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In what is presumably the "good ending" of the Unlimited Blade Works route, Saber stays after the Grail is destroyed, because Rin has turned her into a familiar. (I also got the sense that Shiro was supposed to aid Rin in supplying prana to Saber by having sex with her.)

However, everything up to the end is identical to the path taken in the true ending, except for the fact that Shiro spends more time bonding with Saber (and less with Rin) in the path to this ending. If so, why does Saber remain in one ending and not the other, given that:

  • Everything Rin did up to the end should have been identical in either outcome in UBW

  • Saber should have disappeared (as stated before the final battle) with the destruction of the Grail. However, whether or not this statement about Saber is entirely correct may be slightly debatable, per content from the rest of the Fate series.

    In the true end of Heaven's Feel, Rider remains after the destruction of the Greater Grail, because Sakura still has a lot of prana on account of her being a copy of the Holy Grail vessel. In Fate/Zero, we see Gilgamesh pull Kotomine out of the rubble, and in the Fate route, we learn that he has stayed around for the last ten years, partly by obtaining energy from the orphans of the fire.

Did Rin just pull more strings to try to keep Saber, or did Saber have more reason to try to stay because of her connection to Shiro?

  • I haven't finished the FSN VN, but in the Tsukihime VN the choices that made the difference between "good" and "true" endings often felt completely arbitrary. However, one of our resident FSN experts can probably come up with a real answer. – Torisuda Aug 7 '15 at 2:08
  • @Torisuda: in FSN, one gets the good ending if one accumulates enough Saber points (and not too many Rin points), and otherwise the true ending. (Accumulating way too few Rin points will lead to a dead end at some earlier point.) But I don't understand why Rin would have chosen to make Saber a familiar just based off of that. (I suppose she had time to, if in the anime we have enough time to see Saber disappear.) – Maroon Aug 7 '15 at 2:10
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    Ah, I see. In the anime, Rin does seem to like Saber, and maybe we can assume that in the good ending she noticed Shirou growing closer to Saber and decided to keep Saber around for his sake. But I'm just speculating; I haven't even finished the Fate route, so I have no idea what Rin and Saber's relationship is like in the visual novel Unlimited Blade Works. – Torisuda Aug 7 '15 at 2:20
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    I thought the Saber points influenced Saber's wilingness to destroy the grail: not enough and she must be commanded to do it, but enough and she overcomes her desire for the grail to do it on her own. Rin's exact motivations for keeping her around are still in question, of course. She claims that Saber is effectively an extremely powerful familiar the likes of which no modern magus can boast, albeit at the cost of draining her mana to the point where she can perform virtually no magecraft. I can't recall other specific details to support this thought, however. – zibadawa timmy Aug 7 '15 at 4:48
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    FWIW, the second BD box-set for UBW (out in October) will include a ~10-minute animated segment that covers the Good Ending. I doubt it'll provide any additional insight, but still. – senshin Sep 2 '15 at 23:57
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In the visual novel nothing is told. The anime clarifies quite a bit:

True ending: Rin stares as saber disappears (no running from Rin). After a while Saber starts her speech: Basically congratulations, I would have really liked to stay but Shiro has you (it is sooo clear she can be easily convinced, but Rin didn't do anything). In this ending it is also clear Rin is head over heels for Shirou and realises he doesn't care that much for saber.

Good ending: Rin runs like berserker to save saber (it's just a few meters though). Now the big question, Why did Rin saver her? There are 2 possibilities:

A) She doesn't love Shiro that much since she didn't receive enough points. I would find it hard to believe though because of how much she insists afterwards he's hers and that saber and her will teach him magic and martial arts on a daily basis. Also, why get so angry then when she considers they're flirting? And why would Rin also say: You want her to stay, so it's alright (this is said in the VN). Another reason I don't think it's likely is because in the whole VN Rin always gives Shirou what he wants: Fate (she helps bringing saber and Shirou together); UBW (if you just want Rin, you get just Rin. If you're also interested in saber Rin runs to save her); HF (she wants him to be with Sakura and be happy). You could argue it is because Rin doesn't love him a lot, but 90% of the time she's risking her life because of him (and dies a few times due to that in the bad endings). Sakura can't do that even if she wants to and saber does it out of her contract (at least during the first part of each route). I've always imagined Rin as Shirou's guardian angel, and the only reason they turn into a couple in UBW is because he realises that even before the war started she saved him by consuming her most powerful weapon.

B) She knows in this ending Shirou would almost die of sorrow if saber goes (not so much as the fate route but not that far away either). Well, this is what I believe happens. The reason why Rin keeps insisting saber is her familiar and hers would therefore be because:

  • She doesn't want them to get romantically attached (in the VN she tells them not to flirt), she just wants saber to watch over him (so he doesn't become archer) and support him and make him happy.

  • Imagine Rin gives saber back. Well, this would be a threesome whether they want it or not. Rin not having a link with saber = having sex with her, the same goes for Shirou. Now, with the link Shirou and Rin can become a couple and mana be supplied constantly without sex.

  • anime.stackexchange.com/questions/37448/… Very related. This link directs to another question in this community that will make you understand the relationship between Rin and Archer when he dies at the end of UBW, necessary for understanding the difference between the good and true endings as we can understand Rin better. She still thinks about Archer in the true ending even after years have passed etc – echomateria Dec 1 '16 at 16:12
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The reason Saber stays in the good ending but not the true ending is specifically because of the love between Shiro and Arturia. Under Shiro's command, she has a strong reason to destroy the grail and also to claim the grail. While she may want to stay with Shiro, which not using up the command seals would allow, her desire for the grail and her desire to stay with Shiro would both strongly prevent her from destroying the grail, thus resulting in Shiro's use of the last command seal, releasing the summoning that maintains Saber. However in Unlimited Blade Works Saber is released from Shiro at one point and makes a pact with Rin.

Then, following the path with Rin as her master and still focusing on her allows Saber to fall in love and have no opposing desires in relation to the Holy Grail. Falling in love with Shiro and becoming dedicated to its destruction for multiple good reasons throughout the UBW route means she's free to destroy it herself without any compelling action of any kind. No command seal needs to be used, so her summoning isn't canceled when its destroyed.

This is based on logical thought on my part though: I've watched UBW and FSN, but they say the FSN anime is butchered and the UBW anime follows the conclusion to the true path. I've not seen the good ending for Unlimited Blade Works, I recently started through the Fate portion of Fate/Stay Night and am working towards UBW, where I'll likely find the good ending before Heavens Feel.

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    Technically, it's possible for a servant to remain for limited amount of time after the command seals have been used up, so I'm unsure if that alone is sufficient. (I think there's some statement to this effect concerning Archer in UBW, and Caster in some part of the VN.) Combined with the stuff I put in the spoilers, I'm slightly uncertain about that. – Maroon Sep 2 '15 at 18:42
  • But in any case, is what you're trying to get at that in the good path, there would be less tension between the destruction of the Grail (which I think Saber agrees with) and Saber's ties to Shiro in UBW's good ending, on account of the fact that Shiro isn't her master anyway? (Thinking of it, I should probably reread the end of UBW since I might have just missed something.) – Maroon Sep 2 '15 at 18:49
  • anime.stackexchange.com/questions/37448/… Very related. This link directs to another question in this community that will make you understand the relationship between Rin and Archer when he dies at the end of UBW, necessary for understanding the difference between the good and true endings as we can understand Rin better. She still thinks about Archer in the true ending even after years have passed etc – echomateria Dec 1 '16 at 16:16
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Kyle mohr, I read everything as well (Fate VN, fate hollow and anime =P)

As I said at the beginning of my last post, the VN clarifies very little. Even so there's some evidence to defend my point of view (which I stated in my previous post). Something I didn't mention before but is quite relevant is that Rin either subsconciously or conciously chooses Archer (Shirou) over Saber. She asks Archer to remain in this world and cries when he doesn't accept. This happens in both the good and true ending (right before the good ending would come archer's scene). I think that if Archer had accepted Rin's proposal, both the true and happy endings would be the same (Rin - Shirou - Shirou). I do believe in the good ending, Rin runs to save Saber because of how much Shirou cares for her (at least 4 points given to her). Even so by asking Archer to stay afterwards Saber would have left this world had Archer accepted. (There's not enough mana for both of them and Rin knows it. She also knows Saber isn't selfish to stay that way. By asking Archer she's in a way betraying Saber, that's why she thinks "I know I shouldn't ask", even though she asks, and Archer says "I do not know if you will keep your contract with Saber, but I am not qualified for that.")

Then again, I guess if you really push it, it could also be said she does it for selfish reasons. (You mentioned "It could also be said that she kept Saber for the prestige of having a Pseudo-Divine spirit as a familiar.") Well, that is a possibility: maybe she wants a powerful servant and she just happens to find Archer more adequate to her needs. She may also want a harem and 2 Shirous are better than one so she's saying to Saber: I really wanted to give you a second chance in life but since I'd have to monitor your every move (cause you're into Shirou...) I'd much rather give that second chance to Archer and have 2 boys head over heels for me.

The only clear thing is that Rin prioritizes Shirou and Archer. (Even after his betrayal, which almost kills her at some point, her mind is 100% set in making Archer live with her no matter how many VN points she is assigned from Shirou. This shows how much she cares for Shirou. After all she does say at some point in the VN: "it doesn't matter if he betrayed me, Archer is Shirou.")

  • Note that the SE format isn't like that of a forum. If you want to add to or clarify your post, you should edit the original via the "edit" link below the text, – Maroon Sep 28 '16 at 2:51
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    Thanks for telling me :) I will do so from now on. If you tell me to delete this post I will do so as well tomorrow or later today (I'm a bit busy atm) – Lord Sep 28 '16 at 3:22
  • anime.stackexchange.com/questions/37448/… Very related. This link directs to another question in this community that will make you understand the relationship between Rin and Archer when he dies at the end of UBW, necessary for understanding the difference between the good and true endings as we can understand Rin better. She still thinks about Archer in the true ending even after years have passed etc – echomateria Dec 1 '16 at 16:17
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As someone who completely finished the Visual Novel (including the secret scene for viewing all the tiger dojos) I believe I am well qualified to say this: The difference is not clear. It could be said that Rin loved Shirou so much that she chose to keep Saber (at the cost of 80% of her reserves) it could also be said that she kept Saber for the prestige of having a Pseudo-Divine spirit as a familiar. It could even be said that it was to give Saber a second chance at life. In the end it's up to the viewer to decide.

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It was to make him happy. Just watch this video (minutes 9-16) in which future Rin talks to present Rin in fate hollow ataraxia. At some point future Rin says: Rather than becoming happy together, I will, with no questions asked, and more than anyone else, give him happiness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9thish4tmk4 In the good ending Shirou's happiness depends a lot on saber staying, that's why Rin does all she can to make her stay.

What word does define Rin?: Tsundere that hides her feelings and pretends to act out of selfishness. I will translate her tsundere words:

Shirou asks Rin: Why did you keep her? Rin asnwers: Because she is the most powerful servant. Translation: "I did it for you" (because otherwise it doesn't make sense that in the true ending she doesn't keep saber or how much she implores archer to stay as her servant when there's not enough prana for 2 servants).

Rin says: ""Saber is mine and so are you" Translation: You are MINE and I'd suffer a thousand deaths before giving you saber back so that you can fuck her every day (Because that's how bad Shirou is as a mage. Unlike Rin, Shirou supplies magical energy by fucking. A link is never created, it is just endless fucking).

Rin says: "I'll need you to help me supply saber. I won't be as bad as saber but I'll still be an inconvenience"; "I'll supply saber with magical energy and you will give me a boost" Translation: Keep your hands off Saber, you horny dog! Eh? You can't hold it? Hmph, i-it can't be helped. I will l-let you do me, OK? It's not like I want to f-fuck or anything, baka! I just need mana for Saber!

Luckily future Rin leaves the tsun part and becomes a love-struck caring wife that doesn't conceal her feelings.

  • anime.stackexchange.com/questions/37448/… Very related. This link directs to another question in this community that will make you understand the relationship between Rin and Archer when he dies at the end of UBW, necessary for understanding the difference between the good and true endings as we can understand Rin better. She still thinks about Archer in the true ending even after years have passed etc – echomateria Dec 1 '16 at 16:17
  • And I agree, Rin cares a lot about Shirou/Archer, which makes it a very reasonable reason. – echomateria Dec 1 '16 at 16:18
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True End: Saber drew her conclusion from watching Shirou's conflict with Archer and gives up the Holy Grail. Although its not the "perfect" end like Fate, she still managed to find her answer. She knows that Rin will make Shirou happy and keep him hinged to reality, so she peacefully sever her contract with Rin and disappear (as all 3 Command Seals at that point are used)

Good End: Due to the increased affection between Saber and Shirou, she decided she wanted to watch over him and Rin. Rin decide not to cut the contract, partially because she wanted Shirou to be happy, partially because she wanted Saber to be happy (from Fate route Boy meets Girl meets Girl, Rin is a confirmed bisexual and is attracted to Saber).

So Good End is Rin's harem essentially

  • Nah, I think Rin's bi-curious at most. The h-scene in the V.N (fate route) was a life or death situation and it is an eroge, what happened there would have likeky been the same with other heroines, it's mostly fanservice. Also, the newer fate stay night version (realta nua, which is canon) completely removes that scene. Not to mention that in Fate Hollow Ataraxia once Rin and Shirou start a proper relationship there are several occasions in which Rin makes it clear she just wants Shirou as a love partner (like when Rin invites Shirou on a date to her private pool in her house,.. see next post – Lord Oct 14 '16 at 16:33
  • (Shirou says it's a great idea and that he's gonna tell saber and Rin gets super mad. She literally beats Shirou and tells him it's a couple's date, so just the 2 of them will go there). Moreover, I've read everything in the visual novels and there isn't one single scene in which saber even hints she likes Rin that way. A harem happens when +2 people around you loves you and in the visual novel (the source materil) saber literally says in the UBW good ending she's staying just for Shirou – Lord Oct 14 '16 at 16:35
  • IMHO the use of the 3 command seals is relevant, but not that important (even without any command seals Rin aks archer to become a familiar. Not to mention the command seals won't grant her any mana after the war). Saber stays as her familiar as there's no other way to stay in the world of the living, The same could have happened even without the command seals. – Lord Oct 14 '16 at 16:47
  • saber staying just for shirou happens in the anime too. Adding to what lord said, in the anime episode 23 saber says "shirou,you are still my master; in episose 24 before disappearing she says to Rin that shes happy Shirou has Rin. Saber staying for Shirou is always there, even though in the VN Nasu made it very funny by making saber flirt with Shirou as Rin states when saber says shes staying just for Shirou even though Rin is just one meter away listening to their conversation – Sanji Oct 15 '16 at 12:29
  • I'd like to expand on my previous comment. About the command spells In the true ending Rin has to use the last one to force saber to destroy the Grail with Rin inside (killing her). Rin didn't die cause Archer saved her. In the good ending Saber willingly decides to destroy it (thinking she would kill Rin). So Saber may have stayed in the true ending if Rin had ran to make a new contract with her (as Rin did with archer). After all the true ending is the one where saber can't bring herself to kill Rin – Lord Oct 19 '16 at 13:48
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The difference lies in the way Shirou distributes his affection points.
In the good ending Shirou gives Saber a certain number of them whereas in the true ending Shirou only wants Rin and doesn't pay attention to Saber.

I believe the best way to understand why Rin only brings her in the good ending is to know what she does in every route. My conclusion is that it was done for Shirou's sake. If we start with the routes in which Shirou loves Saber we have

  • Fate route: At the beginning Rin doesn't want Shirou and Saber to be together. When Saber ran out of magi and was about to die Rin told Shirou she'll disappear as he can't give her mana. She was deliberately letting her die. After a while Shirou is taken by Illya. Rin goes to save him. There are a few times where Rin tells Shirou to abandon Saber as she's too weak to go on, but he doesn't, he carries her. It isn't until they are all about to die that Rin says Mmm even if you're inexperienced and can't transfer mana through the master-servant pact you can sex her as your semen contains lots of magic.

Once he falls in love with Saber, Rin helps him get her. Rin helps Shirou plan Saber and Shirou's date. At the end Rin wasn't there to save Saber because she was at the Emiya house close to dying because of heavy injuries. Fortunately in the "last episode" we get Saber and Shirou's true happy ending.

  • Unlimited Blade Works Good Ending: Shirou gives Saber affection points and Rin brings her. They all live happily. Rin supplies mana through the master-servant link as she's an experienced magician. Shirou has to sex them as it is the only way he can supply magic.

  • Fate Hollow Ataraxia: 6 months after some route Rin revives Saber and gives her to Shirou as he needs her. Shirou was so happy his eyes are watery and he can barely see. Because of different reasons there's no need to give her mana so this time Rin makes Shirou Saber's master as she's not needed to give her mana. By the end of the game he's still Saber's master.

The routes in which Shirou doesn't love Saber

  • Unlimited Blade Works true ending: Shirou deliberatey focuses on Rin and doesn't pay attention to Saber. Rin doesn't bring her home.

  • Heaven's Feel: Shirou wants Sakura. Saber becomes an obstacle. Rin supports Shirou against Saber/Dark Sakura in order to save Sakura, which leads to Saber dying and Shirou getting Sakura.

So, by comparing what Rin does in every route regarding Saber I've come to the conclusion Rin only saves/resurrects... Saber when Shirou needs her and most times Rin won't even be with them. The closest Rin gets to Saber is UBW good ending where all 3 are living happily because Shirou loves Rin but at the same time he needs Saber. The reason she becomes Saber's master in UBW is to save Shirou who was seconds from dying and at the end of the good ending she's the only one that can give her mana through a link and has enough mana to sustain her properly (though boosts are still needed).

The rest of the times Rin either hands Saber to Shirou even though she can have her (Ataraxia) or simply doesn't try to get her for her own gain.

  • Also, in the anime episode 25 Rin says to Shirou at the end of the school flashback 1 month after the war in the japanese and sub versions [the dub changes what she really says a bit]: /My life's goal is to give you happiness\ In the visual novel and Hollow Ataraxia she says the same using other words. – Henry King of England Jan 6 '17 at 15:21

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