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Disambig This article is about the character. For the game, see Hades (game).
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This article contains detailed information about Hades or Hades II that may spoil your enjoyment of discovering the game's secrets for yourself.
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Stupid boy. I told you nobody gets out of here, whether alive or dead. Though, how was your wanton ransacking of my domain?
~ Hades

Hades is the chthonic God of the Underworld and of the mineral riches of the earth, the lord and master of the House of Hades, and the father of Zagreus and Melinoë. He is in charge of maintaining order within the Underworld, determining the placements and punishments of the dead, and hearing the petitions of shades that come before him.

Hades is stern, serious, and dedicated to his work. In the Remembrances that play before some escape attempts, he is shown to have been strict and often cruel to Zagreus during his childhood. He employed Achilles to teach Zagreus fighting and give him more of a "firm direction in life." Meanwhile, Hades seems to have left much of the caretaking and raising of Zagreus to Nyx.

He is resentful of Zagreus' repeated attempts to escape the Underworld and greets his returns with scorn and mockery. Additionally, he will sometimes order shades to congregate near Zagreus to punish him with time trials or to defend his Infernal Troves, in addition to overseeing the Infernal Gates to Erebus. He berates Zagreus upon the prince managing to progress from Tartarus to Asphodel, from Asphodel to Elysium, and finally from Elysium to the Temple of Styx. After Zagreus successfully bribes Cerberus with a Satyr Sack to let him by without violence, Hades realizes that he needs to become personally involved and heads off to face Zagreus at the snowy grounds on the living side of the Temple's archway, having equipped his Helm of Darkness and his fearsome spear Gigaros, to vanquish his son and banish him back to the House. He is the final boss of the main game.

The twin-pronged Sigil of the Dead forms Hades's personal seal, appearing on his person and war gear and being widely used as a mark of chthonic power throughout the Underworld. In the labyrinthine bureaucracy of the House, he is officially afforded the title of Unseen One, a ceremonial rank of immense status only achievable by Zagreus through an incredible amount of work and dedication.

After the events of Hades, he and his wife manage to conceive a second child, Melinoë. Soon after, his father Chronos broke free and took control of the Underworld. By the time of Hades II, Hades is now his father's prisoner.

He can be encountered in Tartarus with Cerberus and Bouldy keeping him company. He will give boons to Melinoë to give her an edge against Chronos himself.

Characteristics and Personality

Hades is the benevolent yet tyrannical god responsible for ruling the Underworld, a sleepy place and the home of the souls of the deceased. He has the task of commanding and maintaining order within it, determining the placements and punishments of the dead and listens to petitions from the Shades that come before him either accepting or rejecting them. He will block any chance of escape from his son Zagreus and ensure that the inhabitants of the underworld are after him so that he does not escape.

Hades appears disciplined, dominant and rigid with work, applying the many rules of his domain with severe bureaucratic rigor. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, most if not all of his subjects respect him and see him as a stern but fair ruler. His son, Zagreus, on the other hand has always seen his father as a "villain" in his life and has always considered him a distant, impatient, and hard-working man with no time for his son, belittling and acting harshly towards him, constantly reprimanding and repressing him, and always wishing for more attention from his father, but without success.

Despite maintaining composure, one can observe in Hades an extremely short fuse, especially with his brother, Zeus. Upon hearing from his son that "Zeus forgives him," in a tone of sarcasm and contradiction, Hades goes mad with fury at the insolence.

Hades is an enigmatic figure, even to the inhabitants of his own kingdom, and even to his own son. It is difficult to read him and say whether he does something for the good of someone or for inscrutable reasons. Despite his rough exterior, unlike his younger brother Zeus, who appears gregarious and benevolent, only on the outside, beneath all his tough exterior, Hades is well-intentioned, fair, takes his role seriously, and it was thanks to these qualities that Persephone saw in him that led to their marriage and eventually having "children" together.

Hades was also depressed from having his heart broken by Persephone after she left the Underworld due to Zagreus' tragic stillborn birth. Even after Nyx was able to convince her daughters, the Fates, to bring Zagreus back to life, Hades was unable to fully shake off this depression, shutting everyone, including his son, out emotionally and refusing to so much as acknowledge Persephone, even going so far as to forbid anyone in the Underworld from uttering her name and threatening to harshly punish anyone who breaks this rule. It wasn't until Persephone returned to the Underworld and they were able to rekindle their romance that Hades finally snapped out of his depression and began to have a more positive outlook.

Hades appears incredibly serious and practical. However, a healthy attitude can be observed; whenever Hades sees something he finds funny, he cannot contain himself and momentarily begins to laugh. Despite being inflexible, he appears to fear his wife Persephone, who seems to know all his weaknesses and complies with any request made by her.

Despite being the main antagonist of Hades, in the end, he chooses not to reveal to Zagreus about Persephone, to protect Zagreus from his own truth and largely to avoid a civil war by Demeter, and free Persephone from all the circumstances that bind her son. Hades apologizes to his son and admits that he was a poor father. Now, with Persephone, she is able to bring out the sweeter and gentler side of Hades, leading him to be more paternal and open about his affection for him. He is still not particularly warm towards him afterward. Nevertheless, their relationship improves considerably as he is more willing to acknowledge Zagreus's positive traits and not constantly belittle him as before, sounding more like a father and son.

One might have a hard time believing so, but Hades is open to criticism and others' opinions and judgements, as evidenced by when Persephone helps him with paperwork and the fact he let Hermes influence slightly the rules of the Pact of Punishment.

Though he hides it well beneath his usual gruff exterior, Hades is constantly stressed from his endless job of sorting the dead, often feeling overworked, especially during times of great turmoil up on the Surface such as wars and plagues, which ensure that he's never far from his desk for very long.

Hades is also well-known for his impartiality when it comes to sorting the souls of the dead. While he can and will sentence Shades to an eternity in Tartarus for any bad deeds they committed in life, he often shows a degree of leniency towards most of them as many Shades can often be seen wandering the chambers of Tartarus seemingly content and unpunished in any significant way. Only the darkest of souls who have committed truly wicked deeds (i.e., murder, rape, torture, etc.) is enough to earn his eternal ire and prompt him to give them a special punishment.

Physical description

Hades is a massive, hulking figure, significantly larger than any human. He has gray skin, red eyes with black sclera, and long, wavy, black hair. Notably, he also possesses a waist-length mustache whose two halves intersect each other across his upper chest, forming the shape of his symbol, Gigaros. He wears decadent red robes adorned with numerous pieces of golden, gem-encrusted jewelry with a skull motif. There is a flame-colored wreath laurel upon his head. Like Zagreus, Hades's bare feet emit a fiery glow and singe the ground as he walks. The skull on his shoulder is revealed to be one of Typhon's children.

Before fighting Zagreus, he also wears a long, red cape that he discards as the fight begins. In combat, he dons the Helm of Darkness, a tall, regal crown bearing the Gigaros symbol and the shape of three canine skulls.

In Hades II, his beard and fiery feet are his only identifiable traits; he wears only a tattered cloak and giant shackles with chains. He is generally gaunter and more sickly-looking than he was in the first installment.

History

Before Hades

Hades was born as the eldest son of the titan Chronos and rebelled with Poseidon, Zeus, Hestia, Demeter and Hera against his father's rule which began the Titan War. The Titans were ultimately defeated and imprisoned in the pits of Tartarus by the gods. After the war, Hades and his brothers drew lots to equally divide the world. Hades drew the shortest lot, receiving the Underworld as his domain.

At some point during his rule, Hades became enamored with the daughter of his foster sister Demeter, Persephone but was unable to express his feelings to her due to fearing her overprotective mother's retaliation. Zeus felt sympathy for his brother's plight and also to Persephone's general unhappiness on Olympus and so he brought Persephone to the Underworld as a gift to Hades. Instead of being grateful, Hades was furious at his brother's recklessness as his actions could have potentially cause a war amongst the gods, and so, he finally decided to cut off contact with Zeus and the rest of the Olympians. He allowed Persephone to stay in the Underworld despite the danger it could cause should her whereabouts be discovered by her mother or the other Olympians.

Slowly, Hades and Persephone fell in love and began their relationship culminating with Persephone becoming pregnant. Persephone was warned by Hades and others that the Fates had decreed that he would never have an heir, but Persephone nonetheless was determined to have their child. Disaster soon befell Hades and Persephone the day their child was born, as their new son who they named Zagreus was stillborn. The loss of their son was too much for Persephone and she left the Underworld for the surface leaving only a letter to Hades.

The Goddess Nyx sought to restore Zagreus to life and succeeded in her endeavor. Hades requested Nyx with the care of the young Zagreus and fabricated the lie that Nyx was Zagreus' true birth mother. Hades' relationship with his son became estranged over time as he grew up, due to Hades being hard to please and rarely showing affection to him. Although harsh, Hades saw that his son receive the best training and had the famous hero of the Trojan War Achilles tutor him in exchange for sending Achilles' lover Patroclus to Elysium.

Hades also gave Zagreus a job in the administration of the Underworld, but Zagreus was unable to fulfill his tasks as he had a lack of interest for the job and usually would arrive late for work. Hades ultimately fired Zagreus from the administrative duties after the two had gotten into an argument. Later, Zagreus convinced Hypnos to make everyone in the House fall asleep so that he could make some mischief to get back at his father. However, while rummaging through his father's desk, Zagreus discover something that would change his life; the letter left by Persephone, his true birth mother. Zagreus went to Nyx, who told him the truth about Persephone.

With this knowledge, Zagreus decided to leave the Underworld and find his mother. Hades soon found out what his son's intentions were and amassed an army of shades among them Asterius and Theseus, Megaera and even Cerberus to stop him from leaving.

Hades

In the game, Hades serves as the main antagonist and the final boss.

When Zagreus manages to leave the Underworld, he encounters Hades waiting for him and two fight and Zagreus wins their battle. A weakened Hades asks Zagreus to tell his mother that Cerberus is fine and is taken to the Underworld before he can answer any of Zagreus' questions. Zagreus manages to reunite with Persephone but only briefly because of the curse that runs in their family, Zagreus is unable to live on the surface and must return to the Underworld.

Hades and Zagreus continue to fight multiple times as Hades believed that Zagreus would bring calamity to the Underworld and harm to Persephone. During their last encounter, Zagreus berated Hades for his choices for keeping Persephone safe, Hades knowing that his son was in the right agreed and let him go without a fight.

Epilogue

When the Queen comes back, Hades at first fears the possible consequences, but as she devises a plan to reunite the family, he agrees to follow it, doing his part. During the planned feast, Hades and Zeus shake hands as the situation comes to an end and they come to an understanding.

From then on, Zagreus is thus tasked with checking the security of the Underworld, looking for flaws in it. As such, Hades will keep appearing as the final challenge, but their fights now are full of familiar banter in contrast to before, serving as a bond exercise between father and son.

Before Hades II

After the events of Hades, he and Persephone were able to conceive a second child named Melinoë and commissioned a portrait to commemorate the joyous occasion. However shortly after Melinoë was born, Hades' father, Chronos, escaped his imprisonment within Tartarus and overpowered the entire House of Hades, freezing them in time. Hades ordered Hecate to take Melinoë away from the Underworld and went off to confront his father. At his throne, Chronos demanded that Hades tell him the location of the Fates however, Hades was unable to answer him as he did not know where they were. Afterwards Chronos imprisoned Hades and the others in Tartarus.

Hades II

When Melinoë reaches Tartarus, she encounters Hades and the uncorrupted Cerberus in the room where Sisyphus and Bouldy resided.

Affinity

Until the main story has been completed, Hades' affinity gauge will be locked at 1 heart. If given Nectar, there will be some brief dialogue, but he will not give any Keepsakes.

After the affinity gauge is unlocked and if Hades is given 2 Nectar in total, he will give the Sigil of the Dead.

Hades' affinity gauge is maxed out at 5 hearts, requiring the gifting of 5 Nectar total. After the fifth Nectar is gifted and the bond is forged, Hades will return all 5 previously gifted Nectar to the player.

If affinity is maxed out with Hades, there will be unique text above his keepsake. this text states: "From Hades; you share an intractable bond" as well as "The feared and distant underworld king knows that his hardest work is still ahead of him."

Favor

Hades' favor involves getting Persephone to return to the House of Hades. The affinity gauge will be unlocked when Hades expresses his gratitude for returning her.

Codex entry

Codex
'...What is there to say about the Master? Master not just of the House in which I work, but of the entirety of the domain beneath the earth, the place we all end up after we die. He is a god of character, I have to give him that. In life, I once served someone who reminded me of him a little, yet even the kingliest of mortals pales in comparison. Suffice it, then, to say that the Lord Hades takes matters of his Fate-appointed Underworld in utmost seriousness. Yet, his meticulous veneer gives way to impatience frequently enough, especially with his only son. This resentment extends to his never-ending work, for he presides over an endless procession of the dead. The Master claims he alone can tend to their affairs, but grudgingly, I think, expects his son's support.'

Unlock the complete Codex Entry by speaking to Hades after reaching the True Ending. This may require an indeterminate number of Escape attempts.

Codex
'After all, Lord Hades long since severed ties with his family on Olympus, and leads a solitary life, now. His son is his sole remaining connection to his family, and I fear it falters.'

Book of Shadows Entry (Hades II)

Codex
'Your father you know only by the reputation that he earned and cultivatd up until your birth. Or shortly after, to be more precise, for he was then taken from us all. Yet his shadow still looms large. Hes is a deathless god, after all. Not even Time can destroy him. But you had best not give Time undue opportunity to try.'

Trivia

  • Gigaros is the name of the spear Hades wields in his battle against Zagreus. Unlike his aspect for Varatha, which is a trident, Gigaros is a bident, which Hades is said to own in Greek Mythology.
  • If Hades kills Zagreus during an escape attempt, his name will be subordinated by "[REDACTED]" on the security log.
  • Hades is able to disappear when fighting, and his keepsake makes Zagreus invisible for a short time. This ability is likely a reference to the helmet of invisibility Hades is said to own in Greek Mythology.
  • People often mistakenly conflate Hades with Lucifer.
    • Hades is the God of the Underworld, the dead, and riches. ALL souls go to him when they die; good and bad.
    • In Christianity Satan or Lucifer is the ruler of all that is evil, and unbelieving souls go to him when they die.
      • Coincidentally Lucifer is actually confirmed to exist in this universe.
  • Alongside Chaos, Eurydice, Hermes and Patroclus, Hades is one of the few characters to ever comment on someone else's keepsake, namely Persephone's.
  • In Greek Mythology, Hades is married to his niece Persephone.

Myth Facts

  • Among the popular Greek mythological tales involving Hades is his kidnapping of Persephone, daughter of Zeus, and the origin of the winter seasons during Demeter's mourning for her disappearance.
  • In the Orphic hymns, the Underworld god and Zeus were believed to be one in the same, and fathered Zagreus, whom would be reborn as Dionysus.
    • Zeus, disguised as Hades, also seduced and birthed Melinoë with the goddess Persephone, paralleling a similar deceptive conception of Zagreus with Zeus disguised as a serpent.
  • As written in the Suda, Hades has a daughter named Makaria.

Additional notes

For additional information on Hades that does not pertain to Hades, see Wikipedia's article: Hades

References




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