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This question already has an answer here:

Who was Rin's servant Archer in Fate Stay Night? In the anime, it shows no reference to who he is or how he became a heroic spirit. But in the Manga, it only shows how he became a heroic spirit.

The Holy Grail takes the soul or spirit from people of legends and myths. So who was Archer in Fate Stay Night?

  • Only answer from Fate Stay Night, anime or manga. It would get confusing if somebody gives an answer that is true from a different universe or timeline.

marked as duplicate by кяαzєя Feb 15 '13 at 22:25

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Archer's history is outlined in the "Unlimited Blade Works" scenario of the game and in the "Unlimited Blade Works" movie. There is already a question addressing this topic: "Who is exactly Archer from the Unlimited Blade Works movie?" You may change the scope of your question so that they don't overlap each other. – кяαzєя Feb 15 '13 at 20:38
  • @Krazer They are from different universe or timeline. It's similar to asking a question from Full Metal Alchemist and answering it from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. It just isn't the same. And I didn't know about the movie, Thanks. – Blue Feb 16 '13 at 12:31
  • Actually the Archer from all the Fate/Stay Night scenarios are of the same continuity, unlike FMA:B. The story develops differently depending on how you want the story to branch out. – кяαzєя Feb 16 '13 at 17:10
  • @Krazer I just watch Fate Stay Night and Unlimited Blade Works. It doesn't mean that Archer is the same person from both stories. For all we know, Fate Stay Night's archer can be Kiritsugu Emiya. – Blue Feb 17 '13 at 19:27
  • It's still one continuity. They don't go into it in the TV series, because it follows Saber's route of the game. The UBW movie follows Rin's route, where naturally there will be some backstory about her servant. – кяαzєя Feb 18 '13 at 0:23
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Unlike the other herioc spirits (Aurthur, Alexander the Great, etc), Archer is:

Shirou Emiya of an alternate future timeline who made a contract with Gaia and became the Heroic Spirit Emiya, acting as the Counter Guardian of the world to fulfill his contract.

There were hints about this when Archer sees Shirou for the first time because:

He purposely wanted to be summoned into an era where the young Shirou Emiya would be around for the Grail war so that killing the younger version of himself may cause a paradox that would break his contract.

So the simple answer to your question is that:

Archer is the future version of Shirou Emiya.

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First of all, it should be mentioned that Archer is a Counter Guardian and not a Heroic Spirit. He is an agent of Gaia (the will of Earth) and is not stored in the Throne of Heroes like the other participants of the Holy Grail War.

Archer´s true identity is that of:

Emiya Shirou from an alternative timeline of the Fate route (Saber route), where he went into despair after Illyasviel passes away 1 year after the war. He tried to become a hero by saving the majority by killing the minority (like his father, Emiya Kiritsugu). Eventually the people he saved turned on him and shunned him, throwing him further into despair, culminating in him sacrificing his life by making a pact with Gaia to become a Counter Guardian in exchange for a few hundred people´s life. He is summoned into the war with the pendant he always carried on him that Rin used to save him as the catalyst, since Rin had no catalyst herself.

If you want a more indepth answer, play the visual novel, as the second route, Unlimited Blade Works, revolves mainly around him and Shirou.

  • So basically the character in the spoiler box is the identity of Archer? Or just in essence? – Blue Feb 16 '13 at 12:18
  • Yes the spoiler box reveals his indentity and his backstory. – Christian Aurig Frøkjær Feb 16 '13 at 12:58

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