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Rainbow Falls (January 18th 2014, 22 minutes)
Summary: Rainbow needs to qualify for the Equestria Games, but will she do so for Ponyville, or the Wonderbolts?
Honestly, I prefer the name Snowflake for this guy.
Not entirely sure how Brown Betties would be considered an athletic food. It's a layered apple cobbler, but sure, whatever.
While having him have difficulty flying makes sense with his physique, that calls prior episodes where he flies just fine into question. Unless he's done something recently that has changed his abilities. Heh, maybe flying is a limited resource and when Twilight got wings, Snowflake lost the ability to fly to compensate.
You can only compete in one event? That's a strange rule that no athletic competition I'm aware of follows. In fact, they make big deals of athletes who compete in dozens of events at the Olympics. I know that this is so RD gets 'saddled' with the two worst flyers in Ponyville for plot convenience, but it isn't necessary to make RD's teammates so completely useless to carry this plot. Ah well, back to looking for worldbuilding tidbits.
Technically fruit can be used for carbo-loading, but it's normally counterproductive as the sugars in fruit are mostly fructose which doesn't metabolize into muscle glycogen very well. You're better off with high-starch foods like potatoes, bread, and the like. Unless these brown betties are actually mostly crust? Mind you equine metabolism is quite different from human. Eating large amounts of fruit for a horse is like drinking significant amounts of alcohol for a human. There's an Air Force saying 'Flexibility is the key to air power. Alcohol increases flexibility. Therefore, Alcohol is the key to air power.' That must apply here.
Okay, *finally* we're in a new location. Architecture is primarily Bavarian, with tiled high-slope roofs, balconies. Lots of timber-frame construction but not the very blatant Tudor styling of ponyville. Lots of rainbow falls, of course. Do they actually name this place Rainbow Falls? I haven't heard anyone say the name out loud yet.
Place really feels a lot like Levenworth in Washington state. Basically a tourist town made to resemble an old-world Alpen town.
Hey, gryphons, seemingly as competitors. Hope we see more from them eventually.
And these ponies recognize Rainbow Dash. Finally *somebody* recognizes one of the Mane 6 in context.
Wait. The Wonderbolts are either Celestia's own aerial stunt team, or the elite of the pegasi Guard, depending on how that works. In either case, what are they doing competing for Cloudsdale? That seems odd to me.
Not really a baton, but okay. Interesting that it's shaped like a high-traction horseshoe.
All else aside, Soarin is still a dude.
I also notice that Soarin regularly has that little line under his eyes, even when he's not stressed or otherwise, that are normally used to indicate age. Soarin might actually be the pony equivalent of middle-aged.
Snowflake is actually too big to fit through the hoops comfortably, given that the course equipment will be regulation, you would think that would disqualify him right from the beginning.
The Wonderbolts (and dash) get their hooves polished. The art style normally doesn't show actual hooves on mares, so it's actually showing their lower
leg being shiny, and the same color as their coat. Which in a way lines up with the unicorn horns also being the same color as the coat. So it's entirely possible that their karitin is in fact normally color-matched to their coats and the few stallions we've seen with 'normal' hooves are the outliers.
Also, the Wonderbolts have team outfits that are not in the Wonderbolt livery. But they still have the badges that indicate they're Wonderbolts. That's a bit confusing. Are they here as Wonderbolts or not?
Okay, what did you do with Rarity? Those outfits are horrid, even aside from the problem that they are inappropriate for athletic events.
Yay, Derpy! That aside, I've seen objections as to why they didn't ask Twilight to join the team, as she is shown as being no worse a flyer than the existing team members. Likely this event is limited to pegasi by the rules, and Twilight is not actually a pegasi. There are hints in the series that alicorns are more common than fanon supposes, and if that was true they would likely have their own events. Probably something along similar lines of the biathalon.
Rarity seems to be indicating that the Equestrian Games run every year. I doubt that, actually. There's too much spin-up for it to run every single year.
Interesting that the rings in the first two thirds of the run are physical, but the rings in the last third are 'rainbow' based, floating in midair with no supports.
Gryphons qualified, so hopefully we'll see more of them later.
And Twilight using an old folding camera from about 1910-1940.
The second rainbow-tainted object. The question at this point is less 'what is it', and starts to become 'how will they find out what it is?'. Yes, they're starting to accumulate them, but they technically don't even know they're accumulating them.