Extremely good game Hades got its full release recently. Allegedly a roguelike (but it cannot be, because I do not like roguelikes), in Hades the game you play as Hades the god’s swaggering poshboy son Zagreus, who is trying to literally and figuratively escape his father’s home. Hades the game makes full use of its setting and is stuffed full of great renditions of Ancient Greek gods and monsters.
I’ve been getting up an hour early to play Hades before work, so I have spent a lot of time thinking about the characters you run into on your multiple attempts to get out of hell. I was going to do a list of them in order of how hot I think they are, but I think you know me well enough by now to know the list would be a bit of paper with “idk they’re all pretty hot” scrawled on it in biro. So instead, as is applicable in many situations, we turn to John Mulaney.
The McDonald’s alignment chart is loosely based on a joke from John Mulaney’s 2015 stand up show The Comeback Kid, where once his dad drove him and his brothers and sisters into a McDonald’s drivethru, and then ordered a single black coffee for himself and drove off. By adding a third option (“we have food at home”) you have a template on which you can plot any person or character ever, in all of existence. It is also ideal for plotting the characters in Hades, since they are all related and the McDonald’s chart works really well with families or family dynamic groups. See: Overwatch.
(This meme template became popular in around 2017, which is why all the articles about it being a hot new meme are from 2018).
The House of Hades
I want to establish the three poles of McDonald’s Alignment that I’ll be working against, and actually the family (such as we might term it) at the House Of Hades represent fabulous starting positions. So our poles will be represented by Hades, Zagreus, and Nyx.
My placements here may be controversial. Obviously Zag is Yelling McDonald’s: he is the child of the group, he is bold and brash, he wants McDonald’s and he wants it now, godammit.
Now, some of you will already be insisting that Hades is the Single Cup Of Coffee parent, but he clearly doesn’t have the sense of humour to pull it off. He’s also very aware of his duty (and is justifiably resentful that his siblings get to party it up on Olympus), and is clearly team Food At Home because, duh, Zagreus, there is no need to leave Hades.
Nyx, mother figure, is clearly Single Black Coffee: she is high aesthetic, the embodiment of night, and is more rebellious and devious than Hades by far.
So, with all that in mind, here is the final and full Hades McDonald’s alignment chart. Click for a larger version for close perusal.
As you can see, most of the Olympian gods are clustered around the Yelling McDonald’s area, because they are a basically all obstreperous children and some, like Aphrodite and Dionysus, have “poor impulse control” built into their personalities. I’m not going to be showing all my working at this time, but I will highlight what I think are some significant choices to explain why I placed certain characters where on this chart.
Artemis and Athena
Wisdom is supposedly one of Athena’s big things, so she would always be mindful that getting food at home would be the more sensible thing to do. But, like Artemis, she has big petty bitch energy lurking just beneath the surface – although not quite as much as Artemis. Artemis, meanwhile, is not fully in coffee corner because there certainly is food at home, and she killed it herself.
The Furies have ended up quite spread out. Meg seems the most practical and sensible (and is pragmatic in, for example, her choice to side with Hades against Zag). Alecto radiates Single Black Coffee energy, no arguments there. Tisiphone is a stickler for rules, clearly, so she is higher up towards Food At Home, but she likes repeating words beginning with M, so I feel she could get on board with Yelling McDonald’s.
I mean, technically speaking I think Demeter is the food at home?
The portrayal of Achilles in Hades is one of my favourite things, actually. Achilles in the Iliad is a petty asshole, whereas in Hades he seems to have mellowed after being dead for hundreds of years and is more of a chilled out records keeper. Iliad-chilles would have been very much Yelling McDonald’s, but this Achilles, who is a bit sad and reflective and measured, would know the value of Food At Home (where his boyfriend is).
Of the Olympian gods, Poseidon is the most balanced between “taking hilarious revenge” and “up for the bants”, so he is the halfy-halfy between McDonald’s and Black Coffee (side note: I think his boons are my fave as well).
As the personification of death, Thanatos should theoretically be True Neutral, and I do think he cleaves quite close to that ideal. But he’s also obviously a big ol’ goth, (on brand for death) and complains about the mortal realm being too bright and suchlike, which means he is edged a little bit closer to the Single Black Coffee end.
Does not appear because he is a good boy and above all this. It should be acknowledged, however, that dogs in general have a big Yelling McDonald’s vibe.