The Fatal Age Terminator Engine (F.A.T.E.) is the source of the FATE virus, a major plot device in Prologus: Bionic Fantasy.
When legends arose on Ankoku Nui about the coming of a "Warrior of Time" the Choujintei created a machine he calls the Fatal Age Terminator Engine to cultivate and release a virus which kills people at random when the infected reach 17 years old. The FATE virus was not contagious, and it only affected humans. Keeping the existence of the machine itself secret, the Choujintei blamed the Shadow Matoran, which he ironically also created, for unleashing the virus and promised immunization to those who joined Dai-SOLDIER and actively helped him exterminate the Matoran remaining on the planet, save for Crono, who was determined to survive at least long enough to expose the truth.
Much like the thing it is named after, and Sin from Final Fantasy X, the FATE virus was conceived as a presence that could not be avoided by the humans of Ankoku Nui, no matter how hard they tried. On a similar note, the virus' killing of 17 year olds is an homage to a very early concept for Final Fantasy X that "a person would reach the end of life at 17 years of age".
The machine's destruction by Jikanmu's hand is seen not only as him sowing the seed of Scryptorek's demise, but also a symbolic victory against fate in general, or at least the cruel and unfair fatalism established by the likes of unjust deities, and corrupt rulers like Scryptorek.
- The FATE is a culmination of the concepts behind Sin from Final Fantasy X and the similarly named entity from Chrono Cross, as well as Deus from Xenogears, to a small degree.
- Discovering that the FATE virus was generated by a machine of the Choujintei's creation is a deliberate parallel to the discovery of Yevon's corruption, and the Gnostic belief of "hidden knowledge". Through this, Scryptorek, the Choujintei, can be seen as an analogy to the "evil God", or the demiurge, from Gnostic lore, much like Yu Yevon or Deus.
- The FATE is also similar in concept and symbolism to the Fate Alteration Engine in The Vision of Escaflowne.
- Before the name of it's source was revealed, the FATE virus was simply called "the virus", and other similar synonyms.
- Zonan not being affected by the virus even as she reached 17 years old before discovering it was one of the first hints at her being an android.