Cerberus Mongrels are the weakest breed of Cerberus that appear in God of War III, and are first encountered shortly after Kratos' descent into the Underworld. They're also the only kind of Cerberus seen in God of War: Ascension.
In God of War III
They appear as large three-headed dogs with a gaunt, starved look, and attack Kratos either by leaping at him with their claws, or spitting fire from a distance. Carefully blocking or evading the Cerberus Mongrel's strikes, then countering and delivering powerful blows with Kratos' weapons will weaken and daze a Cerberus Mongrel, allowing Kratos to jump on top, and latch his blades around their left and right heads. Once this has been done, Kratos can then take control of the beast, having it strike and breathe fire at other surrounding enemies.
After the Cerberus Mongrel has taken too much damage, Kratos will finally kill it by yanking his blades and decapitating its left and right heads, then impaling the middle head into the ground in the process.
Kratos rides on the Cerberus Mongrel three times; first in the underworld where he uses it to burn down Peirithous. The next encounter is during the first visit to the Caverns of Olympus where he rides it to stop the Minotaurs from breaking the Chains that holds a section of the Labyrinth and finally the first section inside the Labyrinth destroying any statues and puppies who cross his way.
In God of War: Ascension
Cerberus Mongrels have been remodeled in this game to have the powers of their master: lord Hades himself. They appear both in Singleplayer and Multiplayer, with differences between each mode's models and tactics. In Singleplayer, they are encountered in the entrance to the Oracle's Chamber, the start of the second part of the Prison of the Damned, and during the Island of Delos.
These animals have purple fur and powers, and also many new attacks: they can create soul shields around themselves, preventing Kratos from attacking it, and then "explode" these shields, stunning the Spartan if he's too close when this happens; they can create purple portals below them and enter them, as if they were digging into the ground, and then reappear near Kratos or players, slamming their paws on the ground as they get out of it to drive enemies back.
It's only possible to ride a Cerberus Mongrel in Ascension by stunning it (golden halo above its head), which is much more difficult than in the third game. When they are being ridden by Kratos or a warrior, they attack by spitting purple soul energy instead of fire (although it has the same effects as in the third game). When the "ride period" is over, the rider leaps off the animal, grabbing it with his chains (either the Blades of Chaos or Grappling Hooks), and slams them on the ground, throwing them above their heads.
When it is weakened (red halo above its head), a warrior can leap on its backs, latching his chains around the lateral heads, and press Circle quickly to yank them and then stab the middle head with both blades, just like in God of War III. The killer receives red and blue orbs for its death.
Multiplayer: In Multiplayer, they are only found in the Forum of Hercules map of Trial of the Gods mode and in the Coliseum of Persia in Team Favor of the Gods (2v2) and Match of Champions modes, in which they are used to harm other players.
Since this is the only kind of Cerberus in Ascension, they are much stronger than their versions in God of War III, more deadly and more resistant. Usually, teamwork is necessary to kill these beasts in time.
- Physically, the Cerberus Mongrel bears a lot of similarities to some of the early Cerberus concept art made during the development of the very first God of War.
- In Ascension, some differences between the tatics of the Cerberus in Singleplayer and Multiplayer are:
- They only perform the "soul shield attack" in Singleplayer mode;
- In Multiplayer, when they enter the ground, it takes some seconds for them to get out and attack, whereas in Singleplayer they get out and attack almost instantly.
- In Singleplayer, when they prepare to spit a projectile at Kratos, they spit a single swift soul wave in front of them. In Multiplayer, they throw soul fire balls that hit players at any part of the arena, no matter how far they are, and keep spitting more fire balls until the player dares to get closer to it. In both modes, the animal barks before attacking and both attacks can be blocked.