An Instagram post from the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game supervisor provides further evidence that a Dragon Quest representative will soon join the game's already-massive roster of 75 characters as DLC.
In November, Nintendo announced that six fighters will be added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in 2019, the first of which being Piranha Plant from the Mario series. Piranha Plant was added at the end of January as a free character for those who pre-ordered or purchased the game early. At The Game Awards 2018, Nintendo confirmed that that the next DLC character will be Joker from Persona 5, but has yet to announce the remaining four fighters. Recent leaks have indicated that one of the characters is a protagonist from the popular JRPG series, Dragon Quest.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game supervisor Kumazaki Shinya posted several photos on Instagram of Kirby standing next to a shield described by Shinya as "the brave's shield." The shield is an iconic item from the Dragon Quest series. The shield belongs to the protagonist of Dragon Quest III, Erdrick. However, it should be noted that the shield doesn't specifically tease Erdrick, since the shield has appeared in several Dragon Quest games, and can be equipped by multiple characters, including the Luminary from the most recent installment, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age.
That being said, the shield fuels speculation that Erdrick is coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In December, a Japanese website leaked that both male and female versions of Erdrick would join Ultimate as the second DLC character, and that they would come with the stage Afelgard from the first three Dragon Quest games. The leaker also claimed that Dragon Quest XI's Luminary and Anlucia from Dragon Quest X would serve as alternate "colors" for the male and female versions of Erdrick respectively. A few weeks later, Ultimate's entire DLC lineup was allegedly leaked, and once again Erdrick's name was included.
Last month, a dataminer supposedly found codenames for three DLC characters: "Jack", "Packu", and "Brave." One of the available classes for players to choose from in Dragon Quest is "Yuusha," which translates to "Brave" in English. What makes this even more interesting is that the word "Brave" is used in Shinya's post. Perhaps most importantly, GameFAQs and Reddit user Vergeben has consistently argued that a Square Enix character would be present in Ultimate, and his track record for leaking roster additions like Simon, Ridley, and Isabelle suggests his information is reliable.
All signs are pointing to a Dragon Quest character joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and with this post from the game supervisor, it appears Nintendo is barely trying to hide it anymore. It's possible that an announcement from Nintendo may be coming in the near future.