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How To Beat Hades The First Time

zagreus in hades

Illustration: Supergiant Video games

When you haven’t cleared a run in Hades, you’re not alone. Supergiant’s Greek-themed roguelike is many issues, however “straightforward” positive isn’t certainly one of them. Beating the sport the primary time will occur finally, however the next recommendation ought to allow you to pace up the method.

[This post was originally published on 9/22/2020. We’re republishing it today in light of the game’s recent release for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.]

Spoilers for Hades—nothing main, just a few mentions of characters and areas.

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The 1st step: Be lifelike.

Like many different roguelikes, Hades is all about assessing conditions, managing expectations, and figuring out when a loss is a loss. To not sound harsh, however for those who’re caught on the primary boss (Megaera the Fury or any of her sisters), you’re not anyplace close to able to beat the sport. Actually, you ought to be comfy taking down the Hydra of Lernea and crossing into Elysium earlier than contemplating a dash to the end.

Learn Extra: How To Unlock All Six Hidden Weapon Features In Hades

Spend money on the very best expertise.

When you’re shut sufficient to style victory, you’re properly conscious of the Mirror of Night time’s alternate expertise. These are probably the most useful for seeing you thru to the tip:

  • As a substitute of Chthonic Vitality, max out the Darkish Regeneration talent. For each trove of Darkness you uncover, you’ll restore a proportionate chunk of your well being. When the talent is absolutely leveled, you get 60 % again. Once you tackle a boss you’ve already defeated with a weapon you’ve already used to defeat them, you’ll get an enormous Darkness bonus. In Tartarus and Asphodel, a minimum of, it’s normally sufficient to convey you again as much as full well being, as long as you’ve maxed out Darkish Regeneration. It’s infinitely extra useful than the pittance of well being you may get from Chthonic Vitality (which restores simply 3 well being factors per chamber, max).
  • Max out Thick Pores and skin. That means, you’ll begin every run with 100 well being, somewhat than a measly 50. Neglect about Excessive Confidence. It’s ineffective in your functions.
  • Household Favourite is a straightforward alternative. Because you’ll accrue a ton of various boons as you play, this talent—which can provide you a 5-percent assault increase for each Olympian you’ve accepted a boon from—solely builds on prime of that basis. Let’s do some fast math: Full one Trial of the Gods, and which means you’ll get an total 10 % increase to your assaults. Discover simply two extra Olympians, and that jumps to twenty %. Throw on a fifth boon, and now each assault you do will deal 25 % harm. You’ll be able to see how Household Favourite provides up.
  • Select Cussed Defiance over its counterpart, Loss of life Defiance. Sure, Cussed Defiance solely revives you with 30 % well being, somewhat than the 50 % you’d get from Loss of life Defiance. However you should utilize it as soon as per chamber. This fashion, if you inadvertently step on a spike lure (hey, it occurs), you gained’t consign that run to failure.

No matter that you must do to max out these expertise, make that your first order of enterprise. That may imply dedicating sole runs to accruing as a lot Darkness as doable, in lieu of boons and different upgrades that may solely allow you to for one escape try. It would imply visiting the Wretched Dealer (within the lounge) and buying and selling different priceless assets for some further Darkness. The purpose is, for a couple of throwaway runs, investing in these upgrades needs to be your prime precedence.

Fish for these boons.

It’s unimaginable to plan for particular loadouts in Hades. You should use keepsakes to plan for which Olympians will present up, however you may’t dictate which boons they could give you. A high-powered talent means that you can reroll the three boons provided to you, however you’re restricted in how typically you should utilize it. Nonetheless, there are some broadly useful boons you need to all the time maintain an eye fixed out for:

Robust Drink, Dionysus: Robust Drink absolutely heals you at each fountain (normally on the finish of areas, however typically mid-region, for those who spend money on some Home Contractor upgrades). It additionally offers you an assault increase with each fountain, so incomes it in Tartarus is especially useful. That means, ingesting at each subsequent fountain will lead to a roughly 10 % assault increase by the point you attain Hades. (What, did you anticipate another person as the ultimate boss?) Plus, it ensures you’ll go into that remaining struggle with full well being.

dionysus in hades

Dionysus additionally grants the boon of a laid-back perspective, man.
Screenshot: Supergiant / Kotaku

Electrical Shot, Zeus: An excellent forged boon is a cornerstone of any good construct. Although Zeus’ doesn’t deal probably the most harm, it’s going to save your neck in tight conditions. Because it chains to greater than half a dozen enemies, you may wipe out crowds of low-health enemies on the push of a button. In Elysium, which means you may clear a room of exploding chariots earlier than they blow up in your face. In Styx, you are able to do the identical to a room stuffed with toxic rats.

Help Fireplace, Artemis: It’s unimaginable to overstate how useful Help Fireplace is. When you efficiently land an assault, a particular assault, or a forged—so, just about any transfer—you’ll shoot out a homing arrow. Higher but, even when that arrow’s goal dies, it’ll zoom to the closest enemy. Help Fireplace ensures that you just’re always dealing harm.

Tidal Sprint, Poseidon: Contemplating that the sprint is primarily an evasive maneuver, it helps to seize one with some defensive advantages. You’d be hard-pressed to search out one higher than Poseidon’s, which pushes enemies away from you with each sprint. Higher but, for those who push an enemy right into a wall, you’ll deal important harm. Pair this with Biggest Reflex—a boon from Hermes that will increase what number of instances you may sprint in a row—and also you’ll be untouchable.

Life Affirmation, Aphrodite: Relying on its rarity and stage, this one makes it so any well being upgrades you discover enhance your well being bar much more. It’s not so useful by the point you attain Elysium or Styx, however selecting it up in an early space ensures you get extra bang in your buck.

Take the portal to Erebus—properly, more often than not.

Typically, if you clear a room, you’ll see a purple portal open up. For the price of roughly 20 % of your well being, that portal will take you to Erebus, the realm of Chaos, one of many Greek mytheme’s primordial entities. 9 instances out of ten, it’s value hopping in. Chaos provides boons of the double-edged selection: They’ll offer you a critical bonus, however provided that you may survive a couple of chambers with an equally critical hindrance.

chaos boons in hades

Right here’s a sampling of Chaos’ choices.
Screenshot: Supergiant / Kotaku

The very best, in my thoughts, are boons that double or, typically, triple how a lot Darkness you earn. When you’ve leveled up Darkish Regeneration, which means you’ll normally get absolutely healed each time you discover Darkness. Plus, that Darkness can be utilized to spice up much more everlasting upgrades between runs. It’s a useful technique, significantly for those who’re constructing a loadout with few defensive bona fides. However there are a couple of conditions by which a go to to Erebus isn’t value it:

  • You don’t need to settle for certainly one of Chaos’ boons proper earlier than a boss struggle. It’s typically powerful to inform if you’re approaching the tip of a realm, however for those who really feel such as you’ve cleared eight or so chambers, you’re in all probability nearing a boss chamber. Earlier than such fights, the very last thing you need to do is slash your pace in half, or make it so that you lose twice as a lot well being from each assault. Taking over rank-and-file enemies with such shackles isn’t a dying sentence. Bosses? That’s a unique story.
  • Face it: In case your well being bar is already blinking purple, you’re in all probability not in a steady sufficient place to tackle a boon from Chaos.
  • One boon from Chaos is normally sufficient per run. When you’ve already scored one, don’t push your luck.

However let’s say you miscalculate and enterprise into Erebus with out pondering. The unhealthy information is which you can’t go away with out accepting a boon. The excellent news is that there’s normally one problem that’s comparatively doable, although, on the flip aspect, gained’t grant you a lot of a bonus. For instance, you might need to go a couple of rooms with out incomes gold (easy-peasy) to snag a negligible increase to your assault. Although you’ll miss out on prize, a minimum of you gained’t get wiped within the boss chamber.

Watch out in Elysium.

In Greek fantasy, Elysium is a paradise for heroes—an excellent oasis Homer described as temperate and completely devoid of inclement climate. In Hades, Elysium is simply one other layer of hell. The enemies are irritating, the traps are too, and the boss is only a complete dick.

elysium in hades

Don’t get fooled by Elysium’s idyllic inexperienced pastures.
Screenshot: Supergiant / Kotaku

The first enemies of Elysium are spectral troopers, supposedly heroes attempting to wring some enjoyable out of a boring afterlife. Once you kill one, it’ll flip right into a floating cranium. You’ve gotten about 5 seconds to take that out. In any other case, the soldier will come again to life—or, properly, dying—with full well being. The chariots, too, are positive to drive you to the brink. Giant chariots will run you over, which isn’t any enjoyable. Small ones will drive into and explode, which can also be no enjoyable. The factor to recollect is that the massive ones finally cease, so you may outrun them, whereas the small ones don’t. You’ll must kill them earlier than they attain you. (Once more, Zeus’ chain shot is invaluable in such conditions.)

Once you attain the boss chamber, don’t anticipate a good struggle. You’ll must tackle Theseus and Asterius concurrently. Attempt to take out the minotaur first. When you get Theseus all the way down to half well being, he’ll tag in an Olympian for assist—one more instance of the Greek gods enjoying lesser souls towards one another for leisure. Attempting to struggle each bosses whereas juggling god-fire is a dropping proposition. With out a deity on his aspect, although, Theseus is comparatively weak. Asterius, in the meantime, hits laborious however strikes sluggish. He telegraphs his assaults, and also you’ll shortly study when to dodge them after just some tries.

You may also get a leg up on him earlier than the struggle. As you make your means by way of Elysium, you would possibly see a chamber door with a cranium beneath its image. This indicators a mini-boss chamber. In Elysium, there’s an opportunity you’ll go up towards Asterius one-on-one. Not solely will this offer you an opportunity to study the bull’s strikes, however defeating him will even scale back his well being by a 3rd within the boss struggle.

Go for the tricolor image.

As you discover, you would possibly come throughout chamber doorways with a logo that appears like this:

a tricolor door in the asphodel area of hades

See that orb on the best? All the time select that door.
Screenshot: Supergiant / Kotaku

It doesn’t matter what the choice is, it’s all the time value it to undergo that door. Behind every one, you’ll discover a well-known determine from Greek mythology—not a deity, however a type of sorry souls who all the time suffers misfortune in traditional Greek literature.

In Tartarus, you’ll meet a large boulder. Some dude named Sisyphus retains pushing it up some stairs, solely to have it roll again down once more. He’s apparently fated to do that every single day for the remainder of ceaselessly, however he’s additionally eternally chipper, and provides you with a present everytime you see him: You will get a big increase of well being, a lump sum of gold, or a small trove of Darkness. Right here’s one other occasion the place the Darkish Regeneration talent is useful. As a rule, you’ll obtain sufficient Darkness to totally restore your well being.

In Asphodel, you’ll meet Eurydice. You’ll be able to’t go improper with any of her items. One ticks up the rarity of two of your boons. One will increase the extent of as much as 4 of your boons. And the opposite ensures the subsequent three boons you discover might be of elevated rarity. In my thoughts, although, leveling up 4 boons without delay—basically, the equal of discovering 4 Poms of Energy in a single room—is simply too good to move up, however you actually can’t go improper with any.

In Elysium, you’ll meet a anonymous man who offers you an merchandise much less within the curiosity of goodwill and extra within the curiosity of leaving him alone. The Contact of Styx Darkish is, with out query, your finest guess. This can make it in order that Cussed Darkness revives you with 50 % extra well being, which is terrific sufficient by itself. Higher but, it lasts for 15 chambers. Worst case, it’ll allow you to defeat Theseus and get by way of the Temple of Styx comparatively unscathed. Finest case, you’ll zip by way of Styx and nonetheless have the bonus energetic for the ultimate struggle towards Hades.

Go for the well being improve in Styx.

Styx is a maze, of types. In entrance of the exit, you’ll discover Cerberus, the three-headed monster canine who’s admittedly lovable but in addition exists for no different function than condemning misplaced souls to everlasting damnation. You (fortunately) don’t must kill him. However, if you wish to move, you do must feed him.

The Temple of Styx options 5 chambers. On the finish of 1, you’ll discover a sack of rotten satyr meat. That’ll sate Cerberus.

cerberus victory screen in hades

Identical, Cerberus. Identical.
Screenshot: Supergiant / Kotaku

I like going for the Centaur Coronary heart first. Even when that route doesn’t have Cerberus’ disgusting treats, you’ll a minimum of nab a rise to your complete well being. Belief me: You’ll need to be within the 250-to-300 vary (minimal) earlier than going up towards Hades.

Learn Extra: Why You Can Solely Pet One Of Cerberus’ Three Heads In Hades

Kill Hades.

Don’t let his flaming spear and mountainous deltoids intimidate you. Hades is rather like every other boss: Victory is a results of trial and error, learning patterns, and internalizing failures. Likelihood is, it’ll take you a minimum of a pair tries. However there are some things you may be careful for.

Once you see a skinny white circle type round him, sprint away as shortly as you may. He’s winding up a spinning assault that can erase chunk of your well being. As you deplete each third of his well being bar, he’ll summon some cronies from the Underworld. Kill them earlier than refocusing on Hades; they’ll simply distract you. On occasion, he’ll shoot out flaming inexperienced skulls. When you can, attempt to take these out. They’ll ship shockwaves by way of the battlefield (which might even undergo cowl) in any other case. When you miss some, dodge towards the shockwaves as they strategy you. They’re simply barely slower than your sprint, so attempting to outrun them means you’ll simply get hit.

Beware, too, that Hades has a second type. The music is extra intense, and he actually packs extra of a wallop, however his strikes are extra predictable. The principle factor to be careful for are the assorted inexperienced urns that pop up on the battlefield. They’ll explode and create an eerie pit of palms that can dish out harm and lock you in place. Additionally, when Hades begins glowing orange, dash behind one of many snowy boulders. (Keep in mind which you can sprint by way of them, want be.) He’s about to shoot out some laser that can eviscerate your well being. Apart from these, although, simply maintain doing what you have been doing earlier than.

Above all, the very best recommendation I can impart is that this: Breathe. Hades is a hectic, overwhelming boss. However for those who take a deep breath, decelerate, and focus as a lot on dodging his assaults as you do on allotting harm, you’ll get by way of it.

Be affected person.

You gained’t be capable to do that in a single session. A pal of mine beat Hades for the primary time on his thirty sixth run. It took about 25 hours of gameplay. I did it on my thirty ninth after roughly the identical period of time. From what I can glean, these figures are about as aggressively common as you may get, give or take a couple of hours or runs. Count on one thing comparable in your personal efforts.

Learn Extra: All the pieces You Want To Know About Hades’ Endgame

Right here, within the curiosity of full disclosure, is my first profitable loadout:

a victory screen in hades

Twin Fists of Malphon ftw.
Screenshot: Supergiant / Kotaku

Okay, I confirmed you mine. Share yours beneath if you kick the daylight out of Hades. It’ll occur quickly sufficient. The Fates mentioned so.


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