Heroic Spirits are beings of a higher existence, becoming categorically closer to Elementals than wraiths. Differing from how Elementals are "power" granted form using human imagination as a container, they are entirely woven from the ideals of people all throughout. They are freed from the constraints of time itself and removed from the ring of reincarnation, moved to the Throne of Heroes (英霊の座, Eirei no Za?), a place existing outside of both the World and the time axis. The Throne of Heroes is also occasionally referred to as the Ring of Deterrence (抑止の輪, Yokushi no Wa?), referring to how it is mainly used by the Counter Force. Those that become closer to the planet do not mix well with people, so they fall into the categories of Divine Spirits and Elementals.
- Heaven (天, Ten?) - Heroes who are related to the gods, whether they are Divine Spirits ranked down to becoming Heroic Spirits, children of gods, or incarnations of legends about gods.
- Earth (地, Chi?) - Heroes who are known as the heroes of the land, known through mythologies and legends of a particular region. Fairies and Magical Beasts are included in this category.
- Human (人, Jin?) - Heroes belonging to this category are those recognized through common knowledge as great people who contributed to humanity and were regarded as heroes for their actions since the start of the Common Era. They are generally heroes who were deified by the masses after death, but there are those who were truly superhuman in life.
- Star (星, Sei?) - Heroes of this category, belonging to none of the previous three, are the "hope of mankind" and a "symbol of overcoming hardships." Although close in nature to the Pioneer of the Stars Skill that is given to heroes who became "turning points" in human history, it is an attribute fundamentally given to those that have left behind a great hope in the history of humanity. Simply achieving such exploits is not enough as they also have to be a "shining bright star" among the figures of mankind. It is an omnipotent attribute that possesses no minus towards any other categories.
- Beast (獣, Jū?) - Rivaling the seemingly all-powerful Star, they are the Evils of Man that represents the Seven Sins of Humanity, beings that encompasses all of humanity.
Heroic Spirits are made up of those who truly existed, those only from legends, and those who were never observed at all. Those who existed had belief of their deeds gathered upon their deaths and were sublimated into beings of higher rank, while those who only existed in myths and legends were born from the gathering of those beliefs even though they didn't exist. Those who were not observed are those who made a contract of some sort with the World during their lives and subsequently became Heroic Spirits and Counter Guardians respectively after their deaths as compensation. Hassan-i-Sabbah is said to be one who existed, Heracles and Medusa are said to be those who only existed in legend, and EMIYA and King Arthur are those who became or will become Heroic Spirits after the fulfillment of their contracts. The phenomenon applies to any human, animal, or machine that has left behind great enough achievements, but weapons becoming Heroic Spirits from being worshipped as the "greatest weapon of that era" must harbor a soul to achieve such a status.
Each Heroic Spirit is a unique existence, "the one and only", who each stood out from the others of their time by performing deeds and possessing qualities that no other possessed. As of the 21st century, the most recent Heroic Spirits are from one hundred years prior. It is still possible for people to make contracts with the World as Counter Guardians and be summoned from the future into the current age as well. While modern weapons are powerful, it would not normally be possible to summon a "warrior from the future loaded with modern weaponry" because it is difficult for such people to become classified as Heroic Spirits. Modern weapons grant ease of use with the advantage of "anyone can use them as long as they were trained", so those who use them are "faceless heroes" who lack any qualities because they possess "expertise anyone can achieve through sufficient training." Heroes loaded with modern weapons would not become the Heroic Spirit, but rather only the weapon being worshipped so long as it harbors a soul.
Heroic Spirits are also recorded and stored as data recorded from humanity's history within the Moon Cell, but they are identical to those within the Throne. It is unknown if it is limited only to an occurrence within the Moon Cell, but the Divine Spirits stored within are referred to as non-human Heroic Spirits.
The rank of the Heroic Spirit is reflected in the strength they held in life and the popularity they attained after death. While their actions and the weapons they wielded in life will not change from fame, their basic abilities will be affected by the time into which they are summoned. Much like how Divine Spirits require worship and recognition and fall to the rank of Elementals upon it being lost, Heroic Spirits grow stronger with the more people worshiping them to solidify their presence and fall to a state where they do not have much power if they are forgotten. Those that are powerful heroes in their own right will still keep their abilities to some extent even if they were unknown or forgotten. Heroes known by all who also had extraordinary feats, like Heracles, can be considered A-rank Heroic Spirits. Gilgamesh is considered the strongest, Enkidu, while not a regular Heroic Spirit, is considered his equal, and Heracles and Saber Alter are at some points called the strongest Servants when summoned. In contrast, Tamamo-no-Mae, Hans Christian Andersen, and Angra Mainyu consider themselves to be the weakest of heroes. Those with only relatively new history will generally be far less impressive in ability compared to ancient heroes of the past and more fragile in their Mystery compared to those with more firm concepts.
Heroic Spirits are most normally summoned by the World as a power that protects humans, so they cannot be controlled by humans without something like the Holy Grail or a similar kind of power to summon them. Only the World itself can summon the "main body" of Heroic Spirits, so humans can only summon emanations of the heroes, such as through the Servant system, even with something like a Holy Grail. The souls of the emanations, their information, then returns to the main body upon the death of the emanation, and the main body is able to know about the actions of the emanations as records, as if they are reading books.
As beings outside of time, they can be summoned to any era regardless of the notions of past and future, even if summoned to when their human selves have yet to die or when they have yet to be born.
Heroic Spirits will most often take the form that represents their golden age at the prime of their lives, but effects like those of a strong curse or a personal attachment to the form can change that to even their selves from just before death. Skills like Mad Enhancement, Mental Pollution, and Innocent Monster can influence their forms and personalities when summoned as Servants, changing them drastically depending on how they were perceived in life or after death. The preference of the Master and suitability for certain Servant classes may also affect them. It also may be the case that how history recorded them became distorted, such as Astolfo appearing feminine when history calls him the "most handsome" of his peers, Alexander the Great being very tall when history recorded him as shorter than average, and those of an opposite gender from their legends.
- Elizabeth Báthory - Elizabeth is summoned as the unwed daughter of house Báthory, and Innocent Monster brings out the qualities of her dragon blood.
- Hans Christian Andersen - Summoned in the form of a young boy for an unknown reason, he attributes it to either being the point where he was "most overflowing with sensitivity" or possibly the preference of his Master, Kiara Sessyoin. Innocent Monster causes him to take on a number of attributes from his stories.
- Jack the Ripper - Having never been revealed to the public, this form of Jack the Ripper can take on the forms of any of the multitude of theories behind the murders.
- King Arthur - King Arthur is a special case in that she is not yet deceased as of her summoning. Taken directly from when she makes the Contract with the World, she is different from regular true Heroic Spirits.
- Li Shuwen - Normally older after having discovered in life that his true strength was that of his convictions, his Master wishing for a stealthy Servant brings forth his younger self with traits more suited to his Assassin class.
- Medusa - While she appears in the human state from before her descent as a monster, she is just the Gorgon in human form. Sides of herself can become those of a monster at any time, mirrored by her Monstrous Strength Skill.
- Nursery Rhyme - Takes on the form of its Master's projected feelings.
- The Hundred-Faced Hassan - While a single being in life, his Noble Phantasm Zabaniya: Delusional Illusion has separated him into many different entities that wish to have a unified personality.
- Vlad III - Strongly influenced by both his heroic deeds in Romania and the attribution of Dracula to his legend, he has been shown in two different states. Innocent Monster greatly applies the status of Dracula to him, while being summoned in Romania greatly emphasizes his heroic aspects.
Counter Guardian (カウンターガーディアン, Kauntā Gādian?), also called the Protectors of Balance (抑止の守護者, Yokushi no Shugosha?) is a broad classification of Heroic Spirits made up of heroes who are not worshipped, utilized as a mindless Counter Force. Other Heroic Spirits have a high Divinity and act as existences closer to the planet than humanity, so they are able to avoid being drafted by the Counter Force. Normal circumstances are those where the Counter Force empowers a "normal person" in life to remove the factor that can trigger destruction, eventually causing them to be worshipped as heroes. Those who become heroes in such a manner are then used as Counter Guardians, the "Counter" emphasized because they act with no autonomy of their own and only appear in response to an event.
Anti-Heroes (反英雄, Han'eiyū?) are distorted Heroic Spirits, those who do not fall under description of pure, respectable heroes. Those who are not pure can be considered no different than All the World's Evil, although the degree of such can differ between heroes, allowing some affinity with such curses. They differ from proper heroes who earned their titles in that they were forced to the Throne of Heroes only because of their fate. They can rightfully be called Avenger, the Anti-Hero, the opposite of heroes who were praised as heroes regardless of whether they hated humans or were those that humans hated. They are those who were reviled by the people, but saved people as the result of villainy. As those who "clarify good with evil", they became saviors worshipped and cursed in equal measure. Although evil existences themselves, their actions are considered good deeds according to others, so they become saviors even if they are unwilling as in the case of a human sacrifice. Even should they be evil, those who are sacrificed become a hero once it saves everyone in a village, no matter if the method of sacrifice is to be eaten or buried. With the disgrace being forced upon them saving people, it leads to the birth of a hero instead of a sinner.
Differing from something like the notion of a posthumous promotion, their state of being is set by the minds of those who set up the existence of the hero. While proper heroes are created from respect, gratitude, and feelings of guilt of mankind, Anti-Heroes cannot be born from such thoughts. "Heroes" who die as "evil" will eventually be treated as victims more as time passes, so they will not stay as "pure evil." Their state of being requires them to be both "victim and assailant", created by humanity but not part of humanity. They are a contradiction that makes them "the enemy of the World", but allows them to be exempt from all of the restraining forces of the World. Despite this, there are no "pure Anti-Heroes", but rather only those who come as close as possible by "doing good despite being evil." They are something that people only wish to exist, something ideal humans have created to act as "sacrifices to deny the original sin." They can be thought of wishes that will never come true, "a synonym for peace." While not proper Heroic Spirits, Medea and Medusa do not truly fall under the category of Anti-Heroes either.
- Angra Mainyu - He was an ordinary person without any special ability that was determined to be "All the World's Evil" in his time. He became the "king of devils that approves of all six billion evils in Zoroastrianism" that "embodies every curse in this world."
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- Elizabeth Báthory
- EMIYA - He describes himself as not being a pure Heroic Spirit, allowing him to have some resistance to curses like All the World's Evil.
- Hassan-i-Sabbah (True Assassin) - Described as being an Anti-Hero closer to All the World's Evil than EMIYA, he is able to interact with the mud from the Holy Grail much more easily than pure Heroic Spirits.
- Jack the Ripper
- Vlad III
Phantoms (幻霊, Genrei?) are existences that are unable to become Heroic Spirits. They are similar to Heroic Spirits in that they are beings with a legend associated with them, however that legend isn't strong or coherent enough to qualify them for a place on the Throne of Heroes and is insufficient to independently constitute a Saint Graph, the spiritual foundation required to manifest as a Servant. The thresholds for a legend to qualify one as a Phantom or a Heroic Spirit are not fully known, however Phantoms are described as being on the scale of an urban legend at most. Unlike existences recorded on the Throne of Heroes, Phantoms are not permanent and will unravel in time, though the exact mechanisms of the decay are not fully known.
Though Phantoms are normally unable to manifest as Servants, Baal devised a way to fuse them with Heroic Spirits and other Phantoms, within the abnormal environment of the Shinjuku Singularity, where the Counter Forces are inactive. Fusing Phantoms together can enable the combination to manifest as a Servant, as in the case with Hessian Lobo, while fusing them to Heroic Spirits, such as Moriarty and Yan Qing, bestows them with abilities relating to the Phantom. In the case of Moriarty, who would normally manifest as a Caster, the Phantom fusion allowed him to manifest as an Archer. Shakespeare and Andersen have been shown to be capable of fabricating Phantoms, though the exact mechanics of the process have yet to be specified.
Phantoms are similar beings to Wraiths, both not present on the Throne of Heroes like Heroic Spirits and both degrading over time in their own ways, however the two categories are neither the same nor mutually exclusive. The primary differences are that Wraiths are the souls of deceased individuals who actually lived while Phantoms can be real or fictitious in origin, and Phantoms cannot independently manifest a complete Saint Graph required to be summoned as a Servant while some Wraiths are capable of being summoned as Servants with valid Saint Graphs. The degradation mechanisms for Phantoms and Wraiths also differ, although the specifics are not currently known.
Known Phantoms (most of whom made appearances within the Shinjuku Singularity) include:
- Der Freischütz: Fused to Moriarty. Bestows magic bullets and change to Archer class.
- Doppelganger: Fused to Yan Qing in Shinjuku. Bestows ability to change appearance to disguise as others.
- Hessian: Fused into Hessian Lobo.
- Lobo: Fused into Hessian Lobo.
- The Invisible Man: Fused to Hessian Lobo in Shinjuku. Bestows invisibility.
- Christine: Fused into enemy in Shinjuku. Wraith.
- King Lear: Fused into enemy in Shinjuku.
- Romeo and Juliet: Fused into enemy in Shinjuku.
- Macbeth: Fused into enemy in Shinjuku.
- Great Detectives: Fabricated by Shakespeare and Andersen in Shinjuku. Fictitious. Possesses a collective Noble Phantasm involving "pronouncement of guilt" that locks the target into the behavior of the revealed 'culprit' in detective stories.
- Paul Bunyan
- Main article: Wraith
It is possible for those who cannot become true Heroic Spirits to instead end up as wraiths. Those who bear the name Hassan-i-Sabbah are Heroic Spirit Candidates (英霊候補, Eirei Kōho?) that have lost their original names, instead taking the form of nineteen wraiths all vying to become the "Leader of the Assassins." Within the Holy Grail War system, summoning a hero that does not exist can lead to a wraith whose characteristics match the legend being summoned, such as Assassin filling the role of Sasaki Kojirou. It is unknown where they normally exist due to not being part of the Throne of Heroes.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Heroic Spirits [Circumstances], p.056 [T]
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4
 Fate/complete material III: World material - Records of Heavens Feel - Servant System: Difference between Heroic Spirits and Servants, p.012
Difference between Heroic Spirits and Servants
Heroic Spirits were Heroes who have left behind great feats in legends after death and become subjects of belief.
Normally, a Heroic Spirit is summoned by the world as power that protects humans.
The ones summoned by humans are Servants. However, Heroic Spirits cannot be controlled by humans, and to summon them, the Holy Grail or something with power of that sort must be used.
The Servant system of Fuyuki summons Heroic Spirits with the power of the Greater Grail. Heroic Spirits summoned as Servants are like "emanations", copies created using the information of the main body of the Heroic Servant.
•Birth of Heroic Spirits
It's been explained that Heroic Spirits are beings that heroes whom belief has been gathered upon become after death, but heroes of myths and legends can be born by the gathering of belief even if they didn't exist. Also, there are those who those who make a contract of some sort with the world when they were alive and as compensation become Heroic Spirits after death. In the Fifth War, Hasan Sabaha was a hero that actually existed, and Herakles and Medusa are ones of legends. Also, Emiya and Artoria are beings that became (or will become) Heroic Spirits after their contract with the world. Those who have become Heroic Sｐirits are freed from the constraints of time and are moved to the Throne of Heroes, existing to the outside of the World.
•Heroic Spirit summoning
Heroic Spirits are beings cut off from the time axis and can be summoned in any era, regardless of past and future. However, the only one that can summon the main body of the Heroic Spirits is the "world", and alas, humans can't summon the main body and can only summon their emanations, the Servants. Speaking of which, the information (souls) making up the Servants return to the main body at the same time as the death of the Servant, and the main body can know, as records, about the actions of the Servants as if reading a book.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1
 Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Servants, p.132
Q: What kind of role does the World give to Heroic Spirits that aren't Guardians (Counter Guardians) ? Also, what do magi call people with high divinity or are closer to the planet?
- ↑ 4gamer Interview with Nasu and Shinokawa
Fate/Grand Order - EMIYA Interlude
- ↑ 6.0 6.1
 Comptiq special issue - Fate Dojo special edition:
Q: If there are Heroic Spirits like Archer, who was summoned independent of time axis, is it possible for warriors from the future, who are loaded with modern weapons, to be summoned as Servants?
- ↑ Fate/stay night Prologue - Day 3
- ↑ Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works: Day 14 - Captured Princess
 Fate/Extra Sound Drama 2 Bonus Drama
- ↑ Fate/Extra CCC
- ↑ Fate/stay night Fate route: Day 4 - Contract Established / Saber (I)
- ↑ Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 1
- ↑ Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 2
 Comptiq 2007-10 issue - Fate Dojo Q & A:
Q. Concerning the Servants' appearance, do they take the form they had just before death, or the form they had during the prime of their lives?
 Fate/Extra CCC - Elizabeth Secret Garden [T]
Name: Elizabeth “The torture idol of the dragon family, Elizabeth Báthory! I’ll break your heart to pieces too!”
Height: 154cm “No, 172cm! What do you think of this incredible supermodel-esque stature? My horns are quite tall.”
Weight: 44kg “An idol’s age and weight ought to be kept secret, but, hey, do you really want to hear it? No matter what? Well then I suppose I’ll have to say…I’m a lovely 44kg.”
3Size: B77/W56/H80 “There are, er, various things one can do disguise this. I-I’m not wearing slimming clothes!”
Home: House Báthory “The ancient dragons. The noble bloodline that bears their fangs. The House of Báthory in Hungary. The place that was everything to me.”
Birthday: May 17th “Could you leave the presents with my manager?”
Weak Point: If you expose my noble wrath I’ll never forgive you “Unfortunately I’ll have to cut you up, crush you, wring you dry, and then, you have to marry me!!”
Fetishism: Torture…? “No, that’s a duty of the nobility, so that’s different. So, then…wh, I, with the opposite sex? I don’t know anything about that, but, uh, fingers are certainly lovely aren’t they?”
What do you look for in a partner? There are a lot of things, but really… “Starting with a house, they need wealth, work, hobbies…there are a lot of things, but ignoring all that nonsense, it’s definitely ‘destiny’ in the end.”
What’s your favorite color of underwear? Always what’s most fashionable in show business “And a top idol most definitely has stripes!”
How do you spend your free time? Recovering from fatigue with a relaxing bath “It’s not that easy, keeping up this beauty.”
Fond of Cooking (Wish to be a Beloved Wife):
Elizabeth’s second SG.
Though Elizabeth herself says she likes cooking, this is not a simple fondness for the act of preparing food, like that of the red-mantled Archer. Elizabeth’s fondness for cooking comes from a desire to be praised by or to monopolize the person she likes. Essentially it amounts to nothing but a desire to be beloved as a wife. Her skill in cooking is utterly lacking.
We can infer that as the fondness for cooking appears as the apex of Elizabeth’s wish to be a wife, she then stresses meals. Or perhaps it’s part of her draconic instincts.
Though Elizabeth shares her love of song with Saber and her wish to be a beloved wife with Caster, what lies at the bottom of those wishes is completely different.
To confirm her beloved’s love — preparing food as a method keep a husband’s attention does not come from an “equal relationship.” She would “bestow meals” to her husband as a noble. It’s no different from feeding an animal. It contains none of the “romance” she longs for. The controlling disposition hard-wired into her devours even her meagre dreams.
Elizabeth’s third SG. We would like to leave just what constitutes “purity” to the reader’s imagination.
Servants are revived in the form that represents golden age of their lives. So Elizabeth appears as an unwed daughter of house Báthory, a young girl in love with love…one assumes.
An idol must be pure as snow. Forget romance, the moment she comes to know love her shine is lost. As long as she immerses herself in the idol business, this SG will be eternally indestructible.
 Fate/Extra - Assassin Matrix [T]
Master: Julius Harway
True Name: Li Shuwen
Noble Phantasm: No Second Strike
Keyword: A second strike isn't needed, Obfuscation
Strength: B, Defense: C, Agility: A, Magic: E, Luck: E
Obfuscation: -, Liuhe Quan: A+++, Concealment: A
Kewords Skills Details
- ↑ Fate/hollow ataraxia - Monster
 Kara no Kyoukai Special Pamphlet - Encyclopedia: Counter Force [Others], p.041-042 [T]
- ↑ Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel: Day 10 - Distraction
- ↑ Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works: Day 12 - Search and Lure / Infinite...
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Anti-Heroes [Others], p.070
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel: Day 4 - Holy Grail War, the beginning
- ↑ Fate/stay night Heaven's Feel: Day 15- Truth - Anti-Hero Angra Mainyu
- ↑ Fate/Grand Order - First Singularity Orleans Section 5
- ↑ Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 2: Born due to the fear that persisted even after her death, a serial killer Anti-Heroic Spirit—that was who this girl was.
- ↑ Fate/Grand Order - First Singularity Orleans Section 5
- ↑ 27.00 27.01 27.02 27.03 27.04 27.05 27.06 27.07 27.08 27.09 27.10 27.11 27.12 Fate/Grand Order - Shinjuku Phantom Spirit Incident: Malignant Quarantined Demonic Realm
- ↑ Fate/Grand Order - All the Statesmen, Chapter 3
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: True Assassin [Servant], p.062 [T]
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