Hercules is one of the primary characters featured in the Kingdom Hearts series. He is the son of Zeus and Hera, living in the Olympus Coliseum. Hercules possesses great strength and can battle the toughest of monsters. He is very supportive of Sora's goal to become a true hero.
Kingdom Hearts χ
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Before Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep
Hercules is born to Zeus and Hera on Mount Olympus. Hades sends Pain and Panic to kidnap the infant; they use a special formula to turn him mortal, but because Hercules does not drink the last drop, he retains his godlike strength. Hercules is adopted by two humans, Amphitryon and Alcmene, and raised in Greece.
Growing up, Hercules is, for the most part, very happy under the care of his foster parents. However, during his teenage years, the boy begins to feel like he does not belong with other mortals. Hercules's strength leads the other townsfolk to regard him as a "menace" and "too dangerous to be around normal people." Eventually, Amphitryon and Alcmene decide to tell Hercules how they found him as an infant, seemingly abandoned; they show him the medal that was around his neck, which features the symbol of the gods. This prompts Hercules to seek answers about his origins and determine his destiny. The young man sets out for the Temple of Zeus, thus beginning his quest to become a true hero.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Young Hercules is training to become a hero alongside Zack, hoping to restore his godhood and return to Mt. Olympus by proving himself a true hero. After seeing Terra fight, he wishes to become like Terra.
He meets Ventus and after he, Ven, and Zack fight and defeat the Unversed, Hercules suggests to Ven that he should train under Phil to become a hero. During the final match with Zack, the Unversed attack the city and Ven runs off to defeat them. Herc instantly gives up the fight to help Ventus. After the battle, a hidden Unversed attempts to attack Herc from behind, but is defeated by Zack. Phil then comes forth and declares that he will coach Hercules for being fast enough to make the right choice. In truth, Phil never planned on giving up Herc.
He also meets Aqua, appearing after Zack attempted to ask Aqua out. He points out how Aqua's "face is all red", and also gets advice from Aqua to not always rely on his strength, and she also tells him that she believes he will become a true hero someday. Hercules later trains under Phil with Zack watching by the gate before something takes him away.
Hercules does not arrive at Olympus Coliseum until he saves Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Cloud from Cerberus. Sora, Donald and Goofy run back to battle Cerberus so Hercules can escape with an unconscious Cloud. Upon the defeat of Cerberus, Hercules is impressed with the trio but encourages them to continue training when Phil grants them "Junior Heroes". When they leave, Hercules reveals to Phil that he had already worn out Cerberus by the time Sora and company came to fight him. Hercules later battles Sora in a one-on-one battle in the Hercules Cup. When Sora wins and gains the Hercules Cup, as well as the ability to access the Keyhole of Olympus, he comments that his heart's strength comes from his friends, and Hercules supports him in it. He also exclaims that he "wasn't even holding back."
Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
Hercules is met by Sora when Phil is about to cancel the games because no one else got past his preliminary course. Sora convinces them to keep the games because he wants to fight Hercules. Hercules agrees and Cloud shows up to add another contender to the games. During the games, Cloud wants to eliminate Hercules so he can have his lost memories restored. At the end of the course, Cloud and Hercules are fighting to the death and Hades intervenes, determined to kill Hercules himself, as Cloud could not finish him off. Sora then defends Hercules from Hades. After Hades is beaten, Hercules would like to fight Sora, but is not in his top fighting form and promises Sora a fight when he is.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Hercules was out looking for possible new heroes for the Coliseum and sent someone to start training with Phil. Phil mistook Roxas as this person and started training him. Roxas sees Hercules training in a couple of circumstances, and also walks by him. Phil then tells Hercules how well Roxas is doing and Hercules says that the person he found couldn't even be there since it will take him awhile to get to the Coliseum. As such, Phil is shocked to find that he was training a complete stranger.
Kingdom Hearts II
Hercules spends most of his days in the coliseum battling Hades's monsters, including the Rock Titan and the Hydra. He gets rather tired, but hides his exhaustion from Megara and his friends. When Megara is captured by Hades, Sora and the others offer to find her so that he can deal with the Hydra. After he kills the monster, he runs into the Underworld to join the others in saving Meg. He later feels depressed for the destruction of the coliseum at the hands of the Hydra.
Upon Sora's second visit to the destroyed Coliseum, Hercules is still depressed. Hades forces Hercules to join in the tournaments in the Underdrome and uses Megara as threat. Before the finals, Sora and the others encounter their friend Auron, who was being brainwashed at the time. In order to buy them time, Hercules offers to fight Auron one-on-one in a death match. Sora, Donald, and Goofy stop the fight just as Hercules is about to run out of endurance and help Auron regain his will. Angered by the outcome, Hades throws Megara into the Styx and Hercules jumps in after her and so regains his strength by reminding himself that a true hero's strength comes from his heart. With the revived Hercules on their side, the group defeats Hades, and witnesses the creation of a new constellation shaped like Sora, Donald, and Goofy, making the trio true heroes at long last.
Some time after Xemnas's defeat, Hercules has successfully rebuilt the Coliseum with the help of his friends.
Kingdom Hearts coded
Hercules teams up with Data-Sora to help him find Hades, as well as destroy the Heartless and Bug Blox in the way. He has been seen battling Cloud, who ironically also joins Sora to help fight. Hercules fights Cerberus alongside Sora and Cloud. After defeating Cerberus, he fights Hades again.
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage-
In order for Sora to regain the powers he lost when Xehanort kidnapped his body, Yen Sid directs the boy and his friends to go seek training from Hercules at the Olympus Coliseum.
Extremely muscular, with broad shoulders and a comparatively thin waist, Hercules is always seen wearing orange-brown armor that ends in metal kilt. His armor does not extend to his arms, nor to most of his legs. He wears a brown belt around his waist with a gold emblem with the symbol of Zeus printed on it. Hercules's sandals are knee-high and have cross-shaped straps and are brown, as are two wristbands he also wears. He has a reddish-brown headband tied around his forehead, pushing back his rust-colored hair, save for one bang that falls over it in the form of an S-curl. The only aspects of Hercules's appearance not colored in earth tones are his sky blue eyes and short, deep blue cape. He is occasionally seen with a simple sword with a brown handle and yellow cross-guard, but apparently prefers to fight barehanded.
In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, a much younger Hercules is seen prior to becoming a hero. His appearance is like in Hercules: The Animated Series. At this point in his life, Hercules was rather scrawny and far from muscular. His sandals were not knee-high like his current self's, and he wore a plain white toga that left most of his legs, his arms, and the right side of his chest exposed. There was a metal pendant engraved with Zeus's symbol that was attached to the strap on his left shoulder. His headband and wristbands were also absent. His hair was a bit longer as well, being just about shoulder-length and seemed to be a brighter shade of orange than it is now.
Hercules is shown to be tough, yet caring, willing to withstand hours of intense training at the hands of his mentor, Phil. He has a genuine love for Megara, and is willing to sacrifice even his own life for her. He is not without fault, however, as insults from Hades and a series of tough matches, including a loss to the Hydra, cause the hero to doubt his worth. It is when his friends' lives are most in danger that Hercules realizes he is not worthless, and that, in his words, "A true hero is measured by the strength of his heart."
When fought in the various Coliseum tournaments in the first Kingdom Hearts, Hercules is invincible and protected by a golden aura - Sora must pick up and throw barrels at him to make him vulnerable for a short time. The best time to throw a barrel at Hercules is when he's taunting by saying "Hey! You give up yet?" and flexes his muscles. You can tell he is going to taunt when he slowly side steps across the field first. Hercules attacks with various punches and also slams the ground, unleashing a shockwave. He also has other attacks that include delivering a bullet punch, spinning around the field with his sword out, a charging headbutt and even unleashing an energy explosion around him.
When fought in the Titan and Paradox Titan cups in the Underdrome during Kingdom Hearts II, Hercules uses powerful punches and headbutts, and can jump and unleash a shockwave when he lands. He can also summon a gold aura, turning himself invincible, inspired by the end of his Disney movie.
For two fights with Hades, Hercules assists Sora as an ally. He uses his punch attacks, and has two special commands: Aura Guard, which summons a barrier around him to protect Sora, and Aura Sphere, which summons two orbs of energy that, when hit into Hades, extinguish his fire and render him vulnerable to physical and magical attacks.
A demi-god and son of the sky god Zeus, Hercules is known as "Heracles" in ancient Greek mythology. He still possesses his great strength seen in the Disney adaptation of the "character," yet several plots seen in this version of Hercules do not remain present in the realm of myths. One similarity is that both are considered a hero in their own right, battling a series of monsters. Mythology has a much more diverse love life, no rivalry with Hades or affiliation with Phil, and no goal to regain his "god" status. Myth also depicts the hero as a man wielding a club rather than a sword, carrying a lion's pelt as his only source of clothing.
In the Disney film by the same name as this hero, Hercules was kidnapped as an infant from his home on Mount Olympus and turned mortal by Pain and Panic. Growing up a strong, teased and misunderstood teenager with mortal adopted parents, Hercules left home to seek out his true identity. A conversation with his father Zeus told him to seek out Philoctetes, trainer of heroes, and learn to be a "true hero" so he could reclaim godship. Hercules arose to fame, and eventually found love in Megara. It was a love for this woman that allowed Hercules to become a "true hero" when he risked his life for hers.
Notes and references
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