|Also known as:|| Wrought Iron Hero|
Faker (by Gilgamesh)
|Appears in:|| Fate/stay night|
All Around Type-Moon
|Voice actor:|| Junichi Suwabe|
Liam O'Brien (dub)
|Character type:||Servant (Master: Rin Tohsaka)|
|Likes:||All kinds of housework (he denies it)|
|Talents:||Fiddle with junks, all kinds of housework|
|Natural enemy:||Rin, Sakura, Ilya|
Archer is not a proper Heroic Spirit in the sense of other heroes. His true identity is that of Shirou Emiya of an alternate timeline from that of Fate/stay night who made a contract with the world and became the Heroic Spirit EMIYA. He acts as a Counter Guardian for the world as payment for the contract. He is summoned because he still has the jewel pendant that Rin used to save his life after Lancer stabbed his heart. The jewel he owns is the actual catalyst used for his summoning rather than the one that Rin still has at the time of his summoning. After the end of each of the three routes in Fate/stay night, the possibility for Shirou to become Archer still exists, but the chance of it happening is close to zero.
After winning the fifth Holy Grail War along with his Servant Saber, Shirou Emiya was all the more inspired to pursue his dream of becoming a superhero. To this end, he stubbornly trained himself to his peak and began working as a freelance magus similar to his father. In his twenties, he received his signature red overcoat as a gift from Ciel of the Burial Agency.
At some point before becoming a Guardian he encountered and fought an entity similar to "The Shadow" and Angra Mainyu but he was forced to retreat because there was nothing he could do. Also, after reaching the Throne of Heroes, he had an understanding of the target of the Counter Force. 
In his early thirties, he had to make a life changing decision. In order to save the lives of a hundred of people dying before him in a calamity, for the sake of saving the lives that his eyes could see and for the sake of saving even more lives as a Heroic Spirit after his death, he made a contract with the world and became a hero. Although he desperately fought to end a war, he was in turn branded as the mastermind behind that war and subsequently executed because of the betrayal of his allies. Although he died of betrayal, he did not hate mankind. However, the “World” ironically gave him the duty as a Heroic Spirit “to slaughter all humans at a particular location when mankind is at the threshold of complete self destruction” --- a “Counter Guardian”. His belief that he would continue to save many people as a Heroic Spirit did not happen, but rather he was made to clean up after human actions and forced to take many lives to save humanity as a whole instead. After seeing human self-destruction and forced to oppose his own ideals countless times, he began to deny himself and his ideal.
Even knowing that the Throne of Heroes was isolated from time and space, Archer desperately came to believe that his only hope of release was to have himself summoned into an era where Shirou Emiya exists and kill his past self, hoping that the double paradox created by Shirou Emiya being killed before having a chance to make the contract with Alaya and that the killing was done by a Shirou Emiya who successfully made the contract with the world would create a time paradox great enough in magnitude that could potentially erase his existence as a Counter Guardian.
On the night of the second day, his statement that his memories were vague and he didn’t know his identity due the imperfect summoning was halfway true and halfway false. He no longer possessed Shirou’s memory, although he could still remember some key events such as being saved by Kiritsugu Emiya and meeting Saber. While Rin slept, he reasoned out his situation and realized that he may have the opportunity to achieve his goal. This was affirmed when the girl who summoned him introduced herself as Rin Tohsaka the following morning.
Shirou from the Fifth Grail War would grow about 20cm as Archer for an unknown reason. His skin, hair and eye colours are different to his younger self due to his extensive use of projection magecraft.
His personality is thoroughly cynical, but at the same time, devoted, and even a little childish to the point that it makes him hard to hate. He doesn't lie, but he does keep secrets. He is sarcastic, but it is how he gives advice. He cannot approve of Shirou’s ideal of becoming a “hero of justice”, but at the same time he cannot deny it.
In the prologue of Fate/stay Night, Rin intended to summon a strong Saber class servant. She used her father's pendant to help her boost her summoning. Unknowing to her, the jewel pendant was used as a cataylst which summoned the Heroic Spirit EMIYA.
Archer crash landed in one of the mansion room, Archer makes sarcastic remarks about Rin which aggravated her to use one of her command seals to force Archer submit to her. He blames Rin for his vague memories due to her incomplete summoning but also acknowledges her talents and skills.
As they venture through Fuyuki City, they encountered Lancer and they were forced to fight. During in their fight, Shirou Emiya was a bystander who witness the two Heroic spirit battle for the first time. Lancer stops the fight and pursue after Shirou, Archer and Rin followed him. When Rin and Archer found Shirou, Rin ordered Archer to track down Lancer, but he was unsuccessful.
Archer gave his own pendant back to Rin making her think that Archer returned to the scene to retrieve the pendant.
In Fate, Archer is a nameless hero who gives up his life in order to let his master, Rin, escape along with Saber and Shirou. Before facing off with Berserker, Archer advises Shirou to 'imagine something that can defeat it' when presented with an enemy he cannot defeat. He is subsequently killed in combat against Berserker, but not before killing Berserker six times (five in the anime) and reducing his stock of lives from God Hand.
Unlimited Blade WorksEdit
In Unlimited Blade Works, Archer is developed as an antagonistic character. Archer betrays Rin, aligning with Caster because, he claimed, she had the highest chance of acquiring the Holy Grail.
He then betrays Caster and her master and kills them both, revealing his true intentions. Archer needed to be free from Rin's command seal in order to accomplish his goal of killing Shirou. Archer then kidnaps Rin after she forms a contract with Saber, forcing a situation where Shirou faces off one on one against Archer.
Archer loses the fight, but only because he does not attack Shirou as he is stabbed through the chest. However, he survived the blow thanks to Independent Action, and remains hidden until the final battle where he saves Rin from the Holy Grail and eliminates a cornered and near-defeated Gilgamesh.
He then disappears for good with a smile on his face, confident that Rin will stop Shirou from taking a path that he will regret.
In Heaven's Feel, Archer abandons his wish to kill Shirou, opting instead to fulfill his duties as a Counter Guardian to eliminate 'the shadow'.
During a battle with Saber Alter, Assassin and 'the shadow', Archer's core is critically damaged and he is mortally wounded. Since Shirou has discarded his heroic ideals to save Sakura, Archer chooses to have Kotomine graft his left arm onto Shirou, who lost his arm protecting Ilya (following the way of the Counter Guardians, sacrificing one life to save another rather than losing both). Much of Archer's knowledge was subsequently transferred to Shirou, though the foreign arm began to invade his body as well.
Archer's final appearance in Heaven's Feel is a motivational image for Shirou, who is struggling with taking off the Shroud of Martin.
The Fate/stay night manga follows parts of both Fate and Unlimited Blade Works. He remains loyal to Rin instead of joining Caster of his own free will, and he displays the same antagonistic attitude towards Shirou. He is forced to join Caster once Kuzuki captures and holds Rin hostage. After freeing himself from her control, he proceeds with his plan to kill Shirou. He is stopped by Rin, who begs him not to kill his younger self and erase his existence as a Heroic Spirit, as she has respect for both Shirou and Archer. Eventually, Archer decides not to kill Shirou and continues his role as Rin's Servant.
When Rin went back to Mage's Association to study, she asked Archer to protect Fuyuki City in her absence.
In one of the loops, he was on top of a building and at a long distance he fought against Saber and Shirou/Avenger who were at the Fuyuki bridge. Archer fired the Broken Phantasm Hrunting towards them while Saber flew towards Archer. Saber defeated Archer while Shirou/Avenger deflected the Hrunting.
At the night of the final loop, Rin and Archer guard the Fuyuki Bridge with from a horde of "monsters" to prevent them from chasing after Shirou/Avenger.
There exists an alternate version of Archer in Fate/EXTRA universe. Although their life experiences were the same, this version made a contract with the Moon Cell rather than the World. This resulted in him becoming a nameless Heroic Spirit embodying the concept of an "ally of justice" rather than the Counter Guardian EMIYA. Through fluctuations in the Moon Cell, Rin and the Fate/stay night version of Archer appear in Fate/Extra CCC. Should the two versions face each other, the Fate/stay night Archer is noted to be more cynical.
Archer is not a regular Heroic Spirit who was revered as a hero, but instead a Counter Guardian who made a contract with World for power. He is a Heroic Spirit from the future, so he does not gain any blessings normally provided by fame. He also does not posses any actual Noble Phantasms, but his Reality Marble, Unlimited Blade Works, can be called his Noble Phantasm in a way. He wears an overcoat that is a first rate conceptual armament made from the holy shroud of a saint. It does not oppose enemies, but instead the external environment.
Though he is of the Archer class, which originally focuses on long range combat, he loves melee combat and wishes to conceal his trump card. He mainly focuses on melee tactics, primarily utilizing Kanshou and Bakuya when engaging other Servants. He utilizes a bow when he does make use of projectiles, which, along with his armor, is made from a special material that has yet to be discovered by mankind as of the present time. The bow was constructed to be resistant enough to fire Noble Phantasms.
Due to lacking an actual Noble Phantasm. his basic abilities are below those of other Servants. His main strength is his exceptional use of tactics and battle experience making his combat style very distinct from those of other Servants. His strength does not come from talent, but instead from single-mindedly refining the little talent he had in life. Unlimited Blade Works is his sole magecraft, allowing for the use of Reinforcement and Projection. It includes the “all the elements necessary to shape swords”, allowing for the replication of Noble Phantasms.
He can fight in a variety of ways depending on the situation, allowing him to match or even exceed other Servants even without an actual Noble Phantasm of his own. All weapons are copied upon seeing them once, he has thousands stored as of the Fifth Holy Grail War, and all can be freely taken out. Weapons can be summoned for melee combat, though he only primarily utilizes Kanshou and Bakuya. Swords can also be summoned to be fired as arrows and utilized as Broken Phantasms by overloading them with energy to generate overwhelming destructive power from exploding upon hitting the target. He also has the ability to summon weapons in the air and fire them like arrows in the same way as Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon.
Utilizing Broken Phantasms requires for the destruction of a Noble Phantasm, so it is not something able to be utilized by a normal Servant without sacrificing their strength. He can replicate as many weapons as he wishes, so it is a trump card only available to him. He can turns the odds in his favor by assaulting melee Servants with such long range attacks. Even if he attempts to replicate a Excalibur-class holy sword, he does not have the magical energy necessary to bring out its full potential and may simply end up fading away after using all his energy in a suicidal attack.
Aside from Projection, Archer can also use magic detection and magic resistance, which are considered very basic. He does not posses the ability to utilize offensive Magecraft that work around the lines of nature interference. His dark skin, white hair, and gray eyes are a side effect of extensively using Projection Magecraft.
Eye of the MindEdit
- ↑ Fate/complete material III: During the last part of Sakura’s route, Shirou was saved by the tiny bit of residual mana in Rin Tohsaka’s pendant. Also, it seems like Rin knew about the difference in residual mana between the thing he got back from Archer and the thing he was holding, so could Sakura’s route be the one in which Shirou becomes a Heroic Spirit after all? Or could you tell us the route(s) in which Shirou doesn’t become a Heroic Spirit?
A: I’ll just say now that he doesn’t become a Heroic Spirit in any of the routes, but the possibility is still present in all of them as well. Basically, the probability of it happening is almost zero.
- ↑ Fate/complete material III: When and where did Archer (Emiya Shirou) acquire his red overcoat (a holy shroud)? Or, was the shroud he used in Sakura’s route an original one?
A: When he began working as a freelance magus in his twenties, he received it from a certain curry-loving member of the clergy... now that would make a nice story, it would.
- ↑ Fate/complete material III, World Material - Q & A:
Q: In Sakura’s Route, Archer seemed to already know the existence of the likes of Angra Mainyu, did he have experience in battling this type of enemies in other eras?
A: He fought such things when he was alive, but had to retreat because there was nothing he could do. Also, after reaching the Throne of Heroes, he had an understanding of the target of the Counter Force.
- ↑ Fate/complete material III, World Material:
Q: Around what age did Archer (Emiya Shirou) form a contract with the World as a Guardian?
A: From his late twenties to early thirties.
- ↑ TYPE-MOON Fes.10th Anniversary Q & A:
Q: Kotomine grew 8cm in the ten years between Zero and Stay Night. Shirou is also confirmed to grow about 20cm in the future. Is there a relationship between extreme height growth post-growth-spurt and the use of magecraft?
A: Honestly, I don't know either.