This chapter compiles strategies for God of War's most menacing adversaries. Look here for specific tips on defeating the Aegean Sea's Hydra, the Challenge of Hades' Minotaur, and the God of War himself, Ares.
You face the hydra during the game's opening level on the Aegean Sea. There are a couple encounters with the hydra early on. In the first, just block the hydra's attack then strike a five or six hit combo before blocking again. Then follow the mini-game to get past the hydra. The second encounter occurs on the ship's deck. Roll to evade the hydra's attacks (or use block) and attack wildly to bypass that encounter.
The final battle is against three hydra heads. There are two "smaller hydras" on the left and right sides of the deck. A larger hydra waits to battle in the center. Battle the hydra on the left and right side; block their attacks as you did previously. The hydras will suck you to their location so you can't concentrate on one hydra; you must split your time between each. Continue to hack and slash away when next to a hydra and block an incoming attack. Get close, use Triangle combos, block the counter, and then repeat.
When a hydra's head hits the deck, jump up onto the nearby crates (left of the left hydra and right of the right hydra). At the top, hop onto the platform and drive it into the hydra's neck. Finish off the other hydra in a similar fashion.
Climb the netting in the middle to battle the center, and much more menacing, hydra. This hydra can blow you off the platform; just climb back up if you're knocked off. Evade the hydra's bite. You can also use Poseidon's Rage as soon as the hydra bites; you won't take damage. When the hydra bites down on the platform, move left or right quickly to avoid then unleash repeated attacks on the head.
When prompted by the button icon, use it to inflict additional damage in the mini-game. Press the Circle button repeatedly when prompted to slam the hydra's head onto the mast. As long as the pole in the middle of the mast platform is breaking down, you're making progress--don't worry about the hydra's health bar. Just keep inflicting damage and successfully performing the button presses. Kratos smashes the hydra's head onto the broken pole.
Challenge of Hades' Minotaur
You face many minotaur throughout the course of the game but it's not until the Challenge of Hades within Pandora's Temple do you face the minotaur. Approach the large door and the huge minotaur boss emerges. Back up and go up the steps to the upper platform in the back of the room. It's better to battle the minotaur from that position rather than down on the lower floor. Strike the minotaur with your Blades of Chaos combinations. When the minotaur raises a hand, roll in the opposite direction. If the minotaur raises both hands, roll backward. Strike the minotaur repeatedly until it retreats. Perform the process over and over again until the button prompt appears over its head.
Drop down off of the ledge and quickly run to the minotaur. Use the Circle button to grab the beast. Follow the onscreen analog rotations. Complete the sequence to daze the minotaur. Run back to the upper platform and use the lever on the left side to launch an explosive projectile at the minotaur.
The beast shakes off the blow and charges the platform again. Repeat the process from the start. If you choose to use Rage of the Gods, use it early in the fight; that way it will have likely recharged near the end of the fight where you can use it again. This is a very long battle; the minotaur survives several projectile blasts. You're close to victory when the minotaur loses its armor and battles in its skin. Daze the menace a last time then use the lever to fire the projectile to complete the battle.
The God of War, Ares
In the first battle against Ares you possess all of your weapons and current magic powers. Use Rage of the Gods early and launch Army of Hades (hopefully upgraded) to start damaging Ares as soon as the battle begins. Get close and, if you have Athena's Blessing, use Poseidon's Rage to inflict further damage against Ares. Athena's Blessing keeps your magic bar full during Rage of the Gods.
A combination of the moves above should take a hefty chunk out of the God of War. You can block nearly every one of Ares maneuvers. Also, use the right-analog stick to roll out of the way to dodge Ares strikes and attacks. Ares will launch in the air and hurl flaming rocks at your position. Use the right-analog stick to evade the attack. Continue to evade until the bombardment stops. Ares will use his hammer like a flamethrower. Roll as far away as possible to avoid. Use the block button to resist other attacks, such as his overhead hammer blast and various strikes.
With Athena's Blessing, you should still have maximum magic after the Rage of the Gods move so continue to use Army of Hades to keep Ares occupied while you attack with various combinations (Square, Square, Triangle or use Blade of Artemis and its L1 + button combos). After inflicting chunks of damage on Ares, orbs of health and magic emerge from his body. The orbs should keep you relatively healthy and boost your magic so you can cast another Army of Hades or, if Ares' life bar is nearly drained, Poseidon's Rage when you're close enough.
As Ares nears death, the Circle icon appears above his head. Get close and use the Circle button to grab Ares. Once Kratos' has Ares grabbed, mash the Circle button repeatedly. Be careful, however, as soon as you complete the sequence another button icon appears. If you're mashing Circle without paying attention to the screen, you'll have to complete the entire sequence again. Complete the onscreen button sequences to finish off Ares.
In the second battle against Ares, you have been stripped of your weapons and magic. Instead of your familiar inventory, you possess a gigantic sword (the one used as a bridge earlier in the game). It's called the Blade of the Gods. You have a few new moves at your disposal: Zeus' Gift (hold L1 + X), Poseidon's Gift (hold L1 + Square), Athena's Gift (hold L1 + Triangle), and Hades' Gift (hold L1 + Circle).
One of the most important elements in the fight is momentum. The more damage you inflict against Ares, the higher your health bar rises. The more damage Ares inflicts on you, the higher Ares' health bar rises. The battle could end quickly in victory, in defeat, or could go on for several minutes as Kratos and Ares wage war back and forth.
Keep your finger ready on the L1 button, which serves as both the block button and your means of attack with the Blade of the Gods. If you spot Ares disappearing into the ground, roll away. When you spot the four spires appear from the ground, roll away to avoid being crushed. Block Ares attacks and counter quickly with the Blade of the Gods combinations.
After completing a combo Ares, a mini-game starts. Press the Circle button very rapidly to win the face-off. These are extremely vital to a successful victory against Ares. You'll inflict some big damage against him by completing the mini-game (which means your health bar rises as well). Exhaust Ares' health to defeat the God of War.
Table of Contents
God of War
- Combat Strategies
- Weapons and Magic
- The Aegean Sea
- The Gates of Athens
- The Road to Athens
- Athens Town Square
- Rooftops of Athens
- Temple of the Oracle
- The Sewers of Athens
- Desert of Lost Souls
- Pandora's Temple
- The Rings of Pandora
- The Challenge of Atlas
- The Challenge of Poseidon
- The Challenge of Hades
- The Cliffs of Madness
- The Architect's Tomb
- The Path of Hades
- End Game
God of War II
- General Tips
- Weapons and Magic
- Unlockables and Treasures