It’s easy to dismiss Hades‘ tit-for-tat family drama between a father, Hades, and son, Zagereus. Much of Hades seems spiteful – sarcastic, smarmy, but just a rebellious teenager angry over his father demanding work. Then, soap-ish as cousins and other members in this Greek god fantasy pick sides.
Those relentless attempts to escape, so smartly engaging in play and subtly retro in a one-more-time way, become something more after Zagerus succeeds. If Hades makes a mistake (and only one), it’s reversing the cause.
Lacking clarity in the opening acts makes Zagerus seem so petty, so minor, so violent. The why is where Hades’ brilliance shines, making post-game runs bathed in renewed understanding as to why Zagerus fights so ferociously. It makes his attacks against underworld demons logical. There’s more satisfaction, on top of already faultless weapon design, in reaching for a goal other than merely stepping over an authority figure. There’s a need to understand and a call to parental love; Zagerus isn’t out to kill because of a job he doesn’t like under an oppressive father. He simply wants a connection, one purposefully hidden from him, and there’s more power in that than than Hades initially realizes.