|Sir Daniel Fortesque|
|Title(s)||Hero of Gallowmere (1286 - Present)|
|Height||Around 6' 2''|
|Died||1286 (aged approx. 32)|
1386 (aged approx. 132)
1886 (aged approx. 632)
London, United Kingdom
|Family||Captain Fortesque (past self)|
Lord Cedric Fortesque (father)
Granny Fortesque (grandmother)
Unnamed Fortesque (close relative)
Colonel Freddie Fortesque (distant relative)
Unnamed younger sibling(s)
|Behind the scenes information|
|Voiced by||Jason Wilson|
|Appears in||MediEvil (1998)|
Sir Daniel Wigginbottom Fortesque IV (1254 – 1286), commonly shortened to Sir Daniel Fortesque or Sir Dan, was a knight of the kingdom of Gallowmere. Due to his father's influence and a close personal relationship with the king, Sir Dan became the king's champion and Captain of the army. In 1286, he was charged with leading the militia into battle against the rebelling court magician Zarok in what would become known as the Battle of Gallowmere. Ignobly, Sir Dan was killed by the first volley of arrows. The king, unimpressed with Dan's performance, weaved a legend about the felled warrior, declaring him the Hero of Gallowmere.
A hundred years later, in 1386, Dan was mistakenly brought back to life by Zarok during the latter's second attempt at conquest. Dan seized this opportunity to live up to his legend and brought down the sorcerer once and for all, gaining access to the afterlife's Hall of Heroes as a result.
By the late 19th century, Sir Dan's skeletal remains were exhibited in the British Museum in Kensington, London. In 1886, he was resurrected once again, this time by the ruthless industrialist Lord Palethorn. Dan was soon recruited by Professor Hamilton Kift to help in the fight against this new threat. During his mission to restore peace in London, Dan also found love in Kiya, an ancient Egyptian princess with an adventurous spirit.
The exact fate of the Hero of Gallowmere after his victory over Palethorn is unknown, but several conflicting accounts of the subsequent events have emerged. The most detailed of these accounts saw Dan and his newfound love travelling back in time using the Professor's time machine. However, the pair is said to have been tragically separated during their journey, with Dan becoming stranded in 1286, the year of his death. He was then quickly employed by Gallowmere's fairies to help preserve the proper course of history.
Finally, to succeed in his mission, Sir Dan is believed to have ended up swapping bodies with his still living self. This allowed him to boost the morale of Gallowmere's army before dying as he once had, therefore helping secure victory for his men in the war with Zarok while also condemning himself to reliving his undead adventures for eternity in the process.
Sir Daniel Wigginbottom Fortesque IV[2.2] was born in the kingdom of Gallowmere in 1254[a] as the eldest son of Lord Cedric Fortesque – the wealthiest noble in the land.[2.1] Fortesque pursued a career as a knight to impress the maidens. He was trained by the best weapons masters in the land, but never realised his full potential due to a lack of effort on his part.[2.1]
Using his father's money and influence, Fortesque was able to rise through the ranks of the king's army. After the king's previous champion had an unfortunate accident while riding his horse, the king chose to appoint Fortesque as the replacement, listening solely to the words of his new advisor.[2.1] However, the post of king's champion was purely honorary in nature as Gallowmere had not seen war in many centuries. According to renowned hero Bloodmonath Skull Cleaver, Fortesque usually spent his time on the job "organising the changing of the guard and playing croquet with the king."
Everything changed when an army of the undead began marching towards Castle Peregrin. Unbeknownst to the king, it was led by his very own court magician Zarok. The king was in desperate need of a hero who could tackle the threat, and he knew exactly who he wanted.
Fortesque was chosen to lead the charge into battle. Unfortunately, he died instantly when he was shot through his left eye by the very first arrow fired. Despite this, the Gallowmere army went on to win the battle without him.[3.1]
In order to save face, King Peregrin declared Zarok the Sorcerer dead and organised a hero's burial for Fortesque, including the construction of a custom crypt. From then on, Fortesque was revered as the Hero of Gallowmere.[3.1]
In 1386, Zarok resurfaced and cast a spell called the Evernight, which turned the skies over Gallowmere black and robbed the innocent of their very souls in order to revive the dead. Fortesque was unexpectedly reanimated when magic from the Evernight drifted into his crypt and settled upon his decomposing corpse.
After getting his bearings, Sir Dan travelled throughout Gallowmere, dispelling the black mist and laying the corrupted dead to rest, battling Zarok's minions along his route. With each defeat of Zarok's minions, Dan earned the right to claim numerous weapons and resources from the Hall of Heroes, that he might once again confront Zarok and lay him low once and for all.
Although Dan inadvertently released Zarok's most ancient and powerful force in the Shadow Demons, he would defeat many of Zarok's most insidious traps, including an elaborate clockwork maze before finally reaching the core of the wizard's lair. However, Zarok had at least one more trick up his sleeve--an indomitable elite group of bodyguards called Fazguls, ready to strike Sir Dan down. Using the freed souls he had gathered, Dan summoned his own spectral warriors and eventually slew the Fazguls. There, he also met the undead Lord Kardok and struck him down.
Frustrated, Zarok made a last-ditch decision to face the would-be hero one-on-one, transmogrifying into a beastly form. The battle was intense, but Fortesque made good on his mission and became the hero he was always meant to be. As Zarok destroyed his own fortress, a vulture swept Sir Dan in its talons and carried him back to his crypt. For his heroic deeds, Dan had earned a place in the Hall of Heroes, where he remained for the next five hundred years.
In the intervening years, kingdoms and empires rose and fell. Gallowmere was nearly lost to the annals of British history when a remnant of the kingdom was brought to a museum in London: the Hero of Gallowmere, Sir Daniel Fortesque, still in his original armour.
An expedition in 1878 also unearthed the tome once used by Zarok to cast and control the Evernight. It came into the possession of the ambitious industrialist Lord Palethorn, albeit missing a number of its pages. In his pursuit of control over London, Palethorn became obsessed with the spell book, and so sought to raise his own army of the evil dead toward his ends. Once again, Sir Dan was unwittingly revived and had to deal with this threat.
Although Sir Dan was slow to grasp his latest predicament, he eventually found support from the ghost of a young Winston Chapelmount, who in turn introduced him to Professor Hamilton Kift, a researcher looking for a means to stop Lord Palethorn from executing his diabolical plot. Dan was thus sent on a mad dash throughout London, following Palethorn's magical trail. Along the way, he stumbled into an ancient Egyptian exhibit, where he met Kiya, the lesser-known mummified consort of Ramesses II. She quickly fell in love with Dan, which he returned in kind.
Dan and his newfound allies faced evil after evil, defeating many of Palethorn's minions and allies, including The Iron Slugger and The Count. Tragedy struck however when Kiya was murdered by The Ripper while she was out on a mission in Whitechapel. Dan became so blindsided by this that he chose to abandon his mission and fled into the sewers under London. There, he happened upon a civilisation known as the Mullocks. Unexpectedly for Dan, the Mullocks worshipped him as their God due to finding his heroic statue at some point in the past.
While saving the Mullocks from their archnemeses, the Octomators, Dan learnt about a mysterious object known as the Time Stone. Additionally, he discovered that the Professor had previously invented a time machine. After confronting the Professor about it, Dan made his way into the Museum where the time machine was exhibited. Having repaired it, Dan travelled through space into the sewers, where he stole the Mullock's Time Stone. Finally equipped with a fully functional time machine, he went back in time and saved Kiya from The Ripper. The time-travelling Dan then merged with his past self to resolve the resultant time paradox. Their fusion also created the Super Armour, providing Dan with increased protection.
With Kiya in tow, Dan was back in the game. He made his way to the spires of a London cathedral where he successfully recovered the final page of Zarok's spell book. It was too little too late however, as Palethorn simply snatched the page away from him. Once Dan had defeated Palethorn's lackeys Dogman and Mander, Palethorn proceeded to summon a huge demon. Using his extensive combat experience, Dan was able to drive a wedge between Palethorn and the demon, making the demon turn on Palethorn, crashing his flying ship. Rather than admit defeat, Palethorn chose to go out with a bang; with his dying breath, he ignited a bomb, which Sir Dan barely escaped. Then, it was finally over. London was safe.
There are three conflicting reports about what happened to Fortesque after he successfully defeated Lord Palethorn:
Return to eternal rest
Fortesque and his girlfriend returned to her reconstructed tomb in the Museum. Once they said their goodbyes to the Professor, they entered Kiya's sarcophagus and resumed their eternal sleep together.
Dan and Kiya boarded Professor Kift's time machine, travelling back in time. They wound up in Zarok's Lair, where they were immediately attacked by Palethorn in a beastly form.
In truth, the pair had not only travelled back in time, but also to an alternative timeline, where Palethorn had used the spell book to rewrite time and replaced Zarok with himself. Whether they survived or perished at the hands of this Palethorn is unknown.
Dan and Kiya boarded the Professor's time machine, travelling back in time. However, the machine malfunctioned, separating them. Dan himself ended up in 1286, one day before the Battle of Gallowmere. After spying on a meeting between his past self, the King and Zarok, he was recruited by a fairy called Griff and his former comrade-in-arms Canny Tim to help them with preserving the correct flow of history. Together they concocted a plan to stop an upcoming attack on the castle by the Jabberwocky.
With Griff's help, Dan was able to steal the armour of his former self. He jumped out a castle window donning the armour and cut off the rampaging Jabberwocky's head, all in the name of his living counterpart.
The night before the fabled battle, Dan was captured by Zarok's henchmen, Boris and Merek. They took him to The Mystic Maidens to kill him, but before they could land the final blow they were brutally killed by Lupo, Dan's hound from when he was alive. Later, Dan got an opportunity to say his final goodbye to Kiya, who left a gift behind for him. Once he returned, he helped the witch Wartilda with brewing a Body Swap Potion so he could truly take his past self's place in the upcoming battle. After realizing Dan wouldn't be able to drink it, they turned the potion into an ointment which they rubbed on both the undead and the living Dan. Come morning, Dan found himself in his living body once more. He and Canny Tim headed to the castle to prepare for the battle.
On the battlefield, Dan revealed Zarok's treachery to the king and gave a rousing speech to the army before heading into battle and dying in the first volley of arrows as he knew he would, thus completing (and also restarting) his journey.
Dan's brave deeds were not forgotten by the world at large either, although the events surrounding his return and victory over Lord Palethorn in 1886 were initially dismissed as not having really happened. Professor Marcus Effington Christy, a 20th century academic, described the claims made by contemporary witnesses as mass hallucination induced by the high prevalence of disease in London at the time.[6.1]
Academic interest in the Hero of Gallowmere continued into the 21st century. Most notably, Professor Darrow of Cambridge Archaeology dedicated her life to studying him, including his resurrections.[2.3] Of particular interest to scholars was the location of his final resting place, the location of which remained unknown.[2.3]
In life, Sir Dan was not a good looking man.[2.1] This was largely due to his massive overbite, which was a familial trait. Dan had dark hair and blue eyes. He sported a bowl cut with slight sideburns, as well as a moustache and a goatee. He was not in very good shape, as was evident by his pudgy midsection.[2.4]
In terms of dress, living Dan was a man who dressed flamboyantly. His clothes and personal armour were very colourful and flashy. In addition, he would usually wear a codpiece and a gold necklace with a giant pendant that had the letter "F" emblazoned on it.[2.5]
The one exception to Dan's usual style of dress was the armour he wore the day of the Battle of Gallowmere. This was a standard set of armour including pauldrons, a cuirass, a bevor, gauntlets, greaves and sabatons. Dan wore a red doublet underneath the cuirass, the puffy sleeves of which were left unarmoured.
In death, Dan had become a skeleton. Due to his fatal injury, he was missing his left eye. His jaw was missing as well, theorised to have been stolen by a witch.[2.6] He retained the armour and doublet he wore during the Battle of Gallowmere with the exception of the helmet and gauntlets.
By the late 19th century, Dan's standard ensemble also came to include a pair of gloves. During several of his missions in London, he was forced to disguise himself in various outfits:
- To get into a gentleman's club in Whitechapel, Dan had to wear a formal suit with a top hat and fake beard.
- To escape the enraged Mullocks, Dan disguised himself as their king so that they would let him leave without incident.
As a child, Dan was spoilt and bratty.[2.1] As a teenager, he was arrogant and lazy.[2.1] As an adult, he was just the worst.[8.1] Firstly, Dan was a coward: When he learnt that he would have to lead Gallowmere's army against the undead marching towards the castle, he proceeded to wet his britches.[2.2] Secondly, he was a cheat and a braggart; he spent years regaling Gallowmere's nobility with tall tales of slain dragons and vanquished legions.[3.2] Thirdly, he was a philanderer, sleeping with women such as Widow Lucinda in lieu of their rent money.[2.7] Finally, and worst of all, Dan was abusive towards his loyal hound Lupo, kicking the dog for wandering off during a hunt.[2.5]
In death, Dan had become a different man, a better man (or skeleton). In the pursuit of redemption for his ignoble death, he was able to overcome his cowardice, facing Zarok's fiercest monsters, including the sorcerer himself. He had also become more selfless and heroic; he saved the imprisoned town mayor and a group of captured farmers from Zarok's henchmen and made sure to not harm the possessed inhabitants of Gallows Town. In other words, he had finally lived up to his legend. This transformation of character was fuelled by the mocking comments of Gallowmere's gargoyles and witches, as well as the heroes from the Hall of Heroes.
Despite having reformed, Dan did not always place duty above all else, as became evident in 1886 when he fell in love with Princess Kiya. After her death at the hands of The Ripper, Dan selfishly abandoned his mission to stop Lord Palethorn until he managed to find a way to bring her back to life. However, Dan made the ultimate, selfless sacrifice in the end by travelling back in time and trapping himself in a time loop in order to defeat Zarok across all of time.
In life, Sir Dan got to train with the best weapon masters in Gallowmere and had some natural talent with weaponry. However, laziness got in the way of him becoming a master in his own right. Another thing Dan had a natural talent for when he was alive was storytelling, an ability he often used at court to amuse nobles and the king.
After becoming undead, Dan obtained new, unique abilities, some he only discovered over time:
- He could remove parts of his body for various purposes:
- He could detach his left arm and use it as a weapon, but due to its unsuitability for combat he would only do this as a last resort.
- He learnt that he could remove his head without dying after a bird pulled it off his neck in the late 19th century. After defeating the Iron Slugger by putting his head on a giant monster's body, Dan realised he could even put it on top of reanimated severed hands to form a so-called "Dan-hand." This form allowed him to access previously unreachable areas.
- Dan was very strong, as evidenced by him being able to carry a hammer and various large swords in one hand.
- He was able to utilise new combat techniques, such as a full 360 degree sword spin.
- Dan exhibited great agility during his acceptance into the Hall of Heroes when he performed four backflips in quick succession.
Dan also acquired other abilities that were arguably unrelated to his undead status:
- Dan gained the Daring Dash ability in the late 14th century by defeating the Guardians of the Graveyard. This allowed him to traverse more quickly and to jump farther away.
- He was able to read Egyptian hieroglyphs, as demonstrated by him reading a letter Kiya left for him. It is possible that she taught him to read them at some point during the Autumn of Death.
Behind the scenes
Sir Dan is the primary character and protagonist of the MediEvil franchise.
MediEvil (1998 original)
Sir Daniel Fortesque was originally conceptualised by Chris Sorrell; in MediEvil's initial concept proposal, he was an undead knight referred to as 'Dead Man Dan.' While developing Dan's character, Sorrell was looking for a way to make him more unique. This eventually came in the form of an expanded backstory for Dan when script doctor Martin Pond suggested that he "could have been a pompous failure in life whose reincarnation was his one shot at redemption."
Sir Dan was designed by Jason Wilson, MediEvil's lead artist. Initially, Dan was a bulky undead knight with a small skull. As the design evolved, Wilson decided that Dan should have no lower jaw and that his body should be smaller and his skull more abstract. For the design of Dan's teeth, Wilson was inspired by one of the freaks from the horror film Basket Case 2. Dan was then brought to life in the game by the animations of Mitch Phillips as well as the full motion video sequences of Jason Riley.
In the Japanese version of MediEvil, a helmet became part of Dan's design. This was added due to the insistence of the studio's Japanese partners who believed that Dan's skeletal appearance would make Japanese players see him as a bad spirit rather than as a hero.
Initial concepts for MediEvil 2 created by Chris Sorrell saw Dan being replaced by a new protagonist, Sir Henry Fortesque, a recently deceased descendant of Dan's. This would have worked in the style of the British sitcom Blackadder (i.e. Henry would've retained Dan's iconic traits). However, it was eventually decided that Dan should be kept as the main character. The Museum where Dan begins the game as one of the exhibits was an idea that Jason Wilson came up with.
Dan's design was updated by Wilson, who made him more rounded and gave his skull the ability to distort in order to change facial expressions so Dan could show more emotion in the game than he did in the first one.
MediEvil (2019 remake)
For the original MediEvil, several actors tried out portraying Sir Dan prior to Wilson stepping in to voice him, but the team was not happy with their performances. In the end, Wilson read the lines through gritted teeth with a bucket over his head to achieve Dan's unintelligible jawless mumbles.
Wilson reprised his role for both remakes of the first game. Although original audio recordings were re-used for most characters in the 2019 remake, Wilson was brought in to re-record Dan's lines. He teased his return on Twitter by posting an image of himself wearing a bucket on his head and 'reading' a Japanese programme of David Lynch's The Elephant Man (1980).
In other media
2000 – Everybody's Golf 2
Sir Dan appears alongside Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal and Gex from Gex as one of three unlockable guest stars in the European and North American versions of the game. He replaces the character Cougar from the Japanese version.
How to unlock Sir Dan
In order to unlock Sir Dan, players have to beat him in versus mode first. However, it is not possible to challenge him straight away; it is necessary to beat all preceding opponents up to and including Mason. Once Mason is beaten, a special cutscene will play showing the guest stars' golf carts arriving, signifying that Sir Dan can now be challenged in versus mode.
In the 2023 re-release of the game, unlocking Sir Dan rewards players with the Grip It and Rip It silver trophy:
| Grip It and Rip It|
Unlock Sir Dan.
The Everybody's Golf 2 press kit features several renders of Sir Dan.
2015 – Shovel Knight
In a comment on PlayStation.Blog, Yacht Club Games developer David D'Angelo revealed that the team considered Sir Dan for a cameo appearance in the game's PlayStation versions. However, they ultimately decided to go with Kratos from God of War instead because "the team was a lot more excited to tinker with a Kratos moveset."
2018 – Guacamelee! 2
2020 – Astro's Playroom
A bot dressed as Sir Dan can be found in the Gusty Gateway area of the Memory Meadow. This is only one of many cameos of characters from PlayStation's history in the game.
According to Team Asobi's Animation Director Jamie Smith, potential cameos were initially sketched out by Toshihiko Nakai, the team's Concept Artist. Cameos were then chosen based on how recognisable, fun and exciting they were to the team.
- Main article: Images of Sir Daniel Fortesque
In other languages
|Arabic||السير ”دانيال فورتيسك”
alsayr "danial furtiski"
|Same as English.|
|Bulgarian||Сър Даниел Фортескю
Sŭr Daniel Forteskyu
|Same as English.|
|Greek||Σερ Daniel Fortesque
Ser Daniel Fortesque
|Same as English.|
Danieru fōtesuku kyō
|Same as English.|
|Russian||Сэр Дэниэл Фортескью
Ser Deniel Fortesk'yu
|Same as English.|
|Turkish||Sör Daniel Fortesque||Same as English.|
- "An artist with access to his 3D model would know better than me, but if I had to guess, he’s pretty tall and lanky, so I’d say 6’2” perhaps?" — Chris Sorrell (@Trepan) on X (formerly Twitter) (archived version at Internet Archive Wayback Machine). Published April 17, 2020.
- MediEvil: The Game Prequel. Written by Chris Sorrell. Art by Jason Wilson. Published by Titan Comics in 2019.
- Page 3
- Page 12
- Page 5
- Page 20
- Page 9
- Page 4
- Page 10
- MediEvil manual. Written by Jim Sangster. Designed by Steve O'Neill. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment in October 1998. Download.
- Page 9
- Page 8
- MediEvil: Resurrection. Developed by SCEE Cambridge Studio. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment on September 1, 2005.
- Ghosthunter. Developed by SCEE Cambridge Studio. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment on December 5, 2003.
- MediEvil 2 manual. Written by Jim Sangster. Designed by Steve O'Neill. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment America in May 2000. Download.
- Page 4
- Jason Wilson (@GunnWriter) on X (formerly Twitter) (archived version at Internet Archive Wayback Machine).
- MediEvil. Developed by Other Ocean Emeryville. Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment on October 25, 2019.
- The Making of... MediEvil in Retro Gamer, Issue 49 (PDF file), page(s) 60-63. Published March 2008 by Imagine Publishing. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
- Dan's Evolution on atomic-city concept art and design of Jason Wilson (archived version).
- "When searching for a look for Sir Daniel Fortesque I had recently watched the horror film “Basket Case 2.” I was impressed with this guy’s teeth!" — Jason Wilson (@GunnWriter) on X (formerly Twitter) (archived version at Internet Archive Wayback Machine). Published October 9, 2018.
- "For Medievil there was a worry in Japan that Dan's skeletal head might be seen as a bad spirit and not a 'hero.' Japan is still quite a spiritual country and things we simply take at face value (no pun intended) can be interpreted in a very different way in different cultures - a skull being no exception. So for gameplay it was decided to hide Dan's face behind a mask!" — Jason Wilson, MediEvil developers - Q&A; on MediEvil Boards. Published December 25, 2012.
- "I really only had a few high concept ideas in mind for MediEvil 2. These were: that it could be set in Victorian times, but instead of playing as Sir Dan, you would play as Sir Henry Fortesque, a more recently deceased descendent[ ] of Sir Dan's (much like the way they reincarnated the same character in the UK TV show Black Adder)." — Chris Sorrell, MediEvil developers - Q&A; on MediEvil Boards. Published July 23, 2013.
- "I came up with the British Museum and the exhibits coming to life as well as the Vampires in London amongst other things." — Jason Wilson, MediEvil developers - Q&A; on MediEvil Boards. Published November 3, 2013.
- Art and Game Design - MediEvil on JASON WILSON - PORTFOLIO. Published January 2012.
- "Yeah the original and the PSP version was my voice. We tried getting actors to do it but we were never happy so I stepped in and did it - my finest hour! ... What a lot of people may not realise is that I wrote a script for what Dan actually says and then just read the lines through gritted teeth with a bucket over my head!" — Jason Wilson, MediEvil developers - Q&A; on MediEvil Boards. Published December 25, 2012.
- McAllister, Gillen, MediEvil: New Hands-on Impressions, PS1 to PS4 Comparison Gallery on PlayStation.Blog. Published August 20, 2019.
- Barker, Sammy, MediEvil Voice Actor Hints at Role Reprisal for PS4 Remake on Push Square. Published October 23, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2022.
- "To forget about all those "swing thoughts" and take a healthy rip at the ball. This phrase became popular after the prodigious swinger John Daly and his Herculean drives, won the 1991 PGA title at Crooked Stick. When asked about his style, Daly said, "I just grip it and rip it."" — Golf Dictionary - What golf terms really mean on Bad Golfer.
- "Slogan of the long-hitting John Daly. "I just grip it and rip it", is Daly's response when asked for pointers on how to launch a golf ball more than 300-yards." — GRIP IT AND RIP IT on Leaderboard.com.
- "Haha, we did discuss Sir Fortesque a little early on! I agree he has a leg up when it comes to theme and setting and would blend right in to Specter Knight’s level. Overall, the team was a lot more excited to tinker with a Kratos moveset. Lot’s[Shovel Knight Digs into PS4, PS3, PS Vita in 2015. Published December 6, 2014. ] of abilities to pull from for phase changes, a big presence (lot’s[ ] of screen shakes!), and his chains allow for some cool mobility tricks!" — D'Angelo, David,
- Smith, Jamie, Astro’s Playroom: the story behind those fun PlayStation character cameos on PlayStation.Blog. Published August 31, 2021. Retrieved June 22, 2023.