[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/FateZero_TVTropes_6779.jpg]]
->''"Let us tell the story of a certain man. The story of a man who [[WideEyedIdealist believed in his ideals]] more than anyone else, [[FatalFlaw and by them was]] [[DespairEventHorizon driven to despair]]."''

There exists a [[TheLifestream plane beyond human conception]], within which resides the Throne of Heroes. Here, the souls of both [[DesignatedHero famous]] (and [[DesignatedVillain infamous]]) individuals throughout history are stored and recorded, to be used as eternal guardians of mankind. The definition of "hero" is broad -- [[AntiHero even the most ruthless and heartless may have benefited the greater good]] in the end.

Centuries ago, three families of magi -- the Einzbern, Makiri, and Tohsaka -- conducted [[AncientConspiracy a dark and bloody ritual]]; Heaven's Feel, the Holy Grail War of Fuyuki. A [[MeleeATrois battle between seven magi]], competing for a chance to wish upon a "Holy Grail", the 726th such artifact branded by TheChurch. [[SummoningRitual Heroic Spirits from the Throne are summoned]] and bound to the material world, becoming "Servants" to their summoning "Masters". To keep their true names hidden, the seven Servants are sorted into one of seven Classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Rider, Caster, Berserker, and Assassin. In addition, each Servant is armed with the mysteries that symbolize their legend and embody their fame -- Noble Phantasms, legendary armaments and abilities.

As each Servant falls, the [[MacGuffin Holy Grail]] receives their power, [[ThereCanBeOnlyOne until only one remains]] and the Grail is able to manifest in the physical world to grant the winners' wishes.

''Fate/Zero'' is the story of the Fourth Holy Grail War.

[[AntiHero Kiritsugu Emiya]] grew up wanting to be a hero who could save anyone and everyone... but he learned the hard way that for every person he saved, another had to die. The only way to be a hero was to act [[TheNeedsOfTheMany for the good of all humanity]]; to destroy the factor that would destroy even more humans in turn if left unchecked. And if that factor was humanity itself, then [[NecessarilyEvil he would kill every single one who threatened the peace of another]]. Despised, feared, branded as a murderer, a contract killer, a hitman -- still he goes on, [[IDidWhatIHadToDo believing that this is the best way to serve humanity]].

Due to his immense skill, Kiritsugu is adopted by the Einzbern as an honorary family member. However, the Einzberns' real motive is to send him to Fuyuki City, his old home, to participate in the Fourth Heaven's Feel on their behalf. Despite finding love and happiness with his new family -- his wife, Irisviel, and their daughter, Ilya -- he knows the battle isn't over. As one of the seven Masters, he must return to Japan to obtain the Holy Grail of Fuyuki for the Einzbern.

''Fate/Zero'' is a collaboration, a series of four illustrated novels written by GenUrobuchi (of [[{{Nitroplus}} Nitro+]] fame) and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi of [[TypeMoon TYPE-MOON]], under the direction of Kinoko Nasu. Set in the {{Nasuverse}}, it is the prequel to acclaimed [[VisualNovel visual novel]] ''[[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Fate/stay night]]''. The first volume was released in December 2006, while the last was released in December 2007. It was first adapted into a Drama CD, with music by ZIZZ Studio (composers for the majority of [[{{Nitroplus}} Nitro+]] works). A manga adaptation has begun serialization, and a TV series (by Creator/{{ufotable}} of ''Literature/KaraNoKyoukai'' fame, with music by YukiKajiura, and starring the Drama CD cast) aired its first season in [[Fall2011Anime Fall 2011]] and concluded in [[Spring2012Anime Spring 2012]].

The anime was streamed for free with subtitles in eight different languages by Aniplex on NicoNico as it aired. The episodes are available on [[http://www.crunchyroll.com/fate-zero Crunchyroll]].

The English dub by Creator/AniplexUSA, Creator/VIZMedia's and Creator/NeonAlley service is currently available on Netflix.

!!Since this is a prequel series to ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', expect major {{Late Arrival Spoiler}}s for that series as well, as ''Fate/Zero'' ends with a ForegoneConclusion. Administrivia/YouHaveBeenWarned.
----
!!These books provide examples of:
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: While Kariya isn't going to land any modeling gigs any time soon, the BodyHorror inflicted on his body by the worms in the anime looks like a bad skin rash in comparison to his appearance in the light novels, where he resembles Two-Face from ''{{Franchise/Batman}}''.
* AdaptationExpansion: At one point, one of Rin's friends is kidnapped by Uryuu and Caster. Not realizing the danger, Rin decides to go look for her. In the book, Rin nearly enters their lair before being attacked by one of Caster's monsters; Kariya rescues her and takes her home. In the anime, Rin enters their lair, confronts Uryuu, and actually manages to break Caster's hypnosis on the children before going back outside and getting attacked by a monster, where Kariya rescues her as in the book. [[SparedByTheAdaptation Rin's successful intervention in the anime means that all the children are rescued and return home; the same can't be said for the book.]]
* AdaptationExplanationExtrication: While we get the gist on the anime's own merits, it leaves out a lot of Gilgamesh's reason for obssessing over Saber, mainly because she reminded him of his DeadSidekick Enkidu, who was the hero's MoralityChain in life.
* AdultFear:
** Ryuunosuke and Caster are '''serial child murderers''' who like to give their victims a HopeSpot before brutally killing them. The collateral damage risks breaking the {{Masquerade}} and becomes so severe that a reward is offered to whoever can kill Caster first, putting the entire war on hold until then. Cue nearly everyone doing an EnemyMine to take these two down. Really, REALLY not helped by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilles_de_Rais who *this* Caster really is]]. TakeOurWordForIt. ''Please''.
** Losing one's family: [[spoiler:By the end of the story, Kiritsugu has lost his wife, Irisveil, and daughter, Ilya, as well as his mistress and close friend, Maiya.]]
** Betrayal by friends and allies: [[spoiler:Kirei]] backstabs to [[spoiler:Tokiomi]].
** Having the love of your life hate you and tell you that you aren't capable of loving happens to [[spoiler:Kariya]].
* AlasPoorVillain:
** [[spoiler:Caster having a hallucination of Jeanne d'Arc]] reaching out to him while smiling and [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone realizing]] just what kind of monster he has become before dying.
** There is also [[spoiler:Kayneth's]] death. [[spoiler:After agreeing to quit the war, he is summarily executed by Kiritsugu alongside his fiancee through use of a loophole. Because Kiritsugu cannot pull the trigger himself, he even has to bleed and beg for death on the ground until a disgusted Saber has to perform a MercyKill.]]
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Most of it, anyway.
** Kariya has loved Aoi, who is both oblivious and married, since they were both young.
** Maiya has feelings for Kiritsugu, but acknowledges that Irisviel is the woman he loves. She's still TheMistress, but only because of Kiritsugu's masochistic need to "practice" betraying his wife for the grail.
** Caster ''might'' count, since his "Jeanne" doesn't respond to his feelings largely because she's ''not'' Jeanne. The specifics of Gilles' feelings before Jeanne's death is currently unclear.
** In the backstory, Kirei's wife Claudia was devoted to a man who was literally incapable of loving her.
** Kayneth sincerely loves Sola-Ui and does whatever he can to make the best of their ArrangedMarriage, but she'll have none of it. Sola-Ui loves her fiancť's Servant[[note]]which the curse of his Mystic Face either caused or encouraged[[/note]], who does not reciprocate her feelings. And if [[UndyingLoyalty loyalty]] is a type of love, Lancer rejects Sola because he's devoted to his Master Kayneth despite receiving only disdain ([[KickTheDog at best]]) in return.
** Averted with Kiritsugu and Irisviel. [[spoiler: Until she dies.]]
** Gilgamesh (according to the graphic novel anyway) has only ever loved Saber (or at least is obssessed with her) but she rebuffs him at every oppurtunity.
* AllMythsAreTrue:
** Heroes of history and legend are enshrined as Heroic Spirits, eligible to be summoned as super-powerful Servants in the war.
** Armaments and abilities which are symbolic of the legend (for example, KingArthur and Excalibur) become the Noble Phantasms of the Servant.
* AllThereInTheManual:
** The original game, side material, information volumes, etc.
** Likewise, the details on the previous Grail Wars. The Third is mentioned as having taken place in WorldWarII, with [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi]] [[{{Ghostapo}} agents]] getting in the way of the Grail. This also explains in part why [[spoiler:the Grail itself got corrupted.]]
** The Servants' actual physical parameters, powers, and skills are all listed in their [[RPGMechanicsVerse character sheets]].
* AnachronicOrder: The second episode detailing Kiritsugu's backstory freely hops between him as a child and him as a young man.
* AncientConspiracy: The true purpose of the Heaven's Feel ritual is to [[spoiler:recreate the Third Magic, the eponymous Heaven's Feel, which deals with immortality of the soul]].
* AnimeCatholicism: Certain high-ranking members of the Church are quite young, married with children, [[ChurchMilitant demon-hunting warriors]], and fluent in Japanese.
* AnyoneCanDie: Every other Servant ''must'' die to power the Grail so it can grant the victor's wish. ThereCanBeOnlyOne, after all.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The [[spoiler: Holy Grail.]]
* ArtificialHuman: A homunculus is used as the vessel of the Holy Grail.
* BadassArmy: Rider's Noble Phantasm can materialize the army he led in life as [[spoiler:Alexander the Great]], ''every member'' of which is a Heroic Spirit.
* BadassCape:
** Rider, but his design is just {{badass}} in general. [[http://otakuism.animeblogger.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/zeroiskandar.jpg Just look at the guy!]]
** Gilgamesh has a badass red cape as well, though the upper half of it is inside his armor.
* BadassFamily: The Einzberns and the Tohsakas. The Matous kinda counted, before all their magic disappeared.
* BadassInANiceSuit: Being the hitman he is, Kiritsugu certainly looks the part of a professional, but the real standout is Saber in her black suit.
* BadassLongcoat: Kiritsugu.
%%* TheBadGuyWins
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: The opening sequence features a clip where Saber faces off with Assassin. In the story proper, these two never come to blows.
* BeeBeeGun: Used as a vampire infection vector by Odd VořŠk, a Dead Apostle magus in Kiritsugu's backstory.
* BigDamnHeroes: Several. Rider is a favorite for it. Even Gilgamesh gets one, [[spoiler: saving Saber from Berserker during the fight with Caster's monster.]] But he was [[IWasJustPassingThrough mad at Berserker...]]
* BigNo: [[spoiler:Saber, as she's forced to swing down Excalibur on the Grail.]]
* BiggerBad:
** Ultimately, [[spoiler:the Grail itself, corrupted by Angra Mainyu]].
*** Its corruption is what likely attracts it to [[spoiler:Kirei's [[ObliviouslyEvil hidden evil desire]]]] and causes it to [[spoiler:choose him as a Master]] It also likely had a hand in choosing a serial killer as the last Master when there were no more volunteers.
*** It also chose serial killer Ryuunosuke, despite his almost non-existent magical qualifications.
** In the long term, [[spoiler:Matou Zouken]], who bides his time and maintains his quiet participation in the war until its final iteration in the [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight sequel]].
* BittersweetEnding: The Einzbern Consultation Room [=OVAs=] end with [[spoiler:Taiga being separated from Irisviel, but not before Irisviel gives her the Einzbern Dojo sign. Taiga wakes up and begins wondering if her time in the dojo with Irisviel was AllJustADream. Taiga discovers that she still has the sign, and although she'll never see Irisviel again, decides to start working towards teaching people how to overcome any and all [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight "Bad Ends"]].]]
* BlackAndGrayMorality: The only "white" moral characters are [[ChildrenAreInnocent children]]: Ilya, Rin, and the children Caster and his Master have a habit of kidnapping and subjecting to a FateWorseThanDeath.
** With a single surprisingly successful subversion, considering just how dark and cynical the series is. Saber, the styled "King of Knights", remains steadfastly honorable in all her engagements (even going so far as to cripple herself needlessly because she felt it fair), is willing to go to great risk to [[NeverHurtAnInnocent protect the innocent]], disobeying the commands of her own Master and strategic sense, and is [[BattleButler uncompromisingly loyal]] [[LadyAndKnight to Irisiviel]]. All this in spite of her ideals being [[EvilGloating openly mocked]], [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech mercilessly rebuked]], coming face to face with [[spoiler: the [[MyGreatestFailure greatest failure]] of [[MistreatmentInducedBetrayal her code ]]([[WeUsedToBeFriends Lancelot]])]], and being forced by bad luck and fate to work with a person who most [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids personifies her]] [[CombatPragmatist ideals]] [[KnightInSourArmor deconstructed]]. For Saber, the battle to retain her ideals amongst such BlackAndGrayMorality is just as real as the war itself. Of course, seeing [[KingArthur who she really is]], its to be expected.
* BlandNameProduct: There's a "Ramasonic" brand Jumbotron in Episode 12 of the anime.
%%* BloodFromTheMouth
* BloodierAndGorier: The manga adaptation is making full use of its run in a genuine {{Seinen}} magazine, some of the explicit brutal things narrated in the novels (but not heavily shown in the anime, just implied) like Uryuu and Caster's "fun" times of torture and general sickening actions, are shown ''in great detail'' page by page in the manga; in fact, it is being taken UpToEleven via AdaptationExpansion by giving ''more background'' on what Uryuu likes to do with his victims. Not to mention graphically portraying young Sakura's brutal rape by the Matou Crest Worms.
* BrickJoke: All the way back in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', it was mentioned that Saber would have a technical vulnerability against weapons that were made to counter dragons. In her final battle against [[spoiler:Berserker]], the sword he uses finally is a weapon that has such an attribute.
* CallForward[=/=]{{Foreshadowing}}: Interestingly, this one was entirely ''by accident'', as ''VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia'' wasn't fully planned out at that stage, but somehow, Gen Urobuchi was able to get the mechanics behind [[spoiler:Avenger/Angra Mainyu's method of "possession" ''entirely by chance''.]] Nasu and Takeuchi found the coincidence kinda freaky.
* CallingYourAttacks: If a Noble Phantasm has to be manually activated, its "true name" must be called. Doesn't apply for those that are always active.
* TheCameo:
** Episode 18 of the anime highlights Kiritsugu's backstory where his childhood friend Shirley [[spoiler:inadvertently causes an epidemic of [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Dead Apostles]] on the island.]] Among the responding magi sent by the Magus Association? Fire magus [[KaraNoKyoukai Cornelius Alba]].
** In the last episode of the anime, a high school girl is shown in the background waving a shinai around. That's most likely Taiga Fujimura, a supporting character from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''.
* CastFullOfPrettyBoys: Not totally surprising, considering outside of Saber and Irisviel all the major characters are male. Lancer, Gilgamesh, Waver, and Ryuunosuke stand out as particularly {{Bishonen}}, although Kiritsugu and Kirei are no slouches in the MrFanservice department. Pretty much all of the Masters and Servants have their devoted EstrogenBrigade, even [[{{Gonk}} Caster]] and ''especially'' [[TheWoobie Kariya]].
* CheatersNeverProsper: The only Master who ''doesn't'' cheat over the course of the War is Waver (Kirei cheats by seeking sanctuary under false pretenses. Ryuunosuke breaks the rule about preserving the Masquerade. Everyone else breaks the rule about not fighting each other until Caster is beaten). While Waver doesn't win the war, he does survive it, and is indisputably better off at the end of the War than he was at the beginning, which is more than can be said about Kirei and Kiritsugu.
* ChekhovsGun: The magic circle Irisviel and Saber drew in the shed of the operations base Kiritsugu provided them [[spoiler:ended up saving Shirou's skin from Lancer [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight ten years later]] by serving as the summoning circle for Saber]].
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: Belief is a powerful weapon in {{Nasuverse}}; the more people believe in something, the more power it has. Accordingly, the more well-known the legend, the more powerful the Servant. However, the older the mystery is, the more powerful it is, which offsets if it is not as famous.
* CliffHanger: The first season of the anime ends as Saber, Rider, and Lancer are about to engage Caster and his Cthulhu knockoff.
* CombatPragmatist: Played straight with Kiritsugu, and Kirei as a close second.
* ConservationOfNinjutsu:
** Subverted to hell and back during the fight between [[spoiler:Assassin and Rider]].
** Played straight with the assassins themselves. They had to split his power and combat prowess of the regular Assassin class servant[[note]]Which is the weakest Servant class to begin with.[[/note]] between all personas somewhat equally.
* ConspicuousCG: In the anime.
** Various examples of architecture, vehicles, attack effects, and Berserker in general.
** The odd organic character[=/=]creature, including Matou's worms in Episode 1, the tentacles in Episode 2 and Saber in certain shots during episodes 22 and 23.
* ContinuityNod: Since this takes place just ten years before ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', far too many to list. Let's just say that many events in the Fourth had consequences for the Fifth.
* ContractualImmortality: Everyone that ''doesn't'' get killed off is present in {{VisualNovel/FateStayNight}}.
* CoolVersusAwesome: [[spoiler:Ancient Indian flying machine]] vs. [[spoiler:Possessed F-15 fighter jet-turned-Noble Phantasm]].
* TheCorruption: The blackness flowing from the corrupted Grail, a manifestation of "all the world's evil".
* CrazyPrepared: Kiritsugu (he... really took a lot of things into account, to say the least) and Kotomine (seriously? Kevlar-reinforced priests' robes??).
* CurbStompBattle:
** Tokiomi vs. Kariya is ''very'' one-sided. One is a man who has spent a lifetime learning to master his craft. The other is a runaway relying on ad-hoc sorcery implanted in him by his sadistic ancestor who is too berserk with pain and rage to use even that properly. Guess which one wins without having to hardly lift a finger.
** [[spoiler:Rider vs. Assassin]]. Cue [[spoiler:[[BadassArmy Ionioi Hetairoi: Army of the King]]]], and the fight becomes such a ridiculously one-sided slaughter that the author ''doesn't even bother describing it.''
** Any fight Gilgamesh participates in could be this if he took any of the other servants even remotely seriously (not that he has to, seeing as he's easily one of the most powerful things in the Nasuverse, including ORT, Ado Edem and Archetype Earth). WordOfGod states that he could have single-handedly ended the Fourth Holy Grail ''in a single night'' if he bothered to go full out.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Lampshaded in the authors' notes section. Think this is a Grail War which [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight mucks around]] with "women and children"? HahahaNo.
* DeathFromAbove: The anime has Gilgamesh raining down his Noble Phantasms from the sky like beams of shining light, invoking the image of a god passing judgement on the unworthy.
* {{Deconstruction}}: What does it really take to be a [[IdealHero hero of justice]], and [[ShootTheDog just how far would you be willing to go]] to find out?
* DepletedPhlebotinumShells: Kiritsugu's Origin Bullets contain ''his own'' powdered ribs, which he uses sparingly with his Contender.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The anime version of the scene where [[spoiler:Kariya strangles Aoi]] manages to summon implications of rape by the way of their relative positioning, the way she struggles, putting attention to their ragged breathing and placing his knee between her legs.
* DoomedByCanon: Pointed out early on that you probably don't want to get too attached to anyone. [[spoiler:By the end, the only people left are Kiritsugu, Kirei, Waver Velvet, Gilgamesh and Saber from among the main cast and after the [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight FIFTH Holy Grail War]], Waver is the last remnant of ''Fate/Zero'' who is guaranteed to survive.]]
* DownerEnding:
** Kiritsugu sacrifices [[spoiler:his wife and trusted partner to achieve his goal of world peace, only to find that the Grail is corrupted. He orders Saber to destroy it, causing its contents to spill out into the town and kill hundreds of civilians. To Kiritsugu's Einzbern sponsors, this apparent betrayal permanently costs him access to his daughter, leaving her to be raised as a weapon for the next war. Furthermore, his arch-nemesis Kirei survives, and outlives him to threaten his son (and daughter) in the next war. Kariya dies having failed to save Sakura, serving only has a nightmarish reminder of what happens to those who disobey her grandfather. Sakura remains with the Matou family, enduring experimentation and sexual abuse over the next decade. Rin is orphaned and mostly unaware of her sister's situation so they never reconnect. Major villain Gilgamesh also survives; his exposure to the Grail's corruption leaves him with a permanent body and slight insanity. As for Kiritsugu, he is cursed by the Grail, gradually losing his powers and senses until he dies several years later. The damaged and corrupted Grail, which has failed to grant a wish yet *again*, reactivates a mere ten years later despite Kiritsugu's efforts to sabotage Fuyuki City's ley lines.]]
* DualWielding: Diarmuid uses dual ''spears'', though not always at the same time. The Black Knight's tendency to grab whatever is on hand also leads to this, and at one point he dual-wields [[spoiler:sub-machine guns]]!
* DungeonBypass: Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald is in the thirty-second floor of a hotel--his bounded field covers ''twenty-four'' floors (even going over the drainage pipes), there are three magical furnaces for his use, and he has ten summoned evil spirits and apparitions--a veritable magus' fortress. How does Kiritsugu deal with this? [[spoiler:Apply a small amount of C4 to the supports and bring the entire place down.]]
* DyingDream: [[spoiler:Irisviel]] has [[NightmareDreams an extremely creepy one]].
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Iskandar a.k.a Rider]] manages to go out with more dignity and style than most people have even at the height of their achievements.
* EldritchAbomination: Summoned by Caster in the form of tentacled monster hordes and a massive, Cthulhu-like beast. Normally, a magus only summons something of a certain level of strength or they can't control it, so at first they don't understand... until they realize the Caster couldn't care less if the horror he summoned is under control or not.
** Urobuchi is known for incorporating elements of the {{CthulhuMythos}} into his {{Nitroplus}} visual novels.
* EnemyMine: Crops up several times during the early part of the Holy Grail War. [[WorthyOpponent Saber and Lancer]] are the most common allies, whilst [[ConflictKiller Caster]] is the most common target.
%%* EpisodeZeroTheBeginning
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Servants are referred to by their Class, even when their real names are revealed. Berserker, whose identity is hidden until the last novel, is dubbed the "Black Knight".
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: There's a 24-hour hotel in Fuyuki called 24-Hour Hotel in Fuyuki.
* ExactWords: [[spoiler: "Killing you is impossible now... for ''me'', that is." Cue [[{{Sidekick}} Maiya]] gunning down Kayneth and Sola-Ui with a Steyr [=AUG=].]]
* [[FacelessGoons Faceless]] EvilMinions: Bluebeard's summoned tentacle-things from AnotherDimension, literally without faces.
* FaithHeelTurn: The novel explains how Kirei transitioned from an upstanding Executioner to the SinisterMinister seen in ''FateStayNight''.
* {{Fanservice}}: The final episode has Gilgamesh stark naked during most of his conversation with Kirei. [[spoiler:It makes sense, though, since he was drenched in Angra Mainyu's corruption and his body is now flesh and blood, unlike the rest of the series.]]
* FatalFlaw: Quite a few, but most outwardly obvious are Kiritsugu's ideals and Arturia's regret over her country's fall.
* FemaleGaze: Episode 8 provides viewers with a lingering shot of Kirei's well-sculpted ass. And Kariya is naked in his dream in Episode 20, although what happens in the dream and what we see of him after he wakes up is pure FanDisservice.
* FiringOneHanded: Kiritsugu and his .30-06 Thompson Contender.
* FloweryElizabethanEnglish: Mostly LostInTranslation, but Rider's speech can smack of the Japanese equivalent of this at times, while it is pretty much the default mode of speech for Gilgamesh. Hence even native speakers of Japanese sometimes have trouble with following Gilgamesh's conversations, as he uses archaic versions of just about every noun and verb, even simple ones.
* ForegoneConclusion: The novels are written as a prequel to ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. A fairly early author's note warns that you really shouldn't be expecting a happy ending, and that the writer will probably have to kill his entire cast in order to fit his ending into the timeline established in the previous story.
* [[FunctionalMagic Functional]] HermeticMagic: ''Fate/Zero'' expands the {{Canon}} considerably regarding magecraft concepts.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: A strange version, considering that it's not a video game, but the novel still uses the stat sheets found in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Several of the passive skills and stats listed there have an effect on the plot, such as Saber's "Riding", Lancer's "Eye of the Mind (True)", Rider's "Divinity", Archer's "Independent Action" and Caster's "Mental Pollution".
* GenderFlip: KingArthur, teenage girl.
* GeneticMemory: Irisviel.
* GoKartingWithBowser: Rider charges into Saber's castle without any prior warning... and invites Saber to go drinking with him and Gilgamesh.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Caster's segments in the anime are heavily censored, at least in the regular broadcast. In the novel, the author goes into some description that's not too gory, but just enough to give an idea of [[FateWorseThanDeath what's happening to the children]]. The manga adaptation is not so kind, giving us full view of wacky contraptions like the "human umbrella".
* GrandFinale: Death, fire, and epic battles between mythic heroes!
* GratuitousEnglish: And [[AltumVidetur Latin]], and in the first episode of the anime, ''Armenian''.
* GratuitousGerman: At one point Rin opens one of her father's grimoires, which angrily chants German at her.
* GunsAkimbo: Kiritsugu dual-wields his Contender and Calico. [[spoiler: Also Berserker later, with two ''[=MP5=] submachine guns''.]]
* GunsAreWorthless: Played with. Magi tend to disdain technology and consider it inferior to magic, to the point that they almost never bother defending against it. Kiritsugu exploits this complacency to great effect, using guns, mines, missile launchers, and demolitions to take out his targets.
** Kayneth's liquid metal artifact protects him from Claymore mines, a skyscraper collapsing around him, and automatic fire at point-blank range, while Kirei [[DodgeTheBullet outright dodges bullets]].
** Firearms are completely ineffective against Servants.
* GunPorn: Gen Urobuchi gave a whole lot of detail to the weapons that Kiritsugu uses. To wit, Kiritsugu's weapons are a Calico M950 sub-machine gun, a Walter [=WA2000=] sniper rifle (with night scope and heat vision sensors), and his Mystic Code the [[HandCannon Thompson Contender]], customized with his [[DepletedPhlebotinumShells Origin Bullets]]. The anime also shows other weapons in a couple of {{lock and load montage}}s.
* HighAltitudeBattle: The absolutely glorious battle between [[spoiler:Gilgamesh and Berserker]] near the end of the war is this.
* HopeSpot: Caster deliberately gives one to children before killing them.
* IHaveYourWife: Kiritsugu and Maiya ''successfully'' pull this off in a way that would make any villain proud.
* ImmortalityImmorality: Kiritsugu's dad can make plants immortal! [[TemptingFate Just think of the possibilities if the same potion worked on humans!]] [[spoiler: Side effects may include [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampirism.]]]]
* ImmuneToBullets: Servants in general, except when Berserker [[UpToEleven turns the bullets into Noble Phantasms]]. Kayneth's Mystic Code initially had the same effect, but Kiritsugu managed to get around that pesky problem.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Berserker, one of whose abilities is to transform whatever he picks up into a Noble Phantasm, be it the discarded Noble Phantasms of other Servants, or pieces of a sliced-apart telephone pole. At one point, he even uses [[spoiler:an ''F-15J'' from the JASDF investigating a massive fight between the Servants. When the jet crashes, [[RuleOfCool he rips off the entire M61 Vulcan unit and fires from the hip. In mid-air.]]]]
* InfantImmortality:
** Averted by Caster and his master.
** Also averted, [[FateWorseThanDeath non-fatally]], by Zouken with regards to five year old Sakura, the abuse of whom is described in gut-wrenching detail.
* InfoDump: These pop up from time to time. Particularly in Episode 1 of the anime adaptation.
* IronicEcho: In the third book, Saber in the narration admits to herself that Kiritsugu is the most suitable Master to receive the Holy Grail (upon realization of how [[WellIntentionedExtremist despite his methods]], [[WideEyedIdealist his wish and intention for world peace is genuine]]). In the fourth book, [[spoiler:Angra Mainyu ([[DemonicPossession in the shape of Irisviel]])]] says this exact thing to him... and this line takes a ''much'' darker meaning in this context as it refers to [[spoiler:his method of saving people by killing other people, because the tainted Grail's method of granting wishes is likewise destruction and murder.]]
* JapaneseChristian: The Tohsaka clan were historically secret Christians, though it's unknown whether Tokiomi keeps the faith.
* JediMindTrick: Made more explicit in the novel, when it was explained how [[spoiler:Kiritsugu convinces the bellboy that he was Kayneth and that he and Kayneth's wife Sola-Ui have already left the hotel]].
* KarmaHoudini: Ryuunosuke, in a sense. [[spoiler:He gets killed by Kiritsugu, but he is so thrilled at the sight of his own blood that it doesn't really feel like actual punishment. It is stated in the novel that he dies with a smile of total bliss.]]
* [[KillThemAll Killed Them All]] [[KilledOffForReal For Real]]: [[spoiler:Averted with Kirei, Gilgamesh, Waver, and practically all other characters who had major roles in FSN]].
* LampshadeHanging: From the Einzbern Consultation Room specials: "You probably think Assassin is just there to get killed."
* LaserHallway:
** In the anime, the wards around the Tohsaka estate, despite being more like invisible rotating cages of magic, invoke all the contortions and careful maneuvers that come along with this trope when Assassin infiltrates them.
** Kayneth claims an entire hotel floor as his base and laces it with an absurd number of traps and wards. [[spoiler:So Kiritsugu [[StuffBlowingUp levels the entire building]] instead.]]
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Caster and Ryuunosuke's discussion on the nature of God. It appears that GenUrobuchi is aware of his reputation.
* LighterAndSofter:
** The anime works hard to avert this, like soft blurring or making clever use of camera focus on the most questionable scenes, but there are some things that just couldn't be shown in great detail, Uryuu and Caster's moments with their victims are the most notable examples, the most sickening lines in the novels did not make its way to the anime.
** The Einzbern Consultation Room [=OVAs=], on the other hand, are designed to be sweet moe goodness to counter the very dark and horrifying narrative. Zecchan even somewhat invokes this, saying that they should "pretend all that Urobuchi-style stuff never happened".
** ''Fate/Zero'' itself, while cynical and dark enough to compete with ''Heaven's Feel'', is rather light on the horror elements when compared to its parent work.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: One overseer, seven Masters, seven Servants, plus various assistants, family members, etc.
* LostInTranslation: The way Gilgamesh [[JapanesePronouns addressed]] [[WorthyOpponent Rider]] in their last confrontation was a CrowningMomentOfHeartWarming that doubled as a PetTheDog moment... for Japanese audiences, at least.
* LovecraftLite: Caster summons {{EldritchAbomination}}s, but they are mainly used to highlight his existing insanity and lack of control rather than inflicting any visible effect on the world or other characters.
* MaleGaze: During the Einzbern Consultation Room, Irisviel adjusts her kimono in such a way as to [[{{Gainaxing}} titillate]] male viewers.
* {{Masquerade}}: Enforced by the Magic Association and the Church, who are responsible for manipulating the media and covering up evidence of the war to prevent it from spilling over into everyday life. It is uncommon for Masters to fight in broad daylight, for the same reason.
* MaximumHPReduction: Lancer's GŠe Buidhe places a curse on whomever it wounds, making a WoundThatWillNotHeal. When asked to define this [[RPGMechanicsVerse in gaming terms]], WordOfGod said that its effect would be basically this trope. Also, Emiya Kiritsugu was cursed by the contents of the [[LightIsNotGood Holy]] [[ArtifactOfDoom Grail]], which was the ultimate cause of his demise, as it drained his life force slowly but steadily.
* MeaningfulName: Alimango Island. If you know the meaning of Alimango (Crab), then you're either someone who's fluent with Tagalog or someone with Philippine roots.
* MindcontrolEyes: Caster makes Ryuunosuke a bracelet that allows him to easily abduct children; the effects of the enchantment naturally involve this trope.
* MistakenForBadass: In the novels, Kiritsugu is impressed by Waver's choice of home base. Appropriating an anonymous home in the middle of nowhere and mind-controlling two disposable pawns to gain their assistance shows a level of ruthlessness and dedication to secrecy that the Magus Killer cannot help but appreciate. The fact that Waver just didn't possess the resources to do any better never even occurs to him. Fortunately Kiritsugu is not staking out the house when the delivery truck arrives with a package for "Mr. Iskandar, King of Conquerers", so his impression of Waver's tactical ability remains positive.
* MoodDissonance: In the anime, Kirei recites [[http://www.esvbible.org/Psalm+23/ Psalm 23]], a psalm expressing peace and trust in Divine guidance and protection as scenes play [[spoiler:Waver crying ManlyTears after being spared by Gilgamesh, Saber getting a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown from Berserker, Kariya in agony, and, with "In the presence of my enemies you prepare a table for me...", Irisviel's corpse laid down on a table one floor above where he will be fighting Kiritsugu.]] at the end of the episode.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Ryuunosuke is somewhat similar to FranÁois Prelati, Gilles de Rais' historical partner in crime and [[HoYay possible lover]]. Much like Ryuunosuke, Prelati was young, good-looking and deeply amoral. What makes them different is the fact that Prelati was a liar who manipulated Gilles for his own benefit, whereas Ryuunosuke's affection for Caster appears to be completely sincere.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** [[spoiler:In the finale, Kiritsugu barely fails to kill Kirei, who outlives him to eventually to become the nemesis of Kirtsugu's son. He commands Saber to destroy the corrupted Grail, which only results in its contents spilling out into the town and causing an inferno that kills hundreds of civilians. The damaged and corrupted Grail is unable to grant a wish to the victor, causing it to reactivate prematurely a mere ten years later.]] See {{DownerEnding}} for even more fun details.
** In Kiritsugu's backstory, the vampire Odd VořŠk is easily dispatched by Natalia... releasing all of the [[BeeBeeGun bees]] he was hiding within his body and turning the entire plane cabin into a bloodbath. Kiritsugu is then forced to shoot down the plane with his mentor/mother figure on it to prevent the monsters from [[ZombieApocalypse reaching the civilian population]].
* NightVisionGoggles: Kiritsugu uses the thermal scope on his rifle to observe Masters who, because of their [[SuperpowerfulGenetics Magic Circuits]], have a different heat signature.
* TheNineties: The Fourth Grail War is set sometime in the 1990s.
** A mention of [[UsefulNotes/BillClinton a certain U.S. President]] places the story at 1994 or later.
* OffModel: The largest complaint for episode 11 of the anime, due in large part to most of the budget going into animating [[spoiler:Ionioi Hetairoi]].
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou:
** Claimed by Lancer as he saves Saber from Caster's monsters.
** Gilgamesh stating that he will be the one to defeat Rider during the Banquet of Kings. [[spoiler:He makes good on his word.]]
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Kiritsugu's past, featuring [[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} Dead Apostles]].
* OutOfFocus: The sheer number of {{SpotlightStealingSquad}}s means that protagonist Kiritsugu spends at least half of the novel offscreen.
* ParentalAbandonment: Tokiomi towards Sakura and [[spoiler:Kiritsugu and Irisviel towards Ilya]].
* PlaceOfPower: Ley lines intersect in Fuyuki, making it possible to hold the Heaven's Feel ritual here.
* PlayingTheHeartStrings: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZwK3kTqVQo&fmt=18 Dream of Eternity]]'', which in the Drama CD plays [[spoiler:as Alexander dies]].
* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: Saber suspects that Kiritsugu won't interact with her because she turned out to be a different gender than expected of King Arthur. In reality, Kiritsugu knows that he and his chivalrous Servant have an extreme philosophical divide, so he chooses not to operate alongside her.
* PoorCommunicationKills:
** If Kariya and Tokiomi had been able to put aside their mutual hatred for long enough to explain ''why'' they felt as they do, or if Aoi and Kariya had bothered to talk about their situation ''at all'', then [[spoiler:Aoi's brain damage]] and Sakura's [[spoiler:eleven years of torture]] could perhaps have been prevented.
** While they at least TRY to talk in Volume Three, they have no ability to understand each other.
** One might wonder exactly what Tokiomi's reaction might have been had Kariya actually told him exactly why he was fighting.
* PowerGlows: In particular, Excalibur being charged (the sword converts {{Mana}} into light).
* PowerLevels: As with ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', character sheets of Servants quantify and list their abilities and tools.
* PreOrderBonus: In-universe example. Rider's T-shirt is a pre-order bonus for a video game.
* {{Prequel}}: To ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''.
* [[{{Mana}} Prana]]: One of the main weaknesses of Servants is that they must have mana to continue existing; since they're technically dead, they are not "a part of the World", so the World itself will try to crush this contradiction.
* ProductPlacement: PlayedForLaughs in the Einzbern Consultation Room OVAs. Taiga's questions about the Servants at one point basically sum up to "Buy the novels to learn more, in stores now!"
* PurpleProse: Invoked by Tokiomi in a lame attempt to kiss up to Archer and get him to take out Caster:
-->'''Tokiomi:''' "King, that monster is a destructive pest that tears apart your gardens. I implore you to execute it."\\
'''Archer:''' "That would be a gardener's work. Or, Tokiomi, do you dare imply that my Noble Phantasm is nothing more than a gardener's shovel?"
* RareGuns: A [=WA2000=][[note]]only 176 of the latter were ever made, most of which are in private collections[[/note]]with thermal ''and'' night-vision scopes; none of the characters mention how these guns were smuggled into ''Japan'', of all places.
* ReadTheFinePrint: Kayneth really should have done this.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech:
** [[{{Ubermensch}} Rider]] delivers a particularly brutal one to Saber, concerning the destruction of her kingdom and the people she saved, her entire identity and her moral code, and her ideal of what a "king" should be.
** Kiritsugu's speech against Saber qualifies as well, see WarIsHell below or the quotes page.
* RecurringRiff: Melodies from ''Point Zero'' and ''Let The Stars Fall Down'' pop up all over the soundtrack.
* {{Roboteching}}: Both Berserker and Archer's projectiles during their dogfight.
* RPGMechanicsVerse: Dates back to ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Servants have "character sheets" that are visible to masters, describing their attributes in terms such as "STR/CON/AGI" and "Class Skills", and quantifying the power of attacks and weapons. This is a remnant of the creator's early attempts to create a strategy RPG.
* RuleOfCool: Saber rides a magically armored motorcycle while fighting, Rider who is on a flying lightning chariot. They smash heavy items at each other with swords. Really.
* RuleOfSymbolism: The smashing of Okeanos' waves was the beating of Rider's own heart. One may take this as a metaphor that one should spend their life doing what they love, or that the journey is its own reward.
* SceneryPorn: In the anime, no expense was too high, best described by one reviewer which described it as "...a budget big enough to buy Belgium." This gives the anime some of the best art and animation in the entire industry, and the Blu-Ray 1080p editions just laugh at attempts to match them. [[http://fuckyeahanimescenery.tumblr.com/image/23432632762 Take]] [[http://fuckyeahanimescenery.tumblr.com/image/23375464568 a]] [[http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m49x97XA5P1rpby4qo1_500.gif look]]
* ScreamingWarrior:
** Rider's battle yodel when charging his chariot over something. Which, surprisingly, is [[ShownTheirWork an actual Ancient Greek warcry]].
** Berserker never speaks [[spoiler:until his helmet comes off]], only roars.
* SelfDeprecation: In the Einzbern Consultation Room specials, Disciple Zero attempts to reassure Lancer that there would be no "[[Creator/GenUrobuchi Urobuchi]]-type drama". The ''Fate/Zero'' novel was written by Gen Urobuchi himself.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Heavily cynical. A considerable amount of plot demonstrates idealistic characters having their principles challenged or even shattered.
* ShootTheHostage: [[spoiler:Kiritsugu takes El-Melloi's wife hostage, but signs a magical contract that should he harm either of them, he will lose all his magecraft. El-Melloi agrees to Kiritsugu's terms, then prepares to leave the city with her while they're both alive. Then Maiya shows up with an [[MoreDakka assault rifle.]]]]
* ShootTheDog:
** [[spoiler:Kiritsugu is forced to shoot down the plane Natalia is in since it is infested with ghouls that could cause innumerable casualties if the plane managed to land in New York City.]]
** [[spoiler: He shoots ''his own father'' after finding out his immortality research turns people into [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Dead Apostles]]]]
* ShoutOut:
** The "Einzbern Consultation Room" specials from the DVD are basically a huge ShoutOut to the [[HaveANiceDeath Tiger Dojo corners]] from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', complete with role reversal with Irisviel as the "teacher" and a teenage amnesiac Taiga as the "student". The segments contain a few other [[ShoutOut Shout Outs]]:
*** "There are {{DDD}} circumstances behind that, so I'm sorry."
*** [[KaraNoKyoukai Alba]]'s silhouette can be seen when Iri talks about mages in the {{Nasuverse}}.
*** Some of the explanations about the world and Holy Grail War are set to {{SouthPark}}-style illustrations. Another TYPE-MOON anime had a significant SouthPark shout-out.
** Caster's vision of [[JoanOfArc Jeanne D'Arc]] is the exact same design from ''LightNovel/FateApocrypha''.
** Caster's invocation to summon an EldritchAbomination in episode 2 is "[[CthulhuMythos Cthulhu fhtagn]]", he's referred to as a [[Literature/TheShadowOverInnsmouth Deep One]] in the "Einzbern Consultation Room" specials, and his Noble Phantasm, [[TomeOfEldritchLore Prelati's Spellbook: Text of the Sunken Spiraled City]], is implied to be a copy of the Necronomicon itself since it's made from human skin, has a screaming face on the cover, and is also known as the R'lyeh Text.
** Natalia smokes the same extremely rare brand of cigarettes that [[KaraNoKyoukai Touko]] does.
** ''Fate/Zero Materials'' notes that, after the war, Kayneth's Volumen Hydragyrum was tweaked a bit [[spoiler:by Waver]] so it could assume the role of a household servant. The only problem is, thanks to being exposed to [[TheTerminator a certain film]], it occasionally goes berserk while insisting it's a killer robot from the future.
* ShownTheirWork:
** In the anime's first ending, the Servants are depicted in scenes that are based on actual paintings or sculptures of their historical counterparts.
** Many details of the Servants' legends had to have required substantial research, ArtisticLicense notwithstanding.
*** In particular, combining with the above-mentioned ending artwork being based on paintings and sculptures, Gilgamesh (Archer) is shown with a lion by his side. Gilgamesh is well-enough known in modern pop culture that plenty of people know his name; fewer probably know that his companion late in the Epic of Gilgamesh was a lion.
* SinisterGeometry: The summoning of [[http://imgur.com/a/WX7BK Ea]], Archer's ultimate weapon.
* SoundtrackDissonance: ''"Starlit Faith"'', from the ''Return to Zero'' soundtrack album, [[http://www.justsomelyrics.com/2126047/Watanabe-Kazuhiro-Starlit-Faith-Lyrics reads]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0DylPp5E6A&feature=plcp sounds]] like a rock ballad about finding one's way to his loved one. One could be forgiven for hearing this and not guessing that the setting of the soundtrack overflows in GRIMDARK-ness...
* SparedByTheAdaptation: See AdaptationExpansion.
* SpoilerOpening:
** The anime's second opening shows the [[spoiler:Grail corruption leaking from Irisviel's orifices]] and later implies that she will die.
** The first ending makes [[spoiler:Berserker's]] identity fairly obvious after his first appearance shows [[spoiler:he knows Arturia]].
* SpotlightStealingSquad: The omniscient third-person narration gives plenty of opportunities for protagonist Kiritsugu to be OutOfFocus.
** Team Rider in particular gets plenty of screen time and character development.
** Irisviel and Saber have a more normal Master-Servant relationship than the actual pair.
** GenUrobuchi's favorite characters, Gilgamesh and Kirei; in an interview [[WordofGod Urobuchi]] stated that he wrote ''Fate/Zero'' mainly for Kirei.
* SquishyWizard: Subverted in the {{Nasuverse}} in general; magi can use Reinforcement and other physical spells to boost their bodies to the limits of human capability, in addition to the physical and martial arts training that most modern magi undergo.
* SummoningRitual: The method by which each Servant is brought into the world.
* SupernormalBindings: One of Archer's Noble Phantasms is Enkidu, a special chain that was created to restrain the gods, its strength is proportional to the divinity of their opponent, so while it can easily overpower gods, when used against normal person, it simply acts as a tough chain.
* SuperReflexes:
** Kiritsugu has a spell called "Innate Time Control" that he uses to control the flow of time within his own body.
** Kirei dodges bullets.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish:
** Besides ''"Starlit Faith"'' above, the ''Return to Zero'' album also contains ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA3b9wSC4GU "Beginning Oath"]]''. Both also qualify as CrowningMusicOfAwesome.
** Kiritsugu's dossiers on the other Masters are shown in the anime to be in clear English.
** Not to mention Kirei's prayer in the last episode, which, while a little stilted, is perfectly clear English, and in Jouji Nakata's voice, downright creepy.
* [[SurprisinglyGoodEnglish Surprisingly Good German]]:
** Zigzagged. The voice actor seems to know enough pronunciation to approximate proper German (making it a huge improvement over Rin or Archer), but the grammar is still gibberish.
** Natalia's fax messages are in passable German. {{Creator/ShowHayami}} also gets to recite a spell in German.
%%* TalkingIsAFreeAction
* TearsOfBlood: [[spoiler:Lancer]] begins to cry these after he's [[spoiler:commanded to impale himself on his own spear]]. The blood stains his sclera red, giving him quite a demonic appearance in his death throes.
* TeleportSpam: In one anime scene, Gilgamesh prefers to simply teleport several times to dramatically appropriate areas of the room instead of walking around.
%%* ThereCanBeOnlyOne
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks:
** Church Executors fight using the Black Keys, ''throwing swords'' held between the knuckles, in a [[{{Wolverine}} Wolverine]]-esque manner.
** To be fair, the swords are explicitly designed for throwing with their long length and weighting making it difficult to use as an actual sword. On top of this, it is stated in the novels that they require great skill to wield effectively and, despite it being the signature weapon of the Executors, few make them their WeaponOfChoice. Kirei is one of those few.
* TomeOfEldritchLore: Caster's Noble Phantasm, Prelati's Spellbook. Not only is its cover made of human skin, it's actually ''alive'' and Caster merely "commands" it. It summons [[EldritchAbomination Lovecraftian tentacle monsters]].
* TooDumbToLive:
** If a giant, sentient ball of mercury appears out of nowhere, you probably shouldn't shove your hand into it.
** Is that a gargantuan, tentacled monster in the river? Maybe I can get a better look if I fly closer to it!
* TraumaInducedAmnesia: Lancer shows up in an Einzbern Consultation Room special unable to recall anything that happened in [[spoiler:Episode 16]]. Zecchan encourages him to "pretend that none of that [[SignatureStyle Urobuchi-style]] stuff ever happened", but Irisviel won't let him off the hook that easily.
* WarIsHell: The focus of Kiritsugu's lamenting monologue in the third novel. He also [[TakeThat disparages]] [[WarIsGlorious heroes, their actions, and their legends]], which cause people to glorify war.
* WeaponOfChoice: Servants are armed with Noble Phantasms, the weapons or abilities that helped make them famous in life. Also, magi are generally armed with one or more "Mystic Codes" which are tools that are designed to be used with their Magecraft. Quite a few are designed specifically for combat.
* WhatTheHellHero: Saber, and to a lesser extent Irisviel, after Kiritsugu [[spoiler:has Kayneth and Sola-Ui executed after promising that ''he'' wouldn't harm them]].
* WineIsClassy: Gilgamesh, being the arrogant king he is, is often shown drinking wine [[AGlassOfChianti to highlight this fact.]] His [[HyperspaceArsenal Gate of Babylon]] also [[MundaneUtility contains a high-class wine cellar]] with wine brewed by the gods themselves. This trope is about the only thing Gilgamesh shares with his summoner, as Tokiomi is also fond of red wine and is generally acknowledged as a particularly classy fellow.
* TheWorfEffect: Invoked by one of the fighter pilots sent against Caster's EldritchAbomination.
--> '''Pilot:''' If this were a monster movie, we'd be the first to go. You know, the ones who make the bad guy look tough.
* WorthyOpponent: How most Servants see each other, especially once learning their respective heroic identities.
* WouldHurtAChild: Dear God, Caster!
** What Zouken does to five-year-old Sakura is beyond contempt.
* WoundThatWillNotHeal: Lancer's Gae Buidhe inflicts a curse on wounds so they won't heal, which is described as [[RPGMechanicsVerse akin to reducing maximum hit points (i.e. healing will have no effect, since Saber would be at "full HP" despite the wound). Saber gets afflicted by this early on due to a lapse in battle judgment]]. This becomes Saber's DramaPreservingHandicap until Volume 3, where [[spoiler:Saber, Lancer, and Rider team up to battle the EldritchAbomination that Caster set loose upon the city]]. Even then, during her rematch with Lancer, Saber fights Lancer using only her right hand.
* YouAreTooLate: [[spoiler:Poor, poor Sakura.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Matou Zouken:'''There were terrible cries for the first three days, but by the fourth day, she was silent. Today, she was thrown at dawn in the worm storage to test how well she would last, but, ho ho, she endured it for half a day and is still breathing. What do you know, the Tohsaka material isn't defective.]]
* ZombieApocalypse: Or rather, [[spoiler: a ''[[OurVampiresAreDifferent Vampire]]'' Apocalypse happened on Kiritsugu's island home in his backstory.]]