If you’ve been following our Hades guide coverage, you’ll see that I’ve been writing boss guides as I progressed through the game in real time. And let me tell you folks, I was not sure if I was going to be able to come back with the next guide this week. But after seeing Zagreus get curb-stomped by his crappy dad a few times, I managed to squeeze out a dub. Hades, the final boss of the video game titled Hades, is certainly intimidating enough to get his name in the title. 

If you can manage to get past run-killers Theseus and Asterius, you’re actually going to be well-prepared for Hades. That boss battle is a war of attrition against two tank-like sons of guns who only get faster and more dangerous over time. Hades, in comparison, feels much more manageable for the most part. There’s only one of him, after all, and his moves are pretty consistent. There’s only one problem.

You have to beat him twice.

Hades Final Boss Guide

Hades pulls a Gill from Street Fighter III and straight up flexes his way into a second full health bar. So after muscling your way through the Minotaur Boyz and the gauntlet of poison vermin in Styx, you have to fight the beefiest damage-dealer in the game. Twice in a row. It ain’t easy, and a big part of your strategy here is to unfortunately be good at dodging and lucky enough to have a solid build. Such is life in the world of roguelikes. But working in your favor is the general flow of the fight, which is full of big tells and opportunities to deal damage. You just have to deal a lot of it.

Hades uses a massive spear, and the swinging arc of said spear is enormous. When he swings it, you’ll have a brief moment to react to a telegraphed area of effect that appears just before the swing goes through. Most of the time you’ll need to overcompensate a bit as Hades can slide forward just a touch. If he just winds up his strike, he’s about to do a linear dash-type move that’s usually easy to avoid. Another annoying movie is Hades’ vanishing skill. He’ll go invisible and clear any debuffs you’ve applied, then reappear with that circular swing. If you pay attention though, you can see his footsteps in the snow and get away early.

Related: Hades | Tips and Tricks From Prima Staff

Hades’ casting skills can be a pain too, as they impact your surroundings. If he throws a skull, i’ll settle with a 5-second timer when it lands. You can try to deflect them, but they do bounce off of walls while airborne so don’t get bonked trying to slap it back. If you do get beaned, you’ll have to endure a few seconds of Boiling Blood. After the timer runs out the skull will pop and send a slow-moving shockwave across the whole field. You can dash through it, but it’s easy to mess that up especially if you try to ignore them. If you have an impact-style dash move though, such as from Poseidon, you’ll have a much larger window of safety.

Finally once you really get his health down, Hades will give himself that dastardly invulnerability shield, and summon a bunch of trash mobs to give himself a break. Just remember to keep moving here and you’ll be fine taking your time to clear the mobs and get back to the real fight.

Once you take down Hades the first time and he hulks out, he’ll mostly do a lot of the same stuff - just a lot more of it. That said he does gain two new moves, both of which can be nasty if you aren’t checking yourself. The lesson of round 2 is that if you let yourself get too greedy, those extra couple of hits will severely backfire.

Hades will also summon a series of nasty-looking green vases, which spread out in the field. You can attack them, but when you do so they’ll leave behind a larger area of effect that lingers for a moment. Dash attacks and long-range are ideal, but you’ll also have to keep in mind the large, angry spear man chasing you. It’s beneficial to pay attention to the AoE size so you can safely pop the hands and slip by their aftereffects without stopping. Hades can break the vases too, so stay on your toes.

Hades’ final skill is a multidirectional laser blast that will melt you in no time if you get hit. It comes out fast but is well telegraphed, and it doesn’t cut through the little rock obstacles on the field. You can safely hide behind those without worrying for the most part, so just relax and wait it out! Everything else Hades does is covered above, but in his second phase he uses his skills bigger and badder. You’ll find yourself zigging and zagging all over the place , especially when Hades tosses out a whole cluster of those shockwave skulls. Just do what you can, and dash through the rest.

When it comes to your build, hopefully you’ve brought along some solid ranged weapons. Hades is also just as vulnerable to status effects as anyone else, although he shrugs off Charm as fast as he’s inflicted. But Hangover, Chill, Weak, Marked, so on and so forth are all viable. He’ll clear it all off when he does his invisible gimmick, but nothing’s stopping you from tossing it all out again after. Being able to passively deal damage will make this fight go by faster, but it’s easy to get complacent and play sloppy with those builds. Inversely, you’ll have to be a lot more careful up close, but Hades leaves plenty of openings to get hits.

Just, you know, do your best not to get hit. Then you’ll win! Eventually.

And that’s a wrap on the boss encounters you’ll run into when making your way through your first Hades run. There’s a lot more game after that of course, and we might get into the more nitty-gritty stuff at a later date. But for now, thank you for joining me on this journey of stubbornness and suffering. It was fun!

How’s your Hades game going? How many run attempts did you make before you got the win? What do you think of the ending? Let us know over at the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter channels!