The Orchestra's Coming to Town
Your name is Sayaka Miki
.Well, yeah. Yeah it is. You're pretty sure of that.
That's what your name has been for the past fourteen years. You're pretty certain that's what it's going to be for many more to come. You wake up, you yawn a little, and you get ready for school. Every day.
Well, that changed recently. A friend of yours died in a pretty gruesome way
, and another couple of them would have died if you hadn't done something at the right moment
So you became a Magical Girl
for saving your friends?
Such is the opening post of Sayaka Quest, hosted on Sufficient Velocity and formerly on Space Battles. Can be found here
, and here
, and here
, and here
. Continued on Sufficient Velocity here
You (and the other posters) are "the decision-making processes" that make up Sayaka's mind, and your goal is to save her from Urobutcher's
sadism as long as you can. The hows and whys are descided by your consensus and build up from there. The results are not only nerve-racking at times, but also provides much in the way of warmth
, and stupefied awe
- Adult Fear: How would you feel if you found out that your only daughter, practically the only family you have left, is actually constantly risking her life and in danger of dying very horribly at the hands of super-powered beings you can't see, every single day? This is made worse once she reveals to you that a super Witch is coming in several days time, and is going to level the city you call home, with your daughter right in the center of it. And there is absolutely nothing you can do about any of it. You can only helplessly watch your daughter throw herself head-first into danger. Man, being Mikimom is suffering.
- Arc Words: "A hero", "You're a good person"
- Armor Is Useless: Subverted: armor is the only thing keeping Sayaka alive for most of her early fights. Played straight by Elsa Maria's tentacles and some magical girl and witch attacks, which completely ignore all armor and defenses.
- Taken to extremes by the Skadi fight, where Sayaka would have been dead at least four times without the damage reduction.
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Sayaka uses discordant classical music as a Brown Note against Kiyoko in the second fight with the Tokyo Six.
- An Arm and a Leg: Happens to both Sayaka and Kyoko early on. Sayaka makes a joke about it.
- All There in the Manual: Details such as the names of the Tokyo girls aren't in the story itself.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A lot of witches are huge. Skadi's an overgrown Wampa...at least at first, and Barbara's a giant spider. No, not that one.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: For a given value of "bad guy". Homura finishes off Mitsuko and Nao, and gives Kiyoko a Mercy Kill when Akane starts literally pounding her into pulp.
- In a rare subversion of the trope, though, Sayaka admits that she was about to do it herself on both occasions, though she was far less comfortable with it than Homura was.
- Berserk Button: Hurting Kyoko is one for Sayaka and vice versa, and hurting Kiyoko for Nao.
- Break the Cutie: All over the place, which is no surprise given the setting. But a crowning example of this trope is when Sayaka watches Homrua's video-logs of her first few loops, literally watching the adorable, cheerful, hopeful little girl steadily become the stoic, ruthless, jaded, reclusive enigma she is now. And given how it's just one long string of Harsher in Hindsight, and how these were only the first few loops—Homura gave up on making them after the third loop—the knowledge that Homura has looped around 100 times just makes it all the more gutwrenching. Cue You Are Better Than You Think You Are to Homura.
- Broken Masquerade: Sayaka's mother and Hitomi both find out about Witches and Magical girls. Her mother later finds out how one turns into the other.
- Kyousuke finds out about magical girls after an attack on the school.
- Cast Full of Gay: Even more so than canon. It's even said that upon becoming a magical girl, one must assume that you would become gayer than Liberace.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Despite being much more practical in some ways than in canon, Sayaka will refuse to let magical girls witch out or get themselves killed when she can do something about it, even when it gets costly in grief seeds. She likewise rejected the idea of leaving Skadi alone after finding it, despite its terrifying power. And Barbara.
- Combat Compliment: Several of the Tokyo Six comment on Sayaka's skill... and how it now makes sense that she managed to kill their friends.
- Comfort Food: Ice cream is one of the team's main coping mechanisms...as well as watching bad movies.
- Crouching Idiot Hidden Badass: As the trauma starts building up, Sayaka learns to cope by being goofy with Kyouko and being typically silly at times...but is still a veteran magical girl capable of taking down hostile magical girls while practically ignoring their attacks. Akane also qualifies.
- Dead All Along: Akane's friends, though no one was truly surprised by that. The way they died though...
- Death Is Cheap: Oh goodness no, it is not. To quote the GM: If you make a stupid decision, that's it. If you are offed by the plot, that's it. If you witch out, that's it. Die rolls can be redone, and battle decisions can be redone, but only three times per enemy. Everything else is on your head.
- Death Glare: If you invite Hitomi over for a study-session for a class you're struggling with, you better not goof off. ...Or else.◊
- Despair Event Horizon: Sayaka and Akane have both come close, and much of the cast is hovering just on the right side of this. The fight with the witch Skadi almost triggered one in Kyouko.
- Kyouko witching out has already happened before in one of the bad ends, upon Sayaka's Heroic Sacrifice to throw Kyouko out of a black hole created by the dying Witch Celeste. She witches out right outside the barrier where Sayaka had fallen, and slaughters the bystanders around her, namely Hitomi and Sayaka's mother.
- Destructive Savior: The fight against the last of the Tokyo Six causes a lot of collateral damage to Mitakihara's business district. But given what's coming, though...it might be rather redundant.
- Dynamic Entry: One of Sayaka's specialties, most notably against Mitsuko.
- Don't Say Such Stupid Things: Pulled by Sayaka on Akane. And by Kyouko to Sayaka. Heck, pretty much everyone to everyone else at some point.
- The Dreaded: The Tokyo Six...and after their untimely deaths, Sayaka Miki herself and the other magical girls of Mitakihara since no one knows what happened to them or why no magical girl that goes to Mitakihara seems to come back.
- Skadi. A witch that poses enough of a threat for Homura to intentionally avoid it in every single timeline after she found it...until Sayaka and Kyouko inadvertently blunder into it.
- Dysfunction Junction: Notably less-so than canon, but more because everyone actually lives long enough to learn of the Awful Truth and cope with it afterwards. Kyouko is the most stable member of the main and arguably the supporting cast, at least after the early parts of the quest.
- Fan Nickname: Walpurgisnacht? Too hard to spell. Try Walmart Night. Or Walrusburger. Or Waluigi Night.◊ Or...
- Sukuyo and Emiko have been saddled with "Christmas Tree" and "Pine Tree" due to their...interesting color schemes.
- Tomo and Yoko, two newbie Magi, are referred to in both the setting and by the players collectively as "The Ducklings."
- There are two Hitomi's now. To the readers, they are respectively "Classy Hitomi," for the canonical friend of Sayaka and Madoka, and "Non-Classy Hitomi," the barely present friend of the aforementioned Ducklings.
- Fan-Preferred Couple: Sayaka/Kyouko becomes a thing. Well duh, it's a fanwork.
- Five-Bad Band: Of the evil kind. Originally six, but Sayaka intervened when Mitsuko attacked Akane.
- Fix Fic: Fortunately, Sayaka has a much clearer head on her shoulders than in canon.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Done to Akane with Sayaka and Kyouko in the respective roles.
- Glowing Eyes: Sayaka mentions these by name and might have had them during the fight with Glauce.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Played straight by Sayaka, and subverted by Sora's use of a flaming sword.
- Healing Factor: Played up to the point where Sayaka regenerated in minutes from a club to the head, as well as limb loss and other serious injuries.
- Healing Hands: One of Sayaka's secondary uses of her power.
- Heroic BSOD: Sayaka doesn't take any of the major revelations about the setting well at all. Neither do most of the other magical girls.
- Idiot Ball: Several of the Tokyo Six have powers that could kill Sayaka and company easily; most notably, the leader has a 360 degree wind shield that's impervious to damage and enough Grief Seeds to attrition all the Mitakihara girls down, yet they all fall without using these techniques or deliberately underutilized them. Lampshaded by Homura, and justified because almost all of them are looking to be killed by a girl or group of girls strong enough to take their place. Also, given that most of them have...questionable sanity at best and have been comfortably snuffing out any threats to them in their infancy, it actually makes sense that they'd either get overconfident or uncreative.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Happens to much of the cast fairly regularly, given their role, and Sayaka more than the others, most notably against Elsa Maria and Emiko.
- Let's Get Dangerous: The previously seemingly inept melee-only magical girl who was introduced about to get killed by a lone magical girl? Yeah, she just made the Tokyo Six run.
- Light Is Not Good: One of the Tokyo Six makes an entrance in a flash of blinding light and looks like an armored angel.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Very prevalent. It should also say something about the setting that this trope is a good thing, as otherwise most magical girls drift over the Despair Event Horizon sooner or later. Sayaka and Kyouko are definitely this to each other, and arguably it is the biggest reason why Sayaka doesn't fall into a grief-spiral of despair in this quest even after the worst reveals. It's also confirmed that Sayaka dying would cause Kyouko to witch out.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Sayaka's Greatshield gives a +40 to all defense rolls, when a normal roll is between 1 and 100. It still isn't always enough and has a huge corruption cost, but when combined with Sayaka's heavy armor and super-durability, it allows her to weather absurd punishment. Of course, against some enemies, even all of that can mean very little. A number of witches/hostile magical girls had attacks that completely ignored defenses/armor.
- Magic Music: One of Sayaka's secondary powers. Sayaka can even fire magical notes as a cheap Spam Attack, though her accuracy leaves something to be desired.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Sayaka, to the point where she starts to mostly disregard major injuries in and after battle. Kyouko doesn't take it well.
- Matchmaker Quest: Homura and Madoka, Kyousuke and Hitomi, Akane and Nakazawa...Doing this is one of S Bayaka's pasttimes.
- Mercy Kill: What Sayaka sees killing Witches as, post-revelation. She considers doing this to Kyouko and Akane right after learning the truth, but only momentarily—she promptly feels appalled for even thinking that right afterwards.
- Mistaken for Gay: Hitomi.
- Mood Whiplash: A quest and GM trademark. In between some of the horror and despair, there are genuinely cheerful moments, often within the space of a few updates. And vice versa.
- Mugging the Monster: A man on the train punches Sayaka in the face in front of Kyouko when she confronts them on their comments. Kyouko loses control , and doesn't react well afterwards, even after Sayaka heals them.
- My God Whathave I Done: The Tokyo immigrants don't react well to realizing they'd been farming civilians en-masse while under the effects of wish-induced emotional suppression.
- One Steve Limit: Averted! There are two Hitomi's in the roster: Canon!Hitomi, and the non-magical girl one that's friends with Tomo and Yoko. See Fan Nickname above to see how the players differentiate them.
- Our Angels Are Different: Our angels are psychotic murderous magical girls.
- Parental Neglect: Tomo makes a contract to try and get her father home from work faster. It doesn't solve her family's problems.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sayaka gives one to the last of the Tokyo Six.
- Rule Of Escalating Threat: Skadi. A triple-Witch spawned from a natural 100 on the difficulty role and the second most powerful Witch fought to date.
- Running Gag: Head jokes. Trains. And Toucans.
- See Fan Nickname.
- Not counting off-screen fights, Sayaka loses a limb or worse in every single battle. Given her powers, though, she just gets annoyed by this, even though it disturbs everyone else.
- Now forcibly subverted due to overuse- every mention of head jokes or puns in-Quest now gives a nice -10 to the next roll.
- It's always Akane's fault
- I'm such an idiot...
- The GM will occasionally post cute, heartwarming pictures or video clips either after or before posting a really dark, grim part of the story.
- The dice are trying to kill us. Except when they aren't.
- Series Mascot: Toucans
- Shout-Out: Plenty, most obviously to Spec Ops: The Line early on. Also a few to Priscilla Quest.
- Sword Beam: Wave Rend. A one-time, short-ranged pure magic attack that costs a chunk of corruption...but can tear a large hole in just about anything. When it hits, that is.
- Tastes Like Friendship: How Sayaka wins over Kyouko, on top of their initial meeting at the arcade.
- And attempted again with ice cream for Homura, with mixed results, and Tomo and Yoko much later.
- Taking You with Me: The Solar System witch, Celeste, tries this on Sayaka and Kyouko. It worked the first time around, mainly due to the merely-sufficient number of voters awake/active at that time having No Sense Of Scale when it comes to just how insanely dangerous supernovas/black holes are.
- The Many Deaths of You: Well... Yeah.◊ Fortunately, death in glorious battle gives you a chance to respawn and try again.
- That Came Out Wrong: Perhaps surprisingly for Kyouko, a non-verbal example. She throws rose petals to cheer Sayaka up...and MikiMom has to explain to her what the significance is.
- The Paladin: Sayaka
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Giantexploding swords. Fired from aiming hilts.
- Rapid-fire, sped-up, oversized crossbow bolts fired out of a multi-barrelled crossbow.
- The Unsmile: Kyubey, human teeth do not belong in a squirrel-cat's mouth.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works:Sayaka's ranged attacks fall under this. Well, most of the time she's actually shooting the swords—the hilts have a built-in firing mechanism, and the blades themselves are the projectiles. She can also make wildly differently-sized swords to use, so she can shoot anything from pins to tree-sized exploding blades.
- The Watcher: Homura is Sayaka's mentor at the beginning...kind of.
- Wham Line: "They're right here." Holding out a grief seed when asked about Akanes' friends soul gems.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Akane doesn't hesitate to call Sayaka out on strong-arming her with an ultimatum at their first meeting to avoid a fight. Given that their next major interaction was Sayaka and Kyouko pulling a Big Damn Heroes to save Akane from certain death at the hands of the most insane member of the Tokyo Six, then healing her horrific injuries with no hesitation, though, Akane moves past this fairly quickly.
- Whip It Good: One of the Tokyo girls really, really likes this.
- Whip Sword: An alternate mode for Sayaka's sword. She can also make it explode on command.
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough: Who would be stupid enough to intentionally fight a triple Witch capable of curbstomping most magical girls, fellow Witches, and take a full third of Homura's arsenal to put down? Three guesses. Then subverted; not only do Kyouko and Sayaka manage to take it down with Homura's help, they manage to ultimately accumulate less corruption than they are able to siphon into the super-grief seed, and Homura hardly has to use much of her arsenal to help this time. This whole event serves as concrete proof to Homura that maybe they really do have a fighting chance against Walpurgisnacht this time, as taking down a super-witch was something she was barely capable of doing by herself in previous loops, while here it was exponentially easier when working alongside Sayaka and Kyouko.
- Why Did It Have to Be Spiders?: Sayaka has a major spider phobia. Guess what Barbara is?
- And bees as well apparently. But of course, there's a witch for that as well...
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Kyouko and Sayaka often end up reassuring the other of this and it comes up a lot in Sayaka's inspirational speeches.
- You Are Not Alone: Said to Tomo, Yoko, Akane...
- You Can't Fight Fate: But you can try. "Sayaka is specifically fated to die. It's your job to try and keep her from doing that."
- Yuri Fan: Jiro, Kyousuke's friend, seems oddly attentive to Homura and Madoka talking to each other. Homura does not appreciate it.
- He first got a warning stare. Then he got a warning glare. Then Homura decked him.