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 DLC character from the Fighters Pass. The Hero's default costume is the hero from Dragon Quest XI (Luminary), while the heroes from Dragon Quest III (Erdrick), Dragon Quest IV (Solo), and Dragon Quest VIII (Eight) also appear as alternate characters like Alph and the Koopalings, though unlike those alternate characters, here they are all listed simply as "Hero." The Hero was released on July 30th, 2019, and is classified as Fighter #72.
Mitsuki Saiga reprises her role as the Luminary, voicing him in all regions in place of his English voice actor. Nobuyuki Hiyama, Takeshi Kusao, and Yūki Kaji debut as the voices of Erdrick, Solo, and Eight, respectively.
The Hero is a tall semi-heavyweight fighter. Contrary to his weight class, the Hero sports a tall frame—in tandem with his sword—that gives his attacks more reach, yet renders him vertically susceptible to combos; additionally, he sports an above-average damage output and KO potential, giving him attributes similar to those 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 fastfalling speed are all either average or above-average.
The Hero has a good defensive game, courtesy of his tall frame, his shield, and long sword. His naturally tall frame and long sword give his attacks impressive range, allowing him to keep a safe distance away from his opponent. In a manner reminiscent of the three Links, the Hero actually sports two shields: the standard one that every fighter has, and another equipped in his left arm most of the time. The Hero's shield can block projectiles while he is standing idle, walking, or crouching; its utility also extends to the first hit of his forward tilt, which in a similar manner to Palutena's dash attack and back aerial, grants invincibility to his left arm, as well as his head and left leg.
The Hero possesses a unique MP Gauge, a bar that starts at 100 and depletes whenever he uses his special moves. The amount depleted varies depending on the spell, but it can be restored over time or from attacking foes with standard attacks. 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. Frizz can be charged into Frizzle or Kafrizz for more damage, knockback and traveling distance, turning it into a viable KO move even at 100%. The Hero's side special, Zap, can be charged into Zapple or Kazap: this results in the move becoming significantly stronger, and also turning into a viable KOing option. 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 further amplified through charging it up, travelling far vertically and granting some horizontal movement. Additionally, Woosh leaves behind tornadoes, which serve as lingering hitboxes that can damage opponents and gimp opposing recoveries. 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 and knockback given, allowing them to KO at extremely early percents. 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 edgeguarding; 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 smash attack and can be used to punish rolls or spotdodges—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 damage output and good knockback, making it good for both damage-racking at low percents and KOing at high percents. As stated earlier, forward tilt's first hit has blocking capabilities, which when coupled with its relatively low lag, makes it a safe defensive option that can be followed up with a second hit—a sword slash—which offers better range, identical speed, and more power, allowing for set-ups or outright KOs. 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. 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. 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 nowhere near as impressive as that of many other swordfighters, is impressive in its own right. 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. Since all of his special moves uses MP, the Hero is limited in the amount of special moves he can perform at a given moment until the MP Gauge recharges. If he runs out of MP or does not have enough, he will be unable to cast the appropriate spell, which is problematic when recovering off-stage, as the Hero's Woosh spell will only give him a very small hop. While his Command Selection is versatile, its random nature means that there is no guarantee that the appropriate spell will be available for the right situation. On top of that, some of his spells have little utility (e.g, Metal Slash, which deals 1% and extremely low knockback against non-metal opponents), while one of them, Hocus Pocus, grants the Hero a slew of negative effects, outnumbering the positive effects received from it. Furthermore, the majority of the commands will only work under certain circumstances, which cannot all be accounted for during a given usage.
Many of the Hero's attacks suffer from slow start-up lag (dash attack), high ending lag (up and down 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 down tilt, up aerial, up throw, and down throw that can successfully generate true combos. Even then, up aerial suffers from poor range, down tilt suffers from aforementioned high endlag, and up throw only initiates combos at fairly low percentages. As stated earlier, his up smash's horizontal range is nonexistent; thus, it is the Hero's least useful move against aerial opponents and, by extension, his least potent grounded attack.
Due to being a semi-heavyweight with a tall frame, the Hero is vertically susceptible to combos, which is further exacerbated through his falling speed being slightly above-average, his fast-falling speed being exponentially high, and his lack of fast enough means of escaping them. His ability to be comboed fairly easily is pushed even further through one of Hocus Pocus's effects—which makes the Hero giant—as well as Oomph, which makes him take 1.2x the normal damage of any attack (this is further consequential in 1v1 battles).
All in all, Hero’s strengths do outshine 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 in combos, laggy moves, randomness with MP, and limited combos. This in turn ultimately makes him viable, but to what extent is unknown due to his recent release. While we don't know his viability relative to the cast.
Currently, Hero is banned in South Australia in competitive play, with many different reasons supporting it. The concept of his down special, Command Selection, granting random spells contradicts the tournaments' purpose to show off the skills that a competitor is capable of. Additionally, some moves, such as Whack and Thwack (and to an extent, Metal Slash, but only when facing another Hero), have properties that can instant KO an opponent if they connect properly, with the chances increasing the higher the opponent's damage. One of the most controversial moves is Hocus Pocus, due to the fact that it can cause random effects, majority of which are negative, and some of which cause the same effects as some items (such as the Super Mushroom, Poison Mushroom, and Super Star), which also contradicts the effects of items being banned. Another issue that was brought up was the language. Since utilizing Command Selection requires being able to read the commands, it proves unfair that players who cannot read the language the game is set to cannot tell what spells are being utilized by Hero. This can be unfavorable to both the Hero player and their opponents if they can't read what is on screen, as the former may end up accidentally selecting a spell that they didn't want and will harm them in gameplay (such as Kamikazee), while the latter may not be able to read the spells the Hero player is using and can't prepare for what they are using. With all these reasons, the South Australia Smash Central banned Hero in Australia, though it is stated this could change with future updates. This ban may carry over to other regions or worldwide.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Command Selection spells
Hocus Pocus Effects
In competitive play
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 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 decidedly uncompetitive environment, in which skill alone is not sufficient to win matches (coincidentally so as certain spells like Hocus Pocus grant abilities 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 absurdly early percentages, or Magic Burst which practically prevents the entire cast from recovering without much skill required on the part of the player using Hero. 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 which do not share their first language, which puts them at a significant disadvantage both when playing as or against Hero, through no fault of their own.
Many prominent smashers, such as Leffen, have advocated banning Hero, while others such as Dabuz have come out against a ban, arguing that the character has significant counterplay. The first region to ban Hero from tournaments was South Australia, who put the ban into effect on August 15th, 2019. . This was met with criticism, with players in the community such as D1 and ZeRo stating that it's too early to declare whether the character should be banned or not.
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.
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.
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.
Additionally, the other three heroes have their own fighter spirits.
In Spirit Battles
As a minion