The Red Archer Who Has Mastered Countless Blades


Archer is the Heroic Spirit who becomes Rin Tohsaka's Servant. Rin had intended to summon the more promising Saber as her Servant, but she got Archer instead because she and Archer share a very deep bond whether they knew it at the time or not. Since being summoned by Rin, Archer had hidden his true name from her by claiming that his memories were muddled, even as he fought his way through the Holy Grail War. He is a cynical realist, but also has a stubborn and childish side that makes it hard to hate him.

Archer's identity is "Emiya"... that is, he is Shirou. In the future, Shirou wished for a miracle to save 100 humans, and in exchange for this wish he was transformed into a Heroic Spirit. Despite being an unknown hero, Shirou is able to stand on equal footing in battle against other Heroic Spirits thanks to his mastery of his unique ability, "Unlimited Blade Works: Infinite Creation of Swords".

As a Heroic Spirit, Archer's role as a "Guardian" occasionally requires him to kill humans in order to avoid the extinction of the entire human race. After repeatedly having to kill humans and seeing for himself the depravity of which they are capable, Archer began to question his own ideals. As a result, Archer's only goal became killing Shirou Emiya in the hopes that doing so would end his own existence. Despite his wishes, however, every route inevitably leads to Archer fighting in order to protect others. It has been suggested that his nature did not change even after death.

Character Data 005

AffiliationRin Tohsaka's Servant
TALENTS:Tinkering, domestic chores
LIKES:Domestic chores (though he denies it)
DISLIKES:Heroes of justice
RIVALS:Rin Tohsaka, Sakura Matou, Illya


Archer's most notable relationship is the one
between him and his Master, Rin Tohsaka. His true
name, Emiya, revealed that he and Rin shared a
bond that transcended the usual connection
between a Master and Servant. Back when Archer
was still human, Rin used a special pendant to
save Shirou's life when he was mortally wounded
by Lancer. This pendant acted as the catalyst when
Rin summoned a Heroic Spirit, and that is why
Archer was summoned.

In the UBW route, Archer betrayed Rin and
allied himself with Caster. Archer chose this
alliance because he believed it would lead to an
opportunity to kill Shirou Emiya. Meanwhile, in the
HF route, Archer chose to transplant his own left
arm, complete with the associated magic and
experience, onto Shirou's body when Shirou lost
his left arm.

Character Discussion with Kinoko Nasu & Takashi Takeuchi


NASU: Archer has to be one of the most obvious
and transparent characters possible.

TAKEUCHI: He earned some serious popularity
among the fans; enough to get him third place in
a popularity contest. The top three positions are
usually reserved for the heroines.

NASU: That really was hard to believe.

TAKEUCHI: None of the characters in old "Fate"
really held the same position as Archer, so it's
safe to say he truly is a "stay night" original.

NASU: I guess you could say his personality and
behavior were transplanted from the male Saber
in the original "Fate". Archer's theme is pretty
stereotypical, and I think we used him to
supplement some of the nihilism that was lacking
in "stay night" as a result of male Saber's
exclusion. It was also great to have Archer and
Rin together. That particular pairing was really
easy to write.


TAKEUCHI: I knew from the beginning that
Archer and Shirou were technically the same
person, so I just aimed to design a character of
ambiguous nationality but with a distinct Japanese

NASU: I asked Takeuchi to make sure Archer's
true identity wasn't obvious, but to also avoid
making him look totally different. We gave him
white hair and a slightly darker skin tone, but
their personalities have similarities... and their eyebrows are exactly the same.

TAKEUCHI: Koyama commented on the
eyebrows, but it was quite a while after the game
was released. I was like, "It took you this long to
notice!?" (laughs)

NASU: It's one of those details that tends to
escape notice until someone points it out.

TAKEUCHI: I don't know how anyone can miss
such weird-looking eyebrows... but I guess if even
the development staff didn't notice it right away,
It means I did a good job. Good job, me!

NASU: Yes, yes... You did a good job with that
subtlety. Here, have a gold star. I think the red
coat was another detail that I specifically

TAKEUCHI: Yeah, that's right. But it's not really
a coat, is it? As I recall, we decided to use the
term "overcoat" because we couldn't very well
call it a red waistcloth.

NASU: So this is what passes for an overcoat in
the future? (laughs)

TAKEUCHI: The future is an awesome place! I
wonder if the swords were the secret to Archer's
popularity. I feel like the Kanshou and Bakuya
designs turned out really well.

NASU: Somehow, Archer looks more natural
holding Kanshou and Bakuya than he does
wielding a bow.

TAKEUCHI: I think going with a Chinese-style
weapon was the right choice. I feel like Archer
might not have turned out as well if we had
chosen a Western sword or Japanese katana for
him. Kanshou and Bakuya offer such a subtle.
balance. Koyama deserves all the credit for that
one. I also think they strike a good balance
between a realistic and manga style.


NASU: I feel like I said everything I wanted to
say with Archer in the main game storyline.

TAKEUCHI: Maybe that explains his popularity.
Honestly, I sometimes wonder why and how he
got so popular.

NASU: Hmm... sex appeal...?

TAKEUCHI: But he's popular with the male
playerbase as well.

NASU: Ha! It's easy to gain a male following if
you're all cool and nihilistic like Archer. Curse
people who find fulfillment in their lives!

TAKEUCHI: Uh... I don't think Archer necessarily
found fulfillment in his life... but I guess his words
and actions did carry a certain weight with them,
and I imagine that made him very easy to like.

NASU: He took on the much-needed role of
admonishing our troublesome main character, so
it was inevitable that he would eventually become
a hated character or an obstacle that would have
to be overcome. It's one of those conflicts from
which only one will walk away. I think this role
made him very attractive as well.

TAKEUCHI: I guess.

NASU: I heard that some of our more intuitive
players figured out Archer's true identity in
Saber's route.

TAKEUCHI: Seriously!?

NASU: I was surprised too, when I heard. I
mean, it's true that we did have two or three well-
hidden clues tucked away in there, so it doesn't
seem entirely infeasible. Of course, we had put
those clues there so that the player might recall
them during Rin's route and slowly figure it out
from there... I don't think any of us expected
players to figure it out during Saber's route.

TAKEUCHI: I think Archer earned some serious points through his battle against Berserker. He
really secured his place as a character who can
"speak volumes with his back turned". We only
incorporated that scene because it was necessary
with regard to the storyline, but looking back at it
now, I realize what a great scene that really was.
I don't think anyone expected that dialogue in
that moment... it was all so perfect. Archer really
is a great character.

NASU: He's technically a pretty oblivious
character who is really awkward at life, but his
nihilistic side was powerfully emphasized in the
main storyline of "Fate". I suppose you could say
he has a leg up on Shirou out of sheer life


NASU: I'd like to leave that particular point up to
the player's imagination, so I won't discuss it in
detail here. Something I can talk about is how we
managed to incorporate two things into "Fate" that
we didn't get around to doing in "Tsukihime". The
first was a route that was played from the victim's
point of view, and the other was to portray a duel
against the ideal version of oneself. The thing
about battling an "ideal version of oneself" is that
this concept itself is open to interpretation. The
"ideal self" could be a rival, someone totally
different like Kotomine, or literally oneself. After
much deliberation, we decided we'd go with the
"vs. self" concept for "Fate". Gil was the Archer in
old "Fate", but we chose to promote Gil to a boss
role and put future Shirou in the Archer position
this time. In this way, we were able to facilitate
Shirou's "battle vs. himself". The "victim's route"
was established by Satsuki's route, and we also
supplemented that theme with Sakura's route.


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