Fate/hollow ataraxia is the sequel to Fate/stay night and one of numerous works that take place in the Nasuverse. It is based on an unusual version of events: The Grail War has ended, Kotomine and Gilgamesh have been defeated and all is well. Only... all the Servants are still around and everyone seems to be alive. Well, okay, reasonable enough if you can't follow just one ending. But it's not that simple: Apparently thanks to Tohsaka's attempts to create a magical item based on dimensional hopping, all the different continuities have been mingled including ones we never saw. So what really happened and what's going on?And that's not all there is to it. While Shirou and the Servants and Masters are leading their oddly domestic lives together, something darker is going on. Strange beasts are spotted and an unfamiliar magus appears to have restarted the Heavens Feel. That said, none of the Servants seem to actually care since they've settled into their new lives. Yet while this is going on, time seems to be looping in an odd manner, lasting four days before the world resets back to the first day with no apparent sign of any continuity between cycles.On top of all that, no one seems to have informed Bazett Fraga McRemitz that the Fifth Grail War ended six months ago. She's not really sure why, but rather than the Servant she intended to summon she seems to have ended up with someone... darker. Meet the eighth Servant whose identity was only hinted at in the first installment: Avenger, the Spirit of Vengeance. Avenger seems completely psychopathic but utterly weak... but is that really all there is to it?Fate/hollow ataraxia is currently being translated and has had several different patches released. The latest patch (June 2014) has the full game translated but with very little quality control, resulting in some... interesting lines. Please do not add details that relate to Fate/stay night and reserve this page for those dealing only with this story.
This story provides examples of:
Alternate Continuity: Essentially all routes and endings of Fate/stay night have been mixed together. So for the final battle Saber beat Gilgamesh and Shirou killed Kotomine. However, Rin's command seal was the one used to destroy the Grail and Saber is still around. Just like HF, Sakura's free from Zouken's control, the great Second Sorcery was projected in Shirou's shed, among others.
Body Horror: Spikes erupt from Caren Ortensia's skin in the presence of evil.
Broad Strokes: Enough of the Fate/stay night continuity is fleshed out that you realize that one single story couldn't possibly hold it at all.
Chekhov's Gunman: Avenger and Angra Manyu were both mentioned in passing in Fate/stay night but the concept of the anti-heronote Which here means the complete opposite of a hero rather than a hero with a Shoot the Dog mentality was never explored apart from some implications that both Rider and Caster fit into that class. Though Avenger denies being the Angra Manyu.
Continuity Snarl: If you keep track of everything that is mentioned in the story, you'll note that Shirou has to remember an impossibly complicated and possibly contradictory series of events. For example, he remembers Tohsaka beating Caster in close range combat in the church like in Unlimited Blade Works but he also remembers her being impaled by Gilgamesh outside his house. Thankfully, this is the Nasuverse, so all routes are canon (even ones that were never shown).
Death Is Cheap: Thanks to the time loop. The first couple times you go to the bridge, Shirou gets sniped. Bazett is also killed multiple times in fights against Servants and uses the resurrection to her advantage.
Demoted to Extra: While some Servants and Masters get larger roles than they had previously such as Lancer, Kuzuki or Caster, others don't fare so well. Here's to you, Shinji, who broke the fourth wall to state it outright.
Dysfunction Junction: This has actually been glossed over to a large extent. For example, Ilya has mostly relaxed, Shinji has stopped being quite so horrible and Sakura has grown a lot bolder, meaning while all the bad stuff is noted as still having occurred, people have mostly moved on.
Empathic Weapon: Zeltrech's Kaleidostick. An incredibly powerful magical device capable of channeling enormous amounts of mana and giving its wielder powers and knowledge pulled from alternate realities, with the drawback being that it derives considerable joy from humiliating said wielder and forcing them into ridiculous Magical Girl costumes.
Shirou:[narrating] Saber's eyes and mine silently meet. Saber: —I shall lure Rin away from here. Shirou: —Ah, yeah, please do… Alright, leave the rest to me. Saber: —Understood. So please make plenty of stew. Shirou: —Roger. I'll take great pains to make at least 20% more than we'd planned to. Shirou:[narrating] Eye contact, completed. Transmission, over and out.
Familiar: All the Servants are a type of Familiar. Shirou wonders why Lancer is still around since his Master died. As established in Kagetsu Tohya only the most powerful familiars can stay alive even a little while after their master dies.
Filler: A large amount of scenes have little to do with the main plot. For example, scenes with Rider flirting with Shirou, developing the track girls from the school or slice of life with Sakura. The story takes awhile to kick into gear on the Shirou side of the story with the actual plot events being tracked ingame. This is mostly because the game is a fandisc mainly devoted to Harem Antics with Shirou and many a Fandom Nod.
Final Battle: The Masters and Servants versus the Avenger copies.
Fission Mailed: Sneaking into Sakura's room with Shinji to look at her diary results in this.
Food Porn: Ooh yes. When three of the main characters are on the rank of Supreme Chef, this is inevitable.
Fountain of Youth: Gilgamesh did this with a youth potion because, apparently, "this whole mess is stupid, screw you all". All the more hilarious, considering that he's been an Evil Overlord (in the past), not to mention a dog-kickingBig Bad who wanted to unleash a terrible curse on humanity because only those who could survive it were worthy of being ruled over; when he reverts, he turns into a cute little kid that everyone loves.
Friendly Enemy: Lancer sees no reason not to get along well with his enemies, but on the flipside is that if you're an enemy then you are perfectly fair game to be killed no matter how much he may like you.
Götterdämmerung: Modern Magecraft vs. the Age of Gods. Though Caster notes that the likes of Sakura and Tohsaka have some absolutely amazing potential and in her age it seems there were no True Magics like what Zelretch can do.
"Groundhog Day" Loop: Surprisingly, apart from the gameplay functions of the four days continuously looping for Shirou's half of narration Avenger admits outright after the first time he and Bazett are killed that the four days will keep looping even if they're killed.
Hand Wave: There's an extended scene with Ilya about Saber, Kiritsugu and Irisviel about halfway through the game that devotes itself to tying up the canon neatly, particularly the parts that made no sense such as Saber and Kiritsugu never talking, Saber not recognizing Ilya despite having met her and Irisviel not only going unmentioned in FSN but also the implication that she wasn't even in town then. Some of the explanations are better than others.
Servants can have their Noble Phantasm coming out of thin air. Justified by the Holy Grail War system. Lancer pulls out Gae Bolg at one point to show to Ayako. And also chop flowers for a get well bouquet
Gilgamesh, who can literally pull thousands of original Noble Phantasms out of thin air thanks to his Gate of Babylon, takes this one step further. While he technically owns every legendary weapon, this is one of his few genuine Noble Phantasms and is the key to his treasury, allowing him to remove weapons, wealth, wine and divinity sealing chains.
Jackass Genie: The Holy Grail, due to Angra Manyu's influence, will twist any wish made to it in a way that will kill or hurt as many humans as possible. Angra Manyu doesn't qualify: his will to realise truly one wish is why Bazett survives.
Kung-Fu Wizard: Tohsaka beating up Caster in hand to hand combat is mentioned and then averted for Caster herself, who does not have super strength. Though she's probably still fairly strong considering all the stuff she was carrying.
Limited Wardrobe: Almost everyone has, at most, two sets of clothes (typically school, armor, armor/casual, or school uniform/casual, or in Ilya's case, cold-weather/normal). Other non-standard outfits are Dark Sakura, Ilya's Dress of Heaven, Rin's bedclothes, and the occasional birthday suit.
Lancer picking flowers and showing off for girls with Gae Bolg, an imagine spot of Rider petrifying policeman who are after her, Saber unleashing the Barrier of the Wind King when Shirou teases her about her stuffed lion and more.
Caster has her clothes enchanted with water/stain/grease-repelling magic and she also wield an antibacterial protective shield. You could say that cooking for her husband is Serious Business for Caster.
Mythology Gag: Sakura gives an almost perfect description of Akiha and even says the person she's talking about is named Tohno. She's actually talking about Tohsaka, but it's amusing nonetheless. There's also a scene called Kagetsu Tohya, though it has little relation to that story. Neko-Arc is also referenced as the title of a completely nonsensical movie that is currently showing.
No Ontological Inertia: All the Servants being able to stick around is odd, but has some precedent with the Unlimited Blade Works good end and Heavens Feel true end, but Shirou wonders why Lancer is still around after the death of Kotomine.
No Romantic Resolution: In this continuity Shirou does not seem to have settled down with anyone in particular, though sex scenes are still implied to have taken place.
Older Than They Look: Saber, who is said to look a couple of years younger than Shirou, but is actually around seven years his senior due to the age-stopping effect of Avalon when possessed by its rightful owner. Gilgamesh also appears in child form and Ilya is a homunculus and thus has what has been called 'unusual growth patterns' and thus looks around ten.
100% Completion: There's an actual meter for it. Try to see all the ? scenes before the ! ones or you may miss out on them forever.
Third Option Adaptation: Fate/hollow ataraxia is a sequel, not an adaptation, but it essentially mashes together parts of all the routes in the original, while removing or ignoring things that would be contradictory or difficult to handle on a fandisc, such as most of the traumatic bits of Sakura's backstory mostly being glossed over. This is probably justified by Rin accidentally almost merging all realities a month before Ataraxia takes place, as well as the nature of the "Groundhog Day" Loop occurring in the story.
Unwanted Harem: The story does not have Shirou paired off with any one character. Instead, he now has Tohsaka, Saber and Sakura plus the addition of Rider and Ilya while Ayako and the three track girls also seem attracted to him to varying extents. A particularly entertaining scene opens up in Eclipse after you get 100% Completion, where Bazett and Caren both also try to move into the Emiya household, and each of the heroines vigorously protests.
Averted with: Bazett, even if the heroines protest about her moving in for a week, it's clear she's in love with Lancer. Caren, on the other hand, seems mildly taken with Shirou's resemblance to Avenger. This IS still an aversion, since it's mostly Avenger.
Verbal Tic: Normally averted, but when the crowd gets a hold of some Einzbern spirits, each drinker gets a verbal tic based on their preferred animal. Rin talks like a cat-nya, Saber like a lion-gao, and Shirou talks like a dog-wan. In general, though, at least in the original Japanese, one can reliably distinguish almost every character simply by their natural speaking patterns, without needing to involve a lot of odd speech or particles (Himuro's odd use of archaic honorifics notwithstanding).
Will Not Tell a Lie: Shirou says that he's learned that Servants generally never lie outright as a matter of pride. If you look back at Fate/stay night you'll see the evidence supports this conclusion. Even Archer, who says he has no pride at all, does not seem to care for lying so much as being misleading. Of course, while they won't lie, there are otherwaysof keeping secrets.