Hades, Supergiant’s hot new action-roguelike that is finally out of Early Access, is no walk in the park. I’ve been playing the Nintendo Switch version and it’s definitely kicking my ass, but in a good way. Each run I get a little bit stronger, or I learn something I can take with me on every subsequent run. And like any game like Hades, the natural bottlenecks come in the form of boss battles. As you make your way through the game’s first area, Tartarus, you’ll encounter Megaera the Fury before anyone else. And she’s a brutal crash course in the fundamentals.

Hades Megaera the Fury Guide

This boss fight is all about making sure you have the Hades fundamentals down pat. You’ll need to know when to dodge, when to run, where to step, when to attack, and when to back off. You’ll also encounter new kinds of attacks and effects, preparing you for the trials ahead. The toughest part, however, is the war of attrition you’ll be facing as a new player. It gets easier over time, but if you want to win your first encounter with Megaera you’re going to have to work for it.

Related: Hades Beginners’ Guide

Phase One

The fight against Megaera starts pretty simple. She winds up and dashes at you, in a straight line, and has enough of a visual tell that you can dash out of the way yourself. You just need to make sure you aren’t backing yourself into a corner, or dashing into the spike trap square on either side of the room. If she stops and kind of reaches upwards a bit, she’s about to do a spinning attack that comes out fast and covers a wide area of effect. It’s easy to get caught here with your pants down, so make sure you’re ready to react. There’s enough startup to get out of the way, but only enough for you to react to her brief windup.

Phase Two

Once you do some damage Megaera will start summoning mobs, which will get in your way, try to get cheap shots in, and divide your attention with additional visual noise. At first the adds will be the more lumbering Thugs, but the bullet-shooting Witches will eventually come into the mix too. As the fight goes on, the adds will come in greater numbers. Megaera will also use a new attack, firing a shot into the air that crashes down with three or more AoE indicators. This attack chases you, and repeats around four times before you’re safe. The cluster of AoE rings will change formation, and it’s easy to get caught in one while you’re dashing out of the previous volley. Try to run if you can, and save dashing for near misses. The recovery after a dash is enough to get you hit if the next volley lands the right way.

Phase Three

Megaera’s last attack is a spread of bullets, introducing the player to Hades’ habit of lethally referencing the “bullet hell” shmup genre. The bullets will pulse out from her in rows, forming a circle of lanes you can stand between. The problem is that she twirls, so you have to carefully follow the curve once you’re in a safe spot. You can still dash through a bullet as it’s about to hit you, but there’s no dashing out of range regardless so if you panic and dash you’re gonna eat damage.

Once you survive a couple of those bullet hell volleys, you’ll win the fight if you’ve been consistently dealing damage. Fighting Megaera is less about pattern recognition, and more about identifying attack animations and knowing how to move around hazards safely. Your equipment build of Boons and Artifacts will also make a difference in how you approach moment to moment, as will your chosen weapon. But as long as you can stay ahead of her movements, your more dangerous enemy is time. It’s easy to get worn down as the fight drags out, and Megaera can take a lot more punishment than you can.

Once you win, you get to move on, and when you inevitably get killed by something else you’ll be able to talk to Megaera on occasion back in Hades’ office. You’ll also encounter Megaera plenty more times in subsequent runs, but after your first encounter she isn’t the guaranteed first boss. But that said, you’ll always encounter her first when you start a new game. So really, she’s Hades’ initial measuring stick.

Are you enjoying Hades, or still trying to figure out if the word of mouth applies to your tastes? Were you waiting for the official release and/or Switch version, or have you been eating it up on Early Access? Let us know what you think of Hades and its boss encounters over at the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter channels!