FimFiction Link - Short ID: 67362/hard-reset
Published: Jan '13
>Well that didn't work...
'Hard Reset' was I believe the second ever fic I've ever read. It is a thirty six-thousand word short story dealing with the Canterlot-invasion and focusing on Twilight who accidentally thrust herself into a time loop. Every time she dies, time resets to just before the invasion. When I first read this story, I was really into it, but as other anons foretold, "horseword infatuation" subsides quickly and now that I look back with a bit more experience, the story is less stellar than I remembered.
There are things I like a lot. Twilight trying to cope with the loop, going from almost a coward, to nearly insane, to back to her problem-solving self is a decent idea. After all, if everything is more or less static, the only thing that can bring change is the protagonist. I also like that she slowly uncovers what steps she exactly needs to take to prevent the catastrophe. Her calculated suicides for instance are enjoyable in a grotesque way. I also think the epilogue is decently heartwarming to elicit at least a mention.
Sadly, however, the nice things run dry quickly. The story can not decide just what sort of mood it wants to convey. One chapter acts all comedic, one sad, there is even a random romance subplot thrown in with Luna. Honestly, the only thing that comes to my mind is that this story is way too self-gratuitous. It's as if the author said
>Pfft, I can include any and all genres and emotions and just wave my hand saying "lol time loop"
But no, you can't. As I've mentioned above, I like the idea of Twilight changing slowly to acclimate to her situation, but this falls apart so quickly and gives way to what could be best described as a bunch of AU Twilights who have extremely little to do with the original one or the conflict at hand. Nothing shows the plot being all over the place more than the fact that Twilight being gay becomes a major plot point. Good for her, but holy shit I don't care! She's living the apocalypse day! I don't know if the author was just venting their own IRL frustrations or just suffered irreparable damage from reading too many clopfics, but it felt so forced and ground the plot to a halt not once, but twice.
And then there is the alternative ending which really just puts the cherry on top. The author warns us that it's dark, but the whole chapter boils down to
>Twilight is ebil and she's now Chrysalis 2 and she's gonna >rape Luna and kill the Elements
That's not dark, that's bloody ridiculous and I say this as someone who really likes Changeling fics. More could be said, but you get the idea.
Overall: 5/10 The concept is great, some of the execution works nicely, the writing is for the most part competent, but otherwise the story doesn't really live up to its premise and is marred by stupid ideas. It's not overly long, so you're not gonna waste too much time with it, but that's the most I can say about it.