Page 1470 - Royally Messed Up

17th Dec 2020, 6:00 AM in A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
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Royally Messed Up
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 17th Dec 2020, 6:00 AM edit delete
It was hard not to do the full Kuzco's Poison bit essentially verbatim here.

And it's a petty revisionist thing, but I figured the least I could do is give Celestia a bit of a reason to knowingly take the fall in this scene.

Only to have the players immediately squander it, but y'know.

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ANW 17th Dec 2020, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Here's an interesting idea.

If your gaming group was in Twilight's and her friends hooves (hee hee), what would they do?

I don't have a group yet, but with the custom character I'm planning, "I'm all for sneaking towards the elements."
aylatrigger 17th Dec 2020, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Things are never argued in character; the party is just a hivemind that instantly agrees on whatever decision the players come up with... And sometimes a literal hivemind.

...My party has recently gotten a few times "everyone in close range becomes telepathically linked for 1d4 days" wild magic effect. And we've had to had our telepathic conversations while linked with a bunch of enemies...who are searching for us. At least we succeeded our saves enough we can choose when to feed them information.
Digo 17th Dec 2020, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
I disagree on the first part. I've been in many groups that make the arguments IC. One time this caused confusion with the boss encounter because the party agreed to help the boss instead of fight. It's hilarious to see the boss get so paranoid that they abandon their plan thinking the players had a trick up their collective sleeve.
Winged Cat 17th Dec 2020, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
My Traveller group got neural communicators - essentially, cybernetic telepathy - in order to hivemind. One of them stated as a reason, "to chew out [WC's PC] without giving away our position" (though that has become much less necessary now that said PC has learned not to be so impulsive when dealing with hostiles).
Ransom4 17th Dec 2020, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
And with that, I as a Celestia fan weakly murmur “Thank you.” I would never have begged for it but I’m way more glad you took that route than I care to admit.

It actually does make sense, given that Shining Armor is brainwashed that Chrysalis could sneak infiltrators into the royal guard. And going the self sacrifice route to allow them time to get the Elements is good strategy, especially if she calculates they aren’t going to kill her.

I already said it several posts ago, but the problem with Celestia losing as she did isn’t so much that you can’t explain why Celestia would get beat. They even make a point to have Chrysalis act surprised, meaning she basically lucked out (huh, weirdly this scenario helps both Celestia and Chrysalis). The point is that we’d never seen Celestia fight a villain outside of the storybook style opening in ep 1, and seen only a couple of instances of her using her implied power. So even if you can make an excuse here, the presentation can’t help but make her seem weak because we never get to see her in action otherwise. Oddly enough her loss here became worse in retrospect; she was sidelined or defeated against big threats throughout most of the rest of the series

I suppose the dramatic effect of having Celestia get blasted isn’t as strong here, but I’d definitely prefer this. It’s similar to one of about a dozen alternate scenarios I might have run through my head on how this scene could have been done to ‘protect’ Celestia :P

The party arguing in this situation could legitimately be a gag in the real show, I’m imagining Celestia holding back a wall of changelings in the background while they go back and forth.

On a final note, I’ll confess the fight between the mane 6 and the changelings is something I’m looking forward to. There aren’t that many in show examples of the 6 all fighting at once, at least compared to what you’d find in a typical DnD campaign.
Borg 17th Dec 2020, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
Celestia's a classic victim of the Worf effect: she's a powerful supporting character, so her role in a crisis is to get defeated to prove that the threat is serious.
FanOfMostEverything 17th Dec 2020, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
Of course the Borg would make that observation. ;)

But yeah, I also greatly appreciate this spin on things to avoid one of Celestia's more egregious Worfings.
Ransom4 17th Dec 2020, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
See also: Superman in the Justice League cartoons. The “World of Cardboard” speech in the last episode honestly felt like the staff making an apology.
albedoequals1 17th Dec 2020, 10:05 PM Man of Cardboard edit delete reply
If I remember correctly, the world of cardboard speech was followed shortly after by Superman getting beaten yet again, and Batman had to save the day. Superman suffers not only from the Worf effect, but also from the team dynamic. The Justice League is presented as equals, when they are clearly not. That means that Batman gets incredible luck, and Superman gets nerfed, just to make sure everyone gets screen time. But to anyone that knows what Supes can supposedly do, that just makes him a disappointment.
Ransom4 18th Dec 2020, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
Indeed he did! We had to have Lex Luthor save the day, heh.

The thing is, your brain remembers Superman’s dramatic speech and him punching Darkseid across the city more than that (at the very least, it shows Superman as stronger, Darkseid has to resort to a tool just as Batman would). The Mane 6 also fail to get the elements, but you remember their big fight and their cool moments more than that. Celestia getting overpowered (and encased in a chrysalis) is her prominent image from the episode, whereas Twilight’s prominent image is, among others, getting used as a gatling gun. If Celestia blasts 15 changelings but has to surrender because Luna or the wedding party is being held hostage, it’s a much different feel.

Side, note, all the Superman comparisons make me realize if you wanted to go crazy, you could have had Celestia be brainwashed like the bridal party, and go nuts. Supes getting mind controlled is practically a trope in and of itself.
Hariman 19th Dec 2020, 1:40 AM edit delete reply
But Superman didn't get beaten in a straight up fight.

Superman got beaten because Darkseid pulled out an "I win" device that attacked Superman's mind.

We also saw in a prior episode of Superman The Animated Series/The Batman Superman Adventures that Superman really can utterly annihilate Darksied in a straight up fight.

Also, Superman admits in a different episode that he deliberately takes hits and draws attention to make sure no one else gets hurt.

Last of all:

It's not that Superman simply could win any fight in moments by cutting loose.

It's the fact that Superman doesn't cut loose because of his principles.
Draxynnic 18th Dec 2020, 3:46 AM edit delete reply
I feel that part of the problem is that we did get to see Worf being badass occasionally rather than being a victim of the Worf effect. Since Worf is one of the protagonists, he's "allowed" to be the one that solves the problem every so often.

Celestia, however, doesn't have that. Either the problem is solved by the protagonists before she gets involved, or she gets hit with the Worf Effect. Which makes the power she's supposed to have a bit of an informed attribute: either she doesn't need to use it, or it's not enough. We've never seen it actually WORKING.

Even Luna gets to be the one that at least plays a significant role in solving the problem every so often, but Celestia is pretty much always stuck on the role of a mentor figure that never quite gets to the point of being killed off to force her student to go it alone.
GD 17th Dec 2020, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
There's now a part of me wondering if the assumption of power in universe is based on being A) a rare species, and B) the ability to move the sun and moon.

While I think it's obvious that being able to do the latter is strong, it doesn't necessarily translate to combat potential. Like, you may know how to fix a car, but it doesn't mean you're prepped to fight Truck-o-saurus.

I wonder if the people of Equestria just assumed Celestia and the Princesses were all powerful, and they ran with it because...why not?

(From an outside perspective, yeah, bad move, Celestia deserved better.)
Khyrin 17th Dec 2020, 1:40 PM edit delete reply
A lot of fanficcers go completely the other direction; That is, Celestia can't do Dungeons and Dragons Single Hero Combat... because she's a Mass Combat Unit to herself and she can't hold back. Her hoofblows are like being struck by an army, her every combat spell a fusillade worthy of The Battle of Thermopylae (Your arrows will blot out the sun? Then we shall fight in the shade!), et cetera.
Eroraf 17th Dec 2020, 2:20 PM edit delete reply
That's more or less my take on it. Power versus precision, war hammer versus high-velocity sniper round. If she used a high enough energy density to get the job done, the total energy released would fry the innocent bystanders.
Silver Scroll 18th Dec 2020, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, this has been basically my exact headcanon for this scene as well.

Her "oh shit" when the beam starts going the other way isn't just an "oh shit, that wasn't enough," it's also an "oh shit, if I do any more than this, *I kill everyone*, *I have to hope for sheer dumb luck in the next second*"

Not an enviable position to be in, especially since that luck fails to materialize.
Hariman 19th Dec 2020, 2:20 AM edit delete reply
Perfect Cell: "I'm the perfect organism, designed for combat, and I can regenerate from a single cell. So what can you do against such perfection, my little ponies?"

*Most ponies run like mad, teleport, or fly away.*

Celestia: "Did you know that I control the sun?"

Perfect Cell: "The sun? What can that-" *Horrified screaming as a concentrated solar flare annihilates him to the last cell.*

Vegeta: "You know... I would complain about you stealing my kill, but even I have to admit that was impressive."
Draxynnic 18th Dec 2020, 3:50 AM edit delete reply
Makes me think of the gods in the Guild Wars franchise. They refuse to get involved against threats in the world, even to the point of withdrawing from the world altogether, since the last time they got directly involved, the end result was a toxic wasteland.
Hariman 19th Dec 2020, 2:03 AM edit delete reply
Celestia: "I can channel the full power of the sun. My minimum area to hit is the size of a country."

Twilight: "Did... did you ever have to use that power?"

Celestia (after a long moment of silence, very quietly) "Yes, once. There once was an empire in the verdant lands, long ago."

Twilight: "The verdant lands? I... I've never even heard that mentioned in history books."

Celestia: "This was back when Equestria was still young, before it was fully explored. The empire had fallen to decadence and cruelty long before I discovered it."

Twilight: "Sooooo... it had become so horrible and monstrous that you... you..."

Celestia (no longer focusing on anything) "Yes."

Twilight just stares in horror in the same direction as Celestia, then her eyes grow wide in understanding.

Celestia was staring in the direction of the Badlands.
Veylon 17th Dec 2020, 3:25 PM edit delete reply
Celestia isn't bad in this scene because she is weak. She's bad in this scene because she picked a fight that didn't accomplish anything other than to take herself off the board. She's supposed to be a wise character. If she's going to jump into battle - even if it's a battle she's knowingly going to lose - it should be to contribute towards something. Anyone can get caught off guard or a make a bad decision in the heat of the moment, but to stand there and have a full minute things through and then screw up really undercuts her character.
Composer99 17th Dec 2020, 5:38 PM edit delete reply
I really wouldn't read that much into it. She was the victim of the writers wanting to deliver a certain amount of exposition before she and Chrysalis had their showdown. No more, no less.
Jennifer 19th Dec 2020, 2:33 AM edit delete reply
Because declaring "Guards, SEIZE her!" would be evil. :p