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You’re Telling Me That the Main Conflict in Hades Could Be Solved With a Father-Son Talk at the Bar?!

Damnit dad use your words!


Spoilers for Hades

finally got a chance to play Supergiant Games’ Hades and, wow, is this a fantastic game or what? Much like my feelings on Hollow Knight, this is another difficult game that I, surprisingly, couldn’t keep my hands off of once I started my quest.

Hades is a game that throws you right in with very little explanation. As Zagreus, you’re trying to get out of the Underworld. You (the player) don’t really know why, but what you do know is that there are a LOT of folks trying to stop Zag – including his own father, Hades.

When Zag dies (and he WILL die) he shows back up at the House of Hades and tries again, and through multiple deaths, you start to uncover more of the story. You start to learn more about Zag, why he’s so determined to leave for the surface world (his birth mother, Persephone, is up there), his relationships with the people around him, and why Hades is so vehemently against him leaving.

Initially, I thought it was some petty reason about how Hades is stuck in the Underworld while the Olympians live their best lives above the surface. I thought Hades was just some pissed-off god who smacked his son around for daring to leave his world for something that’s perceived as being better. Can you blame me for making this assumption? This man sends wave after wave of Underworld denizens after his son, enlists the help of bone hydras and ex-girlfriends, and when no one can get the job done he pulls a Thanos and says, “Fine, I’ll do it myself.”

However, Hades’ reasons for not wanting Zag to leave are actually… emotional? And heartfelt? And DAMN DUDE WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY SO IN THE BEGINNING?!


After you beat Hades for the first time (yeah, I said first time), you find out that Zag actually canNOT leave the Underworld without dying. Zag is tied to that world because he isn’t supposed to be alive. The Fates said that Hades would never sire an heir, but when he met Persephone, the two fell in love and she became pregnant. However, since the Fates said that Hades would never have an heir, Zag was stillborn. Persephone ran away from the Underworld, full of grief, but unbeknownst to her, Nyx (the Personification of Night who Zag initially thinks is his mother) brought Zag back to life.



WHY didn’t you just SAY this?!


Okay yes, I get it, it’s because video game gotta video game, and I am having a BLAST the whole way through, but I can’t stop laughing at how stubborn Hades is about telling Zag the truth.

The first time you beat him and tell him you’ve found Persephone, he straight up says the fight you had against him NEVER HAPPENED. It’s clear to Zag (and you, the player) that the only way you’re gonna find out everything is beating the shit out of your dad multiple times. Every time you beat Hades, you find out more information about Zag’s life, which has made me realize that I’m in an ongoing game of phone tag between my parents.

Zag reaches the top of the Underworld and confronts Hades like:


Hades says something that hints at the full story… but not too much.


Zag responds with a legitimate question that leads to Hades snapping at him because, “I’m your father, how dare you ask me questions that force me to examine my feelings!”


We fight. I beat him (or I don’t, it’s honestly anyone’s game at this point).

Now, Hades used to tell Zag to eff off, but since we’re at the point in my playthrough where we know Zag’s gonna die when he leaves, Hades is like, “See you back at the house, don’t forget to pick up milk on your way back.”


Zag goes to talk to Persephone, who fills in some gaps, asks more questions for Zag to ask his father (who might answer if you beat him up real good), and Zag ends up back home because he can’t live on the surface.


Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Until I get all the answers, I guess? I’ve defeated Hades three times so far out of multiple playthroughs and I feel like I still have a long way to go.

What’s truly impressive about this game is that I know I’m repeating myself, and that would usually annoy the hell out of me, but each run through the Underworld feels different. You can change your weapons, get different boons from the Olympian Gods (boons aid you in your quest), work on increasing your relationship stats with everyone, and it genuinely is an interesting method of the story revealing itself through constant combat.

Hades certainly could just tell you everything and not intimidate the hell out of everyone who’s trying to help you, but then he wouldn’t be Hades, now would he? Zag points this out too, by the way, reaching a point where he nonchalantly approaches Hades like, “Hey, time to fight or whatever.”

Every win against Hades is both an opportunity to learn more and a chance to humble the God of the Underworld, something I thought I’d get tired of, but I feel pretty badass whenever I manage to get to Greece. Each time I feel like I’ve earned the nugget of information I gain about Zag’s life and gear up to go off and learn more.


Hades could be solved with a father-son chat at the bar.

Thanks for being so extra, dad. Don’t be afraid to send an email next time, okay?

(Image: Supergiant Games)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)