As one of the best video game series ever made, fans rejoiced at the release of the latest installment in the God of War franchise. Since the release of God of War: Ascension in 2013, fans have been eagerly waiting for Kratos to return. Sure enough, they were not disappointed.
The God of War games are mostly well known for their intense, yet gory style of combat, amazing graphics (at the time of their respective releases), as well as compelling storylines. It is safe to say, that after five years of development, God of War (2018) has surpassed it predecessors. With a score of 95 on Metacritic, the game is considered the best in the series. According to Trusted Reviews, the fans response to the game was so overwhelmingly positive that Cory Barlog, the game’s director, was reduced to tears.
Unlike its predecessors, this are several elements that makes this game different. The first and most obvious change is the deviation from the normal Greek mythology to Norse mythology. In addition, the game now features an over the shoulder camera perspective which adds a more personal feeling during gameplay.
While the gameplay is now better than ever, like its predecessors, there are many secrets hidden throughout the game. Most of these secrets are so elusive that only true fans of the series have been able to notice and identify them.
Heads up for potential spoiler warnings! Here are 15 Hidden Secrets That Only True God of War Fans Noticed.
15 Unlocking Extra Execution Animations
Although God of War has undergone several changes, there are some features that fans are happy remained constant. When it comes to Kratos, the one thing you can always count on is that he will eliminate his enemies in the most brutal way possible.
Even though he is now a father, this does little to prevent him from destroying monsters in a dramatic fashion. Even with Atreus constantly by his side, the severity of his attacks has not diminished.
What makes it even better are the many forms of executions he has for every enemy. Under normal circumstances, Kratos has a single method of elimination for every enemy type. While it seems awesome at first, the repetitive use of the same method can get quite boring, especially in the early stages of the game. Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem.
By going to Kratos’ skill tree section for his Leviathan Axe and into Close Combat, you can select a skill that gives you a charge attack by using R2.
After doing this, Kratos will deliver even more damage to foes, including bosses. As a bonus, timing the attacks just right will allow him to perform an additional set of up close and personal executions.
Whether it’s the average draugr, or a fire troll, there is no shortage of ways for Kratos to dispatch his foes.
14 Yggdrasil Dew Gives Permanent Upgrades
Like in other God of War games, players can upgrade Kratos’ weapons and magic to make him more powerful. Not only does God of War take the concept of upgrading to whole new level, it also introduces a new feature in the form of Kratos’ stats.
Kratos’ stats include: strength, runic, defense, vitality, luck, and cooldown. Normally, there are two ways of increasing Kratos’ stats. The first is by increasing his power level. The second method involves equipping him with different weapons and armor, which can either be purchased or upgraded via crafting.
However, there exists another option that allows players to upgrade Kratos’ stats. Look no further than the miraculous properties of Yggdrasil dew. In the game, there are nine possible locations where Yggdrasil dew can be found within the vicinity of the Lake area in Midgard. Depending on the color of the dew, the player will be able to permanently increase one of Kratos’ stats.
The good news is that when you first travel to the Lake of the Nine, the first piece of Yggdrasil dew is easy to get.
The bad news is that the other ones will require a little bit of time and effort to obtain.
However, the increase in Kratos’ power is definitely worth the effort.
13 Unlocking An Item-Seeking Squirrel
When players first start playing God of War, the first few hours of the game are pretty slow going. When the player reaches a certain point in the game the level of difficulty increases. This makes it all the more difficult for Kratos to keep up with the overwhelming wave of enemies. To ensure survival, two of the most important things to find are items that increase his health, and his rage.
Out of the many skills acquired throughout the game, there is a skill that is quite beneficial in making sure that Kratos stays alive for as long as possible. It is an ability unique to Atreus, which allows him to summon the magic squirrel Ratatoskr.
Yeah, that’s right a magic squirrel.
Don’t let that description fool you, Ratatoskr is an actual mythical creature that exists in Norse mythology. Though he does not have any use in combat, Ratatoskr makes up for it in terms of support. After arriving at the location known as the Light Elf Outpost, Kratos and Atreus must solve a few puzzles. If the player takes the time to complete the puzzles, they will unlock Atreus’ ability to summon Ratatoskr.
His sarcastic and mouthy nature aside, once you summon Ratatoskr, he can dig up either health stones or rage stones, depending on the type of arrows Atreus uses.
This is a highly useful skill which can make all the difference between life and a very violent end.
12 The Optional Realms Yield The Best Rewards
Although God of War is not exactly what you would call an open world game, it is still quite big. As part of Norse mythology, Kratos and Atreus must travel through all nine realms to complete their mission.
In part of the main quest, there are several realms Kratos must travel through to progress through the game. However, this does not necessarily mean that players need to visit all of them. Out of the nine realms, there are two areas that are optional to visit. These areas are known as Muspelheim and Niflheim.
Both realms are not for the faint of heart, as they offer some of the most difficult challenges in the entire game. Their level of difficulty is so high that it could take players a few extra hours of gameplay just to complete the challenges in each location. Due to their level of difficulty, most players will avoid these areas until much later in the game. However, players who are willing to take the plunge into either realm will be hugely rewarded if they succeed.
One of the major benefits of going to these realms is that players can earn crazy amounts of Hacksilver, which is used to buy new items for Kratos.
Furthermore, players that manage to beat these challenges will be hugely rewarded with some of the most powerful items in the game.
11 Kratos Tells Atreus The Story Of The God Of War... Sort Of
Considering how violent Kratos was in past games, it seems nearly impossible that he could ever be so calm, and level-headed. However, it appears that fatherhood has done wonders in improving Kratos’ personality.
The presence of Atreus has certainly helped to mellow Kratos out. Granted, he is still quite violent, but he goes the extra mile to be a good father and role model for his son. When you consider Kratos’ violent upbringing, and all the pain he’s suffered since then, its understandable why he wants to leave his past behind him. This is largely why he sees Atreus as the key to helping him move forward.
As a result, Kratos goes to great lengths to keep his origins as the former God of War hidden from him. However, this does not mean that Kratos won’t tell his son a few stories about his glory days - with a few omitted details, of course.
When the player arrives in the Lake of the Nine, Kratos will start to tell Atreus a story about a horse, a stag and a hunter.
For fans familiar with the events from the previous games, it is easy to determine that the horse in Kratos’ story is his subtle way of explaining his life to Atreus without giving away too many details about himself.
10 10. The Boat Captain’s Key
When it comes to God of War, one of the most famous recurring elements in the series are the occasional references and cameos featuring the Boat Captain. Originally introduced in the first God of War (2005), the Boat Captain was taken out by Kratos, after he left him to be devoured by the King Hydra. From then on, this character often finds a way to return. In most cases, he almost always ends up being destroyed or receives misfortune on behalf of Kratos.
The Boat Captain is referenced in nearly all the games in the God of War franchis - excluding the games on mobile and PS portable). In God of War II, Kratos once again takes out the Captain after he is resurrected as a ghost. In the third God of War, although he does not make an official appearance, the player can still find a note written by the Captain, lamenting his life in Hades’ realm and cursing Kratos for his misfortune. Even in God of War: Ascension, a prequel game to the series, its possible to find a reference to the Captain in the form of an item called the “Boat Captain’s Idol.” As with its predecessors, God of War continues with this traditional Easter egg.
The remains of the Captain’s ship can be found in the Lake of the Nine.
Upon discovering the wreckage, players will receive an item known as the “Boat Captain’s Key,” along with a journal entry explaining the cause of the ship's wreckage.
9 Fully Unlocking The Blades Of Chaos
For many years, Kratos has been the symbolic figure behind the God of War franchise. In previous installments, he always carries his signature weapons, The Blades of Chaos. However, as the game goes in a new direction, the new Kratos also adopts a new weapon, the Leviathan Axe.
As far as weapons go, the Leviathan Axe is one of the best in the series. However, God of War would not be the same without Kratos using his signature weapons. Thankfully, it is possible for Kratos to utilize his old blades later in the game. Like many other weapons, the Blades can also be upgraded. Unlike most weapons, which have six levels, the Blades of Chaos only have five.
Although it has fewer levels, fully upgrading the blades is incredibly difficult, as players must travel to Muspelheim, one of the hardest stages in the game.
To reach the weapons' max level, the player goes to Muspelheim and defeat a Valkyrie, one of the hardest bosses in the game.
Nothing less than a maxed-out Leviathan Axe and high-level armor will ensure a high chance of successfully defeating the Valkyrie. Once defeated, the Valkyrie will drop a unique item that can be exchanged for the materials needed to fully upgrade the Blades of Chaos.
This challenge is by no means for the faint of heart. However, if it means unlocking the full power of Kratos’ iconic weapons, it might just be worth the effort.
8 Translating The Steelbook's Rune Message
Unlike, most entries on this list, not everyone can get access to this secret. It is only available to players who possess a special edition of the game which comes with a steelbook case.
In addition to its unique design, the steelbook case is inscribed with a coded inscription in Nordic runes on the reverse cover. According to Polygon, the runic inscription is written in Elder Futhark, a language forgotten from the middle ages until 150 years ago.
Thanks to the internet and a little bit of deciphering on behalf on Redditor Wolfstrong1995, the message reads: “This is the story of a bear and a wolf, who wandered the realms nine to fulfill a promise of one before; they walk the twilight path, destined to discover the truth that is to come.”
Does this sound familiar? Although written in a different way, this description serves as a subtle way of summarizing what players can expect of the game.
The story, gameplay, and character development alone make this game one of the best games ever made. The fact that Santa Monica Studios went out of their way to include this message in a nearly forgotten Norse language for their fans is simply too incredible for words.
7 Unlocking The Secret Ending
After spending so many hours fighting monsters, and collecting rare and powerful items, it is quite a satisfying feeling for players to clear God of War. However, even after beating the final boss, there is still one thing they need to consider.
Have they reached the game’s true conclusion?
It turns out that God of War has a secret ending, which also happens to be its real ending. After completing their objective, the player must return Kratos and Atreus to their home. Once they arrive, they need to interact with their beds, which will make them go to sleep. Following this action, a timeskip will occur and they wake up in the middle of a storm. After walking outside, they encounter a mysterious figure.
Although the figure's identity is never officially revealed, a huge hint is that is he's shown carrying a certain magical hammer.
Without a doubt, this cliffhanger hints towards an encounter between Kratos and Thor himself. Although the major Norse gods are often referenced throughout the game, they are never actually seen. As a result, this ending leaves quite the impact.
In an interview with the Daily Star, game director Cory Barlog explains that the ending resolves the game’s plot “naturally," but also serves a purpose by ending with a cliffhanger.
As a result, things will probably get even wilder in a possible continuation leading from where the game left off - one where Kratos throws down with the major gods of the Norse pantheon.
6 Stargate SG-1 Easter Egg
In previous God of War games, it was voice actor T. C. Carson who was responsible for breathing life into Kratos. He plays a huge part in the series, having been around since the very first game.
However, this has all changed with God of War. Due to the game’s creators deciding to break away from the pattern of the previous games, the franchise has undergone several changes.
One of the many things resulting from these changes is the birth of a new Kratos. In addition to him being a father and sporting a new beard, Kratos also comes with a new voice actor as well.
The new voice behind Kratos is Christopher Judge, known for his role as Teal’c in Stargate SG-1.
Judge does an amazing job integrating himself as the new Kratos.
During the game, Kratos makes an interesting reference to his voice actor. While climbing a mountain with Atreus, his son comments on the beauty of the landscap, to which Kratos responds with a simple “Indeed.” At first glance, this does not seem like anything out of the ordinary. However, certain dedicated fans have noticed that Kratos’ statement is a reference to Teal’c. In Stargate SG-1, Teal’c is known for frequently saying “Indeed” in almost every episode.
5 Unleash The Dragons
When it comes to the monsters in God of War, the creatures and figures from Norse mythology are some of the best in the series. However, out of the many creatures shown in the game, there are a few that really stand out. After all, a game as magnificent as God of War is not complete without the addition of dragons. These magnificent beasts are so powerful that they are a challenge to even Kratos.
So far, only five dragons are known to appear in the game. One of them perishes before Kratos can confront it, while another appears as a boss that Kratos must defeat.
One of the most important side quests in the game allows you to free three imprisoned dragons: Fafnir, Otr, and Reginn.
As they are hidden in various locations, players must navigate through the world to find and liberate them. In addition to fighting off hordes of monsters, Kratos must also avoid the dragons’ wrath, as they will not hesitate to attack their surroundings. Once they have been successfully freed, the dragons will depart, but not before leaving behind some rare rewards as thanks.
Successfully freeing all three dragons will also unlock the “Dangerous Skies” trophy.
4 E3 Reference
If you’ve been following the progress of God of War in the last two years, then you’ve probably seen the E3 trailer, which shows a demo of the current game.
The trailer depicts Kratos and his son on the hunt for a majestic elk. However, during their hunt they suddenly encounter unwanted guests. When crossing a bridge, Kratos and his son are ambushed by a fire troll. While the former Ghost of Sparta has no problems dispatching it, the monster does not go down without a fight. After he finally defeats the beast, Kratos teaches his son a valuable lesson about not hesitating when facing your enemy.
The E3 trailer was a glimpse into what players could expect once the real game was finally released. Fans were eager to test their skills against one of those fire trolls.
In the game, the player will come across the same bridge, where they will also face an ambush from enemies. However, as the player progresses through the stage, a key difference from the E3 trailer becomes apparent. Kratos and Atreus are not ambushed by the troll.
Once they reach a certain part of the area, Kratos comments that he was certain a troll was living under bridge, clearly referencing the E3 demo trailer.
While the impact of the scene was not the same without the troll’s ambush, it still appears later on in the area.
3 The Cloth Map Puzzle
Throughout the game, players must use their wits just as much as their brawn. Players must frequently solve a variety of puzzles to progress through the game, or to acquire rare items. Some are easy to solve, while others are quite complex.
As far as puzzles go, one of the most difficult in the game is without a doubt the Cloth Map puzzle. Only players with the special edition of the game can discover it. Much like the steelbook case, this real-life map contains instructions written in Nordic runes, and is a crucial clue in finding one of the games most well-hidden secrets.
YouTuber BRKsEDU suggested that there was more to the map than just being decorative. BRKsEDU's suggestion soon kickstarted a quest which led to the deciphering of the map’s runes.
When translated, the runes tell of a story about the fabled treasure of the game’s merchants, Brok and Sindri.
Long story short, they tried making a treasure for a giantess, but one of them ends up losing it.
Thankfully, this does not stop players from finding the treasure located in Muspelheim Tower. Upon successfully completing the quest, players will receive The Forbidden Grip of the Ages. This is one of the game's most powerful weapons as it provides a boost to all of Kratos’ stats, especially his strength.
Truly a treasure and trial worthy of a god.
2 Multiple Mythology References
While Norse mythology may have become popular thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no medium in pop culture portrays it better than God of War. According to Mashable, God of War better depicts the dark, chaotic and more bloody aspects that closely resemble the actual myths from Norse culture.
One of the most appealing features of the game is how it tackles the more obscure features of Norse Mythology. In doing so, it provides a certain level of creative freedom and allows the game’s creators to depict the world of Norse culture in God of War with the most stunning details.
However, while delving into the world of a new mythos is incredible, it is made even more amazing with the prospect that other mythologies could be coming to the God of War franchise. One of the game’s Easter eggs teases such a potential outcome.
After arriving in Odin’s treasure chamber in Helheim, Kratos and Atreus stumble upon a giant stone mural featuring the symbols of war gods from four different cultures.
As players progress through Odin's chamber, they discover even more references to myths from other cultures, such as the Mayans.
Does this potential Easter egg signify that Kratos will cross blades with other powerful gods in the future? Only time will tell.
One thing is for sure, though. If Kratos does come to blows with gods from other mythologies, their battle could surpass every other battle in the series.
1 Infinity Gauntlet Easter Egg
When God of War came out on April 20th, it was not the only major event that people were waiting for. A week after its release, the anticipated MCU film Avengers: Infinity War arrived in theatres.
At first glance, many would pass this off as just mere coincidence, without any relation to the game itself. However, according to IGN, God of War Reddit user Moxxxxxi was the one to uncover that there was indeed a connection.
It turns out that it is possible for Kratos to wield his own version of the Infinity Gauntlet called the "Shattered Gauntlet of Ages."
While it is not the actual Infinity Gauntlet, it is still one of the best items in the game. To access its full abilities Kratos must acquire six objects hidden throughout the Nine Realms.
These objects are: Andvari’s Soul, Njord’s Temporal Stone, Eye of the Outer Realm, Ivaldi’s Corrupted Mind, Asgard’s Shard of Existence, and Muspelheim’s Eye of Power.
Sound familiar? Each of these objects serve as parallels to the six Infinity Stones used to power up the Infinity Gauntlet. Without a doubt, this is one of the best Easter eggs in the entire game, and gives both God of War and Marvel fans a reason to play it.
Did we miss any hidden secrets in God of War? Let us know in the comments!