Escaping Tartarus

Nationality: American

Age: 19

Primary Language: English

Residence: Lubbock, Texas


“One of my favorite video games of all time is Hades, a roguelike based on the myth of Zagreus, son of Hades and Persephone. When Zagreus was born, he wasn’t ‘alive’. Persephone left the Underworld after his birth (due to grief and other emotions), and Hades valued her choice and allowed her to leave. Zagreus was then ‘reborn’ through the help of Nyx, but since the family story was all too complicated to resolve, Hades told Zagreus that he was a son of Nyx, and purposely hid evidence relating to Persephone. Zagreus ultimately finds out his story of birth and the existence of Persephone, and starts his struggle to escape the Underworld. The Olympians, oblivious of the truth, thought Zagreus was escaping to reach Olympus and lent their help to Zagreus – which is how the game begins. Whenever Zagreus dies in his attempt to escape the Underworld, he is reborn and tries again, fighting the undead ‘til the bitter end. I find his story very inspiring.”


This informant is my brother. We grew up playing video games together.


I believe my brother uses mythology as a motivator and as inspiration. As discussed in class, myths are often used to describe the natural world, and although my brother doesn’t believe in mythology in any religious or scientific sense, he is drawn to and resonates with mythological stories. For him, myths serve as parallels for his everyday life… And in the case of the Greek Zagreus myth, Zagreus’ determination to see the outside world inspires my brother to keep “keep fighting”. Zagreus’ character offers something to aspire towards.