Page 1717 - Until All Are One

16th Jul 2022, 6:00 AM in What About Discord?
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Until All Are One
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Newbiespud 16th Jul 2022, 6:00 AM edit delete
As much as I love this season finale, you can really feel the writers stretching to justify this whole climactic set piece. Or at least I can really feel it because I'm now trying to do the same thing but my way.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: February 20th.



ZhonLord 16th Jul 2022, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
I can see Twilight's logic here. Setting an alicorn up as Tirek's equal: good idea. Having it be Twilight, the untrained untested newbie who's never wielded power on this scale before? Very risky.
Azhrei Vep 16th Jul 2022, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Yeaaaah.... Celestia would be a much more practical choice. If anybody can make the most effective possible use of that kind of absurd power, it would be her. Talent for magic or no, Celestia's got millenia of experience backing her, and that's pretty hard to top.
Balrighty 16th Jul 2022, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
Yep. I feel like the only way to justify it would have been to establish that while any alicorn could give up their power, only one that was also the Element of Magic could accept it all, making Twilight the required choice, even without centuries of experience.
Bed Head 16th Jul 2022, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
I think the logic was Twilight was supposed to find somewhere safe to hide with the magic, not face Tirek directly.

Of course, then he attacked her friends...
Paradox 16th Jul 2022, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Twilight was supposed to GTFO and regroup, the plan never involved her fight Tirek
AnonponyDASHIE 18th Jul 2022, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
This is the basis of one of my all time favorite fanfiction stories.

Celestia thinking that Twilight will hide and start a guerilla movement while Luna and Cadance simply assumed that Celestia wanted the big DBZ fight because that's obviously what Twilight would do.
Guest 16th Jul 2022, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
X4 Alicorn empowered Celestia V Uber-Tirek? Celestia wins.
X4 Alicorn empowered Celestia V Uber-Tirek *and* Discord? Celestia loses, *hard*.
Prairie Son 16th Jul 2022, 9:59 AM edit delete reply
If I had to justify it, I'd say that Celestia figures they need an out of context person because Tirek knows and can predict the Sisters. And frankly show!Twilight has much more combat experience than show!Cadence. Not sure if that holds in the campaigns, but Twilight is the one who finds ways to derail and speedrun plots.
Borg 16th Jul 2022, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
As I see a guest alluded to, there is no alicorn in Equestria who can, given all the combined magic available, take Discord and Tirek in a fight. They may both be prone to overconfidence, but they're not completely stupid, and they like rigging the odds in their favor (which they can easily do with Discord's versatility and Tirek's might). If you try to go attack the two of them, either they're still busy stacking the deck so they avoid you, or they're done and so they crush you. The only option that has a small chance of success is to try to hide enough power to strike back once they think they've already won and their overconfidence takes over, and while Twilight isn't a great candidate for that, all the other options are worse.
A Hat with a Smaller Hat 16th Jul 2022, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I agree with the Spud on this. Twilight's Kingdom is great, but it's very evident that the writing team started with "DBZ battle between Twilight and a Gen 1 villain" and worked backwards.

I have a feeling you tossing in the line about "well Discord might actually know" is reflective of that, since that was one of the dumbest logical leaps of the plan. They KNOW Discord betrayed them by that point, and they know that Discord knows Twilight is an Alicorn. Yet the entire plan banks on "welp Tirek doesn't know about you"
LupisLight 16th Jul 2022, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
TBF, that *was* a pretty awesome fight. But yeah, the plan had major flaws. Like the great big stained-glass window of Alicorn Twilight which NOBODY bothers to try and conceal or destroy. Not even twilight herself.

So who is actually the greater threat here? The guy who is already a god or his ally who is trying to become one?
Ransom4 16th Jul 2022, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
I feel like the plan sortof, kindof, has a degree of logic to it, though not for the reasons stated. I don't think it's a leap for our characters to clue in that the box born from the Tree of Harmony which bore the Elements might hold a similar magic to defeat Tirek and Discord, and that Twilight and the Element bearers are the key to opening it. At his current level, i.e. pre-Discord betrayal, I suppose the 4 alicorns could simply magically blast Tirek from high range to avoid getting siphoned, but the problem is that he has Discord with him who could theoretically just snap his fingers and capture them instantly. So dump your magic into Twilight and stall like crazy to try and give her enough time to find the keys to open the seed box and whatever rainbowy magic is inside.

It's still very frustrating as it continued a trend of having the Royal Sisters (and Cadance) written out of the season starting and ending conflicts completely. I get Celestia can't beat the main villain herself for story purposes, but I'd like to see her and the others try. Maybe Cadance blasts Discord with a love beam to remind him of how he feels about Fluttershy, maybe Luna tries to trap Tirek in a dream, or Celestia has some old magic spell or artifact from hundreds of years ago she's been saving. Then maybe if all that fails they...magically wire Twilight their magic? I'm guessing time is a factor here. I wonder how different a lot of the season finales and starting conflicts might have been different if they had been 3 parters.

In this game though, I can almost see Dash saying, "Dude, you're about to get loads of OP power ups, why are you complaining?"
Prairie Son 16th Jul 2022, 9:56 AM edit delete reply
Not this Dash. She'd immediately know the GM doesn't willing give you that unless you are really, really, really going to need it.
Ransom4 17th Jul 2022, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Players are nothing if not genre aware.
RuBoo 17th Jul 2022, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
Three-parters? Do you really want the action broken up by two ending and opening sequences? Full-length movies would be better, I think… Although, two of them per season? Pokémon only gets one, so that’s kinda…
Auren Dawnstar 17th Jul 2022, 1:03 PM edit delete reply
While I thought most of the premiers and finales were fine length-wise for the most part, I definitely would've preferred if Two Where and Back Again had been a three-parter. If only to have a middle episode that actually covered how every single major character was captured.

Always hated that finale for the complete off-screen sidelining of the main cast. Could've really raised the tension to have the Mane 6 trying to fight back, but getting captured one by one, and it would've given the three other princesses a chance to show off a bit as well before inevitably getting worfed again.
Ransom4 17th Jul 2022, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
On the other hand, I actually liked the brief part of the episode where the replaced Mane 6 were acting odd without us knowing why, I'd hate to lose that, even if I was depressed at Celestia completely being off screened.

Random weird headcannon: the changeling that replaced Celestia pretended to be a returning Sunset Shimmer to catch her off guard (I don't know how Chrysalis found out about Sunset, spies maybe?) and that's why she hesitated a bit when she returned for real.
Auren Dawnstar 17th Jul 2022, 7:52 PM edit delete reply
That was one of the scenes that bugged me if I'm being honest. The changeling's whole plan revolved around capturing Equestria's beloved leaders and heroes and feeding off the the love the populace has for them, but they reacted to Starlight's approaches with aggression which immediately made her suspicious.

Of course it would have made sense if they had been deliberately trying to isolate her by drawing her into a trap, but the way they behaved when Starlight and Trixie were sneaking around the castle didn't really suggest that was the case. Which to me just made the changelings come across as somewhat incompetent at maintaining their cover.

Having a peek into how they were captured wouldn't really have ruined that scene though. It would've just changed the context. Instead of the Mane 6 acting funny and finding out why with Starlight we would've instead have already known what happened and would've been seeing how Starlight figures it out.

That or running the scene as normal with us not knowing what happened, keeping the context the same, and then having the middle episode being a flashback showing what happened to the Mane 6 while Starlight was away.

As for the Sisters' capture. My headcanon is that the changelings infiltrated an entire shift of the castle staff, isolating the entire complex so that there wouldn't be anypony to get a warning out, and the Sisters ended up trapped with no escape. Celestia holding off a swarm of changelings and overall getting a moment of awesome for a change while Luna tries to get a message out in the dream realm before the changelings drag her out of it.
Ransom4 17th Jul 2022, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
I admit i'm mostly thinking in terms of time and not the pacing of 3 separate episodes. I probably want made for tv movies or something.
LupisLight 16th Jul 2022, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
I think the biggest problem with this plan as laid out in the strip is, it has no step two. Transferring all the Alicorn magic to Twilight at best *delays* Tirek from finding it, which is pointless unless you have a way to take advantage of that delay.
Toric 16th Jul 2022, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
There's a lot of very justified doubt about this plan, and it isn't well presented in the show. However, if you shift your thinking a little it actually becomes quite a good plan.

Think of it less as "hiding all the magic in Twilight" or "Twilight uses all the magic to fight Tirek/Discord," and more "We concentrate all of our energy on defending the best countermeasure we have." The Elements, by this point in the show, have defeated Discord. In this comic, they are even now admitting it is a strong option against Tirek as well. Giving Twilight all this power means she will be able to defend the Elements +her friends long enough for a reasonable chance to use them. This was never the direction the show took it, but if you have to put all your eggs in one basket, then defending that basket is crucial, but usually easier than leaving them in separate places.

The lack of control issue is of course significant, but just the ability to tank a few hits and give a few back, however clumsily, can turn any fight from impossible to possible.
LupisLight 16th Jul 2022, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
If fighting Tirek directly was the goal, the Alicorns could have just as easily kept their magic and fought off Tirek as a team when he arrived, instead of giving it all to one Alicorn who can barely control it all! Surely it would have been more efficient to have the Princesses with experience using their individual magic, to hold on to said magic, than give it all to the youngest of them who has no experience controlling it all at once. Frankly, it's a wonder Twilight suffered no other side effects to having that much magic concentrated in her.

And if you don't feel like your collective magics are going to be enough to hold off Tirek as is, then concentrating it all in one pony isn't going to fare any better!
Toric 16th Jul 2022, 7:08 PM edit delete reply
You may be right to a point, but think of it like Godzilla. Three jets with normal missiles may not do anything or do negligible damage. 1 jet with a localized nuke has a chance of actually hurting him (in terms of scale, ignoring Godzilla's ability to absorb nuclear energy). Sometimes concentrating force into one point is much more effective than 2-4 aiming at the same spot. Moreover, if they fight together, Tirek only needs to grab/defeat one of them and take them hostage, probably neutralizing the other 3. It may also be much more difficult for Tirek to drain a single, powerful individual than 4 individuals at a quarter strength. And, in-setting, it gives the Mane 6 more time to either prepare the friendship nuke, set up a favorable encounter, or possibly take out a secondary threat while Tirek is wasting time with the drained princesses.

In strictly D&D mechanics, it might be the difference between 4 wizard/clerics with a 10% chance to overcome Spell Resistance and 1 Wizard with a 40/50% chance. Likewise, there is probably a commensurate increase in HP and saving throws for Twilight with this power-up, as well as access to higher level spells.
Roguim 16th Jul 2022, 3:21 PM edit delete reply
Too much power for her level and skill to deal.
well if in the show she have lot of difficult to control it..
zimmerwald1915 16th Jul 2022, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
Celestia's plan works if you assume Discord, rather than being sincere in his betrayal, was doing what he did in Season 9 (settin Twilight and Co. up to learn the secret of the keys that he already knew, by throwing a villain at them), and also that Celestia was in on it. That Discord's betrayal was never sincere is evidenced by his hinting to the bookmarked passages in the Friendship Journal.

But it doesn't much matter, because this isn't the Twilight's Kingdom chapter of this comic, it's the What About Discord chapter, and everything so far has been setup for Twilight's derail. Which she's about to do because she thinks the setup is nonsensical.
you know that guy 16th Jul 2022, 9:59 PM edit delete reply
This fits with the idea that Discord is also Q from Star Trek. He wants to test the heroes, push their boundaries, make them learn something, and help them out while being annoying about it.
Digo 16th Jul 2022, 7:27 PM edit delete reply
So, if Candance's player was there that session, would she get picked?
Fan of Most Everything 17th Jul 2022, 4:20 AM edit delete reply
Ah yes, Operation: Four Eggs, One Basket. Proof that Celestia doesn't do her best work when forced to improvise (and she considers less than a generation of run-up time to be improvisation.) Looking forward to your thoughts on the matter.