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Fomicry (フォミクリー Fomikurii?) is a type of replication process that exists in Tales of the Abyss. It is used to create identical physical copies, known as replicas, of both living and non-living things. Replicas derived from a human original do not retain memories of his or her former self, instead coming into the world a blank slate unless programmed in a particular manner.
Fomicry was first created by Jade Balfour and Saphir Ortion Gneiss. As a child, Jade did not understand the meaning of life and death, so he performed many experiments on smaller animals to expand his knowledge. Instead of better understanding death, he found a way to cheat it. This was the birth of fomicry. Jade supplied all of the theories and practices that fomicry is done by. He has written several books on the topic of fomicry, one of which can be found within the office of Van Grants at Belkend. Jade is accredited as the "Father of Fomicry" for his work in the field, leading to public recognition of his name as the one who single-handedly created fomicry itself. But contrary to popular belief, Jade was not the only one to create fomicry, and, in fact, he did only half the work. To his credit, Saphir was a brilliant young boy in his day, creating many small machines as a hobby. When Jade and Saphir joined the military academy, Saphir began to create the machines which would be used to house the mechanisms that did the work of replicating in the later years, replacing the need for the magical glyphs that were used previously.
In order to create a replica, the user must first extract information, known as replica data, from the original. Using the extracted data, the replica can be created with the help of a replication machine or fonic arte. The first known use of fomicry was performed by Jade when he was nine years old, replicating his sister Nephry Osborne's doll Millie. Nephry later told Luke fon Fabre that she "felt something abnormal in his way of thinking." The second example was an attempt to heal the injuries of Jade's professor, Gelda Nebilim, following an accident that he had caused at their education center. When he tried to perform fomicry on a real human being, it backfired and the real Nebilim died. A third incident exists within the manga sidestory Tsuioku no Jade, in which he and Saphir used a fomicry device to rebuild a lock that they had snapped on their dorm gates.
After an accident within the lab Jade was working at during college, Jade banned fomicry due to the ethical and moral implications that came with it, especially replicating human beings. Replicated objects usually have some sort of inherent flaw that makes them inferior to the original, and on most occasions, even the fonon frequency differs between the original and replica, thus creating mere imitations. Also, replicas were found to be unstable, and if they are not created carefully, they can be prone to falling apart literally. When organic replicas die, they do not leave behind a corpse; their bodies break apart into its raw components of Seventh Fonons and dissipate.
A secondary involves the originals to become weak and eventually die once their replica data is extracted. This phenomenon generally happens within ten days for inorganic matter, and it is even faster for living things. After the incident in the lab, Jade stopped attempting to resurrect the deceased Professor Gelda Nebilim, leading to strained relations between himself and Saphir. They eventually broke off from each other because Saphir was still convinced that he and Jade could succeed in reviving their professor. Saphir eventually joined the God-Generals and changed his name to Dist, aiding their cause with his inventions and technology, while continuing his research in secret.
Role in the Plot
The foremost use of fomicry within the story of the game involves the replication of both Asch and the original Fon Master Ion. The party eventually discovers a replicated Cheagle named Star, found within the Ortion Cavern while looking for Tear Grants. Later in the story, the city of Eldrant, which had been destroyed along with the entire continent of Hod several years prior to the events of the game, is replicated along with its Sephiroth Tree.