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316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Debate - Are Unicorns ... · 0 replies · +3 points

A last couple of points I thought of after completing my post and reading some of the other comments on here, I'll try to keep it brief :P

Point 1: Starswirl the bearded. I chose to ignore him in my previous posts simply due to the fact that we know so little about him. If he must be mentioned than I would put him in the same category with Twilight. A magically gifted Unicorn who spent most if not all of his life studying the subject, so it is only natural that he would possess extraordinary talent.

Point 2: The relation of magical power and Cutie Marks. All of the Unicorns in question - Twilight, Starlight, Starswirl and even Sunset - have Cutie Marks DIRECTLY related to magic. This out of the hundreds of Unicorns we have seen in the show. So most of these argument revolve around a tiny percentage of the unicorn race, with destinies directly linked to magic, the elite of their race in that regard. Your run of the mill unicorn rarely exhibits anything beyond basic levitation when not under the influence of Dark Magic like the Alicorn Amulet (which is a completely different discussion).

Point 3: Stamina with magic. Just that. Unicorn magic has been shown to be severely limited by the stamina or 'mana' of the user.

Point 4: Earth Pony toughness. This is an aspect of Earth Ponies that seems to get overlooked. Their physical prowess is not just limited to strength, they also seem to have an abundance of endurance and resistance to outside influences which could encompass Magical attacks for all we know. There is also the possibility of something much more significant that comes with this. Granny Smith. Cross-referencing things stated in Winter Wrap Up, and Family Appreciation Day, you come to the conclusion that Granny Smith is ATLEAST 200 years old. The fact that this fits in so well with Earth Ponies' innate physical heartiness adds more weight to the possibility that Earth Ponies could have significantly longer life-spans and or abilities to resist/recover from injuries and illness! I'd guess a lot of people would trade 'overpowered' magic for an extra hundred years of life!

316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Debate - Are Unicorns ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Part 3/3: With that established, I move on to the second part of my question. We have all seen plentiful evidence that a Unicorn using their racial magical ability at it's most extreme can be devastatingly powerful, but the question is, are they MORE so than a Pegasi or Earth Pony doing the same?

Here we enter the realm of pure conjecture. The truth of the matter is we have no real evidence either way, unless you count absence as evidence. So here is my opinion. Seth pointed out that the rampant use of powerful Unicorn magic has led to such disasters as Sombra and the banishing of the Crystal Empire, and Starlight's control of space time, while meanwhile the most we have seen from a Pegasi is the Sonic Rainboom and cloud bucking, and Maud's rock smashing for Earth Ponies. But does this point to a gross overabundance of power for the Unicorn, or simply a gross MISUSE of power?

Seth cited the absence of any corresponding Earth Pony or Pegasus academies to match Celestia's school for Gifted Unicorn as evidence that "there really "isn't" anything to discover there. They grow things better and have more muscle mass, but aside from that they aren't really magical outside of their butt symbols."

This does not necessarily follow though. We just went over the absurdity of the fact that that, quote, "a single depressed mare can literally wipe out space and time!" So would it really be so surprising if a secret order of Earth Pony Druids living in the depths of the Everfree Forest with similar world-wrecking power would wish to be secretive and discriminating in who they passed on these abilities to? Maybe the Pegasi CIA have mastered faster-than-light travel which would equate to time-travel in its devastating possibilities?

So in the end you can choose to interpret the prominence of Unicorn magic in the show as evidence that no equivalent exists for Earth Ponies and Pegasi, or you can consider that these races might simply be smarter in their handling of said powers, to avoid the recurring world-threatening-Unicorn dilemma. It's true that Unicorns have displayed the ability to mimic a large portion of the traits of the other races which we are aware of, but one has to consider that the nature of their power could go much deeper, in invisible ways pertaining to things like the balance of nature and natural disasters. Just examining some of the things which exist naturally in Equestria - Windegos, Manticores, Dragons, Hydras - is a reality check, and we have seen what can happen when these get out of hand with the Everfree 'encroaching' in the Season 4 Premier.

A last point I would like to examine is Alicorn themselves. Twilight's Kingdom served as an example of how absurdly powerful an Alicorn actually IS. With the magic of presumably every unicorn in Equestria stolen by Tirek, pitted against the combined power of four Alicorns merged within Twilight, they still came out in a standstill. Now it seems to be pretty much unanimously agreed that Alicorns possess the powers of all three races combined, so what does it say if the adding the benefit of Earth Pony and Pegasi abilities to a Unicorn increases their power by a hundredfold? Not so insignificant as it appears, I say.

Ofcourse, I don't think what I am talking about is likely to be in the scope of the show's ability to show, or that the writers have this in mind at all, but if we are basing these arguments by what the writers have in mind, we quickly have to just accept that fact that it is a kid's show in the end and subject to the corresponding limitations. So I choose to think of it in the way that I like, and that makes the most sense to me within the realm of what the show has not contradicted :)

As usual, I am late to this, and probably won't get read, but cheers to any who finished this, and hope I gave you something to think about!

316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Debate - Are Unicorns ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Part 2/3: That leaves Starlight Glimmer. In the Debate, Seth argued that Starlight was not gifted as a foal, and referenced her shock at Twilight's ease in duplicating her spells as evidence that she was not exceptionally powerful at the time of Cutie Map. However, there is no evidence that she would not have qualified as a 'gifted Unicorn', just because she was not recognized as such as early as her friend.

Her Cutiemark itself is a very strong indication if not proof outright that she IS a very gifted Unicorn, I mean, magic is her DESTINY, right? Just because she wasn't 'talent scouted' by Celestia's school doesn't mean she wasn't capable. Even if her ability WAS noticed later, her bitterness at previous events could easily have stopped her from accepting.

Then there's the matter of the magic she displayed in The Cutie Map. Seth described her abilities as a "small selection of powerful spells", but she had already developed a spell that could remove Cutie Marks which - if Magical Mystery Cure is any indication - is VERY advanced magic! She also had a powerful laser-beam spell, and claimed to have studied her barrier spell for 'years'. Which brings me to a last point, even if she had a ton of natural talent - as appears to be the case - she did not have a thousand year old Alicorn to tutor her, so I think it would be only natural that her self-taught abilities would be incomplete in some areas.

So I think it's safe to say that she could have been, if not as gifted as Twilight, at least as much so as Sunset Shimmer or Sombra. Add to that her trait of single-minded obsession for revenge, and I don't think it is entirely unreasonable that she could master some pretty powerful magics in a short period of time.

Which brings us to the real question about Starlight, which is her unexplained massive leap in ability between Cutie Map and Cutie Remark. Hopefully my prior argument has managed to explain this, or at the least soften the blow a little, but their remains an undeniable question here. Should those factors have sufficed to allow her to master - as Seth put it - "apocalypse level time magic, perfect self levitation, targeted crystallization, and death beams right up there with an Alicorn that has been obsessed with magic since she was a foal."?

My answer is a tentative yes. Her 'death beams' from the Premier were already powerful enough to collapse a stone bridge, and I don't think anything in the finale showed a major increase in that ability. Her targeted crystallization was duplicated by Twilight almost instantly (yes, I know Twi is the Element of Magic Alicorn and all that, but still, with that speed, it couldn't have been THAT hard.) As far as the apocalypse time magic, all she did was use a spell that Twilight managed back in Season 2 as a unicorn, and the spell was already written by Starswirl. So with those things covered, I can chalk her editing of said spell, and her ability of levitation up to her single-minded, revenge-obsessed determination without many qualms. So yes, I think Starlight can safely qualify as 'extreme'.

316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Debate - Are Unicorns ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Part 1/3:

This is the way I see it: Each of the three tribes of Ponies has their own unique, latent magical capabilities, as we all know. In day to day life, each of these races use these abilities to varying degrees, for example, Pegasi flying about their business and clearing clouds, Earth Ponies using their improved strength for moving objects and physical labor like farming, and Unicorns using minor levitation magic to hold things or reach objects from a distance.

These are by far the most common examples we see of these abilities, and likely the sum of their usage for the purposes of 99% of Ponies. Nothing here is any cause to shout overpowered or put Unicorns on a pedestal. If anything, Pegasi have the upper hoof here when referencing the lives of most Ponies we have seen. So let's cut to the chase here and examine the real question: In the case of these abilities being taken to an absolute EXTREME, in cases such as Sombra, Twilight, and Starlight Glimmer, is there a major power imbalance?

Let's start with some narrowing down to make this a little simpler. The examples of 'extreme' we have in question are Twilight, Sombra, Starlight, and Sunset. I will not include Royalty because Alicorns are an entirely different subject.

In Twilight's case, not only is she the Element of Magic, a naturally gifted Unicorn, and the personal student of an Alicorn Princess, but she has also spent a HUGE amount of her spare time studying the subject of Magic, so we can safely say she is an extreme example.

Sombra we simply do not have enough information about to make a case in either direction, he may or may not have been a magic obsessed book-nerd with a super-powered mentor. We just can't say. Not only that, but his case taps into the realm of Dark Magic, which could have any number of ramifications we also know nothing about. So Sombra is not much use to this argument in either direction.

Sunset Shimmer was also a student of Celestia's, and presumably another very gifted unicorn who displays an affinity for study and research similar to Twilight Sparkle's. So we can put her in the same category.

316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Episode Rewatch - My L... · 0 replies · +1 points

and yet here we are

316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Pony History of the Da... · 0 replies · +1 points

Some of these I'd seen, some I hadn't. That Derpy one made me sad even though I wasn't even in the fandom at that time. Wonder what I'd have thought of it, never really saw anything in Derpy myself. Those mealtime ones were pretty funny though

316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Episode Rewatch - My L... · 0 replies · +1 points

I had already seen bits of this episode when I first watched it fully, as well as several other random eps from seasons 1 and 2. My sister is an artist and had discovered the show through Deviant Art and gotten hooked, so I used to come up behind her when she was watching on her laptop and tease her about it.

Then I found myself hanging around longer, finding reasons to stay, pretending to be watching just to laugh at it and such. In this way I ended up seeing partial bits of a lot of episodes (she was on a bit of a catch-up marathon herself near the end of S2) as well as a few full ones.

I think Putting Your Hoof Down was the first episode I really watched from start to finish, and really admitted I enjoyed. I pretended it was because I liked seeing Ironwill throw those puny Ponies around, but I was already <3 for Rarity. After that I started realizing how much I really liked the show, but it wasn't until Return of Harmony that I was really convinced that it was okay to like it (Thanks John De Lancie!)

At that point I went back to the Pilot and watched it in full, and then 2 episodes every night after that until I was fully caught up at One Bad Apple. Ahhhg, hard not to get nostalgic for those times... Such great memories staying up and watching Fall Weather Friends, then going outside and watching the sun rise. :*(

Edit: Just finished watching the first part. Things that stuck out to me was the reflection of NMM at 4:44, never noticed that before, and seemed very cleverly done. Other thing was the cute tail bump at 4:14. Such a cute interaction between perhaps the best duo in the show, wish we had seen this more!

Edit 2: After finishing the second part, I had a realization. They have been relegating and leaving out Spike from literally the VERY BEGINNING. For some reason it never occured to me before how he was left behind in this one. So sad. Other than that I just couldn't help laughing at almost every scene thinking of this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yNoeEqIcQw

Short, and a great watch if you somehow haven't seen it yet!

316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Episode Rewatch - My L... · 0 replies · +1 points

Haha, I can totally relate to that part about Baby Cakes. I still just can't do it. Pinkie Pie always raises my stress level past comfortable on her own. Put it together with one of my least favorite cartoon cliches with the crying babies and I...just can't. NO.

316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Early Morning Discussi... · 1 reply · +1 points

I've thought about it before. I used to want a WoW Alliance tattoo, then I quit that game. I've also considered a pony one (maybe Rarity?), but drawing permanent ink on your skin is just not really my thing I guess.

316 weeks ago @ Equestria Daily - Early Morning Discussi... · 1 reply · +1 points

Happy new years all! Resolutions?

I got a couple: Complete/post a finished story (a short story, at the least.) Fix my back so I can get back to heavier lifting. Move out to my own apartment. Re-watch a lot of pony, mostly s1-s2 but also the good stuff from last couple years.