Kratos is the main character in Sony Computer Entertainment's God of War series, which is loosely based off of Greek mythology. Kratos first appeared in God of War, which was released in March of 2005, and appears as a guest character in the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of Mortal Kombat (2011). This makes him the first guest character in the series.
Eventually revealed to be a demigod, Kratos embarks on a series of often forced adventures in attempts to avert disaster or change his fate. Kratos is usually portrayed as being oblivious to all else in the execution of these adventures, often engaging in morally ambiguous activities and performing acts of extreme violence. Each adventure forms part of a saga with vengeance as a central theme, and provides additional information on Kratos' origins and relationship with his family and the gods. Kratos has received positive critical reception, being described by reviewers as a "sympathetic antihero." The character is also associated with products including artwork, clothing, comic books, fast food, the Internet, a novel, sweepstakes, toys, and cell phone skins, with Game Guru claiming that "Practically anyone, even if they hadn't played any of the God of War games, would know about Kratos." Kratos was featured in GameInformer's "50 characters that defined a decade" issue, giving props for the games and the deep, well done storyline.
Kratos was officially confirmed to appear in the new Mortal Kombat video game at Spike TV's annual Video Game Awards with a new trailer. On March 23, Gamespot posted a new video showcasing Kratos' gameplay and stage.
- Mortal Kombat (2011): "Ancient Greece knew no more bloodthirsty warrior than Kratos, who for a time was the God of War. Mortal once more, Kratos withdrew from the ages-old clash between men and gods. But his solitude was broken when he was ripped through space and time. As the madness subsided, Kratos found himself in present-day Outworld, kneeling before Shao Kahn. To ensure his victory in Mortal Kombat, the emperor had invoked an ancient ritual, sacrificing the souls of his vanguard to summon and enslave the most powerful warrior of all time. But the spell alone could not contain Kratos, who soon regained his free will. Enraged by Shao Kahn's arrogance, Kratos vowed to rip the warlord's spine from his body. The God of War had returned to battle."
Kratos' main weapons were once the Blades of Chaos, a gift from Ares as a sign of Kratos' servitude. They are essentially two Falchion-like blades on long chains, permanently fused and seared to the wielder's forearms. Once Kratos killed Ares, Athena replaced them with a nearly identical pair of blades called the Blades of Athena, and then replaces them again in God of War III with the very similar Blades of Exile. Kratos displays proficiency with all of his weapons. It's implied that he learned many of his fighting skills from Ares, the former God of War himself.
Also, in the games, he's seen using different weapons, ranging from the Blade of Olympus to the Nemean Cestus. He uses the Head of Helios to stun his opponent with a blinding flash.
Kratos' fighting style often uses the Blades of Exile in his combos. He also has other weapons from the third game as well, such as the Nemean Cestus, the Bow of Apollo, the Head of Helios and Blade of Olympus.
- Apollo's Bow: Kratos pulls out the Bow of Apollo and shoots two arrows. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Apollo's Inferno. Kratos fires three flaming arrows in an arc.
- Golden Fleece: After parrying a projectile, he will launch an energy blast back at his opponent. After parrying a melee attack, he'll slam into the opponent. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Argos Ram. Kratos slams his blades on the ground, causing a shockwave.
- Head Of Helios: Kratos pulls out the Head of Helios, which emits a small shockwave of light that blinds the opponent, leaving them vulnerable for a second attack. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Helios Flare and has a longer range.
- Zeus' Rage: A quicktime event style move where Kratos slashes the opponent and then punches them when they're on their knees. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Revenge Of Olympus and adds a stab with the Blade of Olympus.
- Hermes Dash: Using the Boots of Hermes, Kratos dashes through his opponent, damaging him/her and leaving a trail of fire. It can be charged. (MK 2011)
- The enhanced version is called Hermes Rush and is more damaging.
- X-Ray Move - Nemean Cestus: Kratos anchors himself to his opponent with his Blades of Exile, then slides toward them. He then stabs his opponent with both Blades as he reaches him/her, slicing the ribcage. Then, he punches the opponent in the face with the Nemean Cestus, shattering their skull. (MK 2011)
- Throw: Kratos picks up the opponent with one hand and stabs them repeatedly with one of his blades with the other. After the final stab, he throws them forward or behind him. This animation comes from the way Kratos executes Humans and lost souls in God of War III, grabbing them and savagely stabbing them in the chest before tossing them aside.
- Blade of Olympus: Kratos stabs the opponent with both Blades of Exile, wrenching out pieces of flesh as they are removed. As the opponent tries to stop the bleeding, Kratos draws the Blade of Olympus and drives it through their chest, finally slicing vertically through their torso. After a while, the sliced body stops moving and falls. Kratos then drives the blade into the ground, growling. (MK 2011)
- Medusa's Gaze: Kratos pulls out Medusa's Head and turns the opponent to stone. He then equips the Nemean Cestus and lunges through the opponent, shattering them into tiny pieces. (MK 2011)
- Babality: Kratos starts pulling on a Medusa plush doll's head until it is ripped off and holds it triumphantly. (MK 2011)
- Mortal Kombat (2011): "Shao Kahn was dead. The God of War had prevailed. The spell that had summoned him began to reverse itself. As he slowly faded from this place and time, Kratos was approached by Raiden and Fujin. Though he did not count them among his enemies, Kratos had never been beloved by these gods. He prepared for kombat. To his surprise, they bowed to him, a show of respect he had not seen from an immortal in many an age. Raiden explained that though his motives were not pure, Kratos had saved Earthrealm. He was owed a debt of gratitude. As he returned to his own world, Kratos nodded silently. Their change of heart would perhaps prove useful one day. A debt of gratitude is often dearly paid."
- Kratos is the first guest character from another video game franchise to appear in the Mortal Kombat series.
- He is also, currently, the only one.
- Mortal Kombat (2011) was not the first fighting game in which Kratos appeared as a guest character. He had previously made another appearance in the Soulcalibur franchise, in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny.
- Kratos and Khameleon are the only playable characters in the series whose appearances were console-exclusive, the former only appearing on PlayStation systems and the latter only appearing on Nintendo systems.
- His alternate costume is known as "Fear Kratos" from God of War III.
- He can be seen on the American cover of the PS3 and PS Vita versions of Mortal Kombat (2011).
- In the end of the Arcade Ladder, when Kratos is beating Shao Kahn, his blades turn into the Blades of Athena. After Shao Kahn is dead, they change back into the Blades of Exile.
- Kratos has his own arena: Chamber of the Flame, which is the only arena to have more than one Stage Fatality.
- Kratos is also the only guest character to have an arena based on a location from their home universe in a MK game.
- If Kratos deals the match winning blow with the first hit of Zeus' Rage (before the button prompt appears), the enemy will fall to the ground and Kratos will be unable to perform a finisher.
- If Kratos is frozen after he drops the Blades of Exile, they will freeze along with him on the ground, the reasoning behind this is because the blades are part of his character model.
- Whenever a Fatality or X-Ray Move is performed on Kratos, his mouth will not open fully, instead showing him scowling with clenched teeth. His mouth stays that way even whilst screaming. He also has different reactions to some Fatalities, which, according to Ed Boon, was done at the request of Sony Computer Entertainment as it went against his character and nature, as he is known from his games as a fearless warrior. Some examples are:
- If Johnny Cage performs his And The Winner Is... Fatality on Kratos, he will not get a trophy planted in his head.
- If Mileena's Be Mine Fatality is performed on Kratos, she will not eat Kratos' face, instead she will immediately drop it on the ground.
- If Ermac's Pest Control Fatality is performed on Kratos, Kratos will yell at Ermac instead of running around in fear.
- When Smoke performs his Smoked Out Fatality on Kratos, his Blades of Exile fade away with him.
- When Shang Tsung performs his Identity Theft Fatality on Kratos, the green glowing lights are placed higher than his eyes. This is due to the fact that Kratos' head is smaller than the MK characters'.
- When Cyber Sub-Zero performs his Brain Freeze Fatality on Kratos, he does not go into rigor mortis, but simply falls down.
- When Stryker performs his Have A Blast Fatality on Kratos, Kratos will be in fury instead of being in panic. However, in the PlayStation Vita version, he panics.
- Despite that, he will still be spooked when Shang Tsung performs his Bang Bang! Fatality on him.
- When Kung Lao performs his Razor's Edge Fatality on Kratos, he will not panic nor wave his arms during the process of being cut in half.
- When Reptile performs his Acid Yak Fatality on Kratos, he manages to get some of his acid spit into Kratos, even though Kratos didn't open his mouth.
- If Noob Saibot's As One Fatality is performed on Kratos, Kratos will not react much when his lower torso gets separated.
- When Skarlet's Make It Rain Fatality is performed on Kratos, he will attempt to break free from the blood pillars instead of panicking.
- When Kenshi performs his Split Ends Fatality on Kratos, Kratos will not flinch when Kenshi throws his sword.
- When Rain performs his Bubble Burst Fatality on Kratos, he will not expand, instead he just stands in a "T" stance and will explode.
- When Freddy Krueger performs his Tell Em' Freddy Sent Ya Fatality on Kratos, he will look around in a combat-ready stance instead of being frightened.
- When Freddy Krueger performs his Welcome to my Nightmare Fatality, Kratos will not only try to get out, he'll attempt to grab Freddy before he slams the door.
- When a Babality is performed on Kratos, his mouth will not move.
- Kratos's Babality references how the gorgons are killed in the God of War games.
- Kratos, along with Sheeva, does not have his own avatar in King of the Hill.
- His ending shows him killing three fighters, who appear to be Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, and Baraka.
- Kratos' Golden Fleece is the only move that can counter both projectile and melee attacks without being enhanced.
- Kratos also happens to be the only character who can actually counter attack Shao Kahn's Hammer Toss.
- His Battle Cry was first heard in God of War III, when he was facing Zeus at the beginning of the game.