The Minotaurs appear as a species of anthropomorphic bulls, about eight feet tall. They walk on their hind legs and carry a variety of massive axes. Over the course of the game, the Minotaurs Kratos encounters become larger, more powerful and more heavily armored and well armed. Kratos can kill them by thrusting a sword in their open mouths and out the back of their heads (doing that will also usually give him additional Green Orbs). To kill them in this way, the player has to tap the circle button (as he does this, Kratos thrusts the blade inner, into the beast's mouth).
[hide]*1 Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology, the Minotaur (Greek: Μῑνώταυρος, "Bull of Minos") was the offspring of the King Minos of Crete's wife, and of a sacred white bull. It appeared as being part man, part bull, and was locked away in the middle of Labyrinth designed by Minos' architect Daedalus. Every nine years, seven young men and seven young maidens were taken from Athens to the labyrinth to be sacrificed to the Minotaur so that Crete would not attack the city (possibly a cultural memory referring to the Minoan Empire of Crete). The beast was then later killed by the Greek hero Theseus.
Minotaurs appear in God of War: Chains of Olympus, but they are different than in the other games. They are significantly larger than Kratos, being one of the largest enemies of the game. They attack Kratos by charging at him, or by attempting to bludgeon him with their giant, blunt swords. After weakening them, Kratos can kill these monsters by pinning their hands down with his blades, and then striking them in the neck with their own sword. Later in the game, Kratos encounters another type of Minotaur that is covered in powerful armor that must first be removed (see below).
Added by Ulfark
In the first God of War, Kratos must fight various types of minotaurs which are a large part of the army of Ares. Later in the game, he even encounters a type called Hades Minotaur, the flaming monsters patrolling the depths of the Underworld.
Kratos also had a unique encounter with a boss, a giant, strong, armored, partially undead Minotaur who served as the final trial of the Challenge of Hades in Pandora's Temple. This beast, known as Pandora's Guardian, was defeated by Kratos, who destroyed his steaming armor and impaled him to the wall.
Minotaurs return in God of War: Ghost of Sparta, in which they are almost identicle to their Chains of Olympus counterparts. A new type of Minotaur, the Minotaur Brute, is also encountered in the game. This time, when the Minotaur charges Kratos, a minigame appears, allowing Kratos to grab it by the horns and deflect its attack.
Added by Master Mold
A weak version of the minotaur appeared in God of War: Betrayal, partially due to the fact that Kratos is a full-powered god during the game. These creatures are summoned to a Greek city to stop the devastating progress of God of War.
Along with the same types of minotaurs from the original God of War, God of War II brings new, unique types, including the ice-powered Erebus Minotaur (see below) and the large, hulking beast called Hades Minotaur (even though it is absolutely different from the Hades Minotaurs from the original game). At several points during his journey across the Island of Creation, Kratos will also encounter massive Minotaurs compossed of solid volcanic stone, known as Titan Minotaurs.
God of War III Minotaur
Added by Ulfark
Minotaurs appear once again in God of War III, now as powerful minions of the Gods. Their most common means of attacking Kratos is to charge at him, in an attempt to gore him with their horns. Later in the game, Kratos will also encounter stronger breeds of Minotaurs, such as the Minotaur Elite and the Labrys Minotaur (see below).
In God of War: Chains of Olympus, the Armored Minotaur is like the standard Minotaur in both fighting style and appearance. The only difference is that's covered in thick armor, which Kratos must shatter and remove before he can actually harm the creature itself. Upon removing its armor and weakening it, Kratos can also kill it the same way he kills the standard Minotaur. Kratos encounters these foes exclusively in the Temple of Persephone.
Added by Artwork0
A standard type of Minotaur seen in the God of War series, the Minotaur Grunt is often seen in pairs and should be handled with caution. When you are fighting this minotaur as well as any minotaur, it is best to launch them in the air and throw them down to the ground several times. This keeps you away from the other minotaur and other enemies that will want to attack you. Though as not dangerous as the other type of Minotaurs seen in the series, this Minotaur still wields a large battle axe. Kratos can also kill them the same way as most other Minotaurs. The Minotaur Grunts first appear in the first God of War. They appear in small groups or pairs throughout parts of the city of Athens as minions of Ares. In God of War II, Minotaur Grunts are one of the enemies summoned by the High Priest of the Fates.
A step up from the Minotaur Grunts, the Minotaur Hammer Grunts are still one of the weaker types of Minotaurs in God of War, but are still worthy adversaries. Kratos can also kill them the same way as most other Minotaurs. Kratos encounters them later on in his quest through Athens. They appear similar to the Minotaur Grunts, except their fur is blue-colored, and they carry a large warhammer for a weapon, along with a battle axe. They attack Kratos by swiping at him with their hammer or axe when he gets close. When at a distance, they can attack by leaping into the air and slamming their hammer into the ground, which then causes a shockwave to radiate out in the direction they're facing.
Added by Ulfark
The Minotaur Warrior in God of War is a more powerful type of Minotaur that Kratos encounters later on in the game within Pandora's Temple. They appear larger than the Minotaur Hammer Grunts, have brownish-colored skin, and carry a massive war hammer and battle axe as weapons. Like the Hammer Grunts, they can attack Kratos by leaping into the air and crashing down with their hammer, which can then create a large, damaging shock wave in the direction they are facing. Kratos can also kill them the same way as most other Minotaurs.
A Minotaur Tormentor
Added by Artwork0
The Minotaur Tormentor is one of the largest and most dangerous types of Minotaur that Kratos encounters in God of War. They are only found in a few parts of Pandora's Temple, mostly in the Challenge of Hades and upon the Cliffs of Madness. They are covered in thick spiked armor, and they wield a gigantic spiked battle axe for a weapon. They attack by approaching Kratos and delivering dangerous swipes and slams with their axe. Kratos can also kill them the same way as most other Minotaurs. In the Underworld, there's an enemy called a Hades Minotaur which is pretty much the same except it's wreathed in flames (see below).
The Hades Minotaur is the name of two separate types of Minotaurs Kratos encountered in God of War and God of War II.
In God of War, Kratos encounters these fiery monsters deep in the pits of Hades, where they serve as guards of Hades and of the Underworld. They are similar in appearance to the Minotaur Tormentors except covered in flames. Their fighting styles are also the same. Kratos can also kill them the same way as most other Minotaurs.
Added by Ulfark
In God of War II, a new type of Minotaurs also called Hades Minotaurs appears. These creatures are fat, squat Minotaurs that wield giant flaming maces. These Minotaurs usually present a danger when in combat and are seen more often than not in pairs. With his weapon, a Hades'Minotaur can smatch the ground and create an explosion of flames, hurt Kratos with his horns, charge Kratos and give a hit with shoulder. Kratos can kill them by taking their mace; hitting them in the head with it and then sticking it into the ground; and then latching his blades onto the Minotaur itself and impale it on its own mace.
A Minotaur Brute
Added by SPIDIKAS94
The Minotaur Brute is an enemy encountered in God of War: Ghost of Sparta. They appear as extra large Minotaurs, armed with a spiked warhammer. They attack Kratos either by striking at him with their hammer or by charging at him, goring him with their horns and throwing him to the nearest wall. The best method to fighting this type of Minotaurs is to carefully evade its damaging attacks, and unleash a furry of blows whenever it drops its guard. Once it has been weakened enough, it will be prone to a finishing move, in which Kratos kills it the same way he does most other Minotaurs.
An Erebus Minotaur
Added by Manas101
Erebus Minotaurs are a new type of Minotaur in God of War II, first encountered in the Lair of Typhon. They somewhat resemble the Minotaur Grunt, except parts of their body are covered in ice, including their hooves, hips, forearms, back, and horns. As a weapon, they carry a large battle axe. Usually fought in pairs, this Minotaur is dangerous and caution should be used when fighting it in battle. Theseus can also summon them during his battle with Kratos. Kratos can kill them the same way as most other Minotaurs.
Kratos defeating a Titan Minotaur
Added by Manas101
Titan Minotaurs are the strongest type of Minotaur found in God of War II. Titan Minotaurs are massive Minotaurs made entirely of volcanic rock and fiery lava. At first they simply appear as a pile of rocks, but then "awaken" when Kratos approaches. They attack Kratos by slamming at him with their stone fists, spinning with their fists outward, or by picking up and throwing giant boulders at him. Kratos encounters three Titan Minotaurs over the course of the whole game. The first is in the Bog of the Forgotten, the second one in the catacombs beyond the Temple of Euryale, and the third one within Atlas. Kratos can kill them by grappling onto them with one of his blades, chopping at their legs, and climbing up their backside. From there Kratos leaps into the air and strikes their shoulder, and then finally impaling his blades into their fiery core, causing them to crumble to rubble.
Minotaur Elites are a more powerful breed of Minotaur that Kratos encounters over the course of his quest in God of War III. The Minotaur Elites appear similar to the standard Minotaurs that Kratos has encountered, except they are now covered in heavy armor, and wield a deadly battleaxe. The key to defeating these more powerful breeds of Minotaur is to perform skilled block-and-counter techniques, or to carefully evade their charges and axe swings. Once Kratos has weakened them, he can kill them by grabbing them by the horns, wrestling them to the ground, and breaking their necks. Like all Minotaurs, this will not only kill them, but reward Kratos with some useful Green Orbs.
The Labrys Minotaur is the most powerful breed of Minotaur that Kratos encounters in God of War III. They appear similar to the Minotaur Elites, except their armor is even stronger, and their axe is even larger. Like their weaker Minotaur brethren, these beasts attack Kratos by charging at him from a distance, or by attempting to pummel him with their powerful axes. The most effective way to damage and kill these beasts is to rely primarily on counter attacks, and then performing the final context-sensitive kill to reward Kratos with Green Orbs.
In Greek mythology, the Minotaur (Greek: Μῑνώταυρος, Latin: Minotaurus, Etruscan Θevrumineś), as the Greeks imagined him, was a creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man or, as described by Ovid, "part man and part bull". He dwelt at the center of the Cretan Labyrinth, which was an elaborate maze-like construction built for King Minos of Crete and designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus who were ordered to build it to hold the Minotaur. The Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.
The term Minotaur derives from the Greek Μῑνώταυρος, etymologically compounding the name Μίνως (Minos) and the noun ταύρος "bull", translating as "(the) Bull of Minos". In Crete, the Minotaur was known by its proper name, Asterion, a name shared with Minos' foster-father.
Minotaur was originally a proper noun in reference to this mythical figure. The use of minotaur as a common noun to refer to members of a generic race of bull-headed creatures developed much later, in 20th-century fantasy genre fiction.
The bronze "Horned God" from Enkomi, CyprusAfter he ascended the throne of Crete, Minos struggled with his brothers for the right to rule. Minos prayed to Poseidon to send him a snow-white bull, as a sign of approval. He was to sacrifice the bull in honor of Poseidon but decided to keep it instead because of its beauty. To punish Minos, Aphrodite made Pasiphaë, Minos' wife, fall madly in love with the bull from the sea, the Cretan Bull. She had the archetypal craftsman Daedalus make a hollow wooden cow for her. Pasiphaë climbed into this wooden cow in order to copulate with the white bull. The offspring of their coupling was the monstrous Minotaur. Pasiphaë nursed him in his infancy, but he grew and became ferocious; being the unnatural offspring of man and beast, he had no natural source of nourishment and thus devoured man for sustenance. Minos, after getting advice from the oracle at Delphi, had Daedalus construct a gigantic labyrinth to hold the Minotaur. Its location was near Minos' palace in Knossos.
Nowhere has the essence of the myth been expressed more succinctly than in the Heroides attributed to Ovid, where Pasiphaë's daughter complains of the curse of her unrequited love: "the bull's form disguised the god, Pasiphaë, my mother, a victim of the deluded bull, brought forth in travail her reproach and burden." Literalist and prurient readings that emphasize the machinery of actual copulation may, perhaps intentionally, obscure the mystic marriage of the god in bull form, a Minoan mythos alien to the Greeks.
The Minotaur is commonly represented in Classical art with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull. One of the figurations assumed by the river god Achelous in wooing Deianira is as a man with the head of a bull, according to Sophocles' Trachiniai.
From Classical times through the Renaissance, the Minotaur appears at the center of many depictions of the Labyrinth. Ovid's Latin account of the Minotaur, which did not elaborate on which half was bull and which half man, was the most widely available during the Middle Ages, and several later versions show the reverse of the Classical configuration, a man's head and torso on a bull's body, reminiscent of a centaur. This alternative tradition survived into the Renaissance, and still figures in some modern depictions, such as Steele Savage's illustrations for Edith Hamilton's Mythology (1942).
Rhyton in the shape of a bull's head at the Greek pavilion at Expo '88Androgeus, son of Minos, had been killed by the Athenians, who were jealous of the victories he had won at the Panathenaic festival. Others say he was killed at Marathon by the Cretan bull, his mother's former taurine lover, which Aegeus, king of Athens, had commanded him to slay. The common tradition is that Minos waged war to avenge the death of his son and won. Catullus, in his account of the Minotaur's birth, refers to another version in which Athens was "compelled by the cruel plague to pay penalties for the killing of Androgeos." Aegeus must avert the plague caused by his crime by sending "young men at the same time as the best of unwed girls as a feast" to the Minotaur. Minos required that seven Athenian youths and seven maidens, drawn by lots, be sent every ninth year (some accounts say every year) to be devoured by the Minotaur.
When the third sacrifice approached, Theseus volunteered to slay the monster. He promised to his father, Aegeus, that he would put up a white sail on his journey back home if he was successful and would have the crew put up black sails if he was killed. In Crete, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, fell in love with Theseus and helped him navigate the labyrinth, which had a single path to the center. In most accounts she gave him a ball of thread, allowing him to retrace his path. Theseus killed the Minotaur with the sword of Aegeus and led the other Athenians back out of the labyrinth. But he forgot to put up the white sail, so when his father saw the ship he presumed Theseus was dead and threw himself into the sea, thus committing suicide.
This essentially Athenian view of the Minotaur as the antagonist of Theseus reflects the literary sources, which are biased in favour of Athenian perspectives. The Etruscans, who paired Ariadne with Dionysus, never with Theseus, offered an alternative Etruscan view of the Minotaur, never seen in Greek arts: on an Etruscan red-figure wine-cup of the early-to-mid fourth century Pasiphaë tenderly dandles an infant Minotaur on her knee.
Theseus fighting the Minotaur by Jean-Etienne Ramey, marble, 1826, Tuileries Gardens, Paris.The contest between Theseus and the Minotaur was frequently represented in Greek art. A Knossian didrachm exhibits on one side the labyrinth, on the other the Minotaur surrounded by a semicircle of small balls, probably intended for stars; one of the monster's names was Asterion ("star").
The ruins of Minos' palace at Knossos have been found, but the labyrinth has not. The enormous number of rooms, staircases and corridors in the palace has led some archaeologists to suggest that the palace itself was the source of the labyrinth myth, an idea generally discredited today. Homer, describing the shield of Achilles, remarked that the labyrinth was Ariadne's ceremonial dancing ground.
Some modern mythologists regard the Minotaur as a solar personification and a Minoan adaptation of the Baal-Moloch of the Phoenicians. The slaying of the Minotaur by Theseus in that case indicates the breaking of Athenian tributary relations with Minoan Crete.
The Minotaur in the Labyrinth, engraving of a 16th-century gem in the Medici Collection in the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence According to A. B. Cook, Minos and Minotaur are only different forms of the same personage, representing the sun-god of the Cretans, who depicted the sun as a bull. He and J. G. Frazer both explain Pasiphaë's union with the bull as a sacred ceremony, at which the queen of Knossos was wedded to a bull-formed god, just as the wife of the Tyrant in Athens was wedded to Dionysus. E. Pottier, who does not dispute the historical personality of Minos, in view of the story of Phalaris, considers it probable that in Crete (where a bull-cult may have existed by the side of that of the labrys) victims were tortured by being shut up in the belly of a red-hot brazen bull. The story of Talos, the Cretan man of brass, who heated himself red-hot and clasped strangers in his embrace as soon as they landed on the island, is probably of similar origin.
A historical explanation of the myth refers to the time when Crete was the main political and cultural potency in the Aegean Sea. As the fledgling Athens (and probably other continental Greek cities) was under tribute to Crete, it can be assumed that such tribute included young men and women for sacrifice. This ceremony was performed by a priest disguised with a bull head or mask, thus explaining the imagery of the Minotaur. It may also be that this priest was son to Minos.
Once continental Greece was free from Crete's dominance, the myth of the Minotaur worked to distance the forming religious consciousness of the Hellene poleis from Minoan beliefs.
William Blake's image of the Minotaur to illustrate Inferno XIIThe Minotaur, the infamia di Creti, appears briefly in Dante's Inferno, Canto 12,11-15, where, picking their way among boulders dislodged on the slope and preparing to enter into the Seventh Circle, Dante and Virgil, his guide, encounter the beast first among those damned for their violent natures, the "men of blood", though the creature is not actually named until line 25. At Virgil's taunting reminder of the "king of Athens", the Minotaur rises enraged and distracted, and Virgil and Dante pass quickly by to the centaurs, who guard the Flegetonte, "river of blood". This unusual association of the Minotaur with centaurs, not made in any Classical source, is shown visually in William Blake's rendering of the Minotaur (illustration) as a kind of taurine centaur himself.