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  • #31
    Pilgrim approves.


    Thinking as I do that the Creator of this World is a very Cruel Being & being a Worshipper of Christ, I cannot help saying: "the Son, O how unlike the Father!" First God Almighty comes with a Thump on the Head. Then Jesus Christ comes with a balm to heal it. - William Blake, Christian mystic and visionary

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    • #32
      I wouldn't take Discord's "princess lesson" as more than the excuse it blatantly was. I'm really liking that his motives are pretty ambigous so far...that's better writing than I've come to expect from the last season.

      What's in the box?! My best theories:

      1) Flash Sentry's head.

      2) New Elements

      3) One big, new Element.

      4) Princess Skyla (who takes the role of the Elements)

      Whatever it is, it will most likely be revealed at the Equestrian Games, which the season is apparently building up to. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a real villain behind this ep, per se, but apparently new ones are coming. I'm guessing the Pony of Shadows turns out to be something innocuous, like the groundskeeper or something...

      Seeing the canonical fall of Discord and Nightmare Moon, while cool, makes me suddenly realize why some folks think giving a close look at the First Age of Exalted might be a bad idea...Suddenly, a lot of fanfics, extant and potential, just died a lasting death. Oh well, that's what AU continuity is for!

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      • #33
        After a long hiatus from the sketchpad, I've sketched up another 3e signature Solar pony: Prince Diamond!

        Anybody want me to repost the others here?


        That's four out of five done, only Perfect Soul remains.


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        • #34
          Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
          Seeing the canonical fall of Discord and Nightmare Moon, while cool, makes me suddenly realize why some folks think giving a close look at the First Age of Exalted might be a bad idea...Suddenly, a lot of fanfics, extant and potential, just died a lasting death. Oh well, that's what AU continuity is for!
          Yeah, this is a pretty big problem for me. Not that I read much fan material, but I still think that at this time, the material produced in the fandom is more interesting than what's in the show from a dramatical standpoint. Thus, I'm not too keen on pronouncing too much canon, while I do like hints and implications that can then be built on. For example, the Tree of Elements. What's up with that? I honestly hope we'll never know.

          I don't think these two episodes destroyed too much, though. The idea that Luna raised the moon, became Nightmare Moon, was battled by Celestia and banished to the moon in the time span of three minutes seems like a medium conceit to me and shouldn't be taken too seriously, while the battle against Discord was literally "Hey Discord! We'll defeat you now, k?" and could have been the end of any amount of struggle beforehand.

          What I think was most interesting is the structure in which Celestial stores the Elements. That's the same structure that's in Nightmare Moon's castle in pilot episode. Might this mean Canterlot wasn't built at the time?


          Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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          • #35
            Okay, so, finally caught it (had to watch Equestria Girls first; basic verdict, I did not hate it). A more in-depth recap might be forthcoming, but for now, my thoughts come down to two factors:

            * Best season opener since the start. Probably one of the best episodes yet. The pacing was good, the stakes felt really high and genuine (and the fact that they were tailored to each pony race was a very nice touch), and though it lacked a specific antagonist*, I think it was actually kind of stronger for it, in being able to let the force itself be threatening in its unremitting facelessness (certainly the monster plants feel like the most genuinely dangerous things yet), as a realisation of the dangerous potential the Everfree Forest has always seemed to have (even if the thing itself wasn't strictly of it). Also liked the sense of characterisation in it, Twilight's struggling with duty and the others struggling with her having to engage with that. Discord's return was also a good use of him, this kind of trickster ally pushing and prodding them. The depictions of the background mythology of the setting were also extremely well realised (little touches I liked included Discord's time having wattle huts for the ponies and Luna being all scuffed up). And I like the implications of some genuine kind of sacrifice being entailed in the resolution.
            * This is technically kind of a subset of the other point, but it stood out enough to me to warrant saying separately; the visual composition and direction of this episode was phenomenal. Framing, contrast, motion, this is definitely the best looking episode yet. It really helped with my immersion. I'd understand if this was the kind of big budget thing they can only have at the start, but I really hope some of it can carry through into the rest of the season.

            All in all, full marks. Definitely has me stoked for what's to come, after a shaky prior season.

            * Depending on how much you buy Discord's reform, mind. There's some interesting ambiguity there.


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Metamurpho View Post
              I take offense to this map as there is no indication of donkey majority anywhere!!!
              Well, donkeys are still Equines, and they seem to live in more or less the same society as the ponies (whereas cattle and bison, while both Bovines, probably live kind of differently).


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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              • #37
                S4E3: Castle Mane-ia

                What is a pony? A miserable pile of friendsh- yeah let's not do that.

                So in this episode, the mane six minus one conspicuously absent pony spends the night in the Castle of the Two Sisters (which I don't think has been ever named before, has it?) and inadvertently scare the living crap out each other. The plot is pretty standard but it's done pretty well I think, particularly in the end when they all freak out together; I laughed harder than I should have when Applejack stomped on the pillar Fluttershy thought Angel was under. In some way, everyone's personalities come to their right in a really subtle and natural way here, and it was nice to watch. Although... did anyone seriously believe that the Pony of Shadow was not Pinkie Pie? I mean, all the other five gathered at a place and one spooky, unidentified one? I guess the kids might find it thrilling, though.

                Aside from the main plot, this episode had some excellent call-backs. I asked in a post above about the old castle, and here we get an episode about it right form the start. And boy oh boy is this episode brimming with fandom material to explore. Celestia's journal and the Organ to the Outside [1] just as examples, and also the whole situation: is this where they lived before they were regents of Equestria, possibly before they defeated Discord? Is there a reason they lived in the Everfree Forest? Come to think of it, just what is up with that forest anyway? It's creepy and dangerous and clearly magical, and it is the origin of the Elements of Harmony. So much potential about that place just in these three episodes. Not tomention, of course, the shadow with the glowy eyes at the end. Will the be returning, or was it was an ominous OR WAS IT?! moment?

                Speaking of returning, I'm really happy they came back to the locked box right away, and that they used it to fuel the plot of the episode without the episode actually being about it. This is good storytelling; begin with something known and then expand it into something unknown. It's also something FiM has been less than excellent at doing the last few seasons. It's only been 3 of 26 episodes, but I'm loving how it's looking so far.

                A few complaints would be these: I get that it's not the point of the episode, but remember back when the Everfree Forest was a place you just did not go? Ever? This is the second time in three episodes, and this time it was just a Sunday stroll to get to the castle, it seems. I realise that last time they tried, Nightmare Moon was actively messing with them, but even the last episode it was a matter of sending Twilight home in case they all died. The clash bothered me. Also, I have to say, I kind of thought Pinkie was just a bit overdone. She works best when she's not explained very much, and the whole justification behind her being there went on just long enough to make me actually think about it, and then it just didn't hold up. But I did love how she rang the school bell.

                All in all, a few so-so spots, but absolutely a worthy follow-up to that excellent season intro. I heartily approve.

                [1] Note to self: Once Exalted 3e hits, build this Manse.
                Last edited by Weimann; 11-30-2013, 02:41 PM.


                Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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                • #38
                  Well the forest this time has the elements back in the tree so maybe that's having a positive effect on the forest?

                  Also.

                  Continuity error!

                  Rarity sees 2 big blue tapestries correct? The one with Lune rapmant that Fluttershy triggers the secret spinning wall. Then the one in the throne room above Luna's old seat.

                  Rarity is fiddling with the tapestry in the throne room when she gets flipped through the trap door, tearing THAT tapestry.

                  But later when running like mad the tapestry she got covered in later was the one with Luna rampant, the one with the spinning wall Fluttershy triggered.

                  The scene at the end though has her repairing the tapestry she got covered in. That means she's sewing part of the throne room tapestry to the Luna rampant tapestry!

                  Yes my full time job is QA. I am a professional complainer. Literally.

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                  • #39
                    Huh, I never noticed that. Then again, that's par for the course. :P

                    What I did notice in relation to that, though, was that when Rarity was sewing the tapestry, they actually bothered to animate the progress each stitch had. Any other comic would have just put the motion on loop, but if you look closely you can see new stitches being added. I'm impressed.


                    Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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                    • #40
                      Oh yeah, attention to quality where it matters is what the series does well.

                      Admittedly, I'm not one for analysing the series much, I just know that when an episode ends there's usually a silly grin or smirk on my face. Which is all that matters.

                      I do kind of wish that Rarity takes some of the tapestries with her though...or perhaps they get Big Mac/Applejack/Applebloom in there to fix the place up proper like. Applebloom would get it done nice and quick, if the treehouse transformation is anything to go by.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Scutarii View Post
                        I do kind of wish that Rarity takes some of the tapestries with her though...or perhaps they get Big Mac/Applejack/Applebloom in there to fix the place up proper like. Applebloom would get it done nice and quick, if the treehouse transformation is anything to go by.
                        Yeah, I'm betting they'll fix it up to be Twilight's new home. I mean, why live in a tree library when you can live in a Friendship Palace Playset?

                        This ep was totes adorbs. The beekeeper suits, the amazing variety of scared faces... I was squeeing all the time from it! I am a very manly man, yes.


                        Simulacre: An Alternative Morality Stat for Prometheans
                        Homebrew Athanors

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                        • #42
                          I enjoy the idea that the ancient "traps" were basically there as a form of entertainment.

                          "Princess, why would you want to get flipped and tosses and barred inside your own castle?"
                          "It was the style at the time."
                          "And the... weird spiked armour-"
                          "Style!"

                          I was also heartily amused by the thing with Pinkie Pie.

                          Pinkie Pie: Can I play the piano anymore?
                          Twilight Sparkle: Of course you can.
                          Pinkie Pie: Well I couldn't before!

                          And having seen some ancient tapestries myself, I can really appreciate Rarity's desire to restore some.

                          I'm amused by the idea of her being drawn more to Luna's ones.

                          Anyway, as "night in a scary house" episodes go, this was a good one.


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                            I wouldn't take Discord's "princess lesson" as more than the excuse it blatantly was. I'm really liking that his motives are pretty ambigous so far...that's better writing than I've come to expect from the last season.
                            I somewhat agree. Discord is willing to push the limits of his friendship (simply because it's entertaining for him and he is after all, the embodiment of chaos) but is not willing to go over the edge. He might not care about the rest of the 5, but he does care enough about fluttershy to pull the punches.

                            I personally think he enjoys toying with Twilight more than anything just to deal with his boredom.

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                            • #44
                              S4E4: Daring Don't

                              I have to hand it to them. Of all the things they could have done with Daring Do, I didn't expect this. In fact, up until that most dramatic plot twist, the story proceeded almost exactly as the first minute had lead me to believe it would. And then it didn't.

                              In fact, the whole episode is kind of divided into two parts for me. The first one is the part that deals with the concept of fandom, of how your relationship to your favoured author looks in relation to how you feel like it looks and how things that are actually rather minor can seem huge. This part works really well. This is a subject that I think many people deal with today. A great abundance of people are fans of something, and will know just how it can feel when something you've been waiting for sometimes years get delayed another two months (on an entirely unrelated unrelated note, I think Exalted 3e was originally announced for this time of year, last year, but I have no idea what made me think of that). And it's most assuredly a nod towards the brony fandom as well. Rainbow Dash and to some extent Twilight spends the whole first part of the episode acting like typical internet fangirls. All in all, this subject matter is an excellent foundation for an interesting episode with a relevant moral.

                              And then... they just don't do that? I mean, I guess they do to some extent as laid out above, but why exactly did they feel the need to make an adventure episode out of this half-way through? The fact that Daring Do is non-fiction doesn't even bother me; it's not what I'd have done but it's not a big deal anyway (Also, A. K. Yearling? Best pony name.). I'm not sure that in the end, we even get an answer for what is delaying the book, or if this adventure actually helped any. I don't really care about that, either. But I felt like they had something in their hands and just didn't recognize it. They had a good idea and just didn't think it would carry, so they threw in some adventure at the end. Maybe I'll feel differently when I've rewatched it, but right now I'm feeling a bit teased, as it were.

                              Edit: For all that though, there are some good jokes there. I loved Pinkie Pie's paint, and I predict this is the only episode where you'll be able to see Rainbow Dash punching herself repeatedly in the face.
                              Last edited by Weimann; 12-07-2013, 06:52 PM.


                              Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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                              • #45
                                Oh, yeah. Third episode, good. This episode? Enjoyable, but piss once they played it straight. Should have gone with the fandom exploration.

                                Or at least made the joke it was all a fanfic.


                                Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                                The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                                Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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