Introduction: The Mythical Adventures of Kratos
When a single character has defied the gods of not one but two mythologies, you can be sure they’ve had quite the thrilling journey. Kratos, the protagonist of every God of War game since its debut in 2005, has slashed, hacked, and bludgeoned his way through seven core games. The eighth installment is slated for release in November and is expected to continue the series’ tradition of excellence. However, it was the 2018 semi-reboot, simply called God of War, that truly captured universal acclaim and achieved monumental sales figures.
The Importance of Knowing the Full Story
While each new game in the series has outsold its predecessor, many players have experienced the latest installment without having played the prior ones. While this won’t diminish the experience, understanding the full history and series of events leading up to the current events in Kratos’ life will allow you to fully invest yourself in his growth and struggles. Since the God of War series spans multiple systems and games, it can be both financially and temporally demanding. Therefore, a summary of the entire story so far can serve as the next best thing.
Backstory: Kratos’ Origins and Early Life
Before delving into Kratos’ life game by game in chronological rather than release order, it’s crucial to establish who Kratos is and what drives him. Much of Kratos’ character is shaped by events that transpired before the games begin, making it crucial to set the stage for his later god-slaying endeavors. Kratos is a demigod, born of a mortal mother and Zeus, the king of the gods in Greek mythology. When Zeus learned of a prophecy foretelling that one of his children would overthrow him, he ordered the death of Kratos’ brother, Deimos. Powerless to stop this tragedy as a child, Kratos still bears the scar Ares inflicted upon him during this ordeal, an iconic red tattoo.
As an adult, Kratos became a renowned Spartan soldier, marrying and having a daughter named Calliope. Unfortunately, his daughter contracted a deadly plague. Determined to save her, Kratos embarked on a quest for the mythical cure, Ambrosia. Though facing numerous adversaries along the way, he succeeded in retrieving the life-saving food, thus joining the Spartan army as a captain. At this point, life seemed promising for our hero.
However, things took a drastic turn when Kratos found himself at the mercy of a barbarian army. Facing certain defeat, Kratos implored Ares to save him, promising his eternal servitude. In exchange, Ares bestowed upon Kratos the Blades of Chaos, burning the chains into his arms, thus forever reminding him of the price he paid. Under Ares’ command, Kratos became a pawn of war, pillaging and murdering in the name of the god. But gods, as it turns out, possess a penchant for cruelty and manipulation. Seeking to exploit Kratos further, Ares orchestrated a scheme that led Kratos to unknowingly murder his own family.
The God of War Series: An Epic Saga of Revenge and Redemption
God of War: Ascension
Chronologically, God of War: Ascension is the earliest point in the series and takes place a mere six months after Kratos inadvertently killed his family. Consumed by anger and still grappling with grief, Kratos contemplates breaking his promise to Ares, yearning to exact revenge on the god of war. Orkos, Ares’ son, aids Kratos and reveals Ares’ true plan: using Kratos as a weapon to kill Zeus, thus enabling Ares to seize control of Olympus. In order to defy Ares, Kratos must defeat the three Furies, entrusted with punishing traitors.
God of War: Chains of Olympus
The PSP title God of War: Chains of Olympus takes place before the events of the first game and depicts Kratos as a servant of the gods, aside from Ares, of course. In this quest, Kratos must rescue Helios, whose kidnapping wreaks havoc on the sun and causes numerous gods to fall into a deep slumber. Accompanied by Hades’ queen, Persephone, Kratos embarks on a journey to reunite with his deceased daughter in Elysium. However, this seemingly generous offer turns out to be a deceitful ploy, and Kratos must confront Persephone and restore balance to the world.
God of War
After various detours, Kratos can finally focus on his ultimate goal: killing Ares. A decade has passed since Kratos began serving the gods, and he finally reaches the final task assigned to him by Athena: slaying Ares. However, killing a god is anything but straightforward. To defeat Ares, Kratos must find Pandora’s Box, a mythical artifact capable of surpassing the power of the god of war. The box, housed in Pandora’s Temple, rests on the back of the titan Cronos, setting the stage for a grueling battle against colossal odds.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Kratos, now a full-fledged god of war, embarks on a mission directed by the other gods. He seeks to destroy the Ambrosia, preventing Ares’ followers from resurrecting the fallen god. On this journey, Kratos discovers that his long-lost brother, Deimos, is not deceased as previously believed. Deimos is held captive and tortured by Thanatos, the god of death. As Kratos fights to rescue his brother, he encounters several challenges, including his mother’s transformation into a monster. Ultimately, Kratos kills his mother, frees the titan Thera, and triggers the sinking of Atlantis.
God of War 2
God of War 2 takes place immediately after the events of the first game. Kratos, stripped of his godly powers by Zeus, embarks on a quest for revenge against the king of the gods. With the help of the titan Gaia, Kratos seeks the Fates, who possess the ability to turn back time and restore his lost power. The game follows Kratos’ relentless pursuit of Zeus and his transformation into a formidable force, leading to an epic battle against the gods on Mount Olympus.
God of War 3
In God of War 3, Kratos continues his quest to exact revenge on Zeus, alongside Gaia and the surviving titans. The battle escalates as Olympus becomes a battleground, with titans falling and chaos prevailing. Kratos seeks the Flame of Olympus to extinguish it and end the reign of the gods. Along the way, he confronts numerous divine adversaries and faces the consequences of his actions. Ultimately, Kratos confronts Zeus, discovering the true nature of hope and sacrifice in his final battle against the god of thunder.
God of War (2018)
Years have passed since Kratos’ triumph over the Greek gods. He has settled down with his wife, Faye, and their son, Atreus, in the Norse realm. When Faye, also known as Laufey, passes away, Kratos and Atreus embark on a journey to fulfill her dying wishes. As they face various trials and meet mythical creatures, the father and son duo confront their shared past and heritage. Along the way, they encounter gods, explore diverse realms, and unravel the secrets of Atreus’ true identity.
God of War: Ragnarok
The upcoming God of War: Ragnarok will continue the saga several years after the events of the previous game. Kratos and Atreus traverse the Nine Realms, seeking answers as Asgard prepares for an apocalyptic battle known as Ragnarok. The game promises stunning landscapes, fierce battles against Norse gods and monsters, and vital choices between personal safety and the realm’s welfare. It is set to be an epic conclusion to the Norse saga and the beginning of a new chapter in Kratos and Atreus’ journey.
The God of War series has captivated gamers with its enthralling storytelling, intense battles, and exploration of complex mythologies. Kratos’ journey through different realms, battling gods and seeking revenge, has cemented his status as a legendary character in the gaming world. As players eagerly anticipate the release of God of War: Ragnarok, they can reflect on the extraordinary tale of Kratos’ past and anticipate the epic conclusion of the Norse saga. Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to the series, the God of War games provide an unforgettable adventure through realms steeped in ancient myth and divine power. Visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc. to stay up to date with all the latest news and releases from the God of War franchise.
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