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No, You Can’t Pet The Dog In Hades 2 (Yet)

Every dog has its day, but some have to wait longer than others

Viacheslav Zakrevskyi / Shutterstock

There is a dog in Hades 2. You might know him already; you might not. A lot of people have been asking if you can pet him. Let me go ahead and clear things up for you: You cannot. For now.

Hades 2 spoilers follow.

Cerberus is back in Hades 2, but sadly, he’s not having a great time! Zagreus is out of action, Hades is imprisoned, and their loyal hound is wandering the Fields of Mourning, which – in fairness – is about as good as it gets if you’re feeling a little down and want to go cry (or rampage) about it. Unlike in the first Hades, you’ve got to fight this warped version of the three-headed hell hound, but if you manage to bring him down – and not put him down; a crucial distinction – he snaps back to his senses. Afterward, you can find him chilling with a chained-up Hades, who is also about as glum as they come. 

At this point, Hades 2 does give you the option to try to pet Cerberus. However, if you press the button, the game informs you that Cerberus refuses, and then he pushes you back with some sort of dog-anger forcefield. You can attempt to pet him each time you encounter him during a run, but the result will always be the same. 

Bear in mind that Hades 2 is currently in early access, so at some point in the future, Cerberus might start barking a different tune. I’m writing all of this not to craft some kind of SEO-chasing guide to harvest clicks from desperate dog lovers, but rather because it occurred to me today that it feels like Supergiant is purposely delaying gratification here – in a game where you can already pet almost every other creature. Frinos the frog, Toula the cat, Hecate’s dog and polecat – Hades 2 is an all-you-can-pet buffet. But Cerberus, who you could pet after nearly every run in the first Hades, remains conspicuously off-limits. It’s Chekhov's dog pet. Eventually, something must come of it.

This says to me that Supergiant is setting up an emotionally-devastating dog-petting moment, one for the ages. And they’ve begun the setup at least half a year in advance, which might be some kind of record. Supergiant’s narrative chops in mind, I imagine The Pet will land for players no matter when they started Hades 2, but I bet it will end up meaning the most to folks who began playing during early access, when giving the traumatized canine a reassuring pat on the head(s) was truly impossible.  

As with Hades 1, this is part of what makes Hades 2’s mad dash through early access interesting. No matter how much Melinoë rages against Chronos’ clockwork machinations, she’s stuck in an endless loop. The story, at least for now, is about how she and other characters cope with that fact. But it won’t always be! And then all we’ll have of this version of the story is our memories. We’ll talk about those memories with those who were – and were not – along for this part of the ride, and they’ll take on greater significance still. Together we’ll make a myth, or at least something resembling one. 

So no, you can’t pet the dog in Hades 2 yet, but when you finally can, that single button press is gonna go crazy. Hopefully we'll be able to pet all three heads this time.

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