Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor
1) Kratos – God of War
Those muscles on his back? For murdering folk
Penny-Arcade put it best years ago: God of War is the punchline. All other games are the joke.
If you haven’t played the series, I’ll sum it up like this: Kratos is a Spartan general who swore his life to Ares during a battle. When the god of war manipulates the mortal into murdering his own family, Kratos declares he will take vengeance on the very deity he once worshipped.
Three games later, Kratos has hacked, slashed and dismembered his way through ancient Greece, culling the Pantheon and anything that gets in his way. He goes through Limbo to Hades and back again three times, robs gods of their power and is basically a dick to anyone he meets.
Do I start with the flying god of the sun, or the living volcano?
To say he is a badass is to put it lightly. Every scene in the game is an example of that. In fact, it is nearly impossible to settle on just one instance of him just not giving a fuck. But there is one moment in the series that I feel truly exemplifies what it means to be the God of War.
The third game is nearing the end, and Kratos has murdered everyone. Literally every god he has encountered is dead and crushed under his sandal-strapped feet. He has reached the top of Mount Olympus, slain Titans and destroyed most of humanity. Only Zeus stands in his way, and the King of the Gods is in no mood for talk.
What ensues is an epic battle that literally shatters the towers of Olympus. The mountain trembles with every blow, and the world holds its breath as these gods fight to the death. At the end of the line, Kratos straddles Zeus and begins pummeling him with his fists. The All Father is defeated in a brutal and bloody finale that perfectly caps the trilogy, his bearded face reduced to a gory mess.
Like this, but less delicious snack and more mangled face
Now Kratos is given a choice by Athena, herself already murdered by the deicidal maniac. She asks for him to return her powers via his magical sword (not a euphism, you sickos) so that she can heal the world. Any hero worth his salt would look at the ruined world and realize that the time for battle had ended. That the fight was truly won. Even Solid Snake knew when it was time to step out of the spotlight and let the super-robots fight it out.
But Kratos only ever had two fucks in his entire life, and he murdered them after being tricked by Ares. Kratos tells the incorporeal Athena that his vengeance is finally complete, spins his seven-foot Blade of Olympus around and IMPALES HIMSELF. The power inside his body, literally the entire hope in existence, spreads throughout the globe and allows humanity to rebuild.
Kratos set out at the beginning of the series to murder all of the gods, so when he finds himself the last name on the list he does what comes naturally. You have to admit, his follow through is admirable. At the end of the scene, when Athena leaves in a huff, we see a trail of blood leading toward a cliff. Kratos disappears, his body never found. I hope that he will return in a sequel down the road, maybe take on a new collection of gods.
See the Penny Arcade original here
We can dream.
Adam Korenman, a.k.a. ManKorn, is a writer/actor/army officer living in Burbank, CA. If you enjoy his scribblings, you should take this moment to get crazy excited for his debut novel “When the Stars Fade,” releasing internet-wide November 12, 2013.