The Servant’s New Clothing

hisui_icon_4040_roundThere is always one thing about Fate/Grand Order that has always slightly perplexed me.  During the rerun of the first summer event in Grand Order, they added a swimsuit you could earn for Mash. This introduced the concept that Servants could get extra outfits in the game. These outfits change their aesthetic appearance but do noting to effect gameplay. Since then they have only added a total of sixteen costumes for a total of 237 Servants. Also, two costumes barely count as unique because Summer BB and Ruler Quetzalcoatl get two costumes each that mostly are a pair of costumes rather than four unique costumes. Compare that to Azur Lane that constantly makes costumes and will throw in five or six new costumes with every update.

Look. I realize that most mobile games are predatory money machines.  In fact, that is sort of what surprises me about the lack of costumes in Grand Order. I am sure that Azur Lane makes money hand over fist with their costumes. They are a game with one of the most generous gacha and they still seem to be doing well. I’m fairly convinced part of the reason is that you have to use premium currency to buy costumes. Now Azur Lane gives away one or two costumes as part of events but they clearly keep the more popular costumes in the realm of pay only. You figure that Grand Order would see this and implement a similar system.

You still give away a costume or two during events but you sell the rest for a few dollars. Since they are cosmetic they don’t tilt the game even farther into the realm of pay-to-win but at the same time, they would be enormously popular. Every time a new event comes out I see people thirsty for new costumes only to be disappointed when the one new costume that appears is not anything they were dreaming of. If anything even slightly Saber Alter related is on the horizon there will be a small army of comments hoping for her Shinjuku 1999 costume.

Now that I got that off my chest I might as well talk a little about what I would like to see for upcoming costumes. There are a lot great costume ideas so I will try to curate a list of ten with each one representing ideas that could represent dozens of other costumes.

10. Saber Alter with her Shinjuku 1999 costume

Since I used this as the primary example in the intro so it would be silly not to use it here. The story has introduced several very popular costumes for Servants but oddly enough only a select few have been made into playable costumes. Jeanne Alter getting her Shinjuku 1999 costume first makes sense as Jeanne Alter is the hotness of Grand Order. That said Artoria is still the beloved cash cow of Type-Moon. Everyone just assumed she would get her costume soon after. But months have passed and still nothing.

A good deal of the Servants who got fancy new costumes complete with sprites still don’t have their costumes in-game. This seems the easiest thing to prioritize as some of the work is already done. I understand letting time pass to foster some anticipation but this seems excessive.

9. Any Servant With Glasses Gets Costumes That Let The Keep Their Glasses

Several Servant definitely seems to subscribe to the Dorothy Parker “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses” school of thought. They might wear glasses at earlier ascensions but they remove them in later iterations. I’m sure the megane otaku in the fandom would appreciate the ability for Osakabehime, Sigurd, Mash, or Leonardo Da Vinci to wear their glasses at any ascension. For all the items on the list, this easily has the highest appreciation for the lowest effort ratio.

I know the picture is a scene with Ciel from Tsukihime but all the old school fans will get the joke.

8. Consort Yu with Her Master Costume

Speaking of glasses I have to mention Consort Yu.

Let me be clear. Fan art alone shows that Consort Yu’s Servant outfits are POPULAR. When she was revealed to be a Servant and a True Ancestor her fandom was galvanized. But for the longest time people just knew her as the Master Akuta Hinako. So when none of her ascensions had her cute nerd girl version I know there were some very disappointed fans who assumed it would be her initial ascension.

More than any other costume Consort Yu’s Akuta Hinako costume has more gravitas than most making it an ideal alternate costume.

7. Medusa with Her Casual Clothing from Fate/Hollow Ataraxia

Since they are the genesis for the whole multi-million dollar franchise the original cast of Fate/Stay Night has an emotional cache that few Servants released after could ever have. Therefore anything that invokes those memories is very powerful. There is a reason they instantly released the Sakura’s School Uniform sprite when Parvati was first released. It just made sense. Fans would easily be just as excited for a Rin costume for Ishtar or a Hawaiian Shirt Cú Chulainn. I mostly picked Medusa’s casual clothing for this example because it is fun but does not feel like a costume that could be its own unit.

6. Lu Bu with his Mobile Suit Costume for Fate/Extella Link

The Fate/Extella series has LOTS of costumes. Fate/Extella and Fate/Extella Link have a bunch of costumes you can earn in the game, several dozen that you can buy as DLC, and then various promotional costumes as well. Some of them are based on existing Grand Order variants and others seem more likely to be their own units but there are still a whole bunch that would work better as in-game costumes. I know several people who would run Lu Bu for casual grinding if he had his Mobile Suit Costume. People love their Char Aznable and would use a version of Lu Bu made to look like a Sazabi even if it does not make him three times as fast.

5. Tiger Dojo Saber 

Not every costume has to be serious or sexy. Sometimes a good joke is its own reward. Remember that Nendoroid 000 to 003 are 2 variants of Neko Arc and 2 variants of Tiger Dojo Saber. People are willing to shell out for Saber in general and Tiger Dojo Saber in particular. I would love her to be riding the Lion Car but that might be just a bit too much animation for a silly costume. Then again they have the “Funifuni” costumes from Fate/Extella Link so it is hardly outside of the realm of possibility to create something that time-consuming for a silly joke.

4. Ishtar (Rider) with her Costume from Her Noble Phantasm

The free event Servants in Grand have become one of the game’s saving graces despite the rather draconian gacha rates. While they are not all equal the best of them are as good as top-tier gacha 4-star Servants and can sometimes even surpass 5-star Servants. BB and Rider Kintoki are worth their weight in gold. The downside is they (mostly) only ever have one form and never change their appearance with Ascension. The thing is Ruler Quetzalcoatl changed everything when she was debuted with two costumes. Now they are both just face and heel Lucha libre masks so they are hardly radical transformations but they showed that Delightworks was not totally against giving free Servants costumes.

Ishtar (Rider) is interesting because when her Noble Phantasm goes off she gets this upgrading Blue Dress as she rides all over the world on her bike. I think making that thing like the blue dress as an optional costume would be tons of fun and give a little flair to free Servants.

3. Boudica with Her Heroic Spirit Formal Dress (or Pretty Much Any Other Costume)

There are some Servants who have divisive character designs. Boudica, Bradamante, and Jack immediately jump to mind. A look over the lineup of any class will show that Grand Order is nothing even approaching a prudish game. Nitocris, Shuten Dōji, or Miyamoto Musashi all have outfits that are clearly designed for maximum fan service but are generally agreed to be quite racy but still have a modicum of tastefulness. There are fans who have legitimate criticisms of some of the outfits but overall the fandom is OK with them. Servants like Boudica, Bradamante, and Jack tend to invoke the feeling that they cross the line into the realm of garish over the top lewdness you would expect in a low tier porn game.

(I know Fate/Stay Night is a porn game but the assumption here is it, at least, has some class.)

Some of these Servant could get a little more play if they had alternative costumes that were a bit more reversed. They don’t have to all be conservative Amish dresses but there is clearly something in-between an extra in Witness and a dental floss bikini. Boudica in some more combat appropriate armor would go over better when playing on a crowded subway while still leaving the option to use her doujinshi inspired normal outfit when you want to let your freak flag fly proudly.

2. Ryougi Shiki with her Decapitating Bunny Costume

Back Alley Satsuki – Chapter Heroine Sanctuary is arguably the best April Fools event that Type-Moon has ever done. It was an amazing amount of effort placed into something that technically was only upon the Type-Moon website for 24 hours. The events greatest contribution to the universe was the creation of Mysterious Heroine X who is a treasure for all of humanity but they also rolled out a bunch of extra costumes for established characters.

We will ignore Jeanne d’Arc’s “April Magical” as I know several people who HATE that costume with the passion of a thousand suns. Ryougi Shiki’s Decapitating Bunny Costume, on the other hand, was popular enough to get a CE so giving Saber Shiki that outfit as a costume would be greatly appreciated. The gap moe alone is powerful enough to justify its inclusion in the game.

1. Mordred with her Casual Clothing From Fate/Apocrypha

I’m actually shocked they have not put this costume in the game yet. Mordred in Daisy Dukes has pretty much been a staple of figures, posters, tchotchkes, and various other pieces of promotional materials and merchandise since she first appeared in Fate/Apocrypha. While Mordred in the armor is extremely bad-ass her casual clothing has a sexy appeal that cannot be ignored. While Saber Mordred’s 3rd ascension shows off plenty of skin her casual clothing has a distinctly different appeal that would not feel redundant.

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One thought on “The Servant’s New Clothing

  1. Dan (@metalcaveman) says:

    It’s as you say, Azur Lane likely makes most of its income by way of costumes, been playing for a while and I think it’s actually hard to not get the ships you want, granted, RNG still plays a role, but the game gives you so many cubes (used to build ships) that you stand a pretty good chance at getting whatever ship you want, even the limited ones.

    As for FGO, outside of the ones mentioned here, I would love to see all of the Formal Dress CEs become costumes at some point, specially the ones for Artoria Lancer (both OG and Alter :P). Though I’ve made it a point to not spend money on the gacha, if you could buy specific costumes for your servants I wouldn’t mind spending some money here and there. :P

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