Hades expert Jade ‘AngeL1C’ has just made history by becoming the first Hades player to beat the game on its hardest setting with no mods or prior seeding – a challenge that was previously considered to be basically impossible. The incredible roguelike game took over when it was released in September 2020 following two years in early access, and ever since then its top players have been striving to defeat its ultimate challenge.
Just over a week ago, Hades YouTuber and Twitch streamer Dan ‘Haelian’ posted a video titled, “Why no one has beaten the max heat in Hades or probably ever will.” He explains why the challenge of completing a run with every single ‘heat’ modifier – the game’s way of ramping up the challenge with additional difficulty settings – enabled has long been considered to be impossible.
In order to hit the maximum tier, enemies are stronger, faster, deal more damage, and appear in greater numbers, while every boss appears in a powered-up state with new, more dangerous moves. Meanwhile, the player has access to none of the incredibly powerful Mirror Talents that make Zagreus stronger, only gets one random Boon option instead of a choice of three with each pickup, has to sacrifice a Boon after each region, and must play on Hell mode (meaning you lose Zag’s temporary invulnerability after getting hit, opening you up to burst damage). Oh, and you only have five minutes per area, for a total of 20 to beat the run.
That by itself puts the run out of the reach of most players, with even the top names generally considering pushing above 60 heat to be an unreasonable challenge. However, Hades is a roguelike game where your upgrades appear at random – something further exacerbated because of the ‘Approval Process’ modifier that means you get just a single, random Boon instead of a choice of three. So you can’t just be good; you need incredible luck on your side.
Enter AngeL1C. The Hades challenge runner and speedrunner saw the gauntlet laid down by Haelian, and clearly took it to heart. Not only did she manage to best the impossible, she did so with a healthy 36 seconds left on the clock. Perhaps even more surprising is that she says the perfect run came after just an hour of attempts – constantly resetting the run to get the ideal start. As Jade herself puts it, that’s “51 minutes of attempts to get luck that is arguably unachievable in thousands of hours.”
Her final setup? The Aspect of Zeus Shield, where your special attack causes it to whirl like a gold Beyblade, considered a go-to because it allows your character to damage enemies while using the Shield’s built-in block ability to stay safe. She picks up Explosive Return, causing the shield to detonate whenever she catches it for damage to those around her, and the Zeus upgrade that makes lightning bolts hit foes during the spinning attack, combined with the Jolted effect, which causes shocked enemies to damage themselves when they attack.
You can watch the final run above in its completion. Of the run, Jade says, “Never say never, I guess,” and adds “I am a f**king legend at this videogame.” Honestly, we can’t disagree with that. This is legitimately one of the most impressive and shocking feats in any game – something the community had collectively agreed we’d never see outside of runs where players modded the game to get a perfect loadout (something still only completed by a single-digit number of players).
For me, the best moment of the video is probably the moment where AngeL1C gets the ‘two sack.’ This final cherry of luck atop the randomization cake requires that you get a key item on your second of potentially five challenge rooms in the final zone. Had this not happened, the run may well have been lost, and when it appears Jade pauses the game for quite some time to compose herself. This is the run.
Haelian comments on the video, simply writing, “HOLY CONGRATS” – that says it all. Another top voted comment, from user ‘unovarydrake,’ simply remarks, “Congrats on being the only person to beat Hades.” It’s quite possible Jade is now the only one who will ever achieve this feat but, as today proves, never say never.
We’re now all looking towards the Hades 2 release date to see when we’ll find out exactly how SuperGiant Games plans to push us to our limits again. We’ve also got a roundup of all the Hades 2 gods we’re expecting to see make an appearance.