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Fate Stay Night - Logo

Fate/stay night (フェイト/ステイナイト, Feito/sutei naito?) is a Japanese eroge visual novel game created by TYPE-MOON, which was originally released on January 30, 2004. It is TYPE-MOON's first commercial work, following its transition from a doujin soft visual novel group.

StoryEdit

SettingEdit

Fate/stay night takes place in 2004, and its beginning happens at around the same time as the events of Tsukihime end.[1][2] Fuyuki City is the setting for a secret and violent war among competing magi. For the past two centuries, seven magi were gathered and engage in a Battle Royale, each gambling his or her own life to obtain the Holy Grail, a legendary chalice capable of granting wishes. The past four Holy Grail Wars have typically occurred every sixty years, with the most recent concluding a decade ago, but the fifth war has eerily started prematurely.

Each magus, better known as Masters, are aided by one of the seven summoned spiritual familiars known as Servants, who are the reincarnations of legendary souls from all across time. These resurrected Heroic Spirits (英霊, Eirei?), possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms (宝具, Hōgu?). A Noble Phantasm's hidden abilities may be released by invoking its true name, but casual brandishing of a Noble Phantasm is best avoided, for symbolic Noble Phantasms usually belie a Servant's identity, diminishing that Servant's competitive advantage. Specific legends may be summoned with the aid of catalysts, which are artifacts, ideas, or experiences similar or of value to the desired Servant. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assassin, and Caster.

The Holy Grail is a spiritual artifact, so only astral entities, such as Servants, are capable of touching it; this restriction forces Master and Servant to cooperate with each other against rival pairs, even if a situation entails fighting to the death. Masters control Servants with three Command Spells (令呪, Reiju?), which are crystallized miracles issued by the Holy Grail that manifest on a Master's hand. When activated, Command Spell permit a Servant to accomplish an incredible feat, or alternatively provide Masters with the authority to issue an irrevocable and absolute order to a Servant. In the event of a Master's demise, a Servant may choose to bind him or herself to another Master; if a Servant is slain, a Master may ally with a wayward Servant or pursue sanctuary with the Holy Grail War's impartial supervisor, who is traditionally a delegate of the Church.

PlotEdit

Fate/stay night chronicles a two-week period in the life of Shirou Emiya, an amateur mechanic who attends school called Homurahara Gakuen in Fuyuki City. Ten years ago, Shirou was caught in a massive fire that incinerated his parents and consumed a large portion of the city; as he was dying, an enigmatic man discovers and treats him. This man, Kiritsugu Emiya, decides to adopt him, though the two maintain a distant relationship because of Kiritsugu's frequent departures from Fuyuki City. One moonlit night, Kiritsugu and Shirou have a discussion outside of their home, and Shirou discovers a fact about his father that Kiritsugu was actually a mage.

Through their conversation, Shirou learns of his foster father's failed life ambition to become a "Hero of Justice" (正義の味方, Seigi no Mikata?), a guardian of mankind who could protect the weak and innocent. Touched by Kiritsugu's conviction, Shirou affirms to his foster father that he intends to devote his life to achieving that distant ideal, much to Kiritsugu's chagrin. To do this, Shirou pleads with a begrudging Kiritsugu to teach him magecraft (魔術, Majutsu?); but Shirou proves to be talentless in almost all the fundamental magecraft disciplines.

Kiritsugu warns his son that the life of a magus is one that leads to destruction, but if he is truly set on benefiting people, he should apply his knowledge in secret and hone his craft in private. After Kiritsugu dies, Shirou becomes frustrated with his progress, for he feels inadequate about his good deeds through magecraft and is unsure of how to orient his future to contribute more.

After cleaning his school's kyudo (archery) dojo late one night, Shirou stumbles upon two Servants, Archer and Lancer, battling in the school courtyard. To avoid compromising the war's secrecy, Lancer hunts down and pierces Shirou in the heart with a spear. For an unknown reason, Shirou's classmate, Rin Tohsaka, uses an heirloom filled with concentrated prana, Prana (魔力, Maryoku?), to resuscitate him. Shaken and dazed, Shirou goes back to his home, but is again attacked by Lancer. Shirou weakly defends himself against Lancer but is soon overwhelmed by the powerful Servant's attack. After the battle prelonged, Shirou falls into his storage room. Cornered, he prepares for the worst; but before Lancer can inflict another fatal blow, a young woman outfitted in armor blocks Lancer's spear. She drives Lancer away, introduces herself to Shirou as Saber, and greets him with the words: I ask of you, are you my Master?

CharactersEdit

As with Tsukihime, the character base in Fate/stay night is extremely comprehensive and expansive, with characters possessing varied and extraordinary abilities.

Shirou Emiya
Shirou is the main character of the story. He is a serious yet helpful, hardworking, and honest teenager. His hobbies include fixing a variety of broken things, from VCRs to stoves, as well as cooking and cleaning. He has some slight talent with magecraft, though he was discouraged by his foster father Emiya Kiritsugu from improving his gifts. He is initially confused about the Holy Grail War and attempts to irrationally shield others from danger, including his own Servant, Saber.
Saber
She is Shirou's Servant, an agile but powerful warrior. Loyal, independent, and reserved, Saber acts coldly but is actually suppressing her emotions to focus on her goals. Her class is considered the "Most Outstanding", with excellent ratings in all categories. Since her Master cannot effectively provide her with Prana, she minimizes her activity to preserve what she has. Saber is frustrated by Shirou's "protective" tendencies, believing his erratic and reckless behavior will jeopardize her chances of winning the Holy Grail War.
Rin Tohsaka
A model student and idol of Shirou's school who is secretly a magus and Master in the Holy Grail War. She is a descendant from a long line of magi, and though she lacks a formal magecraft education, she is extremely powerful in her own right. Her father was killed in the fourth Holy Grail War, and she has trained since his death to succeed him. She is perceptive, resourceful and avidly competitive. She tried to summon a Saber-class Servant, but she accidentally called Archer instead.
Archer
He is the Servant of one of the series' main heroines, Rin Tohsaka. Due to an incomplete summon, he apparently has no memory of his previous life or identity. Archer is sarcastic and cynical - but under his hardened exterior lies a complex and dark personality that unfolds throughout the story. Though skilled with ranged weapons, he can hold his own in mêlée combat. Archer considers Shirou Emiya's idealism to be weak and delusional, recognizing Shirou's mentality of "wanting to save everyone" as naïve and impossible.
Illyasviel von Einzbern
A young German aristocrat, she traveled to Japan to participate in the Holy Grail War as a Master. Illyasviel has an angelic appearance and an unsurpassed degree of magical power. She lives in a castle on the outskirts of Fuyuki City, accompanied only by her Servant and two maids. Illyasviel asks those she feels comfortable around to simply call her "Ilya".
Berserker
The Servant of Ilya, who appears as a swarthy giant with adamantine skin and gross brawn. He wields a colossal stone axe-club, and is capable of causing massive destruction with the mere backlash of his swings. As a Berserker, he is stripped of his sanity and reason, acting feral and animalistic in combat. Berserkers are praised as members of the "strongest" class, though they are difficult to control and always turn on their Masters. Ilya appears to have little trouble managing him.
Sakura Matou
A student in her first year of high school, sister of Shinji Matou, and Shirou's underclassman. After Shirou's father Kiritsugu died, Sakura often visited Shirou's home to help him with his daily chores. Though Shinji is from a family of magi, he asserts that she has no knowledge of her family's craft or history. Sakura is outwardly shy and timid, but possesses great inner strength. She has a long standing and obvious crush on Shirou Emiya.
Shinji Matou
Sakura 's older brother, and a long-time friend of Shirou. Shinji is very popular as vice-captain of the archery dojo despite being chauvinistic and a narcissist. Like Rin, he is of a distinguished lineage of magi, though the Matou blood has thinned and no longer produces heirs naturally capable of magecraft. Shinji feels uncomfortable with his sister's daily visits to Shirou's home. He has an open crush on Rin, but she does not return his favors.
Rider
The Servant of Shinji, first seen scouting around Homurahara Gakuen. Rider is silent, sultry, and vigilant, never hesitating to shield her Master from harm. With Shinji incapable of lending Prana to her, she is forced to seek alternative means to augment her abilities. To compensate for her weakness, Rider employs covert battle tactics and takes full advantage of territory around her. Her weapon of choice is a pair of long iron nails fastened to opposite ends of a single chain, which she effectively thrusts from distances.

GameplayEdit

Fate Title

Screenshot of the original Fate/stay night title screen with English patch applied when player has completed story mode.

The gameplay of Fate/stay night requires little interaction from the player as most of the game's duration is spent on reading the text that appears, representing either dialogue between the characters or the inner thoughts of the protagonist. Often, players will come to a "decision point" where they are given the chance to choose from options displayed on the screen, typically two to three at a time. The time between these decision points is variable and during these times, gameplay pauses until a choice is made that furthers the plot in a specific direction. There are three main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, one for each of the heroines in the story. To view all three plot lines, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and choose different choices during the decision points to progress the plot in an alternate direction.

Fate, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel are the three branching storylines found within the game. Each diverge at certain points, and, depending upon player interaction, will end in one of several possible ways. The Fate scenario features Saber as the main heroine. In Unlimited Blade Works, Rin Tohsaka is the main female lead but the storyline focuses around her Servant, Archer. Heaven's Feel expands on the dark history of Sakura Matou.

There are forty bad endings that can be reached within the game, and each has a section called Tiger Dojo (タイガー道場, ?) following it. It features alternate versions of Taiga Fujimura and Illyasviel von Einzbern elaborating on the endings and how to avoid them. The majority of the content has little to do with the actual endings, instead focusing on the skits performed between the two of them.[3] Einzbern Consultation Room is a prequel story that ends with Taiga preparing to establish her own dojo to avoid all the bad endings.

DevelopmentEdit

Before Kinoko Nasu wrote Fate/stay night, he claims he was a big fan of Samurai Resurrection (魔界転生, Makai Tensho?) manga, which involved battles between dead historical figures from around Japan.[4] Nasu first began writing 'Fate/stay night in college and had not intended it to be a game. Initially, Nasu only wrote what would become the game's Fate storyline however the game went on to have three storylines, the Fate scenario being one of them.

In his early drafts, Saber was a man, and the protagonist was a girl with glasses. This early draft was embodied in the short original video animation (OVA) Fate/Prototype, which was released with the final volume of the Carnival Phantasm OVA series. Nasu set aside the project and went on to found TYPE-MOON with artist Takashi Takeuchi.

After the success of their first visual novel Tsukihime in 2000 TYPE-MOON transitioned from a dojin soft organization to a commercial organization. Nasu and Takeuchi decided to turn the old Fate story into a visual novel as TYPE-MOON's first commercial product. In the beginning, Nasu was worried that because the main character was a girl, the story might not work as a bishōjo game. It was artist Takeuchi who suggested switching the genders of the protagonist and Saber to fit the game market.

There were originally to be four heroines with four routes. Saber and Rin would have comprised the first half, met in the middle of the story, and then it would have split into four routes from there. Their stories were written in one go, so Nasu felt he needed to "flip the story over." Within the theme of Fate/stay night, Saber's route is posing a question, Rin's is the answer, and Sakura's is a practical application. Ilya was one of the heroines originally, and would have been part of the practical application with Sakura. Rather than only choosing to become Sakura's hero or fulfill his ideals as an Ally of Justice on the ninth day of Heaven's Feel, Shirou would have also had an option to become Ilya's hero instead.

Due to the length, they thought to release Saber and Rin as Fate/stay night and Sakura and Ilya in a separate release titled "Fate/other night", but they thought it would have been too expensive. IIya's route was instead combined with Heaven's Feel because they decided to include Sakura's route in Fate/stay night. There was also a Caster route in development, but it was discarded entirely with the exception of the plot regarding the cooperation with Rider that is continued in a portion of the actual game.[5][6] While not present in-game, the script files contain a joke about Shirou teaming up with Shinji.[7] The Unlimited Blade Works (route) was written in the preview section of the 2001 winter Comiket booklet.[8]

While Nasu was designing parameter rules and various attributes in Fate, he was hoping to make another game similar to a wargame like Romance of the Three Kingdoms would be interesting.[9]

Release HistoryEdit

  • Cover for Fate/stay night PC
  • Cover for Fate/stay night PC
  • Fate/stay night+Fate/Hollow Ataraxia editon

Fate/stay night was released in Japan on January 30, 2004 for Windows PCs.

Fate/stay night was later released on the PS2 platform, originally scheduled to be released in late 2006. However, it was postponed until April 19, 2007 known as Fate/stay night Réalta Nua. Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven's Feel are the three branching storylines found within the game. They were released separately through digital download on Windows (but as the Réalta Nua version) in the beginning of 2012

TYPE-MOON Fes. announced a PlayStation Vita port of Réalta Nua released in Japan on November 29, 2012.

On 30th January 2014, TYPE-MOON released a special bundle for Windows PC, only available until the 29th January 2015, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Fate franchise. The bundle comes with Fate/stay night, Fate/hollow ataraxia, Fate 10th Anniversary Art Book「Fate/Art Chronicle」 and Fate/side material.

Réalta NuaEdit

In 2007 Type-MOON released a CERO C-rated version of Fate/stay night. This version provided voice acting but the sex scenes were removed due to censorship, and the target audience. The updated re-release also provided the true ending to the Fate route. The PS2 theme was performed by Number 201 feat.MAKI - Ougon no Kagayaki (黄金の輝き, lit. Golden glow?).

The PlayStation Vita port of Réalta Nua received a new opening animation by anime studio Ufotable. Earthmind provided three themes for each route:

  • Fate - "Arcadia"
  • Unlimited Bladeworks - "Horizon"
  • Heaven's Feel - "Another Heaven."

TrailersEdit

AnimeEdit

Studio DeenEdit

The Anime animated by Studio Deen, the episodes were originally aired between January 2006 and June 2006 in Japan.

Logo1
  • The Fate/stay night anime series, mostly an adaptation of the Fate scenario. The title was given a special summary released in two episodes called Fate/stay Night TV reproduction.
    FSN UBW - Logo
  • The Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works movie, an adaptation of the Unlimited Blade Works scenario. It was released in Japanese theaters on January 23, 2010 and produced by Studio Deen. The staff from the anime television series, including director Yuji Yamaguchi, returned to work on the film, with most of the voice cast reprising their roles. The film earned 280 million yen at the Japanese Box Office. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the Unlimited Blade Works film and will release it on DVD and Blu-ray featuring an English dub produced at Bang Zoom! Entertainment.

TrailersEdit

UfotableEdit

ufotable is adapting the Unlimited Blade Works route as a television anime, first announced on July 12, 2013.[10] It will be directed by Takahiro Miura and is scheduled to air in October 4, 2014. Atsushi Ikariya, Tomonori Sudou, and Hisayuki Tabata will be adapting Takashi Takeuchi's original character designs. The storyline will have original content scripted by Kinoko Nasu.[11] Several artworks shows new costumes for the characters. Mashiro Ayano's "ideal white" will be the opening song while Kalafina's "believe" will be the ending song. It was originally planned to adapt the Fate route, but it was changed to Unlimited Blade Works after production began. The Realta Nua visual novel version of Fate was instead set to be released for free on IOS and Android devices afterward.[12] At the same time, ufotable announced they are adapting the Heaven's Feel route as a film. Hideyuki Fukasawa will be the composer. There is no release date currently set for the film.

TrailersEdit

Adaptations and sequelsEdit

SequelEdit

On October 28, 2005, TYPE-MOON released a sequel to Fate/stay night, titled Fate/hollow ataraxia. Its plot is set half a year after the events of Fate/stay night and features new characters such as Avenger, Bazett Fraga McRemitz, and Caren Hortensia, alongside returning characters such as Shirou Emiya, Saber and Rin Tohsaka

PrequelEdit

On November 22, 2006, TYPE-MOON announced a new installment in the Fate/stay night franchise, titled Fate/Zero. A novel prequel detailing the events of the 4th Holy Grail War 10 years prior to the 5th one told in Fate/stay night. In contrast to Fate/stay night, Fate/Zero is a series of light novels instead of a visual novel, and is told in a third person narrative that follows the actions of multiple characters.

The series is a collaboration between TYPE-MOON and a fellow developer, Nitroplus. The first volume was released on December 29, 2006. The second volume was released on March 31, 2007. The third volume was released on July 27, 2007. The fourth and final volume was released on December 29, 2007, along with the Fate/Zero Original Image Soundtrack "Return to Zero."

Related mediaEdit

Fate/stay night was the beginning of a whole franchise of various media. Important related products include:

MangaEdit

  • The Fate/stay night manga illustrated by Nishiwaki Datto, began serialization in the manga magazine Shōnen Ace, published by Kadokawa Shoten, on December 26, 2005. Although it is titled to be an adaptation of the Unlimited Blade Works route, it is more of an adaption of a combination between the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works routes while pooling some elements of the Heaven's feel route.
  • Himuro no Tenchi Fate/School Life is a comedy 4-koma manga revolving around the normal life at school of the minor characters of Fate/stay night and Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, specifically the character Kane Himuro, classmate of Fate/stay night protagonist Shirō Emiya. It is serialized Manga 4-koma Kings Palette and currently three volumes have been published by Ichijinsha.
  • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA written and illustrated by Hiroyama Hiroshi it was first serialized in Comp Ace in 2008 and later release into two bound volumes. A manga featuring alternate-universe Illya as a protagonist.
    • Anime adaptation by Silver Link. Directed by Shin Ounuma.

GamesEdit

  • Fate/tiger colosseum, a 3D fighting game for the PlayStation Portable featuring the Fate/stay night and some Tsukihime cast
  • Fate/Unlimited Codes, a 3D fighting game for arcades, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable featuring the Fate/stay night and Fate/hollow ataraxia cast
  • Fate/Extra, an action RPG for the PlayStation Portable set in an alternate reality from the F/sn story and featuring redesigned Fate/stay night characters along with some new ones
  • Fate/Extra CCC, an action RPG for the Playstation Portable in continuation of Fate/Extra

ReferencesEdit

  1. TYPE-MOON History
  2. [2]
  3. Twitter - I read the newtype article and at first the Fate anime was to be the Fate route (Saber route) and they made a little progress although though they changed it to UBW (Rin route) among other things. After the change, Fate was released for free, UBW became the TV anime and HF became the movie version, among other things.

External linksEdit


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