Dragon Quest’s Hero launched earlier this week in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and I’ve had the chance to play as him for around five hours. Hero’s Down Special, the command menu, is easily the most controversial part about the character, since he essentially has around 20 unique special moves assigned to one button. 

By hitting Down Special, a menu with four random spell options is displayed on the bottom of the screen. You can then scroll through the four options and pick the one that best fits the situation. However, you can’t move while accessing the command menu, and if you’re so much as tapped by an enemy, it goes away; and you have to hope the RNG gives you a good set of spells next time.

Here’s a rundown of all the spells in command menu, as well as what I thought of each of them:

  • Oomph raises your attack power and decreases your defense
    • Oomph sends enemies flying, and it’s a top tier pick if it ever shows up on the command menu. It lasts a decent amount of time, and you can easily get a KO with it if your enemy has 50% or so of damage. This move can easily turn the tide of battle.

  • Psyche Up increases the power of your next attack
    • If your opponent has 30-40% on them, a well timed smash attack after using Psyche Up will likely finish them off.
  • Bounce reflects your opponents’ spells and other projectiles
    • Bounce is extremely useful when fighting projectile-heavy characters like Ness, Lucas, and the Links.
  • Heal reduces your damage percentage
    • Heal seems to heal about 10% of your damage when used. It’s best employed when your opponent is recovering off the stage.
  • Flame Slash spreads fire in front of you
    • Flame Slash is a pretty strong move with good range, and it’s good for defending the stage when your enemy has to recover.
  • Kacrackle Slash can freeze your opponents
    • Kacrackle Slash is a great command menu combo-starter. Since it freezes your opponent, it gives you ample time to search through your command menu, or go in for the kill with a smash attack.

  • Acceleratle significantly increases your speed
    • Acceleratle is like Shulk’s speed boost, and it makes Hero easier to launch. It’s pretty much always a good pick, as long as you can handle the extra speed!
  • Kaboom sets off a mighty explosion
    • Kaboom is powerful, but there are usually better options to be found. Hero’s side special or neutral special serves its role much better.
  • Snooze puts your opponent to sleep
    • Snooze appears to be one of the most useful — and potentially OP — spells in Hero’s arsenal. It sends out a hypnotic wave in a straight line, and can actually put multiple opponents to sleep. The sleep effect lasts long enough to go through the command menu a couple more times, in order to find something that can really do some damage.
  • Hatchet Man delivers a critical hit when it lands
    • This move delivers an instant critical hit at short range. It’s hard to pull off on its own, but it’s lethal when used in conjunction with Snooze.
  • Whack and Thwack can potentially KO an opponent in one hit
    • Like in the Dragon Quest RPGs, Whack/Thwack almost never works. I went into training mode and used Thwack around 50 times to see the instant death happen once. This is a good move for a last-ditch effort, and the odds are better when your enemy is at a high percentage, but you’ll want to spend your MP elsewhere. It’s worth noting that Thwack is more likely to work than Whack.
  • Zoom lets you recover from anywhere
    • Zoom is the best recovery move in all of Smash Bros., but you have to get pretty lucky to use it. If you’re too far off stage to use the standard recovery, you have to hope that it randomly shows up in your command menu: otherwise, your goose is cooked!
  • Kaclang makes you impervious to attacks for a short time
    • Kaclang is one of the only bad choices in Hero’s moveset. There doesn’t appear to be an option to break out of the statue-form on your own, so your opponents can set up their attack while you’re frozen solid. Stick to the regular shield.
  • Metal Slash one-hit KOs a metal opponent
    • This move is an amazing nod to the Dragon Quest series, but it’s really not practical, especially when items are off. Still, it’s fun when you’re able to pull it off in casual play!
  • Hocus Pocus has unpredictable effects, both good and bad
    • This is a weird spell you should generally avoid. It can turn you invisible, do random amounts of damage, or even hurt you!
  • Magic Burst uses all remaining MP to deal massive damage
    • As advertised, this move packs a punch, especially when there’s a lot of MP stored up. MP recharges quickly enough to make this move an easy choice.

  • Kamikazee produces an extremely powerful self-destructive explosion
    • The exact strategy here isn’t clear yet. It seems suited for when you’re at extremely high damage, and you want to take opponents down with you, but it seemed easy enough for my opponents to avoid, and it’s not worth losing a life to use.
  • Sizz/Sizzle do fire damage
    • Sizz and Sizzle throw flame projectiles forward, but they move much faster than Frizz, Hero’s neutral special. Still, it’s better to spend MP on something you can’t normally accomplish with the special moves.
  • Bang/Kaboom trigger explosions
    • Bang and Kaboom each make a small explosion. Kaboom costs more MP, and can actually suck an opponent closer to the explosion before it’s triggered. Kaboom is worth your MP, Bang probably isn’t.

Most spells in the command menu are actually very good, with only a few clunkers mixed in. Still, it’s difficult to pull off these moves sometimes, since you can’t move while accessing the menu, and opponents can hit you out of the prompt pretty easily. 

As far as MP management, running out of MP shouldn’t be a great concern. Obviously, the strategy for playing Hero is still very young, but it looks easy to use his standard attacks (which recharge MP) enough to not have to worry about running out.

Later in the week, I’ll have more personal impressions on Hero as I become more accustomed to his moveset. For now, I’ll have to keep experimenting with the command menu, which is now one of the most unique elements on the Smash Ultimate roster.

 

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Written by Logan Plant

Logan loves voicing his opinions just as much as writing them. When he isn’t gaming or writing, Logan’s probably recording a podcast or chatting on the radio. Video game journalism is his passion, and he hopes to cover video games for years to come.

Logan Plant