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The Lancer / Video Games

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  • Though they're technically on opposite sides, the prosecutors from the Ace Attorney series often become closer to The Lancer after a few cases against the main character. Miles Edgeworth serves as more of a permanent Lancer in the story, helping the protagonist out in every game they appear together.
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, the cynical and snarky Anonymous serves as this for Catie, the easily-distracted All-Loving Heroine. Whenever she schemes up some random act of heroism — the kind that would put them off track and delay their actual goals — he’ll usually (and always unsuccessfully) try to talk her out of it.
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  • Breath of Fire III: Rei. Interestingly, he starts the game as a Big Brother Mentor: it's only after the seven-year Time Skip that he returns to a more mature Ryu as his Fragile Speedster Deadpan Snarker Lancer.
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair has Fuyuhiko Kuzuryuu, the Ultimate Yakuza, playing this to Hinata as of chapter 3.
  • Diablo has Tyrael of the Angiris Council to Malthael. He clearly balances out what is right and wrong.
  • Shirou Yusa from Dies Irae fits the traditional lancer role while also playing with it in some interesting ways. He is a distinct foil and opposite to the hero Ren. He has a free-spirited yet reckless thrill-seeker acting as a contrast to Ren's more controlled personality. Yet these two are as often friends as they are beating the living daylights out of each other, with Shirou often finding flaws in Ren's worldviews, something he often does for Ren's own good. And on top of this, he is also deliberately made to fit this role by Mercurius, something that he is less than thrilled about.
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  • Digital Devil Saga: Heat is definitely the Lancer for the Embryon. While the Hero, Serph, is calm and Level-Headed, Heat is reckless and quick-tempered. Serph is Ice element, Heat is Fire. He is the only member to fully embrace his Atma power. Oh, and he pulls a Face–Heel Turn in the sequel, and dies shortly after..
  • In Disco Elysium, the Player Character's partner, Kim Kitsuragi tends to assume this role. The game openly encourages the player to play as a crazy and wacky Defective Detective, meaning that Kim, who is a By-the-Book Cop, Consummate Professional, and, by his own admission, somewhat of a killjoy, tends to try balancing out the player's behavior, by acting as their Straight Man. But by and large, Kim also tends to let the player take the lead, only trying to rein them in if their antics become too crazy and unhinged, turn violent in nature, or otherwise hinder the investigation.
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  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: Etna, vassal of negotiable loyalty to demon prince Laharl. Being his go-to girl, and the one who cheerfully tells him she will kill him and take over if he doesn't prove himself worthy of being the overlord. Her starting weapon also happens to be a lance. Rozalin from the second game (with elements of The Chick later), Almaz from the third, and Fenrich from the fourth also qualify.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Alistair is very much your cheerful, goofy Lancer. Morrigan can have elements of this as well.
    • For Dragon Age II, Varric is Hawke's lancer as well as the sibling that survives the escape from Lothering. He's also the only character who will never leave their side whereas other party members have a chance to either die or leave Hawke. Aveline also serves this role as Hawke's first ally who stays by their side for the rest of the game.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Varric once again fills this role alongside Cassandra, who explicitly serves as your second-in-command once you officially become the Inquisitor. Just like in the second game, they are the only characters that will stay by your side no matter how low their approval drops since other companions can be turned down from joining you and they might also leave if their approval drops far enough.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest III: Although your party are blank slate characters designed by the player, the Warrior is often considered to be Erdirck's main support and second-in-command.
    • Dragon Quest V: Prince Harry to the Hero; even when they're not travelling together it's clear Harry will always have his back.
    • Dragon Quest VI: Ashlynn to the main character. She'll make herself heard even if the group's opinion is different.
    • Erik in Dragon Quest XI is the Luminary's first ally and best friend, Erik's more lawless nature contrasts the hero, but he more often than not still acts as the Luminary's voice. Hendrik takes this role in Act 2, but Erik solidly reclaims the title for the postgame.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • Fate/stay night, the Visual Novel, has a character called 'Lancer', who also fits this trope fairly well; not only is he amongst the most well-rounded of all the Servants (but isn't a protagonist like Saber) but he also plays the role to the hilt when he joins up with the heroes late in Unlimited Blade Works.
    • Though for a large portion of the Novel he's The Dragon to the Big Bad. More fitting for the role might be Archer and/or Rin. Both are definitely snarky (though Shirou can be snarky, it's usually only internal monologues), in addition to being cynical and realist respectively to Shirou and Saber's idealist attitudes.
  • In Fate/Grand Order, any time a Lancer-class servant in your party or as supporting character in the story, is literally this.
  • Fear Effect. Royce Glas is in this position and is the opposite of Hana on a number of things.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Kain from Final Fantasy IV is a good candidate for Trope Codifier: He's Cecil's childhood friend, his most trusted comrade and right-hand ally, and also his greatest rival, primarily in his competition for Rosa's affections. He's the dark and conflicted Anti-Hero to Cecil's noble and righteous Cape, and during a stint where he's Brainwashed and Crazy he acts as Golbez's Dragon. In The After Years he gets appointed the Captain of Baron's airship fleet, and with Cecil as king, Kain is his general now. And here's the real kicker — not only is Kain's weapon of choice spears and lances, but his job class is Dragoon. In other games in the series, the Dragoon job is called "Lancer," meaning not only is Kain the Lancer, he's a Lancer to boot.
    • Barret Wallace from Final Fantasy VII is a unique mix of Big Guy and Lancer, with bonus Token Minority points thrown in. He even founded leads the Well-Intentioned Extremist organization you start off as part of and sometimes seems a little too ready to think of himself as The Hero early on. Ironically, when Cloud leaves the party after being incapacitated by Mako poisoning, it is expected that Barret will lead the party. Instead, he tells Cid, who appropriately wields a lance, that he's the new leader. He then proceeds to be The Lancer to Cid, too. There's also Ship Tease implying a love triangle between Cloud, Barret, and Tifa.
    • Final Fantasy IX rotates this role a bit during the game: it starts as Blank, but he doesn't last very long in the party. Then Steiner takes over the role, before Amarant firmly and truly takes on every trope associated with Lancerdom. Amarant is Zidane's psuedo-rival and has a lot of Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy issues that get solved during the course of the game. Oddly enough, the one character that actually uses lances, Freya, never actually takes on this role at any point in the game.
    • In Final Fantasy X, Jecht qualifies as the lancer to his original team members Braska and Auron. As for the main party, Yuna is The Hero with Tidus as her Lancer. Another interpretation has Titus as the hero, Yuna as The Chick, and Wakka as the Lancer. Or even another with Yuna as the hero, Kimahri Ronso as the Lancer, and Tidus as a modified version of the Chick.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, just as Ashe is the series most standard hero, Balthier is the most standard lancer.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has Lightning backed by Hope. In the early stages, before the entire group rejoins, they become an Action Duo with Lightning teaching Hope how to fight while Hope is the person that Lightning opens up to. Even after the team regroups, Hope will often be the first person to support Lightning's ideas when he's not coming up with his own. Gameplay-wise, they foil each other in fighting style and ability with Hope being a long-range support character and Lightning an up-close damage dealer.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics Ramza has Delita in the first chapter, Wiegraf has Gustav until the latter's betrayal. Agrias replaces Delita as Ramza's lancer from chapter 2 onwards. Cid has Orran, and if you consider Delita an anti-hero, then he has Valmafra as his lancer.
  • Black Rose is this to Kite in .Hack. While he is clearly the Hero, she comes on almost all important missions with him and is almost equally famous in the setting. Her Tsundere personality foils Kites at times. She's not as well due to the character class she plays.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV:
    • Niko Bellic has Little Jacob, who of all his friends, he is the most involved in his activities, providing support in several missions. After Jacob, the closest one is probably Packie McReary, who has a widely different personality than Niko's, but a similar background.
    • Jim Fitzgerald to Johnny Klebitz in Lost and the Damned, since he is his best friend and Number Two while serving as acting president for the Alderney chapter. Jim is also a nice foil to Johnny, being a father and a husband while Johnny has a dysfunctional love life (and that is putting it mildly).
  • In Halo 3, the Arbiter plays the role of Lancer to protagonist Master Chief, being the somewhat hammy Proud Warrior Race Guy to Chief's stoic professionalism. Sergeant Johnson also has this role, being something of a Large Ham himself.
  • Gouenji Shuya from Inazuma Eleven, a depressing, fire elemental ace striker, as opposed to Endou Mamoru, an earth elemental goalkeeper who is a Wide-Eyed Idealist.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Though The Lancer and not The Hero of his ¡Three Amigos!, Riku was the leader by virtue of being one year older and because of his natural drive. He had very clear and strong ideas about what he wanted, and Sora and Kairi followed his lead. Sadly, he was Too Cool to Live, and so fell to The Dark Side. He gets better only after Sora has become clearly much cooler than him.
    • When Riku is on his own in Chain of Memories, Mickey becomes his Lancer, becoming Riku's support and balancing Riku's darkness and cynicism with his upbeat personality and light.
  • Knights of the Old Republic has Carth in the first game and Atton in the second as default, though given the size of your party in both cases other characters might fill the role instead.
    • Indeed, should one fall to the dark side, you could make the case that Bastila becomes this.
    • Canderous could be seen as one in general for the initial duology, given how he's the only non-droid character to be a party member in each game, and his darker character aspects can serve as a contrast to the conduct of canon light-side players.
  • The Legend of Dragoon starts out with Dart getting his lancer in Lavitz Slambert. The dutiful knight of Basil is in stark contrast to the lone wolf. Unlike most iterations of the trope, the two get along great and never have any problems with each other. After Lavitz dies, this role is taken up by Rose, who had interaction with both Dart and Lavitz, but it is expanded after he dies.
  • Starting from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, Celine acts as this for Rean as she keeps him in line for the rash things that he does. She also makes sure that Rean becomes a capable Divine Knight Awakener and helps him even at his darkest moments. They also have a rocky relationship from the start but by the end of the game, Rean ends up trusting Celine and considers her a part of his True Companions. What's noteworthy however is that Celine is a talking cat. By Cold Steel IV, she ends up accompanying Rean at the Black Workshop and helps break him out with just the two of them for a majority of the way.
  • Almost every main character from the numerous chapters of Live A Live has a Lancer to go along with him or her. The most clear example, however, is Straybow, who is both a rival to the chapter's main character Orsted and eventually that chapter's final boss after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Deugan, from the MARDEK Flash game series, is much more level-headed, sensible, and hardworking than the titular hero.
  • In Mass Effect, Shepard has Ashley and Kaidan, the ones with the most dialogue among the crewmates. And as Shepard's character is fluid, they can fill the role of different Lancer types.
    • In Mass Effect 2, Miranda Lawson is the official lieutenant to Shepard, but Garrus actively serves as Shepard's de-facto Lancer. During the endgame, there are points where you need to split the squad in two and pick a second leader — the three good choices are Miranda, Garrus, or ex-marine Jacob. Picking anyone else will end badly.
    • In Mass Effect 3, either Garrus (if he's still alive by this time) or the Virmire Survivor counts as this, though the former counts a bit more, having been by Shepard's side for all three games. This is particularly solidified in the last conversation Shepard has with him, where they state that "There's no Shepard without Vakarian".
  • Proto Man (Blues) often fills in this role in the original Mega Man games. Zero in the X series takes it a little bit further, as his antisocial nature has led to more than one physical fight with X. Dex nails the Lancer role in the Battle Network games.
    • Dex tries, but he comes off as being the would-be hero that manages to do something right...almost never. Protoman and Chaud claim the role of Lancer all over again, being a far more serious threat to both the enemy and the hero.
    • Dex might actually be an inversion. He has nothing but leadership abilities. He's a fantastic leader and motivator but lacks the competence to back it up, which is all Lan's. This would probably be why he ended up mayor of ACDC Town in the series ending.
    • Dex really functions more as a Big Guy of the charismatic Boisterous Bruiser mold. He started out as The Rival, but by the end of the first game, Chaud had moved from Sixth Ranger into the Lancer position.
    • Interestingly enough Mega Man and Proto Man/Zero actual invert the weapon associations, with The Hero preferring guns and The Lancer using swords.
  • Onmyōji: Hiromasa is this to Seimei. While Seimei is mature and rational, Hiromasa is a Hot-Blooded Challenge Seeker who often gets himself into trouble because he loves fighting powerful enemies so much (in fact, the first thing he does when he meets Seimei is to challenge the guy himself to a duel). Gameplay mechanics-wise, Hiromasa is definitely more combat-oriented, having three active attack skills while Seimei only has one.
  • The Orion Conspiracy has the engineer Meyer put in this role for The Hero Devlin McCormack. Meyer loves to cuss. He was a soldier in the Corporation War and is more cynical about it than Devlin. Meyer shows how badass he is by fighting and killing off Captain Shannon and fending off Lowe the xenomorph. Unfortunately, we do not get to see that fight with the xenomorph. He also has a big picture attitude to situations, in contrast to Devlin, who looks at the little details.
  • Persona, since the third game, has had The Lancer be a Bromantic Foil and best friend figure to the protagonist:
    • Junpei Iori of Persona 3. Where the protagonist is stoic, level-headed, an implied ladies' man, and a potential overachiever, Junpei is eager to prove himself, bitter about the protagonist being chosen to lead the team over him, brash, loud, an academic underachiever, and a usually unsuccessful girl-chaser. Despite this, the two are Heterosexual Life-Partners (or Platonic Life-Partners in the PSP port, where a female protagonist becomes available) and Junpei becomes the Only Sane Man along with the dog in the epilogue when they refuse to take sides in the teams' fighting.
    • In Persona 3 FES's playable epilogue, level-headed and socially-awkward Aigis is the protagonist, with passionate and outgoing Yukari acting as the Lancer.
    • Persona 4 gives us Yosuke Hanamura, everyone. While the Protagonist is both The Stoic and a Heroic Mime (aside from battle cries and text speech), Yosuke is much more talkative and chipper, with a little Deadpan Snarker tossed in. While he's very willing to have the Protagonist take over as leader during the early parts of the storyline, his final Social Link scene reveals that he had been envious of the Protagonist's competence, and starts a friendly brawl between the two to knock said impulses out of him. Heck, Yosuke often refers to the P4 protagonist as partner. In the various spin-off games, manga, and anime adaptations where we see P4's protagonist express himself more, it's shown that this bond is equally reciprocated by him, calling Yosuke his partner in return.
    • Persona 5 continues this tradition, though with a slightly more varied cast.
      • The most traditional Lancer is Ryuji Sakamoto, who has elements of The Big Guy in the group. Contrasting against The Stoic, charming and potentially best-in-class protagonist Joker, Ryuji/Skull is Hot-Blooded, very talkative, and prone to getting into trouble. At the same time, he is a very compassionate individual who may not be as confident in himself as he seems (contrasting to Joker, who beneath his quiet student persona is a charming daredevil who loves being a flashy thief). Whenever Joker doesn't spend time with a love interest during plot-related events, the default option is usually Ryuji (barring more familial events, in which case it's with his caretaker, Sojiro). Heck, one of these events (going fishing) has Ryuji pretty much call himself Joker's right-hand man and is regarded as such, even if not often by the group. Lastly, Ryuji looks up to the protagonist and openly calls him his best friend. It's implied the sentiment is returned and Ryuji was Joker's first friend given everything that has happened.
      • On the other hand, there is also the Mentor Mascot Morgana. While he functions more like a Smart Guy, he is usually by Ryuji's side and is the Magician Arcana like it has been in the past. He is the closest to Joker besides Ryuji and it's implied the two's bickering may stem from this competition to be this. Though Persona Q2 seems to imply Ryuji fulfills the role given he has a combo attack with his fellow lancers while Morgana has one with his fellow "mascots." It's something of a plot point as well; at the beginning of the game, Morgana was the most experienced member of the group and taught the others the basics of being a Phantom Thief as well as knowledge of the Metaverse. As the game went on though and more characters came on that filled those roles better and Morgana felt pretty useless, and in typical Lancer fashion, he defects from the group for a while.
      • Joker gets a third Lancer in Goro Akechi, and it's particularly evident in the Updated Re-release. He presented as The Rival to thieves at first in trying to capture them for their crimes and manages to sneak his way into the group through blackmail and forcing them to disband after their alliance is finished. Then he betrays them and nearly kills Joker, but the group had caught on that he was planning on betraying them and put in countermeasures. Over the course of the game, he shares many similarities with Joker in how they're both outcasts who have to put on a facade in the public eye but hide a much more exuberant persona underneath. In the new added content for Royal, Akechi is the most vocally opposed to whatever decision the group decides and asks them the tough questions before acting, and is something of an Anti-Hero to the more morally upright group.
  • Clank from the Ratchet & Clank games: Clank's main role in the duo is to act as the sage, level-headed council to counter Ratchet's impulsive sensibilities (being a Lombax and all). Of particular note is the first game, where Ratchet is only concerned about having a good time (and later getting revenge on Qwark) while Clank's goal is to stop Chairman Drek. It isn't until Ratchet defeats Qwark and realizes it was at the expense of innocent civilians that their goals align.
  • Played with by Aika of Skies of Arcadia. She's Vyse's Number Two and fits this role in the party's clear Five-Man Band, but her personality isn't that different from his; she may be a little more hyperactive and slightly less idealistic, but she's just as much a Hot-Blooded Determinator as he is.
  • In the Sly Cooper games, the titular character becomes that to Bentley. Most of the time, however, Sly is the impulsive, excited one while Bentley is the more concerned and calculating one.
  • Matt Horner from StarCraft II is this to Jim Raynor, an excellent example of the more traditionally heroic character on a less-traditionally heroic team
  • Street Fighter has Ken Masters to Ryu. Ken's a rich playboy with a flair for the dramatic to contrast The Hero that is Ryu's stoicism and discipline. Other examples could include Guile to Charlie and Yang to Yun.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog actually has quite a few Depending on the Writer:
    • From Team Sonic, Tails and Knuckles play this towards Sonic. Tails as the best-friend variant, whereas Knuckles is a Friendly Rival to Sonic. Both them also pull double duty as The Smart Guy and The Big Guy respectively. Tails started off as mainly a sidekick, but soon became a mostly equal partner to Sonic, and tends to be the levelheaded and timid one to Sonic's reckless and headstrong attitude. Knuckles is an antagonist turned friend who takes things much more seriously than Sonic's lackadaisical and carefree approach to heroics.
    • Shadow is an interesting case because he serves as this for two different characters and then inverts it.
      • Like Knuckles, Shadow is also a much more serious foil to Sonic, but also shares many similarities with him as well, both in personality and physical traits. Shadow never formally joins Sonic's circle of friends and instead remains an Aloof Ally, and only works with Sonic when circumstances force them to put aside their differences.
      • In Sonic Heroes, Rouge is listed as the leader, but because Shadow is just so much more popular, many fans erroneously assume that Rouge is his Lancer instead of the other way around, which is exactly what happens many adaptations just go and make Shadow the leader and Rouge as his Lancer.
    • Cream acts as a Lancer of sorts to Blaze in Sonic Rush as she helps her get over her antisocial ways, but this dynamic is dropped afterward.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Post-Divergent Character Evolution, Luigi now acts as the somewhat reluctant companion to Mario.
  • Tales Series:
    • In Tales of Symphonia's initial Five-Man Band, Genis, Lloyd's best friend, plays the role of the more smart and cynical Lancer to Lloyd's idealistic Idiot Hero. Zelos, who joins later, also takes up the Lancer role.
    • Tales of the Abyss has a possibility of two different lancers in the party. Luke, the Idiot Hero, has Guy (Childhood friend, Guardian and possible Rival), or Tear (Action Girl and The Spock).
    • Tales of Vesperia is what happens when you give The Lancer his own game. Yuri is Chaotic Good to the core, unafraid of breaking the law to do the right thing, and frequently gets into arguments with his best friend and rival; Flynn, who takes on the role of a Supporting Leader for much of the game. Yuri himself gets his own, "proper" Lancer in the form of Karol; who is much more cautious and cowardly than Yuri is, but has a more idealistic sense of right and wrong and ultimately develops into a brave leader while Yuri continues to fight in the shadows of other people. Judith, being an extreme Blood Knight, is more of The Big Girl with sprinklings of Lancer traits. She's too similar to Yuri in personality and moral outlook to qualify fully, however.
    • Tales of Berseria has Eleanor Hume. Interestingly, she's also the Sixth Ranger, being the last character to join. While Rokurou acts as a bit of a yes-man for Velvet throughout the game, Eleanor's disposition and her status as the moral center of the team contrasts Velvet's ruthlessness and aggression. The two actually end up being some of the biggest catalysts for the other's Character Development. Velvet inspires Eleanor to stretch the rules for the sake of helping the whole system, while Eleanor largely causes Velvet to ease up in her mission. By endgame, Velvet treats Eleanor like a trusted confidant.
  • North from Three the Hard Way is the best friend and foil to the protagonist, Vance. While the latter is a lazy and pragmatic Anti-Hero, the former is a hard-working and emotional Ideal Hero.
  • In most Touhou Project fanworks, Kirisame Marisa plays this role for Hakurei Reimu. Marisa is the hard-working Badass Normal (or as normal you can be in a world of overpowered girls with magical powers) while Reimu is the lazy genius, and Marisa tends to have her own agenda for solving incidents, while Reimu just wants to get it over with since it's her job. This isn't really played up in the games (except for perhaps Imperishable Night, where they face off against each other) because according to the storyline, the chosen character is the only one that actually goes out and solves the incident.
  • Alicia, from Valkyria Chronicles, is this, with a touch of Team Mom.
  • The Walking Dead
    • Over time, Clementine has been a worthy sidekick to Lee, Jane, Kenny, Luke, Javier (who is initially briefly one to Clem) and Violet, always backing them up in combat and sometimes with decision-making. AJ becomes this to her in The Final Season.
    • Lee seems to serve this role to Kenny or Lilly for the first half of Season 1, who will come up with the plans and the orders, which Lee then carries out.
    • Kenny becomes one to Lee later in Season 1. Christa briefly serves as one to Lee near the end of Episode 5 after Kenny is presumed dead.
    • Rebecca takes up this role in Season 2 Episode 3. Kenny takes the role of leader again, and Carlos and Luke are too busy. She uses this role as any lancer should and counters all of Kenny's plans until it was proven that with some adjustments it would work without a doubt.
    • Kate has been there for Javi ever since the start of the apocalypse, and is his most reliable ally in A New Frontier.
    • Brody, Louis and Violet assume this role at various points in A Final Season


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