Letters to Summer

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Hello Pen Pals! This is a bonus letter just for you, to thank you for supporting us on Patreon. In this one, we're talking about Hades. We hope you like it!

Summer: Hades!!!!!!!!!!!

Jillian: i was actually just playing hades right before this

i’m about to get to the final fight in elysium

Summer: hell yeah

Jillian: ok so to start us off—you played hades way before me, like a while ago, and wrote about it in the newsletter

Summer: yes!!

Jillian: so why don’t you talk a little bit about what made you what to play it & why you liked it so much

take us through your hades journey

Summer: ok! so

our mutual friend pan was the biggest encourage-r of me getting it

i had seen the trailer during the nintendo indie world right before it officially dropped

and i was like ???? this game looks fucking awesome, but i was kind of hesitant because the last indie game i had bought had a game-breaking glitch

Jillian: rip

Summer: and i was like i don’t want to spend money and not be able to play lol

Jillian: i remember seeing that trailer and being like ah looks cool i guess but that’s not really my kind of game so i probably won’t play it, lol

Summer: yeah, same. i was like this combat style doesn’t seem like my thing ???? but everyone told me it was…

and it was! the game is actually exactly my thing! the way it plays with difficulty is the perfect way for me to feel consistently engaged

Jillian: so where are you at in the game currently

Summer: so i’ve “beaten” it, both escaped the underworld enough times to get the credits scene & gotten the epilogue

Jillian: oh!!!!! wait congrats

Summer: but there are still a few scenes i want to trigger before i really feel “done” with it

Jillian: there’s so much to do

Summer: THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO!!!!!!!!!

my highest heat is 11 with the trident (i have 10 with the shield and the gauntlets as well) and the idea of going higher is making me shake

Jillian: i don’t even fully know what that means yet sdkfljdsfl

i have an idea but only sort of

Summer: have you unlocked the pact of punishment? i don’t remember when it happens haha

i think maybe after 10 escapes…

Jillian: i have! i started playing about two weeks ago and have managed to escape the underworld twice thanks to god mode and lots of boons

Summer: hell yeah ok

Jillian: i think you unlock it after the first escape

Summer: that makes more sense

Jillian: i’m just not super familiar with it yet since i haven’t had a lot of escape attempts since then

Summer: how are you enjoying it?

Jillian: oh i’m loving it

so much

like i said, i didn’t think it was my kind of game

but you and a bunch of my other friends seemed to love it so much that i decided i should at least give it a shot

and i pretty much fell in love with it immediately

it’s just really really fun to play. i keep saying this, but i don’t think gameplay videos fully capture how fun it feels.

Summer: no, seriously.

it is SO. FUN. it’s EXCITING.

Jillian: the gameplay and the combat itself is a blast

we were just talking about this before but i love the range of weapons you have & how you are encouraged to switch it up each time so you never get bored with one style of playing

AND THEN you add the weapon aspects on top of it which makes it even MORE fun ok ok ok

speaking of, what’s your fav weapon and aspect

Summer: YES! and then with the pact of punishment there are new ways to make the gameplay different too!!!! it’s just endless!

OH ok my favorite is

the spear, aspect of hades

Jillian: the spear is very fun

so far my favorite weapon is the shield i think but i really like playing with all of them (except the bow and the gun lol)

Summer: but yeah i love the spear, i love that it’s both a distance and close-range weapon, i love the spinny attack, i love switching between the aspect of achilles and aspect of hades bc it’s like, Dad?

what’s your fave aspect on the shield

Jillian: i don’t know much about the different aspects yet but i just played with aspect of talos on the gauntlets and it was so fun


it’s my favorite to use w/ the gauntlets

Jillian: i feel like aspect of chaos is my favorite shield aspect but i haven’t used them all enough to know yet

the beauty of this game……….there’s so much to do and so many ways to play it…….you will never get bored……..

plus aside from all of that the story is so good and the dialogue and the voice acting is so good

Summer: seriously!!!

Jillian: like i just love it all so much

Summer: every aspect of this game is perfect?


there’s not a single thing i don’t like about it truly

Summer: it’s kind of bonkers. sometimes i think about other games i love & how i don’t care about weaker aspects because of how good the rest of it is

like, the voice acting in BOTW is so cringey but it’s like whatever that’s not the point

but this one….it’s all perfect

Jillian: and from a cool indie studio too

Summer: right? like? an indie studio did this!

Jillian: the amount of awards hades has gotten this year makes me want to cry a little bit like i’m so proud……..i didn’t even make the game……i didn’t even start playing it until this month but i still feel so proud of them

Summer: same i feel so emotional…

Jillian: but like it’s well deserved! it really is a fantastic game!

Summer: imagine…creating a productive work environment that encourages people to take care of themselves and leave work at work…

produces….something incredible?

Jillian: i want to be like haha what’s your favorite part but i feel like that’s such a hard question to answer

especially without spoiling the plot i guess

Summer: but yeah. we’ve talked a lot about game play but i honestly would love to discuss story a little ??


Jillian: yes!!! let’s do it!!!

this will be interesting because you fully know the story and i know basically none of it

Summer: so i do think that the game does an impeccable job of making sure the base mechanic of Constantly Escaping MAKE SENSE with the story

which is just…it’s so good! i’m used to games where they just pretend like you never beat the last boss

Jillian: it does! i was so curious how that was all going to work and then it happens and you’re like oh right duh this makes so much sense

and it works really well because it really sort of puts you in zagreus’ shoes where like, you want to keep escaping to find out more of the story, just like he does

Summer: exactly it’s so cool

he is such a sweet boy i love him as a protagonist

so polite…

Jillian: i love him so very much

also i’m not going to pretend i really know anything about greek mythology but it’s really fun to have characters like achilles and patroclus, and orpheus and eurydice with their own little stories

and also whatever the hell chaos is doing

Summer: i love listening to the musical Hadestown while playing this game

and just being like…what’s up with all of this why do we love these stories so much lol

but yeah it’s so ??? nice to see the way that. at its core this game is about reuniting family skldjfskldjfsk

Jillian: where is that percy jackson remake @disney

Summer: FOR REAL i can’t wait to see hades and persephone sitcom couple done right lmao

Jillian: i’ve thought about rereading those books so much this year since it seems like we’re all really into revisiting things from our childhood lately but ultimately i’m too lazy

and also maybe it’s ok for some things to stay in your childhood

Summer: LMAO i think i’m going to do it in the new year

but yeah it’s been really fun to experience greek myths in a new way

Jillian: i would be down to do a book club with you

Summer: PLS

it would be so fun

Jillian: ok great love it

Summer: ok so there are a ton of video games that use greek mythology as a basis for their story

yet i’ve never played any of them

so it was really fun to be able to experience these stories via game

AND ALSO LIKE…the way so much of it is like, Post-The Stories You Know, instead of playing through the stories…we know….

Jillian: me neither! what are some you’re thinking of

Summer: god of war is one, i watched hazem play the newest one and it’s p sick. i know there’s an ancient greece assassin’s creed too.

Jillian: wait side note does zagreus exist in greek myth or was he invented for hades


Jillian: WAIT

Summer: isn’t that crazy

i didn’t know

Jillian: that’s bonkers


Summer: Y U P

Jillian: FUCUKCF

well i have some wikipedia pages to read later

Summer: so yeah! that’s the thing—everything is based in some myth

which is just…so good!

Jillian: that’s very very cool

Summer: it’s just so well done! it’s not tired, it pulls from more obscure myth, it does such a nice job making myths feel contemporary too?

like artemis isn’t an ambiguous lesbian she just is

achilles and patroclus ARE in love

Jillian: they ARE and i’m happy for them

oh what do you think about the decision to not include some of the olympians like apollo

Summer: it’s confusing

like it might have been a time thing?

Jillian: obviously it’s tricky to include everyone and have a billion characters but yeah it is a little weird isn’t it

it’s like what was he doing

Summer: which is super valid. but i’m like…did apollo just say fuck that i’m not helping my cousin

Jillian: i mean he might have

Summer: i really like the way the olympians are characterized

i like that some of the other gods / minor gods are represented in the aspects

for the weapons

Jillian: me too!

i wonder what an apollo boon would have looked like

Summer: omg right….like….he just makes music what does that help

Jillian: i feel like apollo’s boons would have been similar to dionysius or aphrodite

Summer: yeah, that would make sense. i think a hestia boon that works sort of like ares’s would have been cool, like “burn damage”

Jillian: oh speaking of boons……….what are some of your favs

i always go for artemis boons

Summer: artemis is my GIRL

literally always

i love that one that gives you extra little arrows every time you use anything

Jillian: me too!

i also really like basically all dash boons

especially poseidon’s

Summer: yes!!! poseidon has such good boons, i love his call

i also really like athena boons

Jillian: oh and ATHENA’S boons yes

Summer: i try to get one deflect every go around…

Jillian: athena and artemis are my favorites

i love to deflect everything

i also really like some of the aphrodite boons just because they are pink

and that makes me happy

Summer: i really like piling ares’s doom + any sort of revenge damage + the artemis extra arrows….it’s super chaotic

Jillian: oh yes

it’s really cool to see how they all play with each other to make you extremely powerful lol

Summer: i love talking to dionysus but his boons aren’t my favorite lol. i also always love talking to hermes

Jillian: dionysus has one boon that i got recently that i liked but i forget what it was please hold

ah, basically any of his healing boons are good

and i do like hermes boons for either giving me money or making me go fast

Summer: YEAH i love healing boons and i love to go fast

there’s this one artemis boon that gives you +1 on your cast

Jillian: i almost never go for those ones because i am constantly forgetting to use my cast

Summer: my dream build is like….poseidon call, doom on both attack and special, artemis arrows, athena cast, zeus dash…all good

i love using the cast! since i realized it’s like…zag’s Special Thing as a God it made me emotional lmao

Jillian: wait what oh that’s so cute

well now i have to use it

Summer: right….when i realized

oh i love how the codex w/ all of the info on gods & stuff is written from achille’s pov

it’s SO CUTE

Jillian: ME TOO

thank you achilles for being such a major character in this game it makes me happy

achilles father figure

Summer: it’s so sweet….dad…

before i realized what giving nectar to ppl was actually doing i was just like One for my Dog, one for my Dad

Jillian: basically skdgljsdklfsd

now i try to save them for meg and than

i’m excited to get to a point in the game where i’m less interested in actually making it out every time and more interested in just gathering materials so i can decorate the house

but right now i’m still riding the high of my tiny escape streak

Summer: omg that’s kind of where i am at

i started decorating the west hall i’m obsessed w/ making it nice for thanatos even though he’ll never use the furniture

Jillian: anything for thanatos

Summer: the only thing i don’t like about this game is that you can’t SIT


Jillian: you should be able to sit in every game

huge quality of life improvement

acnh was right for that

Summer: exactly…

Jillian: AND stardew valley just added it in their latest update


Summer: all games need it

i hope the next botw has it

Jillian: the people are starting to realize

all we want to do is sit

Summer: all we want is to sit and pet dog

Jillian: and fish

Summer: the Big Three

Jillian: speaking of fishing i keep forgetting that’s a thing i can do in hades

Summer: omg it’s so cute

Jillian: i’m really not good at remembering

Summer: same, i always leave before checking for a fish point

Jillian: sometimes i’ll be on my way out of a chamber and then realize that there was one

i wish zag would say something about it maybe to make you realize

Summer: oh sometimes he does

he’ll be like “oh a fishing point”

Jillian: not enough!!!!!!

Summer: i know

omg i watched this video a little bit ago on user interfaces

and it talked about this game that a lot of people complained about the player character saying things like “guess i’m done here” when there was no more stuff to loot in a room

i think it was the last of us. and it’s like

why would you complain about that

that’s GREAT


that’s literally a thing that i need

Summer: YEAH it’s like…actually these things are so useful!

Jillian: i’m all about games that lovingly hold my hand and tell me what to do

Summer: same, i feel like i don’t want to waste time in a room feeling stressed about what’s in it if i don’t need to be

and sometimes w/ hades i am going FAST

Jillian: exactly

Summer: if zag sees a fishing point…lmk buddy

Jillian: unless i have dusa’s keepsake equipped and i’m going around to check all the urns for food i’m usually not doing a full sweep before i leave a chamber

Summer: same! i love dusa’s keepsake, it’s my favorite

Jillian: it’s so good

lately i’ve been using than’s keepsake in the beginning and switching to skelly’s before elysium

Summer: have you gotten any cthonic companions yet?

Jillian: no what is that

wow there’s still so much for me to unlock in this game i love it

Summer: it’s like a little buddy that people will give you when your bond is strong enough that helps you out :)

than and dusa’s is my favorite

Jillian: that’s so cute!!!!! what

wow i can’t wait

Summer: I KNOW they’re literally like stuffed animals that help you battle klsdjfkldsjflksj

the thing about this being an indie game that’s only been out for so many months is that i’m sure there are things i don’t even Know about that i haven’t gotten yet!!!

i love it…i love discovery

Jillian: me too!!!!!! wow

so basically this game is the best and we love it

Summer: i highly recommend, also i bought the soundtrack on bandcamp and that’s been great too

absolutely my Game of the Year

Jillian: oh i should do that

the music is fantastic

Summer: sorry animal crossing i love you…

Jillian: i enjoyed a lot of games this year! especially games that i did not think i was going to enjoy that much!

between fe3h and hades i’m realizing that my ideas about what types of games are “for me” are really silly and i should just play anything that looks cool and is recommended to me by friends

no more “oh i don’t really know if i like dungeon crawlers” bullshit

Summer: yes, absolutely. i feel that way too

every game can be good as long as there are things in place to make it appealing ? for different types of gamers ?

Jillian: my next hurdle is platformers

Summer: maybe i’ll follow w/ celeste after you play it

Jillian: yes! celeste looks very good i’m excited to play it eventually

is there anything else you want to bring up, any final thoughts about why this game is the best and we love it?

Summer: music is GOOD. romance plotlines are GOOD. zag is the BEST BOY!

Jillian: THE BEST BOY oh also: god mode rocks

Summer: oh absolutely

the idea of playing with it off or with hell mode….no thanks

Jillian: like congrats to anyone who enjoys playing without it but i absolutely love god mode, as someone who wants to enjoy playing a game without it being super super difficult

Summer: thank you Hades creators who let us go through the sweet sweet plot

Jillian: we love you dearly

ok so i think i’m going to go play more hades right now and see if i can make it out of the underworld a third time (update: i did indeed make it out a third time)

Summer: hell yes

Jillian: thank you for talking about this wonderful game with me i’m so glad we get to do this

Summer: ME TOO

it is SO FUN To have fun and talk about games that are good

Jillian: right!!!

ok goodbye sweet summ

Summer: have fun friend!!!!