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Divide and Conquer
FiM Minific
Heavenly Bodies
#24934 ·
· on Five Hundred Little Zombies
The idea of taking something like Five Hundred Little Murders and doing this to it is really funny. The execution is competent and squarely hits all the tropes it’s going for, but it does feel a bit… mechanical, maybe? Like, the opening nails the story’s tone, and then from there the story just proceeds without any surprises. There’s a few points that seem like they’re aiming to be punchlines, but the broomstick bit was the only one that really landed for me. (That one was definitely a high point). Overall fun and pretty solid.
#24938 ·
· on How I met my spouse.
This one is a sweet little short. The amount of content is very well suited to the minific length, probably better than anything else from this batch—it's exactly as long as it needs to be, and no longer. It wouldn’t hurt to polish the basic mechanics (sentence structure, dialogue punctuation, comma placement, etc), but nothing here was so rough that it got hard to understand. I would've liked it if the protagonists had been a bit more distinctive.

This definitely captures the manipulative benevolence I expect from the CelestAI program. I like how the story doesn't specify whether the protagonists' in-game relationship ever transfers to their "real world" selves, or whether it draws them into the simulation without them realizing who's behind the other avatar.
#24940 ·
· on A Fashionista's Guilty Pleasure · >>libertydude
The premise here is fun, but this seems like it’s in a sort of uncanny valley of zaniness. Rarity is being too silly for me to take this seriously as a story played straight, but it’s not *so* zany that I want to suspend my disbelief and go along for the ride—the secondary characters are too nonconfrontational and reasonable for that. I wonder if this might have worked better by leaning harder into the craziness.
#24941 ·
· on Heavenly Bodies · >>libertydude
I like a lot of the concepts here. That said, it feels too crowded. There’s a few moments of solid melodrama, but they have no space to breathe before some new angle comes along and the story’s focus jumps away. I think I can see what you’re going for, but while the stripped-down nature of the minific works well for the time pressure with Discord, I thought it made the past-tense relationship development with Cosmos too hurried to really land solidly.
#24942 ·
· on Division Bell
There’s a lot going on here. The atmosphere is the strongest point IMO. Especially in the first half, the quiet sense that something is off—that what should be beautiful and wholesome is instead just tedious—really comes through.

Something about the second half isn’t quite landing right for me, though. The atmosphere from the first half is still there, but I don’t know that it fits as well, thematically. The bloodlessness of the first half implicitly sets up the story’s conflict, but in the second half, that same bloodlessness feels like it’s lowering the stakes. Since we’re so deep in Luna’s head, and all she can feel is futility, it means that the glory of the past and the hope for the future both come through pretty quietly.

Overall this is good, I don’t start poking at stuff like this until a lot of other things are going right.