Lancer (ランサー, Ransā?) is the Lancer-class Servant of Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald in the Fourth Holy Grail War of Fate/Zero. He is a chivalrous servant who wishes to do his best to serve his Master and obtain victory within the war for the Grail. He shares a bond of mutual respect with rival Servant Saber, wishing to face her in an honorable duel to the death. He is one of the Servants summoned by Ritsuka Fujimaru in the Grand Orders of Fate/Grand Order.
Lancer's True Name is Diarmuid Ua Duibhne (ディルムッド・オディナ, Dirumuddo Odina?), the son of Donn, foster son of Aengus Óg, and first warrior of the knights of Fianna. He is known as Diarmuid of the Love Spot (ディルムッドの愛の黒子?), due to a magical love spot granted to him by a young girl. Any woman who gazes upon the spot instantly falls in love with him, which eventually leads to an encounter with Grainne, the bride of Fionn mac Cumhaill. Gráinne, having fallen in love with Diarmuid at her wedding party, placed a geis upon him to run away with her.
It has been said that, even while at large, Diarmuid stuck to his fidelity to Fionn and did not lay a finger on Grainne. They were pursued relentlessly by Fionn, but after much blood was shed, he decided to recognize their marriage, granted Diarmuid a proper title and land, and welcomed them back as subjects.
Sometime later while hunting with Fionn, Diarmuid was fatally injured by a Demon Boar, the reincarnation of his half-brother. Fionn, who had the ability to transform spring water in to a powerful healing agent was with him, so he had no fear of death. Fionn only needed to walk a few steps to the nearby spring, but with jealousy and hatred towards Diarmuid on his mind, he spilled the water twice. By the third time he went to scoop water, Diarmuid had already succumbed to his wound.
Lancer is regarded as a remarkably handsome man with quirky long hair combed backward in a rough fashion that has a strand hanging down his face. He wears a dark teal outfit, similar to that of Cú Chulainn's. due to their shared Celtic mythology.
Irisviel instantly notes that his features are capable of sweeping a woman's heart at a glance. It is described that the bold features of his face are the high bridge of his nose and his valiant eyebrow. His hard cut mouth marks him with a stoic air, but his eyes seem make his gaze even more brilliant. Takeuchi considers his charm point to be his droopy eyes and button of a mouth. He has a strong, attractive manly scent that rises from him.
She soon realizes his elegant air of beauty is somewhat unnatural. Even though his features are considered handsome, much of it comes from his spiritual power charming women due to the curse of his beauty spot.
Lancer is an extremely proud and noble knight who wishes to serve his lord to the best of his abilities. The geis laid upon him by Gráinne was taken by Lancer as a test of his pride. He never once blamed her for forcing it upon him, and he truly admired her ability to throw away her pride, title, and future for the sake of her love. He was constantly distressed by the fact that he betrayed his lord, and even as he died while Fionn did nothing, he did not blame his lord for his actions. Lancer believed that despite the cruel twist of fate that led him down this path, the days spent with his lord and his love were used to the fullest.
Lancer sees the Grail War as a miracle that will allow him to regain his pride as a knight by fighting noble battles and delivering the Grail to his Master. He sees no use in wishing upon the Grail, as simply being summoned has already half-fulfilled his greatest desire. If Diarmuid appreciated Kayneth's talents and experience, then Kayneth would have treated him with a much softer attitude. To Lancer's disappointment, Kayneth doesn't believe him in the slightest and constantly looks down on his pride as a knight. He constantly berates Lancer, believing that Lancer plans to betray him and take his fiancee, Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri, by using his magical spot. He is also a coward who constantly make demands that would have Lancer betray his code and win by all cost. Despite his Master's distrust and lack of character, Lancer remains extremely loyal, though he fears that Sola-Ui's attraction to him will eventually cause him to betray his Master once more. He happens to be a submissive man as he constantly took abuse from his Master while offering little resistance to stop it.
Lancer adheres strictly to the codes of chivalry and upholds his pride as a knight to the fullest, steadfastly believing in honor during battle. While being pursued by the knights of Fionn, he refused to fight against his former comrades. Despite having been presented with several chances to kill either Saber and Kiritsugu, he refuses to do so due to the circumstances with which he can do so are against his code. During his battles with Saber, he attempts to provide for the fairest conditions possible. His code and pride also forbids him to ignore evil. During the Caster crisis, he even goes as far as to fight alongside Saber, acting as her "left hand", after she suffers the crippling wound from Gáe Buidhe in order to be able to face her in battle again in the future. He is willing to go so far as to destroy Gae Buidhe, so as to allow Saber to use her Noble Phantasm to destroy Caster, simply because Caster himself is a great evil that has to be wiped out, despite the fact that he himself has nothing to gain from it.
Lancer is summoned by Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald in the fourth Holy Grail War instead of the Rider-class Servant, Iskander, whose catalyst was stolen by Waver Velvet. The contract formed with Lancer is unique in that while Kayneth holds the Command Spells, the energy to materialize Lancer is maintained by Sola-Ui, Kayneth's fiancée. Lancer, on the orders of Kayneth, actively makes his location known in order to entice a battle, while Kayneth hides his location. Saber and Irisviel von Einzbern answer this challenge, and eventually Lancer attains the upper hand by successfully striking her with Gáe Buidhe.
Before their fight can continue, Rider interrupts the battle, then followed by Berserker, and Archer. Once Berserker begins to attack Saber, Kayneth orders Lancer to join him and finish her off. As it is against Lancer's code of honor, Kayneth uses a command spell to force him to attack. Rider, who holds similar values of honor to Lancer, decides to force Berserker to retreat, and threatens to face Lancer with Saber if Kayneth doesn't back down. Lancer is later berated for his actions, though Sola-Ui cuts it short by criticizing Kayneth for not actively participating. Lancer stands up for his Master, who is irritated by Lancer because he believes that Sola-Ui has become infatuated with him. Before the issue can be addressed, their base, Fuyuki Hyatt Hotel, is attacked by Kiritsugu Emiya and Maiya Hisau, who destroy the hotel's foundation and collapses it around the three.
When Kayneth and the other Masters are offered a reward of extra Command Spells for defeating Caster, Lancer is sent to kill off the magic-wielding Servant, who at the time is engaged in battle with Saber. With Saber's help, he is successful in dispelling Caster's monster army with Gae Dearg, but abandons his duel with her in order to rescue Kayneth from Kiritsugu. Rendered bedridden and unable to perform magic, the injured Kayneth is forced to hand over his remaining Command Spells to Sola-Ui, whose infatuation with Lancer has escalated to near-obsession. Lancer is uncomfortably disturbed by how his current situation resembles his past life.
Lancer plays a key role in defeating Caster, when the Servant summons a giant monster to wreak havoc on Fuyuki City. He willingly destroys Gáe Buidhe in order to remove the enchantment inhibiting Saber's abilities, allowing her to employ her full power and destroy Caster.
Lancer returns to the last location where he and Sola-Ui were supposed to meet, only to find Sola-Ui's severed hand. Lancer returns to a displeased Kayneth, apologizing profusely for failing to protect Sola-Ui. He tries to ease Kayneth's displeasure by informing Kayneth that Sola-Ui is still providing Lancer with mana, meaning she is still alive. Kayneth remains furious and openly mocks Lancer, on top of threatening to use a Command Spell he obtained from Risei Kotomine to force Lancer's obedience.
Saber and Irisviel later confront Lancer to finish his duel with Saber, but both are unaware that Saber's Master, Kiritsugu, had already formulated a plan to eliminate both Lancer and his Master. They have an equal battle for a time, though Lancer is unsettled by the fact that Saber is simulating the injury from Gae Buidhe. He believes it is out of pity, but she corrects him in that fighting with honor is the only way to draw out her true strength.
The battle ends when Kiritsugu, holding Sola-Ui and him hostage, coerces Kayneth into using his last Command Spell to force his Servant to commit suicide; Lancer is thus forced to drive Gáe Dearg into his own chest. The shocked Servant realises that he has been fatally betrayed by his current Master, just as his former master Fionn had caused his death during his first lifetime. Enraged with his one wish being denied again for others', especially his Master's personal gain, Lancer dies cursing the Holy Grail, Kayneth, Sola-Ui, Saber, Kiritsugu, and the world at large for his fate.
Einzbern Consultation RoomEdit
Lancer appears in the Einzbern Consultation Room, a metafiction segment analyzing the story, that takes place after he dies and becomes absorbed into the Holy Grail. Lancer has amnesia due to the mental trauma caused by the various events of the Holy Grail War, only remembering certain key parts that gloss over his misery. He enters the dojo believing it to be a school of martial arts that he can challenge, but he is told by Irisviel von Einzbern that they provide consolation. Student 0, temporarily falling under his curse, consoles him on not being able to remember his Master and his wife, telling him to forget his painful past, including his relationship with Grainne. Though she convinces him that he must have died nobly in combat against Saber, Lancer wishes to progress a proper and noble Grail war to a romantic relation with Saber. Irisviel, acting as an agent for the Grail's corruption, brings back his despair by making him remember the true nature of his death before being fully absorbed.
Lancer appears as an unlockable character in Fate/unlimited codes. To unlock him, you have to unlock Saber Alter and Leysritt. To make him show up, you have to get at least three KOs with supers (if game is set to best of 3) before reaching stage 5. Beat Zero Lancer and continue clearing arcade to unlock him. He is known as Zero Lancer (ゼロ・ランサー, Zero Ransā?) with the title Loyal Knight of the Fianna (忠誠なるフィアナの騎士, Chūseinaru Fiana no Kishi?). Unlike the other characters, he lacks any sort of story mode.
He notes that it is an undeserved honor to receive the chance to take up arms again, saying that he will not let the chance go to waste. Should he defeat Saber, he exclaims that it was the conclusion he had sought, and that he is thankful for having the opportunity to challenge her once again. He also notes that it is an unbelievable honor to face Lancer, a memory he will cherish deeply.
|Fate/unlimited codes - Zero Lancer command list|
Holy Grail Burst Super Move:
E Pluburis Unum: The Grand Battle of Legends in North AmericaEdit
Diarmuid appears in the "E Pluribus Unum" Singularity. He serves as a part of the Celtic army under Medb. He and Fionn mac Cumhaill attack Ritsuka Fujimaru, Mash Kyrielight and Florence Nightingale. They face the Protagonist's party again on Alcatraz and are finally killed there.
Salomon: The Grand Time TempleEdit
In his interlude, Twin-Spear of the Rose, Diarmuid tells a portion of his Noble Phantasms' power is sealed. Mash suggests asking Romani Archaman to investigate for clues. Romani states there would be a clue about a Noble Phantasm seal in the era that Heroic Spirit lived, but he didn't sense anything. He then deduces Diarmuid sealed his Noble Phantasms himself due to either a malfunction in the summoning or a subconscious. He suggests diving into Diarmuid's mental landscape to solve the issue. While Diarmuid rejects it, Ritsuka accepts it. The group then enter Diarmuid's mental landscape. Diarmuid then leads the others in search of clues for why his Noble Phantasms are sealed. After defeating the guardians of his mental landscape, the seal on Diarmuid's Noble Phantasm is partially undone. The group then proceed to Fionn mac Cumhaill's castle. There they encounter the Knights of Fianna, who explain Fionn is waiting Diarmuid elsewhere. After defeating the knights, the group confront Fionn in the forest where Diarmuid died. Fionn accuses Diarmuid of being unable to truly get over his regrets and resenments over his death. He confesses he is the manifestation of Diarmuid's resentment. After Fionn is defeated, Diarmuid accepts he hold some resentment towards Fionn. His decision to hold to something precious to him fully unseals his Noble Phantasm.
- Lancer was featured in Chariot Man: A True Tank Man (戦車男, Sensha Otoko?), a parody film of Densha Otoko. Lancer is the son of Sola and Kayneth and the older brother of Waver Velvet, he loves his sister. The story is expanded in TYPE-MOON 10th Anniversary Phantasm comic. Diarmuid was insulting Iskander's lack of gift knowledge when Waver was gifted with a Saber figure. The discussion came to an end when Waver dived to save the figure. Diarmuid still doesn't approve of their relationship. He accidentally trips but he was saved by his mother and his mother was saved by his father.
- He was featured in Mysterious Planet An Sa Ra (不思議惑星アン・サ・ラ, Fushigi Wakusei An Sa Ra?).
Lancer is called Diar-something-kun (ディルなんとか君, Diru-nantoka-kun?) in Fate/GUDAGUDA Order.
Diarmuid is an extremely accomplished spearman, capable of skillfully using two spears of different lengths with blinding speed and agility. Diarmuid has exceptional speed, the highest rank possible for a Servant, and a high Strength rank, though the rest of his statistics are much lower. Although his basic parameters are not particularly high, he excels at using battle tactics designed to trip up enemies stronger than himself. In particular, he is the natural enemy of those Heroic Spirits which rely on the power of their Noble Phantasm to fight. He obtains no geographical boosts from the cultural sphere around Japan, and due to his greater mana supply from his Master, he is stronger than Cú Chulainn in terms of pure firepower. Should both of them fight in Ireland, Cú Chulainn would gain an edge over him. Although Lancelot was a powerful enemy against all other teams fighting in the Fourth Holy Grail War, Diarmuid would have an advantage against him due to compatibility. Also qualifying for the Saber class, it is likely that it was Kayneth's original expectation to have summoned him in that form.
Diarmuid has amazing warrior prowess as seen in his fight with Artoria, where despite having his back turned to her and not seeing her, he was able to put her completely on the defensive, with no opening for a counterattack. Even when he resorts to utilizing just one spear, which is not his preferred style, he is still able to fight Saber without being at a disadvantage. In addition to his close-quarters combat prowess, he is confident that he is able to hit Caster's grimoire from the shore of the river with his lance if he can glimpse it for just a moment. This is a throwback to his legend, where he used the same lance to strike down a flying witch after he was in great pain from having been hit with poisonous darts.
Depending on his strategy, he could have won the entire Fourth Holy Grail War or suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of Hassan of the Hundred Faces. While he usually follows the codes of chivalry during the War, it would be possible to have him to use underhanded tactics to have a better chance at claiming the Holy Grail. Convincing him that Heaven's Feel is filled with filth instead of an honorable battleground with other heroes and avoiding contact with Saber to keep him from awakening his Chivalric Pride would allow him to utilize Gae Buidhe in a hit and run strategy. Briefly engaging opponents in order to land precise hits with the spear and then retreat would become the main form of attack. He would not directly engage them, allowing him to cripple his opponents one by one by repeatedly attacking them. The other tactic would involve manipulating or taking advantage of Team Berserker in order to let Berserker defeat other Servants and fight him in the final battle.
- Magic Resistance (B Rank): Cancel spells with a chant below three verses. Even if targeted by High-Thaumaturgy and Greater Rituals, it is difficult for them to be affected.
- Eye of the Mind (True) (B Rank): Capable of calm analysis of battle conditions even when in danger and deduce an appropriate course of action after considering all possibilities to escape from a predicament. He is extremely insightful, as he is capable of leading Saber, whose Instinct skill allows her to avoid danger, into a well thought out trap. By utilizing her lack of knowledge of Gáe Buidhe, he made Saber believe that he had simply abandoned it, and later managed to lure her into a position where he could freely kick it towards her.
- Love Spot (C Rank): A spell (curse) inherent of one's facial features which is cast as soon as the target looks at the user's face; a Mystic Face. Enchants those of the user's opposite sex with magical energy. It is because of this curse that he is known as "Diarmuid of the Love Spot". A woman who confronts Diarmuid gains a strong love affection for him. Effects are similar to those of Charm-type Mystic Eyes. Avoidable with the Magic Resistance Skill.
- Knight's Strategy (B Rank): A battle methodology in which one grasps the flow of battle and induces the opponent to make a mistake, even without being a match for him/her in strength. A Skill not for self-strengthening, but to invite a check failure for the opponent. Consists of composed observation powers to wager on a momentary chance of victory.
His Noble Phantasms are his twin spears, Gae Buidhe, a spear that makes any wounds caused by it unhealable, and Gae Dearg, a spear renders magical defenses powerless by piercing through mana. He keeps them tightly wrapped in amulet cloths from their tips to the handles, sealing their abilities and acting as a counter-measure to avoid revealing their names by hiding the shafts of the weapons. Their abilities begin working immediately after undoing them from their bindings.
Toshiyuki Shirai (Animator Director) first debut in episode 16. His young and vivacious pen draws Lancer and Saber's lively battle, as well as the anguished expressions on Lancer and Kayneth's faces. He said the plan for Lancer's scene was to have him turn into particles of light and fade away. But since he was the type of person who would have cursed everything as he died, Toshiyuki changed it so that he would be enveloped in black mist and crumble away. Even though it was a last-second change of plans, he said it was thanks to the staff who churned out terrific elements, it ended up being a memorable scene.
Creation and ConceptionEdit
He was a rare character to write for Gen Urobuchi because he normally views beautiful characters as either evil or stupid as an ironclad rule following that, if a man is too beautifully formed, his life would become truly miserable.
Kinoko Nasu carefully picked out the tragic Celtic hero. It surprised him that Urobuchi, who faithfully followed the beginning of Fate/stay night's story where Saber beaten the Lancer at the start of the story, but he also copied its ending where Lancer committed suicide.
He was designed by Takashi Takeuchi as having the manner of an English rocker.
Takeuchi calls Lancer as the faithful dog while Kayneth the stubborn man.
Hikaru Midorikawa (Voice actor of Lancer) said Lancer had quite a few of scenes, but he was struck by the scene where he curses them as he dies (episode 16), and by the way he's shown as being so vigorous in the first half of the episode. He was so lively that when he's forced to kill himself, you feel sorrier for him. Midorikawa thought his suicide scene was handled delicately. There's an illustration for that scene in the original (the TYPE-MOON VERSION). But they presented it differently in the anime. Midorikawa was really impressed at how well they pulled it off. Midorikawa wished that they allow Lancer and Saber to go on fighting forever as Lancer seemed to be enjoying himself.
Toshiyuki Shirai said Lancer was really popular at Ufotable, with his, "I'm glad I met you!". He was nicknamed "Sparkling Lancer," and the day after he finished the keyframe art, copies would be posted at the animator's desks, and some of the girls even added world balloons that made him say "My Master!"
- In the Type-Moon's 10th Anniversary Character Poll, Lancer was ranked 28th.