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Saber of Black

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Nasuverse character
Saber of "Black"

Siegfield Ototsugu Konoe

Siegfried

SaberSiegGOStage1

SaberSiegGOStage2

SaberSiegGOStage3

Japanese name: "黒"のセイバー
Franchise: Fate
Appears in: Capsule Servant
Fate/Apocrypha
Fate/Grand Order
Japanese VA: Junichi Suwabe
Character type: Servant (Master: Gordes Musik Yggdmillennia)

Servant (Master: Protagonist)

Servant classes: Saber, Rider[1]
Gender: Male[1][2][3]
Birthday: Unknown[4]
Height: 190cm[1][2][3][4]
Weight: 80kg[1][2][3][4]
Blood type: Unknown[4]
Place of Origin: Germany[1][3]
Armament: Sword[1]
Likes: Fulfilling wishes[4]
Dislikes: Reading the atmosphere[4]
Talents: Automatic Wish Fulfillment[4]
Natural enemy: Fafnir[4]
Image Color: Blackish brown[4]

Saber of "Black" ("黒"のセイバー, "Kuro" no Seibā?) is the Saber-class Servant of Gordes Musik Yggdmillennia of the Black Faction in the Great Holy Grail War of Fate/Apocrypha. He is one of the Servants of the Protagonist of the Grand Order conflicts of Fate/Grand Order.

ProfileEdit

IdentityEdit

Saber's True Name is Siegfried (ジークフリート, Jīkufurīdo?), the Dragon-Blooded Knight (竜血の騎士, Ryūketsu no Kishi?), a national hero of Germany that has many different depictions in the various legends attributed to him. His most famous role is in the epic poem of the Middle Ages, Nibelungenlied.[1][3][5] "The Song of the Nibelungs".

Siegfried’s legend came into existence around the 5~6th century and spread to many lands. At nearly the same time as the “Nibelungenlied”, the story of the hero Sigurd, the "Völsunga saga", came into existence. Wagner's opera "Der Ring des Nibelungen" is a masterpiece work that compiles these legends together.[5] Although Siegfried and Sigurd share similar origins, they are two different existences.[6]

LifeEdit

Born a prince of the Netherlands, he fought in many campaigns and adventures since he was a young man. He wielded the precious sword Balmung which he received from the Nibelungen family.[1] After accumulating many adventures, in the process of obtaining Balmung and an overcoat that makes one disappear. His most well known feat was being crowned "dragon-slayer" by battling the evil dragon Fafnir for the treasure of the Nibelungen family and killing with his holy sword. He bathed and drinking drops of the Dragon Kind's blood, Siegfried became an invulnerable existence and would no longer receive even a single wound in the battlefield. While bathing in the blood, a single linden leaf happened to stick to his back, making it his one weak point that would bring about his irrevocable death.[1][3][5] The reason the weak point on his back is exposed is because of a "curse" that forces him to do so. It conceptually prevents him from protecting his back.[5]

Adding to the growing ranks of the Burgundians, he brought them many victories, and married Kriemhild, sister of the Burgundian king, accessing the throne of Netherlands.[1] However, a shadow was cast on such flamboyant glory around the time he got married with Kriemhild.[3] His brother-in-law, the Burgundian king loved a certain woman, the queen of Iceland; Brunhild. He requested Siegfried to help him to seek her affection and so it was settled by having the hero embrace that woman as his proxy. It may not have been a crime, but it wasn’t a behavior that should be praised either and it was a request that ended up coming back to him as punishment.

DeathEdit

After a trick to marry the Burgundian king to the queen of Iceland, Brunhild. Due to knowledge of this spreading around, the hero wounded the woman’s honor. He wounded the woman's pride. And she wasn’t an ordinary woman, but the queen of a country. As a result of granting the wishes of his brother-in-law, Kriemhild and the wife of his brother-in-law got in conflict with each other and Siegfried was cornered into a situation where he had no choice but to die in order to prevent a fight. He had always answered to people's expectation, but what was wished from him in the end was his own death.[3] He thought that it would be resolved if he, the cause of it all, died.[5] As a result, he sensed that it would cause a terrible conflict so he spoke to Hagen who was once called a friend and in the past exchanged cups of brotherhood with.

"Ah, the situation is beyond my control. Hagen, I am invincible and so have never once been wounded by you. But even so, if I don’t have you kill me…"
—Siegfried speaking to Hagen.

The man who was once his friend granted the hero’s wish. He tenaciously searched and found out the hero’s weak point, crafted a plan knowing fully well that it was a cowardly act, and aimed for the hero’s back as he drank water. Even while knowing that, the hero stopped himself from resisting. Without leaving behind any unseemly figure or stupidity, the hero died as a tragic hero who received a sneak attack due to trickery. His former friend became widely known as a rare villain who had killed the hero through foul play. He had surmounted every field of battle without a single defeat, until losing his life at the blade of betrayal striking him in his back. In the end, it called forth even more tragedy, so it seems the curse of the Rhine gold took effect perfectly.[5] This connects to the revenge tragedy of his wife Kriemhild for the murder of her husband in the later half of the tale.[1]

AppearanceEdit

Saber is a tall man with silver-grey hair. His body was encased in radiant silver woven plate armor. He carries his Phantasmal Greatsword, Balmung on his back. His exposing skin was dyed brown with the blood of a dragon. That skin was composed of dragon scales that wouldn’t be wounded by any blade or any spell. All except for a single part in the middle of his back.

PersonalityEdit

"I lived and died as a hero. I have no regrets about that in itself. I can declare that there was not a single disagreeable thing in my life. Even so, I can’t help but think. If I weren’t a prince, if I were just an ordinary man. Wouldn’t I have been able to earnestly pursue my own will? It doesn’t matter if I’m not acknowledged by anyone. I don’t mind if I’m not praised by anyone. I want to acknowledge myself. I want to have pride in myself. There lies what I sought. What I wished for. I want to stand on the side of what I believe in. If I could do that, then surely—I would be able to live with my chest puffed up proudly. I won’t fight for the sake of someone else. I won’t fight for my own sake either. For the sake of the benevolence that I believe in, the justice I believe in, the loyalty I believe in, and the love I believe in. I will take hold of this sword and fight with this body. That is my dream, my wish. I——want to be a hero of justice."
—Siegfried last thoughts before death.

Saber is known for tales of his royalty and the way he led troops as a captain, but he was also a hero who answered the requests and calls of others. However, this selflessness opened a void in his heart. The more he helped others, the more confused he was about his own wish. Even though he loved humans and the world but he never managed to fill that emptiness no matter what he did. At his moment of death, he finally realized that in his next life, he wanted to fight not for others, nor for himself, but for the justice he believed in. He wanted to be a true Hero of Justice.[3] He had always made the wrong decisions at the most critical of moments. Bound to his own desires, he tried to overlook the weak who cowered before him. He did not seek salvation for himself so he ignored the silent cries of those who had. Such meanness and wickedness were certainly not things he had striven for.

He obeys his Master, even if forbidden to speak by necessity, because no command will burden him if it leads to fulfilling his own desire.[7] His personality is truly that of a noble knight, but it is unknown what he really thinks due to the command not to speak.[1]

He develops a mutual admiration with Lancer of Red, in their fight they realized that they both shared many similarities. He was terrified of Lancer's constant spear attack but at the same time he was overjoyed that he was able to feel the sensation of struggling against death ever since he defeated the dragon. After facing Lancer of "Red", he broke his silence and hopes to fight Lancer to their heart's content.

RoleEdit

Fate/ApocryphaEdit

  • Black Faction summoning

Saber is summoned by Gordes Musik Yggdmillennia with a bloodstained leaf of a Sacred Fig tree as a catalyst in a multiple Servant summoning. Though it was agreed that all would share the names of their Servants, Gordes vehemently disagrees, claiming that revealing knowledge of his Servant's true name to anyone but Darnic and Lancer of Black would be detrimental to their battle. He then leaves with his Master, returning to his quarters. Gordes commands him to never speak unless unveiling his Noble Phantasm in order to keep the possible hints towards his identity to a minimum. Though he is worried that acting as such to a great hero may be overstepping himself, Saber confirms with a nod that he will abide by the command. It may have changed his fate had he refused, forcing the use of Command Spells, but he chose to submit as a Servant of the Saber class, bringing about a fatal misunderstanding between them.

After witnessing Saber of Red through Caster of Black's scrying, Lancer asks if he believes he can defeat the opponent, and he nods wordlessly to keep his oath of silence.

Sometime early on, he and Gordes helped Ruler from Lancer of Red's attack. Saber and Lancer both battle in a death match situation. They both find each other as worthy opponent in the Great Grail War and was hoping to have a rematch before departing.

Saber is deployed along with Berserker of Black to act as part of the plan to capture the rogue Berserker of Red. They encounter Rider of Red and Archer of Red as they act as Red Berserker's backup. As Archer retreats into the forest, Rider taunts the two, causing them to become angered at the insult to their pride. As Rider challenges them, they both charge at him. Both Berserker and Saber's attack were ineffective against Rider, Rider paid little attention to Berserker and he clashed with Saber once again. Saber and Rider fight was equally balance as there weren't any wounds on either of them, and both of their attacks were being nullified. Gordes impatiently orders Saber to use his Noble Phantasm, Saber ignores his Master's urgings and he tries to figure out the mystery behind his invulnerability. Saber wanted Gordes to understand his reasoning so he let the command go by, unheeded. Rider tired of the fight as it isn't going anywhere, he commented that Saber should try to laugh before his death and he was shot by Archer of Red's arrow sending him backwards and crashed into several trees. Gordes frustrated with Saber, he used his Command Spell to order Saber to use his Noble Phantasm to defeat Rider. Saber shocked with his Master's order, he believed relying on brute strength to force the issue without first solving this riddle was an act of imbecile. He tried to resist the order with all his might but as he was about to release his Noble Phantasm, Gordes used a Command Spell to retract his previous order. Saber retreats by changing into his Spirit Form as Archer of Black snipes on Rider on Red and Berserker of Black takes on Archer of Red.

  • Siegfried's heart transplanted in Homunculus.

When Darnic questions about Gordes incompetence, he orders Saber to materializes and he appears next to Gordes. Saber knelt respectfully before Gordes and Darnic. Saber confirms that the possibility with the enemy knowing his true name is low. Caster of Black informs Darnic about Homunculus and Rider of Black plan to escape. Darnic orders Gordes to pursue Rider with Saber and bring back the homunculus. When Rider helps the nameless Homunculus escape during Berserker of Red's attack. Saber along with Gordes was blocking their path together. Gordes orders Saber to restrain Rider, Saber stepped up to Rider in a single stride and grabbed his arm and neck. Saber pulled him away from the homunculus and forced him to the earth. As Homunculus was punched almost to death by Gordes, Rider starts questioning about Saber's pride as a hero. Saber's hand twitched as he reacted to Rider's word. Saber decided to ignore Gordes command to restrain Rider and tries to appeal to Gordes good nature to spare the homunculus. Saber urges Gordes to grant the homunculus salvation by healing and releasing him but he was disappointed by his reply. In an instant, Saber knocked out Gordes consciousness by punching him in his abdomen. Saber heads towards the homunculus and Rider, dispelling his woven plates, sword and even armor, baring his chest. The homunculus is mortally wounded, and Rider begins to cry over his dying friend. Rider blames him for his delayed actions for he could have saved the homunculus life earlier. Saber is ashamed of himself for abandoning the Homunculus rather than trying to save him, realizing that he was about to repeat the same regret he had in his life. Saber torn out his heart, raising the homunculus with one hand, he made him swallow the heart. He transplants his heart into the Homunculus and successfully resuscitates him as atonement. As he fades away, he smiled bitterly and he was content with how things works out.

In the initial plans of the Yggdmillennia team, Saber would go out to the front lines and receive the attacks of enemy Servants as Lancer's protector. Lancer would be positioned to control the battlefield with Kazikli Bey. Assassin of Black would kill the enemy Masters and cause chaos in the enemy's rear guard along with Berserker. Rider would guide the Golems and control the situation with Caster, while Archer would act as support by shooting at areas where a hole in the enemy lines could be made. It was truly a perfect formation as an academic theory, but they were forced to tearfully change tactics due to Siegfried unbelievably leaving the battlefield before the war actually began.[5]

With his death, the nameless Homunculus names himself Sieg in honour of his sacrifice. Lancer of Black was furious with Rider of Black and blames him for his death; however, as noted by Archer, Lancer anger towards Rider had cooled down due to how he understood Gordes’ arrogant attitude had played a major factor towards Saber's demise. Rider regretted not being able to talk to him anymore. Rider wanted to believe Saber had been ‘victorious’ who sacrificed himself to save the homunculus without hesitation and smiled in satisfaction at the end. Ruler had a bad premonition, she sensed no Servants had been defeated yet something was amiss. She confirms that Saber of Black was on the verge of death yet he was still alive. She learnt the truth from the Black Faction and went looking for Sieg. Gordes had shaken pitifully and was crushed by humiliation as he had lost Saber. He started to regret treating Saber as a tool rather than a hero with his own personality.

Sieg in his near death state experienced Saber's memories and later has the ability to shape shift into Saber of Black. Shirou Kotomine theorizes that Saber of Black return isn't a revival but more of a possession. Sieg was a 'shell' that was able to wore the body of Saber of Black. Sieg's connection to Saber's heart and the combination with the abundant magical energy of a Command Spell has allowed Saber to descend from the Throne of Heroes into Sieg's flesh. Normally a human soul wouldn’t be able to endure a Heroic Spirit existence inside a body. The reason Sieg succeeded is that he is a homunculus, their souls are very young and therefore pure, and as such they won’t be dyed by anything, and their bodies can endure any kind of transformation.

AbilitiesEdit

Siegfried is viewed as an undisputed great hero and famed Dragon Slayer said to match one thousand people, viewed as one of the vital cornerstones of the Black Faction's strategy during the Great Holy Grail War.[5][8][3] Viewed as a great trump card for the Black Faction, he was originally to have acted as a frontline combatant and Lancer of Black's protector.[8][5]Highly praised as a spectacular and invincible hero by those like Lancer of Black and Lancer of Red, he is an excellent swordsman "whose swordsmanship has long since surpassed mankind."[9] He weilds the greatsword Balmung, able to unleash a powerful wave of energy.[5] His status as a Dragon Slayer makes him an extremely dangerous entity to all dragonkind, as well as any Servants with dragon attributes like Artoria Pendragon.[10] Due to possessing dragon blood as well, he is similarly weak to such attributes.[5] He also has the qualifications to be summoned under the Rider class.[1]

During combat, he is the type to constantly stand on the frontlines to protect his comrades.[3] He is a "hard, solid, and tough" Servant, described as being "effectively a moving fortress" in an all-out defensive battle, due to his Noble Phantasm Armor of Fafnir, able to negate regular attacks of B-rank and below.[5][11] Opponents like Rider of Red are unable to damage him at all without resorting to Noble Phantasms. Even against those who can damage him like Lancer of Red, he can receive their attacks directly without much worry due to taking away a value of B from all such attacks, even taking attacks to seemingly vital areas with only shallow wounds resulting. Such wounds are shallow enough that his Master can quickly heal them without worry.[9] He only possesses one weakness, the exposed portion on his back, that cannot be concealed due to a curse.[5] As a result of his renowned legend, knowledge of his weakpoint will be known to all should his identity be exposed. Utilizing his Noble Phantasm around witnesses and even speaking could give critical details about him away, so Gordes Musik Yggdmillennia decides to go as far as forbidding him from speaking.[9] Despite this worry, there are not many heroes possessing the skill to strike his back while fighting, so Assassin-class Servants with Presence Concealment are seen as his greatest threat.[5][9]

As with many Sabers, Saber of Black possesses proficiency in the Riding skill. Due to Armor of Fafnir, his Magic Resistance skill has been lost.[2] He also possesses the Golden Rule, which refers to how he attained the treasures of the Nibelungs, which promised a lifetime of wealth, but his Luck decreases due to the rank of this skill.[2] In life, Siegfried's kingdom was the wealthiest of all the surrounding regions, often throwing great feasts and tournaments and giving tributes so large that even an entire caravan would have trouble carrying. The treasure manifests as the Noble Phantasm Das Rheingold, which can be accidentally summoned along with Fafnir.[12]

Due to his intrinsic connection with Fafnir, the dragon will always be present in some capacity. While only a mental image in the Great Holy Grail War, it fully manifests in the Grand Orders.

DevelopmentEdit

Creation and ConceptionEdit

He was designed by TYPE-MOON and illustrated by KN for the original cancelled online game project.[1]

ReceptionEdit

Ototsugu Konoe said that each time he illustrates Siegfried's armor, he received no mercy on his arm due to the miraculous number of lines he has to draw.[13]

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 1.19 1.20
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13
  6. Fate/Grand Order - Brynhild
  7. 8.0 8.1 Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 2
  8. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Fate/Apocrypha - Volume 1
  9. Fate/Grand Order - Interlude

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