Part 50: Update 50Update 50
: As a Spirit of the Tree, I possess some limited foresight. Not as strong as Norn, of course, but I suppose I am lucky, since Ratatosk does not possess any. I had foreknowledge of many things, including the reason he came.
: Unfortunately my foresight isn't perfect, and there were many tragedies I could not prevent. But above all else I prevented one thing. If Ratatosk had carried out the plan he had devised, the Tree's mana would have changed subtly.
: So the tree, or any seed it produced, would not be able to sustain...
: What'd he do if that was the case?
: Embrace the end, and rage against the world itself for this grand trick.
: Holy shit! I guess in retrospect we got off lucky there.
: What's up?
: I need to talk about the future with you.
: The future?
: What about it?
: I do not trust Ratatosk.
: Ah, c'mon, he seems like a nice guy.
: Well, that's what you've seen I suppose. I wish you to put him to the test.
: The test? Come on! What does he have to prove?
: Humor me. If, in the future, Ratatosk - or Emil - attacks you, drop flat after he makes any wound on you. Observe what happens.
: Don't be silly, he won't attack me.
: Whoa, don't do that eyes-glow-green thing. It's weird.
: Anyway, I want you to remember one thing. We are who we pretend to be.
: Damn! Emil just choked out Marta and now he's trying to kill her for Aqua's core? Is Martel right? Am I a chump who will be played by everyone forever?
: That sure looks like a serious attack. Decision time. I trust Martel. Do I trust Emil? Wait... "We are who we pretend to be?" DAMN! Emil is trying to pretend to be Ratatosk - that's why his eyes are still green.
: That one missed me by a mile and hit... Marta? DAMN! He's attacking Marta with no hesitation. This is what Martel means. The darkness inside his heart is letting him pretend to be Ratatosk a little too well.
: Drop flat after he makes any wound on me. Observe what happens. OK Martel let's see what he's gonna do.
: In the version of this encounter where I didn't offer Lloyd any advice, he took the brunt of the attack, but his special exsphere allowed him to survive. When it happened for real, Marta was badly injured by Emil's wild and reckless attacks.
: I must admit, Marta trying to fight on with her injuries was pretty impressive for a human.
: But ultimately futile.
I think that's the most GRADE I ever got, holy shit.
: Marta. Marta!
: Emil, no, you mean, you were just pretending that whole time?!
: Lloyd had known Emil was pretending. He was mostly surprised at how fast the bloodlust had vanished.
: No. No! This can't be happening! I... I never meant to hurt Marta. How? How could this happen?
: Ultimately, when one possesses power, mere absence of malice is not enough. Careless, foolish, or shortsighted use of power is capable of just as much tragedy as evil.
: And that is why I condemned Ratatosk.
: You idiot! Emil will--Ratatosk will die!
: Lloyd wasn't really sure what he wanted to happen. But he didn't like people dying in general.
: No, that's not true! He will only turn into his core. Sealing that door is what he really wants!
: Raine was able to save Marta, though.
: He was going to sacrifice himself to seal the door to the demonic realm after defeating Ratatosk with the power of demons and resurrecting Aster. I don't think that was the right way to go about things, but Richter was trying to save the world in his own way.
: After that, you attacked us as if you were Ratatosk. You were hoping that we would defeat you and turn you into a core. I was such a fool. I should've known that it was you, Emil.
: I guess in the end, I never saw the real you. I wish I can go back in time and redo that moment. Now that I know, I wouldn't make the same mistake, and I would save you.
: I'll never see you again, but please know that I love you Emil. I will always love you. I'm going to spend the rest of my life protecting the world that you've worked so hard to protect.
: ...I'm sorry.
: And that's the entire story.
: No, I don't think so.
: Yes, I remembered something that causes me to wonder about a detail you may possibly have overlooked.
While it doesn't really fit thematically with Tales of Symphonia, this ending really seems to work better setting-wise, and it's not like the other ending fits thematically either.
Also, a particular dick move is that this ending doesn't give you a chance to carry over into a New Game+, which is a bit of a kick in the balls if you're used to more forgiving New Game+ systems, some of which even let you carry over data even if you just game over on certain bosses.
Next time: Filler, then, when I can return to my recording setup, Gladsheim