Tales of the Abyss is a popular installment in the Tales of franchise. It is centered around the main character, Luke Fon Fabre, the son of duke. He is thrown into the midst of adventure when he and Tear Grant have a reaction as a result of 7th fonons, particles that exist within that world. Initially spoiled, selfish, self centered and rude, Luke later finds out that he is the clone of the real Luke Fon Fabre, now known by the name of Asch. After Luke accidentally causes the destruction of a city and his friends abandon him, he decides to change.
Throughout the second half of the game, Luke begins to question why his friends return to him even though he is only a replica. This sentiment is repeated throughout the rest of the game, bringing up the question: What is existence?
There are many different definitions to existing and being alive. One could say happiness means you’re alive or more broadly one could say that feeling emotions means that you are alive. One could also be more analytical towards it, saying that if you are breathing and your heart is beating you are alive. Though, in Tales of the Abyss, Luke would say that the definition of existing would be the culmination of your existence within others. In the game, Luke has many friends that he would do anything for. And they have their own idea of him within their minds. In that, he exists within them.
In saying that, existence isn’t only physical. It can transcend to the very depths of our consciousnesses. It wouldn’t matter if you were a replica of a real person or the shell of who you once were. You exist as long as you and everyone around you know that you exist. Luke could have continued to state that he wasn’t real, that he wasn’t a person. But he didn’t. He stopped after realizing that he made himself a person through his own memories, thoughts and emotions. After that, he knew that he existed within himself and within others. He chose to exist.
As such, Tales of the Abyss brought forth the theme of identity and existence. It questioned the concept of who someone was. The game finishes Luke and Asch’s story by fusing them together after a final battle. The game implies that they’re both still in there separate but united. This furthers the fact that existence isn’t only skin deep. It transcends it in the metaphysical way, keeping both Asch and Luke alive in the same body. Existence is only what we make of it.