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Video Game / Apotheon

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"As Humanity's last champion, you must pass through the land of the dead, infiltrate Mount Olympus, and end the Wrath of the Gods. With sword, shield and spear in hand, you will sneak, conspire, loot, and battle your way through majestic palaces and chthonic depths as you climb toward godhood."
AlienTrap, Game description

Apotheon is a 2D epic heavily based on Greek Mythology. It is a Hack and Slash, with Platformer elements and its art style beautifully mimics the black-figure art style that is most commonly related to the pottery of Ancient Greece. If you are even moderately familiar with Ancient Greek art, you will find its representations are very similar to those of the original pieces, as their attention to detail seeps in the majestic representations that permeate the entire game's style. For those not familiar with Ancient Greek art, it means that there is a healthy amount of penises and breasts to look forward to.

As the very name of the game suggests, your task is to ascend to godhood. This means that your character, Nikandreos, will join the likes of Hercules, The Roman Emperors, George Washington, and The Flying Spaghetti Monster. This task is spurred by the decree of Zeus, who gets tired of humanity's flaws and decides to end their lives. Nikandreos rises up to the challenge of stabbing the gods for their powers, or taking the powers of a host of deities for his own in order to challenge Zeus and save humanity.

Hera, Demeter, Hades, Ares, Hermes, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, and a whole slew of mythological beasts and deities appear throughout the game to be convinced by Nikandreos to relinquish their powers to him for the good of humanity. And if not to him, then to whatever weapon he chooses to wield at the moment. Nikandreos is particularly poignant in getting the point across via a liberal application of Blast Jars, Greek Fire, Xyphos, Sarrissa, Sagaris, or Clubs. As seen in the names of things and the narrative, the work is definitely deeply steeped in the knowledge of myths and Ancient Greece in general.

The game was released on Steam and the Playstation Network on February 3rd, 2015, and it was made by Alien Trap Games.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Action Girl: Artemis, as the Goddess of the Hunt, is the most renowned archer and eager to meet someone with enough skill to impress her.
  • Action-Adventure: Combining puzzle elements and a fast paced combat mechanic, Apotheon easily fits in this genre
  • All There in the Manual: There is no manual. However, the stones one can read before entering every area of Olympus dominated by a specific deity contain excerpts from classical works of Ancient Greek literature (such as the Iliad and Prometheus Bound), detailing the life of the Deity or creature you are about to face.
  • Alpha Bitch: Hera can definitely come off as this in many occasions.
  • Anything That Moves: Apollo pursued Daphne, a water nymph. Her transformation into a laurel tree did not damper his enthusiasm. Cue Squick.
  • Art Game: The specificity of its visual style could easily qualify it as thus, given how happy they are to keep to a thematic.
  • Art Imitates Art: The game's art style mimics "black figures" pottery from Ancient Greece.
  • Armour Is Useless: No, it's really not. With the exception of the Final Boss, who has more health than you despite the fact that he's naked as a jaybird, while you're in full armour. This would be justified by Zeus being, well, Zeus except for the fact that Nikandreos is a god too at that point.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: A few of them. All in Hades.
  • Attack Of The50ft Whatever: Several of the bosses are plus-sized, include Brontes, Poseidon, both Ephialtes and Otus and Zeus in his final form
  • Big Good: Hera, of all people. It's Zig-Zagged throughout the game. It looks like she's betraying you when she sics the guards on you, but afterwards she reveals that she had to do that to deflect Zeus's suspicions. At the end of the game, you're powerful enough where you can just leave her to rot as you hunt down Zeus, or gib her with his lightning in one hit. The latter even implies she was just using you the whole time, but you became too powerful for her to control.
  • Blackout Basement:
    • Apollo's boss-fight is a variation. The room is dark, except for the glow provided by Apollo's fiery attacks.
    • The Hades level is perpetually dark, and requires you to use the torch or another light-giving item to see your way forward.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All of humanity is killed, but so are the deities that would slay them. Nikandreos, having ascended to godhood, sets about recreating humanity from clay.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Ares. He's one of the few gods looking forward to your fight instead of considering you as a particularly bothersome insect.
    • Artemis too is looking for a worthy hunt.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Zeus wields these, of course. And after you kill him, SO CAN YOU!
  • Boom, Headshot!:It's the only way to hurt the largest bosses.
  • Born as an Adult: When mentioned in one of the background stones you can read, you read the myth of Pallas Athena being born, fully formed and armed, from…the forehead of Zeus.
  • Cat-and-Mouse Boss: Artemis. You get turned into a deer and must hit the four shrines in her stage before she kills you. If you succeed, it's her turn to get polymorphed and you get to fill her with as many arrows as you want.
  • Civil Warcraft: Many of the gods disagree with the edict of Zeus, and either refuse to fight you, or are actually working subversively against him. Hermes was already found out, and sent by Zeus to Tartarus. Instead of him, you only find his Caduceus.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Hera. But it is not as if she is without mercy, and Zeus really is a Jerkass, so it is not as if she is wholly wrong
  • Continuity Nod: While climbing to confront Zeus, he narrates the “Five Ages of Man” as described by Hesiod, and locates you within the Iron Age. He is not a big fan of the Iron Age narrative.
  • Cool Car: The Chariot of Apollo.
  • Cowardly Boss: The Direwolf runs every few times you hit it.
  • Creation Myth: The Greek one, of course. Mentioned several times throughout the game, and particularly when Prometheus Bound is read about.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Gods deliver one to humanity. They remove the sun, plunging the world into darkness. Remove spring and crops, starving them, and remove the animals from the earth, to keep them from hunting. Then the earthquakes, floods, strategic assaults from supernatural soldiers and thunderbolts begin.
  • Cyclops: Smaller ones act as enforcers for the heavenly armies, and Brontes, a 50ft cyclops makes an appearance as well.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: A lot of the gods. Hephaestus and Hera, Zeus and Apollo, Thetis and Hera, Aphrodite and Zeus... Consider how common it is for gods to be jerkasses to each other though and this is a given.
  • Damage Reduction: Armor and Potions can reduce the damage input you take. You find armor in chests.
  • Death by Irony: Artemis, goddess of the hunt, ends up being turned into a deer, hunted down and finally killed by Nikandreos.
  • Dragon Ascendant: A morally-inverted example, as Nikandreos become this to Hera by the end of the game.
    Zeus: I speak to your pawn, whose power has far outstripped your ability to wield him.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Nikandreos is an average mortal who ends up as the strongest of the gods.
  • Divine Parentage: And it's not Zeus' fault this time! Quite the opposite actually: Hera bore Nikandreos specifically to kill Zeus.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: Chairs. Tables. Armoires. Food. Plants. They are all clearly envoys of the gods sent to destroy humanity and Nikandreos will have none of that
  • Doomed Hometown: It never stood a chance, really. Poor Dion.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: They were never trying to be subtle at all, but truly, the Greek creativity shows in the many different ways they find to refer to genitalia.
  • Dug Too Deep: There is a cave in one of the Islands of Poseidon. There are monsters and chunks of gold inside it.
  • Graceful Loser: Athena surrenders after you beat her trials, and even reconsiders her previous stance on humanity.
  • Go for the Eye: Cyclops are vulnerable to this, naturally. It's the only way you can hurt Brontes.
  • End of an Age: Specifically, the Iron Age.
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: Twice in quick succession. After defeating Zeus, You get his thunderbolts and rampage your way through what's left of his army with them. After you return to Dion, you finally Ascend to godhood in order to match Zeus in one final beatdown.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Averted, as it sticks to the roots. Hades barely even appears, and more importance is given to Persephone, his spouse, as you need her powers of spring to allow earth to grow food.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: By the end of the game humanity gets completely wiped out. Nikandreos ends up creating a new human being from clay.
  • Eye Scream: You must defeat the Cyclops by attacking their single eye.
  • Fantasy Video Games: Between the chimeras, the gods, the witches and other mythological monsters, it is hard not to grasp the fantasy element of this game.
  • Father Neptune: He's here, and he hates your tiny mortal face.
  • Fantastic Racism: The gods and demigods look down upon humans. Poseidon is particularly vehement to the point of believing that Zeus should have wiped out humanity in the first place. Even Hera can't stop herself from referring to you as a lesser being!
  • Final Boss Preview: As you ascend to the highest peak of Mount Olympus, Zeus pelts you with thunder and lightning.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Thetis mentions that there are beings older and more powerful than the gods. She provides you a boat that will allow you to avoid being sunk easily into the sea by Poseidon.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: During the part where you're escaping from the Vault of Evening, you can find some lore near the exit that talks about the Cyclopes. As soon as you enter the next room, you come face-to-face with one.
  • Forced Transformation: The myth of Actaeon is recreated in the fight against Artemis. She turns Nikandreos into a stag, who is forced to flee from her until he manages to turn HER into a deer. The two are alternatively turned into prey and hunter several times, until Nikandreos manages to hunt down and kill the goddess of the Hunt.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Myth of Athena says that Zeus swallows her mother, Metis, because it was prophesied that their spawn could topple him. In the end, it is the reflecting shield, enchanted by Athena, which allows you to defeat Zeus
    • Zeus mentioned that humans were created out of clay. At the end of the game Nikandreos forms a man out of clay and gives him life.
  • Forged by the Gods: Loads of things. Even Hephaestus appears, forging things. And his power allows you to better benefit from armor.
  • Final Solution: Zeus's goal, due to being disgusted with humanity's continued downfall. Poseidon agrees, and is angered he didn't do it sooner!
  • Friendly Fireproof: You can summon allies with a few items, such as Bone Dust. They are immune to whatever damage you cause them.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: More than a few enemies will attack you in the nude. Given the art style it makes sense.
  • Fun Personified: You just met Bacchus! IT IS TIME FOR A DRINKING CONTEST! Of course, he does it so everyone else but Nikandreos is knocked out and he can have a safe chat with him
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Averted. The game goes to length to explain how, and why a mere mortal can topple gods, and even best the God of War himself at fighting. In the Iliad, the only mortal ever to wound Ares was Diomedes, whose spear was specifically enchanted by Athena with an ability to wound Gods. You fight Diomedes and collect his spear in order to be able to attack Ares in the first place
  • Genre Throwback: The art style imitates the Greek Art pottery style of black figures, so the prominent colors are Orange and Black.
  • Gladiator Games: Ares has these. Constantly. All the time. Ares likes fighting.
  • Götterdämmerung: During his quest Nikandreos ends up killing all the major gods and goddesses of the greek pantheon. At the end of the game the world is in ruin, humanity has been wiped out and the deities have been destroyed. Wandering in this desolation, Nikandreos finds some clay and rubble and form a new human being and gives it life, possibly signaling the rebirth of humanity in a world where the gods don't exist anymore.
  • Guide Dang It!: Although the game introduces hints in the background, many critics have described the game as having a “clunky” battle system.
  • Have You Seen My God?: Though mentioned briefly, The Titans make no appearance. Also for a game where revenge features prominently, the Furies shine for their absence.
  • Hero of Another Story: There are plenty of mentions of other heroes. Diomedes, for one, even appears. Diomedes is a very relevant hero on the siege of Troy.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: It appears often. Returning the favor is the manner that allows you to defeat Artemis, Zeus, Ares and convince Aphrodite to aid you.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Zeus toward Hera. On one hand, he's a genocidal Jerkass God, habitually cheats on her, and has chained her up within his fortress at the end of the game. On the other hand her vengeance is quite excessive even by greek standards:
    Zeus: My cow-eyed queen may have set you loose on my siblings, my children... her children, her siblings... That she would sink to such depravity is unforgivable.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • Greek Fire, Blast Jars, Oil Jars, and Torches all explode and provide natural lighting. Flailing bodies running around frantically count as natural lighting, by the way.
    • Apollo is also a fan, as you will find to your cost in the Boss Fight.
  • Kill the God: Your mission statement, and quite a successful one considering that 5 (6 if you kill Hera) deities fall by your hand by the end of the game. And that's just the major deities, not counting all the minor gods and monstrosities of divine origin.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Despite being a 2d world, limbs do tend to gush a great amount of blood. Normal attacks also tend to divorce the limbs or the head from the rest of the body.
  • Make My Monster Grow: A mutual example. Zeus grows to giant size for the final battle, and Nikandreos follows suit.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Appropriately for a work whose visual style is derived from Greek art, the game doesn't shy away from depicting fully nude male deities and giants – to say nothing of the Satyrs.
  • Mobile Maze: Athena's sanctuary is a series of constantly rotating chambers, making it tricky to jump from door to door.
  • Mirror Boss: Zeus's final form. Downplayed in that he has a spear while you have a sword, but you're otherwise equally matched to the point of both being giant gods at this point, with the victor decided by sword/spear-play alone.
  • Ms Fan Service: If you consider the art style sexy, then Aphrodite will not disappoint. The Nymphs also enjoy frolicking around naked. The Full-Frontal Assault is not limited to males either.
  • Heroic Mime: Nikandreos seems to be out of words for all he has witnessed, for he never utters anything.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Zeus. Ares. Artemis. Apollo. Poseidon.
  • Neglectful Precursors: Poseidon, as well as other deities, were looking forward to screwing up humanity. Regardless of how much they enjoyed having sex with them.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Which would explain why everyone in this Greek place has an English accent.
  • Nude Nature Dance: The nymphs in the Forest of Artemis are completely nude and dance gracefully as they move.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Chimera, which you fight in the realm of Artemis.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: You make a visit to the realm of Hades, eventually. In here, the spirit of the dead walk around, craving the warmth they have not felt since they died. Touching them is... inadvisable.
  • Offing the Offspring: Hera by proxy to Ares, who is her son and dies by Nikandreos's hands. Zeus calls her out for this.
  • Passing the Torch: Or rather, “prying the torch off their cold, dead hands”.
  • Pet the Dog: Not all of the gods are sympathetic to the death of all humans. Hermes, Aphrodite, Dionysus and Demeter pity humanity, but for different reasons. Hephaestus appears largely indifferent.
  • Pendulum of Death: spinning pendulums make frequent appearances in both Ares and Athena's levels.
  • Physical God: The gods in the game are powerful beings that can sustain incredibly amount of damages that could easily kill a mortal. Despite this, they can still be killed. When they die, their bodies vanish in a puff of light-filled smoke.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • Zeus: first you need to use the lightning bolts dropped by his minions to damage him, then you have to reflect his own thunderbolts at him. Both methods temporarily make him vulnerable so you can attack him the standard way.
    • Aphrodite: she cannot be attacked, so you have to goad Eros into shooting her.
    • Averted with Athena: In this case, it's more "Puzzles instead of a boss." The goddess says that “Your weapon is but an illusion of your strength”, and instead challenges your wit and alacrity by throwing you into her Mobile Maze and challenging you to find her within it.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: As can be seen in the game description.
  • Reference Overdosed: Pretty much every character and creature you meet in-game has been mentioned in the works of Hesiod, Homer, Apollodorus or any other famous author of the Ancient Greek literature.
  • Rise to the Challenge: Phlegeton is a river made of fire. You need to cross it. By climbing.
  • Riversof Blood: Ares's domain has several, and you can even go swimming in one if you desire.
  • Rule of Three: All over the place. You visit Dion 3 times over the course of the game; you need to defeat 3 gods to get to the Acropolis, and then 3 more to access Zeus's throne. Furthermore, in each level you have 3 challenges to overcome before you can confront the relevant god. Averted in Hades, where there are 4 challenges/rivers to cross and no boss-fight afterwards as Persephone willing gives you her power.
  • Side Quest: The game has a handful. Not all deities are directly assaulting humans, or their realms of influence cannot directly attack humans despite the edict of Zeus, hence you can go and find out what they are up to.
  • Shipshape Shipwreck: Justified in that the ship only sunk recently.
  • Spoiler Title: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, the Greek-themed game
  • Subtitles Are Superfluous: Averted. A good thing, too, as it helps you know how to spell those fancy god names!
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Nikandreos will never drown and can, in fact, even fight tritons in water with ease for as long as you wish.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Swamp that hosts the Chimera, in the lands of Artemis.
  • Tempting Fate: Zeus brags about his past victories before the final battle, and says he will not be killed by an inferior being. Naturally, this is exactly the point when Nikandreos ascends to godhood. I guess Zeus got his last request.
  • The Time of Myths: The various ages, partially the Age Of Heros as described by Hesiod.
  • The Great Flood: After taking out the first set of gods, Poseidon unleashes his wrath, flooding the world by raising the level of the oceans.
  • The Marvelous Deer: The Golden Hind appears.
  • The Unfought: Demeter and Athena are not fought, instead handing over their items willingly.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Hera is sick of Zeus's dalliances, which drives her to empower Nikandreos to fight the gods.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Zeus, to Hera, once he discovers her role in the other god's deaths.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Arguably, Nikandreos. In the end, after taking the powers of every deity, he abandons Hera to be chained for eternity. Or he can also kill her. Even if she is quite a bitch, she DID allow humanity to not die. Perhaps she deserved more than death, or being chained for eternity.
  • Tortured Monster: Those held in the realm of Ares, forced to fight for eternity, count.
  • Woman Scorned: Hera, naturally. Her desire for revenge is what kickstarts the plot of the game. It's implied that Nikandros was born specifically so Hera could use him to destroy Olympus and get revenge on Zeus.
  • Weaponized Car: The chariot of Apollo. You do not want him to have access to it during his fight, so you have to destroy it before.
  • Weird Sun: Twilight has embraced the earth since Apollo took the sun from the people.
  • Welcome to Corneria: NPC in-game dialog is limited, and even after you defeat Zeus, some of them will chide you, and tell you to “Just wait! Zeus will be rid of you anytime now!” On the other hand, they may not know yet that Nikandreos has bested Zeus.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Thetis, a very powerful goddess in her own right, makes an appearance and mentions there are other, even more powerful Beings that lie in the background, paying close attention to the unfolding situation. We never learn what she meant by this.
  • Winged Humanoid: The guards of Olympus are winged humanoids. Eros is also a small, winged humanoid.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Subverted early on; Hera seems to betray you, but she was only maintaining her cover in front of Zeus. Later on, you get to betray her instead!