Kratos, you now possess the Nemean Cestus. Use their strength to make the very earth tremble.


The Nemean Cestus is a weapon seen in God of War III and briefly in the multiplayer of God of War: Ascension. They are a pair of large metal gauntlets, each forged to resemble a snarling lion's head, that greatly increases the strength of its wielder when worn. The Cestus was apparently given to its original owner, Hercules, after he slew the Nemean Lion as one of his 12 Labours, their relation to the beast itself is relatively obvious as it shows lion's face and the paws of the lion, itself.

In Greek Mythology, this was also used by Helios and Hermes.

In God of War: AscensionEdit

See Nemean Cestus (Multiplayer)

In God of War IIIEdit

During Hercules' fight with Kratos, the former dons the Cestus as he engages the Spartan in battle.

Kratos and the nemean cestus by lukesobczakairbrush-d5jvf4g

Nemean Cestus

However, the Cestus are forcefully taken from him, and Kratos uses them to batter his half-brother to death. The Nemean Cestus is the only weapon able to destroy Onyx, a type of rock that frequently appears in God of War III, in the form of shields, walls and armor. They are therefore the only weapon capable of killing Skorpius, as the creature's body is armored with Onyx. The Cestus even proves useful against the Bronze Talos and, when fully upgraded, against the King of the Gods, Zeus himself.

Each gauntlet of the Nemean Cestus was made of three separate parts: The lion's head, the first ring of spikes, and the second ring of spikes which was attached to a tube where Kratos fits his arms. When used, a pale blue aura often appears around each individual part.

Like most of Kratos' weapons, except for the Blades of Exile, the Boots of Hermes and the Blade of Olympus, the Nemean Cestus was destroyed by Zeus' final lightning attack.

Damage MultiplierEdit

Level 1Edit

  • 100 %

Level 2Edit

  • 110 %

Level 3Edit

  • 120 %

Level 4Edit

  • 130 %

Level 5Edit

  • 140 %


Level 1Edit

  • Increased Damage
  • Nemean Roar - Slams the Cestus into the ground to create an explosive wave. R2
  • Ferocious Bite - One lion head extends out to grab and pull in an enemy, slamming him with the other Cestus. L1 + O
  • Erymanthion Rage - A powerful 2-hit combo with an explosive finish. Triangle + triangle
  • Augean Stampede - Forward rush that traps an enemy in a quick flurry of punches. Hold square
  • Augean Stampede (Air) - A quick flurry of punches that slams the enemy down to the ground. Hold Square
  • Brutal Ascension - Launches enemies into the air. Hold triangle
  • Triumphant Labor - A quick combo of punches ending in a powerful dash. Square, square, square

Level 2Edit

  • Increased Damage
  • Vicious Maul - Lionheads extend on chains in a 360-degree spinning move. L1 + square
  • Vicious Maul (air) - When airborne, lionheads extend on chains in a 360-degree spinning move. L1 + square

Level 3Edit

  • Nemean Roar Lv. 2 - Slams the Cestus into the ground to create an explosive wave. R2
  • Savage Charge - Throws the Cestus forward during an evasion, striking all in its path. R + Triangle
  • Increased Damage

Level 4Edit

  • Increased Damage
  • Crushing Strike - Lionheads extend on chains out to each side, then slam together in front of Kratos. L1 + triangle
  • Crushing Strike (air) - One lionhead lowers to the ground, and Kratos pulls himself down to punch the ground with the other, causing a shockwave. L1 + triangle

Level 5Edit

  • Increased Damage
  • Nemean Roar Lv. 3 - Slams the Cestus into the ground to create an explosive wave. R2


  • Kratos is able to use the Nemean Cestus in Mortal Kombat 9 as part of his weaponry (alongside the Blades of Exile, a Gorgon Head, the Blade of Olympus, the Bow of Apollo, and the Head of Helios). He uses them as the second hit of his X-Ray Attack, as well as the finishing blow of one of his Fatalities.
  • The Nemean Cestus has chains on the inside, allowing for some ranged combat that is displayed in certain attacks they are also used to evade the same way the Claws of Hades do.
  • With each strike, using the Nemean Cestus, the sound of a lion roaring/growling can be heard slightly.
  • The Nemean Cestus is the most powerful weapon in the series after the Blade of Olympus as Kratos was able to literally smash the head of Hercules himself with it and they are the only weapon strong enough to destroy the Onyx, while the other weapons were useless against it.
  • According to legend, the Nemean Lion's flesh was made of bronze, therefore it's likely the Nemean Cestus were forged from the Lion's skin but were later plated in a silver metal.
  • Their ability to destroy Onyx makes them very similar to the Tremor Gauntlet in Darksiders, a game which bears several similarities with the God of War franchise. The Tremor Gauntlet is the only weapon in War's arsenal that can destroy a blue type of crystals during his quest, similar to the Nemean Cestus for Kratos.
  • Kratos uses the Nemean Cestus in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, along with the Icarus Wings, the Head of Helios, the Arms of Sparta, and the Blade of Olympus.
  • The Barbarian Hammer and the Nemean Cestus are both the strongest weapons besides the Blade of Olympus in God of War II and God of War III respectively and both weapons are obtained by crushing the head of his previous owner with it.
  • In God of War III, Nemean Cestus was the only primary weapon (besides the Blades of Exile itself) that was used in more than one QTE. The first two was in the battle against its original wielder, Hercules. The third one was in the moment of Kratos impaling Cronos with the onyx nail. The last one was in the battle against Skorpius when Kratos destroyed it's Onyx-layered carapace. The Claws of Hades and Nemesis Whips were only used in the cut-scenes when Kratos retrieve the weapons by killing Hades and Hepahestus respectively (even the Nemesis Whip was not used to kill Hepahestus directly).
  • In Ascension, when Hercules fights against warriors in Multiplayer, he claps the Cestus together at a point of the battle, destroying them. Since Ascension takes place a long time before God of War III, the way he found to have the Cestus back in the third game are unknown.
    • It is also possible that the gauntlets used by Hercules in Ascension were mere copies of the Nemean Cestus, and not the original ones. One fact that proves this is that Hercules easily destroyed them, turning them into dust, while Zeus' Astral form had to use most of his power to simply break them on three parts in God of War III. The gauntlets Hercules destroys, however, still seemed to have great magic powers, as they were still able to create massive shockwaves.
  • Also in Ascension, the Nemean Cestus used by players in Multiplayer share the same special attacks from God of War III.
  • The basic combos of all gauntlets of Multiplayer were inspired by the Nemean Cestus' ones: they all share the same Square and Triangle moves as the Cestus in God of War III.
  • When Hercules first wore the cestus, they appear to fit his hands. But when Kratos took them to fight his brother, they appeared to be able to fit his hands, albeit being larger. It is possible for the Nemean Cestus to have a size adjustment detail for those wearing the gauntlets, let it be a man of average or godly height. This size adjustment detail appears to occur on every weapon, with the second most prominent one being the Claws of Hades.
  • Hercules was able to use the Cestus to parry against Kratos' attack, following a counter punch. When Kratos parries whilst equipping the Cestus, he uses his Golden Fleece.


  • Kratos armed with the Nemean Cestus
  • Hercules with the Cestus in God of War III
  • Kratos with the Cestus in Mortal Kombat 2011.
  • Nemean Cestus
  • Nemean Cestus Concept


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