FimFiction Link - Short ID: 515727/the-mare-who-sold-the-world
Published: Apr '22
'The Mare Who Sold The World' is a two thousand and four hundred-word oneshot. Twilight receives a tape that changes her life.
There is an argument to be made how much this story stands on its own four legs and how much it takes from its inspiration, however, regardless of what the answer is, I found it reasonably engaging, though the length leaves a lot to be desired. Since the concept is a very well-known fandom meme, I won't bother with spoilers, this story is about Twilight being revealed to be in fact Redheart, just like how it happens in MGS V. This is done through a tape she receives from the real Twilight Sparkle and even though the communication between the two is obviously one-sided, "Twilight's" reactions gives the whole thing the feeling of a tense conversation, where one party overwhelmingly dominates the flow. This is all presented in prose that feels a little bit purple, as the author really leans into describing even fairly mundane things with visual metaphors and whatnot, but I think this compliments the drama quite well. I really liked the way the story's beginning was done, the author did a nice job at turning a peaceful scene upside down.
The biggest problem with this fic is its length. MGS's ending works because it's the culmination of who knows how many hours of gameplay, so the betrayal, so to speak, hits the player personally. However, this story largely just lays the facts on Redheart, who immediately accepts this, and then the fic ends. Is it intriguing that the reason why Twilight orchestrated this whole plan is because she realized Celestia is merely using her to indirectly control Equestria through a pawn? Absolutely, but not only does this seem way too OOC without further explanation, it also comes very out of left field. The same could be said about almost everything in this story. The story dangles a lot of cool intrigue and mystery in front of the reader, then yanks it away with a coy "we'll figure it out together" which obviously won't happen since this is just a oneshot. Similarly Redheart taking it so well was a bit immersion breaking as well. She goes from broken and distraught to on-board in literal moments. It could be argued that maybe the real Twilight used some kind of suggestion or something to calm her, but the story doesn't really give that impression.
Overall: 6/10 The fic is fun and written in a nice style, however, its length prevents it from shining truly well. The events mentioned in an off-hand fashion are just, as if not more, interesting than the main plot and that took away a lot from my enjoyment. Still, it's a reasonably fun story, so I can recommend it.