"So when I had come into the room one night, all unaware, and found what looked like some kind of strange yarn composed tentacle monstrosity apparently attempting to devour my little Master I had reacted by attacking it with Derflinger. After the dust had settled, she had explained that the strange abomination was supposed to be a sweater. I had explained that sweater or not, the Root be damned thing had nearly won the battle anyway. Louise hadn't taken me pointing out that little fact very well at all."
"Your boot is unlaced?" the sword asked me, its voice incredulous. "You show me magic so powerful that it recreated existence, and blades so strong that they're leaving me feeling a little inadequate, and at the end of it all you tell her her boot is unlaced?"
Badass: Shirou, obviously. Although, contrary to what the first few chapters indicate, he is not the biggest badass around. (Certainly in the top five, though.) He found out that Karin of the Heavy Wind and Professor Colbert are among them.
When compared to Saito, who had his moments, Shirou is a full-time Badass.
Here's Guiche's take on this:
Guiche: "Truly, you are the greatest of men. How did you put it before? Badass? Is there anything you do that is not badass?"
Badass Boast: Shirou says the following lines after casting UBW during his last fight with Myoznitnirn.
Shirou:"This is what you face now, Myoznitnirn," I told her, my own rage returning, though now it was cold. This battle had move beyond the point where it was just two foes who hated each other battling to the death. This was now a match between one who had brought an army, and one who had matched that army. "Swords are not enough to win this battle? What you face now is an unlimited number of them: peerless weapons, wielded by heroes and villains, the great and the small alike. An unlimited armory of blades stands before you."
And before that, he gets this gem off:
Shirou: "Walk away? Why would I do that? I'm going to walk over you, Myoznitnirn. I'm going to grind my boot into the back of your dead skull when I do so. And then I'm going to find your Master, wherever he is, and send him to join you."
Becoming the Mask: Originally, Shirou and Henrietta used rumors of a romance between them (which they themselves created for this very purpose) in order to justify serving under her without betraying his oaths. Henrietta eventually ends up falling in love with him for real.
Berserk Button: If you hurt, or even threaten to hurt Louise or any of his friends, Shirou will not even let you live long enough to regret it.
Big Brother Mentor: After some bumps along the road this is what Shirou became to Louise, among his other roles. At some point she says that he is like a strange bloodthirsty older brother. She respects his experience and knowledge and is always willing to listen to his advices, they are friendly and often tease each other. Shirou also dies at the end and Louise inherits Derflinger along with Shirou's abilities. While it's debatable if she was living in his shadow it's implied that he was a fairly famous person.
Break the Haughty: Shirou does not take Eleonore's physical abuse of Louise well, and in chapter 13, threatens to kill her if she ever attempts to do so again after demonstrating that he is both willing and more than capable of doing so.
"In the future," I spoke, my voice unconcerned, "please be advised that if you attempt to use magic against me again, I will simply kill you where you stand. Also, in regards to your failed engagement: the reason the Earl of Burgandi called it off is because you are a relentless harpy that would no doubt destroy his soul through your incessant and ruthless badgering. If you ever desire to find yourself a man I would advise you somehow manage to find a way to stop being such a heartless shrew."
While it succeeded in stopping the abuse, it had another, unintended effect that he really doesn't want to think about.
Actually this is Shirou's default course of action to all Haughties, bordering on Bright Slap, he first breaks the Haughty by either physical or psychological means, or a mix of both, and then beats them into shape, turning them into Badass. That he only does the first part here - forcing Eleonore to accept that she needs to change and can't manage this on her own - and fails to follow through with the rest of the co-dependent relationship does make Eleonore's subsequent fixation and harassment seem almost justified.
Character Development: In spades. Shirou starts out as a Knight in Sour Armor who is well on his way to becoming Archer, but slowly comes out of his shell and starts softening as the story continues, while Louise goes from the Bratty Half-Pint she was in the original series to a strong, confident young woman who is actually likable as both a character and a person.
Chekhov's Gun: Shirou mentions the idea of using Rule Breaker on himself in the first chapter. Guess what he uses in his final battle with Sheffield in Chapter 22?
Cold-Blooded Torture: Shirou takes a rather disturbing delight in killing and mutilating orcs. This is mainly due to their apparent habit of raiding villages for food, however, with the food in question being human children.
Combat Pragmatist: While this is mainly Agnes forte, Shirou is capable of fighting this way. It helps him in defeating Myoznitnirn.
Covert Pervert: Louise and Siesta have become friends in this timeline, and often spend their time together reading steamy romance novels. Taken Up to Eleven with Louise's eldest sister Eleonore, who not only reads the same raunchy novels, but is also a closet masochist!
Every time Shirou goes into his Darth Shirou Mode he gains a powerful ability to corrupt and demoralize those around him, like turning Motmorancy into the tool of his vengence or almost convincing Kirche that by joining him she could wear sexy outfits and have sex-slaves.
Cryptic Background Reference: Shirou will occasionally make these. Some of them are familiar to Type-Moon fans, others are completely unknown.
Cuteness Overload: Anyone's mind takes a vacation when when Sylphid hits them with too much Moe at once. Not even the hardened Shirou is immune.
Death Seeker: Shirou, to the extent that he is actually really, really upset when he miraculously manages to survive a Heroic Sacrifice suicide charge. The reason why:
And as he stood upon the battlefields, she thought back to his oath: to be reunited with his love upon a hill of swords. To be reunited with his lover. His lover was dead. And it was only through battle that he could finally join her again. When he too was dead.
After being revived by Tiffania, he clearly states that at that moment, he really, REALLY, hated her.
Shirou(after being revived by Tiffania): And in that moment, I had never hated anything as fiercely as I did her.
Defeat Means Friendship: Played straight with Guiche, who seeks lessons in swordsmanship from Shirou after getting curb-stomped in their duel. A rather twisted version involving Louise's sister Eleonore could accurately be described as "Death Threat Equals Love at First Punch", as she starts carrying a torch for Shirou after he lays down the law regarding her abusive treatment of Louise.
Demoted to Extra: Apart from several chapters after her introduction, Tiffania has no appearances until the epilogue.
The Dreaded: Shirou is this to the survivors of the Battle of Saxe-Gotha.
Distracted by the Sexy: Henrietta manages to pull this off twice in order to get away from guards after she stages her own kidnapping.
Dual Wielding: Shirou prefers Kanshou & Bakuya when not wielding Derflinger.
Dying Alone: Initially this was how Shirou predicted he would die.
I released a long breath, the plume of frost drifting away and disbursing as I gathered my thoughts. "Some time ago, I was given a glimpse of the future that awaited me," I began. "I was shown how I would die. Since that day, I have always known that I would fall alone, against a vastly superior force, in the defense of many others, and that my final resting place would be on an empty hill, surrounded by buried swords."
Ensign Newbie: Guiche turns out to be this during the Invasion of Albion, complete with his own Sergant who teaches him the ropes. Fortunately thanks to Shirou's Training from Hell he is more prepared for the position and humble enough to accept advice from his Sergeant.
Foregone Conclusion: Somewhat. Halfway through the fic, it occurred to me that a Bittersweet Ending was not only the only ending that would make sense, but also the only "happy" ending.
From a Certain Point of View: When Shirou teaches Louise about the Master/Servant dynamic, he glosses over certain details, such as the fact that human summons are generally done with Heroic Spirits, not living human beings.
Frying Pan of Doom: Siesta has one, called by this exact name. If Shirou is to be believed, she can surround it with eldritch energies from the darkest reaches of the universe.
And Cattleya is a Friend to All Living Things, she's got snakes, tigers, and who knows what else in her carriage and they are all docile and unthreatening.
Gecko Ending: The story only adapts up to the conflict with Joseph and his familiar, ie the third season. This is due to the fact most if not all of the post-third season Light Novels weren't (and still aren't) fan translated, and at the time, nobody expected that the Familiar Of Zero would get a fourth and final season in 2012.
Though in the beginning he was more on the True Neutral side, not giving a damn about the world so long as his Master was okay. It would actually fit with his slow turning into Archer who was listed as simply Neutral in the game.
Heroic BSOD: Guiche is really, really freaked out by Unlimited Blade Works.
"I picked a fight with him," Guiche muttered, rocking back and forth. "I can't believe I picked a fight with him. What was I thinking, picking a fight with him? It must be my mother's fault. She must have dropped me on my head when I was a child…"
Shirou upon seeing Kirche roasted by the elf.
Shirou has a serious one upon seeing from his reflection how his wardrobe changes have made him look little by little to be Archer.
Hurting Hero: Shirou has been through twelve different kinds of hell since the end of F/SN, and it shows.
Pretty horrifying to think about considering the events of F/SN itself were hell all its own for him.
"I just want to steal you away!" the redhead continued, rocking back and forth as she did so. "I could dress you up in pretty clothes, and we could go shopping together, and we could go man hunting together!"
Shirou develops a similar sentiment in regards to Tabitha; he wants to adopt her as a little sister and give her cute dollies and ponies and pretty dresses. The thought of Tabitha having Irukukuu's character, however, outright terrifies him; that would be just too much Moe for his fragile sanity.
Insistent Terminology: Shirou insists on being called Servant rather than Familiar; after some time, even Louise starts to automatically correct people who call Shirou a familiar. Also at the end of the story, after Louise describes to her mother the fight between Shirou and Myoznitnirn, Karin starts to adamantly refer to Shirou as "Son-in-Law" – Hell will freeze over before she'll let him get away without marrying one of her daughters.
Jack of All Stats: Shirou deliberately doesn't specialize in any of his weapons; instead he tries to be equally skilled in using all of them.
Shirou, comparing his and Agnes' combat styles: In the end our styles were nearly exact opposites of each other: one implacable silence and focus while the other distractions and maneuvering, one the jack of all trades and the other an ace.
This makes his Gandalfr runes particularly Game Breaking, as they give him complete knowledge of the use of any weapon he uses (the Gandalfr runes have some resemblance to Lancelot's Knight Of Honor). Combine that with Shirou's crazy-insane aresnal and you have someone who can effortlessly switch between bow to spear to sword to shield to axe to club to scythe-on-a-chain without slowing. Just thank god Gilgamesh didn't get summoned.
It is arguable if this is all that relevant for Shiro however. Part of tracing involves replicating the wielder's combat experience, hence why he can for instance use Nine Lives Blade Works in Heaven's Feel. As such, he should already be able to wield any weapon he traces by the skill imparted upon them by their original wielder. Of course, one could argue Gandalfr gives him skill beyond the skill of the weapons' original wielders.
"Just try to ignore it, Louise," I advised her. It was a survival mechanism that I had become quite good at using. No, Jessica hadn't started to spread rumors of my sexual prowess. No, those imaginary rumors were not grossly exaggerated and humanly impossible. No, the other girls at the inn were not staring at me with wide eyes laden with worship and awe. No, they were not dangerously close to forming a cult.
Like Brother and Sister: Louise has no romantic interest in Shirou, instead seeing him as an older brother figure. This reaches the point where she not only starts sleeping cuddled up to him like she does with her older sister Cattleya, but she also decides she wouldn't mind it if Shirou married said sister.
Lonely at the Top: Prior to the start of the story, Shirou has been abandoned by his friends.
Lost in Translation: The translation spell on Shirou doesn't translate things like allusions, metaphors and similes very well, causing Siesta's kinky romance novels to appear extremely disturbing when he reads them.
Everyone present who heard her declaration except herself and I flinched simultaneously. Eleanor, who had been holding a fork and knife poised over her dish ground the silverware down hard enough to crack the plate. Cattleya whom had been taking a sip of what appeared to be coffee dropped it on her lap without noticing it. The duke's hand slipped, and his elbow entered the cold remains of the simulated invasion of Albion. Louise flat out fell out of her chair. One of the maids, who had been refilling a goblet didn't notice when the cup had finished filling and started overflowing. A butler who had been carrying a tray laden with some kind of cake dropped the platter.
Mental World: Unlimited Blade Works is a physical representation of Shirou's soul.
Memetic Badass: In-Universe example. Shirou, after the battle of Saxe-Gotha. Albion's forces were so damn scared of him that during the subsequent peace talks with Tristain, their first request was that Henrietta call him off.
Memetic Sex God: In-Universe example, Shirou again. Due to the dream cycle, Louise witnessed the, ah, "mana recharge session" he had with Rin and Saber. Due to her actions during the Love Potion incident, there is now a kinky rumor circulating about how he's "too much man for one woman to handle". Louise helps to spread it around whenever Shirou makes a crack about her knitting, but is having some difficulty keeping her mind away from "kinky threesomes".
Moe: This trope is used in-universe with Sylphid, Tabitha's dragon familiar. She exudes so much moe that Shirou is temporarily struck speechless in chapter 5, and actually knocked unconscious by it in chapter 8. And then she flattens an entire room with it in chapter 20.
Shirou: I've decided that I shall slaughter the innocent. I shall murder all who stand in my way, sparing none, until my name is synonymous with fear itself, thus cementing my status as an Anti-Hero. Then, once my reign of terror is finally ended, I shall wait patiently at the Throne of Heroes for however how long it takes until one of the infinite realities that exist that still performs the ritual of the Holy Grail War summons me forth. Then, I shall resume killing all around me until my bloodstained hands hold the Holy Grail itself. Once I have the all-powerful artifact, I shall use it to force the Root of the World, the wellspring of all creation, to assume a human male form in my presence. And then I'm going to kick it in the balls so hard that all of reality will simultaneouslyfeel it.
"Be silent," I told it, holding my right arm in front of me and tracing. The Muramasa blade in my hand, a blade which had been created for no other purpose but to end life, a blade which desired to do so above all else, which hungered for blood and death and pain, shrieked in pain. For the first time in its existence it tasted a blood thirst which surpassed its own, and it felt what all those poor mortals whom had been overwhelmed by its sentience in the past felt: fear. "The dead have no use for words."
Red Baron: As of chapter 15, Shirou now bears the moniker "King of Swords". He hates it, calling it horribly inaccurate. Probably because Arturia, the King of Knights, and Gilgamesh, the King of Heroes, actually were kings. (Also: Alexander, the King of Conquerors; Shirou had never met the man, but the title might have been widespread in the modern day Nasuverse.)
Shipper on Deck: All with Shirou. Sylphid wants him with Tabitha, Karin wants him hooked up with any one of her daughters, and Jessica ships him with Siesta. Louise just wants him with someone (who isn't Eleanor), so that he might start enjoying life again, but she favors Henrietta, Siesta, or her big sister Cattleya, more or less in that order.
Ship Tease: A boat load between Shirou and Henrietta, and some between him and Tabitha, him and Siesta. Nothing on Louise though.
Ship Sinking: Unfortunately, none of these go anywhere, due to A) Shirou still being loyal to Saber, and B) his being dead at the end of the story.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shirou is well on his way to becoming Archer. Thanks to the dream cycle, Louise sees most of his bloodiest fights.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: Shirou to Sheffield in Chapter 22 after he activates Unlimited Blade Works:
"Oh spare me the indignation," I snapped back, annoyed by her outrage. "You're the one who brought a giant and an army to this battle. Don't get self righteous with me now that you know it isn't the mismatch you had planned on."
Situational Sword: Hrunting, the sword Shirou traces during his second fight with Fouquet, is capable of cutting anything that isn't protected by magic, but even the weakest magic armor stops it completely.
Sleep Cute: Louise tends to worm her way on Shirou's lap and sleep there, a couple of times, cuddled up to him.
"Fine!" the Myoznitnirn snapped, her voice shaking with rage. "Just because you have more swords doesn't change anything! You only have two hands to wield them, King of Swords!"
I glanced back at her, and I think the smile on my lips unnerved her. "Oh? But you forget, Queen of Dolls," I chided her, my voice set in a sing song pitch. "This is my soul. Did you really think it'd be that easy?"
In a move I stole straight from Gilgamesh, I raised my left hand in the air as I turned away, focused once more on my destination, and I snapped my fingers once. Above me the gears of my soul hung in the sky churned once with a noise like the heartbeat of god. And from the sky a rain of silver flung itself down upon my foes.
Spit Take: Louise and Derflinger's reactions to Shirou telling them that he's got an arsenal of a few hundred noble phantasms. Particularly impressive since Derflinger, being a sword, wasn't actually drinking the tea in front of him.
Took a Level in Badass: everyone. Shirou had already taken at least a good three-quarters of the levels in badass Archer was known for by the time of his summoning, and most of the rest of the cast follows suit under his tutelage.
Unreliable Narrator: Shirou, sometimes he's serious, sometimes not, when talking about "frying pans of doom" or death by excess of cuteness, for example. One has to wonder about which murder propositions were actually real.
Walking Armory: Shirou is a literal example of this trope with several thousand blades stocked in his arsenal, he only needs to see a weapon once and he can trace it later on.
In the epilogue, Louise refers to Shirou by his several titles. One of them is the "Endless Armory".
Louise: "You know about Heroic Spirits, Derf. Do you have any doubt in your hilt that the 'King of Swords', the 'Elf Bane', the 'Endless Armory' himself wouldn't qualify?"
War Is Hell: While duly noted in the original series, Shirou makes all notable fights A LOT more brutal than Saito could ever accomplish. The Battle at Saxe-Gotha is the most notable example. On one hand Saito stalled the army with no casualties, which while impressive on its own as a Pacifist Run, due to the passage of time would not be remembered that much. On the other hand Shirou gave them HELL by brutally maiming off limbs of soldiers standing in the way, killing off Officers and Commanders, and spreading plenty of terror on the army. Shirou gave them such brutality that when the surviving commander went to Henrietta for peace talks the first thing he asks for is to call him off. Shirou also hates wars for two more reasons: one is that it results in "old men talking and young men dying", and the other that those people who START the wars are always far away from the front lines or not on the battlefield itself.
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Completely averted with Shirou – he decapitated Fouquet and later beat Sheffield literally to death with his fists, not to mention threatening a number of girls. He is all too aware of the fact that just because your opponent is female doesn't mean she can't kill you within an instant.
"Worked out," she ground out. "Worked out, he says. He twists the entire thing about in whatever way he wants, and then when it's all done he tells me that he was making it up on the spot. All works out, he says..."
Louise's grimace widened a bit, but her fist gradually stopped shaking. Finally, she let her hand fall back to her side with a sigh. "You know what?" she admitted sounding tired. "You're probably right." She opened her eyes as she rubbed the back of her head awkwardly with her wand. "Towards the beginning there I might have acted a little over the top as a Master."
Yank the Dog's Chain: SO, After a difficult battle, where Shiro manages to save the day, and everyone he has come to care for, he is finally able to reunite with Saber... Nope! You are so lucky to have been found by a Healer just in time Shiro! God knows you would be dead otherwise...
You Can't Fight Fate: One of Shirou's major issues, turning up in chapter 17, is trying to avoid becoming Counter Guardian EMIYA... and it's starting to hit him just how much he's been failing at that task.
Though this may or may not be the case, with the way Shirou is now slowly opening up.