Saber, also known as Red Saber or Saber Extra, is one of three playable servants that are available to Hakuno Kishinami the other two being Archer and Caster. She bears a striking resemblance to the more well-known Saber found in Fate/Zero, Fate/stay night and Fate/hollow ataraxia.
Red Saber's identity is Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the Fifth Roman Emperor. She had the reputation of a notorious tyrant whose rule was made up of schemes and poison as she oppressed all religious forces, especially Christians, and the Roman Senate during the period from 50 to 60 AD. It is believed in one theory that the Book of Revelation was written as a reaction against said oppression. She was regarded in the same light as the devil, as the assumed Hebrew pronunciation of of her name as a emperor, Nero Caesar pronounced as "NRVN QSR", equates with the "Number of the Beast". This name and the "Beast of Babylon" refers to Rome itself and it is not an alias given to her as an individual.
Nero's father was the lewd Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, cousin of the Fourth Emperor, Claudius; and her mother, Julia Augusta Agrippina, was the younger sister of Emperor Caligula. Because Nero's father was considered to be a weak man, Nero was barred from succeeding to the throne. Agrippina eventually remarried to Emperor Claudius (Agrippina's uncle) and convinced him to adopt Nero as his heir, leading Nero down the path to becoming emperor by her own evil designs but started by her own mother's debauchery. Agrippina, through her plotting and manipulating, pressured Octavia to marry Nero, (she was Claudius' daughter, and Nero's step-sister). Nero's relatives resented her illegitimate birthright and relations became strain. Nero had more affection for the nameless masses than her relatives.
During her youth, Nero was revered as a very competent judge who brought in several important lawsuits with her fairness and efficiency, though Claudius had forbidden her from doing so due to her young age. Nero eventually succeeded her stepfather after Agrippina murdered Claudius in the year 54 AD, she was enthroned emperor at the age of seventeen, which would have been extremely difficult with her origins.
After claiming the throne, Nero gave out money to all citizens in celebration. She then abolished all indirect taxes. Predictably, the public adored Nero's generosity. Nero attempted to reform a depraved government and the corrupt senate, but her reforms were stalled and met with hostility. Conflicts with the senate erupted when Nero tried to unify the Roman Empire with some troublesome provinces. In contrast, Nero boasted tremendous popularity from the citizens, thanks to her generous policies; her care for diplomacy caused Britannia's relations in Rome to improve during later years, essentially making her the person who built the opportunity for the legend of King Arthur to be born. She was also highly praised by Persia, which lead it to being considered "the country of Nero" by Rome after her death.
Nero had to bicker between a corrupt Senate and her predatory mother who made policies in self-interest. Agrippina only saw Nero as a tool to become the mother of the emperor. Conflicts with her mother became more pronounced at this time. As a result, Nero hired an assassin to end her mother's life before she could deal with a troublesome senate. But the assassination failed, and the only thing she could do was cut her mother down publicly, proclaiming that her own mother tried to poison her. The year was 59 AD, that was the year that Nero's reputation as a tyrant was cemented. Nero states that since that day, she has been afflicted with headaches. Nero suffered from chronic hysteria, a result from constantly using a silver cup. Nero had been poisoned as a child, so as not to defy her mother she was given the antidote in tandem. When her mother died, she also took the antidote with her to the grave, so Nero lapsed into a fevered delirium.
Nero's life then took a radical shift after her ascension. Nero's wife, Octavia, committed suicide. Her younger stepbrother was murdered in order to secure her influence and then drove her sole mentor, the philosopher Seneca, to suicide. Seneca's death affected Nero deeply, she considered him a father figure. According to Nero, she told him that she would forgive him over and over again, but Seneca was skeptical of Nero's word and he ended his life in Nero's house. It pained Nero that Seneca disbelieved her words. Through her selfish actions, Nero was a monster to her relatives, but she boasted popularity with the masses.
She established the "Nero Festival" in 59 or 60 AD, which was an athletic conference that took after the Greek Olympics and happened once every five years. She opened three fields for music, gymnastics, and horse riding and openly participated in the events herself. During July 19, 64 AD., there was a large conflagration that occurred to the extent of reducing Rome to ashes. The victims were contained to a bare minimum thanks to Nero's swift and adequate response as an administrator, and she earned immense popularity with the citizens by thoroughly carrying out her subsequent pledges. These measures are highly praised as "effective measures that exhausted the bounds of human intellect" even by the many historians who criticize her. She later established the Domus Aurea theater designed by herself. She was eventually driven out of her position during a revolt in 69 AD, lead by Vindex in Gallia. At first, Nero ignored the situation, perhaps she still trusted Vindex, the inciter of the rebellion. More likely she was suffering from despair and she wished for the situation to go away. Two years later, Vindex would incite another rebellion and by then the senate had enough with Nero. The senate was so displeased with Nero's mishandling of the revolt that they called her a traitor and she was forced to escape from Rome. Nero was convinced that her popular policies and her popularity with the people would protect her from being forced to abdicate the throne. However, the public was silent and they did nothing to protect her. The Roman people had abandoned her, after she had devoted so much for them. She acknowledges that she had made an error in judgement in relying on the people. Still, Nero did not resent them, instead she was saddened by their lack of uproar, "it was my greatest error to love them in a way that they could not understand."
She eventually decided to kill herself, though such an end was considered unsportsmanlike by her. She stopped herself many times, having cried about "how can such a magnificent artist disappear from this world?", but as those who betrayed her closed in she quoted a line from Homer's Iliad, "Hark, now strikes on my ear the trampling of swift-footed coursers!", before finally stabbing her own throat with a knife. After Nero's suicide, a soldier delicately wrapped a cloak around Nero's body, "too late. This is fidelity," Nero said. Those were her last words.
Saber is a blond-haired young woman of short stature, who typically appears dressed in a military-styled red dress with a translucent portion in the front of the lower skirt. She claims the dress itself is not see-through, but rather she is letting people see. She has a great resemblance to another Saber, King Arthur.
In Fate/Extra CCC she has an alternate outfit that is a modified bridal gown with a zipper down the front and legs.
Saber has a haughtiness that seems to more than compensate her short stature. She refrains from asking how privileged the Protagonist feels by summoning her, and grants them the honor of being her Master. She feels that as her Master, they can be allowed to act as her equal without having to use honorifics. Often when given the choice to answer to her, only a single affirmative choice is offered rather than allowing for a negative response. She believes that anything she does must be perfect down to the smallest detail, such as a number of flawless victories to make her feel on top of the world after displaying perfection in her swordplay. If the Protagonist denies to be her Master, she claims she cannot understand what they are speaking about, believing it to be some form of Oriental humility. She refuses to accept the answer, and declares that her tolerance allows for a single mistake from them. When recounting the Servant Classes, she names some, and then claims that the rest aren't of any importance. Only the Saber class has any worth, and as it is known as the best of the classes, it should be obvious that she is Saber.
Saber has a different definition for love as it was understood to her. According to her, her type of love was selfish. When she gave it, she expected something in return for it was not unconditional. To Saber, the more tender type of love was foreign and incomprehensible. She acknowledges that she has a different value system than the people. Nero's love burnt out offering and devoting everything. Her passion burned brightly, without regards to permanence. Nero loved her citizens as she thought was right. But, the love her citizens proffered was different, and the difference invited Nero's fall. Saber regrets that she could not share in the love that the masses embraced so naturally. Because she could not express her love in a way that can be understood, she did not receive love in return, "while this woman could love more than any other person, she could not experience the joy of being loved. Her lavish expressions of love were not enough to satisfy her people." The thought of dying without anyone loving her, could be one of the reasons why she hesitated pushing the dagger into her own throat.
She identifies herself as being short, but claims it does not matter in determining superiority. As she does not mind it, she firmly believes others should also not mind as well, and declares that no comments about her height, especially the terms petite or short, should be made. She finds being addressed as "princess" to be an insult because she is a grown woman, and instead prefers to be addressed as empress by her enemies.
She gives off the impression of a valiant young man in crimson, and she has a masculine bearing and tone of voice, leading the Protagonist to think she may have been raised a boy. She acknowledges that the reason she wears men's clothes is not that she is trying to project an imperial image, but because she actually enjoys wearing men's clothes. While her brusque attitude and gallant actions would imply that she values valor above all, she actually identifies her core as a maiden due to her adoration for beauty. She still does not allow gender to sway her preferences, and believes the true orientation of her soul to be half and half. Firmly routed in the middle of the two genders, she personally finds her ability to go either way admirable. She becomes attracted to the Protagonist regardless of their gender, and eventually even declares her love for them.
She often refers to her Master as Praetor. She comes to develop feelings for the Protagonist, and discloses her true identity to them for that reason. She is worried about the negative connotations that come with her identity, and does not mind if she is called a tyrant or the Whore of Babylon by them. Even if she is disliked, she will simply work hard to become worthy of the Protagonist's love and take their heart. While she claims to be able to endure the pain, she looks like a child who is trying really hard not to cry while stating it.
She believes that her true calling was that of an artist, truly thinking that she is the pinnacle of the arts and "an artist who rivals the god of arts Apollo." She boasts various accomplishments, such as working with marble, metallurgy, writing poems, and singing songs. She claims she mastered it all in the name of art, but there were not many people who appreciated or understood her artistic talents. She is aware of this fact, but simply suggests that her critics were not advanced enough to understand her artistic vision. Even if no one valued them, she was satisfied just having them made. Because she expressed her love for her people through her works. She declares that only through art she can express what she feels as she finds it difficult to do so in a normal way. She cherishes the theater the most, but she still proclaims to be an architect, songwriter, writer, painter, and fashionista. She does not like to be criticized, and will go to great lengths to protect her artistic integrity. She nearly killed her dear friend Tacitus in an outburst of rage when he criticized her literary works. Similarly, she is sensitive to praises and can be quite easy to manipulate when flattered. She would often perform for the masses at her Domus Aurea, but spectators would frequently leave midway through her performances. She was so enraged by this obvious act of disrespect that she ordered all entrances to the theater to be sealed, forcing the audience to sit through her entire performance until the final curtain fell. It was said that in her final hours she expressed her anguish that an artist such as herself had to die. Her main concern was that her act of suicide was punishing the public by having "such a magnificent artist disappear from this world."
She praises beauty above all, stating that "Beautiful young boys are good. Beautiful young girls are better. My singular preference is beauty!" She greatly expresses a desire to fight Greek Heroic Spirits like Atalante, because of their beauty. She has a certain fixation on Heracles, causing her to creating a legend after publicly strangling a lion with a rear naked choke in an attempt to emulate him by reenacting his exploits. While she was trying to prove her own might was as great as that of Heracles, her citizens were left unimpressed by the display and attempting to view Heracles as a rival causes the protagonist to call her a megalomaniac. She felt the achievement could potentially have been surpassed by the Protagonist if they had been in a public colosseum upon defeating a large number of rare enemies. She likes beautiful speech, commenting that the Protagonist speaks with few, but beautiful words, or that she is greatly concerned with their inability to articulate.
Her characteristic anecdote is that she was an administrator for the citizens. She believes herself that she was a tyrannical emperor who injured the lives of many and met an ugly end. She does not deny that is the truth of her rule, but she is not ashamed of it either. While she has regrets about her life, she feels all that matters is that she was true to herself in everything. She is not one to cave to others' assessments, but she values the opinions of the Protagonist. She claims that even a poorly regarded emperor is still an emperor, and that she will defend her Master proudly as the best of Servants. Due to her legend, others, such as Gawain, refer to her as the "Whore of Babylon" as an insult.
She has great pride in herself and her actions. Even though she does not wish to give her name, simply being asked about it brings her great happiness. She claims that it is the pleasure of those with regal natures to dignify the queries of those around them with answers, and gets so caught up in the mood that she almost gives her birth name without even thinking about it. She feels that she must always speak with the air of an emperor, speaking according to her parents' expectations of her in childhood and how she was raised. She was never allowed to speak plainly since leaving childhood, and speaking casually would be denying what she has become, throwing away all that to which she has devoted herself. While doing so would allow her to regain her humanity, she speaks with certainty that such a day had never occurred and will never come.
She lived a luxurious lifestyle. She voices her disappointment over the scenery of the underwater arena, exclaiming that view it offers simply looks too much like the aquarium she owned during life. She has no direct interest in monetary gain, but admires the trappings of wealth and believes that treasure cannot be ignored.
Saber is one of the selectable Servants in Fate/Exra along with Archer and Caster. After the Saber class is selected, she first appears upon hearing the Protagonist's will to continue striving to live. She admires and respects their attempt to embrace the fear of death and fight on regardless of the fate that may await them. Deciding that she'll hear it even if the world doesn't, she exclaims their destiny begins right at that moment. She finds their first fight together against the effigy to be unsatisfying given how long she had waited for such a moment. After explaining the details of the Holy Grail War, she says she will keep her identity a secret for the time being to avoid having enemies find out. She will eventually reveal it as she gets to know them more. She turns the private room into her audience chamber to answer any grievances they may have for her.
She is set to appear in Fate/Extra CCC with her original costume and a new alternate costume called "Saber Bride."
Saber makes a brief appearance in Episode 8, during Taiga Dojo segment, under the name Red Saber unlike her other appearances where she is just called Saber. Like in Fate/Extra, she is arrogant, proud and shamelessly flaunts her sexuality, noting that her transparent skirt does not bare her flesh, but rather 'deliberately allows others to see it'. She was also disappointed that the delayed release of Fate/Extra made her too late to enjoy the huge carnival she had rushed to join and that she will not be in the third season.
Saber wields a scarlet long sword called Aestus Estus: The Embryonic Flame. It is a hand-crafted crimson sword brought with her when summoned under the Saber Class by a Master. It has the following inscription carved on it: regnum caelorum et gehenna (the kingdom of heaven and hell). She feels it is the ultimate instrument, and that muses would bow before the sound it makes. While she is a skilled charioteer that "rivals the solar deity Sol", she feels that she would not be suitable for the Rider class because of her general dislike for them. Even before becoming a Heroic Spirit, she had the skill and strength to grapple a lion and asphyxiate it with her bare arms.
Due to the Protagonist's status as a "pseudo-magus" who didn't actively enter the Grail War, all of her parameters are an extremely low E rank at the beginning. She has lost use of much of her power, including her Noble Phantasm. She can be returned to her proper level of power by increasing the bond between their souls. Aozaki Aoko offers Alteration of the Soul to increase this bond and her parameters by hacking their souls. Her Noble Phantasm is the Domus Aurea, an "absolute imperial zone" that resembles a Reality Marble and allows the owner to achieve their aspirations.