Saturday, April 24, 2010

Almost a tragedy.

There was no way to end the God of War series happily. Good things just don't happen to Kratos. The final few hours saw a tiny spark of humanity return to the character, as he clearly latched on to Pandora as a replacement for his lost daughter, but everything he did was still driven my the need for vengeance. Kratos was ready to find another way to kill Zeus, as opening Pandora's box required Pandora's death. Only Zeus' prodding to for once in his life not fail at something prodded him to let the homunculus die. There was no sympathy generated for Kratos; his quest for revenge had destroyed most of the gods, several titans, and had left the Earth in ruins. I didn't want to see him walk off into the sunset in the final act, to sit on a throne with a crown upon his troubled brow. Thankfully, he didn't.

SPOILERS!

Kratos' final act, of killing himself to release the 'Hope' that Athena had hidden in the box, was both completely out of character and the only way it could have gone and still have been interesting. He came to the realization that his quest for vengeance would never end, that the only way to rest was to die, and that the only person capable of killing him was himself. Athena, or Athena's ghost anyway, was understandably upset. The final scene before the credits was Kratos laying on the ground with a self inflicted hole though him so large you could see through to the other side, gurgling a bit, and dying. Finally, I thought, a game not reliant on a happy ending! This was the only was it could have been done, and I was glad it ended in a wonderfully Shakespearean manner: everyone was dead. Only, it didn't. After the credits the cliff that Kratos 'died' on was shown again, with a path of blood leading to the edge. Kratos himself is never shown, but the message is clear: either he didn't die or something took him. After four games, each better than the last, they screwed up the ending. Way to go, guys.

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