There are a lot of things that want top kill you in developer Supergiant Games’ rogue-like, Hades. From floating gorgon heads to angry crystals to the very champions of Elysium, everyone wants to take a piece out of Zagreus. Thankfully, Zag doesn’t need to make the journey alone, as numerous gods and mythological figures are willing to lend a hand. One of these is Charon, the ferryman of the damned and the game’s dungeon merchant. Typically players will be purchasing boons, upgrades, or consumable items from him, but you can actually pick a fight with the boatman if you don’t value your life.
Here’s how to unlock the secret Charon boss fight in Hades:
How to Unlock the Charon Boss Fight
To start the Charon boss fight, visit this vendor in his shop and check out the little alcove right by his wares. If you see a floating bag with a gold skull on it then you are able to trigger this battle. Previously a spinning Red Coin, approaching this bad will display a prompt saying “Borrow +300 Gold.” Hitting interact will instantly add 300 gold at the cost of pissing of Charon. This will trigger the boss fight, as he will transport both Zagreus and himself into an arena. You will now have to fight it out and defeat Charon if you want to progress or he’ll smack you back down into the House of Hades.
Keep in mind, the boss fight for Charon only has a possibility of appearing during the middle of any of the floors. In all my testing I was never able to spawn Charon right before a boss fight with Meg, the Bone Hydra, or Theseus and Asterius. There have been reports that this bag of gold can also appear at his shop in the Temple of Styx. It’s unclear if this fight only becomes available after you’ve made one successful escape. During my time with the game, the Charon boss fight only became available once I beat Hades, but I could be unlucky. My advice for those seeking to duel Charon is to visit every vendor icon that appears, even if you don’t need to. This will increase your chances of this boss fight appearing.
How to Beat Charon
Charon is no pushover, especially since he can appear when your build isn’t complete. He boasts a large frontal sweeping attack and an AoE (Area of Effect) attack that will surround him if the player gets close for too long. Additionally, Charon will spawn in waves of angry spirits that will rush you from either side of the arena. During the fight, I recommend always keeping an eye out for the purple spirits, as they will typically cause the most damage. Once they spawn, disengage from battle and dodge through or around them before taking the fight back to the ferryman.
You always want to try and keep an eye on his oar, as Charon will raise it up right before unleashing his AoE. If he turns to the side then he will perform the sweep attack which you dodge around. After he gets to about 60% health, Charon will become invincible for a moment before spawning even more spirits. These will start coming at Zagreus faster and in greater numbers. Their damage can stack and cannot be reflected, so dodge them at all costs. I found the spear, bow, and gun to be the best weapons for fighting Charon since you can keep away from his melee strikes and just watch the sides of the screen for the spirits. Additionally, make sure to use the four pillars to your advantage if you need to get some distance between you and the ferryman.
Defeating Charon will award Zagreus with a 20% off coupon boon that reduces the prices of his wares for the rest of the run!