Santa Monica Studio soft reboot of God of war and the new sequel, God of War Ragnarok, focus on the god-killing hero reckoning with – and sometimes trying to hide from – his violent past. And while much of that contemplation and consternation pertains to Kratos’ actions in the first three major God of War games, the ancient Ghost of Sparta seems to have regrets beyond his Greek god body count.
Like, for example, when Kratos appeared in Sony’s attempt to boost the success of Super Smash Bros. to imitate. He prefers not to talk about it.
[Warning: Minor spoilers for God of War Ragnarök follow.]
During a conversation between Mimir and Kratos, as the latter paddles his canoe, the talkative decapitated head asks his attendant if a story he’s heard about Kratos’ past is true. Here’s the exchange:
Mimir: Brother, I have heard my share of stories about your homeland. But I had also heard that you once fought in a tournament.
Kratos: I’ve fought in a lot of matches.
Mimir: But this particular… I heard you battled beasts, villains, princesses, the undead, automatons, and… the greatest musician in history. That’s not… that’s not true, is it?
Kratos: I wouldn’t talk about this.
Like Kvasir’s poems in God of War RagnarokMimir here winks at another PlayStation asset, the crossover fighting game PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale. Referring to the list of platform fighters, Mimir refers to fellow warriors like Ratchet and Clank, Twisted Metal’s Sweet Tooth, Fat Princess, Sir Daniel Fortesque and PaRappa the Rapper – the greatest musician in history, of course. Kratos, of course, was part of the PlayStation All Stars line up alongside his old foe Zeus.
But some players have interpreted that exchange differently, mistakenly thinking that Mimir is talking about another fighting game appearance: 2011’s Mortal Kombat soft reboot, popularly known as Mortal Kombat 9. Kratos was a guest character – MK’s first guest character – and he also battled beasts (Reptile), villains (Kano), princesses (Kitana), the undead (Scorpion), and automatons (Sektor and Cyrax) there. You could say history’s greatest musician also made an appearance (sort of), as the purple ninja Rain is inspired by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Prince.
Mortal Kombat 9 is also a notable appearance for Kratos, as it is his first interaction with gods outside of the Greek pantheon. At the end of his story, after defeating Shao Khan, he comes face to face with thunder god Raiden and wind god Fujin, both of whom are named after figures in Japanese mythology. However, Kratos didn’t fight them, as the following video explains.
Before his two fighting game crossovers mentioned above, Kratos appeared in yet another fighting game: 2009’s Soulcalibur: Broken Fate. That game, exclusive to PlayStation Portable based on soul calibur 4, with Kratos as a guest character replacing Darth Vader and Yoda’s cameos in the console versions. The whole Soulcalibur crossover was clearly an incentive for Bandai Namco to bring its weapons-based fighter to the PSP, and Kratos barely has a story in it. Broken fate.
So yes, Kratos has fought in many matches and Sony was pretty liberal with the character’s cameos a decade ago, but only one guest appearance seems to have a tenuous attachment to lore – PlayStation All Stars Battle Royalelike it or not is there with baseball, Macbethand Jim Carrey’s The mask as part of the larger God of War canon.