!

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 02:56pm
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Well Chrysalis demonstrated mind control powers, maybe that helps explain everypony's reaction?



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 03:32pm
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Rossum wrote:
As for the reason for the up in security... could be they tried taking over before and something went wrong and that's why security got beefed up. So her plan right now was sort of salvaging her previous plan that went south, and when Twilight busted that she went with a third plan... and when she defeated Celestia she ran with that plan... so Queen Chrysalis could just be good at making up plans on the fly and was defeated when she ran into something she couldn't rapidly account for.


Quote:
A threat has been made against Canterlot. We don't know who's responsible for it, but Princess Celestia asked that I help provide additional protection.


^Shining Armour. They actually made a threat against Canterlot prior to their secret attack. That's like the Japanese warning America that they were going to attack Pearl Harbour before they did, and then having a harder time of it because the American navy was able to mount a proper defence. There was no reason I can see for them issuing that threat.

Also, there's this bit of villanous genius as well:

Quote:
How many unicorns can just spread love wherever they go? I only know of one!


Evil Queen: That's it! I'll capture her and throw her in a dungeon! Mwuhahahaha!

Minion: But, uhh ... we feed on love. It'd be handy if she was allowed to do her thing. More food for us.

Evil Queen: Shut up! I'm the boss, and I'm being evil here! Now toss that love-making machine down a mineshaft!

Minion: *facehoof*

And then the even better bit where the monsters that feed on love are defeated by ... the power of ... well, love. Err. Yeah. That makes as much sense as defeating an army of Windigos with the power of hatred.

These villains were crap IMO, and the failure of even a single one of Twilight's friends to trust her despite past experience telling them they should ... I just do not like this two-parter. When compared to the Return of Harmony it really falls short in my eyes.



"And the writers sayeth unto the firmament: let there be a hokey plot convenience! And lo, I sayeth it shall be a curse upon Voyager, and all the people who dwell within, and they shall surely feeleth like a collection of jackasses."

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 03:44pm
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Revy wrote:
A threat has been made against Canterlot.

Thinking about it, nothing say the threat was made explicit. It could as well be understood as "We have informations that Canterlot/Equestria is threatened, and as such we are tightening security.".
Or I may be failing linguistic. I dunno.




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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 04:00pm
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Rabid wrote:
Thinking about it, nothing say the threat was made explicit. It could as well be understood as "We have informations that Canterlot/Equestria is threatened, and as such we are tightening security.".
Or I may be failing linguistic. I dunno.



Yeah, I figured thats what it meant. Not so much that the changelings actually mailed a threatening letter to Celestia announcing their plans, more like the Guards got wind of some kind of attack and are beefing up security. Could also be that there is some special pony either with access the time travel spell or the power of prophecy (or has a twitch like Pinkie Pie) who sensed that some unspecified attack was going to happen and they beefed up security as a result.

So yeah, the threat made against Canterlot would be more like an attempted attack and not just sending a threatening message.



Fry: No! They did it! They blew it up! And then the apes blew up their society too. How could this happen? And then the birds took over and ruined their society. And then the cows. And then... I don't know, is that a slug, maybe? Noooo!

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 09:20pm
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So, I guess you could say that Twilight's brother is the best knight ever?



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-23 09:47pm
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wait does this mean that Celestia is now Worf/Superman?



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-24 02:05am
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Revy wrote:
These villains were crap IMO, and the failure of even a single one of Twilight's friends to trust her despite past experience telling them they should ... I just do not like this two-parter. When compared to the Return of Harmony it really falls short in my eyes.


They went for style over substance. The style was fabulous. I can only speak for myself, but that worked for me.

And as for the threat against Canterlot, I was content to assume that Celestia had picked up a nebulous vibe, disturbance in the force etc.



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-24 08:21am
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The episode could be improved quite a lot by one or two scenes of exposition. The Changeling queen with another changeling, explaining how she was able to beat Celestia, for one, and maybe Celestia explaining that scouts/prophecy/whatever has told her about the large army headed for the city, something to that effect.

Really, I was most disappointed in the Canterlot guard; they were an unused checkov's gun; I understand there's not much you can do with them in a kid's show, but they managed to have the Mane Six fight the changelings; adding fifty or so pony soldiers would have made that scene more credible.



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-24 09:17am
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I think it was pretty obvious why Chrysalis was able to beat Celestia, it turns out that weaponised love is more powerful than the sun.

The only real plot hole was: why were the CMCs there? That could have done with a scene of exposition nearer the beginning.

Also all the clone ponies in crowd scenes are changelings.



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-24 10:14pm
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evilsoup wrote:
The only real plot hole was: why were the CMCs there? That could have done with a scene of exposition nearer the beginning.


Celestia wanted them at the Wedding to make sure they didn't start playing in the Canterlot Sculpture Gardens again.

On that note: Cheerilee was a changeling (jk).



Fry: No! They did it! They blew it up! And then the apes blew up their society too. How could this happen? And then the birds took over and ruined their society. And then the cows. And then... I don't know, is that a slug, maybe? Noooo!

Futurama: The Late Philip J. Fry

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-25 04:34am
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Just noticed something, While she's being 'foal sitted' Twilight had no cutie mark. So its not like Cadence was foal sitting her for Celestia or anything. She's just a princess who foal sits for regular old ponys. It's interesting because it implies because they don't see her as princess being so much above the regular ponies. Despite the way they treat Celestia (and Celestia probably prefers they didn't)

Another touch I like is the This Day song, Twilight seems despondent and worried untill Cadence is singing about how much she loves Shining Armour at which point Twilight perks up and starts solving the damn problem with a quick burst of telekinesis and gets them moving on the mine cart.

But still a lot of Revy's complaints hold true for me. If changelings feed off love why are they doing the brute force invasion thing rather than say... sneaking in like the Queen did?



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-25 02:57pm
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Cadance might not have been a princess when she was foal-sitting Twilight, or it could be that Twilights family are members of nobility or something.

Twilights parents lived in Canterlot, she's Celestias star student, and Shining Armor is Captain of the Guards. Magic seems to run in the family (if Twilight and her brother are any indication, we don't really see their parents outside of a short cameo and a flashback).

Twilight could very well be a member of some noble family thats close enought to Cadances to have her foal-sit her. Its just that Twilight is so modest and socially awkward that she's never brought it up, like she never brought up she had a brother who's captain of the guard.

Hmm, in addition to her being Celestias star pupil, the guards work under her brother. Could add to why the guard in the time-travel episode recognized her and let her in so easily (dang, it would suck if a changeling impersonated Twilight and cleaned out the Starswirl the Bearded section).

As for Queen Chrysalis... yeah her plan did have quite a few holes in it, now that I think of it. The ability to teleport ponies into that cavern would have really useful.

Impersonate Cadance, replace her, get Shining Armor under control (or just kill him), then lock him up brainwashed in the caverns. Maybe get a changeling to impersonate Shining Armor (or do it herself) to keep everypony in the dark, then let the shield fail.

As for why only she was doing the impersonating and her changelings were brute forcing their way in... could be the minions are all really thick and aren't smart enough for delicate infiltration. As queen, it might well be her actual job to keep her subjects fed because they lack the brains and subtlety to really do it themselves.

Unfortunately, ruling over a swarm of barely-sapient locusts doesn't necessarily make her a brilliant tactician so she made this plan and gave her minions a job that didn't require much thinking.

Heh, now I'm imagining the changelings as a huge swarm or ever-hungry and intellectualally lazy bugs and the Queen is basically stuck with the job of making sure they don't completely outstrip their food supply and resort to cannibalism. So Chrysalis keeps hatching plans to conquer nations but her minions are too dumb to be subtle or set up a sustainable food source.

With some work they could learn to 'farm' love but right now they are strictly in the hunter-gatherer mode and were hungry, desperate, and numerous enough to just invade Equestria, take out anyone who could stop them, then drain every last drop of love from the land. Then they would try to do it again, maybe being better at conquering for a bit due to all the love they sucked up but eventually they'd outstrip their supply again and things would go to hell.

I suppose that would make for a decent season 3 episode, a changeling learns that hungrily sucking up all the love in an area isn't the best of plans and how they should encourage it's growth to make it sustainable.

Good as any way to make an obligatory green-aesop episode.



Fry: No! They did it! They blew it up! And then the apes blew up their society too. How could this happen? And then the birds took over and ruined their society. And then the cows. And then... I don't know, is that a slug, maybe? Noooo!

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-25 06:21pm
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That builds on something I was wondering...
Would it change the dynamic of the show too much to have a recurring villain in season three?

As in, what if the thwarting some random changeling became something of an ongoing plot device?
Could it be pulled off? The concept of them all being dumb drones, and the Queen the only smart one does grow on me.



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-25 09:39pm
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A thought on the changeling and their intelligence:
Keep in mind the part where Pinkie convinces a changeling to take up her form. It does, even looking annoyed at the request.

So, they understand pony-language at the very least.

As for the "hitting the shield with themselves" I imagine that it was more of a visual joke than anything. Perhaps there was a more useful and practical method off-screen, but this method looked funnier?
Personally, I am not sure why the Queen (fucked me if I can spell her name) didn't just command Shining Armor to lower the shield, but meh.



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-25 10:13pm
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Interesting idea... kind of reminds me of some of the old sailor moon episodes (I watched the show a bit after I found a Sailor Moon AMV on youtube set to Greatest Show Unearthed... which I can't find anymore). In those episodes, Queen Beryl (or something) was out to steal the life energy of humans and she kept sending out monsters to do it. One of her generals did this by capturing lots of people and draining them while a second general did it by manipulating certain individuals into performing their greatest dreams so they generated a sudden spike of life energy for him to siphon off.

Anyway, it's possible for Queen Chrysalis to try something similar... set up a base somewhere and send out talented drones to gather love from ponies to bring back to the changelings. Could involve them setting up traps to gather it from alot of them at once or from individuals, and then the Mane Six investigate these, stop the bad guys, and learn some lesson in friendship (like how to tell true friends from ones who are just using you).

I'm pretty sure that could change the show, what's so neat about it so far is that there is such a variety of different scenarios the characters can get into. Adding a recurring villain runs the risk of it becoming formulaic, though I think the writers know this and are talented enough to avoid this. At the very least, formulaic changeling episodes could be used as padding between other episodes.


For the "Changelings are recurring villains" thing to work, I figure their side could have Queen Chrysalis as the big bad and she has several trusted lieutenants or generals who are similarly intelligent. The various 'dumb drones' (depending on how dumb they are) would make for decent mooks or a disguised workforce.


Heh, that could good for at least one episode parodying Sailor Moon. Mane Six go to some place like a theater or ice cream shop, find out something fishy is going on, turns out that Old Lady Cherrytop was replaced with a changeling and has been mixing Love Poison into all the ice cream sundays so that her minions could siphon the love from her customers! Mane Six find this out and challenge her and suddenly all of her employees drop their disguises and become changeling mooks (except for one who is a real pony who just works there and had no friggin idea all this was going on) and they have a big fight. Evil changeling gets defeated, captured ponies go free, somepony learns a lesson about friendship, and Queen Chrysalis gets some unquantifiable amount of love thats enough to prevent starvation but not enough to make it seem like Equestria is losing (though she might be able to hoard enough for an epic battle around the season finale).

Oh, and the Mane Six get this mission from Princess Luna, so she's the one the bad guys get punished in the name of.



Fry: No! They did it! They blew it up! And then the apes blew up their society too. How could this happen? And then the birds took over and ruined their society. And then the cows. And then... I don't know, is that a slug, maybe? Noooo!

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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-26 12:23pm
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Lauren Faust originally had some sort of plan of a stronger, more prominent story arc that spreads across the series but was rejected by the Network who wanted episodes that could be watched non-chronologically. Don't know exactly how the storyline was supposed to go (If someone knew they would had written a fanfic series about it already), but I would imagine using recurring villains.

Believe me, if Nightmare Moon or Queen Chrysalis became recurring villains of a series spanning storyline the show would had been even more awesome (So buck you, Hasbro).



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-26 12:39pm
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The sad thing is that the reason why we can't have overarching storyarchs is because it's easier for network execs to shuffle episodes around on their broadcast timetable.

That's it. Because the series is stuck working for a analog medium in the digital age, a mayor aspect for possible creativity and storytelling that would further skyrocket the quality of the is denied and we can be massively happy if different episodes don't forget about each other.

Then again, be thankful for what you got rather than what you could have, I guess.



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-26 01:02pm
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Zixinus wrote:
The sad thing is that the reason why we can't have overarching storyarchs is because it's easier for network execs to shuffle episodes around on their broadcast timetable.

That's it. Because the series is stuck working for a analog medium in the digital age, a mayor aspect for possible creativity and storytelling that would further skyrocket the quality of the is denied and we can be massively happy if different episodes don't forget about each other.

Then again, be thankful for what you got rather than what you could have, I guess.


Fanfic writers don't suffer such constraints. Do you have any information concerning Lauren Faust's original plans for the show?



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-26 02:41pm
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SpaceMarine93 wrote:
Fanfic writers don't suffer such constraints. Do you have any information concerning Lauren Faust's original plans for the show?


There is no such information. Faust would have developed that aspect, along with the rest of the writing staff and creators, if they would have been allowed it. As it stands, everyone has their own ideas.

Faust herself doesn't have much, I recall one of her posts stating that she didn't have anything solid. She would have worked together with the rest of the studio and creation team to create the story.

Furthermore, even if Faust herself started writing out her idea in fanfiction form (which she wouldn't due to legal shit, and because I don't think Habsro executives would have the idea to hire her to make children's novels), would it be comparable to an actual animated show?



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 Post subject: Re: My Little Pony PostPosted: 2012-04-26 06:59pm
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Just one question, out of the blue; how advanced socially, culturally and technologically (or Magitechnologically, considering Lauren Faust had stated that everything in Equestria runs by magic) is Equestria shown as of Season 2? I always consider them to be late 19th Century in development with a few tech branches ahead and a few tech branches behind, and a few plausibly explanable modern age references, but that doesn't seemed to be the case by the end of season 2.

On one hand (or hoof) you still have pony-drawn carts and golden chariots (that can fly), spear-wielding Royal Guards and castles like a Medieval Era fantasy setting, and on the other hand/hoof you have hot air balloons, trains, Victorian Era mad-scientist equipment under Twilight's library, gas-ovens, hospital electrocadiograms and in the latest episode, a DJ Machine being used by Vinyl Scratch to deliver the music for "Love is in the Bloom" during "A Canterlot Wedding Part 2", and a wireless microphone, both of which are electronic age technology.

So seriously, how advance really is Equestria?



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