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Saber is Shirou Emiya's servant in the Holy Grail War and desires to win, protect her master and fulfill her wish.
In her past life, Saber was known as Arturia Pendragon, a girl who took the guise of a boy to become the king of Great Britain upon drawing the sacred sword Caliburn from its stone pedestal. As King Arthur, Arturia led Britain to an era of prosperity and tranquility. When Caliburn is destroyed, Arturia acquired the holy sword Excalibur and its sheath Avalon. With both of these in her possession, Arturia became immortal in battle and could never age. Despite the status she gained though, Arturia had doubts over sacrificing her feelings for the good of the country and this aspect of her made her servants critical of her lack of humanity. Avalon would wind up being stolen from her during a later battle and during civil unrest she tried to quell down, Arturia was gravely wounded by a traitorous knight during the Battle of Camlann. Before dying from her wounds, Arturia begged to be reborn as a Heroic Spirit so she could relive her life to allow someone more worthy to lead Britain in her place. As a result, her dying body remained frozen in time as she took part in the war for the Holy Grail.
Because Saber's physical body is still alive while frozen in time, she is unable to shift into a spiritual form like other Servants are capable of doing.
Saber was a character created for Type-Moon's 2004 visual novel game, Fate/ Stay Night. Originally, Saber was going to be designed as a male character with a female Master. However, this story concept was later dropped in the game's development phase as Saber's gender would become female and having a male lead as her Master to make the game more marketable to wider audiences. She makes anime and manga appearances in various adaptations of the Fate franchise, notable ones being Studio Deen's 2006 TV anime adaptation of the game, a film adaptation of the Unlimited Blade Works route of Stay Night and a TV anime adaptation of Gen Urobuchi's Fate/Zero novel series created by Ufotable. For anime adaptations of Fate, Saber is voiced by Ayako Kawasumi in Japanese. In English, she was voiced by Kate Higgins for the 2006 TV anime, Michelle Ruff for the Unlimited Blade Works movie and Kari Wahlgren for Fate/Zero.
Saber stands at 5 feet tall with her three sizes being 73 cm for bust, 53 cm for waist and 76 cm for hips. While chronologically in her 20s during her time alive, the use of Avalon kept Saber from aging thus she appears physically as a girl in her teens. When in battle, Saber dons a long-skirted blue dress with magical armor adorning parts of it. When not in battle during the 4th Holy Grail War, Saber wore a black dress suit with black gloves. In the 5th Holy Grail War, Rin loaned her clothes which consisted of a white shirt with a ribbon worn on the collar and a long blue skirt with black leggings and boots.
Saber is a strong-willed young woman who is courageous, determined and set on winning the Holy Grail. Because of being raised as a knight, Saber prefers to be viewed as a warrior and gets uncomfortable when others treat her as a girl. While a loyal and independent person, she does appear cold on the surface as Saber has cast aside her emotions under the belief that she must be focused on her goals involving her rule over Britain and going for the Holy Grail. Her interactions with Shiro allow her to open herself up to others more easily.
Saber was summoned in the 4th Holy Grail War by Kiritsugu Emiya using Avalon as a medium for the summoning. Unbeknownst to her, Kiritsugu had kept the sheathe within Irisviel's body for much of the Grail War to help heal her from fatal wounds sustained by enemy threats. Saber mostly accompanied Irisviel for much of the Grail War as part of Kiritsugu's plan to have his wife masquerade as Saber's Master while operating covertly to gather information and whereabouts on other Masters and Servants and kill off any Masters.
In the final events of the Grail War, Saber would fight Berserker and becomes shocked to discover that he is her fellow Knight of the Round Table, Lancelot. Thinking that Lancelot bore hatred for her from her rule in her life while alive, Saber was hesitant at striking down her fellow knight and was prepared to be slain. But upon seeing Lancelot's movements halt due to using up all the mana supplied to him by his Master, a desperate Saber stabs Lancelot through the chest. As he fades away, Lancelot admits that he wanted to be punished by Saber for the sins he committed in his former life. These events further drive Saber's desire to obtain the Holy Grail to change history and grant Britain a more worthy ruler.
As Saber heads to where the Grail is located, she is stopped by Gilgamesh who proposes that she become his wife and lay defeated in front of him. Kiritsugu would force her with two Command Spells to destroy the Grail and lead her to fade away afterward. Unbeknownst to Kiritsugu and Saber though, they only succeeded in destroying the Grail's physical form as it would reappear ten years later in the 5th Holy Grail War.
Saber was unintentionally summoned by Shiro in the 5th Holy Grail War at his home as a result of the young man having Saber's scabbard, Avalon, within his body and being within the remains of a magical circle created by Irisviel from the previous Grail War. When summoned, Saber helped to fend off Lancer, who was trying to kill Shiro. After the fight, Shiro and Saber would encounter Rin and Archer coming to the scene.
Saber is the main heroine of this route upon being summoned by Shiro and the route focuses on the developing relationship she has with her Master. Because of Shiro's lack of experience as a magi, he lacks a decent amount of mana to supply Saber with thus she has to normally conserve on whatever limited supply she has when engaging in battle with other Servants. She finds Shiro's treatment of her as a normal girl to be strange at first and believes that his protective tendencies and willingness to cooperate with Rin and Archer against other Masters and Servants endanger her chances of winning the Grail War if he were to be killed, unaware of her sheathe Avalon being in the young man's body and helping to regenerate any fatal wounds he sustains in battle.
Her limited mana supply comes to threaten her towards the middle of the route when her use of Excalibur to defeat Rider depletes much of her mana reserves and puts her life at risk. While fleeing from Illya and Berserker, Rin performs a ritual to allow Saber to draw mana directly from Shiro's magic circuits in order to save her life. The intimacy involved with the ritual between the two, combined with Shiro recreating Saber's old sword Caliburn via projection magic to defeat Berserker, lead the girl to develop romantic feelings for Shiro and to open up to others more easily. These feelings develop further when Shiro takes her on a date following Caster's defeat and their encounter with Gilgamesh, when Shiro projects her sheathe Avalon to guard the two of them against an attack from Gilgamesh's sword, Ea.
After realizing how the Holy Grail became corrupted with their encounter of Kotomine and Gilgamesh, Shiro is able to convince Saber to come to terms with her past and gives her back possession of Avalon. After the defeats of Kotomine and Gilgamesh, Saber makes use of Excalibur to destroy the Grail and confesses her love for Shiro as she fades away. Returning back to the time she was fatally wounded, Saber comes to terms with her past and tells Sir Bedivere she would "sleep much longer this time". No longer having the desire to seek the Holy Grail, Saber's soul instead goes to the world of Avalon with her fellow Knights of the Round Table when she breaks her contract of wanting to be a Heroic Servant.
Unlimited Blade Works Route
Saber's role is smaller here. Shiro loses control of her to Caster when Saber gets stabbed with Caster's Rule Breaker. Saber makes use of her magic resistance to resist Caster's control to an extent until Caster's death to Archer later in the route. Rin then makes Saber her Servant and assists in destroying the Holy Grail at the end of the route. Depending on the ending from the game, Saber either fades away afterward after being caught in the blast of the Grail's destruction or is still alive and becomes a familiar to Rin.
Heaven's Feel Route
In this route, Saber later becomes corrupted by the darkness of Angra Mainyu and becomes Sakura's Servant, Saber Alter. She and True Assassin are brought to the Einzbern Mansion by Sakura's grandfather, Zouken, to kidnap Illyasviel and both Servants hold Berserker off until he becomes corrupted into Dark Berserker. Saber Alter is later killed by the combined efforts of Shiro and Rider and is freed from her corruption when Shiro stabs her in the heart with the Dagger of Azoth.
As a Saber class Servant, Arturia has the best statistics of all the Servants competing in the Grail War and is extremely skilled in swordsmanship. With Kiritsugu or Rin as her Master, Saber's stats are close to or equal to that of where they were when she was still alive as King Arthur and make her one of the strongest Servants to compete in the Grail War. With Shiro as her Master, her stats are weakened to the point where she can barely fend off against Berserker and any use of a blast from Excalibur greatly weakens her due to the limited amount of mana that Shiro can supply her with. As Saber Alter, she has an unlimited supply of mana thanks to being given form by the corrupted Holy Grail and is greatly stronger than her time alive as King Arthur as she could easily defeat Berserker in a head-on fight.
Saber is capable of defying physics with her physical feats as she can run up buildings and water, as well as leap great distances in the air.
Because she has dragon's prana and blood in her body, Saber is capable of generating her own magical energy via a Magical Core which allows her to use her own mana to generate and repair any damage sustained to the magical armor she uses for battle, as well as healing any injuries she sustains meaning there is minimum consumption of mana coming from her Master. This is provided she is under the control of a competent magus who can supply her the mana needed to run the Magical Core.
Under the control of an inexperienced magus like Shiro, Saber lacks the mana to properly fuel her Magical Core meaning she would have to minimize use of any magical energy she has and can't repair her armor or injuries as often. While Rin's ritual in the Fate route does allow Saber enough mana to sustain her body and engage in battle, there is not enough supplied for her to make use of Excalibur as using the attack would cause her to fade away after its use. When she regains Avalon, Saber's mana supply is increased enough where she can use Excalibur several times before fading away.
Due to this "dragon" status though, Saber is vulnerable to weapons and beings with an anti-dragon attribute, particularly Lancelot's sword Arondight.
Because of falling under the Saber class and having dragon's blood in her body, Arturia has a high amount of magic resistance which makes her immune to the effects of any modern magic and most types of magic from older times. This makes her a heavy threat to Servants of the Caster class and makes it difficult to subdue or control her with most types of magic. Her resistance is great enough where it took two Command Spells for Kiritsugu to get her to submit to his command to destroy the Holy Grail and where even Caster had trouble completely controlling her after using Rule Breaker to gain control of her. As Saber Alter, Arturia's magic resistance is weakened to an extent due to her dark alignment as she can become vulnerable to spells chanted with more than three verses.
Because of her many years of fighting as King Arthur, Saber developed extremely honed battle instincts that function as a "sixth sense" of sorts to allow her to anticipate any incoming threat and determine the best course of action in going against it. Her instincts allow her to sense the incoming presence of enemy threats, avoid surprise attacks, defend against incoming projectiles by accurately predicting their trajectory and detect the smallest of openings within enemy strikes. The ability is not infallible as she can still fall prey to overwhelmingly powerful foes like Gilgamesh or fall prey to fighting tactics she is unaccustomed to such as Kuzuki's Snake fighting style. As Saber Alter, Arturia's instincts are dulled due to having to continually suppress her rage.
Prana burst involves making use of the mana within one's body to greatly augment one's physical attributes via infusing their entire body with prana. This is possible for Saber to make use of thanks to her Magical Core as it serves the entire basis of her fighting style and strength while in battle as she is otherwise weaker than Shiro and Rin physically without utilizing the ability. It is possible to extend the prana burst onto objects held by the wielder of the ability as well to augment their capabilities. However unless the object used is a divine item like Saber's Excalibur, the object will be destroyed in a single blow due to being incapable of handling the strain of the prana burst for prolonged periods of time.
Having a high rank in the Riding skill, Saber is capable of controlling and understanding any man-made mount that is known and unknown to her, including modern automobiles. This allowed her to drive a car while accompanying Irisviel for much of the 4th Holy Grail War and to drive a motorcycle loaned to her by Kiritsugu. While chasing after Iskander's Gordius Wheel, Saber made combined use of her magical armor and a prana burst to reinforce the integrity of her motorcycle and push the bike beyond its mechanical limits to keep up with the chariot. Saber Alter lacks the Riding skill due to her corruption.
Saber has two Noble Phantasms in her control for much of the Fate franchise, Invisible Air and Excalibur.
Invisible Air is a sheathe of wind that covers Excalibur and serves to hide Saber's true identity of being King Arthur. Invisible Air conceals the full length of Excalibur which make it difficult for foes not familiar with Saber's identity to know of its effective range and properly defend against it. The wind concealing the sword also helps to enhance the sword's cutting power and raise its accuracy in delivering attacks. Saber can use Invisible Air to deliver an attack with it called Strike Air where she fires off the wind surrounding the sword in a concentrated long-range blast. She can also use Strike Air to charge at her opponent at several times her usual speed by taking her sword into a backward stance.
Excalibur is the divine weapon wielded by King Arthur that also serves to reveal Saber's true identity to enemy threats. The sword is capable of firing a powerful blast of divine energy by converting the owner's mana into light and intensifying the acceleration and convergence of the energy used. The sword's destructive output was great enough to destroy the large creature summoned by Bluebeard and level anything within vicinity of the blast. However, the blast requires a large amount of mana to be used as one use of it was enough to greatly weaken Saber when Shiro was her Master, though this isn't much of a concern when Saber has Sakura, Rin or Kiritsugu as her Master. Saber also needs to have both hands to swing the sword when performing a blast with Excalibur. When Saber's left hand was injured by Lancer via Gae Buidhe, she was incapable of exerting enough strength on the hilt of her sword with the hand because of the injury and being incapable of healing it due to the effects of Gae Buidhe.
Saber is also capable of making use of her lost Noble Phantasm, Avalon. It was the original sheathe of Excalibur that was stolen from her centuries earlier before it was used as a medium to summon her for the 4th and 5th Holy Grail Wars. When Avalon is in the possession of anyone other than Saber, the sheathe grants its wielder highly regenerative abilities that allow them to heal from nearly all types of fatal injuries as long as they are in close proximity of Saber as the abilities of Avalon are in effect via her mana reserves. When Kiritsugu was in possession of Avalon, he was able to use his Innate Time Control beyond his normal levels as the sheathe would heal any damage that the strain of the ability caused his body.
When Saber is in possession of Avalon, it greatly increases her mana supply and allows her to create an "absolute defense" where the sheathe turns into particles of light that shield Saber in a domain of the fairies that isolates her from the regular world and protects from any destructive interference coming from the physical plane of existence, parallel worlds and multiple dimensions.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
An alternate retelling of Fate/Stay Night based off of the original visual novel's scenario by the same name. It primarily focuses on Shirou, Archer, and ...