Expanding the pantheon
Supergiant Games is working on Hades II, its first-ever sequel, as it confirmed at last night’s Game Awards. The reveal trailer has tons of tidbits, details, and plenty of new gods and goddesses to see.
The first Hades received a lot of acclaim, due in part to how it interpreted Greek myth into Superigant’s version of the Underworld. For Hades II, that doesn’t seem to have changed.
In a new FAQ about Hades II, Supergiant shares some details about what it’s calling a direct sequel to the first Hades. And while mythology is certainly back in focus, Supergiant’s turned towards one specific area: witchcraft.
“As with the original game, our aim is to be faithful to the spirit of the classical sources that inspired us, from Homer to Hesiod,” the FAQ reads. “This extends to our portrayal of witchcraft in this game, given its strong ties to many of the myths and characters at the heart of both Hades and Hades II. Mythological tales of ancient gods and heroes live on by being told and retold, adapted, and filtered through new points of view across time; we’ll be excited to share ours once again.”
That focus is important, because Hades II looks to dip into the well of less-obvious gods and, especially, some magic. For those unfamiliar or just curious about Greek mythology, I thought I’d take note of everyone that appeared in the trailer, and their mythological background. (Huge credit to Supergiant for noting all of them in their YouTube description, too.)
Zag is taking a backseat this time around for Melinoë, who looks to be the new protagonist for Hades II. Wielding a knife and sickle, she’s definitely got a different style of fighting, even if her general palette is reminiscent of Zagreus.
In Supergiant’s FAQ, the team actually highlights how Melinoë is similar to Zagreus. Both are mythological characters who leave a lot up to interpretation. And they share another connection, too: their relation to Hades, lord of the Underworld:
“Like her brother Zagreus from the original game, Melinoë is not a character of our own invention, and is based on an ancient Underworld deity thought to be related to Hades. What little ancient mythology exists about her was more than enough to make us want to explore her story and connection to her family, and in so doing, expand on our vision of the Underworld.”
The myth of Melinoë points to her as a daughter of Persephone, and from an aside in the trailer, it looks like Hades is indeed her father. Melinoë is also referenced alongside Hecate as a moon goddess of sorts. It certainly seems like magic is a crucial part of her design.
Speaking of witchcraft and magic, say hello to Hecate. She’s frequently associated with magic and witchcraft, as well as crossroads, the moon and night, and more. Dogs are also part of her imagery.
Hecate looks to be a mentor of sorts for Melinoë, which makes sense both mythologically and because it looks like Hades himself is a bit indisposed. A favorite part of the trailer for me is how we can see Hecate utilizing magic in fights, tracing a circle in dirt with her heel to leave a trap for Melinoë. Suffice to say, I really dig this direction for the sequel.
Moros is a bit interesting, as he’s absolutely descended from godhood. He’s a child of Nyx, who you’ll remember from the first Hades. But while Thanatos represents one aspect of death, Moros more represents the concept of doom itself. So not death, but the eventuality of death itself.
It’s a neat distinction that could play into Hades II in an interesting way. Moros could apparently give people the ability to see their death. For a rogue-like game, that’s certainly an intriguing prospect.
The shining god of archery, prophecy, and the sun is here in Hades II. While his twin Artemis was in the first game as a potential Boon granter, now it looks like Apollo gets his turn. We can actually see the god of light’s Boon in the screenshot above.
His powers could be interesting as well. Sun and light are an obvious source of inspiration, but Apollo encompasses a lot of other concepts too. He embodies prophecy, and is often linked to medicine and healing. There are a lot of way Supergiant could go with this god, and I’m just also happy to see him appear in the Hades-verse, too. Look at that art! And speaking of art…
The show-stealer of the trailer was the imposing warrior Nemesis, the embodiment of retribution. Divine retribution, to be precise. Often portrayed with a whip and dagger, odds seem high we could see Nemesis as a Meg-like presence for Melinoë.
Nemesis’ vibe is basically just hunting down and delivering retribution. In the tale of Narcissus, she’s the one who lures him to the pool where he catches his own reflection and dies. She loves to dunk on people prone to hubris.
Now, this one’s a little unclear. Dora is not anyone specific. But speculation abounds that much like Medusa was Dusa in Hades, Dora is actually Pandora in Hades II.
Most people are familiar with the story of Pandora and her box. And considering she’s a shade, that could fit the description. Either way, Dora does seem to fit the Dusa role of incredibly charming helper pal.
Related | It’s too soon for Hades 2 on Gamepur