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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.
  • Diablo has Tyrael of the Angiris Council to Malthael. He clearly balances out what is right and wrong.
  • 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..
  • 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.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the series' backstory, most prominently seen in Morrowind, the legendary Chimeri (now Dunmeri) hero Lord Indoril Nerevar was The Leader of the nation of Resdayn (now Morrowind), supported by his four councilors. Of them, Vehk (later known as the Tribunal deity Vivec) was his Lancer. Serving Nerevar as a junior councilor (sometimes referred to as "General"), Vehk was younger, more brash, and more hot-headed than the Guile Hero Reasonable Authority Figure Nerevar. Both also came from similar humble backgrounds (Nerevar was a merchant caravan guard while Vehk was the son of poor Netch-herders) before rising to their stations as leaders of the Chimer people, where Nerevar saw Vehk as his protege. Vehk, along with many of the other councilors and the Chimer people, disagreed with Nerevar's plan to Enemy Mine with the rival Dwemer in order to stop the invading Nords. Nerevar's alliance worked, however, and led to the most prosperous time in the history of the Chimer people. Vehk, along with the other members of Nerevar's council, would later betray Nerevar (and his Daedric patron Azura) by using the profane tools of the Dwemer on the Heart of Lorkhan to obtain divinity, possibly even murdering Nerevar in the process.
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    • In Oblivion, the Champion of Cyrodiil is the Lancer and Hypercompetent Sidekick to Martin Septim in the game's main quest. It is Martin who is the most knowledgeable authority on the threats of the Oblivion Crisis, and, due to his Septim blood, is the only person capable of actually ending the crisis. However, you are the one doing most of the work at Martin's behest, retrieving artifacts, closing Oblivion Gates, and hunting down Mankar Camoran. Further, Martin is generally calm and collected, giving off an air of authority. You, being an Elder Scrolls series player character, very likely are not. That said, you are also the Hero of Another Story (two in fact), by very clearly being the chosen one and hero of both major expansions, especially (for the sake of the series' lore) The Shivering Isles.
  • 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 truely 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 Sazh. Being older he may very well have more military experience, but he has less drive as a leader (stepping down from a more active piloting career in order to take care of his son).
  • 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.
  • Fire Emblem
    • Fire Emblem 4: Prince Quan is both the best friend and The Lancer for Lord Sigurd in the first part of the game. He also has his Lancer in the form of his protege Finn. In the second part of the game, Ayra's son Ulster is The Lancer to Sigurd's son Seliph. And so is Leif.
    • Fire Emblem 7: Hector and Lyn * both* fit as Lancers for Eliwood. Just like in Fire Emblem 6, Wolt the Archer and Magical Girl Lilina are sort-of Lancers for The Hero Roy. Hector also has his own Lancer in the figure of General Oswin, and it can be said that Marcus was Eliwood's Lancer before Hector and Lyn stepped in. Matthew the Thief has a short run as Hector's Lancer at the beginning, until Oswin and Serra come in. In "Lyndis's Tale", Lyn had Kent as her Lancer since Sain was a bit more of The Big Guy of her Troupe.
    • In Fire Emblem 8: The Paladin Seth is The Lancer to either Eirika or Ephraim, depending on the route you take. Innes fits more as Ephraim's Rival than Lancer. Considering Gerik and his mercenaries, Marisa the Crimson Flash fits as his Lancer since she's more of an Action Girl than Tethys, the Team Mom. In the case of Joshua, either Gerik, Marisa or Natasha (in a more serious, White Magician Girl-y way) cane become his Lancers through supports as he rebuilds Jehanna ) Rennac is The Lancer in L'Arachel's Power Trio.
    • Depending on how you see in in Fire Emblem 9, either the Fighter Boyd can fit this role, or Ike's support mate Oscar. On the one hand, Boyd is the Red Oni to Ike's blue Oni, on top of being rather level with him in skill throughout the game, both in-universe and out. Being the Love Interest to Ike's sister Mist does him favors. On the other hand, Oscar can fit the bill rather nicely, given that he's more cool-headed than Ike as well as being good friends with him. Really, it comes down to how you see it.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, there are a couple instances of The Lancer among the main cast of characters. Most notable is Frederick, who serves as Chrom's lieutenant. Frederick is much wiser and more experienced than Chrom, preferring a calm approach to conflict and politics, oft being polite but remaining cautious in the face of a potential threat. In battle, his cool nature comes to his aide, and combined with his solid base stats, he borders on being a One-Man Army (Until the other Shepherds reach his level). Because of this, Frederick also fills the role of The Big Guy (being the strongest of the shepherds), but he appeared to be Chrom's tactical aid prior to Robin joining the team.
  • In Gears of War, Dominic Santiago serves as Marcus Fenix's Lancer. No, not as his assault rifle. The character trope!
  • 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 time. 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 Not So Different 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 Loner. 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.
  • 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 prefering 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.
  • 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 comptetence, 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 bit 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 Hotblooded, 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 is a combo attack with his fellow lancers while Morgana has one with his fellow "mascots."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 number by some interpretations:


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