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Equestria Games (May 3rd 2014 22 minutes)
Bulk is using the classic cartoon representation of barbells. In fact, that style is historic but in a weird way, and it took quite a bit of research to find anything out about them. They're usually depicted as being made of iron, and during the Victorian period many were as iron was far more plentiful then. And in many cases the carnie strongmen cheated by using hollow ones. Still heavy as all get-out, but not as heavy as they appeared. Originally the balls were stone, though and were seriously massive and rather expensive to get hollow 'cheaters'. You can still see modern versions made of concrete as single balls under the name 'Atlas Balls'. Nobody does the two balls connected by a bar anymore, as variable barbells with removable weights are far easier to deal with. My granddad (a little 5'2" Scotsman) had a rule at Christmas, if you could pick up this Atlas Stone he had and put it on a barrel, you got to sit with the adults at dinner. It was only a little one, of course, not one of the ridiculous 300lbers that the modern strongmen start with.
Very weird motivational speech. It's a bit odd to see RD publically admitting that she can't simply do the whole event herself and still win. Character development slid in sideways there.
More pegasi pushups. Pegasi wings bend in a freaking weird way to pull that off. Oh, at least one Earth Pony is in this train car (not including the CMC), but there's a *lot* of pegasi here. No unicorns at all. The impression still is that the Equestria Games is really geared towards pegasi. Which makes a bit of sense given that prior depictions of pegasi culture was heavily slanted towards Greek/Roman costumes. So having them originate the Equestria version of the Olympic games does sorta follow. I'm just surprised that more Earth Pony & Unicorn -slanted events haven't been added to the curriculum over the years given Equestria's nominal equality of the three tribes.
The Crystal Empire train depot looks just like all other depots we've seen, just crystalline, and is pretty far in the outskirts of the city. Given that the Crystal Empire was probably vanished when trains were invented, that does make sense, plus it's possible the 'Equestria Games Village' was built recently with it's own depot, following the Equestrian architecture with only nominal nods to Crystal Empire architecture isn't that surprising. Even the Crystal Empire Express we've seen prior would add into that, as that would be a completely new engine, top-of-the-line, purchased as part of the re-integration of the Empire with the greater Equestria.
The hell? Spike's just been kidnaped? Arrested? Dunno there.
Okay, that also makes sense from a certain point of view. Honor Spike for his contributions, and all that. However, the first dragon to light the Equestria Games fire? That's interesting phrasing, implying that Cadance is anticipating *other* dragons being part of Equestrian society in the future.
Shining Armor in the same purple armor/uniform as we've seen him in before. Which likely means he's still actively using his original rank of 'Captain', instead of upgrading simply because he's a now a Prince (Prince Consort, technically). That's not unusual. Most of the British royal family have varying military ranks actually earned from being in service, and when on active duty are supposed to be addressed by their military rank, not their civilian rank.
Ah, here we go. The Royal Box. There's *so* many things of interest to note here. One, all four of the princesses have equal size thrones. However, Celestia and Luna have uniquely colored thrones, but Twilight and Cadance's thrones are functionally identical beyond the cutie-marks, and they're a lot darker than the Princess of the Night's throne. In the row below the princesses are what must be titled dignitaries, we've got the two ambassadors from Saddle Arabia... Blueblood? Okay, I guess his Prince rank does mean *something*, and two rather strangely arrayed ponies. The mare's headdress is very Incan in design, while the stallion... that's odd. It's like the crown of Lower Egypt, worn backwards. However, I've seen something vaguely similar in some eastern headdresses, specifically some historical Korean headwear, and a less exaggerated version from Hungary but with a visor. The beard is very ancient world as well, Persian, Egyptian, so on. Next row down, we have Mayor Mare, Fancy Pants, Fleur de Lis, Cherry Jubilee, and two others I don't recognize. Dunno what that mare is wearing, it's too washed out relative to the background, but the old stallion seems to be wearing a military uniform from about 18-19th century. Specifically a bicorn, or cocked hat, worn fore-and-aft with a full ruff. That kind of setup with the ridiculous amount of feathers being worn primarily by civilian officials in a kind of para-military uniform, rather than true military gear.
I'm kinda surprised at this last row, to be honest. It's a strange mixed bag of ranks when you throw mayors of relatively small towns, plus Fancy Pants and especially Fleur de Lis, into the Royal Box. I'm not sure what to make of that. Especially with the remainder of the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony are in the regular stands.
Yeah, does nobody realize Spike's still technically a child? Actually, they might not. Given the lack of dragon lore known by regular Equestrians, and Spike being likely older than the CMC, they might be expecting more teenager-like behavior rather than child.
So that *is* all of the Ponyville delegation? One earth pony, and a bunch of pegasi? Interesting.
It might be a joke, but Spike acting like a flint-based lighter reminds me of the old book 'Flight of the Dragons'(not the later animated film of the same name), where Peter Dickinson speculated on biological mechanisms that would allow a Dragon to exist in real-life, including using a gizzard-like organ filled with iron ore and flint to provide sparks.
Five or six gryphons there, each with relatively unique designs. Nice. A variety of raptors being represented, rather than just the standard eagle-form copy and pasted.
You ever notice that Rarity looks at the camera occasionally? I just happened to pause the video on one instance. Everypony else is looking at someone else on screen, but Rarity is looking straight at you.
Now they put spell restrictions on Unicorns... well, they *had* to be able to do this, otherwise there's no way to restrain a criminal Unicorn. It's a little disturbing on how casually they're treating it though. It does further re-enforce the idea that there are no Unicorn-based events at these games, in the same way there was no Unicorn-based tasks during the Winter Wrap-Up ceremony.
Good, we actually have indication that the Games take place over multiple days.
Ah! One unicorn, at least.
Uhhh... For an enchanted arrow that was barely able to freeze a small amount of the target, it's ability to freeze a cloud of that size is pretty impressive. Again we have reference to the idea that clouds have different physics here than in RL, as the frozen cloud has expanded slightly, is completely *solid* rather than turning into hail, and is still falling rather slowly.
Apparently the spell restriction was put on the Alicorns as well, and they are unable to break it. That's... disturbing in a way. I did spot Celestia in the mix of pegasi flying up to the ice mass.
And Spike's flame ability is again a lot more dangerous than the way ponies react to it would indicate. Anything capable of turning an ice mass that size into rain that quickly is capable of doing a lot of harm.
The Gryphon flag is a talon crossed with a lightning bolt. I wonder if they can manipulate weather the same way pegasi can?