Ghost of Sparta (GOW) Story Analysis

SUPERMEGAULTRA SPOILERS ALERT!

(I’ll put up a separate post for background info for the locations and the lore I found in Ghost of Sparta, they are marked with a *)

Ghost of Sparta takes place after the events of Chains of Olympus and God of War 1, but it takes place before the events of God of War 2.

Kratos has become the god of war, but he is still haunted by his visions and still has ties to his mortal life so his transformation is not yet complete. This time however, the visions are not the usual ones we’ve seen before. This time he sees a vision of a woman calling out for him asking for help, and we see visions of two young children. Kratos sees a vision of a temple surrounded by lightning in the background and rain all around. Kratos suddenly decides that the answer to his problems lies in the kingdom of Atlantis, and that Poseidon might have the answers so Kratos sets off in a boat and heads for Atlantis. I was expecting the whole thing to be underwater, but the Atlantis in Ghost of Sparda exists before the Atlantis most of us know now.

While he is onboard the ship heading towards Atlantis*, the statue of Athena comes alive behind him and warns Kratos that there are more things going on than he is aware of, and that he should not pursue this path as it will end badly for him (as usual). Kratos ignores her and continues on with the journey anyway (also as usual).

As we near Atlantis, we are suddenly attacked by a monster/beast with tentacles that looks a lot like the first boss from Chains of Olympus…except it’s got a lot of tentacles. The monster/beast destroys the boat Kratos is on and he jumps to shore. We soon find out that the monster is called Scylla.

Kratos wanders around, fighting off odd monsters that try to stop him, and along the way to the temple that he saw in his vision, he encounters a strange gate and the entrance to the temple of death* guarded by the god Thanatos*. After Kratos passes by the gate to the domain of death he explores the city of Atlantis. Off in the distance we see an unhappy Scylla slither up one of the foundations of the city and breaks part of the architecture.

Kratos continues on and arrives at the temple of Poseidon*, which he saw in his vision. Inside we see a flashback of two Spartans sparring with spears and shields while their mother watches over them. I had guessed that the two Spartans were Kratos and another. As Kratos continues deeper on into the temple, he comes upon the woman from his vision laying on the ground. We learn that it is his mother (Callisto)*, and she tells him that Kratos must help save his brother…Deimos*. His mother tells him that Deimos is being held in the realm of death and that the temple of Ares holds the secret to getting into the domain of death. When Kratos asks his mother how she arrived there she tells him that his father brought her there. Kratos asks whom his father is, and his mother whispers something into his ear, and then she suddenly turns into a big monster.

Kratos defeats his mother in her monster form, and as he holds her human form again in his arms, she tells him that she is finally free. Kratos regrets what he has done, and leaves the temple in search of more answers. Kratos acquires a new magical weapon (The eye of Atlantis). Soon after we leave the temple of Poseidon Kratos has another fight with Scylla, and Scylla ends up dragging Kratos away into another location. The new location we arrive at is “the caldera” inside of “death mountain” (Zelda reference? Lol). We are dropped onto a platform surrounded by lava and we see Lanaeus* being a mean guy to helpless prisoners. Kratos continues to search going deeper into the mountain, eventually he gets to a sealed gate (Lanaeus warns him not to continue or it will be the death of them all)…but of course Kratos continues.

Kratos enters the gate and walks up the path where he finds a titan chained in place. We meet the titan “Thera”* who tells Kratos that he must help her because she has something he needs. Kratos latches onto her chest with the chaos blades and rips out part of her, unlocking the Thera’s Bane ability (used to destroy metal). Kratos uses the newly gained ability to destroy the metal guardians who stand outside Thera’s prison and we use one of the parts left by the guardians to unlock more of Atlantis*. Kratos also unlocks the ability to blow up walls that have a molten crack in them which unlocks access to bonus items and also is required to progress in the story.

After fighting our way through more enemies and a couple new areas inside the mountain, Scylla* pops out again and Kratos fights it one final time, slamming it against parts of Atlantis and breaking some foundations. The battle ends when Kratos impales the monsters head on an Archimedean screw. The aftermath of the battle is great, and the battle itself shook/broke Atlantis’s foundations and caused the mountain to erupt. As a direct result of this…Atlantis slowly begins to sink.

Kratos passes through the city avoiding the many eruptions of lava and leaving people to die, and ventures off to the island of Crete where he arrives at a blocked gate which resides in front of a temple to Athena. The statue of Athena speaks again to Kratos, warning him again not to continue down the current path, that death and destruction are all that awaits him, and there is more at play than he knows. Athena again warns Kratos not to let his rage control him…but Kratos destroys the statue of Athena in anger and ignores her.

He continues to explore the island of Crete* and comes upon a soldier who is traumatized, he says he was spared by the daughter of death in order to tell Kratos of the prophecy involving a skull, and he also tells Kratos that death is all that awaits him (and that he will never find what he seeks). Kratos finds his path blocked by another giant gate which requires a strange key, so Kratos sets off to find the key.

Kratos enters the great city of Heraklion* and we soon encounter the mysterious gravedigger who appears in other God of War games. The gravedigger tells Kratos to take heed of all the destruction he has caused in his journeys so far, and not to seek the domain of death (hmm starting to see a pattern here O.o)…but Kratos says no one shall stand between him and his brother. The gravedigger shakes his head and tells him that he will never find his brother, and that death is all that awaits him. Kratos continues on.

Kratos sees another flashback, in which he and his brother are sparring, Kratos wins the fight and tells Deimos to stand tall…then they suddenly see a rain of fire arrows coming towards them and dark enemies riding horses towards them. Kratos fights a great deal of enemies and travels through the forum of Heraklion, where he finds the key he is seeking lying around on top of some rubble. Now that he is armed with the key Kratos heads back to the temple of Athena in order to open that first gate.

Through the gate lies the Mounts of Aroania* which are proving grounds. Kratos passes through them battling many enemies and he watches as one of his servants is tortured by a winged creature with black robes who wants to know where Kratos is. She mortally wounds him and flies off. Kratos arrives just in time to see him die. Kratos continues on through the mounts until he arrives at the Chasm of Solace* where there is a boss battle with the daughter of Thanatos…Erinys*.

Erinys tells Kratos that his brother Deimos already belongs to Thanatos, and that soon Kratos will as well. Kratos in response tells her that nothing will stand in his way, and they get into a fight. It is a long fight, and it ends with Erinys taking her bird form and Kratos chasing her in flight, he hooks onto her and she carries them both off to the forests on the outskirts of Sparta where Kratos ends her and gains one of her magical powers.

After killing Erinys Kratos enters the grand city of Sparta, which…surprisingly appears to be a normal city. There are people wandering about doing their usual business and greeting Kratos as their lord. Kratos passes by a brother and there is a fun minigame orgy that happens there. Afterwards Kratos continues through Sparta until he arrives again at the site of his old home and we see another flashback. In the flashback we control Kratos as he spars against his brother, and once he wins the city falls under attack and 2 black figures on horses come up. We learn that there was a prophecy made in the war between the titans and the Olympians which said that Olympus would be destroyed by “the marked one”, a mortal. They grab Deimos by mistake because Kratos hit his head causing him to start bleeding which the dark figures wrongly assumed was the mark. They grab Deimos and take him away, and the second figure on the horse stays behind for a few seconds longer and apologizes to the young Kratos.

We end up in the jails of Sparta* as Kratos heads towards the temple of Ares…chasing a devout follower of Ares along the way who causes a lot of trouble for us and causes us to be pitted in battle against a Piraeus lion*. Eventually we catch up to him and beat the life right out of him, as the other prisoners in the jail cheer Kratos on.

After the jails of Sparta Kratos passes through the Mounts of Laconia* and fights his way to the temple of Ares. Upon arriving at the temple of Ares Kratos finds some of his loyal supporters working to topple a statue of Ares. The leader tells Kratos that he has something for us and he runs off to get it. We pass through the toppled statue of Ares and enter the temple. The temple daunts Kratos by inviting him to come face himself.

Inside the temple, behind his throne, we find a big mirror and a ghost of Kratos appears in the mirror. As Kratos draws close to the mirror the shadow figure in the mirror reaches out and grabs Kratos. Kratos hits the shadow and the shadow becomes angry and leaps out of the mirror. The shadow turns into a much younger version of Kratos, and he attacks us, saying it’s all our fault that Deimos was taken away. Kratos easily avoids the attacks of the shadow and repeatedly throws the shadow back at the mirror damaging the mirror until it finally gives up the ghost (lol) and reveals the skull necessary to enter the domain of death with. (the skull that the guy from the gate said he would never find)

Kratos realizes that the only way to reach the domain of death is to return once again to Atlantis, so we set off for the city of Atlantis once more. Upon exiting the temple we are greeted again by the servant who had run off to get stuff, and he gives Kratos the “arms of Sparta” which Kratos once used as a general…the arms of Sparta are a signature shield and spear. The shield has magical repellent abilities and is necessary for continuing on.

Kratos finds the old path destroyed, but there is a new one that has been created behind the temple of Ares, so he follows the new path, which leads to the Shrine of Boreas* where we gain the magical horn of Boreas as a weapon. Kratos enters the shrine of Boreas and passes through it into the Canyons of Sorrow*. Upon arriving at the Canyons of Sorrow Kratos is warned by a floating body possessed by Thanatos, to turn back. We don’t.

Continuing through the Mountains of Sorrow we encounter a girl lying on the ground turned into solid gold, and after continuing a little further, we find a very regretful King Midas lamenting his loss and running around turning all kinds of things into gold. We chase King Midas and eventually catch up with him, he has the convenient ability to turn the lava rivers into solid rivers, and Kratos has to climb up the river to reach the next areas. Kratos beats up and then drags an extremely unwilling King Midas to the edge of the lava fall, and tosses Midas into the lava fall, which makes him and the whole lava river turn into gold. Kratos then climbs up the fall, heads outside and arrives at the Harbor of Atlantis*.

Off in the distance we see lighting and a tidal whirlpool flashing. Kratos hops into a boat and directs the sailors to the vortex. A lot of monsters jump onto the boat which Kratos has to fight off, and most of the crewmembers end up killed or eaten except for the man at the helm, once he gets killed then the boat becomes unstable and Kratos falls off the boat and gets sucked down through the vortex and drops down into a surprisingly dry hallway in what is now sunken Atlantis*. A broken statue of Poseidon behind Kratos starts talking to him, and he’s…well…pissed (naturally).

Kratos wanders the many hallways of Atlantis passing through terrified peasants (who make great health sources) and ends up in what is referred to as ancient Atlantis*. There are 4 or 5 statues holding tridents and pointing downwards. The area is described as a power nexus, but of course there doesn’t seem to be any power. In order to move the statues, Kratos has to find automated gears that come from destroying the metal guardians that are scattered around ancient Atlantis. On the way to find these gears we bump into yet another statue of Athena…I’m not gonna give you the same shpeal all over again, the only part that is different is she says Kratos can still turn back. She asks Kratos to forgive her, and suddenly the memory of the woman on the horse clicks and Kratos realizes that Athena was one of the two people who took his brother away. She still won’t tell us where he is, other whether Deimos is alive or not.

We later come across Lanaeus (the guy from death mountain) electrocuting one of the metal guardians in the blue and now apparently lethal waters that circulate around Atlantis. In order to be able to touch the metal guardian Kratos knocks Lanaeus off of his platform and disables the lightning on the guardian, from which a gear is acquired. The gear is used to make the statues change position, you have to find quite a few of them before all the statues are properly placed which involves a lot off hopping around ancient Atlantis (every time one of the statues moves, a new path is unlocked.)

Finally all of the statues are in the right position, and Kratos goes back up to the center of the nexus hub and activates the statues using the Eye of Atlantis. After a series of large zaps the statues raise a walkway that leads Kratos up to the point which he passed in the early stages of the game, before he had the means to open the death gate. We use the head that Kratos got from the temple of Ares, and a number of vines extend out and form a path to the gate.

Opening the gate reveals a passageway to the Domain of Death*, ruled by Thanatos. It is a dark dreary world that has a lot of dangerous fauna and lots of difficult monsters. After lots of fighting we finally arrive at the hall of damnation, and there is an epic series of battles with all kinds of monsters before Kratos is finally able to approach the main door of death* which leads to the Temple of Thanatos*.

Kratos enters the temple, where a very angry Thanatos warns us that we will never find what we seek (sigh) and we battle our way from room to room and through the temple until we finally reach an elaborate sealed door. Once we open the elaborate door we walk into a big room and we find a man with gauntlets hanging down from the center of the room by evil vines. This man is Deimos. Deimos has some strange markings on him and one eye appears to be out, but he’s very much alive. Kratos breaks the vines and Deimos is released. Surprisingly, Deimos is not at all happy to see Kratos, and he tries to kill Kratos in anger for having left him. They get into a big fight with neither side really winning until Deimos rams Kratos and knocks him through the room wall and down into the courtyard quite a few floors below. At this point Deimos has the upper hand and starts beating the crap out of Kratos, and he might have actually killed him if Thanatos hadn’t suddenly popped up, grabbed Deimos and flown away with him. Thanatos tells Kratos that what he is doing is revenge for Kratos having killed his daughter, and then he grabs Deimos and flies down into deep fog.

Kratos survives, but struggles to get up and limps to the edge of the cliff, and dives off it following the path of Thanatos and Deimos. He sees them battling on top of a platform but falls past their platform, so he has to climb up to get to level ground, right then Thanatos knocks Deimos off the cliff and Kratos barely manages to grab him in time before he falls off into the depths of…somewhere. Kratos and Deimos turn around and face Thanatos together. Thanatos finds the whole situation amusing and says that Kratos has fallen right into the plan, and that the prophecy seems to be coming to pass just as was prophesized and that Olympus will surely fall. He also realizes that the Olympians took the wrong brother to begin with, but he just laughs and says that none of it matters anymore because neither will survive fighting him.

A long fight ensues where Kratos and Deimos work together to defeat Thanatos in his normal form, and also in his full powered demon form…and they mostly succeed, although Deimos gets mortally wounded in the fight. Kratos flies into a rage when he sees Deimos lying on the ground in a pool of blood and goes bananas on Thanatos. A very surprised Thanatos is unsuccessful at defending himself against Kratos in his rage, and in his weakened state Kratos kills him mercilessly. Thanatos still gets the last laugh though, Deimos is dead and everything Kratos fought for is now dead. Kratos carries the body of his brother up the path of Solitude* and we find the gravedigger mysteriously waiting at the top with an empty grave. Kratos drops his brother into the grave and says that Deimos is now free. Kratos walks off into the distance and ends up again on the famous cliff (if you’ve played any other God of War you know the cliff I’m talking about ^_^) and just before he tries to jump off (AGAIN) he wonders what he has become. The gravedigger overhears him and says grimly that he has become the very incarnation of death itself, and that everything he tries to do always results in death.

Athena suddenly pops out of the gates behind Kratos (the gates lead to Olympus) and she tells Kratos that he is now ready to become a god because he has renounced all of his mortal connections. Athena places her hands on his face and starts transforming him into a full god but he stops her partway in and starts stomping towards Olympus* vowing revenge for all that has come to pass (particularly for the gods having lied to him). Athena looks up and asks her brother (Zeus) for forgiveness.

After the credits we see the gravedigger burying Callisto as well. He then looks forward with a far off gaze and says that now only one remains. The game’s final cut scene shows Kratos on the God of War’s throne in his full golden armor and he is holding his head against one of his hands with a sour expression, he appears exactly as he does at the beginning of God of War 2, so I assume that the end of this story leads directly into that one.

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~ by kain243 on February 6, 2012.

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