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I've only seen Ufotable's adaptation of UBW (and the movie too but that was long ago).

It's still not very clear to me what's up with Archer:

  • He's Shirou from the future. Does he not remember the events of this war? He would also know that Shirou is going to beat him.
  • How did Shirou die? There is a scene in which a giant glowing ball absorbs Shirou (like some sort of pact), so I assume that's when he became a Heroic Spirit too. Did he die at that point? (so he killed himself)
  • So Archer wants to kill Shirou because he regrets his decision of becoming a Heroic Spirit? Why does he regret it? Because Kiritsugu was right? (that you have to kill people to save others).
  • Why does Archer have Rho Aias from the Trojan War?

And finally,

  • Is this Archer the same Archer from Fate Stay/Night? In other words, is the Archer from the original series also Shirou from the future?
  • What if the Shirou from FN 2006 is the Archer from FN UBW? Since Archer 2006 died quickly, Shirou 2006 never knew what lies in front of him and that when he became a counter guardian, he was summoned at that UBW route and tries to kill Shirou UBW from doing the same mistake he did. – Archer Emiya Jun 21 '17 at 15:53
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He's Shirou from the future. Does he not remember the events of this war?

In the version of the war that Archer experienced as a Master, Rin summoned someone else as a servant (still an Archer-class Servant, but we're never told who). Archer has no experience of having met his future-self.

I forget where - maybe it's some kind of side material or maybe it's Last Episode or something - but we are explicitly told that Archer vividly remembers having summoned Saber when he went through the war (this is something that happens in every timeline, because of Avalon). Something to the effect of "even were he to die a thousand times, he would never forgot Saber's radiance" or some similar schlock.

The thing Archer pulls at the beginning where he claims not to remember who he is is initially because Rin genuinely did mess up the summoning, but he regains his memory relatively quickly and maintains the facade of memory loss for some time afterwards.

How did Shirou die?

Archer explicitly mentions in episode 19 or 20 that he was scapegoated by one of the people he saved, and was executed shortly thereafter.

There is a scene in which a giant glowing ball absorbs Shirou (like some sort of pact), so I assume that's when he became a Heroic Spirit too. Did he die at that point? (so he killed himself)

Yes, that's when Archer (then-Shirou) "contracted with the world" (to use the parlance) and became a Counter Guardian. He only died later.

So Archer wants to kill Shirou because he regrets his decision of becoming a Heroic Spirit? Why does he regret it? Because Kiritsugu was right? (that you have to kill people to save others).

Archer regrets having become a Heroic Spirit because he did so by becoming a Counter Guardian (as opposed to by becoming an actual Hero). What this means is that he gets dispatched to situations where mankind is destroying itself. He stops mankind from destroying itself by killing the people who are the cause, generally after they've already done their damage.

Implicitly, this does mean that Kiritsugu was right, though I don't think that Archer is specifically bothered by the mere fact that Kiritsugu was right.

Why does Archer have Rho Aias from the Trojan War?

This is somewhat mysterious. The implication is that Archer must have been dispatched to the Trojan War at some point (in his capacity as a Counter Guardian), where he must have seen Ajax using his shield and copied it.

Is this Archer the same Archer from Fate Stay/Night? In other words, is the Archer from the original series also Shirou from the future?

By "Archer from the original series", do you mean "Archer from the 2006 DEEN anime"? If so, yes - that Archer is also Shirou from the future.

  • I should point out that -Last Episode- is what occurs after Fate and Shirou wouldn't become Heroic Spirit EMIYA because if he did die he ended up reaching Albion and also the Shroud he got from Ciel isn't made into the coat EMIYA wears (i remember in the CG showing Shirou and Arturia being reunited in -Last Episode- it is much longer, more like a vampire's cloak), i can't remember where it says that "he would never forgot Saber's radiance" but if it was from -Last Episode- then it's Shirou's monologue – Memor-X May 28 '15 at 22:54
  • I disagree with first paragraph. IMO Archer is Shirou from Fate route (or something close to that). First, he never interacted much with Archer in that route, because he is badly hurt by Saber in their first encounter. And he dies quite early on. At the same time, Shirou keeps his naïve ideal of justice, which is exactly what Archer regrets. – Euphoric May 29 '15 at 7:06
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    @Euphoric Archer came from none of the routes, and the first paragraph is correct (I've heard some people conjecture that Rin summoned Ajax in his war, and that's where he got Rho Aias, but that's unsupported). Nasu has said as much. Some fans like to say he came from the "lost Illya route", which is also discredited nonsense. On the other hand Nasu has also said that Shirou retains at least some chance, even if very small, of becoming Archer-like after every route in which he survives in some form. Even Heaven's Feel. – zibadawa timmy May 29 '15 at 9:08
  • @Euphoric Yeah, basically what zibadawa timmy said. While I agree that it's certainly conceivable that Archer could have come from the Fate route, the author has explicitly stated otherwise (I'll dredge up a citation if I can find one). – senshin May 29 '15 at 10:07
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This information isn’t from the F/SN-UBW but rather the Fate/Extra game. In there almost close to the end of the game you talk to Archer (if he’s your servant) and he tells you that there was a nuclear meltdown that was going to kill tens of thousands of people. He also says he needed someone to help him with the job. Yet he didn’t ask for help. So what happens is Archer goes past security and everything and deactivates the melt down alone and manually. But it causes him to die. And become a heroic spirit. (I think that’s the glowing giant ball in the anime.) Also as for him not knowing the exact past, you can consider him from an alternate future. Because the Throne Of Heroes contains heroic spirits form all times and parallel universes.

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AFAIK Archer is a version of Shirou from a very specific timeline. He comes from one of the bad (arguably) ending of the third route of the visual novel, Heaven's Feel(it's the one where the main romance interest is Sakura). I don't remember if this still stands in the anime adaptation

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