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Total Members Voted: 73

Author Topic: 3x01/02 - The Crystal Empire - Parts 1 & 2  (Read 19269 times)

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November 30, 2012, 09:59:24 PM
Reply #450


Cadence + Shining Armor > Chrysalis


I think it's more like
Power of love > Chrysalis
Which could potentially have overcome some of the other villains too.

December 01, 2012, 10:03:01 AM
Reply #451
The part I kinda didn't get is when Twilight sang that failure song. How can she fail a test even the Princess didn't even know.

December 02, 2012, 06:22:40 PM
Reply #452
The part I kinda didn't get is when Twilight sang that failure song. How can she fail a test even the Princess didn't even know.
She thought she was gonna fail the test. If somepony just told you "You must save an acient empire from evil." You'd be worried, nervous,etc.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 06:24:01 PM by ♫°•Painted Ribbon•°♫ »

December 25, 2012, 01:44:20 PM
Reply #453
Bumping this topic for an awesome video analysis of the episode, in which the person who made it asked me to spam it wherever I can! :P

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-sYPzca1oI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-sYPzca1oI</a>

December 25, 2012, 03:28:25 PM
Reply #454
Bumping this topic for an awesome video analysis of the episode, in which the person who made it asked me to spam it wherever I can! :P

Sorry but you are not allowed to view spoiler contents.
One thing he briefly touched over that got me thinking, in the beginning of the episode while Celestia is briefing Twilight, Luna seems to be glaring at Twilight an awful lot. She seems almost scared, and has a very strange effect on Twilight's feelings about the whole situation.

Does anyone have a theory on this?

December 25, 2012, 03:32:27 PM
Reply #455
One thing he briefly touched over that got me thinking, in the beginning of the episode while Celestia is briefing Twilight, Luna seems to be glaring at Twilight an awful lot. She seems almost scared, and has a very strange effect on Twilight's feelings about the whole situation.

Does anyone have a theory on this?

My opinion is that it's just Luna's "We're being completely serious" face.
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December 25, 2012, 07:09:29 PM
Reply #456
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I agree that this episode had a shoddy plot and left more question than answers.  I remember when the Crystal ponies recognized Cadence addressing her as 'The Chrystal Princess'...

Does it mean that she was the original ruler of the Chrystal Empire, dethroned by Sombra or was she the heir, possibly being King Sombra's offspring?

There are so many interrogations that shroud this episode, many of whom will possibly never be answered as they were there for the sake of the plot. 

November 09, 2013, 11:18:56 PM
Reply #457
EqD post on The Crystal Emprie Part 1:

http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/11/5366-days-of-pony-crystal-empire-part-1_9.html

So again, since both part 1 and part two were shown at the same time, it's hard to comment on both individually, but I'll try my best...  First off, the scene near the beginning is actually rather amusing, since Twilight is concerned, and this time her concerns are justified.  A test from Celestia, well, that IS a big deal.  Though I do like Applejack's comment on she's taking it this well, considering. :P

Now the backstory of the Crystal Empire...  I GUESS it's nice to get some more world-building, and it's also nice that apparently Shining Armor and Cadance were given something to do by going there, but WAIT, I do believe I hear the nitpick train coming into town!  First off, King Sombra.  I won't get TOO much into him here since I'll be saving the brunt of my issues with him in the next episode, but I'll just say I WISH we could have known more about him other then he was evil.  But I do love his design (no really), and you gotta love a villain who chooses to throw his subjects in shackles!  Still, saying his heart was "as black as night"...

...Really Meghan?  Did you forget that there is a princess of the night?  And that she's supposed to be a good guy?  This is yet ANOTHER example of Meghan McCarthy writing a line without really thinking about it, one of too many to count that I've already bitched about and I won't bitch about here.  I just wished she chose her words more carefully...

Also, is it just me, or did all the most important things in the history of Equestria happen 1,000 ago?  I mean, Nightmare Moon was the first one and there was nothing to complain about there, Discord being imprisoned 1,000 years ago was kind as well, I could see Luna turning sometime after Discord was defeated, but now this?  I mean, this is starting to become a pattern here, and not in a comedic way like in, say, Xiaolin Showdown.

    Master Fung: It has already begun. A thousand years of darkness.
    Kimiko: Why a thousand?
    Master Fung: It is really 962 years, but, a thousand sounds more ominous.

When you get into this pattern, you've better either go the comedy route, or really explore what happened back then and maybe go into why it was so eventful...  Otherwise, I'm going to have to give this another "lazy writing" bad mark.

Anyway, Celestia using dark magic was really scary, wasn't it?  Anyway, after explaining the situation, it then goes into this whole "test" business.  And believe me, even though there's an entire civilization at risk, this "test" will ultimately be what's SUPPOSED to be the most important thing going down here.  Particularly this line Celestia says:

"But Twilight, in the end, it must be you and you alone who ultimately assists Princess Cadance and Shining Armor in doing what needs to be done to protect the Empire."

Again, I'll comment on this in part 2, but what I'll say here is that... well, with the entire season 3 come and gone, and Celestia mentioning that if Twilight passes this test she'll enter her next level of studies...  we didn't see a whole lot of Twilight doing her next level of studies before that big thing that happened at the end of the season.  I think it was alluded two twice or so, and Magic Duel might have helped somewhat, but really, it feels like this season SHOULD be about Twlight's ascension, yet it's only ever about her ascension at the beginning and end...  and even then, The Crystal Empire only goes into Twilight's bits about half the time, if even that, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Then there's the failure song.  I have to admit, I liked it when they showed a sneak peak of it at Comic Con a year ago, particularly the part where Spike looked concerned that Twilight might have failed...  And the music and singing is top-notch as always...  But a lot like This Day Aria, the lyrics feel a little...  flat...  It basically restates what we already know, and the lyrics aren't that creatively chosen at all.  I get the feeling Meghan McCarthy also wrote the lyrics to this song, but you know what, who even knows who writes the lyrics to any of the songs in MLP.  I USED to assume Daniel Ingram wrote the lyrics to all the songs unless otherwise stated, like Amy Keating Rogers about the Smile song, but with Meghan admitted she had some influence on the This Day Aria song, I now have to wonder just who writes the actual lyrics to these songs...

Anyway, that frozen tundra and Shining Armor wearing a Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back shout-out is cool and all, but it leaves me wondering about the location of the Crystal Emprie, which I'll bring up in later episodes...  But yeah, like i said, I love Shining Armor and Cadance, and while I like Shining Armor slightly more then Cadance, Shining Armor is immediately made useless as soon as they reach the Crystal Empire, which really kind of sucks...  though then again, it's a convenient plot excuse, since I don't think there's much he COULD have done other then tend to Cadance who's protecting the entire city herself...

Hey, wait a minute!  Why doesn't Shining Armor protect the city?  Aren't protection spells his specialty?  Why is it all dumped on Cadance?  ...Well, again, that's KIND OF addressed in part 2 so I'll wait till there...  See how hard it is, taking about the individual episodes like this?

So anyway, the ponies ask the depressed, amnesiac Crystal Ponies for clues (BTW, isn't it weird that Princess Luna had to adjust being gone after 1,000 years, yet these ponies seem to take just fine despite being gone for just as long?), and I while I can't really go over individual moments, I will say Meghan McCarthy really begins to "flanderize" the mane 6 by exaggerating their worse traits, Rainbow Dash being a pushy jerk, Fluttershy being incredibly meek, Rarity obsessing over the crystals (which...  are they the same as gems?).  I kind of did enjoy Pinkie Pie's antics, though, particularly when she wears the Fluttershy outfit.  Anyway, they go to the library, find a book that'll help them out, and we get into the song which, I THINK, is called "Ballad of the Crystal Empire".  Unlike the last song, this one does have kind of a point to it, as we get a bit of a montage on what the ponies do to help the Crystal Ponies, and the tune is pretty upbeat and catching, putting it a step above the previous one.  I liked how each of the mane 6 go their own bit in the song, since they're all really good singers.  I just wish the song was a little longer, since I liked listening to it so much!

So then the Crystal Ponies are all getting happy and are starting to get their memories back...  Which leads the reveal that they need the Crystal Heart in order to keep the empire safe, which Twilight apparently missed out on because a page was missing-eh, HEY, what the heck, how could Twilight, bookworm to end all bookworms, not notice that a page was CLEARLY torn out of the book?!  Seriously, it's so ridiculous that Cadance passes out, and Sombra looms in.

And that' sthe end of part one...  REALLY wish I could have gone into more detail, but I guess that'll have to wait for tomorrow.  Until then...

...But seriously, I don't mean to dwell, but it IS weird that Luna talked funny in Luna Eclipsed, leaning on the excuse that she's been gone for so long, but the Crystal Ponies have no such differences in the way they talk, isn't it?  Does anyone else feel that way?

November 10, 2013, 10:50:06 PM
Reply #458
EqD post on The Crystal Empire Part 2:

http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/11/5466-days-of-pony-crystal-empire-part-2.html

Okay, NOW I can get into some stuff...  KING SOMBRA!  What an...  incredibly disappointing villain he was.  All the cool things about him were either done off-screen, in backstory, or through traps he planted that Twilight and Spike came across.  When he ACTUALLY shows up, he seems like a mindless monster, just a force of destruction instead of an actual character.  His lines were like low growls, coupled with tossing out an occasional word like "crystals" or "my crystal slaves" or "no".  Some would describe him as very "subtle", well I say it's a bit TOO subtle.

Apparently, Meghan McCarthy intended him to be like Sauron.  In that case...  um...  okay? 

I'm not the biggest Lord of the Rings fan, and correct me if I'm wrong, but Sauron used to be a person himself, wasn't he?  Corrupted by the power of the ring...  What, exactly, did King Sombra get HIS power from?  Crystals?  Really, he seemed like a real force of nature, yet we never get any kind of insight about where he got his power from.  Hell, we don't know ANYTHING about him other then that he ruled over the crystal ponies and that he's evil.  I mean, like I said, I don't know much about Lord of the Rings, but at least I understood what Sauron was and how he became what he was when Frodo and company finally set out on their journey.  There's very little to go on with King Sombra, and that's why he feels like such a weak villain.  They might as well have just made him a force of destruction, like the Windegos...  Hell, I think that might have actually been a better option!  Yeah, think about it, the Windegos bring coldness wherever the go, which would explain the cold weather where the Crystal Empire stood, AND they can be expelled by love and togetherness, which is why the Crystal Heart inevitably utilizes and defeats Sombra!  Speaking of which, when Sombra IS defeated, we get a clear look at his horn getting blasted away.  Given that he was a gaseous form for most of the two-parter, AND since his horn WAS cut off and used to spread his evil crystals, I feel like that missing horn is going to play into some factor in the future...  Or rather, I sincerely hope they utilize that in some way, shape, or form, because what they provided us, subtle or not, was incredibly unsatisfying and DESERVES to be expanded on.

Oh, and by the way, I mentioned the weather...  Ever notice how cold it was around the Crystal Empire?  Then suddenly after this episode, it's all warm there and not snowy at all?  What was up with that?  Did Sombra cause that cold?  Gee, would have been nice if they had made that more clear in the actual two-parter.  Again, having Windegos as the antagonistic force here would have worked SO much better then Sombra, because that would have explained the cold nature, and why it never was cold again after that.  Really, so much stuff goes unexplained in this two-parter, stuff I WISH they had spend time explaining.  And don't any of you DARE tell me it was because they didn't have enough time, because apparently they had enough time to show Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy jousting but not enough time to flesh out the villain or explain the weather, or Hell, how Cadance is apparently the Crystal Princess and a Crystal Pony some how recognized her, even though he's 1,000 years old and we clearly see in A Canterlot Wedding that she grew the same as Twilight and thus couldn't be much older then Shining Armor; not to mention, if her destiny IS to be the Crystal Princess, then how did she get her cutie mark, which looks like the Crystal Heart?  Maybe it was because she found out her power was that of love, but in that case-AGH, there is too much unexplained shit in this two-parter, it drives me crazy!

But some of you might say that isn't important, and that this isn't about the villain or all that jazz, it's about Twilight's journey and the lesson she learns to help her towards her destiny.  Yeah, because the fate of an entire empire, filled with innocent crystal ponies, and an evil unicorn king who's supposed to based off freaking SAURON isn't that important at all.  What IS important is that Twilight passes her test!  It's like in the Michael Bay Transformers movies; what's important aren't the actual Transformers and their civil war that's been going on for thousands of years, what's important is weather or not Shia LaBeouf/Sam Witwicky gets laid in the end!  Because CLEARLY, that's the more interesting plot!

...So yeah, as you can tell, I'm not a fan of how the two-parter suddenly focuses on Twilight's "test", and her ridiculous assumption that she needs to do it alone, just because Celestia said so.  Yes, I get that it was Celestia's intention, to show her that she needed to think of the many instead of herself, but come on, Twilight would have done that regardless!  If you didn't SAY she needed to do this on her own, she likely wouldn't have done it on her own, and asked for help!  Also, what kind of message is this, that it's okay to disobey specific orders because it turns out you were supposed to disobey them?

A lot of these complaints feel like nitpicks, and are probably present in a lot of other great movies and TV shows, but really, the two-parter just comes off so clunky and awkward, and I wasn't the only one who found it to be a disappointment when it aired.  In a way, you could almost say it set the tone for season 3: one big let-down, at least until the finale (for me at least).  Though really, I don't think it's the result of bad talent, just that the DHX crew were given a lot to do with only 13 episodes to make it all happen.  And we'll be going over all of that in the coming 2 weeks (dang, so close to season 4!).

Yet, despite being an overall disappointment, there were some things I genuinely liked about this particular episode.  For example, even though Sombra lacks presence himself (since he's mostly gas for most of the episode), he is pretty badass with the traps he set up.  The hidden starcase, the safeguard around the Crystal Heart, those everlasting stairs...  But best of all, that doorway which shows your worst fears.  Kind of makes me wish more of Twilight's came with her, just to see their fears come to life.  It was sad seeing Twilight go through that, and even sadder to see Spike go through it...  But it was equally as heartwarming (and cute) to see Twilight reassure Spike afterward...  And you know what, if Spike HADN'T been there, if she had done it alone like she thought she needed to do, she might have been stuck there forever, so there's another strike against that BS.

But I think the best part of the episode...  well, I dunno, wife-tossing comes pretty close to being the best, but the best is undoubtedly when SPIKE of all people saves the day!  Yeah, really, after 3 two-parters of basically doing nothing but stand by the sidelines, Spike is the one to deliver the Crystal Heart to Cadance, thus saving the Crystal Empire!  It was awesome, especially when he used his flame breath against some evil crystals!  Hell, Spike even go this own stain-glass window back at Canterlot Castle, way to go!

And then there's the last song, which...  eh.  Much like the original Failure song, it's not all that good, but it's thankfully brief, and we also see Twilight blushing near the beginning.  Adorable.  And a book seen between Celestia and Luna!  IMPORTANT FORESHADOWING!!!

So yeah...  not a really good intro to season 3, though not without it's charm.

December 20, 2013, 02:59:44 PM
Reply #459
I find it pretty ironic how a lot of people say this episode was horrible JUST BECAUSE sombra was a flat character.
Because by that logic MLP FIM as a whole is horrible JUST BECAUSE Princess Celestia has AS MUCH as character devolopment as King Sombra, face it, 90% of her character is fanon. yet she gets away with it and even has a huge fanbase despite being a flat character

January 06, 2014, 04:02:10 AM
Reply #460
Was I the only pony who noticed that there was mention of a GOOD queen who held the fair in the Crystal empire to fill the place with love and stuff when they were reading about the Empire's history? I mean, because seriously- this needs to become a thing. Queens are always portrayed as the bad guys in cartoons, and it's driven into every little girl's head that they should be princesses who are pure and kind and have their happily every afters.

What the hay happened to the good QUEEN who one ruled the Crystal empire?! Did Sombra do something to her? Was this even during Sombra's time? Could the Crystal Empire queen run the place before Sombra? I'd love some continuity to this in a future episode. Or even future mentions of good queens- perhaps even ascending Twilight to one, eventually, kicking her out of Princess status- if it'll actually give weight behind her becoming an alicorn princess. Because she's pretty much the same as before she ascended to princess status. The writers should make her a GOOD queen and make her shoulder some responsibilities already, like...I dunno, being given and having to protect a kingdom of her own; which is what the test in the Crystal Empire episodes clearly was preparing her for.

January 06, 2014, 10:30:23 AM
Reply #461
I find it pretty ironic how a lot of people say this episode was horrible JUST BECAUSE sombra was a flat character.
Because by that logic MLP FIM as a whole is horrible JUST BECAUSE Princess Celestia has AS MUCH as character devolopment as King Sombra, face it, 90% of her character is fanon. yet she gets away with it and even has a huge fanbase despite being a flat character
That's because Princess Celestia is a talking character, appeared in more episodes, she actually had a past instead of just attacking something and getting your ass kicked immediately -.-
And what did Sombra do? Not talk at all, doesn't have much of a backstory, he died in the same episode he freaking appeared and was never heard of again. Nightmare Moon appeared in Season 4, Episode 1. Discord came back in Keep Calm and flutter on, and what about King Sombra? He'll be never heard of again.

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January 22, 2014, 05:39:30 AM
Reply #462
That's because Princess Celestia is a talking character, appeared in more episodes, she actually had a past instead of just attacking something and getting your ass kicked immediately -.-
And what did Sombra do? Not talk at all, doesn't have much of a backstory, he died in the same episode he freaking appeared and was never heard of again. Nightmare Moon appeared in Season 4, Episode 1. Discord came back in Keep Calm and flutter on, and what about King Sombra? He'll be never heard of again.
Thats the point, hes not important, so why complain about a one shoot villain not being given depth? Its stupid

January 22, 2014, 05:08:55 PM
Reply #463
Thats the point, hes not important, so why complain about a one shoot villain not being given depth? Its stupid
I think the problem is people were expecting more, given the previous villains we got.  I'll say this, King Sombra wasn't the ONLY issue I had with the episode (it's mostly personal preference, honestly), but he didn't help the episode either.  Besides, other one-shot villains had reasonable motivations behind what they did other then "they're evil".

January 23, 2014, 06:46:01 PM
Reply #464
Thats the point, hes not important, so why complain about a one shoot villain not being given depth? Its stupid

Well, atleast he should follow the patterns from other villains. Don't you think.

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January 25, 2014, 09:34:49 AM
Reply #465

January 25, 2014, 10:17:41 AM
Reply #466
OC descriptions here
Using my fancy mathematics to model the issues since 2013.

November 07, 2017, 10:44:11 AM
Reply #467
I don't know what Hasbro was thinking for making a huge story by 2 parts instead of a movie  :-\ first twilight received a note from


Princess celestia and then she told all her friends and they all come together to some kinda crystal world with crystal ponies and the

part 1 finished  :P after that the part 2 came out to be a finish part by a faster method were things getting end up faster  :'( i mean come one this doesn't feel like there's something dangerous coming out  :o
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 10:48:03 AM by hamoodZX »

November 07, 2017, 11:39:11 AM
Reply #468
Uhh, we have a thread for this episode, why not post in there?
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November 07, 2017, 12:24:11 PM
Reply #469
It's more complex than simply saying, "Oh, this episode would make a great movie, or made-for-TV movie!" It doesn't work like that.

A movie is a very costly, extensive, and tedious process. Movies can take anywhere from half a year, to a whole year. Animated movies usually last moreso to the end of this spectrum. You need to make sure all animations in the movie are fluent, that there are no texture issues or coloring mistakes that will be magnified by the viewing audience in the theaters.

It also will take a lot to get the voice cast into the same area, at the same time to go through an almost 2 hour film instead of a 30-minute episode. Case in point, an episode of MLP: FiM could take about an hour to go through the entire episode through a round table discussion. A movie? That could take double that.

Just because an episode, or a series of episodes makes a good idea for a movie; doesn't mean they should. It wouldn't have been cost-effective for them to make a movie for the show in Season 3. If it failed, it could've bankrupted the company and that would've meant no more episodes.

They built the brand up through the first 6/7 seasons, and a movie at this point in time made a lot more sense from a money, and brand, standpoint.
| 3DS FC: 4055-4094-4151 | Living Pokédex COMPLETED: 10/26/2017 |
| Sonic the Hedgehog, The Simpsons and Pokémon Junkie | Graduate of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania -- Class of 2016 |

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November 07, 2017, 12:38:21 PM
Reply #470
Right  :-X it's a serious business but at the end it's worth the case better than equestria girls  :lol:

November 07, 2017, 12:46:35 PM
Reply #471
Right  :-X it's a serious business but at the end it's worth the case better than equestria girls  :lol:

Sometimes, it's best to start off small.

While Equestria Girls wasn't the best animated movie; it showed to those who animate this show that a movie could work. They just needed to focus on the Mane 6 as ponies and not anthro-humans.
| 3DS FC: 4055-4094-4151 | Living Pokédex COMPLETED: 10/26/2017 |
| Sonic the Hedgehog, The Simpsons and Pokémon Junkie | Graduate of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania -- Class of 2016 |

"Smarter than the average Lisa."

November 07, 2017, 12:55:33 PM
Reply #472

November 07, 2017, 02:11:50 PM
Reply #473