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The jousting lance is the iconic weapon of medieval knights and is given to many fictional characters with a chivalric theme, especially if they also wear full suits of plate armor, carry a large shield and ride a horse or some other fantasy/sci-fi equivalent. The average fictional jousting lance is much wider and pointier than those of antiquity, and often has spikes lining the curved surface or an engraved drill-like spiral pattern. If a user of this kind of lance has a Rival or Arch Enemy, expect the latter to be given the same weapon so they can settle their issues with an old-fashioned joust.
The modern manifestations of this trope are characters who use the jousting lance as their main or only weapon even when on foot, the implication being that they can run or fly as fast as a war horse. Expect to see Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship with or without modifications to the weapon's basic structure -- which is far more appropriate for stabbing -- but lance masters can often jab with impossible speed and armor-piercing force even when one-handing the weapon. The epitome of this artistic license is the character whose lance is effectively a rapier of BFS proportions.
Historical jousting lances were sporting weapons, designed to break on impact and blunted to avoid spearing their target, who often also had a heavy plate strapped on as a final precaution. They would be discarded in favor of a more practical weapon like a sword or mace once the fighters had gone to ground. The lances used for actual combat -- the namesake weapons of lancers for example -- were simply heavy spears.
Characters with centaur-like forms are effectively always 'mounted', which makes preference for this weapon a bit more plausible. Other weapons would still be more practical in most circumstances as they were for Real Life human cavalry.
- Academic sources often refer to spears and similar weapons as 'lances', especially when they are too large to be used as throwing weapons. See Blade on a Stick for those. This article is about jousting lances with or without modifications to the basic design.
- Drills are often used for jousting and Air Jousting in fiction due to the way they work but those examples should go under This Is a Drill unless they are clearly jousting lances with drill mechanisms.
Anime and Manga
- Several Knightmare Frames in Code Geass use lances due to the overall chivalric theme of the series and the various Arthurian references.
- Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam gives Crossbone Vanguard mechs the Shot Lancer. Though modeled after the chivalric weapon it is actually a massive pile driver designed to impale Mobile Suits without detonating their power plants or ammunition and the cone can be shot (hence the name) and retracted with a tether. Most models have several machine guns arranged around the base of the cone. Later Earth Federation designs copy the (then obsolete) weapon in a gun-shaped form, making its true function more obvious.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 introduces grunt machines using lances with integrated beam machine guns. Unlike their inspiration these are traditional lances without the pile driver. As per the trope description some pilots are shown swinging them at enemies but most sensibly use the weapons as firearms.
- In Bleach, the Arrancar Nel Tu has a centaur Super Mode in which she gains a lance.
- In One Piece Shura Skyrider wields the Heat Javelin, which is a Flaming Lance. Other notable Lance users include Gan Fall (who has a knight motif), the Whitebeard Pirates Commander Speed Jiru and the New World pirate Eipoda, who combines this with Double Weapon.
- Erza's Ceremonial Armor from Fairy Tail has a Lance that has thus far served as an Ornamental Weapon (and a flagpole). However, as she is a Multi Melee Master she presumably knows how to use it.
- Gallantmon from Digimon, naturally enough.
- The King Kittan and its upgraded Space version from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann used lances.
- Marvel Comics have several characters wielding this kind of lance:
- A Knight's Tale was about a jousting tournament.
- Excalibur featured a scene in which two knights jousted for Guinevere's honor.
- Ben 10 villains The Forever Knights have high-tech versions of the jousting lance among other weapons in their arsenal.
- King Arthur and the Knights of Justice featured a knight with a lance.
- Monster Hunter:
- The Lance is a staple weapon of the series, where it is a defensive weapon and always paired with a shield. The user can even couch the lance and charge into a monster For Massive Damage.
- The Gunlance is a variant with a short-ranged breech loading firearm built in, with poorer defensive ability in exchange for additional attacks using the gun mechanism.
- Both variations have a wide variety of designs (including spears, polearms and Improvised Weapons) but all are wielded in the same manner as their parent category.
- TERA has a lance using class that seems patterned after the Monster Hunter application of this trope, being the designated Meat Shield and sharing the charge attack.
- The Shining Soul series has a lance as one of the Warrior's weapon options and he only jabs with it. Apart from its reach it's a pretty poor choice as it has a tiny attack arc.
- Valkyria Chronicles:
- The Valkyrur use lances with spiral patterns. These weapons and their accompanying shields are made of a special material that can channel their users' supernatural powers, allowing them to be a major threat on battlegrounds dominated by firearms and artillery.
- Anti-Tank Lancers are mundane units using an explosive ranged weapon shaped like a jousting lance.
- Honda Tadakatsu from the Sengoku Basara franchise uses what is called a 'drill spear' but it is clearly shaped like a jousting lance and he can perform a charging attack with it. A horse is out of the question because they wouldn't survive his riding them.
- Croix from the second Ar tonelico game is a knight, so his choice of this weapon is natural. Some of his attacks show that it has an integrated gun-like device as well as a rocket booster lending punch to his attacks.
- In the Kirby series, the 'ultimate warrior' Galacta Knight uses a lance and a shield. The more obscure Ghost Knight enemy used the same combination in an earlier game.
- In Ghosts and Goblins, Arthur's default weapon is a jousting lance that he throws like a javelin. He even uses an overhead grip to do so.
- Mabinogi has Lance weapons, which have an annoying minimum attack range but compensate with high damage and the ability to reduce an opponent's damage resistance. Giants can pair them with a shield but humans must two-hand them and Elves cannot use them due to their weight.
- Azai Nagamasa from the Samurai Warriors series started out using a normal lance but this was switched to a jousting lance for his debut as a playable character in the sequel to emphasize his dedication as a Knight in Shining Armor for his wife Oichi. He wields the weapon on horseback as well as on foot.
- The Argent Tournament in World of Warcraft allows players to equip these and fight in mounted duels.
- A Number of knight-inspired Digimon use lances, with the most iconic being Dukemon/Gallantmon and variants thereof.
- The Pokémon Escavalier is designed after a Knight in Shining Armor and has jousting lances for hands.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe featured Energy Lances used by the Mon Calamari Knights for aquatic combat and Power Lances used by Clone Troopers and Lancer Droids in an actual joust, albeit with speeder bikes.