hero   heroine   together   thoughts   fanlisting   x

come hell or full circle

our arms fill with miracles, play hearts, kid, they work well

So, why does this silly little site exist? I have to admit, the designated "main couple" of many JRPGs usually fails to interest me. The stereotypical hero is typically paired up with a healer or princess character. She usually ends up getting kidnapped and then rescued or something of the sort. Cue love story. But Luke is not your typical hero, and Tear is in no way a damsel-in-distress heroine. And the relationship between these two unique characters is anything but your cliché RPG love story. It’s a relationship that starts of devoid of trust, with two characters that clash with each other in every single way. It builds slightly, but hits rock bottom, and then starts over from there with a promise that is kept to the very end. There's a gradual building of trust which turns into a relationship full of mutual support and concern. And in my opinion, the relationship has a definite romantic aspect; Tear admits outright that she loves Luke, while Luke hints at his feelings for Tear in his diary. Yet their relationship is wrought with struggle and tragedy, something I found really compelling.

Their story ends with the world being saved, but with Luke sacrificing his life for it. The final scene gives some hope to the fact that Luke may be alive (I’m of the opinion that he lived, but I'm just a sucker for happy endings), but it's not entirely clear. The finale is probably my favorite ending to any game; it's tragic, yet not devoid of hope.

Essentially, I love Luke and Tear as individual characters; I love Luke's character evolution and struggle to find his place in the world, and I love Tear's strength and the breakdown of her emotional barriers. And I love the way their relationship evolves. Their story is sweet, sad, and hopeful at the same time. I realize this all sounds incredibly sappy, especially since I'm talking about fictional video game characters, but really, I think their relationship was beautifully presented. (Not gonna lie, I teared up at the final scene.)

deus ex machina

stay with me, go places, once more for the ages

swan song n.
1. A farewell or final appearance, action, or work.
2. The beautiful legendary song sung only once by a swan in its lifetime, as it is dying.
From the belief that the swan sings as it dies.

I had originally intended to make a small dedication to Tear after I first played through Tales of the Abyss, and on subsequent playthroughs I considered making one to Luke as well. But after thinking it over, I decided that sites to each character would get redundant. I realized that since I loved both characters and their relationship, I'd make a small dedication to them both. I'm usually not one for "couple shrines," but I just had to indulge myself in this case. So this site is largely self-indulgent and probably very corny. I just wanted create a small place for me to present my thoughts on Luke and Tear. I don't really expect anyone to read it, haha. I began working on the site at the end of 2007, and it finally went online in the spring of 2009. I'm slow, aren't I? Partway through my progress Samantha asked if I wanted to adopt the Luke and Tear fanlisting, so thanks to her for getting me motivated to actually finish this site! :P

I chose the name "Swan Song" for a few reasons, which you can probably figure out from the definition above. A "swan song" is a sort of grand finale, a final act before the end, named for the belief that a swan sings right before it dies. I think you can describe the game's finale and the conclusion of Luke and Tear's relationship as a swan song, literally, through Tear's performance of the Grand Fonic Hymn, and symbolically through Luke's final move to release Lorelei and sacrifice his life. And when you consider the heavily music-influenced plot of Tales of the Abyss, the name Swan Song just makes perfect sense.

The current layout features some gorgeous manga artwork of Luke and Tear, from the first and second volumes. I used some paint-like textures as well, but sadly I lost the source. You'll also probably notice the random phrases used in place of title text, which are all taken from songs that I think describe Luke, Tear, or their relationship. On the off chance that you're actually interested in the songs I used, you can check out the playlist here.

This site is a part of last-fencer.net, my Tales of… collective. Most images came from Abyssal Chronicles, and the textures used on the layout came from Hybrid Genesis. This site focuses mainly on the English version of the game; I've read the manga and watched the anime, which differs slightly from the game but not that much, but I stuck with the English game canon for this site.

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