You’ve just defeated Theseus and the Minotaur, so it’s time to head to the Temple of Styx. There, you’ll face Hades who is (currently) the final boss of, well, Hades… because that just makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Zagreus will have a score to settle with his father, the ruler of the underworld, in a tough and punishing encounter that’s sure to challenge you. Here’s our boss guide to help you out.
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, uh, Hades himself
Hades is the final encounter in, err, Hades. He’s located in the final area of the Temple of Styx level after you’ve distracted Cerberus. This snowy garden serves as the backdrop for the conflict between father and son, and you’ll find a couple of pillars that you can use to avoid a bit of damage. Be forewarned, though, because Hades has damage spikes that can obliterate Zagreus if you’re not careful.
- Vanish – Hades will periodically vanish in a cloud of smoke, clearing any debuffs he has.
- Dash Attack – Upon reappearing, the boss will make a mad dash for Zagreus with his scythe.
- Spinning Scythe – Alternatively, the boss will simply spin around with his scythe to do damage in an arc.
- Burning Skull/Boiling Blood – This is Hades’ casting attack that’s similar to Zagreus’ own. If it hits, Zagreus will be affected by Boiling Blood (taking more damage in turn). The Burning Skull will also detach from Zagreus and explode within a few seconds.
- Mobs – Apart from the Burning Skull, Hades will also summon armored witches and bombers when his health gets lower.
The final boss, even in phase 1, can be one tough customer. The goal here is to kite him properly and avoid committing to risky attacks. Hades’ animations can sometimes be blindingly fast and, in certain instances, you won’t know what hit you or you’d be surprised that Boiling Blood managed to affect Zagreus without warning.
You can pummel Hades until he loses all his HP. At this point, you’re reminded that he’s the God of the Underworld. He’ll restore all his health and become temporarily invulnerable to show you that he’s got more tricks up his sleeves.
You’ll then enter phase 2 of the Hades boss fight where Big Daddy-H gains additional attacks:
- Soul Vases – The boss will spawn multiple vases around the area. These vases can be destroyed by any type of attack (whether Zagreus’ or Hades’ own). Once destroyed, the vases will spawn ghostly hands that’ll grasp at Zagreus and stun him for a couple of seconds.
- Hellfire Laser – The boss will periodically stop moving and fire multiple lasers that spin around him (seen below). You need to immediately hide behind a pillar to avoid this vicious attack since it’ll do damage per tick.
Once you enter the second phase, you’ll still want to play it safe. The Hellfire Laser is extremely deadly if you’re out in the open and unable to hide behind a pillar. Meanwhile, the ghostly hands from the Soul Vases will be akin to a death sentence if Hades manages to sneak up on Zagreus while he’s stunned.
Since the Temple of Styx is the final area of the game and you’ve cleared multiple rooms already, it’s a given that you’ve found a suitable build and the right skills. In my cases, I’ve often favored the following:
- Ares’ Blade Dash and Slicing Shot.
- While Hades is immune or transitioning to phase 2, you can even fire multiple casting skills or dash skills (Slicing Shot/Crystal Beam or Blade Dash/Drunken Dash). Assuming they’d last long enough, you should get a bit of damage during the short transition.
- Demeter’s boons that cause enemies to get chilled combined with Chilling Freeze. The passive causes “Decay” (a DOT which does up to 50 HP damage per 0.5 seconds as long as the enemy is chilled). Since getting too close to the boss can be sometimes risky, just applying chill and decay will whittle down the Daddy of the Dead’s HP bar while you play defensively.
- If you’re using the Shield of Chaos, you can block most of Hades’ attacks (except for a Burning Skull’s explosion or the Soul Vases’ grasping hands).
- You could even block the Hellfire Laser completely.
Reward: Titan Blood and Pact of Punishment mechanic
The current reward for defeating the final boss is Titan Blood (same with the Furies boss fight). This resource is used to upgrade weapons or unlock new weapon aspects in the House of Hades’ training room. Additionally, beating Hades will allow you to enable Pact of Punishment modifiers in succeeding runs.
Note: The Hades boss fight currently has no alterations when using the Pact of Punishment’s “Extreme Measures” modifier.
Anyway, head to the exit and you’ll be treated to a short voiceover about Zagreus’ sad end. Since the game is still in early access and unfinished, Zagreus’ tale is over for now and he winds up dead (for storyline purposes).
Hades will even chide you for “supposedly” defeating him. That just means you should get back to redoing another dungeon run.