Fate/stay night

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Fate/stay night
Fate-stay night.jpg
Fate/stay night original visual novel cover.
フェイト/ステイナイト
(Feito/sutei naito)
Genre Action, Romance, Supernatural drama, Thriller, Urban fantasy
Game
Developer Type-Moon
Publisher Type-Moon (Windows)
Kadokawa Shoten (PS2, Vita)
Genre Eroge, Visual novel
Platform Windows - KiriKiri engine, PS2, PS Vita
Released January 30, 2004
Anime television series
Directed by Yuji Yamaguchi
Studio Studio Deen
Licensed by
Network TBS, Saitama TV, Chiba TV, Tokyo MX TV, Sun TV, TV Aichi, TV Kanagawa
English network
Original run January 6, 2006June 16, 2006
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Manga
Written by Datto Nishiwaki
Published by Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Shōnen Ace
Original run February 2006December 2012
Volumes 20
Anime film
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Directed by Yuji Yamaguchi
Written by Takuya Satō
Studio Studio Deen
Licensed by
Released January 23, 2010
Runtime 105 minutes
Original video animation
Fate/Prototype
Directed by Seiji Kishi
Produced by Yūji Higa
Written by Makoto Uezu
Music by Yasuharu Takanashi
Studio Lerche
Released December 31, 2011
Runtime 12 minutes
Anime television series
Directed by Takahiro Miura
Written by Kinoko Nasu
Studio Ufotable
Licensed by
Original run October 2014scheduled
Episodes 25
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Fate/stay night (フェイト/ステイナイト Feito/sutei naito?) is a Japanese visual novel developed by Type-Moon, which was originally released as an adult game for Windows. A version of Fate/stay night rated for ages 15 and up titled Fate/stay night Réalta Nua (Irish for "new stars"), which features the Japanese voice actors from the anime series, was released for the PlayStation 2 and later for download on Windows as a trilogy covering the three main story lines. Réalta Nua is also ported to the PlayStation Vita. 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.

A manga series adaptation by Datto Nishiwaki was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Shōnen Ace magazine between the February 2006 and December 2012 issues. In 2007, the manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Tokyopop. A 24-episode anime series created by Studio Deen aired in Japan between January 6 and June 16, 2006. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the television series and re-released the series on DVD and for the first time on Blu-ray Disc. A Fate/stay night film was also created by Studio Deen and was released in Japanese theaters on January 23, 2010. Ufotable has announced a new Fate/stay night anime project, set to air in October 2014.

A series of light novels titled Fate/Zero, set as a prequel to Fate/stay night, were produced from 2006 to 2007. Three fighting games have been released: Fate/unlimited codes for arcades and PlayStation 2, Fate/tiger colosseum and its sequel Fate/tiger colosseum Upper for PSP. A PSP RPG titled Fate/Extra was released on July 22, 2010, and a sequel and companion game, Fate/Extra CCC, was released on March 28, 2013.

Gameplay[edit]

Fate/stay night's gameplay 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.

Plot[edit]

Setting and themes[edit]

Fate/stay night chronicles a two-week period in the life of the protagonist Shirō Emiya, an amateur mechanic who attends a school named Homurahara Gakuen in Fuyuki City, Japan. The story primarily takes place at and around Shirō Emiya's house, which acts as their base location in the Holy Grail War. Outside of Shirō's house, frequented locations include the Homurahara Gakuen high school, and the Ryūdōji Temple.

The main theme in Fate/stay night is "conquering oneself." There are three story lines in Fate, each has a different theme. The first one, Fate, is the "oneself as an ideal." The second one, Unlimited Blade Works, is "struggling with oneself as an ideal." The third one, Heaven's Feel, is "the friction with real and ideal."[1]

Main characters[edit]

The story revolves around Shirō Emiya, a hardworking and honest teenager who unwillingly enters a to-the-death tournament called The Fifth Holy Grail War, where combatants fight with magic and Heroes throughout history for a chance to have their wishes granted. Orphaned and the sole survivor of a massive fire in Fuyuki City as a child, Emiya was taken in by a retired magus named Kiritsugu Emiya, who would die years later. His responsibility to those who died and his own salvation through his father formed a strong desire for justice and peace in him. Thus, he earnestly trains his body and minuscule ability with magic to someday greatly help others, even if at his stage people often abuse his generosity. One evening, after seeing two devastatingly powerful men trading blows at his school with swords and spears, he becomes a target on account of their relation to the serial murders as of late. Chased all the way to his home by spear-man named Lancer and barely able to stop his attacks, Emiya is about to be killed by him when he is saved by a beautiful young girl in shining armour.

She introduces herself as Saber, calling herself Shirō's Servant, the personification of a renowned figure in history created to aid participants in the War. In her supposedly accidental summoning and the appearance of the marks on Emiya's hand, his entry as a Master into the Holy Grail War is formalized. One of the three heroines, she is an agile and powerful warrior who retains her identity, hence her substitute name after her role as a member of the Saber class. She was the victor of the Fourth Holy Grail War with another Master and claims to be the strongest out of all Servants in the Saber Class, but Shirō's incompetency as a Master greatly hinders her abilities. She is just, independent, and totally focused on defeating the other masters to obtain the Holy Grail awarded to the surviving pair. This is very much by contrast to Shirō's simple prioritization on keeping peace in the city and general apathy to the prize, much to her frustration.

The second of the three heroines is Rin Tōsaka, a model student and idol of Shirō's school who is secretly a magus and Master of Archer in the Holy Grail War. She descends from a long, distinguished line of magi, and though she lacks a formal magic education, she is extremely powerful and gifted in her own right. Though she is dubbed "The Ice Queen" by classmates for her cold, yet awe-inspiring, unreachable, persona at school, the words: perceptive, resourceful, haughty, gentle, spiteful, and rash when flustered are but a small collection to describe her when her identity as a magus is revealed. Her presence in the story is established shortly after Shirō is killed by Lancer at school, whereupon seeing him she revives him in respect to her apparent connection to Shirō.

The final heroine is Sakura Matō, a kind, beautiful first year high school student who often visits Shirō's home to help him with his daily chores. The two became friends after Sakura helped treat Shirō's wounds after his fights with her brother, whose family she was adopted into. Sakura is generally quite timid and shy resulting in her small social circle at school. She is gentle, thoughtful, kind and strongly attached to people she accepts, though she remains troubled and fearful of her own household, harbouring dark secrets of her own. She has an unparalleled, deep, affection for Shirō in light of the pure, earnest effort he puts into everything and the hope she gains for herself in observing it.

Story[edit]

Fuyuki City is the setting for a secret and violent war among competing magi. For the past two centuries, seven sorcerers have gathered and engage in a battle royale known as the Holy Grail War, 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 or so. However, the fifth war has started prematurely, with the most recent concluding less than a decade ago.

The seven sorcerers, known as Masters, are aided by seven beings known as Servants, reincarnations of legendary heroes from all time. These resurrected souls possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms, symbols of their heroism during life. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assassin, and Caster, each representing their distinctive role in battle. The Servants are summoned by the power of the Grail itself and aid their Masters in doing battle, protecting them from harm and killing other Servants or Masters. In return for their aid, the Servants also seek their own wish from the Holy Grail, should their Master become victorious.

Shirō Emiya is a serious yet helpful, hardworking, and honest teenager and a student at Fuyuki High, whose parents died in a fire years ago, around the time of the conclusion of the Fourth Holy Grail War. He was then adopted by Kiritsugu Emiya. When he was a child, his adoptive father told him how he had failed at his life ambition to become a "Hero of Justice". Shirō affirms to his adoptive father that he intends to devote his life to achieving that distant ideal, much to Kiritsugu's chagrin. To do this, Shirō pleads with a begrudging Kiritsugu to teach him sorcery; but being born without the capabilities of a magus, Shirō proves to be talentless in almost all the fundamental sorcerous disciplines. Kiritsugu dies in Shirō's youth. From then on, he grows up as an orphan in the occasional company of Taiga Fujimura, his English teacher at Fuyuki High, and Sakura Matō, his underclassman.

After cleaning his school's kyūdō dojo late one night, Shirō stumbles upon two Servants, Archer and Lancer, battling in the school courtyard. Upon accidentally revealing himself, Shirō runs away. To avoid compromising the war's secrecy, Lancer hunts down and pierces Shirō's heart with his Noble Phantasm, a long, red spear. Shirō is then discovered in a near-death state by Rin Tōsaka. For the sake of her sister Sakura Matō who has feelings for him, she uses an heirloom filled with concentrated magic to restore his damaged heart and leaves before he awakens. Shaken and dazed, Shirō picks up the heirloom and returns home only to be assaulted a second time by Lancer. Shirō weakly defends himself against Lancer using posters he strengthens with magic, but is soon overwhelmed by the powerful Servant's attack. Before Lancer can inflict another fatal blow, a magical mark on Shirō's hand begins to light up and a magical circle inside the shed begins to glow. A young woman clad in armor with an invisible sword appears in a flash of light and blocks Lancer's attack. After driving Lancer away from Shirō, she introduces herself as "Servant Saber", and formally announces her intention to fight under Shirō for the Holy Grail.

Meanwhile, Rin has realized that Lancer will return to finish what he started and rushes to the aid of Shirō, only to discover that Shirō is safe and has gained his own Servant. From here, the story splits into three paths.

Development[edit]

Kinoko 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[1] however the game went on to have three storylines, the Fate storyline being one of them. In his early drafts, Fate's heroine Saber was a man, and the protagonist was a girl with glasses.[2] 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.[3] 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 dōjin 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.[1]

Release history[edit]

Fate/stay night was released in Japan on January 30, 2004 for Windows PCs.[4] A CERO C-rated version of Fate/stay night, titled Fate/stay night Réalta Nua, for the PlayStation 2[5] was scheduled to be released in late 2006. However, it was postponed until April 19, 2007.[6] 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. A PlayStation Vita port of Réalta Nua was released in Japan on November 29, 2012, with three new opening animations by anime studio Ufotable and the option to change the aspect ratio to 4:3, 16:9 or in-between.[7]

On October 28, 2005, Type-Moon released a sequel to Fate/stay night, titled Fate/hollow ataraxia.[8] 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 Ortensia, alongside returning characters such as Shirō Emiya, Saber and Rin Tōsaka.[8]

Adaptations[edit]

Manga[edit]

The Fate/stay night manga, illustrated by Datto Nishiwaki, was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's manga magazine Shōnen Ace between the February 2006 and December 2012 issues. It is an adaption of the Fate/stay night visual novel, and the manga focuses on the Fate scenario of the game, but pools story elements from the other scenarios, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel. The manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Tokyopop in 2007.[9] Twenty tankōbon volumes were released in Japan between May 26, 2006 and November 26, 2012.[10][11]

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 in Manga 4-koma Kings Palette and currently three volumes have been published by Ichijinsha.[12]

A spin off manga series 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.[13] The series features Illya as a main character where she's living an alternate life as a school girl. However, she is chosen by the Magical Stick Ruby and is involved in a quarrel between Rin and Luvia. Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya 2wei continued the series in 2009, with the same artist and publisher.[14]

Anime[edit]

The Fate/stay night anime series aired between January 6, 2006, and June 16, 2006, containing 24 episodes; the storyline follows mainly the Fate scenario but shows parts of other scenarios as well. It was animated by Studio Deen and produced by the Fate Project, which was formed in response to the popularity of the visual novel and included Geneon Entertainment, TBS, CREi, Type-Moon, and Frontier Works Inc. The series later received its international television premieres on the anime television network Animax in 2007, its English-language television premiere occurring on Animax's English networks in Southeast Asia in June as well as its other networks in South Korea, Hong Kong and other regions.[15] Geneon USA also licensed the series for distribution across North America. On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon Entertainment still retains the license, Funimation Entertainment assumes exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Fate/stay night was one of several titles involved in the deal.[16] Sentai Filmworks has since licensed the TV series and re-released the series on DVD and for the first time on Blu-ray Disc in January 2013.[17] Fate/stay night started airing in North America on the Anime Network On Demand channel on February 7, 2013. The film Unlimited Blade Works has also been shown on the Anime Network.

The anime is an adaptation of the Fate/stay night visual novel, featuring content from all of the available scenarios in the original game's release. The general direction of the anime borrows heavily from the Fate scenario, with select segments from Unlimited Blade Works included as filler while only a couple nods are given toward the Heaven's Feel option. Elements from Fate/hollow ataraxia not directly impacting the plot were included, but sparingly. Kenji Kawai composed the original music for the series and also remixed four symphonic themes from the Fate/stay night visual novel for use in the anime: "Hizashi No Naka De" (not featured on the original anime soundtrack, but on the out tracks album "LA SOLA"), "Yakusoku Sareta Shouri No Tsurugi", "Emiya", and "This Illusion", the last of which was retitled "disillusion".

The television series was re-released in Japan on January 22, 2010 in two 60-minute special edition DVD/BD volumes to commemorate the release of the film Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works.[18] Fate/stay night TV reproduction I and II each recap 12 episodes from the anime and feature re-edited and re-compiled footage along with new opening and ending animation footage, with new ending songs by Jyukai and Sachi Tainaka. The opening song "disillusion -2010-" is a re-recording of the "disillusion" theme song from the television series.

An animated film based on the storyline of the Unlimited Blade Works route from the visual novel 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.[19] The film earned 280 million yen at the Japanese Box Office.[20] Sentai Filmworks has licensed the Unlimited Blade Works film and released it on DVD and Blu-ray featuring an English dub produced at Bang Zoom! Entertainment.[21]

Ufotable will produce a new Fate/stay night anime project.[22] The new anime series will be directed by Takahiro Miura and is scheduled to air in October 2014.[23] The original Japanese voice cast from the Studio Deen Fate/stay night anime and the Fate/Zero anime will reprise their roles in the new anime.[24] Aniplex of America has acquired streaming and home video rights to the 2014 series for North America.[25]

Light novels[edit]

On November 22, 2006, Type-Moon announced a new installment in the Fate/stay night franchise, titled Fate/Zero.[26] Fate/Zero is a prequel to Fate/stay night, stressing the events of the 4th Holy Grail War and how its consequences affected the 5th Holy Grail War. 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.[27] 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.[27] The fourth and final volume was released on December 29, 2007, along with the Fate/Zero Original Image Soundtrack "Return to Zero".[28] A light novel titled Fate/Apocrypha was released on December 29, 2012.[29]

Video games[edit]

In 2007 Fate/tiger colosseum, a 3D fighting game based on Fate/stay night, was released for the PlayStation Portable by Capcom and cavia, inc. in cooperation with TYPE MOON.[30] The characters are all rendered in a super deformed style. A sequel, Fate/tiger colosseum Upper, was released on August 28, 2008.[31]

Another fighting game based on the franchise titled Fate/unlimited codes was debuted at the 2008 Amusement Machine Operators' Union (AOU) show in Japan. It was developed by Capcom in conjunction with Cavia and Eighting.[32] The game was released in the arcades and had an exclusive PlayStation 2 release on December 18, 2008.[33][34] A pre-order version was also available which includes a limited edition Saber Lily figure. Capcom also released a PlayStation Portable version titled Fate/unlimited codes Portable on June 18, 2009.[35] A digital download of the game was released in North America on September 3, 2009.[36][37] and in Europe on September 10, 2009[38] Characters from the sequel Fate/Hollow Ataraxia and the prequel Fate/Zero also make an appearance in the game.

A dungeon RPG adaptation of the series was announced in Famitsu and is produced by Image Epoch and Marvelous Entertainment titled Fate/Extra.[39] Players take on the role of an unnamed male or female character that the player chooses to be one of seven chosen masters and control servants Saber, Archer or Caster. The game was released for the PlayStation Portable in both regular and the "Type-Moon Box" editions. The limited, Type-Moon Box edition includes a Saber Figma figure from the game itself, a visual book and a limited edition soundtrack.[40] While the original release was set for March 2010, the release date was pushed back to July 22, 2010 for further testing.[41] In July 2011, Aksys Games confirmed it would be publishing Fate/Extra in North America.[42]

Music[edit]

There is a soundtrack to the game, called Fate/Stay Night Original Sound Track.[43] There is also an arranged soundtrack of the game music, titled Avalon - Fate/Stay Night. It is arranged by WAVE and K. JUNO and features two English arranged versions of "This Illusion" titled "Illusion/Vision" and "Illusion/Fate". The anime original soundtrack was arranged and composed by Kenji Kawai.[44] In addition, there are image albums Wish and WHITE AVALON as well as various remix albums Fate another score, Fate/extended play, and Emiya #0. There are also numerous fanmade arrangements: Exodus: Fake/ever since, Iriya 51, Broken Phantasm, fragments, and 17 Division.

Aside from Fate/stay night, the other games in the series have their own soundtracks. There is a Fate/tiger coliseum OST and an imaged sound track for Fate/Zero titled Return to Zero.

Game themes
Title Composition and Arrangement Lyrics Performance Type
"This Illusion" Number201 Keita Haga M.H. Opening theme
"Days" Number201 Keita Haga Chino Ending theme
"Ōgon no Kagayaki" (黄金の輝き?) Number201 Keita Haga Maki Opening theme (Réalta Nua)
"Link" Number201 Keita Haga Rhu Ending theme (Réalta Nua)
"Arcadia" Rico Earthmind Opening theme (Réalta Nua PSV)
Anime themes
Title Composition Arrangement Lyrics Performance Single Release Date Type
"Disillusion"
(episodes 1-14)[45]
Number201 Kenji Kawai Keita Haga Sachi Tainaka February 22, 2006 Opening theme
"Kirameku Namida wa Hoshi ni" (きらめく涙は星に?,
lit. Glittering Tears Change To Stars)
(episodes 15-23)[46]
KATE Sogawa Tomoji, Number201 Keita Haga Sachi Tainaka May 31, 2006 Opening theme
"Anata ga Ita Mori" (あなたがいた森?,
lit. The Forest In Which You Were)
(episodes 1-13,15-23)[47]
Manami Watanabe Jyukai March 15, 2006 Ending theme
"Hikari" (ヒカリ?, lit. Light)
(episode 14)
Manami Watanabe Jyukai Ending theme
"Kimi to no Ashita" (君との明日?, lit. Tomorrow with You)
(episode 24)[48]
Sachi Tainaka Kaneko Takahiro Sachi Tainaka Sachi Tainaka February 7, 2007 Ending theme
"Disillusion2010" (OVA) Number201 Ayumi Miyazaki Manami Watanabe Sachi Tainaka January 22, 2010 Opening theme
"With..." (OVA, Episode 1) Number201 Jyukai feat. Sachi Tainaka Ending theme
"Kumo no Kakera" (OVA, Episode 2) Number201 Ayumi Miyazaki Manami Watanabe Sachi Tainaka feat. Jyukai Ending theme

Reception[edit]

When released on January 30, 2004, Fate/stay night rapidly became one of the most popular visual novels in history, securing the title of "highest selling visual novel" in 2004 of the adult game retailer Getchu.com.[49] Readers of Dengeki G's Magazine ranked the game second in a list of "most interesting bishōjo games" in August 2007.[50]

In early 2007, the popularity of Fate/stay night and the anime Japanese voice actors lead to the launch of the Fate/stay tune internet radio drama, featuring the voice talent of Kana Ueda and Ayako Kawasumi. In 2011, the writers Chris Klug and Josiah Lebowitz in their book Interactive storytelling for video games praised Fate/stay night as a strong example of branching storylines and interactive storytelling, comparing its depth and complexity to that of a traditional novel.[51]

References[edit]

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  48. ^ "Amazon.co.jp "Kimi to no Ashita" single product page" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  49. ^ "Getchu.com PC visual novel sales rankings for 2004". Retrieved 2006-11-30. 
  50. ^ "読者が選ぶ MY BEST ギャルゲーランキング" [Readers Choose My Best Galge Rankings]. Dengeki G's Magazine (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  51. ^ Chris Klug; Josiah Lebowitz (March 2011). Interactive storytelling for video games: a player-centered approach to creating memorable characters and stories. Burlington, MA: Focal Press. pp. 194–7. ISBN 0-240-81717-6. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

Visual novels
Anime