Composed of spirit particles or spiritrons, the soul is the second element, one of the three essential elements that compose a human, alongside mind and body. It is something independent from the body, not belonging to the same material world. It is an existence of a higher order in concept of the astral plane, acting as a record of the body containing the memories, mind, and Magic Circuits. The body itself can be called a terminal for the soul to move around, and the soul itself can be considered an invincible command structure. While the body itself possesses a record of its composition in its genes that allows it to heal itself, that blueprint is not applicable when a person has lost their original body. The soul itself contains a record, the "genes of the soul", that allows both the body and its genes to be restored even if they are lost, should the person take another vessel. Souls are the only existences that are eternal in the material world, but they are unable to remain in the world by themselves without a container like a body. Once it is fixated in a body, the soul is destined with "eventual death." In that state, time affects even such ethereal bodies, so the soul can start to rot, corrupting even the body's blueprint. The person inhabiting a new body can only take their own form, overwriting the body no matter its quality, and that form will degrade more quickly as the rot progresses.
In the past, in the medical community, it was thought that the body equaled life, and the body was an output device needed to power the soul. Without a living body, a soul could not be generated. However in the World of Magecraft the opposite was thought to be true: the soul is a "will" that lies in another dimension, and that will occupies a body. It is a general rule that the human body can only hold a single soul.
When the body dies, the soul disperses and gradually fades away back to the Root to be recycled. This also applies to Servants, and magi need to feed them with Magical Energy to maintain them - something that shouldn't be doable normally on one's own, unless backed up by the Great Grail. This applies again when the Servant is killed, but the Holy Grail is here to store them temporarily to power the Great Grail.
Vampirization - that is, making the flesh undead - is a way to prolong the soul after the death of the body; yet, the soul still decays. Vampires need to drink the blood of humans to maintain their body, and thus, their soul.
The core that binds the soul is the head - the brain. It is said that there are three parts required for a lifeform: the soul, the brain, and the body. The brain keeps the soul anchored to the body. The soul can reshape itself with the brain and the body. Usually, it is said that destroying either two out of these three is required to completely kill someone. In the case of a vampire, it seems the vampirization, which transforms the soul, can bypass the necessity of the brain to hold the soul: after a while, vampires can regenerate their body, and thus, their brain, to maintain the soul.
Souls are noted to have color, at least in the case of Gilgamesh and his soul that glows golden.
Magecraft and conversion
As their privilege of being Spiritual beings, wraiths and Servants, and beings like unicorns, have the ability to convert souls into magical energy to act as nourishment. While magi believe them to exist and they act as a necessary element for performing magecraft, they have been considered hard to handle since ancient times. They are simply viewed as "things to be investigated" and "things to be moved into containers", only allowing them to be moved between vessels, rather than having any applicable use in such a state. They cannot be converted and transformed with magecraft, and as they cannot act as nourishment to humans or be converted to anything else, the ability to harvest them would prove meaningless to anything other than a spiritual being.
It is possible for some magi to use reincarnation, creating an offspring with their soul after their death. The process is difficult, and if they are unable to inherit all of their previous self's power, they can only be called a copy rather than reincarnation. This copy, degraded by its very nature, will be inferior to the magus' previous self.
It is said by magi that only one magus has ever truly understood the soul. Other people include:
- Darius Ainsworth, invented his own style of Flash Air over a thousand years ago, he created it in order to record and store dozens of years of his life, the concept of "Darius", within Pandora's Box, as it contains a place that is not bound by the same rules of the World and so the record of his soul won't suffer decay inside it. Because of this, every version after him is but a copy of the back-up stored in the Pithos, and every time he dies a record of him in his prime is used to make a near-perfect replica. This has the side-effect of making Darius unable to die unless the Pithos is opened, making him immortal. Every time he dies he retrieves a back-up from the copy stored in the Pithos that is a perfect copy of him in his prime -- it is not a flawless process however, as though his soul escapes damage, his memories diminish with each resurrection.
- Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia, devoting his attention into studying the soul due to having interacted with a Servant, has found a way to turn the souls of other humans into nourishment for himself. Compared to spirits that can do so without issue, it is a dangerous ritual for a human that can lead to death if even slightly off, and the result of multiple rituals will end in his very identity being overwritten.
- Michael Roa Valdamjong (Remake), is probably the only one who ever succeeded in turning the soul, incalculable and something that instantly disperses upon leaving the body, and processed as something that can be "transmitted"; it is how he acquired his nickname of Infinite Reincarnator (転生無限者, Tensei Mugensha?). However, revival of the soul is difficult, and what really transmigrates is his tenacity more than the actual Roa. As he can't actually transfer the whole 100% of his abilities, he reproduces them, and always ends up inferior to the previous incarnation.
The Third Magic allows for the materialization of the soul, bringing about an immortal existence of a higher dimension able to take a spiritual form while influencing the physical world. Part of it is used to bring forth Servants, but since its true purpose is not to duplicate a soul perceived in the past, it is an intentionally imperfect method and materialized souls given spiritual form are not considered alive as part of the current world or timeline.
Purity and weight
The souls of humans are pure and sturdy as infants, and they are dyed with their experiences in life, each year of accumulated experience adding to it. Beings created in an already-matured state like most homunculi have empty souls bereft of any such experience, keeping the same initial purity. Given enough time, even the soul itself can begin to rot along with the body. In the case of possession, the experience of the souls of the two will mix, becoming jammed and clashing due to a lack of compatibility. Only those like homunculi that lack such experience can do such without rejection. While Heroic Spirits can take in the souls of others as sustenance with impunity, humans performing the same will begin to have the precision ratio of their body and soul start to reduce, eventually leaving them as "someone else" should they continue the process enough times. While that person will share the same memories and have every detail of the person perfectly recorded, that new person will still not be "them."
Heroic Spirits are considered souls of the greatest purity among humans, said to be vast and overwhelming compared to living humans, that can fill the Greater Grail with only seven. Gilgamesh in particular is noted to be worth hundreds of thousands of human souls, and he alone is enough to fill the rest of a Lesser Grail when only the souls of four Servants have been consumed compared to the required seven. Compared to the souls of humans, those of Heroic Spirits are completely different in all aspects, greater in purity, density, strength, and solidity. For one to possess a human for even one second is considered a miracle, and the idea of taking in souls of such density is impossible for a normal person who would be unable to endure them. With the specially created vessels of the Einzberns, they can take in the souls of seven while slowly losing human functions. With the backing of a Command Spell and the lack of his experience in his soul, Sieg is able to take in Siegfried's soul for three minutes at a time, and while Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia cannot actually devour the soul of Vlad III, he takes it in and engraves his very existence on Lancer's soul due to a number of circumstances.
Some humans, such as Salia, possess what are described as "immortal souls since birth," souls "unpolluted, undisturbed by all evil." Said to be "people born of eternal, immovable purity," these individuals are described as possessing angelic souls, reflecting that angels can perform no evil deeds. This phenomenon is different from the origin possessed by each individual. The concept of "evil" refers to actions like “unconsciously despising another person,” “damaging your surroundings for your own sake,” and “aimlessly hurting life.”
Other special circumstances involving the soul include:
- The Hundred-Faced Hassan was born with a compartmentalized soul despite having a singular physical body, resulting in them manifesting as multiple personalities in life much like multiple personality disorder. As each is a different soul with a unique personality, they are able to manifest in different shapes once they are no longer bound by his living body as a Heroic Spirit.
- Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel route - Day 7: dialogue lost loop - Interlude 7-2: Madness
- Fate/stay night - Prologue: Day 3
- Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Volume 6: case. Atlas Contract (Upper) - Chapter 2 Part 4
 Fate/EXTELLA material - Encyclopedia: Trinity [Concept], p.108 [T]
The three elements that compose a human: Mind, Soul, and Body.
In EXTELLA, in order to escape from Titan Altera, the Main Character split himself/herself into these three elements, splitting the Regalia at the same time.
Below is an explanation of each element’s key qualities.
Master of Nero. His or her personality is based on personal experiences and passion.
The Mind is optimistic and outgoing, though not particularly thoughtful.
Even after being informed that he or she will disappear before long, the Mind keeps up a charming smile, believing that it will all work out somehow.
Coupled with that charm is a decent sense of morality, rationality, and justice.
Master of Tamamo no Mae. [Unlike the Mind, whose personality is based on life experience,] the Soul acts more on his or her core nature.
The Soul is optimistic, but rather passive, lacking in motivation and decisiveness.
Ephemeral and a little timid, the Main Character ends up being pushed around by Tamamo, who grows into something of a villainess after acquiring the Regalia.
In contrast with the Mind’s wild passion, the Soul exudes a sort of cool sensuality that enraptures even Tamamo by presence alone.
He or she possesses the philosophical nature and acumen of a transcendent being who is unmoved by emotion.
Although he or she may seem fragile at first glance, the Soul can achieve a state of surprising clarity when faced with a decision.
Master of Altera. Driven by instinct, he or she has an open personality that persists even on its own, without the presence of the Mind or Soul.
As well, without those two essential pieces, and despite being born from the same “root,” the Body has a stronger sense of physicality.
In a sense, the Body is in a unique, virtually blank state, which means he or she can naturally and impartially assess Altera’s character.
And so, even after being imprisoned by the Titan, the Body interacts her not as an enemy, but simply as a conversation partner. On those terms, the two begin to understand each other. Although in truth, for the Main Character, it’s love at first sight. The Body has no memories, and thus the default state is to continuously observe everything in sight.
Without memories, the Body is constantly pondering his or her identity, the unnatural state of his or her existence, and, by extension, whether he or she will eventually disappear.
But instead of being fearful, the Body is simply inquisitive, just like any newborn intelligent life form. His or her tendency to overthink is born of a single-minded desire to know who he or she really is.
Later, the Body learns, and comes to accept, that his or her fate is to disappear no matter what happens. With that mystery solved, he or she then focuses on releasing Altera from the cruel fate that awaits her.
In all other respects, the Body’s base personality is the same as the Mind.
The Body is both pessimistic and bold. At first, the Main Character is headstrong (tsun), but they show their weakness once they reach a certain point (dere). So they are tsundere.
The Extella series is made so that there is almost no difference between the male and female Main Characters, but the Body is an exception, and has clear differences.
The relationship between Titan Altera and the female Main Character is one of a fearsome alien deity and the pure holy maiden who worships her.
The reason we had the female Main Character’s new costume designed as a dress was purely so that we could emphasize that imagery.
- Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Volume 7: case. Atlas Contract (Lower) - Chapter 1 Part 4
- Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel route - True End: Return to the Spring
- Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel route - Day 06: beautiful (I) - Scene 09: Winter castle - Ilya (II)
 Fate/EXTRA material - Encyclopedia: Soul [Circumstances], p.197
A soul resides in all life forms that are intelligent. It is spiritual life that is not part of any physical phenomenon.
In the world of EXTRA it is said to be the source that enables a container to have life.
In the past, in the medical community, it was thought that the body = life, and the body was an output device needed to power the soul. Without a living body, a soul could not be generated.
However, in the magus community the opposite was thought to be true. The soul is a “will” that lies in another dimension, and that will occupies a body.
Which school of thought is correct still remains unknown today, however in the world of EXTRA Pseudo-Spiritron Theory has been established. From this theory it became clear that the soul can activate even without a physical body, and as such the soul has come to be treated as “the source of a person.”
- Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel route - Day 13: LAST TALK - Gift
- Fate/stay night - Unlimited Blade Works route - Day 3: long day, long night - First Command Spell
- Tsukihime - Near Side: Arcueid's route - 3/ The Black Beast I
- Tsukihime - Near Side: Arcueid's route - 6/ Eyes of Death Perception I
 Tsukihime Dokuhon PlusPeriod - TSUKIHIME Dictionary: Vampire [Term], p.178
A general term for those that suck human blood. Refers specifically to the Dead Apostles, or those that have become bloodsuckers because of them.
The vampires in Tsukihime extract human blood to maintain their own flesh. If, during this process, the vampire injects their own blood into their human prey, that human will be unable to peacefully pass away. For a normal person, death will still find them before long regardless. However, on rare occasions, if the victim has high physical potential and the capacity of their soul is excellent, they will remain in the world of the living.
Afterward, their corpse is interred, and left alone for several years. During this time their brain melts, their soul is liberated from the cage of the body, and finally they arise as a kind of living dead called a "ghoul".
As a ghoul, they feed on the corpses sleeping in the graves around them to supplement their own missing flesh, restoring their physical body little by little. After many years of this, they will eventually regain their brain and intelligence. At this stage, they can finally be called a "vampire".
However, although this new vampire can move by their own will, they cannot escape from the rule of their sire's blood. Finally, after spending decades acclimating to life in the darkness, the vampire will begin attacking humans to create servants of their very own, while remaining subservient to the vampire that made them.
In order to obstruct this infinite cycle, the Church created the Burial Agency, Inquisitors that exist to slay Dead Apostles. The Burial Agency's goal is the utter eradication of all vampires, and the sealing of the 27 Ancestors that made them.
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Gold-glitter [Others], p.059 [T]
The name Rin called Gilgamesh when she saw him.
Gil was called "golden" not only because of his armour when he was fully armed, but also the fact that his soul glowed golden.
The wealthiest character in this story, our Gil.
His compatibility with large-spender Rin was the greatest, but that was the secret just between you and me.
 Tsukihime Dokuhon PlusPeriod - TSUKIHIME Dictionary: Seventh Holy Scripture [Weapon name], p.184
Seventh Holy Scripture [Weapon name]
The conceptual armament that Ciel is authorized to carry. An iron hammer created by the Church in order to renounce the heretical doctrine of transmigration.
It was created by felling a miraculous beast said to consume souls, then using its horn as a key. The surface of the horn is inscribed with tightly-packed complaints about how "transmigration is really lame".
Since it's been almost a thousand years since it was first created, it even has an elemental living within it.
It was sanctified over the course of many years, but eventually fell into Ciel's hands.
"A horn!? That's not practical at all. The higher-ups are totally out of touch!"
Unable to hold herself back, she set about improving it, and because of that the Scripture's elemental ended up having the essence of its personality warped.
Before Ciel remodeled it, it was only effective against spiritual entities. Now, however, it has been transformed into a lump of iron that can pound a vampire to death with its physical attack power alone. It has a gross weight of 60 kilograms, and a maximum weight of twice that with optional attachments. It's a… Gatling scripture!?
- Fate/Apocrypha Volume 2: Round Dance of Black / Festival of Red - Chapter 3
- Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA 3rei!! - Chapter 65.2
- Tsukihime - Near Side: Arcueid's route - 10/ Vermilion Crimson Moon II
- Tsukihime - Near Side: Ciel's route - 7/ Bow in the Sky II
- Tsukihime -A piece of blue glass moon- - Moon Princess route - Day 10: "Vermillion, Crimson Moon I"
- Tsukihime - Near Side: Arcueid's route - 12/ The World of the Moon
- Tsukihime - Near Side: Ciel's route - 9/ Cast-off Shell
- Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel route - Day 10: darkwood,sleepingbeauty - Artificial Phantasm
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Dress of Heaven [Armament], p.067 [T]
Dress of Heaven [Armament]
A magical artifact passed down by the Einzberns.
As the heart that governs the Great Holy Grail, it is imbued with sorcery that can materialize the soul for just a few seconds.
Though the dress is pure white, it is actually made of gold. It is inlaid with seven "rings" said to control creation, and the souls of others.
The seven holes in the dress are the seven transformed rings, and they are designed to light up one by one every time a Servant's soul is harvested.
Since any human who touches the dress will be turned to gold, its management must be handled by elementals, demi-humans, or homunculi.
- Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel route - Day 15: limited. - Truth - Antihero Angra Manyu
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Servant [Magecraft], p.061 [T]
The Heroic Spirits summoned by the Holy Grail. They fell under the "Familiar" classification.
Seven Classes (only) were designated in advance. They were souls of the greatest purity called forth by using relics tied to the specific Heroic Spirits.
Originally they were not existences that could be controlled by mere humans, but they were forced to cooperate with the Masters due to the Command Spells. These Command Spells represented Masters' right to rule. For Servants, obedience towards the Command Spells were "the absolute condition required for materialization".
Servants could revert to Spiritual Form at any time. While in Spiritual Form, they could pass through inorganic matters that lack mana.
During Lancer's surprise drop attack from the ceilings at the Emiya residence, he phased through the roof and entered the living room. He then materialized after clearing the ceiling.
While in Spiritual Form, Servants were not affected by physical interference. However, their abilities to affect the material world decreased. As a result, it was considered advantageous to materialize during combat.
- Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel route - Day 12: overdose - Nightmare, awakening
- Fate/stay night - Heaven's Feel route - Day 13: LAST TALK - Misery
- Fate/Grand Order Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot Wandering;Agateram - Blu-ray Q&A
- Fate/Grand Order - Camelot: The Sacred Round Table Realm - Section 4: The Wailing Wall
- Fate/Zero Volume 2: The Mad Feast of Kings - Act 8 Part 6 -102:54:10
 Fate/Zero material - Encyclopedia: Hundred-Faced Hassan [Servant], p.103
Hundred-Faced Hassan [Servant]
The Assassin Heroic Spirit who participated in the Fourth Holy Grail War. One of the "Old Man of the Mountain" amongst the generations of Hassan-i Sabbah.
He was an exception in Hassans, as he did not undergo the body modification called "Zabaniya". Instead, he took advantage of his affliction of Multiple Personality Disorder and acted as an assassin without a true identity.
When summoned as a spiritual entity and emerged as a Servant, segments of his compartmentalized soul each materialized as an individual. However, due to the potential of the spirit being only that of one person, the abilities of the Assassins produced by the division were extremely low, reaching the nadir of the capabilities of Servants.
In addition, each personality has his strengths and weaknesses. Among them, there are impatient glory-hounds who ignore orders like fools, and individuals who are terrible at ambushes despite being assassins. However, if one can comprehend their characteristics and apply their skills in the right situations, the Hundred-Faced Hassan can be a very dangerous Servant. Unfortunately, because his Master had no intention of winning the war, he was damned to the fate of a voyeur.
The Hundred-Faced Hassan was summoned by Kotomine Kirei when he was still a lackey of Tokiomi Tohsaka, thus he was truly a servant of a servant. Even so, he still harboured a wish that he hoped the Grail could grant (by the way, it was "to have a perfect and unified personality"). He even plotted to hijack the Holy Grail before Kirei and Tokiomi, had the war have gone in their favour. However, in the end he did not even have a chance to show his rebellious side before becoming the first Servant eliminated from the war.