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Video Game / Fate/EXTRA

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What power do you hold in your hands...?
Dancing flames, decaying Earth, withered ocean.

Fate/EXTRA is a JRPG Spinoff of the Visual Novel Fate/stay night, developed by Type-Moon & Imageepoch and released for the Playstation Portable in 2010 by Marvelous AQL. It is a combination of Visual Novel and RPG elements, based around a Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors system. Aksys Games localized it into English, releasing it in America on 11/1/11, and in Europe half a year later in 2012. It was also adapted into a Sound Drama series, released in Winter 2012.

It takes place 20 Minutes into the Future in an Alternate Continuity from Fate/stay night. In this timeline, magic users known as "Wizards" (or "spiritron hackers") have learned how to use magecraft within virtual space, and a great "Holy Grail War" is being held in Cyberspace between 128 participants, under the administration of the SE.RA.PH (Serial Phantasm) system. Each Wizard "Master" is partnered with a Heroic Spirit "Servant": a digital recreation of a famous figure from human history, equipped with the powers and armaments that personify their legend. As there are so many Masters, the Holy Grail War is arranged like a single-elimination tournament, with Elimination Battles occurring at the end of each in-game week, and the prize of a single wish for the last duo standing.


You are one of the participants in the Holy Grail War (either male or female), and can select a Servant of the Saber, Archer or Caster class at the beginning of the competition. However, you have no memories and (therefore) no motivation to fight, which could prove deadly in a competition filled with people who will do anything to achieve their desires. The only way to escape with your life and perhaps recover your lost memories is to survive seven weeks of battle and win the Holy Grail War.

Since then, EXTRA has created its own sub-franchise of the Fate Series, starting with a Sequel called Fate/EXTRA CCC, released in Japan on 28 March 2013. It features a brand new story dubbed the "Far Side" arc, in which a failed Holy Grail War has caused the SE.RA.PH system to collapse and the tournament world to descend into lawlessness, forcing the few surviving Masters to cooperate to escape. It includes new costumes for the main characters and the returning Servants, and a new playable Servant (Gilgamesh), but was not released outside of Japan. It later gained a manga called Fate/EXTRA CCC Fox Tail, and formed the basis of the "SE.RA.PH" arc in Fate/Grand Order, acting as both a re-telling and a sequel to the events of the game.


A third game, Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star, was released in 2017 for the Playstation Vita and Playstation 4. This game occurs after the events of Fate/EXTRA and CCC, and shifts genre to a Dynasty Warriors-esque Hack and Slash. This was followed by a sequel in 2018 named Fate/Extella Link.

An original anime story set in the world of Fate/EXTRA titled Fate/EXTRA Last Encore aired in 2018 on television and streaming services (as a "Netflix Original", subbed and dubbed in multiple languages).

A remake of the original entitled Fate/Extra Record was announced with the 10 year anniversary in July 2020.

The mire of the everyday sloughs off, revealing these tropes:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The level cap is 99, but you'll usually be in the high 30s/low 40s by the time you reach the Final Boss.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Some of the enemy Masters' exits show they weren't necessarily villainous people, just 'villains' in that they happened to be your opponent.
    • Shinji's Villainous Breakdown does a 180º turn when it's revealed that he's just an eight-year-old boy.
    • Dan is hardly a villain, but he dies apologizing to his Servant, admitting to his mistakes, and offering advice to the protagonist. If you choose to remember him later, the protagonist will remark that they think of him as a father.
    • Alice is just a lost little girl who is already dead.
    • Rin/Rani go out commending you/silent and sad. Both have helped you quite a lot throughout the game, regardless of which route you took.
    • Julius comes back from the dead and shows you his life before trying one last time to kill you. Even the protagonist cries for him after seeing flashbacks of his life.
    • Leonard goes out with grace and finally has the perspective to realize not everyone thinks like he does and, moreover, is not necessarily wrong for thinking otherwise. He also shows he means it when he said he did not care about any personal benefits he may gain.
  • All There in the Manual: There are many details explained in the Fate/Extra side materials including plans for five Sakura Alter Egos instead of two and more details into certain events in the backstory and the abilities of characters.
  • Alternate Timeline: Supposedly, this game takes place in a timeline that diverged from the normal Fate/stay night universe in 1980, when the prana of the world suddenly vanished. According to Rin and Twice, this shouldn't have happened, and history is corrupted somehow. Also, the moon landings haven't taken place yet, despite occurring in the normal timeline before the prana vanished. Leo's dialogue implies the Harway family prevented space-travel to prevent anyone from landing on the Moon.
  • And You Thought It Was a Game: Many of the Masters view the Holy Grail War as just an online game at first, and don't fully comprehend the consequences of losing. The results of the first round drive the point home to most of the surviving participants.
  • Angrish: The Berserker class Servants' incoherent speech due to Mad Enhancement/Blind Rage.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Alice's Caster-class Servant is the personification of nursery rhymes.
  • Anti-Grinding: The amount of XP you gain from beating enemies drops the higher your level is, and XP requirements for the next level increase greatly every level. Specifically, levels follow a set formula. The XP needed is always (Current level^2) x 10.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Demonic Atlas Formal Wear is dropped by the Bonus Boss when defeated. It completely nullifies any damage from a single move, even Noble Phantasms.
  • Beehive Barrier: Whenever someone is hit while using Guard. Break shatters the barrier.
  • Betrayal Tropes: Being betrayed is a major theme of each of the three playable Servants' backstories.
  • The Berserker: Berserker-class Servants.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • You stop Twice's plans to create a Forever War and obtain the Holy Grail, but you are essentially erased in the process and your female partner is the only one to truly escape the Holy Grail War. She's looking for your real body, but it won't have any of your memories since you're just a copy of that person. And the real world is still stagnant and oppressed, but at the very least the Holy Grail War is no longer deadly and Twice can no longer use the Moon Cell to make things worse. Welcome to the Nasuverse!
    • In CCC Normal Ending, everything's back to normal now that you've finally returned to the Near Side from where you left off. But you have no recollection of Sakura and the Far Side. (Unless you got the endings with your respective Servants) While in the CCC Route Ending, you permanently lose your servant and BB sacrifices herself. Sakura ends up creating a new body for herself and the Protagonist. Jinako, Rani, and Rin are also implied to have survived as well since they were the remaining masters, but the events of Extra still continue even in the CCC Route, leaving it inevitable that either Rani or Rin will be dead in the end.
  • Blank Book: One of the clues in the prologue that shows that things are not right is the school's student registry being completely blank.
  • Body-Count Competition: In the fourth week, Father Kotomine sets up a "game" on the Arena where the Master having the most Carnivore kills are awarded with the combat data of their opponent for that round.
  • Bonus Boss: The original has Shiki Ryougi. CCC includes three more bosses of Rin Tohsaka and Alternate Playable Archer, Kotomine and Lancer, and Twice H. Pierceman and Playable Caster. All three appearing thanks to the Moon Cell.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Zeroth/Infinite Chimeric Lunar Sea, accessible before you go to claim the Holy Grail. However, it's not that difficult and doesn't have anything of value except for the Bonus Boss, if you've unlocked her.
  • Bookends: The beginning and the end of the Holy Grail War for the protagonists involves walking down a long corridor that changes shape as you move along it.
  • But Thou Must!: Sometimes, you only get one dialogue option, like when Alice asks you to play with her and attempting to peek in on your Servant getting... 'recharged'.
  • Character Level: Your level as a Master increases when you gain enough XP after defeating enemy programs, which also has the effect of empowering your Servant. You also get 3 Skill Points per level, which you can use to boost your Servant's stats.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Twice H. Pieceman actually makes a early appearance during the 3rd week, which also comes with a Chekhov's Gun related to Alice and a plot point later in the game.
    • Why couldn't the Decoy Protagonist use a single attack with his Effigy? Because Julius had gotten his Servant before the Grail War started, according to his backstory, and he had Li Shu Wen shred the Decoy Protagonist's Magic Circuits. That's why Julius didn't kill him and just knocked him out. Without Magic Circuits, he was doomed anyway.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: After the War begins, this is how you distinguish non-unique Master models from regular NPCs. They both wear the same yellow-brown school uniform, but in different shades. Masters wear the brighter ones from the prologue, NPCs wear a darker shade. Also, Student Council members wear black.
  • Counter-Attack: When someone using Guard is hit by an Attack.
  • Crapsack World: Several people have pointed out that even with all the horrible things going on in the Moon Cell, the regular world is even worse.
  • Critical Hit: As in most RPGs, it increases the amount of damage done.
  • Dead All Along: Alice, the Master of Caster. Also Twice H. Pieceman, Master of Saver.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The initial playable character is a Master candidate who fails his trial. Once you get control of the "proper" player character, an interesting (and really creepy) perspective flip occurs on several events.
  • Demoted to Extra: Sakura in the first game. She is set to have a bigger role in CCC.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Apparently a requirement of the Archer class. The playable Archer takes this trope Up to Eleven.
    • The protagonist shows shades of this as well, especially if you pick certain options when organizing their information before a week's Elimination Battle. Picking some of the Entertainingly Wrong options leads to some gems, such as the protagonist deducing that the enemy's Noble Phantasm is called "The Five Kitties of Cuddly Squee!" and remarking that they wish they were being done in by "fluffy-wuffy kitties of doom... *meow*" They also do this a fair bit in the narration, unprompted.
  • Death of a Child: Subverted. You're forced to fight and kill two, though Shinji was Younger Than He Looks and Alice was Dead All Along.
  • Deus Sex Machina: Rani or Rin has to use this to repair your Servant's Magic Circuits after Assassin destroys them. However, you're kicked out after you activate a trap that's meant to kill anyone who peeks. All you really see is a bare leg, but Sakura's dialogue after you look in and your Servant's dialogue later on even if you didn't practically confirms it.
  • Digital Avatar: Nearly everyone you meet in the Moon Cell. Whether they look the same in the real world is never mentioned.
    • Rin Tousaka looks more or less the same in the Moon Cell and the real world.
    • Rani's ending shows her real world self is identical to her Moon Cell avatar.
  • Digitized Hacker: Pretty much everyone in the Holy Grail War, except the NPCs, are this. It is also one of the few ways left to perform magic, see Magic from Technology below.
  • Disappears into Light: Masters and Servants defeated in the Elimination Battles are covered in darkness and are deleted; Nursery Rhyme just vanishes to become someone new, Arcueid tears her way out, Ryougi vanishes, probably to another world, and Savior disappears into glowing light.
  • Double Entendre:
    • Lil' Ronnie's Lancer-class Servant is a walking pile of these.
      Lancer: "Hahaha, salivate in anticipation, my wife! For soon, there will be meat in your unsatisfied cavity."
      Lancer: "My spear rises in giddy joy when I ponder my luck in meeting you!"
    • Assassin would like to say that he'd grown tired of strangling cormorants and wanted to feel what he was doing.
      Assassin: "Want to feel something, boy/girl?"
      Assassin: "Ooh, a spirited one! I'm glad you came this way, boy/girl."
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: In the English localization of Extra, Rani refers to her professor with male pronoun. In CCC, it is revealed that her professor is Sialim, Sion's deceased twin sister who, in the What If? scenario of the Kaleidoscope, survived their birth instead of Sion.
    • However, in the Fate/EXTRA Material book, Sialim's character profile has the comment of (roughly translated) "Rani called her "Father," but, sorry, forget that ever happened." It isn't so much of a localization mistake as it is probably either a retcon or a mistake retained from the original Japanese version.
  • Dungeon Crawling: You and your Servant go around different mazes in order to find out more on your next opponent, obtain the Triggers you need to not be disqualified, obtain Side Quest items and Level Grind.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In CCC, with the CCC Route Ending (though Bittersweet), and the Servant Endings.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Alice and her Caster-class Servant.
  • Epiphanic Prison: The game starts off in one: it takes the form of a very cliche school drama/comedy setting. Realizing that everything is fake and trying to assert your identity even when you can't remember it is apparently the preliminary section of the Holy Grail War. Only 128 people succeed, including the protagonist.
  • Expy:
    • Rani VIII is a homunculus created to fight in the Holy Grail War, has a famous warrior who is a Berserker like Ilya, and is a purple haired Alchemist of Atlas like Sion.
    • The playable Caster bears a striking resemblance to Kohaku's Magical Alter Ego, Magical Amber.
  • Fan Disservice: The Alter Egos' SG and Punishment are played out like fanservice moments, but the text makes it pretty clear that they're all in pain.
  • Fanservice Pack:
    • Sakura has one of the biggest bosoms in the Nasuverse, which is combined with rather unkempt hair, both of which were amplified here. Sakura's already well-sized breasts became even more noticeable, and her unkempt waist-length hair now goes down to her knees. Sakura basically took Medusa's measurements for herself, except for her height.
      • CCC introduces three Sakura clones, one of which, named Passionlip, is even bustier. This ultimately ends up not being that fun for her, though, and it's played as a "Fan Disservice Pack" in some ways.
    • Rin's curves are more pronounced compared to her original design.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: At one point in CCC, Sakura ends up being infected by Meltryllis and requires the player to journey inside her core to fix her. Later on the player must also do the same to their own servant in order to enhance their spirit origin so that they stand a chance against BB. Elizabeth makes an appearance as an antagonist in the former and a Guest-Star Party Member in the latter.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: You choose between Saber, Tamamo and Archer at the start of the first game. The second gives you Gilgamesh.
  • Fission Mailed: After you beat week two, the game deliberately makes you think you've entered a Bad End of some sort, straight down to subtitling it Dead End like one of the non-combat game overs you can get... and then your Servant and Rin barely save your life. (Rin didn't even mean to, hilariously enough. At least, that's what she says.)
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The sentences that pop up on the bottom left of the screen showing off the Arena just before you enter it tend to be quite relevant to whoever it is you're fighting in that week.
    • A more comedic example is in the prologue. If you talk to one of the students outside, she says that "You'll have to pick sides in the nerd war soon." On the 3rd day of the 4th week, talking to the male student outside, whose opponent is a manga fan while he's a comic book fan, forces you to choose which one you're a fan of, or you could pick bande dessinee.
    • Early on in the War, you learn that there's a Master who's hanging out in the Chapel, complaining that she hasn't received a Servant yet due to a 'system malfunction'. You also learn that the reason for having only 128 participants is due to that being the maximum number of Servants the SE.RA.PH can support at once. So, there's one Servant unaccounted for... and it turns out to be the Final Boss.
    • Another early one: the dream sequence just after the beginning of the first week is of a disaster that claimed many lives. The way it's written implies that it's a memory of the original Twice's last moments before he dies during the terrorist attack.
    • There is a Master in the garden outside the chapel who's quite knowledgeable about flowers. The meanings of each of the flowers she mentions is very relevant to current events.
    • In one week, you see a transparent figure walk towards you before disappearing, and Leo explains that it was a digital ghost, that you shouldn't worry because they're just images that can't affect anything. The figure you see is Twice Pieceman, you are a digital ghost who's damn well affecting things, and after he's defeated, Twice walks towards and past you, fading away as he did in the hall.
  • For Want of a Nail: You could either save Rin or Rani from the other. This also changes which Master and Servant teams you fight later.
  • Four Is Death:
    • The Information Matrix has four points on it; finding out enough about your opponent to fill them all gives you an advantage that comes in handy when you're fighting them.
    • Potential Masters had four days to realize they were being tested and prove their mettle; failing to question reality enough or survive the tests ended poorly for everyone who didn't qualify.
    • Plays a role in the first battle with Assassin. Every round, his fourth move is an auto-counter to your fourth move, unless you used a Skill.
  • The Ghost: Rani's Professor, who is a member of the Eltnam family like Sion.
  • Grand Theft Me: Julius B. Harway took the place of Souichirou Kuzuki by hacking his profile.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Getting the playable Caster's Matrix Level to E relies on a series of specific conversation choices throughout the game, and most of these don't look like they're significant at all. Here is a very detailed guide.
    • In Fate/Extra CCC, to acquire Gilgamesh's SG's, you must at least 10 items, used Gilgamesh's skills 30 times cumulative, and spent 300000 Sakurament at the school store. They also have to be done before you reach a certain chapter, making them all a timed mission, with the first requiring you to have completed the objective before Chapter 3 is unlocked.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: The playable Saber versus Dan Blackmore's Archer. Quite hilarious, and awesome, as they snark-off.
  • The Hedonist: Rider's personality. If you choose Saber, she also shows some of this, such as when she congratulates the protagonist on using 200 items for such overt consumption, and decides that she needs to keep up by upgrading one of her skills to do more damage, but consume more MP as well.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Naturally, you get to come up with the Protagonist's given name, surname, and nickname (which can naturally be the same as their given name). In voice, though, Saber calls you "Praetor", Archer calls you "Master", and Caster calls you "Goshujin-sama"; which can both mean "Master" and a respectful way of saying "Husband."
  • Historical Gender Flip: As before, a couple of Servants are female incarnations of male historical figures.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Sometimes, you'll be bailed out by the SE.RA.PH, but other fights like the Jabberwock, if you don't have the Vorpal Blade, normally cannot be beaten. (Theoretically, you can win if you spam skills and are greatly over-leveled, but in practice, you'll need to cheat and have infinite HP and MP, since even grinding to level 99 won't be enough. However, there's a unique sequence that plays if you somehow manage to win. Here's a video of it with Saber.)
  • Hotter and Sexier: Fate/Extra CCC is this in spades to the first game, to the point where it earned a CERO D rating. This is likely one of the factors that prevented its export at the time.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Rani VIII and her Berserker-class Servant.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A favored tactic of Lancer-class Servant Vlad Tepes III, which includes impaling himself (which doesn't do any damage to him, oddly).
  • In Spite of a Nail: You still face the Harway brothers, Julius and Leonard, as the fifth and seventh Masters respectively.
  • Instant-Win Condition:
    • Twice H. Pieceman's Servant Saver has a condition where every two turns, a mirror lights up. If all seven mirrors are lit, you lose and he wins.
    • If a Master does not obtain the two Triggers in the Arena before the Elimination Battle at the end of the week, the other Master wins by default. This can happen to you, so don't slack off on Dungeon Crawling.
    • The Bonus Boss insta-kills you if all your moves are Sealed.
  • Interface Screw: As both playable characters in the prologue realize that Things Aren't Right, the world gets progressively stranger, down to static and distortion filling the screen.
  • It's All About Me:
    • The playable Saber loves attention.
    • Shinji is so conceited he can't comprehend the possibility of losing and assumes he's naturally superior to everyone in every way, which is normal behavior for an eight-year-old Child Prodigy.
    • Leo Harway's even worse, as he's downright friendly and absolutely frank about how he and his family are going to rule the world, which he acknowledges will likely require killing everyone who doesn't accept it. He casually mentions they may use this solution on everyone in Asia.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: If you get a Bad End or lose in an Elimination Battle, the game describes what happens, and in the case of the Elimination Battles, your opponent has several things to say to you.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Due to how combat works, just trying to fight normal enemies can become one of these. It gets easier the more you fight the same enemy, but it's quite possible for a fragile character like Caster to be taken from full HP to dead if you're unlucky enough, particularly later on in the game.
  • Luck Stat: Determines chances of getting a Critical Hit, increases defense when your Servant's health is in the red and decreases the chance of being affected by Status Effects or by Gae Bolg.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Fate/Extra deviates from the rest of the Nasuverse in the 70's, where an incident caused nearly all prana to drain away. The only magic left is psychic/virtual.
  • Magic from Technology:
    • In the virtual world, people with coding skills are equivalent to magic-users because they can warp the artificial reality by hacking; they're even called "magi" by the system.
    • All magic is "internal" in the Fate/Extra universe. Either within one's mind or within a computer system, due to The Magic Goes Away.
  • Money for Nothing: Aside from the Ruby, there's nothing really that expensive in the Commissary, which is the only item shop in the game. However, you can't buy the Ruby normally and must complete the packed lunch sidequest, even if you do have the ludicrous amounts of PPT needed.
  • Money Spider: All of the enemy programs and Servants give PPT upon defeat. Probably justified, as the Moon Cell should be providing the PPT as a reward.
  • Monster Clown: Lanrukun/Lil' Ronnie.
  • More Dakka: Rider's Noble Phantasm, Hunt of the Golden Hind, fires a barrage of cannons from her armada. It is substantially more awesome than the simple description makes it sound.
  • The Most Dangerous Video Game: Everything takes place in a virtual world with competitors controlling avatars, though as Shinji's Rider points out, its a war at the end of the day, and There Can Be Only One survivor.
  • Multiple Endings: In CCC. The Servant Endings require one to collect their Secret Gardens.
    • The normal ending has it All Just a Dream and it's stated the events of the first FATE/Extra game still continue(CCC takes place during it).
    • Gilgamesh Servant Ending. Gilgamesh appears and reveals that the Protagonist's original servant was a Berserker and saves them from the Moon Cell by sacrificing 90% of his NP treasury and defying the Moon Cell in the process. He then takes them to an alien world 1500 light-years away, with the two planning on exploring this new alien world.
    • Archer Servant Ending. The Protagonist appears mysteriously on Earth and meets a mysterious man who looks like Archer. Wanted by the Harways, they then have the mysterious man become their battle instructor.
    • Saber Servant Ending. Saber saves the Protagonist from certain death and uses Aestus Domus Aurea to create a Church, where the two get married. The Protagonist then changes the rules so that Servants can now live without a Master, and humans (Wizards anyway) can soon come living on the Moon to escape the dying earth.
    • Caster Servant Ending. Caster saves the Protagonist by using the Moon Cell to summon her other 8 Tails as Servants, with the Nine working together to save them. It is also mentionned that human Wizards have left the dying earth behind, uploaded themselves to the Moon Cell, and begun to populate the Moon a new frontier for humanity. Later, SE.RA.PH becomes a new frontier for not only mankind, but aliens from other planets as well.
    • CCC Route Ending. Beating the normal ending for CCC, completing Extra's story again, and then starting a New Game+ of CCC afterwards will give one access to the CCC Route and ending. There are also other requirements throughout the story that must be done through the game to face the True Final Boss and ending.
  • Mundane Solution: To escape the Reality Marble used by Caster Alice, you must remember your name after the Reality Marble has erased it. When you ask Rin how to do this, she suggests writing your name somewhere convenient so that you can refer back to it.
  • Musical Nod:
    • Caster's theme is based on a menu theme from Fate/stay night, which was originally titled "Extra".
    • "Last Piece" from Fate/hollow ataraxia is used for key emotional moments in CCC with two different versions, "Piece" and "Last Piece Again".
  • Mythology Gag: There are Shout Outs, Cameos, and Expies from other Type-Moon works.
    • From the Tsukihime and Melty Blood series:
      • Servant: Arcueid as a Berserker-class Servant.
      • NPC: Aoko Aozaki.
    • From The Garden of Sinners:
      • NPC: Touko Aozaki.
      • Bonus Boss: Shiki Ryougi, who has the Class of "Monster".
    • In CCC,Gilgamesh felt angry for some reason after hearing BB saying that Servants like him are food for her. In the Heaven's Feel route, Dark Sakura devours him and turns him into mana.
    • In CCC, when in Archer's UBW, you get the skill Excalibur Image which Archer mentions he could somewhat reproduce in the UBW route.
    • invokedWord of God heavily implies that the event that removes magic from the word is the Summoning Ritual to summon the Dark Six (the Big Bad from the nonexistent Tsukihime 2); except Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • Never Heard That One Before: One of the NPCs in the school is named Sharon Tips, and she says that she'd like to strangle whoever gave her that name.
  • New Game+:
    • You get to carry over your Arena enemy combat data, money, your Formal Wear (aside from Servant specific ones and one unlocked through plot progression), and it lets you skip the prologue to the point when you select your Servant. You also get a chance to fight the Bonus Boss.
    • CCC features all of the above, plus the ability to unlock the true end.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The Harway family owns 30% of the real world's land and 60% of its wealth. They even have their own army.
  • No Fair Cheating: In-Universe example: attacking your designated opponent on school grounds will result in a penalty to your Servant's stats and fighting in the Arena before the Elimination Battle is limited to three rounds before the system breaks up the fight. Often, this helps you more than it hinders, as it pulls you out of most Hopeless Boss Fights.
  • Nominal Importance:
    • The prologue uniquely has YOU as one of the many nameless, identity-less faces wandering around the school. The guy realizes to his horror that, like the protagonists of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, he has no memories at all of how he got there, what he's supposed to be doing, where he's going or even if he exists at all as a person.
    • Played straight in a less-meta sense: don't expect to fight anyone who doesn't have a character portrait, or a name.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: It's possible to get a number of Bad Ends in the game, including one if you go the wrong direction in the prologue. Granted, you really have to ignore the game prodding you away in order to get that one.
  • One Steve Limit:
  • Pre-existing Encounters: Enemy programs can be seen roaming around the Arena. They will attack you if they see you, unless you've killed enough of them.
  • Rainbow Speak: Blue is generally used for characters, like your Servant and the other Masters. Red is usually used for important terms and for enemy Servants. Gold is only used once, in a book you can read if you visit the library during the 4th week.
  • Randomly Drops: Enemy programs can drop items upon defeat. Mostly, they're just decent healing items.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Omake from Type-Moon Ace actually paint Saber and Caster in this light, frequently they will argue over one thing or another just on principle.
  • Relationship Values: Aksys staff have confirmed "...a definite affection element in the game..." See this interview for more.
    • Saber is easy (just don't miss any of the conversations marked with yellow) and Archer is only slightly harder (same as Saber, but you have to ask about his true name in the 7th week). Caster is the most difficult: in addition to the yellow conversations, she gives you a survey in the 4th week and the wrong answers will make it impossible to maximise her Matrix Level. You also lock her "Extra" level if you dodge her question about who you love in the 6th Week (even if it's not her).
    • The values carry over to CCC.
  • Red Herring: During the early part of the 6th week, it's heavily implied that Leo is your opponent. It's actually the girl you didn't save.
  • Respawning Enemies: Enemy programs respawn after a period of time. The rare enemies, like the Nephilim, however, usually respawn after one or two in-game days.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Your quest to survive ends in failure and your goal of attempting to stop Leo and Julius was pointless. Twice would have killed anyone else who made it to him apart from maybe Tohsaka due to their similar ideas, but almost certainly not even her. You do manage to stop Twice himself, but you had no idea he was there, no idea he was making things worse on Earth and your character not only has no attachment to Earth but also cannot really be 'revived' thanks to a lack of medical knowledge.
    • The CCC endings all correct this tremendously.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Just before having to choose whether to save Rani or Rin, look at the middle row of the code that pops up when the protagonist touches the film projector. You can see the numbers 999 and the words BlazBLUE and AGAreST, all of which were also translated by Aksys Games.
    • There's mention of a book about sparkly vampires if you look at one of the shelves in the library.
    • Taiga refers to her Taiga Mug as "My Precioussss."
    • After you bring her ice chips, Taiga says she's going to have some "Old Janx Spirit."
    • One of the enemy programs is a giant whale named Moby-Dick.
    • At one point, Taiga says "Just the thought of tonight's dinner makes me shiver with antici...PATION!"
    • In Fate/Extra CCC, Caster revealing her enormous goddess form is almost identical to the protagonist meeting Gwynevere.
    • A narration in CCC if you choose Gilgamesh as your servant has this.
      The Naked King Posed Provocatively. It's super effective.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Shinji spends most of his time shrieking and whining about how he's better than everyone else, but we don't really see much justification for this other than his apparently-good coding skills. This is, of course, perfectly normal behavior for someone who is only eight years old.
  • Something About a Rose: The playable Saber has rose petals appear in some of her special skills and when she summons her Noble Phantasm.
  • Spoiler Opening: Which the game doesn't play automatically in order to avoid spoiling the fact that you start off playing as the Decoy Protagonist.
  • Status Buff: Some of the Skills.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: Some Code Casts can dispel them.
  • Status Effects: Poison/Curse/Sacrifice (standard damage inflicted per turn), Paralysis/Stun (prevents being able to act on random moves on a turn, Stun only lasts for one turn) and Seal (prevents the afflicted from using the move that is sealed). Typically inflicted by Skills, though some of the later enemy programs and Servants have a small chance of inflicting them using normal moves.
  • Stripperific: The playable Saber.
  • Stylistic Suck: Saber, at one point, excitedly relays one of her plays to the protagonist. Among other faults, it has:
  • Surprisingly Good English: Archer's well-known chant for activating his Noble Phantasm, so much so that some people thought the entire game had been dubbed.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: The three main choices of action when fighting follow the Guard > Attack > Break > Guard pattern of advantages. There are justifications for each of them:
    • Guard blocks and Counter Attacks Attack.
    • Attack strikes before Break.
    • Break smashes through Guard.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Some of the later enemy Servants automatically counter any action you take in a turn unless it's revealed by the Information Matrix. Just like you do with them.
  • Theme Naming: The various families of enemy programs all follow their own separate naming conventions, including psychological conditions, animals and famous scientists.
  • There Can Be Only One: Even more so than the original universe; killing the Servant kills the Master as well (except in very special circumstances, like in the Rin vs Rani battle). Also, only 1 out of 128 Masters may claim the Holy Grail, and even more had died in the prelims. The winner also has to beat Twice H. Pieceman, because he still counts as a Master, and only when there is one Master left do they get to leave.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Combined with Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors above. You select six moves per turn, and the enemy does the same thing... but you might only know one or even none of the enemy's moves in advance. Eventually, you'll figure out the patterns (and, helpfully, monster families all behave in a similar manner, so later in the game you won't be totally helpless if you've been paying attention), but usually not before dying a few times.
    • And, in case this isn't enough, defeating enemy programs enough times allows you to uncover more of their moves on the move queue, so eventually there will be less guesswork. This carries over in a New Game+, which is handy.
    • With Servants, you have to gain information on them. The higher your Matrix Level, the more of their moves are revealed. This is not carried over in a New Game+, but if you managed to do it the first time, you should be able to do it again. Also, when you fight against them in the Arena, the patterns they use then will still be used in the Elimination Battle.
    • For enemies like the Bonus Boss, whom you have no way of gathering info on or memorizing their pattens beforehand, three of their actions are revealed per turn.
  • Tron Lines: Pretty much everything in the Arena have them - the walls, the monsters, the treasures, etc. Even the playable Saber's sword gives off the appearance. Rin's Lancer-class Servant has quite a few as well.
  • Underground Monkey: The various enemy programs inhabiting the Arena belong to several families. Programs within a family are Palette Swaps of each other, with increasing power the further you get in the game.
  • The Unfought: Even though there are 128 Masters, you only get to fight 7 of them, each using different Servant classes (which results in you fighting one Servant of each class in the end).
    • Justified since it's a knockout tournament, so most of them are beaten by other Masters first, and considering that the losers die...
    • There's also the fact that Shiki Ryougi killed 99 Servants (and their Masters by proxy), possibly during the prelims as well, since there was mention of a spate of murders going on in the prologue.
    • The transition of the prologue seems to indicate that before the preliminaries ended, there were at least 999 Master candidates participating, most of whom never even made it to their first battle.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Invoked with Alice as she will ask you if you care about her when she's dying after you've defeated her. You can say yes and give another happy memory before she fades away
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Or you can say no to Alice's dying request if you're feeling particularly cruel.
    • This is encouraged with CCC's "Punishment Time" events, as enter people's hearts and verbally tear into them to open up new floors of the Sakura Labyrinth. This is presented as a good thing since it undoes BB's corruption. ...For the human characters at least. The Alter Egos are less blessed: their hearts consist of only things put in there by BB, so unravelling them means they die. Setting things up so you can avoid punishing the Alter Egos after defeating them is required for the Golden Ending.
  • Visual Novel: It's more of a RPG with a novel battle system, but it retains the Visual Novel roots of the Fate/ series by having lots of screens of first-person narration as well as Bad Ends.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Rider in the first game is the first boss you face but one of the hardest because you'll likely be not used to the game yet and be adjusting only for her to kick your ass if you failed to beat Shinji and her in the treasure event. Her punishing physically attacks can destroy a Glass Cannon build character in one turn and her Noble Phantasm is a nightmare.
    • In CCC, the second fight with Lancer. The first time she's fairly easy and rarely uses her Noble Phantasm at all. The second time though she has way more skills, higher attack damage, and her Noble Phantasm becomes used nearly right away. It's Curse debuff is unfair too and she's easily a jump in difficulty compared to the other bosses.
  • Win to Exit: The only way to leave the Holy Grail War is to be the last Master standing. This includes Twice H. Pieceman and the Servantless girl you saved. Once the protagonist beats Twice, claims the Holy Grail and gets deleted in the process, the girl s/he saved leaves, and swears to find the protagonist's real body.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The bonus boss has killed 99 Servant pairs. You have beaten seven Masters by this point, all of whom killed their own opponents up to that point as well. Indeed, Julius killed many more than that. This adds up to a total well above the 128 Servant limit stated in the game.
    • Unless, of course, said 99 pairs of masters are counted among the 999 Masters that were eliminated during the preliminaries, which would make this an interesting case of Fridge Brilliance.
  • You All Look Familiar: Justified, due to Digital Avatar. Most of the Masters in the War use the default avatars, which are shared with the NPCs, while the skilled ones like Rin and Leo can customize theirs. The protagonists are in-between, they have unique faces, but wear the default clothing. This is because they're a NPC based on a real person.
    • Archer mentions in a Private Room conversation that an Avatar's appearance is related to the person's capability for magic. Those with tremendous capability, like Rin and Leo, retain nearly all of their physical body and reject the default school uniform. Those who have low capability are stuck using the defaults. Those in the middle, like Shinji and the protagonist, keep their basic physical appearance, but are stuck using the uniform.
      • Though it could be argued that Shinji choose to keep the uniform as to play out the role of 'Shinji'.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: If you die in the Holy Grail War, your soul is deleted. Yeouch.

Alternative Title(s): Fate Extra CCC