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Characters / Fate/stay night: Saber

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WARNING! Not only is Saber's true identity a major part of how and why her character is the way it is, the very existence of Saber Alter in and of itself is a major spoiler for the Heaven's Feel route, not to mention her general Late-Arrival Spoiler status from Fate/Grand Order. As a consequence, literally everything on this page will be Spoilers Off.

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Voiced in Japanese by: Ayako Kawasumi

Voiced in English by: Kate Higgins (2006 Anime), Michelle Ruff (2010 Unlimited Blade Works Movie, Fate/Apocrypha Anime), Kari Wahlgren (Fate/Zero, 2014 Unlimited Blade Works Anime, 2017 Heaven's Feel Movie)

Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Marycel González (2006 Anime), Ileana Escalante (Fate/Apocrypha Anime), Alicia Barragan (Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA)
"I ask of you, are you my Master?"

"There are no regrets. If one can be proud of one's life, one should not wish for another chance."

Saber is the focus and Love Interest of the Fate route, as well as playing a major role in Unlimited Blade Works. Saber is the Servant summoned by The Hero, Shirou Emiya. Being a Saber class, she excels in many areas of fighting and has a very high magic resistance. Sabers are widely considered the best Servant class, but due to Shirou's shortcomings as a Master, she cannot reach her full potential. She has a hard time getting along with Shirou and clashes over his desire to protect her life over his own, but shares his dedication towards honorable and just ways of fighting.


Her Noble Phantasm is the most famous Cool Sword of them all: Excalibur, a Wave Motion Sword that she makes invisible with the barrier magic Invisible Air as a means of concealing her true identity.

  • The Ace: Many Masters refer to the Saber class as being this, more-so then any other class. Saber herself shows many signs of this and is heralded by many Masters and Servants as being a amazing fighter, were she not weakened by Shirou's lack of mana and her improper summoning. It's Deconstructed once her backstory is revealed.
  • Action Girl: Is a highly skilled swordswoman, despite being weakened by Shirou's mediocre magical abilities.
  • A-Cup Angst: Saber has a bust measurement of 73 cm and was originally drawn as almost being flat-chested, though anxieties do not play up until she actually falls in love with Shirou. When he accidentally finds her in the bathroom, she comments she doesn't want him to see her naked because she doesn't have a very... feminine physique. In several of the later works like Fate/Grand Order and animated adaptations like Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel, she's given Adaptational Curves.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • It's probably safe to say that if King Arthur ever actually existed in Real Life, he didn't have a Wave Motion Sword Beam.
    • Although undoubtedly competent in the original VN, Saber finds herself overpowered against Berserker; while she was able to gain an edge against him in the Unlimited Blade Works route she did so by using the terrain to her advantage. The 2014 anime has her take on Berserker almost head-on and mortally wound him (though his Noble Phantasm instantly revives him).
    • Also occurs in her final duel with Assassin. When he calls her out on not giving it her all, she apologizes for not showing him that respect, promptly reveals her sword's true form, and stomps him with one blow.
    • In the Heavens Feel route she's unable to resist being overtaken by the Shadow and consumed. The movie has resisting its corruptive effects thanks to her Magic Resistance and will and actually looks like she might overpower it before True Assassin interrupts her again.
  • The Ageless: Two mystical artifacts she possessed in life stopped her from physically aging past her mid-teens. Drawing Caliburn from the stone stopped her physical aging, while Avalon's healing powers are also stated to have contributed to her eternal youth.
  • Almost Dead Guy: She returns to the point of her death whether or not she obtains the Holy Grail, since King Arthur's story states he did obtain the Holy Grail and this is treated as Artoria's requirement to become a Heroic Spirit in the first place. She has a line like "This form is me, just before dying." in the game.
  • Animal Motifs: Saber is often given a lion motif due to their associations with power, bravery, leadership and royalty, as well as being a national symbol of Britain. Said motif includes lion plushies.
  • Anti-Magic: An innate ability of the Saber class is to resist magic and this Saber's is near immunity.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: At the end of the Battle Camlann, right before she is summoned to the Holy Grail War.
  • Badass Adorable: While more beautiful and dignified than actually cute, Saber's sincere and honest personality is very endearing; along with that, she also has many adorable moments in the Visual Novel.
  • Badass in Distress: In Unlimited Blade Works she is captured by Servant Caster, who wants to use her power.
  • Bad Liar: She's not used to being embarrassed, so when she lies about something embarrassing it's really obvious. For example, saying that she was trying to take Shirou's pulse to cover up a handshake.
  • Battle Ballgown: She wears a puffy dress underneath her armour. Flashbacks in the visual novel reveal she wore pants as a king, though the anime adaptations and spinoffs ignore this and show her wearing her dress all the time.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted, or least that is how Gilgamesh sees her, as part of his attraction towards her is her idealism.
  • Berserk Button: Do not deny Saber lunch or feed her bad food. It does not end well.
  • Big Eater:
  • Blade on a Stick: Supplementary materials reveal she has a divine spear-type Noble Phantasm and can therefore be summoned as a Lancer-class Servant; Fate/Grand Order in particular explores the nature and power of this weapon. Due to said spear, Rhongomyniad, currently being in the possession of her purported distant descendant Gray, and due to her being summoned as a Saber-class Servant, she never uses it nor is it mentioned in any of the routes in Fate/stay night proper. However, it briefly appears in a flashback to where she kills Mordred and the Garden of Avalon novel reveals she used it to slay her uncle, the evil king-turned-dragon Vortigern.
  • Blow You Away: In addition to making her sword invisible, Invisible Air also lets her make wind attacks.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Her dress is blue and many of her casual outfits incorporate blue in them, and she's probably the closest to the definition of an Ideal Hero of all the Servants in the war.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Despite taking her Master's safety seriously in all other scenes, in one of the bad endingsnote  Saber kills Shirou when she was promised the Holy Grail for doing so. It took both Shirou and Saber herself completely by surprise. This is AFTER he had already bedded her, romanced her, and their emotional development, making it pretty awkward that someone like Saber would do that. Though it does require missing just about every single 'affection' tag, so...
  • Bodyguard Crush: In Fate, she gradually falls in love with the Master she's sworn to protect.
  • Broken Ace: She's beautiful, graceful, powerful and one of the most well-known mythological figures in the story. She also has deep feelings of guilt over the destruction of her realm and inadequacy as a King who never understood the hearts of her people.
  • Broken Bird: Her behavior in the Fourth and Fifth Grail Wars is not actually what King Arthur was like In-Universe. Rather, on her death bed, her long suppressed normal personality wished to save her country while the perfect King Arthur was satisfied with the job done. Thus, Artoria is sort of flailing about trying to fix things that can not and should not be fixed.
  • Cain and Abel: In Saber's backstory, her sister was responsible for her downfall because she was jealous of her. She was a magus and created Mordred as a homunculus that eventually brought about Saber's downfall.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Saber is a Shameless Fanservice Girl who doesn't care about being seen naked, but when she develops feelings for Shirou, she starts to act embarrassed about him seeing her naked and quickly asks him to leave the bathroom the second time when he runs into her taking a bath.
  • Captain Obvious: She has her moments.
    Saber: Shirou. The plate is broken.
  • Celibate Heroine: Doesn't want to bother with romance and stuff since it gets in the way. In Fate she thaws out of this and falls in love with Shirou.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Being the King while hiding her true gender was already hard enough, but that coupled with having to make hard decisions in order to protect her kingdom made Saber's life really hard. It didn't help that her subjects resented her efforts to be the perfect ruler.
  • Chaste Heroine: She is completely impervious to sexual or even romantic innuendo unless it's pointed out to her.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Not nearly as often as Rin, she does occasionally hide her anger behind a seemingly innocent smile, the most notable being the Fission Mailed spar while wearing armor.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Shows shades of this after Ilya moves in with Shirou, clearly disliking Ilya's clinginess.
  • Closet Key: For Rin, who in the uncensored version of the "Fate" route outright admits that she didn't know she was into girls until she had to arouse Saber.
  • Cloning Blues: Altria's "son" Mordred was a homunculus clone created by his half-sister Morgan le Fey as part of her malicious schemes; and Altria refusing to recognize Mordred as her child and heir sparked an intense enmity between them that culminated in a Mutual Kill during the Battle of Camlann.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When in combat, Saber can be very ruthless to her enemies so long as it takes her a step closer to victory. In the Prologue, after dispatching Archer, she immediately goes for the kill against Rin to guarantee their complete loss before Shirou stops her. When Taiga gets held hostage by Caster in Unlimited Blade Works, she outright tells Shirou to abandon Taiga so they can have a direct shot at killing Caster then and there. Even during her reign as King Arthur, she had a very victory-oriented mindset, to the point that she would pillage her kingdom's own villages if it meant a guaranteed and complete win against foreign invaders.
  • Combat Precognition: Her Instinct is so great that it affords her a mild form of precognition in battle, enabling her to sense "the best personal course of action". This makes it all-but impossible to hit her with ranged attacks, though it's not infallible.
  • The Comically Serious: She retains her dignified and regal attitude for the vast majority of her appearances, though in instances like Carnival Phantasm she's often shoved into various instances where that just makes the entire attitude more hilarious, such as being a waitress in a maid cafe.
  • Confusion Fu: Her In-Universe justification for the Invisible Air, so that her opponents don't know what her weapon is, as a whole load of people, especially from anything remotely like her time, would recognize it instantly, putting her at a disadvantage.
  • Cool Sword: Her Noble Phantasm, Excalibur, is an extremely powerful divine sword capable of firing nuke-level beams of holy light, though she uses wind magic to hide it. It was given to her by the Lady of the Lake to replace Caliburn when it was destroyed. Expanded material like Fate/Extella and Fate/Extella Link state that the sword is more than 14,000 years old and was forged from the core of a star for the express purpose of protecting the World.
  • Covert Pervert: During the H-scenes she utters some raunchy lines, and despite having to pretend to be a man for most of her life she can give a fairly competent blow job. According to Nasu her experience comes from the time she was gender-bent.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: In Unlimited Blade Works, she starts off getting her butt kicked by Archer due to lacking a Master and being dangerously low on mana. Once she makes a pact with Rin, the tables turn until Archer uses Unlimited Blade Works.
  • Cuteness Proximity: She has a notable soft spot for stuffed animals, especially lions. Lion plushies in particular show that she has a soft spot for lions in general, since she once looked after a lion cub, and the time she spent with it was most likely one of the few happy moments she had during her lifetime.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Due to her limited mana supply using Excalibur to defeat Rider's Noble Phantasm leaves her powerless and on the verge of disappearing.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She starts off detached and aloof, but slowly opens up to Shirou.
  • Designer Baby: Garden of Avalon reveals she was engineered by Uther and Merlin to preserve the Pendragon lineage's supernatural bloodline, which Uther was afraid would die out with his generation. As her evil uncle Vortigern had imbibed the essence of the White Dragon, Uther and Merlin imbued Altria with the essence of the Red Dragon to better help her oppose him.
  • Distress Ball: Much to her consternation in Unlimited Blade Works. Getting captured by Caster and requiring rescue isn't exactly her thing. Though technically it was both Rin and Shirou's fault, but she doesn't seem to hold a grudge against them.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In Fate, Shirou does things for her such as going out on a date to get her to give up seeking the Grail, and admits that this is because he feels she needs to live in the present, not the past. This does not have the intended effect.
  • Dragon Ancestry: Has dragon's blood thanks to the tampering of Merlin. While she doesn't have any dragonic features, this does give her a massive mana reserve. It also gives her a weakness against anti-dragon weapons.
  • The Dragonslayer: In-life, Altria's claim to the throne of England was contested by her uncle Vortigern, who imbibed the blood of a dragon and became a Humanoid Abomination embodying Britain's ruin. When they fought, Vortigern transformed into a Draconic Abomination whose dark power surpassed that of even Excalibur, though she managed to slay him using the divine lance Rhongomyniad.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: With a proper Master to empower her, she's one of the best Servants around, matched only by the likes of Heracles and outshone only by the likes of Gilgamesh. However, with Shirou as her Master she has to struggle in every fight. Needless to say, once she makes a pact with Rin in UBW (or when she gets Avalon back in Fate which boosts her available reserves even with Shirou still as her Master), the gloves come off and we get a picture of what she's really capable of.
  • Emotionless Girl: When she was alive, she felt that it was her duty to totally suppress her human emotions. This resulted in several of her allies abandoning her, her people losing faith in her, and ultimately her downfall. When she is first summoned, she is cold and driven to win the Grail War at all costs, though she slowly defrosts.
  • Failure Knight: Thinks this of herself, having failed to save the country she lived to serve, and perhaps even led to the civil war which tore it apart.
  • Fanservice Pack: In the original Fate/stay night visual novel, Fate/hollow ataraxia, and the Fate/Extella games, Saber is depicted as being petite to the point of almost being flat-chested — facilitating her ability to disguise herself as a boy. In other later works such as Fate/Grand Order, the Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] adaptation, and the Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel trilogy, she is depicted as being significantly bustier, taller, and curvier than she was originally.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Surprisingly realistic example, despite sporting a Battle Ballgown: her left-hand gauntlet is far more heavily armored than her right, fitting for armor on one's off-hand.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her selflessness was her downfall in life. As King Arthur, she chose to become her ideal of the perfect monarch, ruling without surrendering to her emotions and taking every action possible for the good and safety of her kingdom. However her perfectly just rule and emotional distance from the people led to many feeling she was in some way inhuman. This in turn led to civil war started by Mordred, the "son" created by Morgan le Fay whose love she rejected and subsequently allowed to turn to hate, and her death.
  • The Fettered: Believes in traditional knightly values and will not do anything she considers dishonourable even if her existence is in danger. She warns Shirou that if he would have her attack humans for energy, he would have to use a Command Spell for stepping on her pride. That saying, she has no problem with killing Masters who have already been defeated or have lost their Servants either, as both Rin and Illya nearly attest to.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: She does not quite get modern conventions and everyday modern habits. Especially evident when Shirou asks her out on a date, but she doesn't know what a date is.
  • Flanderization: Saber's appetite. In the original Visual Novel, while she's portrayed as clearly being highly fond of Shirou's cooking, she was never noted to eat overmuch, with the Anime turning her into one to more easily convey the former. It's since become one of her two primary character traits along with her more conventional knightly nobility, and the one that's most often used to differentiate her from her clones.
  • Forged by the Gods: Her Noble Phantasm is a divine sword created by the Planet, rivalled only by the most-powerful of demonic weapons. According to Extella and Extella Link, it was forged from the core of a star and a previous wielder used it to foil an alien invasion.
  • Gender Bender: In her backstory, she was turned into a pseudo-male so she could get married. According to Nasu, this is where she got her sexual experience. It also contributed to her downfall, since Morgan stole some of her semen and used it to make Mordred.
  • Gender Flip: In historical legend, King Arthur was a man. Here, she's a woman who was only temporarily turned male.
  • Genre Blindness: When Gilgamesh is nonchalantly telling her to just go ahead and use her Noble Phantasm against him in a condescending tone, Saber does not at all get the clue that he may just have a countermeasure.
  • Gentleman Snarker: Occasionally dabbles in this, such as when Lancer asks if the invisible weapon she's wielding is a sword.
    Saber: Who knows? Maybe it's a battle axe. Or perhaps it's a spear. It might even be a bow, Lancer.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: Blue, poofy sleeves under her armour.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Lion plushies are irresistible to Saber, since they remind her of a lion cub she once took care of.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: After Caster captures her, she naturally decides to stick Saber in a sexy dress while she's tied up with magic and being tortured.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Beautiful, kind and feminine (despite what she thinks of her own physique), with golden hair in a small bun.
  • Healing Factor: All Servants have this going for them, but Saber Alter's is a couple steps above that. Moreover, if she's actually reunited with her second Noble Phantasm, Avalon, she gains a healing factor so swift and complete it makes her functionally invincible and able to tank the likes of Gilgamesh's Enuma Elish.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Traditionally heroic and knightly, she uses a sword.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: She believes she failed as a ruler and her wish is to undo her rule. Unlike most examples of the trope, Saber tends to avoid her self-esteem issues unless people specifically push the issue. She also assumes she's not a very well known hero but of course she would have no way of knowing, unlike the other Servants.
  • Historical Gender Flip: Her true identity is that of King Arthur, but in the Nasuverse he was really a girl named Artoria Pendragon.
  • Honor Before Reason: When Assassin introduces himself and instantly reveals his name, she deems it necessary to reveal her own identity, otherwise it would not be a fair and honourable duel. Assassin, however, says it's not needed.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Saber was originally depicted as being flat-chested and with a fairly androgynous figure, but the anime adaptations and games such as Fate/Grand Order give her Adaptational Curves.
  • I Am Not Pretty: She has serious problems comprehending that anyone could be attracted to her and when finally it gets through to her that Shirou is really interested in her she develops a inferiority complex. The second time Shirou comes in on her when she's bathing, she clearly has Muscle Angst. After Rin compliments her appearance we get this gem:
    Saber: I have never thought of myself as a woman, and I have never been treated as one. It cannot be true that I am gorgeous.
  • I Can Still Fight!: When attempting to rescue Shirou despite her non-existent mana supply during one scene in Fate. She can't even walk. Also against Gilgamesh when he ambushes them on their date.
  • Identical Stranger: Supplementary material and subsequent entries in the Fate series reveal that Saber is nigh-identical in appearance to a number of other female warriorsnote , many of whom became Heroic Spirits. This list includes alternate versions of herself, Saber of Red (Mordred)note , Moon Cell Red Saber (Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)note , Sakura Saber (Okita Souji), Ruler (Jeanne d'Arc)note , and Greynote .
  • Idiot Hair: Downplayed, as Saber is no idiot. But for fun, Memetic Mutation turns it into such things as a third hand, an oven timer, and the infamous Ahogecopter. Plus, if by poor luck you pull it off, out comes Saber Alter, since she loses the ahoge in that state. There's even a picture of her eating using said ahoge!
  • Image Song: "Tooi Yume" ("Distant Dream").
  • Informed Ability: In-universe example. She's supposedly the strongest among the already elite Saber class, but regularly struggles against the other servants, even Caster, whose spells should have zero effect on her. This is due to Shiro being too weak of a mage to meet her prana needs, forcing her to limit her abilites. She's also missing her Healing Factor item.
  • Informed Flaw: Saber has a weakness to anti-dragon weaponry due to her artificially having Dragon Blood as a result of Merlin's experiments, but she never gets to fight anyone who could take advantage of that, like Siegfried or St. George.
  • Intimate Healing: Because she wasn't properly summoned and because Shirou's prana control is spectacularly mediocre, the only way Saber is able to replenish her prana supplies in the Fate route of the original visual novel is by having sex with him.note  Their first intimate encounter doubles as Mate or Die since she had all-but expended her prana and they were being hunted by Illyasviel and Berserker.
  • Iron Lady: She dealt with The Chains of Commanding in a very stoic way, but still cared for her country, subjects, subordinates, and master. Unfortunately her stoic demeanor led to an uprising, since it made her people think she didn't care for them as much as she really did.
  • I Will Wait for You: In Realta Nua's Last Episode. Her soul waits for Shirou in Avalon until they are finally reunited.
  • Jack of All Stats: Only if her Master is Shirou. On her character sheet, all her attributes except for her Noble Phantasm are "B"- or "C"-rank. The other servants are much less balanced. Other Masters tend to grant her superior stats, making her more of a Lightning Bruiser.
  • Jeanne d'Archétype: She's unexpectedly a very straight example. She is an expert swordswoman, was born humble, but became the leader of her people, pretended to be male, and was eventually betrayed by her people. It's often the first guess as to her true identity, including in-story.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: She mows down other Servants in an ankle-length dress and magical suit of armour.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Of the archetypical style. Loyalty, honour and courage mean everything to Saber.
  • Lack of Empathy: As highlighted under Fatal Flaw, Saber adhered to the belief that a perfect king must feel no emotion, allowing them to be impartial and perfectly just. While this allowed her to rule effectively it also alienated her people and contributed to the kingdom's collapse, making them feel that she doesn't care about them in comparison to being an effective ruler. Granted, she can feel empathy, but she "discarded her own humanity" in order to become the "perfect king". When she actually reconnects with her humanity, she doesn't take it well. The fact that her reign ended so tragically made her come to the conclusion that she simply was not meant to be king, and someone else should've taken her place.
  • Lady of War: Graceful, demure and an elegant master of the sword. In life, she was even dreaded as a god of war.
  • Lawful Good: Saber's In-Universe alignment, being a chivalrous Knight in Shining Armor.
  • Leitmotif: "Sword of Promised Victory".
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Although Saber's hair is normally in its trademark bun, there are rare occasions where we see her hair down: in the Studio DEEN anime during her last moments with Shirou, and when she's crying and welcoming Shirou to Avalon during Fate's epilogue in Realta Nua.
  • Lightning Bruiser: As Rin Tohsaka's Servant she's faster, stronger and has much larger mana capacity than she did as Shirou's Servant. Gilgamesh himself regards her with heavy concern after this, since Saber now has the skills to pose a threat to him.
  • Lonely at the Top: Saber was the king of ancient Britain, but she believed she had to throw away all human bonds in order to rule effectively.
  • Love Interest: To Shirou in the Fate route.
  • Lust Object: She is this to Gilgamesh, who views her as a treasure to add to his collection, and he makes his desire to have his way with her very clear.
  • Magical Girlfriend: She can be seen as one in Fate. But for all her great traits, her insecurities reveal themselves over time.
  • Magic Enhancement: Saber is even more frail than Shirou Emiya without using her Mana Burst ability, so she relies on it heavily to bolster her strength, speed, and durability in combat.
  • Magic Knight: She wreaths her sword in wind magic to make it invisible, can break the laws of physics, and fire a massive Sword Beam.
  • The Magic Touch: She can channel her mana into objects she is using - like weapons and vehicles - to increase their power. However, objects without strong divine protection will be destroyed in a single blow.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Has a bit of this dynamic with Shirou. Saber spent her entire life playing the role of a man, has excellent swordsmanship skills, and is uncomfortable around her emotions, while Shirou has little combat ability compared to her, is much more emotional and excels at domestic tasks such as cooking.
  • Master Swordswoman: Played with. She's very skilled and generally does quite well in a straight fight, but Assassin is on a whole different level when it comes to swordsmanship and Gilgamesh outgambits her with a combination of weird Noble Phantasms that quickly put her on the defensive.
  • Messianic Archetype: As King Arthur, she was this to her people, at least initially. The trope is played with however, as it shows how lonely and mentally messed up a "perfect single ruler" who only does what is best for the country while completely neglecting their own desires, interests and even emotions would be.
  • Muscle Angst: She thinks her body is too muscular. Readers may raise an eyebrow at this considering that her figure is that of a twig.
  • Mythical Motifs During her lifetime as King Arthur, she was also associated with dragons. The anime, manga, and Realta Nua versions takes advantage of this by featuring a dragon as the manifestation of her magic circuits.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: 95% of Saber's amazing feats in life, down to her supposedly hereditary Dragon Blood, can be traced back to Merlin. Without the "Dragon Generator" being implanted into her body by him, Saber would be little more than the weak, fragile-as-a-bundle-of-twigs girl that remained after she uses Excalibur on Rider. However Saber is physically fragile because Caliburn stopped her aging in her mid-teens before she could fully mature, Saber deserves credit for still doing things as best as she could.
  • Nice Girl: Well not initially at the beginning of the VN and the anime as she was introduced as calm and stoic but as Shirou and Rin especially in Unlimited Blade Works route spends time with her, they eventually understands that behind her cold facade, she's a kind and warm girl who wants to help everyone as her defining act of selflessness.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Her lost Noble Phantasm, Avalon: The Everdistant Utopia (Excalibur's scabbard), can grant this, although she only had it as the 11th-Hour Superpower during the first route, while she never gets it back in other routes :due to her contract with Shirou getting severed before either of them noticed that Shirou had it all along. When it is just worn but not activated, it stops her from aging and gives her an incredibly powerful Healing Factor. When it is activated, she is just inches away from Complete Immortality (if not one outright, so long as she has enough prana to maintain it active). She wouldn't have fallen in battle if she hadn't lost the thing, which is precisely why some unnamed traitor stole it from her before the Battle of Camlann.
  • Not so Above It All: Despite the dignfied and stoic demeanor she usually emanates, she's not at all immune to immature behavior herself in some segments of the visual novel. Putting aside her voracious appetite, she displays a humorously petty side of herself in Unlimited Blade Works where she didn't take losing to both Shirou and Rin in the batting cages well and forces both of them to keep playing until she finally wins. In the same route, if she isn't properly fed or if she's miffed for some reason, she'll take it out on Shirou during their training sessions. She's also none too pleased to see Shirou picking up new fighting skills from other Servants aside from her.
  • Obsessed with Food: Food is very important to her. At one point, remembering the highly inadequate skills of the chefs of her era (Ironically Fate/Extra revealed it was Gawain who cooked her meals) has her briefly let off a killing aura. However, except for in the anime, the volume of food she eats is not that great.
  • Older Than She Looks: According to Garden of Avalon, Saber was between 25 and 35 when she died, having slain her uncle Vortigern ten years after drawing the Caliburn from the Stone and ruled Camelot for another ten years after that. Physically, she is around 15 due to the fact that she stopped aging once she drew Caliburn, and after Caliburn was destroyed her eternal youth was preserved when she obtained Avalon.
  • Pet Baby Wild Animal: She once looked after a lion cub.
  • Physical God: In life, she was so powerful — courtesy of her dragon blood and arsenal of divine weapons — that she was revered and feared as a dragon in human form and an invincible god of war, having relinquished her humanity to become the perfect king.
  • Power Limiter: Shirou's mediocre mana supply greatly limits her combat effectiveness. Word Of God is that she is at her most powerful when she becomes Rin's Servant in Unlimited Blade Works, though she doesn't have access to Avalon in that route.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: She typically wears her hair in a braided bun, which befits her Lady of War image and status as a respected royal.
  • Princeling Rivalry: Her half-fae older sister Morgan resented Altria recieving their father's attention and being made heir to the throne, and dedicated her life to ruining Alria's by any means necessary.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: In her civilian outfit, she wears a skirt and tights given to her by Rin. Her "proper" ladylike appearance contrasts Rin's miniskirt-Zettai Ryouiki combo.
  • Rags to Royalty: A Snow White type in her backstory. Due to being born into a time of chaos and war and her being a girl, Artoria's birth was made a secret and was raised as the child of a mere knight until she pulled the sword from the stone.
  • Raised as the Opposite Gender: Saber says that in her backstory she was raised as a man and never thought of herself as a woman. Since she's a Historical Gender Flip of King Arthur who hid her true gender and was recorded by history as male, this isn't surprising.
  • Red Baron: "King of Knights".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Saber is the Blue to Rin's Red, being calm in most circumstances in contrast to Rin's quick temper.
  • Rei Ayanami Expy: Let's see, fair hair and skin, not completely human even when she was alive, and an emotionally cold demeanor that comes to defrost thanks to the protagonist's efforts. She herself would come to spawn her own Fountain of Expies (even being the image provider of the trope).
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: In her backstory. However, Saber herself feels that she failed to be this, so much so that she wants to use her wish on the Grail to retcon her legend out of existence by having someone else become king in her stead.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Even ignoring the fact that King Arthur Pendragon is a biologically 15-year-old girl, among various other liberties taken, Saber's Idiot Hair is stated in Fate/hollow ataraxia to be her "reverse scale" — a feature of Eastern dragons that sends them into a berserk state if agitated. Saber was infused with the power of a Western dragon, which lack that particular concept even in the Fate universe's own lore.
  • Selective Obliviousness: She refuses to think of herself as a woman or acknowledge her emotions.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Downplayed, since while she's perfectly willing to wear clothing most of the time she simply doesn't care if anyone sees her naked. After she falls for Shirou, however, she becomes bashful about him seeing her body.
  • She Is the King: The Once and Future King. King Arthur is thought of as male in universe, and the only ones aware of her gender at the time were the Knights of the Round, her "wife" Guinevere, and Merlin.
  • Shower of Awkward: In Fate, Shirou enters the bathroom while she's bathing twice. She doesn't mind the first time, but the second time she does.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: While originally only loyal to Shirou in a platonic, master-servant type relationship (literally), as his selfless and caring deeds continue to win her over, Saber finds herself falling more and more in love with him, despite her mental barrier of thinking of herself as a lone King.
  • Situational Sexuality: In life she married a woman, but only out of duty to her kingdom. Merlin turned her into a pseudo-male so that she would be able to produce an heir - which backfired horribly, leading to Mordred's creation. As such, Artoria personally supported Guinevere's affair with Lancelot, but was forced to punish them out of obligation as king.
  • Sobriquet Sex Switch: Saber was born with the name Artoria, but when she pretended to be a male in order to conform with the expectations of the throne she gained, she adopted the far more familiar name "King Arthur".
  • Sore Loser: Implied and Played for Laughs in Unlimited Blade Works, when Rin takes her and Shirou; to a batting center, Saber gets very frustrated when she starts losing.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Fate/complete material, the Japanese website of Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star, and Fate/Grand Order give the official romanization for her name アルトリア (Arutoria) as Altria. Other official works, like Fate/Complete Material III, the English version of Fate/Extella and its sequel, and even the localized version of Melty Blood Type Lumina — at least until it was changed to "Altria" in a patch — romanize it as Artoria. When discussing the localization of Fate/Grand Order at Aniplex USA, Type-Moon stated that the official English translation of her name is Altria, not Artoria, though they themselves point out that Type-Moon has not exactly been consistent with that even on their end, and the localization team snuck in a bit of snark by changing one of her English bio's lines to read that her name is a corruption of the feminine version of Artorius rather than just saying it's the feminine version of Artorius.
  • The Stoic: Saber considers it impossible for her to have emotions and stays calm most of the time. Her composure shatters at some points.
  • Story-Breaker Power: One of the mystical objects she possessed in life makes her invulnerable, though she only gets it in one of the routes: Avalon, when she gets in back in Fate. Activating it pulls her out of reality and prevents any attack from touching her. For story purposes it makes her invulnerable. Gilgamesh using Ea had no effect on her on her and allowed her to defeat him despite being handicapped by having Shirou as a Master.
  • Super Strength: While Saber appears to be a scrawny teenage girl, her strength stat is between B and A-ranked depending on who her Master is, largely due to her Mana Burst ability allowing her to channel magical energy through her body to augment herself. When she's running low on mana, however, she's no stronger than she outwardly appears to be.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She's calm and aloof most of the time, but Saber is actually an emotionally conflicted girl who has a very caring and warm side. She has trouble accepting she has feelings for Shirou besides her duty, but towards the end of the Fate route, she finally acknowledges there's more to her than just being King Arthur.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In her backstory she lived as a man, and was even temporarily turned into one by Merlin's magic, so she could rule as the king. Very few people knew of her actual gender, despite her wearing a dress as part of her combat ensemble.
  • Sword Beam: Her Noble Phantasm, Excalibur: The Sword of Promised Victory creates giant waves of golden magical energy and is ranked A++. She also once possessed another sword, Caliburn, which had a similar but lesser effect. However, that sword was broken.
  • Team Mom: According to Nasu in an interview for the 2014 adaptation of Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], her relationship with Shirou, and to a lesser extent, Rin, in the Unlimited Blade Works route is more maternal in nature compared to the Fate (where she's Shirou's love interest) and Heaven's Feel routes.
  • Tears of Joy: In Réalta Nua, she finally lets them fall when Shirou reunites with her in Avalon.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Whenever "The Sword of Promised Victory" plays, something is going down.
  • They Call Him "Sword": Unlike many other Servants, she prefers being called Saber even when her true identity is revealed. Given how when she did reveal her identity in the past she was both belittled and taken advantage of, it makes sense.
  • Time Travel Escape:
    • An unusual example, due to her pact with the Planet making her unique as far as Servants go. It works like this: As per the legend of King Arthur, Saber is destined to either die after the Battle of Camlann or go to Avalon. This has already happened from a modern standpoint, but it just hasn't happened to her yet. Assuming that as a Servant she's still capable of aging, she could grow old and die and she would still end up at the battlefield immediately after that, where she would really die. However, Unlimited Blade Works' Good End gets around this by Saber staying and living a full life in the present. Additionally, should she obtain the Holy Grail she will fulfill her contract with the World, die, and become a true Heroic Spirit; but should she give up the Holy Grail - as in Fate - she forfeits her contract with the World and is taken to Avalon.
    • The expanded universe has since revealed some rather unsettling implications of this, as the World has placed timelocks on both ends of Saber's reign. Effectively, this means that the World screwed her over by making it impossible for anyone else to draw the Sword without that world immediately being pruned, and impossible for her reign to ever end any other way. Adding to the tragedy is the reveal that the reason for this is that Saber had already achieved the best possible ending for her kingdom, and the World can't afford any other path.
  • Together in Death: In Réalta Nua, in what Nasu called the "true end" to the Fate route, Saber and Shirou are reunited in Avalon.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Although Saber does have Lady of War elegance, she still acts very tomboyish. She contrasts with Sakura's girlishness. She even laments not being as girlish or shapely as Rin later on in Fate, though this only happens as she starts to realize her feelings for Shirou. Their roles switch in Unlimited Blade Works and Heavens Feel with Rin becoming more Tomboyish, while Saber acts noticeably more feminine, in both Routes.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She might say that she doesn't view herself as a woman, but Saber always wears rather feminine outfits and has a huge soft spot for stuffed animals, especially lions.
  • Town Girls: The Butch to Rin's Neither and Sakura's Femme. Their roles switch in Unlimited Blade Works and Heavens Feel with Rin taking on a role of The Butch while Saber is The Neither, in both Routes.
  • Tranquil Fury: Played for Laughs. You know that Shirou has managed to piss her off if she shows up to their daily sparring sessions smiling, happy... and wearing her armor. Cue ass-kicking.
  • True Blue Femininity: Blue dress for the traditionally fair lady.
  • Tsurime Eyes: The aesthetic symbolizes she's strong-willed, proud, and fits with her badass image.
  • Unknowingly in Love: Since Saber has spent her entire life suppressing her emotions, her feelings for Shirou leave her confused and angry. She realizes that he's important to her, but it takes a while for her to figure out why.
  • Verbal Tic: "ga…" In Japanese she seems to punctuate a lot of her sentences with a suspensive particle, especially when talking with Shirou.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Her voice is rather deep for someone who looks like a young teenager. This might be attributed to her being Older Than She Looks, as her mentally younger self in Fate/Grand Order has a higher-pitched voice.
  • Waif-Fu: Played With, depending on how you look at it. Without buffing herself with magic, she has the physical strength of someone befitting her size; she is quite a bit weaker than Shirou and Rin but has still exceptionally good sword skills and tactical mind. However, she's almost always buffing herself with magic.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Due to being weakened by Shirou's lack of mana, Saber is much weaker then she usually is. However, her fighting skills are still as top-notch as they were in life, allowing her to hold her own against Servants far stronger than her.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Saber's eyes are lovingly described often in both Shirou and Rin's narration/internal monologue.
  • When She Smiles: There are certain CGs towards the end of Fate where she truly gives a loving smile.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Aided by a Gender Bender illusion cast by Merlin, Saber was the ruler of her people and buried all her emotions and true desires to be the perfect monarch. Unfortunately, it worked too well, and a rebellion rose up against Saber because some saw her as an inhuman demon that doesn't care for her people.
  • Worf Had the Flu: In her prime, Altria Pendragon was feared as a god of war and possessed power almost equal to Gilgamesh's own living incarnation — owing to her draconic heritage and arsenal of divine weapons. As a Saber-class Servant, she is restricted to just Excalibur and — while lauded as the most powerful Saber-class Servant — never gets a full showing of her abilities in Fate/stay night or even Fate/Zero.note  This doesn't mean she can't kick plenty of ass regardless, but it's only in the "Unlimited Blade Works" route, with Rin Tohsaka as her Master, that she's able to come close to the power she possessed at her prime since she still doesn't have Avalon... and even then she doesn't really get a chance to really show off what she can do, since Shirou draining Rin's mana to fight Gilgamesh hampers Saber's ability to fight at full power
  • Worthy Opponent: Assassin considers her to be this. If not for the fact that she is a woman, Gilgamesh also seems to treat her as one at first, but it turns out he doesn't really care what she thinks and considers her far beneath him. Just not as far beneath him as some of the other mongrels.
  • You Lose at Zero Trust: One of the bad endings has Saber immediately kill Shirou when told she can have the Holy Grail if she does so, and requires the player to have a rock-bottom relationship score with her.


Saber Alter

Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (JP), Kari Wahlgren (EN)
"Don't try to earn my favor. Even if my retainer dies, even if people suffer, I am a woman who feels nothing."

"Useless...! That Noble Phantasm cannot match me!"

Saber Alter is the corrupted version of Saber, who becomes a minor antagonist in the "Heaven's Feel" route. She is exposed to "All The Evils of The World" through contact with the Shadow, stripping her of her free will and transforming her into an apathetic puppet of Aŋra Mainiiu. Her stats are greatly boosted in this form, leading some to call her "the strongest Servant".

She has returned in the sequels and spinoffs like Fate/hollow ataraxia, Fate/unlimited codes, and Fate/Grand Order.

    Saber Alter 
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • It's worth noting that it was sequels and spin-offs (particularly hollow ataraxia and unlimited codes) that coined the term "Saber Alter"; the original Fate/Stay Night itself simply refers to her as Saber, or occasionally "Blackened Saber".
    • Similarly, later works would call the Noble Phantasm she uses "Excalibur Morgan", to differentiate it from the Excalibur that normal Saber uses. While its variant appearance was established here (and the connection to Morgan(a) is noted in Alter's profile), in stay night it is still simply called Excalibur, even in its blackened state.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Minor example in the first Heaven's Feel movie. When she's introduced, she's sporting a smug smile and condescending attitude similar to Gilgamesh, before reverting to her usual stern persona in the second movie.
  • Animal Battle Aura: In Fate/unlimited codes she can shape her prana into the form of a dragon's head to bite opponents.
  • Anti-Hero: Nasu and Gen Urobuchi refute the notion that Saber Alter is an outright villain, instead calling her a dark hero. In stay night, this is questionable at best, but sequels, adaptations and the like make this aspect more obvious.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Once Shirou corners her and is on the verge of delivering the coup de grace, she says his name in a daze and you get the choice to salvage and save her. It doesn't end well if you take that option.
  • Battle Aura: Saber Alter is constantly wreathed in an aura of black and purple mana.
  • Berserk Button: Saber Alter is through and through largely emotionless. Despite her corruption however she still has a soft spot for Shirou, in her roundabout way. Rider manages to pick up on this and uses it to her advantage to break Saber's concentration. Rider taunting Saber on Shirou having more trust in her rather than Saber is the one time Saber Alter actually breaks out into a rage.
  • Black Swords Are Better: Her Excalibur becomes black with a red pattern on it, and while lore-wise it's the same strength as the original version, Saber Alter's greater offensive power results in Shirou and Rider only barely blocking its Sword Beam by putting Shirou's Rho Aias in front of Rider's Bellerophon.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: She's just as fond of this as Gilgamesh. She has the protagonists dead to rights several times throughout the story (at one point she even has her sword at Shirou's throat so all she needs to do is just lean forward to kill him), but always walks off instead of just taking a few extra seconds to finish the job.
  • Breakout Villain: Saber Alter started out as a secondary antagonist in the Heaven's Feel route, but has reappeared in Fate/unlimited codes, Fate/hollow ataraxia, Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, and other spinoffs - Fate/Grand Order gives her a particular spotlight in places, and makes her into a character very, very distinct from the "normal" Saber.
  • The Brute: Being empowered by Dark Sakura as her master, Saber Alter is arguably the strongest incarnation of Saber in the Fate trilogy. She's also relegated to being Dark Sakura's attack dog and isn't allowed agency of her own.
  • Casting a Shadow: In addition to her dark prana, she can teleport using shadows or Aŋra Mainiiu's black ooze.
  • Cool Mask: She has a mask that covers the upper half of her face, and armor in the shape of fangs that covers her chin and jawline.
  • The Corruption: She is swallowed up by the Shadow and blackened by Aŋra Mainiiu, becoming Dark Sakura's Servant.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: She effortlessly defeats everyone she fights, until she faces Shirou — who is able to fight on par with her due to having EMIYA's arm and Medusa as backup.
  • Dark Reprise: Saber Alter's leitmotif is a sinister reprise of Saber's own, called "Sword of Promised Victory (ver. Alter)".
  • Death Glare: Her expression is constantly fixed in a stern scowl.
  • Death Seeker: Saber Alter is implied to be one in the last Bad End, when she curses Shirou for not landing the final blow, though this may also be because of her philosophy that heroes are obliged to cut down their opponents without hesitation or restraint.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In her story mode in Fate/unlimited codes, realizing that the Grail is an object of evil after being swallowed by Aŋra Mainiiu led her to embrace despair and hatred.
  • Dragon Ancestry: Her corruption activated the dragon blood within her, turning her irises yellow and giving her a dragon-shaped Animal Battle Aura.
  • Dying as Yourself: In one of Heaven's Feel's Bad Ends. Shirou manages to beat Saber Alter by himself at the cost of Death of Personality, she compliments him on his strength in a warm way.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Her civilian clothes are a black and white gothic dress. In the Heaven's Feel movies, she's briefly seen in her dress from her 3rd Ascension in Fate/Grand Order.
  • Emotionless Girl: Saber Alter is callous and apathetic, only caring about upholding her duty to follow Dark Sakura's orders.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Saber Alter's armor, dress, and sword are black and red; her irises turn yellow, her hair becomes much lighter without her Idiot Hair, and her skin becomes like that of a corpse.
  • Evil Makeover: Her clothes, armor, and sword turn black and red; her eyes turn yellow; her skin and hair become deathly pale; and her prana turns black, purple, and red. It's noted in Fate/Grand Order that Saber Alter is the spitting image of her uncle Vortigern, who was corrupted into a Humanoid Abomination embodying Britain's ruin by drinking the blood of the legendary White Dragon, and was capable of transforming into a Draconic Abomination made of living darkness.
  • Evil Overlord: While her kingdom is long gone, she is described as being the "Dark-Tainted Tyrant". She takes her duties as a ruler seriously out of obligation to those whose lives were lost because of her, but is nihilistic and believes her past self was a naive, idealistic fool.
  • Fanservice Pack: As with the original, Saber Alter is significantly bustier in Fate/Grand Order and the Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel trilogy than she was in the original Fate/stay night visual novel and Fate/hollow ataraxia.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Saber Alter's comments to Shirou during their final battle imply that some remnant of her past self wants him to put her out of her misery and save Sakura. Fate/Unlimited Codes runs with this and has the original Saber manifest as Saber Alter's Enemy Without for her final battle.
  • Gate Guardian: At the end of "Heaven's Feel", Saber Alter serves this role. Dark Sakura and Zouken task her with guarding the cave where Aŋra Mainiiu's resurrection is taking place. She lets Rin pass to confront her sister because that's what Sakura wants to, but challenges Shirou to a duel to the death.
  • Healing Factor: Due to her limitless supply of prana from Dark Sakura, she can recover from almost anything, even mortal wounds.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: This gets a Lampshade Hanging in the Taiga Dojo; there's, unfortunately, no "saving" Saber Alter. In fact Shirou opting to stay his hand and not kill her arguably leads to the bleakest ending of the Heaven's Feel route.
  • Infinite Supplies: The secret behind her power. Normally, Saber is limited in that her Mana Burst is very energy-inefficient, as she has to balance between using up all her Mana to secure a win or play it low and slow and wait for an opportunity. Because Alter is hooked up to an almost literally bottomless source of Mana, she can expend more energy than her normal self has in total on every single attack, rendering her reduced agility and dulled instincts and skills moot because she can just throw enough mana at the problem until it goes away.
  • I Hate Past Me: Saber Alter views her uncorrupted self as a naive, idealistic fool, and says as much to her before their fight in Fate/Unlimited Codes.
  • Instant Armor: She can summon her armor just like her regular self, though it's only seen in the movies.
  • Invincible Villain: Saber Alter is practically immortal, strong enough to nearly send Archer flying from a successful parry, and her Excalibur Morgan completely shames the un-tainted version of the same Noble Phantasm. Even Berserker doesn't stand a chance against her despite the fact that he is normally stronger than her uncorrupted self. Shirou is only able to beat her by himself at the cost of using so much power he turns himself into a vegetable (and she's still alive at the end, just slowly regenerating), and even with Rider's help he barely edges out the win against her.
  • Irony: Saber Alter's ruthlessness and almost-omnipotence would be what Kiritsugu Emiya and Archer in Unlimited Blade Works would probably hail to high heavens, something which she detests very much during the Fourth Holy Grail War.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: After being corrupted by Aŋra Mainiiu's hatred and rage, Saber Alter comes to consider her past self to be a naive, idealistic fool; and believes a hero's duty is to be feared and hated, killing anyone who opposes them without mercy or restraint.
  • Lawful Evil: Her In-Universe alignment, following Aŋra Mainiiu's corruption. She takes her duties as a king seriously out of obligation to her fallen servants, but considers a hero's duty to be hated and ostracized, cutting down their opponents without mercy and with the full extent of their power.
  • Mighty Glacier: In comparison to her normal self. After being blackened she has a greater physical presence, making her slower and vastly stronger, and she's sacrificed some of her ancillary skills such as charisma and instinct due to having to suppress the bloodlust foisted on her by her corruption. Despite her handicaps she's more dangerous than her original self due to not holding back in combat, as well as the nigh-limitless prana supply and intense healing factor courtesy of her connection to Sakura and Aŋra Mainiiu.
  • Noble Demon:
    • A potential interpretation in Alter-Saber's Bond Villain Stupidity is her repeatedly letting Shirou live and escape comes down to her not wanting to actually kill him. Each time she has him dead to rights, she gets flexible with Sakura's orders to avoid finishing the job.
    • The "Sparks Liner High" Bad End shows that Saber Alter still cares about Shirou to some extent — even if they had to fight on opposing sides.
    • Another bad end involved her defeating Shirou by cutting off his arm. Even though she knows Dark Sakura wants him taken alive, she wasn't actually ordered to bring him in. Knowing that sparing him would be Cruel Mercy and lead to a Fate Worse than Death, she offers him, on her own volition, to kill him if he's inclined to take her offer. It's subtle, but telling, that despite supposedly having no emotions left other than hate, she tries to help Shirou in the only way she can.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: The series of incredible attacks Berserker pulls off on her after breaking out of the Grail Mud would've killed the normal Saber ten times over, but because she can infuse her armor and otherwise protect herself with her absolutely stupid amount of mana, she's barely scratched.
  • One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce: Due to Dark Sakura being an avatar of the Greater Grail, the Servants contracted to her have a practically limitless supply of mana. This lets Saber Alter — whose mana reactor is raging out of control due to her blackening — surpass what she was capable of in-life in terms of raw power, shrug off blows that would have severely injured her uncorrupted self, and heal from just about anything.note 
  • Paint It Black: Her armor turns black and red as a result of her blackening.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Saber Alter's expression is a constant disapproving scowl. Only rarely does she actually break out into a smile, usually more of a smirk than anything, with the one true exception being when Shirou is about to kill her and she gives him one last, warm smile.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Unlike the regular Saber who uses a more refined fighting style, Saber Alter opts to spam the hell out of Vortigern: Hammer of the Vile King, sending an endless barrage of explosive beams to blow up whatever happens to be standing in front of her along with her surroundings.
  • Power Incontinence: Her Fate/complete material III and Fate/Grand Order profiles note that due to her being blackened she doesn't — or can't — constrain her magical energy consumption, making her far more powerful than she was in-life but at the cost of her rapidly burning through mana. Logically were she not contracted to Dark Sakura she'd quickly burn herself out, but spinoffs featuring her have either tended to ignore this or give her a Master with ridiculously large mana reserves.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Saber Alter's personality actually isn't that different from the first time Shirou meets her: cold, merciless and fully dedicated to her mission. She just happens to have Aŋra Mainiiu and Dark Sakura as her Master.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Her prana is purple, red, and black.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Her clothes, armor, prana, and sword are black and red.
  • Smug Smiler: In Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel, Saber Alter smirks as the tells her uncorrupted self she should know who she is at a glance.
  • Social Darwinist: Saber Alter detests weakness, considering it the duty of a hero to cut down their foes without holding back. She's also condescending towards her idealistic past self.
  • So Proud of You: In her final fight against Shirou, she says that he's become a Worthy Opponent.
    Saber Alter: You have grown strong, Shirou. ...No, that is wrong. You were strong from the start.
  • Spell Blade: She can cover Excalibur in dark prana without firing it, greatly augmenting her slashes' range and power. Fate/unlimited codes refers to this attack as Vortigern: Hammer of the Vile King. She uses this as a Spam Attack in her battle with Berserker to eat through his stock of lives at a near record pace.
  • Split Personality: In Fate/hollow ataraxia and Carnival Phantasm, she appears as a split personality that manifests if Saber's Idiot Hair is removed,note  though this is more for humor than anything. More generally serious works, such as Fate/Grand Order and Fate/unlimited codes, treat her as a distinct, often separately-summonable entity.
  • Status Buff: The Blackening process provides Saber Alter with a limitless supply of dark prana, which grossly increases her offensive abilities. However, this comes at the cost of her agility and several of her ancillary abilities.
  • The Stoic: Saber Alter is aloof and callous in her mannerisms and speech.
  • Summon to Hand: She can call Excalibur Morgan to her hand this way, which appears in a burst of darkness.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: After being eaten by the Shadow, Saber is Blackened by Aŋra Mainiiu's curse into the Lawful Evil and overall more-powerful Saber Alter.
  • Super Strength: As with the normal Saber, she's got below-average strength even for someone of her build and physical age. Factor in her limitless Mana Burst, however, and she can dwarf even Berserker's incredible strength in spurts.
  • Super Toughness: She herself is not any tougher than normal, but because she has ludicrous amounts of mana to work with, she can use her Mana Burst defensively infinitely better and more intensely than her normal self. This allows her to withstand attacks from Berserker that would've absolutely massacred her otherwise with minimal damage.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Saber Alter's eyes turn gold instead of their normal green, due to her Dragon Blood awakening as a result of the violent nature forced upon her by The Shadow.
  • Sword Beam: In addition to her Noble Phantasm's normal ability, which is immensely amplified, in spinoffs like Fate/unlimited codes and Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA she can fire waves of dark prana just by swinging her sword.
  • Tin Tyrant: Saber Alter is both a Black Knight and a king. Her moniker is even the "Dark-Tainted Tyrant".
  • Tragic Monster: Shirou can't help Saber Alter, even if the real Saber does seem to be in there somewhere. If he tries, you get the worst bad end in the game.
  • Tranquil Fury: Saber Alter is filled to the brim with Aŋra Mainiiu's murderous rage and hatred, masked behind stern, callous apathy. However, suppressing this bloodlust decreases her Charisma.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Fate/Apocrypha and Fate/Grand Order reveal that Saber Alter is nigh-identical to Altria's half-fae older sister Morgan, who also had unnaturally pale skin and platinum blonde hair styled similarly to her sister's; the only differences being that Morgan was 1) more buxom than Altria, 2) had longer hair, and 3) had Icy Blue Eyes in contrast to Saber Alter's Supernatural Gold Eyes. When clad in her armor, she's also said to be the spitting image of her uncle Vortigern after he drank the blood of the White Dragon.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: Saber Alter's version of Excalibur - Excalibur Morgan - is corrupted by the Shadow, turning it black and red. Fate/Grand Order comments that its power is that of evil fae like Morgan, hence her name being appended to the sword's.
  • Walking Spoiler: Saber is corrupted half-way through the final route, making Saber Alter a spoilery antagonist. She's treated as a Late-Arrival Spoiler by the ''Heaven's Feel'' movie trilogy, which prominently features her on the official poster.
  • Worthy Opponent: She ultimately comes to view Shirou as this during their final battle, especially if he actually wins it.