Supergiant Games – the team behind Bastion, Transistor, Pyre and most recently Hades – have concluded an ask me anything (AMA) on Reddit which has revealed some rather interesting things about how the game and its main character Zagreus came to be.
The top comment right now is a dual part question asking about the Greek mythology setting and, most interesting to us, how Zagreus was chosen as the protagonist in a pantheon of recognisable characters.
User /u/flyingsaucer1 posited the question: “What about Zagreus made you think he’s main character material? Rephrasing, how did you decide you wanted to tell his story?”.
Replying to this question was Greg Kasavin, a creative director, writer and designer at Supergiant Games. If you watched the rather excellent Hades documentary by Noclip, Kasavin was featured throughout.
“There is a small scrap of poetry (edit: technically it’s a play not a poem) from Aeschylus suggesting, from the point of view of Sisyphus, that Hades had a son called Zagreus. While Hades is a household name among Greek gods, nobody knows he has a son, and I had never even heard of Zagreus despite being fairly familiar with Greek myth (having loved it since I was a kid). This was incredibly intriguing to me, and I found that there are very few myths about Hades, besides the one well-known one about Persephone. So, the idea of uncovering the truth about Zagreus and what became of him through this story was very exciting to me and my colleagues,” answered Kasavin.
What makes this even better is that Sisyphus, as expected, is a character in the game. More than that he’s a fan favourite due to his positive demeanour and the fact that you can talk to his boulder… which is named Bouldy. The famous quote “one must imagine Sisyphus happy” is taken literally in Hades as the character is always sunny and cheerful when you speak to him.
We recommend giving the full Hades AMA a read here on Reddit. More than that we recommend actually buying and playing the game, as it’s outright fantastic and a contender for the best roguelike ever made. It’s also discounted by 20% on Steam, Epic Games Store and Switch for its 1.0 release week.
If you do decide to jump in you may find yourself overwhelmed. We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive guide.