Cursed Remains are a recurring enemy in the God of War Series. The most common trait about them is how they always appear as simple skeletons. From there, however, it can vary from game to game what they wield, and how they fight.
In Folklore, animated human skeletons have been used as a personification of death in Western culture since the Middle Ages, a personification perhaps influenced by the valley of the dry bones in the Book of Ezekiel.
In God of War Series
Kratos first encounters Cursed Remains amongst the ruined city of Heraklion. At first Cursed Remains only appear as a pile of bones but as Kratos approaches they rise up and transform into full skeletons, armed with a sword in one hand and small shield in the other. Individually the Cursed Remains are not a serious threat, however when they gather in numbers they become far more dangerous. While combating these creatures they will periodically disassemble themselves into the pile of bones originally encountered to avoid further damage, then the Cursed Remains will reanimate and attack Kratos when he least suspects it. Via a grab attack, Kratos can destroy these foes by grabbing them by one leg, and smashing them into the ground.
The Cursed Remains in God of War II appear as simple skeletons, armed only with large rusted swords. They appear as simply a pile of bones at first, but rise up into a full skeleton when Kratos approaches. They usually appear in large numbers, and can deliver spinning strikes with their sword.
They aren't strong, but Kratos can only completely destroy them via a context-sensitive kill, magical powers or a powerful strike of any weapon. If not destroyed properly, they turn back into a pile of bones and rise again shortly. Via a grab attack, Kratos can kill the enemy by first smashing off its skull, and then shattering the rest of it into pieces.
Cursed Remains first appear in the Bog of the Forgotten, near the Temple of Euryale's entrance. Then, they are seen in the Catacombs of the Fallen, the Bone Crusher, near the Phoenix Chamber, and in the seventh Challenge of the Titans.
The Cursed Remains return in God of War III. This time around, they are armed with small shields and helmets. Kratos encounters them deep within the Pit of Tartarus, and upon the Titan Cronos. Their fighting style, however, is nearly identical to the Olympus Sentries, and Kratos can use exactly the same means to fight and destroy them. Unlike the other games, the Cursed Remains drop blood.
- Animate skeletons with swords and shields also appear in the famous 1963 motion picture Jason and the Argonauts. The circumstances under which they appear in God of War II may be an homage to this well-known portion of the film.
- When the first God of War game was in development, one rejected concept for the Undead Legionnaire is of a simple skeleton with a sword and shield (inspired by classic mythology films, as stated above). Its quite possible they referred back to this previously rejected concept for the Cursed Remains.