Charon, the trusty vendor in Hades, isn’t actually a boss at the end of any of the game’s four regions. Instead, the Stygian Boatman is a secret boss that you can face thanks to the recent Blood Price update. Here’s our guide on how to defeat him.
Note: This guide is intended for Hades’ early access stage and certain mechanics may change in due course. For more information, check out our Hades guides and features hub.
Hades boss guide: Defeating Charon, the Ferryman of the Underworld
To actually trigger the secret boss fight, you’ll first need to find a room with Charon’s symbol (satchel with a skull) fairly early on in any of Hades‘ levels besides the Temple of Styx. As far as I can tell, he can’t be encountered in that region or in any room that’s just prior to a boss fight (ie. room 13 in Tartarus or room 23 in Asphodel).
Anyway, take note of Charon’s usual wares and you might spot a symbol right behind him (usually the skull satchel). The command prompt will tell you that you can “borrow” 300 gold (seen above).
If you do this, Zagreus will be teleported to a special arena in Erebus. He’ll attempt to explain himself to Charon to no avail and the battle would commence.
- Stun – Charon will periodically cast an AoE stun that stops Zagreus in his tracks for a couple of seconds. This doesn’t do any damage, but it can be deadly due to the boss’ other attacks.
- Lunging Scythe – Charon will dash towards Zagreus and do a conal swipe with his spear.
- Void Clouds – The boss will cast purple clouds that travel from the edge of the arena towards Zagreus’ location. These do tremendous damage (-40 HP).
- Void Flare – While Void Clouds make their way towards you, the boss will cast a Void Flare that’ll home in on Zagreus.
The Charon secret boss fight in Hades is a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one at that. It’s also somewhat of a challenge if you’re unprepared with only a handful of boons/skills at your disposal.
Additionally, at the start of the fight, the boss’ arena will have several pillars that you can hide behind to negate the damage from the Void Clouds. But, as Charon loses health, these pillars will be destroyed until you have nowhere left to hide.
The key here is to stay mobile. All of Charon’s attacks can be safely evaded, even the Void Clouds. However, you need to keep dashing around just to be safe. At lower health thresholds, the boss will summon dozens of Void Clouds swarming from multiple directions as well, so you can’t stay in one spot for too long.
As usual, Ares’ Blade Dash and Spinning Shot will save you a lot of headaches here. You can keep moving around all while ensuring that your opponent takes the brunt of the damage. It’s almost a passive affair considering that you won’t have a lot of attack openings and, even if you do, you’ll want to preserve your health just in case you’d take a nasty hit from the Void Clouds.
Note: As far as I know, the “Extreme Measures” modifier from the Pact of Punishment does not alter the Charon boss fight.
Reward: Item discount
Defeating the Ferryman of the River Styx nets you a “Valued Customer” codex that gives a 20% discount for all shop items throughout your run. This discount will affect the ones being sold in his shop/room, and even those that can be found in a Well of Charon.
Likewise, you get to keep all the gold you “borrowed” to help you out when selecting items. Oh, and lastly, completing the boss fight will teleport you directly to the next chamber. Hopefully, you’ve got enough health and Death Defiance charges left just in case you’re pitted against a miniboss.