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Hades 2 is here to remind you that Hades is still the worst dad ever

Fresh evidence for the emancipation order in that Game Awards announcement trailer

Melinoë, the protagonist of Hades 2. A woman with short blonde hair and extremely pale skin, mismatched eyes, and one arm that glows an ethereal green, she's wearing a short orange tunic dress and other bits of vaguely Greek-looking decorations and adornments. In the background float mystical symbols, and glowing weapons hover near to her hands, which are outstretched.
Image credit: Supergiant Games

Last night at The Game Awards, we learned that not only will there be a Hades 2, but it will be making the absolutely correct choice of letting Zagreus step aside to make way for a new protagonist. This time around we'll be playing as Melinoë, modelled after the Greek goddess of nightmares and madness. She's also Zag's half-sister — yet another of the dozens of children, step-children, and foster-children of Hades knocking about the place — which brings me to my main take-away from the newly-confirmed existence of a Hades sequel: the title character is a really bad dad.

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The first game didn't exactly show Hades' parenting skills in the best of lights, but the very fact that there's a Hades 2 with a different protagonist who's also one of his kids brings all sorts of new dimensions to the issue. Zagreus's story already confirmed that Hades is pretty hands-off as a father. I mean, Zag merrily alternated between fighting his own step-siblings to the death and snogging them, and if papa won't step in to stop that, what will trigger a parental intervention?

A combat scene from Hades 2 shows Melinoë battling several undead enemies as more approach, against a vivid purple background of dead trees, spectral onlookers, and an ominously oozing green river.
Pictured: The environment in which Hades has elected to raise children.

But throw in a second child who is also possessed of a burning rage that can only be worked out through a strenuous regimen of roguelike dungeon crawls, and now suddenly the picture is of a dude whose grown-up children all have active vendettas. That's not healthy, Hades! Talk to your kids about their problems before they develop into blood feuds! Make sure they understand that not every negative emotion needs to be resolved by hacking and/or slashing! Frankly, at this point, I'm kind of hoping that Hades 3 lets us step into the shoes of the big man himself to take an underworld parenting class. It could still be a roguelike! We could work on fighting our inner demons, eh, Hades?

It's worth noting, though, that Melinoë's beef isn't actually with her own father like Zag's was; instead, she's got it in for Chronos, the Titan of Time. She might actually be a bit of a daddy's girl, since the trailer makes it seem like she's vowing to help her old man out of a jam, which is the exact opposite of her brother's rebellious feelings towards him. Maybe Hades is one of those dads who's scary to most people but a big teddy bear to his daughters? That would be a cute development, actually, although I do not endorse treating your kids differently on the basis of gender, so I'm still calling on Hades to get his shit together.

So, do we know anything else about new girl Melinoë? Well, I'm already convinced that she'll turn out to be a queer disaster just like her brother. Not only are Supergiant sure to want to carry on building their reputation for top-tier LGBTQ+ storytelling in games, but one look at Nemesis in that trailer is surely enough to make any lingering delusions of rigid heterosexuality disappear in a puff of smoke.

In a dialogue screen from Hades 2, Nemesis (a dark-haired, muscular woman in ornate armour) asks the protagonist if she's ready to give in.
That sound you can hear is every sapphic woman you know simultaneously gasping for air.

That domineering stance. That piercing gaze. Those arms, dear gods, those arms. To be brutally honest, my opinion of Hades 2 may well live and die not on whether Hades can step up and become a better father, but on whether we can romance Nemesis. Scrolling through Twitter this morning revealed I'm far from the only one. If she is romanceable, though? Automatic GOTY, everyone else can go home. Including Hades himself.

For more of the latest news and trailers, check out our Game Awards 2022 hub. We also live-blogged the show as it happened right here.

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