AND THEN THINGS HAPPEN
At this point, there’s nothing in the sky to brighten the world and constitute daytime. Morpheus, the god of dreams, decides that this is an awesome time to take over the world. He covers the land with a black fog, and his armies of evil creatures are running around, killing people. I have no idea what Morpheus’s deal is. First of all, you never see him in the game. Unless he’s actually the fog itself, we’re left to imagine him as the Morpheus from The Matrix, or even Return to Zork. Secondly, I don’t quite understand his motivation for killing everyone. If you’re the god of dreams, shouldn’t you be putting everyone to sleep, so they could dream? In the first God of War, they established what happens when people die: they just plunge into the Stygian abyss. Everyone is too busy screaming for any dreaming to occur. So, why the massacre? What is the god of dreams (who is barely a footnote in the Greek pantheon) even doing with an army of evil creatures? Clearly, Morpheus is only here to provide us with monsters to slay.
When Kratos arrives at the Temple of Helios, he has a conversation with Athena, goddess of exposition, through a statue of her likeness. Kratos, apparently oblivious to the surrounding apocalypse, demands that the gods stop making him do things, and uphold their end of the deal. Athena insists that he should sit down, shut up, and perform a really important task. She reveals to Kratos that Helios was god-napped, and the temple is the chariot of Helios itself. Strangely, the narrator had just revealed that latter revelation only 50 seconds ago, which is equivalent to 2.5 Kratos coituses. Anyways, Helios’s steeds crashed the temple-chariot, and now the gods of Olympus are asleep, thanks to Morpheus. Athena tells Kratos to find Helios, because he’s the anti-Morpheus. The dialogue ends with Athena slipping into an indefinite nap. Kratos is left to explore the temple, which is where roughly half of the game takes place.
While exploring the temple, you encounter Eos, goddess of nipples and sister to Helios. She tells Kratos who had taken Helios: Atlas, the titan. He intends to wield Helios’s sun-powers, which are capable of destroying the world. She doesn’t know where either of them went, but Helios’s steeds can lead Kratos to them. So, Kratos obtains Helios’s shield and the primordial fire, destroying much of Helios’s stuff in the process. He uses these artifacts to access different areas of the temple and release the steeds, which are apparently made out of lasers. The steed lasers reflect about, eventually leading to the steed shrine outside. After all three steed lasers have reached the shrine, Kratos heads over there and activates them. The steeds manifest as flaming horses, which tear the shrine away from the temple and carry Kratos to the underworld.
There’s something rather confusing about the chariot of Helios, and it is at this point in the game where that confusion is the greatest. For starters, Athena said that the temple was the chariot of Helios, as in the only chariot. Right now, the shrine that is serving as a vehicle for Kratos is very chariot-like. In fact, the size of the fire steeds are correctly proportional to the shrine for its role as a chariot. When compared to the temple of Helios, the fire steeds would look like incandescent mice pulling a chariot across the sky. I suppose it would make sense if the steeds were capable of changing their size. While I could accept that, there is another damning problem that breeds even more confusion. Observe the following image:
That’s Helios as he appears in God of War 3. Note that he’s not flying around in a temple or a shrine, but is literally riding a chariot. Either Helios is a collector of various chariots and horses, or Atlas had also kidnapped the god of continuity.
As Kratos approaches the underworld, the fire steeds vanish, thanks to the underworld’s strict no-horses-allowed policy. This leaves Kratos to explore the underworld on foot, and travel towards the peculiar underground sun. Eventually, he reaches Charon’s world-famous Stygian river ferry. A brief dialogue ensues between Kratos and Charon, where Charon suggests that they aren’t so different, and it is not Kratos’s time to be ferried into the underworld. Then, Charon attacks Kratos for no apparent reason, starting a battle that cannot be won. Charon disposes of the defeated Kratos by dropping him from atop a waterfall of blood.
When Kratos regains consciousness, he finds himself chained to a wall in the pits of Tartarus. He easily breaks his chains, and proceeds to murder the other prisoners to regain health, because this is a video game. While exploring the place, Kratos finds the Gauntlet of Zeus: a giant metal fist that was used to bind the Titans to the walls of Tartarus with chains, possibly of Olympus. It proves to be a much better weapon than the Blades of Chaos, mostly because you cannot accidentally twirl it around while trying to guard yourself. Kratos uses the gauntlet to escape from Tartarus. Along the way, Kratos finds the wall where Atlas was formerly chained to, and concluded that someone had freed him. Shortly after climbing out, Kratos challenges Charon once more. This time, Kratos succeeds, because he has a shiny new metal glove that can smash up Charon’s boat. He then commandeers Charon’s smashed-up ferry, and resumes his search for Helios.