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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

darth_traten: I am currently playing Final Fantasy VI on GBA (this is the second time, the first was the FF Anthology in PSX). I never encountered any evidence showing that Terra has romantic interest on Locke and that Edgar has "unrecruited" romantic interest on Terra. It's only Celes and Rachel for Locke. As for Edgar, the way he behaved towards Terra is just like how he behaves to any other women he meets so it is not an indication. Moreover, Terra has no concept of love, romantic or otherwise, until the Mobliz incident. As for Setzer having romantic interest on Celes, it's only when they first meet because she looks like Maria. Other than that, we never saw any incident showing that Setzer is romantically pursuing Celes. Locke and Celes is the only real love team in your party. Terra, while being the main character, is not part of any love team or any romantic subplot.


Eponymous Kid: Okay, new page picture, and a snappy page quote, now. Bonus points if it's from Jason (or was it Mark? The condor) from Gatchaman.

Silent Hunter: Ah... I tried...

Eponymous Kid: Thanks, though. I didnt't think anyone would agree with me that this trope isn't exemplified by an airplane. I put something in, but I admit to knowing nothing about images, so I don't really know if I did it right.

Silent Hunter: The plane is the Rockwell B-1B Lancer, the second most capable American bomber.

Eponymous Kid: But The Lancer isn't always (or, hell, even usually) "second best", so much as "not as heroic" as The Hero. If he were, The Hero would always come out on top when they inevitably come to blows...
Looney Toons: Uh, Smapti?

Derives its name from Kain, closest friend of protagonist Cecil in Final Fantasy IV, who does indeed wield a lance.

No. The term "lancer" as we use it here is just a bit older than Final Fantasy IV; it's far more likely that Kain wields a lance because he's The Lancer, not the other way around.

Smapti: Conceded. My bad.

Dark Sasami: The question of the origin of this term came up on the Five Man Band Discussion page, and was never answered. Final Fantasy IV was 1991; Voltron, in which The Lancer was actually named Lance, was 1984, so there's a possibility. Do you have some additional insight into this, LT?

Looney Toons: Sadly, no. I was graduating college at that time and had little interest in cartoons; and I honestly can't remember when I first heard the term.

Fast Eddie: About a hundred years before Shakespeare, a lancer was a yeoman (not a Knight, being the important element) who was awarded the privilege of wearing light armor and using a spear (lance) while riding a horse. So, we've got a guy who was not noble, but was kinda dashing. Not a leader, but with a lot of esprit de corp and the swagger that goes with it. That's where Lancer became a term for the type discussed in the entry.

Licky Lindsay: from the shows I am familiar with, and even from reading the descriptions of the ones I'm not, it certainly sounds like the typical Lancer is a more interesting character than the typical Hero (obviously exceptions exist). The hero = obvious, naive, perfect = boring. The lancer = mysterious, worldly, flawed = interesting! The fact that The Chick is usually the hero's girlfriend is ironic because in real life The Lancer would probably get the girl. (And assuming Sir Lancelot was King Arthur's Lancer...)

Malkalypse: Why is Sir Lancelot not on this list? I would think he would qualify as one of the OldestOnesInTheBook, potentially even the TropeNamer.

Tanto: Lancelot's not in a band. Mostly, the King Arthur heroes work independently. The best you can say is that Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere form a Power Trio, but that's about it.

Apart from the romantic triangle aspects, would it be fair to describe Commander Vimes in the Discworld novels as a partially inverted Lancer (he fits most of it, apart from outranking The Hero, and being the main character himself)?

Fast Eddie: "partially inverted Lancer"? Bog, help me. I got that. I don't want to draw a picture of a partially inverted Lancer, though. The idea scares me.

Licky, ... yes. Lancers are the main thing. Heroes are mostly to make lancers seem human, quoth the cynic.

Ununnilium: Sounds painful. But yes; he's in the role of The Hero, but acts like The Lancer, and his Lancer is Carrot, who acts like The Hero.
Tanto: Eh, the Five-Man Band entry puts Renji as Ichigo's Lancer, with Uryu as The Smart Guy and Chad as The Big Guy.

Seth: It's mutable. Ishida is a lancer based on personality, Renji has very similar powers and fighting style to ichigo, he also has a semi romantic (subtext only though) rivalry with ichigo in regard to Rukia. Chad shares the dark side analogy.

Based on personality i would say Ishida was the lancer, but put them all in a group and Renji is closest to him in terms of skill set. Since the rolls are mutable it's kinda hard to Five-Man Band these guys. The only set roles are Orihime as The Chick and Ichigo as The Messiah.

pHilippos42 Wait. The name does or does not derive from Lancer, the androgynous anti-Invid guerrilla from Robotech?

Wanders Nowhere: In the Pirates example there...are you really sure? I thought it was Will who clearly was The Hero (younger and more naive, Jumped at the Call, does everything for ostensibly noble goals, hopelessly in love with Elizabeth, not to mention that whole destiny bit...) and Jack who was the Lancer (more experienced and cynical, unhesitantly leaps into the moral grey areas, mostly selfish motivations, frequent Turncoat, brief romantic entanglement with the hero's girl) Could be a subversion, too, as Will definitely drifts into Lancer territory in the third movie, while Jack becomes more heroic.

Razide: I agree; I'd say will is The Hero. Who is Will more like: Luke Skywalker or Han Solo?

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How about Wolfwood, from Trigun? Seems to suit Lancer to a T.


I shot a teal deer dead on sight; I couldn't help it.

  • TL;DR%** Ironically, Lancer from Fate/stay night actually could fit the lancer personality almost perfectly, but it is completely unintentional (it is highly doubtful they know about this trope in Japan). Despite technically being the enemy, he is the game's speedster, gets along rather well with the protagonists in one route despite *not* being a team player, has his heroic pride and honor while being morally grey, has a thing for the Rin (the heroine of said route), etc...

Umm... Have you ever actually played the game? Because he really does fit pretty much all the characteristics of the role perfectly in the UBW route. Unless I'm misinterpreting it, you also do do an excellent job of coming off as a complete and total prick, as well.

Zeke: This is partly my fault — a while ago I noted at the end, for fun, that "Lancer from Fate/stay night is not remotely The Lancer". Looks like that inspired somebody to try and squeeze him in. I think that's silly, even now that I've played UBW. Come on, the description starts with "right-hand man and go-to guy for the hero"! You could make a case for Rin, but definitely not Lancer. I'm just gonna take the entry out — FSN won't squeeze into a Five-Man Band no matter how hard you push.

Could someone explain the origin of the trope's name since no character named Lancer on the examples list perfectly fist "The Lancer?"

Fast Eddie: Read this discussion. // later: The car joke didn't really work. Punch line before setup. No worky.
Fast Eddie: (later) Pulled the 'joe' image. It doesn't really illustrate the idea in any way.


KJMackley: I've been doing an overview of the different Five-Man Band members and overhauling them. One thing I've found is that they are often very worded and nearly covered in other tropes that only make it confusing. As for this page, the description says that a lancer has to be an Anti-Hero, rival or otherwise darker then the hero. While there are plenty examples of that, I can think of dozens of examples that have the lancer as a close personal friend and far from rivals. A lot of the examples justify that, so I modified the page so that it can accompany those differences. The main thing is that The Lancer is the closest and most reliable ally the hero has, barring a surprising Face-Heel Turn.


masorick: "Other Sentai Lancers are well known for being either Boone Companion (Zyuranger's Mammoth Ranger)". What the hell is a "boone companion" ?