Zeus As Seen In Video Games: A History

After playing through God of War 2 again (Because it’s just that damn good), I thought it’d be fun to look at the thunder tossing Titan killer, Zeus, and how he’s evolved over the years in gaming’s past. But being that mythology isn’t the most popular topic in the video game archives, I only have two games to go by. Luckily, both games have such distinguishable deities that I can make such a ridiculous comparison.

The first comes from Altered Beast, which is without a doubt one of the dumbest concepts for a game that was ever invented. The first image you see when you boot up the game -- or insert the token if you’re playing in the arcade -- is Zeus holding some weird crystal ball and summoning you to WISE FWOM YOUR GWAVE!

Obviously, Zeus was not only the god of all gods, but was also the god of all marbles (in his head, and in his mouth), as this is hardly the introduction into a strange new world -- where floating blue orbs can make you bulk up like Sylvester Stallone -- that you were probably expecting. It’s little wonder that collecting these floating spheres prompts Zeus to mumble, POWA OP! until you eventually TRANSFORM into one of its many ludicrous looking beasts (The bear looks particularly hilarious).

So yeah, Zeus in Altered Beast was pretty laughable.

But then we come to the current iteration of Zeus in God of War 2, a badass, talk no guff gangster who hatches a malevolent plan to trick Kratos into draining his powers into the Sword of Olympus. This Zeus bellows from the clouds and makes his father, Cronus, walk the deserts on his knees just because he can. Now THIS is the Zeus I always imagined as a kid, a god sitting on top of a mountain stroking his wispy white beard while he hurls lightning bolts at those who DARE defy the heavens and all its inhabitants.

So there you have it. From WISE FWOM YOUR GWAVE to the Kratos killer, Zeus has come quite a ways from his 1988 origin. But now that we’re on the subject, which Zeus do YOU prefer?

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.