|“||Hades! You unleash the Cerberus to stop me? After the countless souls I have sent to you?!||”|
Cerberus (pl.:Cerberi) is the name of beast race that appears in the God of War Series. The Cerberi are the hounds of Hades, however, some of them live on their own, as seen on the Island of Creation. There are several types of Cerberi, with only two being considered a "standard" Cerberi: the ones from God of War: Betrayal and the white, horned Cerberus from God of War II.
In Greek mythology, Cerberus (Κέρβερος) was the name of the three-headed dog which guarded the gates of the Underworld to prevent those who had crossed the River Styx from ever escaping. He was the son of Echidna, a hybrid half-woman and half-serpent, and Typhon, a fire-breathing giant whom even the gods feared. Cerberus’ brothers and sisters were the Hydra, a nine headed serpent, Orthrus, a creature always depicted as a two-headed hellhound, the Nemean Lion, a lion whose skin was completely impervious to all weaponry, and the Chimera, a lion with a goat's head and a serpent's tail. The most common depiction of Cerberus in mythological art was a dog with three heads, a mane of live serpents, and a dragon’s tail.
In the God of War Series
In the God of War: Ascension, a new type of Cerberus is encountered. While they look similar to the Mongrels, they are quite stronger and have a purple glow to their tail and mouths. It has the power to manipulate the souls of the Underworld, they scream as the beast emerges through the ground via dark portals. It can also use a soul shield, that damages if touched. Like the Mongrels, it can be mounted and ridden.
God of War
In God of War, Kratos encounters several Cerberi throughout his journeys, along with their pups, as the Pandora's Temple guardians. These Cerberi are the Cerberus Breeders and their Cerberus Seeds - which would rapidly mature into more Breeders if left for too long.
The "normal" Cerberi from Underworld appears in Betrayal, which are sent by Hades to stop Kratos. These beasts looks identical to Cerberus Breeders, but they don't multiply. They leap pretty far. Kratos can kill them by decapitating two of the heads, and then impaling the central one. Killing a Cerberus in Betrayal will always give Blue Orbs.
God of War II
Kratos encounters more of the Cerberi Breeders and Seeds which protects the Sisters of Fate during his quest on the Island of Creation. Also, a new normal Cerberus appears in God of War II near the beginning of Kratos' quest on the Island, more specifically the Gardens of Lahkesis. This Wild Cerberus (or Horned Cerberus) has white hair, three heads with horns, and breathes flames. The middle head has the largest horns, while the other two are basically little nubs.
It attacks him along with a bunch of Rabid Hounds in a small area between Destiny's Gap and the Pathway to the Steeds by gashing and tearing with its claws, attempting to pin Kratos down, and with fire breath and vicious biting and gnashing movements. After weakening it, Kratos kills it by ripping its heads off one by one. He then continues his journey to the Steeds of Time.
Much later, a unique monster named Mole Cerberus is encountered in the Bog of the Forgotten. This enormous beast had devastated the Argonauts and also killed and swallowed Jason, who had the Golden Fleece on him. Kratos killed the beast and took the Golden Fleece.
God of War III
Cerberi return in God of War III, and are encountered several times throughout Kratos' journeys through the Underworld. The main species encountered are the smaller breeds known as the Cerberus Mongrel, which Kratos can control upon weakening, and the much larger and stronger Hades Cerberus, with magma-like skin. Smaller, one-headed hellhounds are found all over Olympus. Near the end of the game, Kratos will also encounter a very powerful Cerberus known as the Hades Cerberus Breeder.
- Cerberus Seed
- Cerberus Breeder
- Wild Cerberus
- Mole Cerberus
- Cerberus Mongrel
- Hades Cerberus
- Hades Cerberus Whelp
- Hades Cerberus Breeder
- Interestingly enough, the White Horned Cerberus seen in God of War II is the only non-boss enemy in the series that is encountered only once in game (despite it appears in the Challenge "Survival of the Fittest", from the same game). Hades Cerberus Breeder is a similar situation in God of War III, but this enemy is clearly a mini-boss.
- Hercules' 12th Labor was to carry the Cerberus from the Gates of the Underworld on his back.
- Cerberus is the Latin name of this creature, while Kerberos is the original Greek name.
- In the footage from God of War II, the Wild Cerberus is controlled by the enemies similar to the Fates Sentries.
- Rise of the Warrior featured a Cerberus.
- The White Horned Cerberus bears a small resemblance to the Rabid Hounds, which also accompanied it during its battle with Kratos, suggesting that it may have had some familial connection with them.