Fate: What are Noble Phantasms?

Fate Top 5 Noble Phantasms

Noble Phantasms are the very foundation of the Fate universe alongside the concept of Holy Grail Wars and the Heroic Spirits that are summoned as Servants in the said Wars. These Servants each are based on some sort of Legend, Myth, or other prominent figures in the history of existence.

Each of these Heroes has a ‘Trump Card’ that is the ultimate manifestation of their abilities called a Noble Phantasm. But What are Noble Phantasms? Let’s find out.

What are Noble Phantasms?

Fate Top 5 Noble Phantasms
Iskander using Ionian Hetairoi, Courtesy of Studio Ufotable

The concept of Noble Phantasms draws inspiration from various mythologies, legends, historical accounts, and folklore from around the world. Within the Fate series, Heroic Spirits are summoned from the Throne of Heroes, a repository of the souls of renowned figures from different eras.

Their Noble Phantasms are the crystallization of the heroic legends and notable attributes associated with these individuals during their lives. Noble Phantasms can both either physical objects like weapons and tools or concepts, ideologies, and intangible mementos such as events or legends that are deployed as some form of Magecraft.

Activation and Utilization

To utilize a Noble Phantasm, a Heroic Spirit must invoke its true name, a significant aspect of its identity and legend. Uttering the true name of a Noble Phantasm releases its full potential, unleashing its unique abilities.

  • However, the invocation of a Noble Phantasm demands a considerable amount of mana from the Heroic Spirit or their Master.
  • Insufficient mana reserves can limit the frequency or power of Noble Phantasm usage.
  • The true name of a Noble Phantasm is of utmost importance, as it is intrinsically connected to the artifact’s power and the Heroic Spirit’s legend.
  • Revealing the true name allows opponents to identify the Noble Phantasm’s abilities and formulate strategies to counter them.
  • Therefore, Heroic Spirits often keep their Noble Phantasms’ true names secret, resorting to alternative names or nicknames in combat.

Classification and Types

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Artoria, Courtesy of Studio Ufotable

Noble Phantasms are classified into several distinct types based on their nature and abilities. Some of the common classifications include:

  • Weapon-Type: These Phantasms manifest as legendary weapons wielded by Heroic Spirits. Examples include Excalibur (King Arthur’s sword), Gáe Bolg (Cú Chulainn’s spear), and Durandal (Roland’s sword).
  • Anti-Unit: These Phantasms are designed for single-target combat, focusing on overpowering and defeating specific enemies. Examples include God’s Hand (Hercules’ invincibility and resurrection ability) and Rule Breaker (a blade that nullifies magical contracts).
  • Anti-Army: These Phantasms possess the power to unleash devastating attacks capable of decimating entire armies or large areas. Enuma Elish (Gilgamesh’s sword that can unleash the power of creation) and Ionioi Hetairoi (Iskandar’s Reality Marble that summons his army) are notable examples.
  • Support-Type: Noble Phantasms falling under this category provide various supportive functions to the wielder or their allies. Avalon (the sheath of Excalibur, granting powerful healing and protection) and Rule Breaker (which can also dispel magical effects) serve as illustrations of this type.

Conclusion

Noble Phantasms represent the pinnacle of a Heroic Spirit’s power and heritage, encapsulating the essence of their legendary tales. These extraordinary artifacts contribute to the rich and intricate world-building and Magic Ssytem of the Fate series, providing a layer of depth and showcasing the diversity of mythologies and historical figures woven together.

 

 

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