Like another well-known RPG series, Final Fantasy, the Tales Of series capitalises on time-tested character archetypes as a way to create a common thread between each unique game. The character of Tear Grants is no exception. Looking back to the other games in the series, one can spot similarities in character attributes and quirks between Tear and other characters. However, Tear isn't a completely rehashed character: she carries unique traits, as well as a back story and character design all her own. Below are a few comparisons between Tear and other Tales Of characters that show parallels - but also differences.
Like Tear, Arche is an offensive magic user. In battle, both mainly keep to the background and use magic to attack. Arche and Tear also have a similar personality trait: their words tend to be harsh, but aren't meant in a cruel way. Otherwise, the two are quite different. Arche is bright and cheerful (and a wee bit pervy ), whereas Tear is emotionally reserved and calm. Although their personalities seem to be polar opposites, their strength can't be denied: Arche is strong in an outgoing way, while Tear finds strength in control. Arche began the legacy of a strong magic-using female, which Tear continued in Tales of the Abyss. ¹
Initially, Tear almost seems like she could be Sheena's long lost sister (or her replica -- CONTROVERSY!). Tear leaps at Van without warning and with plenty of death threats, much like Sheena did to Lloyd and crew in Tales of Symphonia. Both characters eventually join the main group, in particular becoming close to the main character (although it should be noted that while Tear is obviously Luke's love interest, much manipulating must be done to make this the case for Sheena and Lloyd). Personality-wise, Tear and Sheena are quite different: Sheena is rash and unconfident, whereas Tear is strong-willed and tends to think before she leaps. Physically, the two have some commonalities, including similar hair colour, clothing colour palette, and, erm, ample boobage (information curtesy of Guy Cecil). Interestingly, Tear and Sheena's first titles are quite similar: compare "Mysterious Intruder" with "Mysterious Assasin". Further, Both character's initial circumstances are similar: both are on missions to right wrongs they're intrically connected to in the world, and feel that the only option is to kill off the problem. If these two were originally one character, Tear and Sheena could arguably be the two individuals that resulted from a the same decision made by two different personalities. 4
Tear and Raine are quite similar, in my mind. Both are intelligent personalities who are masters in magical combat. Most strikingly similar is their unique fetishes: Raine and archeology, and Tear and "cute things". Both seem to loose composure whenever their respective fetishes appear, though Raine certainly reacts more excitedly than Tear. In a way, though she isn't a teacher herself, Tear takes after Raine in that regard. Raine often lectures Lloyd and Genis (and others...) much in the same way Tear critises Luke in battle and out. Further, both Raine and Tear lost their parents when they were young, although their roles in regard to their siblings are reversed: Raine is elder, who looked after young Genis like a mother, whereas Tear is the younger sibling who was taken care of her elder brother, Van. ²
Although their genders differ, Tear and Will share a lot of the same personality characteristics. Both are humble, knowledgeable and often the ones whom are called upon when a decision needs to be made. Both have one weakness in the form of another person: Will has his daughter and Tear has her brother. Many times, Tear and Will act as information sources in the game, and the other characters (as well as the player) come to rely on them to lead. ³
In many ways, Chloe and Tear are similar. Having lived the life of soldiers (Chloe coming from a family of swordsmasters, and Tear having joined the Oracle Knights), both strictly control themselves in an effort to appear nothing but tough. On the inside, however, both carry strong emotions that aren't always suppressed. Likewise, both are in love with the main character of each respective game: Chloe with Senel, and Tear with Luke. Unlike poor Chloe, Tear seems to get her man in the end. Both are secretive to an extent about their intentions, though Chloe is the only one with a huge, unshared secret at the end of Tales of Legendia (her love for Senel). The most obvious difference between the two is the fact that Chloe wields a sword and doesn't use magic, while Tear relies on magic and rarely uses her weapon, the stave, in direct combat. Interestingly, both characters are voiced by the same actress. ³