I didn’t pay much attention to the anime fighting game Melty Blood: Type Lumina until just yesterday, when the developers made the official announcement that Saber, Fate/Stay Night protagonist and the “King of Knights” herself, would be joining the new game’s roster. After seeing her video gameplay debut, I immediately acquired the just-released game and started learning how to play. And I expect that I’m not the only person who had such a strong change of heart.
Co-developed by Type-Moon and French Bread, Melty Blood: Type Lumina is an anime fighter that acts as the sequel to the Tsukihime visual novel. Yesterday, the developers dropped the minor bomb that, yes, Saber from Fate/Stay Night is going to be the new entry’s 14th fighter.
Saber is part of the Fate universe, and arguably the face of the series. She’s basically a female King Arthur who wields the holy sword “Excalibur.”
Pleasing though Saber’s debut is, it’s not the most shocking revelation. Saber’s inclusion in the game was leaked a day before her official announcement, and rumoured even earlier. Both Tsukihime and the Fate franchise were created by Type-Moon, but Fate has a much larger fanbase. Fate/Stay Night has spawned multiple anime (some of which are distributed on Netflix) and its own action video games. In particular, Fate/Grand Order is immensely popular worldwide, with the mobile game having reached 11 million downloads last year.
French Bread’s developers stated on a stream that Saber was a test model they added in during early development, and after discussing it with Type-Moon, decided they ought to finish her.
However, not all fans of the Melty Blood series are happy with the crossover, as some Tsukihime fans feel that Saber took spots that rightfully belonged to Tsukihime characters. One fan even went so far as to compare the ears of all the roster characters to prove that the Saber leak was a clever fake.
But honestly? Adding Saber to the roster was the smartest thing the developers could have done for Melty Blood. Tsukihime never received an official English release, and Fate/Grand Order is one of the most popular visual novels in the world. Bringing her to Melty Blood could be a huge draw for players outside of the fighting game community. Yep, I’m talking about players like me.
I love Saber. She embodies the archetype of a noble knight character, and her anime and video appearances have cemented an iconic fighting style. Before Melty Blood, I played her in the Fate/Extella games. I loved performing aerial attacks using her invisible sword, and the visual swooshiness of her lace-lined dress distinguished her from other characters in heavy armour.
I’m extremely pleased to see that her fighting style has been faithfully replicated in Melty Blood. Melty Blood’s focus on aerial combat is a huge boon to Saber, letting her show off all those wonderfully swooshy animations. I also spent a lot of time trying to blast my CPU opponents with Excalibur’s light beam, which is every bit as glorious as it sounds. It feels satisfying when the light from her holy sword fills up almost the entire screen. Heck yeah, that’s my incredibly powerful wife.
I’ll probably be checking out the rest of the roster eventually, but I’m wholly content to be a Saber main in the meantime.