Saber Alter from Fate/stay night

Good Smile Company's Saber Alter

I’m a big fan of corrupted girls in fiction. Kerrigan in Starcraft, Seven of Nine in Star Trek Voyager, Yomi in Ga-rei Zero – love them all. The eroge Fate/stay night has a couple of corrupted female characters who have deserved figures for a while. Dark Sakura has a cool design and Gift has recently released a fine figure showing her in all her evil glory. But as a fan of armored girls wielding big broadswords, I really wanted a good figure of Saber Alter. Good Smile Company has finally obliged, and their rendition of Saber Alter is set to redefine the meaning of badass.

Saber Alter close headshot

Saber Alter is the latest in Good Smile Company’s line of 1/7 scale figures from the Fate/stay night series, joining Saber Lily and Saber. They will soon be joined by Rin Tousaka, who is scheduled to drop in just a few days. She stands about 16.5 centimeters tall, 24 centimeters including Dark Excalibur.

As I mentioned, I really like Saber Alter’s character design, but she has not gotten a lot of love from figure manufacturers. Up to this point the definitive Saber Alter figure had her working as a maid. Sure, it’s a great-looking figure but it’s hard to look badass while scrubbing toilets in a little frilly black dress with pail in hand.

Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review

Saber Lily was an elegant figure, so much so that Good Smile Company dolled her up in lipstick and high heels and she still looked dignified rather than ridiculous. This version of Saber Alter, however, is nothing but badass. Saber Lily conveys determination, class, perhaps even a bit of delicacy; Saber Alter, in contrast, manifests raw power. There is nothing elegant about her glare, which is a mask of anger, of ruthlessness, of utter disdain for whoever stands before her. Nor is there anything subtle about her stance, as she clutches her sword like a club. This is not a warrior who is concerned with style; Saber Alter’s singular focus is cleaving her enemy in half.

Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review

And yet, Saber Alter does retain a certain measure of grace due to her connection with Saber. Her outfit comprises armor plating over a matte black dress, adding a strong sense of femininity that balances the martial nature of the sculpt. Although Saber Alter is sheathed in armor and her dress is billowing freely, it’s still easy to discern the litheness of her body.

Saber Alter profile shot

Her color scheme is very attractive, the flat black of her dress and gleaming blue-violet armor clearly marking her as evil. I also like her yellow eyes; I’ve been a big fan of yellow eyes since seeing Unknown in Tekken Tag Tournament. They’re often used with evil characters and such is the case here.

Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review

However, there is a curious issue with her left eye; the pupil is not centered in the iris. The pupil is always supposed to be centered in the eyeball; otherwise, it looks like the character is looking off in two directions at once. It’s not as significant a problem here as it was with Compact Hog, but it’s still an unusual oversight. Her right eye is properly centered though, so I don’t think it detracts very much from the figure’s overall look.

Saber Alter's mask

Saber Alter comes with a few accessories. The first is a mask, which is easily installed by pulling her bangs from her forehead. The mask emphasizes her inhumanity, and it also provides a cute touch in how a small forelock drapes over it.

Vortigern

The other pieces she comes with are her weapons. She comes with Dark Excalibur, which looks great, and also Vortigern, an absolutely gigantic weapon. It’s supposed to be made of magical energy and I think that sculpting special effects out of plastic usually doesn’t turn out very well. I prefer the look of Dark Excalibur, as Vortigern reminds me of an oversized broom; then again, that reminds me of how the Mavericks swept the Lakers clear out of the playoffs and that’s a very pleasant memory, so my opinion of the weapon has improved as of late. Regardless, it’s clear that Saber Alter was meant to hold Vortigern; the position of her hands is perfect for Vortigern’s long haft, but is a bit awkward for Dark Excalibur.

Overhead shot of Vortigern

Saber Alter comes with a detailed oval base meant to look something like a cave floor. It’s stamped with the Fate/stay night emblem and is covered with red stalagmites. So many anime figures have static poses with single-color plastic bases, but Saber Alter’s stance and her base come together to present a story.

Saber Alter and Saber Lily

Her pose is reminiscent of Saber Lily’s, with her legs set wide and shoulders turned, albeit to a much greater degree. Her best viewing angles are from the front or with her left side turned towards the rear, I think; these perspectives emphasize her triangular stance, which gives her such an impression of strength.

Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review

A large part of my collection is composed of warrior girls, and Saber Alter is one of the best among them. She exudes drama and strength, and her razor-sharp glare is intimidating and captivating all at once. Her sinister aura gives her palpable shelf presence. Good Smile Company has done a fantastic job with Saber Alter, who is surely one of the best figures to come out this year.

Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review

Saber Alter is an evil lady, and evil ladies often wear sexy, racy, blood-heating underwear. Unfortunately, this dark knight wears some poofy black pajama pants under her skirt. A real shame, that.

Saber Alter and the tentacle stand

Ahh, not even a powerful lady of death is immune to the slithery, implacable seduction of the mighty tentacle stand! Run, little evil girl, run!

Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
Saber Alter from Fate/stay Night Figure Review
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45 Responses to Saber Alter from Fate/stay night

  1. Wolfheinrich says:

    Impressive as always, not a huge fan of the evil look of Saber Alter myself, am much more fond of the elegant Lily. While I am a fan of the armored girl look in general, I tend to favor the bishoujo end of the spectrum over all else. However, when it comes down to ranking among Lily, Alter and Saber, my order would go from Lily > Alter > Saber, just because Alter’s casual dress is more elegant than Saber’s.

    • Tier says:

      I think my ordering would be the same as yours. But I’d surely put Rider in front of all Fate/stay night characters. C’mon GSC, you should do her next.

  2. here-and-faraway says:

    That’s funny. I thought the stalagmites were blood spurting up. If I remember correctly, this figure sold out incredibly fast on amiami. I’ve yet to see Fate/stay Night, but I was impressed with this figure when I saw it up for pre-order. As always, thanks for posting!

    • Tier says:

      I think you may be right; I’m not at all familiar with Saber Alter’s actual character since I seem to be one of very few people in this hobby who has not played Fate/stay night. I tell myself that I ought to, since it’s been fan-translated, but I just can’t get over my utter hatred for Emiya Shirou. I watched about half of the anime series before I just couldn’t take his boneheadedness anymore. The idea of actually assuming his role as protagonist just makes me go, “Oh hell no.”

      • Wolfheinrich says:

        Well if anything, I share your sentiment on Emiya Shirou in the Fate route; however he got better in the UBW route and I even played that portion of the VN over a few times myself.

        • Tier says:

          Ah, well, it is good to know that he is not an irredeemable douchebag all of the time. Still though, I have the feeling that if I were to play Fate/stay night, I would not be able to resist trying to get him killed over and over and over and over. That’s how I played Final Fantasy X (I party-attacked Tidus until he fell over dead and then threw him off of the team) and Metal Gear Solid 2 (I had Snake crawl around on his belly while guards shot him in the ass; I never did get off of the boat in that game).

          • Break says:

            erm not meaning to bug in to this, but based on the way you speak about “assuming his role” and “gettign him killed” like tidus and snake.. you are nto aware that fate/stay night is a visual novel, with, except for a. clicking so that teh etxt continues and reading it
            b. doign choices that determine wether you die, or which scene continues
            c. going into the weapons or status menu and reading infos about the weapons and servants

            there is absolutely zero real “gameplay”, what youd expect from a “game” as you know it. the best way to describe a visual novel like fate/stay night is a slightly interactive book with pictures and music and voices, thats pretty much it. once your itno it, its a wodnerful genre though.
            figure-relazed, i always wodner where they got the name for “vortigern”. as far as the game itself is concerned, and as far as official data is concerned, thats exactly the same as her golden excalibur, just that its black and she uses the enrgy as a weapon rathwer than shooting it in this form…

          • Tier says:

            I’ve played a number of VNs, so I’m aware of how they work. I’m saying that if I played the game, I’d feel idiotic for playing as Shirou, since I’m assuming the story is told from his perspective, and that I would intentionally get him killed. In Final Fantasy X, I party-attacked Tidus till he dropped dead. If I were to play Fate/stay night, I’d intentionally make poor decisions to try to get Shirou on a story path that leads to his death.

  3. Ashlotte says:

    Incredible review Tier! Truly…You put some serious effort into this one and it shows in spades!

    Favorite shots are easily the one of her profile like 5 and 24! She just looks so utterly badass!

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! Man, I don’t think I can do too many more reviews like this, though. Particularly since I spent quite a while building the set … and it turns out you can barely see it cuz I kept the lights really low. It was fun to build though, I must admit.

  4. Aka says:

    Saber Alter turned out quite well, I’m not surprised but I am happy about it. She’s got that cute badass girl look going for her.

    Can you imagine what kind of damage those tentacles would do to her though? They’re far too thick for the poor girl! No matter how badass and evil she might be!

    • Tier says:

      I can! It would probably be like what is described in the comments of this rather NSFW image featuring Kyoko Kusaka from Zanjibaru. There is a great deal of speculation as to what happens there, though in the game the tentacle actually rotates rather than thrusts.

      However, I have no doubt that Saber Alter has an iron constitution and an elastic physique. If anyone can withstand that sort of treatment, it’s her.

      • The Endless General says:

        Something tells me she wouldn’t stand for being raped by tentacles. There’d probably only be like one functional tentacle remaining by the time she was subdued lol.

        • Aka says:

          One is all it takes.

        • Tier says:

          Yeah, I don’t think she’d stand for it either, she’d probably be lying on her back or held up in midair XD Maybe upside-down.

          • The Endless General says:

            …….Touché Tier………lol

          • The Endless General says:

            These pictures came out really well, I really like the one of her vs. Saber Lily lol.

          • Tier says:

            Thanks XD I shoulda taken more of her with Saber Lily, it’s rare that I can get a couple of fixed-pose figures to interact with each other in the same picture, but both Sabers look pretty good when they are opposing each other.

          • Break says:

            speaking of that, the look those tentacles have very much remind me of the look of the holy grail in the UBW route, also the power of the holy grail and “dark sakura” are pretty much what made saber to dark saber (and for that matter berserker into dark berserker, ut i doubt anyones gonna make a figure of THAT..) in the first place, so you kinda.. accidentally did soemthign very fitting here without knowign about it.

  5. Fabienne says:

    cool figure and a nice review I want to say, well Im more into cute, pretty or sexy figures, but this one is probably the best looking female badass figure I’ve seen so far, seems like someone made her really angry ;D
    Saber Alter has a very cool outfit and the pose is extremely powerful and expressive.
    My first thought as I saw preview pictures of this Saber Alter figure was, that she would look wonderful with a baseball bat in her hands, maybe I had ordered her then XD

    I like your church setting a lot :) I this stained glass like window painted with some kind of window colors?
    I cant really point out a favorite picture cause nearly all look great, thx to your nice setup, like saber-alter-05.jpg, saber-alter-03.jpg, saber-alter-01.jpg or saber-alter-11.jpg.

    • Tier says:

      A bat would be an awesome accessory. I wonder if maybe I can make one out of polymer clay, that’d be pretty funny, especially if I made a small-scale baseball diamond with Saber Lily wearing a ballcap.

      I painted it with some acrylic paint, since the bottles are cheap and easy to work with. I’m not very talented with paint; I’ve never actually learned how to paint, apart from watching Bob Ross’s old TV show. I basically tried to follow the instructions in this Youtube video, though I couldn’t actually do the imitation black solder like they did.

  6. BioToxic says:

    Saber Alter looks very intimidating and has a powerful shelf presence. I’m sure this is a crime, but I’m not a huge Saber fan or FSN fan for that matter, I only ever liked Rin. Despite that as a sword wielding lass I can see Sabers’ appeal. Her stance and posture just oozes power. Her Vortigern sword looks like a giant bird feather, Dark Excalibur looks much nicer I think.

    But you know what really steals the stage here, your set. It looks awesome: the stained glass, the scale bricks, matching the reds with her base. Too bad it’s all bokeh-fied. If you’re struggling for a blog post let us see the set-up sometime? ^^

    UBW Rin is coming out soon? It’s been so long I can’t even remember when I pre-ordered her. She looked awesome when I last saw her many moons ago, hopefully she still is on release.

    • Tier says:

      I’m sure there’s quite a few people who feel the same way as you. I like Saber, though I’d like her a lot more if she weren’t saddled with such a dork of a master. I wouldn’t call myself a Fate/stay night fan either, since I scarcely understand its plot; I pretty much just like the character designs.

      Yeah, Vortigern is looking rather abstract here, I remember when I saw the promo pics, I had no clue what she was supposed to be holding; I thought it was maybe a gigantic broom or some weird piece of crystal. I think maybe I shoulda lit it up a bit more to try to get it looking more dramatic.

      I think maybe I’ll do a backdrop post sometime in the future. The set is not as complex as I had envisioned; I had thought of something a lot more intricate but it was well beyond my capabilities, and since I wanted to get this review done before the end of May I just ran out of time. But I think it’d be cool to show people what it looks like. Hopefully y’all don’t laugh when you see what it looks like when it’s not cloaked by heavy shadows.

      Yeah, I think she’s actually out in just a few days; I’d guess overseas people ought to be getting her by late next week. It feels kinda weird to see her finally come out; she’s the last figure in my wishlist that is in my top rank as far as anticipation goes.

  7. Ashram says:

    Great pictures! My Saber came in the mail last week, and she goes quite well with both of my BRS Dead Master figures. So many skulls and evilness…it’s great :P

    Your background looks like it is pretty impressively detailed, but like you mentioned it’s pretty out of focus in many of the shots, so it’s hard to appreciate :(

    I’ve also not read through the VN, only endured the anime to see what all the popularity was about. So there are two people in the world who haven’t, haha.

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, the focus was intentional, partially to keep the figure as the center of attention, but mainly because the blurriness hides the slipshod job I did on the window. I really do not know how to paint – to say nothing of painting a stained glass window – so this was mostly trial and error. Which is to say, it was a big trial with tons of errors. I’ll see about putting together a backdrop post so people can see what it looks like up close.

      Ah, I don’t feel alone anymore. While I’m not in any rush to play through the game or revisit the show, I’ll admit that I’m looking forward to seeing what Fate/zero is about when the anime adaptation airs. It removes my biggest beef with Fate/stay night and it seems Saber wears a business suit, which I think is really sexy.

  8. Chag says:

    Dayum, Saber Alter is looking mighty fine. I didn’t notice the issue with the eye, but now that you mention it, it is a little odd (though it barely bothers me at all). It’s a shame that your hatred for Shirou prevents you from playing the game, because Saber Alter is a great character. Normal Saber is cute and all, but no-nonsense Saber is just supreme.

    That is a very handsome set you made for her! I guess gangsta lean Saber got cheated out of it, but it’s looking damn find behind saber Alter. You should really throw a couple of shots explaining the setup in your future reviews — I’m sure many of us are curious as to how you made the set. What did you do to the floor to make it look so moist and muddy?

    • Tier says:

      Ahh, see, now I’m kinda curious to find out what kind of character Saber Alter is. I kinda get the sense she’s just the polar opposite of Saber, which would make her evil as hell and probably a very cool character.

      Yeah, I’d been kicking this idea around in my head for nearly two years now, ever since gangsta lean Saber’s preorder period started back in summer 2009. I had to improvise with the floor though, since I had something quite different in mind for the older figure. I think I might be able to recycle some of the basic concepts for gangsta lean Saber, though; I’ve got the basic ideas set, I just need to figure out how to do them.

      The floor is actually just a cheap piece of particle board that I painted up with red and brown paint. I put some plaster down to get it a bit uneven looking, and then I brushed some floor wax on it to get it shiny. I wanted to add a few more coats but I was running out of time so I just went with the one layer.

  9. super rats says:

    This is sick. The set is fantastic.

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! I wasn’t sure if this idea was going to work or not, but I’m glad it turned out alright, since I’d been thinking about it for a while now.

  10. Tian says:

    Nevermind the figure, that’s a badass set! Where’d you get the stained glass from?

    I wasn’t that interested in this particular Saber, but your photos make her look awfully tempting. So far the only Saber I’ve ordered is Gift’s Saber Lily. Their Alter version looks a little too Jack Bauer-ish but this one is pretty fantastic. The Voritgern especially catches my eye. It’s like an evil counterpart to Siegfried’s crystalline Soulcalibur.

    • Tier says:

      I got it from Lowe’s, it’s just a 9×12 piece of transparent acrylic. I painted it with some cheap paint I got from A.C. Moore. Lowe’s and A.C. Moore are like my two favorite stores now.

      I don’t think I have any Gift figures but I do really like their Saber Lily; the armor detail looks amazing. And she has a really pretty face; I think a big reason I kinda stayed away from Gift’s stuff is from their older Saber figure, which had kind of a weird face. I kinda regret not preordering her now, since they seem to be shut down everywhere.

      • Tian says:

        Daaaamn even cooler knowing that you painted it by hand. That’s dedication to your work!

        I don’t blame you for being apprehensive about Gift and their derpy faces. Have you seen the original Saber Lily kit that the latest one is based on? She has like a muppet mouth or something.

        • Tier says:

          I remember seeing that face but I’d forgotten about it, and now that I see it again I’m like daaaayum … what in the world is going on with that face? I’m trying to think who she reminds me of … for some reason I keep thinking Mr. Perfect. I’m not sure why.

          I looked at the PVC version’s face again and it is a considerable improvement. I wonder if she’ll be available after she gets released.

  11. Luth says:

    Awesome shots and set! I’m glad there were at least some shots of the wall and bricks because it looks very cool. It looks like GSC did the dynamism very well on Saber Alter and I like how the paint textures for the armor are shiny but her dresses are matte. The one thing I didn’t like about this figure though was the weird way her armor is twisting at her torso. Anyways, looking forward to that backdrop post!

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! The stuff I use is actually kinda ghetto so I’m a bit embarrassed to show it, but then again, sometimes it’s fun to make people think, “That’s what that is?” Hopefully people will be amused when they see that post.

  12. Sweet review – saw your SA pic on MFC, but didn’t have time to come check out your review till now! I’m trying to finish up my SA: Maid review before doing this one – but good luck with that, it’ll probably take me another 3-4 months. LOL

    I didn’t even notice her eyes until you mentioned it; but looking at it, I think it’s the right eye that looks out of place, not the left eye. Considering her pose and angle, it seems like her left eye is rolling towards the right naturally. The right eye, however, seems like it’s staring forwards, rather than rolling towards the right like her left eye. So it seems like the eye balls are looking at different things. Both pupil should be pointing towards the same direction – but maybe she has some crazy dark power that allows her eyes to engage separate targets? Too many tentacles to watch out for, perhaps? =P

    I really like what you did with the stained-glass backdrop, adds a sense of class to this dark character. I was thinking of doing something darker, like a cave to match her base. Not sure how I’m gonna do it yet though, maybe I’ll go outside, pick some rocks and build me a dark cave. ^_^’

    • Tier says:

      I shall look forward to your review; I’m really regretting not ordering that figure now. I don’t have a huge maid fetish compared to, say, my combat nun fetish, but it looks like a good-ass figure indeed. I checked around for it the other day and she seemed to be going around 15-20k yen on YJA, which I suppose I could be crazy enough to pay eventually, but probably not right now. I could definitely be swayed though, very easily.

      It could be! When one is an evil dark lady, there are always people trying to knock you off. At least, that’s what it was like in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Yeah, it looks like her left eye is looking more towards her right while the right eye is looking slightly more forward; they’re out of sync but since her body is turned, I don’t notice it quite as much as I did with Compact Hog.

      That sounds like a good idea; I’ve got a pre-made cave backdrop but I didn’t want to break it out since I’ve used it a few times recently and I don’t like recycling ideas so quickly. Though I’m probably going to re-use that angel statue I bought for Rin Tousaka; no point not getting my money’s worth out of it. I’ll look forward to your review of this figure as well!

  13. suaishun says:

    awesome review! i got the other saber alter myself from movic (while myfigurine says solidtheater) mostly because i also ordered dark sakura so i could pair them… but almost wish i bought the GSC one.

    i like the armor a lot on both the GSC one and the movic one but the eyes and face look way better on the GSC figure as does the pose.

    as always i stand in awe of your photo skills :)
    thanks for the review

    • Tier says:

      Thanks! I like the Movic figure as well, particular how it pairs with Dark Sakura. I’m hoping GSC keeps up with this series; a 1/7 scale Dark Sakura counterpart would be awesome. And so would a Rider. I’d really, really like it if Rider finally got some love. And not swimsuit love.

  14. Speaker says:

    Hm, doesn’t Saber Alter also has an ahoge?

    • Tier says:

      Nah, she lacks an ahoge. Sometimes you’ll see people on image boards use that as a sign as to whether an artist is paying attention, since she’s sometimes drawn with an ahoge.

  15. Clan_Clan says:

    I have the maid figure, H version. (No bustier, no ‘pants,’) but while nice, it present a very daunting figure. (I supose Shiro could die with a smile on his face…)

    As always you present a wonderful collection of picture of the figure. Thanks.

    On the mentioned Sakura figure; I love the fan-cg of Dark Sakura and Sabre Alter posted on the other site, it has always been one of my favorites of those two.

    Sigh… I would love the comby figure set as well, but I’m just back from vacatin, and am broke! Wah!

    • Tier says:

      Welcome back! Is that the maid figure that Alter made? I really regret not ordering that one, since it looks fantastic but now goes for quite a bit of money, even for a preowned version.

      I like that image a lot as well. I’m liking Sakura more in general now, too, thanks to a certain scene in Fate/zero.

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