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Archer (Fate/stay night)

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Nasuverse character
Archer
Servant | Shinto Priest
Archer1
Japanese name: アーチャー
Also known as: Wrought Iron Hero
Faker (by Gilgamesh)
Franchise: Fate
Appears in: Fate/stay night
Fate/hollow ataraxia
Fate/Unlimited Codes
Fate/tiger colosseum
Fate/Extra CCC
Carnival Phantasm
All Around Type-Moon
Japanese VA: Junichi Suwabe
English VA: Liam O'Brien
Character type: Servant (Master: Rin Tohsaka)
Affiliation: Rin Tohsaka's Servant[2]
Counter Guardians
Servant classes: Archer, Caster (F/AR), Berserker (F/AR), Assassin (F/AR)
Gender: Male[1][2]
Height: 187 cm[1][2]
Weight: 78 kg[1][2]
Place of Origin: Japan[2]
Armament: Mantle[1]
Likes: All kinds of housework (he denies it)[2]
Dislikes: A Hero of Justice[2]
Talents: Fiddle with junks, all kinds of housework[2]
Natural enemy: Rin, Sakura, Ilya[2]
Image Color: Red[2]
This article is about the Fate/stay night and Fate/hollow ataraxia Servant. For the Moon Cell version of the Fate/Extra (CCC) Servant, see Archer.

Archer (アーチャー, ?) is the Archer-class Servant of Rin Tohsaka in the Fifth Holy Grail War of Fate/stay night.

ProfileEdit

IdentityEdit

Archer is not a proper Heroic Spirit in the sense of other heroes. His true identity is that of Shirou Emiya (衛宮 士郎, Emiya Shirō?) of an alternate timeline from that of Fate/stay night who made a contract with the world and became the Heroic Spirit EMIYA (エミヤ, ?). 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.[3]

Shirou Emiya won the Holy Grail War along with his Servant Saber, eventually going on to work as a freelance magus to pursue his dream of becoming an Ally of Justice. He stubbornly trained himself while pursuing his dream of saving mankind, but later fell into despair upon realizing that his abilities were insufficient in fulfilling his goal. Sometime in his twenties, he received his signature red overcoat as a gift from Ciel of the Church. He at some point encountered and fought beings similar to Angra Mainyu, but he was forced to retreat when he was unable to act against them. He later gained some understanding of such beings as targets of the Counter Force upon entering the Throne of Heroes.[4]

In his early thirties, he had to make a life changing decision. Confronted by a calamity which had the potential of killing one hundred people before him, he decided to "make a contract" with the World to become a hero capable of producing miracles and become a Heroic Spirit after his death.[5] He believed he could save both the lives of the dying people before him and save even more as a hero after his death. 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 happen, but it was through being made to clean up after human actions and forced to take many lives to save humanity as a whole, instead of "saving everyone" - protecting humans without having to cause deaths of humans as he would have liked to. 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.

AppearanceEdit

  • Sleeveless
  • Sleeveless (Rear)
  • Casual

Shirou from the Fifth Grail War would grow about 20cm as Archer, it is uncertain if his extreme height growth is caused by magecraft.[6] Comparing to Shirou, Archer has white hair, black eyes and tanned skin colour. His skin, hair and eye colors are different to his younger self due to the extensive use of projection magecraft that caused a rebound effect.[7]

His servant clothing; Red Plain Mystic Code (赤原礼装, Akahara Reisou?) is Archer's signature costume. He wears a body armor made from a special material that has yet to be discovered by mankind as of the present time. His signature red overcoat is a type of holy shroud.[8]

In Fate/hollow ataraxia, his casual attire was a plain black shirt and black trousers. When he was fishing, he wears his signature clothing without the holy shroud and wore a red down vest jacket and a red cap hat.


PersonalityEdit

His personality is very contradicting. While he is thoroughly cynical and nihilistic, he is at the same time devoted and protective, and even a little childish to the point that it makes him hard to hate. He doesn't lie, but he does keep secrets and tell half truths. He means well and is capable of being nice, but often ends up being sarcastic, especially so when he gives advice. He cannot approve of Shirou’s ideal of becoming a “Hero of justice” (正義の味方, Seigi no Mikata?, Ally of Justice) due to his own experience, but at the same time he cannot deny it due to the same reasons.

He claims that his memory is confused to the incomplete nature of his summoning, but that is only half truthful. He is able to assess the situation and deduce his circumstances the night of his summoning, believing himself to have the opportunity to achieve his goal to kill Shirou. He had forgotten the name "Rin Tohsaka" over the period of his life, but remembers her the instant she introduces herself. Murmuring "――Rin. Ah, that's the name――" under his breath, it is a statement from his heart filled with "much endearment close to insanity."[7] He claims to no longer have Shirou's memory, but remembers the day Kiritsugu Emiya saved him and the feelings he felt upon seeing Kiritsugu's smile. He has a fond remembrance for the moment Saber was first summoned that he will always recall vividly "even if he should fall into the depths of hell."

He's not interested in video games but he is willing to play, once he gets started.[9]

DevelopmentEdit

The scene "Decisive Battle" in Fate/hollow ataraxia shows Archer remembering the very first scene of the Prologue of Fate/stay night with Shirou Emiya summoning Saber, and though it was meant to show that the Prologue scene was from Archer's perspective, Kinoko Nasu was surprised when nobody made the connection.[10]

RoleEdit

Fate/stay nightEdit

Fsn Archer in anime

Archer in the Fate/stay night anime

In the prologue of Fate/stay Night, Rin intended to summon a strong Saber class servant without a catalyst. Unknowing to her, the jewel pendant was used as a catalyst which summoned the Heroic Spirit EMIYA. Rin's Pendant, a one-of-a-kind jewel kept by Emiya as a keepsake of his unknown savior over the years. Differing from normal, it is not the pendant Rin owns in the present that acts as the catalyst. Emiya is instead a case where he holds a catalyst with a connection to his summoner.

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 pedestrian who witnessed the two Heroic Spirits battle for the first time. Lancer stops the fight and pursues 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.

FateEdit

ArchervsBerserker

Archer facing Berserker during Fate.

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

Archer smiled

Archer smiling at Rin before fading away during Unlimited Blade Works.

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 engages Archer.

Archer loses the battle, 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.

Heaven's FeelEdit

HFArcher

Archer's image appearing before Shirou removes the Shroud.

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.

MangaEdit

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.

Fate/hollow ataraxiaEdit

FateHollowAtaraxia094

Rin and Archer facing the shadows in Fate/Hollow Ataraxia

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 from a horde of "monsters" to prevent them from chasing after Shirou/Avenger.

Fate/Unlimited CodesEdit

  • Opening
  • Ending
  • Rin's Ending

In Fate/Unlimited Codes, he is known as the Wrought Iron Hero (錬鉄の英雄, ?). In his arcade story, he monologues his situation about him being summoned in the Fuyuki Holy Grail War and how it was a miracle for him to achieve his goal to alter his past by ending Shirou and allowing Rin to win the Holy Grail War. He has to deceive his Master in order to do this.

Archer unexpectedly faces Shirou early and by the time he faces Shirou, Shirou figured out his identity and challenged Archer. Archer expected Saber to fight him personally, however Shirou decided to settle things between the two as the Hero of Justice. As the fight turns into a clash of their ideals, Archer responds to Shirou that an ideal amounts to nothing if their is no strength to back them up and is forced to cut him down. Although he wins, it is hinted that Archer didn't kill Shirou and continued the Holy Grail War against the other participates.

His last opponent is Gilgamesh, who asked if Archer requested assistance for death. However, Archer claims that he is doing something stupid by eliminating the villain who will burn the whole city. His original goal was to let Rin win, but he can't allow Gilgamesh to continue and Archer prevails in their fight. In his ending, many years has past and Archer is fighting along with an adult Rin against an army of Golems. Archer turns out more cheerful and Rin finds him cooler than in their first encounter.

In Rin's ending, Rin sealed the Holy Grail and transformed Archer into a smaller scale of himself. She claims that she transformed Archer into this form because he didn't help her out in the war. Archer regrets that he didn't destroy the Holy Grail.

Fate/tiger colosseum seriesEdit

  • Archer Ending
  • Rin Ending
  • Saber Alter Ending
  • Dark Sakura Ending
  • Assassin Ending


Fate/Extra seriesEdit

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.[11]

Through fluctuations in the Moon Cell, Fate/stay night version of Rin and Archer appear in Fate/Extra CCC. Should the two versions face each other, the Fate/stay night Archer is noted to be more cynical.

AbilitiesEdit

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 possess any actual Noble Phantasms, but his Reality Marble, Unlimited Blade Works, can be called his Noble Phantasm in a way. He wears a cloak and mantle set that are first rate Conceptual Weapons made from the Holy Shroud of a saint. It does not oppose enemies, but instead the external environment.[8]

Due to his nature, he has no fame as a hero and he cannot be recognized by those with knowledge from the Throne of Heroes. This makes him a confusing existence for the other Servants, displaying his projection that turns normally important Noble Phantasms into items that can be discarded and destroyed on a whim, varied abilities that would normally mark the identity of a Servant, and contradictory abilities that do not match any known hero. Lancer believes there should be no Archer with a shield capable of blocking Gae Bolg, and Berserker thinks that being defeated in six different ways, all abilities of the highest class, without learning of the enemy's identity is very strange.

CombatEdit

Due to lacking an actual Noble Phantasm, Archer's basic abilities are below those of other Servants. His main strength lies within his versatility and adaptability, shown through 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 natural talent like Rin or Saber, but instead from single-minded refining of what little talent he had in life. He had nothing at first, and through improving himself for reason that he was not extraordinary, his techniques trained by his will alone reached the point where it is obvious to Shirou that he should be naturally considered strong. He is not fixated on the exact method of winning, opening many possibilities not available to those who fight with chivalry and codes of honor.[12]

Unlimited Blade Works is his sole magecraft, allowing for the use of Reinforcement and Projection. As a "blacksmith Heroic Spirit", it includes the “all the elements necessary to shape swords”, allowing for the replication of Noble Phantasms. All weapons are copied upon seeing them once, he has thousands stored as of the Fifth Holy Grail War, and all can be freely deployed. Many varieties of weapons can be summoned for melee combat, though he primarily utilizes Kanshou and Bakuya. Swords can also be summoned and modified to be fired as arrows and utilized as Broken Phantasms by overloading them with energy to generate overwhelming destructive power from exploding upon contact. He also has the ability to summon weapons in the air and fire them like arrows in the same way as Gilgamesh uses his Gate of Babylon.

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. 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. Due to him being able to replicate as many weapons as he wishes, the use of Broken Phantasms became a trump card available only 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.

Close combatEdit

Though he is of the Archer class, which originally focuses on long range combat, he is adept at melee combat, and due to his wish to conceal his trump card, he mainly focuses on melee tactics, primarily utilizing Kanshou and Bakuya when engaging other Servants. Even when told to fight seriously by utilizing a bow as expected of the Archer class, he continues to rush into close combat without intentions to draw his bow. Utilizing his unorthodox tactics, he is even able to slay Berserker six times. He will also use other weapons like Caladbolg II to thrust at the opponent's heart or Durandal to perform powerful strikes.

Kanshou and Bakuya are his preferred weapons, and his usage of them has allowed him to develop a style of fighting perfectly suited to him. Though he can fight with a single blade, he generally wields them both at once. The advantage of projection allows for him to replace swords if they are destroyed or if he is disarmed. He has no trouble projecting twenty-eight pairs during a strenuous clash consisting of over a hundred strikes and constantly being disarmed. His greatest strategy, Crane Wing Three Realm, involves utilizing multiple projected pairs in succession to completely seal the opponent.

Ranged combatEdit

Archer bow

Archer's bow

Archer utilizes a bow that he projects 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. Archer’s Bow (アーチャーの弓, ?) is a matte black, western-style straight bow, with a simple design that was constructed to be resistant enough to fire Noble Phantasms. He often uses regular arrows for quick and accurate attacks that cost less prana than Noble Phantasms. Their accuracy is spot-on, and their power is still great enough to bring down houses with a small barrage released in quick succession. Releasing over a dozen arrows at once, they are accurately fired at the opponent whether as a sneak attack or support for another. He is capable of performing Broken Phantasm shots from various distances, from hundreds of meters away up to four kilometers away from the target.

His Clairvoyance, a visual ability also called “Eagle Eye” that affects the accuracy of bows, allows him to execute his “ultra long-range sniping” precisely even against targets moving at high speeds as long as they are within a four kilometer range. With accuracy transcending the realm of men, it is an ability often used for scouting that is able to fully survey the town simply upon looking down from a high location. Utilizing the "must-have ability" of the Archer class, such strikes greatly differ from his regular arrows, and they are a means to certainly kill the opponent. Differing from his former Japanese shooting method, nocking the arrow in the palm of the left hand, Archer utilizes the traditional European method of nocking the arrow over the back of the left hand.[13] He is skilled enough to mark two enemies and fire a single arrow with the intention of striking both, surpassing the normal rules being unable to alter its course.

He can make use of specific strategies to defeat opponents from long range, such as Saber, who would not fall in single combat easily even inside Unlimited Blade Works.[14] Burdening her with protecting Shirou and keeping her from utilizing Excalibur, he is free to fire upon her without worry of being counterattacked and increase the power each time. If such tactics are unavailable, such as with Assassin, it is possible that fighting directly may lead to his defeat.[15] Utilizing sniping can cause him to falter when suddenly forced into close combat, as returning to his true method of attack leaves him unable to draw his sword and respond properly due to focusing on his arrows.

MagecraftEdit

Although classified under the Archer class, he was not a swordsman nor an archer in life, but a magus at his core relying on his one spell, Unlimited Blade Works, to fight. Despite being a skilled combatant, his true unique strength lies within the manufacturing of weapons rather than their use. His abilities in life were unremarkable overall, utilizing Reinforcement with difficulty and the “structural analysis” step of projection more often than anything else. Only Projection had any worth, having granted him the many Noble Phantasms and combat skills they hold. Aside from Projection, he 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.

He has weak Magic Resistance, D rank, that is only the equivalent of an anti-magic amulet. He can nullify spells of one bar, but anything higher than that will annul the resistance. It can easily be overcome by a relatively strong magus, as his affinity with magecraft is much worse than Heroic Spirits of ancient times. He may have been a magus possessing the unusual Projection magecraft, but they were those who saw magecraft and even Magic as commonplace. Due to that resulting in his low ability, even spells greater than two steps can be fatal to him.

Without any support, he is at a serious disadvantage against a Caster, capable of great sorceries and ritual spells, and even spells from magi Masters must be watched carefully. When holding both Kanshou and Bakuya, his magic resistance is improved, and he proves capable of deflecting even Caster's A-ranked spells, though they still pose fatal danger should they strike him.

Eye of the MindEdit

Eye of the Mind (True) is a danger-avoidance ability that utilizes the intelligence collected up to the current time as the basis to predict the opponent’s activity and change the current situation. Servants like Lancer and Saber cannot be matched in direct combat under normal circumstances. They are too fast and strong for him to last more than a few blows before falling to their strength, should he take them on without any strategy. He reads the oncoming attacks and counterattacks ahead of time, constantly thinking tens of steps ahead in order continuously prolong his survival by seconds in avoiding blows, parrying, and striking back without being overwhelmed.

It is "combat logic" that utilizes calm analysis to take information obtained from the current situation and enemy's abilities to make predictions, and makes use of his cultivated battle experience to plan his attack. In spite of danger, he takes consideration of all possible actions in a particular situation, and if there is even a one percent chance of a comeback, the ability improves the chances of success. Although superior to Shirou, the circumstances of their battle lead to Archer being unable to see through Shirou's "passion-infused strike which puts 'ideal' on the line", and he ultimately is struck by it. He does not to answer as to why he did not block an attack he should have been able to easily block, and it is possible he does not know the answer.

His nerves of steel, his mind's eye obtained through experience, is nothing extraordinary compared to Saber's Instinct, but noted to be the only skill that he possesses, a weapon wielded by a mortal that anyone can gain through tenacious training. It is the result of an overwhelming amount of combat experience, allowing him to see even Lancer's thrusts, fast enough that they are not visible to even his honed eyes. Though Lancer is far superior, Archer is able to guide the fight to his advantage through his experience, utilizing his inferiority as a weapon to control the attacks coming at him.

Archer battles such opponents by leaving fatal openings, dodging them and risking instant death instead of slowly being cut up, which would ensure his loss as the fight drags out. Through battle, he is able to think of at least thirty ways to "show an opening", and this allows him to match Lancer's onslaught without being overwhelmed. Although he should not be a match because he should only be able to put up a true fight as a long-range archer and holds no prospect for victory in close combat, he is able to block Lancer's full force strikes, leaving Lancer perplexed at the situation and noting Archer's mysterious strength.

Independent ActionEdit

Archer's ability to survive alone is extremely great, displayed in his Independent Action. Independent Action allows him to act without constant support from his Master, and while normal Servants fade within hours after losing their Master, he can last much longer due to the ability. He can also survive for a short period of time even should he sustain lethal damage to his spiritual core. Servants of his rank normally have two days in the world without active support from a Master, but that figure is based upon maximally conserving energy while also avoiding battle and the usage of Noble Phantasms.

Archer is able to switch Masters, act independently without a Master and do battle with ten percent of his abilities left, sustain ultimately fatal injuries, observe the battle between Shirou and Gilgamesh in spiritual form, protect Shirou with Rho Aias, save Rin and Shinji from the mud, and then finally eliminate Gilgamesh to save Shirou in the Unlimited Blade Works scenario. His final attack is a regular arrow instead of a Noble Phantasm, and due to his gradual fading after the attack, it shows the final limits of his materialization.[1] Even after sustaining a lethal injury, he is able to survive long enough in the Heaven's Feel scenario to allow for his arm to be transplanted due to the ability.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9
  3. 7.0 7.1
  4. 8.0 8.1

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