Projection (投影, Tōei?) Magecraft, also called Gradation Air (グラデーション・エア, Guradēshon Ea?), is a practice involving the materialization of objects, in accordance to the caster’s imagination, through the use of magical energy. Gradation comes from the fact that the created object slowly fades away after being created, and Air is an allusion to the fact that said object is made out of "nothing".[1][2] Practitioners are called Fakers (複製者, Fukuseisha?).


The concept behind this Magecraft is rather simple, to shape magical energy into the material composition and design of an object that is being imagined by the magus. Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald defines it as a spell that rouses imagery within the caster's heart as psuedo-matter; to project the world within to the outside world, a precise understanding of both yourself and of others is needed. Waver Velvet once believed that, with proper understanding, anything could be projected at the caster's will, but Kayneth dismissed that as impossible for a magus without the correct pedigree, even if one has the right logic.[3] The item is not everlasting, as it is recognized by the world as a phantasm that doesn't belong in the natural world, and it will be erased as an inconsistency.[1] The better the image in the caster's imagination, the more stable and longer lasting the object will be, and it can be further improved by having technical knowledge of its construction, such as a blueprint, or having materials to overlay the desired shape upon.

Projection is considered to be an incomplete and mostly useless Magecraft by most modern magi for anything other than immediate activities, such as projecting a sacrificial item to be forsaken in a ritual. It is generally easier and more practical to create an object that will not fade away with appropriate techniques and raw materials.[1] While Gradation Air is a more complex form of Reinforcement, it is ultimately inferior and less efficient. Comparatively speaking, if a magus uses Projection to recreate a sword while spending ten units of magical energy in the process, he will get a weapon with an overall strength of three or four. Meanwhile, if he uses that same magical energy to reinforce an existing blade, he will get a weapon with a power of twenty or thirty. It is also possible to apply Reinforcement to improve the capacities of the projected item.[4]


Projection (Trace Version)[]

Shirou and Archer using Trace.

Projection (Trace Version) (投影(トレース版), Tōei (Torēsu-ban)?) is the personal variation of Gradation Air that Shirou Emiya and Archer use, referred as Tracing due to the unique aria, "Trace On", that is used for its activation. Tracing greatly differs from normal Projection in the fact that not only does it reproduce the shape and substance of an object, but also its entire history as well. Objects created with tracing are slightly inferior to the originals due to the fact that only so much information can be gathered by sight alone, and Noble Phantasms are degraded by an entire rank. The only exception to this is Avalon, which Shirou can replicate perfectly due to his body preserving a complete record of it after having been fused with it for over a decade. Objects do need to be seen directly in order to be traced, Jeweled Sword Zelretch was impossible to trace from a blueprint and materials alone. Objects seen through shared memories, such as The Jeweled Sword of Zelretch and Caliburn seen through Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern and Saber's eyes can be properly traced.

Shirou and Archer mentally divide the process of Tracing into seven steps, which include:

  1. Judging the concept of creation.
  2. Hypothesizing the basic structure.
  3. Duplicating the composition material.
  4. Imitating the skill of its making.
  5. Sympathizing with the experience of its growth.
  6. Reproducing the accumulated years.
  7. Excelling every manufacturing process.

Due to the extra effort, it is possible to produce incredibly stable ordinary items that can remain in the world seemingly indefinitely after their creation, unless broken or dismissed.[6] Furthermore, whenever replicating mystical objects such as Noble Phantasms, it is possible to faithfully copy their special abilities and any skill that their owner performed is available for use. The reason this is possible is due to the nature of Unlimited Blade Works, which at a glance, records the history, composition, and design of what the user sees, and then provides the necessary materials needed to reproduce them. The actual reproduction happens within Unlimited Blade Works, and is then brought into the real world at need via Projection. If the image of the projection is interrupted in any way, the item will be physically weak and shatter upon physical impact. It is also possible to apply Reinforcement to objects recorded within Unlimited Blade Works, as demonstrated with Caladbolg II or Kanshou and Bakuya.

Shell Projection[]

Shell Projection (外殻投影, Gaikaku Tōei?) is a variant of projection practiced by Amleth Wotan, though it originally comes from the Peligor family. Shell Projections are autonomous and able to operate more accurately and for a longer duration that normal Projections. Amleth uses Shell Projection to create a handheld gryphon to use as his familiar. Camus and Amleth both believe that eventually, they'd be able to copy the World itself with this technique.[3]

Using Waver Velvet's memories and a photo of adult Waver as a foundation, Amleth used Shell Projection to project an image of teenage Waver over his adult body, making everyone including Waver himself think he had been de-aged back into a teenager. The Shell Projection lasted for several days as well, a testament to the magecraft's duration compared to normal Projection. It also affected Waver beyond a mere illusion such as causing his physical body to reject alcohol and tobacco, his clothes shrinking to eventually fit his smaller body and then change to his past clothing, and making his thoughts and personality become more like his younger self, getting more easily angered, embarrassed and less confident. At a class reunion, Amleth did the same to all of their old classmates using Waver's Shell Projection as the core, but Waver deduces that he needed a few days between the two in order for Waver's perception to get accustomed to his younger body similar to developing a photograph. He as well projected an image of their old classroom on top of the ballroom they had gathered in, even causing people to be teleported to different locations to account for objects appearing in their former places like desks.[3]

The World Egg created by Camus.

Camus Peligor took it a step further and, using a slide projector with all the photos she took over the years and Shell Projection, trapped all of the class within a memory world of the Clock Tower of ten years ago, even deluding the classmates into believing and acting like they were still in class, complete with illusionary people from the past. Only Waver and Reines were able to remember due to taking precautions by carrying silver-white medallions with runes carved into them. She could only create this world by constantly "observing" it and using Shell Projection on it, as such it would cause her to neglect her physical body as well as the physical bodies of the class left in the real world. However with the help of Touko Aozaki transferring them into puppet bodies and performing maintenance, the dream world could go on eternally, allowing her to immortalise her memories of Waver and of the fonder times when the class were promising teenagers instead of adults who failed to become what they wanted to be. It was even able to effect Rhongomyniad after Gray absorbed enough of the magecraft with Add, turning it from a gigantic golden lance into a gigantic golden scythe with feathered wings that can be used to cut the dream world, being used more like Excalibur than Rhongomyniad.[3]

A thesis of the formula of Shell Projection was published in the Clock Tower as of The Adventures of Lord El-Melloi II.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
    [v] Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Projection [Magecraft], p.067 [T]

    Projection [Magecraft]
    Gradation Air.
    A sorcery that uses magical energy to materialize a mirror image of an object.
    As Rin mentioned in the story, it's not very efficient.
    That's because, if you're making a replica of something, rather than using projection it's easier and more practical just to gather the materials and build it yourself.
    Normally, it is only used to project a substitute for an item that has already been lost, and for just a few minutes within one's own time axis.
    At any rate, since Gradation Air is just supposed to be a short-term rental of the item's outward appearance, you can see why the version used by Shirou and Archer is completely ridiculous. It's no wonder that Rin wanted to kill him when she saw his shed.
    Of course, Shirou can only project things that are related to weapons in some way – or more specifically, swords. Modern weapons are off limits.
    Well, technically he can pull out shields or armor, too, if he strains himself to his utmost limits, but the effects only last for an instant and the cost is enormous.

    本来、投影は既に失われたオリジナルを、本当に数 分間だけ自分の時間軸に映し出して代用する魔術。
    わずか数分間の、外見だけのレンタルな訳であるから、士郎・アーチャーの投影がどれだけデタラメかは 言うまでもない。凜が士郎の土蔵を覗き見て殺意を覚えたのも当然。

  2. Tsukihime Lab
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note - Special Episode: "Waver, Reunion, and the Magic Lantern"
  4. [v] Fate/Side Material - Encyclopedia: Reinforcement [Magecraft], p.058-059 [T]

    Reinforcement [Magecraft]
    An elementary spell that was extremely difficult to master.
    Even though elevating the target's existence through the infusion of mana was the basis of all magecraft, due to the high degree of freedom and lack of concrete protocols, there were very few users who could reinforce everything.
    Shirou of course was only a half-baked user who could only reinforce weapon-related objects.
    Since Reinforcement enhanced the target's meaning of existence, knives would become sharper, food would become more nutritious, and maids would become more moe.
    It was impossible to reinforce something that was exceedingly vague.
    By the way, it was difficult to infuse another living being with one's mana, thus Reinforcement of another human was a spell of highest difficulty.

    魔力を通し、対象の存在を高める全ての魔術の基本なのだが、その自由度の高さからか明確な実行形式が定まっておらず、オールマイティーな“強化”使いは少なし 。
    存在意義を特化させるので、ナイフなら切れ味が増 し、食材なら栄養度、メイドなら萌度が增す。

  5. Fate/strange Fake Volume 3 - Prologue VIII: "The Star Performers' Feast (Part 1)"
  6. Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel route - Day 9: RAIN - Choice

    "……Fine. I guess if I'm going to correct you, we'll have to start with the fundamentals. But let's go back to what we were talking about earlier. Is it true that the things you projected are still in your shed?”
    “Yeah. Things don’t normally go away unless you break them, right?”

  7. The Adventures of Lord El-Melloi II Volume 3: The Devil of the Wandering Sea (Lower) - Chapter 4