|“||I have taught you many ways to kill a mortal, Kratos. Flesh that burns, bones that break. But to break a man's spirit, is to truly destroy him.||”|
Ares was the original Olympian God of War, and the son of Zeus and Hera and the main antagonist of God of War, as well as the perpetrator behind the events of God of War: Ascension, meaning he was also responsible for setting the events of the series into motion by tricking Kratos into killing his family and turning him into the Ghost of Sparta, which eventually fulfilling the prophecy of the Marked Warrior who would destroy Olympus and end the reign of the Gods. Ares was the oldest child of Zeus and was commonly referred to as the most hated god on Mount Olympus, even before being killed by Kratos.
Ares was the God of War, son of Zeus and Hera, and one of the most prominent and powerful Gods of Olympus. He was born after the Great War of the Gods and Titans and served his father faithfully for many years. He was also a rival of Athena, his younger sister, because they were both gods, one of War, the other of Wisdom, and wished that the other would stand down. His Roman counterpart was Mars. Mars was held in much higher esteem, second only to Kronos; Ionic form of the Doric ἀρά (ara), "bane, ruin".
Alliance with the Furies
Ares came to covet all of Olympus, especially Zeus's throne, so he struck an alliance with the Furies, and persuaded them to take a more ruthless approach. After learning of the prophecy of the Marked Warrior, who is destined to destroy Olympus and kill Zeus, Ares conceived a child with Alecto in the hope that their child would be the marked one so that he could aid him in overthrowing Zeus and claiming his throne. Unfortunately, Orkos, Ares' child, was not up to his standards and was disowned. The Furies, however, saw potential in Orkos and made him their oath-keeper.
Two Gods of Olympus, Ares, and Athena, raided the city of Sparta in order to capture a child named Deimos, who had been suspected of being the mortal who would destroy Olympus in The Marked Warrior Prophecy. After Ares captured the boy, Deimos' brother, Kratos, charged toward Ares to save his younger brother. Despite his efforts, however, Ares hit Kratos on the face and created a bloody scar on his right eye. Ares was about to kill Kratos, but Athena persuaded Ares to leave him be. Ares then left with Deimos, and Athena quickly apologized to Kratos. Ares then took Deimos to the Domain of Death, where he would be tortured for many years by Thanatos, the God of Death. Little did Ares know that the boy to whom he gave a scar would be the same boy who would Initially serve him and later leave him in adulthood after his family would be slaughtered by his own hands due to his machinations.
Wager of the Gods
Years later, the Gods created a contest and chose various mortals as their champions for the capture of the Ambrosia. In the wager of the Gods, Ares was seen in the comics choosing Kratos as his champion and was confident that nothing would stop him in his quest for the Ambrosia. After a grueling journey, Kratos captured the Ambrosia and thus made Ares the victor of the wager of the Gods.
Kratos and his Spartan army were no match for the merciless barbarians tribes of the east. Being outnumbered and overpowered, Kratos' army was losing the battle. Kratos, about to be killed by Alrik, the Barbarian King, pledged himself to Ares, the God of War, in exchange for victory. After he saw Kratos as the potential warrior that he needed to overthrow Olympus, Ares accepted, violently wiped out the barbarians, and gave Kratos the Blades of Chaos as a sign of his servitude.
To ensure that the Spartan became the perfect warrior and was bound to his will, Ares and the Furies devised three blood tests for Kratos. The first had already been completed: spilling the blood of enemies. The second, spilling the blood of innocents, was easy to accomplish with Kratos' rising bloodlust as he ended countless lives with his Spartan companions, and conquered most of Greece. The last rite was spilling the blood of loved ones. Ares led Kratos to attack a village built in honor and worship of Athena. The Spartan soldiers ruthlessly killed all who lived in the village and burned their homes to the ground in the process. Upon reaching a strange temple, Kratos was warned by the Village Oracle not to venture within its walls. Ignoring the old woman, Kratos, blinded by bloodthirst, killed all who were within the walls of the temple, including his wife, Lysandra, and his daughter, Calliope. Ares appeared before the bloodstained hands of Kratos and told him that it was necessary to have his family eliminated so that nothing stood in his way.
The ashes of Kratos' loved ones were gathered by the Village Oracle who then placed them upon his skin as a permanent reminder of the monster he had become: the Ghost of Sparta. Enraged by Ares' deception, Kratos declared vengeance upon the God of War who once saved his life.
After Kratos left Ares' service, the God of War's son, Orkos, learned of the injustice that his parents had inflicted on Kratos and turned against his father and his mothers. Orkos sought counsel from the Oracle, Aletheia, who revealed Ares' plot to overthrow Olympus. When Orkos and Aletheia went to warn Zeus, Ares discovered their attempt and sent the Furies after them. Orkos escaped while Aletheia had her eyes torn out and hidden in the ruined Statue of Apollo. The Furies then ruthlessly hunted Kratos to force him to return to Ares' service for their plan to reach its fruition.
During Kratos' triumph over the Furies, it was revealed that Ares had wanted Kratos returned to him; the plan was ruined when Kratos killed the Furies and mercifully killed Orkos, who was remade the oath keeper to Kratos, and thereby severed his bond. Kratos managed to escape and served Olympus for 10 years, all while hoping to redeem himself as well as for his sins to be forgiven.
Battle with Kratos
Jealousy came over Ares for Athena, and, as a result of that jealousy, Ares laid siege to Athens. Since Zeus had forbidden the Gods from waging war with one another, Athena could not step in to protect her city. Instead, Athena enlisted the help of Kratos, who had faithfully served the Gods for 10 years. Kratos was instructed to find Pandora's Box in order to kill Ares. While Ares relentlessly tore Athens apart, he suddenly sensed that Kratos had retrieved the Box. Although he was impressed, Ares picked up a broken pillar and hurled it into the desert, which flew into Pandora's Temple and struck Kratos in the chest, impaling him to a wall and killing him. Ares' Harpies retrieved the Box and brought it to him. However, Kratos escaped the Underworld through the help of the mysterious Grave Digger.
Ares challenged Zeus, and threatened to open the Box and use it against Olympus. It seemed all was lost, until Ares looked behind him and saw a returning Kratos standing behind him. He then mocked Zeus by his saying that he sent a broken mortal to defeat the God of War. Kratos, using his power granted by Zeus, took the Box from Ares' hands and opened it. The Gods' power was unleashed, and Kratos felt its magic pour into him, which caused him to grow into a giant (though Ares was still noticeably bigger than him). Kratos' strength matched Ares, and the ultimate battle for power began.
Ares claimed that Kratos was still just a mortal, and was every bit as weak as the day that he begged him to save his life. Kratos recalled that he was not the same man that Ares had found that day – the monster Ares created had returned to kill him. Ares boasted that Kratos had no idea of what a true monster really was. Ares then unleashed large spider-like spikes from his back and was ready to finally kill Kratos for good.
Kratos gained the upper hand during the fight, but Ares trapped him in an illusion where his family was attacked by an army of clones of himself (representing his mistake of killing his wife and child), and stated that there were more effective ways of killing someone than just physical harm. Though Kratos had managed to kill all of the clones, Ares mocked him, ripped the Blades of Chaos from his arms, and killed the image of his family with them. The two of them returned to the real world, where Kratos was emotionally beaten, and Ares boasted that Kratos should have been stronger and prepared to kill him with His Sword.
Death of Ares
Kratos, however, spotted the Blade of the Gods (which had sent by Athena), dodged Ares' attack, took up the sword, and defeated him in battle with it. Ares pleaded for his life while reminding Kratos of the day that he had saved his life, and how he had only tried to make him a great warrior. Kratos ironically recanted that Ares had "succeeded" in doing that before he impaled him through the chest, and killed him. The God of War fell into the Aegean Sea, and was no more, dead at the hands of the mortal that he controlled many years ago. Before his last breath, Ares released a loud death cry, which caused blood to burst from his chest, and a powerful explosion was released. However, Kratos, having killed Ares, the one who made him kill his family, asked Athena to remove the nightmares of his past. Athena replied that even though he had been forgiven of his sins, the Gods nor any mortal could ever remove his memories of killing his family. Kratos realized that his nightmarish visions of his past sins would never leave him and thus tried to kill himself over Suicide Bluffs. Athena saved Kratos and said that the Gods could not allow him, who had done such good deeds for them, to die by his own hand. Athena then said that Ares's tactics and methods were brutal and while the Olympians mourned for their brother, Ares's path of destruction had to be stopped. However, with Ares's death, there was an empty place on Olympus for a new God of War: Kratos. Kratos then ascended to Olympus and was given the crown, throne, and title as the new God of War, which meant that the peace of Ares' death was broken and whenever there were wars, for good or evil, they would be sought by and given permission to by Kratos, the new; all-powerful; and immortal God of War.
After Kratos' success in defeating and killing Ares and becoming the new God of War, the Spartan citizens disowned Ares and hailed Kratos willingly (save for a few staunch supporters of Ares), and even removed all effigies of Ares and replaced them with those of Kratos. However, a few faithful Disciples of Ares attempted to revive their fallen God of War with the power of the Ambrosia (a power that could resurrect even a God), but Kratos had destroyed Gyges, the island in which the Ambrosia rested on, in order to prevent the followers of Ares' plans from coming to fruition.
After Ares' Death
After Kratos was betrayed by Zeus and stripped of his Godly powers, Kratos was rescued by Gaia, the Titaness of Earth, who told him that the Sisters of Fate had the power to help him go back in time, avert his betrayal and face Zeus. On the Island of Creation, Kratos came upon a room known as the Garden of the Gods, in which there was a Statue of Ares where he was referred to as "The Fallen God of War". Kratos, after he faced many challenges to get to the Sisters, finally arrived at the Temple of the Fates where he met one of the sisters, Lahkesis. She told Kratos that no one could change their destiny and then began to fight him. As Kratos hurt Lahkesis gravely, she summoned her sister, Atropos, from within herself. Atropos quickly grabbed Kratos, took him inside the mirrors, and brought him back to the day where he faced and killed Ares. She threw Kratos on the Blade of the Gods that he used to kill Ares and become the new and great God of War. Then she tried to change his past by destroying the blade. With the blade gone, Ares would be victorious. In order to maintain his existence, Kratos protected the blade while he battled Atropos, eventually defeated her, secured his past, and trapped her inside the mirror.
The Second Titanomachy
While he faced the Hippocampi on Gaia's hand, Kratos followed a path that leads to a chamber, the Tomb of Ares, which contained Ares' massive corpse that was concealed in ice. Kratos fought the first Centaur of the game there.
Despite being dead, Ares played a small role in the third game, as he was mentioned by Athena, Hephaestus, Hera, Cronos, Zeus, and Kratos, and was also shown in flashback scenes. There was also a large fresco of Ares in the upper part of the Chamber of the Flame, which showed him wielding his trademark sword. That fresco was located right next to a fresco of his mother, Hera. Ares' voice was heard when Kratos ended up in his psyche.
With the death of Zeus and the near destruction of the world, Ares' plan for Kratos to take down the Olympian Gods and Mount Olympus came to full fruition, though not as he hoped.
|“||Once your soul is in my grasp, warrior, I will grant you the strength to crush your enemies.||”|
"With the powers of the god of war, a warrior of Ares is what some might call a "glass cannon": the best physical damage dealers from the game, but also the least resistant to damage. This makes Ares the opposite of Poseidon in Multiplayer. His warriors also have a natural bond with fire and heat, which makes them even more fierce by allowing them to keep burning and harming enemies even after an attack."
A Warrior of Ares could annihilate his enemies in a matter of seconds but must watch out for incoming attacks. The God of War's servants could survive in hoards of enemies by themselves, which made that the best class for Trial of the Gods.
Dominant physical powers.
Damage over time and disable enemy defenses.
Enhanced melee combat.
Grant damage bonuses and burn enemies over time in certain special attacks.
Focus on enhancing physical powers.
Spear, helmet, dog, vulture, and flaming torch.
Powers and Abilities
As the original God of War, Ares possessed a formidable arsenal of superhuman and magical abilities - all in correlation with combat and warfare, as these were his spheres of influence. As an Olympian prince and firstborn son of Zeus, his powers were considerably stronger than lesser gods.
- Dimensiokinesis: Ares was able to create pocket universes that he could control completely. Ares demonstrated that during his battle with Kratos, where he trapped him in his own mind, where he was forced to protect his family, for Ares to kill after all, and almost broke his spirit. However, the pocket universe seemed to be made in Kratos' head instead of an actual physical dimension as when he returned to his giant body, he was kneeling as Ares appeared behind him and was ready to strike him down.
- Enhanced Senses: Ares was able to sense how Kratos retrieved Pandora's Box while being dozens of miles away from the Desert of Lost Souls.
- Immortality: As a god, Ares was innately immortal; neither aging beyond his prime nor succumbing to mortal frailty such as disease or impotence of any sort. He could not be slain by earthly weapons; only divine forces and weapons such as the power of Hope, Blade of the Gods or other immortals such as Titans could slay him.
- Superhuman Strength: As a God of War and Zeus' firstborn son Ares has immense godly strength able to crush buildings effortlessly, make the ground shake by stomping and fight with Kratos after he was strengthened by Pandora box on equal terms.
- Superhuman Durability: Ares posses incredibly durability as a God of War. During his battle with Kratos, he withstands an immense amount of punishment from him including being impaled his own back protrusions which only infuriated him more. Ares also shows to be very resistant even against divine weapons like Blade of the Gods although he was ultimately killed with said weapon.
- Power Bestowal: Ares was able to grant the chosen warrior with a large variety of abilities and weapons, a power common among the Gods. It was he who gave Kratos his original blades, the Blades of Chaos. He also granted the Redeemed Warrior, if he chose to follow him, the highest amount of attack power as well as the ability to empower their weapons with fire to burn enemies.
- Pyrokinesis: Ares possessed the ability to manipulate fire, in every way possible. Ares was able to infuse it in his weapons, throw fireballs from his hands, and ignited people at will. Ares often used that ability to kill those who opposed him. Ares also used it in an aesthetic way, as his hair and facial hair were made of fire.
- Astral Projection: Ares was able to project an image of himself out of the fire to communicate to Kratos after the Spartan killed his family.
- Shapeshifting: As an Olympian, Ares was able to alter his appearance at will. He did that however to a small extent as the change of his hair was altered between God of War: Ascension and God of War.
- Size Alteration: Ares was able to alter his size, and often increased it to titanic proportions, as he did during the Battle of Athens.
- Transformation: Ares was able to sprout large, spider-like protrusions from his back that could be used in combat to hit and impale his enemies. Based on the fact that his statue in God of War: Ascension bore those "claws", it is implied that this was a trademark feature of the War God.
- Telepathy: Ares was able to talk to people through their minds, without physically getting involved with his target. He can even do this after creating his pocket dimension as he used it to mentally taunt Kratos.
- Telekinesis: Ares was able to move objects and people with his mind and did that on a massive scale. Ares used the ability to rip the Blades of Chaos from Kratos' arms, and, during the Battle with the Barbarians, lifted people in the air and broke them in half.
- Teleportation: Throughout his battle with Kratos, Ares was able to teleport all around the area very quickly.
- Geokinesis: Ares would occasionally summon enormous volcanic rock structures to try to harm Kratos.
- War Embodiment: As the original God of War, Ares was the embodiment of War itself and was able to draw power from it. In combination with his other abilities, Ares was able to lay waste to huge armies with little to no effort. When he died, Ares' body exploded like a nuclear bomb.
- Weapon Creation: During his final fight with Kratos, Ares has shown the ability to materialize various weapons such as a gigantic war hammer, an axe, and a sword, all of which were enveloped in flames.
- Master Combatant: As an Original God of War, Ares was the most imposing and skilled warrior of Olympus, surpassed possibly only by his father and uncles. He has mastered all weapons used in the war including sword, axe, war hammer and his back spider-like blades which coupled with his godly powers and physical prowess makes him even more formidable. Even after Kratos gains power from Pandora Box, Ares proved himself to be an extremely hard adversary, fighting with the Ghost of Sparta on equal terms most of their battle and at one point nearly killed him despite ultimately lost to him.
- Enhanced Marksmanship: As a god of war, he possessed a greater level of marksmanship as he was able to perfectly hurl a large pillar from Athens to the far off Pandora's Temple in the Desert of Lost Souls to fatally impale Kratos.
Being the god of war, violence and bloodshed, Ares is cruel, sadistic, and violent, as seen by his caring only about spreading chaos and conflict across the world. According to Zeus, Ares only feels joy when destroying cities and nations. Ares is also extremely greedy and power hungry, as exemplified by his wishing to destroy his father, so he can replace him as the new king of gods and the ruler of Olympus. However, all his attempts to overthrow Zeus failed. He was even arrogant to the point of openly calling out Zeus and challenging his rule.
Ares also considered love for one's family a weakness, which is evident by how he tricked Kratos into murdering his family, as he believed they hindered his servant from becoming a great warrior. He would later learn the hard way that he should have been careful with his expectations for Kratos, who slaughtered Ares in turn once he became aware of his machinations. This shows that Ares never cared much for his own kin, as he plotted to kill his father Zeus and disowned his son Orkos after he could not meet Ares' expectations. His relationship with his mother Hera and brother Hephaestus was unknown as he was not shown despising them.
Ares envies his sister Athena, as she was favored by Zeus and was always trying to prove himself as superior to her in every way, such as creating the perfect warrior for example. Eventually, his hatred and jealousy for his sister makes him attempt to destroy the sacred city Athens; however he was stopped and killed by Kratos, with the support of Athena herself.
Ares appears as a giant warrior god. He wears a brown sleeveless tunic, shoulder pieces with wolf faces built into them, and has bracers and boots with chains on them. His boots go up to his knees. He has long hair and a beard, which seem to be made of fire.
Unlike most of the other gods, Ares ignored Zeus's orders and had no fear of Zeus's wrath, to the point that he challenged his father several times while mocking him for sending a "broken mortal" to fight him, instead of facing Ares by himself.
Ares has a deep hatred for his sister, as he refuses to even stay in Olympus when she is around. Ares considers Athena weak and is always trying to prove himself as superior to the goddess of war, or attacking her in every opportunity, as when he would command Kratos to attack the villages and cities that were sacred to the goddess. Ares envies the amount of respect and worship that Athena receives from other deities and mortals, while he himself is hated and despised.
Back in the days when Kratos was still his servant, Ares considered him an almost "perfect warrior", possibly because they both shared the same rage, hatred and love for bloodshed. However, unlike Ares, Kratos still loved and cared deeply for his family; feelings that were considered a weakness by the god of war. After Kratos abandoned Ares, the warrior god started to despise Kratos, considering him just a "broken mortal" with no value and saying he was every bit as weak as the day the Spartan begged Ares to save his life.
- Ares was voiced by Steven Blum in God of War and God of War: Ascension, and by Fred Tatasciore in God of War III. Interestingly, he shared the same voice actor (Steven Blum) as Lucifer from the animated movie of Dante's Inferno, a game that shared many gameplay mechanics and themes.
- Ares' appearance changed dramatically during the development of God of War. Originally, David Jaffe had intended for the god to appear as "ninety percent energy and ten percent material", but because of the limited power of the PS2, Ares' appearance was gradually stripped back to the warrior seen in the final product.
- Ares also appeared as the main antagonist at the end of Spartan: Total Warrior, a game that shared many similarities with God of War.
- During the final battle, after Kratos is robbed of his blades and magic, Ares will use the Army of Hades ability, implying he has some degree of power stealing or perhaps, with him being a God, can also withdraw blessings or powers other Olympians have given him.
- Because he was killed by Kratos, it was rather unlikely that Ares had a chance to be affected by the evils of Pandora's Box, as he did not truly display any characteristics of the evils the Box contained. As such, Ares' threat to attack Olympus as well as his bloodthirsty ways were already part of his own character.
- Ares is technically responsible for Kratos' standard appearance (with the exception of the scar on the latter's abdomen). He attacked Kratos when the latter was a child, giving him a scar on his right eye and then took Deimos away, leaving Kratos to think his brother was dead and thus caused him to tattoo himself in a way similar to Deimos' birthmark. He also tricked Kratos into killing his own family, thereby causing their ashes to attach themselves to his skin. He even gave Kratos scars on his wrists when he attached the Blades of Chaos to it.
- It is unknown why, even if he was an enemy of Kratos, his illusion was used by Gaia in God of War II to encourage Kratos to fight back and revive himself after his death at the hands of Zeus.
- According to one of the Secret Messages at the end of God of War, Ares' soul was confined to a small chamber in Kratos' Throne Room, and was forever tormented by an unknown force.
- Ares' human-sized avatar was only seen in Ghost of Sparta: in flashbacks that showed him taking Deimos away and scarring Kratos.
- Ares was one of the mentors for God of War: Ascension Multiplayer. That made him the only mentor who wasn't a son of Cronos: he's his grandson instead.
- Ares was ranked on 55th place of the Top 100 Video Game Villains on IGN.
- Ares was the only God in the series shown with the ability to grow retractable blade-like spider legs from his back. It remained unknown if there were other Olympians with that ability or if it's unique to Ares. Megaera, one of the Furies, had spider-like legs growing out of her back: their appearance was very similar, though more insect-like, compared to Ares' but they were not on fire and they seemed to be truly a part of her physiology.
- Based on Ares' appearance in God of War: Ascension, his ability to grow those spider legs wasn't a secret to the Champions of Ares. In other words, Kratos would have known that Ares had that ability as was implied by Kratos' complete lack of surprise. The legs were mostly a surprise for the gamer.
- The Champions of Ares had a natural bounding with fire and gained energy from battle as revealed in Ares' Trailer of Ascension.
- In God of War: Ascension, Ares was seen with shorter hair and beard than in the other games. The reason of the change was still unknown.
- It was most likely, however, that Ares, like the other Gods, could change his appearance depending on whatever suited him.
- Since Ares' appearance in Ascension is shown in flashbacks, it is possible this was Ares' appearance prior to Kratos' birth or as the game took place ten years prior to the original game.
- Ares is technically responsible for the events of the Greek-era games of the series: by tricking Kratos into killing his family, he would set him on the path that would lead to Olympus' destruction.