Gáe Bolg (ゲイ・ボルク, Gei Borugu?, "Gáe Bulg" in Fate/unlimited codes) is a cursed spear with an ominous design that was obtained from Scathach in the Country of Shadows by Cú Chulainn and one of the many weapons inside Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon. Its name is derived from the term for "serrated throwing weapon", ga bool’ga, evoking an image of lightning. Scathach had wished for him to slay her with the spear, but she had already ceased being mortal by the time he received it from her. It is a glory given to only the most gifted of warriors, and it was not utilized once after he left the Land of Shadows until his fight with his close friend, Ferdiad. He later used it again on his son, Connla, when he was backed into a corner during their fight. The spear leaves behind but one regret: that it has only taken away the lives of his loved ones. It killed his one and only close friend and his son that grew up in a distant land, even though it was meant to have killed one woman before them.
It is unique in that it functions in two different ways, each different enough to have them be treated as separate Noble Phantasms. The Anti-Unit thrusting technique of the spear is the main offensive ability he utilizes, but the Anti-Army throwing ability is the spear's true function as a throwing weapon. It is descended from Gungnir: The Declaration of the Elder God (大神宣言, Ōkami Sengen?), which belongs to Odin in Norse mythology, and Brionac: The Five Roaring Stars (轟く五星, Todoroku Go Sei?), the lance of the Celt god of light and Cú Chulainn's father, Lugh. Due to its large size, it was said that no one but Cú Chulainn was powerful enough to wield it as a throwing weapon, and some stories say that he threw it from the fork of his toes to increase its power.
Barbed Spear that Pierces with DeathEdit
|Title:|| Barbed Spear that Pierces with Death|
Spear of Barbaric Impalement (English version of Extra)
|Transliteration:||Sashi Ugatsu Shitoge no Yari|
|Maximum number of targets:||1 person|
Gáe Bolg: Barbed Spear that Pierces with Death (刺し穿つ死棘の槍, Sashi Ugatsu Shitoge no Yari?, also translated as Spear of Impaling Barbed Death) is an attack focused on a single target, created by Lancer to suit his own style, that strikes a fatal blow that always pierces the opponent's heart and ruins their body from within with its thousand iron thorns. It literally freezes the mana in the air, and it can easily be perceived as a sure-kill technique by all those around simply from being charged with magical energy. Once Gáe Bolg's name has been called, the cursed spear reverses the nature of causality, the meaning of "cause and effect" in the order of things, to make it so the cause of the "lance being thrust" comes from the effect of the "opponent's heart being pierced" by it. It determines the opponent's fate simply through its use, an always fatal move that pierces the heart with one thrust. It is also possible for him to activate it without actively striking the heart. It is an attack on destiny itself, and while not a surprising fact due its wielder's demi-god heritage, it is a top-notch power even with its seeming limitations in power due to being a step away from the Authority of the gods.
The actual action of the thrust is merely a formality, as the lance has already pierced the opponent's heart before the attack has even started. The "result" of "the heart of the opponent has been pierced" is created earlier than it is thrust, while the "cause" that "the lance has pierced through the heart" is generated later. Aside from great luck, it is a technique that determines "if it is released, the opponent is dead." Its range of effectiveness and power are weak compared to its other ability, but it has a low energy cost. Even with its nature of interfering with destiny and effect of "almost certainly will destroy the enemy's heart", the attack only utilizes magical energy in the double digits compared to a single spell from Caster costing hundreds of units of magical energy, and each activation is a sure kill, making it one of the most efficient Noble Phantasms with extraordinary usability that can be used up to seven times before Lancer must obtain more magical energy from his Master.
The lance can move at impossible angles, signified by turning into a red beam of light, that always manages to reach its target. Even if he thrusts directly at the feet of the opponent, such as in the battle with Saber, it will immediately point upwards towards the heart without growing, bending, and or any movement from Lancer, and if it is thrown from a distance of ten meters, or rather than truly being a throw, "Lancer's own body is fused with his soaring spear", it will manage to reach the target without fail. This action looks completely normal to onlookers, as if it were already piercing the heart, because rather than truly changing its course, it changes the means to match the result, simply as an action meant to prove the fact that the heart was pierced. It can only be used against living beings, so it would have no particular effect against inanimate objects like rocks or houses.
The lance curses the target upon striking them, delivering wounds that cannot be healed while Gae Bolg still exists in the world. While Lancer mentions that even a regular thrust through his heart would be hard to heal, being struck by the Noble Phantasm gives the greatest effect. As the "lance of cause and effect", it curses them, leaving them unable to change their fate without great luck. Those who are cursed will bear the wound until they die unless Lancer is killed or the spear is destroyed. Saber is only able to heal her wound on the outside, while she is able to fully heal a much greater wound from Berserker in a matter of hours, and she is plagued by it for weeks afterward. Shirou is able to recover slightly with Avalon, but the wound still persists until Lancer's death. Its curse is no longer effective against him with the scabbard's protection, but it takes over half a day to heal even with its potent regenerative abilities.
The attack delivers damage equal to the opponent's own health limit plus the damage from the spear itself, so the wound will be fatal no matter the opponent once they are struck. If the target has "100HP", the attack will deliver "the damage caused by the spear + 100." This makes it especially effective against those with high durability, even those who can survive being hit by Excalibur. Even someone like Arcueid Brunestud, who is very much superior in numbers compared to Lancer would be killed as long as she wasn't saved by her luck. There is a small disadvantage against Servants who can move around even without their hearts like Heracles. The wounds from its attacks are rather clean, spilling only a small amount of blood compared to a regular wound of comparable size, and while a heart would normally explode from such a strike, it instead stops working with the single strike.
It is like Tsubame Gaeshi in that the best measure against it is to not allow it to begin. Unlike Tsubame Gaeshi, which there is no way to stop once it has been used, it is possible to find a countermeasure for Gae Bolg once it is found out that it will go for the heart. It is impossible to dodge the thrust of the lance, no matter how agile, well guarded, or far away from the lance the opponent is standing. Even having EX rank agility would be useless, so the only benefit would be allow the opponent to back out of the attack's range before it is initiated. While it would normally be ineffective against Berserker's God Hand, Lancer could take at least one of his lives by using his runes to power up the rank of the lance to A to bypass God Hand's nullification ability.
The only way to effectively defend against the attack is to have a high enough degree of luck or divine protection as to be able to alter fate, which would be heightened by also having good reflexive instincts, an auto-resurrection ability, a shield that overwhelms the magical energy of the lance, or, as a countermeasure of knowing it will strike the heart, by following Archer's strategy of quickly backing out of the attack's range before it is initialized. Even if the opponent manages to avoid it with luck, as with Saber, it still leaves a heavy wound on her that takes a long time to fully heal.
The conceptual strength behind it is strong, so it will clash with something like Fragarach. Even if Lancer is killed and the attack is nullified by returning it to before it was activated, such as when going against Fragarach's unavoidable counterattack, the lance's curse will wind back to the moment "Gáe Bolg" was chanted in order to carry out its purpose of striking the heart. Fragarach alters the order of events, but Gae Bolg reverses cause and effect. It has already pierced the heart as the result, so even its master's death will not impede it from fulfilling its duty. The two opposing laws clashing against each other leaves both Lancer and Bazett dead afterward.
Soaring Spear that Strikes with DeathEdit
|Title:||Soaring Spear that Strikes with Death|
|Transliteration:||Tsuki Ugatsu Shishō no Yari|
|Maximum number of targets:||50 people|
Gáe Bolg: Soaring Spear that Strikes with Death (突き穿つ死翔の槍, Tsuki Ugatsu Shishō no Yari?, also translated as The Spear of Striking Death Flight), which is the true use of Gáe Bolg, is the largest and most powerful attack delivered using the spear. It is the “attack that unleashes countless darts at the enemy” that is spoken of in the legends. It is the attack that made him a hero which utilizes the full potential of the lance's curse, converting all of Lancer's magical energy into energy and releasing the accumulated power after the spear is hurled, detonating on impact with enough power to blow away a multitude of enemies.
Lancer prepares to use this ability by backing one hundred meters away from his opponent, taking a crouching position on all fours, and accelerating through an approach run by dashing fifty meters before taking to the skies. He arches his back as if drawing a bow and hurls it towards the ground with all his might. It distorts space to create a "tapestry of action" that splits into numerous spearheads that pour down over the enemy. It is said that it split into thirty in his legend, but it seems that the number has increased after Cú Chulainn became a Heroic Spirit. Compared to the very little usage of magical energy with the anti-unit technique, this ability has an intense consumption of energy.
It does not carry the property or concept of “always pierces the opponent’s heart”, but both the power and the area of effect are increased. Rather than dispatching a single foe with absolute accuracy, its focus as a technique is to attack the enemies together with the surrounding area in a carpet bombing fashion to cause massive destruction. Due to being hurled with all of his energy, it cannot be dodged or blocked under normal circumstances. Even resilient bulwark or agile body are not immune to its power, so Gáe Bolg will send the enemy horde flying. If it were to also have the ability to directly strike the heart, it would be closer to the level of Lugh's power as a higher level version of Fragarach. The idea that Archer is capable of blocking it with Rho Aias after the spear pierces through the first six layers seems impossible to him.
The form and damage caused come close to Lugh's Brionac, but having the ability "No matter how many times it is dodged, it will strike the enemy" makes it a Noble Phantasm closer in nature to Odin's Gungnir. Archer comments that it surpasses the original Gungnir in power, and that out of all the spears he knows, it is the only one able to pierce more than one layer of Rho Aias. The spear travels at Mach 2, and the farthest he has thrown it is forty kilometers. Shirou believes that his actual range could extend to the other side of the Earth. Lancer thinks only two other people, three conditionally, in the world could beat that record.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2
 Fate/complete material II: Character Material - Weapons: Gáe Bolg, p.132
The demonic spear used by Lancer. It is a cursed spear with an ominous design. It will unerringly pierce an opponent’s heart, and can annihilate dozens of people with a single throw.
In Celtic mythology, it is the legendary demonic spear possessed by the demigod Cú Chulainn. Because of its huge size for a throwing weapon, nobody except Cú Chulainn was powerful enough to wield it. In some stories, the spear is thrown from the fork of the toes in order to increase its power. The name of this throwing technique is also “Gáe Bolg”.
It is said that it would scatter into countless arrowheads when thrown, wiping out multiple opponents in a single throw. The name Gáe Bolg derives from “ga bool’ga” (serrated throwing weapon), which evokes images of lightning.
伝説では、ケルト神話に登場する半神クー·フーリンが持つ魔槍。投擲用だがとても巨大で、力強く鍛えられ たクー·フーリン以外には扱えない武器だった。一説には威力を増すために足を使って投げていたと言われてい て、その投擲法の名前が“ゲイ·ボルク”であるとも言われている。
また、投げると無数の矢じりを撒き散らし、一撃で多くの敵を倒したと言われている。ここから “ga bool'ga（ぎざぎざの投擲武器）”という、稲妻を示した名前が付けられたとされる。
Brionac explanation Lugh's spear is normally either Areadbhar, Gae Assail, or the spear Lúin, but according to the corresponding Japanese Wikipedia page for the latter, Brionac was the name of Lugh's spear ; that spear is described in the Japanese Dictionary of Magic Tools (魔導具事典, Madōgu Jiten?) as having its tip split in five, and the light shot from each spear point could kill five enemies at once. It also says this is the spear that was used with a sling to pierce Balor's mystic eye (though other versions say this was done with a tathlum, a large forged rock projectile thrown with a sling). The spear Lúin was found in that same battle, leading to the association of Brionac to the spear Lúin. It appears "Brionac" is the name in Japanese only of the spear from the city of Gorias, one of the Four Jewels of the Tuatha Dé Danann (that spear is usually unnamed in known surviving Celtic literature). Other Japanese literary sources for the name can be found listed in here.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9
 Fate/complete material III: World Material - The Servants of the Fifth Holy Grail War: Lancer, p.022-023 [T]
Master: Kirei Kotomine
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Weapon: Armour, Spear
Noble Phantasm: B
Once Ireland was called Erin, which means "green" in Gaelic. In this land named after its abundant greenery, there was a boy with great talent. His name was Sétanta. It is said that his father was the sun god Lugh and his mother was royalty. One day, he accidentally killed the guard dog protecting the house of master blacksmith Culann. Sétanta alone strangled to death "Culann's savage dog" that was well-known to have the strength of ten men. In order to compensate for this deed, for a while he himself would carry out the duties of a guard dog. Consequently, all began to call the boy "Culann's savage dog" i.e. Cú Chulainn.
In time, the grown Cú Chulainn was accepted as a member of the famous Akaeda Knights. His actions after that rendered him unmatched. He went to the "Land of Shadows" to fulfill his own love; there with incredible magic and unrivaled demonic spearmanship, he acquired Gáe Bolg. Cú Chulainn had become invincible but the sun still set. At a young age, a close Druid's prophecy said "in exchange for glorious deeds of valor, his life would be short" and accepting such a fate, he smiled and laughed.
In his final battle Cú Chulainn battled furiously and died pierced by his own magical spear. A crow landed on the shoulder of his standing corpse in his death. It is said that it was the incarnation of the witch Morrigan who continued to give him her unrequited love.
Naturally by his own beliefs, he prefers to fight with his full power as a warrior. However, due to the Command Spell of his Master Kotomine "Fight with everyone, then withdraw," he was commanded to involuntarily perform reconnaissance missions. Even in the middle of his first battle with EMIYA, he showed decisive action by leaving the battle to kill Emiya Shirou whom he recognized to have witnessed it. The withdrawal was also very skilled, giving the appearance of realizing that the situation was unfavorable. Contrary to his legendary battle prowess, Cú Chulainn's fighting in the Fifth Holy Grail War was extremely limited.
Magic Resistance: C
Cú Chulainn holds a Magic Resistance of Rank C. Aria of two verses and below are cancelled, but beyond that High Thaumaturgy and Greater Rituals cannot even be defended against. That said, confronting a Servant of his superior speed (Agility A), finding the opportunity to use large-scale magecraft is next to impossible. Also, considerable skill is required to successfully "hit" him with the invoked magecraft. Judging from these factors, in situations of close combat, Cú Chulainn may have a "necessary and sufficient" rank of Magic Resistance.
In addition, as depicted in legend, he himself learned magecraft (18 Original Runes) in the "Land of Shadows", taking pride in having the skill and knowledge to qualify for Caster class. Even in a scene of the story, he sees through the presence of Medusa's Blood Fort Andromeda at a glance, considers the situation, and makes the decision not to destroy it. Cú Chulainn is not just a reckless warrior.
Battle Continuation: A
Legend tells that the dying Cú Chulainn tied himself to a tree before taking his last breath. For he who possesses such a legend, the dying struggle is particularly fierce. Even in a hopeless battle, Cú Chulainn was still able to demonstrate astonishing tenacity, delaying Gilgamesh for half a day.
Against Emiya who dextrously fended off his spear thrusts, Cú Chulainn countered with an unyielding fighting spirit.
The ability to withdraw from the battlefield in the midst of combat. Having been commanded to go on reconnaissance missions by his Master Kotomine, it can be said that this ability was fully demonstrated. From the start, Cú Chulainn excelled in seeing through battle situations, and had the responsibility to wage war and withdraw repeatedly from all the Servants.
Cú Chulainn obtained 18 Runes from his studies with Scáthach (Norse Runes), appropriately using them to respond in different situations. It is said that among these runes, one with the purpose of searching existed. It was the ability that supported his elusive actions during the Holy Grail War.
Protection from Arrows: B
Ability to deal with projectiles. This is a power Cu Chulainn was born with. It's said that it's possible for him to avoid any long range attack if he has made visual confirmation of his opponent. He can deal with most projectiles even in conditions where the opponent cannot be visually seen. Even if the battle with Hasan Sabbaha, he cancelled the throwing swords hurled from the darkness. As long as the attack is a thrown type, he can avoid even Noble Phantasms, but he can't gain the effects of this protection with respect to wide range attack types where the attack range of the weapon explodes on impact, or a direct attack by a weapon that has simply long reach.
The circumstances behind Cú Chulainn's great divinity is his father's existence. His father was Lugh, the god who governed over the sun, a member of the Danann divine family in Celtic Mythology. As a demigod whose father was an almighty god who possessed every skill such as knowledge, techniques and magic, and whose mother was Deichtine, younger sister of King Conchobar, he exhibited superior talent from birth. Boasting supernatural ability that separated him from ordinary people from a young age, in his training in the Land of Shadows, he received the original runes and terrible magic spear Gaé Bolg from Scáthach. Truly, he was a man predestined to become a hero. In Ireland, poetry and statues praising Cú Chulainn still remain to this day.
Gáe Bolg: Spear of Piercing Barbed Death
Maximum targets: 1
While this is a technique employing Gáe Bolg as a melee attack, it is originally a magic spear for throwing. With a technique that reverses the meaning of "cause and effect" in the order of things, the "result" that "the heart of the opponent has been pierced" is created earlier than the moment it is thrust. Accordingly, the "cause" that "the lance has pierced through the heart" is generated from it later. Without a great deal of luck (like Artoria), it can be said that this is a technique that determines "if it is released, the opponent is dead." However, against Servants like Heracles who can move even when their heart is destroyed, there is a small disadvantage. Compared to the Spear of Striking Death Flight, both the range of effectiveness and the destructive power are weakened. However, it is worth mentioning that "the magical energy cost is low." For having such a strong effect as "almost certainly will destroy the enemy's heart," without the need of a terrible amount of magical power, it becomes an excellent Noble Phantasm of extraordinary usability.
Gae Bolg: Striking Death Flight
Maximum Targets: 50 People
The largest and most powerful attack delivered using Gae Bolg. The “attack that unleashes countless darts at the enemy” which legends speak of is Gae Bolg – Striking Death Flight. After accelerating through an approach run, Cú Chulainn takes to the skies and activates Striking Death Flight by hurling it towards the ground with all his might.
Different from Gae Bolg – Piercing Death Thorn, Striking Death Flight does not carry the property or concept of “always pierces the opponent’s heart”, but compared to Piercing Death Thorn, both power and area of effect are increased (intense consumption of Magic Energy). It is a technique that attacks the enemies together with the surrounding area, in a carpet bombing fashion. Even resilient bulwark or agile body are not immune to the power of Striking Death Flight; Gae Bolg will send the enemy horde flying. In legend, the demonic spear is said to split into 30 and pour down over the enemy, but it seems the number has increased after Cú Chulainn became a Heroic Spirit. During the battle with Emiya, Emiya spoke of Striking Death Flight “exceeding the original, Gungnir – Declaration of the Great God”.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3
 Fate/EXTRA material - SERVANT Parameter and Skills: SERVANT LANCER, p.016
- Master: Rin Tohsaka
- Identity: Cú Chulainn
- Gender: Male
- Height, Weight: 185cm/70kg
- Alignment：Lawful Neutral
- Strength: B
- Endurance: A
- Agility: A
- Mana: C
- Luck: E
- Noble Phantasm: B
- Magic Resistance : C
- Battle Continuation: D
- Divinity: B
- Gae Borg: Barbed Spear that Pierces with Death
Range: 2 ~ 4
Maximum number of targets: 1 person
- Master: Rin Tohsaka
Fate/stay night - Fate route - Day 15: Saber, to the Church
"He stayed alive the last time I did for some reason, so I 'pierced' him for sure this time. Don't worry. I didn't hit his heart. But the curse is still there."
 Fate/EXTRA material - Encyclopedia: Barbed Spear that Pierces with Death [Noble Phantasm], p.178
Barbed Spear that Pierces with Death [Noble Phantasm]
Lancer’s anti-personnel noble phantasm.
A cursed crimson spear with the infamous reputation of always going through the heart when thrust.
What it actually does is reversing causality, the spear being thrust after the outcome of striking the heart is established.
When its true power is invoked with its true name, Lancer’s crimson spear gains the outcome of already striking the heart before being thrust.
It didn’t hit because it was thrust, it hit so it was thrust, an attack on destiny itself.
What is needed to dodge Gae Bolg isn’t high agility but the power to reverse fate before the activation of Gae Bolg: high luck.
While it’s strictly anti-personnel and specifically targeting the heart, it’s a top-notch power that decides fate. It’s a noble phantasm a step away from being an authority, but it's no surprise that it is for its welder Cu Chulainn is the child of a god.
You shouldn’t take him lightly just because he's a jobber.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Barbed Spear that Pierces with Death [Noble Phantasm], p.061-062 [T]
Barbed Spear that Pierces with Death [Noble Phantasm]
The cursed spear that always pierced the opponent's heart after being thrust.
Reverse causality --- a technique which broke the rules by launching the spear after it was already established that the heart was pierced.
Since the target was already hit by the spear, the opponent would always be hit regardless what kind of evasive maneuvers he took.
In order to evade Gae Bolg, one would require Noble Phantasms that automatically resurrected the target after death like that of Berserker's, or a high degree of Luck sufficient to negate the curse of the spear.
To put it into game terms, it would be an insane Noble Phantasm with a base damage plus an additional component that scaled with the target's HP.
For example, if Saber's HP was 100, then Gae Bolg's damage would be (Spear Damage + 100). She would absolutely be dead if it hit.
It was also an efficient Noble Phantasm with mana consumption only in the double digits.
Anti-Unit Noble Phantasms probably did not get anymore economical than this.
By the way, Piercing Death Thorn was a technique Lancer developed himself.
Originally Gae Bolg was a thrown Noble Phantasm. It was an Anti-Army Noble Phantasm rather than Anti-Unit.
Fate/stay night - Fate route - Day 10: Strategy meeting
"Lancer's Gae Bolg is the same. Even with a cursed lance that will strike the heart, if the opponent is a rock or a house, it is no more than a strong lance."
Fate/stay night - Unlimited Blade Works route - Day 6: Absence of Saber
"Like Lancer's Gae Bolg, Assassin's Tsubame Gaeshi is something that can not be allowed to begin. No, unlike Gae Bolg, that allows you to find a countermeasure once you find out it will go for the heart, there are no possible counters for Assassin's secret technique even when you know about it."
- ↑ Fate/hollow ataraxia - 10/11 - Streets - Blue Panther vs Black Panther