Nothing sure does start your morning right like slaying a hydra in the middle of a storm, right? The God of War series has become one of the most recognizable franchises in recent gaming. With the announcement of a new mainstream title in the works, many fans of the original trilogy of games are salivating to hear what will become of Kratos, the series’ main protagonist.
Originally released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, God of War quickly became a beat-em-up classic through its quick to learn combat, excessive but tasteful gore, and its grim portrayal of Greek mythology. For the first time ever, a game had been released in which the player actually felt as though they were an ancient mythical hero (or antihero). There is no joy similar to that of swinging along the rooftops of Athens, slaying gorgons, minotaurs, and other creatures. Not to mentions all the God killing and giant monster slaying that has put this game on the notice board for over a decade.
The character of Kratos has become one of the most recognizable in the industry, with plenty of parodies and tributes being made to the violent demigod. But fans are now wondering what will become of him when this new title gets released. While a lot of details are still up in the air, one thing that is for certain is that Kratos has a lot of interesting little factoids about him. So let’s look at 15 of the crazy little things you may not have known about Kratos.
Just in case, there are spoilers ahead!
For those who have not looked much into the series, or have never gotten the chance to play one of the games in the series, do not worry, we have got you covered. This is a little factoid that you may not be aware of when you just take a glance at the God of War or if you do not know much about Kratos in general. Kratos is well known for having some horrid bleached white skin, giving him the title of “Ghost of Sparta.” It is not just his complexion however. Did you know that it is actually the ashes of his dead wife and child on his skin? Talk about harsh. The Gods punished Kratos after he unknowingly pillaged his hometown and murdered his family, by having their ashes forever plastered onto his skin. It will take more than just some sun to get rid of that white hue.
A lot of people like to believe that Kratos is a purely fictional character. The truth, however, is that Kratos actually gets his name from Cratus (or Kratos), the Greek god of force, strength, and power. God of War Kratos deviates a great deal from his namesake however. As it is written, Cratus is not actually a demigod, but instead a full God born of the titans Pallas and Styx. He had three siblings, Bia, Zelos, and most notably the essence of victory itself, Nike (not the brand).
If you are looking to brush up on your Greek translations, then you may want to check out a little play known as Prometheus Bound, which features Cratus himself. In the story, Cratus is one of the few Gods put in charge of leading the Titan Prometheus to be chained to a rock for all eternity after he stole the power of flame and gave it to humanity. Yeesh! Talk about harsh punishments.
With having killed both his father Zeus and his mother Callisto, Kratos could be defined as having a few issues with his family. But if you have never played either of the spin-off titles, God of War Ascension or God of War: Ghost of Sparta, then you may not have questioned where Kratos had any siblings.
However, you may like to know that Kratos has a younger brother, Deimos, who is also based off of Greek mythology. Deimos was the personification of terror and did not have much in the way of direct relation to Cratus. In the God of War series, however, Deimos plays a large part in God of War: Ghost of Sparta, where Kratos must go off and search for his brother after he is kidnapped from his home. It is actually one of the few times we see Kratos showing feeling outside of anger and vengeance during the series.
Between God of War and 300, it seems to the media that ancient Spartan warriors did not have much in the way of physical protection. For most of the series, Kratos is clothed only in his signature Greek skirt and sandals. If you have watched some of the cutscenes explaining some of Kratos’ history as a Spartan warrior, however, you would see that at one point, he was decked out in some pretty sweet chest armor.
Early on in release, it was designed that Kratos would have this armor throughout the regular game. Later on in development, however, the developers believed that removing most of his armor and giving him the resemblance of a Beowulf type character made him look “manlier.” Thankfully for us, this decision was made, so now when we play God of War, we get to look at that awesome full body tattoo when we are killing monsters.
When we first control the Spartan in God of War, we see him battle the hydra in a raging storm. Once it is defeated, the player works to retrieve the Captain’s key from inside the hydra’s mouth. Kratos being as ruthless as he is known to be, however, leaves the captain to die in the hydra’s stomach after taking the key for himself.
Cut to the end of God of War in which the player is dropped into the depths of Hades, where Kratos runs into none other than the captain himself. Using him as a human ladder, Kratos once again leaves him to plummet to his death. Kratos’ encounter with the boat captain does not end there however. During the Barbarian King boss battle in God of War II, the soul of the boat captain is summoned to fight off Kratos. With the simple press of a button, Kratos easily kills the boat captain one last time. Talk about overkill!
In a game series that is known for featuring immense amounts of excessive gore, gratuitous nudity, and a lot of grim overtones to the overall storyline, players are not shocked to find that the game has an M rated ESRB rating. If you go on the ESRB rating, you will see the game is listed as M rated for all the reasons I just explained before, however one funny thing about the game's rating is that it is put down that the game contains “strong language.”
However, truth be told, there is not one instance in the entire main trilogy that features any F bombs or the like. The only time any “strong language” can be found is in the behind-the-scenes footage in the extras sections. So, if you are ever wondering if Kratos is a bad guy or not, just remember that he is not a fan of excessive swearing.
Did you know that Kratos’ signature full body tattoo was supposed to be blue? It would seem to make a lot more sense, as basic tattoo ink is a bluish black color. And it isn’t as though they tried out a bunch of different colors and then decided that red would have worked the best, it was a last minute change to the character, as it was pretty dead set that Kratos would be blue.
According to the game’s creator David Jaffe, it was only a few days before the day of release of God of War that the color was changed to red. What was the reason for this spontaneous change? Well, the game’s creators worried that Kratos would look too much like The Barbarian from Diablo II , a character who is also clad in blue body paint and that they would get into some legal troubles if they left it.
Speaking of signature tattoos, for those who think that Kratos’ tattoo is always in the same spot, you may want to take a closer look at the Ghost of Sparta’s body art. From a distance, it seems to be up to point across all games, but this is simply not true. In the original God of War, the tattoo crosses close to his sternum and right over his left nipple. In God of War II, the tattoo seemingly shifts closer to his left nipple, and the player can not really tell that it has moved to the right ever so slightly. In God of War III, however, the tattoo does not even cross over Kratos’ left nipple and goes around closer to his solar plexus. While not the most mind breaking fact under the sun, it is always fun to point out continuity errors, especially on such a large scale.
So, have you ever wondered who the man behind the voice of Kratos is? Well, you may be shocked to find out, because the voice of Kratos is none other than Terrence “TC” Carson. Does the name not sound familiar to you? You may recognize him for his portrayal as Kyle Barker in the mid 1990s sitcom Living Single or as the voice of Mace Windu in the highly successful Star Wars animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as the voice of Ra’s Al Ghul in the recent Justice League vs. Teen Titans.
Carson was born in Chicago in 1958 and has been nominated for a variety of awards for his voice acting work. He started his career as a dancer and studied architecture in college before pursuing his career in the performing arts. Who would have thought he would end up voicing the God of War himself?
When it comes to Kratos, you can’t help but talk about how the man has escaped death more times that you can you count. He has quite literally been to hell and back more than once, and if you are ever looking to kill this demigod, you are going to have to try harder than impaling him. In every game in the main trilogy, Kratos has been fatally impaled...and lived. This first time was when he was close to defeating Ares in God of War and so the original God of War himself threw a large pillar hundreds of miles, hitting Kratos just beneath the ribs. God of War II saw Zeus stab Kratos with the Blade of Olympus, and Kratos attempted to kill himself at the end of God of War III. However, with a new entry into the series looming overhead, Kratos still breathes to see another day. What can kill this man?
Being the icon of a well known franchise means being well parodied. Kratos has had a good history of popping up in other forms of media. His has shown up in the PlayStation 3 version of Mortal Kombat , as well as in the Smash Bros similar title, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. But he is not just featured in other fighting games however.
In The Simpsons Game released in 2008, there is a mission in which a billboard features a parody version of Kratos, with a sign below him that reads “God of Wharf.” He also partakes in some racing action, as he is a featured character in the PlayStation exclusive racing title Modnation Racers, where he drives along the tracks with his “Kart of Chaos.” For a while, 7-Eleven was even featuring a flavor slurpee know as the “Kratos Fury” flavor. It sure must feel good for Kratos to be so loved.
While we discussed before that Kratos gets his namesake from the God of Strength, Cratus, he does get some other influence from the story of Hercules (also known as Heracles). The story of Hercules, simply put, is that he was blessed with immense strength from birth because of his demigod nature. Because of his strength, the Gods quickly grew disdain for Hercules. However, being driven insane with power, he slayed his wife and two children. Seeking redemption he was forced to surpass twelve trials to gain redemption for this act. This plotline more or less parallels the story of Kratos, however, there are a few differences here and there. Many fans were questioning whether or not the famous Greek hero would make it into the God of War storyline before his announcement as a boss battle in God of War III. After seeing what Kratos can do to Hercules in that game, we are no longer questioning which of the two would beat the other in a bar fight.
For a god of ancient Greece, Kratos sure is tech savvy. A fun little easter egg that you can find in the HD remake of the original God of War allows you to hear the Spartan on the other end of the phone line and, I gotta say, it is well worth your time if you are looking for a good laugh.
At the very end of the game, during the scene in which you approach the throne of the Ares, there are two statues. While they may look like scenery, they can be destroyed to reveal two secret messages. Heading to the main menu will reveal the messages to in fact be phone numbers that you can call. I won’t leave the exact numbers here, as you will have to find them out for yourself, but it is highly recommended you call the numbers if you want to know more about the God of War himself.
One of the central themes of the God of War franchise, if you have time to discern any moral values from within all the bloodshed and betrayal, is the concept of being able to control fate. This theme is most prominent in God of War II, in which most of Kratos’ journey is spent in pursuit of the Sisters of Fate on the Island of Creation.
On this journey of vengeance, he is brought before a statue of one of the sisters, who tells him outright that his journey will end without victory and that he will inevitably die in the process. By the end of God of War III, it seems that Kratos has proven his fate to be wrong and that he is victorious. This is until, SPOILER ALERT, he kills himself with the Blade of Olympus. It would seem that the fates were right after all huh? Well, following the credits, it would seem that Kratos may have survived his run in with fate after all.
A lot of times, when it comes to cracking jokes about Kratos and the God of War franchise, people like to say that Kratos is getting so tired of killing Greek Gods that he will probably take on all the other gods of different mythologies. Never did they realize, however, that this might actually come to be true.
Originally, it was suggested that at the beginning of God of War III, Kratos would kill Zeus immediately before moving on to Norse and maybe even Egyptian gods. While it sounds crazy, it has been an idea that has been thrown around the office for a while now and with the announcement of a new entry into the series, we may see some new faces such as Thor and Odin pop up pretty soon. I won’t say much, but these faces better watch out because Kratos the God Killer may be after them pretty soon.