the spoiled brat

that four-eyed fool jade really got on my nerves

The game's "hero," Luke fon Fabre, doesn't start out as anyone even remotely capable of saving the world. He's spoiled, sheltered, ignorant, and a little too attached to his sword instructor. Needless to say, Jade doesn't think much of him. Luke is rash, clueless, and pretty damn obnoxious, which conflicts with... Jade's entire personality. This is what causes Luke to be the target of most of Jade's sarcastic remarks. And while Jade is an experienced soldier, Luke is afraid of killing human beings, which poses a major problem when the two are forced to travel with each other. In turn, Luke finds Jade extremely annoying and frustrating, though he does show some concern after Jade has his fon slots sealed.

As it turns out, Luke is a replica of the actual son of Duke Fabre. During the early parts of the game Jade is the only one to realize this, obviously because he was the inventor of the technology that creates replicas. Luke's "disappearance" and memory loss seven years prior to the start of the game, along with the mysterious God General who shared his face, were clear signs. Jade doesn't let anyone know, however. This was probably because he felt there was no need to tell anyone; there was enough confusion among the party members at that time and Luke probably wouldn't have believed him anyway. His dislike of giving explanations was a factor as well. Jade merely tells Luke that someday, "you may hate me enough to want to kill me."

There's evidence of some good in Luke underneath his ignorant exterior, but after the party reaches Akzeriuth, his traveling companions' faith in him is lost. Following his destruction of the mining city, everyone, aside from Mieu, is angry at Luke after he denies the fact that he was to blame. Luke and his original, Asch, fight and Luke eventually loses consciousness. Luke recovers as Jade, Anise, Guy, and Natalia accompany Asch to Belkend and Tear stays in Yulia City, though she denies that it was out of care for Luke. People like to criticize the party for "abandoning" Luke. There is a basis for that criticism; Luke was a spoiled, sheltered child and technically only seven years old, thus he had no sense of responsibility. But one has to realize that none of the party members, save Guy and Natalia, had any real relationship with Luke. In the short time the party had traveled together, Luke had been rude and nasty to Anise, Jade, and Tear. Luke wasn't their friend, so why should they stay by the side of an immature and rude child who destroyed a city out of his own ignorance? Though Tear does show some concern, I see no reason why Jade or Anise should have.

the hero

but you're still a teacher and a mentor to me

Of course, the plot in Tales of the Abyss wouldn't get very far if the main character didn't stop being a complete jerk. After the tragedy at Akzeriuth, Luke resolves to change and symbolizes his vow by cutting his hair. Thus giving me and other fans a nice way to reference the character pre- and post-Akzeriuth: long-haired and short-haired Luke! Anyway, it's at this point that Luke has lost the trust of most of his traveling companions, Jade especially. The two disliked each other before Akzeriuth and Luke's behavior after the incident only made things worse. They meet up later when Jade seeks aid from Guy, and Jade isn't too pleased to be traveling with Luke again. But as the game progresses, Luke's resolve proves to be sincere. Luke does make a change despite considerable amounts of awkwardness and confusion, and Jade certainly recognizes his efforts and helps him along with some advice every now and then. While Jade's sarcastic remarks and teasing continue, he does come to respect Luke as our hero matures and understands his real responsibility.

When the party reaches Keterburg, Nephry tells Luke about Jade's childhood and the incident with Nebilim, marking the creation of a strange sort of bond between Luke and the Colonel. Shortly after that event, Jade goes so far as to actually scold Luke for being childish, which Elder McGovern points out as something that Jade would only bother to do if he had taken a liking to Luke. Despite denying that fact, Jade is later able to share with Luke his issue with understanding what it means to die. So while it may have been somewhat forced, Jade does confide in Luke. When Luke is faced with the choice of sacrificing himself to clear the world of deadly miasma, we see Jade break out of his cold and rational decision making method. Jade explains that if he were the leader of a country, he would tell Luke to sacrifice himself. But as a friend, he would tell him not to. When it comes time for the game to end, Jade tells Luke that he wants to see him return. It took awhile for Luke to gain Jade's trust, but when the game concludes there is clearly mutual respect.

Still, Jade states that, "...deep down, [Luke] is essentially an idiot." But he's also a friend.

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