The Hero (勇者, Hero) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the second third-party representative 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". He was released 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, 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, also in all versions of the game.
The Hero is a tall semi-heavyweight fighter. Appropriate with his weight class, the Hero is rather tall, which—in tandem with his sword—gives his attacks more reach, but makes him easy to hit and combo. He sports the above-average damage output and KO potential typical of a heavyweight. Collectively, the Hero has respectable mobility: in spite of having a slow walking speed, slightly below-average air speed and poor air acceleration, his dashing speed, initial dash, traction, falling speed, and fast-falling speed are all either average or above-average.
The Hero has a good defensive game. His naturally tall frame and sword give his attacks impressive range, allowing him to keep a safe distance. Similarly to the three Links, the Hero actually sports two shields: the standard Shield action that every fighter has, and another equipped on his left arm most of the time. The Hero's shield can block projectiles while he is standing idle, walking, or crouching. The first hit of Hero's forward tilt grants invincibility to his left arm, head and left leg because of this shield's position, similar to Palutena's dash attack and back aerial.
The Hero possesses a unique MP Gauge, storing up to 100MP, which depletes 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 can travel fast and far and deals decent damage, allowing the Hero to disrupt enemy approaches with this. In addition, unlike other Frizz spells, Frizz weakly launches the opponents upwards, making it sometimes possible to start juggle setups 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 more damage, knockback and traveling distance, turning it into a viable KO move even at 100% on stage. The Hero's side special, Zap, has decent range for its startup, deals respectable damage and can KO offstage opponents at high percentages and can be charged into Zapple, which grants it even more range and damage while being a vertical KO option at really high percentages, or Kazap: this results in the move becoming significantly stronger in exchange for a very long startup and less range than Zapple, being able to KO most opponents on center stage at mere 50%. Additionally, Zap and its variants are completely disjointed, giving them fearsome range and rendering them immune to reflection and absorption. The Hero's up special, Woosh, can be charged into Swoosh or Kaswoosh. Woosh is a good recovery option and is also Hero's fastest and most reliable out of shield, and is further amplified through charging it up into Swoosh or Kaswoosh, granting more knockback, travelling far vertically and granting some horizontal movement. 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 the Hero a random list of four spells which offer a wide variety of effects. For example, the Bounce spell will reflect projectiles without sacrificing mobility. All of the other spells have significant advantages and little disadvantages to boot, which can be seen here. The Command Selection can be cancelled by inputting the shield button, allowing the Hero to repeatedly switch the menu of spells until he has an ideal set of them.
The 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 percents. In addition, they cause the smash attacks to cause more shieldstun, making them slightly safer on shield. Even without this perk, the 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 edgeguarding attack in its own right.
The 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 startup, damage output and good range, making it good for both damage-racking at low percents, spacing and as "get-off-me". 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 edgeguards or outright KOs near the ledge. 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 the Hero's neutral attack—while offering the same speed and launching vertically; it can be used to hit opponents hanging on the ledge and start setups. Lastly, 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 ledge.
The 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 both deal respectably decent knockback, KOing at 100% and 85% respectively. Up aerial has the lowest lag out of any of the 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 the 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.
Lastly, the Hero's up and down throws sport some utility: the former can not only act as a situational combo starter, but it is also his strongest throw, being able to KO before 200%, unlike his others. Conversely, down throw is a good combo starter at low percents and can lead into dangerous set-ups.
But for all the strengths that the 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 the Hero's Woosh spell will only give him a very small hop without MP. While his Command Selection is very versatile, its random nature means that a desired spell is unlikely to be available. On top of that, some of his spells have very little utility (e.g, 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 the Hero's attacks suffer from slow start-up lag (dash attack), high ending lag (up, down and second hit of forward tilts), or both (forward and back aerials). The Hero's below-average frame data, alongside his high raw damage output and attacks' high knockback values, give him a limited combo ability, only having certain attacks like neutral aerial, up aerial, up throw, and down throw that can successfully generate true combos. Even then, while Hero's grabs have fast startup for his weight class, they have short range and up throw only initiates combos at fairly low percentages. Up aerial suffers from poor range and down tilt suffers from aforementioned high endlag, preventing it from performing any true combos. As stated earlier, his up smash's horizontal range is nonexistent. Thus, it is the Hero's least useful move against grounded opponents and, by extension, his least potent grounded attack.
Due to being a semi-heavyweight, having a tall hurtbox and slightly above average falling speed, and lacking any fast or invincible attacks, the Hero is very susceptible to combos. This weakness may be exacerbated further through one of Hocus Pocus's effects (which makes him giant) as well as Oomph, which makes him suffer 1.2x damage when hit.
All in all, Hero’s strengths are on par with his weaknesses. While he does have a plethora of magic spells at his disposal, high damage output, and overall high kill power, he suffers from susceptibility to combos, slow attacks, reliance on random chance, and limited ability to combo his opponents. While players such as Salem have shown Hero’s potential at tournaments, his representation has been below average overall. As such, his viability remains up for debate.
So far the Hero has not received any significant buffs or nerfs in game patches; the majority of the changes made to the character have been bug fixes and other adjustments to align him with the rest of the cast.
For a gallery of Hero's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Command Selection spells
Hocus Pocus Effects
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 was argued as too unpredictable for a character to work as a competitively fair character. Upon his release, it was not uncommon to watch players pull off unpredictable feats in a competitive setting, with several games ending in Hero's favor due to a lucky giant/invisible Hocus Pocus roll, a random critical hit smash attack, high-MP Magic Burst, and most infamously, a finals game where Puppeh KO'd another Hero player with Thwack at 0% right after he respawned, thus winning the game.  Players in support of Hero have also stated the opposite, as even experienced players were capable of making gamechanging mistakes from sheer luck, including an accidental Kamikazee, unlucky Hocus Pocus roll, or a Kaclang offstage or onstage, all equally likely to cause a stock loss. These only further added to the controversy, which can be seen below. Overall, it is generally agreed upon that the character has not been, and likely will not be put into an optimized state for a long time.
Outside of the controversy however, Hero has not made a significant impact on the metagame; while it is common to see him in pools and small-scale tournaments, he has not gone far in high-level tournaments, with his only notable tournament placements coming from komorikiri and Tsu in Japan, and Salem and Trela in America. This can be attributed to his slow frame data, lack of reliable combo breaking options, and his reliance on MP, all of which can be exploited by opponents. His 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, Hero's results have been tame in comparison to his moveset's controversy, and he is mostly seen as a high or mid tier, but this is up for debate.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
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 commands have also been the subject of controversy, such as Zoom which invalidates any attempts at edgeguarding, Whack and Thwack which are capable of KOing at any percentage, or Magic Burst whose blast radius can easily cover the ledge and prevent a large portion of the cast from recovering without taking significant damage. Random critical hits from Smash Attacks have also stirred conversation regarding Hero's skill factor, though not quite to the same degree as Command Selection. Finally, issues regarding language barriers have also been raised, as it is not uncommon for players to compete in regions that do not share their first language, which puts them at a significant disadvantage, either when playing as or against Hero.
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 counterplay 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 is too early to declare whether the character should be banned or not. Notably, Nintendo France has also banned the 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-run tournaments. No official reason has been given for the ban by Nintendo France at the time. However, as of September 26, 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-run Tournaments for the area. 
Classic Mode: A History of Heroism
Every battle aside from the last one is a stamina battle, referencing the HP system in Dragon Quest and most RPGs. Additionally, every battle uses a song from the Dragon Quest universe regardless of stage. When fighting against all of the Heroes, they will use that costume even if the player is using one of them (a trait unique to Hero until the release of Byleth).
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, he is shown fighting against the puppet fighters alongside Link and joins with the other 3 Heroes, which suggests he too is fighting against Galeem and Dharkon.
Hero's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 coins, 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. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, the other three Heroes have their own fighter spirits, which can only be obtained by purchase in the shop.
As a minion