Wraiths were said to be a type of ghost or specter in Medieval myths.
In the God of War Series
Wraiths are ghostly beings that appear as foes throughout the God of War series. They appear as eyeless, emaciated humans with decaying flesh and bladed arms. Instead of legs, their waists terminate in clouds of black smoke from which they float. Utterly consumed by the rage in which they died, they now attack any living thing that comes near them. They can burrow beneath the earth, invulnerable to damage until they explode up from beneath Kratos' feet to attack him.
In the first two games, Kratos' finishing move has him grab them by one of their arms, throw them to the ground, rip off the arm, and then decapitate them with the blade.
Wraith of Hades
Wraiths of Hades are a new type of Wraith encountered in God of War: Ascension. They are the strongest type of Wraith encountered in the God of War series, being able to summon spirits of themselves to attack Kratos, unlike previous installments. They are similar to the Wraiths of Olympus in God of War III, as they both used curved blades and have human like hands. Like the other Wraiths, these ones have the ability to enter the ground and attack warriors by leaping up, but they can be pulled back by pressing R1 while they're underground.
If a golden halo appears above their heads, Kratos can grab them with his Blades and slam them on the ground three times, gaining magic orbs at each slam. This is also the brutal way to finish these Wraiths' spirits. To kill a Wraith of Hades, Kratos takes one of their curved blades, pushes them to the floor and impales their chest with it, just like he does to the Wraiths of Olympus. Both red and blue orbs are gained for brutally executing these foes.
Multiplayer: Wraiths of Hades can also be found in the Trial of the Gods mode of the Desert of Lost Souls and in the Tower of Delphi, in Multiplayer. They keep all of their abilities, including their spirit summon and their power to enter the ground and attack from below. However, their spirits are much more independent and will appear by themselves (without having been summoned by a major Wraith of Hades) many times. These spirits are maybe even weaker than in Singleplayer, but will try to evade almost every attack from players. The Wraiths of Hades themselves will try to block most of the player's attacks, but it's possible to break this block with a heavy attack (Triangle).
Wraith of Athens
The Wraiths of Athens are the most common type of Wraith that Kratos encounters. Like their name indicates, Kratos first encounters these Wraiths throughout the rooftops and buildings within the city of Athens. Their skin is dark and decayed and they wear pieces of a golden armor, which cover their heads and shoulders.
They attack by burrowing into the ground, and then leaping up out of it to strike Kratos with their bladed arms. Kratos can damage them at any moment by sticking their blades into the ground, and then giving them an uppercut with his blades, after which he can follow them in air. If he then grabs them in mid-air, he will pull them down to the ground, and slam the creature's back on his shoulder.
After doing enough damage, Kratos can kill them by throwing them to the ground, ripping off their one of their bladed arms, and decapitating them with it. In God of War, he gains a few red orbs for killing one of them. In God of War II, the quantity of red orbs gained is considerably greater and blue ones are gained as well.
Desert Wraiths are encountered exclusively in Pandora's Temple. They are almost identical to the Wraith of Athens, except they are slightly stronger. Kratos can damage and kill them in the same way as he does with the Wraiths of Athens. He gains red, green and blue orbs by killing them, and the quantity of each of them varies depending on how he executes them (normally of brutally).
The Keres Wraith are enemies featured in Ghost of Sparta, as deadly minions of Thanatos. They are notable for being tougher than previous incarnations of Wraiths, as they are capable of attacking Kratos from underground at long range: if Kratos knocks them back with a strong attack, they will crawl into the ground after falling on it. While hiding underground, they prepare and execute a leaping rush attack that cannot be blocked, only parried or evaded. When the parry or evasive move fails, the Wraith forces Kratos against the ground and viciously slashes his face with her pointy nails. If the Spartan manages to get her off, he will grab her face with one hand and punch it with the other one, which will drive her back.
As mentioned above, they'll only crawl into the ground and attempt to leap on Kratos if they're knocked away by one of his strong attacks. Because of this, it's important to stop a combo before the final blow hits them, because this blow usually knocks them back. Trying to strike them up to the air with an "ascension attack" (Hold Triangle) is useless as well, as they'll be knocked back by it instead of being knocked to the air like other enemies. Other attacks from these Wraiths include sticking their fingers into the ground to create an energy burst at Kratos' feet, which will range at any part of the area or simply repeatedly scratching him with their nails.
Once weakened, they crawl wearily across the ground, where they are prone to a brutal finisher, in which Kratos viciously dives on her, stabs her in the back with one Blade, pulls the Blade out and finally sticks his hand into the wound to rip her heart out. Both red and green orbs are gained when one of them is brutally executed. A Keres Wraith is the only female type of Wraith, and one of the few enemies of the game that possesses glowing yellow blood, which indicates they serve Thanatos.
They are encountered three times in the game, The Ruins of Atlantis, The Canyons of Sorrow and the Temple of Thanatos.
Death scene: If Kratos' health reaches zero while a Keres Wraith slashes her hands at him, she will stab her nails into his throat, effectively killing him.
Trivia: Keres Wraiths, as well the The Skull of Keres have their named based on Keres, from the Greek Mythology, female spirits of violent death. Keres Wraith have resemblance with The Witch, from the Left 4 Dead games, as well with the Desert Sirens from God of War. Several statues from Keres Wraiths can be seen in Domain of Death.
Wraith of Asphodel
They appear similar to the Wraith of Athens, except with slightly different armor, and they are also much stronger and more resistant, being one of the most resistant enemies in the game. Wraiths of Asphodel also have a special ability in which they can attack Kratos by throwing their blade-like arms at him in a "boomerang" like fashion both in the air and underground. Kratos can also damage and kill them the same way he kills the Wraiths of Athens, but needs to grab them several more times if he wants to damage and kill them this way. Red, blue and green orbs are gained by killing each of them.
Wraith of Olympus
Wraiths of Olympus dwell throughout Olympus and the Underworld, most likely as servants of the Gods. Unlike the Wraiths from previous installments, they don't have straight blades for arms, but human-like hands, that hold curved blades, and can be used as boomerangs.
Much like the other Wraiths, they burrow beneath the earth, but Kratos can effectively pull them up from under the ground, and slam them down using his grapple attack. When weakened, the Olympian Wraiths can be pinned down to the ground with one blade, and decapitated with the other.
If the Combat Grapple is continued, a unique Wraith-finisher is performed. After several attacks and throws, Kratos launches them in the air, jumps up alongside them, grabs them mid-air, and performs a brutal backbreaker.
- Wraiths of Athens seem to be much weaker in God of War than in God of War II, since in the first game, Kratos needs to grab them only two or three times to be able to perform the finishing move; and in the second, about five of six grabs are required.
- Wraiths of Hades can summon purple spirits of themselves to attack Kratos, this can be because they have the elemental ability of soul similar to Kratos power the Soul of Hades.
- Wraith is one of the few enemies featured in Destiny of Spirits.
- A soundtrack named Wraiths of Asphodel from God of War II plays during Kratos' first encounter with the Wraiths of Athens in the game, but not in the only part of it in which he actually finds Wraiths of Asphodel.
- The armor worn by the Wraiths of Olympus bears resemblance to the helmets and manicas worn by Ancient Roman gladiators.