I Can’t Get Over How Charming the in-Game Details of Hades Are
Many thanks to the singular Shade who supports me when I fight Theseus and Asterius.
Spoilers for Hades
Now that I’ve made my way to the surface enough times for dad to show me some respect (he, at least, calls me Zagreus sometimes instead of just boy), I’m at the point of my Hades playthrough where I’m trying to make nice with my godly relatives while working to repair relationships (and build on my own – PLEASE THANATOS I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU).
What’s amazing is that there is still so much left to do in the game even if I managed to make it to the end credits. Usually, that’s the sign for the game being over, but in a lot of ways that’s just the beginning.
I know that’s something a lot of folks say when they talk about a game’s replayability, but post-credits Hades is when you start to find out what’s going on with ALL the NPCs. You also can focus on little things like redecorating your house and, if you want, you can make getting to the surface a more punishing experience.
What’s even more impressive is that, somehow, every trip to the surface feels different despite going through the same four areas. That’s not just because of the random assortment of boons and items you can get, it’s because the dialogue is always unique, the encounters vary, and you’re always able to pet the dog – among other wonderful details that add to your gaming experience.
Honestly, those details are a big part of what makes the game so memorable. As much as I’m enjoying the overall story, the character interactions, my multiple attempts at romance, and the gameplay, I can’t get over the little details that Supergiant Games have put into Hades.
So here are ten of my favorites!
Yes, you can pet the dog, and the game reassures you that the dog will never be harmed
One of the most important things you have to do in Hades is pet the good boy hellhound, Cerberus, especially since he throws a fit about you trying to leave to go to the surface. Before you confront Hades in the final boss battle, Cerberus is blocking your way, but instead of having to fight the three-headed pup, you just have to go and find Cerberus’ favorite treat to get him to move aside.
Before you head out to fight against dear ol’ dad, the game makes sure to let you know that “vanquished” in this case does NOT mean you killed Cerberus. In parenthesis, there’s always a message that reveals that Cerberus isn’t really vanquished, in case you were worried about his wellbeing.
You have a fan in Elysium
Fighting Theseus and Asterius in Elysium is quite the spectacle, as Theseus is an overconfident, annoying showboater who demands everyone’s attention. Even your most chill cousin, Dionysus, speaks ill of him at one point.
When you’re fighting, the crowd enthusiastically cheers for Theseus, but there is one lone Shade rocking a tiny banner with your face on it. Be sure to go up to the Shade when your match is over, as Zagreus will always give thanks to the Shade, the Shade responding with a happy smile emoji.
Hades actually does have a closet full of capes
Hades starts every fight against Zagreus by burning his cape off because only a peasant would remove a grand cape with a mere shrug of the shoulders. At one point, Zagreus makes an offhanded comment about his father having a closet full of capes. It’s meant to be a joke, especially since you have to watch this man burn that damn cape so many times.
To my surprise, when I finally got to go inside of Hades’ chambers, I got to see that he legitimately does have a closet full of capes!
Hades is also a hypocrite – his room is as messy as Zagreus’
The banter between Hades and Zagreus ranges from actual, intimidating dialogue since Hades doesn’t want you to leave his domain, to the kind of commentary you expect a father to have for a son who doesn’t clean his room. I couldn’t help but notice, when I got to step into Hades’ chamber, that his room is ALSO untidy.
His bed isn’t made.
There’s stuff on the floor.
You’re a hypocrite, dad!
Zagreus believes in paying employees for their time
While he may not be the best motivational speaker (as seen when you unlock the Hades Administrative Chamber), we do find out that he believes in paying the House Contractor to do his job, even pointing out how quickly he gets the job done when he’s paid.
Considering all the jobs the House Contractor has on order, payment is definitely necessary.
Zagreus renames the bone hydra – and the game changes the name afterward
Asphodel, aka, “Why can’t I avoid running into the lava,” is where you face off against the Bone Hydra. After fighting him enough times, Zagreus comes up with the idea of calling him Lernie. Much like Zagreus’ cape comment, I thought this was an offhanded comment… until I realized that the game actually changed the hydra’s name to “Lernie, the Bone Hydra.”
Hades struggles to catch fish
Sometimes, when you face off against Hades, you can see a fish in one of the pools of water. You can’t catch the fish until you beat Hades, though, so you’ll have to wait until later. There was a moment when I went to face Hades and the fish was in the water in front of him. I didn’t think much of it (fish spawn in the water randomly once you get the fishing pole), but since the fish was in front of Hades, he actually commented on struggling to catch the fish!
Don’t worry, dad, I caught it after our fight.
The narrator, somehow, has something different to say with each death
I have to say, it’s pretty clever for the game to give you a reason to keep playing after you reunite your parents. Instead of breaking out to get to your mom, you’re now breaking out to test the security measures Hades has in place to prevent escapes to the surface.
Persephone also tells you to check on her garden.
However, unlike your previous trips to the surface, once you beat Hades and leave, the narrator reveals that you die shortly after, never reaching your mother’s precious garden.
Somehow, the narrator manages to have different dialogue with each death, even going so far as to have different causes of death for Zagreus (recently, for me, it was because of a snake bite). Considering how many times you play through this game, it’s amazing that there’s new, witty dialogue each time.
Hades will acknowledge whatever relative you summon into battle – himself included
As to be expected, when you fight Hades, he’s pretty salty if you have God Call equipped – which gives you the ability to summon an Olympian to help you in battle.
Note: Apparently, he also has something to say if you don’t have ANY boons from your Olympian relatives equipped.
Now that Hades and I are on better terms, he actually gave me “Sigil of the Dead”, an item that lets you call Hades into battle to help. Out of curiosity, I equipped the item to see if Hades would say something about me summoning Hades against him.
The first person you typically run into when you return home is Hypnos, who proceeds to remind you of the ways that you have died while trying to escape (my favorite is “natural causes” when you make it to the surface, mostly because Hypnos is so fascinated by a death that isn’t “taken out by a deep voiced minotaur.”).
However, when you’re killed by Hades, the name is redacted from his report so no one knows about your fight – which is interesting considering how much Hades boasts about putting you in your place.
Note: I haven’t died after making amends with Hades yet, so I don’t know if the name stays redacted now that everyone knows I’m working security.
Those are just a few of the small details I love about the game. I’m sure I’ll find more throughout my ongoing trips through the Underworld.
(Image: Supergiant Games)
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