FimFiction Link - Short ID: 423866/the-city-must-survive
Published: Nov '18
The City Must Survive is an 8,1k word Dark sadfic. In a future where the Windigoes have taken over, and the few survivors have hunkered down, doing their best to survive.
This was good. I've heard of the game that inspired this fic, but I never played it, so I can't say how loyal it is to the source material. Nevertheless, this is a pretty good story on its own.
We don't get much info on how exactly the downfall of Equestria happened. We just know that the windigoes multiplied and overwhelmed Equestria's magic defenses, and now roam over the continent, causing the worst possible winter, with temperatures dropping to a hundred degrees Celsius below zero. Those who have managed to stay alive, band together in an underground city where they fight to stave off the cold in whatever way possible. Failure is not an option.
The City Must Survive.
What about our characters? We only get small insights on their fate. We know the Princesses are gone. Dash died trying to suppress a revolt. AJ left with a scout team to see if there were other settlements and hasn't returned. Pinkie Pie... Yeah. Fluttershy works as head nurse on the city, while Rarity works in the coal mines, extracting the fuel needed to keep the boilers working and the ponies alive.
Through Rarity's eyes, we see the trials and tribulations that conform the new life of the ponies, what they've endured and experienced, and how life in this city slowly chips away at their spirits and their sanity.
It's a grim tale, overall, but it never feels like it's reveling in its misery. A horrible thing happened, and now everypony is trying to manage in whatever way they can. I'd love to see this turned into a long story chronicling the rise and fall of this city.
As it stands, however, this story is probably the best sadfic I've read in a long time. A bit spotty at times, one is just expected to accept things are the way they are without explanation, not all answers are given. But damn, it sure works hard to sell its world and characters, and that's what makes the story works. At least, it did for me.