Emil Castagnier
Emil Castagnier
Fandom Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
Gender Male
Date of Birth Unknown
Age Sixteen. Or one. Or ten thousand.
Aliases Eh-mule, Martmart's pet, Summon Spirit Ratatosk
Place of Birth Palmacosta
Occupation Knight of Ratatosk
Known Relatives Lana and Reysol Castagnier (parents; deceased), Flora (aunt), Alba (uncle)
Significant Other None
Known Abilities Monster pacts, Centurion-related things…does Ratatosk Mode count?
First Appearance Arrival

"Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality."

Emil Castagnier is a timid boy who's pulled into a journey to help restore balance to the world's mana. As he travels he gains true friends and learns how to become a stronger person, stop running away from things and come out of his shell, and accept himself for who he is—whoever he may be.

Then things get a little more complicated.


Emil might look like a normal kid if it weren’t for his clothing. Without them he looks like any other kid—blond, not too tall but not a midget either, with a somewhat slight build. His clothes, however, are part of what make him stand out: essentially, they consist of a blue top fitting around his torso, strapped on by a loop around his neck at the back. The rest of his clothes, follows a black-with-orange color scheme. Emil wears black fingerless gloves with sleeves extending to about halfway up his forearm, since his top has no sleeves, and there's a long, black scarf of some sort around his neck. He usually carries his sword in its sheath on his back.

Supposedly these are the clothes of a Knight of Ratatosk, but considering the circumstances it’s more likely the designers just thought it looked cooler because it's not particularly practical. The clothes are, however, mentioned in a skit to be wrinkle-free and resistant to water and mold. Go figure.

One thing to take good note of is that normally Emil has soft green eyes, but when Ratatosk takes over his eyes change color to red, his voice deepens, and if you look close enough he stands a little straighter. The profile sidebar above shows green-eyed Emil, while this is Ratatosk Mode. (The "true" Ratatosk at the end of the game, who is basically Emil and Ratatosk recombined into Ratatosk as he originally was, also looks just like Ratatosk Mode Emil.) Nobody seems to be able to tell the difference by his appearance in-game—possibly a case of "we'll add this in to show the viewers," but Ratatosk being red-eyed at the end throws a bit of doubt on that—though after a while people are able to distinguish based on his actions and language.

(Addition: That the red eyes aren't visible IC is now official as far as my playing is concerned.)

Less noticeably, Emil has a small star-shaped scar on the back of his neck as duplicated from Aster's appearance, though you never see it because of the scarf he wears.


Emil has two personalities. First, there’s Emil Castagnier, who has all the memories and personality of a shy but mostly normal kid who’s been tossed into a situation that’s made him grow rather quickly. Then there’s Ratatosk Mode Emil (also known as simply Ratatosk), who has the memory and personality of a millennia-old spirit who’s been betrayed, killed, and turned amnesiac only to suddenly remember who he was again. They don’t always get along.


Emil’s not a confrontational person. Given the choice he’d rather avoid unnecessary conflict and will go along with others unless he really needs to take a stand or has a purpose in mind—when he has a goal he’s more willing to push. Occasionally he’ll apologize for things when he doesn’t have to, and he sometimes feels responsible for things he has no real control over: once he finds out he’s Ratatosk he feels like such a traitor to his friends that he stops writing in the journal he shares with Marta for a while and later tries to deny himself a normal life twice for guilt over Aster.

However, his motto is his inspiration: "Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality." It comes from Richter, who made a big impression on Emil when they first met, and since then when Emil’s been afraid to do something he needs to do he’s used it to give himself a little extra courage and even to encourage others. There’s other lines that he draws upon from time to time too, including "Are you a dog? Or are you really a man?" from Richter again and "Come on, you’re a man! Speak up!" from Marta. (He’s also poked fun at the latter line—Emil has his occasional sarcastic moments, generally when he’s miffed or with friends.)

Emil has his not-so-bright moments, occasionally reading into things too much or too little, or stumbling over himself for other reasons. He’s not book-smart either, as most of his schooling comes from inconsistent false memories. It’s in personality and spirit that Emil shines: he’s a nice, sweet kid who cares about his friends dearly. After six months of a town that hated him and hating/fearing the town back, Emil really appreciates the friends he’s got. He’s a fairly easy read to anyone perceptive enough to read him—when he gets it in his head to sacrifice himself later on no less than three people in the space of two days figure out he’s planning something—but he can be perceptive and understanding himself as well. He judges his friends based on who they have been with him and has taken major revelations over their pasts with complete trust, though he can have his prejudices (e.g., Lloyd, sometimes the Tethe’allans).

He’s very loyal and will do anything to protect his friends. Especially important to him are Marta (with whom he has a developing romance) and Richter (whom he looked up to and has made some…adoring comments over), though he feels he’s done wrong to both of them in some way. He also cares a lot for others, friends and strangers alike. This isn’t to say he’s all nice guy, though: early on in the game when he believed Lloyd killed his parents, Lloyd was pretty much his Anger Button for a while and Emil even writes in his journal that he can feel his blood pressure rising at just the thought of Lloyd. He was a lot saner when confronted with the real murderer, though his friends had to convince him to skip revenge for business.


If Emil is Ratatosk’s kindness, you could say Ratatosk Mode Emil is Ratatosk’s ruthlessness or anger (what’s shown of the "whole" Ratatosk isn’t entirely like either of the two, so it’s possible each personality was somewhat polarized). Ratatosk doesn’t care as much what he has to do to regain his former power and resume his duties. He looks down on the other Emil, considering him a coward dependent on Ratatosk’s power, and has in the past made a few other derogatory remarks about his "weakness" and "cowardice."

It’s all justified: Emil really did used to be a coward, and now he borrows Ratatosk’s power and never fights himself. Despite that, people tend to cast Emil as The Nice Guy while Ratatosk is The Jerk. And Emil is nice and kind, which also reeks of weakness to Ratatosk. Being strong in both combat and mentality is important to him, and in his opinion Emil doesn’t cut it. (This isn’t to say his opinion won’t ever change, however. It’s a matter of standards. Later on when Emil decides to sacrifice himself and gains the resolve to seal Ratatosk’s personality away, he’s shocked. The next thing he knows Emil’s managed to stop Richter and has decided to face his problems head-on, something Ratatosk probably hadn’t considered him capable of before, and Ratatosk ended up acknowledging Emil at that time.)

Ratatosk’s not big on people: humans and half-elves waged a war that destroyed the tree he guarded, which wreaked havoc on the mana supply he controlled. He trusted a young half-elf, who forced him into taking a four-thousand-year dormancy by splitting the world in two. Not exactly a good impression. On the other hand, considering he originally meant to kill mankind and started by killing an unlucky researcher for daring to speak up, he’s improved. Ratatosk too has been impacted by Emil’s travels, and that’s tempered his wrath.

It is possible for Ratatosk to have his nice moments. Not frequently, as he prefers to be more direct and to-the-point, but he’s pretended to be the other Emil to help Marta despite his resentment and later he’s concerned about civilians’ safety after she tells him to stop being so careless about others’ lives. He probably wouldn’t try to destroy mankind again given the chance—but he won’t be eager to meet new people either.

The revelation that Emil is Ratatosk has also changed things, because now Ratatosk’s personality is the one with the memories and the knowledge. Canon’s not clear on his reaction, but from what is shown he has, in fact, regressed in part to his old personality in response to recovering his memory. He threatens to take down anyone who gets in his way all for his objective of keeping the door closed, as the fact that he’d be fighting Emil’s friends (even Marta, whom he’d protected as a Knight of Ratatosk) doesn’t compare to the consequences of letting demons run amok and he’s an "end justifies the means" kind of guy. He’s determined to restore himself to full strength and do whatever he needs to in order to fulfill his duty is done and keep the world safely in order.

The Whole

While Ratatosk observes what happens to Emil at all times, whether he or the "normal" Emil is in control, the "normal" Emil usually remembers what’s happened after switching back from Ratatosk Mode only vaguely at best, though there have been one or two incidences where he fought Ratatosk’s control and many more where he just switches back when prompted so it’s likely that he’s sort of aware while in Ratatosk Mode but tends to forgets after the switch.

It should be emphasized that both Emil’s and Ratatosk Mode’s personalities are both Emil and both Ratatosk, just two sides of one coin. One of the major points of the game is how people don’t realize this fully and instead sometimes treat them as different people, only to get reminded that both Emils are Emil. They aren’t entirely separate people, even if there isn’t much trust between them right at this point. Both have had the same experiences as Emil Castagnier; both of them have the same friends; and even if Emil’s still unsure of himself at this point, both of them have the same task to uphold as the Summon Spirit Ratatosk.


Emil is a strong fighter, thanks to his experience from collecting the Centurions’ cores in addition to Ratatosk’s natural power. In battle, a few of his attacks have elemental attributes such as fire or darkness thanks to the Centurions—as Emil awakens each Centurion, he gains the ability to use their attribute in battle.

Ratatosk being the lord of monsters, Emil also has a general connection to monsters as well as the ability to make pacts with them after fighting them in battle, which enables him to use monsters as battle companions (though all this is officially not applicable to monsters in Dollsyhouse). Monsters with him include Mattias the Ravenous, a small spellcaster; Ixia the Lailah, a plantlike creature; and to not crowd stuff up (and because a fairly standard party usually includes two monsters) I’ll stick with those two.

Ratatosk can also use Ain Soph Aur, a powerful arte that involves charging mana on his sword and then swinging the sword to throw the gathered energy at an enemy. Since Ratatosk serves many purposes in his world he has other powers, but the others shown in canon are both not applicable in the Dollsyhouse setting and way too powerful to normally be allowed otherwise (e.g., warping dimensions only to transport Centurions, though others can also get caught in this if they’re unlucky, and when restored to full power later on Ratatosk was able to rewrite the laws of natural mana flow).

Emil’s also a very good cook. The "normal" Emil tends to make his dishes into art by carving apples into rabbits, sculpting turtles out of pumpkin, and so on, but when Ratatosk does the cooking his food looks like an inedible mess yet still tastes just as good.


As mentioned above, Emil’s suffered a huge blow to his sense of identity. For a while Emil thought he was the researcher Aster, nearly killed by Richter and turned amnesiac, and he’d come to terms with that—but as it turns out Emil himself killed Aster as Ratatosk, the very one he had been trying to help awaken for the entirety of their journey. He isn’t the object people have been chasing anymore, he is the object, and with this knowledge comes the fact that Emil Castagnier as he knows himself is not real and all his memories of childhood are fake.

Identity confusion? Oh, yes. The first thing he says to Marta after that is "Who am I?" and he continues to doubt himself despite her support, even when others trust him to fix things. Though everybody he’s met since waking up after the battle with Richter believes he’s Ratatosk, Emil still has trouble coming to terms with it himself because it contradicts sixteen years’ worth of memory as Emil Castagnier (something he’s struggled with previously when thinking he could be Aster, only now freshly upturned) and as he says later: "Well, I want to be human." Being just Emil Castagnier, Knight of Ratatosk would be easy compared to suddenly being a fake personality of the ancient spirit he’d been trying to awaken, but all the evidence points the other way and he’s not stupid enough to deny it.

Aside from that, Emil is timid by nature and tends to yield to others in times of doubt or fear. Occasionally he’ll be too trusting; the night before he’s taken, he trusts an enemy Vanguard member who comes to him and Marta for help and it ends up getting Marta abducted and Emil trapped in a room with a literally insane Vanguard member. He’s gotten much braver than he used to be and is learning to stop running away from his problems and accept what he has to do to solve it, though sometimes he won’t—he usually needs a real incentive and/or a push from friends.

Ratatosk, on the other hand, can be quick to anger and sometimes too stubborn to learn his lesson. His ruthlessness tends to turn people off from him and he can be narrow-minded in his goals.

Both sides tend to bottle personal problems up without a word to anyone, which can sometimes end with dramatic results, i.e., Emil accumulating guilt over killing people/sealing them away until he nearly gets his friends to kill him or Ratatosk not saying anything about how Emil gets all the acknowledgment from his friends until he explodes at Marta.


At this point in the timeline, Emil’s world has been turned upside-down in a crazy loop because he isn’t looking to wake up Ratatosk anymore. He is Ratatosk, and with this memory comes a whole new can of worms in that Ratatosk had been planning to kill off all of mankind in revenge for the destruction of his tree and had started by murdering a researcher who happened to tick him off. The visions of Richter trying to kill him were true, because after Aster’s death Richter had indeed injured Ratatosk badly enough to reduce him to a core.

That said, Emil’s quite reasonably worried he’ll try to annihilate mankind again. He had the intentions, the means, and the motivation. His other self isn’t the nicest guy, and even when he was reawakened Ratatosk managed to show just how much he valued others by placing a fake core on the girl who’d awakened him to lure enemies away from himself—the same girl who’d fallen in love with Emil (and whom Emil had some feelings for as well). Emil doesn’t want to kill people, but if he ever returns to being the same angry summon spirit who killed Aster he won’t have any of those inhibitions and he’s afraid of that. Simply put, he doesn’t want to hurt others (though he’s fully aware that he’s injured people in battle to protect himself and those he cares about) or see his friends get hurt.

Emil also has a long fear of his aunt and uncle. Maybe it’s because of their treatment of Emil before he became a Knight of Ratatosk, or just the way all Luin hated him. Maybe it’s because they’re a subconscious reminder of a time where Emil was hopelessly weak. Either way, upon encountering his uncle again in a sidequest Emil lost the confidence he’d been slowly building up and was reduced to the same stuttering boy he’d been at the start of the game, even physically hiding behind someone. If the rest of the game is any indication Emil’s since grown to hope for a real relationship with them rather than an awkward mutual fear, but he’s also very nervous about trying to approach them.

In general, Emil’s not a huge fan of conflict, though he’s also grown to understand the importance of facing what makes him afraid. Emil knows he was a weak person before he began his journey, and he still has his moments of weakness and doubt—as late as the end of the sixth chapter he’s still making remarks in his journal like "Me, I’m just pathetic. I may have borrowed Ratatosk’s power, but outside of that I’m just a useless kid." He’s never going to be a really aggressive person, though he has become more assertive since he started out.

What Ratatosk’s personality fears is harder to pin down specifically. The most obvious one is that which will hurt him a lot, like a huge ball of mana larger than a grown man coming right at his face. Others involve his friends getting hurt (though he’s a lot more closemouthed about it) and, in general, not being strong enough. He disapproves of Emil’s kindness because he believes it’s weak, and that won’t accomplish anything in the end. One of the best examples of this was when he believed Richter had killed Marta and he blamed it on Emil: "If I was more powerful, I could’ve stopped this! If I was always me, I never would’ve let this happen!" Even later on, when he decides to stop taking control outside of battle after he does a nice thing to help Marta, Ratatosk never quite trusts Emil to be strong enough to protect her.


Emil supposedly grew up in the town of Palmacosta until around the time his world, Sylvarant, was reunited with the parallel world of Tethe’alla by Lloyd Irving and his companions. Tension developed between the worlds, and about a year and a half later Lloyd reportedly led the Blood Purge, a massacre of Palmacosta in which Emil’s parents died. Emil went to live with his aunt in Luin, where conflicting opinions about Lloyd and Emil’s timid nature made him a bully magnet. It was while he was being pushed around six months later that he met Richter, who told Emil to stand up for himself and gave him some words that served as Emil’s inspiration throughout the rest of the game: "Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality."

It turned out that Richter meant to kill a girl named Marta, claiming she wanted to wake Ratatosk. Emil sided with Marta, and with the help of Tenebrae, one of Ratatosk’s Centurion servants, he became a Knight of Ratatosk to protect her, gaining new strength and power under Ratatosk’s possession. Marta and Tenebrae explained that a "jewel" on Marta’s forehead was Ratatosk’s core (similar to an egg), and they needed to awaken him and his Centurions because Ratatosk was the Summon Spirit of the Great Kharlan Tree that had supplied the life-giving mana to the world before it had been divided.

Because Marta believed Emil had saved her during the Blood Purge, she wanted Emil to be her Knight of Ratatosk and was smitten with him right off. This unnerved him more than a bit, but eventually he left with them on their journey to find the cores and seek out Lloyd Irving, who was after the cores. They traveled around, collecting the Centurions’ cores and coming upon Lloyd’s old friends from his own journey two years previously. These friends accompanied Emil and Marta to help awaken Ratatosk and find out what Lloyd was doing, since Lloyd refused to explain himself even to his friends.

As they continued on, Emil grew stronger as both a fighter and a person: he stood up to Richter and Marta (separately), getting Marta to see that he wasn’t some idealized knight, and later on his friends said straight out that he was becoming more assertive and able to stand behind his convictions. Emil began to understand what kind of people Lloyd’s friends were, and who they believed Lloyd to be despite how it didn’t quite match up to the present. The truth? The Lloyd of the Blood Purge had been a well-disguised imposter, causing trouble while the real Lloyd was still trying to get the Centurions’ cores for reasons he kept silent about. Emil offered to work together, but Lloyd refused when Emil wouldn’t give him all the cores he and the others had collected so far.

Meanwhile there was another side to Emil manifesting itself more and more: Emil as he was supposedly "possessed" by Ratatosk, soon dubbed Ratatosk Mode. Ratatosk Mode seemed to consider himself a different person from the "normal" Emil, referring to the other as a coward and making references to his own superiority over the other in ability (somewhat justified, as Emil rarely fought outside of Ratatosk Mode). At first Emil only shifted into this persona when he was fighting; then, later on, when he became angry; and when the awakened Centurions rose up to appeal to Ratatosk in order to aid Tenebrae, Emil didn’t switch out of Ratatosk Mode for at least the better part of an entire day. When he returned to normal, Emil only had vague memories of what had occurred while in Ratatosk Mode.

With time Emil discovered that he might not really be Emil Castagnier but Aster, a prodigy researcher at Sybak Academy who had once been friends with Richter before they performed field tests related to research on Ratatosk. Richter was believed to have murdered Aster at that time, which fit with visions/memories Emil had had in which Richter killed him. It seemed for a while that Emil could actually be an amnesiac Aster, his true self manifesting in Ratatosk Mode—at least, until the real kicker came.

Emil was Ratatosk. Once Richter revealed this to him, he remembered Richter and Aster’s appeal to him to restore the balance of mana, as Ratatosk had also been the overseer of the world’s mana flow and the guardian to the Ginnungagap, where the door to the demon realm lay. Bitter over a past betrayal, he’d planned to destroy mankind for the destruction of his tree, killing Aster and being killed by Richter in revenge.

The next morning after he’d recovered from the battle, Tenebrae (who’d known who Emil was all along) told him that when Marta awoke him during the Blood Purge he’d planted a fake core on Marta’s forehead to lure enemies toward her and away from him, a thought that horrified Emil. His memories as Emil were fabrications, created so he could play innocent until he regained his power. They heard that the others had found Richter’s location, but it’s from while they’re on their way that I’m taking Emil.



  • To be added.


  • When talking about himself Emil will be vague. His memories as Palmacosta resident Emil Castagnier are "vivid" but may not actually make sense (he never knew how to fish in a seaside town) because they never actually happened.
  • In general, what he does and doesn't know about the world is hard to predict—while in Iselia he showed that he knew who the Desians were, for example, he didn't actually "remember" that there was a human ranch around Palmacosta. (When stuff like that happens, he just knows the information from then on and never realizes he hadn't known it.)
  • Emil kept a journal while traveling, which he shared with Marta; the journal is not among his possessions upon arrival to the house, as Marta already had it by then. Ratatosk Mode Emil never writes in the journal, probably figuring it's a waste of time.
  • …Don't ask me how he dresses himself in that outfit. I don't know.
  • Meme joke that may or may not turn into Noodle Incident headcanon: the cowlick is the bizarre result of an accident when nine-year-old Emil was taking a swim.
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