• Story: The Games We Play



    [Shipping] [Sad]

    Author: AbsoluteAnonymous
    Description: There's been another sighting of the mysterious Mare Do Well...but this time, all of Rainbow Dash's friends plead ignorance, insisting that they've put aside their costumes for good. Rainbow Dash is determined to uncover the masked mare's true identity before she's humiliated yet again, but this time around, the vigilante seems especially interested in her as well. Will Rainbow Dash be able to solve the mystery before the culprit takes the hoax too far? Or is she in danger of losing not only her mind, but her heart?

    The Games We Play

    Additional Tags: Mystery, Obsession, Psychological, Identity, Perception

    64 comments:

    1. >pinkie Pie tag

      Sorry, story is spoilered for me.

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    2. Read this story and really enjoyed it. 5 Stars!

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    3. I actually just finished reading this /yesterday/

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    4. I can't believe it took this long for this story to show up here.

      Incidentally, you may want to remove that other character tag.

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    5. I hope the pinkie pie tag isn't a spoiler.

      Also, possible spoiler.

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    6. Dat spoiler tag.

      Anyone watch Teen Titans? This reminds me of Red X.

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    7. Good gracious. Talk about being late to the party. I came across this a while ago and have read it several times already. If that isn't the mark of a great fanfic, I don't know what is. All I have to say is "read it!!!" Definitely six star worthy.

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    8. The story overall is great, but the ending sucks.

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    9. Great story! but TAKE OFF THAT TAG!

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    10. THIS STORY.

      THIS BLOODY AMAZING STORY

      If this doesn't get six stars at the least, then there is something wrong with you guys.

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    11. Oh god...part of me really wants to read this, and enjoy the journey of finding out who Mare Do Well is, but I -hate- Pinkiedash shipping, and if winds up being this I'm just not going to enjoy the end of it.

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    12. AH YEAH. :D LOVE this story, and I'm happy to see it finally up here...it's easily the best character study fic I've ever read, and probably my favorite fic of all time.

      Oh, and personally, I love the ending. People who don't support the ship portrayed in the ending probably won't be satisfied with the ending, but it's a great story without the shipping part, so that shouldn't even matter.

      I cannot recommend this story enough. Even if you don't like shipping, or the main ship in this story, it's still an incredible read. :D

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    13. I've been putting off reading this until it went up here, mostly because of how daunting it was.


      Shit.

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    14. This fanfic was great in the way it got me to care about it so much. This fic was horrible in the way it brutally murdered itself on the ending, not only succeeding in having an ending that felt slightly sloppy and rushed, but in having an ending that managed to kill all tension built and enjoyment received in the previous 100k words.

      It left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

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    15. Hmmm... I don't really like most shipping, and I think the whole "humiliated by Mare-Do-Well" thing is a bit exaggerated, to be honest. Character study is always interesting though, as long as the emo stays within reason.

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    16. Dammit! I like Snape :(

      In other news - this is one of THE best fics I've read. Lots of bronies didn't like the ending, but I did. It was the only one that made sense.

      Also, I would agree with the above comments about even if you're not a fan of shipping, this is an amazing read. Definitely 6-star worthy.

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    17. About time this made it here!

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    18. Such a great story, gone to waste because of PINKIExDASH at the end.
      I don't have anything against the pairing, but it just din't felt right with the way the story was developing.

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    19. I recently wondered why this hadn't been featured yet. This arguably one of the best MLP fanfictions out there. Opinions on the end may differ, but I quite liked it, even though it was kind of predictable.

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    20. Read this a little while ago on FIMFiction, and it is quite a good read. If you go into it without looking at that *cough*spoiler*cough* tag, the build-up to the ending is well done and the plot twists are fun and engaging.

      Very fun story.

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    21. Tag: Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Shipping

      So am I correct in assuming this is, in fact, a PinkieDash story? Because if that is the case, I might actually have to stop ignoring everything Mare Do Well related and pretending it never happened and give this story a try.

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    22. Oh, I see KRODERSERK already answered that question. I guess I'll give it a try then, even if the PinkieDash is apparently people's largest problem with the fic.

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    23. Oh hey. This made it on here. Didn't read it before. Maybe I'll try to find the time now.

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    24. Okay, Here's the thing.

      I like this story, in spite of and probably owing to that fact that I don't have a preferred ship.

      To those of you who badmouth this story because it didn't have your favored ship at the end, *shame on you.*

      This is a wonderful story, and the fact that Mare Do Well isn't who you wanted should not color your perceptions in the *slightest.* After all, we don't throw away a mystery book when the culprit turns out not to be who we thought, right? Right!

      So don't disregard this story. It did so much right that the ship shouldn't even be an issue.

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    25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    26. bout time, amazing story.

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    27. lol at everyone getting butthurt about the ship :P
      honestly rainbowpie/pinkiedash is the ONLY ship i can stand
      the others leave a dry taste in my mouth but i wont complain

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    28. i like this ship more than appledash thats for sure

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    29. F*cking LOOOONG

      I'm in chapter 3....

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    30. pro: pinkiedash is my OTP

      con: it's tagged as sad


      pro: it's not soul-crushingly sad

      con: it's a continuation of mare do well

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    31. BTW is good to see some good old PinkieDash :)

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    32. @Da_Rock_1119 That was what Rowling WANTED you to think! It was actually Professor Moriarty in disguise! Snape retired and is living quite happily in Costa Rica as we speak. ;3

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    33. It's not really that much of a spoiler. It's pretty obvious in the story really. It tries to make it not, but the author's past is very pinkie dash oriented plus some other really big drops early on. It's not a secret for a long way of it. I found more people hoping that it wasn't Pinkie mid way through but already thought it was in past commentary when its hosted.

      That said, it's actually a pretty good story regardless for most of it. If you go in for mystery? Eh, it is a disappointment, but for the thoughts of characters? That ones worth while.

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    34. it gets obvious since chapter 2

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    35. I read this while it was coming out on FimFiction. It's an EXCELLENT story, and I have to say, the "twist" really wasn't the point, for all that some people complain. It's not just a ship fic, it's an examination of psyche. And I love it.

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    36. @Shamus Aran

      "After all, we don't throw away a mystery book when the culprit turns out not to be who we thought, right? Right!"

      The problem is that it's framed as a mystery and spends loads of time and energy focusing on the whodunit aspect of the story, and then wastes all of it on having the aloof butler with a knife collection be the culprit. There's no misdirection employed other than Dash's own inability to follow up on obvious leads (which she's called out on in the end), and the reveal is consequently quite unsatisfying because it was the only real option all along.

      It's a decent psychological, shippy fic, but don't go into it expecting any worthwhile intrigue.

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    37. Wow this took a while to show up!

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    38. Why are so many people railing on it for the shipping? I don't particular enjoy that shipping either (Not mentioning what shipping, since, you know, SPOILERS. Some people would do well to remember that...) but what was more important was that it was extremely well written and engaging. I didn't feel the ending was rushed or out of place at all. It could have worked with Mare-Do-Well being any of the 5, but the author went with this character and it worked well.

      Judge a story for its quality, not for whether it matches your OTP.

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    39. Final, this story is on here, really good PinkieDash fic

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    40. Just binged this story. Beautifully written!

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    41. TGWP on EqD? Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!

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    42. Eee! So happy to see this beautiful fic finally posted here!

      Not so happy to see the spoiler, but it's pretty obvious by about halfway through.

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    43. Yesssssss, now that The Games We Play is on EqD, we can discover which of the commenters on this site are M. Night Shyamalan fans, demanding a big plot twist simply for the sake of having a big plot twist.

      Honestly, this story is so good that it improved my opinion of The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well, for without that episode, we could not have this wonderful story.

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    44. I feel really, really sorry for anyone who hasn't read the story and reads the comments.

      But, let me say this. If you go in expecting a huge mystery story, you will be disappointed. It isn't really the point of the story, though it is certainly a crucial aspect.

      If you go in looking for a shipping story that actually deals with character's emotions and interprets the characters well on an emotional lee, you will be blown away.

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    45. Having finally read through the whole thing, I find myself amazed at most of the comments on FIMFiction, primarily those who are talking about how they're disappointed it turned out to be Pinkie.

      Why? It would be incredibly stupid to invest all that time into crafting things from a literary perspective only to suddenly interject another character at the last minute. I'd figured out it was Pinkie from the start, and although I admit I read chapter twenty on the edge of my seat, dramatic music playing on repeat as if it the reveal was going to be super massive and throw off all my expectations...I wasn't the least bit disappointed to find out it really was Pinkie. (Well, technically, the wide-brimmed hat line threw me off slightly, combined with the mention of Manehatten at the beginning of the chapter making me think it was AJ after all, which DID have me disappointed because it didn't make much sense, but then I read further and it was Pinkie after all.)

      I've also seen a lot of people professing confusion or outright hatred towards Pinkie Pie for her actions in the fic. While I can understand that...I also understood everything she did. Once again, like the canon Pinkie of Party of One, every last action of hers made sense to me. I can't say I'd have acted exactly the same in her place, but I did understand perfectly why she acted the way she did.

      That said, I did still have a few issues with the story, primarily the random interjections of criminal activity that seemed more like plot devices and distractions...those particular scenes did not feel as well crafted as the rest of the story, and existed only to interject the necessary things needed for the rest of the story, such as Dashie's wings being broken for a good span of time.

      Apart from those gaffes though, I felt like this was a wonderful story, well worth a read, and equally worth the five stars I bestow upon it.

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    46. Okay... never really go in for 'shipping'... but this was SUPERB. An excellent story of a complicated relationship. Very well-written indeed!

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    47. Always knew you'd make it onto EQD, AA! Odin knows you deserve it!

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    48. This was AMAZING. I knew who it was going to be, but the writer somehow managed to make all of them equally likely, and I was doubting myself all the way through. Absolutely spectacular fic, and the ending could only have been better if it had been read by Morgan Freeman

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    49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    50. Just beautiful, thank you. I missed work to finish reading this, and it was totally worth it.

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    51. First of all, let me heartily recommend this story. I'll just copy-paste my FiMfiction comment here:

      I'm a firm adherent of Sturgeon's Law when it comes to fanfiction, meaning that I believe that 90% of all fanfics are utter crap. I do enjoy reading them, however, and so I try to minimize the damage by only reading fanfics which make it past Equestria Daily's proofreaders and then only a small selection of those. So it was only when this story was posted on that site a few days ago that I even considered giving it a try.

      Initially, I wasn't interested. The preview image featured Mare Do Well, and I really disliked that episode and kind of wanted to pretend it didn't exist. I then remembered that I had seen that image before, however: I had seen it while inspecting Donny's Boy's DeviantArt account. As I had really enjoyed DB's PinkieDash fanfics, I valued his opinion, and when I saw him say it was a good story in the comments I gave it a try.

      And it really didn't disappoint. Sturgeon's Law claims that 90% of everything is crap, but that leaves 10% to be filled by absolutely excellent stories like this one. If reading random fanfics is a lot like drinking sewage water, then this fanfic was like finding that someone had flushed a diamond. I did not have a lot of free time the past few days, but it was a story I desperately wanted to keep reading every time I sat down for it, even staying up deep into the night several times to do so. Someone in the comments claimed a lot of it was filler. This may be true, but when filler consists of well-written interaction between characters I love, I find it difficult to care.

      The way stories are labeled on Equestria Daily had already revealed to me who Mare Do Well was: it was, after all, tagged "Shipping", "Rainbow Dash" and "Pinkie Pie". In the end, though, I do not believe this truly mattered: a process of elimination left Pinkie as the only logical suspect in my mind by, say, chapter 3 or 4. In fact, I believe I may have enjoyed this fic more because I got to fully explore both sides of the issue and truly understand what both of the involved parties were thinking and follow Pinkie's struggle with her alter ego.

      Which brings me to my next point: what they were thinking was, in my opinion, absolutely spot on. All characters were well-written and in-character and the way you write Dash truly reminded me of why she's my favorite pony: I can just relate to her so well. Every word she thought, everything she did was familiar to me, as we share so many of the same flaws. It also made me realize that I possess few of her redeeming traits and am a massive cowards, as I would definitely have fled and never talked to anyone again after the first kiss with Pinkie Pie, and most definitely after the second one if I had somehow survived the first. But I digress, as this is not the place for me to whine about myself.

      I really enjoyed Pinkie's characterization as well. You managed to explore her obvious personal issues without straying from what Pinkie is all about and most of her thoughts, actions and concerns fit perfectly with my perceptions of her. I feel that you slightly overdid it in Chapter 21, though, when you had Pinkie explain herself. Pinkie describing herself as truly being broken up into different sub-personalities, so to speak, was something I'm not really on board with. In fact, I feel you have people talk about their emotional problems and fragile states of mind a bit too easily and openly. It was at times a bit jarring.

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    52. If you actually take the "mystery shipping" aspect of the story seriously and expect it to actually deliver some kind of mystery in the way a detective novel might, which I did not, I feel that could probably also be turned into a point of criticism, as I feel it wasn't very well done and it was fairly obvious who Mare Do Well was. When judged as a means of facilitating the story and exploring Dash's and Pinkie's exmotions, I really do like it. It's something you don't see often and an interesting premise.

      I've seen people complain about the ending. This is probably mostly due to people thinking Mare Do Well was someone other than Pinkie, which is something I never experience nor really understand as it was pretty obvious in my opinion. I myself also feel it was the weakest part of the fic, but I'm not unhappy with it. I just enjoyed the rest of it a bit more. The RariJack that was suddenly introduced in the last few chapters felt a bit unnecessary and out of place in a fic which focused completely on Dash and Pinkie. And as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I wasn't totally on board with how their issues were depicted in the end and the way the characters spoke about their issues throughout the fic.

      Also, I'm a bit pissed off that it's over. I've been reading this fic for several days now, looking forward to an opportunity to continue reading and now it's all at end. Luckily, you seem to have written more PinkieDash so I'll go check it out. Also, I fear you may have ruined fanfiction even further for me. It used to be I'd read a fanfic, think it was pretty mediocre and then just go "Meh, it's a fanfic. Can't expect too much." You, however, have written an objectively good story here that proves to me that fanfics can be genuinely good, rather than just passable or a "decent way to spend a few minutes" as I often comment on Equestria Daily fanfic threads. I think you may even have redeemed Mare Do Well for me; when I see her now I think about the fun I had reading this story, rather than my annoyance with that episode.

      My apologies if my thoughts seem a bit disjointed or excessively "fanboyish". It's 1 AM and I'm never at my best at night, not to mention the fact I'm still in a state of mild glee over finally having finished this story.

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    53. This is either my second of third favourite fan fiction I've ever read.

      To compare: First is Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. My usual second would be Burning Arrow, Wildfire Heart, but I haven't read that for two years and I honestly don't know whether it still holds up to my inflated praise of it.

      But honestly, this fic is absolutely outstanding. I mean it. Very early on I downloaded the whole thing to my Kindle so that I'd be able to read it wherever I was, at any time. Undoubtedly the best romance I've read.

      I tip my hat to you. Keep up the great work!

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    54. What an amazing story! All my stars, take them!

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    55. That was absolutely amazing! You've held my suspense for the 7 solid hours it took to read this. In exam season, no less!

      Master piece of mystery. I'll definitely recommend this to friends!

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    56. In my opinion, the fact that this story does not have six stars indicates the rating system is a bunch of crap. If there ever was a story which deserved such praise, this is it.

      Also, LOL at me stating I may have been a bit excessively fanboyish in my previous post. If anything, I didn't praise it enough.

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