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"We’re in for a wild flight."
Ace Combat: The Equestrian War is a crossover fanfic that combines My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic with the Ace Combat series of video games. In this story, the griffins prepare an invasion on Equestria and a team of brave pegasus ponies (Firefly, Rainbow Dash, Lightning Bolt, Cloud Kicker, Fluttershy, Derpy and Medley), known as "Mirage" squadron, is attempting to protect their land and mount a comeback. While not a direct adaptation of any Ace Combat game, the fanfic uses a lot of references to the Playstation 2 titles, as well as Ace Combat 6 Fires of Liberation and the latest Assault Horizon.
The story can be found at Fimfiction.
- Abnormal Ammo: Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo fire frozen apple pies and various other foodstuffs at the griffins.
- Ace Fliers: Especially the Mirage squadron, The Wonderbolts and the griffin ace teams. Mobius and the Garuda team count as well.
- Action Mom: Derpy. She takes on three griffins all by herself trying to save Dinky.
- Adaptational Badass: Several ponies, especially the ones flying in Mirage squadron. From characters who had little screen time and next to no words spoken in the show, they're given distinct personalities and traits.
- Air Jousting
- Airstrike Impossible: Surprisingly subverted in chapter 10, where Rainbow Dash performs a Sonic Rainboom to break inside the Burning Talon.
- The Alliance: Equestrian Allied Forces (EAF)
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The griffins besiege Canterlot in chapter 16. Earlier, in chapter 8, they take over Cloudsdale. It remains theirs until it's recaptured in chapter 14.
- Amazon Brigade / Badass Crew / True Companions: The Mirage squadron.
- An Ice Pony: Colgate, as shown in chapter 4, is capable of using beams of freezing magic.
- Back From the Brink: Things start hard for the ponies, but finally, in chapter 17, they turn the tables.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The griffin squadron leaders, specifically Zeakros and Echo, keep reminding their wingmates that ponies are More Than Meets the Eye. And yet, 90% of the time it falls on deaf ears with dire consequences.
- Big Badass Birds of Prey: The griffins, naturally. Even though they are only slightly bigger than the ponies.
- Big Bad: Red Cyclone
- Big Damn Heroes: All over the place. Lampshaded by Firefly during the first BDH moment in chapter 6:
Firefly: Seems like we've arrived in the nick of time. What does that make us, Thunder?
- Bloodless Carnage: Until chapter 7, no pony or griffon dies, though several fighters on both sides sustain wounds.
- Break the Cutie: Especially since chapter 8. So very, very much...
- Breather Episode: Chapter 9. Since the next chapter, things get serious.
- Broken Tears: Every main heroine sheds those at least once in the story, with the exception of Lightning Bolt. To elaborate: Firefly in chapters 7, 8 (in the Flashback) and 16, Fluttershy in chapter 10, Rainbow Dash and Medley in chapter 11 (Rainbow carries them to chapter 12), Derpy and Cloud Kicker in chapter 15. Each of them has a justified and valid reason to cry.
- Canon Foreigners: Mobius, Talisman, Shamrock and Sky Eye.
- Canon Immigrant: Firecracker Burst.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Despite several victories for the ponies, they can't seem to get a breather.
- Color Coded for Your Convenience: Said word-for-word by Rarity in chapter 3, when she introduces the vests for Firefly's team, each being colored to match a pony's coat. These vests are used by both ponies and griffins in order to distinguish their alingment and to which unit they belong.
- Call Back: Fluttershy uses The Stare to scare two griffins in chapter 3.
- Medley, in chapter 4, sneaks between the trees to track the griffins who kidnapped fillies. It may bear resemblance to Apple Bloom doing the same thing while following Zecora.
- Pinkie Pie's party for Gilda is mentioned in chapter 11.
- Cheerful Child: Dinky tries to remain optimistic despite the carnage of the war happening around her.
- Child Soldiers: The Cutie Mark Crusaders. To their credit, they actually want to fight the griffins in chapter 16 and they helped in defending Ponyville.
- Continuity Nod: Several characters from the show appear in the story. A few events are referenced or mentioned. According to Word of God, the fanfic is set some time after the second season. In order:
- The defeats of Nightmare Moon and Discord in the first three chapters.
- Both the griffins and Rainbow Dash talk about a certain pony who convinced a dragon to leave the mountain in chapter 2.
- In chapter 6, Rainbow tells Firefly about competing with Applejack.
- In chapter 9, the Wonderbolts talk about the Sonic Rainboom that Rainbow Dash performed at the Best Young Flyer competition in Cloudsdale, while Fluttershy mentions the one that helped her and the rest of the Mane Cast earn their cutie marks.
- Additionally, The Grand Galloping Gala is mentioned in chapter 9.
- Pinkie Pie's party cannon appears in chapters 10 and 17.
- Zecora is mentioned in chapter 12.
- Pipsqueak appears in chapter 15.
- In chapter 16, Rainbow confesses to Firefly that she is different than she used to be because of some lessons in humility she took while being around her friends.
- Thunderlane appears in chapter 18, leading the Falcon squadron. Flitter, Cloudchaser and Blossomforth are there as well.
- Creator Breakdown: The author has admitted that he was suffering from mild depression while writing chapter 15. It would certainly explain quite a bit.
- Crowd Song: At the end of chapter 9. What's better is that the ponies sing "Gotta Stay Fly" from Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, though with slightly altered lyrics.
- Curb Stomp Battle: In the first few chapters, whenever Mirage squadron fights the griffins, the latter are pounded heavily.
- But in chapter 11, Rainbow Dash (granted, she was immobilized ealier) is brutally curbstomped by Gilda.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: The second battle of Cloudsdale in chapter 14. Thanks to the support of Mirage squadron, the Wonderbolts and the three foreign aces, the pegasi managed to beat a griffin group army roughly twice their numbers, losing only eight fliers.
- The ponies' agility sometimes allows them to get an upper hoof over the griffins, though not always. See below.
- Darkest Hour: Chapter 15. Canterlot is seized by the Griffin Army, with the castle being the only save area; many ponies are injured, several died and things generally look bleak for the heroes.
- Death From Above: Favored method of attack for the griffins, especially against earth ponies and unicorns. Pegasi are capable of that, too, with griffin heads being their targets.
- Deflector Shields: Princesses Celestia and Luna put one together around the entire Canterlot Castle!
- Actually, it's more like Some Kind of Barrier.
- Demoted to Extra: The Mane Cast besides Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy gets much less focus in the story. The worst offender is Spike.
- Ultimately subverted. They become a vital ground support during the Battle for Stalliongrad, help in the liberation of Canterlot and lead the ground forces into the Final Battle. Even Spike gets his moment in chapter 16.
- Despair Event Horizon: Rainbow Dash comes dangerously close to crossing it in chapter 12. Thankfully, Medley's Get a Hold of Yourself, Mare! changes the situation.
- Disc One Final Boss: The battle at The Burning Talon in chapter 10.
- Downer Beginning: The Wonderbolts are taken down by the griffins, leaving Equestrian skies almost completely defenseless. Good thing Firefly returns to Equestria on the same day.
- Dude, Where's My Respect??: Beautifully averted, as in the Ace Combat games. Before the Burning Talon was destroyed by Firefly's team, they were just another squadron of pegasi. Aftermath, they are revered as great heroines. And it seems other ponies are aware of the Elements of Harmony and those who bear them.
- Duel Boss: Quite a few.
- Firefly and Black Star
- Fluttershy had a painful duel with Night Raven, while Derpy fought with Axe (both in chapter 17)
- Mobius against Echo
- Easily Forgiven: The ponies are quick to forgive each other for mistakes.
- The Empire: This is the direction The Griffin Kingdom is headed under Red Cyclone's leadership.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Some griffins are actually honorable warriors. General Silverbeak refuses to accept Red Cyclone's plan.
- Evil Plan: Red Cyclone has one... and it involves a Final Solution.
- Expy: Several.
- Echo to Yellow 13.
- Tornado Swirl to Guts aka Warwolf 2.
- Shamrock is loosely based on his his original portrayal, with a slightly different backstory.
- Gale is a combination of two operators: one heard in Ace Combat Zero's briefings, and Crux.
- Then there's Sky Eye.
- Gilda seems to be sharing a thing or two with "Solo Wing" Pixy.
- There are two locations from Ace Combat universe that are mentioned in chapter 14: Emareia (Emmeria) and Urusea (Erusia).
- Faux Symbolism: Mirage squadron's unit number, 2nd Air Division, 179th Tactical Pegasus Squadron. These numbers refer to September 17, 2011, when the second season of the show begun airing.
- Five-Pegasi Band. Since chapter 4, it evolved into Seven Pegasi Band:
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Medley did this to rescue Rainbow Dash. But the aftermath got worse.
- Freak-Out: A temporal one for Firefly in chapter 16, when she hears that Black Star actually feels remorse for killing her parents. She bursts into hysterical laughter before unsuccessfully trying not to scream, tearfully. Rainbow manages to calm her down.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: How the Burning Talon operates.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself, Mare: In chapter 12, Medley socks Rainbow Dash in the face in order to snap her out of her Heroic BSOD.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck: The author tries his best to avoid making ponies say any vulgar words, replacing curses with pony-specific words (hay, buck) at worst. The same cannot be said about the griffins.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Rainbow Dash encountered a certain old friend after the battle for Ponyville. And it didn't end well. At all.
- Go Out with a Smile: Carrot Top in chapter 15.
- Group Hug
- Heroic BSOD: Fluttershy experiences one in chapter 10. Doubles as My God, What Have I Done?
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sea Spot. Overdrive doesn't take it well.
- High Altitude Battles: Obviously.
- Hold the Line: The Battle of Stalliongrad certainly seems like that kind of mission.
- The plan to liberate Canterlot presented in chapter 16 may count as well, at least for the main defense force.
- It's Personal: One of Firefly's reasons for coming back to Equestria.
- It Has Been an Honor: Firefly says this to her companions in chapter 18 before she resigns as a leader of the squadron and designates Rainbow Dash as the new one.
- It Was a Cold And Cloudy Morning: At the beginning of chapter 5.
- Knight of Cerebus: Gilda in chapter 11. Earlier, Black Star in chapter 7.
- Meaningful Callsign: Lightning Bolt, Cloud Kicker, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash have their callsigns named after their cutie marks.
- Firefly picks her callsign ("Flash") to emphasize on her agility, while Medley, being the youngest pegasus among the seven heroines, is called "Kid".
- Mission Briefing: Several, the most prominent ones being in chapters 9, 13 and 16.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Many griffins do not really want to fight the ponies, but they do so because they believe it would bring glory to their kingdom. Also, it's about orders.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Fluttershy pulls this off against Night Raven. And manages to defeat him!
Fluttershy: I’m a pony that represents the Element of Kindness! But, to you... I will show no mercy!
- Neck Snap: Several characters die this way.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Rainbow Dash is subjected into one in chapter 11, with Gilda being the pummeller.
- In chapter 17, Night Raven does a brutal one to Fluttershy. But she manages to turn things around.
- No, I Am Behind You: That's how Firebolt defeats Greyback in chapter 8. It also happens throughout the story at certain moments with other characters.
- Oh Crap: Wonderbolts' reaction when the turrets open fire at them in the first chapter.
- That's probably the best way to summarize the expressions of Lightning Bolt, Derpy, Medley and Soarin' when The Burning Talon's laser smashes the Cloudsdale gates to pieces in chapter 8.
- The griffins have the same reaction when they see The Burning Talon being destroyed in chapter 10. May count as Ironic Echo.
- Firefly's reaction when she notices that Scythe attempts a Suicide Attack to bomb Stalliongrad in chapter 13.
- Original Character: All pegasi team leaders. Firebolt and Gale may also count. Same for the griffins (besides "G" (Gilda))
- Painting the Medium: Sort of. In every chapter, save for chapter 15, there are links leading to music themes from Ace Combat series. The author was using these themes when writing the story and wanted to incorporate atmosphere into it.
- Parental Abandonment: A particularly cruel version. Poor Firefly...
- Pipsqueak as well.
- Playing with Fire: The griffins do that during the scourging of Equestria, as reported by several ponies and Edge. Also, Firecracker Burst can use short-ranged fire streams as a means of offense.
- Regional Bonus: The Polish version that can be found here is a little more detailed than the original, though most of these details were carried over to the English version after the revision.
- Relationship Upgrade: Tornado Swirl and Overdrive.
- The Reveal: Chapter 16 reveals that the entire conflict was orchestrated by Red Cyclone. His intentions? Enslave or kill all ponies!
- Rousing Speech: Twilight Sparkle delivers one in chapter 17. It's epic!
Twilight Sparkle: We have to stand together once more, but this time, not as earth ponies. Not as unicorns. Or pegasi. We must stand together as the ponies of Equestria! It’s true that, on the outside, each of us is different. We live in different parts of Equestria, we have different names, we look differently. But... we have fought, suffered and died together! Deep inside, in our hearts and souls, we are all children of this land! We cannot ignore the time when our land is in danger. We must fight! We must have courage! I don’t know if you will decide to follow me or not, but I want to live in Equestria with my friends! That’s why I will keep fighting! To the bitter end, if it must be! [...] Everypony, we’re gonna take back Canterlot today! Let us make haste! The sun and the moon will lead our way to victory! Know that this is not the day we will surrender! This is not the day we fall! This day we fight! FOR EQUESTRIA!!!
- Rule of Cool
- Sadistic Choice: In chapter 11, Rainbow Dash faces one: either she could try to stop Gilda which would most likely end in Medley's death or abandon her friends and Equestria to join forces with Gilda. Being the Element of Loyalty, she choses the former. And Medley survives, although with temporarily broken wings.
- In chapter 13, Lightning Bolt is torn between saving Cloud Kicker from being killed by two griffins and trying to stop another griffon from bombing the Eastern Sector of Stalliongrad. Though she chose the latter at first, the Garuda team's Big Damn Heroes moment made her go and help Cloud Kicker.
- Say My Name: "RAINBOW DASH!!!" "FLUTTERSHY!" "CLOUD KICKER!!!" "Applejaaack!" " CARROT TOP!"
- Schizo-Tech: There are communicators and radars, the griffins have access to laser technology, but there are no missiles or fighter jets.
- Screw the War, We're Partying: At least in chapter 9, thanks to Pinkie Pie (actually, it was the idea of Princess Celestia).
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Defied with the rookie griffon Slip: he almost deserts, but decides to keep fighting because he knows he'll be executed for deserting. Not to say he's really brave, though, or a good fighter, as he's killed in battle with very little effort. Night Raven did him in.
- Shout-Out: Numerous shout outs to Ace Combat series. Justified, considering it's a crossover. They include, but are not limited to:
- The Burning Talon is a combination of Excalibur from Ace Combat Zero and Stonehenge from Ace Combat 04 Shattered Skies.
- Mobius to Mobius 1, the player character from Ace Combat 04 Shattered Skies. He even uses the same callsign. There are also Talisman and Shamrock, the two leading protagonists of Ace Combat 6 Fires of Liberation. Finally, Sky Eye. The two latter characters even mention (though it is not explicitly stated) the respective wars they took part in - Usean Continental War and Operation "Katina" (Mobius, Sky Eye) as well as Anean Continental War (Shamrock and Talisman).
- Also, the EAF logo is modeled after the ISAF logo.
- At the end of chapter 9, the ponies sing "Gotta Stay Fly" from Ace Combat: Assault Horizon , though with slightly altered lyrics.
- The Gult squadron ("Yellow" in Romanian). For that matter, majority of squadrons names are derived from different Ace Combat games.
- Likewise, most chapters have their titles derived from various mission names in different Ace Combat games.
- Chapter 18 has Lightning Bolt reading a book about four pegasi ponies who fought in a conflict together and disappeared after said conflict ended. The book's title? The Unsung War.
- Sobriquet: The pegasi from Mirage squadron are dubbed "Angels of Equestria" by Cheerilee and the fillies in chapter 9. She calls them like this again, word-for-word, in chapter 16, though this time, it's the Cutie Mark Crusaders who do the "Angels!" chanting.
- Echo refers to a certain pegasus as a Heavenly Ribbon.
- Sole Survivor: Tornado Swirl and Overdrive are the only original members of their teams who survive the assault on Canterlot. Before her Cruel and Unusual Death, Blueberry.
- Time Skip: There's a two-month break between chapters 10 and 11 (due to a temporal armistice)
- The Power of Friendship: Twilight and Pinkie put it best in chapter 13, when speaking with Rainbow Dash.
Twilight Sparkle: No matter how far away you would be or how badly things may turn out to be, Rainbow, we’ll always be there for you.
- The Squad: Mirage, Gult, Talon, Northwind, Racer and Burner just to name a few.
- Theme Naming
- The War Has Just Begun: At the end of chapter 10.
- Title Drop: "The conflict that would eventually be known as The Equestrian War was set to begin soon..." in the first chapter.
- Also, several chapters have characters say its title in one way or another.
- Try Not to Die
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Gale.
- Sky Eye.
- War Fic
- Wave Motion Gun: The Burning Talon's laser.
- Weapon of Choice: Hooves, beaks and talons. Sometimes heads.
- Wham! Episode: Chapter 7. Firefly's encounter with Black Star sends the whole story into Darker and Edgier territory.
- Chapter 15 may count as well.
- Wham! Line: Two so far.
- From chapter 7, when Firefly meets Black Star and is clearly upset about it. There's a good reason for that:
Firefly: Because... he... he...! He killed my parents!
- From chapter 16, when Edge tells Firefly that Black Star has a message for her:
Black Star: I feel regret for killing her parents. Let her know that.
- White and Grey Morality
- X Meets Y: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic meets Ace Combat.
- You Are Not Alone
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: The griffins eventually manage to seize Canterlot in chapter 15. At least, the city itself.
- You Gotta Have Blue Mane: Gale, Firefly, Tornado Swirl, Sunburst, Blueberry and Sky Eye all wear these.