Rider's True Name is Alexander the Great, the King of Conquerors (征服王, Seifuku-Ō?), summoned as the adult aspect known by the name Iskandar (イスカンダル, Isukandaru?) rather than the youthful aspect known as Alexander. Known by many names, Alexander, Iskandar, and Alexandros, he was the young prince of the small kingdom of Macedonia in the 4th Century BC, said to have been the son of Zeus in many stories despite absence of clear evidence. He was known as a "peerless pretty boy" who was noticed by many sages, such as Aristotle, as a prodigy. During this period of his life, he spent much of his time training as a soldier, studying philosophy and political sciences, and reading great legends. While he bloomed with many talents, he approved of every and all possibilities, able to be called the "personification of possibilities" itself. He possessed a close friend, an "amazing man" who truly began to show his talents after Alexander's death, who would often drag him around rambunctiously in a manner to his later encounter with Taiga Fujimura, expanding Alexander's horizons thanks to his actions. Though considered beautiful, his self-recognition in being the child of Zeus granted him strength, reducing his boyish looks over time. He later encountered the Gordian Knot, cleaving the rope with his sword and taking the divine bulls offered to Zeus by King Gordius as his own for use with his chariot.
Starting with succeeding the throne of Macedonia in Greece at the age of twenty, his conquest quickly subdued the neighboring countries and became the leader of Corinth. His eventually eyed his ambitions towards the straits, seeking to extend his reign into Persia. Sweeping through from the far west with his army, none underestimated it, rumors of its might spreading through countries long before the army's arrival. As his army's great morale overwhelmed even the most devoted of warriors, they were even more shocked when he spared them, told them of his goal, and returned dominion of the lands to the nobles. He exclaimed to them that: "My goal is the end of the world. My destination is the furthest border of the East. I want to behold Oceanus with my own two eyes. I want leave my footprints at the beach beside that endless sea.” Though they thought his words folly, many were rekindled to the dreams of their youth, setting off after Alexander to join his conquest. During the conquest of Persia, Alexander came to view Darius III and his Athanaton Ten Thousand as a worthy rival, blocking Alexander's path numerous times. The name Iskandar was given to him by the Arabs and the Persians. Due to Darius' immense height, after finally conquering the Persian Empire, Alexander required the footstool of Darius' throne to be swapped with a table to properly sit on it despite his own great height. This played a part in history recording Alexander as being short.
After Persia and with a goal of the most extreme eastern edge of Asia, they marched through Egypt and through western India during the "great eastern campaigns." Marching without end, they crossed boiling deserts, passed over chilling, snow-capped mountains, and forded billowing rivers. They fought savage beasts and fought for their lives through numerous unknown foreign tribes displaying alien weapons and battle strategies. Although an innumerable number of soldiers died, they kept their great morale to the end, holding proud smiles and listening to the sounds of the ocean they sought in their hearts, despite never reaching it. In the end, he brought about the largest empire in history to date and became the "great king who built the era known as the Hellenistic civilization." He reached the success of a great hero in just ten years after beginning his conquest, but soon died after living only a period of thirty three years. His dying words, "Leave everything to the strongest." ended up splitting it apart instead. His campaign to the East went as far as India. There, his troops and generals complained of fatigue, and so he turned back to Babylon, where he suddenly passed away. Following his death, the empire split into four warring factions that "quickly disappeared into the sands of history."
Rider is a gigantic man standing over two meters in height. He has large muscles that give the impression of being able to kill a bear with his bare hands. He has sternly chiseled features with eyes that give off a dazzling glow, able to overtake Waver's soul in an instant with their sharpness, and burning red hair and beard. He wears bronze armor, with cuffs and greaves with white-furred fringes, that leaves his arms and thighs unprotected. He wears a thick red mantle with a fluffy white fur collar. It is luxuriously decorated, and looks like a curtain wrapping the stage of a theater.
At Stage 1, Rider wears his customary armor without his mantle. Rider's Stage 2 appearance is the same as that of Stage 1, but with the fur mantle added. Stage 3 Rider also wears added armor, and his fur seems a lighter color.
While historical records called him short because he could not reach the foot stool of Darius III's throne after conquering the Persian empire and had to swap it for a table to sit on the throne, he claims that it is because he was truly short when compared to Darius. In the end, he considers that history written by random people cannot completely and accurately describe the situation back then, so he has no problems with the inaccuracy.
During life, Alexander took the lead in wearing Asiatic clothing due to his interest in cultures of his conquered land, causing his followers to avert him like the plague. He does the same in the present, changing into contemporary styled clothes while in public because of trying not to lag behind Saber and her suit. He orders an XL sized T-shirt based on the Admirable Tactics" videogame he takes to playing in his free time. It is white shirt with the logo of the game imprinted on top of the world map, looking much like a cheapskate product from the games segment published on the front page of the special edition a magazine.
He is very happy with it because it gives him "the effect of having the whole world on my chest" and goes well with the conqueror outfit. Due to his pride in the shirt, he first attempts to move around in public without any pants or undergarments, which he doesn't find to be strange in the least. He refers to pants as "that thing that causes you to stumble", and hates the idea of having to wear them. Waver eventually buys him large jeans, so that he can actually go out without troubles.
- Formal King (フォーマル・キング?) -
Rider is noble and physically overbearing. He is not pragmatic, but is a person who lets history run its course and acts according to his impulses. While he is wild and somewhat inconsiderate to others, his greed inspired his subjects and ultimately resulted in their happiness. He is always jovial, values friendship highly, and he regards the bond with all of his followers in Ionioi Hetairoi as his greatest treasure. They all, being inspired by such a magnificent king, in turn gives him their undivided loyalty and adoration. He also admires people who treat friendship with sincerity, such when he meets Taiga Fujimura. He is compassionate to those with whom he bonds, such as telling Waver that it is natural to be sickened by Caster's atrocities and that he would strike anyone who would feel nothing from the sight.
He was adventurous and had the goal of reaching the edge of the world during his life, and he looks forward to conquering the world now that he has found out it is a sphere, and how small his empire that he spent his life conquering was compared to the size of the world. He desires to conquer the world as a human, so that is his only wish for the Holy Grail. He is not overly cruel as would be expected from a tyrant, but tries instead to keep bloodshed to a minimum despite his love for battles and destruction. He is fine with not actually winning the battle outright, and even attempts to recruit the other Servants as his followers after witnessing their prowess for himself. He prefers to conquer his enemies by winning without killing and controlling without humiliating them. He admires Saber's abilities as an individual and believes that she would be an amazing asset to his army. He is seen as a unique individual with strange ideas unbefitting of his legacy, but Waver is able to understand the meaning behind his conquest. He sees Rider as deserving of title of "King of Conquerors" because that which he strives to conquer most is not lands or material wealth, but the hearts of people, the toughest conquest that can be undertaken by anyone.
His way of kingship is his greatest pride and as such, he despises Saber's way of kingship, the direct antithesis. He calls her naive for considering sacrificing herself to save her kingdom, and goes so far as to denounce her as a king. He insists that a king should be setting vivid examples to be followed, bond with his subjects at personal level, and his way of living should be something inspiring to and envied by all under his rule, not a distant ideal or martyr whose deeds would be praised yet whose path is so full of sorrow and pain that it would only inspire a sense of dread. To him, a selfless king who isolates himself from his people to die for ideals is nothing but a fool, which is worse than a tyrant. He is also in opinion that a king should be vibrant, a figure who is inspiring and leading his people, instead of being a distant loner who concerns himself only with protecting and saving his people. Ultimately, he would grieve and weep over his losses and mistakes, but he would stay true to himself and never regret decisions made as a king.
He has a mutual rivalry with Gilgamesh, and offers for a joint conquest to take over the world. Despite all Servants who have first seen him thought him to be stupid and preposterous for a conqueror of his reputation, he eventually earns their respect, even Gilgamesh who rarely shows any respect to anyone, but he claims that he will only ever have one friend. The respect Iskandar inspired in Gilgamesh is great enough that the King of Heroes deems him worthy enough to be faced with Ea and Enkidu in their final fight, even though Gilgamesh can easily win without using them.
Despite his Master's shortcomings and their vast differences in goals and personalities, Rider is very quick to start bonding with Waver on a personal level like he would with anyone during his reign, admiring his wit and determination despite Waver having the lowest of opinions of himself. During their first encounter with the other Servants, Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi, who was originally planning to summon Rider, begins to berate and torment Waver by calling him incompetent and weak. Rider instantly defends Waver's dignity by rebuffing Kayneth for only speaking to them while in hiding. Despite being timid, at least Waver would ride with him and Rider notes that only someone who will ride onto the battlefield with him is worthy of being his Master, so a coward who only hides in the shadows is a true shame to their battle.
Rider takes a great interest in the modern world, often spending his free time eating crackers and watching videos to learn about the new world around him. He is also especially eager to go outside and experience things as a human. He especially takes a great liking to the video game called, Admirable Tactics
- While Rider considers Saber to be both naive and foolish for her idealism, he doesn't despise her personally. He admires Saber for her abilities as a Servant, as such he greatly wishes to have her as part of his army. Rider feels sorrow towards Saber and her ideals, believing that the burden of them to be too great for a little girl who should've had a normal life. In Fate/Grand Order, He seems to be happy that Saber was able to finally dispense herself of all doubts.
- Although he wishes for them to join forces in conquest, Rider understands he and Gilgamesh can never be friends. He also hates the sick pleasure Gilgamesh takes in watching Saber despair under the weight of her ideals. He considers him the most troublesome of foes, yet even more worrying as an ally.
- Rider is a fan of the Iliad and thus he is also a big fan of Achilles.
Rider was summoned by Waver Velvet with an artifact; a mantle once worn by Iskandar. This artifact was originally Lord El-Melloi's and was stolen by Waver, who intends to prove that his teacher is wrong.
Iskandar, the King of Conquerors, is noble and physically overbearing. He is an enormous man who has little interest in the Holy Grail and cares more about conquering the world again, especially now that he realizes the world is much bigger than he was aware of during his life. He is especially fascinated by ordinary aspects of modern life and intends to inform the world of his return, much to Waver's chagrin.
He arranged a King's Meeting at Einzbern castle to discuss with the other Heroic spirit Kings about their desire for the Holy Grail. In the Kings Meeting, he expressed his desire for the Holy Grail is not for conquering the world but his true incarnation so that he can become a human again and not bound as a servant. However, after learning from Saber wish to change the past to save her country, Rider was disappointed and does not acknowledge Saber as a King, addressing her as "little girl" and calling her by her title with little intention other than mocking her.
In a battle with Saber prior to his final engagement with Gilgamesh, Rider gambled using Gordius Wheel against Saber but his chariot was destroyed by Excalibur. Rider would not manifest Ionioi Hetairoi as he was saving it for Gilgamesh.
Before the final fight, Rider asked Gilgamesh whether he can join forces together as Rider has his armies and Gilgamesh has his weapons and they can conquer the world easily but Gilgamesh declined, stating that there was only one comrade he would ever have and there could be only one king.
He fought against Gilgamesh on a bridge, Rider used Ionioi Hetairoi: Army of the King as a final move. However, Gilgamesh wipes out half of the army with his Enuma Elish, causing the reality marble to dissipate. As a result of the instability, the rest of the army fades, leaving Rider with no choice but to charge him head on. Rider rushes bathing in the curtain fire of Gate of Babylon. Upon nearing him and right before he can deliver the final blow, Rider is bound stiff by Enkidu, and eventually slain by Ea. Gilgamesh appears to have had great amounts of respect for Iskandar, addressing the dying King of Conquerors with the comparatively more respect, and stating that he would be ready to accept his opponent's challenge at any given moment.
The Outsiders’ PerformanceEdit
In the side story of the special drama CD, Taiga Fujimura as an adult tells Saber how she was inspired to become an English teacher when she encountered Waver and Rider in the fourth Grail War. Waver and Rider encounters Taiga after the king banquet, Waver becomes worried about the battle. Taiga encounters both of them during in the night after she fell from the roof. She was looking for the thief who broke into her friend Otoko Hotaruzuka's store and stole their best wine barrel. Rider becomes a translator for both Taiga and Waver, as Waver did not learn Japanese before coming to Japan, and Taiga explained to Waver and Rider that she chased after the thief until he flew off.
Taiga instantly jumped in the cold water to save the dog while believing Waver and Rider would also help out. As Waver and Rider helped Taiga out of the water, Waver questioned why Taiga is so persistent on helping people. Taiga replied that she believes in kindness in others. Waver thinks this is quite cute, though Rider says something completely different which left Waver in disarray: Rider claims he wanted Waver to have a romantic experience. Taiga chased after an underwear thief, dragging Rider and Waver to help her. After they handed the underwear thief to the police, they helped reunited the puppy to its owner.
Waver asked Taiga if she helped others, doesn't she have any problems herself. Taiga claims that she is worried about her love, school and future. Waver and Rider suggested she is suitable in teaching and guide those who seek knowledge. Waver suggested they should part ways and head back home but Taiga wants to go after the wine barrel thief. Waver and Rider explained that searching for the criminal at night in Fuyuki City is getting more dangerous. Taiga tried to introduce herself to the two but Waver hypnotizes Taiga to head back home for her own safety. Rider thought of stealing more wine barrels from the market for Taiga but Waver stopped him from creating more trouble, Waver had a plan that could help her. Taiga says an anonymous person sent a dozen barrels of high-class London red wine outside her friend's house.
Fate/Accel Zero OrderEdit
He is the servant of Waver Velvet.
Salomon: The Grand Time TempleEdit
The Heroic Spirit Iskandar is a Top Servant in Moon Cell. When the Moon Cell senses that Altera has been released, it summons him to do battle with her. However, being unaccustomed to fighting on SE.RA.PH, with all its subtle differences to the Earth he lived and died on, he approaches the fight as a kind of warm-up. Because of that, he loses. Altera then declares that his life belongs to her, and forces him to join her army. Technically, this also makes him a Servant of Altera's Master, but Altera treats them both as if they were the same rank. Altera understands that her victory over Iskandar was a matter of circumstance, and that they are evenly matched in terms of strength. While, subsequent to their fight, she does wield power over him, she does not consider him to be beneath her — nor does she look down on Jeanne, whom she recruits in a similar fashion. Iskandar understands that as well; but accepts his defeat with dignity. From then on, he pledges to assist Altera in achieving her goals. Make no mistake, however: He is loyal only to Altera, and not the Umbral Star.
Iskandar aids Jeanne in defending Mare Origo against Nero Claudius' forces. During the course of the battle, he fights Nero, and is defeated by her. He later helps defend Mare Carcer, but Nero defeats him again.
Iskandar helps defend Mare Carcer against Tamamo-no-Mae. He is however defeated by Tamamo.
Iskandar heads with his army for the Zero Dark to kill Altera under Moon Cell's orders. Altera's forces intercept his forces at Mare Mellum, eventually forcing a confrontation between the two commanders. Impressed by Altera's swordsmanship, Iskandar asks for her name, but he doesn't recognize the name. He wonders if Altera is disguising her name with a skill, but he ignores it to continue his duty. He nearly scolds Altera for being unrestrained, but realizes she has her reasons. He then fights her to make her understand, but she eventually disarms him. Accepting the loss, he decides to join her.
A few days later, Iskandar aids in conquering Mare Mellum against Nero's forces. The next day, he and Jeanne help conquer Mare Aurum. After the battle, Altera realizes Nero launched an attack on Mare Carcer while she distracted by Gawain, and summons Iskandar and Jeanne back. She orders them to destroy every enemy program in the Zero Dark while she attacks Nero's main forces in Mare Carcer.
Iskandar leads Altera's forces against Nero's own, along with Gilgamesh and Jeanne. After much of his army is routed, he appears before Nero, and praises her combat prowess and confidence. Nero asks him why he joined forces with Velber, to which answers he joined when lost against its servant, Altera. He continues that he wishes to show Altera there is more to fighting than destruction when she called herself the "embodiment of destruction" by showing her his way of conquest. Nero then challenges him to show his way of fight, and he's defeated. As he begins to disappear, Iskandar states his way of battle is to place one's price on the line while fighting for supremacy, not just pure destruction. Satisfied with the battle, he thanks Nero, and bids her farewell before disappearing.
He was briefly mentioned in Einzbern Consultation Room, Rider went straight to the Great Grail without coming to the Consultation Room as he had no troubles and his master Waver was still alive. Irisviel von Einzbern commented that Rider and Waver pairing were very rare in the fourth grail war as they were happy with each other.
Rider makes a cameo appearance in Carnival Phantasm in the last episode. He was seen drinking beer with Taiga and Gilgamesh.
In Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/strange Fake and Lord El-Melloi II Case Files, Lord El-Melloi II still kept his red mantle catalyst safely and he is often reminiscing Rider. He originally intended to lend the catalyst to Flatt Escardos.
Having committed great deeds when he was alive, the Heroic Spirit Iskandar is a Top Servant. Due to this and his personality, he ends up becoming Saber's rival in the Fourth Holy Grail War. He is said to be an equal match to Altera, however, when fighting her as a kind of warm-up, he easily loses. In combat, Iskandar mostly uses his Noble Phantasm Gordius Wheel to trample the enemies with lightning strikes that generate the amount of magical energy Artoria or Diarmuid would use in an attack that utilized every ounce of their strength. When used as a surprise attack, it is strong enough to almost knock out Lancelot after one strike, forcing him to retreat. To summon the chariot, Iskandar slashes the air apart with his sword. Iskandar can also ride his horse Bucephalus.
While seemingly preferring to ride into battle, Iskandar has shown no hesitation in fighting on foot, showing prodigious ability despite being geared better towards mounted battle. He stands against three Assassins in Caster's sewer lair, skillfully predicting an ambush launched by one, intercepting the attack and killing the said Assassin with ease. He would have taken the other two on if had they not retreated shortly afterwards. He later manages to get within striking distance, potentially capable of a killing blow against Gilgamesh, despite his agility being quite laughable by servant standards.
The sword that Rider wields is a spatha (スパタ, supata?) referred to as the Sword of the Kupriotes (キュプリオトの剣, Kyupurioto no Ken?, Sword of Kupriotes), gifted to him in life by the King of the Cypriots; its hilt was decorated with the likeness of a lion. Strong and light-weight, the blade can be wielded with great dexterity, and in the course of the story, it was able to deflect the Assassins' dirks with demonstrable ease. Though it is not noted to be a Noble Phantasm itself, it is utilized in the invocation of both of Iskandar's known Noble Phantasms. Incidentally, the historical Iskandar is said to have used a kopis instead. Rider also seems to be skilled in knife throwing, being able to kill one of the Hassan of the Hundred Faces with his own knife.
- Riding (A+ Rank): The skill of riding animals and vehicles. Creatures on the level of Phantasmal Beast and Divine Beast can be used as mounts. However, that does not apply to members of the Dragon Kind.
- Magic Resistance (D Rank): Cancel Single-Action spells. Magic Resistance of the same degree of an amulet that rejects magical energy.
- Charisma (A Rank): Natural talent to command an army. Can be said to have achieved the greatest popularity as a human being
- Divinity (C Rank): Despite the absence of clear evidence, according to many stories it is said he is the son of Zeus, the greatest of gods.
- Tactics (B Rank): When Iskandar was alive, his military prowess that resounded in the Islamic world derived into many heroic tales and was propagated all over Asia. Tactical knowledge used not for one-on-one combat situations, but for battles where many are mobilized. Bonus modifiers are provided during use of one's own Anti-Army Noble Phantasm or when dealing against an enemy Anti-Army Noble Phantasm.
The trampling attack performed with Noble Phantasm "Gordius Wheel." The damage is decided twice, first by the hooves, then the wheels of the chariot. Along with all physical damage, there are also the effects of lightnings, the manifestation of Zeus. Should the target fail its STR check, additional damage will be dealt. It is able to close the 100 meter gap between her and Saber in an instant, however, it isn't fast enough and Artoria destroys it with Excalibur.
Iskandar's trump card is Ionioi Hetairoi, a Noble Phantasm that rivals the King of Heroes Gate of Babylon. With it, Iskandar creates a Reality Marble, and endless desert where the Ten Thousand warriors that used to form his armies are summoned. Each of these warriors is their own independent Servant without a Master with an E Rank Independent Action skill, allowing materialization possible for a maximum of 30 turns. During his fight with Gilgamesh, Iskandar was weakened from fighting Saber, who destroyed his chariot and subsequently lost.
Creation and ConceptionEdit
Takashi Takeuchi considers Rider to be the key character of Fate/Zero due to the time and energy that went into his design. He considers it difficult to draw due to its complexity and detail. Gen Urobuchi compares him to a heavy tank and the Rider of Fate/stay night to a racecar. His Gordius Wheel embodies the "tank-ness", but it is too large to enter sewers. The original idea for it was to give it the ability to change sizes by substituting its parts and transforming, but it still would have been too large.
Takashi Takeuchi feels that without his mantle, Rider gives off an intimate feeling that puts him in style with commoners. Takeuchi felt like a loincloth may have been suitable for him. Out of his initial designs, Takeuchi likes the one with the "three feelers" in the center.
Nasu viewed Iskandar as a worthy opponent to Gilgamesh, but the Iskandar Urobuchi created was an excellent, wild, and unprecedented character that even he could have never thought up.
- In the Type-Moon's 10th Anniversary Character Poll, Rider was ranked 6th, the second most voted male character.