Friday, 22 March 2019

I am victorious!

You play as one of the Young Six
This is a most unaccustomed feeling for me. I never complete games. I'm renowned for being a really, really useless gamer. Yet here I am, receiving the congratulations of Princess Twilight Sparkle herself. I have to say, I've had more fun with Pocket Ponies than with any mobile game for a long time. Even the required grinding (assuming you don't want to pay) isn't as ridiculous as with most similar titles.

It's possible I'll get round to writing a proper (albeit probably quite short) review of Pocket Ponies at some point, but for now you just get me bouncing around with happiness. I'm still playing, though, as I still haven't managed to get Fluttershy as one of my mystery box ponies!

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Ponyfic Roundup 242: The Citadel of Chaos

I have before me a paperback called Reach for Tomorrow; it's a 1974 reissue of a 1956 collection of early Arthur C Clarke short stories. In his preface, Clarke says, "I wrote these stories to entertain one person—myself. It still seems a remarkable piece of good luck that other people have been entertained as well." Words to live by.

Read it Later story count: 265 (-3)

Another small collection of ponyfics today. Without further ado, adieu or even Agadoo, here they are:

Dragon Lord Ember Skips Work for an Hour by The Cloptimist
Twilight Discovers Literary Analysis by Amit
Late Fees by MrNumbers

★: 0 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

"Young Six" it is, then

No, no, this was a totally random choice...
I've been playing the Pocket Ponies game on my phone quite a bit, now it's finally appeared on Android. It's freemium, but not (yet?) as onboxiously so as the Gameloft MLP game. It takes a lot of grinding to buy powerful ponies, but the numbers aren't completely impossible. The art style is really pretty cute, which helps. (See picture above.) I expect I'll get bored with it eventually, but that hasn't happened yet.

The other point of this post is that the game uses the term "Young 6" to refer to the students. I don't quite know why it's with the numeral, given that the same game uses "Mane Six" with the number written out as a word. With that in mind, though, I'm going to shift over from "Student Six" to "Young Six" from now on. It's not actually show canon (yet?) but it's clearly now extended canon. Not using the numeral, though!

Monday, 18 March 2019


Just exhausted. I've spent the last two days rushing around looking at (and travelling on!) steam trains, one day with friends and one day on my own. Very enjoyable, but it's surprisingly tiring. Hence no Pony content today... unless you count this. Big Mac admiring a big engine. Specifically, Gordon – named after General Gordon, not the Thomas the Tank Engine character! :P

Friday, 15 March 2019

Sounds of 2011: Nos. 6 to 4

Here we are at the antepenultimate post in this long, long series! Not a lot to say in this intro today, so let's get right on with the music. A quick reminder for anyone just joining us: this countdown comes from Everfree Radio's brony-voted Top 100 songs of 2011, the first full year of the show and its fandom.

At first I thought I'd have to invoke Inclusion Criterion 3 on this track, that being "songs that are just too significant to leave out". After all, everyone knew this song in the old days. However, although the artist is long gone from YouTube, he does still have an active Soundcloud, including this song – so Criterion 1 applies, ie "still available from the artist somewhere". As is obvious, this is a Pinkie Pie song. I don't know for sure, but I suspect the title comes from the scene in "Lesson Zero" where Pinkie brings a picnic basket, which immediately floats away. Other than a couple of slightly odd (but short) rap sections, this is a rather nice, light'n'bouncy track, told from Pinkie's point of view, explaining how she sees the world. There are only a few show samples, but they fit quite well. FraGmenTd does still have a Bandcamp, and though you can't get this version of the song there, you can purchase (for $1) a dance remix.

We're back in the land of The Living Tombstone now, for the last time in 2011, though many will know it from the 2012 BronyDanceParty video. This is a pretty dark song, in which a pony wakes to find the land ruined and ponies dead, with no memory of "what happened in September". As the track progresses, he gradually recalls more and more – until, right at the end, things take a shocking twist. Well, shocking the first time you hear it, at least. I quite like the structure and melody of this one, but it's another where the strength of Tombstone's accent gets in the way a bit. There's a 320k MP3 download in the video description.

Here's another song from the very early days: 20 May 2011. It's not quite the oldest brony song that's still popular, being a few weeks younger than "For the New Lunar Republic" (no. 20), but it's close. It sounds as you'd expect an Odyssey Eurobeat track to, albeit with rather more basic production values than his later Pony works. It's about a character who is experiencing a similar situation to Luna; as the artist emphasises, it's not sung from Celestia's point of view. There's the odd awkward lyric ("infinite despise" doesn't really mean anything) but this still deserves its classic status. Get the HQ version for whatever you like on Odyssey's Bandcamp.

Next time: two of the top three are revealed, and one track's popularity has endured significantly better than that of the other.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Ponyfic Roundup 241: Unobtainium

I did have a vaguely interesting intro this week, but I helpfully forgot to include it and left the intro from last week's PR as a placeholder. So it'll have to wait another week!

Read it Later story count: 268 (nc)

Just two stories today. There should have been three, but one had gone by the time I reached today. This seems to be happening more often than it used to, perhaps because of the relative ease of nuking Fimfiction accounts now. It's a shame, but there it is. Anyway, today's pair are:

The Life of a Quill: The Taste of Cold Steel by Quillian Inkheart
Twilight Spun... by Starscribe

★: 1 | ★★: 0 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Sounds of 2011: Nos. 10 to 7

It's time again for... this! Just four posts to go in this series if you count this one. As I've mentioned before, there will be a "Sounds of 2012" at some point, but it won't take quite so long. Also, Pony Music Library will be getting another inductee fairly soon, hopefully before S9 of Friendship is Magic begins. Okay, here are the next four songs from Everfree Radio's Top 100 chart for the first full year of FiM:

This is an unlisted video on d.notive's account, which gave me slight pause – but it is available and this is a specialist MLP blog, so I feel okay featuring it here. The unlisted status may be because this is based on "The Conversion Bureau", a sometimes controversial class of ponyfics involving human-to-pony transformation (and more; see the TVTropes page I linked to) that were very popular in the earlyish days of the fandom and which people still occasionally write. The song itself is a nice, fairly simple piece of electronica with some good lyrics wherein the two artists alternate lines. Worth a listen even if you don't care about the fics that inspired it, and there's a 320k MP3 download link in the video description.

A remix of a General Mumble song, itself based on a track from Pirates of the Caribbean, WoodenToaster's version is a cross between pirate derring-do and Pinkie's "Grand Galloping Gala" song from way back in S1E03. It's more electronica – if there's one thing the Everfree Top 100s tend to do, it's to give that genre a little too much prominence – but it's a nice bit of swashbuckling silliness all the same. Not too long, either, at a mere 3:17. I'm afraid I can't find a download in HQ, though there may be one somewhere. I'm just a silly pony.

You know how recently I mentioned that there was a 2011 The Living Tombstone song I really liked? Well, this is it. Making use of the chorus from Jackle App's "Autumn" (which has previously featured in this series) this is a fantastically energetic number that might even get me up and dancing... if I ever danced. Which I don't. It's both happy and nostalgic, a difficult combination to pull off, and Mic's vocals avoid the problem of Tombstone's sometimes overbearing accent, something that badly affects some of his other old songs. You can grab a 320k MP3 from the video description.

A fantastic early track from the guy now known as RC88, this is Twi's theme from the ill-fated Fighting is Magic. As I've said before, the artist went on to compose music for the replacement game, Them's Fighting Herds, but this one is pure Pony. It really captures Twilight's energy and ability, with some lovely glockenspiel-esque notes and nicely judged references to songs such as "At the Gala". This is great even if you have no interest in the game, though sadly the song listed as inspiration in the description is no longer available. For HQ versions, pay $1 on RC88's Bandcamp.

Next time, yet another song by The Living Tombstone. And two others.