Hades: sometimes your friends are just better at a game than you

Truth be told dear reader, this happens quite a lot. Perhaps more than I would like but what can you do, sometimes your friends are just better at things than you. Also luckier. I must add luckier. Can’t forget the luck part.

Let me set the scene. It was the Saturday just gone. My friend was going to pop over for an evening of football, food and gaming. He was late, not that I had noticed as I was busy playing Hades the hack and slash roguelite only recently released on the Xbox. I was enjoying myself although my run was tough, very tough I had battled all my way through to spoilers ahead to Elysium but had to face the Minotaur loosing two of my precious life’s in the process before having to face the Minotaur again this time coupled with Theseus as his companion.

I tried to relax I knew this would be the end of the level, if I stayed calm I could do it. I knew I could, at least I hoped I could. Then there was a knock at the door, snapping me back into reality for a second I considered ignoring it, to concentrate on the game, to forgot about the outside world and focus on the task in hand. Then I remembered it was probably my friend. I forced myself to pause the game, ran to the door and hustled my friend inside and sat him next to me on the sofa, he looked on at me as a flurry of words flew out of my mouth, ”this is Hades” I said, ”I am fighting a boss” I said,” I need to focus” I said. I reached for the controller, letting out a deep breath I un-paused the game and readied myself to get back into the fight.

It was at this moment my friend uttered the first words he had said to me that day ”what’s Hades” he said. I lost my flow, my concentration went as I tried to explain (in as few words, as possible) just what Hades was, and just why I had to concentrate so hard. Of course it didn’t work. My answers led to more questions” whats a rogulite is one that springs to mind.

Of course, I lost the fight my concentration my lost, my focus quickly deserted me. All that was left, was a quick trip back to Tarturus and to start again. As I am not a completely terrible host I prepared to turn the game of and get one of our multiplayer favourites ready for action. Only then did my friend speak up. ”Can I have a go” as he pointed at the screen.

Of this? I said wondering if he really meant Hades. Yep he said. Picking up the controller ready for action.

What followed was the most single handed and simply luckiest hour of gaming yours truly has ever witnessed. Okay, and not to mention a fair bit of skill. it is said that everybody has that one skill they truly excel at and if that’s true my friends one skill may well be playing roguelites, for I doubt that anyone ever, in the history of gaming has a better run. He reached the blooming end of the game in only his second attempt! I couldn’t believe it, he couldn’t believe it and I dare say you can’t believe it either.

He must have been wearing one of these.

This is where the luck came in. He wasn’t playing a new game. He had picked up one of my runs. The characters 20th attempt, he had GODMODE on, at 33% health reduction, I had just unlocked Eaxgryph: the adamant rail and what a weapon that is – if you are having any trouble with Hades get this weapon. It allows you to control the room, turns the tide of battle, no longer do you have to go towards the enemy with this weapon they have to come to you. The standard shot is a standard arrow shot, a very quick arrow shot but it’s the special that really does the damage, for the special weapon shot is a sort of grenade launcher allowing you to clear out a room without going anywhere near your foes and can even be upgraded to shoot five shots at once.

This isn’t where his luck ran out either. Equipped with Eaxgryph he made short work of the first few rooms and got some nice upgrades quickly upgrading his weapon to fire five shots and his dash to deflect enemy attacks then something even luckier happened. He started to get health lots of it. In Hades you start with only 50 health. This makes sure that you are always kept on your toes, knowing that even the slightest mistake can lead to an early trip back to Tartarus. None of this for my friend though. Loosing health early on is never a good sign and as my friend ran into trap after trap or or got hit by a brute I could see the end coming sooner rather than later, but for some reason the game too pity on him, it kept giving him extra life and I mean it kept giving him a lot of extra life by the time he made it to Theseus and the Minotaur, not having to fight the Minotaur on it’s own of course. He had something like 225 hit points!

Then things got even sillier.

The Minotaur, I can only imagine still tired from its earlier exploits with me, wasn’t up for the fight. Just couldn’t be bothered. Where my friend still had to deal with Theseus, not having a Minotaur to deal with makes things a lot easier. As Theusus was dealt with rather easily ( just run around in a circle and keep firing) and a Minotaur that frankly looked a bit hungover and just wanted to go back to sleep my friend quickly moved onto the final stage.

Not before giving me a cheeky grin and asking what all the fuss was about.

His smile was a bit like Theseus here.

Then things started to get a bit rocky. The Temple of Styx is a bit of a bugger, completing it depends entirely on luck but, as we all know by now that if there is on thing my friend had in abundance that day it was luck. Still he started to get a bit cocky and then things started to get a bit rocky. His prayers to the gaming Gods started to go answered. He lost a life, lost another one but somehow. He managed it. He got to the man himself. He got to

HADES

The man himself. Hades that is not my friend.

I know, I don’t know how he did it. He doesn’t know how he did it. As the fight got underway we were tense, exited. He started to win. Hades was backing of, maybe my friend would win. Hades was hit again and again, his life bar melting like an Ice cream on a hot sunny day. Suddenly I didn’t know how to feel, on one hand I wanted my friend to win, on the other, well nobody likes their friends to come over and be better at their games than they are.

Then Hades lost a life bar. A full bar, that was it we thought, He had won. We cheered. Prepared to see then end. Then Hades started to move started to get up and worse still his life bar started to grow to fill. Uh-oh we said in unison and uh-oh it was as Hades now mad, gave my friend and absolute ass-whipping. He didn’t stop until my friend was dead, dead, dead. We stared at the screen in disbelief we hadn’t won, we’d lost.

We had also missed the football.