Hero (勇者, Hero) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the second fighter from Square Enix after Cloud. He was announced during the E3 Nintendo Direct alongside Banjo & Kazooie on June 11th, 2019 as the second downloadable character from Fighters Pass Vol. 1. The default Hero is the Luminary from Dragon Quest XI, while Erdrick from Dragon Quest III, Solo from Dragon Quest IV and Eight from Dragon Quest VIII also appear as alternate characters like the Koopalings and Alph. Unlike the Koopalings and Alph, however, they are all listed simply as "Hero". Hero was released as part of Challenger Pack 2 on July 30th, 2019 and is classified as Fighter #72.
Mitsuki Saiga reprises her role as the Luminary from the Japanese version of Dragon Quest XI S, voicing him in all regions in place of his English voice actor, Rasmus Hardiker. Nobuyuki Hiyama, Takeshi Kusao and Yūki Kaji also debut as the voices of Erdrick, Solo and Eight, respectively, in all versions of the game.
Hero is a tall, middleweight swordsman. As a result, he has long range and his overall damage output is fittingly above-average, but he is prone to being hit easily and is very susceptible to combos. Hero has respectable overall mobility: he has a slow walking speed, slightly below-average air speed and poor air acceleration, but his dashing speed, initial dash, traction, falling speed, and fast falling speed are all either average or above-average.
Hero has a good defensive game. Similar to the three Links, Hero actually sports two shields: the standard shield action that every fighter has, and another equipped on his left arm most of the time. Hero's shield can block projectiles while he is standing idle, walking, or crouching. The wearable shield also affects the first hit of Hero's forward tilt by granting invincibility to his left arm, head and left leg because of this shield's position, similarly to Palutena's dash attack and back aerial.
Hero possesses a unique fighter ability called the MP Gauge, which has a maximum of 100 Magic Points (MP) and will deplete whenever he uses a special move. MP is restored whenever he hits opponents with attacks, and also restores gradually over time. Although his special moves completely rely on the MP Gauge, they possess tremendous utility. His neutral special, Frizz, is a fireball that travels fast, far and deals decent damage, allowing Hero to disrupt enemy approaches. In addition, unlike other Frizz spells, Frizz has low vertical knockback, making it possible to start juggles or even true combos. Frizz can be charged into Frizzle, which can beat other projectiles and KO near the ledge at reasonable percentages, or Kafrizz for even more damage, knockback and traveling distance, turning it into a viable KO move even at mid percentages.
Hero's side special, Zap, has good range for its start-up, deals respectable damage and KOs at very high percentages. Zap can be charged into Zapple, which grants even more range and damage while being a vertical KO move at high percentages, or Kazap, which results in a attack that sacrifices speed and range for power, being able to KO most opponents center stage at a mere 50%. Additionally, Kazap has damage-based armor that withstands up to 15%, allowing it to resist oncoming attacks. Zap and its variants are disjointed melee attacks, giving them excellent range and, contrary to their appearances, they are also immune to reflection and even absorption.
Hero's up special, Woosh, is a quick recovery move and is also Hero's fastest and most reliable out of shield punish. Woosh can be charged into Swoosh, granting more vertical distance and horizontal mobility, or Kaswoosh, which provides tremendous vertical distance. Additionally, all Woosh spells leave behind tornadoes, which serve as lingering hitboxes that can damage opponents and gimp opposing recoveries or setup into devastating setups from below the ledge. Finally, his down special, Command Selection, gives Hero a list of four random spells which offer a wide variety of effects. Most of these spells have significant advantages and little disadvantages, which can be seen here. The Command Selection can be canceled by inputting the shield button or by jumping, allowing Hero to repeatedly switch the menu of spells until he has an ideal set of them.
Hero's smash attacks all share a unique perk: they have a 1/8 chance of striking with a critical hit, doubling their damage output and significantly increasing their knockback, allowing them to KO at extremely early percentages. In addition, they cause the smash attacks to cause more shieldstun, making them slightly safer on shield. Even without this perk, Hero's smash attacks have some utility: his forward smash is his strongest smash attack in both damage and knockback, having large range to boot, making it terrific for hard reads or punishes, his up smash has high vertical range, being a reliable anti-air option, good for halting aerial opponents' approaches while remaining a good KOing tool (though it suffers from nonexistent horizontal range, being unable to hit grounded opponents), and his down smash is his weakest smash attack, though it is also his fastest and can be used to punish rolls or spot dodges. Thus, it is a reliable edge-guarding attack in its own right.
Hero's other grounded attacks still possess utility, even if they are less overwhelming than his smash attacks and special moves. Neutral attack has a respectable start-up, damage output and good range, making it good for both damage-racking at low percentages, spacing and for warding off immediate pressure. As stated earlier, forward tilt's first hit has blocking capabilities, making it a defensive option that can beat other moves or projectiles and then be followed up with a second hit—a sword slash—which offers better range, identical speed, and more power, allowing for setting up edge-guards or outright KOs near the edge.
Up tilt has wide range, which, coupled with its respectable damage output and decent startup lag, makes it a fantastic anti-air option and more consistent than up smash, along with being able to KO at high percentages. Down tilt has good range—superseding Hero's neutral attack—while offering the same speed and launching vertically; it can be used to hit opponents hanging on the edge and start set-ups. Dash attack boasts high power for an attack of its type at the cost of speed, being able to KO at a mere 80% from the edge. Lastly, Hero's up and down throws sport some utility. Up throw is his strongest throw and has situational utility as both a combo starter and KO option, being able to KO before 200%, unlike his other throws. Conversely, down throw is a good combo starter at low to medium percentages, and can lead into dangerous set-ups.
Hero's aerial moveset, while not as good as that of many other swordfighters, is impressive nonetheless. Neutral aerial has wide range around him and launches at a diagonal angle, being a situational combo starter and useful shield poking option. Forward and back aerials are both rather slow (with back aerial in particular being among the slowest of its kind), but they are respectably strong and KO middleweights beginning around 100% and 85%, respectively. Up aerial has the lowest lag out of any of Hero's aerials and deals very low damage and knockback, enabling it to effectively initiate combos into itself or other moves, or even set up KO confirms at varying percentages. Lastly, down aerial is Hero's most damaging aerial, but also one of his slowest. Its clean hit is capable of meteor smashing opponents, leading to KOs as low as 20% on offstage foes.
But for all the strengths that Hero has, they do come with a price. His access to his special moves is restricted by their reliance on MP. Without enough MP, he is unable to cast any spells, which may put him in great danger offstage as Woosh will only give him a very small boost without MP. While his Command Selection is very versatile, its random nature means that a desired spell is unlikely to be available. Command Selection also renders Hero unable to move when the menu is open, with his only options being to jump or shield, both of which cancel the move and creates a new set of spells when he uses the move again. While this often is not an issue due to most of the spells having quick startup and good range, as well as the Hero player being able to select the spell quickly, this can sometimes pose a problem if the opponent is in a prime position to punish Hero, which can force the player to sacrifice an ideal set of spells by canceling the move or cause them to panic and use the wrong spell altogether. On top of this, some of his spells have very little utility (such as Metal Slash, which deals 1% and extremely low set knockback against non-metal opponents), while one of them, Hocus Pocus, grants any one of a slew of effects, with detrimental ones outnumbering and outweighing possible benefits.
Many of Hero's attacks suffer from slow start-up lag (dash attack), high ending lag (up tilt, down tilt, and the second hit of forward tilt), or both (forward and back aerials). Hero's below-average frame data, alongside his high raw damage output and attacks' high knockback values, collectively give him a limited combo game, since only certain attacks (particularly neutral aerial, up aerial, up throw, and down throw) can successfully generate true combos. Even then, the fast start-up of Hero's grabs is offset by their very short ranges, while up and down throws' combo potentials wane noticeably past low and medium percentages, respectively. Up aerial suffers from poor range and down tilt suffers from aforementioned high ending lag, preventing it from performing any true combos. As stated earlier, his up smash's horizontal range is nonexistent, thus making it Hero's least useful move against grounded opponents.
Due to being a tall heavyweight with slightly above-average falling speed and a lack of any fast or invincible attacks, Hero is very susceptible to combos. This weakness may be exacerbated further through Hocus Pocus' giant effect, and Oomph applying a 1.2× damage multiplier to attacks that hit him.
Overall, Hero has many strengths and many weaknesses. While he does have a plethora of magic spells at his disposal, a high overall damage output, and a healthy number of strong KO options, he suffers from sluggish frame data, a susceptibility to combos, a reliance on random chance, a limited combo game, and finite resources that are slow to recharge. While there is some potential and strategy in Hero's normal moveset, victory or defeat will frequently come down to resource management and luck. While players such as Salem and Akakikusu have shown Hero's potential at tournaments, his representation has been below-average overall. As such, his viability remains up for debate.
Hero was slightly changed via game updates, with Kaboom and Magic Burst being slightly buffed while Kafrizz was slightly nerfed. He also has some bug fixes included fixes to Zoom and Gigaslash. These changes have been largely quality-of-life updates, and Hero's competitive reception hasn't changed as a result.
For a gallery of Hero's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Command Selection spells
Main article: Command Selection
Approximations were done with the equation (X/S), with X being the relative odds of the move and S being the sum of all moves' relative odds, including the selected move's odds.
Hocus Pocus Effects
While Hero's name is the same in Japanese, it is pronounced "Yuusha".
In competitive play
Hero's place in competitive play has been controversial even before his introduction into the game; players were immediately divided due to the sheer amount of randomness in his toolkit, which some argued as too unpredictable for him to work as a competitively fair character. Despite the controversy, Hero initially had little impact on the metagame; while it was common to see him in pools and small-scale tournaments, he has not gone far in high-level tournaments, with his most notable national placements coming from Salem and Tsu, who either used him as a co-main or eventually dropped him. This can be attributed to Hero's slow frame data, lack of reliable combo breaking options, and his reliance on MP, all of which can be exploited by opponents. Hero's randomness also plays a part in his unreliability, as it can be just as common to roll an undesired move as it is to get the best option. As a result, most players initially considered him a mid tier character at best.
More recently, however, Akakikusu had made waves with Hero by placing top 8 at several Japanese nationals, and even defeating several top Japanese players. These placements, despite being during the pandemic, were nonetheless more impressive than anyone else up to that point, leading some players to believe that Hero is better than what the general consensus is.
Most historically significant players
See also: Category:Hero professionals (SSBU)
Hero's moveset, specifically Command Selection, has been controversial due to its randomness. Comparisons have been drawn between Command Selection and items, with the argument being that the unpredictable nature of both of them result in a less competitive environment, in which skill alone is not sufficient to win matches (coincidentally so as certain spells like Hocus Pocus grant abilities otherwise only found with items such as the Super Star and Timer). Furthermore, specific spells have also been the subject of controversy, such as Zoom invalidating any attempts at edge-guarding, Whack and Thwack being able to KO at any percentage, or Magic Burst's blast radius easily covering the edge and preventing a large portion of the cast from recovering without taking significant damage in the process. Hero's Critical Hits from his smash attacks have also stirred conversation regarding Hero's skill factor, though not quite to the degree as Command Selection.
Finally, issues regarding language barriers have also been raised, as it is not uncommon for players to compete in countries they do not know the language of. Therefore, a player who does not speak the language of the country in question will be at a large disadvantage, regardless of whether they are playing as or against Hero. Players against this point mention how most of the spells in languages that use the Latin alphabet are very similar to what they are in English, rendering them easily guessable, learnable and reactionary and some suggest hosting games on two separate switches using Arenas and changing the language of each system's game to match that of the players.
Conversely, supporters bring up languages that do not use the Latin alphabet, such as Japanese and Russian, saying that these are much harder to learn and react to in such a short amount of time, and they argue against hosting games over arenas by bringing up factors such as input lag, midmatch slowdowns and crashes. To alleviate the effects of language barriers, most tournaments in countries will usually play in English instead of the regional language due to English being the standard language used in major tournaments, especially since countries such as Portugal, Denmark and Sweden do not have their language available in Ultimate and Hero's spells in Dutch are not translated.
Many prominent smashers, such as Leffen and Dark Wizzy, have advocated banning Hero, while others such as Dabuz and ESAM have come out against a ban, arguing that the character has significant counter-play and has not achieved overwhelmingly high results at tournaments to the same degrees as a top tier character. The first region to ban Hero from tournaments was South Australia, where the ban was put into effect on August 15th, 2019. This was met with criticism, with players in the community (such as D1 and ZeRo) stating that it was too early to declare whether Hero should be banned or not.
Notably, Nintendo France also banned Hero and DLC fighters released after September 23rd, 2019 from future tournaments in their area, making Hero the first instance a character has been banned in Nintendo-sanctioned tournaments. No official reason was given for the ban by Nintendo France at the time. However, as of September 26th, 2019, Nintendo France announced on Twitter that they have overturned the ban, making Hero and DLC fighters released after the aforementioned date legal in Nintendo-sanctioned tournaments for the area.
Classic Mode: A History of Heroism
Rounds 1 through 6 are Stamina Mode battles in reference to the HP system in the Dragon Quest series and most RPGs. Additionally, every battle uses a song from the Dragon Quest series, regardless of the stage. When fighting against each of the Heroes, they will use their respective default appearances instead of their respective alternate costumes, even if the player is also using one of the default Heroes (which was unique to Hero until Byleth's release).
Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Unlike other fighters, the music that plays differs depending on the costume selected.
Role in World of Light
Due to his status as downloadable content, Hero does not have a legitimate role in World of Light. Instead, he is unlocked for use in the mode after freeing 10 fighters from Galeem's control. If loading an existing save file that meets this condition prior to downloading Hero, he is immediately unlocked.
However, in his reveal trailer, all four Heroes are shown fighting against puppet fighters alongside Link, which suggests he too is fighting against Galeem and Dharkon. Erdrick, in particular, also appears in Sephiroth's trailer alongside several fighters who have been warded off by Galeem and his legion of Master Hands.
Hero's fighter spirit (specifically the Luminary's) can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after Hero has been downloaded. Unlocking Hero in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a fighter spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Additionally, the other three Heroes have their own fighter spirits, which can only be obtained by purchase in the shop. Each fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As a minion