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Fate/hollow ataraxia is the fandisc pseudo-sequel to Fate/stay night and one of numerous works that take place in the Nasuverse. It is based on an unusual version of events: The Grail War has ended, Kotomine and Gilgamesh have been defeated and all is well. Only... all the Servants are still around and everyone seems to be alive. Well, okay, reasonable enough if you can't follow just one ending. But it's not that simple: Apparently thanks to Tohsaka's attempts to create a magical item based on dimensional hopping, all the different continuities have been mingled including ones we never saw. So what really happened and what's going on?

And that's not all there is to it. While Shirou and the Servants and Masters are leading their oddly domestic lives together, something darker is going on. Strange beasts are spotted and an unfamiliar magus appears to have restarted the Heavens Feel. That said, none of the Servants seem to actually care since they've settled into their new lives. Yet while this is going on, time seems to be looping in an odd manner, lasting four days before the world resets back to the first day with no apparent sign of any continuity between cycles.

On top of all that, no one seems to have informed Bazett Fraga McRemitz that the Fifth Grail War ended six months ago. She's not really sure why, but rather than the Servant she intended to summon she seems to have ended up with someone... darker. Meet the eighth Servant whose identity was only hinted at in the first installment: Avenger, the Spirit of Vengeance. Avenger seems completely psychopathic but utterly weak... but is that really all there is to it?

After years in Development Hell, a finalized and complete Fan Translation was finally released in November 2014. Please do not add details that relate to Fate/stay night and reserve this page for those dealing only with this story.

An Updated Re-release was also released in Japan in November 2014 for the Play Station Vita, with anime cutscenes done by ufotable and full voice acting. The unlockable minigames in the original were also given an update, as well as the addition of a full-fledged Tower Defense/spoof game titled Capsule Servant.

This story provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: There's an actual meter for it. Getting every single scene in the game unlocks an epilogue that explains what Bazett's been doing after coming back to life.
  • All Just a Dream: It's explained that from the perspective of everyone who isn't Bazett, these four days will be rendered as some distant hazy dream in the back of their mind once the cycle is stopped.
  • Alternate Continuity: Essentially all routes and endings of Fate/stay night have been mixed together. So for the final battle Saber beat Gilgamesh and Shirou killed Kotomine. However, Rin's command seal was the one used to destroy the Grail and Saber is still around. Just like HF, Sakura's free from Zouken's control, the great Second Sorcery was projected in Shirou's shed, among others. It follows on from the ultimate happy ending the original game never actually had.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Saber gets to narrate for a short period. It is hilarious.
  • Artificial Limbs: Kirei cut off Bazett's arm during the Fifth Grail War. At the end of Ataraxia, Bazett replaces it with an artificial arm.
  • Art Shift: A movie seen in hollow ataraxia is presented with live action pictures of different types of dolls instead of the usual art style.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
  • Bad Date: While we don't get to see it first hand, Shirou and Rin's first real date after the Holy Grail War was a shining example of Murphy's Law. While their dinner at a fancy restaurant went off without a hitch, their plans for a redo of their less-than-ideal first time during the Unlimited Blade Works route certainly didn't. They reserved a luxurious room in a Western-styled hotel, but Rin's Hopelessness With Tech kicked in and she messed up the AC setting and somehow destroyed the remote control in the process, leaving the couple stuck in a too-cold room for any kind of romantic mood. They persisted, but then Shirou accidentally tore open a small scented pouch that Rin sewn to her clothesLong story short , releasing the chemicals to the air and saturating the room with the odors of the undiluted compounds. Amazingly, they still managed to get it on that night — no survivor of the Holy Grail War is a quitter, you see.
  • Bag of Holding: It's noted that mages have a technique called 'capacity distortion' for making luggage carry far more than they were meant to hold, with Shirou recalling that Kiritsugu often used it whenever he went on excursions. However, Rin did not use it for her trip to London because she wasn't sure whether the spell could be maintained by her on the way there or back, fearing that her suitcase would simply explode from no longer being able to carry everything (this fear handily conveyed by an Imagine Spot where even Saber was stuffed in there).
  • The Bet: Rin dragged Saber into a bet about whether Shirou has a Porn Stash in his room or not. Rin thought herself to be the winner when they find an adult magazine in an old candy box, but Shirou then enters the room, catching them red-handed and truthfully explains it actually belongs to Shinji. He left it behind during a visit and Shirou decided to store it away in his room so people wouldn't find the magazine by mistake. Rin tries to argue she didn't lose the bet by saying that they did find porn in Shirou's room even though it wasn't his, but Saber isn't having any of it and expect her payment in the form of dorayaki. Shirou's inner dialogue reveals that he does have a better hidden Porn Stash, but thankfully for him the girls ran into Shinji's magazine before finding it.
  • Big Bad: The mysterious girl Caren Hortensia Kotomine is the one who trapped Shirou and everyone else in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, or so it seems, but the true culprit is Avenger Angra Mainyu, previously the Greater-Scope Villain, who has possessed Shirou and trapped him. Then his master Bazett betrays him and takes control of his clones, leaving her as the last opponent.
  • Black Comedy: Shirou and Shinji finding Sakura's diary, which details Sakura's crappy everyday life with Shinji and Zouken. It's obviously terrible considering what we know from stay night, but then her diary talks about how Shinji has been acting bratty towards Sakura (like throwing away the food she cooked because something about "commoners, commoners, commoners" or eating it all and leaving nothing for her or generally just having bad manners) or Zouken complaining about how he should've picked her older sister (including one occasion where he was pressing his buzzer in the middle of the night while half-awake and he was sleeptalking about this), playing pranks on the new housekeeper until she cries, or barfing in his sleep, while each entry gets progressively more bitter over more minor contrivances like Zouken leaving one grain of rice uneaten or Shinji having bad posture while he eats. It almost makes you think that this is a comedy show about a little girl having to be the adult in her family while her older brother gets to be a dick and her grandpa is a whiny old dude.
  • Bleached Underpants: Like the Realta Nua port of Fate/stay night, Hollow Ataraxia's Vita port removes all the naughty and erotic bits from the original PC port and either replaces them with much tamer, non-sexual alternate scenes, or heavily tones them down. Caren's rape at the hands of Avenger is replaced with a different scene that plays out similarly to Realta Nua's version of Sakura's love scenes from Heaven's Feel.
  • Body Horror: Spikes erupt from Caren Ortensia's skin in the presence of evil.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Sakura's book collection is about what you'd expect it to be- home economics, stress relief, cookbooks, and familicide.
  • Bridal Carry:
    • Shirou does this twice for Tohsaka. The first time at school after she collapsed because her Magic Crest started to act up and he carried to the infirmary so she could rest. This gathered something of an audience and some gossip about them.
    • The second time happened at her place the next day, after she lost consciousness during a phone conversation with Shirou as her condition worsened. He panicked at the idea that an enemy could have attacked her while alone just like late in the Fate route of the original visual novel. He ran to her house, finding her half-conscious on her sofa and he ended up carrying her to the bedroom. The newlywed imagery didn't go unmentioned.
  • Broad Strokes: Enough of the Fate/stay night continuity is fleshed out that you realize that one single story couldn't possibly hold it all.
  • Bucket Booby-Trap: Bazett sends Avenger to investigate a manor and her Servant gets splashed with a bucket of milk for that trouble, which she finds hilarious as Avenger gripes about the indignity. When Shirou and company go to clean up Rin's house, they find the bucket she set up to prank people who tried to come into her house while she's away had fallen some time ago to their amused confusion. This is a hint that Bazett and Shirou only narrowly avoided each other by operating at separate times in the day.
  • The Cameo: Satsuki, Len, Kohaku and Hisui make an appearance when Shirou and Rider go to see Tiger - The Movie. As talking plushies (It Makes As Much Sense In Context).
  • Character Filibuster: During the opening montage, Avenger starts ranting about how the world is dying and how much better things were in the good ol' days.
  • Characterization Marches On: Actually less than one might think — this is the game that helped flesh out all the "Stay Night Seven" after F/SN itself, and even solidified Angra's characterization for later appearances — but there's still a few odd examples that will stick out to newer fans in a post-Fate/Grand Order world.
    • The biggest are Euryale & Stheno. Here, they're almost completely interchangeable, they both share the same outfit and nearly (but not quite) the same sprite and it's very difficult at times to differentiate one from the other; this is where, and why, they picked up the gimmick of referring to each other as "me". Grand Order would go on to differentiate their personalities and appearances significantly (Stheno being calm & collected and Euryale being energetic & flirty; Stheno's is closer to the personality both have in F/HA), and even give the two different classes (straight down to Euryale getting mixed up a bit with Eros and gaining Archer abilities).
    • Rider gets a little bit of it — F/HA rather implies, logically, that most of her actual career as guardian of the Shapeless Isle was in the form we know Rider in today, that when she was a "child" she looked much more like her sisters (character material guides would provide an illustration of this), and that when she went "full Gorgon" and murdered her sisters, she was kind of a pillar of snakes. Grand Order would go on to expand on this, both showing how "Rider" was more like a Lancer early in her career, how her outfit and appearance in that period was much different than that of her sisters, and showing that her Gorgon form was more complicated than just the snake pillar we briefly see, though that is part of Avenger Gorgon's Noble Phantasm.
    • We very briefly get a glimpse of Perseus at one point during Rider's flashbacks. The Perseus Rider that's been teased in Fate/Prototype material looks significantly different to the one in F/HA, though his appearances have been brief enough so far that it might just be him not having time to showcase his armor and whatnot.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Avenger and Angra Manyu were both mentioned in passing in Fate/stay night but the concept of the anti-heronote  was never explored apart from some implications that both Rider and Caster fit into that class. Though Avenger denies being the Angra Manyu.
  • Closet Shuffle:
  • Continuity Snarl: If you keep track of everything that is mentioned in the story, you'll note that Shirou has to remember an impossibly complicated and possibly contradictory series of events. For example, he remembers Tohsaka beating Caster in close range combat in the church like in Unlimited Blade Works but he also remembers her being impaled by Gilgamesh outside his house as she was in Fate. Thankfully, this is the Nasuverse, so all routes are canon (even ones that were never shown, like Illya's route). Though ultimately this is also a major hint that something very weird is going on.
  • Cool Car: Illya owns a Mercedes Benz 300SL Coupe, with a top speed of over 260 km/h. She does, in fact, drive it around the Fuyuki area (after all, she is eighteen).
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: After running around school, town, and getting a good look into the complex web of Shirou's love life all to find out who Ayako is dating, Rin, Minori, and even Ayako herself points out that the girls could have simply asked Ayako. However, Yukika points out that it's not the kind of story you just tell casual acquaintances, something Ayako doesn't deny.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Ataraxia ignores the large contradictions between routes and throws almost everything in.
  • Death Is Cheap: Thanks to the time loop. The first couple times you go to the bridge, Shirou gets sniped. Bazett is also killed multiple times in fights against Servants and uses the resurrection to her advantage.
  • Demoted to Extra: While some Servants and Masters get larger roles than they had previously, others don't fare so well. Here's to you, Shinji, who broke the fourth wall to state it outright.
  • Destructive Savior: Illya's main contribution to the final battle is to run around Shirou's house and start smashing the place up with Berserker while killing monsters, not caring about the damage. Sakura even observes that she's not sure if Illya is even here to help. This is in spite of saving Sakura at the last minute from Avenger's Shades.
  • The Devil: Subverted. Avenger states that his identity is that of Angra Manyu, but that he is not the demon god of legend. Rather, it's just a title that was given to him when his old name was taken away. He says he would rather be the god of something more mundane like pots or something since he isn't that special.
  • Door Stopper:
    • A 100% Completion run consists in reading whopping 486,000' wordsnote . For reference, the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings is around 455,000 words long.
    • The tree parts of the Himuro The Love Detective side-story is this in comparison to other scenes, clocking 24,000 words long total, which is well above the average of 2,000 words per scene.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Downplayed from the original story. Illya has mostly relaxed, Shinji has stopped being quite so horrible and Sakura has grown a lot bolder, meaning that while all the bad stuff is noted as still having occurred, people have mostly moved on.
  • Empathic Weapon: Zelretch's Kaleidostick. An incredibly powerful magical device capable of channeling enormous amounts of mana and giving its wielder powers and knowledge pulled from alternate realities, with the drawback being that it derives considerable joy from humiliating said wielder and forcing them into ridiculous Magical Girl costumes.
  • Facial Dialogue: Shirou and Saber are quite a tight-knit team even in Mundane Made Awesome situations.
    Shirou: [narrating] Saber's eyes and mine silently meet.
    Saber: —I shall lure Rin away from here.
    Shirou: —Ah, yeah, please do… Alright, leave the rest to me.
    Saber: —Understood. So please make plenty of stew.
    Shirou: —Roger. I'll take great pains to make at least 20% more than we'd planned to.
    Shirou: [narrating] Eye contact, completed. Transmission, over and out.
  • Familiar: All the Servants are a type of Familiar. Shirou wonders why Lancer is still around since his Master died. As established in Kagetsu Tohya only the most powerful familiars can stay alive even a little while after their master dies. Turns out he and Kid Gilgamesh have a new one.
  • Fan Disservice: Caren's eroscene. Angra Mainyu, in the form of Shirou, suddenly forces himself on her and rapes her, out of a combination of lust and raw sadism. The act causes her immeasurable pain because of the way her body reacts to demons, and she spends the entire scene trying to keep her body from violently erupting and killing him, with parts of her body being torn apart internally as she does so. She actually starts to enjoy it towards the end, but by then Angra Mainyu has reverted to his black beast form!
  • Filler: A large amount of scenes have little to do with the main plot. For example, scenes with Rider flirting with Shirou, developing the track girls from the school or slice of life with Sakura. The story takes a while to kick into gear on the Shirou side of the story, with actual plot events being tracked ingame. This is because the game is a fandisc mainly devoted to harem antics with Shirou and many a Fandom Nod.
  • Final Battle: The Masters and Servants versus the Avenger copies.
  • Finale Title Drop: At the very end in the closing message. "The endless four days have ended, once and for all. From now on, this story is yours to create. ——Thanks. And let us part this, hollow ataraxia."
  • Fission Mailed: Sneaking into Sakura's room with Shinji to look at her diary results in this.
  • Flower Motifs: A white Hydrangea thematically connects the trio of new characters as a recurring motif. Caren's last name is derived from a different name for the same flower, Avenger plays with a sliding tile puzzle that depicts the flower when put together, and Bazett is depicted standing in her own field of hydrangeas. Both original and ufotable openings depict the hydrangea as a recurring visual element. It indicates Caren's importance to the two as Bazett's rescuer and Avenger's love interest.
  • Food Porn: When three of the main characters are on the rank of Supreme Chef, this is inevitable.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • All the horror stories told at the Ryuudou training camp come up in the plot.
      • Saegusa's stories are about a woman's ghost on the second floor of a western mansion and a string-like thing hanging in the sky over Shinto. Rin dismisses the first as slander about her house, but it becomes a plot thread where Shirou finds out the house is real and investigates it. It's the house Bazett is operating out of. As a Brick Joke in the ending, Bazett thinks she'll play a prank on Rin and pretend to be a ghost. The second story is about the stairs Avenger must ascend in order to reach the Holy Grail.
      • Rin and Mitsuzuri both talk about some figure on the Center Building roof of Shinto, with the former thinking of a shadow and the latter thinking of a red person. The shadow is Avenger trying to end the Holy Grail War and the red person is Archer sniping Shirou whenever he tries to cross the bridge.
      • Himuro refers to a mirage in the Shinto sky. It's the Holy Grail that appears on the fourth night that Avenger/Shirou must figure out how to reach.
      • Issei's story is not a direct plot point, but thematically relevant to the ending. His story ends with the moral that "only the living can revive the dead", as the dead working towards the same only creates more of its own kind and cannot bring others back to life. As a Servant, Angra Mainyu does not have the power to bring Bazett back to life and could only keep her in suspended animation before the brink of actually dying. It requires Caren, a living human, to come by and nurse her back to life. Avenger's efforts to keep her alive in the closed loop results in endless monstrous dead versions of himself being spawned with each cycle. He directly reminds Bazett of this at the very end before revealing Caren has kept her alive.
    • While Avenger waits for Bazett to wake up on the first night, he spends most of his time playing with a simple sliding piece puzzle to occupy his time. Bazett wonders why Avenger is so fixated on it since he could have simply solved it ages ago if he was playing with it for so long. The puzzle represents the central conflict at the heart of the story as the various arrangements from sliding tiles around are all the possibilities that can be observed in Fuyuki. Leave it alone and nothing ever changes, like Bazett's eventual wish in the third act so she won't die. Keep playing with it, as Avenger does, and see everything that could happen in these four days. Or finish it and complete the picture, like how Avenger must return to the Holy Grail to bring everything to an end. Avenger is idly playing around in daytime and extends the War by doing so, like how he plays with the puzzle night after night. He leaves behind the completed puzzle at the very end as a symbolic gift to Bazett.
  • Forgot About His Powers: The reason Shirou gets sniped by Archer the first few times he tries to cross the bridge at night? He simply forgot to practice his projection magic.
  • Fountain of Youth: Gilgamesh did this with a youth potion because, apparently, "this whole mess is stupid, screw you all". All the more hilarious, considering that he's been an Evil Overlord (in the past), not to mention a dog-kicking Big Bad who wanted to unleash a terrible curse on humanity because only those who could survive it were worthy of being ruled over; when he reverts, he turns into a cute little kid that everyone loves.
  • Friendly Enemy: Lancer sees no reason not to get along well with his enemies, but on the flipside is that if you're an enemy then you are perfectly fair game to be killed no matter how much he may like you.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Kid Gilgamesh disapproves of his future self's attitude about leadership.
    Young Gil: The only type of person one can rule over is one who wishes to be ruled over. Unfortunately, it seems that I forget this once I grow older. If I had a choice, I would've liked to become a good leader. Why is it that other rulers attempt to rule through fear when the correct path is so simply trod?
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Unlike the others, there are several different ways to unlock Rider's Eclipse scene. First, you need to have already seen Sakura's Eclipse scene. After that, you can either unlock a series of Slice of Life scenes until reaching the one where she and Shirou have a date at the shopping mall, or find and read each scene exploring her past and her nature as a monster. This makes a lot of sense when you read the extended version of the scene "Monster" titled simply "Not" and realize that the point the novel was trying to make is that the two of them are Rider's true natures existing right next to the other: the socially awkward yet caring protector, and the homicidal monster that takes delight in its killing.
  • Götterdämmerung: This game gives us the first true taste of "Modern Magecraft vs. the Age of Gods". Though Caster notes that the likes of Sakura and Rin have some absolutely amazing potential, and in her age it seems there were no True Magics like what Zelretch can do.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Played for laughs- Shinji and Shirou have a card battle to decide the fate of the world. Overlaps with Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny and Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Surprisingly, apart from the gameplay functions of the four days continuously looping for Shirou's half of narration, Avenger admits outright after the first time he and Bazett are killed that the four days will keep looping even if they're killed.
  • Hand Wave: There's a scene aptly named "Memories" where Illya tells Shirou about Saber, Kiritsugu and Irisviel about halfway through the game that devotes itself to tying up the canon neatly and prepare the way for the yet-to-be-published Fate/Zero. Particularly the parts that made no sense, such as Saber and Kiritsugu never talking, Saber not recognizing Illya despite having met her and Irisviel not only going unmentioned in the original game but also the implication that she wasn't even in town then. Some of the explanations are better than others. These inconsistencies may be why it was clarified that Zero is not the version of events preceding stay night, but an Alternate Timeline.
  • H-Game: Like Fate/stay night, Fate/hollow ataraxia features numerous explicitly pornographic sex scenes between characters in its original release; also like Fate/stay night, these scenes were excised in later releases to ensure greater market appeal.
  • Here We Go Again!: After Shirou and Rin finally escape Zelretch's trunk and trouble with Magical Ruby, Rin throws Shirou back in after he asks if she's peed yet. Luvia is somehow also inside the box, seemingly on the cusp of making a deal with Ruby. Shirou laments that his issues with the box and Ruby have yet to end.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: This actually catches an overt lampshade when Rider is teasing Rin.
    Rider catches the ends of Tohsaka's hair between her fingers. ...The secret-flower-garden-o-meter just went off the scale. I wouldn't be so foolish as to say so out loud, but this kind of situation could really lead one to imagine certain things.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal
    • Servants can have their Noble Phantasms come out of thin air. Justified by the Holy Grail War system. Lancer pulls out Gae Bolg at one point to show to Ayako. And also chop flowers for a bouquet.
    • Gilgamesh, who can literally pull thousands of original Noble Phantasms out of thin air thanks to his Gate of Babylon, takes this one step further. While he technically owns every legendary weapon, this is one of his few genuine Noble Phantasms and is the key to his treasury, allowing him to remove weapons, wealth, wine and divinity-sealing chains.
  • Idealized Sex: Shirou and Rin's adorable "cat-pajamas" love-scene. It is for all intents and purposes a complete reversal of their very awkward sexual encounter from stay night; just about everything that went wrong back then, goes right here, and it ends up being a throughly enjoyable experience for both parties.
  • Infraction Distraction: An accidental example. When Rin searches through Shirou's room looking for his Porn Stash — see The Bet above — she and Saber find a risque magazine that turns out to be Shinji's. In the aftermath, Shirou silently thanks the heavens and Shinji that the girls stopped looking before finding his actual Porn Stash.
  • Innocent Inaccurate: Shirou remembers seeing Kiritsugu off at Fuyuki's harbor due to his frequent travels overseas. He never thought much of it until recently when he connected the dots and figured out that his father was most likely illegally leaving and entering the country by sea on a regular basis. Given that his old man took down an airliner inbound to New York with a surface-to-air guided missile in Fate/Zero, it isn't surprising he'd be extra careful of airport security.
  • Jackass Genie:
    • The Holy Grail, due to Angra Manyu's influence, will twist any wish made to it in a way that will kill or hurt as many humans as possible. The Servant Angra Manyu himself doesn't qualify: his will to realise truly one wish is why Bazett survives.
    • The Kaleidostick. An 11-year-old Rin wanted to be a better singer and used the Mystic Code to temporarily give herself the skills of a "Tohsaka Rin who's good at singing" from a parallel world. Ruby fulfilled this wish by granting Rin with the skills and personality of an Alternate Self of hers who happened to be a super Genki Girl Idol Singer. While in her "Prism Trance", Rin hijacked a live performance in a nearby park and sung for the surprised audience "like an idol from the eighties". Rin is very bitter about this and the fact she had to reset her network of friends in middle school because no kid had the guts to speak to her afterwards.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Tohsaka beating up Caster in hand-to-hand combat is mentioned. The trope is averted for Caster herself, who does not have super strength.
  • Lighter and Softer: The story has its dark moments and is still a Nasuverse work, but is more character-driven, doesn't always take itself seriously and uses and abuses the trope Death Is Cheap.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Almost everyone has, at most, two sets of clothes (typically school, armor, armor/casual, or school uniform/casual, or in Illya's case, cold-weather/normal). Other non-standard outfits are Dark Sakura, Illya's Dress of Heaven, Rin's bedclothes, and the occasional birthday suit. Lampshaded in the Developer's Room where the staff apologizes to Illya for giving her exactly one new outfit: her swimsuit.
  • Look Behind You: Shirou proclaims that there's a giant cake outside the school while being chased around by Sella and Leysritt so he can get them out of his hair. Sella immediately falls for it, rambling about what kind of traits it should have before going into a tangent about an alleged cake monster that attacked Athens in ancient times. It takes Leysritt to point out that this was a lie.
  • Luminescent Blush: Among others, the three main heroines, Saber, Rin and Sakura, are prone to this.
  • Magic Wand: The Kaleidostick.
  • Merging the Branches: Fate/hollow ataraxia is a sequel, not an adaptation, but it essentially mashes together parts of all the routes in the original, while removing or ignoring things that would be contradictory or difficult to handle on a fandisc, such as most of the traumatic bits of Sakura's backstory mostly being glossed over. This is probably justified by Rin accidentally almost merging all realities a month before Ataraxia takes place, as well as the nature of the "Groundhog Day" Loop occurring in the story.
  • Mini-Game: There are two as Unlockable Content. The Hanafuda card game and "Operation: Illya's Castle."
  • Moment Killer:
    • Sakura does it all the time for Rider, killing many a moment with Shirou.
    • All of the heroines have somewhat of a jealous streak, so many a moment is killed by all of them. Like when Saber and Rider spied on Sakura's date with Shirou at the pool, and when Rider outright crashed on Rin's.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The appearances of Rider's sisters in her backstory, where they are initially shown bullying her terribly in scenes that are played for laughs, but then comes the harsh reminder that Medusa turned into a monster and devoured both of them. Her memories of being bullied by them are the fondest ones she has.
    • A more light-hearted example from Rider's backstory is a grim scene of her stalking through her temple, examining the statues left by the warriors she's turned to stone over the years. She drives her chain-dagger weapon into two of them... then uses the stretched-out chain as a clothesline for hanging laundry on.
    • An In-universe example occurs when the girls are swapping stories about growing up with their own elder siblings. Saber tells a fairly heartwarming story about her foster-brother Sir Kay. Sakura goes next. We don't actually hear her story, but it leaves everyone feeling "numb and lifeless."
    • Shirou feels some apprehension about visiting the basement at Tohsaka's place, wondering what kind of magical rituals have took place in there. When he actually goes in, he instead finds a bunch of athletic equipment, like dumbbells, a punching bag and a kung-fu wooden dummy.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Lancer picking flowers and showing off for girls with Gae Bolg, an Imagine Spot of Rider petrifying policemen who are after her, Saber unleashing the Barrier of the Wind King when Shirou teases her about her stuffed lion and more.
    • Caster has her clothes enchanted with water/stain/grease-repelling magic and she also wield an antibacterial protective shield. You could say that cooking for her husband is Serious Business for Caster.
    • Archer can use his Projection magic to imitate every legendary, immensely powerful weapon he's ever seen. He can also use it to make a modern, top-of-the-line fishing rod.
    • When Rider's long hair becomes too disheveled, she can fix it by shifting into Spirit Form and back, which resets it to its default form without having to go through all the hassle of combing it. Somewhat Subverted in that she doesn't resort to this much because she doesn't want to be a burden to Sakura who provides her with magical energy for something trivial like that.
    • Bazette using Fragarach to win a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
  • Mutual Envy: Saber and Rider admit as much when they see each other in their swimsuits at the pool. Saber admires Rider's perfect mature beauty, which makes a lot of sense once you consider that even in life she was stuck at an adolescent age. Rider's Internalized Categorism about what's cute and what isn't is such that she truly doesn't consider herself beautiful and has something of a ramped-up Huge Schoolgirl complex, instead admiring petite and youthful beauties like Saber.
  • My Future Self and Me: Trapped inside a pocket dimension, Rin and Shirou try phoning for help- and end up talking to alternate versions of people they know, including Rin's future self, who is madly, hopelessly in love with Shirou. Present Shirou wonders what he could have done to make her so lovey-dovey, while Present Rin is seemingly astounded that anyone would fall for him in the first place. Overlaps with Other Me Annoys Me, although Rin doesn't recognise her own voice and assumes her future self is just "some strange woman" Shirou is going to meet.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Sakura gives an almost perfect description of Akiha and even says the person she's talking about is named Tohno. She's actually talking about Tohsaka, but it's amusing nonetheless. There's also a scene called Kagetsu Tohya, though it has little relation to that story. Neko-Arc is also referenced as the title of a completely nonsensical movie that is currently showing.
    • Saber likes takoyaki. Or at least she does until she finds out they're made of octopi due to tentacle-related reasons.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The scene where Shirou and Rin get trapped in Zelretch's chest and try to call for help by phone provides several when they end up contacting people from parallel worlds. Like whatever Shirou's Alternate Self did to become Sickeningly Sweethearts with his version of Rin, or how another ended up working with Luvia, or whatever happened to make that version of her and Rin jump off the Tower of London together while on the run from the Clock Tower.
    • In a rare not-totally-hostile moment, Archer advises Shirou to avoid sightseeing with "you-know-who" in bridges "that might have songs written about them" and that "it's be to [Shirou's] benefit to train [himself] into a really good swimmer". The implication is that something happened in Archer's past that could still happen in Shirou's future involving Rin, London Bridge and having to swim in the cold waters of the River Thames in winter. If "Tower of London" and "London Bridge" means "Tower Bridge" in this context, it's possible that this Noodle Incident is the same than the one above with Luvia and Rin.
    • Shirou's part-time work boss, Neko, and his teacher/legal guardian, Taiga are friends but only discovered they were mutually acquainted with Shirou one year ago prior to this game when Taiga asked Shirou to fetch some sake. He went to his workplace since he figured they would look the other way at selling liquor to an employee not of legal drinking age. What went down that day when the two met through Shirou was apparently quite nasty and would have been even worse had Shirou not intervened.
  • No Ontological Inertia: All the Servants being able to stick around is odd, but Lancer surviving Kotomine's death especially.
  • No Romantic Resolution: In this continuity Shirou does not seem to have settled down with anyone in particular, though sex scenes are still implied to have taken place.
    • It should be noted that Hollow/Ataraxia is a mess when it comes to this. Some scenes - most notably, the pool dates - take place in scenarios where Shirou has clearly gotten together with a particular girl. The same applies to some other events that have a romantic nature, such as Shirou's date with Sakura at the castle, Rin inviting Shirou to have a drink with her, and Saber and Shirou discussing going on a trip together. It is even possible to, say, go on a pool date with Illya on the second day (and witness Shirou telling Illya they are going to show everyone the "power of their relationship") and then, on the final night, have dinner with Sakura at the Einzbern castle.
  • Not Himself: Many of the characters are nothing like they were in Fate/stay night, which is an early clue that something besides the "Groundhog Day" Loop is wrong with this reality.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Avenger rapes Caren, but this is not addressed much by either party, and they both seem to come out better people for it. Caren 'begins to consent' halfway through, and doesn't seem particularly upset about the encounter afterward. They even have a romantic and touching moment later on...
  • Older Than They Look: Saber, who is said to look a couple of years younger than Shirou, but is actually around seven years his senior due to the age-stopping effect of Avalon when possessed by its rightful owner. Gilgamesh also appears in child form, and Illya is a homunculus with 'unusual growth patterns' that make her look around ten.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: The PC version of the visual novel includes them as Unlockable Content, one for each of the original three main heroines and Rider as a reward for unlocking and completing specific scenes.
  • Overreacting Airport Security: The reason why Tohsaka refused to take her Bigger on the Inside magic chest to London despite how convenient it would be.
  • Porn Stash: Rin and Saber wager on whether Shirou has one or not (see The Bet above). It's implied they're actually more curious about the kind of stuff he's into, given the token resistance Saber puts against Rin's attempts to find said Porn Stash, how attentively Rin leafs through the one adult magazine they do find and only becomes upset with the contents after learning it was actually Shinji's, and how bothered Saber was when Rin pointed out there weren't any blondes in it.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • Rin resorts to the same gravity-dampening spell she used to jump off a rooftop and over the security fence in Fate/stay night (and her father before her used to gently descend to his battle with Berserker's Master in Fate/Zero) during her Optional Sexual Encounter with Shirou. Her motive to cast it on herself is surprisingly un-perverted and pragmaticif you want details… .
    • Illya tries to use her Hypnotic Eyes to make Shirou agree to "become hers." Subverted when he remembers the time he almost fell for it in the Fate route and then he uses her words against her by asking her "if she would become his if she likes him", which leaves her a blushing mess.
    • As in the Heaven's Feel route, Rider uses her Breaker Gorgon to give Shirou an Erotic Dream. This time, one about Sakura specifically intended to motivate him to be less restrained in bed so Sakura will feel less self-conscious of her overdeveloped libido. Think of it as an Intimate Psychotherapy scenario intended to Invoke another Intimate Psychotherapy scenario. This ends up backfiring spectacularly on Rider when Shirou counters her Noble Phantasm with a projection of the same, making her lose control of the dream to her subconscious, which spills the beans about the frankly huge crush she's got on the guy she had managed to keep secret from him until then.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Fate/Hollow Ataraxia was released more than a year prior to the publishing of the first issue of Fate/Zero, making any apparent Shout-Out to the latter an example of this trope instead. For specific examples:
    • Fate/Zero logo appears as a movie poster when Shirou and Rider go to cinema.
    • Illya and Sella drive the same Cool Car Irisviel brought with her to Fuyuki.
    • Saber really hates creatures with tentacles, to the point she's disgusted to learn takoyaki contains octopi. The previous Servant Caster is to blame for it.
    • Illya tells Shirou about how Kiritsugu used to cheat at their walnut counting game. The moment she figures this out is told in detail in the first Fate/Zero novel.
    • Shirou mentions that Taiga's grandfather had him working on "that monstrosity of a motorcycle that [he] can't even lift if it were to fall." It seems Raiga picked up an interest in over-powered motorcycles after Kiritsugu arranged for the custom Yamaha V-Max Saber would ride in the final Fate/Zero novel.
    • Sella the homunculus maid is mostly indifferent to humans, yet she goes out of her way to antagonize, belittle and Be as Unhelpful as Possible to Shirou despite Illya's orders. It's heavily implied that she's like that because Illya's interest in Kiritsugu's son is too reminiscent of Irisviel's devotion to her husband, something that didn't end up well neither for Illya's mother, nor for the Einzbern family as a whole.
  • Sadistic Choice: Avenger and Bazett created a combo using the former's Noble Phantasm and the latter's Fragarach to put the enemy into a tricky situation; if they attack Avenger with a normal attack, he will just reflect the damage done to him back to them. If they choose to use their Noble Phantasm to kill Avenger before he can activate his own Noble Phantasm, that will just trigger Fragarach and kill them instead. While it isn't an unbeatable combo as the two can and do die in certain situations, the two are able to kill every participant of the 5th Holy Grail War at least once thanks to it.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Fate in general takes a fairly Broad Strokes approach to mythology, but there's at least one outright mistake:
    • Rin wonders if Saber's Idiot Hair is her "reverse scale", so she cuts it off to see what will happen, resulting in Saber transforming into her Alter form. However, reverse scales are only a feature of East Asian dragons — a scale on the underside of their chins that causes the normally benevolent Eastern dragon to go berserk if agitated — while Saber was infused with the blood of a Western dragon. Although this one could be chalked up to Rule of Funny.
  • Screw Yourself: Gilgamesh expresses an... interest in his cute younger self.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sick Episode: In an optional scene, Shirou takes care of Tohsaka at her place while she's under-the-weather.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Among other things, Fate/hollow ataraxia uses a different spelling of Illya's name than Fate/stay night did. They used Illya instead.
  • Spoiler Opening: The PS Vita port's second opening pretty much gives away the true nature behind Avenger's connection with Shirou, a twist that isn't revealed until very late in the story.
  • Transformation Sequence: Rin's Magical Girl transformation.
  • Two-Teacher School: At Emiya's high school, Kuzuki and Taiga are the only on-screen teachers and ones to interact with their students for the entire game.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: Averted.
    • As summoned individuals, Servants have no legal identity nor employment history. Rider and Lancer get around this by holding part-time jobs, Archer simply Projects whatever he needs and remains in Spirit Form the rest of the time, Gilgamesh is just so filthy rich that can throw money at any problem he may have, and Assassin and Berserker are unable to interact with regular people in the first place. Caster is a special case who actually had to buy a forged identity from the "supervising young lady", while pointing out that it didn't come cheap, so she and Kuzuki could get married. Saber… well, Saber basically embraced her Pretty Freeloader-ness and a scene has Rider and Caster shooting potshots at her for it.
    • Most of Bazett's ending and epilogue content discusses the fact that she's considered legally dead by the Association and wants to figure out a way to secure employment in normal society. The others point out that she doesn't actually need to bother when she has literal suitcases full of cash lying around from her old job to provide a cushion for her, but dammit, it's the principle of the thing!
  • Unlockable Content: Plenty. Completing certain scenes unlocks wallpapers, figuring out what the "cursed item" found in the Ryuudou Temple is for unlocks the Hanafuda card Mini-Game, going on dates with the main heroines unlocks an Optional Sexual Encounter for each of them in the original PC version, reading scenes increases the "funds" for the "Tohsaka Shrine", and even much of the main gameplay consists of finding and triggering the right flags to unlock more content and advance in the main storyline.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: One of the first signs that something is off: Shirou, seconds after reminiscing about how the servants were gone, encounters Caster... and proceeds to see nothing strange about this.
  • Unwanted Harem: The story does not have Shirou paired off with any one character. Instead, he now has Tohsaka, Saber and Sakura, plus Rider and Illya while Ayako and the three track girls also seem attracted to him to varying extents. A particularly entertaining scene opens up in Eclipse after you get 100% Completion, where Bazett and Caren both also try to move into the Emiya household, and each of the heroines vigorously protests.
    • Averted with Bazett; even if the heroines protest about her moving in for a week, it's clear she's in love with Lancer. Caren, on the other hand, seems mildly taken with Shirou's resemblance to Avenger. This IS still an aversion, since it's mostly Avenger.
  • Updated Re-release: The PS Vita port of the VN has fully voiced dialogue, a hilarious hanafuda game starring Shirou and Rin as the playable main characters, and Bleached Underpants scenes that censor and completely remove the original game's sexual bits.
  • Verbal Backspace: When Shirou goes to the pool with all the main female characters, he's surprised to find Kid Gilgamesh there and complains that even the owner of the resort shouldn't crash other people's parties like that. Shirou then does a 180-turn in utter gratitude when Gil says he kept Archer and Lancer from trespassing on the premises.
    Shirou: [firmly shakes Gil's hand] Thank you. It seems I've completely misunderstood you this whole time. [...] [thinking] Serves them right, that damn macho Servant duo…!
  • Verbal Tic: Normally averted, but when the crowd gets a hold of some Einzbern spirits, each drinker gets a verbal tic based on their preferred animal. Rin talks like a cat-nya and Saber like a lion-gao. In general, though, at least in the original Japanese, one can reliably distinguish almost every character simply by their natural speaking patterns, without needing to involve a lot of odd speech or particles (Himuro's odd use of archaic honorifics notwithstanding).
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: When Illya's head maid complains about the impropriety of her planning to have a day at the pool with Shirou, she nonchalantly declares him her "future consort" and says that should make it okay for him to escort her. Sella's eyes go red and glares at Shirou in barely-restrained impotent fury.
  • Wham Shot: Shirou taking out his swords to fight monsters at Ryuudou Temple. They're not Kanshou and Bakuya, the signature weapons associated with him by way of Archer. They're the same swords Avenger wields when fighting with Bazett. Shirou and Avenger have not met at all, so this is the first blatant indication that something strange is going on behind the scenes between the two.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: Shirou says that he's learned that Servants generally never lie outright as a matter of pride. If you look back at Fate/stay night you'll see the evidence supports this conclusion. Even Archer, who says he has no pride at all, doesn't care for lying so much as being misleading. Of course, while they won't lie, there are other ways of keeping secrets.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: The trunk in Rin's house was made with Zelretch's True Magic and warps space and time for its many strange properties, one of which being that an hour inside the box corresponds to exactly one day outside of it. Shirou and Rin end up spending all four days of one loop inside it, with only three hours and a half passing for them.
  • You Can See Me?: Avenger appears as a tattooed Shirou to three people. They are Bazett, Caren, and Rider. The first two are explained from having emotional connections to Avenger as his Master and his love interest, but he's surprised the third can actually see him as someone besides a shadowy silhouette. He chalks it up to their similar natures at that moment.
  • You Remind Me of X: Rider is really embarrassed that she got killed by Perseus in her original life. She describes him as a loser and a spoiled brat and that he's like a "successful Shinji Matou". In hindsight, this means her getting bossed around by Shinji in Fate/stay Night must have been harsh.
  • Your Head A-Splode: In the re-creation of the 3rd Holy Grail War, it is revealed that the Assassin of said war was a midget Hassan-i-Sabbah, who could turn a person's brain into gunpowder and blow up their upper torso.