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Video Game: God of War

"The gods of Olympus have abandoned me."
Kratos

God of War is a popular video game series for the PlayStation line by Sony based in ancient Greece, but an ancient Greece where all those bizarre things you read about in Classical Mythology textbooks exist. One Spartan soldier, Kratos, has a personal relationship with the Gods that can best be described as complicated. A brutal, tormented man, Kratos begins the series as the sword of Olympus, fighting the enemies of the gods while trying to escape the horrors of his past.

God of War received ample praise in a number of forums: IGN named it the Greatest Game of All Time for the PlayStation 2, Electronic Gaming Monthly ordained it to be the best PS2 game of 2005 (and the second-best overall game of the same year), and Gamespot called it the best PS2 game of 2005.

It featured a simple, intuitive combat interface that made fighting remarkably easy. Kratos's default weapons are the Blades of Chaos, which are swords on the ends of very long chains and are functional as both melee weapons and Whip Swords, or perhaps Swordchucks. While each game gives you other weapons, many players found themselves content with these Awesome Yet Practical weapons, which allows Kratos to string together breath-taking and almost balletic combinations. (Some have complained about how this reduces the game to a button masher; others love it.) Two face buttons allow the player to switch between Weak and Strong attacks; the third enables jumping, and the fourth throws and Finishing Moves involving Action Commands. Many enemies and all boss battles have these finishers, turning the latter into highly cinematic Puzzle Bosses. Finally, besides dodging and rolling, Kratos gets access to magic spells. These typically include: a ranged attack; an area-of-effect attack; a ray that causes enemies to freeze somehow; and a swarm-of-souls attack that damages everything in sight.

It was also something of a "slash" game, and that's not just in reference to the bloody combat. Primarily in the action/adventure genre, God of War included platforming and puzzle aspects as well. These usually involved Kratos swinging over bottomless chasms, pushing blocks into position, and so forth.

There have been seven games in the series:

    List of Games 
  • God of War was released for PlayStation 2 in 2005. Kratos begins by declaring that "The gods of Olympus have abandoned me" and flinging himself over the tallest cliff in Greece; the rest of the game details How We Got Here. In this extended flashback, Kratos is charged by Athena with the task of killing Ares, the God of War, who has declared war on Athens; to do this, he will have to dungeon-crawl through the Temple of Pandora and find Pandora's Box, which contains in it the power to kill a god. In return, Athena offers him absolution for his Dark and Troubled Past, in which he served Ares as a Blood Knight and was manipulated into slaying his beloved wife and daughter. After a long, arduous journey, including being killed but escaping from Hades, Kratos succeeds at his labor. Athena, unfortunately, was only speaking literally — she forgives Kratos' sins, but she cannot take away his personal guilt or end his recurring nightmares. Kratos, despairing, re-enacts the game's opening scene. Athena does have a consolation prize, though: with Ares dead, there is an empty throne on Mt. Olympus...

  • God of War II was released for PlayStation 2 in 2007. Kratos, now the new god of war, leads his Spartans in a bloody conquest of Greece, heedless of the mutterings of other gods who think he's out of control. Zeus takes matters into his own hands by stripping Kratos of his godhood and slaying him. Kratos escapes Hades with the help of the titan Gaia, who tells him to travel to the Island of Creation, where The Hecate Sisters work the Loom of Fate and can change his destiny. After a game's worth of adventures, Kratos uses the Loom to travel back to the moment of his death and manages to escape with his life... but Athena gets involved in the resulting brawl, leading to her death. She reveals that Zeus will never stop trying to kill him, because of a recurring Greek prophecy that the current king-god will be overthrown by his son. Zeus did it to his father Cronos; Kratos might do it to Zeus. Kratos, now royally pissed off, changes his goal from "survive" to "kill my father," and uses the Loom to help the Titans stage a full-on invasion of Olympus. Cliff Hanger.

  • God of War: Betrayal was released for mobile phones in 2007. Taking place during Kratos's crusade as the new god of war, Kratos finds himself in hot water when he's framed for the murder of one of Hera's pet monstrosities. It also details Kratos's blood lust getting the better of him, leading him to Shoot the Messenger—in this case, Hermes' son Ceryx, who had come to warn him that the gods thought Kratos's blood lust was getting the better of him. Whoops. (This may be the only game that does not feature a visit to Hades, but so few people have played it that this is difficult to verify.)

  • God of War: Chains of Olympus was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2008. Taking place before the first game, it details the first time Kratos was used as a sort of celestial hit man. Morpheus, the god of sleep, is running rampant, because Helios, god of the sun, has gone missing. Athena has Kratos look into the matter, and he discovers that Persephone has masterminded the situation. Feeling betrayed by her Arranged Marriage to Hades, she has kidnapped Helios and given his power to the titan Atlas, who plans to destroy Olympus with it. Kratos must abandon his daughter Calliope and bring an end to Persephone's scheming... permanently.

  • God of War III was released for PlayStation 3 in 2010. Picking up exactly where II left off, it details Kratos and the Titans' assault on Olympus. After killing Poseidon, Kratos is betrayed by Gaia and tossed into the underworld, but escapes and begins to climb Mount Olympus, killing all who stand in his path—Hades, Perses [sic], Helios, Hercules, Cronos, Hephaestus, Hera—and learning that Pandora's Box still exists, now deep in the Labyrinth and guarded by an eternal fire which can only be snuffed out if Pandora herself immolates herself on it. This proves troubling, because as Kratos escorts Pandora through the dungeon, he begins to think of her as a daughter. Kratos wants to kill Zeus, but he also wants his family back. Which one will he choose?... (Who are we kidding, it's a video game. But there's sufficient Character Development to make us believe that Kratos actually has qualm about killing Pandora, so, kudos there.) This is officially the end of the trilogy, but not the franchise.

  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta was released for PSP in 2010. It starts with a flashback to Kratos' childhood, in which he trains with his brother Deimos. Deimos is believed to be The Chosen One who will topple Olympus, and so he is kidnapped by the gods, particularly Ares. In "the present day" (some time between I and Betrayal) of gameplay proper, Kratos decides to find out what became of his brother.

  • God of War: Ascension was announced for PlayStation 3 in 2012. A prequel set six months after Kratos murdered his family, it feature Kratos seeking the Furies, who punish oathbreakers, in order to kill them so that he can leave the service of Ares without reprisal. The game also features extra backstory concerning the Primordials, an ancient race of immortal beings that predate even the gods and Titans. In a first for the series, the game has multiplayer. View the announcement trailer here.

The games don't change much from the original (which, considering the first game sold Eleventy Zillion copies and won approximately the same number of awards, is unsurprising); the combat interface is almost completely unchanged, and while Kratos loses his magical powers at the beginning of each game, the new magic granted to him each game closely resembles the powers he earned in the previous.


The games provides examples of:

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    A-D 
  • Aborted Arc: A secret video of the original game had Kratos revealing that he trapped Ares' soul inside a secret room and he will enventually use it against the gods. It is never mentioned again and by the end of the third game, it is unlikely brought ever after.
    • Another video showed Cronos' remains being discovered in modern day, with soldiers entering Pandora's Temple. Any idea they had for this sequel would have been radically different than what we got.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Sewers of Athens in the first God of War.
  • Action Commands: Used by Kratos to kill certain enemies in a different manner, resulting in orbs that increase his life and magic meters. Some enemies require action commands to be beaten. God of War is the father of Quick Time Events. It wasn't the first game series to feature them, but every single action command you see in games these days is because of how popular the series made them.
  • Actor Allusion: The voice actor playing Perseus is Harry Hamlin, who of course was Perseus in Clash of the Titans. The game character even sports the same costume and, when first met, has dialog that seems to indicate he's come straight from the movie. Sadly, since he's meeting Kratos, it appears poor Andromeda will be eaten by the Kraken after all... but Kratos kills that, too.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Zeus. In the third game, it's revealed that he wasn't actually evil, he was just consumed by the evils of Pandora's box, which came out when Kratos opened it. Though going by Greek Mythology, he was a Jerkass God before that and the box only made him worse.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In-game example. It would explain how Kratos can score threesomes so easily.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: In Chains of Olympus, one of the first things you do is try to open a door via Button Mashing tutorial... only for a Cyclops wielding a giant pillar to smash through immediately and teach you about Button Mashing and Press X to Not Die. As if that wasn't enough, then a Basilisk smashes in and devours the Cyclops whole.
  • Amazon Brigade: Genuine Amazons haven't shown up (yet) but one class of undead warriors in III are clearly female; undead Amazons, anyone?
  • Anachronic Order: The chronological order of the series is Ascension, Chains of Olympus, God of War I, Ghost of Sparta, God of War II and God of War III. The ambiguously canonical Betrayal takes place between God Of War I and II either before or after Ghost of Sparta.
  • Ancient Greece
  • And I Must Scream: Helios is implied to be this, as his head is implied to still be alive. At least the screaming part is taken care of...
    • Following a secret message in the original God of War, Ares' soul was confined to a small chamber in Kratos' throne room, to be tormented by an unknown force. This part may have been retconned out (see Aborted Arc).
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Kratos becomes the new God of war.
  • Anger Makes You Dumb: A possible explanation for Kratos' Plot-Induced Stupidity throughout the series. Kratos is so intent on avenging his family's death (and later Zeus' betrayal) that he fails to see when Zeus (and Gaia, and Hephaestus, and Athena) are playing him like a harp.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: When you're killed, you continue from the last checkpoint you passed, with the same amount of health. This can get really annoying if you had low health and there are no orb chests between you and whatever killed you. However, continue from the same checkpoint enough times in a row and your health begins to increase slightly each time. You're also offered a chance to lower the difficulty.
  • Anyone Can Die: Kratos' mission in life is to put this trope to the test. He even gets himself killed a half dozen times(not that they stick but...)
  • Arc Villain: Persephone for Chains of Olympus.
    • Ares in the first game.
    • Thanatos for Ghost of Sparta.
  • Artistic License - Geography: How about all those sheer cliffs Athens seems to be built near?
    • Not to mention the adjacent desert.
      • One theory is that the massive flooding resulting from Poseidon's death is why the desert isn't there anymore.
    • How about how Kratos WALKED from Crete to Sparta in Ghost of Sparta?
  • Art Shift: The flashbacks in the third game are done in a heavily stylized and trippy art style.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Athena in God of War III. Thanks to her Heroic Sacrifice saving the life of Zeus she has become an Angel creature that lives along the River Styx. She's also fully transparent.
  • Asteroids Monster: The green Cerberus-like creatures in the first game.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: From the novelization...
    Athenian Soldier: (while running from a Minotaur) Run! You have to run!
    Kratos: (with scalding contempt) Spartans run toward the enemy.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Several enemies throughout the series are often large, especially boss fights such as minotaur in the Challenge of Hades in the first game, the Colossus of Rhodes and Clotho in the second are also really large. But in the 3rd game, the biggest enemy of all is Cronos, who is bigger than the SEARS TOWER! To give perspective, when he tries to squish you, your chain-swords can make a small mess on his fingernails. Not to mention the fact that he carries on his back the entire Temple of Pandora, which was the setting of the first game.
    • Actually, Poseidon may be the biggest boss out of everyone. The base of his body was at the base of Mount Olympus where the ocean is. The rest of his body was busy fighting Gaia and Kratos, at least halfway up the mountain.
    • Ascension gives us Aegeon the Hekatonkheires. And he's the tutorial boss.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: Scylla in Ghost of Sparta and later Poseidon himself in III. Both are type 2.
  • The Atoner: Subverted to a point. Kratos may be on a Redemption Quest in the first game, but it's only because he wants to be able to sleep at night without being assaulted by memories of the awful deeds he has committed in the past, including murdering his own wife and child. He has no qualms about slaughtering just about everybody he encounters, either. By the start of the second game, he's stopped caring about redemption altogether, and just goes back to trying to help Sparta conquer the world.
    • Played straight in the third game where he had the power of hope inside of him the whole time after opening Pandora's box to fight Ares. Even though he owes the now-dead Athena nothing, he kills himself with the Blade of Olympus, letting its power seep into the now ruined world and Athena is simply disappointed in Kratos.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Rage of the Gods in the first game. It grants Kratos invulnerability and increases his damage. However, it takes a long time to charge. And even when you do fill it up, it's best just to save it for the nearest boss fight, because once it's on, you can't turn it off. The second game onward fixed this problem, with being to turn the Rage off at will, though you still couldn't use it unless the meter was full.
  • Awesomeness Meter: Rage of the Gods in I, Rage of the Titans in II, Rage of Sparta in III.
  • Bad Ass: Over the course of four games Kratos has killed Ares, Athena (albeit unintentionally), Medusa, Charon, the Hydra, the Kraken, Perseus, Theseus, Icarus, all three Sisters of Fate, all three of the Furies, Euryale (The World's Most Family-Oriented Gorgon), Persephone, Poseidon, Hades, Helios, Hermes, Hephaestus, Hera, Gaia, Cronos, Daedalus, Herakles, Callisto, Scylla, Erinys, Thanatos, Ceryx, Argos, and of course, Zeus. He also destroyed the Colossus of Rhodes and sunk the city of Atlantis. He seems to be working his way through a textbook on Ancient Greece. This, of course, does not count the scads of random villains he has cut down, maimed (Typhon), or imprisoned (Atlas). Nor does it count the dozens of basically innocent people he's come across and killed... including one very unlucky ship's captain, who he kills off in a semi-comical manner not once but three separate times.
  • Badass Beard: Kratos is the only man in the UNIVERSE who can pull of a goatee the way he does.
  • Badass Boast: A lot, but this one takes the cake:
    Hera: (in Hera's Garden) Your brute strength may have bested Hercules, but your simple mind could never find the way out of here. I look forward to watching you die here, as an old man.
  • Badass Normal: The Last Spartan who somehow survived the wave of energy Zeus unleashed with the Blade of Olympus that practically killed every other Spartan and Rhodes soldier within a thousand meters, then somehow manages to get back to Sparta and survive its destruction at the hands of Zeus, then somehow travels to the Isle of Creation and somehow makes more progress through the island faster than Kratos.
  • Badass Grandpa: Zeus and Cronos.
  • Back from the Dead: Kratos has escaped from the Afterlife not once, not twice, not even thrice times but four times. There's also the Barbarian King, whom Kratos killed before the first game began and who returned as a boss in the second.
    • While the first game was because of the Gravekeeper's help, after Ghost of Sparta it seems this is because Kratos killed the god of Death himself.
    • This is probably partly true. In God of War 2, Kratos is saved by Gaia before he actually dies but in three, Kratos might have survived his fall from Olympus because of that exact reason. But he escaped Hell because he killed Hades.
  • Bad Dreams
  • Bag of Spilling: Justified. At the end of the prequel, Athena and another god (believed to be Helios) relieve Kratos of his swag; likewise, he starts the second game with (some of) his gear from the first, only to be tricked by Zeus into discarding it.
    • Despite occurring minutes after GoW2, you only retain the Golden Fleece, Icarus Wings, and Poseidon's Trident at the beginning of GoW3. Most of your powers are soon stripped when you fall into the River Styx.
    • Completely unjustified in Ghost of Sparta.
  • Bald of Awesome: Easy to see. However...
  • Bald of Evil: Just as close as a literal example as you can get with this trope, he's just as evil and treacherous as he is bald or the other way around.
  • Bald White Leader Guy: Kratos, to the Spartans.
  • Bash Brothers: Kratos and Deimos. Well, once they stop bashing each other, that is.
  • Bastard Bastard: Kratos is revealed to be one of Zeus' many illegitimate children in the second game.
  • Beard of Barbarism: The Barbarian King is also the KING of this trope.
  • Beast Man: Most of the enemies, ranging from satyrs to minotaurs to centaurs and even to elephantaurs seen in Ascension. The servants of the Fate, while not resembling any major mythological character, otherwise fit this trope.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Oh, Ares. If you so much wanted to make Kratos stronger, didn't you thought you should redirect his anger toward someone else than you? Talk about asking for it!
  • Being Evil Sucks: Kratos makes his own life a living hell.
  • Berserk Button: In Hera's final scene, Kratos actually tries to go around her, even though she tried to have him killed several times, until she calls Pandora a whore...
    • And you have an over-the-shoulder view facing Kratos when she says it. From this vantage point, you just know that she's going to get it. (Talk about your assisted suicides, though she was drunk as a skunk on all her scenes)
    • Occasionally when people remind him of his family and what happened to them. In the third game, Hermes becomes an amputee for his troubles and Kratos actually lets Pandora go into the flames—something he was trying to desperately prevent—and beats Zeus to undeath when he mentions it.
    • Probably Kratos' angriest moment in the series (which is really saying something), is when Thanatos kills Deimos.
    • Never ask Kratos to come rescue you or ask for any kind of "help" from him. That will just make him angrier. In fact, just don't be any kind of burden, and try not to get in his way.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Kratos and Zeus are directly responsible for much of the conflict in this series.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Oh dear, where to start?
  • Bi the Way: In God of War III, Kratos walks in on Aphrodite having her way with two slave girls. She then invites him for sex.
  • BFS: The Blade of Olympus.
  • Black and Gray Morality: It's pretty hard to actually sympathize with Kratos.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: A plot point. Kratos needs the power of the Golden Fleece to continue past some unavoidable obstacles. The armor can deflect anything, even the Blade of Olympus wielded by Zeus himself. This doesn't explain some of his famous Action Commands where he stops being crushed by titans the size of skyscrapers because he put his arms up the right way.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Ancient Greek mythology was more violent than you'd think, but this series takes it Upto Eleven.
    • Ramping it up with III, to the point where the studio said some screenshots are so violent, they cannot be released on gaming news websites without being censored. They have an independent engine in place to animate enemies being ripped to pieces and having their organs fall out.
    • Some highlights: Kratos disemboweling a centaur, complete with falling organs; a much more graphic animation of Kratos ripping the eye off Cyclopes, with blood flooding out of the socket and sinew hanging from the eye and finally, Kratos ripping off Helios' head. Yes, that Helios.
  • Blood Knight: Kratos, obviously.
    • Ares, who's the freaking GOD OF WAR himself...well until Kratos took over.
  • Book Ends: The first begins with Kratos jumping off the highest mountain in Greece saying "the Gods of Olympus have abandoned me." He jumps off a cliff again saying the exact same line near the end of the last game, while in a vision caused by being killed (temporarily) by Zeus. Also, The Stinger at the end of the third game shows a blood trail leading from where Kratos body used to be to the edge of a cliff off Mt. Olympus.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Centaurs. They almost never flinch, love interrupting your combos while you fight smaller mooks (because they always come with smaller mooks), have a crapton of health, and the QTE when they grab you requires super-human reflexes to win. The finishing move on them is one of the squickiest of the game, but you won't mind. Chimeras are a similar case, although they are arguable easier to deal with.
    • Since there are only three centaurs in the game, they could be considered Elite Mooks or minibosses.
    • The Satyrs, too. Monsters that actually pay attention to your attacks and punish you for poor timing. Why else do they appear so late in the game?
  • Breaking Speech: In God Of War III, Hermes deconstructs Kratos in the path of the Caverns and he can only listen. Before his death, Hermes gives another one to Kratos, and later on, it's revealed that it registered on Kratos; something Zeus had use of during his mind attack on the K-man.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: The sex minigame in God of War III is with Aphrodite depending on who you ask. If you're of the "Aphrodite is Zeus' daughter" school of thought then yes. If you're of the "Aphrodite was born from the foam of Ouranos's severed testicle as it hit the seas" school, then it's a whole lot more complicated...
    • Also Zeus and Hera, Aphrodite and Ares, Aphrodite and Hephaestus (both with the same snag as above)...really, divinity just doesn't care.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Go ahead, Hermes, taunt Kratos about how he killed his family. Never mind that he's been known to kill out of spite.
  • Butt Monkey: The ship captain. Also a borderline Yuppie Couple, seeing as Kratos has managed to kill him three times in two games. (Alas, he doesn't appear in the third, but you can read a note from him.)
  • Byronic Hero: As a guy who wants to kill all the Gods, this trope suits Kratos nicely.
  • Cain and Abel: Kratos and Ares. Though they didn't know they were related at the time. Later, there's Kratos and Hercules in III, and Kratos and Deimos in Ghost of Sparta.
  • Captain Ersatz: Sheer murderousness aside, Kratos has a few striking similarities with Hercules of legend, including accidentally killing his own family in a fit of madness, as well as his habit of tearing apart monsters and using their body parts as armor or weapons (see Hercules skinning the nigh-invulnerable Nemean lion after he killed it and wearing the skin, and dipping his arrows in the poisonous blood of the Hydra). It becomes all the more amusing when Hercules finally shows up in God of War III and claims that Kratos is stealing his thunder. Considering that Kratos has already killed the Hydra, he may well be right.
  • Chain Lightning: The Nemesis Whip is a visual pun on this; it's yet another chain-weapon for Kratos, and it produces chain lightning.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The giant sword that Kratos uses as a bridge immediately after saving the Oracle. In the final battle, he uses it after Ares strips him of all his abilities, and stabs the God of War through the chest. In the second game, the Fates use their time-travel powers trying to prevent this gun from being fired.
    • In GoW III, at one point you take a brief trip inside Gaia while trying to save her from one of bigform-Poseidon's crab-horse-claw-things. You pass by her very heart, the passageway to which was opened up by Poseidon's attacks. Three guesses as to where the final fight of the game takes place, and the first two don't count.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Pandora's Box in the GoW 3.
  • Chewing the Scenery: You have no idea. Just one example: Kratos chatting it up with Atlas in the second game.
  • Clothing Damage: Happens to Kratos over the course of the series. His outfit in most of God of War II is the remains of his God armor from the beginning of the game, and there's even less of it left in God of War III.
  • Colossus Climb: Most notably, the minotaur fight in God Of War, as well as a platforming element that was important in the Hydra battle. In the sequel, the player climbs on and inside a literal Colossus: the Colossus of Rhodes and faces Titans so massive their bodies often are the stage.
    • Doing the math on Kronos, his fingernail is right next to six foot Kratos, so it's about 30 foot long. A fingernail on a normal person is more or less half an inch long, so doing the proportions, Kronos would be over 4,000 feet tall if he ever stood up. The stage induces fake difficulty at some points due to the sheer perspective of the wide angle shots.
  • Combat Commentator: A drunken Hera provides a commentary to Kratos's fight with Hercules, starting with an almost-motherly "Now you boys play nice!"
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Some of Hades' taunts imply that he may be one of these.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Kraken has these, as does Ares. Scylla too.
  • Come Back to Bed, Honey: "Stay, Kratos. Just a bit longer."
  • Compilation Re-release: The God of War Collection on PS3, which includes the two PS2 games, updated to run in 720p at 60 frames per second and with PS3 trophies.
    • It will also include a code for unlocking an exclusive God Of War III demo.
    • Happening again with God of War Origins Collection, also on PS3. This has both PSP games, updated to HD with optional stereoscopic 3D. Now the only game not on PS3 is the mobile phone game Betrayal.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Dear God! In Ghost of Sparta Kratos walks around into an erupting volcano and has no trouble whatsoever. Also Scylla got a stream of magma poured on her and she barely flinched. Also with King Mydas later.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Kratos, duh. In his own words: "I am what the Gods have made me!"
    • Hell, at first it's implied it's he's a literal case by the Sisters of Fate, but even after he kills them he's still one.
  • Crashing Through the Harem: In God Of War II, your escape from the Colossus of Rhodes's rampage takes you crashing through the ceiling of a bathhouse where two women wait in a state of undress. You can stop and have sex with them by hitting the action button!
  • The Creepy Undertaker: The Gravedigger who turns out to be Zeus.
  • Cross Counter: Kratos and Hercules have one of these when Kratos steals the right Nemean Cestus. If Kratos wins the duel, he will steal the left Nemean Cestus. Zeus and Kratos has one of these in the end.
  • Crusading Widower: Kratos.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Pretty much the final moments of any boss fight, but the ones in III are especially painful to watch (for some, at least). Even if you're into watching people getting their heads stomped on, you can't help but flinch a little...
    • There's also a Curb Stomp War early on in God of War III: the Gods manage to down a half dozen of the Titans climbing Mount Olympus within the first ten minutes of gameplay, and the rest more or less are beaten off-screen. Odds are, without Kratos on the Titan's side, the war would have been wrapped up in a half hour with the Gods being victorious.
      • This makes one wonder why the gods were so concerned about them in the first place.
      • Kratos even takes Gaia and Perses out whilst working his way up the mountain.
  • Darker and Edgier: The games claim to be this in regards to their Classical Mythology source material. God of War I and II are around the same level of darkness, but III manages to one-up the original stories by a mile. Let's face it, works like The Odyssey were dark, but they didn't involve the death of the gods and catastrophes of apolyptic scale.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Hades, averting the stupid stereotype, and who has genuine reasons to hate Kratos, as well as the implication that all of his less likable traits are the Pandora's Box fault, except maybe greed, if the manuals are to be considered reliable (and thus adding Fridge Logic to his plans for Kratos). Arguably some of the titans as well, since Zeus was the one with the brilliant idea of punishing them forever for "the sins of just one".
  • Dark Messiah: Kratos in God of War III, by the time the game ends.
  • Deal with the Devil: Kratos' brilliant military career (as well as his life) was almost cut short when his army faced a numerically superior army of Barbarians, in a battle that only lasted a few hours. Kratos promised his soul to Ares in return for destroying the Barbarians, and Ares gladly obliged. This marked the beginning of Kratos' fall from grace.
    Kratos: "ARES! Destroy my enemies...and my life is yours!"
  • Death by Sex: Inverted. Aphrodite, who has sex with Kratos in the third game, is the only Greek God in the games spared of his wrath. To be fair, Kratos consistently maintained that if the Gods would stay out of his way on the path to kill Zeus he would leave them alone. Just most of the Gods decided to try to kill/stop/piss him off royally. Aphrodite was very helpful...in her own way. As was Hephestaus... until he wasn't... which you can't really blame him for considering what Kratos did concerning Aphrodite and what he was going to do to Pandora.
    • Originally though, if you tried to go for a second round with Aphrodite, she would pull a dagger on you, and Kratos would then have to kick her to Hades, although not actually kill her. This was done away with, possibly because it would have made no sense.
    • Artemis is also alive as of yet, not having appeared in two or three.
  • Death by Irony: In ancient Greece, worshipers of Hades would knock their heads on the ground so the god of the underworld would hear them. What does Kratos do to Hades immediately before stealing his soul?
  • Death Is Cheap: Well, it is for Kratos and Athena anyway.
    • Also note that ultimately, death makes little sense. Kratos can leave the underworld if he's dead, but nobody else can seem to even if Hades wants them to.
  • Death of the Old Gods: Kratos doing his thing. Especially in III.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Kratos to Medusa, her sister and Helios in each respective game.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The giant lava minotaurs explode when defeated. So do Ares, Athena, Thanatos, and to a degree the other gods in other ways except Hephaestus. Not all deities, though, like not Helios or other goddesses.
  • Degraded Boss: Gorgons. Medusa serves as the introduction to the enemy type as well as a demonstration of how to perform a special grab kill, but every Gorgon you meet from that point on is not only a standard enemy, but stronger than she was. Even the ones you meet just a few minutes later.
  • Dem Bones: The second game has them.
  • Depth Perplexion: An entire puzzle is made out of this in III, in Hera's Garden. Basically, when you activate a switch, a green filter appears on the screen, the camera zooms away and stairways that are only adjacent by perspective become connected for real. You will thus get at the top of the garden through completely disconnected platforms, without having to perform a single jump.
  • Descending Ceiling / The Walls Are Closing In: Extremely common death traps in every game. In nearly every case, the only way to deactivate them is to endure the Multi-Mook Melee that accompanies them.
  • Determinator: Kratos. Nothing will ever stand in his way for revenge, whether it's barbarians, other Greek soldiers, nasty monsters, geographic difficulties, the fires of Hades, the gods or Death and Fate itself. All those who are unlucky enough to do it anyway WILL be very sorry. Also The Barbarian King, who fought Hades just as hard as Kratos, and the Last Spartan soldier, who came just as far as Kratos in the temple of the Sisters of Fate, even though he was just a mere mortal.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: During the beginning of God of War II, when you are still allied with the gods, the save screen says " Zeus has given you the opportunity to save your progress." Later in the game, that named is changed to Gaia. In the third game, when Kratos is essentially waging his own war on his own terms, there is no message.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Did you just horribly slaughter a Greek god / demigod / minor mythological creature?
  • Disappointed In You: At the end of the third game, Athena says this to Kratos when he runs himself through with the Blade of Olympus, giving the power to the humans instead of her.
  • Disney Villain Death: Icarus in II. Specifically falling into the pits of Tartarus.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The reason Gaia chooses to help Kratos in his fight against Zeus in the second game. Zeus, as per The religion of ancient Greece, chose to punish every member of the Titans when taking his revenge on his father Kronos.
    • One could argue in Zeus's case it was necessary. Kronos would not tolerate Zeus and his siblings be free due to the threat they posed to his power. The Titans would aid Kronos against them. It was a situation where war was inevitable. Gaia could easily just be playing Kratos.
  • Divine Conflict: Being based on Classical Mythology, the game has several conflicts between immortals. There was the war between the Gods and the Titans, the conflict between the primordial beings, and the demigod Kratos' own battles between pretty much any divine being who dares stand in his way.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The hilariously suggestive sex QTE in III certainly counts. Though given where the half-circle-up is, it does rather suggest Kratos takes an unholy amount of time getting out of the practically nothing he's usually almost wearing.
  • Downer Beginning: Most notably, the beginning stage of God Of War 2, where Kratos launches a brutal invasion of Rhodes and is subsequently punished and killed by Zeus. He also loses all the extra power he has gained from the previous game. He later manages to climb his way out of Tartarus, though.
  • Dual Boss: Two against the Furies in Ascension: first against Megaera and Tisiphone (in a flashback, since you already killed Megaera earlier in the game), then against Tisiphone and Alecto.
  • Dual Wielding: Twin blades bound to Kratos' hands with chains. The first weapon to be used and arguably the most useful weapons in the entire game.
    • Hades as well.
  • Driven to Suicide: Kratos tries this a few times. He might have succeeded by the trilogy's end.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Most notably between the first two games. Part of the whole reason Kratos waged wars alongside the Spartans was because the gods didn't even accept him as the new God of War.
  • Dying Alone: Kratos. Or did he?
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: When Helios' plea for his life ends in vain, he out of nowhere screams "FEEL THE POWER OF THE SUN!!!" and shines so bright that nothing can be seen. Doesn't stop him from losing his head.
    • Kratos (apparently) kills himself, ruining Athena's plans and releasing the power of hope to mortals.
  • Dynamic Loading: received a great deal of applause for this, hiding the loading behind long corridors and hiding those behind Scenery Porn, resulting in a game that is almost seamless. (A cheap and meaningless form of Sequence Breaking is to traverse those long corridors at faster-than-running speed—via Unnecessary Combat Rolls, for instance—to cause an actual Loading Screen to pop up.)

    E-L 
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first game lacks of combos that will appear later. Most of the Gods have been redesigned after (Poseidon was originaly a bald old guy, Hades had a demon face, etc) and the elements in the extra videos would be retconned.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Arguably God of War III.
  • Easter Egg: There are two in the first game, one gotten through a secret code, and the other gotten through destroying the two statues in the throne room at the very end of the game.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: Can be applied to the Blades of Chaos, Blades of Athena and the Blade of Artemis. Also seen with enemy mooks.
  • Elder Abuse: God of War 2 allows the player to partake in Elder Abuse via a quick time event in which you have to brutally beat and kill a helpless protesting elderly scholar in order to get him to read a book you can't.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Clotho from the second game, Poseidon in the third game.
  • Elemental Powers: While Kratos doesn't have any individual control over the elements, he does gain magic spells that harness the power of the elements.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What Kratos' actions lead to in III (although it is unclear whether it happens to the entire world or just Greece).
  • Enemy Mine: Theseus fighting with Minotaurs in his boss battle.
    • Soul Power: Army of Hades in 1 and as the magic ability of the Claws of Hades in 3.
  • Escort Mission: Cleverly, if brutally, twisted in these games. In the original, you need to push a cage containing an Athenian soldier up an enemy-infested ramp. Of course, you're only protecting him in order to burn him alive at the top of the ramp and move on in the temple. He pleads for his life the whole way up. And in the sequel, you have to protect a translator who can read a holy incantation and help you advance. The incantation indicates that a blood sacrifice is called for, so you slam his face repeatedly into the book...
    • Kratos does this again in God of War III, dragging "Poseidon's Princess", along with him in order to use her still living body to jam a gear mechanism so that he can make it through a door. She is very painfully crushed.
    • In God of War 2, he puts a wounded soldier on a Conveyor Belt of Doom to jam it.
    • Surprisingly averted with Pandora in God of War III. While you help her get to Pandora's Box, she only really is in dire need of protection from enemies maybe twice. She is quite competent at avoiding enemy attacks, which is great, due to the major enemy rushes that happen.
  • Essence Drop: Red orbs for experience, blue for magic and green for health. The red ones are heavily implied to be blood.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Kratos just beat down the Hydra singlehandedly, marched into the throat of the great beast, and the ship captain is hanging at the precipice of his stomach. Kratos picks him up, grabs the key to the captain's quarters from him...and chucks the captain down into the belly of the dead hydra for no reason other than to be a dick.
    • Not so, as when they first meet, with the captain locking the way forward using the very key you need, he says "I know who you are Spartan. I know what you've done. I'd rather die than be saved by you.". So its more of just honoring his wishes. Than not sparing him.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Kratos is shown to enter this trope. When Callisto turns into a monster, that Kratos had to kill, he shown to be very sad about it and than he takes her into his arms. Also, he does her will and looks for Deimos, his younger brother.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: A real life example. The developers have stated that they originally wanted to give Kratos a cute little dog to follow him around, as a way to give him some humanity and remind him of better times. He would then have to kill the dog before it turned into Cerberus. They eventually decided that was too cruel even for the series.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: in Ascension, there's a major character, Aegaeon, who is one of the Hekatonkheires. When Megaera tries to set him on Kratos, the PS3 has a meltdown.
    We will see how you fare against the (no suggestions)!
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Due to No Name Given (a lot of them at that), this is natural. Even Pathos Verdes III, who's one of the very few NPCs with an actual name, he's more often called Pandora's Architect. Even with The Reveal of the Barbarian King's name and Kratos' Wife, there still addressed as such. Granted, this is probably because most people aren't even aware that they've been revealed, due to the names being revealed in the God of War miniseries of comics. Also, their names are Alrik and Lysandra in case you're wondering.
  • Evil Albino: Kratos, though technically he isn't an albino, he's permanently "covered in ashes" as a result of his curse.
  • Eviler than Thou: Potentially the main redeeming factor for Kratos is whether you feel he was a worse person for being the almost unrepentant blatantly Omnicidal-by-default Maniac he is by series' end or that the gods are worse beings than him.
  • Evil Gloating: Hercules' undoing. He actually manages to knock Kratos out, but he stops to boast to Hera. Kratos revives and takes this opportunity to steal the Nemean Cestus from him.
  • Evil Laugh: Skeletons in the second game do it occasionally.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The gods actually invoke this trope by sending Kratos after monsters that more traditional Greek heroes could not even hope to survive against, much less defeat.
    • While the first and the third games were of the Black and Gray Morality category, it's played straight in the second game. It's Kratos, who's pretty much the main villain then, against Zeus, who's a paranoid dictator.
  • Exact Words: Athena promises to Kratos that once he would kill Ares, his sins will be forgiven. At the end, Kratos learns tragically that his sins are indeed forgiven but that doesn't mean his nightmares about the night when he killled jhis family will stop.
  • Exploding Barrels: There are exploding oil pots in God of War III that can be ignited by the Bow of Apollo.
  • Expository Gameplay Limitation: In Ghost of Sparta, when in Sparta or in his flashback sequence, Kratos is unable to run or use his weapon.
  • Expy: Kratos bears a strong resemblance with Mighty Kongman from Tales of Destiny. The fact that both of them are voiced by the same voice actor in the Japanese version doesn't help either.
    • Kratos also bears a strong resemblance to the classical mythical version of Heracles: Heracles was the founder of the Spartan people, killed his wife in a fit of rage, and became a god as part of the reward for completing a series of tasks given him by the Olympian Gods when he sought their forgiveness for killing his wife, all closely mirrored by Kratos.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: How everything ends. And the game lets you carry it on for as long as you want. It's glorious.
    • Arguably done with some Boss Fights too.
  • Eye Scream: Kratos performs a Finishing Move against Cyclops enemies by ripping their eyes out, and stabs Typhon in one eye in order to gain a new power.
    • Also, in the sequence described below in Shaky P.O.V. Cam, Kratos gouges out his enemies eyes with his thumbs. No blades this time, just thumbs.
      • He does this one to POSEIDON. HOLY SH*T.
      • Made funny when you realize the prompt to do so is pushing the thumb sticks.
    • At a few points during the battle with Cronos, Kratos is required to blind him by giving him a burst of sunlight from Helios' head.
    • This occurs in the battle against the Hydra, and is made more gruesome due to the fact the the beast ends up flossing its eye socket with a ships mast. Yeesh.
  • Fanservice: Oh yeah.
    • Aphrodite, for starters, plus the gratuitous sex scenes throughout the series. Also, Persephone.
  • Fan Disservice: Euryale and Clotho in the second. * shudders*
    • Ironic, since Clotho was described as the most beautiful of the sisters in the old myths.
    • Megaera has a large, mostly exposed chest.... which is also the site of her huge, disgusting rash she uses to spawn her critters.
  • Fantastic Light Source: Kratos can rip off Helios' head and use it as a lantern.
  • Fat Bastard: Again, Eurayle and Clotho. The latter makes Jabba the Hutt looks like Michael Phelps.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Prometheus, who after giving fire to mortals was punished by being forced to eternally get his gut eaten by a bird, only to revive and suffer the same thing the next day and so on. Probably the only Mercy Kill Kratos has ever done.
    • As of Ghost of Sparta, it now isn't the only one. He also mercy kills his mother and King Midas.
  • Fighting Down Memory Lane: During your final confrontation with Ares, after direct combat has failed, he sucks you into some kind of mental plane, where he forces you to relieve your most defining moment - the day you unwittingly murdered your own family. Or at least, he tries - you have to fight off a horde of 'clone' Kratoses while protecting your family. Fail, and Kratos will simply collapse with a moan of "No... not again..."
    • During his final battle, Kratos goes through all of the evil he's committed over the course of the series, showing that Kratos really did feel guilt for what he did deep down.
  • Fingore: In III, Kratos rips one of Kronos's fingernails off during the fight with him. The sheer crudeness of it makes even the toughest gamers cringe and shiver, but compared to what Kratos does to Kronos later on in the fight, that is pretty tame.
  • Fission Mailed: After a long quest to retrieve Pandora's box, Ares impales Kratos with a giant slab of wood, and Kratos gets sent to Hades. Of course, this doesn't stop him in the least.
    • Kratos suffers this once again after the Battle in Rhodes, being weakened and stabbed to death by Zeus.
  • Five-Bad Band: The gods in the third game definitely qualify.
    • Big Bad: Zeus, oh so much.
    • The Dragon: Poseidon kills a Titan in one shot, holds back the rest, and would have killed Gaia if Kratos hadn't stopped him.
      • Helios as well, who would have killed Perses if Kratos had not intervened. In addition, he also seems quite determined to not let Kratos kill Zeus, despite his apparent cowardice.
    • The Brute: Hades relies more on hitting Kratos with his chain blade things than anything else, and his second form relies on NASTY physical attacks.
    • The Evil Genius: Hermes, who delivers a nasty Breaking Speech to Kratos, and is smart enough not to directly confront him...at first, anyway.
    • The Dark Chick: Hera, who never fights.
  • Fixed Camera
  • Foreshadowing: "Only death awaits you at the end of your journey." Come the end of the third game, and...
  • Fragile Speedster: Hermes.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: You don't encounter any nude human enemies to speak of, but there's plenty of topless female monsters (mostly Gorgons and Harpies) who attack you on sight. Kratos is barely more than a loincloth away from this trope himself.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Icarus' Wings alternate between Cutscene Incompetence and Cutscene Power to the Max in III. At the beginning of the game, Kratos doesn't think about using them before falling into the Styx. But in several cutscenes afterwards he uses them to actually fly, while you can only glide in gameplay. You do get a couple of actual flying segments though, once by using a powerful updraft, and again by skydiving down the same tunnel.
  • Genius Bruiser: Kratos. He ain't just capable to tear monster 1,000 times his size apart, but he's also capable of figure out the most difficult puzzles of Pandora's temple and other places.
  • Get Back Here Boss: The majority of your encounter with Hermes is simply chasing him down; since he's the speedy messenger of the gods, he delights in dashing about making fun of you. Once you manage to knock the wind out of him he barely puts up a fight to speak of—chasing him down was the real contest.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Kraken. It just appears with no build up to fight Kratos and no reason as to why it is there is ever given. True, it could have been sent to stop Kratos from getting to the sisters, but it's never revealed.
  • Go Out with a Smile: After Kratos stabs himself at the end of the third game, he dies content with the fact that he got his revenge against Zeus, gave hope to mankind, and foiled Athena's plan to rule over mankind.
  • God Is Dead: And by the end of III, Kratos sure as hell killed nearly all of them.
  • God Is Evil: Zeus. Turns out that's your fault.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Kratos, from Ares' perspective.
    Ares: That day... I was trying to make you a great warrior!
    Kratos: You succeeded. [kills him]
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Medusa. But not Euryale...
  • Gorn: It's strongly hinted that the red Experience Orbs that you collect from dead enemies and Experience Chests throughout the three games are in-game representations of blood, for example in the second game the upgrade screen displays a Hoplite helmet that fills with blood as you collect more orbs, and which drains out once you go below 1k. If this is accurate, the Squick factor is upped exponentially, since that would mean you power up your weapons by (at higher levels) bathing them in the blood of roughly a thousand enemies.
  • Götterdämmerung: The developers have said that God of War III will explain why Greek myths aren't around anymore. Guess Kratos is a one-man apocalypse/the "somebody" from the page quote.
  • Grand Finale: God Of War III. Any games released after it are set before it in the series chronology.
  • Grapple Move: A core gameplay mechanic. Kratos can grab any small Mook for an easy kill or a good amount of damage, and be invulnerable while doing it. Elite Mooks, Giant Mooks, and Bosses require Action Commands after the grab. All grabs feature gruesome disembowelment and such, and is one of the selling points of the game. On harder modes, this becomes the safest way to attack enemies without getting damaged along with the "Plume of Prometheus" C3note .
  • Ground Pound: One of the moves available with the Blades of Chaos comes in ground and air versions of this trick.
    • Atlas Quake functions like this as well.
    • As well as the Efreet.
    • Hercules does this.
  • Ground Punch: The Atlas Quake magic attack in God of War II has Kratos smashing the earth repeatedly to send out waves of rock in a large area around himself (Atlas himself did this in a cutscene). His Nemean Cestus in God of War III can also be used to smash the ground.
  • Guest Fighter: Kratos appears as one in Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny, the PS3 version of Mortal Kombat 9, and Playstation All Stars Battle Royale.
    • Zeus will be joining him as a DLC character for Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Roughly 95% of the dialogue.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The Olympus Fiends. Even when bisected, they will still try to crawl towards you and try to explode on you.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Hera spends most of her time drinking herself into a stupor while the rest of the Gods and Titans fight. Dionysus himself would probably tell her to lay off the wine and sleep it off.
    • At the end of the first game, each of the gods were infested with one of the vices from Pandora's box. It's pretty obvious that Hera got drunkenness.
  • Harder Than Hard: God difficulty in the first game, Titan in the second, Chaos in the third.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: In the first game, the second phase of the final battle has Kratos protecting his family from clones of him. If he fails, the family dies, Game Over. If he wins... Ares takes his blades and rams them both into his family anyway.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Kratos goes through a gradual one over the course of God of War 3. While he's still not a great person, he becomes noticably more concerned for his fellow man by the end. Thanks, Pandora.
  • The Hero Dies: Implied at the end of God Of War III. It's happened more than once before, but this time, it might just stick.
  • Heroic BSOD: Kratos has a brief one in the second game after he ends up killing the only Spartan warrior that survived Zeus's massacre and was trying to change the past himself under Kratos's orders. This is actually one of the few times Kratos shows regret for killing an enemy, so much so that he nearly gives up the quest altogether.
  • Heroic Resolve: Kratos gets a genuine moment of heroism at the end of the first when Ares sends him into a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of the fight with Zeus when you are about to stab him with his own Blade of Olympus, Athena, the only god who showed any form of compassion to Kratos takes the blow instead and is killed. This scene is also abit of a Tear Jerker since it is One of the few times Kratos shows genuine remorse for killing someone.
    • Later, Pandora. Also a Tear Jerker given how hard Kratos tries to stop it. The fact that her sacrifice turned out to be completely meaningless only worsens the blow.
    • Finally, Kratos kills himself, which ruins Athena's plans and gives hope to the world.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Kratos may not be the most ideal of heroes, but really, if YOU were forced into battle on a regular basis, particularly by the gods themselves, having to fight entire armies, elephant men, a giant undead minotaur, even the god of war himself (not even Herc took up that kind of task), chances are, you wouldn't be either.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: "Petard-hoister" is pretty much listed in Kratos's resume given that a ton of his patented O-button finishers involve using an enemy/boss's own weapon (or anatomy) to do him in.
    • Hades has his soul devoured by his own weapons. Hercules' head is caved in with the Nemean Cestus. The giant scorpion is impaled by her own stinger.....
    • In II, he impales Theseus with his own spear (must've gotten bored doing it to just satyrs) and plays a a very easy game of whack-a-mole with the undead Barbarian King's own hammer. The mole? The king's head.
  • Homage:
    • The Labyrinth in the third game reminds one of Cube.
    • David Jaffe (the game's creator) has admitted God of War was heavily inspired by Harryhausen Movies. Harry Hamlin even has a cameo in God of War 2, as his original character, and skeletons clearly inspired by Jason And The Argonauts show up as well.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Kratos' first encounter with Zeus in the sequel. The game doesn't even let you attack effectively.
    • The battle in question takes place right after your power is drained, and the hand of Colossus smashes Kratos. Thus, you can't roll or jump, your fastest attack takes about three seconds to perform, and you can only limp to where you want to go. Try to make Kratos jump here - he bends his legs, grunts, then straightens them again as if to say "Yeah, not gonna happen."
    • Something similar happens during the first few moments fighting the Kraken. When you press a button, Kratos merely screams out "I cannot change my fate!" or something to that effect until you get to a scripted point that gives him an ability upgrade and, of course, the will to fight on.
    • The prequel Chains of Olympus also has a scripted defeat against Charon, who cannot be beaten without Zeus' Gauntlet which you get from a statue of Zeus in the Tartarus (after Charon gleefully tosses your defeated ass down there).
      • This holds true even in bonus play, where having the gauntlet doesn't matter, because then Charon's pillars aren't actually destructible.
  • Hot Coffee Minigame: Described above. Amusingly, Kratos gets paid if you do it successfully. Those minigames included two slave twins, two daughters of Aphrodite, two matrons, Aphrodite herself and, in Ghost of Sparta, with ''EIGHT'' prostitutes ''at ONCE''!!!.
    • Subverted in Ascension. It looks like the game is leading into this, albeit with less optional... but then Kratos sees that the woman who is leading him past the other prostitutes is wearing his wife's ring, so he attacks her, breaking the illusion. The Master of Illusion in question, Alecto, is then attacked by Megaera, who claims that Kratos is hers.
  • How We Got Here: The first game begins with Kratos attempting to commit suicide, with the rest of the game leading up to why.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Kratos spends most of the games in naught but a kind of battle skirt. It's OK, he's buff, he can pull it off. But it's sort of hard to figure out where Kratos stores his secondary weapons (a massive sword in the first game, a huge hammer and large spear in the second) with such little apparent storage space. There are also a collection of smaller trinkets Kratos carries around (Gorgon eyes, phoenix feathers, etc.) without having to place them anywhere. The first game at least tries to justify the sword - when you switch weapons, Kratos slams his regular blades together to form them into the sword; after all, it's a god's weapon.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kratos at the hands of Ares in the first game. He escapes the underworld, though, and gets him back for it in the final battle.
    • This actually happens a lot in cutscenes and action commands. Special mention to the Blade of Olympus, as most of the plot-relevant impalments happen on that.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The Blades of Chaos/Athena/Exile. Dual swords that catch fire when swung and are attached to chains that are seared onto Kratos' arms. Kratos will hurt tear a nice gash into himself if he ever fails to catch his swords on the way back.
  • Incoming Ham: Hermes in God of War III. That laugh. Just watch the boss fight in all its glory.
    • And Poseidon:
    "You challenge ME, mortal? A GOD of OLYMPUS?!"
    • Atlas in God of War II:
    "WHO breaks my CHAINS OF TORMENT?!"
    • Helios sounds like a Sunny Delight commercial:
    FEEL THE POWER OF THE SUN!!!
  • Inescapable Ambush: Red barriers with a wolf's head appear to lock Kratos in to a certain area until he kills all the enemies.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Even Hades has chests full of health and magic power ups.
    • He was the god of wealth as well as the dead (all the gold and gems buried in the underworld were his).
  • Injured Vulnerability: Many enemies can't be grabbed till you soften them up.
  • The Insomniac: The whole reason Kratos agrees to serve the gods in the first place is because he believes it will rid him of the nightmares that started after he crossed the Moral Event Horizon by murdering his wife and child. After he kills Ares, he believes the gods will fulfill their end of the bargain. They don't.
    Athena: Your sins are forgiven. But we never promised to remove your nightmares. No man, no god, could ever forget the terrible things you have done.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Given Kratos' immense strength and agility it can be quite noticeable when the Kratos is unable to get somewhere a normal human could reach or is blocked by a barrier that seems much more fragile than ones he's smashed though already.
  • Ironic Echo: Gaia telling Kratos he was just a means to an end after both get knocked down Olympus and Kratos falls off her. After Kratos makes his way out of Hades and back up the mountain. He meets up with her and throws the words back in her face before personally knocking her down the mountain again.
    • The ending of God of War III has a version of this. During the mind trip caused by Zeus, Kratos repeats his opening line from the first game.
      • Then, after finally killing Zeus, Kratos says a few lines from earlier in the game and in previous games to Athena.
      • (after Athena says she trusts Kratos) "You shouldn't." This was his response to Pandora's trust earlier.
      • "I owe you nothing." Said at the start of God of War 2.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: "The End Begins".
  • It's All About Me: Kratos is selfish beyond belief. The world very nearly collapses as a result of his actions, it's nothing he cares about as long as he gets what he wants.
  • Jaw Breaker: Kratos finishes Cerberus this way, in order to steal the artifact held within its mouth.
  • Jerk Ass: Ostentatiously Kratos. The only thing he ever thinks about is "My vengeance, my vengeance!", he does nothing for no one and usually kills everyone around him, enemy or not. Every one of his actions usually makes things worse and for most the gods he's killed untold many died as a direct consequence. Can be even more jarring if you stop to think about it for a while and notice that, despite his enormous levels of jerkassery, Kratos is still labeled as ideal by some characters! It's true that Greek "heroes" behaved like huge jerkasses more than once, but Kratos takes it further.
  • Jerk Ass Gods: Many of the Greek gods, especially Ares and Zeus, are total assholes. To be fair, however, the games are actually pretty accurate as to how they acted in actual Greek myth.
    • Exceptions include Athena at least, until the end of III, Hephaestus, and Artemis. Hades probably counts as well, seeing as he only attacks you after reminding you that you've killed his niece, his brother and his wife.
    • Hades? He's hardly a nice guy. Sure his hatred for Kratos is justified but you forget that he kidnaps his niece and forces her to become his wife and when her mother demands her return, Hades tricks her into eating fruit from the underworld ensuring that she has to stay in the underworld at least 1/3 of the year. Persephone even hated him and the rest of the gods so much, she tried to destroy the world, herself included, just to be free of her miserable existence. Although Hades isn't as much of a Jerk Ass God as some of the other gods, he still counts somewhat.
    • Kratos himself qualifies when he was the god of war.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind : Done in God of War 3. Kratos loses the final fight against Zeus, and while he's dying he explores his own mind. In which he learns to have compassion for his fellow man, never give up hope and forgive himself for killing his family, then proceeds to comeback to life and defeat Zeus
  • Just Eat Him: This is how Kronos attempted to prevent his own offspring from rising up against him: devouring them as infants! (They survived because they're gods). He later tries this on Kratos as well, chuckling "This will probably hurt me more than you!" He doesn't know how right he is.
  • Karmic Death: Hermes, who boasts constantly about being faster than Kratos, gets rewarded by becoming a double-leg amputee.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Video Game Cruelty Potential notwithstanding, Kratos does this a lot. There's even an attack in both games that lets you literally kick Cerberus pups; the third game requires you to do so in order to solve a puzzle.
    • Zeus gets one in the third game, when Pandora seems to have sacrificed herself in vain and Kratos becomes all sad. Zeus then mocks Kratos about how, no matter much he tries, he always fails, and then laughs hard about it. Kratos is not amused.
  • Kill 'em All: By the end of the trilogy, the only named characters left alive are Artemis, Atlas and Aphrodite. The ending is still surprisingly hopeful.
  • Lady Drunk: Hera. It seems she never took Zeus' multiple meddlings of mortal affairs well.
  • Large Ham: One theory is that Kratos is really being punished for stealing the secret of ham from the gods...
    • It seems like Kratos's script for God of War II in particular had the instruction "Yell every single line at the top of your voice" written on it. He frequently bellows his lines at characters even when he's RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM and they could probably hear him fine if he talked normally.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: The trophy names in the PlayStation 3 re-release make no attempt to hide the plot details of the first two games.
  • Late to the Tragedy: Kratos can find several journal passages from the architect who constructed Pandora's Temple. They don't serve to forward the plot at all, but it's very interesting nonetheless to watch him design the temple, slowly go mad, kill his sons, turn their skulls into keys you use to unlock doors, and eventually pull a murder-suicide on his wife.
  • Lead The Target: Since Hermes is so fast, this is a good way to hit him.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Very subverted in the second game, where Kratos does fight Perseus, and kills him in cold blood. It should be noted that they only fought because Perseus was trying to invoke this trope.
    • Played straight late in the game when he fights and kills the spartan boy who was the only survivor of Zeus' divine mass-murder at Rhodes and subsequent destruction of Sparta.
  • Light Is Not Good: Helios, specially considering how fire is equated with light in the third game, and to a lesser extent Zeus, with his lightning bolts, and Hermes, who has his hair made of light in the third game (in the second he appears to have flaming hair; the character design hadn't settled by that time yet). Also Athena, specially after her "death", in which she became something akin to an angel.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Zeus, no pun intended, is insanely fast and strong. Hercules, when his heavy armor and weapons are removed, changes from a Mighty Glacier to this. He even uses the Flash Step.
  • Like a Badass out of Hell: Kratos does this habitually. It almost isn't a GoW game without him getting sent to Hades somehow. He even lampshades this in III.
  • Limit Break: Kratos has a meter which fills each time he deals damage. When it fills, it allows him to unleash the Rage of the Gods (Titans in the second game, Sparta in the third), which lets him attack quicker and stronger and unleash infinite magic attacks for as long as it lasts without draining his magic meter.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Zeus is Kratos' father. Hercules and Ares are Kratos' brothers.

    M-R 
  • Made of Iron: Even before he becomes a god, Kratos is able to fall from any height and land on his feet with no ill effects. He can take a Minotaur's axe to the face and still keep fighting. He's able to hold onto the Blades of Chaos even when the chains are on fire and not get burned. All of this is justified, however, when you learn in the second game (and the bonus features of the first) that Kratos is Zeus' son, and therefore a demigod. This also explains why he possesses the superhuman strength required to perform most of his attacks, especially impaling the Hydra on the mast of a ship.
  • Magic Skirt: A rare male example indeed.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Ares, Zeus, Gaia and Athena.
  • Mask of Power: Charon's golden mask in Chains of Olympus allows him and Kratos to use Charon's Wrath, a stunning and damaging green flame.
  • Meaningful Name: Kratos roughly translates as 'strength' or 'power'. In the classical Greek mythology, Kratos was the personification of aforementioned tributes as well as a servant of Zeus, sent to kill or otherwise disable anything that displeased the King of the Gods. He was responsible, for example, for Sisyphus and Haephestus' punishments.
    • It also roughly translates to "power with an impact"
  • Medusa
  • Mêlée à Trois: The final boss battle in the third game is a three-way showdown between Kratos, Zeus, and Gaia. Gaia doesn't get to do much, though that's because the fight takes place in her body.
    • More appropriately, fighting the Sisters of Fate in the second game - The last phase of the Lakhesis fight takes place with Atropos trying to snipe you from inside the mirrors.
  • Memetic Sex God: Kratos, In-Universe. In God of War 3, his having sex with Aphrodite turns on her servants so much, they start making out with each other. In Ghost of Sparta he starts having a threesome, and by the end of it, at least 10 girls are in his bed.
  • Midair Motion Shot: Kratos is often seen about to stab something.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Every time you kill a god in the third game, something terrible happens to Greece. For example, killing Posideon floods the country.
  • Mighty Glacier: Hercules.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Manticore appearing in Ascension has an interesting design, having a large lion-like body with chiropteran wings and chitinous plates, a spiked scorpion tail, the upper head and nuzzle of a lion and the maws of a shark.
  • Moral Guardian: If you have played the Japanese localized version of God of War 1, you'll notice the naked breasts of Kratos' prostitutes and the sex moans have been censored.
  • Morality Pet: Calliope, Kratos' daughter in Chains of Olympus. Upon being reunited with her in the Elysium Fields, he soon had to part with her, including a button-mashing game to push her away.
    • The Spartans in God of War II are this to Kratos when he was the God of War. The destruction of Sparta by Zeus's hands is what make Kratos's grudge more personal.
    • Pandora in God of War III, mainly because she reminds Kratos of Calliope. In fact, she actually succeeds in forcing Kratos to see the consequences of his actions, making him feel genuine guilt.
  • Moral Myopia: Kratos is pissed that his family is dead and blames Ares for tricking him. Yet without a thought he slaughters the entire family of gods and previously spent a decade destroying every family inhabiting the villages and cities he attacked including innocent women and children. He doesn't give much thought to it either after he starts to "reform."
  • Motive Rant: Hades gives a pretty impressive one before fighting Kratos. He hates the Spartan for killing his niece Athena, his wife Persephone and his brother Poseidon over the course of the series. After all that, it's perfectly clear that he'll enjoy tormenting Kratos' soul a lot if he wins.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: The battle with the Colossus of Rhodes in God of War II; the battle against Zeus in God of War III.
  • Multiple Head Case: Some of the monsters.
    • Intentionally played straight with the Chimera, which walks on all fours when the goat head is in control, but when the lion head takes on, it becomes bipedal.
      • In an interview with the designers, they said that "the lion and the goat actually don't get along."
    • Averted with the Hydra, which has one main head and dozens of smaller ones. The lesser heads are actually just appendages of the main head, basically just tentacles with mouths.
    • Also the Cerberi, whose heads act as one.
  • Mundane Utility: In a hilariously audacious example, Kratos uses Helios' severed and still screaming head as a flashlight.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Probably what Kratos was thinking the moment he realized that two of the people he just murdered were his wife and child.
    • He also does this in the second game, when he realizes that the unknown assailant he just killed was the Last Spartan.
      • Done with quietly exquisite beauty in some of Kratos' last words of the entire series. "She died for my revenge."
  • A Mythology Is True: Guess which one!
    • Not only the greek one though. In Chain of Olympus, the Persian King face you with the power of an Efreet, a creature from Arab Floklore... so it's plausible that there are other gods out there..
  • Narrator All Along: One-and-a-bit games are narrated before the narrator reveals that she's actually Gaia. The line that reveals this is "[Kratos's] death was something I could not allow."
  • Never Found the Body: The Stinger in God Of War III shows a blood trail that leads off a cliff.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Kratos opened Pandora's Box back in the first game, darkness was unleashed that consumed Zeus and turned him evil.
    • Not to mention all of the calamities that happen when Kratos kills a god in the third game: the seas flood the world, the souls of the dead are released from the underworld, the sun is blotted out, a plague is unleashed, and all plant life dies.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Persephone had just gotten Kratos to cast aside his blades and renounce his powers as the Ghost of Sparta so that he can be with his daughter in the Elysian Fields. All she needs to do in order to win is leave him alone for a few hours so that her plan can be completed while he's playing with Calliope. Instead she makes a point of telling him that she's the villain of the game (Something he didn't have the slightest inkling of until she explained her plan), and that thanks to his actions the world will soon be destroyed, and that the Elysian Plains and all the spirits living there will be destroyed with it. This motivates Kratos to reclaim his powers and save the world.
  • Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot: Pandora's Guardian is a Giant Zombie Robot Demon Minotaur.
    • The Chimera is a Demonic Three-Horned Vampire Goat With A Freakin' Snake-Headed Tail.
  • Nintendo Hard: Those damn trap levels! The Labyrinth in the the third game is especially frustrating.
  • Noble Demon: Kratos COULD be considered this; even at his worst, he does SOME good.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Hera tried to convince Zeus to kill Kratos when he was a infant, but Zeus took pity on him and didn't kill him, and without Kratos the evils of Pandora's box would have stayed locked away. Also the Greek Pantheon apart from maybe Ares would be alive.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown : Kratos is more the god of this trope than he is the God of War.
    • The end of the Poseidon fight, where Kratos brutally beats, mutilates, and then finally murders the sea god, with the latter being completely helpless the entire time.
    • The end of the final Zeus fight. Kratos' points of view while you beat Zeus' face in and the screen fills with his blood. And you can go on beating him as long as you want after the screen is completely red. Zeus had done a lot more to earn it, though.
  • No Indoor Voice: Kratos is not a quiet person.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Kratos' favorite method of dispatching his enemies.
  • No Name Given: With the exception of Kratos, Calliope, and Pathos Verdes III (Pandora's Architect) no character that wasn't originally from Greek Mythology has a name. Subverted, somewhat, in the God of War comics where the Barbarian King (Alrik) and Kratos' Wife's (Lysandra) names have been given.
    • Kratos and Calliope are people from Greek Myth. Kratos was an enforcer for Zeus, and Calliope was said to be Homer's muse.
    • The Novel as well, where, for example it is stated that the two girls on Kratos' ship are daughters of Aphrodite.
  • Nonhumans Lack Attributes: Averted for several monsters. The gorgons and harpys have breasts, and in God Of War 3 the centaurs have barely noticeable sheaths. Played straight with the Cyclops in the first game, which were planned to have penises, but they were taken out.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: During the final battle in the first game, Kratos is hurled back to the moment he killed his family, only to find them alive... whereupon Ares conjures up an army of Kratos clones. The family has their own health bar in the following battle; should it run out, a cutscene starts, showing Kratos collapsing in abject despair and sorrow, murmuring, "Not again..." The Kratos clones then gang up and chop him apart.
    • During one of the last battles in the second game, Kratos is hurled back to the moment that he defeated Ares. The boss, Atropos, was going to destroy the giant sword you originally used in the first game to slay the god of war, which would lead to your retroactive death. If you failed to defeat Atropos before she could destroy the sword, you get a cutscene of past Kratos kneeling in defeat and getting stabbed by Ares, which causes present Kratos to wretch in pain and fall over, dead.
    • In God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta, Kratos runs into King Midas, who lunges at him. Fail the Quick Time Event, and Midas will grab Kratos, turning him to solid gold.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In a rare moment of spooky suspense during III, you have to turn a very slow crank while four Stone Talos statues surround you, who you've been fighting with quite some difficulty one-on-one until now, and you just know they're gonna ambush you. They don't attack until you have to backtrack through that same area about an hour later, and even then, only three of them do.
  • Notice This
  • Odd Name Out: Most characters use Helenic names, except for Hercules.
  • Offing the Offspring: Played straight with Zeus and Kratos, but subverted so very, very hard by the latter and his daughter Calliope.
    Zeus: Kratos! I created you..! And I shall be YOUR END!!!
  • Off with His Head!: Kratos has a tendency of ripping off certain enemies' heads and making good use of them. In the first two games he rips off the heads of Medusa and Euryale to freeze enemies in place while in the third he uses Helios' head as a lantern.
  • Ominous Greek Chanting
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Persephone. Oh God, Persephone.
    • The game actually portrays her as fairly sympathetic.
  • Once an Episode:
    • Kratos has been to Hades or some other land of the dead, and killed his way out in each game, except in Ascension.
    • An Optional Sexual Encounter at some point in each game except Ascension, which subverts it.
    • Each game opens with a fight against a massive boss taking place across the entire opening level.
  • One-Woman Wail: Pandora's song.
  • One-Winged Angel: Alecto turns into a giant Kraken-like monster during the final boss battle. This form is often confused with Charybdis, but there's nothing in the game to confirm the relation between the two.
    • Also Thanatos and Erinys in Ghost of Sparta.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Each game has one of these. You get a decent amount of red orbs for doing them, although this is useless in God of War 2 since you lose all your red orbs shortly after, before you have a chance to use them. However it could be worse - you could get blue orbs.
  • Order Versus Chaos: A very prominent theme in the franchise, with the Fates and Olympians representing Order and Kratos representing Chaos. Fitting, as this is also a prominent theme in all of the original Greek mythos. The Greek gods (especially, amusingly enough, Athena) represent order, while the various forces that fight against them (especially the Titans and monsters like Typhon) represent chaos.
  • The Other Darrin: Athena went from Carole Ruggier in the first two games to Erin Torpey in the third.
  • Overly-Long Gag: At the climax of the final confrontation against Zeus in God of War III, you're required to mash the Circle button while Kratos punches out Zeus' head after pinning it against a rock. Since you're in first-person mode, Zeus' blood slowly obscures your vision while Kratos keeps hammering away at Zeus' skull and you have to keep mashing the circle button, in theory until the whole screen is bloodstained. In practice, this can go on for as long as you want, letting you unload all of your stress until you decide to stop frenzily hammering the Circle button. You can see it in all its glory here.
  • Parental Favoritism: Hercules accuses Kratos of being Zeus's favorite son. This is debatable.
    • The reason why Ares attacked Athens, as Zeus favored Athena more than Ares, in keeping with the original mythology.
  • Papa Wolf: The closest Kratos ever gets to being heroic is when someone brings up the memory of his family. Zeus on the other hand...
    • Hephaestus, in regard to Pandora. He's the only one of the gods who attacks Kratos out of selfless reasons, as he think Kratos just would sacrifice her for no reason than for revenge. When he dies, he begs Kratos to spare her. Kratos later lampshades it to Pandora when he tells her that Hephaestus did as a loving father would do.
  • Pegasus
  • Perpetual Frowner: Almost everyone, especially Kratos. Eloquently shown here.
    • To this day, Kratos has only smiled twice, in Chains of Olympus and Ascension when he gets reunited with his daughter in the first and when he encounters an illusion of his wife and daughter in the second.
  • The Phoenix: One makes an appearance in the second game. Apparently, Kratos slew one of these in the Comic.
  • Physical God: Several of them, of course - the Olympic pantheon is one of the best-known examples of such characters.
  • Planet Heck: Appears in all four games. The River Styx in the first, Tartarus in the second, and the Elysian Fields in the prequel. You go to and from it in the third game, and the appearance of Kratos' brother Deimos in Ghost of Sparta all but guarantees that game will have such a level as well.
    • Actually averted, it's the Domain of Death, aka the palace of Thanatos the God of Death.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: In Chains of Olympus, Calliope uses this on Kratos, when he's forced to leave her forever in order to become the Ghost of Sparta again so he can defeat Persephone. The game even twists the knife by making his pushing her away into a button-mashing minigame!
    • In the third game Kratos drags a woman around for a short section before using her body to jam a gear mechanism so that he can make it through a set of doors. She begs for her life, says this, he leaves her there anyway, and judging by the screams you hear she dies very painfully.
  • Plot Hole: GoW I has Kratos retrieving Pandora's Box to gain the power to kill a god, with Zeus and the other gods actively helping him. However, GoW III retcons the box as not only having the power to kill a god inside it, it also contains all the evils born from the war between the titans and the gods. GoW III makes it clear that Zeus never intended the box to be opened. So why does he help Kratos retrieve the box when he fully knows what will happen if it were to be opened?
    • It's possible that Zeus never actually expected Kratos to get as far as he did, hoping he would die along the way thus removing himself as a problem, or he thought there was no other choice but to use it and hoped that the evils would just infect Kratos instead of the gods.
    • Another one: It would seem odd for Kratos to buy into Athena's story about needing to regain the power to kill a god when at that point he has already killed Poseidon, Hades and Helios. And in the case of Poseidon and Helios, with his bare hands. Not to mention the fact that he almost killed Zeus at the end of GoW II already.
    • May be so, but don't forget that Zeus was able to blast Kratos and Gaia from Olympus, and this just right after Kratos killed Poseidon...
    • Explainable by the fact that both Helios and Poseidon had been injured by a titan prior to Kratos killing them. Gaia punched the Hippocampus holding Poseidon as well as allowing Kratos to grab him from inside the creatrue. Perses crushed Helios in his hand before throwing him across Olympia, severely injuring him, and allowing Kratos to kill him without much effort. Zeus on the other hand, had no such encounter. Kratos's near victory in II was attributable to being empowered by the Titans, while in III, he was relying on his own power and the weapons and skills taken from his slain enemies.
    • Another theory could be that Kratos thought he had lost the power to kill a God after being blasted into Hades by Zeus. Helios can be explained by the fact that he's a Titan, not a God.
  • Plot-Induced Stupidity: Apprently Kratos has forgotten the fact that he has the Icarus Wings inside his Hyperspace Arsenal when he falls from the Mount Olympus.
    • There are also a lot of other places where those would have come in handy that Kratos doesn't
    • Then there's the whole draining your godly power into the Blade of Olympus in the second game. Most obvious trap ever and you have to fall for it in order to continue the game.
      • Well, that or being flattened by a giant bronze colossus! At least you can wield it later!
  • The Pornomancer: It sure would explain why Kratos gains experience orbs after a sex minigame...
  • Power Fist: The Gauntlet of Zeus and Nemean Cestus.
  • Powerup Mount: The second game has Kratos riding Pegasus and a Phoenix, and forcing Cerberus, Cyclopse, and harpies to be your "rides" before killing them in third game.
  • Press X to Not Die: God of War may not have invented the Quick Time Event, but it certainly popularized it, to the point where it could be considered the Trope Codifier.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: Yeah, deicide is really not a good thing in hindsight, no matter how much they may have deserved it.
  • Production Throwback: The stylistic precap and flashback scenes of God of War III were designed by Imaginary Forces, whose Word of God says they are an allusion to the ending credits of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, also designed by them.
  • Prophecy Twist: In Ghost of Sparta, it's explained that an oracle prophesied that a "marked warrior" would overthrow the Olympians. Zeus, deciding he'd rather have none of that, sends Ares and Athena to abduct Deimos who apparently fit the description with his birthmark. Only problem is, the prophecy didn't specify exactly what KIND of mark it would be. Three guesses as to who had the true mark.
  • Punched Across the Room: Hercules does this to Kratos everytime he lands a blow.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I CANNOT CHANGE MY FATE!!! I - AM - CURSED!!!"
    • "ZEUS! YOUR SON HAS RETURNED! I BRING THE DESTRUCTION! OF OLYMPUS!!!"
  • Puzzle Pan
  • Rage Against the Heavens
  • Rated M for Manly
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: While designing the look of Kratos, and various other characters in the game, the art team was frustrated because they kept getting told that it "didn't look Greek enough." They were using actual Greek sources, and doing extensive research into Greek mythology in an effort to get everything correct. But eventually they came to realize that "Greek" should mean "Greek according to the general public," since that was the audience they were targeting.
    • This might also explain why so many think the series is Darker and Edgier than the myths despite it actually being the other way around: so many people grow up with white-washed versions of the myths, and the games are certainly much darker and more brutal than the Ray Harryhausen movies that inspired them.
      • One of the directors of the game justified the changes they made, explaining that the ancient writers were telling the stories in a way most appropriate to ancient Greece, while they're telling the myths in a way most appropriate to the 21st century.
  • Real Time Weapon Change: The weapons and spells are usually this.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Every god in the third game has one to some degree, along with some Evil Gloating. The kicker? Their accusations of Kratos being a monster who seeks only destruction and vengeance are far from unfounded.
    • Special mention to Zeus who mocks Kratos for failing everyone he's ever cared about.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Kratos sacrifices his life to restore hope to the world, doing for the second time in his life (see Tear Jerker below for the first time) a genuinely selfless deed.
  • Redemption Quest: Kratos thought he was on such a quest in the first game, but didn't get the redemption he was aiming for.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Used in a sequence just before the final battle with Zeus in III. Plenty of red blood for the sins Kratos has committed, and blue flames of hope to erase it.
  • Refuge in Audacity: All games utilize this, but a particular moment in 3 stands out. So, Kratos trapped in the Underworld, with a very pissed off Hades taunting him the whole way. He blocks his path with a statue of himself and tries to guilt trip Kratos into giving up by showing him the casket of his dead wife that Kratos murdered. So, what does he do? He turns the casket of Hades' dead wife into a fucking battering ram and smashes through the statue, allowing him to proceed to the next area.
    • Of course he then proceeds to kick several dogs in God of War III, returning to the tried and true tactic of sacrificing innocent bystanders in order to get through doors.
  • Retcon: It is mentioned at least twice in the first game that Kronos (who carries the Temple of Pandora) is the only living Titan, but since the plot of the second game revolves around Gaia and Titans in general this minor plot point was quietly ignored.
    • Although we don't actually see Gaia in person until the end and the other Titans were inprisoned(Atlas being stuck in the Underworld).
    • One could argue that being imprisoned in Tartarus, one of the lands of the dead, the other Titans were essentially dead by the standards of Greek mythology.
    • Every storylines in the extra videos had been rewritten.
      • The backstory of Kratos' brother: Originaly Deimos was taken away by the spartan soldiers and left to die in the mountains. In Ghost of Sparta, Deimos had been caught by Ares and Athena and put into Thanatos' dominion.
      • "The fate of the Titant": Chronos is said to die in the desert 100 years after the events of the first game which contradicts God of War III
  • Revenge Before Reason: Kratos entire life. He's willing to wreck the world for revenge on Zeus. Even his final suicide is an act of revenge against Athena.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Kratos receives power ups in the form of red orbs for smashing anything that can be smashed, which is practically everything. And any time you see random human characters running around, they, too, can be murdered for health.
    • Subverted/Justified in the prequel where Kratos was given the choice of either preventing a Persephone-sponsored apocalypse or reuniting with his daughter (for whatever time remained before aforementioned Persephone-sponsored apocalypse occurred). To re-acquire your strength for the final boss, you have to savagely murder bystanders.
      • These aren't regular bystanders, mind you. These are souls in Elysium. Yes, to progress in Chains Of Olympus, you have to slaughter everyone in Heaven.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Pretty much every single game. Complete with literal roaring.
  • Rule of Cool: Just about every last thing regarding these games.
  • Running Gag: In God of War II, Kratos develops quite a habit of yelling up at the gods (mainly Zeus) every time they effectively make his life hell. The result? They're not happy, and have him attacked by the Colossus of Rhodes or cause The Kraken show up to squeeze him to death. He seems to have learned in this department by the third game, though.

    S-Z 
  • Sadistic Choice: Towards the end of the third game, Kratos has to decide whether to sacrifice Pandora, who has become like a daughter to him, or to save her but let Zeus go free. Avenge his family or save his family: pick one. (Zeus goads him into the former.)
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Just about everything. A special award goes to Pandora's Box, which has in common with the original legend: 1. It's a box (Actually Pandora's Box was a pithos, a type of jar, but there was a mistranslation that stuck); 2. They're both from Greece (Although the God of War Greece contains a desert); and 3. Something happens if you open it (not the same something, just generally something).
    • The trope is then partially averted in III when it is revealed that the box indeed contained the evils of the world, and hope, since always. The only thing that truly changes is that the evils in the box were intended for mankind in the original hesiodic myth, not the gods.
    • Hera is the Goddess of Marriage. So why does all plant life die when when Hera dies? Demeter is the Goddess of the Harvest. She would have a reason to attack Kratos, as well, he did kill her daugther.
    • The death of Hermes causes a plague. This does not make sense, because he had nothing to do with disease, and the god of disease was Apollo.
    • The sirens in The Odyssey resided on jagged coastlines and tempted sailors to smash their ships on the rocks. So naturally God of War puts them in the desert just outside Athens.
  • Sandal Punk
  • Say My Name / Skyward Scream: Several.
    ZEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUS!!!!!!!!
    AAAAAAAAAREEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!!!!
    ATHENAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!
    GAIAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!
    • And the list goes on.
  • Scary White Man: (although voiced by a black man.)
    • He looked the opposite prior to getting coated in white ash.
    • Played straight in GoW II with his "Dark Odissey" bonus costume.
  • Scenery Porn: Literally brought to life.
  • Scenery Gorn: "In the end, there will be only chaos" indeed. The sea floods the land, the souls of the dead are released, the sky is darkened by a violent unending storm, a deadly plague is released and all plant life dies upon the deaths of Poseidon, Hades, Helios, Hermes and Hera respectively.
  • Sea Monster: The Hydra, The Kraken, Leviathan/Hyppocami.
    • Scylla in Ghost of Sparta takes the cake: It looks like a hybrid of different sea creatures, including a shark, a squid, a crab and a narvhal.
    • Ascension has Charybdis as a colossal tentacled fish with a huge mouth who tries to eat Kratos.
  • Second Person Attack: In the third game, one part of the Poseidon battle has you seeing Kratos' brutality through Poseidon's eyes.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Given the source material, it's no surprise that this one appears, most notably in the second game's plot. Kronos devoured his children to keep them from overthrowing him, thus providing Zeus with the motivation to do just that. Later on, when Zeus murders Kratos for the same exact reason, this gives Kratos an excuse to track down the Three Sisters of Fate and kill them in order to gain their power and reverse the event. Even the Fates themselves fall victim to this trope, as they were the ones who orchestrated all of these events to begin with. It turns out, even though they can control your circumstances, they can't do the same with your actions.
  • Serial Escalation: Pretty much everything Kratos does, starting with killing the Hydra and working from there. By the end of the series, you can be guaranteed that if there is anything from Greek myth still alive, it's only because Kratos hasn't met and killed it yet.
    • He met Aphrodite, but um...she was conquered in a completely different way.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Kratos
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Pandora died so that Kratos could open an empty box
  • Sequel Hook: The End Begins.
    • More or a Prequel Hook, but Zeus mentions an "other pawn of Gaia."
      • During Kratos's mind trip, one of the many quotes you hear towards the end of it is "A Spartan never lets his back hit the ground... right, brother?" The very same thing that Ghost of Sparta reveals is what Kratos and Deimos always said to each other.
      • Another Prequel Hook: One of Poseidon's battle quotes is "Atlantis will be avenged!". In Ghost Of Sparta it is revealed that Kratos sunk Atlantis.
  • Sequence Breaking: Entire communities on GameFAQs and YouTube are devoted to finding new breaks, primarily for the three console games. For example, it's possible to beat the entire first game without collecting any magic or the Blade of Artemis. It's also possible, even without Bonus Play, to use an out-of-bounds swimming glitch to essentially warp from acquiring the Amulet of the Fates straight to Icarus (the downside being that you have to play the rest of the game without the Barbarian Hammer, Head of Euryale, Golden Fleece or Spear of Destiny.
    • An easier, more obvious non-glitch sequence break that most everyone will pull off on their New Game+ is releasing Prometheus from his chains and dropping him into the fires of Olympus without having to take on Typhon, as you start out with every magic spell, including Typhon's Bane.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Kratos' swords.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: During a Hot Coffee Minigame Kratos has rough sex with two topless Greek ladies on his boat. As the "action" starts, the camera pulls to the side, and focuses on a large vase on the nightstand. Then the room starts shaking and loud moans fill the air; if the player is successful, and the vase falls and breaks. Surprisingly, no congressional hearings were called on this one. Nor were they called for the second game, where he does it again, and during a battle, no less. This time, the shot cuts to a "peeing" cherub fountain... Chains of Olympus also features one in the middle of a pitched battle with Persians, no less.
    • The third game, however, intentionally subverts this. While Kratos has sex with Aphrodite (technically his great-aunt by strange shenanigans regarding Ouranus's genitals, or his half-sister depending on the version) the camera pans... to two of Aphrodite's slave girls feeling each other up while watching the whole thing. The two handmaidens murmur about how it's for mature audiences and parents shouldn't let their children watch it while fondling each others' naked breasts... And actually, if you succeed there is another discretion shot, as the two maidens "go to the next step" and the camera pans back to Aphrodite.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: most of Ascension is this, as everything in the game that comes before the In Media Res beginning is rendered pointless. The only change brought about is the introduction of the artifacts that you retake from the furies in the chronologically final act.
  • Shaky P.O.V. Cam: BRUTALLY, and beautifully, subverted to the fullest in GoW III. When Poseidon is finished off from his perspective, i.e, You seeing Kratos beating him to death - with his bare hands, for a change - in a QTE, through their perspective. Yes, the game actually has second-person sequeneces.
  • Ship Tease: Quite a bit of it between Kratos and Athena, especially in God of War II. This gets subverted big time at the end of God of War III though when it turns out that Athena has just been manipulating Kratos (possibly for as long as he has been serving the gods) and is no better than the rest of the gods and Titans Kratos has killed.
  • Shoo the Dog: actually made into a QTE in Chains of Olympus, as Kratos pushes Calliope away from him so he can acually bring himself to leave her side again, in order to regain his powers and defeat Persephone.
  • Shout-Out: In Ghost of Sparta, one of the treasures, Aphrodite's Ambrosia, unlocks a move for Kratos when activated, which the game refers to as a "brutal attack." What is it? That one infamous Spartan kick. And indeed, it is one of the strongest attacks in the game, while still being fast.
    • The statue of peeing boy in the sex mini-game of the second game is a replica of a belgian statue.
  • Sinister Scimitar: Played straight by countless monsters and arguably Kratos himself. Even before getting the Blade of Chaos he used one in the comic book.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Level 2.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Oddly, they didn't do much damage if they slammed on the player.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Eerily on-point description of Kratos, though it can sometimes be humorous.
  • Standard Powerup Pose: Kratos adopts this pose when he uses his Poseidon's Rage spell.
  • Start of Darkness: Kratos' Deal with the Devil, in which he promised his soul to Ares in exchange for the latter agreeing to destroy his enemies. In return, he received the Blades of Chaos and the blessing of the God of War.
    Narrator: But he would soon learn the true cost of such power. A cost too high even for Kratos to pay.
  • Stock Scream: In GoW II, a Wilhelm scream is heard during the battle at the bridge.
  • Stripperiffic: The Oracle in the first game with her see-through top (no, they didn't have bras in Ancient Greece). Kratos himself arguably qualifies as well.
    • Outdone by Aphrodite in III, whose outfit consists of a strip of cloth across her chest (which is so thin that it doesn't cover her breasts) and another covering her hips. It also seems to be her maiden's standard outfit.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: GoW 2 provides a villain example The Blade of Olympus kills Athena in one stab, yet you spend the last twenty minutes before that stabbing Zeus with it in both gameplay and cutscenes, yet he just walks off like it was nothing. It seems to work fine in the third game after a final epic battle, although the finishing blow ends up being more... personal
    • The titans also qualify, since in God of War II they able to give Kratos powers, implying they have powers themselves, yet during God of War III they don't display any beyond their size.
    • At one point in III you lash Poseidon's Princess to a crank to hold a door open. As soon as you're through the door her strength fails and the crank crushes her, but if you don't go through the door and just stand there, she can hold the crank in place indefinitely.
  • Sub Boss
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: In 2 and especially 3, Kratos throws his Tantrum Throwing at the events of Ghost of Sparta into overdrive. End result: much of Greece flooded by Poseidon's death, the dead roaming aimlessly in the Underworld due to Hades', a plague to humanity due to Hermes' inthe form of infected locusts, an inability for people to be judged to be let into Elysium due to the destruction of the three judges, and total chaos and storms due to the death of Zeus. Kratos releases Hope, the god-killing power, to humanity, but given some interpretations of pandora's Box, that might not be a good thing.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Scylla. That beast will chase you from open sea through all Atlantis and right into a Flaming Volcano in order to stop Kratos. Not that it will work, mind you..
  • Taken for Granite: Medusa and her sister Eruyale can turn people to stone. You too, once you rip their heads off. King Midas has the "turns to gold" variety, of course.
  • Take Your Time: In the first game, an NPC is dangling from a rope at one point, and you need to rescue her before she falls. You need to solve a puzzle to be able to climb up to a certain platform, and then a Timed Mission starts in which you must navigate an obstacle course to reach her. However, you can Take Your Time in reaching that platform, despite her cries of agony.
  • Tempting Fate: Theseus doubts Kratos could even kill him, much less Zeus. Funnily enough, Theseus is literally a servant of the Fates.
  • Tennis Boss: Persephone.
    • Lakhesis also somewhat counts, and you can keep throwing her energy blasts back at her, and she'll often catch them and toss them right back a few times before you hit her with them.
  • They Killed Kenny: The poor Boat Captain gets killed three times by Kratos. He seems to have gotten used to it.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Hercules considers defeating Kratos a thirteenth Labour. It gets him killed.
    • Something interesting to note here: In some versions of the myths, Hercules was originally supposed to only perform ten Labours, not twelve. He was made to do the other two because he was judged to have cheated in two of the original ten by having help in completing them. One of these two was his defeat of the Hydra, which is killed by Kratos in the first game. One wonders what Hercules was made to do instead, and how he cheated on that one, too...
    • Perhaps killing Poseidon flooded the Augean Stables?
    • In the Novel it's revealed that the Hydra fought by Kratos, was the one killed by Hercules in the past and brought back to life by Athena, who doing so tricked Poseidon into giving Kratos his Powers.
  • Throw The Mook At Them: some Mooks can be thrown to other Mooks For Massive Damage when you use your Grapple Move against them, Kratos will automatically aim at the closest other Mook in front of him, with the "targeting reticule" being a Pillar of Light.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Anyone who knew who Kratos was and still decided they were going to try and kill him, you can hardly feel sympathy for people who go into a fight knowing you killed a god and not just running.
    • Persues and Icarus in two come to mind, Icarus at least has the excuse he's a little unstable
    • Special mention goes to Hermes, who doesn't stop running his mouth until Kratos chops his legs off, and Helios, who could have just answered honestly and gotten away with his life. Still, considering what Zeus would have done to them if they didn't try to stop Kratos, it's a lose-lose situation.
    • Kratos himself. He falls into every obvious trap set for him, though he compensates by being capable of surviving them.
  • Spider Limbs: Ares grows some when he gets serious enough. In Ascension Meagaera has them, and uses them to torture Kratos.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Pandora.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Hades and Persephone. Hephaestus and Aphrodite. Kronos and Rhea. In all cases giant hideous monstrosity matched with attractive human looking women.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The short Rhythm Game section near the middle of III.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: In II, there is a segment where the player has to climb up to a ledge to continue. There is a pushable block nearby, but standing on the block still leaves the ledge just out of reach. There is a switch the player can hit that causes a square part of the floor to raise up on a thin, round pillar, but it falls back down too quickly for the player to use it. The solution is to kick the block UNDER the raised floor before the pillar falls. Like many examples here, in real life this solution would be obvious, but most players would expect the entire floor-pillar object to act as a solid rectangle.
  • The Unfettered: Absolutely nothing will stop Kratos when he's on a warpath (which is to say, all the time).
  • Unwinnable by Design: In-universe, Hera's Garden, which could not have been solved if, during it, Kratos hadn't given its owner a Neck Snap for unrelated reasons.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Kratos tends to be too easily manipulated by both the gods and the Titans. By the end of God of War III, Kratos has finally had enough and sees through Athena's attempt to regain her power and become Greece's only goddess.
  • Vapor Wear: The Oracle in the first game, with a translucent top and nothing underneath.
    • Also, Hercules in God of War III. A glitch reveals his bare behind here starting at about 0:57.
  • Variable-Length Chain: Kratos' standard weapons are two very large daggers that instantly attach to the chains welded to his wrists, allowing him to swing them about to slash stuff at a distance.
    • God of War III gives us dueling Variable Length Chains, when Kratos fights Hades, who has some very similar weapons.
  • Variable Mix
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Kratos tends to steal weapons and artifacts from his defeated enemies.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The game is not just full of delightfully malicious attacks, it even forces players to be Jerk Asses.
  • Villain Ball: Caught by the entire Greek pantheon with the opening of Pandora's Box and dropped post-mortem. With apocalyptic results
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: Pandora's Box was needed to defeat Ares in the first game. It was also needed to defeat Zeus in the third game except that it's devoid of its power because it was already used against Ares.
  • Villain Protagonist: Let's be honest here, Kratos starts off God of War 2 doing the exact same thing Ares did in the first game. He also willingly sacrifices others in order accomplish his goals. He's subsequently killed in the A Taste of Power segment of the game, and spends the remainder of 2 and almost every second of 3 on a rampage against his killer for... stopping exactly what he was told to stop in the first game.
  • Visual Pun: You literally give Gaia a heart attack in the final boss of 3.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Kratos is too Badass for his shirt.
  • Weaponized Offspring: Cerberi in the first game spit out puppylike Cerberus Seeds that, if given enough time, will grow into full grown Cerberi.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Gaia
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Hercules' motivation to defeat Kratos.
    • Ares has shades of this in the first game. His whole motivation for wiping out Athens was jealousy of Athena, Zeus' "favored" child.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Lampshaded in the third game. There's a sex minigame that's played with Aphrodite as your partner. The camera then pans over to her two female concubines who provide reactions and commentary while you put in the action commands. One of the bits of commentary is as follows: "Wow, this really is for mature audiences only!" "Parents shouldn't let their kids watch this!" invoked
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Artemis, who was seen helping Kratos by giving him a weapon in the first game, was never seen again in any of the sequels.
    • Maybe she was smart enough not mess with Kratos.
    • Or maybe she was killed offscreen by a Titan?
    • We never really see what becomes of most of the other Titans assaulting Mount Olympus in God of War III, because Kratos is otherwise occupied for much of the game. We see at least one (Perses) about halfway through the game, but most of the rest apparently failed in their assault on the gods.
      • We see two of them get knocked off the mountain mid-climb, but their survival or demise is left ambiguous.
    • Apollo never once shows up. He's the only notable Olympian god never to, though you do get to use his bow in III.
    • You can find a mural depicting Apollo in the Temple of the Oracle in Ascension, and a later part of the game involves traversing a statue of him. Apollo himself is still absent though.
    • At the end of III, Aphrodite seems to be the only remaining goddess alive. That might screw with Kratos deciding to let mortals handle their own fate from then on...
    • The mobile game God of War Betrayal ends with a mysterious assassin who kills Argos. His identity is never revealed but whether this game is canon or not is arguable.
  • What Have I Become?: Kratos says it verbatim in the Temple of Pandora.
    • He repeats it at the end of Ghost of Sparta, to which the Gravedigger replies "Death, the Destroyer of Worlds."
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Subverted Kratos uses the power of Hope to kill Zeus.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Other than her creator, Hephaestus, the other gods shunned Pandora, as she is really a statue that had been given life. They tend to address her as "It" instead of "She". Ironic, considering she's arguably the most important character in the series next to Kratos, and is certainly one of the most decent people we see.
    • Made especially shocking considering that Kratos treats her with more kindness and common decency than the Gods themselves.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Averted. Oh sure, lots of people are disgusted with Kratos' actions, often calling him out (usually as he is butchering them or about to), but it's not like he can be considered a hero to begin with.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Kratos is what priceless antiquities have nightmares about when they go to sleep.
  • Womb Level: More like Womb Action Sequence. A few boss battles require you to go inside the boss to mess them up. There's the Hydra, the Colossus of Rhodes, Kronos, and Gaia. There is also Atlas, though not a boss.
  • World of Ham: Considering that this game can't go five minutes without someone ravenously feasting on the scenery, it's to be expected.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: "I am what the gods have made me" said Kratos in GOW II; now, if you were to study ALL of the games and comics that take place, chronologically before that game, you would see that he was far from lying.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The entirety of Ascension is this. You fight your way through the Temple of Delphi, to have the Oracle die as soon as you get there. The majority of the game is spent on a quest for the Eyes of Truth, and as soon as you get them, they are taken from you by the Furies. Then, after Kratos finally is free and finds a genuine, Fire Forged Friend in the form of Orkos, you are forced to kill him. Definitely setting him up as The Woobie.
  • You Bastard: In God Of War III, Kratos can find letters in Hades written about him. One is from his mother lamenting how everything around her son dies and that she failed as a mother, and another is from the boat captain damning Kratos to Hades.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: You really can't. Except literally.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kratos usually kills those who had helped him once they're no longer useful or if their death becomes useful. Karma kicks him in the ass when the Titans thought that he had outlived his usefulness too, and attempt to kill him as they try to overthrow the Olympians. It fails, of course.
    • Subverted in God of War III. Kratos actually refuses to let Pandora sacrifice herself.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Hades in III tries this on Kratos, even uttering the [Trope Name] in the pre-battle cutscene. Guess what Kratos does to him in the battle's finale.


If you've got this far without Kratos killing you accidentally or deliberately, congratulations. You'll die in the sequel to this page.

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alternative title(s): God Of War3; God Of War Chains Of Olympus
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