Subcategory Holy Grail Wars (亜種聖杯戦争, Ashu Seihai Sensō?, localized as Subspecific Holy Grail War) are derivative, smaller Holy Grail Wars based upon the wide dissemination of the inner mechanics of the Fuyuki Holy Grail War to the world of magi. Such rituals began to appear in the world of Fate/Apocrypha after Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia spread information about the construction of the ritual to magi around the world. Francesca Prelati plans to spread such rituals through the world of Fate/strange Fake, in the hopes that, by repeating the ritual thousands, tens of thousands of times until the human race went extinct, simple trial and error and pure chance might eventually get her to achieve her wish of the elimination of Magic through the advancement of human technology.
Each of the Subcategory Holy Grail Wars have different origins, however, all of these wars revolve around a Holy Grail.
For example, in the Labyrinth Subcategory Holy Grail War, the Holy Grail that was used was an imitation Grail that was installed at the bottom of the Seventh Labyrinth of Caubac Alcatraz by Wolfgang Faustus who wanted to use it to get the Spiritual Cores of the Servants and Ascend to become an Elemental.
Each of the Subcategory Holy Grail Wars have different procedures and as such have no pre-defined notions of structure as well as various rules unique to each Grail War. The only commonality is the notion of the summoning of Servants, the necessity of Masters and the use of Command Spells.
For example, in the Labyrinth Subcategory Holy Grail War, the setup of the Holy Grail War is very similar to a dungeon quest from an RPG video game. In this Grail War, up to 5 Servants are summoned by the Subcategory Holy Grail. There are no Lancer or Rider class Servants and Servants don't have to have masters, but can be summoned by one if required. The goal of these Servants is to reach the Holy Grail at the center of the bottom-most floor of the Seventh Labyrinth of Caubac Alcatraz. Along the way, these Servants have to battle their way against various monsters e.g. Golems, Man-eating Fairies etc as well as the various bosses at the end of each floor e.g. Dragon Golem. The monsters themselves can also be used to create food to allow the Servants to restore their Magical Energy.
Various traps and Mystic Codes are also found within the Labyrinth as well. The various Mystic Codes can be found from the monsters or from chests in the various rooms of the Labyrinth. Upon, reaching the Grail, they can have one wish granted in theory.
In the Labyrinth Holy Grail War, supervision of the Grail War was left primarily to Wolfgang Faustus, the creator of the Labyrinth Holy Grail War. However, upon receiving word of the unofficial Grail War in the Labyrinth and the missing investigators, the Mages Association sent Lord El-Melloi II and his assistant, Gray to investigate.
Labyrinth Holy Grail War
The Labyrinth Holy Grail War (迷宮の聖杯戦争, Meikyū no Seihai Sensō?) of Fate/Labyrinth takes place in the Seventh Labyrinth of Caubac Alcatraz. The story starts with Norma Goodfellow being possessed by Manaka Sajyou who had traveled to her world from the Reverse Side of the World out of a desire to experience a dream. Manaka takes over Norma's body both in mind and appearance as Norma accidentally summons Saber (Artoria Pendragon). Making a contract with Saber, Manaka proceeds through the labyrinth with her. Even though up to 5 Servants can be summoned, Manaka and Saber encounter 3 other Servants, Archer from Fate/EXTRA, True Assassin and Caster from Fate/Stay Night.
Charmed by Manaka, all 4 Servants decided to team up to fight the Bosses of each level. Upon beating the boss of the 4th level, Manaka starts getting called back to her world by the Beast Class Servant and leaves Norma's body, reverting it back to Norma's usual appearance. Confused, the Servants asked what is going on, but Norma becomes frightened and runs away, triggering a pit trap that causes Norma to fall to the final level. In a crystal cavern at the bottom-most level, Norma finds herself attacked by carnivorous fairy golems, but is saved by Gray who was sent to investigate the Labyrinth. Meanwhile, the Servants decide to find Norma and both parties head the Grail Chamber, along the way, Saber fades away having lost her Master Manaka.
In the Grail Chamber, both Gray and Norma meet the host of the Grail War, Wolfgang Faustus who attacks them, but they are saved by the Servants. The Subcategory Grail War ends with the death of Wolfgang Faustus at the hands of Gray and the Servants; and the destruction of the Subcategory Holy Grail by Norma with the help of Manaka. Norma is then sent back to the entrance of the Labryinth where she says goodbye to the Servants and leaves with Lord El-Melloi II and Gray to make a report at the Mages Association.
- Greece's Subcategory Holy Grail War failed to come to fruition after it became a struggle between magi to obtain a “catalyst of Heracles”, ending in a simple battle of magecraft. Even after the usage of Heracles was forbidden, there was never a proper ritual held in Greece because the next war simply turned into a similar competition for a "catalyst of Achilles".
- A war where Shakespeare was said to have managed to strengthen a Master enough to defeat a Servant.
- A war where Waver Velvet summoned Iskandar and then later became given the title Lord El-Melloi II as in Fourth Fuyuki Holy Grail War.
- A war Rottweil Berzinsky participated in, which had only five Servants. The objective was to gather Magical Energy and Rottwell was hired to participate in the summoning ritual and kill his own Servants, but it irritated him and he killed the other participants, including his client. This resulted in the gathered Magical Energy running wild and causing a large explosion, which he barely survived by shedding his skin twice.
- In the "An Old Spider Spins Webs of Memory" event in Fate/Grand Order, James Moriarty recalls a Subcategory Holy Grail War he was asked to advise on. It ultimately didn't come to pass and resulted in the collapse of a city.
|Labryinth Holy Grail War||Manaka Sajyou /||Saber||Artoria Pendragon|
|Labryinth Holy Grail War||Subcategory Holy Grail||Archer||Robin Hood|
|Labryinth Holy Grail War||Subcategory Holy Grail||Caster||Medea|
|Labryinth Holy Grail War||Subcategory Holy Grail||Assassin||Hassan of the Cursed Arm|
|Labryinth Holy Grail War||Wolfgang Faustus||Berserker||Asterios|
|Unknown War (Fate/Apocrypha world)||Waver Velvet||Rider||Iskandar|
|Unknown War (Fate/Apocrypha world)||Unknown||Caster||Shakespeare|
|Unknown War (Fate/Apocrypha world)||Rottweil Berzinsky||Unknown||Unknown|
 Fate/Apocrypha material - Encyclopedia: Subcategory Holy Grail Wars [Others], p.154-155 [T]
Subspecies Holy Grail Wars [Others]
The small Holy Grail Wars that have been recklessly happening everywhere since several decades ago in the “Apocrypha” world. Varying from those with only two Servants to wars with five Servants which, though inferior in scale to Fuyuki, are still considerably large conflicts, all kinds of Holy Grails Wars are brightly, happily and violently taken place throughout the world.
This is because, after the Third Holy Grail War, Darnic disseminated information on the structure of the Holy Grail War, which normally should have been concealed at all costs, to other magi in order to forestall them from searching for the Holy Grail that he had stolen.
Even for magi who lament over how the Root is just a distant fairy tale, once they learned that they could take a step… or perhaps even just half a step towards reaching it through this ritual, they ended up desperately creating Holy Grails of their own.
Broadly speaking, out of a hundred Holy Grails made, ninety-five of them get stalled due to setbacks in the midst of constructing them, and out of the remaining finished five Grails, four end up incomplete and explode while prana is poured into them. The last remaining Grail out of them all manages to work properly, but the ritual is degraded in quality and cannot be compared to the one in Fuyuki.
However, with the prana accumulated in the Grail, it still becomes possible to bring about miracles of varying scale. Being summoned by such a shoddy Holy Grail is a real nuisance to the Servants, though. There are many Servants who refuse the summoning or rebel and kill their Masters.
Amongst young magi, something like a “Holy Grail War Walkthrough Wiki” has been secretly created and is used to outwit obstinate old magi by mustering their intelligence… maybe. The early period right after the subspecies Holy Grails began was called the “golden era of Assassins”, where Assassins (Hassan-i-Sabbah) were a great menace (because, on top of their prana consumption being low, killing Masters was far easier than battles between Servants, so it might have seemed like easier work in its own way), but by the middle period, countermeasures against them were naturally taken and the Hassan boom fell into decline. It’s apparently a common sight for Masters who enjoy having their Servants fight each other to easily team up just as Assassin is confirmed to be summoned.
It is quite common in the subspecies Holy Grail Wars for the Servants to be unable to display their full power as much as in Fuyuki depending on the quality of the leylines, and, since the advantages and disadvantages of each Servant also becomes clear according to their level of fame in the land where a war takes place, it often turns into a competition to obtain the catalysts of local Servants.
For instance, a subspecies Holy Grail War in Greece would create a struggle for a “catalyst of Heracles”, and the magi who managed to get it would win… In other words, the whole thing seems to go full circle and turn into a simple battle of magecraft between magi in the end. As a cute one-time divorcee magus said, “Rather, the whole idea of fighting that macho guy in his homeland is seriously ridiculous in the first place.”
After the use of Heracles was forbidden as a result of that, the next war turned into a competition over the catalyst of Achilles, and so there has never been a proper Holy Grail War held in Greece. There exist terrible tales of Holy Grail Wars like this.
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 3 - Prologue VIII: "The Star Performers' Feast (Part 1)"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 6 - Chapter 20: "Fantasy Becomes Reality"
- Fate/Labyrinth - Act 6
- Fate/Labyrinth - Epilogue
 Fate/Apocrypha material - Encyclopedia: Caster of “Red” [Servant], p.150 [T]
Caster of “Red” [Servant]
One of the Servants and masterminds of the Red camp. He has the lowest position among the masterminds. After all, the way he betrayed his Master after saying “Hmm, this Master seems still and uninteresting. Eh? Saving the entire world? My, that seems fun. I’ll help, I’ll help!” is essentially the impulsive and unpredictable action of a young man.
His true identity is the famous ultra-literary master, William Shakespeare. There’s no need to talk about the details about his background at this point; he’s one of the most well-known writers in the world, after all. Writer-type Servants are pretty much all idiosyncratic and hard to deal with, and naturally he’s also one of them. He has no fighting power, but he’s the best when it comes to powering up his Master. The more of a character that his Master is, the more his writing excels, or so he says. In other words, strengthening his Master and having him fight as an Assassin is Shakespeare’s style of fighting in a Holy Grail War. Naturally, no matter how much he strengthens his Master, the chances of them beating a Servant is extremely low—but it’s said that he managed to bring about that unlikely possibility just once in one of the subspecies Holy Grail Wars.
He loves the stories he writes beyond anything else, and he spares no love for his characters. On the other hand, he finds mediocrity unpleasant. By the way, his definition of “mediocre” is not based on someone’s abilities or appearance. The ones he calls mediocre are the people who don’t decide, the people who don’t choose, the people who defer and put things on hold, and the people who aren’t deeply moved by the miracle of living every day.
Though it’s repetitive to say, he has absolutely no fighting power. However, his fame has spread across almost the entire world, and the illusions created by the “theatrical troupe” are a form of magecraft that, though incapable of dealing direct damage, is perfect for wreaking chaos and confusion. Well, he also sometimes sends his own allies into disorder as well, though.
The final words he said at the moment of his death are one of the few true and honest words said by this man who normally glosses everything over with beautiful lines of literary. Shakespeare actively worked as an actor alongside his career as a playwright. So he probably couldn’t help but burn with the desire to act as the leading actor on the grand stage of the Great Holy Grail War.
Incidentally, in the prototype version of “Fate/Apocrypha”, his Noble Phantasm’s name was the same, but its role was greatly different. During the initial plot when Shakespeare was supposed to be an ally, there was a scenario where “just as the protagonist is about to die, his Servant Shakespeare activates his Noble Phantasm and somehow manages to find a way to survive”, but the idea was quickly discarded.
 Fate/Apocrypha material - Encyclopedia: Lord El-Melloi II [Person's name], p.189 [T]
Lord El-Melloi II [Person's name]
Waver Velvet, who appeared in “Fate/Zero”. This is him roughly ten years after those events. He was half-forced to inherit the title of El Melloi II by Reines and spend his days working hard to repay his debt and repair the family’s Magic Crest while teaching students as a professor.
To find out more about him, go check out “Character material”. Even in the “Fate/Apocrypha” world, he fought alongside Rider, Iskander, in a subspecies Holy Grail War against Kayneth—that’s the setting here, anyway.
After the end of the novels, Caules Forvedge Yggdmillennia also ends up joining El Melloi II’s class.
- Fate/Apocrypha Manga - Chapter 2: "Night Before the Curtain Rises -Red-"
- Fate/Grand Order - An Old Spider Spins Webs of Memory - Section 5: Old Spider