How I Fell for a Disembodied Head With Snakes for Hair
Hades adorably reimagines a once-terrible ancient Greek monster
As someone who wouldn’t touch rogue-likes with a 10-foot spear, Hades has grown on me in ways I never thought possible. In fact, I pride myself on the restraint I’ve shown while writing this piece. The “just one more run” mantra has seeped into my very essence. It’s no more inescapable than the call of the seductive Greek siren. There’s more to Hades than butter-smooth combat and elaborate progression systems. A cast of reimagined Greek gods armed with witty dialogue greet me on every failed escape attempt from the Greek underworld. Not a bad way to go. Not at all.
While all these colorful misfits deserve an article-worth of praise for their dispositions, one stands apart from the rest (okay, she can’t stand). For someone well-acquainted with Greek lore, she was the last person I expected to float about with a feather duster dusting the lounge.
Enter Maid Dusa, a little bundle of joy wrapped in green scales.
Got me stoned
While historians and self-proclaimed Greek myth experts debate the origin of the original Medusa’s curse, most agree on her ability to turn people to stone with merely a glimpse of her unearthly face. As for the origin of the curse, some say that she was a fair maiden seduced by the god Poseidon in a temple sacred to Athena. Such sacrilege was punished with locks of hair turned to snakes and a gaze that could petrify any mortal. While some tend to spin it off as Athena’s gift that protected Medusa from men, crippling loneliness doesn’t sound like the solution to me. I wonder what hair spa attendants would do with green snakes. I digress.
Long story short, a hero walked across a garden filled with stone statues and ended Medusa’s misery by separating her head from her body. I’m sorry, Greek myths aren’t known for upholding morals. As for the videogame version that greets you, Dusa is now a little head who happens to be a subservient staff member of the house of Hades, floating about with the burden of cleaning the entire mansion upon her imaginary shoulders. She utters not a word of protest as she dutifully scours the house, keeping things spick and span. Dusa’s past is one that isn’t revealed to the player, but it’s made clear that she was a very different person back when she had a body. When approached, she gasps as little hearts emit from her vicinity.
Conversations with Dusa tend to be short and flustered, her voice a perfect example of how I’d imagine a teenager with a huge crush would sound. The game manages to get you to establish an intimate connection with a character whose mere mention strikes fear into Greek hearts. Amidst the gloomy depths of the underworld, the adorable little thing is certainly a sight for sore eyes. Gifting Dusa ambrosia (the nectar of the gods) results in a burst of genuine surprise that can melt any battle-hardened heart. As for how this exchange of gifts will pan out, it would be a disservice to the game to spoil it here. I suggest you take Hades for a spin to find out. She’s not the only one you can romance.
Don’t forget to pet your three-headed dog before you get yourself killed again.
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