Hades: a Mother’s Day Special

There’s an article about Berserk Episode 372 in the works, I’m currently preparing that!

Mother’s day is on and I happened to have finished Hades the game that fits the occasion considering it is all about those mothers. I’ve been considering to to branch out into other works or media that I really enjoyed anyways, so let me know what you think about this one.

Now: before you proceed with this article beware of Hades spoilers!

The story of Hades is essentially about Hades’ son, Zagreus, Prince of the Underworld, trying to escape the Underworld. When the story progresses, he proceeds trying to mend his broken family.

I remember seeing fanart and images about Hades going around a while ago on social media: I believe I saw Zagreus, Dyonisus and Nyx and already really liked their character designs without knowing anything about their source. When actually playing this game, I was impressed with how good the story, characters and art are. The way the story unfolded and how it was told (character-driven) felt a lot like Berserk, too. It has quite a few poetic and emotional moments, a few interesting twists here and there and the ending was extremely satisfying. The voice acting is top notch and truly breathes life into all these characters. I am particularly impressed by Darren Korb’s contribution to this game: he voices Zagreus, Skelly, provides Orpheus’ singing voice and also did the whole Hades OST, not only as composer but also as musician (yes, he did those guitar riffs, too). What a range! Experiencing Lament of Orpheus in game is something else, too. I froze for a minutes just to listen. Wow!

Don’t even get me started about the characters. I grew fond of Nyx, Megaera, Dusa, Chaos, Thanatos, Austerius and so many others, they feel complex and rich with their own little quirks. And then there is the protagonist, Zagreus, who is smart, charming and has a heart of gold. He’s hitting a certain spot for me personally and… I. am. smitten. Korb’s excellent voice acting performance does not help with that at all (Let’s just leave it at that otherwise I’ll start babbling on about him 😂).

Yesterday I triggered a final cut scene with ending credits, which I believed was the good ending. I’m not quite sure how I triggered it, because apparently there are different endings. I also still have to discover all the tiny details of the story, and there also seems to be a follow-up to the resolve, but I really enjoyed it overall and had fun trying to figure out what’s going to happen next. I haven’t played a game with a story as good as this in a very long time. I think the last one was Metro Last Light, and the game before that was either MGS3 or MGS4.

The final cut scene involves Zagreus traveling back to the Underworld together with his mother and them meeting up with Cerberus and father at the entrance.

Persephone’s easily one of my favorite characters after that final cutscene. When she told Hades off I was cheering her on so hard (such a strong character, I’m weak). The fact Hades actually started to change his mind and even apologize is also something to be acknowledged. The bond between Persephone and Zagreus (mother and son) is so wholesome, I’m still not over how they’re both so kind and sweet to each other.

What I also love is the resolve not being some lovey-dovey fantasy. Things are still sore between the three of them, but the gates have been opened up for some healing and growing back together. This is really good stuff!

I yelled at this. Tell him Zag! His words hit different knowing how soft-spoken, calm and polite he usually is.

What’s also impressive to me is the depth the characters have. I see a lot of implied character development happening that affects the character’s decisions. There’s a whole web to explore and we’re only being fed tiny bits!

Persephone ran away because she felt like she didn’t belong. Her son, as he grew up without her knowledge, was trying to break free just like she once was, feeling out of place. (When you go to talk to her after the final cut scene, she mentions that how Zagreus’ actions taught her not to run away from her problems. This seems like maybe the subplot with Demeter and Olympus encouraged her to run away from the Underworld in the first place… I can’t wait to play more to find that out).

When Zagreus found out about his mother and eventually found her, reaching her trying to catch up to all those years they lost, gave him a reason to fight, a purpose.

I got so emotional every time I reached the surface. “Moooom! I did it! I’m back!”

As Zagreus is attempting to figure out how to mend things and realized that his father still acts to protect her (which can only mean one thing), he eventually told Persephone that her and father belong back together. This must have struck a chord in her, as Zagreus’ determination (or maybe I should call it despair) to mend a broken family perhaps reminded her of herself. Now with her knowing that her son is in fact alive and well, has proven himself to be kindhearted, emotionally intelligent and stubborn; and also is fighting hordes of shades just to see her for a few minutes before being forced back to the House of Hades… there was indeed a sense of belonging she could have—or at the very least, create. She probably realized that it wasn’t just Hades that needed her. Her son needed her as well. Really really badly.

I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking of how anyone goes through so much struggle and pain just to see their mother for a few moments. What a guy.

So Persephone eventually decided to return. It’s interesting considering the sheer determination Zagreus had when he told her that they NEED to get back together since they were family. Persephone was moved by those words (and so was my poor heart). Zagreus certainly has his priorities, heart and values in the right place, much like Persephone herself. She must have realized that as well. It lead to her “sudden” and determined decision to go back to the underworld, that even Zag was taken aback. And with Zagreus’ persistent attempts fixing his broken family, she’s now encouraged to do the same, motivated to find a resolution for the mess she caused for running away from Olympus long ago.

Like mother like son.

Once back together, they are given a chance to create a sense of belonging among themselves, here in the Underworld of Tartarus. They’re not alone, they have each other. They might be able to mend their extended family as well.

I love them so so so so much. Happy Mother’ day!

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