MLP Time Loops thread 3

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Saphroneth, Nov 4, 2013.

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  1. The second thread is approaching lock, so I've started the third one.

    Thread one
    Thread two
    The MLP Time Loops fic started as a dozen or so silly vignettes I wrote on the concept of Twilight Sparkle, and others, time looping (see the full description of mechanics below).
    Since then, I’ve just kept being inspired to write more, and others have also contributed (about a third of the compiled Loops so far have been contributions by other authors).
    The compiled version is on all three of the accounts linked in my sig. See below for useful link.

    Loop mechanics (general):

    One person in a Loop, often the main character, is an Anchor. They are the person who first starts time looping.
    There is always at least one Anchor present in a given Time Loop snippet, though it may not be the local one.
    The standard pattern for a loop is that the Anchor (and whoever else is Looping there) come to awareness in a loop at a particular point in the story. From there, events will play out as influenced by the Loopers present, acting with the benefit of their foreknowledge, until either a predetermined end point is reached or all the Loopers have copped it.
    To be Awake is to be aware of the time loops (that is, to have gone back in time this time.)
    The Anchor is the only character guaranteed to be Awake. Even after others have started looping, it is mostly random as to whether they will be Awake this particular loop.
    Crossovers, fusions, and alternate pasts can also take place. It is perfectly possible, for example, to have the characters Awaken into a loop which conforms to a fanfic universe rather than reality.
    Loops do not have to be in chronological order, but it is strongly preferred that they not require a mutually contradictory order (where A must be before B and B must be before A.)
    Just about every Looper is very, very stir crazy.

    Loop mechanics (specific)

    Twilight is the Anchor.
    MLPverse Loopers tend to be very sane by Looper standards, and to aim to avoid unnecessary death – even though it’s temporary.
    I assume that the MLP Loops are about five years long.
    As of the point at which this thread is being started, the confirmed Loopers are:
    The Mane Six
    All three Princesses
    Shining Armor
    The CMC
    Diamond Tiara
    Big Macintosh
    Angel Bunny
    Magical object versions of the Founders (it's complicated)

    (I may have missed one or two.)

    That’s about as much as can be covered without massive spoilers, I think.
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  2. And, to get things off on the interesting foot:


    Twilight blinked. “I think I just realized something I never tried.”

    She looked around at the gigantic paint cannon aimed for Discord's statue.

    “What is it?” Spike asked, lifting another canister of pressurized paint up to the breech end.

    “Well, it's too late now... basically, what did Sombra actually want?” Twilight asked, taking the canister and fitting it with care.

    “...huh. I know he wanted the Crystal Heart, but what he was going to do with it? No idea.” Spike shrugged.

    “Well, I know what to do next time,” Twilight said. “Hmmm...”

    “Twilight?” Celestia said, pushing open the door to the library. “Are you there?”

    No response.

    “How strange.”

    Celestia thought hard. Her messages via Spike had only received terse replies about some 'experiment', so she had come to check on her student in person, in advance of giving her the first 'solo' mission she would have.

    Her eyes alighted on a note resting on the table.

    “Dear Princess,” she read. “I have recently discovered that the Crystal Empire has returned. I have made haste to their capital, in order to assess the situation.”

    Celestia frowned, then her eyes widened. “She doesn't know.”

    “So, King Sombra, we deliver unto you the Crystal Heart,” Twilight finished, putting the large hunk of crystal on the floor.

    Sombra looked at it. “Crystal?”

    “Yes, Crystal,” Twilight agreed.

    “Are you sure this is okay?” Spike asked, looking nervous. “He looks evil...”

    “So did Nightmare Moon,” Twilight pointed out.

    “She was evil!” Spike said. “Luna isn't, but that's not the same thing...”

    “Sssh, I want to see what happens.” Twilight pointed.

    Sombra arose from his throne, darkness drifting around him, and approached the great relic...

    Then paused.

    What now?”

    Twilight facehoofed. “Oh, you must be joking.”

    Sombra tapped the crystal heart, which went tink.“Crystal? Crys-tal?”

    One wall exploded, admitting Celestia. “Twilight! Are you alright?”

    “Fine, thanks,” Twilight said, dropping a reflex-quick shimmershield. “I wanted to see if King Sombra could do anything with the Crystal Heart. It turns out... not.”

    Celestia took in the situation. Twilight, fine... Spike, scared but fine... the Crystal Heart, unscathed but dusty... and King Sombra's horn sticking out of a pile of rubble.

    “I see. Wasn't that awfully risky?”

    Twilight shrugged. “I keyed it to a teleport, so I could technically summon it to me if needed. It's a tricky spell, involves writing a runic form of my name on the object in magic, but useful.”

    Celestia poked the pile of rubble, which mumbled something about crystals.

    “I remember him being more dangerous...”
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  3. Zap Rowsdower

    Zap Rowsdower Ex-Cultist Vagrant

    And the moral of the story is, just because you're a powerful sorcerer doesn't mean you're going to get the become-a-lich spell right on the first try. Do some animal testing on short-lifespan creatures first to make sure it actually prevents neuro-astral degredation.
    Zerris, Chase92, Rufus Shinra and 3 others like this.
  4. FanOfMostEverything

    FanOfMostEverything Your Best Audience

    Ah, necrosenility. One of the most humiliating afflictions that strike the undead. So sad. Especially since Sombra was clearly capable of clever plans in his heyday. Look at the security setup he had around the Heart.
  5. Stainless Steel Fox

    Stainless Steel Fox Problem Adult

    Moved on again? Sigh, just when I was starting to get comfortable.

    You do realise I mean to do this myself? Unfortunately, a downtime for a Vampire LARP and a session of a tabletop RP I'm running got in the way of my valuable writing time. On the other hoof, this was wonderfully well done, exactly what I'd hoped for, though being a techie type I'd have given more of a description. My own head-cannon, such as it was, considered my design Alicorn class ships, which woud mean the first four would be named,

    Celestial Sun
    Lunar Crescent
    Harmonic Romance
    Dusk Shine

    But since this Lightship is a prototype and Luna's private yacht, we could bump Lunar Crescent to the top. It could also be the Reasonably Sized, the Profitable Venture or the Dewydecimal Raptor (Twilight's suggestion). If nayone's seen the game sequel 'Battle at Procyon',you'll know that there are many more designs of Lightship than the one in the film.
  6. Pet hypothesis of mine. Emotions in MLP are a source of magic, including fear, anger and sorrow. Sombra wanted the Crystal Heart to prevent the Crystal Ponies resisting him, but he really didn't have a use for it himself. The Crystal Ponies' suffering was what he was really after, in order power his own magics.
  7. Somehow I have this image in my mind... Luna on the bridge in a dramatic pose, her mane and tail flowing in an etheric breeze, screaming ...


    Celestia (over-acting, badly): "I've done far worse than kill you, Luna. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you as you left me; marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet... buried alive!"

    (gadzooks, the Large Ham is strong with them...)
  8. So we've gone from Treasure Planet Spelljammer, to a fully ponified Star Trek loop?
    On the subject of Luna's ship name, Fall of Night?
  9. Filraen

    Filraen Bastion of the Fourth Wall

    Having been in an almost-week-long holiday with sporadic Internet access, I'm glad to have missed the last week's debate for once :p

    Now, about points more important. I have some ideas here even if I don't know how to execute them:

    - Simple Fish out of Water: even before the "Nightmare Night Special" loop reset, we have some ponies who lived at least a millenia before the current time, how do they adapt to the new time? Note this intercanges can be mirrored the next time any CMC go to a more technologically advanced loop.

    On Spike's wedding: I think the will wait until everypony(for certain values of everypony) is Awake. This will give some time for Twilight to tell Nanoha there's going to be a wedding for loopers... and this is where things get complicated/funny/etc.:

    I can see Hiccup and Ranma organizing Spike's bachelor party in Future's Past (feel free to lampshade nobody knowing when Spike is actually getting married). I can imagine nothing they try for the party spiking Spike's curiosity (no pun intended): mostly because nobody had cared to deduct beforehand what he likes phisically in a woman female. The challenge here would be how make that story funny yet still under the current fic rating.

    Well, Spike was mentioned a musician at some time, being able to play very well the piano. So I'm thinking on him giving Rarity a heart-song[1] as a wedding gift.

    Do dragons have the ability to engage into a heart-song? I don't think it was shown, but that means there can be some snips Spike trying to practice how to channel emotion into a song[2]. The bad part, however, is a song or choreography doesn't get a flashy representationin a written medium.

    [1] To be more precise, Spike wrote Rarity a song with the hopes to trigger a heart-song when he plays it at the wedding party.

    [2] It just got me thinking, what do Crysalis think of emotions during a heart-song?

    As a wedding day, I think a Summer Sun Celebration might do (not the loop's first one, there's no time to tell everypony and prepare everything) as it marks the day they first met and the day their relationship started (to try to see if both liked each other). Otherwise, the first day of the year (or the Equestrian equivalent), as a symbol of "the first day of the rest of their lives".
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  10. thewatcher

    thewatcher Queen of Broken Glass

    Well, if the ship was originally named by twilight sparkle, I'd think it would be named something like 'the Next Chapter' or such...
    P.s. Name of a real ship, went for a walk yesterday and saw it moored...
  11. farsan

    farsan Ambulant reader

    Idea sketch for an meeting between Twilight and Destiny, of the Endless. (He is the older, so he would go first)


    Normal loop without any other awakened ponies, tries new things as usual until the Gala.

    There, when she is trying a new approach to Fluttershy's act in the garden, she encounters a strange unicorn with a robe who is walking around the hedge maze, reading a book in the middle of the night.

    Believing him to be a new looper, she goes to meet him and welcome him to Equestria. When she approaches, she notices that the book he is reading has a stylized engraving of the World Tree, and is tituled 'Time loops, of Twilight Sparkle'.

    They meet, he tells her his name and what he is, and reveals that he 'entered' this loop on purpose. He is not tied to Yggdrasyl, like other beings and gods, and is from a diffent cosmology, but he is here as a guest.

    Possible motives for Destiny's presence in the loop:

    - After he finished reading HIS book, and therefore his role in his old world was over, he fancied some light reading. Twilight's world fitted the bill.

    - He was invited by the admins of Yggdrasyl as an outside expert, to help them sort out the mess of the recurrent time loops.

    - Why not both?

    Regardless of his motive, he finds this world/book fascinating, as he had never read a 'Choose your own adventure' book before. Because that, he is more lighthearted and slightly less serious than in his old world.

    He tells her that he is not tied to this book as he was to his world's, and thus he could stop reading at any time, but if he did so, he would stop being in this world. The act of reading the book, for him, alters the book he reads.

    Possible conversation items:

    - About the nature of destiny, and choices. The relationship between cutie marks and destiny.

    - The nature of the loops, and some things he had noticed when reading her book: That there are no two loops that are exactly alike, and that every new world she visits gives her more choices to use in her main world, increasing the variation of the loops.

    - Talking about plausible ways to end the loops:

    -- He wonders what would happen if she forced two loops to be exactly alike.

    -- He also speculates that the loops could naturally end when every path of the labyrinth have been explored, when every possible choice has been taken.

    -- He knows that one way to 'end' the loops would be to create a 'stable loop', where the end of the loop would lead exactly to the beginning of the same loop. In other words, she must learn to cross the same river twice. In order to do that, she must learn to control how the loops are being created, in order to force them to start the same way. Also, she must learn to control herself, in order for her to start the same way (removing excess memories if neccesary).

    Possible parts to be included at the end of the sketch:

    - He tells Twilight to also expect a visit from his siblings.

    - He thanks her for her time, and tells her that he might return the book to her library when he finishes with it.
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  12. Durabys

    Durabys Mier-r-r-ow! Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    We talked about it earlier, you and me. Some people have really short temper.

    /ending de-rail.
  13. Rufus Shinra

    Rufus Shinra Lexine Luthor Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    I think that derail was ended already in the previous thread. I'm myself all for not getting the mods involved here, except of course if they want to write a bit or comment a loop.
    Heh, that's quite a good name, actually.
  14. thewatcher

    thewatcher Queen of Broken Glass

    Very good! I half imagine that twilight would wake the next loop to find this very Fic, rapped up with a bow...
  15. Ranma-sensei

    Ranma-sensei By WAFF alone I set my ships in motion

    I'm not so sure this is a good idea, as we'd be steering this story off the edge of the chart, and thar be monsters.

    Combining different realities probably is a surefire way to end them all...
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  16. I agree, at that point we're getting into alterations in how the loops work. We're also getting into ending the setting, which is something a lot of folks won't like. The loops have a fix, but it's like a delayed software patch.
    The suggested means of ending the loops aren't even consistant with the problem causing them (cosmic computer error).
    This is arguably something most loopers try early on, even before finding out what's happening.
    This indicates that the loops may well never end, when you factor in fused loops.
    This, undoes any and all character development ever done, in any loop fic, ever. In effect, it'd be the same as the admins giving up, pulling the plug, and resetting all effected universes to standard factory settings. Which is something that would make the admins very angry.
  17. farsan

    farsan Ambulant reader

    That is part of the reason they are just 'guests'. They wouldn't have their responsabilities nor all their powers; they would just be people with a different point of view and a limited way to affect the world they are in... just like any other visiting looper. This would be set after their original world was finished, so all the baggage that could come from their world would have already dissapeared.

    EDIT: If you talked about the book, it wouldn't be like Destiny's book. Think more like Discworld's Life books, which are written at the same rate the 'author' is living it. They would be formatted like a CYOA book, but only with the choices she has actually tried. Would this be too much, in the case this gets done?

    I don't want to lead the story to an end. It is just that I couldn't avoid thinking "Do the loopers actually want to keep looping forever, or do they want the loops to end?" It would be natural for them at least to talk about it. It wouldn't mean that they would actually try to end the loops, nor it would mean that they would succeed if they tried, with or without outside help.

    I might be missing something here. Still, on the other hand, Destiny is an outsider, and might not know the cause of the loops; he just observes the effects, and speculates from his POV. He might even be wrong about the possible solution. But these are just ideas I am tossing around, to see which ones would fit and which ones would not.

    They try, but do they really succeed in creating a duplicate loop? IIRC, in every instance Twi tried to do it, something got in the way.

    Almost. The loops would just be innumerable enough, but not infinite. I had the Library of Babel in my mind when I wrote about this: No matter how big a given book could be; there is by definition a non-infinite number of ways to write it.

    Very true. One thing is what Destiny believes would solve the loops, and another what the loopers and the admins would be willing to try.

    EDIT: Sorry about the broken format: Something went wrong when I posted this; I am trying to correct it.
    EDIT2: I think I solved it.
  18. Again, they know there is a problem, the admins know what the problem is, and are working on fixing it. I forget which fic it was, but the last time a looper tried their hand at "fixing" things, it extended the loops a few hundred million iterations (or some massive number like that, don't remember exactly).
    Again, don't remember specifics, but I think it was the cosmic computer's equivalent of a memory leak, and the loops are the result of the universes being put into safe mode. This is where the term Anchor comes from, they literally anchor their loop, as a constant that can be used as a starting point to debug from. Not sure how fused loops work with that.
    Also, refer to the first part of this post as to how willing the admins would be to accept aid.
    Because that's boring? Of course the Sith Element is going to be more intersting then Twilight commentating on a baseline loop. There's a reason why we gloss over things until they branch.
    True enough, but with each new universe that enters the loops, there are that many new iterations, including every combination of Awake and Unawake characters possible. Each new universe would add thousands of new possible loops to each existing universe. As you say, not infinite, but innumerable enough that even the stable loopers would start to lose it by the time every possible combination plays out.

    Blah, long posts are long. Been years since I did post debates like this.
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  19. Stainless Steel Fox

    Stainless Steel Fox Problem Adult

    Twilight came awake (with a small 'a') instantly as her proximity alarm spell went off. A Skyranger was incoming, which meant she should be going. Hopping out of bed, a quick brush spell and a bit of telekinesis and she was kitted out and ready to go. But first she had to keep her promise. She threw a scrying spell out to check where she was going, and went in a flash of teleportation.

    Kimiko was back on the front desk. Manager Urashima had offered to let her go off shift early to recover, but she'd insisted on staying the course. Besides, she wanted to be there to say goodbye to Twilight. It was almost the end of her shift anyway, and certainly a quiet time in the lobby, so she wasn't exactly stressed. She pulled up the posted video and grinned to see the views were in the tens of thousands already. Let those awful military types try to hush that up!

    When she looked up Twilight was there. "Just wanted to say goodbye. An X-Com team is almost here, and considering I'm probably still top of their 'capture or kill' list, best not to give them the chance."

    Kimiko came out from behind the desk and knelt down in front of her, offering a hug. "I understand. When I think of what they did to you I get so mad..."

    Twilight leant into the hug and returned it with a fore-leg over Kimiko's shoulder. "It's okay, don't be too hard on them. You saw the sort of things they've been fighting. Did they over-react in my case? Yes. Can I honestly blame them? Not so much. Those soldiers who are coming here put themselves in danger to protect people like you from those invaders on a daily basis, and I can respect that, even honour it. My big brother's a Royal Guard so I understands where they're coming from. However, that doesn't mean I'm going to stick around and act as their target dummy. But I won't prank them, they're just following orders."

    She released the hug naturally, and stepped back. "My issue is with their leaders, who seem to shell-shocked too adapt to changing circumstances. Still the best revenge is living well, and I intend to do just that while helping people out wherever I can. Just because they're going to be jerks doesn't mean I'm going to join them. You'd better get back to your desk, they're on final approach."

    As she sat back down, she felt a slight warmth and tingle from the pocket where she'd put the gemstone Twilight had given her, and saw the alicorn's horn glow gently. "What's that?"

    "The stuff that dreams are made of." Twilight replied, grinning. "Call it a good luck charm."

    There was a roaring from outside in the half empty car park. "Thank you, for everything, and farewell."

    She vanished in a flash of light just as the sound of jets died.


    'Operation Bring Night.

    Mission Brief.

    Site is isolated hot springss resort in Gifu province of Japan. Site appeared to be subject of a terror raid from what the satellites picked up incoming. However interference prevented satellites from getting good read on what happened when they made contact. There's also a strong possibility that Target Sparkle is on the scene, possibly as a lead element.

    Mission Objectives

    Assess situation at site.
    Capture or destroy Target Sparkle if present.
    Destroy all other extraterrestrials on site.
    Rescue any survivors.


    Use of portable Psionic Damper has been approved. Use it to suppress Target Sparkle's abilities. Attempt capture only if there is no significant resistance, otherwise destroy it. This objective has priority over all others.'

    (Just a lunchtime fragment for X-Com loop.)
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  20. Rufus Shinra

    Rufus Shinra Lexine Luthor Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    I have a small hunch that X-Com is going to be gently trolled along the next few weeks. ^^
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  21. FanOfMostEverything

    FanOfMostEverything Your Best Audience

    Possible name for a Lightship: Wanderer. That's what "planet" means, after all, a moving star among the fixed ones.

    And now I'm reminded of that one bit I wrote where Twilight goes to Mogo. Bringing the War of Light to Equestria could certainly make for a fun loop.
  22. Ranma-sensei

    Ranma-sensei By WAFF alone I set my ships in motion

    Which one? The DF kind?
  23. FanOfMostEverything

    FanOfMostEverything Your Best Audience

    The Green Lantern one. Combining the Orange, greed-powered Lantern with dragon physiology should be especially interesting...
  24. Idea: Just to reestaboish that the loops LOVE to troll the CMC, how about a loop where they are somehow switched with the founder three in their devices, leading AJ to accidentally catch them when the founders meet in the Cutiehouse to figure out what's going on. Bonus points if the founders end up with the CMC's pockets, leading them to fight for 'truth, justice, and some of that nice apple pie' as recompence.
    Wing Zero 032 likes this.
  25. Sounds cool.

    Sombra - Yellow Lantern
    Chrysalis - Indigo Tribe
    Cadence - Star Sapphires
    Twilight - Blue Lantern(Cookie to anyone who gets the reference)
    Applejack - Green Lantern
    Fluttershy - Red Lantern(Only semi-serious here)
    Spike - Orange Lantern(Also, only semi-serious)
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