Because of some impromptu snow days I finally got the opportunity to play Hades’s season 1 stories and OMG, it was everything I could have hoped for and more! He is such a gentleman and I found myself swooning over him just as much as the MC (maybe even more). I don’t think I have anything bad to say about the guy, but maybe I’m biased, I’ve had my eye on him from the beginning. But, I do want to take a moment to applaud Voltage and Astoria Fates Kiss for the inclusion of POC (People of Color)! Several of the characters in this route, come in various shades and hues, and I cannot tell you just how happy that makes me! As a person of color it makes me super happy to see characters that look like me in an otome game. It’s rare that POC are given primary roles in games, TV, and other media, so to have a love interest with a little color is quite the welcome treat!
So this will have some SPOILERS…as always I will try to keep them to a minimum, but hey, no promises…If you want a general spoiler-free overview of Season 1 (Labyrinths of Astoria) check HERE, for Season 2 (Astoria Fates Kiss) HERE, and for my full review of Hydra’s Season 1 (which I highly recommend 😀 ) HERE!
When He Loosens His Tie
Voltage bills Hades as the Gentlemanly God, at first I was skeptical having been misled by their descriptions before, but this time I completely agree. Hades is the perfect gentleman, he opens doors for ladies, he’s a great listener, and rarely raises his voice in anger (when he does, its so polite that even the MC has a hard time believing he’s even angry). That aside, I really like (and by like I really mean, had a fangirl squee fit over) Hades, despite being a god he really is an unassuming and down to earth kind of guy. He’s a workaholic and a perfectionist, spending most of his free time working, so much so that he often falls asleep at his desk. He takes every job he undertakes very seriously, agonizing over every detail and every possible outcome, much to the amusement of his niece Persephone. But it doesn’t end there, he applies the same discipline in his personal habits taking care to run regularly and maintain a healthy diet as well. He almost seems too perfect, as if that were possible.
The MC finds herself working for Hades after he asks Cyprin to send an agent to help him prepare for the God Summit up on Mt Olympus. She is immediately struck by how handsome and all around amazing he is, dare I say that he even gives off a shiny bishie glow.
But, there is more to him than his godly afterglow, Hades works hard at everything he does, while others give 100%, Hades takes it a step further giving 110, no 120%. He has his own notion of what a god should be like and he works tirelessly to maintain that standard. But, what really got to me about Hades was the way that he treated the MC like an equal and not like a subordinate. He never pulls rank on her and is always ready to listen to her thoughts and ideas on a subject without making her feel human.
In typical Voltage fashion, the MC is oblivious to Hades’s growing feelings for her, she seems to think that he’s simply being nice to her, but I am not as easily fooled. Hades is pretty easy to read, his actions tend to speak volumes about his inner thoughts and feelings, but he never lets his emotions get in the way of his duty or the task at hand. I could tell early on that Hades was interested in the MC, it was all there in his penetrating gazes and gentle touches. Then there is the way that he alternates between calling the MC by her first name and her last name (nice touch Voltage), it really shows how conflicted he is about his feelings for her. Unlike the others around him, the MC doesn’t fit well into any of his predetermined categories, despite being his subordinate, he can’t help but see her as much more than that. The MC is the only person that genuinely surprises him. Even Persephone picks up on this, spending the majority of MS1 as their personal cheerleader/matchmaker.
Plot-wise, Hades’s season 1 is vastly different from Hydra’s season 1, instead of the central conflict coming from within Olympus, Hades and the MC have to deal with an external threat: the Titans. This shift makes for a very different kind of story, by having the threat come from outside of H.E.R.A., which creates a more united front between the MC and Hades which in turn makes the budding romance between them more apparent. When Olympus falls, the fallout is devastating, Hades becomes more vulnerable and relies on the MC that much more. But instead of wallowing in despair, Hades takes the initiative and starts planning for an immediate counterattack. It’s around this time that Hades starts to become more open with his feelings for the MC, and let me tell you he becomes 100x more adorable.
She’s Totally Hot for the Boss
What more can I say about the MC that hasn’t already been said before? She’s smart and definitely not a pushover, she knows what she wants out of life and she isn’t afraid to make sacrifices for her goals. Due to the nature of her job this leaves her with few friends and close confidants outside of H.E.R.A. She, like Hades, puts 110% into her work, so she and that magnificent specimen of a god gel really well together from the get go. Initially she sees working with a god as nothing more than a career booster, but it soon becomes apparent that she is genuinely invested Hades and his work. She works hand in hand with Hades even coming up with solutions to problems before he does. However, I do have one teeny tiny issue with her; she falls in love with Hades almost at first sight.
There is no slow build on the relationship like there was in some of the other routes, she’s starstruck from day one. What I really appreciate about the MC is that she doesn’t let her crush on Hades interfere with the quality of her work. She draws a clear line between work and pleasure and I for one appreciate that.
Unlike in the other routes I’ve played thus far, the MC’s mother plays a big role in the overarching plot of the season. Hades lets on early in the route that he was acquainted with her mother, but he refrains from going into too much detail, hinting that the MC and her mother are of similar heart and mind.
He also reveals that her mother was an integral part of H.E.R.A. and that they along with Aphrodite were the H.E.R.A. dream team. Also unlike the other routes, there is a lot more attention given to ring artifact that Cyprin gives her in the prologue. The ring once belonged to her mother, who used it during her time in as a H.E.R.A. agent. Hades remarks that she was really good at wielding its power, putting her on par with the likes of the gods. While the MC is not as adept at using it as her mother, she does actively attempts to activate the ring and makes an effort to control her newfound shield powers. At one point in the story she even uses it to punch a Titan in the face!
But even more than magic rings and pluck, I like that the human aspects of the MC are played up a lot more in this route than in any other route I’ve played. She reacts to all of the supernatural drama realistically, admitting when she is scared or in over her head. Now, she doesn’t let any of that stop her from doing what needs to be done, which makes her feel like a living breathing person and not a cookie cutter stock character. I won’t say anymore about our dear MC, because Holy Hera, that would be almost too spoilery to handle…But boy am I geeked for Season 2!
Do I Recommend this Route?
I will admit that I am a lover of Greek Myth and my absolute favorite are the stories concerning Hades and Persephone. So this route was an unexpected treat, as they did with Hydra’s route, Voltage did a bang up job adapting the myth for the visual novel premise. I like that they made Persephone his niece, rather than a lover, because I hate love triangles to death. But, by doing that it allowed for the MC to gain a new confidant and friend who could support her during all of the supernatural goings on. So when she gets taken at the end of MS1 (I see what you did there Voltage 😉 ), I actually felt the full impact of the loss. Voltage really did their homework, like having her Aura manifest as butterflies, my inner greek myth nerd smiled at that!
Now I will say this though, Hades’s route was very different from Hydra’s in that everything seems to happen so fast, namely the romance. The MC falls for Hades fairly quickly, like around chapter 4. But, can you really blame her,
he is a mega super caramel hottie he’s a god. I would have liked to have a bit more of a delay in the romance, because I couldn’t help but feel like it was just too much, too fast. It was especially strange for me early on, when Hades reciprocated her feelings almost immediately (yes, I’m jealous). On another note the route as a whole is kind of plot heavy, which I like, it’s a nice mix of action, romance, and drama. The pacing is good (except for the ending to the Titan conflict…now that was just too anti-climactic for my taste), and to be honest it seems to be a bit longer and a lot better written than Hydra’s route, but that is to be expected given the time laps between releases. So the verdict, I ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND THIS ROUTE, LIKE GO PLAY IT RIGHT NOW! If you have been hesitant to play Astoria Fates Kiss, this is the route to play! (And sweet Jesus TRUST ME, that Passionate Ending CG is to die for!)
Feel free to comment, I love discussions and I’m open to other people’s opinions! But most importantly, Happy Playing!