#############################

God of War: God Mode Boss Guide

Version 1.1

Author: moogleii (moogle.stew@gmail.com)

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#################
TABLE OF CONTENTS
#################
i. Introduction
	- Symbol Legend
	- Relevant Moves for Kratos
ii. Updates
iii. Bosses
	- Hydra 1
	- Hydra 2
	- Final Hydra
		* The fast way.
		* The slow way.
	- Medusa
	- Challenge of Hades
		* Reader Submitted Tips
	- Minotaur
		* Tactical summary
		* My layout
		* Relevant enemy moves
		* General strategy
		* Phase 1
		* Phase 2
		* Phase 3a
		* Phase 3b
		* Reader Submitted Tips
	- Ares
		* Relevant enemy moves
		* General strategy
		* Reader Submitted Tips
	- Kratos clones made easy
		* Step 1
		* Step 2
		* Step 3
	- Ares Part 2
		* Relevant enemy moves
		* General strategy
iv. Errata
	- Credits
	- Legal


############
INTRODUCTION
############

This is just something that I whipped up after beating the game on God mode
recently. There are other Boss FAQs online, but my strategies seemed 
sufficiently different. This guide should be equally applicable to other 
difficulty settings as well, I imagine. It assumes that you know the basics:
moves, name of spells, etc, but I tried to make it as newbie friendly as 
possible. The main assumption is that you either already have played it through
so that you don't mind spoilers, or you don't care (but to play on God mode, 
you must have beaten it already, or maybe you're playing someone else's game), 
and that you're fairly competent at the game. If you've never played before and
are trying God mode, expect to die, a lot.

=============
Symbol Legend
=============

[] - Square
/\ - Triangle
O  - Circle
X  - X

L3 - Press left thumbstick inwards.
R3 - Press right thumbstick inwards.

=========================
Relevant Moves for Kratos
=========================

All his moves are relevant, but I mainly list the ones I specifically mentioned
throughout the guide. The more moves you know, the more versatile you are. The 
only moves that I thought were nearly worthless were both Cyclones of Chaos 
(air and ground) (L1 + []).


[Hades Reverse]
---------------
Parries an enemy's attack and initiates slow-motion


[Hades Revenge]
---------------
Pressing "[]" while in slow-mo (after a successful Hades Reverse) will execute 
an area attack. I usually like to use this one as it has the fastest response. 
Pressing "/\" while in slow-mo will execute a stronger counter-attack, but it's
more focused (which can be good depending on what you want to do) and a little 
slower. Good to use if the enemies aren't too numerous or fast.
Pressing "R1" executes a lunge-stab counter-attack. I rarely use this. It seems
too weak for my taste. 


[Rising/Falling Helios]
-----------------------
L1 + /\. Causes Kratos to do multiple flips like a saw blade.


[Plume of Prometheus]
---------------------
[],[], /\. Your starting combination. Great balance between speed and strength,
since the first two attacks are light (and therefore faster). Ends with a nice,
smashing attack. 


[Hermes Rush]
-------------
R1. Charge attack.


[Hermes Fury]
-------------
R1, R1, R1.  Charge attack x3.


[Achilles Flip]
---------------
Evade (right thumbstick) + X. A good way to launch enemies into the air.


[Might of Hercules]
-------------------
[], hold []. Very fast, great all-around range, and ends with fairly strong 
hit. It's most effective if you're not too close when you start it off, so that
there's less of a chance of it being cancelled by an enemy hit. Let it build, 
and it'll do wonders. 



#######
UPDATES
#######

1. Clarified Final Hydra section.
2. Added comments to Minotaur section.
3. Clarified Kratos clones.

4. April 7, 2006
*Clarified Kratos clones even more. Wrote down the wrong spell in one part. 
Very major error. Sorry. 
*General clean-up.
*Added some reader submitted tips to Challenge of Hades, Minotaur, and Ares.



######
BOSSES
######

=======
HYDRA 1
=======

This guy is pretty easy once you learn to read its moves. It will lunge and try
to bite you. Simply block. It has an obvious tell as well. It twitches its neck
fins just before lunging, so when you see it do that, block. Just as a warning,
sometimes the hydra will do a double lunge, so don't get too greedy and unblock
too early. These double lunges are almost always towards the right of the room.
Otherwise, attack relentlessly when he's not lunging, and he'll eventually fall
over. When this happens a "O" (circle) will appear above his head. Press "O" 
and follow the onscreen commands (it should be O, /\, /\, /\, /\).  


=======
HYDRA 2
=======

This guy is also pretty easy. In addition to the standard, blockable bite, it 
has various other attacks that the other hydra did not have: a vacuum breath 
attack that draws you closer towards it, a smashing attack where it uses its 
entire body to try to crush you, and a 360 spin attack. You can safely block 
the spin attack, but you need to dodge the crush attack. A nice, evasive roll 
with the right thumbstick will do, or you can just step out of the way, because
the attack is fairly easy to read. The "vacuum attack" isn't much of a threat 
unless you're trying to run away for some reason. I like to take that 
opportunity to get in more hits. 

After awhile, he will start throwing you up into the air to catch you in its
jaws. You'll need to mash "O" to break free of his bite.  This is a good thing,
for you'll be able to do the most damage this way.  After breaking free from 
his bite, he'll be stunned for a litle while. Take this time to get in even 
more hits. Repeat as necessary.


===========
FINAL HYDRA
===========

This guy was initially pretty challenging when I tried it on Spartan (Hard), 
but after going through it on God mode, it's not nearly as bad as I thought. 
Before engaging the beast, you should fill up your health and mana, courtesy of
the two chests at the bottom by the save point. Climb up the rope, watch the 
cutscene, and you'll see two lesser hydra heads to the left and right, and a 
giant hydra head looming above and behind. 

Pick a lesser head and engage. It has all the attacks of Hydra 2, so just use 
the same strategy as mentioned for Hydra 2 above. I would suggest conserving 
your mana. I believe they will give you some mana occasionally, but I found 
Poseidon's Rage was unnecessary for these two. The vacuum breath is a bit more 
annoying this time around as each hydra head wants to take turns smacking you 
around. It's ok though; if you get sucked over to a different hydra head, just 
start whaling on that one. Rinse, wash, repeat. Eventually, one of them will 
keel over from its wounds. When this happens, you need to immediately jump up 
the stacked crates next to the fallen hydra, and jump onto the circular 
platform with the giant blade underneath. It will come crashing down on the 
hydra, impaling it onto the deck. Now repeat with the other lesser hydra head.

Once both lesser hydra heads are knocked out, climb up the main mast using the
rope nets to face the Big Cheese. This guy can do *serious* damage, and he has
an annoying breath attack that can blow you right off the mast if you're not 
careful. Hopefully you conserved your mana like I mentioned above. When he does
his breath attack, either block or just continually try running against the 
wind. Do not jump - you'll fly away like a kite.  


[The experienced, fast way]
---------------------------

<<<<<<<<
*UPDATE*
Don't get yourself into a combo when you're beating on the 
hydra. More likely than not, you'll be "locked" into the combo, and you won't
be able to throw out your Poseidon's Rage in time. 
>>>>>>>>


	I'm assuming you've fought him before, but if you haven't you can still
try this. It's not too difficult, but being able to read his moves will come in 
handy. When you get the opportunity, just run right at him and start attacking.
His main, and only attack is his bite. It's fairly readable as well. He will 
snake his neck a bit and roll back his head, before clamping down on the 
platform. Don't get hit by this (it's unblockable, too). On God mode, a direct
hit can take off half your life. Changes in his attack mainly depend where 
he'll bite the platform, but other than that, they're all the same. But they're
not really a problem as I'll show next. 

	As I said, just stay as close to him as you can and keep 
attacking. When he closes in for a bite, just before contact (well actually, 
you can do it much earlier, because I don't think damage will cancel his 
attack), use Poseidon's Rage. You're invincible while this spell is being cast,
so you want it to be like he just bit a giant electrical cable. Make it hurt. 
You should be getting in as many Rage hits as you can (the more the better). 
Otherwise, you're just wasting mana. Whale on him afterwards, and repeat. He 
should give you plenty of mana to continue doing this. Eventually, a mini-game 
will begin. He will keel over, and a "O" will appear above his head. Press "O" 
to latch onto him with your blades, and repeatedly press "O" to smash his head 
against the mast. Repeat all of this until finally, one of the mini-games 
results in the hydra being impaled on the mast. If you find you're out of mana 
and are unable to do the above, then, do the following:


[The slower, more dangerous, no-mana way]
-----------------------------------------
	Ok, it's slower, and more dangerous. So why am I bothering? I don't 
know. But if you have difficulty reading his moves, this may be the way to do 
it. Either way, come to think of it, you'll have to learn how to read his moves
anyway. So maybe I'll put this here for folks with no mana. 

	Instead of standing there and electrocuting him as above, you'll need 
to roll away from his bites. Watch out for the mast. It's a blessing and a 
curse. If you roll into it, well, you're not going to get very far, and you're 
going to get bitten. Otherwise, you can hide behind it, and he won't be able to
bite you. However, he's not stupid. He knows he can't hit you while you're 
behind the mast. He'll just continually breath attack you. This can get 
annoying very quickly, so don't hang behind the mast longer than necessary. You
need to step out, get a few harassment attacks in, lure him into biting, run 
away, and beat his head into a pulp while he's clamped onto the platform with 
his mouth.  I say "run away" because rolling is not good here unless you're 
going for an emergency dodge.  By the time you get back on your feet, your 
opportunity to hit him is less.  

	Eventually, a mini-game will begin. He will keel over, and a "O" will 
appear above his head. Press "O" to latch onto him with your blades, and 
repeatedly press "O" to smash his head against the mast. Repeat until finally, 
one of the mini-games results in the hydra being impaled on the mast.


======
MEDUSA
======

She's very, very fast. If you haven't gotten decent at parrying (Hades 
Reverse), now would be a good time. If you're already good at it, this battle 
should be quite doable. Basically, from my observations, if you try to do any 
long winded combo (like Plume of Prometheus [], [], /\), she will evade the 
third strike, flank you, and rake your face off. And it will hurt, especially 
on God mode. I found it best to just do two or three light attacks ([]) and 
watch for her evade. When she does it, block. If your timing is good, you'll 
pull off a Hades Reverse, and the game will go into slow-motion. Immediately 
follow up with a Hades Revenge. Either [] or /\ will do. If you don't pull off
the Hades Reverse, just repeat the above. 

Sooner or later, she'll use her stone gaze on you. You can be bold and try 
Plume of Prometheus on her. If the third hit contacts, it'll knock
her off her tail and cancel her gaze. However, if you miss, you're probably 
going to be turned into stone, so be prepared to shake that left thumbstick to
break out of it. However, I've found with decent speed at the left thumbstick, 
in a 1 vs 1 battle with a Gorgon, death isn't a done deal. You should be able 
to break out just before she closes in for the kill. Block, and you might have 
a nice Hades Reverse surprise waiting for her. For the less adventurous, 
rolling away while she stonegazes will suffice. For the mildly adventurous, 
roll, strike her once with a light ([]) (maybe even twice!), roll away, repeat,
until she stops gazing.

Eventually a mini-game will commence and a "O" will appear above her head. 
Press it, and latch onto her head. A list of left thumbstick rotation commands
will appear and you will need to match the pattern. Done successfully, you'll 
rip her head clean off for some mana. 


==================
CHALLENGE OF HADES
==================

I'm not sure if this is really considered a boss fight, but it is special I 
suppose, and they are challenging. You won't see the centaur enemies in very 
many other places, either. They're relatively fast, they're strong, and they'll 
keep coming until you complete the sacrifice.

Your main objective is to sacrifice (i.e. kill) 8 of the centaurs. But in order
to be a proper sacrifice, the centaurs have to die within the glowing blue 
rings on the ground, 4 deaths per ring. 

A level 3 Poseidon's Rage will make quick work of them. Just lure as many as 
you can into the circle and let it rip. I would only use Poseidon's Rage once 
at most though (so get as many as you can into one of the rings), since in 
general, you want to be frugal with your mana. 

So you'll have to melee the rest. Use lots of blocking when they start their 
attack runs, and try to get in some Hades Reverses and Revenges (so don't just 
hold down block). Watch out for their wave attack; they'll raise up their fore 
legs and stomp the ground. It's not blockable, and it'll knock you off your 
feet, so evade. Otherwise, use your combos and get in as many hits as you can. 
Achilles Flip also comes in handy, and you can throw them after you lift them 
into the air (repeatedly throw them if you want to be cheap by mashing "O"). 
They have ranged attacks as well that are blockable. I like to Hermes Rush the 
archers to close the distance and work my damage on them. 

If your health gets low, lure them to one side of the flight of stairs, then 
double jump over the staircase railing and go for the other chest of health. 
That will buy you time to open the chest safely. 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[Reader Submitted Tip]
(I haven't tried this out myself)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From Jason:

hello. my name is jason(14) from md. i started god mode in god of war and i 
found an alternative way to kill the centaurs on the challenge of hades battle. 
now,this takes a little longer then the brute force and block method,but you 
can dive in the pool of red water where the hades statue is submerged.then all 
you do is wait for the centaurs to walk in the circle's path,then double jump 
out of the water and hit them with a few square shots(you only get about three
hits at a time,but i found it very effective when low on health since the 
enemies can not hit you in the water) after a little while, the circle will 
appear above their head,i just ignored this because if you stay in the water 
and attack them they die in the circle anyways.the key is to wait for them to 
get in the circle's path.if they just stand around,you can always jump out and 
dive back in to get their attention. But like i said, this takes a little 
longer...hopefully you are patient.
 
I thought maybe you might put this on your boss faq to help other people that 
had problems on this one.
 
thank you for reading my advise.
 
-Jason
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


========
MINOTAUR
========

<<<<<<<<
*UPDATE*
I never bothered to try the platform method of killing the minotaur; I've since
tried it. It is so unbelievably easy, that it's a little bit disappointing. On
god mode, many of the regular enemies seem more challenging than the minotaur.

I won't get into too much detail, as other FAQ's go into it quite well, but the 
basic gist of it is to go up to the platform with the log-launcher switch, wait
for the minotaur to come to you, stay to the middle, and whack him repeatedly. 

Almost all his attacks can be blocked (try blocking everything the first time
around; you'll pick it up fast), and those that can't, can be dodged, or,
failing that, can be absorbed, because they do a pathetic amount of damage to 
Kratos. Just repeat, and he'll die. No mana needed. 

Otherwise, for those looking to challenge themselves, try staying on 
groundlevel. 
>>>>>>>>


He's very big, and he's very strong, and he packs a lot of hurt. Be prepared to
die a few (or, many) times. This one's challenging, especially on God mode. My 
tactics apply to God mode, but it should also apply to Hard. Unless otherwise 
noted, directions are relative to you, the player. 


[Tactical summary]:
------------------
*He has several "phases" as I like to call them. He's wearing a ton of armor, 
and you'll need to break it all off in phases to reveal the undead body 
beneath.
 
*He has a wide array of attacks that he uses depending on where he is, and what
phase he's in.

*There's a projectile weapon at the "south" end of the room that launches 
burning logs. It is triggered by a very slow switch. You'll need to use the 
burning-log-launcher to break off each stage of armor. 

*Do not pre-emptively use the log-launcher unless you want to get mauled. Even 
if you manage to get one off, the minotaur will block it for zero damage if not
used at the proper time.

*All his moves are readable once you learn them. 


[My layout]:
----------
By the time I got to this boss, I had a maxed out life and mana bar, Level 4 
Blades of Chaos (more is always better with this thing), Level 3 Poseidon's 
Rage (this will be very handy now), and Level 3 Zeus's Fury (not as useful). 
The rest isn't really relevant at this point (Zeus's Fury is barely relevant, 
if at all). I'm merely listing this because your character layout may be 
different at this point, and your results may vary, but I don't think they'll 
vary too much. From this point onward, I'm assuming you have a maxed out life 
bar. If you don't, it should still be doable, on Hard anyway. I'm sure it's 
possible on God, but it's probably going to be that much harder.


[Relevant enemy moves]:
--------------------
I decided to list some of his more common attacks that you should watch out 
for, as many of them are common across all his phases. Sorry if the names are 
lame, but I have no idea what they're called, so I call them as I see them.


#Flank defense#
Anytime you flank him, he jumps back to the head of the room by the 
giant double doors. This will occur in all phases. If you need to give yourself
some breathing room, this is a good way to do it. 


#Diagonal Flamethrower attack# 
He mainly uses this weaker flamethrower variant to guard his left (your right).
It starts off burning the right side of the room, and goes diagonally up 
towards the left side of the room. Evadeable by rolling to the left side of the
room, or by flanking him. This one isn't too much of a problem unlesses it 
catches you by surprise. 


#Side to Side Flamethrower attack#
This stronger variant of the flamethrower attack is very deadly. Learn to see 
this one coming if anything. He uses it more and more as the phases come and 
go. A direct hit from this will take off about 50% of your life on God mode. He
will rear his head slightly, spread out his arms one at a time to brace 
himself, lower his body, and unleash a right to left side barbeque sweep. You 
need to either be about a 1/3rd of the room away or further, or flank him to 
evade it. Otherwise, prepare to cook. 


#Charging ground smash#
This one isn't too bad. It's slow, and predictable. He'll raise himself up, 
smash down one of his fists into the ground, and repeat with the other hand. 
He'll do each fist twice, for a total of four hits. Each one has an area of 
effect. If you're in close when he starts this, roll away asap and you should 
be fine. He'll finish this move by goring the ground with his horns. His head 
will be exposed at this point. Perfect time to get in some hits. Don't get too
close to his head though, as he'll finish his gore attack by kicking his head 
up. It'll hurt if he connects.


#Near charged-ground-strike#
This one isn't too bad. It's also quite readable. He does it far more often 
than the Ranged version. It's always done with his right fist (your left). 
He'll raise his right fist into the air. There'll be a slight light effect (it
looks very different from the Ranged version), and he'll strike the ground in 
front of him, and sweep his fist back to his right side. Even if he misses you,
don't get too close to the impact points as they each will shortly erupt with a
shockwave blast. Don't get too far either, because as soon as the shockwave 
fades, it's another good opportunity to get in some hits, like Plume of 
Prometheus ([],[], /\). 


#Ranged charged-ground-strike#
This one is readable as well, but it packs quite a punch. His entire fist will 
glow a yellow smolten metal color. He'll keep it raised for a few seconds as if
he's doing a charged attack. This is your cue to start running away. When he 
punches the ground, the ground below your current position will erupt several 
times. Jump, stay in the air as long as you can without compromising the Icarus
Lift option, double jump (Icarus Lift (X)), and upon landing, roll followed by 
an Achilles Flip (X) or do a Hermes Rush (R1) or Fury (multiple R1's). You 
should be able to evade all the eruptions. If not, prepare to be combo-ed by 
several of the explosions, ultimately resulting in a lot of pain (there's a lot
of pain involved with this boss).


#Bull rush#
He'll only do this in the last phase. He'll jump back to the head of the room, 
paw his feet, and snort. When his nostrils flare out with flames, that's when 
he's going to charge. It's a very fast attack, so be out of the way by then. 
Otherwise, as usual, prepare to hurt. With proper evasion, you can get in some 
hits after he does this attack. Basically, you'll need to evade such that you 
end up just to his side after he does his charge. Otherwise, if you're behind 
him, he'll immediately do his Flank Defense. It's not a big deal though, just 
a few bonus hits if you can get them in.


[General Strategy]:
------------------

Basically, in conjunction with hitting him straight on, you want to flank him 
as much as possible while he's busy doing an attack (he won't jump away). 
I prefer to flank to his left (your right), as it feels like there's more room,
and he uses less arm strikes on that side. 

Like I said, he won't use his Flank Defense if he's in the middle of an attack, 
so you actually *want* him to do things like the Flamethrower Attacks (so long
as you're not in its path). For all non-flame attacks, you should be able to 
get some hits in before flanking him (see Near charged-ground-strike). 

When you do flank him, attack him as much as possible. Forget the combos, 
for they'll be too slow. If you have Level 5 Blades of Chaos already, 
Might of Hercules might be able to do it ([], hold []). I haven't tried myself 
so I can't say. After the minotaur's attack is done, he'll jump away. Repeat. 

Use Poseidon's Rage sparingly, saving your mana for the last phase. The best 
place to use it is when he's near the giant double doors, so that he can't jump 
away from the shock. It's also a good emergency response to the Side to Side 
Flamethrower Attack, since you'll be invincible while it's casting. You should 
be able to get 37+ hits with each if you've got the ability maxed out. Don't go 
completely magic-free, as he does give you plenty of mana to replenish some of 
what you use, so it'd be a waste to not use magic at all. 1-2 Poseidon's Rage 
per phase should still leave you with nearly full or full mana for the last 
phase. 

When he's taken sufficient damage, a mini-game will initiate. Press "O" as 
usual to initiate, and follow the onscreen thumbstick patterns to stun him. 
He'll give you a lot of mana, and some health for each time that you stun him.
While he's stunned, get any orbs that haven't automatically flown to you, and 
run immediately to the log-launcher on the raised deck in the front of the 
room. You have more time than you think you do, but don't delay too much. Pull
the lever and watch the show. 

After the log hits, the minotaur will come rushing towards the raised deck. He
intends to stand by the raised deck, and smash you into little bits. Just 
before he gets there, double jump off the raised deck to where the minotaur's 
head will be, and execute as many Falling Helioses as you can (L1 + /\). I've 
gotten in between 18-33 hits this way. Once you hit ground level, he'll use his 
Flank Defense. If you waited too long and find that he's bodyslammed you onto 
the deck, get off the deck as soon as possible. And just repeat the above 
general strategy.  

Ok, well that's the strategy in general. I'll go through the details for each 
phase.


[Phase 1]:
---------

Phase 1 can be over in 10 seconds if you want it to be. Three Level 3 
Poseidon's Rage will stun him and prepare him for the log-launcher, but that 
uses far too much mana. Instead, try to save your mana for the first few 
phases. 

Just run up to him dead center while he's by his door and start 
whacking. His opening move will to be the Horn Gore. Dodge accordingly. Now 
run back and start hitting him again, using Plume of Prometheus ([], [], /\)
as you see fit. Depending on where you are in relation to him, he'll either 
use the Right Arm Swipe (see below), the Left Arm Ground Smash, or the Horn 
Gore. Respond accordingly.

The immediate goal right now is to get the first cutscene to play, where the 
minotaur's armor first shows signs of venting heat. You can expedite this by 
using a single charged Zeus's Fury on him if you like in combination with some
melee hits. That's the only time I used Fury here, for it seemed comparatively 
weaker than Poseidon's Rage, per mana used. Speaking of Poseidon's Rage, I 
wouldn't use it before the cutscene, because it's too powerful at Level 3, 
and I don't believe the minotaur takes damage during the cutscene. After the 
cutscene plays, give him a Poseidon's Rage. A second Rage is optional - you can
either try your hand at meleeing it, or just cut to the chase and shock him. 

[Relevant attacks]:

#Right arm swipe#
He only does this in phase one. He does it if you're standing to his right and 
you're trying to run past him. If it connects, it will sweep you back in front
of him. Damage is fairly mild. Easily evadeable by rolling to the right or 
back.

#Left arm ground smash#
He only does this in phase one. He'll use it if you're standing to his left. 
He'll raise up his left arm, and smash his fist into the ground. It hurts, a 
lot. Don't get hit by it. A direct hit can take off 50% life. Also fairly 
avoidable by rolling to the left, or away to the back.

#Horn gore#
He'll slowly raise up his head before ramming his horns into the ground. That's
your cue to evacuate, preferably with a roll. If you're unable to get out of 
the way in time, dodge immediately again. The initial hit doesn't do too much 
damage, but he follows his gore by kicking up his head. This second attack 
hurts quite a bit. If you weren't able to avoid the first hit, evade the second
hit as soon as possible. 


[Phase 2]:
---------
He'll start using his Flamethrower Attacks more often, so watch out for that. 
He'll also start using the other attacks, with a Head Gore once in awhile. 
Attack him head on as much as possible, except when he's about to do a flame 
attack. In that case, either high-tail it, or flank him, preferably doing the
latter. 

For head-on attacks, you don't need to be as close as you think to hit him. If
you want to maintain maximum distance, do Plume of Prometheus, letting the 
third hit connect. You'll know you're doing damage when the Minotaur's armor 
rattles or his health gauge flashes red. 

A really easy way to lure him into doing a flame attack is to close in on his 
left side (your right) and stand near his left fist after he does one of his 
non-flame attacks. As mentioned in the above paragraph, take this opportunity 
to attack  him as much as possible, but give yourself room to easily roll (or 
run) and flank him. You want to be to his side, but don't flank him too much or
he'll just do his Flank Defense. Don't stand in front of his fist either, 
because he may end up knocking you with it.  Done correctly, after his 
non-flame attack, he will follow up with a Side to Side Flamethrower Attack. 
You'll be able to spot this as he'll move his fists to brace himself as 
described in the attack description above. Then, get to his side, and attack 
him some more. Done incorrectly, he will either A. BBQ you, or B. do his Flank 
Defense.  

Throw in one or two Poseidon's Rage whenever you feel like it, but again, 
preferably when he's near his door. 

When he's stunned, follow the tactics as described above in General Strategy.


[Phase 3a]:
----------
In this phase, you'll break off his remaining armor without the log-launcher. 
He'll start attacking more quickly, and use his flame attacks even more. Use 
the same strategy as in phase 2. He'll start using his Bull Rush as well. Feel 
free to use up to 50% of your mana reserves, since he will give you plenty 
after you break off his remaining armor.


[Phase 3b]:
----------
Personally I thought this was the most challenging phase. Hopefully, you've got 
plenty of health and mana now, as he won't be giving you anymore. Use up all 
your mana with Poseidon's Rage if you like. If you've got a Rage of the Gods 
saved up, it's pretty effective on Hard mode if you've got some life to spare. 
On God mode, it's not so effective, as his flame attacks will toast you up very
quickly. You may want to save it; on the other hand, it can do that extra bit 
of damage to finish him off. Use your judgement.

Other than that, use the same strategies outlined in Phase 2 and General 
Strategy, and you should be able to give him one last log-launching blow. 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[Reader Submitted Tips]
(I haven't tried these out myself)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From Dorgan:

I was reading your FAQ on Gamefaq's and I thought I might give you a little
tip for fighting the Minotaur.

As soon as the battle starts use rage of the gods and cast a skill (i
forget the name) then pound on him any combo it dosn't matter untill the O
mini game starts. Much easier than your's and every time you successfully
complete the  O mini game you get half of your rage of the god's bar fulled
so you can use it in stage 1 and 2

~~~~~~~~~~

From Marty:

Hi.  Thanks for the good FAQ (saw it on gamefaqs.com).  One thing I've 
discovered that I'd like to add to your findings is that you **CAN** block the
Minotaur's flamethrower attack!

If you are standing on the ground and he starts to brace for the BBQ, run right
up into his face (and optionally start whaling on him a few times, but only 
with light hits that you can cancel with a quick block).  Then as the flame 
angle approaches you, do one of those slow-motion just-in-time blocks and you 
will take no damage! This opens the door for further strong hits and combos.  
Using this technique, I'm able to nearly take down his stage 2 with one 
continuous combo of 50-something hits, purely from the Blades of Chaos, no 
magic at all.  The timing of the block isn't all that hard, and the game is 
fairly forgiving.  It just requires that you are right up in his face to do it.
If you're too far out, the flame will always hit you when you block.

Also, in God Mode, Rage of the Gods is not terribly helpful as an offensive 
weapon, as you point out, but it is GREAT for defense!  On most hits, it looks
like you take less than half damage from the Minotaur's shots, and hits that 
would normally knock you down (like the charged up ground-pound which causes 
those 3 lava geysers) don't. So it is a good way to help yourself when you know
you're about to take a pounding.

Hope this helps.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


====
ARES
====

[Relevant enemy moves]
----------------------
#Overhead Hammer Attack#
He raises his hammer above his head, and strikes down, stunning you. Doesn't do
too much damage. He follows the move with a swing attack that *does* do a lot 
of damage. Roll away when you see the hammer being raised. 

#Flamethrower attack#
He raises his hammer above his head, and fire begins to emanate from it. It's 
similar to the above attack except he finishes with a flamethrower attack. All
parts of it are blockable, including the overhead hit. 

#Fireball attack#
He raises up his spikey appendages into a cage-like shape, and fire emanates 
from within. He hovers in the sky and launches fireballs. He usually uses this 
as a later stage attack. Just roll around until he stops.

#Axe Combo#
He whips out a giant axe and does a multi-hit combo, ending in an uppercut 
attack. Block them all.

#Appendage Strike#
He uses his spikey appendages to strike you from long range. It's a multi-hit 
attack, so block them all. 

[General strategy]
------------------
Compared to the Minotaur on God mode, Ares is fairly easy, especially if you 
have a full mana bar and a Rage of the Gods saved up. With these things, the 
battle can be won in a minute or less if you're lucky (I'm estimating, but it 
was fast). 

As an aside, you don't want to use too much mana in this battle, as you'll want
plenty of mana (if you want your life to be easier) for the next battle. I 
would say use up no more than 50% of your mana reserves, because you can assume
Ares will replenish some. 

Anyway, by now you should have Max level Blades of Chaos, and Max level Army of
Hades. I didn't really use the other spells. Open the battle by casting Army of
Hades, then rush towards Ares and whale on him with lots of lights ([]). He 
will respond to your rush with the Overhead Hammer Attack. When you see this 
coming, roll away. The overhead attack itself doesn't do too much damage, but 
his followup hammer swing does quite a bit of damage. Avoid at all costs. 

Run back at him and continue the relentless attack. Block everything else. If 
you do enough damage he will give you health and mana, which just lets you 
whale on him even more. When the Army of Hades spell stops, cast Rage of the 
Gods (L3+R3). Cast another Army of Hades. Attack relentlessly, with maybe a 
Tempest of the Fates thrown in for good measure ([], [], hold []). If he's 
still alive, and Army of Hades has run out again, cast it again. Continue 
whaling on him. That should make quick work of him. 

After sufficient damage is done, a mini-game icon appears. Press "O" to start 
it. The minigame is probably the most challenging part of Ares here. You have 
to repeatedly press "O". If you're successful in this battle of wills, you have
to press two more buttons as shown on the screen. If you're successful, you 
win. Sounds easy enough. However, it's easy to become overzealous pressing "O".
You'll end up pressing "O" right into the next part of the game, which will 
probably not want "O", which means Ares will take this opportunity to hurt you.
You'll have to damage him some more to get the minigame to start again if this 
happens.

After you beat him, he will give you a ton of red orbs (another checkpoint is 
coming up, so now is a good time to press start and level something up, so that
you don't have to level it up again if you die later). At this point, hopefully
every spell you have is maxed out. Your Rage of the Gods bar will also 
immediately fill up.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[Reader Submitted Tip]
(I haven't tried this out myself yet)

From hemigtx69:

first make sure that you enter the battle with full mana and health and
rage of the gods as well as poseidons rage and army of hades maxed out,
then when the battle starts and ares is just standing there talking
cast carmy of hades and when he starts to attack just roll away until
the spell is over, then cast it again. when these two casts are over
then you should activate your rage of the gods and cast army of hades
and posideons rage then repeat, by the time your rage of the gods is
over ares is ready for the minigame, and all the hits your army of
hades and poseidons rage made will have refilled your health and mana
meter to full or very close, and this technique should dtill end the
battle in under a minute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


=============
Kratos Clones
=============

<<<<<<<
*Update
Argh, I made an error. I meant you should cast Army of Hades when your family 
is hurt, not Rage of the Gods.
That's a pretty major error. Sorry folks.
>>>>>>>

The more mana you have, the easier this is. On my first run in God mode, with 
50% mana, it took about 5 tries while I perfected this strat. I'm also assuming
you've maxed out all the spells by this point. If not, you'll have to adjust 
accordingly. 

1. I like to open the battle by throwing (O) the first Kratos Clone that pops 
out. It should give you a little bit of mana. After that, you can either use 
Might of Hercules ([], hold []) for a little while, or cast Rage of the Gods 
(L3+R3); just don't use your mana yet. I suggest using Rage of the Gods, 
because you want to give your Rage bar as much opportunity to refill as you can.
Try to make sure that there are a good number of Kratoses before you cast Rage 
of the Gods (preferably the maximum number of clones, use your judgement), and 
that your family isn't too hurt. 

After casting Rage of the Gods, immediately cast Army of Hades. Switch to 
Medusa's Gaze. Immediately cast Gorgon Rage (L2 + charge O, sometimes the O 
doesn't register if you're too quick, so press it again if Kratos isn't doing 
his charge animation). Switch to Poseidon's Rage. Immediately cast, pressing 
"O" as much as you can. Switch back to Army of Hades. If it's not available to 
cast yet, wait or hit some people. The moment it's available, cast it again. 
Switch back to Medusa's Gaze. Recast Gorgon Rage. Switch back to Poseidon's 
Rage. Recast. Start hitting people. Done correctly, you should be able to get 
off all 6 spells for free with your single Rage of the Gods. Expect a LOT of 
hits. I got in 341 hits last time doing that.

2. Now, keep using Might of Hercules to give your family some breathing room. 
Once they have about 50% health, you need to start being more vigilant with 
them. Once it hits 25% or less, cast Army of Hades, and hug your family by
pressing "O" on them. Heal as much as you can without endangering your own 
life. You should still be fine even with 25% health. Repeat the above until 
your Rage of the Gods bar fills up (it should not take too long).

3. Once your Rage of the Gods bar is filled up again, repeat steps 1 
and 2. Sooner or later, Clones will start appearing with Artemis blades. 
You'll need to watch your family's health even moreso. I believe on God mode, 
a clone with an Artemis blade will be able to take off 25% of your family's 
life in one hit, so execute step 2 sooner. Other than that, continue the 
aforementioned cycle until you stand triumphant.


===========
ARES PART 2
===========

Ok, this guy can be very tough. Several of his combos will kill you instantly 
when just starting out. But he's easier than you think once you adapt. 

[Relevant Attacks]
------------------

#Force Push#
This is unblockable. It's hard to read as well. The only viable defense is to 
not be in range (it has a very short range), by rolling away. If you do get 
hit by it, expect to die. It stuns, and he immediately follows it with an 
Appendage Strike.

#Army of Hades#
He has his own version of this spell now. When you see him casting it, block. 
Make sure all the souls vanish before unblocking.

#Mountain Smash#
His appendages raise up and glow, and he teleports to the head of the arena, 
and summons 4 mountains to crush you. It's fairly easy to avoid. Once you see 
the mountains apppear, get away from between them.

#Taunt#
Sometimes, after he does some melee attacks he will do his taunt. He'll lean 
back and do some kind of roar pose. This is the perfect opportunity to land in
hits. If you can connect while he's doing this, you should be able to get in 
enough hits to start the mini-game. However, if you're too late, he'll probably
block, so watch out for a possible Hades Revenge from him (see next item).

#Hades Reverse/Revenge#
He has his own version of this as well, and the game goes into slow-motion. 
It's predictable though, so avoid at all costs, because it does quite a bit of 
damage, as all his attacks do. It only happens if you continually attack him 
when he's blocking, so stop attacking, roll away, and try again. 

[General Strategy]
------------------

You'll be rewarded for landing lots of hits. His life and your life are shared.
The more you have, the less he has, and vice versa. But you also need good 
defensive skills. The new sword you have is pretty slow, and it's all you get. 
I'll have to admit, when I played him on Hard, I just barraged Ares with 
attacks, and got lucky I guess. That won't work on God mode. So, for God mode, 
I followed Akubarix's strategy, with a few tiny modifications. You can find his
informative FAQ on Gamefaqs.com

Basically, you need to evade a lot, and time your blocks well. If you get too 
far from Ares, he'll charge you, but just as he gets to you, he'll pause for a 
brief moment. I usually evade as he may try his Force Push. If you can evade the
Force Push, and block his Appendage Strike, try to close in and deal some 
damage with a lot of light attacks ([]). Pay attention when you're whaling on 
him. If you connect, keep attacking, but if he blocks, or is blocking two or 
more of your strikes, it's time for your to fall back. Otherwise, he will 
counter you with a Hades Revenge, and it will hurt, if not kill you. With time,
you'll be able to know when to press on and when to fall back. 

With a successful chain of hits, you'll eventually be able to initiate a battle
of strength. Press "O" repeatedly to win the minigame. In doing so, you'll stun
Ares, and you'll be able to pull off one of the Gifts, preferably Gift of 
Poseidon (L1 + []). Keep doing this, and you'll have the lion's share of health
in no time (don't get too confident though, he can take it all back in mere 
moments). 

Finally, when he begins his Mountain Smash move, run to the head of the arena. 
He'll always teleport to the same spot. Get in two free hits, and roll away. 
Roll away again to evade the boulders.

Repeat the above until he's dead. Congrats. You win.



######
ERRATA
######


=======
Credits
=======

Ron Hsu		- The author.
Akubarix	- I found his Ares Part 2 strategy quite helpful.

=====
Legal
=====

Uh, copyright me, 2006. Cannot be used or reproduced without permission.
So far, permission is granted to GameFAQs.com and neoseeker.com