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Pokémon Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Tales Of Arrival (PMD X Tales Of Symphonia)

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
This fic is rated Teen for blood, mild gore, adults doing adult things like drinking and swearing, and some dirty jokes and such.

About time I had another B fic huh? (Greenhorn Prometheus doesn't count, it was a three-parter that was written out ahead of time, shhhhhhhh)


So, this is a fic that took me some come convincing to write, (I was never really that fond of the actual PMD games, though I generally like the fics better) but in the end I got attached to an idea and was like "hell, let's go."


I will be up front in saying this is a Tales Of Symphonia/Pokemon Mystery Dungeon crossover, and that you should note three things about that:


1.There will be some massive fucking spoilers for Tales Of Symphonia, especially around the character Kratos Aurion, so if you're particularly concerned about that then I recommend playing the game or watching an LP before reading this fic.


A. That said... If you have not played Tales Of Symphonia, do not care about spoilers relating to it, and are just here because you saw "Pokemon Mystery Dungeon" in the title, you should be fine - this fic is like at least 70% PMD, albeit a celebration of what I like about the genre and a satire of what I don't.


%. This is set in a PMD version of the Yangverse. It's fundamentally the same world, just with no humans and a lot of PMD elements added to compensate.


But anyway I should go ahead and get into this. But before I do big thanks to MasaeAnela and her Tales of Symphonia LP, without which this fic wouldn't have been possible. Here we go:


Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Tales Of Arrival





(Banner by Shinywolf!)


Prologue: New Life


Kratos could see the vast darkness of space staring out before him.


Derris-Kharlan had been drifting for a long while. It'd be a while before it'd establish itself as a proper living planet. His communications with Yuan had ceased just the other day. He had already scattered Cruxis' Exspheres into space. He could barely see where he left in the sky anymore.


Normally he'd pretend it didn't hurt. But leaving everything behind-


No. He had to.


He looked in the direction in the sky Derris-Kharlan had drifted from. Lloyd. He was back there. Kratos wondered, hoped, that he and his gaggle of friends were doing alright.


He looked to where Derris-Kharlan was drifting in the cold void of space. This was the only place for him. He realized now the blood on his hands. The countless people Cruxis had killed he was complicit with.


He didn't deserve to stay home. He didn't deserve redemption. He didn't deserve a happy life with his son, the only family he had left.


As he thought this, however, he noticed a strange light in the dark, starry sky. Looking at it, he thought at first it was a comet or meteor shooting through the sky.


But then he realized it was heading through Derris-Kharlan's atmosphere at incredible speed.


Heading straight toward him.


He tried to get out of the way. But it was too late. The light consumed him.


-----------------


Kratos woke up in a colorful, pulsating, void. He couldn't feel his body. Almost like he was part of the void.


Then he heard a voice.


"Hello? Hello? Kratos, you there?"


"How do you know my name?" said Kratos.


"Oh, goody, it is you!" said the voice. "Listen, I know this is kind of sudden, but something's coming to my world and I need your help with it."


"...Why me?"


"You're... uniquely qualified. For multiple reasons. But before I bring you over I need to ask you some questions."


"I-"


"First question! Do you like groan-inducing puns?"


"...Spare me."


"You're lucky I can't think of one. Second question! Do you get bothered by noise and ruckus around you?"


"I try not to let it get to me."


"Hmmmm... Third question! Your friend is crying right in front of you! What made that happen?"


Kratos thought back to Mithos. To Yuan. To Lloyd.

"...It's probably my fault."


"Ouch. Not much of the self-esteem type. Question four! Do you occasionally consider yourself to be dull and overly cautious?"


"Of course not."


"Sure you aren't. Anyway, final question! Have you ever wanted to communicate with aliens from another planet?"


"I'm assuming you're one?"


"I will neither confirm nor deny."


"Hmmm... Some beings from my world came from the stars, but other than you, Derris-Kharlan hasn't encountered any aliens yet... so yes, I suppose."


"Okay! Hmmm, let's see, yes, yes... I think I have a form cooked up for you!"


"...Form?"


"Anyway, remember that question about the aliens and how you said you'd like to meet them?"


"Yes? I'm guessing wish granted."


"Yep! Wish granted."


The void turned a blinding white before Kratos lost consciousness again.

Chapter 1: Welcome To The World


Kratos stirred, groaned, and finally opened his eyes. What he saw was blue sky, much more blue than on Derris-Kharlan. He tilted his head a bit, saw trees, grass, and -


"Hey you! You're finally awake!"


What Kratos saw next to him was a small, black-and-red fox wearing a teal robe, with inquisitive blue eyes staring right at him.


"I was just about to get help... Are you OK?"


"Yes... I am alright," said Kratos. "Let me just..."


He sat up. And then realized he wasn't himself. His body was now much, much smaller in proportion to his head, and fuzzy. And his arms were... wings. Not like his old angel wings, like bat or dragon wings, with claws at the end instead of hands.


"How... How did this happen?"


"Someone must have knocked you out!" said the fox.


Kratos gave the fox a look.


"It must have been a feral Pokemon... Do you remember anything about it?"


"No... and I mean... What am I?"


The fox gasped. "Oh no! You must have amnesia! Uh, you're a Noibat! Though, not like any Noibat I've ever seen. Your colors are all different..."


"So I'm a creature known as a Noibat, then."


"Yeah! And I'm a Zorua! My name's Edbark. Do you remember yours?"


"...Yes. It's Kratos."


"Kratos? Huh. Sounds foreign. Well nice to meet you Kratos! I'll be sure to help get your memories back!"


"I don't need-"


"Come on! I'll take you to a doctor in the city."


"...Fine."


Edbark started to trot off. Kratos sighed and started to try and follow, only to stumble over. Edbark turned back and gasped.

"Oh no! You've forgotten how to walk!"


"I'm fine," said Kratos. "I just need to get used to this new body..."


"Come on," said Edbark. "I'll help you."


Edbark propped Kratos up with his back, then they walked away together.


------------


Eventually, the duo reached the outskirts of what seemed to be a city. There were many houses both small and large and dirt roads, as well as towering buildings which Kratos could only fathom a guess at the purpose of.


Having figured out how to walk by himself, Kratos went closer and saw the city was populated not by humans or elves or half-elves or dwarves or even angels, but by a staggering array of different animals, plants, and even inanimate objects, all moving around as if they were people.


"What... is this place?" said Kratos. "And what are these creatures?"


"This is Rainbow Wing City!" said Edbark. "And man, that amnesia really got to you... These are Pokemon! You're a Pokemon, I'm a Pokemon..."


"I thought you said I was a Noibat and you were a Zorua."


"Noibat and Zorua are both kinds of Pokemon silly!"


"...I see."


The two continued further on into Rainbow Wing City, passing various buildings and a great variety of Pokemon. Kratos marveled at the bazaars and shops and facilities run by colorful creatures he couldn't even count. Eventually the two reached what seemed to be a castle - Kratos noticed one of two in the city, along with a cathedral.


"And this place is..." said Kratos.


"The Adventurer's Guild!" said Edbark."They can help you out!"


Edbark dragged Kratos inside. Kratos noticed more facilities and corridors and dormitories inside, as well as what seemed to be an... Inn? With a bar?


Eventually Edbark dragged Kratos into a central room. Seated at the end of the room was a strange, cream-and-green mustelid-like creature wearing a red vest, flanked by two floating grayish blue automaton-like beings.


"Guildmaster, it's Edbark!" said one.


"And... some Noibat?" said another.


"I see, I see," said the mustelid. He approached the duo. "Edbark my boy! Who do you have here?"


"Guildmaster Stoakes!" said Edbark. "This is Kratos! Poor guy has amnesia! All he can remember is his own name... You gotta help him!"


Kratos was about to object that no, he did not have amnesia, he remembers the last four thousand years or so up until this point fine, but then he realized they probably weren't going to listen and decided to just roll with it.


"Hmm, amnesia, huh?" said Stoakes, scratching his chin. "He'll need some rest and recovery... But the Adventurer's Guild never turns down a person in need. He can stay here, we'll have Nurse Betania take a look at him."


"Yay! Thank you, Guildmaster Stoakes!" said Edbark. He turned to Kratos. "These guys have got you covered. I'll be back!"


He scampered off, and the two automatons escorted Kratos to another room as Stoakes followed.


---------------


A large pink oval with white tufts on her body and an egg nestled in a pouch on her belly now looked Kratos over. She looked him up, down, and sideways as she prodded and investigated his head and body. Kratos begrudgingly obliged as Stoakes watched.


"Well," said the pink oval, who was apparently Nurse Betania, "This is odd. He doesn't seem to have head trauma or other trauma or any injuries at all! How the hell does he have amnesia?"


"Well I wouldn't know." said Kratos.


Stoakes thought to himself a bit. "There's one possibility... Some nefarious Pokemon, somehow, wiped his memories."


"Well that gives us fuck-all evidence as to who!" said Betania, huffing.


"It seems it can't be helped." said Stoakes. He sighed, then turned to Kratos. "My offer for you to stay here still stands. Though... what do you remember?"


Kratos paused to think of a convincing reply. "...My name, Kratos Aurion. And apparently your language, basic functions of living, certain basic concepts... I remember nothing of this world or its people."


"Hm. Awfully specific memory wipe," said Stoakes. "Whoever did this to you must have had a very strange goal in mind... Nevertheless, you're safe with the Adventurer's Guild."

"Thank you."


"Hmph. Adopting another one, I see, Stoakes," said Betania.


"It can't be helped! Rule Number 1 of the Adventurer's Guild! Always help those in need, no matter who they are!"


Kratos was suddenly reminded of his son Lloyd's fondness for the Dwarven Vows. "I appreciate it."


"Besides," said Stoakes. "You came to Rainbow Wing City at a good time! The Seeking is soon! There will be a big festival and everything!"


"The Seeking?"


"I'll let Edbark explain that one, he gets excited about old myths and legends and stuff like that. Anyway, we should probably find you a room..."


He led Kratos out of the infirmary and down the stony hall to a set of rooms.


"Here's an empty dormitory. Since we're hosting you, you get to stay free of charge here instead of at the inn."


"Thank you for your generosity."


"No problem, Kratos! Come to us for anything you need!"


He headed off. Kratos paused, then sat on the bed of his new room and stared off into space.


What the hell was going on?


--------------


And there you have it, the beginning of this crossover adventure! Before I go, some art:


Edbark by ToonIRL


Guildmaster Stoakes by @canisaries


The Banner ft. Kratos by Shinywolf

This will update in rough alternation with Heroes After All until one of them finishes in like 3000 years. Stay tuned!
 

Tanuki

Pikachu Enthusiast
Location
Rhyme City
Pronouns
He/him/his
This fic is so delightful. I was laughing nearly every paragraph (even despite wanting to emmaciate you for that quote when Kratos woke up), and your style of prose really works to sell it. Short, bouncy, it's nice.

Nice, and, clearly intentional, as the prologue clearly displays you have the capacity for more serious, introspective prose. I'd imagine, as the story goes along, you'll have opportunities to utilize that juxtaposition further to really sell certain story beats.

Some of your dialogue tags are a bit unneccessary, though. When an entire paragraph is about what one character's doing, it makes sense that the dialogue in that paragraph is that character's. You would only really need a tag if it weren't that character's dialogue. Doing away with excessive tags could help with the more simple style of it.

> Kratos was about to object that no, he did not have amnesia, he remembers the last four thousand years or so up until this point fine, but then he realized they probably weren't going to listen and decided to just roll with it.

Marvelous. Just hilarious. The juxtaposition between Kratos's reality, the kidish and fun pokémon world, it's just so good. I can just imagine the stares had he said, "Actually, I remember the past four thousand years just fine," despite being a base evolution.

One tiny tweak, though, if I may, is I'd separate it into two sentences at the "but". Yes, I know starting a sentence with a conjunction is illegal. But it can really sell the rhythm and thus the impact of the joke when you add a full stop before his reasoning behind keeping his truth a secret. Plus, playing fast and loose with grammar rules a bit more would go just wonderfully with your style.

Really great start! I'm excited to see more! I've never played tales of Symphonia, so I'm in the dark on any references to that, but at least I know what most of the pokémon look like (especially with your simplistic descriptions underscoring the humor if their simple designs. "A pink oval staring down at him," just perfect). I hope you keep it up; this is great.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
This fic is so delightful. I was laughing nearly every paragraph (even despite wanting to emmaciate you for that quote when Kratos woke up), and your style of prose really works to sell it. Short, bouncy, it's nice.

Nice, and, clearly intentional, as the prologue clearly displays you have the capacity for more serious, introspective prose. I'd imagine, as the story goes along, you'll have opportunities to utilize that juxtaposition further to really sell certain story beats.

Some of your dialogue tags are a bit unneccessary, though. When an entire paragraph is about what one character's doing, it makes sense that the dialogue in that paragraph is that character's. You would only really need a tag if it weren't that character's dialogue. Doing away with excessive tags could help with the more simple style of it.

> Kratos was about to object that no, he did not have amnesia, he remembers the last four thousand years or so up until this point fine, but then he realized they probably weren't going to listen and decided to just roll with it.

Marvelous. Just hilarious. The juxtaposition between Kratos's reality, the kidish and fun pokémon world, it's just so good. I can just imagine the stares had he said, "Actually, I remember the past four thousand years just fine," despite being a base evolution.

One tiny tweak, though, if I may, is I'd separate it into two sentences at the "but". Yes, I know starting a sentence with a conjunction is illegal. But it can really sell the rhythm and thus the impact of the joke when you add a full stop before his reasoning behind keeping his truth a secret. Plus, playing fast and loose with grammar rules a bit more would go just wonderfully with your style.

Really great start! I'm excited to see more! I've never played tales of Symphonia, so I'm in the dark on any references to that, but at least I know what most of the pokémon look like (especially with your simplistic descriptions underscoring the humor if their simple designs. "A pink oval staring down at him," just perfect). I hope you keep it up; this is great.
Hey there! Glad you like the sense of humor, and good to have you along for the ride!

...And the ride continues now! I was gonna update Heroes After All next but I ran out of steam after that had a constant stream of updates for a while. So I decided to work on this fic instead. Here is where things start picking up:


Chapter 2: Seeking Feeling


Kratos woke up on the bed he was provided. He checked himself quickly. Still was stuck in the form this strange "Noibat" creature. It wasn't a dream. He still had no clue what was going on. He sighed.


He heard a knock on the door. He went over to check and opened it.It was Edbark.


"Hey Kratos! I gotta show you around!"


Kratos sighed. "Please, show me around."


Edbark dragged him by the wing, taking him everywhere, explaining everything too fast for Kratos to fully process - the sleeping quarters they came from, game rooms, strategy rooms, the guildmaster's quarters - wasn't he just here yesterday? - the storeroom for equipment, the storeroom for food and items, sentry posts, the infirmary - he was also there yesterday - the vendors outside, bathrooms...


Finally they came to a mess hall, attached to a kitchen and a bar. In the kitchen a strange apple-pie-dragon was busy cooking despite his squat body while a spiny purple rhino-rabbit handed drinks to thirsty Pokemon.


"And this is where everyone eats and drinks! Oh, you probably need breakfast, don't you?"


"I-"


Kratos' stomach rumbled. It seemed this new body needed food more than his angel one.


"...Yes please."


"Okay! Come on we'll get you something."


Edbark and Kratos headed over to the apple pie dragon, who was shovelling mush into bowls from atop a platform.


"Hey Chef Bramley! What have we got today?"


"Oh, Edbark!" said Bramley, his ear-like eyes perking up to take a look. "And... a new friend?"


"This is Kratos! You're serving your special spiced oatmeal porridge today yes? We'll have some!"


"Oh, of course! Coming right up!"


Using his mouth to manipulate a ladle Bramley scooped oatmeal porridge into two bowls he sprinkled strange colorful beans on top of before pushing toward the two.


"With complimentary Gummis. Enjoy!"


"Thank you!" said Edbark.


Edbark carefully manipulated the bowl with his paws, moving it towards a table. Kratos gripped the bowl in his wing claws and followed, finding a purple rat in loose bits of clothing and armor already there.


"Hey Edbark!" he said. "'Bout time you got here!" He raised an eyebrow at Kratos. "Who's this?"


"Hey Ricki! This is Kratos!" said Edbark. "I found him unconscious with barely any memories outside of town... Only knew he wasn't a feral by his weird coloring and the belts he was wearing."


"Yes, that's me, the poor poor amnesiac," Kratos said.


"Ow, geez, that's rough," said Ricki. "Well you can sit with us, we'd appreciate the company!"


Kratos noticed the three of them were sitting far away from any other Pokemon, save the ones at the bar.


"Why are you two by yourselves?"


Riki rolled his eyes. "We haven't formed a proper Adventurer Squad yet. They think they're better than us."


Edbark looked to a small blue canine sitting across from them a fair distance away.


"Uh, hey, Stella? You can still totally join us!"


Stella gave them a look before scooching further away.


"Why do you even bother trying to convince her, Edbark?" said Ricki. "She's cold as ice. Stick in the mud. She's never wanted to even acknowledge us."


He looked over to Kratos. "You rescued this guy right? Recruit him instead!"


"What? Hell no!" said Edbark. "He's got amnesia! I can't ask him to be on an Adventurer Squad! And even if I did the Guildmaster would never allow it!"


"Well, why would you need me?" said Kratos.


"Every new Adventurer Squad needs to be approved by the Guildmaster himself," said Ricki. "And he won't approve of just me and Edbark by ourselves! We've tried!"


"So we've been looking for a third mon to hopefully convince him we've got what it takes," said Edbark. "But no luck."


"It's stupid is what I tell you," said Ricki. "Stoakes has approved two-person Adventurer Squads before! It's like, the minimum, and he recommends three or four, but still."


Kratos thought to himself. Did he really need to babysit a bunch of children again? Especially when neither of them were his son?


"Well, good luck with that," said Kratos.


Edbark sighed. "It sucks... The opening ceremony of the Seeking is tonight! If we don't get our act together by the time everyone sets off for it we'll have to wait another year!"


Kratos raised an eyebrow. Didn't Stoakes mention that? "The Seeking?"


"Oh no no no," said Riki, "don't get him going he'll-"


Too late. Edbark turned toward Kratos, eyes sparkling.


"The Seeking is the most wonderful thing! Everyone gets together for a big festival! The queen of Spectroma - that's the nation Rainbow Wing City is the capital of - shows up! Ho-Oh himself shows up! And then shooting stars called Reality Shards fall out of the sky and Adventurer Squads have to gather them all for a big ritual to stave off the darkness!"


Kratos barely stopped himself from frowning. Something about this seemed familiar in a way he didn't like.


"I see. Fascinating."


"Ha! Kratos gets me!" said Edbark.


"Whatever," said Ricki, nibbling his oatmeal porridge, making sure to eat the strange jellybean-like items along with it. Kratos poked at his.


"What are these beans?"


"Those are gummis!" said Edbark, eating some himself. "They're what makes Poke-society go round!"


"How so?" said Kratos.


"Oh no you're going to get him going again with the expo-"


"They're one of the things made from the leftovers of a Mystery Dungeon! They make a Pokemon's brain less feral, so Pokemon can live and work together without, you know, trying to kill or eat each other!"


Concerning. "Mystery Dungeon?"


"They're these big warps in reality that turn the surrounding area into a hazardous dungeon! They spread like a disease and can only be destroyed by going to the bottom and destroying the core!"


Kratos disliked what he heard about this world the longer he stayed here.


"I see, thank you."


"Can we eat now?" said Ricki, looking at his porridge longingly.


"Yeah, I'm done," said Edbark, "Unless Kratos has any more questions.


"I know all I need to for now," said Kratos.


He started hesitantly eating his porridge and Gummies. He felt he was going to get involved in something eventually. He just wasn't sure what.


And that? That scared him.


-----------


In a dark throne room, a Decidueye sat, looking around from her throne. Mainly because she was bored, waiting for something.


Finally something did come, in the form of a Steenie, in a uniform, looking very nervous. The Decidueye leered down at her.


"Are the preparations ready?"


"Y-yes Empress Nyra, they're all ready for tomorrow."


"Good. The Seeking is tomorrow. We must make sure it all goes exactly as planned."


The Steenie shifted awkwardly. Nyra rolled her eyes.

"Yes?"


"Since I helped get this done, Empress... Would you put in a word for me to advance in the ran-"


Thunk.


The Steenie froze in place as a shadowy arrow stopped just shy of hitting them.


"No. Your boldness entertained me so I let you off light. You'd best get out of here before I decide on more painful ways of using you for entertainment."


The Steenie yelped and exited the throne room as quickly as she could. The door closed behind her with a bang.


Nyra slouched and gave a bird smirk.


----------


The rest of the day passed uneventfully. Kratos was now being dragged from the Adventurer's Guild by Edbark, Ricki in tow, to a public stage in the middle of the city built around an altar. The trio sat in special nooks built into the stands as more Pokemon piled in.


There was murmuring among the crowd. Then cheering as a strange pastel witch-like Pokemon wearing jewels on her "hat" and a lemur holding a cane came up to the altar.


"Look! It's Queen Ceridwen! And her assistant Pari Passu!" said Edbark.

"Come on, Edbark, I'm sure even Mr. Amnesiac knows them!" said Ricki.


"I don't, actually," said Kratos.


"...Carry on then," said Ricki.


"People of Spectroma!" said Ceridwen. "It is time once again for the grand festival of all realms, the Seeking!"

The crowd's applause became even more raucous.


"Tonight, the stars shall fall, lighting a path for our brave Adventurer Squads... And joining us for this event..."


A rainbow glow. A flapping of wings. A massive orange and gold bird with iridescent shimmering feathers alight upon the altar. Kratos sensed great power emanating from it, greater than the angelic power he once had.


Then it looked straight at him and paused. Kratos could feel a tingling down his tiny bat spine, as if this bird's eyes could see who he truly was.


"Who... Is that?"


"Ho-oh..." said Edbark, entranced.


"He's the patron Legendary of Spectroma," said Ricki. "He's like, a god..."


A god? Kratos remembered the lies of Cruxis, the ones Yggdrasil spun, the ones he partook in. What qualified as a god was rather nebulous to him. Yet this Ho-Oh, at the very least, felt like one.


"Greetings, all of you," said Ho-Oh. "It is an honor to be with you all. May your strongest hearts, souls, and minds be ready for the Seeking... and for the rest of you to be ready to celebrate!"


He gestured a wing toward the starry sky.


"But let us watch and wait for the Reality Shards to fall!"


The crowd fell into utter silence as their heads looked up at the stars. For a while - Kratos couldn't tell how long - everything was dead silent.


Then a sparkling green streak soared through the sky and touched down far away. Then another. And another. The cheering resumed as more and more kept raining down.


"Are those..." said Kratos.


"Reality Shards!" said Edbark. "They say Arceus themself makes them!"


"Arceus? Who is tha-"


There was a rumble. A red and purple shooting star far different from the others careened through the sky and landed somewhere distant with a boom. There were gasps of horror and shock as the crowd - and even Ho-Oh, Cerwiden, and Pari Passu started panicking.


"Is that not supposed to happen?" said Kratos.

"It is definitely not supposed to happen!" said Ricki. "What was that thing?"


Then Kratos felt it. Not only was Ho-oh staring into his very being again, Cerwiden was too. Pari Passu, meanwhile, was trying desperately to calm the crowd.


"Everyone! Calm yourselves! It's probably nothing! Maybe! Oh, of all the times something goes wrong it has to be the Seeking..."


-----------------


The group had made it back to the Adventurer's Guild. The Pokemon around them were murmuring to each other in worry.


"How did this happen?"


"Is this an omen? Of what?"


"Did the Empire do this?"


Kratos' sharp ears picked up on the empire thing but did not act on it. He was too focused on Ricki and Edbark.


"What are we gonna do?!" said Edbark.


"We can't do jack shit!" said Ricki. "We have no clue what's going on!"


"Easy, you two," said Kratos. "We'll figure something out..."


Kratos felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around. It was Guildmaster Stoakes.


"Er? Kratos? Unusual request at a time like this but... You have an audience with the Queen. And Ho-Oh himself."


Edbark and Ricki gasped.

"Wow really? Cool!" said Edbark.


"What does she want him for though?"


Kratos sighed. He should have seen this coming.


--------------


Kratos was led by Stoakes and his two assistants, to the second castle, through winding hallways, to a throne room where he saw quite the menagerie.


Queen Cerwiden was there. Pari Passu was there. Ho-Oh, sitting on a gilded perch, was there.


"What do you all want with me?" said Kratos.


"My apologies for dragging you in so suddenly," said Cerwiden, "But Ho-oh sensed something strange and powerful about you, I did as well, and given the situation... We needed to investigate."


"We sensed something unusual about him as well," said one of the Metang.


"Yeah!" said the other Metang. "Like his brainwaves were giving off real freaky vibes!"


"Ferrite, Pearlite, you could have told me that earlier..." said Stoakes, crossing his arms.


"Point is," said Ho-Oh, "Kratos. Who are you? And what do you know, if anything, about that meteor? Is it the Empire's doing?"


"Who I am is complicated. But I do not know anything about this meteor. Nor this empire."


Kratos felt his mind being probed from multiple directions.


"He is telling the truth." said Ferrite.


"No lies here!" said Pearlite.


"What did I tell you two about probing people's brains without asking?" said Stoakes.


The two slunk back in shame.


"Sorry..." said Pearlite.


"We won't do it again." said Ferrite.


"So you are a separate debacle from the meteor and the empire..." said Pari Passu. "Regardless, Lord Ho-Oh's question of "who are you" still stands. We can deal with "complicated"."


Kratos sighed. Then he told them everything. The last four thousand years or so, Mithos, Yggdrasil, Yuan, Anna, Lloyd, Lloyd's friends, the quest they all went through... the only thing he left out (since he did not feel the probing Psychic presence of Ferrite and Pearlite) was any mention that none of those involved were Pokemon. By the end of his very long tale the jaws of all the other Pokemon had dropped in shock.


"Incredible... You're a Legendary from another world and you were sent here..." said Cerwiden. "But why?"


Legendary? Kratos certainly wouldn't describe himself as such. "Your guess is as good as mine. The voice didn't tell me."


"This voice could still be affiliated with the Empire!" said Pari Passu. "It could be part of their plan!"


"It could be," said Cerwiden, "But this Kratos gives off a feeling he is not against us. He could help."


"Well what do you suppose he do?" said Parri Passu.


"Hmmmm... Perhaps he could help us investigate the meteor," said Ho-Oh.


"That's a good idea!" said Stoakes. "Given what he's been through he'll be well at home in an Adventurer Squad."


"Hmph," said Pari Passu. "Well Kratos? Are you up for it?"


"I accept," said Kratos.


"See, he's not up for it, time to find someone el- wait, really?"


"As Stoakes said I'm... Qualified."


"We are grateful for your assistance, Kratos Aurion," said Cerwiden, bowing.


"Alright!" said Stoakes. "I'll get you signed up with one of our most skilled Adventurer Squads straight away!"


Kratos thought a bit. About Loyd, Genis, Collete, Sheena, the others...


"Actually," said Kratos. "I want Edbark and Ricki's help."


Stoakes' eyes widened. Ferrite and Pearlite looked at each other in disbelief. "Those two?" said Stoakes."They aren't fit to form an Adventurer Squad just yet!"


"Not by themselves maybe," said Kratos. "But as you could ascertain from my tale I have seen young people like them do great things. And if I were to help them..."


Stoakes put a paw to his chin. "Now you mention what you said about your son and his friends I can kinda see your logic. Hm..."


He nodded.


"I think we can make this work."


-----------------------


Some time later, back at the Adventurer's Guild, Edbark and Ricki stared at Kratos and Stoakes.


"So wait," said Edbark. "Kratos is being sent on a big mission to investigate the meteor during the Seeking... and he wants our help?"


"He said he thinks you two have potential!" said Stoakes. "And honestly, about time I give you two a shot at the Adventurer Squad life."


"...Holy shit." said Ricki. "We made it!"


"Woo!" said Edbark. "Finally! Thanks a ton Kratos!"


"Don't start celebrating just yet," said Kratos. "The road ahead will be hard. I was assigned partially to prepare you for it."


"Right, right," said Ricki, nodding.


"Also! Before I forget..." said Stoakes.


He produced three small badges with a Rainbow Wing insignia on them.


"These are your Guild badges! If you need help, use these to Teleport back to the guild anytime from a waypoint or inside a dungeon!"


Edbark and Ricki took the badges eagerly, Kratos less eagerly.

"We won't let you down Guildmaster Stoakes!" said Edbark.


"Or at least we'll try not to!" said Ricki.


Stoakes chuckled. "Well at the very least I and Kratos have your back. But... don't you all need a team name?"


"Oh! Oh, uh, this is hard..." said Ricki.


"Hey! Why don't we let Kratos pick?" said Edbark. "He's the reason we're in this team in the first place."


Kratos did a headtilt. Then thought. And thought. And thought some more. Until something finally came to him.


"Team Symphonia."


"That... actually has a nice ring to it," said Ricki.


"We'll take it!" said Edbark.


Stoakes nodded. "Alright, we gave Kratos some instructions on where to go to start off with but you two know the maps better than he does, so help him if he gets lost, okay?"


"Got it!" said Edbark.


"Well, you three best get prepared. Good luck out there. May Ho-oh's wingbeats guide you."


Ricki and Edbark nodded and waved Stoakes off as they left, Kratos following. One thought was on his mind.


Something was inevitably going to go wrong. Probably multiple somethings. He needed to be prepared - and he needed to prepare Edbark and Riki.


****


At last our heroes are on the move! But what will they find? Find out next time! ...Whenever that is.
 

windskull

Bidoof Fan
Partner
sneasel-nip
Prologue
Huh, you know, I think this is the first pmd fic that I’ve read that makes use of the quiz at the beginning. I’ve come across a couple previously, but I haven’t had time to read them. I kind of feel like in a general PMD story, it tends to get in the way, playing too close to game mechanics. But in this case, as someone with very limited knowledge of Tales of Symphonia (I’m like… 2 hours into the game as of this point), I think it works in the story’s favor since it gives me just enough establishing information about Kratos to know where in his personal story this starts from and establishes enough about him that I have an idea of what I’m getting into.


Ch 1
"Hey you! You're finally awake!"
-Squints-

I’m getting a kick out of Edbark’s dialogue. He strikes me as a bit of a parody on the overly helpful and expository NPC. I do hope we get to see a bit more about him shine through eventually, though.

Eventually Edbark dragged Kratos into a central room.
I feel like there should be a comma after “Eventually.”

I do feel like, if you’re not going to immediately name the species of a pokemon within the narration (which makes sense since it’s from Kratos’ pov) and not name the species pretty soon after, you would do well to put a little more description into their appearance, or else name them at least somewhat shortly afterward. For example, while Betania, Edbark, and were easy enough to guess, and I was able to work out that the two automatons were either metang or beldum, I was scraping my brain trying to figure out what species Stoaks was. It clicked when I saw the art of him again, but for a reader that might not have seen that, trying to figure out what pokemon he was might be a bit more difficult, or even distracting.

I appreciate that they pointed out that this didn’t really seem like amnesia.

I kind of wish we got a little more introspection from Kratos near the end of the chapter. We get a little, in the form of his snappy thought. But I wish we had just a sentence or two more of him trying to process everything before he settles on “What the hell is going on?”

Ch 2
Looking at this as a crossover, I think it’s probably a good idea that you did cursory explanations for things like Mystery Dungeons, both to explain the differences between canon and your version (which, by the way, the core concept is a neat idea - though I don’t know if it’s based off of TOS or not) and to give people that are more experienced with TOS an idea of the basics of PMD.

"Unless Kratos has any more questions.
Missing a quote mark at the end here.

He started hesitantly eating his porridge and Gummies. He felt he was going to get involved in something eventually. He just wasn't sure what.
Unless intentional, using He to start so many sentences in a row can come off as kind of bland and repetitive prose. I only see this pop up in this one spot though, so it's an isolated issue, not a problem throughout the whole story.

Now that I’ve caught up, I’ll say I am enjoying this. It definitely comes across as a fairly lighthearted story that playfully ribs on some of the more silly PMD tropes. Execution-wise, I’d consider this story fairly good. For the type of story it is (or at least, I think it is based on current developments), the level of detail and description is fine, aside from my nitpick on pokemon descriptions.

I think my only significant complaint is that, as of right now, some of the characters feel pretty flat. Edbark, for example, just feels like “the exposition guy.” Of course, you’re only two chapters in, so it may be a little early to make that judgment and he’ll probably get a chance to shine as the story progresses, but I felt it was worth pointing out.

Regardless, consider me intrigued by the plot at this point. I’ll try to hop in and give another review once a few more chapters have been posted.
 

Tanuki

Pikachu Enthusiast
Location
Rhyme City
Pronouns
He/him/his
I'm conflicted. I do like your short, simple style if sentences, but they always jump from one point straight on to the next. They keep the lighthearted tone, but don't let any moments have weight behind them. There's not enough time to worry about one thing before you jump to the next.

This leads to a problem with pacing. Everything's happening just a bit too fast. They're already off on their adventure in chapter two? You introduced the conflict of them not being able to form a team in the same chapter you resolve it. There's no tension there.

Most of your jokes land well—"Don't get him started on the expo-"—and most had me chuckle, or outright laugh. The story's a comedy and the humor works. Yet, some underlying tension could really help the great humor stand out that much more.

This chapter could do with a lot more fleshing out of the scenes. Not so much as to make it drag, but just a bit more to pull me into the story. You describe pokémon well, but the environments are just blank. I know what a mess hall looks like, sure, but I wanna know what your mess hall looks like.

You've got something good here. I think these few tweaks could really help add to the reading experience. Keep at it! You're on the right track.
 

Virgil134

PMD Writer
Partner
weavile
Crossposting from Serebii:

I should probably update my formatting by now yeah...
Well, I am glad you are considering changing it, though chapter 2 still had the same issue I’m afraid.

He went over to check and opened it.It was Edbark.
Missing a space between these two sentences.

Edbark carefully manipulated the bowl with his paws, moving it towards a table. Kratos gripped the bowl in his wing claws and followed, finding a purple rat in loose bits of clothing and armor already there.
I think this part could have used a bit more description, since I had to read this twice to understand that you were trying to say that Edbark took the food from the kitchen to a nearby table where Ricki was already sitting.

"Yes, that's me, the poor poor amnesiac," Kratos said.
Well aren’t we snarky today?

Kratos thought to himself. Did he really need to babysit a bunch of children again? Especially when neither of them were his son?


"Well, good luck with that," said Kratos.
Lmao

"Oh no you're going to get him going again with the expo-"
Always good for a fic to have some self-awareness
:p


"They're these big warps in reality that turn the surrounding area into a hazardous dungeon! They spread like a disease and can only be destroyed by going to the bottom and destroying the core!"
I still like the idea that going into Mystery Dungeons is basically a mission to get to the end and destroy it to bring an area back to normal. It is different and I just know you will have some fun with it later down the line.

"No. Your boldness entertained me so I let you off light. You'd best get out of here before I decide on more painful ways of using you for entertainment."
Well that is not very nice. Though looks like we got our first villain!

A red and purple shooting star far different from the others careened through the sky and landed somewhere distant with a boom.
This reminds me of the Wishing Stars from Sword and Shield, especially since the colors seem to match up. That said, I doubt this is related given that you came up with the concept of this fic before Gen 8 came out, but hey it is still a fun coincidence.

"Did the Empire do this?"
Given the scene with the evil Empress prior to this happening, I’d say there is a 99.9% it is lol.

"We can't do jack ****!"
Looks like this chapter also had a word that didn’t make it past the swear filter.

"Point is," said Ho-Oh, "Kratos. Who are you?
Huh, I guess Ho-Oh did not bring him here after all? Unless he is pretending, but that would of course raise the question why. There doesn’t really seem to be a reason for him to.

Then he told them everything. The last four thousand years or so, Mithos, Yggdrasil, Yuan, Anna, Lloyd, Lloyd's friends, the quest they all went through... the only thing he left out (since he did not feel the probing Psychic presence of Ferrite and Pearlite) was any mention that none of those involved were Pokemon. By the end of his very long tale the jaws of all the other Pokemon had dropped in shock.
I don’t think glossing this over was a good idea. In general glossing over stuff makes sense if what is said is something the reader already knows or when it isn’t important to the story. But given that a lot of readers wouldn’t be familiar with this (including me) and Stoakes later in this scene refers to a specific part of this story, that isn’t really the case there. Having Kratos tell the broad strokes in a few lines would help improve this part a lot I think. It would also tell the reader more about Kratos’ character, since right now the people who haven’t played Tales Of Symphonia still know very little of him.

"Hmmmm... Perhaps he could help us investigate the meteor," said Ho-Oh.


"That's a good idea!" said Stoakes. "Given what he's been through he'll be well at home in an Adventurer Squad."


"Hmph," said Pari Passu. "Well Kratos? Are you up for it?"


"I accept," said Kratos.


"See, he's not up for it, time to find someone el- wait, really?"
Heh, Pari Passu must be so surprised given how random this all is. XD

Now you mention what you said about your son and his friends I can kinda see your logic.
This is the part I was referring to earlier by the way. Since I did not get to hear the story that Stoakes did, I don’t actually see the logic he is talking about.

And looks like our team of main characters has been formed. Despite some criticisms I gave earlier I did really enjoy the chapter. Will look forward to seeing what Ricki brings to the table as a teammate, since so far we’ve less of him than Kratos and Edbark of course. I am curious to see what this meteor is exactly and what this Empire is hoping to accomplish with it. Given that Ho-Oh seems to be allied with Spectroma I actually wonder if the Empire also has a Legendary on their side. I guess we shall see. Until next time!
 

SparklingEspeon

Insquisitabilitating
Pronouns
She/Her
Review of the Prologue - Chapter 2

I never knew that you wrote before, and I've been waaay too busy recently to take a look at basically anything, so I'm rectifying that now :)
Either way, this seems to be your current work and probably the one I'd be most interested in reading, so I'll start here.

The first thing that interests me right off the bat is that this story appears to be not just purely PMD, but a crossover between PMD and something else (IDK what, though). I'm guessing that 'Kratos' is a character from that other property? He mentions his wife and son, so I assume he had some kind of backstory before. I'm still kind of wondering about the name, though. Usually when characters are named after roman/greek idols, there's some sort of symbolism or running theme to it. Even if Kratos isn't an OC tailored specifically to this story's needs, I'm wondering if you had that in mind when you picked him?

A lot of exchanges in this story read as lacking depth/on-the-nose at first. Reading it the first time around made me wilt in despair because I've read it like a literal million times already... until I realized that's the point. Going back and reading closer, the conversations seem superficially-superficial, and many of them read almost like you're poking fun at the clichés while writing them (Like how Edbark just 'assumes' Kratos has amnesia and Kratos goes along with it because lolz and no-one ever figures it out). Even the personality quiz at the start is just filled with snark and amazing to read.

The overall style of PMD: TOA seems overall minimal, which also reminds me of the tone of PMD Rescue Team- you got just enough for the story to make sense, but everything else was shrouded in mystery and overall seemed to operate on a lower level of complexity than our society does. Pokémon here take things for granted instead of asking questions - 'Oh? you're just lying there? Well obviously someone knocked you out and you can't remember a thing! Sounds legit.' There aren't that many details in the scenery, either. A town is a town. A guild is a guild. A festival is a festival. Anywhere else this would probably qualify as beige prose, but here it works really well, since most pokemon probably aren't the scholarly types.

And of course Empress Nyra seems to be shaping up to be the typical cliché PMD (Maybe arc?) villain, but I assume that's on purpose as well. Nothing makes a metaphorical mustache twirling villain look more evil than threatening their suboorinates and killing their PR :D

The meteor from the second chapter seems like an interesting (Maybe clever if intentional?) callback to the plot of Rescue Team as well. IDK where you're going with it yet (Unless those are the 'aliens' the voice at the beginning mentioned instead of the pokemon), but that's what jumped out to me.

I love the idea of appletun as a chef! They're no taller than a Pikachu either, so it must be hard for them... when Stella was mentioned as 'blue canine', my first instinct was to think 'shinx', but then I realized the common interpretation of shinx is feline and not canine, so she's probably a riolu (Maybe satire on how pretty much every PMD fic ever has a riolu character/protagonist?). Either way, it might pay to make her species a bit clearer, especially if she's neither.

Something else I noticed is that even though TR doesn't automatically space things out for you (grumbles), you seem to have put double-spaces in between all your lines instead of the normal single space. There's nothing wrong with it; of course, but my experience reading it was it made your prose look spartan to me- it felt like there was less than there really was. It was also very easy for me to get lost a lot, since my eyes are accustomed to reading single spaces and I had to essentially remind myself to skip a line every time I read down further. Maybe it's because I'm accustomed to reading on FFN, but I thought it might be useful to know anyway.

Overall, I liked this! Most PMD fics I've seen either do these to death or avoid them like the plague, so seeing one that takes those clichés and revels in shoving them back in readers' faces is interesting indeed. Now that I think about it, this is also the first outwardly satirical PMD I've read, so there's also that? The only negative comment I might have on that front is that unless it's important to the plot later, I think that Kratos being from another IP is a bit of a loose cannon. The setup you seem to have going on is that you're setting up a cliché story on purpose and then letting things fly (You have the cliché amnesia scene, the cliché gung-ho partner, the cliché Wigglytuff's Guild stand-in, the cliché probably-foreshadowing-to-a-cataclysmic-event, etc.), and if you aren't planning to come back to it at some point, then it might end up coming back for you later. Obviously IDK what your outline is or where you're going with it (I've only read three installments, after all...), but that gets so so many people who write crossovers between things and it seems fair to at least mention.

Looking forward to reading more of this!

~SparklingEspeon

Listening to: Toss a Coin to Your Witcher - Sonia Belousova; Giona Ostivelli
 

The Walrein

Junior Trainer
Partner
gulpin
Hello Umbramatic! I'm here with that review I said I'd do over two months ago! (That counts as 'soon' in Walrein Time™). I don't know much about Tales of Symphonia, but I am pretty familiar with PMD tropes and such, so hopefully I'll be able to pick up on the satire.

"Sure you aren't. Anyway, final question! Have you ever wanted to communicate with aliens from another planet?"


"I'm assuming you're one?"


"I will neither confirm nor deny."


"Hmmm... Some beings from my world came from the stars, but other than you, Derris-Kharlan hasn't encountered any aliens yet... so yes, I suppose."
I'm not really sure why Kratos isn't counting the beings that 'came from the stars' on his world as aliens here - did it happen far enough in the past that he doesn't really consider them 'aliens' anymore?

"No... and I mean... What am I?"

The fox gasped. "Oh no! You must have amnesia! Uh, you're a Noibat! Though, not like any Noibat I've ever seen. Your colors are all different..."
Hmm, Edbark's definitely jumping to a conclusion about the amnesia thing here...

"What... is this place?" said Kratos. "And what are these creatures?"


"This is Rainbow Wing City!" said Edbark. "And man, that amnesia really got to you... These are Pokemon! You're a Pokemon, I'm a Pokemon..."
I'm not sure it'd make sense for Edbark to immediately assume that Kratos doesn't recall what Pokemon are in general; I think he'd assume that Kratos just didn't recognize the specific species walking around town.

"Well," said the pink oval, who was apparently Nurse Betania, "This is odd. He doesn't seem to have head trauma or other trauma or any injuries at all! How the hell does he have amnesia?"


"Well I wouldn't know." said Kratos.


Stoakes thought to himself a bit. "There's one possibility... Some nefarious Pokemon, somehow, wiped his memories."
Characters investigating how exactly the protagonist got their amnesia, and the possibility of it being done by psychic memory alteration is one of those things that never seems to come up in standard PMD fare even though it logically should (assuming that memory manipulation is A Thing in a given world), so props for bringing it up here.

"Yes, that's me, the poor poor amnesiac," Kratos said.
This line was amusing!

Riki rolled his eyes. "We haven't formed a proper Adventurer Squad yet. They think they're better than us."
Ricki's name is misspelled here.

"They're one of the things made from the leftovers of a Mystery Dungeon! They make a Pokemon's brain less feral, so Pokemon can live and work together without, you know, trying to kill or eat each other!"
Hmm, now I'm wondering if Pokemon have to continually eat gummis to avoid backsliding into feralness?

"Yeah, I'm done," said Edbark, "Unless Kratos has any more questions.


"I know all I need to for now," said Kratos.
You really, really don't, Kratos...

Kratos sighed. Then he told them everything. The last four thousand years or so, Mithos, Yggdrasil, Yuan, Anna, Lloyd, Lloyd's friends, the quest they all went through... the only thing he left out (since he did not feel the probing Psychic presence of Ferrite and Pearlite) was any mention that none of those involved were Pokemon. By the end of his very long tale the jaws of all the other Pokemon had dropped in shock.
It seems a little implausible that Kratos would be able to totally elide the lack of Pokemon in his world throughout such a long story.


Kratos thought a bit. About Loyd, Genis, Collete, Sheena, the others...
Lloyd is misspelled here.

"Actually," said Kratos. "I want Edbark and Ricki's help."


Stoakes' eyes widened. Ferrite and Pearlite looked at each other in disbelief. "Those two?" said Stoakes."They aren't fit to form an Adventurer Squad just yet!"


"Not by themselves maybe," said Kratos. "But as you could ascertain from my tale I have seen young people like them do great things. And if I were to help them..."


Stoakes put a paw to his chin. "Now you mention what you said about your son and his friends I can kinda see your logic. Hm..."
It feels like Kratos and Stoakes are reading the script here. I'm not familiar with Tales of Symphonia, but just looking through wiki and TvTropes entries for Lloyd, Genis, Collete, Sheena, it seems like they were all exceptional people at the time Kratos began his journey with them - the strongest swordsman in his village, a child prodigy, a chosen one, an assassin from a parallel world - so I'm not sure it makes much sense that Kratos would assume Ricki and Edbark would be similarly capable just because they're also young people who he happened to meet. Even if Kratos believed this, though, you'd think Guildmaster Stoakes would be more hesitant about sending inexperienced youngsters on a mission of highly uncertain danger.

So, looking at the opening chapters as a whole, I do have to echo Tanuki's concerns about the pacing being too fast. I feel like we could've used more characterization for Edbark and Ricki, which could also help explain why Kratos sees potential in them. Also, I'd have liked to see more of Kratos' thoughts about getting turned into a noibat, and about the PMD world in general. I understand that Kratos is supposed to be terminally depressed at the beginning, but it's difficult for me to get engaged in the story when the protagonist himself is totally indifferent to everything happening to him. There are times when it's mentioned that Kratos feels apprehensive about his situation, but he barely asks any questions and doesn't really try to prepare in any way or find out more about the world around him, instead just quietly going along with the flow. Indeed, he only actually gets involved with the plot because Ho-Oh somehow senses something off about him rather than any action on his part. It just seems really disappointing that the story's answers to "What if Kratos Aurion wound up in the PMD world? How would he react to turning into a Pokemon?" are "he'd hit the same standard story beats as any other PMD protagonist, modulo some minor sarcasm" and "he wouldn't", respectively.

To be honest, for the most part the humor didn't really work for me. It felt like elements like the personality quiz, the assumption of Kratos' amnesia, the stereotypical enthusiastic partner, and the cliché evil ruler fell into a sort of an awkward valley where they weren't quite ridiculous or exaggerated enough to be funny, but were still done in such an unserious/cliché way that they both harmed the verisimilitude of the world and were too unoriginal to be interesting. It seems like other people liked the humor though, so it might just be an issue of me not liking this particular style of comedy.

Despite my complaints, I'd say this story still has some promise. It seems like the story will be moving away from the standard PMD opening soon, which might give a chance to show off more of Kratos' character. And I do want to find out exactly what the deal with the Seeking and reality fragments are. Feel free to message me on Discord if you have any questions about my review!
 
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