Saber (セイバー?) is is one of the three main heroines of Fate/stay night and the Servant of Shirou Emiya in the Fifth Holy Grail War. After becoming the Servant of Sakura Matou in the Heaven's Feel route, she is known as Saber Alter (セイバー・オルタナティブ?, Saber Alternative) or Black Saber (黒セイバー?). She is also the Servant of Kiritsugu Emiya during the Fourth Holy Grail War and one of the main characters of Fate/Zero.
Saber's true identity is Altria Pendragon (アルトリア・ペンドラゴン, also romanized as Artoria and Arturia?), better known as Arthur Pendragon (アーサー・ペンドラゴン?) and King Arthur, who is regarded as a male in history. She is the "Once and Future King" and a legendary hero of England.
While Arthur is a hero well known as a model for knights, it is said he actually existed as "Dux Bellorum", the king of War, and was a great general who led the twelve kings of Northern England, Gododdin, while preventing foreign invasion from forces such as the Scottish and the Picts. This identity of the real great leader behind the legend of King Arthur has many variations, and it is though that there may have been two people who fit the description of the king. One is the full Briton Arthur, while the other is the Roman Arturius, and their two separate sets of accomplishments are said to have merged into the legend of King Arthur that is known in the present time.
Altria was born into a time of chaos and war that began with the demise of an empire. It had been believed to be indestructible, but it was only awaiting its destruction at the hands of invading barbarians. In preparation for the war against the barbarians, the empire deprived her island country of any military forces. Once the country lost the empire's protection, it could not escape becoming independent, causing it to break into smaller countries soon after. This time of barbarian invasions and self destructive strife between clans started a long period of war that would later become known as the "Dark Ages. Altria was born into this period as the heir to the throne, the daughter of the King of Britain, Uther Pendragon, and the wife of his servant, the Duke of Cornwall, the blue-eyed, Igraine. The king, believing in Merlin's prophecy, yearned for the birth of his appointed successor, but the child born was not the one he desired.
It is said in the legend that Arthur was left in Merlin's care as the price for his assistance in ensuring the success for Uther's love of Igrane, saying "I will properly guide this child, one bearing a great destiny, and protect him from the crisis of the royal family." The true reality was that Altria was not a boy, so the king could not make a child that was not male his successor even if she was fated to one day become a king. She was entrusted to the king's vassals and was to be raised as the child of a mere knight. The king fell into despair at the situation, but Merlin was delighted because the sex of the one to become king had never mattered. He was confident that the fact of the girl being separated from the castle until the day of prophecy was proof that she would become king.
Altria was entrusted by Meriln to grow up as the adopted child and successor of the simple and wise old knight, Sir Ector. He did not really believe the prophecy, but he just felt the same air from the girl as he did his king. He felt that he must raise her as a knight, and he wished for her to grow. He never needed to wish for such a thing, as she trained day after day to become stronger than anyone. She swore to bear her sword for the only reason that "only a king can save a ruined country headed for death" without ever being told such. During this time, she was raised with Sir Kay as her brother, but they still loved each other as siblings after she learned the truth of their relationship. She acted as his squire and received training from him, while also doing other chores such as pulling along his horse. She was better than him in terms of swordsmanship, but she never beat him in a fight due to his arguments declaring himself the winner rather than actual skill.
Once the day of prophecy arrived, knights and lords from around the country gathered to be selected as king. Each expected the selection to be through jousting to select the most superior one to become a king, but the only thing prepared at the place of selection was a naked sword stuck in a stone with a golden inscription on the hilt reading "Whosoe'er pulleth out this sword of this stone is rightwise king born of England." While many knights grabbed the sword trying to follow the command, none were able to pull it out. As the began the expected method of selection by jousting, Altria, only an apprentice not qualified for jousting, neared the deserted stone of selection and reached out for the sword without hesitation.
Before grabbing it, Merlin appeared before her to tell her to think things over before taking it. He told her she would no longer be human upon taking hold of the sword, but she only responded with a nod because she has been prepared for the fact that "becoming a king means no longer being human" ever since she was born. She knew that a king is someone who kills everyone to protect everyone. She thought about it every night and shuddered until morning came. While not one day passed where she did not fear that fact, she said that it would end this day. The sword was pulled out as if it were only natural to do so, and the area was filled with light. She became something not human in that instant. The king's gender doesn't matter, and no one will care about the king's appearance or even notice it as long as the king acts like a king. Even if anybody did notice the king was female, it would not be an issue if she was a good king. This started the time of the king who would become a legend.
Altria's growth stopped at that time she pulled the sword because of its magic, so many knights feared it as ominous. Most instead praised their master's immortality as divine. Her battles thereafter were the acts of a god of war. She always led from the front, and no enemies could stand in her way. There was no defeat for a body admired as a dragon in human form. She only knew victory for ten years and twelve battles while she ran through those days as the king. She never turned back and was never disgraced. She was raised as a king and fulfilled her obligations as the king.
Arturia rules Britain from her stronghold in Camelot, and earns the reputation of a just, yet distant king. Under the guidance of Merlin and with the aid of her Knights of the Round Table, she guides Britain into an era of prosperity and tranquillity. Caliburn is destroyed, but Arturia soon acquires her holy sword, Excalibur, and Avalon, Excalibur's blessed sheath, from Vivian. While Avalon is in her possession, Arturia never ages and is immortal in battle.
Throughout her reign, Arturia is plagued by feelings of guilt and inferiority; she sacrifices her emotions for the good of Britain, yet many of her subjects become critical of her lack of humanity. Excalibur's scabbard is stolen while she repels an assault along her country's borders; when Arturia returns inland, she discovers Britain is being torn asunder by civil unrest. Despite her valiant efforts to placate the dissent, Arturia is mortally wounded by the traitorous knight Mordred during the Battle of Camlann. Her dying body is escorted to a holy isle by Sir Bedivere. Arturia orders a grieving Bedivere to dispose of Excalibur by throwing it back to Vivian; in her absence, she reflects on her personal failures, regretting her life as king. Before her last breath, she appeals to the world; in exchange for services as a Heroic Spirit, she asks to be given an opportunity to relive her life, where someone more suitable and effective would lead Britain in her stead.
Saber is a beautiful young woman with long blonde hair and green eyes. She wears a mid-age blue dress rode with silver armor to her arms, chest, and bottom of her dress. When she is not fighting, she wears casual clothes given to her by Tohsaka Rin- white collared shirt with long sleeves and a blue ribbon, a long blue skirt to match, black tights, and brown boots.
In Fate/Zero, before Fate/stay night, when she made a contract with Emiya Kiritsugu, she wears a black suit with grey collar and a black tie with equally black gloves for casual wear.
In Heaven's Feel route, when Saber is controlled by Dark Sakura, she has white blond hair and golden-yellow eyes, giving her a more eerie appearance. Also, her wardrobe is then entirely black. She has black markings on her face whereas the casual clothes given by Dark Sakura is a black dress with long sleeves, black leggings and shoes. A black ribbon is tied on her braided bun.
Saber is a strong-willed young woman who always speaks resolutely. She is courageous, determined, and set on winning the Holy Grail. Throughout the story, Saber insists that she is a warrior first and that her gender is of little importance to her. Her stubborn personality is evident when she frequently explains her purpose to her Master, despite his objections: achieving the Holy Grail through any means. She is an exceptionally powerful fighter and is often downright merciless towards her opponents. Interestingly enough, she appears to become very uncomfortable whenever she is treated as a girl, likely because of her background as a knight. In spite of this, upon first seeing her, Shirou is instantly attracted to her feminine beauty. Saber can also be quiet and shy in social situations and unwilling to show emotions, as she has suppressed them so strongly and views herself as a knight foremost. Even though she attempts to hide them, her insecurities become more and more apparent. However, later on in the story, Saber begins to open up more and show her emotions more easily, especially to Shirou. A prominent theme in Fate/Stay Night is that Saber sacrificed what was most important to her when she became King Arthur: Her humanity. It is implied that during her life before becoming the King of Knights, Arturia was a dreamy, idealistic, innocent young girl.
Her developing relationship with Shiro is fundamental to the growth of her character, as he is the second person to view and treat Saber not as a weapon or a Servant, but as a girl (the first being Irisviel von Einsbern). A comedic aspect about her is that she is shown as having a humongous appetite, finishing large servings of rice within one minute.
Saber is loyal, independent, and reserved; she appears cold, but is actually suppressing her emotions to focus on her goals. She is bewildered by Shirou's "protective" tendencies, and believes his erratic and reckless behavior jeopardizes her chances of winning the Holy Grail War.
She is very cold and merciless to Ilya during most of Fate/stay night despite her being Irisviel's daughter. This is due to the fact that Irisviel never mentioned the name of her daughter, and when Saber sees Ilya during the war, she completely disregards the possibility that it could be the same child. She believes that Ilya is too young to be the girl she saw getting a piggy-back ride ten years before, and she believes that she would have become more mature like her mother by the time of the Fifth Holy Grail War. She reasons that Ilya is a new homunculus with similarities in her appearance due to the Einzbern homunculi looking alike after their creation.
She enjoyed a sport, an ancestor of golf, that used swords to play on large stretches of land during her lifetime. It can be called “something like golf that was around before golf was conceived.”
Saber is summoned by Kiritsugu Emiya to participate in the Fourth Holy Grail War on behalf of Jubstacheit von Einzbern and the Einzbern family. Kiritsugu was recruited by Jubstacheit and given Avalon, excavated from Cornwall, to summon the legendary King Arthur. While surprised that she is a young woman, it doesn't change anything about his plans. He partners Saber with his wife and vessel for the Lesser Grail, Irisviel von Einzbern, to act as Saber's Master in the open while he acts from behind to win with his own methods. Saber is unaware of Avalon, and it is given to Irisviel without her knowledge.
Saber and Irisviel arrive together in Fuyuki by plane from the Einzbern Castle in northern Europe because Saber cannot dematerialize due to her unique status. Kiritsugu travels separately from them and meets up with his protege, Maiya Hisau. Following the challenge of another Servant, they quickly encounter their first opponent that night. Saber engages Lancer, and despite a mostly even fight, she is left with a wound from Gae Buidhe to her left hand that prevents her from utilizing her full strength and Excalibur. Their fight is interrupted by the Rider, who declares the supremacy of his kingship and an invitation to join his army, but Saber claims her own kingship as a reason to never bow before another lord.
The arrival of Archer, who claims that his own rule far exceeds their own, and Berserker, who takes an interest in Saber after battling Archer, confuses the situation even more. After Lancer is forced to battle alongside Berserker to kill Saber through a Command Spell, Rider interrupts that fight so that she and Lancer may properly finish their duel at a later time. All of the Servants then retreat for the night without any further battle. Saber and Irisviel encounter the deranged Caster on their way to Fuyuki's Einzbern Castle, and he mistakes her for Joan of Arc due to a slight resemblance in their appearances. While she manages to drive him off, she in unable to convince him of his mistake and he promises to save her soul from the curse of God.
In the King's meeting, Saber expressed that she wanted the Holy Grail to change history of her country's destruction.
On the final day of the Holy Grail war, Saber encountered Berserker and fought against him. She realize that Berserker knows Saber's identity from their previous lifes after catching Excalibur despite its invisibility. Saber demanded Berserker to reveal himself, Berserker answered by drawing Arondight and cancelling his black fog. Saber was devastated as she learns Berserker's identity was her trusted close friend Sir Lancelot.
Rider's words haunt Saber as Berserker attacks Saber, causing her to believe that Lancelot's hatred towards her has driven him into madness. As Kariya ran out of Prana, Berserker stopped his attack and Saber used this opportunity to stab him. Saber apologizes as she desires the Holy grail to change the past including Lancelot part. Berserker regained his sanity as his contract with Kariya ended, he wanted Saber to punish him because he was unable to forgive himself for falling in love with the Queen. As he fades away, Saber wanted to say that he was a loyal knight but could not find the right words. He felt that Saber was the greatest amongst king for those who served her. After Berserker's defeat, she is determined to win the Holy Grail so she can save her people and Lancelot.
Saber found the Holy Grail but she also meets Gilgamesh who was waiting for her. He proposes that she becomes his wife while she lays defeated in front of him. Saber refuses as the Holy Grail is just in front of her.
Saber destroyed the Holy Grail in the fourth Holy Grail War because Kiritsugu used multiple command seals in order to force her to act against her will. However, she only managed to destroy the Grail's physical form. She was also caught in her own Excalibur blast, sending her back to the battlefield of Camlann, as she remembers the words of Lancelot and Rider.
Her only wish is to redo her life so that she would never become king.
In the fifth grail war, Shirou was pursued by Lancer after he was revived by Rin Tohsaka. Shirou escaped to his shed, he accidently summoned Saber due to the cataylst "Avalon" that Kiritsugu implanted in his body and the magic circle Irisviel drawn in the fourth Grail war. Saber successful pushed Lancer back and also learnt his identity after he displayed his noble phantasm.
In the Fate scenario, she is the main heroine and the love interest for Shirou. With their contract, they share visions of their past. Saber learns through them that Shirou is the adoptive son of Kiritsugu and his personality changed from the time she fought for him.
Shirou convinces Saber that she should accept her life for what it is rather than wishing to change her life.
She used Excalibur to destroy the Holy Grail and its contents. After the destruction of the Holy Grail, Saber and Shirou bid farewell to each other. Saber vanishes to her original time, she finally accepts her past without the wish to change it thus breaking the contract with the world. She weakly smiles and tells Sir Bedivere:
"I think I will sleep much longer this time..."
After her death, she goes to Avalon rather than being removed from the cycle of transmigration to be placed on the Throne of Heroes like other Heroic Spirits.
In Realta Nua, if the player completes all three routes they will gain the last episode. In the last episode Shirou reunites with Saber in Avalon, it is stated that the last episode is the true ending of the Fate route.
Unlimited Blade Works
In Unlimited Blade Works route, she has a smaller role. Caster captured Taiga as a hostage and used her Rule Breaker to steal the contract between Saber and Shirou. Saber initally shows resistance to Caster's torture and control until she submitted to her.
After Archer killed Caster and Kuzuki Souichirou, Archer claims he planned all this so he can be free to kill Shirou. This prompts Rin to form a contract with Saber to protect Shirou from Archer. Saber uses Excalibur to destroy the deformed Grail after Rin rescued Shinji. In Rin's Normal Ending, Saber was caught in the blast and faded away like in Fate/Zero.
In Rin's Good Ending, Saber survives after Rin forms a contract with Saber and she became Rin's familiar, living at the Emiya house.
Zouken would bring Saber Alter and True Assassin to the Einzbern Mansion. Zouken would kidnap Illya while Saber Alter and True Assassin hold Berserker off until the shadow regurgitated him as Dark Berserker. Saber Alter is later defeated and killed by Shirou with assistance from Rider. Shirou kills Saber Alter with the Dagger of Azoth, freeing her from her wretched existence.
There is also a simple ending titled Sparks Liner High that occurs when Shirou is unable to form a pact with Rider. In this bad ending, Shirou unleashes the true power of Kanshou and Bakuya and wins the one-on-one duel with Saber Alter, but this causes him to have a mental breakdown.
In Fate/hollow ataraxia, Saber continues to protect Shirou, though it seems their relationship has turned more towards Saber having the major control over the relationship with Shirou.
Avenger is the main source of the endless loops, the loops are based on the Third Holy Grail War so he used the participants of the 5th grail war to recreate the scenes. There are two Sabers in the Third Grail War based on different legends so he uses both Saber and Saber Alter as their templates.
In the final loop of Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, Saber aided Shirou/Avenger in reaching the Grail by fending off the mysterious monsters (which were in fact leftover parts of Avenger wishing to continue the loop) with other Heroic Spirits.
Saber has three different incarnations in Fate/unlimited codes. Her normal form is has the title Proud High Knight-King (誇り高き騎士王?). She also is selectable as Saber Alter, titled Dark-tainted Tyrant (闇に染まりし暴君?), and Saber Lily.
Saber of Fate/Extra appears similar to Saber, but she is actually a different hero. She is refered to as Red Saber and appears with Saber, Saber Alter, and Saber Lily in various promotional art. The Saber Class Card in Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA generates Saber Alter.
Promotional materials for the Fate/Zero anime asked which other Servant classes other than Saber that they would like to see her summoned under. The first response was to instead show her as a Master, followed by the Rider, Berserker, and Lancer classes. Takashi Takeuchi did an illustration of the Master version of Saber to go along with it. Saber often ranks near the top of official popularity polls, and she ranked first out of the female characters during the TYPE-MOON Fes. tenth anniversary poll.
The Saber class is considered the "Most Outstanding" due to its excellent ratings in all categories, and Saber doesn't fall short of that reputation. She is left very underpowered for the majority of the Fifth Holy Grail War due to Shirou's extremely bad aptitude and being unable to provide her with prana due to his Magical Paths being obstructed. She is not able to achieve the power she had during life, so she cannot be said to have the abilities of the greatest Servant in that state. She is stronger under Kiritsugu, but her Luck is decreased because he cannot provide sufficient prana and it is instead affected by the Master's way of life. After she forms a proper contract with Rin, she displays her original abilities without being affected by the Master. She can barely keep up with Berserker using all of her strength while weakened, but Shirou believes that not even he would be able to stand against her at full strength. She is also strengthened under Caster, but doesn't display it due to being incapacitated by the Command Spell.
Saber Alter, having been provided with Sakura's nearly infinite prana, can be said to have even more power than she had in life and gains the ability to overwhelm even Berserker in a head-on fight. She is blackened by the mud from the Holy Grail in the form of the Shadow, and she is incarnated by the power of the Grail to have more concrete ties to the physical plane. This makes her into a powerful being, and while Blackened Servants cannot return to spirit form, Saber never had the ability even as a regular Servant. She does gain the ability to travel quickly by sinking into the Shadow and moving elsewhere at Sakura's command. Due to no longer having to restrain her prana consumption, she has lost her limitations, causing her fighting ability and destructive power to jump significantly, comparative to a runaway train, but fine control is no longer possible for her. She is the strongest in straightforward attack power, and she is probably, without dispute, the strongest Servant.
Unlike other Heroic Spirits who can fit under multiple classes, she claims that she is only suited to the Saber class. She has the capacity to qualify for the Caster class, but "magecraft is not the way of the King" and she lacks the patience to actually learn magecraft. If she were to be summoned in western Europe, she would receive a general boost in power similar to other European Heroic Spirits, and she would display a much sharper increase in power in England.
She is extremely skilled with a sword. Even unarmed and faced with a surprise attack from Taiga, said to be an unmatched kendo expert, Saber is able to easily disarm her without even taking a stance. She takes up teaching Shirou, but only focuses on giving him as much battle experience as possible because she does not have an aptitude for teaching others. While her ability as a swordsman is proficient, it is not where her true strength lies, but rather her enormous amount of magical energy.
Her initial Noble Phantasm is always Invisible Air, allowing her to hide her identity and main weapon, Excalibur, while also confusing opponents with an invisible sword. She can also release it in a large blast of air and cover other object with it. She eventually releases Excalibur when necessary, allowing her to unleash a large slash of light capable of wiping out almost anything it its path. She lost Avalon in life, but the genuine article still exists in the present. While it is kept from her during the Fourth Holy Grail War, it is returned during the Fate route of the Fifth War, giving her more energy and allowing her defend against any attack. She also lost Caliburn in the past, and while she can no longer use it, she is able to make use of Shirou's projection to slay Berseker.
Saber utilizes armor woven by her prana and it can be called part of her body, so it can be called forth for battle and dismissed for normal interactions. It is heavy, hard silver-white and azure armor including gauntlets, greaves, a breastplate, and long tassets shaped like a skirt that act as impregnable defenses made from magical energy overpowering others. She has to will is away manually and it doesn't fade when she is unconscious, so Rin is able to remove it from her like it is normal armor. While she normally wears a casual outfit, removing her armor during battle leaves her with a blue dress that she wears under it. Being made from her energy, it is weak against abilities that target prana like Gae Dearg.
It cannot be permanently damaged no matter how much it is slashed, chipped, or smashed, as she can instantly repair it with her own energy. It costs a great deal to protect herself by forming, maintaining, and repairing it, so she may have to forgo healing her body to repair the armor. Maintaining her armor is the same as maintaining her body, so she keeps it off when possible to preserve her dwindling power. The cost of doing so in battle can be deadly, but it can also grant her a boost in power that proves greater than the handicap of losing it. She can dismiss it simply by cutting off the prana supplied to it, causing it to fade into mist as it breaks into metallic dust. She can manipulate it through psychokinesis, allowing her to impart it on objects of her choice like the Yamaha V-Max.
She has a potent healing ability due to regeneration magic that automatically heals her wounds. It takes her own energy to heal wounds, so she relies on support from her Master if possible. While large, the first wound from Berserker heals in an hour, but the wound from Gae Bolg only heals on the outside and does not completely until Lancer's death due to its curse. Avalon's natural healing abilities greatly increases her healing potential, and it is able to heal her without using her own prana. It is not without limits, so it takes a number of minutes to recover from the backlash of Ea. Saber Alter's regeneration is bolstered by the almost infinite source of magical energy from Sakura, healing even fatal wounds in ten minutes and requiring the destruction of her head or heart for immediate death.
She has a high level of Charisma, noted to be a rare talent, and her rank reflects her time leading her country. As the natural talent to lead an army, it increases the ability of her army during mass combat. Saber Alter's Charisma is much lower, and it increases her leadership while dramatically lowering the morale of her soldiers. Saber is easily able to battle alongside others, and even though she and Lancer only fought once, she was able to etch all of his secret techniques into her memory after having fought with their lives on the line. They are able to understand each other without explanation, allowing Lancer to understand her skills and intentions to pull off an impromptu plan that required complete synchronization between them.
She cannot be impeded by water due to her body having received divine blessing from the Lady of the Lake. The miracle from the blessing allows her to advance undeterred on water at full sprinting speed, which gains hardness identical to ground even while her feet splash against the surface.
Saber was born with the prana of a dragon, shown by the “Pendragon” name, as Uther ordered Merlin to grant his successor the factor of the dragon (竜の因子?). She is the holder of the Element of the Red Dragon who carries the blood and very magical power of a phantasm in a human body, granting her a heart and unique Magic Circuits that transcend what can be achieved by normal humans and magi. Saber's Circuits are called a Magical Core, which is a fundamentally different from those of a normal magus. While a magus' body can be considered a machine which creates magical energy, hers acts as a factory which creates magical energy. It functions as an enormous prana core with tremendous capacity that generates energy independent from her body, but it will not function without the proper energy to act as a "starting key."
When she is almost out of energy in Fate after using her Noble Phantasm, Excalibur, she has a great amount of undiluted magical energy within the core, but it is meaningless without enough energy to start it. It requires a "fire" to burn in order to activate it, and it doesn't matter how small it is, as it will resume activity once a path to send magical energy is connected. During Realta Nua, Shirou uses part of his own Circuits to start it, and encounters a dragon that takes form in Saber's unconsciousness. Shirou calls it "an absurd 'true nature' that is appropriate for the best Servant." Once reactivated, it shows its nature as a prismatic circuit as it glows with all the colors of the rainbow and burns with a golden fire as its circulation restarts. Due to the characteristics of Dragon, she has much trouble with existences such as Siegfried, who is associated with tales of culling Dragons and weapons with an anti-dragon attribute such as Arondight.
The fault in her summoning caused a normal line between Servant and Master to not be connected, so she cannot replenish prana normally under Shirou. She is essentially limited to the amount with which she was summoned, around 1250 units of prana, placing her in a bad situation. It would help her even if he were only able to provide a small amount, but she doesn't receive any due to a lack of a normal spiritual connection. She uses the energy of ten mature magi just in the span of her first day. She would have to use a low amount for all of the subsequent battles, ten units assuming there was no damage, which would also place a limit on her use use of Excalibur.
She has to suppress her prana usage to the utmost to keep from fading away. She can lower the amount consumed by regularly consuming food, sleeping as much as possible, and disarming herself, as she cannot go into spiritual form to reduce the burden on her Master like other Servants. She can regenerate eight units of prana while subsiding on six units by being idle during the day, allowing her to save two units for later battle. The amount is inefficient, as the first battles with Lancer and Berserker cost her fifty and two hundred units to protect herself and restore her broken armor.
The humongous magical power from Saber's dragon blood grants her a very strong Magic Resistance that is the highest amongst the Servants, especially due to it having increased in magnitudes upon becoming a Servant. It is capable of completely neutralizing any magic below A rank, including grand sorceries involving magic arrays and instant contracts not only from modern magi of the highest level but also those from the Age of Gods. She notes that divine mysteries greater than herself, such as True Magic and members of the Phantasmal Species with divinity, can overwhelm it. It is possible that it will not function to its fullest extent if she is targeted by “Dragon-slaying Sorceries.” Its effectiveness is enough that its rank remains unchanged at A rank under both Shirou and Rin, regardless of their differences in power and characteristics, but it does decrease one rank to B with Sakura as her Master as result of the dark alignment from her Blackening. It becomes able to only nullify magic less than three verses, but it is still able to protect against grand sorceries and ritual magic with little chance of actually damaging her.
The extraordinary rank of her Magic Resistance is even able to resist an action forced onto her powered by one stroke of the Command Spell, sufficient enough to shake the very foundation of the Servant System, although only just barely. She is left in pain as compulsion and resistance clash intensely within her body from Kiritsugu's command, but she is able to use all of her strength to resist it. Under Caster's command, she is left in a state with no free will and her abilities lowered to the point where Caster can torture her with magecraft as long as she refuses to follow it. Caster believes that it will eventually infringe upon her mind enough to forcibly make her loyal within a day. She cannot handle having two used at once, so the tremendous force of dual Command Seals will ravage and crush Saber’s form and resistance to make her follow the second command without being able to stop it.
She cannot be directly wounded by magecraft, so she will charge in without fear to quickly determine the outcome of the battle with a slash. This is especially true against those of the Caster class, putting her at an overwhelming advantage and giving them little chance of victory should they face her directly. It is not effective against Caster's Prelati's Spellbook because Magic Resistance is only activated when someone targets her to use magecraft, and the creatures are materialized and carry a threat different from magecraft. She is able to charge through Rin's jewel powered spells, strong enough to wound and kill Servants without Magic Resistance, without pause as they instantly disappear simply from touching her, and even Caster's Age of Gods magecraft is ineffective on her to the point where even Saber looks down on her abilities. It proves to be a hindrance when protecting Shirou in "Missing Ariadine" after he is caught by Caster's enforced transference due to being unaffected by it. She is able to weaken it herself to allow Shirou to attempt Reinforcement on her.
Saber's entire fighting style and strength are based around her Prana Burst ability. It infuses and accumulates prana into her weapon and body, momentarily injecting an arbitrary vector that allows for an exceptional boost of her abilities by instantaneously releasing the prana to reinforce herself. It can be called a jet blast of prana to increase her movements in close combat, and executing large-scale body reinforcement through Prana Burst is only possible with her immense magical power. It would allow for even a stick to become a weapon of great power at her rank, but normal weapons without strong divine protection will not be able to endure the prana-fueled attack and will be destroyed with one blow. Her power increases with her available energy, so she can gain a boost in power and speed six times the energy used her armor should she convert the cost for it into her Prana Burst.
She uses the prana for her sword techniques, guarding, and movement. Her body is naturally physically frail, and she is even weaker than Shirou and Rin should she not utilize the ability. It is the secret that has allowed her to brandish her large sword with the combat style of a power fighter, and she is able to reinforce the ability of her body to such a great extent using prana that she can fight head on with monsters such as Berserker even with the thin body of a small girl. Each of her powerful blows contains enough prana that they are visible, and if Lancer's strikes are like an accurate sniper rifle, her own can be compared to a powerful shotgun.
Simply striking the enemy's weapon causes the energy to penetrate it, and it fills the area with light. She can surge it around herself to blow apart bindings like Horrors, tearing them into slivers of flesh and scattering them in an instant. She uses Prana Burst to compensate her lack in strength while wielding Excalibur with one hand after being wounded by Gae Buidhe, but it drains much more energy and she still cannot use the strength that can only be delivered with both hands. She can easily adjust her strength to match Shirou's level of swordsmanship while training him, and she can readily increase it as he also improves.
Saber Alter's Prana Burst takes the form of an enormous amount of prana always covering her body like a dense fog. Combined with her black armor, the trail of prana increases her defense considerably. It engulfs her more powerful attacks and leaves a black trail behind her strikes. She can release a burst of black energy in varying sizes called Burst Air (バースト・エア?) that can either travel towards the opponent or rise high into the air. She can create solid energy in the form of a dragon head to grab, bite, and throw the enemy with Tyrant Clap (タイラントクラップ?), and she can strike at the enemy from afar by surging prana around her and attacking with several black tentacles of energy.
Saber has extremely honed Instincts that have gotten her through many battles, allowing her to instantly identify “the best personal course of action” during combat. It is a heightened sixth sense that is innate unlike something that can be gained by anyone through hard work like Eye of the Mind (True), and it is essentially in the realm of predicting the future as a form of precognition due to having been strengthened by a degree from the specialty of the Saber class. It allows for the prediction of trajectory, allowing her to avoid attacks from firearms, and along with listening to the sound of cutting air, she can be said to have a protection against all projectile weapons. It also possible to negate the penalties inflicted by visual and auditory interference to a certain extent. While she cannot actually follow the confusing strikes of Kuzuki's Snake, she is able to dodge them purely through her Instinct because surprise attacks are ineffective against her. Even if she lacks sound logic or proof, it can be used a guidance, such as allowing her to tell that goading Berserker was a fatal mistake. It alerts her to the possible danger of an enemy, such as sensing a threat from Caster even though he is a magus and feeling Berserker's presence simply from his murderous intent.
Her instinctive alarm is triggered by Caster’s unnatural degree of confidence even with his fragile tentacle monsters being killed, and she is able to comprehend with extreme accuracy the nature of the threat from Berserker's F-15. Despite sensing Assassin to be harmless, her instincts tell her that he has a way to seize a certain kill even without a Noble Phantasm, and they tell her not to underestimate him for giving up his high ground because his words warning her of the lethality of Tsubame Gaeshi are true. While being able to discern techniques like Lancer’s ultimate technique, Gae Bolg, reflects her skill, her exceptional Instinct also helps her immensely. It allows her to turn and jump back from the attack with all her might, as if she knew it was going to happen. She is able to sense the possible arrival of certain "divine opportunities" for victory should she manage certain conditions. Against Tsubame Gaeshi, she is able to see a small blind spot created by the bent sword after having experienced it once before. While it allows her to see it, only her determination to follow it and charge in at Assassin without knowing if it would work allows her to defeat the skill.
While it can theoretically surpass thought for a natural talent in battle decisions and it has kept her alive over the years after having been sharpened through many battles, is not an infallible ability. Lancer is able to trick her with a ploy using his Noble Phantasms, leaving her unable to predict her blunder, and while she is able to dodge many of Kuzuki's strikes through pure instinct, it eventually fails her in the end. While she is able to select the best choice and follow that view normally, she is not able to even feel a chance of victory against Gilgamesh. It is as if the probability of victory is so low and the chance of a comeback is pretty much zero. The Instinct of Saber Alter is lowered by one rank and becomes more blunt due to continually suppressing her rage.
Saber’s ability is maximally unleashed while engaging in an honorable face-to-face single combat. It is a method of battle that is full of chivalric honor, and it is also one that suits her sense of aesthetics. She does not dislike strategizing, but she tends to loath fabricated strategies that have no concrete basis due to her experience as a capable military commander. She will fine tune her strategy meticulously, and she will further adapt her actions in response to the ever-changing dynamics of combat while in battle. She naturally dislikes cowardly actions, no matter if it involves strategies or not. Her compatibility with the cool-headed, achieving-his-goal-at-all-cost Master, Kiritsugu Emiya, was the worst due to his various strategies that involved using her as a tool.
Due to her nature, she feels inclined follow the etiquette of a knight to properly introduce herself to an opponent should they give their own name. Despite the potentially devastating effects it could have on future battles, she feels that she cannot disgrace the faith of a knight. She would never normally reveal her true name no matter what torture she were to receive, but that is only for the sake of victory that is not worth more than her pride.
When fighting Lancer for the second time in the Fourth Holy Grail War, she replicates the effect of the wound to her hand left by Gae Buidhe even after it is healed. She deliberately forgoes using her left hand by tucking her left thumb into her palm, so that her fighting style is lighter and somewhat held back because the strength of the hand is not used at all when attacking. It is not actually grasping the sword, so the remaining four fingers are only lightly wrapped around for supporting the control of the sword. Her pride is not able to settle for accepting Lancer's concession of destroying his own spear, so she attempts to match him in an action of true chivalry.
While Lancer is worried that they can not have a true battle under those conditions, she tells him that using her left hand in the situation would cause her enough shame to slow her sword. As it would be a fatal mistake to face him in such a condition, she feels it is the best strategy in order to put all her strength into defeating him. The extent of the injury to her hand is only of secondary importance in battle, as the most the most important contributor to Saber’s ability to obtain victory is in her clear fighting spirit and passion for battle that has been honed to purity. The pride in her heart can be called her greatest weapon, so she would rather give up her left hand to sever any confusion in herself.
She is not against receiving Kiritsugu's help in order to secure the Grail during her final battle of the Fourth War. She is fine with entrusting everything to him at that moment because it is the only way to reverse the situation with Gilgamesh at the time. She resolves herself to do her utmost to carry out his battle tactics no matter how strange. She is fine as long as she is able to retaliate against Gilgamesh, whether it involves using a Command Spell to block the sense of pain and use all her strength in an attack that may destroy her body or to undergo instantaneous movement to the side of the Grail in order to get out of her disadvantageous position and attack him with Excalibur.
Saber has a very high rank in Riding because knights are soldiers proficient in mounted warfare. Chariots and normal mounts can easily be ridden, but she is unable to control Pegasi, Griffons, Dragons, and other Magical Beast and Divine Beast ranked members of the Phantasmal Species. She can not handle such high level beings because her class isn't Rider, and due to the fact that she was a King in the Age of Man, she does not have the fortune of having “Legends of Riding Phantasmal Species.” She is able to control modern machinery like motorcycles and automobiles in a similar fashion to mounts. The Riding skill is applicable because they are treated as "modern mounts", but it is unclear if it is applicable to aircrafts. While the rank is B under both Shirou and Rin, it is elevated to A while having Kiritsugu as her Master. The Blackening that causes her to become Saber Alter makes it so her Riding skills are lost.
The ability allows her to completely understand the control of all ridden equipment both known and unknown to her. Even having never driven a car, she is able to make quick decisions that allow her to easily control it on her first time driving. Even if she doesn't know the actual function of a button, she is able to understand the effect it will have once pressed. She is confident in the prospect of piloting a passenger plane or any other mount by sitting on a saddle, seizing a bridle, and managing the rest with instinct. She does not have the opportunity to demonstrate her Riding ability in the Fifth Holy Grail War, but the battles might have developed differently if she were provided with an appropriate mount. She drives both Irisviel's Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe and a Yamaha V-Max prepared by Kiritsugu during the Fourth Holy Grail War.
While she chauffeurs Irisviel around in her Mercedes, it is not suitable for battle with other Servants. Four-wheeled vehicles, while controllable, are too constraining with the driver placed into a seat while constricted by safety belts. She is unable to get a natural feel for the vehicle without the act of actually riding it. In order to maximize Saber's Riding skill and the reinforced abilities of a Servant, something two-wheeled is necessary. It becomes much easier to control if the driver is able to become part of the vehicle itself to allow them to control balance, expose them to the outside elements, and allow them to feel the internal composition as if it were an extension of their own physical body. While a Servant's dexterity is far above such machines in both terms of maximum acceleration and maximum speed, they can travel while maintaining their speed as long as they have fuel, so she can avoid wasting energy in a drawn out pursuit.
Kiritsugu has Maiya prepare a mechanical prop more fitting for guerrilla warfare than a car in the form of a Yamaha V-Max, a powerful motorcycle likened to a "steel lion", during the Fourth Holy Grail War. It has a ridiculously impractical and hypothetical design that ignores the limits of normal drivers. The motorcycle body, that of a Yamaha V-Max, is already the most powerful in the modern world, and the original 1200cc 140 Horsepower engine that could already work near its limits was strengthened again into a V-style four-cylinder 1400cc engine. The acceleration system is completely reinforced to make it a monstrous abnormality with an output equal to 250 Horsepower. The structure of the V-style propelling mechanism and its four-cylinder design allows it to immediately start to work as a two-cylinder design when the limit of engine rotation is reached and allows it to increase the amount of air sucked in to achieve an ultimate acceleration.
It has surpassed the basic rule of a machine, the limit of "machines are tools of men." It can be thought of as an alien creation born through advanced modern technology which can only show its true worth by having an inhuman Servant rider. It is a design structure that would normally never be placed on a machine using two cylinders, but it is a "beast" that has completely surpassed the limits of a motorcycle. It can no longer function properly as a two-wheeled design because of the various extreme reinforcements. The wheels have too much torque, and they cannot generate enough friction with the road and only keep on turning. The front wheel jumps up whenever the brakes are applied, creating enough force to throw off the driver immediately. Its deepest hidden secret and most powerful trump card lies in a button on the steering wheel. It causes a valve inside the interior of the engine to switch to automatic mode and fill with oxide fuel. The nitrogenous oxide expands under the high temperature of three hundred degrees Celsius and reaches the boundaries of its limits to increase the V-Max's acceleration rapidly by twofold.
Saber, as a Servant, exists far beyond ordinary humans, so she is able to manage control over it with ease. Acting as her "steed", the speed it grants reminds her of riding a horse more than the Mercedes, and even though she is driving a creation of modern technology, riding it allows her spirit to return to the memorable battlefields of the past and regain the spirit of chivalry from a time when she had held her lance and charged towards the enemy formation. She becomes able to easily detect obstacles blocking her path through changes in the air flow, and even closing her eyes wouldn't hinder her ability to avoid collisions. She removes her armor because it would only hinder her riding, and because she is short in stature, she can only control the over three hundred kilogram, super heavily reinforced motorcycle in a precarious driving position. She is practically lying flat on top of the engine, which is covered by a plastic turbo pump, and is forced to bear the powerful vibrations of the large engine while holding onto the steering like a child desperately clinging onto the back of a beast.
She has no trouble controlling the physically uncontrollable steed perfectly at full speed from that position due to her prided battle skills and Prana Burst ability. She focuses the motorcycle's horsepower entirely on acceleration, and controls it with the enormous power of her prana bursts instead of breaking. As it was completely revamped to achieve the ultimate acceleration, it has no dexterity much like cars modified to compete in high-speed short and straight courses. Her superior skills allow her to overturn the common physical rule of "vehicles can’t turn corners at high speed", making it possible for her to open the throttle valves on tight turns to pour all of the excess torque into the back wheel. The intense acceleration would normally threaten to topple the vehicle sideways due to the front wheel starting to drift, but her explosive energy allows her to forcibly tilt it to the side in order to complete the turn. Rather than skill, it is more like using even more power to overwhelm and twist the direction of the vehicle.
Despite the machinery being extremely advanced, it is unable to cope with Saber's riding for very long. It easily reaches 6000 revolutions per minute from her breakneck pace, and on its own, it is able to reach over three hundred kilometers per hour. No mater how much of her prana she uses, the strength of its material composition and structure are limited to their original design. Before even catching up to Gordius Wheel, the machine has fully manifested all of its ability to its greatest capacity by that point, and the engine and acceleration system already show signs of breaking down. The ability to match something transcending normality like a Noble Phantasm requires to use both her armor and Invisible Air in conjunction to reinforce it and reduce the burden. Through intense psychokinesis, she is able to fuse her own armor with the bike following a concept similar to the armor that protected beloved horses on the battlefield to turn the motorcycle into a "magical beast" with a hard structure befitting its extraordinarily strong horsepower.
The capability of the entire bike is increased due to being wrapped in the flexible and strong sliver armor, and she constantly releases her prana to reinforce, cover, and protect various important parts that are able to ensure maximum speed of movement. It also increases her unity of riding by truly making it into her own limbs. The speed causes air friction that is close to approaching the force of water pressure, so she releases Invisible Air in the shape of an arrow around her to completely cover the body of the vehicle. She is able to entirely release it from air resistance by decreasing it to zero with the compression of the pneumatic umbrella. This allows it to easily reach over four hundred kilometers per hour, and due to the pressure released by the magecraft, the back wheel is firmly pressed against the cement even when making turns at full throttle. She has full control even at this speed, allowing her to easily dodge and weave through numerous obstacles while only on one wheel.
Heroic Spirits are those who have been removed from the time axis and placed on the Throne of Heroes, while Saber can still be considered living. The hero known as King Arthur is not currently classified as a Heroic Spirit, so she cannot be called a complete Servant. She made a pact with the World as she was on the verge of death after the Battle of Camlann that will require her to become a Counter Guardian, a sub-category of a Heroic Spirit at the service of the World, after her death. These pacts are normally done by those requiring the power beyond ordinary humans to become heroes during their lifetimes, but her wish instead came at the time of her death because King Arthur didn't require support to become a hero.
Due to the fact that she couldn't obtain the Holy Grail during her lifetime, she couldn't stand not having it in her final moments when a wish appeared that she needed granted. She could not complete the search for it, so she asked the World to allow her to obtain the Holy Grail while she still lived. King Arthur will not die until she obtains the Holy Grail, also meaning that King Arthur cannot die. She should be dead according to the timeline, but the contract cannot be fulfilled if that is true. Time is stopped for her at the moment of death, so it can be said that she is stopped in time rather than that time itself is stopped. The flow of time doesn't care that she is stopped, so it keeps flowing into the present without any issues.
While she is not actually a Heroic Spirit, she can be summoned as one because as long as she continues to seek the Holy Grail, it is evident that she will eventually become a complete Heroic Spirit. The result of obtaining the Holy Grail and fulfilling the contract are already determined, so she has an infinite amount of chances to claim it. This also allows her to be summoned into many ages even without being outside of time and before she became a Heroic Spirit due to the condition that her becoming one is already determined. She has no trouble staying in the world for an indefinite time during the Unlimited Blade Works good ending even though she has yet to fulfill or cancel the contract.
It would not be possible to summon her if she does not seek the Holy Grail, and as she cannot be summoned unless something called the Holy Grail is present, her existence is proof of its existence. Trials to obtain the Holy Grail exist in all ages, so she will eventually obtain it as she continues to challenge each one. Continuing the search for the Holy Grail of Fuyuki as a Servant or on any battlefield where there is a chance to obtain the Holy Grail can be done as many times as she wishes. Due to the fact that she still exists within the time axis, she cannot participate in two chances to obtain the Holy Grail at once, and she cannot redo chances she has already failed. She will fail a lost attempt at the Grail no matter how many times she tries because she cannot change an already experienced result.
Heroic Spirits summoned as Servants are all copies of the "true body" stored in the Throne of Heroes, but she had not yet reached that rank. She instead is called in the form of "myself about to die." This makes her current incarnation unique among Servants because she is called from within the time axis rather than being copied from outside of the concept of time. She jumps forward or backward in time from the moment of her death, and returns to that moment upon obtaining or failing to obtain the Grail. Should she claim it, her time will flow again and she will die just as history has recorded. Should she fail, all her memories are returned to her body, and she can either continue her search for the Grail or cancel the contract should she find a reason.
She originally claims that she cannot enter spirit form due to Shirou's inexperience as a magus, but eventually tells that it actually has to do with her body. Due to not having actually died, she is classified as a living being despite being handled differently as a Servant. This also allows her to keep all memories of her search for the Grail unlike Heroic Spirits that don't allow for any inconsistencies in their memories. Upon learning new knowledge, the self that learns will disappear after their duty is complete. With the exception of Archer's ability to "read" outside records of his actions as a Counter Guardian, Servants would normally not have any memories if they happened to be summoned in two different Grail Wars, while Saber completely retains all of the happenings of the Fourth Holy Grail War.
If her wish is granted, another king will be chosen in King Arthur's place. Even after she is no more, she will still have to act as the hero King Arthur, instead as a Counter Guardian, even without a legend behind her. Purposefully destroying the Grail means also destroying her contract and ability to be summoned as a Servant. After giving up on obtaining the Grail and terminating her contract with the World during Fate, she goes to Avalon rather than being removed from the cycle of transmigration to be placed on the Throne of Heroes like other Heroic Spirits. She is still considered a person in the present among the English as the "Once and Future King." She also destroys the Grail voluntarily during Unlimited Blade Works, but the contract is only halfway done rather than fully broken because it was a flawed Holy Grail and she is still unsure of herself. Since she reconsiders her life and finds her own path, it is possible she can become a Heroic Spirit on her own.
- ↑ Fate/Zero material - Beast's Lair
- ↑ Fate/complete material III World Material - Q: What was the sport that Saber said she liked, that used swords to play on large stretches of land? Could it be golf? Or maybe polo?
A: It was an ancestor of golf. Please think of it as “something like golf that was around before golf was conceived.”
- ↑ ＞Q.半端ない魔力の持ち主であるセイバーが魔術師をめざしたら、
- ↑ Fate/complete material III - Q: If the Holy Grail War were set in Europe, would Cuchulainn (Lancer), King Arthur (Saber), and Heracles (Berserker) be roughly equal in power?
A: ...Well, if we’re talking western Europe in general I’d say the first two would be powered up to an equal degree... though England and Ireland, the odds would be sharply in the respective hero’s favor. Heracles would display excellent power in all of western Europe.
- ↑ また、アーサー王の父ウーサーは、マーリンの計らいで竜の因子を持った後継者を造り、アルトリアは人であり ながら竜そのものの魔力を帯びるに至った。
- ↑ Fate/stay night Realta Nua scene
- ↑ Fate/Zero volume 2 - "Considering the special abilities of Servant classes, Saber has an overwhelming advantage over Caster when they battle. When she achieved the class of the Heroic Spirit of the sword, her ability of magic resistance was increased in magnitudes."
- ↑ Complete Material III
- ↑ Fate route - 15th Day: Trump Unknown
- ↑ Fate/Zero volume 2 Act 5 - Saber's sixth sense was also strengthened to a degree due to her class's specialty, almost to the level of precognition. If even she felt uneasy about the enemy, Irisviel also had to reevaluate Caster.
- ↑ Fate/complete material III World Material - In the Saber route, Saber terminated her contract with the World by breaking the Grail by her own will, but in the end, wouldn't a hero of the caliber of King Arthur end up being removed from the cycle of transmigration as a Heroic Spirit after death?
A: King Arthur's goin' to Avalon. Among the English, King Arthur's still a person of the present. After all, she's the "future King who will be back"
- ↑ Fate/complete material III World Material - Q: Even in Rin’s route, Saber voluntarily destroyed the Holy Grail. Did this time also break her contract with the World, and make it impossible for her to exist as a Heroic Spirit?
A: It was a flawed Grail, so you could say it was halfway done. Since Saber reconsidered her life and found her own path... this time, perhaps she could become a Heroic Spirit on her own.