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What Could Have Been / Fate/Grand Order

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Because of the game's long development cycle and Type-Moon's typical overambitious goals, there's a lot that ended up on the cutting floor throughout the game's lifetime.

  • The game originally was planned to be a PvP game on the PC (back when it was being shopped around as Fate/Apocrypha), where gamers' Jerkass behavior would directly create the Evils of Humanity they were tasked with destroying. Nasu decided in the end that he wanted to write a more optimistic and brighter game on the smartphone.
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  • The game was originally envisioned to be like Chrono Trigger, where all Singularities were meant to be accessible, with five available at the start. Scheduling issues and story changes ended up forcing the story to be completely linear, with several Servants meant to appear in the first storyline shuffled off to Epic of Remnant and Cosmos in the Lostbelt.
  • The first Halloween event was supposed to be about the Celtic traditions of the holiday and feature Caster Cu as the main character before being scrapped entirely and replaced with one starring Elisabeth Bathory because there wasn't enough time to put in what the original plan envisioned.
  • Matsuryuu's early design of Helena Blavatsky was very different compared to the final design.
  • From the game's promotion to the game itself, Chapter 6's location had been Jerusalem before it was suddenly changed to Camelot in the April 27 maintenance. It turns out this is an actual plot point as Chaldea would've been fighting the Crusaders who were stuck in an endless holy war over Jerusalem if it wasn't for the interference from Lion King and her knights. Explanation 
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  • From the datamined list of Servants, it was stated that Hassan of Serenity would be voiced by Mamiko Noto, but within the game itself she is voiced by Sayaka Senbongi.
  • According to that same list, Nitocris was supposed to be voiced by Rumi Ookubo but she is instead voiced by Minami Tanaka.
  • Early gameplay trailers show in a Freeze-Frame Bonus that Archer EMIYA's Noble Phantasm was an Arts type attack, but in the final product, it's a Buster type attack.note  Amusingly, this got brought back into the game proper for the 5th anniversary when he got a buff that allowed him to switch card types from Buster to Arts for his NP.
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  • After "GUDAGUDA Honnoji" was released, Nasu mentioned on his blog that Nobunaga was planned to be the limited SSR and Okita the freebie Servant.
  • Storyboards for Francis Drake's Noble Phantasm animation reveal that she would have had her entire fleet show up for the attack but it was cut for time with only Golden Hind animated and cannon fire is instead shot from several unseen ships.
  • Prior to Edmond Dantes' release, datamining showed that the Avenger class would take double damage from each of the seven standard classes, rather than lacking weaknesses to anything except for the standard 1.5x Berserker weakness that everyone but Shielder has. This was likely to represent Angra Mainyu's weakness as a Servant, but instead of making the class itself weak the eventual Angra Mainyu just had very weak traits by himself.
  • Xuanzang's event was originally supposed to be a trial quest for Xuanzang like the other 5* Servants who had trial quests but Nasu decided to make it an event after seeing her artwork. Also related to that was the second set of event currency which came about after a database error prevented them from using the first set for the second shop.
  • Picts were supposed to implemented as enemies with the Camelot update with the in-story reason for their appearance being minions summoned by Nitocris to help attack Camelot but were cut for time.
  • Tiamat apparently had several designs, including a little girl version, which were all ultimately discarded in favor of the Tiamat we have now.
  • Fate/Grand Order Material III reveals that Jeanne Alter was originally just planned to be a Palette Swap of Jeanne who would get distributed at a future event to players. This is actually quite notable in retrospect, as Jeanne Alter being shifted to Avenger meant that Avengers ended up outnumbering Rulers for a long stretch of time, the only regularly available Ruler was standard Jeanne, and Ruler ended up being one of the few Classes to not get a free version at all during the run of Observer on Timeless Temple and Epic of Remnant.
  • There are rough drafts of unused third stage outfits for Angra Mainyu in F/GO Material III, including him wearing a white suit, a cardboard box, or jeans.
  • Irisviel wasn't planned to be a welfare 4* Servant and she was going to have the standard three costumes that all non-event Servants have. The outfit she's wearing is a combined version of all three outfits designed by Takeuchi. In addition, the Dress of Heaven she became was originally planned to be different incarnations of the Homunculus that became the Grail, ending with her. This is why her final ascension line has her shocked to be wearing the Dress of Heaven even though before she was already wearing it.
  • Takeuchi had intended for Saber Ryougi's third Ascension to take cues from Shiki's look as a mother in Future Gospel, but since he felt that was out of place for the game, he instead decided to give her motifs from the legend of Princess Kaguya and went in a direction that was inspired by another Nasu-written work, Tsuki no Sango.
  • Datamining found several unused lines for Servants using their Noble Phantasm. Ozymandias stands out since the lines are for his two other Noble Phantasms, Mesektet and The Sphinx of Abu-el-Hol, implying they were planned as his Noble Phantasm at some point.
  • Similar to Avengers, Alter Egos were actually in the data files as a Class for a long time, and behaved as a kind of inverted Demon Pillar: they dealt double damage to the Rider-Caster-Assassin triangle, similar to the live game, but they took double damage from Saber-Archer-Lancer and hit them normally. DW either thought the defensive penalty was a little too punishing for player servants, the double damage for cavalry was too much, or both, and changed it so that Alter Egos are hit neutral by everyone save Berserker, and instead deal half to the knights, while their damage bonus against cavalry is 150% instead of 200%, similar to Berserkers, though they still hit Zerks (and as of December 2017, Foreigners) for 200%.
  • Solomon was originally going to only wear nine rings as a hint to the grander narrative of the game. Nasu complained to Takeuchi that it tipped the hand too early for certain revelations so he added one silver ring to make it less obvious.
  • Nitocris was originally going to be a 3* Servant and artist comments indicate that she would've had significantly more clothing had she not been made a 4* Servant.
  • Assassin EMIYA was one of the Servants who was planned to be available at launch but was pushed back for "Fate/Accel Zero Order". This appears to be why he is still included in the normal summoning pool, and regularly appears in Assassin themed banners, whereas other special event Servants only have appeared on specific banners related to the event, or anniversary like banners.
  • Toshizou Hijikata was planned to have a Historical Gender Flip, which would've retconned previous mentions of him to be male in Okita's profile, but was ultimately left as male in the final product.
  • The English localization team was originally going to use the fan-preferred "Artoria" for the translation of Fate/stay night Saber's name, but Type-Moon overruled them and mandated that "Altria" is the official English translation — despite Artoria having been used in official Fate products as recently as Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star.
  • Shi Huangdi's Lostbelt version was more in line with typical historical depictions before the writers told the artist to make him more ethereal and genderless in appearance.
  • Minamoto no Raikou was not originally planned to have a Historical Gender Flip; only after Takeuchi requested it and the writers discovered Ushi Gozen did they seriously decide to go with it.
  • Mash (though not yet named that at the time) was originally designed for the original Fate/stay night visual novel. Called simply the "Stray Servant" and described as an "abandoned puppy-type heroine", she was going to be a Servant from the Fourth Holy Grail War who killed her Master and survived until the Fifth, like Gilgamesh. As a Shielder, she was also going to be Saber's rival.
  • After being scrapped from the visual novel the Stray Servant was brought back into consideration for the 2006 Fate/stay night anime by Studio Deen. Here she was a girl named Tachie who died in the Fuyuki Fire at the end of the Fourth War, but was revived by a necromancer for the Fifth and used as a vessel for Galahad as the necromancer's Servant. She would have held a grudge against Shirou because she felt like he abandoned her while she was calling for help in the fire, but would have ended up coming to terms with her death and his survival, and died again saving Shirou.
  • Like Assassin EMIYA, a number of Servants introduced in Cosmos in the Lostbelt were supposed to debut at the game's launch or within the first arc but they were cut off and debuted much later than they were intended to be.
  • Kirschtaria's Hopeless Boss Fight in Atlantis was originally going to have a special line for any players that managed to burst through all his HP bars, but they cut it for being too spoilery. Nasu posted it on his blog for players who cleared Olympus as they would now understand why Kirschtaria would say such a thing if defeated.
    Kirschtaria: Why, it's just a defeat or two. That doesn't lower a person's value.
  • The Fate/Requiem event was supposed to be released in April, but due to the COVID-19 epidemic, it was put on hold till an appropriate time could be found to release it.
  • The 5th anniversary was originally going to be commemorated with a concert at Tokyo Dome, featuring pretty every single musician and performer who had worked on a Fate project in the last five years. It was cancelled due to the Covid-19 epidemic and had to be completely shelved because of the unfeasibility of gathering so many people while the virus was spreading.
  • It was revealed in the 5th anniversary interview that Orion's human form was not originally planned to be released as an SSR Archer, but as a 1* Berserker.
  • Shirabii stated on their twitter that Summer Tomoe Gozen was originally planned to have a fisherman outfit complete with overalls and bucket for her catches. Instead her design was made to be a Gamer Chick, likely due to the joke with her original Archer form being a gamer becoming a popular part of her character.

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