Aster Laker (アステル レイカ Asuteru Reika?) was a former member of Sybak University in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, who supposedly appeared and acted similarly to Emil Castagnier. Though he is dead by the time the events of the story begins, he has a large impact on the plot.
Most of Aster's past is unknown, but it is said that he was a prodigy, and entered the Sybak university at age nine. Sometime after this, he began to study in the research laboratories, being partnered with the half-elf Richter Abend. Despite them being of two different races, they became good friends. Two years prior to the events of the story, when the worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla merged into one world, Aster's research into Summon Spirits led him to hypothesize that a Summon Spirit controlled the world's flow of mana. He and Richter set out to prove the existence of Ratatosk, the Summon Spirit in question, and hopefully convince him to take back up his duties so that the natural disasters plaguing the newly-joined world will cease.
After discovering the Centurion Aqua, who agrees to help them, they go to meet Ratatosk at the Ginnungagap. Ratatosk agrees to regulate the mana with the help of his Centurions, but also states his desire to purge both humans and half-elves from the world. Aster tries to reason with him, though Ratatosk uses Ain Soph Aur on him, causing his death. In an explosion of rage over Aster's death, Richter mortally wounds Ratatosk, causing him to revert to core form. During these two years, Richter secretly plans to save the world without Ratatosk's help by using the door to Niflheim. He also, at the end of the game, states that if he could use the power of a Cruxis Crystal, he would also manage to revert Aster back to life.
During the Blood Purge of Palmacosta six months before the events of the story, Ratatosk is regenerated through his core into a human form that strongly resembles Aster's. He mimics Aster's form for reasons not fully expanded in the story, though Emil hypothesizes in his journal that it could be because Aster was the last human he saw before he was reverted into core state. For a brief period of time, before the truth is discovered, the party believes that Emil may in fact be an amnesiac Aster, as Emil looks exactly like Aster and would be about his age.
Appearance and Personality
Richter states at the end of the game that Aster was an idealist. He became friends with a half-elf despite the discrimination toward them during the time Tethe'alla was separated from Sylvarant.
In the manga, Tales of Symphonia - Ratatosk no Kishi - Onshuu no Richter, his personality was shown more. He was very enthusiastic about many things, such as going on an adventure with Richter. Aster was also very kind to anyone, even to monsters, such as when he found an injured Polwigle and instantly tried to help it, despite Richter's warnings. He was also the one who gave Richter his glasses, since Richter's eyes always hurt from seeing too far.
He was also a bit of a tease and enjoys making jokes. For example, when Richter commented that Aster wasn't very athletic, Aster responded by saying that he was cool, gentle, and smart, and that if he was athletic too, he'd be too perfect and would make anyone jealous, making Richter comment that it was amazing that Aster could say that with a straight face, right before Aster ended up bursting into laughter.
After having saved Aqua, who became instantly infatuated with Richter, Aster made teasing comments at the half-elf, much to Richter's discomfort, which continued whenever Aqua praised Richter any chance she got.
Ratatosk - When meeting the former spirit of the World Tree, Aster does not seem to view Ratatosk as an enemy. On the contrary, he wants to ask for Ratatosk's help to stop the strange climate that has occurred throughout the world. However, Ratatosk hates humans and half-elves alike because of a betrayal occurring prior to the events of the story, which ends with Aster being killed. However, at the end of the game, Ratatosk regretted his actions for murdering Aster.
Richter Abend - Aster and Richter were very close friends, despite being different races, and Aster not discriminating Richter for being a half-elf. It was Aster who gave Richter the saying, "Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality", a phrase that was passed onto Emil as a mantra. Richter described Aster as some human with a few screws loose in the head. However, it was Aster's death that triggered Richter's desire to kill Ratatosk, creating many of the events in the story. Richter also desired to bring Aster back to life and even made pacts with demons for such a cause. When Richter learned the identity of Ratatosk being Emil, using Aster's form, Richter's hatred for the Spirit grew, hating how the murderer of Aster dared to use the same form.
- Aster's name derives from the Greek aster, meaning star, and he has a star-shaped birthmark above his collarbone.