Hades, the well-received roguelike from Supergiant Games, is clearly rooted in Greek mythology. So what better way for a squad of the Games’ most loyal fans to pay homage to the source material than a full reading of The Iliad, probably one of the most famous stories from the Greek myth?
Six months in progress, the Iliad project is a community reading of Homer’s timeless epic, which will initially be streamed live on Twitch later this month. At the top stands Wrist13, a Hades Speedrunner who played the game long before its official 1.0 version last September. (If you’ve kept an eye out the game’s speed running community(you’ll recognize him as the champion of the Hermes Cup.) More than two dozen members of the community – from fellow speedrunners to real ones Hades Voice actors for some people who just love the game will be attending. The Iliad project even hired Greg Kasavin, Supergiant’s creative director, to design and read an introduction.
“The main goal is that the Hades Community produces something like that… and that we get a nice broad readership in terms of diversity, ”Wriste told me on a Discord call last week. “We have familiar names like Jawless Paulwho is a YouTuber and we have Courtney Vineyswho made the votes [in Hades] for Dusa and Aphrodite. But we also have a lot of smaller streamers and some people who aren’t even streamers or barely have a social media presence. They just love the game. “
Though there are literally countless retellings from. gives The Iliad
“It’s what I got into first, so it’s the one I’m most familiar with, and it’s the one that intrigued me in the writing, the poetry, and the emotional intensity of it,” said Kasavin. “For the most part, it is very legible. It’s not as difficult to analyze as I think many would expect. Even think of books from the 19th century or so, your eyes can glaze over just thinking about them. [The Iliad] is challenging. There are a lot of names, a lot of places, but I don’t know, people got through game of Thrones. It’s no different! “
“The translation of Fagles is very friendly,” Wriste told me. “It makes a lot of fun.”
So why The Iliad and not, we say, The Odyssey, or The Aeneid, or any of the other tons of epics about Greek heroes with washboard abs and nerves of steel?
Easy: “The Iliadhas at least this very clear intertextuality between itself and Hades“Said wrist.
This intertextuality, for those who have not yet played the game, is most evident in one character: Achilles. Yes, the guy with the most notorious paragraph in literature plays an important role in Hadeswho acts as a kind of mentor for the protagon ist, the guy you play, Prince Zagreus. Your goal, to put it simply, is to escape the claustrophobic reign of your father Hades, which means you fight your way out of the sunless realm he rules over. Every time you fail, you are sent right back to where you started. In between your attempts to escape, Achilles offers you comfort, words of wisdom, and the occasional story of fame and blood from another life. Later you can use a “Weapon aspect
One thing is clear: The Achilles of Hades is not like the Achilles of The Iliad. He is not overwhelmed by anger and pride. He’s more reserved and melancholy, a sad man who suddenly has the remainder of an eternity to ponder his actions – in other words, certainly not a 2004 Brad Pitt. (Kasavin told me he wasn’t this gentler version of Achilles as a reinterpretation of the Homeric character, rather than a sequel, it was exciting to think of him as someone humiliated in death that way. “
On your way up and out of the underworld you land in the vaunted realm of Elysium, where you meet another character from the world The Iliad
“The Iliad is so closely related to Achilles and Patroclus which is a popular story in my opinion Hades, it requires that when a project like this happens, it is The Iliad“Said wrist.
“The heart of The Iliad is this relationship between Achilles and Patroclus, ”says Kasavin.
Hades Players can testify to the following, but it takes one eternity to get Patroclus to say a word in the game. The first time you speak to him, he tosses you a healing item and essentially tells you to piss off. At some point, after trial and (much) error, it opens up and you can work to reunite the duo – in a way that’s a bit more than “old war friends,” if you get me. Among the many, many narrative arcs in Hades, the reunion of Achilles and Patroclus is easily one of the most satisfying. And of course it produced some amazing ones the art.
Wriste says 27 people will read with the tasks divided The Iliad24 books. These books are of course of different lengths. In some cases, readers will read an entire book alone. In other cases, they share the burden. And before you have any ideas, no, this is not the type of reading where each reader takes on the role of a specific character, which, according to Wriste, would unfairly share the workload among readers – too many characters – and logistically a nightmare on top of that , far beyond the scope of the project goals. (Wriste told me that past its initial one-month timeframe, the roadmap has become a six-month undertaking.) After all, this is reading, not a play.
“There are only two things we all really have in common, and that is that we love Hades and we all agreed to do this project, ”said Wriste. “That’s it.”
This is what strikes me most about the Iliad project: You cannot deny the beating heart at the heart of this matter. Some people who read come with top notch microphones and recording equipment and bring a seasoned experience that can only be enhanced by being a public person on the hellishly unforgiving internet. Others, as Wriste mentioned, don’t even have social media accounts. From tip to tail, the Iliad Project is a love letter to a game designed by a collective of people who have been inspired Hades– even inspired by a 3000 year old epic – to pass it on.
“For me, it’s the Greek myth that works,” said Kasavin. “It does its magic.”
The Iliad project will be broadcast live Wristes Twitch Channel on June 20 at 6:00 p.m. ET. It will be available on services like Spotify and Youtube after the fact. Personally, I’m thinking of an ideal pallet cleaner after E3.