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Lancer (Fate/strange fake)

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Nasuverse character
Lancer
Enkidu
Japanese name: ランサー
Franchise: Fate
Appears in: Fate/Zero
Fate/strange fake
Fate/Extra CCC
Japanese VA: Shinya Takahashi (Fate/Zero Sound Drama)
Character type: Servant (Master: Wolf)

Lancer (ランサー, Ransā?) is the Lancer-class Servant summoned by the Wolf in the False Holy Grail War of Fate/strange fake.

ProfileEdit

IdentityEdit

Lancer's identity is Enkidu (エルキドゥ, Erukidou?), the only friend of Gilgamesh. Born from a clod of earth, Enkidu was clay shaped by hands of the Gods, his father the king of gods, Anu, and his mother the goddess of creation, Aruru. He was neither male nor female, but merely a monster made of mud that descended onto the earth and awoke in the wilderness. He opened his eyelids in response to a voice calling him from afar, taking in the sight of the expanses of land and sky and the towering city in the distance. The voice was unknown to him, but it was neither the maternal hand nor the paternal rebuke.

He was given superb power, but his parents were unable to give him a soul. He had no intellect after awakening, so his existence for years afterward consisted of rushing through the wilderness with the animals. He had a purpose, given the task of being the chains to return the keystone, Gilgamesh, to their control, but he could only live ferally without a soul. Lacking the will of a human, his happiness came from being free in the wild, neither perfect or flawed. He would still stop to look at the city occasionally, hearing the voice that was neither his father or mother calling him from beyond the wilds.

Anu brought him a woman, the divine harlot, after despairing over his lack of rational thought.[1] The asexual lump of clay fell for the beauty of the woman, which transcended the bound between man and woman, and they spent six days and seven nights together. The mud puppet, ignorant of mankind, slowly allowed his form to approximate that of a human, which seemed to become that of the beautiful harlot sharing his food and bed in attempting to assume her beauty. He made her paradoxical beauty his own, losing much of his strength and divinity, though still far above humanity, in exchange for wisdom and reason.[2] He had never looked in a mirror, so the humanoid form became a good instructor for him to learn about himself. He acquired knowledge and rational though, all the truths of heaven and earth. Filled with the soul needed to fulfill his task, he spoke his name for the first time and the world became something extremely simple in that instant.

Finally recognizing his role and task, imposing the wrath of the gods and divine judgement upon a fellow puppet of the gods, he decided to seek out the arrogant Gilgamesh. The one he found was still a child, so he had to wait until Gilgamesh reached adulthood in order to fight and reprimand him as an equal. He watched the city while waiting, hearing the familiar voice from within. He watched his growth by the day, and Gilgamesh's fair nature confused him and made him question the gods' judgement. He came to realize they were correct as Gilgamesh grew and became a tyrant, but he understood the reason behind it.

Understanding that Gilgamesh's arrogance stemmed from his solitude, he sought to reprimand him, but did not state the real reason to avoid hurting his pride. He met Gilgamesh in front of the temple of Uruk, and they clashed in a fierce battle that lasted for several days. Gilgamesh was angered by a "clod of mud" being equal to him, humiliated that he had to use his treasures. He soon came to enjoy the battle, bringing them out without regret. After fierce fighting that left them both spent, they both collapsed to the ground without consideration for the location. Gilgamesh did so laughing, noting that there could be no winner without two corpses, and Enkidu fell in imitation of him, like a mirror.

Praising each other's valor, they became peerless friends who went on to have many adventures. One of his few achievements of the time was to have Gilgamesh make use of his treasures in battle. They combined their strength to defeat the guardian of the forest and beast of the gods, Humbaba, for the reason of protecting Uruk rather than anything to do with the gods. Enkidu commented that the people were suffering under them, so he questioned the point of such an action. Enkidu came to understand Gilgamesh's path at that point, that he would observe humanity's future from his solidarity.

Enkidu attempted to declare that he was a tool for Gilgamesh's use, claiming that he would stand by his side until the end of the world. Gilgamesh instead called him a fool, telling him that those who live together, talk together, and fight together are neither people nor tools, but what is called a friend. Obtaining that word was precious to him, and it was the moment he acquired a “self” in the true sense of the word. Afterward, Ishtar proposed to Gilgamesh, but he rejected her. Angered by his insults, she begged Anu to release the Bull of Heaven to punish them.

After working together to destroy it, Ishtar requested they be put to death for slaying a beast of the gods. Her request was granted, and Enkidu, created by the gods, was unable to defy the decree. He slowly weakened and was returned to clay, as Gilgamesh desperately held on to the crumbling clod in his arms. Gilgamesh was angered, exclaiming that he should have been punished instead, but Enkidu reiterated that he was only one of the numerous weapons in his collection. There would be no need to grieve because he would find countless greater treasures, so there is no worth left in him to deserve any tears from the king.

He believed that Gilgamesh was a hero who had a soul and free will since the beginning, who had true life and worth unlike his expendable self. He had always yearned for that and hated that they were such different beings despite being created by the same father. Gilgamesh exclaimed that he did have worth, declaring " In all this world, only one shall be my friend. Thus---not for all eternity shall his worth ever change.” As the rain gradually let up, he returned to his original state, naught but a clod of earth in the wilderness, leaving behind nothing but the thunderous cry of the king.[1] The rest of Gilgamesh's lifetime afterward showed the large shadow cast over him from losing the sole person who understood him.[3]

AppearanceEdit

Lancer is able to take a myriad of forms, but his usual form is that of a sixteen-year-old androgynous person with long, beautiful hair that shimmers with a light-green color.[3] He is summoned only wearing a plain tunic, so he seems rather unremarkable compared to those normally called Heroic Spirits. He is not summoned with any items, and his clothing does not look valuable in any way. While heroes are not determined by their wealth, being summoned completely barehanded is abnormal.

It is hard to tell if he is a man or woman at first glance. His face retains vaguely childlike features that are able to be interpreted as that of either gender. His lustrous skin and soft features are reminiscent of a woman, but his loose tunic further obscures his sex by hiding his physique, making it impossible to see his chest and hips, and making it difficult to discern if he is even actually human. He has firm and taut limbs, and his body seems like a coiled spring ready to rocket forth.

With an androgynous and neutral voice, his face can be called beautiful and elegant despite his gender, but at the same time gives off a strange and uncomfortable atmosphere. While his face looks human, it also appears inhuman due to the fact that it looks "too perfect." While the feeling cannot be put into words and it isn't immediately apparent to the eye, his form evokes a similar feeling in the observer as a mannequin or puppets constructed by magi. His nature becomes less apparent the more one looks upon him, but his beauty as a being of perfect harmony is undeniable. He is a paradoxical being that possesses the impurity characteristic of mankind and the immaculacy inherent to nature. Defying classification as man or woman, human or beast, god or demon, his body is like the velvety boughs wrapping the statue of Venus.

PersonalityEdit

Lancer seems to greatly appreciate nature, and he finds it as a relief that the world still beautiful as ever even after being covered by cities like Uruk. He is happy to sit while his Master is resting and simply allow himself to enjoy the magnificent natural landscape and the "song of the river." He enjoyed running in the wild during his days as a beast, with only the voice of Gilgamesh drawing him towards Uruk.

Even when dealing with the person who hurt his Master, he speaks serenely in a polite manner without any provocation. He follows his Master's wishes exactly without issue, leaving the magus to his own devices. At the final jeering from the magus calling his Master a mongrel, Lancer simply turns his head and looks at the magus with eyes saturated with “rejection.” He instantly dissolves the malice in his eyes upon the magus' departure, and focuses on his Master.

Much like Gilgamesh, he regards their friendship highly. He held that he was a weapon in life, and that his fate was to be supplanted by the next. Any worth or mystery was to be limited only to his age, but Gilgamesh changed those thoughts. Gilgamesh accepted a penalty of a fate of solitude thereafter, but granted Enkidu with a soul with his words. He believes that he sinned in knowing Gilgamesh, whose greatest sincerity was to remain aloof without acknowledging the strong or the weak, but he ended up leaving a lasting mar upon that integrity.[1]

He is extremely surprised upon learning Gilgamesh has been summoned, and initially cannot even believe in such a turn of fate. After calmly opening his eyes, slowly standing up, and having a brief moment of silence, he has a feeling rampaging in his chest that goes through emotions of confusion, frustration, and finally overwhelming joy. He believes it is destiny that they will battle once again in the Holy Grail War, and he is confident that the tapestry woven between Enkidu and his King would not tear just because a fight or two. Even after a thousand melees together, their bond would remain just as strong as ever.

DevelopmentEdit

Lancer was designed by Ryohgo Narita and illustrated by Shidzuki Morii. His background and final moments differ somewhat in his three appearances. His background in Fate/strange fake and Fate/Extra CCC differ in the time of his creation and events leading to their initial battle, his final conversation in Fate/Zero differs from that of Fate/Extra CCC. The appearance in Fate/Zero was written to be vague and ambiguous as not to ruin the proceeding scene with Excalibur's activation. It was not possible to depict it as such in the anime adaptation, so the scene was not animated.[4]

RoleEdit

Fate/strange fakeEdit

Enkidujoy

Lancer expressing his joy in being able to fight Gilgamesh.

Lancer is summoned by a Wolf originally meant to act as a catalyst for another magus. Before the magus can slay the wolf to retrieve the Command Spells, the wolf's most basic instinct, the will to survive, causes it to let out a bellow that acts as both magecraft and a summoning ritual for Lancer. While the magus is confused and intimidated by Lancer's appearance, he cannot deny Lancer's presence as a Heroic Spirit. Lancer quickly tends to his Master, speaking to him in an “animal language” to complete their contract, and prepares to take him to heal his wounds.

The magus, outraged at the farce of a chimera becoming a Master, attempts to fire upon him in rage. Lancer tells him to lower his weapon because his Master wishes him no harm, and even though Lancer can tell what had happened from his Master's wounds, he wishes to make it clear that his Master holds no malice against the magus. The magus makes a final plea to work together towards the Holy Grail rather than with that "mongrel", which earns the magus a gaze saturated with a crushing sense of “rejection” that causes him to flee with a squeal.

Brought forth by the gods as a beast during Gilgamesh's rule, it was rumored that Enkidu was more powerful than Gilgamesh, the Hero who ruled the nation, when he unleashed his wrath. Gilgamesh dismissed it entirely because he considered “having a contest of strength with a beast” to be complete nonsense. He merely laughed at the rumor due to the absolute faith in his own might and because he was certain that there existed no one stronger. The fate of everyone was altered upon the encounter between the divine harlot and the beast, bringing him the form and wisdom of a human. He stood before the great King, and they quickly became inseparable friends after an epic melee that shook the Heavens and Earth. While the views of the Golden King and the mud puppet could not be more different, the duo went on innumerable adventures while sharing in each other’s joy and sorrow.

Upon applying minimal treatment to his Master's wounds at a small river ten kilometers away, he takes a survey of the area. He immediately shifts his sight to the northwest upon detecting a familiar presence, a Heroic Spirit in golden armor, exiting a cave that was covered by a magus’ Bounded Field. Much like they were brought together in the past, it seems that fate is about to be altered once again. Certain that the presence in the north was his King, he smiles, silently opens his arms as if to bear his heart to the world, and announces: “Let us continued the duel on that plaza once again… Let us relive that joy.” He begins to sing a song that shakes the earth, and acts as the signal that the War has begun.

Fate/Extra CCCEdit

Enkidu's past from his own perspective appears to Hakuno Kishinami in a dream if Gilgamesh is their Servant. As his records fade away, he speaks to Hakuno, noting that he is naught but a long-gone regret of the past. He tells them that it is their future and their story, the story of someone who is human unlike him. He asks them to ask Gilgamesh if he still loves humanity, still remembers the name of his friend, and if he has "finally cast aside the mistakes of a distant age and laid them to rest."

After Hakuno awakes, Gilgamesh also reveals that he had been dreaming of something nostalgic, the battle with the Bull of Heaven. Hakuno attributes it to Servants rarely sharing a mental link while sleeping. If asked if he remembers his friend, Gilgamesh claims that he hardly had friends, and that he would have forgotten the name of his friend if he had one. He disdainfully says "I can no longer speak the name.", but his voice contains no trace of anger. If asked if he loves humanity, he responds that it should be obvious from the way he treats Hakuno, and they take it as an affirmation.

Gilgamesh makes it clear that he was dreaming about the path traced by his own life, calling the events Hakuno glimpsed tainted by their own perspective and far from his truth. Although Hakuno is confused over the nature of the dream, knowing that it was not Gilgamesh's or their own perspective, they know the words spoken were the entirety of the truth, especially the King who uttered "Not for all eternity shall that worth ever change" to his friend. Hakuno apologizes to the one who the dream belonged to, noting that his wish for Gilgamesh to cast aside those memories will never be granted.[1]

Fate/ZeroEdit

"Who would understand you after I die? Who else would march forward by your side? My friend… when I think that you will live on all alone henceforth, I can’t help but shed tears…"
—Enkidu final words to Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh recalls Enkidu's death upon witnessing Excalibur's light. He is described as foolish and ridiculous, having set his heart to stand next to the gods even with a body of mud and soil. Through his hubris and disrespectful arrogance that offended the gods, he suffered divine retribution and lost his life. Gilgamesh was unable to forget his death and the tears streaming down his face.

Other appearancesEdit

Lancer has appeared in a number of pieces of guest artwork in various TYPE-MOON material books. He was included in the April Fools' Day joke, Sensha Otoko, as Enkidu-chan, "Gil's" childhood friend and next door neighbor, and he managed to be the only strange fake character to earn a place on the top one hundred in the TYPE-MOON Fes. character poll.

AbilitiesEdit

Lancer's might is far beyond human comprehension, and Gilgamesh considers him to be his only equal in the world. He is a being made by the gods, an autonomous weapon similar in nature to an AI, given their blood much like Gilgamesh, and he was "Uruk's greatest weapon." He was made from clay by a god, so he lacks a gender or a fixed form. He can change shape at will, but he was complete from birth and neither grew or evolved unlike Gilgamesh. He generally uses his androgynous appearance despite being able to take forms as needed.

He can be a spear, axe, shield, or beast should he need, and it allowed him to last several days in battle against Gilgamesh and the Gate of Babylon. Though it required using ninety percent of his clay, leaving him at the point of being unable to even form clothing, he forced Gilgamesh to empty the vault. The battle left them in a state where it was considered to be a draw because defenselessly charging would have left two corpses.[1]

Faldeus is surprised Enkidu can even be summoned, as he was more a Noble Phantasm of the Gods than a hero. Gilgamesh speculates that Enkidu could potentially be summoned as a Berserker-class Servant or in some other way that would make their coming duel less favorable, but he casts aside the thought. Faldeus comments that he would potentially reach the level of a god, regaining the power lost from gaining humanity.

He has a connection with nature, and he can speak in an animal language (獣の言葉, ?) that allows him to understand, communicate with, translate the "words" of his Master and other animals. Even though the wolf is not capable of "thought" in the sense of humans, Lancer is able to communicate that the wolf bears no malice towards his creator. It is noted that when he sings, the landscape resonates to his song, and the entire land of Snowfield sings with him. It is a tremendous roar with the power to shake both heaven and earth, too beautiful to be called such, instead sounding like a lullaby sung by the earth itself. It lays waste to the laws of physics, sounding like the cry of a newborn and showing his power at the same time.

Lancer's special ability is Presence Detection (気配感知, ?) of the highest rank, which allows him to easily detect the presence of another Servant very far north of his position and recognize it as Gilgamesh almost immediately. It can also be used to sense the "presence" of water over ten kilometers away even without any sounds or visible clues. He can feel the direction in which it can be found, and details as to how it "caresses the land."

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Gilgamesh Secret Garden conversations: 1, 2, 3, and 4
  2. Fate/strange fake
  3. 3.0 3.1

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