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|“||Excuse me. It, uh, [clears throat] ...seems to me that what you folks need is.. a hero. (Tall Theban: ...yeah. And who are you?) I'm Hercules, and, uh, I happen to be...a hero!||„|
|~ Hercules to the Thebans.|
|“||I've defeated every single monster I've come up against. I-I'm... I'm the most famous person in all of Greece. I'm... I-I'm an action figure!||„|
He was voiced by Tate Donovan as an adult, who also played Nelson in Tales From the Crypt; and Josh Keaton as a teenager, who voiced Steve Rogers in What if...?, Jason Todd in Young Justice, Spider-Man in The Spectacular Spider-Man, Jak in Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier, Nightwing in the Arkhamverse, Shiro in Voltron: Legendary Defender, the Flash and Steve Trevor in DC Super Hero Girls, Kyle Rayner in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, Jack Darby in Transformers: Prime, Valerian Mengsk in StarCraft, Ryu Hayabusa in Ninja Garden 2, Lukas in TellTales's The Walking Dead, Ant-Man in Avengers: Secret Wars, Anduin Wrynn in World of Warcraft, XLR8 in Ben 10, Aquaman in Justice League: Crisis of Two Earths, and Gamer Kid in LEGO Dimensions, with Roger Bart doing his singing voice. As a baby, his vocal sound effects were provided by Tara Strong.
Hercules was born on Mount Olympus, and possessed impressive strength. Every god and goddess attended his birth and gave him several gifts, with his father Zeus creating the winged horse Pegasus. Even Zeus' brother Hades (who has grown tired of ruling the Underworld and secretly wished to overthrow Zeus and become leader of the gods) attended, offering a skull-like pacifier which he tried to stick in Hercules' mouth. Hercules strength was proved when he squeezed Hades' finger tightly and injured him.
Returning to the Underworld, Hades consulted with the Fates, who informed him that when the planets align themselves eighteen years later, that Hades will unleash the Titans, defeat Zeus, and take over Mount Olympus. Hades was overjoyed, but this was short-lived when the Fates then mentioned that if Hercules fought him, Hades would be defeated.
Deciding he could not let this happen, Hades ordered his two henchmen, Pain and Panic, to take Hercules from Mount Olympus and make him drink a potion that would make him mortal, depriving him of his godly power so they could kill him. Obeying orders, the two imps snuck into Mount Olympus and kidnapped baby Hercules and brought him to the human world. Feeding him the potion, Hercules was deprived of his godly powers. Before he could drink all of it, two peasants, Amphytyron and Alcmene, interrupted them and they hid, and the last drop of the potion fell onto the ground. Discovering the baby, the peasants decided to adopt him, but were interrupted when Pain and Panic morphed into snakes to kill Hercules. It was revealed that because Hercules didn't drink all the potion and retained his super strength, and delivered a beat-down on the imps. The two were defeated, but lied to Hades, saying they killed him.
Growing up in the human world was hard. Because of his super strength, Hercules would constantly cause accidents trying to help out, and was shunned by the town. After he was teased by the children at town for asking to play with them, Hercules accidentally destroyed the town and the entire town rejected him and told him to leave. After the incident, his adopted parents finally reveal the circumstances to Hercules, and he sets off to find his father Zeus. He met a statue of Zeus in the Temple of Zeus, who told him that he couldn't turn him back into a god unless he became a true hero, and he gave him a grown-up Pegasus. Hercules was trained by a Satyr named Philoctetes to become a hero, and after several years, he became a strong adult and goes off to help in Thebes. Along the way, he sees a young woman named Megara being harassed by a centaur named Nessus. After defeating Nessus, Hercules falls in love with Megara. Unknown to him, Megara is a servant of Hades (whom Megara sold her soul to in order to save her boyfriend, who then left her for another woman which resulted in Megara having to serve Hades), who has found out Hercules is alive and desperately wants to get rid of him.
Hercules is rejected by the citizens of Thebes, but sees his chance when Megara comes, saying two boys are trapped in a cave. He lifts the boulder covering the cave to rescue them, but the citizens are not impressed. The two boys are revealed to be Pain and Panic, and when Hercules removed the boulder he released the giant reptilian monster known as the Hydra. This caused a vicious battle which appeared to end when Hercules cut off the Hydra's head. But the beast wasn't done yet and grew three more heads. Every time Hercules cut off a head, three more would grow back. Hercules was finally pinned to a cliff by the Hydra, who tried to eat him. As a last resort, Hercules slammed his fist into the cliff, causing a rock-slide that crushed the Hydra, but Hercules survived. He was accepted as a hero amongst the citizens. Hades sent waves of monsters to defeat him, but Hercules defeated them all. Hades became more and more frustrated.
Hercules was having problems as well. Thinking he was a hero now, he came to Zeus to become a god again, but Zeus said he wasn't a true hero, much to Hercules' frustration. At the same time, his love for Megara grew, who had affections to him as well. Hades discovered this and held Megara captive, giving Hercules a deal: If Hercules has his power taken away, no harm goes to Megara. Hercules accepted, and Hades sucked away his powers and then reveals that Megara serves him. With his spirit broken and felt remorseful that Phil was right about Meg working for hades as he should have believed him all this time, also realizing that he just threw away his trainer all for nothing. Hercules does nothing when Hades frees the Titans and sends a Cyclops to kill him. The giant spends his time beating him until Phil comes back, having a change of heart, and encourages Hercules, who is able to defeat the Cyclops by knocking him off a cliff. He doesn't notice a pillar fall above him, and Megara pushes him out of the way and is crushed instead. Because Hades said Megara wouldn't get hurt, the deal is broken and Hercules gets his strength back.
Going to Mount Olympus, he defeats the Titans, but is too late to save Megara. Filled with grief, he makes another deal with Hades to give himself up to save Meg. Hercules travels to the Underworld and jumps into the River Styx where souls go, and he turns old as he swims to Meg's soul. As he tried to give himself up to save Meg, he became a true hero and he turns back into a god and saves Megara, punching Hades into River Styx and returns Meg's soul to her body. Hercules goes back to Mount Olympus, but he still loves Meg and decides to stay with her as a mortal.
Hercules: The Series
Hercules: The Series takes place with Hercules as a teenager training under Phil to become a hero. Under his father's orders, he attends Prometheus Academy, which is a school for both mortals and gods. There, he befriends Icarus and Cassandra, battles various monsters, and is either helped or hindered by many of the Olympians seen in the film.
In a crossover episode with Aladdin, Hercules meets and battles Aladdin, before teaming up to take on Hades and Jafar. Hercules beats Jafar, who, in turn, captures Icarus. The heroes then team up to defeat Jafar and rescue Icarus, leaving Hades to give up.
House of Mouse
Hercules appears as a recurring character in House of Mouse.
Once Upon a Time
In Once Upon a Time, Hercules meets Snow White on the way to finish his last labor: defeating Cerberus. He trains Snow to become a hero and taught her how to shoot. She faced a group of bandits to prove herself, but failed. Hercules scared them off by causing an earthquake, and then inspired Snow to try again the next day, where she succeeded. The two then parted ways with a kiss, with Hercules going on to face Cerberus. There, he met Megara, and faced the monster chasing her. He failed and was killed, his soul going to the underworld, where he remained due to his failure against the beast.
Decades later, a grown Snow comes across Hercules and asks him for help defeating Cerberus so she could find Captain Hook (Killian Jones). Hercules tried to face it, but failed because the memory of his failure was too strong. After encouragement from the Evil Queen (Regina), Snow manages to convince Hercules to team up to face it. They run across Megara before meeting Cerberus, and the three team up to beat the beast. Hercules and Megara then ascend to Olympus together, the last labor complete.
In Once Upon a Time, Hercules is played by Jonathan Whitesell.
In Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, young Hercules is training with Zack to become a hero, hoping to restore his godhood. After seeing Terra fight, he decided that he wanted to be like him. He teamed up with Ventus and Zack to defeat the Unversed, after which he suggested that Ventus should train under Phil. After the final match with Zack, the Unversed attack and Ventus and Hercules run off to defeat them. After the battle, an Unversed attacked Hercules from behind, but he is saved by Zack. He later meets Aqua after Zack tries to ask her out.
In Kingdom Hearts, Hercules arrives at Olympus Coliseum saving Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Cloud from Cerberus. Sora, Donald, and Goofy battle Cerberus in order to buy time for Hercules to escape with an unconscious Cloud. When they defeat the beast, Hercules is impressed with them and watches on as Phil makes them "junior heroes". He then confesses that he had already worn out Cerberus by the time Sora arrived to fight him. Later, Sora battles Hercules for the "Hercules Cup", which Sora wins.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Hercules was out searching for heroes for the Coliseum, and sends someone to train with Phil. Phil mistakes Roxas for the person Hercules sent, and trains him up. Roxas does well with the training, and shocks Phil when he discovered that he was the wrong person.
In Kingdom Hearts II, Hercules grows exhausted fighting Hades' monsters in the Coliseum, but hides said exhaustion from his friends. When Megara is captured by Hades, Sora and the others go after her while Hercules fights the Hydra. After winning, he rushes to join Sora in the Underworld, depressed from the destruction of the Coliseum. Later, Hades uses Megara as a threat in order to force Hercules into tournaments in the Underworld. In order to buy time for Sora, he fights a brainwashed Auron in a one on one to the death match. The match is stopped just before Hercules looses the last of his endurance. Angered by the outcome, Hades throws Megara into the Styx, Hercules jumping in after her. He regains his strength and rescues Megara before defeating Hades.
In Kingdom Hearts III, Hercules reunites with Sora, Donald, and Goofy when they were launched into Thebes. As they catch up, Sora reveals that his strength had vanished and asked Hercules how he regained his. While Hercules is unable to provide a satisfactory answer, he enlists their help to save Thebes from Hades and the Titans. He launches the trio away in order to save a little girl from fire. Later, when a building collapses, Hercules holds the ceiling together as the trio save people from the collapse. He then teams up to defeat Xigbar. They then help the townsfolk before Hercules notices that Olympus was under attack. They rush to the gods aid, with Hercules cutting down the Heartless to save the captured gods. He rejoins Sora in order to defeat the Titans, before freeing Zeus from his prison in order to even the odds, causing the Titans to flee. Hercules then grabs ahold of them, throwing them into space, where they are destroyed in an explosion. He then decides to stay in the human world instead of Olympus, claiming that his heart would be empty without Megara.
In Kingdom Hearts, Hercules is portrayed by Sean Astin, who also portrayed Bob Newby in Stranger Things, Mikey Walsh in The Goonies, Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings, Chester in Bunnicula, Raphael in 2012's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Special Agent Oso in Special Agent Oso, Kodi in Balto III: Wings of Change, Shazam in Justice League: War and Justice League: Action, and Reginald in Minecraft: Story Mode.
Powers and Abilities
- Demigod Physiology: Hercules has several physical attributes that surpasses that of most other demigods and gods.
- Superhuman Strength: Since he is half-mortal and half-god, Hercules possesses high level superhuman strength. This was his sole remaining godly power after being rendered mortal and appears to be higher than most other gods or titans.
- Superhuman Durability and Stamina: Hercules seems to be very resilient and durable. Although being incomparable to that of immortal Gods, his stamina and entire body including skin are seen to be strong enough to withstand his own that are beyond of normal humans on many occasions. Some creatures like Orthos attempt to eat Hercules but call him "stale", whereas others like Ladon and the Hydra were able to briefly swallow him, enjoying the pleasant flavor of the young hero's durable body and longed to devour him.
- Superhuman Speed: Hercules is seen to be surprisingly fast and is able to disappear being unnoticed by people in physical contacts. He had the build and foot speed that surpassed Achilles. In some occasions, Hercules has demonstrated that he is able to quickly dodge or outrun monsters.
- Trained Hero: By imposing hundreds of rules and constant days of practice, Hercules transformed from a klutzy boy into a hero material, tempering his great strength with incredible precision and control. Hero-training was so difficult, but he refused to give up and kept on working to reach his goal. As a hero-in-training, Hercules is known for his strength and bravery, rather than his intelligence and wisdom, as at times he can be reckless, cocky and gets confused easily in his lack of experience. Still, he would keep going and fight as hard as he could as long as he could. Hercules is able to use a variety of weapons such as swords, spears, and archery. His versatility also allows him to use his wits to find his way out of situations by unorthodox methods. Hercules is trained to save people, fight against monsters, handle dangerous situations and even come up with strategies to win battles. However, despite having been taught every trick by Phil, Hercules didn't think they covered a Hydra in basic training.
- Immortality and Universal Divinity Capabilities (formerly): During his brief times as a god, Hercules was completely immortal. Therefore, he cannot age, grow sick, or be permanently harmed. He first lost this power when his uncle Hades tried to make him mortal as a baby, and again when he chose to live his life with Meg. Although he was born a god, Hercules was considered a demigod during his time at Prometheus Academy. When Hades tampered with the Tapestry of Fate, one change made was Hercules being amongst the gods, which prevented him from being eaten by the Tapestry's original guardian Arachne, until the Tapestry was fixed.
While his strength is well above average, Hercules isn't all that intelligent. But what the hero lacks in outstanding brains, he makes up for in compassion and the desire to do good, which is especially appreciated in a world with constant turmoil around every corner, be it by the hands of a demon or beast, or The Lord of the Dead himself, Hades.
As mentioned above, Hercules is compassionate and merciful, and his most dominate trait is undoubtedly his innocence and massively kind heart, in spite of being treated like a "freak" by his peers and those around him (with the exception of his adoptive parents) throughout his childhood, and adolescent years. Even after becoming a worldwide phenomenon, Hercules retained his innocence and cheerful nature, not once letting the fame dangerously inflate his ego. This makes Hercules one of the purest of heart Disney characters.
Notably, whilst usually on the bright side, Hercules has an effective heroism to his personality, notably seen during the climax of the film, where the actions of Hades take a turn for the worse, killing and threatening the entire world of Olympus, as well as Megara. This can be seen again when his trainer and close companion, Phil, questioned Megara's affections towards the hero after witnessing her plotting against the latter with Hades (though it was a misunderstanding at that point in the movie).
The primary lesson Hercules learns throughout the film is what it takes to be a true hero. Something his father Zeus explained he had to learn for himself. After meeting and falling in love with the beautiful femme fatale, Megara, Hercules would learn a true hero is measured by the strength of his heart, as opposed to the strength of his muscles.
- Despite being the son of the king and queen of the gods, Hercules himself is not considered a prince nor is he featured in the Disney Princes line up, though this is mainly due to his movie's lack of success.
- In one episode of the series, a messenger asks for Hercules but mistakes the name as Heracles. Hercules is the Roman equivalent of the Greek name Heracles.
- In the original myth, Hercules had a twin brother named Iphicles by Amphitryon. This is called heteropaternal superfecundation when two different males father fraternal twins by one woman. This was left out when Disney made Hercules, Zeus and Hera's son instead of Zeus and Alcmene.
- Despite Hades being Hercules' uncle, Hercules never found out this because he was never told this.
- If mythology is taken into consideration, Hercules and Ariel are related: Hercules' father is Zeus; Poseidon is a brother of Zeus; one of Poseidon's many sons is Triton; and, of course, Ariel is Triton's seventh daughter. This means Hercules is Triton's first cousin, and Ariel is Hercules' cousin once removed. However, if this were true King Triton's lifespan would be called into question as the Little Mermaid takes place in the 1800's and Hercules takes place well over 3000 years in the past. (Though King Triton is a god, and of course, gods are immortal.)
- Hercules on Pure Good Wiki
- Hercules on Disney Wiki
- Hercules on The Keyhole
- Hercules on Hercules Wiki
- Hercules on Disney Wikia