|Game||Tales of the Abyss|
|Height||6'1" / 186 cm|
|Weight||163 lbs / 74 kg|
|Occupation||Colonel, Malkuth Military|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Takehito Koyasu|
|English Voice Actor||Kirk Thornton|
|Character Designer||Kousuke Fujishima|
Jade Curtiss (ジェイド・カーティス Jeido Kaatisu?), birth name Jade Balfour (ジェイド・バルフォア Jeido Barufoa?) and with the epithet Jade the Necromancer (死霊使いジェイド Nekuromansaa Jeido?), is a Colonel serving in the Third Division of the Malkuth military and an exceptional wielder of fonic artes who is well-known throughout Auldrant. He is always smiling, or at least cheerful, regardless of the events taking place around him, giving little indication of his true thoughts on anything.
He lived in the wintery port city of Keterburg, along with Dist, who was then known as Saphir, the future Emperor Peony Upala Malkuth IX, and his own younger sister, Nephry Osborne. In his youth, he was, as described by his sister, a "devil" who was highly adept in casting fonic artes; his sister saw him as one who did not understand the significance of life or perhaps that anything but himself could be sentient, and therefore he enjoyed killing monsters through fonic artes even adults found difficult. When he was nine, he created the process known as fomicry, the science of extracting data from an existing entity to produce a perfect copy known as a "replica". His first attempt was when his sister, Nephry, broke her favorite doll, at which point Jade created a replica to appease her.
He was, however, significantly changed by his teacher, Professor Gelda Nebilim, a healer who commanded the Seventh Fonon, which Jade could not command himself. Though he had great respect for his teacher, Jade attempted to control the Seventh Fonon, but instead unleashed a power beyond his control that resulted in the death of Nebilim. As Nebilim lay dying, Jade extracted her data and created a replica of her, though rather than resurrecting his beloved teacher, he only succeeded in creating a monster which he found himself forced to seal away due to its destructive nature.
At some time after these painful events, Jade's talents in fonic artes and fomicry were recognized, and he was adopted into House Curtiss, a family of high position within the Malkuth military. Jade was eventually convinced to cease his endeavors with fomicry by his close friend, Peony, who spent his childhood years in Jade's hometown of Keterburg. It is also revealed that Jade forbade the practice of fomicry on living organisms due to both ethical and technical issues arising from the subject. Dist, however, still did not accept Nebilim's death. His dream was to see Jade return to normal, and help him resurrect her again. However, Jade had always refused, and often opted to make fun of Dist instead.
Chasing down the Dark Wings in the Tartarus, Jade crossed paths with a coach carrying Luke fon Fabre and Tear Grants to the capital. Soon after, he met the two in Engeve, when Luke was being accused of stealing the town's food. Jade assured the townsfolk that Luke was not the thief. He introduced himself to Luke and Tear, explaining that he was escorting Fon Master Ion to Baticul as an emissary of peace. Jade reappeared during the battle with the "Liger Queen", using his fonic artes to easily defeat the beast. As they approached the exit of Cheagle Woods, Jade ordered his men to capture Luke and Tear, and requests their assistance in peace talks with Kimlasca. After some deliberation, Luke agreed to help Jade and Ion, as this would help him return home to Baticul.
As the group heads toward their destination aboard the Tartarus, they are attacked by the Oracle Knights and six God-Generals. The party finds themselves face to face with God-General Largo, who demands they hand over Ion. Jade tells Anise Tatlin to take Ion and escape, and then prepares to take on Largo with fonic artes. However, an unfazed Largo easily cripples the infamous Necromancer's casting abilities with a "Fon Slot Seal", rendering Jade unable to use fonic artes. Not one to be stopped by such a handicap, Jade, with the assistance of Mieu Fire, manages to catch Largo off guard and seriously wound him using his spear. Afterward, it is thanks to Jade's sharp mind that the party is able to escape the Tartarus relatively unharmed and proceed to St. Binah to rendezvous with Anise.
Appearance and Personality
At first, Jade is rather enigmatic. He is sarcastic and witty, sometimes even to the point of cruelty. Jade has a snide, sarcastic response to even the most serious subjects, and loves to tease his companions. For instance, Jade occasionally teases Guy Cecil about his gynophobia, and will say something after Guy's phobia triggers, such as "I know you're enjoying yourself Guy, but we really must be going." The party is often unsure of whether he is being serious or not, though Jade has assured them on at least one occasion that he is "always serious". Regardless of his impish nature, the party trusts and respects Jade for his skill, intellect, and experience. He is referred to as "Colonel" by Anise and Tear Grants due to their own status as soldiers.
Jade's sarcastic and harsh words are often well-founded, and he uses them to express his often disapproving opinions. Other than amusement, Jade rarely shows any sign of his emotions. However, occasionally he loses his composure and his emotions burst out. The subject of fomicry in particular is a sore spot for Jade, as it reminds him of his past sins. He lashes out at Spinoza and Dist for continuing to create living replicas, firmly stating that he forbid replication of living things for important reasons. Whenever Jade's feelings betray his calm and collected mask, he quickly distances himself from them.
If Jade is furiously yowling at a character, when another asks what is wrong, he will quickly put on a small smile and act like nothing had occurred, which further rises suspicion among the party. Beneath his decidedly lively exterior lies a businesslike and scarily practical soldier's attitude. As Arietta lay defenseless on the ground at the Fubras River, Jade is the first to ready his weapon, and only the protests of Luke and Ion stop him from cutting her life short. While Luke thinks it is wrong to kill an unconscious enemy, Jade feels that sparing her will simply give her another chance to come back and harm them. He never even stopped to consider the morality of such an act.
Deep inside, Jade feels guilty for all the people he has killed, especially Professor Nebilim. Because he is very adept at masking his deepest thoughts and feelings, Jade is often able to see through others when they try to hide things. He had deduced Guy's true identity before anyone else, and he is the only one who shows suspicions from observing Anise's behavior at Mt. Zaleho. Despite often being able to see the secrets of others, Jade does not reveal their secrets until the time is right. This is apparent near the end of the game, when Luke's health is deteriorating.
Because of his knowledge on the adverse effects that fomicry creates, Jade is concerned with Luke's health and well-being, which the party is not fully aware of until near the very end of the story. Throughout the story, Jade always seems to be several steps ahead of the rest of the party. He hardly ever appears shocked, and he always has a complex and lengthy explanation behind many of the events that stun the party. He enjoys pushing the group in the right direction, letting them think they are filling in the gaps of what they experienced, when he might have discovered the answer long before the question appeared.
Jade wields spears in battle, an unusual weapon for a spellcaster. Unlike the rest of the party, he does not physically carry his weapon in battles; rather he produces it seemingly from nowhere via a unique technique he developed and then sends it away again after finishing his attack. Like with Tear's wands, Jade's spears act more as a focus for his fonic attack power rather than a direct combat weapon, but he can still wield it that way if need be. When Jade first meets the party, he joins at an abnormally high level, possessing all of the artes that he has access to by that level, such as Blessed Drops and Ground Dasher. However, Largo uses a fon slot seal to block Jade's abilities during the invasion of the Tartarus. Jade's strength drops significantly, and he loses nearly all of his fonic and strike artes.
As he increases in level throughout the story, Jade attempts to reverse the fon slot seal to regain all of his former abilities. When he returns to his initial level, he states in a skit that the others probably caught up to his level by then, making all of them relatively equal to him by that time. Through leveling up, Jade gains powerful fonic artes for each element except for Light and Dark. Through sidequests, however, Jade can also learn Absolute, Prism Sword, and Meteor Storm. With the exception of Meteor Storm, each of Jade's high-tier fonic artes invoke a fully charged FOF Circle of its element after it is used. Each of Jade's four strike artes can be altered by a different FOF element. In the Tales of Zestiria cameo battle, Jade's only returning magic arte from Tales of the Abyss is Meteor Swarm; Hell Gate, Rock Lance, and Vengeant Fangs are all seraphic artes, new to his repertoire.
Tales of Hearts
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2
Jade and most of the Abyss characters appear as playable characters in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2. Jade is first seen when the Protagonist and the guild on the Van Eltia see his ship is attacked out on sea. Jade with Luke, Guy, and Tear flee into a nearby cave and stay in there until they manage to recover from the attack. After the player gets the story mission to go save him and along with the others. The player first finds Jade waiting for Tear to return and he asks the player to go find Luke and Guy for him. After the player defeats Guy on the second level, he and Tear show up to prevent another fight from starting. After Tear heals Luke of his injuries they head to the the ship with the others to report to Chat.
Jade is often seen speaking to Raine Sage during the beginning of the game, but after the Van Eltia gets remodeled, he is located in the research lab with Harold Berselius and Philia Felice. During the later parts of the story, Jade goes on a mission with the Protagonist to find Anise after she leaves the guild. When they find her, Jade and the others are forced to fight her shadow and defeated it. After defeating the shadow Jade and the others return to the ship. After Goede is finally defeated, Jade is seen on the ship speaking to the rest of the Abyss cast as mana is flowing through the world. Jade is seen at the end of the game a year later welcoming Kanonno Earhart back from her adventure. The spear Jade uses throughout the entire game is his weapon the "Fonic Lance".
Tales of VS.
Jade is one of the five playable characters from Tales of the Abyss in Tales of VS., where he is one of the competitors in the Yggdrasil Battle entering on behalf of the Kingdom of Nidhogg. His story mode, in which he pairs up with Anise, is unlocked following the completion of the story shared by Luke and Tear. Like in Abyss, he is capable with both physical and magical abilities of many elements, but due to the absence of the FOF Change system, artes like Goring Hell are now standard attacks. He is also capable of casting Mystic Cage as his mystic arte.
- Jade's last name, Curtiss, is derivative from Old French, given as a nickname to a man of good education, referencing his high intelligence. His original last name, Balfour, is the name of an actual, historical doctor.
- While Jade wears glasses, he has stated that he does not use them to correct his eyesight; his glasses are actually limiters to help control his fonic sight, and even then, he shows he has great control without wearing the glasses.
- Jade's belt buckle shape is a reference to Namco's iconic Pac-Man, with the belt notches appearing to be pellets.
- In Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3, Estelle, Rita Mordio, and Raven find Jade's spare glasses on the floor, and Rita eventually begins wearing them. Suddenly, Rita's attitude and personality become like Jade's, and she begins speaking with a very deep voice that scares Estelle and Raven. After a few moments, Jade is seen finding his spare glasses. This event also occurs to Ruca Milda with Illia Animi and Coda.
- Jade appears as an enemy cameo character in Tales of Zestiria as part of the series' anniversary celebration due to Abyss also being a decade-anniversary title.