In 2005, the first God of War came out and took the gaming world by storm. Kratos became an action video game icon and has been a recognizable pop culture icon ever since. Today though, Kratos has changed. He is not the same character as he was in the first game. He is not even in Greece anymore. He has come a long way from where he began.
As for where he began, the development of the first God of War game was a huge process. Here are ten things you may not have known about the first game and its creation. Also, a big thanks to Gamesradar and their interview with David Jaffe which revealed a lot of these facts.
10 Originally, It Was Set Out To Be Onimusha
Onimusha is a Capcom series that is sort of like Resident Evil, but with ninja in the Sengoku period of Japan. The games involved Japanese myth and you play a ninja who slays demons.
God of War's game designer, David Jaffe, played Onimusha and decided he wanted to make a similar game but with Greek instead of Japanese mythology. Eventually, God of War came into its own unique identity, far from a similar game to Onimusha.
9 Wanted To Merge Elements Of ICO, American Mcgee's Alice, And Devil May Cry
The team that made God of War paid a lot of attention to third-person games. While the games they liked were pretty different, they realized they could actually combine their elements in God of War. ICO inspired the puzzles and problem-solving aspects and Devil May Cry inspired some of the action and combat.
They also liked looking at American Mcgee's Alice for inspiration, because like God of War, it was a game that took familiar characters and put a unique twist on them for modern audiences.
8 Tattoo Was Going To Be Blue
It is pretty crazy to learn that the iconic red tattoo that Kratos has was actually going to be blue. Blue was chosen at first because red was seen as "too Rome" according to Jaffe. Also, before they turned Kratos into a total brute, they wanted blue tattoos because they looked less violent.
The change to having a red tattoo was very last minute. They change it mostly because the blue tattoo made Kratos look too similar to a certain character in Diablo 2.
7 Kratos' Character Went Through Many Different Concepts
Kratos appears to have gone through the most changes in terms of the games' development. One version was an elf-like character that looked like someone out of a Disney film. Another was a blind monk with a baby strapped to his back. Soon it evolved into more traditional sword-wielding characters and then to an escaped slave.
It as the escaped slave idea that got chains on Kratos' arms, which eventually became a huge part of his backstory and how he used his swords in combat.
6 Release Date Was Meaningful
The original game and its many later sequels were released in March for a reason. It is because March is associated with Ares, the Greek god of war. In Roman myth, he is known as Mars. The name of the month, March, is derived from Mars.
With that in mind, whoever thought to release the God of War games in March must've felt pretty smart and proud of themselves.
5 Kratos Was Partly Inspired by Ed Norton From American History X
The main idea behind the creation of Kratos was being a brutal person. According to Jaffe, he wanted to create a character similar to Edward Norton's from the 1998 crime-drama film, American History X. If you look up pictures of the character, Ed Norton, then you can definitely see the similarities between his look and Kratos.
4 His White Skin Was Due To David Jaffe's Love Of The Concept Art
If you played the games, then it is no secret as to why Kratos has ghost-white skin. He is not just a pale man, but he is actually cursed to be covered in the ashes of his dead family. At least, that is the backstory he was given.
The real reason his skin is ghost-white is actually because the concept illustration of him with white skin was so loved by the developers that they kept it white. The backstory was added on later.
3 Wanted To Surpass Games Made By Konami And Capcom
While making God of War, Jaffe believed that Japan made the best third-person action games in the world. Due to that belief, he always held games made by Konami and Capcom up as a goal for him and his team.
At the time, Jaffe said that western action games felt clunky, choppy, and it just was not fun to swing your weapon around.
2 Originally, Kratos Was Going To Wear Armor
Originally, Kratos was going to have more clothes on. Taking off the armor for his character happened around the same time that the development team decided to make him more violent and brutal. They decided what suited the action game was a man who was more like a monster than a just a soldier. Without the armor you could see more of his scars and ghostly white skin that were so important to his backstory. He also seemed more "unleashed" without armor, which suited his story and background.
1 Was Inspired By Clash of the Titans
This fact probably is not so surprising. Jaffe was greatly inspired by what Clash of the Titans did with Greek mythology. Critics who loved God of War also often compare it to Clash of the Titans, saying it is the best thing to happen to Greek mythology since that movie came out.
Clash of the Titans is an early '80s fantasy-adventure film that retells the story of the Greek myth figure, Perseus. It includes a lot of what the God of War series contains in terms of Greek myths, monsters, and gods. There have even been attempts to make a God of War movie which would be a lot like Clash of the Titans. However, no updates have been made for a film adaptation since 2013.