Disclaimer – “Sure-Hit!” articles may contain some incorrect information. I apologize for my lacking research, and I may revise and correct these works at a later date. As of now, “Sure-Hit!” is a discontinued series.
Hello again, and welcome to another episode of Sure-Hit! This is a series in which I analyze servants from F/GO and score their accuracy. I made some changes to how I score everything, so here’s a link if you really want to know the entire process.
Nero-Fest started two or so weeks ago, and it ended just this week! I personally don’t have a NA account, but I do love Nero anyways, so in today’s episode, we’ll be analyzing the Crown Red Saber. Umu!
Nero has some weird skills and NPs that messed me up quite a bit. For one, her skill, Imperial Privilege, allows her to bypass certain attributes as a servant, which I had to take into account. In addition, records of Nero have many fictional elements as well as the writers’ biased views. I’ll be taking all of these into account as I start.
I’ll only be analyzing the 4* Nero Claudius (Saber), and not the Bride version. I only look at one servant at a time, and usually only the original versions.
Also, Nero probably has a few gimmicks or details carried over from Fate/Extra. I have yet to play Fate/Extra, and have only played Fate/Extella of the series, so keep that in mind as well. Please feel free to comment about any details from the games. Thanks!
Lastly, I’ll refer to Nero as a “she”, just to avoid some confusion. Nero was a man in real life by the way.
Class [Saber] – (5%)
Servants of the Saber class prominently used swords in their legends, and boast high attributes in all areas except magic. They’re agile and powerful in combat, making them extremely powerful fighters.
Nero wasn’t exactly known for fighting in life. Sure, she killed random people in the streets at night and she did end her own life using a knife, but her combat skills weren’t exceptional at all, and by no means was she known for using a sword. If anything, Nero would fit more as a Rider, since she was a great charioteer in the Roman games. Regarding her attributes and strength, she was rumored to have killed her first wife with one kick to the belly. We actually don’t need to go into the rest of the attributes, because apparently Imperial Privilege, Nero’s second skill, can bypass these regulations regarding stats. But in summary, she was a decently strong person who would fit the class of Rider more due to her experience with the chariot.
Class – (3/5)
Skill 1 [Migraine B] – (10%)
Migraine is a skill, or more of a curse, inherited from the birthplace of one’s previous life. These chronic headaches cause the success rate of mental skills to drop considerably, and disable Nero from demonstrating her talent for fine arts.
Wait what the what?! Migraine, first off, is not inherited from someone’s BIRTHPLACE. Perhaps it’s a bad translation, but anyways, Nero probably didn’t even have migraines. Medical records of the time probably didn’t even list migraine, and even if it did, Nero wasn’t having any significant headaches. Migraine, in its modern definition, causes nausea, headaches, and even ultra-sensitivity to light. Nero wasn’t recorded to have demonstrated any of these traits prominently. The part regarding fine arts is most likely a reference to her atrocious singing in Fate/Extra. This is mostly correct, since Nero did have a passion for fine arts in life, singing, playing instruments, and dancing, though it is noted that her singing wasn’t particularly good despite her best efforts.
Skill 1 – 5/10
Skill 2 [Imperial Privilege EX] – (10%)
Imperial Privilege allows servants to obtain skills they should not have through their insistence. Nero’s passionate soul works well with this skill, granting her skills such as Riding, Swordsmanship, Fine Arts, Charisma, Military Tactics, and more.
How do I judge this thing? Imperial Privilege is basically “You can have this skill because why not”, so let’s first see if she deserves it in the first place. She is definitely imperial, since she was a ruler and all, and she did have a “passionate” soul. Nero was quite driven to do as she wished, creating theaters and encouraging people to take dancing classes. However, her passion remained mostly in fine arts. On another note, let’s also see if she should need Imperial Privilege to have some of these skills. Fine Arts was something she was completely addicted to, so she definitely deserves it without the skill. Riding should also be given in the first place, since she was a skilled charioteer. Other than that, Charisma, Swordsmanship, and Military Tactics weren’t significant skills of Nero in life, so Imperial Privilege should be required to obtain those skills.
Skill 2 – 6/10
Skill 3 [Thrice-Setting Sun] – (10%)
Inspired by Nero’s final anecdote, this skill allows the user to revive themselves up to three times. In the anecdote, a Roman soldier found Nero dead, having committed suicide three days prior. Feeling that her end was pathetic, the soldier covered Nero up, to which Nero briefly opened her eyes and thanked the soldier.
So clearly the above event is fictional, since people don’t just come back from the dead. I couldn’t find the exact anecdotal events this skill talks about, but numerous accounts of Nero’s death (many of which are much more realistic) have similarities to this story. One record states that Nero was found by a Roman Centurion after she stabbed herself through the neck. At the time, Nero was Rome’s public enemy, meaning that anyone could kill her without legal repercussions. The Centurion covered up her neck wound in an attempt to capture her alive. Nero briefly opened her eyes to yell “Too late!” and proceeded on her journey to the afterlife. The event didn’t occur three days after her suicide, and she didn’t thank the soldier (as it would be fairly out-of-character considering her situation). However, similarities are still present, so some of the details around this skill have historical basis.
Skill 3 – 5/10
I would normally talk about the Noble Phantasm here, but her NP is related to her last background so I’ll save it for now.
Character Info – (10%)
Nero’s character info states that she was a self-styled, cross-dressing beauty, known to have been selfish and self-supremacist. However, she was quite open-minded and had almost childlike innocence. She was the fifth emperor of the Roman Empire.
The part about cross-dressing is probably an attempt at justifying her gender-swap. It is not quite true historically though, as even though Nero had one homosexual attraction, she wasn’t known for cross-dressing. Nero was definitely selfish and self-supremacist, as she pursued her own desires wildly despite problems arising throughout the empire. She could also be seen as open-minded, as she introduced and accepted new innovations such as public baths and gymnasiums. She was innocent and childlike, but only in the beginning. Her actions early in her reign was very generous to the public, but later on she showed her darker side through random murders and an assassination of her mother. She was indeed the fifth emperor of the Roman Empire.
Character Info – 7/10
Background 1 ~ 6 – (5% each, 30% total)
Background 1 states that Nero had a height of 150 cm, and originated from Rome. Her alignment is Chaotic/Good, and her comment is “Yeah, you can leave everything to me”.
So Nero was average height in real life. Average height these days is probably much higher than 150 cm, but around 50 AD, the average height was shorter due to different diets and such, so her height seems accurate enough. She did exist in real life, and was indeed the ruler of Rome, though some of her characteristics seem to be inspired by fictional or biased accounts. Chaotic is quite fitting, since Nero was very free-minded and irresponsible in her actions, ruling as she pleased for most of her reign. The Good alignment is debatable, since Nero did randomly kill people, murder her own mother, and brutally persecute Christians. However, she has shown her caring side, offering shelter to citizens after the Great Fire, lowering taxes, and creating public services. Perhaps Neutral would fit her more since she fluctuated quite a bit morally. Lastly, her comment fits her character nicely since she took most political matters into her own hands and acted very independently, for better or worse. (4/5)
Background 2 says that Nero called herself an artist, holding a unique sense of beauty. She loves everything beautiful, including boys, elders, and women, and believes herself to be the supreme form of art.
Several accounts say that Nero said “What an artist dies in me!” as she died. This quote perfectly captures her ideas of being an artist, and also shows her pride in being one. Her unique sense of beauty comes from her distinct charisma as a ruler. Unlike other rulers of Rome, Nero focused on public appearance instead of political action, holding performances often to charm the crowds. Basically, she’s the one kid in class who shows off to everyone to make up for his subpar grades. Regarding loving everything, Nero had a wife (several, actually), and also married a teenage boy after castrating him. So yeah, she liked a lot of different people. One more detail to solidify everything: Nero had a statue of herself about as tall as the Statue of Liberty built in her castle complex. She was quite proud of herself indeed. (5/5)
Background 3 states that Nero considered the happiness and prosperity of the people first, and at the same time remained self-confident, knowing how to enjoy herself. Her singing was so bad it caused nightmares.
Nero did care for the happiness of the people, shown from many of her political actions. While her initiation of these plans weren’t the best received, she did care deep inside. However, she cared much more about herself, aiming to please herself throughout most of her reign. From killing people at night for enjoyment, to creating the Domus Aurea as a place of entertainment (took up about 1/3 of Rome), Nero didn’t care for people as much as she cared for herself. Lastly, the singing is probably a reference to Fate/Extra, and as stated before, her singing was bad but not completely horrible. (5/5)
Background 4 says that from 50 to 60 AD, Nero oppressed the Roman Senate and religious factions. She was called a Tyrant due to her position towards Christians and the Senate.
Oh baby, this is the first time I’ve seen a mistake in timeline. Nero started her rule from 54 AD, and her rule started becoming oppressive mostly around 64 AD. So the years are off, and should be 60 to 68 (when she died) AD if anything. Other than that, she did oppress the Roman Senate when she got paranoid about assassinations and killed numerous senators and officers. Her old advisor committed suicide due to the scandal. She also blamed the Great Fire of Rome on the Christians, persecuting them brutally (eaten by animals, burning them alive, etc.). She was called much worse than a tyrant for all this actually, with some Christians believing her to be the antichrist. After her death, some people killed innocent men that looked like Nero since they believed Nero had returned (like the antichrist in the Bible). (3/5)
Background 5 is the second skill, so I’ll transfer the score. (3/5)
Background 6 talks about a component of her actual NP in F/GO, Aestus Domus Aurea. Subtitled the “Charmingly Beckoning Golden Theater”, this imperial sphere allows Nero to achieve her own aspirations. It is a theater created in her lifetime that is reproduced through magic.
So the Domus Aurea is a real building (you can’t visit it currently due to safety hazards), and it was planned and constructed by Nero after the Great Fire. It was a magnificent building made of marble (super expensive at the time) and coated with gold. It did have a theater, but it mostly acted as a palace complex with numerous other functioning rooms such as baths, housing, and dining halls. Domus Aurea means Golden House, so while the Golden part is right, it wasn’t solely a theater (something something Kintoki X Nero ship). It was also never finished, so allowing her to reproduce it does mean achieving her aspirations, since it was her greatest project as ruler. I’ll link some articles below about how amazing this thing is. (5/5)
Backgrounds 1 ~ 6 – 25/30
Noble Phantasm [Laus Saint Claudius] – 20%
So by lore, this NP takes place inside her previously mentioned other NP, “Aestus Domus Aurea”. Anyways, subtitled “Imperium of the Maiden’s Flowery Words”, this slash shows off the Domus Aurea, and presents a rose-themed slashing attack from Nero. I found little relation between Nero and roses (there was one line about thorns or something but that’s irrelevant), so I suppose it’s a reference to Fate/Extra? Other than that, most details come from the background of the NP, which presents a depiction of the Domus Aurea, and holy hell is it a lot of gold. The depiction is fairly accurate, since the overkill-amount of gold really works in this case. The flowers also provide nice detail, since Nero did have gardens and such inside the complex.
NP – 12/20
Visual Design – 5%
I grade upwards for visual design, meaning I count every correct detail as one point starting from zero.
So cameras weren’t very good during Nero’s reign, which means we have to rely on historical records. Nero was blonde and blue-haired, and was apparently slightly fat. I doubt it’s FGO Julius Caesar level, but it was still noticeable. Some nice details include the wreath, which represents winners of athletic tournaments at the time. Nero did compete in these events as stated earlier. The lion also works nicely since one method of Christian execution around the time was death by animals, with a prominent one being lions. That’s about it. I still have no idea what that thing on her shoulder is, by the way. It looks like a pig with a beret to me.
Visual Design – 3/5
Extra credit just rewards any other detail, and it doesn’t take away points. Well, except for one case.
Gender-swapped: No need to explain the inaccuracies here. (-5 points)
Passive Skill: Riding is accurate as stated before. It does come from Imperial Privilege, so only one point this time. (1 point)
Total: -4 Points
Totaling up the score, Nero unfortunately receives a 62/100. It seems her lackluster skills and gender swap hit her hard. Well, Nero receives “True Name Discernment”, since she definitely needs some improvements. Still, it’s fine for a mobile game. I personally think her NP should simply be Aestus Domus Aurea, which would give herself Attack-Up, Defense-Up, Heal, and Debuff Resistance for several turns, giving her entire team a small Heal as well. Perhaps that would be too overpowered?
Anyways, thanks for reading, and be sure to leave comments if I messed up something, I’ll be quick to correct it. Also, I would love to hear about any references from Fate/Extra, since the game seems packed with fun details. With that said, see you next week~~~!
Some More Stuff about Nero
I guess you could call this the EXTRA facts (ayyy), but here are some random facts. I actually learned about Nero in high school Latin class, where we read about how Nero once tried to sleep with his slippers (like hugging the slippers, not putting them on) and fell asleep while eating. Nero was presented as a complete dumbass in the book, but I learned a lot more while writing this. Nero also had terrible assassination plans. Nero tried to murder his mother by making her roof collapse (if I recall correctly), which ended up killing a servant instead. He also tried to make her boat sink, which still didn’t kill her. He eventually just sent someone to stab her to death. (Probably no one is reading this part so I’m just gonna say that Achilles is the better Rider in Apocrypha, and Astolfo will never be as handsome and charming as Achilles.) Some people believe Nero fiddled while Rome burned, which is completely false since Nero was not even in Rome at the time. He was off traveling, and when he returned, he immediately started arranging shelters and prepared for reconstruction. Some say he did sing though, but no chance of fiddling since violins didn’t exist back then.