My dad loved playing games with me. One game was definitely God Of War and God Of War 2, back on PS2.
I was younger then the recommended rating, but I loved it anyway, and so did my dad. And, I loved it's story too. I may have been young, but i understood it. The story of a man, who made a deal with a God, in order to win a battle. Desperate not to lose. Later on, he finally had to pay the price for the deal he made, when he was tricked into killing- no, slaughtering, his own love and his child.
And thus, Kratos became the man we all knew. The one obsessed with revenge against the God Of War himself. I like to call the version of him that was determined to get his revenge on Aries the Ghost of Sparta Chapter. It's not until the end of the game that he really becomes worthy of the title, God of War. As we went through the game, Kratos conquered a Hydra, slaughtered his way through Athens to make it to the Desert of Lost souls and found his way to Pandora's Temple, and then we escaped the very depths of Hades itself, and went on to kill a God.
This was not just Kratos' journey. It was a journey me and my dad shared too.
We would take turns playing the game, trying to get past parts that were difficult. We had to figure out how to fight the Hydra boss, and it took a few attempts, but we did it. Though whenever a button-mashing prompt would pop up, I always asked him to do it, cause at the time, I was not a good button-tapper. Though I can definitely thank the God of War games for helping me get good at that.
Eventually, we made it to the Pandora's Temple, and got to work on getting through it. I admit, the traps were actually quite daunting back then in my eyes, like the crushers and the saw blade trap you had to swim through. One trap however that will ALWAYS haunt me, is that goddamn timed Trapdoor room.
We tried SO many times, trying to kill all the enemies before that trapdoor opened, and after ages and ages of attempts, we beat it, and got to continue with the game. We felt driven to finish it, to help Kratos get his revenge… and also because we were having a hell of a lot of fun playing it together.
When we finally made it to the final battle, it wasn't easy. My dad let me have more tries at it then he did, and man… finishing that fight was immensely satisfying. But what was far more satisfying, was when we got to go to Olympus, and take a seat on our throne as the new God of War.
I happily replayed the game time and time again because of how fun it was, but eventually I tried God of War 2, with my dad of course, and it was just as much of a blast as the first. Now we were working with the Titans, to get revenge on the rest of the gods for betraying Kratos. And let me tell you, the part where Kratos climbs out of Hades and fights against the hands trying to drag him back down is definitely one of the most badass moments I had ever seen.
We began to make our way through God of War 2, flying on the back of a Pegasus and heading toward the Island of Creation and everything… man was it good. Once we made it to the Sisters of Fate, hoo boy. When I started the first fight, and was then transported through a mirror and back to the final boss fight back in God of War 1, I thought it was so cool. But, I didn't know what to do against the boss so I just kept fighting wave after wave of enemies… until the sword was broken. At first I thought "Oh crap is that the end?" Then I saw the game over screen and realized i had screwed up. Once I actually finished that fight, we then went to the third and oldest Sister of Fate, killed her, and began to change our fate, using the Loom to go back in time to the point where Zeus killed us. Though… Kratos also could've used it to go back and save his family, but clearly he was too focused on Revenge to realize that I guess.
After our fight with Zeus and the accidental slaying of Athena, we then learned that Kratos is the son of Zeus. …And Kratos, even after learning that and everything still wants revenge on Zeus. He then uses the Loom to go even further back in time to bring the TItans from the past into the present to help him wage war against Olympus. And then we were left on a cliffhanger… for a very, very long time. Me and my dad could not wait for the third God of War game.
Life got a bit complicated later on, and when I first got to play God of War 3, it was alone. I was older by then, and could definitely play the game by myself, but I really wanted to play it with my Dad. Eventually, I finally got the chance to, playing it with him but he mostly let me play it and watched. First time I played it though, let me tell you… anyone else never stop pressing that circle button to smash Zeus' face in cause they didn't know they were supposed to stop?
…Then… well… on October 25th, 2011, my dad, Billy Joe Kehr, passed away in his sleep. …He never got to play any other God of War games after 3. When I got my hands on Ascension and the Origins collection… I still had fun but… I really missed my Dad. It felt like something was missing when I played those games. And I still miss him. He wasn't a perfect father, I know, but he did his best. He loved me. I was his boy.
And eventually, the new God of War was announced. And uh… my dad would've loved it.
He would've loved the chemistry between Kratos and Atreus and he would've played that with me like crazy… and a lot of stuff in it reminded me of my dad. And then when I got to certain moments in the game… it really took me back. Back to when we spent hours and hours playing God of War 1 and 2 together…
…There is something I want to ask. And I hope it doesn't seem selfish or anything but… I don't want him to be forgotten. I don't even know if those involved with the game will even see this post but… I want to try. I HAVE to. …If… if I could ask for one thing, it's that… I would do anything if someone could… put his name somewhere in the game. I would even give money or anything for it. It was one of his and is one of my favorite game series ever and… it's a game series that really helped us bond as father and son. And I don't want him to be forgotten.
He was my dad. And… it would mean the world to me. Again, I don't know if anyone involved with the game will even see this but… I want to try.
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