He's the slicer of gods, the dicer of titans, and a swift harbinger of death for anything dumb enough to block his path. Over the course of six games, Kratos has bathed ancient Greece in the blood of many legendary foes, and with God of War: Ascension on his horizon, the Ghost of Sparta's kill count is only going up.
So who's next on the Spartan's (s)hitlist? The options may be slimming, but the history books are crammed with other first-born gods, giants, and lesser known titans who are chomping at the bit to pound Kratos into a fine red paste. Join us as we run down our list of top 10 bosses we want to meet in Kratos's next killing spree...
The Contender: Dionysus God of booze, sex, and rock-and-roll has so far been shafted from a full God of War appearance, and to us that's a major party foul. This is the deity who's notorious for switching moods on a dime; offering free drinks one moment and drowning villagers the next. It's this unpredictable madness makes Dionysus more than an immortal frat boy, and a serious threat to Kratos.
The Fight: It begins with Kratos crashing Dioynsus's orgy where he must launch ecstasy-addled followers at Dionysus to knock him from his golden perch. Once dethroned, Kratos would lay into Dionysus via QTE, ending each combo by smashing his smug face with the nearest goblet. And then, who knows? A drinking game would be cool.
The Finisher: Kratos severs Dionysus's arms, dunks his head into a vat of wine, and holds him underwater until the bubbles stop.
The Contender: The daughter of Chaos and Goddess of the Night, Nyx is known as the mother of dark spirits and that shady chick who (allegedly) slept with Cerberus to create the hellhounds. Yeah, let that sink in for a moment. Since Kratos is destined to slaughter a handful of her offspring in later adventures (i,e Thanatos and The Fates), it's only fair that Nyx gets a chance to dole out some motherly vengeance ... even if it's a tad preemptive.
The Fight: Nyx is often depicted atop her chariot, but Helios already cribbed that style in God of War III. Instead, we see Nyx going the winged goddess route and weaving in and out of the shadows as Kratos deals with her hellhounds. Freezing Nyx in place with the Life Cycle would be key to victory, with the prize being Nyx's Shroud, which would grant Kratos the power to summon his own hellhound in battle.
The Finisher: De-winged and beaten to a pulp, Kratos whips the hellhounds into a frenzy and sets them loose to feed on their creator.
The Contender: Hera's 100-eyed pet had a low-res part in God of War: Betrayal, but was cut from God of War III after developers decided he didn't fit the plot. We call shenanigans. A 100-eyed monster fits any plot, anywhere, anytime no excuses. Either Argus lands a major role in God of War: Ascension or we're sending a strongly worded email to his agent.
The Fight: We see Argus chasing Kratos through an ancient city, forcing players to run, leap, and swing for safety while popping the beast's eyes with pointy objects along the way. To finish the fight, Kratos would need to rebuild a tower with Life Cycle magic, scurry up its topmost turret, and stand his ground in a face-to-face showdown with the former giant.
The Finisher: Kratos binds Argus to the tower with his chains, dislodges a nearby statue, and drives it through Argus's remaining eye.
Agrius and Oreius (aka the Bear Twins)
The Contender: Agrius and Oreius were the sons of Polyphonte, who was tricked by her daughter Aphrodite to fall in love with a bear and well you know where this goes. While giving birth to illegitimate man-bear twins - envisioned by South Park above (minus the pig) - sounds like the plot of an awesome sitcom, it's also a perfect set up for a duel-boss encounter.
The Fight: The fight would take place on the Bear Twins themselves as they rampage through a forest with Kratos hopping between the two hacking off weak points. With Agrius down, the battle would transition into a QTE sequence as Oreius carries Kratos to the edge of a cliff.
The Finisher: Kratos slashes Oreius's ankles with Agrius's severed claw and kicks him off the cliff where the man-bear is impaled by a mighty redwood.
The Contender: Remember Helios? Greek personification of the sun? The dude who had his head bashed in by Kratos right before it was ripped off and used as a handy flashlight? Yeah him. Well, Helios has a sister, Selene Titan of the moon and since God of War likes to keep it in family, we expect to see her shortly. Plus, if tradition serves, her head would make a handy telescope.
The Fight: As cool as a Selene-O-scope may be, we don't see Kratos killing this relatively peaceful Titan. Instead, we envision Selene testing Kratos' skill against waves of underlings while she hangs peacefully above, lit behind by a dreamy moonscape. Too artsy? Maybe, but in the ultra-violent world of Kratos, a little breather from the blood and guts might be a nice change of pace.
The Finisher: Kratos yanks Selene from the sky, and coerces her into handing over whatever magical mcguffin he needs to continue.
The Contender: As the Titan of memory and remembrance, Mnemosyne could do for God of War: Ascension what the Scarecrow did for Batman: Arkham Asylum. We envision Mnemosyne putting Kratos through an epic mind-trip populated by his inner-most demons, nightmares, and past foes. Since Ascension takes place shortly after the murder of Kratos's wife and child, Mnemosyne would have a lot of material to work with.
The Fight: Unshackled by game logic, developers could cast Kratos in his own episode of This is Your Life, re-introducing enemies and bosses from his past and dare we say? future. Like Scarecrow, Mnemosyne would control the nightmare from afar, swooping in for a final showdown only after Kratos has bested her tests.
The Finisher: Kratos smashes a hole into Mnemosyne's noggin and lays waste to the gooey brain matter inside.
The Contender: Before Poseidon got his feet wet, it was Pontos (son and wife of Gaia) who ruled the seas. And since God of War: Ascension is about beginnings, it makes sense that the original sea god gets a shot at drowning Kratos. We also loved God of War III's opening battle with Poseidon, so digging up his predecessor is a smart way to re-imagine one of the series' most memorable encounters.
The Fight: It starts with Pontus decimating Kratos ship and using its debris to knock Kratos from his floating platform. Between dodging the missiles and fending off sea nymphs, players would need to freeze the debris in mid-air with the Life Cycle and use the suspended flotsam and jetsam as a make-shift bridge to Pontus.
The Finisher: Kratos plunges into Pontus's throat, hooks his chains to swirling crate of dynamite, and hucks it at Pontus's heart.
The Contender: Porphryion was king of the giants until he took an Eros to the knee. But since death is but as speed-bump in God of War, we see no reason why SCE Santa Monica can't resurrect the former big boy for one more showdown. After all, he is the freaking King of the Giants, and in our books that means VIP access to any fight.
The Fight: One giant. One Spartan. One ring. This mano-a-mano match would take place in a coliseum where Kratos would have to find a way of stunning Porphyrion in battle, after which he'd use his chains to grasp surrounding columns and bring them crashing down on the giant's helpless body.
The Finisher: Kratos QTE's a path to Porphryion's heart, zaps it with Life Cycle magic, and steps back as Porphyrion freezes in place.
The Contender: Hekate is revered in Wiccan circles as the Goddess of magic, ghosts, necromancy, and pretty much everything that goes bump in the night. As the witch of all witches, she would pose a supernatural challenge to Kratos, and perhaps award players with Hekate's Crown, allowing them to raise fallen enemies to do their bidding.
The Fight: A God of War game isn't complete without a trip through hades, and seeing as Hekate has a ton of underworld connections, it's about time she got her hands dirty. Hekate's fight would play out as something of a horde mode, pitting Kratos against waves of undead while Hekate controls the horde from the middle. As a twist, Hekate could remap Kratos controls, forcing players to wrestle with a possessed Spartan.
The Finisher: Ripping out Hekate's tongue to silence the witch for good, Kratos strings her up with the entrails of the undead and pulls her apart with one final tug.
The Contender: Serving as a ruler of the winds, Aeolus isn't the highest ranking god around, but his ability to move unseen would make him an exciting challenge. Putting this deity down could reward players with a weapon imbued with the powers of wind or an item allowing Kratos to slip by ancient traps unseen.
The Fight: Lifted skyward on the back of a Phoenix, Kratos would need to scan the skies for Aeolus, lock him in place with the Life Cycle when he materializes, and take his shot as the Titan hovers defenseless. The lofty battle would end with a free-fall beatdown.
The Finisher: Kratos grates Aeolus against the side of a mountain is blown to safety once the god's body reverts to its natural form.
Who's your boss?
There you have it our God of War: Ascension boss wishlist, brought to you by years of high school English and falling asleep to the History Channel after the bar.
We've dug through our knowledge of Greek history to dream up new baddies for Kratos to kill, so now it's your turn to tell us which bosses you want to see in the Spartan sequel, and how they'd be cut down to size...