|About the game|
Fate/stay night is a Japanese visual novel game created by Type-Moon, which was originally released on January 30, 2004. It is Type-Moon's first commercial work, following its transition from a doujin soft visual novel group. Fate/stay night takes place in 2004. Fuyuki City is the setting for a secret and violent war among competing magi. For the past two centuries, seven magi were gathered and engage in a Battle Royale, each gambling his or her own life to obtain the Holy Grail, a legendary chalice capable of granting wishes. The past four Holy Grail Wars have typically occurred every sixty years, with the most recent concluding a decade ago, but the fifth war has eerily started prematurely.
Each magus, better known as a Master, is aided by one of the seven summoned spiritual familiars known as Servants, who are the reincarnations of legendary souls from all across time. These resurrected Heroic Spirits possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms. A Noble Phantasm's hidden abilities may be released by invoking its true name, but casual brandishing of a Noble Phantasm is best avoided, for symbolic Noble Phantasms usually belie a Servant's identity, diminishing their competitive advantage. Specific legends may be summoned with the aid of catalysts, which are artifacts, ideas, or experiences similar to or of value to the desired Servant. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assassin, and Caster.
The Holy Grail is a spiritual artifact, so only astral entities, such as Servants, are capable of touching it. This forces Masters and Servants to cooperate with each other against rival pairs, even if a situation entails fighting to the death. A Master can control a Servant with three Command Spells, which are crystallized miracles issued by the Holy Grail that manifest on a Master's hand. When activated, a Command Spell permits the Servant to accomplish an incredible feat, or permits the Masters to issue an irrevocable and absolute order to the Servant. In the event of a Master's demise, a Servant may choose to bind him or herself to another Master. If a Servant is slain, a Master may ally with a wayward Servant, or pursue sanctuary with the Holy Grail War's impartial supervisor, who is traditionally a delegate of the Church.
Fate/stay night chronicles a two-week period in the life of Shirou Emiya, an amateur mechanic who attends a school called Homurahara Gakuen in Fuyuki City.
Ten years ago, Shirou was caught in a massive fire that incinerated his parents and consumed a large portion of the city. As he was dying, an enigmatic man named Kiritsugu Emiya discovered, saved, and adopted him. The two maintain a distant relationship because of Kiritsugu's frequent departures from Fuyuki City. Kiritsugu warns his son that the life of a magus that leads to destruction, but if he is truly set on benefiting people, he should apply his knowledge and hone his craft in secret. After Kiritsugu dies, Shirou becomes frustrated with his progress, feeling inadequate about his good deeds through magecraft. Shirou becomes unsure how to orient his future.
After cleaning his school's archery dojo late one night, Shirou stumbles upon two Servants, Archer and Lancer, battling in the school courtyard. To preserve the secrecy of the war, Lancer chases Shirou and pierces him in the heart with a spear. Shirou's classmate Rin Tohsaka finds him bleeding and near death, and she uses an heirloom filled with concentrated magical energy to resuscitate him. Shaken and dazed, Shirou goes back to his home, but Lancer attacks him again. Shirou weakly defends himself but is overwhelmed by the powerful Servant's attack. Shirou falls into a storage room, and being cornered, he prepares for the worst. But before Lancer can inflict a fatal blow, a young woman in armor blocks Lancer's spear. She drives Lancer away, introduces herself as Saber, and greets Shirou with the words: I ask of you, are you my Master?
The gameplay of Fate/stay night requires little interaction from the player as most of the game's duration is spent on reading the text that appears, representing either dialogue between the characters or the inner thoughts of the protagonist. Often, players will come to a "decision point" where they are given the chance to choose from options displayed on the screen, typically two to three at a time. The time between these decision points is variable and during these times, gameplay pauses until a choice is made that furthers the plot in a specific direction. There are three main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, one for each of the heroines in the story. To view all three plot lines, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and choose different choices during the decision points to progress the plot in an alternate direction.
Fate, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel are the three branching stories found within the game. Each diverge on some points, and depending on the player interaction, will end up in one of several possible ways. The Fate scenario features Saber as the main heroine. In Unlimited Blade Works Rin Tohsaka is the main female lead, but the plot focuses around her Servant, Archer. Heaven's Feel expands on the dark history of Sakura Matou. There are forty bad endings that can be reached within the game, and each has a section called Tiger Dojo following it. It features alternate versions of Taiga Fujimura and Illyasviel von Einzbern elaborating on the endings and how to avoid them. The majority of the content has little to do with the actual endings, instead focusing on the skits performed between the two of them. Einzbern Consultation Room is a prequel story that ends with Taiga preparing to establish her own dojo to avoid all the bad endings.
Before Kinoko Nasu wrote Fate/stay night, he claims he was a big fan of the Samurai Resurrection manga, which involved battles between dead historical figures from around Japan. Nasu first began writing 'Fate/stay night in college and had not intended it to be a game. Initially, Nasu only wrote what would become the game's Fate storyline however the game went on to have three storylines, the Fate scenario being one of them.
After the success of their first visual novel Tsukihime in 2000 TYPE-MOON transitioned from a dojin soft organization to a commercial organization. Nasu and Takeuchi decided to turn the old Fate story into a visual novel as TYPE-MOON's first commercial product. In the beginning, Nasu was worried that because the main character was a girl, the story might not work as a bishōjo game. It was artist Takeuchi who suggested switching the genders of the protagonist and Saber to fit the game market.
Fate/stay night was released in Japan on January 30, 2004 for Windows PCs. Fate/stay night was later released on the PS2 platform, originally scheduled to be released in late 2006. However, it was postponed until April 19, 2007 known as Fate/stay night Réalta Nua. Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven's Feel are the three branching storylines found within the game. They were released separately through digital download on Windows (but as the Réalta Nua version) in the beginning of 2012
In 2007 Type-MOON released a CERO C-rated version of Fate/stay night calles Réalta Nua. This version provided voice acting but the sex scenes were removed due to censorship, and the target audience. The updated re-release also provided the true ending to the Fate route.
TYPE-MOON Fes. announced a PlayStation Vita port of Réalta Nua released in Japan on November 29, 2012