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Video Game / God of War: Ascension

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"Many know the legend of Kratos, the mortal turned god who brought down the very walls of Olympus. But there was a time before Kratos became the monster known as the Ghost of Sparta. A time when something other than rage consumed him. A time when in spite of the madness that plagued him, Kratos would break his blood oath to an unjust god. A time when he will no longer be bound in blood."

God of War: Ascension is the seventh (chronologically first) installment in the God of War series, released for the PlayStation 3 in 2013.

Set six months after Ares tricked Kratos into killing his family, Kratos has renounced his service to the God of War... but is now pursued by the Furies, guardians of honor and enforcers of punishment. Kratos discovers that only by slaying the Furies will he ever be completely free of his bond to Ares.

Notable for being the first GOW game to have a fully online multiplayer mode.

God of War: Ascension contains examples of the following tropes (Beware of unmarked spoilers):

  • Abusive Parents: While not actively abusive, Ares conceived Orkos with Alecto with the sole intent of creating a perfect warrior to support his Evil Plan to overthrow Olympus, only to disown him when Orkos turned out to be a disappointment. Likewise, the Furies manipulated Orkos into aiding their work in punishing traitors and oathbreakers, only to imprison and presumably torture him when he turned on them to help Kratos.
  • All for Nothing: In the background, Archimedes was trying to build the massive Statue of Apollo under the orders of the Furies, but when the work was almost finished, the statue was destroyed by Alecto to hide the Eyes of Truth and he died before he could rebuild the statue. Subverted when Kratos, in order to advance in his quest, must use the Uroborus Amulet to restore the whole Statue to its original form.
  • Anachronic Order: The game switches back and forth between the present, with Kratos imprisoned by the Furies and trying to kill them and escape, and the past several weeks, which shows how he got there. Oddly, the powerups he attains in either time period follow him to the other one.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Kratos chops off Megaera's right arm.
  • And I Must Scream: Aegaeon the Hecatonchires' fate certainly counts. For starters, when he broke his oath to Zeus, the Furies hunted him down and put him through the mother of all Fates Worse than Death: having his body petrified and hollowed out and turned into a giant prison for those who followed his example. And then Megaera uses her parasites to infest different parts of his body and turn them into monsters to fight Kratos. Judging by the way his eyes are moving when Megaera infests his head, he's still alive and fully conscious through it all.
  • Animal Motifs: The Snakes for the temple of Delphi as whole, being decorated with snake imagery and needing three massively serpentine machinations to be accessed. All a nod to Python, the mythical serpent slain by Apollo, whose hide was hung in Delphi's shrine.
  • Arc Villain: The Furies, primarily Alecto.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: Alecto's Sea Monster form first appears as massive, spike-tipped tentacles emerging from the waters as Kratos climbs Apollo's Statue, but the true form is shown later. Also, one of the powers of the Souls of Hades summon gigantic pale arms that attack nearby enemies for a while.
  • Auto Cannibalism: During the boss battle against Aegeon's mutated head you end up feeding it its own hand mutated into a parasite. Lampshaded by the achievement.
  • Bad Boss: Castor is introduced berating the slaves working in the temple and impaling their leader through the head when he tried to politely explain himself.
  • The Beastmaster: Implied that the Amazons of Delos can tame and fight in tandem with the monsters. For sure, they can hang on the Harpies' talons to throw spears at Kratos from above.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: The golden staff-lance thing owned by Castor and Pollux can split in the middle, forming a broadsword and a mace for them to wield.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kratos has successfully slain the Furies and freed himself from Ares... but is now plagued by visions of his deceased family that will haunt him for years to come.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: One of the notes from the Scribe of Hecatonchires states that the Furies "follow their own view of right and wrong."
  • Body Horror:
    • Aegaeon's entire body was petrified and hollowed out and converted into the Prison of the Damned. On top of that, while fighting Kratos, Megaera uses her Puppeteer Parasites to infest two of his arms, as well as his face, converting them into giant bug monsters under her control.
    • Megaera spawns her parasites from some nasty-looking rash on her chest.
    • Orkos bears several open, gaping wounds on his chest.
    • Pollux in this continuity is Castor's conjoined brother, looking like a tumoral growth out of his brother's abdomen, and early concept arts of them are even more monstrous.
    • Aletheia the Oracle of Delphi misses both her eyes, her empty sockets clearly visible.
  • Boss Arena Urgency: During the boss fight against Castor and Pollux, they will use the power of the amulet to make the ground crumble, one fragment at a time. Luckily, the damage is undone and the arena restored after a while.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: Unlike previous games, Kratos doesn't gain permanent secondary weapons, but can make use of certain subweapons, each with his own maluses and bonuses, in combat, including swords (great for hitting multiple enemies), clubs (slow but highly damaging), spears (can be thrown), slings (cast explosive projectiles) and shields (to defend yourself and charge). All the secondary weapons are available in Multiplayer, along with Hammers and Cesti.
  • Classical Chimera: The Chimera from God of War III, returns in this game, though with its' fire breath replaced with an ice one.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The Furnace has Kratos navigating in a flaming environment with no apparent discomfort, not even when he hauls around a cauldron full of bubbling molten metal with ease.
  • Dark Action Girl: Excluding the Furies, we have the Amazons on Delos: they are tall, pale women fighting with spears and usually along with other monsters. Closer inspection reveals that they miss their right breasts.
  • Defector from Decadence: Orkos followed the Furies' orders without question... until he saw the injustice in Kratos' bond to Ares.
  • Defiant to the End: Despite being impaled on the Blades of Chaos, blood pouring everywhere, Alecto still has the strength to spitefully tell Kratos nothing he has done will save him from the sins of his past.
  • Doomed by Canon: This is the first game in the timeline. The Furies are the primary villains, and we all know that Kratos successfully breaks free of his bond to Ares. Do the math.
  • Door to Before: After spending a lot of time reaching the Temple of Delphi in the mountains, you're sent into a deep chasm that brings you not too far from the path connecting the Temple to the Village of Cirra.
  • Dual Boss: On Delos, after fending off Megaera and Tisiphone one on one, Kratos has to fight them both together. The final battle has Kratos fighting Alecto's giant monster form supported by Tisiphone again, though they tend to take rounds.
  • Due to the Dead: After Mercy Killing Orkos at his own request, Kratos makes him a funeral pyre.
  • Elemental Powers: Not only Kratos gains four godly elements in his quest, but also several enemies will make use of these powers, most notably the Taloses.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: When Megaera tries to set Aegaeon on Kratos, the PS3 has a meltdown.
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  • Evil Old Folks: Castor and his brother Pollux have usurped the Temple of Delphi and are both pompous, arrogant jerkasses, having statues of Castor being built and placed all over the temple and expecting huge amounts of gifts to let people see the oracle, and both are quite old-looking, though they can use the Uroboros Amulet to turn young and fit again.
  • Eye Scream: The Eyes of Truth belonged to Aletheia, before Alecto plucked them out of her sockets.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The poor traveler who wanted to visit the Oracle is mauled by the Manticore, bit in the middle of the abdomen and then roasted alive when the beast breaths fire while holding him in her mouth.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Megaera is a tall woman wearing a skimpy, cleavage-baring armor, but has a sickly green skin and her chest is made of porous, rash-like tissue from where her parasytes are bred.
    • Female enemies like Sirens and Empusae mix attractive and sensual traits with horrifying ones: the former have gaping mouths lined with teeth, the latter sports black spikes in lieu of her limbs.
  • Fake Difficulty: Every time you received a new weapon or magic, you will often fight against first level mooks with and temporarily giving you unlimited in order to demonstrate your newfound powers against them. However, when you receive a new upgrade in this game, you will receive a new weapon element. While that sounds good enough, the problem is you will only utilize their powers if you either max your rage level which requires you not get hit (Which in this game, is incredibly difficult), or if you waste your red orbs just to level the weapon to its maximum with the sole exception of the fire element where you will receive the magic. Essentially, when you first received it, it's no better than an ordinary weapon and since you couldn't even switch the element, the showcase sections has turned from feeling badass about your new powers into one of the most tedious enemy sections in the game in one of the worst level designs possible.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: This time, Satyrs are employed as mooks armed with different types of weapons you can steal, along with massive Satyr Captains wielding giant serrated swords and a cable hook. They look a lot more goatlike.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The multiplayer allegiances. Ares grants Fighters the ability to deal high physical damage. Hades specializes in the Thief’s stealth-based attacks and cooldown reduction. Zeus gives his followers the Mage’s elemental damage. Poseidon grants the Cleric’s healing and defense skills in exchange for low attack damage.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Fire of Ares, the Ice of Poseidon, and the Lightning of Zeus, all powers Kratos gets as the game goes on.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss:
    • The first part of the game is spent chasing Megaera across the prison as she releases parasites and minions at you.
    • In the first part of the boss fight against Castor, you have to chase him along the crumbling path to the Oracle while he floats away from you, throwing taunts along the way.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: The Scribe was the first prisoner of Aegeon, and keeps writing down everything about himself, the Furies and the Prison of the Damned in order to not become completely insane. His cell is covered in writing and apparently he even wrote on himself.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Averted with the newly introduced Hooded Gorgon, who looks more like a giant cobra woman with a snake-like head and enlarged mouth.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Ares. Though he never appears onscreen, the Furies are in league with him and seek to help him overthrow Olympus, and the plot centers around Kratos breaking free of his blood oath to him. Not only that, but it's stated by the Scribe of Hecatonchires that the Furies were once tough but fair in their punishments, but Ares twisted them into the evil sadists they are now.
  • Guardian Entity: Tisiphone fights with a monster-bird called Daimon which can move her around, attack on her behalf or turn into multicolor fire to attack from above. When Kratos dispels Daimon, Tisiphone is seemingly in great pain, becoming vulnerable to Kratos' finishing attack.
  • He Knows Too Much: In the endgame, Orkos confesses that he and Aletheia found out about Ares' plot to destroy Olympus and tried to warn Zeus, but were captured by the Furies. This is why the Temple of Delphi is currently controlled by Castor and Pollux.
  • Honey Trap: Both Tisiphone and Alecto, wrapped in illusions, try to pull this on Kratos: the former takes the appearance of a gorgeous woman, the latter becomes Kratos' wife Lysandra.
  • How We Got Here: In-between his exploration of Aegaeon, the narrative shifts back to the three weeks prior to his imprisonment, detailing his efforts to find a way to break free of his oath before the Furies got to him.
  • Javelin Thrower: Spear users can attack in melee but, most of the time, will launch their weapon at Kratos and viceversa, with the javelin seemingly turning into energy and reappearing in the wielder's hand after hitting the target.
  • Kick the Dog: Not Kratos this time, but Castor, who horribly abuses his slaves while his brother Pollux sends the Oracle plummeting to her doom when Kratos is about to win.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: As noted, this game lacks a Hot Coffee Minigame, Save Altars, upgradable secondary weapons and Kratos' face is not seen in the opening title.
  • Master of Illusion: Tisiphone can cast incredibly complex and realistic illusions with her powers, to the point that Kratos' main quest was to find an artifact to see through her net of lies and mirage. Her Daimon is implied to be made of concentrated illusions.
  • Mind over Matter: Pollux can attack with greenish energy bolts and, when his brother is unconscious, can move his body and weapons around with telekinesis.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Despite the lack of Optional Sexual Encounter mentioned above and below, there's still a cutscene with gorgeous, buxom ladies with extremely revealing clothing tempting Kratos, with a brief shot of two of them engaging in Girl on Girl Is Hot for the viewer's pleasure. Also, Tisiphone when compared to her sisters.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The master of Cirra's Harbor is a massive Lestrygonian Giant who means no harm and it's there to pull ships in and out of the harbor. Considering that, in original myths, they're described as man-eating savages, this stands out.
  • One-Winged Angel: Alecto can transform into a titanic, nightmarish Kraken-like monster (sometimes confused with/referred to as Charybdis) to attack Kratos on Delos and during the final battle.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Subverted; so far, this is the first game in the series where Kratos doesn't have sex with random women for extra red orbs, being an illusory trap cast by Tisiphone.
  • Our Manticores Are Spinier: The Manticore is a massive black monster with a two-pronged scorpion tail, a lion's body with plated back and bat wings in lieu of front legs and a shark-like mouth. A fire-breathing one is encountered outside the Temple of Delphi, while a second one breathing lightning appears in Delos. They can also produce eggs which spawn into hatchlings.
  • Pet the Dog: It's quick but at one point, Kratos saves a guy from a spear. Also, the way he interact with the dying Aletheia, immediately trying to heal her wounds and even holding her hand as she's about to perish.
  • The Quiet One: Kratos is noticeably more silent than any other games, especially the first game where he spoke a lot. The number of words he said can be counted on just two hands.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Megaera and Tisiphone: the former is the Red, being large, more brutal and direct in her methods, wearing a warrior's gear and sports a more monstrous look. Tisiphone is the Blue, being more calm and collected, wearing cloth robes and hood and keeping herself at bay from direct combat, relying on illusions and her Daimon to keep Kratos at bay.
  • Rash Promise: The game is all about Kratos' foolish oath to Ares, the terrible consequences of it, and the equally bad consequences of breaking it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Castor orders two of his slaves to refrain Kratos, one glance is all the Spartan need to send them running away, which is probably the smartest thing they could do.
  • Self-Duplication: Using the Oath Stone of Orkos, Kratos can create a shadowy clone of himself, which can aid in solving puzzles or fighting enemies.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: When Kratos has the upper hand against her during their final fight, Tisiphone tries to use this on him by morphing into his wife Lysandra. It works for a brief moment before Kratos shakes it off and continues his assault.
  • Soul Power: The Soul of Hades, the fourth Elemental Power Kratos receives.
  • Spider Limbs: Megaera has four, massive chitinous limbs protruding from her back, which she employs to scuttle around, jump and attack in close-range combat with deadly precision.
  • Spider People: The Empusae are women-like creatures with spider limbs in lieu of their actual limbs and poisonous powers. As a bonus, Empusa is also the name of a type of mantises, which the creature resembles.
  • Technicolor Fire: Daimon has wings made of multicolored, bright flames, and can turn into a mass of rainbow flames to bombard Kratos from above.
  • Time Stands Still: One of the powers obtained from the Uroborus Amulet, when used against enemies or to solve certain puzzles.
  • War Elephants: The Elephantaur is a new type of Juggernaut resembling a humanoid elephant, armed with clubs and with blades and spikes connected to their tusks and trunks.
  • Womb Level: The bulk of the game's present day takes place in the Prison of the Damned, forged within the innards of Aegaeon the Hecatonchires.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: When you're halfway through Delos and have almost reached the Lantern where the Eyes of Truth are kept, Alecto's monster form sinks the whole structure, forcing you to take another path.