|Game||Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World|
|Height||5'6" / 169 cm|
|Weight||132 lbs / 60 kg|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Hiro Shimono|
|English Voice Actor||Johnny Yong Bosch|
|Character Designer||Daigo Okumura|
Ratatosk (ラタトスク Ratatosuku?) is the Lord of Monsters and one of the protagonists of Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. He is also the Summon Spirit of the Giant Kharlan Tree, which was destroyed prior to the events of Tales of Symphonia.
Distribution of Mana
Some ten-thousand years ago prior to Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, the worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla were still one. In the world's natural state, mana did not exist; it was not until the arrival of Derris-Kharlan that mana came into being. Observing that the overwhelming energy from the ethereal comet would no doubt negatively affect the world, Ratatosk called upon the eight Centurions: Lumen, Aqua, Solum, Tonitrus, Glacies, Ignis, Ventus and Tenebrae. Along with his own power, the nine were able to evenly distribute and balance the flow of mana throughout the world. Ratatosk subsequently created monsters in order to sustain that balance, which lasted several thousand years. Ratatosk made his home in the Ginnungagap, where he watched over the gateway between the world and Niflheim, the demonic realm.
During their travels around the world, Mithos Yggdrasill and his companions met Ratatosk and forged a pact with him, obtaining the Derris Emblem in the process. Much like his fellow Summon Spirits, Ratatosk was betrayed when Mithos decided to sacrifice all mankind for the sake of saving his sister, and thus their bond was severed. However, unlike the other Spirits, Ratatosk actively showed his hatred for Mithos and his friends, placing a curse on anyone who dared to enter the Ginnungagap with the Derris Emblem. After these events, Ratatosk fell into a deep sleep.
Murder at Ginnungagap
Sometime after the Journey of World Regeneration, Sybak researchers Aster Laker and Richter Abend entered the Ginnungagap with the help of Centurion Aqua. It is here that the two met with Ratatosk to try to convince him to reform the mana of the recently unified world composed of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla. Ratatosk ordered his Centurions to do so but with an additional task: to eliminate all humans and half-elves in retaliation for the death of his Tree. Further argument leads to Ratatosk killing Aster and to Richter dealing a mortal blow to Ratatosk that reverts him to his core form. Tenebrae flees with Ratatosk's core to Palmacosta, where Ratatosk, having lost his memories, takes Aster's form and the identity of Emil Castagnier. Ratatosk goes into remission in this time, and the new constructed personality of Emil takes the forefront.
Ratatosk is awakened once more when Tenebrae feeds Emil the power to fight, and he assumes the appearance of a red-eyed Emil during battle. He is a marked contrast from the timid Emil, being loud, abrasive, and confrontational; this personality is eventually dubbed Emil's "Ratatosk Mode". At the beginning, he seems more like Emil's violent side and shares Emil's feelings, such as the hatred for Lloyd Irving, the purported leader of the Palmacosta massacre. As more Centurions are hatched, however, Emil stops remembering his time in "Ratatosk Mode" while Ratatosk grows fully aware of events even when not in control of the body. When Ratatosk begins to regain his former self, he also begins to love Marta and care about others on his own accord. However, when he regains his memories fully, he only focuses on the betrayal he experienced at the hands of humans and half-elves. When Ratatosk goes too far and tries to attack his friends, Emil snaps and calls on the power of Verius, the Summon Spirit of Heart, and faces Ratatosk in his heart. Unable to come to a resolution, Emil seals away Ratatosk and gains full control of his body.
At the Ginnungagap after defeating Richter, Emil tries to get the party to slay him by pretending to be Ratatosk. In both the normal and true endings, Marta sees through this act because she loves both Emil and Ratatosk, and she urges him to reconcile with his other self. When Emil faces Ratatosk in their combined soul, Ratatosk finally realizes that "kindness is not a weakness" and merges fully with Emil after one final battle. Now subdued from his new understanding, he begins to rewrite the world's laws so that it is not dependent on mana to live any longer, though it would continue to be necessary for magic and Summon Spirits. In doing so, he will close the Ginnugagap to all outsiders. He asks Richter to burn the mana in his body to help seal the gate he broke, but he says he will release him in the future when he can use the world's mana instead. In the true ending, Richter convinces Ratatosk to allow his Emil personality to be free for the rest of that form's natural life. Ratatosk accepts, and Emil reunites with Marta.
Powers and Abilities
Though it is not fully shown how powerful Ratatosk is, there are many references of Ratatosk's power, mostly made by Tenebrae, stating Ratatosk to be exceedingly powerful. Even when he is reduced to his core form, his core is said to be capable of powering the Mana Cannon, a weapon of mass destruction that utilizes vast mana reserves. Furthermore, Ratatosk's very existence, even when dormant, is what keeps the demons of Niflheim from invading the world through the Ginnungagap. Because the seal was nearly forced open, however, Ratatosk's existence no longer serves to be all that works to keep the gate closed.
Ratatosk has vast control over the mana within the world, perhaps the greatest of any other spirit. At the very beginning of Aselia, when Derris-Kharlan entered the world, Ratatosk used his powers to create the eight Centurions, as well as monsters, in order to distribute mana throughout the world so as to preserve the balance. Because Ratatosk was dormant when the new World Tree was planted, many disasters spread throughout the world without him being able to regulate mana. One of Ratatosk's greatest feats is his ability to rewrite the laws of the world, enabling it to survive without mana, something that proves to have helped save the world thousands of years later when Yggdrasill is killed after the Mana Cannon is fired and mana is scarce.
However, like other spirits, mana has an effect on Ratatosk as well, as it has a direct influence over his power. The mana system created by Mithos prevents Ratatosk from being able to use his full strength. Instituting the system also led Mithos to openly betray Ratatosk and seal him into the Ginnungagap to prevent his interference. Even when weakened, Ratatosk is still very powerful, as, after reawakening, he is powerful enough to fire an Ain Soph Aur to instantly kill Aster, and even engage with Richter in a battle that scarred the latter. When Marta had reawakened during the Blood Purge, Ratatosk subconsciously placed a fake core on Marta's head, which allowed her to perform magic despite not being an elf or half-elf.
Ratatosk seems to possess the power to control the fabric of space and time, as was noted by Regal when Ratatosk teleports Decus, though Tenebrae mentions that such powers are used with limits, possibly to avoid disturbing the flow of time. In Ratatosk no Kishi Onshuu no Richter, Ratatosk is capable of teleporting himself in battle, which allows him to teleport himself behind Richter to strike, which would have resulted in his victory had Aqua not gotten in the way.
The rest of Ratatosk's power is only speculated on by other characters. When both Emil and Marta comment that Lloyd's protection from Martel means that Martel is powerful enough to be able to counter even Ratatosk's power, Lloyd responds that it might not be because Martel is as strong as Ratatosk, but that she is only able to cancel his powers out on the basis that they are both Tree Spirits. When Emil plans to be killed by the others to become a seal on the door to Niflheim, Tenebrae states that it would take someone of incredible power to be able to match Emil as Ratatosk now that most of his powers have returned, to which Emil replies that if Ratatosk took control again, then Marta, Lloyd, and their other friends would have to band together to face him. Yuan and Lloyd are also cautious not to allow Ratatosk learn their plans, due to how Ratatosk controls a vast network of monsters. They mention that had Ratatosk learned the name of the new World Tree, he could have taken control of it and all mana as well from Martel, thus making it impossible for anyone to stop him.
Appearance and Personality
Ratatosk bears the same appearance as Aster, due to having taken his form. Whenever he is possessing Emil, his eyes turn red. His original form is not depicted in the game, as the only scenes featuring him before he assumes Aster's form are shown from his own point of view. Ratatosk states at the end when he finally regains all his powers that the form he has now might as well be his true form. However, in Ratatosk no Kishi Onshuu no Richter, Ratatosk had seemed to have a humanoid form that was obscured from view, and carried a sword.
In Onshuu no Richter manga, his personality was slightly expanded on in the beginning by Aqua, who described him as someone that is very dependable and thinks of his comrades, indicating that he was once a kind being but the betrayal he suffered had caused him to develop a hatred and distrust towards humans and half elves. His care for his comrades is further displayed as when he had hesitated to send a fatal attack towards Richter due to Aqua stepping in the way, a hesitation that had allowed Richter to wound him.
Ratatosk has an abrasive and arrogant personality focused on only his goals. He is violent and reckless, sweeping aside anyone that he considers weak, including his alternate self, and responds with derision when forced to interact with those he believes to be beneath him. One of the scenes of his violent nature is when Magnar and his men attack Luin and Ratatosk brutally and sadistically begins to assault them even after defeating them in battle. He is only stopped when Marta's voice brings the Emil personality back to the fore.
Despite his reckless nature, Ratatosk does care for Marta and genuinely wants to protect her, getting upset and hurt at how she tends to prefer his weaker side over him. He is thankful when Marta defends this side of him, and he gradually begins to do little things for her. In contrast, Ratatosk's dislike for Emil seems to stem partially from jealousy over the direction of Marta's affections and partially from his disgust at his other self's spineless nature. When he finally remembers his true history as the Summon Spirit however, Ratatosk ceases to show any care for anything but his own goals and powers. When he even begins to attack his allies in pursuit of his goals, Emil decides he has gone too far and calls upon Verius to forcibly seal him away.
After watching the battles that Emil fights on his own alongside the others, Ratatosk begins to mellow out a little. When he finally speaks with his other self, Ratatosk speaks in a calmer tone and gladly accepts Emil's challenge to fight. Regardless of the winner, Ratatosk acknowledges that perhaps kindness is not weakness and that he was wrong for what he had done and what he intended on doing. He lets go of all his hatred at last, allowing Richter's self-inflicted torment to end once their mutual goals are met. Ratatosk expresses remorse for killing Aster, and he even finds himself convinced by the others to separate from Emil and to allow the latter to live his life out as a human with Marta.
In the form of Emil Castagnier, Ratatosk is a Darkness-elemental and gains strength when Darkness is the major element on the Elemental Grid. His fighting style is rough and unrefined; he swings wildly and recklessly though with natural agility. Unable to use magic, he instead supplements his strike artes with the ability to alter them into elemental variations capable of easily manipulating the Elemental Grid to form pacts with monsters. Ratatosk's skills also heavily focus on aerial combat and the ability to dominate there. Though his moveset is identical to Emil's, he has one unique arte: Ain Soph Aur, an ironically light-based extension to his Devil's Hellfire mystic arte. He uses it against Richter Abend as a Summon Spirit, which tips Richter off to his true identity when he uses it again in his human guise.
- Ratatosk's name, like many features of the Aselian timeline, derives from Norse mythology. Ratatoskr is a mythological squirrel that resides in Yggdrasil, the tree of Midgard. His duty is to carry insulting messages between Níðhöggr the dragon, who lives under the tree, and an unnamed eagle, who lives on top of Yggdrasil.
- In Tales of Berseria, Ratatosk's core can be obtained as a treasure stored on the Van Eltia.
- It is noted by Tenebrae that there is another Tree Spirit that was born from the World Tree out of Ratatosk's World Tree, referring to Norn, and how this would make Ratatosk the father of Norn.
- ↑ Animethon 19 - Johnny Yong Bosch Panel Part 1 by anime4ever337 YouTube (2012-08-14) Retrieved on 2014-07-20.
[Note that this source does not explicitly state that this character was voiced by the corresponding actor. However, this character is linked to Emil Castagnier in terms of voice and characterization.]