Noble Phantasms (貴い幻想, Tōtoi Gensō?), or literally called Precious Tools (宝具, Hōgu?) in Japanese, are "crystallized mysteries", powerful armaments made using the imagination of humans as their core, and are the weapons and/or abilities owned by Heroic Spirits. As humanity's illusions, they embody the ultimate mysteries of a hero as symbols of their existence through historical fact and anecdotes. They can be physical weaponry (e.g. swords, spears, bows) or support items (e.g. shields, rings, crowns). They can also be abstractions such as unique, often magical abilities (even close to or matching True Magic), unique (even conceptual) means of attack, curses, and changes to the very environment and its physical properties. When summoned as Servants in the Holy Grail War, they are the trump cards of the heroes that allow them to overcome others in battle.
The Noble Phantasms of all Heroic Spirits are said to have originated from the Gate of Babylon, the treasury of Gilgamesh. They were the greatest treasures of the world collected throughout his lifetime, nameless, splendid weapons that acted as the Noble Phantasms' prototypes (原型, gentei?) before becoming the objects of faith that act as the foundations for their legends. They spread throughout the world after his death, eventually becoming Noble Phantasms. Even though it can be considered a paradox, unless Gilgamesh as the original hero possesses them, they cannot be handed down as the Noble Phantasms possessed by the later heroes derived from his legend. Some abilities solely wielded by Divine Spirits like Sarasvati Meltout and Eightfold Blessing of Amaterasu are called Noble Phantasms, so it is unknown if they also fall into that categorization.
It is impossible for myths and legends to start from nothing, so they all have common points acting as the foundations that became the model for the legend. Those like demonic swords and holy swords were granted names and abilities once such legends begin to flourish in their lands of origination, but those within Gilgamesh's treasury are their forms before they were granted such through myths and legends. Those possessed by Gilgamesh are the true original models, different than those that have been renewed from older Noble Phantasms over the millennia. Though differing in appearance, renewed weapons hold similar true natures, concepts for their creation, and souls. As with the progression of Merodach, Gram, and Caliburn, all carrying the "foundation of the sacred right to select the king", each cycle of transmigration causes the weapon to become weaker. Gilgamesh claims that the "children cannot defeat their parents", with each new incarnation simply being a deteriorated imitation that cannot match the original model, but Shirou Emiya claims "but there is no rule that an imitation cannot defeat the original" while taunting him.
There are cases where the nature of the Noble Phantasm is not actually a true crystallized mystery, such as Archer's Unlimited Blade Works, which is magecraft that symbolizes him, and Li Shu Wen's No Second Strike, which is the quintessence of his martial arts. Sasaki Kojiro is a case of a Servant without a Noble Phantasm due to his status as a wraith, but his technique, Tsubame Gaeshi, has managed to be on par with Noble Phantasms without the use of magecraft. Enkidu is described more as a "Noble Phantasm of the gods" than a Heroic Spirit, and Kingprotea is a being whose self can be treated as a Noble Phantasm.
Noble Phantasms make up part of the existence of Heroic Spirits, the anecdotes about their prowess and weaponry all becoming part of the very "symbol" of their existence. As the "ultimate mysteries" and embodiment of the heroes, they are trump cards carried by each to be used at an appropriate time. Most Noble Phantasms will belong only to a single hero, activated only by them, their true owners, by channeling magical energy into them and releasing their True Names. There are cases as with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon which is possessed by multiple heroes, Nebuchadnezzar II possessing it by deed and Semiramis possessing it by distortion of fact. They each possess a great amount of magical energy that show them being things "outside of normality", miracles exceeding both humanity and magecraft.
Noble Phantasms represent the legends of a Heroic Spirit, in other words, it would most likely reveal their identities to other Masters if used. For example, if a servant used a Noble Phantasm in a one-on-one tournament format in the Moon Cell Holy Grail War, the leakage of information will lead to defeat because it will give clues to the Servant's real name. It can be said that a Master winning without the use of a Noble Phantasm(s) is an excellent Master. They are brought into the world with Servants upon their summoning, normally complied out of magical energy and granted the ability to materialize and dematerialize at the wielder's will. Compared to the Servants who sometimes also possesses normal weapons as well, they give off a clear level of magical energy that shows that they are Noble Phantasms.
Most Heroic Spirits will only possess one Noble Phantasm, while those who sometimes obtain two or three would normally be the absolute limit, and it may be possible for some to have treasured three or four extraordinary weapons in their life.Medusa, with three, is noted to be exceptional among other Servants, and Perseus being granted five during his lifetime is the most given to a single hero in Greek mythology. Gilgamesh is unique in possessing an unlimited amount within his treasury due to having all of them. No Name Assassin possesses eighteen of the nineteen Zabaniya Noble Phantasms. Perseus possesses six with the inclusion of Bellerophon in his legend, Achilles possesses five, and others like Astolfo, Saint George, and Karna possess four each. It is possible that Noble Phantasms will be granted to heroes even if they had nothing to do with them in life, such as the misunderstandings of countless people thinking Semiramis had some connection to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, causing it to become her Noble Phantasm.
Noble Phantasms are ranked by their strength and mystery. Those called "extremely average" are around the level of B Rank which have strength able to be represented through numbers and show only output of pure physical damage. Gáe Bolg's thrown strike is a pure destructive attack, while its piercing version carries a conceptual effect, a "destiny interference type", that falls into a special category. Differing from regular attacks, even a C Rank Noble Phantasm is the equivalent of an A or A+ ranked normal attack. It is possible for the ranks to be increased or decreased depending upon certain circumstances. Gáe Bolg can temporarily be strengthened to A Rank through the use of Runes, while Clarent loses ranks from having been obtained and used improperly. Defensive Noble Phantasms like God Hand and Armor of Fafnir use the concept of ranks as a means of defense rather than the relative power the ranks represent.
Fortress Noble Phantasms are very rare, fewer in number than even the rare Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasms. Even those that own them like Cú Chulainn can only use it within his homeland of Ireland. Floating fortresses like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are close to zero. The ability to kill hundreds and thousands of people is a trait possessed by Anti-Army and Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasms, but those capable of killing over ten thousand like Kazikli Bey are few in number.
Normally limited to the exclusive usage of their owners due to being tied directly into their legends, the Noble Phantasms of heroes being wielded by other heroes will not normally be able to be wielded properly by them or activated with their True Names, whether stolen or freely borrowed. There are specific Noble Phantasms like Knight of Owner and Sword Hunt that can temporarily transfer the ownership of armament Noble Phantasms, allowing Lancelot to wield them with great skill and Toyotomi Hideyoshi to handle them with less skill than the original wielder but also be able to unleash their True Names under certain conditions. Under certain exceptions, it may be possible for a Heroic Spirit to freely grant usage of the Noble Phantasm, requiring the conditions of “being where he is making a contract, instead of being in opposition, of his own volition" and "the Noble Phantasm not requiring considerable skill and power to invoke its True Name.” Even with such conditions fulfilled, Rider of Black borrowing Akhilleus Kosmos from Rider of Red also required the respective episodes in their legends of “the giver (Achilles) where he loans his Noble Phantasms” and "the receiver (Astolfo) where he borrows a Noble Phantasm.”
The most common Noble Phantasms are holy swords and demonic swords used by heroes during their lives. There is no specific form into which they must fit. They can be the weapons the hero used in life, and they can be famous anecdotes about the hero given form upon their ascension. While they can be physical weapons, the act of throwing many weapons at once or a "sword that splits into an infinite number" could be Noble Phantasms in themselves.Rin provides several examples of a Noble Phantasm's power, mentioning dragon-slaying swords, shoes that can run far and wide, god-killing demonic swords, and Hazanken, a sword in Chinese legends able to even slice through mountains that can only be swung once. There are those like Ionioi Hetairoi that is Alexander the Great's life sublimated into a Noble Phantasm due to having been acknowledged by all as the King of Conquerors, and there are those like Zabaniya that are Noble Phantasms because of their status as that which establishes their users as Hassan-i-Sabbah rather than having been recorded in history.
Most Noble Phantasms are simply regarded as lost legends in modern times, but there are some that have remained throughout the millennia. There are humans like Bazett Fraga McRemitz and Gray that can actualize Noble Phantasms that have been passed down throughout their bloodlines for generations. Others like Avalon, Jack the Ripper's knives, and one owned by Qin Shi Huang have remained throughout the ages and act as catalysts for summoning their wielders as Servants.
It is possible to sacrifice a Noble Phantasm for an attack that is one rank higher, which is called a Broken Phantasm: The Destroyed Illusion (壊れた幻想, Kowareta Gensō?). If a Noble Phantasm is packed with magical energy, it can be made to explode after striking its target. It is nearly impossible to repair a destroyed Noble Phantasm, and since they are the trump cards of Heroic Spirits, they are unlikely to take such measures. Archer is an exception, as he can reproduce as many copies of Noble Phantasms as his magical energy will allow due to Tracing, allowing him to also counterbalance the fact that all of his projections are lowered by one rank. If a Servant wishes to destroy their own weapon in another fashion, it is much easier than destroying one in normal combat. Lancer is able to easily break Gáe Buidhe in half without any effort.
Similar as to how spells are required to activate magecraft, it is necessary to awaken and activate Noble Phantasms with their True Name. While something like Gáe Bolg is a splendid spear with history and itself a Noble Phantasm, it does not appear inherently extraordinary by itself, only able to display its full potential beyond the realm of normal weapons when imbued with magical energy and activated with the recitation of its True Name. It is possible to give an alternate name to a Noble Phantasm in the case of its True Name being forgotten like with Casseur de Logistille, but while it will be reflected in the Servant's status as such, it cannot activate its true power without it. Sakata Kintoki activates his Golden Eater and Golden Spark with those "suspicious names", while the True Names are very likely different. For weapons that release a great attack, they only reflect their power upon having their True Name called, so striking with them as regular armaments will only reflect the physical abilities of the wielder.
There are a number of Noble Phantasms that display passive abilities that continue to function without any need to call out their names called Continuously Active-Type Noble Phantasms (常時発動型の宝具, Jōji Hatsudō-Gata no Hōgu?), such as God Hand, Crying Warmonger and Kavacha and Kundala. It may be the case that there are conditions required before Noble Phantasms can be activated, and some rare ones require materials to construct. The most common of such cases are those that still exist in the world in the present day that requires the Noble Phantasm to be obtained, while rarer cases require actual materials for their entire construction. While normally complete existences, there are those that are too large to be possessed by a single hero and those that were incomplete but still recorded in the hero's legend.
Noble Phantasms that can be utilized by Masters in the Holy Grail Wars are called Master's Noble Phantasms (マスターの宝具, Masutā no Hōgu?). While Avalon lacks functions as a Noble Phantasm without Saber present, Avalon can be sealed within a person to allow them to experience its healing effects so long as Saber is present. Qin Shi Huang's can be used by someone even without him being summoned, and Karna has shown the ability to give his armor to his Master.
Noble Phantasms are classified by their effectiveness against enemies. One Noble Phantasm may have multiple classifications depending on its abilities. Along with Noble Phantasms, there are also the alternate descriptors of Secret Technique (奥義, Ōgi?) for Jumping the Eight Ships at Dan-no-ura and Mystic Sword (魔剣, Maken?) for Tsubame Gaeshi.
Unknown (不明, Fumei?) - Due to its variable nature, Nine Lives is not given a classification.
Anti-Unit Noble Phantasm (対人宝具, Tai-Jin Hōgu?, Anti-Person) - Anti-Unit Noble Phantasms are those specialized against defeating other people in single combat. Compared to stronger weapons, a majority of Anti-Unit Noble Phantasms will not go beyond defeating other beings, no matter how strong the magical energy or curse they wield. Saber'sInvisible Air wouldn't increase the speed of an action like chopping wood, and Lancer's Gáe Bolg, which strikes the opponent's heart, would just be a strong lance if the target is a rock or a house. The advantage over stronger weapons is that they can be compared to guns with unlimited ammo while Anti-Army Noble Phantasms are one-time missiles. Missiles are more powerful, but an Anti-Unit can be continuous like Invisible Air. There are also those that are very cost effective like Gáe Bolg, so it can be called a sure-hit arrow that is better at killing single people than a cannonball.
Anti-Unit (Self) Noble Phantasm (対人（自身）宝具, Tai-Jin (Jitai) Hōgu?) - Anti-Unit Noble Phantasm used upon the wielder instead of another target.
Anti-Mind Noble Phantasm (対心宝具, Tai-Kokoro Hōgu?) - This classification of Noble Phantasms that targets the mind. While normally Anti-Mind, Sarasvati Meltout, within the cyberspace of the Moon Cell, becomes Anti-City and Anti-World.
Anti-Team Noble Phantasm (対陣宝具, Tai-Jin Hōgu?, Anti-Formation) - The classification of Aestus Domus Aurea.
Labyrinth Noble Phantasm (迷宮宝具, Meikyū Hōgu?) - The classification of Noble Phantasms that bring forth a Labyrinth or something similar to the concept of a maze.
Anti-Army Noble Phantasm (対軍宝具, Tai-Gun Hōgu?) - Anti-Army Noble Phantasms are those with a wide enough range to be specialized against armies. They are more powerful weapons than Anti-Unit Noble Phantasms, capable of easily blowing them away, but they must be used more wisely because of their larger cost. Using an A Rank Noble Phantasm takes a great deal of mana, so they must wait before they can use it again.
Anti-Army (Self) Noble Phantasm (対軍（自身）宝具, Tai-Gun (Jitai) Hōgu?) - Anti-Army Noble Phantasms used upon the wielder's own army instead of another group.
Anti-Gate Noble Phantasm (対門宝具, Tai-Mon Hōgu?) - The classification of Noble Phantasms that has power capable of blowing away sturdy walls, doors and gates.
Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasm (対城宝具, Tai-Jō Hōgu?, Anti-Castle) - This rank has powerful Noble Phantasms that can even blow away solid fortified structures. While the difference between Anti-Unit and Anti-Army is the variation in area of effect, Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasms are distinguished from other categories by the great difference in power. Only Excalibur has this rank in all of the Noble Phantasms of the Fourth and Fifth Holy Grail Wars. God Force in Fate/EXTRA also possesses this rank.
Fortress Noble Phantasm (城塞宝具, Jōsai Hōgu?) - Fortress Noble Phantasms are those that consist of solid fortified structures.
Anti-Populace Noble Phantasm (対衆宝具, Tai-Shū Hōgu?) - The classification of Noble Phantasms that targets the people, whether they are of the masses or they are that of a civilization.
Anti-City Noble Phantasm (対都市宝具, Tai-Toshi Hōgu?) - The classification of Noble Phantasms that has enough range to potentially cover an entire city.
Anti-Country Noble Phantasm (対国宝具, Tai-Koku Hōgu?) - The classification of Noble Phantasms that has enough range to potentially cover an entire country.
Anti-World Noble Phantasm (対界宝具, Tai-Kai Hōgu?) - The classification of Noble Phantasms that affect the World itself, such as Enuma Elish. While the actual output is around the level of Excalibur, Enuma Elish's effect of unquestionably being that of the legend of "ripping the world" puts the sword in a special category.
Anti-Planet Noble Phantasm (対星宝具, Tai-Sei Hōgu?, Anti-Star) - The classification of Angra Mainyu/CCC and Cursed Cutting Crater. According to Leonardo da Vinci, if one releases the full power of a Top Servant's Noble Phantasm, it still can't completely destroy the planet. Even if an Anti-Planet Noble Phantasm existed, according to her calculations, it's still not possible to destroy the planet, since there are already safety measures put into place by the Counter Force. Only creatures from outer space might be able to destroy the Earth.
Anti-Thaumaturgy Noble Phantasm (対魔術宝具, Tai-Majutsu Hōgu?) - The classification of Noble Phantasms that are meant to be used for the dispelling and destruction of magecraft and other thaumaturgy.
Anti-Treasure Noble Phantasm (対宝宝具, Tai-Takara Hōgu?) - The classification of Noble Phantasms that targets other treasures, potentially including Noble Phantasms.
Divine Noble Phantasm (神性宝具, Shinsei Hōgu?) - The classification of Child of the Sun.
Anti-Divine Noble Phantasm (対神宝具, Tai-Shin Hōgu?, Anti-God) - The classification of Noble Phantasms that are effective against Divine Spirits. They are few in number, including Enkidu and Vasavi Shakti.
Anti-Evil Noble Phantasm (対悪宝具, Tai-Aku Hōgu?) - The classification of Lord Camelot.
Barrier Noble Phantasm (結界宝具, Kekkai Hōgu?) - The classification of Noble Phantasms used to create barriers, typically Bounded Fields, but it does not include those that are also used to attack. Avalon is purely defensive, so it is a typical example of a barrier. While other Noble Phantasms like Blood Fort Andromeda may create barriers, they will instead be classified by their ability to attack like Blood Fort Andromeda belonging to the Anti-Army category.
Noble Phantasm [Armament]
The armaments carried by Heroic Spirits, made from humanity's illusions.
Though they generally come in the form of things like swords, spears, or bows, there are also those Heroic Spirits whose Noble Phantasms are auxiliary armaments like shields, rings, or crowns.
They are solidified "mysteries", and injecting them with magical energy while calling their true name will unleash their abilities.
Heroic Spirit of the mount. A type of Servant that requires high maneuverability, and tends to possess strong Noble Phantasms.
The Rider in the story is no exception, riding Pegasus and making full use of its charging power in battle.
Of course, Rider herself is also a unique Heroic Spirit, and the number of skills and Noble Phantasms she has is particularly high even amongst the Servants.
She is taciturn and lacks self-assertiveness, but that doesn't mean she is apathetic toward her surroundings. Rather, she's the kind of person that worries about things from every conceivable angle but hides it behind a perfect poker face.
Though parts of her personality are quite similar to Sakura's, Sakura is a commoner while Rider is more of a high-born type. Even her demeanor and tone of speech have a sort of high-class strictness to them.
With the complex she has about her own height and the way she gets embarrassed when people see her mystic eyes, she might actually be pretty lady-like.
Because of her outward appearance and primary weapon, a lot of people thought she was going to be an Assassin class Servant before the game came out, but nope, she's a Rider!
I really wanted to have a scene in the Sakura route where she and Saber bickered with each other as they fought toward a common goal, but unfortunately the story didn't develop in that direction and I had to discard the idea.
Incidentally, the lewd dream on the fifth day of the Sakura route was Rider's doing.
She is not a Dead Apostle (vampire), but she is a bloodsucker. For her, the most efficient, luscious way of gaining magical energy is drinking blood.
[v] Comptiq 2005-10 issue - Fate Dojo Q & A: Q: I have a question about the Servants vs. other character answer in the 9th issue of Comptiq. About a Servant with an average Noble Phantasm, who would have one and what rank would that have been?
Q. I have a question about the Servants vs. other character answer in the 9th issue of Comptiq. About a Servant with an average Noble Phantasm, who would have one and what rank would that have been?
A: That's a serious question. The level of the Noble Phantasm would be B, and ability being represented by numbers would be called an average Noble Phantasm. Broken Phantasm, Barrier of the Wind King (C), Gae Bolg (thrown) (B), that sort.
On the other hand, those with conceptual effects, destiny interference types fall into a special category. With Gae Bolg (regular), no matter how much Arcueid might be superior to Lancer in numbers, she will be killed depending on her luck, you see.
The Miniature World Enclosed by the Azure Sky [Noble Phantasm]
Akhilleus Kosmos. Achilles’ trump card which protects the wielder by deploying a miniature world. A divine armament created by the hands of the blacksmith god Hephaestus. It can event against nearly any attack, whether it be from an Anti-Unit, Anti-Army, Anti-Fortress or even Anti-Country Noble Phantasm. However, due to this Noble Phantasm’s nature, it is weak against Anti-World Noble Phantasms alone.
A description of this shield appears in a hundred lines of text in Book 18 of the “Illiad”. Hephaestus reproduced the world he lived in itself in miniature form in this shield.
In the light novel, Achilles doesn’t use it himself, gave it over to Astolfo for him to use. Naturally, transferring Noble Phantasms would normally never happen in a regular Holy Grail War. Even in the Great Holy Grail War, it would normally be unthinkable.
In the first place, most Noble Phantasms are tied to the legends of heroes. Even if you were to borrow Gae Bolg from the blue spearman, that doesn’t mean you would be able to activate Gae Bolg.
However, there are exceptions. In this case, in addition to the necessary conditions of “being where he is making a contract, instead of being in opposition, of his own volition” and the Noble Phantasm “not requiring considerable skill and power to invoke its true name”, it is believed that the transfer of the Noble Phantasm went smoothly because there is “an episode in the legend of the giver (Achilles) where he loans his Noble Phantasms” and “an episode in the legend of the receiver (Astolfo) where he borrows a Noble Phantasm”.
In addition, when Achilles alone wields it, this shield can be used to “attack” as well. After deploying the Noble Phantasm, he would aim to crush the enemy with that miniature world by continuously pushing forward. Most likely, Hephaestus never thought of such a method of using it.
Noble Phantasm: A
■ Mad Enhancement: C
Rank up for all parameters except Luck and Mana, but in exchange, Berserker can no longer think and speak properly.
■ Magic Resistance: E
Possesses an amulet ring that rejects magical energy with a Magic Resistance value of D Rank, but it is ranked down due to Mad Enhancement.
■ Protection of the Fairies: A
It is a blessing from Elementals; the capacity to increase one's Luck in dangerous situations. Activation is limited to battlefields, where it is possible to perform feats of arms.
■ Eternal Arms Mastership: A+
Mastership of combat arts has reached the point of being said to be unrivaled in one's era. By complete merging of mind, body and technique, it is possible to make use of full fighting skills even when under the influence of any sort of mental hindrance.
■ Knight of Owner: A Knight Does Not Die with Empty Hands
Type: Anti-Unit Noble Phantasm
Maximum number of targets: 30 People
■ For Someone's Glory: Not For One's Own Glory
Type: Anti-Unit Noble Phantasm
Maximum number of targets:1 Person
■ Arondight: The Unfading Light of the Lake
Type: Anti-Unit Noble Phantasm
Maximum number of targets: 1 Person
[v] Fate/complete material III: World material - Records of Heavens Feel - Servant System: Noble Phantasm serving as a proof of a Heroic Spirit, p.017
Noble Phantasm serving as a proof of a Heroic Spirit
Types of Noble Phantasm Anti-World Noble Phantasm
The type that Gilgamesh's Enuma Elish belongs to. The actual output of Enuma Elish itself is about the same level or a little higher than Artoria's Excalibur, but it's effect which is unquestionably that of the legend of "ripping the world" puts this sword in a special category. Oh, and the rank is EX.
Barrier Noble Phantasms
Of the Noble Phantasms used to create barriers, those that aren't used for attack. Saber's Avalon, which was stored inside Shirou, is a typical example. Even if it's a Noble Phantasm that creates a barrier, those used for attacks, like Rider's Blood Fort Andromeda, will be classified in the Anti-Army category.