The Alluring Cavalrywoman Who Rides on Illusions
The Heroic Spirit summoned by Sakura is of
the Rider class. She possesses agility, skills, and
several Noble Phantasms worthy of the Rider
class and is easily among the top Servants in
terms of overall ability. Since Sakura had no
intention of fighting anyone, she transferred her
control of Rider to her brother Shinji. As a result,
Rider was technically Shinji's Servant whenever
she appeared before Shirou.
Rider's main weapon is a nail attached to a
chain, and she maneuvers gracefully through the
air while piercing her opponent with the nail in
order to reduce their mobility. Of her three Noble
Phantasms, the most potent in terms of offensive
capability is the Bellerophon, which allows her
legendary mount Pegasus to use an extremely
powerful charge. Aside from her Noble Phantasms,
possesses Cybele, the Mystic Eyes of
Petrification. Since Cybele's effect is constant and
out of Rider's direct control, she usually wears
Mystic Eye Killers in order to seal Cybele's effect.
Though usually stoic and aloof, Rider is not
thoughtless or without feelings. If anything, she
tends to overthink things. When Rider sees how
Sakura lives her life oppressed by others, the
Servant cannot help but compare Sakura's suffering
to the way she herself had suffered at the hands of
the Gods. This empathy Rider feels for Sakura
means she is very serious when it comes to her
concerns regarding Sakura's well-being. Rider's
bewitching presence and flawless proportions are
two more characteristics she shares in common with
Sakura, as Sakura also has an enviable body even
if she tends to hide it.
Character Data 006
|Sakura Matou's Servant
|Using machinery, riding, acrobatics, stalking
|Alcohol, reading, snakes
|Mirrors, body measurements
|Saber, Kojiro, Souichirou Kuzuki
Sakura is the one who actually summoned
Rider, and is therefore Rider's true Master. Even
after Shinji was granted control over Rider, the
Servant viewed Sakura as her one and only
Master. Though Rider did not think for a moment
that Shinji was in any way a positive presence in
Sakura's life, the Servant dutifully obeyed Shinji
because the transfer of control was done through
the use of Command Spells - and because such
was Sakura's wish. Rider's absolute obedience
quickly inflated Shinji's ego, but Rider had
absolutely no interest in him and couldn't care less
about his state of mind.
Certain story choices can lead to Rider sucking
Ayako Mitsuzuri's blood, after which the Servant
seems to take a liking to her.
Character Discussion with Kinoko Nasu & Takashi Takeuchi
THE CATALYST FOR RIDER'S BIRTH
TAKEUCHI: Rider's one of the rare cases where
the design changed quite a bit between the early
drafts and the final design.
NASU: The early drafts actually lived on to
become Ayako... and I don't want to hear
anything about her eyebrows being thick! I saw a
movie called "Vidocq", and I was totally charmed
by the mirror-masked killer in it. I just really liked
the way he moved and hid using his black cloak.
I wanted to reproduce that feeling in the game, so
I figured we could have a Rider with disheveled
hair wearing a long robe. But then Takeuchi drew
up the base design for the current Rider just on a
lark, and even I had to admit it was the better
design. That illustration of Rider where her face is
angled down and to the side... that's the one that
captured my heart.
TAKEUCHI: So how did we decide on Medusa
as an identity for Rider again? Was it because we
were talking about the lack of a "sexy" type
NASU: Yes, that's right. Rider was originally a
male character, but we realized we didn't have
enough female characters for a bishojo game.
The original concept for Rider was a masterless
"stray" Servant whose true name was Perseus,
from Greek mythology. By the time he made his
first appearance, his Master was long dead. The
concept took two or three different turns before it
finally settled into the current Rider.
TAKEUCHI: When we reviewed the Servants in
search of one that could be changed into a
female, Berserker was out of the question and
Assassin's identity as Kojiro was basically the
punch line for his character, so that left Rider.
NASU: But there weren't any legendary heroines
with ties to Pegasus, so we selected Medusa, who
gave birth to Pegasus, as Rider's new identity.
TAKEUCHI: We originally had no intention of
releasing any information about Rider prior to the
game's launch, but when the launch was delayed
by about a month, we suddenly found ourselves
in need of more material to fill the gap. We
reluctantly unveiled Medusa, but we didn't reveal
the details of her character, like the fact that she
was a Servant.
NASU: We imagined most people would assume
she was Assassin, and we were quite pleased to
let them think that.
TAKEUCHI: Indeed, we were quite successful on
that front. I mean, after seeing that nail...
NASU: No one would guess it was Rider!
TAKEUCHI: The best part was that the magazine
[Rider was revealed in] added the tagline "Sexy
Fighting Lady". How great is that!?
NASU: I love it. (laughs)
REGARDING RIDER'S CHARACTER DESIGN
TAKEUCHI: The main thing I was conscious of
with Rider's design was the fact that I didn't want
her outfit to turn out looking obscene. I leaned
more toward a snug-fitting bodysuit rather than a
sexually charged leather suit.
NASU: I do recall that when I asked you if her
outfit was leather, you said "no" with quite a bit
TAKEUCHI: I may not have wanted the suit itself
to be leather, but I did imagine the bindings to be
leather. I thought those little accents being made
of leather might add a touch of elegance without
making her look like a dominatrix.
NASU: I see. As a side note, Rider was initially
supposed to have a height somewhere in the
of 175~180cm, but we were worried that
PC gamers might not find such a tall woman
particularly appealing, so we compromised at
TAKEUCHI: I imagine she wouldn't have such a
wide appeal if we set her height in the 180cm
NASU: But you know, I did get some feedback
suggesting that more than a few of our players
were surprised that she was "so short" since I had
emphasized her height in the original "stay night"
TAKEUCHI: Personally, I think somewhere
around 170cm was just the right height to make
her self-conscious about her height without
making her a giant.
NASU: You're right. I suppose any girl over
170cm in height is plenty tall. I think tall women
are cool, but I do wonder if I should have eased
up on that a bit.
TAKEUCHI: I think it's fine. Rider's height is what
makes her unique, and it was precisely her height
that made that awesome pose at Ryuudouji
Temple during Sakura's route possible.
NASU: That was one of the rare cases where I,
as the writer, made a specific request about the
visual aspect. I asked them to give her "an
RIDER'S FEELINGS ABOUT HER MASTER
NASU: I saw Rider as a Doberman, fierce and
scary but beautiful and loyal. Rider considered
Sakura to be her true Master, so when Sakura
wanted Rider to obey Shinji instead, Rider did so
dutifully despite her personal feelings. But even
Rider had her limits in dealing with a jerk like
TAKEUCHI: She does come off as a very loyal
NASU: Rider initially had a military theme, so
she's definitely not the kind of person who
interacts with others based on sentiment... she
views it more as a duty.
THE MESSAGE RIDER CARRIES AS A CHARACTER
NASU: An outlaw with super long hair and the
Mystic Eyes of Petrification... a winning trifecta!
TAKEUCHI: Speaking of the Mystic Eyes, the
mark on Rider's forehead was designed to look
like a snake and was originally going to be a
NASU: Yeah, the idea was to make her third eye
the Mystic Eye, but we dumped that idea because
it was too obvious and boring.
TAKEUCHI: So the mark on her forehead that
was originally there to indicate a sealed Mystic
Eye ended up being little more than a cool tattoo.
NASU: I still think we made the right decision
about the third eye.
TAKEUCHI: Now that I think about it... if we had
given her a third eye, we probably wouldn't have
had her wearing glasses...
NASU: Even in the old "Fate", we had drilled it
into our fans that Noble Phantasms were swords.
So I can only imagine their reactions when Rider
activated her reins of all things, which then
immediately evaporated. (laughs) In a manner of
speaking, Rider's true name was essentially the
punch line of her character, much like with Kojiro.
That's why I mostly kept her quiet throughout the
main "stay night".
TAKEUCHI: For the longest time, I thought
Pegasus was her Noble Phantasm, so I assumed
the reins were like a Noble Phantasm Rider used
to control her Noble Phantasm... but then Nasu
told me that Pegasus wasn't a Noble Phantasm,
and my mind was blown.
NASU: At the school and on the roof, Rider only
summoned Pegasus. After summoning Pegasus,
Rider uses her reins as kind of a power-up item,
and that is the recipe behind Bellerophon.