The hero is dressed appropriately for combat, donning blue full plate armour, a helm that superficially resembles the helmet of Ortega with an added ponytail, a large circular shield embedded with a red jewel in its centre (possibly a ruby), and an impressively-sized claymore sheathed at his side.
Setting the narrative standard for all other Dragon Quest protagonists to follow, the Hero is mostly silent, only communicating in answers of 'Yes' and 'No'. Other characters in the story will answer as if he speaks to them in conversation. This was a decision made by series creator Yuji Horii to help draw the player into the world of Alefgard on a more personal level, rather than viewing the events of the game as an observer.
He does, however, have one line of dialogue by the end of the game.
Setting out into Alefgard, the Hero's journey takes him to such places as Galenholm, Kol, Rimuldar, and Cantlin. Along the way, he fights against monsters to increase his strength and earn gold to purchase better equipment. A monument within a cave that bore his ancestor's namesake taught him about three items that were needed to reach The Dragonlord's Castle. After claiming the Staff of Rain, the Sun Stone, and the Mark of Erdrick, he is accepted as the true heir of Erdrick and is entrusted with the Rainbow Drop. With the Rainbow Drop in his possession, he gains access to The Dragonlord's Castle.
Along the way to encountering the Dragonlord, the Hero also rescues Princess Gwaelin, who is being held prisoner in Quagmire Cave and guarded by a fierce Green dragon. The hero also visits the ruined city of Damdara, where he defeats a Knight aberrant and reclaims his ancestor's armor. The hero also reclaims his ancestor's sword, which is hidden in The Dragonlord's Castle.
Finally, the Hero makes his way to the bottom level of the Dragonlord's Castle and faces the Dragonlord himself. The Dragonlord offers the hero a chance to rule the world by his side, but the Hero refuses, and they battle. Even after revealing his true form, the Dragonlord fell at the Hero's hands. The Hero reclaims the Ball of Light, and the monsters are banished from Alefgard.
His destiny fulfilled, the Hero returns to Tantegel Castle, where Lorik offers him his throne as ruler over Alefgard. The Hero declines, saying if he is to rule a kingdom, it must be that of a land he finds himself. With that, he sets out alongside Princess Gwaelin to find a new land.
After leaving Alefgard, the Hero ended up founding three kingdoms in the land of Torland: Midenhall, Cannock, and Moonbrooke. His grandchildren, the Prince of Midenhall, the Prince of Cannock, and the Princess of Moonbrooke, would follow in his footsteps as heroes to defeat the evil Hargon.
The setting of Builders is a hypothetical world where the Hero chose to accept the Dragonlord's offer of ruling half the world. Several characters ponder aloud as to why such a man would descend into darkness, but the game leaves it to players to speculate for themselves. The fallen Hero is encountered in person in the fourth chapter as a boss, with the epitaph Fallen Hero--The King of Darkness. Perhaps most tragically is that the Builder will see crude tents scattered in front of the grounds before his keep--Goddess only knows how many people prayed for their hero to return in vain.
Far from being the equal to the Dragonlord, the Hero has been reduced to a cackling lunatic cloistered away in a small fortress near Alefgard, which has been given the ironic name of "Half of the World," which makes the Dragonlord's offer technically correct. He believes himself to be the true king of the world, and declares that the penalty for the Builder invading his "realm" shall be death. During battle he is armed with his original copies of the Sword of Kings and Hero's shield, and can perform a spin attack. He has just enough sense left to taunt the Builder during their skirmish, and will summon monsters to aid him when his health drops to half and 1/4th. When beaten, he flees and is never seen again.
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