Hades is a phenomenally cool indie game that has done well in many ways, including dramatization. The almighty gods who watch over the earth and heaven, every now and then succumb to the temptation of mortal pettiness, and Zagreus constantly plunges into their machinations.
The tie is pretty simple. Zagreus wants to escape from the underworld, but he cannot do it on his own. His father, Hades, built an indestructible underworld, essentially trapping all the creatures within. Human souls cannot leave this place for a very obvious reason. At the same time, Zagrei does not understand why a similar fate awaits him. Why can’t the prince of the underworld get at least some freedom? Everyone around him insists that his fate is directly related to the afterlife, but the young rebel does not intend to put up until he sees at least something else in his life.
Thus, the protagonist of the hades roglike begins to fight his way through different levels of the underworld of Hades, and the rest of the family – the deities of the Greek pantheon – eventually learns about the plight of the young man. And then the gods and goddesses extend their helping hands, allowing Zagreus to use special gifts that provide various bonuses (for example, increasing attack speed or defense). But besides strengthening, gifts have another, no less important function: along with each of them, Zagreus receives a message from a certain family member.
Through these gifts, the hero learns in what relationship his aunts, uncles, cousins and cousins are. Some of them are friendly, the relationship of others can be described by the status “everything is complicated.” Almost everyone you can list now has a difficult relationship with Hades (including his associates). If they are in contact at all. This is partly due to an insurmountable barrier. Receiving another gift, Zagreus cannot communicate directly with the gods of Olympus due to “cosmic interference”. Everything is logical here: the underworld should exist in such a way that the living cannot interact with it.
But let’s see why there is such a huge gap between Olympus and the afterlife. Hades makes himself look like a bastard. At first, his behavior can be attributed to the harsh nature of his father: a cruel attitude towards Zagreus is associated with incredibly high expectations from his son. As we gather more information about lore and develop relationships with other characters, it becomes apparent that Hades has a really good reason to be so morose.
Nims was given an impossible task associated with a conveyor belt of endless dead souls that require processing. Technically, his brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, are forced to follow their possessions, but in reality they got a less burdensome burden, not to match Hades. If Zeus wants to become a bird and pursue a woman, so be it. And half of Poseidon’s worries are associated exclusively with fish . But Hades cannot take a break, all the work he does is mostly thankless. Nobody wants to die. And as Zagreus learns after meeting Theseus, even the champions of Elysium have no privileges in the afterlife.
Almost all family relationships are dysfunctional. Sometimes Zagreus finds himself in a room with two gifts. He only needs to choose one of them. And the gods will certainly take his decision personally. God, whose gift Zagreus chose, will be delighted, so he will once again emphasize for the young man that he did everything right. But the gift left in the room will form an offended loser, who will send enemies to Zagrei.
And this guilt persists. The choice of a particular gift in Hades is not related to which god or goddess you sympathize with or with which of them you want to be on good terms. Often we choose what will best increase the chances of survival. Sometimes this requires making a deal with Chaos itself. It’s a shame that the game stops there. The effect of the decision made does not appear in the long term. Instead, the offended deity calms down immediately after Zagreus destroys the enemy group he sends.
On the other hand, it is pleasant with what trepidation everyone else follows the fate of Zagreus, although in fact they do not see the young man. At the very beginning, when we inevitably die from the early boss of the game Meg, Poseidon supports the young man, allegedly he simply cannot find a common language with the girls of a romantic warehouse. The choice of certain gifts leads to the fact that other deities begin to pay attention to whose help we receive more often than others. It seems that almost everyone is afraid of the harsh goddess of the seasons, Demeter. In other cases, there may be some kind of synergy between the gods: for example, Aphrodite and Dionysus are well aware that seduction and parties are related to each other. With any luck, some of the gods will even unite, giving Zagreus a double boost.
Despite the fact that they rule over vast realms and possess great power, all deities love to gossip. Especially to wash the bones of other members of this family. And it’s not even about Zagreus – he’s just a pawn in a chess game. When Zeus sends a gift, he knows perfectly well that this action will make Hades damn angry. This is the whole point. He wants to kick the bear and then see what happens next. Zeus enjoys how Zagreus wants to get out into the outside world, because this means one thing: Hades cannot offer his son anything more.
But such a relationship is not a fantasy. In real families, there are also conflicts, and, even if not everyone says it directly, when it comes to discord, everyone wants the child to take his / her side. Of course, Zagrei is inspired by the noble promises of feasts and good times. The young man does not yet have experience of personal communication with anyone from his large family, so there is no reason to be afraid. Another thing is a stern father.
At the same time, the gods of Olympus do not know that in fact Zagreus is a capricious child who, rather, will destroy everything that his father built, rather than accept his fate. And the inhabitants of the underworld, seeing how Zagreus wants to leave, take his actions at their own expense. Although the deities of the underworld have been together for such a long time, most of them are under the heel of Hades, occupying certain roles. Despite numerous complaints, Zagrei sits on a long leash compared to them. This allows him to wreak havoc with him, while the rest are forced to restore order. Hades would never tolerate such rebellious behavior from any of his subordinates.
Hades takes a lot of liberties in shaping the image of the Greek pantheon. In the myths of the ancient world, you can hardly find the name Zagrei – but the game definitely conveys the spirit of this crumpled world. Anyone familiar with mythology knows that the relationship of the Greek gods is truly confusing. And in an era of pandemic, when opportunities for face-to-face gossip have dwindled, Hades provides not only fun gameplay, but great melodrama.