Fate/Apocrypha 04 (A life for a life.)

Fate/Apocrypha 04
フェイト/アポクリファ episode 04

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis

Fate/Apocrypha 04As Red Berserker lumbers gleefully through the forest, Red Archer (Atalanta) and Red Rider (Achilles) observe. Both discuss how they’ve yet to meet their Masters. Meanwhile, Black Rider is sent to battle Red Berserker. Black Rider uses his Trap of Argalia Nobel Phantasm on Red Berserker, removing his leg. Black Rider and Black Caster all but finish him off as the Yggdmillennia prepare to sever Red Berserker’s contract and make him work for the Black Faction. Black Rider returns to help the homunculus escape while Black Saber and Black Berserker go to face Red Rider. Black Archer covers his people while Red Archer covers Red Rider.

Fate/Apocrypha 04Back at the castle, Gordes is angry that Black Saber won’t use his Nobel Phantasm to take out Red Rider and spends two Command Spells to force the issue. However, when Darmic finds out, he stops Gordes and has Black Archer cover Black Saber’s retreat while giving Black Berserker an opening to go after Red Archer. Red Archer retreats as does Red Rider, after he salutes Black Archer. Elsewhere, Ruler cannot understand why the three Red Servants received no communications from their respective Masters. Ruler’s foresight ability leads her to see that there is about to be infighting among the Black Faction.

Fate/Apocrypha 04Meanwhile, Black Rider’s escape with the homunculus is detected, so Gordes and Black Saber are dispatched to stop this. Black Rider has the homunculus leave with his sword as Black Rider and Black Saber battle. Gordes gives chase, amazed that one of his creations has self awareness to preserve its life. The homunculus attacks, but Gordes easily knocking out the boy. Meanwhile, Black Saber has defeated Black Rider, but hearing Black Rider’s honorable intentions, the two join Gordes and the homunculus. Since Gordes won’t heal the injured homunculus, Black Saber knocks him out.

Fate/Apocrypha 04As Ruler arrives, Black Saber pulls his heart out, inserts it into the homunculus, then makes a request of Ruler that she set the boy free. Black Rider doesn’t want Black Saber to die. Black Saber dies, but as he does, magic surges through the boy and his magic circuits. The homunculus is now completely restored. Ruler introduces herself and vows to protect the homunculus, both life and soul.

Thoughts/Review

Well now, well now. I certainly didn’t expect to see a Servant sacrifice himself to help someone in need. But I have to say, I rather like it.

Fate/Apocrypha 04

Red Faction

One thing that became fairly clear in this episode is that the Red Faction is completely being run by Shirou, save for Red Saber and Sisigou. Red Archer and Red Rider noted their lack of communications with their Masters. Ruler noted that Red Archer, Red Rider, and Red Berserker received no orders during the incursion into Yggdmillennia territory. As I recall it, Shirou had all of the Red Masters in what appeared to be an underground room of some kind.

Fate/Apocrypha 04

So what is Shirou’s game? If Shirou is running the Red Faction, then it was he who ordered Red Lancer to kill Ruler. Not sure how this helps him obtain the Holy Grail and get whatever wish he desperately desires. I also wonder if Shirou somehow has mind control over the other Red Masters. They should all have their own wishes for the Holy Grail, so I can’t see them ceding that to Shirou. If Shirou is mentally controlling the Red Masters, then the Red Servants would be at his command by proxy, but it would cost Shirou no mana (prana) to have them do their thing. Ingenious, really.

Fate/Apocrypha 04

Red Archer’s and Red Rider’s identities were revealed. Although I don’t use her, I have Atalanta Archer in my Fate/Grand Order collection (4* Archer Servant, but not as good as EMIYA 4* Archer, whom I also have). That aside, I’m glad we are seeing a bit more about the Red Faction and Servants as that has been sadly lacking.

Fate/Apocrypha 04

Finally, is Red Berserker some kind of Trojan Horse? In Fate/Grand Order, he’s just a crummy 1* Berserker. Shirou had to order Red Berserker into battle, so what was the purpose? The Black Faction seem keen on turning Red Berserker into one of theirs (convenient timing considering what happened to Black Saber), so maybe Shirou plans to have Spartacus converted to the Black Faction, but still somehow have him betray the Black Faction.

Fate/Apocrypha 04

Black Faction

Looks like Black Saber, Black Archer, and Black Rider are all honorable Servants of the good alignment. Black Archer had previously helped Black Rider assist the escaped homunculus. Black Rider attempts to get the homunculus to safety, though that gets foiled. And then Black Saber spares Black Rider’s life and even sacrifices his own to allow the homunculus to regenerate. I’m not sure how Black Saber’s heart did this, but I guess the magic of it did it once Black Saber “died.”

Fate/Apocrypha 04

If they convert Red Berserker to Black Berserker 2, that makes up for the loss of Black Saber (sort of). Still, I can’t imagine things going well for Gordes. He wasted two Command Spells trying to force Black Saber to use his Nobel Phantasm earlier, angering Darmic. Now Gordes has lost Black Saber, and a Black Berserker 2 won’t make up for that in my opinion. So what happens to him? The Black Faction really is in disorder right now.

Fate/Apocrypha 04

Finally, there’s Ruler’s involvement by taking Black Saber’s request as a vow to protect the freed and revived homunculus. In my mind, this shifts Ruler from being a neutral party to an active participant and I can’t imagine Darmic, Black Lancer, and Black Caster will be very happy about this.

Fate/Apocrypha 04

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Since I’ve only been working on this for about three weeks, maybe I better wrap up my review of Fate/Apocrypha 04.

  • Where were Red Saber and Sisigou? They received word about Red Berserker running wild and I thought they’d at least observe and get a feel for enemy Servants. But they may have opted to play cautious, not trusting Shirou.
  • As much as I love Jeanne’s Ruler Servant (mainly from playing Fate/Grand Order), I was just thinking how in reality, the Ruler class Servant is a retcon. Otherwise, she should have shown in up Fate/stay night for sure since that ended up not an exactly normal Holy Grail War.

Fate/Apocrypha 04

In the end, Fate/Apocrypha 04 had the unexpected moment of Black Saber sacrificing himself. I find myself getting into the series a bit more as time goes on, even if I am way behind.

Fate/Apocrypha 04

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10 Responses to “Fate/Apocrypha 04 (A life for a life.)”

  1. Geburah san says:

    Red Berserker is decently powerful, but yes on fate go he was shafted due not being bishonen/waifu material.
    We have the example of Emiya that is fujoshi/fanwank material with 4 stars while Cu thats is stronger than Emiya but less fan favorite being relegated to mere 3 stars rank, the irish luck chases him even on other games xD

    Power wise using fate go terms id say Red Berserker is 2-3 stars with very conditional situations where he would be a 4 stars power wise. Problem is that is almost impossible to control due to his anarchical tendences.

    • Geburah san says:

      Also i forgot, the reason Ruler class didnt appear on Fuyuki, because the Grial system there didnt account for the Ruler class, and mediator was designed by the church (the same way that the number of servants is different).

      The setting of Fate/Apocrypha is a parallel world to Fate/stay night where the Greater Grail was removed from Fuyuki after the Third Holy Grail War disappeared for many years. Around the 2000s, around the same time as the Fifth Holy Grail War would have happened, the group that plundered the Grail, Yggdmillennia, openly declares their secession from the Mage’s Association and that they are in possession of the Grail. The Association dispatches fifty magi to retrieve it, but all but one are instantly slaughtered by Lancer of Black. The one remaining manages to activate the reserve system of the Greater Grail, allowing for the summoning of fourteen Servants in total.

      This marks the start of the Great Holy Grail War in Trifas, featuring two different factions, the Black Faction (Yggdramillennia), and the Red Faction (Mage’s Association with the exception of one from the Church). The Grail itself also summons Ruler to act as a mediator of the Holy Grail War.

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        The one remaining manages to activate the reserve system of the Greater Grail, allowing for the summoning of fourteen Servants in total.

        Boy, this didn’t come out in the anime at all.

        Thanks for the info!

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I was disappointed that Cu Lancer wasn’t a 4* character. On the NA servers, he is my Lancer because he pretty much is unkillable.

  2. SCMof2814 says:

    As I understand it, the reason Ruler didn’t appear in FSN is because in FSN, the Einzbern summoned Avenger in the 3rd war. Apocrypha is a parallel world where instead of summoning Avenger, they summon Ruler. That’s why Ruler doesn’t appear in FSN, the class literally doesn’t exist there.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Interesting. I am aware of Avenger, but that’s it. Thanks for the info.

      • Geburah san says:

        Well in theory both classes can be added, since are paralel worlds from the same branch, but the system probably has a limit on how much cheating you can do (it is possible to summon demigods but not true demons/divine spirits allowed unlike on kaleid and fate go), so if you summon a Ruler class you cant summon Avenger and vice versa.

        The Grial system is the same, but they have quite a few decades to study and modify it, not counting the planning to get the best of fame bonus for their side

        And yes on Fate go, Cu is basically a cockroach, but personally the king of survival imo is Heracles- Despite of him not having god hand once you have the max bond card he becames ridiculously hard to bring down with this: 1:dodge buff 234: card guts 5: heracles guts, 6: dodge 7: dodge spell, so you have basically 7 turns of berserker crushing the boss. Doesnt work so well with multple enemies due to risk losing guts more than once per turn still is strong enough to crush Goetia alone. Berserker strong indeed

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          I haven’t gotten Heracles to his 3rd ascension yet. However, I do have him on my supports for most teams just to keep his bond level rising.

          Thanks for the other info!

  3. Eight Star King says:

    When you think about it, Ruler-Class being a thing isn’t really a retcon so to speak, but rather the fact that there was no chance of one appearing in FSN at all. Rulers are meant to ensure that the HGW runs smoothly, as well as ensuring that what happens in it does not endanger the world.

    However…

    Spoiler Inside SelectShow

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