"God of War" for Playstation 2, "Mythology Guide" By Mykas0 version 1.2 9-7-2008 BE SURE TO READ THIS FIRST PART! You can read this faq as long as you don't change ANY part of it (including this small introduction). Also, you can print it but only for use at your home, you may NEVER sell this stuff or else you will make me really mad and maybe I won't work anymore! Finally, if you want to use this faq on your site you have to mail me and ask me for it, I will almost surely grant it to you! 0~. Version History ----------------------------------------------------------- 1~. Introduction 2~. God of War 2.1~. Kratos and his quest 2.2~. Hydra 2.3~. Minotaur 2.4~. Cyclops 2.5~. Medusa 2.6~. Interaction between mortals and gods 2.7~. Ares 2.8~. Harpies 2.9~. Sirens 2.10~. Chronos 2.11~. Pandora's Temple 2.12~. Cerberus 2.13~. Muse Keys 2.14~. Poseidon's Trident 2.15~. Hades 2.16~. Mechanical Minotaur 2.17~. Satyrs 2.18~. Pandora's Box 2.19~. "The Path of Hades" 2.20~. Mysterious Man 2.21~. Kratos' brother 3~. Frequently Asked Questions ----------------------------------------------------------- B_END. Special Thanks END. Contacts 0~. Version History -> version 1.2 <- - Added some information missing in the previous version. -> version 1.1 <- - Added more information to "Kratos and his quest" and "Mysterious Man" sections. -> version 1.01 <- - Added a new hypothesis on who the Mysterious Man may be. -> version 1.0 <- - Did the entire guide. 1~. Introduction A couple months ago, when I first had the opportunity to play the first "God of War", I was astonished at the quality of the storyline that this game presents players with. Sure, it's not fully based on Greek Mythology, but introduces the player to a world where gods actively interact with humans and help them in their tasks. Following the story of a Spartan warrior called Kratos, a character created for the game, one who buys this game will be introduced to an amazing adventure that clearly resembles the ones you can read in most greek myths. Sure, the game is way too violent and not suitable for those younger players (if you're a parent, keep this in mind!), but provided you (try to...) disregard such point, you'll have an interesting time with this game. So, what's this guide all about? Instead of focusing in this game's actual storyline and becoming a simple plot guide, this guide was written for those who love Greek Mythology but, for one reason or another won't be playing the game. I will mention how most mythological elements were used, following the same order stated in the games and connecting those elements to the actual myths. Either if you like this mythology or not, the content which I'll be writing about may turn out being quite interesting for you to read, as it may give possible hints at what will happen on future games, apart from unveiling details of the games which most players may not be fully aware of. BE AWARE THAT THIS GUIDE CONTAINS HEAVY SPOILERS, making it probably unsuitable for those who don't want their experience to be spoiled. Finally, and before advancing to the actual content, I would like to thank IGN.com for their Strategy Guides, which are quite good. Reading their documents, I was able to write this guide without constantly checking the actual games, which would take too much time. Now, on to what you're waiting for... 2~. God of War This first title may be slightly confusing when you start playing, but as you're advancing in the storyline, many other things get revealed to you, evolving into a deeper story with many secrets and unexpected events to unveil. 2.1~. Kratos and his quest Shortly after starting your adventure, you'll understand that Kratos has the objective of killing Ares, the famous greek god of war. While, in terms of plot, such demanding quest sounds interesting, it is just impossible. Ares, as all other greek gods, had the gift of immortality, which makes him impossible to be killed. Bear in mind that this virtual relationship with Ares gives the name to this game, as the main hero is trying to kill the "God of War". While such events NEVER (and no, don't try to point me to some fake links, ok?) happened in the original myths, Kratos is actually the name given to a minor figure from the Greek Myths. According to those, this character was the personification of strenght and a son of Styx and Pallas, who followed all the orders and commands that Zeus issued to him, unlike the character of this game. Despite being a minor figure, he plays an important role in "Prometheus Bound", where he is one of the figures in charge of chaining the famous titan Prometheus. 2.2~. Hydra A few minutes after starting the game, your hero will be facing one of the heads of the mighty Hydra. Later in that level, he encounters many other heads, to a total of four heads, plus a big(ger) one. Well, making such monster more terrific than it primarily was is a feature that many other titles have followed, but there are some inconsistencies in the depiction made here. The number of heads hint that this isn't the famous Lernaean Hydra, the monster encountered by Herakles (it's Hercules for you, people who don't know much about this...) in his known Labours, and its location (the "Aegean Sea", as stated in the introduction sequence) also strongly provide evidence against such possibility. Bearing in mind that the greek myths ONLY talk about a single Hydra, and no multi-headed monsters were known to inhabit the Aegean Sea, this was just a creature made up for the game. It is shown as an interesting boss and may hint at the greek inspiration for this game, but has nothing to do with the actual creature from which its name comes. 2.3~. Minotaur Shortly after reaching the city of Athens, you'll fight some creatures that resemble the Minotaur, featuring an huge head of a bull and a human-like body. Such figure is more often associated with Crete than Athens, but the usage of this mythological figure is so deeply inserted on the popular culture that it appears in in many action games or, more often, in RPGs. In this game, this figure is depicted in a more fierce way, attacking the player with a large hammer instead of using his natural skills. Oddly, the way that the hero uses to kill this creatures (if you use a dynamic kill by pressing "circle") is sometimes used in fights against bulls. 2.4~. Cyclops After fighting the incredible bull-man, players will find this famous creature. Having their most famous episode in a confrontation with Odysseus, such creatures are deeply underrated in this game. Unless you're reading a guide or some sort of spoiler, you'll hardly notice that these creatures have a single eye in the middle of their skull. In fact, they are presented in a strange way, attacking the main character with a large spiked ball, which was obviously added to make them stronger. Such issues were fixed in this game's sequel, but here they are just shown in an unfortunate way, which is rather sad. In my personal opinion, the famous Cyclops, sons of Poseidon, would have been perfect for later parts of the adventure, where the god of horses and sea plays a bigger role. 2.5~. Medusa At first, you'll find this creature in a single battle, giving it some sort of a special treatment. However, later on you'll find many others of these creatures, Gorgons, that is. Sure, they don't exactly share many points in common with the classical Medusa, but her head that turns people into stone, along with her snake-shaped hair, are in the game. It is rather odd to see that most games follow this depiction of the beast, presenting her with a snake-like body, perhaps to give her a more fierce look. The original creature usually had a human-like body, with certain authors stating teeth as big as the tusks of boars, huge claws and silver wings, containing the power to turn everyone who looks at her into stone. Well, in the context of the game, it would be rather unpleasant to be turned to stone in a mere second, wouldn't it? So, this creature was imbued with the power to turn someone to stone after a few seconds, if she is launching a greenish wave at you. At the end of the original battle, Kratos pulls the monster's head out of her body, in an awful way to mime the classical task of Perseus. Later, players can even use this head to turn their enemies into stone, miming yet again the task accomplished the famous greek hero, who turned many of his opponents into stone, in order to save his mother from some suitors and marrying Andromeda. 2.6~. Interaction between mortals and gods As soon as you finish your work with the so-famous Medusa, you may start wondering why are gods helping your character. Well, as shown in many greek myths, this situation was quite common in the lifes of heros. Athena and Hermes were entities especially helpful in those tasks, as they used to contact heroes personally (which often happens in the game!), but other gods also seem to do it, either via oracles (here depicted as smoke screens, where an image of each god is projected) or even personally. Such collaboration happened quite often and has nothing to envy to the classical myths, as it is shown in a way that seems to respect their legacy. 2.7~. Ares By the time you (finally) reach the interior of Athens, you'll see Ares in the background, shown as a giant creature. This form of the god was probably added to provide a more dramatic feel to the story, making the player fear the "creature" that he will have to face. Ares, alongside with Athena and many other gods, also participated in a great conflict in the form of the Trojan War, and in no moment they they have taken such enourmous form, usually even trying to hide from both sides of the conflict. Ares flaming beard is also used to provide him a more god-like form, as many myths state that humans were created by gods and had the same physical features as their creators. 2.8~. Harpies First seen in the level where you fight the Hydra, these enemies later come back, for several times, in order to upset you. Sure, they aren't very strong, but tend to come in large numbers and are mostly a nuisance to the main hero. In this depiction, we can see that not only some features were taken from the actual Harpies, that tended to make Phineas unable to eat his food until the Argonauts saved him. However, having a smaller body instead of human-like features, it is possible that the features that this creature is depicted with may have also come from the Stymphalian birds, which Herakles fought in one of his Labours, who used to attack in large number and could be an extreme nuisance for the population nearby. It was probably a junction between those creatures that led to the monster seen in the game, who has in their large numbers their strongest feature. 2.9~. Sirens In a mythological context, it is rather odd to see these creatures populating the middle of a desert, despite featuring their "powerful" voice. Their chant is not really beautiful, but destructive and may lead the player to his death, in a more literal sense. In the greek myths, these aquatic deities used their beautiful voices and chants to lead the sailors to their deaths, by crushing their ships into the rocks, or simply taking them deep underwater, until they died. It is rather odd to see the way that these creatures were depicted in this game, which has hardly anything to do with the actual myths. Probably they just needed some sort of creature that could be heard from far away, and in order to accomplish the task, they thought about the Sirens and their voices, despite them being generally acquatic creatures. I believe that adding some sort of minor greek deity, such as Pan or the centaurs, would have been better, but it was up to them... 2.10~. Chronos This titan is here represented as a giant that was condemned to roam a desert for all eternity, with a temple stuck to his back. Overlooking the size of the temple, it is rather odd that so many adventures will take place in such a small place, but let's disregard such problem and focus on the myth. Following the Titanomachy war, which is shown in the second game, many titans were imprisoned in the realm of Hades (or, according to other versions, merely under the ground), with Chronos, the main cause of the war, fleeing never to be seen again. Later roman myths stated that he had escaped to Italy and helped to form the Roman Empire, but generally he just disappear from greek myths. Such disappearance may lead to many versions of what really happened to him, but since he was never actually punished by Zeus or any of the olympic gods, the version stated here is just too improbable. It would have been better if they added any kind of titan that was actually suffering such punishment, such as Atlas (whom would have been perfect for the task) or Uranus, whose fate is heavily unknown and could prevent any kind of storyline issues from taking place. 2.11~. Pandora's Temple In Chronos' back you'll find this temple, where Kratos will face several trials in order to eventually acquire Pandora's box. Despite its name, there was no such temple in Ancient Greece and Pandora wasn't even worshipped as a deity. The inspiration for this temple and the overall tasks are easy to figure out, as they present the player with a labyrintic space, which was designed by an architect and his son, both of which were imprisioned in the very same place that they designed. It could be a reference to the myth of Icarus and his father, Daedalus, who had to design a labyrinth for Minos, famous king of Crete. Later on, they would be impriosioned in that very same place and would escape using some wings produced by Daedalus, with his son disregarding his advice, which would lead to his death. While the famous Daedalus appears in the second game, this temple is probably a reference to the stated myth, showing that this temple was, unlike the labyrinth designed by Icarus' father, impossible (or... too hard!) to escape from. 2.12~. Cerberus Here depicted in a greenish colour and with their usual three heads, this form of the dark Cerberus has not much in common with the myth. Be aware that this is one of those figures that it is already too inserted in the popular culture, making him nothing more than a three-headed dog, unlike the mythological monster, who also had snakes in his back and a dragon-like tail, which was even capable of biting his foes. Such classical depiction would have been perfect for this game, but producers seem to have gone for the usual one, turning it into a big dog with three heads. An interesting note should be given to its pups, who originally have a single head but may later evolve into a bigger creature, who gets two extra heads. It is weird to see it *magically* acquiring those two extra heads, but maybe that's just me... 2.13~. Muse Keys Somewhere in the middle of your adventure, you may find up to two different Muse Keys. In Ancient Greece, muses used to inspire poets, writers and musicians to better perform their tasks, either if it was writing a new play or playing music that would please the gods. In general, muses inspired men to perform great feats. An hidden reference to them is also available in this game, as possessing both keys provides access to a secret room, where Kratos, the main character, will find lots of bonus that may help him in his quest, possibly inspiring him to achieve greater deeds. 2.14~. Poseidon's Trident In the game, this object merely provides the main character with the ability to breathe underwater, but its usual task was a lot more interesting. Given to Poseidon by the Cyclops during the Titanomachy war, where Zeus receive his bolts and Hades got his invisibility cap, the god of seas used this item to cause earthquakes, when he struck land with a powerful blow. According to the myth, the ancient Parthenon of Athens even featured a fissure caused by Poseidon who, in his wrath, struck a rock with his trident, after losing the possesion of this city to Athena. Its usage in the game is perhaps a mere way to connect the ability of breathing underwater with the most known god of sea (and, obviously, water itself). Unlike some people may think, the trident itself had no special abilities, being a mere weapon which can be used like any other. 2.15~. Hades Seen twice in this game (once via the usual smoke screen and again as a statue), I consider the depiction of Hades in the game as just plain wrong. In the Greek Myths, this god was presented in the same way as any other, being a just king and trying to manage his kingdom in the best possible way. Unlike what people seem to think, this god was not the one in charge of killing people, task which was given to either Thanatos or the Moirae. Instead, he was merely the ruler of the underworld, performing the same task that Zeus did in the skies and Poseidon had in the water. He was represented the same way as the other gods, with a human-like figure and, sometimes, his famous helmet of invisibility. Besides, he was a real figure with real thoughts and feelings, which can be seen in the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, where he even cries while listening to the sad music that Orpheus played. Hades' current depiction on ocidental culture comes probably from an obvious change in people's minds, which seem to consider death as a bad thing, fearing those who are associated with this kind of cult and giving them a darker feel. This god was never a monstruous creature, unlike the one represented in the game, which seems to be based in mere ideas of uninformed people. 2.16~. Mechanical Minotaur After facing an inacurate form of Hades, you'll get to fight a huge minotaur, which looks like a mechanical Minotaur. Its relationship with Crete is rather obvious, but this boss battle features a lot more than meets the eye. For those of you who know few about mythology, I can state that the island of Crete was not only associated with bulls but also with technology. Talos, a present from Zeus to the famous Europa, was also an evidence of this claim, with the huge automaton protecting the shores of that famous island until Jason and the Argonauts destroyed it. It is possible that the inspiration for this huge enemy creature comes from a fusion between Talos and the Minotaur, creating this huge, bull-like, mechanical creature. Hitting several points of his body to reveal the true form of the beast is clearly a mention to Talos, who had its weakness in a single point of his body, the only one that wasn't protected by its steel armor. 2.17~. Satyrs There are few Satyrs shown in this game, where they are represented with lances and moving in a strange way, jumping around the player and striking him with unmatched dexterity. While the classical Satyrs were devote followers of wine and women, they weren't fighters, usually even depicted with a huge penis, presenting them as figures of carnal pleasure, both for sex and drink. Fortunately, such depicting was censored in the game, with the members of this goat-man species turning into agile foes. 2.18~. Pandora's Box When Kratos finally reaches his most wanted item, the famous box which was previously held by Pandora, the first woman, there are some things that need to be cleared out. First of all, the box is way too big. There's no way a woman could hold such item without being noticed, which clearly goes against the story stated in the actual myth, which presented that box as small, easy to transport and hard to notice. Besides, after the episode with Pandora, the box was clearly stated to contain nothing more than the gift of Hope. In the context of this game, this could either mean that hope was moving the hero in his quest to defeat his biggest enemy or it could just lead to a storyline issue, where such mysterious box was imbued with an unexpected power, causing pain and grief after being opened. Finally, there's somethin that people tend to overlook: while the object taken by Pandora is generally considered to be a box, certain authors claim that it was actually a jar, a view that is also shared with the images seen on greek pottery. 2.19~. "The Path of Hades" Eventually, Kratos "dies" and is thrown to the realm of Hades, where he will find a reddish, demoniac, environment, which obviously relates to today's view of Hell but had absolutely nothing to do with the greek concept of the afterlife. While the ancient views of the afterlife had many different features depending on the authors, they all present the same basic view, where the underworld was a simple place where humans were judged for their acts and punished or rewarded (!) according to them. It wasn't as horrible as this game shows, with torrents of blood and fearful machines placed everywhere. There wasn't even such a fall, as the one depicted in the game, with souls being taken to the underworld by Thanatos after the death of a human body. There's another detail that also deserves our time: if the gods were supporting Kratos in his quest, why didn't Hades simply let this human go back to life, without putting any problems in such task? Well, the answer may be linked directly to what's discussed in the next point of this guide, with the appearance of a strange man after Kratos' escape from the not-so-horrible domains of Hades. 2.20~. Mysterious Man Shortly after leaving the domains of the underworld, the hero of this game will confront the very same man who was previously digging a grave. The identity of this man is probably one of the biggest mysteries of this game, and from his words you can easily understand that he has some kind of connection with the gods of the Olympus. So far, there's no way to be sure about this man's identity, but it is possible that he is either Hades, Zeus (transformed into a human) or the famous prophet of the Greek World, Tiresias. Greek Mythology featured several stories where gods pretend to be human and roam the domain of the mortals by taking a human shape, which could be the case of this man's true identity. Hades would obviously know what was happening in his realm and would be sure of the place where Kratos would pop-up, helping him in that task. If that man was actually Tiresias, he would easily know the future and have knowledge on how to help this hero, as he was probably supposed to help him accomplish the task of defeating Ares. Besides, thinking that the gods could actually take any kind of human form, why would they pick the form of an old man to accomplish such a physical task as digging a big grave? Taking the form of a young man would be more useful... Some people even consider this man as Zeus, based on the fact that both characters share a voice actor and that he calls Kratos "my son". Personally, I think that both these facts may be simple coincidences. For one, maybe they didn't want to get a new actor for such a minor character. Also, "my son" can also be used as an afectuous way to reffer to younger people, one that is still used in many countries these days. While there are no conclusions we can take about the identity of this man, these three hypothesis are quite good, and provide reasonable evidence to support each of these claims. 2.21~. Kratos' brother While he doesn't appear in the storyline of this game or its sequel, one of the videos available in the game hint at a possible future storyline where Kratos brother, who used to be a weak person, comes back and faces his former family. Bearing in mind that Kratos was a son of Zeus, he had too many brothers and sisters, making it hard to provide a list of everyone involved in these claims. However, since such person wasn't seen in this game's sequel, it is possible that Kratos brother was actually Herakles, the most famous of the greek heroes. Either if this is true or not, he will know when most games of this series are released. 3~. Frequently Asked Questions Some questions you may have, after reading this guide. Q: I just did [insert something here], what should I do next? A: I haven't got a clue, this isn't a gameplay guide, focusing more in the mythology aspect of the storyline. Q: I would like to know more about [insert something here], can you please tell me about it? A: Well, I guess I may have missed some details, and if that's the case, feel free to mail me about it. My e-mail address is stated at the end of this guide. That's all for now... B_END. Special Thanks I want to thank the following people: - Everyone who made this game; - Everyone who likes my works, it's for those people that I like to work in this type of project; - People who rejected to go out with me these days, this way I stood home, played this game and took the time to write this faq; - Matt B., for reminding me of a small detail that I had forgotten about; - Jlobos1, for pointing me to the presence of Kratos on the "Prometheus Bound" play; - Slycopperr, for some information I had forgotten to include; - IGN.com , for their "Strategy Guides", which helped me writing this very same guide; - Everyone I forgot to credit (if anyone at all...). End. Contacts If you want, you may see my web page, just check it at the HTML address www.geocities.com/Mykas0/ . My e-mail is Mykas0 [at] gmail.com , use the following subject or I will NEVER reply. Subject: "GOW1M Guide" For asking anything about this guide, or providing me any information Thanks for reading and see you in the next version/guide!!!!!