With E3 officially over, (and slayed by Nintendo), we have tons of games and content to look forward to. None are more exciting for Smash fans than the inclusion of both Square-Enix’s Dragon Quest Hero and Microsoft’s/Rare’s Banjo and Kazooie. The Dragon Quest Hero is incredibly popular with strong support in Japan, while Banjo and Kazooie saw intense support in the West. We know the Bird and Bear are set to enter Smash in fall, but what about The Hero?
The Hero is set to join the Smash cast sometime this summer, which technically speaking, has already begun. There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that we will see the Hero but when exactly should we expect him?. Several theories are being thrown around that point to sometime in July or August, with some hopefuls even banking on before the end of June.
Personally I think we will see the Hero and Dragon Quest content appear in mid-July. Unlike summer vacation in America, summer vacation in Japan starts near the end of July (looking at my schedule, the first day of summer vacation starts on July 22nd). Why is the Japanese summer vacation relevant? The Hero and Dragon Quest are obviously extremely popular in Japan, but it’s also important to look at the previous DLC character, Joker.
Joker was released on April 17th as the first DLC character in the Fighter Pass, but he was first revealed in the Game Show Awards in December after the launch of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Joker gameplay was shown and released a little over a week before the Golden Week holidays. For those unaware, Golden Week is a string of Japanese holidays that form an elongated holiday of three to four days. This year’s Golden Week was particularly special, as it celebrated the abdication of the former Emperor, Emperor Akihito and the succession of the new emperor, his son, Naruhito. This royal transition was combined with Golden Week which led to a 10-day-long holiday in Japan.
The fact Joker was revealed and released prior to the long holiday leads me to think we will see something similar with The Hero releasing before summer vacation starts. The spacing between Joker’s release in April and Banjo & Kazooie’s release in fall supports this July release theory.
What does The Hero's appearance mean for Dragon Quest representation? Using the Persona 5 universe as a template, it’s easy to guess what’s to come. Dragon Quest XI’s Hero, aptly named Eleven, will appear as the default skin with alts of Dragon Quest VII’s Eight, Dragon Quest IV’s Solo, and Erdrick, the hero from Dragon Quest III and one of the more important heroes in Dragon Quest history.
The Dragon Quest Heroes
Dragon Quest's popular and recurring enemy, Slime, will appear in some capacity. Judging from its appearance, it will have a function similar to Morgana, serving as both a stage and taunt element. We also saw from the E3 Direct that Yggdrasil's Altar from Dragon Quest XI will be the representative stage and will feature it’s namesake, Yggdrasil, as well as the flying whale, Cetacea. This flying whale served as a way to transport the player’s team across the wide world in Dragon Quest. It is assumed that Cetacea will be apart of the stage background.
Yggdrasil’s Altar with Cetacia
We can also expect to see new spirits from Dragon Quest with obvious inclusions being The Heroes, Slime, Cetacea, and possibly Yggdrasil. I expect we will also see various party characters from Dragon Quest XI, III, IV, and VIII. In addition, various monsters and enemies found in Dragon Quest are bound to appear such as Werewolf, Dragonlord, Chimaera, Golem, Mummy, and Archdemon.
Some examples of Dragon Quest monsters
In terms of music, we are confirmed to have several musical tracks from Dragon Quest. We already have two confirmed songs: “Adventure” from Dragon Quest III and “Dragon Quest Overture,” which is probably based on the one found in Dragon Quest XI. It’s likely we will also see music from Dragon Quest IV and Dragon Quest VIII.
There will be a Classic Mode like with Joker and Piranha Plant as well. There has been much speculation regarding what Hero’s Classic Mode will be. Some popular ideas are based off characters from fantasy settings, villains that represent Dragon Quest enemies, and characters like Cloud and Joker who come from JRPGs. Dragon Quest is seen as the catalyst that started the whole JRPG genre.
Finally, much like how Persona had several Mii Costumes, we are sure to see a few Mii Costumes from the Dragon Quest series. I’m willing to bet we get a Slime hat as well.
Isn’t it adorable?
To wrap it up, I feel that we will see The Hero make his grand appearance in mid July, before the Japanese summer vacation officially starts. In addition, we will obviously seetons of new Dragon Quest content in the form of spirits, music, and Mii Costumes. Unless it gets shafted, much like Final Fantasy. Hopefully not. Keep your eyes peeled for any content between now and August!
Author’s Note: When do you personally think we will see the Hero be released? What music do you want to see included from Dragon Quest? How about spirits? Let us know!