Fans of good video games, rejoice! During a typically trailer-packed Game Awards show, there were good tidings for us all. Hades – the rip-roaring mythological rogue-like – was announced to officially have a sequel. Dubbed, with refreshing simplicity, Hades 2, this upcoming release from Supergiant will hopefully deliver more of the same and – as all sequels must pledge to do, usually with copious italics – make everything BIGGER and BETTER.
What then, can we expect from Hades 2? Well, other than a two-minute trailer, there really isn’t much to go on. That’s why I decided to don my historian hat – thankfully, it has ear muffs and will keep me warm in the frigid environment of my office – and analyse the trailer to speculate on some storyline possibilities and potential gameplay mechanics.
The set-up for the trailer sees new protagonist Melinoe training to go on a quest to find her father, Kronos. In Greek mythology, Melinoe is a nymph who brings about nightmares. She also has some intriguing links to the cast of characters from the original game. She, like Zagreus, is a child of Persephone. Though, as suggested by the trailer, and unlike Zagreus, her father is Kronos. However, according to the original myths, her father was the king of the gods, Zeus. That’s because in Greek mythology, if you are ever unsure of the parentage of a specific character, chances are the daddy is always Zeus. That divine fella was a voracious sex pest. And one who clearly put the beast in beastiality.
Melinoe’s main power is to terrify mortals by transmogrifying into different frightening forms. Perhaps, akin to Atreus/Loki from God of War, Melinoe will be able to shapeshift into different creatures in Hades 2. A likely choice for Supergiant, and an eminently workable mechanic for a rogue-like, would be to provide Melinoe with the ability to gather and unlock the form or powers of different enemies that she encounters on her journey. Some of which can be kept and powered up for the next run. Certainly, with the staff she is wielding in the trailer, it would appear that Melinoe will bring a lot more magic to her power set, rather than rely on the copious weapons lugged about by Zagreus.
So what of Melinoe’s quest in Hades 2? That certainly seems to be to kill – or rescue? It’s left a little ambiguous – her father, Chronos. Chronos is one of those tricky mythological figures who seems to be multiple people at the same time. Certainly, he has multiple spellings of his name, with Chronus and Khronos both possible options. Whichever way you spell it, Chronos can be described easiest as a god of time.
To add to the confusion, Chronos is commonly mixed up with Cronus – which, just to batter your brain, can also be spelled Cronos or Kronos. Cronus – not Chronos, keep up – is a Titan, a creature who attempted to eat Zeus and his siblings so he could remain King. Supergiant seems to have owned the bafflement between Chronos and Cronus and smartly fused them into one character, Kronos, the Titan of Time. In the myths Cronus is trapped within Tartarus, a realm buried so deep that it lurks beneath even Hades itself. This suggests that Hades 2 will be an inversion of the original, where rather than attempting to reach the surface, you’ll instead be plunging ever further into the subterranean depths of Greek mythology.
Whatever Hades 2 brings, one thing is certain, this is definitely a game to watch. Early Access cannot come early enough.
Playing with History is our ongoing series spotlighting video games and the real-world people and events that inspire them. From walking with dinosaurs in Jurassic World Evolution and talking real-life zombies in Days Gone, to learning about the Peaky Blinders, and chatting Ghost of Tsushima with a samurai expert, there’s plenty you may not have known about your favourite video games.