That Fate/Grand Order Game

It all began when I was in the middle of ordination – being a monk in my early twenties.

My mornings have been purely meditations and by each evening I would have been enlightened.
So, what were of my afternoons?


People think that monks spend 24 hours a day on meditation but reality of 2021 just does not allow that!
Simply put, my afternoons had been legitimately free to my bald-headed self. And what have I done to kill time?

You guessed it in the title, yay!

Before having gone to ordination, I had been influenced by the old blogger Astralgemini whom I think is currently a full-on gamer on YouTube. He and my past World of Warcraft buddy who went by the name of “Seth” had bombarded me with hints that got me started on the game. Before FGO I had tried Final Fantasy Brave Exvius on my own will.

The game (NA version) is now celebrating its 4th year of existence so I think there is no better time to talk about it than right now. You already know how I got started so get ready for the journey part because it will be a lot of fun and salty, yum.

For those who have at least tried this famous Japanese RPG mobile game, you would be very familiar with some of the terms used widely within the mobile gacha world. Before FGO I had been playing FlyFF, the Korean RPG on PC, for quite a while. Personally I do think that is one stingy gacha and it ain’t even Japanese, so it was not called “gacha” by some loyalists back then. My first-hand experience diving into the game was mostly straightforward as I was greeted by Mash, just some megane girl with odd body proportions by design. Remember this part well because I will talk about it again… haha.

That straightforward feels got slapped down real quick the moment I got to the very first instance, they call it a singularity. To make things easy, they had me started at a place I would remember most because it is Fate, why not?

Why wouldn’t anyone know about what happened in Fate/Zero whether they have seen the show or not?
Seriously, they are betting on the fact that you KNOW what happened in that show, no subtleties with the intention.

So if you are a good gamer like me and did not skip any readable dialogues, it would not have taken long to find out that FGO is not leveraging on other Type Moon shows and that the game has an actual story layered on top of an already confusing Nasuverse (a term coined by fans of works of Kinoko Nasu).
My memories of Irish Child of Light?
Nah, he wore a robe.
I was about to fight rider and I knew it would have been no other than Iskandar!
Well, it was actually Medusa turned into some black shadow. At least she had the voice of original…
What sounded different however, was the voice of Saber Alter. And after four years I know the answer as to why that was the case!

Watch the clip to hear the answer from Saber’s seiyuu herself.

After a few minutes of more tutorials and forcing me to touch here and there on the screen, I was made to do my very first summoning. It was four years ago so I knew nothing of the technical stuff behind the in-game ritual – only that I will get something besides Mash. The first time I saw a golden card and I knew immediately that shit had got to be special. With experience on the game I can now say it turned out to be Saint Martha (rider). She looked cute but when her first word was spoken, OMFG was that Saori Hayami?!

Yeap. I, a fanboy, would have had no other way but to treasure her.

The game forced me to use Martha for a couple of later fights and towards the grand battle (call it the end), I had seriously been using support servants that I personally knew of. You know, those from Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night. LOL. It was not until much later into the game I had learned about class advantages and I had only brought Jeanne d’Arc Alter into all of my fights simply because Seth told me “she’s stronggg”.

If my memories served me correctly, I used Jalter all the way to Okeanos and maybe even beyond that.
I even have an unlisted video to prove my guilty ass on the internet. Watch me, mom!

Four years from then, looking at this video and I think not of how noob I was but rather how much I have grown as a player. Everybody learns some time in life but not everyone makes use of the things they learn.

So eventually I had discovered it was not only that “Jalter stronk” but my units have not been leveled above 20 and therefore were weak as I progressed the game’s story and obviously difficulty.

I do not think I need to tell my story from this point onward because that would be very long, especially at certain singularities *ahem*

Playing FGO or doing pretty much anything new to your life is mostly about discoveries you make along the way. They never have to be something new to others; just to yourself is enough. The next step is doing whatever you can with your discoveries. These are the very basic functions any living person should be able to perform on a daily basis so credit where it is due. FGO is by all means a very friendly game to newcomers while having the least friendly aspect at some corner… I am talking about you, gacha.

With a tiny amount of consolation, FGO remains a game with the world’s worst gacha mechanic to date. The game will at least give you a 4 star “craft essence” for every 10-pull (now updated to 11) worth 30 Saint Quartz (in-game currency) and this does not include the single pulls on the left tab which costs either a summoning ticket obtainable from various methods or 3 SQ. To an experienced player, a 4 star craft essence (or CE) is an absolute SLAP TO THE FACE and that is the best they can give. To me this is the closest thing to a Complete Gacha which has been banned in Japan since 2012!

Despite my criticism, I do however think that if you skip FGO just because gacha sucks then so do you. Fight me.

I have seen complete free-playing players with units I still wish I could have my hands on. We like to jokingly say it with a phrase “[servant’s name] come to my Chaldea.”
And I have spent some serious amount to money to not get Merlin. That one time experience was enough to have me stopped buying SQ for anything apart for GSSR banners (where you are guaranteed one 5 star servant or more in your 11-pull summon).

I got Meow meow to start her FGO journey a year ago when she had Okita Alter came to her Chaldea less than a week after her account creation and I could not get her until the event’s rerun (this year). The fourth year’s anniversary GSSR banner got me Iskandar from Fate/Zero, though my intention had always been Merlin or just any of the support casters (please?). I really would not have minded an obvious support to me NP3 Berserker Lancelot with skills on 10/10/10 but Meow meow got a Scathach=Skadi instead of me. I hate her now. Jokes!

On the other hand, I got to watch her cry as she dumped over 300 quartz she had saved into trying to bring Arjuna Alter home. I have never seen her put so much time and energy into the game before. She had gone at it like a mad cat just so she could obtain SQ in-game and kept summoning until the dumping count nearly reached 400, she finally brought him home in the last few hours before his summoning banner disappeared. FYI he (and Ashwatthama) came to my Chaldea after I spent 60 SQ.

Needless to say, summoning and gacha in the name is undoubtedly a MASSIVE part of FGO. You probably have not played the game to its full-intended purpose if you have not at the very least tasted salt once, mentally and literally from your sweaty palms after having tried to summon your servant of goal.

I could go on and on about this game but I would rather have you share your experience with me, good or bad. Do give it a try and like all games you play, do not skip on beginner guides and do not think that you are above everyone. Even advanced guides for veteran players exist. Tier lists are absolutely the one thing everyone needs to take with a grain of salt.

See, this game is a LOT of salt.

But yes. Do try. Come to tell me you have attempts on invasion of the Knight’s Round Table. Tell me of your battles with mythical Gods, maybe tell me how much you hate Shimousa and tell me of your journey into the Lostbelt.

Until then I will be chilling in Chaldea with my waifu. Come and have some if you like.

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