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Game
Developer Type-Moon
Publisher Type-Moon (PC/PS2)
Kadokawa Shoten (PS2)
Genre Eroge, Visual novel
Rating 18+ (PC)
Platform PC - KiriKiri engine
Released January 30, 2004 (PC CD)
March 29, 2006 (PC DVD)
April 19, 2007 (PS2)

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 the PC. An all-ages version of Fate/stay night, titled Fate/stay night Réalta Nua, was released for the PlayStation 2 on April 19, 2007, and features the seiyū from the anime series. On October 28, 2005, Type-Moon released a sequel to Fate/stay night, entitled Fate/hollow ataraxia, its plot is set half a year after the events of Fate/stay night.

Fate/stay night has made transitions into other media. A manga series based on the visual novel was first serialized in the Japanese magazine Shōnen Ace and published by Kadokawa. The manga is illustrated by Japanese artist Nishiwaki Datto and is currently ongoing. In 2007 the manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Tokyopop. A twenty-four episode anime series created by Studio Deen aired in Japan between January 6, 2006, and June 16, 2006. The anime series were initially licensed and released in North America by Geneon Entertainment, however On July 3, 2008 Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America including Fate/stay night. On November 22, 2006, Type-Moon announced a series of light novels entitled Fate/Zero, set as is a prequel to Fate/stay night. There have been four video games based on the series to date. Three fighting games have been released, Fate/unlimited codes for arcades and PlayStation2, Fate/tiger colosseum and it's sequel Fate/tiger colosseum Upper for PSP. A PSP RPG entitled Fate/Extra was released on July 22, 2010. A Fate/stay night film was also created by Studio Deen and was released in Japanese theaters on January 23, 2010.

Gameplay

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. In order to view the available plot lines to their entirety, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and make different choices to further the plot in an alternate 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

Setting and themes

Fate/stay night chronicles a two-week period in the life of Shirō Emiya, an amateur mechanic who attends a school named Homurabara Gakuen in Fuyuki City, Japan. The story primarily takes place at and around Shirō Emiya house, which acts as their base location in the Holy Grail War. Outside of Shirō's house, frequented locations include the Homurabara 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 themes. The first one is the "oneself as an ideal." The second one is "struggling with oneself as an ideal." The third one is "the friction with real and ideal."[1]

Main characters

The player assumes the role of Shirō Emiya, the protagonist of Fate/stay night. He is a serious yet helpful, hardworking, and honest teenager. His hobbies include fixing a variety of broken things, from VCRs to stoves, as well as cooking and cleaning. He has some slight talent with sorcery, though he was discouraged by his foster father Kiritsugu Emiya from improving his gifts. Saber is Shirō's Servant and one of the main heroines. Shirō's unwittingly summons Saber to fight with him in the Holy Grail War. She is an agile and powerful warrior, loyal, independent, and reserved, Saber acts coldly but is actually suppressing her emotions to focus on her goals. Saber is frustrated by Shirō's "protective" tendencies, believing his erratic and reckless behavior will jeopardize her chances of winning the Holy Grail War.

The second of the three heroines is Rin Tōsaka, a model student and idol of Shirō's school who is secretly a sorceress and Master in the Holy Grail War. She is a descendant from a long line of sorcerers, and though she lacks a formal magic education, she is extremely powerful in her own right. She is perceptive, resourceful and avidly competitive. The final heroine is Sakura Matō, a student in her first year of high school, and the adopted sister of Shinji Matō. After Shirō's father Kiritsugu died, Sakura often visited Shirō's home to help him with his daily chores. Sakura is outwardly shy and timid, but possesses great inner strength. She has a long standing and obvious crush on the oblivious Shirō Emiya.

Story

The story of Fate/stay night revolves around the main protagonist Shirō Emiya, a young male high school student. When Shirō was a child, his father told him how he had failed at his life ambition to become a "Hero of Justice". Shirō affirms to his foster 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.

When the story begins, 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, 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, with the most recent concluding a decade ago, but the fifth war has started prematurely.

Each of the sorcerers, better known as Masters, is aided by one of the seven summoned spiritual familiars known as Servants, who are the reincarnations of legendary souls from all across time. These resurrected souls possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assassin, and Caster.

After cleaning his school's kyūdō dojo late one night, Shirō stumbles upon two Servants, Archer and Lancer, battling in the school courtyard. To avoid compromising the war's secrecy, Lancer hunts down and pierces Shirō's heart with his Noble Phantasm Spear. Shirō is then discovered near death by Rin Tōsaka and because of his relationship with her sister Sakura Matō, she uses an heirloom filled with concentrated magic, Mana, 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 turns to metal with magic reinforcment, but is soon overwhelmed by the powerful Servant's attack, and is sent flying into his shed. Cornered, Shirō prepares for the worst; but before Lancer can inflict another fatal blow, a magical mark on Shirō's hand begins to light up and a summoning circle used previously by his foster father inside the shed begins to glow. A young woman clad in armor with an invisible sword is summoned and blocks Lancer's attack. After driving Lancer away from Shirō, she introduces herself as "Servant Saber".

Development

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] Nasu set aside the project and went on to founded Type-Moon with artist Takashi Takeuchi.

After the success of their first visual novel Tsukihime in 2000 Type-Moon transitioned from a dojin 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

The Fate/stay night franchise began as a visual novel video game created by Type-Moon which premiered in Japan on January 30, 2004.[3] An all-ages version of Fate/stay night, entitled Fate/stay night Réalta Nua, for the PlayStation 2[4] was scheduled to be released in fall-winter of 2006. However, it was not released until April 19, 2007 due to a postponement.[5] Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven's Feel are the three branching storylines found within the game.

On October 28, 2005, Type-Moon released a sequel to Fate/stay night, entitled Fate/hollow ataraxia.[6] 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 and Rin Tōsaka.[6]

Adaptations

Manga

The Fate/stay night manga, illustrated by Nishiwaki Datto, began serialization in the manga magazine Shōnen Ace, published by Kadokawa Shoten, on December 26, 2005. It is an adaption of the Fate/stay night visual novel, rather than the anime. In contrast to the anime, the manga focuses solely on the Unlimited Blade Works scenario of the game (albeit with slight deviations), and has refrained from pooling story elements from the sister scenarios, Fate or Heaven's Feel. The manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Tokyopop in 2007.[7] Thirteen bound volumes have been released in Japan.[8]

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 Manga 4-koma Kings Palette and currently three volumes have been published by Ichijinsha.[9]

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 volume.[10] 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.[11]

Anime

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.[12] Geneon 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.[13]

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 latter 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.[14] 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.

Light novel

On November 22, 2006, Type-Moon announced a new installment in the Fate/stay night franchise, entitled Fate/Zero.[15] 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 will be 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.[16] 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.[16] The fourth and final volume was released on December 29, 2007, along with the Fate/Zero Original Image Soundtrack "Return to Zero".[17]

Video games

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.[18] The characters are all rendered in a super deformed style. A sequel, Fate/tiger colosseum Upper, was released on August 28, 2008.[19]

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.[20] The game was released in the arcades and had an exclusive PlayStation 2 release on December 18, 2008.[21][22] 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.[23] A digital download of the game was released in North American on September 3, 2009.[24] and in Europe on September 10, 2009[25]

A dungeon RPG adaptation of the series was announced in Famitsu and is produced by Image Epoch and Marvelous Entertainment titled Fate/Extra.[26] 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.[27] While the original release was set for March 2010, the release date was pushed back to July 22, 2010 for further testing.[28]

Film

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, return to work on the film, and most of the voice cast reprise their roles.[29] The film earned 0.28 billion yen at the Japanese Box Office.[30]

Music

There is a soundtrack to the game, called Fate/Stay Night Original Sound Track. There is also an arranged soundtrack of the game music, entitled 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. 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 entitled 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
"Ougon no Kagayaki" NUMBER201 Keita Haga MAKI Opening theme (Réalta Nua)
Anime themes
Title Composition Arrangement Lyrics Performance Single Release Date Type
"disillusion"
(episodes 1-14)[31]
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)[32]
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)[33]
Jyukai March 15, 2006 Ending theme
"Hikari" (ヒカリ?, lit. Light)
(episode 14)
Jyukai Ending theme
"Kimi to no Ashita" (君との明日?, lit. Tomorrow with You)
(episode 24)[34]
Sachi Tainaka Kaneko Takahiro Sachi Tainaka Sachi Tainaka February 7, 2007 Ending theme

Reception

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.[35]

In early 2007, the popularity of Fate/stay night and the anime seiyū lead to the launch of the Fate/stay tune internet radio drama, featuring the voice talent of Kana Ueda and Ayako Kawasumi. Another project elaborating on Fate/stay night canon has been planned, but as is the case with Fate/Zero, Type-Moon itself will have little, if any, direct involvement.[citation needed]

References

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  13. Anime News Network (2008-07-03). "FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for North America". Press release. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2008-07-03/funimation-entertainment-and-geneon-entertainment-sign-exclusive-distribution-agreement-for-north-america. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
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External links

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