The Variations of Saber

Photobucket
Maybe the title for the post should have been "The Variations of Saber as of now"? ^^; Saber, Saber Alter, Saber Lily, and now there are more. Saber of Fate/Stay Night is known to have variations even from the beginning, but it looks like that we are getting more of her as the franchise expands.

Photobucket
The "default" Saber that most people are familiar with from Fate/Stay Night and other Fate games, whose identity is based on King Arthur. She is one of the main leads in the game, along with her master and male protagonist Emiya Shirou.

Photobucket
Saber from prequel Fate/Zero is the same Saber from the original game, but serving under a different master Emiya Kiritsugu (Emiya Shirou's father) and is sometimes seen wearing a black suit like in the scanned picture above.

Photobucket
Saber Alter is a dark variant from one of the branching arcs in the original game, where she has been consumed by darkness and is serving under a new master.

Photobucket
Saber Lily is an alternate costume of Saber featured in PS2 and PSP game Fate/unlimited Code. This gives Saber more of a feminine look compared to the original attire. Having first released as a figma action figure bundled with limited edition of the PS2 game, and later followed by static PVC figures and even a doll, this design has been very popular since its emergence despite having no storyline attached to it.

Photobucket
Saber Extra is a playable character from the PSP game Fate/Extra. She is a different character to the original one with different origin. I still find the partially transparent skirt of hers a bit strange. The sword, the Aestus Estus, does look pretty cool though. There is apparently another Saber in the game, but this one is a guy and is an antagonist in the game.

Photobucket
Saber Bride is the latest variation of Saber set to appear in upcoming Fate/Extra CCC game. A figma figure is being planned to go with the game, just like Saber Lily and Saber Extra.


We are getting more and more Saber variations, and it looks as if we are getting a new one every year. I worry whether we will start or have already felt that there are a bit too many out there, as if they are there for the sake of merchandising. Or maybe I am thinking too much there?


Photobucket
The number of variations for Saber so far starts to remind me of those for Black★Rock Shooter. We have that based on the original design, then followed by the game version (and that of a white version but as a separate character), as well as a Beast version. With a new TV series announced, we will very likely have a different version of her for it as well. Though what has been involved with BRS is a bit more "extreme" than Saber is having IMHO.

How do you feel about these new variations of the same character? Is it a good thing and a change of things for you, or that you find it tiring and that it's persuading people to spend more on the franchise?