Moments – Tales of the Abyss: Luke's Promise To Tear
We all put up walls - vulnerability is a universal struggle. Unfortunately, showing emotion has a stigma attached to it. If we confess our true feelings, people often think we're showing weakness. This is why the ending moments of Tales of the Abyss with Luke and Tear succeed. It captures how, even when we try so hard to hide our emotions, our true feelings can take the wheel. Sometimes the defining moments in stories are when a character just can't hold back anymore.
Spoiler Warning: This feature will now go into more detail about the ending of Tales of the Abyss
While many people think of Abyss as Luke's story, it's also just as much Tear's. Luke has spent his life a noble trapped at Fon Fabre manor, and he's been spoiled most of his life. Tear is a sergeant for an intelligence division, who lost her parents when she just a baby. Tear tries to focus on being a soldier and not on letting her emotions surface. While Luke learns to grow beyond his selfishness, Tear learns how to finally open to something; the best part is Tear's acceptance of her feelings and her bravery to acknowledge them.
Talking about Abyss' overall plot could be an article in itself, so I'll keep the premise brief: Luke is destined to fill a prophecy to bring "unprecedented prosperity" to the world. But it's when Tear enters his life that his when true destiny is set ablaze. So it should be no surprise that the pivotal moment has Luke risking his life to save the world and doing it without the group by his side.
Before all the party members leave Luke to his dangerous mission, each gives their parting words, knowing this could be their last engagement with Luke. But it's the last interaction that sticks out most, as Tear runs forward then turns her back and clenches her chest. She doesn't want to confront the possibility she may lose Luke, but then she turns and blurts out, "Come home!" It's when she continues that her shaky voice accurately depicts her desperation; something previously she'd refuse to show. "You have to come home. You have to! I'll be waiting...always." Luke then promises her that he will come back. She turns and walks away, but just before she leaves, she lowers her voice and says, "I love you" to Luke.
This one last revelation said it all and so much about Luke and Tear's growth as not only individuals, but also together. These two different people started this journey together, one completely self-absorbed, the other avoiding emotions. The disdain between the two slowly morphed into love as both grew into better versions of themselves.
Tear being the first to utter love is a big step for her, especially since she's so used to losing the people she cares about most. Her confession is especially important because she just lost her brother and knows that she may lose Luke as well. However, instead of pushing down the pain, she lets it show, sparking one of the most heartfelt moments in the game. Vulnerability isn't the worst attribute and every now and then embracing it can prove just how human you are.
See the scene below. It starts at 3:47 and ends at 4:21.
Video credit: Youtube user BlitzMage