Supergiant Games’ Hades does not disappoint when it comes to diverse and challenging enemies, and the Bone Hydra is one of them. At the end of Asphodel, the second area in the game, Zagreus has to defeat the remains of the Lernaean Hydra, killed by Heracles as part of his Twelve Labors, to proceed to Elysium.
As with every boss in the game, the Bone Hydra has a chamber with an expansive island surrounded by magma and four pillars near the center. Lernie, as Zagreus calls it, extends from the top edge of the island down to the middle when he lunges.
These are the Bone Hydra’s primary attacks:
The Bone Hydra will wind up and charge its head towards Zagreus, which deals five damage. This can be evaded by dashing out of range of the attack.
The Bone Hydra will go back to the top edge of the island and launch slow-moving projectiles which follow Zagreus’ position. This attack can be evaded by dashing away or hiding behind pillars in the chamber.
- Ground Slam
The Bone Hydra will slam its head on the ground and create a small shockwave. This can be evaded by dashing out of the range of the attack.
The Damage Has Been Done
The Bone Hydra will only attack with the three attacks mentioned above at the start of the first few times you battle it. It can easily be attacked after each attack. But, as the battle progresses, the Bone Hydra’s attacks become more complex.
When you deplete the Bone Hydra’s HP to about 66% and 33%, The Bone Hydra will become impervious to attacks, and a couple more Hydra heads with their own health bar will emerge from the magma at specific points surrounding the island. These heads will use the Lunge attack and one other attack depending on the Hydra head variant:
- Standard (Yellow) – Volley but with less damage.
- Melee (White-Blue) – Ground Slam but with a smaller shockwave radius.
- Control (Orange) – Magma Spittle which is an attack wherein the Hydra head will fire out magma that will temporarily cover an area near the head.
- Summon (Green) – Hydra Teeth which is an attack wherein the Hydra head will spit out three pods that, unless destroyed, spawn Bloodless after 5 seconds.
- Ranged (Purple) – Waves which is an attack wherein the Hydra head will fire out wave attacks towards Zagreus and inflict Knockback.
Three additional Hydra heads will spawn when the main Bone Hydra is at 66% HP, and six additional Hydra heads will spawn when the main Bone Hydra is at 33% HP. All heads must be destroyed before the main Bone Hydra can be attacked again.
Aside from the additional Hydra heads, a couple more changes will happen as the battle progresses. These are the other changes when the Bone Hydra is at 66% HP:
- The main Bone Hydra’s Lunge attack will increase damage from 5 to 16 while the additional heads deal only 5 damage.
- The main Bone Hydra’s Volley attack will change to Barrage wherein the Hydra will fire fast moving projectiles all over the chamber but still follow Zagreus’ position. This attack will go back to being Volley if there is at least one additional Hydra head in play.
When the Bone Hydra is at 33% HP, the main Bone Hydra’s Ground Slam attack will become a Triple Ground Slam attack. The Bone Hydra will do the Ground Slam attack thrice in rapid succession while moving a little bit towards Zagreus’ position with every bounce.
After successfully killing the Bone Hydra three times, it can now have a different variant with additional attacks every time you encounter it:
- Slammer (White-Blue)
Every time it Ground Slams, rubble will fall on the chamber, which deals nine damage each if Zagreus is hit, but it cannot perform the Volley attack.
After depleting its HP to 66%, its Ground Slam will also become a Triple Ground Slam, but rubble will fall on each bounce. At 33% HP, it will become a Super Ground Slam wherein the Bone Hydra will smash its head on the ground up to six times in rapid succession while still moving a little bit towards Zagreus after each bounce. It is possible for 10 to 40 pieces of rubble to fall from this attack regardless of how many times the Bone Hydra bounces.
- Ranged (Orange)
Instead of the Volley attack, the Bone Hydra will perform a Magma Spittle which will be fired on 3 to 5 sections near its head.
After depleting its HP to 66%, its Magma Spittle will be fired on 8 to 11 sections in a circle around its head.
- Summon (Green)
This variant will have access to the Super Hydra Teeth attack wherein the Bone Hydra will spit out a pod that, unless destroyed, spawn an Elite Bloodless Bone-Raker after 5 seconds. This variant can also spawn a Skull-Crusher that dies immediately after landing on Zagreus’ position.
After depleting its HP to 66%, it can spit out two pods at once if there are no additional Hydra heads. It can also spawn two Skull-Crushers in sequence. At 33% HP, it can spit out three pods and can spawn three Skull-Crushers.
- Control (Purple)
Instead of the Volley attack, this variant will perform the Waves attack.
This will be the flow of your battle with the Bone Hydra:
- The Bone Hydra will perform attacks depending on its variant.
- After depleting its health, it will become impervious to attacks and will summon three additional Hydra heads that can perform the Lunge attack and another attack based on the variant.
- After defeating each additional head, the main Bone Hydra can now be attacked. It still has the same attacks as the beginning but stronger.
- After depleting its health even more, it will become impervious to attacks again and will summon six additional Hydra heads that, again, can perform the Lunge attack and another attack based on the variant.
- After defeating each additional head, the main Bone Hydra can now be attacked. It will still have the same attacks as the beginning but with a few modifications and even stronger than the last
All of these different variants may seem confusing, but the best thing to do is familiarize yourself with each attack to anticipate them. Keep in mind that the main Bone Hydra’s pattern will remain the same after defeating the other Hydra heads. The only difference is that it will be stronger. You can keep attacking the Bone Hydra as long as you anticipate the attacks and evade accordingly. After defeating the Bone Hydra, Zagreus can obtain a Diamond under the right circumstances.