Video Game / Fate/unlimited codes

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Fate/unlimited codes is a Fighting Game spinoff of the Fate/stay night series, first released for Japanese arcades in June of 2008, followed by an Updated Re-release on the PlayStation 2 in December of the same year, and then ported to the PSP in June of 2009. The PSP version made it to North America and Europe as a downloadable title later that year.

The game takes place during the Fifth Holy Grail War from the perspective of several characters, including Shirou Emiya and Saber. Cameo appearances consist of Bazett Fraga Mcremitz, Saber Alter, Leysritt and the Lancer from the Fourth Holy Grail War.

As of June 12, 2012, the game was removed from the PSN store due to an expiring digital license. In the two weeks leading up this, the game was available at a discount of half its usual price.


Tropes used in Fate/unlimited codes:

  • Animal Battle Aura: Saber Alter can shape her prana into the form of a dragon's head to bite opponents.
  • Ascended Extra: Saber Lily was created as an alternate costume for normal Saber, with Takeuchi and Urobuchi saying they pictured her as a version of Saber who sided with Caster in Unlimited Blade Works and embraced her femininity. Fate/Grand Order gives her the Belated Backstory of being a younger, naiver Saber before she became King.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Getting Archer to trigger Unlimited Blade Works requires NINE magic gauges. Long story short, most matches don't even last half that long. The super moves that activate based on counterattacking the enemy are also this, given their window of opportunity for being struck before countering is very short. Both, though, have situational subversions. Archer's chants can be used as cancels (resetting a combo), making getting all six for UBW almost incidental, and certain super counters (Archer's Rho Aias, Bazette's Fragarach, and Saber's Avalon) have lenient enough timing that you can watch an opponent start a super, burst, and use the counter in plenty of time.
    • Gilgamesh's ultimate counts, too. Unlike the other ultimates, Gilgamesh's requires a full combo chain that has to be fully hit correctly. A single mistake causes him to stop. However, it's also able to mess up and do one of the two versions, but both are still cool.
  • Bad Future: Saber Alter's and Dark Sakura's story modes are darker takes on the "Heaven's Feel" route.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Instead of bothering with panties, Rider just has this under her skirt. Not surprising, given how little it covers.
  • Belated Backstory: In an interview, Takashi Takeuchi and Gen Urobuchi stated Saber Lily was imagined as a Light Is Not Good counterpart to Saber Alter, an alternate version of Saber who sided with Caster in Unlimited Blade Works and embraced her femininity. Fate/Grand Order gives Saber Lily the completely different backstory of being an incarnation of the pure and innocent Artoria before she drew Excalibur and became King Arthur.
  • Blade on a Stick: Lancer, of course, carries a lance/javelin. Leysritt carries a halberd.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A few (surprisingly badass ones).
    • Lancer avenges Bazett's death by killing Kotomine and dies afterward.
    • Assassin kills Caster when she uses her last Command Spell and then defeats Berserker singlehandedly before dying himself.
    • Caster avenges her master's death by killing Gilgamesh, then defeats the other servants one-by-one (finishing with Berserker). She then sacrifices herself to manifest the Holy Grail and wishes for Kuzuki's revival with her last breath.
    • Leysritt fights on Illya's behalf after Berserker is killed, fights and defeats Saber Alter and Dark Sakura, but then dies. (Subverted slightly: Illya apparently receives a new Leysritt later, and develops the same relationship with her).
    • Rider manages to save Sakura by defeating her dark side, and then vanishes as Sakura calls out her name.
  • Cat Fight: Luvia's Mission Mode mini-game is a slap-fight against Rin.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: Archer can switch between sword and bow. Gilgamesh has two separate fighting styles, one that uses his sword, and another involving magical chains.
  • Combo Breaker: Combos can be broken.
  • Competitive Balance: Fate/unlimited codes puts Competitive Balance on all the fighters, which consist of both Servants (who have their own power rank differences) and human characters (who have all taken on and defeated Servants, but only under good circumstances). Berserker, for example, is a Lightning Bruiser in the Visual Novel, but instead here is a Mighty Glacier, as is Kotomine, all for the sake of balancing.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: For abandoning her and leaving her to fight the Grail War on her own, Rin turns Archer into a chibi and makes him her "mascot character".
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Gilgamesh does this to Saber in his Ending, turning her into Saber Alter.
  • Counter Attack: A few characters, such as Caster and Saber, have super moves that only activate if your opponent attacks you while you use them. The most devastating one? Bazett's Fragarach, as it nullifies most supers and inflicts massive damage; just be careful if your opponent is Lancer.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Each character has a super-powerful "Holy Grail Special Attack" which can only be used when their magic gauge is full and they are reaping the benefits of the Holy Grail. Hit or miss, the attack can only be used once per round.
  • Downer Ending: There are several of these, as well.
    • Saber Alter's, for one: in the end, she personally killed Shirou and also somehow killed a physical manifestation of her un-corrupted side to allow Dark Sakura to take over the world/kill everything/whatever her objective would be after Shirou is dead.
    • Kotomine's ending is just as bad.
    • Sakura has one, as well.
    • Bazett's is a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story.
    • Dark Sakura's ending, which has her fully succumb to Angra Mainyu.
  • Dub Name Change: Sella is now Sarah, and Projection is now Gravitation Air.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite the majority of the characters having Downer Endings or Bittersweet Endings at best, Archer of all people actually gets a much better ending than in Fate/stay night canon: specifically, he ends up teaming up with Rin to fight demons together, and if their flirty dialogue is any indication, they become a Battle Couple.
    • Saber's story ending, as well. Although she fades away like in Fate/stay night canon, she acknowledges that she should be proud of what she accomplished during her tenure as Arthur, and that she can finally move on from that hill. The fact that she does not fall in love with Shirou in this continuity takes most of the sting out of her disappearance, though it's still sad to see her go as she considers him a very dear friend.
  • Easter Egg: Pushing any button during the credits will trigger a longer version of Berserker's EX mission to help pass the time. It can be skipped entirely, though.
  • Field of Blades: Archer's Unlimited Blade Works is in full effect in this game, complete with incantation.
  • Friendly Enemy: A meta-mythological example. Lancer and Zero Lancer, both figures from Celtic Mythology (namely, Cù Chulain and Diarmuid), have special fight dialogue when they face each other. Their win quotes also reflect this; Lancer comments that Zero Lancer's reputation as a fighter is more than deserved (just like his beauty), but chides him on fighting too impulsively, whereas Zero Lancer gushes on what an honor it was to fight a match against the premier Celtic badass.
  • Full-Contact Magic: Luvia's fighting style, with some wrestling moves mixed in.
  • Gainaxing: Sakura and Rider, a lot.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Gilgamesh is the strongest Servant in the series, and a prominent presence in the background even when he's just observing events around him; therefore, he's a prime candidate for the Final Boss in pretty much any Servant's Arcade run (especially since his fighting style in this game makes him an SNK Boss on higher difficulties, which ties nicely into his in-universe power level). However, his importance is very diminished in most of the Arcade modes, where he's either encountered as a random fighter or he's taken out and Berserker is the final boss for most of the story mods. In fact, out of all the Servants' final boss battles, he's only fought by Saber, Archer, and Berserker, whereas Caster kills him as a Mini-Boss.
    • There's also the fact that Gilgamesh's default fighting style has him use Ea, his favored and strongest sword, and only puts away the weapon in favor a fighting style based around his more iconic Storm of Blades after a player input. In-story, he's extremely reluctant to use Ea against those he deems unworthy of the weapon (and amongst the entire cast of the game, only Saber is deemed worthy).
  • Guide Dang It: None of the walkthroughs or websites that have information on the game seem to be able to agree on exactly how the extra characters and other secrets are unlocked.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Gilgamesh vs... Gilgamesh.
  • Healing Factor: The character who lands the hit that fills up the Holy Grail is able to regenerate lost health as long as it's active. Doing a normal mana burst (as in, not as an attack cancel or Combo Breaker) will also heal a character; in a Shout-Out to the original game, Shirou heals more quickly than anyone else (and is the only character who will also heal during an attack cancel burst).
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Gilgamesh's usage of Ea in this game. Ea is an Oddly Shaped Sword that lacks an edge of any kind, and has only been used once in Fate/Zero to stab an enemy that was already immobilized - the rest of the time it's appeared in the franchise, it's been used to create a devastating Sword Beam or World-Wrecking Wave, and nothing else. Here, Gilgamesh uses Ea as if it were an ordinary sword, even using it to chop and slash with its round edge rather than stab with its tip, only saving his Sword Beam use of it for a super move. While he does sometimes make Ea spin in the middle of a swing, which cloaks the sword in red energy and makes its usage in melee combat plausible, more often than not he's just whacking people with his Anti-World Noble Phantasm as if it were a glorified baseball bat.
  • Jiggle Physics: Of the distractingly unrealistic Dead or Alive variety. You have to wonder how Sakura, Rider, or Luviagelita can fight without snapping their backs in half.
  • Just Friends: Interestingly, Saber's story mode follows the "Fate" plotline, but she and Shirou do not fall in love with each other here. Her last words to him in her ending are that she is glad she met him, she cares deeply about him, and to wish him the best and may all his dreams come true.
  • Luck-Based Mission
    • Gilgamesh's EX mission.
    • Some of the "Inflict X amount of damage in a single combo" missions can feel like this. Fortunately, there are options to watch the CPU pull it off. The "Land X number of hits in a single combo," however, lack a demonstration option, so be ready to put on your thinking cap.
  • Magic Skirt: All characters in Fate/unlimited codes have some kind of black hole under their skirts. It's a bit distracting in Rider's case, as it looks like she's got tar or something on the top of her legs no matter what angle the camera's at. If it's not black, it's just Barbie Doll Anatomy (see above) under their skirts. No detail at all, to keep the rating as it is.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: Zero Lancer's Gae Buidhe special, which in-universe deals a Wound That Will Not Heal, is represented as such in the game.
  • Mini-Game: Completing most of the character-specific missions allows you to take part in a mini-game. Some, like Shirou's and Kotomine's, are quite silly.
  • Mighty Glacier: Berserker and Kotomine.
  • Nintendo Hard: Unlocking the Ultimate difficulty level, which requires 32 wins in Endless Survival. The first 16 aren't too bad, but then there's a Difficulty Spike right up to Ultimate for the rest of the mode.
  • Pinball Projectile: Bazett's Fragarach super move. It does very little damage by itself, but if she lays down metallic spheres before using it, it will bounce off the spheres before hitting its enemy, dealing more damage. Fragarach can be used to its full effect if you bring it up as a Super Counter Attack, but again, watch out if your opponent is Lancer.
  • Secret Character: Leysritt, Saber Alter, and Zero Lancer. Zero Lancer is the only character without any story-specific cutscenes. Saber Lily is an unlockable half costume/half standalone charcter. She's selected like a costume for normal Saber and plays as such (including story mode route) but has a unique name in her health bar, unique profile picture on the select screen, and her own set of (two) images in the gallery.
  • Shout-Out: Fate/stay night puts a much different spin on Sasaki Kojiro's Tsubame Gaeshi attack than the normal "really fast downward strike, followed by really fast upward strike." However, Assassin uses that "normal" Tsubame Gaeshi for two regular attacks.
  • The Southpaw: Berserker wields his weapon in his left hand.
  • The Unintelligible: Berserker. Illya does all of the speaking for him, and his roars are written as unpronounceable gibberish.
  • Theme Music Power-Up
    • Archer finishing the Unlimited Blade Works chant switches the stage's BGM to a remixed version of "Emiya".
    • When Saber unsheathes her Noble Phantasm Excalibur, a remix of "Sword of Promised Victory"note  starts playing.
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