rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
Another My Little Pony: Equestria Girls film came out when I wasn't looking! I came across it when scrolling through Netflix, crowed with laughter, and then (inevitably) watched it.

Legend of Everfree pretty decisively sank Twilight Sparkle/Flash Sentry, which I'm sad about, because I'm the only person on the planet who genuinely enjoyed that romance subplot. Their interactions were really cute!

Also, I'm fascinated by the potential dynamic between Flash Sentry and always-a-human Twilight Sparkle.

For those who haven't seen the Equestria Girls films, i.e. most sensible people: there's 'our' Twilight Sparkle, the pony, who takes human form when she crosses to the Equestria Girls parallel universe, but there's also human Twilight Sparkle, Twilight's counterpart in that parallel universe. So there are two Twilight Sparkles, and the one Flash Sentry first met was the pony one (although he didn't know she was usually a pony at the time). Pony Twilight Sparkle, the one Flash knew (and had an oddly cute semi-romantic dynamic with, bearing in mind that he is a teenage boy and SHE IS A PONY) has now returned to her dimension; Human Twilight Sparkle has recently appeared on the scene.

Early in Legend of Everfree, we get this scene between Flash Sentry and Human Twilight Sparkle:

Flash Sentry: (hands Twilight her backpack) Here you go, Twilight.
Twilight Sparkle: Thanks. It's... Flash, right?
Flash Sentry: Yup, that's me! (remembers that this... isn't actually the Twilight Sparkle he knows, crap) And you're you. And... we don't know each other very well. (turns away and mutters to himself) Cool story, bro.
Twilight Sparkle: Right. I guess I'll... see you around.
(Flash leaves. Twilight looks helplessly at Sunset for an explanation.)
Sunset Shimmer: You know how there's that girl who looks just like you when she's here, but lives in another dimension, and she's a pony princess?
Twilight Sparkle: Uh-huh.
Sunset Shimmer: Flash kind of had a thing for her.
Twilight Sparkle: Oh.

The stranger the relationship dynamic, the more a pairing tends to appeal to me, and I already thought Twilight Sparkle/Flash Sentry was pretty cute. How could I resist the added weirdness of pairing Flash Sentry up with a different version of Twilight Sparkle when he still had feelings for the first version?

But then Human Twilight Sparkle went off and got a crush on SOME ARSEHOLE (I really didn't get along with Timber Spruce), and Flash Sentry was advised to get over the girl who is separated from him by dimensional barriers and also a pony, and I was deeply disappointed. I wanted weird, slightly unhealthy romance built on a foundation of 'I have a crush on an alternate-universe version of you'! Yes, all right, perhaps it wouldn't be terribly appropriate for a colourful children's film, but it would be interesting!

There's a part of me that actually wants to write 'I'm pining after your pony counterpart, we should definitely get together, this is a fantastic basis for a relationship' Flash Sentry/Human Twilight Sparkle fanfiction. It would be incredibly regrettable. I will try not to write this, but I can make no promises.

This is the worst entry I've ever made. I'm so sorry.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
Everything I hear about Final Fantasy XV just makes it seem weirder. Did you know that Prompto gains the ability to take selfies if you level him up enough? That Jamie Oliver's restaurant is offering an official Final Fantasy XV set menu? That Nomura had to be talked out of making the game into a musical after seeing Les Misérables?

Peru started selling the game two weeks early, and it's making things very difficult because now I'm terrified of running into spoilers. How on Earth did I cope during the PS2 era, when games routinely came out in Europe six months after their North American release?

I suppose fandom was mainly Livejournal-based during the PS2 era, though, and spoiler cuts aren't diligently used on the fandom platforms of the present day.


I saw Kingsglaive, the prequel film to Final Fantasy XV, a couple of nights ago! Verdict: it was better than I expected. Although, to be honest, what I expected was 'pretty and incomprehensible', so it managed to exceed expectations just by being pretty and mostly comprehensible. It wasn't the best film ever made, but it held my interest all the way through and definitely deserves more than the 13% score it currently holds on Rotten Tomatoes. (And it really was so pretty.)


Spoilery notes on Kingsglaive. )


I'm looking forward to seeing more of Luna in the full game!

I really want to see Princess Lunafreya meet Sansa Stark, actually. Sansa would be so awed. (I originally just wrote 'Princess Luna' and then realised it sounded like I was talking about My Little Pony. Sansa would probably also be impressed by that Princess Luna, if confused.)
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
I don't often post audience participation entries these days, simply because there's not much of an audience left to participate; Livejournal and Dreamwidth are very quiet places! But I'm fretting about various things at the moment (nothing insurmountable, things are probably going to be fine), and I could do with a distraction, so it's worth a try:

Ask any fictional character you think I might be able to manage a question, and I'll reply in-character as them with an answer (or possibly reply as myself going 'WHAT THE HELL, I CAN'T DO THIS'). Feel free to ask either as yourself or as another character.

You may, if you wish, ask multiple questions (perhaps of multiple characters) or attempt to engage the characters in extended conversation. I've attempted to answer as real people in the past, but I'm specifying fictional characters this time, I'm afraid!

(Alternatively, or in addition: name a canon you know I have at some point enjoyed, and I'll dig up and post an extract from the unfinished fanfiction I've almost certainly got lying around.)

Feel free to comment even if we haven't talked in six years! If you're not sure of my fandoms (I have approximately a billion fandoms), my tag list should give you an idea. Although for some reason I have a 'buffy' tag? Don't ask for Buffy; I've seen about four episodes and you'll be disappointed.


To avoid duplicates on the 'unfinished fanfiction' question, below are links to the different versions of this entry (and the list of fandoms I've thus far posted snippets for in each one):

Livejournal: The Mentalist, My Little Pony, Harry Potter
Dreamwidth: The Last of Us, Uncharted, Top Gear, Assassin's Creed, The World Ends With You, Dangan Ronpa, Ghost Trick, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Prison Break
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
I have now seen My Little Pony: Equestria Girls twice, which is probably two more times than any self-respecting adult should see it. For those unfamiliar with the premise of Equestria Girls: it is a film about Twilight Sparkle, the main character of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (who is, as you may have suspected, a pony), travelling through a portal to another world. In which she is a human. In high school. And meets human versions of all her pony friends. And there's a shoehorned-in light romance plotline, involving an alternate-world teenage boy and Twilight Sparkle. Who, I might remind you, is a pony.

It is astonishingly stupid.

Perhaps inevitably, I love it.

No, you don't understand how severe this is. I even find the romantic subplot genuinely cute. Developing a crush on a human when you are secretly a pony seems (a) a bit weird and (b) ill-advised, but apparently I don't care.

I've had this song from the film stuck in my head all day. I find cheerful, catchy songs about friendship impossible to resist, which is probably part of the reason Friendship is Magic has me so thoroughly in its clutches. Oh, dear.


I've had a rocky relationship with Doctor Who for... more or less the last seven years, but the fiftieth-anniversary special was a lot of fun! More than just being a fun hour or so, it reminded me of two things: firstly, that Doctor Who was once something I really enjoyed, and secondly, that I really miss Nine (I was pretty heartbroken that Ten and Eleven were hanging out and Nine was nowhere to be seen).

Therefore, in the ongoing bizarre nostalgia explosion that my adulthood is turning out to be, I've rewatched the first two episodes of the Ninth Doctor's series! And oh, I still love the Ninth Doctor. He's just fantastic. And also quite a bit scarier than I remember. That thing he did to Cassandra in 'The End of the World': wow. (That thing he did to Rose, too; it never really hit me before, but he comes back from the Time War and finds a companion and the first thing he does is show her the destruction of her planet.)

I also seem to be falling in love with Nine/Rose all over again, which I wasn't expecting! There had been pairings I'd enjoyed before I saw the 2005 Doctor Who series (Squall/Zell, Satoshi/Daisuke), but the Doctor/Rose was the first pairing I fell in love with in a MASSIVE EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT, READ ALL THE FANFICTION, WRITE ALL THE FANFICTION sort of way. No, hang on, I've just remembered all the slightly worrying James Sunderland/Mary Shepherd-Sunderland fanfiction I wrote. But I do think I 'shipped the Doctor/Rose quite a lot harder than anything preceding it.

(Sudden revelation: all the het I 'ship is really messed up. If they're the same species (see Doctor/Rose, Mitsuki/Takuto, TWILIGHT SPARKLE/FLASH SENTRY I HATE MYSELF) and there's no massive age gap (er, Doctor/Rose and Mitsuki/Takuto again, plus Jeff/Annie, Rogue/Logan and Katniss/Haymitch), I'm not interested, unless it's something like James/Mary or Naegi/Ikusaba, which have a whole host of alarming issues surrounding them. I'm surprised I love Nate/Elena so much; it's so much healthier than most of my 'ships!)

Anyway! Let's push my worrying taste aside for a moment. My interest in Doctor/Rose absolutely plummeted after the Ninth Doctor regenerated; I felt that the Tenth Doctor's dynamic with Rose was very different, and the new dynamic didn't really appeal to me. And I'd assumed that I wouldn't really care about Doctor/Rose on this rewatch, whether because I'd moved on or because my dislike of Ten/Rose would have somehow tainted Nine/Rose for me. I'm delighted to discover that I'm wrong!

When I think about it, maybe it's for the best that Eccleston didn't come back for the fiftieth anniversary. We may only have had thirteen episodes with the Ninth Doctor, but they were, for the most part, a pretty great thirteen episodes. I don't know if he'd ever be able to make a return that would match my expectations.
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
Whoops, went quiet for a month and a half there. I'm still around! Not a lot's happened, though; I've mostly just been working. I hope there are still people here.

To my surprise as much as yours, I finally finished the answers to that character-number meme: the one where I picked fifteen characters and you asked questions like 'would Six and Eleven make a good couple?' without knowing which character corresponded to which number. The one I posted more than a year ago. That one. Whoops.

Previous answer instalments are here and here. Fandoms represented below the cut are My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIII, Uncharted, The Mentalist, Red Dead Redemption, Phineas and Ferb, Portal, Peep Show, Silent Hill and Pokémon.


I was going to say 'It's stupid crossover time!' before remembering that, in this journal, every time is stupid crossover time. )


And that's it! ONLY TOOK ME THIRTEEN MONTHS.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
I recently bought the complete Puella Magi Madoka Magica DVD and rewatched it with [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus! Here are my thoughts.


Gigantic spoilers for the entirety of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. )


In conclusion, Madoka Magica is pretty great and you should all watch it.

(TERRIBLE IDEA: a Madoka Magica/My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossover. Equa Magi Twilight Sparkle Magica? Rainbow Dash in the role of Sayaka?

Actually, thinking of Rainbow Dash in the role of Sayaka makes me wonder about trying to match up the colours. That would make Madoka either Pinkie Pie or Fluttershy. It's got to be Fluttershy, really; Pinkie Pie would be terrible in the role of Madoka. Homura is either Rarity or Twilight Sparkle; Rarity has the 'seemingly aloof' thing, but Twilight Sparkle appeals to me more for Homura. Mami is Applejack; I suppose I can see that. No idea what to do for Kyoko. I suppose the Madoka Magica characters don't need to be paralleled exactly.

But magic already exists in the world of Friendship is Magic, so would it really work? Maybe ponies need to make contracts in order to become unicorns or pegasi? It's - it's probably not a good idea to think about this for too long.)
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
SOMEONE ANONYMOUSLY BOUGHT ME PAID LIVEJOURNAL TIME. Who are you, mysterious person? Whoever you are, I think you're absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much!

I mentioned to [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus (who is now my housemate!) that someone had bought me paid time. She pointed out that this was probably because I am, in fact, the only person who still uses Livejournal. It's true, alas.

Do I have anything to offer you, anonymous benefactor? It's difficult to choose something when I don't know who you are! Here are some snippets of unfinished fanfiction, anyway; I hope you find something you like in here. (I also hope you find something you like if you are not my anonymous benefactor, of course.)


My Little Pony/Merlin: Lancelass, the sequel to Marelin. )


The Mentalist: Lisbon becomes psychic. )


Peep Show/Harry Potter: Mark and Jeremy meet on the Hogwarts Express )


Thank you again!

Unrelatedly: last week, I had a conversation with some friends on the subject of bad stories for Disney to adapt. We came up with Disney's A Clockwork Orange, Disney's Saw and Disney's The Human Centipede. The Human Centipede would have an actual centipede as a cute talking animal sidekick.

Further thoughts on the subject would be very welcome.
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
So everyone's (or at least my) favourite terrible school drama, Waterloo Road, is back! The first episode of Series Eight wasn't one of its best, but I have to give it credit for compressing an entire series of Waterloo Road into a single hour.

Seriously, it had

- death (well, a death that happened some time ago, but we learnt about it in this episode)
- false drug-related accusations
- secretly homeless pupils
- incredibly unhealthy relationships
- fire
- pregnancy
- theft
- Tom manhandling a fighty pupil
- attempted murder
- someone getting arrested
- someone being hospitalised
- a threat to the future of the school
- the implied beginnings of a love triangle
- alcoholism

and probably other things I'm forgetting. Throw in 'teacher accused of inappropriate conduct with a pupil' and 'schizophrenia' and you've got every Waterloo Road plot ever in one episode.

On the incredibly excellent side, it looks like there's a good chance Josh and Tariq may form a friendship! This is all I want. On the less positive side, Josh has cut his lovely hair too short again. I TOLD YOU TO STOP DOING THAT, JOSH.

Halfway through the episode, I found I couldn't stop envisioning a Dangan Ronpa scenario set in Waterloo Road. It could actually work really well. Would it just be the pupils, or would teachers and pupils alike be at the mercy of Monobear and each other?

Er, perhaps I need to stop crossing Waterloo Road over with things in which teenagers murder each other.


(Speaking of my tendency to cross things over all over the place: a while ago, my brother brought up my My Little Pony/Merlin crossover and implied that there was rampant sex in it.

'There was no sex in that crossover!' I objected. 'It was entirely innocent!'

He stared at me. 'What are you talking about? I was just making that up to make fun of you - you've actually written a crossover between My Little Pony and Merlin?'

And of course I had. Whoops.)
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
It's been months since the first instalment of the character-number questions, but I have not forgotten about them! I'm just really slow.

Here is the second instalment! Fandoms represented are, as before, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIII, Peep Show, Phineas and Ferb, Red Dead Redemption, Portal, Uncharted and The Mentalist, with the inevitable mentions of Silent Hill and Pokémon.


Some day I'll just have 'a delicious piece of cake' as the ninth character. )


There are yet more answers to come! Goodness knows how long it'll take me to get to them, though.
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
Just over a week ago, [livejournal.com profile] culf posted an entry speculating on how some of her favourite characters would fare in the Hunger Games. I found this idea interesting, and so I used a random number generator and a numbered list of characters from various fandoms to generate a set of tributes. The results:


Madeleine Hightower (The Mentalist)
Rin Tezuka (Katawa Shoujo)
Candace Flynn (Phineas and Ferb)
Teresa Lisbon (The Mentalist)
Rainbow Dash (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
Grace Van Pelt (The Mentalist)
Oerba Yun Fang (Final Fantasy XIII)
Applejack (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
Donna Noble (Doctor Who)
Mulan (Disney's Mulan)
Samantha Carter (Stargate SG-1)
Allison Cameron (House)

Tidus (Final Fantasy X)
Jeremy Usborne (Peep Show)
Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII)
Sam Tyler (Life on Mars)
Professor Layton (Professor Layton)
Finn Sharkey (Waterloo Road)
The Master (Doctor Who, John Simm incarnation)
Brett Aspinall (Waterloo Road)
Dr Perry Cox (Scrubs)
Bobby Singer (Supernatural)
Iroh (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Josh Stevenson (Waterloo Road)


(One of the characters the random number generator fell on was actually the Aperture Science Weighted Companion Cube from Portal. I didn't include it. Those things are hardy; nobody else would have stood a chance!)

I'm going to envision the arena here as the actual arena in The Hunger Games. Characters are stripped of any special abilities they might have (the Final Fantasy characters can't use magic, for example, and Iroh can't Firebend). Below the cut are some thoughts on what might transpire. [livejournal.com profile] culf detailed how and in what order everyone would die. I haven't done that here; there are some vague thoughts on who would kill whom, but these are really just scattered ideas about how each character would cope.


The 74th Fandom Hunger Games. )


I've just realised that I haven't mentioned Applejack or Rainbow Dash at all. I JUST CAN'T PUT THE BRIGHTLY-COLOURED TALKING PONIES INTO THE HUNGER GAMES ARENA. I CAN'T DO IT. I don't want them to be killed. I thought at first that perhaps they could kick the Master to death, but I don't want that either. It's just wrong. They do not belong in the Hunger Games world.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xii: fran glares; tremble with fear! (don't cross me)
DEAR MASS EFFECT 2: WHY AM I NOT ABLE TO INVERT THE X AXIS

SERIOUSLY, WHY

No, really, this game allows you to choose the sex of the main character and customise his or her appearance to a considerable degree and alter your armour and choose which skills to improve when you level up, options options everywhere, and yet they couldn't include an option for that handful of weirdos who get confused when moving the control stick left doesn't move the camera right? I have enough trouble aiming even when the camera does what I'm expecting it to!

Other thoughts on Mass Effect 2 (I've only played about an hour): Jacob seems a nice guy. I hope he's not secretly evil. Miranda doesn't seem nice, but I'm sort of intrigued by her anyway. I'm really bad at shooting things, which I'd like to claim is entirely because of the lack of X-inversion but which is probably largely because I'm just really bad at shooting things.

I don't always go for the female-protagonist option when it's offered in games - I'm always a boy in Pokémon, for example - but I'm playing as a female Shepard because I think Commander Shepard as a concept is fundamentally more interesting when she's female; the male Shepard is something we've seen a thousand times before. I don't think I'd have considered picking up this game had female Shepard not been an option, in fact. My Shepard has red hair and grey eyes and I'm inexplicably really pleased to see her on the screen, even though I didn't actually tweak her that much. Look at her asking questions and making expressions and shooting things, or at least shooting hopelessly in the general direction of things whilst my teammates do the actual work! She's mine! I made that!

As always in games with morality systems, I'm being really nice to everyone, to such an extent that Miranda told me outright she wasn't looking for a friend. I feel like Pinkie Pie. Noooo, someone doesn't want to be my friend! BE MY FRIEND, MIRANDA. EVERYONE HAS TO BE MY FRIEND. I DON'T CARE HOW SHIFTY YOUR ORGANISATION IS.


Change-of-subject time: have you been feeling too productive recently? ALLOW ME TO FIX THAT FOR YOU: have a link to Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe 4, a horrendously addictive rhythm-action game. It's essentially Guitar Hero for computer keyboards, and it is likely to destroy my career. Enjoy!
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (um what)
Here is the first instalment of the answers to the character-number questions! You can still ask questions if you like, but you'd better ask them before reading these; the entry is over here.

Fandoms represented: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIII, Peep Show, Phineas and Ferb, Red Dead Redemption, Portal, Uncharted, The Mentalist. Come to think of it, I think all of these are fandoms that only a handful of people on my flist are into. Whoops. Still, I hope you enjoy these!


In which there are terrible podcast ideas and strange gods, and the fact that robots don't have lips somehow becomes a problem multiple times. )


There are more answers to come, but I think that's enough for today.
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
Having seen 'Read It and Weep', the latest My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode, I really want people to write the self-insert Rainbow Dash/Daring-Do fanfiction that Rainbow Dash is no doubt scribbling enthusiastically right now. It wouldn't be good, but it would be hilarious and adorable. And it could include reviews from the other ponies! And Rainbow Dash's responses to those reviews! NOBODY CARES ABOUT SPELLING, TWILIGHT.

Rainbow Dash is so conflicted whenever awesome things need to be done in her fanfiction; for example, who should awesomely backflip over the manticore and hit the release lever for the trapdoor conveniently located beneath the manticore's feet? On the one hoof, Daring-Do is awesome and Rainbow Dash doesn't want to give the impression that Daring isn't awesome by doing all the awesome things herself. On the other, Rainbow Dash wants to do all the awesome things.

I would also quite like to see fanfiction in which Nathan Drake and Daring-Do go after the same treasure. They have a lot in common, which is unsurprising as they both seem to be inspired by Indiana Jones. Daring's cutie mark caused me great amusement, because I had previously seen this ponified Uncharted fanart. I wouldn't be surprised, frankly, to find out that the human Nate actually did have the points of the compass tattooed on his arse.

Elena is, of course, also invited. 'So... remind me why we're competing with a talking pony version of you?'


If you move the analogue stick rapidly in circles on Final Fantasy XIII, the character you're controlling gets pissed off with you. They'll roll their eyes and facepalm, or wave their hand as if swatting away a fly. It's a nice touch, if a little fourth-wall unfriendly. I know I wasn't the only one who made the characters run around in endless circles on Final Fantasy VIII; finally the characters themselves have caught on.

Also, I'd forgotten how depressing Palumpolum was. I'm trying to help you guys! Why do you all hate me so much? Well, all right, you hate me because you think I'm here to kill you horribly, fair enough.

XIII-2 has now been released, and I'm hoping to have in my possession within the next few days! I have no idea what to expect from this game (beside, you know, the world's silliest chocobo theme), but I'm itching to play it.
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
Hello, everyone! Here is a pretty great My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic-style pony creator. I propose that we all create pony versions of our favourite fictional characters and then post them in the comments here.

(There is an option for importing a cutie mark image on the creator, but it resizes images oddly, so you may find it easier to add the mark yourself in an image editing program.)

To kick things off:



Now greatly alarmed, I cast about in search of Holmes, for I felt certain that my friend would be better able to explain this strange transformation than I.

I found him standing upon a precipice and looking down upon the town below, or I thought it must be him, for never had a beast been so alike in stance and mien to Sherlock Holmes. "Holmes!" I exclaimed, "what an extraordinary occurrence! what an impossibility! Have you any idea what has happened to us?"

"I have," said Holmes (for of course it was he). I was most relieved to hear it, although I had little doubted that he would know. If he knew what had brought about this change, I hoped he would also have some idea of what steps we could take to reverse it.

"Yes," said Holmes, gazing pensively upon the town. "It is highly probable, I have concluded, that we have been turned into ponies."





I liked Lightning when I first played Final Fantasy XIII, and I'm liking her more and more on this replay. Here is a brief plot summary of Final Fantasy XIII:

Anima: You get to be either a monster or a crystal! What'll it be?
Lightning: Actually, I'm just going to punch the world in the face.
Anima: That wasn't one of the options.
Lightning: I don't care.

She's pretty amazing.


Yes! Ponies! You are all invited to create ponies and pony up the comments. Have fun!
rionaleonhart: top gear: the start button on a bugatti veyron. (going down tonight)
Good morning, [Subject Name Here].

A small percentage of test subjects may have difficulty emerging from deep sleep stasis. If you are still unconscious, please press the panic button on the far wall and follow the instructions.

Testing will begin shortly.

The portal will open in three... two... one...



I'm still not bored of the little desktop-ponies program. First-series Luna is my favourite desktop mascot; not only is she adorable, but she's unobtrusive enough for me to work comfortably while she's around, whereas somepony like Pinkie Pie is a terrible distraction.

(Talking about ponies in the presence of GLaDOS feels a bit weird. My Little Pony and Portal aren't really compatible fandoms. Although...)


The following [entry] may contain traces of classified information. If you read anything that you think you should not have read, such as [encoded test data] or [recipes for baked goods], please enter the Aperture Science Test Subject Memory Neutralisation Spike Pit.


I've been playing Portal 2's Commentary Mode on and off (it's so interesting! Why can't more videogames have commentary?), and this time, when I came to the conveyor belt carrying broken turrets to the furnace and I saw the turret that wasn't quite broken, I thought, Hey, I wonder if...

So I tried picking up the not-quite-broken turret and carrying it off the conveyor belt.

It said, 'Thank you.'

My heart, my heart, my heart. I'm sorry I shut down so many of your brethren, little turret, but in my defence they were trying to kill me.

Regarding the commentary itself: to my amusement and embarrassment, apparently playtesters frequently forgot they could go through portals in the test chamber that caught me out, so Valve programmed in a little pre-chamber section in which you had to go through a portal. And I still forgot that I could go through portals. I'm sorry, Valve; you did your best, but apparently I'm a hopeless case.

(Incidentally, have you seen this advertisement for the Long Fall Boots? Chell is so cool. I want to be her. Although ideally with slightly less undergoing incredibly dangerous tests at the will of passive-aggressive homicidal robots.)


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rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING THING. I have little pixellated Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Applejack and Fluttershy trotting around my screen at the moment. TWILIGHT JUST MAGICALLY TELEPORTED OFF MY SCREEN AND THEN BACK. Three times! I have no idea what she's up to. Applejack and Twilight just had a conversation! FLUTTERSHY IS SLEEPING AND IT'S ADORABLE. THIS IS THE BEST PROGRAM EVER MADE.


In other news (oh my goodness Rarity just put on her butterfly wings and started flying), I am now up to 'Pink Tops' in The Mentalist!

One of the many things I really like about Jane is that he's a massive coward. He's so smug and in control most of the time, but if at any point he feels his wellbeing is actually being threatened: RETREAT. RETREAT IMMEDIATELY. 'Let's go and talk to some dangerous drug dealers!' '...you want me to come with you?' 'Well, there's an extra bulletproof vest.' 'It's probably not my size. I'll just stay here.'

Also I very much enjoyed seeing Jane slammed against a wall by Bald Cop Guy. This is in part because of said massive cowardice. I like that, if you slam Jane against a wall, he won't smugly stare you down; he'll immediately drop eye contact, raise his hands and become as submissive and non-threatening as possible. He's so deeply not a Manly Action Guy. It's an interesting and welcome choice in a leading male character.


Applejack, I can't really see the entry window if you shove a great big apple tree in front of it, but you are so adorable that I'm not sure I care. (Best program ever. If you've ever wanted little ponies all over your desktop, go here immediately. The program itself is under the 'Download' heading, unsurprisingly; installation instructions are under 'Documentation'. And the selection of ponies is frankly ridiculous, although presumably more significant characters have more animations and such. (Something to watch out for: when you open the program, all the pony counts are set to 1 by default, so you'll want to press the '0 all ponies' button before choosing the ones you want, unless you want it to attempt to load THREE MILLION PONIES.)

I just loaded Derpy and she started flying upside-down. Amazing!
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
The theme of today's entry is 'television shows beginning with M'.

Misfits: oh, no. How have I managed to become emotionally invested in Misfits? How did that happen? This is such a bad thing to be emotionally invested in. You just had to go and be adorable, didn't you, Kelly and Seth? Thanks, Kelly and Seth. Now I actually become distressed when bad things happen in Misfits, which is always.

Merlin: every so often I remember that this was an actual scene in an actual episode of Merlin and just boggle. To any non-watchers who have heard about Merlin and thought 'well, it can't possibly be as gay as everyone seems to say it is': you are incorrect. (Here, if that wasn't, er, romantic enough for you, is the same scene set to soaring violins. Oh, Internet.)

On a more serious note about the Merlin-and-Arthur relationship: here (Scene 59, starting at the 2.16 mark; the link (found via [livejournal.com profile] lozenger8) should take you straight there) is an incredibly lovely deleted scene from the first episode of the fourth series, when Arthur believes he's going to his death. Bless them.

The Mentalist: has anyone made a montage of all the times that Patrick Jane gets punched in the face? That would be my favourite montage. I would watch it every day. Possibly every hour. I love you, Jane, but when people punch you I cheer.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: I'm going to specifically talk about episode 2.09, 'Sweet and Elite', so you may want to rush off and watch that before reading if you haven't seen it yet. I'm not really being terribly spoilery, but just in case.

Thoughts on the episode: I really like Fancypants! I hope we see him again. I loved it when Rarity was watching the Wonderbolts in great excitement and Fancypants, with a little fond smile, was watching her; it was clear that he really enjoyed seeing somepony being genuinely enthusiastic about something after spending so much time with ponies who simply affected interest in everything he said.

I don't really 'ship anypony in Friendship is Magic, but if I did I suspect I would 'ship Fancypants/Rarity. I think they would be good for each other. Fancypants, being surprisingly relaxed and down-to-earth considering his social status, could help keep her grounded; Rarity is a pony willing to disagree with him, which I think he needs.

I have been listening to 'The Pony Everypony Should Know' more or less solidly since I saw the episode, whoops.
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
I am suitably ashamed of myself for the title, but curiously unashamed of myself for writing a My Little Pony/Merlin fic in the first place. It makes so much sense!


Title: Marelin
Fandom: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 8,000
Summary: Merlin AU. In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young mare. Her name? Twilight Sparkle, actually.


Marelin )
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (i believe you are hiding something)
Well, Derren Brown's The Gameshow was the most uncomfortable thing I've watched in a very long time. Probably the one thing of Derren Brown's I'd actively advise against watching. I felt quite ill. I shook all over. I almost cried at one point. It was meant to be horrible, of course, but - although it's obviously better than a programme that isn't aware it's horrible - that didn't make it much less horrible.

I sincerely hope that Dave stayed in that poor man's house and baked him a cake or something.

In looking at reactions on Twitter, I've seen a few people going 'WELL, THAT DOESN'T PROVE ANYTHING; OBVIOUSLY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GO FOR THE MORE ENTERTAINING OPTION'. I don't think 'people will value their own entertainment over the comfort of another human being' is an insignificant thing to prove. No, that's not the problem with The Gameshow.

Here's the problem with The Gameshow: Kris should have been an actor. The Gameshow wasn't about the victim; it was about the audience deciding what happened to him. Remote Control was not a real show. So why did a real person have to suffer? Because it made better television, of course, which raises the question: what right do the creators of the programme have to judge the audience? (Ultimately, I suppose nothing really awful happened to him and my thoughts on his experience have been coloured by my constant fear throughout the programme of how far it might go, rather than by how far it actually went, but he still had a pretty rubbish night.)

The other problem with The Gameshow is that they were clearly nudging the audience towards the negative decisions - by referring to Kris as 'the target', by showing that clip where he admitted to cheating on his girlfriend, by emphasising that Kris was a practical joker. To Derren's credit, he did show us these little manipulations; he's said in the past that, despite being a massive professional liar, he doesn't want anyone to watch one of his shows and see something that gives the wrong impression through heavy editing. But I think the experiment would have been more interesting and meaningful if it had shown whether an audience without these little pushes would still have devolved to the point where they were baying for a man's property to be destroyed.

Not that the manipulation made the audience's actions excusable, but, if this programme was genuinely made in the spirit of investigation, it did probably muddy the result. Although I suppose it depends on what exactly the aim of the investigation was. If it's about crowds being easily led from without, I suppose the manipulation isn't a problem; crowds often follow a leader, after all. If it's about how the crowd mentality works from within, though, it could have been better executed. The Gameshow did make a point (the television, the kidnap - by that point I was genuinely astonished by the audience's conduct), but perhaps it could have made a better one. (EDIT: Oh, hang on, there's currently a clip on the Channel 4 website ('Derren Discusses The Gameshow') in which Derren mentions that the gameshow format is often geared towards manipulation and bringing out the nastier side of people, and that the same group of people obviously wouldn't behave like that on the streets, so the easily-led crowd hypothesis seems to be the one he's working with.)

The ending and this low-level manipulation were very much tied together. On the one hand, the ending certainly made an impact; on the other, that ending relied on the audience making consistently negative decisions. It was in Derren's interests to push the audience in a behaving-badly direction so he could break out the impressive ending and hit them with the consequences of their actions, but of course that means that he himself became in part responsible for those actions. The moral message would have been stronger had the audience followed their own path into iniquity. As it was, it felt a little like the bearer of that moral message led them into a trap.

I still think Derren Brown is brilliant, and I'm looking forward to the other shows in the Experiments series, but, no, I wouldn't recommend The Gameshow. It undermines its own message too much to make the intense discomfort of watching up to that message worth it.

Incidentally, why does anyone ever apply to take part in one of Derren Brown's programmes? HE'S JUST GOING TO DO HORRIBLE THINGS TO YOU. EVEN WHEN HE'S TRYING TO BE NICE HE DOES HORRIBLE THINGS.

(Speaking of intensely uncomfortable things: I watched the film adaptation of We Need to Talk About Kevin earlier this week, not having read the book beforehand (if I recall correctly, it took me about three pages to realise I couldn't get on with the writing style). I kept waking up in the night afterwards and having to imagine that Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle were gathered around my bed, ready to protect me from any Kevins that might come near.

I'm - I'm a grown-up.

We Need to Talk About Kevin is also flawed, incidentally, because, whilst perfect characters are dull, so are characters with literally no redeeming features. Why do we have to talk about Kevin? Can't we talk about someone more interesting?)
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
I wept madly throughout the entire latest episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ('Luna Eclipsed'), and I'm not even sure why. Princess Luna! I love her, and I now feel really bad for having killed her off pre-story in the Merlin crossover AU I may possibly be writing. Sorry, Luna, but something had to turn Celestia against magic.

(I can't work out what to do with Pinkie Pie in this Merlin AU at all. I've already cast Uther, Merlin, Arthur, Morgana, Gwen, Gaius and the Unhelpful Dragon; what role can Pinkie Pie take? Some sort of town crier? Court jester? I suppose she could be a knight. Or I suppose I could leave her out altogether, but that just doesn't seem right somehow. A universe without all six of the central ponies is clearly the wrong universe.

Incidentally, this is the best idea for a crossover I've ever had, even if I have rather embarrassed myself with gratuitous usage of 'maneservant' puns. It also contains a lot more Rarity than I would have expected myself to write, actually, and I'm having a lot of fun with her. I've become very fond of Rarity recently; I've never disliked her, but I don't think I appreciated before how hilarious she was, and I'm intrigued by the way she manages to be rather self-absorbed but still essentially good-hearted.)

I really would highly recommend giving Friendship is Magic a try. It's a really joyful, uncynical, funny and heartwarming cartoon. Its cast of characters is so delightful that, if you asked me my favourite, I'd have to give you half the central group (Fluttershy! Applejack! Twilight Sparkle! I don't know! And, as my Rarity icon demonstrates, I still totally love the ponies in the other half of the group). Its messages are a bit dubious at times, but it is so fun and so charming that I can look past the occasional 'if you don't like your friend hanging out with her old friend, it's because her old friend is evil and out to get you' moral. Plus, if you feel television doesn't have enough varied female characters interacting with each other, Friendship is Magic contains almost nothing but.

Oh also there are occasional terrifying episodes in which ponies have complete mental breakdowns. BUT OTHERWISE IT'S FILLED WITH JOY.

(Speaking of terror: I was innocently reading the newspaper last night and came across an advert for The Assassin on 4oD, consisting of a picture of Derren and a group of other people staring straight at you with the mouths of mannequins. I did not appreciate that, Derren Brown.

But I think I have to forgive him, because I just came across this amazing video in which he causes a spider to levitate. Truly a remarkable man.)