Important Importables: Fate/stay night and its offshoots

December 24, 2011 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Fate/stay night and its offshoots

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With visual novels suddenly starting to appear more often outside of Japan and Aksys’ latest risk undertaking the translation and localization of Fate/Extra, it seems like a good time to look at one of the best known and most popular visual novels out there, Type-Moon’s Fate/stay night. This first commercial already famous doujin creators of Tsukihime managed to be such a success, despite its original release as an adult bishojo game, that it ended up crossing over and becoming an all-ages hit, as well as inspiring a manga, anime, light novels and additional games.

Fate Stay Night Best Version PS2

The original Fate/stay night

Fate/stay night (Windows) and its all-ages counterpart Fate/stay night [Realta Nua] (PS2) both center around a futuristic quest for the Holy Grail. Every sixty years, seven Magi Masters fight with summoned Servants against one another, with the winner getting the Holy Grail and the opportunity to have a wish come true. Oddly enough, the fifth Holy Grail War has begun only ten years after the fourth one.

Not only that, but it features an unlikely participant. A young man named Shiro Emiya wanted to become a Hero of Justice and a Magus, but has no talent for magic. Despite that, he ends up stumbling upon two Servants, Archer and Lancer, and is nearly killed by Lancer. A classmate and associate named Rin Tosaka heals Shiro. Somehow, this seems to have an additional effect on him as later when Lancer comes to kill him again, Shiro is able to use magic to defend himself and ends up somehow summoning the Servant Saber to his side to assist him.

From there, players make choices to determine what happens to Shiro. Depending on choices made, Shiro may or may not survive the war and may end up even finding love with one of the female characters. In addition, information about the war and Holy Grail could be discovered and players see a storyline that looks at how people see and deal with oneself. There are actually three plots that can be followed, which means people will need to play at least three times to understand the whole story.

No official translation of Fate/stay night has ever been released. However, the fan translation group Mirror Mirror has completely translated the Windows PC version of the game. Keep in mind that this translation does require you to purchase a copy of the full version of Fate/stay night. An all-ages, PC version of the game was never released, so keep in mind that if you do set everything up to play it in English, you will be playing a game with adult content.

In addition to the main game, multiple aforementioned spinoffs have appeared. A Fate/stay night manga was released both in Japan and North America, as well as an anime of the same name that appeared in Japan, North America and Europe. A Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works animated movie was also released in Japan, as was a Fate/Zero series of novels. So people had plenty of opportunity to hear and see the story, even if they don’t enjoy visual novels.

Fate/Extra for PSP

Fate/ Offshoots

Additional entries in the Fate/ series tend to fall into one of two categories. They’re either visual novel style games, like the original Fate/stay night, or they’re fighting games. The one thing they have in common, oddly enough, is that they have a better chance of being localized and released outside of Japan than the original Fate/stay Night. Yes, while there still isn’t an official Fate/stay night release, there are actually two entries released in English for people to buy.

I’m talking, of course, about two of the PSP games. One is Fate/Unlimited Codes, which was also released on the PS2. It’s a standard, 3D fighting game featuring some of the Servants and Masters from the original game. Capcom created it and released it as a PlayStation Store exclusive in North America. It’s nothing astonishing, but it is pretty good fighter. The other is Fate/extra from Aksys, an original visual novel and RPG inspired by Fate/stay Night that features a few familiar Masters and Servants, but a all new storyline that makes it easy for newcomers to get into the series. I prefer Fate/extra myself, but both are pretty good games.

Then, there are the games that didn’t make it outside of Japan. Here’s what you can look for, if you’re a huge Type-Moon fan.

  • Fate/extra CCC (PSP): This is an updated version of Fate/Extra due out in Japan next year with new storylines and extra content.
  • Fate/hollow ataraxia (Windows): A direct sequel to Fate/stay night. It’s only available in an adults-only version for Windows PCs and is a visual novel just like the previous game.
  • Fate/tiger colosseum (PSP): A 3D fighting game with chibi-fied versions of the main characters. It’s region-free and very import-friendly.
  • Fate/tiger colosseum upper (PSP): Again, a direct sequel to the previous game with more characters and environments.
  • Nendoroid Generation (PSP): No, this isn’t a Fate/ game, but this RPG and mini-game collection will have Saber, Rider and Rin Tosaka Nendoroids appearing in it.
  • COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports reviews Bleach: Heat the Soul 7.

    IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports played Hatoful Boyfriend.

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