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Jan 11


Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star Launches January 17 on PS4, PS Vita


Ryan Graff's Avatar Posted by on Jan 11, 2017 // Localization, XSEED Games

After about a year’s work on our end, it’s great to see the launch of Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star just around the corner. If you’re seeing the game for the first time in this blog, it’s a battlefield action game set in the Fate universe, where the spirits of historical and mythical figures come together to fight. If you’ve ever wondered whether Alexander the Great could beat Lu Bu, or how a trickster fox spirit might fare against Medusa, Fate will be right up your alley.

As the localizers and North American publishers, we’ve spent about the last ten months working through the lengthy script. Fate/Extella has a unique and inventive story, and it’s been our job to make sure that story is as clear and as accurate to the Japanese as it is engaging to an English-speaking audience.

It’s been a challenge sometimes. The series’ main Japanese author, Kinoko Nasu, likes to pack his prose with wordplay, literary references, and a kind of free-form poetry. Keeping true to that style, while also making the English text both clear and in character, hasn’t always been easy. But now we’re ready to roll the game out, and while there will always be bits and pieces we’d like to go back and keep polishing, we hope everyone will enjoy what we’ve been working on.

Now’s a good time to look back on some of the more memorable moments and steps along the way. Here below, please enjoy our top five:

5.) We’ve talked before about the linguistic puzzles of Tamamo no Mae, one of the main characters, but those aren’t her only quirks. One of the most multifaceted characters in an already-colorful cast, Tamamo keeps everyone (including us) off guard with her unpredictable personality.

On the one hand, she loves to play the part of the doting wife to her player-character “husband,” but she also loves to play the villain, the benevolent ruler, the divine mystic, and even — just once, and just because she likes you — the giggling high school girl. For us, the trick to writing each of those different “voices,” while still making them all sound like the same person playing different roles, was to remember that she always has the same goals and desires, and is just expressing them differently through those various personas.

4.) The game’s hidden character, Artoria, has the most obscure unlock requirements some of us have ever seen, so much so that we’ve had to put together a walkthrough. (Feel free to avoid the walkthrough if you’d rather try to find her yourself, but if you do, it’ll probably be through sheer luck.)

3.) At first glance, the characters in Fate don’t always resemble their namesakes. Nero Claudius is female, Elizabeth Bathory is a half-dragon J-pop idol (in training, at least), and Thomas Edison (not appearing in this game, but elsewhere in Fate lore) is a lion-man who’s also a former President of the United States.

But as the game unfolds, some of the characters subtly start to show why those choices were made and how they relate to the story. Nero, for example, is a passionate lover of art and beauty, and like most Roman emperors, likens herself to a deity, in her case Venus. One of her main adversaries, Altera, has little or no inner passion, and also has a history with the god Mars, and so the two of them clash on various levels, both narratively and thematically. More details would give too much away, but the upshot is that these unique takes on the characters gave us the opportunity, as translators and editors, to get inside the characters’ heads from a different angle.

Incidentally, and on a personal note, if we do another Fate game, I want one of the LE goods to be a dollar with lion-man Edison’s face on it.

2.) We always start a new localization project by familiarizing ourselves with the lore and characters of the game’s world. As part of that, we researched the history of the historical and mythical figures the game’s characters are based on. (For completeness sake, we also looked up some of the other Fate characters who don’t appear in Extella. Pro tip: do not look up the history of Gilles de Rais.) Among other factoids, we learned that Emperor Nero was so convinced of his own artistic genius that he would lock audiences into his theater, forcing them to listen to his performances for hours at a stretch. You’ll see a bit of that in the game too, if you happen to ask Nero for a lullaby.

1.) Our friends at Aksys, whose office is down the street from ours, localized Fate/Extra back in the PSP days. While we were gathering reference material for Extella, we asked if they could share their material, and they graciously sent us copies of their script and notes. We didn’t always stick to those notes, but reading them gave us both raw information and insight as to how that information had been used before, both invaluable for our own work with the series. Thanks again, guys!

The game’s all set to launch on January 17 in North America. On the physical side, we put together the Noble Phantasm Edition, for both PS4 and PS Vita, which comes with various LE goodies including a 24″ by 17″ cloth poster, a fully translated and hardcover version of the Japanese Materials Book, and a pack of sixteen 3″ by 5″ collectible cards depicting each of the game’s Servants.

Digitally, there’s a pre-order bundle available for the PS4 version, which comes with an exclusive Theme and the equally exclusive “Shackled Bride” outfit for Nero. (The outfit carries over to the PS Vita version if you buy the PS4 pre-order bundle.)

At launch day, and for the first two weeks after launch, the PS Vita version will come in an “Early Bird” bundle, which will include the PS Vita equivalent of that exclusive Theme, as well as Gilgamesh’s exclusive “Cold-Blooded Warden” outfit (which, once obtained as part of that bundle, carries over to the PS4 version).

But our work isn’t quite done yet; we’re still finishing up on various Themes, avatars, and costumes. So I’ll get back to that for now. Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, comment away.

//Add Your Own

47 Comments   16 Replies


+ smokeydahair on January 11th, 2017 at 9:12 am said:


Sony needs to tell us what going on! Its supposed to be out tomorrow but no retailer has the correct date! This is abysmal customer service/relations.


+ NeoSkyte on January 11th, 2017 at 9:19 am said:

I’ve heard about the Fate series but never actually read, played or watched any media about this series. Does it help to have knowledge in the Fate series before playing this game or is this a self contained story?

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 9:35 am said:

    The story itself is pretty self-contained, although the characters do reference the setting’s lore and their own past histories. There’s an in-game encyclopedia, which includes most of the relevant lore. All in all, Fate can seem like a pretty daunting series to dive into at any point, but the lore is rich enough, especially if you’re into literature/history/mythology, that it’s worth it.


    + Seluhir on January 11th, 2017 at 10:16 am said:

    The stories are generally pretty well self-contained as Ryan said… but FAte/Zero, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Words, and Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya are all pretty easily available on anime sites like crunchyroll and are fairly interesting.

    I would say that Fate/Zero is probably the one I’d recommend least among those, but they’re all pretty good.


    + BlueBl1zzard on January 11th, 2017 at 12:46 pm said:

    @Seluhir thanks for the heads up about the anime series(es), I may check them out too.


    + Astroking112 on January 11th, 2017 at 2:41 pm said:

    I have to disagree with skipping Fate/Zero. Although it is a prequel to the main story (Fate/Stay Night), the anime adaptation spends more time opening the world and explaining things (almost to its detriment–the first hour-long episode can be a little boring in comparison to the rest of the series). The new Unlimited Blade Works almost functions like a sequel to it (it’s from the same studio) and should not be watched without having seen either Fate/Zero or the older (and worse) Fate/Stay Night from 2006.

    Kaleid Liner is a spin off making various girls from the franchise magical girls. I haven’t watched it yet, but by the very nature of being a spin-off, I doubt that it would be a good introductory point.


    + Seluhir on January 12th, 2017 at 1:25 pm said:

    Astro… the problem with fate/zero is that there is literally not a single character who is likeable, engaging, or enjoyable to watch. I felt nothing for the characters because they were ALL awful people. The one or two who had a shred of decency were put through such atrocities that it became too predictable. Essentially… if the character you’re watching is not an inhumane monster, predict that the worst possible outcome of literally every situation is going to happen to them. And you’ll be right 99% of the time in Zero.

    To be fair to Illya, almost everything in the series is a spinoff lol


    + Astroking112 on January 12th, 2017 at 3:15 pm said:

    I must respectfully disagree that none of the characters in F/Z are likable. They present a wide variety of personalities and goals; I would say that a more fair criticism would be that some get shafted and the nice ones have the worst fates. It is essentially a Greek tragedy–highly dark and depressing at times, but designed to create a sense of catharsis by the end–meant to complement the rest of the series.

    It can admittedly be borderline nihilistic, but that does not detract from the other strengths of the show and I think it is still worth a viewing. Even disregarding my personal appreciation of the series, it currently stands as the most logical point of entry outside of the original game (and besides maybe the original F/SN 2006). It takes time to introduce the viewer to its world and is self-contained, ensuring that everything will be followable without another series or Google. You could theoretically skip watching the prequel, but you’d be extremely confused as F/SN 2014 does little to explain anything that happens, assuming instead that you saw an earlier series already.


    + Seluhir on January 13th, 2017 at 11:52 am said:


    What I want to say is going to be way too long(stupid 1250 character limit ;)), so I’ll sum it up:

    Fate/Zero’s characters may represent a wide variety of views and goals… but each character is a walking extreme. Each character has ONE personality trait blown out to an absurd extreme. People are not that simplistic. Zero’s characters were incredibly predictable because each character only had one trait.

    Except the construct… she was the only one who actually reminded me of a person…

    I don’t recommend people start with it because it is likely to turn people away from what is, otherwise, a good series. The action and graphics of zero are solid, the background story is interesting, but the characters are awful. It’s one thing to use a trope to create a character, it’s another entirely to create a character who is that narrow in scope.


+ Kishnabe on January 11th, 2017 at 10:02 am said:

Thanks for bringing this to the west and providing a Vita version.

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 10:09 am said:

    Our pleasure!


+ TomatoDragon on January 11th, 2017 at 10:11 am said:

My preorder arriving in a week (love getting artbooks.) Game looks excellent.

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 10:25 am said:

    Thanks! This artbook is a particularly nice one, and I think you’ll enjoy it. (Just watch out for spoilers in the encyclopedia section.)


    + RikuNoctis on January 12th, 2017 at 9:11 am said:

    Is the included artbook the same as the japanese one that came in the Velber/Regalia boxes? Or is it just a normal artbook with art from the game and no lore details like Servant sheets, Q&A section, captions and the like?


+ Albus_666 on January 11th, 2017 at 10:38 am said:

Is there any way we, PS VITA users without a PS4, can aquire by any means the Shackled Bride Costume for Nero?

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 11:08 am said:

    Unfortunately, we’re shackled (no pun intended) into restricting the two exclusive costumes into their respective bundles.


+ jchill001 on January 11th, 2017 at 11:02 am said:

So is this dynasty warriors with a fate skin?


+ saiyanknight87 on January 11th, 2017 at 11:14 am said:

I always ask this but can we get a dynamic theme, avatar and or share factory theme. I dunno why more devs don’t take advantage of these tools but fans like myself would like this possible especially with the more games that playstation 4 offers. Please consider this thank you!

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 11:22 am said:

    We’re working on some avatars and themes, and we’ll have them available as soon as they’re finished and ready. Thanks for your interest!


+ Tinye310 on January 11th, 2017 at 11:15 am said:

Cannot wait for this, I’m getting the Vita physical! XSeed doing great work as always! Keep it up!

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 11:22 am said:

    Thanks, will do!


+ saiyanknight87 on January 11th, 2017 at 11:16 am said:

Also is this game to get ps4 pro support? i don’t think I looked into it to see.


+ saiyanknight87 on January 11th, 2017 at 11:41 am said:

will the voice work be American or Japanese with English subtitles either or is fine I’m just curious. Thank you.

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 1:04 pm said:

    It’ll be Japanese with English subtitles.


+ Mando44646 on January 11th, 2017 at 11:45 am said:

Have it pre-ordered on Vita! Thank you for making physical cars so I can avoid using Sony’s stupid memory cards :)

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 1:05 pm said:

    No problem, and thanks so much!


    + Mando44646 on January 11th, 2017 at 11:45 am said:

    physical *carts*


+ PAFenix on January 11th, 2017 at 12:10 pm said:

I know this is a long shot, but is there any info on us getting a digital version of Fate/Extra CCC from either you or Aksys?

If not, poo. But I will play the ever loving mess out of this game. Thanks for your work on bringing it over!

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 1:08 pm said:

    Thank you! We and Aksys do both get requests on CCC from time to time, but there aren’t any plans to bring it over digitally as far as I’ve heard. You never know, though.


+ cman199 on January 11th, 2017 at 12:17 pm said:

Pre-ordered it for my vita. Thanks for the support of a physical release!

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 1:06 pm said:

    Thanks for your support! Fans like you are what keep our Vita physical releases coming. :)


+ BlueBl1zzard on January 11th, 2017 at 12:42 pm said:

Like another person posted above I’ve also heard of the series but not played or looked into it. This blog post made me interested in checking out this particular title though, thanks. : )

Oh and of course, extra special thanks for bringing this to the vita!! : )

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 1:07 pm said:

    Thank you! If you’d like to know more about the series, we recently linked a couple of guides on our @xseedgames Twitter account.


    + BlueBl1zzard on January 12th, 2017 at 8:57 am said:

    cool, thanks!


+ OnionKnight11 on January 11th, 2017 at 2:23 pm said:

I know it’s already been said but I want to thank you again for providing a physical Vita version.

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 6:05 pm said:

    Hope you enjoy it!


+ Astroking112 on January 11th, 2017 at 2:45 pm said:

I was completely unaware of the physical Vita version, and that just made my decision on which platform to get the game for me. I’ll certainly pick it up now.

As for that comment about other Fate games, there are still plenty of projects that I would love to see localized. I doubt that Fate/EXTRA’s sequel CCC can be brought over (especially now that it’s so old), but the original Visual Novel has a Vita version and is still yet to be officially localized. Pairing that release with the upcoming Heaven’s Feel trilogy of movies could be a nice marketing tactic and I really hope that the game truly gets localized at some point.

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 6:06 pm said:

    Thanks! I’d love to see more Fate localizations too, and anything’s possible.


    + Astroking112 on January 12th, 2017 at 3:27 pm said:

    I’m generally not a big fan of Visual Novels, but I’d definitely read Fate/Stay Night and the sequel, Hollow Ataraxia, if they were available on the Vita or even smartphones. I’m sure that there is some legal restriction that has prevented the game from releasing West so far (given how popular the franchise has become and how even now people love the novel), but if there was a way to make it happen and convince the higher ups that it’ll be worthwhile, now would be the time.

    I’m sure that localizing it will be a massive undertaking and there will be concerns that the Vita version in particular won’t find an audience by the time it releases, but if this happened around the time of a Heaven’s Feel movie a much larger audience could be open to the idea of it. Best of luck if you decide to press for such a project (or whatever else you work on next)!


+ jxcxr2 on January 11th, 2017 at 2:56 pm said:

So, does the ps4 theme and the costume for nero is only for the digital bundle or physical copies will have codes for download them too?

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 3:59 pm said:

    The Shackled Bride outfit only comes with the PS4 digital pre-order bundle. The physical Noble Phantasm edition has some other very nice goodies, but unfortunately not that one.


+ Ikari093 on January 11th, 2017 at 5:12 pm said:

I Pre-ordered the PS4 Digital version and the Noble Phantasm version for my PSVita, I cant wait for it to arrive :D

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    + Ryan Graff on January 11th, 2017 at 5:33 pm said:

    Great, thanks so much! Six more days!


+ Miaega on January 11th, 2017 at 6:06 pm said:

It’s been so long since I read the chapter but I think Edison was not the President but the KING of the United States in that singularity. He’s King of Inventors, you see.

He locks you in the dungeon at first because you refuse to side with him against the Celts. Who are invading. Because Medb got the grail and wished for an edgy version of Cu Chulainn.

Fate Grand Order is Good, Actually.


    + Astroking112 on January 12th, 2017 at 3:19 pm said:

    I really wish that Grand Order had an English translation. I found the Japanese version just fine, but I’m mainly interested in the game for story pieces like that and not the more usual “summoning” servants gameplay that many mobile releases have nowadays. It would probably be one of the few games that I’m willing to play on a smartphone.


+ FateKiller on January 11th, 2017 at 7:24 pm said:

Thanks for your hard work! Did you ever talk to Kinoko Nasu or Takashi Takeuchi? :D


+ RSevo09 on January 11th, 2017 at 8:27 pm said:

Thanks for the physical vita version Xseed!! I’ve had it preordered for months now, can’t wait to play it! I’ve got the Vita version of Akiba’s Beat on preorder too.

Hoping sometime this year I can preorder Y’s VIII for Vita ^^


+ Klingenlied on January 11th, 2017 at 9:35 pm said:

uhm … will there be a choice between japanese and english subtitles? Guess otherwise i need to consider buying at jp store.


+ shampoochan on January 12th, 2017 at 12:55 am said:

Sony said that Extella is a PS4 Pro “supportet” game – But i for the love of god can’t find any information on WHAT the PS4 Pro enhances on this game. Does anybody know?


+ Shiaoran on January 12th, 2017 at 6:51 am said:

Will there be any other way to get these bundled costumes, maybe at a later date?
As much as I like Fate, I’m not purchasing the game twice for a costume XD


    + NATHANNAEL on January 12th, 2017 at 3:15 pm said:

    I would like to know this as well as I already pre-ordered Noble Phantasm Edition for the PS4 off of Amazon. I can’t for the game to arrived.


    + Astroking112 on January 12th, 2017 at 3:21 pm said:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath. It sounds like there was an executive decision to add some small incentive to the different platforms, and I doubt that something as small as a costume is going to cause enough of a stir to warrant releasing both in the future. You’re probably better off just choosing which one appeals more to you and sticking with that (assuming of course that you don’t care about any of the other platform differences).


+ ValYero on January 13th, 2017 at 9:59 pm said:

Is the Vita version “Early Bird” bundle on physical or digital release? Is the Vita equivalent exclusive theme compatible with PSTV?


+ rokenjima on January 14th, 2017 at 12:20 pm said:

Is this the 3rd in the Fate/Extra story or is it more of a stand alone game? Either way I’ll pick it up on Tuesday. Thanks for the Vita support.


+ Nijihara_Kaito on January 17th, 2017 at 3:14 am said:

Is there a PS Vita digital version? I found a PS4 digital version on the store, but can’t see the Vita one and it is the only way I can get to play the game at the moment.


+ Ark-27- on January 19th, 2017 at 9:20 pm said:

I know Im super late for the party, But is there any chance that the Shackled Brideā€ outfit for Nero will be available as a purchase able DLC? Or is it still available if I get the digital edition now?


+ Elastas on January 23rd, 2017 at 10:30 pm said:

Im actually surprised that ordering the Phantasm edition means I can’t get the bride costume :(

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