|Servant | Casual|
|Also known as:||Bewitching Black Serpent|
|Appears in:|| Fate/stay night|
All Around Type-Moon
|Japanese VA:||Yu Asakawa|
|English VA:||Karen Strassman|
|Character type:||Servant (Master: Shinji Matou)|
|Place of Birth:||Greece|
|Likes:||Alcohol, reading, snakes|
|Dislikes:||Mirrors, measuring height|
|Talents:||Horse riding, acrobats, stalker|
|Natural enemy:||Saber, Assassin, Kuzuki|
Rider (ライダー, Raidā?) is the Rider-class Servant of Sakura Matou in the Fifth Holy Grail War of Fate/stay night. Due to Sakura's unwillingness to participate as a Master, Shinji Matou is instead given control over Rider. She only truly acts as Sakura's Servant when their connection is revealed in the Heaven's Feel route.
Her real name is Medusa, the Gorgon from Greek mythology. Medusa, along with her sisters, Stheno and Euryale, were born from the wishes of mankind for ideal goddesses, contrasting the flawed gods of Olympus. All three Gorgons were blessed with beauty, but unlike her sisters, Medusa was mortal, and fated to grow older and taller over time. Medusa was also cursed with Mystic Eyes, which transmute all living flesh under her gaze into stone, requiring her to wear a blindfold. Because of these differences, she was bullied by her older sisters. At one point, Medusa was given a Pegasus as a gift from Poseidon.
Jealous of the sisters' allure, Athena goaded the Gorgon's worshippers into attacking them, forcing the sisters to take refuge on the Shapeless Isle. This disgrace left Medusa bitter and spiteful of humans, her resentment intensifying as she killed invading men who lusted after her sisters. Over the years, Medusa became eager to slaughter and ingest humans, which spread infamy about her as an icon of terror. These fears, like the desires that gave birth to the Gorgons, distorted Medusa's appearance into the atrocious Gorgon of legend. Despite their teasing, Stheno and Euryale deeply loved their sister, and upon realizing they were responsible for her savagery, allowed Medusa to devour them. Eventually, the demigod Perseus, equipped with five Noble Phantasms, proved capable enough to decapitate Medusa, ending her tortured and dismal life. As she died, Medusa realized that however poorly Stheno and Euryale treated her, she had treasured the time she spent with them, and would later consider those experiences as her fondest memories.
Rider is more of a Divine Spirit than a Heroic Spirit, but it is better to categorize her as “an anti-hero closer to a monster” instead of a Divine Spirit. The Fate/stay night universe also removes any references that the Gorgon sisters' hair were made out of living snakes, and thus Medusa and her sisters are depicted to have very long hair, instead of snake hair.
Rider is silent, sultry, and vigilant, never hesitating to shield her Master from harm. She is always faithful to her Master, even with Shinji acting in that role most of the time. She is not openly talkative, and she prefers to analyze people and their actions. She is very protective of Sakura and willing to sacrifice herself for Sakura's happiness. She is very logical and she doesn't act out of anger or instinct.
Rider's initial Master was Sakura Matou; however, she became the Servant of Shinji when Sakura, pressured by Shinji, yielded her Master's right to him. Rider holds no love for Shinji, seeing him as vile and predatory, but obeys his commands as a dutiful Servant. Because of their similar backgrounds, she is empathetic of Sakura, and seeks to protect her whenever possible. Like many of the Servants who participated in the 5th Holy Grail War, Rider has no motivation for seeking the Holy Grail.
Although regarded as one of the more powerful Servants of the 5th Holy Grail War, Rider is eliminated in almost every scenario. She is obliterated by Saber's Excalibur in Fate, and killed early on in Unlimited Blade Works by Caster's master, Souichirou Kuzuki.
During Fate/hollow ataraxia, Rider is often found in Shirou's home, always engaging in her passion for reading. She aids the other Servants in holding back the invasion of Shadow Wolf Beasts during the Fuyuki eclipse.
In the eclipse story The backside of Kibisis Rider and Sakura seem to work together to seduce Shirou and engage in a threesome with him. Actually this is all Rider's doing, trying to get Shirou to pursue Sakura more aggressively. Yet in the middle Shirou realizes the truth and reverses her spell on her, in the end revealing that Rider herself has deep feelings for Shirou. Sakura appearing in this episode is only a conjecture by Rider's spell, a representation of Rider's true intentions of her actions.
Rider fights with a low-risk and high-return type of warfare that isn't fixated on the methods used to win. She fights mainly with a Nameless Dagger (無銘·短剣, ?) in close combat that is more likely to be called a "nail" rather than a "dagger." It is attached to a long chain that can restrain and immobilize targets that she pierces. It is not suited to short-range battles, instead best utilized as a thrown weapon from a distance. It is not a Noble Phantasm, and while its origin is unknown, it is thought to be a weapon that reflects her inner character. She boasts outstanding speed, moving like a bullet and racing around the battlefield. She is faster than Lancer in terms of average speed, but he will surpass her in immediate maximum output. Due to her nature as a Gorgon, she has a monster alignment that may make fighting battles against monster exterminators, such as against an expert like Lancer, tough for her.
She has three Noble Phantasms. Her main offensive ability is Bellerophon, which allows the Pegasus to use an extremely powerful charge that resembles an arrow of light. She can use it while mounted, or it can be launched directly from the summoning circle without having to ride it. She also has use of Blood Fort Andromeda, a Bounded Field designed to collect life energy from whoever is inside. Once it is set and activated, it can instantly liquify any normal humans inside and convert them into energy.
Breaker Gorgon is another Bounded Field that seals the target inside the user's mind. She mainly uses it on herself in the form of a visor to seal her Mystic Eyes, though she does use it once on Shirou Emiya to take energy from him. Her sight is completely sealed by the visor. Although Rider perceives the world through senses such as hearing, touch, smell, and magic-detection, she is able to acquire more precise information than sight. The glasses she wears was brought from Touko Aozaki's Garan no Dou, it can only seal the power of petrification. It does not act like the Breaker Gorgon, which "seals all magical properties.
Cybele (キュベレイ, Kyuberei?), the Mystic Eyes of Petrification (石化の魔眼 , Sekika no Magan?, Mystic Eyes of Stone Transformation), are Rider's Mystic Eyes. Though petrification sorcery is no strange thing for modern Thaumaturgy, even if its users are rare and few in numbers, Mystic Eyes capable of petrifying others are something that nobody, human or not, possesses in the present era. They are designated as Jewel under the Noble Colors system, which surpasses the Gold-ranked Eyes of the Dead Apostles and are exclusively possessed by Holy Spirits and Magical Beasts from the Age of Gods. Their nature is strong enough a mystery that Shirou mistakes the identity of Breaker Gorgon as the eyes themselves. Her eyes are normally sealed by Breaker Gorgon in order to hide her identity and keep them from constantly affecting others, and she is able to fight much more effectively after it is released. She later uses Mystic Eye killing glasses after Heaven's Feel's and during Fate/hollow ataraxia.
The eyes, almost too abnormal to be called eyeballs, are gray with an appearance similar to crystals. Despite their abnormality, Shirou believes that they are too beautiful for any human to possess, and could either be art the gods admired or a nature they cursed. The corneas do not take in light, and the pupils see the world through a square. The irises are solidified, not allowing the eyes to close, and the millions of cells that make up the retinas are composed of the Sixth Imaginary Element. It affects all targets within the owner’s field of vision, regardless of whether said targets are looking at the Eyes physically, or if they have their eyes closed but continue to view her with their mind's eye, as it is a curse to look upon her in any way. The only way Perseus was able to avoid her gaze was by utilizing his mirror shield to find her location without looking upon her.
Those who possess Rank C or lower in Mana will be immediately petrified, while those with Rank B may or may not be affected depending of the conditions. Those with Rank A or higher won’t be petrified, but will sustain "pressure" from the Eyes and receive a one rank-down to all parameters. When Archer, with Rank B Mana, is affected at close range, he instantly feels the effects. He is immediately is frozen in place, unable to close his eyes or cover them with his arms even if he wanted to do so due to being unable to move either in the slightest. He tries to charge at her afterward, but his legs are already petrified up to his knees at that point. He is petrified up to his waist only a moment later.
Shirou feels the effects from further away, as his blood starts thickening. It starts solidifying the flow of his body and ceasing his senses. If he tries to run at her, his body is instantly turned to stone, and his mind swiftly follows. He is only saved when Sakura acting up causes Rider to cease her activity. Due to his knowledge of the eyes, further attacks would not be as effective. It is not enough to allow Rider to go without Breaker Gorgon in his presence, but repeating the initial surprise effect would be impossible. He won't instantly go numb and the effect of petrification would go at a slower rate, but it would be magnified if he let his guard down.
With her Riding skills, she can ride on animals and vehicles. Her A+ ranking allows her to mount on creatures on the level of Phantasmal Beast and Divine Beast. She has the ability to summon a Pegasus as a mount, and it is far greater in power than a regular one.
If Rider was on a motorcycle, she'd be a match against Grand Prix motorcycle former champion Wayne Gardner. If she rides on a bicycle, she’d accelerate endlessly until the bike itself broke down. “It would be nice if I could Mana Burst like Saber...” were her actual words. Thus, she yearns badly for a racing bike that can go even faster.
- ↑ Fate/stay night (TV) ANN page
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Fate/complete material II: Character material - Rider entry, p.050
Fate/complete material III: World Material - The Servants of the Fifth Holy Grail War - Rider profile, p.028-029
Master: Matou Sakura
Alignment: Lawful Good
Noble Phantasm: A+
Magic Resistance: B
Mystic Eyes: A+
Independent Action: C
Monstrous Strength: B
Maximum Targets: 300 People
Blood Fort Andromeda
Maximum Targets: 500 People
Fate/complete material III: World Material - Theory of Magic - Magical Beasts, p.046
An umbrella term that encompasses all beasts that do not fall within the normal ecosystem. In this context, “beast” is a thaumaturgical term, and does not necessarily mean quadrupedal mammals. Magical Beasts cannot be explained by immature research or sudden mutations. They are true deviations from biology. Roughly Magical Beasts can be classified into Monstrous Beasts -> Phantasmal Beasts -> Divine Beasts in ascending order towards higher existence.
Most Magical Beasts have existed since the Age of Gods, and are Chimeras formed from mixing different species. They live on currently undeveloped lands that cannot be reached by mankind. Furthermore, Phantasmal Beasts that have existed in the past have almost all migrated to a different world presented as the “Inside of the World”.
Although classified as a Monstrous Beast, the Pegasus that Rider mounted in the story is an existence closer to that of a Phantasmal Beast due to surviving over a very long period of time. Also worth mentioning is that, Phantasmal Beasts that have survived over thousands of years are on the same tier as True Magic, thus rendering mysteries on the level of sorcery completely ineffective against them.
- The Pinnacle of Phantasmal Species – Dragons
Dragons, or Magical Beasts similar to Dragons, have members in all classes of Magical Beasts (Monstrous, Phantasmal, and Divine Beasts). Dragons are always thought to be the greatest species within their corresponding classes. Because there are dragons of the Monstrous, Phantasmal, and Divine classes, they have been involved with mankind since before the Age of Gods. They have also left many legends in the field of thaumaturgy.
- A Heroic Spirit with a Rank in Monster ∙ Magical Beast
Because Rider’s true identity is Medusa, she possesses a rank of Monster ∙ Magical Beast. As a result, the rank of her Divinity decreased to the lowest value of E-. As compensation, she received the ability of Monsters and Magical Beasts, Monstrous Strength.
Rider is more of a Divine Spirit than a Heroic Spirit. Yet, it is better to call her “an anti-hero closer to a monster” instead of a Divine Spirit. Because she possesses a rank as a monster, Rider is very incompatible with Servants who fought off monsters in their tales.
- The Pinnacle of Phantasmal Species – Dragons
Dengeki Hime 02/2006, Type-Moon Double Maniax - [Fate] Dream Battle - Archer vs Rider English | Japanese
Archer vs Rider
You would think Archer would have the advantage, but Rider actually has the edge at long range? Just like that question, their compatibility is not very good. Since both aren't fixated on the methods of winning, they'd definitely both choose a low-risk and high-return type of warfare.
Even if Archer takes out a Saber-class holy sword, he doesn't have enough Prana to draw on to maximize it, so it'd be hard to for him to attack Bellerophon. What determines victory or defeat is whether Aias on its own would be enough to block Bellerophon perhaps...?
Fate/complete material II: Character material - Weapons - Nameless Dagger, p.129 English | JapaneseUser: Rider
The weapon favored by Rider. Called a “dagger”, but it might be more accurate to describe it as a “nail” that pierces the opponent. Attached to a long chain, which can be used to restrain and immobilize targets that have been pierced. It is not suited for short-range battles, and is better off being thrown around from a distance.
Dengeki Hime 02/2006, Type-Moon Double Maniax - [Fate] Dream Battle - Rider vs. Lancer English | Japanese
The two boasting the most outstanding speed in the game. Rider, able to move like a bullet and race around the battle field vs Lancer, able to counter attackers with a lance with the speed of gods, while standing still. In average speed, Rider is faster, but in immediate maximum output, Lancer will win. While Rider has several different types of Noble Phantasms, Lancer also has protective ability from rune sorcery, hence counter measures from her mystic eyes. Against an expert monster exterminator like Lancer, one who has a monster alignment such as Rider might seem to be in for a tough fight....!?
Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Noble Phantasms, p.134
Q: Rider's eye cover, Breaker Gorgon, does it allow her to see what's before her?
Q: Rider's eye cover, Breaker Gorgon, does it allow her to see what's before her? Also, the Mystic Eyes Killer Rider is wearing, does it have a comparable sealing power as this Noble Phantasm?
A: Her sight is completely sealed. Although Rider perceives the world through senses such as hearing, touch, smell, and magic-detection, she is able to acquire more precise information than sight.
About the glasses, it only seals the power of petrification. It does not act like the Breaker Gorgon, which "seals all magical properties".
Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Servants, p.132-133
Q: Who arranged to get Rider’s "Mystic Eye Killer" contact lenses at the end of Sakura’s route?
Q: Who arranged to get Rider’s "Mystic Eye Killer" contact lenses at the end of Sakura’s route? And was the creator of those glasses Aozaki Touko?
A: Touko-san seems to pop up everywhere... "Ah, for inquiries about Mystic Eyes, haunting ghosts, or troubles with ungrateful little sisters, please- please call Garan no Dou~"
- ↑ Heaven's Feel route Day 10 - No / Future plans
Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Servants, p.132-133
Q: When Rider is on a motorcycle, can she go faster than GP Rider?
'Q: When Rider is on a motorcycle, can she go faster than GP Rider? Also, when she’s on a bicycle, about how many kilometers per hour can she go up to?
A: She’d be a match for Wayne Gardner. As for a bicycle, she’d accelerate endlessly until the bike itself broke down. “It would be nice if I could Mana Burst like Saber...” were her actual words. Thus, she yearns badly for a racing bike that can go even faster.