[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/From_Fake_Dreamsedited_1159.jpg]]

->''My body is made of blades… Fire is my blood… and Glass is my heart… Through countless battles I forever wait, alone on the hill of blades… For Hell's hands to bear… For Heaven's hands to temper… Never yearning for salvation… Thus I see the dream, on the hill of blades.''
-->-- '''Emiya Shirou'''

In the aftermath of the [[LightNovel/FateZero Fourth Holy Grail War]], Emiya Kiritsugu was content to live out his final days with his newly adopted son Shirou. However, he found himself beset by strange dreams, dreams that told him the results of his incomplete training of Shirou's magecraft. As a result, he knew that he had to prepare for the future. For a [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Holy Grail War that was approaching fifty years early]].

''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7207791/1/From_Fake_Dreams From Fake Dreams]]'' is a VisualNovel/FateStayNight AlternateUniverseFic written by Third Fang, author of the [[{{Doorstopper}} incredibly long]] ''[[FanFic/YetAgain Yet again, with a little extra help]]'' FanFic. The story follows the Magus Killer as he seeks to have Shirou properly trained in skills for the upcoming war, and then Shirou as he tries to make sense of the world of Magi he's been thrust deep into.
----
!!This fanfiction series contains examples of:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: Shirou's [[spoiler:Natalia]] blade is one even without its instant-cut effect.
* AmbiguousDisorder: Shirou, who doesn't seem to realize that Rin has feelings for him and consistently takes her at her word. This causes...a little friction. Being "distorted" (as in canon), this is unsurprising.
* AnArmAndALeg:
** Shirou accidentally cuts his arm off in one of his projection experiments.
** [[spoiler:Bazett]] gets her lower legs blown off by a landmine.
** Happens again to [[spoiler:Shirou]] in Chapter 41.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Luvia declares Rin's love for Shirou to him in Chapter 40 when she gets too stressed to hold her tongue, as a proxy in a very peculiar example.
* AndIMustScream: [[spoiler:Marjatta Edelfelt]] gets put in suspended animation and hooked up to a huge prana generator to essentially be used as a supplementary wand for Caster.
* ArcVillain: Louvre, the tenth Dead Apostle Ancestor, gets his own arc in the years before the Holy Grail War.
* ArtificialLimbs: [[spoiler:Bazett]] loses her legs in the [[CurbStompBattle encounter]] with Assassin. Fortunately, [[spoiler:Lancer and Merem]] are able to fix that. She now has a pair of [[spoiler:preadolescent Banshees]] for legs.
* AssholeVictim:
** Shinji gets [[spoiler:turned into a zombie]] after a trip through the sewers, finally [[spoiler:dying completely]] when he gets [[spoiler:his head blown off by an Origin Bullet]].
** For Marjatta Edelfelt, see HumiliationConga below.
* AwfulTruth:
** Rin finds out that there are downsides to [[CannotTellALie forbidding]] [[BrokenHero Archer]] from lying via Command Seal: though he ''was'' keeping things to himself for his own purposes, there are some things he kept from her to avoid hurting her, like Sakura's childhood and his execution—which she attended, indicating she knew about it and was unable to help him. For a girl who has dedicated herself for the past several years to helping Shirou and has been working to prove herself able to keep up with him, this is a truly awful realization.
** Shirou realizing Archer's identity and true nature. Given how differently he was raised by Kiritsugu, once Shirou takes in all the differences, it reduces him to a sobbing quivering mess.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Kiritsugu as Assassin]].
* BadassBiker: Saber on a thaumaturgically pimped-out 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa.
* BadassBoast: Shirou to Gilgamesh in Chapter 41. It sort of doubles as AGodAmI.
--> ''"It's simply… just as you are the King of this world… I am the God of mine. And I'm invading."''
* BadassCreed: Nearing completion as of chapter 41, the aria to summon [[FieldOfBlades Unlimited Blade Works]]:
--> ''"My body is made of blades… Fire is my blood… and Glass is my heart… Through countless battles I forever wait, alone on the hill of blades… For Hell's hands to bear… For Heaven's hands to temper… Never yearning for salvation… Thus I see the dream, on the hill of blades"''
* BadassTeacher: Kuzuki [[spoiler:has been sparring with Shirou]].
* BigBadEnsemble: The story lacks a central villain, although the main contenders appear to be the Kotomine/Gilgamesh duo and [[spoiler: Evil!]]Caster.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Shirou to Illya, even though he's (technically) the younger one of the two; saving her from being sacrificed for the Grail is one of his main goals for the Grail War.
* BigDamnHeroes: The event itself isn't shown, but Bazett shows up just in time to save Shirou from the vampire that is about to kill him. Lampshaded by the author when Shirou says he "didn't expect anyone to come in and be a big damned hero!"
* BiggerBad: [[spoiler:Altrouge Brunestud; although she's uninterested in the war, she sent one of her enforcers to Fuyuki to keep an eye on it.]]
* BlackSwordsAreBetter: Shirou's most dangerous sword, Kiritsugu, is made entirely of black metal, blood-red stains and [[TaintedVeins brown veins]] notwithstanding.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: Rin does this to Louvre, shooting the Mace of Odo to multiple characters' surprise. Justified, as the mace is weak to anything non-magical.
* BoomHeadshot: [[spoiler:Assassin on Witch!Caster in chapter 48.]]
* BoringYetPractical: Assassin doesn't seem like much. Caster does say that he doesn't have any impressive spells, and he really doesn't. He's "boring" because [[CombatPragmatist he's cold, is efficient, and does not fuck around]]. Since he uses modern weaponry, he's the only Servant who who can act during the day, and he can snipe anyone without suspicion of magic. On defense, if anyone dares try to siege your base, his traps and skills ensure that anyone who sieges your base will be SORELY defeated. In fact, Shirou points out later on in the arc that the only reason Caster hasn't won yet is because she 'does not know how to use such a broken servant''.
* BreakThemByTalking: Deliberately invoked by Archer in regards to Princess!Caster, pointing out Witch!Caster will not hesitate to do it, with more devastating effects, and at the worst timing.
* BrokenPedestal: [[spoiler:Kiritsugu/Assassin became one to Archer when he realized that unlike himself, his father had become a true hero and was not drafted into the Counter Force, and that Assassin effectively doomed Archer to fulfill an ideal that he already accomplished. Needless to say, Archer no longer sees him as a savior and now wants him dead.]]
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: Tends to happen to Shirou quite a lot when he faces foes he should have no business fighting in close quarters, and ends up very badly wounded quite a few times because of it.
* CallingTheOldManOut: [[spoiler: Done by Archer to Kiritsugu in chapter 42.]]
* CainAndAbel: As in canon, Illya wants to kill Shirou. [[spoiler: And then she doesn't.]]
* ChekhovsGun: Shirou's inherited magic crest ends up being a GameBreaker against Louvre: [[spoiler:Time magic, combined with the Origin Sword Maiya, equals a way to bind a vampire's personal timespace to the Gaian timeline, thus nullifying his pesky healing factor]]. Shirou is now considered not only a major threat to magi all around, but the threat he represents to magi-turned-Dead Apostles (and eventual threat to weaker Dead Apostle ''Ancestors'') is held to be even greater.
* TheChessmaster: Aside from the usual Betrayer!Caster, Kotomine and Zouken, another player has suddenly come into light. Who? In an unusual move, it is Shirou. That's right, oblivious, NaiveNewcomer Shirou. Thanks to his father's dreams, he's become one of the war's biggest power players. As a demonstration of how good he's gotten, he was able to [[spoiler:get Kirei to help him kill Zouken when the opportunity presented itself]]. It's to the point that once Archer gets a much needed update, he outright compares him to playing the damn game like Kotomine Kirei from the get-go.
* CluelessChickMagnet: Shirou has managed to get Rin, Sakura, and Luviagellita all wanting him without even trying ([[ObliviousToLove or noticing]]).
** In the case of Luviagellita, it happened at two seperate occasions, once when repairing her car, and then a second when he [[spoiler:met her under shroud in the clock tower]].
** It comes back to bite him in chapter 40, when he realizes how much he hurt Rin and the others by omitting things in an effort to keep them safe, especially Rin from being tried in the KangarooCourt that happened at the end of the ''Heaven's Feel'' route. By the end, he admits his own love that he has for both of them to Sakura in a resigned manner; knowing that while he may succeed in his life's mission, he might not survive the aftermath.
* CoolBike: Having learned from his father that Saber was good with a motorcycle in the fourth Grail War, Shirou gets her one for the fifth. It's a custom-upgraded, nitro-boosted, heavily enchanted 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa that can do 350 [[superscript:km]]∕[[subscript:h]] (40 [[superscript:km]]∕[[subscript:h]] faster than the stock model) ''without'' using the nitro. She loves it.
** UpToEleven: The bike could have been ''even cooler'', but the advanced enchantments require one of the standard five affinities to cast, which Shirou doesn't have. Who knows what will happen if he can get Rin or Sirius (who have all five of the standard affinities) to further upgrade it?
** The Suzuki Hayabusa was cool even before being enchanted. Why? Not only is the maximum speed higher than normal bikers can manage (prompting motorcycle producers in the entire world to put electronic limiters so that no other motorcycle can go over 300 [[superscript:km]]∕[[subscript:h]], thus avoiding accidents when these monsters get into the hands of anyone who isn't a champion), but the bike is balanced, sleek and efficient, has good turning and excellent acceleration, and can be easily customized. As the narrator states, "if there was ANY series of motorcycles that had the potential to become a phantasmal existence at some point in the future, it was without any doubt the 1999 Hayabusa."
* {{Cool Sword}}: The Origin Swords are GameBreaker material, to be blunt, to the point that Shirou could easily become TheDreaded for other Magi. [[CoolBigSis Bazett]] tells him upfront that if he ever makes her list of targets, she'll kill him before he can use them.
** Natalia: This sword actualizes the concept of "severing". If it so much as touches a living being with less than C-Rank magic resistance, the target will be instantaneously cut in half. The same goes for inanimate objects unless they are too big, in which case it's simply an Absurdly Sharp Blade.
** Maiya: This sword actualizes the concept of "binding". It binds things (note that the binding effect happens AFTER it makes a cut), including alterations, magic circuits, and souls, improperly, effectively screwing over anything that can split itself apart, use familiars, or add something to their very core. A unique thing about Maiya is that if it causes an injury then the wound will bind itself improperly causing severe necrosis, as it works on a molecular level. So, any injury cause by this blade can't be healed even with magic. Also, thanks to Shirou's Time Crest, he can now bind Dead Apostles' personal timelines to the "normal" timeline, neutralizing their healing abilities.
** Kiritsugu: This sword actualizes the dual concepts of "severing" and "binding". It Severs and Binds just like the Origin Bullets and the two blades mentioned above, but combined with the curse of Angra Mainyu, it hits the traget down to the very soul. Hitting someone's magecraft or essence with it can cause the target to [[DeathOfPersonality literally lose the memory of the spell that was hit]]. If it hits them directly... Well, let's just say even [[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} Roa]] [[DeaderThanDead wouldn't be able to escape it]]. [[spoiler:Louvre]] finds out just how terrifying it is, the hard way.
--->'''Shirou:''' ''Sacrifice and save, blade of the cursed hero.'' '''Kiritsugu!'''
** Of course, the biggest problem with the Origin Bullets? They are bullets, and therefore limited in ammunition. Here we have three monstrously powerful swords, and Shirou's HyperspaceArsenal ensures that he has unlimited copies of EACH of them. In terms of being AntiMagic, Shirou has truly surpassed his father in potential.
* CoolVsAwesome: Rider on Pegasus versus Princess!Caster on a dragon.
* CurbStompBattle:
** Marjatta, being a RichBitch Magus, assumes this will happen when she goes to face [[spoiler:Sakura]] in Chapter 25. In practice, it's pretty even for a while. She has to have her Servant save her from [[spoiler:going through a worm bath]], and ''then'' [[spoiler:Shirou shows up mad as hell and armed with Gae Dearg, which is an AntiMagic spear]].
** Lancer and Bazett [[spoiler:get taken out in five seconds in their first round against Assassin.]]
** Rider and Archer [[spoiler:find themselves on the receiving end of one in Chapter 28 when they run into Assassin.]]
* DarkIsNotEvil: Sakura, as a protagonist, can wield [[ManaDrain anti-mana]] [[CastingAShadow shadows]] in battle.
* DeadManWriting: Kiritsugu left behind letters to be read by Shirou and others once the the fifth Heaven's Feel goes into swing.
* DeaderThanDead: The final fate of anything hit by the Origin Blade Kiritsugu. [[spoiler:The souls can't even go through reincarnation!]]
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler: Shinji]] bites it after running into Louvre's son. [[AssholeVictim Not that anyone actually complains...]]
* DealWithTheDevil: Shirou is forced into one with [[spoiler:Zouken]] regarding the War and [[spoiler:Sakura]].
* DidYouJustScamCthulhu:
** It's more like bargaining, but Shirou manages to get a better deal on his end should he agree to [[spoiler:being Lorelei's "dog."]] Sirius, Bazett, and Waver are not happy he risked his life that way.
** He does the same thing later on, in the middle of the Holy Grail War: Shirou successfully ropes Lorelei into covering his back in the event his machinations are revealed to the global magus community, and takes his first steps in protecting the people he cares about, by 1) contacting her ahead of everyone and letting her know more of the truth than anyone will get access to, 2) dangling the very attractive prospect of having several Servants to command, and 3) giving a very strongly implied threat that if Lorelei dares touch his {{Protectorate}}, [[BewareTheNiceOnes he will gamble everything]] [[InsaneTrollLogic to smear the achievement of her life]]. This is impressive in its own right because it's a double instance of StaringDownCthulhu, where Shirou actually [[ShameIfSomethingHappened threatens to HURT]] an EldritchAbomination to HOLD IN CHECK his very badass boss. It's more this trope than Staring Down Cthulhu because it's actually used as a bargaining chip to ensure no one gets flak from Shirou's machinations.
* DidntSeeThatComing:
** Waver Velvet's plan to rescue Sirius runs afoul when Louvre uses his newly-acquired weapon.
** Shirou is offered both a scholarship under the Queen and the role of [[spoiler:the 10th Dead Apostle Ancestor.]]
*** The Queen seeks to use him as a public enforcer for this reason and awards him a Noble Color for his advancements.
** Because of Ore Scales, the Edelfelt sisters summon ''two'' Medeas, one as a princess, and the other as the familiar witch.
** Caster didn't expect to be confronted by [[AntiMagic Gae Dearg]]:
--->''The last thing that confused her was that normal humans were not supposed to have Noble Phantasms, yet the single red spear that had pierced through her barrier, her cloak, and her body without any issue was without a doubt one.''
** Shirou finding out that [[spoiler:Assassin is neither Sasaki nor one of the Hassan-i Sabbah]]. For that matter, any of the contenders finding out that [[spoiler:Assassin uses modern weaponry]].
** Zouken. In a very, VERY satisfying way, he never saw Kirei and Shirou pull a EnemyMine on him, and [[DeaderThanDead utterly obliterating him]].
** Lorelei receives quite a few of these in Chapter 40: [[spoiler:Emiya Kiritsugu being Asassin, Shirou nearly outright threatening to destroy her life's achievement if she dares touch his protectorate, and him offering her control over several Servants.]]
** Chapter 43 has a pileup of these: Kirei didn't think [[spoiler:Sakura could control the curse keeping him alive]], and nearly gets killed for his trouble. He didn't think [[spoiler:Leysritt would stay alive after being nearly decapitated]], and pays dearly for it. He most likely didn't expect [[spoiler:Caster to waltz in and steal his Command Seals]]. To trump it all, Caster (or anyone else for that matter) did not expect Merem to [[spoiler:take Kirei's mantle as Overseer.]]
** Chapter 48 has quite the list too: [[spoiler:Lancer did not expect Saber to use a rune curse to get locked in deathmatch with him, Rin did not expect Kirei to be resurrected, Witch!Caster did not expect Shirou to be able to defend against Rider's full power, no one expected With!Caster to be stupid enough to mess with Avenger's curse to get at Sakura, Witch!Caster did not expect Rin to hold the Command Seals to Princess!Caster, and last of all she certainly did not expect Assassin in her workshop at the last moment.]]
* DiscOneFinalBoss: Louvre serves as the antagonist of the pre-war arc, before biting the dust; as far as the Holy Grail War goes, it's [[spoiler:Zouken Matou]].
* DissonantSerenity: Chapter 39 illustrates what happens when people try to intrude on Shirou's holy ground (the kitchen) despite repeated warnings. The first signs of this prompt MassOhCrap from everyone around who know Shirou's priorities and mechanics: he values his kitchen above his workshop, and he will NOT tolerate intrusion when stressed out of his mind and needing the relief. Sella learns this firsthand on the receiving end of a very soft-spoken TranquilFury speech with an ImpliedDeathThreat.
* DramaPreservingHandicap:
** Not that Shirou needs one, but Chapter 24 has him [[spoiler:take on the Command Seals of Rider]]. The logic behind this has yet to be determined but it is most likely that [[spoiler:Zouken]] wants to make Shirou weaker.
** Another self-enforced example is [[spoiler:leaving the Origin Sword Kiritsugu with Illya.]]
** Chapter 42 seems like this is going to happen again, [[spoiler: as Shirou is completely spent, and suffering from heavy damage, and severe backlash from accelerating 16 times over Saber to do Gilgamesh in.]]
* TheDreaded:
** Assassin gradually becomes one within the Holy Grail War as the other contenders find out about him. He has pitiful physical stats, but he's so good at what he does that his battle with Rider and Archer is [[CurbStompBattle completely in his favor]], with Rider and Archer only surviving because he ''let them go''. {{Justified|Trope}} by him being [[spoiler:Kiritsugu]], an expert at killing powerful magi and Dead Apostles using only basic human ability and preparation.
** Shirou is shaping up to follow in his father's footsteps as "The Second Magus Killer" [[spoiler:after killing Louvre]]. This is not necessarily a good thing, given the number of times he is compared to a monster rather than a hero.
** [[PlayedForLaughs Humorously]], drunk/sick Taiga.
** [[WorldsStrongestMan Gilgamesh]] is so strong that anyone in the War who knows about his existence fears gaining his attention, and even after years of preparation Shirou doesn't want to fight him, even with Saber and Berserker backing him. {{Justified|Trope}} when he lives up to the hype against Shirou.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: What kicks off the entire story. Kiritsugu basically sees all three routes, the MultipleEndings, {{Bad End}}s (sans [[HaveANiceDeath Tiger Dojo]]), and the life of the Shirou who became a Counter Guardian. Rin is technically doing this as well, since she's seeing Archer's life.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: Gilgamesh, definitely deserves this moniker, though it equally deserves to be called [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Dying Moment of Heartwarming]]. [[spoiler: He finally realizes the true meaning behind UBW. It isn't a graveyard, it's a WarMemorial, and even if it is fake, it tries to pay respect to the dreams of the past, and that has worth in and of itself. With this, he puts Enkidu, his most valuable treasure inside, and grants Shirou the title of Dream of Heroes]].
* DystopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Even knowing that the Grail is corrupt, [[spoiler:Caster]] still intends to use it, claiming the fact that it is cursed will only ensure that [[spoiler:her]] wish will comes to fruition in far more grander ways than even [[spoiler:she]] imagined. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Archer:
--> '''Archer''': ...How annoying. [[spoiler:She]] ''wants'' the world to burn in the process of fulfilling [[spoiler:her]] wish.
* EnigmaticMinion: Assassin to Witch!Medea. Considering that it's [[spoiler:Kiritsugu]], this is a given.
* EntertaininglyWrong:
** Archer thinks Rider is still Shinji's servant, not helped by Rider referring to her Master as male. He's soon corrected when he talks about Shinji, and Rin "reminds" him that Shinji [[spoiler:has been dead for a couple of years]].
** Likewise, Rin thinks her Archer is the future version of the Shirou she knows, rather than an AlternateUniverse version. (However, the humor of it vanishes when she learns the truth and [[FreakOut has a mental breakdown]] over what she learns about EMIYA's past and its [[FridgeHorror implications]] about herself.)
** Kirei and Kiritsugu are having a field day with Witch!Caster in chapter 40, with a lot of cryptic lines, the implications of which are completely missed by her.
* EveryoneHasStandards: [[ByronicHero Archer]] is one of the most ruthless characters in the story, much like he is in the source material, to the point that he's willing to [[spoiler:kill his own allies]] if it means furthering his goals, but even ''he'' balks at the thought of telling Rin about [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil Sakura's]] [[DarkAndTroubledPast childhood]] in front of other people, he flat out says that he respects Saber too much to reveal what he knows about her back-story and the circumstances behind her pseudo-Servant status, and he admits that Ilya is the only person he won't betray consciously. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Luvia:
-->''"At the very least, it is refreshing to know that there is someone that you won't backstab."''
** He gets to show he has far more standards than even himself gave credit for in chapter 48 by TakingAThirdOption when confronted with Sakura nearly going critical no thanks to Witch!Caster.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** When Medea, the Witch of Betrayal , discovers the room of vegetative orphans being used as prana batteries in the church basement, she razes it and brings the ceiling down on it in disgust. In her words, although using others for one's benefit is a familiar idea to her, even she has a limit to how much unnecessary cruelty she's willing to put her victims through.
** For all the times he's betrayed his allies throughout the various incarnations of the Fifth Grail War he's been involved in, the one thing Archer refuses to do is [[spoiler:[[BigBrotherInstinct have Illya be harmed as a direct result of his actions]].]]
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Actually averted by Witch!Caster in a very surprising show of GenreSavvy when, after getting thwarted time and again and this time being cornered in a very uncomfortable situation, she finally takes the time to think through things and put herself in Shirou's shoes, figuring out his motivations, and realizes heroes truly are predictable.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Assassin, whenever he uses magecraft, methodically says whatever he's going to do with it. If he wants a firestorm at twenty meters around him, his incantation will be, "Firestorm. Twenty Meters." Just as efficient as the rest of what he does.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Rin, Luvia, and Princess!Medea all consider [[FallenHero Archer's]] fate as a Counter Guardian to be this.
* FemaleGaze: Archer deliberately invokes this in chapter 38, prompting three examples of LuminescentBlush from the women in the room. Doubles as a CrowningMomentOfFunny.
* FinaglesLaw: Shirou needs to recover from [[spoiler:having Sakura's Command Seals transferred to him]]. Just as he is about to get some rest, [[spoiler:the Edelfelt sisters choose to attack the Matou household]]. The ensuing battle drains his prana reserves up to the point that [[spoiler:his Dead Apostle blood comes to the fore]].
* FinalSpeech: Gilgamesh gives one before he lets himself fade away.
* FlamingSword: Louvre's son has one with blue flame that [[ManaDrain drains od]] on contact.
* ForTheEvulz: Caster's whole motivation for [[spoiler:using the Command Seals she stole from Kirei to order Rider and Assassin to kill themselves if anybody approaches them with Rule Breaker. Even if Shirou manages to defeat her in the FinalBattle, she'll have ensured he won't be able to save anyone.]]
* ForegoneConclusion: Seeing as Kiritsugu saw all the routes, [[spoiler:and considering his letter to Saber, it is possible that he wrote letters to Rin and Sakura as well.]]
** [[spoiler:All but confirmed -- Chapter 37 starts off with his letter to Illya, fully explaining his actions, why he wasn't there for her, and then gently requesting that she take care of her brother.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Sirius tells Louvre that he's unable to make the best anti-magus Mystic Code he knows, because the materials no longer exist and he doesn't know where the ones he already made with them are. Louvre is skeptical that he doesn't know where their owners are, but Sirius says one's owner is dead and the other doesn't have an owner yet. The materials are [[spoiler:Kiritsugu's bones with his origin in them]], and the weapons made with them are the [[spoiler:Thompson Contender and Origin bullets]] owned by [[spoiler:Kiritsugu]], who's now dead, and the [[spoiler:three blades]] that are bequeathed to [[spoiler:Shirou]] but haven't been given to him yet.
** On a meta level, [=ThirdFang=] is extremely good at dropping hints that seem inconspicuous at first, mainly by having his characters narrate part of an explanation but not everything, only to act upon them a dozen chapters down the road.
* ForWantOfANail: Kiritsugu has [[DreamingOfThingsToCome premonitions in his dreams]] of the events of all three routes in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and of that Shirou's life and Counter Guardian-ship, and [[CrazyPrepared plans]] accordingly, starting with actually training Shirou in magecraft and attempting to prevent him from following the ideals that led him down that path.
* FreakOut:
** Rin becomes mentally unstable upon realizing EMIYA became a Counter Guardian.
** Shirou also has one upon finally seeing EMIYA.
* FromBadToWorse:
** Chapter 33. Everything seems to be going great for [[spoiler:Lancer and Princess!Caster]] in their fight against [[spoiler:Assassin and Witch!Caster]]. Then, the Witch uses a VoodooDoll made from [[spoiler:Bazett's severed legs]] to take control of her, forcing her to attack [[spoiler:Luvia]]. Then, Rin and EMIYA show up. EMIYA deploys Unlimited Blade Works and opts to kill everyone (which causes Rin to realize this is definitely not the Shirou she knows). ''Then'' Assassin's identity gets out, shocking EMIYA so much that he's unable to stop Assassin from firing an Origin Bullet into the ground of Unlimited Blade Works.
** Shirou's attack on Ryudou Temple not only [[spoiler:fails to take out Witch!Medea or Assassin]], it allows the former to [[spoiler:steal Rider from him, giving her control of half the Servants in the War]]. (Though, it can be hard to argue this as bad, seeing as [[spoiler:Witch!Medea only has one Command Seal left, and all three Servants she has under her command want to kill her, not to mention Assassin hates her even more for using him as bait for his own daughter]]. The situation only gets worse for her when Shirou ''points this out'', almost ensuring that every single one of those Servants along with all her enemies will do whatever it takes to make sure she [[spoiler:wastes that last Command Seal]].
*** Chapter 38 shows this is a bad thing, hinting at even worse things, because [[spoiler:it gave Witch!Caster a trove of information about what Shirou knows about the war and what is happening around it, namely the corrupt Grail, Gilgamesh, and Zouken]]. This allows her to finally understand what it is Shirou is trying to achieve.
*** Chapter 39 ends on the note of what Caster most likely did since it was the only realistic option in her position: spilling the beans to Kotomine that Shirou is not being a rule-abiding contestant and that he wants to bring the ritual to a standstill or outright stop it. Facts: there is an official summon at the Church from the moderator. Conjecture: Caster spilled the beans. Very likely threat: Gilgamesh is on his way to Shirou's place.
** Chapter 39 shows that [[spoiler: the Clocktower has confirmation that Kotomine is hiding stuff. Plus, Shirou's condition has evolved and it is still uncertain how Barthomelloi will react to it.]]
* GambitPileup: Chapter 48 has a very good example of one. Witch!Caster and Shirou try every trick in their repertoire to outwit each other, forcing each other to rely upon more and more flimsy backup plans.
* GallowsHumor: Played with in chapter 15 when Bazett tells Shirou his dad would be turning in his grave over something he just said, so what does Shirou do? [[spoiler:Projects all three Origin blades to see if they would roll over.]]
* GenreSavvy: Witch!Caster exhibits this in chapter 38 in regards to Shirou, finally getting the hint. Archer does much the same when Rin and Luvia finally clear up the [[WrongGenreSavvy misconceptions]] he had about the timeline. With just a basic overview of the situation, Archer is able to piece together Shirou's entire strategy and years of prep-work towards the war, and he deduces the nature of Shirou's Dead Apostle condition from a single question Rin asks him.
** [[spoiler: In Chapter 48 we see how far Witch!Caster goes in regards to pressing Shirou's ItsPersonal buttons : making it so no one can use Rule Breaker against her Servants, meddling with Sakura, resurrecting Kirei Kotomine.]]
* GracefulLoser: [[spoiler:Gilgamesh]] becomes one after his epic final battle against [[spoiler:Shirou]].
* GrievousHarmWithABody: [[spoiler:Shirou]] pulls this with own dismembered arm, using it as a club to [[spoiler:deflect weapons by channeling aspects of weapons in his reality marble into it]].
* HaremSeeker: Taiga believes Shirou to be this.
-->''"The School Idol. The Foreign Beauty. The Overly Attached Underclassman. Shirou Emiya has wooed and claimed the heart of these trademarked stereotypes in the school he is at, and now with that Saber girl that's staying at his home as another Foreign Beauty, albeit less developed, it makes four, and I fear what he could do with you ''[Illya]'' who can easily represent the adorable little sister archetype," Taiga Fujimura stated seriously. "I so far have managed to remain immune from his wiles and not fill in the spot of the loving mature elder sister; however I am not so sure about that Bazett woman that sometimes comes over to visit." She paused before looking to the side in thought. "In fact, if those rumors about Ryudou-kun are true... oh dear lord if they are then he has a class president as well!"''
* HeroicBSOD: Shirou faces two examples. First when he sees the originals of the Origin Blades for the first time, then when he sees Archer in person and peers through the whole of his life.
* HowMuchMoreCanHeTake: [[spoiler:Shirou]] reaches this level of damage against Gilgamesh, and against Rider and Caster afterwards.
* HumiliationConga:
** RichBitch [[spoiler:Marjatta Edelfelt]] suffers a devastating one when [[spoiler:she fights Sakura, constantly underestimating her that multiple times would cost her victory, and even after Sakura admits defeat this continues when she unleashes the Crest Worms, her Servant getting injured by Shirou, and after heading to the Ryudou Temple [[AndIMustScream becomes a living wand for her own Servant]]]]. [[BreakTheHaughty That is kinda harsh]], though it's hard to argue she didn't deserve at least ''some'' of it.
** Zouken falls on the receiving end of a particularly cathartic one over the course of a few chapters.
** Witch!Caster finally gets her comeuppance in the finale of chapter 48.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Sakura has learned Reinforcement from Shirou, which when combined with her own mysteries allows her to [[spoiler:push Marjatta back in close combat]] in chapter 25.
* IAmNotMyFather: Shirou insists it is not his intent to become like his father, in spite of how he has the potential to become the next Magus Killer.
* InSpiteOfANail:
** Rin still [[spoiler:summons the same Archer using a piece of his cloth]]. Assassin is still summoned by Witch Medea and her master, and Illya still tries to kill Shirou. However, the last one happens earlier than in canon.
** Chapter 26 has Witch Medea relocate to the Ryudou Temple as her base of operations.
* IndirectKiss: Rin doesn't realize she's eating using the same chopsticks she was feeding a still-recovering Shirou with until Sakura points it out to her.
* InstantRunes: Sirius' greatest Mystic Code, the Lebor na nUidre, the Book of the Dun Cow, is actually his skin, and allows him to instantly create runes on any part of his body, enabling him to give himself a wide range of abilities. It also allows him to make said runes on the outside world significantly more quickly than most magi.
* InternalReveal:
** Kiritsugu's letters to various people inform each about the corrupted Grail and everything he saw in his dreams.
** Sakura, Rider, and Saber learn about Shirou's [[spoiler:Dead Apostle blood]] when the King of Rats enlists their help to save his life.
** After Luvia confronts Shirou about Illya being his sister, Shirou is forced to reveal to her most of his goals for the Fifth War.
** Bazett, Lancer, both Casters, and Luvia discover that Archer is Heroic Spirit EMIYA. Immediately after this, Witch!Caster has Assassin reveal his shocking identity to everyone present.
** In the aftermath of that fight, Luvia and Rin trade information. Luvia tells Rin some of what she forced out of Shirou, and with Princess!Caster's help the two of them realize Archer is a Counter Guardian.
** Saber's identity is revealed to everyone who didn't already know when she prepares to use Excalibur while they escape from Ryūdou Temple.
** {{Implied|Trope}}: The second summons by Kirei leads Shirou to the conclusion that Caster learned from Rider most of Shirou's plans for the Grail War and informed Kirei of at least the part about trying to stop the Grail War.
** [[spoiler:Kiritsugu]] learns why several people know about [[spoiler:the Origin bullets and how they work]] when they shouldn't.
** Shirou finally gets a clue that [[spoiler:Merem assigned him a Dead Apostle Ancestor spot]].
** Shirou finally gets to know who Archer is, and his history, with a Heroic B.S.O.D.
** Following said BSOD, everyone wises up and decides sharing notes, which means everyone on the team now has a full info dump of VisualNovel/FateStayNight including bad ends, and hefty amounts of FridgeLogic kicking in.
* JerkassRealization: Rin suffers two counts of this concerning Shirou. First is [[spoiler:the identity of his Reality Marble]], followed by [[spoiler:the extent of how distorted he really is.]]
* LaughingMad:
** Rin after realizing that Archer is Heroic Spirit EMIYA. Archer wonders for a moment if Rin is insane.
** Sakura in Chapter 25 has a subtle moment of this when [[spoiler:the worms come and try to subject Marjatta to what she went through.]]
** Illya briefly goes into this when faced with the idea that Shirou snuck into the Einzbern castle and rigged it with bombs without anyone knowing.
** Gilgamesh starts laughing after Shirou manages to [[spoiler:briefly trump the Gate of Babylon]]. From what he says next, Saber muses that he's gone mad and is desperately rationalizing what just happened.
* LaserGuidedKarma:
** [[spoiler:RichBitch Marjatta]] constantly looks down on other people, viewing them as "peasants" and considering herself several times superior to them because of her bloodline, to the point where she doesn't care that families are dying [[spoiler:due to her Caster draining their prana]]. It's also revealed she [[spoiler:killed a potential Master in cold blood before the War even started to get a second set of Command Seals]]. [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Caster's]] [[ForegoneConclusion betrayal]] comes off more as her getting her just desserts than anything else...
** Two chapters after giving a particularly scathing TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to Princess!Caster, Archer finds himself on the receiving end of one himself from [[spoiler:Illya, the one person Archer has always refused to directly harm in any way]].
* LastRequest: [[spoiler:Gilgamesh]] makes two last requests of Shirou: that he [[spoiler:add Enkidu to his reality marble]], and that he complete his reality marble.
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: In Chapter 14, Bazett hears Shirou and Rin's bickering and says they're acting like an elderly couple. The two in question simultaneously deny it, to Bazett's further amusement.
* LiteralSplitPersonality: The Edefelt sisters' summoning of Medea results in this. Luvia has the nicer Princess incarnation, Marjatta the more cruel witch incarnation. This is reflected in their Noble Phantasms and skills.
* LockedOutOfTheLoop: Out of all the Servants in the Grail War, for a long time Archer is the one who is least informed about the current situation. [[{{Irony}} Which is incredibly hilarious when you think about it]]. It's not so funny anymore, however, when the truth comes out in an explosive confrontation that leaves several people traumatized by [[InternalReveal what they learn]].
* LoopholeAbuse:
** An early instance of this is how Sirius gets himself out of the geas contract he has with Louvre. He is forced to request one because he can't possibly [[ExactWords make the very best anti-magus Mystic Codes he knows]] and uphold his end of the bargain. Then, he manages to twist the agreement so that he is forbidden from using any Mystic Code he did not have on himself when caught. This shuts off most of his arsenal, but still leaves him with his trump card, which [[spoiler:is fused with his own person]].
** Used extensively by Assassin and any Servant under Witch!Caster's control. It's hinted Witch!Caster left a few loopholes unwittingly, but they're finally revealed in Chapter 42: as long as Assassin finds a way to interpret and justify his words and attitude as an open interrogation and not actual "interactive" conversation, he can technically communicate information to the enemy. Also, as long as it is technically a way of killing the enemy, he can choose a very convoluted fighting style which, while technically being lethal, will still allow his enemies leeway to survive, thus creating a stalemate.
** Luvia and Shirou reveal that standard mercenary contracts have an out that the mercs occasionally use, which Luvia uses to break her contract to [[spoiler:kill Shirou]].
** [[spoiler: Lancer's rune curse that triggers a deathmatch can be countered if someone else enacts it of their own accord.]]
* MagicalIncantation:
** You know that Shirou's about to do a MomentOfAwesome whenever he says at least the first line of his UBW aria: ''My body is made of blades''. "Trace On" also counts. Several other characters are shown using incantations, as well.
** Sakura has several chants of her own. Her brand of reinforcement starting with ''His body is made of blades'', and several chants to control her brand of shadow magic (reining in the Shadow when Zouken attempts to MindControl her, or spawning shadow shields to absorb Caster's attacks).
* MagicSkirt: Rin has a literal one, as she enchanted her very short skirt to protect her modesty. It apparently doesn't always work.
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: Shirou has such a moment in chapter 43, and yet again in chapter 48.
* MindControl: Witch!Caster clearly has [[spoiler:Bazett]] under mind control in the assault on [[spoiler:the Edelfelt mansion]]. However, the victim is apparently able to take suggestions from Assassin while in that state, as well.
* MirthlessLaughter: Shirou has a case of this and TearsOfJoy after [[spoiler:finally killing Zouken]].
* MundaneUtility: Shirou can, thanks to his utterly ''broken'' Reinforcement, make any type of jewel he desires, provided he has the necessary materials beforehand.
* MyDeathIsOnlyTheBeginning: Part of Kiritsugu's plan includes [[spoiler:making Origin Swords from his bones for Shirou]], which only occurs after his death.
* MyGreatestSecondChance: It feels like Ilya's warning to Archer has finally paid off in chapter 48. [[spoiler:He goes against his first impulse to take the least risk path, and killing Sakura as she is about to unleash a manifestation of Avenger because of Witch!Caster. As a result, he wracks his brains to find a better solution, and manages to TakeAThirdOption via a stroke of luck and the help of Rule Breaker.]]
* MySkullRunnethOver: Shirou's brain has to process all of the information about a weapon in order for it to be added to his reality marble. His [[spoiler:Mystic Eyes]], when activated, will force knowledge about weapons he can't comprehend into his head. Being forced to process Ig-Alima would have killed him if not for the effect of Avalon when boosted by direct contact with Saber, and being forced to process Ea would kill him no matter what.
** Shirou experiences one of these when he processes the Origin Swords in his Reality Marble with a serving of HeroicBSOD.
** And one more time when he structurally grasps Archer, and it dawns on him just WHAT Kiritsugu had been attempting to avoid.
* NamedWeapons: The two curved blades of Severing and Binding are named Natalia and Maiya, respectively, and the longsword that contains both Origins is named after Kiritsugu himself.
** MeaningfulName: [[spoiler:[[ContinuityNod Like Kiritsugu himself]], the name reflects both Origins: Severing ("kiri") and Binding ("tsugu").]]
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The new [[spoiler:10th Dead Apostle Ancestor]]: The Ash of Miracles. Guess who.
* NobleDemon:
** Merem Solomon is a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Dead Apostle]] Ancestor who displays an unusually benevolent attitude toward humans and staunch loyalty to Shirou in particular, whom he considers a friend and kindred spirit.
** [[spoiler:Gilgamesh]], in his last moments in Chapter 42, finally shows his nobler side with a very awesome and inspiring DyingMomentOfAwesome speech.
* NoodleIncident:
** The many experiments Rin has performed on Shirou that went awry.
** Initially, the one experiment that nearly cost Shirou an arm, though it gets explained later on.
* NormallyIWouldBeDeadNow: Shirou tends to go through these moments quite a lot, as per {{Canon}}. [[spoiler:In the Grail War alone, he gets injured to normally-deadly levels by Berserker nearly breaking him apart when he does not have a Servant yet, Assassin blowing his heart out, his own powers backfiring on himself, Gilgamesh unleashing Gate of Babylon on him, a full-power Pegasus controlled by Rider, Rider controlled by Witch!Caster, and finally Witch!Caster herself]]. It certainly helps that he has a very potent HealingFactor.
* NotHimself:
** Rin gradually realizes something is off about Archer: he hasn't used Maiya, Natalia, or any of Shirou's elemental blades; he doesn't know that [[spoiler:Shinji died]] two years beforehand; and he's perfectly willing to kill Bazett, whom he's supposed to be close with.
** Sakura seems to have such moments.
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore:
** After chapters 42 and 43, the plot has turned to something akin to Heaven's Feel, albeit with less death: [[spoiler: Gilgamesh is dead, Kirei is dead. This officially means all of Shirou's primary targets are offed, Sakura is about to burst from absorbing Gilgamesh, and Caster who got Kirei's store of Command Seals is now the last participant interested in completing the Grail. And Shirou is on to the fact that external parties want to have a talk with him after the War.]]
** After chapter 44, things are bound to be this way for Shirou now he knows who Archer is.
* NotWhatItLooksLike: When Shirou is returning a prana-filled jewel to Rin, Taiga thinks Shirou got himself a new girlfriend.
* TheNudifier: Rin develops a ritual spell to destroy Bazett's clothes [[JustifiedTrope in order to remove the massive amount of enchantments woven into them]].
* OhCrap:
** While scouting the city, Assassin/[[spoiler:Kiritsugu]] is spotted and recognized by Gilgamesh.
** Shirou reacts this way when he figures out that Kirei has just learned of his plans to destroy the Grail, because it means that Gilgamesh is in all likelihood about to come after Illya and/or Sakura.
** Everyone when [[spoiler:Gilgamesh opens the Gate of Babylon to an unprecedented level]], which notably never happened in any of Kiritsugu's visions.
** Shirou when faced with [[spoiler:divine constructs]]. In this continuity, with his [[spoiler:all-seeing eyes]], [[spoiler:seeing Ea]] would mean certain death by information overload for him.
** Witch!Caster gets one of epic proportions when [[spoiler: a quite annoyed Merem announces he will take over as overseer of the whole ritual, knows about everything she is up to, and will let her go this one time ''precisely'' because of this.]]
** Shirou gets one when he remembers one odd tidbit about Lancer's legend. [[spoiler: That he stalled a whole army for SEVEN years with a Runic Curse, and let us remember that he could actually be summoned as a Caster, which shows with his "DOWNGRADED to B-rank" Rune skills. He is actually a far more broken gatekeeper than Assassin could ever be.]]
** Princess!Caster gets one when she sees what Sirius and Shirou found out with a new branch of thaumaturgy. [[spoiler: Removal of the Ether concept, meaning rendering materials inert to magecraft and undetectable.]]
** Witch!Caster when [[spoiler: Rin reveals she held to Command Seals to Princess!Caster, and summoned her in the temple, stealing control of it from her, trapping her counterpart in her territory, and unleashing her very pissed dragon against her.]]
* OriginalCharacter:
** Sirius [=McGinty=], crafter of Mystic Codes, including Kiritsugu's Thompson Contender. Also implied to have crafted what would become Archer's bow and armor in the main timeline.
** Chapter 18 introduces [[spoiler:Marjatta Edelfelt, the younger sister of Luviagetta Edelfelt, who due to the ''Ore Scales'' aka ''Sisters'' characteristic of the Edelfelt clan is co-heir.]]
* PapaWolf: To say Kiritsugu is pissed off when [[spoiler:Witch!Caster uses him to mess with Shirou and Illya's heads]] would be a ''severe'' understatement. Any leeway she had with him is long gone after that stunt.
* PoorCommunicationKills: When the {{Tsundere}} nature of Rin clashes with the "just want to be helpful to anyone" nature of Shirou. [[YouKnowWhatYouDid Shirou doesn't even know what he did wrong when Rin cuts off all contact for some time]].
** [[JerkassRealization Which Rin is forced to realize when she]] [[spoiler:learns of his Reality Marble.]]
* PosthumousCharacter: Kiritsugu is dead after 3 years of raising Shirou, by the end of Chapter 5. [[spoiler:Then he is brought back as Servant Assassin.]]
* PowerCopying: Shirou, of course, as lampshaded by Rin, since he can memorize and perfectly mimic pretty much any thaumaturgy, [[AwesomeButImpractical provided it is sword-shaped]]... Borders on PowersAsPrograms except Shirou (or Archer) is pretty much the only person who can pull this, but he does actually manage his collection of swords with practical effects in mind, improving the blueprints in his mind, so he has always the right tool (elemental, antimagic, absurdly sharp, to name the most obvious) available at hand.
* PreAsskickingOneLiner:
** Rin as she [[spoiler: points the Thompson Contender at an enraged Louvre]].
--->''"...Get off my property."''
** Shirou gets an even more epic one at the end of Chapter 47 as he prepares his allies for the FinalBattle against Caster:
--->"Finish any and all preparations you have left. Pack light. Eat light. Tonight we burn a Witch."
* PreMortemOneLiner:
** In the same chapter as the aforementioned Pre-Asskicking One-Liner, from Shirou when he's [[spoiler:comparing Louvre's collection of weapons to his]].
-->''"It's not big enough."''
** In chapter 48, a magnificent one that did not get to be acted upon, but came very close.
-->''"...You, aren't very good at this."''
* PrecisionFStrike:
** Shirou gives a couple in his second encounter with the vampire that's looking for him in Fuyuki.
** Shirou has another one in chapter 46 as he remembers a VERY important detail about Lancer's legend regarding their plans to attack Witch!Caster.
* {{Protectorate}}: Chapter 40 has Shirou explain that he has one, and just how far he will go to defend it, even against the Queen of the Clocktower. See ShameIfSomethingHappened below.
* PyrrhicVictory: Chapters 35 and 36 see Caster [[spoiler:survive Shirou's assault on her temple, force him to reveal several trumps, keep him from rescuing Marjatta, steal command of Rider from him, and use Assassin to physically and emotionally attack him and Illya after taking one of Berserker's lives]]. Yet, she came out of the whole thing worse off than anyone; having to [[spoiler:recover from a mortal wound given to her by Shirou]], her plans pushed back, her workshop damaged, all of Assassin's leeway towards her gone in place of blatant hostility, and [[spoiler:having used up ''all but one of her command seals'']], which leads to [[spoiler:Shirou]] getting the last laugh after they've called a cease fire when he ''points this out to everyone'' and says that [[spoiler:he'll leave Bazett, Lancer, Rider, and Assassin at Ryudou Temple '''where she'll have to deal with them.''']] Her position in the War is balancing on a knife's edge at this point, and she knows it.
** And those are only the things that ''she'' knows about. On top of all that, [[spoiler:her actions have paved the way for a reconciliation between Shirou and Illya, meaning that she will soon be dealing with Saber and Berserker ''working together'']], she doesn't know that [[spoiler:Luvia and Rin were spying on her and know just how precarious her situation is]], and she's completely oblivious to the fact that [[spoiler:she probably ticked off Merem when she killed the King of Rats]]. All in all, she loses more than anyone due to that battle, and stands to lose even more because of it.
** Chapter 38 more or less confirms this, seeing as [[spoiler:Illya agrees to team up with Saber for the time being, and Luvia and Rin grudgingly agree that their matchup is the one that is the least likely to blow up in everyone's face, compared to other options]].
** Chapter 42 is definitely one. [[spoiler: Gilgamesh is dead, but Shirou is completely drained, and Saber is pretty much spent, and there is a threat to the girls in the castle warranting roars from Berserker.]]
** Chapter 43 gives another. [[spoiler: Kirei is dead, but Caster has stolen his seals. Ilya's maids have been killed by Caster, Sakura is about to burst from absorbing Gilgamesh, and Merem had to break the fight to avoid further casualties/catastrophes, and was forced to take over Kirei's position. Caster has STILL lost once again because with her being the only one caring for the Grail and because she made the stupid mistake of killing Kirei, she's effectively united everyone left against her and Merem can now secretly support Shirou from behind the scenes.]]
** Barring getting her wish coming true, this is precisely what Witch!Caster will settle for: if she dies or does not get her wish, then no one gets to be happy. This is because [[GenreSavvy she figured Shirou's mindset]]. [[spoiler: Averting this is the main drive for the protagonists, and the reason for the GambitPileup in chapter 48.]]
* RefugeInAudacity:
** Kirei's cover for the collateral damage of the battle at Matou's manor was chosen for three reasons: it adequately explained the home being burned to the ground and a large strip of road and a part of the woods being burned; it was so over-the-top that people wouldn't be willing to think too hard about it; if Zouken survived, it would tick him off by declaring his home destroyed by a fool.
** Sakura pulled a magnificent example of it on Taiga when trying to explain what they had been doing, which got a LampshadeHanging.
-->Shirou and Sakura looked at one another skeptically. Technically they HAD done what Taiga was jokingly insinuating, along with other surreal and potentially illegal activities, but they weren't going to tell her that…
-->''"No, sensei."'' Sakura smiled sincerely. ''"We were just talking about the secret war and conspiracies we are currently involved in that may or may not involve our violent deaths in the near future."''
-->… Or maybe they were.
** Shirou is also prone to using it, like when joking about [[spoiler:his Dead Apostle condition]] to Barthomelloi. It does say that he regrets saying it in the future.
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder: Chapter [[spoiler: 38]] has Princess!Caster ask [[IHatePastMe Archer]] if being a [[FateWorseThanDeath Counter Guardian]] is really bad enough to warrant [[RetGone temporal paradox-induced suicide]]. Archer's [[BluntYes response]] and [[MotiveRant elaboration]] on his existence as one make it hard for his audience[[labelnote:*]]whom he's lied to (Rin), and tried to kill (Luvia and Caster)[[/labelnote]] to stay angry at him.
* RuleOfCool: The only reason why Rin is able to [[BlastingitOutOfTheirHands blast the Mace of Odo out of Louvre's hands]] using a Thompson Contender firing .30-06 Springfield rounds on her first try. Also meshes with ImprobableAimingSkills. It also helps that Louvre [[WhatAnIdiot actually tried to block the shot with the Mace.]]
* SecretIdentity:
** When Shirou dons his holy shroud and masks his face, he turns into Emiya, the second Magus Killer and the Clocktower Queen's Silver Dog. This one is quickly out of the bag to almost any plot-relevant character, hilariously.
** Another successful iteration would be Shirou's identity as [[spoiler:the maybe-maybe-not 10th Apostle, the "Ash of Miracles"]]. It's so secret that even Shirou, himself, is not aware of it. Only Merem is.
*** [[spoiler: Not anymore a secret identity to Shirou as of chapter 43.]]
* SecretIdentityChangeTrick:
** Shirou dons the holy shroud as a ninja mask to hide his features, the cheesiness of which gets frequently lampshaded.
** Archer tries to do the same thing in chapter 23 when Rin says he has to conceal his identity. Rin scornfully points out this won't work. They end up having him wear a helmet that covers just as much.
* ShameIfSomethingHappened: Shirou subtly threatens to ruin Lorelei's life's work in this way when Lorelei dares to hint at touching his Protectorates. Note that, as Lorelei points out, he does this in a very unique way by threatening to HUNT the King of Vampires Ortenrosse.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: In Chapter 14, Bazett keeps teasingly referring to Shirou and Rin as a couple, and at one point she says Rin "can plan ways to torture [her] "not" boyfriend later." Rin then shouts, "He's not my boyfriend!"
* ShirtlessScene: Archer invokes this in an instance of LiteralGenie after being basically asked to tell the truth, [[JustForPun bare naked]], with no restraint. When asked to explain how he could identify Lancer, he proceeds to show everyone in the room the scar he got during his life by taking off his armor, prompting appropriate amounts of Luminescent Blush and fidgeting.
* ShooOutTheClowns: Sirius has been in absentia since the Grail War started.
* ShoutOut: A group of Sealing Designates in the Dungeons of Clock Tower once tried to create "Pouch Creatures or something like that" (i.e., [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Pocket Monsters]]) after seeing the games.
* SkewedPriorities: Shirou is unusually obsessed with his kitchen. He takes care of it more than his own workshop and threatening it or his position of head chef is on the level of BerserkButton for him. Connected to this is Saber, who uses food as a measuring stick for basically everything that isn't combat related, to the point that she actually considers ''delaying her mission for several decades for the sole purpose of eating Shirou's godly cooking''.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: Kiritsugu dies even sooner than in canon due to [[spoiler: giving Shirou his Magic Circuits]], but his actions here set the new plot entirely into swing. [[spoiler:The impact really grows when he becomes Assassin.]]
* SoulCuttingBlade: Kiritsugu's (the blade) intended function was to cripple a magus' Magic Circuits, but when that effect is reinforced by the curse of Angra Mainyu it goes far further, all the way down to the very soul.
* SpannerInTheWorks:
** [[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} Louvre]], whose desire for Mystic Codes and conceptual weapons has him kidnapping Sirius. This leads to the chain of events that exposes the existence of Shirou and his abilities to not only the Mage's Association, but [[BigBadEnsemble Kotomine, Zouken, and Gilgamesh]] as well.
** The anti-Grail team merely planned to have the Edelfelts summon Medea to gain access to Rule Breaker, with Shirou quickly eliminating the summoned Servant with Luvia none the wiser. [[spoiler:Marjatta and the use of Ore Scales]] pretty much threw a wrench in the plans to minimize the Edelfelts' role in the war. One of the results from this is the destruction of [[spoiler:the Matou residence]].
** Assassin[[spoiler:/Kiritsugu Emiya]]. There is a reason the author calls him "the Servant that fucks everyone's plans up." He even humiliates [[TheWormThatWalks Zouken]].
*** He notes with some irony that Assassin's doing the same thing to his own plans.
* StaringDownCthulhu: Waver doesn't back down from Gilgamesh despite knowing that one wrong word or move will get him killed instantly.
* StormOfBlades: Like his canon counterpart, Shirou is completely capable of this. Taken Up to Six during his fight with [[spoiler:Louvre]], when he traces a few hundred weapons simultaneously. Taken UpToEleven exponentially in his final battle against Gilgamesh, where he matches the Gate of Babylon when it's opened unprecedentedly wide [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome and then briefly outpaces it]].
* StoryBreakerPower: Assassin, or, as the author calls him, [[SpannerInTheWorks "the Servant that fucks everyone's plans up"]]. He has [[GlassCannon pitiful physical abilities]], and his luck is E-rank (as bad as Lancer), but his own personal skills, an extremely versatile Noble Phantasm, and several stackable abilities that each increase the Rank of his attacks allow him to defeat Lancer in ''five seconds'' without even showing himself and [[CurbStompBattle utterly defeat Rider]] ''[[CurbStompBattle and]]'' [[CurbStompBattle Archer]] ''at the same time''. This is [[spoiler:Kiritsugu Emiya]].
** The full scope of which gets pointed out in Chapter 36. [[spoiler:Tripping on two Broken landmines + Opportunity attack boost]]? Two A-ranked attacks, and one less life for Berserker. Illya's [[OhCrap face]] upon seeing [[spoiler:her father dispatch her Servant]] is priceless.
* TakeUpMySword: Merem takes over the position of [[spoiler:overseer of the Holy Grail War]] after [[spoiler:Kirei]]'s death.
* TakingTheHeat: Should either Church or Association authorities end up reacting to his plans for the war, Shirou has done his best to ensure that all evidence, hearsay and circumstantial proof aside, would point to him and him alone, to spare his allies whatever punishment would be planned for him. Even [[spoiler:Luvia]], who has by then been nursing a severe grudge for [[spoiler:being manipulated into her role in the war]], finds this self-imposed burden tragically selfless.
* ThatCameOutWrong: [[ObliviousToLove Shirou]] delivering a ridiculous amount in Chapter 15. Bazett and Rin [[CrowningMomentOfFunny can't help but notice, though]].
** Even his Pre-Mortem One-Liner is not immune.
* TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: [[spoiler: The King of Rats presents himself as a facade to Crown in front of disembodied representatives of the Church and the Association, asking for a status report on the Grail War, and hinting at very nasty things for Shirou if he does not mop up the mess.]]
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Shirou using his entire arsenal of weapons at once to make a HumanPincushion of [[spoiler:Louvre.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Archer gives a particularly brutal one to Princess!Caster in Chapter 45. [[spoiler:Illya]] returns the favor to him two chapters later.
* TearsOfJoy: Shirou in Chapter 32 after [[spoiler:Zouken's death]].
* TooMuchInformation: Sirius mentions when he was circumcised, much to Bazett and Shirou's consternation.
* TranquilFury: Shirou is explicitly stated in Chapter 31 to have this trait when he gets genuinely angry.
* TraumaCongaLine:
** Rin experiences one as she gets a major info dump about everything Shirou has been doing behind everyone's backs in the war, and Archer's status [[spoiler: as a Counter Guardian.]]
** Archer sort of invokes this as he explains his goals to Rin, Luvia and Princess Caster, repeating word for word his rant to Shirou in the canon UBW route.
** Witch!Caster sort of goes through one by the end of chapter 48.
* UnstoppableRage: [[spoiler: Surprisingly, Shirou flies into one upon waking up after seeing Archer, on pure instinct, because of what he is, of what he did.]]
* WarMemorial: Saber and Gilgamesh realize that Shirou's reality marble is a memorial to the deeds and lives of the heroes who wielded the originals of the weapons inside it.
* WeakButSkilled:
** Assassin. He's a GlassCannon. He barely has any direct combat experience, his stats are really weak, and he uses modern weaponry. But, he's so goddamned skilled and such a tactical genius that if you dare try to take him in his territory, all his powers will activate and his pea-shooters and cherry bombs become more powerful than most Noble Phantasms. Hell, if he gets a [[InTheBack sneak attack]] on you, he can hit with enough strength to kill [[TheJuggernaut Berserker]]. Archer and Rider double-team him on his territory and he doesn't even get a scratch, and he defeats Lancer in five seconds flat. Of course, this is [[spoiler:Kiritsugu Emiya]]. Who else could he be?
** Shirou becomes this with regards to Servants, as acknowledged by several people and finally officially by Archer in chapter 46.
* WhatTheHellHero:
** [[spoiler:Luviagetta Edelfelt]] gives one to Shirou once she finds out about [[spoiler:his advantages in the Grail War (years of preparation, the Origin swords, etc.)]] that threatens to completely destroy their friendship. [[AwfulTruth He has very good reasons]] [[HeKnowsTooMuch for hiding it, though]].
** Rin tears Shirou a new one for trying to [[spoiler:kill Archer in a fit of UnstoppableRage, when really no matter what grudge he might have against him, the moment is NOT appropriate at all.]]
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: InUniverse. Lancer actually wonders what the world would have been like had heroes like him, Hercules, Arthur, and the like all done better by their children when they were still alive.
* WorthyOpponent:
** Gilgamesh still respects Iskander enough to spare Waver, in spite of [[spoiler:his blatant attempts to have him killed.]]
** The Edelfelts apparently had this attitude to Kiritsugu when it came to doing mercenary work, as their contracts would often conflict.
** Gilgamesh eventually decides that Shirou has earned the right to face his full power. Then, after the battle's over, he gives Shirou even more respect than he gave Iskandar [[spoiler:in a DyingMomentOfAwesome speech]].
* WrittenByTheWinners: Deliberately invoked by [[spoiler:Shirou]] in chapter 40 in order to counteract [[spoiler:Kirei's manipulations of outing him and setting a hunt on him]]. He takes the initiative and provides premium intel (what [[spoiler:Kirei]] didn't report about or doesn't even know--which ends up being the whole truth minus a very few select details) to [[spoiler:Lorelei Barthomelloi]] so that she may use the truth as she sees fit and keep an edge over anyone else who might want to use the whole fiasco for their own ends.
* WrongGenreSavvy:
** According to the author, Shirou actually [[ExploitedTrope relies heavily on]] everyone in the Association being guilty of this, which has his straightforwardness coming off as mysterious and putting everyone on edge.
** This is how one could read Barthomelloi's reaction to hearing [[spoiler:Shirou's true motivations]] from Waver. "It can't be that straightforward. It never is." Waver tells her that it is, scarily so.
** Caster is this until at one point she pieces out Shirou's motivations from his actions up to then, which she could observe, and secondhand accounts from Rider's memories and understands that yes, he ''is'' that straightforward.
** [[IHatePastMe Archer]] spends quite a while assuming that the years prior to the War were much like his childhood and that Shirou is an IdiotHero like he was in his youth, leading him to make logical but incorrect assumptions. He goes straight back to being [[GenreSavvy scarily accurate]] about the situation after he gets enough of his facts straightened out after [[spoiler: Rin and Luvia interrogate him in chapter 37.]]
* XanatosSpeedChess: Kotomine. Zouken. Betrayer!Caster. Shirou, Waver, and Sirius. All of them are butting heads to claim the Grail or destroy it. On top of that, along comes SpannerInTheWorks Assassin.
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: [[spoiler:Shirou begins to apologize to his allies for [[TheChessmaster having them risk their lives without telling them what was going on from the start]], only for Rin to interrupt, saying that the hardships they've faced are due to the faults of others and it was only because of Shirou that they were able to survive them at all to get up to this point. She goes on to say that the only thing Shirou's really guilty of is trying to solve every problem by himself without telling anybody or accepting help from them (and even ''then'' that was mostly due to being under Zouken's watch at the time). One by one, Sakura, Luvia, Illya, Princess!Caster, and Saber all agree, throwing their support behind Shirou to the very end.]]
** Archer gets one such moment in chapter 48 [[spoiler: when he find a way to save Sakura instead of killing her to prevent Avenger from going berserk.]]
* YouAreNotAlone: Part of Rin's comforting speech when [[spoiler:Shirou tries to make sense of receiving Mystic Code swords from Kiritsugu while being told to tone down his heroic-obsessed distortion]].
* YouKillItYouBoughtIt:
** After killing [[spoiler:Louvre]], [[spoiler:Shirou]] is offered his position as [[spoiler:the tenth Dead Apostle Ancestor]]. He declines, but the one making the offer expects him to eventually accept and thus renews the offer every few months and is holding the position in reserve for him.
** PlayedWith: [[spoiler:Gilgamesh leaves his gardens (i.e., the world) in Shirou's care as a reward for Shirou winning and successfully "invading his kingdom". He also requests that Shirou add Enkidu to his reality marble so that he won't have added nothing of value to it.]]
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: Shirou is uncomfortable with accepting compliments from Zouken on principle.
* YouHaveGOTToBeKiddingMe: [[spoiler: Caster gets one such moment in chapter 43 upon realizing Shirou was friends with Merem, and she realizes he could have called a favor at about any time.]]
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