Lance is nearly identical in appearance to his game counterpart. Lance's revamps in the newest games (namely HeartGold and SoulSilver) differ from his Adventures design.
Lance has a cruel personality, as he believes wholeheartedly that all humans should be eradicated minus those who have shown compassion towards Pokémon.
The name "Lance" is literally "lance", a weapon often used by knights, who are, in turn, often associated with fantasy and thus dragons.
His Japanese name, Wataru, comes from 渡る (wataru, an uncommon way of saying "to end" in Japanese, as he's the final Elite Four member in Generations I, III, and VII and the Champion in Generations II and IV). Following the plant-based naming of most characters, it could also come from 綿 (wata, the Japanese name for cotton).
When he was little, Lance saw how the land became desolate, with the constructions of certain buildings. The pollution caused his Magikarp and Dratini to be poisoned, while Lance swore his revenge.
Lance trained with his cousin, Clair, when they were children. However, Lance was much stronger and he usually defeated Clair in Pokémon battles. Nevertheless, Lance and Clair were very close, to the point that the latter referred to the former as her brother. Since Lance's father refused to become the Gym Leader of Blackthorn City and Lance left the city, Clair became the Gym Leader.
Red, Green & Blue arc
Lance and the rest of the Elite Four was recalled by Bill, who saw nobody could stand against them if they defeated Red, the Champion. Blue told Yellow the Elite Four were powerful trainers that showed no mercy to their enemies. The Gym Leaders started wondering what were the plans of the Elite Four, as they wanted to capture Pika and stop them from finding Red. Agatha reported to Lance she got the amplification device, but needed one final badge to complete it. Lance left, however, to Vermilion City. Green contacted Bill, warning he'd be the next target of the Elite Four. She also believed one of them was controlling the Legendary Bird that took her away when she was little.
Lance made his first appearance at the Vermilion City, where he observes the Vermilion City Surfing Competition, which Yellow participated in. He stood on the prize Dragonair that caused a storm. Lance had Dragonair fire a Hyper Beam, which destroyed a part of Vermilion City. He shouted out for someone to come out. Since nobody approached, Lance left. Yellow and Pika tried to stop Lance for attacking the city, even if Lance claimed everyone was at the Surfing Competition. Since Yellow attacked him, Lance decided to counterattack, claiming the world is only fit for Pokémon and the elite trainers, like Lance himself. Thus, Lance had his Dragonair twist its tail around Yellow and Pika. Lance's Dragonair grappled Pika and Yellow, the latter using trying to attack. However, Dragonair fired Hyper Beam and injured Pika. Seeing the scar on Pika's ear, Lance realized Yellow and Pika were the ones Agatha and Lorelei tried to capture, but failed. Pika used Substitute and immediately attacked Lance, whose Dragonair fired Dragon Rage, throwing Pika and Yellow into the sea. While drowning, Yellow knew Lance was going to attack other cities as well. To catch up with them, Yellow had Pika use Substitute to create a surfboard on which the two sailed away. The latter fired Thunderbolt, which defeated Lance and Dragonair. As Yellow left, bubbles sprouted out on the spot where Lance was defeated.
Lance survived and came to Cerise Island. With his Pokémon team, Lance swore to meet up with Yellow again and take his revenge. Seeing that their enemies, the Pokédex Holders, as well as Team Rocket executives, were coming to Cerise Island, Lance ordered the Elite Four to regroup. Bruno was at Mt. Moon, and Lance demanded him to come to Cerise Island. The Team Rocket executives, allied by the Pokédex Holders (except Red, who was still missing and replaced by Bill) went to challenge the Elite Four on Cerise Island.
Later, Lance appeared before Yellow and Blaine at Cerise Island. He claimed the cities the armies of the Elite Four were fighting in were nearly destroyed and humanity would meet its demise. Blaine had Yellow study Lance's battling style, as Lance's Aerodactyl fired Hyper Beam. Blaine's Mewtwo negated the attack. Lance knew Mewtwo was an artificial Pokémon, born from an experiment. As the ceiling was destroyed, Lance had Aerodactyl fire Supersonic, which Blaine had Mewtwo stop with Barrier. Blaine urged Yellow to find more about Lance's tactics, but Lance wondered how long it would last, as Blaine's skin started to react to Mewtwo's presence. Mewtwo lifted Blaine and Yellow in mid-air, while trying to shake Aerodactyl and Lance off. Instead, Lance sent his two Dragonair, who conjured a storm, then used Agility. To counter them, Mewtwo protected itself, and shielded Blaine and Yellow from the lightning. Instead, Mewtwo created a cyclone through Psywave to trap Lance and Dragonair. Lance was amused by such tactics, as his Dragonair combined themselves to make a coordinated attack. Mewtwo continued protecting Blaine and Yellow. Lance went on Aerodactyl to defeat Mewtwo in close combat, who summoned the giant spoon. Since Blaine and Mewtwo were linked closely together, Blaine had to inject a part of his cells into Mewtwo to maintain the balance, hence why he put a special liquid in the Master Ball, where Mewtwo usually was, else Blaine's skin reacts. To finish, Pika and Yellow distracted Lance, allowing Mewtwo to extend its spoon and damage the mechanism on Lance's Poké Balls, preventing him from sending any Pokémon.
Lance was attacked and fell off. Having succeeded, Blaine fell down, as he was too strained by Mewtwo's link. Yellow was glad that Lance was defeated, and Lance admitted it was a mighty tactic. However, he claimed the Ultra Balls were empty, as he sent his Pokémon out long ago to combat this possibility. His Dragonite and Gyarados appeared, as Lance told they were the ones that caused the earthquake on the island to lure Blaine and Yellow out. Mewtwo went to attack Lance, but Yellow called it back into the Master Ball, else Blaine would take damage as well, through the link. Yellow sent all of her Pokémon, and kept Mewtwo for later on. Lance, however, showed that he was healing his Dragonair. Yellow realized Lance also had powers like she did, and could read the Pokémon's minds. Lance flew off to the center of the island, and told Yellow the volcano was close to erupting. He had Dragonite use Strength, shattering a flaming rock that burnt Yellow, who sensed Blaine and Blue had been training for this sort of thing. She had her Pokémon attack Dragonite, but the attacks did little damage, due to Dragonite's thick armor. Lance admitted once he would destroy the cities, he'd rebuild them where Pokémon could live in harmony, without human arrogance. Yellow pointed out he still had no right to do that, and shouldn't use Pokémon for destruction. She pointed out even his own Pokémon have been injured for the quest, but Lance refused to listen. Yellow continued to question Lance, asking why would he use the healing power for evil purposes. Lance was still frustrated, while Yellow recalled Red's words how if one treats Pokémon with kindness, the Pokémon would be their friends. Lance, however, had Dragonite launch Fire Blast, which pushed Yellow into the lava lake.
Yellow fell on a rock, thus saving herself. Since Lance continued attacking, Yellow had her Pika create a surfboard on which they could move on lava. Lance was surprised, and had Dragonite move him closer to Pika, to read his thoughts. Lance sensed both Pika and Yellow were born in the Viridian Forest. Pika was insulted that Lance sensed his thoughts and attacked him and his Dragonite. Lance admitted Yellow was a powerful foe, as she managed to get Lance to use four powers out of his Dragonair: swimming on the water, change the direction of the attacks, controlling the weather and forcing his enemies to attack. It is why he had to use all five Pokémon he wields; Dragonite made another attack, which hit Pika and Yellow. Yellow and Pika fled, then created a lava cyclone to envelop Lance in. Yellow promised to stop the attack if Lance surrendered. Lance refused to and tried to stop Yellow and Pika, but was overwhelmed and fell in the lava. As Yellow started leaving, Lance came out of the lava, with his Dragonair and Gyarados protecting him. In addition, Lance's Dragonair and Gyarados emitted Bubble, which, due to light's refraction, turned invisible. One of them injured Yellow's arm, who had Kitty bandage it with String Shot. Yellow also had Kitty emit String Shot to create threads to stop the bubbles, and to have Ratty sense the vibrations to have Pika and Omny attack the bubbles. Yellow had Gravvy launched Dody to use Drill Peck on Lance. Despite this, Lance was protected and the plan didn't work, as the bubbles attacked Yellow. Just when it seemed that Yellow would be defeated, Giovanni intervened in the battle.
Giovanni proceeded to use his Rhyhorn to kick up a sandstorm, making Lance's bubbles visible. He also had Nidoqueen attack the bubble Lance was in, but was overwhelmed by the heat of the bubble that came from lava. Lance continued attacking, so Giovanni dropped a Poké Ball. From the Ball, Beedrill came out and pierced the bubble, causing Lance's formation to dissolve. Beedrill also intimidated Lance, who recognized Giovanni as Viridian City's Gym Leader. Yellow recalled as the unbeatable Gym Leader; she tried to intervene, but Giovanni stopped her. He pointed out to Lance organization wouldn't be stopped by the likes of the Elite Four. Lance saw Giovanni was powerful, even if he was a member of Team Rocket. Giovanni proposed Lance to surrender, who started smiling. Lance was smiling, as Giovanni's Earth Badge came out of his suit. Lance stated that Cerise Island was an amplification device for the Gym Badges, and he had all eight in the possession. Giovanni retreated, leaving Yellow to do battle with Lance. Lance called him a coward, but was grateful for his presence that brought out the final badge. Lance flew off on Aerodactyl to meet up with the Legendary Bird Pokémon, leaving Dragonite to battle Yellow. Yellow asked of her Pokémon to lend her the strength needed to battle Lance. Yellow's Kitty, Omny, Dody and Gravvy evolved, as Yellow decided to settle this battle and end Lance's crimes.
Yellow decided to show Lance he was wrong that humans cannot live with Pokémon. As both sides began clashing, Lance was sensing how his ideal world would soon become a reality, with all humans being driven away. As Yellow's bandage began falling off, she realized she needed a powerful blast to topple down Lance. Pika started charging, and with the help of Red and Saur, Green and Blasty and Blue and Charizard, Pika executed Megavolt, which damaged Lance, injuring and defeating him, and stopping his plans.
Gold & Silver arc
After his defeat, Lance retreated to Johto, at the construction site of the Battle Tower. He was being pursued by someone, so he sent two Dragonair to fight the man. However, he was unable to do anything and was attacked by Silver's Murkrow. Lance sensed through Murkrow's thoughts that Silver thought Lance knew something about the giant bird, Lugia, whom Lance wanted to use for the plans of a Pokémon utopia. Lance was impressed Silver managed to find him, but admitted he knew nothing about Lugia that was linked by Silver's incident nine years ago. Silver apologized for stalking, but Lance pointed out Silver should show his emotions, since he sensed Murkrow was quite sad. He admitted he was ignoring things like that, until his recent defeat, for his opponent showed a lot of heart that turned into strength. Lance claimed Silver wouldn't defeat the Masked Man that easily, which made Silver realize Lance knew something about him. Thus, Silver and Lance made an agreement, where Silver was to perform tasks for Lance to find more about the Masked Man, as well as to train himself to become stronger.
Lance contacted Silver about the Masked Man. He reported that the boy following Silver, Gold, faced the Masked Man. He told the Masked Man's recent plans failed, but warned Silver to remain cautious and to report back for any changes.
Clair fought against a challenger, who reminded her only Lance had defeated her. Clair brushed the challenger off and left, but still wondered where Lance was.
After meeting up with Gold and Crystal, Silver went through a passage on one of the islands, where he met up with Lance. Lance commended Silver for managing to find the way on his own, since he needed Pokémon that could use Whirlpool, Waterfall and Surf moves to access the hidden room. Silver gave away the Tyranitar Lance lent him to, feeling he didn't deserve it. Instead, he had Sneasel intimidate Lance, wishing to finally know more about the Masked Man's intentions. Lance recalled the same look in Silver's eyes when he first met him. Silver stated he didn't wish to know why Lance wanted to do his missions nor why to become stronger, but he made it clear that he clashed against the Masked Man once. Lance decided to tell Silver more about the Masked Man, but first touched Sneasel to trace its thoughts. He sensed there were other people that trained with the Masked Man and that Green (with whom Silver trained) obtained two feathers. Silver confirmed this, which made Lance realize that the Masked Man wished to control time itself. As Silver went to the Indigo League, Lance noted that was the chance for Silver to reveal the Masked Man's true identity. He also told that was the last mission he tasked Silver about.
While speaking to Gold and Crystal, the Masked Man reminded both of them about Giovanni's plans to control substance and Lance's plan to control space. He claimed he was not interested in such things, as he wanted to control time itself. Clair confronted Blaine and demanded answers about Lance, since he battled her cousin. However, Blaine defeated her, but noted Lance was stronger than him and still lived. After Silver's mission ended, Lance flew away on his Aerodactyl.
FireRed & LeafGreen arc
Yellow tried to find more about Silver's past through Sneasel's thoughts. Silver deemed it impossible and recalled how not even Lance found anything.
Lance knew Team Rocket was after Arceus, to summon Dialga, Palkia and Giratina to gain domination. It was why he wanted to make measures that Team Rocket's plans do not succeed. Lance sent a message to Professor Oak. Lance knew that he was infamous, but asked of Professor Oak for a favor. He announced that Team Rocket was after Arceus, and asked of Oak to send one of his best trainers to meet him at the Pokéathlon Dome. He also called Clair to warn her about something. However, the connection was interrupted, and Clair could only hear something about Arceus, Plates and the Safari Zone. Clair attempted to call Lance again, but failed, which made her suspect that something happened to him. In fact, it was Petrel who attacked and defeated Lance. Petrel disguised himself as Yellow, which caused Lance to drop his guard, and it became the reason for his downfall. Since Lance was attacked on his way to the Pokéathlon Dome, Dragonite became enraged that it got separated from its trainer.
HeartGold & SoulSilver arc
Gold was looking for Lance at the Pokéathlon Dome, who supposedly had information about Arceus. Dragonite only appeared and went on a rampage. Gold managed to topple it down, and noted Lance had been attacked and would not come. With Arceus appearing, Gold wondered why Lance still hasn't appeared yet, for he could've used his information to confront Arceus. After Morty told his vision of the 16 plates and the giant Pokémon figure, Silver remembered Lance's message, who warned them about Arceus and the plates.
Gold found Lance, who was injured, at the Ruins of Alph, where his Tyranitar attacked Gold, defending Lance. Lance calmed Tyranitar down, as Gold was not the enemy. Gold scolded Lance for not coming to the Pokéathlon Dome, to which Lance apologized, as he was attacked by an enemy, who let his guard down by wearing a clever disguise. Gold went to give him a Dragonite, and accidentally dropped the Skill Medals. Lance noted Gold was a powerful trainer to have won so many medals from the Pokéathlon Dome. However, he remarked that even Gold may not be powerful enough to thaw down Arceus' sadness from its heart, which insulted Gold, and pointed out that his Togepi is clearly not showing any affection for him. As Gold went to argue, Bugsy warned him that Arceus was descending down. Before Gold left, Lance gave Togebo a Shiny Stone. Lance remained with Bugsy a bit, and told him the story of the trainer and the Pokémon that went to a Legendary Pokémon, crossing ten obstacles to obtain the info about a cure to an illness. Lance explained that the Pokéathlon sports were based on that story, and was why he chose the dome to have Arceus' sadness melt away. Seeing that Gold was trapped, Lance climbed on Dragonite and flew away to a different place, to solve the matter.
Lance appeared at the Ilex Shrine, where he stopped Giovanni and Pryce, and persuaded them to join their cause. Pryce stated he could settle the differences with Giovanni after the fight, who agreed. Lance commented all three were villains before, and that made them connected each other. However, the three decided to stop the fighting between Dialga, Palkia and Giratina. Thus, Lance confronted Palkia. Dragonite fired Hyper Beam, to which Palkia distorted it. However, Lance had Dragonite control the path of the Hyper Beam, which eventually hit Palkia.
As the battle was raging on, Lance called Team Rocket commanders idiots for controlling Arceus and forcing it to summon the three Legendary Pokémon. He pointed out that Arceus created the three Legendary Pokémon to stop the destructive nature of humanity. However, he sensed that it wanted to trust people and Pokémon again, and thought if its anger could be calmed down, it would send the Legendary Pokémon back to their worlds. Since the battle was becoming too intense, Lance and others took Dialga, Palkia and Giratina outside to continue the battle. Lance continued the battle against Palkia. He noted that Palkia and Dialga were calming down, thinking they are viewing them as allies for fighting Giratina. As Giovanni fell down, Crystal noted he was dying, which Lance confirmed that he was looking for Celebi, so he could get his medicine from it. Regardless, Lance noted that Giovanni's priority coming here was more important than his health, and believed it was all to protect his son. It was why Giovanni sought Celebi out, who was currently gathering ingredients to cure Giovanni's illness, along with one of Gold's Pokémon, Pichu.
With Dialga, Palkia and Giratina gone, Lance praised Gold, as he succeeded in calming Arceus down. Gold, however, noticed Petrel at the rock disguising himself as Bugsy, to which Lance had Dragonite hold him to prevent his escape. The now-cured Giovanni left with his Team Rocket members following him, and saw both Lance and Pryce as Silver's mentors, in hope that his son would him in battle one day. He also smiled when Crystal was arguing with Gold over her new clothes that her mother forced her to wear. In the end, he was seen ordering ten new capes.
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