Fate/Zero:Volume 1 Postface
Urobuchi Gen wants to write stories that can warm people's hearts.
Those who knew about my creative history would probably furrow their brows and think this is a cold joke. Actually, I couldn't completely believe it, either. Because when I start typing out words on the keyboard, the stories my brain comes up with are always full of madness and despair.
In fact, I wasn't like this before. I've often written pieces that didn't have a perfect ending, but by the last chapter the protagonist would still possess a belief that 'Although there will be many hardships to come, I still have to hold on'.
But from I don't know when, I can no longer write works like this.
I am full of hatred towards men's so-called happiness, and had to push the characters I poured my heart out to create into the abyss of tragedy.
For all things in the world, if we just leave them alone and pay them no attention, they are bound to advance in a negative direction.
Just like no matter what we do we can't stop the universe from getting colder. It is only a world that is created through a compilation of 'progresses of common sense'; it can never escape the bondage of its physical laws.
Therefore, in order to write a perfect ending for a story you have to twist the laws of cause and effect, reverse black and white, and even possess a power to move in the opposite direction from the rule of the universe. Only a heavenly and chaste soul that can sing carols of praise towards humanity can save the story. To write a story with a perfect ending is a double challenge to the author's body and soul.
Urobuchi Gen had lost that power. It still hasn't recovered. The 'tragedy syndrome' is still continuing within me. Is this a terminal disease? Should I give up on the pure 'warrior of love' that I've longed for? Ascend a pallid battle steed and reincarnate into a dispenser of this virus... Could it be that I can only create pieces that give men courage and hope in my next life? (When I wrote this, I wrote 'courage' as 'lingering ghosts'. Could this be because of using 'ime' - Ah, I wrote 'ime' as 'hatred' -are there no chances of recovery for me?)
Honestly, I even wanted to break my pen. I remember watching Spidermen II. When I saw Peter wishing that he doesn't have the power to change his body, I also thought 'Perhaps, I wish to never write another script again!'
Therefore, I visited my friend Nasu Kinoko's house on the afternoon of the next day, and wanted to tell him my true intention. But before I spoke with him about what I've been thinking in my heart, Takashi Takeuchi got ahead of me and started talking. And as soon as he spoke he brought up an unthought-of proposal.
The parts afterwards are the same as Kinoko's notes. Although the initial plan was just a short piece describing the duel between Kiritsugu and Kirei, the wings of imagination can't be stopped once it is spread opened and finally all seven Masters and their Servants are gathered together. I found myself once again immersed in the joy of weaving together a story. It can be said that the launch of Fate/zero saved my writing career.
Right now, I've writing a piece that is saved and has a perfect ending. To be more accurate, writing a part of this piece.
Yes. This marvellous piece called Fate - its perfect united ending surrounding the protagonist Emiya Shirō is a set fact. No matter how cruel the end of Zero turns out to be, it wouldn't affect the perfect finish of this entire work.
Right now, I've finally got a chance to write a tragic ending according to my heart's desire. No matter how I display the darkness inside my heart, from an overall look I am nevertheless a partner of 'the warrior of love, Nasu Kinoko'.
Umm. Although it didn't completely solve my problem, however, to allow me to once again discover 'the self that has the joy of creation' is already a big improvement.
Right now, I'm moving forward step by step. No matter where I end up in the future, I am already very happy at the moment.
According to current projections, Fate/zero should end in four volumes.
At its end, the readers who witness Saber whimpering, will be so overwhelmed by anger and sadness that they will rip the last volume and go impulsively reinstall "Fate/stay night" and then they won’t be able to stop until they watch as Saber gains her salvation. That’s the conclusion I want to write.
In the world of magecraft, the ‘miracle’ that can fulfil any wish exists.
This vessel is called the Holy Grail, and in order to complete it all the rituals need to be conducted.
Although up till now examples demonstrating its ‘mystery’ have yet to be seen.
But ever since the Holy Grail was born, countless days and lives have already wafted away before it.
Not to mention it’s only been two hundred years.
Fuyuki’s ritual is still quite young. For the ritual’s success, many talented individuals are needed to build the foundations.
Therefore, seven magi and seven Servants gathered here.
The summoned ones gathered here are all nobles harnessing truths beyond the ordinary.
If you regard surpassing them as your goal.
Then, come and prove yourself as the strongest –
A miracle will only happen on one person, and it’s exactly because of this uniqueness that miracles hold such values.
Going ten years back from the time of the game ‘Fate/stay night’.
Here, another ‘Fate’ made by Urobuchi Gen lifted its curtains.
This is Zero. A Heaven’s Feel that no one’s seen. A story about ‘that man’ no one’s ever mentioned. A magnificent prologue.
… Wait, I originally wanted to get some fame with Zero’s brilliance too.
But I gave up when I thought the piece couldn’t be too long.
Urobuchi Gen, a distinguished man of both the sword and the pen, who has both a calm and thorough objectivity and elegance in words. The swiftness of his sword can overcome the speed of sound. Also his ability to control the entire story is of the best quality in the PC game world, and has created many outstanding works up till now. He’s already an assassin or half-vampire. Should be cannibalism next. His motto is ‘hum, this is pretty tasty’. He even thinks of himself as one of the great men of the time.
Firstly, I’d like to express here my joy at having him adapting my work.
A new Fate painted by his hand. I, as the original author, was more deeply moved by its charm than anyone else.
So, this book talks about the story of the fourth Heaven’s Feel.
The rule in the Fate version Heaven’s Feel is actually rather simple.
1. A battle royale between seven magi and their Servants, acting as familiars.
2. Servants are materialised in Heroic Spirit form, according to an appearance ‘suitable to the era’.
3. Master has three absolute commands of the Servant.
4. The final survivor wins the right to possess the Holy Grail.
That’s how it’s like. Although there are other details, they are branches and leaves whose rules will be established as long as the root and trunk of the tree exists. In fact it is very simple and basic. Because of that, the kind of story created is completely dependent on the creator’s outrageous imagination. It can be a cruel boy-meets-girl, or a vigorous tangled battle.
Fate/stay night belongs to the former. What about Zero?
Of course, I don’t need to talk about Urobuchi Gen’s true nature. It will definitely be an utterly confused war of communal slaughter.
Those readers who thought Fate/stay night “should have more than blood, tears and tragic endings”, this is for you! This is the true ‘Heaven’s Feel’, with the battle for survival as its essence!
This is Emiya Kiritsugu’s other side that was never mentioned until now and unknown by others.
This is the fourth Heaven’s Feel that’s never been completely described until now.
Be them the magi on the stage or their Servants; they are all boss level characters, and between them a cruel and merciless battle of elimination will be conducted.
Yes. Zero is canon, but at the same time it is another legend different from ‘Fate/stay night’.
If we have to define it, it’s an extra part spin out of canon story. It's a unique leaf of a melody that Urobuchi Gen conducted from a completely Fate-ish trunk. Here, you don’t have to consider the content of the ‘Fate/stay night’ game. Only move the story according to your wishes, let the characters shown portray themselves to the fullest and rush towards the ending without regret.
That kind of galloping sentiment. I really want to reminiscent the contract interwoven with hope and despair, and wait for the duel between Emiya Kiritsugu and ‘that man’ in his destiny at the same time,
The marvellous conclusion of the volume one post face is as follows. Let me talk about behind-the-scenes stories that everyone’s rather interested about.
Why would Zero be written by Urobuchi Gen? That is a long story.
The relationship between Urobuchi Gen and Fate can go back to 2002.
I was writing the Fate Saber route at the time, and was sent into the hospital near my house due to illnesses. TYPE-MOON was still doujin at the time, and Fate was yet a fledgling draft with four main routes including an Ilya route.
Takeuchi, who thought ‘if there’s only Nasu doing the work we’ll never finish it’, asked me: “Is there a writer you think as trustworthy who can write some stories to be inserted into plot?”
With such thoughts, I began to hook Urobuchi Gen with baits such as ‘wanna go see a movie together?”. Although I was quite happy with Urobuchi’s reply “I’ll definitely do things that interest me”, I still told him “Nah, I was just kidding!”. That was because I suddenly realised I always gave up on projects by being like this, and I must see this one through. Maybe Fate will be the last game that is solely written by me. Therefore I decided to do it myself, and gave up on the plan of seeking his help.
(Later, TYPE-MOON changed from doujin to commercial, therefore ordering Urobuchi’s scripts became harder. He was also busy doing other things he likes, so the matter of cooperation was put away.)
Then two years passed. It became the summer of 2004, when Hollow was being developed.
When we were developing Hollow, which had many assistant writers creating the plot together, Takeuchi once again surprised me with his words.
“For Eclipse, should we get Urobuchi Gen to write one?”
It was too surprising. But because my disposition as Urobuchi’s fan was too intense, it was too hard for me to speak such a request; it was like making a demand to a god. I gave the question to Takeuchi in a roundabout way “… Um, if it’s brought up by you, Takeuchi, he might find it pretty hard to refuse…”. Therefore, at one time when we were dining with Urobuchi, Takeuchi said straightforwardly “Urobuchi-san, I’ve got something I want to talk to you about”. That was such a strong direct attack!! As ferocious as a spiral upward hook.
Yes. Spiral upward hook. I think those knowledgeable readers should know about it. Faced with such an attack, this man who often surpassed the reader’s imagination only hummed and nodded slightly, and made a clever counter move.
“Ah. If so, what about getting me to write about the fourth Heaven’s Feel? Something like Fate/zero.”
Isn’t this just great? To be honest, I even think this is an idea more wonderful that developing the Hollow game.
Then, we began to discuss about it:
“Speaking of, what is the fourth war about?”
“Hum – Saber getting bullied by Gilgamesh and Alexander!”
I answered unceremoniously.
In my mind, there are two main points in the fourth Heaven’s Feel.
One is Saber’s setback.
King Arthur, who ruled her people as the model human. The selfless and devoted, just and uncorrupted Artoria.
The absolute commander who surpassed mortals, the majestic Gilgamesh.
And the extravert king whom some called a tyrant, but still held his belief that he’ll bring his people to happiness. The King of Conquerors, Alexander, who ruled the world as a man.
Using the intensive conflict between the three to unravel Saber’s story in Zero.
And the other point is Kiritsugu’s story. I contracted that to him according to his wishes as well. I don’t care about other things anymore.
“I understand. Then I’ll do it according to the way I like it to be. Ah, but I’ll do my best to get the style of the piece close to Fate.”
He is indeed Urobuchi Gen, able to think about TYPE-MOON’s clients.
Afterwards, we discussed it over and over. After a few continuous meet-ups, the draft of volume one was finally completely in the winter of 2004.
Some readers might be surprised that at the time, Hollow was obviously not finished, so why was volume one concluded!?
(Because we were too busy at that time. In 2005 we also began to do a lot of new commercialisation. Afterwards, as we sorted out all the personnel the company got back on track again.)
Because of that, Urobuchi-san thought ‘Zero is a story based on Fate. So it’s better if Zero doesn’t become available to the public before Fate is released.’ Therefore, after waiting for a year, it was finally released in the winter of 2006. That’s how things went.
The above is Urobuchi-san and Zero’s initial encounter.
Although only us creators thought it will be an interesting project at the time, today when the story is approaching its conclusion I have no doubt Zero will become a piece that everyone who likes Fate are eagerly expecting.
Volume one is the prologue. Then it is the beginning of the war in volume two and the pitched battle and its astonishments in volume three. Lastly, there is the utterly despairing volume four (currently being written). Please enjoy the joy of Fate that Urobuchi is bringing to us all.
Oh, no. Maybe Urobuchi’s Heaven’s Feel is indeed the true Hell.
|Back to Act 4||Return to Main Page||Forward to Act 5|