the silver world

rest in a merciless silver embrace

Jade grew up in the snowy city of Keterburg, located in the Northern part of Auldrant. Then known as Jade Balfour, he grew up alongside his sister Nephry, the future Emperor Peony IX, and Saphir Wyon Neis (a.k.a. Dist). As a child, Jade was a prodigy who could use complicated fonic artes. But Nephry explains that, "[Jade] acts nice now, but as a child, my brother was a terror. A devil." She tells Luke that Jade would kill harmless monsters and "didn't understand what it meant for living things to die." But Professor Nebilim, a Seventh Fonist and former Oracle Knight, helped change Jade. She taught Jade, Nephry, Saphir, and Peony, and Jade admired her for her ability to use the Seventh Fonon, which is something that he couldn't do. But Nebilim's life later ended in a tragedy.

fomicry

even i had my young and foolish days

Fomicry is the process of making a "replica" of something, either living or non-living. Though most replicas differ from their originals, usually in terms of reduced abilities, there exists "perfect isofons," like Asch and Luke, who share the same fonon frequency. The fundamentals of the fomicry process were developed by Jade at the age of nine. It originally involved use of the First through Sixth fonons, but he and Dist later modified it to use only the Seventh. Jade created the first replica after Nephry broke a doll, prompting her to believe that there was "something abnormal in his way of thinking." Instead of buying a new doll, Jade simply made a copy. It wasn't until after the death of Professor Nebilim that Jade realized a replica was not merely a replacement of the original.

Years later, with the help of Peony, the replication of living things became forbidden for "technical and ethical reasons." Despite that, a revival of fomicry involving living beings ends up being one of the main causes of the conflict in Tales of the Abyss: First, the existence of replicas, namely Luke, is a deviation from Yulia's Score. Second, the main catalyst for Van's radical approach to escaping the Score was the fall of Hod, apparently caused in part by Jade's replica research. And finally, the Commandant's insane plan to recreate the world relies on the replication of mankind.

During the time that the game takes place, Jade no doubt realizes the gravity of his past decisions. He doesn't wallow in guilt like Luke, but when it's first revealed that he is the "father of fomicry," Jade views the technology as a "sin" he committed in the past. While there's little doubt in anyone's mind that replication of living beings is truly unethical, when we first learn of the techonology Jade seems to regret creating it entirely. He states at one point that, "I wish I could go back in time and kill myself as a newborn. I keep coming up with such troublesome things…" But Anise and Luke are quick to reply, with Anise telling Jade, "If you did that, Luke and Ion wouldn't even have been born." Jade later seems to change his mind, perhaps after observing Luke, a replica, and his effort to change the world, along with the treatment of the replicas that Mohs created. Before fighting Van, he tells Anise that he'll start fomicry research again to raise the status of replicas, and when he confronts Van, Jade explains that, "…I'll take back fomicry. At least I can use it more effectively than you." Whatever the reason may be, it's clear that by the end of the story Jade no longer resents his creation of fomicry, at least not entirely.

and beyond

the world doesn't live happily ever after

Recognized for his talents, Jade Balfour was adopted into the famous Curtiss military family after the Nebilim incident. Not much is revealed about the family, aside from the fact that they're wealthy, devout believers in Lorelei who made Jade partake in the Daath monument pilgrimage after he was adopted. Details about Jade entering the military are unclear, though he mentions that he studied to be an autopsist but became a soldier. His first battle was apparently at Rotelro, where he blinded a Kimlascan General. What is known is that Jade gained a reputation among soldiers as the feared "Necromancer." As for the others in Keterburg, Peony succeeded the throne of Malkuth and rules during the game timeline. Saphir became a researcher for Malkuth and later a God-General of the Order of Lorelei who specialized in fontech, and Nephry became Governor of Keterburg.

"Tales of the Abyss" and its characters © Namco. All other content belongs to Michelle.