Hi, it's me, Final Poke Mario Fan. I know it's been a long time- and I've decided there's no delaying the inevitable. I have come to announce that I am discontinuing this story in its current form.
I'm sorry- I've tried and tried, but I've found that I've lost the passion for this version of the story. I've come to realize that what I wrote wasn't really all that good to begin with. Looking it over, the story was doomed from the start- I had thought I had overcome the idea of a Gary Stu with Alex being rather weak-willed at the start, but eventually gaining the confidence to overcome it and eventually becoming a powerful leader. What I didn't realize was that there are other ways to make a character a Gary Stu that does not involve them having the perfect personality. However, there were still pitfalls I would have had trouble with, and lots of other problems I had due to poor experience as a writer. To name a few of them:
#1: Alex and Kanonno were too much the center of attention. The story was "Tales of the World", not "Tales of Descenders". It should have featured the Tales characters just as well, and being the center of attention is pretty much screaming your character is dead on arrival. If I wanted to focus the story on them, I should have announced this at the start. I learned the hard way that your character doesn't need to be overpowered to be a Gary Stu.
#2: The plot was an unorganized mess. While I did have an "overall" plot planned out; it was basically a list of key events plus some plot twists that happened at certain points, and all the in-between stuff was blank. What's more, I didn't have individual chapters planned out, sans a few. That lead to a lot of repetitive chapters where not much that advanced the plot happened- I basically stuck to a formula of "characters have conversation, include some foreshadowing to later events, have a fight". What's more, I revised the plot at least 3 different times- lack of planning on my part. Originally, Valvus' group were the only original characters in the story, but as time went on, I kept adding character after character on new ideas that I should have thought of before I started writing. Heck, I didn't even have names for Valvus' group. I have come to the conclusion that I simply can't write stories that don't feature my own characters- I didn't write them, therefore I can't understand them. At either rate, the plot and characters were changing so much that my original plans for the story completely fell apart and got lost with the additions I made.
#3: The writing was bad. Plain and simple. I can't look back at earlier chapters without cringing at the poor writing, plot holes, and in particular, the dialogue. I'm not what you'd call a dialogue man- I have more talent in plotting stories than actually writing them, and almost all of the dialogue was exposition as a result. I was also pretty bad at keeping character personalities consistent as a result.
#4: My job as a translator has taken much of my time away from my hobbies. The games I translate are generally very long and complex, and require a lot of time and effort to do. Therefore, my translating will always come first and foremost.
#5: As time went on, plot points I had planned for the future had started actually appearing in Tales games. To avoid making them appear stale in my story, I chose to end it.
#6: Characters were becoming too overpowered. The whole "Descender powers" idea was stupid and should never have been created in the first place. It just mostly served as a convenient way for Alex to be more powerful, and the scale of which they would have grown would have only made things more ridiculous.
Honestly, I could go on, but it'd take a long time to write down everything wrong with this story and why I've decided to end it here. But it basically boils down to that I'm not happy with what I've written up until now and what I had planned really isn't worth writing in my opinion. I'm sorry for all of you who genuinely liked the story, but I just can't bring myself to like it anymore.
Nevertheless, I actually have planned to completely remake the story. While it will feature most of the same original characters, the plot will be completely different, though it will still have the same basic premise (Alex is reborn from the World Tree and must go to Pasca to deal with a crisis there). I've decided to plan out the entire thing chapter from chapter this time around, and get all the details down before planning it out. However, there are some notable changes I can share with you at this point.
#1: There will be no Tales series characters in the remake outside of some mentions. It will still feature Alex (Terresian Descender) as the protagonist and still feature Terresia and Pasca, but none of the Tales characters from outside games will be in the story. Note that also this story will not be in the same continuity as the actual Radiant Mythology 2 and 3- consider this a story that branches off from RM1 and takes place in a continuity separate from those games. I understand that this will lose me a lot of interest, but they wouldn't mesh with the new story.
#2: Multiple characters will have altered personalities and backstories. Some characters may not even be on the same side they were on this story. The factions will also be different for the most part. Also, the ages of some characters will be a bit different- in particular, the Pascan characters will be older than they were originally.
#3: Several OCs will be cut from the remake. In particular, Prophet, Siltran, the Silver Knights, Isaac, the generals, and some others will not be in the remake, though I may reuse certain concepts I had for them. In exchange, some new characters will be added.
#4: No war plot. The idea of making the plot revolve around a war in a Tales story was simply idiotic, as it lead to repetitive chapter after repetitive chapter. Instead, it'll deal with a more subtle conflict. As such, there will be less fighting in the remake.
#5: No Descender powers. Again, that was too silly, as it completely contradicted canon. As such, there will be no teleporting, and therefore, no traveling to other worlds. The only worlds in this story are Terresia and Pasca- anything else is only a reference. As such, details of how the Descenders exist and their creation will be different. Therefore, the Guardian of Descenders will not be in the remake.
There's many other changes, but these are the core changes. I'll just say that I've written about 11 pages of my draft as of this writing and I'm liking how things are coming together, and that I hope this will help me write a much more cohesive story this time around.
As for this version of the story, I will not reveal everything I had planned, since I plan to reuse some elements in the remake and future stories, and so it would ruin their impact if I were to reveal them here. Still, I can reveal some things.
#1: That scene from Chapter 36. The twist about Isaac Taophen was that he was an Artificial Descender- an artificially created person who was meant to have the Descenders' powers. With Mithos' magitech and knowledge, Tribilin learned how to perform external fertilization. And so he decided to create an Artificial Descender by taking Alex and Kanonno's reproductive material and combine it. If they had no reproductive material, he'd take cells from them and infuse them with test subjects. However, as Alex and Kanonno happened to have the same anatomy as humans, there was no need for the latter. The tank Isaac emerged from was full of chemicals that stimulated accelerated growth. Tribilin then acquired Kanonno's reproductive material (which was the meaning of the scar on Kanonno's abdomen), and used the Primalis Revertis to acquire Alex's. He could have acquired Alex's reproductive material in any way without him needing to see Kanonno, but he wanted to do it in a way that would create distrust between Alex and Kanonno and destroy their mental states- and to humiliate Alex. This Isaac was the final product of the experiment- Project Brutcaste ("Brutcaste" being a slightly altered version of the German word "brutkasten", which means "incubator"). Isaac would have had an essentially combined version of Alex and Kanonno's powers- a shield that absorbed magical attacks and used their mana to fire back at them. However, because there was an error in the implementation of the genes, Isaac was born as an albino. Isaac would have eventually suffered from degeneration due to rapid aging as a side effect of the drugs used to accelerate his growth along with the constant use of his artificial powers, and he would have been killed in RM3.
Also, the mana crystal Tribilin drained Alex's Destruction mana into would have been implanted into Isaac. It would have caused 10% of the mana Alex used every time he used his Destruction power to be permanently drained from his body and transferred into Isaac's. This would have eventually resulted in Alex becoming weaker and weaker until he was on the verge of death. When Isaac died, all the excess mana that had been stored in his body as a result would have returned to Alex, restoring him.
#2: The "Symphonia" arc I had planned would have been a retelling of the final arc of Tales of Symphonia. Basically, Alex discovers Kratos' past and what he's planning with Mithos. He uses the emerald he gave Kanonno (which would have turned out to be the missing emerald from the Descender helmet artifact) to restore the Symphonia party's memory, which would have turned out to have been sealed away by Kratos. They confront Kratos, and he admits to everything. Kratos had been coerced by Mithos to betray the party at Vascallus (a Lavardian factory city that had a portal between Mithos and Pasca) Kratos then asks them to help him take down Mithos. After convincing Jade that doing so would deal a hefty blow to Pasca's armor production, Alex and Kanonno accompany the Symphonia party to Tethe'alla.
There, they go to Altessa's house, where they find Presea. Presea informs them that ever since the world returned, it's been mostly quiet, with Mithos having stopped hunting them due to his forced work for Pasca. The group spends the night at Altessa's. The next morning, they head for the Tower of Salvation. At the entrance, the story plays out similarly to the way it did in Symphonia, except Kratos takes the place as the traitor who delivers Colette to Mithos.
Angered and feeling betrayed, the group goes through the tower, and the events play out the same way they did in Symphonia, with Kanonno replacing Regal in the "holding off the angels" scene and Alex replacing Sheena in the "Mana Seed remnants" scene. The rest goes the same up until the group is confronting Mithos. Kratos appears and initially appears to be siding with Mithos. However, he suddenly stabs Mithos and frees Colette from her possession. It would then be revealed that Kratos had planned the whole thing out with Colette the night before so Kratos could totally regain Mithos' trust and allow him to get the Aionis. Stunned by his betrayal, Mithos brings Derris Kharlan down earlier than he did in the game. A fight would have then occurred between the group, during which Lloyd would have destroyed Mithos' Cruxis Crystal. This leads to the destruction of the Tower of Salvation (and the portal to Vascallus), but everyone makes it out alive. Kratos then goes on ahead to the Treant Forest, and the party goes to Ymir to follow him. The rest pretty much progresses like the game, except no final trip to Derris Kharlan. Once they finish, the group returns to Pasca.
#3: The Symphonia angels were being used as experiments in early versions of Project Brutcaste, before Tribilin got the idea to use Alex and Kanonno's reproductive material for the project. Tribilin was also planning on using Mithos to revolt against Valvus, but cancels his plans when the cloaked man arrives (I can't reveal who the cloaked man was and what he was up to because I might reuse the plot elements concerning him in a later story).
#4: RM3 would have been a genre shift into a post-apocalyptic story. Without giving too much away, most of the world would have been ruined in the ending of RM2, and created a post-apocalyptic world. Long story short, the characters are scattered into various cells, and the story would have been about the characters reuniting, fighting off the villains, and eventually triumphing. The Akashic Records would have played a major part here. However, the fights would have become really overblown in the end- and not in a good way, IMO.
#5: Out of the multiple OCs I wrote in the story, only 5 of them would have survived to the end. I will not give away their identities because their life/death status may be different at the end of the remake. All the Tales characters would have survived, though.
#6: Valvus would have turned about to have been the son of a Descender (Portus Goden- Portus as in "teleport"), from who he inherited his teleportation powers. However, because he is not fully Descender, his version was nowhere near as strong as his father's- a side effect that comes with every half-Descender. He learned how to use his powers as a teenager, which he used to help him in battle and to travel various worlds.
#7: Siltran and the Silver Knights would have turned out to be siblings from another world. Their world was ravaged by war and their parents were killed as a result. Valvus ended up visiting their world on a whim with his powers and found the four of them near death. Valvus then took them back to Pasca with him, and gave them patronage and helped them grow up, hence why Siltran is so loyal to Valvus.
Unfortunately, there was one problem- Pasca's atmosphere contained helium, which was a fatal substance to members of their species. As a result, Siltran and his siblings grew ill. Because Siltran was the oldest of the siblings, he had a stronger body and thus was able to put up with it, but his siblings had weaker bodies and thus nearly died after several years. Thus, Valvus secretly conducted a plan using a younger Tribilin, who conducted an experiment that vastly changed their bodies into what could be described as part-mana creatures- replacing parts of their body with pure concentrations of mana. However, this required them to wear the silver armor and take lots of medication just to maintain their bodies. This was also how Valvus and Tribilin became officially acquainted, as Tribilin didn't remember Valvus helping him as a boy.
If there's any plot points I have missed or unanswered questions you have, I will answer them so long as they are not plot points I either intend to use in future stories or for the remake. If any of you had any specific complaints about the story as a whole, I would be happy to hear them. Constructive criticism always helps, especially with knowing what else to avoid for the remake that I may have overlooked.
I thank you for your understanding, and I look forward to coming back for the remake. I give no guarantees when I'll start writing it, but it won't be until I finish writing out the full story draft (and like I mentioned, my work as a translator will always come first). Again, I'm sorry to those of you who genuinely liked the story in its current form.