|“|| * There's always room in town, for a couple of clowns!
|~ Lancer, inviting Kris and Susie to return|
Lancer is an antagonist-turned-tritagonist in Toby Fox's 2018 indie RPG DELTARUNE. He is a Darkner, and the son of the King, who is the main antagonist of the game.
Lancer's life leading up to the events of DELTARUNE are left vague, but there are various lines of dialogue that allude to the poor conditions in which Lancer was raised. His father seems to avoid Lancer entirely, unless it's related to the Knight's goals. Despite his father's emotional detachment, he's also overbearingly strict, entirely disallowing Lancer from eating candy or forcing him to shower after swearing. It is implied that Lancer has been physically abused by his father in the past, explaining Lancer's fear of what his father could do to his friends. Lancer has had various underlings working under him, but none of them like him whatsoever. Ever since the Knight has recruited Lancer's father, Rouxls Kaard began acting as Lancer's surrogate father, although even he seems to have conflicting feelings in regards to Lancer.
Lancer first appears in Ralsei's legend, as the representation of what a Darkner is. Immediately after Ralsei finishes his legend, Lancer attacks from the shadows, striking Ralsei down and battling Kris and Susie. He introduces himself as 'the bad guy', insisting that he must protect the Dark Fountain. When he is beaten, he retreats, although it is not long until he is met again. Through various encounters in the Field of Hopes and Dreams, the Scarlet Forest and the Checkerboard, Lancer challenges the Delta Warriors repeatedly, although his attempts are almost always entirely futile. He is eventually called out by Susie, who tears into him verbally, before threatening to murder him. Lancer is overjoyed at this, and thanks Susie for teaching him how to be scary, much to Susie's confusion and embarassment.
Later, Susie leaves the Delta Warriors to join Lancer. The two form their own group, wherein Lancer seems to lose his desire to protect the Dark Fountain and becomes more interested in simply stopping Kris and Ralsei. Through their hijinx, Susie and Lancer quickly bond, becoming best friends through their time spent together. After an especially tiring battle, Lancer insists that he doesn't want to fight anymore, and Susie once again joins the Delta Warriors. Lancer, too, joins them now. The group of four share a profound moment together, as Lancer comes to startling realizaitons about his father, his own purpose, and his friendship with Susie. This moment is ruined as Lancer realizes that, if the Delta Warriors fight his father, someone will inevitably be badly hurt. He responds to this fear by running away, and alerting his guards of the location of the trio, commanding that they are put in jail forever. Susie eventually breaks out of her captivity, only to overhear Lancer once again instruct that they are never let out. Susie, deeply hurt and confused, questions Lancer. Lancer insists that he is only doing this for everyone's safety, but Susie ignores this explanation, believing that Lancer doesn't actually consider her a friend. Susie nearly murders Lancer in a fit of rage, but the two finally vent out their frustrations and they make up. Susie promises not to hurt Lancer's father, reassuring him.
Once the Delta Warriors finally encounter the King, Lancer is already attempting to persaude him away from the Knight's orders. The King is furious over Lancer's alignment with the Delta Warriors, viciously grabbing and lifting Lancer off the ground when Lancer disagrees with his philosophy. The Warriors immediately responds by drawing their weapons, and the King then threatens Lancer's life, forcing them to all kneel. The King tells Lancer to watch as he is about to kill his friends, but Lancer responds by literally backstabbing his father, disorienting him, and running away. The King calls out to Lancer, deeming him a traitor, before fighting the Delta Warriors. When the King is finally defeated, after feigning a change of heart and then betraying the Warriors, Lancer returns, leading a rebellion that kidnaps the King and imprisons him. Lancer explains that he has been made the new king, and he will treat everyone with respect, unlike his father. Before Kris and Susie depart, Lancer invites them to come back whenever they want.
Lancer is silly, rarely ever taking things seriously. As childlike as he is, he seems to hold himself in very high regard, seemingly unaware of just how silly he is. Lighthearted, Lancer is incapable of making enemies. Even the people he should hate, he enjoys the company of dearly, although this is something else he seems to be unaware of.
Hidden deeper than his outward goofiness, Lancer is a deeply troubled child who lives in fear of his abusive father. Terrified to disobey him, Lancer locks his friends away to ensure no one gets hurt by his father, and so that his father in turn also doesn't get hurt. Despite truly wanting to be good, Lancer has had trouble moving past the abuse he's faced.
Although initially bullied by Susie, the two became incredibly fast friends. Lancer idolizes and models himself off of Susie, aiming to be as scary as she is. Despite his original desire to learn her fear-inducing tactics, the two spent almost all of their time together goofing around and getting into childish antics. Stealing money for donuts, lounging around and being fanned by underlings with comically large leaves, and eating salsa out of treestumps are some of the various 'illicit plans' they've gotten up to. Even when Susie nearly takes Lancer's life, she finds herself unable to, as the two have grown to create an incredibly close bond over their short time together. Susie seems to be Lancer's first true friend, and vice versa. Susie helped inspire Lancer to stand up to his father, disobeying his rules and eventually betraying him.
Lancer continuously bullies Ralsei throughout the course of the game, calling him various silly and insulting nicknames. Ralsei would often put up with Lancer's bullying for the sake of appeasing him and Susie. Although they don't become particularly close friends, the two share a deep discussion about Lancer's father, which was likely a huge factor in Lancer's later betrayal against his father.
Despite interacting often, Lancer doesn't even learn Kris' name. Kris is a frequent target of Lancer's bullying, although it's not nearly as personal as the bullying Ralsei receives. When King grabs Lancer threateningly, Kris instinctively draws their weapon to protect Lancer, showing that they do care about Lancer. When the King is defeated, and Lancer takes the throne, he invites Kris to return whenever they want.
Lancer's 'Various Guys'
Lancer's various minions and underlings actively dislike Lancer, to his dismay. While Lancer wishes to have friends, those who work under him only do so by the King's orders. Lancer seems deeply troubled by this. When Lancer is made king, however, they all seem hopeful that Lancer will be better than the King, and it seems they've started to come around to liking him.
While Lancer never actually describes the Knight in any capacity, he, along with his father, were directly put in charge of the Card Kingdom by the Knight. When Lancer betrayed his father, he likely also betrayed the Knight by extension, helping the Delta Warriors to seal the Dark Fountain.
Rouxls Kaard, appointed by the King, acts as Lancer's surrogate father. Although Rouxls privately insults Lancer, he does seem to truly care about him to some extent. After listing off the various ways Lancer annoys him, he asks the Delta Warriors how Lancer is doing. Lancer also seems to occasionally borrow Rouxls' manner of typing, such as when he uses his "Stoole Forme", unnecessarily putting an -e at the end of words. Although Rouxls is inconsiderate of others, he seems to be much more caring than Lancer's true father.
Lancer and his father, The King, have an incredibly poor relationship. The King consistently mistreats Lancer, setting strict rules for Lancer to keep a good appearance as royalty, while being entirely emotionally detached from him. The King also appears to be physically abusive with Lancer, as Lancer is deepy afraid of what his father is capable of doing, being familiar his capacity to hurt people. The King attempts to indoctrinate his son into his morbid, xenophobic way of thinking, to which Lancer accepts until the moment he betrays his father. Once the King is properly defeated, Lancer steals the throne from him and locks him in prison, disowning himself from his father.
- Lancer's name may relate to how a lancer often fights on horseback, similarly to how Lancer always fights on his bicycle.
- Lancer's use of a bicycle, however, is likely inspired by the popular Bicycle brand of playing cards.
- Lancer's design was directly taken from Kanotyne's playing card designs, dating back to 2012. These designs were made unrelated to Deltarune.
- According to Kanotynes, Lancer's look was inspired by a Kewpie Doll.
- Lancer's obsession with digging small holes is a pun, as a small digging tool is called a spade.
- Lancer seems to be able to osmose liquids through his skin.