The Hero (勇者, Hero) is a title given to the protagonists from the Dragon Quest franchise.
"Hero" is a collective title given to the protagonists of the Dragon Quest series, as their name (and in some cases, gender) is chosen by the player. The Hero is typically the most well-rounded character accessible to the player, skilled with both swordplay and magic. They typically have a wide range of equipment available to them, including the most powerful weapons and armor. As a result, the Hero is generally the character that the player will use the most throughout their quest.
The Hero is given the title "Scion of Erdrick" (ロトの血を引く者, Scion of Loto) in Theatrhythm Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest Rivals.
His name in the Japanese CD Theater audio drama and novelization is Alef (アレフ). Alef is borrowed from Alefgard (アレフガルド), the geographical name of the game's world. He is uncommonly referred to as simply Erdrick (ロト, Loto), though the protagonist of Dragon Quest III is more commonly associated with this title.
The Hero does not have much character, simply being a stoic, silent hero for the player to assume the role of. He had an audience with the king of Alefgard, left for a dangerous journey and rescued Princess Gwalin, defeating the Dragonlord and bringing the world to peace. Dragon Quest Builders, which takes place in an alternate timeline where the Hero instead joins forces with the Dragonlord, depicts him as a crazed villain who resides in a small fortress, believing himself to be the king of the world.
Dragon Quest II
The Hero is known as the "Prince of Midenhall" (ローレシアの王子, Prince of Lorasia), a title also used in Theatrhythm Dragon Quest. Midenhall was established by the Scion of Erdrick, making the Prince a direct descendant to the original Hero.
His name in the audio drama and novelizations is Allen (アレン). The default name in the Japanese Wii version is Loran (ロラン). Loran is borrowed from Lorasia (ローレシア), the Japanese name for Midenhall.
Similar to the Dragon Quest Hero, the Prince does not have much personality, but is shown through his actions to be incredibly strong-willed and eager to defend his kingdom from the villainous cult leader, Hargon. He is joined by his cousins, the Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrooke, in his quest. Unlike most other Heroes, he does not possess any magic capabilities.
Dragon Quest III
The Hero is given the title "Legendary Hero" (伝説の勇者) in Theatrhythm Dragon Quest. However, at the end of their adventure in Dragon Quest III, the Hero receives the title of Erdrick (ロト, Loto), which is widely considered to be their definitive name. They are the first Hero to have male and female variations, though neither choice affects the story in a major way.
Erdrick is a fabled Hero in the lore of the Dragon Quest universe, known for their bravery in saving Alefgard and its surrounding lands from both the Archfiend Baramos and the Master Archfiend Zoma. They are the ancestor of the Heroes from Dragon Quest and, by extension, Dragon Quest II. These characters belong to a group known as the "Descendants of Erdrick" (ロトの子孫たち, Descendants of Loto).
Dragon Quest IV
If the player does not choose a name for this Hero, the name given is Solo (ソロ) for the male and Sofia (ソフィア) for the female; these names are also used for their appearances in later games. In the audio drama, the Hero is named Rei (レイ), and in the official novelizations his name is Yuuril (ユーリル).
From a young age, the Hero was prophesied to defeat the Demons and restore peace to the world. They were raised by foster parents in a hidden village, protected from the outside world until they became an adult. Following a failed assassination attempt led by Psaro the Manslayer, the 18-year-old Hero finds themselves alone in a ransacked village. They soon set out on a quest to discover their true identity and fulfill the prophecy.
Dragon Quest V
The Hero is known as the "Prince of Somnia" (レイドック王子).
Dragon Quest VI
He has many official names in Japanese. The default name for him in the games is Reck (レック), which is derived from the Japanese name of his kingdom, Reidock (レイドック). In the audio drama, his name is Will (ウィル); in the manga, his name is Botts (ボッツ); in the novelization, his name is Iza (イザ).
Upon awakening from a strange dream where he conflicts with an evil Dread King, this amnesiac and seemingly-average boy soon discovers he is part of a larger prophecy. His adventure through the kingdom of Somnia sees him exploring the parallel Dream World, meeting familiar companions, and ultimately coming to terms with his true identity.
Dragon Quest VII
In the official manga, the Hero's name is Arus (アルス). For the English release of the 3DS version and in English promotional material, he is given the default name Auster.
The Hero is much pluckier than his counterparts; he is the young son of a respected fisherman, and something of a doormat, allowing others to easily take advantage of him. When events transpire that transport him and his companions into the distant past, he and his companions quest to defeat the Demon King Orgodemir and restore a broken timeline.
Dragon Quest VIII
The protagonist of Dragon Quest VIII.
In the manual for the PS2 version and in promotional screenshots, the Hero is given the default name Eight (エイト). His ally, Yangus, calls him "guv" as an informal nickname.
The Hero is an amnesiac who lives in Trodain Castle, serving as the captain of its guard upon becoming an adult. He is always accompanied by a small mouse-like creature named Munchie. After the villainous court jester Dhoulmagus sets a curse on the land of Trodain, the unaffected hero and his companions set out to defeat him, ultimately learning about his origins and the true nature of the curse.
Dragon Quest IX
The male protagonist of Dragon Quest IX.
The Hero is commonly referred to as Nine (ナイン).
The Hero belongs to the Celestrians, a race of angelic guardian deities that watch over humanity, perform good deeds, and tend to Yggdrasil—the world tree that allows for Celestrians to ascend to the Realms of the Almighty. However, disaster soon strikes, causing the Hero to fall to Earth and become a regular, mortal human. With a party of other travelers, the Hero roams the Earth to assist those in need and eventually return home.
Dragon Quest X
The male protagonist of Dragon Quest X.
The Hero is commonly referred to as Ten (テン).
Both the Hero and their sibling live in the small village of Etene. During a raid on the village, said sibling is kidnapped by monsters, and the Hero is killed in an explosion. The Hero's soul is then revived as one of five non-human species, launching a nontraditional quest in the world of Astordia.
Dragon Quest XI
The protagonist of Dragon Quest XI.
The Hero is known by his title, the Luminary (勇者, Hero). He is also commonly referred to as Eleven (イレブン).
The Luminary is said to be the reincarnation of a legendary warrior who defeated the darkness. On his sixteenth birthday, he participates in a coming-of-age ceremony, then sets out on a journey to fulfill his destiny. However, he conflicts with the Kingdom of Helidor, as its king instead believes he is the Darkspawn, an entity doomed to spread darkness across the world.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
As a playable character
The four Heroes that appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. From left to right: Solo, Luminary, Erdrick, and Eight
During the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct, the Hero was confirmed to be included into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a DLC Fighter alongside Banjo & Kazooie. The Hero is planned to be released in Summer 2019 along with one stage and several music tracks from the Dragon Quest series as part of Challenger Pack 2.
The Hero is represented through four separate iterations, which are selectable through alternate costumes. The playable iterations are:
- Luminary, the protagonist of Dragon Quest XI, who serves as the default costume.
- Erdrick, the male protagonist from Dragon Quest III.
- Solo, the male protagonist from Dragon Quest IV.
- Eight, the protagonist of Dragon Quest VIII.
Other Heroes in Hero's Final Smash. From left to right: V, X, VII, I, VI, IX, and II.
Other iterations of the Dragon Quest Heroes also appear in Hero's Final Smash. The seven other iterations are:
- The protagonist of Dragon Quest I.
- The protagonist of Dragon Quest II.
- The protagonist of Dragon Quest V.
- The protagonist of Dragon Quest VI.
- The protagonist of Dragon Quest VII.
- The male protagonist of Dragon Quest IX.
- The male protagonist of Dragon Quest X.
- With Dragon Quest XI being released in July 2017, the Hero's Luminary incarnation is the second most recently debuted character in the Super Smash Bros. series, the first being Byleth, whose source material game was released in July 2019.
- The Hero and Cloud each represent one of the two companies that merged into Square Enix, as Cloud was from SquareSoft and the Hero was from Enix.
- The Hero from Dragon Quest XI is the first fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series to simultaneously originate from both a Nintendo console (Nintendo 3DS) and a non-Nintendo console (PlayStation 4).
- The Hero is the first third-party fighter whose alternate costumes replace his model with a different character.
- Erdrick and Solo are the only fighters that have opposite-gender counterparts in their own games, but do not in Smash.
- The Hero is the first fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series whose Japanese name is written entirely with kanji.
- The Hero from Dragon Quest V is the only iteration that is not depicted welding a sword. He instead wields a staff.
- Luminary, along with Lucas and Dark Pit, has only appeared in his debut game outside of Smash.
- However, unlike Lucas and Dark Pit, Luminary's game saw multiple releases, and he was not referenced through a costume in Super Mario Maker.
- Due to the playable Heroes including the other Heroes from across the series in their Final Smash, Hero is one of the three playable characters to be represented in major playable and non-playable roles in the same game, alongside Chrom and R.O.B.
- Unlike Chrom, each Hero is a different entity, and unlike R.O.B., each entity has a different design.