Headscratchers / Fate/stay night

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    Reality Marble inheritance 

  • How the hell does some random dude whose original parents probably weren't even mages have a Reality Marble like UBW? There is almost no mention (I remember only one flashback where Shirou even recalls his parents) of his parents/lineage. Random mutations caused by the holy grail?
    • How did Satsuki have enough magic power to become a vampire almost instantly and have a Reality Marble herself? Parentage might be a factor in some cases, but since even the children of mundanes (Shirou, Satsuki, Elesia a.k.a. Ciel) can be born with insane powers, it's not the be-all and end-all.
    • As Rin put it, he created a miracle with his own blood. He underwent a self-imposed Training from Hell every night for eight years, lost all sense of self and became a master of zen archery, started thinking of himself as a tool for his borrowed ideal, etc etc. He's anything but normal. Anyway, it's implied that everyone has a Reality Marble, since it's just a reflection of their inner world, the real trick is manifesting it (which is explained as "inverting the world diagram of the soul"). Shirou doesn't have the magic circuits to do that because of his mundane heritage (thus the contracts with the world as Archer and Rin in UBW), but he's certainly got the willpower.
    • It has nothing to do with power or genetics. It's simply the ultimate expression of his mind. A Reality Marble is possible for anyone. It might even be easier for him to have a Reality Marble than anyone else because his psyche was basically destroyed and then rewritten in the fire before Kiritsugu saved him.
    • Don't forget that Kiritsugu integrated Avalon, a sheath, with Shirou. He became a container for swords, so his mind was filled with swords.
    • A Reality Marble is based on two things. One: The Focus, Inner Drive, Willpower and goal of the person involved. Two: The events a person experiences during their lifetime. Being a Determinator focused on a single mission, Shirou blatantly has plenty of the first. He's also driven himself to live up to his ideal whenever he can and thus has the experience. Someone like Tohsaka, despite being a superior Magus, simply doesn't have the strength of self nor a single ideal to focus on. Thus, she will likely never be able to summon a Reality Marble of any kind.
    • The second part is probably just as important, though. I can't really see Satsuki having inner drive or willpower, but she certainly has plenty of hunger, desperation, and despair. Depletion Garden and Unlimited Blade Works seem like two different beasts, almost.
    • Well, it seems that Dead Apostles generally lose a great deal of their "excess" personality. Apart from the "play with people for fun" thing, they seem rather devoted to one, single part about their lives before being vampirized with little need for things like "empathy" or whatnot. Like how Nero's Reality Marble is the expression of his desire to study chaos that he had before dying. The core of his being, perhaps? Since Satsuki skipped all those normal stages it's likely that she got to that point that much faster. Her personality was quite different, if you'll recall. All she had left was her despair and desire for Shiki. And she doesn't get him, nor happiness, nor anything but the rather bleak future of a vampire. Her plan was to force him to become hers because she didn't expect to actually get him. Does this sound familiar? Loss without gain? She was set up from the start for her Reality Marble to work, even if she didn't know it herself.
    • Reality Marble manifest in beings whose mindsets greatly differs from the norm of the world (the world itself is a reality marble on top of the carnage of fire and death. Enuma Elish cut a chunk in it temporarily as a side effect). Emiya Shirou's entire psyche was deleted by the fire, he lost all sense of self and is quite close to being sociopathic, the ideal he based his life on revolves around his life having no value, and most importantly, Avalon was part of him all his (the identity of Emiya Shirou) life, resulting in him having both his Origin and Magical inclination rewritten to Sword (from Kn K, we learnt that a soul's origin does not change even in death, and the same Origin is passed down to whoever the soul reincarnate as next). With all of those combined, he's about as alien and unnatural to the world as something like ORT or Dead Apostles, which results in his mindset being foreign enough to exist separately from the world's own. What's unusual is that he's born with 27 magical circuits, albeit damaged due to lack of use, above the average magus despite not coming from a magus linage. Having this is what made it possible for him to manifest his alien inner world onto the world in the form of a RM.
    • To paraphrase Nasu, Shirou has a Reality Marble because *everybody* has a Reality Marble because they have an 'inner world' / soulscape to manifest. What the above said about Blue and Orange Morality being a requirement is hard fanon. The reason he can manifest it is because the alignment of his Origin and Element gives him a leg up on everybody else in the department of sword magic (and guess what category UBW falls under?), aided by a mana-transfusion from Rin. In the general case, any mage can manifest their own Reality Marbles, if they're willing to sink enough time into researching the spell and provide enough power to maintain it.

    HF and Rule Breaker 

  • Early in HF, how did Shirou figure out what Rule Breaker's effect was in time to warn Saber (and in order to trace it much later)? I'm pretty sure that he hadn't actually seen Caster use it yet...
    • Probably the same way he used Nine Lives Blade Works much later. Presumably, he figured out its power because of the analysis part of his projection magic, which thanks to his Reality Marble works much, much better when applied to weapons. In fact, doing that with Rule Breaker makes even more sense than his using Nine Lives with Berserker's Axe-Sword (unless Heracles actually used the technique with that sword at one point, probably before the Mad Enhancement kicked in).
    • Well, Shirou is able to mimic the skill of the original owners of the weapons he projects. I figured Nine Lives was part and parcel of that — i.e., it's a technique that Heracles mastered in life but couldn't use while insane.
    • Exactly, it's an adapted technique, not a weapon. Well...okay, Nine Lives is a weapon, but the actual Noble Phantasm is a bow, not a sword. Since I'm pretty sure that axe-sword is unique to this summoning (the catalyst, in fact), that's why I think Heracles uses Nine Lives with that thing at some point, so the "memory" of the technique is in the weapon. ...or, since I tend to overthink things, you're probably right, and Shirou can mimic the Nine Lives attack with any of Heracles' weapons, simply because the weapon can be used for such.
    • Shirou automatically (subconsciously) scans all weapons on eye-contact (how his Reality Marble works). That's why he froze up when he saw Ea—it was impossible for him to "read" it.
    • Shirou might be able to read Ea, if he put enough time and effort into it. Remember when he traced the Gem Sword Zelretch? The same thing happened, but he was eventually able to project it.
    • It took the use of Archer's arm and nearly killed him, but yes... the thing is, though, Zelretch is still an earthly weapon. It's a point Shirou shares in common with Shiki; neither can understand their chosen aspect (building materials/weaponry and concept of death) for anything originating outside Gaia. Or, to put it another way: Archer explicitly can't project Ea, and he's pretty much a blacksmith god by now.

    Nine Lives Bladeworks 

  • Why was it called Nine Lives Bladeworks though instead of just Nine Lives?
    • Perhaps because he's using Archer's Unlimited Blade Works to make a copy (sort of like why Archer uses Caladbolg II). Alternately, because he's using his own version of the Nine Lives technique.
    • In its original legend Nine Lives would have taken the form of a bow. However, Berserker's Mad Enhancement rendered him incapable utilizing such a weapon, so it took the form of a primitive cleaver. Even then, Berserker could not use its specific abilities unless he was made to with a Command Seal. In essence it's like the magical equivalent of a Sawed-Off Shotgun: modified to be more useful in one situation, but only actually useful in that specific situation. So Shirou was essentially using the poor man's copy of a gimped form of a crystalized legend.
    • Because its Nine Lives (the technique Heracles used to kill the 9 head Hydra) adapted for Fake Nine Lives/the rock sword, hence Blade Works.


  • Who can forget this crown jewel of awesome?
    • It Makes Sense in Context. After all, how many times is he killed during the Fate route? Four or five? How many times did he actually die?
    • It's also a wordplay in Japanese. There's a saying in Japanese which, literally translated, comes to: "He wouldn't die even if you killed him!" The phrase pops up a few times elsewhere in the novel: the first time Shirou is nearly cut in half by Berserker and heals up within a few hours, Rin tells him "Hey, people usually die when they're killed, you know."

    Excalibur in HF 

  • How did Shirou trace Excalibur in the normal ending of HF? I know he had Archer's arm, and destroyed himself in the process of tracing, but isn't it said somewhere that weapons created by the gods such as Excalibur and Ea are impossible to trace? He was on his last projection, too, so how could he have enough prana to trace Excalibur? Even Archer can't normally trace Excalibur, nor can he reproduce it with Unlimited Blade Works.
    • Actually Archer specifically said that he can "Get really close", so he CAN trace it, its just gonna end up with a cheap, bootleg version of it and the amount of prana required to charge it up would kill him. Shirou in Heaven's Feel was already dead and dying so it didn't matter.
    • Its a sword derived from the legend of Excalibur with similar look and ability. Just as the legend of Gram later gave birth to Caliburn, the sword from the stone, there exist in universe at least 1 holy sword with similar ability to Excalibur, but human made and thus tracable
    • No dice. Remember how Shirou's Tracing works: he copies any sword (or bladed weapon in general) the moment he sees it. A derived sword from Excalibur probably exists, but Shirou's never seen that sword so he can't Trace it. He calls it "The greatest Noble Phantasm I know of", and that can only point to Excalibur (he doesn't fight Gilgamesh in HF). Finally, he doesn't freeze when he first sees Excalibur in Fate (he started freaking when he saw Ea); in fact, he seemed to understand its name before Saber even called it out. Cheap bootleg or not, Shirou definitely projected Excalibur in HF's Normal End.

     Shirou and Shinji- With Friends Like These 
  • How does Shirou even consider Shinji a friend? He is the first to admit Shinji is a scumbag and has made a habit of fighting him or even beating him up over Shinji beating Sakura, so how? I mean Shirou not outright blaming Shinji for him quitting the archery club is just Shirou (whose logic goes "well it IS a fact it was NOT Shinji who dropped the crate on my shoulder", which is true), but the Sakura case is just glaring as he usually cannot forgive a guy hitting weaker people/girls.
    • Shirou and Shinji's friendship is detailed in Fate/side material (you can read the excerpt here) and it was definitely an odd one while it lasted. As such, even taking side material into account, Shinji suffers badly from Show, Don't Tell, but the upshot is that while he always had a somewhat abrasive personality, he wasn't nearly as bad at the time they met as he is in Fate/stay night. As for the current state of their relationship, Shirou considers them "estranged" since punching him, but he lets Shinji boss him around to a degree simply because he's Shirou.



  • Why is King Arthur, of all people, so oblivious to the very idea of chivalry? She is not even just used to being treated like a man, but it seems she literally can't comprehend sexism, even after spending a lifetime being forced to disguise her gender because of it. People tend to blame Shirou for being sexist, but after all, she is equally responsible for their miscommunications, she didn't even try to deal with their problems in any other way than saying something along the lines of "Lol, stupid Shirou, you don't make any sense, the Servant's gender is irrelevant"
    • Ordinarily, you might expect a girl from that age to be aware of chivalry, but King Arthur/Saber is different, as she insists, right up to the fight with Gilgamesh, that she's a warrior before she is a woman. Which is why Shirou's initial over-chivalry grates on her: not only is it irrational given that as a Servant she should fight the battles, and is stronger than him, but also because she's never considered her being a woman as anything that reduces her ability to fight. She's the ultimate Action Girl in that respect; wouldn't have survived the battles otherwise. The Fate Arc is about how they reach a compromise of sorts: Shirou apologizes for trying to chain her down, and says that he doesn't have a problem with her fighting, BUT that he'll fight alongside her, not use her as a shield. Saber wants more, but she accepts the compromise because she's realized Shirou's chivalrous nature. It's not that she doesn't realize what Shirou wants for her — a violence-free, happy life — but she struggles with the duty she's carrying.
    • It's also entirely possible that she isn't familiar with the concept of Chivalry. She likely predates it by a couple of centuries. As for being confused by Shirou acting sexist... that's a very good thing to be confused about, because he isn't. Considering he only acted that way towards her and not Rin (despite him fervently and explicitly considering Rin a friend and ally), Saber probably guessed that it was an unusual stance for Shirou to take.
    • Although in reality King Arthur would pre-date Chivalry by a few centuries, in reality he would also pre-date most of the other things that are accepted parts of his legend like, for example, armour (of the kind that Saber is shown wearing, at least). The whole legend of King Arthur is an Anachronism Stew, and Nasu has fallen straight into the usual trap (possibly because depicting King Arthur as a fearsome Celtic Warrior wouldn't go down too well with most Japanese fans...). The whole modern legend of King Arthur (including all the stuff involving Lancelot and the Grail) is based around the concept of knightly chivalry, so saying that Saber (who is clearly based on the modern legend, rather than the original Welsh ones) is unaware of the idea would be absurd.
    • Trap? Anachronism Stew is how the story rolls, anyway (just ask the ancient Akkadian king in full metal plate armor). So the chivalry thing might be a wash, though I'll point out that the ideal of chivalry which the legend uses doesn't apply anyway; courtly love between knights and noblewomen doesn't say a whole lot about noblewomen fighting. In any case, that still doesn't counter why she would be rightly confused about Shirou, who from her perspective isn't being sexist, he's being stupid. What other response could she have beyond "Seriously, Shirou, cut the crap. I'm a warrior and I'm working for you. View me as a woman and keep me from fighting, and you'll get your ass killed"?
    • Ahem... the Sumerians introduced the use of overlapping plate body armor. We have archeological evidence of this. And this defensive development happened prior to 2500 BC, around the time of Gilgamesh (est. 2600 BC). So, his armor isn't altogether that anachronistic. It's more anachronistic for Saber to have 15th-century longsword and plate armor, as the warrior from that region (Briton/Wales) and era (5th century) would have wielded a single-handed Migration period sword (as described in surviving Arthurian cycle texts from the period) and worn chain "hauberk" with a "spangenhelm" (also mentioned in surviving texts from the 12th century, even given the names "Wygar", which was wrought by the smith "Witege", and the helm "Goswhit" which was an inheritance from Uther).
    • So far as I know, the idea that the Sumerians had body armor (other than helmets) is speculation based on artwork, which could just as easily represent fleecy sheepskin (interpreted as scale armor) and spotted hair-on hides (interpreted as appliqued metal discs). In any case, they certainly had nothing resembling Gilgamesh's suit of full plate. On the other hand, the more Nasuverse stories are published, the more it's becoming clear that this setting's history bears very little relationship to that of the real world.
    • A historically correct Saber would have used Late Roman Army equipment; i.e., chainmail, scale armour, lamellar armour, or even a muscle cuirass (most probably the lamellar, as it was the one offering the most protection and the best for a king after the muscle cuirass, who would have been discarded as too high-maintenance for Britain's economic and military situation at the time), an enclosed helmet (similar to a medieval great helm) or a ridge helmet depending on her fighting as cavalry or infantry, a round shield, a spatha and a thrusting spear, and would have worn blue war paint. But, as already stated by Type-Moon, the appearance of the Servants has been warped by how we imagine them, so Saber was summoned with a Battle Ballgown based on fifteenth- or sixteenth-century parade armour (actual combat armour would have had a large fake belly to deviate thrusting attacks) and the warpaint replaced by the blue in the armour, whereas Excalibur gets a pass because it was created by fairies with no input from Saber. On Gilgamesh's armour... He's literally antedeluvian, with his armour reflecting styles from before the Sumers, so Type-Moon got a pass to give him an armour in whatever style they wanted (and possibly influenced by him being summoned in a knightly class, so people's expectations on a knight's armour would change how he looked).
    • It's not just that Saber doesn't see herself as a woman, but that she doesn't even see herself as a human being. Combine that with the fact that she is a Servant in the Holy Grail War and that mages in the Nasuverse are extremely pragmatic and cutthroat (and her last master was also an Emiya who happened to be the most pragmatic and cutthroat of them all), then Shirou's behavior is completely mystifying until she realizes that he's basically a male version of herself (which in turn means that the stuff that she hates about him is also true about herself).
    • Chivalry isn't only about "girls are weaker so it's a man's duty to protect them". It's more about defending those who are incapable of defending themselves, which Saber goes out of her way to do. It's Shirou's inability to see Saber as anything other than "whoooo pretty girl" that blinds him to the fact that Saber could kick his ass indefinitely. His looking down on women, even if only in his head, doesn't help matters either. (He treats all the women around him this way, it's just that Saber and Sakura are the only ones who tolerate it.) Moreover, in Saber's eyes, Shirou's not insulting her as a woman, he's insulting her as a warrior, which is the only thing she maintains confidence in.
    • Shirou wasn't unable to see Saber as anything more than a pretty girl who couldn't fight; UBW and HF prove that very conclusively. He doesn't even look down on anyone, he doesn't have the self-image to. Nor is he normally sexist in the least; (aside from a line in Fate about being happy about Ayako's attempted molestation), the whole of his "sexist" behavior was his treatment of Saber for half of the Fate route. The whole point of his behavior is that he's making himself act sexist, because he doesn't know what else to do. His first instinct is to protect everyone (not women, everyone) he sees, and he's dealing with the painful double-awareness that not only is Saber directly in line to charge into mortal danger (getting almost killed by Berserker), but he's thoroughly unqualified to do anything about it. There's no logical argument to keep her from fighting, so he resorts to illogic (not helped by the fact that he's somewhat emotionally stunted). He knows she could kick his ass indefinitely, that's why he asks her to train him in swordplay (she opted instead to kick his ass up and down the dojo, teaching him how to dodge and when not to fight).
    • King Arthur was not a medieval knight, but a post-Roman Briton warleader, his mentality being more a mix of Late Western Roman and Celtic mentality than anything else. That's why Saber simply tells Shirou that her gender doesn't matter: for a Roman who lived in that era and Celts in general, if you can fight you fight, and to hell with the gender (as long as you aren't a woman with children; then, the children are the first priority). Ruling was a different matter (Romans could have been relatively liberal on gender roles, but were very wary of being ruled by women. Celts were more liberal on that, but Saber was still beyond their tolerance), but this was a fight, and she had no children to send away and protect.
    • Celtic female warriors were actually quite rare, and Roman armies practically never included female fighters. Saber's gender "doesn't matter" for reasons outlined above: Her ideal of kingship as well as the role of Grail War Servants require setting aside basic humanity.

     Heroic Spirit Future 
  • Just a little theory I worked out: about half of Saber's legend is that she is the "Once and Future King". As in she will one day return. Assuming that's cannon in the Nasuverse, after the Fate ending, she goes to Avalon, and stays there. I'm assuming that she'll return from there and save England or whatever, possibly with Shirou by her side. Afterwards, what? Would they go back to Avalon together? Would they ascend to the Throne of Heroes? If its the latter, what fame would bring them there? Imagine for a moment, that they return in the year 4000, and both their legends have been entirely forgotten. After they do whatever it is they do, would the fame of their 'old' legends, as King Arther and the Second Magus Killer, despite having been forgotten by the minds of the time, bring them there, or would it be the fame of their 'modern' legends, as the man and woman who saved England do it? Both?

    Saber as a man 

  • How in high hell was anyone able to buy that Saber was a man during her life? In the flashbacks, she was wearing a fucking dress for crying out loud! The inhabitants of Camelot would all have to have been either blind or had a severe mental illness to buy that Saber was a man.
    • ...A Wizard Did It? Good an answer as any, and they certainly had one available...
    • Who was a rampant dick in his life and was also instrumental in giving Saber one too...
    • More of a Fridge Logic mumbling, really...
    • That's the canon explanation, in fact. The wizard Merlin used illusion magic to deceive everyone.
    • What about her clone, Mordred? Seems like everyone else thought she was a guy, too. If Arthur becomes Arturia than does Mordred become Mordredia?
    • Mordra has a better ring to it, though I suppose if you're feminizing from the original Medraut you could opt for Medrau.
    • See also: Sir Bedeviere. Merlin was a busy man.
    • Not necessarily. Mamiko Noto has done guys before (see Full Metal Panic!) so it's possible Bedeviere is just as Bishōnen with a girly-sounding voice.
    • Mordred is a trap, according to Side Materials.
    • The latest Retcons have Mordred as a Sweet Polly Oliver and Bedivere as the "trap".
    • Bedivere, at least, apparently knew his king was a girl (he switches to calling her "she" instead of "he" at the last moment). He probably wasn't the only one. Any number of knights might have known the truth but kept their mouths shut because it wouldn't do anyone any good to speak up.
    • Lancelot also knew, as well as Guinevere and what is implied to be all the Knights of the Round—as in, all her closest confidents. Judging by some comments in the Fate route, it's very likely that a lot of people at least suspected but didn't want to admit it because that meant losing a very good king.
    • When she pulled the sword from the stone, she could pass for a young squire boy, and the knights justified it with the sword's eternal youth source that she stayed like that.
    • The materials for Fate/Extra state that Gawain acted as her kagemusha, the man who appeared as her in public while she ran things behind the scenes, and only really appeared when it was time for battle.

    Saber name 

  • Servant Saber. All of the other class titles are for people wielding a certain weapon or technique, but the Saber class is named for the weapon itself. Shouldn't the title technically be Sabreur (a person who wields a saber)? Or, since Saber is female and the word comes from French, Sabreuse? ...You know what, never mind, it doesn't bug me as much any more.
    • I think it would be Sabrice, actually.
    • A lance is a specific sort of weapon under the general heading of pole-arm. Yet, Lancer is Lancer, not Pole-armer, though someone using a halberd, bardiche, sickle, or staff would qualify for being summoned as Lancer. The real reason is because Sworder sounds stupid and Knight applies too broadly.
    • Also, a saber is a specific type of a sword, just like a lance is a specific type of pole-arm. And yet Lancer is called neither "Pole-arm" nor "Pole-armer" nor "Lance," but rather "Lancer," an occupation name derived from one of the sub-types of polearms. In the same vein, Archer's name is the occupation name for someone who shoots a bow, a sub-type of personal ranged weaponry, similarly to how Lancer's name came to be. And going with that, Saber isn't called "Sword" nor "Sworder," but she is still called "Saber," which is the name of a weapon rather than an occupation name derived from it (which would be "Sabreur") which ought to be used instead. And it should go without saying that the sort of weapon Saber uses is a not a saber at all, but rather a longsword, which makes the seemingly-snarky "Yet, Lancer is Lancer not Pole-armer, though someone using a halberd, bardiche, sickle, or staff would qualify for being summoned as Lancer" response appear stupid. Not to even mention that "Knight" is a part of the class name for Saber, as well as Archer and Lancer, and though it is only off-handedly mentioned in the visual novel (where it is mentioned that "these three are the knight classes") it still serves as something to further highlight the above response as not necessarily good.
      So back to the original question: why "Saber" instead of "Sabreur"?
    • Consistency in another direction. All of the other classes other than Assassin (which is already an oddity in itself, what with few heroes really qualifying) follow a naming convention of ending in -er. When you line 'em up it looks nice and neat, with only Assassin really standing out (which I feel is intentional). Also, "Saber" is a word that just about everybody will recognize on some level. My response to Sabreur was "huhn???" which isn't a good thing when you're trying to make a point. TL;DR: Saber fits the naming convention visually, if not grammatically.
    • Thank you. That one is an answer I can accept.
    • It could also have to do with the difficulty of pronouncing "Sabreur" using Japanese syllables.
    • It's also a pun. Japanese has no V-sound, so V is often transcribed as B instead. Of course, 'seibaa' is obviously a transcription of 'saber', but if you remember that B can also be transcribed from V, you get the other meaning - saver. Saber-class servants are the strongest servants, pretty much always making it to the final battles of the Grail Wars, so a Master with a Saber-class Servant could be said to have been saved from the War.

    Avalon's location 

  • Where did Avalon go after the last battle of the Fate scenario?
    • With Saber. It was her Phantasm originally after all.
    • Why and how? This Avalon isn't a copy made by the Grail, it's the original. It shouldn't disappear with Saber when she does.
    • Saber's not a traditional heroic spirit, but more of a pseudo-Counter Guardian. She's actually alive, not a spirit, and thus was never in the Throne of Heroes, where the Grail gets the rest of the spirits. The Grail doesn't get a copy of her and Excalibur; it's the real Arturia summoned each time from her dying place. If the Grail summoned her as a true spirit, she'd probably have Avalon, anyway; it's associated with her and her deeds, regardless of whether she had it in the end (which might also explain why Medea has the Golden Fleece as a Noble Phantasm). Presumably, she took it with her on her final trip back to Camlann, where she finally died. As for why she died when she had Avalon? Well, even with Avalon, Shirou can still die if the wounds are serious enough...or, more importantly, when he gives up (see Bad End #11 in Fate). Arturia's job was finished and her fate was fulfilled, so it's plausible that she chose to die after making sure Bedivere returned Exaclibur to the Lady of the Lake.
    • But that makes no sense. Where's Avalon now then? It's Kirk's glasses all over again... Oh, wait, let's see, there's the initial Avalon which was stolen from Arturia, and was eventually excavated from Cornwall and used to summon her into the present. Kiritsugu then uses it to save Shiro from death by immolation. Eventually, Shiro gives it back to Arturia, and it travels back in time with Arturia to the point of her death. Then, she spends ages inside it until Shiro/Archer dies and rejoins her, as seen in the Last Episode. Correct? Any missing details?
    • Other than missing the detail that Avalon the fairyland and Avalon the scabbard are two different things, no, that's about it. And considering how the scabbard was traveling before (most notably with Shirou), I'd say Arturia took it with her.
    • Though the scabbard and the fairyland do have a strong link, as the scabbard's defense is that it draws its wielder into the fairyland, preventing them from taking damage from attacks.
    • Wait, if she already had Avalon during her very last moments of death, how come it didn't heal her?
    • Already answered, four posts above. "Well, even with Avalon, Shirou can still die if the wounds are serious enough...or, more importantly, when he gives up (see Bad End #11 in Fate). Arturia's job was finished and her fate was fulfilled, so it's plausible that she chose to die after making sure Bedivere returned Exaclibur to the Lady of the Lake."
    • Alternatively, Sequel Hook.
    • Avalon is most likely just gone. It's mentioned in one of the extra materials supplements that legendary weapons typically end up disappearing from the world entirely, becoming Noble Phantasms of the heroes they are most closely associated with. Fragarach is explicitly pointed out as being one of the only weapons of myth and legend that still actually exists outside the Throne of Heroes. Avalon existed to be found only because myth says it was lost. Returning it to Arturia completes its story, and thus negates its reason to continue existing as a physical object. Of course, the legends all say it was lost forever. This means that the most likely scenario for Avalon after the Fate route is that it disappears from the physical world, but doesn't become a Noble Phantasm for anyone because legend says it was never recovered and legend has greater influence than reality on these things.
    • I may be missing something, but could it not be an Object Loop? Someone (possibly Merlin) stole Avalon and sent it into the future, it winds up in Cornwall where it stayed until it was excavated and used in the fourth Grail War, then in the Fifth war Shirou gives it back, Saber takes it back with her when she returns to her own time, dies, Bedivere chucks it in the lake along with Excalibur, and it's dug back up and used in the Fourth war again. Course, this doesn't explain why Excalibur didn't come along for the ride, and I'm not even sure where Camlann is, let alone if its anywhere near Cornwall. So this is probably a load of bollocks. But whatever, it's a theory at least.

    The ending of Fate 

  • Well, the ending of the Fate route. Shirou uses his command spell on Saber and together, they destroy the Holy Grail, like it was done ten years ago. Later, we get a shot of Arturia, after the battle in her own time, finally peacefully falling asleep dying...so, what happens next to her? Technically, she destroyed the Holy Grail, just like ten years ago, under the influence of a command spell. It's just that this time, she was willing to do it anyway. Does this nullify her contract? Or does willingly destroying it qualify as getting the Holy Grail for the contract, since she wasn't stuck anymore in time? But now, what's going to happen to her? Does her part of the contract appear fulfilled, so she'll now be a normal Heroic Spirit, like all the others? (She'd also keep her memories of her encounter with Shirou, etc., since she was technically alive all the time, no?) If so, couldn't Shirou just train magic like crazy and then recreate Avalon to summon the girl he loves again? He should be able to find SOME way to keep her magical thirst sustained if he tries hard enough...if Arturia doesn't become a Heroic Spirit, what happens to her soul, then? Does it go to Avalon? Or simply to whatever the place is called the souls of the dead go to in the Nasuverse, if there is one? Her soul isn't simply going to vanish, is it?
    • Yes, her contract is nullified following the Fate route. The exact reason why isn't certain. It is either because she willfully destroyed the Grail (as opposed to in the previous war, where she was fighting against the command), or else because Shirou convinced her that she shouldn't change the past, and thus that she should cancel the contract. As a result, she will become an ordinary Heroic Spirit, because her deal was to become a Counter Guardian (what Archer is) in return for obtaining the Grail. She doesn't need to have a contract with the world to become a Heroic Spirit, because she's a hero. Because she was alive during the war, she would indeed remember Shirou if she were summoned (assuming that he summoned the version of her from the Fate route, as opposed to one of the hundreds of other versions...). However, summoning a servant without the power of the Holy Grail is simply not possible, because it requires too much prana. And, even if he could summon her, he couldn't sustain her without the Grail's help (although Rin and Sakura demonstratably could). As for the general Nasuverse afterlife, there isn't one. When someone dies, their soul disperses and returns to the Akasha to be recycled. The only exception to this is if the soul in question has made a contract to become a Counter Guardian (like Archer) or is powerful enough to be eligible for the Throne of Heroes (as Saber would almost certainly be). So, no, her soul won't vanish after she dies, but the souls of all the human characters (Rin, Sakura, Shirou etc.) will, unless they make a contract to become a Counter Guardian.
    • Or unless they perform sufficient deeds to reach the Throne of heroes, as it is hinted Shirou does.
    • It's made clear in the Nasuverse that it's virtually impossible for a modern person to become a Heroic Spirit. In addition, to become one, you have to be famous, and Shirou's actions will necessarily have to be kept secret since they involve magic. The only way that Shirou (or any of the other human members of the cast) will have their souls survive after death is if they choose to become a Counter Guardian.
    • Except he does manage to become a Heroic Spirit.
    • There actually is another way for someone to escape the cycle, after a fashion. It involves imprinting your soul with your personality and memory (a.k.a. the Roa method). It's imperfect, but it works.
    • And as of Realta Nua, we have an answer. A surprisingly upbeat one given its Nasu. Saber went to Avalon, and Shirou managed to change his version of Archer into someone qualified for the same. Apparently true love can tell the rules of the world to kick it.

    Saber in earlier Grail Wars 

  • Why did Saber Arturia only show up for the Fourth and Fifth Wars? According to her, her deal with the World was to be summoned to every opportunity to find the Holy Grail. Even if the Masters didn't have anything of hers, shouldn't she still have somehow been summoned to the First through Third Wars as well?
    • No artifact, no summoning. Not even the world can break the rules of summoning.
    • Saber is not guaranteed to be summoned at every possible chance to get the grail, in fact the nature of her contract makes that impossible. She will be summoned at a chance to obtain the grail and if she should fail will be summoned at another one, a process that will repeat until she gets the grail. This means she will not appear at all the chances to get the grail that come after she finally gets it (or abandons her deal as she does in Fate). Since she is divorced from time and space during this process, she doesn't need to take each chance on in chronological order.
    • I assumed based on reading Fate/Stay/Night she was supposed to have been, but that this was retconned in Fate/Zero.

    Saber's gender 

  • Okay, maybe it's a stupid question, but why is Saber female? At one point they say that some Servants are characters who never existed in the first place, but that doesn't matter because a Servant is his own legend. The fact that the legend exists shapes it and its Noble Phantasms. But all the legends say that King Arthur was male. Won't it make sense for the avatar of the legend to also be male?
    • It's possible that, regardless of the legends' effects on their capabilities, the Throne of Heroes still copies who the legend in question was at the time of their death. Assassin was an oddball probably because he was summoned with a genuine Noble Phantasm, but no corresponding heroic spirit; he genuinely was constructed based on the legends, and it's likely that if there had been a real Kojirou who was a woman, she would have been a female servant. That said...Saber's a bad example. Even if the rest of this answer is false, she'd still be a woman because she's alive. Kiritsugu and Shirou didn't summon the King Arthur spirit, they actually summoned Arturia herself.
    • All the heroes summoned during the Fifth War were real people. Assassin was a farmer who happened to be the only person who ever developed the skill that Koujirou was famous for.
    • Arturia isn't real in the same sense as the others are. When any other Heroic Spirit gets summoned you're summoning the spirit into a prepared body. That's why the Classes exist. When you summmon Arturia you are actually summoning the flesh and blood person Arturia from the point she made her deal with the World. That's why she doesn't have Avalon when Kiritsugu and Shirou summon her, it's because at that point in time she had lost it. If you were summoning the Heroic Spirit Arturia she would still have Avalon. As for False Assassin, all that he seems certain about is that someone came up with his famous technique and that someone named Koujirou actually existed.
    • If you want the out-of-universe reason, Saber actually was supposed to be a fully male King Arthur when Nasu originally planned for the series to be a novel. When he was convinced to publish it as an eroge instead, he made Saber female so she could be one of the heroines.
  • Saber's incredibly high Magic Resistance derives by her dragon blood. Yet, in the myth Caster was, among other things, a dragon tamer. How is that her Magic Resistance still works with her?
    • Because it's tamer, not slayer. Had she been known for slaying a dragon, it would have worked, but you don't get bonuses to damage for being cuddly with something.
    • Plus, the dragon in Colchis was specifically given by gods themselves to be subserviant to the Colchis Royal bloodline, because Castor's father was in good graces with Ares(who was the Dragon's owner). It's a lot easier to subdue a dragon when it actually stays still and listen to you. A whole different matter when it's charging at you and want to cut your head off.
  • So, Saber is King Arthur, right? Except she's really a cross-dressing woman and favors masculine nouns, e.g. "king" instead of "queen (regnant)". So, how does Arthur's Bastard Bastard son Sir Mordred also exist, as we see in one of Saber's memories? Was Morgan le Fay gender-flipped in the Nasuverse, too?note 
    • Mordred was a magically-engineered homunculus clone of Arturia, created by Morgan using sperm cells stolen from Arturia when Merlin had used magic to temporarily endow her with male organs. Yes, it's just that simple!


    Sex scene 

  • Rin Tohsaka, winner of the coveted "Shiki Tohno Award for Bedroom Jackassery" for her work with Saber during the Fate route seems to lose that competence during her own sex scene in Unlimited Blade Works. Kind of an odd thing to be bugged about, but...when even Shirou is wondering "Wait, are you sure that was enough foreplay?" you kinda lose at least some of your right to complain about the result...
    • Or Rin's simple preference. Maybe she just always wanted to Break the Cutie.
    • I guess so. She did somehow climax despite intense pain...maybe she's a masochist. Or, alternately, she wanted to subvert Break the Cutie.
    • She has an easier time taking charge when she herself is not in the picture. Rin's character has perpetually shown some kind of vulnerability about herself.
    • Her reluctance to taking off most of her clothes lends credence to this idea.
    • Actually, that's something else. Rin's spell requires both of them to climax at the same time (which...makes sense, actually). It's one of the funniest moments of that scene when Shirou realizes that they're two virgins trying to reach simultaneous orgasm...and they have one shot at it. But there are other methods of doing that; why oh why did Rin choose full-on intercourse? They'd have been screwed if Shirou's Determinator abilities didn't apply to both love and war...
    • As the above troper has noted, Rin prefers to normally lead from outside the picture. When she actually gets directly involved in something she tends to make irrational decisions. Heck, when it comes to emotions, Rin's a Glass Cannon.
    • But she was in the picture in Fate. And when I say "picture", I mean "Saber's vagina". She was probably thinking like Shirou, that being forced into having sex with your love interest is awkward. Having a Mate or Die situation with Saber, a neutral friend, was bearable, so she could as well learn to enjoy it, but she 'really, really, really didn't want to have sex with Shirou in this way.
    • Plus, Rin is a Tsundere. She's usually always tsun-tsun to most people, more so with Shirou, but then gets all dere-dere with the right trigger, also mostly with Shirou.

    Fate sex 

  • (Fate) Rin: The Deus Sex Machina. Okay, so if that was an option all along, why did Rin browbeat Shirou into ordering his servant to consume people's souls? It even goes against Rin's own philosophy. Why didn't she just do the Deus Sex Machina sooner and avert all that meaningless crap?
    • I got the impression that she wasn't entirely sure it would work, and it took a desperate situation to force her hand (and Shirou's and Saber's, as well). Not sure why she wouldn't be sure, since that's apparently how Kuzuki (a non-mage) saved Caster (and elsewhere, how Shiki saved Len)...maybe it's just a gap in her knowledge.
    • A few times, it's subtly hinted that Rin had feelings for Shirou all along (remember when Lancer stabbed Shirou? Why else would she say "why did it have to be you?"). Something like that would explain why Rin would be reluctant to suggest that Saber and Shirou should just shag each other when there're still other viable options.
    • I interpreted that line as Rin knowing that Sakura had a major crush on Shirou, and her not wanting to let Sakura experience the grief of having her love be a killed bystander of the Holy Grail War. Conveniently, this also works for being reluctant to have Shirou and Saber do some tantric loving.
    • That line was about Sakura. There are some other hints that she was attracted to Shirou, though. It could be that she was and simply didn't want to make any sort of move because of Saber and then Shirou's depression. That's not likely why she didn't mention it, though, so much as "Hey Shirou, did you know that if you slept with Saber it might possibly form a proper link between you two?" is a bit... awkward. Also, Saber would agree to it (says so in HF when Taiga is worried about Shirou trying to rape her and she says, "Oh, he can do that if he wants") but Shirou wouldn't.
    • I do think she has feelings for Shirou, she did say in HF that she saw Shirou a few years back (the time after Kiritsugu died) trying to jump at something (is it a pole or a fence?) and never giving up even from so many failed attemps (this makes Sakura very jealous, because she thought that that precious memory was only hers and thought no one else even knew about it).
    • She does. She was watching the same scene as Sakura was, at the same time, and fell in love with him in just the same way (incidentally, he was attempting to jump a high-jump pole that was set way too high for him). But, she doesn't rely on him in the same way as Sakura does, because her life doesn't suck anywhere near as much. As for Sakura becoming jealous, remember that, at that point, she's being heavily influenced by Angra Mainyu.
    • She was winding him up, possibly in conjunction with a hint of a Secret Test of Character. She knew full well that he wouldn't do it, and even if he agreed, Saber wouldn't. But, she knew the sort of response it would get (and, at this point, she was still telling herself that they would end up as enemies eventually anyway, IIRC), so she decided to have a bit of fun. Even if it genuinely was the only option, I don't think Rin would actually have condoned it.

    HF and Assassin and Shadow 

  • Um, Heavens-Feel!Rin? Didn't you notice that you were being chased by both Assassin and the Shadow? Why on Earth did you stop running after your Servant pwned Assassin? Did you get the Idiot Ball tossed to you while I wasn't looking?
    • Rin does tend to screw up at the last moment.
    • Yeah, but it's easier to forget that your clock is set wrong than to forget that you're being chased by two people.
    • Justified here. Rin turned around to check on Archer, and the Shadow then showed up behind her... Which means it TELEPORTED IN FRONT OF THEM!

    HF and Rin and Sakura 

  • Okay, Rin. Heaven's Feel. Someone please explain to me the rationale behind her actions in her fight with Sakura at the very end. She pulls a victory out of her ass with the Zelretch sword, manages to get Sakura to the point where she's emotionally collapsing and ready to surrender, and then basically says "So you've been raped, abused, and cornered all your life, and now you're crazy. Boo fucking hoo." What the hell?! How can she not tell that this is a massively bad idea? (It nets her a Fate Worse Than Death in the last bad end, where Saber is still alive to come help when Sakura gets enraged again!) Did Rin have a real reason to do this, or is it just her Idiot Ball-magnet status coming back to take a bite out of her bum? It makes no sense to me.
    • It's easy to understand if you realise that Rin went there to kill her sister. So, she's (a) buying time for Shirou, because Shirou is the only one who can save her, but she's also (b) steeling herself for her planned Shoot the Dog moment, by denying her feelings for her sister, and shrugging off her sympathy for her. And it didn't end up so bad—it broke Sakura out of her self-pity and thus her control of the Sealed Evil in a Can.
    • I'll give you that she might secretly be trying to make herself feel less sorry for Sakura in order to be able to kill her. Still, what was Rin thinking? It only made Sakura angrier and more dangerous, and let's face it, we know that if Shirou doesn't kill Saber it means Rin's screwed. You can harden your heart against someone without pissing someone off so badly she decides to see how you like it, Rin's done so plenty of times before.
    • Actually, Rin's dick-move did NOT snap Sakura out of her self-pity, as shown in the last bad ending that it only made her more angry and unstable. It was Rin's comfort and apology at the end that snapped her out of it.
    • It did more than just make her angrier: The narration flat out states that Sakura was about to give up when Rin decided that was the time to practice Brutal Honesty.
    • I thought the actual line was more along the lines of "Your life was bad, I'll give you that, but now you've lost it and wrecked the lives of a lot more people" which is a bit more understandable.
    • I'm too lazy to open up my Day 16 file and get the actual lines, but what Rin does is coldly state that okay, Sakura's life sucked and now she's a monster, so? She seems to be implying that this is the natural order of things and it's stupid for Sakura to complain about it. (After that she goes, "Well, my life wasn't perfect either"—that's our Rin, can't drum up the tact to save her own life.)
    • Call it an Idiot Ball if you want. Frankly, a duel of mini-apocalyptic proportions with extremely intense emotions running high never seemed to me like a place to expect rational thought, especially not in a pair of teenage girls..
    • ^^ Since I just completed HF two nights ago I can confirm that that's pretty much exactly what Rin says and what is meant to be implied. As a few others have said, it's just her way of hardening herself to kill her sister, but it's just a colossally dumb and spiteful thing to say. How she caps it off with the equivalent of "So you've been raped and tortured for the past 11 years and that sucks, but hey, my life was no bed of roses either" almost makes her deserve that last bad end in my eyes. Okay, so in the end it turns out she really does love Sakura after all, but for most of their interactions she just comes off as a total bitch.

    Chinese cooking 

  • At some point in the VN it's mentioned that Rin's specialty is Chinese food. How and why did she learn Chinese cuisine of all things? The only connection I can see there is, well, Kirei, but that would imply that he taught her how to cook. The idea of Kirei donning an apron and giving little Rin cooking lessons is mind-blowing, oddly funny, and confusingly heartwarming (for all the wrong reasons) to say the least.
    • Actually, since he seems to live alone it's perfectly reasonable he'd learn how to cook, and it does seem that Kirei taught Rin what she'd need to know to live alone even if he wasn't nice about it.


    Archer versus Berserker 

  • On Fate route, when Archer faces Berserker by himself he loses, we already know that since he used a lot of mana healing the wound that Saber inflicted on him and because of that he wasn't able to use UBW (because if he was able he should be able to easly defeat him, as Gil pointed out that Berserker is weak to Storm of Blades). Then, if he wasnt able to defeat it via UBW then why the hell didn't he trace Berserker's sword and use Nine Lives Works? Heaven's Feel shows that Shirō defeated Berserker nine times using Nine Lives Works (obviously) using Archer's power, so if Shirō was able to then why the hell wasn't Archer?
    • Because Dark Berserker is explicitly weaker than Heracles in top form, he doesn't have anyone directing him, and he's blind to boot. Berserker's tactics may be fairly straightforward while he's under Mad Enhancement, but he's still normally lucid enough to defend himself if need be. In dark form, he was basically blind, rabid, and confused, and ran straight into Shirou's attack (and it didn't help him that he paused a split-second when he heard Ilya's voice, long enough for Shirou to finish him). Also, even if Archer had access to UBW, he would still have had a helluva time fighting Berserker straight-up. It's not that Heracles is weak against Storm of Blades, it's that Gil's Gate of Babylon barrage was forcing him to shield Ilya at the same time (something Archer simply wouldn't do). And even then, Gil actually won the fight by making Berserker sit there and take it with Enkidu.
    • There is no guarantee that Archer's victory would have been certain had he managed to manifest UBW. Berserker is not weak to Storm of Blades ,it's just that you need a host of different NPs that are above B-rank just to stand a minor chance against him. It's quite likely that UBW does not have as many different NPs as GoB, and the weapons in UBW are all one rank lower than their original versions. Gilgamesh, even though he had the prototypes of almost all the NPs (which are usually stronger than their later incarnations) needed dozens of shots to weaken Berserker, and even after that he had to pull out his tramp card (Enkidu) to stop Berserker. Plus, as the troper above pointed out, Berserker was also burdened with having to shield Ilya.
    • Also, Archer is implied to be attempting to keep his nature as a Faker completely secret, even in the face of certain death. Using Nine Lives or even simply tracing Berserker's sword would've given him away (and, from a Doylist perspective, would've ruined the mystique behind him that would be explained in the UBW route).

    Archer's amnesia 

  • Everybody I see on forums talks about how Archer gets amnesia when Rin summons him. After playing the translated Fate and Unlimited Blade Works (Heaven's Feel is still being translated as of this writing), I don't see how that's true. Archer was clearly faking Laser-Guided Amnesia the entire time.

    Archer and Avalon 

  • Speaking of Archer, during his fight with Lancer in Unlimited Blade Works, when Lancer fires Gae Bolg at him, why doesn't he use Avalon?
    • Avalon is Saber's Noble Phantasm, not Archer's; it's tied to her soul, not his, and Shirou was just holding it in his gut. Even assuming that Archer-Shirou didn't give it back to Saber during his original incarnation, it wouldn't have stuck with him after he died.
    • Archer's ability is to recreate any Noble Phantasm, though one rank weaker. The reason he didn't Trace Avalon is probably because it's a power hog. Tracing something as powerful as Avalon would leave him badly weakened and probably unable to fight.
    • He also clearly didn't expect Rho Aias to almost fail. Still, there's also the fact that he mentions that Rho Aias is the strongest shield he has available, suggesting he either can't project Avalon or didn't think of it. Since he's clearly not Fate-route Shirou (the one who finds out about Avalon), that seems sort of plausible.
    • Archer also knew about Avalon, and says as much during his battle with Shirou in UBW. Quote from "Answer": "Her sheath...! Its protection is still there even though the contract no longer exists...!"
    • In that case, either "power hog" (EX-rank Noble Phantasm, after all) or "didn't think of it" (Rho Aias being cheaper to use, more used overall, and designed to counter projectiles) are the most plausible answers. Or maybe Shirou can only project it because he was connected with Saber recently.
    • Having just recently slogged through UBW myself, I'm pretty sure "power hog" is the answer. For Archer and Shirou, projecting anything that isn't a sword takes a lot more mana. For Archer to project Avalon powerfully enough to stop even Gae Bolg's reversal of causality would probably have taken everything he had and then some. Even Rho Aias took a crapton of mana, and was only able to match — not outmatch — Gae Bolg's killing power.
    • Avalon didn't do anything when it was merely embedded in Shirou. It needed Saber around to channel magic into it in order to heal Shirou. Since Archer no longer has a contract with Saber or Avalon itself anymore, it presumably wouldn't do anything for him.
    • I just thought of something. Avalon is the strongest or second-strongest Noble Phantasm we know about...and we know that Archer can't project the other one. Maybe Avalon and Ea are both otherworldly.
    • They are. Ea is constructed of non-worldly materials and in a style Shirou simply can't grasp, and Avalon was constructed by fairies and also partially resides in the spiritual realm. That's why it's such a perfect defense; it shifts the user into that plane temporarily. However, Archer still ought to be able to project it almost effortlessly, as he appears to have a perfect memory of scanned items and knows Avalon even better than all those copies. Why didn't he use it? One, he didn't think he needed it, plus he might not have had time as it seems to work a little slower than Rho Aias. Two, to avoid revealing his identity to the audience Lancer and therefore Kotomine and Gilgamesh. Lancer would say, "Oh, that must be King Arthur" and tell Kotomine, but Kotomine knows Arthur is Arturia and probably a bit about Avalon being stuck in Shirou. No reason he needs to know something potentially dangerous like that. Even Caster knowing made her put an unhealthy interest in Shirou.
    • Three, he might not have thought it would work at all. Considering his surprise that Avalon was still working for Shirou after Saber became Rin's servant, he might have thought it would require a connection with Arturia to work...or possibly Archer is from a timeline where he never projected Avalon himself.
    • Bottom line, apparently, is that one or more of these reasons (lack of power, impractical use, imprudent use, didn't think it'd work, didn't think of it at all) is the one, and any of them is plausible enough to solve the Fridge Logic.
    • After having done Fate again I doubt it's lack of power. Shirou projected a perfect Avalon at the end of the fight barely spending any energy at all, explicitely noting that because he knows it so well it's very easy to do so. So, Archer probably didn't do it because it requires Saber's magical energy to work, meaning requiring a contract and preferably a close contact.
    • "Barely spending any energy"? What do you think that scene where all of his magic circuits flare open is for? Decoration?
    • Look, its very simple. Archer clearly has Avalon still in his body. Rin complains that his healing abilities don't work for wounds inflicted by Saber. Archer's power is to copy any weapon he has seen, but he's never seen Avalon, because it's still inside his body. Shirou is only capable of Tracing Avalon after it has been removed from his body, when Saber gives it shape. Since Archer has never seen Avalon's true form, he can't Project it.
    • There is a canon answer to this. Complete Material explicitly states Shirou (and by extension Archer) can only project Avalon when having a contract with Saber. Archer simply cannot use Avalon because he has no contract with Saber. Likewise, Shirou cannot project Avalon after Saber's gone.

    Archer's shield 

  • Also, Archer. We know he has a shield and a lot of swords, so why the hell is it that whenever he takes a blow for Rin he has to do it himself and not, say, use his shield or a random sword for it?
    • I'm not sure how difficult or time-consuming it would be for Archer to conjure up a weapon or shield. Remember that he only gets his "instant mass-conjuration of weapons" ability when he is within his Reality Marble, Unlimited Blade Works. He does seem to conjure up Kansho and Bakuya pretty quickly, though, maybe because he uses them a lot and they are usually very low-ranked weapons.
    • It takes a bit of time for Archer to put up Rho Aius. In his fight with Lancer, he had to put away his swords, concentrate, and only summoned Rho Aius right before Gae Bolg collided.
    • There's also the fact that despite all the differences between them, Archer is still Shirou on some level and may still have a bit of that Martyr Without a Cause attitude and that infamous predisposition for Taking the Bullet programmed into him. See his battle with Berserker in the anime, for instance; he could have run away after a while like Rin told him to, but instead he stays and tries to take Berserker down on his own.
    • Who says he didn't? We don't see how Archer took the blow, since Shirou's arm was melting off. The shadow's attack might have burned through the shield he put up.
    • Which turned out to be vital, really.

    Archer and Rule Breaker 

  • Still on Archer, about UBW, he betrays Rin and joins Caster to remove his contract, and in Heaven's Feel we discover that Archer is perfectly capable of tracing and using his own Rule Breaker, so why did he go to that ridiculous measure?
    • Convenience, probably. Joining Caster meant he'd have a master (of some sort, at least), and not have to work with the two-day time limit. Alternatively, he was just being an asshole.
    • Problem is, he could Rule Breaker himself at any moment he wanted, and choose the moment when the two-day time limit comes into effect.
    • Maybe it only works if someone else stabs you. I'm only vaguely aware of the circumstances, but when Medea had to escape her first master, didn't she slit his throat instead of rule-breaking herself?
    • Then he was probably being an asshole. Specifically betraying your master and joining the other side would probably hurt someone more than breaking your own contract, stabbing your past existence, and buggering off. Unless he still wanted to get to the Holy Grail, for whatever reason (Rin probably wouldn't have taken him back if he left and stabkilled Shirou).
    • I think that switching to the more powerful side is less asshole-ish than just leaving your Master for your own agenda, but... I might be misremembering this, but does Rule Breaker show up in Fate? Has Archer actually seen it? If not, then he couldn't Trace it beforehand.
    • Pretty sure this is the answer. He only knew of its existence because Shirou and Rin saw it used on Saber. In HF, Shirou saw it himself early on, in a clear example of Chekhov's Gun.
    • He was trying to create a situation that would lead to Shirou's death AND the destruction of the Grail. He betrayed Rin in order to later have her and Saber form a contract after killing himself. Or at least that's my interpretion based on him saying, "Damnit, they shouldn't have formed a contract yet," after Rin and Saber form a contract when he is about to kill Shirou following his betrayal of Caster.
    • The key to that scene is context. If you watch the Bad End for that scene, it's pretty obvious that Archer is trying to get Shiro and Rin out of there alive; he doesn't consider their chances against Caster, Kuzuki and Saber to be good. You'll notice that in all the scenes where Archer is an asshole complete asshole to Rin, there really isn't a credible alternative—unless you think he should have taken on Gilgamesh without a master. In the later scene where he gives Shinji to Rin, he probably assumed that Rin would use a Command Spell out of desperation and summon Saber, fixing the Shinji problem as well as the Saber protecting Shiro problem in one go.
    • It's because at that point in the story, Caster didn't know he could copy other people's weapons, so he didn't want her to know that. Hell, I'm not sure if anyone knew he could do that (See: Lancer thinking Rho Aias is Archer's Noble Phantasm). Given what he was planning, he probably didn't want to tip his hand on that earlier than needed, and with Caster standing right there it wasn't really necessary for him to do it himself.

    Archer, Rule Breaker, and Sakura 

  • STILL on Archer, now HF, since we KNOW he can trace and use Rule Breaker, and we KNOW it works to dispel all magical contracts, why didn't he just stab Sakura with it SOONER?
    • Rule Breaker doesn't work on Sakura until she's fully possessed by the Grail. It's mentioned.
    • I'm guessing he either didn't figure out that it was Sakura before he died, or he didn't want to deal with Rider.
    • It could be that due to Shirou's character development in HF, he is incapable of following the superhero ideal to the Counter Guardian ending; therefore, Archer would not know what is going on and be able to use his knowledge to end it quickly.
    • Rider wasn't there or she'd've done something to Rin when Rin was openly talking about killing Sakura, and it's very unlikely Archer wouldn't know what Rin does.
    • Yes, but Rin at that point doesn't know that Sakura is the shadow. She just thinks that Sakura is going to go mad from a lack of prana, which isn't anything to do with Angra Mainyu's possession, and thus isn't curable with Rule Breaker. If Rin knew that Sakura was the shadow she would have killed her, most likely with Sakura's blessing (if Rin told her what she had been doing), or at very least they would have gone to confront Zouken instantly (and thus gotten her either freed or killed). There is a big difference between having the potential to freak out and kill lots of people, and having done so on a nightly basis for the last week.

    Archer versus Saber 

  • Why does Archer attack Saber with Kanshou & Bakuya? The dude can make any sword on the face of the planet, why not just use some sword that Saber would be really weak against (like an anti-dragon attribute sword)?
    • He's most skilled at K&B, using something he's worse in against Saber might be a quick way to die.
    • He also has his secret technique, the one Shirou traces in HF, that just might work against Saber.
    • If Fate/Unlimited Codes teaches us anything, it's that Crane Wing: Triple Strike kills whoever blocks it.
    • Also, supplementary material reveals that K & B have "Anti-King" properties (When they were created, it was prophesied that they would one day slay a king). Saber is weak to them in the same way that she is to Dragon-Slaying weapons.

    Archer and Caliburn 

  • Why doesn't Archer just kill Berserker with Caliburn once he's activated Unlimited Blade Works?
    • Could he actually do that? I thought the reason Berserker was killed seven times over was because Saber was using the sword. Not to mention that the fact that it could do that came as kind of a surprise to everyone.
    • Well, he does threaten to trace and than break Excalibur against Saber, which is presumably more powerful than Caliburn. Although, if he did that, he might end up destroying the entire mansion and a large chunk of the forest.
    • Also, consider that breaking Excalibur was such a threat because even if Saber survived the blast, Shirou and Rin wouldn't. Meaning using an attack of that level on Berserker would have had a pretty huge chance of killing Ilya, which is one of the very few things that Archer absolutely Will Not Do.
    • He also said that using Excalibur would kill himself as well, though that might have been from the fact that two Excaliburs would be going off in his face. Of course, against Berserker he was still heavily injured from his initial fight against Saber, which might have limited his ability to kill Berserker 12/13 times from close range before getting offed himself, and rendered him incapable of opening up the range between them.

    Archer and Enkidu 

  • Why doesn't Archer doesn't trace Enkidu against Herc? He could easily hold him off for a long time while raining his weapons using UBW like Gil, or hell, why doesn't Shirou himself use it in the end of UBW?
    • Maybe the same as the "Why didn't Archer project Avalon" point. Archer's and Shirou's projection magic is really designed to create weapons (swords in particular); the only non-weapon we've ever seen either of them project is Rho Aias. So, there are three possible answers: A) They just can't, since it's not in their purview, B) They're not strong enough, since it takes much more power for them to project a non-weapon (and we don't know Enkidu's rank), or C) Even if they're strong enough to project it, since it's not a weapon and thus not in UBW they couldn't use it properly if they did (it's a lot harder to wrap a chain around someone in combat than to put a shield in front of you).
    • But Shirou successfully projects Avalon at the end of the Fate route. Heck, he even does it without diminishing it a rank.
    • Because until a few hours earlier, it had been a part of his soul. By that point, it really was his Noble Phantasm as well as Saber's.
    • But since Archer is future Shirou, he should have had just as strong a connection with Avalon if not more. Going by that logic, it really "should" be "Archer's" Noble Phantasm too. He should be able trace Avalon as well. However, it's probably not efficient or a power hog or one of the reason's covered in a post earlier.
    • Well, it has been a long time since he's had any connection at all with Saber, which might explain it (though he's visibly surprised when Shirou doesn't lose all his healing factor, despite not being contracted to Saber). Or maybe, just maybe...Archer can project Avalon with the ease that Shirou can, but just doesn't know it. This is easier to think if he never learned about Avalon as Shirou...but that doesn't seem to fit his knowledge. However, his words make it seem like he believes Avalon has no power without Saber backing it up (a plausible assumption given the two times we've seen it projected). A related question is whether or not he still has Avalon, himself. If he doesn't, that might explain why he doesn't think of using it (or any of the arguments in the above bullet list). If in the off-chance that he does, it would be easier to see why he's so unkillable in UBW...
    • Well, Avalon is specifically noted not to do anything without some magical energy running through it and since it doesn't work with what Shirou himself has, it probably HAS to be Saber providing it.
    • Also, perhaps he has difficulty tracing Enkidu, what with it being a chain and not a sword.

    Archer's life 

  • It annoys me that we know so little of Archer's life. We only know a few facts. I wish they would release a light novel or something covering Archer's life.
    • Uhhhh. This isn't going to happen, unfortunately. You see, Archer is Shirou from an ending of the never-released Ilya route. Maybe if Fate/Stay Night gets a re-release in a couple of years, we'll get that route, but otherwise....
    • What? It doesn't even have to be part of the visual novel. I'm talking about supplementary material here.
    • To write out Archer's life is to basically open up an entire new timeline. That would be far too much trouble for what it's worth. Imagine, for example, if Archer's story expanded the Nasuverse timeline by fifty years. Now, imagine if Tsukihime 2 is released afterwards, and set ten years after the current timeline's present, and happens to involve an invasion of dragons that completely changes the political landscape of the Church and Mage Institute. Now, you'd then have to fit an explanation of why this invasion of dragons doesn't occur in Archer's timeline, which would then cause a snowball effect as you have to explain why everything else that then happens after Tsukihime 2 in the main timeline doesn't happen in Archer's timeline. Basically, you've opened up an entire new continuity. It's different for games with multiple routes like Fate or Tsukihime, since branching events explain why the villains of each route are different and explanations in each route also expand upon events that happened in the other routes. You wouldn't have this interdependency if you wrote a light novel about Archer's life, you'd have a massive Continuity Snarl and massive restrictions on the changes you could bring to the main Nasuverse timeline. Imagine if Heaven's Feel had Type Mercury show up for no reason and blow everything up, and then Shirou had to learn the mystic ways of frogs to defeat it. The question would then be, "Why doesn't the mystic ways of frogs come up in other routes''?
    • First of all, the initial theory about interdependency is off. Parallel dimensions, remember? For all we know, the events of Tsukihime never happened in Fate, UBW, or HF, and it doesn't change a thing. Second of all, infinite parallel dimensions means that there is a dimension where everything is exactly like Heaven's Feel except that ORT turns up out of nowhere and requires Shirou to defeat it with the mystical art of frogs.
    • Of course you don't have to have any interdependency if Tsukihime and Fate/stay night are set in entirely different continuities, but there's no evidence that they aren't. You're really missing the point about the frogs. Unlike Kara no Kyoukai, which is a complete alternate continuity set in another dimension, any story about Archer's life would have to fit into the Nasuverse as a whole, since Archer's life is the possible future of Shirou. It's much better to leave it vague and thus leave the author's options open.
    • The problem here is that having no evidence that the Fate universe and the Tsukihime universe are not connected is not the same thing as having evidence that they are connected. Whatever happened in Archer's timeline doesn't necessarily have to happen in any other timeline. Just because something happens in this hypothetical Tsukihime 2 plot does not mean that it happened in Archer's life. I'm not seeing what you mean that any story about Archer's life would have to fit into the Nasuverse due to being a possible future of Shirou's. Archer's timeline is already different from any of the routes play in Fate/Stay Night. It's quite probable that major events that happened in Archer's life might never happen in the Tsukihime continuity or the three Fate/Stay Night routes.
    • Dude. The point isn't that it's impossible, it's that it's way too much trouble to produce. That was the original question; "why doesn't Type Moon produce an Archer story?" Especially since we know everything we need to know about Archer already. Any story about Archer's life would be directly related to internal Magic Association and Church politics, so to do it properly Type Moon would have to produce a lot of material, which would be effort better put towards an actual sequel to Fate. This is the reason Archer's flashforwards/flashbacks in the game are so vague. Little vignettes showing Archer's life—like the Shikiller dealing with the Forest—are much more likely than a light novel series. That would be cool.

    Archer's VA 

  • Relatively minor thing here, but how does Noriaki Sugiyama's voice turn into Junichi Suwabe's voice?
    • Well, all that projection magic already bleached his hair and darkened his skin. Maybe it burned his vocal cords, too.
    • In the original game (without voice acting) they were supposed to sound alike. Rin even confuses Shirou for Archer over the phone.

    Avalon and injuries 

  • Is Archer using Avalon to heal his injuries as a Heroic Spirit? Heroic Spirits are apparently able to regenerate injuries that do not irreparably damage their core, but they don't always have quick-heal by just sucking up mana (see:True Assassin). Yet, Archer's regeneration from Saber's attack is apparently much slower than usual, which is typical of the level of healing Avalon reverts to from injuries caused by Excalibur. So... does he still have Avalon, and is he using it without Saber's input?
    • Since when does Avalon have a weakness against Excalibur-inflicted wounds?
    • Whenever Caster forces Saber to attack Shirou, Shirou notes that the wounds aren't healing like they normally do. Granted, in the dead end the wound is fatal, but Avalon has healed worse injuries than that one; remember that time Gilgamesh nearly cut him in half, or the time he got half his stomach sliced off? I suppose you could say that this is related to the broken contract, but the healing provided by Avalon is unrelated to the Servant/Master contract; it depends on Saber's proximity and magical energy. (See Fate/Zero, as well as the quick recovery Shirou has when Saber is watching his fight with Archer in UBW. Later in UBW, his wounds heal quickly before the battle with Gilgamesh as well; they don't point this out, though.) I assume it's related to the fact that Avalon only activates with Saber's magical energy, and if Excalibur is being used against it, it thinks that it'd probably not be a good idea to keep its host alive.
    • Of the deaths by Excalibur, the only one that came with the contract still in place came AFTER he had already been stabbed through the heart by Gae Bolg. Well, close enough to normally be a very fatal wound anyway. Avalon being used to simply heal injuries rather than avoid them is not immunity to death: The wound inflicted by Gilgamesh's Caliburn prototype would have been fatal if Saber hadn't figured out what was going on and pumped him full of energy. A fall from a third story window was also fatal for some reason in a bad end. And if the contract isn't in place, she's not putting anything into it, so it doesn't work.
    • Avalon nonetheless keeps him alive through the trauma in all of those cases, even without Saber's direct input. The third floor window thing is fatal without Saber being in close proximity to provide magical energy. In the cases where Excalibur stabs him, Avalon doesn't help at all, despite Saber's proximity.
    • With the fall from the third story window thing, it seemed as though Avalon couldn't heal Shirou in that instance was because the impact had enough force to force its fragments to explode out of Shirou's body in a very messy fashion. He has bits of it sticking out of him when he dies. Course that doesn't explain why that doesn't happen every time he's flung 20 feet away by a servant's attack and hits against a wall or tree, but it was kind of a weird dead end.
    • The damage from the fall was large enough to cause Unlimited Blade Works to overwrite Avalon's protection and knitted his wounds with swords instead of flesh/bones, similar to how in Heaven's Feel more and more of his body was replaced with swords

    Archer and Archer 

  • Why was Archer summoned as, well, an Archer rather than a Saber? It's a much better fit, given his natural affinity for swords (not that Archer wasn't a fairly appropriate second, but still). Especially since Rin was trying to summon a Saber in the first place? What, did the Grail know that Arturia was going to be summoned later, and since she can only be Saber class, let her call dibs on it or something?
    • See the entry I posted under fridge brilliance. It's very very reasonable if you think about it.
    • For clarification, that's on the main Fate/stay night page.
    • To put it simply and to bring up something I think was not mentioned on that page... he's someone who makes swords, not one who wields them.

    Archer and UBW ending 

  • Just how the hell did Archer get through UBW's ending? I know he's Shirou, Made of Iron, Determinator, Future Badass status, but not only did he use Rho Aius, a rain of Noble Phantasms to skewer Caster, another rain to cage Rin, invoking his Reality Marble after fighting Saber, and fighting Shirou, the dude was still alive and kicking after taking in Gil's GoB twice for long enough to skewer the Grail with a "heavy rain" of Noble Phantasms, and the headshot on Gil. What... the... fuck?
    • That Independent Action stat really isn't just for show. Anyway. Servants are absurdly durable if their cores remain intact. Even after all that punishment, his core was undamaged, so he survived. It helps that Servants don't bleed to death. Presumably he has some method of restoring his mana, which he did offscreen.
    • This could be a funny WMG entry: "Archer commits mass murder elsewhere to save everyone at the end of UBW."
    • It also helps that he's not a garden-variety Heroic Spirit (if such a thing isn't an oxymoron). Alaya has a bit of a vested interest in making sure its Counter Guardians are hard to kill, making him something of a human counterpart to Arcueid.
    • I always assumed he simply came back as a Counterforce.
    • It wouldn't work. If he had, then he'd be a mindless entity who killed everything in sight.
    • He wouldn't be mindless; if he were ever mindless, he would never have become disillusioned. Then again, Alaya most likely wouldn't have sent him back anyway, since the situation hadn't gone completely to hell, yet.
    • He would be mindless. He literally only became disillusioned when he was summoned because he retained the memories of what Alaya made him do as a Counter Guardian. Essentially, Counter Guardians work on "auto-pilot" when called to duty.
    • That doesn't gel with his story, though. He may have been working on autopilot, without free will, but he was aware the whole time of what was happening. He was even hoping against hope to be summoned to a place where he could kill Shirou, as a result.
    • Counter Guardians, when deployed, are mindless killing machines. When they are not deployed, and are waiting wherever it is they wait, they are provided after-action reports of what they have done in the meantime. So, Archer's life as a Counter Guardian basically consists of him sitting in the void reading a list of names of all the people he's killed. That's when he was hoping to be summoned. Incidentally, Nasu did clarify that all Heroic Spirits receive these after-action reports of what their summoned copies do while summoned, so they do actually know what they have done in the previous times they were summoned. Saber is different only in that she directly remembers the things she did, rather than just knowing that they happened.
    • Heroic Spirits' weaponry is made of mana, right? Obviously Archer ATE the swords that were impaling him.

    Knowledge of Archer's legend 

  • It's stated that the Servants' strength is at least partially related to how well-known their legend is in the time and place to which they're summoned. Archer's legend doesn't even exist yet, so how can he be such a badass?
    • Archer is basically a prime example of Weak, but Skilled. His stats are noticeably sub-par for one of the knight classes, so instead he relies upon years of experience and pragmatism, as well as the variety of weapons at his disposal. And even then, the only Servants he has a distinct advantage over in melee are Caster and True Assassin, who are explicitly unsuited for frontal combat.


    Alignment and charisma 

  • How is it that a violent Jerkass like Gilgamesh is both Chaotic Good and has a high charisma score?
    • From what we've seen in F/HA, Ko-Gil can be quite charismatic to the point that he almost seems like a different person. In fact, more than one person wonders how the chibi Gil who's a pretty cheerful and helpful kid would eventually grow up into such an egotistical prick. As for why Gilgamesh is listed as Chaotic Good, if you really try to rationalize it, you could say that it's because perhaps due to his Darwinist Greater Good tendencies. He doesn't want to completely destroy humanity, he wants to weed out the unworthy. He has that whole conversation with Shinji in UBW about how as King, he decided to kill a random peasant, but couldn't bring himself to do it because the peasant had "worth". Also, when push comes to shove, he doesn't approve of random killings. See Heaven's Feel when he gets pissed off that Dark Sakura is going around slaughtering innocent people, and basically tells Kotomine that if he doesn't do something to stop this than he'll stop it himself. Going from Fate/Zero, he abides by the law he set, telling Alexander that if a person steals, he'll punish the thief. He doesn't even have that much interest in that Grail, he spends most of his time in Zero just walking around observing modern society; he'll randomly play soccer with kids and take them fishing. This is how he might be rationalized into being classified as Chaotic Good.
    • Remember how he bragged that you'd need "three times" the amount of evil in the world to corrupt him? Personally, I think he was lying, and the status screen just wasn't taking the events of the Fourth Grail War into account.
    • Word of God confirmed that Gilgamesh can't be corrupted by the Grail.
    • He was a prick in the Fourth War too. Basically, he's a little more impulsive now. Not much. Also, here's one possible explanation: His alignment is based on what people believe him to be. Gilgamesh is generally a positive figure, though also an arrogant jerkass at times. By the standards of his time his mythological attitude would be normal enough. As another point of evidence for this, compare him to Assassin. Assassin never does anything evil. Ever. All he wants is a good fight, but apart from that he's completely honorable. Yet, he's Neutral Evil.
    • I just want to point out that being a prick doesn't necessarily make you evil. Also, Beserker is classified as Chaotic Mad, and the Beserker from Fate/Zero is classified as Lawful Mad, and not many people think of those people in their legends as that. Also, apart from the Unlimited Blade Works route, Gilgamesh doesn't really do anything evil, and during Unlimited Blade Works, he is stuck with Shinji as a master for the majority of the time. I don't know about you, but if I were some ancient demigod king hero stuck with a master like Shinji, I might start thinking that there needs to be culling.
    • The Berserkers have "Mad" alignments because they're Berserkers. Their class specifically alters their personality. The Berserker from Fate/Stay Night canonically could have been summoned as any class except Caster (with Saber and Archer being the ones that would give the best showcase of his skills), because Heracles was a master of every type of combat except magic. Had he been summoned in any of those other classes, he most likely would've been listed with an alignment more fitting of his legends.
    • As for A+ Charisma despite being a tremendous asshole, I'm guessing that the Grail gives points for style. That was certainly one pimptastic fur coat he had.
    • He's not a prick all the time. When he puts his mind to it, he can be quite charming and erudite. He gets along well with people he actually likes, like Kotomine. When he's cooperating with somebody, he usually acts somewhat normal, as you can see when he doesn't just remove Shinji's testicles after spending five minutes with him. Remember, he's from two or three thousand years ago; being a dick to peasants was how kings were expected to act in those days. He's also rather dismissive of everything because he thinks they are worthless, so it's not like we see him at his most charismatic, well, ever.
    • Looking at the Charisma skill in Saber's profile, it specifically refers to their ability to lead and inspire in mass combat, and basically works like a stat boost. So, to put it in D&D speak: it's more like a mass version of a Bard's inspire greatness ability than an actual charisma score.
    • It may be a case of Fridge Brilliance on the part of the author. It is likely that the Servants' character alignment refers more to their legend than their actual behavior. Take Assassin, for example. He is reported to be Neutral Evil, but apart from being a Spirited Competitor, he never does anything overtly evil and comes off as an overall nice guy. When you think about Sasaki Koujirou's depiction, particularly in Japanese literature, he often comes off as a jerkass more than anything else (especially if you've read Eiji Yoshikawa's Musashi). Though it could be argued that Assassin can get away with this because in the Nasuverse Koujirou is a bonafide fictional character, it also provides some insight into how Gilgamesh comes off. The only depiction of Gilgamesh comes from some clay tablets from a civilization that existed millennia ago. Whereas Gilgamesh comes off as an asshole early on (because he's bored, apparently), after he meets Enkidu, he apparently becomes much better and then becomes the famous hero so renowned. Now, here is where the context comes in. Without Enkidu to provide Gilgamesh the friend he needs, he is obviously less than Chaotic Good. Aside from that part in the beginning, all of Gilgamesh's deeds are in some way influenced by Enkidu, including his quest for immortality. Now skip ahead to when he is summoned for the Holy Grail War. This is Gilgamesh without the moderating influence of his closest friend and, even worse, without a kingdom to rule. In other words, he was brought back into the world with no responsibilities or obligations and no friend to ease his boredom. Without those, he reverts to the perversely spoiled brat that he was back before he first met Enkidu, even worse in fact, because he also no longer has a kingdom to rule. FSN Gilgamesh is Gilgamesh without anything holding back his baser impulses and no reason to do so. So, he just does whatever he likes, no matter how despicable it may be. This gives a much better sense to Gilgamesh's actions.
    • What about Rider?
    • I'll admit, you've got me there. It may have to do with different interpretations about how Medusa came to be, given that a lot of tales about her origins (including the Nasuverse version) tend to cite her status as a victim in how she became a monster. For example, one version of the myth explains that Medusa was raped by Poseidon in Athena's temple and was turned into a monster as punishment for that. The Nasuverse version of her origin story is fairly sympathetic to her origins as well, so that might explain it.
    • Except that, by the standards of the time, she was still evil, because being raped by a god was somehow seen as her fault. Also, that never happened in the FSN universe, apparently.
    • Word of God says that the consumerist culture during the Fifth Holy Grail War had a profoundly negative effect on his overall outlook at the time. From his point of view, he's living in a Crapsack World where no one can reach the Throne of Heroes anymore. In Fate/EXTRA CCC, he takes to the climate a lot better. Though he is still an arrogant Jerkass, he's not as malicious.


  • Is it just me or would Sargon of Akkad have worked much better than Gilgamesh? In the myths, Gilgamesh is all about the quest for immortality, the dickishness of gods, friendship, the civilizing influence of prostitutes, and the fact that you sort of have to come to terms with all of these things, whereas Gilly in FSN is all about being the ruler of all things, and thus a colossal Jerkass. Sargon was, just like Gilgamesh, a historical figure, but he was also the "First conqueror", general culture-hero and in general seems to be a far better fit for the game than Gilgamesh.
    • Short answer: Who? Long answer: Gil's all about killing people, not ruling them (not considering most of the world worthwhile, especially after Enkidu's death); he's a darwinist, not a conqueror. He's a better fit because he's still the oldest hero, and is all about the supernatural connections. As for storywise, I wouldn't doubt that Sargon is a Heroic Spirit in the Nasuverse, but his legacy is less well-known (though admittedly, how many people know Diarmuid Ua Duibhne?), and he has less of a reason to be summoned than the huge conqueror hero, Iskander, who still wants to conquer the world.
    • That's not completely true. Gilgamesh does have a sort of "Lol, I kill mongrels" attitude, but to say he's all about killing them and not ruling them is kinda false. He only wants to rule over the worthy people. Way back 5000 years ago, that meant 99% percent of his kingdom from the warriors to the peasants. In the modern world, that may be about .001% of all the people in the world. He's a darwinist, and he has no qualms against killing people, but to say he's all about killing people rather than ruling them is misleading.
    • Perhaps, but my points were that he pretty much already considers everything to be under his rule to begin with (so he's not a conqueror...'cept perhaps of Saber) and his goal with the Grail was mass murder, just with a specific (and significant) demographic in mind.
    • But he's not supposed to be a conqueror, in the same way that Saber isn't a conqueror. They're both "kings". Iskander is the conqueror, as he was the "king of conquerors". Gilgamesh is the "King of Heroes", in that he is humanity's first and oldest (5000 years old) warrior king legend. To put it another way, you could say that he was the "first hero". As for Gil's goal with the Grail, it changes depending on the route. In Fate/Zero, he doesn't really care about the Grail at all, preferring to stroll around watching people live and get into "lol I'm the best King, so much better than you" fights with mainly Iskander and occasionally Saber. In the Fate route, he's more concerned with getting Saber for a wife than he is killing people with the Grail. And in Heaven's Feel, he is more preoccupied by the fact that Sakura is going around eating everybody. It's only really in UBW that he does the whole "lol, I'm gonna copy God from the Bible and wipe out all the unworthy with a giant flood (composed of cursed mud)." But to simply respond to your point, of course Gilgamesh isn't a conqueror and doesn't conqueror anything, he's not supposed to be a conqueror. By the point of Fate, it would be easier to describe him as an insane arrogant demigod.
    • All of which still makes him more appropriate for the story than Sargon of Akkad, which was the original point.

    Super Prototypes 

  • On the subject of Gil: His Super Prototype to the extreme bugs me; he doesn't just have a collection of Babylonian weapons that could be considered precursors and archetypes; he apparently has (thanks, it seems, to a dose of Hollywood History) stuff he shouldn't (such as European broadswords, Chinese halberds, and, oh yeah, full plate). He's probably got Davy Crockett's rifle in there and William Tell's crossbow. Even with stuff like swords, over the past few thousand years Technology Marches On. Yes, I know that in the Nasuverse older explicitly = more powerful. But it's kind of like expecting a Wright Flyer to be better at everything than, say, The Spirit of St. Louis. Most of the time when folks use something for a model, they at least attempt to improve on them; apparently in the Nasuverse they don't succeed.
    • The full plate makes perfect sense. The Sumerians invented that shit 4000 years ago, a few hundred years after Gil´s death.
    • No, they didn't. They had shields and helmets and may have begun developing primitive body armor. Gil's armor would be totally anachronistic in real-life Sumer; it's there because the Nasuverse has a radically different past from real life.
    • In the Nasuverse, magical things become stronger because they keep getting away more and more from normality. So, the older things are, the more powerful and magical they tend to be, which is why no matter how much you try to improve something it won't reach the level of the older stuff. Since this is one of the most basic rule of the Nasuverse, it is probably very difficult to bend it. It's more like saying that a runner will be first because he went first.
    • They succeed sometimes. Funny you should bring up airplanes: Gil actually does have a flying machine in his collection. Berserker shoots it down with an F-15.
    • A magic F-15. Incidentally, Gil doesn't have every weapon in the world. He just has weapons that existed in his time. This is why he doesn't have Excalibur, since Excalibur was constructed by Earth's fairies after his death. Incidentally, the Nasuverse is an Alternate Universe. Gil at one point states that (paraphrased) "the appearance is different, but the basic principles remain the same", indicating that Babylon was apparently just as advanced, if in a different fashion, as the modern age.
    • I believe he actually has the prototype for Excalibur. I think it was gram, a sword that was stuck in a tree or something like that.
    • Gram was the prototype for Caliburn, aka the Sword in the Stone, not Excalibur.
    • Perhaps we could look at it a different way. At the time of his life, and in his myth, Gilgamesh is said to have possessed everything in the world, hence Gate of Babylon and A-rank Golden Rule. What if, instead of everything in Gate of Babylon having actually existed at that point in time...what if instead, because of the myth Gate of Babylon will contain the prototype/super-prototype/whatever of every weapon even if it was created after his time. So, since the myth says he possessed everything in the world, that will remain true regardless of when he is summoned.
    • Word of God says that you are correct. The Gate of Babylon contains magical prototypes of every human innovation. Nasu mentions magical submarines and airplanes and other such wackiness. It also has books that contain the root premise of every human intellectual achievement. In essence, if it can be built by humans, the Gate of Babylon already has a better version of it. It also contains Ea, so he can blow up people who come at him with things that weren't created by humans.

    Gil's armor 

  • Far be it from me to question the inclusion of Sexy Civilian Eyecandy Gilgamesh in UBW, but couldn't Gil have won that fight with Shirou if he'd actually had his armor? We'd already seen in Fate than armor is most definitely not useless, and the only reason he didn't pull out Ea was the whole "getting arm hacked off" thing. Granted, he'd have died anyway for unrelated reasons, but still...
    • He didn't think he needed it. It's Gilgamesh's Fatal Flaw. He underestimates his enemies.
    • Maybe he could've, but he lost the armor when he became a flesh body after the Corrupted Grail Incident.
    • Err do you mean the Armour he's clearly wearing throughout the whole Fate route?

    Gil's wish 

  • Gil, or specifically Gil's wish to create a world only filled with worthy people; why the hell didn't he want to revive Enkidu? Given how he exclaims at length about Enkidu's death in the Epic, you would think that his first goal would be to revive Enkidu rather than "cleansing" the world.
    • Enkidu would also surely be a Heroic Spirit. If Lancelot is, or Bluebeard, there's no reason he wouldn't be. He's not really 'dead' in the sense a normal person would be. Only a real nut like the aforementioned Bluebeard would want to bother reviving someone who isn't any deader than they themselves are.
    • Why not? He wants to have Saber in the Fate route and states that he has no wish from the Grail, Why not summon Enkidu as a Servant like him and go conquer the world just like good old times?
    • Saber is a possession to him. As far as he is concerned, the world already belongs to him anyway. Also, does this Gilgamesh really seem like the type of guy that would be very concerned about his friends? Maybe Gilgamesh from the Epic would be, but this one seems quite a bit more of a self-centered jerkass. Not that we would consider the original a paragon of virtue, either, but still.
    • His FSN bio is almost entirely about Enkidu, actually (with a bit at the end about immortality and the snake), but I agree with you on the characterization thing.
    • He was splashed with the ichor from the Grail and it tainted his ego. He isn't like the Gil from the epic, now more insane, and he probably cares less for friends than he did when he was still alive.
    • Tainted? Gilgamesh flat out says "All the evils of the world, taint me? You'd need to bring at least three times that much!". As an interesting aside, Gilgamesh's alignment is lawful good. Which pretty much means that what he's saying about everyone sucking is true. Way to go, Nasu.
    • It actually says he's chaotic good, not lawful. Most likely, the alignment thing is for how people see them; e.g., Sasaki Kojirou is neutral evil... despite doing no evil deeds in the story. Rider is Chaotic Good despite having essentially the same motives as Lancer, minus the blood knight thing but plus sucking blood for shits and giggles.
    • Although in F/Z, he does apparently seems to follow the laws he set in his life.
      "It's the law." Archer replied immediately. "The law I set down as the king." "Hm." Rider seemed to have understood his words, and took a deep sigh. "Such a perfect king, able to stick to the laws he set down himself."
    • Fate/Zero explains that he found Enkidu's devotion even unto death to be very beautiful. After he failed in his quest to revive Enkidu, he appears to have accepted his death as beautiful in its own way. He likes people who sacrifice themselves or have self-images that depend only on others. This is why he likes Kirei and Saber; they both remind him of Enkidu.

    Gil's sword and counter guardians 

  • Gil's sword is classified as anti-world. The counter-force and Alaya show up to stop a threat to the world. So why doesn't a counter-guardian or the true ancestor show up every time Gil uses Ea?
    • Considering that without even needing to charge it he can collapse a Reality Marble that doubles as an EX-Ranked Noble Phantasm, and the fact that he can put the magical powers of his Treasures behind it, it is entirely possible that it could destroy a gigantic mass of land. Something doesn't get named something as badass as "The Star of Creation That Split Heaven and Earth" without packing some serious heat. You could also go by the numbers, in the sense that Excalibur at full power does 200 units of damage (is easily capable of razing a large fortress), and Ea at full power (excluding the fact that he can power it even further with his Treasures) does 4000 units of damage.
    • Because Gil's not interested in destroying the world, perhaps? At least not with Ea. Still, we have seen a counter guardian or equivalent each time Gil has appeared (Arturia and Emiya).
    • Is Arturia a counter-guardian though? I thought she wouldn't become a counter-guardian until she had gotten the Grail.
    • I thought that was when she'd become a Heroic Spirit, instead. She might not be a true counter guardian, but she's pretty close (contracted to the world until a certain condition is met). In any case, the target of the counter force in the 5th Heaven's Feel was Angra Mainyu, not Gilgamesh himself, so it's safe to assume that the world doesn't consider him a primary threat. As mentioned, Gil's not interested in actually destroying the world (except maybe in war 5, when the Counter Force does show up), not to mention that since Ea is one of Gil's own Noble Phantasms, he knows how to avoid creating an Earth-Shattering Kaboom with it.
    • You're assuming that doing the Earth-Shattering Kaboom thing is even possible for Servant Gil. He'd use up all his mana if he did anything to that extent. It's the same reason he just doesn't kill everything in the world instead of using the Holy Grail.
    • It's mentioned he doesn't even need his mana to operate Ea, it just works off its own strange principles. On the other hand, it does seem to have a required charge time for anything truly damaging.
    • Where is this mentioned?
    • You're misunderstanding what "Anti-World" means. A more accurate term would be "Anti-Reality" — it works by cutting space and time, which, though powerful, isn't enough to destroy the planet.
    • Enuma Elish cuts away at the world's reality marble, showing the truth (fire and lava and absolute destruction) underneath, that's why its anti-world

    Gil arguing with Sakura 

  • Why is Gilgamesh arguing with Sakura in the prologue? Gil has no contact with Zouken or anything like that.
    • Gilgamesh has in the past shown that he can pretty much see magic and was probably talking to her because he could see that Sakura was a Grail. This is the most logical explanation anyway.
    • If anything, it might have something to do with Kotomine. Zouken aside, Sakura is still a Master, even though she ceded control of Rider to Shinji. Kotomine isn't likely to leave the church before the Grail War actually starts, and Lancer is clearly off doing something else...maybe he sent Gil to figure out what was going on (or at least confirm, since something similar happened in Fate/Zero with Lancer).
    • I always thought it was just Gil fooling around on his own. It definitely wasn't Kotomine, because he told Gil to stay inside the church at all times and is surprised when Shirou tells him that he saw Gil. Gil was probably bored and wandered off, and than was asking directions from Sakura about how to get back to the church or something.
    • I was under the impression he could tell Sakura was a Grail and was checking out the competition. I'm pretty sure Sakura mentions he told her she should kill herself when they met. Gil probably didn't act because she was a nonentity until HF, where he does try and eliminate her.
    • Yeah, in the scene in HF where Gilgamesh tries to kill Sakura, she says that he told her to kill herself before.


  • What the hell does the classification anti-world even mean? Does it mean it has enough power to destroy an entire world? To go against all the forces in a single world? Or is just some way of saying, "hey guys, look, this sword is even more power than Excalibur, so we need some way to show that"
    • It's the Star of Creation that Split Heaven and Earth. Only goes to assume that it could be used to destroy Earth, too.
    • But that's just a title. It didn't literally create the Earth. I actually rather like the explanation under Power Levels but I don't know how accurate the explanation is. There, it basically says that "Though what's actually meant by "anti-world" isn't "I can destroy the world with an attack from this!" but instead "With this weapon, I can challenge the combined forces of everything in the world at once.""
    • Actually, his sword is called Enuma Elish, which is also the name of the Bablyonian story of creation. It's called anti-world because if you take the naming into account, it has enough power to create the world, and similarly, get rid of it. In Fate/Zero it was kept under lock and key for a reason.
    • In the Nasuverse, the World doesn't just refer to the planetary body, it refers to the set of rules that reality on Earth runs on. On Earth, one plus one equals two, black is black and white is white. The World is basically just the full-scale version of the Reality Marbles that certain beings in the Nasuverse can manifest. Type Mercury, the Ultimate Being from Mercury, can override this World with his own Mercurial World, turning everything crystalline, and in that World, the rules are different. Ea's destructive force comes from the fact that it twists space and time to obliterate its target, instead of just using the rules of the World to destroy things like, say, somebody with the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. That is probably why it's called anti-World; it breaks the fabric the World is made from. I imagine Type Mercury might be vulnerable to Ea, though probably capable of bringing just as much force to bear.

    Gil and orphans 

  • What does Gilgamesh even need to eat orphans for? He has a real body now, so he no longer needs a constant mana source to exist. He could presumably charge up to his full capacity on his own, since he has ten years with pretty much nothing to do. It's not like he went around blasting off his Noble Phantasms for no reason so he needed the mana. Why would he need the mana provided by the orphans other than to be "Yes I am Evil, hahaha"?
    • He was able to support himself, perhaps, but it's not like he never planned to use those Noble Phantasms ever again. By the time the next War came around, without that constant mana source, he'd have been even weaker than Saber, stranded without a Master or a connection to the Grail.
    • Kotomine was still there, so he technically still "had" a master. If he gets a real body from the Grail, that real body should be naturally producing mana for him through magic circuits, considering that a Heroic Spirit is a copy of the original, and thus if it were given flesh then it should be almost identical to the original. Sure, he wouldn't charge as quickly by not eating those orphans, but it's ten freakin' years. It surely doesn't take that long for Gilgamesh to charge up to his full capacity, does it?
    • We're assuming the body provided by the Grail-mud can naturally produce excess mana, instead of just providing enough to keep the Heroic Spirit from fading. Gil still dissipates like normal Servants if his core is destroyed, so what he's using is obviously not a completely normal body; he's still made of the Third Element. If we assume that his situation is similar to Saber's, he probably also needs the orphans to keep himself topped up during combat. Also, remember that Gil's full mana capacity is absurdly huge; the reason Archer has for why he doesn't trace Excalibur is because he doesn't think he can do it properly, but it's also likely that it's because his magic circuits would burn out and kill him if he tried to use its mana burst at full power. Saber's titanic mana capacity is one of the reasons why she can use Excalibur; she needs both hands to supply it properly, and even her stock gets almost completely drained if she uses it at full power. Yet, Gil uses Ea, the one sword greater than Excalibur, with one hand, without breaking a sweat. In Heaven's Feel, after Dark Sakura devours him, the power of his Heroic Spirit is measured as equal to a couple hundred thousand normal souls together. Even with ten years, assuming he has a normal mana output, his capacity might not fill up completely with just that.
    • Honestly? I think it was more to satisfy Kotomine's desires. The priest enjoys watching people suffer and those orphans were the epitome of suffering. The mana stockpiling was just a flimsy excuse. It gave Gilgamesh enough energy to spam his Noble Phantasms ad infinitum, but he never actually use that much even if he needed to.


  • Gilgamesh seems to have a certain dislike of mongrels, but according to the legend, wasn't Gilgamesh himself somewhat of a mongrel? Two-thirds god and one-third human?
    • It's just an insult he uses to show that he feels better than them. And he also uses it against people without mixed parentage. Besides, do you check someone's birth records before calling him a bastard? At any rate, for Gilgamesh, it isn't about humans and gods. It's about Gilgamesh and everything that isn't Gilgamesh.
    • Exactly the above. Zashuu has no literal English equivalent. Mongrel/low-born is how it is often rendered in English for Type-MOON translations. Taka Jun talked about this years ago on mirrormoon when talking about his translation choices. Gilgamesh essentially views others as being inferior to him, hence the insult.


  • How in the hell did somebody who is so easily offended and so unabashedly flamboyant, not to mention who has such a need to live in luxury and plenty, keep himself hidden for a freaking decade?
    • He took a potion and turned himself into a kid. No, really, that's what he did.
    • I thought that's what he did in the sequel game.
    • Yes, but he also used that same potion during the interim between the Fourth and Fifth War. It's also why he did not look a decade older from when his body was made flesh. Ironically, it was probably growing up in modern society that made him decide to wipe it out by the time of UBW.


    Kotomine and morals 

  • If Kotomine claims to have a moral conscience, yet still does evil, then how does he really have one? If he KNOWS that what he is doing is wrong, then why didn't he ever just kill himself? A person should be judged by their actions, not by their words. And by his actions alone, Kotomine is practically a Complete Monster, no matter what he claims to be.
    • He tried to change himself — he had a wife and a daughter. Then came the fourth Heaven's Feel and he was still trying to deny that part of himself, but Gilgamesh managed to talk him into embracing it. After the fourth Heaven's Feel he had already been convinced by Gilgamesh and thus stopped really caring; not to mention that he sort of was dead then, only "living" because the curses of Angra Mainyu sustained him after he lost his heart.
    • His conscience tells him what he's doing is wrong and he'll go to Hell, his faith agrees, but, between Gilgamesh convincing him to embrace his inner sadist and him being an Executor (the branch of the Church allowed to do as they please as long as they bring home results and defend the name of the Lord), he'll just go on and cause suffering he'll enjoy. And he still has standards high enough to make him despise Zouken. And on the killing himself thing... He's a catholic priest. Yes, he sinned a lot, but suicide is abhorred by what little good is still in him.
    • He is a textbook case of a sociopath, who, by definition, acts heinously and lacks empathy. His very problem is that he is a high-functioning sociopath who is intelligent enough to know that his actions and thoughts are wrong, but his mental disability prevents him from really understanding conventional morality. However, he has a set of personal morals, but they are so completely foreign to us that they seem amoral. See: Moral Sociopathy.
    • ^ This. Kotomine tried for most of his life to be good, but knew he was incapable of feeling empathy for anyone from the start. He knows on a theoretical level the difference between right and wrong, and how he should be acting, but he is incapable of feeling true morality. More than that though, Kotomine is pissed off at God and the world for allowing a person like himself to exist knowing that he is fundamentally broken and lacking the simple happiness normal people feel, which is his whole reason for wanting Angra Manyu to be born. By his logic, if a being of pure evil can accept its own existence without feeling remorse or anguish over its actions then it validates his own existence as well.

    Fate railroading 

  • Why is it that during the Fate route, two different things happen despite being caused by the exact same thing? By that, I mean that during the choice to go down to the basement or leave, if you leave, Lancer eventually just stabs Shiro like he would have if you'd gone with the basement option. The difference is that if you choose the leave option, it seems Shiro dies instantly, and if you choose the basement option, he doesn't die instantly. And plus, somehow Saber manages to reach Shiro before he dies in the basement option, yet she can't reach Shiro before he dies in the leave option, despite the fact that she is closer during the latter choice.
    • Gilgamesh is keeping her busy in the "leave" option. She cannot save Shirou in time.

    Die vs proceed 

  • In the visual novel, some die vs. proceed choices don't make sense. For example, Fate route, the second fight with Rider/Shinji on the skyscraper. If you choose to follow Saber up the building once the fight starts, Rider & Saber fight on the rooftop, Rider engages Bellerophon, Shirou comes out on the rooftop, and Saber uses Excalibur to blow Rider away. She collapses from lack of energy, Shirou brings her back to the house, loses it when he hears that Saber could disappear, goes to town next day, gets kidnapped by Ilya, gets tested by her, and provided he refuses, gets to escape. BUT if you choose not to accompany Saber, you end up going to the rooftop anyway, except that you've come in after Saber has dealt sweet Excalibur action. The rest is the same all the way till the bad end where Ilya just packs you into a doll, and the cavalry arrives too late to save you. What the hell?
    • I think it's supposed to be taken as Laser-Guided Karma. Maybe.
    • It is. It still doesn't make sense, however....
    • Hmmm... okay. Here's my new theory on the matter. Ilya was watching the entire fight with Rider, we know that much. So what she sees is slightly different; she either sees Shirou rushing to the aid of a loved one, or hanging back until the fight was over. Considering it's a battle between Servants, the second choice is far more intelligent and pragmatic. Pragmatic like Kuritsugu. Ilya is a fickle girl, so I can easily see her disapproving of this, and that disapproval lowering her respect for Shirou enough that she doesn't feel the need to offer him a choice at Doll Making time.
    • I agree. Illya sees Shirou differently based on his actions, and so her actions are different.
    • Here's a thought. Saber had no intention of using Excalibur, because she didn't have the energy reserves for it. Rider with Bellerophon forces her to use it anyway, but only as her very last resort. Shirou, by following Saber to the roof, puts himself in danger, and thus forces her to use Excalibur earlier than she would have otherwise, so she has a little more energy left afterward...which makes the difference between her being able to stagger to the castle and her just fading away while Shirou's in transit.

    Lancer not using Gae Bolg 

  • What really bugs me is when Lancer is fending off Gilgamesh near the end of the series, so that Shirou and Saber may flee from Kotomine. Lancer knocks away some swords, then gets trapped by Enkidu and impaled. What the hell happened to his causality-violating Gae Bolg?! Did he just want to sit there and get killed?
    • Even if his causality-violation works, there's nothing much he can do if he got chained by Enkidu. Give some credit to Gilgamesh. Besides, Gilgamesh has lots of Noble Phantasms in his disposal, he probably picked Cu Chulainn's weakness: Caladbolg and hit Lancer with it, thereby invoking his geas to submit to defeat and get killed. Don't ask why Archer couldn't beat Lancer with it.
    • Um, I don't think that would work. Gilgamesh isn't from Ulster. Neither is Archer, for that matter.
    • Lancer might not have realized just how dangerous Gilgamesh was. Lancer never pulled out Gae Bolg immediately in his fights against Saber and Archer, only after doing some genuine fighting. If Lancer had gone the way of Berserker, trying to close in through the Gate of Babylon, that would have been enough opening for Enkidu (which is designed to trap divine opponents...demigods included). Still, even if he had pulled out Gae Bolg, it might not have worked; Gilgamesh is surprisingly Lucky, after all...
    • It wouldn't. He has A-rank luck and Saber withstood Gae Golg with B-rank luck.
    • Dodging it still required Saber's A-rank instinct to know that she needed to. Gilgamesh's instincts are horrible, it's the only reason he ever loses. If he doesn't know "Hey, this next blow will kill me, I need to dodge it in x manner," he can't use his luck. It doesn't seem as though luck is an actual passive attribute here.
    • It's impossible to dodge it, that's the whole point. Once Gae Bolg is activated, it's already hit. Saber's luck didn't cause her to dodge it, it just made Lancer miss (her heart, at least).
    • Read the description on Gae Bolg in the VN. It explicitly states, that you need luck to counter Gae Bolg's reversal of causality. (Citing: "To dodge Gae Bolg one does [...] need [...] the ability to change this fate before Gae Bolg is executed, LCK (Luck) is most important"
    • Reading the description and the Saber vs. Lancer scene again, I was half wrong. Saber did dodge. However, the way the scene was described, it was entirely luck, so I claim meaningless but ego-saving rhetorical points for the "making Lancer miss" part. Either way, all Saber's instinct did was make her dodge the stab towards her feet; the midair twist was out of her hands. In light of that, I'm pretty sure Gae Bolg's description means "luck is more important than agility (because agility is worthless)," and so Gilgamesh is more than adequately protected against it.
    • Heaven's Feel makes it clear the three ways to counter Gae Bolg. 1) A magical shield like Archer's, 2) Awesome luck, 3) Outranging it.
    • That is, a supremely powerful magic shield specifically designed to counter a certain attack (I'm willing to bet that if Archer used Rho Aias against the "Impaling Barbed Death" attack instead of "Striking Death Flight," he'd have been skewered)... wait. When was Gae Bolg used in Heaven's Feel? Didn't Lancer die really early in that?
    • Gae Bolg was used, then Lancer fought True Assassin at the temple. True Assassin backed away enough that Gae Bolg did not hit him.
    • He didn't. But they explained it anyway.
    • Another possible reason is that Gae Bolg takes a second to set up. When we see Lancer use it, he has to stop and take a second to charge the spear before he can let 'er rip. Given that Gilgamesh can send a hailstorm of blades flying out of the Gate of Babylon without lifting a finger, the likely reason is that Lancer spent the entire fight on the defensive, just doing his best to keep from being skewered countless times, which didn't leave him enough time to fire off Gae Bolg before he was finished.
    • Also, given the listing for Gae Bolg's range, it seems that the range of the attack is limited to the length of the spear. Incidentally, this would also explain why he used its anti-army function against Archer in UBW.

    Ending human conflict 

  • This is from Fate/Zero. Shirou's dad, who has finally gotten to the Holy Grail, knows that with its power he could end human conflict forever. This has been his life's dream, to make everyone peaceful and happy. So what does he do? He orders Saber to destroy it. So, a man whose sole goal is to be the "hero of justice" at any personal cost knowingly and willingly throws away probably the only chance he'll ever have to bring happiness to all people! Then Shirou does just that as well, rather than wishing for, say, his dream of world peace and happiness to come true. What in the fucking hell?
    • Wait...are we talking about the Holy Grail that happens to be the vessel of the literal embodiment of all the world's evil? Nah, there couldn't be a problem with that. Also, pretty sure that someone at some point (Saber, I think) brought up the concept of ending all conflict, and noted that it's actually a really bad idea.
    • Yeah, the Grail as it is, all filled with evil and corruption, can only interpret wishes as destruction. Plus, when it's activated the evil will spill out and consume the world. Did you even pay attention to the story?
    • Seriously, wishing on a corrupted Holy Grail is not a good idea.
    • Kiritsugu's wish was to end all Human conflicts. The corrupted Grail went and showed him that it would have fulfilled his wish by killing all of humanity but Kiritsugu and Ilya. When faced with such a Jack Ass Genie, what would you have done?
    • In other words, OP seriously misunderstood just what the Holy Grail in FSN is. Despite it being explained at great length multiple times per route, and hammered in during Heaven's Feel.

    Rider's blindfold 

  • Whenever she is fighting without her master around, why doesn't Rider ever just take off her blindfold and turn all her opponents to stone? As a matter of fact, wouldn't that be good just to do that in the first place because anyone who saw them would be turned to stone anyway...
    • It probably wouldn't have been useful in very many situations. Most of the time she's acting independently, so she has a vested interest in not turning everyone she sees to stone (her Bloodfort probably wouldn't work on statues). As for the other times, there's always the risk that her Master would come in her field of vision during a fight (he usually was nearby). Also, though she might be able to pick off other Masters that way, Servants are another matter. At least three Servants (Saber, Lancer, and Berserker) are definitely strong enough to resist her eyes, and it might not work on the others, either.
    • Huh...actually, even the resistant servants would be weaker, so scratch that idea.
    • Surely the possibility of her 'Master' coming into her field of vision would be as good a reason as any for her to use her eyes. I don't think she'd be too upset if he got killed, really....
    • I can't think of any good reason myself, save the possibility that petrified bystanders might get you in trouble with the Grail War supervisor.
    • Rider doesn't really have that much interest in fighting to full potential when she's forced to do so for Shinji.
    • Rider is cutting down on her mana expenditures for Sakura's sake. Eyes of that class are fairly costly.
    • Aside from the mana consumption, her eyes would be a tell-tale sign of who she really is. First thing people think of when they hear, "...gaze of petrification..." is a gorgon. Knowing a Servant's identity means knowing thier weakness, so it isn't really a good idea to go around stoning people unless it means certain victory.
    • Stoning people is NEVER a good idea. Stone yourself if you have the stuff to spare.
    • Cheech and Chong would clearly be Caster class servants.
    • Heh I would have thought Rider, considering their awesome soporific "fibergrass" van, and that the only true Magecraft they could probably use is resistance ["magic is just party tricks, man"]. It'd be the ginormous "stash" of prana (as well as a great place to restore it, as long as no one comes a-knockin') used to fuel their absurd Confusion Fu tactics, probably being able to summon "pretty much anything, man" as long as it's made out of cannabis, which itself would be their Noble Phantasm. Its ability? Besides being able to take the form of the most lethal [and hilarious] items/weapons/etc that these hippies can think of, if burnt it temporarily "makes everyone friends", or can cause other, much more discontenting status effects, depending on "whichever strain is in at the moment, man".

    Berserker and fighting 

  • I'm pretty sure Berserker was the second-strongest Servant in that war. Word of God says he was the strongest non-Gil Servant. Would Archer fare better against a sane Heracles, though? More NPs to copy and use Nine Lives with.
    • What?
    • Not really getting what you're saying here, but if you mean fifth-war Archer, then he would have lost even more badly. Keep in mind that when Archer fought mad Berserker, Berserker wasn't even getting the Mad Enhancement bonus from the Berserker class. Keep in mind that a sane Berserker would be just as powerful statwise as the Berserker that fought Archer, have whatever other bonuses his class give him, and have full access to his "eye of the mind" ability as well as his Nine Lives NP if he even used it. If you mean Archer Gilgamesh, a sane Berserker still probably wouldn't have a chance against Gilgamesh, Enkidu and swordspam. Unless, he ends up as Archer-class and snipes Gilgamesh with Nine Lives (originally designed for a bow anyway). Even then, that only may or may not work.
    • Part of this stems from the fact that the decision to summon Heracles as Berserker was apparently made by Illya's family, whereas Ilya herself deliberately kept Berserker's Mad Enhancement from powering him up because of her anger at the pain of being forced to summon him. In other words, a lot of the problems with Berserker stem from a frustrated little girl and her jerkass family. Another factor might be the question of how much predestination figures into who is summoned to what class. Given that Shiro had Avalon in his body and was living right in the middle of ground zero for the Grail War, he could very well have been predetermined to summon Saber well before the event itself occurred. For similar reasons the other classes might have also been locked out. However, I'm more partial to just chalking it up to Ilya and her family's issues. Remember, the Einzberns aren't known for their good decision-making skills when it comes to desperately trying to reclaim their lost Third Magic. They were the ones responsible for corrupting the Grail in the first place by trying to break the rules to give themselves an advantage.
    • A non-Berserker Heracles is pretty much broken: his physical strength is great enough to break indestructible things (his legend has him breaking a chain that no god could have broken, and here he broke Enkidu in spite of his own divinity making the chain indestructible), the sword version of Nine Lives is like three Tsubame Gaeshi backed by that same strength, the arrow version is a hundred giant arrows hitting at the same time, those arrows are tipped in a poison so painful that being burned alive is less painful than wearing a dress dyed with that poison in an extremely diluted form, and he has the knowledge, experience and smarts to use it for massive damage. The only Servants that could defeat him would be Gilgamesh (thanks to his many Noble Phantasms in general and Ea in particular) and Caster (being Medea, Heracles has a bond of Sacred Hospitality with her, so he's barred from attacking her), and that only under specific conditions (if the battle with Gil starts near enough to land a punch on him before Ea starts spinning, Gil is reduced to Ludicrous Gibs, and Caster doesn't remember the debt and would probably break the bond by accident).

    HF end and Rider 

  • Heaven's Feel True End. Sakura uses up all of her Command Spells AND gets poked with Rule Breaker. How is Rider still around two years later?
    • Rider's capable of Independent Action (she can last a day without a master). She reestablished a contract with Sakura, who, since she's still a Holy Grail, has enough mana to support her. There's also the implication that Rider might be getting "outside assistance" (either bloodsucking, like Rin suspects, or the whole succubus deal like Shirou's erotic dream).
    • If the Hollow Ataraxia implications hold true, Rider is most likely drinking Mitsuzuri's blood.
    • Alternatively, perhaps Rule Breaker can be used selectively to choose which contracts to nullify. Also, using up all three Command Spells does not nullify the contract between the Master and Servant. Instead, it means the means of enforcement are lost. The reason why a Master without Command Spells is not considered a Master is because he's lost his weapon of last resort and he has no control over his Servant anymore. Even though the contract is still active, because of that, the position as Master becomes meaningless—unless, of course, the Servant would stay loyal to the Master even without the Command Spells.
    • Err, pretty sure using up all three command Spells does in fact nullify the contract. Shirou is explicitly told so at the church on the 4th day. If Kotomine was lying, Rin wouldn't have been agreeing with him. Also, Shinji is told to give up his Command Spells and retreat to the church during Heaven's Feel. Rider says that she's still receiving magical energy from Sakura in the shed before the final battle, implying she's still connected by contract, but this would have been nullified when Shirou used Rule Breaker on her (unless it can indeed be used selectively, despite it never being implied to be able to do so), so there are only two logical explainations. either: A: Rider is lying and is getting the required magical energy elsewhere, or B: It's a colossal Plot Hole. I doubt very much that Nasu would make such a huge blunder, so it must be the first one. Due to the implications of the first H-Scene in HF (which would be kind of redundant if this weren't the case), I suspect Rider's pulling her succubus trick again. No, wait, actually there is a third explaination: Servants are summoned by the Holy Grail in the first place. Since Sakura is a Holy Grail and she and Rider shared a contract, Rider may be directly connected to the Holy Grail as a result, like how Sakura is still connected to the Source even after getting poked by Rule Breaker.

    Risking the grail 

  • Why exactly, in the two Holy Grail Wars we've seen, did the Einzberns send their Homunculi, a.k.a. the core of the Holy Grail out into the field where they would risk getting killed? If I were them I would have had them under lock and key, protected at all times and not coming out during the entire fight. Instead they have Irisviel running around with Saber and Ilya being the barely controllable Berserker's Master... after subjecting her to life-threatening Training from Hell. Why would they do such a stupid thing when they're obsessed with getting it?
    • In regards to keeping the grail vessel hidden, I believe that was the Einzberns' plan. The Fate Zero CD drama which focuses on Kiritsugu's first meeting with the Einzberns, has Acht asking Kiritsugu to be the bodyguard for the grail vessel aka Irisviel, this along with Irisviel's lack of fighting skills and the Einzbern's giving Kiritsugu, the healing shealth Avalon, makes me believe that the original plan was for Irisviel to guard Irisviel as she stayed hidden, attacking anyone who discovered her location while Saber equipped with Avalon engaged the enemy Servants and Masters. Unfortunately, Kiritsugu derailed from the plan by giving Avalon to Irisviel to keep her functional and having her act as Saber's decoy master thus exposing her while he and Maiya went around sniping the other Masters. The same thing could be applied to Ilya in Fate/Stay Night. The Einzberns could have drilled it into Ilya's head to seclude herself in the castle with Heracles as a bodyguard while the war raged which is why she never ventures outside the castle in UBW after meeting with Shiro. In Fate and Heaven's Feel, Ilya's interest in Shiro becomes piqued after seeing the latter Take The Bullet for Saber against Berserker which causes her to explore Misaki City to seek him out. Ironically, its in UBW where she stays secluded that she dies early in the route.
    • As for the Servants... really, what other Servants would be safer to travel with than Saber and Berserker, both of whom are damn near godlike with the right masters? Also, it's hard to imagine Ilya being in danger from Berserker, whom she controls just fine, and who's proven willing to even defy the laws of reality to protect her. As for sending them in the field...beats the hell out of me. They probably need to be at least close to the field to catch the Servant spirits, but not necessarily in danger. For Ilya, at least, I could say that the Einzberns didn't trust anyone else, but...
    • The other participants know better than to attack Ilya. If she gets seriously damaged, they don't get their wish.
    • That only works if they know she's the Grail. Shirou didn't, and I seriously doubt Kuzuki or Shinji did either. Even Rin probably didn't realize it 'till Ilya collapsed.
    • Even with the people who are aware of her, that would be doubtful immunity. After all, Kotomine goes out of his way to capture her in Fate, and Gilgamesh rips her heart out in UBW. Zouken would undoubtedly have done something similar in HF if he hadn't made Sakura into a Grail...
    • Proximity definitely does matter in the absorbsion of spirits. I recall Ilya mentioning that Sakura had absorbed one of the Heroic Spirits' souls (NOT one of the ones killed by the Shadow) simply because she was closer at its time of defeat.
    • That might have just been because there was another Grail, though. It never comes up when Ilya is the sole spirit-catcher.
    • I thought I read somewhere that by that point, the Einzberns were so obsessed with winning at any cost that they really didn't care about the Grail anymore. They felt like it was their destiny to win, but they always lost every single time. By the time of the fifth Grail War, their policy was to just send in their most powerful magus, who happened to be Ilya. Or something like that.
    • Ilya is a powerful enough mage to terrify Rin the first time they meet, as cruel as Caster or Shinji but with a lot more competence than the latter and a Servant that's Saber-class in power and has magical invulnerability that neutralizes the former. Honestly, excepting Kotomine/Gil and Rin/Sakura/Saber, and maybe Rin/Archer, none of the other groups stand a chance against Ilya and Berserker. There's also the fact that at least one of her maids is a superhuman weapon herself...

    Sasaki Kojirou 

  • In a World... where All Myths Are True, why is Sasaki Kojirou of all people a fictional character?
    • From a historical perspective, he's not enough of a legendary character and not quite enough of a historical character. There are just enough discrepancies in accounts of him for the idea of Kojirou being fictional to be plausible. From a dramatic perspective, it makes Assassin (a nameless spirit with only three weeks of life) that much more of a tragic character... and also more of a badass (he comes up with a Noble Phantasm-level technique on his own, while basically standing around bored). On another note, if my guess is correct, there actually was a Sasaki Kojirou in the Nasuverse, since his sword, Monohoshizao, existed...he just wasn't the Sasaki Kojirou, Musashi Miyamoto's legendary rival.
    • Assassin seems to suggest that the actual man named "Sasaki Kojirou" and whoever wielded the sword Monohoshizao were different people, just as he, himself, was some unknown swordsman who happened to master a technique attributed to Kojirou. But IRL, is there really any doubt about his existence? I didn't spend more than a few minutes checking on this, but every source I managed to find seemed to treat it as established fact that Kojirou existed and was killed in a duel against Miyamoto Musashi. No doubt, legend has embellished quite a bit about the man, but compared to all the other mythological heroes that are evidently real, that's nothing. I liked Assassin's dramatic situation, too, but come on.
    • If the game is to be believed, one of the sources who never mentions him is Musashi himself. Other than that... eh, I'm fine with it. There's only one Sasaki Kojirou for me, anyway. Besides, Assassin's Tsubame Gaeshi technique is a lot cooler than what Kojirou's was supposed to be.
    • Well, all this was the entire point of this Assassin—he was improperly summoned via a loophole to be linked to that particular land rather than a Master, which meant that an actual Heroic Spirit couldn't be summoned (think multiple layers of degradation in the process/requirements used). There was a Kojirou at some point in time and there was that particular technique, but neither were connected until some people used "creative licensing" to make him a Worthy Opponent to Musashi. He even admits that he's just a random nameless swordsman from history who had that name thrown together with him, so anything he does will simply go towards Kojirou's name. And yes, there is a very similar doubt (+ theory) about this in real life (probably where Nasu got the idea from, actually—I bet he'd be rather familiar with this stuff).

    UBW incantation 

  • Unlimited Blade Works. Specifically, the incantation for it. I can understand the Engrishy-ness of it—in fact, I'm surprised it's as comprehensible as it is. What bugs me, though, is that the Engrish version is completely different from the Japanese version. Not just in wording, but in the entire meaning of each line (though the overall effect is roughly the same). Where the English goes "Steel is my body, and fire is my blood", the Japanese goes "His body is of iron, his heart of glass" and so on and so forth. (Full version here. I guess the question is, why are the two versions so different, and which one is the "canonical" one?
    • That is pretty strange. If either of them is really the "canonical" incantation, it'd probably be the one that Archer actually uses in combat (whether in the VN, anime, or fighting game), so probably the engrish version.
    • Well... though most of the differences are pretty weird, yes, the Japanese can just as well be translated "My body is of iron, my heart of glass" and so forth since the subject is implicit and not explicit. Which makes it sound a lot closer... for the first three lines or so.
    • The author, Nasu, likes to play with the difference between pronunciation and meaning, generally by using kanji that say one thing with furigana that make the pronunciation something else. He does this all throughout FSN, especially with the Noble Phantasms (which are themselves an example, being called "hougu" in Japanese, which means "treasure"). For example, Lancer's spear is written as "Barbed Spear of Certain Death" but pronounced Gae Bolg. Excalibur is something like "Golden Sword of Absolute Victory." Reality Marble has the meaning of "innate bounded field." Shirou's spells are also subject to this. He says "Trace On" no matter what he's doing but thinks of a different meaning (and therefore kanji) depending on the spell. This presumably applies to Unlimited Blade Works as well. Archer says his poem in Engrish while thinking the poem in Japanese. One is not necessarily a translation of the other, because both meanings are meant to overlap. Since this is strictly a visual sort of pun, it doesn't really carry over well into voiced adaptations.
    • By the way, this kind of pun isn't unique to Nasu or FSN. In Death Note, Light's name is written "moon" but pronounced "Light" and is presumably meant to mean both. The title of A Certain Magical Index writes Index with the kanji meaning "index" in Japanese, but pronounces it in English.
    • I see what you mean, especially with regards to kouyuu kekkai (a.k.a. Reality Marbles) like Mugen no Kensei (literally Infinite Sword Creation), but just as a pointless nitpick, I don't think that applies to the names of the actual Noble Phantasms. Excalibur is the name and pronunciation of the Noble Phantasm itself; "yakusoku sareta shouri no ken" ("Sword of Promised Victory") just looks like a title rather than a pun. Gae Bolg is probably a better example, since that name just translates to "red branch"...though it does happen to have two titles attached to it ("Spear of Impaling Barbed Death" and "Spear of Striking Death Flight," depending on how Lancer uses it).

    HF Shinji and Sakura 

  • Heaven's Feel. Shinji tries to rape Sakura and threatens to tell Shirou about their previous * cough* liasons if she doesn't submit. She's (irrationally but understandably) terrified of the idea and winds up killing him...but why does she take a threat like that seriously at all? Sure, Shinji is clearly unhinged by this point, but surely he would have enough survival instinct left over to realize that telling your magus brother-in-law, who knows the kind of abuse and domination you've put his lover through, that you dominated her sexually as well is...a tad unsafe.
    • I think you're giving Shinji too much credit. Look at the fight in Fate where Shirou forces him to cancel the Blood Fort — even after Shirou goes all badass Determinator, kicks his ass, and starts choking him, Shinji's first instinct is to assume that Shirou couldn't possibly bring himself to kill him. He just doesn't take Shirou seriously. (Now that I think about it, that's probably why he offered Shirou an alliance in the first place — he wanted a partner he thought was a pushover.)
    • He does still have Rider in Fate, and he capitulates pretty quickly when Shirou points out, verbally and in no uncertain terms, that he would be more than happy to kill Shinji if he doesn't take down the Blood Fort. In Heaven's Feel, he has literally nothing left but his supposed domination over Sakura...which doesn't really contradict your point, come to think of it.
    • You're underestimating Sakura's bad self-image. She doesn't see herself as a person with any redeeming qualities at all (see her ultimate breakdown before the Shirou-Kotomine fight in HF), and doesn't fully understand why Shirou loves her and wants to be with her. Even though he's told her he'll always be there for her, Sakura can only believe that Shirou will be disgusted with her and desert her if he learns she's "let" her own adopted brother rape her. Actually, almost all of Sakura's Sanity Slippage in HF comes from thinking she might lose Shirou now that she has him. (Of course, Zouken is not helping matters at all...)
    • Oh, I know. Like I said, her fear was irrational but understandable (I was more confused about Shinji's mindset, not Sakura's). That said, by that point, Sakura was changing. The last ero scene in the route has a markedly positive effect on her self-esteem; the fact that Shirou asked her for sex meant he wasn't healing her out of obligation, but out of genuine attraction. That's the whole reason Shinji has to resort to his bizarre extortion, because Sakura is confident enough to finally refuse to put up with it any more (a confidence, naturally, reaching Freak Out! proportions after the incident).
    • Actually, Sakura's fear is not that Shirou would reject her if he found out the truth (she briefly considers and then rapidly rejects this notion) but that he would beat the shit out of and (likely) kill Shinji for her sake, and she didn't want him to give up yet more of his ideal for her sake. Which, really, is a perfectly rational thing to think, because that's what he would have done. As for Shinji, maybe he was bluffing, maybe he was being serious, but Sakura knows how vindictive he can be (he's abused her for three years as a result of it, after all), and she knows how angry he is at that point in time. Even if he is bluffing, Sakura sure as hell isn't going to risk it.

    Heracles as a Berserker 

  • Berserker: Why the hell did the Einzbern summon Heracles as a damn berserker? They could have probably won the war if they had summoned him as an Archer or Saber.
    • Because Berserkers are the strongest. The only reason Sabers have that reputation is because Berserkers tend to be weaker spirits (made viable in combat), and tend to be dangerous to their masters in any case. Heracles is already one of the most powerful heroic spirits in existence, and not only does Mad Enhancement kick up his stats to godlike levels, but he's also pretty much guaranteed not to turn on Ilya. All being an Archer or Saber would have done is give him long-range capability (in the first case) and a Noble Phantasm that he really didn't need access to.
    • Ilya states that she is forgoing the "Enhancement" part of Mad Enhancement, so all of his fights, barring (maybe) the jobbing ones, are simply brute unenhanced strength. Also, Nine Lives is pretty damn powerful as Shirou demonstrated during HF. So why take an awesome heroic spirit and degrade it by making him unable to use his full strength?
    • Because Ilya was being inscrutable. When she does give him the enhancement part (like her family intended), he turns into Death's own cuisinart. He doesn't need Nine Lives at that point. The game itself notes that technique is used to shore up weaknesses...and Berserker is so damn fast and tough that it's unnecessary in his case. Come to think of it...did the Einzberns actually deliberately summon him as a Berserker? UBW makes it sound like they just summoned Heracles in general.
    • Unless they deliberately wanted Heracles to be mad so he couldn't "betray" them like Saber and Kiritsugu, it doesn't make any sense summoning him as something that takes away his most powerful offensive ability. Anyway, although Shirou pointed out skill is used to compesnate for weakness, having skill and awesome stats can go hand to hand. Besides, if Shirou can use Nine Lives to kill Berserker nine times in one second despite being a human, then yeah, Berserker could saunter through the Grail War untouchable to all but Gilgamesh (and maybe Archer) if he could use Nine Lives.
    • Except the point of that statement is that they don't go hand-in-hand if one side is large enough; skill is superfluous if you can swing hard enough and fast enough. And since Berserker already is untouchable to everyone except Gilgamesh and Archer (and Dark Sakura), he really doesn't need Nine Lives. It's pointless to ask again, but I will anyway...did the Einzberns deliberately summon Heracles as a Berserker, or did they just summon Heracles and he came as a Berserker? (He can be any class but Caster, remember.)
    • First point: Shirou said that he doesn't need skill because he is so overwhelmingly powerful, not that it wouldn't help him. Like the diffrence between being being crazy strong and not using weapons, you may not really need them but they sure are useful. Second point: It's never mentioned in Fate/Stay Night. Maybe it's explained in F/HA or side material, but not in the main game itself.
    • It seems like the tradeoff is just between "crazy strength" and "powerful, but with a crazy strong attack." Hard to tell whether a decrease in stats (Ilya's actions aside) would be worth it or not (sounds more like a Wild Mass Guessing question, by now)...and of course, the point's moot if they didn't choose his class.
    • Simple answer? He was nerfed to make the story progress.
    • How so?
    • Had he not been a Berserker but rather Archer, there would be no "Archer" that we know and instead some other master would've had a Berserker; that alone would shuffle everything pretty drastically. Outside of that, had he not been a Berserker, Shirou would not have been able to beat him using a projected-on-the-spot Caliburn because Berserker would have been capable of evading it with ease instead of just standing there and trying to fight back with sheer power.
    • Considering he fought Saber and Archer evenly without using his enhancement (iirc) at the beginning of UBW, he probably would be more useful as any of the other five classes he has available to him. However, I don't think the Einzbern family picked what class he was. Ilya did. Ilya didn't want a rational companion. She wanted the guy who protected her from the forest that didn't speak, crushed all her enemies and never opposed her as he had no free will to do so with. So yea, he can't use Nine Lives or make plans and is no doubt weaker for that than he ought to be, but the one who chose him to be this way simply doesn't care. Berserker probably would have won the previous Grail War easily enough, but this one simply has so many wild cards that he can't. On a side note, imagine the Gilgamesh v. Berserker fight in UBW... but with Hercules there as an Archer instead. Surprise!
    • I came to the other conclusion: considering he fought Saber and Archer evenly without using the enhancement at the beginning of UBW, if he actually fought as a Berserker, he'd have been completely unstoppable. As for the hypothetical Archer duel...yeah, that would be something to see. Gilgamesh would have to actually fight seriously, in that case, and Heracles would probably have an even better chance of winning than Iskander did...
    • If Gil was actually fighting seriously, he'd just Enuma Elish him in the face....
    • Wasn't it stated in an interview that they summoned him as a Beserker because they were tired of always being betrayed and the idea of a loyal guard dog appealed to them?
    • That'd be a pretty odd reason, since not only does the real threat of betrayal come from the master (who holds the command spells), but Berserkers have a reputation of being the servant spirits most likely to turn on their masters (not that that was likely in Heracles' case, but still).
    • I found the interview question "Q. Why did the Einzbern summoned Hercules as a Berserker? I'd think that in some other classes, he'd be able to have access to skills and Noble Phantasms that he had originally had.... A. Simple is POWER. Mayhap the Einzbern, who had been up until now been betrayed again and again, felt it safer to have a "loyal dog that'd do only what they told it to do". The aspect of Hercules as a regular Heroic Spirit would have many advantages in his own right, but on the other hand, there's also the possibility of some cooperative friction occurring with the Master because the heroic part of him is a bit too strong. That kind of Master and Servant combo is pretty frequent in Fate/Zero..."
    • Considering how they also gave Ilya enough command spells to pretty much cover her entire body, and that Heracles (from what little we've seen of his lucid thoughts) was not only absolutely devoted to Ilya but also a dyed-in-the-wool Blood Knight, that seems to be an oddly paranoid position to take...which, come to think of it, fits the Einzberns perfectly.
    • Also, the Einzberns have not shown the best decision-making skills when it comes to the Grail Wars. Remember, they were the ones who derailed the whole thing during the Third War when they tried to give themselves an edge by summoning Avenger, which only resulted in the Grail getting corrupted.
    • It seems like the Einzberns greatest weakness is greed huh?
    • There's actually a basis for it in Herales's backstory - Hera (Zeus's wife, who detested Heracles for being a child of her unfaithful husband - and she couldn't exactly punish Zeus) drove him mad, causing him to slay his wife and 2 children. Logically speaking, at the time, he would've fit the description of a Berserker.

    Kotomine's deaths 

  • I probably know the answer to this, but I'm posting it anyway: How is it that Kotomine dies instantly when he gets stabbed by Lancer in UBW, yet manages to survive for two days when True Assassin does the same thing to him in Heaven's Feel?
    • Because True Assassin just tries to magically steal Kotomine's heart, and fails. Lancer physically stabs him. The real question is how he manages to survive Dark Sakura crushing his heart...and the answer is probably the same way Shirou survives using the arm.
    • I think Kotomine also explains that since Zabaniya is a curse and his current heart is made from a conglomeration of curses it couldn't work on him.
    • And Dark Sakura destroys his heart made out of curses after he explains that. True Assassin has nothing to do with it, he failed. The answer is probably that Gae Bolg is more lethal, totally destroying the heart whereas his artificial heart was basically crippled instead, or possibly that it reverted to the state it was in when Kiritsugu shot him, but his body has healed since then enough to let him struggle on for awhile longer.
    • What? No, Sakura destroyed his heart because she had control over Avenger and Kotomine's cursed heart was given to him by Avenger, she even taunts him about how she has him under her mercy because the only way his body survived so long was because of his fake heart. Besides Zabaniya, being the so called arm of Shayṭān, probably has something like the evil descriptor in it; seeing that Kotomine's heart was given to him by all the evil in the world, a lesser curse wouldn't work on it, so yeah. Regarding Gae Bolg: Gae Bolg's curse is that wounds given from it are not healed, Lancer just stabbed Kotomine in the heart with a Noble Phantasm which is instant death for normal people (And even if Kotomine's fake heart has enough endurance to eventualy survive it, Lancer sets the room on fire).
    • That's not really contradicting what I said. Sakura blew his artificial heart up, not Lancer. Lancer definitely destroys the heart, whereas what Sakura does is left rather vague. She destroys the artificial heart, which could mean she retracts the power of curses used to sustain it. Then he merely has a mortally wounded heart in an otherwise absurdly healthy body. So, he's still dying, just not the instant death from blood loss, shattered ribs and whatnot the original bullet from Kiritsugu would have done. Also, you might be thinking of the lance from Fate/Zero. The short one of Diarmuid's lances that I don't recall the name of inflicts cursed, unhealable wounds. Gae Bolg is special because it will always inflict a fatal blow when its name is called. The wounds also do not heal easily but they do heal. The difference appears to make it so the healing factor of a Servant reduces it to a wound that would be like a normal lance wound for a human; i.e., something that could completely heal in about a week or two, which is still faster than what humans can do but not nearly the normal ability of a Servant.
    • Gae Buidhe, incidentally.
    • And just pointing out, Gae Bolg also has the whole "wounds from my lance will never heal" thing. Both Lancers from F/Z and Fate/Stay Night have lances with the unhealable wound curse, and Saber is just that unlucky to have been stabbed by both unhealable lances.
    • True. Zero Lancer has the truly "unhealable wounds" thing going, though. Saber recovers from Gae Bolg on her own, eventually.
    • Actually, Saber doesn't recover from it on her own. I think she at one point mentions that the wound is still there, but she can patch up most of the superficial damage with mana or something.
    • Kotomine isn't dead. That's why Lancer sets the room on fire. To finish him off. He says so himself.
    • I might be incorrect, but I remember the narrative stating several times that Kotomine is as dead as a doorknob.
    • The narrative also states that there are only seven Servants in the war. And the point is, the narrative is always from some character's (most often Shirou's) point of view, so we get to see what the "narrating" character is thinking in exchange for not being able to see things said character can't see and being deceived when said character is deceived and unaware of it. Rin thinks Kotomine is dead, and then Lancer declares that he is going to torch the place "because Kotomine is a persistent bastard"—we don't know whether Rin is right or not with her thoughts about Kotomine, but we can assume that she isn't.
    • Keep in mind that the way Gae Bolg works is basically causing reality to alter itself so that the attack will hit. Kotomine is not a servant, he has no luck stat, no Noble Phantasms, nothing like that. Thus, Gae Bolg on a human is more or less a One-Hit KO.

    Shirou as Shinji's friend 

  • Why in the world is Shinji "Shirou's friend"... ever? Even in the start of the game we know that Shirou is aware that Shinji beats Sakura. For someone who has such stupid "ideals" regarding women, he sure doesn't apply them here. "Shinji shouldn't do that." ....you think? STOP HIM, MR. HERO.
    • ....never mind. I read this little gem.
      When I asked him why he hit her, he said that he just hit her because he felt like it.
      After that, I got pissed and did to Shinji what he did to Sakura.
      Since then, we've been estranged.
    • Okay, my opinion went SLIGHTLY back up of him.
    • I certainly hope so. It's a classic domestic abuse case (on the surface), and Shirou's not in a position to do much about it; he's rightly aware that beating the snot out of Shinji again is likely to do more harm than good. Granted, his doormat-style "continue being friendly and hope he changes" is unlikely to do much better, but at least it won't result in Sakura being unable to escape to the Emiya household. Shirou has no "ideals" regarding women, in any case (if you're talking about Saber, see the first bullet list on the page).
    • Shirou doesn't even seem particularly friendly to Shinji. It seems more like "Not going to beat the shit out of him even if he's an ass to Sakura because it won't help Sakura any. I can be polite at least." Plus, in UBW, and also HF to some extent, note that Shinji isn't always such a jerkass smug snake and is simply kinda cynical and can be a bit mean occasionally. When Shinji started hitting Sakura and Shirou found out, the friendship was basically over. There's a big difference between hitting your sister (he doesn't know about the worse stuff) and deciding to liquefy the school.
    • Shirou hints at times that Shinji is a childhood friend, and so Shinji was probably much, much less of a Jerkass as a little kid (Shirou mentions going over to play once, and when Shinji reforms a little at the end of UBW, Shirou notes that his personality is much like it "used to be"). Shinji was probably a normal, if not relatively decent, boy as a kid, he just picked up jerkassery as he grew up.
    • It's explained fully in Heaven's Feel, and also in Hollow Ataraxia. Shinji was an OK guy (still a bit of a jerk, but helpful to his friends) when Shirou first met him in middle school. However, once he discovered the truth about Sakura, he became a lot worse, and in particular started abusing and raping her. Once Shirou noticed that he was hitting her, their relationship basically fell apart.
    • Someone, please explain to me.. Shinji's completely new outfit in HF during the bad ending where you decide not to team up with Tohsaka? I mean.. he's all fancy with a get-up I've never, ever seen him wear before! More importantly, when you do side up with Tohsaka he's in his standard brown outfit, so what made him decide to put on a fancy dress in the first place?
    • I think it was an unused sprite that they just threw in there because they couldn't find a place to use it. Could be wrong though.

    Kuzuki and Rider 

  • How did Kuzuki kill Rider? Kotomine and True Assassin both note that although Kotomine is quite a bit tougher than True Assassin, he's incapable of killing him because one is a human and the other is a spirit. In Fate/Zero Kiritsugu also notes that there's no point in sniping at Servants because it won't do anything, and he's using some pretty badass guns. I can accept Shirou taking down Berserker because he's using her Noble Phantasm which is not a normal weapon or even a Conceptual one and he has some of her power behind it as well... but Kuzuki just used magically enhanced fists. Not even a Conceptual Weapon. And he killed her in one blow?
    • Caster is enhancing Kuzuki somehow, isn't she?
    • It's only a reinforcement spell. That means it increases the 'ability' of whatever it's put on, like a sword is stronger and sharper, fists can do more damage, legs can jump higher and run faster etc. It just makes stuff somewhat better at doing whatever the normally do. Shouldn't that mean that Kuzuki's fists would instead only be capable of stuff like punching through walls unharmed? The basic properties of his hands have not been changed, their effectiveness is merely increased. A Servant is made of Prana, basically, so there isn't much you can do against it through mere physical means.
    • I always chalked it up to Caster's magic being really damn strong. She's already good enough to reinforce another person at all, and she can do things that would be considered Sorcery by a lot of modern magi, so it's possible she's just that good with reinforcement magic, as opposed to, say, Shirou's capability.
    • Actually, Word of God states that it is Caster's reinforcement that allows Kuzuki to fight, harm and even kill Servants as the Reinforcement allows his punches to harm spiritual bodies. This makes sense to a certain extent as a) Caster's magecraft comes from the Age of the Gods, when everything magic-related was just that much more powerful and b) Reinforcement sorcery can probably be tweaked on a certain level so that something like a fist can be reinforced to hit or "harm" something that it otherwise wouldn't be able to. Hence with Caster's Reinforcement, Kuzuki is able to "harm" Servants.
    • A Wizard Did It.
    • More important is the fact that Shinji was her master then. In HF we get a clear distinction between Shinji's Rider and Sakura's Rider - it's the difference between Shirou Saber and Rin Saber in UBW. In HF, Shirou Saber curbstomps Shinji's Rider in one hit. Later on, Sakura's Rider curbstomps True Assassin. That's why Kuzuki could kill Rider so easily in UBW. Not to mention, Shinji stupidly Did Not Do The Research and went ahead with the activation without neutralizing the other Master that Tohsaka had TOLD him existed earlier - and it was one of the most badass Masters in the War. Shirou goes on in FSN about being the worst master, but don't worry Shirou - Shinji has you beat in that department. Not a single redeeming feature.
    • Witch.
    • Fine then, maybe the extra damage comes from magic or something. But what about Tohsaka vs. Caster? Tohsaka won with sheer martial arts and only didn't kill her because deep down she doesn't have the killing instinct. Kuzuki notes that now they're going to lose (except for the Big Damned Villains) because she didn't kill her in the time available, meaning that she had the capacity to do so.
    • "Tohsaka's fist must be 'strengthened' like Kuzuki's, as her attack easily penetrates Caster's defense...'strengthening' of a few seconds using magic. Tohsaka intended to fight this way from the start."
    • Did Caster actually have any physical defenses, though? You don't prepare for things that never occur to you, which was the whole point of attacking as a physical fighter. Plus, if her fist was strengthened, she would probably be doing the kind of damage Kuzuki was doing to Saber. She may not be as strong before starting, sure, but Saber wore armor.
    • Shirou might be speaking figuratively when he says "defenses," or he might have assumed Caster would have some magical defenses up in any case (as a standard preparation, regardless of situation). And Rin probably was doing the same kind of damage (or probably worse, on the unarmored and totally off-guard Caster). Why?
    • I always thought it to mean that Rin and Kuzuki applied a thin layer of magic around their fists, thus essentially making their bodies or at least some parts classified as "magic" weapon. I mean, a purely physical attack wouldn't hurt a servant, but the layer of magic would. It would be like if you found a ghost that was trying to attack you, but couldn't because it was a ghost and just passes through you. And then it somehow puts on gloves so that it has a physical thing to hit you with. Also, Caster didn't have any physical barriers/defenses up. Why should she think that she needed them? As far as she knows, the only thing that can hurt her is magic/supernatural stuff. Rin is a mage. Therefore, the only way that Rin could hurt her would be through magic. It never occurred to her that a mage would ever resort to hand to hand combat because as far as she knowes or the mages of her time purely relied on sorcery. And as to why Rin was doing more damage against Caster than Kuzuki was against Saber, you said it yourself. Kuzuki was fighting an opponent who is fighting a close combat warrior wearing armor, whereas Rin was fighting a person who knew absolutely nothing about hand-to-hand combat with no defenses.
    • Snake. He was trained as an assassin, so he would be able to kill Servants due to his skill alone. That's why he nearly caved in Saber's throat when they fought.
    • Actually, no it was the magic reinforcement. When Kuzuki tried to use Snake on Archer, without the reinforcement, all it did was move his head back slightly, and Archer killed him with one hit.


  • If Fate is set in the present, why does nobody have cellphones?
    • The only characters we see in a position to use cell phones are minors. Shirou might not think they're that important (even if Taiga could help him), Rin would rather die than ask Kotomine for help with anything, and Sakura might be too frightened to ask Zouken to sign for one. Presumably a lot of the non story-important students have them.
    • You need to be past age of consent to own a cellphone in Japan? All the main characters live alone, so I would have figured it was a matter of expense. Aren't there prepaid packages that allow you to use a phone without actually signing up for a specific line? I might be confused because it works differently in my country.
    • In Japan, you do need someone else to sign for you if you're underage (when I was there last year, underage was below 20). I don't know if it works differently for emancipated minors, though.
    • Even emancipated minors have to have a designated guardian, whose duty it is to sign things in place of the kid's parents and take care of them. After Shirou was adopted by Kiritsugu, he was officially not his "father" but rather his "guardian", and I am fairly certain Kiritsugu asked Taiga's grandfather to become Shirou's guardian after he would die. Thus, Shirou would need to go to Fujimura Raiga to have a chance to get a cell phone - likely not a problem unless Taiga intervened, and considering she was playing the matchmaker for Shirou and Sakura she probably would.
    • Magi disapprove of technology and are in general quite disdainful of it. Tohsaka's a little more relaxed about it, but honestly, with her upbringing and focus on 'doing what a magus is supposed to do' would she really use something as high tech as a cell phone? And the only person around to sign up Shirou for a phone is Taiga, who is insane and wouldn't want him calling anyone in private unless it was Sakura. Apart from them, who else is likely to? Definitely not Ilya.

    Rock sword 

  • Why does no one ever destroy Berserker's rock sword? Seriously, even Noble Phantasms can be destroyed and that things just a hunk of rock. It'd be a damn sight easier to kill him if Archer just made a Broken Phantasm and blew it up.
    • It is a Noble Phantasm. One which can survive Berserker's attacks. If he wasn't a Berserker, he could use Nine Lives with it.
    • Technically, that's because the Nine Lives technique itself became a Noble Phantasm. The reason no one tries to destroy his sword is because they can't. Partly because the thing is clearly reinforced somehow (it's been used to parry countless actual N Ps), and partly because regardless of D&D rules, deliberately sundering a weapon is extremely difficult...even when the weapon isn't being wielded by an insanely quick and powerful giant.
    • Yeah, but NP's rip reinforced items into shreds after a couple of hit's and Broken Phantasm's blow EVERYTHING up. If Herakles wasn't a Berserker, I could believe that Nine Lives might make a difference but as he is one, he can't use it. And what about Assassin's sword? That thing begin's to break after too much contact with NP's. Heck that's the only way to beat him, as his Tsubame Gaeshi is a One-Hit Kill otherwise.
    • Assassin's also much slower and weaker than Berserker, his weapon is made of much more flexible metal instead of rock, and the time it bent (Monohoshizao wasn't breaking, it just bent) was because he didn't parry; he literally struck Saber's weapon full force. Berserker doesn't need to invite weapon damage like that, and if a single Broken Phantasm were all it took to destroy the axe-sword, he would have been unarmed halfway through Fate (after going through Unlimited Blade Works) or through all of UBW (he took a direct hit from Caladbolg).
    • Berserker's weapon is much less flexible true, but it's also more fragile. Rock will be slowly chipped and worn away over time and reinforcement does NOT allow a weapon to match a NP. Fridge Logic is telling me that Beserker's sword should have at least begun to break after the protracted fight with, well any of the heroic spirits.
    • Reinforcement does allow a weapon to match an NP, for at least a short time. See Kuzuki blocking Excalibur, and Shirou parrying Gae Bolg several times with a poster. It's also not beyond conceivable that Sella or Leysritt (or even Ilya herself) are capable of magical repairs if the axe-sword does start getting chipped.
    • Berserker's sword is part of the temple which the Einzbern's used to summon him. Even if its not a Noble Phantasm, it's probably a lot more durable than it looks. I personally think it's a fossilized remnant of Hercules's bow.
    • Valid point, but Kuzuki never came into contact with the blade's edge. He just caught it by catching the sides of the blade. And Shirou blocked the pole of Gae Bolg. Once Lancer actually stabbed at Shirou, the poster was pierced easily.
    • And as someone mentioned, it was part of the temple that the Einzbern's used to summon him, so it must be ancient. Age also increases the potency/existence/history/whatever of a weapon. In fact, it could even have become a conceptual weapon, meaning it's much stronger than just a chunk of rock.
    • Wait, things get stronger with age? That... denies all common sense. And if every weapon left lying around in a temple (Or indeed made from a temple) became a conceptual weapon, then the world would be awash with them.
    • Some weapons do get stronger from age. They accumulate history and become mysteries or something like that. And the club wasn't just left in any temple. It was part of Heracle's own temple, meaning that it was probably from the age of the gods, since that's apparently when Caster and Rider are from. Something like that, even if it did not reach the level of conceptual weapon, would have at least accumulated enough history to become a mystery. Which is pretty much what Noble Phantasms are, powerful mysteries.
    • Berserker's axe-sword probably has as much durability as other N Ps. At the very least, the little handle on one end can survive his insane grip strength. Also, it can tear through cement, asphalt, and telephone poles without even chipping. On a side note, early on in the UBW route, Archer fires a Broken Phantasm at Berserker and it goes boom. Shirou then notices the sword that was still intact, which stands that N Ps are incredibly hard to destroy even when they're supposed to. Berserker also "attacked" the Caladbolg II that was flying at him with his axe-sword, so yeah.... They never really stated a limit for the amount of reinforcement an item can take, but if you completely saturate it with Prana, then it should make for a pretty powerful weapon, conceptualized or not.
    • So the axe-sword can take on NP's because Ilya has ridiculously broken magic power and skill?
    • That may be one reason. But as it has been said before, it's something that remained from the age of the gods. Not many things manage to survive that long. After a certain length of time, an object becomes a mystery. After an even longer accumulation of age, it transforms into a "concept". Using Kara no Kyoukai as an example from the Nasuverse, a simple 500 year old no-name katana accumulated enough mystery that simply unsheathing it would apparently be enough to wipe out all the magical wards in a building. Araya's left arm has a 2000 year old Budha embedded in it, making it much harder to "kill". The longer a weapon's been around, the harder it is to destroy, or at the very least they have a much more magical property/ability to affect magical things. Hell, Gilgamesh even says it himself that Fame isn't the only way to increase the power of a weapon, and that "Mystery" plays a role too.
    • The "simple 500 year old katana" was suggested to have been made by a famous swordsmith and it also has kuji-kiri, which is, roughly speaking, taoist wards.
    • Hold on a second. The Axe-sword wasn't actually made from Hercules's original temple. It was made from the foundation of a replica that the Einzberns created as a focus for summoning. Thus it can't be a conceptual weapon as it hasn't aquired any "Mystery" over time.
    • Checking some things, apparently the attacks are the Noble Phantasms and not the weapons themselves. Or to put it in another way, the Noble Phantasm is the attack, not the weapon. Which kinda makes sense, looking at some of the Noble Phantasms there are. In this case, it's just a giant rock axe sword vs steel/whatever the hell the weapon Beserker's opponent is at the time.
    • It's a bit inconsistent on that point...or possibly both aspects are correct. The weapons themselves have to be Noble Phantasms, because Gil has most of them (despite only being able to use Gate of Babylon, Ea, and Enkidu)...but attacks being Noble Phantasms as well not only explains Nine Lives (which would describe both an actual weapon and a technique), but it also explains why Gae Bolg's two attacks (Spear of Impaling Barbed Death and Spear of Striking Death Flight) are counted as separate NPs.

    Taiga and Saber's name 

  • Shouldn't Taiga, the English teacher, know that Saber isn't a normal English name?
    • She was introduced as a friend of Kiritsugu, and Kiritsugu had very odd friends.
    • On the other hand, she didn't see it written down, and "Seber" is a proper English surname. Also, she was not clearly stated to be English, so Taiga could just assume that it is a proper French first name or something.

    Shirou's Avalon 

  • Did the Avalon that Shirou projected in Fate stick around? It's one of Shirou's rare "perfect" projections, that duplicate every detail without fail without even dropping the Phantasm's rank, so there's no particular reason that it should disappear after its purpose was served. The Gem Sword Zelretch didn't fade afterwards, so would that Avalon be rejected by the world?
    • If it actually was perfect, then chances are it would stay around at the end. An imitation that reproduces everything perfectly ceases to be an imitation. Since the reason that Shirou's projections normally fade away is because they were still projected "imperfectly", in that there were still apparently minute flaws in his designs, then a perfect projection would essentially be the real thing, and not fade.

    HF and corruption 

  • A minor thing, but in the Heaven's feel route, I found it odd that both Gilgamesh and Lancer didn't end up going dark after being consumed. I can somewhat understand Gilgamesh being handwaved due to "already" being the corrupted version due to the grail. But Lancer?
    • Gilgamesh wasn't polluted. The reason is because the Shadow devoured them instead of taking them, and then it turned them into energy. The other two were merely captured. In Saber's case, she was made into The Dragon while Berserker was merely blinded and had most of his skin ripped off. But still just trying to save Ilya.
    • This was actually answered in an interview, at least as far as Gilgamesh is concerned. He's inherently uncontrollable by anyone else and cannot be blackened by the Grail. Sakura had to devour him in a hurry because he would otherwise have been able to escape her Shadow the same way he overcame All Evils of the World in Fate/Zero.


  • Why is it called Fate/Stay Night? I can understand UBW and HF, and I always thought of "Fate/" as a prefix, so shouldn't the route be called Stay Night? But it's still called Fate, even in the VN.
    • Eh? The game is called "Fate/Stay Night". The three routes are Fate, UBW and HF. The series as a whole is the Fate series, but "Fate/Stay Night" doesn't refer specifically to the first route of the game, so there's no sense to assuming that the first route should be called "Stay Night". As for why it's called "Fate/Stay Night", it's most likely that it sounds like a nice Engrish title to a Japanese person.
  • I have to agree, what kind of a title is "stay night"? What does it signify? At least the other two titles - Unlimited Blade Works, Heaven's Feel - are the name of magical rituals that grant power.

    Unclear fate 

  • Sakura's (potential) fate. In Fate and UBW, because her backstory is never touched on, one can assume she's still being mutilated and at constant odds with worms...
    • Yeah, it bugs me too, and I suspect that it bugs pretty much every other Sakura fan. It's possible that Nasu intended for it to be assumed that Gil had killed Zouken in UBW (perhaps to partially 'make up' for the fact that the only two people who care for her have run off to London together), but given how hard he is to kill in HF, it's just not believable that Gil could do so by crushing a few worms. To me, the UBW endings are played out to be far happier than they actually are, for this reason, especially since Rin and Shirou actually do care about Sakura, and when they discover what they've done (by leaving her alone in Fuyuki with only the brother who raped her for three years and a bunch of dickworms for company) they will be devestated. It's the big unresolved dilemma in the first two routes, because at some point Rin is going to either work out that her sister's life sucks or attempt to reconcile with her (especially in UBW, because at some point she's going to have to tell Shirou the truth about her family), and when that happens something serious is going to go down.
    • She might be fine, actually. It's pretty firmly implied in HF that this is Zouken's last shot; his mind and soul are rapidly degrading, and he actually notes early on that Sakura's quality as a Grail is the only thing in his favor, and that in fact pretty much all of the other circumstances in the war make it a very bad time to enact his plans, but he goes ahead with them anyway. Possibly in the other two routes he degraded even more quickly and simply doesn't have enough intellect left to be a threat by the time the Holy Grail War rolls around. I can even think of a little evidence of that; in UBW, there's mention that the Matou estate still has a number of his insects in the cellar, but the only activity they take the entire route is to cower in terror of Gilgamesh wn he's in the manor. Now, it's possible that Zouken is out of town or something and they were just familiars he left behind... but it's also possible that the worms in question were Zouken, his mind so rotted that he's no longer capable of sentient thought. This would mean that with Shinji either dead or with the bastard scared out of him, Sakura is basically free and clear. Just my personal hopes, of course, but doesn't the thought of Zouken forever left a mindless, insane mass of worms in a basement somewhere, tormented for all eternity and unable to do anything about it, just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside?
    • However, it's also outright stated in HF that this war isn't Zouken's last chance, that he was planning on waiting for the next war and that the only reason he activated Sakura was because she was so compatible with the Grail (because, unlike him, she wouldn't survive until the next war). He was certainly around at the beginning of the war, at least, for two reasons. Firstly, all three routes follow a common back story, and there's no time when he could have died before the point where HF splits from the other two routes, and secondly if he were dead Sakura would either have refused to summon Rider or would have taken Rider and used her to protect Shirou, rather than putting both her brother (who she cares about, despite everything) and Shirou in a position where they have to fight one another. The only reason she refused to fight is because agreeing to fight would have led to something like HF, where Sakura used her magic to absorb the servants, and she knew that she would be forced to fight (and probably kill) Shirou. As for Zouken, the worms in the basement almost certainly are him. However, that is perfectly normal for him, and given the circumstances going into worm form is the best option. It proves nothing about his sanity, as wonderful as your idea sounds.... Also, even if he is gone, Sakura still has the worms (including the one containing his soul) inside her, although admittedly without Zouken there to use them they aren't a threat to her, so she can simply go and find someone to remove them.
    • Well... hmm... well, perhaps it's possible he simply abandons her? The next Grail War is not likely to happen for another sixty-odd years, the Fifth was unusually early. By that time, if Sakura is even still alive she'd most likely be to physically weak to act as a Grail; even her young, healthy body almost didn't survive. He gains nothing from killing her that he couldn't gain from a random person on the street (possibly even less, since her unique body might make her less useful as a complete host for all we know), and he no longer has Shinji to help keep her under control. Perhaps he simply cuts his losses and ditches her. Not exactly happy, but not the worst thing that could happen. This is, unfortunately, my last theory on the subject... I'd like to think that she gets some sort of happiness in the two routes that aren't hers, but it's entirely possible that Sakura is simply totally screwed and nobody is going to save her. Illya's going to die in a year and most likely nobody is going to save her either, so at least she's not the only one who doesn't get a happy ending.
    • Sakura's most likely fine. The fifth Grail War is officially the last one (Waver Velvet dismantles the system for summoning and using the grail). Zouken would have no further reason to use Sakura; his goal was to possess someone capable of using Heaven's Feel, not simply have someone powerful to possess (his body and soul are rotting too quickly for that to be anything but delaying the inevitable), and his insanity and exceedingly rare acts of whimsical compassion mean it's probably not in-character for him to do anything just For the Evulz. As for Shinji, he's dead in Fate, and it's very strongly implied that he's been scared straight into a Heel–Face Turn in Unlimited Blade Works.
    • Whilst the fifth war is indeed the last one, that doesn't necessarily mean that Zouken isn't going to try something else. It's possible that he'll just realise that he's screwed and give up (in which case he'll likely die almost immediately, since staying alive for a few extra years isn't worth the effort), but it's more likely that he'll try to find another way to gain immortality. In that case, Sakura is useful to him because she can provide him with an heir (after which he'll likely kill her as he did Shinji's mother), if nothing else, and having a puppet is always handy. And, as an absolute last resort, he can take her body to allow himself to survive. However, either of these things provide at least a glimmer of hope for her, because with the Grail dismantled, he's likely to be desperate, which will likely mean that he'll be forced to throw caution to the wind and act more openly. Of course, the person whose job it is to stop him in that case just so happens to be Sakura's sister (assuming he remains in Fuyuki, anyway), so there's at least a chance of her being saved. Similarly, if she is forced to have a child, Sakura herself will likely have to seek help, because whilst she's happy to accept that she'll spend the rest of her life as Zouken's puppet rather than risk Shirou coming to harm, it's unlikely that she'd be willing to sacrifice her own child in that way.
      • Just asking, but could Sakura have any children (biologically)? If I'm not mistaken, of the three routes, UBW is the only one that Shirou could potentially have children after, and it's not because of what happens to Shirou in the other routes.

    Rin and Shirou 

  • It's really more of a What If? thing, but it's been bugging me so I guess it goes here. What if Rin didn't revive Shirou? What would have happened then? I mean, I imagine Sakura would basically shatter (though what would happen next is kind of an unknown) and that Archer would... well, who knows what the hell would happen to him, Ilya and Shinji would probably react in some fashion, and Taiga, I have no clue what she'd do (she's basically a yakuza princess and if Shirou died there would be some hell to pay).
    • That sounds like it would lead into an insanely long discussion marked by many, many, many sidetrackings. Thus, it's perfectly suited for the discussion page.

    Carrying someone much bigger 

  • Please tell me I'm not the only one bugged by this. During Fate route, Ilya paralyzed Shirou with her Mystic Eyes, then she took him home when he was unconscious. A little girl who was alone at that moment kidnapped a teenager from the city park to her house located at the outskirts of the city. In broad daylight. And she laughs at him for falling for that so easily, while she explicitly told him before that she can't harm him during the daytime...
    • The playground they were in was explicitly deserted, and she went there for the express purpose of capturing him, since Saber was apparently in no condition to fight. It's also more than likely she brought Sella or Leysritt along to transport him...besides, she didn't harm him.

    Magic sex 

  • During that night in the ruins, in the Fate route, when they need to give Saber more magical energy or she would disappear, Rin explains to the reluctant Shirou that the sperm of magi contains a lot mana or something just about as squicky. Well, I can accept that, what with the whole H-game thing... But if that's true, than what reason did Rin have to have sex with Saber? Except for the obvious "She really wanted to." She didn't have any sperm to put there. right?...
    • She was 'preparing' Saber for Shirou, since he didn't know what the hell he was doing. Of course, "She really wanted to" probably had something to do with it, given that she was actually masturbating whilst watching them....
    • Rin's main goal was to make sure the transfer worked, which relied on Shirou and Saber both reaching orgasm, and given the time constraints, doing it fast. If anything, Rin was really working on both of them, since she had to get Shirou in the mood as well, at first. Ultimately, Saber (the first-timer, in a lot of pain) simply required more work, both before and during the actual sex, since yes, neither she nor Shirou really had any idea what they were doing, and they didn't have time to figure it out for themselves. And Rin masturbating was... probably just her getting caught up in the moment.

    New contract 

  • Another thought for the ruins night: couldn't Shiro have given up his rights as master and have Rin make a new contract with Saber? I was kinda disapointed that this kind of Rin/Saber dual route didn't show up.
    • Because the instant Saber and Rin make a contract, a huge amount of mana floods into Saber, making a big, flashy BOOM that screams 'Hey Beserker! Heeeey! Here we are! We're hiding out right in here!' and they kind of wanted to avoid that conflict for as long as possible. Remember, Rin and Shirou would've probably been killed instantly, if Beserker had crashed through the wall to get to them. Bad End indeed.
    • Except that if Rin and Saber had formed a contract in the ruins, Saber would have been powerful enough to kick Berserker's ass. The real answer is that Nasu was saving that possibility for UBW. Though Rin!Saber did bugger all in that route in terms of actual combat.

    Grail power 

  • Now, this one was probably stated somewhere, but I don't remember clearly and I'm not sure if it was ever made clear, either. So the trick behind the Grail is that it's powered by the souls of the Servants it absorbs. But what happens after a wish is made? Are the Servant's souls consumed by the need for magical power or are they set free again, to return to the Throne of Heroes? I assume they get freed either way if the Grail is destroyed, though?
    • Probably doesn't matter either way, since with a few exceptions, all the Servants are simply copies of the heroes in question. Still...probably the latter, in a way. Ultimately, everything returns to Akasha, including mana, and most of the servants are mana. The image I'd always had of the Third Magic was the incomplete version creating copies of the heroes in the first place and keeping them in the world (Gaia considers them contradictions, which is why they can't stay long), and the complete version forming them into a ram and slamming their way back to the Root. Most of the servants wind up where they were going anyway, Alaya snatches back its Counter Guardians, and the world sends Arturia back to her time.
    • They use the energy from the soul tunneling back to the Throne to open the hole to the Root.
    • So, in other words, it doesn't really matter what happens when a Servant is killed the Grail War because all that dies is a magical copy and the true Heroic Spirit of that Servant actually never left the Throne of Heroes? Well, that would certainly explain why Servants can't remember their previous Grail Wars. Though I think it kinda lowers the impact of everything if they're just copies.
    • The Throne of Heroes is like a paranoid collector in that sense; it grabs those human existences viewed as perfect, and isn't going to take chances that they'll get screwed up somehow. Still, the Grail War is only one of the instances where heroic spirits appear, and it's actually unusual in that the servants actually have the personalities and memories they did in life because they're actually summoned with the Third Magic...and because of that, despite being clones, they might actually retain some stuff from their time of summoning, like Archer does; it's hard to tell, because as far as we know, there's only ever been one servant spirit who was actually summoned more than once. And Saber doesn't fit into the mold anyway, since she's not in the Throne of Heroes to begin with.
    • Well, Saber isn't in the Throne YET, but I think with being King Arthur and all, she's guarantueed to get a seat once she lets her mortal body die. As for Archer, wasn't part of the bittersweet-ness of the UBW-Ending that he wouldn't remember what Shirou had taught him? I always assumed that Archer gained his memories of fighting for his cause and essentially what traumatized from his missions as a Counter Guardian, where he was actually had to step in with his real soul and "real" (as far as spirits can have that) body. Either way, so while the Servants in the Grail War are just magical clones of the original made with the Third Magic, the summoning is still somehow "channeling" their original souls at the Throne of Heroes, so they're kind of connected to it anyway? Did I get that somewhat right? (Man, Nasuverse logic sure is complicated...)
    • That's not correct. Word of God states that Arturia goes to Avalon instead of the Throne of Heroes (Last Episode confirms this too) when she dies despite the contract since she is the 'Once and Future King' of England. However Francis Drake in Extra is implied to be there too, so that raises question in Fate/EXTRA Servants being data compiled by the Moon observing the Earth rather than using the Throne of Heroes (makes sense of Extra Servants not fitting Fuyuki Grail War class restrictions being present if that is the case; i.e Vlad III is too slow to be a Lancer by the Fuyuki standards and Li Shuwen isn't a Hassan).
      • Apparently the Moon Cell in the Extra universe is an all-but-omniscient observer of human history and, rather than a Throne of Heroes that exists separately from the Moon Cell, does indeed compile data of heroic individuals for the purpose of creating Heroic Spirits. Also it's been established through all the different incarnations of the Holy Grail War at this point that most of the grail wars don't have nearly as strict rules when it comes to who is applicable for what (apparently Saber/Extra straight up cheeses her own capabilities to fit into the Saber class).

    Caster's master 

  • I've got a problem with Caster. Well, something related to her. In Fate, in the one scene she has, she mentions she killed her Master, and she casually mentions Assassin went off and got killed, with the subtle implication that she doesn't know how, at least in my opinion. Now, I just got past UBW, and it seems impossible that she killed her master (she loved him). Of course, I realized she probably lied, but I don't see exactly why. Also Assassin seems perfectly fine in UBW, and while I initially thought Gilgamesh killed him at some point in Fate, well, he didn't really seem to mind his presence in UBW, considering he alone owned the temple by the end of that route. So, tl;dr, what happened to Kuzuki and Assassin in Fate?
    • Caster killed her ORIGINAL Master and then went off with Kuzuki, who became her new Master. He probably just stayed behind when Caster launched her attack on the Emiya household, with fatal consequences. When she didn't return after a while, he probably either was killed by some other remaining Servant or simply went back to being a teacher eventually. As for Assassin...dunno. Maybe Rider killed him when he was weakened from his fight with Saber, if I'm not mixing stuff up right now, she was there when Saber and Assassin first fought and we never saw him again after that.
    • Yeah, that makes sense. I think one of the bad ends, the one where you decide to strike the temple, shows Rider spying on Assassin and Saber. And, if I recall correctly, Rider had already died at that point by UBW, so it's plausible that she killed him in Fate.
    • Nope, Rider couldn't have killed him since their fight would have been felt by Shiro while he was retreating with Saber and from that same Bad End we know that Caster was watching so she would have known that he was dead. Assassin had to have died when Caster wasn't looking, but who actually kills him is a What Happened to the Mouse? kind of thing or a Plot Hole.
    • My guess was that Gilgamesh killed him, to secure Ryudou temple as the altar for the Grail.

    Ilya male name 

  • A nitpick, truly, but isn't Ilya a male name?
    • That it is. Fortunately, it's a nickname, and not Ilyasviel's full given name.

    Rule Breaker freeing from control 

  • Heavens Feel; If Shiro is able to use Rule Breaker to free Sakura from Angra Mainyu's control, why couldn't he do the same to free Saber? Please tell me.
    • Probably because he was running out of Projections. Archer's arm would've annihilated him had he used it too often.

    Mordred's creation 

  • So, Mordred is a homonculus. A magical construct who's creation involves sperm. From queen Arturia. Who is a female. What. The. Frag.
    • Yeah, it's not quite clear just what Merlin did to help Arturia back then. Could have been a spell for her to appear male just as an illusion, but maybe there were times where she genuinely had to change her gender for whatever reason. That'd be where Morgan could send a familiar to "harvest" some sperm. Or something like that.
    • Somewhere in the uncaring darkness of the wild internet, your words have just brought upon us a terrible, terrible fanfic.
    • Sorta confirmed by the Type Moon Wiki
    • Nasu, you dick. Now I'll never be able to look at the beautiful warrior-queen again without imagining her as a brainwashed futanari of /d/oom.
    • Well, not much to be done there. Nasu just loves characters that blur the gender line, apparently. Case in point, Ryougi Shiki. Though, if that helps, I'm pretty sure the "harvesting sperm" thing didn't involve actual sexual intercourse. That wouldn't be Arturia's personality. To me, it seems more likely that Morgan's familiar would've taken the sperm from Arturia while she was asleep. Like succubi are sometimes described to do in the older myths...Or something. What bugs me more is that technically speaking, this makes Merlin indirectly responsible for Mordred's creation and therefore, Arturia's eventual death...

    Summoning catalyst 

  • Right, this one is somewhat meta, but...now DO you need a Summoning Catalyst to call upon a Servant or not? And what is this about similar personalities to the master? I think I read somewhere that if a Summoning is done without a catalyst, the Servant will be similar in personality to the master. But all the summonings I can think of that were supposedly done without catalyst, there was one anyway! For Saber, it was Avalon. For Archer, it was Rin's crystal necklace thing. Caster in Zero...probably the book that contained the summoning rite as well? I'm not sure, but I don't remember any summon clearly stated to be conducted without catalyst. Actually, wasn't there a point somewhere where it was outright said that you DO need a catalyst every time? And if Saber was actually summoned via catalyst, is the obvious idealism, self-sacrificing nature and unreachable dream that they have in common just a coincidence?
    • It's stated that the catalyst is always needed. The "Servent-similar-personality" thing is a Wild Mass Guessing from Rin and associates.
    • No, it's not. Whilst most summoners do indeed have a catalyst, that isn't always the case (the master of Caster in the fourth war didn't, for instance). However, if the master performs a summoning without a catalyst, then they become the catalyst, hence the personality match.
    • Caster's Master? Didn't the guy get the ritual from some book he found about demons and such? Considering the 4th Caster's Noble Phantasm, I assumed that there was some relation between the two.
    • A catalyst is always needed according to Archer who explicitly says so in UBW before he fights Shirou at the Einzbern Castle. However instead of a catalyst a simple call to any Servant can be done, as Rin intended (though she specifically wanted a Saber class Servant). Heroic Spirits/Reverse Heroes/Anti-Heroes choose to answer a summoner's call. Catalysts are merely needed to make a summoning call to a specific spirit. Theoretically a Heroic Spirit can decline the call if they so chose. Fate/Zero implies that Kariya did not use a catalyst but rather Zouken wanted him to simply call any Berserker. Lancelot answered Kariya's call because their personalities align (Noble but tragically fallen figues). That's what happens when a catalyst isn't used; Uryuu summoned Caster because they are both serial killers who enjoy praying on children and see killing as an art. Personality overlap is why Caster answered Uryuu's summoning ritual.

    Bleeding hand 

  • Do we ever find out why Shirou is bleeding in the morning of the 3. day?
    • Was that that scene where he's cooking and Sakura suddenly notices that his hand is bleeding or something like that? I always figured it was a side effect of the Command Spell engraving itself in his hand.
    • Yeah, it's the command spell.

    Different classes 

  • Are the Masters immutably bound in some way to all summon different classes? There are several Servants who can belong to more than one class. If, for example, I summoned Hercules as a Saber and later someone else summoned Siegfried (potential Saber/Rider), would Siegfried be shoehorned into the Rider class due to my Hercules? This is especially curious considering the Berserker class—as far as I can tell, they can all normally fit into one of the other five classes (discounting the supposedly Hassan-exclusive Assassin), and the only thing that really makes them a Berserker is the Mad Enhancement buff...so if two people happened to both summon potential Berserkers and the first was summoned in its normal class, would the second one automatically have Mad Enhancement?
    • For the Fuyuki Holy Grail War it appears that only one Servant can be summoned to a class, and that under normal circumstances only the seven classes can be summoned. It's possible for a Master to attempt to summon a Servant of a specific class but they don't have any guarantee of getting it, and once that class is summoned it seems to be locked out for the rest. So in the hypothetical case of two possible Berserkers, if the second one was summoned after its other possible classes had already been taken it probably would be stuck in the Berserker class.
    • Fate/Hollow Ataraxia mentions the third Heaven's Feel, (the same with the Avenger servant) where two Edelfelt twins summoned two Saber servants.

    Original assassins 

  • The Assassins. Apparently, they can only be one of the 19 leaders of the original Assassins. Is this actually a hard rule? Because it gets subverted all the time. I would understand the claim that Kojiro Sasaki is some special circumstance due to another Servant summoning him if it weren't for all the other exceptions—Hercules is a potential Assassin, Fate/EXTRA uses Li Shuwen, and Fate/Apocrypha has Jack the Ripper as an Assassin/Berserker.
    • Probably because that rule only applies to the Fuyuki City Grail System and not to other ones. Also it may in fact be that Assassins aren't always Hassan i Sabbah but they are just the most likely to be summoned.
    • There is no official confirmation Herakles can become assassin. In fact, it is most likely he can't (it don't even fit his legend, anyway). The "Herakles can become all classes except caster" is probably like that because adding an additional "and assassin" in the end would be redundant (since he obviously is not a Hassan). As for the spin-offs, they don't seem to be canon, so it is more likely they don't bother into abiding to the rules.
    • No, Fate/Extra and Fate/Apocryha use a different grail system, it has nothing to do with being canon or not. The summoning of Hassan is a rule of the Fuyuki City Grail System (and even then those rules can be easily circumvented), not a rule of the Holy Grail War in general. Lu Bu can be summoned as a Assassin due to his military acumen, so Herakles having other attributes that would qualify him as a Assassin shouldn't be surprising.
    • The official line is that it has to be Hassan primarily because according to the rules, a person who embodied the perfect assassin would never truly be known and thus could not become a Heroic Spirit. However, since the word "Assassin" has its etymological roots in the Hashshashin's founded and led by the Hassans, they are able to be linked to the Grail. Aberrations and questions about certain Servants (like Herakles) do occur though.
    • In the case of the Fuyuki Grail System the word "Assassin" is used as a catalyst to summon a Hassan (it seems that what kind of Hassan depends on summoner's personality), so that is why they supposedly have to be summoned. But it is shown that other servants have traits for the Assassin class (Kojiro is an odd case in both summoning and class placement but due to him having Assassin class attributes he still qualified for it a little bit)

    Shirou and Rho Aias 

  • An odd inconsistency in Shirou's projections of Rho Aias. I eventually learned that he did project Rho Aias in UBW - Side Material says that Archer did...but Nasu eventually clarified that there were two instances (Archer projected the RA that protected Shirou from Enuma Elish, while Shirou did the one that held off the Gate of Babylon barrage). However, why did UBW Shirou's Rho Aias have all seven "petals?" The four-petal version was kind of a trademark; it's the one he uses in Heaven's Feel (when he was literally drawing on Archer's power) and Hollow Ataraxia (I'm told). What was the difference?
    • The four petal version is Shirou's weaker version which relies on his own skills. When he's pulling on Rin as a battery, he can summon the full version.


  • Alright, this is a silly one, but it still annoys me. Is there any other explanation than pure, storywise disconnected h-writing for the fact that Saber knows how to do oral sex? Why would King Arthur of all people ever have to do that? Especially since it's made rather clear that Saber is still a virgin and really had no intimate connections with anyone when she was king, being alone is one of her major characteristics. I mean, I can think up several ways she could acquire experience with blowjobs without losing her virginity, but they all feel incredibly degrading to her proud, dignified character and seem like out of a really bad fanfic or something...

    Sakura's sex drive 

  • Sakura's worms dramatically increase her sexual aggression and inhibit her control or whatever, right? Then instead of letting Shinji rape her, why doesn't she just go and jump Emiya's bones? She really likes him already, he likes her, Taiga approves of them having a relationship...... I know she's trying to be a Yamato Nadeshiko, but it seems like there's an Idiot Ball in play somewhere....
    • ...Were you even paying attention to Sakura's characteristics at all?
    • Well, Sakura has zero self-esteem, so she fully expects that Shirou would reject her if she were to try it, and just "jumping his bones" without consent would involve her committing rape herself. Further, for her to attempt to get into a relationship with him would risk dragging him into her life which, given his self-sacrificial nature, would endanger him when he invariably attempted to rescue her. Plus, at the time when Shinji started raping her, she didn't even know Shirou, beyond having watched him jumping the bar. Finally, even if she had done that, that would not have stopped Shinji raping her (as HF demonstrates), because he was doing it out of malice, and because he thought she "owed" him. She was not "allowing" herself to be raped because she needed to control the worms, she was doing it because she thought she was responsible for Shinji's position (due to her self-esteem issues), and because stopping him would mean causing him real harm.


  • Okay, so Shirou and Saber's reunion in Realta Nua's Distant Finale for Fate? Absolutely beautiful and heartwarming. What's always confused me is this: Why do some fans seem to see this as a straight-up Happily Ever After ending? Keep in mind that 1) Shirou had to spend the rest of his life without Saber, 2) Saber had to spend thousands of years waiting for Shirou, and 3) they're both dead. At best, this is more of an Earn Your Happy Ending kind of thing; if Nasu really wanted a conventional happy ending for Fate, then Saber would've been able to stay with Shirou after the end of the Grail War (and considering that Fate makes a big deal out of the fact that Saber can't stay, a good ending where she stays anyway wouldn't make a whole lot of sense).
    • Why is being dead automatically a bad thing, especially in a universe where an afterlife like Avalon apparently does exist? Also, one lifetime (Shirou) and thousands of years (Saber) are a blink of an eye compared to spending eternity together. Sounds like a pretty happy ending to me.
    • That is true that eternity is much, much longer than one lifetime/thousands of years, but my point is that some people have dismissed Fate's epilogue as some cheesy Happily Ever After without taking into account that Shirou and Saber had to work like heck for their reunion and didn't get it on a silver platter. As for the dead thing, every Shirou/Saber shipper wanted them reunited, but I doubt any of them wanted them to both have to die before the reunion could occur.

    Fate second H scene 

  • About Fate's second H scene: how does it make any sense for Shirou and Saber to sleep together at that moment? Sure, Shirou offers Saber the choice to back out if she wants to (at least, IIRC), but at this point, he does not know for sure that she loves him; in fact, she's given him plenty of reasons to believe that his feelings for her are unrequited (yes, she agrees to go on a date with him, but she's also said that nothing matters to her except getting the Holy Grail and that she has no intention of remaining in the present). And after they've done the deed, Saber basically says, "I know we've just slept together, but I only did it to replenish my mana and this can't change anything between us; that doesn't bother you, right?" Honestly, that sounds even worse than what happens in episode 21 of the anime, where Saber rejects Shirou after their kiss. Basically, Shirou and Saber's second H scene doesn't seem like the smartest decision ever made.

    Gilgamesh king of all humanity 

  • Okay, so, Gilgamesh was king of all humanity (implicitly the oldest ruler, from whom all land ownership is derived) and owned all the treasure ever and is the oldest Hero. So, there isn't an Ancient Egypt in the Nasuverse? No Narmer/Menes or King Scorpion? Djoser and Imhotep of the third dynasty were Gil's subjects instead of an actual king and royal heroic genius roughly contemporaneous with him?
    • Gilgamesh wasn't the first ruler. He was the first and greatest Hero king. The qualifier is important.
    • Which still doesn't explain how he ruled the entire world at the same time that Egypt was thriving and ruling the Nile Delta.
    • Having the divine right to rule humanity (and considering the world his garden) doesn't mean that he actively ruled every part of the world. Look at Fate/Stay Night: He isn't making worldchanging decisions every day, he doesn't live in a golden palace and most people don't even know he exists, yet he's still King by virtue of being himself.
    • Which actually makes sense from an All Myths Are True perspective, given that the pharaohs also ruled by divine right. The gods weren't a monolithic bloc; one group must have declared Gil to be the One True King of All, another declared Narmer/Menes and his descendants/successors to be the One True Kings of All (or at least of their domains, with proclamations to being of all), there might have been others in other regions, etc. The kings then keep mostly to this historical regions, all thinking of the other divine appointees as their subordinates and demanding tribute to prove it (while giving tribute themselves that they think of as magnanimous gifts to prove their greatness and wealth). Too bad there wasn't a UN of the Ancient World, meetings of several dozen divinely appointed Rulers of All (who only deal with a small region personally) who think of the others as subordinates would have been hilarious.
    • No, Gilgamesh is...very much unique. When the narration calls him a transcendal being, it's not exaggerating. See Fate/Extra CCC spoilers for his backstory.
    • Aaand, we're taken right back into "error does not compute, please reinstall history of planet and All Myths Are True and try again" territory. Were the Egyptian gods (and every other god with a Chosen Champion/King Ruling by their Divine Mandate) just betting on two horses or something?
    • This is going to be a bit of a hassle to explain but I'll it give a shot. Basically All Myths Are True BEFORE Gilgamesh unleashed the Bull of Heaven and ending the Age of the Gods. Anything that happens after Gilgamesh that involves Divinity (i.e. Norse, Egyptian,Greek Mythology and such) are just human fabrications for the most part, hence why ol' Goldy has weapons supposedly made by gods in the Gate of Babylon when it's supposed to hold only the treasures of humanity. Yes, this is the official Nasuverse stance and yes, I find it a rather lame way to keep Gilgamesh on top.

    UBW and Saber 

  • Near the end of UBW, when Saber is fighting Assassin, Rin and Shirou run into Gilgamesh. Saber is nowhere to be seen and it's treated as a "we're screwed now" moment. Why didn't Rin use a command spell to warp Saber there? I'm not sure how many Command Spells she gets establishing the contract after Caster and Shirou but she showed she had at least two since she uses one later on for Sabre to not walk into the mud and then the last one for the grai l destruction. In fact warping Saber into the temple to avoid the barrier would have been a good strategy from the beginning as it could have let all of them sneak up on Gilgamesh. It's not like she's going to need the command spells afterwards.
    • Because using a command seal to do that would still force Saber to use some prana for that. And Rin had to have enough prana to support Shirou who was supposed to face Gilgamesh without draining herself completely (she didn't know Archer would come to her help then) and without draining Saber so much that it would prevent her from using Excalibur to destroy the abomination that was the grail.

    Taiga in HF 

  • Where was Taiga in the Heaven's Feel route? In the other two routes she was hospitalized once the main plot kicked into gear but in HF Shinji doesn't attack the school when its full of people. Sakura even mentions it could be Taiga in the house when Shirou first brings her home yet she just doesn't turn up for the rest of the story until the epilogue (if she didn't show up there we could have presumed the shadow killed her which would have really amplified the civilian loss). I vaguely remember her being busy visiting someone but it was not stressed as a reason why she might be missing for the later half of the story. I mean she is Shirou's legal guardian. You'd imagine even if she was really busy she'd make the effort to check up on him once during the last week especially considering everyone in his freaking neighborhood was randomly dying.

    Sea of fire 

  • In Fate, Saber says she fought against Gilgamesh "in a sea of fire" at the end of the fourth Holy Grail War, then it's later revealed that the Fuyuki fire occurred because Kotomine made a wish on the Grail at the very moment that Saber was forced by Kiritsugu to destroy it. Assuming that the "sea of fire" during the Saber vs. Gil showdown was not part of the actual Fuyuki fire (it can't be, since Saber makes it clear that she disappeared shortly after the Grail was destroyed), where exactly did it come from?
    • When you say "later revealed" do you mean in the Fate/Zero novels? If that's the case, then the only explanation available is a {{Retcon.}} If it's something from the visual novel, though... yeah I got nothing in that case.
    • No, I meant that the revelation about the origin of the fire happens in Fate, in the church basement scene towards the end of the route.
    • How about an author's saving throw. Losing the war and being re-summoned affected her memories slightly. That would explain the inconsistencies between Fate Zero and /Stay Night. In this case she's slightly muddled up and mixed up her fight with Lancelot as a fight with Gilgamesh. It'd explain this particular mess up in Fate Stay Night and would also explain some of the other inconsistencies, the number of times Saber fought, the number of times she and Kiritsugu spoke, her fighting with Gil at all (all of which come from Saber).
    • Word of God is that Zero is actually a slightly different timeline to any of the Stay Night routes, excusing the discrepancies in the typical Nasuverse "everything is canon in a parallel universe" way.


  • Galahad. Does anybody know how he works? Because, apparently, he exists. If I recall correctly, Saber's reign only lasted ten years. Galahad is usually Lancelot's son in the legend and isn't born until after Lancelot is one of Arthur's knights. So either Galahad's not Lancelot's son in this version, is a homunculus (or something similar) like Mordred, or was born a good chunk of time before Arthur's reign. Which one is it?
    • All we know is that he exists and that he's a Heroic Spirit (we know one of his Noble Phantasms). Even Garden of Avalon (a short story collection which covered events in the time when Saber was alive) doesn't go into detail about him. I'm inclined to believe he was just born pre-Arthur's reign to fix the timeline.

    Fate, Rin and Saber 

  • In the Fate route, why does it never occur to anyone for Rin to make a contract with Saber once she's dying of mana deprivation? Her loyalty to Shirou would get in the way, but you'd have thought that once Berserker is about to kill them and Archer has died, leaving Rin without a Servant, it would be a logical step.
    • Because Saber is still contracted to Shirou. Rin was only able to pull it off in Unlimited Blade Works because the contract was broken with Rule Breaker.
    • Furthermore, Saber is also very loyal to Shirou. She only made a contract with Rin in Unlimited Blade Works because Saber thought it's the only way to help Shirou, and even then she acted as if Shirou was her master and not Rin. Even if it was at all possible (summoning shenanigans notwithstanding), he would have to use a command seal to force her to do that in the Fate route, and he isn't the kind to do that.
    • Considering the alternative at the time was near-certain death at the hands of Berserker, I think Saber would be willing to accept that idea. Yes, she is an honor-bound character but she's never been stupid, not even in Fate/Zero where her Honor Before Reason tendencies really take a center stage. So no, I don't think she would be so obstinate in a "do or die" situation such as that.

    UBW freeing Taiga 

  • In Unlimited Blade Works, couldn't Shirou have used a Command Seal to get Saber to free Taiga from Caster? Seems like that would've saved a whole lot of trouble.
    • What exactly would he have commanded her to do? "Get Saber to free Taiga" is pretty vague. Be more specific. What action could Saber have taken?

    Rider eating Sakura? 
  • Something that stuck out to me when watching the Unlimited Blade Works anime, can't quite remember if it's the same in the VN. Anyway in all three routes Rider and Shinji attack the school using Rider's blood temple thingy or whatever its called. In Heaven's Feel we get the revelation that Rider is actually Sakura's servant and not Shinji's, she's also fiercely loyal to Sakura and is unwillingly working for Shinji for her sake. So why in the other two routes did she attempt to kill Sakura with the attack on the school? Like I said this is something I realized when watching the Unlimited Blade Works anime which specifically shows Sakura suffering and almost dying from the attack. She's the first person Shirou checks up on. Maybe she wasn't there in the visual novel but I think she was. I recall Shriou being worried about her afterwards. In context of the full story this action of Rider's makes absolutely no sense.
    • It's entirely possible either A: using the Blood Fort was Shinji's idea, and he didn't care if Sakura was turned into collateral damage or not, or B: Rider thought Sakura would notice it and begin radiating prana to shield herself from it. Given that she was in the middle of a lesson at the time, she didn't notice the warning signs until it was too late.
    • It's completely in character for Shinji to use the blood fort without caring about Sakura but it is not in Rider's character to simply let it happen. And since Shinji doesn't even have command seals to control her (aside from Sakura's one, obey Shinji like he's your master which as Archer explained actually grants very limited control) there's nothing he could do to stop her.

    Change of plans in UBW 

  • So after Rider dies in Unlimited Blade Works and Shirou decides there's no harm in letting Shinji live like in Fate. Unlike in Fate Berserker isn't around to kill so he successfully makes it to the church, and for some reason Kotomine decides to use him in his Evil Plan. For some reason he, or possibly Gilgamesh, decide to change how they are going to summon the Holy Grail from using Illya as she is ripping her heart and putting it into another Magus. And for some reason Kotomine decides to bring Shinji along as an Unwitting Pawn and Gilgamesh agrees to pretend to be Servant till they reveal the real plan. Why do any of this? Kotomine and Gilgamesh don't seem to have any reason to change their plan, and they don't seem to have any reason to bring in Shinji unless they only did it to mess with him, which seems like a lot of effort on Gilgamesh's part since he didn't even seem to Shinji was worth gloating over how he was using him. All this just seemed like a weird change to make UBW have different events from Fate.

    Spiritual Body 

  • Word of God states that a Spiritual Body can only be harmed by weapons with magical or conceptual properties. It also states that a Servant can switch between a Material and Spiritual Body. If a Servant didn't want to fight just yet, couldn't they simply turn Spiritual? Noble Phantasms would probably harm them, but not all Servants regularly wield them; Heracles and Medusa clearly don't use their Noble Phantasms as their primary weapons, and the only magic Medusa's have is that they can go spiritual as well since she was summoned with them.
    • Theoretically, yes, and it could be a useful tool for the likes of an Assassin. The issue is that it's of fairly limited effectiveness since you have to go back into a Material Body to attack the enemy or defend your Master. There's nothing stopping it from being used to avoid combat, but for varying reasons we only see it used because it conserves mana. @Noble Phantasms, they're inherently magical, which is why they can harm Servants. It's why Fate/zero Berserker's Knight of Honor NP is so powerful, because he can pick up modern weaponry like machine guns and make it capable of harming Servants. So a Noble Phantasm could harm a Servant in Spiritual Body, I assume.

    Saber's Memories 

  • So in Fate, when Saber meets the priest from the church for the first time (in one of the bad endings), she seems surprised that he's Kirei, because she thought Kirei had died when Kiritsugu shot him. However, in Heaven's Feel, Saber knows that the priest at the church is Kirei without even meeting him, and warns Shirou that Kiritsugu considered him the most dangerous opponent (but fails to mention that "he won't die if you shoot him, so don't bother trying" or something similar). There's an obvious Doylian explanation for this; Nasu himself has said he "cheated" a little by sometimes having characters subconsciously remember the events of the previous route, influencing their actions so as to form a progressing narrative over all three routes (for example, this is the reason he gave for Gilgamesh not just pursuing Saber again in Unlimited Blade Works). But is there any actual Watsonian explanation for why Saber's memories of the Fourth War are different between Fate and Heaven's Feel, despite the two routes having the same starting point with no obvious divergence in Saber's knowledge?

    Caster and Rule Breaker 
  • If Caster had Rule Breaker, couldn't she have severed the link to her Master (which as we saw still keeps the person alive) right after it was formed too if she didn't like the Master she got? I mean yes I know she is satisfied with hers this time but say it was someone she doesn't like at all. Theoretically she could do it and pursue her own goals right?
    • Servants need a Master to stay in the material world. The visual novel explains that the planet considers Servants dangerous anomalies and it actively seeks to erase them. "Anchoring" a Servant to a Master is like a Citizenship Marriage that keeps the self-correcting nature of the world from deporting them out of existence, which is why Caster immediately started exhibiting sickness-like symptoms the moment she used Rule Breaker on herself. How much time a Masterless Servant can remain in the world is a case-to-case deal and depends heavily on how much Prana they have stored until that point, but as a rule Servants of the Archer class hold on the longest thanks to their Independent Action skill.

    Killing sakura 

  • Would of it really have been so bad if Shirou and Rin killed Sakura? Sakura pretty much crosses the moral even horizon with all the people she killed and you can't make the excuse that she was possessed since she really did turn evil after a while. Shirou was acting extremely selfish by sugarcoating everything Sakura did and trying to protect her.
    • While I agree it would have been a Mercy Kill as Sakura herself asked to be put out of her misery before she truly lost herself to the corruption and many did die because of her because she couldn't stop, this question has been asked before but it was deleted due to the answers. IIRC, the side supporting keeping Sakura alive stated two major points. One, that if he does do it, Shirou ends up turning on and killing Rin and Ilya as well, turning into another Kiritsugu and lost all feelings of empathy and positivity. Two, that it being selfish is actually the point: it shows that Shirou has developed enough to actually fight for something he wants as a person, not for just the good of everyone else and the world at his own expense.
    • This is pretty much the point of HF. The game doesn't suggest that killing Sakura is "bad" in the first place. If you decide to kill Sakura then the game simply shows "End" (instead of "Bad End") and in the Dojo Taiga tells Illya not to complain since this is also a possible ending. It's just not the story that the HF route is trying to tell. There are multiple possible versions of Shiro. Ones in the previous two routes and the one in HF. There's no good or bad or "development" or whatever about it. They are just different perspectives shown for the player to digest and reflect upon.

     Summoning Angra Mainyu 

  • What I don't and still don't understand is why exactly the Eizenburns tried to summon him, unless I'm wrong and they just tried to summon a God and got stuck with him, but if not then its really, really stupid. Out of the Olympians, Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese, Japanese, Sumerian, Celtic, Irish, Norse, and Aztec gods to name from the top of my head you go with the Zoroastrian God of evil? And even then history tells us that this was just someone everyone chose to embody the being and be a scapegoat for all of their shit. It's probably the stupidest excuse to "have an evil plot so we never have to use the Grail and have a clear winner in a war because Japan does that for some reason" excuse ever. It's like you tried to cheat on the math exam and rather than using the internet you decided to use an old test from the 1930's in South Africa from a student who failed and burned his test.
    • Probably because he'd be the only one that would actually qualify - most gods would likely qualify for the class closest to what their specialty is (i.e., Artemis would be summoned as an archer riding on Orion, and presumably, Apollo would follow suit; Odin would likely be summoned as a Lancer, seeing as how his most famous weapon is his spear, Gungir). Most of the really powerful gods that wouldn't qualify for one of the 7 main classes would likely qualify for the Ruler class (heck, if you go by the definition of a Ruler-class servant, Satan would qualify, simply because he'd want someone to have the grail to prove that God had failed, but wouldn't want it himself), so it was probably them choosing the Avenger class that limited their options.

     Consuming servants 
  • One thing that bothers me is how exactly was Sakura able to consume servants when she's far away, in Shiro's house, and how can Zouken predict and manipulate her actions. This doesn't seem to make much sense. Illya was able to consume some servants because she's exactly where the servants died, e.g. in the cases of Rider in Fate route and Archer in HF. However, Sakura seemed to be simply staying at Shiro's place for the whole time. Even if you interpret it as it's the shadow instead of Sakura who did it, doesn't the "shadow" only appear when she's asleep and doesn't have strong self-consciousness? One explanation can be that since Zouken is staying in her heart the whole time, he can manipulate her. However, didn't he also admit to losing control of the shadow? This all seems quite sketchy to me.