Hades has a remarkable cast of characters straight out of Greek Mythology. Although you’ll meet most of them within your first few escape attempts, one will probably elude you for dozens of runs. It’s Thanatos, the personification of death, and encountering him can be quite a hit or miss. Here’s our mini-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: Meeting Thanatos
I must admit that I’m still perplexed how or when Thanatos is supposed to show up during your Hades playthrough. Even fans in the game’s official subreddit reported meeting him after 30 or 40 runs. In my case, he only popped up on my 25th or so escape attempt.
I’m not entirely sure if this is dependent on any House of Hades upgrades or characters you’ve spoken to. If you have a surefire way of making Thanatos appear a lot earlier in your playthrough, let us know.
The Thanatos encounter
The Thanatos encounter can happen as long as you’re in a regular room and if you’re not in a chamber with a boss fight, a Trial of the Gods, or the entire Temple of Styx level. The embodiment of death greets Zagreus like a former friend, and he challenges him to a contest.
The goal is to have Zagreus kill more mobs than Thanatos does. It’s not that difficult especially if you’ve acquired decent boons. Oh, and don’t worry, you can’t damage him and vice versa.
What you’ll need to be aware of are his attacks. Thanatos can scythe down a targetted enemy and quickly kill it. Alternatively, he’ll spawn a large circle on the ground which does 9,999+ damage on any mobs caught in its radius.
If you do get a higher score in the end, you’re given a Centaur Heart (+HP) alongside the regular reward for that room. If Thanatos has a higher score than Zagreus, then you’ll simply get the room reward.
After this, you’ll spot him more often in the House of Hades and in future escape attempts. Don’t forget to gift him some nectar to obtain the Pierced Butterfly Keepsake (boosts your damage additively for every encounter you clear without getting hit). Lastly, try to give him nectar whenever possible since he’s a possible romance option for Zagreus and he’ll eventually give you Companion Mort (a summon).