|alias||The Dragon Buck|
He tells his story in the seventh episode, The Mercenary.
Diamondback is a half-dragon, half-pony living in the Golden Stone Caldera mountain range. Occasionally referred to as a Kirin (a slang term unrelated to the unique race), but is mostly called "The Dragon Buck", which gets the point across.
Similar to hippogriffs, he has clawed, dragon-like front arms, and more pony-like hooved hind legs. He is also similar to hippogriffs in that he is noticeably taller than the average pony.
Diamondback manages an "exit point" of the Airlift network. Established by a pegasus named Rainstorm, the network helps creatures escape slavery and similar trafficking situations. Diamondback has dedicated the lands around his volcano to survivors so that they may live in peace and protection.
Working with the Airlift got Diamondback in connection with an "entry point"... Battered's Bodyguards. Battered Blade is one of the first ponies in the chain. During one transfer, the middle pony didn't show up, so Battered met with Diamondback herself. Since then, he flirts with her at every available opportunity.
Despite this, Battered genuinely got to know him and upon learning more of his story, knew he would be perfect to interview for an episode of Confessions.
Diamondback was hatched by a dragon known affectionately as "The Blue Demon." Despite the stories in a local village, a bold red-coated stallion who was obsessed with dragons went up to meet her. Over time, their time together grew into a relationship, and after that Diamondback was hatched.
Diamondback's youth was with a loving family, but the local village soon ruined their crop and demanded some of the family's dragon horde. When they refused, they were attacked in the night by the villagers. The villagers were killed, but Diamondback's father was dead too. His mother had slipped away into hibernation, sinking into a lava pool where she sleeps to this day.
After scaring off the remaining villagers, Diamondback hibernated by his mother for nearly a decade, but finally woke up. He was now an adult, but pangs of loneliness set in and he set out to find other ponies to talk to.
He found a nearby settlement called the Valley of Fire, ruled by the Great Arrow raider clan alongside the Smoke Devils and Razorwings clans. Having lost any empathy for the regular wastelander after what happened to his parents, Diamondback began doing mercenary work. His natural advantages as a dragon proved very profitable. After working several years for the other two, the Great Arrows approached him through their lead merc, a unicorn mare named Ridgeback.
She led capture missions for the Great Arrows where they would tranquilize and enslave entire villages. Some time after that, Diamondback discovered the ponies he captured returning as Great Arrows. Even this did not dissuade him. He saw all ponies as the ones who had attacked his parents, given the right opportunity.
More years passed, and Diamondback worked closely with Ridgeback and a Razorwing griffon named Break Beak. Every mission was the same, capture a village, until a unique mission came up. They needed to find a briefcase in a remote mansion to the Northeast. This mansion turned out to be Naranjavilla, the private estate of Harvest Orange, the CEO of EAST Corp.
The mission gets deadly as the mansion contains it's own horrors, but Diamondback and Ridgeback are able to escape. Over the course of the events, Ridgeback confides in Diamondback about her secret family and that the Great Arrows were threatening to kill them if she didn't keep working for them.
Diamondback saving them all became his inspiration to join the Airlift.
- "Kill me? Pfft. No, she’s talking about foreplay… Wanna know where I’m ticklish?"
- "Yeah, I look mostly like a dragon on the outside… Except I’m a horse in all the ways that really matter."
- "This is actually why dragons come in so many shapes and sizes, dragon genes are very flexible… they can breed with a bunch of different species. That’s what gives rise to so many different varieties of dragons. I have this one uncle somewhere, who’s part hydra. So he’s got three heads on three long necks. My ma used to say: 'Uncle G has three heads, but only has half a brain between them…'"
- "No I haven’t. Then again, I never stray too far from the volcanoes so it’s not exactly like I’m looking. This whole thing started because I was looking for companionship among ponies… well, to some extent. I just wanted something social to talk to, just to stop that annoying, cold loneliness that I felt. They were like a drug, something to fill the void."
Behind the Scenes
- Diamondback is voiced by longtime EAST Corp voice actress, Cinder Script.
- It is heavily implied that Diamondback's mother is Princess Ember, but this is not stated directly.
- The second act was inspired in part by the Nuka-World DLC of Fallout 4. The rivaling raider clans and delicate balance were both crucial plot points.
- The third act was inspired heavily by the Dead Money DLC of Fallout: New Vegas. Like Dead Money, and "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" its based on, greed is a major thematic element of the story. In European folklore especially, the dragon was a symbol of bottomless greed, a side of oneself to be tamed.
- Scripting for this episode was delayed due to several revisions made in the second act. A major change to the Ridgeback character was made and Break Beak was added in the 3rd version. Once the dynamic worked, the third act was scripted.
- Some other production delays happened due SkyBolt writing Terminal Secrets, Episode 5: AWAKE, as well as early production work on the Pillars of Equestria Symphonic Metal Opera with L-Train.