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Video Game / God of War III

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It's Open Season on Olympus.

"My vengeance... ends now."
Kratos, from the main menu when starting a new game

God of War III is the third (chronologically final until the PS4 game) installment of the God of War series, released for the PlayStation 3 in 2010.

Picking up right where the previous game 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, 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?


The game got an enhanced rerelease in Summer of 2015 for the PlayStation 4.

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

  • Actor Allusion: Kevin Sorbo shows up. Take a guess as to who he voices. Speaking of Hercules, he almost appeared in God of War 2, where he would have been voiced by Cam Clarke, who famously voiced another guy named Kratos.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In this game, Hercules, rather than the legendary hero most fiction depicts him as, is shown as arrogant and jealous of Kratos' accomplishments, as well as Zeus' apparent Parental Favoritism for the Spartan. Though it was implied that he might still be the legendary hero... if it wasn't for Envy from Pandora's Box cursing him.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Zeus. It's revealed in the ending 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 for Nothing:
    • The previous game ended with Kratos freeing the Titans, with them storming Olympus. And then they get their asses kicked easily by the gods, to the extent that by the time Kratos catches up with them, all but two of them have died.
    • Kratos goes searching for Pandora, to undo the Olympus Flame, and in the process lays waste to all Olympus. And then it turns out what he was looking for was inside him all along.
  • And I Must Scream: The Head of Helios is implied to still be alive - and yes, it does scream when you activate it.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • A Bolt of Divine Retribution from Zeus blasts Gaia's left hand almost clean off, leaving it hanging by a mass of root-like tendons. Kratos later severs the hand completely.
    • Kratos kills Hermes by chopping both of his legs off.
  • Anti-Villain: For the most part, the gods, while definitely of the jerkass variety, are doing all they can to defend themselves from Kratos, who is the aggressor in the whole situation. In particular, Hades has several legitimate grievances with Kratos and Hephaestus only wants to protect his daughter.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Athena's Heroic Sacrifice to save Zeus has turned her into a transparent, angel-like figure. She actually name drops this trope when Kratos demands to know why she's suddenly cool with him killing Zeus.
  • Art Shift: The flashbacks in-game are done in a heavily stylized and trippy art style in the fashion of classic Greek pottery artwork.
  • Artifact Title: There is no god of war during the game; Ares is long dead, Kratos was cast down (and loses his godly powers a short while into the game), and despite his ambitions, Hercules doesn't get the title either.
  • Badass Boast: Kratos gets a heck of an impressive one to Zeus at the beginning;
    The hands of death could not defeat me. The sisters of Fate could not hold me. And you will not see the end of this day. I will have my revenge!
  • Bad Black Barf: A big thick black cloud of something escapes from Zeus' mouth before Kratos begins his Extreme Mêlée Revenge. It seems to have been the Fear inside of Pandora's Box, as he seems to come to his senses in that brief moment.
  • Bag of Spilling: Kratos loses much of his magic and powers, along with the Blades of Athena, after falling into the River Styx and being attacked by the souls within.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the game's end, it appears that Kratos is about to strike Athena down with the Blade of Olympus. Instead, he turns the blade on himself to give the godless world the hope inside him.
  • Bi the Way: Kratos walks in on Aphrodite having her way with two slave girls. She then invites him for sex.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Zeus is still the overall main antagonist and target of Kratos' vengeance, but there's also Gaia who wishes to overthrow Olympus for the Titans, and Athena who appears to be an ally to Kratos but is ultimately using him for her own ends.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Heavy emphasis on bitter to the point of being a downer; Kratos' need for vengeance has slain all of the gods, and the world lays in ruins and total chaos as a result. However, Kratos has also released the power of hope for mankind's use, and as shown in The Stinger, the sun, which has been blocked out since Helios' death, is finally beginning to peek through the clouds again, implying that the world will recover.
  • Blade Brake: After being blasted off of Olympus by Zeus, Kratos tries to stop his fall by sinking the Blade of Olympus into Gaia's back. It works for a moment or two, but he still ends up falling into the River Styx.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The series was already plenty bloody and gory, but this game ramps it Up to Eleven. The studio actually 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 include Kratos gutting centaurs and Cronos, causing their guts to spill out, and brutally tearing a cyclops' eye out of its head with his bare hands.
  • 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 arguably easier to deal with.
  • Breaking Speech: 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.
  • Bullying a Dragon/I Shall Taunt You: Hermes decides to take the time to taunt Kratos about how he killed his family, knowing full well that Kratos is known to kill out of spite and is on the warpath against the Olympians. It ends badly for him, to say the least.
  • The Burlesque of Venus: When Aphrodite makes her appearance, she is spread out upon her bed, being "serviced" by her hand-maidens, her bed designed to look superficially like a giant clam.
  • Call-Back:
    • Helios remembers Kratos saving him in God of War: Chains of Olympus.
    • Kronos has been banished to the Pits of Tartarus after Kratos got into the temple of Pandora back in the first game.
  • Central Theme: Hope Springs Eternal, surprisingly enough. Pandora espouses her belief in hope to the more cynical Kratos, and, in the end, it is the power of hope that came from Pandora's Box that allows Kratos to defeat Zeus, and which he ultimately decides to release for mankind by impaling himself on the Blade of Olympus.
  • 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 Great Chain appears at the beginning, when Kratos is thrown off of Gaia. It takes a while longer before it becomes important.
    • The Three Judges, and more specifically the odd blue crystal on their end of the chain.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Hercules appears in the opening fight, commanding the legions of Olympus.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Kratos has lost most of the weapons he gained in II, while still retaining the Sword of Olympus and the Golden Fleece.
  • Combat Commentator: A drunken Hera provides a commentary to Kratos's fight with Hercules, starting with an almost-motherly "Now you boys play nice!"
  • Continuity Nod: Among the voices Kratos hears inside his own mind are the Boat Captain and the Fates from the previous game.
  • 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.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Special mention goes to Helios, whose head is graphically ripped off by Kratos. It is neither quick nor painless.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The second Titanomachy was shaping up to be this as the modern Olympians proved more than a match for the Titans: Poseidon took out Epimetheus and at least one more titan single-handed, Hades swiftly killed Oceanus, Helios had Perses well in hand, and Zeus easily blasted Gaia apart with one lightning bolt... in fact, the gods would have likely won the battle without a single casualty if not for the intervention of Kratos.
  • Death of the Old Gods: By the end of the game, Kratos has slain all of the Olympians (except Aphrodite).
  • Depth Perplexion: An entire puzzle is made out of this 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.
  • Due to the Dead: Despite being stated in-universe to be the most hated god on Olympus, Ares' body has been preserved in ice in a tomb.
  • Enemy Posturing: During the battle with Hercules, you can attack him when he turns your back on you to start bragging to Hera.
  • Entitled Bastard: Despite having abandoned Kratos to fall into the River Styx after their initial attack on Zeus went badly, along with the fact that she flat-out told Kratos to his face that he was nothing more than a pawn of hers and the Titans and she had no more use for him, Gaia genuinely expects Kratos to help her up when she's later having trouble reclimbing Mount Olympus... only to be shocked when Kratos basically tells her to screw off before cutting off her hand, sending her falling to her doom.
  • Evil All Along: The post-Final Boss reveals that Athena was playing Kratos throughout the game with the intent to take over Olympus when Zeus is gone.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: At the very end of the game, Kratos tosses aside his weapons and decides to just straight-up beat Zeus to death with his bare hands. It's a QTE event, and the player can carry on for as long as they please.
  • Eye Scream:
    • After defeating Poseidon, Kratos gouges out his eyes with his thumbs.
    • The QTE to finish off a cyclops is Kratos tearing said cyclops' eye clean out of its socket with his bare hands.
    • One of the Titans tries attacking Kratos. In response he jams the Olympus Blade into their eye.
  • Facial Horror: Hercules ends up getting his face caved in as a result of Kratos beating him to death with the Nemean Cestus.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In their final battle, Zeus and Kratos are so busy fighting each other they don't notice a very pissed off Gaia showing up until she's right on top of them.
  • Gaia's Lament: Quite literally. Because of Kratos' actions, the world is flooded and all plant life is dying out. Once she returns, at the climax, Gaia is kind of pissed about that.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: The majority of Kratos' 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 him. Once Kratos manages to knock the wind out of him he barely puts up a fight to speak of—chasing him down was the real contest.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: In this game, Kratos can use the small mooks as battering rams.
  • Hate Plague: The Reveal is that this's whats made the Olympians Took a Level in Jerkass after the first game, as when Kratos opened the Pandora's box, he released the evils inside it. The evils then infected the Olympians, consuming them and turning them into a bunch of hateful and paranoid tyrants.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Hades' soul is ripped out by his own claws, Hercules is beaten to death with his own weapons, the Nemean Cestus, and Hephaestus is impaled on his own anvil.
  • Immediate Sequel: The game picks up exactly where God of War II left off.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The ultimate fates of Hephaestus and Kratos, although the latter is implied to have survived.
  • Ironic Echo: When their initial attack on Zeus goes badly and leaves them clinging to the side of Mount Olympus, Gaia refuses to help Kratos, telling him he was nothing but a pawn of the Titans and she has no further use for him, declaring "This is our war, not yours," and leaving Kratos to plummet into the River Styx. When Kratos later gets out of the Underworld and comes across Gaia struggling to reclimb Olympus, the latter legitimately expects Kratos to help her despite her betrayal. Instead, Kratos throws Gaia's words back in her face before severing her hand and sending her plummeting to her apparent demise.
    Gaia: Kratos, do I mean nothing to you?
    Kratos: You were a means to an end, Gaia. Nothing more.
    Gaia: But I must face Zeus. The Titans must take down Olympus.
    Kratos: No! This is my war, not yours.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: The gods address Pandora, an Artificial Human, as "it" or "thing."
  • It's Personal: Hades has a vendetta against Kratos for killing his wife a while back. And his niece, and his brother...
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: At the very end of the game, Kratos goes through this when Zeus inflicts a Mind Rape on him, traveling through his psyche with aid from the spirit of Pandora and managing to finally forgive himself of his past sins, allowing him to unlock the power of Hope and defeat Zeus once and for all.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • While on his way through Olympus, Kratos winds up in Poseidon's personal quarters, and in order to progress kidnaps his mistress, forcing her to prop a door open, which crushes her to chunky giblets afterward.
      • Also, in order to reach her, Kratos has to do some literal dog-kicking, punting Cerberus pups through a portal.
    • Aphrodite refers to her husband Hephaestus as "worthless" and cheats on him without a hint of remorse.
    • Zeus forced Daedalus to build the new labyrinth for him, with the promise that he'd bring back Icarus if he did. Once Daedalus was finished, Zeus tied him up in such a way that if the labyrinth was ever finished, Daedalus would be ripped to pieces. And as Kratos, you the player have to do this.
  • Kill 'Em All: By the end of the game, all of Greece has been devastated, the Olympians and Titans were destroyed and most of the named cast has been killed off with the exception of Aphrodite (whose survival is ambiguous), Athena (who is technically already dead) and Kratos (who is implied, and later confirmed to have survived.
  • Meaningful Echo: Early in the game, Pandora says that she trusts Kratos, who replies with a blunt "you shouldn't". At the end, Athena tells Kratos that she trusts him to do the right thing, to which Kratos responds "you shouldn't", in a more sorrowful tone. In both cases, Kratos is right; he initially plans to use Pandora as an instrument of his revenge on Zeus (although he later changes his mind, it doesn't amount to much), and the Spartan betrays Athena by impaling himself on the Blade of Olympus, releasing the power of hope into the world rather than surrendering it to Athena.
  • Mind Rape: The evils of Pandora's Box inflict this on Kratos, hoping to try and kill him once and for all.
  • Mook Maker: During the fight with Cronos, various skeletons pop out of his flesh to attack Kratos, along with an undead Cyclops that was apparently lurking inside his left shoulder.
  • Mundane Utility: See Refuge in Audacity, below.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The end of the game has Kratos, after having taken his revenge on Olympus, see how the world has been devastated by his actions, and how much of his grief was his own fault.
  • Neck Snap: Kratos finishes Poseidon off by snapping his neck. He later does the same to Hera when she insultingly calls Pandora a "little whore" in front of him.
  • Nominal Hero: Kratos does many, many genuinely evil things throughout this game, including the brutal slaughter of innocent people as they beg for their lives. This includes burning a man to death for an item he's holding, and kidnapping a pleading naked woman and using her to prop a door open as she screams for mercy. She is then gruesomely crushed to death by said door. But, he's the one you play as, so...
  • Noodle Incident: During his fight with Kratos, Poseidon declares at one point that "Atlantis will be avenged!" Come God of War: Ghost of Sparta, released after this game, it's revealed that Kratos was responsible for sinking Atlantis.
    • Near the end, Zeus cryptically states "Your pawn has failed you, Gaia. Perhaps you should have chosen the other one." God of War: Ghost of Sparta reveals that Zeus was likely referring to Kratos' long lost brother Deimos.
  • Not Hyperbole: Kratos really should have listened when Poseidon said "The death of Olympus means the death of us all;" Killing Poseidon triggers a tidal wave that floods most of Greece, and it's all downhill from there with each Olympian's death.
  • Not Worth Killing: Kratos initially views Hermes and Hera as such, dismissing Hermes as "a fly from the ass of Zeus" and simply pushing Hera aside when she tries to pick a fight with them. Unfortunately for them, they end up pushing Kratos' Berserk Button and getting themselves killed anyway.
  • Off with His Head!: Kratos kills Helios by ripping his head off with his bare hands. It's still alive.
  • Out of Focus: The Blade of Olympus. According to the previous game, it's an incredible weapon containing unimaginable godly power, and recovering it was a large part of the plot. Here, it only appears when using the Rage of Sparta, and as a finishing move.
  • Prophecy Twist: Just as Chronos had killed his father Uranos, and as Zeus had killed his father Chronos, it was prophecized that Zeus would be killed by his own child (and presumedly succeeded as the ruler of gods). Zeus' actions throughout the second and third game are all meant to prevent Kratos from fulfilling that prophecy. There is however an additional Genius Bonus that is easy to miss. In some versions of the myth of the birth of Athena, Zeus devours her pregnant mother because she was prophecized to give birth to a child more powerful than its father and he remembered the prophecy about his own end. When Athena later sprang from a hole in his head, the issue was apparently forgotten and she joined the pantheon of gods. By the end of the game it turns out that Athena had been planning everything from the very start (as befits a goddess of knowledge and strategy) to get Zeus killed and become the new ruler of the gods instead. Which would make her also qualify for the prophecy, except that Kratos prevented her from ursuping Zeus power.
  • Reforged Blade: As the Blades of Athena were ruined by the River Styx when Kratos fell in, Athena remakes them into the Blades of Exile.
  • Refuge in Audacity: After defeating Helios, Kratos tears off his still-living head and uses it for a flashlight. It even screams every time you take it out.
  • Regret Eating Me: Near the end of the fight with him, Cronos attempts to finish Kratos off by eating him whole. Kratos just cuts his way out of Cronos' gut with the Blade of Olympus. Ironically, before doing so, Cronos tells Kratos that "eating you will be more unpleasant for me"; he had no idea how right he was.
  • Retcon: The opening has a longer version of Zeus' speech from God of War II, but his tone is slightly more aggressive than it was there.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Daedelus' workshop, filled with notes revealing he worked on the labyrinth for years, during which his obsession with getting his son back get worse and worse.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Unsurprising at this point. To point out maybe the biggest example, in the myths Hera was dedicated to making Hercules' life miserable. She was the one who imposed the Twelve Labors on him as penance for killing his family (which was also her fault). Here, he's her champion against Kratos.
  • Scary Scorpions: Kratos runs afoul of some in the labyrinth, including the giant mommy scorpion, which has somehow eaten the Boreas Icestorm.
  • Sequel Hook: When Gaia rails against Kratos and Zeus, the latter muses that maybe she should have chosen "the other one". And while in Kratos' mind, a character never heard before can be heard addressing him as "brother". Played with, as it is actually a prequel hook for God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
  • Shout-Out: Early in the game, Kratos gains a power called "Army of Sparta," which summons a large phalanx of Spartans to drop in over Kratos and lash out with their spears. After being completely upgraded, the move even ends in a hail of arrows.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Kratos trues to shut down Pandora's talk of hope by showing her Daedalus' mangled body within the labyrinth. This doesn't do much to actually dissuade her.
  • Situational Sexuality: Because there aren't any men available, Aphrodite is sleeping with her slave maidens. Then Kratos arrives and she pushes them away so that she could have an Optional Sexual Encounter with Kratos.
  • So Last Season: On meeting Athena, she replaces Kratos' old blades with all new ones, given the old ones were tainted by the River Styx when he fell in.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, we see the spot where Kratos apparently killed himself; his body is missing, with a blood trail leading over the cliff's edge, implying that he may have survived.
  • Tornado Move: The Blades of Athena's magic spell, Divine Reckoning, creates a tornado around Kratos.
  • Torso with a View: Kratos is left with a gaping stab wound clear through his stomach after stabbing himself with the Blade of Olympus.
  • Uncertain Doom: Aphrodite is the only goddess not killed by Kratos during his rampage, yet her survival is ambiguous at the end due to Athena not accounting for her when saying she is the last remaining Olympian. Its possible she may have died when Gaia's corpse crushed Mount Olympus or Zeus' death unleashed complete chaos upon the world. Then again, each God's death had a plague associated with it. We simply can't say for certain that love/lust "died" to chaos in the same manner that the sun, sky, ocean, and afterlife did, nor that can we say that it survived.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In the cutscene where Pandora talks to Kratos about hope, she seems unfazed by the fact that Kratos is using a severed head as a lantern.
  • Uriah Gambit: Hephaestus pulls one on Kratos in the midgame; fearing for Pandora's life, he sends Kratos to Tartarus to get the Omphalos Stone. What he doesn't tell him is it's inside Cronos' gut, and that Cronos is not happy that Kratos killed Gaia.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: At the end, Kratos finally gets his revenge having killed everyone who ever wronged him...but by that point he realizes just how much of his misery was his own fault. He also finally notices the devastation he wrought upon the world during his campaign for vengeance and he's been changed enough to actually give a damn about it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: By the end of the game, all the Gods are dead... except Aphrodite, who last seen is still fooling about with her handmaidens. There was originally going to be a scene where she tried killing Kratos herself, but that was removed.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Hades inflicts this fate on a Titan during the opening battle, and tries it on Kratos during his boss battle, even uttering the trope name. Once Kratos claims the Claws of Hades, however, he uses them to inflict this fate on the weapons' original owner, killing him in the process.

Alternative Title(s): God Of War 3


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