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The Mythology of God of War: Ascension

/ Feb 14th, 2013 1 Comment

God of War Ascension
God of War Ascension

God of War Ascension

With the upcoming God of War: Ascension, everyone’s favorite angry spartan will be tearing Greece a mythological new one for the sixth time (seventh if counting the cell phone game). After five (or six) bloody, vengeful rampages across age-old Hellas in which Kratos killed most of the major Olympian gods, titans, and monsters; how much more is left to tear apart in glorious quicktime events? Thankfully, the developers have released a great deal of information on God of War: Ascension’s mythological creatures, granting fertile ground for speculation. Newcomers to the series be wary, for there are spoilers here.

Early info has already revealed that the Furies will be the primary antagonists of God of War: Ascension. In standard Hellenistic mythology, the Erinyes—for Furies was the Roman name—were deities of vengeance that would punish kinslayers and oathbreakers. Considering that Kratos in Ascension has broken his oath to Ares after Ares tricked him into killing his own family, Kratos qualifies for both designations. The Furies will capture Kratos and imprison him within the body of Aegaeon, one of the Hekatonkheires, the “Hundred-Handed Ones.” While the three Furies are typically depicted as a group of winged women, the silhouetted view of the three of them shows them looking more like normal humans, with the exception of Megaera. Megaera appears prominently in the materials released thus far, which gives the impression that she will be the most personal antagonist to Kratos. She appears as an armored woman with four spider-like appendages that she walks on and her arms from the elbow are elongated and black. One might note from trailers that she sometimes appears with only one arm, which Kratos presumably takes from her when he is captured. In the mythology, Megaera is the Fury responsible for jealousy and for punishing crimes, especially adultery. The other Furies, Tisiphone and Alecto, have yet to be revealed in any depth. The former’s domain is vengeance   and is responsible for punishing murder, especially kinslaying, and is often depicted as the guardian of Tartarus. The latter, Alecto, has the domain of anger and is responsible for punishing crimes of passion and rage.

The Furies are not the only new presence in the God of War universe in Ascension. The previously mentioned Hekatonkheires, Aegaeon, might end up providing the player with a spectacular boss fight in the vein of Cronus. The “Hundred-Handed Ones” are considered three of the most terrifyingly powerful monsters in Greek mythology. If Aegaeon lives up that distinction, Kratos will face a great challenge. Those players that have tackled Ghost of Sparta may have found themselves wondering where Scylla’s counterpart Charybdis was, who finally makes her appearance here. Archimedes, another character whose existence was implied by Ghost of Sparta, finally makes his appearance as well, and judging by his concept art, the historical engineer has taken a few badass lessons and will almost certainly provide Kratos with additional technology and/or firepower. Whether such things come as gifts or Kratos has to strip them off Archimedes’s corpse is the only question. The Oracle at Delphi will make an appearance as a goal of Krato’s quest and will be protected by the deadly Manticore, a creature of Persian origin with a lion’s face, a shark’s jaw, a bat’s wings, a human’s arms, a scorpion’s tail, and an insectoid carapace. The cyclops that Odysseus famously blinded, Polyphemus, will make an appearance in multiplayer as an opponent.

The other bit of information on God of War: Ascension concerns the Greek primordial deities, the gods that came before all others. While the Olympians and Titans may represent more commonly seen aspects of nature and the world, the Primordials represent the overarching concepts behind the world, such as Chaos, Ouranos, Morpheus, Thanatos, and Gaia. These names should sound familiar to fans. In the God of War mythology, the Primordials had an immense war during their time, well before the Titanomachy and the Reign of Olympus. The Furies arose from the rage and madness of their war. Considering the major role that all of these Primordials have played throughout the series, and Chaos’s special prominence as the force behind all of the conflict in the main trilogy, the writers may be setting the stage for a continuation of the storyline post-God of War 3 and perhaps even a new trilogy. With such an immensely successful system-exclusive game series as God of War, the possibility of new games has never been in doubt, so this prequel would provide an excellent opportunity to set the stage for a new overarching plot to unify the older games with newer ones.

Regardless of whether this game ends up setting up a new trilogy, the released information on God of War: Ascension shows that the writers still have not yet run out of new mythological elements to draw from. While each game cuts down on the number of deities and monsters that Kratos can brutally murder, Greek mythology has an extensive and well-developed roster of such beings to keep him busy for a while. Kratos will certainly run out of victims in the Greek pantheon eventually, but that time should not come in the near future.

Ethan Smith

Ethan Smith

A perpetual over-thinker, Ethan Smith spends all of his free time playing video games like an English professor reads books, writing a secret novel, and trying to actually finish a game of Medieval II: Total War.
Ethan Smith

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  • Anonymous

    This is a brilliant article! Very informative, interesting thoughts on what God of War IV could be about and of course it is very well written. I love Greek mythology and God of War does it better than any other film, game or TV series has ever achieved. I really can’t wait for God of War: Ascension now!

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