Every weapon in Hades is capable of taking on more than one form. Some of these are visible to the player from the beginning, but others take a bit more detective work to reveal. It seems that Zag's Infernal Arms have connections to heroes and mythical figures even outside Greek mythology, and their aspects can aid him if he proves himself worthy.
Revealing every hidden aspect requires a "waking phrase," which specific NPCs will give to Zagreus once certain conditions are met. In each case, it may take more than one conversation for the character in question to give Zagreus the phrase. Be patient, and Hades players will be rewarded with incredible power. Once the phrase is learned, Zagreus can unlock each hidden aspect with 3 titan blood, and spend the same amount to raise an Aspect by one level.
Updated March 26, 2022, by Demaris Oxman: The story of Zagreus' determination to escape the Underworld remains in the hearts of Hades players well over a year after release. There are endless ways to keep this beloved indie roguelike fresh after several playthroughs, and one of those is by changing up combat. The hidden aspects of the Infernal Arms remain the best versions of each weapon in Hades, but they're not easy to find — they're called "hidden" for a reason. For those who can't get enough of the thrill of escape, this list has been updated to include additional tips on how to access the hidden aspects, as well as more information on what they can do.
Obtaining Titan Blood
Unlocking any weapon's hidden aspect requires the player to have invested a certain amount of Titan Blood in other aspects; additionally, players will need a decent supply of the stuff to unlock and upgrade the hidden aspects themselves.
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There are a number of ways to obtain Titan Blood in Hades. Defeating the Fury sisters and the final boss will yield one Titan Blood for each unique weapon, repeated for each Heat level. Players can also earn it by completing prophecies, or trading with the Wretched Broker. Check out this guide for a comprehensive list of Titan Blood opportunities.
Varatha, The Eternal Spear
Hidden Aspect: Guan Yu
Varatha's hidden aspect invokes an ancient Chinese general, whose exploits in war reached such legendary heights that he has been deified in Chinese folk religion. His aspect grants the player the Frost Fair Blade, which boasts the following alternate moveset:
- Press Attack to jab with the spear as usual.
- Hold Attack to launch the Serpent Strike, a slow-moving, spinning projectile. This takes the place of the spear's usual spin attack.
- The Special button will release a crackling projectile; this is not retrievable as the spear's Special is in other Aspects.
The main drawback of this weapon aspect is that it reduces the player's maximum health and healing throughout the run. At its lowest level, the Aspect of Guan Yu will cut 70% of Zag's health. The amount of health rediced will decrease by 5% with each level increase, but even at maximum level, it still cuts the player's health by 45%. The alternate attacks do huge damage, but considering the health drop, players should buff Zag's health whenever possible while using Guan Yu. The best Guan Yu build includes defensive and health-boosting keepsakes and boons.
How To Unlock It
Varatha's hidden aspect will always be the first that Zagreus reveals; no other hidden aspect can be unlocked until he does so. In order to receive the phrase, the following criteria must be met:
- Fight the game's final boss at least once (Zagreus does not necessarily have to win).
- Unlock at least 5 aspects of any Infernal Arms. This should take 5 titan blood at minimum, which can be obtained by collecting bounties from the Fury sisters or the final boss.
- If the player has not done so already, obtain the Fated List of Minor Prophecies from the House Contractor for 20 gemstones.
Once the above conditions are fulfilled, speak to Achilles in the House of Hades. He will tell Zagreus of a vision that he received from Varatha, and the phrase needed to wake the hidden aspect: "I see you through the eyes of the crimson phoenix."
Stygius, The Stygian Blade
Hidden Aspect: Arthur
A reference to the legendary King of Camelot, the Aspect of Arthur adds +50 to Zag's life total while he wields it. He can Attack and Combo with the sword more or less in the same way as always, though the base damage is significantly higher.
However, like several other hidden Aspects, the most unique twist with this one comes with its Special. When he uses his Special with the Aspect of Arthur, Zagreus creates an aura around him called Hallowed Ground, which lasts eight seconds. Hallowed Ground disables traps, slows enemy projectiles, and reduces the damage that Zagreus takes while standing in it. While Hallowed Ground is active, press Special to Nova Smash as usual. Zagreus can use Hallowed Ground again as soon as the effect ends, giving him the potential for a near-constant buff.
This unique effect makes the Aspect of Arthur a great defensive choice, with plenty of options for powerful builds. With the power of Excalibur at his side, Zagreus can make himself much more difficult for enemies to harm, and still deal plenty of hits of his own.
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How To Unlock It
Once the player has invested at least 5 titan blood in aspects for the Stygian Blade, speak to Nyx. She will tell Zagreus that her daughters, the Fates, came to her with a message, and will give the player the necessary phrase: "I see your kingly pardon from a prison of stone." This references the legend in which King Arthur pulled Excalibur from a stone, claiming his place as ruler.
Aegis, The Shield Of Chaos
Hidden Aspect: Beowulf
The Old English hero offers Zagreus his protection through this Aspect of Aegis. In this form, Aegis' Attack, Bull Rush, and shield-throwing Special remain more or less the same. However, this Aspect also adds a new element called the Dragon Rush. Here's how Zagreus can harness its power:
- Press the Cast button to load one or more Bloodstones into the shield (similar to Coronacht's Aspect of Hera).
- Hold Attack, aim, and then release, as one would typically Bull Rush.
Though similar to the Bull Rush, Dragon Rush deals 20% more damage with each successive rank, in addition to its base damage and +50 damage per Bloodstone. Both offensively and defensively, the Aspect of Beowulf is a great choice, as it allows the player to use the shield's blocking effects while dealing extra damage. Yet, it does come with one drawback: Zagreus will take an additional 10% damage while wielding the Aspect of Beowulf. Be sure to use the shield's blocking capabilities to keep him from heading back to the House of Hades, and check out some tips on ideal builds for this aspect.
How To Unlock It
If the player speaks to Chaos while wielding any aspect of the Shield of Chaos, the ancient deity will remark upon how they once wielded the shield. Once Zag has invested 5 titan blood in Shield aspects, speak to Chaos once more after the prior conversation has taken place. Chaos will give Zagreus the phrase: "I see you stand your ground against the serpent's flame."
If players are having trouble finding Chaos Gates, consider purchasing the Light of Ixion item from a Well of Charon, as this will ensure that one will spawn in the next chamber. Carrying the Cosmic Egg can also be beneficial here, as it will allow Zagreus to enter the gates without losing health.
Coronacht, The Heart-Seeking Bow
Hidden Aspect: Rama
An avatar of the god Vishnu, Rama is among the most important gods in Hinduism. When wielding his aspect, hold Attack and aim to fire the bow. This works much the same as usual, but now the projectiles can Pierce enemies; that is, the arrows will continue traveling after hitting an enemy, potentially damaging multiple foes with one shot. The Special, meanwhile, has more of a twist.
Pressing Special releases a volley of three ricocheting arrows. This may seem like a downgrade from the usual Special's nine arrows, but these have a new effect. The arrows from the Aspect of Rama's Special will inflict Shared Suffering on enemies they hit. Those afflicted by this status curse will take a percentage of damage that Zagreus does to other enemies for a short time.
The Aspect of Rama works fantastically for players attempting to deal widespread damage, especially when paired with the right boons and keepsakes. In levels where the shades of Hades are everywhere, or a boss's minions are swarming Zagreus, its unique effect is perfect for chipping away at several foes simultaneously.
How To Unlock It
Accept a boon from Artemis while wielding Coronacht, and when she speaks to Zagreus, the goddess of the hunt will remark on the legendary bow. After investing 5 titan blood in any aspects of the bow, find Artemis again — consider equipping her keepsake, the Adamant Arrowhead, to ensure that she will appear. Upon meeting her this second time, she will speak the waking phrase: "I see you drawn in the arms of the seventh avatar." This references Rama's identity as the seventh avatar of Vishnu.
Malphon, The Twin Fists
Hidden Aspect: Gilgamesh
In their hidden Aspect, the Twin Fists call forth an ancient hero of Mesopotamia whose exploits are many and varied. Once unlocked, the Aspect of Gilgamesh turns Malphon into the Claws of Enkidu, which boasts a powerful moveset:
- Attack is more or less the same as with Malphon's other aspects, but makes a swiping motion rather than a punch.
- The Special is the same Rising Cutter move.
- Players can hold the Dash button to Dash several times in a row.
- To utilize this Aspect's most unique feature, perform a Dash-Upper by pressing the Dash and Special in quick succession. When it lands, the target will be inflicted with the Maim status curse. For 4 seconds, the afflicted enemy will both take and deal increased damage, then receive a damage burst when the effect ends.
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The Aspect of Gilgamesh provides players with increased mobility through the rapid dash, allowing them to deal damage to many foes in a short time. The Maim effect is high-risk, high-reward; however, if Zagreus uses his boosted dash to stay out of enemy reach, it's well worth it. Check out this build guide to help him make the most of this powerful aspect.
How To Unlock It
Equip the Twin Fists and face Asterius, the Bull of Minos, in his mini-boss fight in Elysium where he appears alone, without Theseus. The famed Minotaur will remark on Zagreus' boldness to fight him bare-handed.
Once the player has invested 5 titan blood in aspects of Malphon, find Asterius alone and speak to him again. He will tell Zagreus of a dream that he had, and give the player the phrase: "I see you overcome the wild and make peace with death."
Exagryph, The Adamant Rail
Hidden Aspect: Lucifer
It's somewhat fitting that the overlord of the Christian Hell would be invoked at one point in a game that takes place in the world of the dead. The Aspect of Lucifer grants Exagryph a slightly different attack: players can hold Attack to fire a damage-dealing beam at foes. This will still consume ammo, though the clip's capacity is increased to 20. Reload as usual.
Meanwhile, this Aspect's Special makes it truly unique. Like the other Aspects, it fires a bomb, though this one, known as Hellfire, works a bit differently. Here's how to use it:
- Once it lands, this bomb will deal damage in a radius around it every second. This includes any damaging Boons that the player has picked up for their special; for example, if Zagreus has accepted Drunken Flourish from Dionysus, the bomb will inflict Hangover on enemies in its radius.
- If this bomb takes any damage, it will detonate. This includes damage done by enemies, the player, or by any damaging Boon effects such as lightning bolts. Upon detonation, the bomb deals massive damage in its radius.
- Zagreus can deploy up to three Hellfire bombs at once. If he fires a fourth, the first one will detonate.
Using the Aspect of Lucifer can require some quick thinking and careful planning as players set their traps around the battlefield. Setting Hellfire in the right place and choosing when to detonate the bombs is key. Take a look at this guide to boons, keepsakes, and upgrades that further power up the Aspect of Lucifer to make the build even better.
How To Unlock It
Speak to Zeus while bearing the Adamant Rail, and like other phrase-speakers, he will comment on the weapon. Once the player has invested 5 titan blood in Exagryph, accept a boon from Zeus again. He will give the player the phrase, "I see your prideful downfall from the heavens to the flames," referencing Lucifer's fall from grace in the Bible. To ensure that Zagreus encounters his Uncle Zeus, equip his keepsake, the Thunder Signet.
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