Extra, Extra! Read Our Fate/Extra Interview

By Spencer . July 13, 2011 . 5:48pm


Last Ranker developer Imageepoch and Marvelous created a role playing game based on the Fate/Stay series for PSP. Later this year, you’ll be able to play Fate/Extra in English with Japanese voiceovers. Aksys announced they will release the PSP game in North America and they even have plans for a special edition (sorry, it won’t come with a Saber figure).


After the news at Anime Expo, we grabbed Mike Engler, editor, to tell us more about Fate/Extra and what the North American version will be like.


Heads up readers, the comments are swimming with spoilers. You may want to avoid the discussion section if that kind of thing bothers you.


During the Anime Expo panel there was a roar from fans excited about Fate/Extra coming overseas.


Mike Engler, Editor: I wasn’t there for that, but I kind of ghost on forums and sort of lurk. People were saying “oh, we can totally forget about seeing Fate” because what other companies were saying and how the PSP in general people are giving up hope. I was saying, “Yup, just wait another week.” There have been times I just wanted to announce it, but I guess its best that we waited until we did. More people got to go insane and cheer, which I got to hear none of which.


How long have you been secretly working on this project?


We started gearing up for the project around December. Dove in for real on the text around January. I’ve been grinding through ever since, so it’s been about six months.


Due to the size of the game, there was another person who helped me. I have to give a shout out to Hope who basically saved my sanity because Fate is an incredibly large game.


Last time you were joking that Jessica from Xseed would have to run for the hills because of all the text in Trails in the Sky. Is Fate/Extra going to make you do the same?


It was a big project, but like I said I had someone helping me so the workload was reduced quite a bit. Fate, while large, isn’t quite in Trails in the Sky territory.



One of the main themes in Fate/Extra is what it means to be human. Can you elaborate on that?


Let’s see if I can do this without spoilers. There might be spoilers in this so read at your own risk, but I’ll try to do my best.


Fate/Extra takes place in an alternate universe, literally virtual reality.  For those who are familiar with Fate Stay/Night you know the Holy Grail War took place in the real world and a lot of people got caught into it as collateral damage. For reasons, which I won’t get into because of spoilers, the Holy Grail War migrated into this virtual reality.


The main character who you play as, their memory loss goes far beyond amnesia. When you first start, you start with a totally blank slate. The only thing you can tell is your gender because you can tell that by looking down. In Fate/Extra you can choose to be either male or female.


The way the story unfolds it really goes into the basic tenet of what it means to be alive. As you play through the game, as you encounter different people and different antagonists, they have their own view on how the world should be and also how you should live in it. Is the meaning of life to strive for things? Is it to keep the status quo? The story itself is very deep and it was very long. For those of you that like text heavy RPGs, you’ve found your game.


How do these different ideas work with a branching story and multiple endings?


How the story tends to go is it branches out, but in the end it starts converging as a whole. For the most part, everything starts kind of the same and will end kind of the same. However, depending on what Servant you choose, what gender you choose, and what dialogue choices you make certain colorings will change. A lot of this I can’t talk about because it will start going into story spoilers.


How do the dialogue branches compare to other games you’ve worked on like the Agarest titles?


Fate isn’t nearly as long as Agarest. By our calculations, not counting dialogue choices, just general main branching points there are 16 different paths. Within those 16 paths, depending on how you interact with your Servant and NPCs there is a different strata of conversations.



Fate/Extra seems to have some similarities with the Persona series.


Yeah, it definitely has a Persona vibe. You have your “real world” location and then you go into other areas to fight.



It goes by day and the game is divided into weeks. On the school side, the game isn’t quite as intensive as Persona. Like, in Persona, you can ignore the dungeon completely and just do the dating-sim aspect. Fate is a little more skewed towards battles. You’ll spend more time fighting enemies and progressing the story that way, but there is a definite benefit to talking to NPCs in the non battle sides.


For the diehard Fate fans, how did you make sure you’re Aksys’ localization stays close to the series they love?


I did a lot of research on the game. Unlike other games I’ve worked on where I have leeway on terminology, there is a lot of terminology and the way the characters act [in Fate/Extra] – they [fans] aren’t even demanding it, it’s straight expectation. Personally, I watched the entire anime series. James, our PR guy, is a huge Type-Moon fan. If I had any questions he could tell me the back story.


Fate/Extra doesn’t follow in line with the Fate stories, it’s kind of like a side story. But, there are a lot of things from the Type Moon universe that make an appearance. For that, I tried to stay as faithful as possible. Some of the reoccurring characters that appear in Fate/Extra, act how they act in the main storyline. They speak how they speak in the main storyline. I made it a point that a lot of the fan focused stuff stayed in the game.


How are you going to make the game appeal to people who don’t know who Saber is?


It’s sort of like The Simpsons. You don’t have to understand the cultural references to find it funny, but the more you know about pop culture and American society the deeper the humor gets. With Fate, on the surface it is a very solid science fiction story, but if you’re a fan you’ll start to see the different layers.


The good thing about Fate/Extra is it’s a self-contained story. It is not geared 100% to Fate fans only. For those that are familiar with Fate and Type-Moon in general, there will be a lot of things where they will be like “Wow! What the heck?” There are a lot of references, but if you don’t know the universe it won’t affect your enjoyment.


caster Fate/Extra has three different Servants, but if you woke up in a digital world and your life depended on it, which Servant would one you pick?


If my existence was on the line… wow that was a tough one. You put me in a corner, I guess it was fated I would be asked this. Sorry! Because I like throwing the dice quite a bit, I would roll with Caster. Caster, she was my favorite character to do, a lot of fun. Her dialogue is awesome. If you’re not a betting person and you just want to survive, I would roll with Saber.


Saber would’ve been my choice, actually.


Caster, she’s just a lot more fun to talk to. Saber, this particular Saber, let’s just say she is… very demanding. Very self-assured and I don’t deal well with people like that. I don’t want to have an argument with my Servant when fighting someone who is trying to my life.

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  • this…makes me so HOT.

  • I agree with Mike, I don’t enjoy personalities like that either. Guess I’ll be starting with Caster. Even though I usually never start on hard difficulty or play it at all.

  • DanteJones

    Hmm, since there is a bit of time before the game comes out, can anyone suggest a good way to get to know the characters and backstory a bit more? Or a good point to start off at? I like being able to catch references and whatnot in games to other games of the same series, it makes the experience that more enjoyable. :)

    • Kibbitz

      You can track down the Fate/Stay Night anime, manga and/or game (with English language patch) if you like. While it might entertain you, it won’t do that much for you here beyond some terminology (which is explained in-game anyway) and personal appreciation of similarities and differences between the characters and universes. 

      Familiarity with Tsukihime will be slightly more valuable for one encounter depending on which route you go ingame, as will familiarity with Kara no Kyoukai for NewGame+ if you decide to take on the secret boss.

      • Exkaiser

        There’s also another character from Tsukihime who shows up in Extra.

        • Kibbitz

          Uh, yea, that’s why I said “Familiarity with Tsukihime will be slightly more valuable for one encounter depending on route”?

          • Exkaiser

            I meant that there are two characters from Tsukihime who show up. I thought that was obvious from what I said.

          • Kibbitz

            Hmm, ok, I only remember one character and I’m not seeing any others from the guidebook unless I’m misclassifying them.

          • Exkaiser

            The two characters are Aoko and the other Berserker.

          • Kibbitz

            Ah, okay, thanks for correcting me. My lack of familiarity with Tsukihime is telling, I totally forgot about Aoko, remembering only Other Berserker.

    • Suicunesol

      Probably the anime. The game/VN, while it is the original material and is naturally the best way to get to know the series, may be a little hard to obtain through conventional means.

      I got to know FS/N through the anime first. I liked what I saw. That led me to the VN, which was even better. I’d like to think you’ll feel the same way.

      • DanteJones

        Hmm, think I’ll check out the anime then when I get the chance. Thanks for the tip!

  • Exkaiser

    I’d go with Archer, myself.

    He’s a superhero.

    …Though, he works better with women than he does men, I suppose.

    • solbalmung

      Well, I think Archer is more of an Anti-Hero than a Super-Hero. He loath the ideology of saving and protecting everyone and what an irony for a Hero who gave everything towards those beliefs and then end up despising…
      I’d go for Archer as well because he is simply badass 8D !!

      • Exkaiser

        I just called him that because it’s how Mirror-Moon translated the “seigi no mikata” Shirou is always going on about.

        “And then Emiya Shirou turned his mind to steel and became a superhero.”

      • Xien12

        You do realize that EMIYA was happy his whole life up until his death and only became bitter after being stored in the Throne, right?

        • solbalmung

          Yea, and thats why Emiya personality and Archer differs. Archer bieng a guardian and going through many conflicts to avert crisis and saving people was betrayed by his own beliefs due to human nature. Even Emiya before dieing was betrayed by the same people he saved as a hero. Quite tragic…. 

    • Take the sacrifice as starting as a woman to give archer some happiness

      • Exkaiser

        Yeah, that might be what I’m going to do.

    •  I’m definitely going with Archer as well. Just because he seems awesome and looked pretty awesome in the Japanese screenshots I’ve seen.

    • Kibbitz

      Pretty much. If I remember correctly, there’s a special dialogue tree that you get for playing as a female character involving Archer and Rin. I probably will be starting off with him since I did Saber and Caster on the JP version. I don’t like his Trace gimmick though but maybe it’ll be better this time.

    • Locklear93

      How different is Archer from the version I know?  Saber and Caster are quite different, as has been discussed elsewhere.

      • Exkaiser

        He’s pretty similar, even has the same theme song.

  • I can’t wait until Fate/Extra is released, so you can enjoy the fruits of Mike’s and the rest of the Fate/Extra team’s labor of love <3

    I'd probably pick Caster too ;D

    • Phoenix_Apollo

      The thing I love about you guys is that your choices are always unpredictable, and over 90% of them are always great choices. I’m always excited to see what’s coming from you guys because there’s a pretty good chance I’ll enjoy it.

  • Demanding?! Saber is hot, and she is, Saber!! First choice HERE I GO!


    • Zero_Destiny

      Sabre is love <3 Sabre is Life. Sabre is also hot especially in Red. The only choice is Sabre. :D

      For once we can agree. Muwahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

      • It’s not that we agree, is that the steins;gate choose for us to agree…


    • Exkaiser

      Saber’s stomach is pretty demanding.

      And she’s pretty hard to handle when she enters Full-Armor Double Saber mode.

  • Exciel

    (Zero) Berserker so I could win, Caster for the perfect waifu.

    • solbalmung

      And what about Rider D: ?

  • neetloaf

    Above all else, I’m glad to know that I won’t need to know anything about the actual Fate universe before jumping into Fate/Extra. I can play the game without feeling like a doof, and may even be tempted to replay through it after I get off my lazy bum and get through some of the other Fate stuff.


  • Darkrise

    I’ll go with Caster on first playthrough, love her character design, then Saber and Archer.

  • AzureNova

    Now this is my kind of news! Out of the 3 servants if the 3rd one is her, then I will be rolling with Rider for the win. If not then Caster is awesome too. Cant wait to get my hands on this game!

    • Exkaiser

      The three servants are Saber, Archer, and Caster.

      Rider, as in Stay Night’s Medusa, doesn’t appear. Neither does Medea.

      • Locklear93

        I USUALLY don’t like spun off plots that change characters too much.  I’m keeping an open mind with Fate/Extra.  That said… I’m kind of the Caster change.  Medea was… bleh.

      • AzureNova

        Thanks, Caster it is then.

  • This is probably the last PSP game I’ll be getting (since it seems localizing other GOOD games isn’t in the cards….)

    • Hey, XSEED hasn’t given up on the PSP just yet! Nor has Aksys, it would seem. Believe me, there are quite a few good PSP games coming in the future. You can count on it!

      • katamari

        I love you, Thomas.

      • SolidusSnake

        Yes, Clifford’s last PSP game should probably be your unannounced horror title. Counting P2 that makes at least 3 more PSP games I will be purchasing.


  • SolidusSnake

    Looks like an interesting game, I’ll probably be rolling with Caster because I dislike bitchy, demanding chicks. I’m kind of worried about the comparisons to P3 though, because Tartarus was one of the worst, most tedious dungeons I’ve ever had the displeasure of slogging through. Hopefully the “other world” sequences won’t have a Tartarus.

    • DanteJones

      Call me crazy, but I loved trekking through Tartarus. Maybe it was the music or the combat, but I wouldn’t even notice a couple hours went by when I was in there. Unless I died and didn’t save recently, then it was a FFFFFFFFFF- moment. XD

      • SolidusSnake

        Heh, yeah dying in Tartarus and having to go through all those damn floors again was the worst. My main problem was that all the floors were pretty much the same so I just got tired of em after awhile.

    • Kibbitz

      Don’t remember Tartarus so I can’t compare, but dungeon layouts are pretty okay. Enemies, well, it depends on how much grinding you are willing to do to gather monster data, how much luck you have at guessing the unknowns, or how much skill you have in gaming the system.

      • SolidusSnake

        Ok, doesn’t sound too bad. My main complaint with Tartarus is that it was over 100 floors of almost identical randomly generated levels. As long as they put some thought into the design it should be cool. Thanks for the info.

        • Kibbitz

          You’re welcome. Extra does not have as many levels. You go through seven cycles of duels. Each cycle allows 6 days of screwing around with the 7th day being the duel with the opposing Master/Servant Pair. Over the six days, you first get access to one dungeon, then another. That’s effectively 14 different dungeons, plus one stupidly simplified one for you to grind if you feel underpowered around the finale.

  • This isn’t even Saber, this is Nero.

    • Exkaiser

      But Nero is still Saber.

      You don’t need to be King of Knights to be Saber.

      • Correction: A “Servant” of the Saber class.

        Doesn’t mean every Saber should look like the ill-fated female king either.

        • Exkaiser

          That’s not a correction at all, that’s exactly what I said.

          And besides, there’s always the other Saber in the game.

    • Suicunesol

      I would ask that you not blatantly spoil Fate/Extra’s Saber’s identity. >_<

    • BTA

      Would’ve been nice if you had, you know, NOT spoiled that. I already got spoiled for her identity in the VN; I knew she was different here but I had managed to forget exactly who she was… :|

  • Locklear93

    The way he said “this particular Saber” implies that she’s harder to get along with than the Saber of the visual novels or anime.  If that’s true, I might not care for this iteration of her as much.  That said, the Saber of the anime was also a great deal more demanding than characters I usually enjoy, and yet I really loved her anyway.  She managed to balance strong willed and self-assured with not being a goddamned pain in the butt all the time.

    I don’t know who I’ll pick.  I want to say I’d go with Saber because I’ve missed the character since I finished watching the series, but… Caster sounds like a lot of fun, and as everyone else mentioned, her design is awesome. Plus I like Saber better in blue. :P

    I’ve placed an order for the Saber Extra figure that’s coming out in the future, and a Caster Extra figure was just announced, which I also ordered.  Both should arrive before the game.  Maybe I’ll pick based on which figure I like better. :P

    • Exkaiser

      As I understand, she’s more haughty and self-confident.

      I doubt she’s unlikably so, just has a different tone from Arturia.

      Personally, Caster is my least favorite Servant design in Extra, but that’s just, like, my opinion. Well, okay, maybe I like her more than the other Caster. Just a little, I don’t know.

      • Kibbitz

        Yep, I loved Saber Extra a lot. It took a bit of getting used to Tange Sakura over Kawasumi Ayako on top of the personality, but I found myself liking Saber Extra a lot more than I thought I would.

      • Locklear93

        I’m actually fairly confident I’ll like this Caster.  How can I be confident?  She apparently has a fang: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10154902a4/20/4  I’ve never seen a female character with a fang I didn’t like.  Most recent example being Haruna from “Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?”

        Between your comments, and others made below, though, I suspect I’ll be able to come to terms with and enjoy this Saber, too.

    • Well, it’s true. Saber Extra is not “that” Saber, despite them looking exactly alike. Once you know who Saber Extra is, her personality becomes all the more apparent.

      • Saber/Extra has two BIG physical differences over Saber/Fate

        • Exkaiser

          Yeah, her antenna is waaaay bigger.

          • It’s NOT an antenna! It’s a tension gauge!!

    • kyuketsukimiyu

      Saber was only demanding because Emiya was such a loser she felt like she had compensate for how much he failed as a master. I think she would have come off as much more balanced if she was working with someone she could view as an equal. 

      • Locklear93

        I don’t know that I agree with that.  I’m sure you’re right that she’d have come off better if Emiya had handled things more like she expected him to, but considering that he had NO clue what was going on (it’s my recollection that his adopted father tried to shield him from the facts of the past), and no real experience or training as a mage, nor had he actually intended to enter the Holy Grail War… it feels to me that Saber could’ve been a lot more reasonable if she’d stopped and said, “Woah.  This guy’s clueless.  I need to quit making demands, and try to get him to understand better.”  Instead, she pushed her expectations without providing the real background needed for Emiya to “get it,” and accordingly he didn’t–right up until he had to burn a command seal to get her there to save him.

        Don’t get me wrong; I REALLY like Saber.  But she didn’t do a lot of things she might’ve done to get through to Emiya how serious the situation was.

  • Souji Tendou

    That was THE Caster of this game? Dissappoint. :|
    Hope I can have Rider.

    • Exkaiser

      The rider in this game is a pirate, not Medusa.

    • Kibbitz

      No, you can’t have Rider. Only Archer, Caster and Saber.

  • MPHavoc

    Hm, more demanding than she was in the anime and novels?  Eh, I doubt that will bother me during her playthrough.  I’m used to characters like that. 

  • Anyone that doesn’t want to be spoiled… DON’T READ THE COMMENTS HERE!
    And if you could, please don’t post spoilers in your comments so as to be considerate to the first timers :)
    Thanks, everyone!

  • Kibbitz

    Quick character summary:

    Saber is the simplest character to use in terms of combat since you pretty much focus on improving her attack with minor investment in defense. Personality-wise, she’s a spoiled noble, but IMO a likeable and oftimes amusing one once you get to know her better. Voice actress: Tange Sakura, probably known best for being Sakura in Card Captor Sakura or Rinko in Love Plus.

    Caster is harder to use at the start because she’s more fragile and does less damage using normal attacks. However, she gets abilities which allow her to inflict Stun on enemies reliably. This actually means she’s better for people who like control and don’t like betting. Her Noble Phantasm isn’t as ridiculous though, due to its limitations. Personality-wise, she’s pretty ‘moe’ by design, which can be super-appealing or a turn-off depending on how your tastes run. Voice actress: Saito Chiwa, who I love as Hinata Natsumi, and others probably recently for Homura from Madoka Magica.

    Never finished my Archer run, so I can’t say much about him. Mechanically, he’s pretty interesting since his abilities can only be fired off once he has built his Trace counter high enough. It was annoying to work with though after the straightforwardness of Saber and the fun Caster Stun suppresion though. Personality seems more or less similar to the ‘canon’ Archer. Voice actor: Suwabe Junichi, same voice actor as the ‘canon’ Archer.

    • SolidusSnake

      Knowing the voice actors actually makes it a bit of a tougher decision, since Sakura and Homura are two of my all time favorite magical girls. I’m still leaning towards Caster though. ;)

      • Kibbitz

        Play either. NewGame+ carries over monster data, so random encounters become closer to mindless because you can read the enemy moves better. And it’s also easier since you’ll have some MP boosting gear and access to better Master buff ‘spells’.

  • Sounds awesome.
    But if the protagonist’s memory loss goes beyond amnesia, how is it that the protagonist would develop its own thoughts and opinions?
    I’m not a fan of the very demanding girls so I might not pick Saber, but Caster sounds interesting, but I want to see how Archer acts in this game, he looks like the Archer we all know.

  • Ace

    Spoilers: Aeris dies

    • Guest

      *collapses to my knees & holds up arms to the sky*  Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • sig

    I’m *really really* glad that Aksys is able to get this localized. Any word on getting something like the Japanese Type Moon Box? It’d be cool to get the extras (no pun intended) in English as well as the Saber Extra figma.

    Also any slim chance on getting VC3 localized? I realize its Sega property but it seems like they aren’t interested at all in getting it over here. >_<

    • Crimson_Cloud

      Unfortunately I don’t think Sega will let their VC3 be taken by other company. They will ether do it themselves or not do it at all… :/

  • Alex

    Day one, i’d probably go with saber for the first run then archer if theres  a lot of ends


    “For those of you that like text heavy RPGs, you’ve found your game.”
    Oh, the moment I saw it was titles Fate / something, it BECAME my game…

  • Crimson_Cloud

    Awesome interview and I agree with Mike, Caster all the way. I love Saber but come on, a foxgirl who is looking for a hubby, how can you resist that. ;)

    • Exkaiser


      She’s not robotic enough for me.

      • Crimson_Cloud

        Hmm, you already stated below that she is your least favorite character so, whats the point in this sarcastic reply?

        • Exkaiser

          But this is my serious reply.

          And I only stated that she was my least favorite Servant design. I didn’t play her route at all, so I don’t know what she’s like as a character.

          • Crimson_Cloud

            Ah, I thought you were pulling our leg for those that like her. My bad. We can’t have the same preferences, yeah, some don’t like her cuz’ she is a fox and some for her personality. :)

  • Mister_Nep

    Hahahaha! I love that title for the article so much.

  • Barrit

    Awesome! I really liked the series and UBW. People in the comments seem to know a lot about Fate/Extra. Is this because you guys have played the Japanese version of the game, or did I miss a series, manga, etc.?

    Also, did Aksys give a ballpark figure of when this was going to be released?

    • Mister_Nep

      I’ve seen it discussed around the internet since it came out. I’d imagine word just spread around a lot.

  • Want to support Aksys so I’m glad this game is self-contained.
    @Akselziys:disqus   If the VN gets ported again to Vita or whatever is there a chance of localizing it?

    • Always a chance, but there are no plans for that at this time ^^

  • Thiefofhearts

    He meant to say “…who is trying to END my life”, right?

  • 24/7HOLY GRAIL

  • Guest

    Ok so if they bring this, whats up with Last Ranker?

  • I am so very looking forward to this!

  • Kuro666

    Well, not really looking forward(have the original japanese version beaten completely and lying in my drawer gathering dust), but will probably pirate to look at the translation

    • I really have to wonder why people go around announcing that they’ll pirate something. I mean, I know it’s there, but wouldn’t common sense dictate that you keep it to yourself, ESPECIALLY in a place where we know Aksys’s staff members have an account and could be reading the comments. It just makes me feel a bit sad about the whole thing :

  • XerosBeat

    I’m not a type-moon fan because I never read the manga or watched the anime, but I think I’ll buy this when it comes out. It’d be nice to have more games for my PSP anyway lol.

  • It’s actually made me really curious now, since I have the Japanese version of the game, but would they subtitle battle banter as well? There are some nice little snippets and exchanges during battles between Servants that change depending on the situation (low health, scored an extra attack, criticals, etc etc) that are quite fun. There’s also the parts where the dialogue isn’t voiced and the character just repeat preset lines that sum up their feelings for that part of the conversation.

    Although, practically speaking, I can see how that would be more of a hassle, so I’m not counting on it.

  • What an interesting review, and I’m surprised that neither of them at least thought about Archer. Eh. I’d pick Caster too. I just love magic and spells so much! I’m looking forward to this game!
    P.S: Don’t give up on the PSP! There is bound to be some great games, including this! Even if the PSP Vita comes out, I doubt the PSP would die so easily! The PS2 STILL isn’t dead. Even if the 3DS came out, the DSi is still getting new games. You just have to BELIEVE!

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