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Fate (route)

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This page is about a Fate/stay night route. For other uses, see Fate.
Fateroute

Fate is one of the routes in Fate/stay night.

The main heroine and love interest of this route is Saber. Fate is the first route the player will be able to play through in Fate/stay night, and completing it is required to access other two routes, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel.

The route emphasizes plot and world building, and the main theme is "oneself as an ideal".1

PlotEdit

Shirou Emiya is first drawn into the Holy Grail War after he witnesses the Servants Lancer and Archer fighting at his school. Lancer chases Shirou around the school trying to kill him, adhering to a rule of the Holy Grail War which states bystanders must be killed. Lancer corners Shirou in one of the hallways and mortally wounds him with his Gáe Bolg. Rin Tohsaka, Shirou's classmate and Archer's master, feels guilty about involving Shirou and saves his life using her strongest jewel (a memento given to her by her father). Rin leaves before Shirou wakes up. Shirou, amazed he is still alive, returns to his home and is ambushed by Lancer. Shirou tries to defend himself using a magically reinforced poster, but Lancer easily disarms him. Lancer commends him for his efforts, mentioning he might be the seventh Master, and prepares to finish Shirou off. Before Lancer can kill him, Shirou summons Saber (albeit incompletely), who quickly drives Lancer away using her invisible sword. She then attacks Archer and Rin, who are outside the house, and badly wounds Archer. Saber starts to attack Rin, but Shirou, confused by the situation, stops Saber before she kills Rin.

Rin, grateful to Shirou for sparing her life, offers to take Shirou and Saber to the church where he can learn about the Holy Grail War. There, the priest and moderator of the war, Kirei Kotomine, explains to him the role of Masters and Servants in the quest for the Holy Grail, the magical object which is said to grant any wish. Kotomine also reveals the Holy Grail caused the fire that destroyed Shirou's town ten years ago. Shirou agrees to participate in the war as the seventh Master, wanting to prevent another catastrophic disaster.

As they leave the church, a young German Master named Illyasviel von Einzbern assaults them with her Servant, Berserker. Berserker, whose true identity is the Greek hero Heracles, completely overwhelms Saber. He severely wounds her, but as he lets loose the finishing blow, Shirou jumps into its path, shielding Saber and taking the fatal blow. Ilya, confused by this action, calls off Berserker and leaves.

Later, Shirou wakes up fully healed inside his home. He also sees Rin there and learns she aided him again, caring for him as he recovered. Shirou and Rin agree to form an alliance in order to protect themselves from the pair of Ilya and Berserker, an immediate threat to their lives. The reasoning behind this alliance is simple - each of their servants are operating at a sub-optimal capacity; as part of an incomplete summon, Saber cannot use her full power; likewise, Archer is still recovering from the wounds he received while clashing with Saber. During the course of this alliance, they discover a spell has been placed on the school, one that will drain the life force of anyone within its range.

While investigating the spell and gathering information on other Masters and Servants, Shirou discovers that his old friend, Shinji Matou, is the master of the Servant Rider. Shinji's ancestors were sorcerers, and, despite the power of their bloodline having weakened over the ages, Shinji still successfully summoned Rider. Shinji states he has no desire to fight Shirou and instead gives him information that another Servant resides in the Ryuudou Temple.

Although Shirou does not feel it necessary to fight the Servant at Ryuudou Temple, Saber disagrees and disobeys him, rushing out to confront the other Servant. At the front of the temple, she encounters the Servant Assassin, and the two engage in combat. However, as both begin to execute their special attacks, Shirou arrives, preventing them from fighting any further. This conclusion is preferable to Assassin, who mentions that he sensed a third enemy hiding in the nearby bushes and waiting to see Saber's Noble Phantasm, which would reveal not only her identity but also her weaknesses. After Assassin departs Saber collapses from over exhaustion from using too much magical energy, Shirou then carries her all the way back to his house. After she recovers, she and Shirou argue about him fighting instead of her, which ends with her agreeing to train him.

Shirou soon discovers, much to his dismay, that the Master who placed the life-draining spell over the school was Shinji. This revelation is enough to force a confrontation between the two. By this time, Shirou has begun to excel at reinforcement magic and melee fighting, a fact which quickly becomes apparent as Shinji's spells prove useless against his foe. However, as Shirou prepares to deliver the finishing blow, Rider intervenes by pushing Shirou out a nearby window. While falling, Shirou uses a Command Spell to summon Saber, who rescues him. Saber then goes after Rider while Shirou goes after Shinji. After a bit coercing from Shirou, Shinji tells Rider to remove the bounded field on the school afterwards the two escape via Rider's Noble Phantasm. The next day Shirou and Saber search through town for possible locations that Shinji might use to set up a new bounded field. After resting in the park late into evening the pair continue their search, but Saber senses Rider on a nearby skyscraper. She defends Shirou from Rider's attack then quickly gives chase to her. While Saber and Rider clash up toward roof of the skyscraper Shirou thinking Shinji is there as well goes to the building's rooftop. Meanwhile, Saber continues her fight with Rider, who attacks with her mount, Pegasus, eventually forcing Saber to reveal her own Noble Phantasm, Excalibur. With Excalibur revealed, Saber easily defeats Rider with a single blow, whose defeat causes Shinji's Book of Attendant to burn away. Though Shirou starts to go after Shinji, he sees Saber collapsed and opts to save her. However, unbeknownst to Shirou at the time after letting him go Shinji gets killed by Berserker at Illya's command.

After this event, Shirou begins having visions each morning; the first is of Saber in her past role as Artoria, a lonely monarch who devoted herself solely to fighting for her country. The second vision is of himself, being saved by his adoptive father Kiritsugu Emiya, in a fire. Shirou's memories of his father makes him determined to become a hero, someone who can save people just as his father did; thus, he finds that he and Saber have more in common than he thought.

A short time later, Shirou again encounters Ilya and attempts to befriend her. Instead, he is kidnapped and taken to her castle; fortunately for Shirou, Saber, Rin, and Archer quickly come to his rescue. During the rescue, Berserker and Ilya confront them; Archer opts to fight the pair in order to allow the others to escape. Meanwhile, the trio manage to make it to a rundown shack, where (at Rin's urging) Shirou and Saber have sex in order to replenish Saber's low magical energy. Rejuvenated somewhat, Saber then confronts and attacks Berserker on a more equal footing; despite this, she is not able to inflict much damage upon him. However, while Saber distracts him, Rin attacks Berserker with a surprise attack which decapitates him. Surprisingly, Berserker regenerates. It is then revealed that Berserker's own body is his Noble Phantasm, God Hand, which grants him near-immortality and the capability to rise from death up to 12 times. Unfortunately for Berserker, it is at this time that Shirou's true magic skills awaken, allowing him to trace a copy of Caliburn, Saber's original sword from her past, the use of which ultimately leads to Berserker's demise. With Berserker gone, Ilya is now out of the War; feeling somewhat responsible, Shirou decides to let her stay at his house.

Soon afterward, the Emiya residence is attacked by Caster. Both Shirou and Saber go outside to fight her, but Caster is killed by someone wearing golden armor before a battle can begin. Saber identifies the killer as an Archer-class Servant. She remembers him as an individual from the previous Grail War, which was ended before its completion because the Holy Grail had been destroyed. Shirou learns that Saber was a combatant in the previous war as well; furthermore, she had been the Servant of his adoptive father and had, under his father's orders, destroyed the Grail. It is also revealed that she became a Servant shortly before her death and that her greatest desire to redo the selection of the king so she never becomes king. These revelations bothering Shirou, as he doesn't like the idea of her dying and redoing her life, goes to the church and asks Kirei Kotomine if a way exists to allow Saber a normal life. Kotomine explains that there is no such way, and sarcastically implies that not even the "mighty" Grail could do such a thing and depicting it as less than omnipotent, as the stories state. After leaving the church dejected by the information given to him, Shirou realizes he has fallen in love with Saber, and vows to protect her and make her happy.

The next day, Shirou decides to take Saber out on a date in order to try to cheer her up. However, the date ends with an intense argument between the two regarding Saber's wish, resulting Shirou in angrily running away after Saber states that she doesn't need him and will finish the war on her own. But, Shirou later returns to Saber, saddened from their fight earlier, to bring her home. However, on their way back the two are confronted by the Archer in golden armor. Saber and Shirou soon find out he is the legendary Gilgamesh, the "King of Heroes". Shirou attempts to fight Gilgamesh but is quickly defeated. Saber then fights Gilgamesh but is critical wounded by his use of Ea, which had overpowered Excalibur. Shirou then gets up fights Gilgamesh again, this time with a projected Caliburn, but is critically wounded by Merodach. However, Shirou regenerates and gets up to confront Gilgamesh, confessing his feelings to Saber. Shirou then, to his surprise, projects Avalon and with Saber's help deflects Gilgamesh's attack back at him causing him to retreat. Shirou, having passed out after the fight, later wakes up in his room being cared for by Saber. After recovering a frustrated Shirou again tells Saber that he loves her, even kissing her, but she rejects him to keep to her duty. However, the two end up sleeping peacefully together after having sex again.

Shirou goes to Kotomine's church the next day to ask for advice regarding Gilgamesh, only to discover a chamber of decrepit orphans in the basement. He attempts to escape, only to be wounded by Lancer at Kirei's command despite his supposedly "neutral" status as the Judge of the War. Meanwhile, back at the house, Saber learns from Rin that Lancer's contract was stolen by someone else very early in the war, but she soon senses Shirou is at the church and rushes off to save him. Once there she briefly fights Lancer, but Kotomine offers her the Holy Grail if she kills Shirou, who had rejected Kirei's offer earlier. However, seeing Shirou's sorry state and determination, Saber rethinks her life, ultimately accepts her past and rejects the Grail. Kotomine then reveals the full extent of his betrayal: he is the Master of both Lancer and Gilgamesh. He proceeds to reveal the corrupted nature of the Grail, and reveals that it was his wish that caused the fire ten years ago. Kotomine then leaves, ordering Gilgamesh and Lancer to kill Shirou and Saber. However, Lancer instead opts to aid Shirou and Saber in escaping, resulting in his death at Gilgamesh's hands.

After this event, Kotomine decides to go into active action; he kidnaps illya and severely wounds Rin, initiating a final confrontation. Shirou and Saber return home to discover from Rin, whose condition leaves her unable to fight, that Ilya was kidnapped because she is the vessel of the Grail - the embodiment of its power. Shirou then decides to return Avalon, Saber's final Noble Phantasm which had been inside of Shirou's body up to this point, to her. After this the pair proceed to Ryuudo Temple to confront their respective enemies; Saber against Gilgamesh, and Shirou against Kirei. However, their enemies have the upper hand on them; Gilgamesh with the Gate of Babylon and Ea, and Kotomine wielding the Grail's curse. However, Both Shirou and Saber eventually overcome their opponents by using Avalon simultaneously, nullifying their enemies' attacks. The two then proceed to kill their enemies; Saber kills Gilgamesh while Shirou kills Kirei with the Azoth Sword given to him by Rin earlier . With no opposition remaining and Illya now safe, the pair destroy the contents of the Grail, ensuring the evil within it will never be used again.

As a result of using the last Command Seal, Saber vanishes to her original time, but not before returning Shirou's feelings. She returns as Artoria, and accepts her past without the wish to change it. At the end of this route, she weakly smiles and tells Sir Bedivere (who is attending her) "I think I will sleep much longer this time...", then passes away. Shirou, meanwhile, decides to live life normally and peacefully with Taiga, Sakura, and Illya, vowing with Rin to keep Saber in their memory.

In the Realta Nua version, an epilogue to this route can be unlocked. Saber goes to Avalon after her death and waits several centuries to see Shirou again. Shirou endures many tribulations in his life and never stops believing that he will find Saber. After he dies, Shirou and Saber are joyously reunited in Avalon.

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