- Sayaka is specifically fated to die. It's your job to try and keep her from doing that. So again, good luck with that.
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.
How's that for saving your friends?
Such is the opening post of TheOneMoiderah's SayakaQuest, a Puella Magi Madoka Magica quest hosted for its first 9 parts on SpaceBattles, before moving over to Sufficient Velocity for the final chapter.
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 decided 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, laughs, and awe.
The original quest ran from October 2013 to May 2015, with conversation continuing intermittently for some time after. However, in May 2019, almost 4 years after SQ's end, Moiderah posted Easy to Find - SayakaQuest 2, a full sequel set 20 years later. It is complete, and is hosted on Sufficient Velocity, as the original was at the end.
- Thread 1: Trauma is a Thing
- Thread 2: Fight Trauma with Trauma
- Thread 3: Les Misérables
- Thread 4: There's No Way You'll Regret This
- Thread 5: Downward Spiral
- Thread 6: Kill Your Heroes
- Thread 7: One Day, Will This Be Over?
- Thread 8: Don't You Worry
- Thread 9: The Mermaid of Mitakihara
- Thread 10: Glory To The Death
- Story Only Thread (covers up to 1/3 through Thread 10)
- SayakaQuest 2 Thread
For other works by Moiderah, see Asuka Quest, SQ's predecessor, following a similar if more meta format, albeit focused on Evangelion, and Raging Sea of Flames, their current work, which started as a quest but has since been retooled as a webcomic.
- Marathon Boss: Walpurgisnacht. The battle against it was five times longer than the second longest battle in the quest. This is faithful to the show, where she is shown to take massive damage and still remain alive as if nothing ever happened.
- And the Adventure Continues: The story ends with Sayaka and Kyouko hunting a witch.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sequential Boss mixed with Multi-Stage Battle: Walpurgisnacht. In order:
- 1) Mook Maker with doppelgangers of dead witches being the mooks. The stage is the city of Mitakihara itself.
- 2) Time-Limit Boss mixed with Colossus Climb. The magic girls have to climb to the gear on the top of Walpurgisnacht and destroy the pillar in the centre to stop the witch before she can use his most destructive attack. The stage is the body of Walpurgisnacht. ** 3) The final form of Walpurgisnacht, that is both, the enemy and the stage, a fucking golden flying city
- 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. 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 Moron, 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: Deaths in battle resulting from sufficiently failtastic rolls and/or poorly strategized fights can be "repealed."
- 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.
- 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.
- Fix Fic: Sayaka has a much clearer head on her shoulders than in canon.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Meaningful Echo: Her name is Sayaka Miki. She was pretty sure of that.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
TheGreatFluffy: Oh dear sweet merciful fuck.
- 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. For example.
Gadjo: I don't suppose that's just off-topic? Please?
TankD115: Guys, I-- I'm afraid...
- The dice are trying to kill us. Except when they aren't.
- Alternatively, KYOUKPLOMACY.
- Plenty, most obviously to Spec Ops: The Line early on. Also a few to Priscilla Quest.
- Homura refers to seeing a magical girl releasing familiars into a classroom.
- At their first meeting, Sayaka asks if Akane can do the Hadoken.
- 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.
- There Is No Kill like Overkill: Giant exploding swords. Fired from aiming hilts. Rapid-fire, sped-up, oversized crossbow bolts fired out of a multi-barrelled crossbow.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.