Hades key art

Game Theory

Hades 2 theory: How one line of dialogue from the original sets up the sequel

I think Zagreus preferred being an only child.

Supergiant Games

Out of the many big reveals out of the 2022 Game Awards, one of the most surprising was the announcement that Supergiant Games is making a sequel to their massively successful 2020 game Hades. For Hades II to ever happen is particularly shocking, partially because it marks the first time the studio has ever made a direct sequel. However, the seeds of this sequel may have been teased towards the end of the original game in a single line of dialogue that sets the stage for Melinoë in Hades II.

Zagreus gets a sibling — While Hades II will continue the story of the original game, most of its cast of characters includes entirely new faces, which is a bit surprising for a direct sequel. The game’s trailer has no signs of Hades, Skelly, or even Zagreus. In Zag’s place is the protagonist Melinoë, who Supergiant has confirmed to be Zagreus’ sister.

Which raises the question, where was she during the original game?

One Redditor named lemonybadger points out that the original Hades may already hold the answer. As part of the ongoing Hades ending, Zagreus is able to mend the relationship between his father and mother Persephone, and the queen of the Underworld returns to her position in the house of Hades.

Throughout the lengthy post-game, Zagreus can have many conversations with his mother. In one, the topic of children comes up in which Persephone hints at the idea of giving Zagreus a sibling. He is shocked by this and grumpily responds, “Wait, you're not ... you're not thinking of having more children, are you ...?

Well, if Hades II is any indication, then Persephone was indeed thinking of having more children — and she meant it.

Zagreus is gonna be a big brother.Hades Zagreus contemplates getting a sibling

They grow up so fast — The possibility that this conversation is the seed that eventually blossoms into Hades II’s protagonist, Melinoë, suggests a drastically different Underworld than what players know in the original game. If Hades ends with Melinoë no more than an idea in Persephone’s head, then that means a lot of time could have passed between Hades and its sequel. It’s unclear how quickly gods grow up, but it’s possible that Melinoë is a mere teenager when all of this happens.

Hades wraps up the many plot threads of its side characters over many hours, leaving a pretty bow neatly tied on the whole affair. For a sequel to involve new challenges and stakes, there needs to be a change. While initially, it seemed, this could be taking place close to the time of Hades, just in a different section of the underworld, Melinoë’s birth suggests a passing of time will change the status quo of the Underworld as we left it with Zagreus.

Melinoë’s goal is to destroy Chronos, the Titan of Time who is also her grandfather. The reveal trailer sets the stage for the game by talking about the Titan’s escape from his imprisonment in the depths of the Underworld in order to fight against Olympus.

Hades II may be more separated from Hades than initially expected.Supergiant Games

This conflict could see the many gods and goddesses Zagreus allied himself with in the first game preoccupied, leaving Melinoë to find new friends such as her teacher Hecate. But this does not answer the question: Where is Zagreus? The official Hades II FAQ says that players will not need to have any knowledge of the first game to play the second, suggesting the ties that bind this sequel to its predecessor may be only tenuous. Perhaps Zag is also away fighting? Or perhaps he is imprisoned alongside his father?

Fans will be in a similar situation to Melinoë when Hades II eventually launches, though that won’t be for a while, as both player and protagonist fight through the Underworld again in search of answers about what has happened and the fates that await our old friends and allies.

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