Through Fate / Apocrypha, undoubtedly, the conflict between Masters of a larger scale never seen up to now has been staged, yet the Great War of the Holy Grail is not the only version of this battle to the death to put in I play new rules and new systems.
During April 1, 2008 Ryōgo Narita, author of Light Novel known to us mainly for writing Baccano! e Durarara!!, published on his homepage a short introductory prologue for a role-playing game, entitled "Fake / states night".
The text, published in a modified version in the Type-Moon Ace 2 magazine afterwards, was just a trivial April Fool but, years later, it was announced through a short trailer like Fate / Strange Fake, a series of Light Novel and Manga which would have been officially published since 2015, illustrated by Shizuki Morii and starring a new and revisited Ayaka Sajyou, the young girl who, in the first draft of Fate / stay night, should have been the main character and Master of Saber.
Some of the Servants involved and their Masters were also revealed in the trailer: Gilgamesh would have made his return as Archer and, for the first time, we would have known his dear friend Enkidu, summoned as Lancer, while as Berserker the famous serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.
With these premises we are therefore introduced to the War of the Holy Grail of Snowfield.
History of Fate / Strange Fake
A new ritual
As usual in alternative versions of Fate, the divergence point from the original story is again the Third War of the Holy Grail of Fuyuki.
In this timeline, an organization of wizards from the United States of America, seconded by the Clock Tower Mages Association in London, has accumulated data and information from Fuyuki's conflicts for the purpose of establishing their version of the ritual at Snowfield, a fictitious city of Nevada located north of Las Vegas.
The purpose of the ritual would not have been the request for a wish, but the analysis and advanced research of Heaven's Feel.
This ambitious project was made known to Clock Tower when the Wizarding Association decided to send Rohngall and his assistant Faldeus to investigate whether the rumors about this Snowfield War were true, which Faldeus himself revealed as a spy for the organization. American, confirms by having Rohngall killed and announcing the start of the conflict.
An imperfect copy but with interesting implications
However, the organization was unable to accurately copy all aspects and complexities of Fuyuki's ritual, resulting in two simultaneous and complementary conflicts: the False War of the Holy Grail and the True War of the Holy Grail: the first is nothing but an imperfect base that exists to stabilize the second, an incomplete and bizarre conflict in which six Servants instead of seven participate, with their Masters chosen in a less rigid and accurate way and with the possibility of evoking irregular Servants not necessarily part of the Heroes' throne. Although separated from the Real War, the Masters and Servants are free to collaborate or fight with each other even if part of two different conflicts, since there is no clear distinction between the False Servants and the Real ones nor is it clear what the conclusion of the False War will bring, as there has been no manifestation of a False Grail.
More traditional in the selection of the Masters and in the summons (although there are no exceptions) is the Real War, in which the Masters are carefully chosen for skill and ambition and seven Servants are evoked under the traditional classes of the Fuyuki system.
Supervised by the US government, the outcome and results that the two wars collectively called Snowfield Holy Grail War could manifest, given their irregularities, are unknown and it will be possible to find out more only when a winner among the 13 Masters will triumph .
Work in progress
Fate / Strange Fake counts, to date, five volumes, with the last one released in April 2019, with the work still in progress and with a generally annual publication frequency under the Dengeki Bunko label.
Published simultaneously and illustrated by Morii Shizuki, just like the Light Novel, the manga published by Type-Moon has only three volumes and is currently in hiatus.
The work does not delve into much of the overall picture of Nasuverse, but some recurring characters in Fate such as, for example, Gilgamesh or Lord El-Melloi II, are detailed in a new light taking advantage of the context and interactions drastically different to those in which we are used to seeing them.
All in all, however, the series can be considered, like Apocrypha and Extra that preceded it, a narrative that surrounds the works already seen and identified as the main block of the franchise.
On the other hand, it will be in the year of publication of the first volume of Strange Fake that the largest work of the Fate series will arrive on the market and that will direct its direction and focus in the years to come.